Daily Archives: January 29, 2004

Pubs Invent Green Party Candidate to Siphon Votes from Dems

A new Republican dirty trick–these guys never rest–has been outed by Jeanne at Body and Soul. It seems that California Republicans manufactured a supposed Green Party candidate to siphon votes from a Democrat.

We have a very tight contest for State Senate going on around here. The district is enormous. It covers five counties, stretching from Santa Maria to San Jose, which not only covers a lot of land, it includes a wide range of political opinions. Nobody can call this one.The Democratic candidate is Peg Pinard, who was a little late getting into the race, and is definitely underfunded. The Republican is Abel Maldonado, a young assemblyman who is being groomed as a future party superstar. They already gave him a national forum (although it didn’t go over to well with some Republicans). He was also co-chair of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campain. He’s raised more than $600 thousand in the race (compared to Pinard’s $88 thousand).

Not satisfied with their money advantage, the Republicans decided to try peeling a few votes away from Peg Pinard in a rather dirty way: They dug up a guy, Brook Madsen — who says he doesn’t even think of himself as a Green — talked him into running, and paid his filing fees to run as the Green Party candidate. Peg Pinard has a strong environmental record, and the Green Party had no intention of running anyone against her. But many voters may not get the message, and a fake Green candidate might siphon off crucial votes.

This is low even for Pubs, and in the Days of Bush, that’s saying something. Jeanne says the Greens are fighting back with a campaign to let their members know what’s going on and ask them to vote for Pinard, but as she points out, the message may not get to everyone, especially those who are sympathetic to the Greens but not actual members–like me.

I know I have some readers in CA. If you live in that district, please tell everyone you know about this Publican deception. Even if you don’t vote in that district, tell them anyway. If we don’t nip this in the bud, Karl–who may very well have set this up as a test run–will be doing it everywhere.

Get this through your heads: There is no limit to the depths Republicans will sink in order to win. None.

Inherit the Wind

I remember thinking a few years ago while watching the movie starring Spencer Tracy and Fredric March that the age when science could be thrown out the window and replaced by religious dogma was forever behind us, a relic of past bigotry and superstition that we had passed through never to see again, like the Inquisition or the persecution of witches.

I was wrong. It isn’t over after all, it seems. Junior’s fundamentalist religious convictions allow him to claim, inaccurately and inappropriately, in the SOTU that abstinence is he “only” protection from AIDs, ignoring condoms as if they didn’t exist, and now the State of Georgia has wiped the word “evolution” from its science curriculum, according to the AJC.

Georgia students could graduate from high school without learning much about evolution, and may never even hear the word uttered in class.New middle and high school science standards proposed by state Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox strike references to “evolution” and replace them with the term “biological changes over time,” a revision critics say will further weaken learning in a critical subject.

The curriculum revision which had begun as “an attempt to strengthen the performance of students by requiring greater depth”, was simply hijacked by Republican State Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox and State Dept of Education’s Stephen Pruitt, who ordered the “committee of science teachers, college professors and curriculum experts…involved in reviewing the proposal” to delete both the word “evolution” and most of the curriculum recommended by the American Association for the Advancement of Science that covers “the origin of living things”.

Cox, in what has come to be the standard Republican “say one thing in the election, do another in office” bait-and-switch tactic, was asked about the teaching of evolution in a public debate during her campaign.

Cox, a Republican elected to the state’s top public school position in 2002, addressed the issue briefly in a public debate during the campaign. The candidates were asked about a school dispute in Cobb County over evolution and Bible-based teachings on creation.Cox responded: “It was a good thing for parents and the community to stand up and say we want our children exposed to this [creationism] idea as well. . . . I’d leave the state out of it and I would make sure teachers were well prepared to deal with competing theories.

Once elected, however, she instantly injected the state into the controversy. Of course. Voters who were paying attention would have known she was going to do that from her radcon equation of the scientific theory of evolution with the the religious dogma of creationism. That was a dead give-away. They are not “competing theories”. Labeling creationism a “theory” is like calling the Holy Ghost a “distinct personality type”.

Fortunately, Georgian educators do not, as a rule, live in the Middle Ages, and church control of science is still frowned upon. More than 600 of them have signed an online petition “challeging the curriculum as misguided.” Whether or not that will stop this latest radcon attempt to force science to obey religion remains to be seen.

Where is our Clarence Darrow?

CIA Innocent of Misleading Bush Admin

David Kay’s “No-WMD-after-all” findings made a lot of news, as they should have. But his rap on the intelligence services–claiming that they provided bad information to the WH–is more Republican spin control. In fact, the evidence is overwhelming, as readers of this blog may remember, that the CIA, DIA, and even the State Dept repeatedly warned the Bush Admin that there was NO evidence of the WMD charges they were making. The Center for American Progress lays it out:

Intel Warnings IgnoredFormer weapons inspector David Kay will testify before the Senate today, facing questions about his admission that most likely there were never WMD in Iraq before the Iraq invasion. Kay has spent the last three days pummeling the intelligence community, instead of the Bush Administration, saying the intelligence agencies “owe President Bush an apology.” But Kay’s comments and the White House’s efforts to pass the buck face a challenge from President Bush himself, who “refused to blame faulty intelligence for overstating the threat.” Instead, Bush “evaded questions” and joined Secretary of State Colin Powell and Vice President Cheney as the three top Administration officials to publicly back away from their previous WMD claims. Here are the highlights of the intelligence community’s warnings to the White House (for more, see the complete list):

CIA WARNINGS IGNORED: On February 6, 2002, the CIA told the White House there was “no evidence that Iraq has engaged in terrorist operations against the United States in nearly a decade, and the agency is also convinced that President Saddam Hussein has not provided chemical or biological weapons to Al Qaeda or related terrorist groups.” In October of 2002, the CIA also “sent two memos to the White House voicing strong doubts about a claim President Bush made three months later in the State of the Union address that Iraq was trying to buy nuclear materials in Africa.” And in February of 2003, the CIA again warned the White House, “We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since Desert Fox to reconstitute its Weapons of Mass Destruction programs.”

DIA WARNINGS IGNORED: In September, 2002, the Defense Intelligence Agency told the White House that there is “no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons.” The report also said, “A substantial amount of Iraq’s chemical warfare agents, precursors, munitions, and production equipment were destroyed between 1991 and 1998 as a result of Operation Desert Storm and UN actions.”

DOE WARNINGS IGNORED: In September, 2002, the Energy Department’s technical experts warned the White House that the aluminum tubes Iraq was seeking –the central basis for the conclusion that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program – were ill-suited to build centrifuges for enriching uranium. In fact, Secretary Powell even admitted before the U.N. that there was controversy over the tubes.

STATE DEPT. INTELLIGENCE WARNINGS IGNORED: In October, 2002, the State Department’s Intelligence and Research Department (INR) told the White House that its WMD conclusions were inaccurate. Its report said, “the activities we have detected do not … add up to a compelling case that Iraq is currently pursuing what INR would consider to be an integrated and comprehensive approach to acquiring nuclear weapons.” The Financial Times on 7/30/03 noted that this warning was specifically reiterated to Secretary Powell during the preparations of his U.N. speech, but again was ignored.

AIR FORCE INTELLIGENCE WARNINGS IGNORED: While President Bush said Iraq had Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that could spray biological weapons on American soil, the WP reported on 9/26/03 that “the government organization most knowledgeable about UAV programs – the Air Force’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center – had sharply disputed that notion” to the White House, but was ignored.

U.N./IAEA WARNINGS IGNORED: CNN reported on 2/14/03 that weapons inspectors told the White House “they had not found any weapons of mass destruction.” On 2/15/03, the WP reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency warned the White House, “We have to date found no evidence of ongoing prohibited nuclear or nuclear-related activities in Iraq.”

ANY QUESTIONS?

Nope. Seems clear enough to me.

(From Tom Tomorrow)