Friday, February 6

Irony Department Files 

Now that Ricin will shut down mail to Congress, The president acts decisvely to protect the nation:

" President Bush asked Congress to eliminate an $8.2 million research program on how to decontaminate buildings attacked by toxins - the same day a poison-laced letter shuttered Senate offices."

Why? Ricin and other toxins are not really a problem.

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You Can't Write Your Congress Anymore 

It's too dangerous, you see. Ricin, you see. Prevents communication.

"Some lawmakers are now questioning whether it will ever be safe again to open and read unsolicited letters from their constituents.

Despite the flood of e-mails, faxes and telephone calls that Congress receives daily, handwritten and typed letters are still the main way members of the House and Senate correspond with the people who elected them."

Yes, even though no one was hurt and no one became sick, maybe we should stop allowing mail to come to Congress. Those letters just annoy us, anyway.

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Thursday, February 5

Cheney's Staff - Jail Time? 

Via Kos

"Federal law-enforcement officials said that they have developed hard evidence of possible criminal misconduct by two employees of Vice President Dick Cheney's office related to the unlawful exposure of a CIA officer's identity last year. The investigation, which is continuing, could lead to indictments, a Justice Department official said.

According to these sources, John Hannah and Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, were the two Cheney employees. 'We believe that Hannah was the major player in this,' one federal law-enforcement officer said. Calls to the vice president's office were not returned, nor did Hannah and Libby return calls.

The strategy of the FBI is to make clear to Hannah 'that he faces a real possibility of doing jail time' as a way to pressure him to name superiors, one federal law-enforcement official said."

Us? Not us. Couldn't have been us. Don't we have immunity if we do these sorts of things or something?

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Where's Ross Perot? (Nader anyone?) 

Reuters would like to know.

Now that it appears depressingly likely that the Democrats will choose as their presidential nominee a loser of grand impotence and botoxed splenditude in the guise of Sen. John Kerry, and equally the President is looking dismal both in foreign policy and economically at home, some secretly long for Ross Perot to jump into the race and run for President.

My feeling is that if Ross Perot ran, then Ralph Nader would too.

Dean will emerge as the tragic hero. His campaign supporters have vowed not to join other campaigns or ever work in Washington, D.C. Kerry would lose a huge bloc of energized young voters all over the country, if not the world where Dean's cult hero status is huge in the nations of both Italy and Japan. Kerry, on the other hand, is hugely popular in this country with dead voters.

Dean did something that the media suppressed. I heard it in his message to New Yorkers at Bryant Park during Dean's "Sleepless in Summer" tour. We did have the power and we still have the power because Dr. Dean gave us the power to make a change. As usual, the rich saw us coming and threw water on our masses. But we haven't gone away, we're just a little wet under the collar. We vow to fight on, but many will be uninspired by a leader as limp and lifeless as Kerry. To replace Gov. Howard Dean such a man would need a spark of "Catilinarian Energy" in order to be able to depose Bush. (In case you're wondering, Catiline was, in the late Roman Republic, an aristocrat who turned demagogue and made an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the republic while Cicero was a consul.

It's obviously not Kerry, too close to Cicero. Edwards doesn't do it for us either, too smarmy. Clark is an elephant in donkey's clothing. Nader's an old crank. Ross Perot is too funny. Clinton, Hillary that is, might be rolled out if Kerry dies mid-way through a speech, but five months of her screeching voice would drive millions to the dark side.

I frankly don't know anymore. Perhaps Bush is looking better these days to me.

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Wednesday, February 4

10% of Michigan Voters Are Dead 

In a disturbing article in the Michigan City News Dispatch ("Dead Voters Still Registered", January 28, 2004), readers learn that a dead person can remain on the voter registration rolls for ten years. One of the key reasons to getting state officials' endorsement is to get inside the system and get a hold of key voter registration data. If an individual were devious enough (a natural thing in politics), they could receive a voter registration list of every county and district in the state and cross-check it in a variety of ways: searching through databases of hospital records, bank records, credit records to see if the person is actually deceased or not. Then they could send in a group of supporters or round them up from the in-state pool of supporters and have them either show up twice to vote - once as their real self and then as the deceased individual. I've never done this before myself, but I can only guess this is one tactic to get your candidate the most votes in a close election. In fact, this problem is a worldwide phenomenon as the BBC reported in its story "One in seven Kenyan voters is dead" where an estimated 16% of voters are dead.

Paul D'Ambrosio, Database Editor for Asbury Park Press, sums up the easiest way to track down the dead, use government offices, in particular the Social Security Administration:

"Thankfully, there is the Social Security Administration. The SSA developed the Death Master File to keep a record of everyone who had a Social Security number and who have died since 1937. That translates into 40 million dead, or 19 9-track tapes at 6250 bpi. While the list is not perfect, it is the best there is if your state's vital statistic's department won't give you the time of day. In fact, the US General Accounting Office this summer praised the DMF as being the most accurate collection of death records in the US. Other departments, such as defense, routinely use the DMF to remove the dead from pension records."

So, if you're a political insider running for office, you have the ultimate advantage in any election, if you choose to use the dirtiest tricks ever imaginable.

I'm thinking of starting a web site about political dirty tricks, maybe call it: www.deadvotersforkerry.com

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Kerry or Edwards? 

Kos reads Kerry's dreams and sees a nightmare.

"In Kerry's nightmare world, Dean and Clark drop out. He doesn't match up favorably one-on-one versus Edwards. So today's muddy results (Clark wins one, Edwards wins one) was probably Kerry's best realistic outcome (short of winning every contest). It makes sure the field remains fractured."

So perhaps it will become Bush vs. Edwards. Our question becomes, can Bush, caught in lies, deceptions, kickbacks, rule-bending, and pandering to the extreme right, win against Edwards? Of course. Dirty tricks, terrorism, wave the flag... et voila. He's toast, even if we're hams.

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Monday, February 2

What To Do When You're Not Looking At Breasts 

Why not go to a Wal-Mart and a Blimpie's all in 1 for a shopping and eating experience. Blimpie's has just announced it will open in 100 Wal-Marts nationwide. Beginning in April, Blimpie's will open two outlets in Florida where shoppers don't mind buying merchandise with a little mayonnaise.

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Let's Talk About Important Matters 

Powell wants to see Janet's breast footage again. Quickly!

"The head of the Federal Communications Commission on Monday called the baring of Janet Jackson's breast during the Super Bowl halftime show 'deplorable' and said his agency will investigate.

'Like millions of Americans, my family and I gathered around the television for a celebration,' FCC Chairman Michael Powell said in a statement. 'Instead, that celebration was tainted by a classless, crass and deplorable stunt. Our nation's children, parents and citizens deserve better.

'I have instructed the commission to open an immediate investigation into last night's broadcast. Our investigation will be thorough and swift.' "

Thorough and swift. Ooh, baby.

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Have A Great Day! 

Bored with the media and the internet? Try doing something really interesting, read a book. Or if you can't afford the $16-$25 necessary to buy a paperback these days, read "In These Times" (2/16/2004 issue). They have an article on Mad Cow Disease, which was only discovered in cows beginning in 1985, but whose origins stem all the way back to 1755. By the way, Mad Cow Disease affects cows, the human strain is called TSE and usually affects cannibals. It's a fascinating disease. If you were a regular McDonald's food eater in the 1970s and '80s you may be the one of the over 40 billion lucky to have been served. Some day, possibly when you are older, your brain will turn into sponge and huge holes will form in it. You will go completely nuts and die a horrible death. If you were one of the lucky to not have been served, congratulations. Otherwise, "Have A Great Day!"

Advance preview of "How Now Mad Cow", In These Times 2/16/2004:

"...Since 1993, I have devoted numerous "First Stones" to mad cow and related diseases. Nearly every prediction -- and warning -- from scientists who are experts in this field has come to pass. Yet, by and large, the mainstream media have chosen to listen to the palliative pronouncements of government officials and industry flacks. With mad cow disease now established in the United States that may be changing.

Mad cow, first discovered in Great Britain in 1985, is a type of malady known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The disease gets its name from the sponge-like formations that occur in the brains of infected mammals. The sheep form of the disease, which has been recognized since 1755, is known as scrapie. In Britain, cattle contracted mad cow disease, known as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), by eating protein feed supplements that contained scrapie-infected sheep.

The human strain of TSE comes in several forms, including Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD), Kuru (a TSE that several decades ago plagued a population of New Guinea cannibals before changes in dietary laws), and new variant CJD (nvCJD), the form of the disease that comes from eating infected cattle.

The USDA has long known that mad cow disease posed a threat. However, department officials were worried about danger to the industry -- not the public. In 1991, the USDA prepared contingency plans to deal with the possibility that mad cow disease could rear its ugly head in the United States. To wit, it drew up a strategy paper titled "BSE Public Relations." That plan reads in part, "The mere perception that BSE might exist in the United States could have devastating effects on our domestic markets for beef and dairy." And it noted that the agricultural industry is "vulnerable to media scrutiny" regarding "the practice of feeding rendered ruminant products to ruminants and the risk to human health" that might stem from this practice."

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This Isn't Good 

Bird Flu in Europe?:

"Health officials were today investigating the possible spread of the bird flu to Europe after a suspected case was reported in Germany, while two more people died from the disease in Asia."

Definitely not good. Even for us bad guys.

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I Was Shot Four Times, I Killed Scores of Vietnamese - Please Elect Me 

I don't know quite how to respond to Kerry and Clark these days and their outdoing one another on the war issue, but if body counts and purple hearts are so important to being elected President, look no further, I have your men: Max Cleland, triple amputee Vietnam War Veteran, and Admiral James Stockdale, who was tortured and endured countless horrors at the hands of the North Vietnamese. What happened to these men when they returned home and entered politics? First, Sen. Max Cleland lost the reelection after a Republican-sponsored smear ad appeared comparing him to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, all because Ex.-Sen. Cleland opposed the Homeland Security Bill, which Bush vehemently opposed because the Democrats wrote it until he changed course 180 degrees and decided to support it after all. In 1992, Admiral James Stockdale was an independent candidate for Vice President of the United States as a running mate of Ross Perot. During the Vietnam War, he was shot down on his second combat tour over North Vietnam, and was the senior naval service prisoner of war in Hanoi for eight years -- tortured 15 times, in leg irons for two years, and in solitary confinement for four years. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, and among his 26 combat decorations are two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Distinguished Service Medals, four Silver Star Medals, and two Purple Hearts. In 1992, the media laughed him off the stage at the debate held between himself, Al Gore, and Vice President Dan Quayle. The embarassing exchanges between Mr. Gore and Quayle left Stockdale confused and frustrated by the level of shallow stupidity suffused into American Politics. Frankly, I don't really think Americans care about military service especially older Americans. They don't elect heroes and war veterans to be their leaders; instead, the American people turn against them in the end. The two-dimensional CNN-NBC-ABC-Fox spectacle of televised political debate and Republican smear ads works. We are a superpower, not a democracy, and debate is fueled by advertising. The insiders know this and they speak in soundbytes and sharp exchanges. Community is dead. Long live the era of politicians like Kerry and Clark using their veteran friends as props for TV.

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Bush Almost AWOL From Skull & Bones 

In an article about how chummy Kerry and Bush were at Yale together, the NY Times lets us in on a bit of info about Fearless Leader:

Friends of Mr. Bush say he almost joined another secret society, but in the end Prince Hal did what was expected.

As Bill Minutaglio writes in his biography of George W., "First Son," there was a knock on the future president's door at Yale on the night he had to decide. When he opened it, Mr. Minutaglio recounts, his father, then a congressman, was standing outside "asking that his first son do the right thing and join Skull and Bones — become a good man."

Just imagine. Finishing your fifth fifth of something, expecting a pizza delivery, then BAM! Dad is at the door demanding you join Skull & Bones. That sucks, dude!

So which was the other secret society that W. almost joined? I'm pretty certain it may have been Future Homemakers of America.

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