Sunday, October 31, 2004
Wisconsin Republicans are trying to keep thousands of Milwaukee Democrats from voting. The GOP claims that the city has 37,000 "bad" addresses among registered voters and are demanding that voters have I.D. in order to vote.
According to the Republicans, a missing apartment number indicates fraud. Half of my mail is missing my apartment number. I would hate to think that I would lose my right to vote because of that omission.
It is all bogus of course. The Republicans have to cheat in order to win. As in Florida in 2000 their cheating M.O. means keeping Democrats from voting.
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Are you feeling guilty because you aren't canvassing door to door in a swing state? Get rid of that guilt and get busy!
Go to www.votercall.org. You can register to call some of the newly registered voters in swing states, all at your leisure. Well, don't get too leisurely. You have to act before Tuesday.
Friday, October 29, 2004
Thanks for nothing founding fathers. The electoral college disenfranchises millions of Americans. Because it is winner take all, your vote doesn't count if you vote for the person who loses your state. Candidates are discouraged from even showing their faces in states that are not in play.
The effect on black voters is truly awful. Black Commentator has the story. Speaking of Black Commentator, I had to hand wring one last time before election day. I vent my spleen here.
I hope we can all laugh on Wednesday morning.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
"It's going to get worse, too: mark my words, when Democrats, civil rights attorneys, and voters themselves get visibly angry about this gambit, the GOPers will start whining about "potential violence" at the polls, and even pretend their goons are being intimidated and harassed. If nothing else, it will give them an excuse to go to court to contest Ohio's outcome if the state goes for Kerry.
Now I have no direct evidence that Karl Rove has planned and is executing this voter suppression strategy, though it's interesting that every Republican hack and pundit in the universe started singing like a cicada about "voter fraud" about a week before the Ohio story got into the national news. But it sure as hell fits Rove's M.O. like a glove. "
The more I read about Election Day, the more convinced I am that Ohio will be the main target of GOP chicanery. Polls show Kerry winning and that means the Republicans will have to cheat in order to win. They have already tipped their hand. They are complaining about voter fraud and Democratic voter intimidation. A Kerry victory in that state will be challenged in court.
I hope the reports of a Democratic legal swat team are accurate.
Four years ago polls showed Al Gore losing to George W. Bush. OK, he lost, but he won more votes than Bush did. Polls over estimate Republican strength and under estimate Democratic strength. Read about it all here.
Bush will have to do a lot of cheating between now and Tuesday in order to win. I don't see Kerry losing any of Al Gore's states, and I think he will pick up a few more. Even if the GOP succeeds in hijacking Florida again, it won't be enough. Not that they haven't tried. Palm Beach County, land of the butterfly ballot, has somehow neglected to put any early voting polling places in black neighborhoods. What a coincidence.
The GOP poll watcher intimidation planned for Ohio must be the result of some very bad polling numbers. Karl Rove knows better than the rest of us that it doesn't look good there.
If Kerry loses it will be because of cheating, lawsuits, and ultimately the Supreme Court.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
If you live in the western hemisphere, or western Africa or Europe, you have the chance to see a total lunar eclipse this evening. Fortunately, I am not in New York City. I am upstate and the lack of light pollution makes the eclipse a sight to behold.
The moon is now completely covered by the shadow of the earth and it is a purplish, brown color. It is a great distraction from nail biting time.
They have to cheat in order to win. If the Republican skewed polls show a dead heat that means only one thing. Kerry is ahead of Bush.
Ohio is going to be the new Florida. This week a judge ruled that provisional ballots must be cast in the correct precinct. If you vote at the wrong precinct your ballot won't be counted. Even worse, Republicans in that state have registered twice as many poll watchers as the Democrats have. These poll watchers will be able to challenge anyone's eligibility to vote.
Two weeks ago Black Commentator predicted that this crisis would take place. The DNC decided that the priority should be on legal challenges instead of on the ground foot soldiers. The result is that Kerry voters will be harassed and intimidated at the polls.
Actually, Florida is still Florida. Over 10,000 people who thought they are registered are not. They neglected to check a box stating that they are U.S. citizens. Of course, the form also requires a signature swearing citizenship. A judge ruled that signing the form is not enough. If the box isn't checked, no vote can be cast.
Greg Palast and the BBC once again run rings around their American colleagues. In Jacksonville Florida the GOP has a list of 1,800 people who they say are ineligible to vote. They are also filming people at early balloting locations in black neighborhoods.
Help get out the vote. If you live in a swing state or can get to one easily check out this site to find out how to help.
Friday, October 22, 2004
Over 200 theologians and ethicists have signed this new confession of Christ. You can see the full text in Sojourners.
1. Jesus Christ, as attested in Holy Scripture, knows no national boundaries.
2. Christ commits Christians to a strong presumption against war.
3. Christ commands us to see not only the splinter in our adversary's eye, but also the beam in our own.
4. Christ shows us that enemy-love is the heart of the gospel.
5. Christ teaches us that humility is the virtue befitting forgiven sinners.
Christians must speak to these principles more adamantly than ever before. Our religion has been hijacked by extremists.
I get it. I really do get it. Kerry and others believe that Gore lost votes among men who like to hunt. I don't think that Kerry has any chance to get that vote, even if he dresses up like Elmer Fudd.
There are too many scary aspects to this story. First, we have Pat Robertson, who predicted that God personally assured him of a Bush victory. God doesn't make political predictions and anyone who claims otherwise is practicing the 8th "identifying characteristic" of fascism, intertwining religion and politics (see yesterday's post).
Now Robertson's usually crazed ramblings are actually helpful. It seems that Robertson has said on more than one occassion that he had misgivings about the occupation of Iraq. He says he expressed those misgivings to Bush, but Bush assured him that "there would be no casualties."
The White House denies that Bush made such a statement but it does ring true. He wanted to invade so that means there wouldn't be any problems. In my October 17th post I quoted from Ron Susskind's NY Times article, "Without a Doubt," which scares even the already frightened with quotes such as this from an unnamed administration official.
''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
When Bush said there would be no casualties he was creating his own reality.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
I discovered a great site, Old American Century. In Wake Up and Smell the Fascism it gives us 14 characteristics common to fascist regimes. Check it out.
Over 500 Palestinian children have been killed by the Israeli army. These chilling words come from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
"Palestinian human rights groups speak of even higher numbers: 598 Palestinian children killed (up to age 17), according to the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, and 828 killed (up to age 18) according to the Red Crescent. Take note of the ages, too. According to B'Tselem, whose data are updated until about a month ago, 42 of the children who have been killed were 10; 20 were seven; and eight were two years old when they died. The youngest victims are 13 newborn infants who died at checkpoints during birth."
"The public indifference that accompanies this pageant of unrelieved suffering makes all Israelis accomplices to a crime. Even parents, who understand what anxiety for a child's fate means, turn away and don't want to hear about the anxiety harbored by the parent on the other side of the fence. Who would have believed that Israeli soldiers would kill hundreds of children and that the majority of Israelis would remain silent? Even the Palestinian children have become part of the dehumanization campaign: killing hundreds of them is no longer a big deal."
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
John Stewart, host of Comedy Central's Daily Show, had quite a dust up with Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson last week. He told the Crossfire hosts that they were hurting America and he called Carlson the nickname for Richard. Viva Stewart!
You can watch it all here. Because we have very few decent journalists left we must depend on stand up comics to do their job. Begala certainly doesn't do his. Twice in the interview the alleged Democrat leaps to Bush's defense. Only wimpy, sniveling Democrats are allowed on these shows.
Florida Republicans are attempting to steal another election. Floridians were able to vote beginning yesterday and the fraud has already begun.
Salon gives examples of new tricks. Voters are receiving mysterious calls informing them that they can phote by phone or that their absentee ballots will be collected in person. The boards of elections in Florida's counties have made no such calls.
Monday, October 18, 2004
As I said on October 15th, Bush can only win by cheating, and the cheating has begun. Kerry's name is missing from absentee ballots in Hamilton County, Ohio. A judge in Las Vegas has denied voter requests to re-register after their original registrations were destroyed by Republican operatives. In Michigan, voters are getting mysterious phone calls alleging, incorrectly, that the deadline for requesting absentee ballots has passed, and Theresa LePore is at it again. Salon reports that a Colorado judge has ruled that voters must provide ID, and Florida will not count provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct.
Perhaps there will be more than one October surprise. One is coming from Sinclair broadcasting. Sinclair stations will broadcast Stolen Honor, an anti-Kerry screed that masquerades as a documentary.
What should you do? You should boycott advertisers. Of course a boycott is worthless unless the advertisers in question know that they are a target.
Check out Stolen Air Time. The aptly named site, Boycott Sinclair Advertisers, gives clear instructions for contacting advertisers. Everyone get busy.
Sunday, October 17, 2004
I was afraid of George W. Bush before I read the New York Times this morning. After reading an article in the Times magazine entitled, "Without a Doubt" my fear hit Richter scale levels (registration is required but it is free). This exchange took place in December 2002 when Democratic Congressman Tom Lantos suggested that Sweden was a good choice to provide peace keepers between the Israelis and Palestinians.
''I don't know why you're talking about Sweden,'' Bush said. ''They're the neutral one. They don't have an army.''
Lantos paused, a little shocked, and offered a gentlemanly reply: ''Mr. President, you may have thought that I said Switzerland. They're the ones that are historically neutral, without an army.'' Then Lantos mentioned, in a gracious aside, that the Swiss do have a tough national guard to protect the country in the event of invasion.
Bush held to his view. ''No, no, it's Sweden that has no army.''
The room went silent, until someone changed the subject.
A few weeks later, members of Congress and their spouses gathered with administration officials and other dignitaries for the White House Christmas party. The president saw Lantos and grabbed him by the shoulder. ''You were right,'' he said, with bonhomie. ''Sweden does have an army.''
The point of this story is not to say that Bush is stupid. The article doesn't say that Bush is stupid, but that he applies faith based principles to governing. If he believes that something is true, then it is true and no one should suggest otherwise.
The article doesn't really tell us anything new. I am surprised that the Times did some good reporting on Bush. Of course there will be howls of protest from the right that such a critical article was printed just two weeks before election day. They will be partly right. The Times knew this stuff from the beginning of the Bush administration and should have been giving its readers this awful news for the past four years. Their lack of reporting before the invasion of Iraq was inexcusably bad. It will go down in history as one of the worst mistakes the paper of record has ever made in its history.
I end this post with a quote from an unnamed White House aide.
''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''
Well, now Iraq makes sense. They were creating an alternate reality. I suggest that anyone else who wants to do that should take up science fiction writing, not government.
The words "civil liberties" are obscene. It is true. Three teachers in Oregon were escorted out of a Bush campaign event because they wore t-shirts with the words "Protect Our Civil Liberties." They were told the language on their shirts was obscene.
Friday, October 15, 2004
Does al-Zarqawi really behead people? Does he have one leg or just an injured leg? Does he even exist? Asia Times has the story.
I have a lot of issues with Eric Alterman, primarily because he not only discounted the importance of the peace movement, but he actually said that we shouldn't protest. He also suffers badly from white liberal syndrome. At any rate, I still read him because he makes sense often enough.
"I am going to go on record here saying forget the polls, which were wrong last time and will be wrong again this time. If Bush somehow wins, it will require an even bigger steal than four years ago. Nobody who voted for Gore is voting for Bush. The Democrats have registered millions of new voters who don’t show up in the polls. Idiots who share Ralph Nader’s belief that there is not a “dime’s worth of difference” between the two candidates are far fewer than last time around. And lots more people have cell phones and can’t be reached by pollsters. I’m not saying Bush can’t win; I’m just saying I don’t think he can win honestly."
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Even the boot licking punditry agree that Kerry won the debates. Polls show his numbers improving. That is all very good news, except for one problem.
The Bushmen are fanatics. They will not go quietly. They will attempt to cheat at the ballot box and God only knows what the October Surprise will be. I have more thoughts on the subject in Black Commentator.
By the way, after getting busted in the first debate, the president was still wearing something odd under his jacket. If they are still giving him audio assistance after already being caught, Bush must literally be incapable of thinking or speaking for himself anymore. After all, he has postponed his annual physical, which usually takes place in August, until after the election. Rumors are rampant. Was he wearing a defribrilator? Why did he want to talk to Kerry after the debate? As I pointed out in a September 26th post, at least one physician sees signs of "presenile dementia," a precursor to Alzheimers.
None of this rumor mongering would be necessary if they would just be honest. I know. Dream on.
First the good news. There have been significant increases in voter registration in swing states. Now the bad news. The Republicans know that they have to keep these new voters from getting to the voting booth.
The Democratic party is committed to fighting for the franchise, unfortunately there has been too much emphasis on after the fact lawsuits, and not enough on having poll watchers on the ground to counter GOP intimidation. Read it here in Black Commentator.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
"Make no mistake: If Kerry becomes president, no one will be safe from me," Cheney told reporters. "Businesses, places of worship, schools, public parks: No place will offer you refuge. A vote for Kerry is a vote to die in your own bed at the hands of Dick Cheney."
I love the Onion, but the problem with this particular piece of satire is that it rings a little too true.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
No need to repeat myself, I said it all in Black Commentator earlier this year.
Monday, October 11, 2004
Those words would make a great headline. Joe Citizen has suggestions for the next debate. He suggests, among other things, that Kerry call Bush a mama's boy. A presidential meltdown may be the result. It all sounds good to me.
Friday, October 08, 2004
This photo of a pregnant Israeli woman injured in a terror attack in Taba was on the front page of the New York Times today.
I don't have a problem with this photo, but I wonder why images of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces never make the front page. Perhaps this photo of a dead Palestinian child should have made the cut back in May when the citizens of Rafah were under indiscriminate attack from Israel. Balance is a good thing in journalism, isn't it?
Who would have thunk it? Fox news inadvertently revealed that Bush may have had some electronic cheating assistance during his first debate with Kerry. Both campaigns insisted that no cameras be placed behind the lecterns. Fox, yes Fox, didn't follow the rule and voila, an object can clearly be seen under the president's jacket.
A few days ago I repeated a report that Bush had an implant in his head. Well I won't listen to that conspiracy theorist again. It seems that instead of brain surgery he may have had someone whispering in his ear. Stay tuned.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
What is Kerry's plan, such as it is, for Iraq? It is Thursday and that means Black Commentator has if not all the answers, all of the pertinent questions.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, Paul Wolfowitz and all the neocons should be tried as war criminals. As we pesky anti-war protesters kept pointing out, Saddam Hussein did not have any WMDs when the U.S. and Britain made the case for war. Trade sanctions against Iraq and the threat of weapons inspections prevented him from having any weapons capability, even if he wanted it.
This announcement is made after the foreign policy presidential debate and now the president can stay in his bubble without having to think on his feet and answer questions about this news. What a coincidence.
The president and vice-president should be impeached for their actions. They lied to Congress and killed at least 12,000 Iraqis and 1,000 American soldiers in the process.
Oh, I forgot. The Republicans control both houses of congress. There will be no punishment for what they have done, unless Kerry manages to win and exposes these awful lies. Let's win first and talk about what Kerry must do with this information.
As you may recall, Bill Clinton was accused of stealing vases from the oval office when he left. I hope that democrats have the guts to reveal a true crime against humanity before Dubya goes out the door.
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Working for Change tells us why Kerry should thank those of us who marched for peace. I expressed similar sentiments in Black Commentator.
Monday, October 04, 2004
A surge in voter registration in "swing" states is a reason for optimism. The theft of the 2000 election was a wake up call for apathetic Americans, especially apathetic Democratic leaning voters. It isn't clear how many of the new registrants will actually vote, but most of them are registering as Democrats. Even if all of them fail to show up at the polls on November 2nd, they could swing, pun intended, the election to Kerry.
But Don't Forget Iraq
Increased voter participation is a good thing, for many reasons, but let us not forget who can also determine who wins on Election Day. The Iraqis play as powerful a role as any group of Americans. Bush's incredible shrinking man performance last week gave Kerry a boost, but catastrophe in Iraq could do so as well. Will Americans unhappy with Bush but happy with dreams of empire turn their backs on him? Of course Black Commentator explains it all.
Saturday, October 02, 2004
In the middle of an answer last night bush said, "now let me finish" as if someone was interrupting him- yet nobody did- he was talking to the person in his earpiece.
I'll believe anything about the Bushmen. Read it here.
Friday, October 01, 2004
Last night a friend called me 3 minutes before the debate was to begin. Among my other complaints, I grumbled about the very existence of presidential debates. They are in fact joint news conferences, not really debates, and the reality is often trumped by pro-republican spin among the talking heads.
My friend pointed out to me, that in the absence of real journalism and objectivity for democrats, they are the only opportunity for a candidate to present himself without the news media filter. How right he is. Kerry did well and Bush looked either cranky or confused. This line was Kerry's best.
"I made a mistake in how I talk about the war. But the president made a mistake in invading Iraq. Which is worse? I believe that when you know something's going wrong, you make it right."
Now we have to watch out for media bias, and Karl Rove's evil manipulations. We also have to be careful that we don't "misunderestimate" Bush. Like Kerry, he looked more relaxed as the night progressed. Maybe Rove will hypnotize him before the next debate and he will come out looking less like a deer in the head lights.
Kerry deserves credit for doing well, but I am superstititious. I won't relax unless I wake up on November 3rd and know that Kerry is president-elect.
November 3rd Movement
A Kerry victory is not a get out of jail free card. We still have lots of work to do. I don't want to see more triangulating and Dick Morris clones in a democratic White House. On November 3rd we need to organize anew. I thank Common Dreams for highlighting my thoughts on the subject.