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BUSH WATCH...celebrating our 10th year...February, 2009

Also, please Visit Our Sister Site: JoeBama Watch

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BUSH'S 13 GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS, Wonkett, etc.

  • Bravely insisted that random Arabs be tortured everywhere.
  • Boldly blocked any attempts to get a handle on Climate Change eight whole years ago, because what’s the rush?
  • Completely fucked over the U.S. Constitution and stacks of federal law, because why not, Nixon was probably a good dude!
  • Always 100% behind Israel, because Israel has never, ever been wrong about anything in History. It’s where Jesus lives!
  • No Child Left Behind: This stupid program of busy-work madrassa-style rote learning, this doofus Big Government federal intrusion into the lives of your five-year-old children as American literacy and math scores have dramatically plunged, is Bush’s “fifth success,”.
  • Bush “promotes democracy” by literally destroying the people and infrastructure of various countries with oil reserves. This is bold!
  • Bush’s shifty demeanor and innate untrustworthiness kept us from taking his insane Social Security initiative seriously.
  • Bush installed two middle-aged wingnuts on the Supreme Court, which is a great victory against those stupid enough to be born poor or black or female. But just imagine if Bush’s real choice, Harriet Miers, had become his favorite fancy judge ever!
  • Bush’s greates achievement is that he stayed alive for the last eight years and saved us from a Dick Cheney presidency.
  • Gave tragically stupid people someone to look up to. A true inspirational hero, that one.
  • Forging millions of greedy, middle brow, sex crazed drunks into a political movement.
  • Thanks to George Junior W. Bush bravely ignoring EVERYONE from his own father to every living American diplomat and general, Iraq is now a peaceful, free and prosperous nation and American Troops returned home as Victors during the Victor/Victory Parade of July 4, 2007. Good-bye, Terrorisms! Even Afghanistan is free today!
The Bush Administration: Legacy of Liars

I recently saw THE READER and PAN'S LABYRINTH, and was struck by a theme similar to both: the need to construct alternate realities by telling yourself stories, when reality is too harsh to live in. Some do it as an hour or so of therapy. Some end up accepting the fantasy as reality. For example, a Bush aide once said that whatever the Bush administration said IS the reality that citizens are expected to accept. In Bush's case, the fantasy that the nation was asked to live under began to come apart with Katrina, and slowly evaporated from there.

Oliver Stone's simplistic film, W, doesn't get to Katrina and beyond, but living in fantasy is his point, as Bush stands in center field with his glove, waiting for a batted ball to drop. It never comes, and we fade to the credits, seeing Bush with a puzzled look on his face. Bush, Cheney, and the other war criminals in the Bush administration are presently trying to constract a new, alternate reality, now that they are out of office. Bush calls this chimera his "legacy."

On Thom Hartman yesterday, Doug Feif, underling to Rumsfeld with a new book of distortions published recently, is part of the legacy of liars. When Feif was asked by Hartman how he could sleep at night, having shared responsibility for the deaths of over one million Iraqi citizens, Feif argued that Hartman's statistics were wrong, and he proceeded to accuse him of using undocumented Internet distortions and lies, rather than facts. Feif went on to exemplify one more example of the Nixon strategy, as presented in another recent film, FROST/NIXON: when asked a question you don't want to answer, you pick up on a secondary part of the question and stall for time. Mohammed Ali called it "rope-a-dope." Feif, by the way, never did explain how he slept at night. --Jerry Politex, Feb. 5, 2009.

Editorial: Bush Watch to Continue

Although we swore we would end Bush Watch when Gore won the election, and we more recently swore that we would end Bush Watch when Bush stepped down, it's become increasingly clear that we're still needed to keep an eye on Bush and his minions, even when he's out of office. He still will attempt to rewrite the history of his disastrous presidency through well-paid public speeches, and his minions, like the Reaganites, will still try to put his face on money, stamps, and buildings. Even more importantly, Bush has so thoroughly harmed the legal and moral infrastructure of this nation, that his polcies will be under review for a long time to come.

Meanwhile, most of our effort will be spent over on our new site, JoeBama Watch, where, it's clear, progressive voices are also needed. Progressives everywhere are needed to keep the moderate Obama honest, to be sure that his progressive promises, few as they have been, are turned into real actions. As Bush Watch has done in the past, JoeBama Watch will also provide a daily gateway to the news of the world, with a strong emphasis upon daily DC politics and the evolution of the Obama presidency. JoeBama Watch will also provide an automated 24/7/365 news service, which has been expanded into three full pages of the latest news from our selection of the world's newspapers and websites.

As you and I continue our journey to help make the world a better place for all of its citizens, please let us know what you would like to see that we have yet to provide. --Jerry "Politex" Barrett


Obama A-G Confirmation Delayed In Plan to Protect Bush

HUFFINGTON POST reports that "Senate Republicans delayed a vote on the confirmation of Eric Holder to become attorney general for at least a week in order to pressure him to say whether he will prosecute intelligence agents for torture if they were following orders and acting within what they believed to be legal guidelines.

Holder told the Judiciary Committee last week that waterboarding is "torture" and therefore illegal. Susan J. Crawford, the top Bush administration official overseeing the trials of detainees, told the Washington Post that at least one individual held at the prison center at Guantanamo Bay was "tortured." The question Republicans want answered before Holder is confirmed: Will you prosecute those who took part in that torture?"

According to Thom Hartman on his radio show yesterday (Jan.21,2009), the question of illegal torture is, ultimately, an attempt by the Republicans to protect Bush from a unrelated wiretapping investigation by "running out the clock" on the statute of limitations. "There's one particular date where we know that George Bush took specific action, that's March 11th, 2004, that's when, you'll recall, James Comey was filling in for John Ashcroft, Ascroft was in the hospital, and Comey went to his bedside to prevent Alberto Gonzales and Andy Card from getting Ashcroft to sign a re-authorization of FISA (*), so he refused to sign it, saying it was illegal, so Bush signed it himself, and on March 11th, 2004 Bush authorized this program himself, and that was a crime, and the statute of limitations on that runs out on March 11th, 2009. So if they can run out the clock on this thing....

According to the NEW YORK TIMES, Comey subsequently told a Senate committee that Bush "quelled the revolt over the program’s legality by allowing it to continue without Justice Department approval, also directing department officials to take the necessary steps to bring it into compliance with the law....At Mr. Comey’s urging, Mr. Bush also met with Mr. Mueller, who emerged to inform Mr. Comey that the president had authorized the changes in the program sought by the Justice Department. 'We had the president’s direction to do what we believed, what the Justice Department believed, was necessary to put this on a footing where we could certify to its legality,' Mr. Comey said. 'And so we set out to do that and we did that.' Mr. Comey said he signed the reauthorization in 'two or three weeks.' It was unclear from his testimony what authority existed for the program while the changes were being made."

Thus, we're left with two questions: Was the original Bush warrantless wiretapping authorization legal in the first place? and Did Bush have the right as President to approve illegal wiretapping without Ashcroft or Comey's approval during the "two or three week" period prior to the DOJ's reauthorization? Hartman believes this is the question that has the Republicans stalling for time. --Jerry Politex, Jan. 22, '09

(*) At the time of Ashcroft's illness there was a battle between the Justice Department and the White House concerning the program of warrantless domestic electronic surveillance which GW Bush had authorized after the September 11, 2001, disaster. It was set to expire on March 11th, 2004.

Obama Slams Bush Administration in Inaguration Speech (excerpts)

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet. These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights....

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics....

Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed....

We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality... (APPLAUSE) ... and lower its costs....

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans....What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long, no longer apply....

And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government....This crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control. The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous....The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good....

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals....Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so, to all other peoples and governments who are watching today...know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more....

Our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justness of our cause; the force of our example; the tempering qualities of humility and restraint....

To those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it....Jan. 6, '09

GOP Ex-Senator Norm Coleman Dams Obama Inauguration With Faint Praise

“Watching Barack Obama be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States will forever be etched into the minds of so many of us as one of those moments for which you remember where you were and what you were doing when it happened,” Mr. Coleman said in a statement yesterday." (NYT)

BUSH'S 20 GREATEST HITS (ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE), Michael Tomasky

In 2004 I told the host of an LA talk show that Bush's #1 lie is the one that got us into Iraq, because that lie killed the most people. Writing in the GUARDIAN, Bush critic Michael Tomasky notes, "The wreckage – intellectual, ethical, moral, and physical, in terms of the lives lost by our soldiers and Lord knows how many Iraqis – is everywhere. The shame, even if Americans prefer not to admit it to Europeans, is immense. We know what we have done. We know how bad it is." Here's a list of what Bush has done to us, culled from Tomasky's column, with #20 added by myself.--Politex, Jan. 18, '09

1. The lies about the war. 2. The phony Saddam–al-Qaida link. 3. The use of one of our greatest national tragedies for partisan political purposes. 4. The smearing of political opponents as unpatriotic. And in the face of all that, 5. the temerity to botch of the prosecution of the war.

6. The corruption of the justice department. 7. The torture, the waterboarding, Abu Ghraib. 8. The domestic surveillance of only God yet knows who and what. 9. Guantánamo. 10. The intimidation of scientists, 11. the doctoring of governmental reports on global warming. 12. The utter inaction, also, on global warming. 13. The utter inaction on healthcare. 14. The utter inaction on the economy. 15. The utter indifference – no, hostility – to any regulation of the mortgage market. 16. The phony "compromise" on stem-cell research. 17. Katrina – ah, yes, New Orleans. Can't forget that. It, in turn, opens up an entirely fresh Pandora's box peopled with 18. unqualified incompetents and unyielding ideologues who were given their government jobs merely, or at least chiefly, because they swore a mafioso-like fealty to capo Bush and consigliere Karl Rove.

19. In 2003, the bookstore at the Grand Canyon mysteriously started carrying a book giving a "creation science" interpretation of the canyon, positing not that it is 4-5m years old, as rational people believe, but fewer than 6,000. After all, it couldn't be older than the Garden of Eden, right?

20. Bush's pretense that his farm in Texas is a ranch. Hell, he can't even ride a horse! He just bought a house in Dallas where he'll actually live, close to his Presidential Library of comic books at SMU. Naturally, this list is incomplete. What would you like to add?

DON'T SAY "FAREWELL," GEORGE, JUST LEAVE, Jerry Politex and Gail Collins

Legacy boy George Bush gave a farewell speech to the nation last night, but he forgot to say, "Surprise! This has all actually been a bad dream. It’s really still November of 2000 and tomorrow Al Gore is going to be elected president."

Soon, we won't have Mr. Misspoke to kick around any more: "'Sometimes you misunderestimated me,' Bush told the Washington press corps. This is not the first time our president has worried about misunderestimation, so it’s fair to regard this not as a slip of the tongue, but as something the president of the United States thinks is a word. The rhetoric is the one part of the administration we’re surely going to miss. We are about to enter a world in which our commander in chief speaks in full sentences, and I do not know what we’re going to do to divert ourselves on slow days."

Too bad there's not a good word to describe the state we'll be in when George actually leaves. Not "freedom," of course: "The man who gave us Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Freedom Agenda, the USA Freedom Corps and the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health has so thoroughly debased one of the most profound concepts in our national vocabulary that it’s getting hard to hear it used without remembering Janis Joplin’s line about how freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose."

Now, George wants us to rewrite history the way he tried to rewrite the English language: "Over the last few weeks we have learned that he thinks the Katrina response worked out rather well except for one unfortunate photo-op, and that he regards the fact that we invaded another country on the basis of false information as a “disappointment.” Since Bush also referred to the disappointments of his White House tenure as “a minor irritant” it’s perhaps best to think of the weapons of mass destruction debacle as a pimple on the administration’s otherwise rosy complexion." Those pimples have turned out to make 80% of all Americans boiling mad, according to the latest polls, and many would like to see George receive an appropriate going away gift in a court of law. 01/15/09

BUSH LEAVES SMILING, BECAUSE HE WON, Jerry Politex

Bush was put into office by the Supreme Court at the behest of the wealthy 10% of the country who earn more than the other 90% combined. Bush was the tool, the cheerleader used by Cheney, acting for the top 10%, to weaken the protections of the Constitution, the Government, and our moral and ethical traditions that have protected us in the past from people like Bush, Cheney, and their wealthy supporters. To them, the war in Iraq and the manipulation of the levers of our economy and our government were ultimately convenient ways to gain more wealth. Their non-wealthy supporters were untimately rubes and cannon-fodder, the necessary waste material that keeps the system running. In the sense that Bush achieved what he was selected to do for the wealthiest 10% of the people in our country, he won. Big time. And both he and Cheney know it.

The followingNYT op-ed piece by Bob Herbert provides more specifics. Jerry Politex, 01/12/09

THE LIST: When Mr. Bush officially takes his leave in one week (in reality, he checked out long ago), most Americans will be content to sigh good riddance. I disagree. I don’t think he should be allowed to slip quietly out of town. There should be a great hue and cry — a loud, collective angry howl, demonstrations with signs and bullhorns and fiery speeches — over the damage he’s done to this country. This is the man who gave us the war in Iraq and Guantánamo and torture and rendition; who turned the Clinton economy and the budget surplus into fool’s gold; who dithered while New Orleans drowned; who trampled our civil liberties at home and ruined our reputation abroad; who let Dick Cheney run hog wild and thought Brownie was doing a heckuva job.

THE WAR: The Bush administration specialized in deceit. How else could you get the public (and a feckless Congress) to go along with an invasion of Iraq as an absolutely essential response to the Sept. 11 attacks, when Iraq had had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks? Exploiting the public’s understandable fears, Mr. Bush made it sound as if Iraq was about to nuke us: “We cannot wait,” he said, “for the final proof — the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.” He then set the blaze that has continued to rage for nearly six years, consuming more than 4,000 American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. (A car bomb over the weekend killed two dozen more Iraqis, many of them religious pilgrims.) The financial cost to the U.S. will eventually reach $3 trillion or more, according to the Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz....

THE ECONOMY: And then there’s the Bush economy, another disaster, a trapdoor through which middle-class Americans can plunge toward the bracing experiences normally reserved for the poor and the destitute. Mr. Bush traveled the country in the early days of his presidency, promoting his tax cut plans as hugely beneficial to small-business people and families of modest means. This was more deceit. The tax cuts would go overwhelmingly to the very rich. The president would give the wealthy and the powerful virtually everything they wanted. He would throw sand into the regulatory apparatus and help foster the most extreme income disparities since the years leading up to the Great Depression. Once again he was lighting a fire. This time the flames would engulf the economy and, as with Iraq, bring catastrophe....

BUSH IS SMILING: The catalog of his transgressions against the nation’s interests — sins of commission and omission — would keep Mr. Bush in a confessional for the rest of his life. Don’t hold your breath. He’s hardly the contrite sort. He told ABC’s Charlie Gibson: “I don’t spend a lot of time really worrying about short-term history. I guess I don’t worry about long-term history, either, since I’m not going to be around to read it.” The president chuckled, thinking — as he did when he made his jokes about the missing weapons of mass destruction — that there was something funny going on.

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Bush Sings: My Way, by Paul Anka and Jerry Politex

MY WAY

sung by George W. Bush

And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friends, Ill say it clear,
Ill state my case, of which Im certain.

I've lived a life that's cruel.
I've killed down each and every highway;
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Regrets, no not a few;
But then again, I'd never mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exception.

I never knew the moral course;
Took carefree steps along the byway,
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, others said
That I should have stayed in bed.
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I knew that God would help me out.
And I am glad, I beat my dad;
And did it my way.

I've prayed, I've smirked and lied.
I've had my fill; my share of screwing.
You may, my wars deride,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that;
And may I say - not in a shy way,
No, oh no not me,
I did it my way.

For what am I, what have I got?
If not myself, then I have naught.
To say the things I truly feel;
Forget the Presidential Seal.
The record shows, even without blow -
I did it my way!


Irish-Afro-American Wins Presidency on Coattails of Bush Recession (10 pm ET)
Obama takes Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Indiana; NC, MO Still Undecided
Dole and Sununu Lose Senate seats; AK, MI, OR, GA Still Undecided

OBAMA ELECTORAL VOTES SO FAR: 349

OBAMA STATE VICTORIES (Called): VT, PA, NY, NH, ME, MA, RI, CT, NJ, DE, MD, DC, VA, FL, MIN, WI, IL, OH, IN, IA, NM, COL, NV, CA, OR, WA, HI. (NC, IN, MO Still Undecided)

Bush Watch Updates Throughout the Evening


BUSH WATCH MAILBAG: Thank you for the sanity :) Thank you for BUSH WATCH.  It has proven to be a terrific resource of information over the last few years.  I have always relied upon it to provide insight and accuracy compared to what is provided on the 6:00 news. Now that Obama is looking like he will win today I feel like my blood pressure will go back to normal.   Just imagine the rest of the world will look fondly upon us again. --Eric Robinson

Top World Stories: Wednesday, November 5, 2008:

US:  World leaders congratulate President-elect Obama, CNN
US:  Grant Park, center of the universe, Chicago Tribune
Barack Obama already hard at work building his team, NY Daily News
US:  Obama promises First Dog, Chicago Breaking News
Obama Elected President as Racial Barrier Falls
Democrats Widen Senate Edge to Solid Majority
Democrats Increase Their Strength in the House, but Lose Some Races
News Analysis: Now, Promises to Keep, and Divides to Be Bridged
The Challenge: For Obama, No Time for Laurels; Now the Hard Part
Near-Flawless Run From Start to Finish Is Credited in Victory
Voter Polls Find Obama Built a Broad Coalition
Justices Ponder TV's 'Fleeting Expletives'
Editorial: The Next President
Editorial: A Remedy for Those Long Lines
Latin America: Colombian army chief steps down, Constanza Vieira
Latin America:  Spanish Civ. War expats' descendants can get Spanish citizenship, MercoPress
Latin America: Ecuador signs Petrobras oil deal, Xinhua
Latin America: Oaxaca repression escalates, Scott Campbell
Middle East: Lebanon's national dialogue starts Wednesday, Hussein Abdallah
Middle East:  Help offered for small, medium businesses, DS
Middle East: 6 Palestinians die in IDF raid, Avi Issacharoff
Middle East: Fears for Obama in Rabin's shadow,  Bradley Burston
ASIA: India Seeks 'Velvet Divorce' from Iran, Asia Times
ASIA: Business as Usual with China, Asia Times
ASIA: The Fallout From a Malaysian Murder Verdict, Asia Sentinel
ASIA: Indonesia Heightens Security Before Bali Bombers’ Executions, NYT
AFRICA: Stoning Victim 'Begged for Mercy', BBC News
AFRICA: Gas Furor Tips Guinea Further Off Balance, NYT
AFRICA: Kenya: An Obama Presidency Brings Hope For Development, Allafrica
BUSH WATCH: Volunteer Headline Editor Needed For Europe

SPIEGEL ONLINE - International

Obama's Historic Election Victory: The Resurrection of the American Dream
The World Reacts to Obama's Victory: Global Leaders Hope for American Cooperation
Yes He Could: Barack Obama Makes History by Winning the US Presidency
Obama's Victory Speech: 'Hope of a Better Day'
America's New Leader: The Serenity of Barack Obama
Good Morning, Mr. President: Europe's Wish List

Election Stories: Updated Throughout the Evening

Pollster calms paranoid Dems: McCain win would be exceptionally improbable, Stein
Hometown Chicago voters anticipate Obama victory, Younge
Ohio's voting systems tested by big turnout, Sheeran
Preparing for the first blue presidency, Rachman
Joe Lieberman fears 'America' ( read 'Joe's career) won't survive' a 60 Dem Senate, Khanna
Bug-eyed GOP tries incantations: 'this is a center right country, this is a center right country', Frick
Scared Rove puppet 'Michael Connell' testified today: denies 2004 vote rigging, Gordon
Once more into the conservative moral mire:CA GOP files FEC complaint over Obama's grandmother, Mosk
Waiting for Obama in Grant Park, Davey
Democrats aim for a powerful majority in the Senate, CNN
Tim Robbins is turned away from polling place he's used for a decade, TMZ
Veteran Dem pollster: 'I've never been less worried', Stein
“The early numbers show a startlingly motivated electorate out there,” Brian Williams said , Stelter

Why doesn't the Obama campaign do something about the touch-screen SCANDAL?, Friedman
Is the election about to be stolen in Ohio, Pennsylvania &elsewhere?, Boaz et al
All of these vote theft machines must be destroyed: ES&S machines in MI flunk, Zetter
Impossibly long lines for elderly, other voters, in FL, GA, elsewhere, Friedman
Can the grassroots Internet-based election protection movement win the White House?, Fitrakis &Wasserman
Bush torture memo slapped down with disdain by court, Dwyer
Farewell Bloody Dubya, Penketh
Approaching the finish line: hope, passion & some madness in Nevada, Weiner
Poll dancing: can 159 polls (all Obama) be wrong?, Whitaker
Global blog station for US election, news partners
Tomorrow: a thing  which has not happened since the Elder Days..., Pitt

Pundits including Rove weigh in: Obama,Obama, Obama, Obama, Huffpost
Dick Cheney's hometown paper has endorsed Obama, Mitchell
Voters queue before dawn to elect president, Schor
Voters across the nation hit by dirty tricks, Hastings
Farewell, Messrs. Bush and McCain, it's been horrifying, Carpenter
The end of a subprime administration, Engelhardt
Palin's panic and the right-wing's big freakout, Alternet
Will Europe get the America it wants?, Dejevsky
From behind Obama, I could see a girl moved to tears: notes from the frontline, Eyre
Obama defeats McCain 15-6 in Dixville Notch earliest vote, njherald
MCain is on the verge of a defeat that marks the end of the Republican era, Blumenthal
So little time, so much damage: Bush's last-ditch wrecking ball, Ed
Beyond election day:today's vote will be just the first step towards redeeming America, Herbert
Obama's beloved grandmother, 'family rock' dies on election eve, AFP
The '08 race - a sea change for politics as we know it, Nagourney
On final evening, before 90,000 people, Obama revives 5 words -''fired up, ready to go!', Zeleny
The electoral map: key states - Election Guide 2008, Nagourney et al
What's already gone wrong at the polls? A compilation of voting problems so far, Bazelon &Lapidos
Keeping it real in fake America, Hightower
No hip-hop look for Obama: 'Brothers should pull up their pants.', Falcone
Biden's final sprint and Jimmy Rollins tells Philly to 'take the curse off America.', Broder
The Court and 'fleeting expletives': the F.C.C. has morphed into a serious threat to free speech, Ed
Court blocks mean-spirited White House push on medicare expenses, Pear
Do Not Concede!, Milazzo
They've squandered lives, fortunes and our sacred honor, Galloway
The soiled envelope, please: McCain wins every award for character assassination &slime, Ed
The Republican rump will be ugliest collection of the hardright ever, Krugman
Lame duck summit, Ed
Democratic governors may be the saviors of free and fair elections, White
Bailout funds being spent in ways Congress never foresaw, Hall
Republicans try burning Obama on coal, Tapper
Gouging women on health insurance, Edelstein
Oprah sees her own presidential vote dropped by touch screen voting machine, Friedman
New beltway debate - what to do about Iran, Giacomo
Professors' liberalism contagious? Maybe not, Cohen
Island of lost homes, Ed
Springsteen rocks 80,000 for Obama, AFP
Omens, portents, and taking deep breaths: let nothing stop you from casting your vote, Trish


THE GARLIC

Attention McCain Voters: Don't forget to set your clocks back eight years tonight.

2+2=4. I'm Jerry Politex, and I approve this add.


RIGHT NOW the United States is a country in which wealth is funneled, absurdly, from the bottom to the top. The richest 1 percent of Americans now holds close to 40 percent of all the wealth in the nation and maintains an iron grip on the levers of government power. This is not only unfair, but self-defeating....As we approach the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the United States is in deep, deep trouble. Yet instead of looking for creative, 21st-century solutions to these enormous problems, too many of our so-called leaders are behaving like clowns, or worse — spouting garbage in the public sphere that hearkens back to the 1940s and ’50s.
Thoughtful, well-educated men and women are denounced as elites, and thus the enemies of ordinary Americans. Attempts to restore a semblance of fiscal sanity to a government that has been looted with an efficiency that would have been envied by the mob, are derided as subversive — the work of socialists, Marxists, Communists....It’s in that atmosphere that voters today will be choosing between the crisis-management skills of Senator Obama, who has enlisted Joe Biden as aide-de-camp, and those of Senator John McCain, who is riding to the rescue with Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber in tow.Bob Herbert

BUSH HAS 77 DAYS LEFT TO WRECK THE NATION: While Americans eagerly vote for the next president, here’s a sobering reminder: As of Tuesday, George W. Bush still has 77 days left in the White House — and he’s not wasting a minute. President Bush’s aides have been scrambling to change rules and regulations on the environment, civil liberties and abortion rights, among others — few for the good. Most presidents put on a last-minute policy stamp, but in Mr. Bush’s case it is more like a wrecking ball. We fear it could take months, or years, for the next president to identify and then undo all of the damage. Here is a look — by no means comprehensive — at some of Mr. Bush’s recent parting gifts and those we fear are yet to come.... NYT Ed

OBAMA FORGES INTO NAIONWIDE +7.8 LEAD (52%) IN AVERAGE OF 14 POLLS: From Zogby and Gallup at +11.0 to Hotline at +5.0. RCP, Tuesday, Nov. 4, '08

McCAIN NOW LEADS IN 3 OF 10 BATTLEGROUNDS: North Carolina (+0.5), Missouri (+0.6) and Indiana (+0.5). Meanwhile, he's still behind in six others: Florida, Virgina, Ohio, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico. Obama continues to hold Pensylvania, the lone Kerry battleground, by +7.6. RCP, Monday, Nov. 3, '08

SUNDAY PUNDITS: The only way McCain will win is if he takes Pennsylvania; Obama will get 343 electoral votes [270 needed] (Stephanopoulos)...If Obama takes Pennsylvania and Virginia, it's all over (another guy)...378 for Obama, George Will (!)...Obama 338, 7+ points (Matt Dowd)...NBC's TOM BROKAW reminds us: If convicted criminal Sen. Ted Stevens wins his election in Alaska, guess which Governor gets to name a replacement when Stevens goes off to the hooscow? Can you say "Senator Palin"? ABC News, Sunday, Nov. 2, '08

"PRESIDENT" OF MAJORITY BACKS OBAMA: Given GOP vote suppression and GOP rigged voting machines (notice, when voting machines reportedly are changing votes, it's Obama votes to McCain votes, and not vise versa), any Dem presidential candidate is never safe unless he has a double digit lead. This came to mind while listening to Al Gore backing Obama in Orlando, Florida yesterday. In democratic America, the people gave more votes to Gore than Bush in 2000; yet, he did not become President, because the elitist, anti-democratic electoral college voted for Bush, after the GOP majority Supreme Court gave them the go-ahead to do so.
If Gore gave such human, sincere, non-gimmicky speeches in 2000 as he did today, he would have won by double-digits, and never have given the Supreme Court an opportunity to negate the will of the people. Obviously, the world would be a much better place today. There would not have been a war in Iraq; there would not have been a severe dimunition of our Constitution, aur Bill of Rights, and our judicial processes; and there would not have been the corporate deregulation that has created the most severe economic crisis since the depression.
Obama, on the other hand, has what Gore didn't have in 2000, but seems to have today: a clear sense of who he is. Gore's problem, sad to say, was he didn't have the strength of character and will to depend upon himself, rather than his hired political strategists. That's not the case with Obama. Obama's his own man, and what we see is what we'll get as President: a careful moderate. Personally, I prefer Gore's political positions to Obama's, but given the alternative, an angry, bitchy John McBush, voting for Obama's a no-brainer. --Jerry Politex, November 1, 2008

Bush Watch Special: GOP Vote Theft

More vote-flipping in TX . Why aren't Dems all over this?, Friedman
NAACP sues in Virginia over voting machine distribution, georgia10
More than 30,000 registered Coloradans barred from voting, Zeveloff
Federal judge rules in favor of plaintiff demand for emergency paper ballots in PA, Friedman
Is CNN trying to make this race closer? A close race is easier to steal, Altman
The vote grab: civilized countries have independent Election Commissions; we don't, Tatchell
Vote watchdogs warn of troubles on election day: Vote Early If You Can!, Williams &Levy
More Texas one-way vote-theft complaints : always flipped from Obama to McCain, Zetter
Ohio provisional ballots may prove pivotal, Urbina

OBAMA MAY ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH ELECTORAL VOTES: Obama has 23 states and the District of Columbia, offering 286 votes, in his column or leaning his way, while Republican McCain has 21 states with 163 votes. A half dozen offering 89 votes -- Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Nevada and Ohio -- remain up for grabs. President Bush won all six in 2004, and they are where the race is primarily being contested in the homestretch....In new AP-GfK battleground polling, Obama has a solid lead in typically Republican Colorado, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia. He and McCain are even in two other usually GOP states: Florida and North Carolina. Obama also is comfortably ahead in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
The election's final week is being played out largely in states that Bush won and that are toss-ups in a political climate that greatly favors Democrats. They include the traditional GOP bastions of Indiana and North Carolina, as well as perennial battlegrounds of Missouri and Nevada. Also on the list are the crown jewels of Florida and Ohio, which were crucial in deciding the last two presidential elections. McCain could sweep all six and still lose the White House. Obama has every state that Kerry won four years ago seemingly in the bag or leaning his way, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and New Hampshire -- four states with 41 votes that McCain and his allies aggressively fought for before pulling back this month when they became out of reach...AP, Oct. 30, '08

Bush Watch Special: Economic Crisis

Hang 'em high: people want to see Wall Street executives in orange suits, Egan
Hey, A.I.G. - where's the $120 billion? They knew they had vast losses months ago, Walsh
Are stocks the bargain you think they are?, Leonhardt
US: Economy flashes recession signal; GDP down at 0.3% rate , NYT
U.S.: US economy officially on brink of recession, Duncan
U.S.: US economy shrinks as anxious consumers slash spending, Elliott
U.S.: American Express cuts jobs as customers feel pinch, Bawden
U.S.: Oil company bonanza continues with record profits for Shell and Exxon, Milner, Clark
U.S.: US auto aid pleas mount; Treasury says no GM talks, Lawder
U.S.: Next president faces chaotic mix of economic problems not seen since 1930's, Mason

"PRESIDENT" OF MAJORITY BACKS OBAMA: Given GOP vote suppression and GOP rigged voting machines (notice, the nation's machines reportedly are changing Obama votes to McCain votes, and not vise versa), any Dem presidential candidate is never safe unless he has a double digit lead. This came to mind while listening to Al Gore backing Obama in Orlando, Florida this afternoon. In democratic America, the people gave more votes to Gore than Bush in 2000; yet, he did not become President, because the elitist, anti-democratic electoral college voted for Bush, after the GOP majority Supreme Court gave them the go-ahead to do so.
If Gore gave such human, sincere, non-gimmicky speeches in 2000 as he did today, he would have won by double-digits, and never have given the Supreme Court an opportunity to negate the will of the people. Obviously, the world would be a much better place today. There would not have been a war in Iraq; there would not have been a severe dimunition of our Constitution, aur Bill of Rights, and our judicial processes; and their would not have been the corporate deregulation that has created the most severe economic crisis since the depression.
Obama, on the other hand, has what Gore didn't have in 2000, but seems to have today: a clear sense of who he is. Gore's problem, sad to say, was he didn't have the strength of character and will to depend upon himself, rather than his hired political strategists. That's not the case with Obama. Obama's his own man, and what we see is what we'll get as President: a careful moderate. Personally, I prefer Gore's political positions to Obama's, but given the alternative, an angry, bitchy John McBush, voting for Obama's a no-brainer. --Jerry Politex, November 1, 2008

Special Topics At Bush Watch: Asia Diary: India... Bush Threat... Crisis Economy... Bush Budget... Oil Wars [updated]... Bush Dictatorship... 20 Dem Tasks... Path to 9/11... Israel and the U.S.... Framing Fascism... Bush's Economic Dictatorship [excellent overview]... The Big Picture: A New Paradigm ... 2004 Election Stolen? ... Updated News Archives ...



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