Monthly Archives: September 2004

For Florida Residents Only: Cast Your Presidential Ballot Online

Due to the increasing doubts about the reliability of the Deibold voting machines, Jeb Bush & Co. have made available a more secure alternative voting platform, the Florida Election Ballot online. Now, if you are a registered Florida voter or know how to impersonate one online, you can cast your 2004 vote for President using this new service.

Posted in Completely Different | 1 Comment

More Top 10 Lists

CBS News: Bush's Top Ten Flip-Flops. My favorite:

During the 2000 campaign, George W. Bush argued against nation building and foreign military entanglements. In the second presidential debate, he said: “I'm not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say, 'This is the way it's got to be.'”

The United States is currently involved in nation building in Iraq on a scale unseen since the years immediately following World War II.

During the 2000 election, Mr. Bush called for U.S. troops to be withdrawn from the NATO peacekeeping mission in the Balkans. His administration now cites such missions as an example of how America must “stay the course.”

[I think this one is actually a double-flip-flop since we're now abandoning nation-building in Iraq.]

NPR: Top 10 Secrets They Don't Want You to Know About the Debates, including,

(7.) The secretly negotiated debate contract bars Kerry and Bush from any and all other debates for the entire campaign.

CBS News: Kerry's Top Ten Flip-Flops. Most pandering and damning,

In October 2003, Kerry said Israel’s unilateral construction of a security fence was “a barrier to peace.”

“I know how disheartened Palestinians are by the decision to build the barrier off the Green Line,” he told the Arab American Institute National Leadership Conference. “We don't need another barrier to peace. Provocative and counterproductive measures only harm Israelis.”

But less than a year later, in February 2004, he reversed himself, calling the fence “a legitimate act of self-defense,” and saying “President Bush is rightly discussing with Israel the exact route of the fence to minimize the hardship it causes innocent Palestinians.”

Posted in Politics: US: 2004 Election | 2 Comments

Gonzo Quicktime

Quietly gonzo, with weird resonances of bad Shakespearean hamming and of those annoying little films in Myst, Nigerian spam used as Quicktime soliloquy (spotted via Boing Boing).

Posted in Completely Different | Leave a comment

Talkleft Has a UM Student Blogging the Debate Experience

TalkLeft: Blogging the Miami Debate, written by a UM student living in the dorms.

A little taste:

Secret Service will be searching my apartment and the apartments surrounding the Convocation Center on Thursday morning, so I have to wake up early so they can do their jobs; but with my paranoia I'm taking my lap top and all personal documents out of my room just because well, that's just me.

Posted in U.Miami | 1 Comment

Top 10 Tough Questions for Thursday’s Debate

My brother's other gig is as a collaborator at the Nieman Watchdog. Today they bring you 10 Tough Questions for Thursday's Debate:

Who Else Gets to Start Pre-Emptive Wars?

For Bush: “We justify the War in Iraq as a preemptive war. Would we support other countries (like Indonesia, Russia or Israel) that feel the need for preemptive strikes to protect their homeland?” (Posted on NiemanWatchdog.org by Harry A. Thomas of Seattle)

Safer Without Who Else?

For Bush: “You have stated the world is safer without Saddam Hussein and that there is no difference between weapons of mass destruction and weapons of mass destruction programs. Would the world be safer without Kim Jong Il, Fidel Castro, and the other brutal dictators in the world who have intentions of possessing WMD and moving forward with WMD-related programs? If so, will you adopt a policy of regime change through military intervention for these countries? If not, what additional criteria must be met for your administration to intervene militarily, as you did with Iraq?” (Posted on NiemanWatchdog.org anonymously.)

The $87 Billion Question

For Kerry: “Please explain, once and for all, 'I voted for [the $87 billion], before I voted against it.' ” (Posted on NiemanWatchdog.org by Terri Kordella of Vienna, Va.)

Why Saddam Over Osama?

For Bush: “Saddam Hussein was a tyrant, there’s no doubt about that. However, Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda killed 3,000 people on our own soil. There are almost fifteen times as many troops in Iraq as in Afghanistan. Please explain to us why you felt it necessary to concentrate resources and funding on removing Saddam Hussein, who had not made any moves against the U.S., when Osama bin Laden had actually attacked. In other words, please explain why eliminating a potential threat took precedence over eliminating a proven one.” (Posted on NiemanWatchdog.org by Terri Kordella of Vienna, Va.)

Military Draft?

For both candidates: “Given that this war on terrorism has gone on for several years, and will continue into the future, do either of you expect to bring back the draft?” (Posted on NiemanWatchdog.org by Mike Juntunen)

Limit to Iraqi Self-Determination?

For both candidates: What would you do if an elected Iraqi government requests that all U.S. troops leave Iraq? (Posted on NiemanWatchdog.org by Jonah Thomas)

Learning From Mistakes?

For both candidates: “If you knew in March 2002, before troops landed in Iraq, everything you know now, in what ways would you have conducted the war differently?” (Posted on NiemanWatchdog.org by Allen Knutson, New York City)

Bring It On?

For Bush: “Mr. President, in July of 2003 you said if anyone wanted to attack our troops in Iraq, they should bring it on. In March of this year you appeared at a reporters' dinner and showed a video in which you jokingly stumbled around your office looking for weapons of mass destruction. Can you explain this behavior to the families who have lost loved ones in Iraq?” (Posted on dailykos.com by “Republicansforkerry”)

Flip-Flopping?

For Bush: “Mr. President, by your count, John Kerry has flip-flopped at least 6 times on Iraq. By my count, you gave us 9 different reasons to go to Iraq and you have given us 5 different answers on what will happen next. So, which answer is it now?” (Posted on dailykos.com by “usmeagle69”)

So Much to Fear?

For Bush: “Mr. President after September 11th you could have repeated FDR's famous statement. 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.' You choose not to calm the fear we were feeling as a society. As the leader of the nation don't you think we would have been better served by you making such a statement?” (Posted on dailykos.com by user “Davinci”)

Yet more evidence that Dan will never get picked to moderate a Presidential debate!

PS. I bet at most two of these get asked — the draft question and something about Iraq strategy.

Posted in Dan Froomkin | 5 Comments

Something Good Comes Out of Crawford, TX

Crawford, TX, GW Bush's “hometown,” i.e. the place where Bush's palatial family estate is located, has its own local newspaper, The Lone Star Iconoclast.

And it has something to say: Editorial, Opinion of the Publishers.

Read it.

Posted in Politics: US: 2004 Election | 2 Comments

Voting Republican This Year = Voting for Torture

It's not enough that Rumsfeld and probably Bush not just tacitly condoned but actively encouraged studies of optimal torture regimes, creating a climate in which undeniable and disgusting torture was used against Iraqi civilians, including children. And at Guantanamo (more). Even they at least had the hypocrisy to attempt to do the Iraq torture planning under wraps. (Hypocrisy being “the tribute vice pays to virtue”.) Meanwhile, at home, being too delicate to torture domestically, the Administration quietly subcontracted the job to Syria. (See my post almost exactly a year ago, Maher Arar Affair: What is the Pluperfect of 'Cynic'?.)

Comes now a group of Congressional Republicans who are pure vice, and are not even trying to hide it: they have proposed that US law be amended to remove protections against torture — ie to legitimate torture, to plan to torture — for people we label “terrorists” (modern unpersons). The full horrid details are at Obsidian Wings: Legalizing Torture. The key move would be to exclude “terrorists” from the protection of the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The “terrorists” could be held in secret unless they could somehow overcome (without lawyers or witnesses?) a presumption of guilt. When they failed to overcome this impossible burden they could be subject to “extraordinary rendition” which is bureaucrat for “being ported or transferred to a country that may engage in torture”—a deportation that currently would be a serious violation of US law.

Anyone who votes for people capable of supporting these policies has blood on their hands. Not to mention what they are doing to the image of the US as the 'City on the Hill', the beacon to mankind. Once we descend into the torture pit, we're just arguing about circles in Hell.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Politics: US | 23 Comments