Saturday, September 04, 2004

Bach Against Bush  

Looks like there are other classical musicians who are as profoundly worried as I am about a Bush victory. Donald Runnicles of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
The Austrian daily Der Standard has reported that the Scottish-born conductor said in an interview, "I would really have to think about whether I could stay there [in the United States] if Bush wins a second time [sic]. One time the American people can make a mistake, but if they re-elect him, then they actually want him."
Former Cleveland Orchestra conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi is so anti-George W. Bush that he told BBC Radio 3 that he wouldn't take another U.S. position if Bush is re-elected.

I Suppose We're Really, Really Succeeding Now  

Dozens Killed in Car Bomb at Iraq Academy
A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb Saturday outside the Iraqi police academy in the northern city of Kirkuk as hundreds of trainees and civilians were leaving for the day, killing at least 10 people, authorities said.

Ambulances raced to the scene, where seven cars were on fire. Rescue personnel ferried the wounded away on stretchers...

The last such attack occurred on Aug. 27, when a car bomb exploded as a U.S. military convoy moved through a traffic circle on the western edge of the northern city of Mosul, wounding 10 Iraqi civilians and one U.S. soldier.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Get 'Em On Amazon  

Bored with your Seqway? Get a portable nuclear reactor:
A nuclear reactor that can meet the energy needs of developing countries without the risk that they will use the by-products to make weapons is being developed by the US Department of Energy.

The aim is to create a sealed reactor that can be delivered to a site, left to generate power for up to 30 years, and retrieved when its fuel is spent. The developers claim that no one would be able to remove the fissile material from the reactor because its core would be inside a tamper-proof cask protected by a thicket of alarms.
Sure, it's tamper-proof. Like oxycontin.

Going The Wrong Way, Folks!  

Very bad news for the country:
President Bush leads Democrat John Kerry, 52 percent to 41 percent, while independent Ralph Nader got 3 percent in a national poll taken during the Republican National Convention that ended Thursday.

The Time magazine poll of 926 likely voters was taken Aug. 31-Sept 2, during the convention and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Bush had 46 percent, Kerry had 44 percent and Nader 5 percent in a Time poll taken just before the convention.

Bill: Get Well Soon, Man  

Clinton is having a quad bypass today. All of us here at Tristero Central wish him a swift, swift recovery.

Quotation of the Week  

John McCain on Zell Miller:
I think maybe John Kerry must have shot his dog.
Daily Show with Jon Stewart, September 2, 2004

Eeeuuww! Could Daryn Kagan Be THAT Hard Up?  

Whatever, floats you, I s'pose:
Conservative radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh, 53, who announced his separation from his third wife, Marta, in early June, is dating CNN anchor Daryn Kagan, 41, a spokesman for Limbaugh has confirmed to us. The two were spotted at a party Limbaugh co-hosted at a New York restaurant, where guests included Vice President Cheney, New York Gov. George Pataki and Sen. Bill Frist. The coupling came as a surprise to some friends who consider the Atlanta-based Kagan part of the liberal media axis and a feminist -- but, then again, opposites attract. Kagan, who has been with CNN for 10 years, hosts "CNN Live Today," which airs from 10 a.m. to noon, ending just in time to catch her sweetie's three-hour radio show.
Any culture that would benignly tolerate this kind of relationship but ban gay marriage is bloody sick.

Ashcroft Blows Another Big Case  

The Detroit terrorism case was overturned:
federal judge threw out the terrorism convictions of two Arab immigrants on Thursday, undoing what the Justice Department once proclaimed was its first major courtroom victory in the war on terror.

The department itself requested the dismissal this week in an extraordinary filing that savaged its own legal strategy against what it had characterized as a sleeper cell plotting acts of terrorism....

...Judge Rosen said prosecutors developed early on a theory about what happened "and then simply ignored or avoided any evidence or information which contradicted or undermined that view."
Sounds like I've heard about that kind of mindset before.

(Just so it's clear to our more brain-damaged rightwing readers, I have no idea if these guys were plotting terrorist acts or not. The point is that if they weren't, their arrest and trial was an egregious, but not uncommon in Bushworld, miscarriage of justice.

But if they were guilty as charged, the Ashcroft Justice Department's incompetent eager-beaver tactics just let them get away scot free.

Put another way, I'm not soft on terrorists. Ashcroft is soft on terrorists everytime he screws up the prosecution of genuine bad guys with his inept tactics. And if the Ashcroft Justice department prosecutes in a promiscuous fashion, which it does, and prosecutes innocents, which it does, such incompetence undermines over 200 years of American jurisprudence, and weakens this country's rule of law.)

From The You Won't Believe This But It's True Department  

New York Post:
The mischievous magnets produced by Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" have created a sticky situation for the RNC. The "Make Your Own Headlines With the Daily Show Newsmaker" kits were banned from RNC gift bags because they included words like "tranvestite," "goat," "dances" and "dumb" as well as "Dubya," "Rumsfeld" and "Cheney." The RNC apparently feared the magnets could be used to poke fun at GOP leaders. Comedy Central produced more than 13,000 kits, which they still want to distribute this week.
And for further proof that the Daily Show and Comedy Central remains utterly indispensible in 21st Century America, check out this great deadpan response:
"We were surprised with the RNC's lack of humor," said a Comedy Central spokeswoman.

A Question Of Character  

LiberalOasis makes a great point today:
Kerry's bounce got blunted by the Swift Boat Liars.

Now Bush's bounce may be blunted by Kerry directly...

During Vietnam, Bush was quite content to let others fight his war, while he was pickled away in the National Guard (or not). In contrast, Kerry volunteered for and bravely fought in the war, then just as bravely opposed it.

True to form, Bush is still afraid to do his own dirty work, so he now uses surrogates to slime rather than do it himself.

And equally true to form, Kerry understands that it is his responsibility to fight his own battles.

9/11 Is What Happens When A C+ Student Runs The Country  

Atrios is 100% right. It's really weird that after 4 years the major accomplishment that the Bush administration chooses to tout is that he stood on a mass grave and shouted into a bull horn.

To which I might add that had Bush's administration not poo-poohed the bin Laden threat - pushing Clarke aside, causing o'Neill to resign - in order to focus on the utterly unworkable Star Wars and obsess in their spare time about the illusory weapons caches of Saddam Hussein, etc. etc, etc. and so on and so forth, it's well within the realm of possibility that there never would have been a mass grave where tens of thousands once worked. After all, would Gore have let nine months pass before calling the first high level meeting to discuss al Qaeda?

Amazing. The GOP is drawing attention to Bush's worst, indeed his most emblematic failure to govern, pretending it was America's Greatest Moment Ever. And no one of import amongst the Democrats states the obvious:

Ground Zero is Ground Zero for all of Bush's failures. It is more than a mass grave. It is a stark testament that Bush is unfit to govern the United States.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Must Read  

From Salon:
Linda Allison's story, never before published, contradicts the Bush campaign's assertion that George W. Bush transferred from the Texas Air National Guard to the Alabama National Guard in 1972 because he received an irresistible offer to gain high-level experience on the campaign of Bush family friend Winton 'Red' Blount. In fact, according to what Allison says her late husband told her, the younger Bush had become a political liability for his father, who was then the United States ambassador to the United Nations, and the family wanted him out of Texas. 'I think they wanted someone they trusted to keep an eye on him,' Linda Allison said.

Cheney Did NOT Take Kerry Out Of Context  

Most people think that last night, Cheney once again twisted John Kerry's remarks on the war on terror out of context, displaying that cynical go-for-the-kidneys street fighting Cheney is known for (provided, of course, Cheney is not obligated to place himself in actual physical danger like, say, by enlisting in the Armed Services during a war). But there is an unwarranted assumption here, that Cheney knows full well what Kerry really said. In truth, But I see no reason to assume Cheney does (both Cheney's and Kerry's remarks are at the end of this post).

Nope, I think Cheney actually thinks he heard Kerry correctly. That's right. Despite the fact that Kerry obviously said no such thing, Cheney really believes Kerry wants to wage a more sensitive war on terror in order to impress al Qaeda with our warmth and sympathy.

Therefore, there is only one conclusion to draw: contrary to the popular opinion that he is rather astute, Cheney's ability to process information is seriously, indeed dangerously, impaired. Even the simplest ideas and thoughts are beyond his means to grasp. Put another way, his brain's ability to comprehend the world is majorly on the fritz and probably has been for quite a while (recall how Cheney's incompetent analysis left Halliburton holding the asbestos bag if you need some convincing).

Now, some of you might argue that Cheney is both cognitively unsound AND a cynical, sleazy politician prepared to say or do anything in his overweening lust for power. But most sleazy politicians aren't stupid. Most are certainly smart enough not to try something like Cheney's sensitivity stunt. Why? Because it's just too easy to check the facts and the erstwhile sleazebag merely looks like a paranoid, incompetent fool who can't parse a simple English sentence.

And so, my friends, I conclude that Cheney is not your typical slimeball. Cheney simply has no idea how seriously flawed is his ability to digest information and respond in a sensible, realistic fashion. He doesn't pull stuff out of context deliberately. He is compelled, by his brain's failure to process information properly, to misunderstand nearly everything that he hears and reads. Thus, deficits are proven not to matter, the Bush tax cuts are growing the economy, invading Iraq is a smart idea, and Kerry said he wants us to wage a sensitive war to impress al Qaeda.

To conclude: Chenery's problem is not that his moral compass points in the same limp direction as Agnew's. No, the real stench that envelops Dick Cheney comes from the numerous neurological petards that compel his brain to misperceive what is really going on with truly alarming regularity.

Now, that, folks, is a truly scary trait to have in a Vice-President. Give me a sleazebag that thinks like a normal person any day.

Cheney's remarks at the RNC, September 1, 2004
Even in this post-9/11 period, Senator Kerry doesn't appear to understand how the world has changed. He talks about leading a "more sensitive war on terror," as though Al Qaeda will be impressed with our softer side.
What Kerry said on August 5, 2004:
I will fight this war on terror with the lessons I learned in war. I defended this country as a young man, and I will defend it as president of the United States.

I believe I can fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values in history.

War and Piece, Welcome  

Laura Rozen's great blog, War and Piece has now been added to our blogroll. Enjoy.

I'm Back  

Vacation was good. More later, perhaps, on same. I am not following the RNC as my blood pressure is high enough, thank you very much. But I'd like to remind you all that if you are looking to get angry, you needn't go any further than today's Times whose all-wise editorialists wrote this:
We do not need to hear further justification of his [Bush's] invasion of Iraq. It seems clear to us that the whole war is a mistake, a detour from hunting down terrorists that was undertaken on the basis of wrong information and is likely in the end to do far more harm than good when it comes to ending fanaticism in the Middle East.
Where was this kind of unequivocal condemnation of the war from the Times when it would have meant something, before nearly 1000 US soldiers and (literally) countless numbers of Iraqi civilians were killed?

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