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Odessa, Ocala… same thing…

This week’s visit to Pravda (I think we missed a visit or two back there) gives us a mini-treasure trove. We’ll start with a venue whose “free and fair elections” are under attack, warranting hundreds of OSCE observers (and thousands of local ones) who, it is feared, the local regime, which uses its control of a biased state media in its own favor, will not allow near polling stations, or especially vote counting. It does trouble one that the Ukraine may prove to be as corrupt a third-world style banana republic, as, say, Florida, but so sayeth our State Department...

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In the “you can fool some of the people all of the time” department…

Maverick pollster John Zogby tells us that in a Zogby/Reuters three day tracking poll, with John Kerry having safely creamed the President in three out of three debates, the President has opened up a four point national lead on Senator Kerry. In particular, more undecideds are breaking towards the President– which is, of course, good news for him (and bad news for everyone else). This latest tracking poll puts third-party spoiler Ralph Nader at a comfortable 1.1%, more than enough to swing the balance in any number of neck and neck states, especially Florida redux (though honestly, anyone who doesn’t...

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Butterfly Black Box

In a comment below, reader Sarah asks whay sort of October surprise/dirty trick Karl Rove has up his sleeve now that the debates are over. Well, as usual, Palm Beach County tells us pretty much all we need to know: Florida’s electronic voting machines just don’t work under conditions of heat or humidity (or frequently, at all). Got that? A state famous for its heat and humidity has installed a balloting system that malfunctions… under conditions of heat and humidity. After 2000, many Americans lost confidence in our electoral system. Let’s just say, a lot of indications like this are...

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The Ruckus in the Cactus

I must say, showing up as a “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robot” in the first two or three rounds cost Kid Kerry some points, although based on scoring by the fifth and sixth round, your talking dog would have ultimately awarded a split decision to Kid Kerry over No Gentleman George in last night’s presidential debate in Tempe, AZ. Frankly, I resent having to listen to Kerry at all (thank you Iowa), but making me hear his stump speech bullshit in response to an easy question that presented big-time scoring opportunities made me want to puke. Worse, Bush came right...

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I’m asking nicely…

Iraqi interim premier Iyad Allawi suggested that he and the mighty Iraqi military would launch its own operation against the good people of Fallujah if they did not turn over terrorist mastermind al-Zarqawi. Yes, he said at first, he would ask nicely, but not to make him mad, lest he have to go all Shiite on the mostly Sunni population of Fallujah (sight of the dragging of the corpses of four American contract workers last year, and lots of other nasty insurgent activity, and a city largely abandoned to the locals by the American occupation force). I guess asking nicely...

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More Happy Happy Talky Talky

Massoud Barzani, the effective political leader of the autonomous Kurdish population in Iraq, has said that the Kurds will fight for the (oil rich) city of Kirkuk, if necessary. Basically, this is sort of a microcosm of the big picture in Iraq. Sunnis are the principal “insurgents” for two reasons: (1) they know that the Shia majority will not only invoke pay-back for the abuses of the Saddam regime, but will cut them out of their heretofore privileged position in the pecking order, and (2) the “foreign fighters” (imported terrorists) are generally Sunnis– and, since they are indeed A.Q. allies...

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It Wasn’t About the Oil (Chapter Umpteen…)

The United Nations agency charged with oversight of nuclear proliferation is expressing “concern” over the “disappearance” of various pieces of nuclear-program related equipment and “some material” from Iraqi facilities. The disappearance and/or los of accountability of Iraqi nuclear materials all took place after the American led war of aggression against the Iraqi people. Among the highlights: even after we secured control of Iraq, we refused to allow UN monitors in to the facilities they previously oversaw (until this day, I believe). Do you have that? Depressingly, John Kerry seems more concerned with covering his own ass in having voted for...

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What a HERO is

I’m saddened to learn of the death of Christopher Reeve at age 52, from heart failure caused by complications from quadriplegia. As you all know, Reeve, an actor best known for playing Superman in the movie series of that name, was paralyzed from the neck down after a horseback riding accident nine years ago. Rather than fade away and die, as a lesser man might have, horrifying circumstance intervened and Reeve went from being a make-believe super-hero and drove him to become a real one, as he used his public stature to lobby and publicize the plight of those in...

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JEB Bush, Katherine Harris Advise Karzai Campaign

Let’s hear it for that “freedom and democracy” in good old neglected Afghanistan, where President Bush insists is miraculous in that “10 million people, nearly half of them women, registered to vote”. Well, all 15 of the candidates opposing interim American-backed-semi-puppet and fulltime shakedown artist Hamed Karzai announced that they are boycotting the “election” in protest of a VERY low tech way that Karzai and his crew(presumably– no– fuck that– ALMOST CERTAINLY– in conjunction with the Bush Administration) chose to rig this “election”. Really too bad: violence had broken out with the Taliban hoping to undermine the election, and lots...

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Another Cautionary Tale of Horror

Two explosions ripped through resorts in the Egyptian (Sinai) town of Taba, killing dozens, injuring hundreds, with dozens more missing. Hotels at the resort were packed with Israeli holiday-goers, and I suspect that when this is sorted out, this will prove to be one of the worst, if not the worst, terrorist attacks ever directed at Israelis. Think of Taba as an Israeli version of Tijuana: it’s a border town, conveniently located in a Third World country. The Egyptians maintained security in the area that ranged from lax to non-existent. Sadly, Israelis fleeing fortress Israel failed to account for this....

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