Saturday, October 30, 2004


Suddenly there was an explosion—Our brave, macho President

Bush went to Manchester, New Hampshire, on Thursday morning to give a speech, which according to his aides was to be "about the character of the nation and the leadership it needs." As it turned out, New Hampshirites got a better-than-expected glimpse of the President's character.

The event got off to a rocky start. Aides had been promising that ace pitcher Curt Schilling of the Boston Red Sox was going to introduce Bush, but Schilling backed off at the last minute.

Bush's speech was "devoted almost entirely to 9/11 and the war in Iraq." Fortunately, NPR was there—

Suddenly there was a terrifying explosion in the arena. It turned out to be only a confetti cannon prematurely fired. President Bush initially flinched, and half a minute later he seemed rattled when he resumed speaking—
My determination has not faded since that day. My determination is wrong—strong! I will never relent in defending America, whatever it takes!

Bush's voice is shaking. No report yet on the Presidential undergarment.

Link: Bush Recaps Campaign Themes in New Hampshire [audio, 2 minutes in]


International Greens urge vote for Kerry

In my Inbox yesterday was a note from "Greens for Impact" pointing to an open letter to U.S. Green party members from representatives from Australia, Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

We write as Greens from across the globe who are united in their desire to see the American electorate remove George W. Bush from office.

We ask Greens in the United States to not act with the unilateralism, which Bush has made your country famous for, and see to it that Bush is defeated, for the benefit of untold people across the globe. Indeed, this year's election will be close enough that the votes and actions of Green Party members could tip the balance.

We recognize the awkward position in which the Green Party of the United States finds itself -- its members desire for it to grow as a party and movement by running candidates, but do not want to be labeled "spoilers" or do harm to those causes about which they care most. You face this dilemma because of the electoral mechanisms your country uses. Our elections make use of a variety of systems -- some proportional, some rank-ballot, some run-offs. These systems ensure representation for small parties, encourage coalition-building, and facilitate progressive change. It is only if you reform your electoral systems that you will be able to shed the “spoiler” label once-and-for-all, and be heard by the masses without qualification.

We ask you to vote Bush out of office by supporting Kerry in contested states, and to focus energies on important electoral reforms. [emphasis added]


Broward Co. Florida once again descends into chaos

When I reported last Thursday that the missing absentee ballots in Broward Co. could result in chaos on election day, I also picked up the announcement that the Supervisor of Elections office would be resending 76,000 ballots. Personally, I wondered about the logistics of such a mass mailing.

Well, wonder no more.

On Tuesday, the elections office started looking for some 58,000 absentee ballots they feared had not gotten to voters.

By Wednesday, they had decided to send replacements to everyone who had asked for a ballot but had not yet returned one. By Thursday, they realized it was logistically impossible.

By Thursday night, "they managed to get out 5,000 local ballots and 3,500 more to out-of-county voters." Michael Moore led a rally that night urging people to vote early.

Let me repeat this. In Florida, if you have requested an absentee ballot and attempt to vote on election day, you are expected to return the ballot form. Otherwise the poll worker must verify that you have not already voted. But if you take advantage of early voting, the ballot form is not required. For anyone who votes early and sends in the absentee ballot also, the absentee ballot is supposed to be discarded.

Here's how bad the situation is—

By law, the county can send absentee ballots out as late as the Friday night before an election, Snipes said. But even if voters get their ballots today or tomorrow, they have to find a way to get them back to the elections office by 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Faced with a shortage of people, Snipes on Wednesday night allowed Kerry and Bush supporters to help. The extra hands came with their own worries: Democrats fumed that Republicans were beating them in the ground war leading up to the election.

Republicans requested their address labels from the elections office Wednesday. By Thursday morning, they were already placing the address stickers on their out-of-county absentee ballots. Democrats -- who have thousands more absentee voters -- had to wait, while elections workers sorted out computer problems with the label printing.

Joseph Agostini, a spokesman for the Republican Party, watched smugly as Kerry operatives scrambled to ready their ballots. Republicans had only 577 out-of-county ballots to send. Democrats had as many as 3,000.

You will notice that it is the Democrats who are most adversely affected by this situation.


Previous post:
Missing absentee ballots in Broward Co. could be a catastrophe

Friday, October 29, 2004


Republican kiddie-stalker has to drop out of race

In Arkansas, according to the AP,
A Republican state legislative candidate suspended his campaign Friday after news surfaced of his arrest record for exposing himself to children.

Alan Fortney was arrested three times since 1981 on misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure. He was fined but never served time in jail,...

Three times?

Heartwarming . . .

Dying Texas man casts his vote

"In the 10 days after Welch Flippin decided to stop dialysis and began succumbing to kidney failure, the 85-year-old Texas farmer and World War II veteran had something on his mind. Something, he told his son, he just had to do. He wanted to vote."

Continue . . . [warning. It's so you'll have to watch a commercial.]


College Republican leadership deserves jail time

The Seattle Times has run a breathtaking article on the fund-raising practices of the College Republican National Committee. Every time I think I have a grip on the organized-crime organizations that pose as political parties, they have one more stiletto up their sleeves.

The College Republican National Committee is the rock from under which Karl Rove, Grover Norquist and former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed crawled. They have dissociated themselves from the Republican National Committee and have long been associated with dirty tricks and generally disgraceful behavior. But willfully scamming mentally impaired seniors must be stopped.

This year, as millions of dollars flowed in, College Republicans falsely claimed in letters that checks were only trickling in and that the group was in a constant budget crisis.

And the elderly continued to be a major source of donations.

There are far more retired people giving to College Republicans than to any other IRS-regulated independent political committee, IRS records indicate.

The Times was able to determine the ages of 49 of the top 50 individual donors to the College Republicans. The median age of the donors is 85, and 14 of them are 90 or older.

As someone who has relatives in this age group, I know very well how vulnerable they feel and how frightened they are by direct-mail solicitations.

Baines was surprised to hear he had given more than $63,000 and that it had all gone to College Republicans. He said he was swayed to give, sometimes against his better instincts, by the power of the letters.

"I thought if I paid them off once it would send them away, but it just encourages them to send more," he said. "It is just a rat race in this house to pay off these people and hope that they quit.

"But they don't. They keep sending."

Do read this article! And pass it around!

Note to the Seattle Times. After having done an excellent investigative report, why did you reduce its impact by your headline: Fund-raising group milks vulnerable senior citizens? This isn't any old fund-raising group. You know perfectly well that many people don't get past the headlines. If your purpose was to inform, "College Republicans milk vulnerable senior citizens" would have been both informative and accurate.

Fox News buys the O'Reilly videotapes reports,

Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly and his former associate producer, Andrea Mackris, have agreed to settle their dispute over her allegations that the television personality harassed her sexually.

This is a bit of an oversimplification. News Corporation ("one of the largest media corporations in the world"), Fox News Channel (wholly owned subsidiary of News Corp., with Rupert Murdoch as CEO and Roger Ailes as president), Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. (wholly owned subsidiary of News Corp.) and Westwood One, Inc (O'Reilly's radio producer) were all defendants in the lawsuit that Makris filed. And Fox News Network was the plaintiff along with O'Reilly in the countersuit.

All parties would have had to agree to "settle"—i.e., pay through the nose. Makris alleged not only "sexual harassment" against O'Reilly but also a "sexually hostile work environment" against the other defendants.

"It's over, and I'm happy," the 33-year-old graduate of Columbia Graduate School of Journalism told CNN, in whose New York bureau she once worked. "I can't say anything else, but I do appreciate everybody."

I believe her when she says she's happy. Ms. Makris has just won the O'Reilly sweepstakes, and O'Reilly has gotten the incriminating tapes back.

I'm personally disappointed but not surprised. Andrea Makris, who had asked for $60 million1 not to file her suit (the basis of the "extortion" counterclaim), was clearly more interested in money than principle. Can't say as I blame her. You can buy an awful lot of principle for $60 million.

O'Reilly's counsel released a statement saying,

"All cases and claims have been withdrawn, and all parties have agreed there was no wrongdoing whatsoever by Mr. O'Reilly, Ms. Mackris or Ms. Mackris' counsel, Benedict P. Morelli and associates."

"We now withdraw any assertion that any extortion by Ms. Mackris, Mr. Morelli, or Morelli and associates occurred," the statement said. "Out of respect for their families and privacy, all parties and their representatives have agreed that all information relating to the cases shall remain confidential."

But as I mentioned in a previous post, there are other women waiting in the wings. Does this mean that Fox has paid hush money all around, or are there more lawsuits to come? Stay tuned.

And will O'Reilly be able to keep his pants zipped? I'm sufficiently concerned that I've written Fox to ask them to please consider chemical castration. It is painless, and women everywhere will thank them for it.

Previous post
Foreplay with a loofah? (updated)


1 Sixty million is the estimated annual revenue of "The O'Reilly Factor." [back]


Quote of the day

America is a very racist country and war brings out the worst in it. I have said – several times, publicly – that the one thing I've always liked about Bill Clinton is that he was the first American president since World War II to bomb white people.
—Seymour Hersh, in an interview

Thursday, October 28, 2004


Update on "Voter intimidation begins early in Florida"

Greg Palast filmed the private detective who was videotaping Jacksonville's early voters. It's available from the BBC—"New Florida vote scandal feared."

Previous post:
Voter intimidation begins early in Florida


Missing absentee ballots in Broward Co. could be a catastrophe

Broward County, Florida, has just announced that it is resending some 76,000 absentee ballots. Some 56,000 ballots, asserted by the Elections Office to have been mailed on October 7-8, have not been received.

What happened to 56,000 ballots demands a thorough investigation. It's difficult to imagine such a large mailing "lost" without some criminal activity. But the investigation will have to wait until after the election.

In the meantime, those missing ballots are a real threat to the outcome of the Florida election. For some—home-bound people and travelers—the absentee ballot is a must. But of the total requests, this group does not represent the greater portion.

The majority have requested the ballots as a convenience or as insurance that their vote is counted. So can they just go to the polls and vote?

Not exactly.

[I]f a voter has received an absentee ballot and has not sent it back, they must hand it over to election officials before they can vote on Election Day.

Since you can't return what you haven't received, I made a call to a Florida Supervisor of Election's office to find out what the procedure is for the voter who cannot return his/her absentee ballot. It is this: a poll worker at the precinct must call in to the Elections office to verify that no ballot has been received before the voter may proceed to vote. Even a few thousand such calls would overwhelm any system in the state!

If the Broward Elections office mailed the ballots on or before October 8, as it says, and if the U.S. Postal Service hasn't been able to deliver them by now, I can't be optimistic that this second batch will be delivered on time.

If you are a Florida resident and have requested a ballot that you haven't received, I would urge you to vote before November 2.

Follow-up post:
Broward Co. Florida once again descends into chaos


No Rush on November 2 (with letter)

NBC News is planning to use Rush Limbaugh as a political commentator for election-night coverage. That's fine with me—so long as they have someone like Noam Chomsky sitting next to him.

Media Matters is asking the public to express its displeasure. If you are displeased, the contact is

Oh, what the hell. I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours.

Doesn't your news organization have enough problems maintaining an image of integrity without besmirching it with the likes of Rush Limbaugh? I can only surmise that NBC News thinks that Limbaugh is going to be such a draw that ratings considerations have topped integrity.

Unless "conservative" has become synonymous with "dishonest," Limbaugh does not express a conservative point of view. His dishonesty makes any attempt at balance impossible. You would have to find a progressive spokesperson of equal dishonesty. And they're in such short supply that I'm afraid you'll find that they've already been engaged.

As a company that profits from the public airwaves, it is your responsibility to inform, not disinform. And I, as a member of the public, am asking that you do so by finding honest spokespeople for whatever viewpoints you choose to present.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Libertarian dilemma on abortion

It's not a religious issue. It's a property-rights issue: at what point does the baby take ownership of its own body? I do not have a clear-cut answer.
—Michael Badnarik, Libertarian candidate for President

The punditry gap

Has the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne been reading li'l ol' Simply Appalling? I'm beginning to wonder.

It was only a month ago that a Post writer was proclaiming "the enthusiasm gap," which essentially said that Bush supporters were more fervent in their support for Bush than Kerry supporters were for Kerry. I've repeatedly denounced this idea, and today E.J. Dionne has noticed what he calls "the intensity gap."

In the torrent of polling information released over the weekend, the most significant finding was this one: John Kerry's supporters are more likely than George W. Bush's to believe that this year's election is the most important of their lifetimes.

According to Newsweek's poll, 37 percent of Kerry's voters felt this way, compared with only 27 percent of Bush's. Of the rest, 40 percent of Kerry supporters thought 2004 was more important than most other elections, while 35 percent of Bush's backers did. ....

As a political matter, this intensity gap suggests that even if Bush has been successful in mobilizing the Republican Party's political base, he has been even more successful in mobilizing Democrats.

Dionne wastes the rest of his column explaining why "Bush-hatred" is rational.

Peter Beinart, editor of The New Republic and monthly columnist for the Post, has definitely not been reading Simply Appalling. He's proclaiming (wrongly) "the end of the 'Jewish vote.'"

No matter who wins on Tuesday, commentators will likely sift through the exit polling and declare that, in at least one respect, President Bush failed. Early this year some Republicans boasted that Bush would realign Jewish American politics -- ending the community's 80-year love affair with the Democratic Party. In recent weeks, however, with polls showing most Jews planning to vote for John Kerry, the brash predictions have stopped. Jewish Democrats are poised to declare victory, to announce that Bush's overtures have come to naught.

But that won't be true. Because while President Bush hasn't realigned the Jewish vote, he has done something even more intriguing: He has ended it.

.... This year, for probably the first time, Orthodox Jews will vote like "traditionalist" Christians. Conservative, Reform and non-affiliated Jews, on the other hand, will vote like secular, or "modernist," Christians. And the Jewish vote, in a meaningful sense, will cease to exist.

What Beinart has apparently not noticed is that the Orthodox Jews in Israel are not exactly in synch with their more secular counterparts. But he manages to hold onto his illusion despite the fact that—

Orthodox Jews make up less than 10 percent of the American Jewish population, so even though they will probably vote overwhelmingly for President Bush, he will still overwhelmingly lose the Jewish vote as a whole.

I don't ordinarily read The New Republic, but after reading Beinart's column, I couldn't resist taking a peek at the magazine he edits. What I discovered is that their writers must be paid by the word. Seldom outside the realm of politics have I encountered more verbosity to say so little.

In 2500 words or more Reithan Salam analyzes the expected "post-election intra-party bloodletting" by the Republicans. I'll save you an arduous read. If Bush loses, Salam thinks that Karl Rove's strategy will be discredited. Duh!

He also says of Sens. Chuck Hagel and Richard Lugar that they will be despised for their "moderation"—

The reason to throw the moderate Midwesterners together is that both will be among the most hated and despised Republicans alive after November 2 if Kerry manages to defeat Bush. Why? Because both have been named, again and again, by Kerry as the kind of Republicans he can get down with and even name to his cabinet. For obvious reasons, this is evidence of high treason.

On Iraq, Hagel and Lugar are seen as the great dissenters. (Rhode Island's Senator Lincoln Chaffee is also a dissenter, but he's considered too crazy to worry about.) Despite the fact that both ultimately supported the president on the use-of-force resolution, Hagel and Lugar have been sharply critical of the administration's failures in international diplomacy and postwar planning--so much so that Hagel, a hard-edged social conservative with small government views, has been dubbed the Republican senator from France by National Review's John J. Miller. Pretty devastating.

"Senator from France"? Simply devastating. Well, I'll grant that neither Hagel nor Lugar will be elevated to the Presidency in 2008, but not because they displayed a dab of sense.

Oh, but wait.

Then again, it's possible that a Bush defeat will lead Republicans to repudiate Bush's foreign policy. That's the long-term bet Hagel seems to be making. After the election, there might be a good deal of serious soul-searching on foreign policy, and Republicans might move en masse back to the Scowcroftian realism that defined George H.W. Bush's presidency.
You think?

Salam is not sure if there is such a thing as a neoconservative, but if there is, they're going to suffer after the election.

Whether or not there is any such thing as a neoconservative, in light of the heterogeneity of views among those described as neoconservatives, anyone remotely identifiable as a neoconservative will almost certainly suffer recriminations if Bush loses.

He thinks a "preemptive strike" is going to be launched against McCain and Giuliani. He doesn't say by whom, since Karl Rove will be gone and the neocons will be gone. Pat Robertson maybe?

Salam claims that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld will go into retirement, and that Jeb Bush will abandon any claim to the throne, along with any other Republican governor who fails to deliver his state. Is the synonym for "obvious" "obvious"?

Finally, Salam concludes,

While some will blame Bush's defeat on Rove or various disloyal or incompetent Republicans, most will blame Bush.

Is he talking about the Republican leadership? They may not be the sharpest tacks in the cushion, but not one of them thinks that Bush has enough sense to be responsible for anything. But maybe he has a point. Republicans do believe in executing the mentally handicapped.

Salam pens his article under a heading of "bloodletting." He certainly has no idea what a Republican bloodletting looks like.

But back to the pundits. These are the guys on the so-called "moderate left." How can they be so clueless? Are they hoping to make an appearance on Fox, where they will be paid by the radical right?

Related posts:
The silliness of polls: The "enthusiasm gap"
Why Kerry's going to beat Bush in November
Is the Republican volcano about to erupt?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Reading other people's mail, which is the antithesis of, has scored quite a coup. It seems their mail server has a mailbox for collecting any mail that comes to without a known addressee. For instance, if you were to write me at, the message would go right through. I, of course, wouldn't get it.

As you know, a lot of Republicans can't tell their .orgs from their .coms, so there have been quite a few messages landing in the mail server. has kindly made them available to the rest of us.

I'll just share a few of my favorites—

Delusions of grandeur

This email is to Matt Dowd, Republican pollster, strategist and talking head.

Dowd is being solicited to appear at the treasonous AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) that was so supportive, if not causative, of the attack on Iraq.

Ralph Reed, of course, is the former head of the Christian Coalitian, who more recently has been caught scamming Native Americans.

Stuart Stevens is described on the NewsHour as a media analyst and author of "The Big Enchilada." (Enchilada is Spanish for "dick," in this case.)

From: Rob Bassin []
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2004 10:22 AM
Subject: AIPAC Event at the Convention


I wanted to check in and see if your schedule was going to permit you to be part of our program on Monday morning, August 30, up in New York. It would be great if you could be part of the panel. Ralph Reed and Stuart Stevens have already would complete the triumverate....



Robert H. Bassin

I just love the word "triumverate."

Concerning the 2008 election

I don't know who these people are. Don't want to know. The "Evelyn" mentioned is a volunteer recruiter and apparently quite a slacker. But the group seems to have had a clear-eyed assessment of where the Bush campaign is heading.

From: Mary Jane Aurdal []
Sent: Monday, August 09, 2004 2:02 PM
To: dullain Ehrlich []; 'Donald Povia' []; Jon Seaton []; 'Peter Abbarno' []
Subject: Re: Volunteer Recruitment

Hey, Dullain, you gotta admit that when we start a campaign to oust Kerry and elect a Republican President in 2008, Evelyn will have all her homework done ....

How to make a fruitcake with nuts

Then you have your Florida-style Republicans, who—unlike Rush Limbaugh—appear not to be taking their medication. When they have too much money to be locked up, the Republicans put them in a leadership position. Bill Bunting is chairman of the Pasco County Republicans, delegate to the Repug Convention and gun nut. Here's a mention of him by the NRA in August of '99.

A proposed three day waiting period in Pasco County, Fla., was soundly defeated Tuesday by a vote of 5-0. Illustrating the effectiveness of determined grassroots efforts, Bill Bunting and other members of the Second Amendment Republican Club of Pasco County joined with fellow NRA members and gun owners to pack Tuesday's meeting, leading the Pasco County Commissioners to unanimously scrap the proposed local waiting period. To learn more about the Second Amendment Republican Club of Pasco County, or to become more involved in the fight to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners, please contact Bill Bunting at (727) 862-1063.

Karen Unger was Jeb Bush's campaign manager in the 2002 election. Alan Levine is Jeb Bush's Health Policy Advisor!

From: Karen Unger []
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 9:31 PM
To: 'Alan Levine' []
Cc: 'Jeb Bush' [];
Subject: RE:

Oh yeah. Bill can be a bit nutty. Brettler, are you familiar with what's going on down there? Do you know what Bill is talking about?

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Alan Levine []
> Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 9:36 PM
> To: Karen Unger []
> Cc: Jeb Bush [];

> karen,
> today i was in pasco county with the LG [Lieutenant-Governor]. while there, bill bunting pulled me and the LG aside
> and told us that he was going after rep. anderson because anderson would not drop mail for the
> president. I don't know what is going on, but bill is capable of sometimes being fairly extreme,
> and it worries me that he may do something that draws attention. it may be worthy of someone
> talking to him...
> alan

Talk to him!? Maybe with a taser in hand.


Swift-Boat Veterans are at it again: The Right is atwitter

The right-wing WorldNet Daily posted a story today "Discovered papers: Hanoi directed Kerry" that purports to relate the discovery of two new documents in the U.S. Archives that somehow implicate Kerry in the activities of the North Vietnamese.

The source is none other than the co-author of "Unfit for Command." [All emphasis in quotes is mine.]

Jerome Corsi, a specialist on the Vietnam era, told WND the new discoveries are the "most remarkable documents I've seen in the entire history of the antiwar movement."

"We're not going to say he's an agent for Vietnamese communists, but it's the next thing to it," he said. "Whether he was consciously carrying out their direction or naively doing what they wanted, it amounted to the same thing – he advanced their cause."

But why were they unearthed now, just one week before the Nov. 2 election?

Corsi insisted the timing was unintentional.

"It's truly one of those accidents of how things develop in research," he said. "We did not spring any surprise, we just found these documents, and even the archivist didn't know they were there."

This would be remarkable, but—

The two documents were found in boxes containing papers from antiwar activities during 1971-72, but they also turned out to be posted in an Internet database, which enabled further verification, Corsi said.

You mean, they could have just googled them up and saved a trip to the Archives? The WorldNet reporter didn't ask.

I haven't the heart to "analyze" this latest attack. I'm only doing a post so you won't be surprised if you hear it somewhere in the media.


TV en rose: "A giant step for television; a small step in highheels"

In France, Pink TV, an all-gay and lesbian channel, began broadcasting Monday. There's something for everyone—reruns of "Wonder Woman" for the over-50s crowd; late-night porn for the youngsters, and plenty of culture, of course.

And they haven't left out sports. It was in the mid-70s when women sports reporters were first allowed into (some) professional locker rooms. The sports world was in such a tizzy that it was hard to find out who won the games.

Well, get ready for a replay

Pink's sports presenter, Brigitte Boreale, used to be a he but now prefers the term transgender. She wore black high heels and a miniskirt to Tuesday's launch and plans to cover the often macho world of sports "with an angle of attack that's totally different."


Bad news for Bush: Consumer confidence down

Agence France-Presse reports,
A consumer confidence index, compiled from a survey of 5,000 households, dropped 3.9 points from the previous month to 92.8 in October, the economic research group said.

It was the lowest reading since March.

"Subdued expectations, as opposed to eroding present-day conditions, were the major cause behind October's decline in consumer confidence," Conference Board consumer research chief Lynn Franco said.

"And, while consumers' assessment of the labor market this month showed a moderate improvement, the gain was not sufficient to ease concerns about job growth in the months ahead."

Consumer confidence is closely watched because people's spending accounts for two-thirds of US economic activity. In August, consumer spending was flat, according to latest government figures.

Merrill Lynch chief North American economist David Rosenberg predicted that consumer spending growth would slow to 2.7 percent in 2005 from a likely 3.5 percent his year.

The 2005 forecast, weaker than most analysts' estimates, would represent the softest pace since 2001 and second weakest since 1995, he said in a report this week.

Savings rates were at a record low 0.9 percent and Bush's tax cuts had already added a full percentage point to annual consumption growth, Rosenberg said.

"No matter who wins the election, we believe the fiscal flexibility for the next president will effectively be zero. So do the arithmetic: with little room for either savings rate depletion or tax stimulus, look for consumer spending to rise close to a 2.5 percent annual rate in coming years."

And aside from the gas pump, consumers are largely unaware of what is happening to their dollars.


O'Reilly on sex in the workplace

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) has issued a press release that recalls a number of Bill O'Reilly's pronouncements on sex in the workplace. Naturally, he had plenty to say.

My favorite?

When Ohio TV anchor Catherine Bosley resigned after photos of her participating in a wet t-shirt contest were posted on the internet, O'Reilly thought she should be let go (1/23/04):
Let's be realistic. Politicians, news people, clergy all have images, and all depend on the trust of the public to succeed. So we have a young woman here who -- anchoring the news, and her pictures are all over the Internet..... So it intrudes on her ability to communicate the news, does it not?

The station has an obligation to put on people who are going to bolster their news image. This woman, in a community like that particularly, but in -- I think in any city in the USA, becomes a joke, and, therefore, the station becomes a joke, and you can't be a joke if you want to compete in the news area.

Are you aware that in every newscaster's contract, there's a moral clause that says, if you embarrass the station publicly in any way, they can let you go.... Once you go public and do something like that, although it's not illegal, it embarrasses your employer because your employer operates on credibility.


Quote of the Day

He [Kerry] twists God's word to Satan's liberal agenda.
—Adrienne, a 16-year-old protester against Kerry

Monday, October 25, 2004


Another traditional conservative bites the bullet

The Chicago Tribune's Steve Chapman, a traditional small-government, stay-out-of-foreign-wars (yet anti-abortion) conservative, is crying uncle.
At the age of 50, I get few chances to try something entirely new. Come Nov. 2, I plan to take one of those rare opportunities. I'm going to vote for a Democrat for president.

I've never done it before, and I hope I never have to do it again. But President Bush has made an irresistible case against his own re-election. His first term has been one of the most dismal and costly failures of any presidency. His second promises to be even worse.

I know there are people for whom voting Democratic comes easily. Not me. Contemplating the prospect, I feel how I did a few years ago when I took up downhill skiing: not sure I would like it, and apprehensive of the risks involved. I cast my first presidential ballot in 1972 for Richard Nixon, and since then I have alternated between voting Republican and voting Libertarian.

Bad things have been the hallmark of the Bush presidency, from either a conservative or a liberal perspective. On Nov. 2, we can let him expand the grave damage he has done to the national interest--or we can hold him accountable. I'll vote for John Kerry without high hopes or enthusiasm, but vote for him I will.

I wonder if he's continued with the downhill skiing. This election could be a real ice-breaker for a lot of Republicans.

Related post:
Why Kerry's going to beat Bush in November


Florida: Final debate tonight between candidates for U.S. Senate

Russ Mitchell of CBS News will moderate the final debate between Betty Castor and Bob Martinez at 7 pm. CBS affiliates in Florida will be carrying it.

A poll released today by the Miami Herald and the St. Pete Times found the candidates tied at 44%.

This is a must-win for the Democrats if they are to regain control of the Senate.

Related post:
No abortions, no penalties—so what's the problem?

Sunday, October 24, 2004


At last—Something not to worry about (revisited)

I received an email yesterday that raised a question about yesterday's post "At last—Something not to worry about."

Did it occur to you that this could facilitate black box voting fraud? It would be highly unusual if a large number of registered democrats voted republican, unless they are wrongfully registered republican, and with no paper trail it would be almost impossible to prove if votes have been changed. Alternatively, wrongfully registered republicans voting democrat could be used by the republicans to fuel charges of vote fraud by the democrats. Love your blog, just don’t think this issue is something to dismiss as unimportant.

I really appreciate that all of us are making every attempt not to be blind-sided by unscrupulous practices of the Republicans, so I've taken a look at the question.

There are two states (of which I am aware) that have reported fraudulently switched registrations—Oregon and Pennsylvania.

Oregon uses a vote-by-mail system, so any concern about black-box voting may be set aside. Pennsylvania, on the other hand, has a patchwork quilt of voting technologies—from punch cards to touch-screen systems. The Pennsylvania county affected, Montgomery, does use the Sequoia Pacific Direct-Recording Electronic (DRE) system. But the number of registrants switched appears to be under 500.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

County voter registration director Donna Hoover said as many as 400 registration suspect forms have arrived in her office. Most of them, she said, changed the registered party of students who had signed up to vote just days earlier during a registration drive by two other groups, America Coming Together and VIP.

In light of this, I still feel that party-switching of registrants is motivated by greed on the part of paid canvassers rather than any nefarious Republican plot. But considering who we're dealing with here, I also appreciate the concern.

Related post:
At last—Something not to worry about

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