Filtered news 11/6

Theme song for next 48 hours (thanks to the Beatles)

Have you seen the little piggies
Crawling in the dirt
And for all the little piggies
Life is getting worse
Always having dirt to play around in.

Have you seen the bigger piggies
In their starched white shirts
You will find the bigger piggies
You will find the bigger piggies
Stirring up the dirt
Always have clean shirts to play around in.

In their styes with all their backing
They don't care what goes on around
In their eyes there's something lacking
What they need's a damn good whacking.

If something doesn't smell right as you vote The nonpartisan Election Protection Coalition has launched its national 1-866-OUR VOTE voter assistance hotline and the poll location web site . 1-866-OUR-VOTE is the only national voter assistance hotline staffed by live call center operators trained to provide state specific assistance to all voters. Share this information as widely as you can!

How Republicans gave terrorists the Bomb Good grief, is the magnitude of this screw-up somehow unclear? You do not post detailed classified plans for making the components of a nuke on the Internet, duh! As if this needs any escalating qualifiers, you most especially don't post it in Arabic in the middle of a war against well financed terrorists teeming with frothy-mouth crazy, suicidal Jihadists.

We have no way of knowing how much this helped the bad guys, but that's hardly the point. It does not matter how useful the information given away turns out to be. (GOP trolls: Read that last part as many times as needed, should you feel strangely compelled to argue that posting nuclear secrets on the Internet is no big deal.)

At the least, it means being fired plus immediate revocation of any and all security clearances. If done knowingly for a seedy, ulterior motive against the stated consensus of seasoned national security professionals, it is a . You're lucky if you get for giving secrets to the enemy, instead of spending the rest of your short life twitching in agony, hanging by your arms on an ice-cold cinder block wall, with a cattle prod rudely shoved up an undisclosed location.

Would, coulda, shoulda “The U.S. government conducted a series of secret war games in 1999 that anticipated an invasion of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, and .” Read the full study .

How corrupt is Congress? :

 

FBI willing to go undercover in Congress if necessary

The new chief of the FBI's Criminal Division, which is swamped with public corruption cases, says the bureau is ramping up its ability to catch crooked politicians and might run an undercover sting on Congress. Assistant FBI Director James Burrus called the bureau's public corruption program "a sleeping giant that we've awoken," and predicted the nation will see continued emphasis in that area "for many, many, many years to come." So much evidence of wrongdoing is surfacing in the nation's capital that Burrus recently committed to adding a fourth 15- to 20-member public corruption squad to the FBI's Washington field office.

This sort of nonsense is exactly what happens under corporate crony one-party rule. Let's restore the balance Tuesday, shall we?

GOP robocall dirty tricks A columnist in Philly discusses the GOP's . GOP dinged for in NH. I guess this counts as returning to the scene of the crime. Read the article. But the key here is to put the focus on what's really happening here. The calls are intended to trick voters. That's what they want the election to turn on. That's the message. There definitely is something you can do. If you've gotten one of these calls, write down as much information about it as you can (time, phone number, etc.) and call the 'metro desk' of your local paper. They're looking for political stories in the final days. And this is a good one. Again, what we're talking about here are calls which purport to be from candidate A when in fact they're from candidate B and which call back repeatedly if you hang up before the call is finished. They're intentionally harassing calls -- meant to stick the blame on the other candidate. You can help get the word out if you act now. A few basic pointers, which are basically common sense: Be polite. Just give the facts. And just say what you yourself have experienced. This is a form of election sabotage that everyone should know about -- not three weeks from now, but now, when voters are still making up their minds. In addition to the and , TPM readers report such calls in the Illinos 6th (Roskam v. Duckworth), Illinois 8th (McSweeney v. Bean), and California 4th (Doolittle v. Brown). Here's a from a Dem candidate in Kansas, who's apparently been on the receiving end of this scam. The word really needs to get out on this. And remember, it all appears to be coming from . We won't be able to get to the bottom of this operation until after Tuesday, which is the point. They'll happily pay the fines for breaking the on misidentifying calls. For more on GOP robocalls that leave the impression with call-saturated voters that the call is from the Democratic candidate, take a look at this by Paul Kiel earlier in the week over at TPMMuckraker.

More dirty elections In Houston, the GOP is placing signs near early voting polling stations in Tom Delay's former district that read "Encourage Terrorists. Vote Democrat." Here are some ">pics.

Need proof that our election system is broken? San Diego ran out of and was forced to mail out photocopies of the actual ballot. If that wasn't bad enough, when the photocopied ballots are filled out and returned, the Registrar of Voters staff will copy the votes by hand onto the actual ballot, which can then be run through an optical scanner.

Iraq is now one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to . “When you have high levels of violence,” the group’s chief executive said, “, law enforcement and the functioning of institutions like the judiciary and legislature.”

The ...uh... wisdom of Cokie Roberts, from ...

"It's been difficult to govern, really, since 2000," says ABC News' Cokie Roberts, a long-time observer of Congress. "The country has been split down the middle and the Congress has been split down the middle. There's no reason to believe that that will really change after Tuesday unless there's a huge Democratic wave."

Yes, Cokie, it has been difficult for the GOP to take bills into conference committee which includes exactly no Democrats, and make whatever changes to the bills, pass them with their majorities, and have them signed. And let's not forget how hard it has been for the GOP to govern with the so called liberal media watching their every move - wait, wait, I need to catch my breath after laughing so hard. Why is this woman on any news program? Her silliness transcends insipidness. And, yeah, it ain't a word. But her silliness is so transcendent that it brought the word into existence. They're all part of the same corruption.

Hit the dirt! Dick Cheney will shoot his friend pheasant on Election Day. “On his first hunting trip since he last February while aiming at a covey of quail on a private Texas ranch,” Cheney “will head to South Dakota to spend several days at a private hunting lodge near Pierre.” (Ed - Let's hope those bullets don't carry as far as western WIsconsin )

GOP tricks in Ohio The OH-Sen Race has become very nasty, thanks to Mike DeWine. He is now claiming that Sherrod Brown promoted an employee who allegedly sold drugs to an undercover agent. Matthews asks DeWine the person's name and if he was ever arrested or convicted. DeWine doesn't know the name of the person and said no charges were ever filed. - WMV - QT DeWine is digging so hard to create some dirt on Brown and keeps failing miserably at it. DeWine says this story is from 20 years ago, which Matthews smacks him down on. 20 year old claim, no evidence, no name - yup sounds like a typical Republican attack ad.

So bigoted he hates himself CNN reported that Ted Haggard has put out a new statement saying he has deceived and is "guilty of sexual immorality". This is a rather big hit two days before the elections. - WMV - QT He's saying he has had a "lifelong sexual problem." I fear that's his way of saying he's gay, something for which he probably will seek a "cure."

Voting machine snafus have been during early voting in Florida's 13th Congressional District, where Republican Vern Buchanan and Democrat Christine Jennings are vying for Katherine Harris' open seat:

The voters who complained say they picked Jennings, but the 13th Congressional District had no vote registered for either Jennings or Republican Vern Buchanan when a screen reviewing their votes came up. The voters all said the touchscreen machines allowed them to go back to the 13th District race and make a selection, and their vote was recorded properly in the end.

Similar problems cropped up in during early voting:

Broward Supervisor of Elections spokeswoman Mary Cooney said it's not uncommon for screens on heavily used machines to slip out of sync, making votes register incorrectly. Poll workers are trained to recalibrate them on the spot -- essentially, to realign the video screen with the electronics inside. The 15-step process is outlined in the poll-workers manual.

Can you imagine an ATM "slipping out of sync" after heavy usage? Billions of dollars worth of commercial transactions are successfully completed every day in this country by consumers involving far more complicated software and far more possible choices than an electronic voting ballot. There is simply no excuse for this kind of thing, and anyone who suggests it's just par for the course was either sold a bill of goods or is selling one.

Sigh. The lying is getting old Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace repeatedly pushed the incorrect right-wing talking point that the on stem cells would allow human cloning. The Missouri ballot initiative clearly prohibits human cloning and makes it a felony crime. The initiative reads, “.” The amendment does protect somatic cell nuclear transplant (SCNT), but it is not the same as human cloning, despite Wallace’s claim. Medical researchers, patient advocates, and others point out that the SCNT . Additionally, as McCaskill notes, the initiative would actually tighten regulations for stem cell research by creating “a legal framework with sound ethical guidelines for this kind of research which frankly we don’t have in Missouri right now.”

More GOP dirty tricks In :

On Monday morning, when Chapel Hill lawyer Bob Epting approached the early voting center at Morehead Planetarium, he . . . was approached by a female college student who asked whether he was a registered Democrat.

"Yes I am," he said.

She replied, "Good, here's a list of our judicial candidates."

Epting thanked her, folded the piece of paper without looking at it and put it in his pocket. . . .

But after exiting the poll, he remembered the piece of paper and removed it from his pocket. Standing at the top of a dozen or so marble steps, he scanned the list in disbelief. It was a list of Republican candidates.

GOP sleaze watch:

Recommended reading : A new book offers one of the clearest accounts available on how the Bush Administration manipulated intelligence in order to pave the way for the invasion of Iraq.

Sounds more like Soviet times every day

This disturbing notice on Slashdot comes via Sara Robinson at Orcinus:

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has proposed a system which will in essence make it mandatory for you to have permission before leaving or entering the country, effectively putting everyone on a no-fly list unless the government says otherwise. Interestingly, the proposal does not seem to cover personal travel, only that on some sort of carrier like an airline or cruise vessel.

One would think that passports would be enough for a free government to regulate travel abroad by its citizens. But no, issuing passports doesn't have enough goose-stepping zip and pizazz for the Bushites. Passports are subject to public checks and balance And that, we just can't have; it would be too easy for someone to learn whether Bush is abusing them….

Sill more GOP dirty tricks Since Drudge started his little "where's Pelosi" campaign, the Republicans have jumped aboard that ship. Today, Chris Wallace asked John Boehner where Dennis Hastert is, and Boehner responded by asking "where's Pelosi". - WMV - QT of campaign stops Pelosi has made over the last few days. Now can the Republicans point us to a similar list for Hastert, or is he to busy packing up his office?

Is this the level of maturity we want running our government? On Meet The Press, Elizabeth Dole made the comment that "Democrats are content with losing". This of course started a battle on the panel: - WMV - QT Russert did try to give Rahm Emanuel a chance to respond, but Dole went to the old Republican playbook of not hearing opposition and talking over the opponent. It gets to the point you expect her to stick her fingers in her ears and go "na na na na na I can't hear you".

King George and Unca Dickey Dick Cheney told George Stephanopoulos that he would "probably not" appear before Congress if subpoenaed. - WMV - QT It is still amazing how things change over time. Remember when Clinton was subpoenaed by Starr? He was refusing to appear and the Republicans

Clips we ALL should watch Robert Greenwald, Director of the new film , talks to Bill Maher about the egregious war profiteering taking place in Iraq by private companies like Halliburton, CACI, Bechtel and Blackwater. These for-profit companies are taking advantage of the American taxpayers at the expense of the troops and the Iraqi people and have been allowed by the rubber-stamp GOP congress to operate with impunity. You can buy a copy for $12.95 and support Greenwald (Ed - Or better yet, support Greenwald AND Uppity Wisconsin by buying it from the box in the left column) or view the film in full . If there's one good thing a Democratic Congress will bring, it's oversight of these horrendous (yet status quo) practices. WMP | MOV Greenwald is a genius whose films are the definitive works to date on a myriad of controversial topics including the 2000 election, pre-war intelligence manipulation and FOX News' contempt for journalism. All of them can be viewed on Google Video for free as well here:



By: Glenn Greenwald

It is not news to anybody that Bush followers lie repeatedly and aggressively. But what does continues to amaze is that there is literally no limit on their willingness to do so even when — especially when — it requires them to ignore and contradict even the most glaring facts which everyone can see, as clear as day, right in front of our faces.

In this , Digby uses two examples from this past week – the John Kerry "controversy" and the publication by the Bush administration of how-to nuclear documents – to describe precisely how this process works.

And the Editors provides the of what Digby is describing — a cartoon which would be hilarious if it didn't so accurately convey the process which has destroyed our nation's political dialogue and enabled the most radical and destructive policies imaginable.

This is why I spent the last couple of days focused so heavily on Michael Ledeen's in National Review that he "opposed the military invasion of Iraq before it took place" even though he repeatedly wrote and said the exact opposite. It's not because Ledeen himself matters per se, but because this straightforward incident illustrates the dynamic so perfectly.

Ledeen has no compunction at all about blatantly lying even in the face of a of showing that he is lying — and his National Review editors such as Rich Lowry are content to remain silent about it because it's not news to them that their magazine is printing demonstrable falsehoods. It doesn't even warrant a response, let alone a correction, retraction or apology. That's because lying has become not only a perfectly acceptable tactic, but one that is central to their movement. Lying is not something they do sometimes It is who they are. Lying is a central and consciously adopted part of their ideology.

The grandfather of neoconservatism, Irving Kristol, long ago explained the "justification" for lying in an with Reason's Ronald Bailey (h/t ):

There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people . . . There are truths appropriate for children; truths that are appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults; and truths that are appropriate for highly educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy. It doesn't work.

It is from that rotted Stalinist root that the right-wing Ideology of Lying emerged, as embodied by the issued to Ron Suskind by a Bush "senior advisor" after Suskind wrote an article about Karen Hughes which displeased the Leader: ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out."

The authoritarian Bush movement is so Wise (in the case of neoconservatives) and so Good (in the case of the religious fundamentalists who are their loyal comrades) that everything, including the most blatant lies, is not only justifiable, but necessary. Reality can and must be fundamentally distorted for our own good. As Mona put it — and as the two posts linked above illustrate — "for neoconservatives [which has subsumed the so-called "conservative" movement itself], falsehood is a feature, not a bug."

Published

November 6, 2006 - 9:39am

Author

randomness