Saturday, June 26, 2004

What do you think of "Farehnheit 9/11"? 

My father, my niece and I went to a sold out showing with about a thousand Missoulians tonight at the Wilma Theater. The movie was terrific -- far more mellow and evenhanded than I had anticipated, from the reviews. I'll need to see it again before I can gather my thoughts into something like a review, but I loved it.

What did you think?


Homeland Defense Follies 

Well, your right to arm bears extends to the 51st state, apparently:

Saudi: Foreigners can carry guns

Dalai Lama tells KFC to shove off 

Apparently the Empire hasn't yet taken over everything:
Dalai Lama warns KFC off Tibet
Clearly we need more bombs.

Friday, June 25, 2004


You have to wonder: Who had the contract to train and run the Iraqi police and security? One guess.

Exhibit #782:

Security a shambles ahead of handover

With one week to go, 30,000 police officers face the sack amid serious shortages of staff and equipment

Rory McCarthy and Jonathan Steele in Baghdad
Thursday June 24, 2004
The Guardian

Up to 30,000 Iraqi police officers are to be sacked for being incompetent and unreliable and given a $60m payoff before the US hands over to an Iraqi government, senior British military sources said yesterday.

Many officers either deserted to the insurgents or simply stayed at home during the recent uprisings in Falluja and across the south.

Fourteen months after the war and just a week before the Iraqis take power on June 30, the sources revealed serious shortfalls of properly trained police and soldiers and vital equipment.

The problems are particularly critical because 35 new police checkpoints are to be set up across Baghdad before the handover, when violence is expected to escalate.

Although the US has set aside $3.5bn to rebuild the security forces, much of the training and many of the contracts have yet to be completed.

...up to 30,000 regular police officers who are now deemed unsuitable will be sacked and replaced. Each will receive $1,000 to $2,000 in severance pay - a total package of up to $60m.

"The feeling is this will allow them to generate a business and feed their family and not force them to become fighters," one source said.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

I'm not sure I understand how this ad HELPS Bush... 

Or maybe I do. But one thing is for sure--the potential for this commercial to BACKFIRE is enormous. And that is what Rove now has to resort to--desperate tactics. Taking chances.

A "Hail Mary", if you will.

The video is HERE.

A description from Reuters:


Shown is a sound bite from a screaming speech by former Vice President Gore in which he said: "How dare they drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s torture prison?"

Dean, the former Vermont governor and ex-presidential candidate, is shown shouting: "I want my country back."

A clip from an anti-Bush ad from the liberal organization MoveOn.org blends images of Adolf Hitler and Bush.

Hollywood director Michael Moore, who produced a controversial anti-Bush movie called "Fahrenheit 911," is seen telling the Academy Awards (news - web sites) that, "We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons."

"This president is a miserable failure," says Missouri Democratic Rep. Richard Gephardt in another film clip.

And finally, Kerry is seen telling a campaign event in Iowa: "Today, today, George Bush will lay off your camel, tax your shovel, kick your (bleep) and tell you there is no Promised Land."


Ralph is wearing out his welcome--in his own party 

From today's salon.com:

Nader vs. the Green Party?

The leading candidate for the Green Party's presidential nomination talks about Ralph Nader's latest betrayal, and how to run an independent campaign that would not reinstall Bush in the White House.

...Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb, Ralph Nader's main opponent within the party, held a low-profile Q-and-A session with University of South Carolina students and faculty. Unlike Ohio, South Carolina is hardly a competitive race: In 2000, Bush beat Gore by 16 points there, and it is difficult to imagine how the Green Party could "spoil" the outcome of its presidential vote. But the state has a fledgling Green Party, and Cobb was there to court its delegates to the Green Party's 2004 nominating convention.

While only one day in a long campaign, last Monday's events illustrate the differing strategies of the two leading candidates competing for the Green Party's backing. Cobb seeks the Green Party's nomination, while Nader, who has distanced himself from the party in an attempt to reach a wider audience, seeks only the Green Party's "endorsement" of his independent campaign. "Ralph Nader has refused to participate in the Green Party's democratic process," Cobb says. "I don't understand what we would hope to accomplish by supporting Ralph Nader's independent candidacy."

Go read the rest.


Mission Accomplished 

The war in Iraq is over. We won.

Somebody needs to let the insurgents know this. Maybe we can do a leaflet airdrop.

69 Said Dead in Attacks Across Iraq


The large number of attacks, mostly directed at Iraqi security services, was a clear sign of just how powerful the insurgency in Iraq remains and could be the start of a new push to torpedo Wednesday's transfer of sovereignty to an interim transitional government.

Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said the attacks were meant "to foil the democratic process," but he said the situation was under control.

Of COURSE the situation is under control. This is just a tiny fraction of the entire country of Iraq--it's fewer than the number of people who died in homicides just LAST NIGHT in the U.S. alone!

There are plenty more innocent people left to kill! This is just a small underground movement, one that will be crushed in no time at all. Nothing to worry about!

Bring 'em on!


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Calling all Greens... 

Here's some interesting evidence that completely contradicts the contention of Ralph Nader--and not a few of his followers--that there is no difference between a Republican and a Democrat.

From the daily Kos:

Least progressive Dem

by kos
Wed Jun 23rd, 2004 at 20:28:43 EDT

I was playing around at Progressive Punch, and came across a startling revelation.

First of all, a little on the Progressive Punch ranking methodology.

After going through a number of steps and gyrations, we came up with a list of seven hard-core progressive United States Senators (7% of that body) and 38 hard-core progressive United States Representatives (about 9% of that body). The algorithm that we've used to come up with these progressive scores is that we take ANY VOTE in which a majority of those progressives--so in the House say, if there were no absences, it would be 20 of the 38--voted in contradistinction to a majority of the Republican caucus then that vote then qualifies for the database. The same process is used in the Senate. So, non-ideological votes such as National Groundhog Day: 429-0 with 6 absences, do not qualify for the database.

The process is automated, so it can't be massaged the way many ideological organizations massage their rankings (more on that in a bit).

To get the rankings of all congresscritters, click on "select by score" on the ProgressivePunch homepage. Herseth is in the lead, but that's based on a single vote, so she really doesn't count. Raul Grijalva of Arizona is the most progressive Dem, followed by by congresswoman, Barbara Lee.

The most conservative Democrat is Gene Taylor of Mississippi, with a 45.73 percent rating. That is, he votes with the most progressive Dems nearly 46 percent of the time. Charles Stenholm of Texas is the second most conservative.

But get this -- the most liberal Republican is Chris Shays of Connecticut. He votes with the most progressive Dems only 30.87 percent of the time.

In other words, the most right-wing Democrat is 15 percent more likely to vote for the progressive position than the most left-wing Republican.

This is empirical proof that their IS a difference between the parties, and that the most conservative Dems are far more preferable to even the most palatable Republicans.

Now to be fair, the methodology includes procedural votes, and those often fall along party lines. But that merely emphasizes my contention that electing a conservative Dem is critical, even if just to get that one vote for Pelosi as speaker.

As John Denver once said: "Thank God I'm A Democrat--Yeah!"


Monday, June 21, 2004

ABC News poll: Kerry 53, Bush 45 

Neocons: Read 'em and WEEP.



Sunday, June 20, 2004


Don't miss this article in The Guardian.


From the Moscow Times:

Surely it is now time for all the Bush-bashers and war critics -- on both left and right -- to swallow their pride, put aside their partisanship, and admit the stone-cold truth:

The invasion and occupation of Iraq has been a rousing success.

For despite many setbacks and dark days, it cannot be denied that George W. Bush has accomplished exactly what he set out to do in launching his aggression: the installation -- through "a heavy dose of fear and violence," as one U.S. commander eloquently put it -- of a client state in Iraq, led by a strongman who will facilitate the Bush Regime's long-term (and long-declared) strategic goal of establishing a permanent military "footprint" in the key oil state, while also guaranteeing the short-term goal of opening the country to exploitation by Bush cronies and favored foreign interests. All of this has now been done -- and even sealed with the approval of the UN Security Council.

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