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Historic Stupidity
Liberty Cabbage was the alternative name created during World War I, used to refer to Sauerkraut, to avoid using words from the enemy's language. A hamburger was referred to as a Liberty Sandwich, and German Measles were Liberty Measles.

RMcG: But I bet the Bush family was still referred to as a bunch of weasles.

*Source: Food Reference Website

Stre$$ing for dollars.

"Ms. Jamila Glauber filed a lawsuit against the transit system in Juneau, Alaska, because a driver's attempt to enforce the well-known no-eating rule on a bus (it was a Snickers bar) caused her, she says, at least $50,000 worth of emotional distress (July). And Kenneth Williams, in jail near San Diego, awaiting trial for raping an underage girl, filed a lawsuit against the facility because of the mental stress and anguish and weight-loss caused by finding a fly in his mashed potatoes (June)."

RMcG: No wonder Bush hates attorneys. He could be facing billions in lawsuits after all the stress he's caused!

*Source: New Of The Weird

Waiting for the Bushless recovery
More U.S. workers lost their jobs in large layoffs in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday, another sign that employers are continuing to trim payrolls even as the economy strengthens.

The BLS tracks what it calls "mass layoffs," or firings of more than 50 workers in a single month by a single employer, by compiling reports on initial claims for unemployment benefits filed with state agencies. The numbers include temporary and permanent firings.

About 134,000 workers lost their jobs in 1,258 mass layoffs nationwide last month, up from the 128,103 employees who were fired in 1,248 such actions in August 2002, the bureau said.

RMcG: I don't get it...the rich guys who got the tax cuts are all saying the economy is growing just fine. Of course, when your accounts earn more in interest in a single day than most people earn working for an entire year, things would appear rosy now, wouldn't they?

*Source: Washington Post

Transcript of the Thursday News Conference

September 25, 2003

Ari "Scott" McClellan (Ari): Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. If you can sit down we can get the ball rolling.

Thank you.

I am having the list of answerable questions passed around. This time we've also printed out the answers, so those of you who want to take the rest of the afternoon off can go right ahead.


Wow. I knew that that was a great idea. Only 3 of you left. I guess you want some kind of exclusive, hehe.

Helen Thomas (HT): There are FOUR of us left.

Ari: C'mon guys, let's get moving. I want to squeeze in a golf game! OK, you, from FauxNews.

Anonymous FauxNews correspondent (FN): Thank you Ari. Is there anything you'íd like us to stress on the news tonight?

Ari: Well, I'm glad you asked. You know how we've launched a campaign to show that we never believed that Saddam had anything to do with 9/11?. Could you put together an editorial comment saying that Saddam might not have had anything DIRECTLY to do with it, but that 'inside sources' say that there are miles and miles of documents saying that Saddam had a 9/11 PROGRAM?

FN: Sure thing boss! I mean Ari. Uh, Scott. Sorry.

HT: There are FOUR of us here. And ONE of us actually is a journalist.

Ari: CNN?

CNN: I lost the new media guidelines regarding oil, Halliburton and rebuilding. Could you shoot me another copy?

Ari: Sure thing. No more questions? Hey! Wake up the guy from NPR. I hope you didn't slip him too many of those special saccharinis.

HT: I have a question.

Ari: OK, that's a rap.

HT: Mr. McClellan! You can't expect the American press to be your lapdog!

Ari: Who let the old bag in? Security!

(sound of shuffling, end of tape).




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And apparently, he should have read a few chapters of the author's book, "The UN For Beginners."

By Ian Williamson, UN Correspondent to The Nation Magazine

Although there was a sigh of relief that he was not announcing a new crusade against Iraq the way he did from the same podium last year, George W. Bush's speech to the UN General Assembly yesterday was as wooden as we have come to expect, leading to unkind thoughts. (Wouldn't it be fun if the TelePrompTer froze!)

Of course, no one was expecting him to apologize for getting it wrong. But you would never guess from his speech that the weapons inspectors he sent to scour Iraq have not found a single working weapon of mass destruction, nor that the Iraqi scientists they have interviewed concur that the weapons were actually destroyed when Saddam Hussein said they were.

"The president declared, "The regime of Saddam Hussein cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction." This is, as Winston Churchill said when parliamentary etiquette forbade him to say that a colleague had lied, "a terminological inexactitude."

The president did not mention that the war he fought "for the credibility of the United Nations" was opposed by the overwhelming majority of UN members, nor that he has since refused to let the UN's own weapons inspectors return to Iraq even though the whole campaign against Iraq a year ago was based on Hussein's refusal to let them in.

Instead, the president declared, "The regime of Saddam Hussein cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction." This is, as Winston Churchill said when parliamentary etiquette forbade him to say that a colleague had lied, "a terminological inexactitude." There is no doubt that Hussein used terror against his own people on a huge scale - at times with the support of President Bush's father. There is no evidence whatsoever, as Bush himself admitted a week ago, that Hussein was behind Sept. 11, even if the administration has somehow persuaded a large majority of the American public that he was. It took the U.S. destruction of the tightly controlled Iraqi police state to make the country a haven for the world's terrorists.

While invoking "terrorists" in his speech, the president introduced a new threat to the world: "proliferators." Although this is less worrying than explicitly naming Cuba, Syria, Iran and the other countries that have appeared on the administration's hit list, it appears as yet another open-ended threat to justify military action against anyone Bush and his advisers get upset with.

It's too bad that he ignored Kofi Annan's earlier speech, which definitively lay down the international law on invasions. Before Bush spoke, the Secretary General had politely but firmly attacked the administration's doctrine of pre-emptive and unilateral challenges under which "states are not obliged to wait until there is agreement in the Security Council. Instead, they reserve the right to act unilaterally, or in ad-hoc coalitions." Annan declared that if this doctrine "were to be adopted, it could set precedents that resulted in a proliferation of unilateral and lawless use of force, with or without credible justification."

In contrast, President Bush was muted about his own stalled attempt to get a UN resolution calling for countries to send troops to join a multilateral force in Iraq. He certainly made no concessions to those who think the UN should indeed have a more vital role there than simply persuading the Indians, Turks and South Koreans to send their troops to join the occupation. Indeed, he dismissively relegated the UN to assisting in "developing a constitution, in training civil servants and conducting elections."

He pointed proudly to representatives of the Iraqi Governing Council sitting in the Iraqi seats in the General Assembly, but forgot to mention that they have been calling for a rapid handover of power to themselves. But then his own administration has been disparaging the council as unfit to rule without Paul Bremer's supervision. Bremer should know. He picked them.

In the face of such significant omissions, it is not surprising that the world's leaders sitting in session were a little underwhelmed when the president tried to project compassionate conservatism on a global scale with his call for action against sex-trafficking. Was this addressed to the Soccer Moms or the Bible Belters, and if so, do they listen to UN speeches? Certainly, on the evidence of the president's own speech, he does not listen much to others'. The sound of silence is often deafening when statesmen speak, but in the case of George. W. Bush it is the deafness that is almost as stunning. He neither hears nor mentions disagreement. SOURCE.

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It is not the dems' charge to simply make nice for the good of the country. We should be kicking ass for the good of the country.


"It's sad when...you come to the realization that the best some people can do to support their candidate is say 'He's not Bush. Or Dean.' Should I point out the bad things about Kerry and Clark, or should I go with my instinct and support my candidate because of who he is, instead of who he's not?"

Thus began a new debate among Message Board Activists and, no doubt, Smokey Diner Activists and White Picket Fence Activists, and even bona fide political strategists. Faced with a wide selection of the most articulate, supportable field of candidates in memory, is it wise for us to bring each one down, peg by peg, until the last man standing is so battered and bruised that even four more years of George Bush seems begrudgingly palatable?

I say, hell yes. Kick ass now, because the Republicans now in power are serious haters with a demonstrated disregard for the rule of law and a skewed value system bordering on pathological. If "your guy" can't make a strong showing against a field of ten people among whom s/he supposedly shares an ideological bent, how on earth will s/he be able to go toe to toe with the Karl Rove/RNC tag team of dirty tricksters and media moles?
"I'm not afraid to say that I am not particularly comfortable sending a country doctor to slog into Bush's turd pile, getting the hang of all this strategery mumbo-jumbo while troops who have ten times more military experience than he does continue to get picked off in endless guerilla attacks."

I wasn't posting to ANY message boards prior to the Bushista junta, but I do recall voicing many of the concerns about Bush vs. Gore in regard to selecting a candidate based upon qualifications.

All things being equal, if we are really talking about the person most qualified to lead the nation, to take on the top job of dealing with unforseen crises among the day to day mundanities, Gore should have been handed the job without the need for an election. His resume featured many years of foriegn policy experience, eight years of direct, on the job experience in the WH, a good academic and military record, if only moderately more "stellar" than Dubya's. But, politics is not HR. People didn't like Gore for all the wrong reasons to dislike a president, and they did like Bush for the same wrong reasons -- because of their reg'lar guy status. Bush was one. Gore wasn't.

That is all anyone seemed to care about. Hey, he's a reg'lar guy, just like me. Betcha he picks up those $5000 suits down to the Wal Mart, just like all us reg'lar guys do! I fear I see a similar basis in the growing support of Howard Dean. I see bandwagon-jumping instead of deeply thought-out convictions about what it takes to be a world leader.

We seem to like Dean for something he is not, and that is, he is not Bush. Remember, not long ago, many disillusioned democrats used this same faulty reasoning to justify their turn to Bush...he was not a Clintonite. But Howard Dean is also not any more experienced than Bush was prior to his coronation. Dean, like Bush, is just another governor of just another state. So he's a nice guy, a country doctor. So the fuck what? We're at war, for Christ's sake!

As the Bushista's are so fond of reminding us, everything changed on 9/11. I'm not afraid to say that I am not particularly comfortable sending a country doctor to slog into Bush's turd pile, getting the hang of all this strategery mumbo-jumbo while troops who have ten times more military experience than he does continue to get picked off in endless guerilla attacks.

I admit, I am looking at this from a marketing perspective; it is what I do (or did). I can sell the shit out of Wesley Clark. He'd fly off the shelves with a marketing strategy even a first year advertising student could draft. I'd have a much harder time "selling" the reason to switch from Brand B when Brand D is not particularly attractive, either.

Don't misread this; I don't like Clark...yet. But I am listening, closely. I may wind up voting for Dean in the primaries if he can show me a good reason why his experience as governor of VT (Texas?) should outweigh the experience of a decorated General whom virtually everyone describes as "brilliant."

I have concerns. I am uneasy with the notion of military men in command of the government. Then there is that gnawing fear that Clark might actually be a republican, a brilliant and insidious RNC strategy to hold on to power, no matter what. It's certainly not something I'd put past them. Remember, the RNC was flooding donations to Dean earlier in the year, because they thought they could kick his ass easier.

I just don't know.

As I explained to my online sparring partner, at this point, neither candidate really has anything new to tell us about themselves and their achievements. All the good stuff they want us to know is on their web sites and press releases. But there is tons of stuff about all of them that we DON'T know, and quite frankly, I'm waiting to know more. I yearn to know more.

I'd rather bash our candidates now, shake out the skeletons Karl Rove most assuredly already has notated in his agenda book. Because he stands ready to fax to every newspaper in America the moment any one of them appears to be threatending his meal ticket. Because, I believe Bush is unelectable. After listening to the dems speak, Al Sharpton is actually more articulate and erudite than the usurper. Any of the ten dems, save Lieberman ("Joe Lieberman; for those who don't think Bush is Jewish enough" - Jon Stewart), look to be a better choice than Bush.

Any crack in our collective shell will be -- I repeat, will be -- exploited. So let's not fast-track any one of these guys without inspection, as if they were just another of Dick Cheney's taxpayer-funded nucular plants. We liberals need to be less... nice. When we know we are fighting crooks, we shouldn't expect them to fight honorably.

The bottom line is this...I just don't want to be stuck with another disaster in the White House for four years. I'm just doing due diligence.

Rob McGrath is an artist and ersatz writer living in Connecticut, and boasts absolutely no political credentials to warrant your attention to this rant. But thanks anyway (and a special thanks to Mary!)

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The case for Bush hatred (Excerpt)

by Jonathan Chait

"When the September 11 attacks gave Bush an opportunity to unite the country, he simply took it as another chance for partisan gain. He opposed a plan to bolster airport security for fear that it would lead to a few more union jobs. When Democrats proposed creating a Department of Homeland Security, he resisted it as well. But later, facing controversy over disclosures of pre-September 11 intelligence failures, he adopted the idea as his own and immediately began using it as a cudgel with which to bludgeon Democrats. The episode was telling: Having spent the better part of a year denying the need for any Homeland Security Department at all, Bush aides secretly wrote up a plan with civil service provisions they knew Democrats would oppose and then used it to impugn the patriotism of any Democrats who did--most notably Georgia Senator Max Cleland, a triple-amputee veteran running for reelection who, despite his support for the war with Iraq and general hawkishness, lost his Senate race thanks to an ugly GOP ad linking him to Osama bin Laden.

"All this helps answer the oft-posed question of why liberals detest Bush more than Reagan. It's not just that Bush has been more ideologically radical; it's that Bush's success represents a breakdown of the political process. Reagan didn't pretend to be anything other than what he was; his election came at the crest of a twelve-year-long popular rebellion against liberalism. Bush, on the other hand, assumed office at a time when most Americans approved of Clinton's policies. He triumphed largely because a number of democratic safeguards failed. The media overwhelmingly bought into Bush's compassionate-conservative facade and downplayed his radical economic conservatism. On top of that, it took the monomania of a third-party spoiler candidate, plus an electoral college that gives disproportionate weight to GOP voters--the voting population of Gore's blue-state voters exceeded that of Bush's red-state voters--even to bring Bush close enough that faulty ballots in Florida could put him in office."


RMcG; By now it is clear to most reasonable people that Bush screwed the pooch when he actually took military advice from his merry band of Chickenhawks. Let's accept that this man simply does not have the attention span to have thought up any of this stuff himself...Poppy got him installed so the family friends at PNAC could have their way with the world.

But the extent to which the pooch's bunger is stretched is just now becoming evident. Bush (Karl Rove) must surely have some trick up his sleeve. I have no doubt the man is stupid enough to think America will still rally around him, if he can just hit another trifecta.

What is scary is that so much else of what I and many others predicted has come true. What if the alcohol and caffiene induced crap we posted on the message boards a year ago come true? Is Osama lounging in Dad's poolhouse, waiting for the word to re-appear, say, sometime around October of next year? At this point I wouldn't be at all surprised if Bush, wearing his flight suit, personally wrestles Osama to the ground just a few weeks before the election.

Such is the trust this president bestows.

With that, check out this "balance sheet" of Bush Blunders. And Krauthammer can't figure out liberal Americans are so outraged. Sheesh.

Sifting Through the Rubble

By John B. Judis

Excerpt Copr. 2003 The American Prospect

is w chauncey?Last February I had lunch with a friend who was teaching at one of the military war colleges. He told me that the officers he knew were uniformly skeptical about a war with Iraq. "I don't think they are worried about fighting Iraq but about garrisoning it afterward," he said. I heard similar doubts about the wisdom of the war from foreign-policy experts, oil-industry consultants and Middle East historians, but the Bush White House was not interested in these opinions. It was listening to the echo chamber set up by the Pentagon, The Weekly Standard and the American Enterprise Institute. A few months after George W. Bush declared victory, however, it is clear that the skeptics were right on every important count.

Here is a balance sheet:

Liberation. The administration foresaw a speedy military victory giving way to demonstrations of joy and gratitude from Iraqis and to the installation of a new pro-U.S. Iraqi government led by exile Ahmed Chalabi. The restoration of services and the creation of an interim Iraqi government, Chalabi promised on April 18, would take "a few weeks." Five months later, the U.S. and British occupation faces military and political opposition everywhere except the Kurdish areas in the north. Australian Paul McGeough, one of the few reporters with access to everyday Iraqis, wrote in late August, "Much of the anger and emotion in Iraq today is directed at the Americans ... . [O]rdinary Iraqis cite the same reasons for the resistance as the fighters themselves -- nationalism, Islam and payback."

As for the resistance, there is a difference in ferocity, but not in ultimate purpose, between the Shiites and the Sunnis. Sunnis around Baghdad and Tikrit, who remain loyal to the Baath Party, have conducted an armed resistance; many Iraqi Shiite leaders, however, like their Iranian counterparts in the 1970s, appear more conciliatory to the United States but are committed to a regime that would resemble the one in Iran and would probably be no more friendly to the United States than a pro-Baath government. While the war won't go on forever, the Americans' best hope in years to come may be a regime that is so crippled by factional strife that it cannot become the leader, along with Iran, of a formidable anti-American bloc.

New Dawn. The war in Iraq was also supposed to initiate a "new dawn" in the Mideast from Cairo to Kabul. Arab autocracies were supposed to crumble in the face of Iraq's democratic example. But the war has had, according to Saudi reformer Khalid al-Dakhil, a professor at King Saud University, "the reverse effect." Democratic reformers in Egypt and the Persian Gulf states had hoped to find a path between the Saudi monarchy and the Islamic opposition, but in the face of widespread perception that America is hostile to Islam, they have risked being branded as tools of the United States by radical Islamic groups. The reformist center has disappeared.

As a result of the war, the United States has also become more rather than less dependent on the anti-democratic regimes in these countries. When the joint congressional inquiry into the September 11 attacks charged in a classified section that there were ties between al-Qaeda and the top levels of the Saudi family, the Bush administration refused to release the report out of deference to the Saudi regime. [See Michael Steinberger, "Bush's Saudi Connections," page 15.] One neoconservative who wanted to take action against Riyadh was told by the White House that "if you knew what we knew you would feel differently [about the Saudis], because they have been really helpful." Similarly, the United States has become more reliant on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, counting on him to back the potholed "road map" and to use his secret police to harass jurists at Cairo's prestigious al-Azhar Seminary who have denounced Iraq's governing council.

The U.S. invasion of Iraq seems to have rekindled rather than snuffed out Iran's nuclear ambitions. And it has not made either the Israelis or the Palestinians more pliable. Even while agreeing to the American road map, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon continued to expand settlements; the Palestinians, meanwhile, responded with renewed terrorist attacks. To make matters worse, Afghanistan has tumbled back into armed chaos. According to Pakistani journalist Husain Haqqani, who, along with al-Dakhil, is currently at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, the Taliban now controls the southeastern provinces of Afghanistan from which it is launching attacks against American forces. The region joining Afghanistan with northern Pakistan is re-emerging as a terrorist enclave. And plans for national economic development have also fallen by the wayside. A United Nations study found that Afghanistan is once again the world's largest producer of opium -- an industry that the Taliban had suppressed. At best, the U.S. invasion has reinforced the unstable status quo from Cairo to Kabul. At worst, it has set the stage for a decade of tumultuous unrest. (CONT.)


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