Tuesday, November 30, 2004

WiFi Philly survives

Verizon says it won't block Philadelphia from providing free WiFi internet access to its citizens. That's good news for WiFi Philly. I hardly look at this as a grand corporate gesture, though. Okay, I'll just be happy for a moment. A win is a win.

Tom Ridge resigns; America totally safe now

Phew! I feel so much safer. The man who brought us the "Be Terrified" system of color-coding the terrorist threat level, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, resigned today. Ridge, who wrote "America is significantly stronger and safer than ever before" in his resignation letter, will continue his self-delusion by joining John Ashcroft in a traveling barbershop quartet called the Von Crapp Family Singers.

US military deaths are approaching a monthly record

134 soldiers killed this month in Iraq. Since there are a few hours left in the month, maybe we tie or beat the record of 135 for April 2003. George Bush's war is going great, huh?

Killing is not a Moral Value.

Ask Gov. Rendell to Veto Bill 30: Make Philly a Wireless City

I called this morning and asked the Governor to Veto Bill 30. The system is quite easy - it says "If you're calling about Bill 30, Press 1." Then it asks you to leave your name and a message. I said I would like broadband internet access to be available for all people and I urge Governor Rendell to veto Bill 30. Please call this morning if you can. The background is below.

Dear MoveOn member in Pennsylvania,

Tomorrow, Governor Rendell will decide between universal, affordable Internet for Pennsylvania or media monopoly for Verizon. Ask him to make the right choice by calling today:

Governor Ed Rendell
(717) 787-2500

Earlier this fall, Philadelphia became one of the first major U.S.
cities to propose making Internet access available cheaply - or free
- to citizens, businesses, educational institutions and nonprofits using "Community Wireless" technology.

In response, Verizon and its high-priced lobbyists pushed a bill through the Pennsylvania legislature that would sink this plan and any other like it proposed by any town across the state. They're trying to cement their monopoly rather than offering cheaper, better Internet.

Only Gov. Rendell can stop this bill - and the clock is ticking - he must veto or sign it by Tuesday.

Don't allow powerful lobbies to get a monopoly on the Internet, too. Call Governor Rendell right now at (717) 787-2500. As always, your call will be taken more seriously if you are polite. Here's what to
Please veto House Bill 30. We cannot let powerful corporate lobbies set up a monopoly over Internet access. Initiatives like Philadelphia's wireless plan are crucial because the Internet must be equally available to all, not just as a luxury. Thank you for your time.
Please let us know you're calling, at: http://www.moveon.org/callmade12.html

House Bill 30 would make it illegal for any town in Pennsylvania that is being served poorly by big Internet providers to supply their own cheaper, better service. The bill is strongly opposed by Philadelphia city officials, who say it would be "terrible for cities around the country, because if the telecommunications companies can stop it here in Pennsylvania, they'll probably be able to stop it anywhere."

Thanks for everything you do.


-Noah T. Winer
MoveOn.org and Pennsylvania resident
Monday, November 29th, 2004

P.S. You can read the AP story on this battle at: http://www.freepress.net/news/5530

Monday, November 29, 2004

Poll: Americans want Roe v. Wade upheld by a 2-to-1 margin

WASHINGTON - A majority of Americans say President Bush's next choice for an opening on the Supreme Court should be willing to uphold the landmark court decision protecting abortion rights, an Associated Press poll found.

The poll found that 59 percent say Bush should choose a nominee who would uphold the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. About three in 10, 31 percent, said they want a nominee who would overturn the decision, according to the poll conducted for the AP by Ipsos-Public Affairs.

Choice is a Moral Value.

Keep on rockin in the free world

Watch the newly created Keep on rockin in the free world video by Neil Young that blends the song with clips from Fahrenheit 9/11.

Stem cell research helps a paralyzed woman walk

After being paralyzed for 20 years, a woman now is walking thanks to stem cells that were injected into her damaged spine. Helping the weak and needy is a Democratic moral value.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Whose values? Jesus as a Republican-mediated reality

I went to Catholic school as a kid. We learned about Jesus. Bible stories. Humility. Which made me think about how Jesus disappeared and has been transformed by "Christians" in 2004. Supposedly, the US election was decided along "values" issues, which is a proxy for "Christian" issues. But the hypocrisy and manipulation knows no bounds. Rick Mercier wrote in If you read the Gospels, the Religious Right is mostly wrong:
The truth is, if you depend on the Christian right for your theological sustenance, you probably won't recognize the Jesus of the Gospels.
That "moral values" argument is so weak and overmediated by the "Christians" as to render Jesus and the lessons of the Bible unrecognizable. The "Christian" moralists worry about gay marriage and tax cuts. But they don't seem concerned about real moral values. Mercier continues:
Where in America is the Jesus who sides with the poor and the outcasts? Where in America is the Jesus who disdains those who wear their piousness on their sleeves? Where in America is the the Jesus with the prophetic voice, the radical who dares to tell the powerful what they don't want to hear?
The hypocrisy of this false Jesus shows in behaviors of the Red State Moralists. As Andrews Sullivan writes:
Many of America’s biggest “sinners” are those most intent on upholding virtue. It may be partly because they know sin close up that they want to prevent its occurrence among others.
In Where the Bible bashers are sinful and the liberals pure, Sullivan writes about the disparity between what the Bible-thumpers say they do and what they do. Highest divorce rates? In Southern, Bible-thumping states. Where's the highest abortion rate, liberal Holland or conservative America? Shockingly, it's higher in the US by a factor of three. Highest teen birth rates? Twice as high in Texas as in Massachusetts.

And the icons of Republican "values" are highly suspect. Sullivan continues:
Even a cursory look at the leading members of the forces of social conservatism in America reveals the same pattern. Rush Limbaugh, the top conservative talk-radio host, has had three divorces and an addiction to painkillers. Bill O’Reilly, the most popular conservative television personality, just settled a sex harassment suit that indicated a highly active adulterous sex life. Bill Bennett, guru of the social right, was for many years a gambling addict. Bob Barr, the conservative Georgian congressman who wrote the Defense of Marriage Act, has had three wives. The states that register the highest ratings for Desperate Housewives, the hot new television show, are Bush states.
So, we are told we have a "values" split in the US. And the Red States Hypocrites and "Christians" are exploiting that "fact" as if there's been a shift in morality. It's always funny, methinks the "Christians" doth protest too much is something we should work on. Let's keep working to expose the hypocrisy. And moving to an authentic moral core.

Ukraine candidate poisoned; Karl Rove inspired by the idea

Whatever happened to Ukraine presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko isn't natural. The AP photo shows him in July and November 2004. He says he was poisoned by the opposition. Karl Rove took that under advisement for when he runs the next campaign. Just when we thought Willie Horton and Swift Boat Veterans were as low as it could go.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

iFlipFlop Poll results: Your favorite George Bush kiss this week

iFlipFlop readers have spoken, and have overwhelmingly voted for their favorite George Bush kiss this week. In a week that featured a cheek-to-cheek kiss on puppethead Condi Rice and a lip lock on the new Secretary of (Sex) Education, Margaret Spellings, voters picked George Bush kissing Karl Rove's ass as their favorite kiss. The results:

What was your favorite George Bush kiss this week?
Condi Rice on the cheek: 7%
Margaret Spellings on the lips: 13%
Karl Rove on the ass: 80%

Ukrainian journalists start telling the truth; revolt against government lies

Ukrainian journalists have joined the revolution and said they were tired of "telling the government's lies." No such announcement is expected to be forthcoming from FOX News, which is having trouble understanding the irony.

George Bush buys election 2004

More on electoral fraud in election 2004 by the George Bush Crew. From Online Journal:
November 26, 2004—Additional information on the buying of vote riggers with Saudi and former Enron funds has been obtained. The epicenter for the vote rigging operation is Dallas, Texas, and the operation may involve retired FBI agents who used a well-established "good ole boy" network to arrange for access to polling precincts by electronic voting machine technicians who took advantage of various November 2 security "lockdowns" to illegally alter the tabulation of votes in favor of Bush. Some of the retired agents may have used courtesy credentials issued upon retirement to fool unsuspecting polling place workers.
In Ukraine there are crowds of a hundred-thousand people protesting election fraud. They're making a difference. We still can have a voice as tens of thousands participate in Turn Your Back on Bush.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Bleak numbers on the state of Iraq

A graphic in the NYT shows the sad decline in Iraq, from dead and wounded to attitudes about the American occupation (only 35% of Iraqis say the country is better off since the US invasion).

In my next life, by Thomas Friedman

A powerful piece by Thomas Friedman in the NYT, It's so good I nicked it in its entirety. You should read the original here:
In my next life, I want to be Tom DeLay, the House majority leader.

Yes, I want to get almost the entire Republican side of the House of Representatives to bend its ethics rules just for me. I want to be able to twist the arms of House Republicans to repeal a rule that automatically requires party leaders to step down if they are indicted on a felony charge - something a Texas prosecutor is considering doing to DeLay because of corruption allegations.

But most of all, I want to have the gall to sully American democracy at a time when young American soldiers are fighting in Iraq so we can enjoy a law-based society here and, maybe, extend it to others. Yes, I want to be Tom DeLay. I want to wear a little American flag on my lapel in solidarity with the troops, while I besmirch every value they are dying for.

If I can't be Tom DeLay, then I want to be one of the gutless Republican House members who voted to twist the rules for DeLay out of fear that "the Hammer," as they call him, might retaliate by taking away a coveted committee position or maybe a parking place.

Yes, I want to be a Republican House member. At a time when 180 of the 211 members of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Iraq who have been wounded in combat have insisted on returning to duty, I want to look my constituents and my kids in the eye and tell them that I voted to empty the House ethics rules because I was afraid of Tom DeLay.

If I can't be a Republican House member, I want to be Latrell Sprewell, the guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves. I want to say with a straight face that if my owner will only give me a three-year contract extension for a meager $21 million, then he's not worth working for, because "I've got my family to feed."

Yes, I want to be Latrell Sprewell. At a time when N.B.A. games are priced beyond the reach of most American families, when half the country can't afford health care, when some reservists in Iraq are separated from their families for a year, including this Thanksgiving, I want to be like Latrell. I want to make sure everyone knows that I'm looking out for my family - and no one else's.

If I can't be Latrell Sprewell, I want to be any American college or professional athlete. For a mere dunk of the basketball or first-down run, I want to be able to dance a jig, as if I'd just broken every record by Michael Jordan or Johnny Unitas. For the smallest, most routine bit of success in my sport, I want to be able to get in your face - I want to know who's your daddy, I want to be able to high-five, low-five, thump my chest and dance on your grave. You talkin' to me?

I want to be able to fight on the court, off the court, in the stands and on the sidelines. I want to respect no boundaries and no norms. And when I make your kids cry, I want to be able to tell you to just "chill" - that my coach says "stuff happens" and that my union rep is appealing my punishment in the name of the Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta. Yes, in my next life, I want to be The Man.

If I can't be The Man, then I at least want to be the owner of a Hummer - with American flag decals all over the back bumper, because Hummer owners are, on average, a little more patriotic than you and me.

Yes, I want to drive the mother of all gas-guzzlers that gets so little mileage you have to drive from gas station to gas station. Yes, I want to drive my Hummer and never have to think that by consuming so much oil, I am making transfer payments to the worst Arab regimes that transfer money to Islamic charities that transfer money to madrassas that teach children intolerance, antipluralism and how to hate the infidels.

And when one day one of those madrassa graduates goes off and joins the jihad in Falluja and kills my neighbor's son, who is in the U.S. Army Rangers, I want to drive to his funeral in my Hummer. Yes, I want to curse his killers in front of his mother and wail aloud, "If there was only something I could do ..." And then I want to drive home in my Hummer, stopping at two gas stations along the way.

If I can't be any of these, then I want to be just a simple blue-state red-state American. I want to take time on this Thanksgiving to thank God I live in a country where, despite so much rampant selfishness, the public schools still manage to produce young men and women ready to voluntarily risk their lives in places like Iraq and Afghanistan to spread the opportunity of freedom and to protect my own. And I want to thank them for doing this, even though on so many days in so many ways we really don't deserve them.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Colin Powell declares Ukrainian elections illegitimate

Lame duck Secretary of State Colin Powell rejected the elections in the Ukraine. He said, "We cannot accept this result as legitimate, because it does not meet international standards and because there has not been an investigation of the numerous and credible reports of fraud and abuse."

As dragonballyee pointed out, the election did not meet international standards in the same way the November elections in the US didn't meet them. Vote margin: 3%. Exit polls predicted a different outcome. Voter irregularities. Note to Colin: Physician, heal thyself.

Know what a dead-check is?

Journalist Evan Wright, who was embedded with troops in Iraq, reminisces about the wanton murder and destruction in that country under "the fog of war." He also reflects on the irony and hypocrisy of media coverage in the US:
One of the great ironies of the Bush administration, obsessed as it is with Christian values and the attendant crusade to punish what it deems obscene and lewd in the media (from Janet Jackson's breast to Howard Stern's speech), is that it has given us a war in which the airing of snuff films on national TV has become routine. The conflict in Iraq, as seen through news coverage, has begun to resemble the macabre underground 1980s video series Faces of Death. Throw in the images produced by the U.S. Army at Abu Ghraib, and the administration has put itself in the running to successfully compete with the BDSM side of the porn industry.
A dead-check, by the way, is poking a wounded enemy, then making sure he's dead by blasting away. More hearts-and-minds converted daily.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich soon to be required lunch in public schools?

It won't be long now. The first Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich sold for $28,000 on eBay. There are rumblings that the radical religious right is working on a Constitutional amendment to require public schools to serve the Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich as the preferred food for god-fearing students. They say non-Christian children can eat dirt.

A third of Americans understand the science of evolution; the rest are religion monkeys

A Gallup poll revealed some scary statistics about Americans' views on science and evolution:
Only about a third of Americans believe that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is a scientific theory that has been well supported by the evidence, while just as many say that it is just one of many theories and has not been supported by the evidence. The rest say they don't know enough to say. Forty-five percent of Americans also believe that God created human beings pretty much in their present form about 10,000 years ago. A third of Americans are biblical literalists who believe that the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word.
In a related story, radical religious right groups are telling members that the sun revolves around the earth. It's a highly effective campaign because the majority of their members already believe the earth is flat.

George Bush's zipper is down; Karl Rove red-faced, but proud

George Bush shows off some of his political capital in front of world leaders. This is the first chapter of the new Flyboy Series of "The Emperor's New Clothes."

Ukrainian riots

Look at this dragonballyee story about Ukrainian riots...because of election irregularities, discrepancies with exit polls, and a 3% "victory" for former Prime Minister Viktor A. Yushchenko.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Radical Religious Right want US Park Service to change film at Lincoln Memorial

George Bush's mandate. The Radical Religious Right is taking a 51-49 split in the electorate as a mandate to run roughshod over American policy. Now they have turned their sites on another den of iniquity: the Lincoln Memorial. Yep, you just never know where godlessness and heathenism will pop up. And they will slap it down. From ABC News:
For roughly a decade, a film has been shown to visitors at Washington's Lincoln Memorial, depicting historic events that have taken place there — from civil rights marches to antiwar demonstrations.

The film shows a number of marches with liberal themes like gay rights and abortion rights, intercut with older clips of historical figures like former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Marian Anderson.

Then, one day the Rev. Lou Sheldon saw it.

"It showed only those liberal, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marches," said Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition.

Sheldon's influential Christian conservative group took its complaint to the government's top levels — "so they could reach down and work their system and cleanse in a proper manner and make it fair and balanced," he said.

Sheldon would like film of some conservative marches intercut as well, though it is unclear whether any major conservative marches have taken place at the Lincoln Memorial itself, which is the film's focus.

Clear Channel Communications posts a billboard to "Our leader"

You go ahead and make the parallels. As the writer of this post asks, "Weren't there pictures of Saddam Hussein all over Iraq like this?" Clear Channel Communications, a public company, posted billboards in Florida with "Our Leader" on them while denying that they do political advertising. They certainly have learned the Republican Big Lie: even when faced with direct evidence they deny and lie.

Soon science textbooks will have not content, only stickers

This set of science textbooks stickers is from some very clever and concerned educators at Swarthmore. The scary part: The upper left sticker is from Cobb County, Georgia and is really pasted into science textbooks there. Look at the Swarthmore site to see a number of other humorous suggestions for science textbook stickers and get informed on the way Religious Radicals are pushing intelligent design in schools.

Monday, November 22, 2004

From the Duh! Files: We need more soldiers in Iraq

In a press release today, Captain Obvious, senior commander of troops in Iraq, said an increase in American troops in Iraq is necessary. First extended stays; soon, the draft. I don't think Ron Artest isn't doing anything right now. Maybe he could help. He's a decent fighter. The Bush Twins, too, since daddy thinks fighting in faraway lands is vitally important.

Brand Democrat: Oliver Willis's Grand Idea

Oliver Willis has the biggest idea going: Brand Democrat. He created a set of posters with positive Democratic messages. This is just one of many. Visit his site. He's made this idea open source, so you can download the template and create your own. Link back to him if you do. This has spread like wildfire over the past few days. Kudos, Oliver.

Okay, I couldn't resist...here's another. Go look for more at Oliver's place. The Republicans don't have the corner market on values and morals. Let's remind them.

So much for George Bush's bipartisanship

Emboldened by election, conservatives take charge. George Bush said he'd work to advance a bipartisan agenda. That lasted about one day. But why start telling the truth now? The Big Lie worked so well for the past four years.

Tax return scandal in spending bill; Republicans say I didn't do it, my hand did it

In an incredible turn of mendacity, Republicans are now pulling the "I didn't do it, my hand did it" defense of a two-year-old when questioned about how a tax return access component was wedged into the last-minute spending bill in the Senate. The provision, supposedly sneaked into the 1,000-page document by a Senate staffer, would have allowed two committee chairmen to view the tax return of any American. Some senators and representatives are not pleased. From CNN:
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
The Republicans' lack of transparency and willingness to abuse their power is undermining democracy. It should be of grave concern to all Americans that their privacy could be invaded by such an outrageous provision.

John McCain (R- AZ)
If there is ever a graphic example of the broken system that we now have, that certainly has to be it. How many other provisions didn't we find in that 1,000-page bill?

Charles Schumer (D-NY)
This harkens back to the days of [FBI Director] J. Edgar Hoover, when some unknown person could go and snoop on you.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The story about the Fallujah execution from the reporter who taped it

I can't do this any more justice than to say read Kevin Sites account of what happened.

Shoot on sight, or I'm proud to be an American

In the "wanna hear something really sick?" category is this article from Al Jazeera this morning:
On the eve of the assault on Falluja, the US military ordered troops to shoot any male on the street between the ages of 15 and 50 if they were seen as a security threat, regardless of whether they had a weapon.

"You are killers, not murderers. You are warriors not war criminals. Don't cross that line."

Those were the words of a US officer to his men before they took part in the recent assault on the Iraqi city of Falluja.

Iraq sets election day; free and open elections is another thing

George Bush keeps touting free and open elections for Iraq. Now the date is set for Iraq's election: January 30, 2005. Small problem, though - it's not a free and open election. The Sunnis have called for a boycott and over 30 groups have said the election is not a free election. King Hussein of Jordan says free elections will be impossible.

Hmmm, I wonder who knows more about Middle East politics: George Bush or King Hussein? Chicken George as in the Middle East once for the rubber turkey fly-in. That qualifies him as an expert.

The Republican Power Curve

Maureen Dowd writes in Absolute Power Erupts about Republicans ramping up their power curve because of their belief that they have a mandate. She writes:
The party of moral values deemed that crime pays, shielding Tom DeLay with a rule that someone facing a felony charge can still be a leader.

The ultracreepy Mr. DeLay de-pantsed Democrats on Friday, sneering: "I understand the Democrat Party's adjustment to their national minority status is frustrating, but their crushing defeat ... should show them that the American people are tired of the politics of personal destruction."

Well, yeah. Watching Bush supporters shred a war hero into a war criminal was tiring.
She summarizes with a frightening and powerful observation: "It's a paradoxical game plan: imposing democracy abroad while impeding it here."

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Frisky George

See George get frisky. He might not be heeding the warning on his ED package. Four hours, nothing. This has been four days.

Vote for your favorite Bush kiss on the right =>

And I thought a NYC taxi ride was expensive

Midtown to JFK: $35
Baghdad city center to Baghdad airport: $5,108
Winning hearts and minds: Priceless

Abortion clause makes its way into spending bill

Here's why the election mattered. Radical Conservatives are demanding payoff for George Bush's "victory" and are working to roll back the clock by decades. They do it by stealth. Yesterday there was a provision attached to a spending bill that will effectively start us down the slippery slope to ban abortion:
The abortion language would bar federal, state and local agencies from withholding taxpayer money from health care providers that refuse to provide or pay for abortions or refuse to offer abortion counseling or referrals. Current federal law, aimed at protecting Roman Catholic doctors, provides such "conscience protection'' to doctors who do not want to undergo abortion training. The new language would expand that protection to all health care providers, including hospitals, doctors, clinics and insurers.
Now the Radicals can start the process of pressuring those very groups to reject abortion training. While we have our eyes on the Supreme Court and Roe v. Wade they are working to take away a woman's right to choose at the grassroots level. Time to be aware and activated, friends.

Porn and poppies: The culture war intersects the Afghanistan war against terror

The land of Afghan Hounds is running its poppy operations faster than its namesake dogs toward record heroin production. According to CNN, "Afghanistan still accounted for 87 percent of the world supply, up from 76 percent in 2003." Guess where the money goes. Terrorists.

In a related note, witnesses before the Senate's Science, Space and Science Subcommittee compared pornography to heroin addiction. Wired writer Ryan Singel says (tongue firmly planted in cheek), "Internet pornography is the new crack cocaine, leading to addiction, misogyny, pedophilia, boob jobs and erectile dysfunction, according to clinicians and researchers testifying before a Senate committee Thursday." One witness before the committee said:
The internet is a perfect drug delivery system because you are anonymous, aroused and have role models for these behaviors," Layden said. "To have drug pumped into your house 24/7, free, and children know how to use it better than grown-ups know how to use it - it's a perfect delivery system if we want to have a whole generation of young addicts who will never have the drug out of their mind.
So, we were distracted out of Afghanistan by the war in Iraq; now we identify internet porn as the new Osama bin Laden.

Another witness before the committee, a psycho psychiatrist, made the direct link between poppies and porn:
Pornography really does, unlike other addictions, biologically cause direct release of the most perfect addictive substance," Satinover said. That is, it causes masturbation, which causes release of the naturally occurring opioids. It does what heroin can't do, in effect.
My favorite word from the hearings: erototoxins. Ever hear that one about why Evangelical women get wrinkles around their eyes? You want me to do what? Face it, it's the erototxins.

Friday, November 19, 2004

John Kerry's Protect Every Child Healthcare Petition

Big John's still out there fighting for us, friends. And he's still fighting for the things he said he would during the campaign - healthcare being a primary one. Sign his petition and get behind his Health Care Plan for Every Child:
Every parent knows the fear of waking up to the cries of a sick baby or a child with an ear infection that will not go away. As parents, we both remember the countless times we called that first pediatrician to get answers to every last question.

But far too many parents have another fear, on top of their child’s health. They worry that a sick child means financial ruin. There are more than eight million uninsured children in our nation. These children are less likely to get a routine checkup, or to get treatment for common ailments like asthma. They miss more days of school. It is a disgrace that eight million children lack health insurance in the richest nation on earth.

Our plan starts by providing health insurance for every child in America. Under the Kerry plan, the federal government will pay the full costs for the 20 million children in the Medicaid program. In return, we will ask states to expand coverage to children in families with higher incomes than are currently eligible, as well as low-income adults. This plan will expand coverage to millions of people and provide much needed relief for states that are struggling under persistent growing budgetary pressures.

The plan will also simplify the health care system so we can prevent children from falling through the cracks. Right now, there are millions of kids who are eligible for federal/state health insurance programs but are not signed up.

There are lots of reasons — sometimes the enrollment forms require the skills of an accountant to figure out. Some states make parents sign up every six months in person, making it virtually impossible for a parent who cannot get time off or afford to lose a whole day of work. Some parents do not even know these programs are available.

Under our plan, kids will be signed up automatically at hospitals, community health centers, and schools. And $5 billion in enrollment bonuses will be available to states as an incentive to find uninsured children and keep them covered. Children do not choose their parents. They do not choose whether to have health insurance. Children deserve a good start—with both high quality education and health care. Under our plan, every child in America will have health insurance, and every parent will have a little more peace of mind.

Condi Rice has a truth fibroid

MediaMatters covers a pretty extensive pack of lies by Condi Rice. As long as she's in for a procedure maybe she can get that fibroid removed that's blocking her ability to tell the truth.

Friday Hearts-and-Minds Blogging

51 Americans killed so far in the Fallujah offensive. A suicide car bomber kills five Iraq police at a Baghdad checkpoint today. 1,200 "insurgents" were killed in Fallujah this week. (An insurgent is anyone who doesn't have a uniform - which by extension means any Iraqi civilian, the CIA, Revolutionary Minute Men, kids who don't attend Catholic School, Iranians, Koreans, Democrats, women and their uterii, gays, and anyone who hasn't been saved by Cheez Whiz. Feel free to add your list of insurgents.)

Ah, they'll soon be throwing flowers in our path and welcoming us as liberators.

The best post election map yet

I don't know the original source of this one, but it's my favorite post election map. (Tip o' the hat to BH)

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Clinton Presidential Center

The Clinton Presidential Center opened today in Little Rock. And the rock star drew rock stars and presidents to see his new bridge to the 21st century. More than 30,000 people stood in the pouring rain to see President Clinton. Oh, George Bush was there too.

The George W Bush Presidential Library will be able to fit under this umbrella. Heh, heh.

The plague of toadies

Maureen Dowd writes today in NYT about the toadies in the Bush Cabinet, who instead of being fired are being promoted. She says:
I went to see the magical "Pericles'' at the Shakespeare Theater the other night.

In ancient Greece, the prince of Tyre tires of all the yes men around him. He chooses to trust the one courtier who intrepidly tells him: "They do abuse the king that flatter him. ... Whereas reproof, obedient and in order, fits kings, as they are men, for they may err.''

Not flatter the king? Listen to dissenting viewpoints? Rulers who admit they've erred?

It's all so B.C. (Before Cheney).

Now, in the 21st-century reign of King George II, flattery is mandatory, dissent is forbidden, and erring without admitting error is the best way to get ahead. President Bush is purging the naysayers who tried to temper crusted-nut-bar Dick Cheney and the neocon crazies on Iraq.

First, faith trumped facts. Now, loyalty trumps competence.

The depressed Democrats guide to recovery

Mark Fiore is one of my very favorite cartoonists. This is worth a click.

Letter to the editors of the Red State newspapers

Bravo, Middle America! Until election day, I was worried about what you were going to do when your job is outsourced, when you find privatized social security isn't enough to live on, when you can't afford healthcare, when you're arrested for something you didn't do and find you have no civil liberties, when your cities and towns and schools are falling apart, when global warming destroys all you've worked for, when a corporation poisons your drinking water (I drink bottled water), or when your sons and daughters are killed in Iraq. Now, I'm not worried anymore. (Thanks, Mr. Rove!)

Don't worry about me: I'm only thirty, making close to $200K a year, and it's only the beginning. I won't need social security, I will buy my way out of any legal trouble, my investments are diversified enough to survive natural disasters (and I won't be paying any capital gains taxes on them -- you'll pick up the slack for that), my kids will get a superb education in private school (thanks for the vouchers -- saves me a bundle!), and believe me, on a salary like this, my health care costs are not a problem. Best of all, you can bet that -- like George Bush and the other GOP elite -- neither I nor my kids will ever be caught dead in some foreign war. That's what you and your kids are for, Mr. and Mrs. Moral Issues! Praise God and the Republican Party for which He stands! Or vice versa!

Next year I'm opening a little business, but we'll incorporate in some sunny Caribbean island to avoid US taxes while we sell our products to Americans too dumb to realize what's going on! When the deficit hits bottom and has to be paid by raising taxes, don't worry about me -- I'll just fly away to some foreign country (with low taxes, of course) and leave you distracted cattle to pay it off. Good thing we were attacked on 9/11 or you might have caught on to the game!

Privilege has its perks. While you were voting based on feelings about an abortion you'll never have or gay people you don't know, you increased my tax cuts and made my life easier. Yours will get harder, and in the process, you will get what exactly what you voted for: more phony morality, more war, more intrusion on your privacy, higher taxes, bigger government, lower-paying jobs and less freedom. The Constitution won't be worth the paper it's printed on! You'll basically have one-party rule, just like our good friends in Red China! You got played, Middle America, and all of us 'latte-drinking liberals' and the rest of the filthy rich thank you for being too stupid to realize it.

Mr. Top Ten Percent

(thx, BH)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

George Bush pardons a turkey; never pardoned a prisoner on death row

Oh, the exquisite irony is lost on George Bush, who good-naturedly pardoned a turkey yesterday in Rose Garden ceremony yesterday yet never once pardoned a prisoner on death row in Texas.

Justice DeLay'd is justice denied

House Republicans are ramming through legislation that allows members to remain in leadership positions even if they are indicted by state grand juries. This is provisionally called the DeLay Justice Proposal. I guess that moral values thing the Republicans trumpet doesn't include "Thou shalt not worship false idols."

At least 800 civilians were killled in Fallujah this week

And the US military won't allow the Red Crescent into Fallujah to provide humaitarian aid. 800 dead civilians. Executions of Iraqi prisoners. Desecration of mosques. That hearts-and-minds campaign isn't going so well.

Man-on-Dog-Senator Santorum's Family Values

Rooney Demands Refund For Santorum's Cyber School Costs
PA Dem Chair Says Santorum “Robbing Pennsylvania Students” for Personal Gain

HARRISBURG, PA: After days of news reports detailing how Senator Rick Santorum has taken $100,000 in Pennsylvania taxpayer dollars for cyber-schooling his children, Rep. T.J. Rooney, Chair of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, today called on Santorum to refund Pennsylvania's children the taxpayer dollars he has taken from their education to put towards the education of his own children.

Santorum and his family live in Virginia.

Rooney said today, “Senator Santorum keeps going around trumpeting family values, trying to convince citizens that he is the voice for the Pennsylvania family. Now we learn that apparently Mr. Santorum believes that family values means taking from the children who need our help to pay huge bills for his own family, even though they don't live in Pennsylvania.”

According to the Associated Press, the Penn Hills School District in suburban Pittsburgh has spent $100,000 on the Internet-based education of Santorum's children since 2001-2002. Santorum purchased his two bedroom residence in the school district in 1997 for $87,800. His Leesburg, Virginia home was assessed at $757,000 this year.

“This is a classic case of the rich man's Robin Hood,” Rooney followed. “Mr. Santorum makes a generous salary and lives in a very expensive home in Virginia, but he didn't let that stop him from unfairly taking from the Pennsylvania students who need those school funds desperately.”

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Rice and Beans

Condi Bush.

Bush Administration's moves to ban abortion

Dragonballyee outlines this stealth move by the Bush Administration and the FDA to ban RU-486.

Cue up "I'm Proud to be an American"

First Abu Ghraib. Now more lawlessness in Iraq...by American troops. I know "war is hell," but what do we stand for as a nation when we're willing to execute people like dogs? From the BBC:

US investigates Falluja killing
The US military is looking into whether an American marine in Falluja shot dead a severely wounded Iraqi insurgent at point-blank range.

Television footage shows US soldiers entering a building as injured prisoners lie on the floor.

The images of the alleged point-blank shooting of an Iraqi insurgent were taken by an NBC reporter embedded with the US troops in the Sunni city under assault.
Another incident in Donald Rumsfeld's "winning hearts and minds" campaign. The video and photo is here (not for the weak of heart, friends).

The 23rd Sigh


Bush is my shepherd; I shall dwell in want.
He maketh logs to be cut down in national forests.
He leadeth trucks into the still wilderness.
He restoreth my fears.
He leadeth me in the paths of international disgrace for his ego's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of pollution and war, I will find no exit, for thou art in office.
Thy tax cuts for the rich and thy media control, they discomfort me.
Thou preparest an agenda of deception in the presence of thy religion.
Thou anointest my head with foreign oil.
My health insurance runneth out.
Surely megalomania and false patriotism shall follow me all the days of thy term,
And my jobless child shall dwell in my basement forever.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Colin Powell resigned

Colin Powell resigned. I'm going to bet that someday he's going to tell George Bush to bite his ass. Hopefully the only guy with a shred of decency in the Bush Administration got away with at least a sliver of his reputation intact.

We let Osama bin Laden go

Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA's bin Laden unit, isn't painting a rosy picture of the Administration's pursuit of Osama bin Laden. Scheuer says, "Our leaders continue to say that we're making strong headway against this problem. And I think we are not."

The scary part is that the Administration was presented at least 10 opportunities to capture bin Laden. Each of those options was rejected. The reasons seem elusive. When questioned by Steve Croft last night on 60 Minutes, Scheuer said we're facing the real prospect of a nuclear weapon explosion in the US. "I don't believe in inevitability. But I think it's pretty close to being inevitable," says Scheuer.

Gay marriage was causing high divorce rates in red states

Ah, the hypocrites are at it, casting stones at their fellow citizens in blue states. And they are living in big, southern, hypocritical, glass houses.

"Half of heterosexual marriages in our society end in divorce. We heterosexuals are doing a lousy job of "defending" marriage," says Howard Troxler. And this story in today's NYT titled To Avoid Divorce, Move to Massachusetts outlines the statistics of the evangelicals' hypocrisy:
BOSTON — If blue states care less about moral values, why are divorce rates so low in the bluest of the blue states? It's a question that intrigues conservatives, as much as it emboldens liberals.

As researchers have noted, the areas of the country where divorce rates are highest are also frequently the areas where many conservative Christians live.

Kentucky, Mississippi and Arkansas, for example, voted overwhelmingly for constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage. But they had three of the highest divorce rates in 2003, based on figures from the Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics.

The lowest divorce rates are largely in the blue states: the Northeast and the upper Midwest. And the state with the lowest divorce rate was Massachusetts, home to John Kerry, the Kennedys and same-sex marriage.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Don Knotts is Dubya

Another installment of Funny Movie Sunday. See Don Knotts as Dubya.

Keep your Cheez-Whiz off my peanuts

Watch this video. The title ryhmes with the headline. Rated R, friends.

Capturing hearts and minds in Fallujah

From a post in UnderTheSameSun, this picture of US Marines resting in the captured Al Kalfa mosque in Fallujah. Can you imagine the corollary, where Iraqis invade Philadelphia, and then "rest" in the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul? If citizens were a little angry and tried to chase them out, would the Phiadelphians be labeled "insurgents"?

31 US troops killed so far in Fallujah this week

There were 58 US soldiers killed this week in Iraq this week. 31 of them were killed in the siege of Fallujah, along with over 1,200 Iraqi "insurgents" and an unspecified number of innocent civilians. Since I missed remarking on the century mark of US military deaths that have occurred since George Bush declared mission accomplished, I thought this Sunday morning would be a good time to review the deaths as reported on Anti-War.com:
American Soldiers Killed
Since war began: 1,176
Since "mission accomplished": 1,039
Since "handover" to Iraq: 315
Americans soldiers wounded: 8,612

Iraq has become a game of Whack-a-Mole

George Stephanopolous just said on This Week that a senior White House official told him that "Iraq is becoming a game of Whack-a-Mole, just knock one problem down and another pops up." As we saw yesterday, while the US military fiddles with Fallujah, Mosul burns.

Republican dictionary

BI-PARTISANSHIP, n. When conservative Republicans work together with moderate Republicans to pass legislation Democrats hate.

CLARIFY, v. Repeating the same lie over and over again.

CLEAN, adj. The word used to modify any aspect of the environment Republican legislation allows corporations to pollute, poison, or destroy.

FAIRER, adj. Regressive.

FAITH, n. The stubborn belief that God approves of Republican moral values despite the preponderance of textual evidence to the contrary.

FAITH COMMUNITY, n. Evangelicals, because they are saved, and hawkish conservative Jews, because they are useful. Israel is the bait-on-the-hook just waiting for God to take that Rapturous bite.

FISCAL CONSERVATIVE, n. A Republican who is in the minority.

FREEDOM, n. What Arabs want but can't achieve on their own without Western military intervention. It bears a striking resemblance to chaos.

GROWTH, n. The justification for tax cuts for the rich. What happens to the deficits when Republicans cut taxes on the rich.

HONESTY, n. Lies told in simple declarative sentences: "Freedom is on the march."

HUMBLE FOREIGN POLICY, n. The invasion of any sovereign nation whose leadership Republicans don't like.

HUMBLED adj. What a Republican says right after a close election and right before he governs in an arrogant manner.

MORAL VALUES, n. Hatred of homosexuals dressed up in Biblical language.

MANDATE, n. What a Republican claims to possess when only 49 percent of the voting public loathes him instead of 51 percent.

THE MEDIA, n. Immoral elitist liberally-biased traitors who should leave Republicans alone so they can complete God's work on Earth in peace and quiet, behind closed doors.

PHILOSOPHY, n. Religion.

SIMPLIFY, tr. v. To cut the taxes of Republican donors.

SLAVE, n. A person without legal rights, e,g. a fetus.

BONUS DEFINITION: NEOCONSERVATIVES, n. Nerds with Napoleonic complexes.

(via The Nation by way of VLWC)

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Dick Cheney hospitalized for shortness of breath

Vice President Dick Cheney was hospitalized today for shortness of breath. Other Bush Administration officials were worried when they mistakenly thought he was "institutionalized for 'shortness of foresight.'"

Fallujah is a success: 1,000 insurgents were killed

Always nice to get to that century mark. 1,000 "insurgents" and an undefined number of Iraqi citizens were killed in Fallujah this week. Fallujah was once a city of 250,000 to 300,000 people. Now it's a city of the dead. And where are all those people who used to live there? Expelled into the desert. To die. (The nighttime temperatures are dipping into the 40s Fahrenheit.)

The Red Crescent says 90% of the people who lived there have fled and that a humanitarian crisis is looming. The Bush Administration justified the deaths with a "Hey, we found a 'slaughterhouse' where at least a dozen people were killed." I guess George Bush and Company were sleeping during that "Greater Good" lecture at Yale.

Does anyone feel like we're living in a police state?

Check out this story about some Colorado high school kids in a band called Coalition of the Willing who got a visit by the Secret Service during a school talent show. The Secret Service said the lyrics of a Bob Dylan song from the 1960s threatened the president.

Tanks for the Memories is the title of this piece by our friends at The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy. Clever title. Scary idea. Army tanks appeared on the scene of an L.A. anti-war protest on Nov. 9.

And at dragonballyee there's a piece titled What's the Deal with Jailing Reporters? Scary story about reporters being jailed for protecting confidential sources in government cases.

CIA in turmoil; deputy chief resigns

Looks like things have gone from bad to worse at the CIA with Porter Goss at the helm (this is the guy who told Michael Moore he's not qualified for the job). Now the deputy chief resigned and said there could be mass defections. Nice. We couldn't catch Osama when things were "working" at the CIA; now Al Qaeda gets a free pass. Thanks, George. I feel much safer now.

A letter from Elizabeth Edwards

Write her and tell her you're pulling for her. It works.

Dear Frank,

First, I want to thank each of you for the support you have given to John Kerry and John Edwards. You gave it in a thousand ways: coming to our events, volunteering to set up and clean up, working the phone banks, knocking on doors, contributing, blogging, standing on corners with signs, whatever it took. Your strength carried us through.

You may have heard that I have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Your strength is carrying my family through too in this latest struggle, and this is a fight we will win. We have (and I say we because John has been with me every minute) started chemotherapy with tremendous confidence, confidence in our doctors, in our ability to face obstacles, and in our friends far and near who we know give us their thoughts and prayers and support today and will continue to do so in the months ahead.

So many of you have tried to reach me recently with your support, and I know that the Senate office and the Wade Edwards Learning Lab have been flooded with calls and e-mails. No complaints there, but in order to take a little pressure off of them, I have resurrected my old e-mail address at elizabeth@oneamericacommittee.com, where you can reach me. I will e-mail periodic updates to you about my progress from there, if you would be interested in getting those. Treatment should last until about next June with follow-ups every three months or so.

I hope you understand how much your support has meant to us. This thank you is to our new and expanded family.

Elizabeth Edwards

Friday, November 12, 2004

The unexplained exit poll discrepancy

From BuzzFlash:
BuzzFlash was forwarded a copy of a new research paper on the exit polls from the 2004 election. In "The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy," Dr. Steven F. Freeman says:

"As much as we can say in social science that something is impossible, it is impossible that the discrepancies between predicted and actual vote counts in the three critical battleground states [Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania] of the 2004 election could have been due to chance or random error."

The odds of those exit poll statistical anomalies occurring by chance are 250,000,000 to one. 250 MILLION to ONE.

He concludes the paper with this:

"Systematic fraud or mistabulation is a premature conclusion, but the election's unexplained exit poll discrepancies make it an unavoidable hypothesis, one that is the responsibility of the media, academia, polling agencies, and the public to investigate."

How ‘balanced’ coverage lets the scientific fringe hijack reality

Columbia Journalism Review outlines why "balanced" science reporting isn't balanced at all and how it's being hijacked by religious fundamentalists. One example: A report that having an abortion can cause breast cancer (yes, this religious nuts have no boundaries) was used as "balance" to a report on the health implications of abortion. It part of the fundies work to advance their intelligent design agenda. This is one to put on your radar, friends, and worth reading in its entirety. Forewarned is forearmed.

Tell Congress to investigate the vote

MoveOn has a petition to investigate the vote. Add your name.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

George Bush's base isn't sorry

A Wingnut website popped up as their response to We're Sorry World. This picture of a guy with a Military Police hat is featured on the front page along with a few other gun-toting wingnuts. The site, called We'reNotSorry (you can look it up, but I'm not giving them a link), showcases George Bush's redneck base saying they're not sorry about anything. ("I must have made some mistakes, but I just can't think of one" is the famous saying of their Redneck Commandant in Chief.)

If you ever wondered why torture was rampant at Abu Ghraib, just take a look at this guy. He's the president of InbreedsForBush.

Mission accomplished? Saddam's gone, now what?

A masked insurgent carries a police flak jacket and rocket propelled grenade launcher after a police station was attacked in Mosul November 11, 2004. Insurgents stole weapons and brazenly roamed the streets of Mosul as Iraq's third largest city appeared to be sliding out of control, residents said. (via Reuters)

Here's an idea - let's drop the bomb. There's only 25 million Iraqis, and hell, we'll care more about the Scott Peterson trial after three news cycles anyway, so let's get this over with. Then we can move on to Iran.

Did George Washington lead an insurgency?

Funny. The media continue to use the word "insurgent" to describe anyone who opposes the US occupation of Iraq. On CNN just now, Joe Watkins said, "Things are different now. We can't recognize the enemy. They don't wear uniforms." Kind of like two centuries ago during the Revolution, Joe? Was George Washington the first insurgent?

Hang in there

Check out this picture fron dragonballyee titled Hang in there. There's still hope.

John Ashcroft tortured us with his singing; the new AG Alberto Gonzalez will just torture us

Great. George Bush appointed Alberto Gonzalez as the new Attorney General. Gonzalez is the lawyer who told George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld that it was okay to subvert the Geneva Convention and torture prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Just great. At least Ashcroft was crazy. This one knows what he's doing. Another "be afraid" moment, my friends.

How many Iraqis did the US military have to kill to find those "slaughter houses"

Slaughter houses is the new meme of the morning. The US military found a "slaughter house" where they say up to a dozen hostages were murdered. The US military had no comment about the thousands they killed to find that "slaughter house."

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Bush mandate was Google bombed

Our friends at corrente point out that the words "Bush mandate" was Google bombed. Try it.

Sunnis would sooner not be in the Iraqi government

While the U.S. Army is busy killing innocents and insurgents in Falljuah, the Sunni party quit the Iraqi government in protest. First, there's a 60-day state of emergency declared in Iraq. Then, the U.S. kills a bunch of people. Now a significant part of the government quits and demands a boycott of upcoming elections. Meanwhile, George Bush continues to insist that free elections will take place in January. That is if anyone's still alive there. (I wonder how tough PM Alawi will be now that some of his family members have been kidnapped.)

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Don't let the door hit you in the Ashcroft on the way out

John Ashcroft resigned. Now we're all safe from terrorism.

A little rant about the South

Not for Southerners or Northeastern Liberal Elites' kids, this R-rated rant on the South is pretty funny (IMHO). I'd read the the original first. But if you're easily offended, here's the "Clean" version as a public service with props to the writer at FTS.


Forget the South. Forget 'em. We should have let them go when they wanted to leave. But no, we had to kill half a million people so they'd stay part of our special Union. Fighting for the right to keep slaves - yeah, those are states we want to keep.

And now what do we get? We're the Arrogant Northeast Liberal Elite? How about this for arrogant: the South is the Real America? The Authentic America. Really?

Cause we founded this country, you jerks. Those Founding Fathers you keep going on and on about? All that stuff about what you think they meant by the Second Amendment giving you the right to keep your assault weapons in the glove compartment because you didn't bother to read the first half of the sentence? Who do you think those wig-wearing lacy-shirt sporting revolutionaries were? They were blue-staters, you putzes. Boston? Philadelphia? New York? Hello? Think there might be a reason all the monuments are up here in our backyard?

No, No. Get out. We're not letting you visit the Liberty Bell and Plymouth Rock anymore until you get over your real American selves and start respecting those other nine amendments. Who do you think those stripes on the flag are for? Nine are for blue states. And it would be 10 if those Vermonters had gotten their Subarus together and broken off from New York a little earlier. Get it? We started this stuff, so don't get all uppity about how real you are you Johnny-come-lately "Oooooh I've been a state for almost a hundred years" jerks. Drop dead.

Arrogant? You wanna talk about us Northeasterners being arrogant? What's more American than arrogance? Hmmm? Maybe horsies? I don't think so. Arrogance is the cornerstone of what it means to be American. And I wouldn't be so arrogant if I wasn't paying for your bridges, you rednecks.

All those Federal taxes you love to hate? It all comes from us and goes to you, so shut up and enjoy your Tennessee Valley Authority electricity and your fancy highways that we paid for. And the next time Florida gets hit by a hurricane you can come crying to us if you want to, but you're the ones who built on a swamp. "Let the Spanish keep it, it’s a dump," we said, but you had to have your orange juice.

The next Southern jerk who says, "It’s your money, not the government's money" is gonna get their ass kicked. Nine of the ten states that get the most federal dollars and pay the least... can you guess? Go on, guess. That’s right, rednecks, they're red states. And eight of the ten states that receive the least and pay the most? It’s too easy – they’re blue states. It’s not your money, jerks, it’s our money. What was that Real American Value you were spouting a minute ago? Self reliance? Try this for self reliance: buy your own stop signs.

Let’s talk about those values for a minute. You and your Southern values can kiss my grits because the blue states got the values over you Real Americans every day of the week. Which state do you think has the lowest divorce rate you marriage-hyping jerks? Well? Can you guess? It’s Massachusetts, the center of the gay marriage universe. Yes, that’s right, the state you love to tie around the neck of anyone to the left of Strom Thurmond has the lowest divorce rate in the nation. Think that’s just some aberration? How about this: 9 of the 10 lowest divorce rates are blue states, and most are in the Northeast, where our values suck so bad. And where are the highest divorce rates? Care to guess? 10 of the top 10 are red we're-so-moral states. And while Nevada is the worst, the Bible Belt is doing its part.

But two guys making out is going to ruin marriage for you? Yeah? Seems like you're ruining it pretty well on your own, you little jerks. Oh, but that's ok because you go to church, right? I mean you do, right? Cause we get to hear about it every year at election time. Yes, we're fascinated by how you get up every Sunday morning and sing, and then you're towers of moral superiority. Yeah, that's a workable formula. Maybe us Northerners don't talk about religion as much as you because we're not so busy sinning, hmmm? Ever think of that, you self-righteous jerks? No, you're too busy erecting giant stone tablets of the Ten Commandments in buildings paid for by the Northeast Liberal Elite. And who has the highest murder rates in the nation? It ain't us up here in the North, you rednecks.

Well this gravy train is over. Take your liberal-bashing, federal-tax-leeching, confederate-flag-waving, holier-than-thou, hypocritical bullcrap and shove it.

And no, you can't have your convention in New York next time.

Sorry everybody

Hundreds of messages here. From the site: Some of us — hopefully most of us — are trying to understand and appreciate the effect our recent election will have on you, the citizens of the rest of the world. As our so-called leaders redouble their efforts to screw you over, please remember that some of us — hopefully most of us — are truly, truly sorry. And we'll say we're sorry, even on the behalf of the ones who aren't.

Winning back the principles we have lost: A note from Thomas Jefferson

From a letter Thomas Jefferson sent in 1798 after the passage of the Sedition Act:
A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt.....If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake.
(thx to MBB)

Monday, November 08, 2004

Operation Phantom Fury: Fallujah blown to smithereens

Operation Phantom Fury is what the U.S. military is calling their attack on Fallujah. I swear, these guys like making war so that they can come up with these idiotic names like little boys. But there is a certain symmetry in the naming; we moved from Operation Phantom Reasons for Invading Iraq to Operation Phantom Fury.

A question for George Bush: When you say "all life is precious" do you mean all life, or just people who look like you and vote Republican? Because this Iraqi citizen of Fallujah just buried seven family members as a result of the bombings and isn't feeling the love of your "compassionate conservatism."

While he's at it, George Bush can blame gays for terrorism

WASHINGTON — President Bush "absolutely" will use his second term to push for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, his top political strategist said Sunday. Karl Rove, who oversaw Bush's re-election victory, said Bush will renew the effort, which failed in Congress this year but may enjoy new support after 11 states approved bans on same-sex marriage on Election Day. (via USA Today)

Turn your back on Bush

No signs, no protests, no puppets. Just attendance at the inauguration. And at a pre-determined time, turn your back on Bush.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Iraqi PM declares state of emergency; George Bush says Iraq is moving toward freedom

Remember that part in Fahrenheit 9/11 where the jarhead sang "Burn, motherf***er, burn"?

Iraqi interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi declared a 60-day state of emergency in Iraq. The PM declared marshal law before the U.S. troops bomb the living hell out of Fallujah, insurgents and innocents be damned.

IN OTHER NEWS. George Bush said just three days ago: " If we are interested in protecting our country for the long-term, the best way to do so is to promote freedom and democracy. And I - I simply do not agree with those who either say overtly or believe that certain societies cannot be free. It's just not a part of my thinking."

Mr. President, for once in your presidency, it's time to honor your word.

Fascism: It can't happen here, can it?

From a very incisive review of Sinclair Lewis's 1935 anti-Fascism book It Can't Happen Here on Kuro5hin:
It should be understood that "Fascism" doesn't just mean "building nasty prison camps and locking your enemies up there," though that is very often its result. Fascism is technically a merging of Corporate and State interests into a single monolithic bloc of power, which becomes (theoretically at least) invincible against either outside threats or insurrections from within. The many terrible abuses rightly attributed to Fascism stem from its vast power and lack of scruples in meeting those perceived threats.
Writer localroger outlines the rise of modern Fascism here in America, 69 years after Lewis's precursor to Orwell's 1984 was written. He continues:
George W. Bush doesn't need brownshirts because he has half a dozen national television networks to spread his image and a dozen Father Coughlins to keep his message before the public. If the pen is mightier than the sword then the TV network in turn hulks similarly over the pen. With modern media you just don't need brownshirts. You don't have to intimidate the people who would counter your lies with documented truth when the radio is off. Nowadays the radio is never really off, and the lies are so sweet that mere truth is not nearly so pleasant, and the people you are lying to will intimidate the truth-tellers for you.
If you look at the anger of the Wingnuts and their freeper comments over the past few days, the intimidation factor is up by three orders of magnitude.

Election 2004: More looks at who won what

(via Votemaster)

As they say at The Blogging of the Presidency, "because land doesn't vote," this map shows vote and proportion based on population density. And, it reveals what's wrong with the electoral college - it overrepresents small states and rural areas. If you look at the red and blue county win maps, you would think there's an overwhelming number of righties. Not so. Geography isn't people. And the 56 million Americans who voted against George Bush aren't people to him either.

Evidence mounts that vote was hacked in Florida

This analysis by Common Dreams gives me a chill. And not the good kind. Something is VERY fishy about the discrepancies of exit polling and George Bush's performance in electronic voting. In fact, some results are upside down. From the article:
While the heavily scrutinized touch-screen voting machines seemed to produce results in which the registered Democrat/Republican ratios matched the Kerry/Bush vote, and so did the optically-scanned paper ballots in the larger counties, in Florida's smaller counties the results from the optically scanned paper ballots - fed into a central tabulator PC and thus vulnerable to hacking - seem to have been reversed.

In Baker County, for example, with 12,887 registered voters, 69.3% of them Democrats and 24.3% of them Republicans, the vote was only 2,180 for Kerry and 7,738 for Bush, the opposite of what is seen everywhere else in the country where registered Democrats largely voted for Kerry.

In Dixie County, with 4,988 registered voters, 77.5% of them Democrats and a mere 15% registered as Republicans, only 1,959 people voted for Kerry, but 4,433 voted for Bush.

The pattern repeats over and over again - but only in the smaller counties where, it was probably assumed, the small voter numbers wouldn't be much noticed. Franklin County, 77.3% registered Democrats, went 58.5% for Bush. Holmes County, 72.7% registered Democrats, went 77.25% for Bush.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Votes dead in Ohio

See a snippet of a movie Michael Moore and independent videographers made about voter intimidation in Ohio.

Next week's Time Magazine cover

Here's a sneak preview of next week's Time Magazine cover. (via Guillaume)

Seraphim Proudleduck: An election blues diversion on a blustery Saturday afternoon

Salmonbones is sponsoring another SEO (search engine optimization) contest along the lines of nigritude ultramarine. On January 1, 2005 at 1am (in the UK) the highest ranked page in Google for the search term "seraphim proudleduck" shall win its publisher £1000. A bonus prize exists for the highest ranked image in Google for the same search term. Rules can be found here.

Link to this post
To prove that real liberal thinking trumps wingnut rants (some of those guys are playing too), we're entering the contest. Do us a favor: Link to the permalink for this post using the phrase Seraphim Proudleduck like we did here. You can place the words Seraphim Proudleduck in a post and link to this post or put it in your blogroll, either way works. Regardless, we'd rather see a real liberal blog win than any of the fake sites that show up on the search results right now.

We'll reciprocate
We'll look at Technorati daily and roll up Seraphim Proudleduck links each day. We'll link to those. Remember, it's important to put the word Seraphim Proudleduck in your post and link those words to this post. Please also send us an e-mail because Technorati doesn't always pick up the links.

We'll donate the prize money to Democrats
Lots of fake websites referencing Seraphim Proudleduck have popped up all over the place, which clutters the contest a bit. I think a real website - a blog - should win. The prize is £1000, at current exchange rates that's about $1,850. If iFlipFlop wins we'll donate $1,000 to the Democratic National Committee, and have a raffle for a linking website where we'll donate the remaining money to a charity of their choice in their name.

This has to be as much fun as Google bombing George Bush and Man Date.
We'll give you an update in a week. Meanwhile, let's win something in 2004. And get the Dems on the right track in 2005.

Salmonbones user: iFlipFlop
UserID: 0073

Electronic voting mystery, or Why George Bush hearts Diebold

Our friends at Democratic Underground did an analysis of discrepancies between exit polling in paper ballot states and those states that used non-paper voting. The analysis is startling. In paper ballot states, the exit polling and actual results reconciled. In electronic ballot states, the exit polling and "actual" results were skewed more than five percent for Bush. Now why would that be? Could it be because the owner of Diebold Voting Machines committed to give votes to George Bush in 2004? Look here for the Democratic Underground graphs.

In case any right wing nutjobs want to chime in with the "YOU LOST" mantra of hate they're spreading across the internet, please be reminded George Bush did not win the election in 2000, the Supreme Court decided that one. And, if it looks like there is substantive reason to challenge this election, remember that there were 56 million Americans who voted against George Bush. So using capital letters and moronic right wing spelling won't make this go away.

Homeland Security Advisory System: Japanese Monsters

From POE News, this Monster Advisory System:
We here at POE News think that you need to be aware of the terror threat level everyday. Being terrified of terrorists is a fulltime job and the Department of Homeland Security doesn't make it easy by only offering a confusing array of colors and threat designators.

We have simplified it. Using monsters from classic Japanese monster movies, we have created a system that mirrors the DHS's system, but in an easier to understand format.
And for each alert level, the warning is the same: "Be terrified but carry on with your day."

George the Simpleton

Time for some re-thinking (see, it's tough being a liberal, because it requires thinking; whereas being a Repug just requires taking orders from Der Fuhrer). We need to simplify our political language. It works for George the Simpleton. William Saleton writes in Simple but Effective: Why you keep losing to this idiot:
But if you're dissatisfied with Bush—or if, like me, you think he's been the worst president in memory—you have a lot of explaining to do. Why don't a majority of voters agree with us? How has Bush pulled it off?

I think this is the answer: Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.

Think about the simplicity of everything Bush says and does. He gives the same speech every time. His sentences are short and clear...What you and I see as unreflectiveness, they see as transparency. They trust him.

If you're a Democrat, here's my advice. Do what the Republicans did in 1998. Get simple. Find a compelling salesman and get him ready to run for president in 2008. Put aside your quibbles about preparation, stature, expertise, nuance, and all that other hyper-sophisticated garbage that caused you to nominate Kerry. You already have legions of people with preparation, stature, expertise, and nuance ready to staff the executive branch of the federal government. You don't need one of them to be president. You just need somebody to win the White House and appoint them to his administration. And that will require all the simplicity, salesmanship, and easygoing humanity they don't have.

Just because George Bush calls it a mandate doesn't make it so

56,149,771 Americans voted against George Bush on Nov. 2. Let's keep that in mind as we move forward and emerge from the fog of four more years of war, oppression, and environmental ruin. A few thoughts from Common Dreams about syncophantic press coverage and a real perspective on George Bush's "mandate":
While White House officials tout the total vote count for Bush as evidence of wide support, the increase in voter turnout and the size of the U.S. population also means that greater than usual numbers of voters opposed the victorious candidate. As Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher put it (11/5/04), "It's true that President Bush got more votes than any winning candidate for president in history. He also had more people voting against him than any winning candidate for president in history."

And Bush's slim majority is not all that impressive for an incumbent; Ronald Reagan, for example, claimed 51 percent of the vote in 1980, while gaining 59 percent four years later. Lyndon Johnson was the choice of 61 percent of voters in 1964, as was Richard Nixon in 1972. In terms of margin of victory, Al Hunt observed in the Wall Street Journal (11/4/04), Bush's victory was "the narrowest win for a sitting president since Woodrow Wilson in 1916."

If a "mandate" is the same as an uncontested victory, then George W. Bush has that- but so does just about every president, so it's hardly newsworthy. It is understandable that the Bush administration would tout its victory as evidence of a "mandate" for pursuing its second-term agenda. Responsible journalists, however, should refrain from simply amplifying White House spin.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Not everyone believes George Bush has a mandate

There were marches all over the country on November 3. They weren't spontaneous outpourings of joy about George Bush's first actual election. (Supreme Court appointments don't count.) The pictures from this SF march made me laugh, smile, and think. I wanted to post the first picture in the sequence here, but decided that having George Bush elected this week was brutal enough. It's my favorite photo, though.

Frame wars: Set the frame, win the war

Why the Right Wingers are winning. They choose words like "Clean Air Act" when they mean they want to pollute more; they say "Pro Life" when they mean they don't want a woman to have an abortion no matter the circumstance but it's okay for George Bush to kill a record number of prisoners in Texas; they say "Defense of Marriage Act" when they mean they want a Constitutional Amendment to allow discrimination against gays. We can do so much better. We must.

Michael Erard writes, "The conventional view of politics says that people are swayed by words, images, or facts. But that’s false, according to Frank Luntz and George Lakoff, two of the most successful practitioners of political reality construction. They believe that increasingly political forces will clash less over reality than over how it’s shaped."

P.S. If you want to see how "smart" George Bush's base is, read the comments of a couple wingnuts here. They are angry, angry, people. Did I say angry?

Another thought about mandates

Our friends at Corrente take a clear and critical look at what George Bush means by using the word mandate. The part that gave me chills was the categorization Lambert did: The People vs. Not People at All.

George Bush is going on a Man Date

George Bush is going on a gay outreach program. Georgie's going to be a barebacking cowboy from what I hear. After all, he said he has a Man Date.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Kerry won

Kerry Won...
Greg Palast
November 04, 2004

Bush won Ohio by 136,483 votes. In the United States, about 3 percent of votes cast are voided—known as “spoilage” in election jargon—because the ballots cast are inconclusive. Drawing on what happened in Florida and studies of elections past, Palast argues that if Ohio’s discarded ballots were counted, Kerry would have won the state. Today, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports there are a total of 247,672 votes not counted in Ohio, if you add the 92,672 discarded votes plus the 155,000 provisional ballots. So far there's no indication that Palast's hypothesis will be tested because only the provisional ballots are being counted.

Bush: I earned political capital in this election, and now I'm gonna spend it

Oh brother. I guess that cooperation and compassionate conservatism are gone. George Bush is going to spend his political capital. He says, "It's my style." We are in trouble, friends. We need to work harder than ever.

The county-by-county vote is very red in America

(via USA Today) I'm feeling blue because there is so much red out there. We need to start a civil dialog to convert the "converted."

The Faces of Death

Know this guy? Look closely. His portrait is made up of the faces of dead American soldiers from the Iraq war. This portait will grow.

If you want to create your own photo mosaic, here's the program.

Stand and Fight

Excerpted from The Nation (via Kos):
Progressives, who were on the defensive two years ago, added millions of new voters as well, and tapped a new energy and activism that will last far beyond November 2nd. The extremism and incompetence of this rightwing cabal has sharpened our focus to a razor's edge. But for me, one of the fundamental questions about this campaign has been whether you could defeat a terrible but clear incumbent without a substantive policy alternative, and this time at least we couldn't. Kerry offered intelligence, a return to fiscal discipline, a bulwark against a rightwing court, and a health plan that few understood. He failed to use the moral message of "Two Americas" to erode Bush's edge. He mounted a late challenge to Bush's disastrous war in Iraq-- but he also talked about "staying the course." That wasn't enough of a coherent positive, populist or moral message to complement the impressive mechanics. We've got to build a politics of conviction, of passion and substance. It's there but it needs to be built and fought for. And the lesser lessons, if that's the big one, are:

1) People really are confused and manipulated (we have a mainstream media that continues to focus on irrelevant stories--Swift Boat, Rathergate and all the rest--abrogating its responsibility to focus on what's important and significant; and too much of it keeps giving head instead of keeping its head.) This makes an expansion of the progressive media echo chamber all the more important; And,

2) Neoliberalism is broken beyond repair and people need to be offered a real alternative not just despair at this point. This is truly a non-violent Civil War between those who think government is basically screwed up and that they're on their own, and those who believe....what exactly? We've got to be much clearer on the latter.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

We will be fooled again

58,538,229 Americans voted for this guy. 54,995,942 didn't. He thinks he's the king of the world.

Kerry concedes

They're confirming that John Kerry called George Bush seven minutes ago and conceded the election. He's speaking at 1 PM at Faneuil Hall. Oh, Canada.

Pennsylvania election returns

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania - Election Night Returns

The Republicans are trying their pressure techniques this morning

Rudi G was on Good Morning America saying "It's time for John Kerry to show some statesmanship." He means Kerry should concede. It's still not over. CNN is showing it at 254 Bush-252 Kerry. Hmmm.

Lest we forget why we need John Kerry

This woman is holding a picture of her son, a Marine who is stationed in Iraq. On the back she had written "Vote for John Kerry because he will bring my son home from Iraq."


Here's the note of the morning from my buddy, B:
It's lookin' bad for the home team, man....of course, they're not all
in YET, but it's lookin' bad. Bush may win this damn thing....

I'm movin' to Holland!!
They're saying "too close to call" this morning after going to bed last night with networks having called for Bush. So, it's time to find that lucky rabbit's foot.

Philadelphia's John Kerry Victory(?) Party

iFlipFlop stayed at the Warwick hotel into the wee hours where prominent Pennsylvania Democrats gathered to watch the returns. It's not over until it's over!

Sarah is still optimistic, even at 2am. Pennsylvania came through big-time for Kerry.

Festive Conservation voters dance as the results come in.

Totally decked-out in creative Kerry gear.

The crowd cheers as Pennsylvania is called for Kerry.

Governor Ed Rendell thanks Philadelphians for delivering the state.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Anecdotes from Michigan...

For the first time ever, my mom (a dedicated Republican) voted for a Democratic presidential candidate. She lives in a staunchly Republican area where Democrats are rare and almost underground. But, she's been proudly wearing a Republicans for Kerry button, trying to convert her friends and acquaintances, and getting a warm response. She just recounted a story to me about a group of her friends. They went around the room and admitted one by one that they had voted for Kerry (for some others it was also their first time ever voting democratic). Change is in the air. Increasingly, it seems like Kerry just might run away with this. I'm ever hopeful.

Philadelphia is alive with the sound (and sights) of a Kerry victory

Women campaigning on Rittenhouse Square.

Love these signs. Also on the corner of 18th and Walnut.

People gathered and hung out in front of the Walnut Street get out the vote headquarters... sensing something big is happening and wanting to be part of it.

I've never seen this city so energized. There are literally John Kerry signs on every lightpost. And people carrying signs and talking to each other. I was out for several hours and I only saw one lonely Bush supporter. I almost felt sorry for him. Change is on the way.

Kerry wins in heavily-Republican TEMS vote

My son, Stephen (11), just came home and told me the results of the students' election at TE Middle School in overwhelmingly-Republican suburban Philly:
  • Kerry: 400 votes
  • Bush: 390 votes
  • Nader: 15 votes
This is one of those "wow" moments because we are Republican fortified in this area. It makes me think that there are a lot of "stealth moms" out there who are voting for their family's future. Huge turnouts, and it's breaking toward Kerry.

Another shoutout: My son, Matt (13), is a master Diablo player. During one of his online games he persuaded an 18-year-old player to vote for John Kerry based on issues important to him.

And finally, some 3PM reporting from Charlie at Philly's 8th Ward:
  • 3rd Ward: 587 voted already in 2004 versus a 2000 total of 650
  • 4th Ward: 520 voted already in 2004 versus a 2000 total of 555

Huge turnout in Center City Philadelphia

Got a phone-in report from Charlie. There's a huge turnout in the 8th Ward in Philly, with already 90% of the 2000 totals having voted by 1PM. Here are the big numbers:
  • 3rd Division: 506 voted already in 2004 versus a 2000 total of 650
  • 4th Division: 445 voted already in 2004 versus a 2000 total of 555
And it's only 1 o'clock, friends. GOTV is working.

Scenes from the Philly suburbs: Beaumont School

I have been on poll greeter duty in Berwyn. Just before I left for a small break, they had counted 851 voters so far - almost 90% of the tunrnout from last year. And there's seven hours left to go. Here are pictures from the suburban front.

Here's our table setup at Beaumont School. You can see our MoveOn.org friends are there too. We feel confident, even though we're in the heart of the Republican suburbs.

Oh, the sad Republicans. No one is at their table.

More inspirational pix

More moving pix from dragonballyee.

I was voter 762 in my precinct

I arrived at 6:30 a.m. to do my first shift as a "Democratic greeter." There were already 100 people in line. I live in a heavily Republican area, but was encouraged about the turnout either way. In my precinct in Berwyn, PA, there was a 47% turnout in the last presidential election (799 out of about 1,700 people). Already today at 9:30 a.m. I was voter 762. They are expecting a 70%-plus turnout for now 2,000 people (1,400 or so to vote). While I wish the Republicans would stay home, this tells me something about turnout. And from what iFlipFlop correspondents Sarah and Charlie show about Philly turnout, this is going to be big. Big.

Election Day Sights, 7:30am

18th and Spruce Streets, 30 minutes after the polls opened.
This is where the 8th Ward, 3rd and 4th Divisions vote.
Out the door, down the block and around the corner! (The 8th ward is something like 78% registered Democrat.)

Voting guide - I'm voting for freedom

There are so may issues where W is wrong for America, wrong for women, wrong for children, and wrong for our future. The issues I care most about are all about freedom, the very principle our country was founded on. Any one of these things alone would be enough for me to choose Kerry. Together, it's overwhelming.

1. Freedom and Iraq- we attacked a sovereign nation that did not have WMD nor were they antagonizing us or our allies. We have lost respect in the world and created terrorists and a new training ground for more terrorists. We did not go to war as a last resort. Kerry is committed to assembling an international coalition to end the conflict and focus on reconstruction. My kids asked me why we are picking on the Iraqis - I couldn't answer. Let's set the Iraqis and our troops free.

2. Freedom and civil rights - The Patriot Act is the most frightening threat to our freedom that we have faced in my lifetime. Nice name for an act that dismantles the First and Fourth Ammendments to our Constitution. George Bush is for it. John Kerry is against it.

3. Freedom and equal rights - It was not so long ago that interracial marriage was prohibited. Now, we can't imagine that. It's time to grant the same rights to same-sex couples as we do to all other couples. It's not up to the government to define what a family is. Neither candidate goes far enough on this issue. But Kerry does not support the wildly-discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.

4. Freedom and choice - 79% of Americans believe abortion should be legal or legal under certain circumstances. That's an overwhelming majority. Only 18% of VERY VOCAL Americans believe it should be illegal in all circumstances. There are four Supreme Court Justices that may be replaced during the next four years. This is one of the primary factors (if not the primary factor) that is used for selecting appointees. Roe v. Wade is in danger. Kerry will not appoint anti-choice Justices. And, as a bonus for women, John Kerry also promises to increase funding for breast cancer research and require insurance plans to cover birth control.

There are so many more issues - but these are the ones that matter most to me. Please share your opinions about the issues that are driving your decision today.

Top 10 reasons why women will vote for John Kerry and John Edwards

Courtesy of the DNC, here are the top 10 reasons why women will vote for Kerry-Edwards.
10. Ensure equal pay
9. Keep families safer
8. Fully fund No Child Left Behind
7. Support high-quality early education
6. Ensure access top affordable health care
5. Fight for cleaner, safer environment
4. Fight back against violence against women
3. Strengthen and expand the Family Medical Leave Act
2. Advocate for working Americans
1. Trust women to make decisions about reproductive health

The energy in center city Philadelphia is palpable

There is a chill in the air. That chill that means change. A group of cyclists dressed in election garb are riding through the streets cheering on voters and chanting that this is democracy in action.

I was in line to vote this morning when the polls opened. The human snake was already well around the corner (longer than I'd ever seen it). The mood has changed somewhat. I sensed less polarization this morning - and more camaraderie. I chatted with a republican in line and we agreed on something... that it was inspiring to see everyone out making themselves heard. I think he may secretly be supporting Kerry (but maybe that's just wishful thinking).

So far, things are moving quite smoothly - and voting took about an hour start to finish. A small commitment to participate.

We'll be out covering election happenings and I'll post some city pictures as soon as I can.

Weather forecast: The sun will shine on John Kerry

The weather map for Nov. 2, 2004. The electoral map will have 300+ votes for John Kerry by tonight.

BushSpeaks: The Remix

Okay, for a good laugh this morning, check out BushHatesAmerica and click on Bushspeak: Yeah! The remix in the right nav bar.

(Thx dem)

GOTV: Your polling place

Get out the vote. Here's the location of your polling place. Just enter your zip code and, voila!

Vote for John Kerry

Change is coming. Today's the day.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Quaker candlelight vigil in Rittenhouse this evening

We joined the vigil, which had candlelight holders stretched around a large part of Rittenhouse Square on the corner of Walnut and 18th.

George Bush and the neocons skipped this passage in the Bible. And they're such strict literalists.

More great pictures of Kerry supporters in Philly

Look at these friends. (via dragonballyee)

More honking for Kerry

Friends, you can feel it in the air here in Philly. This city is louder than New York today with all the drivers honking their horns...for John Kerry.

Sebastian said he came up from Houston, Texas to help in Philly. "I sent in my absentee ballot and got out of Texas," he said. I also met people who came to help from Connecticut and from Washington D.C. There's electricity in the air here.

A crowd of Kerry supporters...in front of The Union League in Philly. The Union League has portraits of all the Republican presidents in a "hall of fame." No Dems. Guess their wall will be bare for at least the next four years.

Honk for Kerry: Scenes from Philly

Hundreds of cars were honking their horns in support of these Kerry enthusiasts who were standing on the center divider of Broad Street in Philly. The big sign says, "PA is Kerry Country."

The energy is there. Honk for Kerry.

This group was at the corner of JFK and 15th, right across from City Hall. I couldn't figure out what all the honking was when I exited the SEPTA station. When I realized why, I got a chill. Kerry's so gonna win.

Dick Cheney gets more than a lei, he gets a ken lei

The President-in-Hiding does the hula in Hawai'i

A thought for a quiet moment in the voting booth tomorrow

It was Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, who said that "America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment."

That's as good a thought as any to carry with you into the voting booth tomorrow.
(via Bob Herbert in Days of Shame)

The difference between patriotism and nationalism

The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does. - U.S. journalist Sydney J. Harris

Suppress votes at your own peril, says Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA)

Congressman Chaka Fattah won't tolerate voter suppression. There have been documented cases already, now the Congressman says, "Poll watchers serve in an official capacity and their duty isn't just to the political party or candidate who nominated them. Quietly and lawfully monitoring voting is one thing, but aggressively suppressing and intimidating voters is quite another."

Congressman Fattah unveiled a plan today in response to anticipated efforts by GOP poll challengers to lodge systematic challenges against large numbers of African-American and Latino voters on Election Day.

"Aggressive poll challengers need to ask themselves a simple question - is one day of trampling on voters' rights worth risking my financial security, because that's what it could ultimately cost."

In Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio, the voter lawsuits will be filed in federal court, seeking damages for civil rights violations against aggressive poll challengers who interfere with voters on Election Day. Defendants will be held individually liable.

Change your answering machine to say Vote for Kerry

Election suggestion - Change your answering machine message to say Vote for Kerry/Edwards and all our Democratic candidates and help put America back on track. Spread the word! (via Lani)

Republican Chickenhawks: The List

Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. - Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.

Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72.
Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.
Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.
Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-'47; Medal of Honor, WWII.
Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam.
John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V Purple Hearts.
John Edwards: did not serve.
Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.
Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star &Bronze Star, Vietnam.
Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-1953.
Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.
Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91.
Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII, receiving the Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons.
Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76; Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Stars, and Soldier's Medal.
Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart, Silver Star and Legion of Merit.
Mike Thompson: Staff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.
Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Governor. Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Star with Combat V.
Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star.
Pete Stark: Air Force 1955-57
Chuck Robb: Vietnam
Howell Heflin: Silver Star
George McGovern: Silver Star &DFC during WWII.
Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments. Entered draft but received 311.
Jimmy Carter: Seven years in the Navy.
Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953
John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCs and Air Medal with 18 Clusters.
Tom Lantos: Served in Hungarian underground in WWII. Saved by Raoul Wallenberg.
Wesley Clark: U.S. Army, 1966-2000, West Point, Vietnam, Purple Heart, Silver Star. Retired 4-star general.
John Dingell: WWII vet
John Conyers: Army 1950-57, Korea

Dennis Hastert: did not serve.
Tom Delay: did not serve.
House Whip Roy Blunt: did not serve.
Bill Frist: did not serve.
Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
George Pataki: did not serve.
Mitch McConnell: did not serve.
Rick Santorum: did not serve.
Trent Lott: did not serve.
Dick Cheney: did not serve. Several deferments, the last by marriage.
John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business.
Jeb Bush: did not serve.
Karl Rove: did not serve.
Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. "Bad knee." The man who attacked Max Cleland's patriotism.
Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
Vin Weber: did not serve.
Richard Perle: did not serve.
Douglas Feith: did not serve.
Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
Richard Shelby: did not serve.
Jon Kyl: did not serve.
Tim Hutchison: did not serve.
Christopher Cox: did not serve.
Newt Gingrich: did not serve.
Don Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as aviator and flight instructor.
George W. Bush: six-year National Guard commitment (incomplete).
Ronald Reagan: due to poor eyesight, served in a non-combat role making movies.
Gerald Ford: Navy, WWII
Phil Gramm: did not serve.
John McCain: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart a Distinguished Flying Cross.
Bob Dole: an honorable veteran.
Chuck Hagel: two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, Vietnam.
Jeff Sessions: Army Reserves, 1973-1986
JC Watts: did not serve.
Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer.
G.H.W. Bush: Pilot in WWII. Shot down by the Japanese.
Tom Ridge: Bronze Star for Valor in Vietnam.
Antonin Scalia: did not serve.
Clarence Thomas: did not serve

Pundits and Preachers
Sean Hannity: did not serve.
Rush Limbaugh: did not serve
Bill O'Reilly: did not serve.
Michael Savage: did not serve.
George Will: did not serve.
Chris Matthews: did not serve.
Paul Gigot: did not serve.
Bill Bennett: did not serve.
Pat Buchanan: did not serve.
Bill Kristol: did not serve.
Kenneth Starr: did not serve.
Michael Medved: did not serve

(via Bill)