September 30, 2004
Guardian. Blair avoids Iraq vote defeat
LAT. Iraq War Weighs Heavy on New Mexico's Voters
SFC. Outsourcing Bills Vetoed; Schwarzenegger nixes anti-outsourcing legislation, and signs ban on foie gras.
AP. Kerry calls Bush 'a clever debater,' says he will make his own policies clear
Bloomberg. Bush Leads Kerry by 5 Points in LA Times Poll Ahead of Debate
BBC. Kerry and Bush to go head-to-head
WP. Court Strikes Down Part of Patriot Act
WP. GOP Drops Work on Balanced Budget
WP. Assembling War Records a Challenge
WP. Baseball Coming Back to the District
NYT. Leaders Say Senate Can Act on 9/11 Bills Soon
NYT. Senate Opens Hearings on Lobbyists for Tribes
NYT. In Debate on Foreign Policy, Wide Gulf or Splitting Hairs?
Arizona Republic. Thousands turn out as concert drums up Kerry support
Plain-Dealer. Singing Out To Sway Voters
NewScientist. Russia set to approve climate change plan
CNN. Gaza fighting kills at least 22
Tom Barry. Is Iran Next? The Pentagon neocons who brought you the war in Iraq have a new target
Eric Reeves. Despairing for Darfur; Despite increasing coverage, the press has failed to impart the extent of the genocide
Michelle Goldberg. "Bush lied, my son died" In excruciating new TV ads, family members of soldiers killed in Iraq speak out about the horrible waste of their loved ones' lives
Eric Boehlert. Joe McCarthy lives; The Bush campaign's attacks on Democrats as "soft on terrorism" recall the dark arts of the demagogic senator. And once again, the press is playing along
Tim Grieve. Fact-checking Bush; Since the media has failed to call the president on his lies and flip-flops, Kerry must do the job in the debate
Michelle Goldberg. Marine declares war on Bush; Iraq war veteran Steve Brozak is running hard for Congress. And he's turning his campaign into a referendum on Bush's military folly
Richard A. Clarke. The Iran Threat
Madeleine K. Albright. Changing Direction
Test. Hype, Not Hope, From Big Pharma
Adam Tenner. CDC Lacks Youth Agenda
Jim Lobe. Americans Say No to Unilateralism
Anna Greenberg. The Security Mom Myth
“As far as the debate goes, I don't see how anybody could look at this debate and not score this a very clear win on points for John Kerry." Joe Scarborough, MSNBC's GOP analyst.
Smattering of blog opinions. Kos:
Was it me, or was Bush on the defensive the entire debate? He could lip-smack, smirk, roll his eyes, blink like crazy, and look angry all he wanted, fact is, he has screwed things up and he was livid that he had to account for his mess.Talk Left:
In fact, if I got anything from the debate, it was that regardless of how Iraq looks, he wasn't going to do anything to shift tactics. He had set his course, and nothing was going to change his decision.
Strange, given the backdrop of violence in Iraq. I suppose people have a clear choice. More of the same, or a fresh new approach to Iraq.
I thought Kerry Ace'd it. I thought Bush was a mess. His final scripted closing showed just how off he was during the actual debate. Bottom line: Kerry soared, Bush flailed around.From Pandagon:
The after-analysis on CNN is struggling to come up with something Bush did good, and all they can say is that he stayed on message. And Carlos Watson just compared Kerry admitted he made a mistake to Bush's relaying a personal story as moments of humility. Watson's analysis is horrible - Bush had "command of policies"...but he didn't. He mentioned countries, a few policies, but Kerry destroyed Bush on policy knowledge outright.From Nate Newman:
Greenfield just called the debate for Kerry, essentially. He said Kerry connected, he said conservative blogs thought Bush was on the defensive and he said he wanted to wait a few days to decide if Bush reassured. And the other guy (Carlos Watson, I think...?) said undecideds are now going to take another look at John Kerry.
Kerry won this. Thank God.
Bush just seems to keep repeating himself. And insisting that Kerry is flip-flopping when Kerry is saying completely reasonable explanations of his position-- Bush screwed up a war that Kerry would have supported if done right-- just undermines his whole argument.Paul Begala:
And yes, the eye rolling and smirking, angry mouth just makes him look like a pouty little boy.
Kerry's aggressiveness just seems to work well. He may get wonky at points, but compared to Bush's repetitiveness, it just makes Kerry look like he has a vision to deal with the complications of Iraq and the rest of the world.
And of course, Kerry doesn't even need to beat Bush point for point. He just needs to seem like a reasonable alternative as commander in chief. Polls consistently show people think the country's going in the wrong direction. If voters feel comfortable with Kerry, they can vote against Bush with the will that's out there.
Bottom line: Kerry looked more presidential than the president did. Perhaps Bush believes his own spinners. He seemed surprised and a bit befuddled to be confronted not by the weak, waffling, French-looking wimp he attacks on the stump. Instead, he saw a strong, confident leader, in command of both the facts and the debate itself. Bush spent most of the night on defense -- and you don't win on defense.
Bush is like a PAC-10 football team: He just doesn't play defense well.
KE: Mixed Messages
Mixed Messages on Winning the War on Terror
“Can’t Win The War On Terror” Asked “Can we win [the war on terror]?” Bush said, “I don’t think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the - those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.” [NBC, “The Today Show,” 8/30/04]
Mixed Messages on Osama Bin Laden
QUESTION: Do you want bin Laden dead?
BUSH: I want justice. And there’s an old poster out west, that I recall, that said, “Wanted, Dead or Alive.” [Bush Remarks, 9/17/01, emphasis added]
BUSH: “And [Osama Bin Laden is] just – he’s a person who has now been marginalized. His network is -- his host government has been destroyed. He’s the ultimate parasite who found weakness, exploited it, and met his match…So I don’t know where he is. Nor -- you know, I just don’t spend that much time on him really, to be honest with you. I…I truly am not that concerned about him.” [Bush Remarks, 3/13/02]
Mixed Messages on Protecting the Homeland
Bush Thought Homeland Security Cabinet Position Was "Just Not Necessary” And Blocked Its Creation. In October 2001, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said Bush opposed creating Office of Homeland Security position for Ridge. "[T]he president has suggested to members of Congress that they do not need to make this a statutory post, that he [Ridge] does not need Cabinet rank, for example, there does not need to be a Cabinet-level Office of Homeland Security is because there is such overlap among the various agencies, because every agency of the government has security concerns," Fleischer said. [White House Press Briefing, 10/24/01]
Bush's Top Ten FlipFlops
American Progress: What President Bush Will Say ... What You Should Know.
American Progress: What Questions Jim Lehrer Should Ask.
Bush Supporters Have No Clue
From PIPA, Bush supporters don't know Bush:
As the nation prepares to watch the presidential candidates debate foreign policy issues, a new PIPA-Knowledge Networks poll finds that Americans who plan to vote for President Bush have many incorrect assumptions about his foreign policy positions. Kerry supporters, on the other hand, are largely accurate in their assessments. The uncommitted also tend to misperceive Bush’s positions, though to a smaller extent than Bush supporters, and to perceive Kerry’s positions correctly. Steven Kull, director of PIPA, comments: “What is striking is that even after nearly four years President Bush’s foreign policy positions are so widely misread, while Senator Kerry, who is relatively new to the public and reputed to be unclear about his positions, is read correctly.”
Majorities of Bush supporters incorrectly assumed that Bush favors including labor and environmental standards in trade agreements (84%), and the US being part of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (69%), the International Criminal Court (66%), the treaty banning land mines (72%), and the Kyoto Treaty on global warming (51%). They were divided between those who knew that Bush favors building a new missile defense system now (44%) and those who incorrectly believe he wishes to do more research until its capabilities are proven (41%). However, majorities were correct that Bush favors increased defense spending (57%) and wants the US, not the UN, to take the stronger role in developing Iraq’s new government (70%).
Kerry supporters were much more accurate in assessing their candidate’s positions on all these issues. Majorities knew that Kerry favors including labor and environmental standards in trade agreements (90%); the US being part of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (77%); the International Criminal Court (59%); the land mines treaty (79%); and the Kyoto Treaty on climate change (74%). They also knew that he favors continuing research on missile defense without deploying a system now (68%), and wants the UN, not the US, to take the stronger role in developing Iraq’s new government (80%). A plurality of 43% was correct that Kerry favors keeping defense spending the same, with 35% assuming he wants to cut it and 18% to expand it.
MSNBC to Frank Luntz: You're Fired
Daily Kos with the story on GOP pollster Frank Luntz, who apparently won't be doing any more polls for MSNBC.
John Eisenhower: "Why I will vote for John Kerry for President"
In the NH The Union Leader, another Republican for Kerry:
As son of a Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, it is automatically expected by many that I am a Republican. For 50 years, through the election of 2000, I was. With the current administration’s decision to invade Iraq unilaterally, however, I changed my voter registration to independent, and barring some utterly unforeseen development, I intend to vote for the Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry.
The fact is that today’s “Republican” Party is one with which I am totally unfamiliar. To me, the word “Republican” has always been synonymous with the word “responsibility,” which has meant limiting our governmental obligations to those we can afford in human and financial terms. Today’s whopping budget deficit of some $440 billion does not meet that criterion.
Responsibility used to be observed in foreign affairs. That has meant respect for others. America, though recognized as the leader of the community of nations, has always acted as a part of it, not as a maverick separate from that community and at times insulting towards it. Leadership involves setting a direction and building consensus, not viewing other countries as practically devoid of significance. Recent developments indicate that the current Republican Party leadership has confused confident leadership with hubris and arrogance.
September 29, 2004
Guardian. Blair refuses to say sorry; Last minute changes water down admission over Iraq
AFP. Congresswoman demands probe of alleged coercion by US Army recruiters
AP. Nader Supporters Lose Supreme Court Appeal
AP. Activists Sue Over Calif. Forest Plan
AP. GAO: White House Violated Law on Medicare
AP. Edwards Appeals to Women on Terror Issue
AP. Kerry Must Win the 'Persuadable' Vote
Newsday. The hardest of lessons — again; For the third time, students and staff deal with the death of one of their graduates in the war against terror
AP. Two Sentenced to Death for Cole Bombing
WP. Justices to Hear Property Case
WP. House GOP Shifts on Intelligence Bill
WP. Sept. 11 Widow Joins Campaign
WP. Doubts Over Missile System - $100B interceptor network hasn't been subjected to realistic testing
NYT. White House Generally Backs Senate Intelligence Measure
NYT. With Oil Near $50 a Barrel, Gas Prices Start to Inch Up
NYT. Iraq Study Sees Rebels' Attacks as Widespread
NYT. Hurdles Remain for American Voters Who Live Overseas
Reuters. Campaign Puts Polling Methods Under Microscope
Reuters. Bush Disputes Charge of Favorable Treatment in Guard
Matt Kelemen. In League with Extraordinary Gentlemen - "Going Upriver," George Butler's documentary about John Kerry, tells the story of Kerry's two wars – Vietnam and the peace movement.
David Morris. There Is a Difference
Jared Bernstein. The Squeeze is On - The last three years have hurt the middle class -- no matter what the American Enterprise Institute or Slate might say
Michael T. Klare. Nonproliferation Politics
Eric Boehlert. Operation American Repression? An Army officer in Iraq who wrote a highly critical article on the administration's conduct of the war is being investigated for disloyalty -- if charged and convicted, he could get 20 years
Matthew Yglesias. Optimist Club - Some people want to fix things in Iraq. Bush sees only a flawless policy
Jeffrey Dubner. Put Up or Shut Up - It’s time for disgruntled conservatives to decide which is more important: their president or their principles
Mary Jacoby. The Cowardly Broadcasting System; CBS cravenly killed a "60 Minutes" segment about Bush's deceptive case for invading Iraq. What did it contain that was too much for voters to see?
Thomas F. Schaller. The NASCAR Debates; Sixteen questions the President would rather not answer in Miami
John W. Dean. The Next President Is Likely to Appoint At Least Three Supreme Court Justices
Will Durst. Cheater's proof; Florida deluge is God's wrath for election theft
Bill Berkowitz. Closing California; Two new anti-immigration initiatives intend to revive the state's highly divisive Proposition 187
Molly Ivins. The twilight zone of wonderland; When things get this weird, one metaphor just isn't enough
Josh Moskowitz. Iraq a catastrophic error, soldiers pay the price
Derrick Z. Jackson. Having it all in America
Robert Kuttner. Rethinking free trade
Harold Meyerson. How Republicans Define Security
NYT. Warnings on Warming
Al Gore. How to Debate George Bush
Daniel Ellsberg. Truths Worth Telling
George Soros. Why We Must Not Re-elect President Bush
Cheney Flipity Flopity
In an assessment that differs sharply with his view today, Dick Cheney more than a decade ago defended the decision to leave Saddam Hussein in power after the first Gulf War, telling a Seattle audience that capturing Saddam wouldn't be worth additional U.S. casualties or the risk of getting "bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq."Columnist Joel Connelly with more.
Cheney, who was secretary of defense at the time, made the observations answering audience questions after a speech to the Discovery Institute in August 1992, nearly 18 months after U.S. forces routed the Iraqi army and liberated Kuwait. ... "And the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth?" Cheney said then in response to a question.
"And the answer is not very damned many. So I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we'd achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq."
Howard Dean's Advice to John Kerry
From an NPR interview:
NPR.org, September 29, 2004 · Howard Dean says John Kerry is on the attack against President Bush -- exactly what the Democratic senator needs to do to get voters fired up about his campaign.Dean, by the way, has a new book (and who doesn't?).
"I think John Kerry's speeches over the past few weeks have been much tighter, much more pointed, much clearer, willing to take on the president and the president's obvious hypocrisy," the former presidential candidate tells NPR's Renee Montagne. "And I think that's what's necessary."
"I'm a different kind of politician than John Kerry -- no two politicians are ever the same," Dean says. "So it's true there was an enormous amount of passion in my campaign, but in the end politics is about policy. It can't just be about passion."
Hamster Numbers: NYT Corrections
Words the New York Times devoted last May to examining its own faulty reporting on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction : 3,082 [Harper's research ]
Words the Times devoted last year to "correcting the record" after an investigation of reporter Jayson Blair : 7,102 [Harper's research ]
Galluping to the Right
Ruy Teixeira, one of the better Democratic pollsters out there, on the Gallup controversy:
I'm sure many have heard about today's full-page ad, "Gallup-ing to the Right", in The New York Times (page 5!) by MoveOn.org questioning Gallup's methodology and numbers. But if you haven't actually seen the ad, by all means click on the link and take a look. I think it's a striking and effective ad.
The numbers in the ad, which are quite eye-opening, are rock-solid. The ad says Gallup's average LV lead for Bush this month has been 10 points, while the average of all other LV polls has been 4 (they're clearly referring to 3-way LV results--which are by far the most numerous LV results--based on other data in the ad). That's correct. Even taking into account data released since 9/26 (the end-date for the ad's analysis), Gallup this month has averaged a 10 point lead for Bush among LVs in 3-way trial heats, while the other 27 3-way LV trial heats taken this month have averaged a 4 point Bush lead.
Similarly, the ad says polls released since 9/12 (that is, two weeks before the end-date of the ad's analysis), excluding Gallup, have averaged a 3 point lead for Bush in 3-way LV trial heats. Correct again, even adding in polls released since 9/26. In the 17 3-way trial heats released since 9/12 by polling organizations whose names are not "Gallup", Bush is averaging just a 3 point lead.
Poll: Most Americans Believe Rather Made "Honest Mistake"
USA Today poll:
In the poll, 56% said that Rather and CBS had made an honest mistake — perhaps because of "carelessness in their fact-checking and reporting." Asked if CBS News should fire Rather, 64% said no.
The poll also found 55% of people think they can trust CBS News to report the news accurately; 41% said they can't. Asked about general media accuracy, 52% were positive, 47% negative.
Debate Drinking Game
Wonkette has a debate drinking game for your debate drinking game pleasure.
Oh, and check out Zell Miller pickup lines. My Zell Miller pickup line? "Little Zell Don't Smell." Actually, that's an awful pickup line.
Happy birthday to Talk Left. She recently went to a benefit concert for Colorado US Senate candidate Ken Salazar. A nice recap here.
Foxers Repeat Discredited Claims on Iraq-Al Qaeda link
Bush's Hometown Newspaper Endorses Kerry
Reuters: "The weekly Lone Star Iconoclast criticized Bush's handling of the war in Iraq and for turning budget surpluses into record deficits. The editorial also criticized Bush's proposals on Social Security and Medicare."
September 28, 2004
WP. Poll Shows Bush With Solid Lead Over Kerry; Despite Iraq concerns, voters find president a stronger leader; attacks erode Democrat's support
WP. Democrats Woo Undecideds in Mo.
WP. Foundation's Funds Diverted - Charity's spending benefits GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, not youths
AP. Lawmakers Want Paper Records of E-Ballots
AP. Bush, Kerry Pause to Trade Barbs on Iraq
Reuters. Daschle Faces Tough Test in Tight South Dakota Race
Reuters. Bush Mocks Kerry for 'Changing Positions' on Iraq
BG. Kerry says he would seek nations' input on Iraq
BG. Bush targets Kerry in Ohio
BG. Democrats rip House GOP proposal on intelligence
Seattle Times. U.S. tactics on re-upping challenged
NYDN. Carter senses another Florida vote mess
LAT. Bin Laden's Image Crops Up in Ads
LAT. Insurgents Are Mostly Iraqis, U.S. Military Says
LAT. Insurgents Keep Iraqi City on the Edge of Chaos
WP. New Ads Attack War Stances
WP. Once Bedrock GOP, N.H. Is in Play
NYT. Inquiry on Medicare Finds Improper Limits on Choices
NYT. Sikh Group Stands out In Homeland Security Field
NYT. F.B.I. Said to Lag on Translations of Terror Tapes
NYT. Kennedy Denounces Bush Policies
NYT. Supporters Get Incentive Plans at Bush Rallies
Pete Kotz. Country Club Swagger - It doesn't matter if you're left or right. Bush is an embarrassment to real men
Peter Kornbluh. Before Abu Ghraib… The United States has a long, sad history of sanctioning murder and torture.
Rahul Mahajan. The Bush Definition of Democracy
Susan Cooper Eastman. Did Fear of Flying End Bush's Air National Guard Career?
Michael Tomasky. Gimme an 'O'. . . Attacks work. And in the final weeks, Kerry should attack Bush on his biggest weakness of all
Mary Lynn F. Jones. No Rest for the Wicked: Karl Rove seems to think he can glide to victory; he may be shocked in November.
Christian Weller. Underlying Causes of Trade Deficit Cast Doubt on Future Improvements
Cynthia Tucker. The Cosby consensus; Bill Cosby's plain-spokenness comes not a moment too soon
John Nichols. Debate Halliburton
Howard Dean. The Myth of Corporate Accountability
Thomas Oliphant. Third party could tilt Nevada to Kerry
Barney Frank. A Social Security swindle
LAT. How Dare Kerry Speak Up
Robert Scheer. The Dangers of a 'What the Heck' Vote
Yusuf Islam. Something Bad Has Begun; The former Cat Stevens says he hasn't changed but the U.S. has
Jimmy Carter. Still Seeking a Fair Florida Vote
Marie Cocco. Style, not substance, rules debates
Helen Thomas. Saying U.N. backed war doesn't make it so
E. J. Dionne Jr. How to Win the Heartland
Krugman. Swagger vs. Substance
NYT. Barriers to Student Voting
Robert L. Borosage. Keep the Promise to Our Children
Katha Pollitt. Fox Hunts Student Voters
Chris Floyd. Global Eye: Blurred Vision
Name the October Surprise
What will the Bush campaign pull out of its hat? Guess here, with prizes.
Kos in the Guardian
"In the first of his weekly columns for Guardian Unlimited, Markos Moulitsas tells how US liberals have fought back against rightwing domination of the media since their 'goring' in 2000." UK Guardian.
Lie of the Day
Rhetoric: “Alan Greenspan recently reminded us that when the government gets bigger, it is very, very hard to bring back down to size. And now spending usually costs more in the future than we ever expected. This is what would happen under my opponent’s plan. In four short years, he would leave obligations that would haunt our children for generations to come.” [Source: Governor Bush’s remarks in Green Bay, WI, 9/28/00]
Bush’s runaway spending and tax cutting will cost every household $2,900 by 2012. “Sustained budget deficits have deleterious consequences. Under assumptions reported by President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, the deterioration in the budget outlook since January 2001 will, by 2012, raise interest rates by 125 basis points, reduce annual national income by $340 billion (more than $2,900 per household), and increase U.S. indebtedness to foreign investors. The adverse effects would persist (and grow) over time.” [Source: Brookings Institution, 1/29/04]
Blair Offers Semi-Apology
Tony Blair offered his Labour party on Tuesday a partial apology for waging war in Iraq -- a desperate attempt to pull supporters back behind him ahead of an election next year.
But as two more British soldiers died in Iraq and a hostage remained under threat of death, his hopes of drawing a line under two years that has wrecked his public trust ratings are far from secure.
"The evidence about Saddam having actual biological and chemical weapons ... has turned out to be wrong," Blair said, his nearest yet to a mea culpa.
"The problem is, I can apologize for the information that turned out to be wrong but I can't, sincerely at least, apologize for removing Saddam," he said. "The world is a better place with Saddam in prison not in power."
Blair's speech was interrupted twice by protesters, one yelling that the premier "had blood on his hands," others opposing a planned ban on fox-hunting.
Military Suffering Under Bush
More evidence, this time with troop reporting; USA Today:
Fewer than two-thirds of the former soldiers being reactivated for duty in Iraq and elsewhere have reported on time, prompting the Army to threaten some with punishment for desertion.
The former soldiers, part of what is known as the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), are being recalled to fill shortages in skills needed for the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Of the 1,662 ready reservists ordered to report to Fort Jackson, S.C., by Sept. 22, only 1,038 had done so, the Army said Monday. About 500 of those who failed to report have requested exemptions on health or personal grounds.
"The numbers did not look good," said Lt. Col. Burton Masters, a spokesman for the Army's Human Resources Command. "We are tightening the system, reaching the people and bringing them in."
The Least Likely
Asian Americans are the least likely to vote. PSA Trailer.
Rove Turning Tricks
Joshua Green in the new Atlantic Monthly.
Carson Leads in OK
A Democratic pickup in Oklahoma looks even closer, according to a new poll:
Democrat Brad Carson holds a slim lead over Republican Tom Coburn in the hotly contested race for the U.S. Senate, according to a new poll.
The poll, commissioned by The Oklahoman and conducted by Wilson Research Strategies, showed Carson ahead of Coburn by 5 percentage points. The poll's margin of error was 4.5 percent, making Carson's lead greater than the margin for error.
"I think our message is getting out," Carson spokesman Brad Luna said. "I think people are beginning to really start to listen to the race and take hold of the message."
Last month, Coburn had a 9-point lead over Carson in a poll conducted by the Virginia-based company. Coburn's camp expects to regain that lead by the Nov. 2 election.
Comedy Central to O'Reilly: We're Not "stoned slackers"
And, apparently, they have proof; AP:
Viewers of Jon Stewart's show are more likely to have completed four years of college than people who watch "The O'Reilly Factor," according to Nielsen Media Research.Previously: Jon Stewart on O'Reilly
O'Reilly's teasing came when Stewart appeared on his show earlier this month.
"You know what's really frightening?" O'Reilly said. "You actually have an influence on this presidential election. That is scary, but it's true. You've got stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night and they can vote."
Comedy Central executives realized, and O'Reilly acknowledged, that he was poking fun. But they said they didn't want a misconception to persist.
"If the head of General Motors was watching O'Reilly's show, that could be very important to us," said Doug Herzog, Comedy Central president. ... Relax, said Fox News Channel spokesman Rob Zimmerman.
"Comedy Central must have lost their sense of humor," Zimmerman said. "Without Jon Stewart, Comedy Central would turn into the Great American Country Channel."
Comedy Central also touted a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey, which said young viewers of "The Daily Show" were more likely to answer questions about politics correctly than those who don't.
Bush Makes Out with Pam Anderson
Well ... sorta. See Post picture.
Conan to Replace Leno in 2009
With Conan being one of my personal favorites, this comes as welcome news (Conan's wanted the 11:30 slot for a while). Of course, one wonders whether or not the tone of Conan's show will be watered down when he makes the move to a earlier time (will the masturbating bear go over well at 11:30?). Good comedians know how to adapt to their audience, so I don't anticipate that much of a problem. NYT:
Mr. O'Brien, the host of NBC's "Late Night'' for more than a decade, signed a new contract early yesterday morning at NBC's headquarters in Rockefeller Center. The deal guarantees Mr. O'Brien will serve at least two years as host of "Tonight," still the leading show in late-night television, when he takes over from Mr. Leno at a yet-to-be-determined date in 2009.Another question is who will replace Conan. The obvious choice is Jon Stewart who (like Craig Kilborn) likely doesn't want to stay on Comedy Central forever.
NBC made the news official in a news release yesterday afternoon, after it had been announced to the staffs of both shows early in the morning. Mr. Leno planned to tell his own television audience last night of the decision on his program, already billed as a special edition because it is the official 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of "Tonight,'' with Steve Allen as host. Mr. O'Brien will become the fifth host in the show's history.
Because of a desire to allow Mr. Leno the first public comment on the decision, the hosts and NBC executives declined on-the-record interviews yesterday. But several people involved in the negotiations said they had been conducted in an amicable fashion, even though Mr. O'Brien has been surprised and disappointed earlier this year when NBC announced it had signed Mr. Leno to a five-year extension.
Sulu Doesn't Want Bush
For all you Star Trek fans, on the lighter side of politics ... NYDN:
Add "Star Trek" cast member George Takei, who played navigator Sulu in the classic television series, to the folks who want to see President Bush replaced. "Bush is responsible for the needless deaths of so many young men and women," Takei says in the upcoming Steppin' Out magazine. "I don't usually agree with Howard Stern's opinions ... but when it comes to the direction of the country, we're on the same page." Takei, who grew up during World War II in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, likens today's heightened security to the conditions of that era: "You never get over being detained in a internment camp. It stays with you for life. ... I can relate to how Arab-Americans must feel."
Carville Defends Kerry Involvement
The Democratic strategist on CNN's "Reliable Sources" :
CARVILLE: I don't care. I like being -- it is all -- the silliness of it. My wife worked at "CROSSFIRE" in 2000, with way more involvement with the Bush 2000 campaign than I was in the Kerry campaign. Dennis Miller goes out and campaigns for Bush. He has a show all to himself. Same thing with Joe Scarborough. Newt Gingrich serves as an adviser to the Pentagon, and is a commentator for Fox News, and comments on defense issues. Roger Ailes writes a memo giving political advice to President Bush.
What all this is is -- and I kind of enjoy it -- is just a pack of silliness. At the end of every "CROSSFIRE," I say, "from the left." And they're out there, all out of breath and they say, "James Carville is a Democrat." "The New York Times" runs a picture of me -- they caught me at the Democratic Convention.
CARVILLE: I'll tell you, they might win the Pulitzer Prize for getting a picture of me at the Democratic Convention.
KURTZ: I don't think that CNBC should let Dennis Miller be a talk show host and at the same time appear at Bush events. But he's a comedian. You like to be taken seriously.
CARVILLE: I don't care if I'm taken seriously or not. I'd rather be taken as a comedian. You know what, I take what I do seriously. No one will ever accuse James Carville of taking himself seriously. But at any rate, there is nobody -- I'm going to vote for John Kerry, I am going to do everything I can. I'll do whatever I can. I support John Kerry. I want him to be president. Campaigns call me all the time. If they call me, I'll call them back. I don't have any -- that's just as simple as it can be. It is no different. George Will was a commentator, and he was helping President Reagan on debate prep.
How is the UN Any Different from the KKK?
Wonders one right-wing radio host at WABC (liberal media), notes Media Matters:
On the September 23 broadcast of the Mark Levin Show on WABC radio, host and Landmark Legal Foundation president Mark R. Levin likened the United Nations to the Ku Klux Klan. While discussing Senator John Kerry's proposals for the war in Iraq, a caller expressed his disgust for "Kerry's sensitivity to that international house of money launderers on the east side of Manhattan," referring to the United Nations.
Levin responded to the caller as follows:
I have a simple question for John Kerry. How can he support an organization that anti-Semitic? I would like to know how the U.N., given the make-up of the august body, is any different than the KKK or all the rest of it. They've got people in that U.N. that are torturers, mass-murderers, anti-Semites, anti-Americans, anti-freedom, and we're supposed to keep conferring our decisions to them. Why?
Levin is not the first right-wing media personality to smear the United Nations. As Media Matters for America previously noted, following President George W. Bush's September 21 speech at the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, radio host Rush Limbaugh described the U.N. General Assembly as "thugs and dictators" and claimed that they "don't condemn it [terrorism] because they wish to reserve it as an option should they need it."
September 27, 2004
Bush Proud of 'Mission Accomplished' Sign
From the NYDN:
President Bush says he has no regrets about standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier with the sign that declared "Mission Accomplished" 17 months ago.
"You bet I'd do it again," Bush tells Fox News' Bill O'Reilly in an interview that airs tonight on the cable network.
Bush said he was honoring the military campaign that ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. "I flew out there and said thanks. Thanks, on behalf of a grateful nation," Bush said.
But his opponent, Democrat John Kerry, said it's "unbelievable" that Bush would still make that speech. "I'll get the mission accomplished," he said at a rally in Wisconsin.
Of interest, from Sue Trowbridge:
Al Franken - Th, 9/30, Leno
Bill O'Reilly - Tu 10/5, Letterman
Dennis Miller - Tu 10/5, Leno
Laura Bush - Wed 10/6, Leno
Al Franken, Keith Olbermann - We 9/29, Carson
Al Sharpton - Tu 10/5, Carson
Bill Maher - Th 10/7, Carson
THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART, Comedy Central
Mo 9/27: Rosie Perez
Tu 9/28: Ralph Reed
We 9/29: Seymour Hersh
Th 9/30: TBA
Mo 10/4: Bishop Desmond Tutu
Tu 10/5: Billy Bob Thornton
We 10/6: Bob Schieffer
Th 10/7: Bill O'Reilly
"Bush bragged that more Iraqis say their country is on the right track than American say our country is on the right track. Boy, there’s a campaign slogan for you -- 'America: More F*cked Up Than Fallujah!'" Bill Maher
"Oh, so Iraqis are more optimistic about their country than Americans are about ours? I don't think that helps you." Jon Stewart
"President Bush says he's very excited about Cat Stevens. He says that we are winning the war on singer/song writers." David Letterman
"We begin tonight with a simple, indisputable fact: as a young man, President George W. Bush benefited from family connections to get a place in the Texas Air National Guard, thus avoiding service in Vietnam. As you would guess, this has led to calls for the resignation of Dan Rather." Jon Stewart
"A Bush administration official told Congress yesterday that the war in Iraq could cost 60 billion dollars. Yeah, President Bush said he plans to pay for it with a video series called, 'Prison Guards Gone Wild.'" Conan O'Brien
"President Bush spoke to the United Nations. A little later John Kerry spoke at a live press conference that was seen around the world. And then Ralph Nader spoke to some people who were having lunch next to him at the International House of Pancakes." Jay Leno
ESPN. This is SportsCenter Video Archive.
Victor Littlebear. The Bushiad.
funny.ansme.com. Build a Better Bush.
Click down for comics
Rolling Stone: Rockin' Rebels
The Rolling Stone cover story on Voices for Change; RS interviews a bunch of artists, including Chuck D, Adam Levin (Maroon 5), Dave Matthews, Natalie Maines, and Alicia Keyes. Here's Ryan Key of Yellowcard
I voted for Bush in 2000. I was fresh out of high school. That's the way my parents were voting, so I just voted that way. If I could take it back, I would. Our president has pulled a blanket of fear over the country. He told us he had reasons to go to war, but where are the good-old weapons of mass destruction?And here's the Bruce interview.
I've met so many people whose loved ones have died in Iraq. A woman named Cindy, whose husband was shot down in his F-18, came backstage at one of our concerts and collapsed in tears - she was hysterical with grief. She gave me her husband's picture. We talked about the election and how upset we were that her husband had to be where he was in the first place. That finalized it for me. If people who look to the commander in chief for support and wisdom don't trust him, it's time for a new one. That's all there is to it.
Aint It Cool News on John Kerry Doc
I'm not sure if Harry Knowles has a political orientation (I never perceived one, though I don't read his site on a daily basis, so I could be wrong) but this is a pretty good summary / review of the film from the guy who's considered one of the more knowledgable film guys on the net (bold letters my emphasis):
When I received the tape of GOING UPRIVER: THE LONG WAR OF JOHN KERRY, I wasn’t really certain what to make of it. I assumed it would begin with his early life, take me through his Vietnam experiences, the protest movement against that war and finally his political life as a Senator. I figured, this would be a campaign film.Here's the website for the film.
Instead, what director GEORGE BUTLER has made is a fascinating documentary about a transformation in a man caught by the Kennedy dream of “ask what you can do for your country,” signed up to fight the communists in Vietnam, began to see the truth of that war and felt that his duty to his country and fellow soldiers was to try and help end the war. Basically – that’s what this documentary is about.
The Vietnam part of the documentary is frankly pretty brutal. It lays out what the mission of the Swift Boats in Vietnam were. There’s testimony by those that recommended Kerry for medals at the time he earned them. Men, who claim he saved their lives, including one while Kerry was in fact wounded. Whether or not these events happened exactly as these men claimed they happened is surely up for debate these days, every bit as much as the idea that the sky is falling these days… but it sure seems that people that would probably know best what John Kerry did on his swift boat in Vietnam… well, I’d like to think it would be the men that were actually on his swift boat… or the man he pulled out of the river while he himself was wounded. But frankly – this isn’t the stuff that impressed me in the documentary.
Instead, what I found absolutely captivating was what John Kerry did when he came back to the United States. The footage of John’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is incredibly powerful. I’ve seen blurry photos of John testifying used in Anti-Kerry ads, but muted of course. As if to lump him in with the foul mouth protests of them there hippies. Instead, his testimony is one of the most eloquent and dignified statements I’ve seen from a Senate testimony. Throughout his time shown at this period of his life, he is shown to be the moderate steady hand that lead the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). He wasn’t speaking out against the soldiers, but in fact FOR THE SOLDIERS. To put an end to the war. His statement about Nixon not wanting to be the first U.S. President to lose a war, in comparison to having to ask how one can ask a soldier to be the last man to die for a mistake… well, that’s powerful.
September 26, 2004
More Fear Politics
More of what ails the country; WPost:
The attack ad, picturing some of the world's most notorious terrorists, says: "These people want to kill us. They killed hundreds of innocent children in Russia, 200 innocent commuters in Spain and 3,000 innocent Americans.
"John Kerry has a 30-year record of supporting cuts in defense and intelligence and endlessly changing positions in Iraq. Would you trust Kerry against the fanatic killers? President Bush didn't start this war, but he will finish it."
While Kerry has voted for some military cutbacks as a senator, his campaign says he has supported $4.4 trillion in defense spending since 1985, including a sizable increase in 2002.
Progress for America, which is represented by the former Bush campaign lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, has raised at least $14 million. More than two-thirds of it has come from two Californians, Alex Spanos and Dawn Arnall, who are major Bush and GOP fundraisers. Singer said the group is clearly "linked" to Bush. Last week, the fund ran a mocking ad of Kerry windsurfing that was similar to a Bush campaign spot.
Sunday Sports Blogging
Papers Debate 'Boondocks' Strips
Several refused to print all of last week's Aaron McGruder comics. From E&P:
The series of daily strips this week imagines a new reality TV show hosted by rap impressario Russell Simmons, called "Can a N***a Get a Job?", with the missing letters pretty easy to discern. It includes panels showing a woman who would rather sleep than apply for a job, a knife fight between two women and a black man smoking marijuana in a board room, in a takeoff on "The Apprentice."Regardless, if you wanted to read those comics, they're here.
Among the papers refusing to run the strip this week are The Washington Post, New York Daily News and Newsday. The Daily News published notices reading, "Boondocks is on vacation and will return on September 27."
A humor columnist for The Washington Post blasted that paper's "pathetically weak and wrong decision" on the comic.
Universal Press Syndicate gave papers a choice of running the strip with the three symbols in the middle of the "N" word, or with symbols for all five letters in the word, or re-running an old strip. The most severely edited version also deletes the knives from the knife fight. This is the version carried by the Los Angeles Times.
Kathie Kerr, director of communications at Universal Press Syndicate, told E&P that at least four papers killed this week's strip entirely. She said that McGruder had not commented, adding that he is "kind of his own wild child" and that this is "not the first time" the "N" word had been used in the strip.
The Bible Will Be Banned
Liberals and their book banning ways.
Did You Know ...
Donald Rumsfeld co-owns a New Mexico ranch with .... Dan Rather?
September 24, 2004
Bill O'Reilly Distorts Facts to Help Bush
Geez, why would an independent journalist do that?
Rather's Ratings Drop
From Broadcasting & Cable:
Three days may not yet be a trend, but Dan Rather's overnight Nielsen Media Research ratings have slipped each day since Sept. 20.
That was the day when Rather and CBS conceded the documents it used in a story on President George W. Bush's National Guard Service might be forgeries.
The CBS Evening News, which was in third-place among the newscasts already, averaged a 5.1 rating/10 share in weighted metered market averages on Monday, even with its previous week's average, when CBS was still standing behind the story. Tuesday, the average dropped to a 4.7/9, then slipped to a 4.6/9 on Wednesday, a 10% drop over the three days.
Army Guard Facing Drop in Recruitment
Gee, wonder why:
The Army National Guard will fall short of its recruiting goal this year, in part because fewer active-duty soldiers are opting to switch to part-time service, the Guard's top general said Thursday.
It will be the first time since 1994 that the Guard has missed its sign-up goal.
Army Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said in an interview at his Pentagon office that the shortfall for the budget year ending Sept. 30 is likely to be about 5,000 soldiers. That is a little more than 1% of the total Army Guard force of 350,000.
Newt's Sister Campaigns for Democrats
From the Morning Sentinel in Maine:
Candace Gingrich, half-sister to former U.S. House speaker and conservative icon Newt Gingrich, came Wednesday to Colby College, attempting to convince young Mainers to vote in upcoming elections -- and vote for two Democrats: John Kerry and U.S. Congressman Michael Michaud.
"I'm stumping to fire George Bush," she said.
Gingrich, 38, is an activist for gay and lesbian causes. Working as a youth outreach co-ordinator for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay political organization, Gingrich arrived in Waterville as part of a multi-state tour taking her to battleground states in the presidential contest or states with Congressional races the HRC sees as key ... Her opposition to the Bush administration centers largely on what she sees as Bush's overall hostility toward gays and lesbians, especially his push for a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriages. She is not mollified by comments from Vice President Dick Cheney that suggested he disagrees with the president's amendment stance.
"Anyone who uses the constitution as a political tool," Gingrich said, "and who supports the enshrinement of discrimination in that document isn't worthy of being my president."
September 23, 2004
Newsweek. The Gas Miser: Toyota's new hybrid may just be the biggest thing in cars since the combustion engine
AP. US Urges Changes in Watch List Rules
AP. Kerry Says Bush's 'Blunder; Kerry Tells AP That Bush's 'Blunders' on Progress in Iraq Show President Is Avoiding Reality
AP. Bush Team Orchestrates Larger Ad Campaign
AP. Bush Hopes Allawi Can Reassure U.S. Voters
AP. U.S. Rules Out Iraq Women Prisoner Release
Reuters. Cat Stevens Calls U.S. Deportation 'Ridiculous'
Reuters. Kerry: Bush's Iraq, Domestic Policies 'Guesswork'
Reuters. Hurricane Impact Drives Up Jobless Claims
LAT. Iraq, U.S. Differ on Prisoner Release
LAT. Cal Voters Stay in Kerry's Corner
LAT. U.S. Hand Seen in Afghan Election
WP. GOP Rallies to DeLay After Charges
WP. Bush, Kerry Plan Debate Workouts
WP. Security Delays Green Cards
NYT. Deal in Congress to Keep Tax Cuts, Widening Deficit
NYT. U.S. to Free 'Enemy Combatant,' Bowing to Supreme Court Ruling
NYT. Politicians Go Courting on Indian Reservations
NYT. Senate Confirms Goss as Intelligence Chief
Jason DeParle. Welfare to What?
Michael Scherer. Dealing with the Merchant of Death
Chris Wells. State should lead oceans restoration
Marie Cocco. Bush's pep talk fails to rally the UN
David Corn. The Resurrection: John Kerry comes to life on Iraq
Anne-Marie Cusac. Bullies at the Voting Booth
Geov Parrish. President Peter Pan
Joe Conason. Republican Senators tell unpleasant truths
Marc Cooper. Voting in the Void? Ronnie Dugger warns about the growing use of electonic voting machines
Arianna Huffington. The nation's future also depends on the outcome of three Senate races, which the Democrats could sweep
Sidney Blumenthal. Like a bubble boy, Bush lives in a world immune from the realities of Iraq
Phillip Robertson. Hell: Salon's war correspondent on the Iraq inferno
Robert B. Reich. Deficient Deficit Debate; We need a debate on deficits, not party dogma.
Lawrence Mishel. Schoolhouse Schlock; Conservatives hold research on charter schools to a new, low standard
Sandip Roy. Swing State Envy
Ruy Teixeira. Decoding the National Polls
Robert Cole. The Disease of Right-wing Framing
Another Consequence of the CBS Screwup: Niger Story Bump
Not so stellar major, yo: good journalism bumped for bad journalism:
In its rush to air its now discredited story about President George W. Bush’s National Guard service, CBS bumped another sensitive piece slated for the same “60 Minutes” broadcast: a half-hour segment about how the U.S. government was snookered by forged documents purporting to show Iraqi efforts to purchase uranium from Niger.Here's Joshua Micah Marshall in the story:
The journalistic juggling at CBS provides an ironic counterpoint to the furor over apparently bogus documents involving Bush’s National Guard service. One unexpected consequence of the network’s decision was to wipe out a chance—at least for the moment—for greater public scrutiny of a more consequential forgery that played a role in building the Bush administration’s case to invade Iraq.
A team of “60 Minutes” correspondents and consulting reporters spent more than six months investigating the Niger uranium documents fraud, CBS sources tell NEWSWEEK. The group landed the first ever on-camera interview with Elisabetta Burba, the Italian journalist who first obtained the phony documents, as well as her elusive source, Rocco Martino, a mysterious Roman businessman with longstanding ties to European intelligence agencies.
Although the edited piece never ended up identifying Martino by name, the story, narrated by “60 Minutes” correspondent Ed Bradley, asked tough questions about how the White House came to embrace the fraudulent documents and why administration officials chose to include a 16-word reference to the questionable uranium purchase in President Bush’s 2003 State of the Union speech.
But just hours before the piece was set to air on the evening of Sept. 8, the reporters and producers on the CBS team were stunned to learn the story was being scrapped to make room for a seemingly sensational story about new documents showing that Bush ignored a direct order to take a flight physical while serving in the National Guard more than 30 years ago.
"This is like living in a Kafka novel. Here we had a very important, well-reported story about forged documents that helped lead the country to war. And then it gets bumped by another story that relied on forged documents."
Watch Out for Hurricane Jeb
From the always useful Progress Report:
Those nerds at CAP have even more on the min wage.
With Floridians still recovering from the economic destruction caused by hurricanes Charlie, Frances and Ivan, Jeb Bush and his corporate allies are determined to make matters even worse for low-income Floridians. Jeb and his big business supporters are working to defeat a November ballot initiative that would raise the minimum wage in Florida by one dollar, to $6.15 an hour for most employees. If the measure passes, the Florida minimum wage would have a yearly cost-of-living adjustment equal to the inflation rate to ensure that the value of the minimum wage does not erode over time. The front group created by corporations to fight the initiative claims that the modest increase in the minimum wage "would cost businesses billions, lead employers to cut benefits and slow job growth in Florida." The proof? They polled themselves as to what they thought the impact would be. Real economic analysis, released yesterday by the Center for American Progress and the Political Economy Research Institute, demonstrates that the minimum wage increase would significantly benefit low-income Floridians and have a negligible impact on the state's business community. For more information on the effort to pass the initiative, check out Floridians for All.
Bush Admin's Nuclear Weapons Policies: Failing America
The Bush administration has squandered a historic opportunity to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. security strategy, according to a report released today by the nuclear program at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). Instead, the administration has pursued programs to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons, and committed billions of dollars to upgrade the arsenal and refine nuclear strike plans against countries that were not targets during the Cold War. The result: Progress in curbing nuclear weapons proliferation has slowed to a crawl, and the federal government is wasting resources that could be better used to address the more pressing threat of terrorism. (See the report, Nuclear Insecurity.)
"The fervor with which this administration continues its commitment to nuclear weapons as a vital component of global U.S. military superiority confers unwarranted legitimacy on the role of nuclear weapons in international relations, and encourages other countries to value them as well," said Dr. Robert S. Norris of NRDC's nuclear program. "The double standard evident in the administration's nuclear policies -- 'Do what I say, not what I do' -- makes a mockery of U.S. efforts to lead a campaign to stop nuclear proliferation." Norris added that the report is especially timely because Congress now has the opportunity to cut funding for the administration's "misguided" policies and initiatives in the energy and water development appropriations bills.
On "Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry"
Atrio has a nice post on the new John Kerry movie.
You can also order the movie based on W's life.
Of course, no one honestly believes Clinton will be up for sainthood anytime soon (or do they ...), but how can you not enjoy the silly reaction to this.
New Book: "When Presidents Lie"
The Nation columnist Eric Alterman has a new book out: When Presidents Lie.
Here's the book description:
Lying has become pervasive in American life—but what happens when the falsehoods are perpetrated by the Oval Office? As the lies told by our government become more and more intricate, they begin to weave a tapestry of deception that creates problems far larger than those lied about in the first place.
Eric Alterman’s When Presidents Lie is a compelling historical examination of four specific post-World War II presidential lies whose consequences were greater than could ever have been predicted. FDR told the American people that peace was secure in Europe, setting the stage for McCarthyism and the cold war. John F. Kennedy’s unyielding stance during the Cuban missile crisis masked his secret deal with the Soviet Union. Misrepresented aggression at the Gulf of Tonkin by the North Vietnamese gave LBJ the power to start a war. Finally, Ronald Reagan’s Central American wars ended in the ignominy of the Iran-contra scandal.
In light of George W. Bush’s war in Iraq, which Alterman examines in the book’s conclusion, When Presidents Lie is a warning—one more relevant today than ever before—that the only way to prevent these lies is America’s collective demand for truth.
But again, the book is from Eric Alterman. Isn't that all you need to know? Buy it today.
More Bush Administration Anti-Gay Action
This time on social security:
The Social Security Administration is trying to remove language from the agency's labor contract that protects its employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The change would make it legal for gay and lesbian employees in the Bush administration to be discriminated against, or even fired, by their employers.
The contract language at issue was added in 2000 in response to an executive order by President Clinton establishing a uniform policy protecting federal employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
"I call on President Bush to intercede and protect the hard-working employees of the Social Security Administration," said Terry McAuliffe, Democratic National Committee chairman. "Unfortunately, if Bush's record of divisive politics is any indicator, he will ignore this problem and fail us once again. If Bush's appointees within the SSA are successful in removing this protection, then other agencies are sure to follow, and gay and lesbian Americans would have no legal recourse to fight against wrongful discrimination."
LA Weekly: "David Dreier and his straight hypocrisy"
Should someone be outed? Doug Ireland in LA Weekly says David Dreier should be:
The latest target of a Capitol Hill outing campaign — designed to expose closeted homosexual Republicans who oppose civil rights for gay people — is San Gabriel Valley Congressman David Dreier.
The powerful 12-term congressman — chairman of the House Rules Committee, chairman of the California Republican House delegation, co-chairman of Californians for Bush, chairman of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s transition team — is in the cross hairs of Mike Rogers and his Blogactive.com Web site, whose outing campaign has already forced one GOP congressman out of politics. Representative Ed Schrock, a reactionary from Virginia, ended his re-election campaign last month after Rogers put on his Web site an audiotape of Schrock trolling for tricks on a gay chat line ... I have always taken the view that outing a gay person should be approached with caution, and that in doing so one should strictly adhere to the Barney Frank Rule. As articulated by the openly gay Massachusetts congressman during another anti-gay GOP witch-hunt over a decade ago, when Frank threatened to out a number of gay-baiting Republican fellow congressmen, the rule insists that outing is only acceptable when a person uses their power or notoriety to hurt gay people.
Dreier clearly meets that standard, for his voting record is strewn with anti-gay positions. To cite just a few: He voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would have banned discrimination against gay people in hiring; voted for the gay-bashing Defense of Marriage Act; voted for banning adoption by gay and lesbian couples in the District of Columbia (3,000 miles away from Dreier’s district); voted to allow federally funded charities to discriminate against gays in employment, even where local laws prohibit such bias; and voted against the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Dreier is not just a political homophobe but a heartless AIDS-phobe as well, voting against the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program designed to give shelter to the impoverished sick, and against funding for the federal ADAP program that furnishes the poor with the AIDS meds they need to stay alive.
The Prius a Hit
The environmentally friendly car has been a hit for Toyota, reports Newsweek, and could impact the car industry:
Since October, Toyota has had to increase production of the Prius three times, most dramatically in August when it announced a 50 percent boost for next year to 15,000 vehicles a month worldwide. That's a fraction of its Corolla output, but enough to raise serious questions about whether Toyota innovations are once again leading a major revolution in the American market. While the automaker plans to send most of the new production run to the United States, there are still 22,000 customers on waiting lists for the car. "We didn't know how the consumers would react to this technology," says Don Esmond, a senior vice president and general manager at Toyota. "They've voted for it, they've voted with their dollars."
To be sure, the hybrid phenomenon is still only a ripple in the pool of American gas guzzlers. The highest estimates for the United States predict annual sales of 500,000 hybrid cars by 2009—about 3 percent of the 16.7 million car market. Analysts think that the price of fuel would have to hit $3 a gallon to see bigger sales sooner. Yet already the Prius is the first significant departure from the combustion engine to make any major inroads in the auto industry since Henry Ford invented the Model T in 1908. And major carmakers have learned never to ignore the ambitions of Toyota, arguably the best-run big automobile company in the world, with a reported stock-market value of $107 billion, almost four times more than GM or Ford. "For Toyota," says prominent Japanese car critic and environmental-technology specialist Tadashi Tateuchi, the hybrid car "may well be the key to world domination."
September 22, 2004
Zogby. Race for President Falls Back into Dead Heat, New Zogby Interactive Presidential Battleground Poll Reveals
WP. White House Links Memos, Kerry Camp
WP. Kerry Says Bush Lacks Credibility
WP. Prison report criticizes Indian Affairs bureau
Reuters. Singer Cat Stevens Denied U.S. Entry, Flight Diverted
ChicST. Kerry says Bush trying to shift topic
LAT. The News Keeps Getting Worse for Embarrassed CBS
LAT. Texans at Odds Over Bush Reforms
LAT. Bush, Annan Speeches Show Divisions on Iraq
AP. Bush Mixing Diplomacy and Campaigning
AP. Bush, Annan Spar Over Iraq War at U.N.
AP. Iraq Turns Over Decapitated Corpse to U.S.
Reuters. Iran Calls on World to Recognize Its Atomic Rights
Reuters. Nader Blames Kerry for Ballot Access Fight
Reuters. Iraq May Free Woman Prisoner, Briton Under Threat
BG. In Florida stop, Kerry hammers Bush on health care policy
BG. Kerry looks to clarify stance, views on Iraq
BG. At UN, Bush defends war
NYT. Kerry in a Struggle for a Democratic Base: Women
NYT. U.S. Seeks Cuts in Housing Aid to Urban Poor
NYT. Iraqi Officials Say Prisoner Will Be Freed
NYT. 3 DeLay Aides Facing Charges in Fund-Raising
Bernie Sanders. Time to Commit
Dallas Observer. The Right's Stuff; A Texas-based band of conservative warriors tackles the left on its own turf--the street
Harold Meyerson. Blocking the Latino Ballot? (
Seattle PI. Kerry finds his voice; Sen. John Kerry has begun to dish out the straight talk Americans deserve about Iraq. Finally
Seattle PI. War is peace
Newsday. CBS error makes all journalists look bad
Dan Plesch. The case for impeachment; There is no doubt Blair misled parliament over the war.
Derrick Z. Jackson. Republican discord in the Senate
Robert Kuttner. A broken promise to children
E.J. Dionne, Jr. Messing up and fessing up; Dan Rather gets the second part right -- will Dubya follow?
Barbara Ehrenreich. To Catch a Thief
Molly Ivins. Them's fightin' words; Memo from Texas: Opposition in non-swing states can stand up, too
James K. Galbraith. The Afghan Effect?
David Ost. Letter From Poland; Bush has managed to puncture Poles' image of America as essentially good
David Cole. Ashcroft: 0 for 5,000
Center for American Progress. President Fails To Answer Critical Questions Before United Nations
Robert O. Boorstin. Bush Declares Premature Victory In Iraq
Noy Thrupkaew. Texas Film-School Massacre; Michael Moore-bashing, conspiracy theories, and more at the first conservative film festival
Matthew Yglesias. Nothing But Talk
Mark Weisbrot. No Taxes for Owners, Only Workers
Nina Burleigh. The Son of Reagan
Oklahoma Papers Call on Coburn to Step Down
Demand Iraq Discussion
From True Majority email:
President Bush tells us that “Our strategy is succeeding … Iraq is headed toward democracy ... Freedom is on the march.” This from the guy who told us that American troops would be greeted with parades as liberators and “Mission Accomplished.”
The facts say otherwise. Bush’s own CIA recently reported to him that the best case in Iraq is a protracted quagmire and the worst case is a full-blown civil war. Yet Bush continues the sunny spin.
In a democracy, the people are entitled to know what’s going on so that we can form our own opinions and take action. No wonder this government seeks to keep the facts from the people.
But U.S. senators, both Democrats and Republicans, are calling for the public release of the facts in that CIA analysis, known as the National Intelligence Estimate. Respected senators Bob Graham (D-FL) and John McCain (R-AZ) have read it and know that Americans deserve to know what’s in it too. Of course, it would have the secret stuff taken out; no one wants to make things worse. But the truth of how we got into this mess, what’s happening on the ground there now and how this is going to play out should all be available to the people.
Here’s what you can do. Together with our friends at MoveOn and Working Assets, TrueMajority is pushing for public disclosure of the facts about the quagmire in Iraq. We’re working to get this issue into the media, and a great way to get it widely read is through the Letters to the Editor section of your local paper. Letters to the editor are heavily read and really help to get people thinking and acting. And we’ve made it really easy for you to get your views published.
To send a letter to the editor of your paper (either one we’ve helped write or, better yet, one of your own, perhaps using the talking points we provide), just click here:
Swift Boat Ad Fact Check
The Kerry campaign has released a response to the new SBVT ad.
Meanwhile, Mike McCurry is calling on President Bush to condemn the reprehensible ads:
“This week has seen a further deterioration of chaos in Iraq. American servicemen have been killed, two Americans were brutally beheaded, car bombs continue to explode and, according to Prime Minister Allawi’s own account, thousands of terrorists continue to pour into Iraq.
“And the response from George W. Bush and his campaign? A shrug of the shoulder from the President at the U.N., and an advertisement that takes a lighthearted approach to the war in Iraq.
“Mr. President, this is a shameful advertisement that shows a disturbing disregard for those fighting and sacrificing in Iraq, and you should repudiate it immediately.”
Oceans in Dire Straits
But who uses those things anyway? Contra Costa Times:
A federal report issued Monday concludes that a series of actions is urgently needed to prevent irreversible declines in the health of the world's oceans, shorelines and wetlands.This is the report.
The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, appointed three years ago by President Bush, issued its final report after finding fisheries in severe decline, coasts that are polluted and coastal wetlands being lost at a worrisome rate.
The commission's bleak report recommends creating a new National Ocean Council in the White House, doubling research funding, reforming the councils that regulate coastal fisheries and increasing education on oceans.
"We have a very, very large range of problems," said Frank Muller-Karger, a professor of oceanography at the University of South Florida and one of 16 commissioners.
Kerry Tops Bush In MTV Poll
Eminem Targets Bush
From Rolling Stone on the rapper who's just about anti-everything:
Due out November 16th, Eminem's hotly anticipated Encore marks a strong return to the rapper's Slim Shady persona. On September 14th in Los Angeles, Interscope president Jimmy Iovine hosted a listening party for retailers, during which he played several Dr. Dre-produced tracks.
"The cuts we heard were very political," says one record-store buyer. "Eminem's distaste for the Bush administration is pretty clear."
Among the tracks is "Encore," featuring Dr. Dre and 50 Cent, and the first single, "Just Lose It," which hits radio September 27th. The video, due on MTV as early as October 5th, features Eminem running naked down a Los Angeles street and dressing as pop icons like Pee-wee Herman.
There are tentative plans to release the album with a limited-edition bonus disc, which may include songs that were leaked on the Internet last year.
Jon Stewart on O'Reilly
Because everyone loves Bill O'Reilly ... or Jon Stewart. Transcript from Wonkette:
How are you, sir?Ahah. And yes, The Daily Show has a new book out (ranked number 1 on Amazon right now).
O'REILLY: OK. You know what's really frightening?
STEWART: Uh oh.
O'REILLY: You know what's really frightening?
STEWART: You've been reading my diary.
Republicans Raising More Than House Dems
From the AP, this note on party fundraising:
The National Republican Congressional Committee raised twice as much as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from January 2003 through last month — $131 million for the NRCC compared to $64 million for the DCCC — but has spent heavily, according to reports the committees filed with the Federal Election Commission.Meanwhile, in the Senate:
The NRCC, trying to keep its House majority in this fall's elections, spent $108 million by the start of September, including about $55 million on phone banks. The House Democratic committee spent about $44 million from January 2003 through last month, and started September with $21 million in the bank.
Each House party committee raised about $6 million in August. Republicans have majority control with 228 seats to 205 for the Democrats with one independent and one vacancy.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, whose members hold a slim Senate majority of 51-48 with one independent, raised at least $59 million this election cycle and spent $37 million, beginning September with $22 million in the bank.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had collected at least $55 million by the end of August and spent $45 million. It opened this month with about $11 million on hand and $149,000 in bills to pay.
Each Senate party committee raised about $4 million last month.
Paula Zahn's New Show Struggles
From TV Newser:
Paula Zahn's Prime Time Politics show is in its second week. Last night MSNBC beat CNN in the 25-54 demo: Countdown earned a 0.2 and 157,000 viewers in the demo, while CNN earned a 0.1 and 120,000. One e-mailer calls Zahn "the woman CNN didn't trust to go near the two largest political events of the year, the RNC and the DNC." Another e-mailer wondered what Zahn will do after Nov 2.
Obama Huge Lead in Illinois
Not even a race; AP:
More than two-thirds of Illinois voters would choose Democrat Barack Obama over Republican Alan Keyes for U.S. Senate, according to a new poll.
The St. Louis Post- Dispatch/ KMOV-TV poll released Monday shows Obama leading the race with 68 percent to Keyes' 23 percent. Nine percent were undecided.
"I can't remember the last time you had a gap like this between two newcomers," said Del Ali, head of Research 2000, the Maryland-based firm that conducted the poll last week. "Usually, when you have this kind of gap, it's the popular incumbent against a sacrificial lamb.
Toll Up to 1,036
Media Hits Heinz Unfairly
From Media Matters, the distortion of a Teresa Heinz Kerry interview.
On CBS and the Memo
I agree with what John Nichols says in The Nation about Dan Rather and the whole deal. For obvious reasons, Dan Rather has given conservatives a huge, huge gift (one that has ramifications for years) and for that he deserves criticism:
First, anyone who wants to know the truth about Bush's pampered "service" should be furious with Rather and the CBS crew. When they refused to follow basic fact-checking standards, they failed their viewers and the broader American public that would, for the first time, be exposed by the September 8 "60 Minutes" broadcast to a seemingly serious review of irregularities related to Bush's entry into the guard, his ignoring of direct orders, his failure to show up for duty and a pattern of reassignments that seemed always to benefit the son of a then-congressman from Texas rather than the country he was supposed to be serving.
After more than a month of virtually round-the-clock assessment of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's Vietnam service, major media has a responsibility to reexamine the president's controversial service record.
Yet, by doing a haphazard job of reporting and then rushing to broadcast the supposed "blockbuster" story, Rather and his crew played into the hands of a Bush spin machine that is now expert at peddling the lie that a liberal media is out to distort the president's record. While their intent may have been to shed light on an interesting and potentially significant story of the special treatment accorded this son of privilege, Rather and CBS, in their search for a "scoop," created a fog so thick that it could well obscure the story for the rest of the campaign.
By relying on a few documents that were not adequately verified, CBS handed White House political czar Karl Rove exactly what he needed to steer attention away from the real story. Of course it remains true that, as Rather says, "Those who have criticized aspects of our story have never criticized the heart of it... that George Bush received preferential treatment to get into the National Guard and, once there, failed to satisfy the requirements of his service."
September 20, 2004
AP. More Young people registering to vote
Chicago Tribune. Hurricanes throw new wrinkle into presidential race in Fla.
BG. Kerry camp plans for hard road ahead
BG. Kerry says US has lost its 'moral authority'
Copley. LaHood: Illinois GOP has much to do
LAT. Iraq Leader Will Face Doubts on Visit to U.S.
LAT. Slogan Gives Kerry 'New Direction'
WP. Democrats Say Justice Plays Politics
WP. More U.S. Families Struggle
WP. Bush, Kerry Tentatively Settle on Three Debates
AP. Daschle, Thune Debate Campaign Tactics
AP. Edwards Raps Hastert on al-Qaida Comments
AP. President Bush Defends Iraq Policy
AP. Kerry Lays Out Plan to Bring Peace in Iraq
NYT. South Dakota: Daschle Defends Iraq Remarks
NYT. Blair Admonishes Iraq Skeptics
NYT. Effort to Train New Iraqi Army Is Facing Delays
Lou Dubose. Don't Mess With Texas: Character Assassination and Karl Rove
Bob Herbert. Waiting for the Candidate to Emerge
NYT. In Defense of Civil Liberties
Scott Henry. Zell's final zag; Could Miller's unbalanced keynote tirade hurt the GOP?
Donna Ladd. For Whom the Zell Tolls
Jimmy Breslin. A Key Question from a Slain GI's Mother
Diane Davis Santoriello. For whom did my son die in Iraq?
Bill Berkowitz. Bush’s hollow Iraq narrative
Kiersten Stewart. Uncle Sam Wants You to Get Married
Mary Jacoby. Seymour Hersh's alternative history of Bush's war
Eric Boehlert. Bush in the National Guard: A primer; The flap over dubious documents has obscured the real story
Christian Weller. Don’t Lose Heart
Jonathan Marlow. The True Swift Boat Story
Laurie Spivak. Not On Our Side; By harnessing the creativity of the progressive community, MoveOn counters the Bush administration's cynical and deceptive ad campaign with flair
Kelly Hearn. The Raid on Medicare
Fear Politics Continued
From the Chicago Tribune:
Remarks by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, indicating a belief that Al Qaeda operatives would prefer John Kerry in the White House, sparked a firestorm of protest Sunday from Democrats who labeled the Illinois Republican's comments as "fear mongering" and "un-American."
But a Hastert spokesman said Democrats should first work with Kerry to try to reconcile what he called "inconsistent" positions on Iraq and homeland security. And Ed Gillespie, chairman of the Republican National Committee, contended that a Kerry strategy on Iraq amounted to little more than "retreat and defeat."
The heightened rhetoric on terrorism and Iraq underscored the importance of those issues, as well as a concerted effort by Kerry to weaken Bush's leadership standing as indicated in public opinion polls.
Kerry aides have indicated that the Democratic campaign will ratchet up its attacks on Bush next week, contending the Republican incumbent is painting a too-positive picture of Iraq to cover faulty intelligence used to justify the invasion and an inadequate plan to deal with Iraqi insurgents.
AP: "GOP Mailing Warns Liberals Will Ban Bibles"
The literature shows a Bible with the word "BANNED" across it and a photo of a man, on his knees, placing a ring on the hand of another man with the word "ALLOWED." The mailing tells West Virginians to "vote Republican to protect our families" and defeat the "liberal agenda."
Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie said Friday that he wasn't aware of the mailing, but said it could be the work of the RNC. "It wouldn't surprise me if we were mailing voters on the issue of same-sex marriage," Gillespie said.
The flier says Republicans have passed laws "protecting life," support defining marriage as between a man and a woman and nominate conservative judges who will "interpret the law and not legislate from the bench." It does not mention the names of the presidential candidates.
Terrorists for Kerry
The media continues its parade of claiming terrorists support Kerry.
Daily Show Wins Emmy for "Variety, Music or Comedy Series"
FYI. Also writing Emmy.
Dick Cheney Bumps NYT from Plane
Surely a coincidence. Rick Lyman:
The vice president travels on Air Force Two, a tech-packed wide-body with private areas in the front, a Secret Service buffer in the middle and a media cabin in the back. A crew of about 10 reporters flies with him, representing all the networks, the wire services and two or three newspapers. There are snacks, cable television and camaraderie.
But there is not a seat for me.
Nor has there been a seat for the previous two New York Times reporters sent to cover the vice president. I am told not to take this personally. Nor, I am told, is this intended as a slight against the paper, which normally maintains a seat (paid for handsomely) on all campaign planes, presidential and vice-presidential.
Bush Lawyer Representing Nader
Representing Nader in Florida is Kenneth Sukhia, a George W. Bush lawyer during 2000 who was later nominated by the president for a federal judgeship.This is what that oooh so partisan Democrat Noam Chomsky said about people like Ralph:
"Anyone who says, 'I don't care if Bush gets elected' is basically telling poor and working people in the country, 'I don't care if your lives are destroyed. I don't care whether you are going to have a little money to help your disabled mother. I just don't care, because from my elevated point of view I don't see much difference between them.' That's a way of saying, 'Pay no attention to me, because I don't care about you.' Apart from its being wrong, it's a recipe for disaster if you're hoping to ever develop a popular movement and a political alternative."--Noam Chomsky, 2004
"Democrats are saying that President Bush is refusing to take part in a town hall debate with John Kerry because Bush is worried about the questions the audience will ask him. After hearing this, the president said, 'That's ridiculous. I'm not worried about the questions, I'm worried about the answers.'" Conan O'Brien
"A law banning the sale of assault weapons has expired, which means it's now legal to buy Uzis and AK 47s. The NRA said that now its owners can protect their families from up to 200 burglars at once." Conan O'Brien
"In a speech yesterday, President Bush said it is critical that the president speak both clearly and consistently. Then, immediately afterwards, Bush resigned." Conan O'Brien
"In England a man dressed as Batman was arrested for climbing the wall to Buckingham Palace. Sadly the man was Val Kilmer." Conan O'Brien
"Now the candidate are arguing over the exact format these debates will take. Kerry wants to stand behind a podium, Bush wants to stand behind Dick Cheney." Jay Leno
"President Bush addressed a national meeting of the National Guard in Las Vegas this week. Bush told the crowd he's proud of his National Guard service. He said, 'It was the best weekend of my life.'" Jay Leno
The Onion. Cheney Returns To Camp Crystal Lake
democraticunderground. The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
Al Franken. Chapter Operation Ignore
Click down for comics
US Blocking Global Warming Report
Now why would the Bush administration try to do that, given they don't believe in global warming? Scripps Howard:
Bush administration is trying to bury an international report that contains recommendations on the impact of global warming on the people of the Arctic, an Arctic leader told a Senate panel yesterday.More of the Bush record on the environment can be found here.
State Department officials are blocking the release of one of two reports that were to be presented to government ministers from eight Arctic nations at a meeting on Nov. 9 in Reykjavik, Iceland, Sheila Watt-Cloutier of northern Quebec in Canada told the Senate Commerce Committee. She is chairwoman of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, representing native people.
Four years ago, the United States and other nations launched the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. More than 300 scientists participated.
The results are contained in two reports - a scientific analysis and a report outlining policy recommendations - that were to be presented at the November meeting, Watt-Cloutier said.
The science report will still be presented, but the United States has succeeded in blocking the release of the policy report at the meeting and is attempting to bury its recommendations in a "bureaucratic" report that will be sent to the governments of the countries involved at a later date, Watt-Cloutier said.
Kerry on Letterman
Tonight, John Kerry will be on David Letterman's show.
The musical guest will be Greenday, a band that's not too found of Bush.
NYT: "CBS News Concludes It Was Misled on National Guard Memos"
The officials, who asked not to be identified, said CBS News would most likely make an announcement as early as today that it had been deceived about the documents' origins. CBS News has already begun intensive reporting on where they came from, and people at the network said it was now possible that officials would open an internal inquiry into how it moved forward with the report. Officials say they are now beginning to believe the report was too flawed to have gone on the air.
But they cautioned that CBS News could still pull back from an announcement. Officials met last night with Dan Rather, the anchor who presented the report, to go over the information it had collected about the documents one last time before making a final decision. Mr. Rather was not available for comment late last night .... Mr. Rather and others at the network are said to still believe that the sentiment in the memos accurately reflected Mr. Killian's feelings but that the documents' authenticity was now in grave doubt.
September 19, 2004
U.S. Rep. Max Burns Claims He Invented Homeland Security
Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids:
The Democratic opponent of U.S. Rep. Max Burns has taken exception to a taxpayer-funded newsletter in which the congressman is said to have "created" the Department of Homeland Security.The Burns response:
Burns spokesman John Stone denied that any deception was intended, but the campaign manager for John Barrow said Burns is "dishonest."
"He says anything he thinks will be beneficial," Barrow manager Roman Levit told The Savannah Morning News. "But this time he did it at taxpayers' expense. I don't think taxpayers like being lied to on their own dime."
"It obviously was a horrible typo," Stone told the newspaper. "Obviously, Max Burns didn't create the Department of Homeland Security."
Stone speculated that the person who wrote the mailing meant to say Burns "helped create" the department. Reminded that Congress approved creation of the department in November 2002 - before Burns took office - Stone acknowledged that could not be the case.
Reuters: Republicans Criticize Bush 'Mistakes' on Iraq
From Reuters, Republican on Republican action:
Leading members of President Bush's Republican Party on Sunday criticized mistakes and "incompetence" in his Iraq policy and called for an urgent ground offensive to retake insurgent sanctuaries.
In appearances on news talk shows, Republican senators also urged Bush to be more open with the American public after the disclosure of a classified CIA report that gave a gloomy outlook for Iraq and raised the possibility of civil war.
"The fact is, we're in deep trouble in Iraq ... and I think we're going to have to look at some recalibration of policy," Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
"We made serious mistakes," said Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican who has campaigned at Bush's side this year after patching up a bitter rivalry.
McCain, speaking on "Fox News Sunday," cited as mistakes the toleration of looting after the successful U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and failures to secure Iraq's borders or prevent insurgents from establishing strongholds within the country.
Following relatively new books out. Get Your War On II is a hilarious book, highly recommended.
September 17, 2004
AP. Judge Orders U.S. to Find Bush Records
AP. New Kerry Ad Attacks Cheney, Halliburton
AP. Bush Leads in One Poll, Tied in Another
AP. U.S. Weapons Inspector: Iraq Had No WMD
Reuters. Poll Finds Bush Lead Surging Among Likely Voters
Reuters. Kerry and Bush Clash Over Outlook for Iraq
Hill. Courts may be stripped on pledge
Hill. Ethics complaint unravels; Bell’s case against Tom DeLay likely to be dismissed
BG. Romney targeting legislative races
BG. Global team set to monitor election
BG. In N.J., Laura Bush stumps for spouse on Democratic turf
BG. Edwards jabs VPover eBay remarks
BG. Bush intelligence plan falls short of 9/11 panel advice
BG. Bush, Kerry offer two views on Iraq
Des Moines Register. Hundreds buy voter names, numbers
NYT. Private Plans Costing More for Medicare
NYT. General Warns of a Shortage of Specialists
NYT. Iraq Study Finds Desire for Arms, but Not Capacity
Bangor Daily News. Group strives to boost youth turnout at polls
Rocky Mountain News. Kerry, Bush running even
Orlando Sentinel. Veteran urges Kerry to be aggressive; Jim Rassmann, who says the candidate saved his life, is campaigning in Florida
LAT. Democrat Takes Off the Gloves on Iraq Debate
LAT. Bush and Kerry See Openings in Military Vote
LAT. U.S. Death Toll in Iraq at Least 52 This Month
LAT. Unease Over Iraq Shadows President's Optimism
WP. Yeltsin Speaks Out in Behalf of Putin
WP. Rumored CBS Source Well-Regarded
WP. Bush Ventures to Democratic Territory
CSM. At campaign's ground zero, Ohio tilting toward Bush
Bill Maher. From Campaign Trail to Ho Chi Minh Trail
Bob Herbert. This Is Bush's Vietnam
E. J. Dionne Jr. 'Conservative' World Order?
Howard Zinn. Kerry must become the new anti-war candidate
The Guardian. The war was illegal
Brent Staples. How Denying the Vote to Ex-Offenders Undermines Democracy
BG. Ugly truths about Iraq
Bill Berkowitz. Pakistan playing ball with Bush
Arianna Huffington. Special delivery A Hogwarts Howler for the American voter
Molly Ivins. Why history is relevant; Shouldn't we understand our enemies in order to combat them?
Mary Jacoby. "Fantasy" clashes with reality over Iraq policy; Analysts say the new National Intelligence Estimate gets it right. One intriguing question remains: Who commissioned it and why?
David Corn. Swift Vets Keep Misfiring--and Misleading
Micah L. Sifry & Nancy Watzman. Security for Sale
William Greider. Eclipsed; Bush's war is destroying the US army, just as LBJ's war did
Sasha Abramsky. Supporting the Troops, Not the War
Kiersten Stewart. Uncle Sam Wants You to Get Married; Republican marriage promotion programs encourage women to stay in abusive relationships
Stephen L. Robinson. Hidden Toll of the War In Iraq
Eric Alterman and Paul McLeary. Meanwhile, in the Real World...
Terence Samuel. Blowback House Democrats haven’t given up on John Kerry. Here are three reasons why
James Bovard. Bush's campaign "assets" are his worst liabilities
John Gershman. Losing the Battle with Terror
Scott Thill. Beatboxing at the Ballot Box
PBS's Righward Lurch
FAIR on the public television network:
A new public television program called The Journal Editorial Report, featuring writers and editors from the arch-conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page, will debut tonight on public television stations around the country. The show joins Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered, hosted by conservative CNN pundit Tucker Carlson, and a planned program featuring conservative commentator Michael Medved as part of what many see as politically motivated decisions to bring more right-wing voices to public television.
According to reports in the public broadcasting newspaper Current (1/19/04, 6/7/04) and in the New Yorker (6/7/04), conservative complaints about the alleged liberal bias of the program Now with Bill Moyers contributed to the momentum to "balance" the PBS lineup. The new programs seem to be the result of that pressure. In fact, Now will soon see its role on public television diminish, as the program is cut from one hour to 30 minutes when Moyers voluntarily leaves the program later this year. He will be replaced by co-anchor David Brancaccio, formerly of the public radio business show Marketplace, who expresses no obvious ideology. If Carlson, Medved and the staff of the Wall Street Journal editorial page are all necessary to balance the liberal Moyers, by 2005 there will be no one on PBS to balance them.
At the center of this controversy is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which provides significant federal funding for public broadcasting projects. Two Bush appointees to the board last year, Cheryl Halpern and Gay Hart Gaines, are big donors to the Republican Party, and do not hide their political agenda. As Common Cause noted in December 2003, Gaines raised money for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga), and chaired his political action committee, GOPAC: "At the same time that Gaines was raising money for Gingrich's GOPAC, Gingrich was pushing Congress to cut all federal funds to public TV."
Bush and the Gay Purge
From the NY Blade:
A gay former member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS has accused the Bush administration of conducting "clandestine purges" of gays on the AIDS panel, saying the action is symbolic of the president's record on gay appointments.
Gay Republican activist James Driscoll, who Bush appointed in 2002 to the AIDS advisory panel, said the administration dropped him from the panel, known as PACHA, earlier this year and replaced him with a "safe straight, white male."
"Gays represent at least 4 percent of the electorate, according to exit polls," Driscoll said. "We are more numerous than Jews, as numerous as Asians, and in 2000 we gave Bush more votes than did African Americans," he said, referring to exit poll data on various ethnic groups that voted for Bush.
"Yet our representation [among Bush administration appointees] is a tiny fraction of those groups' and includes no important appointments," Driscoll said.
After nearly four years in office, only 16 openly gay appointees in the Bush administration have been identified by name, and out of that number, eight were non-paid appointments to PACHA. And of the eight PACHA members appointed by Bush, only five remain on the AIDS panel. By comparison, President Clinton appointed more than 150 open gays in his eight years in office, according to Clinton administration officials.
Study: Tax Cheating $149B
From the NY Times op-ed page:
A new study showing that American multinational companies booked a record $149 billion of profits in tax-haven countries in 2002 is further evidence, if any were needed, that the corporate tax structure is much in need of repair.
The research, done by a former Treasury Department economist and published in a journal that is the tax industry's bible, Tax Notes, looks at American subsidiaries that are located in countries with low or no corporate taxes, like Ireland, Bermuda, Luxembourg and Singapore. Some offshore entities are merely tax-reducing way stations. In other places, American companies have legitimate business operations, which are often coupled with aggressive tax-avoidance strategies.
Mom of Dead Soldier Protests Speech
From the AP:
A woman wearing a T-shirt with the words ``President Bush You Killed My Son" and a picture of a soldier killed in Iraq was detained Thursday after she interrupted a campaign speech by first lady Laura Bush."demanded to know why her son, 1st Lieut. Seth Dvorin, 24, was killed in Iraq" then "shouts of "four more years"
Police escorted Sue Niederer of Hopewell, N.J., from a rally at a firehall after she demanded to know why her son, 1st Lieut. Seth Dvorin, 24, was killed in Iraq. Dvorin died in February while trying to disarm a bomb.
As shouts of "four more years" subsided, Niederer, standing in the middle of a crowd of some 700, continued to shout about the killing of her son. Secret service and local police escorted her out of the event, handcuffed her and placed her in the back of a police van.
Laura Bush continued speaking, touting her husband's record on the economy, health care and the war on terror to those attending the rally in this suburban community of 90,000 people near Trenton.
Bushisms: The DVD
You've read the Bushisms, now see and hear the Bushisms: Bushisms on DVD. With Al Franken, Brian Unger and Jacob Weisberg.
The O'Reilly Claim
From Media Matters: "We did the fairest Swift Boat coverage in the country. And [Swift Boat Veterans for Truth co-founder] O'Neill had some points and they were valid. And there's stuff -- some stuff he said that wasn't valid. And we laid it out for you so you can decide on your opinion."
Be John Kerry
A new game allows you to be John Kerry in the swift boat. From USA Today:
Want to see how you handle Swift Boat controversy? A new downloadable video game gives gamers the chance to play then-Lt. John Kerry and lead the Swift Boat campaign in the Mekong Delta for which he received a Silver Star in 1969 during the Vietnam War ...The game will be here at the end of the month.
In the real world, Democratic presidential candidate Kerry, President Bush and Vietnam veterans have haggled over Kerry's Naval career and his commendations. Its creation of a virtual version Kerry's Silver Star mission is not Kuma's attempt to make a political point. "The visceral experience … of commanding and executing the mission," CEO Keith Halper says, "will help people make up their own minds."
Kuma uses Department of Defense and Naval records in creating a playable first-person version playable of the mission. News information from the Associated Press and Kerry biographies were also use. "We put people on the boat in Vietnam and give them a very good sense of what a Swift Boat is like and who are the soldiers involved with this," Halper says.
However, like each Kuma game mission, players first view a presentation of video from the real world and the game with background news about the actual campaign as it happened. Then, players access an intelligence package with actual satellite photos and documents about the mission, equipment and weapons.
Woman Stands By Coburn Complaint
The GOP candidate for Senate allegedly sterilized a woman without her consent. See the the Oklahoman
The new Hamster premium sponsor is Alt Weeklies, which compiles "news and art reporting from more than 100 alternative newsweeklies." If you're a fan of those free alty weeklies, then this is a rather good resource.
Also, to support The Hamster, please visit the other sponsors on the side of the page:
September 16, 2004
Reuters. CBS Insists Anti-Bush Memos Accurate
Knight Ridder. Amendment would drop requirement that president be U.S.-born
SFC. Senate votes to renew controversial water plan
BBC. New doubts on Bush military memos
WP. Judge Denies Bush's '527' Request
AP. 116 US death row inmates cleared over 28 years: report
AP. Congress Details New Intelligence Plan
AP. CBS Softens Defense of Bush Documents
AP. Judge dismisses charges vs. Bush protester
AP. Bush to push health care agenda in Minn
BG. Bush reaches out to Hispanic voters
BG. Kerry: Bush offers little except blame
NYT. Kerry Mounts Fierce Attack on Bush's Economic Policies
NYT. Civilian Dead, and Bitterness: No Way to Bridge the Rage?
NYT. U.S. Intelligence Shows Pessimism on Iraq's Future
NYT. Democrats Seek Louder Voice From Edwards
Reuters. Democrats Lose Bid for Energy Task Force Info
Reuters. Bush Woos Hispanics, Touts Economic Policies
Reuters. Florida Top Court Intervenes in Nader Ballot Row
motherjones. Every Vote Counts
Bruce Ackerman. Abu Ghraib Requires a Political Response
Marie Cocco. A European look at terrorism threat
Jonathan Turley. Soldiers of Fortune -- at What Price?
Sidney Blumenthal. Far graver than Vietnam
Ellen Goodman. Calm eye in Kerry's storm
Larry David. Are You Undecided? Or Not?
Howard Dean. Moving past the expiration date on safety
Will Boisvert. Cross Culture; Uncivil civility, unfunny comedy, and the search for self at the RNC
Anne-Marie Cusac. Bullies at the Voting Booth
Robert B. Reich. Bankruptcy: The Real Story
David Donnelly. Selling the White House to the Top Bidder
John Nichols. Vice President of the Apocalypse; Dick Cheney's warped world view.
Mark Lloyd. Word Games at the FCC
Jodi Jacobson. Women's Health, Women's Rights
David J. Sirota and Jonathan Baskin. The Greed Factor
Anne Brodsky. Whither Afghanistan?
Hit and Run Kicker Found
And here's the kicker!
Activism: Send Bush a Letter re: Environment
From the League of Conservation Voters:
The Bush administration recently announced a plan to overturn a policy protecting nearly 60 million acres of America's last wild forests. Over 2.5 million Americans submitted public comments to protect American's forests, yet the Bush Administration is doing everything it can to undermine the public's support from refusing to defend the policy in court to exempting our largest national forest. Tell the Bush Administration to stop! Please send a letter to the Chief of the Forest Service and tell him Americans want our national forests protected for future generations. Help us send 1 million comments!Sign on here.
UPI: "Press Reports on US Casualties About 17,000 Short"
UPI: "Nearly 17,000 service members medically evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan are absent from public Pentagon casualty reports commonly cited by newspapers."
OOOO Reilly Continues Nazi Comparisons
Zell Miller vs. ... Republicans
From News Hounds:
Zell Miller got a huge ovation at the Republican National Convention when he said during his diatribe against Democrats: "And nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American troops occupiers rather than liberators."
Alexander was discussing George Bush's plan to transfer $3 billion slated for infrastructure improvements in Iraq to security improvements. Jon Scott, Fox News Live anchor in the morning (9 a.m. EDT), asked Alexander about the "misdirected anger" Iraqis have at Bush and Americans whenever a bombing attack kills Iraqi civilians.
Alexander said the anger was not surprising for someone who has just lost a child or family member and that "nobody likes to be occupied." He added that the U.S. needs "to have the stomach to see the military operation all the way through to the end."
Miller may not like it, but even Republicans occasionally admit that the U.S. operation in Iraq is an occupation, not a liberation. Which party has left Miller now?
Tony Coehlo: War in Kerry Camp
The veteran Democratic operative to CBS News:
"There is nobody in charge and you have these two teams that are generally not talking to each other," says Coehlo, who ran Al Gore's campaign early in the 2000 presidential race. As Coelho and other detractors see it, there is a civil war within the Kerry campaign.
Sen. Ted Kennedy's former staff members, Mary Beth Cahill, the Kerry campaign manager, and veteran Democratic strategist Bob Shrum are at odds with recent additions who served under President Clinton.
"Here are two groups that have never gotten along and have fought, and it is a lot over money," says Coehlo. "Because in the Democratic Party the consultants get paid for the creation and the placement of [advertising]. Republicans only pay you for the creation."
Coelho, a former congressman who served as House majority whip for the Democrats from 1987 to 1989, does not question any of the Kerry staff's sincerity in wanting to unseat President Bush. But his comments highlight a longstanding battle within the Democratic Party for national campaign control.
"In 1988, Dukakis: Shrum is involved. In 1992, Clinton: nothing to do with Shrum. They don't want Shrum in any way," Coelho says. "In 1996, they do not want Shrum in any way. In 2000, Gore doesn't want Clinton people. We go forward, 2004, all of a sudden it's the Shrum/Kennedy people."
Annan: War Illegal
Says breached UN charter. But what would he know about the UN? Guardian:
The United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, declared explicitly for the first time last night that the US-led war on Iraq was illegal.
Mr Annan said that the invasion was not sanctioned by the UN security council or in accordance with the UN's founding charter. In an interview with the BBC World Service broadcast last night, he was asked outright if the war was illegal. He replied: "Yes, if you wish."
He then added unequivocally: "I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view and from the charter point of view it was illegal."
Mr Annan has until now kept a tactful silence and his intervention at this point undermines the argument pushed by Tony Blair that the war was legitimized by security council resolutions.
Mr Annan also questioned whether it will be feasible on security grounds to go ahead with the first planned election in Iraq scheduled for January. "You cannot have credible elections if the security conditions continue as they are now," he said.
U.S. seaports are the largest and most poorly regulated sources of urban pollution in the country. This August 2004 report provides practical strategies and policies for port operators, regulatory agencies, and community-based organizations to reduce health-endangering air and water pollution, noise and light pollution that disrupts communities near ports, and harm to marine habitats. The report also provides information on the health effects of pollution from ports, which may include asthma, other respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and premature death; and a comprehensive overview of policies governing U.S. marine ports. An earlier report grades the activities of the ten largest U.S. ports in the areas of air and water quality, land use, and community relations.Among some of the report notes:
September 15, 2004
AP. U.S. colleges get F in affordability
Reuters. U.S. Shifts Focus in Iraq Aid to Boost Security
AP. Americans Accused of Torture Sentenced
AP. Cheney Criticizes Kerry for Dean Comments
AP. Reports Fuel Doubts on CBS Bush Story
AP. Gregoire Wins Democrat Wash. Governor Nod
AP. Kerry Critiquing Bush's Economic Record
AP. Shrinking Battlefield Changes Strategies
LAT. Kerry Says President Hid Truth on Medicare Costs
LAT. Writer Is Top 'Texans' Donor; 'Seinfeld' scribe gives to group offering a reward for proof of Bush Guard
LAT. Typist Recalls Memos About Bush; But the commander's secretary says she thinks the ones that surfaced last week are fakes
WP. Okla. Senate Candidate Is Accused of Fraud
WP. Goss Vows Nonpartisan Leadership
WP. Barry In, 3 D.C. Council Incumbents Out
NYT. The Billions: Seeing Threat to Iraq Elections, U.S. Seeks to Shift Rebuilding Funds to Security
NYT. Bush Says He Is Proud of His Service
NYT. Vote Drives Gain Avid Attention of Youth in '04
NYT. At Least 60 Killed in Two Days of Attacks in Iraq
Thomas F. Schaller. From Bad to Worse; If fatality and casualty rates were going down instead of up, would it be major media talking point right now?
Harold Meyerson. The Speaker Slanders
Frederick Sweet. George W. Bush's Cowardice
Regis T. Sabol. Exploiting Horror to Win Election
Robert Scheer. 'If only Kerry were from the Bronx'
Pete McCloskey. 'If you're a true Republican, you'll vote for Kerry'
Molly Ivins. Iraq outrage; Troops following orders from General Rove, against advice of military officers on ground
Joe Conason. A misbegotten diversion; a monumental tragedy
Patrick Guerriero. GOP Gay Group Has a Word for Bush: No
Robert Kuttner. Kerry must 'reframe' Bush -- and fast
Derrick Z. Jackson. Victims of the gun lobby
Chalmers Johnson. The Military-Industrial Man: How Local Politics Works in America -- or a "Duke" in Every District
David Corn. Taking Dives for the Bush Mob
Mary Jacoby. "President Bush thwarted our attempts at every turn" The widows known as the "Jersey Girls" changed history by demanding an independent 9/11 investigation. Now they want to change who's president -- though some voted for Bush four years ago
Dorian Friedman. Business: Ally or Obstacle?
Bruce Ackerman. Like Father, Like Son; Who was the first president to malign his opponent in a re-nomination speech? Bush Senior
Ian Williams. Deserter at the Helm!
Jay Leno: Left of Center?
Interesting (if you're a comedian-nerd like I am) LA Weekly article in which Leno talks a bit about his politics, and what jokes are fair game.
Feds Admit Some Wrong in Scalia Tape Seizure
From the AP; A refresher
During an April 7 speech at a high school in Hattiesburg, Miss., a deputy federal marshal, Melanie Rube, demanded that AP reporter Denise Grones and Hattiesburg American reporter Antoinette Konz erase recordings of the justice's remarks. The reporters had not been told before the speech that they could not use tape recorders.So now:
When Grones resisted, the marshal took the digital recorder out of her hands. The reporter then showed Rube how to erase the recording.
Rube then reached across Grones and demanded that Konz hand over her tape. Konz surrendered the tape and, after the speech, was able to get it back only after she erased the recording in front of the marshal.
The government has conceded that the U.S. Marshals Service violated federal law when a marshal ordered reporters with The Associated Press and the Hattiesburg American to erase their recordings of a speech by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
The Justice Department also said the reporters and their employers are each entitled to $1,000 in damages and reasonable attorney fees, which had been sought by the media organizations.
The government's concessions were contained in court papers filed Friday in response to a lawsuit by the news organizations.
While agreeing the federal Privacy Protection Act forbids the seizure of the work product of a journalist, the government said the plaintiffs were not entitled to an injunction that would bar the Marshals Service from a repeat of the incident.
Hamster Numbers: Healthcare
The number of uninsured Americans has risen dramatically under President Bush. The Census Bureau recently reported that 45 million Americans lacked health insurance in 2003 -an increase of 1.4 million from 2002 and 5.2 million from 2000. The number of uninsured Americans on the president's watch is now greater than the total number of seniors aged 65 or older and roughly equal to the combined populations of California, Oregon, and Washington.
Rising health care costs are squeezing middle class families and their employers. The inability to rein in double-digit increases in health care costs harms workers and employers alike. Already tight families must now contend with larger premiums and deductibles while employers must pay more and more to keep a healthy and productive work force. Health care costs now eat up 15 percent of the American economy - costs that dampen economic growth, investment, and job creation.
The president's plans for Health Savings Accounts will only mean more uninsured and greater out-of-pocket expenses for workers. MIT economist Jonathan Gruber concludes that the president's proposed tax credits for individual health insurance and expanded health savings accounts (HSAs) would together cause 2.6 million people to lose their employment-based coverage and become uninsured. HSAs also require families to pay at least $2,000 - on top of insurance premiums - before any coverage kicks in.
K Street Low on Dem Chances?
According to this The Hill article, that's the idea:
Retiring House Democrats are feeling a cold draft from K Street as they seek post-congressional employment at lobbying firms, trade groups and corporations.
By contrast, K Street is aggressively courting GOP lawmakers who have announced their retirements, suggesting that the business community is confident the GOP will retain the Speaker’s gavel in January and that business wants to fortify its Republican Rolodexes ... But the lack of open arms for midlevel Democratic lawmakers is also one indication, however imprecise, that the donor community on K Street does not believe that Democrats will retake the House this year.
Church and Politics Mix
While the IRS turns its attention to political churches. From the St. Petersburg Times:
Across the nation, people are turning to the IRS to keep pastors from promoting political agendas. It is happening in a year when both presidential campaigns are increasingly using churches as a way to reach voters.And one Republican wants to change that:
The Bush campaign has courted evangelical Christians, including asking for church mailing lists in some states. Democrat John Kerry has campaigned at black churches and invoked his faith in speeches. In July, Kerry's running mate stumped at a black church in Orlando.
As the political influence of churches grows, opponents are wielding the tax code as a weapon against them.
"It could have a chilling effect," said state Rep. Arthenia Joyner, a Tampa Democrat who is African-American. "I see it as a way to try to intimidate people, but I think it's not going to work."
U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican, has introduced a bill in Congress that would let churches endorse candidates. The bill could come up for a vote before the November election.
Opponents fear that would turn churches into arms of political parties, reshaping politics and cheapening religion.
Kelley Book Claim: Laura Sold Dope
Laura Bush was a college co-ed who dealt the dope and smoked it. Her hubby, George W., hired some meatheads to threaten a former flame hoping to sell her sordid story. And the elder Bush, when vice president, hired an uneducated woman he shared the sheets with to be his assistant.
There are more hot allegations revealed in celeb biographer Kitty Kelley'sbook about the Bush clan, ``The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty'', released today.
The controversial best-selling author contends that first lady Laura Bush may have a sweet, sugary demeanor now, but she did a lot more than study in college. She was known as the ``go-to girl'' for dime bags of marijuana, Kelley writes.
``She not only smoked dope,'' public relations executive Robert Nash told Kelley. ``But she sold dope.''
Ashcroft: Law Breaker
It's not like he oversees some department that's in charge of the law or something; CAP:
A new Government Accountability Office report found that Attorney General John Ashcroft spent more than $200,000 of taxpayer money on trips to 32 cities in August and September of 2003 to specifically whip up public support for the Patriot Act. In the process, Ashcroft may have broken the law. A 2002 federal law explicitly prohibits federal funds from being used by any executive branch agency – including the Justice Department – to lobby the public for support or defeat of legislation pending before the Congress. Ashcroft's trips came immediately after the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan amendment, sponsored by Rep. Butch Otter (R-ID), which would have limited the Patriot Act – something Ashcroft opposed and was using public money to campaign against. Ashcroft even traveled to Otter's home district to publicly lobby Otter's constituents against reforming the Patriot Act. Again, this behavior by a Cabinet secretary is prohibited by federal law. After two months of Ashcroft's taxpayer-financed trips, Congress reconvened from its summer recess and stripped out the provision from the final bill behind closed doors in a conference committee.
Bloggers Push CBS Memo Scandal to Front
From Investors Biz Daily, how conservative bloggers created significant doubt about the CBS guard memos.
Bush AIDS Plan Reaches 1.25% of Treatment Goal
Not exactly a success, notes Global AIDS Alliance:
Global AIDS Alliance reacted today to the statement of the Bush Administration regarding its global AIDS programs. The Administration says it is providing AIDS treatment to 25,000 people through its own programs as well as its contributions to other AIDS programs. This figure represents 1.25% of the goal the Administration announced in January 2003, which was to deliver treatment to 2 million people by 2008. The Bush plan is using expensive, brand name drugs, rather than keeping its promise to use the lowest cost drugs available. The President's promised "expedited" approval process has yet to review a single generic drug for use in the US program.There's something else?
"It's disappointing that a year and a half after declaring AIDS a global emergency, we are still just 1.25% towards the treatment goal that had been announced," stated Dr. Paul Zeitz, Executive Director of Global AIDS Alliance. "If the Administration had not rejected emergency funding of its initiative last year we would certainly be further along." The US Congress, in its AIDS authorization bill passed last year, set a goal of 500,000 people on treatment by September 30, 2004. The Administration's performance represents 5% of what Congress had called for at this stage.
Meanwhile, the Administration has undermined the progress of the Global Fund, a multilateral effort delivering resources for AIDS medication to a much broader list of countries. The President has proposed cutting the US contribution to the Fund for 2005 by 64% and done little to convince close allies like Japan and South Korea to give their fair share. The Administration's Global AIDS Coordinator recently said the Fund already had "adequate resources on hand," even though the Fund is so short of available resources that it will likely not be able to issue new grants until 2007. At its November meeting the Fund is expected to cancel the additional grantmaking that had been planned for next year.
The President has also taken steps to curtail competition from low-cost generic medications, even though they are successfully used around the world. Strong-arm tactics by the Administration have already resulted in agreementsby many Latin American countries, as well as Morocco and Singapore, to block generics. Thailand, an innovator in the production of AIDS medication, is now under severe pressure to follow suit.Kerry, on the other hand ...
College Less Affordable
Finds a new study:
The nation's colleges and universities are losing ground on affordability and access, according to a national report released yesterday by an independent nonprofit organization.So it's a good thing Bush is addressing this ... right?
The biennial report card by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education graded states in five areas, including college completion and affordability ... Most states flunked in affordability, with only California, Utah and Minnesota receiving grades higher than a D. California's grade slipped from an A to a B, which was the highest in the nation.
$50,000 for Bush Service Proof
Got info? Texas for Truth is offering a reward.
Kerry vs. Bush on AIDs Funding
Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry would double U.S. spending on domestic and international AIDS programs if elected in November, Kerry's daughter Vanessa said at the annual National Association of People With AIDS conference on Friday in Atlanta, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Kerry also would expand research on medications and vaccines for the disease and "always use science and not ideology" when establishing AIDS policies, unlike the current administration, she said. "We cannot fight an epidemic if we are shackled by ideology," Vanessa Kerry said, adding that Bush administration officials have allowed religious and conservative views to guide the nation's AIDS policies, particularly the ongoing push for abstinence-only sex and HIV education for youths. The extra funds pledged by Kerry for the AIDS programs would come from the repeal of tax cuts implemented by President Bush for families who earn more than $200,000 per year.
NAPWA executive director Terje Anderson praised Vanessa Kerry's speech and her participation in a roundtable meeting at the NAPWA conference, calling it "important for all people living with HIV and those who care about us." Anderson says both the Kerry and Bush campaigns were asked to send representatives to speak at the conference, but Bush administration officials didn't respond to the group's invitation.
Why Bush Left Texas
Sierra Club to Launch Voter Education Drive
In, where else, battleground states:The Sierra Club announced today that it has launched the most ambitious voter education program in the 112-year-old environmental organization's history, and is on track to have direct conversations with nearly half a million voters in key states by November 2.More from the Sierra Club at their website.
The 527 voter education program, called "Sierra Club Votes," is now operating in 10 key metropolitan areas and statewide in New Hampshire. The cities, all located in battleground states, include: Albuquerque/Santa Fe, NM; Columbus, OH; Las Vegas, NV; Milwaukee, WI; Minneapolis, MN; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; Reno, NV; and Tampa Bay, FL.
"Between now and Election Day, the Sierra Club will be contacting an average of 40,000 environmental voters in each of our sites at least eight times to educate them about the environmental records of George Bush and John Kerry," National Political Director Greg Haegele said.
September 14, 2004
IBD. Bush-Kerry Race Tied As RNC Bounce Fades, New IBD Survey Shows
USA TODAY. Amnesty International: 1 in 9 Americans harassed for race, religion or ethnicity
Newsday. Ground Zero workers sue over toxic exposure
Newsday. Weapons ban lapse a personal setback for McCarthy
AP. Baghdad Car Bomb Kills Dozens Near Police Station
LAT. Colleges Stumble in Aiding Voter Registration
LAT. Different Cures for Healthcare Crisis
WP. Cheney: Terrorism Views May Shift
WP. House Plans D.C. Guns Vote
WP. No Cheers Over Gun Ban's End
NYT. The President: Bush Describes Kerry's Health Care Proposal as a 'Government Takeover'
NYT. Powell Rejects 9/11 Panel's Plan for Intelligence Office
NYT. New Priorities in Environment
NYT. U.S. Attacks Rebel Base in Falluja
Thomas Oliphant. Will voters get the debates they deserve?
Marie Cocco. Fire Ashcroft for clear incompetence
Garrison Keillor. Here's what happened to the Republican Party
Helen Thomas. Cheney takes the low road
E. J. Dionne Jr. Staring Down the Barrel of The NRA
NYT. Junking Science; The latest example of the Bush administration's deliberate scientific confusion concerns the marbled murrelet, an endangered seabird
Krugman. Taking On the Myth
Richard Cohen. Ted Kennedy's Lesson for Kerry
David Corn. Taking Dives for the Bush Mob: Another Sunday morning, and Colin Powell is out there spinning for Bush
Katha Pollitt. The Girlie Vote: In the contest between real men and girlie men, women don't exist
Anne E. Brodsky. Leapfrog: America is playing a dangerous game with Afghanistan
Robert Schlesinger. Medicine man: The future of GOP control of the Senate depends on Oklahoma Republican candidate Tom Coburn, a former doctor who has covered up a scandal from his past until now
David Talbot. Don't mess with the Bushes; In her new book, Kitty Kelley shows how the first family intimidates those who've tried to expose the clan's dark secrets of drugs, drinking, womanizing and nepotism. Now they're coming after her
Ben Hubbard and David Halperin. Are Universities Really So Liberal?
Daily Progress Report. Flailing In Fallujah
Mary Lynn F. Jones. Boundless Ambition; Six senators are vying for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's spot in 2006 -- and the strongest candidate is the scariest.
Matthew Yglesias. Isn't It Ironic; If Bush were really worried about nukes, he'd shut down the Pakistani arms bazaar, among other things
Solana Pyne. With college loans, scarce jobs, low wages, no health coverage, young people are getting squeezed from all sides. It’s time to fight back at the ballot box
Scott Harris. Trading With the Enemy; Some Naderites and Greens are pushing vote-trading: "Register Green. Vote Kerry. Beat Bush." But is it legal – and will it work?
Tony Kushner. Despair Is a Lie We Tell Ourselves
Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus. While Bush's life story is widely known, follies and all, in the public imagination Kerry's life appears to start at Vietnam – although his choices before that moment speak to his character
More on Bush Guard Service
From Bush's professor at Harvard; CNN:Yoshi Tsurumi, in his first on-camera interview on the subject, told CNN that Bush confided in him during an after-class hallway conversation during the 1973-74 school year.Expect the attack machine to take care of Tsurumi.
"He admitted to me that to avoid the Vietnam draft, he had his dad -- he said 'Dad's friends' -- skip him through the long waiting list to get him into the Texas National Guard," Tsurumi said. "He thought that was a smart thing to do."
While the campaign has not responded directly to Tsurumi's allegations, White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett said last week, "Every time President Bush gets near another election, all the innuendo and rumors about President Bush's service in the National Guard come to the forefront."
Tsurumi said Vietnam was a top topic among the 85 students in his class, when he was a visiting associate professor at Harvard from 1972 to 1976. He now teaches at Baruch College in New York.
"What I couldn't stand -- and I told him -- he was all for the U.S. to continue with the Vietnam War. That means he was all for other people, Americans, to keep on fighting and dying."
Meanwhile, the DNC is tackling Bush's guard service.
Limbaugh "Official Unpaid Advisor to Bush-Cheney '04"
Not sure if it's a play on the Begala / Carville thing, but so says his website.
"Outspoken 9/11 widows to endorse Kerry"
From the AP:Five outspoken Sept. 11 widows will publicly endorse John Kerry for president, The Associated Press has learned.
Some also have agreed to make campaign appearances for the Democratic challenger to President George W. Bush, Democratic campaign sources told AP.
"We will be speaking from the heart, and speaking from our conscience," Kristen Breitweiser, by far the most visible and outspoken of the Sept. 11 family advocates, said yesterday.
Keyes Wants to Be an Ass; Engaged in 'a war'
According to the Chicago Tribune, that's his gameplan. More embarrassment for the GOP:Declaring that his campaign strategy is dependent on controversy, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes told the state's top GOP donors at a recent closed-door meeting that he plans to make "inflammatory" comments "every day, every week" until the election, according to several sources at the session.
The sources said Keyes explained that his campaign has been unfolding according to plan and likened it to a war in which lighting the "match" of controversy was needed to ignite grass-roots voters.
"This is a war we're in," one source recounted Keyes as saying. "The way you win wars is that you start fires that will consume the enemy." ... At the session, the sources said, Keyes denied that he has engaged in name-calling in his campaign. But he likened Democratic opponent Barack Obama to a "terrorist" because Obama, a state senator, voted against a legislative proposal pushed by abortion foes, sources said.
Rush Limbaugh: Noted Climatologist
What, he is.
Talk Show Guests
Of interest, from Sue Trowbridge:
Al Franken, Letterman, 9/14 (r)
Reverend Al Sharpton, Carson, 9/14
Bill Maher, Carson, 9/16
Bill Clinton, Letterman, 9/17 (r)
Jon Stewart, Leno, 9/20
Jon Stewart, Ellen, 9/21
Mo 9/13: Drew Barrymore
Tu 9/14: Pat Buchanan
We 9/15: Alec Baldwin
Th 9/16: Gwyneth Paltrow
Ex-Naderites Condemn Nader
At least Nader still has the one person who matters to him: Ralph Nader; from Katrina vanden Heuvel:If there was ever any doubt that Ralph Nader's former supporters understand that redefeating Bush is the top priority for progressives in this election, it ended Tuesday morning when the overwhelming majority of Nader's 2000 National Citizens Committee issued a strong statement urging support for John Kerry and John Edwards in all swing states.The statement is here.
Among the more than 75 signers are Phil Donahue, Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich (who used one of her New York Times column to come out against Nader), Jim Hightower, Randall Robinson, Howard Zinn, Tim Robbins, Eddie Vedder, Susan Sarandon, Ben Cohen and Cornel West.
This urgent call comes at a time when it appears that the Nader campaign has qualified for the ballot in some 23 states, a minimum of 10 of which are considered swing states. Nader will probably also qualify for several other swing state ballots by the time of the election. In a race which remains both close and highly polarized, any one of these states could end up as the new "Florida," and tip the electoral college vote to Bush.
A number of signers also stress the importance of working to (re)defeat Bush on behalf of the world community. "We are not just voting for ourselves," says political strategist Steve Cobble. "The entire world wishes they could vote in our presidential election--so they could vote against George W. Bush, pre-emption, bullying and unilateralism."
While the 75-plus signers include a spectrum of views, all are united around a single proposition: Ending the national nightmare of Bush. As Noam Chomsky describes the stark choice: "Help elect Bush, or do something to try to prevent it."
Meanwhile, the GOP in Florida is helping Ralph Nader. Because they love more choices. Wiiink.
September 13, 2004
"A record made by a band that John Kerry was in during college has been bought for $2,500. Yeah, meanwhile, the White House said that President Bush was in a college band, but that all the records have been lost." Conan O'Brien
"According to the latest poll, Ralph Nader is down to 1 percent of the popular vote. That's embarrassing, 1 percent! He's even trailing low fat milk; that's 2 percent!" Jay Leno
"Dick Cheney is saying there is great risk if John Kerry wins. Yeah, the risk is that George Bush might not be able to find another job." David Letterman
"Pundits are saying that Kerry's message is garbled. ... You know you're doing badly when you're running against George Bush and you're the one who's garbled!" David Letterman
"Here's good news: Former President Bill Clinton is wide awake and alert. I wish we could say the same for our current president." David Letterman
"Political pundits are saying President George W. Bush has made gains in two key states: dazed and confused." David Letterman
"According to a new book, when President Bush was on National Guard duty he would sometimes sneak off to smoke marijuana and snort cocaine. When he heard this, President Bush said, 'That's ridiculous. I never showed up for National Guard duty.'" Conan O'Brien
"Dick Cheney said that if John Kerry wins, there will be another attack. Then Cheney said, if Bush wins, I'll call it off." Conan O'Brien
Click down for comics
Powell: Unlikely WMD Stocks Will Be Found in Iraq
Gun Buyers Excited About End of Law
From the Miami Herald:"People are excited. They've been waiting for this for a long time, and we've been preparing," said Jodi DePorter, a spokeswoman for the Geneseo, Ill.-based gun maker.Hence, why police officers don't like the end of the ban:
Unless Republican congressional leaders have a sudden change of heart, the assault weapons ban -- a centerpiece of the 1994 Crime Bill -- will expire tonight at midnight.
The federal law applied to 19 semiautomatic weapons, which fire one round and automatically load each time the trigger is pulled. Automatic weapons, which remain illegal, are designed for military use and shoot without stopping.
ArmaLite plans to ship newly outfitted assault rifles just hours later to customers who were so eager to get the .308 and .223 caliber semiautomatic rifles that they've pre-ordered them.
Gun manufacturers are gearing up for a wave of business once the ban ends. They're offering promotional coupons online for extras such as free flash suppressors and boxes of high-capacity 15-round magazines.
Joseph Vince, the former chief of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Crime Gun Analysis Branch, predicted that the end of the ban "will cause a frenzied buying spurt."Law enforcement -- which credits the ban with helping drive down the crime rate to record-low levels in the last decade -- says they will once again be outgunned by criminals.
Several dozen police chiefs from around the country converged on Washington recently to lobby members of Congress to reauthorize the ban. They also sought a meeting with President Bush, who has said he would sign a bill if it landed on his desk, but were rebuffed, said Joe Polisar, the president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Police and other supporters of the ban accused Bush of not doing anything to temper Republican opposition in the House of Representatives.
Blood on the NRA's Hands
Americans Want Assault Weapons Ban
From the Brady Campaign:According to a battleground poll, the issue could be of use to Kerry:
The New York Times/Wall Street Journal (November 2003): 78% support continuing ban on assault weapons
Americans for Gun Safety/Penn, Schoen, and Berland Associates (October 2003): 77% support renewing Assault Weapons Ban
Consumer Federation of America/Opinion Research Corporation International (October 2003): 76% support renewing Assault Weapons Ban
Marttila Communications Group/Brady Campaign Survey (July 2003): 69% believe Assault Weapons Ban should be renewed or strengthened
CBS News/New York Times (May 2000): 67% favor ban on assault weapons
ABC News/Washington Post (May 200): 71% favor ban on assault weapons
ABC News/Washington Post (August-September 1999): 77% support ban on assault weapons
Newsweek Princeton Survey Research Associates (August 1999): 68% support ban on semi-automatic assault weaponsNew polling in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania shows that voters oppose President Bush's failure to renew the federal assault weapon ban on AK47 type weapons and see this as an important test of leadership on homeland security. The assault weapon issue significantly alters the presidential race. When informed of President Bush's failure to renew the assault weapon's ban, a majority of voters move away from Bush in all three states. The assault weapon issue can be a strong campaign issue, to the benefit of Senator John Kerry who has strongly supported renewing the ban on assault weapons. The poll was conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates.
Scott McClellan's Memory Problems
From Judd Legum at CAP:[President Bush] does not set the legislative timetable. Members of Congress set the legislative timetable. And Congress has stated -- congressional leaders have stated that it's not going to come up for a vote. - Scott McClellan, 9/13/04
I have proposed legislation - Clear Skies, Healthy Forests and the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative - which I call on Congress to pass this year. - President Bush, 4/22/03
Congress needs to get some work done before they go home. And one of the most important things they can do is to pass an anti-terrorism insurance bill. See, we need an insurance bill to cover potential terrorist acts, so that hard hats in America can get back to work. - President Bush, 9/23/02
I also asked Congress to pass the supplemental that we submitted. It's emergency funding for defense and homeland security and economic security, and we'd like to get that done by Memorial Day. It's time for them to get that supplemental passed. - President Bush, 4/16/02
Tim McGraw: Clinton Fan
The country singer on the Big Dog in TIME:It's no accident that McGraw, 37, has turned his professional obligation into a campaign whistle-stop. "I love politics," he says on the way back to his dressing room. "I love Bill Clinton. I think we should make him king. I'm talking the red robe, the turkey leg - everything." Then, because such things must be floated carefully and modestly, McGraw adds, "I want to run for the Senate from Tennessee. Not now, but when I'm 50, when music dies down a little bit. I know lots of artists and actors have those delusions of grandeur, but ever since I was a kid, it's been of interest to me."
Those who would dismiss McGraw out of hand should first remember Arnold Schwarzenegger (or country singer Jimmie Davis, who served two terms as Governor of Louisiana) and then give some thought to the vagaries of country music. Nashville is perhaps the most protocol-obsessed U.S. city outside of Washington, and McGraw is its smoothest operator. He has sold 30 million albums (his latest, Live Like You Were Dying, entered Billboard's album chart at No. 1) without being excessively cornpone or mindlessly pop. In the process, he has done what his predecessor Garth Brooks could not do: reach an audience outside his genre while remaining well liked within it. "Nashville hates anyone who has ambitions beyond Nashville," says a country record executive. "Shania, Garth Brooks get no respect in this town. But Tim has done a good job of disguising his motives - or of at least paying the proper respect to the industry."
The Official Beer of Illinois?Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration is considering selling, to a yet-unchosen beverage company, the rights to Illinois' name. No other state has ever done it.
The concept of designating an "official state beverage" could bring in millions of dollars to Illinois' cash-strapped state budget, as soft-drink companies compete - and pay - for the right to hawk their soda, juice or other beverage under Illinois' state banner.
The idea isn't going down too well with some critics, who worry that Illinois will be taking sides in the fiercely competitive soft drink industry. The concept is different from that of industries that market themselves with the states where they're based - Florida orange juice, for example, or Wisconsin dairy products. The Illinois proposal would entail a contract with one specific beverage company, which would pay the state for the privilege of calling itself the "official" state beverage - and selling its products in about 1,300 vending machine at roughly 100 Illinois state parks, rest stops, offices and other government facilities.
Keith Olbermann: Sexiest Newscasterresults are in and it's time to set the record straight. Of the 50,000 votes cast in the Playgirl's "Sexiest Newscaster" election, where readers were asked to vote online for their favorite national newsman -- the official winner is MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. Several news sources had inaccurately reported that a candidate from a rival cable network had actually won when in fact, he came in second. We still love you, Sean Hannity.And don't forget modest Bill:
Olbermann ran a tough campaign -- linking his website to PLAYGIRL's and urging his viewers to get out the vote. He won with 24%, sweeping both "red" and "blue" states. Hannity of the Fox News Channel has his adoring fans as well, sliding him firmly into second place. CNN's Anderson Cooper, who was in Baghdad and unable to make those crucial stump speeches, came in a close third. The full election results can be seen in the October issue of PLAYGIRL.Bill O'Reilly of Fox News Channel, received about 200 write-in votes from his admiring fans
Novak Makes a Boo-Boo
I see a cookie jar, and the wrinkled old hand of Bobby Novak is in it; Progress Report:Christ.
In a move of stunning hypocrisy this weekend, journalist Bob Novak went on CNN to demand CBS News reveal the confidential sources which gave them President Bush's National Guard records. On the Capital Gang, Novak, who has strenusously claimed his right as a reporter not to reveal his sources to law enforcement officials in the leak of an undercover CIA agent, said, “I'd like CBS, at this point, to say where they got these documents from.” He then repeated himself: “I think they should say where they got these documents.” The Wall Street Journal's Al Hunt was perplexed, asking Novak, “You're saying CBS should reveal its source?” He replied, “Yes.” Hunt asked again, “You think reporters ought to reveal sources?” Novak, then embarrassed said, “No, no. Wait a minute...I'm just saying in that case.” Hunt summed up, “So in some cases, reporters ought to reveal sources?” Novak replied, “Yes.”
Kerry Questions Bush on Iraq-911 Connection
From CNN:Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry accused the Bush administration Sunday of falsely linking Iraq to the attacks of September 11, 2001, "in its desperate attempts to reinvent a rationale for the Iraq war."On the same note, Eleanor Clift says Kerry needs to keep hammering Bush on Iraq and the war deaths.
Kerry made his charge in a statement released after Secretary of State Colin Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he has seen nothing to link Saddam Hussein's regime with the 9/11 attacks.
"We know that there had been connections and there had been exchanges between al Qaeda and the Saddam Hussein regime. And those have been pursued and looked at," Powell said on the program.
"But I have seen nothing that makes a direct connection between Saddam Hussein and that awful regime, and what happened on 9/11."
Hamster Numbers: "Money Behind the Assault Weapons Debate"*Campaign contributions -- Gun rights groups, led by the National Rifle Association, have given more than $17 million in individual, PAC and soft money contributions to federal candidates and party committees since 1989, far more than the nearly $1.7 million contributed by gun control groups. Gun rights groups have sent 85 percent of their contributions to Republicans during that time, while gun control groups have supported Democrats with 94 percent of their contributions.
*Lobbying -- Gun rights groups are even more dominant in lobbying expenditures than they are in campaign contributions. The NRA alone spent nearly $11 million on lobbying from 1997 to 2003. But it wasn't the gun rights lobby's biggest spender. That was Gun Owners of America, which spent more than $18 million on lobbing over the same period. By contrast, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence spent under $2 million on lobbying from 1997 to 2003, and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence spent $580,000.
*Independent expenditures and communications costs -- Gun rights groups have spent far more than gun control advocates on independent expenditures, which are aimed at the general public and expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate, and communications costs to their members about candidates. (Independent expenditures must be paid for with limited "hard" money contributions, while groups can spend unlimited funds on internal communications costs.)
Minimum number of U.S. firms under contract in Iraq that have paid federal fines, settlements, or restitution since 2000 : 7 [Project on Government Oversight (Washington)/Harper's research ]
Amount they paid : $87,635,766 [Project on Government Oversight (Washington)/Harper's research ]
Minimum amount that Wal-Mart has received in subsidies from state and local governments since 1980 : $625,000,000 [Good Jobs First (Washington) ]
Number of the 73 firms participating in the Medicare discount drug program that have been investigated since 2000 : 20 [Center for American Progress (Washington) ]
Number of these that have paid fines in connection with criminal cases : 17 [Center for American Progress (Washington) ]
Fiscal Conservatives Unhappy with Bush
From the AP:But even fiscal conservatives, traditionally allied with the Republican White House, were skeptical of Bush's plans.
"While it's true that Kerry hasn't provided a detailed plan, neither has the president," said Heritage Foundation budget analyst Brian Riedl.
William Niskanen, chairman of the Cato Institute, said Bush's warnings about Kerry's spending plans were "inconsistent" with his own proposals. "There's no way to accomplish (Bush's) major new measures, including tax reform, without substantial increases in spending," Niskanen said.
Stephen Moore of the Club for Growth, a group that raises money for conservative political candidates, said Bush was not being "very forthright" about his plans. He called Bush's fiscal record "abysmal," adding that under both Bush and Kerry "fiscal responsibility takes the back seat."
Nader Targets Democrats
The man Republicans love to love, Ralph Nader, will fight for votes in the battleground states; Hartford Courant:In what could become a worst-case scenario for Democrats, Ralph Nader announced plans to launch a spirited new phase to his independent candidacy in swing states Thursday. At the same time, he is suggesting that part of its purpose would be to retaliate against Democrats who had fought his candidacy.
Nader will begin his fall campaign by traveling through Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin in the next week. He plans to rally voters by blasting the war in Iraq and corrupt corporations, and also by criticizing Democrats for their efforts to keep him off ballots in the most competitive states.
Nader made it clear at a breakfast gathering with journalists here that he is angered by Democratic efforts to stall his candidacy and he will focus attention on what he deems harassment. "We're exposing all the pus and the bile," Nader said of the Democratic efforts. "We're flushing the system out."
September 12, 2004
Bush Environment Record an Issue in Nev.
Will Bush's corporate ways bite him in the ass? AP:But Nevada, where Bush wants to entomb a half-century's waste from atomic power plants, is the only state where an environmental issue can realistically swing the outcome, according to environmental leaders and political analysts.
"Kerry is competitive because of it," said Ted Jelen, chair of political science at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. "He otherwise wouldn't have much of a chance." ... Jelen said there is a widespread perception Bush lied about basing his decision on science, and Democrats profited with heavy turnout at caucuses in February. Yet environmental causes remain "an unpopular symbol" in a state heavy with ranching and mining interests.
"Kerry's position is simple: 'Bush lied to you, I will reverse it.' The Republicans and the Bush campaign have not come up with a good response to that," Jelen said.
Bush Lying About Military Record
Democratic Underground with a campaign lit "in which he falsely claims to have served in the U.S. Air Force."
September 11, 2004
We are one America in our prayers for those who were taken from us on September 11th and for their families. And we are one America in our unbending determination to defend our country – to find and get the terrorists before they get us.
A poet once wrote that those who have left us “…have a silence that speaks for them at night…They say: our deaths are not ours; they are yours; they will mean what you make them…They say: we leave you our deaths. Give them their meaning.”
In the past three years, with countless acts of bravery and kindness – large and small – Americans have given meaning to those lives. That terrible day has renewed our sense of purpose. And in the years ahead we will share its lessons with our children and grandchildren. We will tell them that on September 11th, ordinary men and women became heroes at a moment’s notice – and so can you. We will tell them that we were strong because we took care of each other – and so can you. We will tell them that we came together in tragedy, chose confidence over fear, and that our love for America far outshone the darkness of those who hate us.
Finally, we will tell them that on September 11th and the days that followed, we learned in the hardest way possible that the American spirit endures. It is that spirit which leads us to defy the terrorists and affirm that freedom will win. It is that spirit which sustains the families of September 11th as they rebuild their lives. And it is that spirit which will guide us as we rebuild those towers – stronger, higher, and more beautiful than ever before. Just like America.
September 10, 2004
BG. More smaller groups airing political ads
PhillyInq. Gore, in Pa. backing Hoeffel, blasts Bush and Specter
BG. Kerry team, DNC hit Bush on Guard issue
AP. Bush Criticizes Kerry on Iraq War Stance
AP. Kerry Hits Bush on Lapse of Weapons Ban
Star-Ledger. Bush makes a race of it in Jersey; Poll finds Kerry's 20-point lead has nearly vanished in a month
Reuters. Cheney Tempers Kerry Comments
ABC. Widow calls wording in memo "suspect."
SacBee. Domestic partner privileges upheld; A judge rules two laws don't violate state's marriage measure
NYT. As Expiration Looms, Gun Ban's Effect Is Debated
NYT. Eisner Plans to Step Down as Disney Chief in 2006
NYT. Army Says C.I.A. Hid More Iraqis Than It Claimed
NYT. Campaigns Enlist Big Names to Set Debates' Details
LAT. Guard Memos Fuel Another Vietnam-Era Battle
LAT. Politics Off Radar in Battered-Ground State
LAT. Indonesia Death Toll Rises to 9
WP. Kerry Team's Shrum Is Loss Leader
WP. Bush Faulted on Arms Ban
WP. Polls Suggest Iraq War Isn't Hurting President
Statesman-Journal. Bikers become ballot boosters
Herbert. How Many Deaths?
Krugman. Dishonesty Thing
Sean Aday. Angus-Eating Surrender Monkeys; Why Bush's Surrender - and Kerry's - Matter
Maureen Dowd. Cheney on scare campaign for votes
Kenneth S. Baer. What I Learned in Tel Aviv; John Kerry has to campaign in a terrified America
Gerald Rellick. Riding Fear To Victory? Why do half of all Americans embrace our most incompetent and most reckless president, our most hated president overseas?
Bill Berkowitz. Is there an assault weapon in your future?
Ellen Goodman. Vote Bush or die; 9/11 happened during first Bush term -- if we don't give him a second term, he says it will happen again
Geov Parrish. The obsession; Why we need to get over 9-11 and the culture of fear it has generated
Derrick Z. Jackson. As war toll climbs, Bush still deceives
BG. Cheney's threat
Katha Pollitt. The Girlie Vote
Judd Legum and David Sirota. Vote for Bush or Die
The Nation. Iraq and 1,000 Deaths; Iraq is not a quagmire; it is, rather, a massive explosion
Deanna Zandt, Evan Derkacz. Top Ten Censored Stories of 2003-2004
Bill Moyers. Asleep at the Wheel
Al Michaels: Conservative Shill
CBS Stands By Memo Story
Among its defense:
"This report was not based solely on recovered documents, but rather on a preponderance of evidence, including documents that were provided by unimpeachable sources, interviews with former Texas National Guard officials and individuals who worked closely back in the early 1970s with Colonel Jerry Killian and were well acquainted with his procedures, his character and his thinking," the statement read. In addition, the documents are backed up not only by independent handwriting and forensic document experts but by sources familiar with their content," the statement continued. "Contrary to some rumors, no internal investigation is underway at CBS News nor is one planned."
"Critics claim typewriters didn't have that ability in the 1970s. But some models did. In fact, other Bush military records already released by the White House itself show the same superscript – including one from 1968. Some analysts outside CBS say they believe the typeface on these memos is New Times Roman, which they claim was not available in the 1970s. But the owner of the company that distributes this typing style says it has been available since 1931."
GOP Angry at CNN, Begalla and Carville
What else is new? NYT:The Bush campaign has questioned CNN's allowing James Carville and Paul Begala to continue as commentators despite their role as informal advisers to the Kerry campaign.
"It seems highly irregular that CNN would tolerate two employees' openly working and advising and appearing on behalf of the John Kerry for President campaign," Steve Schmidt, a Bush spokesman, said Wednesday.
In retooling its message since the Republican National Convention, the Kerry organization has taken increasingly keen interest in advice from Mr. Begala and Mr. Carville, who were political strategists for President Bill Clinton and are now the liberal co-hosts of the CNN program "Crossfire," opposite the conservative co-hosts, Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson.
Matthew Furman, a CNN spokesman, said Mr. Carville and Mr. Begala did not appear on the network in the Kerry campaign's behalf. Mr. Furman also noted that they were offering the campaign their advice free of charge, as they do for many other Democrats.
Most Conservative Judges in History
According to a study by several academics; AP:A study of thousands of federal court cases has found that judges appointed by President Bush (news - web sites) are the most conservative on record in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties. The study's authors say the re-election of Bush would give U.S. courts a strong rightward tilt that could last for years.People for the American Way reminds us:
"If Bush wins re-election you're going to have a very conservative judiciary," University of Houston political scientist Robert Carp said on Thursday. "An average president puts in about a third of the federal judiciary in two terms, so this really is a watershed year in terms of what happens." ... They found that Republican appointees issued liberal rulings in about a third of their cases while Democrats did so 45 percent to 50 percent of the time.
But in civil rights and civil liberties cases -- abortion, gay rights, freedom of speech, right to privacy, race relations, for example -- Bush judges made liberal decisions only 26.5 percent of the time.
That was well below 37.9 percent for appointees of Richard Nixon, 32.3 percent for Ronald Reagan (news - web sites) and 32.2 percent for George H.W. Bush, all fellow Republican presidents.The Supreme Court is the final authority on Americans' basic rights. It interprets the law and decides what the Constitution permits and the Bill of Rights protects. As many as three of the nine justices on the Court may retire in the next few years. President Bush has stated that his model for Supreme Court nominations will be Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the two most right-wing justices on the Court. And it will only take one or two new right-wing votes to roll back many social justice gains of the past 65 years. In fact, right-wing activists want to return America to before the New Deal, when the Supreme Court blocked many government efforts to address issues from child labor to poverty.Interpret laws. Rulings. Supreme Court justices = old. Retire. Appoint? Liberal justices? Ahaha. No.
Turning Back the Clock
The current Supreme Court's conservative majority has already begun to turn back the clock, adopting a new theory of states' rights and limiting remedies to discrimination. But even this conservative majority has not been willing to follow the radically right-wing course that the Court's most far-right justices have argued for. On many issues, they just need a vote or two.
So claims a journalist overseas; Lloyd Grove's NYDN column:Did Secretary of State Colin Powell tell his British counterpart two years ago that the U.S. government's three top hawks were "f--g crazies"? Respected Brit journalist James Naughtie reports that in private talks with Foreign Secretary Jack Straw before the war in Iraq, a deeply frustrated Powell used just those words to describe Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Powell's chief rivals in the Bush administration.
Yesterday, Powell - through a spokeswoman - predictably denied Naughtie's account, which appears in a new book, "The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency."
"This is nonsense," Powell said. "I never said anything like that to Jack, nor him to me. Anyone who says I did is wrong."
Likewise, after fevered consultations between the State Department and the Foreign Office Wednesday night and yesterday, a British official E-mailed me: "These allegations are without foundation. Secretary Powell has never used these words to the Foreign Secretary."
But Naughtie - a well-known BBC radio personality whose contacts in the British government are deep and wide - refused to back off.
"I did not use these words lightly," he told me yesterday. "I had information which convinced me utterly that they had been used. Whatever the statements issued from the two offices concerned, I stand by the quote."
Bush Makes NJ Competitive
The state, which is largely expected to go to Kerry, is swinging between Bush and the Democrat; NJ Star-Ledger:On the strength of withering attacks against his opponent in TV ads and at the Republican National Convention, President Bush has cut Democrat John Kerry's lead in New Jersey to just four points, a new Star-Ledger/Eagleton-Rutgers Poll shows.More state polls here.
Kerry led Bush by 20 points after the Democratic National Convention in July, and both parties have long counted New Jersey as a safe bet to land in the Kerry column in the Nov. 2 election.
The poll, conducted Friday through Tuesday, found the Massachusetts senator leading Bush 43 percent to 39 percent. Five percent sided with independent Ralph Nader or another candidate, while 13 percent said they had not yet decided. The poll of 738 registered voters has a margin of error of 3.7 points.
The Faces of 1,000 Soldiers
NYDN Source: Sharon Bush Lying
From Rush and Malloy in the NYDN:"I categorically deny that I ever told Kitty Kelley that George W. Bush used cocaine at Camp David - or that I ever saw him use cocaine at Camp David. The one time I met in person with Kitty Kelley, she mentioned drug use at Camp David. I responded by saying something along the lines of, 'Who would say such a thing?'" ... "We met at the Chelsea Bistro on April 1, 2003," says our insider. "It was a very long lunch. Sharon was talking about affairs in the Bush family ... [that they are] very dysfunctional. She said they talk about family values, but they don't practice what they preach.
"Then Kitty raised the drug issue," our source continues. "Kitty, who can make a rock talk, said: 'I know about the drugs. I know that W did drugs at Camp David during his father's presidency.'
"Sharon agreed. She said, 'Absolutely. That's all true.'"
September 09, 2004
Guardian. Bush attacked over army record; New scrutiny over president's Vietnam-era service record
LAT. Study: Smog Causes Lifelong Harm
LAT. Kerry Says War Siphoning Billions From Home Front
LAT. 14 States to Get Democratic Ads
LAT. Bush Invokes Truman in Promoting Global Strategy
NYT. Documents Suggest Special Treatment for Bush in Guard
NYT. For 1,000 Troops, There Is No Going Home
NYT. Bush Now Backs Budget Powers in New Spy Post
NYT. Effort to Renew Weapons Ban Falters on Hill
BG. Bid cited to boost Bush in Guard
BG. Kerry calls Iraq war 'catastrophic choice'
AP. Gore: Cheney 'wrong choice' remark sleazy
AP. Soldier, statesman ... rocker? Old Kerry album of New Hampshire band gets second look
AP. Bush to promote economic program in Pa. (
AP. Health Care Premiums Jump 11.2 Percent
USA TODAY. Exposed to pollutions, kids' lungs show later function loss
Reuters. Russia Warns West Against Meddling in Chechnya
Trenton Times. NJ Special election argued
AZ Republic. Conservatives knock off GOP moderates in statehouse races
Guardian. Australian embassy bomb kills 8; At least eight people die in Jakarta attack
DesMoinesReg. More owners trading in SUVs
DesMoinesReg. Iowa hit hard by Medicare increase
DesMoinesReg. Despicable use of fear:How dare the vice president in charge on 9/11 imply that others will let America be attacked
Test. Now it's Bush's turn to squirm; Evidence of the president's fudged war record emerged in time to undermine the Republicans' triumphal march
LAT. Hucksters on the Hustings
Anna Politkovskaya. Poisoned by Putin; The horror of Beslan was made still worse by the intimidation of Russia's servile media
Newsday. Gun Ban; Bush hasn’t lifted a finger to help
James Klurfeld. Cheney's 'warning' is the lowest blow yet
Marie Cocco. Bush flip-flops on weapons ban pledge
Steve Benen. Pay to Play; If Bush wants to host private, exclusive rallies, he should pay for them
Peter Dreier. The Suburbanization of Poverty
Farai Chideya. Will the Hip Hop Generation Go Green?
Evan Derkacz. George Bush, This is Your Life
Richard Cohen. Red Scare, Updated
Jon Corzine and Richard Holbrooke. Help the African Union
Ellen Goodman. A grand vision
The Washington Times and Facts
Just don't mix. Media Matters
Some would call it hypocritical. I call it hypodipocritical. But that's just me.In March of this year, Cheney attacked Kerry for having "repeatedly voted against weapons systems for the military,"hammering the senator for voting "against the Apache helicopter, against the Tomahawk cruise missile, against even the Bradley Fighting Vehicle." He said this record has "given us ample doubts about [Kerry's] judgment and the attitude he brings to bear on vital issues of national security."In fact, a lot of the attacks against Kerry on defense spending have been misleading. And there is another point about voting in regards to spending packages that Chris Matthews actually touched upon on his Hardball show with guest Zell Miller:
What Cheney leaves out of his stump speeches is the ironic fact that almost all of the cuts Kerry voted for were endorsed or originally proposed by Cheney himself. At issue is not the cuts themselves, but the hypocrisy of Cheney attacking an opponent who merely followed his lead.
Cheney accuses Kerry of calling for "major reductions or outright cancellations of many of our most important weapons systems"; Bush ads attack the senator for voting "against 13 weapons systems for our troops" over 20 years. But it was Defense Secretary Cheney who gloated that he had "put an end to more than 100 systems" in less than three years. In December 1991, he bragged to the Washington Post that he was setting "an all-time record as Defense Secretary for canceling or stopping production" of weapons and equipment.MILLER: Well, I certainly don't believe they want to defend America by putting the kind of armor and the kind of equipment that we have got to have out there for our troops. I mean, nothing could be clearer than that, than what John Kerry did when he voted against that $87 billion in appropriations, that would have provided protective armor for our troops and armored vehicles.Just silly distortion politics. Sick.
MATTHEWS: All right, let me ask you. Senator, you are the expert. Many times, as a conservative Republican, you have had to come out on the floor and obey party whips and vote against big appropriations passed by the Democrats when they were in power.
You weren't against feeding poor people. You weren't against Social Security. You weren't against a lot of programs that, because of the nature of parliamentary procedure and combat, you had to vote against the whole package. Didn't you many times vote against whole packages of spending, when you would have gladly gone for a smaller package?
Nader off Balot in Florida
Bush campaign suffers a loss in Florida.
Poll: Tex Gov Perry Vulnerable
A Houston Chronicle poll finds that "results appear to favor challenges by Hutchison and Strayhorn."Some 47 percent in the Scripps Howard survey rated the governor's job performance as fair or poor, a five-point drop from last spring's poll during a failed special legislative session on school finance, when more than half disapproved.
The results, showing Perry's approval rating at 43 percent, are contained in the latest Scripps Howard survey of 1,000 adult Texans Aug. 9-26. Last spring, Perry was popular with only 37 percent of Texans.
The latest poll includes 38 percent Republicans, 26 percent Democrats and 25 percent independents.
Become an ACTivist
From an America Coming Together Email:Starting today, you will earn "ACTion Points" for fundraising, recruiting, and volunteering for ACT. In just a few short weeks, hundreds of the top performing ACTivists around the country will be awarded with Vote for Change concert tickets, tour memorabilia and many other valuable prizes. Grand prize winners will hit the road in October with their favorite Vote for Change artist.Sign up here.
Don't delay. There are hundreds of prize packages available. The competition starts right now.
More Questions About Bush Service Record
More information surfacing; from CBS News.
Moore to Help Release Two Albums
And - surprise - right before the election; NYT:Michael Moore has struck deals with two major record companies to release "Fahrenheit 9/11"-theme albums less than a month before the presidential election, record executives and Mr. Moore said yesterday.
The deals, with Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group, were reached after months of closely guarded and laborious talks and will add a musical dimension to Mr. Moore's political efforts. The albums are set for release Oct. 5.
Sony BMG will release the more unusual of the two recordings, a compilation of artists who Mr. Moore said provided motivation to him and his crew while they were making the film. It includes a new song from Zack de la Rocha, the former front man for the politically charged rock band Rage Against the Machine, and previously released songs from Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, the Clash, System of a Down and Jeff Buckley. It also includes a new song from the Nightwatchman, an alter ego of Tom Morello, the former Rage Against the Machine guitarist.
Warner Music is set to release a soundtrack of the film's score and several songs used in the film, including Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" and R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People."
Send an Email to U.S. Forest Service Officials
From Defenders of Wildlife:
The Bush administration is finalizing a plan to eliminate protections for 58.5 million acres of America's last wild roadless forests and instead open them to rampant logging and mining. Help us deliver one million comments to the U.S. Forest Service by September 14th.
The administration's near-final plan would allow individual states to ignore the roadless rule – a rule that prohibits the building of logging roads in America's few remaining unroaded national forests. The plan could lead to the destruction of some of the most pristine areas in the entire country, including scarce habitat for wildlife such as grizzly bears, wolves, bald eagles, and salmon. If this new policy goes into effect, not a single acre of the national forests that were protected under the roadless rule will be safe from the timber and mining industries.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Please visit the Defenders Action Fund (http://www.defendersactionfund.org/takeAction.jsp) and send an e-mail to U.S. Forest Service officials and urge them to protect our last wild forests by withdrawing their damaging proposal to repeal the roadless rule. Thanks for helping to protect wild roadless forests and forest wildlife! With your help we can reach our goal of one million comments by September 14th, when Defenders Action Fund and other organizations will be delivering comments to the U.S. Forest Service.
This Just In: Michael Savage Really Doesn't Like Gays
Yeah ... Former member of the NBC payroll, from Media Matters:On the September 3 broadcast of his radio show, Savage Nation, nationally syndicated right-wing host Michael Savage spewed homophobic vitriol, stating that "radical homosexuals" and "radical Islamists" are "one and the same, they're all terrorists."
Create A New Candlelight Vigil
From MoveOn.org; help remember the soldiers:In the past four days, clashes with Iraqi insurgents have claimed the lives of 17 American soldiers. With these deaths, we mark a grim milestone: over 1,000 military men and women have now died in this misconceived war.
Their caskets have been hidden from view, and the President won't visit their graves. And this morning, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld diminished their deaths by calling the toll "relatively small." But it is now time for us to publicly recognize the sacrifice these soldiers have made, and to demand that our leaders serve those in harm's way better in the future.
Tomorrow night at 8pm, we're joining with the Win Without War coalition to hold hundreds of candlelight vigils. Gathered together silently in towns across the country, we'll reflect on this terrible moment and honor the fallen. And by focusing attention on the dead, we'll help pressure our national leaders to get us out of this mess.
September 08, 2004
GOP Mayor to Protest Bush?
May use the Electoral College to lodge a protest vote against Bush; Charleston Daily Mail:South Charleston Mayor Richie Robb said today he may vote against George W. Bush in the Electoral College, even if the president carries West Virginia's popular vote.
Robb, long known as a maverick Republican, said he is considering using his position as one of the state's five Republican electors to protest what he believes are misguided policies of the current administration.
"It's not likely that I would vote for Kerry," Robb said. "But I'm looking at what my options are when it comes time to cast my vote."
World Wants Change
Finds new poll.
More Bush Ineptitude
From MSNBC:Bush refused to answer questions from reporters. He simply stared at a reporter who asked if he agreed with Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that if Democrat John Kerry is elected, "the danger is that we'll get hit again" by terrorists.0_0
'Texans for Truth' Ad to Challenge Guard Record
Texans for Truth. Hyuk. USA Today:A group called Texans for Truth will release a TV ad today in which a former lieutenant colonel in the Alabama Air National Guard says neither he nor his friends saw George W. Bush when the future president was supposed to be with their unit in 1972.And - of course - Drive Democracy has a website (though the Texans ad isn't covered).
The ad could renew questions about Bush's Vietnam-era service in the National Guard, just as ads by a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth renewed debate over Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's service in Vietnam and his anti-war efforts.
Since the 2000 campaign, Bush has been dogged by questions about whether he reported for duty throughout his Guard service. He served as a pilot with the Texas Air National Guard and sought a transfer to Alabama in 1972 so he could work on a political campaign there. But some records that could document his service in Alabama are missing.
Texans for Truth is an arm of DriveDemocracy, an Austin-based organization that got its initial funding from the liberal group MoveOn.org. Affiliates of MoveOn.org - MoveOn PAC and MoveOn Voter Fund — have spent about $7 million since March 1 on anti-Bush TV ads.
Edit: As noted in the comments, find the ad here
Koppel on Fox News
Somewhat interesting, take it for what it's worth:Overall, CNN's prime-time coverage edged Fox's during the Democratic convention before losing in a landslide when the Republicans took center stage.Enter silly Bill:
"That suggests there are more people than I thought who are really looking for someone whose political vibrations are sympathetic to their own," Nightline anchor Ted Koppel said.
"There's nothing essentially wrong with that unless of course it leads to a future where everybody in the media universe feels they have to carve out a position, either with the left, the right, or vegetarians. Logically you could wind up where there's no longer a news organization that even tries to go down the middle. I think that would be a terrible shame."Bill O'Reilly, host of Fox's most popular program, The O'Reilly Factor , said his network's popularity has little to do with ideology.
"I don't think any network is liberal or conservative. We do news in a more interesting way. That's the key. We're more flamboyant. Certainly Fox takes a more traditional approach, and voices and opinions heard here will never be heard on the Jennings, Rather or Brokaw shows. But that's not it! We're more fun to watch and our information is solid. Period!"
Cali to Sue Diebold
Over "allegedly making fraudulent claims to Alameda County and the state about the security and reliability of voting machines the company sold the county." From the Sac Bee:Lockyer plans to join a lawsuit originally filed by electronic-voting watchdogs who claimed that Diebold provided Alameda County with software that was not federally certified and could be tampered with. The lawsuit, now pending in Alameda County Superior Court, seeks restitution of the nearly $12 million in taxpayer money used to purchase the touch-screen voting machines, many of which did not work properly in the March primary election.One of the best sites about fraud voting is still Black Box Voting.
Lockyer's office said it was dropping a criminal investigation into Diebold, but that prosecutors had enough evidence to pursue a false claims lawsuit against the company.
"False claims cases involve lying to obtain payment of taxpayer dollars, or to avoid making payments to government entities,'' said Lockyer spokesman Tom Dresslar.
And you'll remember this:The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."
The Aug. 14 letter from Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc. - who has become active in the re-election effort of President Bush - prompted Democrats this week to question the propriety of allowing O'Dell's company to calculate votes in the 2004 presidential election.
O'Dell attended a strategy pow-wow with wealthy Bush benefactors - known as Rangers and Pioneers - at the president's Crawford, Texas, ranch earlier this month. The next week, he penned invitations to a $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser to benefit the Ohio Republican Party's federal campaign fund - partially benefiting Bush - at his mansion in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington.
Log Cabin GOP Withholds Bush Endorsement
Not like the GOP party establishment cares what they think; NYTimes:The board of Log Cabin Republicans, the largest group for gay men and lesbians in the party, voted overwhelming last night against endorsing President Bush for re-election because of his support for a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
The decision ends six months of soul-searching as the group, which endorsed Mr. Bush in 2000 and Bob Dole in 1996, wrestled with its divided loyalties.
Although the group was immediately critical when the president announced his support for the amendment in February, it pointedly refrained from ruling out an endorsement. Its effort to balance loyalty to the party with opposition to a major item on the Republican agenda has made it a target of criticism from both supporters and opponents of the proposed amendment.
Jimmy Carter's Letter to Zell Miller
In the Atlanta J-C:Perhaps more troublesome of all is seeing you adopt an established and very effective Republican campaign technique of destroying the character of opponents by wild and false allegations. The Bush campaign's personal attacks on the character of John McCain in South Carolina in 2000 was a vivid example. The claim that war hero Max Cleland was a disloyal American and an ally of Osama bin Laden should have given you pause, but you have joined in this ploy by your bizarre claims that another war hero, John Kerry, would not defend the security of our nation except with spitballs. (This is the same man whom you described previously as "one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders --- and a good friend.")
I, myself, served in the Navy from 1942 to 1953, and, as president, greatly strengthened our military forces and protected our nation and its interests in every way. I don't believe this warrants your referring to me as a pacifist.
Zell, I have known you for 42 years and have, in the past, respected you as a trustworthy political leader and a personal friend. But now, there are many of us loyal Democrats who feel uncomfortable in seeing that you have chosen the rich over the poor, unilateral pre-emptive war over a strong nation united with others for peace, lies and obfuscation over the truth, and the political technique of personal character assassination as a way to win elections or to garner a few moments of applause. These are not the characteristics of great Democrats whose legacy you and I have inherited.
Soldier Deaths in Iraq Pass 1,000
September 07, 2004
AP. Bush Lauds Strength of Economy
Scripps Howard. U.S. faces complex job picture
AP. Intelligence Changes Stymied by Turf Wars
AP. Taxpayer Money Is Fraction of Campaign
IHT. War of words over espionage probe
USAT. U.S. Muslims urge voters; Group to announce candidate endorsement by month's end.
USAT. Heinz Kerry taken to hospital
Reuters. Bush Asks for $2 Bln for Florida, to Visit State
WP. At Odds on How -- and Whether -- to Resolve Pay Gap for Guard and Reserves
WP. Bush Keeps Focus on Security
WP. Kerry Slams Bush on Iraq
NYT. Big Clinton Role in Kerry Campaign Is Seen as Unlikely
NYT. The Running Mates: Cheney's Praise of Bush Takes a Dig at Clinton (and Reagan)
NYT. 7 U.S. Marines and 3 Iraqis Are Killed in a Car Bomb Attack
NYT. China Ex-President May Be Set to Yield Last Powerful Post
NYT. Bush and Kerry Clash Over Iraq and a Timetable
Newsday. Candidates woo labor groups
Newsday. Clinton narrowly escaped heart attack
Krugman. A Mythic Reality
NYT. Voter ID Problems in Florida
Brent Staples. Fighting the AIDS Epidemic by Issuing Condoms in the Prisons
E. J. Dionne Jr. Can Kerry Match The Comeback Kid?
LAT. Labor Pains
John Podesta and David Sirota. Late, Great Middle Class
BG. Risking the nest egg
Eric Alterman and Paul McLeary. Think Again: 'Misplaced Feith'
Scott Lilly. Analysis of the August 2004 Employment Report
Jason Vest and Laura Rozen. Mole Hunt; An expert on U.S.–Israeli relations reveals details from his recent visit with the FBI.
Jared Bernstein. Room for Growth; New data show that our living standards have the potential to go up
Mark Goldberg. A Labor Party No More; Breaking up with Tony Blair is hard to do. TAP talks to Neal Lawson, a journalist and Labor Party activist.
Harry J. Holzer. More Jobs for Young Black Men: What Will It Take?
Trevor Butterworth. The Great OxyContin Scare
Mark Weisbrot. No Picnic; This Labor Day, most U.S. workers are worse off than they were at this time last year
Amanda Griscom. Keep Off the Grass
This is pretty bad:"It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States," Cheney told about 350 supporters at a town-hall meeting in this Iowa city.
If Kerry were elected, Cheney said the nation risks falling back into a "pre-9/11 mind-set" that terrorist attacks are criminal acts that require a reactive approach. Instead, he said Bush's offensive approach works to root out terrorists where they plan and train, and pressure countries that harbor terrorists.
Bill O'Reilly for Senate?
What an ego shattering run that would be; gossiper Lloyd Grove on the working man:But I'm told that in recent days, O'Reilly, a registered independent, has confided to friends that he's seriously considering a run.
In one conversation over the past two weeks, I hear that O'Reilly even ruminated about whether he should endorse Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry - the better to position himself as a moderate Republican in a majority-Democrat state.
But a few days later, I'm told, O'Reilly rejected the idea of a Kerry endorsement, privately declaring his intention to back President Bush.
A 'Comedy Monday' ps - Defender Bear - "A campaign of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund to defeat George Bush."
How the Bush Admin Screwed Up
Yet people still think the Bush admin is tough on national security; Elizabeth Drew in The New York Review of Books:The administration fought the commission at nearly every turn—at first denying it sufficient funds, then opposing an extension of time, refusing it documents, trying to prevent Condoleezza Rice from testifying in public. The White House, in a preemptive move, told the commission that Bush would not testify under oath, and insisted that he appear along with Vice President Cheney. The main partisan division within the commission, I was told, was over how hard to press the White House for information that it was holding back. In its effort to achieve a unanimous, bipartisan report, the commission decided not to assign "individual blame" and avoided overt criticism of the President himself. Still, the report is a powerful indictment of the Bush administration for its behavior before and after the attacks of September 11.And more blockage:
The biggest obstacle the administration placed before the commissioners was CIA Director George Tenet's refusal to let them interview detainees directly, including key figures in the September 11 plot—despite the strong objections of some of the commissioners. They were forbidden to talk to, among others, the plot's mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (called KSM in the report), who had been captured in PakistanIn an attempt to discredit the commission, the White House charged that some of its Democratic members were "partisan," a view some Bush officials expressed in interviews with an obviously phony show of sorrow. "Partisan" meant that certain commissioners, in particular Richard Ben-Veniste, a Democrat and a skilled trial attorney, asked tough questions—as if somehow tough questions weren't in order. Some Republican commissioners—in particular Jim Thompson, Fred Fielding, and John Lehman—in appearances on television or in the commission's deliberations, sometimes seemed to be doing the White House's bidding, repeating some of its "talking points." But in the end they didn't attempt to block damning information about the Bush administration's performance from appearing in the final report.And screwups by the Bush admin at the time of the attacks:
The administration also attempted to put pressure on the commission through the process of clearing the staff reports—by a committee set up by the White House. Several commissioners told me that the clearance process sometimes elicited new facts, which they accepted. Sometimes the administration questioned the staff's conclusions or inferences, but the commissioners insist that they made changes only on the basis of new facts, and that they did not negotiate with the administration.In fact, the commission gives a devastating picture of the chaos within the Bush administration on the morning of the attacks, when the President famously remained in the Florida classroom for some five to seven minutes (according to the report) after learning of the second attack on the World Trade Center. But this is just one of several examples that morning of questionable judgment on the part of the President, as well as of the officials traveling with him, including his chief of staff, Andrew Card, and his political mentor, Karl Rove. Bush told the commission that he attributed the first crash, which he learned of before he entered the school classroom, to "pilot error," but this seems strange, since it is unlikely that a pilot would accidentally stray into a very tall, prominent building in a highly controlled air space on a clear autumn day. Subtly but damningly, the report makes it clear that after Bush left the classroom, "the focus was on the President's statement to the nation"—his "message"—rather than on taking charge of the nation's response to the attacks.
The President didn't convene a meeting of his National Security Council until after all of the planes had crashed. And though the chain of command for military actions runs from the president to the secretary of defense, Bush didn't call Rumsfeld for nearly an hour after the second tower was hit, though more than a half-hour lapsed between the crash into the second tower in New York and the attack on the Pentagon. Morever, despite the established chain of command, Bush in that call didn't discuss with Rumsfeld the authorization to shoot down planes. Astonishingly, according to information the commission received between the writing of the staff reports and the final report, the secretary of defense, upon learning of the two attacks in New York, simply returned to the work he had already been doing in his Pentagon office.
"Cowardice in the newsrooms"
Edward Wasserman in the Miami Herald on the media's coverage leading up to the Iraq war:The performance of this country's finest news organizations in the run-up to the Iraq invasion of March 2003 will be remembered as a disgrace. To be sure, it was an angry, fearful time, and independent-minded reporting might not have been heard above the drumbeats of patriotism and war. But it's hard to read the hand-wringing confessionals from news organizations that now realize that they got the prewar story wrong without concluding that the real problem was they were afraid to tell the truth.
Resisting undue outside influence is part of what news professionals do, even when that influence comes from the public they're honor-bound to serve. It's hard enough to get the story right, without holding it hostage to an open-ended negotiation with zealots who believe they already know what the story is.
The Horton - Swfit ConnectionIn both the Horton and Swift boat cases, the respective Bush campaigns disclaimed responsibility, saying the ads were the work of unaffiliated groups. But in both instances, news media reports subsequently exposed ties between the official campaigns and the independent groups. In Horton's case, Bush's campaign manager, the late Lee Atwater, was at one point quoted as saying he intended to make Horton "a household name." But subsequent inquiry by the Federal Election Commission found no illegal coordination between the campaign and the independent group.
And neither of the Bush campaigns specifically repudiated the controversial spots -- although George W. Bush has called for an end to all advertising by "527" independent groups, several of which have spent millions of dollars on ads attacking his record. In fact, immediately after the Horton ad stopped airing, the Bush campaign ran its own ad about the Massachusetts prison release program using a picture of Horton, thereby reinforcing the initial commercial and the soft-on-crime message.
What is fascinating to Kenneth Goldstein, a political science professor who directs the University of Wisconsin political advertising study project, is the needle-in-a-haystack quality of the two ads -- the fact that they, of all campaign commercials, became so widely discussed.
Neither one, he points out, was viewed by very many people at first. The anti-Dukakis spot aired on cable TV in just two New England markets. The Swift boat commercial has had somewhat larger exposure, running about 700 times in three battleground states. But that is a pittance, Goldstein said, in a campaign in which more than 500,000 commercials have been run through mid-August. It is also in keeping with other famed negative campaign spots, such as Lyndon B. Johnson's 1964 "Daisy" commercial against Barry Goldwater. That commercial, which showed a little girl picking a daisy followed by a nuclear explosion, aired just once.
Army to Rebid Halliburton Contract
From the WSJ (sub required, full article in extended):The U.S. Army plans to move within months to break up the multibillion-dollar logistics contract that Halliburton Co. has to feed, house and look after U.S. troops in Iraq, and to put out the work for competitive bid.
The move, laid out in an internal Army memorandum, comes after more than a year in which Halliburton's work in Iraq under the contract has been plagued by accounting turmoil and accusations of overcharging. The contract, which the memo values at as much as $13 billion, has been used since early last year to provide massive support services for U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait, including housing, dining halls, transportation and laundry.
U.S. Defense Department officials said the intention to rebid the contract wasn't meant to penalize Halliburton's Kellogg Brown & Root unit that handles the work, so much as to find greater efficiencies by parceling the work out to a wider range of companies.
Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall said the move was expected and had occurred in a previous contract with the Pentagon. She said KBR would consider bidding for parts of the work.
Army to Rebid Halliburton Contract
Military Plans to Break Up
Iraq Logistics Operations
Into at Least Six Pacts
By NEIL KING JR. in Washington and RUSSELL GOLD in Dallas
Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
September 7, 2004; Page A3
The U.S. Army plans to move within months to break up the multibillion-dollar logistics contract that Halliburton Co. has to feed, house and look after U.S. troops in Iraq, and to put out the work for competitive bid.
The move, laid out in an internal Army memorandum, comes after more than a year in which Halliburton's work in Iraq under the contract has been plagued by accounting turmoil and accusations of overcharging. The contract, which the memo values at as much as $13 billion, has been used since early last year to provide massive support services for U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait, including housing, dining halls, transportation and laundry.
U.S. Defense Department officials said the intention to rebid the contract wasn't meant to penalize Halliburton's Kellogg Brown & Root unit that handles the work, so much as to find greater efficiencies by parceling the work out to a wider range of companies.
Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall said the move was expected and had occurred in a previous contract with the Pentagon. She said KBR would consider bidding for parts of the work.
In the memo, dated Aug. 25, the Army's chief of procurement policy, Tina Ballard, directed top officials within the U.S. Army Field Support Command "to immediately begin the transition to competitively awarded sustainment contracts for support of U.S. military forces in Iraq."
The memo also addresses the Army's increasing frustration with efforts to devise a final estimated cost of the work. One option being considered is for the Army to forgo efforts to negotiate contract costs with KBR. The Army then could take unilateral action and come up with estimated costs on its own.
If the Army pursues such a move, it could make it more difficult for KBR to stay within estimated costs, which would make it harder to qualify for its 2% bonus. This could have significant financial implications, said Halliburton's Ms. Hall, because "the award fee is where you make your money."
Still, she said, the company viewed the Army's decision "as positive and will help to resolve outstanding issues." She also said the contract has provisions to allow KBR to dispute the Army's final estimates.
The contract has been taxing on the company, eating up capital while its KBR unit is in bankruptcy proceedings. Through the end of June, the Houston company had spent $1.1 billion on the logistics contract and other, smaller contracts that it was expecting the government to reimburse.
Pentagon auditors said in a report last month that KBR hadn't provided satisfactory details to back up more than $1.8 billion of work in Iraq and Kuwait. The Army still is debating whether to begin withholding payment on 15% of all billings until KBR is able to resolve the accounting backlog.
Pentagon officials have discussed for months when the Army should revisit KBR's main Iraq contract. Under the contract, KBR is meant to serve as an all-purpose, quick-fix contractor to fill the military's needs -- everything from running dining halls to providing air-conditioned tents in the desert filled with weight-lifting equipment for the troops. The company is then reimbursed for its expenses, plus a profit margin of 1% and a possible 2% bonus.
After a wartime surge in work, the Army is supposed to shift to a more permanent footing by putting the work out to competitive bid.
A Pentagon official said the intention in Iraq is to break up the work into six or more smaller contracts, ranging from food services to transportation, and to complete the bidding process by year end. The exact timing, the official said, would be left up to Central Command, which is in charge of military operations in Iraq.
Halliburton's ties to the Bush administration -- U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was the company's chief executive from 1995 until 2000 -- have made it a lightning rod for criticism by Democrats.
The company and its subcontractors have mobilized more than 30,000 employees and lost 45 of them to attacks in Iraq, according to a company spokeswoman. Amid disputes over billing, it also faces several possibilities where the Army may demand reimbursement for large sums it already has paid to KBR. That could erase the company's already thin profit margin in Iraq.
"Corporate Profits Enjoying Unusually Large Gains, While Workers' Incomes Lag Behind"
Hamster Numbers: Voting
From the Drug Policy Alliance:Nearly 5 million American citizens cannot vote due to a felony conviction. In 14 states, people with felony convictions can permanently lose the right to vote. In most other states, those on probation and on parole are denied the vote. Given current rates of incarceration, 3 in 10 of the next generation of African American men can expect to be disfranchised at some point in their lives.
Bushism - OBGYN
Atrios has the funny.
AP: "Bill Clinton underwent a successful quadruple heart bypass operation Monday to relieve severely clogged arteries that doctors said put the former president at grave risk of suffering a heart attack"
New Prez Polls
Political Wire compiles the numbers so others don't have to.
Kitty Kelley's Bush Book: Will It Create a Storm?
The controversial claim:GEORGE W Bush snorted cocaine at Camp David, a new book claims.
His wife Laura also allegedly tried cannabis in her youth.
Author Kitty Kelley says in her biography The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty, that the US President first used coke at university in the mid-1960s.
She quotes his former sister-in-law Sharon Bush who claims: "Bush did coke at Camp David when his father was President, and not just once either."
Other acquaintances allege that as a 26-year-old National Guard, Bush "liked to sneak out back for a joint or into the bathroom for a line of cocaine".
September 06, 2004
NYC to Pay Protesters?
Village Voice on potential consequences from NYC's handling of the convention protesters:In an extraordinary move, a judge last night held the city in contempt for refusing to abide by his order to release some 560 people who had been detained without a hearing for up to 67 hours, most of them on minor violations. New York Supreme Court Justice John Cataldo slapped fines of as high as $1,000 per person for the city's failure to release people by 5 p.m. on Thursday. A hearing is expected next week to determine how many protesters remained behind bars beyond the cutoff time, and whether the city will actually be forced to compensate them.Meanwhile, TalkLeft has the story of a GOP delegate who bent it like Beckham on a protester.
"I think this is the first time a major municipality has actually been held in contempt and possibly fined for violating the rights of demonstrators before their cases went to court," says Daniel Alterman, one of the heavyweight lawyers-including Norman Siegel, Elizabeth Fink, and William Kunstler's wife, Margaret Ratner Kunstler-who went to bat for the demonstrators.
City attorneys say fines are 'inappropriate' and are expected to vigorously challenge them.
"Earlier this week the Republican party held a reception for black Republicans. Apparently the receptions was a big success. They both showed up." Conan O'Brien
"George Bush accepted the nomination and promised that if he's re-elected he promised to start reading memos. Thats a good sign." David Letterman
"Now that Bush has accepted the nomination the next step, of course, is the rigging of the voting machines." David Letterman
"On Monday President Bush said that we can't win the war on terrorism. Yesterday he said that we will win the war on terrorism, but earlier today he predicted a tie." David Letterman
"Many people in Britain are upset because last night at the convention Giuliani compared President Bush to Winston Churchill. Not only that, President Bush is upset because he has no idea who Winston Churchill is." Conan O'Brien
"How ugly did it get? Dick Cheney ... was the good cop. As usual, he was preceded by his wife Lynne, whose very presence proves to voters, "Hey, he's never killed his wife!" Jon Stewart
"Last night at a New York bar, this is true, a group of reporters were told to move out of their seats so President Bush's daughters could sit down and have a drink, not because they're the daughters of the president, but because they're regulars." Conan O'Brien
"If you're planning to go to the convention, even if you're a delegate, you're going to get frisked, you're going to get patted down, you're going to get groped, and that's just by Arnold Schwarzenegger." David Letterman
"The Republican convention goes on all week, but of course the highlight will be toward the end of the week when George Bush will show up for one day, you know, just like he did in the National Guard." David Letterman
Deserters for Truth.
Click down for comics
Seven U.S. Marines Killed in Iraq Blast
Least we forget: Reuters.
Bush Beats Kerry in Primetime
Hollywood Reporter. It's noteworthy how few people watched the conventions in general, and that the difference isn't much of a difference. Also remember that Fox News promoted / aired more of the RNC.
Rasmussen: Kerry / Bush Near Tie
Contradicting several other polls, the Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll "shows President George W. Bush with 48% of the vote and Senator John Kerry with 47%."
More Independent O'Reilly
Noted from Media Matter:O'REILLY: All right. You should be a Republican? You know why?
COMBS: No. Why should I be a Republican?
O'REILLY: Because you're self-made. Did anybody ever give you anything? ... O'REILLY: All right, so you made it on your own, right?
COMBS: Yes, I did.
O'REILLY: You're like me.
The Price of Bush's War
Hamster Numbers: Jobs
From the AFL-CIO:The nation's manufacturing workers especially have been hit hard. Although some 22,000 manufacturing jobs were created last month, more than 2.7 million total manufacturing jobs have been lost under Bush's watch. At the current pace, it would take more than 14 years to restore manufacturing employment levels to where they were when Bush took office. Meanwhile, the decline in the number of good information industry jobs also continued, with 11,000 positions lost last month. And the slowdown in retail sales, a symptom of consumers' uneasiness, was reflected in the loss of 11,300 retail jobs.
The official unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged in August, dipping slightly to 5.4 percent, though this slight decrease was primarily because 150,000 more people dropped out of the job market. The unemployment rate for Latinos worsened, dropping from 6.8 percent in July to 6.9 percent in August, and African American unemployment improved slightly, from 10.9 percent in July to 10.4 percent in August.
Analysts say the jobless rate could worsen in coming months. Last week, new applications for unemployment benefits rose to a five-month high as layoffs related to Hurricane Charley mounted, BLS reported.
Initial jobless claims increased for a second week in a row, climbing by 19,000 to 362,000 in the week ended Aug. 28. That marked the highest level since the week ended April 10. BLS estimates slightly less than half of the increase in jobless claims resulted from disruptions caused by the hurricane.
The average length of unemployment also continues to increase. Last month, the average duration of unemployment increased to 19 weeks or nearly five months, up from 18.6 weeks in July.
Labor Day Links
Happy Labor Day
From the Minn Star-Trib:So today many Americans will observe Labor Day by asking why workers ever joined unions in the first place. For an answer they should turn to the latest Census Bureau report on employment and income for 2003. The number of Americans without health insurance rose to a record 45 million, and the share with employer-sponsored coverage fell to the lowest level in more than a decade. The share of workers with pensions fell again, continuing a slide that began in the 1980s. The earnings of low-wage workers lagged well behind inflation, widening the gap between rich and poor. In other words, the economic expansion that began three years ago is leaving millions of workers behind.
A weakened labor movement isn't the only cause of these trends, but a stronger labor movement would have buffered them. In the middle of the last century labor unions brought pensions, health insurance and job security to Middle America. They sat across the bargaining table from management and played tug of war for a share of American profits. They narrowed the gap between rich and poor, and provided a ticket from the humblest of neighborhoods to the prosperous middle class. Jared Bernstein, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., estimates that 80 percent of the growth in corporate income went to worker compensation in most economic recoveries after World War II, while 20 percent went to corporate profits. In the current expansion, that ratio is almost exactly reversed.
We'll let historians decide whether the decline of labor ultimately made the United States a more or less prosperous nation. But free markets, for all their ingenuity and advantages, need mediating forces so that they don't utterly trample the least advantaged. Economic inequality in the United States now stands at its highest level since World War II, a trend that caused a task force of the American Political Science Association to observe recently: "Disparities of income, wealth and access to opportunity are growing more sharply in the United States than in many other nations. Progress toward realizing American ideals of democracy may have stalled, and in some arenas reversed."
It would be naive to think that organized labor will ever return to the era embodied by Walter Reuther and George Meany, union leaders who could intimidate presidents and bring the economy to a standstill. But it would be sad to think that the United States cannot devise other mediating institutions to guarantee that the nation's great prosperity is widely and fairly shared.
September 05, 2004
Republican Kid Rock Values
I'm sure they're thrilled to have him on their side; NY Times:Kid Rock, the Detroit-born rap artist who is a member of the spiky clump of George W. Bush supporters in the wonderful world of entertainment, trumpeted his support for the president Wednesday night at the recording-industry party for Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, and J. Dennis Hastert, the House speaker. The Kid, as he is called, was wearing a black Western-style bowler hat with a rhinestone band over his sweat-drenched stringy blond hair. He jumped right into an elaboration of his own considered brand of Republicanism. If he were president, he explained, he would never get caught having sex in the Oval Office, but would instead install cameras in the Lincoln Bedroom.
The Kid professed interest in smoking a joint while joining the Mile High Club on Air Force One, emphasizing his bullet points by punching his muscled arms in the air.
A Gary Bauer Moment
As noted by the Progress Report:Roll Call reports, "Guess who's the latest victim of Cheney Potty Mouth Syndrome? Hard as it may be to believe, it's none other than the man formerly known as Mr. Family Values, one-time presidential candidate Gary Bauer." Walking outside Madison Square Garden, a protester yelled at the Christian activist. "Bauer, without skipping a beat, popped off the now commonly procured and deployed F Bomb. 'F--- you,' Bauer said as he kept walking."
Down Goes Schroeder
AP: "German voters handed Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder a stinging defeat in elections Sunday in the small western state of Saarland, reflecting public anger over his drive to cut into the country's cherished network of social programs."
Fact Checking at RNC by Media?
Why would they do that? FAIR:Professional politicians and political correspondents alike know that legislators frequently vote against appropriations for a variety of reasons, even though they do not seek to eliminate the programs being voted on. They know that different versions of the same appropriation are often offered, and that lawmakers will sometimes vote for one version and against another-- not because they suffer from multiple personality disorder, but because that's how they express disagreements about how government programs should be funded.
No one who has spent any amount of time in or around government would find this the least bit confusing. Yet news analysts generally allowed Republican Party leaders to pretend shock that Sen. John Kerry would vote against an $87 billion appropriation for the Iraq War-- as if this meant that Kerry opposed giving troops "money for bullets, and fuel, and vehicles, and body armor," as George W. Bush declared (9/2/04). (The references to Kerry voting against body armor were particularly disingenuous, given that the $87 billion only included money for body armor at the insistence of congressional Democrats-- Army Times, 10/20/03.)
And journalists were complacent as Republicans expressed mock bafflement over why Kerry would vote against this bill when he had voted for another version of the bill (or "exactly the same thing," in former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's words-- 8/30/04). The reason that Kerry introduced an alternative bill-- because he wanted to pay for the appropriation by raising taxes on the wealthy rather than through deficit spending-- was well-publicized at the time (Washington Post, 9/18/03). Yet rather than challenging the dishonesty of this centerpiece of the Republican attack on Kerry, CNN's Jeff Greenfield after Bush's speech (9/2/04) called it "one of the most familiar and effective lines of his stump speech."
September 04, 2004
RNC Mucked-up Moore Security
Hamster Numberrs: Bush Admin and Military
1972 Year that Bush walked away from his pilot duties in the Texas National Guard, Nearly two years before his six-year obligation was up.
$3,500 Reward a group of veterans offered in 2000 for anyone who could confirm Bush's Alabama guard service.
600-700 Number of guardsmen who were in Bush's unit during that period.
0 Number of guardsmen from that period who came forward with information about Bush's guard service.
0 Number of minutes that President Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, the assistant Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, the former chairman of the Defence Policy Board, Richard Perle, and the White House Chief of Staff, Karl Rove the main proponents of the war in Iraq served in combat (combined). - Graydon Carter
September 03, 2004
NYT. Bush Outlines Plan for a 2nd Term and Attacks Kerry's Record
Reuters. Anti-War Activists Protest Bush Convention Speech
Reuters. Kerry Criticizes Cheney for Avoiding Vietnam War
Reuters. Bush, Kerry Square Off Over Iraq, Jobs
CNN. Pfizer ends discount card for elderly
AP. Bush Pledges Safer World, Resumes Stumping
LAT. Judge, Citing Misconduct, Tosses Terror Convictions
WP. Bush Promises 'a Safer World'
WP. Bush Tries Again With Financial Proposals
WP. Fallout From Miller Speech Unknown
LAT. Kerry Has Sharp Response to GOP Attacks
NYT. Strategy: Buoyed G.O.P. Says It Has Framed Agenda for Fall
Krugman. Feel the Hate
Herbert. Heads in the Sand
Derrick Z. Jackson. A plea for national amnesia
Thomas Oliphant. The gloss can't hide Bush's flaws
Sidney Blumenthal. Backwoods preacher pours hellfire on Democrats
E. J. Dionne Jr. The GOP's Dirty Z-Bomb
Newsday. The ‘compassionate conservative’ is back, but why should we believe it?
David Corn. Bush: It's About Me and My Crusade
Mary Jacoby. Swaggering toward Election Day; With the 9/11 tragedy as his backdrop, George Bush rediscovers "compassionate conservatism" in time to court women voters
Alan Bisbort. Lost in Florida
Sean Aday. Read His Lips... if they're moving
Thomas F. Schaller. What bounce? Bush is leading neither among likely nor (especially) registered voters
David Corn. The Bush Mob Orders Up a Hit; Questioning Kerry's patriotism, Zell Miller picks up where the Swift Vets left off
Katrina vanden Heuvel. Zig Zag Zell Wigs Out; We have 60 days left until the election. Here's a modest proposal
Jennifer Block. Women Against Bush: One Message, Many Messengers
Michael Manville. 'Staying angry: Eight loathsome things about the GOP'
Joe Conason. Zell Miller might have zigzagged to please his Big Tobacco benefactors, but his new far-right Christian friend won't like his cigarette breath
Kim Phillips-Fein. Protesters Give Peace a Chance
Williams Cole. A New York Giuliani Wouldn't Like
MotherJones. The Republican Noise Machine; David Brock Interview
Michael Scherer and Barry Yeoman. Acting Up with the Young Republicans
OK U.S. Senate Candidate Tom Coburn
A quotable quote, from the Hugo Daily News (September 1, 2004, link unavail):"We need someone who will speak morally on the issues and not run from the criticism of the national press:'
Coburn said. "We need to have moral clarity about our
leaders. I have a 100 percent pro-life record. I don't apologize
for saying; we need to protect the unborn. Do you realize
that if all those children had not been aborted, we
wouldn't have any trouble with Medicare and Social Security
today? That's another 41 million people."
From Newsweek: "Pro-choice Republicans say they've got the numbers on their side. Now they just have to win over party bigwigs."The GOP's largest pro-choice advocacy group, the Republican Majority for Choice (RMC), was a chief proponent of the new language in the platform preamble and regards the change as a small step in the right direction. Far from viewing itself as a renegade faction, the RMC touts a recent American Viewpoint poll that found that 73 percent of Republicans claim to be pro-choice. The organization says it is an outspoken minority that has overwhelmed those voices and established the party's agenda.RMC executive director Kellie Rose Ferguson:
This week, GOP stalwarts Libby Pataki, wife of the New York governor; Bloomberg and former Bush administration official Christie Todd Whitman hosted what they said was the largest-ever gathering of pro-choice Republicans, raising $1 million for their cause.Polling shows that 73 percent of Republicans and over 80 percent of Americans support a woman's right to choose. Again, we're not pushing this to be a central core part of a party platform. What we're saying is, "You can be pro-choice and you can be anti-choice and still be members of the Republican Party-vital key members of the Republican Party. Without the pro-choice members, we wouldn't have the majority in Congress, and I think both sides need to recognize that. Where a moderate Republican can win, we should be supporting the moderate Republican, no matter what your belief is on a lot of these social issues. We would love to see the day when women's reproductive health is so safe that we no longer have to be in business. But unfortunately, there are so many attacks on the right to choose from so many different sides that we've had to start up a lobbying arm; we've got chapters around the country, and now we have a political action committee to support pro-choice candidates and moderate candidates who set the policy.In Bush's speech last night, The Guardian notes:To huge cheers from the large numbers of delegates who campaign against abortion and regard their stance as an essential part of the Republican platform, he said that in a "caring society ... we must make a place for the unborn child."
Schwarzenegger's Odd History
From the AP:Recalling that the Soviets once occupied part of Austria in the aftermath of World War II, Schwarzenegger told the convention on Tuesday: "I saw tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes."
No way, historians say, challenging Schwarzenegger's knowledge of postwar history -- if not his enduring popularity among Austrians who admire him for rising from a penniless immigrant to the highest official in America's most populous state ... But Martin Polaschek, a law history scholar and vice rector of Graz University, told Kurier that Austria was governed by coalition governments, including the conservative People's Party and the Social Democratic Party. Between 1945 and 1970, all the nation's chancellors were conservatives -- not Socialists.
What's more, when Schwarzenegger left in 1968, Austria was run by a conservative government headed by People's Party Chancellor Josef Klaus, a staunch Roman Catholic and a sharp critic of both the Socialists as well as the Communists ruling in countries across the Iron Curtain.
Schwarzenegger "confuses a free country with a Socialist one," said Polaschek, referring to East European Communist officials' routine descriptions of their countries as Socialist.
Rush Limbaugh Dating Daryn Kagan
Not sure why a Republican would appreciate him; From the Honolulu Star Bulletin:What should have been the most embarrassing moment for Hawaii's GOP delegates came when their vice-chairman Willes Lee, who was vignetted daily by C-Span, was televised kneeling before radio talk-show host G. Gordon Liddy, saying, "I so admire what you did," then asking for the autograph of the man who became famous as a lead Plumber in the Nixon White House. Was Lee referring to Liddy's role in the break-in of the office of Daniel Ellsburg's psychiatrist or in the Watergate burglary?
Clinton Into Hospital
Catholic Voters Give Lower Priority to Abortion Than Other Issues
Econ, War, Healthcare tops it:Abortion was named as a "very important" priority by 49 percent of Catholics who expect to vote for President George W. Bush, coming behind Iraq, terrorism, moral values and the economy, each of which was named by at least 64 percent in a recent Pew poll ... Catholics who expect to vote for Kerry named health care, the economy, Iraq, the federal budget deficit, education and terrorism as their highest priorities. At least 74 percent of Catholic supporters of Kerry named each of those. Abortion was named as a priority for probable Kerry-voting Catholics 40 percent of the time.
Catholic voters who have not yet made up their minds about the presidential race gave top priority to health care, followed by the economy, terrorism, Iraq and the federal budget deficit. All those topics were named by at least 66 percent of Catholics who are still deciding.
Among those swing voters, abortion was named as a very important priority by 45 percent.
Sullivan: End of Conservatism
From the conservative pundit:But conservatism as we have known it is now over. People like me who became conservatives because of the appeal of smaller government and more domestic freedom are now marginalized in a big-government party, bent on using the power of the state to direct people's lives, give them meaning and protect them from all dangers. Just remember all that Bush promised last night: an astonishingly expensive bid to spend much more money to help people in ways that conservatives once abjured. He pledged to provide record levels of education funding, colleges and healthcare centers in poor towns, more Pell grants, seven million more affordable homes, expensive new HSAs, and a phenomenally expensive bid to reform the social security system. I look forward to someone adding it all up, but it's easily in the trillions. And Bush's astonishing achievement is to make the case for all this new spending, at a time of chronic debt (created in large part by his profligate party), while pegging his opponent as the "tax-and-spend" candidate. The chutzpah is amazing. At this point, however, it isn't just chutzpah. It's deception. To propose all this knowing full well that we cannot even begin to afford it is irresponsible in the deepest degree. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the only difference between Republicans and Democrats now is that the Bush Republicans believe in Big Insolvent Government and the Kerry Democrats believe in Big Solvent Government. By any measure, that makes Kerry - especially as he has endorsed the critical pay-as-you-go rule on domestic spending - easily the choice for fiscal conservatives. It was also jaw-dropping to hear this president speak about tax reform. Bush? He has done more to lard up the tax code with special breaks and new loopholes than any recent president. On this issue - on which I couldn't agree more - I have to say I don't believe him. Tax reform goes against the grain of everything this president has done so far. Why would he change now?
Bush Winning Terror Quote Less Coverage Than Heinz 'Shove It'
See Media Matters
Kerry Attacks BackIn a unprecedented political rebuttal, the Democratic presidential challenger told cheering supporters at a midnight rally in his home state of Massachusetts: "I'm not going to have my commitment to defend this country questioned by those who refused to serve when they could have and by those who have misled the nation into Iraq. Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this country.
"Doing nothing while this nation loses millions of jobs makes you unfit to lead this country. Letting 45 million Americans go without healthcare makes you unfit to lead this country. Letting the Saudi royal family control our energy costs makes you unfit to lead this country." ... "They did everything except talk about that" at their four-day convention, he said. "We have had insults; we have had anger from Republicans, and I'll tell you why: because they can't come to you and talk to you about having created jobs, since they have lost them. They can't come to you and talk to you about creating healthcare, since 5 million Americans have lost it.
Kerry Camp Response
Their response to the Bush convention speech is here.
From the poll: "The President has widened his lead in the Red States and tightened things up considerably in the Blue States. For the first time in months he now leads among Independents and Catholics. While the President has improved his numbers, he still has a negative re-elect, job performance, and wrong direction. So the battle is now engaged."
September 02, 2004
NYT. Cheney and G.O.P. Mount Vigorous Assault on Kerry
NYT. Tactics by Police Mute the Protesters, and Their Messages
NYT. Military Inquiry: About 2 Dozen G.I.'s to Face Trial or Other Punishment in Deaths of 2 Afghan Prisoners
NYT. Politics: Chalabi, Claiming Exoneration, Plans Another Comeback
ChicST. Pastor rips Muslims, loses polling sites
Reuters. U.S. Air Strike on Iraq's Falluja Kills 17: Doctors
BG. Veterans of Iraq war join forces to protest US invasion
BG. Once scarce in public, Bush adviser Rove making a higher profile
BG. Romney, Healey speeches paint Kerry as a waffler
Newsday. Peaceful day of protests
Newsday. Cheney blisters Kerry; VP derides Kerry for 'indecision,' while Democrat Zell Miller assails his approach to terror war
LAT. Election Official Feels Wrath of Florida Voters; The creator of notorious 'butterfly' ballot loses primary race. She was assailed for refusing to add safeguards to touch- screen polling machines
LAT. GOP Locks In on Theme, and Opens Fire on Kerry
WP. Report Scolds Terrorism Prosecutors
WP. Retired General Franks Supports Bush
WP. Bush to Offer Agenda for 2nd Term
WP. Kerry to Take the Offensive; Democratic nominee explains how he would have handled conflict in Iraq
AP. Bush Ready to Accept GOP Nomination
AP. New Kerry Ads Bring Focus Back on Economy
AP. Bush Begins His Final Push for Votes
AP. Edwards Assails GOP Speakers on Issues
Newsweek. ‘So Much Is at Stake’ A new movement is trying to counter the influence of the religious right. Will it impact the White House race?
Michelle Chen. Spreading the word; At St. Marks Church, a protest movement wises up to electoral politics
Joe Conason. A gay old time for the G.O.P.
Bill Berkowitz. Prisons, profits and prophets; Nation's largest private prison corporation joins forces with conservative faith-based ministries
Michael Moore. Don't send more kids to die
Bev Harris. Sum of a Glitch
Stewart Nusbaumer. Whole Lot of Screamin' Goin' On; Republicans manufacture and the media distributes the smears and the lies to drown out the real issues
Frederick Sweet. Bush Keeps Lying About Military Record
Jeff Horwitz. When Washington burned; Conventional wisdom says the country comes together during wartime. But that has not always been the case, says historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. -- not even when the British torched the nation's capital
Tim Grieve. The truth isn't out there; From Dick Cheney on down, the Republican convention's speakers haven't let the facts get in the way of their partisan ferocity
Salon. George W. Bush's missing year
LAT. Guantanamo Farce
Sidney Blumenthal. Dubya doesn't do nuance, Arnie does
Ellen Goodman. The GOP's big show for a tiny group
David Corn. Prom Night; A few tips for George Bush's speechwriters.
Hip hop against Bush? www.slambush.net
Keyes: Liberals Fear My Candidacy
I know I stay awake at night worrying about Obama's impending doom. From a Newsmax.com email:I'm writing to give you a quick update on my race for the US Senate in Illinois. After a few short weeks, things are going better than most believed was possible!The sad thing? I think he's serious.
We are building up the kind of momentum that is striking fear into the heart of both Barack Obama (my Democrat opponent) and the entire Democrat Machine. In fact, they have been running scared since I stepped into the race ... So why do liberals of all party stripes fear my candidacy? Because, perhaps more than in any other Senate race this year, I embody the principles of the Republican Party Platform.
My candidacy and my campaign show that true conservatives have not given up the battle to win races, as well as battles over the language of our party's platform.
Does Downing Street Want Kerry?John Kerry supporters in America have been told by Peter Hain that Downing Street is hoping the Democratic candidate wins the US presidential election in November.
Mr Hain, who sits in the cabinet as Leader of the Commons, has been in the US on a near-private visit. He met Labour supporters in New York, as well as members of the Kerry team. He has declined to discuss the visit, and his public remarks at a party thrown by the former Sunday Times editor Harold Evans were largely bland. But in private discussions with guests, his tone was markedly different.
Those who met him had the strong impression that he was acting with No 10's support, and that a Democratic victory was clearly sought. Such a supposition ought to be natural, but historic ties have been jolted by the strategic and sometimes personal alliance between George Bush and Tony Blair over Iraq. Mr Hain's visit may be seen by some as diplomatic ground-covering in the event of a Kerry victory.
More Halliburton Follies
From the LA Times, a "Nigerian report on allegations of bribery by consortium accuses the firm of playing games with parliamentary investigators":A Nigerian parliamentary report on allegations that a consortium that includes Halliburton Co. made vast illegal payments to win multibillion-dollar deals accuses the company of playing "hide-and-seek games" with local investigators.
The payments were reportedly made between 1995 and 2002, as the consortium, known as TSKJ, won three contracts worth a combined $7 billion to build a natural gas plant and related facilities.
The report, which was released Wednesday, sharply criticizes Halliburton, the energy services firm, calling on Chief Executive Dave Lesar to come to Nigeria to "make necessary clarifications" before parliamentary investigators.
It also recommends that Halliburton receive no further contracts in Nigeria until all international inquiries have been concluded. French authorities, the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also have ongoing investigations.
Bush To Alter Economic Stats Again
From Misleader.org:Last week, the Census Bureau released statistics showing that for the first time in years, poverty had increased for three straight years, while the number of Americans without health care increased to a record level.1 But instead of changing its economic and health care policies, the Bush administration today is announcing plans to change the way the statistics are compiled. The move is just the latest in a series of actions by the White House to doctor or eliminate longstanding and nonpartisan economic data collection methods.
In a Bush administration press release yesterday, the Census Bureau said next week it "will announce a new economic indicator" as "an additional tool to better understand" the economy. The change in statistics is being directed by Bush political appointees and comes just 60 days from the election. It will be the first modification of Census data in 40 years.2
This is not the first time the White House has tried to doctor or manipulate economic data that exposed President Bush's failed policies. In the face of serious job losses last year, the Associated Press reported "the Bush administration has dropped the government's monthly report on mass layoffs, which also had been eliminated when President Bush's father was in office."
Republicans Love Veterans
From Stewart Nusbaumert, in Intervention Mag:Republicans Insult Wounded Veterans: A wounded combat veteran awarded the Purple Heart is outraged that Republicans have mocked his Purple Heart medal and dishonored all Americans wounded in war.
When did it become acceptable in America for our Purple Heart decorations to be a political stunt for votes? When did veterans wounded in war become fair gain for ridicule? When did slight wounds become props for political advantage? And this from Republicans, few of whom served in our military and fewer who were wounded in war; who support a president who never went to a war which he strongly supported as he took actions to avoid that war. This reeks of hypocrisy and I am outraged.
The Republican Party is out of control; vicious and hateful, it is disrespectful and desperate; a political party that is now attacking America's wounded veterans. And the leadership of this Party remains quiet. First they attacked John McCain claiming the former POW was unfit to be President because he had been a prisoner in Vietnam; then they insisted that Max Cleland who lost three limbs on the battlefield in Vietnam did not sacrifice for his country; then they smeared John Kerry's military service and dismissed his sacrifices for America; now Republicans are insulting all veterans who are Purple Heart recipients, every American wounded in a war.
Never could I imagine this happening in America. Never have I witnessed antiwar demonstrators insulting military veterans as these so-called patriotic Republicans are insulting our wounded veterans. Never could I imagine.
Montanan Angry at Swift Boat Group Inclusion
Stealing his identity? Where's the mainstream media on this? From the The Billings Gazette:It bothers him that Sen. John Kerry's swift boat history has become such a political hot potato. But he's even more irritated that his name was included - without his permission - on a letter used to discredit Kerry.
"I'm pretty nonpolitical," the 56-year-old Anderson said Tuesday. So, when he found out last week that his name was one of about 300 signed on a letter questioning Kerry's service, he was "flabbergasted."
"It's kind of like stealing my identity," said Anderson, who spent a year on a swift boat as an engine man and gunner.
"After reading the letter," Anderson said, "it kind of got under my skin. I had never come across a situation where someone used my name without my support or approval. It's not a very comforting feeling."
What's worse, he said, he disagrees with the letter.
"Had they asked me to use my name, I wouldn't have allowed them to," he said ... Wedge, 60, of Mesquite, Nev., said his name, too, was on the list - and he's mad.
"This is the fourth or fifth time someone has called me or e-mailed me in regard to signing this damn letter," he wrote in an e-mail to Anderson. "I don't agree with it and want no part of it and especially don't want my name on it."
Keyes Makes GOP Uncomfortable
A "no-duh":Illinois Republican Chairman Judy Baar Topinka said Wednesday her party's nominee for U.S. Senate, Alan Keyes, should apologize for his "idiotic" comment vice presidential daughter Mary Cheney and all homosexuals are "selfish hedonists."Obama, meanwhile, takes the high road:
But Keyes refused to back down Wednesday, even as Vice President Dick Cheney addressed the Republican National Convention ... Illinois Republican leaders likewise have urged Keyes to move from abortion and gay marriage to economic issues.
"I told him, 'You've got to start focusing on things that unite Republicans and not on things that divide Republicans,' " said Cook County GOP Chair Gary Skoein.
U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) also criticized Keyes' initial comment on Sirius OutQ satellite radio and said she, like U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), needed to know more before deciding whether she would support Keyes ... Christine Iverson, a Republican Party spokeswoman, said the former talk show host's comments were "not worthy of the dignity of a response.''Keyes' Democratic opponent, state Sen. Barack Obama, addressed the issue after a speech at the Illinois AFL-CIO convention in Rosemont. "I have strong disagreements with Vice President Cheney on a whole host of policy issues, but I respect the love he has for his daughter, and I think that it's never appropriate to make the sort of comments that have been made," Obama said. "I think it's going to be up to the Republican Party to figure out whether they reflect an inclusive and generous spirit, or whether they want to reflect some of the bitterness we've been hearing lately."
Will Bob Barr Vote Against Bush?
From Newsday:Former Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia, a staunch conservative Republican, suggested yesterday that his concern over civil liberties issues raised in the Patriot Act might lead him to vote for a candidate other than President George W. Bush in November.
"To me it's the most important issue on which I will be basing my vote in this election," Barr said at a forum about the controversial anti-terrorism law. The forum was sponsored jointly by the Arab American Institute and the American Conservative Union.
When pressed, Barr would not say he was voting for Democrat John Kerry, but said he'd been following Kerry's positions on the law and found the Democrat's expression of reservations about it to be positive. "I would consider voting for any of the candidates based on this issue alone," Barr said.
Zell Miller Clashes with Chris Matthews
TVNewser also notes the dominance of Fox News at the GOP convention and the sad state of CNN: "MSNBC beat CNN in total viewers and the 25-54 demo during primetime convention coverage on Tuesday night. Between 8 and 11pm, MSNBC averaged 1,257,000 million viewers, while CNN had 1,177,000."
Rove Not Amused by Twins?
According to the NYDN gossip page:President Bush and wife Laura may have been charmed by their darling daughters' introduction Tuesday night, but Bush-Cheney political aides thought Barbara and Jenna's shtick was an absolute bomb.
Reliable sources tell the Daily News that Bush's chief political mastermind, Karl Rove, was among several advisers who panned the twins' convention act.
"Whoever approved this," Rove moaned to a colleague, "I'm going to put on a slow boat to China."
Another Bush-Cheney zealot called the monologue "perfect for 'Saturday Night Live' - without any editing."
Kerry to Begin $50m Ad Buy
The AP notes that after Labor Day, Kerry will begin airing new commercials in battleground states:John Kerry's $50 million post-Labor Day advertising effort will start in seven states before expanding to an additional 13, creating a coast-to-coast presidential battleground map by Nov. 2.
The Democrat's commercials begin airing Friday in Ohio, then next week in Florida, Iowa, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Wisconsin, according to Democratic officials familiar with the buy.
In an unusual strategy, the campaign was reserving airtime over the entire two-month period until the election. The rest of the states - Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Michigan, Arizona, Louisiana, Colorado, Arkansas and North Carolina and West Virginia - won't see the spots until later this fall.
Ads will air on local network affiliates, cable TV and broadcast outlets targeting minorities.
Michelle Malkin Lies
99% of Republican Legislators White
That, according to a study from Retro vs. Metro America:One Percent of Republican Legislators in the States and Washington are African-American or Hispanic.
The uninformed viewer watching TV coverage of this week's Republican national convention in New York might come away thinking that the President's party is built upon a solid commitment to inclusion of racial minorities. Once again, as it does every four years, the Republican Party is trying to portray itself as a "big tent," with room for every American ...
Of 3,643 Republicans serving in the state legislatures, only 44 are minorities, or 1.2 percent. In the Congress, with 274 of the 535 elected senators and representatives Republican, only five are minorities - three Cuban Americans from Florida, a Mexican American from Texas and a Native American senator originally elected as a Democrat.
"President Bush's home state leads the way. Texas, with a minority population of 47 percent, has 106 Republicans in the state legislature, but there are 0 blacks and 0 Hispanics among them, Sperling writes. "No major corporation doing business with the government could be so white without being subject to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) action!"
Trippi: Kerry Asleep
From Joe Trippi, on MSNBC:As Howard Dean's campaign manager, I saw a front-running Kerry campaign literally fall asleep in the early months of 2003 because they knew they had the nomination won. Then our little ragtag Dean campaign gathered steam while the Kerry campaign spent nine months walking in its sleep. By the end of the long summer of 2003, the Kerry campaign's slumber was so pronounced that many thought it dead ... Someone has to say it: The Kerry campaign is doing it again. The campaign became so sure of victory over Bush, so confident of a win in November that the old slumbering Kerry campaign of summer 2003 is back like clockwork in August of 2004.Josh Marshall, on the other hand, says Dems need to calm down:
The big difference is that they are not facing the under-funded campaigns of Dick Gephardt, Joe Lieberman, and John Edwards. Nor are they facing the energized but woefully inexperienced campaign of Howard Dean.
They are facing the most monied campaign in history, among the most experienced campaign teams ever, and the most deceptive campaign since Richard Nixon's.
If the Dukakis campaign of 1988 taught Democrats anything, it should have taught us that you don't sleep in August. Not against these guys, and not against anyone in this business no matter how formidable the lead. The Kerry campaign should have learned from their close call with the Dean campaign to never sleep walk or fall into the slumber of overconfidence again.There are articles about a possible shake-up among high-level staffers, blind quotes from Democratic insiders saying that after a couple more days it may be too late; and I've gotten a slew of emails from readers either asking me if I still think there's hope or ranting that they've had it with Mary Beth Cahill or Stephanie Cutter or someone else.
All I can say is, really, really, shut up and calm down.
Politically, this is one of the worst things about Democrats -- and it has many sources. As a group they seem to have a great tendency toward becoming disheartened, turning on their candidate, doubting his strategy, doubting his advisors, and so forth. Unfortunately, the candidates and advisors have an equal tendency to be open to that kind of fretting. And with the media playing the handmaiden to the synergizing anxiety, the whole thing can become very demoralizing and damaging for campaigns.
September 01, 2004
BG. Democrats' war room fires back
BG. GOP bets on 'convention jockeys'
BG. Illinois GOP lukewarm on Keyes in duel with Obama
BG. Busy Romney stirs buzz in New York
DenPost. GOP is mixed on abortion; Bush isn't
AP. Drug Companies Wooing GOP Pols at RNC
AP. White House in Fight Over Weapons Workers
AP. Cheney to Denounce Kerry's 'Confusion'
WP. Kerry Eyes Detainee Commissions
WP. Speakers Praise Bush's Leadership, Values
WP. Abuse Inquiry Cites 26 GIs
Reuters. Consumers Anxious About Lack of Hiring
Reuters. Kerry Says U.S. Must and Will Win War on Terror
Reuters. Cheney Takes Spotlight at Republican Convention
NYT. Ex-Bush Official Gains in Race for Senate
NYT. In Retreat, Bush Says U.S. Will Win War on Terrorism
NYT. At Least 900 Arrested in City as Protesters Clash With Police
NYT. Upbeat Republicans Revive Bush Theme of Compassion
LAT. 'Outing' Tactic Stirs Debate
LAT. Schlafly is still making her point, unabashedly
LAT. Cheney Redefines VP Role With Influence
LAT. Schwarzenegger Wraps His Life Story Around GOP Themes
Harold Meyerson. False Grit
Marie Cocco. Two tales, one city and a time to choose
LAT. Remember Afghanistan?
Matthew Rothschild. Rudy Gets Out the Hatchet
Laurie Spivak. Republican Reality Check: With the death knell of small government pealing in the distance, will Republicans try to coopt progressivism?
Derrick Z. Jackson. President Flip-Flop?
Bill Berkowitz. The real GOP goes MIA in NYC
Don Hazen. Outgunned, Outmatched
Elaine Kamarck. Bush ‘ownership’ plan has problems; The president hopes to persuade voters that his new strategy qualifies him for a second term
Newsday. The issue is what happened later, as Bush led the U.S. into Iraq
Robert Kuttner. Bush's ruinous economic plans
BG. One-note Republicans
Matthew Yglesias. Rudy Can Fail; A former New York City mayor has no business telling us about national security.
Max Blumenthal. White Noise; Anti-immigration zealots have launched a stealth campaign
David Hage. Purgatory of the Working Poor
Eric Boehlert. They knew how to win. Does John Kerry? The Bush machine is running one of the dirtiest -- and most effective -- campaigns in modern history. The Democrats need to get back in the fight
Arianna Huffington. On the record; How can voters believe the president's convention promises, when he's broken so many in the past?
Mark Follman. TRNC bloggers gone wild! They promised substance over style -- hard-hitting, inside scoops. So say hello to Bo Derek, Miss America, TV star Angie Harmon, and "Ari Fleischer's guide to red-hot G.O.P. love." est
David Corn. Safety First
Molly Ivins. Did you sign up for this? Death toll mounts, economic numbers get worse, Ashcroft won't let you read the law, and 'God is in the White House'
Kerrey on Swift
From the NYDN:New School president Bob Kerrey - a former Democratic senator from Nebraska and a Medal of Honor recipient in Vietnam - had choice words for the Swifties accusing Sen. John Kerry of volunteering for Vietnam combat duty to pad his political resume.
"Oh, f-- them," he told the Daily News' James Gordon Meek. "Quote me on that. The idea that you'd volunteer for [Swift boat duty] because you're thinking about a political career. ... That's what you think about doing if you want a posthumous political career."
George W. Bush: Hamster Killer?
Weeeelll. Now he's not going to get my vote:On Tuesday night, the Bush family took the stage at the Republican convention to soften the image of a man branded by opponents as a leader who took the nation unnecessarily to war. They had a hamster tale as well.Hamsters for Kerry has this:
"We had a hamster too," Bush's daughter Barbara said. "Let's just say ours didn't make it."We just about fell off of our hamster wheels when we heard that! Here was one of the President's daughters confessing on live television in front of millions of viewers that her father was a hamster killer! We're outraged! How did we ever let this evil enemy of domesticated crittters ever rise to power? Our mission is now clearer than ever--we have to stop George W. Bush! Please join us in our efforts to oust the tyrant and put the truly honorable John Kerry in the oval office.
Zig Zag Zell
The Progress Report on Zell Miller.
Brokaw Frustrated at Coverage
From WPost:Being on NBC for just three prime-time hours this week is "very frustrating," Brokaw admits, and he blames "the paid consultants and image makers who have drained the convention of all vitality. It seems disconnected from people's lives, it's so managed, manipulated, staged and marketed to death.
Michael Moore on McCain
In his latest USA Today column:I know Republicans are mad that my film may have convinced just enough people to tip the balance in this election. Yet with all the serious issues facing our country, and right smack in the middle of an important speech about the need to catch the terrorists and continue the war in Iraq, McCain decided to turn the convention into the Ebert and McCain Show. He claimed that I portrayed Saddam's Iraq as an "oasis of peace."
Some of the 20 million who have seen the film must have wondered, "Did I miss that scene? I knew I shouldn't have gone out for those Goobers." All I can imagine McCain was referring to was a brief cutaway just as President Bush announces the commencement of the bombing of Baghdad on March 19, 2003.
Human-rights groups say thousands of civilians were killed because of our bombing. I thought it would be worthwhile to show some of the faces of Iraqi people who might soon meet their death.
I felt really bad for McCain standing there on the stage. The man wanted to be president. That dream was snuffed out during the 2000 primaries, when George W. Bush's supporters spread nasty rumors about what five and a half years in a North Vietnamese POW camp might have done to McCain's sanity.
Then there were the calls to potential white voters in South Carolina to inform them that McCain had a "black baby." (He and his wife adopted a child from Bangladesh.) The Bush supporters also spread other rumors that questioned McCain's patriotism, even though the man was a decorated war hero while W. chose to oh, let's not get into that again.
Still, McCain has offered to soldier on for Bush. So how does Bush's campaign treat him? It doesn't tell him I might be in the press section, officially credentialed.
First Time for Everything?
Rolling Stone notes that Cheney is a big fat re-election failure:Should George W. Bush win this election, it will give him the distinction of being the first occupant of the White House to have survived naming Dick Cheney to a post in his administration. The Cheney jinx first manifested itself at the presidential level back in 1969, when Richard Nixon appointed him to his first job in the executive branch. It surfaced again in 1975, when Gerald Ford made Cheney his chief of staff and then -- with Cheney's help -- lost the 1976 election. George H.W. Bush, having named Cheney secretary of defense, was defeated for re-election in 1992. The ever-canny Ronald Reagan was the only Republican president since Eisenhower who managed to serve two full terms. He is also the only one not to have appointed Dick Cheney to office.
This pattern of misplaced confidence in Cheney, followed by disastrous results, runs throughout his life -- from his days as a dropout at Yale to the geopolitical chaos he has helped create in Baghdad. Once you get to know his history, the cycle becomes clear: First, Cheney impresses someone rich or powerful, who causes unearned wealth and power to be conferred on him. Then, when things go wrong, he blames others and moves on to a new situation even more advantageous to himself.
"Cheney's manner and authority of voice far outstrip his true abilities," says Chas Freeman, who served under Bush's father as ambassador to Saudi Arabia. "It was clear from the start that Bush required adult supervision -- but it turns out Cheney has even worse instincts. He does not understand that when you act recklessly, your mistakes will come back and bite you on the ass."
Keyes Criticizes Cheney Daughter
Daughter, by the way, is gay; LATimes:Alan Keyes, the Republican candidate for a vacant U.S. Senate seat in Illinois, said Tuesday that Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Mary was a "selfish hedonist" for being a lesbian.Keyes, apparently, also doesn't like questions from the media that inquire about where he's going to speak:
Keyes, who twice unsuccessfully ran for the Senate in Maryland, is trailing Democratic State Sen. Barack Obama in the Illinois race. His comments came in an interview with OutQ, a satellite radio station for gays and lesbians.
Expressing support for a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage - an issue that the vice president has said is best left to the states to legislate, Keyes said: "The essence of ... family life remains procreation. If we embrace homosexuality as a proper basis for marriage, we are saying that it's possible to have a marriage state that in principle excludes procreation and is based simply on the premise of selfish hedonism."
Asked whether that meant Mary Cheney was "a selfish hedonist," Keyes said: "That goes by definition. Of course she is.""You are acting as a media surrogate for the Democratic Party!" said Keyes to me, hissing in anger when I asked him a question. "And when you ask questions that are aimed at achieving their purposes in the political battle, I have the right to ask who you speak for and who you represent."It's no wonder that the Ill. GOP is 'lukewarm' about Keyes:
I thought he knew that I worked for the Tribune, since I've interviewed him, but that wasn't good enough.
All I asked, innocently, was why he hadn't yet addressed the members of the Illinois Republican delegation. The reason I asked it is that he's a Republican, he's running for the U.S. Senate from Illinois, and though the GOP convention is half over, he hadn't yet made a speech to the delegates from Illinois.
"The reason you're asking that question is because the media wants to attack the Republican Party!" he said. "You take approaches that are trying to sow the seed and impression of divisions within the party, to serve the purposes of the Democrats!"Though some might be grateful for his last-minute entry into the US Senate race against Democratic darling Barack Obama when nobody else would step up, not everyone in the Illinois Republican Party is thrilled to welcome Maryland's Alan Keyes to the Prairie State.
That much was clear at yesterday's Illinois delegation breakfast at a Times Square hotel. As the rank and file tucked into their scrambled eggs and pancakes, two press scrums formed. On one side, Keyes, the talk-show host, social conservative, and former presidential candidate, was talking about his opponent ...
On the other side of the room, State Treasurer and party chair Judy Baar Topinka, a redheaded tornado of a woman, was answering questions of her own. A moderate Republican, she is worried that social conservatives threaten to undo her party. "The party, to be successful, has to be center-right, not right-right," she was saying. Topinka's inquisitors pressed in on her, trying to get her to say whether she was directing that comment at the conservative Senate candidate.
CNN Won't Air Log Cabin Republican Ad
The hits keep coming for the Log Cabin Republicans:CNN has informed the Log Cabin Republicans that it will not air their new television advertising campaign, which is a response to the politics of fear and intolerance. Unlike CNN, other broadcast outlets are airing the ad. The network claims that images in the ad are "too controversial." "We are deeply disappointed that CNN has refused our voices the opportunity to be heard. Last week we told the Republican Party that you cannot sugarcoat the vicious and mean-spirited platform, today we want CNN to know that you cannot sugarcoat the politics of fear and intolerance that lead to hate," said Log Cabin Executive Director Patrick Guerriero.Also see David Corn's "Scrabblin' in Lincoln's Log Cabin."
The 30-second commercial is being broadcast during the Republican National Convention in New York City and on other cable stations nationwide. The ad begins with footage from President Ronald Reagan's 1992 speech at the Republican National Convention in Houston. President Reagan said, "Whatever else history may say about me when I'm gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears." The commercial offers a clear choice for the GOP: follow President Reagan's lead by uniting Republicans on common beliefs or follow Jerry Falwell, Pat Buchanan and Rick Santorum's lead by dividing the GOP with an intolerant social agenda based on fear and exclusion. The ad closes with images of the Reverend Fred Phelps holding a sign that reads "God Hates Fags," at the funeral of hate crime victim Matthew Shepard.
The Curious MSNBC Poll
From Media Matters: "The poll question asked: "Did Rudy Giuliani's speech reassure you or move you to support the Bush-Cheney ticket?" The two response choices were: (1) "Reassure"; and (2) "Move you to support"."
As you can see, there's - uh - one option missing (which may be a more familiar option to those reading this site).
Fox Dominates Convention Ratings
From TVNewser:Between 8 and 11pm Monday night, FNC averaged 3,717,000 viewers, while CNN averaged 1,230,000 and MSNBC had 819,000.Fox also dominated the August primetime show ratings.
The difference between the first night of the DNC and RNC is stark. On July 26, FNC averaged 1,633,000 viewers in primetime, while CNN had 2,010,000 and MSNBC averaged 1,149,000.
The two notable speeches resulted in viewer spikes for the cablers. FNC averaged 4,406,000 viewers during McCain's speech, and MSNBC averaged 1,077,000. (CNN did not break the speeches out.) During Rudy's speech, FNC averaged 4,818,000, and MSNBC had 1,062,000.