Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Stolen elections. Who knew?

There are already reports surfacing that electronic voting machines in Texas and Florida are “flipping” votes from Democrat to Republican candidates. It’s Déjà vu all over again. Every national election in America between 2000 and today has been mired in controversy, often related to voting machines, and the current experience indicates this election will be no different. The internet is thick with conspiracy theories, and now I will take this opportunity to add one more.

Here is an excerpt from Bob Woodward’s latest book “State of Denial.” The conversation took place in 1999.

“But there was also bad news about Bush. "For some reason, he thinks he's going to be president," Armitage told Powell. It was like there was some feeling of destiny. Bush talked as if it was a certainty, saying, "When I'm president..." Though not unusual for candidates to talk this way in speeches, Bush spoke that way privately with his advisers. It was as if Bush were trying to talk himself into it.”

Now a lot of people would dismiss Bush’s certainty about being president as a character trait (or flaw). Once he’s made up his mind about something, it then becomes reality in his head. His stubbornness has been displayed in many ways during his presidency from the Iraq war to global warming to tax cuts.

But could there be another explanation? This conversation happened about a year away from the November election of 2000. I won’t go down the list of problems with the touch-screen voting machines during that chaotic November day, but as more and more evidence accumulates related to how easy it is to breach the security of electronic voting machines and manipulate data, one has to wonder whether Bush’s certainty wasn’t based on more than positive thinking.

If, in fact, the electronic voting machines were tampered with prior to the 2000 election, it’s safe to say that a nationwide conspiracy of this magnitude wasn’t conceived and carried out on November 7. There had to be months of planning and coordination among the conspirators well before the machines were put to use. Could there have been communication, perhaps even collusion, between the machine hackers and Bush’s election team? As we know, several owners of companies that manufacture the touch-screen machines are big Republican supporters. The guy from Diebold bragged he would deliver Ohio for Bush.

Was Bush innocently willing himself to be president? Was he responding to the prophetic voice of God he claims to hear from time to time? Or did he know that preparations were underway to assure his presidency? If the Republicans manage to steal this upcoming election, and indications are they are actively trying to do just that, we will never know.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Republican Animalia

Sheep – Always drive the speed limit. Not overly religious, but go to church because that is what’s expected of them. Don’t question authority. They are followers. Susceptible to simplistic emotional appeals and buzzwords (“No new taxes.” “Fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here,” etc.). They don’t like to have their beliefs or prejudices challenged.

Swine – The rich who believe they deserve everything they’ve got. Rationalize their wealth and privilege in many ways, more and more often through religion. Have little to no respect for the less well off. “If I can do it, anybody can do it.” Consume without conscience. Social Darwinists. Hate environmentalists.

Vultures – Loud, obnoxious, bald-headed scavengers who are content to let everyone else do the hard work. They love the military, guns, and tough-talk, but when asked to kill dinner, or serve in a combat situation, they have other things to do. They have no problem letting the young and the poor make the kill, or be killed, and then exploiting the situation to their advantage.

Snails – Slow moving slugs out of pace with the rest of society. Live in their own world. Drive 55 in the left lane in their rusted out American cars. They carry their armor with them as if constantly expecting to be attacked. Dull witted and paranoid. Literalists who love slapstick humor and don’t get satire. Often getting stepped on by those up the food chain but can never grasp who’s doing the crushing.

Flies – Flies are born and grow up in things like decaying flesh, animal dung and pools of stagnant water. Republican flies are born and grow up in houses with decaying minds, racist attitudes and religious intolerance. As adults, they prefer the smell of bullshit and dead, decaying ideas. They are highly irritating as they buzz in your face (and some will bite) and can make enjoying the outdoors impossible. Their filth-covered appendages can lead to the spread of ignorance and hatred, which they seem to enjoy.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

If you think these guys represent family values, I’d hate to see your family

A funny letter to the editor in today’s Minneapolis Star-Tribune, my hometown paper. “I still feel the American people will have the good sense to keep Republicans in control of the House and Senate. If family values voters get out and vote, that will easily be accomplished.” I would like to know whom in the House and Senate represents “family values” to this letter writer.

Would that be pedophile Mark Foley?

The Republican members of Congress who kept quiet about Mark Foley’s activities?

The greedy, self-serving Randy (Duke) Cunningham?

The many partners-in-crime of Jack Abramoff?

Philanderer and woman-beater Don Sherwood?

The racist George Allen?

The corrupt, power-mad Tom DeLay?

The sleazy, opportunistic Bill Frist?

The bribe-taking Bob Ney?

Maybe the letter writer meant Mafia family values.

More examples of compassionate conservatism

After seeing a commercial with Parkinson’s sufferer Michael J. Fox advocating increased stem cell research, Rush Limbaugh said, “I stated when I saw the ad, I was commenting to you about it, that he was either off the medication or he was acting. He is an actor, after all."

Immediately after their televised debate, Wyoming incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Barbara Cubin walked to Libertarian candidate Thomas Rankin, who had criticized her for receiving contributions from Tom Delay, and said,
"If you weren't sitting in that chair, I'd slap you across the face." Rankin is disabled with multiple sclerosis and uses an electric wheelchair.

From talk-show lunatic Michael Savage: “I can just imagine them at an Ethiopian restaurant what they must carry on. Do liberals go to an Ethiopian restaurant? Could you imagine they're eating food from that area? What do they eat down in Ethiopia? I never went in one. There was one in San Francisco. Why would you eat in an Ethiopian restaurant? The people down there have flies around their eyes. What would they -- what kind of cuisine comes from Eretea [sic]? I never went into an Ethiopian restaurant. The Ethiopians come here to eat American food. You don't need to wind up with flies in your baby eye -- baby's eye.”

Spread the word

Let’s create a new epithet: Limbaugh. When ridiculing a person for being stupid, instead of calling him a moron or a Homer, call him a Limbaugh. Example: “Hey Limbaugh, try using your turn signals.” Or “He’s the biggest Limbaugh I’ve ever met.” Come on. It’ll be fun.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pelosi wrong on impeachment

In an interview with 60 minutes, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that impeachment of Bush is off the table if Dems win big in November. She thinks the Republicans would "love the waste of time" of impeachment proceedings.

Waste of time? Bringing a criminal to justice is a waste of time? So once again, from my own party, politics trumps what's right. Pelosi's logic is clear enough. Voters are tired of partisan bickering and may not vote Democratic if they think the next two years will be taken up with impeachment hearings instead of the peoples' work. Is this true? Well, we have one example in recent history from which to draw.

Let's look at the impeachment of Bill Clinton: a ridiculously trivial offense of playing "where's the cigar?" shameless, hyperbolic charges by Congress; proceedings at odds with public opinion; a monumental waste of time and money that accomplished nothing. So it really hurt the Republicans. Right? Wrong. One year later, admittedly with help from the Supreme Court, Bush walked into the White house with both houses of Congress in his back pocket.

Then there is the highly irritating fact that George W. Bush has never been held accountable for anything in his life. Not for the wild partying of a privileged brat, not for using his family's position to duck going to Vietnam and getting him into Yale, not for dereliction of duty in the service, not for a variety of bad business deals, nothing. And now, with Pelosi's help, he's not going to be held accountable for purposefully attacking the Constitution and claiming powers that are not his to claim.

There is no doubt in my mind that Bush would be found guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors if impeached, and I think he knows that, too. There have been a number of signs recently that Bush, with the help of his family, is preparing for the eventuality of impeachment or jail time after his presidency is over. One-way tickets to Paraguay, please.

Pelosi should not have made such a definitive statement about impeachment. Who knows what administration crimes will be uncovered if there are real hearings in Congress?

Would somebody somewhere please hold George Bush accountable?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Weapons of Mass Disappearance

What do you fear? AIDS? Nuclear holocaust? Dick Cheney? Forget it. The greatest threat to civilization as we know it is now reality.

The Cloak of Invisibility.

Scientists have created a cloak that can make physical objects invisible. According to an article in the most recent issue of Science, “In their first successful experiment, researchers from the United States and England were able to cloak a copper cylinder.

“It's like a mirage, where heat causes the bending of light rays and cloaks the road ahead and behind an image of the sky.

"’We have built an artificial mirage that can hide something from would-be observers in any direction,’ said cloak designer David Schurig, a research associate in Duke University's electrical and computer engineering department.”

Oh, the horror. This invention has the potential to turn human society into absolute and utter chaos. Think for a moment. Ask yourself: “What would I do if I could be invisible?” Now, as horrible and perverted as that might be, consider if Jeffrey Dahmer or Pat Robertson or that crazy little guy from North Korea had cloaks of invisibility. What if Al Qaeda had access to cloaks? What if CIs fell into the hands of college fraternity brothers or Republicans?

Do you see the magnitude of the threat? You would never feel safe again. You’d never know when someone was watching you. Not that you or I have anything to hide, but you can bet others do. Privacy would be all but eliminated.

There is only one solution other than mass hysteria. We must demand that these same scientists who invented the Cloak of Invisibility work simultaneously to create the Anti-Cloak of Invisibility. A device that can detect people wearing the cloak. This must be done.

If we fail in this effort, we will never be able to look ourselves in the mirror again…because we’d be invisible. But you know what I mean. Cloaks of Invisibility must never see the light of day. Aaargh. Sorry.

Maybe there are uses for CIs after all.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bumper stickers for the deaf, dumb and blind

Bumper stickers for the 30 percent of Americans who in poll after poll think George Bush is doing a good job as President.

I’m a moron and I vote

Bush/Cheney 2008

I just don’t give a shit!

I support our Presidant

God, Guns and George

If you can read this, thank George Bush

Yes, the rich are better than me

He may be the village idiot, but he’s our village idiot

Na, na, na, na…I can’t hear you…na, na, na…

I voted for Bush twice and I don’t make mistakes

Jesus voted for Bush. He told me. Honest.

Intelligence is overrated.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Plan B: A midnight flight to Paraguay

Well, this is interesting. According to a South American news source, the Bush family has bought nearly 99,000 acres of farm land in northern Paraguay, between Brazil and Bolivia.

Golly, what could that be all about? We’re not talking about a little hacienda with a few chickens in the yard. By my calculations, that’s an area of land larger than the state of Rhode Island.

But let’s get honest. Paraguay. Argentina. Havens for fascists and despots. I think Poppy is reading his tea leaves and preparing for first son to have sanctuary in a dictator-friendly country. Hey, it never hurts to have a plan B.

With all that acreage, Bush could have his own mini-country where he and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Rice can all live in the lap of luxury with the money that you know is being sent to offshore banks as you read this. They can make the peasants serfs and live out their long wished-for monarchy. Princess Condaleeza.

El Presidente Bush. It has a…natural ring to it.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Did Bush know what Foley was up to?

It now appears that the White House new Foley was radioactive as far back as 2004. Foley emailed brother Jeb wondering why he was getting the cold shoulder from Bush. The essence of his whining was ‘How come I’m never invited to stand with the President when he comes to Florida?’ Good question. Why indeed, unless they knew what Foley was up to? And if they did know, we can add the White House to the growing list of pedophile enablers.

The Republicans involved in the cover up make me sick. They left kids at risk so they could maintain power in Congress. That’s a real bucketful of family values if your family is the Mafia. The morally confused Rethugs would be more than happy to put some poor schmuck in jail for smoking a joint in his living room, yet when it’s one of their own no transgression, including molesting children, is too damaging.

How in the hell do they live with themselves?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pssst. Blame the Dems. Pass it on.

Bill O’Reilly claims that North Korea is “causing trouble” in order to influence the November election, presumably in the Dems favor. Dennis Hastert and others have asserted that the Foley issue was timed to go public in order to benefit Democratic candidates. Numerous wingnut pundits claim that every election cycle Al Qaeda members take time out from their bomb making duties to root for Democrats. Everyone hates conspiracy theories unless it’s their conspiracy theory. That’s Going Too Far! has cataloged several other accusations making the rounds of the Right Wing spin-o-sphere:

• The head veterinarian at Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom is suggesting that African elephants have vasectomies to control overpopulation. He has invented a 5-foot tool he claims can do the job. The Republican National Committee dispatched a memo today arguing that, “This radical procedure, without the animal’s consent by the way, is intended to symbolically castrate the beloved symbol of our party and is a blatant attempt to insert voodoo practices into the upcoming election. Snip the elephant, a Republican crumbles. We won’t stand for it.”
• Republican senatorial candidate from Minnesota Mark Kennedy claims that the three straight losses by the Minnesota Twins in their playoff games with the Oakland As was a Democratic “fix” to take attention away from moral Midwest values and focus the electorate on the liberal, anything-goes San Francisco Bay Area. “These Democrats will do anything to win in November, and they don’t care at all if they destroy the great American game of baseball to do it. Somebody gave the As extra mojo, and it sure wasn’t Dick Cheney.”
• Dennis Miller has charged that his failing career as a conservative comic is the result of a coordinated underground attack by Democratic operatives. “It’s all so obvious,” noted Miller. “The lack of work, the shows that bombed, there really is only one explanation, and that is Dem dirty work. I’m as funny as I ever was, maybe funnier, but I can’t get a mall opening. They’re very afraid of me.”

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Outing the October Surprise

Everyone’s making predictions about the Rove/Bush October surprise. War with Iran? A terrorist attack on U.S. soil? Capturing Bin Laden? While all of these prognostications have some merit, “That’s Going Too Far! has received some scintillating inside info about the real pre-election blockbuster.

George Bush will come out of the closet.

It’s the era of outing and with so many top Republicans turning out to be gay, Bush will join the club with an announcement prior to November 7.

The spin?

If you’ve ever seen the 1997 comedy “In and Out,” you’ll remember that Kevin Kline plays a small-town English teacher who is beloved by everyone until he is forced out of the closet. Coming out ruins his wedding (to the hilarious Joan Cusack) and turns the principal of his school against him. However, at a school assembly, students and townspeople come to Kevin’s aid by all declaring “I’m gay,” effectively blunting the stigma of gayness.

Hence, George Bush will stand up and say, “I’m gay.” His (Rove’s) reasoning is that it will 1) take the focus off of the Foley scandal, 2) generate sympathy for him, Hastert and others, and 3) put his name in the headlines for weeks.

It will be another brilliant Rovian tactic of attacking one of the Democrats’ strengths and disarming it. What can the Democrats do? Ridicule Bush? All they can do is sympathize and praise him for his courage. It’s going to turn a Democratic slam dunk into a Republican rout.

Immediately after the election, the White House will announce that Bush has undergone an operation at Walter Reed that completely restored his heterosexuality. Viola. Homosexuality can be cured.

Are these bastards good or what?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Brain farts

Liberals look at the facts and adjust their worldview. Conservatives look at their worldview and adjust the facts.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Limbo not in limbo anymore

The Pope just abolished Limbo. Not the “How-low-can-you-go,” back-snapping dance popular in the sixties. This is Limbo, the after-death destination for good persons who died before the resurrection of Jesus and unbaptized infants.

Damn it.

Limbo was my loophole. My Plan B. Okay, I’m not Catholic. I’m not even Christian, but I am half Italian, which means my Catholic creds go back generations. And if you haven’t been baptized, you can’t be a Catholic, but you can get into Limbo. Come my personal judgment day, I was going to ride that train to the station.

“Hell? Uh, uh. I’ve got a ticket to Limbo.”

I have no idea what I’d do there or how long my stay would be. To me, Limbo sounded like a layover in Des Moines. Not a lot to do, quiet, lousy weather, but not the worst place you could be by far. Everyone would be issued a big calendar and diary.

“Day 4,264. No resurrection. Made brownies and watched final episode of ‘The Bachelor’.”

One can certainly imagine the conversation centuries ago that got the Limbo ball rolling.

“Holy Father, I am here on behalf of my King, who seeks the Pontiff’s support in his upcoming battle with the eastern hordes, and who will send a sizable fortune to guarantee such a commitment. However, the King has one question he would like answered before this deal is consummated. Is there no recourse for a good and honest unbaptized man after death other than Heaven or Hell? Something in between, perhaps?

“How sizable a fortune are we talking about?”

So Limbo is history and a person’s options after dying are…limited. But wait, Catholic doctrine has more loopholes in it than a Congressional tax bill. Limbo may gone, but there’s still purgatory. More Salina, Kansas than Des Moines, but I’ll take it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Foley Fiasco

Will the Foley Fiasco be enough to wake up a slumbering electorate to the criminal enterprise known as the Republican party? Will it serve to separate honest conservatives (there have to be a few) from the current mafiacons who work in the shadow of the elephant to line their pockets and run their scams?

I am becoming more and more convinced that those who represent the Republican party in Washington are criminals in the literal sense who really have no understanding of, nor care about, public service. De Lay, Abramoff, Ney and others were the gumbas who got overly greedy and dipped into the cookie jar one too many times, but their concept of politics as a money-making venture runs like blood in the veins of this administration.

Foley is one sick puppy, but the cover-up is what we should all be concerned about. Like all common criminals, the instinctive reaction of Hastert, et al, to having a pedophile in their midst was to cover up, conceal and dissemble. That they should force Foley to quit for the safety of the pages never crossed their dark, dank little minds. The Republicans in Congress are not good and honorable people.

There could be more revelations before this is over. As usual, the mainstream press is doing everything it can to excuse, forgive and forget the story, but this may be the rising tsunami that finally overwhelms the current ship of state and sends the rats in Washington scurrying for their lives.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Pawlenty. Hatch. Taxes. The governor's race in Minnesota

I envision Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty getting up every morning, pouring himself a cup of Joe and going to his computer to check on the day’s talking points from Comrade Rove. The Timster barely has to glance at the e-mail, however, because he knows what it will say, as it has every day for the past umpteen years — TAXES.

Pawlenty, like all good Republicans running for office, is hammering the issue of taxes. He won’t raise ‘em. His opponent, Mike Hatch will. End of story. Perhaps the only other single word in all of American politics with as much emotional bang as “taxes” is “communist.” I just crossed myself, and I’m not even Catholic.

Yes, Repugs own taxes. Every election, they go to the electorate pool, slap a few dollar bills on a hook, and cast away. And every year the voters bite hard and bite often. Like carp with brains the size of a period, people can’t seem to stop themselves from taking the bait.

Republicans want voters to believe that taxes are a socialist invention, and, to an extent, that is correct. But when you take this idea to its logical conclusion, “family” must be straight out of Das Kapital. A family is, after all, a group of people who work as a unit, each sacrificing some individual goals and desires for the good of the whole (theoretically speaking, of course). The family is a socialist enterprise. Yet Repugs cannot make the simple leap necessary to realize that what’s good for the family is good for the community, the state and the nation. Shared sacrifice.

Taxes are the relatively small sacrifice we pay for the good of the whole. In Minnesota, we pay higher taxes than many other states. I have lived in other states, and, when I compare the schools, highways, snow removal, etc., I am convinced it’s worth it. My fantasy (the one that is PG) is to take busloads of Taxpayer League of Minnesota members and their families to Alabama or Mississippi and force them to live there a year. Let their children experience the public schools in a state with low taxes. Let the I-hate-taxes group try and get the social services they need or the medical care they take for granted here. Do they really want Minnesota to emulate Alabama?

The “No New Taxes” chant from Pawlenty will grow louder and louder as election day approaches, drowning out other substantive issues that deserve discussion. Unfortunately, like negative advertising, it works. Hopefully, Hatch will be able to convince Minnesotans (who are better educated than many other Americans because they have good schools) that you get what you pay for. End of story.