Thursday, October 28, 2004

Shameless Pimping - Don't Vote for Nader...

Yes, so it's bad form to pimp my own blog here, but Rorschach's out of town at the moment and as a 2000 Nader voter who's voting for Kerry this time around, I've written an essay about it. So if you're thinking about voting Nader (or know other people who are), please give it a read here. (And yes, as was reminded when I went to vote early yesterday, Nader's not on the ballot here - but the point remains the same, I think!)


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

He Doesn't Read the Papers

Some leadership, perhaps, is in order? Nah.
Senator John Kerry lambasted President Bush on Tuesday over the disappearance in Iraq of a huge cache of powerful explosives, saying the president's response to "devastating facts'' about the explosives called into question his competence as commander in chief.

Mr. Kerry said the White House had first tried to conceal those facts until after Election Day, then minimized them when they emerged and finally denied them

"And what did the president have to say about the missing explosives? Not a word. Complete silence,'' Mr. Kerry bellowed in Green Bay, Wis., all but daring Mr. Bush to answer him.

"Mr. President, what else are you being silent about?'' he asked. "What else are you keeping from the American people? How much more will the American people have to pay?''


Insignificant Action

It's what Bush is all about, right?

AmericaBlog takes timely note of the Bush administration's utter confusion:
Now who's wishy-washy?
The U.S. Army has taken action against Lt. Gen. William Boykin, who embarrassed the Bush administration by giving speeches in which he described the war on terrorism as a Christian battle against Satan.

Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard Cody declined to give any details of the action taken in response to Boykin's remarks, which violated Pentagon rules, but said it was not "significant."
So the week before the election you chose to piss off the Muslim world (by taking a "not significant" action to address this wackjob), the fundies (by taking ANY action against their hero), and the moderates by seeming to be less than forthright in your handling of this case.

This is an administration in spin meltdown. They don't know what to be or who to suck up to, and it's showing.


Crimes Against Humanity

It'll be a nice greeting for Bush in the wake of his defeat (not that they'll actually get anywhere near the Bubble Boy):

A group of left-wing and human rights leaders Tuesday sued US President George W. Bush, who is scheduled to visit the country in November, for crimes against humanity.

"We want Bush to be questioned when he comes here," said lawyerJuan Enrique Prietoin, who filed the suit on behalf of the Communist Party and Humanist Party in the Santiago Appeals Court.

Also mentioned in the suit were Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former Iraq Administrator Paul Bremer.

Bush will visit Santiago for a summit of Asian-Pacific leaders on Nov. 19-21.

Human rights attorney Hugo Gutierrez said the unprecedented action will let the world know "this country (Chile) has international jurisdiction to judge crimes committed in other countries and by non-Chilean nationals."

"Undoubtedly, it will be difficult. But we are doing what our conscience demands as we are deeply concerned about the crimes committed by the United States in Iraq," Gutierrez said.

According to Chile's legal procedure, the court will take a fewdays to decide whether to accept this type of complaint and then assign a judge who has the power to interrogate the sued person. Filing criminal suits by civilians is common in Chile.


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

A Sign

Rehnquist's thyroid cancer and tracheotomy, coming this close to November 2, are stark reminders of the importance of this election. The next administration will reshape the court for decades:
The Supreme Court said Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist would be back on the job next week, but some physicians not involved in his case of thyroid cancer questioned whether the treatment would allow him to return so soon.

Rehnquist's diagnosis was announced Monday through a terse statement at the Supreme Court. The 80-year-old widower and longtime smoker underwent a tracheotomy over the weekend and was expected to be released from the hospital this week.


The Geneva Convention Is So Twentieth Century

The government is moving away from the agreement; some just don't make the cut:
Non-Iraqi prisoners caught by US forces in Iraq may no longer be treated under the protections of the Geneva convention, according to a report in today's New York Times.

Citing anonymous Bush administration officials, the report said that in recent months a new legal opinion has been reached that not all prisoners in Iraq should necessarily enjoy the full protections of the convention.

Human rights groups fear that elements in the US military and intelligence leadership want to detain some prisoners outside the Geneva convention so they can attempt to obtain more information with harsher interrogation techniques.

The reports follow a weekend story in the Washington Post that the CIA had secretly transferred a dozen non-Iraqi prisoners out of Iraq. It was not clear where they had been taken to, the paper said, but there was speculation they may have been transferred to allies of the US such as Egypt or Saudi Arabia.

MEANWHILE: Amnesty International is calling it like it is:
The United States has manifestly failed to uphold obligations to reject torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading behavior in the "war on terror" launched after Sept. 11, 2001, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

The human rights group condemned the U.S. administration's response to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington as one which had resulted in its own "iconography of torture, cruelty and degradation."

"The war mentality the government has adopted has not been matched with a commitment to the laws of war and it has discarded fundamental human rights principles along the way," it said in a report.

Amnesty's report -- "Human dignity denied: Torture and accountability in the 'war on terror"' -- accused Washington of stepping onto a "well-trodden path of violating basic rights in the name of national security or 'military necessity'."


Our Man in Baghdad?

Allawi should be careful; talk like this leads to unpleasant things for puppets installed by the United States government:

Iraqi's interim prime minister has suggested US-led forces were negligent over the massacre of 49 army recruits on a remote road on Saturday.

"There was great negligence on the part of some coalition forces," Iyad Allawi told Iraq's interim national assembly.


Media Bias

This is an absolute outrage:
Attempting to boost Republican Party prospects, the owner of a chain of Central Valley television and radio stations has donated $325,000 in air time for GOP candidates in many of the state's hottest legislative elections.

The contribution by Harry J. Pappas comes in the final days of campaigning, and those involved in the campaigns could not recall another instance in which a California media mogul donated time on public airwaves for advertisements to benefit one party over another.

Critics say the contribution is a clear attempt to sway close elections, is likely to raise new questions of media bias, and violates federal law requiring broadcasting companies to provide equal time to political candidates.

"They're the public's airwaves," said attorney Karen Getman, who represents the Assembly Democratic Caucus and formerly served as chairwoman of the state's Fair Political Practices Commission. "You're not free to give them to one side in a partisan debate."


Bush's Plan to Disenfranchise Black Voters

Now here's something that needs a full investigation. The GOP is planning a concerted effort to subvert democracy in Florida:
A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals.

Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's national research director in Washington DC, contain a 15-page so-called "caging list".

It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Florida.

An elections supervisor in Tallahassee, when shown the list, told Newsnight: "The only possible reason why they would keep such a thing is to challenge voters on election day."

UPDATE: The blue lemur has more, including government involvement in the campaign shenanigans and connections to a PR firm used by Gadhafi.


Blast from the Past

I haven't read Camille Paglia in a long, long time and haven't really even heard anything out of her for a while. A very pleasant while, I might add.

But, as Michael Berube points out, she's still out there, and still saying idiotic things:
I’m talking about my own special contest, my “I am the Back End of a Horse” Award. After three and a half weeks in which Townhall, Tech Central Station, the Corner, and various Professors of Law have battled mightily for the coveted hindquarters, Camille Paglia comes roaring into the lead with this recycled gem. She recently told Reason that her “most embarrassing vote” was for
Bill Clinton the second time around. Because he did not honorably resign when the Lewinsky scandal broke and instead tied up the country and paralyzed the government for two years, leading directly to our
blindsiding by 9/11.

(Via Slate.)

It’s a twofer: Clinton was responsible for 9/11, sure, we knew that, but he tied up the country and paralyzed the government as well, thereby preventing those brave, vigilant House Republicans from disarming al-Qaeda.


Austin Stupider Than Crawford?

No, of course not. But the newspaper here in the capital city doesn't seem so bright:
At least 300 people upset about the Austin American-Statesman's endorsement of President Bush for a second term gathered near the newspaper offices to protest.

The Sunday demonstration was organized shortly after the American-Statesman posted the editorial on its Web site at 6 p.m. Saturday, protesters said.

"As soon as it hit online, people started phoning and e-mailing and saying, 'What should we do?' " said Glen Maxey, a former Democratic state representative, who used a bullhorn to urge people to go door-to-door promoting Democrat John Kerry and his running mate, John Edwards.

The protest took place on the Congress Avenue bridge over Town Lake, near the Statesman's office building.

The newspaper's lengthy editorial in Sunday's editions a cautious endorsement of Bush, who was Texas governor from 1995 until December 2000, when he resigned to become president.

"I thought it was very interesting to read, because it reads like an endorsement of Kerry," said Sarah Bird, who wore a shirt that read, "Kiss Bush Goodbye!"

Austin resident Pat Miller said the editorial "makes a case for one thing and says another."