s skippy the bush kangaroo: November 2004

skippy the bush kangaroo



Tuesday, November 30, 2004

they'll be doing all right with their red states of white, but we'll have a blue blue blue christmas

thanks to zgw's dkos diary, we are sent to the project blue christmas, a progressive shopping site, which lists companies that did not contribute significantly (there's that economic relativism) to the repubbbs recently, but rather supported progressive causes.

plenty of great brands, including abercrombie & fitch, and campbell's soup (nothin' says christmas like soup!), ross and bed, bath & beyond (mrs. skippy's favorite store!). so why not vote with your $$$?

it's the only way the repubbbs understand.
posted by skippy at 5:43 PM | 0 comments

donald rumsfeld, et. al.

the asspress tells us that the center for constitutional rights is suing in german federal courts on behalf of four iraqi's who were at abu ghraib. the defendents in the suit? none other than rumsfeld, george tenent, general ricardo sanchez and a host of others:

a group of american civil rights attorneys filed a criminal complaint in german court on tuesday against top u.s. officials, including defense secretary donald h. rumsfeld, for acts of torture committed at abu ghraib prison in iraq.

the complaint also names former cia director george tenet, the former commander in iraq lt. gen. ricardo sanchez and seven other military leaders.

attorneys from the new york-based center for constitutional rights said they filed the complaint because they were disappointed in u.s. investigations into the abu ghraib abuses, and hoped the filing would prompt an investigation by german authorities.

"i expect a serious investigation by germany and would want it to prompt the u.s. government to say: 'we've got to seriously investigate this ourselves,'" attorney michael ratner said at a news conference in berlin.

"this is not something we would have preferred to do," he said. "we are left with the last resort in my view."

four iraqis who say they were shocked, beaten, sexually abused and deprived of food and sleep joined the suit.

the attorneys said that since the united states is not a member of the international criminal court, they could not take their case there. they chose germany because it has legislation allowing the prosecution of war crimes and human rights violations across national boundaries.

the abuses "were clearly authorized at the highest levels" of the chain of command, attorney peter weiss said. it "goes considerably beyond the question of merely inhumane treatment."
we wonder if nancy grace will cover this story as much as the scott peterson trial?
posted by skippy at 5:32 PM | 1 comments

gonzales well that ends...well

and probably not well at all. here's an email we got in the ol' skippy mailbag today:

hi skippy,

i wanted to ask if you’d be interested in posting something on your blog about president bush’s nominee for attorney general, alberto gonzalez.

based on a series of leaked white house memos, we have strong reservations about this nomination given mr. gonzales' record on human rights and adherence to established domestic and international law. our group, human rights first, has launched a campaign called
http://www.endtorturenow.org to ensure that the senate obtains all the necessary information regarding mr. gonzales. as today’s new york times reported, the red cross is calling the u.s. treatment of detainees “tantamount to torture”.

leaked memos have revealed these vital facts about mr. gonzales:

  • as white house counsel, mr. gonzales advised the president that the united states need not be bound by its obligations under the geneva conventions in the conflict in afghanistan — a position vigorously disputed by secretary of state colin powell and others.
  • mr. gonzales was centrally involved in the preparation of a series of highly controversial legal memos justifying the use of torture during interrogations. the legal arguments set forth in these memos helped lay the groundwork for the widespread incidents of torture and abuse from iraq to afghanistan to guantanamo bay.
it is imperative that the senate has access to all information necessary to fully evaluate mr. gonzales' record on human rights and torture.

please let me know if you would post on this important issue and direct readers to
http://www.endtorturenow.org so they can take action. also, please contact me should you have any further questions.

sincerely,

amelia field
human rights first

posted by skippy at 4:07 PM | 0 comments

the name is crow...jim crow

pronin2 over at dkos got a couple of maps from the ohiogroup, one each for franklin and cuyahoga counties, showing the correlation of voting irregularities (long lines, too few machines, machines not working properly) to the minority (ie, black) population.

no, no voter suppression here...
posted by skippy at 11:33 AM | 0 comments

crayon king quits cabinet quickly

tom ridge, the man who brought crayolas to the forefront of the war on terrorism, has resigned. abcnews tells us:

homeland security secretary tom ridge has informed the white house and department staff that he has resigned, u.s. officials said tuesday.

in an e-mail circulated to senior homeland security officials, ridge praised the department as "an extraordinary organization that each day contributes to keeping america safe and free." he also said he was privileged to work with the department's 180,000 employees "who go to work every day dedicated to making our company better and more secure."

a news conference has been set for 2:45 p.m.

in october 2001, ridge became the nation's first white house homeland security adviser, leading a massive undertaking to rethink all aspects of security within the u.s. borders in the wake of the terror attacks of september 2001.
it will be difficult to find someone who can cry 'wolf' as effectively as mr. ridge.
posted by skippy at 10:51 AM | 0 comments

warming your way into our hearts

the samuel taylor coleridge foundation talks about the latest arctic study about global warming, and it's not pretty.
posted by skippy at 8:37 AM | 0 comments

who knew new news?

some bits from the new news site, new america now:

a media matters report showing how george will used flawed data for his recent "liberals destroy colleges" piece;

and a tv newser musing that deborah norville may be on her way out at msnbc.



posted by skippy at 8:29 AM | 0 comments

it's funny because it's true (part i)

our friends from the daily cookie sent us a couple of emails. there are no links to the source material, so we reproduce them in full here and below, damn the fair use standard all to hell.

some things to do while you have the chance (before the inaugural):

1. get that abortion you've always wanted.

2. drink a nice clean glass of water.

3. cash your social security check.

4. see a doctor of your own choosing.

5. spend quality time with your draft age child/grandchild.

6. visit syria, or any foreign country for that matter.

7. get that gas mask you've been putting off buying.

8. hoard gasoline.

10. borrow books from library before they're banned - constitutional law books, catcher in the rye, harry potter, tropic of cancer, etc.

11. if you have an idea for an art piece involving a crucifix - do it now.

12. come out - then go back in - hurry!

13. jam in all the alzheimer's stem cell research you can.

14. stay out late before the curfews start.

16. go see bruce springsteen before he has his "accident."

17. go see mount rushmore before the reagan addition.

18. use the phrase - "you can't do that - this is america."

19. if you're white - marry a black person, if you're black - marry a white person.

21. take a walk in yosemite, without being hit by a snowmobile or a base-jumper.

22. enroll your kid in an accelerated art or music class.

23. start your school day without a prayer.

24. pass on the secrets of evolution to future generations.

26. learn french.

28. attend a commitment ceremony with your gay friends.

29. take a factory tour anywhere in the u.s.

30. try to take photographs of animals on the endangered species list.

31. visit florida before the polar ice caps melt.

32. visit nevada before it becomes radioactive.

33. visit alaska before "the big spill."

34. visit massachusetts while it is still a state.
posted by skippy at 8:21 AM | 0 comments

it's funny because it's true (part ii)

more emails from the daily cookie:

the center for disease control in atlanta has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of sexually transmitted disease. this disease is contracted through dangerous and high risk behavior, and many citizens across the u.s. mysteriously and unexplainably contracted the malady on nov. 2nd; suspicions are that it was because so many people were in lines in close proximity to each other, but this is just a theory.

the disease is called "gonorrhea lecthim" (pronounced "gonna re-elect him").

many victims have contracted it after having been screwed by the bush-cheney administration for the past 4 years and failing to have taken adequate measures to protect themselves in voting booths.

please be careful. the only way to avoid infection is to have voted for kerry. if you didn't, god help you. there's no cure and the symptoms worsen for four years.
posted by skippy at 8:15 AM | 0 comments

Monday, November 29, 2004

what votes? oh, those votes!

thanks to holden at first draft we find out that a local minor democratic candidate in one ohio district received 257,000 more votes than john kerry! the freepress:

in analyzing the still-unofficial results, the totals reveal that c. ellen connally, an african-american democratic candidate from cleveland for ohio chief justice, received 257,000 more votes than kerry…

the reason these vote counts are suspect is because connelly, a retired african-american judge, was vastly outspent in her race, and did not have the visibility of the presidential race.

“this looks like a computer glitch or a computer fix,” said bob fitrakis, a lawyer, political scientist and editor of the columbus free press (
http://freepres.org) who has written about election irregularities since bush was declared the winner. fitrakis is among the team of lawyers who announced they would soon file an election challenge in the state’s supreme court.

“statistically, kerry, as the democratic presidential candidate, should have more votes than connally. in a presidential election, most voters have the priority of casting a vote for president and the votes for president are almost always much higher than those of candidates farther down the ticket. when voters vote for democratic candidates farther down the ticket, it is usually being driven by a sample ballot from the party, starting at the top with president. many voters simply don’t vote for supreme court justices. it is highly improbable that connally’s vote totals would be so much higher than kerry’s,” fitrakis said.

the fact that warren county has such odd vote counts is no surprise to fitrakis. “the republican-dominated county threw out all the media and independent vote watchers when votes were being counted at the end of election day, claiming ‘homeland security’ issues. this would have easily allowed for the wholesale shifting of a large amount of votes from kerry to bush. if you’re behind closed doors, it is easy enough to do. the november issues of popular science and popular mechanics magazines show how easy it is to hack the vote and steal an election. the articles are called ‘e-vote emergency: and you thought dimpled chads were bad’ and ‘could hackers tilt the election?’ i think they did,” explained fitrakis.

there were 15 ohio counties where connally’s margin was 5,000 votes or more better than kerry’s unofficial results. in five counties, connally had a 10,000-vote margin or better. these counties used punch card, optical scan, and touch screen voting machines – with most using punch card systems.

this analysis is merely the latest that has been uncovered about how ohio’s nov. 2 vote was tilted toward bush. immediately after the election, there were reports that the number of voting machines brought to the state’s urban, democratic-leaning precincts was deliberately shorted. there were numerous sworn statements from voters in urban areas that the voter rolls were old and out-of-date, forcing voters, many registered for years, to use provisional ballots – which get counted last or do not get counted at all unless the voter was in the right precinct. voters also testified under oath about machines malfunctioning and recording votes for bush when people believed they had selected kerry.
oh, no, no election irregularities here, move along now...
posted by skippy at 11:02 AM | 0 comments

don't deliberate, don't tell

the us supreme court refused to enter into a gay marriage...debate! the bosglobe tells us:

the u.s. supreme court has sidestepped a dispute over gay marriage. the justices today rejected, without comment, a challenge by conservative groups to the status of massachusetts as the only state that sanctions same-sex marriages.

the court had been asked to overturn a year-old decision by the massachusetts high court that legalized gay marriage.
so now it's all over but the whining.
posted by skippy at 8:14 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, November 28, 2004

don't form the election...reform the election

finally, the mainstream media is starting to take a look at voting irregularities.

the sfchron talks about the demand for election reform coming from, not the courts, not the politicians, not the media, but, of all people, the people!

voter intimidation, disenfranchisement, fairness, partisanship of election officials and several other issues are getting the most attention in ohio, where two lawsuits were filed friday contesting the counting of provisional ballots and the overall results. but it is citizen groups and individual voters rather than political candidates or parties that are demanding that the problems be addressed.

this lack of trust in the voting system, experts say, has spawned a dynamic voting reform movement with citizens inspecting the election process at nearly every level.

"it's an untenable situation in a democracy that people do not have any trust and faith in the system that determines who our elected leaders are," said tova wang, a fellow at the century foundation, a new york-based organization known until recently as the twentieth century fund.

a recount will take place in the next few weeks because more than 6,000 people made small donations over the internet to support such an effort, which proponents say is more about the process than the outcome.

citizens attending public hearings held throughout the state earlier this month testified about long lines, too-few voting machines and other election day shenanigans at polling places.

ohio secretary of state kenneth blackwell has been labeled "the new katherine harris," the florida secretary of state during the 2000 election who also faced accusations of election mismanagement. both those officials were co- chairs of president bush's election campaigns in their states while in charge of running elections.

all this is in addition to the cottage industry of organizations challenging the trustworthiness of electronic voting machines, a separate but related issue that the government accountability office will investigate, the office announced this week. federal legislation on the issue is pending in congress and several states have already addressed the reformers' major concern that machines do not have a paper trail or other process by which the vote can be independently verified.
posted by skippy at 10:16 AM | 0 comments

letters...we get letters...

the ol' skippy mailbag has a couple of missives from the daily cookie and night light today...

the cookie sends us this article from the london times online about the mounting body count in the baghdad mortuary;

and this op-ed piece from the palm beach post decrying that the courts are the first to be targeted in today's right-wing revolution.

meanwhile, nightlight looks at some numbers in the recent election vis a vie realignment;

finds agreement with hugh hewitt;

and ponders a photo of awol squeezing by clinton at the recent library opening.
posted by skippy at 9:43 AM | 0 comments

say hello

to why now?
posted by skippy at 9:36 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, November 27, 2004

change of address card

we may be remiss is our timeliness of this announcement, but wtf is it now? starring the lovely maru the crankpot has a sister blog on tblog. make a note of it.
posted by skippy at 7:26 PM | 0 comments

counting votes

thanks to understandinglife's dkos diary, we find this oped piece in the baltimore sun (you'll need to register) by professor ian h. solomon of yale law school, stressing what we ourselves have been saying: ensuring a fair vote count is not just for kerry's sake, but democracy's sake.

the legitimacy of our democratic process is an issue more important than mr. kerry's future or the results of 2004. that legitimacy has been called into question repeatedly over the past few weeks, and doubts will linger as long as credible indications of error, negligence, disenfranchisement and fraud are not addressed…

we experienced a troubling number of memory card failures where i was based in volusia county, for example, and we tried to minimize the disruption to voters even though data security was compromised. in franklin county, ohio, a machine error resulted in an extra 4,000 votes for president bush. in guilford county, n.c., a machine error cost mr. kerry 22,000 votes. similar problems were experienced in nebraska, indiana and other states. these glitches that we know about have reportedly been fixed, though a re-vote is necessary in a different north carolina county.

disturbingly, several web sites have demonstrated the ease of hacking into the accuvote ts machines made by diebold election systems, the company that for $2.6 million recently settled a lawsuit by california over voting machine problems. another major manufacturer of electronic voting machines, election systems & software, has also been subject to criticism for machine breakdowns and vulnerability. there is no evidence of fraud, but neither manufacturer has assuaged widespread concerns about inappropriate partisanship and unreliability…

at one heavily black precinct in volusia county, for example, more than 10 percent of those turning out to vote were unable to cast a regular ballot. many of these voters simply departed after waiting in line for several hours and then being told by poll workers that their provisional ballots "would not be counted." knox county in ohio reported voters waiting in line for over nine hours. in warren county, ohio, observers were barred from monitoring the vote-counting process.

how can we expect voters - especially young, disadvantaged or newly registered voters - to have faith in our voting system? how can we expect our allies to take seriously u.s. efforts to hold elections in iraq and elsewhere? how can we be confident that the most fundamental principles of american democracy - one person, one vote; rule by the people; transparency in government - are not in jeopardy?
we end with prof. solomon's much more erudite and pithy conclusion:

no reasonable argument can be offered against disclosure and accountability. we can afford whatever expense, inconvenience, distraction and possible embarrassment may be caused by an election audit and congressional investigation. what we cannot afford are unresolved doubts about the legitimacy of our democratic government.
as olsen johnson said to gabby johnson in blazing saddles, now who can argue with that?
posted by skippy at 5:28 PM | 0 comments

required reading

david niewert's pieces on the rise of (psuedo) fascism in america should be read by everyone in blogtopia (y!wctp!).
posted by skippy at 4:40 PM | 0 comments

email call

thanks to pronin2's dkos diary, we find this page with the email addresses for all the senators in congress!

make good use of it!
posted by skippy at 4:00 PM | 0 comments

we have become comfortably numb

with apologies to both roger waters and mad kane.

we don't need no explanation
we don't need no cash control
no lame excuse instead of money
pink floyd leave our cash alone!
hey! pink floyd! leave our residuals alone!
all in all it's just another kick in the balls

posted by skippy at 3:33 PM | 0 comments

what? no american idol reference?

we've got to point out the iron blog who quotes frank lopinto of the cool blue blog as he is able to intertwine the causes of terrorism, the honeymooners, frank herbert's children of dune and bob dylan into one cogent, thoughful piece of writing.
posted by skippy at 3:21 PM | 0 comments

the tao of daou

we are pleased as punch to be linked on the daou report (the blog run by john kerry's online communications director peter daou). though the link is to a bit which only in turn links to the daily cookie (which we are happy to do), we are proud to serve as a conduit to the cookie's musings.
posted by skippy at 3:16 PM | 0 comments

the ol' skippy mailbag

night light examines the faith-based prison reform experiment the florida dept. of corrections is carrrying out;

and the teenaged enthusiast interviewed david gringer of the dean campaign.


posted by skippy at 3:06 PM | 0 comments

Friday, November 26, 2004

thanksgiving cookies

the kids at the daily cookie send us a couple of items for the holiday weekend:

a cnet story about the plan for the national science foundation, in coordination with the cia, to spy on chat rooms on the internets;

and a wwe-raw parody of the infamous nfl "desparate housewives" football promo.

posted by skippy at 3:43 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to anonymoses.
posted by skippy at 8:18 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, November 25, 2004

thanks!

mrs. skippy is about to put the turkey on the dinner table, so we take a brief moment to give thanks to everyone in blogtopia, on both sides of the political aisle (yes, we coined the phrase "blogtopia" and we bet you thought we forgot about it for a minute, didn't you?): all the bloggers and readers, as well as the newsfolk and pr folk and musicians and writers and comics and artists who have made skippy international what it is today...hungry!

most of skippy's readers may feel that there isn't all that much to give thanks for, considering the outcome of the election, but that's not true...this is still the greatest country in the world, and we still have a voice...and if nothing else, be thankful for the internets, all of them, so that we all can stay in touch and realize that our viewpoint is not the loneliest in the world.

remember, all of human conduct swings on the big pendulum of history, from one side to the other...and though it may seem too fundamentalist for our tastes, keep in mind that with diligent work and belief in our cause, things will eventually swing back to normalcy.

those of you with families, be sure to be thankful for them; those of you with good health, be sure to be thankful for that; those of you with money or an income, be sure to be thankful for those blessings as well.

we assume everyone reading this has a home; there's something to be thankful for! and we still have the ability to speak our minds and discuss the issues. that is something to be thankful for.

we can smell the turkey from here, so we are going to sign off for now.

may there be peace in the world, and understanding among its peoples, sooner rather than later.

and may there be a turkey leg for skippy!
posted by skippy at 3:27 PM | 0 comments

it's not you need any training or anything just to go to war

this latimes piece points out that the national guard who are being sent to iraq are not being trained adequately to do the job:

members of a california army national guard battalion preparing for deployment to iraq said this week that they were under strict lockdown and being treated like prisoners rather than soldiers by army commanders at the remote desert camp where they are training.

more troubling, a number of the soldiers said, is that the training they have received is so poor and equipment shortages so prevalent that they fear their casualty rate will be needlessly high when they arrive in iraq early next year. "we are going to pay for this in blood," one soldier said…

the guard troops in new mexico said they wanted more sophisticated training and better equipment. they said they had been told, for example, that the vehicles they would drive in iraq would not be armored, a common complaint among their counterparts already serving overseas.

they also said the bulk of their training had been basic, such as first aid and rifle work, and not "theater-specific" to iraq. they are supposed to be able to use night-vision goggles, for instance, because many patrols in iraq take place in darkness. but one group of 200 soldiers trained for just an hour with 30 pairs of go

ggles, which they had to pass around quickly, soldiers said.the soldiers said they had received little or no training for operations that they expected to undertake in iraq, from convoy protection to guarding against insurgents' roadside bombs. one said he has put together a diary of what he called "wasted days" of training. it lists 95 days, he said, during which the soldiers learned nothing that would prepare them for iraq.

[lt. col. michael] hubbard had said he would make two field commanders available on tuesday to answer specific questions from the los angeles times about the training, but that did not happen.

the fact that the national guardsmen have undergone largely basic training suggests that army commanders do not trust their skills as soldiers, said david segal, director of the center for research on military organization at the university of maryland. that tension underscores a divide that has long existed between "citizen soldiers" and their active-duty counterparts, he said.

"these soldiers should be getting theater-specific training," segal said. "this should not be an area where they are getting on-the-job training. the military is just making a bad situation worse."
thanks and a tip of the bush kangaroo hat to westegg's dkos diary for the link!
posted by skippy at 2:09 PM | 0 comments

what a man, what a man, what a olber olber mann

a friend of ours who worked tirelessly on the kerry california campaign sends us this buzzflash piece by maureen ferrell, who points out that the only journalist in mainstream media that is even considering election irregularities is keith olbermann:

while it's true that mr. olbermann was recently voted america's "sexiest newscaster," the further he strays from the herd, the hotter he gets. "there's a story here, i happen to have a newscast, maybe i should cover it," olbermann humbly told npr, sounding a bit like clark kent/superman in the process...

while ralph nader has openly stated that this election "was hijacked from a to z," nobody expects peter jennings to be similarly sensational. oh, sure, robert novak reportedly raised questions about bill clinton's role in
vince foster's death on national tv and ann coulter told hannity and colmes that clinton "raped a woman [and] molested interns in the white house, and then lied about it and committed felonies," but right-wing hacks live by a set of ethics that is clear only to them, and democracy is better served when pundits remain rational and reasoned. after all, keith olbermann's countdown has been able to cover this story night after night, without venturing into the crazy conspiracy zone -- despite coulter's dubious claims to the contrary.

but when peter jennings introduced a story on e-vote "conspiracy theories" with the same snide dismissal he once reserved for assertions about g.w. bush's national guard record (assertions which turned out to be true), it was easy to see why, as the hartford courant put it, the
mainstream media are becoming "ignored and irrelevant."

of course it would be irresponsible for any major network to say that this election was stolen or rigged or riddled with fraud without proof, but wasn't it also irresponsible for america's most prominent pundits to immediately conclude, as good morning america's charles gibson did, that "
the exit polls got it flat wrong"?

a university of pennsylvania professor placed odds that the exit polls were that wrong in that many states at
250 million to one while renowned pollster john zogby likened the 2004 presidential election to 1960's suspicious contest. "something is definitely wrong," zogby said, adding "we're talking about the free world here."

after all, even if recounts do not alter the end result, aren't threats to our democratic process story enough? three presidential candidates have asked for recounts, six congressmen have asked the gao to investigate,
ohio's presidential vote is being challenged and the league of women's voters is asking for an investigation into voter irregularities, proving that such concerns are more mainstream than most in the mainstream media are letting on.

posted by skippy at 1:45 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to excuse the mess...that was just my head.
posted by skippy at 1:32 PM | 0 comments

truckin'

the night light figures, since sen. leahy proclaimed himself to be a fan of the grateful dead, there was probably a way to communicate easily with him: deadspeak, a letter composed entirely of dead lyrics.

we do hope the progressive movement remembers the words to the dead's one top ten hit "touch of grey."
posted by skippy at 1:18 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

say hello

to pensfans (pittsburgh penguins, that is), and hank's place.
posted by skippy at 6:27 PM | 0 comments

file this one under the "don't hold your breath" dept.

the asspress tells us the general accounting office is set to investigate the voting irregularities of the last election.

congress' investigative agency, responding to complaints from around the country, has begun to look into the nov. 2 vote count, including the handling of provisional ballots and malfunctions of voting machines.

the presidential results won't change, but the studies could lead to changes.

the government accountability office usually begins investigations in response to specific requests from congress, but the agency's head, comptroller general david walker, said the gao acted on its own because of the many comments it received about ballot counting.

gao officials said the investigation was not triggered by a request from several house democrats, who wrote the agency this month seeking an investigation. the effort, led by senior judiciary committee democrat john conyers of michigan, was not joined by any republicans.
at least they're pretending to be concerned.
posted by skippy at 6:22 PM | 0 comments

the ol' skippy mailbag

here's the thanksgiving edition of the skippy mailbag:

the samuel taylor coleridge foundation points out that the u.s. is the only country on the arctic nations council gumming up the works to take any action on the global warming study they commissioned.

seeing the forest warns that the latest from drudge and o'reilly about the poor teacher banned from praying is totally false.

here's a new page of cartoons (always welcome at skippy international), this one focusing on progressive causes: freedomtoons.org.

cowboy kahil of the american street sends us a few links about the ohio vote: an overview from truthout, a bit from olbermann, a recommendation for the blogs votelaw and electionlaw and electionlaw @ moritz (college) and electiononline, plus the latest from everyone's favorite pain in the bulldog, bev harris.
posted by skippy at 5:31 PM | 0 comments

what's the frequency, dr. carol?

the side show does a marvelous job analyzing how the self-righteous wing participated in the downing of dan rather (and dr. carol references two incredibly brilliant bloggers to bolster her case).

addendum: while you're at it, be sure to bookmark the sideshow's new address.

posted by skippy at 11:59 AM | 0 comments

the definition of irony

awol's administration is concerned that the ukranian election may have been stolen.
posted by skippy at 11:42 AM | 0 comments

turn on your night light

with apologies to neil diamond, we are directed to a few essays by rj over at night light.

he includes

"democrats for christ," a sort of thought-experiment on the moral issues that would be involved if democrats ever decided to play as rough as the republicans. i'm also attaching "evil dead," about two sinners from the religious right, and how the right is now the home of moral relativism.

we ought to empathize with bush voters, including evangelicals, rather than condemn them. then maybe we can win their votes. our self-sustaining sense of moral superiority prevents that, which is why i wrote "
the joy of losing." i can't remember if i sent you "dedicated to the one i love," which compares the logic of choosing harry reid as minority leader with that of choosing terry reid, the 60's rock and roller.
posted by skippy at 11:20 AM | 0 comments

top ten ways you can tell if you're a fascist (plus 4 to grow on)

making the rounds of blogtopia (yes! we coined that phrase!) is this piece from the council for secular humanism, titled "fascism, anyone?" by lawrence w. britt.

mr. britt makes the observation that fascist societies have several things in common:

we are two-and-a-half generations removed from the horrors of nazi germany, although constant reminders jog the consciousness. german and italian fascism form the historical models that define this twisted political worldview. although they no longer exist, this worldview and the characteristics of these models have been imitated by protofascist1 regimes at various times in the twentieth century. both the original german and italian models and the later protofascist regimes show remarkably similar characteristics. although many scholars question any direct connection among these regimes, few can dispute their visual similarities.
mr. britt then goes on to list the similarities, which we do so, here (though we recommend you read the entire article):

  • powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
  • disdain for the importance of human rights.
  • identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
  • the supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
  • rampant sexism.
  • a controlled mass media.
  • obsession with national security.
  • religion and ruling elite tied together.
  • power of corporations protected.
  • power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
  • disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
  • obsession with crime and punishment.
  • rampant cronyism and corruption.
  • fraudulent elections.
hmmm. sound like any place you know?
posted by skippy at 8:07 AM | 0 comments

say hello

to red harvest.
posted by skippy at 7:56 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

the history channel

chuck simmins sends us a link to his blog you bigmouth you where he has posted some old photos taken by his mother-in-law documenting rural life in the olden days.

these photos are very interesting. skippy's grandmother was one of the pioneers who traveled across the great plains in the late 1800's to homestead on the flatlands of colorado. chuck's photo album is reminiscent of skippy's grandma's pictures, some of which skippy is fortunate enough to have in his possession.
posted by skippy at 4:41 PM | 0 comments

oh what a friend we have in cheeses

luaptifer sends us this msnbc story linked on break on through:

a woman who said her 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich bore the image of the virgin mary will be getting a lot more bread after the item sold for $28,000 on ebay.

goldenpalace.com, an online casino, confirmed that it placed the winning bid, and company executives said they were willing to spend “as much as it took” to own the 10-year-old half-sandwich with a bite out of it.

“it’s a part of pop culture that’s immediately and widely recognizable,” spokesman monty kerr told the miami herald. “we knew right away we wanted to have it.”

photos posted on ebay show what can be viewed as a woman’s face emblazoned on the sandwich, a bite taken out of one end. bidding closed monday.
we wish it was swiss cheese, so the 'holy' pun could be made.
posted by skippy at 4:25 PM | 0 comments

what's the frequency, dan?

dan rather has announced he is stepping down as cbs news anchor:

dan rather announced tuesday that he will step down as anchor and managing editor of the cbs evening news in march, 24 years after his first broadcast in that position.

rather will continue to work full-time at cbs news as a correspondent for both editions of 60 minutes, as well as on other assignments for the news division.

cbs made no mention of a potential successor.

rather, 73, has come under fire for his 60 minutes report on president bush's service in the national guard during the vietnam war. the report relied on documents that cast mr. bush's service in a negative light. critics charged that the documents were forgeries, and cbs news was unable to vouch for their authenticity. an independent commission is now investigating the matter.

"i have been lucky and blessed over these years to have what is, to me, the best job in the world and to have it at cbs news. along the way, i've had the honor of working with some of the most talented, dedicated professionals in the world, and i'm appreciative of the opportunity to continue doing so in the years ahead," rather said in a statement.
it's too bad dan is leaving amidst the flurry of snide remarks about the memogate affair, when there are so many other affairs to make snide remarks about. remember the sweaters? remember when rather walked off the set after his news cast was delayed by a tennis tournament? remember "courage"? remember dan getting beat up by guys shouting "what's the frequency, kenneth?"? [ed. note: cute use of double question marks]

love him or hate him, dan rather was one of the last remaining anchors to (a) put his own life on the line (see his trip to afghanistan) and (b) actually be a journalist.

we shall miss him.

courage.
posted by skippy at 9:35 AM | 0 comments

say hello

to boffo blog.
posted by skippy at 9:29 AM | 0 comments

fearless leader

blue lemur/raw story tells us about an orlando billboard which simply states "george w. bush: our leader." apparently the billboard is owned and operated by - you guessed it! - clearchannel:

a billboard recently put up in orlando bearing a smiling photograph of president bush with the words “our leader” is raising eyebrows among progressives who feel the poster is akin to that of propaganda used by tyrannical regimes.

raw story confirmed the billboard’s existence monday evening. at our behest, a member of an orlando media organization drove past the billboard on two occasions and verified that it was indeed the one pictured.

the billboard pictured, which is on i-4, says that it is a “political public service message brought to you by clear channel outdoor.”

the member, who declined to be named out of concern for their employer, discovered a second billboard bearing the same image along the same route, paid for by charles w. clayton jr…

one orlando resident penned a concerned letter to the (registration-restricted) orlando sentinel on saturday about the billboard. as the site is restricted to members, the letter appears below.

“the first thing i thought was, when was the last time i have seen a president on a billboard?” wrote resident dianna lawson. “didn’t saddam hussein have his picture up everywhere? what next, a statue?”
posted by skippy at 7:56 AM | 0 comments

Monday, November 22, 2004

say hello

to the fink file.
posted by skippy at 4:06 PM | 0 comments

say hello
mbligo

por las noches recorro algunas bitácoras, pero no pensé que podía hacer una hasta hace un par de noches

en una plaza, una plaza de pueblo vacía de noche, con frío o humedad e
posted by skippy at 4:06 PM | 0 comments

the answer, my friend, is blow me

lefti on the news (who, we promise, we will blogroll as soon as we get to it, along with that other guy) sends us a link to rolling stone's list of the greatestof all time .

[ed. note: ironically enough, dylan's "like a rolling stone" is the #1 song picked by rolling stone. hmmm...do we smell nepotism, at least in titles? we suppose if time magazine had run the piece, the #1 song would be that old 60's chestnut).

but lefti goes further, and asks for nominations for the greatest protest songs of all time.

does "they're coming to take me away ha ha" count?
posted by skippy at 3:53 PM | 0 comments

don't get mad, get kane

mad kane started writing a song parody, but it turned into a poem. (if we had a nickel for everytime we heard that!)
posted by skippy at 3:47 PM | 0 comments

the grassy x-box

the moderate voice tells us the assassination of jfk has now become a video game:

a new video game to be released on monday allows players to simulate the assassination of u.s. president john f. kennedy.

the release of "jfk reloaded" is timed to coincide with the 41st anniversary of kennedy's murder in dallas and was designed to demonstrate a lone gunman was able to kill the president.

"it is despicable," said david smith, a spokesman for massachusetts sen. edward kennedy, the late president's brother. he was informed of the game on friday but declined further comment.

kirk ewing, managing director of the scottish firm traffic games, which developed the game, said he understood some people would be horrified at the concept, but he insisted he and his team had nothing but respect for kennedy and for history.
we couldn't quite get a joke about the magic reset button, but you get the idea.
posted by skippy at 3:43 PM | 0 comments

music changes everything

luapitger from dkos sends us notice that justice through music is offereing a $200,00 reward to anyone who can provide proof of vote fraud in the last elecion.

justice through music, which strongly supports the democratic principles of transparency and honesty in the electoral process, is offering at least a $200,000 reward to any person or persons who provide conclusive and verifiable evidence that the results of the 2004 presidential election were not correctly tabulated because of one or more of the following reasons: 1) hacking into the voting machines; 2) software or coding problems with voting or tabulating machines; 3) multiple counting by machines or humans, 4) improperly implanted codes in voting machines; 5) tampering with voting machines, voting cards or final tabulation numbers; 6) officials or machines not counting all the votes or adding votes; 7) official influence which changed vote totals, or 8) other problems with vote tabulation not noted here. all information and evidence should be submitted to reward@jtmp.org . questions should be submitted to questions@jtmp.org .
luaptifer found the link via demunderground. thanks, boys!
posted by skippy at 3:10 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to disinformation and tough enough.
posted by skippy at 9:30 AM | 0 comments

and this is from the girls in the copy room

the gang over at what would w do? shows us the goodbye card john ashcroft got at work.
posted by skippy at 8:18 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, November 21, 2004

affirmative action, halliburton style

the kids at the daily cookie link us to this mother jones article which asks "how did corporations like halliburton get millions in government contracts designated for small minority businesses?"

in wainwright, alaska, a village of about 500 inupiat eskimo north of the arctic circle, most people live off the land, hunting whale and caribou when the weather allows, drilling holes in the ice for smelt in the spring. about half the residents seek out jobs in the mainstream economy, and among that group, one in ?ve is out of work. one of the few employers in town is the olgoonik corporation, a company owned by the tribe, whose business until recently consisted mostly of running wainwright’s hotel, general store, anD gas station.

but lately, olgoonik has emerged as a rising giant in the world of federal contracting. since 2002, the company has won more than $225 million in contracts for construction work on u.s. military bases and embassies from alaska to kosovo. because olgoonik is tribally owned, it was able to get the contracts without any competition. but that doesn’t mean the people of wainwright have been doing the actual construction; instead, much of the work is being performed by halliburton, olgoonik’s non-native partner in the contracts.

partnerships between multinational companies and tribal businesses, most of them alaska native corporations, have skyrocketed in recent years—in large part because of a provision in federal law that exempts tribal companies from rules that apply to other minority-owned businesses. the system was established in the mid-1990s to help native communities, where unemployment rates often exceed 40 percent. but it has also become a way for large corporations with no native american ownership to receive no-bid contracts, an avenue for federal officials to steer work to favored companies, and a device for speeding privatization. “it’s a loophole gone wild,” charles tiefer, an expert in federal contract law, recently told the trade journal washington technology. “i have seen little evidence that this produces jobs in alaska as opposed to profits for those entrepreneurs skillful enough to exploit it.”
posted by skippy at 7:53 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, November 20, 2004

congratulations!

you are the 675,000th visitor to skippy!
posted by skippy at 6:08 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to zestive politics and benniferus.
posted by skippy at 5:11 PM | 0 comments

exit poll my finger

we ran into an old friend while attending to business today, and exchanged some pleasantries, which led to our friend mentioning that he had been out of town for a couple of months, working on the election.

"good for you," we said. "keep your chin up. we only lost by three percentage points." we try to remind everyone, in real life as well as blogtopia (y!wctp!) that the only mandate in washington is how ken mehlman spends his evenings.

"no, no," said our friend. "i was working for the networks, nothing partisan."

"yeah, right," we said. "you're part of the problem, you son of a bitch!" we said, jokingly, though not as jokingly as polite conversation would have it.

"no, not like that. i was taking exit polls," our friend said.

at that, we went into an even bigger, good-humored, tirade. "you are the problem!" we said, joshing. "damn you!"

"don't blame us," he said. "we were right."

this piqued our interest. we talked further with our friend, who assured us that all the polling data pointed to a kerry victory. "we had kerry winning or tying in all battleground states except west virginia," he said.

our friend went on to point out that he worked for edison/mitofsky, whose polling data had never been wrong before. and, he said, the only counties in which the data they collected under-represented awol's votes were the counties in which diebold voting machines were used.

"quite a coincidence, eh?" he said.

he said there was evidence that the exit polling data was correct, and that everyone at edison/mitofsky was convinced their results were right. he also went on to bemoan the lack of media attention to this story, and to also wonder why kerry gave up so easily.

we decided that, much like the family that won't admit their dad is a serial murderer, nobody in america wants to face the fact that there is wide-spread corruption at the highest levels.

we promised our friend to blog about our conversation (keeping him anonymous, of course). we also vowed with our friend to keep fighting the good fight.

so, though it is anecdotal evidence, it's proof enough for us that 2004 was the same as 2000, only not as messy; ie, rigged and stolen.
posted by skippy at 4:41 PM | 0 comments

Friday, November 19, 2004

we have an opening in 2009...would you care to wait at the bar?

thanks to true's dkos diary, we get this bit of gossip (rapidly being confirmed as true) that the bush twins were told there were no tables available for them at a popular nyc eatery...for the next 4 years!

freemans tuesday night the 16th of nov. the bush twins along with 2 massive secret service men tried to have dinner they were told by the maitre 'd that they were full and would be for the next 4 years upon hearing the entire restaurant cheered and did a round of shots it was amazing!!! [ed: we're hearing that this is actually true.]
don't let the door hit you on the way out.
posted by skippy at 3:20 PM | 0 comments

denial ain't just a pun about a river in egypt

the kids at the daily cookie refer us, through spin of the day to a consortium news piece which analyzes awol's penchant for retribution against those who point out reality (in this case, certain employees of the cia):

now, however, with a fresh lease on four more years, bush is inflicting payback on the cia, especially its analytical division and its intelligence-gathering network, and on the state department, whose analysts also questioned bush’s middle east policies.

acting through new cia director porter goss, the bush administration read the riot act to langley’s intelligence professionals that they must get behind bush’s policies or get out. the demands have led to an exodus of senior cia officials, including deputy cia chief john e. mclaughlin and deputy director of operations stephen r. kappes.

bush then replaced secretary of state colin powell, who was pliable but at least known for protecting the department’s bureaucracy. powell’s successor is the famously compliant national security adviser condoleezza rice, bush’s ultimate “yes” woman who is so cozy with her boss that she once slipped up at a dinner party and referred to bush as “my husb…” before catching herself and replacing that with “president bush.”

the end result will almost surely be that bush will hear even fewer contradictions to his judgments, while congress and the news media will be cut off from internal government sources of information that could be used to question bush’s decisions.

the powerful conservative news media played an important role, too, in setting the stage for these ongoing purges. conservative columnists, including robert novak and david brooks, pushed the dubious claim that the cia’s only rightful role is to serve the president. they accused the cia of disloyalty in trying to sabotage bush.
yeah, that's it! reality is sabotaging awol! that's the ticket!

addendum: on slightly the same subject, this bob herbert op-ed from the nytimes (courtesy of dhinmi over at dkos) focuses specifically on condiverted rice as one of the main engines keeping awol from reality:

she and mr. bush developed a remarkable bond, and he made her his national security adviser. which was a problem. because all the evidence shows she wasn't very good at the job.

ms. rice's domain was the filter through which an awful lot of mangled and misshapen intelligence made its way to the president and the american people. she either believed the nonsense she was spouting about mushroom clouds, or she deliberately misled her president and the nation on matters that would eventually lead to the deaths of thousands.

secretary powell's close friend and deputy at the state department, richard armitage, viewed ms. rice's operation with contempt. in his book "plan of attack," bob woodward said mr. armitage "believed that the foreign-policy-making system that was supposed to be coordinated by rice was essentially dysfunctional."

in october 2003, the president, frustrated by setbacks in iraq, put ms. rice in charge of his iraq stabilization group, which gave her the responsibility for overseeing the effort to quell the violence and begin the reconstruction in iraq.

we see from recent headlines how well that has worked out.
posted by skippy at 2:23 PM | 0 comments

gossing over the facts

blue lemur/raw story obtained, through an anonymous source, the full text of the recent memo cia head honcho peter "lip" goss sent to everyone in the agency. our favorite part:

we are (emphasis in original) a secret agency. of necessity, we must assiduously follow the law to honor the trust placed upon us. we have rules to govern our conduct of business and rules designed to facilitate our mission’s success and to build public confidence.
pretty ironic, considering the memo from the "secret agency" got leaked.
posted by skippy at 2:14 PM | 0 comments

good news for modern blog

greg at the talent show discusses how, on the year anniversary of the mass. supreme court struck down the gay marriage ban, things are not falling apart, as many snakehandlers would have had us believe.
posted by skippy at 8:08 AM | 0 comments

say hello

to american dash and blue voice.
posted by skippy at 8:04 AM | 0 comments

kaopectate for voting irregularities

rodger payne directs us to something's rotten in the state of denmark, who, rodger says, is following the voting irregularity stories "without a tin foil hat." sritsod, among other things, links us to the hout report from berkeley, which basically says that no model agrees with the statistically improbably high number of votes awol received this year from the three counties that favored gore in 2000.
posted by skippy at 7:54 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, November 18, 2004

recount your blessings

former presidential candidate dennis "the menace" kucinich is the first dem to state out loud that he supports a recount in ohio. the augusta free press:

at least somebody from the democratic party is willing to say that he supports the pending vote-recount effort in ohio.

that somebody: former presidential-nominee hopeful dennis kucinich.

"i strongly support the request for a recount in ohio," the ohio congressman said on wednesday.

green party presidential candidate david cobb announced on monday that he and libertarian party presidential candidate michael badnarik plan to file joint requests for recounts in all 88 of ohio's counties.

the requests will be filed once the county electoral boards in the buckeye state have certified their results, the candidates said. a spokesman with the ohio secretary of state office told the augusta free press on monday that the deadline for the electoral boards to certify their results is dec. 1.

kucinich on wednesday joined cobb and badnarik in criticizing what the congressman termed the "highly partisan activities of state election officials" that he said "cast doubt on the integrity of the elections process."
thanks and a tip of the bush kangaroo hat to chinkopelinke's dkos diary for the link!
posted by skippy at 4:31 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to life or something like it, and samantix, and one of our favorite blog titles, onanism today.
posted by skippy at 4:22 PM | 0 comments

blogging etiquette

skippy was in a particularly foul mood when he received a second email from a new blogger asking for a spot on skippy's blogroll.

skippy sent off a rather terse note telling the blogger (ryan thibodaux of higher pie productions) to quit bugging him, and we'd put his blog on our roll when we had some time.

skippy also mentioned a piece about blogging etiquette that atrios wrote a couple of months ago. we couldn't find it in the archives, so we paraphrase (badly, which is, after all, the only way to paraphrase):

the way to get on people's blogrolls is simple. write good stuff. and the way to write good stuff is to just write. a lot. all the time. post several times a day. take a position and stick to it. folks will notice you. people will begin to refer to your blog, and then eventually you will be read enough that folks will voluntarily put you on their blogrolls.

but that's not the reason we write this bit about bad blogging etiquette. no, we mention the whole thing because skippy himself is guilty.

there is never an excuse for sending rude emails. it is easy enough to re-read what one has written, and then hit "delete," when one has dashed off something thoughtless and grumpy. the kid was just trying to make a connection with someone (us) whose writing he enjoyed. it surely wasn't his fault that skippy was having a relatively bad day.

for this, all of us at skippy international are truly sorry. there is enough anger and rudeness out there without bloggers snipping at each other. there is never an excuse for rudeness, even in pseudononymous emails.

ryan, please accept our apologies for being short with you. we will put you on the roll soon, we promise.

and keep writing.
posted by skippy at 9:15 AM | 0 comments

the ol' skippy mailbag

let's open the ol' skippy mailbag...

madkane has two poems for us, one about the hawks and one about alberto gonzales.

holden caufield over at first draft sends us a toronto star article asking if the canadians should arrest awol for war crimes when he visits their country later this year.

nomind at fightingwordscomics sends us a little movie, which, he assures us, is worth the loading wait time.
posted by skippy at 8:59 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

hip-hip-hypocrisy!

courtesy of tom tomorrow, we were sent over to bob harris who muses how ironic it is that the same bunch of people who decried john kerry for testifying about war atrocities in front of congress are now defending the soldier that shot an unarmed, wounded iraqi in the head in a fallujah mosque:

but the people condoning this sort of summary execution as we speak... words fail me. they have no such defense. most of them are sitting in comfy chairs enjoying a broadband connection, with all the time in the world to consider moral questions.

and they say killing people in cold blood is a-ok.

i am much more frightened of them than of this particular soldier.
as are we.
posted by skippy at 8:49 AM | 0 comments

better babies through chemistry

the kids at the daily cookie send us this piece from the organic consumers association about the latest epa study which pays poor families to be able to monitor their babies to see how much toxic chemicals they ingest:

the environmental protection agency (epa), led by bush appointees, is seeking input on a new proposed study in which infants in participating low income families will be monitored for health impacts as they undergo exposure to known toxic chemicals over the course of two years. the study entitled children’s environmental exposure research study (cheers) will look at how chemicals can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed by children ranging from babies to 3 years old.

for taking part in these studies, each family will receive $970, a free video camera, a t-shirt, and a framed certificate of appreciation.
[ed. note: you can't make this stuff up!]

in october, the epa received $2.1 million to do the study from the american chemistry council, a chemical industry front group that includes members such as dow, exxon, and monsanto (see full list of members on sidebar of this page). critics of the research, including some epa scientists, claim the study's funders guarantee the results will be biased in favor of the chemical industry, at the expense of the health of the impoverished children serving as test subjects.
leave no child's liver behind!
posted by skippy at 8:07 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

we audit know better

bev harris and her black box voting crew have begun an audit of the voting irregularities in florida:

breaking -- saturday nov 13 2004: black box voting has launched a fraud audit into florida. three investigators (bev harris, andy stephenson, and kathleen wynne) are in florida right now. we will initiate hand counts on selected counties that have not fully complied with our nov. 2 freedom of information request by monday (diebold counties) or tuesday (other counties).
here's an excerpt from their update posted on the demunderground, courtesy of markusd's dkos diary:

monday bev, andy and kathleen came in with a film crew and asked for the foia request. deanie lowe gave it to us with a smile, but i noticed that one item, the polling place tapes, were not copies of the real ones, but instead were new printouts, done on nov. 15, and not signed by anyone.

i asked to see the real ones, and they told us for "privacy" reasons we can't have copies of the signed ones. i insisted on at least viewing them (although refusing to give us copies of the signatures is not legally defensible, according to our attorney). they said the real ones were in the county elections warehouse. it was quittin' time and we arranged to come back this morning to review them.

lana hires, an employee who gained some notoriety in a diebold memo, where she asked for an explanation of minus 16,022 votes for gore, so she wouldn't have to stand there "looking dumb" when the auditor came in, was particularly unhappy about seeing us in the office. she vigorously shook her head when deanie lowe suggested we go to the warehouse.

kathleen wynne and i showed up at the warehouse at 8:15 this morning. there was lana hires looking especially gruff, yet surprised. she ordered us out. well, we couldn't see why because there she was, with a couple other people, handling the original poll tapes. you know, the ones with the signatures on them. we stepped out and they promptly shut the door behind us.

there was a trash bag on the porch outside the door. i looked into it and what do you know, but there were poll tapes in there. they came out and glared at us. we drove away a small bit, and then videotaped the license plates of the two vehicles marked 'city council' member. others came out to glare and soon all doors were slammed.

so, we went and parked behind a bus to see what they would do next. they pulled out some large pylons, which blocked the door. i decided to go look at the garbage some more. kathleen videotaped this. a man came out and i immediately wrote a public records request for the contents of the garbage bag, which also contained ballots -- real ones, but not filled out.
for editorial reasons (ie, we are lazy) we won't reproduce the entire story here. please go read it for yourself, and be happy that at least somebody is trying to track down the facts in florida.

meanwhile, over at bloggerman (keith olbermann's blog) they are reporting that a glut of media articles about the dearth of media articles about election irregularities is in the works.

we await with baited breath. (yes, we go fishing with our mouths!)
posted by skippy at 7:48 PM | 0 comments

what's your hurry, general, here's your hat

liberal oasis tells us that colin powell offered to stay an extra few months to explore the "opening" left by arafat's death in the mid-east peace process. awol's reply? "thanks, but no thanks."

this is a very sensitive moment in the israel-palestine conflict.

why not keep your top diplomat around to manage it, instead of turning him into a lame duck during the confirmation process?

because you think other things are more important than waging peace.

like what? as nbc nightly news' andrea mitchell reported last night:

...officials tell nbc news mr. bush wants his national security adviser [condi rice] to oversee a top to bottom housecleaning of the state department.
who needs peace when you don't have enough yes-men around you?
posted by skippy at 7:19 PM | 0 comments

blogging the war

over at corrente, leah reminds us that in light of the fallujah invasion, one could do worse than read the blogs originating from iraq; specifically, raed in the middle (who has some great pics from fallujah and other cities), and baghdad burning and tell me a secret. not a bad suggestion, but only if you have a strong stomach for what what our military is doing.
posted by skippy at 7:06 PM | 0 comments

what absentee ballots? oh, those absentee ballots!

an employee in the pinellas county, fla, supervisor of elections' office found a box containing an uncounted 268 absentee ballots. under a desk. st. petersberg times on line:

"i think this is a very serious situation," supervisor of elections deborah clark said monday, vowing to fire or discipline any employee found to be negligent.

"i assume all responsibility for everything that happened in that department, but i have to rely on other people," clark said. "it's not a one-woman show."

the unmarked box wasn't the only problem.

five days ago, clark sent the state the county's final results for the nov. 2 election. but her office had failed to perform a standard check to ensure that all ballots had been accounted for.

clark assumed her staff had performed the check, but they had not.

now she will ask the state for permission to change pinellas' official results. the canvassing board will count the missing ballots thursday.

although it is numerically possible, officials say the missing ballots probably won't change any results. only a few races were decided by less than 268 votes - including the presidential contest.

george w. bush won the presidential race in pinellas by just 226 votes. while bush's margin in pinellas could change, his statewide victory won't.
don't worry, deb! we're sure this is the only place in florida where there were voting irregularities!

(thanks and a tip of the bush kangaroo hat to edverb's dkos diary for the link!)
posted by skippy at 4:41 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to the fink file and abolish the death penalty and are you effin' kidding me?
posted by skippy at 4:36 PM | 0 comments

the gay old party

the blue lemur/raw story is reporting news first broken on blogactive: daniel gurley, the national field director and deputy political director for the repubbblican party sought multiple partners for unsafe gay sex online.

[ed. note: for some unexplained reason, the it team at skippy international is unable to copy and paste from blue lemur/raw story. ergo, our readers are forced to click the link and go read the salacious details themselves.]

both blogs point out how utterly hypocritical the repubbbs are, to actively promote distrust and revulsion about homosexuality (just to get votes) while quietly participating in it themselves.

we'd ask that the repubbbs either admit that homosexuals can have family values, and that gay marriage is a civil right whose time has come, or else purge their party of all people who enjoy the love of their same gender (because we'd be willing to bet money that would deplete the ranks of the repubbbs very quickly).

either put up or shut up (or else, come out or get out).
posted by skippy at 11:40 AM | 0 comments

flaming snitch

talkleft is telling us the man who set himself on fire in front of the white house yesterday was an fbi informant.
posted by skippy at 9:52 AM | 0 comments

voting machines? we don't need no steenkin' voting machines!

thanks to renee in ohio's dkos diary, we went to the free press website to find this article about how ohio officials let 68 voting machines sit in storage on election day:

one telling piece of evidence was entered into the record at the saturday, november 13 public hearing on election irregularities and voter suppression held by nonpartisan voter rights organizations. cliff arnebeck, a common cause attorney, introduced into the record the franklin county board of elections spreadsheet detailing the allocation of e-voting computer machines for the 2004 election. the board of elections’ own document records that, while voters waited in lines ranging from 2-7 hours at polling places, 68 electronic voting machines remained in storage and were never used on election day.

the board of elections document details that there are 2886 “total machines” in franklin county. twenty of them are “in vans for breakdowns.” the county record acknowledges 2886 were available on election day, november 2 and that 2798 of their machines were “placed by close of polls.” the difference between the machines “available” and those “placed” is 68. the nonpartisan election protection coalition provided legal advisors and observed 58 polling places in primarily african american and poor neighborhoods in franklin county.

an analysis of the franklin county board of elections’ allocation of machines reveals a consistent pattern of providing fewer machines to the democratic city of columbus, with its democratic mayor and uniformly democratic city council, despite increased voter registration in the city. the result was an obvious disparity in machine allocations compared to the primarily republican white affluent suburbs.
posted by skippy at 9:05 AM | 0 comments

nato nay-sayers

the kids at the daily cookie send us this australian broadcasting co. piece about how the iraq mission is causing rifts in other nato missions:

the top military commander of the north atlantic treaty organisation (nato) has said in an interview that 10 member countries have refused to send soldiers to iraq, raising "worrisome" doubts over how the alliance will fight future conflicts.

"we have roughly 10 countries that will not participate and not send their forces inside iraq," general james jones, nato's supreme allied commander, europe, was quoted as saying in the financial times newspaper.

"it is worrisome for its implications for the future cohesion of the alliance in future missions. i hope this is the only time it happens”…

opponents of nato training in iraq say a larger presence would amount to putting the alliance into the iraqi battlefield through the back door.

the alliance approved plans last month to send around 300 military trainers to iraq, despite concerns from france and other opponents of the war about whether nato should have a role in iraq at all.

posted by skippy at 8:59 AM | 0 comments

say hello

to the samuel taylor coleridge foundation.
posted by skippy at 8:43 AM | 0 comments

a couple of things are a'brewin

our reader and contributor bayard brewin sends us two items of interest:

a new data base of grass roots workers organizing for dem and progressive causes called the demgain pages;

and a cnn piece discussing how the canucks are actively wooing election-disheartened americans (and, as the article says, it's not just because of their liberal marijuana laws, either).



posted by skippy at 8:25 AM | 0 comments

Monday, November 15, 2004

cobb-ling together a recount

common dreams tells us the green party candidate has raised enough money for the filing fee to request a recount of the ohio votes.

on thursday, david cobb, the green party’s 2004 presidential candidate, announced his intention to seek a recount of the vote in ohio. since the required fee for a statewide recount is $113,600, the only question was whether that money could be raised in time to meet the filing deadline. that question has been answered.

“thanks to the thousands of people who have contributed to this effort, we can say with certainty that there will be a recount in ohio,” said blair bobier, media director for the cobb-lamarche campaign.

“the grassroots support for the recount has been astounding. the donations have come in fast and furiously, with the vast majority in the $10-$50 range, allowing us to meet our goal for the first phase of the recount effort in only four days,” said bobier…

a demand for a recount in ohio can only be filed by a presidential candidate who was either a certified write-in candidate or on the ballot in that state. both green party candidate david cobb and libertarian candidate michael badnarik will be demanding a recount. no other candidate has stated an intention to seek a recount and no other citizen or organization would have legal standing to do so in ohio. the cobb-lamarche campaign is still exploring the possibility of seeking recounts in other states but no decision has been made yet.
too bad john kerry wasn't as motivated as the greens...
posted by skippy at 2:48 PM | 0 comments

is that a halliburton contract in your pocket or are you just glad to see us?

the kids from the daily cookie send us a milwaukee magazine piece about a picture of dick cheney. and we do mean dick cheney:

the normally serious cheney flashed a winning smile for borkin, and guldan snapped an attention-grabbing photo that would later be chosen for the front page of the paper’s september 11 metro section.

guldan got a call from a reader the next day. “did you notice anything unusual about that picture?” the reader asked.
upon closer inspection, it seems the vice president’s smile was not his biggest, ahem, asset. is that what we think it is?

“you’re not imagining it,” guldan says of the unintentionally revealing photo.

let’s just say the snugness of cheney’s pants left little to the imagination, and we’re not talking about his waistline.

one journal sentinel reader pointed out the blooper in an e-mail to wklh-fm radio hosts dave luczak, carole caine and kevin brandt, who had a hoot talking about it during their popular morning show.

“it’s nice to have someone of that magnitude in the white house,” brandt joked.

“he’s got a porn career right there,” caine snickered.

“now we know where his unmitigated confidence comes from,” luczak quipped.

we’ve seen the photo, and it’s hard not to notice something so, well, unmistakable.
addendum: dancin' fool directed our attention to jesus' general who has the unretouched pic (well, we really don't know who touched it, or who re-touched it). [ed. note: while you're clicking those links, take some time to study dancin' fool's site, the museum of depressionist art. quite humorous.]
posted by skippy at 8:42 AM | 0 comments

like rats deserting a sinking ship

talkleft tells us that among others, colin powell is leaving his job at the administration.
posted by skippy at 7:09 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, November 14, 2004

no yacht owner left behind

the kids at the daily cookie send us this seattle post intelligencer piece detailing how owners of luxury boats are using awol's tax codes for ridiculously profitable tax breaks on their dinghies.

some ultra-rich yacht buyers are expecting to deduct millions from their income tax next year by depreciating their pleasure craft under the provisions of the bush administration's tax-relief program passed by congress in 2003. about 500,000 boat owners nationwide can decrease their income-tax bill every year by declaring their vessels a second home. some others collect healthy deductions from putting their boats into charter arrangements that may skirt the provisions of the tax code. and some corporations take deductions on yachts that seem to stretch the definition of a business resource.

several yacht sellers gathered at the floating boat show on south lake union last month said most of the big pleasure boats on the water are supported by tax incentives

“i would imagine that most of the people with boats over 50 or 60 feet are probably working some kind of tax dodge," agreed jimmy james, a semiretired certified public accountant from kingston who has advised many boat owners. "people with enough money to buy those boats got there by having tax dodges."
so that's how mr. howell could afford a three-hour tour on the s.s. minnow!
posted by skippy at 8:05 PM | 0 comments