Who needs'em.

The whole state is nothing but America's prostate gland – something that no one pays attention to until it starts acting up. At this point, discussions about the election should move forward with the given assumption that Florida will be swindled away by the Republicans. Again. So be it.

Of eight polls taken in Ohio in the last 10 days, six of them show Kerry with a lead outside of the margin of error. In Pennsylvania, Kerry remains in the margin of error but has led a succession of polls over the last 2 weeks. Taking that into account, here's an electoral college map giving Bush every conceivable benefit of the doubt in other swing states, including Florida, but assuming that the Ohio polls are right and Kerry wins.

Humans 272, Fascists 266

Look at the number of swing states being conceded to Bush in this scenario: Iowa, New Mexico, Nevada, West Virginia, and even big-ass Florida. Bear in mind that Gore won NM and Iowa. And the only assumptions being made in Kerry's favor are that he:

A) Has the lead in Ohio that polls indicate he does
B) Will win New Hampshire, a progressive state that Bush was shocked to win in 2000

Pretty reasonable assumptions, right? If anything, it's being overly generous to Bush. Kerry still appears to have a slight advantage in Iowa and the race in Florida is an absolute statistical tie.

So suck it, Florida. You devolved, homonculous retards can vote however the fuck you want and do whatever you feel like with the ballots afterwards. Vote on an Etch-a-Sketch for all I care. Toss ballots into the ocean. Disenfranchise every black voter in the state. It doesn't matter. Kerry's decisive momentum swing in Ohio – a state I gave up for dead a month ago – has rendered Florida irrelevant even under scenarios extremely favorable to Bush in other swing states.

In other words, I'm going on record and saying that we will in fact know who the President is when we wake up on Wednesday. As hard as Brother Jeb and the other little demon spawn in Florida will try to turn the election into another 3 month long legal battle, it's not going to matter. That state of mulleted, drooling, Skynyrd-loving mongoloids can entertain itself in court for as long as it likes. So long as the good people of Ohio exercise an iota of critical thinking skills – and polling now indicates that they will – America's wang will remain irrelevant. Just like it should.

Residency is the new Hanging Chad.

So I'm hearing from Republican friends (yes I have a few) that the major strategy on the right this year is going to be getting a large number of pollwatchers to go to polling places and just challenge the residency of every identifiable hispanic or african-american they can find. The challenge may or may not be effective, but it will slow voting to a halt in democratic areas, and may cause people to just go home rather than waiting the additional hours.

Not sure whether or not to believe gossip, a quick google search for residency laws is already showing a headache in the making. Random link from Maine:

Two years ago, however, Republicans challenged nearly every voter at the polling place on the University of Maine's Orono campus, creating long, slow-moving lines, according to people who were there.

Orono Republicans say they were just making sure that residency laws were enforced. Democrats charge that it was a deliberate tactic designed to discourage voters.

For people working the polls, it was a headache. "I don't know if it was a delaying tactic, but it definitely held things up," Orono Town Clerk Wanda Thomas said. "They were challenging just about everyone."

Now just replace 'student' with 'hispanic' or 'african-american' and we have a surefire way to create a hostile voting atmosphere. Democracy is on the march!

Like explosives…but more scary.

Wow, I love how when Iraqi's cultural legacy was looted nobody really was concerned. Now that we are realizing the looting had more military implications, people are coming out of the woodworks. Heads up for this editorial by Former ambassador Peter W. Galbraith:

On April 16, 2003, a mob attacked and looted the Iraqi equivalent of the Centers for Disease Control, taking live HIV and black fever virus among other potentially lethal materials. US troops were stationed across the street but did not intervene because they didn't know the building was important.

When he found out, the young American lieutenant was devastated. He shook his head and said, "I hope I am not responsible for Armageddon." About the same time, looters entered the warehouses at Iraq's sprawling nuclear facilities at Tuwaitha on Baghdad's outskirts. They took barrels of yellowcake (raw uranium), apparently dumping the uranium and using the barrels to hold water. US troops were at Tuwaitha but did not interfere.

I supported President Bush's decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein…In spite of the chaos that followed the war, I am sure that Iraq is better off without Saddam Hussein…It is my own country that is worse off…Someone out there has nuclear bomb-making equipment, and they may not be well disposed toward the United States. Much of this could have been avoided with a competent postwar strategy.

Ouch. I still also feel that this is a result of our military being too effective during the war.

Early 90s nostalgia begins now.

People often talk about the violence and inhumanity of the Grand Theft Auto videogame series, which is valid, but they are missing what is probably one of the most inventive features of the game – driving around listening to the radio. The fake DJs and bad commericals that gave GTAIII a really humorous twist turned into the Vice City 1980s radio stations that set the game firmly in the time period more than the fashion or setting ever did (doing drive by shootings while Blondie played was an entertaining way to spend an evening).

So along comes the new GTA game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which is set sometime in the early 1990s. God bless Rockstar games, for they truly know where their ages 23-28 audience inside out. If you were discovering music between 1992-94, as I was, then you can spend this game driving around flipping the radio stations and time-lapse.

Pitchfork reviewed Zack de la Rocha's new single and refered to it being "1996alicious." I have that feeling going on; this music couldn't possibly be more set in 1992-94 (presumably Ms. Love wouldn't give them the Nirvana rights for a song license – so they are missing).

The DJs they have found are fun choices as well (Axel Rose is the DJ of a classic rock Petty/CCR station). Here is a sampling of the radio track listings (full list here):

Radio X: The Alternative
1. Helmet “Unsung”
2. Depeche Mode “Personal Jesus”
4. Danzig “Mother”
8. L7 “Pretend We’re Dead”
10. Soundgarden “Rusty Cage”
11. Rage Against the Machine “Killing in the Name”
12. Jane’s Addiction “Been Caught Stealing”
14. Alice in Chains “Them Bones”
15. Stone Temple Pilots “Plush”

CSR 103.2
DJ: Philip “PM” Michaels, voiced by Michael Bivins (the "Biv" from BellBivDevoe)
1. SWV “I’m So Into You”
4. En Vogue “My Lovin’ (Never Gonna Get It)”
6. Ralph Tresvant “Sensitivity”
9. Boyz II Men “Motownphilly”
10. Bell Biv Devoe (BBD) “Poison”
12. Wreck-N-Effect “New Jack Swing”

Bounce FM
DJ: “The Funktipus,” voiced by George Clinton
3. Ohio Players “Love Rollercoaster”
4. Rick James “Cold Blooded”
5. Maze “Twilight”
9. Lakeside “Fantastic Voyage”
10. George Clinton “Loopzilla”

Radio Los Santos
2. 2 Pac “I Don’t Give a F***”
4. Dr. Dre “Nuthin’ But a “G” Thang”
5. Dr. Dre “F*** Wit Dre Day”
8. Cypress Hill “How I Could Just Kill a Man”
10. NWA “Alwayz Into Somethin’”
11. NWA “Express Yourself”
12. Ice Cube “It Was a Good Day”
13. Ice Cube “Check Yo Self (The Message Remix)”
14. Eazy-E “Eazy-Er Said Than Dunn”

I have to say, if this is how 1990s nostaglia will proceed I am pretty comfortable with it. If a Boyz II Men song played at your grade school graduation (or worse, a school dance), then you have a moral obligation to seek out this game.

Ways to sit out the insanity.

In the same line as the implication of Erik's and Ed's recent posts, I just can't take this election anymore. This is all insane. Watching Lynne Cheney say that Kerry "is not a good man" while her husband says that voting for Kerry is a vote for a future terrorist attack is really the "it's come to this" moment of the election. And with the slight possibility that the electoral college could tie, I've decided that I'm casting my ballot and going into hiding until it is all over.

Luckily, the mass media is helping me with my election-time exile:

  • The O.C. Season 1 comes out on DVD today. You know you love it. My apartment is already gearing up for the marathon that will begin tonight.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is also is available at stores today. IGN is calling it the best game for the PS2. The size of the world is 6 times that of Vice City, with roads and small towns connecting the LV, SF and LA stand-ins. I hope somebody is thinking of the children!

    Hey, if you are bored, leave a comment answering the simple y/n question (eleborate if you must): "When we wake up at 9:00am on Wednesday, Nov 3rd, will we know who the President is?" Unfortunately, I think no, we will not..

  • No Really, We are not kidding.

    With just a little over a week remaining before we have a go at electing a president, huge quantities of people still think that George Bush is doing a fine job with whatever the hell it is he is doing in Iraq. In fact, 46% at the end of September.

    At least the trend is promising….oh no wait, no its not. People are actually beginning to think that things are improving? Perhaps my complete and utter confusion will be somewhat mitigated by more polling data.

    From the week Oct. 14-16.

    • 47% of people think that it was a mistake to send troops
    • 54% think that is wasn't worth going
    • 47% think that we were deliberately misled.
    • oh…. and just to top things off a bit, 42% of people seem to be under the impression that Sadaam Hussein was personally involved in the September 11th terrorist attacks.

    To add some perspective, and I know that these numbers vary a lot depending on your particular poll, the Gallup poll has George Bush leading by a margin of 52% to 44%.

    I feel there is no possible way I am reading this correctly. Do you see what I am saying? This actually means that there are people out there that think that it was a mistake to invade Iraq, and who in fact believe that George Bush deliberately misled us, and who aren't voting for Kerry.

    Well thinks that some people need some reminder that things in Iraq are more fucked than cheap a internet cam whore.

    I know we have probably all heard that over the weekend 49 unarmed Iraqi soldiers (you know, the ones we are training to take our place) were executed by insurgents. There is no joke here, this is just sad.

    However, another pathetic story that is not being widely covered has shown up in the New York Times today. Yes, I know they are all fucking liberal communist terrorists over there and we ought not trust a word out of their mouths, but who knows. They might be on to something here

    " The Iraqi interim government has warned the United States and international nuclear inspectors that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives – used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons – are missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations."

    Just in case you didn't read that correctly, I will type it again, 380 tons of explosives. And yes, apparently somebody just walked off with them- possibly concealing them beneath a trenchcoat or something. How else could they have gotten past the American guards with 380 TONS of explosives?

    Oh wait, nevermind, we weren't guarding it. I suppose that it is because we were unaware that it existed until after the weapons were gone. Nope, we have known about this facility since the mid 80's.

    How does George Bush feel about this? Who knows? It is apparently unclear whether or not anyone even bothered to tell him.

    I guess this doesn't matter to the 46% of people who think that the war is going Very Well/Moderately Well.

    Have fun November 2nd!


    If you're like us, the World Series is about as interesting as tap water to you. But America's flagging national pastime has been reinvigorated by Taco Bell's vow to give away 280,000,000 tacos if a promotional target is hit with a home run ball.

    Yes, if this 12'x12' target is hit, every person in the United States will get a free taco. Mind you, it is 144 square feet and placed 420 feet from home plate, so it would take a great but not unfeasible shot to hit it.

    Hit one here, boys. These orphans ain't gonna feed themselves.

    While it may initially seem like Taco Bell stands to take a financial beating with this promotion (it's reminiscent of the Simpson's episode with the free Krusty Burgers for American Olympic winners after the Soviets boycott the games), fear not. The company has taken out an insurance policy to provide financial compensation in the event that they must give away 280,000,000 tacos.

    I don't know about you, but tonight I will sleep well knowing that taco insurance not only exists but is in use.


    I think we can let this one speak for itself aside from briefly mentioning a link to the original story.

    Pat Robertson, an ardent Bush supporter, said he had that conversation with the president in Nashville, Tennessee, before the March 2003 invasion. He described Bush in the meeting as "the most self-assured man I've ever met in my life."

    "You remember Mark Twain said, 'He looks like a contented Christian with four aces.' I mean he was just sitting there like, 'I'm on top of the world,' " Robertson said on the CNN show, "Paula Zahn Now."

    "And I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, 'Mr. President, you had better prepare the American people for casualties.' "

    Robertson said the president then told him, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."

    So apparently he's not a liar, he's just incomprehensibly stupid. Well. I feel better in that case.


    Q: What are "Two things that make George Bush look stupid," Alex?

    Correct, for $500.

    While browsing a CNN Story about a deadly mortar attack in Baghdad today, I could not help but stare in shock and awe at this photo:

    The Iraqi 1st Heavy Armored Batallion readies its artillery for action

    I would like to point out the state of armament of the troops to whom our President claims we are in the process of transferring power. After a double-take, I ascertained that the troops are on patrol in a Ford Expedition with the letters "ING" (Iraqi National Guard) spray-painted by hand on the side. This combat-ready vehicle is armed with what appears to be a hand-me-down, obsolete Soviet-era Kalishnakov AK-74 7.62mm machine gun hastily welded to the top of the SUV. Mind you, it's clip-fed, meaning it has about 4 seconds of firing capacity before it needs reloading.

    The soldier in the foreground is brandishing a Chinese knock-off of the WWII-era Soviet RPG, accurate to about 50 yards and downright useless against an enemy on foot.

    I may be incorrect, and I will call my local Ford dealership to verify this if necessary, but the Ford Expedition provides about as much protection from ballistics as a raincoat. I'm sure its 1/64" thick sheet metal, which is easily dented by a shopping cart, can withstand rifle fire. Not to mention that it is wheeled, not tracked, and therefore explosives can be rolled underneath it.

    Oh, and by the way, it has a lot of windows. Windows don't offer all that much protection. That's why military vehicles that are expected to see combat don't have them.

    So, good luck to the Iraqi National Guard. They are clearly ready to assume the duty of defending their nation against an enemy with which even the biggest, best, and most well-equipped army on Earth has its hands full. To paraphrase Reagan's famous civil defense pronouncement, everyone's gonna make it as long as there are enough used Fords to go around.

    Somebody finally said it to their faces.

    Jon Stewart on Crossfire, telling them how awful Crossfire is (click on 200k, written transcript here). It's really amazing actually.

    Say what you will about Jon Stewart and the Daily Show's new higher profile in the campaign across major media networks, but anybody who calls Tucker Carlson a dick ("You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show") to his face on national TV is ok by me (watch the video, it really happens).

    No really, you are a dick.

    STEWART: Here's just what I wanted to tell you guys.
    CARLSON: Yes.
    STEWART: Stop.
    STEWART: Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America…And come work for us, because we, as the people.
    CARLSON: How do you pay?
    STEWART: The people — not well.
    BEGALA: Better than CNN, I'm sure.
    STEWART: But you can sleep at night.

    STEWART: See, the thing is, we need your help. Right now, you're helping the politicians and the corporations. And we're left out there to mow our lawns…you're not too rough on them. You're part of their strategies. You are partisan, what do you call it, hacks.

    STEWART: [when asked why he wasn't harder on Kerry in their interview] is that the news organizations look to Comedy Central for their cues on integrity…You're on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls.

    I still miss old Michael Kinsley squaring off against Pat Buchanan (whose Nixon-era mentality was already anachronistic in 1988). I haven't seen Crossfire since they took a cue from WWF for set design and level of maturity, but seeing that clip makes me think it must be an awful experience to sit through for a half hour each day.