Tuesday, August 31, 2004

What If Bush Wins?

Sixteen writers from across the political spectrum give their forecasts of a second term.

Also in that issue of Washington Monthly - How Kerry already did more against terrorists than Bush has when Kerry shut down their bank.


Texas Tuesdays - The Last State House Race

The last state house race we will cover this summer is Stephen Frost, a good young Democrat looking to replace the retiring Killer D Barry Telford in House District 1. Please take a moment to check him out.



I should thank Houston's Charles Kuffner for setting up Texas Tuesdays.

Palm Beach County Vote Follies Again

Greg Palast writes: On Friday, Theresa LePore, Supervisor of Elections in Palm Beach, candidate for re-election as Supervisor of Elections, chose to supervise her own election, no one allowed. This Tuesday, Florida votes for these nominally non-partisan posts.

You remember Theresa, "Madame Butterfly," the one whose ballots brought in the big vote for Pat Buchanan in the Jewish precincts in November 2000. Then she failed to do the hand count that would have changed the White House from Blue to Red.

This time, Theresa's in a hurry to get to the counting. She began tallying absentee ballots on Friday in her own re-election race. Not to worry: the law requires the Supervisor of Elections in each county to certify poll-watchers to observe the count.

But Theresa has a better idea. She refused to certify a single poll-watcher from opponents' organizations despite the legal requirement she do so by last week. She'll count her own votes herself, thank you very much!

And she has no intention of counting all the ballots received. She has reserved for herself the right to determine which ballots have acceptable signatures. Her opponent, Democrat Art Anderson, had asked Theresa to use certified hand-writing experts, instead of her hand-picked hacks, to check the signatures.

Unfortunately, while Federal law requires Theresa to allow a voter to correct a signature rejection when registering, the Feds don't require her to permit challenges to absentee ballot rejections.

I know what you're thinking. How could Madame Butterfly know how people are voting? Well, she's printed PARTY AFFILIATION on the OUTSIDE of each return envelope. That certainly makes it easier to figure out which ballot is valid, don't it?

See my earlier story where she designed a new butterfly ballot for this year.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Anti-Gay Amendment Sponsor Outed - Resigns

That one of the most conservative members of Congress has a secret gay sex life has been circulating online since August 19th but the media was, as typical, remaining silent.

Too late, as a gay activist was about to release phone tapes of him soliciting gay sex over the phone Rep. Ed Schrock, two-term Republican congressman from Virginia's Second District, resigns.

Who outed him.

Who covers the story best - online.

What the press now says here, and here.

Daily Kos - "This guy co-sponsored the Hate Amendment. He had a 92 percent score from the Christian Coalition. He was Pat Robertson's congressman."

The online press with tape excerpt.

GOP Labor Day stories and other stories

Are you better off than you were 4 years ago? - Charts

Molly Ivins on the Middle Class Overtime Cut

It's an early Labor Day SURPRISE! Congratulations, if you make between $23,660 and $100,000, you have just very likely lost your right to overtime pay, courtesy of the Bush administration.

If this comes as news to you, thank your friendly media, who are much too busy reporting lies abut John Kerry's heroism in Vietnam to bother with this story affecting your life. But next time you hear someone say, "Oh, I just don't care much about politics," you might want to recall this particular connection -- especially if it means you have to go out and get another job.

This stunner is brought to you by President Bush and his big-business campaign donors. The Senate has voted twice to stop the change, so there's no point in raising hell with them. The House of Representatives, the "people's house," dodged the question. So Bush's Department of Labor just up and issued hundreds of pages of new rules on who gets overtime pay.

The administration contends there is some good news buried in the big pile of bad -- that 1.3 million of the working poor, making between $8,000 and $23,000, will be eligible for overtime for the first time. That would be good news except a study by the Economic Policy Institute says only one in seven of those workers actually works overtime.

Meanwhile, the AFL-CIO estimates 6 million people will lose overtime. It's the people in the middle who are getting screwed. Works sort of like Bush's tax cuts: a little help for the poor, lots and lots of goodies for the rich and everybody else -- too bad.

Speaking of Bush and Kerry Vietnam Lies

Bush only had two medals, marksmanship and unit citation, but it turns out he pinned one on he wasn't entitled to for his photograph. I seem to recall a lot of US press about unearned war honors but to make a big splash here they have to be Republican lies and not a simple photograph. The Bush story is moving into the press, the overseas press. Kinda like he once claimed he served in the "Air Force" during Vietnam.

Finally, Janette sends me this on Peak Oil and Global Climate Change. But I already knew this stuff. I have gone out on a limb and claimed we are already past Peak Oil and we will have quadruple gas prices within a few years and I have argued with friends and on email lists that denials of global climate change, including by people I respect, are dead wrong and have fallen for the corporate propaganda campaign.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

I have always liked Garrison Keillor

Years ago I ran across his Lake Wobegon monologues on tape at the BookStop on Alabama in Houston when that was the largest bookstore and the place to go if you loved books. I started purchasing the tapes. It was only later I found the Prairie Home Companion Radio show on our public radio station, a mixture of old-style radio and artistic performances. I even shared the tapes with Republican Christian friends up in Ohio. I later read a couple of his books but I like his monolgues and radio show better. Everyone enjoys "Bruno the Fishing Dog" and similar stories.

He has recently come out with a simple and powerful book on Democratic values. Homegrown Democrat - A Few Plain Thoughts From the Heart of America is a powerful story of what it means to be a responsible citizen and naturally a Democrat and it urges citizens to throw out those who are threatening what it means to be American. I believe it makes a compelling case for liberalism and the progressive side of the Democratic party.

Natasha just saw him talk about it at a Democratic Party meeting and bought the book and has become another fan. She has posted a few excerpts - here's two:
(p. 25) The Union is what needs defending this year. Government of Enron and by Halliburton and for the southern Baptists is not the same as what Lincoln spoke of. Not even close. This gang of Pithecanthropus Republicanii has humbugged us to death on terrorism and tax cuts for the comfy and school prayer and flag burning and claimed the right to know what books we read and to dump their sewage upstream from town and clear-cut the forest and gut the IRS and promote the corporate takeover of the public airwaves and to hell with anybody who opposes them. Their crusade against government has given patriotism a bad name. And their victory has been accompanied by such hubris as would choke a goat.

(p. 194) You drive out of St. Paul into the Republican suburbs and you see what the New Deal and Fair Deal and Great Society accomplished: they enabled people of modest means to get a leg up in the world and eventually become right-wing reactionaries and pretend that they sprang fully formed from their own ambitions with no help from anybody. And vote to deny to others what they themselves were freely given.

Letters about Kerry in Vietnam, Comments about Bush at Home


This one came to me by email:

'Swift Boat Vets' evoke Nixon's ghost

The first weekend of the month marked both the 40th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the 30th anniversary of the disgraceful resignation of a very slippery GOP president named Nixon. And now Nixon's ghost appears in the current smear job by the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth against my good friend, longtime comrade and fellow Vietnam War veteran, John Kerry.

This group is deflecting criticism of George Bush's bellicose presidency by lies, lies and more damnable lies. Unleashed by Karl Rove and company, this attack ship of fools is having its third cruise around the truth in a futile attempt to besmirch Kerry's military service record. These GOP attack dogs now need to be muzzled by the truth.

Some of these attackers are veterans of the black propaganda used against such prior targets as Sen. John McCain, whom they called "The Manchurian Candidate" in 2000. Then in 2002 they turned their sights on Sen. Max Cleland, a triple-amputee veteran of the Vietnam War whose patriotism they attacked - and got away with it. Sen. McCain called these attacks on Kerry "dishonest and dishonorable" and called on George Bush to condemn their ad. Regrettably, George Bush has refused to do so. So who are these men who insist they are "not affiliated with any party"?

A report filed July 15 with the IRS shows initial funding for the group came from Houston home builder Bob R. Perry. Perry is a staunch GOP fund-raiser and donor of millions of dollars in Texas to the GOP, especially to the president's campaign as well as that of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Last year Perry gave $600,000 to 23 GOP candidates for the Texas Legislature, helping lift the GOP to its first takeover of the Texas House since Reconstruction. Perry gave $100,000 of the $158,750 received by the Swift Boat group.

The group has launched ads in key states, stating falsely that its members served with Kerry and "know him," and calling his combat valor into question. Lt. j.g. John Kerry served on three vessels, including two swift boats - PCF-94 and PCF-44. Each boat had a six-man crew - so the total universe of Kerry's real wartime comrades consisted of a band of a dozen brothers.

Tom Belodeau of Massachusetts, a close friend of John's,is now dead.

All remaining members of the crews in No. 94 and No. 44 are onboard the Kerry-Edwards campaign. Not one of these Swift Boat Veterans for Truth actually served with Kerry at all! Here is the Nixonian flashback, to 1971: John O'Neill, a Vietnam veteran and author of the soon-to-be-released book attacking Kerry's Vietnam service, did not serve on a swift boat at the same time as Kerry. Kerry was back home in the United States by the time O'Neill took command of his first unit. But back in 1971, Richard Nixon needed to counter anti-war groups such as Vietnam Veterans Against the War, of which Kerry and I were members. He tasked Chuck Colson (of Watergate infamy) to form an attack group against Kerry, led by the young John O'Neill. Yes, this is an old, bitter fight.

The main round of Kerry v. O'Neill occurred in June 1971 on the "Dick Cavett Show." O'Neill spent most of his airtime attacking Kerry's patriotism for criticizing the Vietnam War, rather than discussing the issues of war and peace. A newly released tape of Nixon's conversation with Kissinger, his national security adviser, reminded us that we had another corrupt GOP war president who sacrificed American lives by extending a war for the sake of his own campaign. Nixon said three months before the 1972 election: "South Vietnam probably can never even survive anyway. ... We also have to realize that winning an election is terribly important. It's terribly important this year."

So the war that John O'Neill defended on Cavett's show and that George W. Bush supported but chose not to serve on active duty comes down to not telling the truth to the American people. Nixon drew out the Vietnam War for political expediency. Thousands more died or were wounded by lies. O'Neill was rewarded for his efforts by receiving a clerkship to Nixon's favorite Supreme Court justice, William Rehnquist, and became a law partner with Lezar Harold, a former speechwriter for Nixon.

So now we have President George W. Bush, who lied about how a perceived threat in Iraq would harm us. And now we have the media trumpeting the war, with thousands of young Americans wounded and almost a thousand dead - for political expediency. Just as in Vietnam, the war is being eclipsed by other stories and the news of its dead and wounded fall farther back in the newspaper pages.

We who have personally known John Kerry and all of his crew members stand up for our country and urge Democrats, independents and Republicans to dump Bush in November. Our best bet is to hire the vet. Semper fidelis, John Kerry.

Joe Bangert of Brewster is a Veteran for Kerry.

This one was printed in the New York Times:

The View From the Boat

On Feb. 28, 1969, my husband was the commander of one of three Swift boats traveling the Dong Cung in Vietnam to carry troops and supplies upriver. The events of that day, and what happened almost two weeks later on another Swift boat patrol, have become a source of controversy in the presidential campaign, with a group of veterans saying that John Kerry did not deserve the medals he won for what he did then. I know my husband thought otherwise.

The other two commanders - John Kerry and William Rood, an editor at The Chicago Tribune - have written of the courage they witnessed on Feb. 28. My husband, Lt. j.g. Donald Droz, who grew up in a small Missouri town and was a 1966 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, wrote to me about it in a letter dated March 6, 1969:

"I had quite a morning... Admiral [Elmo] Zumwalt, Commander Naval Forces Vietnam, flew to An Thoi from Saigon ... for a special awards presentation. To make a somewhat long story short, PCF's 23, 94 and 43 conducted an operation February 28th which we pulled off rather spectacularly. Anyway, for my part, I was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat 'V.' I don't mean to blow my own horn, but I really am pleased with the award, and it is a rather significant medal. I'll bring the citation with me to Hawaii."

Don did bring the citation to Hawaii a few weeks later, and I traveled from our home in Pennsylvania with our infant daughter, Tracy, to meet him for his R&R. But before that meeting, Don and John Kerry and others were involved in another battle, on March 13. Don did not write to me about that battle. But he did tell me about it during our five days together in Hawaii - when he met our daughter for the first time, and held her for what turned out to be the last time.

In Hawaii, Don mostly talked about the future: how he wanted to come home, go to graduate school and then become involved in public service. But he also talked about Vietnam: about how much respect all the "Swifties" had for one another. I remember him saying that John Kerry was heading home, deservedly so, and that he admired his bravery and planned to see him that summer.

Don also talked about how hard it was to be in a situation where no one knew what was around the next bend or what the "rules" were or who was friend and who was foe. He told me he was convinced that what the United States was doing in Vietnam was pointless or worse and that, when he got home, he intended to speak out against it. But he was clear - and I have always understood - that he was criticizing the war itself and those who were deciding how to wage it, not those who were putting their lives on the line to do their duty honestly and bravely.

Those who had the courage to fight in Vietnam and, when they returned home, to tell of the reality of what they saw deserve our admiration. I am certain my husband would have been as appalled as I am at the spectacle of some veterans questioning others' service.

Don died on April 12, 1969, just two weeks after we said goodbye in Hawaii and two months before he would have come home. Ever since, I have felt a special obligation to speak the truth as I know he would have done.

Judith Droz Keyes, a lawyer, was a delegate to the 2004 Democratic convention.

Former Lt. Governor Ben Barnes on George Bush

"Let's talk a minute about John Kerry and George Bush, and I know them both. And I'm not name dropping, saying I know them both. See I got...I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard when I was the Lt. Governor of Texas, and I'm not necessarily proud of that. (audience laughs)

"But, But I did it, and I got a lot of other people into the National Guard because I thought that's what people should do when you're in office and you helped a lot of rich people.

"And I walked to the Vietnam Memorial wall the other day and I looked at the names of the people that died in Vietnam, and I became more ashamed of myself than I've ever been because it's the worst thing I did was help a lot of wealthy supporters, and a lot of people who had family names of importance get into the National Guard. And I'm very sorry about that, and I'm ashamed. And I apologize to you, the voters of Texas. (Applause)"

Atrios transcibed a speech Barnes made to some Texas Democrats. The Houston Chronicle ran a shortened version of an AP article and I won't even bother linking to it. Here is the longer AP article.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Typical GOP Entertainer

Gays are trying to kill our children.
Gays can be cured.
Homosexuality is a curse.
Homosexuality is caused by child rape and abuse.

"The gloves are off and if there’s going to be a war, there’s going to be a war. But it will be a war with a purpose."

"I’m not in the mood to play with those who are trying to kill our children." - Donnie McClurkin, GOP Convention entertainer speaking about gays.

Donnie believes this is the era for the mega-church. He says that if the churches can get together and unite, then Christians can have a major voice against the homosexual agenda. "There is not enough being said. Thank God for The 700 Club – no fanfare intended. There are no Christian programs telling the news like it is. It’s time for Christians to stand up and fight."

The GOPs big tent of bigotry.

Running For Alabama

How AWOL Bush tried to escape his military obligations .

Paul Lukasiak continues the AWOL Bush story.

Contrary to the spin put out by the White House (and endlessly repeated by the mainstream media) Bush was never transferred to the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron in Alabama. Nor was this “transfer request” an attempt to find somewhere to do training temporarily while Bush worked on an Alabama political campaign in 1972. Instead, Bush was running a scam resigned to completely sever his relationship with the Air National Guard, and eliminate the last two years of his obligation to train and serve as a pilot, by joining a unit that had no training, and for which Bush was specifically ineligible.

MYTH: Bush was requesting a temporary training assignment when he submitted his “Request for Reassignment” to the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron.

FACT: The purpose of the document submitted was a complete reassignment, involving cutting all ties to, and eliminating all commitments to the Texas Air National Guard.

MYTH: Bush was approved for transfer to the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron, and he didn’t have to train with his Texas unit until that transfer was overturned by the Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC).

FACT: No orders reassigning Bush to the 9921st ARS were ever issued, and absent such orders Bush no transfer had ever taken place. Until Bush received those orders, he remained assigned to the Texas Air National Guard, and maintained his training requirement.

MYTH: Bush did not know he was not eligible for a transfer to the 9921st ARS. (This, of course, is more than just a myth. It is Bush’s “official” position, as expressed by his spokesman during the 2000 presidential election campaign).

FACT: The documents themselves prove that Bush was fully aware that, as a member of the 9921st ARS, he would be unable to fulfill the requirements established for him under United States Law, and Air Force policy.

What George W. Bush was attempting to do was run a scam. He was trying to find a way to “legally desert” his post, by gaming the system under which transfers to Air Reserve Squadrons were processed. In the meantime, while waiting for his scam to come to fruition, Bush blew off months of training that he was required to do under the law, and didn’t even bother getting the medical examination required of all pilots, whether they had planes to fly or not.

As we now know, Bush never got the orders that would allow him to forget about fulfilling his obligations to the United States Armed Forces. His little transfer scam didn’t work, and he should have been showing up for training, and maintaining his qualifications as a pilot, throughout the Spring and Summer of 1972.

There is a law concerning a member of the United States Armed Forces who :”quits his post or proper duties without leave and with intent to remain away from there permanently” That law is 10 USC 885 of the United States Code, also known as Article 85 of The Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Article 85 is one of the “punitive articles” of the UCMJ.

And Article 85 has a name. It is “Desertion.”

Where is George Bush's honor? Where is his shame?

Max Cleland, minus the three limbs he lost in Vietnam, showed up in his wheelchair outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Tex., on Wednesday to suggest that the president take the simple and decent step of condemning the slime that is being spread by Bush supporters against the war record of John Kerry.

He didn't get very far. The president was busy vacationing and had neither the time nor the inclination to meet with Mr. Cleland, a former U.S. senator who was himself the target of vicious, unconscionable attacks by the G.O.P. slime machine when he ran for re-election in Georgia in 2002.

Later, at a press conference under the hot Crawford sun, Mr. Cleland told reporters: "The question is, where is George Bush's honor? Where is his shame?"

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

West Palm Beach designing new funny ballot

Remember this joke ballot from four years ago?

The West Palm Beach election supervisor who designed the infamous butterfly ballot, and who has switched her party registration to Republican, was inspired by it and has created a new early voter ballot which asks people to draw arrows connecting their choice of candidates for President.

We are not amused.

"People do the crazier things when they're asked to connect the arrows," said Stephen Ansolabehere, former director of the Voting Technology Project, a collaboration between the California and Massachusetts institutes of technology.

Texas Tuesdays

Richard Morrison running against Tom DeLay has a TV commercial he would like to air. Watch it and donate.

Texas House District 117: A seat even the Republicans say Democrats could pick up.

Democrat David Leibowitz running in district 117 appears to have the advantage over freshman Representative Ken Mercer in terms of delivering a clear and concise message to district voters. Among other issues he wants to stop the GOP plan for many more toll roads.


The Left Business Observer calculates that the war has cost each American household $1,646 so far and, including future costs of occupation and reconstruction, that can be expected to rise to $3,416.

Since this war is in, no small part, about oil, it might make more sense to pay for it at the pump than through the tax system.

Estimates of the cost of the Iraq war, including future occupation and reconstruction run between $400 and $600 billion, of which about $160 billion has already been spent.

Since we buy about 130 billion gallons of gas a year we could pay for past Iraqi war costs by a simple $1.25 tax on each gallon of gas. Adding another one or two dollars a gallon should cover future expenses pretty well. - SAM SMITH

Washington's Most Unofficial Source

Monday, August 23, 2004

What country is he talking about?

The first point is we misjudged them, and I think we're misjudging today the geo-political intentions of our adversaries. And we exaggerated the dangers to the U.S. of those adversaries.

Second mistake. We viewed the people and leaders... in terms of our own experience. We're still doing that. We totally misjudged the political forces within that country.

Thirdly, we underestimated the power of nationalism to motivate people. Then we underestimate the power of ... ?ism? (inaudible) to motivate a people to fight and die for their people.

Fourthly, our misjudgments of friend and foe alike reflected our profound ignorance of a history, culture and politics of the people in that area, and the personalities and habits of their leaders

Fifth, forsaken lesson. We failed then as we have since to recognize the limitations of modern high technology military equipment and forces in doctrine in confronting unconventional highly motivated people's movements. And we ... would do? (inaudible) well to adapt our military tactics and our political programs to the task of winning the hearts and minds of people from a totally different culture.

Sixthly, ... We failed to draw Congress and the American people into a full and frank discussion and debate of the pros and cons of large scale U.S. military involvement.

And seventh, after the action got underway, and unanticipated events forced us off our planned course, we fail to retain popular support, in part, because we hadn't explained fully what was happening and why we had to do what we did. A nation's deepest strength lies not in its military strength, military force. It lies in the unity of its people.

Eight, we didn't recognize that neither our people nor our leaders are on a mission. To this day we seem to act in the world as though we know what's right for everybody. We think we're on a mission. We aren't. We weren't then and we aren't today. Where our security is not at stake, not directly at stake, narrowly defined, then I believe that our judgement of what is in another people's interest, should be put to the test of open discussion, open debate, and international forum. And we shouldn't act unilaterally militarily under any circumstances. And we shouldn't act militarily in conjunction with others until that debate has taken place. We don't have the God-given right to shape every nation to our own image. (applause)

Ninth, we didn't hold to the principal that U.S. military action other than in response to direct ... threats? (inaudible) to our own security should be carried out only in conjunction with international forces who are going to share in the cost. And I don't mean financial cost, although I certainly include financial cost, but I mean primarily the blood cost, the blood risk.

Tenth, we failed to recognize that in international affairs, as in other aspects of life, there may be problems which there are no immediate solutions, certainly no military solutions.

And finally underlying many of these ten mistakes lay our failure to organize the top echelons of the executive branch to deal effectively with the extraordinarily complex range of problems that we were facing. Political issues, military issues.

Robert McNamara - In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam
April 25, 1995

Link from The No-Spin Zone.

I have been disturbed recently that two friends seem to have been drinking the xenophobic Kool-aid that we are in WW4 against a billion Muslims. The 9/11 hijackers "did not fly into the World Trade Center to protest the Bill of Rights. They want us off sacred Saudi soil and out of the Middle East" as John Buchanan(!) writes.

This is not a Crusade and invading Tehran to change it's government would make matters worse, not better.

E-Vote machines have already eaten votes

In 2000 there was a little publicized incident in New Mexico. Hundred of votes for President disappeared from from electronic voting machines in one county and could not be recovered. They may have cost Bush the state electors. The cause - programming error.

Washington Post: Four years ago, about 2,300 voters traveled the winding roads through this remote county to cast their ballots before Election Day on state-of-the-art, push-button electronic voting machines. For 678 of them, their votes were never recorded.

The Washington Post examined the voting results here because New Mexico had the narrowest winning margin in the presidential contest, and Rio Arriba County had the largest percentage of voters who had no presidential vote. The review discovered that 203 voters turned out in one of Rio Arriba's voting districts, but the state's certified results show "0" votes were recorded for Gore or Bush. The same was true for the U.S. Senate and House candidates. In another district, two-thirds of those who voted in the month before Election Day -- early voting is allowed in New Mexico -- had no votes recorded in any races. Steve Fresquez, a state computer technician who oversaw vote counts for Rio Arriba County, said the electronic machines had been programmed incorrectly for early voters, but it was not discovered until days after the election.

Rio Arriba County has three voting districts -- the candidates for state legislature in each are different -- but for early voters the county used just one ballot listing the names of all the candidates.

"There was no way we could get the correct votes because that was how they programmed the machine," Fresquez said.

Fresquez said the county had only two early-voting locations. Rather than programming separate machines at each location for the county's different voting districts, Rio Arriba tried to program one machine to cover all the districts. "They were trying to use less machines," he said. "They thought they could put it all on one ballot. They were not aware of" any problem.

In one district, none of the 203 ballots cast were recorded for Bush or Gore. In another, 188 of the 569 voters cast a presidential vote. The third district had a more typical pattern, with 1,500 of the 1,594 voters recording a presidential choice.

New Mexico is the only state to have an elaborate, three-step audit process of voting results. Precinct results are checked by the county and state and then by a certified public accounting firm. The federal Election Assistance Commission, established after the 2000 Florida recount to help states establish new voting systems, has cited the audit as a "best practice" to be used elsewhere.

Lamb testified to the commission that the "triple audit" would alert the state to problems with the electronic voting machines. Fresquez's work on Rio Arriba's results did uncover the programming error. But it was never publicized.

In fact, the audit could show only that the programming error occurred. There was no way to recount the missed votes. They were simply gone.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Factchecking the Swift Boat Veterans For Lies

Non-partisan FactCheck.org checks the Republican-funded Group Ads that attacks Kerry's war record.

The group seems to have a problem with the truth.

Perry of Perry Homes, the $3-million dollar contributor to the GOP in Texas, provides most of the funding for this group.

The public leader O'Neill is a big time GOP player who repeated lies and says he is an independent. His votes he claims to cast for Democrats aren't checkable but he only votes in Republican primaries and has contributed many thousands to Republicans he says he didn't vote for. He has contributed zero to Democrats. He was personally recruited by Nixon's hatchet man to take down Kerry in the 70's.

Their doctor who says he examined Kerry didn't. Their other Swift Boat commander who says Kerry did not come under enemy fire own heroism citation was for performing heroicly in the same incident in which all boats came under enemy fire.

All of these are veterans still bitterly divided over the Vietnam War which Kerry came back and opposed and they didn't.

The co-founder of the group claimed that McCain was a mentally unstable Manchurian candidate reprogrammed by the KGB.

The co-author of their book is a loud-mouth bigot against Arabs, Catholics, and Democrats.

The Swift Boat media spokemen is a well-known GOP "communications operative" from Dallas.

Bush's Catholic Outreach

Would it surprise you to know that Bush's in-house Catholic voice is a hard right-wing former Baptist Texan who wears Stetson's? Didn't think so. Would it surprise you to know this leading advisor is forced to resign after his past of publicly groping students at a drunken party and having sex with one of his 18-year old students comes out?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Support a Houston Killer D

Texas Tuesdays - Scott Hochberg and the Race for District 137

The GOP recruited a River Oak's homeowner to move in and try to work the homeowners of Briar Meadows and Sharpstown against a hardworking legislator who serves his constitents well.

Donations to Hochberg can be made here.

Postings will be very limited until I get a job.

BTW, the Dallas entertainment weekly Observer bent over backwards to be fair to the lying Swift Vote Veterans and O'Neill took full advantage of it.

Gonzalez didn't research that O'Neill lied about not being a Republican in a very GOP connected law firm, barely mentioned that none of the group served with Kerry, neglected to observe that many claims in their new book are clear fabrications, didn't realize that the co-founder of the group is an old right-wing nut last heard from making claims that McCain was a mentally unbalanced Manchurian candidate reprogrammed by the commies, and wasn't informed that the co-author of the book is a loud-mouthed bigot against Catholics and Muslims and Democrats.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Friday, August 06, 2004

They Knew...:

Despite the whitewash, we now know that the Bush administration was warned before the war that its Iraq claims were weak

If desperation is ugly, then Washington, D.C. today is downright hideous.

As the 9/11 Commission recently reported, there was “no credible evidence” of a collaborative relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. Similarly, no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq. With U.S. casualties mounting in an election year, the White House is grasping at straws to avoid being held accountable for its dishonesty.

- In These Times

On vacation from this blog. Check out my links or get an RSS feed - see what I read from 140+ feed sources. Both links and feeds are on the left ;-). (Politically only most on the left.)

My next update may only be a better news feed reader than Amphetadesk, which provides no way of trimming down those feeds that the owners decided to make simply repostings of the entire source.

Keep in touch, defeat America's worst President and elect better politicians. I will be voting here in Texas for Libertarian candidates for some judges, mostly because more people like Van Os haven't stepped up to the plate and run. Greens aren't on my ballot this year and many local Democrats decided not to run in elections they thought were impossible to win a year ago.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

BUSH AWOL - facts come out

Reagan official confirms Bush should have been put on active duty after failing to train while at Harvard

Air Force appears to discharge Bush after discovering he was AWOL

AWOL - twice, after Alabama he repeats not showing up for duty in Massachusetts

Repeatedly misleads public about military service.

Raw Story has knocked me out of #1 on Google for liberal news with links from this story and my decline in postings.

Journalists are investigating Bush records but no mass media big story yet.

The Evolution of American Political Parties

Origin of the Political Species
Once upon a time in America, there was a political party that believed in a strong central government, high taxes and bold public works projects. This party was popular on the college campuses of New England and was the overwhelming choice of African American voters.

It was the Republican Party.

The Republicans got started as a counterweight to the other party: the party of low taxes and limited government, the party suspicious of Eastern elites, the party that thought Washington should butt out of the affairs of private property owners.

The Democrats.

The fact that our two parties have swapped platforms, rhetoric and core ideals so completely might be spun, by some people, as a shortcoming. Some people might paint the stark soullessness of our parties -- which appear happy to argue the opposite tomorrow of what they argued yesterday, if that's what it takes to keep the argument going -- as somehow a bad thing. After all, party-bashing is a surefire crowd pleaser.
Fascinating history of the parties.

Writer Von Drehle answering questions about the article.

Has a nice bit on Hamiltonian Republicans.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

GOP Candidate joins with Tom DeLay in blackmailing East Texas

Elect a new house majority
East Texas must submit to Tom DeLay's wishes or lose funding for a proposed new Interstate 69, according to Louie Gohmert, the Republican candidate in Texas' 1st District.

Gohmert recently claimed that only he could deliver funding for I-69 because Rep. Max Sandlin (East Texas) had angered House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Houston). "If he [Sandlin] wants it, they don't want him to have it," said Gohmert. [Longview News-Journal, 7/30/04 and Marshall News Messenger, 8/02/04]

In reality, Congressman Sandlin has played a key role in ensuring the routing of I-69 through East Texas and has delivered millions in funding to push the project forward and will continue to do so in the next Congress.

Vote Morrison or Sandlin and kick out Tom DeLay.

Tennessee a Swing State?

In what must be giving Karl Roves fits, the last three polls in Tennessee show a tie or a lead for Kerry.

Contributing to that unexpected good news might be Democratic Talk Radio out of Fayetteville Sundays at noon. However, I've been told this program really needs financial support now so check out the good folks store and donation page.

Double Helping of Texas Tuesdays

It's Double Your Fun Day at Texas Tuesdays as we feature two Houston-area candidates who are trying to conquer some challenging territory. Meet Wade Weems and Charlotte Coffelt:

Weems intro
Coffelt intro

Weems interview
Coffelt interview
(She's a school board member and wants to fix school financing.)

Also, as an Extra Special Added Bonus, they've added links to LocalVoter's find-your-candidates pages for various counties on the sidebar. Now how much would you pay for this?

We'll be starting up on the Congressional candidates again in September, so stay tuned.

You might also want to check out Democracy for America Meetup's tomorrow and find like minded people to get involved with.

Life on Mars Likely, Scientist Claims

Liquid water revealed by rovers Mud puddles and ice shown in pictures?

Officially NASA has no comment.

Scientists Say Mars Viking Mission in 1976 Found Life

Back on Earth, the X-Prize space race may be won by November.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Tom DeLay's seamless shameful loop linking industry, lobbyists and war chests

HoustonChronicle.com - Nothing wrong?

First came the grand jury investigation. The Travis County district attorney is trying to find out whether House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority spent corporate funds to gain control of the Texas House.

Then came Rep. Chris Bell's complaint to the U.S. House ethics committee. The Houston Democrat alleges DeLay's PAC and the Republican National Committee exchanged checks for $190,000, thus trading restricted corporate cash for unrestricted donations.

Now comes news of the links joining DeLay, Marc Racicot and the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Co. The railroad has given to DeLay's PAC. Racicot, President Bush's campaign chairman, is a director on Burlington's board and was GOP national chairman at the time of the exchanged checks.

The railroad wants to build a controversial line in the Clear Lake area. The same Houston-based law firm that represented Burlington in Washington represents DeLay during this investigation-prone period.

Of course, everything is coincidental. But many Houstonians might not like to have their representation in the nation's Capitol quite so shaped by corporate cash and influence peddling.

el - Houston Chronicle board with strong GOP leanings is deeply divided over DeLay.

Gossip From Inside the White House

Warning - Capital Hill Blue Does Not Provide Sources:

Capitol Hill Blue: Sullen, Depressed President Retreats Into Private, Paranoid World

Cabinet officials, senior White House aides and leaders on Capitol Hill complain privately about the increasing lack of “face time” with the President and campaign advisors are worried the depressed President may not be up to the rigors of a tough re-election campaign.

Bush’s erratic behavior and sharp mood swings led White House physician Col. Richard J. Tubb to put the President on powerful anti-depressant drugs after he stormed off stage rather than answer reporters' questions about his relationship with indicted Enron executive Kenneth J. Lay, but White House insiders say the strong, prescription medications seem to increase Bush’s sullen behavior towards those around him.

“This is a President known for his ability to charm people one-on-one,” says a staff member to House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert. “Not any more.”

White House aides say Bush has retreated into a tightly-controlled environment where only top political advisors like Karl Rove and Karen Hughes are allowed. Even White House chief of staff Andrew Card complains he has less and less access to the President.

Among cabinet members, only Attorney General John Ashcroft, a fundamentalist who shares many of Bush’s strict religious convictions, remains part of the inner circle. White House aides call Bush and Ashcroft the “Blue Brothers” because, like the mythical movie characters, “both believe they are on a mission from God.”

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, the man most responsible for waging America’s war on terrorism, complains to staff that he gets very little time with the President and gets most of his marching orders lately from Ashcroft. Some on Ridge’s staff gripe privately that Ashcroft is “Bush’s Himmler,” a reference to Heinrich Himmler, Chief of the SS (the German Police) under Adolph Hitler.

“Too many make the mistake of thinking Dick Cheney is the real power in the Bush administration,” says one senior Homeland Security aide. “They’re wrong. It’s Ashcroft and that is reason enough for all of us to be very, very afraid.”

While Vice President Cheney remains part of Bush’s tight, inner circle, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has fallen out of favor and tells his staff that “no matter what happens in November, I’m outta here.”

Nancy Reagan to Bush: 'We Don't Support Your Re-Election'
The widow of former President, and Republican icon, Ronald Reagan has told the GOP she wants nothing to do with their upcoming national convention or the re-election campaign of President George W. Bush.

Bush Using Drugs to Control Depression, Erratic Behavior
President George W. Bush is taking powerful anti-depressant drugs to control his erratic behavior, depression and paranoia.