Posts Tagged ‘politics’

More Fake Outrage, More Wimpy Democrats

A few days ago, the Democratic Party posted an ad on their website. For once, it was a powerful, effective ad, full of emotional imagery that succinctly presented an unmistakable message: The past six years have been awful, and it’s time for a change. Naturally, the Republicans in Congress and Republican bloggers were outraged! Outraged that the ad was effective, but the official line was they were outraged that the ad showed images of flag-draped coffins coming home.

The Democrats who created that ad stood up and faced the latest bout of fake rage. Naturally, they then tucked their tail between their legs and ran as fast as they could in the other direction, but not before they removed the ad from their website.

Instead of giving in (yet again), why didn’t the Democratic Party respond by saying the real outrage is that these young men and women are dying in the first place in a war that didn’t have to happen, and that it’s their duty as patriotic Americans to point that out?

Why didn’t they point out that, to some people, it’s only ok to feature soldiers in campaign ads when they’re alive or when their widows are staring at George W. Bush in adulation?:

Democrats on Bush on Osama

The Democrats have created yet another simple, effective advertisement. I wonder how long it’ll take them to apologize for it.

Calling all spinners — explain how Bush has “made us safer.”

There are times when being right makes you the happiest person in the world, and then there are the times it makes you crap your pants. Guess which one of those times this is. I want every angry, slogan-spouting flag-waiver who’s ever written in ordering me to “leave the President alone, he’s making us safer” to take a second, put down your copy of the National Review (the one with the Sean Hannity centerfold), and write to me again. Write to me and explain why our intelligence agencies now say the Iraq occupation has increased the threat of terror.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 — A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by United States intelligence agencies since the Iraq war began, and represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government. Titled “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States,’’ it asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe.An opening section of the report, “Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement,” cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology. The report “says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse,” said one American intelligence official.More than a dozen United States government officials and outside experts were interviewed for this article, and all spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a classified intelligence document. The officials included employees of several government agencies, and both supporters and critics of the Bush administration. All of those interviewed had either seen the final version of the document or participated in the creation of earlier drafts. These officials discussed some of the document’s general conclusions but not details, which remain highly classified.Officials with knowledge of the intelligence estimate said it avoided specific judgments about the likelihood that terrorists would once again strike on United States soil. The relationship between the Iraq war and terrorism, and the question of whether the United States is safer, have been subjects of persistent debate since the war began in 2003.National Intelligence Estimates are the most authoritative documents that the intelligence community produces on a specific national security issue, and are approved by John D. Negroponte, director of national intelligence. Their conclusions are based on analysis of raw intelligence collected by all of the spy agencies.More…

Here we go…

And so it begins

After a week of early voting, a handful of glitches with electronic voting machines have drawn the ire of voters, reassurances from elections supervisors — and a caution against the careless casting of ballots. Several South Florida voters say the choices they touched on the electronic screens were not the ones that appeared on the review screen — the final voting step.Read more in the Miami Herald

In Mexico, the Ukraine, and pretty much anyplace else where people remember what it’s like to live without democracy, this kind of crap sparks riots, mass protests, and general chaos.

I’m sorry about what you said I said.

What I learned this week:1. John Kerry inadvertently insulting the intelligence of the troops is far worse than George Bush getting those troops stuck in Iraq without adequate manpower, armor, or planning. It’s certainly far worse than Mr. Bush and his Congressional rubber stamps not having any plan (or intention, it seems) of getting our troops out of that bloody civil war he created.2. Although John Kerry was a highly educated soldier who served with other highly educated soldiers, and has spoken on and on (and on and on and on) about the intelligence, nobility and capability of modern soldiers for more than thirty years, his one botched joke yesterday proves he thinks soldiers are morons.3. John Kerry’s gaffe is more newsworthy than 104 Americans dying in Iraq in one month.4. It doesn’t matter whether Kerry was joking about Bush or attacking the troops. He should apologize for what the Bush White House says he meant, whether he meant it or not.5: The “I’m not going to stand for anyone distorting my awful, bungled jokes” Kerry is far more inspiring than the guy who ran for President in 2004:

Vote and be deported

One reader wrote in to complain about today’s strip, which he’s absolutely, positively, “150% sure” is an example of Candorville “makeing up stuff all thu time!” (Since he was so creative with the spelling, I figured I’d leave it as it was). I was very surprised to learn that Mr. “Fuk off looser” (well, that’s how he signed his letter) hadn’t been paying attention to the news. Sadly there’s no need to “make stuff up” when real life has become stranger than fiction.

October Surprise: the Saddam Death Sentence

October Surprises happen in November these days. After being delayed for nebulous reasons, the Iraqi court trying Saddam Hussein (a court whose logistics are largely controlled by agents of the United States) has decided to announce its verdict this Sunday, two days before the U.S. Congressional elections.

As President Bush faces mounting criticism over the war, a guilty verdict announced two days ahead of tight U.S. congressional elections on November 7 could reflect positively on him as a vindication of his policy to overthrow Saddam. U.S. officials deny Washington had any say over the timing of the verdict or the court’s decisions, saying the American role was limited to logistics and security.More…

Of course Washington had nothing to do with this timing. They’d never politicize something as important as this. Not this White House.•••

Hispanic voters targeted AGAIN?

In honor of the repeated attempt to disenfranchise Hispanic voters, I’ll re-post that last cartoon:Bradblog has posted a note from a Democratic voter in New Mexico. The voter’s complaint prompted a judge to issue an injunction preventing the Republican Party of New Mexico from calling non-Republicans with precinct information. It seems voters with Hispanic surnames may have been specifically targeted:

Yesterday (11/04), about 1pm MST, I rec’d a phone message from the Republican Party of NM telling me that my polling location was John Adams Middle School. My polling place is usually Longfellow Elementary about 1 block away. John Adams is about 7 1/2 miles away. In my horror and disgust I quickly deleted the message. Thinking that maybe my polling place changed, I then called the **Republican Party** here and simply asked if they could tell me my polling place. They asked my address only, I told them, and they said, “You vote at Longfellow.” This is correct and I hung up.About 5pm MST, the Republican Party of NM called AGAIN and left a message telling me that my election day polling place was West Mesa High School, even further away than John Adams. They gave the full address and zip code. My Caller ID shows “REPUBLICAN PART.” I DID NOT DELETE THIS MESSAGE.Then around 7pm MST, the same thing happened. The Republican Party of NM called and left a message telling me that my election day polling place was back to John Adams Middle School. My Caller ID shows “NEW MEXICO VICT.” I did a Google search on the phone number and this entry came up:New Mexico Republican Party :: CalendarSummary:, Contact your local county party or call the Victory Officeat (505) XXX-XXXX to find out what you can do to help our 2006 Republican candidates. …I DID NOT DELETE THIS MESSAGE.If you want the actual phone numbers, I can give them to you…-Read more at

So far this is the only complaint about this, but it certainly fits the pattern that’s plagued our elections since 2000. There’s something seriously wrong with your party if you have to keep people from voting in order to win elections.•••

Ignoring that cross-burning elephant in the room

There’s an old English idiom about an “elephant in the room.” An elephant sits in the corner of a room, while everyone in the room just sort of pretends it’s not there so they don’t have to talk about it. Once they did talk about it, after all, they’d have to do something about it, and nobody wants to be the one who has to try and evict an elephant. So everyone goes about their business as if the elephant isn’t there.America is a land filled with elephants. For instance…We all want to believe the racist practice of voter disenfranchisement is dead and gone, so much so that we’re willing to ignore it when it’s sitting in our kitchen, its trunk is flailing about knocking over the microwave, and it’s eating our lunch. That particular elephant, which we thought we’d killed in 1964 when LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act into law, has again been sitting in our rooms ever since the year 2000 when Florida’s Secretary of State – who also just happened to be George Bush’s campaign chairwoman – denied tens of thousands of African-Americans their right to vote by wrongly declaring them “felons.” (the felon voting rules themselves have their genesis in the Civil Rights era, as a means to disenfranchise Blacks, who were far more likely than Whites to be convicted of felonies in the South). That pachyderm has been chilling in the corner with a big tub of nachos ever since the party that benefitted from its presence refused to investigate it, and the Justice Department declined to hunt it down.Nationwide, 1.9 million black votes were discarded. Thrown away. Not counted. That was 50% of the ballots that were discarded as “spoiled” in 2000, even though Blacks only made up 12% of the electorate.-SF Chronicle, June 20, 2004Now, as all people who benefit from crimes would say, “that’s in the past. Get over it. Forget about it. Move along, there’s nothing to see here.” Well, unfortunately for our leaders, the American people – or at least a large number of us – have longer memories than they’d like us to have. When the people who committed this crime are still benefitting from it and still trying to do it again, it is not “in the past.”2004•Florida AGAIN tried to remove thousands of Black voters from the rolls. The state run by George Bush’s brother created ANOTHER “potential felons list” filled with people who’ve never committed a felony. That one would’ve robbed more than 22,000 African Americans of their right to vote.(“Florida List for Purge of Voters Proves Flawed.” NY Times, July 10, 2004)•It was widely reported that in several urban precincts in Ohio, African Americans had to wait up to ten hours in line in order to vote. Ohio’s Secretary of State, another Bush campaign chairman, refused to provide minority precincts with an adequate number of voting machines. There was no such problem in the predominantly Caucasian suburbs.2006As for this year, time will tell. I would be THRILLED if I were proven wrong this year. I really hope that happens. I really do. But the damage may have already been done, as Black voters, disillusioned by the resurrection of the age-old pracitice of voter disenfranchisement, may simply stay home today.Some Americans would have us believe it’s all in the past — still others would have us believe it never happened at all. I spoke with one of those this morning when Frank Beckmann, an ABC “News” talkshow host from Michigan, called to talk about last Sunday’s cartoon (above). During the interview, he told me Blacks “have not been disenfranchised,” that those 54,000 African Americans who were removed from the voter rolls in 2000 WERE felons (even though the United States government report on the election concluded the opposite), and that reports of long lines in Ohio were simply wrong. People can convince themselves that any problem doesn’t exist if they don’t want it to exist – or if they benefit from its existence.Anyone who’s read Candorville should know that I don’t believe it serves us to ignore the elephants that stand in our rooms, no matter what they are, from the constant persecution of gays, to voter disenfranchisement, to the pervasive thug culture. We can’t solve our problems unless we have the courage to first acknowledge they exist. Instead of ignoring the elephants, we should grab our elephant guns and go on safari. As difficult as it may be, it has to be done.•••