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STRATFOR WEEKLY Stratfor Weekly Archive

The GOP Strategy: Indirection and Timing
September 14, 2006 2135 GMT

By Bart Mongoven

The U.S. mid-term congressional election campaign began in earnest Sept. 8, when President George W. Bush announced the end to the CIA's secret prisons system and the transfer of 12 high-value al Qaeda suspects to detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The announcement was essentially the first significant political statement to come from a Republican Party leader in two months. Over the summer, the GOP all but watched in silence as its support numbers fell and public discussions about a Democratic takeover in one or both houses of Congress gained volume. This period of relative quiet, however, appears to have been deliberate -- part of a national strategy to help Republican candidates maintain control of the House and Senate despite Bush's low approval ratings among voters.

The GOP strategy that appears to be unfolding is one that would accept a skeletally thin majority in the House and Senate this November as a "victory," and which depends on winning a number of very close congressional races. Intriguingly, Republicans are not campaigning with any particular vigor to attract the political middle, but appear dedicated to preserving their traditional base of support (which relies heavily on the votes of national-security, social and fiscal conservatives) in such a way that does not completely alienate the middle. While they will not win a majority of the total votes cast nationally through such an approach, Republicans appear to be betting that Congressional district gerrymandering will do the rest of the work for them.

It is difficult to say at this point whether the strategy will achieve its ends, though early indicators do suggest a degree of success at this point. So far, the strategy has been only partly implemented. The portion that has become visible suggests the Republicans will use a highly indirect approach to maintain their hold on Congress, and will rely heavily on a number of players (Democrats and the media particularly) behaving in predictable ways.

There are, however, two critical issues that must be considered, and which doubtless will weigh heavily on the minds of Republican Party strategists in the coming weeks. The first is that this game plan -- even if successful for the November elections -- will not be a panacea for the larger ills the GOP faces. Second, there is the possibility that Bush -- and by extension, his party -- have grown so unpopular that 2006 could become another "tidal wave" election year, akin to 1954, 1974 and 1994. In those off-year elections, an unpopular sitting president and a sense that the nation was adrift resulted in significant political shifts and a turnover of leadership in Congress.

If 2006 should turn out to be a tidal wave year, no amount of intricate maneuvering or strategizing will be able to forestall a political shift.

The Gerrymandering Tactic

The Republican Party's requirements for November are quite simple: Capture 218 seats to retain control of the House. Most of those seats already can be viewed as safe from changing hands. Aided by computers, state legislators for years have been improving their ability to gerrymander congressional districts for Republicans and Democrats alike. According to Congressional Quarterly, only about 40 of the 435 seats in the House are truly up for grabs, and the Senate appears even safer for the party.

In light of that assumption, the GOP would not need to win a majority of total votes cast in November, but merely retain sufficient control of its own support base to win 50.1 percent of the vote in the 218 districts.

The effectiveness of gerrymandering is a critical pillar in this year's GOP strategy, and one that has been long in the making. As a result of GOP victories at the state legislature level during the 1980s and 1990s, Republicans have been able to redraw political maps to their advantage in Congress. One of the most important, but frequently overlooked, tenets of gerrymandering holds that all of the minority party's supporters should be consolidated in as few districts as possible. This means that the opposition party will firmly control the seats for those congressional districts, but it also does much to dilute that party's strength in the other districts. Thus, it is entirely possible that minority party candidates will win their seats with high margins (frequently 75 percent of the vote) while majority party candidates have slimmer showings (often around 60 percent) -- yet, crucially, will still outnumber their opponents in Congress.

The downside, of course, is that when the majority party faces serious problems, its candidates are still facing close (and consequently, tougher) election battles and are vulnerable in the event of a political tidal wave.

A Fractured GOP Base

For the past three months, the Republican Party has engaged in only half-hearted campaigning. This appears to have been intentional; there was little good news on important issues -- such as the war in Iraq or gasoline prices -- over which they could boast, and the party's liabilities, clearly visible in the president's low approval ratings, were numerous. There are few political strategies for dealing with a confluence of bad news of this sort -- lamenting over a "national malaise" has proved an unwise tactic in the past -- but also, in the middle of the summer preceding an election, would not be necessary. For Republican candidates, the less they said, the better.

The most significant problem the party faced was the fact that its core constituencies have grown disappointed and, increasingly, disaffected. The Republicans had not delivered on issues that were important to either the fiscal conservatives or social conservatives, such as deficit spending controls or abortion. To some degree, this was a natural and expected circumstance, since the true support bases of any political party tend to comprise idealistic activists who are not prepared for the compromise that inevitably comes after winning power in Washington. Republican voters, however, have reached an unusual pitch of frustration over the failure of party leaders (particularly the president) to address economic and financial issues and, crucially, with the conduct of the war in Iraq.

Thus, the party's primary challenge now is ensuring it retains the bulk of its traditional base in November.

The Strategy: Indirection and Timing

Its efforts to do so have required the GOP to remain patient. For example, candidates by and large have refrained from discussing hot-button issues, such as immigration and stem cell research, which appeal to the base but turn off the political middle. But the most intriguing aspect of the strategy is the apparent decision to let the media and Democrats openly discuss the odds of a Democratic takeover of Congress -- rather than mobilizing the GOP base through direct appeals, as would traditionally be the case. Republicans occasionally have mused about the possibility of a "Speaker Nancy Pelosi," but rather than directly setting up a "Speaker Pelosi" as bogeyman in July and August, GOP strategists appeared content to let Democrats and the media do the work instead. Republican voters would not require statements from the leadership to the effect that Pelosi is a liberal who is out of step with their values -- nor would going into attack mode, when the party's standing was already at a low ebb, aid the GOP.

By allowing the concept to take root in the minds of Republican voters as a very real possibility, party strategists apparently hope to force their supporters to think long and hard about what really is at stake in the congressional election, rather than focusing on the president.

Two keys to this effort are timing and momentum.

Journalists like to present elections as horse races, continually analyzing who is ahead today and why they are ahead. Political strategists, however, view elections with a very different concept of time. Some have compared elections to wave action: Each campaign has its ups and downs, but the key to victory is peaking at the right time. Certainly, if a candidate can always be ahead of (or above) his opponent, that's a good thing, but the key is to be at the height of popularity come Election Day.

Momentum also is crucial. Building momentum in July, months ahead of the vote, would be meaningless -- unless a candidate entered the race at such a disadvantage that he or she needs the whole period merely to emerge as competitive by November. Momentum becomes much more important around mid-September, and emerges as critical in October. Candidates build momentum with the expectation that it will wane, and in hopes of peaking at the right moment. Sen. John Kerry was a good example of this: He won the 2004 Iowa primary, despite having placed anywhere between third and fifth in polls building up to that vote. He crested at the right moment in the primaries and then rode the momentum as the most "electable" Democrat.

Notably, candidates who emerge as front-runners early in a campaign often grow troubled as elections approach. The time they spend out in front brings intense scrutiny from the media and speculation about actions they will take once in office. The Republicans ceded the summer to the Democrats, and the media obligingly began to scrutinize the party and its leaders. Ultimately, however, a media debate in August about Rep. John Murtha's possible role in the next congressional leadership does Democrats no favors.

The Strategy in Operation

A month ago, the GOP was in the difficult position of needing to win back the support of key constituencies -- and of having to do so without appealing directly to the most idealistic party members on their own terms (which tends to alienate more moderate members and swing voters). The party's gains in polls after Labor Day weekend support the idea that at least some of the Republican base is intact, and suggest that the strategy of indirection has succeeded to some degree. For example, the president's approval rating has climbed from the mid-30 percent range, as of two months ago, to 38 percent three weeks ago, to a mediocre (but not moribund) 42 percent on Sept. 11, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll.

However, as Bush's recent speeches have signaled, the time for inaction has passed and the time for building momentum has come. The next phase of the Republican strategy will require more direct methods of shoring up the support base -- and none more critical than the national-security conservatives, who have felt the war in Iraq particularly hard (and who are being actively courted by Democrats, with the homeland security aspect of that party's campaign).

Bush's recent announcement that captured al Qaeda figures have been moved to Guantanamo Bay to await trial was designed to appeal to the national security Republicans, as was his Sept. 11 speech about the link between Iraq and the larger war against al Qaeda.

Though "national-security conservatives" traditionally could be defined as current and former members of the military and their families, it has taken on a much wider meaning since the 9/11 attacks, as more Americans have come to view politics through the single lens of al Qaeda and the terrorist threat. Current and former military members are not as likely as these others to be moved by the administration's acknowledgement, and cancellation, of secret CIA prisons.

Whoever might be swayed by it, the administration's effort seems designed to take the focus off the "war against terrorism" -- now linked in the public mind to news photos of exploded ordnance and burned-out markets in Baghdad -- and recenter it squarely on the "terrorists" against whom the war is being waged. From the GOP's standpoint, the ideal outcome would be to return the country, which has been badly fractured by the conduct of the war, to the unity that was apparent soon after the 9/11 attacks. It also sets the stage for coming congressional debates over the efficacy of controversial techniques, such as wiretapping and financial surveillance, that have been used in the war against al Qaeda and could help to frame these discussions to the party's advantage.

Looking Ahead

It is clear that the Republicans have embarked upon a highly indirect election strategy, which -- given the unpopularity of Bush, the war in Iraq and emerging, though still nebulous, concerns about the economy -- might be the national party's best bet. If enough of the GOP's traditional support base can be mobilized in November, the Republicans can hold the House.

Nevertheless, there remains a possibility that this strategy does not address -- and which it could not withstand, should it emerge as a reality: the possibility that the Democratic wave, which expanded from a ripple in May to the heights seen in August, was really the initial swell in what will become a tidal wave of general opposition to the president. If the public's distrust and dislike of Bush and his administration should spill over to congressional candidates -- making the mid-terms a referendum on Bush and Iraq -- the tsunami would wash out the significance of any polling (which so far has focused on a "ferocious 40" districts as being seriously in contention) and overwhelm the abilities of party strategists to cope.
Sexist old guy who's a surveyor needs to hire a new assistant, but he's so cranky that no one wants to work for him. Finally he reluctantly hires a woman, who's no happier about working for him than he is about having to depend on a woman's (no doubt unreliable and inferior) work, but she's taking what she can get for the time being.

First day goes ok. Next day, he sends her down the valley to do her work. In the afternoon he reaches for his hammer. It's not where he thought he left it. "Damn woman!" sez he to himself, "She must've gone off with it."

He waves his arms to get her attention then signals:

[points to right eye] "I
[points to right knee] need
[pumps right arm like he's hammering] my hammer."

After a few seconds she signals back:
[points to right eye]
[grabs left boob with left hand and shakes it]
[mimes grabbing crotch area and shakes]

Old surveyor mutters, "What the - ?!"
He signals again, more energetically:
[points to right eye] "I!
[points to right knee] need!
[pumps right arm more vigorously, like hammering] my hammer!"

She signals back with the same moves as before:
[points to right eye]
[grabs left boob with left hand and shakes it vigorously]
[mimes grabbing crotch area and shaking vigorously]

"Damn fool woman!" he exclaims, really pissed off now. He jumps into his truck, roars down the valley, slams on the brakes when he reaches her site, jumps out of the truck and stomps over to her. "What the hell are you playing at? I told you very clearly that
[points to right eye] "I
[points to right knee] NEED
[pumps right arm vigorously, hammering] MY HAMMER!"

"Yeah," she says, "And I told you very clearly that

[points to right eye] I

[grabs left boob with left hand and shakes it vigorously] LEFT IT

[mimes grabbing crotch area and shaking vigorously] IN THE TOOLBOX!"

(This is a fun one for performing in front of people.
Sorry I haven't posted much. I've been getting things done for a change.)

good joke!
Toto!!!!!!!!!!!!! come back!!!! we meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeece you!!!!
yeah. I miss your posts too, toto. Come back!

The husband had just finished reading a new book: 'YOU CAN BE THE MAN OF YOUR HOUSE.'

He stormed into the kitchen and walked directly up to his wife.

Pointing a finger in her face, he said sternly, "From now on, YOU need to know that I AM the MAN of this house, and my word is law! You will prepare me a gourmet meal tonight, and when I'm finished eating my meal, you will serve me a sumptuous dessert afterward. Then, after dinner, you are going to go upstairs with me, and we will have all the sex that I want.

After that, you are going to draw my bath so I can relax. You will wash my back and towel me dry and bring my robe. Then you will
massage my feet and hands. Then after that's done, guess who's going to dress me and comb my hair?"

His wife replied, "The funeral director would be my guess!!"
5,000 years of religion in 90 seconds
cool map.

The Bathtub Test

It doesn't hurt to take a hard look at yourself from time to time, and this should help get you started. During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director what the criterion was which defined whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.

"Well," said the Director, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub."

"Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup."

"No." said the Director, "A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?"
for those of you old enough to remember Gracie:

Gracie Allen's Classic Recipe for Roast Beef

1 large Roast of beef

1 small Roast of beef

Take the two roasts and put them in the oven. When the little one burns, the big one is done

An old Indian Chief sat in his hut on the reservation, smoking a ceremonial pipe and eyeing two U. S. Government officials sent to interview him.

"Chief Two Eagles" asked one Official, "You have observed the white man for 90 years. You've seen his wars and his technological advances. You've seen his progress, and the damage he's done."

The Chief nodded in agreement.

The Official continued, "Considering all these events, in your opinion,
where did the white man go wrong?"

The Chief stared at the Government Officials for over a minute and then
calmly replied, "When white man found the land, Indians were running it."

"No taxes."

"No debt."

"Plenty buffalo."

"Plenty beaver."

"Women did all the work."

"Medicine man free."

"Indian man spent all day hunting and fishing."

"All night having sex."

Then the Chief leaned back and smiled, "Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that."
A chuckle for your new year!

This chain letter was started in hopes of bringing relief to other tired and discouraged men. Even the font is easy to read. Unlike most chain letters, this one doesn't cost anything!

Just send a copy of this letter to five of your male friends who are equally tired and discontent. Then bundle up your wife and/or girlfriend and send her to the man whose name appears at the top of the following list, and add your name to the bottom of the list.

When your turn comes, you will receive 15,625 women. One of them is bound to be better than the one you already have.

At the writing of this letter, a friend of mine had already received 184 women, four of whom were worth keeping.

This chain also brings good luck. One man's pit bull died, and the next day he received a Playboy playmate.

An unmarried Jewish man living with his widowed mother was able to choose between a Hooter's waitress and a Hollywood super model.

You can be lucky too, but DO NOT BREAK THE CHAIN! One man broke the chain and got his wife back again.

Let's keep it going, men! Just add your name to the list below.
Bill Clinton
780 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10017

Billy Clinton
780 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10017

Billie Clinton
780 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10017

B. Clinton
780 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10017

William Jefferson Clinton
780 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10017

W. Jefferson Clinton
780 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10017

W. Jeff Clinton
780 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10017

W. J Clinton
780 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10017

W. Clinton
780 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10017

William J Clinton
780 3r d Ave.
New York, NY 10017

Willem Clinton
780 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10017

Wilhelm Clinton
780 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10017

Billy Clinton
780 3rd Ave.
New York , NY 10017

Willie Clinton
780 3rd Ave.
New York , NY 10017

Will Clinton
780 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10017

Mr. Hillary Clinton
780 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10017
I've been reading this thread and I thought I'd share a book I'm reading that I think some of you may enjoy. It is called U.S. v. Bush by Elizabeth de la Vaga, who is a former federal prosecutor. The book is basically a fictional transcript of an indictment presented to a Grand Jury charging George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell with conspiracy to defraud the United States. All of the facts presented in the book are real and completely factual, this charge could legally be brought against these defendants if the US Attorney's office were inclined to prosecute. I may be biased because I am in school for political science and women's studies and plan to go to law school when I've completed my degree, but I think the book is fascinating and I think it would be wonderful to hold these people accountable for tricking most of America and Congress to engage in an unnecessary war. Let me know if any of you decide to read it, whatever your opinion of it may be. It's so fascinating I've been craving a book club, just to have someone to discuss it with.

I have thought about this. A conspiracy is planning by two or more people, to commit a felony, with a significant step done in perpetrating the felony. That is from memory.

The CIA Director told Bush the WMDs were a slam dunk. Congress was finessed into authorizing the invasion before the November elections. I think the fake Nigerian document could be used against them, but it came from the Brits. It was definitely used even though it was known to be fake.

The problem is that these are the policy makers for the nation. If we go after them for conspiracy it should be because they didn't have the nation's interest in mind. The worst part is they DID have our interests in mind, it is just a different view of our interest than most of us have. We gave them credit for a lot of knowledge that they did not have.

The surge will not work. We are just doing a last gasp effort before ultimate withdrawal. The jockying for control and power in Iraq will not be pretty. Iran wants to be recognized as a nation and not to be invaded. Many Americans can't understand Iran, but Iran has been successful in becoming a focal point in the Muslim world. They have accrued much prestige. It is in their best interest to make sure our armies are preoccupied with Iraq.

Our biggest problem is getting out of this mess. I don't want to be distracted with special investigations and prosecutors. The watergate era was extemely poloarizing and depressing. I kinow we will have investigations, I am not looking forward to them.

As I tell people, let's become Iran's best customer.

more levity:


An elderly couple visit McDonalds. He orders one hamburger, one order of french fries and one drink. The old man unwraps the plain hamburger and carefully cuts it in half. He places one half in front of his wife. He then carefully counts out the french fries, dividing them into two piles and neatly placing one pile in front of his wife. He takes a sip of the drink, his wife takes a sip and then sets the cup down between them. As he begins to eat his few bites of hamburger, the people around them keep looking over and whispering. You could tell they were thinking, "That poor old couple - all they can afford is one meal for the two of them." As the old man begins to eat his fries a young man comes to the table. He politely offers to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man says they are just fine - they are used to sharing everything. The surrounding people notice the little old lady hasn't eaten a bite. She sits there watching her husband eat and occasionally takes turns sipping the drink. Again the young man comes over and begs them to let him buy another meal for them. This time the old woman says "No, thank you, we are used to sharing everything." As the old man finishes and is wiping his face neatly with the napkin, the young man again comes over to the little old lady who has yet to eat a single bite of food and asks "What is it you are waiting for?"

She answers....


High School Coolness Test
An Old farmer was selling his peaches door to door. He knocked
on the door and a very pretty young lady dressed in a very
sheer negligee answered the door.

He raised his basket to show her the peaches and asked "would
you like to buy some peaches?"

She pulled the top of the negligee to one side and ask "are they
as firm as this?"

He nodded his head and said, "Yes" and a little tear ran from
his eye.

Then she pulled the other side of her negligee off asking "are
they nice and pink like this?"

The farmer said "yes" and another tear came from the other eye.

Then lady then opened the bottom of her negligee and asked, "Are
they as fuzzy as this?"

He again said "yes" and broke down crying.

The lady said "what in the world is wrong with you?"

Drying his eyes he said, "The drought got my corn, the flood got
my cotton, and now I'm gonna get screwed out of my peaches."
Out out damned bot!
AP, you are cracking me up with your spam "bot" posts!!!


Bush. Like a Rock. Only Dumber.

If You Can Read This, You're Not Our President.

George Bush: Creating the Terrorists Our Kids Will
Have to Fight

Impeachment: It's Not Just for Blowjobs Anymore

America: One Nation, Under Surveillance

They Call Him "W" So He Can Spell It

No, Seriously, Why Did We Invade Iraq?

Bush: God's Way of Proving Intelligent Design is Full
Of Crap

We Need a President Who's Fluent In At Least One

We're Making Enemies Faster Than We Can Kill Them

Impeach Cheney First

When Bush Took Office, Gas Was $1.46

The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century

One Nation Under Clod

Bush Never Exhaled

At Least Nixon Resigned

Ok, so I'm really irritated with having to vote in 2008. There are too many people running. It's hard to decipher who is for or against what. Are there any websites that list all the candidates, their stance on all the issues and all on one site so I’m not jumping from site to site. This one talks about abortion but not gay marriage. This one talks about Iraq but not healthcare. This one talks about jobs but not social security. Driving me crazy. I’m trying to build my own little excel spreadsheet so I can see it all for myself but I’m not find what I want on the individual websites. HELP!! This will be only my second time voting and I want to make a responsible decision but I’m having a hard with each candidates’ individual website. I know I have a lot of time to research but I'm getting frustrated.

What’s everyone’s opinion on Hillary Clinton and/or Rudy Giuliani?

*wondering if this is the wrong thread to be asking these questions*
love my pugs, there is a voting thread called suffering sufferagettes somewhere here.

let me see if i can find it and bump it for you. there have been a number of people talking about hillary. not so much rudy.

*runs out with bloodhound to search for missing thread*

Three handsome male dogs are walking down the street when they see a beautiful, enticing, female Poodle.
The three male dogs fall all over themselves in an effort to be the one to reach her first, but end up arriving in front of her at the same time.

The males are speechless before her beauty, slobbering on themselves and hoping for just a glance from her in return.

Aware of her charms and her obvious effect on the three suitors, she decides to be kind and tells them, "The first one who can use the words 'liver' and 'cheese' together in an imaginative, intelligent sentence can go out with me."
The sturdy, muscular black Lab speaks up quickly and says, "I love liver and cheese."

"Oh, how childish," said the Poodle. "That shows no imagination or intelligence whatsoever."
She turns to the tall, shiny Golden Retriever and says "How well can you do?"

"Um. I HATE liver and cheese ," blurts the Golden Retriever.
"My, my," said the Poodle. "I guess it's hopeless. That's just as dumb as the Lab's sentence."

She then turns to the last of the three dogs and says, "How about you, little guy?" The last of the three, tiny in stature but big in fame and finesse, is the Taco Bell Chihuahua.

He gives her a smile, a sly wink, turns to the Golden Retriever and the Lab and says

"Liver alone. Cheese mine."

Best Valentine's Cartoon

Good one Anarch!!

Hello again everyone!!
Anarch I love it!

I remember we used to have a joke thread! But I do believe it is long gone. sad.gif

Water vs Wine

It has been scientifically proven that if we drink 1 liter of water each

day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of

Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria found in feces.

In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of Poo. However, we do not run

that risk when drinking wine (or rum, whiskey, beer or other liquor because

alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or




Ergo: It is better to drink wine and talk stupid than to drink water and be

full of crap.

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information; I am doing it as a public service.

These people prove it is a terminal condition. As always, competition this year has been keen. The candidates this year are...

Eighth Place In Detroit, a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in two feet of water after squeezing head first through an 18-inch-wide sewer grate to retrieve his car keys.

Seventh Place A 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who "totally zoned when he ran," accidentally jogged off a 100-foot high cliff on his daily run.

Sixth Place While at the beach, Daniel Jones, 21, dug an 8 foot hole for protection from the wind and had been sitting in a beach chair at the bottom when it collapsed, burying him beneath 5 feet of sand. People on the beach used their hands and shovels trying to get him out but could not reach him. It took rescue workers using heavy equipment almost an hour to free him. Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Fifth Place Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed as he fell through the ceiling of a bicycle shop he was burglarizing. Death was caused when the long flashlight he had placed in his mouth to keep his hands free rammed into the base of his skull as he hit the floor.

Fourth Place Sylvester Briddell, Jr., 26, was killed as he won a bet with friends who said he would not put a revolver loaded with four bullets into his mouth and pull the trigger.

Third Place After stepping around a marked police patrol car parked at the front door, a man walked into H&J Leather & Firearms intent on robbing the store. The shop was full of customers and a uniformed officer was standing at the counter. Upon seeing the officer, the would-be robber announced a hold-up, and fired a few wild shots from a target pistol. The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, and several customers also drew their guns and fired. The robber was pronounced dead at the scene by Paramedics. Crime scene investigators located 47 expended cartridge cases in the shop. The subsequent autopsy revealed 23 gunshot wounds. Ballistics identified rounds from 7 different weapons. No one else was hurt.

HONORABLE MENTION Paul Stiller, 47, and his wife Bonnie were bored just driving around at 2 A.M., so they lit a quarter stick of dynamite to toss out the window to see what would happen. Apparently they failed to notice the window was closed.

RUNNER UP Kerry Bingham had been drinking with several friends when one of them said they knew a person who had bungee-jumped from a local bridge in the middle of traffic. The conversation grew more heated and at least 10 men trooped along the walkway of the bridge at 4:30 AM. Upon arrival at the midpoint of the bridge they discovered that no one had brought a bungee rope. Bingham, who had continued drinking, volunteered and pointed out that a coil of lineman's cable lay near by. They secured one end around Bingham's leg and the tied the other to the bridge. His fall lasted 40 feet before the cable tightened and tore his foot off at the ankle. He miraculously survived his fall into the icy water and was rescued by two nearby fishermen. Bingham's foot was never located.

AND THE WINNER IS... Zoo keeper Friedrich Riesfeldt (Paderborn, Germany) fed his constipated elephant 22 doses of animal laxative and more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes before the plugged-up pachyderm finally got relief. Investigators say ill-fated Friedrich, 46, was attempting to give the ailing elephant an olive oil enema when the relieved beast unloaded. The sheer force of the elephant's unexpected defecation knocked Mr. Riesfeldt to the ground where he struck his head on a rock as the elephant continued to evacuate 200 pounds of dung on top of him. It seems to be just one of those freak accidents that proves ........ "Shit happens."


Crawford , Texas (AP) - April 3rd, 2007

A tragic flood this morning destroyed the personal library of President George W. Bush. The flood began in the presidential bathroom where the books were kept.

Both of the books have been lost.

A presidential spokesperson said that Bush was devastated, as he had almost finished coloring the second one.

The White House tried to call FEMA, but there was no answer.
About my SIG, Ron Paul is not a Right Winger, I don't know how you all came to that conclusion. Anyway, he's more of a conspiracy extremest like me. Regaurding Left Wing Issues, our biggest question is, "why dose there have to be special interrest groups?" Why can't we all just be diversly united? Ron Paul is a 3rd Party thinker, he used to be a Liberatarian. He's against the war, and he's against seperating races, sexes, and making special interrest groups.
Well, he's also pro-life. For me, being pro-choice is the "make or break" issue for any political candidate, followed closely by gay marriage and the general vibe I get about them when it comes to whether or not they're going to shove so-called Christian morals down my throat.
Peggy, the adjectives "Moral & Honest" and "good, old fashioned American Values" are used almost exclusively by the right wing to indicate their come-to-Jesus candidates, especially when capitalised and used in conjunction with "will teach our children". And having a sig that large (generally much larger than any of your posts) feels like someone constantly trying to shove a political flyer in one's face. Perhaps a link to his website and a one line quote from him that you find particularly relevant for yourself would be less obtrusive to others. After all, nobody likes having political slogans shouted at them, especially by someone they've just met.
Where in my SIG dose he say that he's against gays and opposes abortion?
It doesn't say it in your signature. It says it on his website. Do you think I'd vote for someone based solely on a profile signature? huh.gif
not sure where to put this, but since this story and photos are funny and this used to be sort of a joke thread:

skier suffers exposure
whoa, that is hilarious and traumatic. I hope there was no wind chill!
QUOTE(toto @ Dec 12 2009, 11:12 AM) *
I nned permission to start a new topic. Barbaric!

NOT barbaric. We have rules around here because we are largely a self-moderated board. Most topics already fit in a pre-existing thread, so we discourage the starting of new threads because they just gum up the works. Vanity threads are strongly discouraged. If you want to start a new thread then it needs to be vetted by the Community in the Community Forum. I suggest having the backing of at least five Busties before starting anything. As a newbie, you will have to wait a while before you will be able to do so. Don't like it, maybe we aren't the community for you.

I suggest you introduce yourself to us in the Newbies Thread. It is considered proper form. We want welcome you & know about you & your interests!
aural, i suspect that this toto is an ooooooooooold school bustie from forever ago. they used to primarily post in this thread, rarely any other. they kind of had a very.....special place here, much like nohope, but much more fun. they had their own thread, and they would post in it, and anyone who wanted could join in, mostly it was another bustie, venetia and toto kind of going back and forth. you can go back and read some of the posts but this thread predates the change over, as does toto.

hi toto, if it is you! i suspect you were making a joke, but aural is quite right, we do have rules and there are good reasons for them. i suspect however that you will be more than happy to return to posting in this thread, and will see no need to start a new thread, after all if busties are interested they will join in the conversation. good to see you back.

butta/girl trouble
Old Bustie or no, nobody needs to be starting a new thread without vetting. Especially if they already have a pre-existing one & have made their way back to it. She wants to have at it with this one, I say party on.
toto, i will pass on your message to venetia. smile.gif
oooo... glue? can you tell her butta says hi. i miss her in the worst way. wub.gif

now, toto. you behave. aural is protective of this place and it's people, as am i. we have had to put up with some serious troll attacks, so her attentiveness is warranted. your attacks on her, however, are not. you have been away for sometime and making trouble is not the best course. aural has busted her ass working for the lounge and busties in ways you will never know. so do act like an adult, please.
Please take any further discussions about this topic to the Take It Outside thread. Thanks.
you like it here? fine.

And as for your snarky comments about maturity, I'm 58 years old and I insist on being treated decently.

you come in here with your completely unwarranted snark and then insist you be treated decently? tsk. try treating others decently, first, and perhaps you'll find it returned to you.
as for snarky comments about maturity? sweetie, you don't even know my snark. if i insult you, trust, you will damn sure you'll know about it. i was being polite, and trying to appeal to your better nature, not knowing you were an immature, defensive little twunt, who thinks they crap ice cream. this is a SHARED SPACE. for someone who's 58, you need to grow the fuck up. your behavior proves you're a ridiculous little child. asking you to behave like an adult? quite honestly, you needed it, since simple manners are beyond you.

i have news for you princess, you have to give respect to get some. i don't care how much you "insist on being treated decently," it helps if the first words out of your mouth don't make you come off you aren't an egotistical little brat throwing a tantrum over nothing.

i gave you the benefit of the doubt, because i remember when you used to post here, and i adore ven, but it's obvious you deserve to be ignored, you're worse than a troll, at least a troll makes no pretense at being part of a community, while posting crap everywhere, you on the other hand, have the nerve with your bloated ego, to think you're doing us a favor.

no thanks. go back to where you came from. this place is better in your absence.
you like it here? fine.
you want to flame? happy to flame back.

[whine]...your snarky comments about maturity, I'm 58 years old and I insist on being treated decently....[/whine]

you come in here with your completely unwarranted dumbass comment, insult aural, then me then star, and then have the gall to insist you be treated decently? tsk. try treating others decently first, and perhaps you'll find it returned to you. how old are you, and you still haven't figured this out?

you're a joke. you took offence at my non-snarky "snarky" comments about maturity? sweetie, you don't even know my snark. if i insult you, trust, you will damn sure know about it. i was being polite, and trying to appeal to your better nature--as if you had one-- not knowing you were an immature, defensive little twunt, on the verge of getting your AARP card who still acts like they're in kindergarten. this is a SHARED SPACE. for someone who's 58, you need to grow the fuck up. your behavior proves you're a ridiculous little child. asking you to behave like an adult? quite honestly, you needed it, since simple manners are beyond you.

i have news for you princess, i hate to burst your bubble, but you're not better than anyone else. i don't care how much you "insist on being treated decently," it ain't gonna happen when you act like that. and really? it kinda helps if the first words out of your mouth don't make you come off like a smug, narcissistic, self-absorbed little brat throwing a tantrum over nothing. i tell you these things because it seems you're deficient in your social skills.

just so you can tell the difference, totes? THAT is snark. take your head out of your ass, and learn the difference.

i gave you the benefit of the doubt, because i remember when you used to post here, and i adore ven, but it's obvious you deserve to be ignored, you're worse than a troll, at least a troll makes no pretense at being part of a community, while posting crap, you on the other hand, have the nerve post your bloated egotistical masturbation, to think you're doing us a favor.

no thanks.
go back to where you came from. you add nothing here. this place is better in your absence. you were NOT missed, and i for one look forward to you, your bullshit and your thread disappearing again.
I do think that today may be the first time I ever wandered into here & actually had a good laugh. It's usually just corny old c&p, but Toto getting her big girl panties in a knot was pretty funny.

Do miss the Ven though. She was def a keeper.
I'd really like to know how AP's post was rude. It really wasn't. We have, including myself, dished out far worse. It was Toto who got the snark on and started this flame war. GT welcomed you, AP was nice about things.

That's the last you'll be hearing from me about it in here. If anything further is discussed I'll take it outside.
um, Toto, I've been here longer than you and I've been here consistently, and if I started a thread god knows how many years ago then vacated the lounge for awhile, I think I'd assume if I came back after an absence that things may have taken their natural course and morphed into new community agreed upon 'rules' and anyway, who are you to tell everyone how things should be, just because you created a thread? Way to go team player.

and yes, that is a hell of a run on sentence, I don't give a crap.

Wow, are you really having a pissing contest over who has been on the board longer? The point is that you're here as a newbie in it's current state. I didn't think anyone started being snarky until you did, toto. I'm with GT, AP, zoya, and CH - AP let you know how things run and you chose to take it as a personal attack. If you hang out for a while I think you'll see there was nothing unusual in the way AP called it out.
uhhh, can I get in on a ketto and zoya awesome sammich???
if you really wanna have a pissing contest, toto, I've been here since late 97. never had a different name, managed to retain it through the dingo, even.

and I agree with Ketto, you're a newbie to the lounge in it's current state, and it would be a lot cooler if you respected the way the lounge has grown and changed organically over time (trolls, mods, new threads and all.) There is nothing unusual at all about the way AP called you out, if you look back thru the archives for other threads where newbies hop in, there was nothing out of the ordinary at all. And I'm a little confused as to why you've decided to take things out on AP moreso than anyone else. I don't think she was being out of line or even being snarky until you decided to enforce your rules that don't pertain to the lounge in it's current state.

and regarding the below - it just basically bugs the crap out of me that you've come in and told us how things work in "your" thread, when you've not even been around for god knows how long. just annoying as fuck, really. nothing more, nothing less. This is all of our lounge, not your personal military state, even in one thread.

QUOTE(toto @ Dec 16 2009, 10:15 PM) *
Stargazer, thanks for comin' by, but this is a Miscellaneous Thread.

Here are the rules for a Miscellaneous Thread:

1. Nothing is off topic.
2. Nothing is wrong.
3. Bust rules do not apply here.
4. You can close the thread down, you can come in,
but the rules stay out.

Please remind everyone that those are the rules for this thread.

It is the only thread that is this way.

This thread is an escape hatch.

I realize that you, AuralPoison, and GirlTrouble didn't realize that,
but dems da rules.

You see Totomoto as the topic starter? That is me.

You can see the title of the thread references me, but it is Venetia's title.

That is all.

I see no reason to take this to the TIO thread. This is Toto's thread, we've been given tacit permission to do what we like here. And if that includes flinging her own poo back at her then so be it.

First of all, it was a dick move to attack GT & Star when you were pissed at me. Straight-up, first-class dick move. GT welcomed you back & Star was merely looking out for the sanctity of your thread by suggesting things be Taken Outside. That's another new civil thing you are clearly not privy to.

Toto, I was NOT indecent, rude, disrespectful, unkind, nasty or unpleasant to you in in way, shape or form. I do not know what possessed you to take the standard "these are the rules" speech as some kind personal affront. But. I *do* know that in subsequent postings you've shown yourself to be an insipid, obnoxious, megalomaniacal, petulant, boorish, & over all banal twatwaffle with fantastic delusions of grandeur. Honestly, now I wish I *had* been rude to you so that at least there'd be a reason for your being such an insufferable, ridiculous, exceedingly arrogant, over-grown fossil-child.

Your sense of entitlement is galling in the extreme. You got the standard info in regards to the standard newbie complaint of "I can't start a new thread!" Period. I didn't know your grace's delicate sensibilities would be offended, so I followed SOP. I wasn't even sure that you actually were the same person as Totomoto! Was I supposed to automatically assume you were & give you a returning hero's welcome? Perhaps drop to my knees to offer up hosannas because you graced us with your presence once again? I think NOT.

The Lounge is not your own personal fiefdom where you call the shots, so don't think for one hot second that the new Lounge rules don't apply to you, old school Bustie or not. WE are a COMMUNITY, most of us come here to be a part of said COMMUNITY. You want someplace where you run the whole show? You want your own little corner of the intarwebs? Get a blog like a normal, RATIONAL person & leave those of us that understand, follow & respect the COMMUNITY & it's rules alone.

As far as your thread goes? I could give a fuck & I SAID AS MUCH. Had you actually bothered to read my second post instead of getting your ass in the air & blindly spitting your verbal asswater, you might have noticed that I encouraged you to party the hell on in your thread like it was 19-motherfucking-99. Have at it & run it any old way that you like. But since you have zero respect for the COMMUNITY, I wouldn't expect any ticker tape parades for poor widdle besmirched Toto & her bruised ego.

You want some decency & civility? Then try offering it to others before you go shooting your smartcunt mouth off about things you don't understand/like, grandma.

Huh. 4000th post, post-dingo.

ah, aural. i love you.

i've been trying to be an adult, inspite of my urge to hand dumbfucks like toto their ass. besides, always fun and entertaining to see other busties do it.

it's funny toto, just cos you are an old school bustie, you thought you would stroll in here, and it would be the same as when you left, but here's the thing. wrong. you're not the oldest bustie here, hell, i was here before you. i guess you got schooled to the real: you ain't shit. ven was loved, you? good riddance. mutual respect is what makes the lounge work. we love and respect each other, and until you learn that, you're not welcome. yeah you can post all you like, but i have a feeling you'll get nothing more than more shit aimed in your direction. this is a living space, the people who come in here make it grow and evolve.

something you could take a lesson from. grow. learn. and most of all?
take your head out of your ass.

Are you fucking kidding me? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaa

I find it quite amusing that you have strolled into the lounge after being gone for who the fuck knows how long, declared this to be "your thread" and are getting busy throwing your weight around as the dictator of your own little world. It's like you think this thread is your own personal liechtenstein.

look grandma, this lounge is an entity as a whole, if you want to have your own personal empire, get a fucking blog like AP suggests.

I like the COMMUNITY here, and in my estimation, you're as bad as a troll in your efforts to willfully not take part in that, and to break down the structure of it.

QUOTE(toto @ Dec 23 2009, 08:31 PM) *
Nope, Zoya, that is the way it is. Can't help it if you don't like the rules, but you are welcome to the thread anytime.

No pissin' contest was meant. Surprised you didn't pick up on that

As for AP, that behavior by her and GT is unusual almost anywhere except threads for right wing conservatives. I kinda expect it there.

Yep, you might not think it's unusual, but look at this place. It's dead. Need to let it breath. Relax, say hello to newbies in a nice way. Quit bein' hostile. No flurries of PMs about newbies with the dogs let loose. This place will survive openness.

If you don't, the lounge will shrivel. I don't think the mag is doing well in this recession.

There is a high likelihood that there is no valid reason to limit threads. Just a rule someone made up that gets enforced because the enforcer likes enforcing.


Safe & Merry Christmas

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