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Self Aggrandizing Chickenhawks
$47.6 BILLION - The amount, adjusted for inflation, spent by the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II.*

$87 BILLION - Amount W wants to rebuild Iraq after his disastrous "liberation." For just ONE YEAR.

Def Sec Rumsfeld: "Is $87 billion a great deal of money? Yes. But can our country afford it? The answer is also yes. Because it is necessary for the security of our nation and the stability of the world."

Sen. Robt. Byrd "The American people deserve to know more about what the administration has planned. [Instead] the American people only get comparisons to the Marshall Plan."

Note to Rummy: I can't afford it. I need a new computer, and a copy of Flash MX. - RMcG

*Source: Time Magazine, Sept. 22, p22

Shooting the Messenger

"Islamists aren't inspired to kill by stories in the New York Times or The Inquirer, nor would a good-news blitz stop them. As for implying that news negativity undercuts home support for Bush's Iraq policy, Rumsfeld has it wrong. Public support is being eroded not by the media but by prevarications of the Bush team."
Trudy Rubin, Phila. Inquirer

"There's a feeling you know it all and nobody else knows anything, and therefore we're here just to say, 'Yes sir, how high do we jump?' And at some point, we refuse to jump,"

- Sen. Dianne Feinstein, during hearings over Bush's request for $87b dollars for rebuilding Iraq.

Bullshit, Dianne. I dare you to refuse to jump. Go on, I dare you. - RMcG


SENATE CHAMBERS (Curia News Service): During a lively exchange over President Bush's request for $87 b-b-billion to be pumped directly into the vaults at Halliburton, Senior Republican Senator Strom Thurmond (S.C.) unexpectedly returned from the dead Wednesday to announce his own plan.

Wearing black face and a minstral outfit, Thurmond offered his first-person view of the hell American soldiers have witnessed fighting guerilla attackers in and around Baghdad. "It be damb hot ova daya...I's knows it allright!" sputtered the Senator, in his first public appearance since his death last summer.

While occasionally breaking into a stumbling, off-key version of Mammy, Thurmond went on to compare the inferno-like conditions in the Iraqi desert to his own experiences since his long-overdue departure. "It be as hot as a darkie's backside in August down where I been. I don't envy dem boys in Iraq one bit!"

He then offered his own advice for appropriating the massive, irresponsible request from the Bush administration; "Lot's of electrical fans, and a big pitcher o' mint julips for starters. "And then," he continued, "they should jess load Detroit and Atlanta in da back of a fleet o' C-5's, and ship da whole she-bang to Mosul and Tikrit."

"Them Irakees get a couple o' pretty decent cities all pre-built, and Amurkha gets one step closer to the republican dream!" declared the fossilized fruitcake. "Den we cans send Al Sharpton and Carol Mosley Braun over to run da place...be as close as they eva gonna get to governin' a damn country, dats fo sho!"

At that point, a large flaming fissure opened in the Senate Chamber floor, as Satan appeared to retrieve Thurmond. "Biggest mistake I ever made, I'll tell you what!" decried the Dark Lord, regarding Thurmond's tenure down below. "Crazy old coot is always grab-assing the hookers and leaving his stanky old-man drawers lying on the floor. I got burned on that deal, I'll tell you what...I should have just taken Leni Riefenstahl last summer when I had the chance."




An educated electorate is the right-wing's worst nightmare! Learn their tricks and tactics in this enlightening slide presentation...

Compare Howard Dean's record as governor of Vermont to that of George Bush's record as governor of Texas. Then compare the Bush record to any of the other candidates. Why was this man elected, again? (FYI -- this is not an endorsement of Dean for president!)

This is NOT a paid advertisement --
just an important 1st Amendment link.
Because Clear Channel sucks.
Have we been here before?
"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ... Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."
- Hermann Goering
USA Patriots
"Conceit, arrogance and egotism are the essentials of patriotism.... Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all others."
- Socialist and feminist Emma Goldman

Volume 2, Number 2
September 24, 2003

"If a wacky, unknown, fill-in-the-blanks general is running ahead of the president, you get a pretty good idea of how adrift the White House's political operation now is."
- Andrew Sullivan

Newest Cartoon - Posted: 9-24-03
Click here for Cartoon and Rant archives

Register to vote, update your address, change your party registration, or sign up to volunteer...all in a few easy steps. Click Here.

Aussie Journalist claims to have video proof that Rice and Powell knew the MMD threat was a ruse from the beginning.

By Paul Mulvey in London, News.com.au
September 23, 2003

AUSTRALIAN investigative journalist John Pilger says he has evidence the war against Iraq was based on a lie that could cost George W. Bush and Tony Blair their jobs and bring Prime Minister John Howard down with them.

A television report by Pilger aired on British screens overnight said US Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice confirmed in early 2001 that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had been disarmed and was no threat.

But after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on September 11 that year, Pilger claimed Rice said the US "must move to take advantage of these new opportunities" to attack Iraq and claim control of its oil.

"I just don't believe you can be seen to be party to such a big lie, such a big deception and endure that politically."

Pilger uncovered video footage of Powell in Cairo on February 24, 2001 saying, "He (Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours."

Two months later, Rice reportedly said, "We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."

Powell boasted this was because America's policy of containment and its sanctions had effectively disarmed Saddam.

Pilger claims this confirms that the decision of US President George W Bush - with the full support of British Prime Minister Blair and Howard - to wage war on Saddam because he had weapons of mass destruction was a huge deception.

Pilger interviewed several leading US government figures in Washington but said he did not ask Powell or Rice to respond to his claims.

"I think it's very serious for Howard. Howard has followed the Americans and to a lesser degree Blair almost word for word," Pilger told AAP before his program was screened on ITV tonight.

"All Howard does is say `well it's not true' and never explains himself.

"I just don't believe you can be seen to be party to such a big lie, such a big deception and endure that politically.

"It simply can't be shrugged off and that's Howard's response.

"Blair has shrugged it off but Blair is deeply damaged. It's far from over here, there's a lot that is going to happen and much of it could wash onto Howard.

"And it's unravelling in America and Bush could lose the election next year.

"I've not seen political leaders survive when they've been complicit in such an open deception for so long."

Howard last week dismissed an accusation from Opposition Leader Simon Crean that he hid a warning from British intelligence that war against Iraq would heighten the terrorist threat to Australia.

In his report, Pilger interviews Ray McGovern, a former senior CIA officer and friend of Bush's father and ex-president, George Bush senior.

McGovern told Pilger that going to war because of weapons of mass destruction "was 95 per cent charade."

Pilger also claims that six hours after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he wanted to "hit" Iraq and allegedly said "Go Massive ... Sweep it all up. Things related and not."

He was allegedly talked down by Powell who said the American people would not accept an attack on Iraq without any evidence, so they opted to invade Afghanistan where Osama bin Laden had bases.

Pilger claimed war was set in train on September 17, 2001 when Bush signed a paper directing the Pentagon to explore the military options for an attack on Iraq. SOURCE

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Next thing you know, they'll be protecting the rights of them ho-mos!
JONATHAN D. SALANT, Associated Press
September 23, 2003

The American Civil Liberties Union asked the federal courts Tuesday to prevent the U.S. Secret Service from keeping anti-Bush protesters far away from presidential appearances while allowing supporters to display their messages up close.

The civil liberties group filed the lawsuit in federal court in Pennsylvania on behalf of four advocacy organizations that claimed that the Secret Service forced them into protest zones or other areas where they could not be seen by President Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney or be noticed by the media covering their visits.

"Protecting our nation's leaders from harm is important. Protecting our nation's leaders from dissent is unconstitutional."

"The pattern we found was at presidential and vice presidential appearances, protesters were restricted to areas where they were out of sight, out of earshot and often out of mind," said Witold J. Walczak, legal director for the ACLU's Greater Pittsburgh chapter.

"Protecting our nation's leaders from harm is important. Protecting our nation's leaders from dissent is unconstitutional."

Said Secret Service spokesman John Gill: "The Secret Service does not comment on pending litigation. However, we have a long-standing policy of recognizing the constitutionally-protected right of the public to demonstrate and voice their views to their elected officials."

The ACLU complaint lists several incidents where protesters were forced to assemble blocks away from where the president or vice president was speaking, while supporters of the administration's policy could hold their signs up in front of the building. They cited examples across the country, including Philadelphia; Columbia, S.C.; Phoenix; Stockton, Calif.; and St. Louis.

The plaintiffs are the National Organization for Women; United for Peace and Justice, an anti-war group; ACORN, an advocacy organization for low and moderate-income families; and USAction, an advocacy group that supports universal health care and better public education and opposes the Iraq war and Bush's tax cuts.

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Follow up to Big Hollywood Flop, published 9-22
by "Underground Comixx" as an original "Titty Board" rant.

Continuing on theme of "Bush as Hollywood Flop," I refer now to another Hollywood producer's memoir: Lynda Obst's "Hello, He Lied -- and other truths from the hollywood trenches."

In Chapter 2, she provides a complex archery metaphor: Getting a movie made (at all) is hitting the target. But that's still a far cry from scoring a bullseye-- a good movie that makes money.

By this measure-- Bush keeps hitting the target. He seems to get whatever he wants: 3 tax cuts, pre-emptive war in Iraq, 87 Billion in quagmire money. And yet Bush never hits the bullseye. None of his 'arrows' do what he claimed they would do. His 'solutions' never solve anything.

Particularly galling, is all the Special Olympics help Bush had. With a Republican Congress, hundreds of millions in campaign funding, an Uncritical Media, High Poll Numbers, and international support after 9/11-- Bush was allowed to stand very close to the Target, indeed. But he still couldn't shoot straight.

Ms. Obst also talks about "little bulls-eyes" that are hard to hit, and "big bulls-eyes" that are hard to miss. The movie "Rocky" was a big bulls-eye. It's pretty easy to make an appealing movie out of that story. "Dune" is a small bulls-eye. Hard to adapt into a tidy film.

Im not saying every problem that Bush has had to face was an easy "big bulls-eye" But look at what a coward he is, cheating-- as if they were all impossible to hit fair & square. So he cheated with secret energy policy meetings were only one-side invited; an economic summit with only hand-picked invitees; distorted intelligence; suppression of dissent; a stacked deck of bad faith cabinet appointees uninterested in carrying-out their duties.

The worst part is when, with every miss, Bush shouts "Bulls-eye!", "Mission Accomplished!", "Bring 'em on!"

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RMcG; This section is supposed to be where I post other peoples' comments and rants and throw in my own rambling retorts. Kinda like a Mystery Politics 3000. But, hey, today's installment is dead-on...there is nothing to add. I read the Krautheimer article Molly Ivins refers to in this piece, and it truly is an amazing lesson in Cognitive Dissonance.

I'm a piker compared to Molly. There is just nothing to add to this brilliant essay, and I encourage you to read it, print it, and post it on your office bulletin board, in the subway, at the supermarket, mail it to your dumbass republican brother. In the meantime, revel in the truth behind Molly's words, and I'll try to find something a bit more controversial to rant about for next time.

Fear and Loathing In America...it's not about hating Bush...

By Molly Ivins

AUSTIN, Texas -- Among the more amusing cluckings from the right lately is their appalled discovery that quite a few Americans actually think George W. Bush is a terrible president.

Robert Novak is quoted as saying in all his 44 years of covering politics, he has never seen anything like the detestation of Bush. Charles Krauthammer managed to write an entire essay on the topic of "Bush haters" in Time magazine, as though he had never before come across such a phenomenon.

"One thing I acknowledge about the right is that they're much better haters than liberals are. Your basic liberal is pretty much a strikeout on the hatred front. Maybe further out on the left you can hit some good righteous anger, but liberals, and I am one, are generally real wusses. "

Oh, I stretch memory way back, so far back, all the way back to -- our last president. Almost lost in the mists of time though it is, I not only remember eight years of relentless attacks from Clinton-haters, I also notice they haven't let up yet. Clinton-haters accused the man of murder, rape, drug-running, sexual harassment, financial chicanery and official misconduct, and his wife of even worse.

For eight long years, this country was a zoo of Clinton-haters. Any idiot with a big mouth and a conspiracy theory could get a hearing on radio talk shows, "Christian" broadcasts and nutty Internet sites. People with transparent motives, people paid by tabloid magazines, people with known mental problems, ancient Clinton enemies with notoriously racist pasts -- all were given hearings, credence and air time. Sliming Clinton was a sure road to fame and fortune on the right, and many an ambitious young right-wing hitman -- like David Brock, who has since made full confession -- took that golden opportunity.

After all this time and all those millions of dollars wasted, no one has ever proved that the Clintons did a single thing wrong. Bill Clinton lied about a pathetic, squalid affair that was none of anyone else's business anyway, and for that they impeached the man and dragged this country through more than year of the most tawdry, ridiculous, unnecessary pain.

"The puzzle is where this depth of feeling comes from," mused the ineffable Krauthammer. "Whence the anger? It begins of course with the 'stolen' election of 2000 and the perception of Bush's illegitimacy." I'd say so myself, yes, it would. I was in Florida during that chilling post-election fight and am fully persuaded to this good day that Al Gore actually won Florida, not to mention getting 550,000 more votes than Bush overall.

The night Gore conceded the race in one of the most graceful and honorable speeches I have ever heard, I was in a ballroom full of Republican Party flacks who booed and jeered through every word of it. One thing I acknowledge about the right is that they're much better haters than liberals are. Your basic liberal is pretty much a strikeout on the hatred front. Maybe further out on the left you can hit some good righteous anger, but liberals, and I am one, are generally real wusses.

To tell the truth, I'm kind of proud of us for holding the grudge this long. Normally, we'd remind ourselves that we have to be good sports, it's for the good of the country, we must unite behind the only president we've got, as Lyndon used to remind us. If there are still some of us out here sulking, "Yeah, but they stole that election," well good. I don't think we should forget that.

But, onward. So George Dubya becomes president having run as a "compassionate conservative," and what do we get? Hell's own conservative and zilch for compassion. His entire first eight months was tax cuts for the rich, tax cuts for the rich, tax cuts for the rich. Then came 9-11, and we all rallied. Country under attack, most horrible thing, what can we do? Ready to give blood, get out of our cars and ride bicycles, whatever. Shop, said the president. And more tax cuts for the rich.

By now, we're starting to notice Bush's bait-and-switch con. Make a deal with Ted Kennedy to improve education, and then fail to put any money into it. Promise $15 billion in new money to combat AIDS in Africa (wow), but it turns out to be a cheap con -- no new money. Bush comes to praise a job-training effort, then cuts the money. Bush says AmeriCorps is great, then cuts the money. Gee, what could we possibly have against this guy?

Then suddenly, in the greatest bait and switch of all time, Osama bin Laden doesn't matter at all, and we have to go after Saddam Hussein, who had nothing to do with 9-11. But he does have horrible weapons of mass destruction. So we take out Saddam Hussein, and there are no weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, the Iraqis are not overjoyed to see us. By now, quite a few people who aren't even liberal are starting to say, "Wha' the hey?"

We got no Osama, we got no Saddam, we got no weapons of mass destruction, the road map to peace in the Middle East is blown to hell, we're stuck in this country for $87 billion just for one year, and no one knows how long we'll be there. And still poor Krauthammer is hard-put to conceive how anyone could conclude that George W. Bush is a poor excuse for a president.

It is not necessary to hate George W. Bush to think he's a bad president. Grown-ups can do that, you know -- decide someone's policies are a miserable failure without lying awake at night consumed with hatred. Poor Bush is in way over his head, and the country is in bad shape because of his stupid economic policies. If that make me a Bush-hater, then sign me up.

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