Third Party & Independents

Critique the Message, Not the Messenger
October 2003 Archives

October 28, 2003

Continuing Security Issues in Iraq Hamper Bush Administration Mission

The Bush Administration claims that the latest attacks in Baghdad are a sign of desperation by those opposed to the U.S. led occupation of Iraq. Huh? What crystal ball is he looking into? Bush stated yesterday that:

"The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react. The more progress we make on the ground, the more free the Iraqis become, the more electricity is available, the more jobs are available, the more kids that are going to school, the more desperate these killers become, because they can't stand the thought of a free society."
» Continue reading "Continuing Security Issues in Iraq Hamper Bush Administration Mission"

October 24, 2003

Florida Theatrics Points to Future Erosion in the American Political System

How bad has the state of political discourse gotten in these United States? Look no further then the state of Florida for the answer wherein a Republican governor and Republican led Legislature have—contrary to the stated platform of the Republican Party which decries government interference in our lives—drafted and signed into a law a bill designed to effect just one person! I am referring of course to the heartbreaking case of Terri Schiavo.

It is bad enough that the Florida legislature over-stepped its authority in drafting the law, and the governor ill-used his office by signing the law, but in doing so they subverted our democratic process by sidelining the third branch of government, the judicial. And they did so not to save a life, but to garner the votes of the people from the religious right who support them in this foolishness!

» Continue reading "Florida Theatrics Points to Future Erosion in the American Political System"

October 21, 2003

Post 9/11: How America Went from a Republic to a Fascist State

Every time I have suggested that America has become fascist, I get looks of ridicule from the Right and a few nods from the Left, but no one wants to admit that Bush’s “trifecta” has issued in fascism. By using Dr. Lawrence Britt’s The 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism, I will show how in post 9/11 America, we are indeed living in a fascist state.

» Continue reading "Post 9/11: How America Went from a Republic to a Fascist State"

Posted by at 12:28 PM

October 20, 2003

Shelved State Dept. Study Foresaw Trouble Now Plaguing Iraq

Further confirmation of the Pentagon’s inept handling of Iraqi peace came to light last week with the release of a comprehensive State Department study which envisaged many of the tribulations that have beleaguered the American-led occupation of the troubled country. The State Department began drafting 2000 page report in April 2002, at a reported cost of some 5 million. The Department gathered together more than 200 Iraqi lawyers, engineers, business people and other experts into 17 working groups to study topics as diverse as creating a new justice system to reorganizing the Iraqi Army after the War to overhauling the Iraqi economy.

» Continue reading "Shelved State Dept. Study Foresaw Trouble Now Plaguing Iraq"

October 19, 2003

The Face of the New Independent

There are generally, but by no means limited to, three types of Independents. The first are voters who find no common ground with either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. They may be attracted to certain aspects of either party, but cannot bring themselves to fully support either party’s agenda and compromise their own. The second are voters who have become disenchanted with the Democrats or the Republicans. This usually happens when voters feel that party lines have been crossed and agendas compromised. The last are voters who are new voters with no particular party affiliations, but may decide to vote because of one particular issue, such as environmental concerns. These people haven’t been “charmed” by either major party and are usually more open to new ideas.

» Continue reading "The Face of the New Independent"

Posted by at 3:41 PM

October 17, 2003

Is Scalia Hurting the Conservative Cause?

Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is once again in the news, but this time it is not for an overly emotive dissenting opinion. This time at bat it is for his self removal from a case whose outcome is sure to be controversial no matter which way the court swings. The much maligned and celebrated case from California in which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the words “one nation under God” was un-Constitutional rankled Scalia to such an extent that he spoke out against it, making his views unswervingly clear.

» Continue reading "Is Scalia Hurting the Conservative Cause?"

October 14, 2003

The Pledge.

This is going to be a huge issue in the election, count on it. I think that Republicans will emphasize it and appeal to patriotism, while Democrats either try to out patriot the Republicans or try and ignore the issue. Realistically, it probably doesn't make a whit of difference if the phrase "under God" is or isn't in the pledge or on our money. It is a rote tradition, and I believe that most people don't really think about the words when they recite the Pledge.

This is the sort of meaningless issue that could dominate the debates next year, rather than focusing on something substantive, such as differences in economic policy, social policy, and foreign policy. It's controversial, it's easy to boil down into 5 second sound bites, it's contentious. It is pointless. The media laps up this sort of thing because it generates ratings, which is ultimately all they care about. The media is not liberal. The media is corporate. They have one agenda: profit. There are exceptions, but they are just that. Exceptions.

So count on hearing more and more and more about the Pledge in the coming months.

Posted by rev_matt_y at 3:18 PM

October 11, 2003

Cuban Embargo Should Be Lifted

Here’s a question that begs a thoughtful, well reasoned answer: what interest(s) does the United States have in the further isolation of Cuba, and a continuation of an embargo I believe most of the world sees as a failure despite the (confusing) rhetoric of the Bush Administration to the contrary? Now that the Cold War is long over and the Soviet Union has been added to the list of nations securely affixed the “also ran” column, and has long since deserted Cuba, what is gained by further punishing the Cuban people with an embargo that has failed to deliver democracy to island nation, or bring Castro to his knees?

» Continue reading "Cuban Embargo Should Be Lifted"

October 7, 2003

Bush has a Blog (Not Really)

At first glance it appeared to be just like all the other candidate blogs, but upon closer inspection, one will notice one stark contrast. The Bush/Cheney '04 Reelection blog doesn't have comments. Now, I could conjecture or speculate why the Bush campaign blog doesn't have comments (the software is the same MovableType used here on WatchBlog). I could say that the liberals would undoubtedly flood the comments with anti-Bush statements, which couldn't be proved either way, after all, there are no comments. Or I could pretend that the amount of support posts would break the blog, even though blogs have handled thousands of comments without skipping a beat.

But I think it's pretty clear what the truth is: they don't care about what you have to say.

And before someone gets on my case, I extend this prolific piece of wisdom to all blogs that intentionally turn off comments. It's no longer a blog when the comments are off, it's simply press releases.

October 6, 2003

Pentagon Added to Axis of Evil

In what quite possibly is the stupidest thing I've seen in a long time the General Accounting Office found the Pentagon was selling biolab gear over the Internet.

"Many items needed to establish a laboratory for making biological warfare agents were being sold on the Internet to the public from DoD's excess property inventory for pennies on the dollar, making them both easy and economical to obtain," the GAO draft report said.
"As requested, GAO established a fictitious company and purchased over the Internet key excess DoD biological equipment items and related protective clothing necessary to produce and disseminate biological warfare agents."

To be fair most of the equipment can be bought by the public, however the DoD had discounted the equipment to a mere 10 cents on the dollar making the equipment much more accessible.

Posted by joestump at 11:48 PM

October 5, 2003

Further Carnage On the Road to Illusive Peace…

Israel’s early Sunday morning raid into Syria to strike at an alleged training camp of the Islamic Jihad after that group claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack Saturday in the Haifa which killed 19 Israelis and wounded scores more, is further evidence that all of the countries in the Middle East “must” be involved in the peace process. Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, and Egypt must be made active participates in the peace process or it is doomed to failure. The violence in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank cannot, and will not end until state sponsored terrorism by Arab and or Muslim nations ends, and they in turn recognize Israel’s right to exist as a free state.

The Roadmap is dead, and while we continue to lose men in a country we should never have invaded, Middle East violence is once again spinning out of control. All hail U.S. leadership!

October 4, 2003

The Incredible Spreading Plame Fallout

Whoever told Novak and the estimated six other reporters that Plame was an operative could be in for more than one count of breaking the law now that a CIA front company has been exposed in the case. Brewster-Jennings & Associates, became public because it appeared in Federal Election Commission records on a form filled out in 1999 by Valerie Plame when she contributed $1,000 to Al Gore's presidential primary campaign. The company was also listed on her W-2 tax form. The irony of the Gore connection (and partisan reprisal) aside, it doesn't take much consideration to fully grasp the scope of the outting, every past and present employee of the front company is compromised, and could be in jeopardy if in foreign surroundings. Even an employee unaware of the CIA connection could be in danger if foreign governments believe that the person is a spy.

A former diplomat asserted that most every foreign country is probably investigating the fallout information at some level, including running deep database queries against information surrounding Plame that is now compromised.

UPDATE: Doing a Google search for "Brewster Jennings" led to an interesting #1 result. This keeps getting stranger.

October 3, 2003

Limbaugh Voices true feeling of Republican Party Towards Black Americans

Rush Limbaugh that big fat (not so fat any more) idiot, sensible, rational, intelligent people love to hate, once again painted the true picture of the Republican Party, in glowing bigoted hues. His latest remarks only booster the impression I have always held of the man and his Party: he is a bigot and a not so in the closet racist. And he is a reflection of his Party. The Republicans talk a good game (no pun intended) about wanting to be the Party of inclusion, but at its core, the Party membership would rather not associate with Black Americans. Those old, dusty, oft-dispelled racial stereotypes about Black Americans still cling to the Party like ivy on the façade of Harvard, ever present, renewing with each generation of Party membership. Rush (and his fellow conservative commentators, and imitators), each time he speaks, reminds me that the Republican Party will never be one I would want to associate myself with.

October 2, 2003

Funny Flash Animation: "Whatever!"

Here's a clever South Park type animation that's pseudo-political called "Whatever!" (requires Macromedia Flash). After all, since I am not really a political pundit and only play one on the intarweb, I figured I'd pass it on to the WatchBlog viewers as a break from the crazy political news that's been going on this week. For the Republicans who probably aren't going to find this as amusing as I did: I can't help you, perhaps your people should learn Flash and make some funny videos about Howard Dean or Al Sharpton. Or complain about this one (perish the thought).

GOP Senator: "Recusal is Something Ashcroft Ought to Consider"

The right has been screaming partisan politics all week, but some in the GOP are breaking ranks, such as Republican Senator Arlen Specter. He is calling for attorney general John Ashcroft to recuse himself from the probe into alleged White House leaks that led to the outting of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Citing obvious conflicts of interest, such as Karl Rove's history as a political advisor to Ashcroft during his gubernatorial and Senate campaigns. Democrats have been calling for an independent cousel to investigate the matter, but this marks the first high ranking GOP official to express doubts over Ashcroft's partiality.

Sen. Specter is an influential member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which investigates and suggests judicial appointments.

October 1, 2003

Libertarians Pick N.H. for 'Free State'

The Libertarian Party has it's eyes on New Hampshire in a bid to take over politics on a local scale and change laws to "restore the American dream". With a base of 20,000 who are willing to move to the state, whose motto is "Live Free or Die", the group picked the state because it "boasts the lowest state and local tax burden in the continental U.S., the leanest state government in the country ... a citizen legislature, a healthy job market, and perhaps most important, local support for our movement,".

Republican Governor Craig Benson said last summer of the group "Come on up, we'd love to have you,", however the most vocal opponent has been Democratic Party chairwoman Kathy Sullivan, who said that the project members "can best be described as anarchists."

UPDATE: The Free State Project website, for those who want more info.