Saturday, September 18

On Again, Off Again, On Again To Stay 

Ben & Terry
Originally uploaded by Snowball.

The Florida Supreme Court yesterday ruled 6-1 in favor of Nader and Peter Camejo appearing on the ballot. This year the Reform Party of Florida submitted Nader to the state as its candidate but the Florida Democratic Party and several individual voters challenged his certification as the Reform Party candidate.

The Democratic Party has gone after Nader by questioning the validity of signatures on his petitions, or sometimes disqualifying thousands of signatures by a technicality such as pages not being numbered. Often the State Democratic Election Officials contradict themselves by ordering Nader to do one thing and then disqualifying him because it's against the rules. Nader's response? Sue the bastards.

Though Snowball has endorsed noone yet this year, he sends his congratulations to Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo and all of the Nader campaign lawyers. The ruling by the Florida Supreme Court now sets a precedent that Nader's lawyers can use in 15 other pending court cases involving ballot access.

Is it slowly dawning on the Democrats that Nader might likely appear on the ballot in 40 states due to the fact that they're probably going to lose these court cases based on their unconstitutional actions?

Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe said in a statement that, "The fact that Ralph Nader secured a place on the Florida ballot by means of the Pat Buchanan Reform Party speaks for itself. In state after state, Nader has become an extension of the Republican Party and their corporate backers."

The Daily Travesty left repeated messages at the Democratic National Headquarters asking for a statement on why the Democratic Party had singled out Nader to attack when the Libertarian Party, Green Party, Constitutional Party and Socialist Workers' Party all had their presidential candidates on the Florida ballot. Snowball's messages were not returned.

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Friday, September 17

Links That Go Dead In The Middle Of The Night 

Over at the thememoryhole.org web site:

"On 21 September 2002, The Memory Hole posted an extract from an essay by George Bush Sr. and Brent Scowcroft, in which they explain why they didn't have the military push into Iraq and topple Saddam during Gulf War 1. Although there are differences between the Iraq situations in 1991 and 2002-3, Bush's key points apply to both.

But a funny thing happened. Fairly recently, Time pulled the essay off of their site. It used to be at this link:


which now gives a 404 error. If you go to the table of contents:


for the issue in which the essay appeared (2 March 1998), "Why We Didn't Remove Saddam" is conspicuously absent.

Because of this erasure, we're posting the entire essay below the portion we originally excerpted. Below that, you'll find a copy of the actual page from the magazine, courtesy of Bruce Koball and Boing Boing."

"Why We Didn't Remove Saddam"

George Bush [Sr.] and Brent Scowcroft
Time (2 March 1998)

[an excerpt follows]

.... We were disappointed that Saddam's defeat did not break his hold on power, as many of our Arab allies had predicted and we had come to expect. President Bush repeatedly declared that the fate of Saddam Hussein was up to the Iraqi people. Occasionally, he indicated that removal of Saddam would be welcome, but for very practical reasons there was never a promise to aid an uprising. While we hoped that popular revolt or coup would topple Saddam, neither the U.S. nor the countries of the region wished to see the breakup of the Iraqi state. We were concerned about the long-term balance of power at the head of the Gulf. Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in "mission creep," and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-cold war world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome....

(read the whole article: http://www.thememoryhole.org/mil/bushsr-iraq.htm )

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Get Out Of My Country 

The NYTimes alerts people to a little story coming our of Japan. Citibank, due to severe law-breaking, is being asked to leave:

"Japanese financial authorities announced Friday they would shut down Citibank's private banking business in the country after finding ``severe legal violations'' in its operations.

The Financial Services Agency ordered that private banking operations be suspended starting September 29, putting an end to all new transactions. The government said it plans to revoke Citibanks' private banking licenses in September of next year to discontinue that business entirely."

I'm sure it was just a little misunderstanding. Language problems and all that.

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Thursday, September 16

Bad Facts 

Walmart has bad facts, not bad spin, says NYTimes by way of the wonderful Spin of the Day:

"Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott recently said, 'We have not gotten our story out to the extent that we need to.' The head of the global super store told a retailing conference that Wal-Mart's bad reputation came from newspapers and television. But a New York Times editorial responded that 'if Wal-Mart wants to improve its image, it should focus less on shaping its message and more on changing the way it does business. ... These damaging news stories are not a product of bad spin, but bad facts. If Wal-Mart wants to do a better job in telling its story, it needs to work on having a better story to tell.'"

It goes on to talk about the new PR firms hired by Walmart to help with its bad facts, er, spin.

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Sunday, September 12

Bush Misses Fla. Deadline; Dem's say "No Problem" 

The St Petersburg Times notes that Bush missed his filing deadline in Florida, something that typically keeps any third party off the ballot:

"State law sets a Sept. 1 deadline for the governor to certify a list of presidential electors for each party's candidates.

But Sept. 1 was also the day President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were being nominated at their party' convention in New York. Consequently, some of their paperwork did not arrive at state elections headquarters until Sept. 2, a day after Gov. Jeb Bush certified the candidates for president."

This is a perfect opportunity for the Democrats... to cave in and let Bush get away with it. Florida is just one of those minor states that has little to do with anything, anyway. Here's what the Democrats say about it:

"To keep an incumbent president off the ballot in a swing state the size of Florida because of a technicality, I just don't think would be right," Maddox said."

Yes, it would be awful if the pristine voting system in Florida was tarnished by such a scandal. Everyone knows that Florida regards voting as a nearly sacred right. All candidates are always welcome, and everyoe is always encouraged to vote. Bush deserves so much more from Florida. He is our president after all, duly elected.... sort of...by Florida...except not...because of cheating and dirty tricks and legal wranglings and phony protestors and disenfranchisement.

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