Filtered news 11/2

The usual disclaimer: no original work here; just bits cut and pasted from the Net.


Two Years Ago today, 121,480,019 voters (give or take) went to the polls:

The dust had not yet settled on the most narrow election victory by an incumbent president in the history of the republic. Bush's edge was 2.5 percent, smaller even than Woodrow Wilson's pathetic 1916 victory margin of 3.2 percent. [It] really chapped my ass when Cheney claimed a "broad nationwide victory" and a "mandate" for Bush's "clear agenda."
---From Al Franken's The Truth (with jokes)


Looking at the utter train wreck that has become Bush's second term (and "legacy"), all this just seems downright silly...

"Bush now has a mandate."
---Bill Bennett

"This time, of course, his claim of a popular mandate is incontrovertible."
---TIME magazine

"It is a mandate."
---Tucker Carlson

"He has, I would argue, a mandate now."
---Peggy Noonan

"The president's people are calling this a mandate. By any definition I think you could call this a mandate."
---NPR's Morning Edition

"He's going to say he's got a mandate from the American people, and by all accounts he does."
---Wolf Blitzer, CNN

"Mr. Bush has been given the kind of mandate that few politicians are ever fortunate enough to receive."
---The Wall Street Journal

"In one sense, we think it an even larger and clearer mandate than those won in the landslide reelection campaigns of Nixon in 1972, Reagan in 1984, and Clinton in 1996."
---William Kristol

"This time, Bush can claim a solid mandate of 51% of the vote..."
---Los Angeles Times

For his part, Bush displayed his trademark modesty:

Let me put it to you this way: I earned capital in the campaign---political capital---and now I intend to spend it.


On Tuesday, with the President having "spent" his way to a 30-something approval rating, Americans will finally have a chance to demand a refund.

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary." ---H.L. Mencken

Tell me it's not all about the oil During his interview with Rush Limbaugh, George Bush paused for a bit and then veered off from the subject at hand to explain what

Give me a second here, Rush, because I want to share something with you. I am deeply concerned about a country, the United States, leaving the Middle East. I am worried that rival forms of extremists will battle for power, obviously creating incredible damage if they do so; that they will topple modern governments, that they will be in a position to use oil as a tool to blackmail the West. People say, "What do you mean by that?" I say, "If they control oil resources, then they pull oil off the market in order to run the price up, and they will do so unless we abandon Israel, for example, or unless we abandon allies.

Rush called this "extremely visionary." It's certainly a bracing call to arms for our troops overseas, isn't it?

We got another one of Keith's special comments and this one was another top-notch job. Olbermann left no stone unturned while going through the exhaustive list of how the Republicans love to manipulate words and turn them into something they are not. - WMV - QT Transcripts below the fold: -11567">(Read the rest of this story…)

Where's the outrage, indeed. Kerry flubs a dumb joke, CNN goes wall-to-wall for two days straight. President Bush says a vote for Democrats is a vote for the terrorists, CNN (and the rest of the biggs) gives it a big yawn. Ed Kilgore has .

A picture worth 1000 words A nice of what a lot of folks have been saying -- and, come to think of it, what the president is saying too.

Comic relief The Daily Show featured some midterm election news last night that included Ohio, Montana, TN and little Ricky. -WMP -QT

"A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." ---George Bernard Shaw

Iraq: Not secure enough for mercenaries. Helluva job. I think this is what's called a bad sign (from the ) ...

Manhattan security company Kroll has withdrawn its bodyguard teams from Iraq and Afghanistan after it lost four workers in Iraq, its parent company said Wednesday. Michael Cherkasky, president and chief executive of Kroll owner Marsh & McLennan Cos., told The Associated Press that the business in the two countries wasn't worth risking the lives of their employees.


Too dangerous for the hired paramilitaries. Update: Apparently Bechtel has just announced they're too.

Corruption watch He's facing sexual assault charges. He had an illegal domestic worker. Now Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-NV) finds himself in a .

"No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session" ---Mark Twain

Family values watch We have Rep. Foley (R-FL) accused of various inappropriate sexual contact with underage congressional pages. Then we have Rep. Gibbons (R-NV) in an about allegedly accosting/propositioning a woman other than his wife in a parking garage in Las Vegas. Gibbons is currently running for governor. And there's a separate dimension of this scandal where his cronies are trying to cover up what happened. I guess this explains how things that happen in Vegas stay in Vegas. Next we've got the older story of Rep. Don Sherwood (R-PA) who his mistress. Then just last night we learned that the apparently more traditionally-minded Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY) by her being grabbed by the neck and pushed around the house." Any more?

You Poke It You Own it Well, And, no, withdrawing consent after penetration isn't retroactively withdrawing consent, it's simply telling someone to get their Mr. Happy out of your body when you want them to. I suggest pepper-spray breast implants.

Limbaugh Retrospective The president's pal, 06/13/1996:

LIMBAUGH: Want to wrap up something here that I--I just really find heartwarming. Ninety-three-year-old Strom Thurmond won his primary battle for the Republican nomination to be re-elected as senator in South Carolina this past week. And he was asked on TV, after the election was over, why the voters voted for him. Here's what he said.

Senator STROM THURMOND (Republican, South Carolina): Those who would believe that my age is a handicap or even a reason not to vote for me have been silenced. The voters have sent the message that it is my experience and ability to represent and serve the people of South Carolina that truly counts.

LIMBAUGH: He holds the record. He's got the longest filibuster in Senate history: 20--24 hours and 18 minutes, without even going to the bathroom, folks. Strom Thurmond, you got to love him.

That filibuster, of course, was of the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Got to love him for that, says Rush.

"All political parties die at last by their own lies." ---John Arbuthnot

The laziest Justice...ever. On November 1, 1991, Clarence "Did Somebody Say Porn??" Thomas took his place as associate justice on the Supreme Court. In 15 years, he's asked only one question from the bench. Probably because he's too involved in his daydreams. Sweet happy daydreams of firm buttocks and heaving breasts. And lunch...

To Life, To Life Lechaim While yesterday’s science related news gave us a real bummer (less calories equals better health and a longer life), today’s health headlines keep hope alive. It turns out that red wine contains a natural substance called resveratrol of a high calorie diet and extend longevity. As if we needed more good news, coffee may cut the . Looks like I’m having another liquid lunch.

First: Who's the Boss?

BAGHDAD, Oct. 31 — Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki demanded the removal of American checkpoints from the streets of Baghdad on Tuesday, in what appeared to be his latest and boldest gambit in an increasingly tense struggle for more independence from his American protectors.

Mr. Maliki’s public declaration seemed at first to catch American commanders off guard. But by nightfall, American troops had abandoned all the positions in eastern and central Baghdad that they had set up last week with Iraqi forces as part of a search for a missing American soldier. The checkpoints had snarled traffic and disrupted daily life and commerce throughout the eastern part of the city.

The language of the declaration, which implied that Mr. Maliki had the power to command American forces, seemed to overstep his authority and to be aimed at placating his Shiite constituency.

Second: What's Going On? A rare

The U.S. military does not have a tradition of abandoning its own soldiers to foreign militias, or of taking orders from foreign governments. No commander-in-chief who actually walks the walk, rather than swaggering the swagger, would acquiesce to such a thing. The soldier appears to be of Iraqi descent who is married to an Iraqi woman. Who authorized abandoning him to the enemy? Who is really giving the orders to the U.S. military in Iraq? These are real questions about honor and sacrifice and a war that is now careening out of any control. They are not phony questions drummed up by a partisan media machine to appeal to emotions to maintain power.

And where, by the way, is McCain on this? Silent on Cheney's "no-brainer" on waterboarding. Silent recently on Iraq. But vocal - oh, how vocal - on Kerry. It tells you something about what has happened to him. And to America.

"The American political system is like fast food: mushy, insipid, made out of disgusting things---and everybody wants some." ---P.J. O'Rourke

Surprise, surprise, surprise! :

Early voting runs through Friday, November 3rd. KFDM continues to get complaints from Jefferson County voters who say the electronic voting machines are not registering their votes correctly. Friday night, KFDM reported about people who had cast straight Democratic ticket ballots, but the touch-screen machines indicated they had voted a straight Republican ticket. Some of those voters including Lamar University professor, Dr. Bruce Drury, believe the problem is a programming error. Saturday, KFDM spoke to another voter who says it's not just happening with straight ticket voting, he says it's happening on individual races as well, Jerry Stopher told us when he voted for a Democrat, the Republican's name was highlighted. -11547">(Read the rest of this story…)

Supporting our troops?

  • VP Dick Cheney - , by marriage and timely fatherhood.
  • Karl Rove, occasional Deputy Chief of Staffand alleged full time smear artist, and did not serve
  • Secretary of State and former NSA Condaleeza Rice - did not serve
  • Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist - did not serve.
  • Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert - did not serve.
  • Republican Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay - did not serve.


  • Rush Limbaugh - did not serve
  • Sean Hannity - did not serve
  • Ann Coulter - did not serve
  • Bill O'Reilly - did not serve

I could go on and on with this list. To note all the GOP politicians and Republican pundits who both did not serve and who now happily smear those who did, would take up several front pages. And this craven GOP breed of prestige parasites are particularly loathsome because once off stage and out of frame, they will insidiously in favor of corporate welfare and tax cuts for billionaires. Not to mention they spooked us into war against the wrong country. Meanwhile, our troops are being killed and maimed in Iraq for the colossal blunder and subsequent ass covering of the Republicans. Taxpayers have been fleeced of the better part of half a trillion dollars. And until the Republicans are sent packing, there is no end in sight.

The desperation is starting to stink up the place If you think this year's election has produced some of the most ridiculous negative attacks ever made, you haven't seen anything yet. The Ohio GOP put out a last week attacking Sherrod Brown for accepting support from Al Franken. The news release came complete with a doctored photo of Franken, in which the Ohio GOP have photoshopped a picture of Franken's head onto someone wearing diapers and holding a big teddy bear. I'm not kidding:

The release also came complete with this charming accusation:

It is not surprising that Sherrod Brown is enlisting the help of a Hollywood liberal, who like him, is so far out of the mainstream of Ohio values. What is troubling is that Brown would solicit support from someone who compared conservatives to Nazis "who should drink poison and die."

Al Franken compared conservatives to Nazis "who should drink poison and die?" Uh, no. That quote comes from Bernard Goldberg's book 110 People Who Are Screwing Up America, and it's part of a fictional interview between Goldberg and Franken, which Goldberg for "humorous" purposes.

I'm actually surprised the Ohio GOP didn't use Goldberg's entire fictional quote, which went like this: "I think they're all a bunch of motherf***ing, Nazi, ass***** who should drink poison and die." But then I guess they're cynical enough to realize that even diehard Republicans aren't dumb enough to fall for that one.

Self-restraint. Molly Ivins says there are four rules of good sportsmanship we should keep in mind next Wednesday morning. Yes, she will :

First rule: No gloating. Actually, there is gloating allowed, but only in the exclusive presence of other Democrats. Gloating in the face of Republicans is rude and unsportsmanlike, and just gives them one more thing to complain about. Also, remember there is a possibility there may be some Republicans on the civil service staff---I have seen this when the R's win---and it is really not good manners to watch them wailing around with their eyes brimming with tears.


Second, I'm sure we will all be full of grand theories if Republicans lose and we win. Dems will be ready to be helpful, offer advice and sort of try to perk the R's up. I do not recommend this. It somehow never feels to me when R's are dumping truckloads of good advice on the D's that they are, actually, sincere about it.

Third, celebratory jigs, reels and renditions of "Danny Boy" are best limited to Irish bars.

Fourth, try to refrain from insulting Republicans en masse. A good start would be, "You know, it was mostly the ones under indictment that hurt you."


November 2, 2006 - 4:28pm