Saturday, November 13, 2004

Now That You've Voted For Me...

While last month's casualty total dropped to
a "meager" 63 sacrificed American soldiers, down from 80 in September, as the result mainly of a cease in operations -- God forbid the news be forced to cover the President's massive blunder right before *audible gasp* the election -- this month seems to be right on track with the trend of escalating casualties that we've seen ever since the transfer of power in June. For 56 families already, there won't be a lot to be thankful for this month.

But on the bright side, Fallujah will be safe and secure for a
fake-turkey photo-shoot if it strikes the Prez's fancy.


Friday, November 12, 2004

Stop Trying To Be Jesus

Until last week, I was of the opinion that if gays and lesbians could at least be granted the same rights as heterosexual married couples, it didn't matter what their union was called. No longer.

It is time for Democrats to take a firm, all-or-nothing stance on the gay-marriage issue, and that means dropping the "civil unions" language from the argument and stating in firm tones that two men or women must be allowed to, in the eyes of the government, be married. This does not mean forcing churches to marry homosexuals; far from it. It means, however, that
according to The Supreme Court of The United States, separate but equal is not the same as equal; therefore, a homosexual couple wed by a justice should not only be afforded the exact same rights as a heterosexual couple, they should also be "married." Otherwise, I believe this will begin with "civil unions" and end with insurance companies and lawyers finding ways around paying in full on various policies and wills because the gay couple in question is not actually "married."

Additionally, the notion that this union must be called anything but "marriage" as to not offend the sensibilities of religious Americans is, in and of itself, offensive. Even assuming that, in the eyes of these folks, gays are evil, there is no excuse for voting to treat them like second class citizens in the name of Jesus. In
Matthew 5, Christ says:

"But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."

This translates roughly to, "be as accommodating as possible while you are on Earth, even to people you feel are doing wrong, and I'll straighten things out in the afterlife. Don't try to do my fucking job for me."


Thursday, November 11, 2004


Click on this link to watch a great interview with Batman Begins scribe David Goyer, done by the fine folks at Now Playing.


Gonzo For Gonzo

I suppose I'm inclined to agree with Matthew Yglesias here concerning whether or not the Democrats should attempt to block Alberto "Geneva Is Irrelevant" Gonzales from becoming Attorney General. Even if they were somehow able to pull it off, the Dems would pay a big price and Bush's next nomination would be likely just as bad if not worse. The best thing to do is get it on record that Gonzales did indeed write the memo undermining Geneva, which some experts believe led to the Abu Ghraib debacle.

Blocking him from becoming Attorney-General, even if possible, would do almost no good. And there would be a political price to be paid. The thing for Democrats to do is to raise all the objections to him (practically speaking, Senator Salazar probably ought to take the lead here), note how unfortunate it is that the president has so little respect for the rule of law or for the safety of our troops, vote "no," and let him get confirmed.

Democrats need to closely horde their (very limited) capacity to actually prevent things from happening. Like a parliamentary minority, their main role is simply to raise objections and frame an alternative vision. They're not partners in the running of the government, not legislators in the traditional American sense. They're an opposition, that needs to be clear about what it stands for, clear about what it thinks needs to be done, and basically willing to let the party of government govern until they get a chance to contest the government's visions with their own on an election day.

But, just when you think you've got it all figured out, Mr. Oliver Willis.

I think that Matt Yglesias is suffering from what I call the DC-based approach to things. He opposes obstructing the Attorney General nomination of Alberto Gonzales because it may not work out great for Democrats politically.


How about the Dems oppose Gonzales because he WROTE A LEGAL OPINION RATIONALIZING TORTURE? I believe in being as politically calculated as the next guy, but I still hold on to this throwback notion that our politicians should do all they can to PROTECT AMERICA. Somehow, an attorney general that uses the Bible as his law book and one that considers the Geneva convention "quaint" don't strike me as PROTECTING AMERICA.


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Zell Miller Is Awesome

Zell is back baby!

SEN. Zell Miller (D- Ga.) laced into New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd yesterday on the "Imus in the Morning" radio show, saying,

"The more Maureen Loud [sic] gets on 'Meet the Press' and writes those columns, the redder these states get. I mean, they don't want some high brow hussy from New York City explaining to them that they're id iots and telling them that they're stupid."

Miller also suggested "that red-headed woman at the New York Times" should not mock anyone's religion: "You can see horns just sprouting up through that Technicolor hair."

Dowd responds: "I'm not a highbrow hussy from New York. I'm a highbrow hussy from Washington. Senator, pistols or swords?"


Let The Eagle Soar

Alberto Gonzales, who penned a
January 2002 memo claiming that the war on terrorism "renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions," has now been nominated by President Bush to replace John Ashcroft as Attorney General.

Let's make this clear: a man who advised the President on how to best skirt the rules of the Geneva Convention as to allow torture of captured Al Qaeda fighters is now the choice to become head prosecutor of The Untied States.

Here's more from the memo:

"It is difficult to predict the motives of prosecutors and independent counsels who may in the future decide to pursue unwarranted charges based on Section 2441 (of the US code, the War Crimes Act). Your determination [to bypass the Geneva Conventions] would create a reasonable basis in law that Section 2441 does not apply, which would provide a solid defense to any future prosecution."

The essential thrust of the memo is that the President creates law and, therefore, if he orders that Geneva be ignored, it absolves those who subsequently ignore Geneva from prosecution.

response to the memo, from Secretary of State Colin Powell, was drafted a day later.

"It [declaring Geneva does not apply] will reverse over a century of U.S. policy and practice in supporting the Geneva conventions and undermine the protections of the law of war for our troops, both in this specific conflict and in general."

back in May, Rear Admiral John Hutson (ret.) -- the Navy Judge Advocate General from 1997 to 2000 -- went so far as to partially blame the Gonzales memo for the abuses at Abu Ghraib.

"When you say something down the chain of command like, 'The Geneva conventions don't apply,' that sets the stage for the kind of chaos that we've seen."


Tuesday, November 09, 2004


For those of you wondering what happened to your favorite Latverian Dictator's football picks on Sunday, Blogger ate his post and I was too lazy to do anything about it. He'll check in later this week to gloat.

For the record, it was another 2-1 week. Doom won with Pittsburgh and New England, but got his lunch handed to him on the Houston-Denver game (that seven point spread was just too good to resist, or so it seemed at the time.)


Joe Gibbs Is Out Of His Fucking Mind

What in God's name is going on here?

If Mark Brunell ever runs for political office, he should hire Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs as his campaign manager.

For the umpteenth time this season, Gibbs spent most of his Monday press conference playing the role of Mark Brunell Fan Club president.


Halfway through this season, the Redskins rank 30th in passing (154.1 yards per game), but Gibbs views Brunell as part of the solution, not the problem.

"We've been inconsistent from the very beginning with our passing game," Gibbs said.

"In this game, if you want to talk about the stats, when you throw the ball twice in the second half, you're not going to have many stats because you don't have the chance to make plays.

"In (the Detroit) game, what he did several times was get us out of trouble by throwing the ball. He's tougher than all get- out."

Brunell was not sacked and the Redskins did not commit a turnover.

He will start for the Redskins (3-5) Sunday when they host the Cincinnati Bengals (3-5) at FedEx Field.

Maybe I can rephrase that for Coach Gibbs:

"In (the Detroit) game, what he did several times was get us out of the trouble of scoring touchdowns by throwing the ball several yards past our open recievers. He's as fucking stupid as all get-out."


K.O. Redux

things fall apart "Man Of The Hour" Keith Olbermann recieved 1,500 positive e-mails in response to last night's "Countdown" story on voting irregularities in Ohio and Florida. And 62 negative replies.

Well the volume is startling to begin with. I know some of the overtly liberal sites encouraged readers to write - but that’s still a hunk of mail, and a decisive margin (hell, 150 to 62 is considered a decisive margin). Writing this, I know I’m inviting negative comment, but so be it. I read a large number of the missives, skimmed all others, appreciate all -- and all since -- deeply.

Even the negative ones, because in between the repeated “you lost” nonsense and one baffling reference to my toupee (seriously, if I wore a rug, wouldn’t I get one that was all the same color?), there was a solid point raised about some of the incongruous voting noted on the website of Florida’s Secretary of State.

There, 52 counties tallied their votes using paper ballots that were then optically scanned by machines produced by Diebold, Sequoia, or Election Systems and Software. 29 of those Florida counties had large Democratic majorities among registered voters (as high a ratio as Liberty County - Bristol, Florida and environs - where it’s 88 percent Democrats, 8 percent Republicans) but produced landslides for President Bush. On Countdown, we cited the five biggest surprises (Liberty ended Bush: 1,927; Kerry: 1,070), but did not mention the other 24.

Those protesting emailers pointed out that four of the five counties we mentioned also went for Bush in 2000, and were in Florida’s panhandle or near the Georgia border. Many of them have long “Dixiecrat” histories and the swing to Bush, while remarkably large, isn’t of itself suggestive of voting fraud.

That the other 24 counties were scattered across the state, and that they had nothing in common except the optical scanning method, I didn’t mention. My bad. I used the most eye-popping numbers, and should have used a better regional mix instead.

Interestingly, none of the complaining emailers took issue with the remarkable results out of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. In 29 precincts there, the County’s website shows, we had the most unexpected results in years: more votes than voters.

I’ll repeat that: more votes than voters. 93,000 more votes than voters.


I don't think this story is over yet.


Monday, November 08, 2004


Keith Olbermann is the only person in the "liberal" mainstream-media man enough to address the voting irregularities issue.

This is mentioned because there is a small but blood-curdling set of news stories that right now exists somewhere between the world of investigative journalism, and the world of the Reynolds Wrap Hat. And while the group’s ultimate home remains unclear - so might our election of just a week ago.

Stories like these have filled the web since the tide turned against John Kerry late Tuesday night. But not until Friday did they begin to spill into the more conventional news media. That’s when the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that officials in Warren County, Ohio, had “locked down” its administration building to prevent anybody from observing the vote count there.

Suspicious enough on the face of it, the decision got more dubious still when County Commissioners confirmed that they were acting on the advice of their Emergency Services Director, Frank Young. Mr. Young had explained that he had been advised by the federal government to implement the measures for the sake of Homeland Security.

Gotcha. Tom Ridge thought Osama Bin Laden was planning to hit Caesar Creek State Park in Waynesville. During the vote count in Lebanon. Or maybe it was Kings Island Amusement Park that had gone Code-Orange without telling anybody. Al-Qaeda had selected Turtlecreek Township for its first foray into a Red State.

The State of Ohio confirms that of all of its 88 Counties, Warren alone decided such Homeland Security measures were necessary. Even in Butler County, reports the Enquirer, the media and others were permitted to watch through a window as ballot-checkers performed their duties. In Warren, the media was finally admitted to the lobby of the administration building, which may have been slightly less incommodious for the reporters, but which still managed to keep them two floors away from the venue of the actual count.


Return Of The Deaniacs

Howard Dean is apparently mulling over making a run for chairman of the DNC.

Former presidential candidate Howard Dean is considering a bid to become chairman of the national Democratic Party.

"He told me he was thinking about it," Steve Grossman, himself a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said Monday. Grossman was a Dean backer during the former Vermont governor's failed presidential bid.


Grossman said it is not too soon for Democrats to focus on their future leadership.

"I strongly urged (Dean) to seek the position," he said. "Howard is a voice of political empowerment and that to me is important, for the Democrats to get their sea legs back as quickly as possible, to get beyond the disappointment of the last week and to believe there is a bright future ahead for the Democratic Party."

I like it. Since Terry McAuliffe took over in Febuary of 2001, the Democrats have done nothing but lose elections. The DNC will vote for a new chairman early next year.