Friday, August 20, 2004

Swift Boat Dickheads For Douchebaggery

We're off on vacation again. Where? If you must know, the Outer Banks with our soon-to-be inlaws. No blogging until Tuesday; but before we go...


Kerry press release (Excerpt):

Bush Campaign Busted Passing Out “Swift Boat Veterans for Bush” FlyerWashington, DC - Despite constant denials, the Bush-Cheney campaign today was busted coordinating with the “Swift Boat Veterans for Bush” in their smear campaign against John Kerry. The following press release was issued this afternoon by the Florida Democratic Party. The evidence is attached.

“Bush Campaign Caught Promoting "Swift Boat Vets for Truth."

While National Campaign Denies Coordination, Campaign in Florida Promotes Rally.

Tallahassee -- On the same day that the Bush-Cheney campaign repeatedly denied coordinating attacks with the anti-Kerry group "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth," the Bush-Cheney campaign in Florida was caught promoting a rally in Gainesville for the group.

A flyer being distributed at the Alachua County Republican party headquarters, which doubles as the Bush-Cheney campaign headquarters for the county, promotes a weekend rally sponsored by "Swift Boat Vets for Truth, Veterans for Bush, Alachua Bush/Cheney Committee," and others.

Once more -- Kerry in uniform.

Bush in uniform.

"Mission Accomplished!
almost at 1,000!"

Somewhere, Ann Coulter weeps.

"Talk to me Goose, talk to me..."


Thursday, August 19, 2004

Closing Time

We've heard again and again that John Kerry is a "closer." Well, it looks as if the time for closing has arrived.

These are the values you live by, day in and day out, when you kiss your families goodbye, and head to the station – knowing full well that with the sound of an alarm, you might be called into harms way. I know what that’s like. And more than thirty years ago, I learned an important lesson—when you’re under attack, the best thing to do is turn your boat into the attacker. That’s what I intend to do today.

Over the last week or so, a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has been attacking me. Of course, this group isn’t interested in the truth – and they’re not telling the truth. They didn’t even exist until I won the nomination for president.

But here’s what you really need to know about them. They’re funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor out of Texas. They’re a front for the Bush campaign. And the fact that the President won’t denounce what they’re up to tells you everything you need to know—he wants them to do his dirty work.

Thirty years ago, official Navy reports documented my service in Vietnam and awarded me the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. Thirty years ago, this was the plain truth. It still is. And I still carry the shrapnel in my leg from a wound in Vietnam.

As firefighters you risk your lives everyday. You know what it’s like to see the truth in the moment. You’re proud of what you’ve done—and so am I.

Of course, the President keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that. Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: “Bring it on.”

I’m not going to let anyone question my commitment to defending America—then, now, or ever. And I’m not going to let anyone attack the sacrifice and courage of the men who saw battle with me.


Goodbye, Freedom Of Speech...

You know we'll never see you again...

This sounds about right. From The Washington Post:

The experiment: A college professor wears a Kerry-Edwards shirt to a rally for President Bush, then a Bush for President shirt to a John Kerry rally.

Result: Bush people make the subject remove his shirt, then give him the boot. The Kerry people don't make a peep.

John Prather, a mild-mannered math prof at Ohio University's Eastern Campus, says he carried out this one-man study a couple of weeks ago, attending both rallies in one day. "It really was to satisfy my own curiosity," Prather, 38, told us. "It's been my opinion that George Bush has stifled dissent . . . I think John Kerry doesn't. In neither event was I a threat to anyone." Yet, he says, at the Bush rally, "I was tailed the whole time."

It turns out the Bush-Cheney campaign acts preemptively against what it regards as suspicious attendees. Spokesman Terry Holt told us yesterday: "Unfortunately, there have been a number of people who have sought to be disruptive, and unfortunately a small disruptive presence can ruin an event for the rest of the people who go to see the president and participate in the event."

Prather, who lives in Wheeling, W.Va., calls himself a "moderate Democrat" who voted for Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He had a ticket to an afternoon Bush rally July 31 in Cambridge, Ohio. At the first ring of security, Prather says he was told to turn his Kerry shirt inside out. He did. At the second ring, he was told to remove the shirt. He did, then donned a soccer T-shirt. "I was in for 10 or 15 minutes," he recalls, when security escorted him out. It was before the president arrived. "I was so far away I couldn't have even heckled him," Prather notes.

A few hours later, he entered the Kerry rally, in Wheeling, wearing his Bush shirt. "Nobody said anything to me. I took the Bush shirt off after it was clear no one was watching me, and put on the Kerry shirt."

The professor realizes that this limited sample does not provide a sturdy conclusion, and offers an assignment: "I would encourage other people to carry out the experiment."


Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Young Republicans In Love

Via Pandagon, this article from
The Gadflyer detailing the right's angry rebellion against college campuses, which they long ago deemed biased toward liberals. It's well worth reading, and explains how a bunch of boring rubes managed to classify themselves as counter-culture warriors.

Savvy organizers have seized on all that righteous anger and created an appealing image for today's young conservative: rebellious and oddly counter-cultural, courageously fighting the power. They've also co-opted the mocking, confrontational tone of bygone campus radicals in their tactics. So we see stunts like "affirmative-action bake sales" (in which people of different races are charged different prices for cookies) or the announcement of
"whites only" scholarships on campuses across the country.

And since conservatives are now the rebels, they sometimes run afoul of university "speech codes" and get into other trouble. When they do, groups like the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the Center for Individual Rights – both flush with right-wing foundation money – step in with pro-bono legal help and sue on behalf of the aggrieved students. Usually, the suits get thrown out of court or the university immediately settles. But the cases become further "evidence" of the tyranny of the Left and are thus eaten up by the conservative media.

"Welcome to our bake sale.
We have vanilla, vanilla...
And vanilla."


Moqtada Mania

While any development that halts the violence in Najaf is positive, this truce -- should it hold -- marks the second time that an upsurge in violence caused by al-Sadr loyalists has resulted in gains for the rebel cleric.

The first came last June, after al-Sadr stirred the Iraqi insurgency onto what became the bloodiest two-month period for US forces in the history of the invasion. Then, in agreement for calling an end to the violence plaguing Najaf, al-Sadr received President Bush's blessing to seek political power in the new Iraqi government.

With the formal end of the US-led occupation two weeks away, Mr Sadr issued a statement from his base in Najaf calling on his Mehdi Army militiamen to go home.

"Each of the individuals of the Mehdi Army, the loyalists who made sacrifices ... should return to their governorates to do their duty," he said.

The statement came a day after the US president, George Bush, said America would not oppose a political role for Mr Sadr, whom it had branded an anti-democratic thug only weeks earlier.

Now, come August, al-Sadr is apparently unhappy with the US occupation again, and once more is urging supporters to wreak havoc at the expense of Iraqi and US forces alike.

An Iraqi "peace" delegation met with al-Sadr on Wednesday, and as a result, a muddled truce may or may not have been reached.

A spokesman for rebel leader Moqtada Sadr expressed surprise on Wednesday at threats of an imminent attack on his militia by Iraqi forces, saying the Shiite cleric had agreed to demands made by peace mediators.

We are surprised by the declaration and threat by the minister of defense ... because we have given our full accord to the initiative presented by the delegation, Ahmed Shibani said on Al Jazeera television.

Defence Minister Hazem al-Shaalan vowed that a decisive battle would be launched against Sadr militiamen, who he said must surrender within hours in the central holy city of Najaf, where heavy fighting raged earlier Wednesday.

Shibani said: The delegation came with three demands, including that the Mehdi Army hands (the security of) the old city to the suitable party...and that the Sadr movement participates in the political process.

He added that the Sadr movement was ready to take part in the political process if it is honest.

We discussed these points and 10 other points that had been discussed with (National Security Advisor) Muaffaq al-Rubaie, and our efforts were successful. The delegation went back satisfied, he said.

But the government of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi was blocking any peaceful resolution of the crisis, he said.

We are ready to meet the delegation anytime...we pledge to (organise) a meeting between Moqtada Sadr and the delegation on the condition of putting an end to the bombardment of the old city of Najaf and the end of the siege, he said.

The fierce fighting has threatened a peace initiative spearheaded by emissaries from Iraq's key national conference, who traveled to the shrine late Tuesday, only to be snubbed by Sadr who said aggression by the Americans had made it unsafe for him to appear.

Rajaa Habib al-Khuzai, a former member of Iraq's former Governing Council, one of those who went to Najaf, said the head of the mission, Sheikh Hussein al-Sadr, would meet Allawi to ask for a ceasefire for a subsequent trip.

Khuzai also told Al Jazeera: All what Shibani said was true. The mediation did not fail. On the contrary, it was a success. The meeting was positive.

She also denounced the threats by the defense minister of an imminent offensive, saying: It is regrettable because there was an agreement this morning.


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Wheatless Communion Wafer = Mark Of The Beast


BRIELLE, N.J. -- An 8-year-old girl who has a rare digestive disorder and cannot consume wheat has had her first Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained none.

Now, Haley Waldman's mother is pushing the Diocese of Trenton and the Vatican to make an exception, saying the sacrament should be changed to accommodate the girl's condition.

Roman Catholic doctrine holds that communion wafers must have at least some unleavened wheat, as did the bread served at the Last Supper of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion.

In May, the girl received her first Holy Communion from a priest who offered her a wheat-free host. But last month, the diocese told the priest that Waldman's sacrament would not be validated by the church because of the substitute wafer.

Incidentally, Bishop Smith -- a head of the Trenton Diocese -- is the same man who "blasted" pro-choice Catholic politicians last spring.

Do you know a pro-choice Catholic politician who probably takes wheatless communion?

We do, and his name be Kerry.

"Feed Me Your Babies...
Your Wheatless Communion

*Link courtesy of the The General via Atrios.



New info on Batman Begins, from DarkHorizons.com:

The sequences that they have been shooting in London have been mostly Arkham Asylum scenes for which they are using the awesomely creepy and immense Kings Cross St Pancras Hospital in London. It's a gothic structure and personally if I was ill and was taken there I'd be pretty sure I wouldn't be getting out alive - seriously creepy.

From a guidebook: 'Note the series of dragons - eagle clawed, crocodile tailed, beaked, in pairs, with each pair different. Also small hanging-down bat-like gargoyles.' - so not much set docoration needed there then! The guidebook doesn't mention that it is also one of the seediest and dangerous parts of London, and is teeming with hookers and drug addicts - lets just say that it has the right atmosphere!



Monday, August 16, 2004

Watching The Watchmen

We noted the front page evaluation of the Washington Post's pre-war coverage, by Howard Kurtz, on Wednesday.

Take a look at the reader response from Saturday's edition; the word unfavorable comes to mind. Here's a sample.

So the stories skeptical of weapons of mass destruction were "incremental, difficult-to-read stories." Howard Kurtz's report on The Post's prewar coverage repeatedly cited the difficulty of editing such stories.

Who said editing a newspaper was supposed to be easy? Newspapers fill an essential role in our system. The Post's uncritical coverage failed the nation, and the excuse proffered by some of its top editors is that it was (self-) victimized by "groupthink" and that it would have been "difficult" to swim against the stream?

What do they pay you guys for anyway?


I believe these days employees of the Post are specifically paid not to swim against the stream.


InstaDouchebag Part IIII - Douchebags On Ice

Anybody remember this from back in May?

ANOTHER BAD DAY for the increasingly irrelevant Sadr.


While the pundits blather, the Army seems to be doing a pretty good job of isolating him and wearing him down.

Once again, the professor has proven to be the most prescient opinion-monger on the web; while others blather, he produces salient commentary. That the man chooses to walk among mere mortals -- rather than ascending Mount Olympus to take his rightful seat alongside mighty Zeus -- is simply another indicator of his benign greatness.

Oh wait.

NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - With his militants and human shields holed up inside one of Shi'ite Islam's most sacred shrines, radical Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is playing a shrewd waiting game before an expected American-led offensive.

Sadr's militiamen were inside the Imam Ali shrine and positioned along alleyways and on rooftops with a seemingly endless supply of AK-47 rifles and rocket-propelled grenades intermittently fired at U.S. troops in a nearby cemetery.

But it was about 2,000 impassioned Iraqi civilian "volunteers" cheering Sadr in the marble-floored courtyard of the mosque who made the biggest show of force Monday.

Traveling to Najaf from across Iraq, they are swelling the ranks of Sadr's supporters and could be another reason why U.S. troops may think twice before storming the shrine.


The volunteers said they had no serious military training. But they seem ready to pick up an AK-47 rifle or use any means to try to block an advance by U.S. tanks positioned in neighborhoods near the shrine.

"I will lie on the ground in front of the tanks, or I will kill the Americans to defend Sadr and Najaf," said Fadil Hamed, 30, standing among a group of men who said they walked to Najaf from the southern city of Basra.


As gunfire crackled around the shrine, two large water delivery trucks suggested Sadr and his followers were digging in for the long haul.

Teenage boys with grenades strapped to their backs take cover in small alleyways beside shuttered shops.

The consequences of a raid by Iraqi security forces or Americans that seriously damages the mosque or harms Sadr are clear in the tense streets of Najaf.

"The Americans are applying military pressure on us to try and make us weak so they can get concessions. It will not happen. We are ready to fight and we are very patient," said Shaibani.