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Sunday, October 24, 2004
Chris Cranmer, 24, a technician serving on the Type 22 frigate Cumberland, has been officially recognized as a Satanist by the ship's captain.
That allows him to perform satanic rituals aboard and permits him to have a non-Christian Church of Satan funeral should he be killed in action.
A spokesman for Britain's Ministry of Defence told CNN Sunday that it had a duty to allow members of the forces to practice their religion.
He added that the MoD was an "equal opportunities employer" which did not stop anyone having their own religious values.
"The Royal Navy allows this kind of approach because it is clearly in line with current regulations. We are not aware of any other individuals who want to be registered as Satanists."
Cranmer, 24, who comes from Edinburgh, Scotland, is now lobbying the Ministry of Defence to make Satanism a registered religion in the Armed Forces, says Britain's Sunday Telegraph.
Sues over 'back door draft' after trying to quit army
BY THOMAS ZAMBITO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Jay Ferriola, a soldier for eight years, stands outside court where he asked judge to stop Army from sending him to war in Iraq, saying he submitted resignation in June.
A decorated Army captain asked a judge yesterday to bar the military from sweeping him up in a 'back-door draft' and shipping him off to Iraq on Monday.
Jay Ferriola, a 31-year-old Manhattan resident, handed in his resignation in June after eight years of active and reserve duty, according to the suit filed in Manhattan Federal Court.
But even though his commanding officer recommended that he be granted a discharge, the military never sent out the paperwork, the suit says, and on Tuesday, Ferriola got orders dated Oct. 8 sending him to war.
Ferriola's suit says the order in unconsitutional and amounts to 'involuntary servitude.' 'I complied with my obligation,' he said. 'I never intended to make a career of the Army. I want to pursue other careers in civilian life.'
Attorney Barry Slotnick said Ferriola, a registered Republican, is not motivated by fear or opposition to the war but wants the Army to uphold the contract it signed with him in 1993. 'He has served his country heroically and patriotically,' Slotnick said.
Judge Robert Sweet granted him an emergency hearing tomorrow.
The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment on Ferriola's lawsuit but will represent the government at the hearing.
A 1995 graduate of the officer training program at the Virginia Military Institute, Ferriola served as an officer in South Korea's demilitarized zone and in Germany. He won three commendations for meritorious service.
In February 2"
Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President:
In 1967, young George W. Bush abruptly called off his engagement to Cathryn Lee Wolfman. Friends close to the family blamed this sudden change of heart on Bush family pressure and disapproval of the prospective fiancee's Jewish stepfather. Although representatives from the Bush family later denied antiSemitism, in 1993, Bush as Texas Governor told the Houston Chronicle that he believed there was no place in heaven for anyone who did not accept Jesus Christ as his "personal savior." In 1998, before departing on a high-profile trip to the Middle East, Bush sophomorically joked with U.S. reporters that the first thing he would say to his hosts in Israel would be that they were all "going to hell."
Although many draft-age Americans thought the war in Vietnam was unjust, George W. Bush's draft-dodging used his social status and backroom deals. Although the waiting lists for alternative service in the National Guard were over 100,000 names long, Houston oilman Sidney A. Adger contacted Texas House Speaker Ben Barnes for a special intercession on behalf of young Bush. George W. was admitted instantly into the Texas Air National Guard and was promoted to officer in an unprecedented few months, bypassing the required 23 month officer candidate programs. Bush flew the F-102 aircraft, which was being phased out of service at the time. Despite his claims to the contrary today, there was never any chance Bush would ever see action in Vietnam.
The 1972 Coke Arrest
Although the following information has received the most controversial reception thus far, it is only part of the larger pattern exhibited by Fortunate Son. This biography establishes that George W. Bush has never been required to play by the rules, not just in 1972. Upon finishing the first draft of Fortunate Son, J.H. Hatfield was bothered by the incongruous break in the pattern of young G.W. Bush's life. In 1972, Bush "volunteered" to work with inner-city Houston youth at the community center Project P.U.L.L. Hatfield began to suspect that the service wasn't voluntary, but court-ordered. This was confirmed by three sources who had the same story: Bush was arrested for cocaine possession but his father, Congressman George Bush, worked out a backroom deal with a friendly judge.
-George W. Bush to writer and editor Al Hunt, 1988 (very presidential !)
"You know I could run for governor but I'm basically a media creation. I've never done anything. I've worked for my dad. I worked in the oil business. But that's not the kind of profile you have to have to get elected to public office."
-George W. Bush, 1989
"If we have to use smoke and mirrors to give the impression that Bush is not what a lot of people think he is, then we'll do whatever it takes."
-Bush Presidential Strategist/Advisor, 1999
"As my daughter said, "Hey Dad, you're not nearly as cool as they think you are."
-George W. Bush, 1999
======And Jesus Spake Thusly===============
Love thy neighbor.....
Bush says he's lovin' Missy Johnson as hard as he can, which is hard since what he did got her husband killed...
And he's worried too many Ob-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women across this country.
""I drink, I smoke, I sniff..
so what? You fucking son of a bitch...
We are watching what you're saying...
I'm gonna be president... we'll get ya!""
DID GOD TELL HIM TO GET SOUSED?
"Pat Robertson: I Warned Bush On Iraq
White House: "It's Not Accurate"
Oct 20, 2004 5:29 pm US/Mountain
NEW YORK (CBS) Top evangelist Pat Robertson said he warned President Bush to prepare the American people for U.S. casualties in Iraq but that Mr. Bush replied, "We're not going to have any casualties."
The religious broadcaster, who is a strong Bush supporter, spoke about his pre-war conversation with the president Tuesday on CNN's "Paula Zahn Now" program.
Robertson said Mr. Bush seemed confident, even elated during their conversation in Nashville prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
"You remember Mark Twain said, 'He looks like a contented Christian with four aces.' I mean he was just sitting there like, 'I'm on top of the world,'" Robertson told CNN. "And I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, 'Mr. president, you had better prepare the American people for casualties.'"
Robertson said the president replied, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."
CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller, who is on the campaign trail with President Bush, reports that senior Bush campaign adviser Karen Hughes said that Robertson was wrong in quoting Mr. Bush as saying the U.S. wouldn't suffer any casualties in Iraq.
"It's not accurate," Hughes told CBS News. "It's not the kind of thing the president would say."
"Not the kind of thing the President would say??????@!!!!!!"
"Televangelist Pat Robertson made a revelation to the world this week.
Robertson claims that in the winter of 2003, meeting with President George W. Bush in Nashville, he told Bush that the administration had better prepare the American people for casualties from an Iraq war that God had revealed to Robertson would be "messy."
And Bush allegedly replied, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."
We find that story incredible - as in, virtually impossible to believe.
It's clear the Bush administration made some miscalculations in the Iraq war. Certainly the Pentagon and White House expected a more favorable reaction from the Iraqi citizenry. It seems apparent that U.S. soldiers in Iraq are at times spread too thin.
And, we know that Bush is often considered a nitwit by his opponents - a man not smart enough to be president.
But it just isn't credible to believe that anyone could think that a military operation of the scope undertaken in Iraq could be pulled off without any casualties. Bush in our estimation probably believed U.S. casualties would be lower than they've proven to be - more than 1,100 dead and 9,000 casualties in total. But he would have to be a man completely incapable of rational thought to believe that the U.S. could liberate Iraq without bloodshed.
So why would Pat Robertson make this revelation now, with fewer than two weeks left in the campaign?
For starters, Robertson hasn't always been known for saying the right thing at the right time. So even if he is, as he proclaims, still a Bush-supporter, it isn't beyond Robertson to so badly bungle his timing that it costs his candidate at the ballot box.
This, of course, assumes that Robertson is telling the truth, or at least believes that he is. And we'll give him the benefit of the doubt on the latter, for otherwise the implications of Robertson's actions are remarkably insidious."
Either Pat Robertson is a liar, or Bush is a liar...
or, as I believe...they BOTH ARE!
Bush says the jury is still out on evolution...
I DON'T THINK SO GEORGIE PORGIE!
Bush takes time to collect his thoughts and commune with God about what to do to the country next!
"WHAT YOU TALKIN' 'BOUT WILLIS"
"What you talkin' 'bout Willis?"
Ashcroft breaks everyone up with his impersonations
Belching out a loud "Boooooooyyyyyyyyy"....Ashcroft keeps the Justice Department in stitches with his uncanny impersonation of "The Tall Man" , from the Phantasm movie series. His performance was helped immeasurably by the use of a flashlight to perform the under the chin, spooky lighting.
Onlookers WERE a bit put off when he then demanded candy, and said they must all join him in a rousing sing a long of the song he wrote, LET THE EAGLE SOAR!
Leave none of your posse behind
Bush continues to deny he's wired.
"God Gave Me A Silver Star Today...He says I'm a Good Boy"
"God gave me a silver star today...Na Na Na Na Boo Boo...He said I'm a Good Boy!"
What did you say God? Attack Iran with NUKES? OK...sounds good to me!
What did you say God? Attack Iran with NUKES? OK...sounds good to me!
It would be in a war, extremely in debt, unpopular worldwide, have people losing their jobs, losing healh care insurance....in short...where we are now!
Barbara Haering told swissinfo that the delegation’s presence on November 2 would give more credibility to both the US electoral process and the OSCE.
Those who know my beliefs about Geneva being the headquarters of the New World Order , know I am not surprised that Switzerland is going to head oversight of OUR elections!
"Take them out, dude: pilots toast hit on Iraqi 'civilians'
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington"
YOU NEED TO WATCH THE VIDEO...
civilians on the road...take 'em out...
After killing several..and seeing a big explosion...we here a kind of a laugh....and....
By Staff and Wire Reports
Oct 24, 2004, 04:06
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The Washington Post endorsed Sen. John Kerry for president in its Sunday edition, saying the Democratic candidate had wisdom and open-mindedness that made him a stronger candidate to lead the United States than President Bush.
Ten days before the election, the Massachusetts Democrat now leads Bush 66 to 57 in newspaper endorsements, according to the trade publication Editor and Publisher.
Papers endorsing Kerry, including the New York Times, have a combined circulation of 10.6 million readers, compared to a combined circulation of 6.6 million for papers endorsing Bush, Editor and Publisher said.
Kerry also picked up an endorsement in the Sunday edition of the Chicago Sun-Times, a major regional paper near Midwestern battleground states, Editor and Publisher said. Chicago's other daily, the Tribune, has endorsed Bush."
"The Plot That Wasn't There
By Staff and Wire Reports
Oct 24, 2004, 05:55
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U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials admitted Saturday they have found no direct evidence of plans for a terror attack tied to the upcoming U.S. election.
There were abundant indications of desire by terror groups like al Qaeda to launch an attack on U.S. soil, but no plot had been discovered on a specific target or date, they said.
An official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the FBI has stepped up its preventive efforts in the run-up to voting on Nov. 2.
"The intelligence community has seen stuff that reaffirms the belief these people are determined to attack," said an intelligence official. Like the FBI official, he said no specific plot had been discovered, but added that type of tip-off is rare.
In mid-September, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies launched a well-publicized campaign to foil potential attacks around the vote.
Speculation that an attack might take place was been heightened since commuter trains in Madrid were bombed in March three days before Spain's general election. The country's pro-U.S. government was swept from power and the incoming Socialists quickly pulled Spanish troops from Iraq.
In its Saturday editions, The Washington Post quoted unnamed officials as saying a CIA source who had claimed knowledge of such plans was discredited. "
"GOP Tricksters Con College Students into Registering Republican
By DENNIS B. RODDY
Oct 24, 2004, 06:16
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Scores of college students in Pennsylvania and Oregon have had their voting registrations switched by teams of Republican canvassers circulating bogus petitions and, in some cases, partially concealed voter registration forms students were requested to sign.
The canvassers have visited campuses asking students to sign petitions advocating lower auto insurance rates, medical marijuana or stricter rape laws, according to elections officials.
After signing their names, the students were pressured into registering with the Republican Party by being told that their signatures otherwise would be invalid, or they were asked to fill out the signature and address portions of blank voter registration forms as proof of citizenship. In multiple instances, students already registered to vote have had their registrations changed without their consent, elections officials said yesterday. "
"Red Sox Fan Killed by Policeman's 'Non-Lethal' Weapon
A student celebrating the Boston Red Sox’s dramatic baseball victory over the New York Yankees was killed after a policeman on crowd control shot her in the eye with what was designed to be a non-lethal weapon.
Fifteen other people, including a policeman, suffered minor injuries in Boston’s Kenmore Square after thousands of fans spilled onto the streets to celebrate after the win in New York.
Boston’s mayor said he was considering banning alcohol sales in the city during the World Series baseball finals to avoid a repeat of the rowdiness.
Victoria Snelgrove, a 21-year-old journalism student, was hit by a projectile fired by an officer on crowd-control duty.
Police Commissioner Kathleen O’Toole said officers were using projectiles “designed to break upon impact, dousing the target with (pepper-like) spray.”
She said: “While I firmly and emphatically accept responsibilities for any errors, I also condemn in the harshest words possible the actions of the punks who turned our city’s victory into an opportunity for violence and mindless destruction.”
Rick Snelgrove said his daughter did nothing wrong.
“What happened to her should not happen to any American citizen going to any type of game, no matter what,” he said. “She loved the Red Sox. She went in to celebrate with friends. She was a bystander. She was out of the way, but she still got shot. Awful things happen to good people. My daughter was an exceptional person.”
Female soldiers eyed for combat
By Rowan Scarborough
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Army is negotiating with civilian leaders about eliminating a women-in-combat ban so it can place mixed-sex support companies within warfighting units, starting with a division going to Iraq in January.
Despite the legal prohibition, Army plans already have included such collocation of women-men units in blueprints for a lighter force of 10 active divisions, according to Defense Department sources.
An Army spokesman yesterday, in response to questions from The Washington Times, said the Army is now in discussions with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's staff to see whether the 10-year-old ban in this one area should be lifted. The ban prohibits the Army from putting women in units that "collocate" with ground combatants.
It's HARD WORK...we're working hard here....
"Bush's volunteer service disputed
By MEG LAUGHLIN
Knight Ridder Newspapers
HOUSTON - President Bush often has cited his work in 1973 with a now-defunct inner-city program for troubled teens as the source for his belief in "compassionate conservatism."
"I realized then that a society can change and must change one person at a time ..." Bush said in a video shown at the 2000 Republican National Convention about his tenure at P.U.L.L., the Professional United Leadership League, whose executive director, John White, had played tight end for the Houston Oilers in the early 1960s.
But former associates of White, who died in 1988, have disputed in recent interviews much of Bush's version of his time at the program.
"I was working full time for an inner-city poverty program known as Project P.U.L.L.," Bush said in his 1999 autobiography, "A Charge to Keep." "My friend John White ... asked me to come help him run the program. ... I was intrigued by John's offer. ... Now I had a chance to help people."
But White's administrative assistant and others associated with P.U.L.L., speaking on the record for the first time, say Bush was not helping to run the program and White had not asked Bush to come aboard. Instead, the associates said, White told them he agreed to take Bush on as a favor to Bush's father, who was honorary co-chairman of the program at the time, and Bush was unpaid. They say White told them Bush had gotten into some kind of trouble but White never gave them specifics."
" When news of George W. Bush's drunken driving arrest surfaced during the final week of the 2000 presidential campaign, Republicans tried to dismiss it as one of those "youthful indiscretions" Bush had steadfastly refused to discuss. Of course, when he got popped in Kennebunkport in 1976, Bush was 30 years old, hardly a kid.
Vice President Dick Cheney, on the other hand, could actually argue that his two DWIs came when he was young and reckless.
Court and police records obtained by The Smoking Gun show that Cheney was convicted of drunk driving twice during an eight-month period in the early 1960s in his home state of Wyoming. The two convictions came when Cheney was 21 and 22 and resulted in fines and a brief suspension of his driver's license.
On November 2, in the wake of the Bush DWI discovery, a Cheney spokesperson told reporters that the vice presidential candidate also had a rap sheet. But the Bush-Cheney campaign refused to provide any further details about the DWI busts. So TSG will now handle that chore.
Cheney first privately disclosed the arrests in 1989, after he had been nominated for Secretary of Defense. According to an account in Bob Woodward's "The Commanders," Cheney told members of the Senate Armed Services committee about the DWI arrests during a closed confirmation hearing. Cheney told the senators that he believed it would be best to publicly disclose the busts. But Armed Services committee members said there was no need for the disclosure and subsequently confirmed Cheney in a 20-0 vote.
Following the May 1991 publication of Woodward's book, there was no mention of Cheney's arrests until the brief confirmation offered by the candidate's spokesperson last November. But the vice president himself mentioned his rap sheet in an interview in the current issue (dated May 7) of The New Yorker. Cheney noted that after dropping out of Yale in early 1961, he found himself "working, building power lines, having been in a couple of scrapes with the law." The busts, he said, made him "think about where I was and where I was headed. I was headed down a bad road, if I continued on that course."
Cheney's first DWI conviction came in November 1962 when he was 21. According to this docket from Cheyenne's Municipal Court, Cheney was nailed for drunkenness and "operating motor vehicle while intoxicated." A Cheyenne Police Judge found Cheney guilty of the two charges and hit him with a 30-day suspension of his driver's license. Cheney also had to forfeit a $150 bond posted at the time of his arrest. Further information about the case--such as the defendant's blood alcohol content or whether Cheney was jailed following the bust--is unavailable since other court records from that period have been destroyed, according to Wyoming officials.
Details of Cheney's second Wyoming arrest, in July 1963, have also fallen victim to time and records destruction practices at the local Municipal Court. But a police arrest card (similar to the one that haunted Dubya) maintained by the Rock Springs Police Department shows that Cheney was fined $100 for his second DWI conviction. The card lists the charge against Cheney, who was then working as a groundman laying power lines, as "11-44," the criminal code classification for drunken driving, according to Police Chief Neil Kourbelas. At the time of the Rock Springs arrest, Kourbelas said that local cops and judges would not have known that young Cheney was a boozing 'n driving recidivist. The police department, Kourbelas said, "wouldn't have had the ability to automatically check with other jurisdictions to find out if anyone had had prior arrests or convictions. We could have arrested Jack the Ripper back then and had no idea what he had done."
"9/11 Commission: No Link Between Al-Qaida and Saddam
by Hope Yen
WASHINGTON - Bluntly contradicting the Bush administration, the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks reported Wednesday there was ``no credible evidence'' that Saddam Hussein helped al-Qaida target the United States."
and move this good-hearted nation toward a culture of life. (Applause.)"
Note..see where this "culture of life" crap is coming from...
You're WRONG Bushy....you should fix that to be right, and that is you can't be pro-BAD doctor, pro-patient, and pro-trial lawyer....
Good doctors SHOULD be against bad doctors, and pro patient and pro-attorneys who SUE BAD DOCTORS!
Doctors are not sued with malpractice lawsuits for practicing grea medicine....DUMBASS!
"Pentagon touted link between Saddam and al-Qaida
By Jonathan S. Landay
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Douglas Feith, undersecretary of Defense
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Blair to shift 850 soldiers to Baghdad
Insurgents infiltrate new forces, report says
WASHINGTON — Pentagon officials told the White House in September 2002 that Saddam Hussein was linked to the Sept. 11 attacks, even though U.S. intelligence experts couldn't verify the information and considered it dubious, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said yesterday.
The connection was cited by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other officials in making the case for last year's invasion of Iraq.
Levin, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, cited the Pentagon's use of the suspect material in a report based on a 16-month inquiry by Democratic staff aides on pre-war intelligence.
"In the case of Iraq's relationship with al-Qaida, intelligence was exaggerated to support administration policy," the report said. "
"And when you get them headed to the
polls, remind them, if they want a safer America and a stronger America and a
better America, to put me and Dick Cheney back in office. (Applause.)
I think it's important to go around this country telling people what you're going to do. I'm here to tell you why I think you need to put me in office for four more years. But perhaps the most important reason of all is so that Laura is the First Lady for four more years. "
WHAT A FUCKING CRETIN!
"It's hard work loving Missy Johnson"...
"You have to stay the course."
"Better elect Bush or the terrorists are gonna git ya"
I'm hearing a bad echo.
Bush is like a bad, bad record. Whether he is wired or not, whether it's Karl Rove or he thinks God is whispering in his ear...this guy is dangerous for the country and leading us off the cliff.
Four years of job loss, war, loss of our rights, tracking of Americans, lack of health care for 45 million....more people on the poverty rolls, and you want MORE of this SHIT?
Get your head examined if you said yes to the above question.
"State papers overwhelmingly endorse Kerry
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
TAMPA -- In a break with tradition, The Tampa Tribune, a Republican standard-bearer for decades, refused Sunday to endorse anyone for president for the first time since 1964 in a harshly worded editorial critical of the war in Iraq and President Bush's economic policies.
In contrast, Democratic candidate John Kerry received overwhelming support in electoral vote-rich Florida, picking up the support of seven newspapers as polls point to a dead heat in the state that decided the 2000 election.
The Tampa newspaper has solidly supported every Republican presidential nominee, except for Barry Goldwater, since 1952. But an unusual full-page editorial offered the headline: "Why We Cannot Endorse President Bush for Re-election."
US ELECTION: 28 More Papers Endorse Kerry for President
Growing Support for Kerry-Edwards Plan for a New Direction to Keep America Safe & Fight for the Middle Class
Leading papers endorse Kerry
"Two Ohio daily newspapers on Sunday endorsed Sen. John Kerry for president, while another is urging a vote for President Bush.
The Dayton Daily News and the Akron Beacon Journal criticized Bush's stewardship and said Kerry is better able to lead the nation. The (Canton) Repository said Kerry had not provided a compelling reason to replace the president."
TO CANTON I SAY...HOW ABOUT HIM BEING A DRAFT DODGING COWARD AND
MENTAL DEFECTIVE....IS THAT ENOUGH REASON?
Director Oliver Stone weighs in on the candidates in an interview with Playboy.
Speaking of John Kerry, who was a senior at Yale when he was a freshman, Stone says:
``He had a funeral groove about him, like some Dickensian character. He was always too old for his years.''
Of George W. Bush, he says: ``He's worse than Nixon in his vulgarity. He looks like he shops at Wal-Mart. That's not what the president is supposed to be. He has no intellectual curiosity and is proud of it.''
"Rapper Eminem bodyslams President Bush in the upcoming edition of ROLLING STONE, publishing sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.
President Bush is "like dog chasing its tail," the Hollywood-bound Eminem tells the magazine, set to street during the first week of November."
"CHER ISSUES BUSH WARNING AT DISCO
Only a couple hundred came out to see Cher Friday night at Miami Beach's CROBAR disco, but that did not stop the legendary diva from issuing an election warning against Republican control.
"There were supposed to be thousands of people here tonight. I'm not sure why that didn't happen, obviously the people putting on this thing were just not very good at it," an embarrassed Cher explained to the crowd.
"Alright, but you guys are here, that's right. When I was coming down the steps I though 'Oh s**t, well I'll just go out there and give it my best.'"
The MIAMI HERALD had reported thousands were expected to rally at the discotheque.
Cher warned moveon.org clubgoers to fight Bush, before "it's too late":
"All the gay guys, all my friends, all my gay friends, you guys you have got to vote, alright? Because it would only be a matter of time before you guys would be so screwed, I cannot tell you. Because, you know, the people, like, in the very right wing of this party, of these Republicans, the very very right wing, the Jerry Falwell element, if they get any more power, you guys are going to be living in some state by yourselves. So, I hate scare tactics, but I really believe that that's true."
"I think that as Bush will, if Bush gets elected, he will put in new Superior Court judges, and these guys are not going to want to see gay pride week."
Cher declared that Abraham Lincoln "looks like Kerry on a crappy day."
Political activist Rosie O'Donnell is set to witness on Saturday night in Ft Lauderdale. O'Donnell will speak on Bush and his policies in Iraq at hotspot CLUB OVATION."
Saturday October 23, 2004
Heady times. The US election draws ever nearer, and while the rest of the world bangs its head against the floorboards screaming "Please God, not Bush!", the candidates clash head to head in a series of live televised debates. It's a bit like American Idol, but with terrifying global ramifications. You've got to laugh.
Or have you? Have you seen the debates? I urge you to do so. The exemplary BBC News website (www.bbc.co.uk/news) hosts unexpurgated streaming footage of all the recent debates, plus clips from previous encounters, through Reagan and Carter, all the way back to Nixon versus JFK.
Watching Bush v Kerry, two things immediately strike you. First, the opening explanation of the rules makes the whole thing feel like a Radio 4 parlour game. And second, George W Bush is... well, he's... Jesus, where do you start?
The internet's a-buzz with speculation that Bush has been wearing a wire, receiving help from some off-stage lackey. Screen grabs appearing to show a mysterious bulge in the centre of his back are being traded like Top Trumps. Prior to seeing the debate footage, I regarded this with healthy scepticism: the whole "wire" scandal was just wishful thinking on behalf of some amateur Michael Moores, I figured. And then I watched the footage.
Quite frankly, the man's either wired or mad. If it's the former, he should be flung out of office: tarred, feathered and kicked in the nuts. And if it's the latter, his behaviour goes beyond strange, and heads toward terrifying. He looks like he's listening to something we can't hear. He blinks, he mumbles, he lets a sentence trail off, starts a new one, then reverts back to whatever he was saying in the first place. Each time he recalls a statistic (either from memory or the voice in his head), he flashes us a dumb little smile, like a toddler proudly showing off its first bowel movement. Forgive me for employing the language of the playground, but the man's a tool.
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So I sit there and I watch this and I start scratching my head, because I'm trying to work out why Bush is afforded any kind of credence or respect whatsoever in his native country. His performance is so transparently bizarre, so feeble and stumbling, it's a miracle he wasn't laughed off the stage. And then I start hunting around the internet, looking to see what the US media made of the whole "wire" debate. And they just let it die. They mentioned it in passing, called it a wacko conspiracy theory and moved on.
Yet whether it turns out to be true or not, right now it's certainly plausible - even if you discount the bulge photos and simply watch the president's ridiculous smirking face. Perhaps he isn't wired. Perhaps he's just gone gaga. If you don't ask the questions, you'll never know the truth.
The silence is all the more troubling since in the past the US news media has had no problem at all covering other wacko conspiracy theories, ones with far less evidence to support them. (For infuriating confirmation of this, watch the second part of the must-see documentary series The Power Of Nightmares (Wed, 9pm, BBC2) and witness the absurd hounding of Bill Clinton over the Whitewater and Vince Foster non-scandals.)
Throughout the debate, John Kerry, for his part, looks and sounds a bit like a haunted tree. But at least he's not a lying, sniggering, drink-driving, selfish, reckless, ignorant, dangerous, backward, drooling, twitching, blinking, mouse-faced little cheat. And besides, in a fight between a tree and a bush, I know who I'd favour.
On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?"
"I think it's a good thing that he wasn't in charge," Cheney said.
Kerry asserted Friday that had he been president during the war in Afghanistan, terrorist leader Osama bin Laden would be in captivity or dead. The Democratic nominee has long criticized President Bush for abandoning the pursuit of the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks so that U.S. forces could invade Iraq and topple Saddam.
Contending that the Massachusetts senator was "claiming that the world would be a whole lot better if he had been president," Cheney suggested to supporters at a rally that he believed the world would be far worse off.
"Let's go back to the 1970s when John Kerry was saying that we should only deploy U.S. troops under the authority of the United Nations," the vice president said, citing a statement Kerry made in 1970 after returning from Vietnam service. "One way the world might look if he had been in charge is, we would have ceded our right to defend ourselves to the United Nations."
Cheney said Kerry campaigned for the Senate on a platform of opposing major weapons systems that, during the Reagan administration, helped win the Cold War. "So if John Kerry had been in charge, maybe the Soviet Union would still be in business," the vice president said.
Kerry voted against going to war in the Persian Gulf in 1991 after Saddam had invaded Kuwait. "So if John Kerry had been in charge, Saddam might well control the Persian Gulf today," Cheney said. "After the Gulf War, international inspectors judged that Saddam would have been armed with nuclear weapons by the early '90s. So not only would Saddam control a crucial part of the Middle East, he might well have nuclear weapons."
Cheney said Kerry recently contended that the United States must pass "some kind of global test before we could take military action" and assured supporters "the president and I know better than that." However, Kerry actually said the "global test" would come after the United States had taken pre-emptive action and has vowed never to allow another country to determine how the United States would defend itself.
lol>..and I guess Hitler would still run Germany, the Roman Empire would still have Christians being thrown to the lions...and on and on.
"Electoral College needs change
Students are writing about election issues throughout October as part of Kids Voting USA, a program that encourages youths to get involved in the political process.
In the last presidential election, George W. Bush won Florida by only 537 votes - out of 6 million cast. The popular vote was really close, but Bush got all of Florida's 25 electoral votes. It seems unfair, but this is how our Electoral College works.
Each state has at least three electors, because there are two senators in each state, and there is at least one representative. That's why Wyoming has three electors, and California has 55 electors. Wyoming has a low population and California has a high population.
Since each state has at least three electors, low-populated states have more elector power than they would if the president won by a direct popular vote. Actually, the low-populated states need about four times fewer people than higher populated states to get one electoral vote.
The "winner-take-all" characteristic of the current electoral system means that if one candidate wins more popular votes in a state, he gets all the electoral votes from that state. But the law is a state law and is not in the U.S. Constitution. Some states, like Maine and Nebraska, do not have this winner-take-all law. But Wisconsin does. It has 10 electoral votes. If John Kerry got 60 percent of the popular vote and George Bush got 40 percent, Kerry would get all the electoral votes. But, if Wisconsin would change its law, Kerry would get six electoral votes and Bush would get four.
When people vote, they don't vote directly for the president but for a member of the Electoral College who has promised to vote for a certain candidate. However, sometimes the member of the Electoral College votes for a different candidate than they had promised to vote for. This is not good faith.
Since some people don't like the Electoral College, they may want to change it. That requires a constitutional amendment.
We hope the Electoral College changes. We think the "faithless" elector isn't good because your vote might go to another candidate. Also, we criticize the "winner-take-all" solution. If a different presidential candidate than the one you voted for wins the popular vote, he gets all the electoral votes."
"Hillary: Bush Brothers Have Undemocratic 'Track Record'
New York Sen. Hillary Clinton warned Saturday that President Bush and his brother Gov. Jeb Bush have a "track record" of undermining Democracy in Florida, an apparent reference to Democrat claims that the two Republicans conspired to rig the vote in the state's 2000 presidential election.
"If we were living in another country and we had the president of the country and his brother controlling one of the biggest provinces or states, we would ... have some doubts about whether, given their track record, they really believe in democracy," Clinton told about 300 cheering supporters in a theater in downtown West Palm Beach, according to the Associated Press."
Hil rips Bush fear tactics in chad land
BY MAGGIE HABERMAN
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Sen. Hillary Clinton raised the specter of the Florida 2000 race and blasted President Bush for running a campaign of "fear" as she tried to boost turnout among female and black voters in South Florida yesterday.
Clinton, considered a presidential hopeful in 2008 should John Kerry fail on Nov. 2, got her biggest cheers when she said her ex-President husband will be in South Florida tomorrow and Tuesday for his second post-op stump stop since his quadruple bypass surgery about two months ago.
The Clintons are extremely popular in the area, where Democrats believe a high turnout is key to a Kerry victory.
"Bush let Osama bin Laden slip out the back door," Kerry said.
"Kerry claimed Bush had called on Afghan warlords to hunt down Osama and not used US troops for the hazardous task, weeks after the September 11 attacks, The News reported today. "
This time, the British hostage is a woman who has spent the last 30 years devoting herself to aid work among the downtrodden in her adoptive homeland of Iraq.
Margaret Hassan, a Dubliner who was brought up in England and moved to Baghdad after marrying an Iraqi in 1972, was kidnapped Tuesday from her car by gun-toting terrorists as she drove to the headquarters of CARE International, a charity that runs nutrition, health and water programs in Iraq. Since then, Hassan, 59, chairwoman of the charity's operations in Iraq, has been seen only twice. In video footage released by her captors shortly after her capture, she was shown looking frightened and drawn. Then, on Friday, came the second, sickening reminder that Hassan's life is all too likely ebbing away.
In a second video, broadcast by al-Jazeera, an Arab television station, the urgency of her plight was vividly brought home.
'Might be my last hour'
Sobbing and at times incoherent, Hassan appealed to Blair not to send British troops to Baghdad.
"Editorial: Kerry for president / The damage by Bush demands a fresh start
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Four years ago Al Gore won the popular vote and George Bush, after a Supreme Court decision, became president. The new chief executive promised to be a uniter, not divider. So much for that pledge.
It gets worse. Since 2001, the incumbent has been lacking on foreign policy, national security, the economy, safeguarding constitutional rights and maintaining credibility at home and abroad.
In all of these categories, the Post-Gazette believes the United States needs a fresh start and that John Kerry can provide such leadership. A President Kerry will make the country safer because he will not take his eye off Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. A President Kerry will look after the workers of America because he is concerned about both the haves and the have-nots.
George W. Bush's approach to the economy has been to take care of the rich, his political base; give the companies run by his campaign contributors free rein; and tell other Americans that his policies will improve their situation, eventually.
The well-to-do continue to get monster tax cuts and will get more if he is re-elected; the middle class get token savings. The economy has bled jobs during this administration; not enough have been created to outweigh the 1 million that have been lost; the outsourcing of American work overseas has proceeded without discouragement.
Sen. Kerry, as a Democrat and because of his strong labor ties, will certainly be more responsive to Americans' need for work. As president, Mr. Kerry will also be more likely than Mr. Bush to rein in the catastrophic deficit that has raged in the past four years. A Republican-controlled White House and Congress have managed to erase the budget surpluses of the Clinton era, which could have put Social Security and Medicare on sound footing for years to come. Instead, Mr. Bush and his policies have driven the U.S. government trillions of dollars deeper in the hole, all in a few short years.
Voters should reject the notion that the current administration "inherited" a bad economy or was the victim on 9/11 of previous White House policies. The state in which this nation finds itself can be traced to a single misfortune: four years of the Bush administration.
One thing that's clear is the relationship between the American economy and its situation in the world. Look at the price of gasoline, now at the painful threshold of $2 a gallon. Mr. Bush's foreign policy -- making war on Iraq, doing little to seek peace in the Middle East and rattling the nerves of oil-producing countries -- has undoubtedly boosted the cost of gas and fuel oil to all Americans.
A President Kerry would change all that. George Bush sneers at him for his promise to draw other nations into America's decision-making process. At the same time, it is clear that the United States will not gain the help of others in pursuing America's interests if it remains contemptuous of their views on matters of common interest. America has always worked best with allies.
Another key consideration is which candidate would strike the better balance between taking the necessary steps to keep America safe and preserving the sacred ground of America's freedoms. On that and the related question of who would appoint more broad-minded Supreme Court justices, the answer is John Kerry. The re-election of Mr. Bush, and the possible continuation of a Republican Congress, accompanied by a Supreme Court stuffed with Bush appointees, would result in the three branches of government controlled by like-minded people. Say farewell to independence, diversity and the multiplicity of viewpoints in public policy that make America strong.
Fortunately, the Kerry movement is gathering steam. He is stronger in Pennsylvania and gaining with our neighbors in West Virginia, where more voters are coming to believe he is the better choice on jobs, health care and homeland security. Even newspapers that endorsed George W. Bush four years ago have changed their minds in 2004; the Seattle Times and The Oregonian of Portland switched to the Democrat this time, while the Tampa Tribune backed away from Mr. Bush and made no endorsement.
There is no doubt that Americans have gone from a generally happy time in the 1990s to four years of deficit, discord and disappointment. We would pose the same question that President Reagan asked famously in the heat of his own campaign: Are you better off now than you were four years ago?
Relatively few, we think, would answer that with "yes." If your answer is "no" or "not sure," then we have a president for you. The Post-Gazette enthusiastically endorses John Kerry. It's definitely time for a fresh start. "
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