It is a time of freedom and fear, of Gaia and of borders, of many paths and the widening of a universal toll road, emptying country and swelling cities, of the public bought into privacy and the privacy of the public sold into invisible data banks and knowing algorithms. It is the time of the warrior's peace and the miser's charity, when the planting of a seed is an act of conscientious objection.

These are the times when maps fade and direction is lost. Forwards is backwards now, so we glance sideways at the strange lands through which we are all passing, knowing for certain only that our destination has disappeared. We are unready to meet these times, but we proceed nonetheless, adapting as we wander, reshaping the Earth with every tread.

Behind us we have left the old times, the standard times, the high times. Welcome to the irregular times.

Now It Must Be Told! The Ronald Reagan - Michael Jackson Link
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Today's Guardian Reports:

"A new dirty tricks campaign to embarrass the Democratic frontrunner, John Kerry, backfired ignominiously yesterday when it emerged that a widely circulated photograph of a protest against the Vietnam war was a crude forgery.

The photograph, falsely credited to Associated Press, combined two separate images to make it appear as if Mr Kerry shared a stage at an anti-war rally in the early 1970s with the actress, Jane Fonda."

First pass: Republican are trading falsehoods and forgeries to make John Kerry look bad. Bad, bad Republicans.

Second pass: According to Republicans, if John Kerry stands next to Jane Fonda, that makes John Kerry culpable of Jane Fonda's sins (real or imagined).

Do Republicans really want to go down that road? If so, I offer the following into evidence:

Shocking! Well, we know what that makes Ronnie. What are Nancy's hands doing behind her back? And what's going on under that podium?

I'm waiting for NewsMax to pick up this "exclusive."

And if we're going to trade in fake, doctored photos of guilt by association, we might as well go full tilt:

Oh, the horror!

Posted by Matthew Cook at 1:51 PM# (permalink)

Who Do You Love?
Over at Daily Kos, Katydid asks about how to know which local races to help out with campaign contributions:

"I see all these new ads on dailyKos for different races. I don't know who deserves money. I gave to Boswell because Dean asked. I gave to Chandler and Herseth because Kos asked. But I don't know candidate X from candidate Y, and now there's a bunch on the main page. Just think of the fall...

What is the best way for there to be honest review of who deserves our money the most? Could one person who knows each race intimately post an invited column on the main page? Could you tell us the truth about the person's past and positions so we can decide honestly if we support the race? I don't want to give money blindly."

My guidance on this issue: A good first pass, although of course not completely informative, is the score given a current member of Congress by Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) based on her or his voting record.  ADA is a moderately lefty group, so the higher the ADA score, the better.

link: House and Senate Vote Scores for 2002 (and look for 2003 to come soon)

Of course, we could also look at the similar voting scores given by the American Conservative Union (boo, hiss), with a lower score meaning a better candidate:

link: House and Senate Vote Scores from 1971-2003 (always better organized, those conservatives)

The limitation of the above data is that only incumbents are rated. My favorite place to look for more qualitative data is Project Vote Smart, which sends the same questionnaire to all people running for office, whether incumbents or not.  Not everyone responds, unfortunately, but it's a great place to start.

link: Project Vote Smart

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 11:36 AM. # (permalink)

Bush Supporters Continue to Change the Tone
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
"Too bad Al-Queda doesn't bomb you all.... I'll sue, oppose, or whatever to get guys like you out of business. FU!"

How nice!

Posted by Matthew Cook at 10:14 AM# (permalink)

Halliburton Cheats American Military - Again!
After Halliburton (the big oil corporation Dick Cheney led until he became Vice President) was caught overcharging the American military for oil in Iraq, George W. Bush promised that they would make sure that no further such corruption would take place.

Count that as another promise broken by Bush.

Now, Halliburton has been caught in "substantial overcharging" on millions of meals it has been hired to serve to American soldiers and other personnel. It looks like Vice President Dick Cheney created a pervasive culture of corruption when he led Halliburton. It also looks like George W. Bush is unwilling to crack down on this corruption when it takes place under his watch.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 7:13 AM. # (permalink)

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