Friday, November 05, 2004


As I mentioned yesterday, the Bushies are wasting no time, now that they have their so-called "mandate." Let the slaughter begin (or, rather, continue at a higher rate), both of Iraqis and of Americans:

The US military pounded the Iraqi city of Fallujah with artillery fire today as remaining residents were urged to leave amid more signs of an all-out assault on the rebel city.

The sound of explosions reverberated from the direction of the city as artillery was fired by US troops camped on the outside starting at about 11pm local time.

The sermon delivered at the Hadra al-Mohammadiya mosque to a few hundred people, most of them fighters, spoke of a desire by US President George Bush to punish the city after his re-election two days ago.

"We are forced to go into this battle but we were hoping for a peaceful solution," said the imam.

"The Iraqi government and the American forces want this war to take place."

The imam said the fighters would prevail.

"Victory is certain and it will be achieved during the first week," he said.

He said the rebels would use "new methods and plans that will surprise and astonish the enemy", promising "martyrdom operations".


Five New Freaks

The Nation provides the details about five new GOP Senators. Here's a condensed version:

Tom Coburn has proposed the death penalty for abortion doctors.

Jim DeMint has said gays shouldn't be able to teach or adopt.

Mel Martinez fears "homosexual extremists."

John Thune illegally intimidated American Indian voters.

David Vitter is a "polite David Duke."


Cause and Effect

Paul Krugman reminds us of what we are in for:

I don't hope for more and worse scandals and failures during Mr. Bush's second term, but I do expect them. The resurgence of Al Qaeda, the debacle in Iraq, the explosion of the budget deficit and the failure to create jobs weren't things that just happened to occur on Mr. Bush's watch. They were the consequences of bad policies made by people who let ideology trump reality.

Those people still have Mr. Bush's ear, and his election victory will only give them the confidence to make even bigger mistakes.


Tip of the Iceberg?

Or, just a fluke? I have a hard time believing this incident is in any way isolated:
An error with an electronic voting system gave President Bush 3,893 extra votes in suburban Columbus, elections officials said.

Franklin County's unofficial results had Bush receiving 4,258 votes to Democrat John Kerry's 260 votes in a precinct in Gahanna. Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct.

Bush actually received 365 votes in the precinct, Matthew Damschroder, director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, told The Columbus Dispatch.


Will They Stay or Will They Go?

Were I they, I'd be looking to wash my hands of the Bush mess, but then I have some sense of decency, unlike Ashcroft:

John Ashcroft may turn in his resignation as early as January in a ritual reserved for second-term presidents, sources close to the attorney general said Thursday.

Sources close to the Ashcroft point out, however, that the attorney general is currently "conflicted" about leaving and has not yet decided whether to stay on if President Bush asks him to.

And unlike Rice:
PRESIDENT BUSH is considering a Cabinet reshuffle that would deprive him of his best White House buddy but would inject fresh blood into his second-term team.

Condoleezza Rice, as avid a sports fan as the President as well as his National Security Adviser and constant sidekick, is expected to leave the White House.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

Sorry for the Racist Inconvenience

When will Powell finally stop the shilling?
Secretary of State Colin Powell told assembled Muslim guests Thursday that in its second term, the Bush administration will "strike a balance" between security and openness.

Powell made his remarks at a State Department dinner celebrating the end of the daily Ramadan fast.

Powell acknowledged that heightened security since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the war on terrorism have "caused inconvenience" to many Muslims.

But he said, "I want to assure you we are doing everything we can to strike a balance" between security and openness.

And the Bush administration will deal aggressively with issues important to Muslims, he said.

"President Bush in his four years in office will be aggressively moving forward to deal with the concerns that are in your hearts and on your minds with the respect to the Middle East peace process, with respect to reform and modernization, with respect to solidifying democracy in places that never known democracy before and with respect fighting terrorism," Powell said.

What an utter load of bullshit.


Reaching Across the Aisle

It doesn't take long for the Republicans to reveal their true sentiments, now does it?

TWO days after the Democrats took a drubbing at US polls, California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says leaders of the majority party in his state are "losers".

At a news conference today the Republican governor who branded Democrats "girlie men" during a budget fight last year was asked if he would listen to tax-increase proposals from California Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata or other Democratic leaders.

"Why would I listen to losers?" Schwarzenegger asked. "Let's be honest."


The Harsh Truth

Katha Pollitt, I think, truly captures what has happened, which is why the outcome of this election is so deeply depressing to me, and leads so quickly to thoughts of expatriation:

Maybe this time the voters chose what they actually want: Nationalism, pre-emptive war, order not justice, "safety" through torture, backlash against women and gays, a gulf between haves and have-nots, government largesse for their churches and a my-way-or-the-highway President.

Where, I wonder, does that leave us?


Fanatic Glee

One of the more important among the many pitched battles we will have to fight constantly for the next four years is the battle against these people:
A mood of elation permeated the ranks of evangelical Christians in the United States yesterday as it became clear that the election marked a watershed moment for their chances of implementing a conservative moral agenda - above all on the issues of abortion and gay marriage.

Buoyed by exit-poll results suggesting that moral issues had weighed on voters' minds even more than terrorism, activists vowed to use their victory to push the second Bush administration to ban same-sex unions at a federal level and to move the supreme court to the right. "I think it's quite possible this could be a turning point," said Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Group lobbying organisation.

"We're seeing from the exit polls that conservative Christian voters turned out in record numbers ... so we certainly will be pressing for action on key items of our agenda, and we will not be shy about claiming that our influence was significant in the outcome of the election."

In a post-election memo obtained by the New York Times, Richard Viguerie, a rightwing direct-mailing campaigner, issued a warning to the Republican party. "Make no mistake - conservative Christians and 'values voters' won this election for George W Bush and Republicans in congress," he wrote.


Leave It to Molly

Molly Ivins once again finds her own brilliant way to speak the truth:

Do you know how to cure a chicken-killin' dog? Now, you know you cannot keep a dog that kills chickens, no matter how fine a dog it is otherwise.

Some people think you cannot break a dog that has got in the habit of killin' chickens, but my friend John Henry always claimed you could. He said the way to do it is to take one of the chickens the dog has killed and wire the thing around the dog's neck, good and strong. And leave it there until that dead chicken stinks so bad that no other dog or person will even go near that poor beast. Thing'll smell so bad the dog won't be able to stand himself. You leave it on there until the last little bit of flesh rots and falls off, and that dog won't kill chickens again.

The Bush administration is going to be wired around the neck of the American people for four more years, long enough for the stench to sicken everybody. It should cure the country of electing Republicans.

And at least Democrats won't have to clean up after him until it is real clear to everyone who made the mess.

In some circles, that will be seen as sour grapes. But in Texas, we've been losing elections to the demagogic triad of God, gays and guns long enough to be pretty cynical about how it works out.


Still Bush's World

And we're about to see the heaviest casualties we have seen since Vietnam:

The number of dead and wounded from the expected battle to retake insurgent-controlled Fallujah probably will reach levels not seen since Vietnam, a senior surgeon at the Marine camp outside Fallujah said Thursday.

Navy Cmdr. Lach Noyes said the hospital here is preparing to handle 25 severely injured soldiers a day, not counting walking wounded and the dead. The hospital has added two operating rooms, doubled its supplies, added a mortuary and stocked up on blood reserves. Doctors have set up a system of ambulance vehicles that will rush to the camp's gate to receive the dead and wounded so units can return to battle quickly.

The plans underscore the ferocity of the fight the U.S. military expects in Fallujah, a Sunni Muslim city about 35 miles west of Baghdad which has been under insurgent control since April. More than 1,120 U.S. soldiers and Marines have died in Iraq since the war began, more than 860 of those from hostile fire.


The Question on All Our Minds

The Daily Mirror's front page succinctly poses the question we're all asking...

(thanks to Lisa!)


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

But It Is

It cannot be, but it is.

Nothing much more to say here, as we embark upon four more years.


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

More Voter Intimidation

In Wisconsin, more harassment of African Americans:

In Wisconsin, flyers purporting to be from the “Milwaukee Black Voters League,” erroneously tell African Americans they can’t vote in the presidential election if anyone in their family has even been found guilty of a crime. An image of the flyer is reproduced below.


And if they do vote, African Americans are told, they could go to prison for up to ten years.


In a statement, the Milwaukee branch of the AFL-CIO said the racist sentiment was not accident.

“This is an example of the type of tactic being done in the African American neighborhoods to suppress the vote,” said Secretary and Treasurer Sheila Cochran. “It is not an accident; it is intentional and it is aimed at the newly registered and infrequent voter.”


Zogby Calls It for Kerry

Kerry will win 311 electoral votes, Zogby predicts.