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February 29, 2004

Sunday Stories

SFC. Culture war being reshaped: Conservatives lower expectations
Copley. Demographics suggest Latino's clout could be much greater than it is
SacBee. Teen 'legislators' echo poll showing younger people support same-sex marriages
Harold Meyerson. United Front: Two of the country's most innovative and effective unions are joining together, making them 440,000 members strong
Trevor Griffey. In 2000, he got Greens in Seattle and elsewhere all worked up without even joining the party. But he led them nowhere, and his campaign will likely be a waste this time, too
Nat Hentoff. The Rumsfeld-Bush Legal Black Hole: Powers Formerly Reserved Only for Kings
Richard Kim. The Descent of Marriage?
SF Weekly. Right-wingers are targeting liberal pastors -- including at least one in S.F. -- who favor gay marriage
BBC. Democrats prepare for TV showdown
NYT. Democrats Turn Out to Embrace Kerry in Brooklyn
AJC. Georgians settling on Kerry, poll indicates
Scotsman. Democrat rift opens over Kerry's running mate
NYT. Mayor Wedding Gay Couples Has History of Activism
BGlobe. Harvard to announce aid for poor students
Reuters. CBO: Bigger Long-Run Deficit in Bush Plan
Hearst. Kerry promises to fight Bush GOP attacks
Micah Sifry. This Time, Ralph's Run Doesn't Make Much Sense

Posted by Eric at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

Sunday Stories

SFC. Culture war being reshaped: Conservatives lower expectations
Copley. Demographics suggest Latino's clout could be much greater than it is
SacBee. Teen 'legislators' echo poll showing younger people support same-sex marriages
Harold Meyerson. United Front: Two of the country's most innovative and effective unions are joining together, making them 440,000 members strong
Trevor Griffey. In 2000, he got Greens in Seattle and elsewhere all worked up without even joining the party. But he led them nowhere, and his campaign will likely be a waste this time, too
Nat Hentoff. The Rumsfeld-Bush Legal Black Hole: Powers Formerly Reserved Only for Kings
Richard Kim. The Descent of Marriage?
SF Weekly. Right-wingers are targeting liberal pastors -- including at least one in S.F. -- who favor gay marriage
BBC. Democrats prepare for TV showdown
NYT. Democrats Turn Out to Embrace Kerry in Brooklyn
AJC. Georgians settling on Kerry, poll indicates
Scotsman. Democrat rift opens over Kerry's running mate
NYT. Mayor Wedding Gay Couples Has History of Activism
BGlobe. Harvard to announce aid for poor students
Reuters. CBO: Bigger Long-Run Deficit in Bush Plan
Hearst. Kerry promises to fight Bush GOP attacks
Micah Sifry. This Time, Ralph's Run Doesn't Make Much Sense

Posted by Eric at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

Another Poll Shows Kerry-Edwards Beats Bush

From AP / CBS News poll:

John Kerry and John Edwards are still fighting for the Democratic presidential nomination, but a new poll puts a Kerry-Edwards ticket ahead of the incumbents, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Both Kerry and Edwards are basically tied with Bush in head-to-head matchups in a CBS News poll released this weekend. But when Kerry-Edwards are matched against Republican Bush-Cheney, the Democrats lead 50 percent to 42 percent. None of the hypothetical matchups included independent candidate Ralph Nader.

When CBS' Dan Rather asked Kerry and Edwards during a debate Sunday in New York about the possibility of joining forces on a Democratic ticket, both said such talk was premature.

Posted by Eric at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)

Another Poll Shows Kerry-Edwards Beats Bush

From AP / CBS News poll:

John Kerry and John Edwards are still fighting for the Democratic presidential nomination, but a new poll puts a Kerry-Edwards ticket ahead of the incumbents, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Both Kerry and Edwards are basically tied with Bush in head-to-head matchups in a CBS News poll released this weekend. But when Kerry-Edwards are matched against Republican Bush-Cheney, the Democrats lead 50 percent to 42 percent. None of the hypothetical matchups included independent candidate Ralph Nader.

When CBS' Dan Rather asked Kerry and Edwards during a debate Sunday in New York about the possibility of joining forces on a Democratic ticket, both said such talk was premature.

Posted by Eric at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)

February 28, 2004

Saturday Stories

NYT. Budget Office Predicts Deficit Over 10 Years: $2.75 Trillion
Richard Blow. Losing the argument over war in Iraq, the White House launches a culture war
Bruce F. Freed. Think you're not supporting corporate interests? If you have a union pension, you may need to think again
Luke Thomas. Blogging toward freedom: The more Iranian hard-liners crack down, the more blogs dedicated to changing the system spring up
AP. California AG asks court to halt marriages
Vanessa Yeo. Outside View: Democracy and Bush's riddle
Gannett. Sept. 11 panel gets 2 more months to finish work
Jules Witcover. Kerry-Edwards Ticket Audition?
NYT. Kerry Offers His Alternatives for National Security, Exchanging Fire With President
LAT. Kerry Says President Is Weak on Defense
LAT. Ohio Economy Isn't Working: With job losses in the swing state hurting Bush, Edwards and Kerry see opportunity
CNN. Kerry slams Bush on terrorism
LAT. Do-or-Die Day for Edwards?
AP. Gay rights battle shifts to village in New York
AP. Dean backers could swing outcome in Minnesota caucuses

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Saturday Stories

NYT. Budget Office Predicts Deficit Over 10 Years: $2.75 Trillion
Richard Blow. Losing the argument over war in Iraq, the White House launches a culture war
Bruce F. Freed. Think you're not supporting corporate interests? If you have a union pension, you may need to think again
Luke Thomas. Blogging toward freedom: The more Iranian hard-liners crack down, the more blogs dedicated to changing the system spring up
AP. California AG asks court to halt marriages
Vanessa Yeo. Outside View: Democracy and Bush's riddle
Gannett. Sept. 11 panel gets 2 more months to finish work
Jules Witcover. Kerry-Edwards Ticket Audition?
NYT. Kerry Offers His Alternatives for National Security, Exchanging Fire With President
LAT. Kerry Says President Is Weak on Defense
LAT. Ohio Economy Isn't Working: With job losses in the swing state hurting Bush, Edwards and Kerry see opportunity
CNN. Kerry slams Bush on terrorism
LAT. Do-or-Die Day for Edwards?
AP. Gay rights battle shifts to village in New York
AP. Dean backers could swing outcome in Minnesota caucuses

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Tomorrow's Talk Shows

Sunday Talk Shows:

ABC's "This Week" — Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide; German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

CBS' "Face the Nation" — Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.; Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.

NBC's "Meet the Press" — Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop of Washington; Robert Bennett, U.S. Conference of Bishops National Review Board member.

CNN's "Late Edition" — Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.; Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass.; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif.; Ken Starr, former independent counsel; Alan Dershowitz, Harvard University law professor; Benjamin Netanyahu, former Israeli prime minister; Nabil Sha'ath, Palestinian Cabinet minister.

"Fox News Sunday" — Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie; Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe; Bishop Wilton Gregory, president, U.S. Conference of Bishops; Anne Burke, acting chair, U.S. Conference of Bishops National Review Board.

Posted by Eric at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

Tomorrow's Talk Shows

Sunday Talk Shows:

ABC's "This Week" — Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide; German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

CBS' "Face the Nation" — Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.; Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.

NBC's "Meet the Press" — Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop of Washington; Robert Bennett, U.S. Conference of Bishops National Review Board member.

CNN's "Late Edition" — Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.; Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass.; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif.; Ken Starr, former independent counsel; Alan Dershowitz, Harvard University law professor; Benjamin Netanyahu, former Israeli prime minister; Nabil Sha'ath, Palestinian Cabinet minister.

"Fox News Sunday" — Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie; Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe; Bishop Wilton Gregory, president, U.S. Conference of Bishops; Anne Burke, acting chair, U.S. Conference of Bishops National Review Board.

Posted by Eric at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

Kerry Leads in Maryland and Georgia

From Political Wire, two polls put Kerry in a comfortable lead over Edwards.

Posted by Eric at 08:54 AM | Comments (0)

Kerry Leads in Maryland and Georgia

From Political Wire, two polls put Kerry in a comfortable lead over Edwards.

Posted by Eric at 08:54 AM | Comments (0)

Drop Stern, Pick Savage

While Clear Channel has dropped shock jock Howard Stern from stations, it recently picked up another shock jock: Michael "get AIDS and die" Savage.

Coincidently, Howard Stern is telling his listeners not to vote for George W. Bush. Apparently, part of his conversion came after he read Al Franken's latest book and recent FCC rulings.

Posted by Eric at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

Drop Stern, Pick Savage

While Clear Channel has dropped shock jock Howard Stern from stations, it recently picked up another shock jock: Michael "get AIDS and die" Savage.

Coincidently, Howard Stern is telling his listeners not to vote for George W. Bush. Apparently, part of his conversion came after he read Al Franken's latest book and recent FCC rulings.

Posted by Eric at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

Stupid Quote Saturday

"I urge the liberal establishment to relax and rejoice. This is a campaign that strives to displace the present corporate regime of the Bush administration." Ralph Nader.

"That also seems crystal clear. Those who do such things, and those who think they are amusing - or innocent - are worthy of death. Doesn't seem as if the Lord is accepting of the sin of homosexuality at all. And Christians had better put on the breastplate of righteousness and the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. The battle for souls has begun." Susan Sanford

"T]he consequence is very clear. Marriage loses its significance. People will stop getting married. Homosexuals will not get married; heterosexuals will stop getting married." Rick Santorum.

AP: "Education Secretary Rod Paige called the nation's largest teachers union a "terrorist organization" Monday, taking on the 2.7-million-member National Education Association early in the presidential election year."

Posted by Eric at 08:43 AM | Comments (0)

Stupid Quote Saturday

"I urge the liberal establishment to relax and rejoice. This is a campaign that strives to displace the present corporate regime of the Bush administration." Ralph Nader.

"That also seems crystal clear. Those who do such things, and those who think they are amusing - or innocent - are worthy of death. Doesn't seem as if the Lord is accepting of the sin of homosexuality at all. And Christians had better put on the breastplate of righteousness and the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. The battle for souls has begun." Susan Sanford

"T]he consequence is very clear. Marriage loses its significance. People will stop getting married. Homosexuals will not get married; heterosexuals will stop getting married." Rick Santorum.

AP: "Education Secretary Rod Paige called the nation's largest teachers union a "terrorist organization" Monday, taking on the 2.7-million-member National Education Association early in the presidential election year."

Posted by Eric at 08:43 AM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2004

Friday Stories

Brett Di Resta and Cliff Schecter. Republicans warn that gay couples will undermine the sanctity of marriage -- unlike straight couples who, of course, show only respect for the institution
Terence Samuel. Rational Exuberance: Why Democrats on the Hill are feeling upbeat -- and what that means for the upcoming election
Grist Magazine. Federal agencies at odds over salvage-logging proposal in Oregon
Christopher Edley Jr. and Johanna Wald. The Hidden Dropout Crisis
Bill Berkowitz . War for souls in Iraq: In their zeal to convert Muslims, are US evangelicals ignoring the suffering of Iraq's Christians?
Tom Vannah. The Timely Rise of John Kerry: Massachusetts learned in 1996 not to underestimate him. Now the country is learning it -- and George W. Bush has reason to worry
Stephanie Kraft. Ejection 2004: This Week's Reason Bush Has to Go
Jim Lobe. Bush Lies Uncovered: Did false information from Iraqi nationalists help sell a nondefensive war?
CSMonitor. Wedding shots deepen gay-marriage divide
Bill Maher. Job Opening, Some English Required
Jim McGrath. Upstate is prime territory for the Edwards message
Seattle PI. Spying on U.N. is truly irresponsible
SFChr. Executives wake up to airwave pollution; Critics skeptical of chain reaction to Super Bowl breast-baring
AP. Supermarkets, grocery clerks reach tentative contract deal, sources say
BaltSun. Bush's Budget Train wreck
George W. Grayson. Gays: This year's Willie Horton?
CSMonitor. College students bring 'pillow talk' out into the public square
ChicTrib. Long-shot candidates add alternative voices to public debate
Transcript. Democrats Participate in Calif. Debate
Reuters. Report: 10,667 Children Reported Priest Abuse
Reuters. US Justice Dept. Seeks Hundreds of Medical Records
Newsday. Village mayor in New York says he will marry gay couples
Boston Globe. Dean, ex-manager battle for constituency
Boston Globe. DNC organizers expand their plan to house media
BGlobe. Make cuts permanent, president urges
Miami Herald. Kerry, Edwards attempt to define their differences
AP. Dean: Nominee must cast Bush as ideologue
Rick Shenkman. Think Again: Whatever Happened to Homeland Security?
Molly Ivins. Taxpayers' Fannies on the line: Failure looms for inadequately regulated mortgage giants
Eric Boehlert. Clear Channel boss is shocked -- shocked -- to find indecency!
Salon. Halliburton's Iraq gravy train
AP. Rosie O'Donnell marries girlfriend in San Francisco
AJC. Kerry, Edwards start to sound like a team
AJC. Gay marriage ban defeated in Georgia House
NYT. Kerry and Edwards Clash Over Who Can Beat Bush
NYT. Kerry Is Borrowing Edwards's Common Touch
Paul Krugman. The Trade Tightrope
Bob Herbert. Bliss and Bigotry
WP. Ohio a Test for Democrats Now, And for GOP's Dominance Later
WP. Edwards Presses On Despite Disadvantage
E. J. Dionne Jr.. Grateful to Greenspan
WP. Bush Plans To Ban Only Some Land Mines: Policy Set for 2010 Will Allow U.S. to Use 'Smart' Devices
AP. Unborn-Victims Bill Passes House
WP. Tauzin Demurs on Lobbying Job: Lawmaker Fears Joining Drug Association Would Mar Career
AP. Stern, fans angry over suspension

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Friday Stories

Brett Di Resta and Cliff Schecter. Republicans warn that gay couples will undermine the sanctity of marriage -- unlike straight couples who, of course, show only respect for the institution
Terence Samuel. Rational Exuberance: Why Democrats on the Hill are feeling upbeat -- and what that means for the upcoming election
Grist Magazine. Federal agencies at odds over salvage-logging proposal in Oregon
Christopher Edley Jr. and Johanna Wald. The Hidden Dropout Crisis
Bill Berkowitz . War for souls in Iraq: In their zeal to convert Muslims, are US evangelicals ignoring the suffering of Iraq's Christians?
Tom Vannah. The Timely Rise of John Kerry: Massachusetts learned in 1996 not to underestimate him. Now the country is learning it -- and George W. Bush has reason to worry
Stephanie Kraft. Ejection 2004: This Week's Reason Bush Has to Go
Jim Lobe. Bush Lies Uncovered: Did false information from Iraqi nationalists help sell a nondefensive war?
CSMonitor. Wedding shots deepen gay-marriage divide
Bill Maher. Job Opening, Some English Required
Jim McGrath. Upstate is prime territory for the Edwards message
Seattle PI. Spying on U.N. is truly irresponsible
SFChr. Executives wake up to airwave pollution; Critics skeptical of chain reaction to Super Bowl breast-baring
AP. Supermarkets, grocery clerks reach tentative contract deal, sources say
BaltSun. Bush's Budget Train wreck
George W. Grayson. Gays: This year's Willie Horton?
CSMonitor. College students bring 'pillow talk' out into the public square
ChicTrib. Long-shot candidates add alternative voices to public debate
Transcript. Democrats Participate in Calif. Debate
Reuters. Report: 10,667 Children Reported Priest Abuse
Reuters. US Justice Dept. Seeks Hundreds of Medical Records
Newsday. Village mayor in New York says he will marry gay couples
Boston Globe. Dean, ex-manager battle for constituency
Boston Globe. DNC organizers expand their plan to house media
BGlobe. Make cuts permanent, president urges
Miami Herald. Kerry, Edwards attempt to define their differences
AP. Dean: Nominee must cast Bush as ideologue
Rick Shenkman. Think Again: Whatever Happened to Homeland Security?
Molly Ivins. Taxpayers' Fannies on the line: Failure looms for inadequately regulated mortgage giants
Eric Boehlert. Clear Channel boss is shocked -- shocked -- to find indecency!
Salon. Halliburton's Iraq gravy train
AP. Rosie O'Donnell marries girlfriend in San Francisco
AJC. Kerry, Edwards start to sound like a team
AJC. Gay marriage ban defeated in Georgia House
NYT. Kerry and Edwards Clash Over Who Can Beat Bush
NYT. Kerry Is Borrowing Edwards's Common Touch
Paul Krugman. The Trade Tightrope
Bob Herbert. Bliss and Bigotry
WP. Ohio a Test for Democrats Now, And for GOP's Dominance Later
WP. Edwards Presses On Despite Disadvantage
E. J. Dionne Jr.. Grateful to Greenspan
WP. Bush Plans To Ban Only Some Land Mines: Policy Set for 2010 Will Allow U.S. to Use 'Smart' Devices
AP. Unborn-Victims Bill Passes House
WP. Tauzin Demurs on Lobbying Job: Lawmaker Fears Joining Drug Association Would Mar Career
AP. Stern, fans angry over suspension

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

O'Reilly Empire to Target Kids

Ha, no really. The $60 million a year media / entertainment (that's what he is - entertainment) product will start factoring kids, reports Business Week:

Love him or hate him, O'Reilly has done a masterful job of using the groundswell of support for his conservative views to build himself into a multimedia brand. For enduring that kind of pace, O'Reilly is reaping the rewards and helping lots of other media outlets cash in on his popularity as well. Sweep in TV, radio, books, newspapers, and the Internet, and O'Reilly generates an estimated $60 million a year for his outlets through ad and books sales, syndication fees, and merchandise sales. "Bill is one of our cherished marquee authors," says Stephen Rubin, president of Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group, a unit of Random House Inc. that has published four of O'Reilly's works. "It doesn't hurt that he shamelessly promotes his books." His latest tome has sold 644,000 copies since it was released last year, according to sales tracker Nielsen BookScan ...

O'Reilly has created three separate corporations to handle his business affairs -- one each for TV, radio, and his Web site, billoreilly.com. He has about 25 people working for him, but he prides himself on being hands-on, writing his own TV-show scripts, speeches, newspaper column, and books. It's not as if he can't afford some help. His Fox contract pays him $4 million a year, still less than half what broadcast anchors make, according to industry sources. He is estimated to earn tens of millions of dollars more on his books and Web site. He accepts one speaking gig a month at an estimated $50,000 to $70,000 per appearance. He says he gives a lot of his loot to charities, including Families of Military Casualties. "I'm not a materialistic person. I wasn't born with that gene," says O'Reilly.

So what's next? O'Reilly, who has a wife and two daughters, is looking to spread his message of self-reliance to another generation. He says a kids' book, The O'Reilly Factor For Kids: A Survival Guide, is set to be published in October by Harper Collins, owned by Fox parent News Corp. In just seven years since joining Fox News at its launch, O'Reilly has become a national presence. "Where I am now is where I should be," he responds when asked about any larger ambitions. And that's just fine with the slew of companies riding the O'Reilly wave.

But I'll let Peter Hart have the last word.

Posted by Eric at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

O'Reilly Empire to Target Kids

Ha, no really. The $60 million a year media / entertainment (that's what he is - entertainment) product will start factoring kids, reports Business Week:

Love him or hate him, O'Reilly has done a masterful job of using the groundswell of support for his conservative views to build himself into a multimedia brand. For enduring that kind of pace, O'Reilly is reaping the rewards and helping lots of other media outlets cash in on his popularity as well. Sweep in TV, radio, books, newspapers, and the Internet, and O'Reilly generates an estimated $60 million a year for his outlets through ad and books sales, syndication fees, and merchandise sales. "Bill is one of our cherished marquee authors," says Stephen Rubin, president of Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group, a unit of Random House Inc. that has published four of O'Reilly's works. "It doesn't hurt that he shamelessly promotes his books." His latest tome has sold 644,000 copies since it was released last year, according to sales tracker Nielsen BookScan ...

O'Reilly has created three separate corporations to handle his business affairs -- one each for TV, radio, and his Web site, billoreilly.com. He has about 25 people working for him, but he prides himself on being hands-on, writing his own TV-show scripts, speeches, newspaper column, and books. It's not as if he can't afford some help. His Fox contract pays him $4 million a year, still less than half what broadcast anchors make, according to industry sources. He is estimated to earn tens of millions of dollars more on his books and Web site. He accepts one speaking gig a month at an estimated $50,000 to $70,000 per appearance. He says he gives a lot of his loot to charities, including Families of Military Casualties. "I'm not a materialistic person. I wasn't born with that gene," says O'Reilly.

So what's next? O'Reilly, who has a wife and two daughters, is looking to spread his message of self-reliance to another generation. He says a kids' book, The O'Reilly Factor For Kids: A Survival Guide, is set to be published in October by Harper Collins, owned by Fox parent News Corp. In just seven years since joining Fox News at its launch, O'Reilly has become a national presence. "Where I am now is where I should be," he responds when asked about any larger ambitions. And that's just fine with the slew of companies riding the O'Reilly wave.

But I'll let Peter Hart have the last word.

Posted by Eric at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

Scary Liberal Actors

Even more sillinesswith the government and the entertainment industry:

Hollywood is fretting that outspoken stars could hijack Sunday's Oscars (news - web sites), the scene of frequent political outbursts, to score points ahead of this year's US presidential polls.

And amid a tough crackdown by US federal authorities on the broadcast of "indecent" material, Oscar bosses worry that an unexpected political tirade could be censored, tarnishing the image of cinema's top awards.

The Academy Awards (news - web sites), attended by all of Hollywood's good and great and watched by up to one billion television viewers across the globe, presents a tempting soap-box for politically active stars who win awards.

With free-speaking left-wing actors Tim Robbins and Alec Baldwin sure to take the stage this year as presenters if not as best supporting actor winners, and with equally combatant Sean Penn also nominated, organisers are bracing for possible fireworks as conservative Bush seeks re-election.

Posted by Eric at 12:50 PM | Comments (0)

Scary Liberal Actors

Even more sillinesswith the government and the entertainment industry:

Hollywood is fretting that outspoken stars could hijack Sunday's Oscars (news - web sites), the scene of frequent political outbursts, to score points ahead of this year's US presidential polls.

And amid a tough crackdown by US federal authorities on the broadcast of "indecent" material, Oscar bosses worry that an unexpected political tirade could be censored, tarnishing the image of cinema's top awards.

The Academy Awards (news - web sites), attended by all of Hollywood's good and great and watched by up to one billion television viewers across the globe, presents a tempting soap-box for politically active stars who win awards.

With free-speaking left-wing actors Tim Robbins and Alec Baldwin sure to take the stage this year as presenters if not as best supporting actor winners, and with equally combatant Sean Penn also nominated, organisers are bracing for possible fireworks as conservative Bush seeks re-election.

Posted by Eric at 12:50 PM | Comments (0)

John Kerry: Bush Lite?

Not so fast, says Bush expert David Corn. John Kerry, he writes in The Nation, "has voted consistently in favor of abortion rights and environmental policies, opposed Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, led the effort against drilling in the Alaskan wilderness, pushed for higher fuel economy standards, advocated boosting the minimum wage and pressed for global warming remedies." Perhaps more importantly for Corn, however, "are key moments when he displayed guts and took tough actions that few colleagues would imitate."

In early 1986 Kerry's office was contacted by a Vietnam vet who alleged that the support network for the CIA-backed Nicaraguan contras (who were fighting against the socialist Sandinistas in power) was linked to drug traffickers. Kerry doubted that the Reagan Administration, obsessed with supporting the contras, would investigate such charges. He pushed for a Senate inquiry and a year later, as chairman of a Foreign Relations subcommittee, obtained approval to conduct a probe.

It was not an easy ride. Reagan Justice Department officials sought to discredit and stymie his investigation. Republicans dismissed it. One anti-Kerry effort used falsified affidavits to make it seem his staff had bribed witnesses. The Democratic staff of the Senate Iran/contra committee--which showed little interest in the contra drug connection--often refused to cooperate. "They were fighting us tooth and nail," recalls Jack Blum, one of Kerry's investigators. "We had the White House and the CIA against us on one side and our colleagues in the Senate on the other. But Kerry told us, 'Keep going.' He didn't let this stuff faze him." ...

On September 10, 1996, as he was in a tight re-election contest against William Weld, the popular Republican governor of Massachusetts, Kerry voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, which would deny federal benefits to same-sex couples and permit states to not recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other states. He was one of only fourteen senators to oppose the measure. Several leading Senate liberals--including Paul Wellstone, Tom Harkin and Pat Leahy--had voted for it. But on the floor of the Senate that day, Kerry, who noted that he did not support same-sex marriage, said, "I am going to vote against this bill...because I believe that this debate is fundamentally ugly, and it is fundamentally political." He refused to pretend that the bill was not a wedge-issue trap devised by conservative Republicans. The legislation, he charged, was "meant to divide Americans," and he argued fiercely that it was unconstitutional. "If this were truly a defense of marriage act," he said, "it would expand the learning experience for would-be husbands and wives. It would provide for counseling for all troubled marriages, not just for those who can afford it. It would provide treatment on demand for those with alcohol and substance abuse.... It would guarantee daycare for every family that struggles and needs it."

Posted by Eric at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

John Kerry: Bush Lite?

Not so fast, says Bush expert David Corn. John Kerry, he writes in The Nation, "has voted consistently in favor of abortion rights and environmental policies, opposed Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, led the effort against drilling in the Alaskan wilderness, pushed for higher fuel economy standards, advocated boosting the minimum wage and pressed for global warming remedies." Perhaps more importantly for Corn, however, "are key moments when he displayed guts and took tough actions that few colleagues would imitate."

In early 1986 Kerry's office was contacted by a Vietnam vet who alleged that the support network for the CIA-backed Nicaraguan contras (who were fighting against the socialist Sandinistas in power) was linked to drug traffickers. Kerry doubted that the Reagan Administration, obsessed with supporting the contras, would investigate such charges. He pushed for a Senate inquiry and a year later, as chairman of a Foreign Relations subcommittee, obtained approval to conduct a probe.

It was not an easy ride. Reagan Justice Department officials sought to discredit and stymie his investigation. Republicans dismissed it. One anti-Kerry effort used falsified affidavits to make it seem his staff had bribed witnesses. The Democratic staff of the Senate Iran/contra committee--which showed little interest in the contra drug connection--often refused to cooperate. "They were fighting us tooth and nail," recalls Jack Blum, one of Kerry's investigators. "We had the White House and the CIA against us on one side and our colleagues in the Senate on the other. But Kerry told us, 'Keep going.' He didn't let this stuff faze him." ...

On September 10, 1996, as he was in a tight re-election contest against William Weld, the popular Republican governor of Massachusetts, Kerry voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, which would deny federal benefits to same-sex couples and permit states to not recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other states. He was one of only fourteen senators to oppose the measure. Several leading Senate liberals--including Paul Wellstone, Tom Harkin and Pat Leahy--had voted for it. But on the floor of the Senate that day, Kerry, who noted that he did not support same-sex marriage, said, "I am going to vote against this bill...because I believe that this debate is fundamentally ugly, and it is fundamentally political." He refused to pretend that the bill was not a wedge-issue trap devised by conservative Republicans. The legislation, he charged, was "meant to divide Americans," and he argued fiercely that it was unconstitutional. "If this were truly a defense of marriage act," he said, "it would expand the learning experience for would-be husbands and wives. It would provide for counseling for all troubled marriages, not just for those who can afford it. It would provide treatment on demand for those with alcohol and substance abuse.... It would guarantee daycare for every family that struggles and needs it."

Posted by Eric at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

New Book Friday

Perhaps one of the better, and more recent anti-Bush books out there is "Fraud: The Strategy Behind the Bush Lies and Why the Media Didn't Tell You."

cover

From Publisher's Weekly

Building on tenets laid out in The Press Effect, which he coauthored with Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Waldman deconstructs Bush's image as plainspoken, compassionate Dubya and accuses the media of failing to properly scrutinize the values of his presidency. Bush's inarticulateness misleads a gullible public into perceiving the president as a "real," ordinary American, Waldman argues, contending that Bush's administration actually serves a business elite rather than the average American. Meticulously combing through footnoted sources, Waldman carves an alternative portrait of a privileged and ruthless Bush who was gleeful over executions as Texas's governor, guilty of Enron-style business practices and contemptuous of the protective role of government. American journalists, in Waldman's view, are either muzzled or lack the policy expertise and research strengths to expose Bush effectively; as a result, the public is woefully confused. Waldman goes on to demythologize the so-called liberal bias of the media, comparing journalists' past persecution of Clinton with the relative mildness of present-day critiques of Bush. In his breakdown of Bush's tax policies and of the Republican Party's dominance by ultraconservative Southerners, Waldman is particularly strident. An assembly of sources and facts and a useful guide to right-wing rhetoric makes this handbook of anti-Bush ammunition-complete with an appendix that provides a "Guide to Key Lies and Misdirections-useful to partisans along with other Bush critiques by David Corn, Eric Alterman and Mark Green.
While there have been many anti-Bush books, "The President of Good and Evil" takes a look at Bush from an 'ethicist' point of view. The New Yorker says of Peter Singer: "May be the most controversial philosopher alive; he is certainly the most influential." The book description:
From provocative ethicist and author Peter Singer, whose books have sold more than 700,000 copies: a chilling exposé of George W. Bush’s moral failure on dozens of hot-button issues.

More than any president in recent memory, George W. Bush invokes the language of good versus evil and right versus wrong. Controversial professor of ethics Peter Singer has put his spotlight on President Bush’s moral claims. The results are required reading.

Examining public pronouncements that have rarely been subjected to ethical analysis, on topics from stem-cell research and tax cuts to Iraq and the drive for American preeminence, The President of Good and Evil reveals the president’s pattern of ethical confusion and self-contradiction. Delivering his charges in accessible, logical, and lively chapters, Singer asks whether Bush has lived up to the values so often touted in current presidential prose.

The President of Good and Evil follows in the bestselling traditions of Stupid White Men and Lies . Singer has never shied away from controversy, and now enters the most visible arena of his life, with powerful arguments that throw new light on America under Bush.

Greg Palast says of the book, "Peter Singer has ripped the sanctimonious, preachy bark off George W. Bush and exposed it for what it is: greed posing as 'ethics,' duplicity posing as morality, and confused bellicosity as a 'war against evil.' Bravo for Singer."

cover

The President of Good and Evil: The Ethics of George W. Bush

Posted by Eric at 03:42 AM | Comments (0)

New Book Friday

Perhaps one of the better, and more recent anti-Bush books out there is "Fraud: The Strategy Behind the Bush Lies and Why the Media Didn't Tell You."

cover

From Publisher's Weekly

Building on tenets laid out in The Press Effect, which he coauthored with Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Waldman deconstructs Bush's image as plainspoken, compassionate Dubya and accuses the media of failing to properly scrutinize the values of his presidency. Bush's inarticulateness misleads a gullible public into perceiving the president as a "real," ordinary American, Waldman argues, contending that Bush's administration actually serves a business elite rather than the average American. Meticulously combing through footnoted sources, Waldman carves an alternative portrait of a privileged and ruthless Bush who was gleeful over executions as Texas's governor, guilty of Enron-style business practices and contemptuous of the protective role of government. American journalists, in Waldman's view, are either muzzled or lack the policy expertise and research strengths to expose Bush effectively; as a result, the public is woefully confused. Waldman goes on to demythologize the so-called liberal bias of the media, comparing journalists' past persecution of Clinton with the relative mildness of present-day critiques of Bush. In his breakdown of Bush's tax policies and of the Republican Party's dominance by ultraconservative Southerners, Waldman is particularly strident. An assembly of sources and facts and a useful guide to right-wing rhetoric makes this handbook of anti-Bush ammunition-complete with an appendix that provides a "Guide to Key Lies and Misdirections-useful to partisans along with other Bush critiques by David Corn, Eric Alterman and Mark Green.
While there have been many anti-Bush books, "The President of Good and Evil" takes a look at Bush from an 'ethicist' point of view. The New Yorker says of Peter Singer: "May be the most controversial philosopher alive; he is certainly the most influential." The book description:
From provocative ethicist and author Peter Singer, whose books have sold more than 700,000 copies: a chilling exposé of George W. Bush’s moral failure on dozens of hot-button issues.

More than any president in recent memory, George W. Bush invokes the language of good versus evil and right versus wrong. Controversial professor of ethics Peter Singer has put his spotlight on President Bush’s moral claims. The results are required reading.

Examining public pronouncements that have rarely been subjected to ethical analysis, on topics from stem-cell research and tax cuts to Iraq and the drive for American preeminence, The President of Good and Evil reveals the president’s pattern of ethical confusion and self-contradiction. Delivering his charges in accessible, logical, and lively chapters, Singer asks whether Bush has lived up to the values so often touted in current presidential prose.

The President of Good and Evil follows in the bestselling traditions of Stupid White Men and Lies . Singer has never shied away from controversy, and now enters the most visible arena of his life, with powerful arguments that throw new light on America under Bush.

Greg Palast says of the book, "Peter Singer has ripped the sanctimonious, preachy bark off George W. Bush and exposed it for what it is: greed posing as 'ethics,' duplicity posing as morality, and confused bellicosity as a 'war against evil.' Bravo for Singer."

cover

The President of Good and Evil: The Ethics of George W. Bush

Posted by Eric at 03:42 AM | Comments (0)

USPIRG: How EPA Is Misleading The Public About The Superfund Program

The Bush administration "has failed to include reinstatement of the polluter pays fees in its budget proposals, and Superfund’s trust fund is now bankrupt," says the US Public Interest Group.

EPA claims: Funding for the Superfund program has not decreased in the past few years.

The facts: Superfund funding decreased by 25 percent during 2001-2004 compared with 1992-2000.

EPA claims: EPA remains committed to the polluter pays principle.

The facts: Taxpayers will pay the entire cost of cleaning up abandoned Superfund sites this year, compared with only 18 percent in 1995, the year Superfund’s polluter pays fees expired. The Bush administration has opposed reinstating Superfund’s polluter pays fees.

EPA claims: It doesn’t matter who pays to clean up Superfund toxic waste sites.

The facts: Superfund was founded on the principle that those most closely associated with creating toxic waste sites should bear the financial burden of cleaning them up. Regular taxpayers are much less likely to be closely associated with the creation of toxic waste sites than industries that buy, use, or benefit from toxic chemicals.

To read the report, go here.

In case you were wondering, there are some health effects from Superfund sites:

Health Effects: Arsenic is a known to cause cancer of the lungs, bladder, and skin. Arsenic is also linked to cancer of the liver, kidney, colon and nasal passages, and to a variety of non-cancer health effects, including heart disease, diabetes, adverse impacts on the immune system, lungs, and gastrointestinal track, and thickening and discoloration of the skin. There is also evidence linking arsenic to adverse reproductive and developmental impacts.

LEAD
Health Effects: Lead can damage almost every organ and system in the human body, especially the immune and reproductive systems, and can cause heart disease and kidney damage. Lead is exceptionally damaging to the central nervous system, particularly in children where it can cause brain damage. Lead has can also decrease IQ scores, slow growth, and cause hearing problems in infants or young children.

MERCURY
Health Effects: Mercury can cause brain and kidney damage, and poses an especially high risk of adverse neurological development of fetuses.

1/4 people live next to Superfund sites.

Posted by Eric at 03:17 AM | Comments (0)

USPIRG: How EPA Is Misleading The Public About The Superfund Program

The Bush administration "has failed to include reinstatement of the polluter pays fees in its budget proposals, and Superfund’s trust fund is now bankrupt," says the US Public Interest Group.

EPA claims: Funding for the Superfund program has not decreased in the past few years.

The facts: Superfund funding decreased by 25 percent during 2001-2004 compared with 1992-2000.

EPA claims: EPA remains committed to the polluter pays principle.

The facts: Taxpayers will pay the entire cost of cleaning up abandoned Superfund sites this year, compared with only 18 percent in 1995, the year Superfund’s polluter pays fees expired. The Bush administration has opposed reinstating Superfund’s polluter pays fees.

EPA claims: It doesn’t matter who pays to clean up Superfund toxic waste sites.

The facts: Superfund was founded on the principle that those most closely associated with creating toxic waste sites should bear the financial burden of cleaning them up. Regular taxpayers are much less likely to be closely associated with the creation of toxic waste sites than industries that buy, use, or benefit from toxic chemicals.

To read the report, go here.

In case you were wondering, there are some health effects from Superfund sites:

Health Effects: Arsenic is a known to cause cancer of the lungs, bladder, and skin. Arsenic is also linked to cancer of the liver, kidney, colon and nasal passages, and to a variety of non-cancer health effects, including heart disease, diabetes, adverse impacts on the immune system, lungs, and gastrointestinal track, and thickening and discoloration of the skin. There is also evidence linking arsenic to adverse reproductive and developmental impacts.

LEAD
Health Effects: Lead can damage almost every organ and system in the human body, especially the immune and reproductive systems, and can cause heart disease and kidney damage. Lead is exceptionally damaging to the central nervous system, particularly in children where it can cause brain damage. Lead has can also decrease IQ scores, slow growth, and cause hearing problems in infants or young children.

MERCURY
Health Effects: Mercury can cause brain and kidney damage, and poses an especially high risk of adverse neurological development of fetuses.

1/4 people live next to Superfund sites.

Posted by Eric at 03:17 AM | Comments (0)

1,100 People Enter $10,000 "Doonesbury" Contest

From Editor and Publisher, people are taking up Garry Trudeau's offer. Whether they'll pan out is another story.

More than 1,100 people have entered a $10,000 contest announced in this week's "Doonesbury" strips. Garry Trudeau is offering the money to anyone who can prove George W. Bush fulfilled his 1972 National Guard duty in Alabama.

But Trudeau joked he had other motives for the satirical competition. "To burn off cash," he told E&P in a Thursday e-mail interview. "I've been looking for something to do with a huge tax cut I didn't need. Part of the blowback from Bush's largesse to the unpoor is that people like me have become fat cats." ... David Stanford, whose title is "duty officer of the Doonesbury Town Hall," said most of the National Guard veterans responding so far say "just locate the morning reports." Stanford, referring to the 1,100 responses, added: "As someone who compulsively hits 'send and receive' every 10 minutes, it has been a rewarding week."

When's the contest deadline? "We haven't decided yet. Might be open-ended through the election," replied Trudeau, whose comic runs in 1,400-plus papers via Universal Press Syndicate.

Posted by Eric at 03:08 AM | Comments (0)

1,100 People Enter $10,000 "Doonesbury" Contest

From Editor and Publisher, people are taking up Garry Trudeau's offer. Whether they'll pan out is another story.

More than 1,100 people have entered a $10,000 contest announced in this week's "Doonesbury" strips. Garry Trudeau is offering the money to anyone who can prove George W. Bush fulfilled his 1972 National Guard duty in Alabama.

But Trudeau joked he had other motives for the satirical competition. "To burn off cash," he told E&P in a Thursday e-mail interview. "I've been looking for something to do with a huge tax cut I didn't need. Part of the blowback from Bush's largesse to the unpoor is that people like me have become fat cats." ... David Stanford, whose title is "duty officer of the Doonesbury Town Hall," said most of the National Guard veterans responding so far say "just locate the morning reports." Stanford, referring to the 1,100 responses, added: "As someone who compulsively hits 'send and receive' every 10 minutes, it has been a rewarding week."

When's the contest deadline? "We haven't decided yet. Might be open-ended through the election," replied Trudeau, whose comic runs in 1,400-plus papers via Universal Press Syndicate.

Posted by Eric at 03:08 AM | Comments (0)

John Kerry Weak on Defense?

Fred Kaplan says there may be "embarrassing" votes in John Kerry's history, but the RNC's spin "reeks of rank dishonesty":

On a couple of the weapons, the RNC report cites H.R. 5803 and H.R. 2126. Look those up. They turn out to be votes on the House-Senate conference committee reports for the defense appropriations bills in October 1990 (the same year as S. 3189) and September 1995.

In other words, Kerry was one of 16 senators (including five Republicans) to vote against a defense appropriations bill 14 years ago. He was also one of an unspecified number of senators to vote against a conference report on a defense bill nine years ago. The RNC takes these facts and extrapolates from them that he voted against a dozen weapons systems that were in those bills. The Republicans could have claimed, with equal logic, that Kerry voted to abolish the entire U.S. armed forces, but that might have raised suspicions. Claiming that he opposed a list of specific weapons systems has an air of plausibility. On close examination, though, it reeks of rank dishonesty.

Another bit of dishonesty is RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie's claim, at a news conference today, that in 1995, Kerry voted to cut $1.5 billion from the intelligence budget. John Pike, who runs the invaluable globalsecurity.org Web site, told me what that cut was about: The Air Force's National Reconnaissance Office had appropriated that much money to operate a spy satellite that, as things turned out, it never launched. So the Senate passed an amendment rescinding the money—not to cancel a program, but to get a refund on a program that the NRO had canceled. Kerry voted for the amendment, as did a majority of his colleagues.

Posted by Eric at 02:53 AM | Comments (0)

John Kerry Weak on Defense?

Fred Kaplan says there may be "embarrassing" votes in John Kerry's history, but the RNC's spin "reeks of rank dishonesty":

On a couple of the weapons, the RNC report cites H.R. 5803 and H.R. 2126. Look those up. They turn out to be votes on the House-Senate conference committee reports for the defense appropriations bills in October 1990 (the same year as S. 3189) and September 1995.

In other words, Kerry was one of 16 senators (including five Republicans) to vote against a defense appropriations bill 14 years ago. He was also one of an unspecified number of senators to vote against a conference report on a defense bill nine years ago. The RNC takes these facts and extrapolates from them that he voted against a dozen weapons systems that were in those bills. The Republicans could have claimed, with equal logic, that Kerry voted to abolish the entire U.S. armed forces, but that might have raised suspicions. Claiming that he opposed a list of specific weapons systems has an air of plausibility. On close examination, though, it reeks of rank dishonesty.

Another bit of dishonesty is RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie's claim, at a news conference today, that in 1995, Kerry voted to cut $1.5 billion from the intelligence budget. John Pike, who runs the invaluable globalsecurity.org Web site, told me what that cut was about: The Air Force's National Reconnaissance Office had appropriated that much money to operate a spy satellite that, as things turned out, it never launched. So the Senate passed an amendment rescinding the money—not to cancel a program, but to get a refund on a program that the NRO had canceled. Kerry voted for the amendment, as did a majority of his colleagues.

Posted by Eric at 02:53 AM | Comments (0)

Church Displays 'Jews Killed Lord Jesus' Sign

From TheDenverChannel.com,

The Colorado Council of Churches also tried to get Pastor Maurice Gordon to change the sign but he refused and wouldn't even answer the phone or answer the door, 7NEWS reported.

Rev. Jim Ryan, a spokesman for the council, was quick to point out that it is a small minority who feel this way about Jews and that most Christians don't share that sentiment. Although the "Jews Killed the Lord Jesus" line comes from First Thessalonians, second chapter, verses 14 and 15, many Christian scholars interpret that passage to mean that when Paul refers to the Jews, he is referring to certain Jews who opposed Jesus' teachings and does not mean all Jews.

"It is ironic that a church named 'Lovingway' would advance such an attitude of hurtfulness," Ryan said. "Christ gave his life for all people. To blame a particular group of people, then or now, is a misuse of the Gospel of love and grace. The Colorado Council of Churches wishes to make it clear that this one congregation does not speak for the vast majority of the Christian community. In fact, we stand in direct opposition to the message on this sign and its implications."

"We also call upon the leaders of other Christian groups in Denver to reaffirm the statements they have made: that all of mankind shares responsibility for Jesus' death, and that blame should not be placed collectively on the Jews of the time or the Jews of today," DeBoskey said. "We fervently hope that Jews and Christians can use this time as an opportunity for dialogue and learning, not blame and divisiveness."

Posted by Eric at 02:28 AM | Comments (0)

Church Displays 'Jews Killed Lord Jesus' Sign

From TheDenverChannel.com,

The Colorado Council of Churches also tried to get Pastor Maurice Gordon to change the sign but he refused and wouldn't even answer the phone or answer the door, 7NEWS reported.

Rev. Jim Ryan, a spokesman for the council, was quick to point out that it is a small minority who feel this way about Jews and that most Christians don't share that sentiment. Although the "Jews Killed the Lord Jesus" line comes from First Thessalonians, second chapter, verses 14 and 15, many Christian scholars interpret that passage to mean that when Paul refers to the Jews, he is referring to certain Jews who opposed Jesus' teachings and does not mean all Jews.

"It is ironic that a church named 'Lovingway' would advance such an attitude of hurtfulness," Ryan said. "Christ gave his life for all people. To blame a particular group of people, then or now, is a misuse of the Gospel of love and grace. The Colorado Council of Churches wishes to make it clear that this one congregation does not speak for the vast majority of the Christian community. In fact, we stand in direct opposition to the message on this sign and its implications."

"We also call upon the leaders of other Christian groups in Denver to reaffirm the statements they have made: that all of mankind shares responsibility for Jesus' death, and that blame should not be placed collectively on the Jews of the time or the Jews of today," DeBoskey said. "We fervently hope that Jews and Christians can use this time as an opportunity for dialogue and learning, not blame and divisiveness."

Posted by Eric at 02:28 AM | Comments (0)

Oscar Predictions

Since the Oscars are Sunday, let's do the Hamster predictions for The Academy Awards.

BEST PICTURE
Winner: Lord of the Rings

BEST DIRECTOR
Winner: Peter Jackson

BEST ACTOR
Winner: Bill Murray

BEST ACTRESS
Winner: Charlize Theron

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Winner: Tim Robbins

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Winner: Renee Zellweger

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Winner: Finding Nemo

BEST SCREENPLAY
Winner: Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Winner: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson, Lord of the Rings

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Winner: The Fog of War

Posted by Eric at 01:20 AM | Comments (0)

Oscar Predictions

Since the Oscars are Sunday, let's do the Hamster predictions for The Academy Awards.

BEST PICTURE
Winner: Lord of the Rings

BEST DIRECTOR
Winner: Peter Jackson

BEST ACTOR
Winner: Bill Murray

BEST ACTRESS
Winner: Charlize Theron

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Winner: Tim Robbins

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Winner: Renee Zellweger

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Winner: Finding Nemo

BEST SCREENPLAY
Winner: Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Winner: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson, Lord of the Rings

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Winner: The Fog of War

Posted by Eric at 01:20 AM | Comments (0)

Hamster Numbers: No Child Left Behind

"“President Bush promised to fully fund this law. But since its signing two years ago, he has refused to provide the resources that schools, teachers and students need. The Appropriations bill for this year, now pending before the Senate¸ would create a shortfall of over $7.5 billion in funding for elementary and secondary education. This comes on top of a shortage of $5.5 billion from last year and $4.2 billion from fiscal year 2002. And reports are that the upcoming budget will be another $8 billion or more short.

“That’s a total of over $25 billion below what the President said the schools needed and what he promised to provide. That means that approximately 5 million children will not get the highly-qualified teachers, after-school programs, and tutoring services we promised them in the upcoming year. In my book, the President and the Republican Congress get an ‘F’ for effort." -- Congressman George Miller, January 14, 2004.

Posted by Eric at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

Hamster Numbers: No Child Left Behind

"“President Bush promised to fully fund this law. But since its signing two years ago, he has refused to provide the resources that schools, teachers and students need. The Appropriations bill for this year, now pending before the Senate¸ would create a shortfall of over $7.5 billion in funding for elementary and secondary education. This comes on top of a shortage of $5.5 billion from last year and $4.2 billion from fiscal year 2002. And reports are that the upcoming budget will be another $8 billion or more short.

“That’s a total of over $25 billion below what the President said the schools needed and what he promised to provide. That means that approximately 5 million children will not get the highly-qualified teachers, after-school programs, and tutoring services we promised them in the upcoming year. In my book, the President and the Republican Congress get an ‘F’ for effort." -- Congressman George Miller, January 14, 2004.

Posted by Eric at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2004

Thursday Stories

USAT. Lawsuit expected that will challenge ban on Canadian drugs
The Hill. Dems hope Cronkite will help Medicare case
AP. Poll: Gap narrows in New York, but Kerry still has big lead
Albuquerque Tribune. Conservatives take aim at gay rights legislation
Albuquerque Tribune. Bill signing paves way for electric car travel
Twin Cities Pioneer Press. All of Minnesota left behind?
Bangor Daily News. Maine veterans move to form political party
Quad-City Times. Gay-marriage ban clears Iowa Senate committee
Newsday. Bush vows to block an exodus to U.S.
Reuters. U.S. Military Lawyers Criticize Guantanamo Trials
AP. Gay rights vote builds for Kerry
AP. Bill on gunmaker immunity moving forward
Eric Boehlert. What will Rudy say to his gay friends?
Salon. Revolt of the Goldwater conservatives: In Arizona, home of American conservatism's feisty icon, independent-minded voters may have a nasty surprise for George W. Bush
Arianna Huffington. Bleak Forecast: A report by the Pentagon sounds the alarm on an environmental Armageddon, but the president isn't listening.
NYT. Rapes Reported by Servicewomen in the Persian Gulf and Elsewhere
NYT. For Ex-Senator Cleland, Kerry Race Is Chance to Rejoin the Battle
NYT. Some in G.O.P. Cool to Gay Marriage Ban
NYT. To Trim Deficit, Greenspan Urges Social Security and Medicare Cuts
WPost. Kerry, Edwards Attack Bush on Workers' Woes
WPost. Bush Opposes Additions to Gun Bill
AJC. Poll: Kerry has lead in Georgia, but it's falling
BGlobe. Bush's marriage war
BGlobe. Kerry backs state ban on gay marriage
CSMonitor. Court lets states deny aid for religious study
LAT. Immigration Is Topic A for Foreign-Born Voters
CSMonitor. Key Super Tuesday state: Ohio; Trade and job loss loom large in battle for votes
Newsday. Edwards hopes to score upset
CSMonitor. America's new coal rush: Utilities' dramatic push to build new plants would boost energy security but hurt the environment
Marie Cocco. Like his father, Bush doesn't get it
LAT. Has Dornan's Bluster Lost Its Luster?
ChicTrib. No cause for federal action against gay marriage
LAT. Jones Challenges Boxer in a Low Key
Reuters. Edwards Unveils Plan to Cut Poverty
BGlobe. In gay-marriage stance, Bush tends to GOP
BGlobe. Kucinich's primary concern: the media
CSMonitor. Where America's white-collar jobs go: It's not just India
AJC. Protect the public, not businesses

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Thursday Stories

USAT. Lawsuit expected that will challenge ban on Canadian drugs
The Hill. Dems hope Cronkite will help Medicare case
AP. Poll: Gap narrows in New York, but Kerry still has big lead
Albuquerque Tribune. Conservatives take aim at gay rights legislation
Albuquerque Tribune. Bill signing paves way for electric car travel
Twin Cities Pioneer Press. All of Minnesota left behind?
Bangor Daily News. Maine veterans move to form political party
Quad-City Times. Gay-marriage ban clears Iowa Senate committee
Newsday. Bush vows to block an exodus to U.S.
Reuters. U.S. Military Lawyers Criticize Guantanamo Trials
AP. Gay rights vote builds for Kerry
AP. Bill on gunmaker immunity moving forward
Eric Boehlert. What will Rudy say to his gay friends?
Salon. Revolt of the Goldwater conservatives: In Arizona, home of American conservatism's feisty icon, independent-minded voters may have a nasty surprise for George W. Bush
Arianna Huffington. Bleak Forecast: A report by the Pentagon sounds the alarm on an environmental Armageddon, but the president isn't listening.
NYT. Rapes Reported by Servicewomen in the Persian Gulf and Elsewhere
NYT. For Ex-Senator Cleland, Kerry Race Is Chance to Rejoin the Battle
NYT. Some in G.O.P. Cool to Gay Marriage Ban
NYT. To Trim Deficit, Greenspan Urges Social Security and Medicare Cuts
WPost. Kerry, Edwards Attack Bush on Workers' Woes
WPost. Bush Opposes Additions to Gun Bill
AJC. Poll: Kerry has lead in Georgia, but it's falling
BGlobe. Bush's marriage war
BGlobe. Kerry backs state ban on gay marriage
CSMonitor. Court lets states deny aid for religious study
LAT. Immigration Is Topic A for Foreign-Born Voters
CSMonitor. Key Super Tuesday state: Ohio; Trade and job loss loom large in battle for votes
Newsday. Edwards hopes to score upset
CSMonitor. America's new coal rush: Utilities' dramatic push to build new plants would boost energy security but hurt the environment
Marie Cocco. Like his father, Bush doesn't get it
LAT. Has Dornan's Bluster Lost Its Luster?
ChicTrib. No cause for federal action against gay marriage
LAT. Jones Challenges Boxer in a Low Key
Reuters. Edwards Unveils Plan to Cut Poverty
BGlobe. In gay-marriage stance, Bush tends to GOP
BGlobe. Kucinich's primary concern: the media
CSMonitor. Where America's white-collar jobs go: It's not just India
AJC. Protect the public, not businesses

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

ACT4Victory.org

The organization I work for, ACT, has its new website up (I wasn't involved with the website, I'm just a part-time researcher). Check it out here. ACT aims to mobilize voters in 17 key battleground states:

ACT is implementing a strategy to re-engage voters in the political process by talking to them face-to-face about the issues that affect their lives. Our strategy focuses on 17 key battleground states, where we are targeting critical groups of swing voters and those voters who often do not cast their ballots. On Election Day ACT will bring them to the polls with a massive get-out-the-vote operation.

Right now, we are on the ground registering new voters in Cleveland, St.Louis, Kansas City, Orlando, and Philadelphia. Already we’ve added 100,000 new voters to the rolls. And this is just the beginning. We plan to register hundreds of thousands more.

The heart of ACT’s strategy is the participation of millions of Americans like you. Americans who have had enough of the Bush-Rove-Delay agenda, and are ready to take action. We need your help!

Posted by Eric at 05:26 PM | Comments (0)

ACT4Victory.org

The organization I work for, ACT, has its new website up (I wasn't involved with the website, I'm just a part-time researcher). Check it out here. ACT aims to mobilize voters in 17 key battleground states:

ACT is implementing a strategy to re-engage voters in the political process by talking to them face-to-face about the issues that affect their lives. Our strategy focuses on 17 key battleground states, where we are targeting critical groups of swing voters and those voters who often do not cast their ballots. On Election Day ACT will bring them to the polls with a massive get-out-the-vote operation.

Right now, we are on the ground registering new voters in Cleveland, St.Louis, Kansas City, Orlando, and Philadelphia. Already we’ve added 100,000 new voters to the rolls. And this is just the beginning. We plan to register hundreds of thousands more.

The heart of ACT’s strategy is the participation of millions of Americans like you. Americans who have had enough of the Bush-Rove-Delay agenda, and are ready to take action. We need your help!

Posted by Eric at 05:26 PM | Comments (0)

The Forbidden Fruit

Are there lessons to be learned from Fox News and Abe Foxman, wonders Jac Wilder VerSteeg of the Palm Beach Post:

What do Fox News and Abe Foxman have in common? Both are among the most successful marketers on the face of the Earth. And neither is particularly happy about it.

Fox News sold a ton of books for Al Franken. The comedian and social commentator called his book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. Fox News said it owned the phrase "fair and balanced," and sued to prevent the book's distribution. Fox was laughed out of the courtroom, and the publicity skyrocketed Mr. Franken's book to a bestseller ...

Would I have advised Mr. Foxman to shut up? No, I guess not. Ticket sales are a short-term phenomenon. In the longer term, it is better for Mr. Foxman to get his objections on the record. For all the people who see the movie and come away hating Jews for "what they did to Jesus," there might be more who, with the help of their enlightened pastors, see the movie in the context Mr. Foxman has tried to place it. Although some people won't listen to what Mr. Foxman had to say, many Christians accept and appreciate his message.

If Mr. Foxman made a mistake in whipping up interest in The Passion of the Christ, he's certainly not alone. Attempts to squelch material frequently fail. If you believe the Old Testament, human beings always have been particularly attracted to forbidden fruit. Or if you'd prefer an example from the New Testament, consider that the Romans' attempt to silence Jesus has been history's most spectacular failure to ban an unpopular message.

Posted by Eric at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)

The Forbidden Fruit

Are there lessons to be learned from Fox News and Abe Foxman, wonders Jac Wilder VerSteeg of the Palm Beach Post:

What do Fox News and Abe Foxman have in common? Both are among the most successful marketers on the face of the Earth. And neither is particularly happy about it.

Fox News sold a ton of books for Al Franken. The comedian and social commentator called his book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. Fox News said it owned the phrase "fair and balanced," and sued to prevent the book's distribution. Fox was laughed out of the courtroom, and the publicity skyrocketed Mr. Franken's book to a bestseller ...

Would I have advised Mr. Foxman to shut up? No, I guess not. Ticket sales are a short-term phenomenon. In the longer term, it is better for Mr. Foxman to get his objections on the record. For all the people who see the movie and come away hating Jews for "what they did to Jesus," there might be more who, with the help of their enlightened pastors, see the movie in the context Mr. Foxman has tried to place it. Although some people won't listen to what Mr. Foxman had to say, many Christians accept and appreciate his message.

If Mr. Foxman made a mistake in whipping up interest in The Passion of the Christ, he's certainly not alone. Attempts to squelch material frequently fail. If you believe the Old Testament, human beings always have been particularly attracted to forbidden fruit. Or if you'd prefer an example from the New Testament, consider that the Romans' attempt to silence Jesus has been history's most spectacular failure to ban an unpopular message.

Posted by Eric at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)

Spy Games

Brits looking at the UN.

Posted by Eric at 01:27 PM | Comments (0)

Spy Games

Brits looking at the UN.

Posted by Eric at 01:27 PM | Comments (0)

Kerry Big in NY

John Kerry has a big lead over Edwards in New York, finds Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion:

The poll, from Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion, had Kerry leading Edwards 64 percent to 22 percent among likely Democratic voters for the state's Super Tuesday presidential primary voting next week.

"It's very one-sided and you're talking less than a week," said Marist institute director Lee Miringoff.

"Edwards may be a good closer, but in New York he would have to be better than Mariano Rivera to win this," added the independent pollster, an avid fan of the New York Yankees for whom Rivera is the star relief pitcher.

The latest poll had New York's own Al Sharpton at 5 percent and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio at 2 percent. Seven percent of voters were undecided.

And look at Al Sharpton's favorability numbers in the state that knows him best:
The Marist poll found Democrats generally liked both senators. Kerry had an 88 percent favorable rating while Edwards had an 81 percent positive rating. Sharpton, on the other hand, was viewed favorably by 35 percent of the Democrats and unfavorably by 57 percent.
Among Democrats.

Posted by Eric at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

Kerry Big in NY

John Kerry has a big lead over Edwards in New York, finds Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion:

The poll, from Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion, had Kerry leading Edwards 64 percent to 22 percent among likely Democratic voters for the state's Super Tuesday presidential primary voting next week.

"It's very one-sided and you're talking less than a week," said Marist institute director Lee Miringoff.

"Edwards may be a good closer, but in New York he would have to be better than Mariano Rivera to win this," added the independent pollster, an avid fan of the New York Yankees for whom Rivera is the star relief pitcher.

The latest poll had New York's own Al Sharpton at 5 percent and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio at 2 percent. Seven percent of voters were undecided.

And look at Al Sharpton's favorability numbers in the state that knows him best:
The Marist poll found Democrats generally liked both senators. Kerry had an 88 percent favorable rating while Edwards had an 81 percent positive rating. Sharpton, on the other hand, was viewed favorably by 35 percent of the Democrats and unfavorably by 57 percent.
Among Democrats.

Posted by Eric at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

Carville

FYI, James Carville is scheduled for Conan tonight. Neeha!

Posted by Eric at 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

Carville

FYI, James Carville is scheduled for Conan tonight. Neeha!

Posted by Eric at 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

He Said, He Said

From the Center for American Progress:

"I'm not seeing any indication the Taliban pose any military threat to Afghanistan."

- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 2/25/04

VERSUS

Taliban attacks "have reached their highest level since the collapse of the Taliban government.[They] are a serious threat, potentially eroding commitments to stability and progress in Afghanistan."

- Defense Intelligence Agency chief Adm. Jacoby, 2/24/04

Posted by Eric at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

He Said, He Said

From the Center for American Progress:

"I'm not seeing any indication the Taliban pose any military threat to Afghanistan."

- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 2/25/04

VERSUS

Taliban attacks "have reached their highest level since the collapse of the Taliban government.[They] are a serious threat, potentially eroding commitments to stability and progress in Afghanistan."

- Defense Intelligence Agency chief Adm. Jacoby, 2/24/04

Posted by Eric at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

NY Times Endorses Kerry in NY Primary

The endorsement from the "newspaper of record":

Mr. Kerry, one of the Senate's experts in foreign affairs, exudes maturity and depth. He can discuss virtually any issue of security or international affairs with authority. What his critics see as an inability to take strong, clear positions seems to us to reflect his appreciation that life is not simple. He understands the nuances and shades of gray in both foreign and domestic policy. While he still has trouble turning out snappy sound bites, we don't detect any difficulty in laying down a clear bottom line. His campaigning skills are perhaps not as strong as his intellectual ones, but they are pretty good and getting better. Early in the race he alienated some audiences with brittle, patronizing lectures. But he has improved tremendously over the last few months. His answers are focused and to the point, and his speeches far more compelling.

If Mr. Kerry wins the nomination, the Bush administration will undoubtedly attempt to paint Mr. Kerry as a typical Massachusetts liberal, but his thinking defies such easy categorization. His positions come from mainstream American thought, centrism of the old school. He has always worried over budget deficits. His record on the environment is extremely strong. He is a gun owner and hunter who supports effective gun control laws, a combat veteran who, having seen a great deal of death, opposes capital punishment. A sense of balance comes through when he is talking. Unfortunately, so far in this campaign Mr. Kerry has shown little interest in being daring, expressing a thought that is unexpected or quirky on even minor issues. We wish we could see a little of the political courage of the Vietnam hero who came back to lead the fight against the war.

Posted by Eric at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

NY Times Endorses Kerry in NY Primary

The endorsement from the "newspaper of record":

Mr. Kerry, one of the Senate's experts in foreign affairs, exudes maturity and depth. He can discuss virtually any issue of security or international affairs with authority. What his critics see as an inability to take strong, clear positions seems to us to reflect his appreciation that life is not simple. He understands the nuances and shades of gray in both foreign and domestic policy. While he still has trouble turning out snappy sound bites, we don't detect any difficulty in laying down a clear bottom line. His campaigning skills are perhaps not as strong as his intellectual ones, but they are pretty good and getting better. Early in the race he alienated some audiences with brittle, patronizing lectures. But he has improved tremendously over the last few months. His answers are focused and to the point, and his speeches far more compelling.

If Mr. Kerry wins the nomination, the Bush administration will undoubtedly attempt to paint Mr. Kerry as a typical Massachusetts liberal, but his thinking defies such easy categorization. His positions come from mainstream American thought, centrism of the old school. He has always worried over budget deficits. His record on the environment is extremely strong. He is a gun owner and hunter who supports effective gun control laws, a combat veteran who, having seen a great deal of death, opposes capital punishment. A sense of balance comes through when he is talking. Unfortunately, so far in this campaign Mr. Kerry has shown little interest in being daring, expressing a thought that is unexpected or quirky on even minor issues. We wish we could see a little of the political courage of the Vietnam hero who came back to lead the fight against the war.

Posted by Eric at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

McAuliffe Leaving DNC After February of '05

Party heads usually don't serve long, and Terry McAuliffe is no exception.

"I'm going to leave here in February of '05, finish my term, and the legacy that I will get to leave this party is this is a party that is in the best technological and financial shape in the history of our party," McAuliffe said Wednesday.

"One four-year term is enough," McAuliffe added. "I've served my party. It's been spectacular. But . . . I'm gone. I have five little children and you know what? I miss ballgames."

The hope for the DNC, of course, is that by Feb '05, they won't even need a visible head of the DNC because they'll have the presidency.

Posted by Eric at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)

McAuliffe Leaving DNC After February of '05

Party heads usually don't serve long, and Terry McAuliffe is no exception.

"I'm going to leave here in February of '05, finish my term, and the legacy that I will get to leave this party is this is a party that is in the best technological and financial shape in the history of our party," McAuliffe said Wednesday.

"One four-year term is enough," McAuliffe added. "I've served my party. It's been spectacular. But . . . I'm gone. I have five little children and you know what? I miss ballgames."

The hope for the DNC, of course, is that by Feb '05, they won't even need a visible head of the DNC because they'll have the presidency.

Posted by Eric at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)

Bennett to Start Preaching on the Radio

Bill Bennett will put his chips on a new radio talk show starting April 5. From USA Today:

Bill Bennett's Morning in America will air live weekdays from 6 to 9 a.m. ET via Dallas-based Salem Radio Network, a religious and family-themed network that features conservative talk-radio hosts such as Mike Gallagher (entertainment), Dennis Prager (pop culture) and Michael Medved (film).

Bennett will be joined on the air by veteran talk show host Tom Tradup and a female co-host to be announced soon. Salem hopes to have most major markets locked up by the launch.

"I want to talk about whatever matters," Bennett says, listing politics, foreign policy and entertainment as possible subjects. He looks forward to having "your occasional professor and rock 'n' roll musician, too."

He says that although he supports President Bush's re-election, he does not intend to push for it on his show: "I do my own thing."

Meanwhile, the 'King of All Media' Howard Stern has been pulled off Clear Channel stations.

Posted by Eric at 08:56 AM | Comments (0)

Bennett to Start Preaching on the Radio

Bill Bennett will put his chips on a new radio talk show starting April 5. From USA Today:

Bill Bennett's Morning in America will air live weekdays from 6 to 9 a.m. ET via Dallas-based Salem Radio Network, a religious and family-themed network that features conservative talk-radio hosts such as Mike Gallagher (entertainment), Dennis Prager (pop culture) and Michael Medved (film).

Bennett will be joined on the air by veteran talk show host Tom Tradup and a female co-host to be announced soon. Salem hopes to have most major markets locked up by the launch.

"I want to talk about whatever matters," Bennett says, listing politics, foreign policy and entertainment as possible subjects. He looks forward to having "your occasional professor and rock 'n' roll musician, too."

He says that although he supports President Bush's re-election, he does not intend to push for it on his show: "I do my own thing."

Meanwhile, the 'King of All Media' Howard Stern has been pulled off Clear Channel stations.

Posted by Eric at 08:56 AM | Comments (0)

Allegations at Interior

Who knew life at the Interior Department could be so interesting. Reliable Sources:

The Interior Department's inspector general, recently in the news for exposing security lapses at the Washington Monument, is investigating allegations that construction workers and private security guards engaged in sex while on the job at the agency's downtown headquarters, officials tell us. "It's contract security folks who were allegedly offering some form of services to the construction workers," a department source said yesterday, confirming that two unidentified guards were fired recently. Another government official, who would not be named, said Interior IG Earl Devaney is investigating a federal employee who allegedly served as a "pimp."

Kelly Grems, spokeswoman for Omniplex World Services, which provides more than 100 security guards at Interior, where renovations are underway, said the two were sacked after a "thorough investigation" by the company found "neglect of duty" and "violation of company policy, attendance related." She added: "There was no investigation for anything related to prostitution." Said Mark Pfeifle, an Interior spokesman: "We've just become aware that the inspector general is looking into the allegations," and referred us to Devaney, who would neither confirm nor deny the probe.

But he did say: "If I ever write a book about my experiences at Interior, no one would believe it was nonfiction."

Posted by Eric at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

Allegations at Interior

Who knew life at the Interior Department could be so interesting. Reliable Sources:

The Interior Department's inspector general, recently in the news for exposing security lapses at the Washington Monument, is investigating allegations that construction workers and private security guards engaged in sex while on the job at the agency's downtown headquarters, officials tell us. "It's contract security folks who were allegedly offering some form of services to the construction workers," a department source said yesterday, confirming that two unidentified guards were fired recently. Another government official, who would not be named, said Interior IG Earl Devaney is investigating a federal employee who allegedly served as a "pimp."

Kelly Grems, spokeswoman for Omniplex World Services, which provides more than 100 security guards at Interior, where renovations are underway, said the two were sacked after a "thorough investigation" by the company found "neglect of duty" and "violation of company policy, attendance related." She added: "There was no investigation for anything related to prostitution." Said Mark Pfeifle, an Interior spokesman: "We've just become aware that the inspector general is looking into the allegations," and referred us to Devaney, who would neither confirm nor deny the probe.

But he did say: "If I ever write a book about my experiences at Interior, no one would believe it was nonfiction."

Posted by Eric at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

Perle "Resigns"

No longer will we have his Perles of wisdom. *Tiddly-boom-tish* ABC News:

A controversial associate of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has resigned from his seat on a key Pentagon advisory panel, ABCNEWS has learned.

Richard Perle, a lightning rod for critics of the Bush administration's national security policies, informed Rumsfeld more than two weeks ago he was quitting the Defense Policy Board. He confirmed the decision in a letter to the defense chief last Wednesday.

"We are now approaching a long presidential election campaign, in the course of which issues on which I have strong views will be widely discussed and debated," Perle wrote. "I would not wish those views to be attributed to you or the President at any time, and especially not during a presidential campaign."

This is his resignation letter.

Posted by Eric at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

Perle "Resigns"

No longer will we have his Perles of wisdom. *Tiddly-boom-tish* ABC News:

A controversial associate of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has resigned from his seat on a key Pentagon advisory panel, ABCNEWS has learned.

Richard Perle, a lightning rod for critics of the Bush administration's national security policies, informed Rumsfeld more than two weeks ago he was quitting the Defense Policy Board. He confirmed the decision in a letter to the defense chief last Wednesday.

"We are now approaching a long presidential election campaign, in the course of which issues on which I have strong views will be widely discussed and debated," Perle wrote. "I would not wish those views to be attributed to you or the President at any time, and especially not during a presidential campaign."

This is his resignation letter.

Posted by Eric at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

Urban Outfitters Criticized for New Old Shirts

Hip clothing store Urban Outfitters, an emo alty clothing outlet for young whipper snappers, is receiving criticism for this shirt:

Russell Simmons:

"Voting Is for Old People," reads the long-sleeved T-shirt.

Simmons, the music and Phat Farm clothing mogul who founded the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, retorted:

"Maybe Phat Farm should make a T-shirt that reads, 'Shopping at Urban Outfitters Is for Old People.'

"When you think about the fact that young people are at risk to fight the wars, that young people are shortchanged by education, yet no politician is responsive to them because they think that young people are less likely to vote, you realize how important it is that they should," Simmons said.

In the past few months, the Hip-Hop Summit, whose concerns include public education, voter education and economic development, registered 25,000 students to vote in Texas during the Super Bowl, 60,000 in Los Angeles, and 80,000 in Philadelphia - headquarters of Urban Outfitters.

"Every major hip-hop artist has supported our initiative," Simmons told us from the MAGIC fashion retailers' convention in Las Vegas. "Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Alicia Keyes, Puffy, Eminem, Will Smith, LL Cool J, Erykah Badu. We've got 30 volunteers registering people outside this convention center right now," he added, crediting the African-American Voter Registration Project, the NAACP and the Urban League "for getting the work done on the ground."

Posted by Eric at 08:41 AM | Comments (0)

Urban Outfitters Criticized for New Old Shirts

Hip clothing store Urban Outfitters, an emo alty clothing outlet for young whipper snappers, is receiving criticism for this shirt:

Russell Simmons:

"Voting Is for Old People," reads the long-sleeved T-shirt.

Simmons, the music and Phat Farm clothing mogul who founded the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, retorted:

"Maybe Phat Farm should make a T-shirt that reads, 'Shopping at Urban Outfitters Is for Old People.'

"When you think about the fact that young people are at risk to fight the wars, that young people are shortchanged by education, yet no politician is responsive to them because they think that young people are less likely to vote, you realize how important it is that they should," Simmons said.

In the past few months, the Hip-Hop Summit, whose concerns include public education, voter education and economic development, registered 25,000 students to vote in Texas during the Super Bowl, 60,000 in Los Angeles, and 80,000 in Philadelphia - headquarters of Urban Outfitters.

"Every major hip-hop artist has supported our initiative," Simmons told us from the MAGIC fashion retailers' convention in Las Vegas. "Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Alicia Keyes, Puffy, Eminem, Will Smith, LL Cool J, Erykah Badu. We've got 30 volunteers registering people outside this convention center right now," he added, crediting the African-American Voter Registration Project, the NAACP and the Urban League "for getting the work done on the ground."

Posted by Eric at 08:41 AM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2004

Wednesday Stories

Robert L. Jamieson. Africa is definitely not Bush country
LAT. Edwards Courting Dean and His Fence-Sitting Supporters
Guardian. Nada for Nader: The lure of Ralph Nader's personality and anti-corporate stance will not necessarily translate into votes this time, finds Matthew Wells when he attends a rally in Boston
AP. Poll: Kerry has big California lead, Bush's ratings have plunged
Chicago Trib. Kerry rips Bush on Ohio job losses
WP. GOP Uncertain Ban Would Pass Congress: Alternatives to Lengthy Process Sought
Grist. Spoilent green: Nader's presidential bid elicits heated rhetoric from enviros
AJC. Hearings to hash out mercury pollution rules
Buzzflash. Interview: George Soros
William Rivers Pitt. A NOC At Bush's Door
Dale Carpenter. Strange Bedfellows
The Hill. Democrats denounce the gay ban
The Hill. Dems give more but save less
CBS/AP. California Dreamin' For Kerry
Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Edwards aligns with rural areas; Kerry goes metro
Houston Chronicle. Fund-raisers bring Edwards to town
BGlobe. He's been a professional wrestler and a Minnesota governor. Now Jesse Ventura is putting his moves on a class at the Kennedy School
WP. Gay Marriage Ban: A Move to Satisfy Conservative Base
WP. Kerry Labels Bush a 'Contradiction': Front-Runner Wins Utah, Idaho Races; Edwards Courts Black Voters in Atlanta
WP. Justices Overturn Death Sentence: Court Criticizes Texas's Conduct In Murder Case
WP. Senators Threaten to Stall Nomination: McCain and Dorgan Seek Explanation of McClellan's Drug Importation Stand
NYT. By Backing a Gay Marriage Ban, Bush Keeps Faith With His Base
NYT. Senate Democrats Block Caps for Malpractice
Reuters. Calif. Seeks Top Court Ruling on Gay Marriage Row
Houston Chronicle. Local union leader downplays Paige's 'terrorist' remark
Reuters. Salvation Army in NY Religious Discrimination Suit
Orange County Register. Bush's approval ratings hit new low in California
Bloomberg. Kerry Heads for Wins in Democratic Primaries in Idaho, Utah
GreenBiz.com. Five power companies commit to clean energy and limits on CO2
Eric Alterman and Mark Green. The New Scopes Trials
AP. NEA asks Bush to fire Education Secretary
Mercury News. Newsom blasts Bush on call for anti-gay marriage amendment
John Nichols. Ousting Bush beats voting for Nader
AP. How the Constitution could be amended
Farhad Manjoo. There are few new jobs -- and even fewer new good jobs. But the economy is growing, and if history holds, George W. Bush will be reelected easily
David Morris. The hydrogen-fueled transit vision being peddled in Washington and Sacramento obscures a more achievable alternative
Julian Brookes. The 30 million working Americans who can't make ends meet aren't on the margins of our economy -- they are in the stagnating mainstream
Mother Jones. Even the Pentagon is sounding the alarm on climate change. When will Bush get it?
Mother Jones. Ralph Nader thinks there's no difference between the two parties. Is he nuts?

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Wednesday Stories

Robert L. Jamieson. Africa is definitely not Bush country
LAT. Edwards Courting Dean and His Fence-Sitting Supporters
Guardian. Nada for Nader: The lure of Ralph Nader's personality and anti-corporate stance will not necessarily translate into votes this time, finds Matthew Wells when he attends a rally in Boston
AP. Poll: Kerry has big California lead, Bush's ratings have plunged
Chicago Trib. Kerry rips Bush on Ohio job losses
WP. GOP Uncertain Ban Would Pass Congress: Alternatives to Lengthy Process Sought
Grist. Spoilent green: Nader's presidential bid elicits heated rhetoric from enviros
AJC. Hearings to hash out mercury pollution rules
Buzzflash. Interview: George Soros
William Rivers Pitt. A NOC At Bush's Door
Dale Carpenter. Strange Bedfellows
The Hill. Democrats denounce the gay ban
The Hill. Dems give more but save less
CBS/AP. California Dreamin' For Kerry
Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Edwards aligns with rural areas; Kerry goes metro
Houston Chronicle. Fund-raisers bring Edwards to town
BGlobe. He's been a professional wrestler and a Minnesota governor. Now Jesse Ventura is putting his moves on a class at the Kennedy School
WP. Gay Marriage Ban: A Move to Satisfy Conservative Base
WP. Kerry Labels Bush a 'Contradiction': Front-Runner Wins Utah, Idaho Races; Edwards Courts Black Voters in Atlanta
WP. Justices Overturn Death Sentence: Court Criticizes Texas's Conduct In Murder Case
WP. Senators Threaten to Stall Nomination: McCain and Dorgan Seek Explanation of McClellan's Drug Importation Stand
NYT. By Backing a Gay Marriage Ban, Bush Keeps Faith With His Base
NYT. Senate Democrats Block Caps for Malpractice
Reuters. Calif. Seeks Top Court Ruling on Gay Marriage Row
Houston Chronicle. Local union leader downplays Paige's 'terrorist' remark
Reuters. Salvation Army in NY Religious Discrimination Suit
Orange County Register. Bush's approval ratings hit new low in California
Bloomberg. Kerry Heads for Wins in Democratic Primaries in Idaho, Utah
GreenBiz.com. Five power companies commit to clean energy and limits on CO2
Eric Alterman and Mark Green. The New Scopes Trials
AP. NEA asks Bush to fire Education Secretary
Mercury News. Newsom blasts Bush on call for anti-gay marriage amendment
John Nichols. Ousting Bush beats voting for Nader
AP. How the Constitution could be amended
Farhad Manjoo. There are few new jobs -- and even fewer new good jobs. But the economy is growing, and if history holds, George W. Bush will be reelected easily
David Morris. The hydrogen-fueled transit vision being peddled in Washington and Sacramento obscures a more achievable alternative
Julian Brookes. The 30 million working Americans who can't make ends meet aren't on the margins of our economy -- they are in the stagnating mainstream
Mother Jones. Even the Pentagon is sounding the alarm on climate change. When will Bush get it?
Mother Jones. Ralph Nader thinks there's no difference between the two parties. Is he nuts?

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Dean Advisor: Nader Team Asked Dean for VP Slot

Courtesy of Daily Kos, this interesting tidbit about Nader and his ego:

Hi All, it's good to know you are out there thinking and writing. I'm Mike Ford and I've been a manager and advisor to Jerry since he started in elective politics in 1970. For the last 6 months or so I was a senior advisor to Howard Dean.
Bout three months ago Ralph Nader and his entourage walked into our Vermont headquarters off the street to "dialogue".

He was quite impressive intellectually and the firmness of his vision was also impressive. At the time of the visit, Howard was still the front runner and the Nader entourage made a blatant pitch for a Nader Vice Presidential nomination.

The point of all this is to say that the only thing that impressed me more than Nader's brain was his outsized ego. Got to say, that's what seems to be the driver here and it's more about his personal agenda and, I think, about that huge ego rather than beating Bush. Who died and made you King Ralph? To each her own, EH? What do you think?

Posted by Eric at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

Dean Advisor: Nader Team Asked Dean for VP Slot

Courtesy of Daily Kos, this interesting tidbit about Nader and his ego:

Hi All, it's good to know you are out there thinking and writing. I'm Mike Ford and I've been a manager and advisor to Jerry since he started in elective politics in 1970. For the last 6 months or so I was a senior advisor to Howard Dean.
Bout three months ago Ralph Nader and his entourage walked into our Vermont headquarters off the street to "dialogue".

He was quite impressive intellectually and the firmness of his vision was also impressive. At the time of the visit, Howard was still the front runner and the Nader entourage made a blatant pitch for a Nader Vice Presidential nomination.

The point of all this is to say that the only thing that impressed me more than Nader's brain was his outsized ego. Got to say, that's what seems to be the driver here and it's more about his personal agenda and, I think, about that huge ego rather than beating Bush. Who died and made you King Ralph? To each her own, EH? What do you think?

Posted by Eric at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

Bob Graham to Kerry

So Clark and Graham, both Kerry backers, are among the potential VPs if Kerry does win. Boston Globe:

Graham is the former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which should enhance his stature as a surrogate campaigner this fall if, as expected, President Bush runs on a national security theme. Graham and Kerry are expected to appear together in South Florida late next week in advance of the state's March 9 primary. The election will have 177 delegates at stake.

"Bob Graham has been a national leader in the Senate and as governor of Florida and is known for his strong record on intelligence and national security matters," said Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter. "He has represented the people of Florida well, and that is something that is very important for us. John Kerry and Bob Graham have been friends for years, and we would very much like his support as we continue fighting for the nomination."

Posted by Eric at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)

Bob Graham to Kerry

So Clark and Graham, both Kerry backers, are among the potential VPs if Kerry does win. Boston Globe:

Graham is the former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which should enhance his stature as a surrogate campaigner this fall if, as expected, President Bush runs on a national security theme. Graham and Kerry are expected to appear together in South Florida late next week in advance of the state's March 9 primary. The election will have 177 delegates at stake.

"Bob Graham has been a national leader in the Senate and as governor of Florida and is known for his strong record on intelligence and national security matters," said Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter. "He has represented the people of Florida well, and that is something that is very important for us. John Kerry and Bob Graham have been friends for years, and we would very much like his support as we continue fighting for the nomination."

Posted by Eric at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)

John Kerry: The Movie?

Looks like they may make a movie based on the 'Tour of Duty' book by Douglas Brinkley.

Filmmaker George Butler, who made Arnold Schwarzenegger a household name with his documentary "Pumping Iron," will now point his camera to the left. Butler just got the rights to make a nonfiction movie out of Douglas Brinkley's bestseller "Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War." Like the book, the flick will chronicle Kerry's metamorphosis from soldier to anti-war activist, and obviously, it has to be done before November...

Posted by Eric at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

John Kerry: The Movie?

Looks like they may make a movie based on the 'Tour of Duty' book by Douglas Brinkley.

Filmmaker George Butler, who made Arnold Schwarzenegger a household name with his documentary "Pumping Iron," will now point his camera to the left. Butler just got the rights to make a nonfiction movie out of Douglas Brinkley's bestseller "Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War." Like the book, the flick will chronicle Kerry's metamorphosis from soldier to anti-war activist, and obviously, it has to be done before November...

Posted by Eric at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

Kerry Wins Hawaii, Kucinich in 2nd

Kerry picked up the three states Idaho, Utah and Hawaii. Kucinich actually did pretty well in the Aloha State.

In Hawaii, Kerry and Kucinich were the only candidates to win delegates as the others failed to get the needed 15 percent of the votes.

Alex Santiago, Democratic Party chairman, said the caucuses were surprisingly well-attended, noting that there were 4,000 Democrats voting. Four years ago, there were only 1,200 ballots in a race that saw former Vice President Al Gore easily win over former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley.

Tonight, Kerry picked up 1,756 votes while Kucinich had 1,138 votes and Sen. John Edwards had 481. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean had 341 votes and Wesley Clark had 30.

Santiago said the tally represents 90 percent of votes cast last night in Hawaii. The remaining 10 percent, from some neighbor islands areas, had not been counted by press time.

Santiago said Kucinich had won half of the Democratic vote on Maui, considered the candidate’s stronghold.

Kerry is expected to take 12 Hawaii delegates and Kucinich will take the remaining eight delegates to the national convention in Boston in July.

Dennis was actually the first candidate to campaign in Hawaii in a while. Kucinich previously had 2 delegates.

Speaking of Hawaii, this is me.

No, it's not.

Posted by Eric at 04:54 AM | Comments (0)

Kerry Wins Hawaii, Kucinich in 2nd

Kerry picked up the three states Idaho, Utah and Hawaii. Kucinich actually did pretty well in the Aloha State.

In Hawaii, Kerry and Kucinich were the only candidates to win delegates as the others failed to get the needed 15 percent of the votes.

Alex Santiago, Democratic Party chairman, said the caucuses were surprisingly well-attended, noting that there were 4,000 Democrats voting. Four years ago, there were only 1,200 ballots in a race that saw former Vice President Al Gore easily win over former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley.

Tonight, Kerry picked up 1,756 votes while Kucinich had 1,138 votes and Sen. John Edwards had 481. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean had 341 votes and Wesley Clark had 30.

Santiago said the tally represents 90 percent of votes cast last night in Hawaii. The remaining 10 percent, from some neighbor islands areas, had not been counted by press time.

Santiago said Kucinich had won half of the Democratic vote on Maui, considered the candidate’s stronghold.

Kerry is expected to take 12 Hawaii delegates and Kucinich will take the remaining eight delegates to the national convention in Boston in July.

Dennis was actually the first candidate to campaign in Hawaii in a while. Kucinich previously had 2 delegates.

Speaking of Hawaii, this is me.

No, it's not.

Posted by Eric at 04:54 AM | Comments (0)

Bill O'Reilly: Plagiarist?

Televised plagiarism is the accusation being made by amNewYork's Alex Storozynski about the loud Fox News host. Lloyd Grove:

Storozynski enumerated his problems in a letter to O'Reilly after watching a Feb. 19 "Factor" segment on troubles with a charity fund to reopen the Statue of Liberty.

"You ran the piece without mentioning amNewYork, instead taking credit for the story yourself," Storozynski, a former member of the Daily News editorial board, wrote angrily. He claimed O'Reilly ripped off his Feb. 2 exclusive, which reported that although the fund was raising $40 million a year, officials were using the money for minor maintenance instead of the $7 million in repairs necessary to reopen the monument to the public.

"No one else had that story," Storozynski told Lowdown yesterday. "O'Reilly's producer, Rick McCue, said those exact words to me. He said, 'How'd you break this story? We looked around, no one else had this story' ... When I watched the segment, we weren't mentioned at all."

Storozynski said that when he complained the next day, the producer told him: "There's nothing I can do ... I can't tell him what to do. That's the way he operates."

Zimmerman retorted: "Our friends at amNewYork are claiming that they broke this story. But they weren't the first ones to bring it to the public's attention ... And, No. 2, we have yet to receive the letter from Mr. Storozynski." Zimmerman continued: "amNewYork is trying to get publicity off of Bill O'Reilly's coattails."

Lowdown's scoop: A check of stories on the Liberty fund indicates that amNewYork had it first.

Posted by Eric at 04:46 AM | Comments (0)

Bill O'Reilly: Plagiarist?

Televised plagiarism is the accusation being made by amNewYork's Alex Storozynski about the loud Fox News host. Lloyd Grove:

Storozynski enumerated his problems in a letter to O'Reilly after watching a Feb. 19 "Factor" segment on troubles with a charity fund to reopen the Statue of Liberty.

"You ran the piece without mentioning amNewYork, instead taking credit for the story yourself," Storozynski, a former member of the Daily News editorial board, wrote angrily. He claimed O'Reilly ripped off his Feb. 2 exclusive, which reported that although the fund was raising $40 million a year, officials were using the money for minor maintenance instead of the $7 million in repairs necessary to reopen the monument to the public.

"No one else had that story," Storozynski told Lowdown yesterday. "O'Reilly's producer, Rick McCue, said those exact words to me. He said, 'How'd you break this story? We looked around, no one else had this story' ... When I watched the segment, we weren't mentioned at all."

Storozynski said that when he complained the next day, the producer told him: "There's nothing I can do ... I can't tell him what to do. That's the way he operates."

Zimmerman retorted: "Our friends at amNewYork are claiming that they broke this story. But they weren't the first ones to bring it to the public's attention ... And, No. 2, we have yet to receive the letter from Mr. Storozynski." Zimmerman continued: "amNewYork is trying to get publicity off of Bill O'Reilly's coattails."

Lowdown's scoop: A check of stories on the Liberty fund indicates that amNewYork had it first.

Posted by Eric at 04:46 AM | Comments (0)

Garofalo to Publish Election-Time Book

From the Daily's Rush and Molloy, the news about the comic's new proejct:

Janeane Garofalo is probably typing with her fingers and toes right now. No doubt seeing the bestselling success of books by liberal humorists Al Franken ("Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them") and Michael Moore ("Dude, Where's My Country?"), Garofalo will try to get her own book out before Election Day. Simon & Schuster will publish the comic's "For Those About to Salute, We Will Rock You" - Garofalo's ruminations on President Bush, Iraq, corporations and "the state of the national consciousness" - in October...

Posted by Eric at 04:39 AM | Comments (0)

Garofalo to Publish Election-Time Book

From the Daily's Rush and Molloy, the news about the comic's new proejct:

Janeane Garofalo is probably typing with her fingers and toes right now. No doubt seeing the bestselling success of books by liberal humorists Al Franken ("Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them") and Michael Moore ("Dude, Where's My Country?"), Garofalo will try to get her own book out before Election Day. Simon & Schuster will publish the comic's "For Those About to Salute, We Will Rock You" - Garofalo's ruminations on President Bush, Iraq, corporations and "the state of the national consciousness" - in October...

Posted by Eric at 04:39 AM | Comments (0)

Dick Cheney Flashback

As Barney Frank notes, "The argument against such a centralized approach was articulated very well during the 2000 Presidential Campaign by one of the major party candidates. When asked by Bernard Shaw to state a position on the subject of same-sex couples, Vice Presidential candidate Dick Cheney responded as follows":

“This is a tough one, Bernie. The fact of the matter is we live in a free society, and freedom means freedom for everybody. We don’t get to choose, and shouldn’t be able to choose and say, ‘You get to live free, but you don’t.’ And I think that means that people should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to enter into. It’s really no one else’s business in terms of trying to regulate or prohibit behavior in that regard.

The next step, then, of course, is the question you ask of whether or not there ought to be some kind of official sanction, if you will, of the relationship, or if these relationships should be treated the same way a conventional marriage is. That’s a tougher problem. That’s not a slam dunk.

I think the fact of the matter, of course, is that matter is regulated by the states. I Think different states are likely to come to different conclusions, and that’s appropriate. I don’t think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area.

I try to be open-minded about it as much as I can, and tolerant of those relationships. And like Joe, I also wrestle with the extent to which there ought to be legal sanction of those relationships. I think we ought to do everything we can to tolerate and accommodate whatever kind of relationships people want to enter into.”

On a related note, there is this site.

Posted by Eric at 03:35 AM | Comments (0)

Dick Cheney Flashback

As Barney Frank notes, "The argument against such a centralized approach was articulated very well during the 2000 Presidential Campaign by one of the major party candidates. When asked by Bernard Shaw to state a position on the subject of same-sex couples, Vice Presidential candidate Dick Cheney responded as follows":

“This is a tough one, Bernie. The fact of the matter is we live in a free society, and freedom means freedom for everybody. We don’t get to choose, and shouldn’t be able to choose and say, ‘You get to live free, but you don’t.’ And I think that means that people should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to enter into. It’s really no one else’s business in terms of trying to regulate or prohibit behavior in that regard.

The next step, then, of course, is the question you ask of whether or not there ought to be some kind of official sanction, if you will, of the relationship, or if these relationships should be treated the same way a conventional marriage is. That’s a tougher problem. That’s not a slam dunk.

I think the fact of the matter, of course, is that matter is regulated by the states. I Think different states are likely to come to different conclusions, and that’s appropriate. I don’t think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area.

I try to be open-minded about it as much as I can, and tolerant of those relationships. And like Joe, I also wrestle with the extent to which there ought to be legal sanction of those relationships. I think we ought to do everything we can to tolerate and accommodate whatever kind of relationships people want to enter into.”

On a related note, there is this site.

Posted by Eric at 03:35 AM | Comments (0)

Doug Haines Blog

Doug Haines, candidate in the Democratic primaries in Georgia, directly answers policy questions from users on his blog. Direct democracy in action, courtesy of blog technology.

Posted by Eric at 03:02 AM | Comments (0)

Doug Haines Blog

Doug Haines, candidate in the Democratic primaries in Georgia, directly answers policy questions from users on his blog. Direct democracy in action, courtesy of blog technology.

Posted by Eric at 03:02 AM | Comments (0)

Study: Great Barrier Reef Will Lose Most Coral Cover by 2050

A Queensland University's Centre for Marine Studies study, commissioned by the Worldwide Fund for Nature, finds a disturbing and bleak future for one of the world's greatest natural treasures:

"Only if global average temperature change is kept to below two degrees Celsius can the Reef have any chance of recovering from the predicted damage," the report said.

Coral has a narrow comfort zone and is highly stressed by a temperature rise of less than one degree Celsius. Water temperature rises of less than one degree coincided with the world's worst recorded coral bleaching episode in 1988. With bleaching, the warmer water forces out the algae that give coral its colour and, if all are lost, the coral dies and the reef will crumble.

In 1998, 16 percent of the world's coral died, with 46 percent of the Indian Ocean coral destroyed. Scientists project water temperatures to rise this century by between two and six degrees Celsius.

"There is little to no evidence that corals can adapt fast enough to match even the lower projected temperature rise," said the Australian report. It said that by 2050 the Great Barrier Reef would annually experience stress levels higher than those witnessed in 1998 and, by 2100, stress levels globally for coral would be several times higher than 1998.

"Coral cover will decrease to less than five percent on most reefs (in the Great Barrier Reef) by the middle of the century under even the most favourable assumptions," said the report. "Reefs will not disappear but they will be devoid of coral and dominated by other less appealing species, such as seaweed."

Unsurprisingly, most of US coral reefs are in Hawaii. According to the Hawai'i Coral Reef Initiative Research Program, those reefs are also in trouble
The first island-by-island assessment of the state's coral reefs has found few surprises but considerable damage to an asset estimated to be worth $364 million a year to Hawai'i's economy ... Even before the comprehensive Hawai'i Coral Reef Initiative Research Program report was released, researchers knew that the coral reef ecosystem is being damaged by overfishing, pollution, physical destruction from anchors and being walked on, alien and invasive species, and algae blooms ... Without a healthy reef, some of Hawai'i's most important assets — beaches, huge surf and snorkeling and diving spots — will deteriorate, the report says. The report estimates the economic value of Hawai'i's reefs at $364 million a year in added value in areas including tourism, fisheries, property value and research.

The report advocates protective management to sustain the coastal reef ecosystem and notes that the world has already lost about 30 percent of its reefs. Hawai'i's coral reefs make up 80 percent of all reefs under U.S. jurisdiction.

Two of the most serious problems are reef disease, which has devastated reefs in the Caribbean, and alien algae, which grows into a thick mat that covers the reef, blocking sunlight that coral and reef plants need to survive, said Michael Hamnett, director of the reef initiative program.

Left unchecked, the algae could come to dominate the Waikiki ecosystem, including the Diamond Head shoreline. Invasive seaweeds have also been a problem off Maui, in California and in the Mediterranean Sea.

How does coral reef destruction happen? Many factors, including:
Coral reefs are in serious trouble worldwide from a powerful combination of stresses that are threatening their survival, including:

overexploitation of resources for subsistence and commercial fishing;
destructive fishing practices that degrade and destroy the habitat itself;
increasing coastal populations, which are expected to double in the next 50 years;
poor land use practices and runoff of pollutants, sediments and nutrients;
disease outbreaks, which may be associated with poor water quality and pollutants;
coral bleaching, associated with increasing seawater temperatures and global change; and
removal of coastal mangrove forests.

Posted by Eric at 02:38 AM | Comments (0)

Study: Great Barrier Reef Will Lose Most Coral Cover by 2050

A Queensland University's Centre for Marine Studies study, commissioned by the Worldwide Fund for Nature, finds a disturbing and bleak future for one of the world's greatest natural treasures:

"Only if global average temperature change is kept to below two degrees Celsius can the Reef have any chance of recovering from the predicted damage," the report said.

Coral has a narrow comfort zone and is highly stressed by a temperature rise of less than one degree Celsius. Water temperature rises of less than one degree coincided with the world's worst recorded coral bleaching episode in 1988. With bleaching, the warmer water forces out the algae that give coral its colour and, if all are lost, the coral dies and the reef will crumble.

In 1998, 16 percent of the world's coral died, with 46 percent of the Indian Ocean coral destroyed. Scientists project water temperatures to rise this century by between two and six degrees Celsius.

"There is little to no evidence that corals can adapt fast enough to match even the lower projected temperature rise," said the Australian report. It said that by 2050 the Great Barrier Reef would annually experience stress levels higher than those witnessed in 1998 and, by 2100, stress levels globally for coral would be several times higher than 1998.

"Coral cover will decrease to less than five percent on most reefs (in the Great Barrier Reef) by the middle of the century under even the most favourable assumptions," said the report. "Reefs will not disappear but they will be devoid of coral and dominated by other less appealing species, such as seaweed."

Unsurprisingly, most of US coral reefs are in Hawaii. According to the Hawai'i Coral Reef Initiative Research Program, those reefs are also in trouble
The first island-by-island assessment of the state's coral reefs has found few surprises but considerable damage to an asset estimated to be worth $364 million a year to Hawai'i's economy ... Even before the comprehensive Hawai'i Coral Reef Initiative Research Program report was released, researchers knew that the coral reef ecosystem is being damaged by overfishing, pollution, physical destruction from anchors and being walked on, alien and invasive species, and algae blooms ... Without a healthy reef, some of Hawai'i's most important assets — beaches, huge surf and snorkeling and diving spots — will deteriorate, the report says. The report estimates the economic value of Hawai'i's reefs at $364 million a year in added value in areas including tourism, fisheries, property value and research.

The report advocates protective management to sustain the coastal reef ecosystem and notes that the world has already lost about 30 percent of its reefs. Hawai'i's coral reefs make up 80 percent of all reefs under U.S. jurisdiction.

Two of the most serious problems are reef disease, which has devastated reefs in the Caribbean, and alien algae, which grows into a thick mat that covers the reef, blocking sunlight that coral and reef plants need to survive, said Michael Hamnett, director of the reef initiative program.

Left unchecked, the algae could come to dominate the Waikiki ecosystem, including the Diamond Head shoreline. Invasive seaweeds have also been a problem off Maui, in California and in the Mediterranean Sea.

How does coral reef destruction happen? Many factors, including:
Coral reefs are in serious trouble worldwide from a powerful combination of stresses that are threatening their survival, including:

overexploitation of resources for subsistence and commercial fishing;
destructive fishing practices that degrade and destroy the habitat itself;
increasing coastal populations, which are expected to double in the next 50 years;
poor land use practices and runoff of pollutants, sediments and nutrients;
disease outbreaks, which may be associated with poor water quality and pollutants;
coral bleaching, associated with increasing seawater temperatures and global change; and
removal of coastal mangrove forests.

Posted by Eric at 02:38 AM | Comments (0)

Hamster Numbers: Vouchers

"An initial People For the American Way analysis of federal education grants has uncovered a pattern of major — and at times unsolicited — grants made to a small cadre of pro-voucher private advocacy groups. The funds diverted to these groups total more than $75 million over the last three years, and were doled out by the U.S. Department of Education despite chronic underfunding of the Bush administration’s own landmark ‘No Child Left Behind’ education legislation." -PFAW.

Posted by Eric at 02:20 AM | Comments (0)

Hamster Numbers: Vouchers

"An initial People For the American Way analysis of federal education grants has uncovered a pattern of major — and at times unsolicited — grants made to a small cadre of pro-voucher private advocacy groups. The funds diverted to these groups total more than $75 million over the last three years, and were doled out by the U.S. Department of Education despite chronic underfunding of the Bush administration’s own landmark ‘No Child Left Behind’ education legislation." -PFAW.

Posted by Eric at 02:20 AM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2004

Tuesday Stories

AP. Bill makes killing fetus separate crime
CNN. State high court may get same-sex marriage
Salt Lake Tribune. Environmentalists decry Nader's 'spoiler' candidacy
Cynthia Tucker. Constitutional amendment won't save marriage
Natasha Hunter. The White House is betting voters' terrorism fears will override concern about vital social programs
Norman Solomon. Everything Nader has worked for, he's now running against
Mary Lynn F. Jones. Right Turn: U.S. senators are allowing the president to trample their rights and responsibilities in Congress
AP. Sierra Club calls for Scalia to leave Cheney case
Salon. Bush's sex fantasy: The White House is pouring money into programs that tell teens to just say no to sex. Most experts say the programs don't work -- except to enrich the religious right
CSMonitor. Fewer professors on campus full-time: More US colleges rely on part-time faculty rather than tenured staff.
CSMonitor. Border agents feel betrayed by Bush plan: US Border Patrol hears mixed signals on illegal immigration
CSMonitor. Al Hurra joins battle for news, hearts, and minds
AP. Newsom invites governor to see gay rites: He dismisses fears same-sex marriages will trigger violence
AP. Calif. Attorney General seeks ruling on same-sex marriages
LAT. Bush Replays Themes That Worked in 2000 Election
LAT. Kerry Leads Edwards Handily in California
Robert Scheer. Nader Is Crashing the Party Yet Again
Miami Herald. Report: Sex and violence plague prison for girls; In another setback, Florida's troubled juvenile justice agency is blasted by a grand jury for ''hopelessness'' at prison for delinquent girls
E. J. Dionne Jr. Bush's McCain Strategy Redux
WP. Kerry Goes After Bush, Defends His Own Record
WP. Kucinich Focuses on Oft-Ignored Hawaii: Caucuses Give Hope for Long-Shot Win
WP. U.S. Scrambles to Find New Course in Haiti; Humanitarian Crisis Is Prepared For
NYT. Kerry Speaks to New York, Talks Back to Washington
NYT. Kerry and Edwards Scrambling for Support in New York Vote
NYT. Campaign Begins as Bush Attacks Kerry in Speech
NYT. Pentagon Opens Criminal Inquiry of Halliburton Pricing

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Tuesday Stories

AP. Bill makes killing fetus separate crime
CNN. State high court may get same-sex marriage
Salt Lake Tribune. Environmentalists decry Nader's 'spoiler' candidacy
Cynthia Tucker. Constitutional amendment won't save marriage
Natasha Hunter. The White House is betting voters' terrorism fears will override concern about vital social programs
Norman Solomon. Everything Nader has worked for, he's now running against
Mary Lynn F. Jones. Right Turn: U.S. senators are allowing the president to trample their rights and responsibilities in Congress
AP. Sierra Club calls for Scalia to leave Cheney case
Salon. Bush's sex fantasy: The White House is pouring money into programs that tell teens to just say no to sex. Most experts say the programs don't work -- except to enrich the religious right
CSMonitor. Fewer professors on campus full-time: More US colleges rely on part-time faculty rather than tenured staff.
CSMonitor. Border agents feel betrayed by Bush plan: US Border Patrol hears mixed signals on illegal immigration
CSMonitor. Al Hurra joins battle for news, hearts, and minds
AP. Newsom invites governor to see gay rites: He dismisses fears same-sex marriages will trigger violence
AP. Calif. Attorney General seeks ruling on same-sex marriages
LAT. Bush Replays Themes That Worked in 2000 Election
LAT. Kerry Leads Edwards Handily in California
Robert Scheer. Nader Is Crashing the Party Yet Again
Miami Herald. Report: Sex and violence plague prison for girls; In another setback, Florida's troubled juvenile justice agency is blasted by a grand jury for ''hopelessness'' at prison for delinquent girls
E. J. Dionne Jr. Bush's McCain Strategy Redux
WP. Kerry Goes After Bush, Defends His Own Record
WP. Kucinich Focuses on Oft-Ignored Hawaii: Caucuses Give Hope for Long-Shot Win
WP. U.S. Scrambles to Find New Course in Haiti; Humanitarian Crisis Is Prepared For
NYT. Kerry Speaks to New York, Talks Back to Washington
NYT. Kerry and Edwards Scrambling for Support in New York Vote
NYT. Campaign Begins as Bush Attacks Kerry in Speech
NYT. Pentagon Opens Criminal Inquiry of Halliburton Pricing

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Inside the World of 'Staffers'

From Aaron Barnhart's TV Barn, we read about a brand new series about the young guys behind the old candidates:

“Staffers,” a new documentary series, replays the past six weeks of primary frenzy from a completely new angle: the people who work for the campaigns. We’re not talking the guys in suits who talk to Wolf Blitzer. We’re talking about the unpaid and underpaid young workers, the true believers — every campaign has them, not just Howard Dean’s — who usually carry out their activity far away from the TV frame.

Filmed on a breakneck schedule — Discovery didn’t even greenlight the show until early last month — “Staffers” begins a six-week run at 8 pm ET Tuesday on the Discovery Times Channel. (You need digital cable to see Discovery Times, which is Channel 225 on Time Warner, 111 on Comcast and 427 on Everest.)

Producer Steve Rosenbaum says the idea for “Staffers” came from one, Susan McCue, who pitched his Camera Planet company to make a series about life as an intern in Washington, D.C.

Rosenbaum wanted to take that concept on the road and give it a big gulp of coffee. The American primary process is, after all, the original game of “Survivor.” A campaign that’s going great guns one day can unexpectedly lurch to a halt the next, leaving workers stranded in battleground states, out of cash and out of luck.

But first, Rosenbaum had to sell the candidates on the idea.

Posted by Eric at 07:55 PM | Comments (0)

Inside the World of 'Staffers'

From Aaron Barnhart's TV Barn, we read about a brand new series about the young guys behind the old candidates:

“Staffers,” a new documentary series, replays the past six weeks of primary frenzy from a completely new angle: the people who work for the campaigns. We’re not talking the guys in suits who talk to Wolf Blitzer. We’re talking about the unpaid and underpaid young workers, the true believers — every campaign has them, not just Howard Dean’s — who usually carry out their activity far away from the TV frame.

Filmed on a breakneck schedule — Discovery didn’t even greenlight the show until early last month — “Staffers” begins a six-week run at 8 pm ET Tuesday on the Discovery Times Channel. (You need digital cable to see Discovery Times, which is Channel 225 on Time Warner, 111 on Comcast and 427 on Everest.)

Producer Steve Rosenbaum says the idea for “Staffers” came from one, Susan McCue, who pitched his Camera Planet company to make a series about life as an intern in Washington, D.C.

Rosenbaum wanted to take that concept on the road and give it a big gulp of coffee. The American primary process is, after all, the original game of “Survivor.” A campaign that’s going great guns one day can unexpectedly lurch to a halt the next, leaving workers stranded in battleground states, out of cash and out of luck.

But first, Rosenbaum had to sell the candidates on the idea.

Posted by Eric at 07:55 PM | Comments (0)

Herseth for Congress

In the state south of North Dakota, the Democrats have a chance to pick up a seat:

In South Dakota, a special election to replace Janklow will be held on June 1. A recent Mason-Dixon poll gave 2002 Democratic nominee Stephanie Herseth a lead of 58 percent to 29 percent over GOP state Sen. Larry Diedrich. Yet Bush took 60 percent of the vote in the state in 2000. And Republicans have time to chip away at Herseth's lead.
As The Hill notes, the NRCC is bringing out the big bling against Herseth:
NRCC spokesman Carl Forti said fundraising efforts will likely parallel those in the Kentucky race. There, Republican state Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr raised twice as much as Democrat Ben Chandler, although she ultimately lost the race.

Diedrich said he has raised nearly $300,000 in the three weeks since the state Republican Party chose him as the candidate. Some of this money has come from the NRCC and Hill lawmakers. He said he does not know who has given the money, or exactly how much. With the Kentucky race over, House members and the national committee would now focus more on his race, he said.

Last week, Diedrich traveled to Washington to meet Republican members and garner additional support. He was pleased with his reception, saying, “The commitment has been, ‘You tell us what you want.’”

He intends to return to Washington this month to continue campaigning and raising money.

More on Herseth:
An early poll shows Herseth with a decent lead over Diedrich. However, she downplays the advantage. Herseth said she knows more people are familiar with her name because she ran for House two years ago, losing to Janklow.

Herseth said she's optimistic about the race and told supporters she wants to make the most of the momentum she now apparently has.

To be elected, Herseth will need to garner support from Republicans who have a significant advantage in voter registration statewide. One thing that may help, she said, is that many people remember she ran a positive campaign against Janklow. Residents still appreciate that fact, she said.

Herseth doesn't think South Dakotans will have a problem with an all-Democratic congressional delegation, even though the state is heavily Republican. She said that she is the best candidate to go to Washington and immediately start working with Daschle and Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., to represent the state's interests.

You can visit her website and contribute here. If you do, remember the Hamster add-on.

Posted by Eric at 07:26 PM | Comments (0)

Herseth for Congress

In the state south of North Dakota, the Democrats have a chance to pick up a seat:

In South Dakota, a special election to replace Janklow will be held on June 1. A recent Mason-Dixon poll gave 2002 Democratic nominee Stephanie Herseth a lead of 58 percent to 29 percent over GOP state Sen. Larry Diedrich. Yet Bush took 60 percent of the vote in the state in 2000. And Republicans have time to chip away at Herseth's lead.
As The Hill notes, the NRCC is bringing out the big bling against Herseth:
NRCC spokesman Carl Forti said fundraising efforts will likely parallel those in the Kentucky race. There, Republican state Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr raised twice as much as Democrat Ben Chandler, although she ultimately lost the race.

Diedrich said he has raised nearly $300,000 in the three weeks since the state Republican Party chose him as the candidate. Some of this money has come from the NRCC and Hill lawmakers. He said he does not know who has given the money, or exactly how much. With the Kentucky race over, House members and the national committee would now focus more on his race, he said.

Last week, Diedrich traveled to Washington to meet Republican members and garner additional support. He was pleased with his reception, saying, “The commitment has been, ‘You tell us what you want.’”

He intends to return to Washington this month to continue campaigning and raising money.

More on Herseth:
An early poll shows Herseth with a decent lead over Diedrich. However, she downplays the advantage. Herseth said she knows more people are familiar with her name because she ran for House two years ago, losing to Janklow.

Herseth said she's optimistic about the race and told supporters she wants to make the most of the momentum she now apparently has.

To be elected, Herseth will need to garner support from Republicans who have a significant advantage in voter registration statewide. One thing that may help, she said, is that many people remember she ran a positive campaign against Janklow. Residents still appreciate that fact, she said.

Herseth doesn't think South Dakotans will have a problem with an all-Democratic congressional delegation, even though the state is heavily Republican. She said that she is the best candidate to go to Washington and immediately start working with Daschle and Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., to represent the state's interests.

You can visit her website and contribute here. If you do, remember the Hamster add-on.

Posted by Eric at 07:26 PM | Comments (0)

Howard Stern Gives Franken Book Strong Review

Weird ... kinda. From a Howard Stern recap site, this tidbit:

After the break Howard wondered if they were done talking about what a douche bag Jay Leno is. Robin said they were off of that subject and had talked about the party. Howard ended up taking a call from a guy who said they really don't need John on the show. Howard said that it's Jay who is a ''bizarro'' and they love John. Howard said he doesn't understand what John has to do with Jay's show. Artie said it's (Leno's show) going to be like that disco station that plays one rock song every hour trying to get people to come over. Howard said that Leno is desperate and can't develop his own stuff.
Howard said over vacation he read Al Franken's book ''Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right.'' He said that in the first page Franken insults him but he can get past that. He said if you read the book you'll never vote for George Bush. He said Franken had a bunch of Harvard kids investigate stuff and it's great. He went on to say that he's had bad feelings about Bush since the FCC stuff went down. He also said that the economy thing is also a factor in that. He said he might be a ''anyone but Bush'' guy now. He said that even Ralph Nader running is a good idea.

Howard told Scott DePace from E! that he has to read Franken's book. DePace said that he will read it but he thinks that Bush is doing the right things at this point.

Posted by Eric at 07:00 PM | Comments (0)

Howard Stern Gives Franken Book Strong Review

Weird ... kinda. From a Howard Stern recap site, this tidbit:

After the break Howard wondered if they were done talking about what a douche bag Jay Leno is. Robin said they were off of that subject and had talked about the party. Howard ended up taking a call from a guy who said they really don't need John on the show. Howard said that it's Jay who is a ''bizarro'' and they love John. Howard said he doesn't understand what John has to do with Jay's show. Artie said it's (Leno's show) going to be like that disco station that plays one rock song every hour trying to get people to come over. Howard said that Leno is desperate and can't develop his own stuff.
Howard said over vacation he read Al Franken's book ''Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right.'' He said that in the first page Franken insults him but he can get past that. He said if you read the book you'll never vote for George Bush. He said Franken had a bunch of Harvard kids investigate stuff and it's great. He went on to say that he's had bad feelings about Bush since the FCC stuff went down. He also said that the economy thing is also a factor in that. He said he might be a ''anyone but Bush'' guy now. He said that even Ralph Nader running is a good idea.

Howard told Scott DePace from E! that he has to read Franken's book. DePace said that he will read it but he thinks that Bush is doing the right things at this point.

Posted by Eric at 07:00 PM | Comments (0)

Bush Backs Gay Marriage Ban

Says he's "troubled by what I've seen" in SF and wants to preserve "most basic social institutions." From CNN:

"Today I call upon the Congress to promptly pass and to send to the states for ratification an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as the union of a man and woman as husband and wife," Bush said.

"The amendment should fully protect marriage while leaving state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage," Bush said.

"America is a free society, which limits the role of government in the lives of our citizens," he said. "This commitment of freedom, however, does not require the redefining of one of our most basic social institutions."

"Our government should respect every person and respect the institution of marriage," he said. "There is no contradiction between these responsibilities."

Posted by Eric at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

Bush Backs Gay Marriage Ban

Says he's "troubled by what I've seen" in SF and wants to preserve "most basic social institutions." From CNN:

"Today I call upon the Congress to promptly pass and to send to the states for ratification an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as the union of a man and woman as husband and wife," Bush said.

"The amendment should fully protect marriage while leaving state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage," Bush said.

"America is a free society, which limits the role of government in the lives of our citizens," he said. "This commitment of freedom, however, does not require the redefining of one of our most basic social institutions."

"Our government should respect every person and respect the institution of marriage," he said. "There is no contradiction between these responsibilities."

Posted by Eric at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

Growing Sewage Problem, According to NRDC

A new report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says "sewage overflows cost Americans billions a year in medical treatment, lost productivity and repairs, and Bush administration policies are compounding the problem." The problem, according to the group:

Let's hope they're not looking too closely at our sewage collection system. These pipes, some as much as 200 years old, carry enough raw sewage to fill the Great Lakes about every four months.1 Laid end to end, the pipes that carry raw sewage from America's homes, businesses, institutions, and industries would stretch to the moon and back -- twice.2 But in too many communities across the land, pipes are broken or leaking, systems are overloaded, and treatment is sometimes bypassed. The result is that in this most technologically advanced nation on the face of the planet, raw sewage backs up into people's homes with disturbing frequency, and is routinely permitted to flow into bodies of water that are sources of drinking water.

Theoretically (and by law), all this raw sewage, with its cargo of infectious bacteria, viruses, parasites, and a growing legion of potentially toxic chemicals, gets treated in wastewater treatment plants. But in reality, this aging, often neglected, and sometimes insufficient network of pipes releases untreated or only partly treated sewage directly into the environment.3 The average age of collection system components is about 33 years, but some pipes still in use are almost 200 years old ... Health experts in government, academia, and the private sector voice concern over lack of information and potential health impacts, particularly for the most vulnerable in our society (young children, the elderly, the immuno-suppressed, etc.) who are more susceptible when exposed to the mix of infectious organisms and toxic chemicals in untreated sewage. The problem is compounded by the rise of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs," emerging infectious organisms (such as SARS) that can be transmitted through sewage, and increases in the release of myriad toxic industrial chemicals into sewage collection systems. While there's disagreement over whether the numbers of people made sick every year from waterborne diseases in the United States are in the hundred thousands or millions, there is wide agreement that not enough information is being collected to protect public health.

This problem is bound to worsen as: (1) population growth puts added pressure on sewage collection and treatment systems already operating at or above design capacity; (2) urban sprawl creates more land area impervious to stormwater, further aggravating insufficiencies and weaknesses in the collection system during wet weather; (3) climate change increases the frequency and severity of storms in some areas; and (4) proposed changes to existing laws expose more people to untreated sewage.

NRDC places some of the blame for the growing problem on the Bush admin:
"We have a looming public health crisis on our hands that will take billions of dollars to fix," said Nancy Stoner, director of NRDC's Clean Water Project. "Fortunately we do have the technological know-how to deal with this sewage problem. What we don't have is political will. In fact, President Bush's new budget proposal dramatically slashes funding for wastewater infrastructure. At nearly $500 million, it's his biggest cut for any environmental program, and it's indefensible." ...

The report also identifies a number of Bush administration policies besides the new Bush budget cut proposal that exacerbate sewage pollution. Those policies include shelving a Clinton administration proposal that would have required controls to prevent raw sewage discharges, and a new proposal to allow sewer operators to discharge inadequately treated sewage in waterways when it rains.

The report can be viewed here.

Posted by Eric at 09:30 AM | Comments (0)

Growing Sewage Problem, According to NRDC

A new report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says "sewage overflows cost Americans billions a year in medical treatment, lost productivity and repairs, and Bush administration policies are compounding the problem." The problem, according to the group:

Let's hope they're not looking too closely at our sewage collection system. These pipes, some as much as 200 years old, carry enough raw sewage to fill the Great Lakes about every four months.1 Laid end to end, the pipes that carry raw sewage from America's homes, businesses, institutions, and industries would stretch to the moon and back -- twice.2 But in too many communities across the land, pipes are broken or leaking, systems are overloaded, and treatment is sometimes bypassed. The result is that in this most technologically advanced nation on the face of the planet, raw sewage backs up into people's homes with disturbing frequency, and is routinely permitted to flow into bodies of water that are sources of drinking water.

Theoretically (and by law), all this raw sewage, with its cargo of infectious bacteria, viruses, parasites, and a growing legion of potentially toxic chemicals, gets treated in wastewater treatment plants. But in reality, this aging, often neglected, and sometimes insufficient network of pipes releases untreated or only partly treated sewage directly into the environment.3 The average age of collection system components is about 33 years, but some pipes still in use are almost 200 years old ... Health experts in government, academia, and the private sector voice concern over lack of information and potential health impacts, particularly for the most vulnerable in our society (young children, the elderly, the immuno-suppressed, etc.) who are more susceptible when exposed to the mix of infectious organisms and toxic chemicals in untreated sewage. The problem is compounded by the rise of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs," emerging infectious organisms (such as SARS) that can be transmitted through sewage, and increases in the release of myriad toxic industrial chemicals into sewage collection systems. While there's disagreement over whether the numbers of people made sick every year from waterborne diseases in the United States are in the hundred thousands or millions, there is wide agreement that not enough information is being collected to protect public health.

This problem is bound to worsen as: (1) population growth puts added pressure on sewage collection and treatment systems already operating at or above design capacity; (2) urban sprawl creates more land area impervious to stormwater, further aggravating insufficiencies and weaknesses in the collection system during wet weather; (3) climate change increases the frequency and severity of storms in some areas; and (4) proposed changes to existing laws expose more people to untreated sewage.

NRDC places some of the blame for the growing problem on the Bush admin:
"We have a looming public health crisis on our hands that will take billions of dollars to fix," said Nancy Stoner, director of NRDC's Clean Water Project. "Fortunately we do have the technological know-how to deal with this sewage problem. What we don't have is political will. In fact, President Bush's new budget proposal dramatically slashes funding for wastewater infrastructure. At nearly $500 million, it's his biggest cut for any environmental program, and it's indefensible." ...

The report also identifies a number of Bush administration policies besides the new Bush budget cut proposal that exacerbate sewage pollution. Those policies include shelving a Clinton administration proposal that would have required controls to prevent raw sewage discharges, and a new proposal to allow sewer operators to discharge inadequately treated sewage in waterways when it rains.

The report can be viewed here.

Posted by Eric at 09:30 AM | Comments (0)

Fox's 'Nation' Ads May Cause Small Stir

Fox will advertise in the March 8th issue of 'The Nation' because it's fair and balanced, reports The NY Daily News:

Dozens of irate readers canceled their subscriptions to The Nation when the liberal weekly twice carried ads for the right-leaning Fox News Channel.

More may follow as Fox uses the March 8 issue to tout its cable ratings on the nights of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire Primary, saying "Americans Make It Fox Over CNN For Democratic Event Coverage."

"We're fair and balanced, so why wouldn't we advertise in The Nation?" Fox spokesman Paul Schur asked.

Nation publisher Victor Navasky said slyly, "It must pay them to do it, unless they're trying to cut back our subscription base."

The subscription base grew, along with newsstand sales, as The Nation's circulation rose 25% late last year, to 160,029, while The New Republic slipped and National Review was flat.

Posted by Eric at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

Fox's 'Nation' Ads May Cause Small Stir

Fox will advertise in the March 8th issue of 'The Nation' because it's fair and balanced, reports The NY Daily News:

Dozens of irate readers canceled their subscriptions to The Nation when the liberal weekly twice carried ads for the right-leaning Fox News Channel.

More may follow as Fox uses the March 8 issue to tout its cable ratings on the nights of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire Primary, saying "Americans Make It Fox Over CNN For Democratic Event Coverage."

"We're fair and balanced, so why wouldn't we advertise in The Nation?" Fox spokesman Paul Schur asked.

Nation publisher Victor Navasky said slyly, "It must pay them to do it, unless they're trying to cut back our subscription base."

The subscription base grew, along with newsstand sales, as The Nation's circulation rose 25% late last year, to 160,029, while The New Republic slipped and National Review was flat.

Posted by Eric at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

Newsmag Covers


Time magazine on outsourcing, and jobs going overseas.


The Progressive notes that "in many places across George Bush's America, you may be losing your ability to exercise your lawful First Amendment rights."


GWBush is a religious man.


The Nation has RFK Jr and a report on Bush's "junk science."


For some strange reason, Newsweek has Donald Trump on the cover, in all his NBC reality show fame glory.

Posted by Eric at 06:42 AM | Comments (0)

Newsmag Covers


Time magazine on outsourcing, and jobs going overseas.


The Progressive notes that "in many places across George Bush's America, you may be losing your ability to exercise your lawful First Amendment rights."


GWBush is a religious man.


The Nation has RFK Jr and a report on Bush's "junk science."


For some strange reason, Newsweek has Donald Trump on the cover, in all his NBC reality show fame glory.

Posted by Eric at 06:42 AM | Comments (0)

Congrats to The Top Ten Conservative Idiots

And guess who's number one? Well, he's not really a conservative, but it seems these days the only ones who like him are conservatives. Democratic Underground:

Well, it's official. Ralph Nader is once again working for the Dark Side. Appearing on NBC News' Meet the Press on Sunday, Nader announced that he is once again running for president of the United States. It seems that Saint Ralph couldn't stand the idea of sitting this one out, and putting the interests of the country ahead of his own massive ego. He has once again illustrated how he is the nation's Number One Bush Enabler. Apparently, multimillionaire Nader has been too busy counting his savings from the Bush tax cut to notice or care that the Bush Administration has damn near ruined our country in less than four years. After a few perfunctory and lackluster criticisms against Bush, Nader (as usual) heaped most of his contempt on those of us who are actually out here trying to defeat the illegitimate, unelected moron. In a particularly gag-inducing bit of spin, Nader said that his critics on the left were "against democracy, against freedom." Funny, that sounds kinda like what Ashcroft and Bush said about us when we dared to criticize them these past few years.

Of course, Ralph wasn't content to simply announce that he was going to once again be the spoiler in the presidential race. Just for good measure, he had to also resort to outright lying about Al Gore. When Tim Russert asked him, "Do you believe that Al Gore would have invaded Iraq?" Nader responded, "He would have." Never mind that Al Gore has been an outspoken critic of the Iraq war, since before the war even started. No, Ralph isn't going to let the truth get in the way of his outrageous anti-Democrat spin. But really, what could Nader say? His entire campaign was and is built upon the contemptible lie that there is no difference between the two parties. To concede the truth that Al Gore would have been a much better president than Dubya would take away his only justification for running in 2000 and 2004. Which would be tantamount to admitting that he shares some of the responsibility for the Bush presidency. Sorry, Ralph. This year, liberals aren't going to fall for your ridiculous lies. There is just way too much at stake.

Posted by Eric at 01:01 AM | Comments (0)

Congrats to The Top Ten Conservative Idiots

And guess who's number one? Well, he's not really a conservative, but it seems these days the only ones who like him are conservatives. Democratic Underground:

Well, it's official. Ralph Nader is once again working for the Dark Side. Appearing on NBC News' Meet the Press on Sunday, Nader announced that he is once again running for president of the United States. It seems that Saint Ralph couldn't stand the idea of sitting this one out, and putting the interests of the country ahead of his own massive ego. He has once again illustrated how he is the nation's Number One Bush Enabler. Apparently, multimillionaire Nader has been too busy counting his savings from the Bush tax cut to notice or care that the Bush Administration has damn near ruined our country in less than four years. After a few perfunctory and lackluster criticisms against Bush, Nader (as usual) heaped most of his contempt on those of us who are actually out here trying to defeat the illegitimate, unelected moron. In a particularly gag-inducing bit of spin, Nader said that his critics on the left were "against democracy, against freedom." Funny, that sounds kinda like what Ashcroft and Bush said about us when we dared to criticize them these past few years.

Of course, Ralph wasn't content to simply announce that he was going to once again be the spoiler in the presidential race. Just for good measure, he had to also resort to outright lying about Al Gore. When Tim Russert asked him, "Do you believe that Al Gore would have invaded Iraq?" Nader responded, "He would have." Never mind that Al Gore has been an outspoken critic of the Iraq war, since before the war even started. No, Ralph isn't going to let the truth get in the way of his outrageous anti-Democrat spin. But really, what could Nader say? His entire campaign was and is built upon the contemptible lie that there is no difference between the two parties. To concede the truth that Al Gore would have been a much better president than Dubya would take away his only justification for running in 2000 and 2004. Which would be tantamount to admitting that he shares some of the responsibility for the Bush presidency. Sorry, Ralph. This year, liberals aren't going to fall for your ridiculous lies. There is just way too much at stake.

Posted by Eric at 01:01 AM | Comments (0)

Say Hi

to new Hamster supporters,

SportyK9

Bagnews.com's GeorgeWBush AWOL

Posted by Eric at 12:42 AM | Comments (0)

Say Hi

to new Hamster supporters,

SportyK9

Bagnews.com's GeorgeWBush AWOL

Posted by Eric at 12:42 AM | Comments (0)

Hamster Numbers: Bush and Economy

"The Bush administration is backing moves to outsource more U.S. jobs, according to its Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) annual report to Congress. “Outsourcing is just a new way of doing international trade,” said N. Gregory Mankiw, Bush’s CEA chairman. “More things are tradable than were tradable in the past. And that’s a good thing.” The report also predicts the economy will generate 3.9 million new jobs this year­­—a claim that would mean an average 325,000 new jobs each month. In spring 2003, the council said the president’s “Jobs and Growth” millionaire tax cut plan would create 306,000 jobs monthly starting in July. Yet by February 2004, the Bush administration was 1.8 million jobs short of that prediction. So far, the economy has lost 2.9 million private-sector jobs and 2.8 million manufacturing jobs since Bush took office. Meanwhile, the number of long-term jobless workers has been roughly 2 million for months, and for much of that time, long-term unemployment has been at its highest rate since 1983." -AFL-CIO

Posted by Eric at 12:37 AM | Comments (0)

Hamster Numbers: Bush and Economy

"The Bush administration is backing moves to outsource more U.S. jobs, according to its Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) annual report to Congress. “Outsourcing is just a new way of doing international trade,” said N. Gregory Mankiw, Bush’s CEA chairman. “More things are tradable than were tradable in the past. And that’s a good thing.” The report also predicts the economy will generate 3.9 million new jobs this year­­—a claim that would mean an average 325,000 new jobs each month. In spring 2003, the council said the president’s “Jobs and Growth” millionaire tax cut plan would create 306,000 jobs monthly starting in July. Yet by February 2004, the Bush administration was 1.8 million jobs short of that prediction. So far, the economy has lost 2.9 million private-sector jobs and 2.8 million manufacturing jobs since Bush took office. Meanwhile, the number of long-term jobless workers has been roughly 2 million for months, and for much of that time, long-term unemployment has been at its highest rate since 1983." -AFL-CIO

Posted by Eric at 12:37 AM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2004

Monday Stories

New Yorker. What did the Vice-President do for Halliburton?
AP. Victory in Ky. Gives House Dems Hope
AP. Kerry the Labor, Party Favorite in Ohio
Barry Lando. William Safire, minister of disinformation: The New York Times runs corrections when reporters get a middle initial wrong. So why does its conservative columnist get away with glaring errors that shape world affairs?
Joe Conason. Even worse than Ann Coulter's smearing of decorated war veteran Max Cleland last week are the fawning right-wingers now trumpeting her lies
Todd Gitlin. From tragedy to farce: He's running for president as an independent, not as a Green. He has no organization. He's starting late. Does Ralph Nader's narcissism have no bounds?
MSNBC. Misstep on jobs figure could haunt Bush: White House report seen as damaging economic credibility
P.M. Carpenter. The Embarrassment President
Jan Goodwin. Silence=Rape; Mass rape in Congo
Ronald Brownstein. Crossover Champion Edwards Needs to Lure More Democrats
USAT. Bush campaign accelerates re-election efforts
NYT. For Edwards, It's a Race Against Kerry and Time
NYT. On Foray Into the South, Kerry Gets a Spirited Welcome
Bob Herbert. Theory vs. Reality
AP. At Least 10 Killed in Bombing Outside Iraqi Police Station
NYT. Nader, Gadfly to the Democrats, Will Again Run for President
WP. Bush Begins to Step Out as Candidate: President Will Preview Campaign Themes and Frame the Choice for Voters
WP. Schwarzenegger Bets on Ballot to Ease Money Crisis
WP. Sharpton Debts Top $485,000, FEC Says
LAT. GOP Hopeful Seeks to Rival Boxer With Righteousness
LAT. Arnold Backs Idea of Foreign-Born U.S. President
Ellen Goodman. Bouquets for left-coast liberals
Thomas Oliphant. Edwards and Kerry split hairs on trade
AP. Some Democrats don't just dislike Bush; they're angry, and they're loud about it
AP. Bush re-election campaign ads set to air
AP. Edwards speaks to union workers in Rochester
SFC. Union reunion toasts marriages Overflow crowd 2,000 strong celebrates at Hyatt reception
RollingStone. MoveOn ushers the political ad into the twenty-first century
Test. This could be the year young voters demonstrate their political clout
Bill Bradley. Drudging up rumors on Kerry: A new low in skuldrudgery
Copley News. Slipping Bush image may make attacks on Kerry less plausible

Blog Entries
Rittenhouse. Help on Rittenhouse Review
American Street. The theocrats' stealth attack on the courts
American Street. Sierra Club Targeted for Takeover by Anti-Immigrant Forces
CalPundit. How did he do it?
OliverWillis. It's All About Him
TalkLeft. Mail Opposing Nader's Run
Pandagon. Kerry v Edwards

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Monday Stories

New Yorker. What did the Vice-President do for Halliburton?
AP. Victory in Ky. Gives House Dems Hope
AP. Kerry the Labor, Party Favorite in Ohio
Barry Lando. William Safire, minister of disinformation: The New York Times runs corrections when reporters get a middle initial wrong. So why does its conservative columnist get away with glaring errors that shape world affairs?
Joe Conason. Even worse than Ann Coulter's smearing of decorated war veteran Max Cleland last week are the fawning right-wingers now trumpeting her lies
Todd Gitlin. From tragedy to farce: He's running for president as an independent, not as a Green. He has no organization. He's starting late. Does Ralph Nader's narcissism have no bounds?
MSNBC. Misstep on jobs figure could haunt Bush: White House report seen as damaging economic credibility
P.M. Carpenter. The Embarrassment President
Jan Goodwin. Silence=Rape; Mass rape in Congo
Ronald Brownstein. Crossover Champion Edwards Needs to Lure More Democrats
USAT. Bush campaign accelerates re-election efforts
NYT. For Edwards, It's a Race Against Kerry and Time
NYT. On Foray Into the South, Kerry Gets a Spirited Welcome
Bob Herbert. Theory vs. Reality
AP. At Least 10 Killed in Bombing Outside Iraqi Police Station
NYT. Nader, Gadfly to the Democrats, Will Again Run for President
WP. Bush Begins to Step Out as Candidate: President Will Preview Campaign Themes and Frame the Choice for Voters
WP. Schwarzenegger Bets on Ballot to Ease Money Crisis
WP. Sharpton Debts Top $485,000, FEC Says
LAT. GOP Hopeful Seeks to Rival Boxer With Righteousness
LAT. Arnold Backs Idea of Foreign-Born U.S. President
Ellen Goodman. Bouquets for left-coast liberals
Thomas Oliphant. Edwards and Kerry split hairs on trade
AP. Some Democrats don't just dislike Bush; they're angry, and they're loud about it
AP. Bush re-election campaign ads set to air
AP. Edwards speaks to union workers in Rochester
SFC. Union reunion toasts marriages Overflow crowd 2,000 strong celebrates at Hyatt reception
RollingStone. MoveOn ushers the political ad into the twenty-first century
Test. This could be the year young voters demonstrate their political clout
Bill Bradley. Drudging up rumors on Kerry: A new low in skuldrudgery
Copley News. Slipping Bush image may make attacks on Kerry less plausible

Blog Entries
Rittenhouse. Help on Rittenhouse Review
American Street. The theocrats' stealth attack on the courts
American Street. Sierra Club Targeted for Takeover by Anti-Immigrant Forces
CalPundit. How did he do it?
OliverWillis. It's All About Him
TalkLeft. Mail Opposing Nader's Run
Pandagon. Kerry v Edwards

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Arlen Specter in Trouble in PA

From the DSCC and Quinnipiac University poll:

Well Under Half of Pennsylvania Voters Want to Re-Elect Specter. After 23 years in the United States Senate, only 44% of Pennsylvania voters say they want to see Sen. Specter re-elected. In fact, less than half of Republican voters want to see Specter re-elected this year.
Arlen Specter's Approval Rating Continues to Slide. Specter's approval rating - only 53% - is lower now than it has been since the first Quinnipiac poll was taken in June of 2002.
Pennsylvania Voters Know We Need Change. An astonishing 67% of voters rate the state's economy as either "not so good" or "poor." More voters believe that they are worse off, not better off, than they were a year ago, and less than one-third of voters believe that the economy will improve during the next 12 months.
Interestingly enough, one PAC, Club for Growth, is calling Arlen Specter and John Kerry"Two Liberal Peas in the Same Pod."

Posted by Eric at 09:56 PM | Comments (0)

Arlen Specter in Trouble in PA

From the DSCC and Quinnipiac University poll:

Well Under Half of Pennsylvania Voters Want to Re-Elect Specter. After 23 years in the United States Senate, only 44% of Pennsylvania voters say they want to see Sen. Specter re-elected. In fact, less than half of Republican voters want to see Specter re-elected this year.
Arlen Specter's Approval Rating Continues to Slide. Specter's approval rating - only 53% - is lower now than it has been since the first Quinnipiac poll was taken in June of 2002.
Pennsylvania Voters Know We Need Change. An astonishing 67% of voters rate the state's economy as either "not so good" or "poor." More voters believe that they are worse off, not better off, than they were a year ago, and less than one-third of voters believe that the economy will improve during the next 12 months.
Interestingly enough, one PAC, Club for Growth, is calling Arlen Specter and John Kerry"Two Liberal Peas in the Same Pod."

Posted by Eric at 09:56 PM | Comments (0)

Rod Paige Calls NEA "terrorist organization"

Wow. AP:

Education Secretary Rod Paige called the nation's largest teachers union a "terrorist organization" Monday, taking on the 2.7-million-member National Education Association early in the presidential election year.

Paige's comments, made to the nation's governors at a private White House meeting, were denounced by union president Reg Weaver as well as prominent Democrats.

The education secretary's words were "pathetic and they are not a laughing matter," said Weaver, whose union has said it plans to sue the Bush administration over lack of funding for demands included in the "No Child Left Behind" schools law.

Paige said later in an Associated Press interview that his comment was "a bad joke; it was an inappropriate choice of words." President Bush (news - web sites) was not present at the time he made the remark.

"As one who grew up on the receiving end of insensitive remarks, I should have chosen my words better," said Paige, the first black education secretary.

He said he had made clear to the governors that he was referring to the Washington-based union organization, not the teachers it represents.

The NEA responds on its website:
NEA President Reg Weaver issued the following statement regarding Department of Education Secretary Rod Paige's reference to the NEA as a "terrorist organization" today at a private meeting of governors at the White House.

Weaver said, "It is morally repugnant to equate those who teach America's children with terrorists. NEA is 2.7 million teachers and educators who are fighting for children and public education. Yet this is the kind of rhetoric we have come to expect from this Administration whenever one challenges its worldview."

Posted by Eric at 09:44 PM | Comments (0)

Rod Paige Calls NEA "terrorist organization"

Wow. AP:

Education Secretary Rod Paige called the nation's largest teachers union a "terrorist organization" Monday, taking on the 2.7-million-member National Education Association early in the presidential election year.

Paige's comments, made to the nation's governors at a private White House meeting, were denounced by union president Reg Weaver as well as prominent Democrats.

The education secretary's words were "pathetic and they are not a laughing matter," said Weaver, whose union has said it plans to sue the Bush administration over lack of funding for demands included in the "No Child Left Behind" schools law.

Paige said later in an Associated Press interview that his comment was "a bad joke; it was an inappropriate choice of words." President Bush (news - web sites) was not present at the time he made the remark.

"As one who grew up on the receiving end of insensitive remarks, I should have chosen my words better," said Paige, the first black education secretary.

He said he had made clear to the governors that he was referring to the Washington-based union organization, not the teachers it represents.

The NEA responds on its website:
NEA President Reg Weaver issued the following statement regarding Department of Education Secretary Rod Paige's reference to the NEA as a "terrorist organization" today at a private meeting of governors at the White House.

Weaver said, "It is morally repugnant to equate those who teach America's children with terrorists. NEA is 2.7 million teachers and educators who are fighting for children and public education. Yet this is the kind of rhetoric we have come to expect from this Administration whenever one challenges its worldview."

Posted by Eric at 09:44 PM | Comments (0)

Bush Admin to Reclassify Fry Cooks as Part of Manufacturing Sector?

From Feb 20's Minnesota Public Radio / Marketplace.

DAVID BROWN, anchor: Hold the pickles and stop the presses. Not since ketchup was declared a vegetable have we had news quite like this. You've heard about the loss of manufacturing jobs in the US, well, what if you took all those jobs flipping burgers at fast-food chains and simply reclassified them as manufacturing jobs? That's the idea, according to information we received on this February 20th. You think I'm kidding, don't you? No, this is not a joke. Then again, that may depend on your perspective. MARKETPLACE's Amy Scott reports.

AMY SCOTT reporting:

When you think about it, a Big Mac does require a certain amount of assembly. So when a fast-food worker makes that hamburger, is he or she providing a service or manufacturing a product? White House economists raised that question in the president's new economic report.

Mr. HARLEY SHAIKEN (University of California-Berkeley): Obviously, there's production that takes place in restaurant, but essentially what a restaurant does is provide a service. And that's why it's been part of the service economy.

SCOTT: Harley Shaiken is a labor economist at UC-Berkeley. The report says the distinction matters because what we call different jobs influence public policy. Shaiken says it also matters to an administration that's seen 2.8 million manufacturing jobs disappear on its watch.

Mr. SHAIKEN: What it's really seeking to do is to make the manufacturing numbers, which have been hemorrhaging jobs, all of a sudden appear to be growing.

SCOTT: But consider this, the current definition of manufacturing includes bakeries, candy stores, even custom tailors. In all of those places, someone takes orders and performs other customer-servicing duties not so different from fast food. Economist Peter Van Doren at the Cato Institute says the report merely points out the inadequacies of cut-and-dried categories.

Mr. PETER VAN DOREN (Cato Institute): From an economics point of view, the distinction between something called manufacturing and something called services is arbitrary at best.

SCOTT: There's a distinction that's not so arbitrary. Shaiken points out fast-food work tends to pay minimum wage with few or no benefits. Manufacturing jobs tend to be among the higher-paid production jobs in the economy. In New York, I'm Amy Scott for MARKETPLACE.

Posted by Eric at 08:03 AM | Comments (0)

Bush Admin to Reclassify Fry Cooks as Part of Manufacturing Sector?

From Feb 20's Minnesota Public Radio / Marketplace.

DAVID BROWN, anchor: Hold the pickles and stop the presses. Not since ketchup was declared a vegetable have we had news quite like this. You've heard about the loss of manufacturing jobs in the US, well, what if you took all those jobs flipping burgers at fast-food chains and simply reclassified them as manufacturing jobs? That's the idea, according to information we received on this February 20th. You think I'm kidding, don't you? No, this is not a joke. Then again, that may depend on your perspective. MARKETPLACE's Amy Scott reports.

AMY SCOTT reporting:

When you think about it, a Big Mac does require a certain amount of assembly. So when a fast-food worker makes that hamburger, is he or she providing a service or manufacturing a product? White House economists raised that question in the president's new economic report.

Mr. HARLEY SHAIKEN (University of California-Berkeley): Obviously, there's production that takes place in restaurant, but essentially what a restaurant does is provide a service. And that's why it's been part of the service economy.

SCOTT: Harley Shaiken is a labor economist at UC-Berkeley. The report says the distinction matters because what we call different jobs influence public policy. Shaiken says it also matters to an administration that's seen 2.8 million manufacturing jobs disappear on its watch.

Mr. SHAIKEN: What it's really seeking to do is to make the manufacturing numbers, which have been hemorrhaging jobs, all of a sudden appear to be growing.

SCOTT: But consider this, the current definition of manufacturing includes bakeries, candy stores, even custom tailors. In all of those places, someone takes orders and performs other customer-servicing duties not so different from fast food. Economist Peter Van Doren at the Cato Institute says the report merely points out the inadequacies of cut-and-dried categories.

Mr. PETER VAN DOREN (Cato Institute): From an economics point of view, the distinction between something called manufacturing and something called services is arbitrary at best.

SCOTT: There's a distinction that's not so arbitrary. Shaiken points out fast-food work tends to pay minimum wage with few or no benefits. Manufacturing jobs tend to be among the higher-paid production jobs in the economy. In New York, I'm Amy Scott for MARKETPLACE.

Posted by Eric at 08:03 AM | Comments (0)

How to Lose Your Job in Talk Radio

Try being an antiwar conservative, writes Charles Goyette in The American Conservative:

Criticizing Bush? Well then, must I be some sort of rug-chewing liberal? Not even close ... I have been a Republican precinct committeeman; my county Republican Party elected me its “Man of the Year” in 1988; I have written speeches for conservative candidates and office holders; and I have been employed by statewide and national political organizations and campaigns, including the National Conservative Political Action Committee. Despite my disappointment in Goldwater for not supporting Reagan, I was there when a small band of the faithful—no more than four or five of us—gathered for a potluck dinner to support the creation of a brand-new public-policy think tank named after “Mr. Conservative.” The enterprise blossomed, and I was honored several months ago to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the Goldwater Institute’s 15th Anniversary Gala.

I can assure you then that my criticism of Bush has been on the basis of long-held conservative principles. It begins with respect for the wisdom of the Founders and the Constitution’s division of power and delegation of authority, and extends to an adherence to the principles of governmental restraint and fiscal prudence. It proved to be a message that was more than a little inconvenient for my employer ...

Clear Channel made it clear—“With you, I feel like I’m managing the Dixie Chicks,” said my program director—that they would have liked to fire me anyway. While a well-drafted contract made that difficult, it did not prevent them from tucking me away outside prime time.

So I’m a talk-show war casualty. My contract expires in a few more months and—my iconoclasm being noted—it is not likely it will be renewed. Among the survivors at my station: one host who wanted to nuke Afghanistan (he bills himself as “your voice of reason and moderation”) and another who upon learning that 23-year-old Mideast peace activist Rachel Corrie had been run over by an Israeli bulldozer shouted, “Back up and run over her again!” As he doesn’t quite get some of the important distinctions in these debates, such as that Iranians should not be called Arabs, we would hope that he’s not taken too seriously. Likewise my replacements in the afternoon drive slot, brought in for glamorizing the war and billed as “The Comedy Channel meets Talk Radio.” If you remember the “Saturday Night Live” skit “Superfans” with Mike Myers and Chris Farley—“Who’s stronger, God or da Bulls?” “Da Bulls!”—then you get the idea. Only instead of “da Bulls,” it’s three hours every afternoon of “da Bush!” Expect to hear more insightful topics like “So Who’s Tougher: Michael Jordan or Donald Rumsfeld?”

Posted by Eric at 06:35 AM | Comments (0)

How to Lose Your Job in Talk Radio

Try being an antiwar conservative, writes Charles Goyette in The American Conservative:

Criticizing Bush? Well then, must I be some sort of rug-chewing liberal? Not even close ... I have been a Republican precinct committeeman; my county Republican Party elected me its “Man of the Year” in 1988; I have written speeches for conservative candidates and office holders; and I have been employed by statewide and national political organizations and campaigns, including the National Conservative Political Action Committee. Despite my disappointment in Goldwater for not supporting Reagan, I was there when a small band of the faithful—no more than four or five of us—gathered for a potluck dinner to support the creation of a brand-new public-policy think tank named after “Mr. Conservative.” The enterprise blossomed, and I was honored several months ago to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the Goldwater Institute’s 15th Anniversary Gala.

I can assure you then that my criticism of Bush has been on the basis of long-held conservative principles. It begins with respect for the wisdom of the Founders and the Constitution’s division of power and delegation of authority, and extends to an adherence to the principles of governmental restraint and fiscal prudence. It proved to be a message that was more than a little inconvenient for my employer ...

Clear Channel made it clear—“With you, I feel like I’m managing the Dixie Chicks,” said my program director—that they would have liked to fire me anyway. While a well-drafted contract made that difficult, it did not prevent them from tucking me away outside prime time.

So I’m a talk-show war casualty. My contract expires in a few more months and—my iconoclasm being noted—it is not likely it will be renewed. Among the survivors at my station: one host who wanted to nuke Afghanistan (he bills himself as “your voice of reason and moderation”) and another who upon learning that 23-year-old Mideast peace activist Rachel Corrie had been run over by an Israeli bulldozer shouted, “Back up and run over her again!” As he doesn’t quite get some of the important distinctions in these debates, such as that Iranians should not be called Arabs, we would hope that he’s not taken too seriously. Likewise my replacements in the afternoon drive slot, brought in for glamorizing the war and billed as “The Comedy Channel meets Talk Radio.” If you remember the “Saturday Night Live” skit “Superfans” with Mike Myers and Chris Farley—“Who’s stronger, God or da Bulls?” “Da Bulls!”—then you get the idea. Only instead of “da Bulls,” it’s three hours every afternoon of “da Bush!” Expect to hear more insightful topics like “So Who’s Tougher: Michael Jordan or Donald Rumsfeld?”

Posted by Eric at 06:35 AM | Comments (0)

O'Reilly Talks LA

From Scoobie Davis Online, we find a wrap-up of Bill O'Reilly's speech at Wadsworth Theater:

O'Reilly brought down the house when he made the following observations:

"...[E]veryone in California should have a right to carry a concealed weapon."

"He [George W. Bush] did really well [in an interview on the O'Reilly Factor]."

"Stuart Smalley [Al Franken] is the biggest liar in the country!" [O'Reilly didn't elaborate on any of Franken's alleged lies to the audience]

"If the presidential race were held tomorrow, Bush would win. Bush would win." [The applause was very loud after this comment]

"Well-informed people don't listen to Barbra Steisand."

The crowd really ate it up over O'Reilly's most obnoxious comment that night: "If I were gay, I would marry Hillary!"

These comments also don't exactly square with one of O'Reilly's comments in his talk: "I'm not an ideologue. I don't have an agenda. What I want is the best for America--the best for the folks." Is O'Reilly full of it? I'm reporting; you decide.

Posted by Eric at 06:29 AM | Comments (0)

O'Reilly Talks LA

From Scoobie Davis Online, we find a wrap-up of Bill O'Reilly's speech at Wadsworth Theater:

O'Reilly brought down the house when he made the following observations:

"...[E]veryone in California should have a right to carry a concealed weapon."

"He [George W. Bush] did really well [in an interview on the O'Reilly Factor]."

"Stuart Smalley [Al Franken] is the biggest liar in the country!" [O'Reilly didn't elaborate on any of Franken's alleged lies to the audience]

"If the presidential race were held tomorrow, Bush would win. Bush would win." [The applause was very loud after this comment]

"Well-informed people don't listen to Barbra Steisand."

The crowd really ate it up over O'Reilly's most obnoxious comment that night: "If I were gay, I would marry Hillary!"

These comments also don't exactly square with one of O'Reilly's comments in his talk: "I'm not an ideologue. I don't have an agenda. What I want is the best for America--the best for the folks." Is O'Reilly full of it? I'm reporting; you decide.

Posted by Eric at 06:29 AM | Comments (0)

Rummy or Kylie?

From the WPost's Reliable Sources, and the new issue of GQ, can you guess who said what? Rumsfeld or Kylie Minogue?

The new issue of GQ goes where no magazine has gone before: comparing the sayings of sexy pop vixen Kylie Minogue to those of sexy Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Quiz time! Who said what: Kylie or Rummy?

1. "Look at me! I'm sweet and lovable?"

2. "That's a really good question, and if I could tell you, I would."

3. "I've got to have a man! I've got to have a man!"

4. "This kind of backlash didn't really seem to be coming from the people. It was more from the media, because they were bored."

5. "Once in a while, I'm standing here, doing something, and I think, What in the world am I doing here?"

Click down for answers.

(Answers: 1) Rummy 2) Kylie 3) Rummy 4) Kylie 5) Rummy)

Posted by Eric at 06:21 AM | Comments (0)

Rummy or Kylie?

From the WPost's Reliable Sources, and the new issue of GQ, can you guess who said what? Rumsfeld or Kylie Minogue?

The new issue of GQ goes where no magazine has gone before: comparing the sayings of sexy pop vixen Kylie Minogue to those of sexy Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Quiz time! Who said what: Kylie or Rummy?

1. "Look at me! I'm sweet and lovable?"

2. "That's a really good question, and if I could tell you, I would."

3. "I've got to have a man! I've got to have a man!"

4. "This kind of backlash didn't really seem to be coming from the people. It was more from the media, because they were bored."

5. "Once in a while, I'm standing here, doing something, and I think, What in the world am I doing here?"

Click down for answers.

(Answers: 1) Rummy 2) Kylie 3) Rummy 4) Kylie 5) Rummy)

Posted by Eric at 06:21 AM | Comments (0)

Hamster Numbers: Youth Employment Rate Lowest in 39 Years

According to the Children's Defense Fund, based on Labor Department figures, "only 34 percent of teenagers age 16-19 were employed (part- or full-time) in January 2004, marking the lowest youth employment rate for the month of January since 1965." From the CDF:

"Young workers are often the last hired and first fired, and that certainly appears to be the case here," said Arloc Sherman, a Senior Research Associate at CDF. "Young workers these days often use these jobs to help save for college, support their family, or just give them a good strong launch into the workforce. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration has already cut the very programs that help teens find work."

Since 2002 the Bush Administration has cut funding for youth programs under the Workforce Investment Act by $352 million (26 percent). In addition, the Administration's proposed 2005 budget cuts support for vocational and technical education overall by nearly $323 million (25 percent).

Overall, youths age 16 to 19 have lost more than one million jobs since January 2000, according to Labor Department data (not seasonally). The same data show that, as of January 2004:

33.2 percent of male teens worked - the lowest percentage on record (records start in 1948).

34.9 percent of female teens worked - the lowest since 1972.

19.6 percent of Black teens worked - the lowest since 1984.

27.2 percent of Latino teens worked - the lowest on record (records for Latino teens start in 1994).

A record-setting President.

Posted by Eric at 04:52 AM | Comments (0)

Hamster Numbers: Youth Employment Rate Lowest in 39 Years

According to the Children's Defense Fund, based on Labor Department figures, "only 34 percent of teenagers age 16-19 were employed (part- or full-time) in January 2004, marking the lowest youth employment rate for the month of January since 1965." From the CDF:

"Young workers are often the last hired and first fired, and that certainly appears to be the case here," said Arloc Sherman, a Senior Research Associate at CDF. "Young workers these days often use these jobs to help save for college, support their family, or just give them a good strong launch into the workforce. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration has already cut the very programs that help teens find work."

Since 2002 the Bush Administration has cut funding for youth programs under the Workforce Investment Act by $352 million (26 percent). In addition, the Administration's proposed 2005 budget cuts support for vocational and technical education overall by nearly $323 million (25 percent).

Overall, youths age 16 to 19 have lost more than one million jobs since January 2000, according to Labor Department data (not seasonally). The same data show that, as of January 2004:

33.2 percent of male teens worked - the lowest percentage on record (records start in 1948).

34.9 percent of female teens worked - the lowest since 1972.

19.6 percent of Black teens worked - the lowest since 1984.

27.2 percent of Latino teens worked - the lowest on record (records for Latino teens start in 1994).

A record-setting President.

Posted by Eric at 04:52 AM | Comments (0)

Comedy Monday

"There's a rumor that President George Bush had a nose job, that he had some kind of plastic surgery, that he actually had a nose job. If this is true, that's the first new job he's created since taking office." David Letterman

"President Bush is now focusing on jobs. I think the one job he's focusing most on is his own. The White House is now backtracking from its prediction that 2.6 million new jobs will be created in the U.S. this year. They say they were off by roughly 2.6 million jobs." Jay Leno

"This week, Georgia's board of education approved the plan that allows teachers to keep using the word 'Evolution' when teaching biology. Though, as a compromise, dinosaurs are now called 'Jesus Horses'." Jimmy Fallon

"In Louisiana, President Bush met with over 15,000 National Guard troops. Here's the weird part, nobody remembers seeing him there." Craig Kilborn

"Over the weekend, President Bush attended the Daytona 500, how many folks enjoyed watching the Daytona 500? But President Bush left before the race was over, you know, like his National Guard duty." David Letterman

"It's a great night, and I'll tell you why — the entire balcony here in the Ed Sullivan theater is full of guys who swear they were in the National Guard with George Bush." David Letterman


Howard Dean, My Pen Pal. From NationalLampoon.com

Osama Bin Finally Found! From the Onion

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced Tuesday that Osama bin Laden, prime suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, has "at long last been found."

"For more than two years, we combed the Middle East looking for bin Laden," Rumsfeld said. "Frankly, it was starting to be an embarrassment. You can imagine our surprise when we finally found him hiding deep inside the darkest recesses of each and every one of our souls."

Since toppling the Taliban regime in 2001, U.S. forces in Afghanistan had searched for bin Laden primarily along the rugged Afghan-Pakistani border, but overlooked that place inside every one of us that has ever raised his voice in anger or turned away from someone in need.

"We were so busy tracking the remaining members of the Taliban regime and freezing al-Qaeda assets that we missed what was right in front of us all along," Rumsfeld said. "Osama bin Laden wasn't hidden in a cave in the mountainous Pakistani province of Waziristan or huddled in the back of a Chitral meat-market stall. He was lurking in the blackness within us all, right there with the laziness and the jealousy."

"It just goes to show that sometimes it's easier to look for the man in the FBI dossier than it is to look at the man in the mirror," Rumsfeld added.

Dishonest Dubya Lying Action Figure.

Bush Says Economic Program Will Create 2.6 Jobs, Not 2.6 Million


Sandy: Carl I want you to kill all the gophers on the golf course
Carl Spackler: Correct me if I'm wrong Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers they'll lock me up and throw away the key.
Sandy: Not golfers, you great fool. Gophers. THE LITTLE BROWN, FURRY RODENTS.
Carl Spackler: We can do that. We don't even need a reason.
-Caddyshack
Going to Kenya?


Click down for cartoons

Posted by Eric at 12:06 AM | Comments (0)

Comedy Monday

"There's a rumor that President George Bush had a nose job, that he had some kind of plastic surgery, that he actually had a nose job. If this is true, that's the first new job he's created since taking office." David Letterman

"President Bush is now focusing on jobs. I think the one job he's focusing most on is his own. The White House is now backtracking from its prediction that 2.6 million new jobs will be created in the U.S. this year. They say they were off by roughly 2.6 million jobs." Jay Leno

"This week, Georgia's board of education approved the plan that allows teachers to keep using the word 'Evolution' when teaching biology. Though, as a compromise, dinosaurs are now called 'Jesus Horses'." Jimmy Fallon

"In Louisiana, President Bush met with over 15,000 National Guard troops. Here's the weird part, nobody remembers seeing him there." Craig Kilborn

"Over the weekend, President Bush attended the Daytona 500, how many folks enjoyed watching the Daytona 500? But President Bush left before the race was over, you know, like his National Guard duty." David Letterman

"It's a great night, and I'll tell you why — the entire balcony here in the Ed Sullivan theater is full of guys who swear they were in the National Guard with George Bush." David Letterman


Howard Dean, My Pen Pal. From NationalLampoon.com

Osama Bin Finally Found! From the Onion

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced Tuesday that Osama bin Laden, prime suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, has "at long last been found."

"For more than two years, we combed the Middle East looking for bin Laden," Rumsfeld said. "Frankly, it was starting to be an embarrassment. You can imagine our surprise when we finally found him hiding deep inside the darkest recesses of each and every one of our souls."

Since toppling the Taliban regime in 2001, U.S. forces in Afghanistan had searched for bin Laden primarily along the rugged Afghan-Pakistani border, but overlooked that place inside every one of us that has ever raised his voice in anger or turned away from someone in need.

"We were so busy tracking the remaining members of the Taliban regime and freezing al-Qaeda assets that we missed what was right in front of us all along," Rumsfeld said. "Osama bin Laden wasn't hidden in a cave in the mountainous Pakistani province of Waziristan or huddled in the back of a Chitral meat-market stall. He was lurking in the blackness within us all, right there with the laziness and the jealousy."

"It just goes to show that sometimes it's easier to look for the man in the FBI dossier than it is to look at the man in the mirror," Rumsfeld added.

Dishonest Dubya Lying Action Figure.

Bush Says Economic Program Will Create 2.6 Jobs, Not 2.6 Million


Sandy: Carl I want you to kill all the gophers on the golf course
Carl Spackler: Correct me if I'm wrong Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers they'll lock me up and throw away the key.
Sandy: Not golfers, you great fool. Gophers. THE LITTLE BROWN, FURRY RODENTS.
Carl Spackler: We can do that. We don't even need a reason.
-Caddyshack
Going to Kenya?


Click down for cartoons

Posted by Eric at 12:06 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2004

Sunday Stories

Guardian. Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us
Eleanor Clift. The Enforcer: John Ashcroft’s latest bid to curb abortion rights is a politically risky overreach. Why doesn't he pursue federal gun control laws with equal vigor?
Christina Larson. All the General's Men: Wesley Clark's disappointed army in Washington
Michael Tomasky, Simon Rosenberg, Garance Franke-Ruta, and Nicholas Confessore. Good-bye, Dean: Four takes on what the former Governor meant to the primaries, the process, and the party
Newsday. Edwards Stumps for LI Vote
Dean Baker. The Bush Budget: More for the military and more deficits
Nat Parry. Faulty Intelligence
Sheryl Fred. The Power Player
Houston Chron. Jobs to be key issue in election, poll finds
Newsweek. Edwards: 'I Talk About Things People Care About'
WP. Why Bush Stopped Flying Unclear
WP. Key House Races Heat Up
WP. Town Grieves Fallen Soldier: Small Maryland town remembers beloved 19-year-old with a mix of tears and anger and pride
NYT. Disenchanted Bush Voters Consider Democrats
NYT. Blunt and Influential, Kerry's Wife Is an X Factor
NYT. The Pentagon is using a pine forest in central Louisiana to recreate some of the scenes that may confront U.S. soldiers in Iraq

Posted by Eric at 02:27 AM | Comments (0)

Sunday Stories

Guardian. Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us
Eleanor Clift. The Enforcer: John Ashcroft’s latest bid to curb abortion rights is a politically risky overreach. Why doesn't he pursue federal gun control laws with equal vigor?
Christina Larson. All the General's Men: Wesley Clark's disappointed army in Washington
Michael Tomasky, Simon Rosenberg, Garance Franke-Ruta, and Nicholas Confessore. Good-bye, Dean: Four takes on what the former Governor meant to the primaries, the process, and the party
Newsday. Edwards Stumps for LI Vote
Dean Baker. The Bush Budget: More for the military and more deficits
Nat Parry. Faulty Intelligence
Sheryl Fred. The Power Player
Houston Chron. Jobs to be key issue in election, poll finds
Newsweek. Edwards: 'I Talk About Things People Care About'
WP. Why Bush Stopped Flying Unclear
WP. Key House Races Heat Up
WP. Town Grieves Fallen Soldier: Small Maryland town remembers beloved 19-year-old with a mix of tears and anger and pride
NYT. Disenchanted Bush Voters Consider Democrats
NYT. Blunt and Influential, Kerry's Wife Is an X Factor
NYT. The Pentagon is using a pine forest in central Louisiana to recreate some of the scenes that may confront U.S. soldiers in Iraq

Posted by Eric at 02:27 AM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2004

Saturday Stories

The Nation. An Open Letter to Ralph Nader
Reuters. Edwards Blasts Bush, Vows to Cut Lobbyists' Power
Hartford Advocate. Bush a No-Show at Alabama Base: Two members of the Air National Guard unit that President George W. Bush allegedly served with as a young Guard flyer in 1972 had been told to expect him and were on the lookout for him
VVoice. Fred Korematsu v. George W. Bush: 'No Law Protects Them, No Court May Hear Their Pleas.'
LA Weekly. Soldier for the Truth: Exposing Bush’s talking-points war
Boulder Weekly. the right stuff: What young conservatives are co-opting from the left, and the big joke the liberals just don’t get
Jim Boyd. For 'Gutter Politics,' Look to the Bush Camp
Derek Powazek, AlterNet. Personal Voices: Weddings on the Brain
Mark Green, AlterNet. The co-author of 'The Book On Bush' argues that the usual mechanisms to bring a president to his senses are badly malfunctioning. The result is the most messianic and misleading presidency of modern times
Mercury News. Long fight looms over same-sex marriage
AP. Bush Begins February With $104M on Hand
Philadelphia Inquirer. Democrats seem more united than ever
Houston Chron. Edwards cites civil rights duty
BGlobe. Kerry candidacy hits home
LAT. Media polls expose their limitations
WP. Court Won't Stop Gay Marriages: A County in New Mexico Follows San Francisco's Lead
Russell Long. Where There's Smoke, There's Pollution
WP. Vermont Mourns the Dean Dream
WP. Edwards Undaunted by Road Ahead
WP. Edwards Woos Md. Voters
WP. Philip Morris Gets Tax Break: Va. Senate votes for tobacco export credit while raising cigarette tax.
NYT. Democrats United in Asking That Nader Not Enter Race

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Saturday Stories

The Nation. An Open Letter to Ralph Nader
Reuters. Edwards Blasts Bush, Vows to Cut Lobbyists' Power
Hartford Advocate. Bush a No-Show at Alabama Base: Two members of the Air National Guard unit that President George W. Bush allegedly served with as a young Guard flyer in 1972 had been told to expect him and were on the lookout for him
VVoice. Fred Korematsu v. George W. Bush: 'No Law Protects Them, No Court May Hear Their Pleas.'
LA Weekly. Soldier for the Truth: Exposing Bush’s talking-points war
Boulder Weekly. the right stuff: What young conservatives are co-opting from the left, and the big joke the liberals just don’t get
Jim Boyd. For 'Gutter Politics,' Look to the Bush Camp
Derek Powazek, AlterNet. Personal Voices: Weddings on the Brain
Mark Green, AlterNet. The co-author of 'The Book On Bush' argues that the usual mechanisms to bring a president to his senses are badly malfunctioning. The result is the most messianic and misleading presidency of modern times
Mercury News. Long fight looms over same-sex marriage
AP. Bush Begins February With $104M on Hand
Philadelphia Inquirer. Democrats seem more united than ever
Houston Chron. Edwards cites civil rights duty
BGlobe. Kerry candidacy hits home
LAT. Media polls expose their limitations
WP. Court Won't Stop Gay Marriages: A County in New Mexico Follows San Francisco's Lead
Russell Long. Where There's Smoke, There's Pollution
WP. Vermont Mourns the Dean Dream
WP. Edwards Undaunted by Road Ahead
WP. Edwards Woos Md. Voters
WP. Philip Morris Gets Tax Break: Va. Senate votes for tobacco export credit while raising cigarette tax.
NYT. Democrats United in Asking That Nader Not Enter Race

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Another Poll, Another Bush Defeat

From Newsweek, we find that Kerry-Edwards ticket could beat Bush-Cheney, while John Kerry maintains his frontrunner lead.

For the first time in the NEWSWEEK poll, more than half (54 percent) of registered voters named Kerry as their first choice for the party’s nomination. Edwards, still a distant second at 19 percent, has actually doubled his support since the last poll ... With “electability” a buzz word this election season, a Kerry-Edwards ticket tests well among voters. Although the Southern senator demurs whenever his name is floated as a vice-presidential candidate, 49 percent of voters would support a Kerry-Edwards ticket compared to the 45 percent who back a Bush-Cheney reelection bid.
Kerry-Bush is 3 points for Kerry, while Edwards-Bush is tied.

Posted by Eric at 07:09 PM | Comments (0)

Another Poll, Another Bush Defeat

From Newsweek, we find that Kerry-Edwards ticket could beat Bush-Cheney, while John Kerry maintains his frontrunner lead.

For the first time in the NEWSWEEK poll, more than half (54 percent) of registered voters named Kerry as their first choice for the party’s nomination. Edwards, still a distant second at 19 percent, has actually doubled his support since the last poll ... With “electability” a buzz word this election season, a Kerry-Edwards ticket tests well among voters. Although the Southern senator demurs whenever his name is floated as a vice-presidential candidate, 49 percent of voters would support a Kerry-Edwards ticket compared to the 45 percent who back a Bush-Cheney reelection bid.
Kerry-Bush is 3 points for Kerry, while Edwards-Bush is tied.

Posted by Eric at 07:09 PM | Comments (0)

Stupid Quote Saturday

"It was obvious that Katie was not very good. She was awful. You know what guys do - they respect your ability. Katie was a girl, and not only was she a girl, she was terrible. There's no other way to say it. She couldn't kick the ball through the uprights." Colorado Coach Gary Barnett

"Bush's National Guard service is the most thoroughly investigated event since the Kennedy assassination." Ann Coulter, as TBOGG notes, unaware of "Watergate, Iran-Contra, the Tower Commission, and a little 60 million dollar investigation into a blowjob (when Ann knows perfectly well that they can be had for $5 and a Happy Meal)."

A GW Bush classic: "No President has ever done more for human rights than I have." to New Yorker writer Ken Auletta

Posted by Eric at 06:37 PM | Comments (0)

Stupid Quote Saturday

"It was obvious that Katie was not very good. She was awful. You know what guys do - they respect your ability. Katie was a girl, and not only was she a girl, she was terrible. There's no other way to say it. She couldn't kick the ball through the uprights." Colorado Coach Gary Barnett

"Bush's National Guard service is the most thoroughly investigated event since the Kennedy assassination." Ann Coulter, as TBOGG notes, unaware of "Watergate, Iran-Contra, the Tower Commission, and a little 60 million dollar investigation into a blowjob (when Ann knows perfectly well that they can be had for $5 and a Happy Meal)."

A GW Bush classic: "No President has ever done more for human rights than I have." to New Yorker writer Ken Auletta

Posted by Eric at 06:37 PM | Comments (0)

Bush Picks Pryor

Attorney General William Pryor of Alabama has been appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Bush "used a weeklong Congressional recess to install William H. Pryor Jr., the Alabama attorney general, in a federal appeals court seat to get around a Democratic filibuster that had blocked the nomination." From PFAW:

President Bush keeps finding new ways to demonstrate his contempt for our system of checks and balances and his disrespect for the Senate’s constitutional role of advise and consent on nominations to the federal courts, not to mention Americans’ fundamental rights and liberties. It is hard to recall another president who has been so willing to treat the federal judiciary as a partisan political weapon.

The questionable recess appointment of William Pryor is unfortunately only the latest in a series of moves by the Bush White House calculated to create political confrontation over judges rather than genuine bipartisan dialogue and cooperation. Apparently White House political strategists have decided that the president needs to shore up his disgruntled political base, and that an in-your-face appointment of a right-wing ideologue to the federal bench will help rally the troops.

So what about Pryor does PFAW, a liberal advocacy group, find reprehensible? Among some of the things in their report on Pryor:
Pryor has offered steadfast support inside the court and out for a state judge who has officially sponsored sectarian prayers in the courtroom before juries and who has installed religious displays of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom and in the state judicial building. Pryor has outspokenly deplored rulings by the courts to uphold the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

Pryor has called Roe v. Wade “the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history” and has supported efforts to erect unconstitutional barriers to the exercise of reproductive freedom. He defended a “partial-birth abortion” ban in Alabama, although it lacked the constitutionally required exception to protect the health of the pregnant woman.

Pryor believes that it is constitutional to imprison gay men and lesbians for having sex in the privacy of their own homes, and has filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold Texas’ “Homosexual Conduct law,” which criminalizes such conduct. Pryor believes that singling out gay men and lesbians in this manner does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In the same brief, Pryor equated for purposes of legal analysis sex between two adults of the same gender with “activities like prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia…”

Pryor has criticized as “political correctness” the Supreme Court’s ruling that the denial of admission to women by the Virginia Military Institute, a public, taxpayer-supported institution, violated women’s rights to equal protection.

Posted by Eric at 03:41 AM | Comments (0)

Bush Picks Pryor

Attorney General William Pryor of Alabama has been appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Bush "used a weeklong Congressional recess to install William H. Pryor Jr., the Alabama attorney general, in a federal appeals court seat to get around a Democratic filibuster that had blocked the nomination." From PFAW:

President Bush keeps finding new ways to demonstrate his contempt for our system of checks and balances and his disrespect for the Senate’s constitutional role of advise and consent on nominations to the federal courts, not to mention Americans’ fundamental rights and liberties. It is hard to recall another president who has been so willing to treat the federal judiciary as a partisan political weapon.

The questionable recess appointment of William Pryor is unfortunately only the latest in a series of moves by the Bush White House calculated to create political confrontation over judges rather than genuine bipartisan dialogue and cooperation. Apparently White House political strategists have decided that the president needs to shore up his disgruntled political base, and that an in-your-face appointment of a right-wing ideologue to the federal bench will help rally the troops.

So what about Pryor does PFAW, a liberal advocacy group, find reprehensible? Among some of the things in their report on Pryor:
Pryor has offered steadfast support inside the court and out for a state judge who has officially sponsored sectarian prayers in the courtroom before juries and who has installed religious displays of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom and in the state judicial building. Pryor has outspokenly deplored rulings by the courts to uphold the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

Pryor has called Roe v. Wade “the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history” and has supported efforts to erect unconstitutional barriers to the exercise of reproductive freedom. He defended a “partial-birth abortion” ban in Alabama, although it lacked the constitutionally required exception to protect the health of the pregnant woman.

Pryor believes that it is constitutional to imprison gay men and lesbians for having sex in the privacy of their own homes, and has filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold Texas’ “Homosexual Conduct law,” which criminalizes such conduct. Pryor believes that singling out gay men and lesbians in this manner does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In the same brief, Pryor equated for purposes of legal analysis sex between two adults of the same gender with “activities like prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia…”

Pryor has criticized as “political correctness” the Supreme Court’s ruling that the denial of admission to women by the Virginia Military Institute, a public, taxpayer-supported institution, violated women’s rights to equal protection.

Posted by Eric at 03:41 AM | Comments (0)

Doug Ireland on Al Sharpton

Doug Ireland in the LA Weekly criticizes Al Sharpton for his past indiscretions with the GOP. For example:

Rev. Al has a long and sordid history of posing as the champion of the have-nots, while renting himself out to the greedy have-everythings, which predates his ’04 GOP-funded presidential campaign. In 1986, he endorsed N.Y. Senator Al D’Amato for re-election — although D’Amato, a conservative Republican pit bull, was anathema to more issues-attuned black leaders. In 1994, he helped dampen down the black vote for Governor Mario Cuomo by making a media-hyped appearance with successful conservative Republican candidate George Pataki just days before the election. In the 2001 New York mayoral campaign, he connived with GOP billionaire Michael Bloomberg in the defeat of the Democratic candidate, Mark Green.

But Sharpton has not limited himself simply to supporting candidates considered by most to be inimical to the interests of the impoverished black community. A 1988 investigation by the Long Island daily Newsday revealed that Sharpton, who denounces African-American leaders who disagree with him as “yellow niggers,” had been a longtime FBI informant in a scheme to entrap black leaders and personalities on drug-related matters, even going so far as to wear a wire to record their conversations for the feds ...

When Sharpton launched a vicious attack on Howard Dean for his supposed “anti-black agenda,” the man behind the curtain was Stone, who crowed to The New York Times that he “helped set the tone and direction” of the blast at Dean, while the research for it was provided by the man Stone had installed as Sharpton’s campaign manager, Charles Halloran, one of a half-dozen top aides to Sharpton who worked for Stone in previous campaigns.

A member of Stone’s stable who stays at Stone’s Central Park South apartment in New York while working for Sharpton, Halloran — just before taking over the Sharpton campaign — had been managing the parliamentary campaign for one of Stone’s numerous foreign clients: the United Bermuda Party, a white-led party trying to oust the resort island’s first black government. Since Rev. Al’s presidential campaign is really all about trying to succeed Jesse Jackson as America’s premier black political leader, the installation of Halloran is thus an odd choice indeed, one that can be explained only by Sharpton’s dependence on the money funneled into his campaign by Stone. (Halloran’s wife works for the infamous Carlyle Group, the military-industrial-complex giant of which Bush père was a longtime officer.)

Stone has acknowledged that he “helped Sharpton” meet the 20-state, $5,000-contribution threshold required for federal matching funds. Example, according to The Voice: “In Florida, Stone’s wife, Nydia; son Scott; daughter-in-law Laurie; mother-in-law Olga Bertran; Stone’s executive assistant Dianne Thorne; Tim Suereth, who lives with Thorne; and Halloran’s mother, all pushed Sharpton comfortably over the threshold, donating $250 apiece in December. Jeanmarie Ferrara, who works at a Miami public relations firm that joined Stone in the ’90s fight on behalf of the sugar industry against a tax to resuscitate the Everglades, also gave $250, as did the wife of the firm’s name partner . . . Another lobbyist, Eli Feinberg, a Republican giver appointed to a top position by the Republican state insurance commissioner, also gave $250.” Hired guns for ultraright evangelical GOP Florida Senate candidate Larry Klayman also kicked in to Rev. Al. Similar patterns of GOPers giving to Sharpton and phantom donors have been found in other states.

Ireland concludes that Sharpton's campaign is "nothing more than another scam he’s running on black Americans, one designed to undermine the movement to defeat George Bush. Fortunately, black voters aren’t as gullible as the cynical Sharpton thinks they are — they know an unprincipled huckster when they see one. Which is why Sharpton — despite the help from his GOP bedmates on which his campaign depends — has been rejected by significant majorities of African-Americans this year at the polls." Ouch.

Posted by Eric at 03:33 AM | Comments (0)

Doug Ireland on Al Sharpton

Doug Ireland in the LA Weekly criticizes Al Sharpton for his past indiscretions with the GOP. For example:

Rev. Al has a long and sordid history of posing as the champion of the have-nots, while renting himself out to the greedy have-everythings, which predates his ’04 GOP-funded presidential campaign. In 1986, he endorsed N.Y. Senator Al D’Amato for re-election — although D’Amato, a conservative Republican pit bull, was anathema to more issues-attuned black leaders. In 1994, he helped dampen down the black vote for Governor Mario Cuomo by making a media-hyped appearance with successful conservative Republican candidate George Pataki just days before the election. In the 2001 New York mayoral campaign, he connived with GOP billionaire Michael Bloomberg in the defeat of the Democratic candidate, Mark Green.

But Sharpton has not limited himself simply to supporting candidates considered by most to be inimical to the interests of the impoverished black community. A 1988 investigation by the Long Island daily Newsday revealed that Sharpton, who denounces African-American leaders who disagree with him as “yellow niggers,” had been a longtime FBI informant in a scheme to entrap black leaders and personalities on drug-related matters, even going so far as to wear a wire to record their conversations for the feds ...

When Sharpton launched a vicious attack on Howard Dean for his supposed “anti-black agenda,” the man behind the curtain was Stone, who crowed to The New York Times that he “helped set the tone and direction” of the blast at Dean, while the research for it was provided by the man Stone had installed as Sharpton’s campaign manager, Charles Halloran, one of a half-dozen top aides to Sharpton who worked for Stone in previous campaigns.

A member of Stone’s stable who stays at Stone’s Central Park South apartment in New York while working for Sharpton, Halloran — just before taking over the Sharpton campaign — had been managing the parliamentary campaign for one of Stone’s numerous foreign clients: the United Bermuda Party, a white-led party trying to oust the resort island’s first black government. Since Rev. Al’s presidential campaign is really all about trying to succeed Jesse Jackson as America’s premier black political leader, the installation of Halloran is thus an odd choice indeed, one that can be explained only by Sharpton’s dependence on the money funneled into his campaign by Stone. (Halloran’s wife works for the infamous Carlyle Group, the military-industrial-complex giant of which Bush père was a longtime officer.)

Stone has acknowledged that he “helped Sharpton” meet the 20-state, $5,000-contribution threshold required for federal matching funds. Example, according to The Voice: “In Florida, Stone’s wife, Nydia; son Scott; daughter-in-law Laurie; mother-in-law Olga Bertran; Stone’s executive assistant Dianne Thorne; Tim Suereth, who lives with Thorne; and Halloran’s mother, all pushed Sharpton comfortably over the threshold, donating $250 apiece in December. Jeanmarie Ferrara, who works at a Miami public relations firm that joined Stone in the ’90s fight on behalf of the sugar industry against a tax to resuscitate the Everglades, also gave $250, as did the wife of the firm’s name partner . . . Another lobbyist, Eli Feinberg, a Republican giver appointed to a top position by the Republican state insurance commissioner, also gave $250.” Hired guns for ultraright evangelical GOP Florida Senate candidate Larry Klayman also kicked in to Rev. Al. Similar patterns of GOPers giving to Sharpton and phantom donors have been found in other states.

Ireland concludes that Sharpton's campaign is "nothing more than another scam he’s running on black Americans, one designed to undermine the movement to defeat George Bush. Fortunately, black voters aren’t as gullible as the cynical Sharpton thinks they are — they know an unprincipled huckster when they see one. Which is why Sharpton — despite the help from his GOP bedmates on which his campaign depends — has been rejected by significant majorities of African-Americans this year at the polls." Ouch.

Posted by Eric at 03:33 AM | Comments (0)

The 3 Forgotten States

I guess when you're Utah, Idaho and Hawaii, you're sort of used to it, but they vote next Tuesday. So what's up? From the NY Times. In the arctic tundra of Hawaii, which should go to Democrats this year regardless of the nom:

No candidate has run a television or radio advertisement in any of the states, although Alex Santiago, Hawaii Democratic chairman, says he has been buoyed by sightings of yard signs and bumper stickers, leading him to hope that his state's Democrats remain engaged in the race ... Of the three states, Hawaii seems in the best mood about the situation. In the past, noted Mr. Santiago, the party chairman there, the state held its primary on Super Tuesday, and was all but lost amid the attention lavished on the bigger states. Now, though there has been little overt campaigning and no candidate visits, the state party is getting more attention than it did then.

"All of the major candidates have representatives here, and we've been getting a ton of newly registered Democrats, about 1,000 in the last week alone," Mr. Santiago said. "Frankly, it's normal for us not to be visited by the candidates."

In the conservative state of Utah:
Dan Jones, interim associate director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, said the institute had shifted its polling to focus on a race between Mr. Kerry and President Bush, which it sees as all but inevitable.

"We're showing that at the moment, Bush would win Utah, but Kerry wouldn't lose the state by as big a margin as Al Gore did in 2000," Mr. Jones said. "If anything, what I've noticed lately is that Democrats have been energized, even in Utah."

And the state of Idaho:
And Mr. Edwards canceled plans to speak at the Idaho Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson dinner on Saturday night in Boise. Jill Ellsworth, coordinator of the Idaho caucuses, said the senator's campaign had told party leaders that he needed to spend that night in Ohio, another of the Super Tuesday states.

"I'm in denial at the moment," Ms. Ellsworth said, adding that she hoped Mr. Edwards would change his mind ... "I think there's still a great deal of interest in Idaho in changing the guard in Washington," Ms. Ellsworth said. "That, you probably have noticed, is a theme running across America — among Democrats, at least — and it's the same here."

Idaho went 69% 28% Bush in the last election, Hawaii 38% 56% and Utah Utah 67% 26% Bush.

The most respected politician in Hawaii, Dan Inouye, is endorsing colleague John Kerry. Though there are pockets of support for Kucinich and Edwards (none I've seen for Sharpton), Kerry will probably do well and win Hawaii.

Posted by Eric at 02:54 AM | Comments (0)

The 3 Forgotten States

I guess when you're Utah, Idaho and Hawaii, you're sort of used to it, but they vote next Tuesday. So what's up? From the NY Times. In the arctic tundra of Hawaii, which should go to Democrats this year regardless of the nom:

No candidate has run a television or radio advertisement in any of the states, although Alex Santiago, Hawaii Democratic chairman, says he has been buoyed by sightings of yard signs and bumper stickers, leading him to hope that his state's Democrats remain engaged in the race ... Of the three states, Hawaii seems in the best mood about the situation. In the past, noted Mr. Santiago, the party chairman there, the state held its primary on Super Tuesday, and was all but lost amid the attention lavished on the bigger states. Now, though there has been little overt campaigning and no candidate visits, the state party is getting more attention than it did then.

"All of the major candidates have representatives here, and we've been getting a ton of newly registered Democrats, about 1,000 in the last week alone," Mr. Santiago said. "Frankly, it's normal for us not to be visited by the candidates."

In the conservative state of Utah:
Dan Jones, interim associate director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, said the institute had shifted its polling to focus on a race between Mr. Kerry and President Bush, which it sees as all but inevitable.

"We're showing that at the moment, Bush would win Utah, but Kerry wouldn't lose the state by as big a margin as Al Gore did in 2000," Mr. Jones said. "If anything, what I've noticed lately is that Democrats have been energized, even in Utah."

And the state of Idaho:
And Mr. Edwards canceled plans to speak at the Idaho Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson dinner on Saturday night in Boise. Jill Ellsworth, coordinator of the Idaho caucuses, said the senator's campaign had told party leaders that he needed to spend that night in Ohio, another of the Super Tuesday states.

"I'm in denial at the moment," Ms. Ellsworth said, adding that she hoped Mr. Edwards would change his mind ... "I think there's still a great deal of interest in Idaho in changing the guard in Washington," Ms. Ellsworth said. "That, you probably have noticed, is a theme running across America — among Democrats, at least — and it's the same here."

Idaho went 69% 28% Bush in the last election, Hawaii 38% 56% and Utah Utah 67% 26% Bush.

The most respected politician in Hawaii, Dan Inouye, is endorsing colleague John Kerry. Though there are pockets of support for Kucinich and Edwards (none I've seen for Sharpton), Kerry will probably do well and win Hawaii.

Posted by Eric at 02:54 AM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2004

Friday Stories

Boston Globe. Dean, Kucinich could be factors in island's caucuses
Bloomberg. Bush Raised $12.8 Million in January, Outpacing Kerry, Edwards
AP. Kerry gets Secret Service protection
AP. Poll: Kerry leads among N.Y. Democrats
NYT. Teen pregnancies, abortion rates down in all ethnic groups
CBS. Bush To Aim Ad Blitz At Kerry
CNN. Schwarzenegger: Gay marriage licenses illegal
CNN. Florida's Graham says he's open to VP nod
Bill Berkowitz. Criminal dissent: Are recent tactics in Iowa part of a larger Bush Administration effort to punish dissent?
Arianna Huffington. I'm a porn president: Confronted with Kerry, Bush campaign retreats to moralistic high ground
Molly Ivins. Life without Dean: Kerry and Edwards both deserving of another look
William Greider. Dean's Rough Ride
Salon. Why did Tony Blair, who reinvigorated Britain's Labor Party and became Bill Clinton's best friend in Europe, allow himself to get Bushwhacked in Iraq?
William Greider. Dean's Rough Ride
NYT. Edwards Notes Differences on Issue of World Trade
NYT. New York Looms Large in Edwards Run
NYT. Lack of Safety Is Charged in Nuclear Site Cleanup
NYT. More Than Football
WP. U.S. Abandoning Plan for Regional Caucuses in Iraq
WP. Bush Camp Plots Ad Strategy
WP. Dean's Legacy Is Online Campaigning
E. J. Dionne Jr. Dean and the Power That Lives On
USAT. Sixth, 'brutal' assault case surfaces vs. Colorado
AP. Sen. Michael Crapo of Idaho announced Thursday he'll seek a second term
Helen Thomas. Candidates don't have private lives
Marie Cocco. Bush Plays Bait-and-Switch With 9/11 Panel
James P. Pinkerton. Dean May Yet Give Birth to a New Movement
Reuters. White House Struggles to Halt Flap Over Jobs Report
AJC. Economy: Bush, Democrats poles apart on outlook
Reuters. Poor to Put 'Bushville' Tent City at NY Convention
Ray McGovern. The threads of the White House's fabricated case for war in Iraq have finally come undone
Richard Blow. The press wouldn't substantiate a rumor about John Kerry, but they forced him to respond anyway
Eric Alterman. Think Again: Bush's Missing National Guard Years: No News is New News

Blog Items
Oliver Willis. Vietnam and Kerry
Atrios. Some Thoughts on Blogs and Fundraising
DNC. Yucca Mountain plan called unsafe
Daily Howler. Did Drudge’s fake tale affect Wisconsin? Big pundits don’t seem to care
Calpundit. THE TRUTH ABOUT LIBERALS?
Billmon. Alarm Bells
UggaBugga. Chalabi family diagram

Posted by Eric at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)

Friday Stories

Boston Globe. Dean, Kucinich could be factors in island's caucuses
Bloomberg. Bush Raised $12.8 Million in January, Outpacing Kerry, Edwards
AP. Kerry gets Secret Service protection
AP. Poll: Kerry leads among N.Y. Democrats
NYT. Teen pregnancies, abortion rates down in all ethnic groups
CBS. Bush To Aim Ad Blitz At Kerry
CNN. Schwarzenegger: Gay marriage licenses illegal
CNN. Florida's Graham says he's open to VP nod
Bill Berkowitz. Criminal dissent: Are recent tactics in Iowa part of a larger Bush Administration effort to punish dissent?
Arianna Huffington. I'm a porn president: Confronted with Kerry, Bush campaign retreats to moralistic high ground
Molly Ivins. Life without Dean: Kerry and Edwards both deserving of another look
William Greider. Dean's Rough Ride
Salon. Why did Tony Blair, who reinvigorated Britain's Labor Party and became Bill Clinton's best friend in Europe, allow himself to get Bushwhacked in Iraq?
William Greider. Dean's Rough Ride
NYT. Edwards Notes Differences on Issue of World Trade
NYT. New York Looms Large in Edwards Run
NYT. Lack of Safety Is Charged in Nuclear Site Cleanup
NYT. More Than Football
WP. U.S. Abandoning Plan for Regional Caucuses in Iraq
WP. Bush Camp Plots Ad Strategy
WP. Dean's Legacy Is Online Campaigning
E. J. Dionne Jr. Dean and the Power That Lives On
USAT. Sixth, 'brutal' assault case surfaces vs. Colorado
AP. Sen. Michael Crapo of Idaho announced Thursday he'll seek a second term
Helen Thomas. Candidates don't have private lives
Marie Cocco. Bush Plays Bait-and-Switch With 9/11 Panel
James P. Pinkerton. Dean May Yet Give Birth to a New Movement
Reuters. White House Struggles to Halt Flap Over Jobs Report
AJC. Economy: Bush, Democrats poles apart on outlook
Reuters. Poor to Put 'Bushville' Tent City at NY Convention
Ray McGovern. The threads of the White House's fabricated case for war in Iraq have finally come undone
Richard Blow. The press wouldn't substantiate a rumor about John Kerry, but they forced him to respond anyway
Eric Alterman. Think Again: Bush's Missing National Guard Years: No News is New News

Blog Items
Oliver Willis. Vietnam and Kerry
Atrios. Some Thoughts on Blogs and Fundraising
DNC. Yucca Mountain plan called unsafe
Daily Howler. Did Drudge’s fake tale affect Wisconsin? Big pundits don’t seem to care
Calpundit. THE TRUTH ABOUT LIBERALS?
Billmon. Alarm Bells
UggaBugga. Chalabi family diagram

Posted by Eric at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)

Edwards Wants More Debates

Edwards thrives on public speaking, so his campaign wants to play to his strength. Hence, this campaign email ...

Dear Senator Kerry:

I was pleased to learn that your campaign had agreed to debate anywhere, anytime as long as Rev. Sharpton and Congressman Kucinich are involved. I agree one hundred percent.

That is why I am proposing that we schedule four debates as soon as possible in different locations that work for all of us. During this primary, Democrats have made tremendous progress in terms of getting our message out to the American people. They want real change and they are turning to Democrats for new ideas to change our country. And we must use this time to our advantage to showcase our Democratic values to the nation.

I understand that you have accepted the invitation to the Los Angeles Times, CNN event in California. I ask that we also give people in places like New York and Ohio the chance to see where we stand on the issues. There are currently six other invitations that I am aware of and I am sure that we could all agree on three more times and places.

While we are all Democrats, there are very real differences among us, and the American people deserve to know who we are, where we're from, and where we stand on the issues. And I know that the more they hear from Democrats, they will see that there is only one choice in November: sending George Bush home and entrusting one of us to guide the greatest nation in the world.

I look forward to hearing from you and to scheduling our next debates.

Regards,

John Edwards

CC:
Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Reverend Al Sharpton

You'll remember in 2000, GW Bush was not a good public speaker (still isn't) and so his campaign limited the amount of debates with Gore.

Posted by Eric at 06:11 PM | Comments (0)

Edwards Wants More Debates

Edwards thrives on public speaking, so his campaign wants to play to his strength. Hence, this campaign email ...

Dear Senator Kerry:

I was pleased to learn that your campaign had agreed to debate anywhere, anytime as long as Rev. Sharpton and Congressman Kucinich are involved. I agree one hundred percent.

That is why I am proposing that we schedule four debates as soon as possible in different locations that work for all of us. During this primary, Democrats have made tremendous progress in terms of getting our message out to the American people. They want real change and they are turning to Democrats for new ideas to change our country. And we must use this time to our advantage to showcase our Democratic values to the nation.

I understand that you have accepted the invitation to the Los Angeles Times, CNN event in California. I ask that we also give people in places like New York and Ohio the chance to see where we stand on the issues. There are currently six other invitations that I am aware of and I am sure that we could all agree on three more times and places.

While we are all Democrats, there are very real differences among us, and the American people deserve to know who we are, where we're from, and where we stand on the issues. And I know that the more they hear from Democrats, they will see that there is only one choice in November: sending George Bush home and entrusting one of us to guide the greatest nation in the world.

I look forward to hearing from you and to scheduling our next debates.

Regards,

John Edwards

CC:
Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Reverend Al Sharpton

You'll remember in 2000, GW Bush was not a good public speaker (still isn't) and so his campaign limited the amount of debates with Gore.

Posted by Eric at 06:11 PM | Comments (0)

Republican Blog?

Apparently, this is the Republican idea of a blog. Sorta like the Bush administration and its energy policy: no public comments allowed.

Posted by Eric at 01:35 PM | Comments (0)

Republican Blog?

Apparently, this is the Republican idea of a blog. Sorta like the Bush administration and its energy policy: no public comments allowed.

Posted by Eric at 01:35 PM | Comments (0)

Snoop Dogg vs. O'Reilly

Well, it seems O'Reilly has no problem wanting to fight (or at least shoot) Al Franken, but he doesn't want any part of Snoop Dogg. Fo shizzle, Lloyd Grovizzle?

Fox News star Bill O'Reilly apparently has done something to annoy Snoop Dogg, the tough-talking rapper who has, I hope, put his tough-acting ways behind him.

When Maxim magazine asked Snoop whom he wants to fight, the rapper replied: "Bill O'Reilly, that bitch-a--. 'Cause he's a bitch."

O'Reilly said yesterday through a Fox flack, "I'll be happy to have lunch with him anytime."

No, Bill, maybe you didn't hear right: That's punch, not lunch.

Posted by Eric at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)

Snoop Dogg vs. O'Reilly

Well, it seems O'Reilly has no problem wanting to fight (or at least shoot) Al Franken, but he doesn't want any part of Snoop Dogg. Fo shizzle, Lloyd Grovizzle?

Fox News star Bill O'Reilly apparently has done something to annoy Snoop Dogg, the tough-talking rapper who has, I hope, put his tough-acting ways behind him.

When Maxim magazine asked Snoop whom he wants to fight, the rapper replied: "Bill O'Reilly, that bitch-a--. 'Cause he's a bitch."

O'Reilly said yesterday through a Fox flack, "I'll be happy to have lunch with him anytime."

No, Bill, maybe you didn't hear right: That's punch, not lunch.

Posted by Eric at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)

Yes, Liberal Media

Conservatives are pointing to the lack of coverage about the John Kerry affair non-scandal as evidence of the bias of the liberal media. USA Today:

Some conservatives are angry, but many media watchdogs are praising the way most American news outlets handled 2004's first titillating allegation about a presidential candidate's personal life.

The rumor was that Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., might have had an extramarital relationship with a woman. The allegation surfaced Feb. 12 on the Internet and quickly got picked up by some talk radio hosts and foreign news media.

Both Kerry and the woman, journalist Alexandra Polier, deny any relationship. By Thursday evening, there was no evidence that they had had one.

Those who praise the major media for how they handled the story say they hope that the relatively little coverage given to the allegation will serve as a model for the rest of the campaign.

But conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh and Internet muckraker Matt Drudge say the media have just shown a liberal bias.

Everyone's favorite internet rumormill, Newsmax, carries Lynn Woolley's odd rant:
What we are left with in this situation is a mainstream media – the networks, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post and so on – that are almost entirely run by liberal ideologues and who have approached two relatively insignificant stories from opposite angles. Rumors that Kerry had a recent fling with an intern get no play. Rumors that Bush was AWOL from the Guard 30 years ago are treated as top news.

The American people may not care too much about either story. After all, we are at war with enemy that wants to destroy us. Perhaps Mr. Kerry’s private affairs should not “rise to the level” of denying him the nomination – nor should Mr. Bush’s military record affect the fact that our nation has been made safer by his policies. To many voters, the big issue in this election will not be rumors, but rather which man’s policies will lead to victory over al Qaeda and global terrorism.

However, if we’re going to lead the news with rumors night after night, let’s cover not only those started by Moore and McAuliffe, but by Drudge as well. After all, Matt Drudge’s track record for telling the truth is a lot stronger.

Yeah, I'm not sure if Woolley's joking or not either. And, for instance, this radio talk show host says the elitist, liberal media has a double standard.

Posted by Eric at 11:59 AM | Comments (0)

Yes, Liberal Media

Conservatives are pointing to the lack of coverage about the John Kerry affair non-scandal as evidence of the bias of the liberal media. USA Today:

Some conservatives are angry, but many media watchdogs are praising the way most American news outlets handled 2004's first titillating allegation about a presidential candidate's personal life.

The rumor was that Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., might have had an extramarital relationship with a woman. The allegation surfaced Feb. 12 on the Internet and quickly got picked up by some talk radio hosts and foreign news media.

Both Kerry and the woman, journalist Alexandra Polier, deny any relationship. By Thursday evening, there was no evidence that they had had one.

Those who praise the major media for how they handled the story say they hope that the relatively little coverage given to the allegation will serve as a model for the rest of the campaign.

But conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh and Internet muckraker Matt Drudge say the media have just shown a liberal bias.

Everyone's favorite internet rumormill, Newsmax, carries Lynn Woolley's odd rant:
What we are left with in this situation is a mainstream media – the networks, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post and so on – that are almost entirely run by liberal ideologues and who have approached two relatively insignificant stories from opposite angles. Rumors that Kerry had a recent fling with an intern get no play. Rumors that Bush was AWOL from the Guard 30 years ago are treated as top news.

The American people may not care too much about either story. After all, we are at war with enemy that wants to destroy us. Perhaps Mr. Kerry’s private affairs should not “rise to the level” of denying him the nomination – nor should Mr. Bush’s military record affect the fact that our nation has been made safer by his policies. To many voters, the big issue in this election will not be rumors, but rather which man’s policies will lead to victory over al Qaeda and global terrorism.

However, if we’re going to lead the news with rumors night after night, let’s cover not only those started by Moore and McAuliffe, but by Drudge as well. After all, Matt Drudge’s track record for telling the truth is a lot stronger.

Yeah, I'm not sure if Woolley's joking or not either. And, for instance, this radio talk show host says the elitist, liberal media has a double standard.

Posted by Eric at 11:59 AM | Comments (0)

Battlefield Casualties

Though we often hear about casualties in Iraq, we don't learn about two other trends happening: wounded and suicides. The Center for American Progress with more:

CASUALTIES OF WAR: The difficult nature of the ongoing war in Iraq –the first prolonged ground war since Vietnam - and the increasing violence is hitting American troops. Since the war began last March, there have been 545 troops killed in Iraq. And now, it turns out, there have been more wounded: Wednesday, Walter Reed Army Medical Center announced that, due to a change in compilation process, "it had revised upward by as much as 10% the number of patients and battlefield casualties it has treated...As of Wednesday, Walter Reed had treated 2,775 patients from the Iraq war 175 more than it had previously reported. Of the new total, 476 were classified as battle casualties, meaning their injuries were caused by 'enemy action.' That is 40 more battle casualties than Walter Reed had previously reported."

STEMMING SUICIDES: Equally troubling, the WP reported yesterday that the number of suicides is up in Iraq, although the Pentagon remains "tight-lipped." There were 22 suicides among troops in Iraq last year, a rate about 20% higher than average. Thus far, the military has been particularly quiet on the subject. "The military's emphasis on honor, valor and courage makes suicide perhaps one of its last taboos. The Pentagon does not publicly identify a soldier's death as a suicide but may classify it as a 'non-hostile gunshot wound,' or death from 'non-hostile injuries,' which can also include accidents such as negligent discharge of a weapon. In comparison, the Pentagon will release a description of the cause of death -- enemy fire, a land mine, a car crash -- for a soldier killed in action or as a result of an accident." More details are to come, though, as "the Pentagon plans to release the findings of a team sent to Iraq last fall to investigate the mental health of the troops, including suicides."

But we got the WMD, so it's ok.

Posted by Eric at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

Battlefield Casualties

Though we often hear about casualties in Iraq, we don't learn about two other trends happening: wounded and suicides. The Center for American Progress with more:

CASUALTIES OF WAR: The difficult nature of the ongoing war in Iraq –the first prolonged ground war since Vietnam - and the increasing violence is hitting American troops. Since the war began last March, there have been 545 troops killed in Iraq. And now, it turns out, there have been more wounded: Wednesday, Walter Reed Army Medical Center announced that, due to a change in compilation process, "it had revised upward by as much as 10% the number of patients and battlefield casualties it has treated...As of Wednesday, Walter Reed had treated 2,775 patients from the Iraq war 175 more than it had previously reported. Of the new total, 476 were classified as battle casualties, meaning their injuries were caused by 'enemy action.' That is 40 more battle casualties than Walter Reed had previously reported."

STEMMING SUICIDES: Equally troubling, the WP reported yesterday that the number of suicides is up in Iraq, although the Pentagon remains "tight-lipped." There were 22 suicides among troops in Iraq last year, a rate about 20% higher than average. Thus far, the military has been particularly quiet on the subject. "The military's emphasis on honor, valor and courage makes suicide perhaps one of its last taboos. The Pentagon does not publicly identify a soldier's death as a suicide but may classify it as a 'non-hostile gunshot wound,' or death from 'non-hostile injuries,' which can also include accidents such as negligent discharge of a weapon. In comparison, the Pentagon will release a description of the cause of death -- enemy fire, a land mine, a car crash -- for a soldier killed in action or as a result of an accident." More details are to come, though, as "the Pentagon plans to release the findings of a team sent to Iraq last fall to investigate the mental health of the troops, including suicides."

But we got the WMD, so it's ok.

Posted by Eric at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

Economic Policy Inst: "Bush budget clearly tailored for election year"

Nah, really?

The figure shows selected areas where spending increases proposed by President Bush for the coming fiscal year 2005 are followed by slowdowns or reversals in spending growth. For instance, the Department of Veterans Affairs increases by more than 11% in 2005, but by an annual average of less than 3% from 2006 through 2009. The implied fall in education spending after 2005 is especially troubling in light of the burgeoning cost to the states of implementing the "No Child Left Behind" education guidelines.

The contrast between proposed spending growth in 2005 and the years that follow points to several problems. Under any circumstances, it would make more sense to have a smooth rate of increase in any given area. But even more problematic is that after 2005 the slow rates of increase—and in some cases, decreases—are unrealistic and exaggerate likely budget savings and deficit reduction.

See the handy graph

Posted by Eric at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

Economic Policy Inst: "Bush budget clearly tailored for election year"

Nah, really?

The figure shows selected areas where spending increases proposed by President Bush for the coming fiscal year 2005 are followed by slowdowns or reversals in spending growth. For instance, the Department of Veterans Affairs increases by more than 11% in 2005, but by an annual average of less than 3% from 2006 through 2009. The implied fall in education spending after 2005 is especially troubling in light of the burgeoning cost to the states of implementing the "No Child Left Behind" education guidelines.

The contrast between proposed spending growth in 2005 and the years that follow points to several problems. Under any circumstances, it would make more sense to have a smooth rate of increase in any given area. But even more problematic is that after 2005 the slow rates of increase—and in some cases, decreases—are unrealistic and exaggerate likely budget savings and deficit reduction.

See the handy graph

Posted by Eric at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

Bin Laden Not on "no-fly list"

According to Insight Mag. I'll go out on a limb here, risking all credibility, but I say: PUT HIM ON. Thank you, vote for Hamster, Natural Law Party candidate for President.

Imagine if the world's most notorious fugitive, Osama bin Laden, attempted to board an airliner in the United States. Suppose he were clean-shaven, sporting short hair, wearing a pinstriped business suit and looked like so many other travelers that no suspicions were raised. How far might he get? If he used aliases such as names of family members, he would be nabbed instantly and whisked away for questioning. That's because many of his relatives are on the FBI's secret "no-fly list," according to intelligence sources.

But suppose he boldly decided to use his own name. Would he be cleared to fly? Insight recently learned that scenario was tested at a U.S. airport in the South during January. The result was troubling: America's most-wanted fugitive is cleared to fly. According to airline-security documents obtained by this magazine, the name Osama bin Laden was punched into the computer by an airline official and, remarkably, that name was cleared at the security checkpoint all passengers must pass through before being issued a boarding pass.

Obviously, I don't think Osama bin Laden would be stupid enough - in the very unlikely case he ever boarded an American airline - to use his own name. But it does seem like a silly, ironic oversight.

Posted by Eric at 02:01 AM | Comments (0)

Bin Laden Not on "no-fly list"

According to Insight Mag. I'll go out on a limb here, risking all credibility, but I say: PUT HIM ON. Thank you, vote for Hamster, Natural Law Party candidate for President.

Imagine if the world's most notorious fugitive, Osama bin Laden, attempted to board an airliner in the United States. Suppose he were clean-shaven, sporting short hair, wearing a pinstriped business suit and looked like so many other travelers that no suspicions were raised. How far might he get? If he used aliases such as names of family members, he would be nabbed instantly and whisked away for questioning. That's because many of his relatives are on the FBI's secret "no-fly list," according to intelligence sources.

But suppose he boldly decided to use his own name. Would he be cleared to fly? Insight recently learned that scenario was tested at a U.S. airport in the South during January. The result was troubling: America's most-wanted fugitive is cleared to fly. According to airline-security documents obtained by this magazine, the name Osama bin Laden was punched into the computer by an airline official and, remarkably, that name was cleared at the security checkpoint all passengers must pass through before being issued a boarding pass.

Obviously, I don't think Osama bin Laden would be stupid enough - in the very unlikely case he ever boarded an American airline - to use his own name. But it does seem like a silly, ironic oversight.

Posted by Eric at 02:01 AM | Comments (0)

Hamster Numbers: Environment

From the NRDC:

The Bush administration's budget reveals a ballooning environmental deficit that is growing even greater than the fiscal deficit. The reason for this is the disproportional cuts that have been directed at environmental programs even as overall domestic spending increases. Between FY 2004 and FY 2005 total investments in environmental protection would decrease by $1.9 billion or nearly six percent. Over the next five years, as the loss of purchasing power taxes remaining resources, the shortfall compared to FY 2004 grows dramatically to a total of $7.0 billion.

Posted by Eric at 01:59 AM | Comments (0)

Hamster Numbers: Environment

From the NRDC:

The Bush administration's budget reveals a ballooning environmental deficit that is growing even greater than the fiscal deficit. The reason for this is the disproportional cuts that have been directed at environmental programs even as overall domestic spending increases. Between FY 2004 and FY 2005 total investments in environmental protection would decrease by $1.9 billion or nearly six percent. Over the next five years, as the loss of purchasing power taxes remaining resources, the shortfall compared to FY 2004 grows dramatically to a total of $7.0 billion.

Posted by Eric at 01:59 AM | Comments (0)

Will Hung Receives Record Contract

Even before the real American Idol contestants vie for a recording contract in the finals, William Hung has himself a 25k check. And with no professional training!

Amid cheering fans, eight TV cameras and the Cal men’s volleyball team, UC Berkeley civil engineering major turned overnight sensation William Hung was offered a $25,000 recording contract in Haas Pavilion last night, after yet another infamous rendition of “She Bangs.”

Weeks after his painful television appearance, the American Idol reject was asked to perform during the halftime show of the Cal men’s volleyball game against San Jose State, unaware that record executives and the UC Berkeley administration were planning a surprise of their own.

Surrounded by his own team of six dancers, Hung gave another hip-shaking imitation of Ricky Martin, followed by a standing ovation and a check from a Fuse Networks representative.

However, not all are enjoying the new Asian pop superstar. Is this just another attempt to degrade Asian masculinity?
Hung’s new fame is based on mockery, said junior Garett Ng.

“They’re telling him, ‘Sing “She Bangs,”’ Ng said. “The frats are telling him, sing ‘She Bangs.’”

The mockery around Hung seems to resemble typical movie stereotypes of Asian men, Ng added.

“He’s being used to perpetuate existing stereotypes about his ethnicity that have already been established in Hollywood,” said junior Eugene Kym, adding that most Asian Americans he speaks with share his opinion. “He makes Asians look so stupid."

Posted by Eric at 01:53 AM | Comments (0)

Will Hung Receives Record Contract

Even before the real American Idol contestants vie for a recording contract in the finals, William Hung has himself a 25k check. And with no professional training!

Amid cheering fans, eight TV cameras and the Cal men’s volleyball team, UC Berkeley civil engineering major turned overnight sensation William Hung was offered a $25,000 recording contract in Haas Pavilion last night, after yet another infamous rendition of “She Bangs.”

Weeks after his painful television appearance, the American Idol reject was asked to perform during the halftime show of the Cal men’s volleyball game against San Jose State, unaware that record executives and the UC Berkeley administration were planning a surprise of their own.

Surrounded by his own team of six dancers, Hung gave another hip-shaking imitation of Ricky Martin, followed by a standing ovation and a check from a Fuse Networks representative.

However, not all are enjoying the new Asian pop superstar. Is this just another attempt to degrade Asian masculinity?
Hung’s new fame is based on mockery, said junior Garett Ng.

“They’re telling him, ‘Sing “She Bangs,”’ Ng said. “The frats are telling him, sing ‘She Bangs.’”

The mockery around Hung seems to resemble typical movie stereotypes of Asian men, Ng added.

“He’s being used to perpetuate existing stereotypes about his ethnicity that have already been established in Hollywood,” said junior Eugene Kym, adding that most Asian Americans he speaks with share his opinion. “He makes Asians look so stupid."

Posted by Eric at 01:53 AM | Comments (0)

Evangelicals to Stay Home?

Evangelical say they aren't being properly attended to by the Bush administration:

President Bush left several million evangelical voters "on the table" four years ago and again is having trouble energizing Christian conservatives, prominent leaders on the religious right say.

"It's not just economic conservatives upset by runaway federal spending that he's having trouble with. I think his biggest problem will be social conservatives who are not motivated to work for the ticket and to ensure their fellow Christians get to the polling booth," said Robert H. Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute.

"If there is a rerun of 2000, when an estimated 6 million fewer evangelical Christians voted than in the pivotal year of 1994, then the Bush ticket will be in trouble, especially if there is no [Ralph] Nader alternative to draw Democratic votes away from the Democratic candidate," added Mr. Knight, whose organization is an affiliate of Concerned Women for America (CWA).

So what specifically do they want?
Their list of grievances is long, but right now social conservatives are mad over what many consider the president's failure to strongly condemn illegal homosexual "marriages" being performed in San Francisco under the authority of Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Top religious rights activists have been burning up the telephone lines, sharing what one privately called their "apoplexy" over Mr. Bush's failure to act decisively on the issue, although he has said he would support a constitutional amendment if necessary to ban same-sex "marriages."

They also want tougher, more conservative judges appointed to the bench, with the power of the White House behind the appointments.

Posted by Eric at 01:41 AM | Comments (0)

Evangelicals to Stay Home?

Evangelical say they aren't being properly attended to by the Bush administration:

President Bush left several million evangelical voters "on the table" four years ago and again is having trouble energizing Christian conservatives, prominent leaders on the religious right say.

"It's not just economic conservatives upset by runaway federal spending that he's having trouble with. I think his biggest problem will be social conservatives who are not motivated to work for the ticket and to ensure their fellow Christians get to the polling booth," said Robert H. Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute.

"If there is a rerun of 2000, when an estimated 6 million fewer evangelical Christians voted than in the pivotal year of 1994, then the Bush ticket will be in trouble, especially if there is no [Ralph] Nader alternative to draw Democratic votes away from the Democratic candidate," added Mr. Knight, whose organization is an affiliate of Concerned Women for America (CWA).

So what specifically do they want?
Their list of grievances is long, but right now social conservatives are mad over what many consider the president's failure to strongly condemn illegal homosexual "marriages" being performed in San Francisco under the authority of Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Top religious rights activists have been burning up the telephone lines, sharing what one privately called their "apoplexy" over Mr. Bush's failure to act decisively on the issue, although he has said he would support a constitutional amendment if necessary to ban same-sex "marriages."

They also want tougher, more conservative judges appointed to the bench, with the power of the White House behind the appointments.

Posted by Eric at 01:41 AM | Comments (0)

Majority Want Connecticut Gov John Rowland Out

From the latest Quinnipiac poll, quite a large majority:

Some 67 percent of those surveyed in the latest Quinnipiac (KWIN'-ih-pee-ack) University Poll say Rowland should quit, just under the 68 percent figure from a month ago in the same poll.

Seventy-one percent of the respondents say that Rowland can no longer govern effectively.

Rowland's 24-percent job approval rating hasn't changed since last month's poll.

The governor is under federal and state investigation for accepting gifts and free work on a vacation cottage from politically connected friends, state employees and a state contractor -- and lying about it.

Posted by Eric at 01:34 AM | Comments (0)

Majority Want Connecticut Gov John Rowland Out

From the latest Quinnipiac poll, quite a large majority:

Some 67 percent of those surveyed in the latest Quinnipiac (KWIN'-ih-pee-ack) University Poll say Rowland should quit, just under the 68 percent figure from a month ago in the same poll.

Seventy-one percent of the respondents say that Rowland can no longer govern effectively.

Rowland's 24-percent job approval rating hasn't changed since last month's poll.

The governor is under federal and state investigation for accepting gifts and free work on a vacation cottage from politically connected friends, state employees and a state contractor -- and lying about it.

Posted by Eric at 01:34 AM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2004

Thursday Stories

Matt Bivens. Inspector Bush: He's shocked, shocked! to find lobbyist money in this political establishment.
Mother Jones. Justice a l'Orange: Trailing behind the Bush adminsitration: a growing gaggle of barely suppressed scandals
Bill Berkowitz. Sierra Club shenanigans
Joe Conason. Vile Ann Coulter smears a war hero: Once you've accused half the country of treason, even Max Cleland is fair game
Sidney Blumenthal. Matt Drudge's latest "intern" revelation is the sound of his master's voice
David Talbot. The Salon Interview: Daniel Ellsberg Like John Kerry, he returned from the Vietnam War to become one of its most famous opponents. Now the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers blasts the Bush camp's "obscene" attack on Kerry's patriotism
Salon. Kerry vs. the chicken hawks; John Kerry's band of Vietnam War brothers has the Bush army running for their lives
Anna Greenberg and Stanley Greenberg. True Values: In 1988, Democrats got clobbered in a culture war. Now they're gearing up for a new battle
Robert Collier. Democracy How? Washington makes it sound easy. Iraqis tell a very different story
AP. Man taken off death row, found not guilty
Rutland Herald. New mission: staying a player
WP. Ft. Polk Troops Practiced Their Hoo-ahs for Bush
Miami Herald. ACLU vows to fight ruling that bans gay adoptions
The Wilderness Society. Conservationists Challenge Administration's Leasing Decision in National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska
NYT. Doubts on Bush plan for climate research: Goals are charted, but no new money is made available
Seattle PI. Scientists rip into Bush's policy, charge 'suppression of information'
WP. Suicides in Iraq, Questions at Home: Pentagon Tight-Lipped as Self-Inflicted Deaths Mount in Military
Seattle PI. Dean's movement makes politics fun
WP. Insiders Who Are On the Outs: Dean's Young Backers Had Nothing To Lose; His Washington Defectors Did
NYT. Advocacy Groups Allowed to Raise Unlimited Funds
NYT. Kerry and Edwards Square Off as Dean Abandons Campaign
USA Today. Ex-Enron CEO Skilling faces charges Thursday
USA Today. Forecast on jobs played down
USA Today. President's approval ratings continue to sag
USA Today. What the 'Final 2' are facing to get the nomination
Harold Meyerson. Democrats Break a Taboo
Star Tribune. Howard Dean/He helped define Democrats
Star Tribune. Dean ends his presidential bid
Newsday. Edwards a Hit With Swing Voters
Newsday. Campaigns' Focus Turns to NY
NYT. 2nd Place or Close Wins Are No Longer Edwards Options
Denver Post. Kicker finds acceptance at UNM: Fellow Lobos credit coach's direction, say Hnida 'fit in from day one'
NYT. Colorado Puts Football Coach on Leave
NYT. San Francisco Mayor Exults in Move on Gay Marriage
Ellen Goodman. Forgetting the 'Dad' in NASCAR pitch
Miami Herald. Gay marriage becoming small wedge in campaign-issue pie
Miami Herald. Dean backers in Florida ask: Now what?
Seattle PI. Northwest Dean backers vow to continue activism
LAT. Edwards' Track Record on Trade Has Lane Changes
CNN. Democratic race now a 2-man match

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Thursday Stories

Matt Bivens. Inspector Bush: He's shocked, shocked! to find lobbyist money in this political establishment.
Mother Jones. Justice a l'Orange: Trailing behind the Bush adminsitration: a growing gaggle of barely suppressed scandals
Bill Berkowitz. Sierra Club shenanigans
Joe Conason. Vile Ann Coulter smears a war hero: Once you've accused half the country of treason, even Max Cleland is fair game
Sidney Blumenthal. Matt Drudge's latest "intern" revelation is the sound of his master's voice
David Talbot. The Salon Interview: Daniel Ellsberg Like John Kerry, he returned from the Vietnam War to become one of its most famous opponents. Now the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers blasts the Bush camp's "obscene" attack on Kerry's patriotism
Salon. Kerry vs. the chicken hawks; John Kerry's band of Vietnam War brothers has the Bush army running for their lives
Anna Greenberg and Stanley Greenberg. True Values: In 1988, Democrats got clobbered in a culture war. Now they're gearing up for a new battle
Robert Collier. Democracy How? Washington makes it sound easy. Iraqis tell a very different story
AP. Man taken off death row, found not guilty
Rutland Herald. New mission: staying a player
WP. Ft. Polk Troops Practiced Their Hoo-ahs for Bush
Miami Herald. ACLU vows to fight ruling that bans gay adoptions
The Wilderness Society. Conservationists Challenge Administration's Leasing Decision in National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska
NYT. Doubts on Bush plan for climate research: Goals are charted, but no new money is made available
Seattle PI. Scientists rip into Bush's policy, charge 'suppression of information'
WP. Suicides in Iraq, Questions at Home: Pentagon Tight-Lipped as Self-Inflicted Deaths Mount in Military
Seattle PI. Dean's movement makes politics fun
WP. Insiders Who Are On the Outs: Dean's Young Backers Had Nothing To Lose; His Washington Defectors Did
NYT. Advocacy Groups Allowed to Raise Unlimited Funds
NYT. Kerry and Edwards Square Off as Dean Abandons Campaign
USA Today. Ex-Enron CEO Skilling faces charges Thursday
USA Today. Forecast on jobs played down
USA Today. President's approval ratings continue to sag
USA Today. What the 'Final 2' are facing to get the nomination
Harold Meyerson. Democrats Break a Taboo
Star Tribune. Howard Dean/He helped define Democrats
Star Tribune. Dean ends his presidential bid
Newsday. Edwards a Hit With Swing Voters
Newsday. Campaigns' Focus Turns to NY
NYT. 2nd Place or Close Wins Are No Longer Edwards Options
Denver Post. Kicker finds acceptance at UNM: Fellow Lobos credit coach's direction, say Hnida 'fit in from day one'
NYT. Colorado Puts Football Coach on Leave
NYT. San Francisco Mayor Exults in Move on Gay Marriage
Ellen Goodman. Forgetting the 'Dad' in NASCAR pitch
Miami Herald. Gay marriage becoming small wedge in campaign-issue pie
Miami Herald. Dean backers in Florida ask: Now what?
Seattle PI. Northwest Dean backers vow to continue activism
LAT. Edwards' Track Record on Trade Has Lane Changes
CNN. Democratic race now a 2-man match

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

More Dumb Activist Mayors

Ohhh, all these liberal Democratic mayors trying to force their anti-American agenda on the rest of the country. Rubble Rubble.

Taking a position at odds with many of his fellow Republicans, the openly gay mayor of this city said he supports same-sex marriage.

"I am on the opposite side of this issue _ I understand that _ but, as a gay man, I have to fight for equality," Mayor Daniel Stewart told the Press-Republican of Plattsburgh.

Gay marriage has become a high-profile issue since a Massachusetts court ruled that it is unconstitutional to bar same-sex couples from marriage. With officials in San Francisco expected to marry thousands of same-sex couples this week, President Bush on Wednesday said he was troubled by gay weddings and by the Massachusetts court's decision.

Stewart, 41, said he long preferred civil unions for gay couples over gay marriages. But since he has been mayor, he has performed more than 50 marriages of straight couples.

"I'm able to perform these ceremonies and see the happiness, the excitement and the commitment on the faces of these people getting married, and I realized that I was not allowed to have those same feelings because of my sexual orientation, and that is just wrong," he said.

Posted by Eric at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

More Dumb Activist Mayors

Ohhh, all these liberal Democratic mayors trying to force their anti-American agenda on the rest of the country. Rubble Rubble.

Taking a position at odds with many of his fellow Republicans, the openly gay mayor of this city said he supports same-sex marriage.

"I am on the opposite side of this issue _ I understand that _ but, as a gay man, I have to fight for equality," Mayor Daniel Stewart told the Press-Republican of Plattsburgh.

Gay marriage has become a high-profile issue since a Massachusetts court ruled that it is unconstitutional to bar same-sex couples from marriage. With officials in San Francisco expected to marry thousands of same-sex couples this week, President Bush on Wednesday said he was troubled by gay weddings and by the Massachusetts court's decision.

Stewart, 41, said he long preferred civil unions for gay couples over gay marriages. But since he has been mayor, he has performed more than 50 marriages of straight couples.

"I'm able to perform these ceremonies and see the happiness, the excitement and the commitment on the faces of these people getting married, and I realized that I was not allowed to have those same feelings because of my sexual orientation, and that is just wrong," he said.

Posted by Eric at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

Supporters Losing the Texas Swagger

Bad polling, poor public performances, and all those Bushisms are making some GOP faithful nervous. From Reuters:

Since the beginning of 2004, President Bush (news - web sites) has suffered one political misfire after another, prompting some Republicans to wonder anxiously when the White House political machine will get in gear.

This may have been the worst six weeks of Bush's political career," said Rick Davis, who managed the 2000 presidential bid by Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) which lost to Bush.

In the latest embarrassment to hit the White House, the administration on Wednesday distanced itself from its own buoyant employment forecast that had predicted 2.6 million new jobs this year.

That followed red faces over a statement by Gregory Mankiw, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, who described the process by which hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs are migrating overseas as both natural and good.

With many Americans extremely anxious over their job security, that statement seemed particularly callous and politically ill-judged.

"For whatever reason, the White House has hit a rough patch and can't seem to get its political machinery in motion," said Keith Appell, a Republican political consultant ... The White House allowed a controversy over Bush's service in the National Guard to grab headlines for two weeks. And the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Bush's main justification for last year's war, promises to be a continuing embarrassment.

"It seems to me that Bush's people were so busy raising their incredible war chest that they didn't focus on reaching back to their political base and to the people," said K.B. Forbes, a former spokesman for Republican presidential candidates Steve Forbes (news - web sites) and Pat Buchanan (news - web sites).

Posted by Eric at 05:42 PM | Comments (0)

Supporters Losing the Texas Swagger

Bad polling, poor public performances, and all those Bushisms are making some GOP faithful nervous. From Reuters:

Since the beginning of 2004, President Bush (news - web sites) has suffered one political misfire after another, prompting some Republicans to wonder anxiously when the White House political machine will get in gear.

This may have been the worst six weeks of Bush's political career," said Rick Davis, who managed the 2000 presidential bid by Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) which lost to Bush.

In the latest embarrassment to hit the White House, the administration on Wednesday distanced itself from its own buoyant employment forecast that had predicted 2.6 million new jobs this year.

That followed red faces over a statement by Gregory Mankiw, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, who described the process by which hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs are migrating overseas as both natural and good.

With many Americans extremely anxious over their job security, that statement seemed particularly callous and politically ill-judged.

"For whatever reason, the White House has hit a rough patch and can't seem to get its political machinery in motion," said Keith Appell, a Republican political consultant ... The White House allowed a controversy over Bush's service in the National Guard to grab headlines for two weeks. And the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Bush's main justification for last year's war, promises to be a continuing embarrassment.

"It seems to me that Bush's people were so busy raising their incredible war chest that they didn't focus on reaching back to their political base and to the people," said K.B. Forbes, a former spokesman for Republican presidential candidates Steve Forbes (news - web sites) and Pat Buchanan (news - web sites).

Posted by Eric at 05:42 PM | Comments (0)

Mayor Daley "No Problem" Issuing Gay Marriage Licenses

Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago may do his part to assure future Ben-J LOs. Sun Times:

Mayor Daley said Wednesday he would have "no problem" with County Clerk David Orr issuing marriage licenses to gay couples -- and Orr said he's open to a San Francisco-style protest if a consensus can be built.

"They're your doctors, your lawyers, your journalists, your politicians," the mayor said. "They're someone's son or daughter. They're someone's mother or father. . . . I've seen people of the same sex adopt children, have families. [They're] great parents.

"Some people have a difference of opinion -- that only a man and a woman can get married. But in the long run, we have to understand what they're saying. They love each other just as much as anyone else.''

A devout Catholic, Daley scoffed at the suggestion that gay marriage would somehow undermine the institution of marriage between a man and a woman.

"Marriage has been undermined by divorce, so don't tell me about marriage. You're not going to lecture me about marriage. People should look at their own life and look in their own mirror. Marriage has been undermined for a number of years if you look at the facts and figures on it. Don't blame the gay and lesbian, transgender and transsexual community. Please don't blame them for it," he said.

Meanwhile, SF has sued California over the state gay-marriage prohibition.

Posted by Eric at 05:23 PM | Comments (0)

Mayor Daley "No Problem" Issuing Gay Marriage Licenses

Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago may do his part to assure future Ben-J LOs. Sun Times:

Mayor Daley said Wednesday he would have "no problem" with County Clerk David Orr issuing marriage licenses to gay couples -- and Orr said he's open to a San Francisco-style protest if a consensus can be built.

"They're your doctors, your lawyers, your journalists, your politicians," the mayor said. "They're someone's son or daughter. They're someone's mother or father. . . . I've seen people of the same sex adopt children, have families. [They're] great parents.

"Some people have a difference of opinion -- that only a man and a woman can get married. But in the long run, we have to understand what they're saying. They love each other just as much as anyone else.''

A devout Catholic, Daley scoffed at the suggestion that gay marriage would somehow undermine the institution of marriage between a man and a woman.

"Marriage has been undermined by divorce, so don't tell me about marriage. You're not going to lecture me about marriage. People should look at their own life and look in their own mirror. Marriage has been undermined for a number of years if you look at the facts and figures on it. Don't blame the gay and lesbian, transgender and transsexual community. Please don't blame them for it," he said.

Meanwhile, SF has sued California over the state gay-marriage prohibition.

Posted by Eric at 05:23 PM | Comments (0)

AFL-CIO Backs Kerry

Today, in a public rally right across from where I work, the AFL-CIO made it official. The AFL-CIO is comprised of 64 unions representing more than 13 million U.S. workers. AP:

"John Kerry will lead us in our fight to make creating good jobs America's number one priority," Sweeney said, his focus on ousting President Bush in November.

All the talk of unity was in sharp contrast to the fate of organized labor in recent months. Unable to settle on one candidate, the AFL-CIO withheld its endorsement late last year, a reflection of the fissures among the unions.

More than 20 of the international unions backed Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri, the presidential candidate who had carried labor's water in Congress for nearly three decades. But the largest unions -- the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union -- stunned the Democratic race by endorsing Howard Dean.

When the first votes were counted in Iowa, labor proved to be the big loser -- along with Gephardt, who finished a poor fourth and exited the race, and Dean, who was a disappointing third. The political influence of labor and its voter-turnout operations appeared to be waning.

The labor vote has been critical to the Democrats, with union members voting for Al Gore over George Bush by about a 2-to-1 margin in 2000, according to exit polls. Those in labor households made up a quarter of the vote, and they went for Gore by almost as big a margin.

The AFL-CIO website has an extensive list of reasons why they're supporting Kerry. Among them:
One of the first priorities of a John Kerry White House will be to restore the nearly 3 million private sector jobs—including some 2.8 million manufacturing jobs—that have disappeared during the Bush administration. Kerry backs polices that will strengthen the middle class: He wants to protect the increases in the child tax credit, the reduced marriage penalty and the new tax bracket that helps people save $350 on their first level of income. Kerry wants to give more tax breaks to the middle class with new tax credits on health care and college tuition. Kerry says one way to shore up our nation's industrial base is with a new tax credit to encourage manufacturers to remain in this country and expand their operations in the United States. Kerry has proposed creating jobs through a new manufacturing jobs credit, by investing in new energy industries, restoring technology and stopping layoffs in education. Kerry believes one of the surest steps to job creation is focusing federal infrastructure resources on critically needed projects such as building roads and bridges and water and sewer systems and upgrading the nation’s transportation systems. Kerry also calls for a new State Tax Relief and Education Fund to help states overcome the nearly $100 billion in state budget deficits created by Bush administration policies that have forced states to cut public safety, education and health care, lay off workers and raise taxes and fees. A Kerry administration will fight to save overtime rights, close the pay gap between men and women wage earners and raise the minimum wage.

Posted by Eric at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)

AFL-CIO Backs Kerry

Today, in a public rally right across from where I work, the AFL-CIO made it official. The AFL-CIO is comprised of 64 unions representing more than 13 million U.S. workers. AP:

"John Kerry will lead us in our fight to make creating good jobs America's number one priority," Sweeney said, his focus on ousting President Bush in November.

All the talk of unity was in sharp contrast to the fate of organized labor in recent months. Unable to settle on one candidate, the AFL-CIO withheld its endorsement late last year, a reflection of the fissures among the unions.

More than 20 of the international unions backed Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri, the presidential candidate who had carried labor's water in Congress for nearly three decades. But the largest unions -- the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union -- stunned the Democratic race by endorsing Howard Dean.

When the first votes were counted in Iowa, labor proved to be the big loser -- along with Gephardt, who finished a poor fourth and exited the race, and Dean, who was a disappointing third. The political influence of labor and its voter-turnout operations appeared to be waning.

The labor vote has been critical to the Democrats, with union members voting for Al Gore over George Bush by about a 2-to-1 margin in 2000, according to exit polls. Those in labor households made up a quarter of the vote, and they went for Gore by almost as big a margin.

The AFL-CIO website has an extensive list of reasons why they're supporting Kerry. Among them:
One of the first priorities of a John Kerry White House will be to restore the nearly 3 million private sector jobs—including some 2.8 million manufacturing jobs—that have disappeared during the Bush administration. Kerry backs polices that will strengthen the middle class: He wants to protect the increases in the child tax credit, the reduced marriage penalty and the new tax bracket that helps people save $350 on their first level of income. Kerry wants to give more tax breaks to the middle class with new tax credits on health care and college tuition. Kerry says one way to shore up our nation's industrial base is with a new tax credit to encourage manufacturers to remain in this country and expand their operations in the United States. Kerry has proposed creating jobs through a new manufacturing jobs credit, by investing in new energy industries, restoring technology and stopping layoffs in education. Kerry believes one of the surest steps to job creation is focusing federal infrastructure resources on critically needed projects such as building roads and bridges and water and sewer systems and upgrading the nation’s transportation systems. Kerry also calls for a new State Tax Relief and Education Fund to help states overcome the nearly $100 billion in state budget deficits created by Bush administration policies that have forced states to cut public safety, education and health care, lay off workers and raise taxes and fees. A Kerry administration will fight to save overtime rights, close the pay gap between men and women wage earners and raise the minimum wage.

Posted by Eric at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)

Scott Said, Bush Said

From Center for American Progress:

"This President is focused on what we are doing to create as robust an environment as possible for job creation – not in crunching numbers."

- Scott McClellan, 02/18/04

VERSUS

“It is important for you all to understand and for our fellow Americans to understand, the tax relief I have proposed and will push for until enacted will create 1.4 million new jobs by the end of 2004.”

- President Bush, 04/18/03

Posted by Eric at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

Scott Said, Bush Said

From Center for American Progress:

"This President is focused on what we are doing to create as robust an environment as possible for job creation – not in crunching numbers."

- Scott McClellan, 02/18/04

VERSUS

“It is important for you all to understand and for our fellow Americans to understand, the tax relief I have proposed and will push for until enacted will create 1.4 million new jobs by the end of 2004.”

- President Bush, 04/18/03

Posted by Eric at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

Two more American soldiers killed in Iraq

On Thursday, from AP:

Insurgents killed two American soldiers Thursday in a roadside bombing west of Baghdad as the United States was reportedly ready to make major changes in its blueprint for handing over power to a new Iraqi government.

The bombing occurred near Khaldiyah, 50 miles west of the capital, according to the U.S. command. Two soldiers from Task Force All-American were killed, along with at least one Iraqi, the command said. One U.S. soldier was wounded.

Thursday at an American convoy in Khaldiyah but the projectile missed, witnesses said.

Those deaths brought to 545 the number of American service members who have died since President Bush launched the Iraq war on March 20. Most of the deaths have occurred after Bush declared an end to active combat May 1.

Posted by Eric at 08:47 AM | Comments (0)

Two more American soldiers killed in Iraq

On Thursday, from AP:

Insurgents killed two American soldiers Thursday in a roadside bombing west of Baghdad as the United States was reportedly ready to make major changes in its blueprint for handing over power to a new Iraqi government.

The bombing occurred near Khaldiyah, 50 miles west of the capital, according to the U.S. command. Two soldiers from Task Force All-American were killed, along with at least one Iraqi, the command said. One U.S. soldier was wounded.

Thursday at an American convoy in Khaldiyah but the projectile missed, witnesses said.

Those deaths brought to 545 the number of American service members who have died since President Bush launched the Iraq war on March 20. Most of the deaths have occurred after Bush declared an end to active combat May 1.

Posted by Eric at 08:47 AM | Comments (0)

Conan Apologizes to the Quebecois

I can now finally sleep knowing that justice has been served.

Late-night comedian Conan O'Brien sought to defuse a flap over a recent segment poking fun at the French-Canadian province of Quebec by issuing a self-deprecating "apology" on Tuesday in French.

"People of Quebec, I'm sorry," the host of NBC's "Late Night" show said in English, as a translator recited in French, with English subtitles, "People of Quebec, I'm an albino jackass."

"We meant no harm with our comedy piece the other night," O'Brien continued, "translated" into French as: "The other night, I wet the bed like a little girl."

"I was a stranger in a strange land and I was very insensitive," he went on, with the subtitle: "I have a small penis."

Posted by Eric at 04:54 AM | Comments (0)

Conan Apologizes to the Quebecois

I can now finally sleep knowing that justice has been served.

Late-night comedian Conan O'Brien sought to defuse a flap over a recent segment poking fun at the French-Canadian province of Quebec by issuing a self-deprecating "apology" on Tuesday in French.

"People of Quebec, I'm sorry," the host of NBC's "Late Night" show said in English, as a translator recited in French, with English subtitles, "People of Quebec, I'm an albino jackass."

"We meant no harm with our comedy piece the other night," O'Brien continued, "translated" into French as: "The other night, I wet the bed like a little girl."

"I was a stranger in a strange land and I was very insensitive," he went on, with the subtitle: "I have a small penis."

Posted by Eric at 04:54 AM | Comments (0)

$7 trillion!

That's alright, I'll take care of it ... but JUST THIS TIME.

The U.S. government’s national debt — the accumulation of past budget shortfalls — totaled more than $7 trillion for the first time as of Tuesday, according to a Treasury Department report.

In its daily financial statement released Wednesday, the Treasury said the U.S. debt subject to a congressionally set limit totaled $7.015 trillion, up from $6.983 trillion Friday. The government was closed Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.

While passing the $7 trillion mark itself has little practical significance, not unlike a car’s odometer rolling over, it may signal some tough political times for President Bush’s administration on fiscal policy.

The government debt ceiling stands only a few hundred billion dollars ahead at $7.384 trillion, and the Treasury would need Congress’s blessing to borrow beyond that. Treasury officials say they expect the limit to be hit sometime between June and October.

And in this election year, Democrats may also use the $7 trillion figure to assail Bush’s tax policy and the federal deficits on his watch. Budget shortfalls are met by borrowing. In 2003, the federal budget gap was a record $374.25 billion and a larger one is expected this fiscal year. Bush blames the deficits on a sluggish economy and needed spending on security and defense.

7 trillion!

Posted by Eric at 04:52 AM | Comments (0)

$7 trillion!

That's alright, I'll take care of it ... but JUST THIS TIME.

The U.S. government’s national debt — the accumulation of past budget shortfalls — totaled more than $7 trillion for the first time as of Tuesday, according to a Treasury Department report.

In its daily financial statement released Wednesday, the Treasury said the U.S. debt subject to a congressionally set limit totaled $7.015 trillion, up from $6.983 trillion Friday. The government was closed Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.

While passing the $7 trillion mark itself has little practical significance, not unlike a car’s odometer rolling over, it may signal some tough political times for President Bush’s administration on fiscal policy.

The government debt ceiling stands only a few hundred billion dollars ahead at $7.384 trillion, and the Treasury would need Congress’s blessing to borrow beyond that. Treasury officials say they expect the limit to be hit sometime between June and October.

And in this election year, Democrats may also use the $7 trillion figure to assail Bush’s tax policy and the federal deficits on his watch. Budget shortfalls are met by borrowing. In 2003, the federal budget gap was a record $374.25 billion and a larger one is expected this fiscal year. Bush blames the deficits on a sluggish economy and needed spending on security and defense.

7 trillion!

Posted by Eric at 04:52 AM | Comments (0)

Hamster Numbers: Global Warming

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists:

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the mean surface temperature of the earth has increased by about 1.1º F (0.6°Celsius).

Over the last 40 years, which is the period with most reliable data, the temperature increased by about 0.5 º F (0.2-0.3°Celsius).

Warming in the 20th century is greater than at any time during the past 400-600 years.

Seven of the ten warmest years in the 20th century occurred in the 1990s. 1998, with global temperatures spiking due to one of the strongest El Niños on record, was the hottest year since reliable instrumental temperature measurements began.

Posted by Eric at 04:40 AM | Comments (0)

Hamster Numbers: Global Warming

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists:

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the mean surface temperature of the earth has increased by about 1.1º F (0.6°Celsius).

Over the last 40 years, which is the period with most reliable data, the temperature increased by about 0.5 º F (0.2-0.3°Celsius).

Warming in the 20th century is greater than at any time during the past 400-600 years.

Seven of the ten warmest years in the 20th century occurred in the 1990s. 1998, with global temperatures spiking due to one of the strongest El Niños on record, was the hottest year since reliable instrumental temperature measurements began.

Posted by Eric at 04:40 AM | Comments (0)

Nobel Laureates, National Medal of Science Recipients, and Other Leading Researchers Call for End to Scientific Abuses by Bush

"Nobel laureates, leading medical experts, former federal agency directors and university chairs and presidents" accused the Bush administration of having "suppressed and distorted scientific analysis from federal agencies, and taken actions that have undermined the quality of scientific advisory panels." In their press release:

One example cited in the statement and report involves the suppression of an EPA study that found the bipartisan Senate Clear Air bill would do more to reduce mercury contamination in fish and prevent more deaths than the administration's proposed Clear Skies Act. “This is akin to the White House directing the National Weather Service to alter a hurricane forecast because they want everyone to think we have clear skies ahead,” said Kevin Knobloch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists “The hurricane is still coming, but without factual information no one will be ready for it.”

Comparing President Bush with his father, George H.W. Bush and former president Richard M. Nixon, the statement warned that had these former presidents similarly dismissed science in favor of political ends, over 200,000 deaths and millions of respiratory and cardiovascular disease cases would not have been prevented with the signing of the original Clean Air Act and the 1990 amendments to that Act.

The statement demands that the Bush administration’s “distortion of scientific knowledge for partisan political ends must cease” and calls for Congressional oversight hearings, guaranteed public access to government scientific studies and other measures to prevent such abuses in the future. The statement further calls on the scientific, engineering and medical communities to work together to reestablish scientific integrity in the policymaking process.

A PDF of their report can be found here.

Posted by Eric at 04:37 AM | Comments (0)

Nobel Laureates, National Medal of Science Recipients, and Other Leading Researchers Call for End to Scientific Abuses by Bush

"Nobel laureates, leading medical experts, former federal agency directors and university chairs and presidents" accused the Bush administration of having "suppressed and distorted scientific analysis from federal agencies, and taken actions that have undermined the quality of scientific advisory panels." In their press release:

One example cited in the statement and report involves the suppression of an EPA study that found the bipartisan Senate Clear Air bill would do more to reduce mercury contamination in fish and prevent more deaths than the administration's proposed Clear Skies Act. “This is akin to the White House directing the National Weather Service to alter a hurricane forecast because they want everyone to think we have clear skies ahead,” said Kevin Knobloch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists “The hurricane is still coming, but without factual information no one will be ready for it.”

Comparing President Bush with his father, George H.W. Bush and former president Richard M. Nixon, the statement warned that had these former presidents similarly dismissed science in favor of political ends, over 200,000 deaths and millions of respiratory and cardiovascular disease cases would not have been prevented with the signing of the original Clean Air Act and the 1990 amendments to that Act.

The statement demands that the Bush administration’s “distortion of scientific knowledge for partisan political ends must cease” and calls for Congressional oversight hearings, guaranteed public access to government scientific studies and other measures to prevent such abuses in the future. The statement further calls on the scientific, engineering and medical communities to work together to reestablish scientific integrity in the policymaking process.

A PDF of their report can be found here.

Posted by Eric at 04:37 AM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2004

Wed Stories

AJC. Halliburton's welcome worn out
John Pearce. U.S.Third Parties Harm Their Own Causes
Ruth Rosen. 'We're already married'
Robert Kuttner. Dean's chance to be a hero
BGlobe. Wis. Showing Is 'Clear Message,' Edwards Says
WP. Kentucky Voters Send Democrat To Congress
AP. Judge Says Gay Weddings Might Violate Law
CNN. Democrats on Course for More Competition
WP. Democrats on Course for More Competition
NYT. Competition Back in Race
NYT. Third-Placed Dean Vows to Fight On
Mother Jones. Fair Trade's Front Man: Coldplay's Chris Martin has chosen not to live inside the bubble of his success
Micah L. Sifr. Tripping on Internet Populism
Seattle PI. A different kind of green for SUVs
Joe Conason. Why was it OK to write about George H.W. Bush's alleged affairs in 1992, while bashing Drudge's scandal-mongering today? Because the right still uses sex rumors to smear Democrats while protecting its own adulterers
Steven Rosenfeld. 600,000 Democratic Seeds: The fate of Howard Dean's organization will be of historic importance for progressives.

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Wed Stories

AJC. Halliburton's welcome worn out
John Pearce. U.S.Third Parties Harm Their Own Causes
Ruth Rosen. 'We're already married'
Robert Kuttner. Dean's chance to be a hero
BGlobe. Wis. Showing Is 'Clear Message,' Edwards Says
WP. Kentucky Voters Send Democrat To Congress
AP. Judge Says Gay Weddings Might Violate Law
CNN. Democrats on Course for More Competition
WP. Democrats on Course for More Competition
NYT. Competition Back in Race
NYT. Third-Placed Dean Vows to Fight On
Mother Jones. Fair Trade's Front Man: Coldplay's Chris Martin has chosen not to live inside the bubble of his success
Micah L. Sifr. Tripping on Internet Populism
Seattle PI. A different kind of green for SUVs
Joe Conason. Why was it OK to write about George H.W. Bush's alleged affairs in 1992, while bashing Drudge's scandal-mongering today? Because the right still uses sex rumors to smear Democrats while protecting its own adulterers
Steven Rosenfeld. 600,000 Democratic Seeds: The fate of Howard Dean's organization will be of historic importance for progressives.

Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Kerry and Edwards Now Ahead of Bush

Granted, early polls don't mean much, but they can be used by the campaigns of Edwards and Kerry as 'I'm electable' evidence. Also, this is a large lead (double digits for both). From the AP:

Both John Kerry and John Edwards are ahead of President Bush by double digits when matched against him in hypothetical elections, says a poll released Wednesday.

Kerry, the Democratic front-runner and a Massachusetts senator, leads Bush by 55 percent to 43 percent among likely voters, according to the CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll. Edwards, the North Carolina senator who is challenging Kerry, leads Bush by 54 percent to 44 percent.

The poll comes at a time that both Kerry and Edwards have been highly visible as they compete for the Democratic presidential nomination. Bush has been defending himself on his National Guard service and his Iraq policy after an adviser acknowledged he doesn't believe weapons of mass destruction existed.

Posted by Eric at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

Kerry and Edwards Now Ahead of Bush

Granted, early polls don't mean much, but they can be used by the campaigns of Edwards and Kerry as 'I'm electable' evidence. Also, this is a large lead (double digits for both). From the AP:

Both John Kerry and John Edwards are ahead of President Bush by double digits when matched against him in hypothetical elections, says a poll released Wednesday.

Kerry, the Democratic front-runner and a Massachusetts senator, leads Bush by 55 percent to 43 percent among likely voters, according to the CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll. Edwards, the North Carolina senator who is challenging Kerry, leads Bush by 54 percent to 44 percent.

The poll comes at a time that both Kerry and Edwards have been highly visible as they compete for the Democratic presidential nomination. Bush has been defending himself on his National Guard service and his Iraq policy after an adviser acknowledged he doesn't believe weapons of mass destruction existed.

Posted by Eric at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

How Wash Post Handles Rumors

At least, according to the Post's Dana Milbank on Fresh Air, courtesy of Romenesko:

NPR.org (audio)
On Wednesday's "Fresh Air," Terry Gross asked Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank: "So, when there's an allegation about an affair or a personal thing like that, the Washington Post decides to investigate a little and see if there's anything there before deciding whether it's worthy of coverage or not?" MILBANK'S RESPONSE: "Yes, of course. The typical way these rumors wind up in the mainstream is they wind up on the Internet, then they wind up in the British publications, which seem to have a lower standard of accuracy. Then they make it into the American tabloids market, like the New York Post, and eventually it filters into the mainstream. If there's accuracy to the rumor then of course we're going to be covering it. If there's no accuracy to the rumor, most likely we'll do it as we did this week, and that is have our media writer write about everybody else writing about it."

Posted by Eric at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)

How Wash Post Handles Rumors

At least, according to the Post's Dana Milbank on Fresh Air, courtesy of Romenesko:

NPR.org (audio)
On Wednesday's "Fresh Air," Terry Gross asked Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank: "So, when there's an allegation about an affair or a personal thing like that, the Washington Post decides to investigate a little and see if there's anything there before deciding whether it's worthy of coverage or not?" MILBANK'S RESPONSE: "Yes, of course. The typical way these rumors wind up in the mainstream is they wind up on the Internet, then they wind up in the British publications, which seem to have a lower standard of accuracy. Then they make it into the American tabloids market, like the New York Post, and eventually it filters into the mainstream. If there's accuracy to the rumor then of course we're going to be covering it. If there's no accuracy to the rumor, most likely we'll do it as we did this week, and that is have our media writer write about everybody else writing about it."

Posted by Eric at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)

Bush Deeply Troubled by Marrying Gays

According to recent statement from the White House. AP:

The White House says today's Massachusetts court ruling on gay marriage is "deeply troubling."

And it's again raising the possibility of a constituional amendment barring same-sex marriages.

The state's highest court has found that civil unions aren't good enough -- equal marriage rights for gay couples are what's called for under the Massachusetts constitution.

Press Secretary Scott McClellan says the White House is reviewing the decision.

But he says it's just the kind of meddling by "activist" judges President Bush warned about in his State of the Union speech. Bush said if such rulings continue, a constitutional amendment may be needed.

Posted by Eric at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)

Bush Deeply Troubled by Marrying Gays

According to recent statement from the White House. AP:

The White House says today's Massachusetts court ruling on gay marriage is "deeply troubling."

And it's again raising the possibility of a constituional amendment barring same-sex marriages.

The state's highest court has found that civil unions aren't good enough -- equal marriage rights for gay couples are what's called for under the Massachusetts constitution.

Press Secretary Scott McClellan says the White House is reviewing the decision.

But he says it's just the kind of meddling by "activist" judges President Bush warned about in his State of the Union speech. Bush said if such rulings continue, a constitutional amendment may be needed.

Posted by Eric at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)

Dean Officially Ends Campaign


To make the announcement at 1pm on TV.

Here's what he just posted on his blog

Today my candidacy may come to an end--but our campaign for change is not over.

I want to thank each and every person who has supported this campaign. Over the last year, you have reached out to neighbors, friends, family and colleagues--building one American at a time the greatest grassroots campaign presidential politics has ever seen. I will never forget the work and the heart that you put into our campaign.

In the coming weeks, we will launching a new initiative to continue the campaign you helped begin. Please continue to come to www.deanforamerica.com for updates and news as our new initiative develops. There is much work still to be done, and today is not an end--it is just the beginning.

This Party and this country needs change, and you have already begun that process. I want you to think about how far we have come. The truth is: change is tough. There is enormous institutional pressure in our country against change. There is enormous institutional pressure in Washington against change, in the Democratic Party against change. Yet, you have already started to change the Party and together we have transformed this race. Along the way, we’ve engaged hundreds of thousands of new Americans in the political process, as witnessed by this year’s record participation in the primaries and caucuses.

The fight that we began can and must continue. Although my candidacy for president may end today, the most important goal remains defeating George W. Bush in November, and I hope that you will join me in doing everything we can to support the Democrats this fall. From the earliest days of our campaign, I have said that the power to change Washington rests not in my hands, but in yours. Always remember, you have the power to take our country back.

Posted by Eric at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

Dean Officially Ends Campaign


To make the announcement at 1pm on TV.

Here's what he just posted on his blog

Today my candidacy may come to an end--but our campaign for change is not over.

I want to thank each and every person who has supported this campaign. Over the last year, you have reached out to neighbors, friends, family and colleagues--building one American at a time the greatest grassroots campaign presidential politics has ever seen. I will never forget the work and the heart that you put into our campaign.

In the coming weeks, we will launching a new initiative to continue the campaign you helped begin. Please continue to come to www.deanforamerica.com for updates and news as our new initiative develops. There is much work still to be done, and today is not an end--it is just the beginning.

This Party and this country needs change, and you have already begun that process. I want you to think about how far we have come. The truth is: change is tough. There is enormous institutional pressure in our country against change. There is enormous institutional pressure in Washington against change, in the Democratic Party against change. Yet, you have already started to change the Party and together we have transformed this race. Along the way, we’ve engaged hundreds of thousands of new Americans in the political process, as witnessed by this year’s record participation in the primaries and caucuses.

The fight that we began can and must continue. Although my candidacy for president may end today, the most important goal remains defeating George W. Bush in November, and I hope that you will join me in doing everything we can to support the Democrats this fall. From the earliest days of our campaign, I have said that the power to change Washington rests not in my hands, but in yours. Always remember, you have the power to take our country back.

Posted by Eric at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

Dean Gone, But Still on Ballot

According to a top aide, Gov. Dean will:

Howard Dean decided to essentially end his presidential bid Tuesday, according to a top aide, after he placed a distant third in the Wisconsin primary, his 17th straight loss at the polls.

Though Dean is not going to formally drop out of the race, he is going to stop campaigning, the aide said. The move would allow his supporters to continue to vote for him in the upcoming primaries and have a say at the Democratic National Convention in July.

The former Vermont governor is scheduled to announce his decision today at a local hotel.

Posted by Eric at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

Dean Gone, But Still on Ballot

According to a top aide, Gov. Dean will:

Howard Dean decided to essentially end his presidential bid Tuesday, according to a top aide, after he placed a distant third in the Wisconsin primary, his 17th straight loss at the polls.

Though Dean is not going to formally drop out of the race, he is going to stop campaigning, the aide said. The move would allow his supporters to continue to vote for him in the upcoming primaries and have a say at the Democratic National Convention in July.

The former Vermont governor is scheduled to announce his decision today at a local hotel.

Posted by Eric at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

Edwards Plays on Momentum / Grassroots

In his latest campaign email:

Less than a week ago, we were 37 points behind John Kerry in Wisconsin. Today we finished within a few points of him. In just a few days, we cut Kerry's lead by 30 points!!

This campaign, this movement is catching fire across America for a lot of reasons.

Voters are tired of negative politics, tired of seeing their jobs shipped overseas, and above all tired of George W. Bush in the White House. People are ready for an optimistic vision of America, and they want a candidate who can fight George Bush everywhere in America and win.

We had a great week in Wisconsin with major endorsements, huge events and great opportunities to show voters the differences between the candidates.

But in the end, I owe this victory to supporters like you. We had thousands of people in Wisconsin and across the country calling voters to get them to the polls. We've had more than 18,000 supporters like you donate online since we caught fire in Iowa.

Supporters like you have stuck through this campaign during the lean times, when national polls had us in single digits, and when the media were ready to anoint one candidate--then another--as the presumptive nominee. Now look how things have changed. We're beating Bush in head-to-head polls, and surging in a neck-and-neck battle for the nomination.

I will never forget what you did to get us to this point, and now I need your help to push on to victory.

Wisconsin proved that this is a two-man race and that American voters are hungry for a candidate who can beat Bush with an optimistic message of hope and opportunity.

Posted by Eric at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

Edwards Plays on Momentum / Grassroots

In his latest campaign email:

Less than a week ago, we were 37 points behind John Kerry in Wisconsin. Today we finished within a few points of him. In just a few days, we cut Kerry's lead by 30 points!!

This campaign, this movement is catching fire across America for a lot of reasons.

Voters are tired of negative politics, tired of seeing their jobs shipped overseas, and above all tired of George W. Bush in the White House. People are ready for an optimistic vision of America, and they want a candidate who can fight George Bush everywhere in America and win.

We had a great week in Wisconsin with major endorsements, huge events and great opportunities to show voters the differences between the candidates.

But in the end, I owe this victory to supporters like you. We had thousands of people in Wisconsin and across the country calling voters to get them to the polls. We've had more than 18,000 supporters like you donate online since we caught fire in Iowa.

Supporters like you have stuck through this campaign during the lean times, when national polls had us in single digits, and when the media were ready to anoint one candidate--then another--as the presumptive nominee. Now look how things have changed. We're beating Bush in head-to-head polls, and surging in a neck-and-neck battle for the nomination.

I will never forget what you did to get us to this point, and now I need your help to push on to victory.

Wisconsin proved that this is a two-man race and that American voters are hungry for a candidate who can beat Bush with an optimistic message of hope and opportunity.

Posted by Eric at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

The CBS Prognosticator

As has been noted on Atrios, and a Dean site, a CBS affiliate in Jacksonville, Florida posted a Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News wire story entitled, "Dean's Campaign Hit with Another Blow after Wisconsin Loss" on its website. Only problem? It was 8:42am on Tuesday. CJR.org:

"I'm really upset about it," said Susan Adams Loyd, Vice President and General Manager at CBS 47. She blamed an automatic feed from Knight-Ridder, and said the station removed the story as soon as it was discovered on its website.

It's common practice for reporters, particularly those at wire services, to try to beat their deadlines by cranking out pieces in advance based on their expectations.

But the snafu exposed to the public, for a few brief moments, one of the fundamental flaws of campaign journalism: that storylines are written long before the stories themselves actually happen, and that political reporters are often more reliant on conventional wisdom than reality in putting together their coverage.

Posted by Eric at 01:49 AM | Comments (0)

The CBS Prognosticator

As has been noted on Atrios, and a Dean site, a CBS affiliate in Jacksonville, Florida posted a Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News wire story entitled, "Dean's Campaign Hit with Another Blow after Wisconsin Loss" on its website. Only problem? It was 8:42am on Tuesday. CJR.org:

"I'm really upset about it," said Susan Adams Loyd, Vice President and General Manager at CBS 47. She blamed an automatic feed from Knight-Ridder, and said the station removed the story as soon as it was discovered on its website.

It's common practice for reporters, particularly those at wire services, to try to beat their deadlines by cranking out pieces in advance based on their expectations.

But the snafu exposed to the public, for a few brief moments, one of the fundamental flaws of campaign journalism: that storylines are written long before the stories themselves actually happen, and that political reporters are often more reliant on conventional wisdom than reality in putting together their coverage.

Posted by Eric at 01:49 AM | Comments (0)

Daily Numbers: Insurance

  • "9.2 million children in America had no insurance during 2001. That's 12 percent of children in America without health insurance!"
  • "30 to 40 percent of people who lose their jobs also lose health insurance."
  • "Just 330,000 people nationwide would be covered through Bush's plan, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That's just 0.8 percent of the 41.2 million Americans without health insurance"

    -DNC

    Posted by Eric at 01:25 AM | Comments (0)

    Daily Numbers: Insurance

  • "9.2 million children in America had no insurance during 2001. That's 12 percent of children in America without health insurance!"
  • "30 to 40 percent of people who lose their jobs also lose health insurance."
  • "Just 330,000 people nationwide would be covered through Bush's plan, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That's just 0.8 percent of the 41.2 million Americans without health insurance"

    -DNC

    Posted by Eric at 01:25 AM | Comments (0)

    Blog Awards

    The Koufax Awards were released on the Wampum weblog the other day, and the winners are as follows:

    Best Blog. Atrios.
    Best Writing. Whiskey Bar.
    Best Post. What a Tangled Web We Weave by Whiskey Bar.
    Best Series. Rush, Newspeak and Facism from David Neiwert.
    Best Single Issue Blog. Talk Left.
    Best Group Blog. Daily Kos.
    Most Humorous Blog. TBogg.
    Most Humorous Post. Preznit Giv Me Turkee by Atrios.
    Most Deserving of Wider Recognition. South Knox Bubba.
    Best New Blog. DNC Kicking Ass.
    Best Expert Blog. Juan Cole.
    Best Commenter. John Emerson.
    Best Non-Liberal Blog. Tacitus.
    Best Design. Daily Kos.
    Best Special Effects. Uggabugga.

    Congrats.

    Posted by Eric at 01:16 AM | Comments (0)

    Blog Awards

    The Koufax Awards were released on the Wampum weblog the other day, and the winners are as follows:

    Best Blog. Atrios.
    Best Writing. Whiskey Bar.
    Best Post. What a Tangled Web We Weave by Whiskey Bar.
    Best Series. Rush, Newspeak and Facism from David Neiwert.
    Best Single Issue Blog. Talk Left.
    Best Group Blog. Daily Kos.
    Most Humorous Blog. TBogg.
    Most Humorous Post. Preznit Giv Me Turkee by Atrios.
    Most Deserving of Wider Recognition. South Knox Bubba.
    Best New Blog. DNC Kicking Ass.
    Best Expert Blog. Juan Cole.
    Best Commenter. John Emerson.
    Best Non-Liberal Blog. Tacitus.
    Best Design. Daily Kos.
    Best Special Effects. Uggabugga.

    Congrats.

    Posted by Eric at 01:16 AM | Comments (0)

    Larger Significance for Chandler Win?

    Josh Micah Marshall on the recent Ben Chandler win:

    The first is the shot in the arm it'll give to Democrats around the country.

    But another part of the story is Internet fundraising. As you'll notice there on the left, the Chandler campaign has been advertising for about the last two weeks on this and a number of other blogs. The campaign budgeted about two grand for blog advertising. And my understanding is that by today they had raised close to $100,000 from contributors who linked through from those blogs on which the campaign was advertising.

    In other words, they got roughly a 50-fold turnaround on their investment in the final two weeks of the campaign. And in case you're wondering one hundred grand is a lot of money in a House race.

    Now, obviously that's exciting news for proprietors of blogs looking to open up revenue streams from advertisers. But the bigger story here is about the Democrats and the Internet, and the way this technology seems to click, shall we say, for the Democratic demographic.

    Democrats have always lamented how Republicans just have far better direct-mail lists than they do, and how the Republicans are just plain better at it. And they do have better lists and they are better at it. But I've always thought that it wouldn't really matter all that much if the Democrats had high quality lists too. The truth is that direct-mail, for whatever reason, just works with folks who are apt to give money to Republican campaigns. And it just doesn't with Dems, or at least not nearly as well. It's a different demographic. For whatever social or cultural reasons, the technology or mechanism -- in this case fundraising by mail -- is just particularly well suited to one demographic and not to the other.

    But the Internet does seem to work for Democrats. That was clear in the spectacular early success of the Dean campaign and now you're seeing it in smaller ways in individual House races. That doesn't mean that it won't work equally well for Republicans; we just don't know yet. But for the first time in a long time Democrats have a technology, a mechanism that is allowing them to raise large sums of money, not from a few well-heeled givers but from large numbers of energized Democrats giving $10, $50 or $100 a shot. It's already starting to make a difference.

    DCCC blog has more on the race / win.

    Posted by Eric at 01:03 AM | Comments (0)

    Larger Significance for Chandler Win?

    Josh Micah Marshall on the recent Ben Chandler win:

    The first is the shot in the arm it'll give to Democrats around the country.

    But another part of the story is Internet fundraising. As you'll notice there on the left, the Chandler campaign has been advertising for about the last two weeks on this and a number of other blogs. The campaign budgeted about two grand for blog advertising. And my understanding is that by today they had raised close to $100,000 from contributors who linked through from those blogs on which the campaign was advertising.

    In other words, they got roughly a 50-fold turnaround on their investment in the final two weeks of the campaign. And in case you're wondering one hundred grand is a lot of money in a House race.

    Now, obviously that's exciting news for proprietors of blogs looking to open up revenue streams from advertisers. But the bigger story here is about the Democrats and the Internet, and the way this technology seems to click, shall we say, for the Democratic demographic.

    Democrats have always lamented how Republicans just have far better direct-mail lists than they do, and how the Republicans are just plain better at it. And they do have better lists and they are better at it. But I've always thought that it wouldn't really matter all that much if the Democrats had high quality lists too. The truth is that direct-mail, for whatever reason, just works with folks who are apt to give money to Republican campaigns. And it just doesn't with Dems, or at least not nearly as well. It's a different demographic. For whatever social or cultural reasons, the technology or mechanism -- in this case fundraising by mail -- is just particularly well suited to one demographic and not to the other.

    But the Internet does seem to work for Democrats. That was clear in the spectacular early success of the Dean campaign and now you're seeing it in smaller ways in individual House races. That doesn't mean that it won't work equally well for Republicans; we just don't know yet. But for the first time in a long time Democrats have a technology, a mechanism that is allowing them to raise large sums of money, not from a few well-heeled givers but from large numbers of energized Democrats giving $10, $50 or $100 a shot. It's already starting to make a difference.

    DCCC blog has more on the race / win.

    Posted by Eric at 01:03 AM | Comments (0)

    February 17, 2004

    Tuesday Stories

    Rick Reilly. Ex-Colorado kicker says she was raped
    Thom Hartmann. A Fistful of Kryptonite
    AP. 531 more music file sharers sued
    Sonal Shah and Christian Weller. America’s Families Feel the Brunt of Irresponsible Tax Cuts
    Eric Alterman and Michael Tomasky. Wake-Up Time: Yes, Bush has bullied the national media. But are they really powerless? Only if they play along. Herewith, five suggestions for how the Fourth Estate can stop the charade
    Katrina vanden Heuvel. Tax Cheats: More than 27,000 military contractors are currently evading taxes.
    John Nichols. 'Mr. Nice Guy' Feels the Heat: Despite pressure, Edwards won't go negative against frontrunner Kerry.
    Eric Boehlert. New Bush records, same old questions
    Forbes. Kerry Would Be Third-Richest U.S. President
    James P. Pinkerton. Kerry Rumor - the 'Mucky' Media Whiffed
    Marie Cocco. Past Intelligence Failures Set Us Up for More
    CSMonitor. Wisconsin: last stand of Kerry rivals?
    CSMonitor. Rifts widen in Bush's foreign policy team: Backers of Powell's multilateralism clash with go-it-alone conservatives.
    AJC. Georgia Senate OKs legislation to ban gay marriage
    Thomas Oliphant. Kerry, Edwards win on their ideas
    BGlobe. Mercury rising
    BGlobe. Not all cash went to TV
    BGlobe. Edwards's hopes for long haul are riding on Wisconsin
    BGlobe. Kerry, Edwards seek edge in Wis. with focus on jobs
    StarTrib. It's down to the wire in Wisconsin
    LAT. Same-Sex Marriage Divides Mass.
    LAT. Vietnam War Illuminates, Shadows Kerry's Campaign
    Hartford Courant. Populist Message Still Has Appeal
    LAT. Dean Campaigns in the Past Tense
    SFC. Dean chairman leaves, reportedly for Kerry
    SFC. How Big Is That Big Tent? Gays answer the GOP's call for candidates, but many conservatives aren't very happy about it.
    SFC. Edwards works toward 2-man race; Kerry has big lead in Wisconsin; Dean campaign on ropes
    Paul Krugman. The Health of Nations
    NYT. Citing Survey, CNN Says 4,450 Priests Were Accused of Abuse
    NYT. Missing Ingredient in 2004: Attack Ads by Democrats
    NYT. Halliburton Stops Billing U.S. for Meals Served to Troops
    lndependent/UK. Tutu Tells Blair: Apologize for 'Immoral' War
    Richard Cohen. Test
    E. J. Dionne Jr. Kerry's Primary Education
    CNN. Bush visiting Louisiana Army base
    CNN. Wisconsin voters head to polls
    WP. In Wisconsin, Practical Populism
    WP. Partisan Politics Takes Twist in Texas
    WP. Kerry Aims to Broaden Appeal to Swing States
    NYT. Rushing to Say 'I Do' Before City Is Told 'You Can't'

    Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Tuesday Stories

    Rick Reilly. Ex-Colorado kicker says she was raped
    Thom Hartmann. A Fistful of Kryptonite
    AP. 531 more music file sharers sued
    Sonal Shah and Christian Weller. America’s Families Feel the Brunt of Irresponsible Tax Cuts
    Eric Alterman and Michael Tomasky. Wake-Up Time: Yes, Bush has bullied the national media. But are they really powerless? Only if they play along. Herewith, five suggestions for how the Fourth Estate can stop the charade
    Katrina vanden Heuvel. Tax Cheats: More than 27,000 military contractors are currently evading taxes.
    John Nichols. 'Mr. Nice Guy' Feels the Heat: Despite pressure, Edwards won't go negative against frontrunner Kerry.
    Eric Boehlert. New Bush records, same old questions
    Forbes. Kerry Would Be Third-Richest U.S. President
    James P. Pinkerton. Kerry Rumor - the 'Mucky' Media Whiffed
    Marie Cocco. Past Intelligence Failures Set Us Up for More
    CSMonitor. Wisconsin: last stand of Kerry rivals?
    CSMonitor. Rifts widen in Bush's foreign policy team: Backers of Powell's multilateralism clash with go-it-alone conservatives.
    AJC. Georgia Senate OKs legislation to ban gay marriage
    Thomas Oliphant. Kerry, Edwards win on their ideas
    BGlobe. Mercury rising
    BGlobe. Not all cash went to TV
    BGlobe. Edwards's hopes for long haul are riding on Wisconsin
    BGlobe. Kerry, Edwards seek edge in Wis. with focus on jobs
    StarTrib. It's down to the wire in Wisconsin
    LAT. Same-Sex Marriage Divides Mass.
    LAT. Vietnam War Illuminates, Shadows Kerry's Campaign
    Hartford Courant. Populist Message Still Has Appeal
    LAT. Dean Campaigns in the Past Tense
    SFC. Dean chairman leaves, reportedly for Kerry
    SFC. How Big Is That Big Tent? Gays answer the GOP's call for candidates, but many conservatives aren't very happy about it.
    SFC. Edwards works toward 2-man race; Kerry has big lead in Wisconsin; Dean campaign on ropes
    Paul Krugman. The Health of Nations
    NYT. Citing Survey, CNN Says 4,450 Priests Were Accused of Abuse
    NYT. Missing Ingredient in 2004: Attack Ads by Democrats
    NYT. Halliburton Stops Billing U.S. for Meals Served to Troops
    lndependent/UK. Tutu Tells Blair: Apologize for 'Immoral' War
    Richard Cohen. Test
    E. J. Dionne Jr. Kerry's Primary Education
    CNN. Bush visiting Louisiana Army base
    CNN. Wisconsin voters head to polls
    WP. In Wisconsin, Practical Populism
    WP. Partisan Politics Takes Twist in Texas
    WP. Kerry Aims to Broaden Appeal to Swing States
    NYT. Rushing to Say 'I Do' Before City Is Told 'You Can't'

    Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

    The Story: Edwards Surges

    Wisconsin results. Seems Kerry will pull off a narrow victory, with Edwards very close behind.

    Remember this Zogby poll from yesterday?

    Candidate
    Feb 13 -15%

    MA Senator John Kerry
    47

    Former VT Governor Howard Dean
    23

    NC Senator John Edwards
    20

    And now, with 50% reporting, Kerry = 39%; Edwards = 37%.

    Far from being over, Edwards will use this as an example of campaign momentum, and certainly the media will portray it as such. Will Edwards take support from Kerry and Dean (who says he's not done, despite a disappointing 3rd place finish)?

    Still, remember that Edwards has only won 1 state, neighboring and native South Carolina. But it's not over.

    To be continued.

    Posted by Eric at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

    The Story: Edwards Surges

    Wisconsin results. Seems Kerry will pull off a narrow victory, with Edwards very close behind.

    Remember this Zogby poll from yesterday?

    Candidate
    Feb 13 -15%

    MA Senator John Kerry
    47

    Former VT Governor Howard Dean
    23

    NC Senator John Edwards
    20

    And now, with 50% reporting, Kerry = 39%; Edwards = 37%.

    Far from being over, Edwards will use this as an example of campaign momentum, and certainly the media will portray it as such. Will Edwards take support from Kerry and Dean (who says he's not done, despite a disappointing 3rd place finish)?

    Still, remember that Edwards has only won 1 state, neighboring and native South Carolina. But it's not over.

    To be continued.

    Posted by Eric at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

    Chandler Wins Kentucky Race

    Dems take a House seat in the South. If you helped out, contributed, whatever, thanks for your work.

    Chandler background from the AP.

    Posted by Eric at 08:04 PM | Comments (0)

    Chandler Wins Kentucky Race

    Dems take a House seat in the South. If you helped out, contributed, whatever, thanks for your work.

    Chandler background from the AP.

    Posted by Eric at 08:04 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush Ad Hypocrisy

    Who's beholden to special interests? From Public Citizen:

    The Bush-Cheney campaign’s elite fundraisers – who have raked in more than $142 million and counting since June – include at least 53 federal registered lobbyists, according to an analysis by Public Citizen. While the Bush campaign has strongly criticized Democratic challenger John Kerry for being beholden to "special interests," the president accepted more in direct contributions from lobbyists in one year than Kerry did in the past 15 years. In addition, he collected at least $6.5 million "bundled" by Washington influence-peddlers last year.

    On Thursday, the Bush-Cheney campaign sent a video message to more than 6 million people, decrying U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as an "unprincipled" politician "brought to you by the special interests." The video (available on the campaign’s Web site here) cites a recent Washington Post story reporting that Kerry had raised more campaign money in individual "hard money" donations from lobbyists since 1989 – about $640,000 – than any other senator (although this does not account for the fact that Kerry does not accept PAC money, which, if counted, would rank him near the bottom among all senators in total special interest contributions). According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Bush received more than $960,000 in individual contributions from lobbyists last year.

    Kerry’s total is just a fraction of the money brought in to the Bush re-election campaign by lobbyists. Twelve registered federal lobbyists have been named Bush Rangers, the title awarded to those fundraisers who bundle at least $200,000 in individual contributions. Another 41 lobbyists have become Pioneers by raising at least $100,000. Although the campaign refuses to release exact fundraising totals for its big-money bundlers, lobbyists last year collected at least $6.5 million in bundled donations for Bush – or 10 times what Kerry raised in direct contributions from lobbyists over 15 years.

    Posted by Eric at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush Ad Hypocrisy

    Who's beholden to special interests? From Public Citizen:

    The Bush-Cheney campaign’s elite fundraisers – who have raked in more than $142 million and counting since June – include at least 53 federal registered lobbyists, according to an analysis by Public Citizen. While the Bush campaign has strongly criticized Democratic challenger John Kerry for being beholden to "special interests," the president accepted more in direct contributions from lobbyists in one year than Kerry did in the past 15 years. In addition, he collected at least $6.5 million "bundled" by Washington influence-peddlers last year.

    On Thursday, the Bush-Cheney campaign sent a video message to more than 6 million people, decrying U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as an "unprincipled" politician "brought to you by the special interests." The video (available on the campaign’s Web site here) cites a recent Washington Post story reporting that Kerry had raised more campaign money in individual "hard money" donations from lobbyists since 1989 – about $640,000 – than any other senator (although this does not account for the fact that Kerry does not accept PAC money, which, if counted, would rank him near the bottom among all senators in total special interest contributions). According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Bush received more than $960,000 in individual contributions from lobbyists last year.

    Kerry’s total is just a fraction of the money brought in to the Bush re-election campaign by lobbyists. Twelve registered federal lobbyists have been named Bush Rangers, the title awarded to those fundraisers who bundle at least $200,000 in individual contributions. Another 41 lobbyists have become Pioneers by raising at least $100,000. Although the campaign refuses to release exact fundraising totals for its big-money bundlers, lobbyists last year collected at least $6.5 million in bundled donations for Bush – or 10 times what Kerry raised in direct contributions from lobbyists over 15 years.

    Posted by Eric at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)

    Dean "Optimistic," Says Campaign in "Good Shape"

    Despite the unnamed sources in his campaign, Howard Dean sounds like he wants to continue on regardless of what happens in Wisconsin. Reuters:

    "I think we are in reasonable shape," the former Vermont governor told CBS's "Early Show" as he made the rounds on television morning talk shows. "I'm optimistic."

    The anti-war, anti-Washington maverick, who lost his front-runner status a month ago to U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, said he had the money and staff to regroup.

    "Our campaign is not in turmoil at all. We are moving forward and we are going to go to 'Super Tuesday' and on beyond that," Dean told NBC's "Today Show."

    On "Super Tuesday," March 2, 10 states -- including California, New York and Ohio -- vote in the process to pick a Democrat to challenge President Bush in November.

    Despite Dean's optimistic talk, a senior aide said it remained unclear how far he will go, and in what form he would proceed.

    "A lot depends on today and what happens here," the aide said.

    Posted by Eric at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)

    Dean "Optimistic," Says Campaign in "Good Shape"

    Despite the unnamed sources in his campaign, Howard Dean sounds like he wants to continue on regardless of what happens in Wisconsin. Reuters:

    "I think we are in reasonable shape," the former Vermont governor told CBS's "Early Show" as he made the rounds on television morning talk shows. "I'm optimistic."

    The anti-war, anti-Washington maverick, who lost his front-runner status a month ago to U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, said he had the money and staff to regroup.

    "Our campaign is not in turmoil at all. We are moving forward and we are going to go to 'Super Tuesday' and on beyond that," Dean told NBC's "Today Show."

    On "Super Tuesday," March 2, 10 states -- including California, New York and Ohio -- vote in the process to pick a Democrat to challenge President Bush in November.

    Despite Dean's optimistic talk, a senior aide said it remained unclear how far he will go, and in what form he would proceed.

    "A lot depends on today and what happens here," the aide said.

    Posted by Eric at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)

    Federal Prosecutor Sues Ashcroft

    In a "rare step," Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Convertino of Detroit sued the Justice Department for "gross mismanagement" of the war on terrorism in a whistleblower lawsuit filed Friday:

    Convertino came under internal investigation last fall after providing information to a Senate committee about his concerns about the war on terror. His testimony came just months after he helped convict some members of an alleged terrorism cell in Detroit.

    The government now admits it failed to turn over evidence during the trial that might have assisted the defense, including an allegation from an imprisoned drug gang leader who claimed the government's key witness made up his story.

    Convertino is seeking damages under the First Amendment and Privacy Act, alleging he has been subjected to an internal investigation as retaliation for his cooperation with the Senate and that information from the internal probe was wrongly leaked to news media.

    The lawsuit states Convertino first complained to his superiors more than a year ago about Justice's interference in the Detroit terrorism trial, saying Washington supervisors "had continuously placed perception over reality to the serious detriment of the war on terror."

    The lawsuit includes excerpts of an e-mail from another prosecutor in the case that Convertino says "identified some of the gross mismanagement which was negatively impacting the ability of the United States to obtain convictions in a major terrorist case."

    The e-mail from the other prosecutor shows he complained at the time that efforts by Justice's terrorism unit in Washington to "insinuate themselves into this trial are, nothing more than a self-serving effort to justify the existence" of the unit.

    Also, leaks were a problem.
    Convertino also accused Justice officials of intentionally divulging the name of one of his confidential terrorism informants (CI) to retaliate against him.

    The leak put the informant at grave risk, forced him to flee the United States and "interfered with the ability of the United States to obtain information from the CI about current and future terrorist activities," the suit alleges.

    Posted by Eric at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

    Federal Prosecutor Sues Ashcroft

    In a "rare step," Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Convertino of Detroit sued the Justice Department for "gross mismanagement" of the war on terrorism in a whistleblower lawsuit filed Friday:

    Convertino came under internal investigation last fall after providing information to a Senate committee about his concerns about the war on terror. His testimony came just months after he helped convict some members of an alleged terrorism cell in Detroit.

    The government now admits it failed to turn over evidence during the trial that might have assisted the defense, including an allegation from an imprisoned drug gang leader who claimed the government's key witness made up his story.

    Convertino is seeking damages under the First Amendment and Privacy Act, alleging he has been subjected to an internal investigation as retaliation for his cooperation with the Senate and that information from the internal probe was wrongly leaked to news media.

    The lawsuit states Convertino first complained to his superiors more than a year ago about Justice's interference in the Detroit terrorism trial, saying Washington supervisors "had continuously placed perception over reality to the serious detriment of the war on terror."

    The lawsuit includes excerpts of an e-mail from another prosecutor in the case that Convertino says "identified some of the gross mismanagement which was negatively impacting the ability of the United States to obtain convictions in a major terrorist case."

    The e-mail from the other prosecutor shows he complained at the time that efforts by Justice's terrorism unit in Washington to "insinuate themselves into this trial are, nothing more than a self-serving effort to justify the existence" of the unit.

    Also, leaks were a problem.
    Convertino also accused Justice officials of intentionally divulging the name of one of his confidential terrorism informants (CI) to retaliate against him.

    The leak put the informant at grave risk, forced him to flee the United States and "interfered with the ability of the United States to obtain information from the CI about current and future terrorist activities," the suit alleges.

    Posted by Eric at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

    Powell Quote

    From Center for American Progress:

    "I am angry that so many of the sons of the powerful and well-placed... managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units...Of the many tragedies of Vietnam, this raw class discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all Americans are created equal and owe equal allegiance to their country."

    - Secretary of State Colin Powell, 1995

    VERSUS

    "Let's not go there."

    - Secretary of State Colin Powell when questioned about the President's National Guard record, 2/11/04

    Posted by Eric at 03:21 PM | Comments (0)

    Powell Quote

    From Center for American Progress:

    "I am angry that so many of the sons of the powerful and well-placed... managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units...Of the many tragedies of Vietnam, this raw class discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all Americans are created equal and owe equal allegiance to their country."

    - Secretary of State Colin Powell, 1995

    VERSUS

    "Let's not go there."

    - Secretary of State Colin Powell when questioned about the President's National Guard record, 2/11/04

    Posted by Eric at 03:21 PM | Comments (0)

    Chandler - Kerr Voting Today

    Ben Chandler will go to the polls against Kerr in a heavily contested race today. Check out the DCCC blog for more.

    EDIT: For some reason I put 'Kerry' instead of Kerr. Thanks to those who let me know.

    Posted by Eric at 09:32 AM | Comments (0)

    Chandler - Kerr Voting Today

    Ben Chandler will go to the polls against Kerr in a heavily contested race today. Check out the DCCC blog for more.

    EDIT: For some reason I put 'Kerry' instead of Kerr. Thanks to those who let me know.

    Posted by Eric at 09:32 AM | Comments (0)

    This Week's Newsmags


    US News on the explorers of the past.


    Can the so called liberal media start attacking Bush?


    The Nation on why "George Bush owes the public a big explanation on WMDs."


    Newsweek compares Bush and Kerry's 'Nam stories. And yes, one ends up sounding a little better.


    The necons at Weekly Standard continue their defense of the war.


    TIME on the "secret killer" that is inflammation.

    Posted by Eric at 09:26 AM | Comments (0)

    This Week's Newsmags


    US News on the explorers of the past.


    Can the so called liberal media start attacking Bush?


    The Nation on why "George Bush owes the public a big explanation on WMDs."


    Newsweek compares Bush and Kerry's 'Nam stories. And yes, one ends up sounding a little better.


    The necons at Weekly Standard continue their defense of the war.


    TIME on the "secret killer" that is inflammation.

    Posted by Eric at 09:26 AM | Comments (0)

    How Bush Will Attack the Dem Nom

    From US News, we find the likely strat Bush will use when the 1vs1 begins (if it's Kerry):

    "The liberal." The Republicans will bill Kerry as an out-of-touch liberal who voted against a balanced budget and opposed increases in defense spending, who fought new weapons systems and attempted to cut funds for the CIA. Kerry's reply: He wanted to divert money to more worthwhile programs ...

    "The vacillator." Kerry has changed his position on a variety of issues over the years, and Bush will try to portray him as unpredictable and hypocritical. For instance, he voted for the Patriot Act, which imposes many security restrictions and softens privacy safeguards across American society, but now wants it repealed. He voted to authorize the war on Iraq but now says that the president was deceptive and that the war as Bush conducted it, pre-emptively and without enough international support, was a mistake. Kerry says his shifts were justified by changing circumstances or by new information, or were part of the inevitable compromises required by the legislative process ...

    "Out of the cultural mainstream." Kerry will be attacked for supporting gun control (although he is a hunter) and for backing abortions funded by taxpayers. Republicans will also attack his opposition to most forms of capital punishment. The Bush team hopes Kerry's hits on the president for favoring the rich and big corporations can be turned against him. "He's practicing class warfare," says a senior White House official. "He's pitting one group of Americans against another. It's been tried before. And I don't think this is what the American people want." ...

    "The special-interest senator." Kerry has indeed taken money from an array of lobbyists. "John Kerry has left himself open to a charge of hypocrisy because he says one thing and does another," argues Bush chief strategist Matthew Dowd. But Kerry responds that he doesn't take money from political action committees, which, he says, shows him to be a reformer.

    Posted by Eric at 09:18 AM | Comments (0)

    How Bush Will Attack the Dem Nom

    From US News, we find the likely strat Bush will use when the 1vs1 begins (if it's Kerry):

    "The liberal." The Republicans will bill Kerry as an out-of-touch liberal who voted against a balanced budget and opposed increases in defense spending, who fought new weapons systems and attempted to cut funds for the CIA. Kerry's reply: He wanted to divert money to more worthwhile programs ...

    "The vacillator." Kerry has changed his position on a variety of issues over the years, and Bush will try to portray him as unpredictable and hypocritical. For instance, he voted for the Patriot Act, which imposes many security restrictions and softens privacy safeguards across American society, but now wants it repealed. He voted to authorize the war on Iraq but now says that the president was deceptive and that the war as Bush conducted it, pre-emptively and without enough international support, was a mistake. Kerry says his shifts were justified by changing circumstances or by new information, or were part of the inevitable compromises required by the legislative process ...

    "Out of the cultural mainstream." Kerry will be attacked for supporting gun control (although he is a hunter) and for backing abortions funded by taxpayers. Republicans will also attack his opposition to most forms of capital punishment. The Bush team hopes Kerry's hits on the president for favoring the rich and big corporations can be turned against him. "He's practicing class warfare," says a senior White House official. "He's pitting one group of Americans against another. It's been tried before. And I don't think this is what the American people want." ...

    "The special-interest senator." Kerry has indeed taken money from an array of lobbyists. "John Kerry has left himself open to a charge of hypocrisy because he says one thing and does another," argues Bush chief strategist Matthew Dowd. But Kerry responds that he doesn't take money from political action committees, which, he says, shows him to be a reformer.

    Posted by Eric at 09:18 AM | Comments (0)

    Hamster Numbers: Bush Record

  • "The economy has a nearly 9 million job deficit from where it should be at this point in a recovery. The lack of employment growth has had a measurable impact on wage growth, which has been flat."
  • "Since the start of the recession in March 2001, consumer prices rose by 5.1 percent."
  • "In comparison, medical care grew by 12.5 percent and education increased by 19.2 percent during the same period. These price increases are occurring at a time when employers are reducing their benefits. And to pay for these costs, households have borrowed record amounts of debt."

    -Center for American Progress

    Posted by Eric at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

    Hamster Numbers: Bush Record

  • "The economy has a nearly 9 million job deficit from where it should be at this point in a recovery. The lack of employment growth has had a measurable impact on wage growth, which has been flat."
  • "Since the start of the recession in March 2001, consumer prices rose by 5.1 percent."
  • "In comparison, medical care grew by 12.5 percent and education increased by 19.2 percent during the same period. These price increases are occurring at a time when employers are reducing their benefits. And to pay for these costs, households have borrowed record amounts of debt."

    -Center for American Progress

    Posted by Eric at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

    February 16, 2004

    Monday Stories

    Russ Baker. Strangling Public Debate: Airing ads about controversial issues is crucial for a healthy democracy
    Cynthia Tucker. The fear president: On Bush campaign calendar, every day is September 12, 2001
    New Yorker. The Vice President and the contractor
    Miami Herald. Justice Scalia's duck-hunting caper
    Ruth Rosen. Why single women must vote
    Sheryl McCarthy. Gay Marriage Adds One More Civil Right
    Newsday. Don't Turn Records of Abortions Over to Ashcroft
    CSMonitor. Marriage: Addition or division?Researchers develop ways to predict divorce.
    CSMonitor. Al Qaeda's new young guard: new tactics
    AP. Democrats pin hopes on Kentucky election
    BGlobe. CBS puts a stop to Medicare ad
    BGlobe. Edwards, who vowed a positive campaign, takes off the gloves
    BGlobe. Chairman set to leave Dean camp
    The Nation. The Blame Game: David Corn explains why George Bush owes the public a big explanation on WMDs.
    AP. New scholarship created for whites only
    USA Today. Legal fight greets SF gay marriages
    UW Badger Herald. Edwards campaigns in Madison
    Houston Chronicle. Dean fights on as hopes fade
    WP. Dean's Freewheeling Approach Is Double-Edged
    Bob Herbert. Promises, Promises
    NYT. Police Chiefs Campaign to Fight Senate Bill That Would Protect Gun Dealers
    NYT. U.S. Nears Clash With Governors on Medicaid Cost
    NYT. A Shade of Green: S.U.V.'s Try to Soften Their Image
    NYT. Kerry's Rivals Pull Punches in Wisconsin
    AP. Bush Opens Daytona 500, Courts Race Fans
    TIME. Bring On The Cash! While Bush and Kerry spar publicly, the real contest is happening behind the scenes as both sides figure out new ways to raise funds. Money still talks loudest for the G.O.P., but the Dems are getting better at finding their voice
    TIME. How Well Did He Serve? Bush said he reported for duty in Alabama, but even with the new documents, the evidence is thin
    Newsweek. Worried about civil war, some Bush insiders want to delay the Iraqi handover past June. The Bush political team sees that as a very bad idea. And so does Iraq's administrator
    Newsweek. Iraq fills the headlines, but for President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry, Vietnam may be the crucible that matters more. How two sons of privilege confronted the conflict—and the ways those choices have colored their divergent paths
    Seattle Weekly. A Boob Exposed: Though the real Bush agenda is cover-up
    AP. Bremer: U.S. may be flexible on transfer in Iraq
    AP. Gay-marriage license demand overwhelming
    AP. College Republicans offer whites-only award

    Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Monday Stories

    Russ Baker. Strangling Public Debate: Airing ads about controversial issues is crucial for a healthy democracy
    Cynthia Tucker. The fear president: On Bush campaign calendar, every day is September 12, 2001
    New Yorker. The Vice President and the contractor
    Miami Herald. Justice Scalia's duck-hunting caper
    Ruth Rosen. Why single women must vote
    Sheryl McCarthy. Gay Marriage Adds One More Civil Right
    Newsday. Don't Turn Records of Abortions Over to Ashcroft
    CSMonitor. Marriage: Addition or division?Researchers develop ways to predict divorce.
    CSMonitor. Al Qaeda's new young guard: new tactics
    AP. Democrats pin hopes on Kentucky election
    BGlobe. CBS puts a stop to Medicare ad
    BGlobe. Edwards, who vowed a positive campaign, takes off the gloves
    BGlobe. Chairman set to leave Dean camp
    The Nation. The Blame Game: David Corn explains why George Bush owes the public a big explanation on WMDs.
    AP. New scholarship created for whites only
    USA Today. Legal fight greets SF gay marriages
    UW Badger Herald. Edwards campaigns in Madison
    Houston Chronicle. Dean fights on as hopes fade
    WP. Dean's Freewheeling Approach Is Double-Edged
    Bob Herbert. Promises, Promises
    NYT. Police Chiefs Campaign to Fight Senate Bill That Would Protect Gun Dealers
    NYT. U.S. Nears Clash With Governors on Medicaid Cost
    NYT. A Shade of Green: S.U.V.'s Try to Soften Their Image
    NYT. Kerry's Rivals Pull Punches in Wisconsin
    AP. Bush Opens Daytona 500, Courts Race Fans
    TIME. Bring On The Cash! While Bush and Kerry spar publicly, the real contest is happening behind the scenes as both sides figure out new ways to raise funds. Money still talks loudest for the G.O.P., but the Dems are getting better at finding their voice
    TIME. How Well Did He Serve? Bush said he reported for duty in Alabama, but even with the new documents, the evidence is thin
    Newsweek. Worried about civil war, some Bush insiders want to delay the Iraqi handover past June. The Bush political team sees that as a very bad idea. And so does Iraq's administrator
    Newsweek. Iraq fills the headlines, but for President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry, Vietnam may be the crucible that matters more. How two sons of privilege confronted the conflict—and the ways those choices have colored their divergent paths
    Seattle Weekly. A Boob Exposed: Though the real Bush agenda is cover-up
    AP. Bremer: U.S. may be flexible on transfer in Iraq
    AP. Gay-marriage license demand overwhelming
    AP. College Republicans offer whites-only award

    Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Tops Bush In CBS Poll

    81% would be satisfied with Kerry as the nom, and 50% approve of Bush's job as president. Poll.

    WHO WOULD YOU VOTE FOR? (Registered voters)

    George W. Bush
    42%
    “The Democratic candidate”
    47%

    George W. Bush
    43%
    John Kerry
    48%

    George W. Bush
    50%
    John Edwards
    41%

    George W. Bush
    54%
    Howard Dean
    37%

    WAS IRAQ WAR WORTH THE COSTS?
    Yes
    41%
    No
    50%

    ADMINISTRATION POLICIES HAVE CAUSED JOBS TO:
    Increase
    16%
    Decrease
    45%
    Stay the same
    28%

    CHOICE FOR DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE
    (Democratic primary voters)

    John Kerry
    Now
    53%
    1/2004
    7%

    Howard Dean
    Now
    8%
    1/2004
    24%

    John Edwards
    Now
    7%
    1/2004
    5%

    Dennis Kucinich
    Now
    1%
    1/2004
    1%

    Al Sharpton
    Now
    4%
    1/2004
    3%

    Undecided
    Now
    15%
    1/2004
    15%

    Posted by Eric at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Tops Bush In CBS Poll

    81% would be satisfied with Kerry as the nom, and 50% approve of Bush's job as president. Poll.

    WHO WOULD YOU VOTE FOR? (Registered voters)

    George W. Bush
    42%
    “The Democratic candidate”
    47%

    George W. Bush
    43%
    John Kerry
    48%

    George W. Bush
    50%
    John Edwards
    41%

    George W. Bush
    54%
    Howard Dean
    37%

    WAS IRAQ WAR WORTH THE COSTS?
    Yes
    41%
    No
    50%

    ADMINISTRATION POLICIES HAVE CAUSED JOBS TO:
    Increase
    16%
    Decrease
    45%
    Stay the same
    28%

    CHOICE FOR DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE
    (Democratic primary voters)

    John Kerry
    Now
    53%
    1/2004
    7%

    Howard Dean
    Now
    8%
    1/2004
    24%

    John Edwards
    Now
    7%
    1/2004
    5%

    Dennis Kucinich
    Now
    1%
    1/2004
    1%

    Al Sharpton
    Now
    4%
    1/2004
    3%

    Undecided
    Now
    15%
    1/2004
    15%

    Posted by Eric at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

    The Bush Media Control

    David Shaw in the LATimes on how the media has become complacent with the Bush admin:

    That may seem a churlish observation a mere week after the president sat for a one-hour interview with Tim Russert on "Meet the Press." But with every network host and anchor having angled for the interview for months, it was Bush who decided when, with whom and in which venue he'd talk ... But so far, the Bush administration has been especially successful at stonewalling the media, keeping the White House team "on message" and all but abandoning the traditional presidential press conference.

    Through Tuesday, Bush had conducted only 11 solo press conferences. Other presidents had far more by the same point in their first terms, says Martha Joynt Kumar, a professor of political science at Towson University in Maryland, who's writing a book on White House communications. Dwight D. Eisenhower had 78, Lyndon B. Johnson 79, Jimmy Carter 53, Ronald Reagan 21, George H.W. Bush 72 and Bill Clinton 40. Even Nixon had 23, more than twice as many as George W.

    Posted by Eric at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)

    The Bush Media Control

    David Shaw in the LATimes on how the media has become complacent with the Bush admin:

    That may seem a churlish observation a mere week after the president sat for a one-hour interview with Tim Russert on "Meet the Press." But with every network host and anchor having angled for the interview for months, it was Bush who decided when, with whom and in which venue he'd talk ... But so far, the Bush administration has been especially successful at stonewalling the media, keeping the White House team "on message" and all but abandoning the traditional presidential press conference.

    Through Tuesday, Bush had conducted only 11 solo press conferences. Other presidents had far more by the same point in their first terms, says Martha Joynt Kumar, a professor of political science at Towson University in Maryland, who's writing a book on White House communications. Dwight D. Eisenhower had 78, Lyndon B. Johnson 79, Jimmy Carter 53, Ronald Reagan 21, George H.W. Bush 72 and Bill Clinton 40. Even Nixon had 23, more than twice as many as George W.

    Posted by Eric at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Big Lead in Wiscon

    According to latest Zogby:

    Candidate
    Feb 13 -15%

    MA Senator John Kerry
    47

    Former VT Governor Howard Dean
    23

    NC Senator John Edwards
    20

    OH Congressman Dennis Kucinich
    2

    Civil Rights Activist Rev. Al Sharpton
    1

    With the quote from Zogby:

    Pollster John Zogby: "Kerry goes into the primary with a commanding lead. Dean is polling very well among young people around Madison. It is hard to see Dean going on from here however, he is polling well enough to get delegates and it's interesting to see that Edwards and Dean together suggest a substantial non-Kerry vote. What would happen if Kerry were to face just one opponent? Kerry has the highest favorable ratings and is given by far and away, the best shot at defeating President Bush. Again, it's all about electability. "

    Posted by Eric at 12:20 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Big Lead in Wiscon

    According to latest Zogby:

    Candidate
    Feb 13 -15%

    MA Senator John Kerry
    47

    Former VT Governor Howard Dean
    23

    NC Senator John Edwards
    20

    OH Congressman Dennis Kucinich
    2

    Civil Rights Activist Rev. Al Sharpton
    1

    With the quote from Zogby:

    Pollster John Zogby: "Kerry goes into the primary with a commanding lead. Dean is polling very well among young people around Madison. It is hard to see Dean going on from here however, he is polling well enough to get delegates and it's interesting to see that Edwards and Dean together suggest a substantial non-Kerry vote. What would happen if Kerry were to face just one opponent? Kerry has the highest favorable ratings and is given by far and away, the best shot at defeating President Bush. Again, it's all about electability. "

    Posted by Eric at 12:20 PM | Comments (0)

    Civil War Increasingly Possible in Iraq

    Tensions between warring factions are leading to speculation that civil war could eventually break out in the region:

    Veteran U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who just finished a visit to the country, pointedly warned Iraqi leaders they face "very serious dangers" if they do not put the interests of the nation ahead of those of their clans, tribes, ethnic groups and religious communities.

    "I have appealed to the members of the Governing Council and to Iraqis in every part of Iraqi to be conscious that civil wars do not happen because a person makes a decision, 'Today, I'm going to start a civil war,"' Brahimi told a news conference on Friday at the end of a mission to discuss ways of setting up an empowered Iraqi government.

    Brahimi, who helped mediate civil conflicts in Lebanon and Yemen, told Iraqis that civil wars erupt "because people are reckless, people are selfish, because people think more of themselves than they do of their country."

    A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, agreed that civil war was possible, citing conflicts that erupted in the former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union after the collapse of Communist authoritarian rule.

    Adding to the problem are recent suicide attacks against Iraqis cooperating with the U.S.-led coalition.

    Posted by Eric at 04:36 AM | Comments (0)

    Civil War Increasingly Possible in Iraq

    Tensions between warring factions are leading to speculation that civil war could eventually break out in the region:

    Veteran U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who just finished a visit to the country, pointedly warned Iraqi leaders they face "very serious dangers" if they do not put the interests of the nation ahead of those of their clans, tribes, ethnic groups and religious communities.

    "I have appealed to the members of the Governing Council and to Iraqis in every part of Iraqi to be conscious that civil wars do not happen because a person makes a decision, 'Today, I'm going to start a civil war,"' Brahimi told a news conference on Friday at the end of a mission to discuss ways of setting up an empowered Iraqi government.

    Brahimi, who helped mediate civil conflicts in Lebanon and Yemen, told Iraqis that civil wars erupt "because people are reckless, people are selfish, because people think more of themselves than they do of their country."

    A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, agreed that civil war was possible, citing conflicts that erupted in the former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union after the collapse of Communist authoritarian rule.

    Adding to the problem are recent suicide attacks against Iraqis cooperating with the U.S.-led coalition.

    Posted by Eric at 04:36 AM | Comments (0)

    Hamster Numbers: Iraq

    Reward offered by the U.S. military to any Iraqi who turns in a hand-held launcher and missile : $500 [Coalition Press Information Center (Baghdad) ]

    Amount such a weapon can reportedly fetch on the international black market : $5,000 [Independent (London) ]

    - Harpers

    Posted by Eric at 04:13 AM | Comments (0)

    Hamster Numbers: Iraq

    Reward offered by the U.S. military to any Iraqi who turns in a hand-held launcher and missile : $500 [Coalition Press Information Center (Baghdad) ]

    Amount such a weapon can reportedly fetch on the international black market : $5,000 [Independent (London) ]

    - Harpers

    Posted by Eric at 04:13 AM | Comments (0)

    Nader Run Expected

    In the Seattle Times:

    Former Green Party candidate Ralph Nader is poised to declare that he will seek the presidency again this year, this time as an independent and despite a vigorous effort by the left to dissuade him, according to friends and associates.

    "I think there's very little doubt," said Micah Sifry, author of a book on third-party politics and a longtime Nader watcher. "I think he's going to run."

    Posted by Eric at 02:07 AM | Comments (0)

    Nader Run Expected

    In the Seattle Times:

    Former Green Party candidate Ralph Nader is poised to declare that he will seek the presidency again this year, this time as an independent and despite a vigorous effort by the left to dissuade him, according to friends and associates.

    "I think there's very little doubt," said Micah Sifry, author of a book on third-party politics and a longtime Nader watcher. "I think he's going to run."

    Posted by Eric at 02:07 AM | Comments (0)

    Dean Chairman to Back Kerry if Dean Loses

    Steven Grossman said he will reach out to the Kerry camp and "build bridges with the Dean organization" if Dean loses in Wisconsin. NYT:

    The chairman of Howard Dean's presidential campaign said on Sunday that he would leave and shift his support to Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts if Dr. Dean lost the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday, an outcome he sees as all but inevitable.

    "If Howard Dean does not win the Wisconsin primary, I will reach out to John Kerry unless he reaches out to me first," said the chairman, Steven Grossman, who was chairman of Mr. Kerry's 1996 Senate race. "I will make it clear that I will do anything and everything I can to help him become the next president, and I will do anything and everything I can to build bridges with the Dean organization."

    The comments by Mr. Grossman, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee who has known Mr. Kerry for 34 years, came as Dr. Dean faced growing pressure from aides and outside backers to abandon his quest. But while many leading supporters and staff members expect him to either quit the campaign altogether or radically scale it back by the end of this week, the candidate remained steadfast Sunday that he would soldier on.

    "We're not dropping out after Tuesday, period," Dr. Dean said in a television interview with the Fox affiliate here Sunday.

    Posted by Eric at 01:04 AM | Comments (0)

    Dean Chairman to Back Kerry if Dean Loses

    Steven Grossman said he will reach out to the Kerry camp and "build bridges with the Dean organization" if Dean loses in Wisconsin. NYT:

    The chairman of Howard Dean's presidential campaign said on Sunday that he would leave and shift his support to Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts if Dr. Dean lost the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday, an outcome he sees as all but inevitable.

    "If Howard Dean does not win the Wisconsin primary, I will reach out to John Kerry unless he reaches out to me first," said the chairman, Steven Grossman, who was chairman of Mr. Kerry's 1996 Senate race. "I will make it clear that I will do anything and everything I can to help him become the next president, and I will do anything and everything I can to build bridges with the Dean organization."

    The comments by Mr. Grossman, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee who has known Mr. Kerry for 34 years, came as Dr. Dean faced growing pressure from aides and outside backers to abandon his quest. But while many leading supporters and staff members expect him to either quit the campaign altogether or radically scale it back by the end of this week, the candidate remained steadfast Sunday that he would soldier on.

    "We're not dropping out after Tuesday, period," Dr. Dean said in a television interview with the Fox affiliate here Sunday.

    Posted by Eric at 01:04 AM | Comments (0)

    Bush Admin Helps Corporate Donors; Shelves Pollutant Ban

    From an AP investigation:

    The Bush administration quietly shelved a proposal to ban a gasoline additive that contaminates drinking water in many communities, helping an industry that has donated more than $1 million to Republicans ... The Associated Press obtained a draft of the proposed regulation that former President Clinton (news - web sites)'s EPA sent to the White House on its last full day in office in January 2001.

    It said: "The use of MTBE as an additive in gasoline presents an unreasonable risk to the environment."

    The EPA document went on to say that "low levels of MTBE can render drinking water supplies unpotable due to its offensive taste and odor," and the additive should be phased out over four years ... In 2000, the MTBE industry's lobbying group told the Clinton administration that limiting MTBE's use by regulation "would inflict grave economic harm on member companies."

    Three MTBE producers account for half the additive's daily output.

    The three contributed $338,000 to George W. Bush's presidential campaign, the Republican Party and Republican congressional candidates in 1999 and 2000, twice what they gave Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Since then, the three producers have given just over $1 million to Republicans.

    The producers are Texas-based Lyondell Chemical and Valero Energy and the Huntsman companies of Salt Lake City.

    "This is a classic case of the Bush administration helping its campaign contributor friends at the expense of public health," said Frank O'Donnell, executive director of the Clean Air Trust, a Washington-based environmental group.

    Posted by Eric at 12:43 AM | Comments (0)

    Bush Admin Helps Corporate Donors; Shelves Pollutant Ban

    From an AP investigation:

    The Bush administration quietly shelved a proposal to ban a gasoline additive that contaminates drinking water in many communities, helping an industry that has donated more than $1 million to Republicans ... The Associated Press obtained a draft of the proposed regulation that former President Clinton (news - web sites)'s EPA sent to the White House on its last full day in office in January 2001.

    It said: "The use of MTBE as an additive in gasoline presents an unreasonable risk to the environment."

    The EPA document went on to say that "low levels of MTBE can render drinking water supplies unpotable due to its offensive taste and odor," and the additive should be phased out over four years ... In 2000, the MTBE industry's lobbying group told the Clinton administration that limiting MTBE's use by regulation "would inflict grave economic harm on member companies."

    Three MTBE producers account for half the additive's daily output.

    The three contributed $338,000 to George W. Bush's presidential campaign, the Republican Party and Republican congressional candidates in 1999 and 2000, twice what they gave Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Since then, the three producers have given just over $1 million to Republicans.

    The producers are Texas-based Lyondell Chemical and Valero Energy and the Huntsman companies of Salt Lake City.

    "This is a classic case of the Bush administration helping its campaign contributor friends at the expense of public health," said Frank O'Donnell, executive director of the Clean Air Trust, a Washington-based environmental group.

    Posted by Eric at 12:43 AM | Comments (0)

    Comedy Monday

    "Something's wrong when the only person fired because of terrorism is me." Bill Maher on the lack of a White House apology about WMD.

    "Cartoon character Cathy finally got engaged to her boyfriend in today’s Valentine edition of her strip. Meanwhile, Marcie and Peppermint Patty are moving to Massachusetts." Tina Fey

    "I was watching TV last night. I saw an interesting documentary on the Ninja, the Japanese soldier. According to legend the Ninjas were warriors who could make themselves invisible whenever there was a war. Kind of like Bush and the National Guard." Jay Leno

    "The White House released documents it claims validates the president's (National Guard) service ... When deciphered the documents showed that in a one-year period, 1972 and 1973, Bush received credit for nine days of active National Guard service. The traditional term of service then and now for the National Guard is one weekend a month and two full weeks a year, meaning that Bush's nine-day stint qualifies him only for the National Guard's National Guard. That's the National Guard's National Guard, an Army of None." —Jon Stewart

    "The congressional hearings began today into the Janet Jackson's half-time Super Bowl scandal. It's interesting to me, they won't look into Iraq, they're not looking into Enron. But by god, Janet Jackson's bra, they're looking into that." —David Letterman

    "On 'Meet the Press' yesterday President Bush was asked what he would do if he lost the election and Bush said, ''Phhh, you mean like last time?'" —Jay Leno


    Some Dork Brought In To Address Civics Class. From TheOnion:
    GILLETTE, WY—According to Westwood High School sources, some dork from city hall or the mayor's office or something came in to address Richard Prugh's fifth- and seventh-hour civics classes Monday.

    "Mr. Prugh told us some city-council guy was going to be coming in to talk to us about government-type garbage," junior Jon Kriesel said. "The guy was a complete and total dork. I knew it the minute I saw him."

    The dork, who introduced himself as Mr. Kepler and wrote his name on the board in girlish cursive letters, spent 25 minutes droning on about the revitalization of downtown Gillette.

    "I thought for a second it might be cool, like maybe the city was going to build a mall, and he could tell us what stores would be in it," Tiffany Haus said. "But instead, he talked the whole time about a theater for plays and modern dance and stuff. Awesome. The only thing dorkier than theater is dance."

    Kepler paired totally dorky behavior with an even dorkier appearance.


    The Crank Yankers game.
    William Hung: De Facto American Idol

    Maybe not, but the nice guy rejected from Fox's "American Idol" is sorta finishing on top. Maybe.

    The Berkeley junior has become as big as the gold backpack he hauls to his civil engineering classes. When he's not studying, the 21-year-old signs autographs, fields online love queries and grapples with whether he is a performer or a clown.

    Hung -- who is ambitious, sincere and achingly naive -- doesn't want to be a clown. He wants to be a pop star.

    "I see this as a learning experience of how to succeed if I was to become an American pop star someday," Hung, pausing to choose his words carefully, said over coffee this week in San Francisco's Japantown, where he was returning a rented CD.

    Hung said he knows he has a lot of work to do as a vocalist. His spirited, Chinese-accented rendition of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" was aired Jan. 27 by producers who clearly coveted Hung's entertainment value -- not his pipes ... Meanwhile, Hung said he has been invited to perform at events from a Philadelphia 76ers basketball game to the MTV Asia Awards in Singapore, and he has appeared on several television shows.

    On Monday night, Hung performed at an open mike at the Clark Kerr dormitories where he used to live and work in the dining commons. This time he was greeted by more than 400 students armed with cameras and camcorders.

    "It's the pop-culture fad right now. And its Berkeley's own," said sophomore Alex Bollfrass in explaining his attendance.

    "You have to respect his genuineness," said fifth-year student Whitney Brechwald. "He tries so hard."

    However ...
    But freshman Mike Lieberman was uncomfortable with the energy in the crowd. "He's out there performing, but everybody else sees him as a comedy act. He doesn't know that. It seems wrong."
    Still, Hung will sing on.
    Unbowed by Cowell's criticism, Hung -- who lives alone in a residential hotel in downtown Berkeley -- has only become more serious about his singing career. He is reading Cowell's book, "I Don't Mean to Be Rude, But ..." as well as "Singing for Dummies," and has joined a singing class and a Chinese choir.

    "I hope I've shown everyone in the world that regardless of success or failure, just keep trying. Never give up," Hung said. "Because only then can you say to yourself that you tried your best and had no regrets."

    Sing well Hung! Also see http://www.williamhung.net/. I'll be voting for the Hawaiian American Idols.
    Defusing AWOLgate: Ten Ethically Spotless Witnesses Corroborate Details of President Bush's Story of How Honorably He Evaded Vietnam.
    An Insolent Puppet Roils Canadian Politics.
    But the seemingly harmless if crass remarks of a puppet created a blaze of protests on the floor of the House of Commons and became fodder for national politicians seeking to win Québécois votes. Canada is in the midst of the biggest political scandal in more than a generation, but the foul-mouthed puppet was still front-page news and heavily covered on national television.

    Eli: I wish you'd've done this for me when I was a kid.
    Richie: But you didn't have a drug problem then.
    Eli: Yeah, but it still would've meant a lot to me. --Royal Tenenbaums
    Click down for comics.

    Posted by Eric at 12:39 AM | Comments (0)

    Comedy Monday

    "Something's wrong when the only person fired because of terrorism is me." Bill Maher on the lack of a White House apology about WMD.

    "Cartoon character Cathy finally got engaged to her boyfriend in today’s Valentine edition of her strip. Meanwhile, Marcie and Peppermint Patty are moving to Massachusetts." Tina Fey

    "I was watching TV last night. I saw an interesting documentary on the Ninja, the Japanese soldier. According to legend the Ninjas were warriors who could make themselves invisible whenever there was a war. Kind of like Bush and the National Guard." Jay Leno

    "The White House released documents it claims validates the president's (National Guard) service ... When deciphered the documents showed that in a one-year period, 1972 and 1973, Bush received credit for nine days of active National Guard service. The traditional term of service then and now for the National Guard is one weekend a month and two full weeks a year, meaning that Bush's nine-day stint qualifies him only for the National Guard's National Guard. That's the National Guard's National Guard, an Army of None." —Jon Stewart

    "The congressional hearings began today into the Janet Jackson's half-time Super Bowl scandal. It's interesting to me, they won't look into Iraq, they're not looking into Enron. But by god, Janet Jackson's bra, they're looking into that." —David Letterman

    "On 'Meet the Press' yesterday President Bush was asked what he would do if he lost the election and Bush said, ''Phhh, you mean like last time?'" —Jay Leno


    Some Dork Brought In To Address Civics Class. From TheOnion:
    GILLETTE, WY—According to Westwood High School sources, some dork from city hall or the mayor's office or something came in to address Richard Prugh's fifth- and seventh-hour civics classes Monday.

    "Mr. Prugh told us some city-council guy was going to be coming in to talk to us about government-type garbage," junior Jon Kriesel said. "The guy was a complete and total dork. I knew it the minute I saw him."

    The dork, who introduced himself as Mr. Kepler and wrote his name on the board in girlish cursive letters, spent 25 minutes droning on about the revitalization of downtown Gillette.

    "I thought for a second it might be cool, like maybe the city was going to build a mall, and he could tell us what stores would be in it," Tiffany Haus said. "But instead, he talked the whole time about a theater for plays and modern dance and stuff. Awesome. The only thing dorkier than theater is dance."

    Kepler paired totally dorky behavior with an even dorkier appearance.


    The Crank Yankers game.
    William Hung: De Facto American Idol

    Maybe not, but the nice guy rejected from Fox's "American Idol" is sorta finishing on top. Maybe.

    The Berkeley junior has become as big as the gold backpack he hauls to his civil engineering classes. When he's not studying, the 21-year-old signs autographs, fields online love queries and grapples with whether he is a performer or a clown.

    Hung -- who is ambitious, sincere and achingly naive -- doesn't want to be a clown. He wants to be a pop star.

    "I see this as a learning experience of how to succeed if I was to become an American pop star someday," Hung, pausing to choose his words carefully, said over coffee this week in San Francisco's Japantown, where he was returning a rented CD.

    Hung said he knows he has a lot of work to do as a vocalist. His spirited, Chinese-accented rendition of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" was aired Jan. 27 by producers who clearly coveted Hung's entertainment value -- not his pipes ... Meanwhile, Hung said he has been invited to perform at events from a Philadelphia 76ers basketball game to the MTV Asia Awards in Singapore, and he has appeared on several television shows.

    On Monday night, Hung performed at an open mike at the Clark Kerr dormitories where he used to live and work in the dining commons. This time he was greeted by more than 400 students armed with cameras and camcorders.

    "It's the pop-culture fad right now. And its Berkeley's own," said sophomore Alex Bollfrass in explaining his attendance.

    "You have to respect his genuineness," said fifth-year student Whitney Brechwald. "He tries so hard."

    However ...
    But freshman Mike Lieberman was uncomfortable with the energy in the crowd. "He's out there performing, but everybody else sees him as a comedy act. He doesn't know that. It seems wrong."
    Still, Hung will sing on.
    Unbowed by Cowell's criticism, Hung -- who lives alone in a residential hotel in downtown Berkeley -- has only become more serious about his singing career. He is reading Cowell's book, "I Don't Mean to Be Rude, But ..." as well as "Singing for Dummies," and has joined a singing class and a Chinese choir.

    "I hope I've shown everyone in the world that regardless of success or failure, just keep trying. Never give up," Hung said. "Because only then can you say to yourself that you tried your best and had no regrets."

    Sing well Hung! Also see http://www.williamhung.net/. I'll be voting for the Hawaiian American Idols.
    Defusing AWOLgate: Ten Ethically Spotless Witnesses Corroborate Details of President Bush's Story of How Honorably He Evaded Vietnam.
    An Insolent Puppet Roils Canadian Politics.
    But the seemingly harmless if crass remarks of a puppet created a blaze of protests on the floor of the House of Commons and became fodder for national politicians seeking to win Québécois votes. Canada is in the midst of the biggest political scandal in more than a generation, but the foul-mouthed puppet was still front-page news and heavily covered on national television.

    Eli: I wish you'd've done this for me when I was a kid.
    Richie: But you didn't have a drug problem then.
    Eli: Yeah, but it still would've meant a lot to me. --Royal Tenenbaums
    Click down for comics.

    Posted by Eric at 12:39 AM | Comments (0)

    February 15, 2004

    Change for America

    If you haven't checked out Joe Trippi's blog, Change for America, read it over here.

    Posted by Eric at 10:09 PM | Comments (0)

    Change for America

    If you haven't checked out Joe Trippi's blog, Change for America, read it over here.

    Posted by Eric at 10:09 PM | Comments (0)

    Dean: 'We Are Not Bowing Out'

    Despite dropping support from regular joes and even those closest to him, Dean will apparently continue on:

    Howard Dean's top advisers are urging him to abandon the Democratic presidential race if he loses Wisconsin's primary, officials said Sunday, but the former Vermont governor asserted, "We are not bowing out."

    Dean, winless in 16 contests and badly trailing in Wisconsin polls, said in an interview with The Associated Press, "In fact, we are staying in the race. The forum we will use to stay in the race remains to be seen. Period. Anybody who says anything to the contrary has misspoken."

    But several of his top advisers said Sunday that Dean should cede the nomination if he loses Tuesday and consider several options, including dropping from the race outright, suspending his campaign or at least acknowledging Kerry's victory and redirecting his own efforts. They said the fallen front-runner was all but certain to effectively abandon his bid, one way or another ... For the first time, there is a near-unanimous consensus among advisers that it would be foolhardy for Dean to continue fighting for the nomination beyond Wisconsin. The circle of die-hards has shrunk, and most confidants are telling Dean it's time to find a way to convert his Internet-fueled network into a long-term political movement.

    Posted by Eric at 06:29 PM | Comments (0)

    Dean: 'We Are Not Bowing Out'

    Despite dropping support from regular joes and even those closest to him, Dean will apparently continue on:

    Howard Dean's top advisers are urging him to abandon the Democratic presidential race if he loses Wisconsin's primary, officials said Sunday, but the former Vermont governor asserted, "We are not bowing out."

    Dean, winless in 16 contests and badly trailing in Wisconsin polls, said in an interview with The Associated Press, "In fact, we are staying in the race. The forum we will use to stay in the race remains to be seen. Period. Anybody who says anything to the contrary has misspoken."

    But several of his top advisers said Sunday that Dean should cede the nomination if he loses Tuesday and consider several options, including dropping from the race outright, suspending his campaign or at least acknowledging Kerry's victory and redirecting his own efforts. They said the fallen front-runner was all but certain to effectively abandon his bid, one way or another ... For the first time, there is a near-unanimous consensus among advisers that it would be foolhardy for Dean to continue fighting for the nomination beyond Wisconsin. The circle of die-hards has shrunk, and most confidants are telling Dean it's time to find a way to convert his Internet-fueled network into a long-term political movement.

    Posted by Eric at 06:29 PM | Comments (0)

    Nader To Decide Shortly

    All of this seems silly since the only people who are supporting a Nader candidacy are Republicans and those too cool to vote for a mainstream politician.

    And look at this quote:

    Another measure of grass-roots support, or lack thereof, can be found at meetup.com, where candidates' supporters register to arrange meetings in their communities. As of Saturday, there were more than 188,000 registered supporters for Howard Dean, 45,000 for John Kerry, 23,000 for Dennis J. Kucinich, 9,000 for John Edwards and a grand total of 375 for Mr. Nader. He did however come out ahead of the Rev. Al Sharpton, who had 233.

    Mr. Nader said his decision would depend mainly on the returns from a fund-raising appeal he recently mailed, and to a lesser extent on whether Dr. Dean remains in the race. Mr. Nader said he was not dissuaded by his standing on meetup.com.

    "A third party can push the agenda and increase voting turnout," said Mr. Nader, who did not sound discouraged by his low numbers on meetup.com. "I really don't deal with the Web. There isn't enough time in the day to go into virtual reality."

    This sounds like saving face, since Nader used a website, naderexplore04.com, to initially test support for his candidacy (until it was overrun by negative responses) and is still using "virtual reality" as a fundraising tool.

    Posted by Eric at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)

    Nader To Decide Shortly

    All of this seems silly since the only people who are supporting a Nader candidacy are Republicans and those too cool to vote for a mainstream politician.

    And look at this quote:

    Another measure of grass-roots support, or lack thereof, can be found at meetup.com, where candidates' supporters register to arrange meetings in their communities. As of Saturday, there were more than 188,000 registered supporters for Howard Dean, 45,000 for John Kerry, 23,000 for Dennis J. Kucinich, 9,000 for John Edwards and a grand total of 375 for Mr. Nader. He did however come out ahead of the Rev. Al Sharpton, who had 233.

    Mr. Nader said his decision would depend mainly on the returns from a fund-raising appeal he recently mailed, and to a lesser extent on whether Dr. Dean remains in the race. Mr. Nader said he was not dissuaded by his standing on meetup.com.

    "A third party can push the agenda and increase voting turnout," said Mr. Nader, who did not sound discouraged by his low numbers on meetup.com. "I really don't deal with the Web. There isn't enough time in the day to go into virtual reality."

    This sounds like saving face, since Nader used a website, naderexplore04.com, to initially test support for his candidacy (until it was overrun by negative responses) and is still using "virtual reality" as a fundraising tool.

    Posted by Eric at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)

    Hanoi Kerry? When People Doctor Photos

    Oh that John Kerry and the company he keeps:

    But wait!

    According to Snopes.com, it's all fake.

    The original photograph (shown in a thumbnail to the right) captured Kerry alone preparing to give a speech at the Register for Peace Rally held in Mineola, New York, on 13 June 1970 (three months prior to the event pictured in the previous Fonda/Kerry photograph). Someone has grafted an image of Jane Fonda with a microphone onto the picture and mocked it up as a newspaper photo to create an impression of closeness between the subjects. (We haven't yet found any articles verifying that Jane Fonda even attended the Register for Peace Rally at which the original photograph was taken.)
    Newsday has more.

    But the photo of Kerry eating kittens? Now that's a different story.

    Posted by Eric at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

    Hanoi Kerry? When People Doctor Photos

    Oh that John Kerry and the company he keeps:

    But wait!

    According to Snopes.com, it's all fake.

    The original photograph (shown in a thumbnail to the right) captured Kerry alone preparing to give a speech at the Register for Peace Rally held in Mineola, New York, on 13 June 1970 (three months prior to the event pictured in the previous Fonda/Kerry photograph). Someone has grafted an image of Jane Fonda with a microphone onto the picture and mocked it up as a newspaper photo to create an impression of closeness between the subjects. (We haven't yet found any articles verifying that Jane Fonda even attended the Register for Peace Rally at which the original photograph was taken.)
    Newsday has more.

    But the photo of Kerry eating kittens? Now that's a different story.

    Posted by Eric at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

    February 14, 2004

    Saturday Stories

    VVoice. The Diminishing of John Ashcroft: A Bipartisan Groundswell of Rebellion
    Weekly Dig. Fog of Secular Anti-Humanism; Fog of War Director
    Metroland. Will You Be My President? In New Hampshire, the Democratic candidates made their offers—and voters tried to decide which one had the goods to take back the White House
    Steve Erickson . George Bush and the Treacherous Country
    Boston Phoenix. What a freak show: debating democracy and religion at the State House
    Houston Press. Spanish Blame Oil Spill on Houston Firm
    WP. Kerry Steps Up Fundraising: Democratic front-runner aims to offset Bush's $100 million war chest.
    Reuters. Slimmer $14 Bln Energy Bill Unveiled
    WP. Senate to Close Intelligence Session
    CNN. Hundreds line up for same-sex marriages
    Eric Boehlert. "Bad news doesn't get better with age": The retired officer who saw Bush National Guard files in a trash can talks back as the White House tries to discredit him, and urges the president to finally come clean
    AP. FDA postpones decision on morning-after pill
    AP. Lawsuit fails to stop gay weddings
    AP. Edwards tells Leno: Marriage is state issue
    AP. Edwards gets backing from Madison mayor, newspaper
    AP. Dean seeks to rally Democratic base in advance of Wisconsin primary
    AP. Kerry spending pledge may limit near-term options against well-funded Bush
    Newsday. Kerry Fires Back at the GOP
    AJC. 'Da Vinci Code' spurs questions, objections
    SFC. Edwards brings his campaign to L.A.; He says he'll offer California voters a choice
    NYT. Halliburton Likely to Be a Campaign Issue This Fall
    NYT. Bush Acts Against Critics on Guard Records and 9/11
    NYT. So Begins the Vice-Presidential Mating Dance
    NYT. Bush's Campaign More Aggressive in Coming Weeks

    Posted by Eric at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

    Saturday Stories

    VVoice. The Diminishing of John Ashcroft: A Bipartisan Groundswell of Rebellion
    Weekly Dig. Fog of Secular Anti-Humanism; Fog of War Director
    Metroland. Will You Be My President? In New Hampshire, the Democratic candidates made their offers—and voters tried to decide which one had the goods to take back the White House
    Steve Erickson . George Bush and the Treacherous Country
    Boston Phoenix. What a freak show: debating democracy and religion at the State House
    Houston Press. Spanish Blame Oil Spill on Houston Firm
    WP. Kerry Steps Up Fundraising: Democratic front-runner aims to offset Bush's $100 million war chest.
    Reuters. Slimmer $14 Bln Energy Bill Unveiled
    WP. Senate to Close Intelligence Session
    CNN. Hundreds line up for same-sex marriages
    Eric Boehlert. "Bad news doesn't get better with age": The retired officer who saw Bush National Guard files in a trash can talks back as the White House tries to discredit him, and urges the president to finally come clean
    AP. FDA postpones decision on morning-after pill
    AP. Lawsuit fails to stop gay weddings
    AP. Edwards tells Leno: Marriage is state issue
    AP. Edwards gets backing from Madison mayor, newspaper
    AP. Dean seeks to rally Democratic base in advance of Wisconsin primary
    AP. Kerry spending pledge may limit near-term options against well-funded Bush
    Newsday. Kerry Fires Back at the GOP
    AJC. 'Da Vinci Code' spurs questions, objections
    SFC. Edwards brings his campaign to L.A.; He says he'll offer California voters a choice
    NYT. Halliburton Likely to Be a Campaign Issue This Fall
    NYT. Bush Acts Against Critics on Guard Records and 9/11
    NYT. So Begins the Vice-Presidential Mating Dance
    NYT. Bush's Campaign More Aggressive in Coming Weeks

    Posted by Eric at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

    Signs Indicate Dean Ending Campaign

    If the campaign activity over at Dean for America is any indication, the Dean campaign won't continue after the Wisconsin primary. Boston Globe:

    Though the former Vermont governor, who for months led polls in the race for the Democratic nomination, says he will continue campaigning regardless of the results of the Wisconsin primary -- which polls indicate he is likely to lose by a significant margin -- his actions are beginning to say otherwise.

    His calendar for next week is not booked beyond Wednesday, when he plans to return home to Burlington, Vt.

    His staff, some of whom are already planning to leave his headquarters for good on Wednesday, has not sought a new contract with the main air charter company that has been flying him around the country, aides say.

    Dean himself said yesterday he does not know whether he will continue campaigning in a manner resembling the appearances that have filled his calendar for the past two years.

    Asked about his upcoming schedule, he mocked his own raucous speech following his Jan. 19 third-place finish in Iowa, indicating how much his candidacy has changed both in tone and confidence since then. "We're going to California, and then we're going to Minnesota, and then we're going to go to New York," he said, chuckling and in a muted voice, as several listeners made a mock cheer of "Yeagghh." Dean used a similar but full-throated roar to punctuate his speech on caucus night, in which he predicted a political rebound.

    Turning serious, he told a group of reporters who joined him on a dairy farm tour: "I'm going to go back to Burlington and kind of regroup and figure out how to tackle 10 of the biggest states in the country at the same time."

    Yet moments later, when asked if he would remain an official candidate heading into the March 2 "Super Tuesday" voting in those 10 states, Dean said, "I don't know the answer to that question yet."

    Posted by Eric at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)

    Signs Indicate Dean Ending Campaign

    If the campaign activity over at Dean for America is any indication, the Dean campaign won't continue after the Wisconsin primary. Boston Globe:

    Though the former Vermont governor, who for months led polls in the race for the Democratic nomination, says he will continue campaigning regardless of the results of the Wisconsin primary -- which polls indicate he is likely to lose by a significant margin -- his actions are beginning to say otherwise.

    His calendar for next week is not booked beyond Wednesday, when he plans to return home to Burlington, Vt.

    His staff, some of whom are already planning to leave his headquarters for good on Wednesday, has not sought a new contract with the main air charter company that has been flying him around the country, aides say.

    Dean himself said yesterday he does not know whether he will continue campaigning in a manner resembling the appearances that have filled his calendar for the past two years.

    Asked about his upcoming schedule, he mocked his own raucous speech following his Jan. 19 third-place finish in Iowa, indicating how much his candidacy has changed both in tone and confidence since then. "We're going to California, and then we're going to Minnesota, and then we're going to go to New York," he said, chuckling and in a muted voice, as several listeners made a mock cheer of "Yeagghh." Dean used a similar but full-throated roar to punctuate his speech on caucus night, in which he predicted a political rebound.

    Turning serious, he told a group of reporters who joined him on a dairy farm tour: "I'm going to go back to Burlington and kind of regroup and figure out how to tackle 10 of the biggest states in the country at the same time."

    Yet moments later, when asked if he would remain an official candidate heading into the March 2 "Super Tuesday" voting in those 10 states, Dean said, "I don't know the answer to that question yet."

    Posted by Eric at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)

    Environmental Lawyer Running for Congress

    Doug Haines is a Democrat running to represent the citizens of the 12th District of Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives. Unlike many politicians, on the environment, Haines has actually walked the walk:

    In 1992 Doug returned to Athens and founded Georgia Legal Watch, a nonprofit public-interest law firm devoted to protecting our rights to a clean environment and to open, democratic government. Doug’s breakthrough at Legal Watch came in 1994, when he sued to compel the state to enforce anti-pollution laws to clean up Georgia’s rivers. Doug won the case, and as part of the settlement received $300,000 earmarked to help him provide Georgia’s communities with free legal help in environmental disputes.

    Since then, Doug’s work at Legal Watch has produced some of the most significant environmental protections in Georgia. His efforts have been directly responsible for the creation and enforcement of pollution limits for all of Georgia’s rivers and for the creation of water treatment facilities in Augusta. Doug’s work has helped clean up and protect sources of drinking water for Georgia communities such as Trion. He has also worked to protect the state’s children by getting lead out of the drinking water in nurseries and warning communities about health hazards in their area.

    Impressive, in a time when environmental regulations are being stripped away by a willing Congress. If want to learn more, or send him a few bucks, go to his site.

    Haines is among four other Democrats running in the primaries to challenge Max Burns.

    Posted by Eric at 04:19 PM | Comments (0)

    Environmental Lawyer Running for Congress

    Doug Haines is a Democrat running to represent the citizens of the 12th District of Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives. Unlike many politicians, on the environment, Haines has actually walked the walk:

    In 1992 Doug returned to Athens and founded Georgia Legal Watch, a nonprofit public-interest law firm devoted to protecting our rights to a clean environment and to open, democratic government. Doug’s breakthrough at Legal Watch came in 1994, when he sued to compel the state to enforce anti-pollution laws to clean up Georgia’s rivers. Doug won the case, and as part of the settlement received $300,000 earmarked to help him provide Georgia’s communities with free legal help in environmental disputes.

    Since then, Doug’s work at Legal Watch has produced some of the most significant environmental protections in Georgia. His efforts have been directly responsible for the creation and enforcement of pollution limits for all of Georgia’s rivers and for the creation of water treatment facilities in Augusta. Doug’s work has helped clean up and protect sources of drinking water for Georgia communities such as Trion. He has also worked to protect the state’s children by getting lead out of the drinking water in nurseries and warning communities about health hazards in their area.

    Impressive, in a time when environmental regulations are being stripped away by a willing Congress. If want to learn more, or send him a few bucks, go to his site.

    Haines is among four other Democrats running in the primaries to challenge Max Burns.

    Posted by Eric at 04:19 PM | Comments (0)

    How the Lawyer Became Kerry's Top Opponent

    Yes, after dinner, we should all "kill the lawyers," as Shakespeare once wrote. But a look at John Edwards and his lawyer past reveals, according to Howard Blume in the LA Weekly, the "heart of John Edwards"

    In the end, how much is Edwards the malleable advocate, with positions based on what he thinks most people want to hear, especially if it will advance his career? Does he hold progressive core beliefs that he could marshal into progressive policy?

    Edwards’ courtroom victories suggest a positive answer, showcasing as they do his desire to right wrongs, to see justice — in financial terms at least — delivered to victims who’ve suffered because of medical malpractice, a defective product or an indifferent corporation focused exclusively on the bottom line.

    One notable case involved the family of my friend Harry Howard, with whom I’d also grown up. Harry’s brother and his brother’s wife had died when the driver of a 30,000-pound tractor-trailer lost control, crossed the center line of a narrow, dangerous road and plowed into their car. Their 4-year-old son was orphaned. Edwards and his team, which included my lawyer pal Mark Holt, argued that the driver was negligent and that his company’s policies encouraged unsafe driving. One reason that Harry’s mother had pursued the case was to send a message to trucking companies. Edwards later noted, “Trucking firms in North Carolina were soon placing greater emphasis on driver-safety training. They were equipping more and more of their vehicles with governors to regulate driving speed. Some companies even abandoned the practice of paying drivers by the mile.”

    But Edwards was less encouraged by another response. Insurance-company lobbyists subsequently prevailed on a bill that disallowed punitive damages related to an employee’s actions, “unless that particular action was specifically ratified by corporate officers,” wrote Edwards in Four Trials, his book published to coincide with his presidential campaign.

    “Yes,” wrote Edwards, “our lawsuit had sent a message, and that message ultimately was: If you don’t like the law, change it . . . The message to me, on the other hand, was one I’d confronted over my legal career and I’d grown to appreciate: If you can’t help enough people being a lawyer, consider being a lawmaker.” ... The case of Valerie Lakey had clear public-policy implications for the future senator. Valerie had nearly died at age 5 when caught in the suction of a pool drain. The accident tore out 80 percent of her small intestine and 50 percent of her large intestine. Valerie’s father, David, spearheaded a successful legislative drive requiring pools in North Carolina to have two drains, a safety feature that could have prevented the tragedy. In the trial, Edwards and Kirby uncovered a series of previous tragedies that had not spurred the company to remedy its product.

    Valerie, now 16, faces a lifetime of expensive health challenges, but has emerged from her ongoing ordeal a smart, slightly sassy teen, with a waif-like attractiveness and a taste for goth.

    “We think the world of John Edwards,” said Valerie’s mother, Sandy. “We think he’s extremely intelligent and articulate and would be an awesome president.”

    Edwards’ final cases marked a turning point, said Kirby. “He was even better at representing these people, more connected to his clients, after the death of his son. He felt it. He could communicate to others what it is like to have this loss. But I think it was too painful from an emotional standpoint.

    “We’re in the misery business,” added Kirby. “We deal with loss and injury here, in particular we represent a lot of children who are killed, brain-damaged, horribly burned. Having lost his own child, it became a very difficult, emotional struggle for John.”

    Frank A. Daniels Jr., the retired publisher of the Raleigh News & Observer, on why he supports Edwards:
    “And I think Edwards understands that if you want to do anything for this country, you’ve got to represent somebody other than those folks who have money. I have some money. I believe in people trying to get some, but I also believe people have an opportunity to give as much as they can get, achieve whatever they can achieve. I think John Edwards advocates that far, far better than anybody who’s been running in recent times.”

    Posted by Eric at 03:53 PM | Comments (0)

    How the Lawyer Became Kerry's Top Opponent

    Yes, after dinner, we should all "kill the lawyers," as Shakespeare once wrote. But a look at John Edwards and his lawyer past reveals, according to Howard Blume in the LA Weekly, the "heart of John Edwards"

    In the end, how much is Edwards the malleable advocate, with positions based on what he thinks most people want to hear, especially if it will advance his career? Does he hold progressive core beliefs that he could marshal into progressive policy?

    Edwards’ courtroom victories suggest a positive answer, showcasing as they do his desire to right wrongs, to see justice — in financial terms at least — delivered to victims who’ve suffered because of medical malpractice, a defective product or an indifferent corporation focused exclusively on the bottom line.

    One notable case involved the family of my friend Harry Howard, with whom I’d also grown up. Harry’s brother and his brother’s wife had died when the driver of a 30,000-pound tractor-trailer lost control, crossed the center line of a narrow, dangerous road and plowed into their car. Their 4-year-old son was orphaned. Edwards and his team, which included my lawyer pal Mark Holt, argued that the driver was negligent and that his company’s policies encouraged unsafe driving. One reason that Harry’s mother had pursued the case was to send a message to trucking companies. Edwards later noted, “Trucking firms in North Carolina were soon placing greater emphasis on driver-safety training. They were equipping more and more of their vehicles with governors to regulate driving speed. Some companies even abandoned the practice of paying drivers by the mile.”

    But Edwards was less encouraged by another response. Insurance-company lobbyists subsequently prevailed on a bill that disallowed punitive damages related to an employee’s actions, “unless that particular action was specifically ratified by corporate officers,” wrote Edwards in Four Trials, his book published to coincide with his presidential campaign.

    “Yes,” wrote Edwards, “our lawsuit had sent a message, and that message ultimately was: If you don’t like the law, change it . . . The message to me, on the other hand, was one I’d confronted over my legal career and I’d grown to appreciate: If you can’t help enough people being a lawyer, consider being a lawmaker.” ... The case of Valerie Lakey had clear public-policy implications for the future senator. Valerie had nearly died at age 5 when caught in the suction of a pool drain. The accident tore out 80 percent of her small intestine and 50 percent of her large intestine. Valerie’s father, David, spearheaded a successful legislative drive requiring pools in North Carolina to have two drains, a safety feature that could have prevented the tragedy. In the trial, Edwards and Kirby uncovered a series of previous tragedies that had not spurred the company to remedy its product.

    Valerie, now 16, faces a lifetime of expensive health challenges, but has emerged from her ongoing ordeal a smart, slightly sassy teen, with a waif-like attractiveness and a taste for goth.

    “We think the world of John Edwards,” said Valerie’s mother, Sandy. “We think he’s extremely intelligent and articulate and would be an awesome president.”

    Edwards’ final cases marked a turning point, said Kirby. “He was even better at representing these people, more connected to his clients, after the death of his son. He felt it. He could communicate to others what it is like to have this loss. But I think it was too painful from an emotional standpoint.

    “We’re in the misery business,” added Kirby. “We deal with loss and injury here, in particular we represent a lot of children who are killed, brain-damaged, horribly burned. Having lost his own child, it became a very difficult, emotional struggle for John.”

    Frank A. Daniels Jr., the retired publisher of the Raleigh News & Observer, on why he supports Edwards:
    “And I think Edwards understands that if you want to do anything for this country, you’ve got to represent somebody other than those folks who have money. I have some money. I believe in people trying to get some, but I also believe people have an opportunity to give as much as they can get, achieve whatever they can achieve. I think John Edwards advocates that far, far better than anybody who’s been running in recent times.”

    Posted by Eric at 03:53 PM | Comments (0)

    Conservatives Love The Kerry

    Kerry is the hot topic among conservative columnists.

    Posted by Eric at 03:16 PM | Comments (0)

    Conservatives Love The Kerry

    Kerry is the hot topic among conservative columnists.

    Posted by Eric at 03:16 PM | Comments (0)

    Stupid Quote Saturday

    "Cleland lost three limbs in an accident during a routine noncombat mission where he was about to drink beer with friends. He saw a grenade on the ground and picked it up. He could have done that at Fort Dix. In fact, Cleland could have dropped a grenade on his foot as a National Guardsman –- or what Cleland sneeringly calls "weekend warriors." Luckily for Cleland's political career and current pomposity about Bush, he happened to do it while in Vietnam." Ann Coulter on Max Cleland's luck.

    "Then you wake up at the high school level and find out that the illiteracy level of our children are appalling." —George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 23, 2004

    "Antichrists. Yes, plural. There have been set loose antichrists, those in the plural who abhor Christ as Lord, denigrate the revealed truth, and despise biblical morality. They hate biblical standards. They rail and rant even at the shadow of divine expectations. Now the show takes place on the homosexual stage with many so-called upright citizens being so brainwashed as to support the display full-tilt. Amazing. Apostate. Hell-bent." Columnist J. Brant Swank Jr.

    Posted by Eric at 03:16 PM | Comments (0)

    Stupid Quote Saturday

    "Cleland lost three limbs in an accident during a routine noncombat mission where he was about to drink beer with friends. He saw a grenade on the ground and picked it up. He could have done that at Fort Dix. In fact, Cleland could have dropped a grenade on his foot as a National Guardsman –- or what Cleland sneeringly calls "weekend warriors." Luckily for Cleland's political career and current pomposity about Bush, he happened to do it while in Vietnam." Ann Coulter on Max Cleland's luck.

    "Then you wake up at the high school level and find out that the illiteracy level of our children are appalling." —George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 23, 2004

    "Antichrists. Yes, plural. There have been set loose antichrists, those in the plural who abhor Christ as Lord, denigrate the revealed truth, and despise biblical morality. They hate biblical standards. They rail and rant even at the shadow of divine expectations. Now the show takes place on the homosexual stage with many so-called upright citizens being so brainwashed as to support the display full-tilt. Amazing. Apostate. Hell-bent." Columnist J. Brant Swank Jr.

    Posted by Eric at 03:16 PM | Comments (0)

    American Progress Responds to Coulter

    Here.

    Posted by Eric at 02:53 PM | Comments (0)

    American Progress Responds to Coulter

    Here.

    Posted by Eric at 02:53 PM | Comments (0)

    February 13, 2004

    Friday Stories

    E.J. Dionne, Jr.. Edwards attacks outsourcing: Leading Dems strike on Bush report advocating more job exports
    Chris Floyd. Recent history shows exactly how, and why, the intelligence data concerning Iraq's nonexistent WMD became a justification for military aggression
    CBS. 9-11 Panel Seeks Presidential View
    Clarence Page. Sharpton Campaign Shows Its No-mentum
    Bobby Kahn. GOP power grab covers all bases
    AJC. The Canadian drug connection: Columbus, Ga., prescription shop defies crackdown, helps people import drugs at big savings.
    Matt Bivens. Offshoring Jobs: It's the best new thing about free trade, says Bush's team.
    David Corn. The Blame Game
    Ruth Rosen. The Content of His Character
    NYT. Justice Dept. Seeks Hospitals' Records of Some Abortions
    Eric Boehlert. Bush's service records: The score card; Did the president walk out on the Texas Air National Guard 30 years ago? A guide through the morass of new evidence
    Joe Conason. There he goes again! Matt Drudge and the GOP smear machine are back in the Democrats' pants
    NYT. Ashcroft Defends Subpoenas
    NYT. More than 50 Gay Couples Are Married in San Francisco
    Paul Krugman. The Real Man
    Bob Herbert. Bush's Duty, and Privilege
    NYT. Conservatives Shine Spotlight on Kerry's Antiwar Record
    Richard Blow. The White House is on the defensive about Bush's military record. Will it respond by fighting dirty?
    John Sonego. The GOP hopes attacking gay marriage will turn the election. They're wrong
    Reuters. Kerry Wins Clark's Backing, Republican Attacks
    AP. Bush campaign launching video message against Kerry
    AP. Edwards campaigns in Calfornia, remains upbeat about presidential prospects
    USAT. Dean, Edwards pin hopes on Wis. wild card
    Walter Shapiro. Combative Dean has yet to win, but he's not at a loss
    AJC. Suspense turns to No. 2 spot on ticket

    Posted by Eric at 11:52 PM | Comments (0)

    Friday Stories

    E.J. Dionne, Jr.. Edwards attacks outsourcing: Leading Dems strike on Bush report advocating more job exports
    Chris Floyd. Recent history shows exactly how, and why, the intelligence data concerning Iraq's nonexistent WMD became a justification for military aggression
    CBS. 9-11 Panel Seeks Presidential View
    Clarence Page. Sharpton Campaign Shows Its No-mentum
    Bobby Kahn. GOP power grab covers all bases
    AJC. The Canadian drug connection: Columbus, Ga., prescription shop defies crackdown, helps people import drugs at big savings.
    Matt Bivens. Offshoring Jobs: It's the best new thing about free trade, says Bush's team.
    David Corn. The Blame Game
    Ruth Rosen. The Content of His Character
    NYT. Justice Dept. Seeks Hospitals' Records of Some Abortions
    Eric Boehlert. Bush's service records: The score card; Did the president walk out on the Texas Air National Guard 30 years ago? A guide through the morass of new evidence
    Joe Conason. There he goes again! Matt Drudge and the GOP smear machine are back in the Democrats' pants
    NYT. Ashcroft Defends Subpoenas
    NYT. More than 50 Gay Couples Are Married in San Francisco
    Paul Krugman. The Real Man
    Bob Herbert. Bush's Duty, and Privilege
    NYT. Conservatives Shine Spotlight on Kerry's Antiwar Record
    Richard Blow. The White House is on the defensive about Bush's military record. Will it respond by fighting dirty?
    John Sonego. The GOP hopes attacking gay marriage will turn the election. They're wrong
    Reuters. Kerry Wins Clark's Backing, Republican Attacks
    AP. Bush campaign launching video message against Kerry
    AP. Edwards campaigns in Calfornia, remains upbeat about presidential prospects
    USAT. Dean, Edwards pin hopes on Wis. wild card
    Walter Shapiro. Combative Dean has yet to win, but he's not at a loss
    AJC. Suspense turns to No. 2 spot on ticket

    Posted by Eric at 11:52 PM | Comments (0)

    New Blog Ad: Tony Knowles for Senate

    Say hi to Gov. Tony Knowles of Alaska, who joins Chandler as Washington hopefuls advertising on blogs. Knowles currently has a slight lead over Republican Lisa Murkowski.

    Posted by Eric at 09:05 PM | Comments (0)

    New Blog Ad: Tony Knowles for Senate

    Say hi to Gov. Tony Knowles of Alaska, who joins Chandler as Washington hopefuls advertising on blogs. Knowles currently has a slight lead over Republican Lisa Murkowski.

    Posted by Eric at 09:05 PM | Comments (0)

    McClellan Lashes Out at Helen Thomas

    The question, from Helen Thomas, was about Bush's service records. McClellan didn't like it:

    Scott McClellan finally lost it Friday, according to White House reporters. He doesn’t see it that way.

    The White House press secretary had kept his cool all week as reporters pounced on him about President George Bush’s 1970s service in the National Guard. Facing perhaps his toughest week as press secretary, McClellan got testy Tuesday under questioning by CBS correspondent John Roberts during the televised briefing. He then blew up at old pro Helen Thomas during the private “gaggle” for reporters on Friday.

    Thomas had gotten a tip that Bush might have been absent from duty in Alabama because he was performing court-ordered community service in Texas in 1972. She asked McClellan if that was accurate.

    According to reporters in the press room, McClellan got red-faced and became so angry, it looked to some as if he were ready to pounce. He characterized the question as coming from “gutter politics.”

    Thomas, who has covered every president since Dwight Eisenhower and now writes a column for Hearst, was not fazed. “I think they are getting pretty nervous about this,” she said Friday afternoon. “I’ve learned over the years that when you put out records, it often leads to more questions.”

    Some questions are out of bounds, McClellan told The Washingtonian: “Helen was asking about trashy rumors. There’s a difference between trashy rumors and journalism. I will not dignify them from the podium."

    Talking Points Memo has more.

    Posted by Eric at 08:57 PM | Comments (0)

    McClellan Lashes Out at Helen Thomas

    The question, from Helen Thomas, was about Bush's service records. McClellan didn't like it:

    Scott McClellan finally lost it Friday, according to White House reporters. He doesn’t see it that way.

    The White House press secretary had kept his cool all week as reporters pounced on him about President George Bush’s 1970s service in the National Guard. Facing perhaps his toughest week as press secretary, McClellan got testy Tuesday under questioning by CBS correspondent John Roberts during the televised briefing. He then blew up at old pro Helen Thomas during the private “gaggle” for reporters on Friday.

    Thomas had gotten a tip that Bush might have been absent from duty in Alabama because he was performing court-ordered community service in Texas in 1972. She asked McClellan if that was accurate.

    According to reporters in the press room, McClellan got red-faced and became so angry, it looked to some as if he were ready to pounce. He characterized the question as coming from “gutter politics.”

    Thomas, who has covered every president since Dwight Eisenhower and now writes a column for Hearst, was not fazed. “I think they are getting pretty nervous about this,” she said Friday afternoon. “I’ve learned over the years that when you put out records, it often leads to more questions.”

    Some questions are out of bounds, McClellan told The Washingtonian: “Helen was asking about trashy rumors. There’s a difference between trashy rumors and journalism. I will not dignify them from the podium."

    Talking Points Memo has more.

    Posted by Eric at 08:57 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark Officially Backs Kerry

    Clark joined the Kerry bandwagon today, saying Kerry "will stand up to the Republican attack dogs and send them home licking their wounds":

    "Working together, we can build a better America. An America where we don't just talk about family values, but where we actually value families. Where a job, an education, and health care aren't just luxuries for the chosen few. An America where we don't just preach our faith - we practice it. Where those that have the most reach out to those with the least. An America where everyone has a shot at the American dream, no matter where they're from. Where we include everyone, recognizing that diversity is our greatest strength. An America where we understand that debate and dissent - that questioning your leaders and holding them accountable - is the highest form of patriotism. Where being patriotic means using force as a last resort, not as a political tool. An America where we look up to our leaders, and trust our commander in chief. An America that the world listens to and admires again.

    "I'm here today because I believe John Kerry has the right experience, the right values, and the right leadership and character to beat George W. Bush. I believe he has the right message to bring back jobs and prosperity, provide affordable health care for all, move our economy forward into the 21st century, and make America safer and stronger in the world.

    "And I believe he has the crucial experience and background in foreign policy to go toe-to-toe with George Bush on national security and win.

    "Both John and I served in Vietnam - and know what it is to be tested on the battlefield, fighting for your country. John Kerry never quit fighting for his country. From a young DA sending criminals away for life to a courageous Senator standing up for what's right, John Kerry has been the kind of leader America needs. He will stand up to the Republican attack dogs and send them home licking their wounds.

    "John Kerry is the leader our party and our nation need for the 21st century. And that is why I am so proud to endorse him as our next President of the United States. Ladies and gentleman, our leader, the next president, John Kerry!"

    Posted by Eric at 08:14 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark Officially Backs Kerry

    Clark joined the Kerry bandwagon today, saying Kerry "will stand up to the Republican attack dogs and send them home licking their wounds":

    "Working together, we can build a better America. An America where we don't just talk about family values, but where we actually value families. Where a job, an education, and health care aren't just luxuries for the chosen few. An America where we don't just preach our faith - we practice it. Where those that have the most reach out to those with the least. An America where everyone has a shot at the American dream, no matter where they're from. Where we include everyone, recognizing that diversity is our greatest strength. An America where we understand that debate and dissent - that questioning your leaders and holding them accountable - is the highest form of patriotism. Where being patriotic means using force as a last resort, not as a political tool. An America where we look up to our leaders, and trust our commander in chief. An America that the world listens to and admires again.

    "I'm here today because I believe John Kerry has the right experience, the right values, and the right leadership and character to beat George W. Bush. I believe he has the right message to bring back jobs and prosperity, provide affordable health care for all, move our economy forward into the 21st century, and make America safer and stronger in the world.

    "And I believe he has the crucial experience and background in foreign policy to go toe-to-toe with George Bush on national security and win.

    "Both John and I served in Vietnam - and know what it is to be tested on the battlefield, fighting for your country. John Kerry never quit fighting for his country. From a young DA sending criminals away for life to a courageous Senator standing up for what's right, John Kerry has been the kind of leader America needs. He will stand up to the Republican attack dogs and send them home licking their wounds.

    "John Kerry is the leader our party and our nation need for the 21st century. And that is why I am so proud to endorse him as our next President of the United States. Ladies and gentleman, our leader, the next president, John Kerry!"

    Posted by Eric at 08:14 PM | Comments (0)

    Canada Attacks ... Conan

    The Canadian government is offended by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Imagine that, someone being insulted by an insult comic puppet who sniffs other dog's butts.

    "We want to disassociate ourselves from the comments which were broadcast last night because we do not support them in any way," junior government minister Mauril Belanger told Parliament.

    At one point in the show, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog -- a hand puppet that is a regular on the show -- said to a Quebecer: "You're French, you're obnoxious and you no speekay English." It told another: "I can smell your crotch from here."

    O'Brien's team were also shown replacing street signs in the province with those that read "Quebecqueer Street" and "Rue des Pussies."

    Alexa McDonough, a legislator for the left-leaning New Democrats, described the program as "racist filth" and "utterly vile" and demanded the government seek the return of the C$1 million subsidy.

    I'm sure Robert Smigel is devastated.

    Posted by Eric at 07:44 PM | Comments (0)

    Canada Attacks ... Conan

    The Canadian government is offended by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Imagine that, someone being insulted by an insult comic puppet who sniffs other dog's butts.

    "We want to disassociate ourselves from the comments which were broadcast last night because we do not support them in any way," junior government minister Mauril Belanger told Parliament.

    At one point in the show, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog -- a hand puppet that is a regular on the show -- said to a Quebecer: "You're French, you're obnoxious and you no speekay English." It told another: "I can smell your crotch from here."

    O'Brien's team were also shown replacing street signs in the province with those that read "Quebecqueer Street" and "Rue des Pussies."

    Alexa McDonough, a legislator for the left-leaning New Democrats, described the program as "racist filth" and "utterly vile" and demanded the government seek the return of the C$1 million subsidy.

    I'm sure Robert Smigel is devastated.

    Posted by Eric at 07:44 PM | Comments (0)

    Chandler Ten Points Over Kerr

    According to the latest Bluegrass Poll

    In the Bluegrass Poll, published Thursday by The Courier-Journal, 49.4 percent said they supported Chandler compared with 39.6 percent for Kerr and 11 percent undecided.

    The poll, which surveyed 466 self-described likely voters, has an error margin of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. Thus, Chandler holds a slight lead when accounting for the error margin.

    The vacancy was created in December when Republican Ernie Fletcher took office as Kentucky governor. The race has drawn state and national interest, partly because of Chandler's loss to Fletcher in the governor's race and because it is the first Democrat-Republican race of national impact in 2004.

    Posted by Eric at 07:22 PM | Comments (0)

    Chandler Ten Points Over Kerr

    According to the latest Bluegrass Poll

    In the Bluegrass Poll, published Thursday by The Courier-Journal, 49.4 percent said they supported Chandler compared with 39.6 percent for Kerr and 11 percent undecided.

    The poll, which surveyed 466 self-described likely voters, has an error margin of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. Thus, Chandler holds a slight lead when accounting for the error margin.

    The vacancy was created in December when Republican Ernie Fletcher took office as Kentucky governor. The race has drawn state and national interest, partly because of Chandler's loss to Fletcher in the governor's race and because it is the first Democrat-Republican race of national impact in 2004.

    Posted by Eric at 07:22 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark Considering Gov?

    From USNews gossip column, a brief aside:

    Hours after Wes Clark bowed out of the presidential race this week, he phoned up to say thanks to the group who put him on the map: the Draft Clark network. We hear that he took pains to credit the draft effort with helping him get so far, noting that even his professional team of advisers “still didn’t get it” that the draft effort was the key to his limited success. The retired general said that "Campaigns are fluky, and you never know if something weird is going to happen–and it did. The leading candidate (Howard Dean) folded."

    Clark, who is now rumored to be considering a run for governor of Arkansas, said he wanted the draft movement to retain "our own identity," and its goal should be to get "George W. Bush out of there. That's the most important thing for our country."

    In the meantime, Clark and his wife are going on vacation, even though aides said he used to avoid them because they were boring. But, he told his troops, he’s ready to be bored for a change.

    Posted by Eric at 03:10 AM | Comments (0)

    Clark Considering Gov?

    From USNews gossip column, a brief aside:

    Hours after Wes Clark bowed out of the presidential race this week, he phoned up to say thanks to the group who put him on the map: the Draft Clark network. We hear that he took pains to credit the draft effort with helping him get so far, noting that even his professional team of advisers “still didn’t get it” that the draft effort was the key to his limited success. The retired general said that "Campaigns are fluky, and you never know if something weird is going to happen–and it did. The leading candidate (Howard Dean) folded."

    Clark, who is now rumored to be considering a run for governor of Arkansas, said he wanted the draft movement to retain "our own identity," and its goal should be to get "George W. Bush out of there. That's the most important thing for our country."

    In the meantime, Clark and his wife are going on vacation, even though aides said he used to avoid them because they were boring. But, he told his troops, he’s ready to be bored for a change.

    Posted by Eric at 03:10 AM | Comments (0)

    Hamster Numbers: Jobs Predictions

    From the EPI:

    The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) writes the Economic Report of the President, the administration's major annual assessment of economic trends. In each of the last three years, the report has included the administration's employment forecast for coming years. The following conclusions stand out from an assessment of these forecasts:

    • Job growth would have to improve dramatically to meet the CEA's just-released prediction of an average of 132.7 million jobs in 2004. The administration's prediction would only be met if job growth averaged more than 450,000 new jobs each month, about four times the level of job growth in January.1

    • Actual employment levels in recent years have fallen far below administration forecasts. In its 2003 report, for example, the CEA predicted that the average number of jobs in 2003 would be 1.7 million higher than its average in 2002. Instead, it was 400,000 lower. (See Table 1.)

    • Each successive year, the administration has had to lower its starting point for jobs, but it has forecast strong growth just around the corner. For instance, in its 2002 report the CEA predicted there would be 138.3 million jobs in 2004. Now its prediction of 132.7 million (which is also likely to be too optimistic) is for 5.6 million fewer jobs than its 2002 forecast.

    Posted by Eric at 01:55 AM | Comments (0)

    Hamster Numbers: Jobs Predictions

    From the EPI:

    The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) writes the Economic Report of the President, the administration's major annual assessment of economic trends. In each of the last three years, the report has included the administration's employment forecast for coming years. The following conclusions stand out from an assessment of these forecasts:

    • Job growth would have to improve dramatically to meet the CEA's just-released prediction of an average of 132.7 million jobs in 2004. The administration's prediction would only be met if job growth averaged more than 450,000 new jobs each month, about four times the level of job growth in January.1

    • Actual employment levels in recent years have fallen far below administration forecasts. In its 2003 report, for example, the CEA predicted that the average number of jobs in 2003 would be 1.7 million higher than its average in 2002. Instead, it was 400,000 lower. (See Table 1.)

    • Each successive year, the administration has had to lower its starting point for jobs, but it has forecast strong growth just around the corner. For instance, in its 2002 report the CEA predicted there would be 138.3 million jobs in 2004. Now its prediction of 132.7 million (which is also likely to be too optimistic) is for 5.6 million fewer jobs than its 2002 forecast.

    Posted by Eric at 01:55 AM | Comments (0)

    February 12, 2004

    Thursday Stories

    NYT. Move to Screen Bush File in 90's Is Reported
    AP. Chandler leads Kerr in Sixth District race poll
    BuzzFlash . BuzzFlash interview: Rep. Rush Holt; On paper voting trails and restoring voter confidence
    Joe Conason. See what happens when you don't read? Awash in good news from his staffers, president projects delusional optimism
    WP. Hastert Rebukes Bush Adviser
    Christopher Johns. Et tu, Colin?
    CNN. Same-sex marriage debate heats up in Boston
    AP. San Francisco issues marriage licenses to gays
    Bill Press. Was Bush AWOL? Here's More Evidence
    David Hackworth. Count on Ritter to tell it to us straight
    AP. Dean Says He Favors Edwards Over Kerry
    Newsweek. ‘Oh Hell’ High over Wisconsin, the deck is stacked against Howard Dean
    TIME. Will Iraq Start to Unravel? Kurdish calls for autonomy are generating fears of ethnic conflict that could complicate U.S. exit plans
    AP. Greenspan warns of soaring budget deficit
    Bill Berkowitz. Criminal Dissent: Are recent legal tactics in Iowa part of a larger Bush administration effort to punish its critics?
    Elizabeth Warren. Kicking the Middle Class When It's Down
    EE Times. Halliburton among top DoD contractors in 2003
    AP. Passenger screening plan still weak, probe finds
    LAT. Massachusetts senate narrowly votes down amendments to ban gay marriage and redefine it as union between only a man and woman
    Inter Press Service. Cyber-Campaign Demands Congress Censure Bush
    Amanda Griscom. Environmentalists hope Senate Democrats will block Bush's new ranch-friendly judicial nominee, but a filibuster might suit the Bush administration just fine
    Sidney Blumenthal. Three decades ago, a worried Nixon White House tried to destroy young John Kerry, a war hero who interfered with its plan to smear Democrats as un-American. Today's White House has the same problem
    AP. Second Iraq bombing pushes toll to 100
    Salon. John Kerry's nomination quest may be sealed, but the true tests lie before him: Attacks from a GOP apparatus with unlimited resources and the unfettered scrutiny of the national media
    Michael Moore. An Open Letter to George 'I'm a War President!' Bush
    Arianna Huffington. Avoid the Call of the Mild
    AP. Edwards hopes voters see him as viable alternative to Kerry
    USAT. Research team clones human embryos
    FTimes. Breast-baring incident incurs wrath of Congress
    WP. Dean Calls Kerry 'Lesser of Two Evils'
    WP. CIA Analysis Rules Changed
    NYT. For Kerry, More to Gain in Leading Than Winning
    CBS. Why The General Lost The Battle
    Reuters. Edwards Woos Worried Workers in Wisconsin
    SFC. Clark drops out of race for Democrat nomination: Retired general's poor showing in South doomed his candidacy
    USAT. Edwards staying on the trail

    Posted by Eric at 11:48 PM | Comments (0)

    Thursday Stories

    NYT. Move to Screen Bush File in 90's Is Reported
    AP. Chandler leads Kerr in Sixth District race poll
    BuzzFlash . BuzzFlash interview: Rep. Rush Holt; On paper voting trails and restoring voter confidence
    Joe Conason. See what happens when you don't read? Awash in good news from his staffers, president projects delusional optimism
    WP. Hastert Rebukes Bush Adviser
    Christopher Johns. Et tu, Colin?
    CNN. Same-sex marriage debate heats up in Boston
    AP. San Francisco issues marriage licenses to gays
    Bill Press. Was Bush AWOL? Here's More Evidence
    David Hackworth. Count on Ritter to tell it to us straight
    AP. Dean Says He Favors Edwards Over Kerry
    Newsweek. ‘Oh Hell’ High over Wisconsin, the deck is stacked against Howard Dean
    TIME. Will Iraq Start to Unravel? Kurdish calls for autonomy are generating fears of ethnic conflict that could complicate U.S. exit plans
    AP. Greenspan warns of soaring budget deficit
    Bill Berkowitz. Criminal Dissent: Are recent legal tactics in Iowa part of a larger Bush administration effort to punish its critics?
    Elizabeth Warren. Kicking the Middle Class When It's Down
    EE Times. Halliburton among top DoD contractors in 2003
    AP. Passenger screening plan still weak, probe finds
    LAT. Massachusetts senate narrowly votes down amendments to ban gay marriage and redefine it as union between only a man and woman
    Inter Press Service. Cyber-Campaign Demands Congress Censure Bush
    Amanda Griscom. Environmentalists hope Senate Democrats will block Bush's new ranch-friendly judicial nominee, but a filibuster might suit the Bush administration just fine
    Sidney Blumenthal. Three decades ago, a worried Nixon White House tried to destroy young John Kerry, a war hero who interfered with its plan to smear Democrats as un-American. Today's White House has the same problem
    AP. Second Iraq bombing pushes toll to 100
    Salon. John Kerry's nomination quest may be sealed, but the true tests lie before him: Attacks from a GOP apparatus with unlimited resources and the unfettered scrutiny of the national media
    Michael Moore. An Open Letter to George 'I'm a War President!' Bush
    Arianna Huffington. Avoid the Call of the Mild
    AP. Edwards hopes voters see him as viable alternative to Kerry
    USAT. Research team clones human embryos
    FTimes. Breast-baring incident incurs wrath of Congress
    WP. Dean Calls Kerry 'Lesser of Two Evils'
    WP. CIA Analysis Rules Changed
    NYT. For Kerry, More to Gain in Leading Than Winning
    CBS. Why The General Lost The Battle
    Reuters. Edwards Woos Worried Workers in Wisconsin
    SFC. Clark drops out of race for Democrat nomination: Retired general's poor showing in South doomed his candidacy
    USAT. Edwards staying on the trail

    Posted by Eric at 11:48 PM | Comments (0)

    2 Eyewitnesses: Bush Never Showed

    From the Memphis Flyer:

    Two members of the Air National Guard unit that President George W. Bush allegedly served with as a young Guard flyer in 1972 had been told to expect him and were on the lookout for him. He never showed, however; of that both Bob Mintz and Paul Bishop are certain.

    The question of Bush’s presence in 1972 at Dannelly Air National Guard base in Montgomery, Alabama – or the lack of it – has become an issue in the 2004 presidential campaign.

    Recalls Memphian Mintz, now 63: “I remember that I heard someone was coming to drill with us from Texas. And it was implied that it was somebody with political influence. I was a young bachelor then. I was looking for somebody to prowl around with.” But, says Mintz, that “somebody” -- better known to the world now as the president of the United States -- never showed up at Dannelly in 1972. Nor in 1973, nor at any time that Mintz, a FedEx pilot now and an Eastern Airlines pilot then, when he was a reserve first lieutenant at Dannelly, can remember.

    “And I was looking for him,” repeated Mintz, who said that he assumed that Bush “changed his mind and went somewhere else” to do his substitute drill. It was not “somewhere else,” however, but the 187th Air National Guard Tactical squadron at Dannelly to which the young Texas flyer had requested transfer from his regular Texas unit – the reason being Bush’s wish to work in Alabama on the ultimately unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of family friend Winton "Red" Blount.

    Posted by Eric at 09:00 PM | Comments (0)

    2 Eyewitnesses: Bush Never Showed

    From the Memphis Flyer:

    Two members of the Air National Guard unit that President George W. Bush allegedly served with as a young Guard flyer in 1972 had been told to expect him and were on the lookout for him. He never showed, however; of that both Bob Mintz and Paul Bishop are certain.

    The question of Bush’s presence in 1972 at Dannelly Air National Guard base in Montgomery, Alabama – or the lack of it – has become an issue in the 2004 presidential campaign.

    Recalls Memphian Mintz, now 63: “I remember that I heard someone was coming to drill with us from Texas. And it was implied that it was somebody with political influence. I was a young bachelor then. I was looking for somebody to prowl around with.” But, says Mintz, that “somebody” -- better known to the world now as the president of the United States -- never showed up at Dannelly in 1972. Nor in 1973, nor at any time that Mintz, a FedEx pilot now and an Eastern Airlines pilot then, when he was a reserve first lieutenant at Dannelly, can remember.

    “And I was looking for him,” repeated Mintz, who said that he assumed that Bush “changed his mind and went somewhere else” to do his substitute drill. It was not “somewhere else,” however, but the 187th Air National Guard Tactical squadron at Dannelly to which the young Texas flyer had requested transfer from his regular Texas unit – the reason being Bush’s wish to work in Alabama on the ultimately unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of family friend Winton "Red" Blount.

    Posted by Eric at 09:00 PM | Comments (0)

    South Dakota Bans Most Abortions

    Opponents say it's a waste, because the law will just be challenged and thrown out in court. AP:

    The House passed a bill Tuesday that would outlaw most abortions in South Dakota, but opponents said it would do nothing but cost taxpayers money if it becomes law.

    The bill, passed 54-15, would outlaw abortion unless a mother's life is in danger. It makes no exceptions for rape victims or women who could suffer permanent serious health problems by having babies.

    "When we're considering an innocent life, the health of the mother is not a substantial enough justification to take the innocent life," said Republican Rep. Matt McCaulley, chief sponsor of the bill.

    Posted by Eric at 07:38 PM | Comments (0)

    South Dakota Bans Most Abortions

    Opponents say it's a waste, because the law will just be challenged and thrown out in court. AP:

    The House passed a bill Tuesday that would outlaw most abortions in South Dakota, but opponents said it would do nothing but cost taxpayers money if it becomes law.

    The bill, passed 54-15, would outlaw abortion unless a mother's life is in danger. It makes no exceptions for rape victims or women who could suffer permanent serious health problems by having babies.

    "When we're considering an innocent life, the health of the mother is not a substantial enough justification to take the innocent life," said Republican Rep. Matt McCaulley, chief sponsor of the bill.

    Posted by Eric at 07:38 PM | Comments (0)

    GOP Blames Clinton for Iraq Intel Lapse

    You had to have seen this one coming. AP

    In a sign of how Republicans may try to quell criticism of prewar intelligence in Iraq (news - web sites), the head of the House Intelligence Committee tried Wednesday to direct blame to the Clinton administration.

    Rep. Porter J. Goss, R-Fla., said he heard a 1998 speech in which then-President Clinton (news - web sites) warned that something must be done about Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) and his weapons of mass destruction.

    "Unfortunately, he did not complete that task before his term expired," Goss said at a Capitol Hill press conference.

    Goss said the Clinton administration gutted intelligence assets in the 1990s and today's intelligence analysts "did the best they could with what they had."

    Goss also said Clinton rarely, if ever, met with intelligence officials and that top officials in the administration were not "particularly engaged" on the subject.

    Goss said an effort at political correctness prompted intelligence agencies to stop using "distasteful people" for human intelligence, meaning America lost people who served as its eyes and ears around the world.

    Posted by Eric at 07:20 PM | Comments (0)

    GOP Blames Clinton for Iraq Intel Lapse

    You had to have seen this one coming. AP

    In a sign of how Republicans may try to quell criticism of prewar intelligence in Iraq (news - web sites), the head of the House Intelligence Committee tried Wednesday to direct blame to the Clinton administration.

    Rep. Porter J. Goss, R-Fla., said he heard a 1998 speech in which then-President Clinton (news - web sites) warned that something must be done about Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) and his weapons of mass destruction.

    "Unfortunately, he did not complete that task before his term expired," Goss said at a Capitol Hill press conference.

    Goss said the Clinton administration gutted intelligence assets in the 1990s and today's intelligence analysts "did the best they could with what they had."

    Goss also said Clinton rarely, if ever, met with intelligence officials and that top officials in the administration were not "particularly engaged" on the subject.

    Goss said an effort at political correctness prompted intelligence agencies to stop using "distasteful people" for human intelligence, meaning America lost people who served as its eyes and ears around the world.

    Posted by Eric at 07:20 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark to Endorse John Kerry

    Won't support fellow Southerner John Edwards. AP:

    Wesley Clark will endorse presidential contender John Kerry, a high-profile boost for the front-runner as he looks to wrap up the party's nomination, according to Democratic officials.

    With next week's Wisconsin primary looming, Clark plans to join Kerry at a campaign stop in Madison, Wis., Friday to make a formal endorsement, said officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    Clark spokesman Matt Bennett would not confirm the endorsement, and would only say, "General Clark is looking forward to going to Wisconsin to be with Senator Kerry."

    Kerry has racked up wins in 12 of 14 Democratic contests and hopes to add Wisconsin to his win column. The backing of Clark, who registered in the low double digits in earlier Wisconsin polls, could increase Kerry's advantage in a state with 72 pledged delegates at stake.

    Posted by Eric at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark to Endorse John Kerry

    Won't support fellow Southerner John Edwards. AP:

    Wesley Clark will endorse presidential contender John Kerry, a high-profile boost for the front-runner as he looks to wrap up the party's nomination, according to Democratic officials.

    With next week's Wisconsin primary looming, Clark plans to join Kerry at a campaign stop in Madison, Wis., Friday to make a formal endorsement, said officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    Clark spokesman Matt Bennett would not confirm the endorsement, and would only say, "General Clark is looking forward to going to Wisconsin to be with Senator Kerry."

    Kerry has racked up wins in 12 of 14 Democratic contests and hopes to add Wisconsin to his win column. The backing of Clark, who registered in the low double digits in earlier Wisconsin polls, could increase Kerry's advantage in a state with 72 pledged delegates at stake.

    Posted by Eric at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)

    That Drudge Report

    Quite the powerful rumor mill, eh?

    Innocent until proven guilty. And if guilty, personal vs. private question.

    Posted by Eric at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

    That Drudge Report

    Quite the powerful rumor mill, eh?

    Innocent until proven guilty. And if guilty, personal vs. private question.

    Posted by Eric at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

    Aides: Kerry-Edwards Ticket Unlikely

    I don't think a Kerry Edwards ticket is likely (Senator-Senator not appealing), and it appears aides are nixing the idea as well:

    But interviews with both campaigns indicate a Kerry-Edwards ticket is unlikely, and advisers to both men lack the excitement for such a pairing that some voters feel.

    Several Kerry advisers say the Massachusetts senator is skeptical about Edwards's strength as a running mate, saying he appears to lack the clout with Southern voters that he often brags about being able to deliver. Edwards's inability to win more than a single primary state thus far may give him the aura of a loser in the general election, these Kerry aides said. And Kerry himself recently noted with a touch of derision that, according to opinion polls, President Bush would defeat Edwards in his own home state of North Carolina.

    Kerry is also said to be unconvinced that Edwards is experienced enough to step in as a wartime president should something happen to him. National security credentials are the most important assets that the Democratic presidential front-runner would use to choose a running mate, these aides said.

    Edwards, meanwhile, has dismissed talk that he would accept anything other than the Democratic nomination and has said he would not want Kerry to consider him for a running mate. Top Edwards staff members say he has never had a serious discussion about the vice presidency with them nor mused aloud about the possibility.

    Most of this, however, could just be aides taking the chance to get in jabs at the other side.

    Posted by Eric at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

    Aides: Kerry-Edwards Ticket Unlikely

    I don't think a Kerry Edwards ticket is likely (Senator-Senator not appealing), and it appears aides are nixing the idea as well:

    But interviews with both campaigns indicate a Kerry-Edwards ticket is unlikely, and advisers to both men lack the excitement for such a pairing that some voters feel.

    Several Kerry advisers say the Massachusetts senator is skeptical about Edwards's strength as a running mate, saying he appears to lack the clout with Southern voters that he often brags about being able to deliver. Edwards's inability to win more than a single primary state thus far may give him the aura of a loser in the general election, these Kerry aides said. And Kerry himself recently noted with a touch of derision that, according to opinion polls, President Bush would defeat Edwards in his own home state of North Carolina.

    Kerry is also said to be unconvinced that Edwards is experienced enough to step in as a wartime president should something happen to him. National security credentials are the most important assets that the Democratic presidential front-runner would use to choose a running mate, these aides said.

    Edwards, meanwhile, has dismissed talk that he would accept anything other than the Democratic nomination and has said he would not want Kerry to consider him for a running mate. Top Edwards staff members say he has never had a serious discussion about the vice presidency with them nor mused aloud about the possibility.

    Most of this, however, could just be aides taking the chance to get in jabs at the other side.

    Posted by Eric at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

    When Stupid People Write Stupid Things

    Ann Coulter writes an entire article exposing the fake war hero that is Max Cleland. Coulter:

    Cleland lost three limbs in an accident during a routine noncombat mission where he was about to drink beer with friends. He saw a grenade on the ground and picked it up. He could have done that at Fort Dix. In fact, Cleland could have dropped a grenade on his foot as a National Guardsman – or what Cleland sneeringly calls "weekend warriors." Luckily for Cleland's political career and current pomposity about Bush, he happened to do it while in Vietnam.

    There is more than a whiff of dishonesty in how Cleland is presented to the American people. Terry McAuliffe goes around saying, "Max Cleland, a triple amputee who left three limbs on the battlefield of Vietnam," was thrown out of office because Republicans "had the audacity to call Max Cleland unpatriotic." Mr. Cleland, a word of advice: When a slimy weasel like Terry McAuliffe is vouching for your combat record, it's time to sound "retreat" on that subject ...

    Indeed, if Cleland had dropped a grenade on himself at Fort Dix rather than in Vietnam, he would never have been a U.S. senator in the first place. Maybe he'd be the best pharmacist in Atlanta, but not a U.S. senator. He got into office on the basis of serving in Vietnam and was thrown out for his performance as a senator.

    Cleland wore the uniform, he was in Vietnam, and he has shown courage by going on to lead a productive life. But he didn't "give his limbs for his country," or leave them "on the battlefield." There was no bravery involved in dropping a grenade on himself with no enemy troops in sight. That could have happened in the Texas National Guard – which Cleland denigrates while demanding his own sanctification.

    So what did Cleland do during the war?
    "Awarded: Silver Star; Date Action: 4 April 1968; Theater: Republic of Vietnam

    "Action: For gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Captain Cleland distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous action on 4 April 1968, while serving as communications officer of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Calvary during an enemy attack near Khe Sanh, Republic of Vietnam.

    "When the battalion command post came under a heavy enemy rocket and mortar attack, Capt. Cleland, disregarding his own safety, exposed himself to the rocket barrage as he left his covered position to administer first aid to his wounded comrades. He then assisted in moving the injured personnel to covered positions. Continuing to expose himself, Capt. Cleland organized his men into a work party to repair the battalion communications equipment which had been damaged by enemy fire. His gallant action is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army ... While disembarking from a transport helicopter, Capt. Cleland reached for a grenade he believed had become dislodged from his web gear. Later it was discovered that the grenade belonged to a young soldier new to the theater. That soldier had improperly prepared the grenade pin for easy detonation and had dropped it while coming off the helicopter. The grenade exploded and severely injured Capt. Cleland.

    The Silver Star is the third-highest valor decoration of the United States. Sen. Cleland also was awarded a Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device (1960), Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Parachutist Badge.

    Of course, this doesn't matter. As Coulter writes:
    There was no bravery involved in dropping a grenade on himself with no enemy troops in sight. That could have happened in the Texas National Guard – which Cleland denigrates while demanding his own sanctification.

    Posted by Eric at 01:52 AM | Comments (0)

    When Stupid People Write Stupid Things

    Ann Coulter writes an entire article exposing the fake war hero that is Max Cleland. Coulter:

    Cleland lost three limbs in an accident during a routine noncombat mission where he was about to drink beer with friends. He saw a grenade on the ground and picked it up. He could have done that at Fort Dix. In fact, Cleland could have dropped a grenade on his foot as a National Guardsman – or what Cleland sneeringly calls "weekend warriors." Luckily for Cleland's political career and current pomposity about Bush, he happened to do it while in Vietnam.

    There is more than a whiff of dishonesty in how Cleland is presented to the American people. Terry McAuliffe goes around saying, "Max Cleland, a triple amputee who left three limbs on the battlefield of Vietnam," was thrown out of office because Republicans "had the audacity to call Max Cleland unpatriotic." Mr. Cleland, a word of advice: When a slimy weasel like Terry McAuliffe is vouching for your combat record, it's time to sound "retreat" on that subject ...

    Indeed, if Cleland had dropped a grenade on himself at Fort Dix rather than in Vietnam, he would never have been a U.S. senator in the first place. Maybe he'd be the best pharmacist in Atlanta, but not a U.S. senator. He got into office on the basis of serving in Vietnam and was thrown out for his performance as a senator.

    Cleland wore the uniform, he was in Vietnam, and he has shown courage by going on to lead a productive life. But he didn't "give his limbs for his country," or leave them "on the battlefield." There was no bravery involved in dropping a grenade on himself with no enemy troops in sight. That could have happened in the Texas National Guard – which Cleland denigrates while demanding his own sanctification.

    So what did Cleland do during the war?
    "Awarded: Silver Star; Date Action: 4 April 1968; Theater: Republic of Vietnam

    "Action: For gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Captain Cleland distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous action on 4 April 1968, while serving as communications officer of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Calvary during an enemy attack near Khe Sanh, Republic of Vietnam.

    "When the battalion command post came under a heavy enemy rocket and mortar attack, Capt. Cleland, disregarding his own safety, exposed himself to the rocket barrage as he left his covered position to administer first aid to his wounded comrades. He then assisted in moving the injured personnel to covered positions. Continuing to expose himself, Capt. Cleland organized his men into a work party to repair the battalion communications equipment which had been damaged by enemy fire. His gallant action is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army ... While disembarking from a transport helicopter, Capt. Cleland reached for a grenade he believed had become dislodged from his web gear. Later it was discovered that the grenade belonged to a young soldier new to the theater. That soldier had improperly prepared the grenade pin for easy detonation and had dropped it while coming off the helicopter. The grenade exploded and severely injured Capt. Cleland.

    The Silver Star is the third-highest valor decoration of the United States. Sen. Cleland also was awarded a Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device (1960), Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Parachutist Badge.

    Of course, this doesn't matter. As Coulter writes:
    There was no bravery involved in dropping a grenade on himself with no enemy troops in sight. That could have happened in the Texas National Guard – which Cleland denigrates while demanding his own sanctification.

    Posted by Eric at 01:52 AM | Comments (0)

    Stephanie Herseth (D) Leads Diedrich (R) in South Dakota

    IN the bid to fill U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow's seat, the Democrat is beating the Republican 58-29.

    Posted by Eric at 01:27 AM | Comments (0)

    Stephanie Herseth (D) Leads Diedrich (R) in South Dakota

    IN the bid to fill U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow's seat, the Democrat is beating the Republican 58-29.

    Posted by Eric at 01:27 AM | Comments (0)

    Hamster Numbers: Bush Unemployment and Education

    From EPI, the percent increase in long-term unemployment by education level (2000-2003).

    High school degree or less = 156%
    Some college = 259%
    Bachelor's degree = 299%

    Posted by Eric at 01:13 AM | Comments (0)

    Hamster Numbers: Bush Unemployment and Education

    From EPI, the percent increase in long-term unemployment by education level (2000-2003).

    High school degree or less = 156%
    Some college = 259%
    Bachelor's degree = 299%

    Posted by Eric at 01:13 AM | Comments (0)

    Dennis Miller Losing Viewers Fast

    Ratings for Dennis Miller's new show are dropping fast. The drop suggests people initially tuned in, but didn't like what they saw.

    Or maybe, by then, it'll be Phase 1 all over again. Miller's disconcertingly flaccid attempts to meld jokes on the news, serious political commentary, conservative hero worship and the chimp were greeted by a huge-by-CNBC-standards initial audience of 746,000 viewers, but they seem to be plummeting.

    Week one averaged 540,000 viewers for the first airings of new shows; week two pulled in less than half, just 261,000.

    And it's no wonder, because a once-iconoclastic, hyperskeptical comic who seems to have moved into bowing before swaggering conservatives is nobody's idea of entertaining, no matter how hard the crew that is Miller's only in-studio audience chuckles. You can't spend a career deflating absurdity, and then conduct the kind of fawning interview with Schwarzenegger that Miller did on his first CNBC show, Jan. 26. Viewers' discomfort was mirrored in the face of the man who, Miller seemed to forget, was a bodybuilder-turned-actor-turned-governor.

    Also, Dennis can't do a lot of the jokes he used to score with. CNBC isn't HBO.

    Dennis Miller has Scott Ritter on his show tomorrow. Now that'll be interesting.

    Posted by Eric at 12:16 AM | Comments (0)

    Dennis Miller Losing Viewers Fast

    Ratings for Dennis Miller's new show are dropping fast. The drop suggests people initially tuned in, but didn't like what they saw.

    Or maybe, by then, it'll be Phase 1 all over again. Miller's disconcertingly flaccid attempts to meld jokes on the news, serious political commentary, conservative hero worship and the chimp were greeted by a huge-by-CNBC-standards initial audience of 746,000 viewers, but they seem to be plummeting.

    Week one averaged 540,000 viewers for the first airings of new shows; week two pulled in less than half, just 261,000.

    And it's no wonder, because a once-iconoclastic, hyperskeptical comic who seems to have moved into bowing before swaggering conservatives is nobody's idea of entertaining, no matter how hard the crew that is Miller's only in-studio audience chuckles. You can't spend a career deflating absurdity, and then conduct the kind of fawning interview with Schwarzenegger that Miller did on his first CNBC show, Jan. 26. Viewers' discomfort was mirrored in the face of the man who, Miller seemed to forget, was a bodybuilder-turned-actor-turned-governor.

    Also, Dennis can't do a lot of the jokes he used to score with. CNBC isn't HBO.

    Dennis Miller has Scott Ritter on his show tomorrow. Now that'll be interesting.

    Posted by Eric at 12:16 AM | Comments (0)

    February 11, 2004

    Wed Stories

    Houston Chron. Bar urges feds to stay out of gay marriage issue
    AP. Newsom Wants Gay Marriages in SF
    Tom Philpott . Whatever the reason, we're in Iraq for the long haul
    Molly Ivins. Setting the record straight: Time to draw a line against the rewriting of history
    USAT. FCC: NFL halftime show 'a new low' House holds hearings
    USAT. Colleges, not NFL, fumble in educating athletes
    Paul Ginnetty. Despite Mel Gibson, the Gospels Aren't Gospel
    Marie Cocco. For Kerry, Wins Could Spell Trouble
    Jan Jarboe Russell . Teresa Heinz Kerry a high-wattage star
    LAT. Anti-Immigration Candidates Sue Sierra Club Over Board Election
    LAT. Jones Focuses on Boxer in GOP Senate Contest
    LAT. On the campaign trail, Kerry and Edwards take different paths toward the same dream
    Lawrence Korb. After a Crisis, Bush Is No Reagan
    Michael Putney. Not Bush's best moment
    WP. Bush to Outline Plan for Limiting Nuclear Arms: Curbs on Legal Materials Could Stir Controversy
    WP. OMB Draws a Hit List of 13 Programs
    WP. Senate GOP Agrees to Cut Energy Bill
    WP. Bush to Define Marriage: President to endorse constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
    NYT. Utah House Rebukes Bush With Its Vote on School Law
    NYT. Massachusetts Weighs a Deal on Marriages Between Gays
    NYT. Edwards and Dean to Continue
    AP. Democrats Seek More Proof of Bush Service
    InterventionMag. First Amendment Assault In Iowa.
    Guardian. Southern states look for country values .
    ChicTrib. Political inexperience defeats ex-general.
    CNN. Edwards fights off Kerry 'coronation'
    Ellis Henican. Lt. Bush Not So Memorable.
    AJC. 2.6 million jobs on way, Bush says.
    AJC. Two sides square off for gay marriage debate: Legislature to hold hearing on amendment to outlaw same-sex marriages..
    SFC. Attempt to end flap over Bush in military: White House releases Air Guard documents .

    Blog Links
    Brown Democrats. On Clark: End of an Era
    Billmon. Shrub's Lost Summer
    CalPundit. The Bush Payroll Records
    Tbogg. George's own personal 9/11
    Wesley Clark Blog. The End
    Nameless Blog. Shouldn't O'Reilly be sued over this stuff
    DCCC. Chandler Endorsed by the Lex Herald-Leader

    Posted by Eric at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)

    Wed Stories

    Houston Chron. Bar urges feds to stay out of gay marriage issue
    AP. Newsom Wants Gay Marriages in SF
    Tom Philpott . Whatever the reason, we're in Iraq for the long haul
    Molly Ivins. Setting the record straight: Time to draw a line against the rewriting of history
    USAT. FCC: NFL halftime show 'a new low' House holds hearings
    USAT. Colleges, not NFL, fumble in educating athletes
    Paul Ginnetty. Despite Mel Gibson, the Gospels Aren't Gospel
    Marie Cocco. For Kerry, Wins Could Spell Trouble
    Jan Jarboe Russell . Teresa Heinz Kerry a high-wattage star
    LAT. Anti-Immigration Candidates Sue Sierra Club Over Board Election
    LAT. Jones Focuses on Boxer in GOP Senate Contest
    LAT. On the campaign trail, Kerry and Edwards take different paths toward the same dream
    Lawrence Korb. After a Crisis, Bush Is No Reagan
    Michael Putney. Not Bush's best moment
    WP. Bush to Outline Plan for Limiting Nuclear Arms: Curbs on Legal Materials Could Stir Controversy
    WP. OMB Draws a Hit List of 13 Programs
    WP. Senate GOP Agrees to Cut Energy Bill
    WP. Bush to Define Marriage: President to endorse constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
    NYT. Utah House Rebukes Bush With Its Vote on School Law
    NYT. Massachusetts Weighs a Deal on Marriages Between Gays
    NYT. Edwards and Dean to Continue
    AP. Democrats Seek More Proof of Bush Service
    InterventionMag. First Amendment Assault In Iowa.
    Guardian. Southern states look for country values .
    ChicTrib. Political inexperience defeats ex-general.
    CNN. Edwards fights off Kerry 'coronation'
    Ellis Henican. Lt. Bush Not So Memorable.
    AJC. 2.6 million jobs on way, Bush says.
    AJC. Two sides square off for gay marriage debate: Legislature to hold hearing on amendment to outlaw same-sex marriages..
    SFC. Attempt to end flap over Bush in military: White House releases Air Guard documents .

    Blog Links
    Brown Democrats. On Clark: End of an Era
    Billmon. Shrub's Lost Summer
    CalPundit. The Bush Payroll Records
    Tbogg. George's own personal 9/11
    Wesley Clark Blog. The End
    Nameless Blog. Shouldn't O'Reilly be sued over this stuff
    DCCC. Chandler Endorsed by the Lex Herald-Leader

    Posted by Eric at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)

    EPA Refuses to Update Illegal Pollution Penalties

    And it costs taxpayers money. From USPIRG:

    "By failing to adequately enforce environmental laws and stalling mandatory increases in fines for violators, the Bush administration is shortchanging the environment twice," said U.S. PIRG Environmental Advocate Richard Caplan. "The administration not only requires fewer polluters to pay fines for illegal pollution, but it allows polluters who are fined to pay less."

    Congress requires EPA to adjust the maximum civil penalty amounts for inflation every four years. EPA failed to meet its last deadline, October 2000, and has yet to implement an adjusted penalty. U.S. PIRG estimates that this delay amounts to a $39 million windfall for polluters.

    U.S. PIRG brought this issue to the attention of the agency in January 2003, when EPA told the press that they were "looking to get this in place" and would "propose a new inflation factor next week." Environmentalists point to this failure to update penalties and collect fines that are owed as another example of the administration's failure to protect the environment. The budget released this week by the White House contains sharp cuts for enforcement at EPA for the fourth straight year.

    "EPA should put its money where its mouth is," said Caplan. "The Bush administration should do its job and enforce the law."

    Posted by Eric at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

    EPA Refuses to Update Illegal Pollution Penalties

    And it costs taxpayers money. From USPIRG:

    "By failing to adequately enforce environmental laws and stalling mandatory increases in fines for violators, the Bush administration is shortchanging the environment twice," said U.S. PIRG Environmental Advocate Richard Caplan. "The administration not only requires fewer polluters to pay fines for illegal pollution, but it allows polluters who are fined to pay less."

    Congress requires EPA to adjust the maximum civil penalty amounts for inflation every four years. EPA failed to meet its last deadline, October 2000, and has yet to implement an adjusted penalty. U.S. PIRG estimates that this delay amounts to a $39 million windfall for polluters.

    U.S. PIRG brought this issue to the attention of the agency in January 2003, when EPA told the press that they were "looking to get this in place" and would "propose a new inflation factor next week." Environmentalists point to this failure to update penalties and collect fines that are owed as another example of the administration's failure to protect the environment. The budget released this week by the White House contains sharp cuts for enforcement at EPA for the fourth straight year.

    "EPA should put its money where its mouth is," said Caplan. "The Bush administration should do its job and enforce the law."

    Posted by Eric at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush / Cheney Reelect Team Edits MTP Interview to Correct Speech Problems

    From the NY Times, apparently the Bush reelect team can't let Bush's MTP interview stand by itself:

    NBC News executives said they were particularly alarmed that the excerpt ran with music and carefully chosen pictures of Mr. Bush.

    The organization said in a statement, "This promotional video is set to music, edited for impact, and mixed with other images, graphics and footage unrelated to the interview."

    The executives said the words seemed to have been digitally enhanced, to do away with some stammering.

    Posted by Eric at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush / Cheney Reelect Team Edits MTP Interview to Correct Speech Problems

    From the NY Times, apparently the Bush reelect team can't let Bush's MTP interview stand by itself:

    NBC News executives said they were particularly alarmed that the excerpt ran with music and carefully chosen pictures of Mr. Bush.

    The organization said in a statement, "This promotional video is set to music, edited for impact, and mixed with other images, graphics and footage unrelated to the interview."

    The executives said the words seemed to have been digitally enhanced, to do away with some stammering.

    Posted by Eric at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark Promises to Continue Fighting for the Democratic Party

    From an email to campaign supporters:

    Together, five months ago, we began our journey for the presidency. We had no money, no office, and no staff. All we had was hope and a vision for a better America.

    Today, after traveling the country, after visiting with the American people, we end that journey even more full of hope and even more committed to building a better America.

    I will support our Party's nominee, to continue this campaign until we take back the White House next November. This soldier stands ready for duty. It's not going to be easy. So I've got one bit of advice for our nominee: give 'em hell and never retreat.

    As a general who spent thirty-four years fighting for my country, here is my pledge: I will do everything I can -- everything -- to make sure George W. Bush doesn't play politics with national security ... I'm going to fight on, and I hope you will join me, until we win the campaign to create a new vision for America in the twenty-first century. Because I believe America's best days lie ahead. Today, I end my campaign for the presidency -- but our Party's campaign to change America is just beginning. This old soldier will not fade away. I'll be in the field and out in front, working the issues, supporting our candidates, and doing all I can to contribute to building a new and better America.

    Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

    Posted by Eric at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark Promises to Continue Fighting for the Democratic Party

    From an email to campaign supporters:

    Together, five months ago, we began our journey for the presidency. We had no money, no office, and no staff. All we had was hope and a vision for a better America.

    Today, after traveling the country, after visiting with the American people, we end that journey even more full of hope and even more committed to building a better America.

    I will support our Party's nominee, to continue this campaign until we take back the White House next November. This soldier stands ready for duty. It's not going to be easy. So I've got one bit of advice for our nominee: give 'em hell and never retreat.

    As a general who spent thirty-four years fighting for my country, here is my pledge: I will do everything I can -- everything -- to make sure George W. Bush doesn't play politics with national security ... I'm going to fight on, and I hope you will join me, until we win the campaign to create a new vision for America in the twenty-first century. Because I believe America's best days lie ahead. Today, I end my campaign for the presidency -- but our Party's campaign to change America is just beginning. This old soldier will not fade away. I'll be in the field and out in front, working the issues, supporting our candidates, and doing all I can to contribute to building a new and better America.

    Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

    Posted by Eric at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)

    More Bush Budget Woes: US Military May Run Out of Money

    From the UPI and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker:

    The military will have no money to pay for the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for three months beginning Oct. 1 because the White House is declining to ask Congress for funding until December or January, well after the presidential election.

    Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker told the Senate Armed Services Committee the $38 billion he has for 2004 war operations will last only until the end of September, as he spends $3.7 billion a month in Iraq and about $900 million a month in Afghanistan. The Army has about 114,000 soldiers in Iraq and roughly 10,000 in Afghanistan.

    "I am concerned on how we bridge between the end of this fiscal year and when we can get a supplemental in the next fiscal year," Schoomaker told the committee.

    Posted by Eric at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)

    More Bush Budget Woes: US Military May Run Out of Money

    From the UPI and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker:

    The military will have no money to pay for the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for three months beginning Oct. 1 because the White House is declining to ask Congress for funding until December or January, well after the presidential election.

    Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker told the Senate Armed Services Committee the $38 billion he has for 2004 war operations will last only until the end of September, as he spends $3.7 billion a month in Iraq and about $900 million a month in Afghanistan. The Army has about 114,000 soldiers in Iraq and roughly 10,000 in Afghanistan.

    "I am concerned on how we bridge between the end of this fiscal year and when we can get a supplemental in the next fiscal year," Schoomaker told the committee.

    Posted by Eric at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)

    Lexington Herald Leader Slams Kerr, Endorses Ben Chandler

    Courtesy of the DCCC blog, we find this editorial endorsing Ben Chandler for Congress.

    By wading through the muck and examining the candidates' credentials, they will see that Ben Chandler is easily the most qualified. Chandler's experience, knowledge and record are far superior to Republican Alice Forgy Kerr's or Libertarian Mark Gailey's.

    Chandler has served Kentucky well as state auditor and attorney general. His investigations embarrassed powerful members of his own Democratic Party, notably Gov. Paul Patton. It's ironic that Patton's shenanigans helped assure Republican Ernie Fletcher's victory over Chandler in last year's governor's race and created this vacancy in Congress.

    By taking on powerful interests, Chandler made powerful enemies. He also demonstrated the kind of independence and strength that would serve the public well in a Congress that is too often dominated by big-money special interests. When lobbyists for drug companies outnumber the members of Congress, as they now do, the people need independent thinkers such as Chandler looking out for them.

    Along those lines, Chandler has consistently criticized President Bush's tax cuts because they are skewed to benefit the wealthiest Americans. He says tax cuts for low- and middle-income earners would do more to stimulate the economy and replace lost jobs.

    So what about Alice Forgy Kerr? Not very forgy good:
    Kerr is a pleasant, well-meaning person who is way over her head in the Kentucky Senate. In six years in the legislature, her few accomplishments have come about when Republican leaders attached her name to a Democrat's bill. Nothing in her earlier experience qualifies her for Congress.

    The best recommendation that she can muster for herself is her Republican connections. Being on the same team as the president and the majority in Congress, she says, will enable her to get things done and bring home the goodies.

    She brought in House Speaker Dennis Hastert to insult Kentuckians' intelligence by promising a tobacco quota buyout if Kerr is elected, as if the Republicans, who control both houses of Congress and the White House, couldn't have accomplished a buyout long ago if they had wanted to.

    If you'd like to volunteer for the Kentucky race, go here.

    Contribute to the campaign here.

    Posted by Eric at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

    Lexington Herald Leader Slams Kerr, Endorses Ben Chandler

    Courtesy of the DCCC blog, we find this editorial endorsing Ben Chandler for Congress.

    By wading through the muck and examining the candidates' credentials, they will see that Ben Chandler is easily the most qualified. Chandler's experience, knowledge and record are far superior to Republican Alice Forgy Kerr's or Libertarian Mark Gailey's.

    Chandler has served Kentucky well as state auditor and attorney general. His investigations embarrassed powerful members of his own Democratic Party, notably Gov. Paul Patton. It's ironic that Patton's shenanigans helped assure Republican Ernie Fletcher's victory over Chandler in last year's governor's race and created this vacancy in Congress.

    By taking on powerful interests, Chandler made powerful enemies. He also demonstrated the kind of independence and strength that would serve the public well in a Congress that is too often dominated by big-money special interests. When lobbyists for drug companies outnumber the members of Congress, as they now do, the people need independent thinkers such as Chandler looking out for them.

    Along those lines, Chandler has consistently criticized President Bush's tax cuts because they are skewed to benefit the wealthiest Americans. He says tax cuts for low- and middle-income earners would do more to stimulate the economy and replace lost jobs.

    So what about Alice Forgy Kerr? Not very forgy good:
    Kerr is a pleasant, well-meaning person who is way over her head in the Kentucky Senate. In six years in the legislature, her few accomplishments have come about when Republican leaders attached her name to a Democrat's bill. Nothing in her earlier experience qualifies her for Congress.

    The best recommendation that she can muster for herself is her Republican connections. Being on the same team as the president and the majority in Congress, she says, will enable her to get things done and bring home the goodies.

    She brought in House Speaker Dennis Hastert to insult Kentuckians' intelligence by promising a tobacco quota buyout if Kerr is elected, as if the Republicans, who control both houses of Congress and the White House, couldn't have accomplished a buyout long ago if they had wanted to.

    If you'd like to volunteer for the Kentucky race, go here.

    Contribute to the campaign here.

    Posted by Eric at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

    Daily Hamster Numbers

    From the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities:


    Under the Administration’s proposed budget, at least 300,000 fewer children would receive child care assistance in 2009 than in 2003. The Administration estimates that the number of children receiving child care already fell by 100,000 over the last year, and will fall by another 200,000 over the next five years, resulting in a decline from 2.5 million children in FY 2003 to 2.2 million in FY 2009. This would occur because child care funding would be essentially frozen through FY 2009, making it impossible for states to maintain their current levels of child care assistance. As this analysis explains, the Administration's budget almost certainly underestimates the number of children that would lose child care over the next five years if the proposed budget was adopted.

    Posted by Eric at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)

    Daily Hamster Numbers

    From the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities:


    Under the Administration’s proposed budget, at least 300,000 fewer children would receive child care assistance in 2009 than in 2003. The Administration estimates that the number of children receiving child care already fell by 100,000 over the last year, and will fall by another 200,000 over the next five years, resulting in a decline from 2.5 million children in FY 2003 to 2.2 million in FY 2009. This would occur because child care funding would be essentially frozen through FY 2009, making it impossible for states to maintain their current levels of child care assistance. As this analysis explains, the Administration's budget almost certainly underestimates the number of children that would lose child care over the next five years if the proposed budget was adopted.

    Posted by Eric at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)

    Blair Won't Endorse Bush or Kerry

    AP:

    The question was put by lawmaker David Burnside in the House of Commons. "What is in the best interests of the United Kingdom? The re-election of President Bush, pro war, or the election of anti-war Sen. Kerry?" Burnside asked.

    Blair, who was Bush's staunchest ally in the campaign to topple Saddam Hussein, but whose centrist Labor Party is a more natural ally of the Democrats than the Republicans, demurred.

    "I have learned enough in the six or seven years I have been prime minister not to interfere in the American presidential elections. That is a decision that is and should be for the American people alone," Blair said.

    Posted by Eric at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

    Blair Won't Endorse Bush or Kerry

    AP:

    The question was put by lawmaker David Burnside in the House of Commons. "What is in the best interests of the United Kingdom? The re-election of President Bush, pro war, or the election of anti-war Sen. Kerry?" Burnside asked.

    Blair, who was Bush's staunchest ally in the campaign to topple Saddam Hussein, but whose centrist Labor Party is a more natural ally of the Democrats than the Republicans, demurred.

    "I have learned enough in the six or seven years I have been prime minister not to interfere in the American presidential elections. That is a decision that is and should be for the American people alone," Blair said.

    Posted by Eric at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

    DickMorris: Bush SOTU "historic failure"

    According to Dick, the speech "must rank as one of the great failures of recent American politics." Ha.

    Posted by Eric at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)

    DickMorris: Bush SOTU "historic failure"

    According to Dick, the speech "must rank as one of the great failures of recent American politics." Ha.

    Posted by Eric at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)

    Clark Out

    General Wesley Clark has left the race.

    Ultimately, the strong qualities Clark possessed were the ones that, in the end, brought him down. Clark has an impressive resume, and isn't a Washington politician, but that's what hurt him. Clark, being a political novice, couldn't assure voters that he knew enough about domestic issues like Medicare, Social Security, and abortion. Everyone knows Clark's an impressive war hero, and has impeccable national security credentials, but voters want more than just a resume: they want a candidate who has the 'complete package.' They want a politician. Wesley Clark is not a politician.

    Part of this problem was the inability of Clark to get his domestic message across to voters. When covering Clark, the media covered the same issues: voted Republican in the past, made mistakes in the early part of his campaign, what's his position on Iraq? Rarely did we hear about the boring details of the Clark campaign, such as his economic or 'Families First Tax Reform' plan. In a campaign where perception rules, Clark was unable to shake the perception that he had little beyond his resume and could handle the dirty details of political life.

    Still, Wesley Clark helped the Democratic Party by being a symbol of people turned off by the Bush foreign policy doctrine. Clark ran because he believed Bush squandered the nation's trust after 9/11. If people like Clark continue to speak out against the Bush administration and bring new voters to the party then the Democratic Party will be better off. How actively Clark works to boot Bush now that he's out remains to be seen, but one would imagine that he'd be on the short list of potential VPs.

    On a more personal note, the Clark campaign was the first national campaign I volunteered for and, for inspiring me to go to New Hampshire, and work the trenches, I thank you, General Clark.

    Posted by Eric at 09:04 AM | Comments (0)

    Clark Out

    General Wesley Clark has left the race.

    Ultimately, the strong qualities Clark possessed were the ones that, in the end, brought him down. Clark has an impressive resume, and isn't a Washington politician, but that's what hurt him. Clark, being a political novice, couldn't assure voters that he knew enough about domestic issues like Medicare, Social Security, and abortion. Everyone knows Clark's an impressive war hero, and has impeccable national security credentials, but voters want more than just a resume: they want a candidate who has the 'complete package.' They want a politician. Wesley Clark is not a politician.

    Part of this problem was the inability of Clark to get his domestic message across to voters. When covering Clark, the media covered the same issues: voted Republican in the past, made mistakes in the early part of his campaign, what's his position on Iraq? Rarely did we hear about the boring details of the Clark campaign, such as his economic or 'Families First Tax Reform' plan. In a campaign where perception rules, Clark was unable to shake the perception that he had little beyond his resume and could handle the dirty details of political life.

    Still, Wesley Clark helped the Democratic Party by being a symbol of people turned off by the Bush foreign policy doctrine. Clark ran because he believed Bush squandered the nation's trust after 9/11. If people like Clark continue to speak out against the Bush administration and bring new voters to the party then the Democratic Party will be better off. How actively Clark works to boot Bush now that he's out remains to be seen, but one would imagine that he'd be on the short list of potential VPs.

    On a more personal note, the Clark campaign was the first national campaign I volunteered for and, for inspiring me to go to New Hampshire, and work the trenches, I thank you, General Clark.

    Posted by Eric at 09:04 AM | Comments (0)

    February 10, 2004

    Tuesday

    Bill Press. Was George Bush AWOL?.
    Beth Shulman. Working and Poor in the USA.
    Boston Globe. Edwards's roots may fall short .
    Boston Globe. Trailing candidates count on delegate math .
    Thomas Oliphant. A Democratic ticket begins to take shape .
    Richard Cohen. From Guardsman . . . .
    EJ Dionne Jr. . . . To 'War President' .
    Doug Ireland. Howard's End: All signs point to the exit for Dean. .
    Joe Feuerherd. Re-igniting The Religious Left .
    Laura Rozen. Damage Control: Is the president ferreting out the truth about intelligence shortcomings? Or is he merely protecting himself? Take a guess. .
    Josh Benson. Kerry's army invades Bush country; Virginia might seem redder than red, but the Democratic front-runner hopes his military service will give him a beachhead in states like this, where Bush's support suddenly seems shaky.
    Michelle Goldberg. Whenever there's a vast right-wing conspiracy, Judge Laurence Silberman keeps turning up.
    Byron Williams. A long way from Germany: Civil liberties crackdown doesn't put Bush on parallel with architect of a genocide.
    AP. Bush Lashes Out at Democrats Over Taxes .
    AP. Kerry Looks for Two More Primary Wins .
    JAMES PONIEWOZIK. The Hypocrisy Bowl: A sunburst exposes the game's sex-sells ethos. Let the bogus outrage and culture wars begin! .
    Newsweek. A Problem in the Bunker: Cheney has long been Bush's national-security hole card. But lately some wonder if he's dragging the president down.
    Hispanic Biz. President Bush's public support dropped sharply over the past month, especially among older voters, political independents and people in the Midwest.
    Marie Cocco. Bush Offers a Glimpse of His Inner Autocrat.
    James Pinkerton. The President Needs to Find Better Answers.
    USAT. Bush predicts growth in jobs.
    Robert Scheer. War as an Excuse for Everything.
    NYT. Democrats Hope to Send a Southern Message to Bush.
    USAT. Edwards, Clark duel in South for viability .
    COPLEY. Kerry makes transition from senatorial to presidential .
    NYT. Southern States Are Set to Shake Democratic Race.
    SFC. Pundits say Bush interview not his finest hour: He appeared unfocused and unconvincing .
    PB Post. Bush takes evasive action on direct Iraq questions.
    NYT. Inmate's Execution Stayed.
    Eric Boehlert. Bush's records: Still AWOL: President Bush told Tim Russert all his military records were made public in 2000, but there's no evidence to support his statement.
    Joe Sharkey. Maybe Pilots Should Stick to the Script .
    New Zealand Herald. 'I'm not going to change', says Bush.
    Ehsan Ahrari. Bush misses opportunity to come clean on Iraq.
    AP. Massachusetts' Senate president faces tough task to balance all sides in gay marriage debate .
    WP. Democrats Say File Issue Could Bring Probe.
    NYT. Democrats Suggest Inquiry Points to Wider Spying by G.O.P..
    NYT. Top Bush Aide Is Questioned in C.I.A. Leak.

    Posted by Eric at 11:54 PM | Comments (0)

    Tuesday

    Bill Press. Was George Bush AWOL?.
    Beth Shulman. Working and Poor in the USA.
    Boston Globe. Edwards's roots may fall short .
    Boston Globe. Trailing candidates count on delegate math .
    Thomas Oliphant. A Democratic ticket begins to take shape .
    Richard Cohen. From Guardsman . . . .
    EJ Dionne Jr. . . . To 'War President' .
    Doug Ireland. Howard's End: All signs point to the exit for Dean. .
    Joe Feuerherd. Re-igniting The Religious Left .
    Laura Rozen. Damage Control: Is the president ferreting out the truth about intelligence shortcomings? Or is he merely protecting himself? Take a guess. .
    Josh Benson. Kerry's army invades Bush country; Virginia might seem redder than red, but the Democratic front-runner hopes his military service will give him a beachhead in states like this, where Bush's support suddenly seems shaky.
    Michelle Goldberg. Whenever there's a vast right-wing conspiracy, Judge Laurence Silberman keeps turning up.
    Byron Williams. A long way from Germany: Civil liberties crackdown doesn't put Bush on parallel with architect of a genocide.
    AP. Bush Lashes Out at Democrats Over Taxes .
    AP. Kerry Looks for Two More Primary Wins .
    JAMES PONIEWOZIK. The Hypocrisy Bowl: A sunburst exposes the game's sex-sells ethos. Let the bogus outrage and culture wars begin! .
    Newsweek. A Problem in the Bunker: Cheney has long been Bush's national-security hole card. But lately some wonder if he's dragging the president down.
    Hispanic Biz. President Bush's public support dropped sharply over the past month, especially among older voters, political independents and people in the Midwest.
    Marie Cocco. Bush Offers a Glimpse of His Inner Autocrat.
    James Pinkerton. The President Needs to Find Better Answers.
    USAT. Bush predicts growth in jobs.
    Robert Scheer. War as an Excuse for Everything.
    NYT. Democrats Hope to Send a Southern Message to Bush.
    USAT. Edwards, Clark duel in South for viability .
    COPLEY. Kerry makes transition from senatorial to presidential .
    NYT. Southern States Are Set to Shake Democratic Race.
    SFC. Pundits say Bush interview not his finest hour: He appeared unfocused and unconvincing .
    PB Post. Bush takes evasive action on direct Iraq questions.
    NYT. Inmate's Execution Stayed.
    Eric Boehlert. Bush's records: Still AWOL: President Bush told Tim Russert all his military records were made public in 2000, but there's no evidence to support his statement.
    Joe Sharkey. Maybe Pilots Should Stick to the Script .
    New Zealand Herald. 'I'm not going to change', says Bush.
    Ehsan Ahrari. Bush misses opportunity to come clean on Iraq.
    AP. Massachusetts' Senate president faces tough task to balance all sides in gay marriage debate .
    WP. Democrats Say File Issue Could Bring Probe.
    NYT. Democrats Suggest Inquiry Points to Wider Spying by G.O.P..
    NYT. Top Bush Aide Is Questioned in C.I.A. Leak.

    Posted by Eric at 11:54 PM | Comments (0)

    DCCC Launches Blog

    Following in the footsteps of the DNC, and DSCC, the DCCC is launching a blog. The first post is about - what else - the Bush referendum battle in Kentucky between Ben Chandler and Alice Kerr.

    Posted by Eric at 09:05 PM | Comments (0)

    DCCC Launches Blog

    Following in the footsteps of the DNC, and DSCC, the DCCC is launching a blog. The first post is about - what else - the Bush referendum battle in Kentucky between Ben Chandler and Alice Kerr.

    Posted by Eric at 09:05 PM | Comments (0)

    Censure Bush?

    MoveOn.org's latest campaign is to censure President Bush for misleading statements about Iraq. Part of their letter/petition:

    But the facts need no clarification. Despite repeated warnings from the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, President Bush and his administration hyped and distorted the threat that Iraq posed.(footnote) And now that reality is setting in, the President seeks to pin the blame on someone else.

    You have the power to censure the President -- to formally reprimand him for his betrayal of the nation's trust. If ever there was a time to use this function, it is now. If you do not act, Congress risks losing its relevance as a check and balance on the Presidency.

    MoveOn.org also placed a full page ad in the Washington Post (not cheap), which can be viewed here.

    Posted by Eric at 08:07 PM | Comments (0)

    Censure Bush?

    MoveOn.org's latest campaign is to censure President Bush for misleading statements about Iraq. Part of their letter/petition:

    But the facts need no clarification. Despite repeated warnings from the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, President Bush and his administration hyped and distorted the threat that Iraq posed.(footnote) And now that reality is setting in, the President seeks to pin the blame on someone else.

    You have the power to censure the President -- to formally reprimand him for his betrayal of the nation's trust. If ever there was a time to use this function, it is now. If you do not act, Congress risks losing its relevance as a check and balance on the Presidency.

    MoveOn.org also placed a full page ad in the Washington Post (not cheap), which can be viewed here.

    Posted by Eric at 08:07 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Takes Virginia, Edwards Second

    Now projects CNN, based on exit polls.

    Posted by Eric at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Takes Virginia, Edwards Second

    Now projects CNN, based on exit polls.

    Posted by Eric at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

    Fox News Producer Reportedly Wrote Porno Script

    No, really. Via TBlogg, the NY Daily News:

    Fox News producer Marvin Himmelfarb also became fascinated by the 29-year-old Jameson's art form while doing several stories on her.

    "He talked Jenna into letting him write a porn script," says our source. "It was rejected, if you can believe that."

    Word is that Himmelfarb wrote the script under a pseudonym. A Fox rep said: "We're looking into it ...this is obviously not something a Fox News Channel employee should be involved with."

    Neither Strauss nor Himmelfarb returned calls.

    Wonder what the plot was. Oh wait, Jenna Jameson, plot ... Wait, I mean I don't know who Jenna Jameson is. Yeah, that's the ticket.

    You know who else has an interest in Jenna Jameson (who dat)? Bill O'Reilly:

    August 2002: Jameson spars with Bill O'Reilly about the business of pornography on The O'Reilly Factor. After the interview, he requests copies of some of her films.
    For research, obviously.

    Posted by Eric at 07:14 PM | Comments (0)

    Fox News Producer Reportedly Wrote Porno Script

    No, really. Via TBlogg, the NY Daily News:

    Fox News producer Marvin Himmelfarb also became fascinated by the 29-year-old Jameson's art form while doing several stories on her.

    "He talked Jenna into letting him write a porn script," says our source. "It was rejected, if you can believe that."

    Word is that Himmelfarb wrote the script under a pseudonym. A Fox rep said: "We're looking into it ...this is obviously not something a Fox News Channel employee should be involved with."

    Neither Strauss nor Himmelfarb returned calls.

    Wonder what the plot was. Oh wait, Jenna Jameson, plot ... Wait, I mean I don't know who Jenna Jameson is. Yeah, that's the ticket.

    You know who else has an interest in Jenna Jameson (who dat)? Bill O'Reilly:

    August 2002: Jameson spars with Bill O'Reilly about the business of pornography on The O'Reilly Factor. After the interview, he requests copies of some of her films.
    For research, obviously.

    Posted by Eric at 07:14 PM | Comments (0)

    Mel Gibson Believes Wife Will Go to Hell

    "Daddy loves mommy, but she's going to hell, so be nice to her now." From MSNBC:

    Mel Gibson has come under fire for being hard on Jews in his film “The Passion of the Christ” — but apparently, he feels that Protestants are also doomed to damnation. In fact, it looks like Gibson, a conservative Catholic, believes that his Episcopalian wife could be going to hell.

    Gibson was interviewed by the Herald Sun in Australia, and the reporter asked the star if Protestants are denied eternal salvation. “There is no salvation for those outside the Church,” Gibson replied. “I believe it.”

    He elaborated: “Put it this way. My wife is a saint. She’s a much better person than I am. Honestly. She’s, like, Episcopalian, Church of England. She prays, she believes in God, she knows Jesus, she believes in that stuff. And it’s just not fair if she doesn’t make it, she’s better than I am. But that is a pronouncement from the chair. I go with it.”

    In other words, some person living in the Mongolian hills who does good deeds all his or her life can be condemned to hell because he or she never met a Christian missionary (and, remember, only a certain type of Christian missionary). In other words, despite the fact that Gibson's wife is 'a saint,' because she doesn't commit to a certain denomination, she's going to hell.

    Gibson also says he was suicidal before he made "The Passions."

    Posted by Eric at 07:01 PM | Comments (0)

    Mel Gibson Believes Wife Will Go to Hell

    "Daddy loves mommy, but she's going to hell, so be nice to her now." From MSNBC:

    Mel Gibson has come under fire for being hard on Jews in his film “The Passion of the Christ” — but apparently, he feels that Protestants are also doomed to damnation. In fact, it looks like Gibson, a conservative Catholic, believes that his Episcopalian wife could be going to hell.

    Gibson was interviewed by the Herald Sun in Australia, and the reporter asked the star if Protestants are denied eternal salvation. “There is no salvation for those outside the Church,” Gibson replied. “I believe it.”

    He elaborated: “Put it this way. My wife is a saint. She’s a much better person than I am. Honestly. She’s, like, Episcopalian, Church of England. She prays, she believes in God, she knows Jesus, she believes in that stuff. And it’s just not fair if she doesn’t make it, she’s better than I am. But that is a pronouncement from the chair. I go with it.”

    In other words, some person living in the Mongolian hills who does good deeds all his or her life can be condemned to hell because he or she never met a Christian missionary (and, remember, only a certain type of Christian missionary). In other words, despite the fact that Gibson's wife is 'a saint,' because she doesn't commit to a certain denomination, she's going to hell.

    Gibson also says he was suicidal before he made "The Passions."

    Posted by Eric at 07:01 PM | Comments (0)

    Dozens Dead in Iraq Attacks

    "49 people were killed and 150 more wounded in three attacks Tuesday on Iraqi police targets"

    Posted by Eric at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Dozens Dead in Iraq Attacks

    "49 people were killed and 150 more wounded in three attacks Tuesday on Iraqi police targets"

    Posted by Eric at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Bill O'Reilly Finally Apologizes

    On ABC's 'Good Morning America,' the conservative pundit finally repents for his Bush trust:

    Conservative television news anchor Bill O'Reilly said on Tuesday he was now skeptical about the Bush administration and apologized to viewers for supporting prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

    The anchor of his own show on Fox News said he was sorry he gave the U.S. government the benefit of the doubt that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein' weapons program poised an imminent threat, the main reason cited for going to war.

    "I was wrong. I am not pleased about it at all and I think all Americans should be concerned about this," O'Reilly said in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America."

    "What do you want me to do, go over and kiss the camera?" asked O'Reilly, who had promised rival ABC last year he would publicly apologize if weapons were not found.

    O'Reilly said he was "much more skeptical about the Bush administration now" since former weapons inspector David Kay said he did not think Saddam had any weapons of mass destruction.

    Back before the war, O'Reilly said this:
    "And I said on my program, if -- if -- the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush administration again." Bill O'Reilly, Good Morning America, 3-18-03
    Remember, he said: "I will not trust the Bush administration again." And O'Reilly still puts some of the blame elsewhere.
    While critical of President Bush, O'Reilly said he did not think the president intentionally lied. Rather, O'Reilly blamed CIA Director George Tenet, who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton.

    "I don't know why Tenet still has his job."

    Granted, O'Reilly apologized, but will O'Reilly "not trust the Bush administration again"? Unlikely.

    Posted by Eric at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

    Bill O'Reilly Finally Apologizes

    On ABC's 'Good Morning America,' the conservative pundit finally repents for his Bush trust:

    Conservative television news anchor Bill O'Reilly said on Tuesday he was now skeptical about the Bush administration and apologized to viewers for supporting prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

    The anchor of his own show on Fox News said he was sorry he gave the U.S. government the benefit of the doubt that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein' weapons program poised an imminent threat, the main reason cited for going to war.

    "I was wrong. I am not pleased about it at all and I think all Americans should be concerned about this," O'Reilly said in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America."

    "What do you want me to do, go over and kiss the camera?" asked O'Reilly, who had promised rival ABC last year he would publicly apologize if weapons were not found.

    O'Reilly said he was "much more skeptical about the Bush administration now" since former weapons inspector David Kay said he did not think Saddam had any weapons of mass destruction.

    Back before the war, O'Reilly said this:
    "And I said on my program, if -- if -- the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush administration again." Bill O'Reilly, Good Morning America, 3-18-03
    Remember, he said: "I will not trust the Bush administration again." And O'Reilly still puts some of the blame elsewhere.
    While critical of President Bush, O'Reilly said he did not think the president intentionally lied. Rather, O'Reilly blamed CIA Director George Tenet, who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton.

    "I don't know why Tenet still has his job."

    Granted, O'Reilly apologized, but will O'Reilly "not trust the Bush administration again"? Unlikely.

    Posted by Eric at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

    Chandler Brings in Blog Bling

    From Roll Call, via Daily Kos:

    With an investment of only $2,000, and in less than two weeks, the campaign has raked in between $45,000 and $50,000 in contributions from blog readers, and that number is growing every day, said Chandler campaign manager Mark Nickolas.

    Chandler -- a former state auditor and former state attorney general -- is facing off against GOP state Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr in the Feb. 17 special election for the Lexington-area House seat. But while Kerr has outraised Chandler by several hundred thousand dollars -- as of late last week, Kerr had raised about $1.2 million and Chandler was estimating his fundraising total at about $650,000 -- Chandler's campaign says its fundraising pace is picking up and at least part of the surge has come from the Web.

    "It has been phenomenal," Nickolas said. "I get an e-mail every time there's a contribution -- and we know from the e-mail the source is a blog when they come through that avenue. Since the morning of Jan. 29, the FEC [filing] cut-off, I've put all those e-mails in a separate file. So far there are 711."

    You can help send a message to Bush by donating to his campaign and electing a Democrat in the South. Remember the .04 add-on.

    Posted by Eric at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)

    Chandler Brings in Blog Bling

    From Roll Call, via Daily Kos:

    With an investment of only $2,000, and in less than two weeks, the campaign has raked in between $45,000 and $50,000 in contributions from blog readers, and that number is growing every day, said Chandler campaign manager Mark Nickolas.

    Chandler -- a former state auditor and former state attorney general -- is facing off against GOP state Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr in the Feb. 17 special election for the Lexington-area House seat. But while Kerr has outraised Chandler by several hundred thousand dollars -- as of late last week, Kerr had raised about $1.2 million and Chandler was estimating his fundraising total at about $650,000 -- Chandler's campaign says its fundraising pace is picking up and at least part of the surge has come from the Web.

    "It has been phenomenal," Nickolas said. "I get an e-mail every time there's a contribution -- and we know from the e-mail the source is a blog when they come through that avenue. Since the morning of Jan. 29, the FEC [filing] cut-off, I've put all those e-mails in a separate file. So far there are 711."

    You can help send a message to Bush by donating to his campaign and electing a Democrat in the South. Remember the .04 add-on.

    Posted by Eric at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)

    Hamster Numbers: Tricks

    Number of press conferences at which President Bush has referred to a question as a "trick" : 11

    --Harpers.

    Posted by Eric at 04:49 AM | Comments (0)

    Hamster Numbers: Tricks

    Number of press conferences at which President Bush has referred to a question as a "trick" : 11

    --Harpers.

    Posted by Eric at 04:49 AM | Comments (0)

    Dean Says Wisconsin Loss Wouldn't End His Campaign

    According to NY Times, Dean may campaign even longer regardless of Wisconsin.

    In an abrupt reversal, Howard Dean said Monday that he would not back out of the Democratic presidential race regardless of what happened in Wisconsin's primary on Feb. 17.

    Acknowledging that it was an "obvious contradiction" from his fund-raising e-mail message to supporters last week saying he would be "out of the race" unless he won Wisconsin, Dr. Dean said supporters urging him in recent days not to quit had persuaded him to stay for the long haul. He said he was unsure what a post-Wisconsin strategy might look like if he lost, promising only that it would not be a "quixotic campaign that's going to attack the nominee of the Democratic Party."

    "The truth now appears to be that we're going to have to find a way to stay in," Dr. Dean, who has ruled out running as a third party candidate, said in a news conference after blurting out his plans to remain in the race in interviews with television stations in Green Bay.

    Dean went on to assert that he'd stay in for the 'ordinary people'
    "If I'm so big on ordinary people, how am I going to resist all the people who are tugging at my sleeve or doing it electronically, saying, Don't quit?"
    Of course, if Dean loses Wisconsin, the media will fade him into the same field as Sharpton, and Kucinich.

    Posted by Eric at 04:39 AM | Comments (0)

    Dean Says Wisconsin Loss Wouldn't End His Campaign

    According to NY Times, Dean may campaign even longer regardless of Wisconsin.

    In an abrupt reversal, Howard Dean said Monday that he would not back out of the Democratic presidential race regardless of what happened in Wisconsin's primary on Feb. 17.

    Acknowledging that it was an "obvious contradiction" from his fund-raising e-mail message to supporters last week saying he would be "out of the race" unless he won Wisconsin, Dr. Dean said supporters urging him in recent days not to quit had persuaded him to stay for the long haul. He said he was unsure what a post-Wisconsin strategy might look like if he lost, promising only that it would not be a "quixotic campaign that's going to attack the nominee of the Democratic Party."

    "The truth now appears to be that we're going to have to find a way to stay in," Dr. Dean, who has ruled out running as a third party candidate, said in a news conference after blurting out his plans to remain in the race in interviews with television stations in Green Bay.

    Dean went on to assert that he'd stay in for the 'ordinary people'
    "If I'm so big on ordinary people, how am I going to resist all the people who are tugging at my sleeve or doing it electronically, saying, Don't quit?"
    Of course, if Dean loses Wisconsin, the media will fade him into the same field as Sharpton, and Kucinich.

    Posted by Eric at 04:39 AM | Comments (0)

    February 09, 2004

    Monday Stories

    Balt Sun. With solid victory in Maine, Kerry now turns to South
    Seattle Times. Dean backers take pragmatic stand
    BGlobe. Dean campaigns at caucus sites in bid to stir voters
    Scott Ritter. Kerry, Too, Needs to Clear the Air
    Newsday. Bush for the Defense
    Boston Globe. With roles reversed, Kerry and Dean keep up sniping
    James Gilbreath. Neither Christian nor right
    Seattle PI. Scalia should recuse himself
    AJC. Free-spending budget fails to address greatest needs
    AP. Senate Democrats question appeals court nominee about his views on the environment
    Mike Davis. The Next Great Wall: From Australia to Europe to the U.S., the anti-immigration warriors have erected a barrier far more imposing and far deadlier than any in history
    Richard Florida. Creative Class War: How the GOP's anti-elitism could ruin America's economy
    Sarah Ferguson . Essential, and Up for Grabs: To beat Bush, Democrats must energize African Americans. The vote in South Carolina should show whether any of the current crop can
    LAT. Ex-Congressman Janklow Starts Serving Time
    Kevin Phillips. Bush Family Values: War, Wealth, Oil
    USAT. Kerry's rivals say race still open, but voters say otherwise
    USAT. While losing, Dean has transformed race, politics
    Ron Brownstein. Bush’s Strength a Potential Weakness
    StarTrib. Bush on Iraq/An unpersuasive performance
    Newhouse. Bush forsakes fiscal conservative mantra
    NYT. Bush States His Case Early
    NYT. Democrats See Unified Party for November
    AP. Pilot reportedly promoted Christianity on flight
    AP. Same-sex marriage opponents rally in Boston
    CNN. Kerry wins Maine caucuses
    NYT. In Virginia, Kerry Seeks Victory in Edwards's Backyard
    NYT. Gore Says Bush Betrayed the U.S. by Using 9/11 as a Reason for War in Iraq
    Bob Herbert . Lost in Credibility Gulch
    WP. Kerry, Edwards Woo Key Va. Voters; Governor Officially Backs Mass. Senator
    WP. Online, Political and Influential Survey: Visitors to Candidate Web Sites Are Opinion Leaders
    WP. In the House, Easy Does It Is the Rule for '04
    David Broder. In GOP Country, Job Fears

    Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Monday Stories

    Balt Sun. With solid victory in Maine, Kerry now turns to South
    Seattle Times. Dean backers take pragmatic stand
    BGlobe. Dean campaigns at caucus sites in bid to stir voters
    Scott Ritter. Kerry, Too, Needs to Clear the Air
    Newsday. Bush for the Defense
    Boston Globe. With roles reversed, Kerry and Dean keep up sniping
    James Gilbreath. Neither Christian nor right
    Seattle PI. Scalia should recuse himself
    AJC. Free-spending budget fails to address greatest needs
    AP. Senate Democrats question appeals court nominee about his views on the environment
    Mike Davis. The Next Great Wall: From Australia to Europe to the U.S., the anti-immigration warriors have erected a barrier far more imposing and far deadlier than any in history
    Richard Florida. Creative Class War: How the GOP's anti-elitism could ruin America's economy
    Sarah Ferguson . Essential, and Up for Grabs: To beat Bush, Democrats must energize African Americans. The vote in South Carolina should show whether any of the current crop can
    LAT. Ex-Congressman Janklow Starts Serving Time
    Kevin Phillips. Bush Family Values: War, Wealth, Oil
    USAT. Kerry's rivals say race still open, but voters say otherwise
    USAT. While losing, Dean has transformed race, politics
    Ron Brownstein. Bush’s Strength a Potential Weakness
    StarTrib. Bush on Iraq/An unpersuasive performance
    Newhouse. Bush forsakes fiscal conservative mantra
    NYT. Bush States His Case Early
    NYT. Democrats See Unified Party for November
    AP. Pilot reportedly promoted Christianity on flight
    AP. Same-sex marriage opponents rally in Boston
    CNN. Kerry wins Maine caucuses
    NYT. In Virginia, Kerry Seeks Victory in Edwards's Backyard
    NYT. Gore Says Bush Betrayed the U.S. by Using 9/11 as a Reason for War in Iraq
    Bob Herbert . Lost in Credibility Gulch
    WP. Kerry, Edwards Woo Key Va. Voters; Governor Officially Backs Mass. Senator
    WP. Online, Political and Influential Survey: Visitors to Candidate Web Sites Are Opinion Leaders
    WP. In the House, Easy Does It Is the Rule for '04
    David Broder. In GOP Country, Job Fears

    Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Hawaii Army National Guard Recruits Decrease 30%

    Paralleling a national trend, recruitment numbers are down significantly in Hawaii, where military is a large part of the culture. Guess why the numbers are down ...

    Posted by Eric at 10:13 PM | Comments (0)

    Hawaii Army National Guard Recruits Decrease 30%

    Paralleling a national trend, recruitment numbers are down significantly in Hawaii, where military is a large part of the culture. Guess why the numbers are down ...

    Posted by Eric at 10:13 PM | Comments (0)

    KY Set to Send Anti-Bush / GOP Message

    From Roll Call, Ben Chandler is set to make an impact in the special election in KY, which has been framed as a referendum on Bush.

    Unless voters in Kentuckys 6th district suddenly have a change of heart, the Republicans are headed for a rocky Feb. 17 special election in the Lexington-area House district. Former two-term state Attorney General Ben Chandler (D), not state Rep. Alice Forgy Kerr (R), has the advantage in the final days before the election.

    But worse than the loss of a single House seat, a Republican defeat would suggest some problems for President Bush and his party.

    This isn't exactly what Republicans expected to happen when the seat became open, following Republican Ernie Fletcher's election as governor in November.

    GOP strategists planned to make the special election a referendum on a popular president and a contrast of ideologies in a conservative district. That way, they figured, they could elect Kerr to Congress even though the district has a Democratic registration advantage and is politically competitive.

    But, instead of being an unadulterated asset, the president is proving to be more of a mixed blessing, and Kerr and the Republicans are struggling, at least so far, to convince voters that the race presents a stark choice between a liberal and a conservative.

    Learn more about Chandler here.

    Posted by Eric at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

    KY Set to Send Anti-Bush / GOP Message

    From Roll Call, Ben Chandler is set to make an impact in the special election in KY, which has been framed as a referendum on Bush.

    Unless voters in Kentuckys 6th district suddenly have a change of heart, the Republicans are headed for a rocky Feb. 17 special election in the Lexington-area House district. Former two-term state Attorney General Ben Chandler (D), not state Rep. Alice Forgy Kerr (R), has the advantage in the final days before the election.

    But worse than the loss of a single House seat, a Republican defeat would suggest some problems for President Bush and his party.

    This isn't exactly what Republicans expected to happen when the seat became open, following Republican Ernie Fletcher's election as governor in November.

    GOP strategists planned to make the special election a referendum on a popular president and a contrast of ideologies in a conservative district. That way, they figured, they could elect Kerr to Congress even though the district has a Democratic registration advantage and is politically competitive.

    But, instead of being an unadulterated asset, the president is proving to be more of a mixed blessing, and Kerr and the Republicans are struggling, at least so far, to convince voters that the race presents a stark choice between a liberal and a conservative.

    Learn more about Chandler here.

    Posted by Eric at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

    Mag Covers


    TIME asks if there's a credibility problem with Bush. Um, no, since he lied about sending troops to war, and not about sex. Actually, 55% have doubts, while only 44 say he is a trusted leader.


    Taking note of Mel Gibson's new film, Newsweek tries to find out who killed Jesus.


    USNews places Kerry as the frontrunner, talks about ways Edwards can catch up, and asks Kerry how he'll win: "Well," he says, showing a decided lack of New England reserve, "I am just going to work my butt off."


    The Nation looks at Iraqi resistance.


    Weekly Standard celebrates the fall of BBC after its reporting scandals.


    Rolling Stone returns to the Beatles..


    National Review goes after Kerry and his anti-war Vietnam history.. Will calling a man with several Purple Hearts and a Silver Star unpatriotic work? Especially when the war Kerry spoke out against was an, uh, unpopular war. Unless people aren't inviting me to the Happy Vietnam War Anniversaries.

    Posted by Eric at 06:31 PM | Comments (0)

    Mag Covers


    TIME asks if there's a credibility problem with Bush. Um, no, since he lied about sending troops to war, and not about sex. Actually, 55% have doubts, while only 44 say he is a trusted leader.


    Taking note of Mel Gibson's new film, Newsweek tries to find out who killed Jesus.


    USNews places Kerry as the frontrunner, talks about ways Edwards can catch up, and asks Kerry how he'll win: "Well," he says, showing a decided lack of New England reserve, "I am just going to work my butt off."


    The Nation looks at Iraqi resistance.


    Weekly Standard celebrates the fall of BBC after its reporting scandals.


    Rolling Stone returns to the Beatles..


    National Review goes after Kerry and his anti-war Vietnam history.. Will calling a man with several Purple Hearts and a Silver Star unpatriotic work? Especially when the war Kerry spoke out against was an, uh, unpopular war. Unless people aren't inviting me to the Happy Vietnam War Anniversaries.

    Posted by Eric at 06:31 PM | Comments (0)

    The Differences Between Kerry and Bush's Military Records

    As if you needed more, from Mother Jones.

    February 20, 1969:
    Kerry is wounded again, taking shrapnel in the left thigh, after a gunboat battle. He is awarded a second Purple Heart.

    February 28, 1969:
    Kerry and his boat crew, coming under attack while patroling in the Mekong Delta, decide to counterattack. In the middle of the ensuing firefight, Kerry leaves his boat, pursues a Viet Cong fighter into a small hut, kills him, and retreives a rocket launcher. He is awarded a Silver Star.

    March 13, 1969:
    A mine detonates near Kerry's boat, wounding him in the right arm. He is awarded a third Purple Heart. He is also awarded a Bronze Star for pulling a crew member, who had fallen overboard, back on the boat amidst a firefight.

    May 26, 1972:
    Bush transfers to Alabama Guard unit so he can work on Senator William Blount's reelection campaign. According to his commanding officer, Bush never shows up for duty while in Alabama.

    August 1972:
    Bush is grounded for missing a mandatory physical.

    November 1972:
    Bush returns to Houston, but never reports for Guard duty.

    Still, let's call Kerry an unpatriotic Jane Fonda lover.

    Posted by Eric at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)

    The Differences Between Kerry and Bush's Military Records

    As if you needed more, from Mother Jones.

    February 20, 1969:
    Kerry is wounded again, taking shrapnel in the left thigh, after a gunboat battle. He is awarded a second Purple Heart.

    February 28, 1969:
    Kerry and his boat crew, coming under attack while patroling in the Mekong Delta, decide to counterattack. In the middle of the ensuing firefight, Kerry leaves his boat, pursues a Viet Cong fighter into a small hut, kills him, and retreives a rocket launcher. He is awarded a Silver Star.

    March 13, 1969:
    A mine detonates near Kerry's boat, wounding him in the right arm. He is awarded a third Purple Heart. He is also awarded a Bronze Star for pulling a crew member, who had fallen overboard, back on the boat amidst a firefight.

    May 26, 1972:
    Bush transfers to Alabama Guard unit so he can work on Senator William Blount's reelection campaign. According to his commanding officer, Bush never shows up for duty while in Alabama.

    August 1972:
    Bush is grounded for missing a mandatory physical.

    November 1972:
    Bush returns to Houston, but never reports for Guard duty.

    Still, let's call Kerry an unpatriotic Jane Fonda lover.

    Posted by Eric at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)

    New Liberal News Site

    Nice, clean design, looks like it has good potential. Daily News Online.

    Posted by Eric at 05:51 PM | Comments (0)

    New Liberal News Site

    Nice, clean design, looks like it has good potential. Daily News Online.

    Posted by Eric at 05:51 PM | Comments (0)

    Voters Trust Kerry Over Bush re: Gov Spending

    According to Rasmussen Poll.

    When it comes to controlling government spending, voters today trust John Kerry more than George W. Bush. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 42% of voters believe that the Senator from Massachusetts is better on this issue than the President. Only 33% say the President is better.

    The political implications of this are significant in a nation where 63% of Americans say they prefer smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes. Only 23% want a more active government with more services and higher taxes. Being seen as a big spender is far more damaging than running up deficits.

    Link via Political Wire.

    Posted by Eric at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

    Voters Trust Kerry Over Bush re: Gov Spending

    According to Rasmussen Poll.

    When it comes to controlling government spending, voters today trust John Kerry more than George W. Bush. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 42% of voters believe that the Senator from Massachusetts is better on this issue than the President. Only 33% say the President is better.

    The political implications of this are significant in a nation where 63% of Americans say they prefer smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes. Only 23% want a more active government with more services and higher taxes. Being seen as a big spender is far more damaging than running up deficits.

    Link via Political Wire.

    Posted by Eric at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

    Latest Zogby: Kerry in VA, TN

    Good news for Kerry, bad news for Edwards and Clark. From the ubiquitous Zogby:

    VA
    MA Senator John Kerry
    47

    NC Senator John Edwards
    24

    Retired General Wesley K. Clark
    11

    Former VT Governor Howard Dean
    10

    TN.
    MA Senator John Kerry
    45

    NC Senator John Edwards
    21

    Retired General Wesley K. Clark
    19

    Former VT Governor Howard Dean
    5

    Posted by Eric at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)

    Latest Zogby: Kerry in VA, TN

    Good news for Kerry, bad news for Edwards and Clark. From the ubiquitous Zogby:

    VA
    MA Senator John Kerry
    47

    NC Senator John Edwards
    24

    Retired General Wesley K. Clark
    11

    Former VT Governor Howard Dean
    10

    TN.
    MA Senator John Kerry
    45

    NC Senator John Edwards
    21

    Retired General Wesley K. Clark
    19

    Former VT Governor Howard Dean
    5

    Posted by Eric at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)

    Franken Says NY Post Distorted Story; Vincent Morris / Post Runs Away

    Al Franken is attempting to get the record straight about the 'New Hampshire' incident. From Lloyd Grove:

    Franken told me: "I didn't body-slam anyone to the floor. The Post's story makes me look like a nut, and it has been circulated all over the world by the right-wing echo chamber."

    Franken said that Dean aides and security staffers accepted his offer to help subdue the screaming protester after nearly 10 minutes of disruption.

    "Three of us grabbed the man's shoulders to restrain him," Franken said. "We tried to pull him back, but he grabbed onto a railing. I then drew on my experience as a mediocre high-school wrestler to suggest we lift the man's legs off the floor [so that he] could be safely taken away. ... There was no danger that he would fall to the floor." ... Last week, Franken wrote a brief letter to the editor to correct the record. But he said Rupert Murdoch's paper broke a promise to publish the letter in full, and instead struck key portions, notably that the Post has published two corrections for previous stories by Morris that mischaracterized Franken's conduct.

    But, in "a deliberate attempt to be misleading," Franken said, the editors did publish his letter's final sentence: "I think you have an obligation to set the record straight by publishing this letter in its entirety."

    In addition, Franken said, Post editors deliberately mislabeled a transcript of his post-scuffle comments to a gaggle of reporters on the scene. It was instead called a "taped interview Morris conducted with Franken."

    "I don't know if Vince Morris was there holding out a tape recorder, but I certainly didn't give him an interview," Franken said. "A Post editor explicitly promised that the transcript would not be called an 'interview.'"

    So what does the usually chirpy NY Post have to say about the incident? Absolutely nothing.
    Morris didn't return repeated phone calls seeking his side of the controversy. A Post colleague explained that Morris had been instructed by his editors not to talk to me.

    Post editorial page editor Bob McManus, meanwhile, advised: "I'm not going to talk to you. Talk to Col Allan."

    But top editor Allan, likewise, didn't return my phone calls.

    Further, Morris has refused to release his 'tapes' of the Al interview he claimed to have conducted.

    So what were the two previous mistakes that Morris made?

    MISTAKE 1. January 18, 2002.

    MORRIS: "Sen. Charles Schumer, New York's opinionated, argumentative lawmaker, is the model for a planned TV comedy series about life as a D.C. lawmaker in an all-male Capitol Hill pad."

    THE CORRECTION/RETRACTION: From Lexis Nexis,

    CORRECTION-DATE: January 19, 2002, Saturday

    Comedian Al Franken says the "Chip Weinberg" character in his new TV script "Little House on the Hill" is not based on Sen. Chuck Schumer.

    MISTAKE NUMBER 2! July 31, 2000

    MORRIS: "The "Straight Talk Express" slammed into an unexpected wall of jeers, boos, hisses and insults yesterday, as protesters repeatedly interrupted a pre-convention speech by U.S. Sen. John McCain. The catcalling came from a variety of sources, including supporters of Navajo Indians, and comedian Al Franken, who laughed loudly and harshly when McCain praised Texas Gov. George W. Bush."

    THE CORRECTION/RETRACTION: From Lexis-Nexis.

    CORRECTION-DATE: August 02, 200

    CORRECTION:

    Comedian Al Franken was not one of the hecklers of Sen. John McCain's speech at Sunday night's "shadow" convention in Philadelphia. In fact, Franken was among those calling for the catcalls to cease.

    What, you mean Vincent Morris has a credibility gap!?

    Posted by Eric at 05:59 AM | Comments (0)

    Franken Says NY Post Distorted Story; Vincent Morris / Post Runs Away

    Al Franken is attempting to get the record straight about the 'New Hampshire' incident. From Lloyd Grove:

    Franken told me: "I didn't body-slam anyone to the floor. The Post's story makes me look like a nut, and it has been circulated all over the world by the right-wing echo chamber."

    Franken said that Dean aides and security staffers accepted his offer to help subdue the screaming protester after nearly 10 minutes of disruption.

    "Three of us grabbed the man's shoulders to restrain him," Franken said. "We tried to pull him back, but he grabbed onto a railing. I then drew on my experience as a mediocre high-school wrestler to suggest we lift the man's legs off the floor [so that he] could be safely taken away. ... There was no danger that he would fall to the floor." ... Last week, Franken wrote a brief letter to the editor to correct the record. But he said Rupert Murdoch's paper broke a promise to publish the letter in full, and instead struck key portions, notably that the Post has published two corrections for previous stories by Morris that mischaracterized Franken's conduct.

    But, in "a deliberate attempt to be misleading," Franken said, the editors did publish his letter's final sentence: "I think you have an obligation to set the record straight by publishing this letter in its entirety."

    In addition, Franken said, Post editors deliberately mislabeled a transcript of his post-scuffle comments to a gaggle of reporters on the scene. It was instead called a "taped interview Morris conducted with Franken."

    "I don't know if Vince Morris was there holding out a tape recorder, but I certainly didn't give him an interview," Franken said. "A Post editor explicitly promised that the transcript would not be called an 'interview.'"

    So what does the usually chirpy NY Post have to say about the incident? Absolutely nothing.
    Morris didn't return repeated phone calls seeking his side of the controversy. A Post colleague explained that Morris had been instructed by his editors not to talk to me.

    Post editorial page editor Bob McManus, meanwhile, advised: "I'm not going to talk to you. Talk to Col Allan."

    But top editor Allan, likewise, didn't return my phone calls.

    Further, Morris has refused to release his 'tapes' of the Al interview he claimed to have conducted.

    So what were the two previous mistakes that Morris made?

    MISTAKE 1. January 18, 2002.

    MORRIS: "Sen. Charles Schumer, New York's opinionated, argumentative lawmaker, is the model for a planned TV comedy series about life as a D.C. lawmaker in an all-male Capitol Hill pad."

    THE CORRECTION/RETRACTION: From Lexis Nexis,

    CORRECTION-DATE: January 19, 2002, Saturday

    Comedian Al Franken says the "Chip Weinberg" character in his new TV script "Little House on the Hill" is not based on Sen. Chuck Schumer.

    MISTAKE NUMBER 2! July 31, 2000

    MORRIS: "The "Straight Talk Express" slammed into an unexpected wall of jeers, boos, hisses and insults yesterday, as protesters repeatedly interrupted a pre-convention speech by U.S. Sen. John McCain. The catcalling came from a variety of sources, including supporters of Navajo Indians, and comedian Al Franken, who laughed loudly and harshly when McCain praised Texas Gov. George W. Bush."

    THE CORRECTION/RETRACTION: From Lexis-Nexis.

    CORRECTION-DATE: August 02, 200

    CORRECTION:

    Comedian Al Franken was not one of the hecklers of Sen. John McCain's speech at Sunday night's "shadow" convention in Philadelphia. In fact, Franken was among those calling for the catcalls to cease.

    What, you mean Vincent Morris has a credibility gap!?

    Posted by Eric at 05:59 AM | Comments (0)

    Opium Trade Flourishes in Afghanistan

    According to Sergie Ivanov in The Guardian, Afghanistan's producing nine times the amount of opium than it did under the Taliban

    "It is understandable that by allowing drug peddling in Afghanistan, the [Nato] alliance ensures loyalty of warlords on the ground and of some Afghan leaders," he said.

    "Nevertheless, the drug flow from Afghanistan is posing a serious threat to the national security of all of the central Asian CIS [confederation of independent states] and Russia. It results from the absence of a truly international approach toward stabilisation in Afghanistan."

    Mr Ivanov was speaking at an international security conference in Munich where Nato countries, including Britain, debated whether to increase their military presence in Afghanistan.

    His comments came as at least 20 people were reported killed and 40 wounded in north-eastern Afghanistan in clashes over the payment of taxes on the opium poppy crop.

    Posted by Eric at 05:42 AM | Comments (0)

    Opium Trade Flourishes in Afghanistan

    According to Sergie Ivanov in The Guardian, Afghanistan's producing nine times the amount of opium than it did under the Taliban

    "It is understandable that by allowing drug peddling in Afghanistan, the [Nato] alliance ensures loyalty of warlords on the ground and of some Afghan leaders," he said.

    "Nevertheless, the drug flow from Afghanistan is posing a serious threat to the national security of all of the central Asian CIS [confederation of independent states] and Russia. It results from the absence of a truly international approach toward stabilisation in Afghanistan."

    Mr Ivanov was speaking at an international security conference in Munich where Nato countries, including Britain, debated whether to increase their military presence in Afghanistan.

    His comments came as at least 20 people were reported killed and 40 wounded in north-eastern Afghanistan in clashes over the payment of taxes on the opium poppy crop.

    Posted by Eric at 05:42 AM | Comments (0)

    Comedy Monday

    Singing Hamsters ... I think.


    Real story, and something to make unpublished college professors weep even more in their small offices: Paris Hilton has been signed for a Simon & Schuster book contract.
    "Never drink Diet Coke," she counsels. "Diet Coke is for fat people."

    "Only sleep on Egyptian cotton sheets with a 400 to 600 thread count."

    "Always pack more than you need — three times as much - then don't wear any of it and buy all new stuff."

    "Don't be too easy. Too easy and a guy knows he has you."

    But really, how can you go wrong with this?
    "Sometimes I'll request vegetarian meals on planes and they won't be there. That is so annoying," she writes.

    "John Kerry won 5 of the 7 contests — a number of political analysts say the nomination is Kerry's to lose and today Dean said 'I'll show you how to do it.'" Jay Leno

    "This week, both John Kerry and Wesley Clark are making campaign appearance with the guys who saved their lives in Vietnam. Meanwhile, President Bush is campaigning with a guy that once took a math test for him." Conan O'Brien

    "The toxic chemical ricin was discovered in the U.S. Capitol this week. Even more bad news — it's beating Dennis Kucinich in the polls." Craig Kilborn

    "Because of poor results at the primaries last night, Senator Joe Lieberman will be dropping out of the race. Earlier today, he broke the news to his supporter." David Letterman

    "Yesterday on MSNBC, televangelist Pat Robertson said the reason Democrats are still competitive in national elections, is that, and this is his quote, "African Americans don't cotton to the idea of voting for Republicans”. Maybe that’s because Republicans like Pat Robertson keep using 'cotton' as a verb!" Jay Leno

    "Monday was Groundhog Day. Janet Jackson’s breast popped out of its hole, saw its shadow, and now we’ll have six more weeks of overreaction." Jimmy Fallon

    "Justin Timberlake is reportedly upset with Janet Jackson over the Superbowl Half-Time incident, saying that he was told her breast would never be in full view. But is it really so shocking that a member of the Jackson family member took advantage of a naïve young boy?" Jimmy Fallon

    "It was a disappointing primary season for [Joe] Lieberman, but on the plus side, his campaign was long, quiet, and depressing enough to qualify as a Jewish holiday." Tina Fey

    "FOX is developing a new reality dating series called Playing It Straight, in which a female contestant will date 14 bachelors, some of whom are gay and some are straight. The show was originally called, The Tina Fey College Experience."

    Also see FallonFey.com.


    From Maddox: Bill O'Reilly is a big blubbering vagina
    This guy is the epitome of narcissism, and coming from a guy whose website is titled "The Best Page in the Universe," that's saying a lot. If I had to describe Bill O'Reilly in a phrase, it would be "sock-sniffer." You know the kind of guy who comes home from a long day of work, his feet have been sweating all day, his socks are ripe with the pungent aroma of stale milk and wet leather, and after he finally sits down and takes his socks off, but just before he throws them in the hamper, he takes a quick sniff to sample his odors.

    O'Reilly wouldn't be such a bad guy if he would quit crying for a few minutes, step back, re-evaluate his life, and realize that he's a giant blubbering vagina. In June of 2003, O'Reilly attacked the only form of media he was powerless in: the Internet. In his "Talking Points Memo" segment, he whined that "nearly everyday, there's something written on the Internet about me that's flat out untrue," continuing with his theory that "the reason these net people get away with all kinds of stuff is that they work for no one. They put stuff up with no restraints. This, of course, is dangerous..." Yeah, real dangerous Bill. Next thing you know, people will get the crazy idea that they have the right to express their opinions as they see fit. Who knows? Maybe this idea will catch on and they'll add it to the Constitution of the United States, giving it a catchy title like "freedom of speech." What do you think of that you sock-sniffing bog trotter?


    Sad ... Democrats Somehow Lose Primaries
    "While it's true that the Democratic Party has been struggling to find a strong voice, you can imagine our surprise when results indicated that John Kerry, Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, Joe Lieberman, and John Edwards all failed to carry a single primary," American Research Group political analyst Dick Bennett said late Tuesday. "Oh, and Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich, too."

    Primaries were held in Delaware, Missouri, Arizona, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, with no single Democratic candidate coming in higher than second place.

    Experts are still unsure exactly how Kerry, whom many considered the frontrunner after strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, lost to, and along with, every other Democratic candidate.

    "Given our standing going into Tuesday, we were surprised not to take at least one state," Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill said. "But, in all honesty, we were a hell of a lot more baffled that none of the other Democratic candidates won, either."

    Aggregate results from the five states, with all districts reporting, show Kerry leading the other candidates, but at a distant second.


    Join the school of Famous Pundits School in Westport, Conn

    Talk Show Notes:

    Bill Maher, Kilborn, Wed, 2/11
    John Edwards, Jay Leno, Friday, 2/13
    Bill O'Reilly, Leno, Wed, 2/18
    Walter Cronkite, Conan, Friday, 2/20



    Click down for comics ...

    Posted by Eric at 01:49 AM | Comments (0)

    Comedy Monday

    Singing Hamsters ... I think.


    Real story, and something to make unpublished college professors weep even more in their small offices: Paris Hilton has been signed for a Simon & Schuster book contract.
    "Never drink Diet Coke," she counsels. "Diet Coke is for fat people."

    "Only sleep on Egyptian cotton sheets with a 400 to 600 thread count."

    "Always pack more than you need — three times as much - then don't wear any of it and buy all new stuff."

    "Don't be too easy. Too easy and a guy knows he has you."

    But really, how can you go wrong with this?
    "Sometimes I'll request vegetarian meals on planes and they won't be there. That is so annoying," she writes.

    "John Kerry won 5 of the 7 contests — a number of political analysts say the nomination is Kerry's to lose and today Dean said 'I'll show you how to do it.'" Jay Leno

    "This week, both John Kerry and Wesley Clark are making campaign appearance with the guys who saved their lives in Vietnam. Meanwhile, President Bush is campaigning with a guy that once took a math test for him." Conan O'Brien

    "The toxic chemical ricin was discovered in the U.S. Capitol this week. Even more bad news — it's beating Dennis Kucinich in the polls." Craig Kilborn

    "Because of poor results at the primaries last night, Senator Joe Lieberman will be dropping out of the race. Earlier today, he broke the news to his supporter." David Letterman

    "Yesterday on MSNBC, televangelist Pat Robertson said the reason Democrats are still competitive in national elections, is that, and this is his quote, "African Americans don't cotton to the idea of voting for Republicans”. Maybe that’s because Republicans like Pat Robertson keep using 'cotton' as a verb!" Jay Leno

    "Monday was Groundhog Day. Janet Jackson’s breast popped out of its hole, saw its shadow, and now we’ll have six more weeks of overreaction." Jimmy Fallon

    "Justin Timberlake is reportedly upset with Janet Jackson over the Superbowl Half-Time incident, saying that he was told her breast would never be in full view. But is it really so shocking that a member of the Jackson family member took advantage of a naïve young boy?" Jimmy Fallon

    "It was a disappointing primary season for [Joe] Lieberman, but on the plus side, his campaign was long, quiet, and depressing enough to qualify as a Jewish holiday." Tina Fey

    "FOX is developing a new reality dating series called Playing It Straight, in which a female contestant will date 14 bachelors, some of whom are gay and some are straight. The show was originally called, The Tina Fey College Experience."

    Also see FallonFey.com.


    From Maddox: Bill O'Reilly is a big blubbering vagina
    This guy is the epitome of narcissism, and coming from a guy whose website is titled "The Best Page in the Universe," that's saying a lot. If I had to describe Bill O'Reilly in a phrase, it would be "sock-sniffer." You know the kind of guy who comes home from a long day of work, his feet have been sweating all day, his socks are ripe with the pungent aroma of stale milk and wet leather, and after he finally sits down and takes his socks off, but just before he throws them in the hamper, he takes a quick sniff to sample his odors.

    O'Reilly wouldn't be such a bad guy if he would quit crying for a few minutes, step back, re-evaluate his life, and realize that he's a giant blubbering vagina. In June of 2003, O'Reilly attacked the only form of media he was powerless in: the Internet. In his "Talking Points Memo" segment, he whined that "nearly everyday, there's something written on the Internet about me that's flat out untrue," continuing with his theory that "the reason these net people get away with all kinds of stuff is that they work for no one. They put stuff up with no restraints. This, of course, is dangerous..." Yeah, real dangerous Bill. Next thing you know, people will get the crazy idea that they have the right to express their opinions as they see fit. Who knows? Maybe this idea will catch on and they'll add it to the Constitution of the United States, giving it a catchy title like "freedom of speech." What do you think of that you sock-sniffing bog trotter?


    Sad ... Democrats Somehow Lose Primaries
    "While it's true that the Democratic Party has been struggling to find a strong voice, you can imagine our surprise when results indicated that John Kerry, Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, Joe Lieberman, and John Edwards all failed to carry a single primary," American Research Group political analyst Dick Bennett said late Tuesday. "Oh, and Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich, too."

    Primaries were held in Delaware, Missouri, Arizona, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, with no single Democratic candidate coming in higher than second place.

    Experts are still unsure exactly how Kerry, whom many considered the frontrunner after strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, lost to, and along with, every other Democratic candidate.

    "Given our standing going into Tuesday, we were surprised not to take at least one state," Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill said. "But, in all honesty, we were a hell of a lot more baffled that none of the other Democratic candidates won, either."

    Aggregate results from the five states, with all districts reporting, show Kerry leading the other candidates, but at a distant second.


    Join the school of Famous Pundits School in Westport, Conn

    Talk Show Notes:

    Bill Maher, Kilborn, Wed, 2/11
    John Edwards, Jay Leno, Friday, 2/13
    Bill O'Reilly, Leno, Wed, 2/18
    Walter Cronkite, Conan, Friday, 2/20



    Click down for comics ...

    Posted by Eric at 01:49 AM | Comments (0)

    Gettin Fristy Wit It

    Sorry, the headline writer has been sacked. According to US News Whispers, people are whispering about Dr. Frist:

    Vice President Dick Cheney's political problems have folks in Tennessee gabbing about rumors that their own Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, would be tagged to take the veep's job if the former Halliburton exec had to step aside. Both sides make the expected denials that anything's afloat.

    Posted by Eric at 01:33 AM | Comments (0)

    Gettin Fristy Wit It

    Sorry, the headline writer has been sacked. According to US News Whispers, people are whispering about Dr. Frist:

    Vice President Dick Cheney's political problems have folks in Tennessee gabbing about rumors that their own Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, would be tagged to take the veep's job if the former Halliburton exec had to step aside. Both sides make the expected denials that anything's afloat.

    Posted by Eric at 01:33 AM | Comments (0)

    Daily Hamster Numbers: States

  • "Some 30 states are projecting deficits for Fiscal Year 2005 totaling about $39 billion to $41 billion. This represents between 7 percent and 8 percent of state general fund expenditures."

  • "In eight states, the shortfall estimate exceeds 10 percent of the budget including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Kansas, Mississippi, New Jersey, and New York."

  • "While revenue growth has increased, it still remains extremely modest. The Rockefeller Institute of Government reports that in the most recent quarter, state tax revenue adjusted for inflation and legislative changes was only 0.4 percent higher than in the same period in 2002. This low rate of growth occurred despite a 3.5 percent growth in real GDP over the same period."

    -Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

    Posted by Eric at 12:40 AM | Comments (0)

    Daily Hamster Numbers: States

  • "Some 30 states are projecting deficits for Fiscal Year 2005 totaling about $39 billion to $41 billion. This represents between 7 percent and 8 percent of state general fund expenditures."

  • "In eight states, the shortfall estimate exceeds 10 percent of the budget including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Kansas, Mississippi, New Jersey, and New York."

  • "While revenue growth has increased, it still remains extremely modest. The Rockefeller Institute of Government reports that in the most recent quarter, state tax revenue adjusted for inflation and legislative changes was only 0.4 percent higher than in the same period in 2002. This low rate of growth occurred despite a 3.5 percent growth in real GDP over the same period."

    -Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

    Posted by Eric at 12:40 AM | Comments (0)

    Young Republicans Irrelevant

    Funny. According to piece, liberals / Democrats go into fields where they affect government policy (because they like government, duh), but conservatives go into fields where they affect their pocket book (because they like money, duh). Sounds simplistic, but that's what happens.

    Call it a return on investment: Conservative groups have spent millions changing the debate on college campuses, funding and promoting speakers, clubs, magazines and even "affirmative-action bake sales" (minority students are charged 50 cents per cookie, whites, $1, to illustrate the injustice of racial preferences).

    But the investment is yielding a low return. Right-leaning folks wanted to grow young reporters, academics, artists and public servants who would change the culture, not just the campus. Instead, they've grown activists who enjoy campus politics, but flee to the business world or conservative institutions after graduation. Until someone convinces young conservatives to battle up the low-paid ladder of newspapers and other mainstream institutions, conservatives will see livelier campus debates and bake sales for their money — but not much cultural change.

    Posted by Eric at 12:27 AM | Comments (0)

    Young Republicans Irrelevant

    Funny. According to piece, liberals / Democrats go into fields where they affect government policy (because they like government, duh), but conservatives go into fields where they affect their pocket book (because they like money, duh). Sounds simplistic, but that's what happens.

    Call it a return on investment: Conservative groups have spent millions changing the debate on college campuses, funding and promoting speakers, clubs, magazines and even "affirmative-action bake sales" (minority students are charged 50 cents per cookie, whites, $1, to illustrate the injustice of racial preferences).

    But the investment is yielding a low return. Right-leaning folks wanted to grow young reporters, academics, artists and public servants who would change the culture, not just the campus. Instead, they've grown activists who enjoy campus politics, but flee to the business world or conservative institutions after graduation. Until someone convinces young conservatives to battle up the low-paid ladder of newspapers and other mainstream institutions, conservatives will see livelier campus debates and bake sales for their money — but not much cultural change.

    Posted by Eric at 12:27 AM | Comments (0)

    Where Did Bush Go Wrong?

    In a special report, the American Progress outlines where Bush, in his interview with Russert, went wrong.

    The DNC also has a report, which isn't quite as good, and, for now, is in the blog unfriendly PDF form. How hard is it to put it in HTML?

    Posted by Eric at 12:23 AM | Comments (0)

    Where Did Bush Go Wrong?

    In a special report, the American Progress outlines where Bush, in his interview with Russert, went wrong.

    The DNC also has a report, which isn't quite as good, and, for now, is in the blog unfriendly PDF form. How hard is it to put it in HTML?

    Posted by Eric at 12:23 AM | Comments (0)

    Franken, Bill Clinton Win Grammys

    The satirist and former US President won for spoken word album category and spoken word album for children category, respectively.

    Posted by Eric at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

    Franken, Bill Clinton Win Grammys

    The satirist and former US President won for spoken word album category and spoken word album for children category, respectively.

    Posted by Eric at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

    Progressives Should Vote Edwards

    Says Joel Rogers, a Nation contributing editor and professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Why?

    He is unabashedly pro-union. He regularly challenges white audiences to confront "the white problem" of continued racial injustice. His "two Americas" stump speech is all about class. He appreciates and notes the sheer pervasiveness of corporate crime--from tax evasion to union avoidance, predatory lending to environmental degradation, unsafe working conditions to subsidy abuse. He is sharply critical of the "Washington Consensus" on international trade and finance. He talks about the growth of poverty and dead-end jobs. And he's the only candidate who does this in engaging language ordinary voters understand.

    Better still, Edwards is relentlessly upbeat about America's ability to solve these problems. He's not another Clintonesque "I hear your pain, now let me tell you why I can't do anything about it" sort of guy. He has a real program of democratic renewal. And it is largely ours.

    So, for example, Edwards wants to commit America explicitly to promoting "high road" competition--high wage, low waste, more socially accountable--and getting off the "low road" that's dragging down wages and increasing inequality. He wants to raise labor and environmental standards, invest heavily in worker training and continuing education, and build the public infrastructure--some crumbling, some never built, some bricks and more, some organizational--needed to achieve a shared prosperity.

    He also wants to get beyond the free trade/protectionism frame for international economic policy and commit the United States clearly both to defending living standards here and enabling sustainable growth in the Third World. He wants to change trade rules to promote an upward rather than the present downward leveling in global wages, environmental standards and worker rights; open the World Trade Organization to sunlight and break its Chapter 11 stranglehold on higher local standards; and move international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund away from imposing cookie-cutter "structural adjustment" on weak economies.

    Posted by Eric at 12:18 AM | Comments (0)

    Progressives Should Vote Edwards

    Says Joel Rogers, a Nation contributing editor and professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Why?

    He is unabashedly pro-union. He regularly challenges white audiences to confront "the white problem" of continued racial injustice. His "two Americas" stump speech is all about class. He appreciates and notes the sheer pervasiveness of corporate crime--from tax evasion to union avoidance, predatory lending to environmental degradation, unsafe working conditions to subsidy abuse. He is sharply critical of the "Washington Consensus" on international trade and finance. He talks about the growth of poverty and dead-end jobs. And he's the only candidate who does this in engaging language ordinary voters understand.

    Better still, Edwards is relentlessly upbeat about America's ability to solve these problems. He's not another Clintonesque "I hear your pain, now let me tell you why I can't do anything about it" sort of guy. He has a real program of democratic renewal. And it is largely ours.

    So, for example, Edwards wants to commit America explicitly to promoting "high road" competition--high wage, low waste, more socially accountable--and getting off the "low road" that's dragging down wages and increasing inequality. He wants to raise labor and environmental standards, invest heavily in worker training and continuing education, and build the public infrastructure--some crumbling, some never built, some bricks and more, some organizational--needed to achieve a shared prosperity.

    He also wants to get beyond the free trade/protectionism frame for international economic policy and commit the United States clearly both to defending living standards here and enabling sustainable growth in the Third World. He wants to change trade rules to promote an upward rather than the present downward leveling in global wages, environmental standards and worker rights; open the World Trade Organization to sunlight and break its Chapter 11 stranglehold on higher local standards; and move international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund away from imposing cookie-cutter "structural adjustment" on weak economies.

    Posted by Eric at 12:18 AM | Comments (0)

    February 08, 2004

    Even Noonan

    Bush shill Peggy Noonan goes after Bush and his ill-advised MTP interview:

    You can find the transcript of the Bush-Russert interview all over the Web. It reads better than it played. But six million people saw it, and many millions more will see pieces of it, and they will not be the pieces in which Mr. Bush looks good.
    The president seemed tired, unsure and often bumbling. His answers were repetitive, and when he tried to clarify them he tended to make them worse. He did not seem prepared. He seemed in some way disconnected from the event. When he was thrown the semisoftball question on his National Guard experience--he's been thrown this question for 10 years now--he spoke in a way that seemed detached. "It's politics." Well yes, we know that. Tell us more.

    Posted by Eric at 07:14 PM | Comments (0)

    Even Noonan

    Bush shill Peggy Noonan goes after Bush and his ill-advised MTP interview:

    You can find the transcript of the Bush-Russert interview all over the Web. It reads better than it played. But six million people saw it, and many millions more will see pieces of it, and they will not be the pieces in which Mr. Bush looks good.
    The president seemed tired, unsure and often bumbling. His answers were repetitive, and when he tried to clarify them he tended to make them worse. He did not seem prepared. He seemed in some way disconnected from the event. When he was thrown the semisoftball question on his National Guard experience--he's been thrown this question for 10 years now--he spoke in a way that seemed detached. "It's politics." Well yes, we know that. Tell us more.

    Posted by Eric at 07:14 PM | Comments (0)

    DSCC Responds to Bush MTP

    From a DSCC email:

    Credibility Gap #1 – Moving the Goal Posts on the Reason for War
    Bush used the appearance on the Sunday talk show to move the goal posts on the reason for going to war in Iraq by changing his rationale from one where there was "no doubt" [March 17, 2003] that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and posed an "urgent" [September 28, 2002 radio address] threat to America to one in which Hussein "had the capacity to have a weapons, make a weapon," [February 8, 2004, Meet the Press] a standard that could apply to many countries including North Korea, Iran, Syria and Sudan.

    Credibility Gap #2 – The Use of Pre War Intelligence – Bush's Failure to Heed the CIA's Caveats
    Bush also failed to explain the wide gap between the certainty with which he and his Administration made the case for war, saying there was "no doubt" [March 17, 2003] about Iraq's weapons programs and that Iraq posed "a threat of unique urgency" [October 2, 2002], and the caveats and qualifiers for the intelligence assessment related to Iraq's weapons programs provided at the time by the CIA. On Thursday, in a speech at Georgetown University, CIA Director George Tenet said the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) "never said Iraq was an imminent threat" but Bush chose to use the similar words "urgent" and "urgency" in describing the threat just the same. When asked by Russert to explain why he and is Administration had used such certain language with knowledge of the CIA's caveats and qualifiers Bush referred only to the Administration's new rationale for war "Well, because he had the capacity to have a weapon, make a weapon" [February 8, 2004, Meet the Press].

    Credibility Gap #3 – The 911 Commission
    Also today, in his appearance on Meet the Press, President Bush made the audacious claim that his Administration has cooperated with the investigation into intelligence failures prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks being conducted by the 9/11 Commission chaired by former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean (R) and former Congressman Lee Hamilton (D). Bush said to Russert "we have given extraordinary cooperation with Chairmen Kean and Hamilton" despite persistent complaints that the Administration, which fought the establishment of the commission in he first place, has obstructed its work. While Bush claims he is cooperating with the 9/11 Commission, Newsweek Magazine is reporting a very different story in its February 16th issue: Commission sources tell NEWSWEEK that panel members are fed up with what one calls "maddening" restrictions by White House lawyers on their access to key documents. Unless the panel gets to see the docs, the report "will not withstand the laugh test," a commission official says. The panel is threatening to force a showdown soon—by voting to subpoena the White House. [Newsweek Magazine, February 16th Issue]

    Credibility Gap #4 – Bush and the Budget - "The Mother of All Big Spenders"
    In his appearance today, President Bush fell head long into his growing credibility gap on his management of the nation's finances. As noted by Russert, when Bush took office, the federal budget enjoyed a $281 billion surplus while today the President's Office of Management and Budget has projected a $521 billion deficit for the next fiscal year. Russert noted that Bush has been called the biggest spending president in American history: "But your base conservatives and listen to Rush Limbaugh, the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, they're all saying you are the biggest spender in American history." Bush said his critics were wrong, and he claimed that increased spending had been prompted by the war but that discretionary spending had fallen under his watch. "If you look at the appropriations bills that were passed under my watch, in the last year of President Clinton, discretionary spending was up 15 percent, and ours have steadily declined. And the other thing that I think it's important for people who watch the expenditures side of the equation is to understand we are at war¿" However, the conservative CATO institute as early as last summer called Bush "The Mother of All Big Spenders" [July 28, 2003]. CATO went on to cast doubt on Bush's claim regarding the budget.

    The real truth is that national defense is far from being responsible for all of the spending increases. According to the new numbers, defense spending will have risen by about 34 percent since Bush came into office. But, at the same time, non-defense discretionary spending will have skyrocketed by almost 28 percent. [CATO Institute, July 28, 2003].

    Bush went on to claim that the recent budget he proposed to Congress would halve the deficit (the deficit he created) in five years, though many of his assumptions for such a cut in the deficit have been rejected by members of Congress from both parties. In fact, as has been reported, Bush's budget does not include the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, it counts on revenues that do not exist, such as $2.4 billion from royalty payments for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge which has never passed Congress, and it proposes cuts in popular education programs that Congress is unlikely to approve.

    Credibility Gap #5 – Jobs and the Economy
    Tim Russert effectively pointed out the large credibility gap the President has when it comes to his management of the economy. Russert noted that the unemployment rate has shot up from 4.2 percent when Bush took office to 5.6 percent today. Russert also noted that the President's tax cuts have failed to create the jobs he promised they would. Russert noted that instead, the nation has lost 2.2 million jobs on Bush's watch and that the tax cuts have not worked as advertised "But when you proposed your first tax cut in 2001, you said this was going to generate 800,000 new jobs. Your tax cut of 2003, create a million new jobs. That has not happened."

    Bush also claimed that he "want(s) people to find work" though there is no evidence beyond tax cuts for the wealthy that he or his Administration have any concrete plans to either support workers or create jobs. The Administration has opposed the extension of unemployment benefits for millions of Americans which began to expire late last year, and his budget proposes cuts to a host of programs vital to workers and the creation of jobs including the Department of Commerce's Advanced Technology Program and vocational education and literacy programs within the Department of Education.

    Posted by Eric at 06:21 PM | Comments (0)

    DSCC Responds to Bush MTP

    From a DSCC email:

    Credibility Gap #1 – Moving the Goal Posts on the Reason for War
    Bush used the appearance on the Sunday talk show to move the goal posts on the reason for going to war in Iraq by changing his rationale from one where there was "no doubt" [March 17, 2003] that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and posed an "urgent" [September 28, 2002 radio address] threat to America to one in which Hussein "had the capacity to have a weapons, make a weapon," [February 8, 2004, Meet the Press] a standard that could apply to many countries including North Korea, Iran, Syria and Sudan.

    Credibility Gap #2 – The Use of Pre War Intelligence – Bush's Failure to Heed the CIA's Caveats
    Bush also failed to explain the wide gap between the certainty with which he and his Administration made the case for war, saying there was "no doubt" [March 17, 2003] about Iraq's weapons programs and that Iraq posed "a threat of unique urgency" [October 2, 2002], and the caveats and qualifiers for the intelligence assessment related to Iraq's weapons programs provided at the time by the CIA. On Thursday, in a speech at Georgetown University, CIA Director George Tenet said the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) "never said Iraq was an imminent threat" but Bush chose to use the similar words "urgent" and "urgency" in describing the threat just the same. When asked by Russert to explain why he and is Administration had used such certain language with knowledge of the CIA's caveats and qualifiers Bush referred only to the Administration's new rationale for war "Well, because he had the capacity to have a weapon, make a weapon" [February 8, 2004, Meet the Press].

    Credibility Gap #3 – The 911 Commission
    Also today, in his appearance on Meet the Press, President Bush made the audacious claim that his Administration has cooperated with the investigation into intelligence failures prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks being conducted by the 9/11 Commission chaired by former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean (R) and former Congressman Lee Hamilton (D). Bush said to Russert "we have given extraordinary cooperation with Chairmen Kean and Hamilton" despite persistent complaints that the Administration, which fought the establishment of the commission in he first place, has obstructed its work. While Bush claims he is cooperating with the 9/11 Commission, Newsweek Magazine is reporting a very different story in its February 16th issue: Commission sources tell NEWSWEEK that panel members are fed up with what one calls "maddening" restrictions by White House lawyers on their access to key documents. Unless the panel gets to see the docs, the report "will not withstand the laugh test," a commission official says. The panel is threatening to force a showdown soon—by voting to subpoena the White House. [Newsweek Magazine, February 16th Issue]

    Credibility Gap #4 – Bush and the Budget - "The Mother of All Big Spenders"
    In his appearance today, President Bush fell head long into his growing credibility gap on his management of the nation's finances. As noted by Russert, when Bush took office, the federal budget enjoyed a $281 billion surplus while today the President's Office of Management and Budget has projected a $521 billion deficit for the next fiscal year. Russert noted that Bush has been called the biggest spending president in American history: "But your base conservatives and listen to Rush Limbaugh, the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, they're all saying you are the biggest spender in American history." Bush said his critics were wrong, and he claimed that increased spending had been prompted by the war but that discretionary spending had fallen under his watch. "If you look at the appropriations bills that were passed under my watch, in the last year of President Clinton, discretionary spending was up 15 percent, and ours have steadily declined. And the other thing that I think it's important for people who watch the expenditures side of the equation is to understand we are at war¿" However, the conservative CATO institute as early as last summer called Bush "The Mother of All Big Spenders" [July 28, 2003]. CATO went on to cast doubt on Bush's claim regarding the budget.

    The real truth is that national defense is far from being responsible for all of the spending increases. According to the new numbers, defense spending will have risen by about 34 percent since Bush came into office. But, at the same time, non-defense discretionary spending will have skyrocketed by almost 28 percent. [CATO Institute, July 28, 2003].

    Bush went on to claim that the recent budget he proposed to Congress would halve the deficit (the deficit he created) in five years, though many of his assumptions for such a cut in the deficit have been rejected by members of Congress from both parties. In fact, as has been reported, Bush's budget does not include the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, it counts on revenues that do not exist, such as $2.4 billion from royalty payments for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge which has never passed Congress, and it proposes cuts in popular education programs that Congress is unlikely to approve.

    Credibility Gap #5 – Jobs and the Economy
    Tim Russert effectively pointed out the large credibility gap the President has when it comes to his management of the economy. Russert noted that the unemployment rate has shot up from 4.2 percent when Bush took office to 5.6 percent today. Russert also noted that the President's tax cuts have failed to create the jobs he promised they would. Russert noted that instead, the nation has lost 2.2 million jobs on Bush's watch and that the tax cuts have not worked as advertised "But when you proposed your first tax cut in 2001, you said this was going to generate 800,000 new jobs. Your tax cut of 2003, create a million new jobs. That has not happened."

    Bush also claimed that he "want(s) people to find work" though there is no evidence beyond tax cuts for the wealthy that he or his Administration have any concrete plans to either support workers or create jobs. The Administration has opposed the extension of unemployment benefits for millions of Americans which began to expire late last year, and his budget proposes cuts to a host of programs vital to workers and the creation of jobs including the Department of Commerce's Advanced Technology Program and vocational education and literacy programs within the Department of Education.

    Posted by Eric at 06:21 PM | Comments (0)

    Say Hi

    Two new Hamster sponsors:

    The Auction Board.com. "Find auction tools to help you with your business, an auction newsletter that's not ezine junk, and a newly designed auction discussion forum that will help drive your sales."

    sisterstalk.tblog.com. "No one is immune to our rantings. SistersTalk.com: Give us a look."

    Posted by Eric at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

    Say Hi

    Two new Hamster sponsors:

    The Auction Board.com. "Find auction tools to help you with your business, an auction newsletter that's not ezine junk, and a newly designed auction discussion forum that will help drive your sales."

    sisterstalk.tblog.com. "No one is immune to our rantings. SistersTalk.com: Give us a look."

    Posted by Eric at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

    National Review on Bush

    Courtesy of CalPundit, we find that The National Review gives poor marks to Bush.

    Posted by Eric at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

    National Review on Bush

    Courtesy of CalPundit, we find that The National Review gives poor marks to Bush.

    Posted by Eric at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

    February 07, 2004

    Saturday Stories

    ACLU. ACLU Asks Miami Police to Compensate Protesters for Civil Rights Violations During FTAA Demonstrations
    Newsweek. Reich’s Reprimand: A former Clinton official believes the Democrats have failed as a party. He explains what they need to do to get back on track
    Newsweek. Radical No More: At the University of Minnesota, Democrats are looking for a centrist challenge to President Bush
    Eleanor Clift . Bad Timing? The Massachusetts ruling on gay marriages could hurt Kerry by playing into the nation's cultural war and energizing the religious foot soldiers of the GOP
    CBS. O'Neill Papers Secret After All?
    Naomi Klein. Hold Bush to His Lie
    Michelangelo Signorile. That Hell-Bound Train: Why didn’t the administration simply turn back?
    Philadelphia Weekly. "The Projects Made You Tough": The first generation to grow up in public housing looks back and recalls the life lessons they learned.
    Philadelphia Weekly. The Wrong Guy: Two Pennsylvania murder cases contribute to debate over the death penalty.
    AL Neuharth. It's report card time and we flunked Iraq
    Mother Jones. Bush's Military Deficit: Will the president's "lost year" of military service hurt him in the election?
    Robert Dreyfuss and Jason Vest. The Lie Factory
    Kurt Vonnegut. State of the Asylum
    Grist. Exxon and On and On
    Bill Berkowitz. Slouching toward theocracy: President Bush's faith-based initiative is doing better than you might think
    Salon. Michigan: Bad news for Bush; The economy of Greenville, Mich., will be devastated when a big refrigerator factory moves to Mexico. Now residents here are getting ready to express their fear and anger at the polls
    Bill Maher. Lose the twang, y'all: Enough with the Civil War complex: It's time for Southern Democrats to get enlightened about voting Bush out of office
    Seattle Weekly. Survivors of the Fray: While most dot-com media experiments failed, Microsoft-backed Slate thrived—though not as first envisioned
    Heidi Pauken. Three's Company: A quick look at the trio of weekend contests
    Kareem Fahim. The Great Arab Voter Revolt
    Illinois Times. Gay rights fight fuels an already heated election year in Illinois
    Alan Bisbort. How is it that the environment has become such a low-priority issue on the campaign trail?
    FW Weekly. Painters to the Court of George II: The Gentling twins have built their careers on patronage and plumage
    eastbayexpress. A Gift from Big, Bad CBS: Following the rejection of its Super Bowl ad, MoveOn.org gained 140,000 new members, and the kind of exposure money can't buy
    Gannett. McCain seen as legitimizing presence on panel
    WP. Ehrlich Aides Mum on Slots Lobby: Democrats Question Donations Sought From Racing Interests
    AP. Md. Democrats ask for resignation of member of Board of Regents
    AP. No energy execs on task force, court told
    Reuters. Kerry Opposes Gay Marriage Despite Court Ruling
    Dallas Morning News. Strong trade winds promise to blow through election
    NYT. Sex Attacks Prompt Pentagon Inquiry
    NYT. Gephardt Endorsement Caps Kerry's Grand Michigan Day
    Reuters. 2004 to be year of 'punchless primaries' as Democrats remain civil
    WP. Annan Warns U.S. Will Face Doubts
    WP. Kerry Works on Stretching Lead: Clark, Edwards Take on Each Other in Tenn. and Virginia
    NYT. Facing '96 Loss, Brawling Kerry Fought to Win
    NYT. Administration's Message on Iraq Now Strikes Discordant Notes
    WP. McCain-Feingold Helps GOP: Party Increases Its Fundraising Lead Over Democrats
    WP. Clark Papers Talk Politics And War; General Cites Pressure Over Kosovo Conflict

    Posted by Eric at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

    Saturday Stories

    ACLU. ACLU Asks Miami Police to Compensate Protesters for Civil Rights Violations During FTAA Demonstrations
    Newsweek. Reich’s Reprimand: A former Clinton official believes the Democrats have failed as a party. He explains what they need to do to get back on track
    Newsweek. Radical No More: At the University of Minnesota, Democrats are looking for a centrist challenge to President Bush
    Eleanor Clift . Bad Timing? The Massachusetts ruling on gay marriages could hurt Kerry by playing into the nation's cultural war and energizing the religious foot soldiers of the GOP
    CBS. O'Neill Papers Secret After All?
    Naomi Klein. Hold Bush to His Lie
    Michelangelo Signorile. That Hell-Bound Train: Why didn’t the administration simply turn back?
    Philadelphia Weekly. "The Projects Made You Tough": The first generation to grow up in public housing looks back and recalls the life lessons they learned.
    Philadelphia Weekly. The Wrong Guy: Two Pennsylvania murder cases contribute to debate over the death penalty.
    AL Neuharth. It's report card time and we flunked Iraq
    Mother Jones. Bush's Military Deficit: Will the president's "lost year" of military service hurt him in the election?
    Robert Dreyfuss and Jason Vest. The Lie Factory
    Kurt Vonnegut. State of the Asylum
    Grist. Exxon and On and On
    Bill Berkowitz. Slouching toward theocracy: President Bush's faith-based initiative is doing better than you might think
    Salon. Michigan: Bad news for Bush; The economy of Greenville, Mich., will be devastated when a big refrigerator factory moves to Mexico. Now residents here are getting ready to express their fear and anger at the polls
    Bill Maher. Lose the twang, y'all: Enough with the Civil War complex: It's time for Southern Democrats to get enlightened about voting Bush out of office
    Seattle Weekly. Survivors of the Fray: While most dot-com media experiments failed, Microsoft-backed Slate thrived—though not as first envisioned
    Heidi Pauken. Three's Company: A quick look at the trio of weekend contests
    Kareem Fahim. The Great Arab Voter Revolt
    Illinois Times. Gay rights fight fuels an already heated election year in Illinois
    Alan Bisbort. How is it that the environment has become such a low-priority issue on the campaign trail?
    FW Weekly. Painters to the Court of George II: The Gentling twins have built their careers on patronage and plumage
    eastbayexpress. A Gift from Big, Bad CBS: Following the rejection of its Super Bowl ad, MoveOn.org gained 140,000 new members, and the kind of exposure money can't buy
    Gannett. McCain seen as legitimizing presence on panel
    WP. Ehrlich Aides Mum on Slots Lobby: Democrats Question Donations Sought From Racing Interests
    AP. Md. Democrats ask for resignation of member of Board of Regents
    AP. No energy execs on task force, court told
    Reuters. Kerry Opposes Gay Marriage Despite Court Ruling
    Dallas Morning News. Strong trade winds promise to blow through election
    NYT. Sex Attacks Prompt Pentagon Inquiry
    NYT. Gephardt Endorsement Caps Kerry's Grand Michigan Day
    Reuters. 2004 to be year of 'punchless primaries' as Democrats remain civil
    WP. Annan Warns U.S. Will Face Doubts
    WP. Kerry Works on Stretching Lead: Clark, Edwards Take on Each Other in Tenn. and Virginia
    NYT. Facing '96 Loss, Brawling Kerry Fought to Win
    NYT. Administration's Message on Iraq Now Strikes Discordant Notes
    WP. McCain-Feingold Helps GOP: Party Increases Its Fundraising Lead Over Democrats
    WP. Clark Papers Talk Politics And War; General Cites Pressure Over Kosovo Conflict

    Posted by Eric at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

    Judge Gag Order Silences Drake Campus

    On Des Moines Reg:

    Much of the Drake University campus was silent Friday about a federal investigation into an anti-war group meeting held on campus last fall.

    Sources say a sealed court order issued Thursday prohibits Drake University employees from talking about a subpoena calling for all university records of the Drake group sponsoring the meeting.

    President David Maxwell said he couldn't comment.

    Chief of Security Hans Hanson referred calls to the university's marketing office. Several Drake Law School faculty said the dean's office was handling calls, while a secretary said the dean was out of the office.

    "Good luck finding anyone who's going to talk," said Robert Rigg, a law professor.

    Across campus, some faculty members were talking. They expressed outrage about the investigation, saying it appeared to infringe on free-speech rights. The subpoena asks for all records relating to the Nov. 15 anti-war conference on campus hosted by the Drake chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. The request calls for information about leaders of the group, security reports reflecting observations about the meeting and any annual reports since 2002.

    "It's a very disturbing development," said Kathleen Richardson, a Drake professor and executive secretary of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council. "A university atmosphere should encourage intelligent discussion and debate about the important issues of our day."

    Meanwhile, groups are fighting the decision.

    Posted by Eric at 08:48 PM | Comments (0)

    Judge Gag Order Silences Drake Campus

    On Des Moines Reg:

    Much of the Drake University campus was silent Friday about a federal investigation into an anti-war group meeting held on campus last fall.

    Sources say a sealed court order issued Thursday prohibits Drake University employees from talking about a subpoena calling for all university records of the Drake group sponsoring the meeting.

    President David Maxwell said he couldn't comment.

    Chief of Security Hans Hanson referred calls to the university's marketing office. Several Drake Law School faculty said the dean's office was handling calls, while a secretary said the dean was out of the office.

    "Good luck finding anyone who's going to talk," said Robert Rigg, a law professor.

    Across campus, some faculty members were talking. They expressed outrage about the investigation, saying it appeared to infringe on free-speech rights. The subpoena asks for all records relating to the Nov. 15 anti-war conference on campus hosted by the Drake chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. The request calls for information about leaders of the group, security reports reflecting observations about the meeting and any annual reports since 2002.

    "It's a very disturbing development," said Kathleen Richardson, a Drake professor and executive secretary of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council. "A university atmosphere should encourage intelligent discussion and debate about the important issues of our day."

    Meanwhile, groups are fighting the decision.

    Posted by Eric at 08:48 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Wins Washington

    Doesn't come as a surprise. The lack of support for Clark and Edwards is notable.

    With 71 percent of caucuses reporting, Kerry had 48 percent of the vote, trailed by Dean with 31 percent, according to state Democratic Party figures. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio was third with 9 percent, his strongest showing to date in any Democratic contest, and Sen. John Edwards had 6 percent, retired Gen. Wesley Clark had 3 percent, and New York civil rights activist Al Sharpton had less than 1 percent ... Dean, who has not won any caucuses or primaries in the campaign, lost the backing of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees on Saturday, Dean campaign officials told CNN. The union, which has about 1.4 million members, withdrew the endorsement of Dean that it granted in November, when he was leading the polls
    To the people who say Dean should be VP, Dean replied very honestly:
    "Let me say that if John Kerry is the nominee I'm going to support him," Dean said. "Second of all, if John Kerry were the nominee, I'd advise him not to pick me because you don't need two people from New England on the ticket. I will do whatever I can to beat George Bush."

    Posted by Eric at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Wins Washington

    Doesn't come as a surprise. The lack of support for Clark and Edwards is notable.

    With 71 percent of caucuses reporting, Kerry had 48 percent of the vote, trailed by Dean with 31 percent, according to state Democratic Party figures. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio was third with 9 percent, his strongest showing to date in any Democratic contest, and Sen. John Edwards had 6 percent, retired Gen. Wesley Clark had 3 percent, and New York civil rights activist Al Sharpton had less than 1 percent ... Dean, who has not won any caucuses or primaries in the campaign, lost the backing of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees on Saturday, Dean campaign officials told CNN. The union, which has about 1.4 million members, withdrew the endorsement of Dean that it granted in November, when he was leading the polls
    To the people who say Dean should be VP, Dean replied very honestly:
    "Let me say that if John Kerry is the nominee I'm going to support him," Dean said. "Second of all, if John Kerry were the nominee, I'd advise him not to pick me because you don't need two people from New England on the ticket. I will do whatever I can to beat George Bush."

    Posted by Eric at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)

    The Unpopular President

    According to new Newsweek poll:

    Voter sentiment reflects this decline in Bush’s approval ratings, with 50 percent leaning against his reelection in November (compared to 45 percent in favor). A full 45 percent of voters feel strongly that Bush should not be reelected (up four points from the new year), compared with 37 percent who feel strongly that he should be reelected (down three points). The polls still reveal a nation split along party lines, though, with 88 percent of registered Republicans favoring his reelection and 84 percent of registered Democrats strongly opposing a second term.
    So why the hell are some in the media still referring to Bush as a "popular president"?

    Posted by Eric at 07:33 PM | Comments (0)

    The Unpopular President

    According to new Newsweek poll:

    Voter sentiment reflects this decline in Bush’s approval ratings, with 50 percent leaning against his reelection in November (compared to 45 percent in favor). A full 45 percent of voters feel strongly that Bush should not be reelected (up four points from the new year), compared with 37 percent who feel strongly that he should be reelected (down three points). The polls still reveal a nation split along party lines, though, with 88 percent of registered Republicans favoring his reelection and 84 percent of registered Democrats strongly opposing a second term.
    So why the hell are some in the media still referring to Bush as a "popular president"?

    Posted by Eric at 07:33 PM | Comments (0)

    Sunday Talk Show Lineup

    ABC's "This Week" — Sen. John Edwards

    CBS' "Face the Nation" — Howard Dean

    NBC's "Meet the Press" — President Bush

    CNN's "Late Edition" — Dean; Sens. John Warner, R-Va., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman and ranking Democrat of the Senate Armed Services Committee; former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski; Michael Deaver, former chief of staff for President Reagan.

    "Fox News Sunday" — Edwards; Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla., chairmen of the Senate and House intelligence committees.

    Posted by Eric at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)

    Sunday Talk Show Lineup

    ABC's "This Week" — Sen. John Edwards

    CBS' "Face the Nation" — Howard Dean

    NBC's "Meet the Press" — President Bush

    CNN's "Late Edition" — Dean; Sens. John Warner, R-Va., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman and ranking Democrat of the Senate Armed Services Committee; former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski; Michael Deaver, former chief of staff for President Reagan.

    "Fox News Sunday" — Edwards; Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla., chairmen of the Senate and House intelligence committees.

    Posted by Eric at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)

    Big Anti-Gay Advocate to Run Against Rep. Ed Case

    In Hawaii's 2nd district, Honolulu City Councilman Mike Gabbard is set to run against freshman Ed Case, who took the seat after the passing of Patsy Mink. Star Bulletin:

    Freshman City Councilman Mike Gabbard has his sights set on a run for the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Ed Case.

    Gabbard, who represents the Waianae-to-Ewa district, told Republican supporters at the Wednesday night Lincoln Day dinner at the Hilton Hawaiian Village that he was going to run to stress his anti-gay marriage position.

    Gabbard declined to talk at length with the Star-Bulletin about his political plans after his comments at the hotel Wednesday. He said he was "discussing my plans with friends but (doesn't) intend to make anything public right now." ... GOP supporters at the fund-raiser, however, said Gabbard told them he was definitely going to run and that he asked to be introduced by Republican Gov. Linda Lingle as a congressional candidate.

    Literally, Gabbard runs only on anti-gay issues. The guy is more obsessed with gays than Will and Grace.
    Gabbard, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, issued a news release this week through the Alliance for Traditional Marriage and Values political action committee that criticized the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision to permit same-sex marriages ... Reached in Washington, D.C., Case said Gabbard has been "a single-issue candidate for his whole political career."

    "Clearly, Gabbard and I disagreed on same-gender issues, but it is only one of about a thousand issues facing Congress," said Case (D-Rural Oahu, Neighbor Islands).

    Of course, it's not only marriage that Gabbard disagrees on.
    Gabbard also has been associated by some with one of the thorniest issues facing the board: whether gay students should have special protection under school rules. Mike Gabbard has come out against a rule change that would provide that specific protection.
    Doubtful Gabbard will pick up many votes in a state that doesn't elect Republicans to the federal level (moderate Republican governors are a different story).

    Posted by Eric at 02:08 PM | Comments (0)

    Big Anti-Gay Advocate to Run Against Rep. Ed Case

    In Hawaii's 2nd district, Honolulu City Councilman Mike Gabbard is set to run against freshman Ed Case, who took the seat after the passing of Patsy Mink. Star Bulletin:

    Freshman City Councilman Mike Gabbard has his sights set on a run for the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Ed Case.

    Gabbard, who represents the Waianae-to-Ewa district, told Republican supporters at the Wednesday night Lincoln Day dinner at the Hilton Hawaiian Village that he was going to run to stress his anti-gay marriage position.

    Gabbard declined to talk at length with the Star-Bulletin about his political plans after his comments at the hotel Wednesday. He said he was "discussing my plans with friends but (doesn't) intend to make anything public right now." ... GOP supporters at the fund-raiser, however, said Gabbard told them he was definitely going to run and that he asked to be introduced by Republican Gov. Linda Lingle as a congressional candidate.

    Literally, Gabbard runs only on anti-gay issues. The guy is more obsessed with gays than Will and Grace.
    Gabbard, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, issued a news release this week through the Alliance for Traditional Marriage and Values political action committee that criticized the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision to permit same-sex marriages ... Reached in Washington, D.C., Case said Gabbard has been "a single-issue candidate for his whole political career."

    "Clearly, Gabbard and I disagreed on same-gender issues, but it is only one of about a thousand issues facing Congress," said Case (D-Rural Oahu, Neighbor Islands).

    Of course, it's not only marriage that Gabbard disagrees on.
    Gabbard also has been associated by some with one of the thorniest issues facing the board: whether gay students should have special protection under school rules. Mike Gabbard has come out against a rule change that would provide that specific protection.
    Doubtful Gabbard will pick up many votes in a state that doesn't elect Republicans to the federal level (moderate Republican governors are a different story).

    Posted by Eric at 02:08 PM | Comments (0)

    Alice Forgy Kerr Fundraising Adv Over Chandler

    According to latest FEC reports:

    Kerr raised a little more than $1 million through Jan. 28, according to a report filed this week with the Federal Election Commission. In addition, Kerr raised an additional $200,000 in the past week, Kerr campaign manager Billy Piper said Friday.

    Chandler's FEC report showed he raised roughly $450,000 through the end of last month. However, like Kerr, Chandler pulled in about $200,000 more since Jan. 28, when the federal filing period ended, according to Chandler campaign manager Mark Nickolas.

    "The fact that we raised $200,000 in eight days tells you the direction that our fund-raising is going," Nickolas said Friday. "The sure sign of who is likely to win is whether your fund-raising is picking up or slowing down toward the end."

    Of course, a lot of that was through the attention the Chandler campaign has received from blogs. Despite having big money, Kerr is losing in the polls. However, Chandler stills needs support against a Republican candidate poised to bow to the Bush / Hastert money interests.

    So who is giving to Alice Forgy Kerr? Courtesy of new FEC filings, we see what organizations are donating to Alice Forgy Kerr ... some of note:

    AMERICAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION, 2500
    AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER COMMITTEE FOR R, 1000
    AMERICANS FOR A REPUBLICAN MAJORITY, 10000
    AMERICANS FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT, 1000
    ARCH COAL INC POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTE, 2000
    AUTOMOTIVE FREE INTERNATIONAL TRADE PAC, 1000
    BROWN & WILLIAMSON TOBACCO CORPORATION, 1000
    CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN ASSEMBLY POLITICA, 4000
    CINERGY CORP POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE, 1000
    COALPAC A POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE OF, 2000
    EAGLE FORUM PAC, 3000
    EL PASO CORPORATION PAC, 1000
    EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTIO, 2500
    FEDERAL LG&E ENERGY CORP POLITICAL ACTI, 1000
    FORD MOTOR COMPANY CIVIC ACTION FUND, 2500
    GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION POLITICAL AC, 1000
    GOVERNMENT IS NOT GOD, 500
    INTERNATIONAL PAPER POLITICAL ACTION, 2500
    KENTUCKY PRO-LIFE POLITICAL ACTION COMM, 1000
    NATIONAL HARDWOOD LUMBER ASSOCIATION PA, 1000
    NRA POLITICAL VICTORY FUND, 4950
    PEABODY ENERGY CORPORATION POLITICAL AC, 1000
    POWER PAC OF THE EDISON ELECTRIC INSTIT, 1000
    REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COALITION FOR LIFE, 1000
    TECO ENERGY INC EMPLOYEES' PAC, 1000
    WAL-MART STORES INC PAC FOR RESPONSIBLE, 2500

    You'll note the many energy companies.

    If you can spare it, donate today to the Chandler campaign, and if you do, add the ".04" cents to indicate it came from The Hamster.

    Posted by Eric at 03:19 AM | Comments (0)

    Alice Forgy Kerr Fundraising Adv Over Chandler

    According to latest FEC reports:

    Kerr raised a little more than $1 million through Jan. 28, according to a report filed this week with the Federal Election Commission. In addition, Kerr raised an additional $200,000 in the past week, Kerr campaign manager Billy Piper said Friday.

    Chandler's FEC report showed he raised roughly $450,000 through the end of last month. However, like Kerr, Chandler pulled in about $200,000 more since Jan. 28, when the federal filing period ended, according to Chandler campaign manager Mark Nickolas.

    "The fact that we raised $200,000 in eight days tells you the direction that our fund-raising is going," Nickolas said Friday. "The sure sign of who is likely to win is whether your fund-raising is picking up or slowing down toward the end."

    Of course, a lot of that was through the attention the Chandler campaign has received from blogs. Despite having big money, Kerr is losing in the polls. However, Chandler stills needs support against a Republican candidate poised to bow to the Bush / Hastert money interests.

    So who is giving to Alice Forgy Kerr? Courtesy of new FEC filings, we see what organizations are donating to Alice Forgy Kerr ... some of note:

    AMERICAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION, 2500
    AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER COMMITTEE FOR R, 1000
    AMERICANS FOR A REPUBLICAN MAJORITY, 10000
    AMERICANS FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT, 1000
    ARCH COAL INC POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTE, 2000
    AUTOMOTIVE FREE INTERNATIONAL TRADE PAC, 1000
    BROWN & WILLIAMSON TOBACCO CORPORATION, 1000
    CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN ASSEMBLY POLITICA, 4000
    CINERGY CORP POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE, 1000
    COALPAC A POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE OF, 2000
    EAGLE FORUM PAC, 3000
    EL PASO CORPORATION PAC, 1000
    EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTIO, 2500
    FEDERAL LG&E ENERGY CORP POLITICAL ACTI, 1000
    FORD MOTOR COMPANY CIVIC ACTION FUND, 2500
    GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION POLITICAL AC, 1000
    GOVERNMENT IS NOT GOD, 500
    INTERNATIONAL PAPER POLITICAL ACTION, 2500
    KENTUCKY PRO-LIFE POLITICAL ACTION COMM, 1000
    NATIONAL HARDWOOD LUMBER ASSOCIATION PA, 1000
    NRA POLITICAL VICTORY FUND, 4950
    PEABODY ENERGY CORPORATION POLITICAL AC, 1000
    POWER PAC OF THE EDISON ELECTRIC INSTIT, 1000
    REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COALITION FOR LIFE, 1000
    TECO ENERGY INC EMPLOYEES' PAC, 1000
    WAL-MART STORES INC PAC FOR RESPONSIBLE, 2500

    You'll note the many energy companies.

    If you can spare it, donate today to the Chandler campaign, and if you do, add the ".04" cents to indicate it came from The Hamster.

    Posted by Eric at 03:19 AM | Comments (0)

    Stupid Quote Saturday

    "I was a prisoner too, but for bad reasons."— GW Bush to "Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, on being told that all but one of the Argentine delegates to a summit meeting were imprisoned during the military dictatorship, Monterrey, Mexico," Slate, Jan. 13, 2004

    Posted by Eric at 03:07 AM | Comments (0)

    Stupid Quote Saturday

    "I was a prisoner too, but for bad reasons."— GW Bush to "Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, on being told that all but one of the Argentine delegates to a summit meeting were imprisoned during the military dictatorship, Monterrey, Mexico," Slate, Jan. 13, 2004

    Posted by Eric at 03:07 AM | Comments (0)

    When People Make Stupid Websites

    http://stophillarypac.com/:

    It is very likely that Hillary Rodham Clinton is going to run for President of the United States in 2004.

    Inside the Washington, DC Beltway, the "professional Republicans" do not believe she will run; instead, the conventional wisdom is that she will wait until 2008 to run.

    Guess what? These are the very same people who, back in 1992, never thought then-President George H.W. Bush could possibly lose to a draft-dodging, pot-smoking newcomer named Bill Clinton. So they took Clinton lightly and never even attacked his atrocious record in Arkansas!

    Then, in 2000, it happened again. When Congressman Rick Lazio ran against Hillary for the US Senate in New York, his campaign was unprepared and afraid to attack her ultra-liberal record.

    These two traits – over-confidence and fear of attacking Hillary’s record – are prescriptions for a national disaster: her election next year as President of the United States.

    We can not allow that to happen!

    Posted by Eric at 02:51 AM | Comments (0)

    When People Make Stupid Websites

    http://stophillarypac.com/:

    It is very likely that Hillary Rodham Clinton is going to run for President of the United States in 2004.

    Inside the Washington, DC Beltway, the "professional Republicans" do not believe she will run; instead, the conventional wisdom is that she will wait until 2008 to run.

    Guess what? These are the very same people who, back in 1992, never thought then-President George H.W. Bush could possibly lose to a draft-dodging, pot-smoking newcomer named Bill Clinton. So they took Clinton lightly and never even attacked his atrocious record in Arkansas!

    Then, in 2000, it happened again. When Congressman Rick Lazio ran against Hillary for the US Senate in New York, his campaign was unprepared and afraid to attack her ultra-liberal record.

    These two traits – over-confidence and fear of attacking Hillary’s record – are prescriptions for a national disaster: her election next year as President of the United States.

    We can not allow that to happen!

    Posted by Eric at 02:51 AM | Comments (0)

    February 06, 2004

    Friday Stories

    AP. Clark accuses Edwards of voting against programs to help military veterans
    Guardian. Blair may blog the next election
    AP. Kerry wins unions' muscle, money
    WP. Dean Appeals For Money; Kerry Set to Receive Gephardt's Nod; Edwards and Clark Fight for Position
    Reuters. Kerry presidency seen a boon for US markets
    Oregonian. State Democrats rev up for caucuses
    WP. Dean Withdraws From Va. Democratic Gala
    NYT. Tenet Concedes Gaps in C.I.A. Data on Iraq Weapons
    NYT. At Michigan Rally, Gephardt Endorses Kerry For President
    Herbert. Tuning Out the G.O.P.'s Siren Song
    NYT. The Administration's Scramble
    Krugman. Get Me Rewrite!
    LAT. Kerry Loosens Dean's Grip on Washington State
    LAT. Gay Marriage Ruling Dominates the Political Discourse
    LAT. Democrats Hammer at Court Choice
    BGlobe. Democrats eyeing a novel target: VP
    BGlobe. Dean tells supporters it's Wisconsin or bust
    BGlobe. Edwards, Clark see Tenn., Va. as key
    Derrick Z. Jackson. The winner: hypocrisy
    BGlobe. Scopes redux?
    AJC. Preserve financial aid for small businesses: President Bush's proposed 2005 budget actually cuts funding for the U.S. Small Business Administration by 15 percent, $120 million less than last year.
    Miami Herald. A marriage, not a `civil union'
    Salon. Did Bush drop out of the National Guard to avoid drug testing? The young pilot walked away from his commitment in 1972 -- the same year the U.S. military implemented random drug tests
    Salon. Dean's antiwar boom goes bust: As Washington Democrats caucus, opposition to the Iraq war already feels like yesterday's passion
    AP. Scalia-Cheney hunting trip continues to draw fire
    Salon. The reporter they left behind: Two years after my husband, Danny Pearl, was kidnapped and murdered, his employers at the Wall Street Journal seem all too willing to forget
    Scott Ritter, AlterNet. Confronting the Theocracy of Evil
    David Sirota, Christy Harvey and Judd Legum. The High Price of Wal-Mart
    Frida Berrigan, In These Times. Oil and Democracy Don't Mix

    Posted by Eric at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)

    Friday Stories

    AP. Clark accuses Edwards of voting against programs to help military veterans
    Guardian. Blair may blog the next election
    AP. Kerry wins unions' muscle, money
    WP. Dean Appeals For Money; Kerry Set to Receive Gephardt's Nod; Edwards and Clark Fight for Position
    Reuters. Kerry presidency seen a boon for US markets
    Oregonian. State Democrats rev up for caucuses
    WP. Dean Withdraws From Va. Democratic Gala
    NYT. Tenet Concedes Gaps in C.I.A. Data on Iraq Weapons
    NYT. At Michigan Rally, Gephardt Endorses Kerry For President
    Herbert. Tuning Out the G.O.P.'s Siren Song
    NYT. The Administration's Scramble
    Krugman. Get Me Rewrite!
    LAT. Kerry Loosens Dean's Grip on Washington State
    LAT. Gay Marriage Ruling Dominates the Political Discourse
    LAT. Democrats Hammer at Court Choice
    BGlobe. Democrats eyeing a novel target: VP
    BGlobe. Dean tells supporters it's Wisconsin or bust
    BGlobe. Edwards, Clark see Tenn., Va. as key
    Derrick Z. Jackson. The winner: hypocrisy
    BGlobe. Scopes redux?
    AJC. Preserve financial aid for small businesses: President Bush's proposed 2005 budget actually cuts funding for the U.S. Small Business Administration by 15 percent, $120 million less than last year.
    Miami Herald. A marriage, not a `civil union'
    Salon. Did Bush drop out of the National Guard to avoid drug testing? The young pilot walked away from his commitment in 1972 -- the same year the U.S. military implemented random drug tests
    Salon. Dean's antiwar boom goes bust: As Washington Democrats caucus, opposition to the Iraq war already feels like yesterday's passion
    AP. Scalia-Cheney hunting trip continues to draw fire
    Salon. The reporter they left behind: Two years after my husband, Danny Pearl, was kidnapped and murdered, his employers at the Wall Street Journal seem all too willing to forget
    Scott Ritter, AlterNet. Confronting the Theocracy of Evil
    David Sirota, Christy Harvey and Judd Legum. The High Price of Wal-Mart
    Frida Berrigan, In These Times. Oil and Democracy Don't Mix

    Posted by Eric at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)

    Good for John Lott

    I'm glad to see in his latest writing he's no longer pretending to be a woman.

    EDIT: It's odd that Jayson Blair can be banned from journalism (good thing) after fabricating things, but John Lott is allowed to roam the op-ed pages free. For example, what's wrong with Lott? Good summary:

    -he almost certainly fabricated a mysterious survey and certainly behaved unethically in making claims for which he had no supporting data
    -he presented results purporting to show that "more guns" led to "less crime" when those results were the product of coding errors
    -he pretended to be a woman called "Mary Rosh" on the internet in order to praise his own research and accuse his critics of fraud.
    -he probably was the person who anonymously accused Steve Levitt of being "rabidly antigun"

    Posted by Eric at 05:23 PM | Comments (0)

    Good for John Lott

    I'm glad to see in his latest writing he's no longer pretending to be a woman.

    EDIT: It's odd that Jayson Blair can be banned from journalism (good thing) after fabricating things, but John Lott is allowed to roam the op-ed pages free. For example, what's wrong with Lott? Good summary:

    -he almost certainly fabricated a mysterious survey and certainly behaved unethically in making claims for which he had no supporting data
    -he presented results purporting to show that "more guns" led to "less crime" when those results were the product of coding errors
    -he pretended to be a woman called "Mary Rosh" on the internet in order to praise his own research and accuse his critics of fraud.
    -he probably was the person who anonymously accused Steve Levitt of being "rabidly antigun"

    Posted by Eric at 05:23 PM | Comments (0)

    Party Infighting in GOP

    According to the Washington Times, some Republicans are none too happy about Bush:

    House lawmakers, stunned by the intensity of their constituents' displeasure at some of Mr. Bush's key domestic policies, gave his political strategist Karl Rove an earful behind closed doors.

    "It was intense, but I was not surprised at the tone of questioning during Rove's session," said Rep. Tom Feeney, Florida Republican. "But then this was supposed to be a no-holds-barred discussion, and our constituents are upset."

    "They were all over Karl on immigration and spending," said Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican and a leading House proponent of controlling the nation's borders and curbing illegal immigration. "This is the first time I didn't even have to raise the immigration issue myself. Everyone else did."

    Posted by Eric at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)

    Party Infighting in GOP

    According to the Washington Times, some Republicans are none too happy about Bush:

    House lawmakers, stunned by the intensity of their constituents' displeasure at some of Mr. Bush's key domestic policies, gave his political strategist Karl Rove an earful behind closed doors.

    "It was intense, but I was not surprised at the tone of questioning during Rove's session," said Rep. Tom Feeney, Florida Republican. "But then this was supposed to be a no-holds-barred discussion, and our constituents are upset."

    "They were all over Karl on immigration and spending," said Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican and a leading House proponent of controlling the nation's borders and curbing illegal immigration. "This is the first time I didn't even have to raise the immigration issue myself. Everyone else did."

    Posted by Eric at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)

    DontAmend.com

    DontAmend.com

    Posted by Eric at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

    DontAmend.com

    DontAmend.com

    Posted by Eric at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

    Michigan to Kerry Easily

    According to new poll.

    Two more polls released Thursday showed Kerry with huge leads among likely Michigan caucus voters. An EPIC/MRA poll released Thursday night showed Kerry with 62 percent of the vote, 13 percent for Dean and 11 percent for Edwards. A poll for MSNBC and Reuters showed only a slightly closer race.

    Posted by Eric at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

    Michigan to Kerry Easily

    According to new poll.

    Two more polls released Thursday showed Kerry with huge leads among likely Michigan caucus voters. An EPIC/MRA poll released Thursday night showed Kerry with 62 percent of the vote, 13 percent for Dean and 11 percent for Edwards. A poll for MSNBC and Reuters showed only a slightly closer race.

    Posted by Eric at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

    The Bush National Guard Record

    From the Boston Globe. Basic information, and also look at AWOLBush

    Posted by Eric at 01:42 PM | Comments (0)

    The Bush National Guard Record

    From the Boston Globe. Basic information, and also look at AWOLBush

    Posted by Eric at 01:42 PM | Comments (0)

    The VP Qualities

    What are the things that certain people would bring? This is, of course, guessing that Kerry wins the nom, though I would not put that as a 'certain.' We'll know in a couple weeks. Edwards:

    Edwards is commonly cited as an attractive running mate because of the regional balance that he, the folksy Carolinian, would be able to provide Kerry, the Boston Brahmin. But the idea of regional balance is increasingly antiquated, as the successful Clinton-Gore (Arkansas-Tennessee) and Bush-Cheney (Texas-Texas/Wyoming) tickets prove. With voters in different parts of the country getting their news from the same national sources, that trend is only accelerating ...
    It might turn out to be a more important consideration that Edwards can provide a stylistic balance: His rise over the last few weeks was due to interest inspired by his almost unapologetic optimism, youthful appearance, and his outsider (sort of) status, all things that Kerry decidedly doesn't have ...
    The other thing that makes Edwards such a logical choice is that he has run a nice guy's campaign, often passing up obvious opportunities to criticize Kerry. The most recent glaring example of this was at a debate last week in Columbia, S.C. Edwards was asked what he thought of comments Kerry had made about Democrats not needing to win in the South during the general election. Although he has made his own ability to win Southern votes a central theme in his campaign, Edwards refused to take the bait.
    So what about Clark? Well, the obvious:
    The case for Clark as vice president is somewhat more complicated. He's a decorated war hero, a retired four-star general and the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO -- those are handy attributes going into an election in which security will be a major issue. A Kerry-Clark ticket would fulfill a certain liberal fantasy of a lefty-hawk ticket to break the Republican election-time dominance of security issues. "Kerry is clearly going to use themes of security and defense," said David Bositis, analyst with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. "If he picked Clark it would further emphasize that and challenge Bush in his strongest area."
    But it won't happen, some say:
    Clark has been further hurt by the perception in some quarters that he's a Republican in Democrats' clothing. He admitted to voting for Nixon and Reagan, and was quoted as recently as 2002 effusively praising the Bush leadership team for its handling of the war on terror after Sept. 11.

    "Clark can't happen," Zogby said flatly.

    Oh, and Clark's campaign says he has no interest whatsoever in being vice president. "If he doesn't become president, he's going to go back to his life," said communications director Matt Bennett. "It just never comes up, except when other people bring it up with us."

    But then, maybe that's just politics. David Doak, the veteran Democratic consultant, has this to say about that dynamic: "You know what they say about the vice presidency -- it's like the last cookie on the plate. Everybody swears they don't want it but next thing you know it's gone."

    The more appealing team would seem to be a Senator - Outsider than a Senator-Senator team.

    Posted by Eric at 01:35 PM | Comments (0)

    The VP Qualities

    What are the things that certain people would bring? This is, of course, guessing that Kerry wins the nom, though I would not put that as a 'certain.' We'll know in a couple weeks. Edwards:

    Edwards is commonly cited as an attractive running mate because of the regional balance that he, the folksy Carolinian, would be able to provide Kerry, the Boston Brahmin. But the idea of regional balance is increasingly antiquated, as the successful Clinton-Gore (Arkansas-Tennessee) and Bush-Cheney (Texas-Texas/Wyoming) tickets prove. With voters in different parts of the country getting their news from the same national sources, that trend is only accelerating ...
    It might turn out to be a more important consideration that Edwards can provide a stylistic balance: His rise over the last few weeks was due to interest inspired by his almost unapologetic optimism, youthful appearance, and his outsider (sort of) status, all things that Kerry decidedly doesn't have ...
    The other thing that makes Edwards such a logical choice is that he has run a nice guy's campaign, often passing up obvious opportunities to criticize Kerry. The most recent glaring example of this was at a debate last week in Columbia, S.C. Edwards was asked what he thought of comments Kerry had made about Democrats not needing to win in the South during the general election. Although he has made his own ability to win Southern votes a central theme in his campaign, Edwards refused to take the bait.
    So what about Clark? Well, the obvious:
    The case for Clark as vice president is somewhat more complicated. He's a decorated war hero, a retired four-star general and the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO -- those are handy attributes going into an election in which security will be a major issue. A Kerry-Clark ticket would fulfill a certain liberal fantasy of a lefty-hawk ticket to break the Republican election-time dominance of security issues. "Kerry is clearly going to use themes of security and defense," said David Bositis, analyst with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. "If he picked Clark it would further emphasize that and challenge Bush in his strongest area."
    But it won't happen, some say:
    Clark has been further hurt by the perception in some quarters that he's a Republican in Democrats' clothing. He admitted to voting for Nixon and Reagan, and was quoted as recently as 2002 effusively praising the Bush leadership team for its handling of the war on terror after Sept. 11.

    "Clark can't happen," Zogby said flatly.

    Oh, and Clark's campaign says he has no interest whatsoever in being vice president. "If he doesn't become president, he's going to go back to his life," said communications director Matt Bennett. "It just never comes up, except when other people bring it up with us."

    But then, maybe that's just politics. David Doak, the veteran Democratic consultant, has this to say about that dynamic: "You know what they say about the vice presidency -- it's like the last cookie on the plate. Everybody swears they don't want it but next thing you know it's gone."

    The more appealing team would seem to be a Senator - Outsider than a Senator-Senator team.

    Posted by Eric at 01:35 PM | Comments (0)

    Janet Jackson and Global Warming

    Har.

    Posted by Eric at 01:13 PM | Comments (0)

    Janet Jackson and Global Warming

    Har.

    Posted by Eric at 01:13 PM | Comments (0)

    Then and Now

    From CAP

    THEN

    "The country has come to appreciate so very much the dedication of our nation's first responders...So on behalf of a grateful nation, I want to thank you for the job you're doing."

    - President George W. Bush, 6/24/02

    NOW

    "In the President's budget, funding for the FIRE Act, the popular grant program that helps fire departments fund equipment needs, was cut by 50%. ...state and local programs for homeland security purposes were reduced $200 million... [and] the Administration also recommended to eliminate planned funding of the SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) Act, the first-ever Federal program to fund firefighters, which was signed into law by the President in November."

    - International Association of Firefighters, 2/3/04

    Posted by Eric at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

    Then and Now

    From CAP

    THEN

    "The country has come to appreciate so very much the dedication of our nation's first responders...So on behalf of a grateful nation, I want to thank you for the job you're doing."

    - President George W. Bush, 6/24/02

    NOW

    "In the President's budget, funding for the FIRE Act, the popular grant program that helps fire departments fund equipment needs, was cut by 50%. ...state and local programs for homeland security purposes were reduced $200 million... [and] the Administration also recommended to eliminate planned funding of the SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) Act, the first-ever Federal program to fund firefighters, which was signed into law by the President in November."

    - International Association of Firefighters, 2/3/04

    Posted by Eric at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

    February 05, 2004

    Thurs Stories

    James Klurfeld. Administration Distorted Intelligence Reportsapons
    Marie Cocco. Bush's Red Ink Shows Off His Stubbornness
    Arianna Huffington. Will Cheney provide the margin of victory for the Democrats?
    Ray McGovern . War Without Weapons
    Cent for American Progress. Ten Must-Knows About the Budget
    Lawrence J. Korb. Six Steps to a Safer America
    Cent for American Progress. Tenet Targets White House
    contracostatimes. Grocery workers union asks binding arbitration in strike
    WP. New Election Regulator Opposes Campaign Finance Law
    ABC. Bush Outlines Security Proposals in SC
    AP. CIA director defends intel officials' prewar efforts
    Thomas Oliphant. Kerry shouldn't take Edwards lightly
    BGlobe. Critics question candidate's links to project's insurer
    CNN. Edwards: 'I'm running a national campaign'
    BGlobe. Picking his spots, Edwards eyes Kerry
    NYT. Clark Says 2 Rivals Voted With Bush Yet Are Critics
    NYT. Bush Expected to Endorse Amendment on Marriage
    Guardian. Edwards plays up the class divide
    Knight Ridder . Edwards, Clark hope to build on wins
    Freelance Star. Clark 'playing to win' in Virginia

    Posted by Eric at 11:54 PM | Comments (0)

    Thurs Stories

    James Klurfeld. Administration Distorted Intelligence Reportsapons
    Marie Cocco. Bush's Red Ink Shows Off His Stubbornness
    Arianna Huffington. Will Cheney provide the margin of victory for the Democrats?
    Ray McGovern . War Without Weapons
    Cent for American Progress. Ten Must-Knows About the Budget
    Lawrence J. Korb. Six Steps to a Safer America
    Cent for American Progress. Tenet Targets White House
    contracostatimes. Grocery workers union asks binding arbitration in strike
    WP. New Election Regulator Opposes Campaign Finance Law
    ABC. Bush Outlines Security Proposals in SC
    AP. CIA director defends intel officials' prewar efforts
    Thomas Oliphant. Kerry shouldn't take Edwards lightly
    BGlobe. Critics question candidate's links to project's insurer
    CNN. Edwards: 'I'm running a national campaign'
    BGlobe. Picking his spots, Edwards eyes Kerry
    NYT. Clark Says 2 Rivals Voted With Bush Yet Are Critics
    NYT. Bush Expected to Endorse Amendment on Marriage
    Guardian. Edwards plays up the class divide
    Knight Ridder . Edwards, Clark hope to build on wins
    Freelance Star. Clark 'playing to win' in Virginia

    Posted by Eric at 11:54 PM | Comments (0)

    Gephardt to endorse Kerry

    AP. The main thing: union people he could bring.

    Posted by Eric at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)

    Gephardt to endorse Kerry

    AP. The main thing: union people he could bring.

    Posted by Eric at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)

    Tell Saint Ralph No

    Through the good folks at True Majority . From ice cream man Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry's, and founder of True Majority

    Some of us love Nader. Some don't. Some of us voted for him in the last election. Some didn't. But for the 2004 elections, one thing is clear. It's time for all of us to join together and urge Nader not to run for president again this year. The reason is simple: we need to defeat George Bush in November, and every vote will count.

    Posted by Eric at 08:06 PM | Comments (0)

    Tell Saint Ralph No

    Through the good folks at True Majority . From ice cream man Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry's, and founder of True Majority

    Some of us love Nader. Some don't. Some of us voted for him in the last election. Some didn't. But for the 2004 elections, one thing is clear. It's time for all of us to join together and urge Nader not to run for president again this year. The reason is simple: we need to defeat George Bush in November, and every vote will count.

    Posted by Eric at 08:06 PM | Comments (0)

    Not Looking Good for Dean

    It's Wisconsin or nothing for Dean, and polling suggests Dean has a bit to go:


    A poll taken for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Capital Times, published in Madison, put Kerry's support at 45 percent, compared to Dean at 12, Clark at 11 and Edwards at 6.

    Posted by Eric at 05:51 PM | Comments (0)

    Not Looking Good for Dean

    It's Wisconsin or nothing for Dean, and polling suggests Dean has a bit to go:


    A poll taken for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Capital Times, published in Madison, put Kerry's support at 45 percent, compared to Dean at 12, Clark at 11 and Edwards at 6.

    Posted by Eric at 05:51 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerr and Chandler

    In Kentucky's 6th district, Alice Kerr, faced with stagnant poll numbers, is airing negative ads. See this, from Hotline:

    ANNOUNCER [v/o]: Even bloodhounds have trouble tracking Ben Chandler's positions.

    (On screen: Bloodhound paces in front of a TV showing footage of a Chandler speech)

    Last fall, Ben attacked tax cuts and called the no new taxes pledge irresponsible. Now, Ben flips and supports both.

    (On screen: Lexington Herald-Leader, 9/9/03; Louisville Courier-Journal, 1/16/04; Chandler TV ad, 12/03)

    BLOODHOUND: Huh?

    ANNOUNCER [v/o]: Chandler twice said he supports driver's licenses for illegal aliens but now says he was confused.

    BLOODHOUND: Ruh-roh.

    (On screen: Louisville Courier-Journal, 10/24/03; Louisville Courier-Journal, 10/24/03)

    ANNOUNCER [v/o]: And Ben still doesn't have a position on Iraq.

    (On screen: Louisville Courier-Journal, 1/13/04)

    Chandler confuses hounds and voters.

    Ruh roh?

    Why is Kerr so negative against Chandler? Maybe it's because Chandler helped expose a plan Kerr took part in to increase her pension and pay in the state legislature, and keep it hush-hush. AP, June 13, 2000

    An initiative that its sponsor said was designed to nearly double legislative pensions is so vague that it is unconstitutional, according to an opinion by the attorney general's office.

    The opinion released Tuesday said General Assembly members "concealed their attempt to increase their pension benefits because they could not do so under public scrutiny."

    The opinion, which is advisory only and does not carry the force of law, was sought by the legislature retirement board, which is struggling to determine the meaning of an obscure provision of a bill passed during the rush of the final hours of the 2000 legislative session.

    The opinion did not answer any of the six questions posed by legislative retirement director Donna Stockton-Early about the actual application of the provision, such as whether it applied to current or future retirees and whether the cost-of-living increase was retroactive and to what year.

    "We didn't feel like we needed to get to those questions," Attorney General Ben Chandler said at a news conference to accompany release of the opinion.

    The eight-member retirement system board is scheduled to meet on June 20 to decide what to do about the bill. Two current legislators, Democratic Reps. Adrian Arnold of Mount Sterling and J.R. Gray of Benton, are members of the board.

    The retirement enhancement was the handiwork of Sen. Albert Robinson, who has acknowledged he tried to keep the whole thing quiet. Robinson, a London Republican, also told the attorney general's office the intent of the legislature was to have lawmakers' pensions increased retroactively by the cost of living increase since 1982, effectively nearly doubling them.

    Chandler has only brought up the allegations since Kerr has started airing the negative ads. Lexington Herald Leader (Kentucky) December 21, 2003:
    Chandler has challenged Kerr to a "positive" campaign and says he will not appear at public forums with her if she attacks him.

    Kerr dodges the issue, saying only, "It has been Ben's style to always be negative and attack. I will fully expect that's how he would continue."

    Chandler will not be specific about how he would respond if Kerr "goes negative." His path has only crossed hers a couple of times.

    In 2000, Kerr and 31 other state senators approved a bill with a provision attached that nearly doubled legislators' pensions.

    Help out Chandler's campaign, and send a message in this Bush referendum race.

    Posted by Eric at 04:54 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerr and Chandler

    In Kentucky's 6th district, Alice Kerr, faced with stagnant poll numbers, is airing negative ads. See this, from Hotline:

    ANNOUNCER [v/o]: Even bloodhounds have trouble tracking Ben Chandler's positions.

    (On screen: Bloodhound paces in front of a TV showing footage of a Chandler speech)

    Last fall, Ben attacked tax cuts and called the no new taxes pledge irresponsible. Now, Ben flips and supports both.

    (On screen: Lexington Herald-Leader, 9/9/03; Louisville Courier-Journal, 1/16/04; Chandler TV ad, 12/03)

    BLOODHOUND: Huh?

    ANNOUNCER [v/o]: Chandler twice said he supports driver's licenses for illegal aliens but now says he was confused.

    BLOODHOUND: Ruh-roh.

    (On screen: Louisville Courier-Journal, 10/24/03; Louisville Courier-Journal, 10/24/03)

    ANNOUNCER [v/o]: And Ben still doesn't have a position on Iraq.

    (On screen: Louisville Courier-Journal, 1/13/04)

    Chandler confuses hounds and voters.

    Ruh roh?

    Why is Kerr so negative against Chandler? Maybe it's because Chandler helped expose a plan Kerr took part in to increase her pension and pay in the state legislature, and keep it hush-hush. AP, June 13, 2000

    An initiative that its sponsor said was designed to nearly double legislative pensions is so vague that it is unconstitutional, according to an opinion by the attorney general's office.

    The opinion released Tuesday said General Assembly members "concealed their attempt to increase their pension benefits because they could not do so under public scrutiny."

    The opinion, which is advisory only and does not carry the force of law, was sought by the legislature retirement board, which is struggling to determine the meaning of an obscure provision of a bill passed during the rush of the final hours of the 2000 legislative session.

    The opinion did not answer any of the six questions posed by legislative retirement director Donna Stockton-Early about the actual application of the provision, such as whether it applied to current or future retirees and whether the cost-of-living increase was retroactive and to what year.

    "We didn't feel like we needed to get to those questions," Attorney General Ben Chandler said at a news conference to accompany release of the opinion.

    The eight-member retirement system board is scheduled to meet on June 20 to decide what to do about the bill. Two current legislators, Democratic Reps. Adrian Arnold of Mount Sterling and J.R. Gray of Benton, are members of the board.

    The retirement enhancement was the handiwork of Sen. Albert Robinson, who has acknowledged he tried to keep the whole thing quiet. Robinson, a London Republican, also told the attorney general's office the intent of the legislature was to have lawmakers' pensions increased retroactively by the cost of living increase since 1982, effectively nearly doubling them.

    Chandler has only brought up the allegations since Kerr has started airing the negative ads. Lexington Herald Leader (Kentucky) December 21, 2003:
    Chandler has challenged Kerr to a "positive" campaign and says he will not appear at public forums with her if she attacks him.

    Kerr dodges the issue, saying only, "It has been Ben's style to always be negative and attack. I will fully expect that's how he would continue."

    Chandler will not be specific about how he would respond if Kerr "goes negative." His path has only crossed hers a couple of times.

    In 2000, Kerr and 31 other state senators approved a bill with a provision attached that nearly doubled legislators' pensions.

    Help out Chandler's campaign, and send a message in this Bush referendum race.

    Posted by Eric at 04:54 PM | Comments (0)

    Daschle and Corzine 'Blog'

    Well, it's likely staffers from their office, but it's a start.

    Posted by Eric at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)

    Daschle and Corzine 'Blog'

    Well, it's likely staffers from their office, but it's a start.

    Posted by Eric at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark: Me or Edwards

    Essentially, that's the message from the Clark campaign. In a campaign email, they make the case for Clark to be the southerner that challenges John Kerry for the nom. Alexandria Marcus and John Oeffinger of the Clark staff

    A group of us here in Little Rock wanted to send a quick note to you before we fan out across America to help Wes Clark win the upcoming primaries and caucuses in the week ahead.

    Next Tuesday, February 10th, voters in Tennessee and Virginia will cast their votes. They will decide which Southern candidate will go forward to challenge John Kerry for the Democratic nomination: the professional politician from Washington, DC, or the four-star general with a lifetime record of strong leadership and heroism.

    Only one candidate will emerge, and the winner will carry the support of the South to take on John Kerry. When the dust settles, it will be a two-person race ... Beating George W. Bush is a huge challenge. But voters are looking for an outsider, a new approach and a fresh start. Wes Clark's message and life story is resonating with voters who are looking for a leader, not a politician; for a candidate who will look out for the national interest, not the special interests. Wes Clark is part of the solution, not part of the problem. He has spent his life acting and doing, not talking and debating in the halls of Congress.

    Posted by Eric at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark: Me or Edwards

    Essentially, that's the message from the Clark campaign. In a campaign email, they make the case for Clark to be the southerner that challenges John Kerry for the nom. Alexandria Marcus and John Oeffinger of the Clark staff

    A group of us here in Little Rock wanted to send a quick note to you before we fan out across America to help Wes Clark win the upcoming primaries and caucuses in the week ahead.

    Next Tuesday, February 10th, voters in Tennessee and Virginia will cast their votes. They will decide which Southern candidate will go forward to challenge John Kerry for the Democratic nomination: the professional politician from Washington, DC, or the four-star general with a lifetime record of strong leadership and heroism.

    Only one candidate will emerge, and the winner will carry the support of the South to take on John Kerry. When the dust settles, it will be a two-person race ... Beating George W. Bush is a huge challenge. But voters are looking for an outsider, a new approach and a fresh start. Wes Clark's message and life story is resonating with voters who are looking for a leader, not a politician; for a candidate who will look out for the national interest, not the special interests. Wes Clark is part of the solution, not part of the problem. He has spent his life acting and doing, not talking and debating in the halls of Congress.

    Posted by Eric at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)

    Russert and Bush

    Hesiod on what questions Russert should ask.

    Posted by Eric at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

    Russert and Bush

    Hesiod on what questions Russert should ask.

    Posted by Eric at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

    Knowles Leads Big Oil Murkowski by 4 Points

    According to latest poll from NBC affil KTUU-TV in the traditionally Republican state of Alaska

    Knowles 44.6%
    Murkowski 40.6%

    Some green guy gets 3%

    Why is Knowles winning? His support among moderates:

    Moving on to political ideology, among those who say they are conservative, Murkowski leads by 47 points -- no surprise there. Among progressives, Knowles leads by 65 points -- none there, either. But among moderates, we see Knowles leading by 25 points, a political blowout by modern standards.

    Posted by Eric at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)

    Knowles Leads Big Oil Murkowski by 4 Points

    According to latest poll from NBC affil KTUU-TV in the traditionally Republican state of Alaska

    Knowles 44.6%
    Murkowski 40.6%

    Some green guy gets 3%

    Why is Knowles winning? His support among moderates:

    Moving on to political ideology, among those who say they are conservative, Murkowski leads by 47 points -- no surprise there. Among progressives, Knowles leads by 65 points -- none there, either. But among moderates, we see Knowles leading by 25 points, a political blowout by modern standards.

    Posted by Eric at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)

    Daily Hamster Numbers: Low Income Housing

    From The Children's Defense Fund:

    The Bush Administration's proposed budget cuts in Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Section 8 housing program could mean as many as 150,000 families with children will be denied vouchers. The Administration's budget also effectively block grants the Section 8 program, which could lead to some of the poorest families losing assistance and other families having to spend a greater portion of their income for rent.

    The proposed cuts and changes will disproportionately affect children. Fifty-nine percent of the 2 million households that receive Section 8 rental vouchers are families with children, making Section 8 the main source of housing assistance for low-income children.

    While the HUD budget emphasizes that "ours is a compassionate mission," Assistant Secretary Michael Liu acknowledged yesterday that the Section 8 voucher program is being cut by nearly $1 billion from FY 2004 to FY 2005.

    Posted by Eric at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)

    Daily Hamster Numbers: Low Income Housing

    From The Children's Defense Fund:

    The Bush Administration's proposed budget cuts in Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Section 8 housing program could mean as many as 150,000 families with children will be denied vouchers. The Administration's budget also effectively block grants the Section 8 program, which could lead to some of the poorest families losing assistance and other families having to spend a greater portion of their income for rent.

    The proposed cuts and changes will disproportionately affect children. Fifty-nine percent of the 2 million households that receive Section 8 rental vouchers are families with children, making Section 8 the main source of housing assistance for low-income children.

    While the HUD budget emphasizes that "ours is a compassionate mission," Assistant Secretary Michael Liu acknowledged yesterday that the Section 8 voucher program is being cut by nearly $1 billion from FY 2004 to FY 2005.

    Posted by Eric at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark "Builds on Oklahoma Victory"; Attacks Edwards and Kerry

    The Clark stump speeches usually don't feature specific attacks against other candidates. However, Clark is now trying to position himself as the 'outsider' candidate against Edwards and Kerry, both members of the US Senate.

    I'm part of the solution, not part of the problem. I spent my life in the military, acting and doing - not in the halls of Congress, talking and debating. I call it like I see it and let the chips fall where they may.

    I haven't made my career in the halls of Congress, but on bases and battlefields. I haven't just debated whether to send troops to battle, I've sent them. I haven't just debated whether to go to war, I led it.

    You know, my opponents on the inside have said that the American people shouldn't hold them responsible for everything that happens because we don't understand how things work in Washington.

    They're right. I don't understand how Washington politicians can say one thing and then do another.

    Take education. I don't understand how John Kerry and John Edwards can criticize the No Child Left Behind Act. They voted for it. I don't understand how John Kerry and John Edwards can claim to defend civil liberties and criticize the Patriot Act. They voted for it. I don't understand how John Kerry and John Edwards can criticize the war in Iraq, when they voted to give George W. Bush a blank check to go to war.

    So I guess John Kerry and John Edwards are right. The American people don't understand Washington or Washington politicians.

    And that's why I'm running for president. Because I believe in open, honest government, where we hold our leaders accountable. I believe in putting the national interests over the special interests. I believe in putting principle above politics. The bottom line: I believe we can do better. I believe we must do better. And if the system's broke - fix it.

    Posted by Eric at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark "Builds on Oklahoma Victory"; Attacks Edwards and Kerry

    The Clark stump speeches usually don't feature specific attacks against other candidates. However, Clark is now trying to position himself as the 'outsider' candidate against Edwards and Kerry, both members of the US Senate.

    I'm part of the solution, not part of the problem. I spent my life in the military, acting and doing - not in the halls of Congress, talking and debating. I call it like I see it and let the chips fall where they may.

    I haven't made my career in the halls of Congress, but on bases and battlefields. I haven't just debated whether to send troops to battle, I've sent them. I haven't just debated whether to go to war, I led it.

    You know, my opponents on the inside have said that the American people shouldn't hold them responsible for everything that happens because we don't understand how things work in Washington.

    They're right. I don't understand how Washington politicians can say one thing and then do another.

    Take education. I don't understand how John Kerry and John Edwards can criticize the No Child Left Behind Act. They voted for it. I don't understand how John Kerry and John Edwards can claim to defend civil liberties and criticize the Patriot Act. They voted for it. I don't understand how John Kerry and John Edwards can criticize the war in Iraq, when they voted to give George W. Bush a blank check to go to war.

    So I guess John Kerry and John Edwards are right. The American people don't understand Washington or Washington politicians.

    And that's why I'm running for president. Because I believe in open, honest government, where we hold our leaders accountable. I believe in putting the national interests over the special interests. I believe in putting principle above politics. The bottom line: I believe we can do better. I believe we must do better. And if the system's broke - fix it.

    Posted by Eric at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

    New Sponsor

    Say hi to The Columbia-Union, a typepad blog from the New York / Hudson Valley area.

    Posted by Eric at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

    New Sponsor

    Say hi to The Columbia-Union, a typepad blog from the New York / Hudson Valley area.

    Posted by Eric at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

    Dean: Wisconsin or Out

    For the Dean campaign, which has yet to win a state, it's all coming down to Wisconsin. From their campaign email:

    The entire race has come down to this: we must win Wisconsin. ... We will get a boost this weekend in Washington, Michigan and Maine, but our true test will be the Wisconsin primary. A win there will carry us to the big states of March 2-and narrow the field to two candidates. Anything less will put us out of this race.

    All that you have worked for these past months is on the line on a single day, in a single state. We have come so far to change our political process and restore our democracy-we can't stop now. Your $50 contribution will allow us to get out our message onto the airwaves, and win Wisconsin. Please contribute now

    In a favorability poll done, Dean's rating has dropped:
    Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's favorable rating here grew to 42%, from 17% in early December. Eighteen percent had an unfavorable impression of Kerry, the Democratic presidential front-runner.

    Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's favorable rating sank slightly, from 20% in early December to 18% in the new poll, while his unfavorable rating jumped from 20% to 34%. The uptick in Dean's negative rating followed his losses in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

    North Carolina Sen. John Edwards scored a 25% favorable rating and 12% unfavorable rating. While his favorable number tripled since December, fewer than 40% or respondents have any impression of Edwards.

    It seems Dean is accepting a loss in Michigan, though is hopeful about Washington and Maine.

    Posted by Eric at 03:32 AM | Comments (0)

    Dean: Wisconsin or Out

    For the Dean campaign, which has yet to win a state, it's all coming down to Wisconsin. From their campaign email:

    The entire race has come down to this: we must win Wisconsin. ... We will get a boost this weekend in Washington, Michigan and Maine, but our true test will be the Wisconsin primary. A win there will carry us to the big states of March 2-and narrow the field to two candidates. Anything less will put us out of this race.

    All that you have worked for these past months is on the line on a single day, in a single state. We have come so far to change our political process and restore our democracy-we can't stop now. Your $50 contribution will allow us to get out our message onto the airwaves, and win Wisconsin. Please contribute now

    In a favorability poll done, Dean's rating has dropped:
    Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's favorable rating here grew to 42%, from 17% in early December. Eighteen percent had an unfavorable impression of Kerry, the Democratic presidential front-runner.

    Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's favorable rating sank slightly, from 20% in early December to 18% in the new poll, while his unfavorable rating jumped from 20% to 34%. The uptick in Dean's negative rating followed his losses in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

    North Carolina Sen. John Edwards scored a 25% favorable rating and 12% unfavorable rating. While his favorable number tripled since December, fewer than 40% or respondents have any impression of Edwards.

    It seems Dean is accepting a loss in Michigan, though is hopeful about Washington and Maine.

    Posted by Eric at 03:32 AM | Comments (0)

    February 04, 2004

    Ye Wed Stories

    AP. Mass. High Court Rules for Gay Marriage
    Jonathan Freedland. Don't be fooled again: Critics of the war must voice their misgivings about the Butler inquiry's terms of reference - right now
    Conason. Bush’s War Stories Simply Don’t Fly
    Ithaca Journal. Credibility implosion: Errors, lies and mistrust
    Salon. Will Deaniacs pull a Nader on the Democratic Party?
    Daniel A. Weiner. Administration hides reality of war
    David Moberg. The Secretary of Labor Is the Enemy of Labor
    Joseph Dolman. Don't Dump 9/11 Probe to Keep GOP Happy
    CSMonitor. Bioterror back, but panic is not
    Miami Herald. A federal budget of great expectations: OUR OPINION: PLAN SHOULD ADDRESS LONG-TERM FISCAL CONCERNS
    Chic Trib. Blair begins probe of Iraq intelligence; Powell eases back on war comments
    Cynthia Tucker. Hypocrisy of CBS execs, FCC leader exposed, too
    AP. Rumsfeld: WMD May Still Be Found in Iraq
    Robert Scheer. The lies that bind: Using the ends to justify the means in Iraq repeats the folly of Vietnam
    Michael Kieschnick. Restore honor to the White House: It's time for Mr. Bush to apologize
    Boston Globe. For Clark, his chance to win one
    Newsday. Win Recharges Edwards Camp
    ChicTrib. Kerry's potential vs. Bush was a key
    Reuters. Democrat Kerry to Pursue Same Inclusive Strategy
    SFC. Immigration Service proposes to raise fees
    WP. Connecticut Senator Quits Race After Weak Second in 'First State'
    George S. McGovern. A Campaign Fiasco That Wasn't
    WP. Now Comes the Tough Part For Kerry: Tying It All Up
    NYT. Bush Budget Cuts a Variety of Programs
    NYT. Ohio Legislature Votes to Ban Same-Sex Unions
    NYT. Clark Claims Oklahoma, His 1st Victory in Politics
    NYT. Kerry Rolls On but Edwards Keeps Race Open for All the Rest

    Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Ye Wed Stories

    AP. Mass. High Court Rules for Gay Marriage
    Jonathan Freedland. Don't be fooled again: Critics of the war must voice their misgivings about the Butler inquiry's terms of reference - right now
    Conason. Bush’s War Stories Simply Don’t Fly
    Ithaca Journal. Credibility implosion: Errors, lies and mistrust
    Salon. Will Deaniacs pull a Nader on the Democratic Party?
    Daniel A. Weiner. Administration hides reality of war
    David Moberg. The Secretary of Labor Is the Enemy of Labor
    Joseph Dolman. Don't Dump 9/11 Probe to Keep GOP Happy
    CSMonitor. Bioterror back, but panic is not
    Miami Herald. A federal budget of great expectations: OUR OPINION: PLAN SHOULD ADDRESS LONG-TERM FISCAL CONCERNS
    Chic Trib. Blair begins probe of Iraq intelligence; Powell eases back on war comments
    Cynthia Tucker. Hypocrisy of CBS execs, FCC leader exposed, too
    AP. Rumsfeld: WMD May Still Be Found in Iraq
    Robert Scheer. The lies that bind: Using the ends to justify the means in Iraq repeats the folly of Vietnam
    Michael Kieschnick. Restore honor to the White House: It's time for Mr. Bush to apologize
    Boston Globe. For Clark, his chance to win one
    Newsday. Win Recharges Edwards Camp
    ChicTrib. Kerry's potential vs. Bush was a key
    Reuters. Democrat Kerry to Pursue Same Inclusive Strategy
    SFC. Immigration Service proposes to raise fees
    WP. Connecticut Senator Quits Race After Weak Second in 'First State'
    George S. McGovern. A Campaign Fiasco That Wasn't
    WP. Now Comes the Tough Part For Kerry: Tying It All Up
    NYT. Bush Budget Cuts a Variety of Programs
    NYT. Ohio Legislature Votes to Ban Same-Sex Unions
    NYT. Clark Claims Oklahoma, His 1st Victory in Politics
    NYT. Kerry Rolls On but Edwards Keeps Race Open for All the Rest

    Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Government Media Contract to Bush/Cheney Media Team

    Atrios with the story. Basically, we have:

    1) "The administration publicly funded $12.6 million advertising effort touting the new Medicare law."

    and 2) "A media firm working for President Bush (news - web sites)'s re-election campaign has a share of the administration's publicly funded $12.6 million advertising effort touting the new Medicare law.

    "National Media Inc. of Alexandria, Va., is purchasing $9.5 million worth of television advertising for a 30-second commercial that the administration intends to educate seniors about changes in Medicare such as the new prescription drug benefit, executives involved in the advertising campaign said Wednesday."

    Interesting, eh? How the media firm working for Bush / Cheney 2004 suddenly gets a nice fat media contract.

    In case you were wondering ... From OpenSecrets.org, 2000-2004

    Soft Money, $17,932

    NATIONAL MEDIA INC
    ALEXANDRIA, VA 5/1/2002
    $5,000
    Republican National Cmte

    NATIONAL MEDIA INC
    ALEXANDRIA, VA 3/28/2001
    $5,000
    Republican National Cmte

    ROBERTS, ROBIN D
    ALEXANDRIA, VA
    NATIONAL MEDIA INC 1/31/2001
    $460
    Republican National Cmte

    TODD, BRAD
    ALEXANDRIA, VA
    NATIONAL MEDIA INC 3/15/2001
    $290
    Republican National Cmte

    TODD, BRADLEYA MR
    ALEXANDRIA, VA
    NATIONAL MEDIA 7/12/2002
    $432
    Republican National Cmte

    Hard Money, $7,250

    CASTELLANOS, ALEX MR
    ALEXANDRIA,VA 22304
    NATIONAL MEDIA INC./PRINCIPAL
    6/19/2003
    $2,000 Bush, George W

    DUGGAN, FRANCIS J MR
    ALEXANDRIA,VA 22314
    NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD/CHAIRMAN
    7/3/2003
    $2,000 Bush, George W

    DUGGAN, FRANCIS J MR
    ALEXANDRIA,VA 22314
    NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD/CHAIRMAN
    6/11/2003
    $250 Bush, George W

    GADDY, STEVEN MR
    ALEXANDRIA,VA 22308
    NATIONAL MEDIA INC./PARTNER
    6/18/2003
    $1,000 Bush, George W

    ROBERTS, ROBIN D MR
    MC LEAN,VA 22101
    NATIONAL MEDIA INC./PRESIDENT
    6/16/2003
    $2,000 Bush, George W

    Yes, both Roberts and Castellanos maxed out on hard money to Bush.

    Posted by Eric at 10:07 PM | Comments (0)

    Government Media Contract to Bush/Cheney Media Team

    Atrios with the story. Basically, we have:

    1) "The administration publicly funded $12.6 million advertising effort touting the new Medicare law."

    and 2) "A media firm working for President Bush (news - web sites)'s re-election campaign has a share of the administration's publicly funded $12.6 million advertising effort touting the new Medicare law.

    "National Media Inc. of Alexandria, Va., is purchasing $9.5 million worth of television advertising for a 30-second commercial that the administration intends to educate seniors about changes in Medicare such as the new prescription drug benefit, executives involved in the advertising campaign said Wednesday."

    Interesting, eh? How the media firm working for Bush / Cheney 2004 suddenly gets a nice fat media contract.

    In case you were wondering ... From OpenSecrets.org, 2000-2004

    Soft Money, $17,932

    NATIONAL MEDIA INC
    ALEXANDRIA, VA 5/1/2002
    $5,000
    Republican National Cmte

    NATIONAL MEDIA INC
    ALEXANDRIA, VA 3/28/2001
    $5,000
    Republican National Cmte

    ROBERTS, ROBIN D
    ALEXANDRIA, VA
    NATIONAL MEDIA INC 1/31/2001
    $460
    Republican National Cmte

    TODD, BRAD
    ALEXANDRIA, VA
    NATIONAL MEDIA INC 3/15/2001
    $290
    Republican National Cmte

    TODD, BRADLEYA MR
    ALEXANDRIA, VA
    NATIONAL MEDIA 7/12/2002
    $432
    Republican National Cmte

    Hard Money, $7,250

    CASTELLANOS, ALEX MR
    ALEXANDRIA,VA 22304
    NATIONAL MEDIA INC./PRINCIPAL
    6/19/2003
    $2,000 Bush, George W

    DUGGAN, FRANCIS J MR
    ALEXANDRIA,VA 22314
    NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD/CHAIRMAN
    7/3/2003
    $2,000 Bush, George W

    DUGGAN, FRANCIS J MR
    ALEXANDRIA,VA 22314
    NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD/CHAIRMAN
    6/11/2003
    $250 Bush, George W

    GADDY, STEVEN MR
    ALEXANDRIA,VA 22308
    NATIONAL MEDIA INC./PARTNER
    6/18/2003
    $1,000 Bush, George W

    ROBERTS, ROBIN D MR
    MC LEAN,VA 22101
    NATIONAL MEDIA INC./PRESIDENT
    6/16/2003
    $2,000 Bush, George W

    Yes, both Roberts and Castellanos maxed out on hard money to Bush.

    Posted by Eric at 10:07 PM | Comments (0)

    Novak Assault Charge?

    And look, there's actually someone who says it happened (whether or not true, who knows). Compare this to the media hype over the untrue Al Franken assault incident by a NY Post reporter who retracted two stories about Al Franken in the past.

    Posted by Eric at 06:00 PM | Comments (0)

    Novak Assault Charge?

    And look, there's actually someone who says it happened (whether or not true, who knows). Compare this to the media hype over the untrue Al Franken assault incident by a NY Post reporter who retracted two stories about Al Franken in the past.

    Posted by Eric at 06:00 PM | Comments (0)

    Is Edwards the ABB Candidate?

    We hear a lot about Kerry and the electability thing, so might as well give equal time to John Edwards, the best speaker of all the candidates (Sharpton included), I believe. Why, David Lublin and Thomas F. Schaller, is Edwards the best Anybody But Bush candidate?

    The electability claim being made by John Edwards, who won the South Carolina primary last night, is different because it's geographic. He's says he can win because he's a southerner who will not concede his "backyard" in the South to President George W. Bush.
    Yeah, yeah, South, we need the South. Oh, there's more?
    Southern Democrats possess many political assets that appeal to moderate white voters in swing states. People often forget that Bill Clinton would still have won the presidency in both 1992 and 1996 without a single southern electoral vote. But Clinton couldn't have won absent the skills he gained as an Arkansas politician ... But that doesn't mean those skills are most effectively or efficiently applied to the task of winning electoral college votes in the South. Instead, what Edwards would bring to the presidential ticket is needed help in Rust Belt and border swing states, including Democratic "nail-down" states like Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania, and potential "pick-up" states like West Virginia, Ohio, and Missouri.

    Consider the case of the vaunted "NASCAR dad." We reject the notion that any niche demographic holds the key to the election, but, for the sake of argument, let's assume that NASCAR dads will be a key target group this year. If so, they are less likely to be the decisive voting bloc in Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, or even Edwards' North Carolina. But notice that there are plenty of NASCAR dads in Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia -- in other words, in states where the votes of white moderates and independents are more likely to prove decisive.

    Edwards' greatest asset is that he has the legitimacy to persuade voters in these states to focus on economic issues instead of the social and cultural wedge issues upon which Bush hopes people will their votes. Although he was too blunt for southerners, this was the notion Dean raised when he encouraged people in the region not to vote on "god, guns, and gays." Edwards is clever enough to avoid using Dean's jarring phraseology. His biography also gives him greater credibility in delivering the more subtle message that socially conservative whites ought to be thinking about kitchen-table economic issues.

    Posted by Eric at 12:18 PM | Comments (0)

    Is Edwards the ABB Candidate?

    We hear a lot about Kerry and the electability thing, so might as well give equal time to John Edwards, the best speaker of all the candidates (Sharpton included), I believe. Why, David Lublin and Thomas F. Schaller, is Edwards the best Anybody But Bush candidate?

    The electability claim being made by John Edwards, who won the South Carolina primary last night, is different because it's geographic. He's says he can win because he's a southerner who will not concede his "backyard" in the South to President George W. Bush.
    Yeah, yeah, South, we need the South. Oh, there's more?
    Southern Democrats possess many political assets that appeal to moderate white voters in swing states. People often forget that Bill Clinton would still have won the presidency in both 1992 and 1996 without a single southern electoral vote. But Clinton couldn't have won absent the skills he gained as an Arkansas politician ... But that doesn't mean those skills are most effectively or efficiently applied to the task of winning electoral college votes in the South. Instead, what Edwards would bring to the presidential ticket is needed help in Rust Belt and border swing states, including Democratic "nail-down" states like Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania, and potential "pick-up" states like West Virginia, Ohio, and Missouri.

    Consider the case of the vaunted "NASCAR dad." We reject the notion that any niche demographic holds the key to the election, but, for the sake of argument, let's assume that NASCAR dads will be a key target group this year. If so, they are less likely to be the decisive voting bloc in Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, or even Edwards' North Carolina. But notice that there are plenty of NASCAR dads in Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia -- in other words, in states where the votes of white moderates and independents are more likely to prove decisive.

    Edwards' greatest asset is that he has the legitimacy to persuade voters in these states to focus on economic issues instead of the social and cultural wedge issues upon which Bush hopes people will their votes. Although he was too blunt for southerners, this was the notion Dean raised when he encouraged people in the region not to vote on "god, guns, and gays." Edwards is clever enough to avoid using Dean's jarring phraseology. His biography also gives him greater credibility in delivering the more subtle message that socially conservative whites ought to be thinking about kitchen-table economic issues.

    Posted by Eric at 12:18 PM | Comments (0)

    The Winners Speak

    Big Dawg Kerry:

    Now we will carry this campaign and the cause of a stronger, fairer, more prosperous America to every part of the country. We will take nothing for granted; we will compete everywhere -- and in November, with your help, we will defeat George W. Bush.

    I am humbled and honored that so many of you have joined our cause.

    In the coming months, I will ask each of you to make yourselves heard, share your ideas, enlist with us, and demand a government that's on your side again. Because when I am President, you will be heard.

    Southern Dawg Edwards:
    Last night, we celebrated a remarkable double-digit victory in South Carolina. We shocked everyone with a first place tie in Oklahoma. And we made a strong second place showing in Missouri. The energy I see across the country is electrifying and I cannot thank you enough for your support ...

    We can win back the White House and change the country in a way that strengthens the millions of middle-class families that George W. Bush has forgotten. We can lift up the 35 million Americans who live in poverty.

    I know that you and I can change this country together. And the reason is very simple. Together we can build One America that works for everybody.

    And resume dawg Clark:
    I leave Oklahoma even more full of hope and even more committed to building an even better America."

    Clark thanked the thousands of volunteers across the country who made phone calls, wrote letters and knocked on doors for the campaign.

    "We're going to build a country that doesn't just talk about family values, but values families," Clark said. ""We're going to take the White House back for the rightful owners, the American people."

    Posted by Eric at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

    The Winners Speak

    Big Dawg Kerry:

    Now we will carry this campaign and the cause of a stronger, fairer, more prosperous America to every part of the country. We will take nothing for granted; we will compete everywhere -- and in November, with your help, we will defeat George W. Bush.

    I am humbled and honored that so many of you have joined our cause.

    In the coming months, I will ask each of you to make yourselves heard, share your ideas, enlist with us, and demand a government that's on your side again. Because when I am President, you will be heard.

    Southern Dawg Edwards:
    Last night, we celebrated a remarkable double-digit victory in South Carolina. We shocked everyone with a first place tie in Oklahoma. And we made a strong second place showing in Missouri. The energy I see across the country is electrifying and I cannot thank you enough for your support ...

    We can win back the White House and change the country in a way that strengthens the millions of middle-class families that George W. Bush has forgotten. We can lift up the 35 million Americans who live in poverty.

    I know that you and I can change this country together. And the reason is very simple. Together we can build One America that works for everybody.

    And resume dawg Clark:
    I leave Oklahoma even more full of hope and even more committed to building an even better America."

    Clark thanked the thousands of volunteers across the country who made phone calls, wrote letters and knocked on doors for the campaign.

    "We're going to build a country that doesn't just talk about family values, but values families," Clark said. ""We're going to take the White House back for the rightful owners, the American people."

    Posted by Eric at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

    Hastert, GOP, Align with Kerr; Seek Kentucky House Seat

    The race between Republican Alice Kerr and Democrat Ben Chandler is being framed as a referendum on President Bush:

    Now, in a special election for the House seat vacated by the gubernatorial winner, the Republican candidate is only too happy to make the Feb. 17 contest a referendum on the president, who is hugely popular in the Bluegrass State.

    GOP state Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr ran a TV ad showing her with the president at the White House and portraying her as ``cut from the same cloth'' as Bush.

    Kerr is up against Democrat Ben Chandler, who lost the governor's race to Republican Ernie Fletcher.

    ``In the governor's race that Chandler just ran, he made his opposition of Bush a centerpiece,'' said Billy Piper, Kerr's campaign manager. ``Senator Kerr is making an equally big centerpiece out of her support for the president in her campaign.''

    So what would happen with a Chandler win?
    A victory for Chandler would be ``a huge shot in the arm'' for state Democrats, said Dale Emmons, a Democratic consultant.

    ``If Chandler wins that race, Democrats from coast to coast will taunt Bush with it,'' said Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

    Learn more about Ben Chandler and his fight for Kentucky and the Democratic Party.

    Posted by Eric at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

    Hastert, GOP, Align with Kerr; Seek Kentucky House Seat

    The race between Republican Alice Kerr and Democrat Ben Chandler is being framed as a referendum on President Bush:

    Now, in a special election for the House seat vacated by the gubernatorial winner, the Republican candidate is only too happy to make the Feb. 17 contest a referendum on the president, who is hugely popular in the Bluegrass State.

    GOP state Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr ran a TV ad showing her with the president at the White House and portraying her as ``cut from the same cloth'' as Bush.

    Kerr is up against Democrat Ben Chandler, who lost the governor's race to Republican Ernie Fletcher.

    ``In the governor's race that Chandler just ran, he made his opposition of Bush a centerpiece,'' said Billy Piper, Kerr's campaign manager. ``Senator Kerr is making an equally big centerpiece out of her support for the president in her campaign.''

    So what would happen with a Chandler win?
    A victory for Chandler would be ``a huge shot in the arm'' for state Democrats, said Dale Emmons, a Democratic consultant.

    ``If Chandler wins that race, Democrats from coast to coast will taunt Bush with it,'' said Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

    Learn more about Ben Chandler and his fight for Kentucky and the Democratic Party.

    Posted by Eric at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

    Daily Hamster Numbers: Political Money

    • "2004 presidential candidates have raised 26 percent of donations in contributions that would not have been permitted before BCRA's doubling of limits."

    • "2004 presidential primary contestants have raised 66 percent of their funds in contributions at or above $1,000, up from 61 percent in the 2000 race."

    • "With one committee yet to file a 2003 year-end report with the FEC, political parties raised $275,408,400 in hard money in 2003, compared to $282,358,665 in both hard and soft money in 1999."

    • "The average amount raised by the candidates increased from $16,255,545 in 1999 to $23,353,077 in 2003, an increase of 44 percent."

    --USPIRG

    Posted by Eric at 03:07 AM | Comments (0)

    Daily Hamster Numbers: Political Money

    • "2004 presidential candidates have raised 26 percent of donations in contributions that would not have been permitted before BCRA's doubling of limits."

    • "2004 presidential primary contestants have raised 66 percent of their funds in contributions at or above $1,000, up from 61 percent in the 2000 race."

    • "With one committee yet to file a 2003 year-end report with the FEC, political parties raised $275,408,400 in hard money in 2003, compared to $282,358,665 in both hard and soft money in 1999."

    • "The average amount raised by the candidates increased from $16,255,545 in 1999 to $23,353,077 in 2003, an increase of 44 percent."

    --USPIRG

    Posted by Eric at 03:07 AM | Comments (0)

    More Renewable Energy for Colorado?

    Colorado could become one of the first states to let voters decide by ballot if there should be "more wind, solar and other sources of renewable energy from their power companies."

    Environment Colorado and the Sierra Club filed proposed language Monday for a ballot initiative that voters could decide in November, if backers collect the required 67,820 signatures by Aug. 2.

    The vote also rides on the current General Assembly, which has failed to pass renewable-energy bills in three consecutive legislative sessions.

    Currently, environment-conscious Colorado gets less than 1 percent of its total energy supply from renewable energy.

    If voters approved it, the proposed ballot initiative would force large electrical providers to get 10 percent of their power supply from renewable sources by 2012 and 20 percent by 2022.

    Previously, environmental groups have won five of seven ballot initiatives in Colorado since 1994.

    Posted by Eric at 03:03 AM | Comments (0)

    More Renewable Energy for Colorado?

    Colorado could become one of the first states to let voters decide by ballot if there should be "more wind, solar and other sources of renewable energy from their power companies."

    Environment Colorado and the Sierra Club filed proposed language Monday for a ballot initiative that voters could decide in November, if backers collect the required 67,820 signatures by Aug. 2.

    The vote also rides on the current General Assembly, which has failed to pass renewable-energy bills in three consecutive legislative sessions.

    Currently, environment-conscious Colorado gets less than 1 percent of its total energy supply from renewable energy.

    If voters approved it, the proposed ballot initiative would force large electrical providers to get 10 percent of their power supply from renewable sources by 2012 and 20 percent by 2022.

    Previously, environmental groups have won five of seven ballot initiatives in Colorado since 1994.

    Posted by Eric at 03:03 AM | Comments (0)

    Crazy Uncle Bill

    Oh, there goes Uncle Bill on 'The Factor' again:

    This is not about a bare breast. If Janet Jackson wants to flash, she can come on over to my office anytime. I'll leave the door unlocked for you, Janet. Partial nudity's no big deal except when it is totally out of context and youngsters are watching. Get it? That's sleazy.
    Ew. Creepy.

    Posted by Eric at 02:52 AM | Comments (0)

    Crazy Uncle Bill

    Oh, there goes Uncle Bill on 'The Factor' again:

    This is not about a bare breast. If Janet Jackson wants to flash, she can come on over to my office anytime. I'll leave the door unlocked for you, Janet. Partial nudity's no big deal except when it is totally out of context and youngsters are watching. Get it? That's sleazy.
    Ew. Creepy.

    Posted by Eric at 02:52 AM | Comments (0)

    February 03, 2004

    Tuesday Stories

    WP. Powell Says New Data May Have Affected War Decision
    WP. Kerry Targeted by Rivals As 7 States Prepare to Vote: Dean, Edwards Challenge Him on Trade, Senate Record
    EJ Dionne Jr. The Truth About Massachusetts
    WP. Congressman Urges Vote-Buying Inquiry: Medicare Bill Deliberations Questioned
    Intervention Mag. Behind all the campaign hoopla and the media spotlight, volunteers toil for victory and for more
    CNN. Spitzer backs Kerry
    SF Chron. Kerry's momentum put to the test in 7 states: Edwards hopes to thwart front-runner in South Carolina
    WP. For Edwards, It All Comes Down to South Carolina
    AJC. S.C. undecideds waver, then choose
    James Wooten. Some Bush supporters break ranks
    StarTrib. Democrats in seven states weigh in
    LAT. Diverse States May Reshape the Democratic Race Today
    Ron Brownstein. Treating Kerry With Kid Gloves Can Only Boost Momentum
    LAT. Kerry Fends Off Finance Questions
    Salon. Dean's dizzying descent: How and why did the Vermont juggernaut implode so quickly?
    Salon. Is America ready for the wild Kerry family?
    Salon. Howard Dean strikes back: In a candid interview, the former front-runner goes after his two main adversaries -- George W. Bush and John Kerry -- and says they're a lot alike
    Krugman. Another Bogus Budget
    Gannet. '04 primary field could dwindle after today
    Houston Chron. Edwards seeking home-field edge
    NYT. Army Study of Iraq War Details a 'Morass' of Supply Shortages
    Clark04. Fifty-Five U.S. Ambassadors And Diplomats Endorse Clark
    North Carolina State Technician. Helping Howard
    Jules Witcover. Trumpeting his service, Gen. Clark woos Dixie
    Jim Lobe. Diversion & Delay: When In Trouble, Blame the CIA
    Eleanor Clift. Bush strategists may feel tempted to attack John Kerry’s opposition to Vietnam. Why it’s a battle they can’t win

    Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Tuesday Stories

    WP. Powell Says New Data May Have Affected War Decision
    WP. Kerry Targeted by Rivals As 7 States Prepare to Vote: Dean, Edwards Challenge Him on Trade, Senate Record
    EJ Dionne Jr. The Truth About Massachusetts
    WP. Congressman Urges Vote-Buying Inquiry: Medicare Bill Deliberations Questioned
    Intervention Mag. Behind all the campaign hoopla and the media spotlight, volunteers toil for victory and for more
    CNN. Spitzer backs Kerry
    SF Chron. Kerry's momentum put to the test in 7 states: Edwards hopes to thwart front-runner in South Carolina
    WP. For Edwards, It All Comes Down to South Carolina
    AJC. S.C. undecideds waver, then choose
    James Wooten. Some Bush supporters break ranks
    StarTrib. Democrats in seven states weigh in
    LAT. Diverse States May Reshape the Democratic Race Today
    Ron Brownstein. Treating Kerry With Kid Gloves Can Only Boost Momentum
    LAT. Kerry Fends Off Finance Questions
    Salon. Dean's dizzying descent: How and why did the Vermont juggernaut implode so quickly?
    Salon. Is America ready for the wild Kerry family?
    Salon. Howard Dean strikes back: In a candid interview, the former front-runner goes after his two main adversaries -- George W. Bush and John Kerry -- and says they're a lot alike
    Krugman. Another Bogus Budget
    Gannet. '04 primary field could dwindle after today
    Houston Chron. Edwards seeking home-field edge
    NYT. Army Study of Iraq War Details a 'Morass' of Supply Shortages
    Clark04. Fifty-Five U.S. Ambassadors And Diplomats Endorse Clark
    North Carolina State Technician. Helping Howard
    Jules Witcover. Trumpeting his service, Gen. Clark woos Dixie
    Jim Lobe. Diversion & Delay: When In Trouble, Blame the CIA
    Eleanor Clift. Bush strategists may feel tempted to attack John Kerry’s opposition to Vietnam. Why it’s a battle they can’t win

    Posted by Eric at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Primaries

    Oklahoma is the interesting one.

    The results of the rest ... Clark wins OK.

    ARIZONA. Kerry moderate win.
    DELAWARE. Kerry big win.
    MISSOURI. Kerry big win.
    NEW MEXICO. Kerry win.
    NORTH DAKOTA. Kerry win.
    SOUTH CAROLINA. Edwards strong win.

    Lieberman out.

    Posted by Eric at 11:52 PM | Comments (0)

    Primaries

    Oklahoma is the interesting one.

    The results of the rest ... Clark wins OK.

    ARIZONA. Kerry moderate win.
    DELAWARE. Kerry big win.
    MISSOURI. Kerry big win.
    NEW MEXICO. Kerry win.
    NORTH DAKOTA. Kerry win.
    SOUTH CAROLINA. Edwards strong win.

    Lieberman out.

    Posted by Eric at 11:52 PM | Comments (0)

    Silly Newsmax

    This is what I got in an email from Newsmax ten minutes ago ...

    Feb. 4, 2004 Insider Report from NewsMax.com Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):

    1. What Lieberman’s Exit Means
    2. Hillary Backs Dean
    3. Ricin Attacks, More Bio Attacks Likely
    4. Hollywood’s ‘Help’ Hurts Democrats
    5. N.Y. Times Leaves Staff Defenseless
    6. Regulation by Litigation

    Interesting, Hillary and Dean. And then we get:
    2. Hillary Backs Kerry

    More signs that Wesley Clark's run is history: We hear Sen. Hillary Clinton is privately throwing her support to Sen. Kerry.

    A NewsMax friend recently saw her at a Washington dinner party. She indicated that Kerry was clearly the best choice of the Democrats' field.

    When our friend suggested that a brokered convention still could happen, with Hillary emerging as the party's savior, she greeted the suggestion with a hearty laugh.

    Inspires a lot of confidence, that Newsmax.

    Posted by Eric at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)

    Silly Newsmax

    This is what I got in an email from Newsmax ten minutes ago ...

    Feb. 4, 2004 Insider Report from NewsMax.com Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):

    1. What Lieberman’s Exit Means
    2. Hillary Backs Dean
    3. Ricin Attacks, More Bio Attacks Likely
    4. Hollywood’s ‘Help’ Hurts Democrats
    5. N.Y. Times Leaves Staff Defenseless
    6. Regulation by Litigation

    Interesting, Hillary and Dean. And then we get:
    2. Hillary Backs Kerry

    More signs that Wesley Clark's run is history: We hear Sen. Hillary Clinton is privately throwing her support to Sen. Kerry.

    A NewsMax friend recently saw her at a Washington dinner party. She indicated that Kerry was clearly the best choice of the Democrats' field.

    When our friend suggested that a brokered convention still could happen, with Hillary emerging as the party's savior, she greeted the suggestion with a hearty laugh.

    Inspires a lot of confidence, that Newsmax.

    Posted by Eric at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)

    The Guessing Game

    Eric Alterman is getting hypothetical with it.

    Speaking of whom, say one thing for Mr. “Here’s the News from My Bathroom,” every time I think the guy has peaked, he manages to surprise me. Imagine two anonymous people on the planet: One guy is a “GayCatholicToryGAPmodel” who takes credit for liberating Iraq with his modem, and one guy fought with heroism in a war for his country, both in Vietnam and when he returned. So guess who is a “pompous, do-nothing, faux-populist, Establishment blow-hard with the Vietnam obsession”? I wonder how many bullets the tough-guy blogger has taken for his obsessions. (Anybody ever aim an AK-47 at that P-town toilet?) If you’ve got a strong stomach, you can find it here.
    Hint ... the tough-guy blogger's name starts with an "A" and ends with an "ndrew Sullivan." And no, it's not Frank Stallone.

    Posted by Eric at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)

    The Guessing Game

    Eric Alterman is getting hypothetical with it.

    Speaking of whom, say one thing for Mr. “Here’s the News from My Bathroom,” every time I think the guy has peaked, he manages to surprise me. Imagine two anonymous people on the planet: One guy is a “GayCatholicToryGAPmodel” who takes credit for liberating Iraq with his modem, and one guy fought with heroism in a war for his country, both in Vietnam and when he returned. So guess who is a “pompous, do-nothing, faux-populist, Establishment blow-hard with the Vietnam obsession”? I wonder how many bullets the tough-guy blogger has taken for his obsessions. (Anybody ever aim an AK-47 at that P-town toilet?) If you’ve got a strong stomach, you can find it here.
    Hint ... the tough-guy blogger's name starts with an "A" and ends with an "ndrew Sullivan." And no, it's not Frank Stallone.

    Posted by Eric at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)

    Oh, Crazy Uncle Bill

    There he goes again.

    O'REILLY: Absolutely. It hurt -- it hurt Dean.

    GIULIANI: I think it hurt Clark.

    O'REILLY: It killed Clark. Once Jennings nailed him with the Michael Moore thing, deserter...

    GIULIANI: Absolutely.

    O'REILLY: ... it killed him.

    GIULIANI: Yes, yes. I mean where the -- and I think with people even that dislike the president, they kind of -- they still feel...

    O'REILLY: Right.

    GIULIANI: ... this is too much, desertion is a crime punishable by death. Let's get real. I mean...

    O'REILLY: Well, I want to kill Michael Moore. Is that all right? All right. And I don't believe in capital punishment. That's just a joke on Moore.
    And, Mr. Mayor, you're welcome any time to drop in here, OK.

    GIULIANI: Thank you, Bill.

    Clearly a joke. I mean, it was hysterical. You'll remember, Bill likes joking about killing people he hates.
    "In the Old West, and I would have loved to have been in the Old West, Al and I, we would have had a little shootout. We would have gone out on Willshire Avenue, six shooters. Now he's a much smaller target than I am, about 4'11, but he's wider and it would have been, you know, Clint Eastwood time, you know, I would have the cheroot, the serape, woulda given my squint, and I woulda put a bullet right between his head. Would have been wrong. Would have been wrong. But that was the Old West, and I would not have known any better, so I wouldn't have been held accountable, because I wouldn't have - but now I do. Now, in 2003, that would have been wrong." --O'Reilly Factor Radio Show, June 2, 2003

    Posted by Eric at 07:30 PM | Comments (0)

    Oh, Crazy Uncle Bill

    There he goes again.

    O'REILLY: Absolutely. It hurt -- it hurt Dean.

    GIULIANI: I think it hurt Clark.

    O'REILLY: It killed Clark. Once Jennings nailed him with the Michael Moore thing, deserter...

    GIULIANI: Absolutely.

    O'REILLY: ... it killed him.

    GIULIANI: Yes, yes. I mean where the -- and I think with people even that dislike the president, they kind of -- they still feel...

    O'REILLY: Right.

    GIULIANI: ... this is too much, desertion is a crime punishable by death. Let's get real. I mean...

    O'REILLY: Well, I want to kill Michael Moore. Is that all right? All right. And I don't believe in capital punishment. That's just a joke on Moore.
    And, Mr. Mayor, you're welcome any time to drop in here, OK.

    GIULIANI: Thank you, Bill.

    Clearly a joke. I mean, it was hysterical. You'll remember, Bill likes joking about killing people he hates.
    "In the Old West, and I would have loved to have been in the Old West, Al and I, we would have had a little shootout. We would have gone out on Willshire Avenue, six shooters. Now he's a much smaller target than I am, about 4'11, but he's wider and it would have been, you know, Clint Eastwood time, you know, I would have the cheroot, the serape, woulda given my squint, and I woulda put a bullet right between his head. Would have been wrong. Would have been wrong. But that was the Old West, and I would not have known any better, so I wouldn't have been held accountable, because I wouldn't have - but now I do. Now, in 2003, that would have been wrong." --O'Reilly Factor Radio Show, June 2, 2003

    Posted by Eric at 07:30 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark Jr. Blasts Media

    Know where Wesley Clark stands on the issues? Well, Wesley Clark's son said the media needs to do a better job covering issues and not horse-race politics. Reuters:

    Retired general Wesley Clark's only son blasted the media for its coverage of his father's bid for the Democratic nomination Tuesday and said he would like to see his father withdraw from the race if he does not win the Oklahoma primary.

    Wesley Clark Jr. a 34-year-old screenwriter, in a meeting with reporters while his father called voters from a phone bank, said; "I'd like to see him win today. If he doesn't win I don't want to see him stay out there.

    "It's a really disillusioning experience." ... "There was a lot of sneering and whispering going on by columnists and talking heads. ... It is all a horse race. No-one is talking about the issues."

    Wesley Clark Jr. was clearly frustrated by the fact that the biggest Wesley Clark media story over the weekend in Oklahoma City was that the drivers of his father's three-car caravan got speeding tickets during a late-night journey between campaign stops.

    "It is a helluva way to pick a president," he said.

    Posted by Eric at 05:36 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark Jr. Blasts Media

    Know where Wesley Clark stands on the issues? Well, Wesley Clark's son said the media needs to do a better job covering issues and not horse-race politics. Reuters:

    Retired general Wesley Clark's only son blasted the media for its coverage of his father's bid for the Democratic nomination Tuesday and said he would like to see his father withdraw from the race if he does not win the Oklahoma primary.

    Wesley Clark Jr. a 34-year-old screenwriter, in a meeting with reporters while his father called voters from a phone bank, said; "I'd like to see him win today. If he doesn't win I don't want to see him stay out there.

    "It's a really disillusioning experience." ... "There was a lot of sneering and whispering going on by columnists and talking heads. ... It is all a horse race. No-one is talking about the issues."

    Wesley Clark Jr. was clearly frustrated by the fact that the biggest Wesley Clark media story over the weekend in Oklahoma City was that the drivers of his father's three-car caravan got speeding tickets during a late-night journey between campaign stops.

    "It is a helluva way to pick a president," he said.

    Posted by Eric at 05:36 PM | Comments (0)

    Lieberman said conceding if winless Tues

    In other words, he's out by tonight. No Joementum in Delaware.

    Democrat Joe Lieberman, facing an uncertain showing in his must-win state of Delaware, was making contingency plans Tuesday to withdraw from the presidential race, according to sources close to the campaign.

    The campaign was making calls to close supporters asking them to be at the Hyatt Regency in Arlington, Va., Tuesday night at the postelection party. If Lieberman does not win at least one state -- and his best hope is Delaware -- he will make his concession speech there, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    He then would head home to Connecticut for a formal announcement in Hartford Wednesday. While campaign staff continued to insist that Lieberman was moving on to campaign in Virginia this week, others close to the senator confirmed they have been told about a tentative 3 p.m. event in Hartford on Wednesday.

    Posted by Eric at 03:53 PM | Comments (0)

    Lieberman said conceding if winless Tues

    In other words, he's out by tonight. No Joementum in Delaware.

    Democrat Joe Lieberman, facing an uncertain showing in his must-win state of Delaware, was making contingency plans Tuesday to withdraw from the presidential race, according to sources close to the campaign.

    The campaign was making calls to close supporters asking them to be at the Hyatt Regency in Arlington, Va., Tuesday night at the postelection party. If Lieberman does not win at least one state -- and his best hope is Delaware -- he will make his concession speech there, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    He then would head home to Connecticut for a formal announcement in Hartford Wednesday. While campaign staff continued to insist that Lieberman was moving on to campaign in Virginia this week, others close to the senator confirmed they have been told about a tentative 3 p.m. event in Hartford on Wednesday.

    Posted by Eric at 03:53 PM | Comments (0)

    Independent, Bipartisan Commission

    From the Center for American Progress:

    "I'm putting together an independent, bipartisan commission to analyze where we stand [on intelligence]."

    - President Bush, 2/2/04

    VERSUS

    "A senior Bush administration official said Monday that the president will name the members of the commission" himself. Because of this lack of independence, "[c]urrent and former U.S officials fear that Bush will try to limit the inquiry's scope to the CIA and other agencies and ignore the key role the Bush administration's own internal intelligence efforts played."

    - CNN, 2/3/04; AP, 2/3/04

    "independent" "bipartisan"

    Posted by Eric at 03:50 PM | Comments (0)

    Independent, Bipartisan Commission

    From the Center for American Progress:

    "I'm putting together an independent, bipartisan commission to analyze where we stand [on intelligence]."

    - President Bush, 2/2/04

    VERSUS

    "A senior Bush administration official said Monday that the president will name the members of the commission" himself. Because of this lack of independence, "[c]urrent and former U.S officials fear that Bush will try to limit the inquiry's scope to the CIA and other agencies and ignore the key role the Bush administration's own internal intelligence efforts played."

    - CNN, 2/3/04; AP, 2/3/04

    "independent" "bipartisan"

    Posted by Eric at 03:50 PM | Comments (0)

    Exit Polls

    According to the National Review's sources, these are the exit polls:

    AZ Kerry 46, Clark 24, Dean 13

    MO Kerry 52, Edwards 23, Dean 10

    SC Edwards 44, Kerry 30, Sharpton 10

    OK Edwards 31, Kerry 29, Clark 28

    DE Kerry 47, Dean 14, Lieberman 11, Edwards 11

    Again, from National Review. I haven't seen numbers posted anywhere else. If these numbers are true, and hold, it would seem a Kerry - Edwards positive, with Clark neg. Clark needs a win in OK.

    EDIT: PoliticalWire reports the same numbers as NR.

    Posted by Eric at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

    Exit Polls

    According to the National Review's sources, these are the exit polls:

    AZ Kerry 46, Clark 24, Dean 13

    MO Kerry 52, Edwards 23, Dean 10

    SC Edwards 44, Kerry 30, Sharpton 10

    OK Edwards 31, Kerry 29, Clark 28

    DE Kerry 47, Dean 14, Lieberman 11, Edwards 11

    Again, from National Review. I haven't seen numbers posted anywhere else. If these numbers are true, and hold, it would seem a Kerry - Edwards positive, with Clark neg. Clark needs a win in OK.

    EDIT: PoliticalWire reports the same numbers as NR.

    Posted by Eric at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

    GOP Operative Behind Sharpton?

    This is what the Village Voice claims in a new piece. VV writer Wayne Barrett raises questions about Sharpton's ties with GOP operate Roger Stone, "the longtime Republican dirty-tricks operative who led the mob that shut down the Miami-Dade County recount and helped make George W. Bush president in 2000":

    Though Stone and Sharpton have tried to reduce their alliance to a curiosity, suggesting that all they do is talk occasionally, a Voice investigation has documented an extraordinary array of connections. Stone played a pivotal role in putting together Sharpton's pending application for federal matching funds, getting dollars in critical states from family members and political allies at odds with everything Sharpton represents. He's also helped stack the campaign with a half-dozen incongruous top aides who've worked for him in prior campaigns. He's even boasted about engineering six-figure loans to Sharpton's Nati