The woman presiding over national security on 9/11 - after she ignored specific warnings from the CIA, Richard Clark and Gary Hart among others about Al Queda flying planes into buildings on US soil - could be held personally responsible for the towers' collapse; the deaths, destruction and economic devastation 9/11 incurred; and the war in which the US is now headily pitched which apparently avenges that attack. However Condi's criminal negligence has been extremely profitable for the military-banking complex she represents. No wonder she has been slated to become secretary of state.
Stephen J. Hadley, who President Bush picked Tuesday to to replace Dr. Rice as
national security advisor, worked for both Cheney and
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz during President George H.W.
Bush's administration. He has argued for broadening the use of nuclear
weapons to include deterrence against "weapons of mass destruction." Can you imagine if they'd tried to destroy Iraq's "WMD" reserves with nukes?
Chapter 1: Bush defines Kerry first, as indecisive.
had learned in his only losing campaign -- a 1978 US House race in West
Texas, where he was labeled a liberal Eastern elitist -- that it was
political death to let your opponents define you first. So in the
ensuing years he had turned that same strategy against his foes. In the
case of Kerry, Bush readily agreed to a plan to define the senator as a
flip-flopper weak on defense.
...Kerry's own past suggested the
dangers of running as an antiwar candidate: As one of them, he suffered
a devastating defeat for a US House seat in 1972, the same year
President Nixon, despite Vietnam, won by a landslide...
2: Swift Boaters take a stab at defining Kerry negatively, however just then the Abu
Ghraib scandal breaks and puts Bush back on the defensive. Should mean
the Kerry campaign wasn't firing on all cylinders either. The prison
scandal, a spike in American casualties in Iraq, and the public
investigation into the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks hurt Bush, but didn't
necessarily help Kerry. Still largely unknown outside Massachusetts,
the Democratic candidate was having trouble getting his message across.
might have been an ideal time to hit Bush hard. Instead, the candidate
proceeded on a deliberate course, crafted by media adviser Bob Shrum
and campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill, to raise money, broadcast policy
proposals. and advertise Kerry's life story.
Kerry realizes things are indeed amiss and sort of replaces campaign
manager Cahill with Paul Begala, late of Clinton and CNN. Except that
Cahill doesn''t much like the idea or markedly cooperate. Strategy
really starts to collapse: Edwards is picked, why? Because he really
seems to want the gig. Kerry also fumbles by choosing to hype His
Vietnam rather than attack Bush's Iraq.
Thursday, July 29, the last night of the convention, the man whose fame
was launched by denunciations of a war stepped onto the podium and gave
a military salute. "I'm John Kerry," the candidate told the cheering
delegates, "and I'm reporting for duty."
..As for selling Kerry
as a viable alternative: Only six lines of his acceptance speech were
devoted to his 20 years in the Senate, a fact that his GOP foes loudly
Chapter 4: The Slow Bloats hit him again, this time with a book and more ads. Though
Kerry wants to strike back, Cahill and other advisors don't want to
add fuel to the fire. No prison fiasco saves the day and when he does return the volley, it's already too late.
Epilogue: In spite of his preparing long and hard for the debate, and perhaps
even 'winning' Kerry changes neither people's minds nor the facts of his indecisiveness [or alternately, acknowledgement of complexity]: abortion and
Catholicism, gay daughter and gay marriage, Vietnam and Iraq. Yes, no,
yes and finally No. Not with a bang, but a whimper.
Questions are swirling around whether the election was conducted honestly or not. We need to know -- was it or wasn't it? If people were wrongly prevented from voting, or if legitimate votes
were mis-counted or not counted at all, we need to know so the
wrongdoers can be held accountable, and to help prevent this from
happening again. Members of Congress are demanding an investigation to answer this question. Join me in supporting their call, at:
At least another Bush term bodes well for the prospect of engaging progressive politics. The win did not surprise CQ - we do our best not to underestimate the lengths to which dictators will go to ensure themselves another 20 years, much less 4, and well we know that half the USA is more or less both illiterate and Born Again. However the results did reignite our curiosity about the extent to which Diebold's electronic voting systems colored the result.
Some of the sources we expect to help sort out what occurred at the polls include Bev Harris of Blackbox who famously began her investigations into the duplicity afoot in evoting ages ago, as documented in this Wired article. Evoting Experts seem to be keeping close tabs on the situation. We also look forward to Votergate, a documentary about the fiasco due out soon, with a score by CQ idol and rock god Wayne Kramer of MC5. A New york attorney who spent a few days working on the election in Ohio, Ray Beckerman reported that he witnessed voters waiting
for as much as 10 hours, and their voting was concluded at about 3 am. The reason this occurred was that they had 1 voting station per 1000 voters, while the adjacent precinct had 1 voting station per 184. Both precincts were within the same county, and managed by the same county board of elections. The difference between them is that the privileged polling place was in a rural, solidly Republican, area, while the one with long lines was in the college town of Gambier, OH.
Touch screen voting machines in Youngstown, OH were registering "George W. Bush" when people pressed "John F. Kerry" ALL DAY LONG. This was reported immediately after the polls opened, and reported over and over again throughout the day, and yet the bogus machines were inexplicably kept in use THROUGHOUT THE DAY.
Clearly, Beckerman's precinct was anything but unique as far as vote skullduggery was concerned. As even the NY Times concedes, albeit cautiously:
An electronic voting machine in hotly contested Ohio added 3,893 votes to President Bush's tally in a suburban Columbus precinct, even though there are just 800 voters there. The error was discovered in preliminary vote counts from Tuesday night, and local officials say it would have been caught in any case and corrected in the final count now under way.
Preliminary counts show Mr. Bush won Ohio by about 137,000 votes out of roughly 5.5 million cast.
But all problems so far fall into a class described by Doug Chapin, director of the Election Reform Information Project, as "no big and lots of littles," with no discernible effect on the outcome.
Progressive linesman Daily Kos is having a ball with more numbers that all too enigmatically did not compute. These from Florida:
7,355,296 (2004) - 5,963,657 (2000) = 1,392,639 new voters (99% precincts counted, no provisionals or absentees). So, we have 1.39 million new voters, and Kerry loses by 376,923 votes? Thus, he lost an overwhelming majoirty of them, or he lost an overwhelming majority of regular voters - much, much more than Gore lost.
We have 77,197 fewer third party votes, but Kerry loses the vast majority of these? Exit polling numbers show that Kerry had more Hispanic and Cuban support than Gore did, and Kerry lost? Most exit polls in Florida showed Kerry leading, yet he loses by a massive 5%? All this after an incredibly failed presidency? After looking at these numbers, I can come to only one conclusion. The Diebold machines were rigged. There is no way provisional or absentee ballot are going to make up the 376,923 votes - unless a LOT of people were challenged in the urban areas and had to fill out provisionals. These Florida numbers just don't make sense.
Thom Hartmann at Common Dreams is on top of the case as well and yesterday published a piece with more evidence of hacking in Florida.
In Baker County, for example, with 12,887 registered voters, 69.3% of them Democrats and 24.3% of them Republicans, the vote was only 2,180 for Kerry and 7,738 for Bush, the opposite of what is seen everywhere else in the country where registered Democrats largely voted for Kerry. In Dixie County, with 4,988 registered voters, 77.5% of them Democrats and a mere 15% registered as Republicans, only 1,959 people voted for Kerry, but 4,433 voted for Bush. The pattern repeats over and over again - but only in the counties where optical scanners were used. Franklin County, 77.3% registered Democrats, went 58.5% for Bush. Holmes County, 72.7% registered Democrats, went 77.25% for Bush.
David Hare's new play Stuff Happens, up now in London, portrays Bush, Blair and the Iraqi war. As John Lahr describes it in the NYer:
The lucid three-hour retelling is a sort of docu-fiction, in which the events, public statements, and segues are all authentic while the behind-closed-doors dialogue is either punched up from known sources or invented. In Hare's version of history, our leaders, who, like the rest of the nation, lost the illusion of invulnerability on September 11, 2001, are compelled to construct for the American people an unambivalent triumphalist fable of revenge.
But on what count, we wonder, does Lahr condescend?
Hare functions best as a dramatist when he assumes the role of reporter and allows his intellectual curiosity to override his literary immodesty.
CR sees no call for literary immodesty in Hare's work; that would be like asking Faulkner to please shorten his goddamn sentences. Among our most astute historians, Hare acts as well. Whereas Lahr insists that
From a theatrical point of view, the real Bush is a bad actor
not only do we wonder if Hare might not be a more reliable judge, but would add that this by no means is the first time that, with all due respect, we've marveled at US critics' failure to appreciate Hare's genius.
On the other hand, we sure cottoned to the Guardian's review. They laud Hare's reconsideration of character:
Bush, in many British eyes, is seen as some kind of holy fool or worse. But, through Hare's writing and Alex Jennings's performance, he emerges as a wily and skilful manipulator who plays the role of a bumbling pseudo-Texan but constantly achieves his desired ends. Jennings, with his wire-drawn upper lip and tentative gestures, has caught the Bush mannerisms exactly: more significantly, he suggests Bush is the most adroit politician on stage.
CQ more than once fought for the idea that clearly Bush is anything but dumb. We do not for an instant imagine that the depths and range of the presidents's perfidy have been plumbed, and we have rather been astonished by the regularity with which our friends - lib dems the lot - seem quite happy to condescend to Bush's intelligence if not lament its absence. Consitently underestimating this enemy has not thus far behooved the left, or civilization at large for that matter. We can't help but feel though that the most salient point, and one of which both Davey and Goliath seem well aware: 50% of the US identifies as fundamentalist or Born Again.
Cervantes, Velazquez, Goya: though it may well have invented Modernism, Spain has also cradled the reactionary Catholic stronghold Opus Dei, itself something of an extension from Isabel and Ferdinand's fifteenth century rule. This is but one example of why contrarians consider the country the Capital of Contradiction
In a relevatory twist after the Atocha bombing last March, Spain rid itself of Aznar's reactionary regime and elected as Prime Minister one of Europe's most progressive new leaders, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
The Spanish prime minister has called for an international effort to resolve cultural and religious differences between the Western and Muslim world. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said "an alliance of cultures" was necessary in a world facing conflict because of poverty and Islamic radicalisation. Mr Zapatero, at the UN General Assembly meeting, said the alliance could deepen political and cultural relations.
But Aznar and his cronies have just receeded, not diappeared and it would be unwise to imagine that the contradictions coloring all aspects of life in Spain would themselves disappear too soon.