October 13th, 2004

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Germany to the rescue?

Senior German officials have backed off Germany's previous statements categorically opposing troops in Iraq.

Peter Struck, the German defence minister, gave an interview, saying:

"At present I rule out the deployment of German troops in Iraq. In general, however, there is no one who can predict developments in Iraq in such a way that he could make a such a binding statement [about the future]."

Mr Struck also welcomed Mr Kerry�s proposal that he would convene an international conference on Iraq.

"This is a very sensible proposal. The situation in Iraq can only be cleared up when all those involved sit together at one table. Germany has taken on responsibilities in Iraq, including financial ones; this would naturally justify our involvement in such a conference."

Another senior German official said:
"When the situation in Iraq changes, when elections have been held, or there are other developments, then we will make decisions on this basis. If a democratically-elected Iraqi government were to ask the UN for support, the international community, including Germany, must be in a position to respond."

This new information seems to support statements from John Kerry's camp that they can, infact, go back to the Germans, Russians, French, etc. and build a much stronger alliance to bring peace and security to Iraq.

With over 320,000 troops, Germany's military is second in Europe only to that of Russia. Their participation in Iraq would make them the largest partner in the coalition.
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Seymour Hersh claims massacre in Iraq.

Seymour Hersh, the reporter who broke the story on Abu Ghraib, gave a speech on Oct. 8th, in which he recounts a call from a US liutenant in Iraq who witnessed a massacre in western Iraq. Listen to this RealVideo file at about 41:45 for the audio.

"I got a call last week from a soldier . . . He's an American officer and he was in a unit halfway between Baghdad and the Syrian border . . . He was a platoon commander. First lieutenant, ROTC guy. . . He had been bivouacing outside of town with his platoon. It was near, it was an agricultural area, and there was a granary around. And the guys that owned the granary, the Iraqis . . . that owned the granary, had hired . . . thirty or so guards. . . (The liutenant's) troops were bivouaced, they were stationed there . . . They were a couple weeks together, they knew each other.

So orders came down from the generals in Baghdad, "we want to clear the village," like in Samarra. And as (the liutenant) told the story, another platoon from his company came and executed all the guards, as his people were screaming, stop. And he said they just shot them one by one. (The liutenant) went nuts, and his soldiers went nuts. And (the liutenant is) hysterical. He's totally hysterical. And he went to the captain . . And the company captain said, "No, you don't understand. That's a kill. We got thirty-six insurgents."</i>
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The O'oh'oh Factor

FoxNews posterboy Bill O'Reilly is in hot water. Andrea Mackris, a longtime Associate Producer for "The O'Reilly Factor" and a current employee of Fox, is suing Bill O'Reilly and FoxNews for a reported sixty miiiiilllion dollars because of years of repeated sexual harassment by O'Reilly!

How bad was the harassment? Imagine O'Reilly calling you at home, supposedly about work... then talking about sex... and ejaculating while on the phone. Not just once... and not just twice... but three times. That bad.

Really, though... you should read the whole thing. I especially like the part where he's fantasizing about teasing her pussy with a falafel. Kinky!

So, just a reminder... out of the two most popular rightwing pundits:
- One is a drug-dealin' hillbilly heroin junkie.
- The other is sexually abusive phone s3x0r -- the kind of guy who tries to cheat on his pregant wife.

And *BOTH* are in a world of hurtin' right about now. (Envisions protesters chasing O'Reilly down, waving vibrators and boxes of Kleenex at him.)

**Update: O'Reilly's lawyers have countersued, and have made statements indicating that not only do they believe that there were phone recordings, they suspect they were recorded, too. Mackris' lawyer is apparently as good as they get at these kinds of cases. Should be interesting... Meanwhile, Bill O'Reilly's exploits have apparently given rise to a new word! Bill is horny, wants a snack... He's a falaphiliac! **
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Third Debate - Who won?

Gallup says Kerry by a strong margin. 52% - 39%, with 42% of the audience viewing Kerry more favorably after the debate. They also had comparisons to previous pre and post debate surveys they did, which showed continuous improvement for Kerry, with more voters identifying with him on key issues that matter to them. Most notably, this debate is the first debate they have where Kerry polled higher than Bush on believability and on sharing people's values.

CBS says uncommited voters who saw the debate favor Kerry by a margin of 39% - 25%.

ABC's poll says Kerry, by a whisker.

Apparently, they polled a focus group that was 38% Republican and 30% Democratic, and yet out of that group, 42% said Kerry won, 41% said Bush won.

42% of Independents favored Kerry, compared to 35% for Bush. Also notable, however, is that 12% of Republicans thought Kerry won, compared to 5% of Democrats thinking that Bush won.

The end result? Kerry still has the initiative, and will gain more traction, more credibility, and more of the swing voters than Bush. Advantage Kerry.

If you missed the debate, you can find it on C-SPAN.org, of course! Click here to watch the debate (RealPlayer) or go here for the transcript.