The GOP’s Justice Department is arguing that only they, not individual voters, may sue to enforce the voting rights portions of the Help American Vote act.
Veteran voting-rights lawyers expressed surprise at the government’s action, saying that closing the courthouse door to aspiring voters would reverse decades of precedent. Since the civil rights era of the 1960s, individuals have gone to federal court to enforce their right to vote, often with the support of groups such as the NAACP, the AFL-CIO, the League of Women Voters or the state parties. And until now, the Justice Department and the Supreme Court had taken the view that individual voters could sue to enforce federal election law.
Remember, if you vote for Bush, you’re voting for shit like this.
Quick! To the Batphone!
Atrios has a bit about bigoted administrators at a Missouri school. Nice.
Either that, or they’re becoming increasingly desperate. A GOP mailout in Pennsylvania includes images of the burning WTC in an attempt, we suppose, to suggest that Kerry won’t protect us.
The degree to which the Bush team “protected” us on 9/11 is left as an exercise to the reader.
Terror is clearly at bay, since Homeland Security is pursuing toy companies for violating expired patents.
Jesus Tapdancing Christ, do these people have no shame whatsoever?
When Catherine Herold received mail from the Ohio Republican Party earlier this year, she refused it. The longtime Barberton Democrat wanted no part of the mailing and figured that by refusing it, the GOP would have to pay the return postage. What she didn’t count on was the returned mail being used to challenge the validity of her voter registration.
The GOP is unapologetic:
The angry voters had the Republicans on the defensive. “Why’d you do it?” one challenged voter shouted out at [Howard] Calhoun [one of the four challengers]. “Who the hell are you?” the man asked. “What the hell do you care?” replied Calhoun, an attorney. After the hearing, Calhoun said he felt the challenges were legitimate.
If you think that reducing voter turnout helps your cause, you’ve got a problem. If you try to quash legitimate voter registrations, you’re just about as far from the ideals this country is supposed to be about as you can be, and I wouldn’t cross the street to piss on you if you were on fire, you evil goatfucking jackasses.
Just in time for the weekend, here’s a few Halloween costumes you may want to consider for the shindigs you’re no doubt attending.
A guy in Australia has used Debian and an emulator to put OS X on Centris 650, an ancient 68040-based Mac (25Mhz!) with only 68MB of RAM.
Then at 9pm on Monday 25th October 2004, a Mac Centris 650 started booting OS X. About an hour and a half later, the familiar Apple logo bootsplash appeared What next?
I Wait. According to the developers, PearPC using generic emulation (the only option on a non-x86) runs “about 500 times slower” than the host CPU. Ouch. That makes for a 0.05MHz G3, at the best. That’s around 4000 times slower than the Athlon boots, and since that takes roughly 2 and a half minutes – I’m looking at at least 6.99 days. One week to boot!
When it comes to the war on terror, America cannot afford to have the wrong man at the helm. The leader of the free world must understand that this clash of civilizations is, above all things, a war of concepts, and he must have the strength and the purity to embrace the boldest possible vision. Now more than ever, America needs a man of ideas in the Oval Office. George W. Bush is that man. For his administration had not only embraced ideas, it exists, in a sense, only as an idea. It has so rapidly and so readily embraced the boldest of ideas that it has transcended the need for real actions, real plans, real accomplishments, and reality itself. Any leader could have made the war on terror into a tedious, ongoing struggle to unearth and uproot a multi-tentacled terrorist organization while attempting to heal the rifts between the Muslim world and the West. But George Bush didn’t just see the task: he saw the grand idea behind the task, and better still, the vague abstractions behind the grand idea. And he was willing to fight those vague abstractions. Terror, weapons of mass destruction – they may not have been really in Iraq, but the idea of them most certainly was. And that was an idea the world’s only superpower had to confront with real troops.
Giblets, of course, endorses Giblets.
One candidate is taking Giblets – and the threat of Giblets – seriously. One candidate knows that if Giblets’s rivals are elected president he could transform into a pack of ravenous wolves and eat your children. And that candidate is Giblets.
Fafnir, though, endorses a gila monster, but not without real deliberation:
It is a confusin an frightenin time to be America. Because a 9/11 an these Times Of Change. “Oh no!” says America. “I’m so confused who do I voooote for!” You need steady leadership in times a change America. The steady leadership of a big ol dog. Some other candidates say they are steady but are they really? Or are they just suspiciously french an ketchupy? “Sacre bleu, vive le France,” say some other candidates. “Ceci n’est pas une pipe.” Well always know where a big ol dog stands on hard issues like terror!” “HRARRGL HRAARRGL GRRRAAARRRGL,” says a big ol dog bitin an spittin an growlin at terror. The dog is also tough on other dogs, postal workers, small children, plants an stuff that looks like plants.
We don’t know if they made this or not, but it’s funny as hell.
Well, actually, it’s Atrios quoting Wesley calling attention to what George said, but it’s still pretty fucking fine:
Today George W. Bush made a very compelling and thoughtful argument for why he should not be reelected. In his own words, he told the American people that ÒÉa political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your Commander in Chief. President Bush couldnÕt be more right. He jumped to conclusions about any connection between Saddam Hussein and 911. He jumped to conclusions about weapons of mass destruction. He jumped to conclusions about the mission being accomplished. He jumped to conclusions about how we had enough troops on the ground to win the peace. And because he jumped to conclusions, terrorists and insurgents in Iraq may very well have their hands on powerful explosives to attack our troops, we are stuck in Iraq without a plan to win the peace, and Americans are less safe both at home and abroad. By doing all these things, he broke faith with our men and women in uniform. He has let them down. George W. Bush is unfit to be our Commander in Chief.
Amnesty International’s more than a little disturbed about our human rights record of late:
LONDON (Reuters) – The United States has failed to guard against torture and inhuman behavior since launching its “war on terror” after Sept. 11, 2001, Amnesty International said Wednesday in a report just days before the U.S. election. The rights group called on President Bush and his Democratic challenger John Kerry to promise to take prompt action to address the issue head on if elected on Nov. 2. It condemned Bush’s response to the 2001 attacks on U.S. cities, saying it had resulted in an “iconography of torture, cruelty and degradation.” Amnesty’s report accused Washington of stepping onto a “well-trodden path of violating basic rights in the name of national security or ‘military necessity’.” “The war mentality the government has adopted has not been matched with a commitment to the laws of war and it has discarded fundamental human rights principles along the way,” it said. At best, Washington was guilty of setting conditions for torture and cruel treatment by lowering safeguards and failing to respond adequately to allegations of abuse, it said. At worst, it had authorized interrogation techniques which flouted its international obligation to reject torture and ill-treatment under any circumstances.
Say, how about that “shining city on a hill” thing again?
Relative to population, it turns out our votes in Texas are only worth about 0.8 votes, while folks in tiny states like Wyoming are worth better than 3. Check out this analysis of the Electoral College system for more. It’s interesting — and a bit disturbing, particularly if you think in terms of “one man, one vote” — no matter what your politics.
A member at SuicideGirls listed two of his favorite Nintendo games in his profile. Nintendo’s lawyers noticed, and sent a cease and desist letter on the grounds that this infringed on their copyrights and/or trademarks.
At least, he has been according to GodHatesRags.com. Heh.
Have a look at his video for Mosh. (Big Quicktime file, but worth it.)
Thomas Schaller believes in our president. Here’s a sample:
I believe in President George W. Bush. I’ve always believed him. I believe the president invaded Iraq to secure liberty and democracy for the Iraqi people. I believe he had compelling evidence that Iraq was a significant threat to America and the world, and presented that evidence in a complete and balanced manner. Like 42 percent of Americans — and 62 percent of Republicans — I believe Saddam Hussein was involved in the September 11 attacks. I believe we have enough troops on the ground in Iraq to ensure stability. I believe the rising American fatality rates, the rising casualty rates, and the rising American share of those coalition fatalities and casualties testify to the undeniable progress we’re making there. I believe it is inappropriate and traitorous, however, for the media to broadcast pictures of American flag-draped caskets returning from Iraq. I believed then-candidate Bush when he said during the 2000 campaign that America should not nation-build, and believe him now when he says our nation was divinely chosen for this task. I believe, as the president claims, that “free societies are peaceful societies,” but that the political and civil rights in oppressive, undemocratic countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are exempt from this standard. I believe Iraqis view Americans as liberators, and that once this swift, cheap war concludes the world will be more stable, our allies more cooperative, and our enemies fewer and less threatening.
There’s more. Enjoy.
The missing Iraqi explosives cache was huge, huge, huge — 380 tons is the estimate I keep seeing. But what was it? See, that’s where it gets even better. According to analysis found here, the material lifted at AQQ (RDX, HMX, and PETN) is among the most potent conventional stuff that exists, representing (by weight) 170% of the explosive power of an equivalent mass of TNT (if I understand correctly). It took less than a pound of this sort of thing to shatter Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, according to the NYT coverage.
To compare this to something we can actually grok, consider that the Murrah Building bomb was about 5,000 pounds of ammonium-nitrate-based explosives. That stuff isn’t nearly as good as Alfred Nobel’s baby, working at 3%-10% of the same mass of the good stuff, so say the Murrah was 150 to 500 pounds of TNT.
The missing explosives are the equivalent of 646 tons of TNT. Time to quote:
Convert this back into my OK City metric, and this means that the lost material at AQQ equals betwen 2,584 – 8,613 OK City-size bombs. That’s one hell of a lot of material to be on the street — enough to fuel a car-bomb and IED-based insurgency for years, if not decades.
Oh boy. But it gets better. (And by “better” I mean “worse”.) Not only is a shitload of this stuff presumably readibly available to use against our men and women on the ground over there, but it’s really compact, high-density stuff. I’m a long way from any real math, but it sounds to me like it’s amost twice as powerful by weight. If Murrah was accomplishable with (split the range) 325 pounds of TNT, then (at 170%) you can do the same trick with less than 200 pounds of the AQQ stockpile. Put another way, you can do your own Iraqi Murrah job with a motorcycle and a sidecar. Or a mule. Or a four-wheeler.
(If anyone has any more direct knowledge of explosive power, the Murrah bomb, conversions, or anything else, please feel free to email or comment; I’m a sucker for accuracy.)
MNFTIU weighs on on the missing explosives.
George Bush appeared at a Wisconsin high school today. Students were told they could not wear any pro-Kerry items — buttons, t-shirts, whatever — or they would be expelled.
From Boing Boing:
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes it illegal to break software locks. Under that theory, Lexmark sued a competitor, Static Controls, for making compatible printer cartridges because refilling the cartridges necessitated resetting the cartridge software, and doing that meant breaking the lock that intended to keep you from refilling your cartridge. Get that: they claimed, basically, that the printer cartridge was a copyrighted work, and that by refilling it, you were pirating it. Anyway, this is so much bullshit, it makes your head spin. And as of today, the appeals court agrees: Lexmark can’t use the DMCA to prop up its business-model of charging you a 1000 percent markup on its inkjet carts. Neener, neener, neener. Link.
From this NYT story:
Republican Party officials in Ohio took formal steps yesterday to place thousands of recruits inside polling places on Election Day to challenge the qualifications of voters they suspect are not eligible to cast ballots. Party officials say their effort is necessary to guard against fraud arising from aggressive moves by the Democrats to register tens of thousands of new voters in Ohio, seen as one of the most pivotal battlegrounds in the Nov. 2 elections. Election officials in other swing states, from Arizona to Wisconsin and Florida, say they are bracing for similar efforts by Republicans to challenge new voters at polling places, reflecting months of disputes over voting procedures and the anticipation of an election as close as the one in 2000. Ohio election officials said they had never seen so large a drive to prepare for Election Day challenges. They said they were scrambling yesterday to be ready for disruptions in the voting process as well as alarm and complaints among voters. Some officials said they worried that the challenges could discourage or even frighten others waiting to vote.
What’s perhaps most disturbing is the assumption that the GOP needs to defend itself against more people voting.
Sprint is said to be crippling the Bluetooth capabilities of the new Treo 650; we are not pleased. It’s nice to have a wireless headset, but the killer app of Bluetooth is the ability to use your phone as a wireless modem with your laptop. I do this now with the Powerbook and my Sony T610 from TMobile, and I certainly won’t be moving to a phone that won’t let me do the same thing.
Three Oregon schoolteachers were ejected froma Bush rally and threatened with arrest for wearing t-shirts that said “Protect our Civil Liberties.” How much clearer can this administration’s contempt for the Constitution be?
I mean, just think about this for a minute: wearing a T-shirt that paraphrases part of the oath Bush took four years ago is grounds for ejection, presumably based on the assumption that anyone who lobbies for civil liberties MUST be anti-Bush. That assumption is incredibly telling.
Three hundred and fifty tons of explosives belonging to the former Iraqi army went missing during the invasion. There’s a coverup a-brewing, too, as it appears nobody bothered to tell Condi Rice until last month.
Yeah, this Iraq thing looks like a better idea all the time, doesn’t it?
Republican? Horny? Lonely? We’ve got just the thing.
Courtesy of Joi Ito.
Fafblog deconstructs our national priorities. Go. Read. Trust us.
People die. Innocent bystanders nowhere near riots, even.
We keep giving police more power — via PATRIOT, for example — for what reason, exactly?
Ashcroft stooge and torture buff John Yoo explains why his “what can we get away with” torture memo was justified and necessary.
As God is my witness, I have it on reasonably good authority that the graphic at right is not Photoshopped in any way.
Make up your own joke.
The present Republican president has led us into an unjustified war — based on misguided and blatantly false misrepresentations of the threat of weapons of mass destruction. The terror seat was Afghanistan. Iraq had no connection to these acts of terror and was not a serious threat to the United States, as this president claimed, and there was no relation, it’s now obvious, to any serious weaponry. Although Saddam Hussein is a frightful tyrant, he posed no threat to the United States when we entered the war. George W. Bush’s arrogant actions to jump into Iraq when he had no plan how to get out have alienated the United States from our most trusted allies and weakened us immeasurably around the world.
A PIPA survey found that Bush supporters are as a rule poorly informed about world events and the administration’s own positions, while Kerry boosters fare much better.
Guess who’s back on the campaign trail?
Someone’s done little figurines of the Justice League.
Using “My Little Pony” dolls as a base.
Since we already prefer cars without radiators, it should come as no surprise that we find the notion of a car that runs Windows as a singularly terrible idea, and pledge right now that the presence of such in any car we evaluate in the future will be reason enough to choose something else.