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US Midterm Elections


Dr_Evil_Mouse
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I keep forgetting these are coming up. At least as they get closer it gets more entertaining.

White House, Kerry square off in Iraq Row

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 | 8:03 PM ET

CBC News

A week before crucial mid-term elections in the United States, the Iraq war is emerging as the most fiercely contentious issue of the campaign.

In the latest row between Republicans and Democrats, the White House is accusing Senator John Kerry of insulting U.S. soldiers, while the Massachusetts legislator is calling his opponents "right-wing nut jobs".

On Monday, Kerry told students in California that they risked getting "stuck in Iraq" if they didn't study hard and get a good education.

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq," Kerry said.

A defiant Kerry said at a news conference Tuesday his comments were a "botched joke" meant to refer to President George W. Bush.

"I apologize to no one for my criticism of the president and of his broken policy," said Kerry.

Earlier in the day, Kerry's office released what it said was his prepared script to the students, which read, "You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush."

White House spokesman Tony Snow described Kerry's original remarks as "an absolute insult" to U.S. soldiers.

"Senator Kerry not only owes an apology to those who are serving," he said, "but to those who've given their lives in this."

A bitter campaign

Kerry responded angrily to Snow's comments, as well as the criticisms from conservative broadcasters.

"I'm not going to be lectured by a stuffed-suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium or doughy Rush Limbaugh," he said in a statment issued early Tuesday.

"If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq — and not the president who got us stuck there — they're crazy," he added.

Commentators say the tone of the campaign for the midterm elections has rarely been more bitter and intense. Polls show the Democrats set to make substantial gains at most levels, although it's not clear if they'll retake both houses of Congress, which they haven't held since 1994.

The latest opinion surveys indicate a majority of Americans disapprove of the government's handling of the Iraq war, a feeling that Democrats have been appealing to in speeches and advertising.

When he ran against President George W. Bush in the 2004 election, Senator Kerry played up his military service as a decorated Vietnam veteran but the Republican party managed to highlight unsubstantiated allegations about his war record in what became known as the "Swift Boat controversy".

Kerry has admitted that his campaign's slow response to those attacks cost him the election.

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Ya know if Kerry actually spouted that much fire at Bush in his presidential campaign he might have actually seemed to have a pulse.

I can't wait tuntil nov.7th I pray for the decent people of the US that the repulican/right wing agenda dies, and the senate and congress is taken over by the left.

Impeach Bush/Chainey/Rumsfeld already!

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i'll be mystified if they reelect bush. the man really does come across as a complete moron at each and every public appearance the he makes.

truer words were never spoken ... in 2004.

unfortunately, you would have been mystified like the rest of us were, are, and always will be.

Dubya is the trans-fat of politics ...

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He could conceivably stay for another term. THat 2 term law was only put into place in the 40's after FDR died, and was the Republicans idea. If the Republicans win the midterms they could push through legislation to recind that law.

Nope, it would require an amendment to the constitution, not just "legislation." Amending the constitution in the USA requires support at the federal level (house and senate, and more than just a 50% + 1, either a 2/3 or 3/4 majority) as well as ratification by the individual states (and support from a certain number of them, with the supporting states having a certain percentage of the population). Even if there was enough support (which I strongly doubt), there is no way all that can be done by early 2008, which is the time period in which the Republicans will have to choose their candidate.

Aloha,

Brad

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And in political terms, Bush is THE liability for Republican candidates in these midterm elections, many are telling him to stay away from making appearances in their districts/states.

Hard to imagine them then turning around and pushing for Mr. 37% approval to stick around even longer.

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He could conceivably stay for another term. THat 2 term law was only put into place in the 40's after FDR died' date=' and was the Republicans idea. If the Republicans win the midterms they could push through legislation to recind that law.[/quote']

Nope, it would require an amendment to the constitution, not just "legislation." Amending the constitution in the USA requires support at the federal level (house and senate, and more than just a 50% + 1, either a 2/3 or 3/4 majority) as well as ratification by the individual states (and support from a certain number of them, with the supporting states having a certain percentage of the population). Even if there was enough support (which I strongly doubt), there is no way all that can be done by early 2008, which is the time period in which the Republicans will have to choose their candidate.

Aloha,

Brad

oh yee of little faith ... where there's a will, there's a way. they bought the presidency after all, twice! ;)

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It was bound to get messy, wasn't it - especially with the Ted Haggart scandal.

Last Updated: Friday, November 3, 2006 | 6:32 PM ET

The Associated Press

The president of the U.S. National Association of Evangelicals admitted Friday that he bought methamphetamine and received a massage from a gay prostitute, who claims the outspoken gay marriage opponent paid him for drug-fuelled sex trysts.

The Rev. Ted Haggard resigned as president of the 30-million-member association in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Thursday and stepped down as head of his 14,000-member New Life Church while the two groups investigate the allegations.

Talking to reporters outside his house Friday, Haggard denied the sex allegations, but said that he did buy the street drug known as meth from the man because he was curious.

"I bought it for myself but never used it," he said. "I was tempted, but I never used it."

Haggard, a married father of five, said he never had sex with Mike Jones, a 49-year-old male prostitute who sparked the scandal when he told a radio station he had had a three-year sexual relationship with the minister.

Haggard said he did get a massage from Jones after being referred to him by a Denver hotel.

The executive committee of the National Association of Evangelicals planned a conference call Friday and said it would release a statement afterward.

The acting pastor of Haggard's New Life Church, Ross Parsley, told congregants in an e-mail that the church's four-member board of overseers had met with Haggard on Thursday.

"It is important for you to know that he [Haggard] confessed to the overseers that some of the accusations against him are true," the e-mail said. "He has willingly and humbly submitted to the authority of the board of overseers, and will remain on administrative leave during the course of the investigation," the e-mail stated.

Voters set to decide on gay marriage ban

The allegations come as voters in Colorado and seven other states get ready to decide Tuesday on amendments banning gay marriage. Besides the proposed ban on the Colorado ballot, a separate measure would establish the legality of domestic partnerships providing same-sex couples with many of the rights of married couples.

The allegations stunned church members.

"It's political, right before the elections," said Brian Boals, a New Life member for 17 years.

Church member E.J. Cox, 25, called the claims "ridiculous."

"People are always saying stuff about Pastor Ted," she said. "You just sort of blow it off. He's just like anyone else in the public eye."

Haggard's accuser said he decided to go public because of the political fight over the amendments.

"I just want people to step back and take a look and say, 'Look, we're all sinners, we all have faults, but if two people want to get married, just let them, and let them have a happy life,' " said Jones, who added that he isn't working for any political group.

Jones, who said he is gay, said he was also upset when he discovered Haggard and the New Life Church had publicly opposed same-sex marriage.

"It made me angry that here's someone preaching about gay marriage and going behind the scenes having gay sex," he said.

Alleged gay trysts involved drugs

Jones claimed Haggard paid him to have sex nearly every month over three years. He said he advertised himself as an escort on the internet and was contacted by a man who called himself Art, who snorted methamphetamine before their sexual encounters to heighten his experience.

Jones said he later saw the man on television identified as Haggard and that the two last had sex in August.

He said he has voice mail messages from Haggard, as well as an envelope he said Haggard used to mail him cash. He declined to make the voice mails available to the Associated Press, but KUSA-TV reported what it said were excerpts late Thursday that referred to methamphetamine.

"Hi Mike, this is Art," one call began, according to the station. "Hey, I was just calling to see if we could get any more. Either $100 or $200 supply."

A second message, left a few hours later, began: "Hi Mike, this is Art, I am here in Denver and sorry that I missed you. But as I said, if you want to go ahead and get the stuff, then that would be great. And I'll get it sometime next week or the week after or whenever."

Haggard, 50, was appointed president of the evangelicals association in March 2003. He has participated in conservative Christian leaders conference calls with White House staffers and lobbied members of Congress last year on U.S. Supreme Court appointees after Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement.

After Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2004, Haggard and others began organizing state-by-state opposition. Last year, Haggard and officials from the nearby Christian ministry Focus on the Family announced plans to push Colorado's gay marriage ban for the 2006 ballot.

At the time, Haggard said that he believed marriage is a union between a man and woman rooted in centuries of tradition, and that research shows it's the best family unit for children.

Presuming the claims are true, on the one hand this is really neither here nor there, given that Jesus used to get a bad reputation himself for hanging out with prostitutes and even manufactured intoxicants himself; Haggart's supporters are no doubt going to point to that in his defense.

But there's no way around the fact that this is all pretty weird and twisted, and that there seems to be this pattern of repression and covert behaviour among these characters, who pour so much of their public energies into making other people's lives unpleasant.

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The past 6yrs have really demonstrated the problem with the American 'two party' system. Our world has really been set back by an unenlightened despot. Clinton was'nt great by any means but atleast he was forced (and was able) to work a Republican congress. My recent reason as to why I hate GWB (#....) the accounting office responsible the oversight of the spending in Iraq has been closed down. It seems that they did too good of a job a 'whistle blowing'.

Anyways I'm glad the Presidential election is not for another two years. I fear the knee jerk reaction of turning our back and running from Iraq. I sure as heck do not have any idea what needs to happen. ** I would LOVE to hear some ideas on the subject.

Please insert ideas: __________________________

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given that Jesus used to get a bad reputation himself for hanging out with prostitutes and even manufactured intoxicants himself; Haggart's supporters are no doubt going to point to that in his defense.

You might be right, but I'd be surprised to see it. The NAE ilk don't strike me as the type to be quick to jump to the defense of men engaging with male prostitues and recreational drug use.

We further call upon pastors and theologians, along with medical and sociological specialists with the Christian community to expand research on the factors which give rise to homosexuality and to develop therapy, pastoral care and congregational support leading to complete restoration.

"Complete restoration". Adorable.

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The NAE ilk don't strike me as the type to be quick to jump to the defense of men engaging with male prostitues and recreational drug use.

I'd be surprised too, frankly. Just seemed like an interest theological angle.

I got a kick out of how fast Falwell and his folks were to distinguish themselves from not only Haggart but the NAE itself - same strategy he's used with every one of these scandals (but see who still ends up on his mailing lists). He apparently has a particular grudge against them for daring to question the wisdom of Falwell and Dobson on a bunch of issues.

Of course, Falwell was even an asshole to MLK Jr., so nothing's really surprising.

We further call upon pastors and theologians' date=' along with medical and sociological specialists with the Christian community to expand research on the factors which give rise to homosexuality and to develop therapy, pastoral care and congregational support leading to complete restoration.[/quote']

"Complete restoration". Adorable.

If they're going to overtly mess around with psychology, maybe they should work on a cure for authoritarianism - but that would be taking the wind out of their own sails.

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where there's a will, there's a way. they bought the presidency after all, twice! ;)

Check out this fuckery:

Diebolt: Election-Theft Testimony in Ohio

(with video)

A partial transcript:

Are there computer programs that can be used to secretly fix elections?

Yes.

How do you know that to be the case?

Because in October of 2000, I wrote a prototype for Congressman Tom Feeney [R-FL]...

It would rig an election?

It would flip the vote, 51-49. Whoever you wanted it to go to and whichever race you wanted to win.

And would that program that you designed, be something that elections officials... could detect?

They'd never see it.

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From Warren Ellis's BAD SIGNAL mailing list: "Karl Rove is not Aleister Crowley, Severus Snape, Darth Vader or Satan. You can kill him by ensuring your vote is counted and being vigilant at your polling station."

I so hope that the efforts by all the grassroots orgs work today in order to ensure a "fair" vote. I read that they are encouraging people to get out their video cameras and film the happenings around polling stations, etc.

Edited by Guest
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Report vote-machine problems to 1-866-OUR-VOTE

If you experience any irregularities in voting today, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE, the hotline for the National Campaign for Fair Elections. EFF lawyers and many others are standing by across the country to take legal action to remove malfunctioning voting machines, keep polls open, etc.

Hear about vote-counting and democracy in the Latest EFF podcast , "Error: Vote Note Counted at Line 50." Link

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State-by-state guide to polling place photos

The Center for Citizen Media has posted an extensive guide to the state-by-state rules on polling-place photography -- this is particularly relevant in this election, as Diebold' corrupt, inept voting machines come into play.

* Can you photograph or video your vote inside the polling station– either a paper ballot or electronic screen?

* Can you photograph or video yourself voting inside the polling station?

* Can you photograph or video others voting or the working of the polling station from within it?

* Can you photograph or video the polling station from outside it?

* Can you photograph or video people leaving the voting station?

* Can you ask people questions leaving the polling station and can you video or blog their answers?

http://citmedia.org/blog/2006/11/06/state-laws-vary-on-polling-place-photography/

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