Friday, October 29, 2004

Al Qaida Never Attacked Sweden

More on the Osama Video:

Al-Jazeera airs videotape by Bin Laden

Oct. 29, 2004 | Cairo, Egypt -- Osama bin Laden, reading a statement to the American people in a new videotape aired Friday, directly admitted for the first time that he ordered the Sept. 11 attacks and said "the best way to avoid another Manhattan" was to stop threatening Muslims' security.

It was the first footage of the al-Qaida leader to surface in more than a year. The video, broadcast on Al-Jazeera, showed bin Laden with a long gray beard, wearing traditional white robes, a turban and a golden cloak reading from papers in front of a plain, brown curtain.

There was no immediate way to authenticate the tape or say when it was made, although it did refer to next week's presidential elections in the United States.

"We decided to destroy towers in America," bin Laden said, referring to the World Trade Center.

"God knows that it had not occurred to our mind to attack the towers, but after our patience ran out and we saw the injustice and inflexibility of the American-Israeli alliance toward our people in Palestine and Lebanon, this came to my mind," he said.

He accused President Bush of "misleading" the American people since the 2001 suicide airline hijackings that hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

"Your security is not in the hands of (Democratic candidate John) Kerry or Bush or al-Qaida. Your security is in your own hands," bin Laden said.

"To the U.S. people, my talk is to you about the best way to avoid another disaster," he said. "I tell you: security is an important element of human life and free people do not give up their security."

"If Bush says we hate freedom, let him tell us why we didn't attack Sweden, for example. It is known that those who hate freedom do not have dignified souls, like those of the 19 blessed ones," he said, referring to the 19 hijackers.

"We fought you because we are free .. and want to regain freedom for our nation. As you undermine our security we undermine yours."

The image of bin Laden reading a statement was dramatically different from the few other videos of the al-Qaida leader that have emerged since the Sept. 11 attacks.

In the last videotape, issued Sept. 10, 2003, bin Laden is seen walking through rocky terrain with his top deputy Ayman al-Zawahri, both carrying automatic rifles. In a taped message issued at the same time, bin Laden praises the "great damage to the enemy" on Sept. 11 and mentions five hijackers by name.

In December 2001, the Pentagon released a videotape in which bin Laden is shown at a dinner with associates in Afghanistan on Nov. 9, 2001, saying the destruction of the Sept. 11 attacks exceeded even his "optimistic" calculations.

But in none of his previous messages, audio or video, did bin Laden directly state that he ordered the attacks.

The last audiotape purportedly from bin Laden came in April. The speaker on the tape, which CIA analysts said likely was the al-Qaida leader, offered a truce to European nations if they pull troops out of Muslim countries. The tape referred to the March 22 assassination by Israel of Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin.

Al-Zawahri, bin Laden's Egyptian deputy, has spoken on three recent audiotapes that emerged on June 11, Sept. 9 and Oct. 1 this year. In the latest, he called on young Muslims to strike the United States and its allies.

Osama on Video

I'm watching MSNBC right now and OBL has released a new video.

So far, they are saying it contains no terrorist threats and the White House is not going to raise the terrorist alerts. They had knowledge of this before the press.

Osama says security is not in the hands of Bush and Kerry, but in our own hands and to not touch their security. He also said that the terrorists don't hate our freedom, as Bush keeps saying. He does talk about the elections and election fraud in Florida. He also slips in that the Bush administration resembles corrupt mideast governments.

Not sure what to believe here, but I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Its the Confetti, Stupid

I love it. The republicans look at the malfunctioning baloons at Boston's DNC and say its clearly a metaphor for the Kerry campaign. Looking back, they were fairly accurate. The month after the democratic convention was horrible for Kerry, his campaign nearly coming off at the wheels. Democrats were tearing their hair out and centimeters away from releasing the towel from their fingertips.

If party tricks are metaphors for polical campaigns, then today had one hell of a whopper. The Drudge Report has the scoop:

BUSH EVENT IN NEW HAMPSHIRE: Event workers had been told to fire off confetti pods when Bush said, 'God Bless'... his normal closing line. But 5 minutes before the end of his speech, Bush offered a "God Bless" to Arlene Howard, mother of George Howard a Port Authority of New York/New Jersey Police Officer killed in the World Trade Center... BLAM!!!!! Everyone first ducked -- hard -- then looked up to see confetti falling. Bush looked momentarily stunned, then plain unhappy, then just went on with his speech as the confetti rained to the floor of the Verizon Wireless Arena...

A clear metaphor for the Bush campaign. Off message, off balance and shockingly disturbing.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Transcripts From Summit County Ohio

This is a must read (Akron Journal story) and kudos to for alerting all readers everywhere.

Years and years ago, my maternal grandfather was a Summit County deputy sheriff. He had been a firefighter for the city of Akron, retired, and took a job as a deputy sheriff. He was a big guy, huge, powerful, some might even say a tad on the grumpy side (I can say not so nice to 10 year old boys playing with rocks and when one "accidently" hit his car...leaving a tiny almost imperceptical scratch...well enough said).

I still have his sheriff jacket.

My gramps is in the football Hall of Fame. The reason is he was on the Akron Redpeppers, the second professional football team ever (the reason the hall of fame is in Canton is because it is home to the first pro team, the Canton Bulldogs). My brother has the team photo of the Redpeppers used in the Hall of Fame that has gramps and his brother, my great-uncle, in the picture (gramps played, great-uncle was a manager of some sort).

Gramps was a life-long Republican. So are most of my cousins, aunts, etc. on my mom's side. Ohio has had only one president, and he was a Republican, so there is a tad of generational, "we are Republicans", kinda thing going on in Ohio. People would do well to remember that. Of course, people would do well to remember that Ohio is also the home of Kent state, where they gunned down "dangerous" college students for daring to criticize a Republican president in May of 1970....hmmm....

But I have a feeling gramps would have had little time or patience for the crap that Summit County Republicans are trying to pull in the election of 2004. I am quite sure he would have had none of it. Having grown up with Republicans all around me, I learned that ideas matter, and maybe even more, behavior (such as personal responsibility, repsect for law, etc.) matters. Heck, it matters a lot.

So my dismay at the behavior of the current crop of Summit county Republicans in trying to "suppress" the vote by challenging voter registration is all too genuine.

I think I can state fairly that the behavior of Republicans in 2004 (well, ever since 1994 if the truth be told) is a disgrace and the blame for this goes directly to the party's leadership. If they condone it, either openly or by silence, then the fish is rotting from the head. I blame Bush and his cromies for turning the Republican party from one of loyal opposition to one of dysfunctional tendencies...using fascist tactics to cling to power. It makes me sick to my stomach. He has to go and the party needs a cleansing of a kind rarely seen since the great purges in the 1930's (of course I am not advocating rounding up all the little Sean Hannity's in the US and sending them to Siberia, but certainly denying them platforms from which to spew their hateful un-American rhetoric isn't too much to ask is it?).

A tip of a respectful hat to the Republicans on the County Election Board who publically diasscoiated themselves from the type of behavior Bush and his minions are actively encouraging.

Here, for your perusal, is the transcripts of the Summit County Election Board Hearing:

Mr. PRY: Ms. Miller, you filed a challenge to the voting residence of Catherine Ann Herold, who lives at 238 30th Street Northwest, Barberton, Summit County, Ohio; is that correct?

MS. MILLER: I did.

MR. PRY: And have you ever been to that residence?


MR. PRY: Do you know Catherine Ann Herrold?

MS. MILLER: No, I don't.

MR. PRY: You have indicated in this challenge form that the person - that you believe that she does not live at that residence; is that correct?

MS. MILLER: That's correct.

MR. PRY: And what is the basis for you making this challenge?

MS. MILLER: That was my impression that these items that I signed were for people whose mail had been undeliverable for several times, and that they did not live at the residence.

MR. PRY: Did you personally send any mail to Ms. Herrold?

MS. MILLER: No, I did not.

MR. PRY: Have you seen any mail that was returned to Ms. Herrold?

MS. MILLER: No, I have not.

MR. PRY: Do you have any personal knowledge as we stand here today that Ms. Herrold does not live at the address at 238 30th Street Northwest?

MS. MILLER: Only that which was my impression; that their mail had not been able to be delivered.

MR. PRY: And who gave you that impression?

MS. MILLER: Attorney Jim Simon.

MR. PRY: And what did --

MS. MILLER: He's an officer of the party.

MR. PRY: An officer of which party?

MS. MILLER: Republican party.

MR. PRY: Where did you complete this challenge form at?

MS. MILLER: My home.

MR. PRY: What did Mr. Simon tell you with respect to Ms. Herrold's residence?

MS. MILLER: That the mail had come back undeliverable several times from that residence.

MR. PRY: And you never saw the returned mail?

MS. MILLER: No, I did not.

MR. PRY: Now, you've indicated that you signed this based on some personal knowledge.

MR. HUTCHINSON: (Joseph F. Hutchinson, Jr. Summit County Board of Elections) No

MR. ARSHINKOFF: (Alex R. Arshinkoff, Summit County Board of Elections) Reason to believe. It says, "I have reason to believe." It says it on the form.

MR. JONES: It says, "I hereby declare under penalty of election falsification, that the statements above are true as I verily believe."

MR. ARSHINKOFF: It says here, "I have reason to believe."

MR. HUTCHINSON: It says what it says.

MR. ARSHINKOFF: You want her indicted, get her indicted.

MR. PRY: That may be where it goes next.

MR. HUTCHINSON: Yeah, give it a try.

MR. MORRISON: I'm going to enter an objection.

MR. JONES: Can we have you name?

MR. MORRISON: Yes. Jack Morrison. I've just been informed by Mr. Pry that an indictment may flow out of this, and therefore I'm instructing Ms. Miller to exercise her privilege against self-incrimination. She will not answer any further questions.

MR. PRY: There's no basis for this challenge.

MR. JONES: Since she's here, we're going to allow Ms. Herrold share with us -- thank you, Ms. Miller.

MS. MILLER: May I sit down?


As if you needed another reason, now you have one. Get to the polls and vote for Kerry.

Behavior of this type cannot be rewarded in any fashion.

When in Doubt, Blame it on the Troops

After a day of Bush criticizing Kerry for demoralizing our troops, Bush's super surrogate, Rudy Guiliani, takes it a step further:

The president was cautious the president was prudent the president did what a commander in chief should do. No matter how you try to blame it on the president the actual responsibility for it really would be for the troops that were there. Did they search carefully enough? Didn't they search carefully enough?

The excuse president has his excuse surrogates in place. Watch the video.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Fuck You America, Love G. Dubya

George Bush is caught on tape during his years as Texas Govenor. Is this how the leader of a state and the President should act? Maybe I'm nitpicking here, but next to David Letterman's video, this just goes to show that Bush is "off the hook." He doesn't think seriously about democracy nor is he sincere about values.

Hell, I've given a camera a bird or two in my life time, but I also smoke pot, drink and have a pretty fucking dirty vocabulary. Maybe I should run for leader of the free world...

And Lynn Cheney's mad at Kerry for calling her daughter a lesbian. I'll check the lesbian daughter jab and raise the GOP a "Dubya Fuck You."

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

My Electoral Vote Prediction: Kerry 370 - Bush 168

Kerry 370 - Bush 168

My methodology:

Any state that has poll numbers for Bush below 50% one week before election went into the Kerry column.

In that case, Kerry carries the following "battleground" states: MN, IA, WI, PA, VA, WV, OH, FL, AR, MO, NM, AZ, NV, OR, WA. CO. (A good place to play around with this is "vote tracker" at the LA Times, I recommend a visit.)

I know, I know, one or two of you will freak out if Kerry wins Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Missouri, etc. But Bush has had 4 years to build support. If he is under 50% in polling in all of those states, do you think people need 4 more years to get to know him better?

Only way he wins any of these states is through voter suppression, and with record numbers of new voters and highly motivated Democratic GOTV efforts, I think in a week people will call me prescient.

Your thoughts?

Monday, October 25, 2004

A Must See Post for Purposes of Clarity

From Abu Aardvark:

The Election Made Simple

Vote for this or against it.
It really isn't that complicated.
The world is watching. The world wants to know which America is the real America: the one which offers a vision of a better world, a more liberal and free world, a safer and more just world... or the one in this picture, a world brought to you by George Bush and his administration and for which no-one of any consequence has been held accountable.
Vote for one.

Two Huge Stories to Carry Us to Victory in November

Number One: Josh Marhsall at Talking Points Memo is a must read for all the juicy details on the al Qa Qaa cache of high grade explosives.

This is just stunning. One more reason to join the freindly family of the reality-based community. Somethings you just can't take on faith alone. Bush's word is one of them.

This is incompetence on a grand scale. Here's a good question to ask yourself when the curtain closes and you are ready to cast your ballot...."did any of this nasty stuff kill any of our military?"

The painfully obvious answer is yes. So, if the answer is yes, how can anyone in their right mind vote for four more years of gross negligence?

Number Two: The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court is dying. I heard on NPR this afternoon from Ms. Totenberg that the procedure he had done was extreme and when statistics are looked at for who gets this procedure done, the morbidity rate is very high. My guess is he won't last long. He is 79 years old and was appointed to the court by Nixon in 1972.

Why is this story important to the election? It brings to the forefront of the undecided voter's mind that the court is in play. In addition to Requinst, I would guess 2 or maybe even 3 more will retire in the next 4 years. Kerry could appoint up to 4 justices in his first term. I highly doubt this type of news would push undecideds into the Bush column. Especially not with all the talk the media will be doing about story number one above in the next week.

In short...I say once again....Kerry wins big....not even close.

Has the Kool-Aid Finally Worn Off?

I keep reading about Republican governors, senators, and lots of Republican newspapers endorsing Kerry. Any guesses on the impact of this? I feel as if the long national coma is about to abate and people will see GW for who he is. I remember my first time in the voting booth. All the ideology and party loyalty went right out the window. Suddenly, it is you, the candidates, and the best interests of the nation. Speaking as one who has voted all over the political map, I feel very confident that when confronted with their conscience and a closed curtain, people will vote GW out of office. Kerry wins, but not in a squeaker, this is not 2000. Kerry wins big. I have been saying this since April and I still remain confident.