Friday, April 23, 2004

A Weird Moment 

On Randi Rhodes just now--she's interviewing Charlie Rangel, and asked him (I'm paraphrasing of course): "So, why are we in Iraq?"

Rangel started talking about "connecting the dots," and arrived at the claim that "We need to ask what the relationship is between Bush and the Saudi royal family."

Then Randi, clearly surprised and intrigued, said: "Are you willing to talk about that?"

Then Rangel started going off on this and that, apparently backing off of the idea, and never really returned to the question.

From the AP 

Cardinal Calls on Church to Refuse Communion to Those Who Support Death Penalty, Pre-Emptive War

(Still waiting...)

While we're at it, how about:

Cardinal Calls on Priests Who Molest Children to Refuse Communion to Selves

Why Peepul Hav a Stoopid? 

College Park, MD: According to a new PIPA/Knowledge Networks poll, a majority of Americans (57%) continue to believe that before the war Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda, including 20% who believe that Iraq was directly involved in the September 11 attacks. Forty-five percent believe that evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda has been found. Sixty percent believe that just before the war Iraq either had weapons of mass destruction (38%) or a major program for developing them (22%).

Despite statements by Richard Clarke, David Kay, Hans Blix and others, few Americans perceive most experts as saying the contrary. Only 15% said they are hearing “experts mostly agree Iraq was not providing substantial support to al Qaeda,” while 82% either said that “experts mostly agree Iraq was providing substantial support” (47%) or “experts are evenly divided on the question” (35%). Only 34% said they thought most experts believe Iraq did not have WMD, while 65% said most experts say Iraq did have them (30%) or that experts are divided on the question (35%).
You know what we say?

"To be nurtured back to be a wetland."  

You make me sick; literally ill.

Earth Day:
Too many wetlands are degraded and can no longer support healthy wildlife populations, so they need to be restored to health. In other words, they need to be nurtured; they were once wetlands areas, and they need to be nurtured back to be a wetland.

Tomorrow, I'm going down to Florida. I'll be seeing Brother. I'll be glad to give him your best. (Laughter.) And we're going to go to the Everglades. It's a great wetlands area. The problem is, is that the wetland -- the Everglades have been invaded by a -- by certain plant species, non-native plants, that are going to choke out the wetlands.

And so one of the things we're going to do is to encourage programs that will remove these invasive species so that native vegetation can return and the wetlands can be revitalized. In other words, we can restore wetlands so they function better, so they function as the Almighty wanted them to function in the first place. As they become healthier -- (applause.)
Ezekiel 34:17-18. As for you, my flock... Is it not enough for you to feed on good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet?

Jer. 2:7. I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and you made my inheritance detestable.

Luke 16:2,10,13. And he called him and said to him, "What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward. He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous in much. You cannot serve both God and mammon.

James 5:5. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.

Mark 4:19. ...and the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word and it becomes unfruitful.

"This is the D-Day." 

Keep an eye on this Specter/Toomey race. And think for a minute about our respective parties' politics. Imagine if a militant socialist were to pose a credible challenge against, say, Lieberman in the CT Democratic primary, and you had guys in Che Guevara berets claiming "This is the Gettysburg. This is the D-Day, the Stalingrad," and the guy was about to beat Lieberman, and the Democratic base was thrilled!
Mr. Toomey's campaign plans to tap into a statewide network of anti-abortion groups and evangelical churches to energize his supporters. James C. Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, will kick off that effort by speaking at a rally for Mr. Toomey in Lancaster on Friday night. Dr. Dobson has endorsed Mr. Toomey, but his organization does not take sides in political campaigns.

Dr. Dobson's appearance underscores the primary's importance to conservatives nationwide who view Mr. Specter as an obstacle to their agenda in Washington. Dr. Dobson rarely appears on behalf of candidates, but in this race he has sent a letter to Mr. Toomey's supporters and allowed his voice to be used on radio campaign advertisements.

"We see this time as the climax of the civil war of values that's been raging for 35 years," Dr. Dobson said in an interview. "This is the Gettysburg. This is the D-Day, the Stalingrad. We must oppose those who have done so much to create the mess that we're in."

Tight, forward-leaning 

Modo on Woodward on "body language":
When the president at long last informed his top diplomat that he was going to war, Colin Powell could tell from the president's body language that there was no point in arguing: "It was the assured Bush. His tight, forward-leaning, muscular body language verified his words."

Put A $ At Kerry 

It occurred to me that I hadn't contributed to Kerry since last month. I'm going to give money every month. I encourage everyone else to do so.

I've also decided to put a Kerry bumper sticker on my car, so I can feel satisfied with myself as I drive around our country. You can order one (or two) for free.

Kerry All Over the Purple 

Ruy Teixeira with some comforting words about Bush's apparent stagnancy in the battleground states:
Instead of getting more votes where he needs them--in the battleground states--his posturing is mostly driving up his support in the hardcore red states, where he doesn't need them. If that's true, Democrats should definitely not be intimidated by recent poll results. Bush is preaching to the converted--which can make him look better in a national poll--but he's not winning many new converts where it counts.

Weird, sinister clusterfuck 

In the midst of Juan Cole's flabbergasting account of Richard Pearle's recent surprise testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (in his capacity as, apparently, an "Iraq expert") we find this truly bizarre item:
Now Chalabi's nephew Salem has been put in charge of the trial of Saddam Hussein. Salem is a partner in Zell and Feith, a Jerusalem-based law firm headed by a West Bank settler, in which Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of Defense for Planning, is also a senior partner when not in the US government. You can be assured that the trial will be conducted on behalf of the Bush administration and the Neocons, and on behalf of the Chalabis. Since the Chalabis have been trying to overthrow Saddam for decades, it is hard to see how this can have even the appearance of an impartial tribunal.
"Zell and Feith"? Huh?

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Attack = On Track 

speakingcorpse writes:

Bush's claim here that his administration is "making good progress in defense of America" may seem to be inconsistent with his warning of a pre-election terrorist attack that (in addition to killing a small number of Americans) may tempt Americans to vote against him. But there is no inconsistency. We cannot be defending America, after all, if we are not being attacked. What better way to make sure that America remains well-defended (by the Bush administration, of course) than by suffering an attack that would prove that we really our defending ourselves against a dangerous enemy?

Prince Bandar, Bush Campaign Spokesman, Phones In 

In case anyone missed this Larry King, which has to be one of the more surreal television moments of all time:

KING: We have made the connection. With us on the phone is Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia. Who wants to go first? Do you hear Bob OK, Prince?

WOODWARD: Have you read the book, ambassador?

BANDAR BIN SULTAN, SAUDI AMBASSADOR TO U.S.: No, but I read snippets of it.

WOODWARD: The parts pertaining to you, and there seems to be some contention about this meeting January 11 in the White House. You know, Don Rumsfeld is on record saying he looked you in the eye and said, "you can take this to the bank, Ambassador, this is going to happen," and the "this" is the war plan. And...

KING: I'll let him respond to that part. Prince, is that true?

BIN SULTAN: Larry, number one, Bob Woodward is a first class journalist and reporter. And ...

KING: OK, and number two?

BIN SULTAN: And number two, I will never contradict Bob Woodward.


KING: So what's number three?

BIN SULTAN: And number three is, what he said is accurate. However, there was one sentence that was left out.

KING: And that is?

BIN SULTAN: Both Vice President Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld told me before the briefing that the president has not made a decision yet, but here is the plan, and then the rest is accurate.

WOODWARD: Then why would they say, "You can take this to the bank, it's going to happen," and then, as I understand it, the vice president said, "when this starts Saddam is toast." Is that correct?

BIN SULTAN: This is absolutely correct, but underlined when, because my response was last time we tried this, we left Saddam in place, and I don't think anybody in the Middle East would like to try this again if Saddam would stay in place, and that's the rest of the story. So what Bob said was accurate, except that I was informed that the president has not made a decision yet.

WOODWARD: But then why would they have the meeting to contradict what you're saying, Ambassador? And you have not read the transcripts of my interview with the president, and the president said to you that the message they sent to you was his message. This is, you know, as everyone knew, there was extensive planning going on for war. Why would they have this meeting to tell you a maybe? Doesn't make sense.

BIN SULTAN: Because the whole aspect is that the president, if I make the decision, this plan, you can take it also to the bank, like what's his name, Rumsfeld, said.

Remember, Bob, I was briefed by Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney and by General Powell about Plan 1001, and at that time, we were not sure if the Americans...

WOODWARD: This was for the first Gulf War.

BIN SULTAN: ... were going to go to war or not.

WOODWARD: Right. And -- but they didn't tell you, "You can take this to the bank, this is going to happen." I, you know, if we were to get out the...

KING: Let's ask it this way. Prince Bandar, after that meeting, did you think they were going to war?

BIN SULTAN: I was -- to be honest with you, not sure, but I was -- my gut feeling was telling me that if Saddam Hussein does not respond the right way, yes, they were going to go to war, but I can -- must emphasize that this is January. Between January and March, everybody emphasized to me that they want to go to the U.N. They want to try all other venues. But if Saddam does not respond positively, then they have to be ready. I think this president was thinking, "I cannot bluff," and President Johnson always, I was told, said, "Don't tell a fellow to go to hell unless you intend to send him there," and I think President Bush was intending to send Saddam to hell if he does not respond.

KING: Let me get in one more thing, Prince Bandar.

BIN SULTAN: Yes, sir.

KING: The story that Mr. Woodward has about the promise to lower the oil prices by the election. Your government has denied has.

WOODWARD: That's not my story. What I say in the book is that the Saudis, and maybe you looked at this section of the book, Ambassador, that the Saudis hoped to keep oil prices low during the period for -- before the election, because of its impact on the economy. That's what I say.

BIN SULTAN: I think the way that Bob said it now is accurate. We hoped that the oil prices will stay low, because that's good for America's economy, but more important, it's good for our economy and the international economy, and this is not -- nothing unusual. President Clinton asked us to keep the prices down in the year 2000. In fact, I can go back to 1979, President Carter asked us to keep the prices down to avoid the malaise. So yes, it's in our interests and in America's interests to keep the prices down.

KING: Do you want President Bush...

BIN SULTAN: But that was not a deal.

KING: Do you want President Bush to be reelected?

BIN SULTAN: We always want any president who is in office to be reelected, Larry, but that is the American choice. This is not our call. This is the American people's call.

KING: OK, I think we've cleared up...

WOODWARD: Could I just, I'm sorry to go back on this, but Prince Bandar, why would the president tell me on the record two days later that he called Colin Powell in and said he had decided on war? This was a 12-minute meeting. I went through this for some time with the president, and then the president would ask Powell, "will you be with me?" And Powell said, "I will be with you. I will support a war," and then the president said to former General Powell, now Secretary of State Powell, "time to put your war uniform on."

I know that Powell left that meeting saying, he's going to do it. He had made that decision, and you look at what Rumsfeld has said and others, and as you may be aware, there might be tape recordings that would show that the version I have is the accurate one. What's going on here?

BIN SULTAN: Bob, I believe Secretary Powell/General Powell's response does not surprise me. He's a very loyal soldier and a statesman. And I believe he puts a lot of weight on loyalty, and he disdains disloyalty. Therefore, I believe if your account is accurate, which I have no reason to discount it, that general -- Secretary Powell told the president his views. Once the commander in chief made his mind up, General Powell -- Secretary Powell decided it's right to support the commander-in-chief.

KING: I got to get a break.

BIN SULTAN: That is the only thing I can say about this.

KING: Thank you, Prince Bandar, thank you for responding to our call. That's Prince Bandar, the ambassador from Saudi Arabia.

We'll be back with Bob Woodward right after this.


KING: Just for the record, the prince called in. We did not call him, the Prince Bandar. Bandar called in to speak to you.


WOODWARD: ... years going back to Nixon. I've heard all of them. This goes in the hall of fame. This does, because what he says is yes your account of the meeting saying you can take it to the bank is accurate, but we had a discussion before saying the president hasn't decided. I mean, why would you have that discussion before, and then go through the charade of a meeting saying oh, can you count on this and you can take it to the bank, and he's going to be toast?

I mean, that goes in the hall of fame of dodges and fishy explanations. I think it should get an Academy Award.

KING: You think your confirmation is the president.

WOODWARD: Well, I know the president confirms it. And as I suggested to him, there are all kinds of interviews and with the tape recorder on the table, I did, with people about NEVILLE: is, and I have no doubt. I mean, as you're saying, you don't go to somebody and say, "I'm going to tell you you can take it to the bank, but I really mean maybe," and then go in and say, "can you take it to the bank, and he's going to be toast." It goes in the hall of fame. Congratulation, Bandar.

Your taxpayer money literally used to pay for the dissemination of Bush campaign propaganda via the IRS 

This scandal probably doesn't even make the current Top 20--and yet if you think about it, it really boggles the fucking mind.

From O'Franken:

A recent press release from the Treasury Department (title: "April 15th Tax Day Reminder: Treasury and IRS Work To Make Paying Taxes A Little Easier") concluded with this:
America has a choice: It can continue to grow the economy and create new jobs as the President's policies are doing; or it can raise taxes on American families and small businesses, hurting economic recovery and future job creation.
It may remind you of the Republican National Committee's website, which proudly states:
America has a choice: It can continue to grow the economy and create new jobs as the President's polices are doing; or it can raise taxes on American families and small businesses, hurting economic recovery and future job creation.
It could be a coincidence. Well - no, it couldn't. And when Bush campaign rhetoric ends up on official government documents, it has to give us pause for thought.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

America Over 

speakingcorpse writes:

I am very afraid that this poll reveals something enduringly true about the American electorate. The majority of Americans, it seems, will vote Bush as long as the war is seen as a primary issue. It doesn't matter if they know that the problems in Iraq are Bush's fault. I really think most people know that Bush's policy has been a disaster. But more important, in the eyes of our fellow citizens, Bush's longstanding supporters and those who seem to have shifted to his side in the last week, is what they take to be Bush's "resolve" in the face of the challenge. "Resolve" means one thing: when wogs and darkies are fighting us, we should slaughter them, period. It seems Bush knows this, knows about our white supremacist inheritance, and so he is trying to escalate the fighting. If he cannot have clear victory, then an all-out bloodbath is the next best thing come election time. When America is at war, the poll suggests, the majority of Americans will not tolerate thought or moderation of any kind; it would get in the way of racist slaughter, which, if unpleasant and guilt-inducing, is nonetheless the thing America does best. This is the way that a majority of Americans seem to think, and so Kerry will lose the election if the war is still raging in October. Any talk of solving the problem, finding allies, etc., become irrelevant. When the blood is flowing, the only thing to do is wallow in it, and kill more. If the blood isn't flowing, then it might be OK to consider voting for Kerry. But if we're at war, anything less than mass death frenzy is unpatriotic.

Blicero adds:

Funny how this Zogby poll (conducted during virtually the same period) didn't make the front page of the Washington Post newspaper:

44 Bush
47 Kerry

"Do you think George W. Bush deserves to be reelected as president of the United States, or is it time for someone new?"


43 Deserves Reelection
51 Someone New

But I guess these results don't matter, since Zogby is an Arab. And even if he wasn't an Arab, and the results did matter, they still wouldn't matter, because it's become clear that contemporary Americans have made a deal with the devil, and are no longer able to control their annihilating urges for fascism, Apocalypse, and the dream of rising to Heaven atop a giant orgasmic mushroom cloud. Americans want to be punished, gratified, and killed. And they'll probably get what they want.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Terrorists to Influence Election, cont'd. 

The opportunity for terrorists to try to influence the election, as was the case last month in Spain, appears to be an opportunity that would "be too good to pass up for them," Rice said.
From today (via TPM):
QUESTION: We’re missing the allegation here, which is that Prince Bandar and the Saudis have made a commitment to lower oil prices to help the President politically. Is that your --

MR. McCLELLAN: I’m not going to speak for Prince Bandar. You can direct those comments to him. I can tell you that what our views are and what he said at the stakeout is what we know his views are, as well.

QUESTION: Does the White House have any knowledge of such a commitment?

MR. McCLELLAN: I’m sorry?

QUESTION: Does the White House have any knowledge of such a commitment?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I’m not going to speak for Prince Bandar. You can direct those questions --

QUESTION: Is there a deal?

MR. McCLELLAN: -- I wouldn’t speculate one way or the other. You can direct those questions to him, but I’m telling you --

QUESTION: I’m not asking you to speculate either. Do you have knowledge of such a commitment?

MR. McCLELLAN: I’m telling you what our views are and what we've stated, and I'm telling you what I do know, which is that our position is very clear when it comes to oil prices and what our views are. And Prince Bandar spoke to you all just a few weeks ago out at the stakeout after meeting with some White House officials and expressed --

QUESTION: So you have no knowledge of such a commitment?

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and expressed their view. I'm not going to try to speak for Prince Bandar. You can direct those questions to him.

QUESTION: The President is confident that the American elections are not being manipulated by the world's largest oil producer?

MR. McCLELLAN: Our view is that the markets should determine --

QUESTION: The market doesn't. It's a cartel.

MR. McCLELLAN: But our view is that that's what -- that the markets should determine prices. And that's the view we make very clear to producers around the world, including our friends in OPEC.

"The Saudi pledge" 

From CBS News:

But, it turns out, two days before the president told Powell, Cheney and Rumsfeld had already briefed Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador.

”Saturday, Jan. 11, with the president's permission, Cheney and Rumsfeld call Bandar to Cheney's West Wing office, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Myers, is there with a top-secret map of the war plan. And it says, ‘Top secret. No foreign.’ No foreign means no foreigners are supposed to see this,” says Woodward.

“They describe in detail the war plan for Bandar. And so Bandar, who's skeptical because he knows in the first Gulf War we didn't get Saddam out, so he says to Cheney and Rumsfeld, ‘So Saddam this time is gonna be out, period?’ And Cheney - who has said nothing - says the following: ‘Prince Bandar, once we start, Saddam is toast.’"

After Bandar left, according to Woodward, Cheney said, “I wanted him to know that this is for real. We're really doing it."

But this wasn’t enough for Prince Bandar, who Woodward says wanted confirmation from the president. “Then, two days later, Bandar is called to meet with the president and the president says, ‘Their message is my message,’” says Woodward.

Prince Bandar enjoys easy access to the Oval Office. His family and the Bush family are close. And Woodward told 60 Minutes that Bandar has promised the president that Saudi Arabia will lower oil prices in the months before the election - to ensure the U.S. economy is strong on election day.

Woodward says that Bandar understood that economic conditions were key before a presidential election: “They’re [oil prices] high. And they could go down very quickly. That's the Saudi pledge. Certainly over the summer, or as we get closer to the election, they could increase production several million barrels a day and the price would drop significantly.”

Daily Quiz: What Do the Words that Came Out of the Hole Under Bush's Nose Mean? 

Asked by Woodward how history would judge the war, Bush replied: "History. We don't know. We'll all be dead."

Whore Bearing Pearls 

Some choice bits from the WaPo's first installment of the new Woodward book:
Woodward describes a relationship between Cheney and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell that became so strained Cheney and Powell are barely on speaking terms. Cheney engaged in a bitter and eventually winning struggle over Iraq with Powell, an opponent of war who believed Cheney was obsessively trying to establish a connection between Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network and treated ambiguous intelligence as fact.
But, when asked personally by the president, Powell agreed to make the U.S. case against Hussein at the United Nations in February 2003, a presentation described by White House communications director Dan Bartlett as "the Powell buy-in." Bush wanted someone with Powell's credibility to present the evidence that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, a case the president had initially found less than convincing when presented to him by CIA Deputy Director John E. McLaughlin at a White House meeting on Dec. 21, 2002.

McLaughlin's version used communications intercepts, satellite photos, diagrams and other intelligence. "Nice try," Bush said when the CIA official was finished, according to the book. "I don't think this quite -- it's not something that Joe Public would understand or would gain a lot of confidence from."

He then turned to Tenet, McLaughlin's boss, and said, "I've been told all this intelligence about having WMD, and this is the best we've got?"

"It's a slam-dunk case," Tenet replied, throwing his arms in the air. Bush pressed him again. "George, how confident are you?"

"Don't worry, it's a slam dunk," Tenet repeated.
On Nov. 21, 2001, 72 days after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Bush directed Rumsfeld to begin planning for war with Iraq. "Let's get started on this," Bush recalled saying. "And get Tommy Franks looking at what it would take to protect America by removing Saddam Hussein if we have to." He also asked: Could this be done on a basis that would not be terribly noticeable?
But as the planning proceeded, the administration began taking steps that Woodward describes as helping to make war inevitable...

In July, a CIA team entered northern Iraq and began to lay the groundwork for covert action, eventually recruiting an extensive network of 87 Iraqi informants code-named ROCKSTARS who gave the U.S. detailed information on Iraqi forces, including a CD-ROM containing the personnel files of the Iraq Special Security Organization (SSO).

Woodward writes that the CIA essentially became an advocate for war first by asserting that covert action would be ineffective, and later by saying that its new network of spies would be endangered if the United States did not attack Iraq.
In the summer of 2002, Bush approved $700 million worth of "preparatory tasks" in the Persian Gulf region such as upgrading airfields, bases, fuel pipelines and munitions storage depots to accommodate a massive U.S. troop deployment. The Bush administration funded the projects from a supplemental appropriations bill for the war in Afghanistan and old appropriations, keeping Congress unaware of the reprogramming of money and the eventual cost.
[Prince] Bandar [bin Sultan], who helped arrange Saudi cooperation with the U.S. military, feared Saudi interests would be damaged if Bush did not follow through on attacking Hussein, and became another advocate for war.
[Ed. note: what the FUCK does that mean???]
"You know he [George H.W. Bush] is the wrong father to appeal to in terms of strength. There is a higher father that I appeal to," Bush said.
[I.e., Prescott Bush?]

Rangel/Moon thing 

Honestly, what the hell is this?

Hot Off the Presses 

Want the latest from Iraq? Get it straight from the horse's mouth!

Know About the 'Mercenaries'? 

Dawkins writes:

Really good overview article about the private army firms working in Iraq. Reassuring to know that they're doing a great job over there!
Outsourcing the war
With more private contractors dying and disappearing in Iraq, some begin to question the rules of engagement.

By P.W. Singer

April 16, 2004 | WASHINGTON -- The killing of four American military contractors in Fallujah last week not only touched off a growing wave of violence but also raised concern about just how much of the mission has been outsourced to private firms. Private military contractors in Iraq are present in unprecedented numbers, more than 15,000, and they engage in a range of mission-critical activities -- often armed combat -- contrary to the U.S. military's own doctrine of how civilians should be employed in the field. Everything from handling military logistics and training the local army, to protecting key installations and escorting convoys has been turned over to a literal small army's worth of private troops.
Note: as with all Salon "premium" material, you can read it for free if you simply select the "Free Day Pass."

Terrorists to Influence Election 

Rice: U.S. Bracing for Terror Before Polls
Rice Says U.S. Concerned About Terrorism During Upcoming Election Season

WASHINGTON April 18 — The United States is bracing for possible terrorist attacks before the November presidential election, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said Sunday.

The opportunity for terrorists to try to influence the election, as was the case last month in Spain,
[of course no one bothers to question either the basic facts or the implications of that ole chestnut anymore]
appears to be an opportunity that would "be too good to pass up for them," Rice said.

Florida as the Next Florida
The New York Times
March 14, 2004

Florida's official line is that its machines are so carefully tested, nothing can go wrong. But things already have gone wrong. In a January election in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, the victory margin was 12 votes, but the machines recorded more than 130 blank ballots. It is simply not believable that 130 people showed up to cast a nonvote, in an election with only one race on the ballot. The runner-up wanted a recount, but since the machines do not produce a paper record, there was nothing to recount.

This past Tuesday, even though turnout was minimal, there were problems. Voters were wrongly given computer cards that let them vote only on local issues, not in the presidential primary. Machines did not work. And there were, no doubt, other mishaps that did not come to light because of the stunning lack of transparency around voting in the state. When a Times editorial writer dropped in on one Palm Beach precinct where there were reports of malfunctioning machines, county officials called the police to remove him.

General adopts Bush "style" for press conference 

speakingcorpse asks:

Unable to withstand consciousness of his own speech? Killed by the poison emitted from his own mouth?
U.S. General in Baghdad Nearly Faints During Press Conference

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq appeared to briefly lose consciousness during a news conference Saturday, bumping his face into a podium microphone. He left the room for a period but returned smiling and answered more questions.


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