50-50 Chance of Al Franken Becoming Senator Franken

Since the polls closed in the Land of 10,000 lakes (and millions of suffering Viking fans) the distance between Norm Coleman and Al Franken has gone from 725 to 590 to 336 to 236 and the recount has not even started yet. Yet Norm Coleman desires the whole thing to be over calling on Franken to not ask for the votes to be reviewed.

At this rate, Franken may be ahead before the recount starts.

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Blackwater Asks To Be Tried Under Islamic Law

Well, just when you think you may have just ONE day in life where your snark can outdo reality, you find out how absurd the world has been made. And not in a good way:

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Missouri Amendment Would Require Proof of Citizenship to Vote

Here's to you Milliard Fillmore, the nation's Lou Dobbs viewers turn their bitter eyes to you!

Now that the Supreme Court has issued its execrable decision allowing more strict voter identification at the polls, though no evidence of widespread voter fraud has ever been produced, the nativist still do not think it is enough. Now, it is about disenfranchisement of groups that vote against conservative agendas and nothing less.

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Will There Ever Be Justice for Halliburton Rape Victim Jamie Leigh Jones?

A month ago, I wrote about a former female Halliburton/KBR employee who was forced to arbitrate a legal claim of sexual assault and sexual harassment that occurred in Iraq, rather than having a public trial before a jury.

Well, one month later, it may happen again:

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Tim Russert Loses Democratic Debate

In modern political discourse, per our punditry, a cult is defined as any sizable group of enthused supporters of a political candidate in a purported Democracy. But if we are going to be loose with definitions, then let us address the 'Cult of Russert'.

I admit, I didn't watch the debate, I had other priorities ("Work your magic Mangroomer") but many brave masochists did. And from their comments it appears that with the exception of one group -- television talking heads -- the clear loser was the man who enables Dick Cheney to control the message, Tim Russert. Held up by his feted peers as the "Ultimate in Bobbleheads".

After all, Louis Farrakhan is black -- Barack Obama is black -- therefore anything Farrakhan says must be automatically what Obama thinks because apparently to Tim Russert all black men have an intellectual osmosis that links them together*. Like in "The Matrix" which had Cornel West in it so it must have some form of factual basis (only in Tim Russert World would African-American intellectuals be saved by Keanu Reeves). And, of course, feckless and worthless talking point driven questions were also directed toward Hillary Clinton.

But it is in more than this that Timmah & Friends fail us. Digby sums it up perfectly -- having actually watched the debate:

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US to Demand Free Reign in Iraq Long After Bush Leaves

U.S. to Insist Iraq Grant It Wide Mandate in Operations:

Well, you know what the modern GOP says about the bigger the cushion...the better meme to be pushin'.
With its international mandate in Iraq set to expire in 11 months, the Bush administration will insist that the government in Baghdad give the United States broad authority to conduct combat operations and guarantee civilian contractors specific legal protections from Iraqi law, according to administration and military officials.
This emerging American negotiating position faces a potential buzz saw of opposition from Iraq, with its fragmented Parliament, weak central government and deep sensitivities about being seen as a dependent state, according to these officials.
You know that is ridiculous, but it is the Bush Administration, adding ridiculous to the tragic is its raison d'etre. The contractor immunity is a farce of the first rank and it's kind of impressive in a way that even in their eighth year they still "got it" -- even if no one wants them to "have it".

But more than the contractors it is "our" democracy juxtaposed against Iraq's alleged democracy that causes things to really become clear.

Our alleged "greatest" democracy ever:
Administration officials are describing their draft proposal in terms of a traditional status-of-forces agreement, an accord that has historically been negotiated by the executive branch and signed by the executive branch without a Senate vote.

Bush Offers Saudis Tongue for Oil

While CNN this morning has a headline implying that Bush is offering tongue to the Saudi King to get oil prices down, there is one other historical piece of illogic that has too often shaped U.S. foreign policy and is clearly winning what little mind George Bush has.

It's always Munich 1938 for Bush and his kind and they are always Churchill and the rest of us are always Chamberlain. Someone else, whatever the convenient target is, is Hitler.

For years, it was the Soviets. And though they had their own criminalities they could be excoriated with, it was easy to call anyone in favor of dealing with them as an "Appeaser"; then it was Mao; then it was Ho Chi Minh; Castro; Khomeini and Iran; the Sandinistas; Saddam; Chavez; and now it is back to Iran again. So many faux Hitlers so little facts.

Poor Chamberlain, let his foolish ghost rest in peace, and stop making the most powerful country on earth, the U.S., into the Sudetenland.

But time after time the rhetoric goes there. And again on his latest awkward trip overseas, the alleged history major Bush and his black and white, pop history, version of the world came on full bore and should scare us shitless.

There are two key moments when this incredibly insipid and dangerous predeliction was exposed and I am hardly the first one to note it.

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