Sunday, October 31, 2004

Mr and Mrs Elmer J Fudd


Dubya is nothing more than the son of a petty crook from Texas. He has no real friends and nobody sane in Washington wants to be seen with him in the halls of government past chow time. There is something oily and queasy about the guy, they often say - a sense of something mutated upon itself, like the creature from the Kurt Russell remake of "The Thing."

Karl Rove and Karen Hughes are certainly not among the saner personnel on the preznut's staff. GOP political strategists are a breed like NASCAR pit crews or rodeo clowns, pure adrenaline and not much else beyond the hypothalmus gland. About the only time they really seem interested in normal life processes is when they see the cars going around the track or hear about a good party with free liquor. Let's just sum it up like this: the description on the book sleeve is a masterpiece, but the guts of the story is a snoozer.

So tonite I am here to tell you that desperation is steaming from Air Force One. Rove and Hughes, landing in their Kerry-wear for the last ditch march to oblivion, can feel the sea change in the air - which should be more of a tsunami if the exit polls on early voting hold their salt.

While Rove may have bubbled up from Hell to destroy the face of the Earth, he is not a capable strategist or even a remotely clueless polling analyst. He's as dumb as a bag of rocks in both departments. Rove is all about dirty tricks and got his degree from the Lee Atwater School of Religious Malignity at Liberty University, run and operated by the very blimpish Jerry Fallwell. The message derangement division comes from Hughes herself, who can be seen mouthing the words of the preznut's speeches as he gives them - leaving one to wonder if she was the voice piped into the preznut's ear during the first debate.

Tucker Carlson, the bow-tied conservative Illuminati of CNN's Crossfire, once said of her: "I've obviously been lied to a lot by campaign operatives, but the striking thing about the way she lied was she knew I knew she was lying, and she did it anyway. There is no word in English that captures that. It almost crosses over from bravado into mental illness."

So there you have it. After his conciliatory call to Big John after November 2nd, Karl Rove, who is beginning to look more and more like the pudgy Philip Seymour Hoffman character from Boogie Nights, will plant a man-kiss on Dubya and tell the preznut he loves him. The look on Dubya's expression will be a confused mixture of embarrassment and brazen fascination. Of course, Karen Hughes will be in the room - and she will remove the wig and wipe off her lipstick with a defiant grip of her sleeve, declaring himself as Jenna's long lost father.

Stranger things have happened. Where have you been the last four years?

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Two Minute Drill

When the hard glare of history looks back on Dubya's four years of debauchery and hegemony, it will show that he had the same effect on conservative politics as David Koresh had on Branch Davidians and the Seventh Day Adventists, and the ultimate devastation, on many fronts, will prove out to be just about equal.

But never mind that ugliness--the horror! the horror!--the atrocities are just beginning for the religious right, who are now caught in the vice of a profound psychogenic vanity.

The smart money is on the challenger - a solid two point favorite heading into this week's action. Being a rabid NFL and political junkie, it is hard work separating the two factions with so much at stake. Patriots and the Steelers, Green Bay heading into Washington, Kerry standing at the twenty with one timeout and two minutes left to go. Of course injuries and weather factor into the spread, but in the moment of truth it's about execution, confidence and momentum.

September the 11th changed me. I remember the day I was in the -- at Ground Zero, on September the 4th, 2001. It's a day I will never forget.
-- The day ... maybe not, but the date is an entirely different matter to everyone but Dubya, Lititz, Pennsylvania, Oct. 27, 2004

Americans will go to the polls in a time of war and ongoing threats any unlike we have seen before.
-- As usual, you know what Dubya was supposed to say, right? Lakeland, Florida, Oct. 23, 2004

I think the job of a problem is to confront problems, not to pass them on to future Presidents and future generations.
-- There goes Dubya, calling himself a problem and speaking more truth in this little statement than he ever imagined, Cuba City, Wisconsin, Oct. 26, 2004

Thank you all. Thanks for coming out to say hello. I got to tell me, you have lifted my spirits, for which I am grateful.
-- I hope he's not talking to himself too often... Saginaw, Michigan, Oct. 28, 2004

Now, footbal fans, it's hard to see the end zone from ground level when you're digging in the trenches, and the retired jocks in the press box are stammering about statistics and percentage of come-from-behind wins. Even Dan Marino, Joe Montana and John Elway failed a few times. Ask them about it now and they would show you the scar tissue from those battles. The NFL playing field, like the historical context of presidential politics, is strewn with examples of boy wonders, ill-timed turnovers and shredded ACLs.

The real election season has just started, on the ground in places like Franklin County Ohio, Miami-Dade county, Metro Philadelphia and the Quad-Cities region, and the trophy is waiting for the guy with the audacity to steal the game with bold strikes and shrewd playcalling. Quarterbacks, like national candidates, don't reach the endzone without the grunts buying him some time in the trenches.

You, me, Jesus, Mary and Joseph are sitting in the stands with a game program in some monolithic stadium named Election Central, tuning out the play by play and just watching this last drive. This is where Al Giordano chimes in:

First, let me tell you about your team captain, the quarterback John Kerry, and why he will lead us to victory…

I've known that guy forever… since I was 22… Since before a lot of you were born… I've been with Kerry in his home, and in the trenches… And sometimes - I admit - that John Kerry and I fuss and fight… He's not always right… He's stubborn… He can be a real prick sometimes… He's so persistent, when he wants something, as to be annoying… That damn John Kerry can be a real pain in the ass…

Fortunately, he's being just such a pain in the rump to those who pulled off a coup d'etat in the United States four years ago…

(I don't think anyone else could have pulled this off, and gotten us within striking distance at the two-minute warning!)

And George W. Bush is right about one thing about John: he'll do anything to win…

And, George, does it not take one to know one?

But more often my experience is that John Kerry and I have fought on the same side of the barricades against common enemies… And they were always more powerful than us… And almost always we've come from behind… And, when we've been on the same team, we have never lost a game…

He's on our team right now. He wants to get rid of that asshole Bush. But he can't do it alone, so this is how he is going to lead the team to victory…

I know how John closes in the final days of an election campaign… Seen it… done it… lived it… And how to tell, by the look on his face, whether he's confident and he's got the mojo to come from behind and pull it off…

When he has that mojo, he's magic… He can't lose…

Have no fear, kind athletes of authentic democracy: If you work hard, if you don't give up, if you hit them as hard as they want to hit you, and harder, George W. Bush - and his "war" that is not an authentic war, but, rather, a media stunt - are going down to a very messy end on Tuesday…

Now, if you look at Kerry's face in those photos, with those 80,000 Wisconsinites (plus, according to police estimates, another 20,000 on the side streets trying to get an eyeball on him… in a city of only 200,000 people)… that is the very same face of the winner I have seen before.

It's Big John with 284 Electoral chips come election night and a two percent over/under on the popular vote. That sound you are hearing today, more like a cry in the form of a whisper is Dubya - now on his knees praying to the White House paintings all Nixon-like, hoping that he doesn't see a special prosecutor before the reins of power are exchanged.

The horror! The horror! The horror!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Axe Man Cometh

The Mayor of Simpleton
Whenever Joe Scarborough - MSNBC's Mayor of Simpleton - offers a piece of advise on the "flyover states," a nation of crazed heartland whackjobs come to the mentally incompetent deduction that The Mayor speaks to the common man so well that they regurgitate these moronic stylings in the company lunchroom. Maybe Joe should have stayed in Congress, they say, because he's such a strong GOP figure.

Nope. Forget about it. The Mayor doesn't have a sane bone in his body. His fastidious and maniacal bearing should be inspected by the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit for evidence of anti-social personality disorder. Clear affirmation of his megalomania can be found in the opening sequence of his talking heads show, where The Mayor is shown in a military flight suit like his imbecilic patron saint. But The Mayor never served in the military.

Let's face it: The Mayor is more pathological than Marion Barry - when he was smoking crack.

Tonight he phoned into his own television show -- the one where MSNBC puts on its tinfoil hats for an hour with Swift Boat vets, thuggish campaign operatives and political hacks -- and The Mayor was resplendent with tales of excitement all cutting the preznut's way in Florida. He must have been busy with the GOP voter suppression efforts already underway, because he sounded somewhat distracted.

Ever notice how Kathryn Harris and The Mayor never appear in the same room at the same time? Rumors are afloat. Rumors that The Mayor and the former Florida Secretary of State are the same person. It recalls a Michael Caine movie, Dressed to Kill, featuring a wannabe transsexual killer who's compelled to slash up any attractive female who reminds him--the blinding horror!--that he's still very much a man.

And, yes, The Mayor has a murder in his past -- just like another prominent character in this year's election. (Hint for fun: She's in the hot tub and she goes by the name "Pickles" when T-boning with a pickup truck.)

"The people of Florida are going to send a message" The Mayor cackled. "The preznut is moving this electorate to - "

The pipe dream is the "essential action" that unifies the Florida campaign's motley crew of down-and-out characters. It takes on a number of permutations. In the case of Larry (The Mayor), Hugo (Brother Jeb), and Parritt's mother (Kathryn Harris, also played by Scarborough), it figures as a dream of political salvation; Hickey's (Dubya's) fantasy of salvation is more explicitly religious. Most of the other characters belong to what Larry sardonically describes as the "tomorrow movement," each sentimentally reminiscing about their glory days and pledging to return to them tomorrow.

Hickey will arrive on the scene to demystify these pipe dreams. Only by killing tomorrow can man achieve peace with himself. This murder of the fantasy of tomorrow will condemn the characters to a sort of living death. Moreover, Hickey's gospel of salvation will ultimately reveal itself to be a pipe dream of another sort, one that enables the evasion of guilt.

The campaign's primary symbol is the Axe Man. The phrase, "The Axe Man Cometh," recalls the story of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25:6 and its description of the coming of the Savior: "But at midnight there was a cry made, Behold the bridegroom cometh." The messianic figure of the play is certainly Hickey. In killing the fantasy of tomorrow, this messiah does not bring salvation, however, but death. As Larry notes: "Death was the Axe Man Hickey called to his home!"

As told in the Book of Daniel (5: 1–6, 25–8), Belshazzar, King of Babylon, gives a banquet for his nobles, blasphemously serving wine in the sacred vessels his father had looted from the Temple in Jerusalem. Hickey will call the party to judgment for drinking from their pipe dream vessels, bringing them to their ruin.

Sometimes art does imitate politics and the level of high theater has an Enquiring sense of mind.

Which leaves the final bitter point. Where has The Mayor been and how does he know how the campaign is cutting way down there in Florida? Did he organize a few of the indoor Klanish rallies for the GOP? Is he on the Bush Cheney payroll? Some important questions that will probably go unanswered, because The Mayor's sudden disappearance from GE's nightly conspiracy theory showroom says more about the preznut's chances in Florida than even Rove dares to imagine.

Next time you travel to Florida, ask somebody down there if they ever saw The Mayor and Kathryn Harris in the same room.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Politics and Strange Bedfellows Unite


Tonight I resisted the urge to stay away from Hardball - because I cannot bear to watch Andrea Mitchell and her trowel-sculpted opinions any longer - and found Chris Matthews trying to even the score with his compartmentalized round table. He went at the press for rubber-stamping the Iraq War, although this late in the game it felt like an edition of Friday morning quarterbacking.

Most certainly, Matthews is reading his media fairness numbers and the score has been way too one-sided. The guess here is that old Democratic war machine boss Ed Rendell put him in a headlock in Philly on Monday until Matthews screamed "Uncle!" off camera.

Opinion Journal's John Fund, the infectious strain of Alfalfa from the "Our Gang" films, had the RNC talking points poised for the first mention of WMD. The problem with Fund for most average viewers is that he's as photogenic as Rudolf Hess and as believable as Scott Peterson. It's a good thing his last name fits the motive of the Wall Street Journal or they'd kick him to the curb for sheer elitist stupidity. In his latest book, Stealing Elections, Fund informs the voting public of several meaningless election statistics that have as much relevance to voting as Saddam had to 9/11.

For instance, eight of the nineteen hijackers who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were actually able to register to vote in either Virginia or Florida while they made their deadly preparations. Think that terrorists vote Democratic? Think again. Polling studies of al-Qaeda operatives in the United States indicate a late surge breaking for the incumbent.

From the Washington (Moonie) Times: al-Qaeda is Voting For Bush, via Campaign Extra! - Mowafaq Al-Tai, a London-educated architect and intellectual, said different types of resistance fighters have different views of the U.S. election. The most pro-Kerry, he said, are the former Saddam Hussein loyalists — Ba'ath Party members and others who think Washington might scale back its ambitions for Iraq if Mr. Kerry wins, allowing them to re-enter civic life. The most pro-Chimp, he said, are the foreign extremists. "They prefer [the preznut], because he's a provocative figure, and the more they can push people to the extreme, the better for their case." Foreign extremists inside Iraq? Might that be al-Qaeda? So there you have it. America's most conservative newspaper says that the folks who killed nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11 want four more years of the Chimperor in office.

The fair and balanced fellowship at FOX also have reported similar al-Qaeda endorsements for the preznut earlier this year:

From - Islamists Declare Spain Truce, Endorse Bush: The London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi said on its Web site that it had received a statement from "The Brigade of Abu Hafs al-Masri (search) (Al Qaeda)" in which the group reiterated its responsibility for the March 11 attacks [in Spain] that killed more than 200 people and wounded more than 1,600. "We change and destroy countries," the statement said. "We even influence the international economy, and this is God's blessing to us." The statement tells American voters that Abu Hafs al-Masri supports the re-election campaign of President Bush: "We are very keen that Bush does not lose the upcoming elections." The statement said Abu Hafs al-Masri needs what it called Bush's "idiocy and religious fanaticism" because they would "wake up" the Islamic world.

Listen here, Poindexter, the preznut's job approval ratings are in the toilet--and if the purpose of Clinton's Resurrection in Philly was to invigorate the Democratic base and especially black voters, let's not trivialize the al-Qaeda constituency.

The following was found on a web site which purported to discuss
a statement by al Qaeda (By D. LINDLEY YOUNG
The Modern Tribune - June 1, 2004),


The statement said it supported President Bush in his reelection campaign, and would prefer him to win in November rather than the Democratic candidate John Kerry, as it was not possible to find a leader 'more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom.'

In comments addressed to Bush, the group said:

'Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilization.'

'Because of this we desire ... (Bush) to be elected.' "

We must never underestimate the enemy.
Are we doing what they want us to?
The Modern Tribune - June 1, 2004

And where would the GOP be without our friends from the land of Organized Crime? While La Cosa Nostra does not like to publicly state its political preferences, unless Rudi Guilliani is staring down at them with the RICO statute in hand, two prominent Colombo family soldiers have put their money where their mouths are - they are going for the preznut all the way. The Afghan warlords are back in the heroin business again, and New York City has the taste.

From The Smoking Gun: Federal Election Commission records show that convicted felons John Staluppi and John Rosatti last year each gave the GOP candidates $2000 (the maximum individual donation). The FBI has identified Staluppi and Rosatti--multimillionaires who own auto dealerships in New York and Florida--as members of the Colombo gang. The two Bush supporters are prized Colombo family "earners" who helped finance an insurgent Colombo faction that once sought to dethrone imprisoned boss Carmine "The Snake" Persico (that bloody early-90s mob war left more than a dozen wiseguys dead). They later switched back to the Persico camp after a jailhouse heart-to-heart with their mob superior, one Dominick "Donny Shacks" Montemarano. The duo's role with the Colombo family has been discussed by several turncoat Colombo family members, including ex-captain Salvatore Miciotta, who spoke about Staluppi and Rosatti during 1993 FBI debriefings. Click here for excerpts from one FBI report detailing some of those Miciotta observations about his two former cronies.

Truth be told, I am starting to worry about all this carping for Big John in these last few days by MSNBC. Are they holding their cards on a story that is about to blow the lid off this election either way? Ever since Joe Scarborough - a.k.a Gary Condit with an alibi - made his escape to the Florida panhandle on the eve of the final debate in Arizona, visions of Mayor Daley have been dancing around the ceiling fans in Tallahasee. Keep your eyes peeled, Joe Lockhart, I am sensing negative G's from Scarborough's pseudo-flysuit for Election Night.

Somebody please keep Pat Buchanon away from the scotch cabinet. Every time he mentions John Kerry by name, his eyes roll back in his head all John Ehrlichman-like and several more thousand Cuban plumbers start looking for work.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

When the Weird Become Dangerous

The campaign whirlwind swooped into Melbourne, Florida yesterday in unholy shape. A terrible spate of withdrawal and sickness can put the fear of God in a true believer. After two visits to the Air Force One clinic, much cortisone, several visits to the UV lamps and those alcohol-prohibiting diuretics, the preznut was at least able to walk somewhat erect as he was whisked into another staged re-election event. He approached the crowd for handshakes like a gorilla with a tranquilizer dart in his hind quarters and he had that dazed look of a calvary officer being ambushed in the Indian wars. Times are looking grim for the Chimperor, and the weird are becoming dangerous.

Big John limped into October as a four-point underdog with little chance of winning three rigged soirees with an unscrupulous little deviant like the preznut. But the debates are done, and the victor was clearly the challenger each and every time. Big John beat him down repeatedly, until the preznut looked like Chuck Wepner in Round 15. The only thing that the GOP campaign staff could do was issue pseudo-horror statements about outing this country's most recognized lesbian.

Karl Rove, the head of the preznut's political Gestapo, knew it died in Coral Gables. There is rampant despair in the heart of Crawford today, and panic in the secret bunkers of the White House. The GOP has a terrible problem, and its name is Dubya. He looked weak, tired and vacant. Big John beat him like a drum again in St. Louis and Tempe -- and that is Rove's most pressing challenge: His Texas motor-mouth is a sheepish frat boy who scurries for cover when confronted by 60 million television viewers. The first JFK did it to another crazed, right-wing gerbil named Nixon, and the second JFK took his tin-pot, mark-down version to the woodshed once again.

Right after the first debate cut to the political talking heads I phoned Ben Affleck at his Beverly Hills compound, because young Ben knows what it's like to lose it all when the pressure mounts. You see, Affleck and I are Red Sox fans and we know choke when we see one. "That was the same look from 1986," he shouted. "I swear I could hear Vin Scully saying, 'A little roller up to first' when Big John brought up Osama Bin Laden. The preznut tried to put the glove down, but it went right between his legs."

All Red Sox fans have seen that deperate look before. Almost 18 years to the day, the Red Sox were one strike from winning their first World Series in decades -- when strangely, John MacNamara didn't subsitute Bill Buckner with Dave Stapleton for defensive purposes -- and disaster struck like a lightning bolt from the heavens on a routine ground ball. After the seventh and deciding game was played, which was more like forgone conclusion, the Red Sox were sitting in the dugout watching the Mets celebrate an impossible win with tears in their eyes and looks of horror rising from their hearts. The entire New England region reacted like John Kennedy was shot and limped into a spell of collective depression lasting more than 10 years.

The first debate was also a disaster of biblical proportions. The preznut's inner circle had to be moonstruck to let him get in the ring with JFK2 again. Rove didn't study his history on Massachusetts senators; he didn't see it coming like many of the Big John supporters did. In front of a country awaiting answers, the bankrupt frat boy had his will broken and the Beltway sucking sound you now hear is the Chimp's legacy swirling down the drain. IT'S BEHIND THE BAG!

Less than two weeks left, and momentum continues to swing in Big John's column. After a month of trailing the preznut in the projected electoral college race, the challenger now has a 284 to 244 lead over Chimpy, according to the latest state-by-state straw poll -- and that's with Minnesota being declared as a draw. Another poll by the Washington Post gives Big John a 10-point advantage in 13 crucial swing states. More critically for the preznut, he's polling under 50 percent in most every swing state; history shows us that undecided voters swing away from an incumbent on election day at a 2 to 1 clip, and the Chimperor's inability to reach 50 percent is a mushroom cloud on the horizon.

National politics is a savage business, where the sharks outnumber the fish, and there is always blood in the water. To take the White House you have to be vicious, ruthless, single-minded and near sociopathic. The game is played with swords and not words, and the gridiron is filled with toppled bodies and amputated arms and legs. That is why the political pundits call spin alley a MASH unit. Your candidate walks into the waiting area bleeding profusely and it's up to the meat doctors to stabilize your candidacy before vultures swoop in for the carcass. Ask Ed Muskie and John McCain about rumors that stick, both of whom got ambushed by GOP lies and dirty tricks.

The GOP has a history of using guys like Donald Segretti, Lee Atwater and Karl Rove. The Democrats counter with river boat gamblers like James Carville, Joe Lockhart and Paul Begala. It's all part of the electoral fabric, just like the American flag, God, staged campaign stops and nightly spin on cable television.

The praetorian nature of national politics in America is too scandalous to fight against, and while some get totally unhinged with the prospects, a very precious few call it fun and I am one of those unnatural creatures. Presidential Election Day - the boffo event for the country - is a barbaric and petrifying exercise for political junkies, and it warms my soul like no other day in a life of wild days. It's because Election Day is a planned day of national anarchy. People like me look forward to Election Day like adrenaline addicts look forward to jumping out of the plane. We are addicted to it, and so are the campaigns.

Not even in the WWE is the line between winning and losing so starkly contrasted. The winners don't look satisfied, they look ... vindicated ... while the losers cry in their cocktails knowing that they will be forced to get down on their pathetic knees and beg for scraps from the lunch room table. The vindicated who are lucky enough to emerge victorious from these planned seditious moments are crazy with joy and act irrationally by raising the bottles of DP with naked co-ed strangers who want to get close to the winner - my, oh my, the power of it all.

That's how the vindication business works. And it happens every four years, planned, staged and rehearsed. The beaten down will try and cut a deal in those last fateful hours, ripe with the fear of losing their cushy gig and all that money and all the whimsical powers they had just a day sooner. It feels like you went to Vegas and put everything on the spin of a wheel and the number came up red, forcing you to lose your wife and your bank account and your kids, and in the wee hours of the morning you find yourself whoring for dinner in public places while the victorious - the vindicated - find happiness in your personal misery.

On November 3rd, it will go something like this:

"Where is all that horrible screaching coming from, Sparky? I'm getting annoyed."

"That is Karl Rove begging for forgiveness, Mr. President-Elect. He came in to apologize for the Swift Boat guys, but we jack-booted him in the teeth. Your secret service reserves are dragging him into the bunker and they'll teach him something about good manners, sir."

"Excellent news, Sparky. And how's the new Enemies of the State list coming along? Those people are filth and they need to be locked under the jail."

"We will have them beaten by Green Berets and gouged by interrogation specialists. Most of them voted for Dubya anyway. I despise those sons-of-bitches."

"Very nice news, Sparky. You have been a very faithful supporter. Kneel down over here. How can I reward your service?"

Big John and The Chimperor already know who the vindicated will be. A studied observer can see it in the body language of the two candidates. One looks supremely confident and presidential, and the other reeks of doom and defeat.

Yes, the voting public appears divided and acidic right now, and so is this dangerous election. The costs incured from a cute political game of divide-and-conquer are starting to pile up in a slagheap and the weight is beginning to rumble the Earth. The debates made that cost so abundantly clear. Big John looked presidential while the preznut looked like ... a governor ... of a backwards state, and this energized the challenger's troops just at the right time. And now voting for Big John looks like the vindictive thing to do, while Dubya is beginning to appear like a desperate loser waiting for his pimp to show up at the door.

The appearance of desperation is fatal for a candidate, and the Chimperor has that familiar, God-awful stench.

"Four more years of George Bush will be like four more years of syphilis," said famous gonzo author Hunter S. Thompson at a hastily called press conference near his home in Woody Creek, Colorado. "Only a fool or a sucker would vote for a dangerous loser like Bush," the Good Doctor warned. "He hates everything we stand for, and he knows we will vote against him in November. I endorsed John Kerry a long time ago, and I will do everything in my power, short of roaming the streets with a meat hammer, to help him be the next President of the United States."

As it stands right now, Big John has the peculiar gleam of a vindicated leader and the margins are widening. And with Gore already stumping and Clinton joining the carnival tomorrow, there is big momentum and nobody wants to back a loser. In the end, the preznut is lucky that Americans have a forgiving heart and won't hang him upside down in DC like Mussolini and beat his wife into a quivering bloody sushi.

The weird have become dangerous and Big John is remembering what it was like to have blood on his hands.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Sucker Eskew Finds the "Internets"

The GOP has finally found a way to bridge the gap between the preznut and the internets in the last days of the campaign. Sucker Eskew, not to be confused with Sucker Carlson over at CNN, now has a blog on which all God-fearing Amurikans should voice their opinions. Just remember, Carlson is the one with bowtie who likes to argue with comedians and Eskew is the one who looks like the preacher's son caught with a key in the hotel room door.

When you think of Sucker Eskew - think, Message Pimp.

Eskew operates the Eskew Strategy Group and calls himself a business man with a specialty of strategic communication and grass roots mobilization. Given some of the commentary from his blog, no wonder why the campaign is losing momentum leading into November. You see, Eskew is a senior GOP advisor who sells his services based on message discipline (making sure the preznut says nothing stupid), editorial exactitude (trading lies and smears on the challenger for access to the preznut as long as the questions can be reviewed by the GOP), alliance building (making sure that all of the key lobbies pay up to the campaign or they get no tax breaks), rapid response (message triage in the event that the preznut goes off script and says something really, really stupid - like the "internets" comment), strategic planning (making sure that preznut only speaks in front of pre-screened right-wingers who sign a loyalty oath and John O'Neill gets his cash), and marketing consultation (finding ways to arouse the fundies through campaign ads that scare the shit out of the God-fearing public).

Up until the debates, everything was moving according to plan. But now, the wheels are falling off the wagon and this new blog reinforces a sense that politics isn't just a game for the scumbags and attorneys and corporate thieves. Every now and then the campaign can take its people on a white-knuckle romp like one of those Six Flags roller coasters that will scare the passengers into temporary insanity.

Sucker Eskew's mission statement: While it’s true that all politics is local, it’s also true that some grassroots activity is really “astroturf.” If your corporation, trade association, or coalition wants to hear how we deliver the difference, call or write today.

We’ve got an unparalleled team of grassroots experts. Eskew Strategy Group’s exclusive relationship with the leading network of public affairs consultants in all 50 states – the National Field Resource Network – puts the nation’s premier grassroots and public affairs campaign managers to work on your issue. Translating your messages into success at the grassroots requires planning, education and mobilization. Let us show you how we’ve done it before and how we can do it for you.

Apparently, the astroturf reference means that the grass roots is fake grass roots. Judging by the people hitting his new blog, people are clearly buying into the astroturf message but it's getting real hollow (with these real comments by actual voters - really scary stuff):

I pray for GW Bush to win, but not for the same reasons. I feel that he has singlehandedly created such a mess in Iraq and with the budget deficit that it is only fair that he, not Kerry, be in office when the chickens come home to roost. It's maddenning that you people beleive this man is keeping you safer. He's making the world far more unsafe than I would have imagined possible.

How come we never see pictures of President Bush on horseback?

Off Topic. I am seeing disturbing news regarding voter intimidation and violence. Maybe the President should take a leadership position and ask any Republican supporters to refrain from these types of actions. At the same time, challenge the Senator to do the same for the sake of the country. This is one sad consequence of the hateful message that is coming from some people. I really fear for the future of this country. How can we remain united when there is all this hate?

HERE IS AN IDEA: I think if there is a way for HBO to replay their 9/11 Movie that they produced and aired starting in November of 2001 that would be a nice reminder to the US people of where we were just a short time ago. GWB's steady-handed determination, poise, leadership, and even at times a little emotional during one of our nation's worst moments are gripping and could do far more in convincing the undecideds then all of the propoganda ads and movies could every accomplish. Is there any influence that anyone has over HBO for a special re-airing of this moving film before the election?

Does GWB now get the support of PETA? If JK will murder a poor goose just to "get" votes, where will he ever stop? WHERE IS PETA

Can someone tell me what today's rational for not getting Bin Laden in Tora Bora? It was reported way back that we had him cornered. Now I hear we are saying we didn't have him, never had him. Which sounds like a lie. How do I "save appearences" on do we spin this?

Tucker you look great man. Last time I saw you, you were on TV down in Palm Beach. Have you figured out where you're going to work after the election? I suggest corporate work. You're getting older. You should start saving for retirement. I'm sure the tabacco companies could use your talents.

Message discipline and alliance building for sure!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Carribean Stud

bill in a thong - he's a manly man
Anyone who has seen the Survivor television series knows exactly what I have in mind. It's always a good idea to get out of the States with a couple of girls in the newsroom, put them in exotic settings and film hot, wild scenes on the Sony digital camera. This is going to be a super-sized box of eye candy that will be even nicer looking since the new technology makes it all look like HD. Some will consider it overkill to shoot smut on such a great format, but I make movies that seem to impress all my friends.

It goes a little like this: Once people get into that hot Carribean weather they shed their inhibitions, you know they drink during the day, they lay there and lazy, they have dinner and then they come back and fool around ... that's basically the modus operandi in many of these places. Everybody needs a fantasy outlet from time to time ... and um ... just to keep that love muffin tuned up, until Mr. Right comes along and then she could put me into traction ... this is good for my libido and her mental health, you know.

The newsgirls kick off the movie with a nicely edited tease sequence that features them posing naked at the edge of the surf. They settle in together and begin to kiss. It’s a highly stylized scene of course, with tons of slow motion and a ton fading in and out. Their bodies are covered in sand, but everything else is nice and clean. In my mind the scene doesn’t feel quite finished but it is nicely edited and stunningly beautiful. This one scores big for fans of interracial coupling, Euro-babes and hot, steamy action.

My producer does a little solo scene next. She looks fabulous and just about the time she gets herself really working, we move to the next round of action.

I'd want to take a shower with you right away, that would be the first thing I'd do ... yeah, we'd check into the room, and we would order up some room service and ... uh ... you'd definitely get two wines into you as quickly as I could get into you I would get 'em into you .. maybe intravenously, get those glasses of wine into you ...

You would basically be in the shower and then I would come in and I'd join you and you would have your back to me and I would take that little loofa thing and kinda soap up your back ... rub it all over you, get you to relax, hot water ... and, um ... you know, you'd feel the tension drain out of you and, uh, you still would be with your back to me then I would kinda put my arm - it's one of those mitts, those loofa mitts you know, so I got my hands in it ... and I would put it around front, kinda rub your tummy a little bit with it, and then with my other hand I would start to massage your boobs ... cuz I like that and you have really spectacular hooters ...

Speaking of hooters, the first Hooters restaurant has opened in China. Cleaned up and ready to go, I start to get friendly with an intern.

If any woman breathed a word I'll make her pay so dearly that she'll wish she'd never been born. I'll rake her through the mud, bring up things in her life and make her so miserable that she'll be destroyed. And besides, she wouldn't be able to afford the lawyers I can or endure it financially as long as I can. And nobody would believe her, it'd be her word against mine and who are they going to believe? Me or some unstable woman making outrageous accusations. They'd see her as some psycho, someone unstable. Besides, I'd never make the mistake of picking unstable crazy girls like that ... Look at Al Franken, one day he's going to get a knock on his door and life as he's known it will change forever. That day will happen, trust me.

As usual, Big Bill delivers and meets some very hot Euro-babes for everyone to enjoy. The big finale is probably the best scene from start to finish, but none of them fall short. I love the newsgirls' energy, but they are made up a bit harshly in this scene. Dang! The camera work and editing on this flick are outstanding. When I'm not in the action, the other guys do a pretty good job. I have kept most of the best talent for myself, so those scenes are stronger overall. Chalk it up as another great movie from The No Spin Zone.

I amaze myself sometimes.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

People Love Bad Taste in Everything

bush family portraits

There was once a more glorious time to be American. People could rest easy when they got together with unusual strangers back in the day - without a fear for their lives, or their organs, of all of their hard-earned cash or even the police knocking at the door and dragging off a friend or two. It was an American sense of possibility. Average citizens ran around without fear, not like the America we know today.

You could drink a six pack out in the open and run around naked without getting shot. You could rent a place out in the forest for a week with friends at the drop of the hat - and nobody looked strangely at you, or called the local sheriff to check things out, or ran a check on your credit and employment history or sneaked a peak at your medical records or checked to see if you had any moving violations in Nevada or bench warrants in Florida.

There were lawyers and judges, but the Law wasn't feared. We were all aware of the rules, but these weren't jammed down people's throats. Laws and Rules and Police and Informants were part of the fabric of living, and none was feared or worshiped like they are in America today.

It was a much different time. A more honest time. A time where bad taste was respected as much as the Holy Bible. And I am sure that even the most scandalous lawyer would tell you the Truth (even while he was lying to the world on your behalf), not because he was cutting you a deal - but because it was the American thing to do.

Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on "I am not too sure."

Mencken said that: and he was right.

The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often tolerant and humane. But when the fanatics are on top there is no limit to depths of their oppression. It used to be that when politicians began speaking we knew to grab our wallets because, doing the right thing by them has come to be, like patriotism, a favorite device of people with something to sell. Now, we speak of "likeability" and "having a beer with the guy" as if it's some important substitute for actually getting involved with facts. Truth in politics is like no blood in war - and if somebody sells you this line of crap ... well, you know what to do.

From Crazy Pat Robertson (a greed-crazed, cash-sucking monkey if there ever was one): "And I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, 'Mr. President, you had better prepare the American people for casualties.' "

Robertson said the president then told him, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."

And we've learned that nothing has changed since 2000, now that are reports of uncovered voting problems in Florida. Dubya's daddy, the real reason why we went to Iraq according to his dimwit son, is oozing quiet confidence again. The evil grin has returned. But the Democrats are better organized this time around, we keep hearing. Early turnout is supposed to fix all that's wrong in Florida. But, again, we have the entire Bush family picking up salvage from four hurricanes and deverting federal funds to the Rethug areas first, sneering at the stupidity that has become the American electorate.

The entire election, in fact, appears rigged and fixed from the start. It's become a gigantic media extravaganza, scripted and staged for the viewers at home. It happens every four years, like your run-of-the-mill, bought-and-paid-for Olympic event, at an eye-gouging cost to the American taxpayer, with ninety percent of the funds being marked for deception and TV commercials. A team of alien beings could land on Earth tomorrow and they'd confuse American Idol reruns with our election process in Florida.

The last two years, the American people have come to know me. They know my blunt way of speaking.
-- Dubya seems to think he took office in 2002... Daytona Beach, Florida, Oct. 16, 2004

My opponent seems to be willing to say almost anything he thinks will benefit him politically. After standing on the stage, after the debates, I made it very plain, we will not have an all-volunteer army. And yet, this week -- we will have an all-volunteer army. Let me restate that. We will not have a draft. ...And the best way to avoid a draft is to vote for me.
-- With "clarifications" like that, who needs an opponent? Daytona Beach, Florida, Oct. 16, 2004

One of the most amazing events of my life, at least as the presidency, was to go to the NASCAR Race here at the Daytona 500.
-- OK, two things: (1) Dubya is the president, not the presidency, and (2) How could going to a NASCAR race be the most amazing event of his life or of the last four years? Daytona Beach, Florida, Oct. 16, 2004

We need a safety net for those with the greatest needs. I believe in community health centers, where low and poor can get their preventative and care.
-- Dubya seems to be missing a few words here, Daytona Beach, Florida, Oct. 16, 2004

You really have to appreciate the preznut. He can barely speak Texan - which is basically a dried-out, tin pot version of the English language - and he can draw the dots with simple words but can't connect them with a reasonable line of thought. How else could it be explained that a stuttering village idiot could hold half of a divided country in his hand? Calling it corruption would be unfair to the term corrupt as it's defined. No, this is a level way beyond corruption. This is pestilence feeding upon moral turpitude, born from years perversion, decadence and atrocity. Turn over the carcass on this administration and the worms would be ripe from foulness and infection.

The old man has always been the key to this degenerate bunch. The depraved grin with a sardonic land-of-make-believe, matter-of-factness reveals a moral incontinence reaching into the realm of prostitution. Watching the Bush family in Florida is like watching a 300-pound pimp string out a runaway into a hooker and then beating her for doing too much smack. Her fate is sealed, and so is Florida's. Everyone else watches the car crash with rubber necks and finds the tragedy entertaining for the drive home.

To know Florida is to acknowledge that it is the most profoundly wretched State in the Union. More than half of its elected officials are so openly on the take that politics is more like a bookmaking operation than a democratic government. Congressmen run scams that raise the acts of money laundering and wire and mail fraud to artforms and its Senators have routinely committed more outrageous crimes than John Mitchell was ever alleged to have done. If the State of Florida were an indian casino, the name of the chief would be "Keeping Two Books." More murders and rapes go unreported each year in Miami than in Bosnia and Ruwanda combined. There's no income tax and the traffic signs are not laws, but suggestions. Its rural areas are ruled by deranged dipsomaniacs and its school systems are training grounds for Klansmen and flesh peddlers. Everything in Florida smells of fried chicken and spent beer cans. Daytona Beach is filled with steroid-addicted rednecks looking for skull sessions and there are plenty of trailer trash morons who are proud and eager to serve them. Oral sex is more common on the streets of Florida in broad daylight than anywhere else in America.

Yes, people love bad taste in everything.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Big Darkness at High Noon

Commander Doom - 2004

Viagra sales will soar, and the stomach pumps in Crawford are working overtime. There's a discordant chorus of screaming and begging already, and the patients have been hog-tied together like sheep, with numbers tatooed in their forearms, arrest warrants stapled to the backs of their lime green leisure suits and their mouths sealed with duct tape. We are dealing with a profoundly degenerate world, a sickening and diabolical system of foul, filth, half-truths, no truths, outright lies. The hog is blocking the tunnel and only dynamite will clear the way.

This terminal craziness began in 2000. It was mocked as "hanging chads" and "blue-haired voters in West Palm Beach," and it's left us with human remains on the sidewalk, even more in the secret halls and bunkers of the White House, now slick with decomposing scum.

If there is a heaven, it will be a place where the greed-crazed white trash scumbags will be sorted out at the pearly gates and sent down like rats scurrying from WMD. Bloody lesions and lumps and slashing wounds all over their torsos - and then sent down the long dark slide where pestulence engulfs the soul every few minutes like waves of molten lava and poison sludge, along with cops on the take and ambulence chasing attorneys with yellow teeth shouting the words from their own perverted moral manifestos. Nobody will be laughing and everybody huddles to the cold, greasy stone walls as eternity drags along slowly, and the nights are swimming with hookers, pimps and dope fiends scratching at the door for a fix while the howls of the doomed echo from beneath the sewer with mad cockroaches and dung beetles feasting on the disease. Sunrise has been replaced with a foul, dank fog and in the mornings there are televangelists panhandling for pennies while sweaty, bloated frat boys fondle them for scraps.

The final collapse of this corrupt and criminal administration could not come soon enough for most rational people. A high scale class of plundering that would make Al Capone seem like a corner hustler selling dimebags. The rampant theft of the U.S. Treasury will be studied in the FBI's serial killer profiling division for years to come. The criminally insane were given keys to the mint, and it has destroyed the lives or well-being of a generation of Americans. Get the picture? You, me, Tom, Dick and Harry - we took the beating for the boss, and the beating is massive. Consult the Book of Revelations for the score - the end of the world as you and me once knew it.

Dubya was nothing more than another disturbed cleric with a dark heart and a deathwish, as long as he didn't have to suffer the consequences. His multiple-personality presidency was the perfect role for a man with a retarded world view, and he used catastrophe like the church choir needs an organ - just another song to be played for Jesus while real estate tycoons meet with the pastor out back for a tax shelter. And the preznut is sick enough with his personality disorder to be totally confident in what he's doing and what he will have done if selected again.

His presidency was a gimped effort and his neo-con agenda has been a victim of its own conceptual schizophrenia, caught up in facts as moving targets and finally crippled in that vain, theocratic limbo between "God" and "Truth". And like his daddy, he has the gut instincts of a wild hog. No politician of record can match his talent for shitting on himself in such prolific ways. The preznut, like a drug pusher, can seek out filth and discord where it is born. And when he finds himself a new dung heap he dives in face first and rolls around in it for a while, making that ridiculous snorting sound and brandishing that revolting little fraternity-punk grin, as if to say, "I know I'm an asshole, but I don't have to pay the freight on your misfortune, now, do I?"

He's never played the role of preznut too well. He doesn't defend what he does in the context of straight policy, and if some people regard him as a man who's got his country's soul in mind rather than greasing the skids for his corporate cronies --well, they're probably the same tinfoil hat wingnuts who think Dan Rather's a speed freak, Pat Robertson is something other than a money-sucking animal and FOX News is fair and balanced from the outset.

For myself, I would much prefer to be stuck with chasing Osama Bin Laden all over creation than stuck with Dubya in the White House. This fundamental difference is something like losing your wallet, your credit cards and car keys at a Tijuana cock fight or earning enough money to pay off your house and a few gambling debts on a six-pack a day habit. Neither is an appetizing conclusion, but at least without Dubya all you're left with is the need for a restroom and marginal headache.

Something is dangerously wrong in any country where a monumental dimwit of a politician can scare the national media so completely that they will give him anything he wants and don't ask questions. The American nation is in the worst condition I can remember in my lifetime, and our prospects for the immediate future are even worse. The Bush capo regime must be very proud of themselves now. A Big Darkness, will soon come from it.

Vegas is laying 3-2 odds on the favorite - the Tijuana cock fight.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Preznut is a Girl

snookered, lied to and ripped off
From Bill Maher: New Rules
New Rule: Everyone has to stop pretending that George Bush is macho. Because plainly, he acts like a girl!

Not a woman. A girl! Not a week goes by when John Kerry isn't attacked because he said something that hurt somebody's feelings. According to Bush spokespeople, Kerry lost the first debate because of his new insult to our allies when he said, "The coalition wasn't genuine. You know, Poland had Lithuania over that night for a debate party, and now they can't look at each other without crying."

All of the attacks on John Kerry involve his thoughtless words. Like when he said the Iraqi prime minister wasn't legitimate. The bitch! He hurt the troops when he said Iraq was the wrong war at the wrong time! MEN! He hurt the Vietnam vets when he called that war a mistake. He is so not sitting with us at lunch anymore!

He's a girl! George Bush is all - "And another thing about John Kerry: he uses Botox! He spends too much time on his hair and he's two-faced. Flip-flopper!" "And I bet John Kerry didn't even deserve any of those medals. I would have gone to stupid old Vietnam, but I wanted to be a stay-at-home soldier!"

Excuse me, this president is resolute. He's on the rag. He stopped having press conferences, which is basically saying, "I'm not talking to you!" He acted all crampy at the debate: "It's hard work!" I kept waiting for him to say, "If you don't like how I do your shirts, then iron them yourself!" He even ran for president like a girl, promising to "restore dignity to the Oval Office." What man gives a rat's ass about restoring an office? A real man thinks the Oval Office lost all its integrity the day Monica Lewinsky stopped coming in there to blow the president.

And then - let me finish - and then in the one area - and I'm talking about Iraq here - the one area where he could use being a little in touch with his feminine side, he acts like the typical stupid male who gets himself lost when he's driving, won't admit it and won't stop and ask for directions. Always insisting, "Please, I know what I'm doing!"

You know, the only time - the only time guys like this learn their lesson is when their wives leave them. So, on November 2nd, I suggest we get a divorce.

Somebody lock up Gloria Allred. She has a thing for supporting scorned women on the talk show circuit. We don't need her trolling Dubya along the glorious halls of The Abrams Report or Regis and Kelly.

Drop her a Mickey and send her to Club Fed - until the election is over. America, we can't take the chance of seeing Gloria Allred defending the preznut. It will be Amber Frey all over again.

The Ribald Tales of Bill O'Reilly


Before we get to the issue at hand, I am struck by this thought. First, the box cover for this DVD porno is really eye-catching. It reminds me of those trading cards we used to get in Kellogg's cereal boxes that moved when you tilted them. Walking by this movie in a video store, people won't be able to avoid the stunning third scene and money shot. After my initial reaction to the box, my next thought was that I hoped that this movie was better than the mainstream flick of the same title because that thing sucked major ass. Beyond those issues that really have nothing to do with the movie, there are plenty of reasons to look forward to this flick. Any time I see an asian girl on screen, she brings something beautiful and hot to the table. I like unrestricted sexual performances, but she better be eye candy to the n'th degree. There are a ton of other girls in the newsroom who can turn heads as well, and not all of them are asians.

So, I have this idea for a porno movie, a classy one with really nice looking babes with brains.

The movie opens in a recovery room from cornea replacement surgery. At a time when all should be right with your pretty star, she begins to see things. Wandering the halls later at night she comes across a storage closet where two of the staff members are burning the midnight oil over an important interview. With the story on hold it is time to watch the naughty blonde choke on some guy in the closet. Workplace sex is always good and she is just the kind of chick you want to work overtime with. The guy gets her going real good. The babe leaves on her thigh-high stockings on as she works the dude into major league oblivion. Once the guy reaches that "happy place," he gives her something to remember all night long.

This is where I, pardon the pun, come in. Her doctor is worried about the visions she is having or the flashes of light. He sends her home with her man, which is me, and I tell him not to worry about a frivilous lawsuit. She likes being able to see, but we clearly have a lot of catching up to do. It has been quite a while since she has been able to see my manhood and this chick spends some time getting reacquainted with it. Enough with the fluff girls already -- she is so drop-dead gorgeous that it looks fantastic from the mirror. And, boy oh boy, buddy boy, she looks dynamite with a loofah on her back. We hook up for some very eye-pleasing doggy before the office pages me about tomorrow's show.

The second disc is packed with bonus features. There is a good behind the scenes feature on me and several other video extras that shows off the chicks in the office. We get a music video, box cover shoot footage, interviews and other nice additions. There are also two bonus scenes from some of the best interviews we've done. Add these to the porno flick and you have a very nice bonus disc to go along with the package.

Sexually speaking, this is a very solid endeavor. The chicks are beautiful and give good energy in their scenes. More of them would have been nice, but it's hard to fault any of the efforts made.

That's it for now - lawyers are calling with a status in the legal case. Tootles.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Speaking of Reverse Decisions

There is no more denying that this race is about a disastrous presidency - on many fronts. There is no doubt that what the Supreme Court mandated upon the very country it serves to uphold was a tragic failure of almost biblical proportions, because the weight of that decision has further divided its people, deteriorated the environment, eroded civil liberties, added vast layers of economic imbalance through staggering amounts of debt and redistribution of wealth, and eroded an already broken health care industry.

If the Supreme Court knew the facts as they are now - what choice would they have made?

A president without the popular vote in his sails acted as if there was a mandate. The events of September 11, 2001 were indeed the beginning of the end of this country as we knew it, and while the moment of unity it delivered lasted only a short time, the administration saw it as a symbol of presidential carte blanche - and without much of a consideration the deconstruction of our resources and freedoms began in the name of defeating islamic radicalism. If we had actually paid much attention, rather than jumping aboard the president's "Freedom Train," we might have noticed that the radical faction causing us more harm was the fundamentalist wing of the Republican Party.

Oh, yes, there is even more to fear in a second Dubya term, and it most of it involves who put us here in the first place - the United States Supreme Court. The administration's record so far reveals what's in store. Thanks to The Preznut, Jay Bybee, the author of an infamous Justice Department memo justifying the use of torture as an interrogation technique, is now a federal appeals court judge. Another selection, J. Leon Holmes, a federal judge in Arkansas, has written that wives must be subordinate to their husbands and compared abortion rights activists to Nazis.

And you can bet your bottom dollar if you aren't prepared for a theocratic takeover by right wing fundamentalists, you better brush up on your separation of church and state debate skills. You're going to need them.

Of course the religious right does not recognize that there is also a separation of church and state in the Constitution, which should make more pragmatic citizens worry a great deal. From The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State Page: Some of the most important/most frequently repeated arguments used by leaders of the religious right to illustrate how the Constitution does not require the separation of church and state. Most of these arguments collapse under closer examination, either on the basis of logical flaws, or because they are in conflict with the evidence. While a few of these arguments have merit, they are invariably misused by accomodationists to prove points that are not at issue, or else they omit important information that puts the argument in a different light. A few of these arguments are complicated; but the devil is in the details and the key points cannot and should not be obscured.

All quotations are taken from Andrew Lipscomb and Albert Bergh, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, in 20 volumes. Additionally, a great collection of Jefferson quotes can be found on the Jefferson pages at the University of Virginia. A good discussion of Jefferson's attitude toward separation and public education can be found in an extract from Leonard Levy's Jefferson and Civil Liberties: The Darker Side.

The Constitution gives no power over religion to the federal government:
  • Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State (Letter to the Danbury Baptists, 1802).
  • Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle (letter to Robert Rush, 1813).
  • I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling in religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the United States. Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise or to assume authority in religious discipline has been delegated to the General Government. It must rest with the States, as far as it can be in any human authority (letter to Samuel Miller, Jan. 23, 1808).
  • I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines; nor of the religious societies that the general government should be invested with the power of effecting any uniformity of time or matter among them. Fasting and prayer are religious exercises. The enjoining them, an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises and the objects proper for them according to their own particular tenets; and this right can never be safer than in their own hands where the Constitution has deposited it... Every one must act according to the dictates of his own reason, and mine tells me that civil powers alone have been given to the President of the United States, and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents (letter to Samuel Miller, Jan. 23, 1808).
  • No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the power of its public functionaries, were it possible that any of these should consider a conquest over the conscience of men either attainable or applicable to any desirable purpose (Letters to the Methodist Episcopal Church at New London, Connecticut, Feb. 4, 1809).
  • To suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own (Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779).
  • In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the constitution independent of the power of the federal government. I have therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it; but have left them, as the constitution found them, under the direction of state or church authorities acknowledged by the several religious societies (Jefferson's Second Inaugural Address).
  • In justice, too, to our excellent Constitution, it ought to be observed, that it has not placed our religious rights under the power of any public functionary. The power, therefore, was wanting, not less than the will, to injure these rights (Letter to the Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Pittsburg, Dec. 9, 1808).

On the benefits of religious liberty:
  • ...(O)ur rulers can have no authority over such natural rights, only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. In neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg (Notes on Virginia, 1785.
  • Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only (Notes on Virginia, 1785.
  • ...(T)o compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness (Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, 1789).
  • ...(P)roscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it (Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, 1789).
  • We have solved by fair experiment the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries (Letter to the Virginia Baptists, 1808).
  • Among the most inestimable of our blessings is that...of liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will; a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support (Reply to Baptist Address, 1807).

Skepticism toward religious authority:
  • The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man (Letter to J. Moor, 1800).
  • The clergy...believe that any portion of power confided to me [as President] will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion (Letter to Benjamin Rush, 1800).
  • History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes (Letter to von Humboldt, 1813).
  • In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own (Letter to H. Spafford, 1814).

Thomas Jefferson, moral relativist:
  • Nature has constituted utility to man the standard and test of virtue. Men living in different countries, under different circumstances, different habits and regimens, may have different utilities; the same act, therefore, may be useful and consequently virtuous in one country which is injurious and vicious in another differently circumstanced (Letter to Thomas Law, 1814).
  • As the circumstances and opinions of different societies vary, so the acts which may do them right or wrong must vary also, for virtue does not consist in the act we do but in the end it is to effect. If it is to effect the happiness of him to whom it is directed, it is virtuous; while in a society under different circumstances and opinions the same act might produce pain and would be vicious. The essence of virtue is in doing good to others, while what is good may be one thing in one society and its contrary in another (Letter to John Adams, 1816).
  • Reading, reflection and time have convinced me that the interests of society require the observation of those moral precepts only in which all religions agree (for all forbid us to steal, murder, plunder, or bear false witness), and that we should not intermeddle with the particular dogmas in which all religions differ, and which are totally unconnected with morality (Letter to J. Fishback, 1809).

Your typical wild-eyed wingnut will need tons of facts to reach beyond the years of cultish brainwashing. Stay focused, your country needs you to remain vigilant. "Ask not what your country can do for you ... " This isn't about Faith or Religion - it's about Freedom from religious tyrants like Falwell, Robertson and Swaggart. Of course, theocratic isolationists like Ralph Reed and Sam Brownback can't be burned at the stake, but they can be stopped at the polls.

Two weeks until freedom.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Angry Redneck or Retarded Chimp - Decision 2004

the two faces of curious george
A bizarre psychological evaluation can drive some people into the strangest moments of self-examination. After debates one and two, it must have been a regular "piecing back together the preznut" extravaganza with Karl, Laura and Karen since many of us on the outside were wondering what version of the Deceptor-in-Chief we would see during the final debate, termed the Tempest in Tempe by Olbermann at MSNBC.

When it comes to the preznut it's a terriblly labile endeavor most days. One day he's the angry redneck; other days he's the downhill version of Jerry Fallwell or the retarded chimp who appears to be waiting for his M&M while swinging with the truck tire hanging from a rope.

A nation waited with dry anticipation as Big John started in on Fearless Leader, projecting a new image as calmer and, oddly enough, more presidential than Bobo, in Pacific Standard Time:

6:04PM: Big John and the Preznut suck up to the folks at Arizona State for letting them pander about for 90 minutes.
6:08PM: The Preznut is repeating the buzz words that Karl Rove showed him on flash cards: "libural," "nuisance," "Ted Kennedy," "Osama" and "really freakin' libural."
6:09PM: Big John wants to really hunt and kill some terrorists. The Preznut is wondering if the libural thing will stick.
6:10PM: BINGO! We got the retarded chimp tonite. Casinos all over Vegas are paying out 3 to 2 on the comeback. Who knew that Tony Blair screwed us on flu vaccines? And now we're back to Canada with their contamidated stash - god forsaken terrorists those Canucks! The Preznut makes note to self: make sure he gets Rummy to torture those people once and for all.
6:11PM: Amazing moment: Bobo is giving up his flu shot. . . because of frivolous lawsuits by John Edwards.
6:12PM: "A plan is not a litany of complaints." Body language: Slogans and sound bytes work better!
6:16PM: The Preznut: "Paygo ... you pay ... Me Tarzan ... You Jane."
6:20PM: Big John: Tony Soprano comeback. The Preznut looks confused because he only watches "Real Sex" on HBO.
6:27PM: Softball question: Is homosexuality a choice? The Preznut's immediate response, inside his head: Don't look at me that way - I am not a gaylord.
6:29PM: WHO KNEW?!?! Dick Cheney's daughter is a lesbian!?! Goddamit. The Preznut looks confused.
6:34PM: Big John was an altar boy - Bobo was a cheerleader at Yale until he found Jesus in Crawford.
6:39PM: The Preznut: the altar boy thing is making The Preznut wonder if they are talking about gays again.
6:43PM: KEY NON-VERBAL MOMENT: Foam has appeared on the Preznut's mouth. The voice in his ear told him to wipe it off.
6:45PM: Big John has completely lost The Preznut with his rebuttal. Bobo is blinking uncontrollably now.
6:50PM: The Preznut: "Buggy and horse ... how come nobody mentions the Coalition anymore?"
6:51PM: Non verbal answer by The Preznut: "Nothing bad is my fault ... EVER!"
6:54PM: Dangit, Big John even sounds better on immigration. The voice in the earpiece is yelling for a rebuttal, but The Preznut thinks nothing of it because there was no flash card on it.
6:58PM: I wonder how the Red Sox and Yankees are doing.
7:00PM: "No child left behind is really a jobs program," says the Preznut. Jeez, how come I didn't see that. And Medicare is actually a WMD program. And Federal Energy policy? It is really a secret plan to clean up the environment. And cleaner fossil fuel legislation makes the crops grow better for Archer Daniels Midland.
7:05PM: Yankees 3, Red Sox 1 ... the curse continues for the evening, at least.
7:07PM: The war in Iraq is now a ransom note, according to The Preznut: "The best way to get the troops home is to send them to Iraq." I wish I was kidding when I thought that.
7:10PM: Thank God for recall on the remote control - the Red Sox got a guy on base.
7:11PM: Just thinking aloud: "What would it cost to have Michael Moore buy an assault gun and shoot Dick Cheney?"
7:14PM: Amazing Grace: The Preznut likes black people sometimes. Also, education is good. And, hold the phone, educated black people is EVEN better. They can have guns too. Educated black people with guns is not good.
7:17PM: The Preznut can "feel" it when people pray for him. The democrat spin will later say that's the prozac kicking in.
7:20PM: A baseball rain delay is more exciting than this is.
7:25PM: Another prozac moment, not to be confused with Viagra: "I love the strong women around me. As many as possible. As long as possible."
7:28PM: Big John's closing remarks: "Carville-ish sound byte, he actually smiled again, 'I beat the shit outta this moron again,' the hand gesture said it, God bless America, 'I'll kill more terrorists than this idiot will."
7:30PM: The Preznut's last debate moment: "Thank you, God, it's over. Sound byte. I hate debates. Saddam is gone. Do I get my M&M now? I am Chimperor. Fuck you, Senator. Mucho pandering and begging for votes. Get me off the stage, Laura!"
7:31PM: Bob Schieffer won the debate. Audience is wiping their eyes. The insurgents are planning. The rethugs are working themselves into a tizzy about the lezzy comment. Can this election be over already?

Cut to the spin room. The democrats sense that there are some more terror alerts coming. Tucker Eskew has Ridge on the cellphone barking out instructions. Karen Hughes is doing her best from looking like Lizzy Borden with CNN. Somebody better put Cheney under observation - he has a heart condition and the lesbian comment has him worked up. Good thing his wife took the microphone.

But let's return to the key points raised by the Retarded Chimp version seen by America on this better late than never evening:

Uhh -- Gosh, I -- don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those, uhh, exaggerations.
-- To quote Dubya (3/13/2002): "I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him." Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004

BOB SCHIEFFER: Suddenly we find ourselves with a severe shortage of flu vaccine. How did that happen?
DUBYA: Uhhh -- Bob, we relied upon a company out of England to provide about half of the flu vaccines for the United States citizen, and it turned out that the vaccine they were producing was contaminated. And so we took the right action and didn't allow contamidated medicine into our country.
-- Yes, he actually said "contamidated", while taking credit for the UK government's intervention in preventing export of contaminated vaccine (and by the way, the "company out of England" is Chiron Corporation of Emeryville, California, which operates a vaccine production facility in England), Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004

We have a problem with litigation in the United States of America. Vaccine manufacturers are worried about getting sued, and therefore they have backed off from providing this kind of vaccine. One of the reasons I'm such a strong believer in legal reform is so that people aren't afraid of producing a product that is necessary for the health of our citizens and then end up getting sued in a court of law.
-- On why America doesn't produce all of its flu vaccine domestically, and trying to blame it on medical litigation, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004

The last debate, my opponent said well they only -- those lawsuits only caused costs to go up by 1 percent. Well, he didn't -- he didn't in -- include the defensive practice of medicine, that costs the federal government some 28 billion dollars a year and costs our society between 60 and 100 billion dollars a year. Uhh, thirdly, one of the reasons why there's still high cost in, in medicine is because this is -- the, the, the, they don't use an information technology. It's like if you looked at the -- it's the equivalent of the -- of the buggy and horse days.
-- Dubya never explains the meaning of "defensive practice of medicine", but rewards the patient listener with the "buggy and horse" line, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004

I believe we ought to love our neighbor like we love ourself, as manifested in public policy through the faith-based initiative where we've unleashed the armies of compassion to help heal people who hurt.
-- Dubya comes out boldly for narcissism, and the stormtroopers of compassion, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004

In all due respect, I'm not so sure it's credible to quote leading news organizations about -- oh, never mind.
-- One of many attempts at humor in the Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004

But the best way to protect our citizens from guns is to prosecute those who commit crimes with guns.
-- I'm trying to figure out how gun crime victims are protected by this solution, since you can't prosecute in advance of the crime, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004

You cannot solve a problem unless you diagnose the problem. And we weren't diagnosing problems. And therefore just kids were being shuffled through the school. And guess who would get shuffled through? Children whose parents wouldn't speak English as a first language just move through.
-- A display of sloppy diction that seems to make the point that some children have parents who refuse to speak English, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004

I believe part of a hopeful society is one in which somebody owns something.
-- For Dubya's sake, I wish that made sense, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004

[Laura is] out campaigning along with our girls. And she speaks English a lot better than I do.
-- She ain't the only one, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004

And you need further evidence? The Retarded Chimp is certainly better than the Angry Redneck, but neither is qualified to be Preznut of Amurica. And in case you missed the move to the middle by the challenger: Big John clearly won all three debates and he surprisingly won the points on fiscal discipline, guns and immigration. He was certainly tougher on illegal immigration than a Rethug? He was also able to use the ban on assault weapons to reinforce his hawkish stance on terrorism. Another strategic move. On fiscal management and discipline, The Preznut was obliterated. Big John's insistence on pay-as-you-go, his reminder of his support for balancing the budget in the 1990s, and his killer "Tony Soprano" line was enough to toss aside the Retarded Chimp like a used towel.

Big John even had the self-confidence to be gracious toward the president during the debate; and he seemed calming and more trustworthy in his patrician sort of way. Theatrically and strategically, he was the conservative on the stage. The underlying message to this: "See? It's okay to switch leaders with me at the helm." Big John didn't slide into even the slightest moment of demonizing the Rethugs. He even acknowledged The Preznut in the days after 9/11. But while doing so, he displayed a comforting logic to the debate and for this election: "Thanks for the memories, Mr Bush, and now leave the keys at the door."

Neither an angry redneck nor a retarded chimp could reverse this logic. Only Reagan could come back from this fiasco of a debate season, for a Rethug, and even, perhaps, Clinton, if it was a Democrat facing the same odds.

Hard to see The Preznut reaching for the stars now - but he could become an Angry Chimp or a Retarded Redneck in the next couple of weeks. It's going to get ugly now.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

GOP Cash and Carry

The Sinclair Broadcasting Group (SBGI) just couldn't stand on the sidelines. It wasn't enough that the electorate was being hammered with televised conservative punditry on the talking head shows, Michelle Malkin, Swift Boat Lackies for Deception, Anne Coulter, the Washington (Moonie) times, bible-thumping tin foil hatties, Oxycoton Rush, organized voter fraud on the level of La Cosa Nostra, and wingnut disinformation machines with a trail back to the White House.

The right wing just couldn't admit that they lost the initiative and even a viable message. The Grand Old Party embodies those traditional 1980s mantras (and nothing speaks 1980s like those big hair women servicing the preznut's campaign staff) - "nothing exceeds like excess" and "greed is good," while mainstream America gets beaten into a sullen mash.

But just when you didn't think that the wingnuts could stoop no lower, Sinclair Broadcasting now plans to air an anti-Kerry movie, "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," days before election day. The Sinclair Broadcasting Group has historically contributed thousands of dollars to Rethug causes and its CEO also contributed the maximum to Bush-Cheney.

From Sid's Fishbowl, where the tangled web of finances and connections are displayed with surgeon-like precision:

Karl Rove, you've been busted.

You've read here and elsewhere about Sinclair Broadcasting Group, a fiercely right-wing company that controls 62 TV stations, many in swing states. They donate lots of money to Republican causes, and they recently decided to give a massive boost to the Bush campaign by preempting regular primetime programming in the days before the election to show an anti-Kerry smear piece produced by Carlton Sherwood, a former media consultant to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge (the Disinfopedia profile of Sherwood is temporarily offline but has some good stuff.) Oh, and Sherwood's group, POWs for Truth, just merged with the Swift Boat liars, for good measure.

So, Sinclair is prepared to give a major blast of propaganda to the Bush campaign. What's in it for them? Thanks to The Raw Story, we learn that a company called Jadoo Power Systems has been awarded a contract to develop power systems for the US Special Operations Command. No word on how much it was worth, but it must have been a big deal, because a Jadoo press release from 2003 brags that the company's president and CEO, Larry Bawden, personally briefed President George W. Bush on his company's technology.

It gets even deeper, as explained by Digby, who has been hitting some homeruns in these last few weeks. Take a look at this, because it appears that Jadoo has a close connection with another of Bush's close corporate friends --- Enron:

It wasn't long ago that Jadoo—which gets its name from the Hindi word for magic—was doing business in a three-car garage next to a chicken coop outside Sacramento. Jadoo's president, Larry Bawden, 45, learned about fuel-cell technology at Aerojet, based in Sacramento, where he worked as director of fuel-cell products. In 1995, Aerojet sold off his unit, and Bawden left with a golden parachute. Embarking on an around-the-world boat trip with his wife, he got as far as Australia before some former colleagues called. They persuaded him to return to become a vice president at a fuel-cell company they were starting called PowerTek. They'd soon lined up a huge customer—the energy giant Enron—but unfortunately it was about to collapse.

Good timing is everything in business. And fortunately for Bawden and two other colleagues at PowerTek, their point person at Enron, Jon [sic] Berger, was ready for a career move. They recruited him to join them in launching Jadoo in November 2001, just as he was starting at Harvard. After helping them write a business plan, Berger asked a classmate to critique it. The student was impressed enough to invest $200,000. The co-founders and four other employees put in more than $100,000. In the meantime Berger began approaching East Coast investors.

It didn't take long for Jadoo to attract interest from some major players. Among them was Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which owns 62 local news stations in the U.S.; it was the lead investor in a $5 million round of financing last year. But Jadoo's biggest coup came after President George W. Bush touted hydrogen as an alternative to foreign oil in his State of the Union speech last January. Jadoo, which had just released its first product—a long-lasting battery for the surveillance industry—was one of 22 fuel-cell companies invited to Washington to make a presentation to the White House. The others included giants like Ford and Motorola. Afterward, Jadoo was one of only seven firms invited to give one-on-one presentations to the President. The startup got some unexpected free publicity when Bush held a TV camera using one of Jadoo's lightweight fuel cells on his shoulder as media photographers captured the moment. Jadoo plans to begin selling such batteries to the broadcast market early next year.

But the story doesn't stop there. More from Digby and Contango Capital Team - John Berger:

Mr. Berger has over eight years of experience in the energy industry, during which he managed energy trading books for Enron Corporation and initiated development of the new Enron Premium Power Division. As a Manager, he made the previously unprofitable southeast short term trading operation for the Enron East Power Trading Division profitable by approximately $30 million over a two year period. Under his management, the southeast short term trading operation successfully administered the largest long-term customer deal in the industry, and increased the average daily volume in the southeast trading hub by ten times the former volume. Mr. Berger also managed the Enron Hourly Trading Desk, and operated a utility system in the southeastern United States. At Enron Energy Services he led and developed Enron's corporate strategy for new energy technologies and energy reliability financial products. In addition, Mr. Berger spearheaded development, investment, and partnership opportunities in fuel cell technologies.

During 2002 and 2003, Mr. Berger served as an advisor to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission where he drafted governance guidelines for the Regional Transmission Organizations and served as an advisor to the drafters of the Standard Market Design regulatory document that is currently before the United States Congress. He also advised the Commission on distributed generation, demand response, information gathering and application issues, investigations, and trade clearing/credit issues in the North American energy markets.

Berger jacks up grandma's retirement account and shreds more stock than Michael Milken sold junk bonds, and then he gets a gub-ment gig with the FERC? Gordon Gecko would be proud be a proud papa knowing that more than a few MBAs studied his every move.

Then he goes to Harvard while an executive with Jadoo, he puts together a Harvard Business School Energy Symposium with this distinguished guest:

Speaker Name: Larry Bawden
Speaker Title: CEO
Affiliation: Jadoo Power Systems

So a guy who got filthy rich at Enron goes to work for the Bush Administration's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission during the period when they're investigating Enron. He gets an MBA at Harvard, founds a company backed with his Enron stash and some extra seed capital from Sinclair Broadcasting, and uses his connections to get a one-on-one meeting with the President of the Freaking United States. His company then gets a (presumably no-bid) contract from the Defense Department, thus (presumably) guaranteeing they'll hit their revenue goals this year and (presumably) greasing their skids for the company's planned IPO.

Play the game: six degrees of separation with this stuff. Big company Enron gets snuffed from within. A couple of Enron profiteers take a Harvard Business School sojourn which ends up with some seed money from Sinclair. SBGI now decides to run an anti-Kerry movie with the same cast of Swift Boat scumbags pulling the strings.

This is how the Karl Rove propaganda machine works.

By the way, all of this research can be done using an internet search engine like Google or Yahoo. When do the investigative journalists start pitching in? Stop using the sock puppets on MSNBC and get back to work.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

My Lai You Long Time


Before getting too deep into this piece, it is clear that even stepping into this turf leaves sanity on the doorstep. If Hell is the impossibility of reason, as was penned by Oliver Stone in his archetypical Vietnam movie, "Platoon," the War in Iraq has surely reached that slippery slope toward the darkened abyss in hyperspeed. The events over the last few days - with US military forces pushing the battle clock against the upcoming Muslim holidays - are beginning to reveal how disjointed this war has become. It is also a microcosm of the entire Bush presidency - always done on the cheap, based on distortions, put into play before the strategy is determined, at the behest of multi-national conglomerates, by leveraging the poor and middle class as easy-to-use gears in a harsh geopolitical machine.

And just when it was clear that the war was evolving into a second dip toward Vietnam territory, accounts are beginning to surface that call into question real atrocities reminiscient of the My Lai Massacre of 1968.

On March 16, 1968 the angry and frustrated men of Charlie Company, 11th Brigade, Americal Division entered the village of My Lai. "This is what you've been waiting for -- search and destroy -- and you've got it," said their superior officers. A short time later the killing began. When news of the atrocities surfaced, it sent shockwaves through the US political establishment, the military's chain of command, and an already divided American public.

My Lai lay in the South Vietnamese district of Son My, a heavily mined area of Vietcong entrenchment. Numerous members of Charlie Company had been maimed or killed in the area during the preceding weeks. The agitated troops, under the command of Lt. William Calley, entered the village poised for engagement with the elusive Vietcong.

As the "search and destroy" mission unfolded it soon degenerated into the massacre of over 300 apparently unarmed civilians including women, children, and the elderly. Calley ordered his men to enter the village firing, though there had been no report of opposing fire. According to eyewitness reports offered after the event, several old men were bayoneted, praying women and children were shot in the back of the head, and at least one girl was raped, and then killed. For his part, Calley was said to have rounded up a group of the villagers, ordered them into a ditch, and mowed them down in a fury of machine gun fire.

Word of the massacre did not reach the American public until November of 1969, when journalist Seymour Hersh published a story detailing his conversations with ex-GI and Vietnam veteran, Ron Ridenhour. Ridenhour learned of the events at My Lai from members of Charlie Company who had been there. Before speaking with Hersh, he had appealed to Congress, the White House, and the Pentagon to investigate the matter. The military investigation resulted in Calley's being charged with murder in September 1969 -- a full two months before the Hersh story hit the streets.

And now this in Iraq, as explained by Seymour Hersh, once again, by both video (click here) and transcription below. For readers wishing to review the story on RealMedia, the story begins at about 41:45. Hersh spoke at Berkeley last Friday, October 8th. He explains how he received a call from an American lieutenant in Iraq who had just witnessed other American soldiers massacring Iraqis.

HERSH: I got a call last week from a soldier -- it's different now, a lot of communication, 800 numbers. He's an American officer and he was in a unit halfway between Baghdad and the Syrian border. It's a place where we claim we've done great work at cleaning out the insurgency. He was a platoon commander. First lieutenant, ROTC guy.

It was a call about this. He had been bivouacing outside of town with his platoon. It was near, it was an agricultural area, and there was a granary around. And the guys that owned the granary, the Iraqis that owned the granary... It was an area that the insurgency had some control, but it was very quiet, it was not Fallujah. It was a town that was off the mainstream. Not much violence there. And his guys, the guys that owned the granary, had hired, my guess is from his language, I wasn't explicit -- we're talking not more than three dozen, thirty or so guards. Any kind of work people were dying to do. So Iraqis were guarding the granary. His troops were bivouaced, they were stationed there, they got to know everybody...

They were a couple weeks together, they knew each other. So orders came down from the generals in Baghdad, we want to clear the village, like in Samarra. And as he told the story, another platoon from his company came and executed all the guards, as his people were screaming, stop. And he said they just shot them one by one. He went nuts, and his soldiers went nuts. And he's hysterical. He's totally hysterical. And he went to the captain. He was a lieutenant, he went to the company captain. And the company captain said, "No, you don't understand. That's a kill. We got thirty-six insurgents."

You read those stories where the Americans, we take a city, we had a combat, a hundred and fifteen insurgents are killed. You read those stories. It's shades of Vietnam again, folks, body counts...

You know what I told him? I said, fella, I said: you've complained to the captain. He knows you think they committed murder. Your troops know their fellow soldiers committed murder. Shut up. Just shut up. Get through your tour and just shut up. You're going to get a bullet in the back. You don't need that. And that's where we are with this war.

Initial "investigations" of My Lai which had been done by the 11th Brigade's CO, Col Oran Henderson, under orders from Americal's Ass't CO, BG Young.

Six months later a young soldier of the 11th Light Infantry (The Butcher's Brigade) named Tom Glen, wrote a letter accusing the Americal division (and other entire units of the US military, not just individuals) of routine brutality against Vietnamese civilians; the letter was detailed, its allegations horrifying, and its contents echoed complaints received from other soldiers.

Colin Powell white-washed the letter, and questions continued to remain un-answered.

During the Vietnam War, Powell, as deputy assistant chief of staff at the Americal (the 23rd Infantry Division) with the rank of Major, was charged with investigating a detailed letter by Tom Glen (a soldier from the 11th Light Infantry Brigade), which backed up rumored allegations of the My Lai massacre. Powell's response was largely seen as a cover-up; he wrote: "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent."

Very little information about the "real" body count in Iraq has been made public. Obviously there is the military KIA figures, the count of Iraqi civilians killed, and now an increasing number of "insurgents" killed as pockets of resistance are battled back in preparation for the Iraqi elections in January.

For the third debate: "There are now reports of Iraqi massacres by coalition troops. Mr. President, what are the rules of engagement for free-fire zones in Iraq and are civilian deaths being included in the officially reported insurgent body counts from Fallujah and Najaf?"

History is repeating itself again.