October 31, 2004
Powell on Iraq
Even Secretary of State Colin Powell, a former general who stays in touch with the Joint Chiefs, has acknowledged this privately to friends in recent weeks, NEWSWEEK has learned. The insurgents have effectively created a reign of terror throughout the country, killing thousands, driving Iraqi elites and technocrats into exile and scaring foreigners out. "Things are getting really bad," a senior Iraqi official in interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's government told NEWSWEEK last week. "The initiative is in [the insurgents'] hands right now. This approach of being lenient and accommodating has really backfired. They see this as weakness."
Elections Short Workers
AP: "A shortage of at least 500,000 poll workers nationwide means many voters could face long lines, cranky volunteers, polling places that don't open or close on schedule and the chance that results won't be known until long after the polls are closed."
Call Voters for the Election
America Coming Together has a list started up here.
Also, see VoterCall, which "is a non-partisan campaign to mobilize over one million young, low income and minority voters for the November Elections."
October 30, 2004
Pundits spin Osama tape for Bush
Disgraceful. But you knew our liberal media they would do it.
Kerry Takes Alt Weeklies Endorsements
Perhaps not much of a surprise, but here's the tally:
Their endorsements don't get the attention major dailies' picks do, but alternative weeklies are one of the players in this year's election effort to get out the important "youth vote." To the surprise of no one, the alts are going for Kerry.
Asked by Editor&Publisher to survey its member papers, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies provided this breakdown today:
30 for Kerry.
0 for Bush.
10 don't endorse.
Interesting tidbit: Nine of the Kerry papers backed Ralph Nader the last time around. Also, four papers made their first presidential endorsement ever this year, and they all went for Kerry.
Republicans for Kerry
I have an entry over at the Franken blog quoting Republicans for Kerry.
Kos has this interesting reminder from the year 2000:
BLITZER: And now, let's take a look at the latest poll numbers. The new CNN/"USA Today" Gallup Tracking Poll results are being released at this hour. It shows George W. Bush with 48 percent, Al Gore 43 percent, Ralph Nader with 4 percent, Pat Buchanan with 1 percent.
And those numbers are similar to other tracking polls. Take a look: ABC's poll has Bush at 49 percent, Gore at 45 percent; The Washington Post, Bush at 48 percent, Gore at 46 percent; the NBC-Wall Street Journal tracking poll, Bush at 47 percent, Gore 44 percent. And both the CBS and MSNBC-Reuters-Zogby tracking polls have Bush at 46, Gore at 44 percent.
America's Rising Dependence on Oil
From a new NRDC analysis:
America's dependence on oil is a threat to our national security and our economy. Growing demand and shrinking domestic production means America is importing more and more oil each year - much of it from the world's most unfriendly or unstable regions. We spend more than $200,000 per minute -- $13 million per hour -- on foreign oil, and more than $25 billion a year on Persian Gulf imports alone.1 So far in 2004, Americans have shelled out $249 per capita to foreign oil-interests.2Also see this graph on consumption vs. production in the US
With U.S. gasoline consumption accounting for 11 percent of world oil production, the U.S. has been hit hard this year by our dependence on oil, intensifying our economic and political vulnerability. Of the $54 billion trade deficit reported in August, more than a fifth or $12 billion is from imported crude oil.3 Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has called the higher value of imported oil a tax on U.S. citizens that has cost us three quarters of a percent of our economic output in 2004, and warned economic impacts for the U.S. will intensify if current trends in oil demand and prices continue.4
Countries on U.S. oil purchases are spending heavily in Washington to make sure the party doesn't end: Since December 2003, OPEC has spent $13.3 million on federal lobbying, $6.6 million of which from Saudi Arabia alone.5 U.S. energy companies are jumping on the political bandwagon too, spending $59.4 million on lobbying in 2003 and $29 million on campaign contributions in the 2002 and 2004 election cycles.6
The immediate result of these contributions is an energy bill currently before Congress that would leave the country more dependent on oil imports, not less. It would invite oil drillers into some of America's last pristine wilderness areas to eke out a relative trickle of oil, while severely shortchanging conservation and efficiency efforts. And this plan would rely even more on shaky overseas governments, exposing us to greater security risks in the name of unrestrained consumption.
Mr. Gore Goes to Hawaii
Attends rally at Farrington High School with Alexandra Kerry; Honolulu Star Bulletin:
In his speech, Gore mentioned Gen. Eric Shinseki's 2002 retirement, saying the Kauai native was shunned because he told Bush advisers a war in Iraq would require "hundreds of thousands of troops."Clinton is also hitting the local TV stations for Kerry.
"That conflicted with the rose-colored lens that the Bush administration had," Gore said. "So they make an early announcement of Gen. Shinseki's retirement and kind of cut off his legs."
The former vice president wore lei and a traditional Filipino dress shirt to the event, which included a concert of local Filipino talent and was attended by many Filipino Americans. He also singled out Filipino veterans as "a group that has been treated unfairly" under the Bush administration.
"John Kerry has fought for the rights of all Filipino veterans," he continued.
October 29, 2004
ABC. Video Suggests Explosives Disappeared After U.S. Took Control
BG. On Sox coattails, Kerry displays his true colors; Senator enlists Springsteen at Wisconsin rally
Orlando Sentinel. Poll shows Castor, Martinez neck and neck
AP. GOP accused of using poll challengers to target blacks
WP. Bush, Kerry Stick to Issue Of Security
WP. GOP Challenging Voter Registrations
NYT. Detainees: Navy Drops Charges Against Commando in Abuse of Prisoners
NYT. Balloting: Sharp Increase in Early Voting Alters Campaign
NYT. Video Shows G.I.'s at Weapon Cache
Reuters. Consumer Sentiment Fades in October
USAT. Wave of voters, and vote watchers, building
AP. Kerry, Bush make appeals in final weekend
AP. Cheney Springs Surprise Visit on Hawaii
AP. U.S. Prepares for Major Fallujah Operation
AP. Bush, Kerry Begin Final Campaign Push
Bloomberg. Republican House Likely in U.S. Election With Few Close Races
ABC. How Clinton Recovered From Surgery
Reuters. NAACP Faces IRS Investigation - Report
SFC. Springsteen rallies Kerry faithful -- Bush calls opponent a manipulator
SFC. Schwarzenegger steps up opposition to Prop. 66
rockymountainnews. Salazar pulls ahead of Coors as the finish line approaches
Guardian. No sleep till election timel The Republican and Democratic Senate hopefuls are burning the candle at both ends in their final push to capture Colorado, writes Sarah Left
AP. Kerry Campaign Seizes on Halliburton Probe
CBS. Edwards: Bush Has Trail Of Failure
Dan Kennedy. Cone of silence: From the Patriot Act to presidential records, George W. Bush has presided over an unprecedented rise in government secrecy
Earthjustice / Sierra Club. Groups Target Bush EPA's Refusal to Control Mercury
Paul Street. Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? Despite the claims of some leftists, there’s a dire difference between Bush and Kerry for African-Americans
Joshua Holland. Pro-Life...Pro-Kerry?
David L. Englin. Breaking Jesse's Silence; Why the ultimate independent voter has finally broken in favor of Kerry
William Rivers Pitt. Believe
Andrew Greeley. For God's sake, vote him out
Krugman. It's Not Just Al Qaqaa
Bob Herbert. Letting Down the Troops
Tim Grieve. "I believe in the promised land" Bruce Springsteen takes the moment into his hands -- and joins John Kerry for a massive Wisconsin rally
David DeBatto. The looting of Iraq's arsenal; The same month Al Qaqaa was being stripped of high explosives, I warned my military intelligence unit of another weapons facility that was being cleaned out. But nothing was done
Kevin Berger. NASA photo analyst: Bush wore a device during debate
Ruth Rosen. Women *Really* on Their Own
John Nichols. Springsteen's political poetry; "The country we carry in our hearts is waiting."
Eric Alterman and Paul McLeary. Sinclair and the Conservative Media
John S. Irons and Christian E. Weller. Business Investment Too Narrow
Lakshmi Chaudhry. A Soldier Speaks: Robert Sarra
Davina Baum. Eminem, Anti-Hero
Kate Michelman. Women's rights mandates vote for Kerry
Jonathan Chait. For Bush, Too Late for Honesty
Derrick Z. Jackson. Food fight
Scot Lehigh. Bush's aversion to facts
The War President
President Bush, with war on his mind, was determined to attack Iraq. This, from his former ghost writer; Russ Baker on Mickey Herskowitz:
Houston: Two years before the September 11 attacks, presidential candidate George W. Bush was already talking privately about the political benefits of attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer, who held many conversations with then-Texas Governor Bush in preparation for a planned autobiography.
“He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,” said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. “It was on his mind. He said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade….if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.”
Herskowitz said that Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father’s shadow. The moment, Herskowitz said, came in the wake of the September 11 attacks. “Suddenly, he’s at 91 percent in the polls, and he’d barely crawled out of the bunker.”
That President Bush and his advisers had Iraq on their minds long before weapons inspectors had finished their work – and long before alleged Iraqi ties with terrorists became a central rationale for war – has been raised elsewhere, including in a book based on recollections of former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill. However, Herskowitz was in a unique position to hear Bush’s unguarded and unfiltered views on Iraq, war and other matters – well before he became president.
Administration Continues Attacks on Non-Profits
According to OMB Watch, "the election-eve IRS investigation regarding the nonprofit status of NAACP, the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization, is part of a growing pattern of intimidation and suppression of free-speech and advocacy rights of charities and other nonprofits." An executive summary notes:
In our newest publication, Continuing Attacks on Nonprofit Speech: Death By a Thousand Cuts II, we found:
Retaliatory action against government grantees that engage in controversial policy discussions or active advocacy that includes points of view different from the administration's
Aggressive application of the global gag rule, and signs of a back door “domestic gag rule” that illegally imposes government rules on private funds of grantees;
Selective enforcement of laws against nonprofits engaged in direct action; and
Overbroad implementation of homeland security policy that chills nonprofit action.
Howie Kurtz: 3 Mistakes in One Week
The guy the Washington Post sometimes uses to check the media for inaccuracies is pullling out a lot of inaccuracies himself; TVNewser:
As this site has tracked, last week Kurtz screwed up statistics relating to Jon Stewart's Crossfire appearance. On Saturday he said Brian Williams anchored NBC coverage of the 1986 Challenger disaster. Now on Wednesday, Kurtz said that NBC's Jim Miklaszewski was embedded during the Iraq war. Mik is the network's Pentagon correspondent; the closest he came to embedding was spending all night at the network's Pentagon bureau.
But that's not what Kurtz's WP story said. "NBC's Jim Miklaszewski, who was embedded with the Army's 101st Airborne Division during the war, reported Monday that the unit visited the Qaqaa weapons facility on April 10, 2003..."
Does anyone want to volunteer as a fact-checker?...
It's Not Just Al Qaqaa
Let us now forget the other blunders from the Bush administration when it comes to national security; Krugman:
Letting Osama get away Just before the story about Al Qaqaa broke, the Bush-Cheney campaign was frantically trying to debunk John Kerry's statement that Mr. Bush let Osama bin Laden get away when he was cornered at Tora Bora. That getaway, Mr. Kerry asserts, was possible because the administration "outsourced" the job of closing off escape routes to local Afghan warlords.
In response, Gen. Tommy Franks claimed that we don't know that Osama was at Tora Bora, and, anyway, we didn't outsource the work of catching him. Dick Cheney called Mr. Kerry's claims "absolute garbage." But multiple reports from 2001 and early 2002 confirm Mr. Kerry's version. As Peter Bergen, a terrorism expert, writes, Mr. Kerry's charge is "an accurate reflection of the historical record."
Letting Zarqawi get away On Monday The Wall Street Journal confirmed an earlier report that in 2002 the military drew up plans for a strike on the base of the terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in an area of Iraq not under Saddam's control. But civilian officials vetoed the attack - probably because they thought it might undermine political support for the war against Saddam. So Mr. Zarqawi, like Osama, was given the chance to kill another day.
The situation in Iraq Dick Cheney is telling supporters that Iraq is a "remarkable success story." But the news from Iraq just keeps getting worse. After 49 Iraqi National Guard recruits were killed, execution style, even Ayad Allawi, the Iraqi prime minister - who usually acts as a de facto spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign - accused coalition forces of "gross negligence." It's now clear that the insurgency is much larger than U.S. officials initially acknowledged, and that Iraqi security forces have been heavily infiltrated.
$70 billion more Earlier this week The Washington Post reported that administration officials were planning to seek an additional $70 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan after the election. Whatever the precise number, it has long been obvious to knowledgeable observers that this was coming, but the news will come as a shock to many people who still don't realize how deep a quagmire Mr. Bush has gotten us into.
Bush on Osama Reminder
In one of the testiest moments of the evening, Bush protested, "I don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. That's kind of one of those exaggerations."Video.
But during a news conference at the White House on March 13, 2002, Bush said something close to what Kerry quoted. "I truly am not that concerned about him," the president said, according to the official White House transcript.
On the OBL Tape
From Josh M. Marshall:
A friend tells me that the Bush-propaganda-organ Fox News is calling it bin Laden's 'endorsement' of Kerry.John Kerry's statement:
On the other hand, this cuts against the Bush administration's frequent suggestions that al Qaida has been routed or that bin Laden may in fact be dead.
Much depends of course on how the press plays it. I notice for instance that as of 4:37 PM on MSNBC the front page headline momentarily had bin Laden saying "Bush cannot protect America" before correcting it to read "neither Bush nor Kerry can protect America."
[ed. note: That observation is from a rushed clicking back and forth over their site. So let me make that subject to possible later correction. But that's how it appeared.]
Clearly, Kerry has to hit the ground with a tough and emphatic statement in response to this and gear up his team's operation to go head-to-head with what will no doubt be a desperate Bush campaign's effort to use this to connect Kerry and bin Laden to shift the pro-Kerry momentum of the race in the final days of the campaign.
It seems to me that Kerry should tell voters what he's been telling them for months. That he'll take the fight to bin Laden, that he won't get distracted the way the president has, and that the one thing this tape shows is that the president hasn't gotten the job done. If he had, there'd be no bin Laden to be making these tapes.
In response to this tape from Osama bin Laden, let me make it clear, crystal clear. As Americans, we are absolutely united in our determination to hunt down and destroy Osama bin Laden and the terrorists. They are barbarians. And I will stop at absolutely nothing to hunt down, capture or kill the terrorists wherever they are, whatever it takes. Period.
Swing Hawaii for Kerry
To the Hawaii audience, AsianAmericanVoter.com asks you to swing Hawaii for Kerry. Find a sample letter you can send to your friends. Also related is this list of The United Coalition of Asian and Pacific Islander American Independent Arts, Culture and Media Professionals who are endorsing Kerry.
If you are in Hawaii, phone banking is now in progress: "A new wave of phone-banking is underway this week from 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm; M-F. Call 521-0988 to sign up now! Also ask about Kerry-Edwards Sign Waving Events!"
Bush Campaign Doctored Ad
Cheney v. Reality
From the Center for American Progress:
"Well, the reason they keep mentioning Halliburton is because they're trying to throw up a smokescreen... It's an effort that they've made repeatedly to try to confuse the voters and to raise questions, but there's no substance to the charges."
– Vice President Cheney, 10/5/04
"The FBI is investigating whether U.S. officials improperly awarded Vice President Dick Cheney's former company [Halliburton] a lucrative contract work without competition, a probe that was confirmed only days after a top Army contract officer raised the issue of favoritism."
– AP, 10/29/04
Bruce: Incredibly Cool
LA Times with this note on Bruce during his campaign rally with John Kerry in Wisconsin:
When the rock star's trailer parked in front of their house, 21-year-old Danya Bader-Natal — one of the seven University of Wisconsin seniors who live in the gray wooden house — scrawled a message in green marker on a flattened box and hung it from their second-story balcony: "Bruce come up for a beer."
On his way back to his trailer after playing a short set for a crowd of 80,000 people, the singer pointed at the sign with a grin. And, much to their shock, he took the students up on their invitation.
Springsteen and his wife, Patti Scialfa, clambered up the stairs, tripping over a jumble of computer cords stretched across a doorway, and joined the roommates and their friends on a balcony cluttered with beach chairs and boxes of artichoke pizza. The stunned students handed the rock legend a bottle of Capital Amber, and for the next 20 minutes he hung out with them as Kerry spoke onstage down the street.
How much will that phone sex cost him? NYDN with the report:
Bill O'Reilly and the decades-younger producer who claimed he tormented her with unwanted phone sex reached an out-of-court settlement last night - putting a seeming end to an embarrassing sex scandal for the Fox News superstar.
Sources told the Daily News that O'Reilly will have to pay Andrea Mackris at least $2 million - and possibly as much as $10 million.
Under the deal, Mackris will drop the sexual harassment suit she filed against the talk-show host and Fox.
O'Reilly and his Fox bosses, in turn, will forget about the extortion suit they filed against Mackris and her lawyer.
Fitzgerald: Ryan Should Have Stayed in Race
An indirect diss from Sen. Peter Fitzgerald to Keyes; Pantagraph:
Outgoing Sen. Peter Fitzgerald believes it would have been difficult for Republican Jack Ryan to win next week's election for Fitzgerald's seat against Democrat Barack Obama -- but wishes Ryan would have stayed in the race ... "I don't think Jack had to step aside," said Fitzgerald, during a visit with The Pantagraph's editorial board. "A lifetime of good works should not be destroyed by a lapse of judgment."
"game, set, and match"
David Kay on the explosives story with NewsNight and Aaron Brown:
AB: I don't know how better to do this than to show you some pictures have you explain to me what they are or are not. Okay? First what I’ll just call the seal. And tell me if this is an IAEA seal on that bunker at that munitions dump?
DK: Aaron, about as certain as I can be looking at a picture, not physically holding it which, obviously, I would have preferred to have been there, that is an IAEA seal. I've never seen anything else in Iraq in about 15 years of being in Iraq and around Iraq that was other than an IAEA seal of that shape.
AB: Was there anything else at the facility that would have been under IAEA seal?
DK: Absolutely nothing. It was the HMX, RDX, the two high explosives.
AB: OK now, I’ll take a look at barrels here for a second. You can tell me what they tell you. They, obviously, to us just show us a bunch of barrels. You'll see it somewhat differently.
DK: Well, it's interesting. There were three foreign suppliers to Iraq of this explosive in the 1980s. One of them used barrels like this, and inside the barrels a bag. HMX is in powder form because you actually use it to shape a spherical lens that is used to create the triggering device for nuclear weapons. And particularly on the videotape, which is actually better than the still photos, as the soldier dips into it, that's either HMX or RDX. I don't know of anything else in al Qaqaa that was in that form.
AB: Let me ask you then, David, the question I asked Jamie. In regard to the dispute about whether that stuff was there when the Americans arrived, is it game, set, match? Is that part of the argument now over?
DK: Well, at least with regard to this one bunker, and the film shows one seal, one bunker, one group of soldiers going through, and there were others there that were sealed. With this one, I think it is game, set, and match. There was HMX, RDX in there. The seal was broken. And quite frankly, to me the most frightening thing is not only was the seal broken, lock broken, but the soldiers left after opening it up. I mean, to rephrase the so-called pottery barn rule. If you open an arms bunker, you own it. You have to provide security.
AB: I'm -- that raises a number of questions. Let me throw out one. It suggests that maybe they just didn't know what they had?
DK: I think you're quite likely they didn't know they had HMX, which speaks to lack of intelligence given troops moving through that area, but they certainly knew they had explosives. And to put this in context, I think it's important, this loss of 360 tons, but Iraq is awash with tens of thousands of tons of explosives right now in the hands of insurgents because we did not provide the security when we took over the country.
AB: Could you -- I’m trying to stay out of the realm of politics. I'm not sure you can.
DK: So am I.
AB: I know. It's a little tricky here. But, is there any -- is there any reason not to have anticipated the fact that there would be bunkers like this, explosives like this, and a need to secure them?
DK: Absolutely not. For example, al Qaqaa was a site of Gerald Bull's super gun project. It was a team of mine that discovered the HMX originally in 1991. That was one of the most well-documented explosive sites in all of Iraq. The other 80 or so major ammunition storage points were also well documented. Iraq had, and it's a frightening number, two-thirds of the total conventional explosives that the US has in its entire inventory. The country was an armed camp.
October 28, 2004
NYT. 9/11 Families Group Rebukes Bush for Impasse on Overhaul
NYDN. W rushes last ad onto air
Reuters. Tied Presidential Election Could Be Mother of All Messes
Reuters. Will Bad News Be Bad for Bush in Election?
BG. Both campaigns invoke an image: the liberal's liberal
BG. Denunciations fly about missing munitions in Iraq
BG. Bush: Strategy of attack carries risk in swing states
dmregister. Kerry reaches out for votes; Bush speaks out on missing Iraqi arms
Tampa Trib. Anti-Kerry Veterans Start New Ad Blitz
AP. Breaux on attack in last Senate debate; Vitter reaches 51 in poll
St. Petersburg Times. Gov. Bush: Poll watchers can, should challenge voters
NYT. Bush Rejects Kerry Charge on Explosives
NYT. Provincial Capital Near Falluja Is Rapidly Slipping Into Chaos
WP. Policing Is Aggressive at Bush Events
Copley. Bush, Kerry battle for black votes
WP. Bush Web Site Bars Overseas Visitors
WP. Missing Iraq Munitions Become Focus of Race
LAT. Gov. Coy on How Bush Can Help California
LAT. Election Suits Are Filed Early and Often
LAT. Bush and Kerry Split in Three Key Swing States
St. Louis Post Dispatch. Parties plan armies of poll-watchers
AFP. Control of US Senate hinges on handful of hard-fought contests
AFP. Kerry, Bush plow midwestern electoral fields
AP. Million Dollar-Plus Political Donors Rise
AP. Both Parties Try to Attract Early Voters
AP. Bush, Kerry Spar Over Missing Explosives
Cleveland Plain Dealer. Urban radio ads court black voters
LAT. Technology Adds New Element to Getting Out Vote
Concord Monitor. Get-out-the-vote push may mean all bets off
Mary Jacoby. "It will be worse than in 2000" NAACP head Julian Bond says the GOP is going all out to suppress the black vote. Can his "Election Protection" offensive stop them?
Honolulu Advertiser. Stem cell research is worth exploring
memphisflyer. FOR A STRONGER, SAFER, SANER AMERICA
Americans for Democratic Action. Bush Evokes FDR and JFK in Transparent Attempt to Swing Democrat Votes
Ralph G. Neas. Something Is "Terribly Wrong" in Ohio
Richard Cohen. Hold Bush Accountable
Ariel Dorfman. The Struggle for America's Soul
Frederick Sweet. Students Favor Kerry
William Marvel. America's Fake Conservatives
Seattle PI. Story didn't disappear; Unfortunately for the Bush camp, the story of the missing explosives of Al Qaqaa won't disappear as easily as the explosives did
Sidney Blumenthal. Bush has fallen victim to his own hubris
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Blood for oil / U.S. troops should not guard these oil operations
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Mortal court / The chief justice's illness shows the stakes
Journal Sentinel. John Kerry for president
Capital Times. Kerry for president
MoDowd. White House of Horrors
NYT. Abu Ghraib, Unresolved
Ellen Goodman. Setting loose the campaign wolves
BGlobe. A new war on poverty
Bill Berkowitz. Introducing 'The O'Sexxxy Factor' Welcome to Bill O'Reilly's fantasy world of porn stars, prostitutes, and web cam exhibitionists
Andrew Young. Dismantling The Dream; Andrew Young asks President Bush why he's disassembling the very programs that help Americans reach the American dream.
Meredith Michaels. Children of Privilege; George W. Bush and I have one thing in common: Our father's friends did us a favor--and came to regret it.
Michelle Goldberg. GOP's worst fears coming true - An influential Republican pollster concludes that a big minority turnout will tip the battleground states to Kerry
Nicole Mlade. Disarmament in Haiti
Andrew Gumbel. A Country on the Verge of an Electoral Meltdown
Jeannette Cooperman. God On Their Side
They Were There
Damn, those things called facts are really a nuisance, huh?
A videotape made by a television crew with American troops when they opened bunkers at a sprawling Iraqi munitions complex south of Baghdad shows a huge supply of explosives still there nine days after the fall of Saddam Hussein, apparently including some sealed earlier by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The tape, broadcast on Wednesday night by the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis, appeared to confirm a warning given earlier this month to the agency by Iraqi officials, who said that hundreds of tons of high-grade explosives, powerful enough to bring down buildings or detonate nuclear weapons, had vanished from the site after the invasion of Iraq.
The question of whether the material was removed by Mr. Hussein's forces in the days before the invasion, or looted later because it was unguarded, has become a heated dispute on the campaign trail, with Senator John Kerry accusing President Bush of incompetence, and Mr. Bush saying it is unclear when the material disappeared and rejecting what he calls Mr. Kerry's "wild charges."
The Explosives Story
Scientists estimate 100,000 Iraqis may have died in war
Our Silly President
"And a political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your Commander-in-Chief."
– President Bush, 10/27/04
"We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories."
–President Bush, 5/29/03
Large Shifts in Military About Gays
Fifty percent of junior enlisted service members say that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey. The number is a significant increase since 1992, when two similar surveys found 16 percent of male service members held the same view.
The Annenberg poll follows a report last week from the Urban Institute which estimates 65,000 lesbian and gay Americans serve in the armed forces. “Despite the military’s gay ban, service members have seen first hand the contributions of lesbian and gay Americans,” said Sharra E. Greer, Director of Law and Policy for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN). “Heterosexual service members serve alongside lesbian and gay colleagues every day and they are increasingly comfortable doing so.”
Democrats Aggressively Courting Hawaii
Including trotting out the Big Dog. Republicans, meanwhile, apparently won't do anything:
The Democratic National Committee is now running an ad attacking President Bush customized for Hawaii.Both major Hawaii newspapers, the Honolulu Advertiser and Star Bulletin, have endorsed Kerry.
The new ad follows Republican Gov. Linda Lingle's criticism of the Democrats' first television spot saying "they are out of touch with what is happening in our state." ... The DNC also arranged to have former President Clinton give satellite interviews from his home in suburban New York to the four TV network affiliates in Honolulu. When asked why the presidential race in Hawaii had grown so close, Clinton said, "I don't think the candidates have had a great presence there, and the issues haven't been fully debated."
The DNC announced earlier this week that it would spend $200,000 in the last week of the election in Hawaii to make sure Hawaii supports Sen. John Kerry for president ... Brennon Morioka, state GOP chairman, said the national party does not have any plans yet to buy television or radio ads in Hawaii.
Guliani's Soldiers Comments
Things that make you go hmmmm, via Atrios:
The president was cautious the president was prudent the president did what a commander in chief should do. No matter how you try to blame it on the president the actual responsibility for it really would be for the troops that were there. Did they search carefully enough? Didn't they search carefully enough?
College Republicans Deceive Elderly
The College Republican National Committee has raised $6.3 million this year through an aggressive and misleading fund-raising campaign that collected money from senior citizens who thought they were giving to the election efforts of President Bush and other top Republicans.
Many of the top donors were in their 80s and 90s. The donors wrote checks — sometimes hundreds and, in at least one case, totaling more than $100,000 — to groups with official sounding-names such as "Republican Headquarters 2004," "Republican Elections Committee" and the "National Republican Campaign Fund."
But all of those groups, according to the small print on the letters, were simply projects of the College Republicans, who collected all of the checks.
And little of the money went to election efforts.
Of the money spent by the group this year, nearly 90 percent went to direct-mail vendors and postage expenses, according to records filed with the Internal Revenue Service.
Some of the elderly donors, meanwhile, wound up bouncing checks and emptying their bank accounts
Hamster Numbers: Environment
Bush's accomplishments on the environment in the past four years, according to a Knight Ridder analysis:
Also check out this handy-dandy graphic.
Superfund cleanups of toxic waste fell by 52 percent. Fish-consumption warnings for rivers doubled. Fish-consumption advisories for lakes increased 39 percent. The number of beach closings rose 26 percent. Civil citations issued to polluters fell 57 percent. Criminal pollution prosecutions dropped 17 percent. Asthma attacks increased by 6 percent. There were small increases in global temperatures and unhealthy air days.
Wilderness: Who Needs It?
Certainly not the Interior Department and the Bush administration; from the LA Times:
The sculpted buttes of Wild Horse Mesa, the vast escarpment of the Book Cliffs and the soaring ramparts of Upper Desolation Canyon near here have become a prime battleground in the Bush administration's campaign to curb wilderness protection throughout the country.
In 1999, the federal government acknowledged the unique character of the area, where 150 million years of the earth's geologic history unfolds and the forces of nature continue to shape the rugged landscape. The Bureau of Land Management put more than 440,000 acres off-limits to industrial development.
The protection was short-lived.
Within four years, the area was opened to oil and gas exploration. Under the Bush administration, 2.6 million acres of Utah land that had been shielded from development were suddenly open for business.
The actions were part of a sweeping policy shift by Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton with implications far beyond Utah. Not only does the new policy cancel protection of the Utah land, it withholds the interim safeguards traditionally applied to areas with wilderness potential until Congress decides whether to make them part of the national wilderness system.
But what most distinguishes the administration's position is its claim that under applicable law the Interior Department is barred — forever — from identifying and protecting wild land the way it has for nearly 30 years.
Poll: Kerry Gaining Among Swing Voters
From the AP on a Pew poll:
Democratic Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) gained some ground on President Bush (news - web sites) among swing voters in the last month, with several citing the presidential debates as a factor in their shift, according to a poll released Wednesday.
The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press called back 519 voters who were either undecided in September or said they could still change their minds. That group tilted toward Bush in September and is now evenly split on Bush and Kerry.
By more than 3-to-1, the swing voters said Kerry did the better job in the debates.
Swing voters "have been drifting toward Kerry a little more than Bush," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center. "But everything about the remaining slice of the electorate says it's pretty much even."
The number of swing voters in that group either committed or leaning toward Kerry was 40 percent, up from 28 percent in September. The number either committed or leaning toward Bush was 38 percent, compared to 34 percent in September.
Thursday Sports Blogging
October 27, 2004
Bush Gives You the Finger
As if you haven't already seen it, see it again.
Guardian. Suppressing the overseas vote
Rocky Mountain News. Presidential ads evaporating in Colorado
BGlobe. Down homestretch, Kerry steps up pace; Whirlwind trips leave candidate and staff weary
Charlotte Observer. Race for Senate heats up quickly
Post-Dispatch. Missouri reflects tight race
KITV. Hawaii Facing Barrage Of Presidential Ads; DNC, Liberal Advocacy Group Pour Thousands Of Dollars Into Local Television
AP. NRC Cleans Up Web Act
NYDN. Gay-marriage foes may bolster Bush
NYT. Kerry Attacks Bush Over Loss of Explosives
NYT. C.I.A. Is Accused of Delaying Internal Report
NYT. The Billions: White House Weighs Price Tag on Emergency Request for Iraq
LAT. Some Nader Faithful Turn Away
orlandosentinel. Sparks fly in new ad for Senate campaign: Mel Martinez says Betty Castor opposes the war on terrorism. She says he's distorting the truth
NYT. 2 Kerry Votes on War and Peace Underline a Political Evolution
SacBee. Without fanfare, Bush signs California water bill
LAT. Small Places Looming Large in Bush's Reelection Strategy
LAT. Conflicted Evangelicals Could Cost Bush Votes
LAT. Signs of Voter Fraud Appear in Key States
Houston Chronicle. Ills, age catching up with Supreme Court; Chances are slim the same 9 will be serving in 4 years
Houston Chronicle. Execution ends week of pleas; DNA lab worries are not enough to spare Green
Seattle PI. Maligned Murray keeps winning - In a political career that's moved from the improbable to the entrenched, one thing has been constant for Sen. Patty Murray -- the slights of others.
WP. In Wash., Sen. Murray Holds Lead
WP. Bush and Kerry Sharpen Accusations
WP. Students Decry Registration Problems
WP. Experts Ponder Prospect Of Electoral College Tie
SeattlePI. Charter schools: Battle is joined; Washington is the battleground state for the charter school movement this year. And voters here have a lot of rhetoric to sift through.
Reuters. Arab-Americans in Four Swing States Favor Kerry
Reuters. Bush Calls Kerry Chronic Complainer with No Plan
Reuters. Consumer Confidence at 7-Month Low in Oct
AP. New Bush Guard Papers Leave Questions
AP. Court Won't Put Nader on Ballot in Ohio
AP. Cheney Rejects Kerry Criticism on Iraq
AP. Kerry, Edwards Rarely Campaign Together
AP. Bush, Kerry Take Campaigns to Key States
Sierra Club. Ground Zero Community Urges Answer from EPA Before Election
Janelle Nanos. A new generation of gay and lesbian students is challenging homophobic policies at religious colleges
Matt Smith. Yo Soy Centroamericano; Why vote Kerry? Exhibit No. 1: George W. Bush has shamelessly hired the dangerous figures behind the Iran-Contra Affair into senior diplomatic posts
Nashville Scene. Kerry for President
Laura Billings. Wellstone Was a True Champion of War Heroes
Harold Meyerson. The GOP's Shameful Vote Strategy
LAT. Once Gone, Gone Forever
StarTrib. Incompetence/Zarqawi, explosives got away
Marie Cocco. Clinton helps Kerry shine brighter
Robert Kuttner. Bush is idle in flu-shot fiasco
BGlobe. Justice in the balance
Kiersten Stewart. Remembering the Wellstones...and Fighting for their Vision
Peter Dizikes. Requiem for a reformer; Four years ago, he drew celebrities and crowds. This time, as it wheezes toward the finish line, the Nader campaign has the feel of Spinal Tap's last tour
CAP. State by State: The Bill for Iraq War
Charles Rothfeld and Thomas Colby. 'Strict Constructionism' and Dred Scott
Bruce Shapiro. The Rehnquist Election
William Rivers Pitt. Promises to Keep
Molly Ivins. Clueless people love Bush
Evan Derkacz. Time's Up for Tom DeLay
Lakshmi Chaudhry. Seymour Hersh: Man On Fire
Mosh Hits Number 1
Sam Graham-Felsen in The Nation comments on the video.
Bush Makes The Case for His Booting
"Today George W. Bush made a very compelling and thoughtful argument for why he should not be reelected. In his own words, he told the American people that "...a political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your Commander in Chief."
"President Bush couldn't be more right. He jumped to conclusions about any connection between Saddam Hussein and 911. He jumped to conclusions about weapons of mass destruction. He jumped to conclusions about the mission being accomplished. He jumped to conclusions about how we had enough troops on the ground to win the peace. And because he jumped to conclusions, terrorists and insurgents in Iraq may very well have their hands on powerful explosives to attack our troops, we are stuck in Iraq without a plan to win the peace, and Americans are less safe both at home and abroad."
"By doing all these things, he broke faith with our men and women in uniform. He has let them down. George W. Bush is unfit to be our Commander in Chief."
Ooooh, To Be Middle-Aged, Katherine Harris, and In Love
From the NYDN:
Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) might think about sitting too close to the C-SPAN cameras the next time she's in Congress.See the video here.
Harris, who was Florida's secretary of state during the infamous 2000 "hanging chad" recount debacle, is seen whispering, giggling, touching and appearing to peck the cheek of Republican Rep. Rick Renzi of Arizona during the 9/11 Commission reforms bill debate. At one point, she throws her head back in laughter as Rep. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.) presents intelligence data at the podium.
While a Renzi staffer admitted Harris appears to give him a "shoulder grab," Renzi's press secretary, Matthew Ash, told us: "They shared an exchange on the House floor and nothing more. The congressman is looking directly at Simmons and following the debate on the floor."
Denver Post Receives Huge Criticism for Bush Endorsement
The Denver Post may have a good sports page, but it's editorial page? Well, 700 letters to the editor say it sucks, including this one:
Do my eyes deceive me? Your endorsement of George W. Bush reads like a stunning indictment of his failed policies and reckless judgment. Conversely, you refer to John Kerry's "fresh ideas," "sensible plans," and "superior proposals." In spite of these obvious distinctions, you conclude that Bush should be our choice for president simply because "we aren't so sure" about John Kerry's decisiveness. I believe four years of Bush decisiveness has us marching straight for a cliff and I see no reason to believe he has any intent of changing course.Here, the Denver Post explains its endorsement and notes: "In the case of Sunday's Bush endorsement, the editorial board, like the country, was divided, and we took extraordinary steps to ensure that the full range of views was represented in our pages. On the adjacent page, we ran a column by two of our editorial writers, "Kerry's appeal - 'America can do better."' We hope our readers will take a look at that piece as well as the endorsement itself. Together, these pieces reflect the sharp division of opinion in Colorado as Election Day nears." Kos notes from this that "the newspaper endorsement may be on its final legs."
Marc Champion, Golden
Now It's 36
36 papers th at endorsed Bush in 2000 are now supporting John Kerry; WPost:
The Orlando Sentinel has backed every Republican seeking the White House since Richard M. Nixon in 1968. Not this time.
"This president has utterly failed to fulfill our expectations," the Florida paper said in supporting John F. Kerry, prompting some angry calls and a few dozen cancellations.
"A lot of people thought they could trust that the Sentinel would always go Republican, and when that didn't happen, they felt betrayed," said Jane Healy, the paper's editorial page editor.
The Sentinel is among 36 newspapers that endorsed President Bush four years ago and have flip-flopped, to coin a phrase, into Kerry's corner. These include the Chicago Sun-Times, the Los Angeles Daily News and the Memphis Commercial Appeal, according to industry magazine Editor & Publisher. Bush has won over only six papers that backed Al Gore, including the Denver Post, which received 700 letters -- all of them protesting the move.
New Florida Voting Scandal Alleged
A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals.
Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's national research director in Washington DC, contain a 15-page so-called "caging list".
It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Florida.
An elections supervisor in Tallahassee, when shown the list, told Newsnight: "The only possible reason why they would keep such a thing is to challenge voters on election day."
Ion Sancho, a Democrat, noted that Florida law allows political party operatives inside polling stations to stop voters from obtaining a ballot ... Republican state campaign spokeswoman Mindy Tucker Fletcher stated the list was not put together "in order to create" a challenge list, but refused to say it would not be used in that manner.
Rather, she did acknowledge that the party's poll workers will be instructed to challenge voters, "Where it's stated in the law."
There was no explanation as to why such clerical matters would be sent to top officials of the Bush campaign in Florida and Washington.
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Help Your Local House Candidates
This election's main event is the presidential race. There's little doubt about that. However, across America, there are important local races with outcomes that'll have a significant effect on the next president's agenda. The DCCC is the main body responsible for directing crucial funding to House of Rep races. Recently, the DCCC compiled fundraising targets by region:
If you can, donate some $$ to the DCCC - the money directly helps candidates in competitive races to take back the House from Tom Delay and his cronies.
Slate: Kerry the Choice
But not the intern!David Bradley Kenner, Intern: BushWell if that doesn't convince you ...
I'm voting for Bush. I don't want, or find it necessary, to defend every piece of his record. The simple fact is that he is the only candidate who has had the courage to envision a long-term solution to the danger of terrorism—the liberalization and democratization of the Middle East. John Kerry, on the other hand, cannot manage to think beyond the next political obstacle. Only one candidate has the courage to keep America safe in these dangerous days. Four more years!
Andrew Sullivan Will Vote for Kerry
The conservative blogger says he's had enough of Bush, who Sullivan says has become a polarizer and not a uniter; Sullivan in pro-Iraq war The New Republic (which is also endorsing Kerry):Which candidate is best suited for this unappetizing ordeal? In Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration has shown itself impatient with and untalented at nation-building. Moreover, the toll of the war has left the United States with minimal international support, one important ingredient for the successful rebuilding of nations. If Bush is reelected, even Britain will likely shift toward withdrawal in Iraq, compounding American isolation there and making it even harder for a new Iraqi government to gain legitimacy. In the essential tasks of building support for greater international help in Iraq--financially, militarily, diplomatically--Kerry is the better choice. No, other countries cannot bail us out or even contribute much in the way of an effective military presence. But within Iraq, the impact of a more international stamp on the occupation and on the elections could help us win the battle for the hearts and minds of Iraqis. That battle--as much as the one on the battlefield itself--is crucial for success. I fear Bush is too polarizing, too controversial, too loathed a figure even within his own country, to pull this off.
October 26, 2004
LAT. Officials Downplay Missing Weapons
LAT. Gov. Won't Commit to Stump for Bush
LAT. Voters Are Still Split Sharply, and Evenly
HonoluluAdv. Kerry's team will buy ads in Islands
AP. Georgia Court keeps gay marriage ban on ballot
AP. Bush Blames Poorly Made Shirt for Bulge
USAT. Bush, Kerry start final week of campaign
WP. GOP's Burr Is Back to Basics in N.C.
WP. Sinclair Chief Denies Political Agenda
WP. Bush Hiding Bad News, Kerry Says
WP. Some Fear Ohio Will Be The Florida of 2004
NYT. Fund-Raising: Despite New Financing Rules, Parties Collect Record $1 Billion
NYT. U.S. Action Bars Right of Some Captured in Iraq
NYT. Battle Over the Amazon's Bounty
NYT. Iraq Explosives Become Issue in Campaign
CSMonitor. Kerry tries to close a perceived 'God gap'
CSMonitor. Karzai, a man with no party; Afghanistan's new leader will be under pressure to develop a two-party system
BGlobe. N.H.'s race for governor spotlights scandals
BGlobe. Hawaii: Three groups consider ads to try to trim president's edge
BGlobe. Kerry, Bush spar over who can best lead charge on terror
BGlobe. Cheered by thousands, 'comeback' Clinton returns
AP. Hope Wanes for 9/11 Bill's Pre-Election OK
AP. Springsteen, Bon Jovi Join Kerry Campaign
Reuters. Consumer Confidence Hits 7-Month Low
AP. Allawi Blames Ambush on 'Negligence'
AP. Kerry: Bush Won't Own Up to Bad Decisions
Reuters. Bush Says Kerry Tax Plan Would Hit Small Business
Reuters. States See Federal Largesse as Election Nears
Reuters. Kerry Says Bush Fails U.S. Commander in Chief Test
CSM. Electoral tug of war in final stretch
Cleveland Plain Dealer. Soldiers' moms campaign for Kerry
NY Daily News. As election nears, states see a surge in voter rolls
Mother Jones. Conversation with a Conservative: Peter G. Peterson; The Commerce Secretary in the Nixon administration explains that the Republican Party "has lost its moorings" in recent years
Krugman. A Culture of Cover-Ups
Laura Flanders. Reality Check: From ending the Equal Pay Initiative to championing the Partial Birth Abortion Act, Bush’s record speaks for itself
John Cory. 'I need a president — again'
Cynthia Tucker. Homophobia runs rampant in black America
Howard Dean. Why I am Voting for John Kerry
John Nichols. Nader's Flawed Calculus; Nader backers support Kerry more than Bush, a Nation Institute poll shows
Michelle Goldberg. Eminem's anti-Bush anthem; Watch the "Mosh" video, the most powerful broadside against the administration since "Fahrenheit 9/11"
Mark Follman. "Thousands and thousands of potential terrorist attacks" A top nuclear-proliferation expert says that the Bush administration's failure to safeguard almost 380 tons of high-tech explosives "borders on criminal negligence"
Michael Tomasky. "Explosive" Revelations; The Bush administration’s incompetence may have caused the deaths of American soldiers. This time, the media must draw attention to it
Tony Hendra. Surprise, Surprise; An ultra-top-secret memo from Karl Rove to our intrepid leader has mysteriously come into Tony Hendra’s possession
Matthew Yglesias. Cry Wolf; George W. Bush has forgotten Ronald Reagan's lesson: Preparedness matters
E. J. Dionne Jr. The Intensity Gap
W. Ron Allen. Kerry will address Indian concerns
Marie Cocco. Having votes count is not getting easier
LAT. The Man Behind the Oval Office Curtain
LAT. Worse Than the Usual Bad
Thomas Oliphant. Is New Hampshire slipping to Kerry?
BGlobe. Bush's blunders in Iraq
Jerry Burris. Spotlight could shine on Hawai'i
Eminem Raps Bush
I won't pretend that Eminem is the smartest man in America, and we should crown him master of the universe, but Ben Wikler is basically right here about Eminem's new video: "Musicians making political statements is nothing new. But there aren’t many recording artists with as wide a following among young people across the country; and fewer still would be willing to risk alienating fans with a video assaulting a candidate this directly, right before an election. And not only is the video unusual, it’s powerful."
Not an Activist?
Sinclair CEO not an activist?Apparently, even Sinclair CEO David Smith is turned off by his company's programming: in an interview on Friday, Smith denied being a Republican activist and said he rarely watched anything but golf on TV. He denied trying to sway the presidential election by requiring his stations to air a special on Friday that included several minutes of an anti-Kerry documentary, and said he gave more money to Democrats than Republicans. According to Federal Election Commission records, at least the latter of these statements was untrue. Since 1997, Smith has given only $2,250 in donations to Democrats while he has pitched in $22,000 for Republicans. "Brothers Frederick G. Smith and J. Duncan Smith, also Sinclair board members, have made tens of thousands of dollars in GOP contributions over the same period, record show."
Bush Foreign Policy Hurting Overseas CompaniesAmerican corporations are in danger of suffering a major shift in purchasing habits as nearly 20% of foreign consumers say they’ll avoid select U.S. products due to America’s position on foreign affairs, according to the latest poll by independent global market research company GMI, Inc. (http://www.worldpoll.com).
The GMI World Poll reveals that people in China, Japan, Germany and other industrialized Western nations are less willing today to purchase American brands — notably Starbucks, Marlboro and Mattel — or fly American-based airlines than before the Iraqi invasion and the United States’ unilateral foreign policies. More than half of those surveyed cite an increasingly negative perception of the U.S., while 67% believe U.S. foreign policy is guided by “self interests” and “empire building.”
“GMI’s World Poll clearly indicates the rest of the world views America’s intervention in Iraq as arrogant and selfish,” said Princeton University Professor Douglas S. Massey with the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. “Because of their anger and frustration, they are consciously considering changing their buying habits,” continued Massey. He added that continued unilateral action on the part of the U.S. will not only “isolate it politically, but economically as well, depressing worldwide demand for American products and services.”
Hawaii Officially Battleground State
According to the Honolulu Advertiser, the DNC will buy adtime in Hawaii, and the Bush campaign is also thinking about it; From the Honolulu Advertiser:The Democratic National Committee, concerned that the presidential race has tightened in Hawai'i, has purchased local television advertisements to help Sen. John Kerry's campaign.So why is Hawaii so close? Probably the main reason is the war. Hawaii has a big military culture, and this helps Bush:
The decision comes after the Advertiser Hawai'i Poll and other polls found that Kerry and President Bush are in a dead heat in Hawai'i, a state that has traditionally supported Democrats for president.
"This is an indication that John Kerry and the Democrats are not taking a single vote for granted," said Josh Earnest, a DNC spokesman.
Earnest said he could not describe the content or scope of the ads but he acknowledged that Democrats had not invested resources in Hawai'i before because the state was viewed as safe for Kerry. Two local television executives described the ad buy as significant. The Bush campaign has also contacted local television stations about advertising.U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, said he has thought for months that the presidential campaign in Hawai'i would be closer than many Democrats believed. He said people are reluctant to oppose the commander-in-chief during wartime but that he believes Kerry still has the advantage.Also this irony:What is interesting about the Hawai'i Poll results reported yesterday is that a substantial number of voters appear determined not to change horses in midstream despite strong negative feelings about such things as the war in Iraq and their own personal economic security.Ah yes, the incumbency. Hawaii has never thrown out an incumbent for Congress. We also voted for Nixon and Ronald Reagan's reelections. One of the things the Hawaii polls made clear is Democrats in Hawaii are willing to vote for Bush. In the past decade, the Hawaii Democratic party has been awful - too many corruptions, poor leaders, and an unpopular governor. This is why Linda Lingle, a Republican, is governor (and quite popular). Has all this made voting for a Republican easier for those Democrats? Perhaps. Also take into account Hawaii has a strong religious base (including a lot of Mormons).
Think about it: A majority of those surveyed said they believe they were misled about the rationale for the war in Iraq. A strong majority believe we are less safe than we were before we invaded. A substantial majority believe the troops won't be brought home on schedule.
And they are evenly split about whether Social Security will be there for them when they retire. More than half of the respondents said they were Democrats.
Yet after all that, they were just as likely to say they'll vote for Bush as for Kerry. The power of incumbency!
EDIT: Chris Bowers at MyDD says the polling sample may be a bit off for one of the polls, because the neighbor islands aren't included.
October 25, 2004
HonoluluAdv. Military families criticize Iraq war
IHT. Closing tactics play to U.S. voters' fears
WTimes. Giuliani to join presidential race for homestretch
NYDN. Bubba's Oct. surprise; He's hitting the hustings today
CNN. Survey: Gas prices up a nickel
BG. Kerry, Bush trade barbs on homeland security
BG. Latinos are a disparate swing bloc
Guardian. Rap star drums up youth vote in key states
ABC. Poll: Close Bush-Kerry Race Gets Closer
AP. From afar, Kerry cheers on the Red Sox
AP. Clinton says stumping for Kerry not a risk
WPMag. No Joke: Eight-time presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche may be a punchline on 'The Simpsons,' but his organization -- and the effect it has on young recruits -- is dead serious
WP. Electronic Voting Raises New Issues
WP. Karzai Is Clear Winner of Vote
WP. Democrats Struggle in Campaigns to Retake House
NYT. Administration Officials Split Over Stalled Military Tribunals
NYT. Gore and Kerry Unite in Search for Black Votes
NYT. Ambush Kills 50 Iraq Soldiers Execution Style
NYT. Obama Wins Kenyan Hearts
NYT. Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq
SD UTrib. Boxer has safe edge as the end is in sight
Reuters. Carter Says Bush Exploited Sept. 11 Attacks
Reuters. Bush, Aides Court Jewish Votes in Tight Race
Reuters. Bush Has Two-Point Lead on Kerry -Reuters Poll
AP. Kerry Tries Faith to Win Undecided Voters
AP. Bush Revamps Speech, Keeps Theme Same
AP. Kerry Ridicules Bush on Terrorism Remark
Ian Williams. Bush’s War Against the Military
bangornews. John Kerry for President
wausaudailyherald. Kerry's views more closely mirror ours
Tom Thompson. Bush policies against terror fail to cover home base
NYT. Rocky Mountain Politics: The administration's recent restraint on opening up more Western lands to oil drilling looks like a political move rather than a change of heart
Bob Herbert. For Bush, Bad News Is Bad News
WPost. Kerry for President
Florida Herald Tribune. Kerry for president
Stamford Advocate. Kerry is our selection for president
Newsday. Newsday endorses Kerry
DMReg. John Kerry, the real thing
Tom Robbins. Bush's War on Labor
Ward Harkavy. Despite Torturous Year in Iraq, Defense Contractor's Profits Soar
Jonathan Schell. Invitation to a Degraded World
Neal Gabler. Karl Rove: America's Mullah
Leonard Pitts Jr. 'This isn't a presidency, it's a forgery'
David Corn. Why I'm for Kerry
Michael Tisserand. George McGovern on Liberalism's Past, Present and Future
Katrina vanden Heuvel. Who's His Daddy? It appears Bush may be talking to the wrong Higher Father
The Nation. 100 Facts and 1 Opinion; The non-arguable case against George W. Bush
Paul Rosenberg. Voter Supression Part II -Down to the WireVoter Suppression Is Alive In the Heartland
Dusty Rhodes. On the Homefront, Soldiers' Families Cope, Hope
Sean Aday. What's Happening Now; Dog bites man, press just bites.
Paul Waldman. Blue State Slander; Bush to Northeast: "Drop Dead"
Joyce McGreevy. Welcome to the Parade of October Surprises! Block the vote. A loofah in every shower. One flu over the Cuckoo's Nest. There's no telling what we'll see!
Robert Parry. How John Kerry exposed the Contra-cocaine scandal
John Irons. Budget Failures
Gerald Rellick. Scientists Against Bush
DenPost. Kerry's appeal: "America can do better
Nation Institute. Nader Voters Favor Kerry Over Bush by 3-to-1 Margin
How Low Can He Go?
From Media Matters on independent commentator Bill O'Reilly:
On his October 21 radio show, FOX News Channel host Bill O'Reilly defended President George W. Bush from a recent Kerry-Edwards '04 TV ad highlighting Bush's opposition to creation of the 9-11 Commission by denying that Bush had ever opposed the commission.
From the October 21 broadcast of the nationally syndicated The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: "They said they [9-11 widow Kristen Breitweiser, featured in the ad, and her late husband] voted for Bush [in 2000], but Bush opposed the 9-11 Commission -- which he didn't, by the way. He didn't oppose it. I mean, he had questions about it because he didn't want it politicized."
In fact, Bush did oppose the creation of the 9-11 Commission. According to CBS News, the reason Bush opposed the establishment of an independent commission was that "the investigation should be confined to Congress because it deals with sensitive information that could reveal sources and methods of intelligence. Therefore, he said, the congressional investigation is 'the best place' to probe the events leading up to the terrorist attacks."
After the commission's creation, Bush also opposed granting the additional time that commissioners requested to complete their investigation.
Conservatives Accidentally Send EMail to Satire GeorgeWBush.org
Instead of the real GeorgeWBush.com address. See the collection here.
The Disenfranchised Eric
No sign of my absentee ballot ...
Jon Stewart on "60 Minutes"
A transcript here:And he did some punking himself after 60 Minutes Wednesday
admitted it could not authenticate documents used in a report on Mr. Bush's National Guard service: "CBS issued a statement defending its reporting but vowing to, quote, 'make every effort to resolve the contradictions and answer the unanswered questions about the documents,'" said Stewart. "Among those unanswered questions: Why the f*** didn't you check them before you broadcast it?"
"I can't believe that the National Guard memo scandal is the only scandal in four years that has gotten elevated to the status of having a gate attached to it," says Stewart. "Rather-gate. For God's sake, we launched a war based on forged documents. That doesn't get a gate. How do you not get a gate outta that?"
"Dick Cheney's old company does business with Iran, in an offshore Cayman Islands group," adds Stewart. "No gate. Nothing."
Rehnquist Has Cancer
From the AP:Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, the leading conservative figure on the Supreme Court for a generation, has thyroid cancer but will continue working while receiving treatment.A reminder from People for the American Way:
Rehnquist, 80, underwent a tracheotomy at Bethesda Naval Hospital in suburban Maryland on Saturday. While no details about his condition were released, a statement issued by the court said he is expected to be back at work next week when justices resume hearing cases.
Even so, Rehnquist's hospitalization little more than a week before the election gave new prominence to a campaign issue that has been overshadowed by the war on terrorism. The next president is likely to at least one — and likely more — to a court that has been deeply divided in recent years on issues as varied as abortion and the 2000 election itself.At a closed-door luncheon in September with high-dollar Republican donors, President Bush bragged that an election victory would give him an opportunity to appoint a Supreme Court justice shortly after his inauguration, and perhaps three more high-court vacancies during his second term, according to a report in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. Gushed one enthusiastic attendee, “Won’t that be amazing? Can you imagine? Four appointments!”
This time, President Bush has his facts straight. It is almost certain that the president elected this fall will have an opportunity to nominate two, three, or four justices. It has been more than ten years since the last vacancy, the longest interval between openings on the Court in 181 years, since the administration of James Monroe in 1823. Over the past 50 years, there has been a vacancy on the average of about once every two years. We are long overdue. In fact, we could be entering an era comparable to the four vacancies between 1969 and 1972 and the five between 1986 and 1991.
Puppy Ad All Wrong
FACT – THE VOTE OCCURRED SEVEN YEARS BEFORE 9/11: The advertisement says that John Kerry's vote came "after the first terrorist attack on America" implying that it occurred after 9/11. In fact, the vote in question occurred in 1994. In the years immediately prior to 9/11, John Kerry consistently supported increases in intelligence spending.
FACT – GOSS VOTED TO DRAMATICALLY REDUCE INTELLIGENCE PERSONNEL: The central message of the advertisement is that because Kerry supported reductions in intelligence resources in the mid-1990s, he can't be trusted to be in charge today. But in 1995, Porter Goss "sponsored legislation that would have cut intelligence personnel by 20 percent." That didn't stop President Bush from appointing Goss this year to head the Central Intelligence Agency. In contrast, Kerry's proposal would have amounted to just a 3.7 percent reduction in intelligence funding.
FACT – KERRY'S PROPOSAL WAS PART OF AN EFFORT TO REDUCE THE DEFICIT: It's not surprising Bush would criticize Kerry's 1994 proposal – it was an effort to reduce the deficit, which is something Bush doesn't understand. Bush has turned a $236 billion surplus into a more than $400 billion deficit. The national debt – which Bush said he would "pay down to a historically low level" – now exceeds $7.4 trillion, an all-time high. For more of Bush's broken promises, check out this document from the American Progress Action Fund.
SCARE TACTIC HYPOCRISY: While his campaign runs advertisements featuring menacing wolves, Vice President Cheney has recently accused the Kerry campaign of trying to "scare people" by talking about Bush's public plan to begin privatizing Social Security. Let's review some of what Cheney has said recently on the campaign trail. Cheney on Sept. 8: "if we make the wrong choice [on Nov. 2] then the danger is that we'll get hit again, that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating." Cheney last Tuesday: "The biggest threat we face now as a nation is the possibility of terrorists' ending up in the middle of one of our cities with...biological agents or a nuclear weapon or a chemical weapon of some kind...able to threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.'' Cheney on Saturday: "if John Kerry had been in charge, maybe the Soviet Union would still be in business."
Headline: Mafia Soldiers Support Bush-Cheney
From the Smoking Gun.
More and More 2000 Pro-Bush Newspapers Abandoning HimSen. John Kerry continued his raid on newspapers that backed President Bush in 2000, grabbing 24 new "flip-flops," plus The Washington Post, which was a major supporter of the war in Iraq. The Democrat has now won endorsements from at least 35 papers that went for Bush in 2000, while Bush has earned only two Gore papers.
Report: "Nearly Half of Americans in Medicare at Risk of Losing Coverage"
According to Families USA, "A careful analysis of the new Medicare law and the Administration's proposed regulations shows that approximately half of the program's beneficiaries are at risk of being worse off than they are today ... Those at risk of being worse off include":* The 6.4 million so-called "dual eligibles," those who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. America's poorest seniors and people with disabilities will lose their current drug coverage provided by Medicaid on December 31, 2005.
* The 13 million retirees with drug coverage from their previous employers, who are at risk of losing at least portions of that coverage.
* The 4.7 million seniors currently enrolled in Medicare Managed Care Plans, who will receive fewer protections than they have today.
Political Contributions of the Rich and Famous
See the list from Newsmeat.
Names of interest:
For Bush (lotsa sports): Bill Gates, Al Michaels, Jim Nantz, Chuck Norris, Maury Povich, Alex 'A-Rod' Rodriguez, Kevin Sorbo, Donald Trump, George Steinbrenner, Bobby Valentine.
For Kerry (obviously longer list, and artistic-types): Steve Buscemi, Roger Ebert, Matt Groening, Tom Hanks, Hugh Hefner, Joan Jett, Ralph Lauren, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Donald Trump (both sides, smart guy), James Zogby, Amy Tan.
And finally, the most important endorsement for a male 20-year old college kid: Natalie Portman. Uh huh.
"Election offices across Florida opened last Monday to give black voters the option of being turned away early." Tina Fey
"First Lady, Laura Bush, said Tuesday that if her husband is elected to a second term she would like to help juvenile delinquents with substance abuse problems. When asked how she would do that, Mrs. Bush replied, "just as I always have. By marrying them and bearing their children." Amy Poehler
"Yeah, I banged her. They arrested me for beastiality." Triumph the Insult Comic Dog on Ann Coulter
"Earlier today, John Kerry went hunting for geese in Ohio, but President Bush says Kerry only did it for the photo op. The weird part is that Bush said this while wearing a flight suit and standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier." Conan O'Brien
"In Florida, voting in the Presidential election started two weeks early. Senior citizens are already reporting problems with the voting machines. Apparently the seniors are confused because when they pull the lever, no quarters come out." Conan O'Brien
"They're doing the early voting in Florida and there are already irregularities in the early Florida voting. You know it's sad when the voting goes smoother in Afghanistan than it does in Florida." David Letterman
"But down in Florida in the early voting, there were computer glitches, confusing ballots, long lines and chaos. And when President Bush heard about this, he said, 'Mission accomplished!'" David Letterman
"On the campaign trail, the president continued what has been a theme throughout the year: John Kerry is a flip-flopper. Oh, and also consistently liberal." Jon Stewart
"Sparks were flying again today. Al Gore accused President Bush of using religion to support his presidency. And George Bush fired back that 'Al Gore's just mad because God made me president.'" Jay Leno
``Yesterday, one of Iran's top leaders announced that he wants President Bush to win the election. After hearing this, President Bush said, 'You know, for an evil doer, he's not such a bad guy.'" Conan O'Brien
A ridiculous moment on SNL, Ashlee Simpson is exposed for her lipsynching ways when a technician plays the wrong track on the speakers. See the video here. And how sad that SNL allows this to happen.
Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Triumph takes on Spin Alley
homestarrunner. Strong Bad Makes You Cry
Oh No. Mr Bill
Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. Monster Slash
The Onion. U.S. Finishes A 'Strong
Second' In Iraq War
Click down comics:
October 24, 2004
Changing Their Minds
A list of newspapers who endorsed GW Bush in 2000 but, after four years of Bush ineptitude, are endorsing John Kerry.
We Need a Fresh Start
Four years ago Al Gore won the popular vote and George Bush, after a Supreme Court decision, became president. The new chief executive promised to be a uniter, not divider. So much for that pledge.
It gets worse. Since 2001, the incumbent has been lacking on foreign policy, national security, the economy, safeguarding constitutional rights and maintaining credibility at home and abroad.
In all of these categories, the Post-Gazette believes the United States needs a fresh start and that John Kerry can provide such leadership. A President Kerry will make the country safer because he will not take his eye off Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. A President Kerry will look after the workers of America because he is concerned about both the haves and the have-nots.
George W. Bush's approach to the economy has been to take care of the rich, his political base; give the companies run by his campaign contributors free rein; and tell other Americans that his policies will improve their situation, eventually. ...
October 23, 2004
Reeve to Appear in Pro-Stem Cell Ad
Christopher Reeve will appear post-mortem in an ad advocating stem cell research in California:Less than two weeks after his sudden death, actor Christopher Reeve has begun appearing in a taped appeal to Californians to vote for a controversial ballot measure that would fund a decade of stem cell research.View the ad here.
Reeve filmed the ad shortly before his death on October 10, but proponents of California's Proposition 71 decided to go forward with the campaign after consulting his family.
The ad began airing on Friday, one day after Dana Reeve, the widow of the paralysed actor, endorsed Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry. Kerry has urged expanded federal funding for stem cell research.
"Stem cells have already cured paralysis in animals," Reeve says in the TV spot. "Stem cells are the future of medicine. Please support Proposition 71 and stand up for those who can't."
Wolfpacks for Truth.orgThey told us we were shooting a Greenpeace
When the camera crew showed up, we wondered
why they were all driving Hummers. Our agent
assured us it was a Greenpeace commercial and
they paid TWICE our hourly steak rate. Little did we
know we were being tricked into this vicious
campaign attack ad.
We are not Terrorists!
George W. Bush incorrectly labelled my wolfpack
as a terrorist threat. We are NOT terrorists. We do
not associate with terrorists (unless you count that
pesky wolverine) and FRANKLY, we don't even like
Poll Surprise: Hawaii May Swing to Bush
In a surprise for many Hawaii political observers, according to a Honolulu Advertiser poll, Bush and Kerry are statistically tied in Hawaii:President Bush and Sen. John Kerry are deadlocked among likely voters in Hawai'i, a surprising boost for the Republican president in a state that many Democrats had considered safe for Kerry.Even with this poll, don't expect either campaigns to spend money in the four electoral vote state.
The findings of the Honolulu Advertiser Hawai'i Poll suggest that Hawai'i's four electoral votes are in play with just over a week to go before the election. Nationally, other opinion polls have found that Bush and Kerry are essentially tied for the popular vote.
The Hawai'i Poll, taken among 600 likely voters statewide between Oct. 13 and Monday, had Bush at 43.3 percent and Kerry at 42.6 percent. The margin of error was 4 percentage points ... "It is shocking," said Greg Gaydos, an associate professor of political science at Hawai'i Pacific University. "I'd say it's very bad news for Kerry if he's tied in a state like Hawai'i."
Where's Jon Stewart When You Need Him?
CNN to debut new show:Producers at CNN have studied the media landscape and determined that what the viewing public needs is…another talk show. This weekend, the network will unveil “Off Topic With Carlos Watson,” a one-hour show which political analyst Watson describes as a hybrid of a Barbara Walters’ special and “Charlie Rose.” “He talks to a wide range of people. She got up close and personal,” explained Watson. “This will be younger, hipper and fun.” For the first episode, which premieres Sunday at 10 p.m., Watson went off-topic with basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, model Heidi Klum and Illinois senate candidate Barack Obama."younger, hipper and fun." Christ. Though I did enjoy the last time CNN tried to get younger, hipper and fun.
'The O'Sexxy Factor'
That Bill O'Reilly.
Fox's North Shore
I really have no problem with the fact that Fox TV's "North Shore" is contributing millions of dollars to Hawaii's economy. Certainly, I have no objection to the jobs, tourism interest, and other industry investments the show has created. Certainly not. But really, in a state where only 1/4 of the population is white, and half Asian (the largest percent in the country, by far), would it really kill the producers to have a fucking Asian in the cast? Even Hawaii 5-0 (a great show) had a large number of Asian / minorities, and that was in the 60s/70s. Guess we'll have to wait for the episode where the Kung-Fu dojo checks into the hotel.
October 22, 2004
Courier-Journal. Bunning unaware of Iraq story: Soldiers balked at order, cited armor
CBS. Jon Stewart Roasts Real News
CBS. Bombarding The Battlegrounds
LAT. They've Got Their Minds, Lawns Made Up
LAT. Kerry Shifts Focus to Southwest
LAT. Russia Moves Toward Kyoto Pact
UPI. Clinton eyes U.N. post
WP. Bush Signs Corporate Tax Cut Bill
WP. Bush Cabinet: Staying or Going
WP. Kerry Mulling Cabinet Options; Candidate under pressure to have people in mind, should he be elected.
WP. Bush Says Kerry Doesn't Comprehend Terror War
AP. Human activity is choking the planet, report warns; U.S. one of biggest consumers of resources
AP. Boston fan's death may prompt alcohol ban
Seattle PI. Small donors beef up political coffers; Campaigns are taking in more money than ever -- but it's coming from small contributors, not large special interests
BG. In two battlegrounds, a focus on health care issues
CNN. Bush, Kerry work to clarify their stances
Newsday. Al-Jazeera airs tape of weeping aid worker
NYT. The Bush Record: Mixed Results for Bush in Battles Over Judges
NYT. Estimates by U.S. See More Rebels With More Funds
NYT. Neck and Neck, Bush and Kerry Pick Different Tracks
Gay.com. Gays sacrifice work for Kerry campaign
Hartford Courant. Ground troops sacrifice in battle for presidency
David L. Englin. Military Misconceptions: If Democrats want to lead today's military, they must drop the stereotypes about who serves
Krugman. Voting and Counting
Bob Herbert. Bush's Blinkers
Ariel Dorfman. Brainy Candidates Need Not Apply
Jonathan Chait. Bush's Empty Rhetoric on Democracy
LAT. Delay: Pounding 'The Hammer'
Margaret Cho. Presidential Cockfight
E.J. Dionne, Jr. Bush voters would get more than they bargained for
Nancy Rommelmann. Brown Dirt Cowboys; Meet Esteban Hills and crew, your gardeners
L.A. Weekly. Endorses John Kerry and John Edwards
Daniel Gross. Eliot Spitzer; How New York's attorney general became the most powerful man on Wall Street
Christopher Lisotta. Where's Mary? Mary Cheney isn't speaking for herself these days because conservatives might then have to see gays and lesbians as people
Derrick Z. Jackson. Still blind to swastikas in school
Eyal Press. Straight Down the Middle; Eyal Press explains why the poor have been invisible in this camp
The Nation. 100 Facts and 1 Opinion
The Nation. For President: John Kerry
Ezra Klein. What'll We Tell the Children? The 2004 election as national metaphor
Paul Rieckhoff. Speaking the Ground Truth: In the furious debate over the war in Iraq, there is one voice conspicuously missing – that of the American soldier
Nina Burleigh. Desperately Seeking Sanity
Lucy Komisar. The Case That Kerry Cracked
John Gartner. Pennsylvania: A Tale of Two Cities
Eric Alterman with Paul McLeary. Think Again: Money Matters
Ivo Daalder and Mac Destler. More than a Few Campaign Stops
Action Fund Daily Progress Report. Administration Fights Loans For Poor
Harold Meyerson. "One Guy in a Bubble": George W. Bush’s push to keep outside advisers out was a catastrophic success
David Bacon. Strike Force; Southern California's grocery strike couldn't change the anti-union culture. San Francisco's hotel strike can
The Reasons Not to Vote for Bush
As if you needed more, here are:
Actual CNN Crawl
From Denver Post:Come again?: An actual "crawl" on CNN - "Public split on whether Bush is a divider."
Bush Supporters Wildly Misinformed
That's right, according to Judd Legum, on a PIPA study:– 75% believe Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda.
– 74% believe Bush favors including labor and environmental standards in agreements on trade.
– 72% believe Iraq had WMD or a program to develop them.
– 72% believe Bush supports the treaty banning landmines.
– 69% believe Bush supports the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
– 61% believe if Bush knew there were no WMD he would not have gone to war.
– 60% believe most experts believe Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda.
– 58% believe the Duelfer report concluded that Iraq had either WMD or a major program to develop them.
– 57% believe that the majority of people in the world would prefer to see Bush reelected.
– 56% believe most experts think Iraq had WMD.
– 55% believe the 9/11 report concluded Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda.
– 51% believe Bush supports the Kyoto treaty.
– 20% believe Iraq was directly involved in 9/11.
Bunning Out of Touch with ... Everything
If I were to make something up, it'd probably go something like this real news story:U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning said yesterday that he was unaware of reports that a unit of Army Reserve soldiers in Iraq had refused an order to deliver fuel for reasons including that their trucks were lightly armored.Wow.
"I don't know anything about that," Bunning said during a news conference after a speech he gave to the Rotary Club of Louisville.
Bunning added that Congress had approved money to upgrade body and vehicle armor. "And I believe that has all been accomplished. And I don't know about your reservists," he said. "Unfortunately, we've had some reports, but I don't know the one you're specifically talking about."
When reporters told him that the unit's refusal was a national news story and involved a soldier from Louisville, Bunning said, "Let me explain something: I don't watch the national news, and I don't read the paper. I haven't done that for the last six weeks. I watch Fox News to get my information."
Told that Fox News broadcast the report, Bunning said, "Not the times I watched it. So the fact that somebody was from Louisville, I know about that."
John Glenn, Mrs. Christopher Reeve Join Kerry in Pro-Science Rally
It's sorta silly that any politician should even need to have a pro-science rally, but after this president, yes, we do need a president that's pro-science (and part of the reality-based community). Plain Dealer:Columbus- Flanked by space hero John Glenn and the widow of stem-cell research crusader Christopher Reeve, Sen. John Kerry pledged Thursday that he would be "a president who believes in science."
"This moment in history is too important, the opportunities before us are too great, for America to trust a president who himself doesn't trust science," the Democratic presidential nominee told an enthusiastic crowd of 1,200 gathered at the Atheneum in downtown Columbus.
Kerry blasted President Bush for promoting an "extreme ideological agenda" that has failed to make technology and innovation a priority in favor of catering to foreign oil and corporate special interests.
He said Bush has proposed cuts to government-funded research, blocked future embryonic stem-cell research and supported tax policies that export technology jobs overseas.
"You get the feeling that if George Bush had been president during other periods in American history, he would have sided with the candle lobby over electricity, the buggy-makers over cars, and typewriter companies against computers," Kerry said. The Bush campaign challenged Kerry's facts.
Study: "most middle-income families lost ground between 2000 and 2003"
How are those Bush policies helping the middle class? According to a study from the Ecnoomic Policy Institute:
"Pre-tax incomes fell for middle-income families of every type between 2000 and 2003. Driven by a recession-induced fall-off in wage income, pre-tax incomes fell by $2,119, or 3.1%, for married-couple families with children; single mothers lost $686 in pre-tax income, or 3.0%; elderly couples lost $353, or 1.0%; and young singles lost $818, or 3.4%."
"After taking into account changes in both pre-tax income and taxes, the finding remains that most middle-income families lost ground between 2000 and 2003. Incomes declined slightly over this period (by 0.2%) for married couples with children and by 1.4% for elderly couples and young singles. Single-mother families saw after-tax income gains of 1.9% because of the greater refundability of child tax credits."
"Family spending on higher insurance co-pays, deductibles, and premiums has escalated in recent years. Middle-income families saw their incomes erode between 2000 and 2003, after changes in both taxes and health spending are taken into account. For married-couple families with children, health spending rose three times faster than income (not inflation-adjusted) between 2000 and 2003, absorbing half the growth of their income. The post-tax, post-health-spending income of married-couple families with children, for instance, fell $699, or 1.3%, between 2000 and 2003, while that of single-mother families fell $433, or 2.0%."
Nader's 2000 VP: I'm Voting for Kerry
Another Green who is voting for Kerry:I am voting for John Kerry this November. I love this land, and I know that we need to make drastic changes in Washington if we are going to protect our land and our communities. I am committed to transforming the American democracy so that it is reflective of the diversity of this country. I believe in a multi-party system and a multi-racial democracy. I believe there are many opinions, not simply two, that merit a hearing on any issue. I believe we should be working harder to increase the numbers of people of color, women and Native people elected to office because we are this country, and we are what America looks like. I’m voting my conscience on Nov. 2; I’m voting for John Kerry.Meanwhile, a Green Party group (Greens for Impact) is criticizng Nader and his association with the Newmanites cult (pdf), in addition to other complaints. This isn't the first criticism of Nader and his association with the cult. Doug Ireland in The Nation magazine took Nader to task in January. Ireland, who "wrote columns in support of Nader's 2000 presidential candidacy," concluded his article with:And despite Ralph's important, decades-long contributions to citizen activism, it's a sign that in his eerie isolation he may be losing his political judgment. I find that sad--and I pray that he will in the end decide against another run that would be immensely damaging to his image and his legacy.
Harvard: High College Kid Interest in Prez Race
"Nearly 72 percent of college students report that they are "certain" they are registered to vote and "definitely" plan on voting this November. More than in other years, students believe that they have a stake -- and will have a say -- in the outcome of the election."
"Senator Kerry maintains a 13-point lead among college students, and a slightly stronger 17- point advantage among likely voters in key swing states. Kerry's lead appears to be a function of several factors, including strong support from female voters and Independents, dissatisfaction over the war in Iraq, concern for the economy, and movement of formerly uncommitted voters to the Kerry camp."
"Economy is the number-one issue in determining college students' vote for President. Forty-two percent of college students say the economy is the most important or second most important issue in determining their vote for President. Other important issues include the situation in Iraq with 38 percent citing it as the most or second most important issue, followed by terrorism and homeland security at 33 percent, moral value issues (such as gay marriage and abortion) at 29 percent, and education at 27 percent."
"Dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq reaches a new high. Agreement with the war in Iraq has reached an all-time low among college students. For the first time since 2002, more students oppose having gone to war than support it."
October 21, 2004
TimesLeader. Standing O's follow W jabs
Ledger. Castor Vows to End Attack Ads
NYDN. Pat praying to differ with Prez on Iraq
CBS. Black Vote Is Key For Kerry
CBS. Brits Head To Iraq Danger Zone
AP. Democratic Volunteers to Canvass Florida
Deseret Morning News. Big money flows into 2nd District race; Swallow media blitz may run up $1 million tab
El Paso Times. Campaign efforts amplified in NM
nbc4i.com. Howard Dean, Bob Dole Square Off
LAT. Iran Moving Methodically Toward Nuclear Capability
LAT. Wall Street Gives Bush a B Rating, but He Tops Kerry
LAT. Kerry's Support in State Firms Up
AP. US Supreme Court questions Republican plan for keeping control of Congress
AP. Illinois GOP Skips Keyes in Promotion
AP. U.S. Won't Back Iran Nuke Incentive Plan
Reuters. Bush Vs. Kerry: Tackling the Threat of Nuclear War
Reuters. U.S. Soldier Sentenced to 8 Years for Iraq Abuse
WP. Moran Tries to Beat His Past
WP. Kerry Hunts for Ohio Swing Votes
WP. Candidates Focus on Leadership Qualities
NYT. Flu Vaccine Maker Won't Assure U.S. Sales in '05
NYT. Debate Lingering on Decision to Dissolve the Iraqi Military
AP. Kerry maps postelection plan
NYT. Robertson Says Bush Predicted No Iraq Toll
BG. Voters registering Nov. 2 seen as key in 4 swing states
BG. Bush, Kerry trade gibes on terror threat; Key swing state of Iowa is forum for candidates
Ayelish McGarvey. As God Is His Witness; Bush is no devout evangelical. In fact, he may not be a Christian at all
Katherine Hawkins. Torturous Passage; The House decided not to condone torture -- but that hasn’t stopped it in the past.
Terence Samuel. Dirty Deeds; A get-out-the-vote campaign that uses crack cocaine, ballot fraud, and other nasty tricks.
Craig Aaron. I Think He Can, I Think He Can
Jimmy Breslin. 'Election rides on the cell phone vote'
Rick Perlstein. The End of Democracy; Losing America's birthright, the George Bush way
John le Carré. If Le Carré Could Vote
Pacific Northwest Inlander. John Kerry for President
Todd Stauffer. I Want a Reality-Based President
Gayle Smith and Mara Rudman. Missing the Mark on Largest Voting Bloc
Peter Byrne. Mud, Sweat & Tears: Stock Car Racing Enthusiasts Sour on Iraq War
AmericanProgress. A Worker's Story; The Struggle to Unionize
Douglas A. Kysar. Tort Law, Texas Style
Jon Turley. Is Suicide Part of the Job?
Cecil Andrus, Bruce Babbitt and Stewart Udall. Bush broke promises about environment
Marie Cocco. Privatizing Social Security won't save it
Alix Christie. Suppressing the overseas vote; Record numbers of Americans abroad have registered, but bureaucratic snafus may prevent many from actually voting
Sidney Blumenthal. With so many new registrations this year, the prospects for Kerry look good, despite intense efforts to suppress African-American, Hispanic and Democratic voters
Farhad Manjoo. Sproul play; The RNC-funded firm Sproul & Associates stands accused of lying, cheating and even destroying Democratic voter registration forms to get more Republicans to the polls
Alan G. Hevesi. New York Comptroller Questions Sinclair
Ellen Goodman. Who's insensitive to gays? Start with the Cheneys
Stolenairtime.com. Citizens Say Sinclair “Compromise” Is Not Good Enough
Condemn Alan Keyes?
Now why would they do that? From conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan:Alan Keyes goes on the attack again, saying children of gay parents will live in families where "incest becomes inevitable." I await the outrage of Matthew Dowd, Lynne Cheney, Bill Kristol, Bill Safire, Mort Kondracke, Maureen Dowd, and on and on. Oh, wait. It's only if you say a positive thing about gay people that you're a homophobe.
Kids Vote, Kerry Wins
Coulter: Crazy" Dems think U.S. went to war with Iraq because of "oily Jews"
Dems also "want Saddam back." You bastards.
Bush vs. Cheney"It is wrong to try to scare people going into the polls."
- President Bush, 10/20/04
"Cheney: Terrorists May Bomb U.S. Cities."
- Chicago Tribune, 10/19/04
Pollution Especially Problematic for Latinos
In a new report from "Curb Your Enthusiasm"-supported NRDC:Some 91 percent of Hispanics in the United States live in metropolitan areas, where polluted air may increase the risk of illnesses including asthma and cancer.Insert Bush jab here.
One and a half million U.S. Latinos live in colonias (unincorporated communities with substandard housing) along the U.S.-Mexico border, where a lack of potable water and sewage treatment contributes to waterborne diseases such as giardiasis, hepatitis, and cholera.
More than one-third of U.S. Latinos live in Western states, where arsenic, industrial chemicals, and fertilizer residues often contaminate local drinking water supplies.
The great majority -- 88 percent -- of farmworkers are Latinos; they and their families face regular pesticide exposure, which can lead to increased risks of lymphoma, prostate cancer, and childhood cancers.
Twice as many Hispanic children as non-Hispanic white children are likely to have lead in their blood at levels higher than the action level established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for risk of lead poisoning.
WWF: "We are spending nature's capital faster than it can regenerate"
The same ol' on the environment, but will the people listen? AP:Consumption of fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil increased by almost 700 percent between 1961 and 2001, it said. But the planet is unable to move as fast to absorb the resulting carbon-dioxide emissions that degrade the earth's protective ozone layer.
"We are spending nature's capital faster than it can regenerate," said WWF chief Claude Martin, launching the conservation body's 40-page study.
"We are running up an ecological debt which we won't be able to pay off unless governments restore the balance between our consumption of natural resources and the earth's ability to renew them."
Populations of terrestrial, freshwater and marine species fell on average by 40 percent between 1970 and 2000, the study said. It cited destruction of natural habitats, pollution, overfishing and the introduction by humans of nonnative animals, such as cats and rats, which often drive out indigenous species.
"The question is how the world's entire population live with the resources of one planet," said Jonathan Loh, one of the report's authors.
Biden Brain Dead Comment
Some perspective in the wake of the Drudge Report link:"Biden criticized the administration's prescription drug policies and their impact on consumers. "He is brain dead," Biden said of the president. His comment was greeted with loud applause at the UAW Local 435 union hall in Cranston Heights but quickly drew the ire of Delaware Republicans."So naturally, Republicans must have criticized Biden back during Clinton ...Exhibit 2:
"Sen. Biden should be ashamed of his below-the-belt rhetoric and personal attacks on the president," said David Crossan, executive director of the state's Republican Party. "Challenging policies is one thing, but calling someone 'brain dead' crosses the line."Even a Democratic Senator, Joseph Biden, said Clinton "either had an incredible lapse in memory or was brain-dead" when he pardoned Mr Rich, the Associated Press reported."
How Bout Dem Sox?
Even A-Rod is giving them a high-five
October 20, 2004
Bunning Skips Debate
See Kos on this.
It really warrants repeating: in this race, Bunning is outspending Mongiardo six to one. 6:1.
Drop Full Anti-Kerry Film, Make Money
After Sinclair's decision to "run portions of the program." Reuters on Sinclair's uptake:Shares of Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. (SBGI.O: Quote, Profile, Research) jumped nearly 9 percent on Wednesday, a day after the TV station owner backed away from plans to air a film critical of Sen. John Kerry that Democrats have said is a blatant political statement masquerading as news.
Sinclair said after Tuesday's market close that it would only run portions of the program "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal, about the Democratic presidential candidate's anti-war activities 30 years ago as part of an hour-long special on Friday.
Sinclair shares had dropped sharply since the controversy began earlier this month amid concern over a possible advertising boycott and potential legal and regulatory issues stemming from the controversy. Democrats have demanded equal air time from Sinclair, whose top executives have been major contributors to Republicans in recent years.
The No Casualty War
From CNN:Pat Robertson, an ardent Bush supporter, said he had that conversation with the president in Nashville, Tennessee, before the March 2003 invasion U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. He described Bush in the meeting as "the most self-assured man I've ever met in my life."
"You remember Mark Twain said, 'He looks like a contented Christian with four aces.' I mean he was just sitting there like, 'I'm on top of the world,' " Robertson said on the CNN show, "Paula Zahn Now."
"And I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, 'Mr. President, you had better prepare the American people for casualties.' "
Robertson said the president then told him, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."
Bushism*When former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw told President Bush that he was working on an autobiography, the president said, "That's great. Who's it about?"
Stewart-XFire: Internet Views Beat TV Views
From TVNewsers:Cory Bergman finds the hidden angle in this never-ending Xfire saga: "The Jon Stewart showdown on CNN Crossfire has surpassed 800,000 views on iFilm and just under 70,000 BitTorrent downloads. Crossfire averaged 550,000 viewers in Nielsen's third-quarter ratings. So unless Crossfire pulled off a huge night on Friday, more people watched the Stewart-Carlson exchange on the web than watched it on TV -- a first for a prime-time cable news show."Meanwhile, showing sex sells, O'Reilly's viewership is rapidly increasing:O'Reilly's ratings have surged since the lawsuits were filed on Wednesday. He averaged 3.4 million viewers again on Monday night...a 40% increase over Q3.
The Secret Administration
Why's the Bush administration playing politics with our nation's security? Why are they suppressing a potentially damning report? Robert Scheer in the LA Times:It is shocking: The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names. Although the report by the inspector general's office of the CIA was completed in June, it has not been made available to the congressional intelligence committees that mandated the study almost two years ago.
"It is infuriating that a report which shows that high-level people were not doing their jobs in a satisfactory manner before 9/11 is being suppressed," an intelligence official who has read the report told me, adding that "the report is potentially very embarrassing for the administration, because it makes it look like they weren't interested in terrorism before 9/11, or in holding people in the government responsible afterward."
When I asked about the report, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said she and committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) sent a letter 14 days ago asking for it to be delivered. "We believe that the CIA has been told not to distribute the report," she said. "We are very concerned."
October 19, 2004
Feingold Challenger: Polls That Show Him Losing Badly Are "communistic"
Because, you know, that WGN poll is trying to overthrow the other capitalist polls by revolution in order to establish a classless poll society in which all data is socially owned. From the AP:Wisconsin Senate GOP candidate Tim Michels complained Friday about “communistic” polls that he says are skewing results toward his opponent, Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.
Michels specifically cited a recent Chicago Tribune/WGN poll that reported Feingold with a lead of 57 percent to 33 percent among Wisconsin voters, with 10 percent undecided. Those results were published in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story Friday.
“What are they polling — just Madison?” Michels said during an appearance on Milwaukee radio station WTMJ’s “Midday with Charlie Sykes.”
“I call them communistic polls that are coming out,” Michels continued.
Sign Stealer Gets HurtA Lakewood Republican stealing campaign signs late one night got nabbed when he ran across a low- hanging driveway chain, fell face first onto a pilfered sign and the concrete and knocked himself unconscious.Uh oh ... you know it's coming ... can't ... contain ... myself ...
Randal Wagner, 50, was loaded into an ambulance, treated at Lutheran Medical Center for abrasions and facial cuts and issued a summons.
Wagner, who unsuccessfully tried to steal a "Dave Thomas" congressional sign that evening, had signs for other Democratic candidates in his Toyota pickup, Wheat Ridge police reported.
"Stealing Dave Thomas signs? Whaa, did the guy work for Burger King?"
Sorry - but seriously, this is Dave Thomas for US Congress.
Legalize Marijuana Petition Actually GOP Registration
Gettin high, voting Republican, I guess they're sorta similar:Students, who last month signed a petition that was being circulated on the Blue Bell campus to legalize marijuana for primarily medicinal purposes, now are finding out that they are registered Republicans.
"This is just very disheartening," said Plymouth resident Jennifer Fugo, a 24-year-old continuing education student who describes herself as a "victim of voter registration manipulation."
"Everyone is encouraging young people to register and vote and then they experience something like this," Fugo said Monday. "This is just outrageous."
Two Soldiers Killed in Iraq
"I say a hell of a lot of prayers before getting into the aircraft, and after getting down. It is not the fear of death that weighs me down, it is the feeling of not being there for my three girls. There is a very real chance that something bad could happen and they would never know me." William Brennan, one of two soldiers killed in an Iraq air collision over the weekend.
Down Goes Sinclair
CBS Marketwatch:The shares dropped amid fresh concerns on Wall Street, with analysts fretting over what looms as a loss of advertising revenue for Sinclair. Some securities analysts, who demanded not to be quoted on record, said that they're concerned about the potential development.
Sinclair, which owns the largest chain of TV stations in the United States, had told its stations to broadcast a documentary that accuses Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry of betraying American prisoners during the Vietnam War.
The film, titled "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," is to be shown during prime-time hours before the Nov. 2 election. The stations owned by Sinclair reach approximately 24 percent of U.S. television households.
Teachers Kicked Out of Bush Event
For wearing 'protect our civil liberties' shirts. Ha.
Sinclair Fires Jon Leiberman
Shock, Sinclair fires an employee who doesn't agree with it's conservative bias policy; CBS:Leiberman - who had said he was uncomfortable with calling the program "news" instead of "commentary" - said he was fired by Joseph DeFeo, Sinclair's vice president for news, and "escorted out of the building."Don't cry for Jon; he'll likely have another job soon, and he has this:
"I was told I violated company policy by divulging information from a staff meeting to The (Baltimore) Sun in this morning's edition," Leiberman said late Monday.
"They're using news to drive their political agenda," says Leiberman. "I don't think it served the public trust.""I really feel like I can sleep at night and I can be OK with my decision" to criticize Sinclair publicly," added Leiberman. "I know I stood up for the principles of objectivity. In journalism, all we have is credibility and objectivity."
Going Upriver on Sale Today
"RATING: FRESH READING: 89%" from RottenTomatoes, meaning 89% of critics liked the movie.
A Very Special Bush Moment
From Suskind:Joe Biden was telling a story, a story about the president. ‘’I was in the Oval Office a few months after we swept into Baghdad,’’ he began, ‘’and I was telling the president of my many concerns’’—concerns about growing problems winning the peace, the explosive mix of Shiite and Sunni, the disbanding of the Iraqi Army and problems securing the oil fields. Bush, Biden recalled, just looked at him, unflappably sure that the United States was on the right course and that all was well. ‘’’Mr. President,’ I finally said, ‘How can you be so sure when you know you don’t know the facts?’’’
Biden said that Bush stood up and put his hand on the senator’s shoulder. ‘’My instincts,’’ he said. ‘’My instincts.’’
Biden paused and shook his head, recalling it all as the room grew quiet. ‘’I said, ‘Mr. President, your instincts aren’t good enough!’’’
Michael Moore on NPR
Read this Capital Times editorial on Moore.
Mongiardo Ties It Up with Bunning
The latest Garin-Hart-Yang Research poll shows the Senate race in Kentucky is all tied up; campaign PR:new poll by Garin-Hart-Yang Research conducted October 15-17 shows Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mongiardo and Republican Senator Bunning tied at 43%-43% in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race. Only 36% of likely Kentucky voters want to re-elect Jim Bunning, while 50% rate his job performance as only fair or poor [see attached poll memo].A big endorsement for Dr. Mongiardo from The Courier Journal may help him.
Mongiardo said, "It’s clear that Kentucky voters are rejecting Senator Bunning’s negative campaign of attack and distortion. Instead, Kentucky families want a Senator who will work to lower the cost of healthcare, make prescription drugs more affordable, and create jobs in Kentucky. I am going to win this race because Kentucky’s working families are struggling, and they are ready for a Senator who will fight for them."
"With Kentucky voters showing increased interest in this race, I invite Senator Bunning to stop hiding and show up for tomorrow’s statewide KET debate. Now, more than ever, Kentucky families want and deserve a chance to hear our respective plans for the future of our state. I encourage Senator Bunning to join me."
To learn more about the next senator from Kentucky, read this Courier-Journal article.
October 18, 2004
Embarrassed to Be GayAnyway, back to the hysterics. On Fox, co-host of Fox and Friends, E.D. Hill compared Mary Cheney to a wino. The Wall Street Journal accuses Kerry of having “outed” Mary, which, of course, is rather redundant in the case of someone who’s already out. William Kristol speaks of “cheap, cold, calculating cynicism--and cruelty,” here. Cruelty? Hello, she’s gay. It’s only cruelty if you have a problem with that. Kerry doesn’t. Mary doesn’t. It seems to me rather cruel of her mom to get so upset about it as if there were something shameful about her daughter. If those now non-voting evangelicals do, well, tough luck. If they want to vote (nor not vote) their homophobic prejudices, that’s their right. If Bush and Cheney are going to court the votes of people who think gay sex is a cause for jail, or perhaps everlasting damnation—why in the world is it unfair for Kerry to point out that they don’t really mean it? They’re just playing with the rubes, while inviting the homos to live in their houses—and work in their campaigns—without forcing them to try to convert or embrace celibacy or something.
Page Loading Problems?
Is this main index page loading incorrectly for you? It is not loading correctly for me, as the middle section and right bar are being cut off for some reason ... Anyway, checking.
Also, 'Daily Stories' updates will return on Thursday - I'm really swamped right now with school. But small updates every now and then when time permits.
EDIT: The great people at Hosting Matters have helped fix the problem. Yay.
Sinclair DC Bureau Chief Blasts Bosses
Says decision to air anti-Kerry film shows bad bias. From the Baltimore Sun (registration req, so full article below):"It's biased political propaganda, with clear intentions to sway this election," said Jon Leiberman, Sinclair's lead political reporter for more than a year. "For me, it's not about right or left -- it's about what's right or wrong in news coverage this close to an election." ...
Leiberman said he was anguished by his decision to speak out. But, he said, the influence of commentator Mark Hyman and Chief Executive David D. Smith has been devastating. "There is going to be a concerted effort on the part of my colleagues to make this as balanced a program as they can," Leiberman said. "But the selection of the material -- dumping it on the news department, and giving them four days, and running it this close to the election -- it's indefensible, in my opinion." ... Now, Leiberman said, the conservative bias of Sinclair executives is too palpable to ignore. "All I want is for them to address these issues," Leiberman said. "Let the journalists do what the journalists do -- cover the news."
Sinclair employee decries planned program on Kerry
D.C. bureau chief calls it 'biased political propaganda'
By David Folkenflik
Originally published October 18, 2004
The Washington bureau chief for Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group's news division angrily denounced his employer last night for plans to air an hourlong program that is to include incendiary allegations against Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry for his anti-war activism three decades ago.
"It's biased political propaganda, with clear intentions to sway this election," said Jon Leiberman, Sinclair's lead political reporter for more than a year. "For me, it's not about right or left -- it's about what's right or wrong in news coverage this close to an election."
Repeated efforts to reach Sinclair officials for comment last night proved unsuccessful.
Sinclair sparked national headlines this month by ordering its 60 stations to broadcast a program that will devote significant time to charges that Kerry's nationally televised remarks in 1971 about atrocities committed by U.S. troops in Vietnam spurred the torture of American prisoners of war. (Sinclair has business relationships with two additional stations that are not scheduled to air the show.)
The broadcasting company's plan has drawn formal protests from Democrats for both the program's content and its timing -- less than two weeks before Election Day. It plans to pre-empt an hour of regular prime-time network programming for the special on each of the stations over a several-day period this week. While Sinclair has invited Kerry to respond to the allegations, campaign aides have dismissed that offer as insincere.
Sinclair reaches about 24 percent of American viewers, with a presence in 39 markets, most of them in smaller regions. But many of them can be found in pivotal political states such as Michigan, Missouri and Ohio.
Leiberman spoke out yesterday after a mandatory staff meeting attended by Sinclair's corporate news division at company headquarters in Hunt Valley.
"I have nothing to gain here -- and really, I have a lot to lose," Leiberman said. "At the end of the day, though, all you really have is your credibility."
Leiberman, 29, is a Baltimore native who has a degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has worked at stations in Topeka, Kan., and Albuquerque, N.M., as well as Sinclair's WBFF in Baltimore.
The program draws from a documentary called Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal, produced by Carlton Sherwood, a prize-winning journalist who has close ties to Bush administration officials.
Sinclair staffers were told the show would be presented as news, not opinion, Leiberman said.
Some industry analysts have decried Sinclair's plans. "People in the news business are supposed to present both sides of the story," said American University communications professor Jane Hall, a media critic for Fox News Watch. "They are not supposed to have an agenda. They are not supposed to want to affect the outcome of the election with something they label news."
Leiberman said he was anguished by his decision to speak out. But, he said, the influence of commentator Mark Hyman and Chief Executive David D. Smith has been devastating. "There is going to be a concerted effort on the part of my colleagues to make this as balanced a program as they can," Leiberman said. "But the selection of the material -- dumping it on the news department, and giving them four days, and running it this close to the election -- it's indefensible, in my opinion."
Leiberman said he told Sinclair's vice president for news, Joseph DeFeo, that he would not contribute to the program and that DeFeo suggested the reporter could lose his job.
DeFeo did not return messages seeking comment.
The Smith family, which controls Sinclair, has long been a financial backer of Bush and other Republicans, including Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
Now, Leiberman said, the conservative bias of Sinclair executives is too palpable to ignore. "All I want is for them to address these issues," Leiberman said. "Let the journalists do what the journalists do -- cover the news."
State / National Polls
More of the Same on Deficit
"This is the first time since before the Depression of the 1930s that the deficit has continued to increase this far into a recovery," notes the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:Fiscal Year 2004 ended on September 30, and today the Treasury Department reported that the deficit for 2004 was $413 billion, or 3.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product.
At 3.6 percent of GDP, the 2004 deficit marks the fourth consecutive year of fiscal deterioration, the first time this has happened since the U.S. entered World War II.
At 3.6 percent of GDP, the 2004 deficit is up from the 2003 level of 3.5 percent of GDP and is the highest level since 1993.
The deficit increased in 2004 even though the recession officially ended in November 2001. This is the first time since before the Depression of the 1930s that the deficit has continued to increase this far into a recovery.
At $413 billion, the 2004 deficit was $36 billion higher than the 2003 deficit, which stood at $377 billion.
The growth of deficits has largely reflected stunning revenue declines. Federal tax revenues this year are at their lowest level, measured as a share of the Gross Domestic Product, since 1959. In contrast, federal spending in 2004, measured as a share of GDP, is slightly below its average level of the last four decades.
Fox News Covers O'Reilly Sex Suit ...
For 36 seconds, compared with "1 hour 22 minutes on MSNBC, 31 minutes on CNN." And the 36 seconds was Bill O'Reilly.
Ron Suskind's "Without a Doubt"
A must-read article. If you already read it, read it again.
October 17, 2004
Kerry Picks Up More Endorsements
From the newspapers:Kerry gained the editorial backing of at least 30 papers, with Bush winning the support of 17 that we know of, giving Kerry the overall lead by 45-30 in E&P's exclusive tally. He has more large papers on his side, maintaining his "circulation edge" at nearly 3-1: approximately 8.9 million to 3.3 million (we will post a complete tally later today).Here's the Tampa Trib:
However, Bush did pick up some major papgers, earning the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune, Arizona Republic, the Denver Rocky Mountain News, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Richmond Dispatch, the Indianapolis Star and The Dallas Morning News.
Among Kerry's new supporters were five papers that had backed Bush in 2000: the Bradenton Herald in Florida, the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colorado, the Columbia Tribune in Missouri, and the Daily-Herald in Arlington Heights, Ill., and Muskegon (MI) Chronicle.But the Tampa Tribune, which has long backed Republicans, declared that it found itself in "a position unimaginable four years ago" when it "strongly endorsed" the president. While it has no deep affection for Kerry it expressed disappointment in Bush, and so it would "not be lending our voice to the chorus of conservative-leaningAnd The Oregonian:
newspapers endorsing the president's re-election....But we are unable to endorse President Bush for re- election because of his mishandling of the war in Iraq, his record deficit spending, his assault on open government and his failed promise to be a 'uniter not a divider' within the United States and the world."We supported going to war in Iraq, and we'll discuss the war and the campaign further in this space soon. For now, though, let us say our concerns center on how President Bush has carried out the war and isolated the United States.Four years ago, The Oregonian endorsed George W. Bush.
We believe the White House's policy-makers approached the war with preconceived notions about success based on what the president later called "just guessing." They brushed aside warnings and contrary opinions. They chose ideology over expertise. This arrogance led to a series of military, political and diplomatic blunders and, we believe, resulted in the unnecessary deaths of many brave Americans.
On fiscal policy, the White House and leaders in Congress have failed to fully acknowledge the threat posed by the giant deficits that the current recipe of tax cuts and profligate federal spending has brewed. Addressing this will not be as simple as paying for tax cuts through spending cuts. The anemic performance of the economy suggests also that the administration's hope that the country can grow its way out of trouble is overly optimistic, at best.
In almost every area, deliberate gaps between the administration's rhetoric and reality have become routine. Last year's misinformation about the cost of Medicare drug coverage is just one example.
Sunday Sports Blogging
Knight Ridder: Bush Admin No Post-War Plan
See my post over at Franken blog
October 16, 2004
Musgrave Continues Her Gay Bashing
Atrios has the details.
And, if you have the bank, send her opponent Stan Matsunaka a few bucks.
The Quotable ED Hill
From Media Matters:
Here's what Hill said on the October 15 edition of FOX & Friends:
HILL: You know what? That's like if you talk to an alcoholic's family and you say, boy, that kid of yours sure is a wino, but you know, you're really dealing with it well and I'm sure that he has no choice about being a wino. I mean really that's what it is. I'm sorry. Senator Kerry, there's nothing you can say here. It is what it is.
On his website on October 15, conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan addressed the tendency among some to equate "gayness with some sort of embarrassing problem or, worse, some kind of affliction":
Notice two things. First, the equation of gayness with some sort of embarrassing problem or, worse, some kind of affliction. For people who believe this, of course Kerry was out of line. That's why [Bush campaign senior adviser Karl] Rove's base is so outraged. But if you don't believe this, it's no different than, say, if a candidate were to mention another candidate's son in the Marines. Or if, in a debate on immigration, a pro-immigrant candidate mentioned Kerry's immigrant wife. You have to regard homosexuality as immoral or wrong or shameful to even get to the beginning of the case against Kerry. That's why it's a Rorschach test.
Jon Stewart on Crossfire"I watch your show every day, and it kills me. It's so painful to watch," Stewart added as it became apparent that the comedian was not joking. He went on to hammer the network, and the media in general, for its coverage of the presidential debates. Stewart said it was a disservice to viewers to immediately seek reaction from campaign insiders and presidential cheerleaders following the debates, noting that the debates' famed "Spin Alley" should be called "Deception Lane."Yow!
"The thing is, we need your help," Stewart said. "Right now, you're helping the politicians and the corporations and we're left out there to mow our lawns."
While the audience seemed to be behind Stewart, Begala and Carlson were both taken aback. The hosts tried to feed Stewart set-up lines hoping to draw him into a more light-hearted shtick, but Stewart stayed on point and hammered away at the show, the hosts, and the state of political journalism. Carlson grew increasingly frustrated, at first noting that the segment wasn't "funny," and later verbally sparring with the comedian.
"You're not very much fun," Carlson said. "Do you like lecture people like this, or do you come over to their house and sit and lecture them; they're not doing the right thing, that they're missing their opportunities, evading their responsibilities?"
"If I think they are," Stewart retorted.
The conversation reached its most heated moment when Carlson said to Stewart, "I do think you're more fun on your show," to which Stewart replied, "You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show."
"That went great," Stewart could be heard sarcastically saying as the show went off the air (a transcript of the show is available on CNN.com).
Jon Stewart, by the way, says he plans to vote for Kerry.
If you have bittorrent, you can find download info of the show here. I'm not aware of any other mirror downloads.
I Will Not Stoop to Such Silly Levels
I will not stoop to such levels as to suggest that someone should send a falafel mix to Bill O'Reilly in order to make fun of his recent troubles. No, no I am above that, for I, Eric, at this site, the-hamster which, in addition to using excessive amount of commas, and bad grammar, does not engage in such silly behavior. So please do not, sir, send Bill O'Reilly a falafel mix by finding out information through this website/blog, which was linked via Digby,,,,,,falafel
October 15, 2004
SFC. Bush, Kerry scramble for battleground states
Newsday. Homeland adviser mum on ex-employer’s financial terror links
BG. NRA ads up the ante against Kerry
USAT. Candidates begin sprint to finish line
CBS. Voter Fraud Charges Out West
WP. Washington reaches federal debt ceiling
AP. Nevada Democrats ask judge to extend voter registration time
AP. `Green Arrow' to feature HIV-positive sidekick
SacBee. 3 Southern officials say the U.S. lacks the right to limit such private use.
SFC. Want to get Seymour Hersh excited? Ask him why Abu Ghraib is important. Then take cover.
Palm Beach Post. Early voting options succeed in early votes, and early chaos
Quad-City Times. Kerry, Edwards join up in Iowa
Reuters. Schwarzenegger Says Kerry, Bush Evasive in Debate
Reuters. Reuters Poll: Bush Opens Four-Point Lead on Kerry
Reuters. Bush, Kerry Start Last Campaign Dash in Nevada
LAT. Presidential Election Tide Streams Out of Tampa Bay
LAT. 'Liberal' Again a Fighting Word
LAT. 4-Star Plans for General Despite Prison Scandal
WP. Report Says Amphibians in Peril
WP. Voting Rights Machinery Doubted
WP. Muslims Still Sense Fear; As Ramadan begins, many Muslims say there are hardening sentiments against them
NYT. Cheney Criticizes Kerry for Mentioning Daughter
NYT. Chemicals Sickened '91 Gulf War Veterans, Latest Study Finds
NYT. Nader Emerging as the Threat Democrats Feared
NYT. U.S. Military Pounds Targets in and Around Falluja
Paul Waldman. Republic of God; A guide to the "secular purpose" of the Ten Commandments
Dr. Glen Harold Stassen. Pro-life? Look at the fruits
Helen Thomas. Bush borrows dad's attack slogans
E.J. Dionne Jr. Bush's Old Playbook
James O. Goldsborough. The Jobs Question in This Election
Jonathan Chait. George Bush, Tax Hiker
LAT. A Tone-Deaf Broadcaster
Krugman. Block the Vote
NYT. Dangerous Territory; The Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s plan to broadcast a propaganda film on its stations would violate its obligation to act responsibly and fairly in the public interest
Herbert. Paralyzed, a Soldier Asks Why
Sidney Blumenthal. Bush's best is not good enough
Robin Cook. This week's casualty: the legal case for war in Iraq
Derrick Z. Jackson. Looking to motivate black voters in Wisconsin
BG. Bush's abortion evasion
Esther Kaplan. Follow the Money; Esther Kaplan explains how the Christian right's comeback has been fueled by Administration money
Bill Berkowitz. Trashing democracy
Molly Ivins. Creeping fascism at Sinclair; Don't look now, but your local network is a propaganda machine
Dave Cullen. John Kerry's lesbian moment; Dick and Lynne Cheney screamed foul when the Democratic candidate mentioned their gay daughter. But for gays and lesbians, what is most outrageous is the Cheneys' outrage
Farhad Manjoo and Gavin McNett. Getting to the bottom of the bulge Does the Bush-is-wired story make sense? A variety of experts weigh in
Farhad Manjoo. Seeing red in Florida; Four years after the biggest voting debacle in U.S. history, many suspect that GOP officials in the crucial state are planning dirty tricks again
Richard J. Goldstone and John Heffernan. Sudan's SOS The genocide continues to unfold. Here's how to stop it
Rachel Neumann. The Next Generation; Rights and Liberties: The next generation of civil libertarians speaks about how the ACLU is representing them
Kerry Outed Cheney Daughter
Bush's Lost Year
World Loves US
Love ... to hate. He he he ... ho. Guardian:George Bush has squandered a wealth of sympathy around the world towards America since September 11 with public opinion in 10 leading countries - including some of its closest allies - growing more hostile to the United States while he has been in office.
According to a survey, voters in eight out of the 10 countries, including Britain, want to see the Democrat challenger, John Kerry, defeat President Bush in next month's US presidential election.
The poll, conducted by 10 of the world's leading newspapers, including France's Le Monde, Japan's Asahi Shimbun, Canada's La Presse, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Guardian, also shows that on balance world opinion does not believe that the war in Iraq has made a positive contribution to the fight against terror.
The results show that in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Japan, Spain and South Korea a majority of voters share a rejection of the Iraq invasion, contempt for the Bush administration, a growing hostility to the US and a not-too-strong endorsement of Mr Kerry. But they all make a clear distinction between this kind of anti-Americanism and expressing a dislike of American people. On average 68% of those polled say they have a favourable opinion of Americans.
The 10-country poll suggests that rarely has an American administration faced such isolation and lack of public support amongst its closest allies.
Ralph Nader Lies
From the NYT:Mr. Nader maintained in the interview "there is no evidence" that he takes votes from Mr. Kerry. He said surveys by Zogby showed him pulling equally from Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry.Ready for the Oh Snap?A spokeswoman for Zogby International, Shawnta Walcott, said that Zogby polls showed Mr. Nader drawing far more from Mr. Kerry. She said the polls, aggregated from March through last month, showed that if Mr. Nader was not an option, 41 percent of his supporters went to Mr. Kerry and 15 percent went to Mr. Bush. Thirty percent went elsewhere and 13 percent were undecided.OH SNAP! Nader 'pwned' by Zogby.
NRA Finally Endorses Bush
The most unexpected campaign endorsement of the 2004 season came today from the NRA:The National Rifle Association finally made the obvious official: It endorsed President Bush. The group's backing promises him help getting out the pro-gun vote and a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign. Kerry, a longtime hunter, has moved to the right of many Democrats on gun issues. But unlike Bush, he supports legislation that would require gunmakers to add child safety locks to guns, and he opposes a proposal to shield manufacturers from lawsuits stemming from gun crimes.The next question? Who will the RNC endorse?
Kerry has been endorsed by one of the NRA's nemeses, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The gun-control group announced that it is teaming up with the Million Mom March to launch a television ad criticizing Bush for not urging Congress to renew a recently elapsed ban on some kinds of semiautomatic weapons.
More Problems for Coburn
Oklahoma's AG says he has no doubt Republican Senate candidate Tom Coburn committed medicare fraud; AP:Oklahoma's attorney general said Thursday he has no doubt that Republican Senate candidate Tom Coburn, an obstetrician, committed Medicaid fraud 14 years ago when he didn't fully disclose medical procedures he performed on a 20-year-old woman.
Allegations from the woman, Angela Plummer, have become an issue in Coburn's race against Democratic Rep. Brad Carson.
Attorney General Drew Edmondson, Oklahoma's top legal officer and a Democrat who supports Carson, told The Associated Press fraud arises from the fact that Coburn failed to include on a Medicaid reimbursement form the full procedure he performed on Plummer.
What's Wrong with Bunning?
The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky on Sen. Jim Bunning:His latest blast is the most outlandish so far. He accused Dr. Mongiardo or a member of his campaign staff of "trying to abuse my wife" at Fancy Farm last summer. "My wife was black and blue," he said. Of course, the Mongiardo campaign denied any connection to any injury Mary Bunning may have sustained, calling the charge "sad and untrue."The Washington Post notes that Bunning's self-destructive behavior has made the race competitive for Democrats.
And as his wild statements mount and he increasingly isolates himself, small things take on great significance. For example, Sen. Bunning broke the rules and read from a teleprompter during his so-called "debate" with Dr. Mongiardo. Was that simply because he thought he could get away with it, since he was ensconced in a remote location in Washington? Or did he need to read his opening and closing statements to avoid stumbling into another gaffe?
There is, of course, an easy way for Sen. Bunning to end what has become national speculation about his fitness. He could call press conferences throughout the state, stand before the public and say, "Here I am. Ask me questions. You'll see how fit I am."
Successful, reasonable public interaction would be far more reassuring than statements from doctors that his blood pressure and cholesterol are OK.
That, of course, is important information. This time, however, the concern isn't about physical health.
Cornell Study: "Government terrorist warnings boost President Bush's approval ratings"When Willer linked the warnings to presidential ratings from 2001 to 2004, he found that each terror warning prompted, on average, a 2.75 point increase in the president's approval rating the following week.
Willer points to the aftermath of the Sep. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States as an example of the tendency. After Sept. 11, 2001, approval of Bush's job performance jumped from 51 percent on Sept. 10, 2001, to 86 percent on Sept. 15, 2001, in a Gallup Poll. Similarly, approval for Bush's handling of the economy jumped from 54 percent on July 11, 2001, to 72 percent on Oct. 5, 2001, says Willer.The findings are consistent with social identity theory, says Willer. The theory postulates that individuals tend to identify with a specific group to the extent that they see themselves as more similar to the members of the group than to its most significant out-group.
"Once individuals identify with a group, they develop significant biases toward their group, which help them maintain high self-esteem as members of their group. From the perspective of social identity theory, threats of attacks from foreigners increase solidarity and in-group identification among Americans, including feelings of stronger solidarity with their leadership," explains Willer.
When the out-group threat includes terror, Willer says that the social-identity effects are further heightened. He notes that his findings also are consistent with terror management theory, which indicates that threats involving mortality not only increase in-group biases but also nationalism. "This research suggests that individuals may respond to reminders of their mortality, like terror warnings, by supporting their current leaders," Willer says.
October 14, 2004
LAT. Halliburton Gets White House Push
LAT. Fox News' Bill O'Reilly Is Accused of Sexual Harassment
Mercury News. GOP-paid firm faces voter-fraud charg
Patriot-News. Bush reduces state ad buys, shifts money to Florida, Ohio
Journal Sentinel. National GOP group cancels ads for Michels
AP. Bush Defends Presidency Against Kerry
AP. President Signs $14.5B Disaster Bill
AP. White House: Islamic Agency Aids Terror
Reuters. Republicans Hammer Texas Democrats with New Lines
NYT. Pennsylvania: Court Strikes Nader From Pennsylvania Ballot
NYT. Justices Weigh Executions of Young Killers
NYT. In '04 Florida, Lawsuits Begin Before Election
Reuters. Execs' Economic Optimism Waned in 3rd Qtr - Survey
Reuters. Suicide Bombs Kill 5 in Baghdad's Green Zone
Reuters. Gun Issue Plays in Presidential Campaign in Wisconsin
WP. Schaefer Assailed By Other Democrats
WP. In N.J., Terror Threat Narrows Race
WP. Final Debate Shows Domestic Divide
AZ Repub. Filmmaker tries hand at directing voters
Miami Herald. Kerry: Haitians deserve temporary U.S. status
orlandosentinel. Martinez wants latest Castor TV spot pulled
AP. Famous Blacks Get Out the Vote in Florida
WiscSJ. DiCaprio urges votes for Kerry, environment
Robert L. Black. A Republican declares his independence
Tim Grieve. Strike three! Bush gets that sinking feeling as a steady and presidential Kerry sweeps the series
Arianna Huffington. There's a region of our brains called the amygdala that causes us to feel fear. Bush is campaigning hard for its vote
mediamatters. FOX's Cameron cherry-picked statements to cast Kerry as dishonest on taxes
David Shapiro. Feds should butt out of marijuana debate
Robert Steinback. 'Global' Isn't a Bad Word
FAIR. Sinclair's Partisan Ploy Cries Out for Equal Time
Alliance for Retired Americans. Is George Bush Scared of Seniors?
Bob Whitby. 94 REASONS NOT TO VOTE FOR GEORGE W. BUSH
Matthew Rothschild. The Sins of Sinclair
Warren Richey. How They'll Reshape the Bench
El Fisgón. Bush: The Worst Mexican President Ever
Steven Rosenfeld. A Man With A Plan
Donna L. Brazile. Ralph's Republican allies
LAT. Overall, a Convincing Winner
Bob Keeler. Will a Kerry vote send faithful straight to hell?
Derrick Z. Jackson. A clear choice
Thomas Oliphant. Bush's dodge and duck
Myriam Marquez. GOP seems blind, deaf, dumb to black voters' concerns
I'm a Republican for Kerry
No, not really. You see, it only works if you register as a Republican and then vote for the candidate of the opposite party. The guy who tried a similar tactic in Oklahoma (nice state, nice UO campus, but I digress) could learn this lesson; from the Carson campaign:In an attempt to counter the over 200 Republicans who announced their public support yesterday of Congressman Carson’s bipartisan campaign, Tom Coburn yesterday released the support of an alleged "Democrat for Coburn" and former political opponent Virgil Cooper. But in reality, Cooper is a self-professed registered Republican, and Coburn has acknowledged this fact.Yeah.
"An endorsement from a Republican disguised as a 'Democrat For Coburn' is just another half-truth from the Coburn campaign," said Kristofer Eisenla, Carson spokesperson. "This is typical of Tom Coburn who continues to run and hide from his ethically challenged behavior. These are the types of lies you would expect to hear from a man who has confessed under oath to fraud and has a pattern of grotesquely immoral conduct of sterilizing lots of underage girls."
Virgil Cooper is quoted in a press release from the Coburn campaign on October 13^th , "I'm not a Republican". However, according to public voting records, Cooper is listed as a registered Republican in Drumright, Oklahoma. Dr. Coburn even acknowledged that Cooper is a registered Republican at an event in Cushing, OK:
COBURN: You know, if all the Democrats stood for what Virgil Cooper stood for, I'd be a Democrat. [MALE: Yeah.] You know, the fact is, is they used to believe like it. They've been hiking it.
COOPER: But I'm not a Democrat.
COBURN: I know you're not. I know you're not. [Tom Coburn and Virgil Cooper, Cushing Town Hall, 6/18/04]
Rights of Gays and Lesbians On the Line?
Ralph Neas of People for the American Way bring up the real issue that the Cheneys are attempting to distract the public from:The president elected this November almost certainly will get to name two, three or even four new Supreme Court justices. That should grab the attention of every gay and gay-supportive voter. The historic 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas overturning state sodomy laws would have gone the other way with two more right-wing justices. As we know, those laws had a reach far beyond the bedroom—they defined gay men and lesbians as de facto criminals and were used to justify such actions as firing employees and taking children away from loving parents.
Gay and gay-friendly voters should be especially alarmed that President Bush has cited Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas as his models for future Supreme Court nominees.
Anyone who is tempted to think there are no important differences between the presidential candidates, or who is thinking about supporting a third-party candidate, should think about Antonin Scalia’s bitter dissent in Lawrence, which drips with contempt for the justices who voted to overturn the infamous Bowers v. Hardwick decision, which had allowed states to treat gay men and lesbians as criminals.
The same Scalia wrote a venomous dissent to the 1996 decision in Romer v. Evans, which overturned an antigay amendment to the Colorado constitution. In a case concerning an employee fired by the CIA after he revealed he was gay, Justice Scalia claimed that the employee should not even be able to have a court consider his constitutional claims.
Imagine a Supreme Court with one, two, or three additional Scalias. Imagine those denunciations of gay equality being majority opinions rather than angry dissents.With a Scalia-Thomas majority on the Supreme Court, marriage equality would be a distant hope, and a return to other forms of institutionalized discrimination would be an imminent threat.
From Keith Olbermann's Countdown, via TVNewser:"...None of this, we expect, is covered in O'Reilly's new book, 'The O'Reilly Factor For Kids.' Now available at bookstores... batteries not included."
Is Bush Making Health Care More Affordable?
Or, rather, can he run on his record? From American Progress:
BUSH PROMISE: MAKE HEALTH CARE MORE AFFORDABLE: In 2000, President Bush campaigned on the promise he would insure more Americans by "making health insurance affordable for hard-working, low-income families." Last night, he blamed "defensive medicine," "lawsuits" and "information technology" for his inability to deliver on that pledge and put forward some already discredited ideas to "control the costs in health care." But the president's record speaks for itself: since Bush took office, health insurance premiums have risen by an average rate of 12.5 percent per year and the "ranks of the uninsured" have swelled for three straight years. As for Bush's favorite scapegoats, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that even aggressive malpractice reform "would lower health care costs by only about 0.4 percent to 0.5 percent." The CBO "also says there is no way to gauge the cost of 'defensive medicine,' but that evidence it's a major factor in rising costs is 'weak or inconclusive.'"
CBPP: "Number of Unemployed Who Have Gone Without Federal Benefits Hits Record 3 Million"
... Whoooho! From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:Since late December, when the federal Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation program stopped providing additional aid to individuals exhausting their regular unemployment benefits, a record number of jobless workers have exhausted their regular benefits, gone without federal aid, and received neither a paycheck nor an unemployment check. Based on actual figures through August and the author’s estimates through mid-October:
The three-million figure. From late December through the middle of October, an estimated 3,053,000 unemployed individuals will have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits. About 34,000 of them will have qualified for additional unemployment aid through the federal/state extended benefits program. The remaining three million individuals will not have qualified for any federal unemployment benefits.
The record that has been set. The three million jobless workers exhausting their regular benefits and going without federal aid from late December through mid-October is higher than the number of such exhaustees in any other period of comparable length on record.
Where Was Lynne Cheney ...
From Counterspin:WHERE WAS LYNNE CHENEY: When Alan Keyes said Mary Cheney was practicing "selfish hedonism?"
She had a chance to directly respond to what Keyes said, but let her other daughter do the talking instead.
October 13, 2004
OneWorld. Security Scholars Say Iraq War Most Misguided Policy Since Vietnam
AP. Bush to Skip AARP Gathering of 25,000
LAT. Pennsylvania Is Keystone in Election
LAT. Unions Hit Road to Get Out Vote
WP. Rights groups say that blacks may not be heard at the polls in this election
WP. In Pa., Unemployed Workers Say Nominees Are Missing the Point
NYT. Sure, Country Is Divided, but Bush Country, Too?
NYT. How Tax Bill Gave Business More and More
NYT. Mexican-Americans Struggle for Jobs
SacBee. 65% of likely voters aim to revise '3 strikes' law
Palm Beach Post. Computer glitch delays routine voter machine test
Newsday. Senator leaves Capitol Hill
KRT. Ashcroft staying off campaign trail, popularity waning
Gallup. Kerry Leads Bush on Economy, Most Domestic Issues
AP. Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Pleads for Aid
Reuters. Groups Hope Black Voter Turnout Rises in Election
Reuters. Bush Accuses Kerry of Big Government Health Plan
Reuters. Bush and Kerry Tied Ahead of Debate
AP. Fox Disagrees With FCC Indecency Finding
AP. Blair Won't Apologize Over Iraq
AP. Bush, Kerry Looking for Edge in Debate
BG. GOP hits Edwards on stem-cell talk
BG. His foes keep pressure on Kerry before debate
BG. Negative tone likely in final weeks of race
Bob Barr. Conservatives Have Plenty of Cause to Abandon Bush
NYT. The Economy Unspun
NYT. Juveniles and the Death Penalty
Ellen Goodman. The president who can't be mistaken
Derrick Z. Jackson. The worries of the undecideds
Robert Kuttner. How Kerry can win
Salon. Technical expert: Bush was wired; A Bush spokesman tells Salon there is nothing to the story. But as the final presidential debate looms, speculation grows about the mysterious bulge
Dante Zappala. Why did my brother die in Iraq? Sherwood was a big man who stood up for me when I was a kid -- and stood up for his country. To honor his death, I had to find out what he was fighting for
Jonathan Tasini. Prepping For Debate
Juan Gonzalez. Broadcasting their anti-Kerry bias
John Nichols. No shortage of Cheney's spin on Iraq
Bill Berkowitz. Bloch-ing justice; When Scott Bloch became head of the Office of Special Counsel he declared war on equal protection for gays in federal workplaces
Molly Ivins. How dumb does Bush think we are? Up is down and black is white in Bush's optimistic pronouncements
Michael Tomasky. Hello, Gender Gap; Friday night in St. Louis, George W. Bush hurt himself with women
Dara Colwell. Expat Patriots; Voter registration has reached a fever pitch overseas, where expatriate Americans are signing up for absentee ballots in record numbers
Garance Franke-Ruta. Noise Machine Fails to Deafen; You know it’s gone badly when Bush-Cheney ’04 is reduced to citing NRO’s The Corner to show a win
Matt Taibbi. Babylon A Go-Go
Greg Stacy. 59 Reasons Why Bush Sucks
Steven Lubet. Why historical ignorance is cause for alarm
Berkeley News. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh spills the secrets of the Iraq quagmire and the war on terror
Thomas Schaller. Questions Worth Asking
Naomi Klein. James Baker's Double Life
3-Peat for Kerry
Bush on Osama
"I don’t know where he is. You know, I just don’t spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you. ... I truly am not that concerned about him."
Inside the World of Bill O'Reilly
I post, you read and decide. Of course, this O'Reilly sexual harassment suit news has been spreading around the internets like crazy, but the passage I found rather interesting was this one:During the course of this conversation, Defendant Bill O'Reilly further sternly warned, to the effect:"Plaintiff found O'Reilly's paranoid rambling both strange and alarming." Uh, yeah.If you cross FOX NEWS CHANNEL, it's not just me, it's [FOX President] Roger Ailes who will go after you. I'm the street guy out front making loud noises about the issues, but Ailes operates behind the scenes, strategizes and makes things happen so that one day BAM! The person gets what's coming to them but never sees it coming. Look at Al Franken, one day he's going to get a knock on his door and life as he's known it will change forever. That day will happen, trust me.During the course of this conversation, Defendant Bill O'Reilly bizarrely rambled further about Al Franken: "Ailes knows very powerful people and this goes all the way to the top." Plaintiff queried: "To the top of what?" Defendant responded: "Top of the country. Just look at who's on the cover of his book [Bush and Cheney], they're watching him and will be for years. [Al Franken's] finished, and he's going to be sorry he ever took FOX NEWS CHANNEL on." Plaintiff found O'Reilly's paranoid rambling both strange and alarming.
Germany: Err, Maybe?
But what, what, what would need to change ... Financial Times:Germany might deploy troops in Iraq if conditions there change, Peter Struck, the German defence minister, indicated on Tuesday in a gesture that appears to provide backing for John Kerry, the US Democratic presidential challenger.But what's the point when we've got Poland?
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Struck departed from his government’s resolve not to send troops to Iraq under any circumstances, saying: “At present I rule out the deployment of German troops in Iraq. In general, however, there is no one who can predict developments in Iraq in such a way that he could make a such a binding statement [about the future].”
Mr Struck also welcomed Mr Kerry’s proposal that he would convene an international conference on Iraq including countries that opposed the war if he were to win next month's election.
Germany would certainly attend, Mr Struck said. “This is a very sensible proposal. The situation in Iraq can only be cleared up when all those involved sit together at one table. Germany has taken on responsibilities in Iraq, including financial ones; this would naturally justify our involvement in such a conference.”
Books Bush Shoulda Read
Screenwriter and new blogger Geoff Rodkey on books Bush should have read but - alas - probably didn't.
Bush Admin Now Says No Jobs Lost!Commerce Secretary Donald Evans disputed the notion Friday that there are fewer jobs in the economy today than when President Bush took office nearly four years ago.
"That's false. That's just not factual," Evans said in an interview with CBS MarketWatch. "I just don't accept that conclusion that we've lost jobs during this administration."
Big Time Voter Fraud in Nevada?Employees of a private voter registration company allege that hundreds, perhaps thousands of voters who may think they are registered will be rudely surprised on election day. The company claims hundreds of registration forms were thrown in the trash.The impact for Democrats, of course, is clear: "So the people on those forms who think they will be able to vote on Election Day are sadly mistaken."
Anyone who has recently registered or re-registered to vote outside a mall or grocery store or even government building may be affected.
The I-Team has obtained information about an alleged widespread pattern of potential registration fraud aimed at Democrats. The focus of the story is a private registration company called Voters Outreach of America, AKA America Votes.
The out-of-state firm has been in Las Vegas for the past few months, registering voters. It employed up to 300 part-time workers and collected hundreds of registrations per day, but former employees of the company say that Voters Outreach of America only wanted Republican registrations.
Two former workers say they personally witnessed company supervisors rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats.
"We caught her taking Democrats out of my pile, handed them to her assistant and he ripped them up right in front of us. I grabbed some of them out of the garbage and she tells her assisatnt to get those from me," said Eric Russell, former Voters Outreach employee.
Good Stuff on Sinclair
Props to Kos and Co. for making this.
CAP sets it up.
Headline: Cheney rally lures few African-Americans
Hold your laughter ... Cincy Post:In a sea of red, white and blue Bush/Cheney signs and confetti shot from two air cannons, another color stood out Monday afternoon at Vice President Dick Cheney's rally at Clermont County Airport: white skin.... and release. Oh, maybe ready-up another one:
Of an estimated crowd of 2,500 supporters, an informal survey of the audience found six people who were not white.
Amber Coogan, a 22-year-old African-American from Silverton, is a Bush volunteer who works to register voters and campaign for Bush on a phone bank.
"He's a people person," she said, with whom she agrees on abortion and handling of the economy.Why aren't more African-Americans rallying around Bush?... oh geez ...
"I basically think they don't read," Coogan said.
59 Reasons Why Bush Sucks
4 Soldiers Killed in Iraq
AP: "Separate roadside bomb attacks killed four American soldiers in Baghdad, as American troops and Iraqi soldiers stepped up pressure on Sunni insurgents before the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan this week."
Meanwhile, Media Matters notes that the media is largely ignoring the Bush administration's plans "to delay major Iraq combat until after presidential election."
October 12, 2004
USAT. Bush's approval rating slipping
USAT. Hurricane response may sway race; President Bush could get an Election Day boost from undecideds in Florida.
USAT. Teen killers' executions weighed; Supreme Court to consider death penalty for inmates who committed crimes before age 18
SFC. Progressives face pivotal test Nov. 2
AP. Documentary Or Hit Piece? Democratic Party, 18 senators object to TV stations' plan to air anti-Kerry film before election
WP. Donaldson Expects Rule Changes on Executive Pay
WP. San Francisco Using Ranked Balloting
WP. Loyalties Shift Among Groups in Fla.
NYT. Congress Halts Session, but Not Its Disputes
NYT. A Tax Bill, Full of Breaks, Passes Senate
NYT. F.D.A. Calls British Action on Vaccine a Surprise
NYT. Group of Bishops Using Influence to Oppose Kerry
DenPost. Bush supporters, foes duel it out at rally site
DenPost. Bush pounds away at terror, taxes
AP. Bush, Kerry Trade Charges Before Debate
AP. Cheney: Kerry's View of Terrorism 'Naive'
AP. U.S. and Iraqi Forces Raid Ramadi Mosques
Reuters. Cheney Seeks to Switch New Jersey to Bush
The Hill. DCCC plan draws fire, saves cash
The Hill. Once a lock, Minnesota is now a battleground
Reuters. Bush's Iraq 'Mismanagement' Hikes Gas Prices
Reuters. Bush Says Kerry Wants 'Acceptable' Level of Terror
Reuters. Bush Moves Into Dead Heat with Kerry
London Daily Telegraph. Tired of taking the fall: The CIA 'old guard' goes to war with Bush
St. Louis Post-Dispatch. DECISION 2004: Kerry for president
Charles Rothfeld. Time of Transition for the Court
Jim Grossfeld. Wal-Mart Values
Scott D. O'Reilly. The Politics of Stem Cell Research; George Bush’s opposition to stem cell research is ethically unwise and scientifically unsound.
Barbara Porchia. A Mother’s Plea for Peace
Deborah Tannen. Being President Means Never Having to Say He's Sorry
Krugman. Checking the Facts, in Advance
Jordan E. Rosenfeld. Signs of Road Rage
Roberto Vargas. Harnessing the Latino Vote
Tai Moses. Soldiers Once ... And Young
Joshua Wolf Shenk. The Truth of Where We Are; The big news from debate number two was not in the answers, but in the questions
James P. Pinkerton. It can happen here; "Guantanamo," now playing in New York, warns that the liberties the U.S. government has taken abroad in the name of homeland security present grave
Mary Jacoby. Weirdness in Kentucky; The increasingly strange behavior of Republican Sen. Jim Bunning has led to speculation that he is suffering from some kind of dementia -- and tightened a race he once had in his pocket
Jonathan Schell. Potemkin Government
Katha Pollitt. Bush's Court Picks; Be afraid. Very afraid
Cynthia Tucker. Saddam's big bluff; Hussein's WMD posturing, directed at Iran, sucked U.S. into unnecessary war
Robert Scheer. Kerry a Bleeding Heart? Hardly
Thomas Oliphant. Personal hedge
Take More Action on Sinclair
Also see this post on the Al Franken blog.
Sinclair Media List of Contact Info
Here. Includes affiliates, and big dawgs.
Kerry Leads in Newspaper Endorsements
From the WP: "Overall, nationwide, Kerry is up 11 papers to eight. Or, if you want to measure in terms of circulation, he's winning 2,534,377 to 637,187."
Stem Cell Research
From Arizona Star:Stem-cell research is likely to take the stage again in the third and final presidential debate Wednesday at Arizona State University now that one of the most recognizable faces for the cause has died.58 senators asked President Bush to relax those federal restrictions.
Superman actor Christopher Reeve lobbied for years for federal funding to back embryonic stem-cell research, which is controversial because it results in the destruction of fertilized human eggs.
His hope, and the hope of scientists involved in the research, was that embryonic stem cells could be grown to regenerate damaged tissue, in Reeve's case, his spinal cord.
Embryonic stem cells hold promise over adult stem cells, researchers say, because they are formed in the earliest days of life and have not yet differentiated to become organs or bones or tissue.
President Bush effectively banned that research three years ago by allowing only a few dozen stem-cell lines to be used and prohibiting federal money to be spent on developing any more.
As the Seattle Times notes, Bush is completely wrong on this issue, allowing ideology to trump science:President Bush's overly cautious policy on stem-cell research shackles scientists and limits hope for many Americans.Michael J. Fox cited stem cell research as a reason why he's backing John Kerry.
The United States has always been a leader in pushing the outer limits of scientific research. Science should trump ideology; Bush lets it be the other way around.
The death of former President Ronald Reagan, and Nancy Reagan's poignant plea to loosen rules on stem-cell research to help Alzheimer's' patients, did not change Bush's mind.
In a recent speech to the Southern Baptist Convention, he restated his commitment to an earlier policy that limits federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research to cells already isolated in the lab and grown into stem cell "lines." The policy becomes less defensible every day.
No one knows for certain all that can be helped by stem cells. Scientists believe they hold extraordinary healing powers and may aid everything from brain function impaired by Alzheimer's and Parkinson's to pancreas function limited by diabetes and heart function after a heart attack.
In contrast to Bush, Sen. John Kerry's call to restore the role of scientific advancement more clearly represents the American character. With the endorsement of 48 Nobel Prize laureates, Kerry called for the U.S. to find the cures of tomorrow.
Bush hoped his 2001 decision to allow federal funds to be used on existing stem-cell lines would end the debate. He attempted to carve an imaginary middle line in our country's politics.
For people suffering a variety of ailments, there is no middle ground. Federal funding of research on a broader supply of stem cells should proceed in earnest.
Many embryonic stem cells at the center of the debate are left over from in vitro fertilization and otherwise would be discarded and wasted.
Staunch conservative Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, supports stem-cell research. Fifty-eight senators recently sent a letter to the White House urging Bush to relax the restrictions.
Bush's stubbornness on this issue lets other countries lead the way. The president is wrong to impede progress.
FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace Distorts Kerry
The so-believed straight newsman is turning into a distortion artist, notes Media Matters.
Hamster Numbers: Iraq RebuildingU.S.-funded reconstruction programs in Iraq have created only 80,000 jobs, far below the projected goal of 250,000 set last year by the Coalition Provisional Authority. As a result, Iraq’s population of 25 million is suffering from close to 50 percent unemployment and underemployment. In some parts of the country, unemployment alone is as high as 60 percent. While the disappointing numbers can largely be attributed to the slow disbursement of U.S. reconstruction assistance (only $1.3 billion out of $18.4 billion), according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, only 27 percent of that aid actually reaches the Iraqi people. The rest goes to costs associated with insurance, overhead, security, profits, and foreign salaries - money that doesn't enter Iraq's economy.
"A Mother’s Plea for Peace"
Barbara Porchia, in Intervention Mag; "Barbara Porchia’s son, Jonathan, died in Iraq outside Baghdad in July 2003":We clearly invaded a country for all the wrong reasons, and we are clearly no longer looked upon as liberators but as occupiers. Those beautiful flowers that were supposed to be thrown at our soldiers’ feet have turned out to be exploding bombs. If we had invaded Iraq for all the right reasons, then bombs would not be killing our brave soldiers.Also see US Tour of Duty: Americans Speak Out: "Why Did My Son Die? A Military Mom Demands an Answer."
We were given incorrect information about this war, and we have lost way too many loved ones in a war based upon lies. We cannot allow the death toll of our dear soldiers to reach 2000, our injured to reach 10,000. We cannot allow any more families to be destroyed as they receive news that their loved ones have joined “heaven's military.”
This is not about Republican versus Democrat; it is about right verses wrong. As a great nation, we must remember: united we stand, divided we fall. Let us unite to bring our soldiers home ... I love our troops. I stand behind our troops. I will continue to fight for our troops. I want to bring home our troops. I plead that we work together to bring our soldiers home.
I’m going to ask you to do something. Take your child, or any child that you love, or your spouse, and give that loved one a big hug. When doing this, think of your feelings for that child, your love for your spouse; hold these feelings and then ask yourself if you are willing to lose that child or your spouse in this senseless war?
Please, America, let’s stop losing our loved ones in Iraq. Those lost have families who cared for them tremendously, who today are pained terribly. I loved my son, and my heart aches every day. Please do not allow this tragedy to happen to you and your child.
October 11, 2004
LAT. Major Iraq Assaults on Hold Until After U.S. Vote
DenPost. Senate race gets national airtime
SFC. Voters Can't Make Up Minds; Despite clearly different stances, Bush and Kerry have failed to sway undecided Americans
SFC. Nancy Pelosi's 3-M Tour; The minority leader preaches money, mesasge, mobilization to candidates around the U.S. in a fight to reclaim the House.
NYT. Congress Close to Establishing Rules for Driver's Licenses
NYT. Among Black Voters, a Fervor to Make Their Ballots Count
NYT. Iraqis Fearing a Sunni Boycott of the Election
LAT. House Keeps Real Races Rare
LAT. Afghan Electoral Protests Heard
LAT. Tax Breaks Near Senate OK
Newsday. Friends on the inside; Bush-appointed administrators at the FDA have consistently sided with the interests of business
AP. Bush Ad Appears to Be News Story
AP. Kerry Vows to Fight for Middle Class
AP. Bush Rhetoric Becoming More Aggressive
Reuters. Kerry Mocks Bush's 'Scowling Faces,' Leadership
Reuters. Edwards Disputes Rice on Iraq Invasion
Reuters. Bush, Kerry Camps Battle Over War on Terror
Times Leader. Expert: Bush is disaster
Reuters. Kerry Opens Three-Point Lead on Bush
Bob Herbert. Webs of Illusion
David Goodman. Breaking Ranks; More and more U.S. soldiers are speaking out against the war in Iraq -- and some are refusing to fight.
Mark W. Roche. Voting Our Conscience, Not Our Religion
E. J. Dionne. . . . And Bush's Telling Non-Answer
Peter Galbraith. Bush's security plan now rests on nothing but hope
Jane Goodall. Time to curb the wildlife trade
BG. Unsound housing policy; PRESIDENT BUSH pledges down-payment assistance to help low-income Americans buy their first homes. But he is moving rashly with support for legislation that promotes access to federally insured mortgages with no money down
Geov Parrish. That hammering sound; CIA report concludes Iraq has not had weapons of mass destruction for over a decade
Michael Tomasky. Hello, Gender Gap; Friday night in St. Louis, George W. Bush hurt himself with women.
Harold Meyerson. Reality Check; The president’s biggest problem isn’t John Kerry. It’s the world around him.
Norman Solomon. The Emperor Has No Clothes
Nina Burleigh. Bad Signs, W.
Jimmy Breslin. Insane Reality Spins the Head
Hans Blix. Will President Bush Apply the Lessons from Iraq to Iran, Libya and North Korea?
Scott Ritter. The Inspection Process was Rigged to Create Uncertainty Over WMD to Bolster the US and UK's Case for War
GOP Candidate Warns: Rampant Lesbianism in High Schools!
Do you know who's peeing in the stall next to you?The Republican Senate candidate in Oklahoma warns of "rampant" lesbianism in some schools in the state in a tape released Monday by his Democratic opponent.And yes, all across Oklahoma teenage boys are wondering, What about my school?
The remark by Republican Tom Coburn drew a skeptical response from state educators.
"I don't believe that," said Keith Ballard, executive director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association. He said the group's attorneys "haven't said anything to me about that."
In the tape released by the campaign of Brad Carson, the Democratic candidate, Coburn says a campaign worker from Coalgate told him that "lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they'll only let one girl go to the bathroom. Now think about it. Think about that issue. How is it that that's happened to us?"
Joe McCulley, school superintendent in Coalgate, chuckled when asked about Coburn's remark.
"He knows something I don't know. We have not identified anything like that. We have not had to deal with any issues on that subject -- ever," McCulley said.
"During the debate, Bush was asked by a lady to name three mistakes he's made. And Bush responded, this debate, the last debate and the next debate." Bill Maher
"This was the town hall debate, and Bush says he likes the personal feel of a town hall. There's something about getting out there and lying directly to people's faces." Bill Maher
"People are saying that George Bush didn't do well. In fact, Kerry even picked up the support of one of the Bush twins." David Letterman
"You know what's happening in Afghanistan? It's their first free election. Now this is a big thing. However they are expecting voter fraud. They're expecting disruption at the polls and intimidation of voters. So I guess the American style of democracy is really catching on over there." David Letterman
"The newest trend among students at Brigham Young University are T-shirts that read, "I Can't. I'm Mormon." Which have been countered with T-shirts reading, "You Will. I'm Kobe"." Tina Fey
"On Thursday, more than 7,000 sites took place across the country in National Depression Screening Day, which screens the public for depression related illnesses. A spokesman for the group said, "I don't know...uh.. turnout was okay, I mean I guess... just wasn't as great as I thought...but, you know... it was a stupid idea anyway...so... I guess I'm just gonna go back to bed...." Amy Poehler
"President Bush and John Kerry will hold their second presidential debate on television. Or as most Americans call it, Game 3 between the Yankees and the Twins." Conan O'Brien
"This is what his handlers have advised him to do after the first debate last week: George W. Bush's challenge now will be to stretch four and a half minutes of meaningless platitudes into an hour and a half. That's his challenge." David Letterman
Some Guy. Random Stephen Wright Joke.
Game. The Political Circus.
Wonkette. SWM ISO
Comics, click down
That Brent Scowcroft
Quote:"Can we win the war on terrorism? Yes, I think we can, in the sense that we can win the war on crime. There is going to be no peace treaty on the battleship Missouri in the war on terrorism, but we can break its back so that it is a horrible nuisance and not a paralyzing influence on our societies." [U.S. Institute of Peace, CONFERENCE ON AMERICA'S CHALLENGES IN A CHANGED WORLD, 9/5/02]Still, AP:President Bush criticized Democratic challenger John Kerry on Monday for suggesting that the anti-terror battle should reduce terrorists to "a nuisance" from the current full-time crisis.
"I couldn't disagree more," Bush said. "Our goal is not to reduce terror to some acceptable level of nuisance. Our goal is to defeat terror by staying on the offensive, destroying terrorist networks and spreading freedom and liberty around the world."
Kerry said in an interview in The New York Times Magazine on Sunday, "We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives but they're a nuisance." The Bush campaign is also criticizing the comment in a new television ad.
Phil Singer, a Kerry-Edwards spokesman, said the Republicans were taking a single Kerry sentence out of context. "Considering that George Bush doesn't think we can win the war on terror, let Osama bin Laden escape and rushed into Iraq with no plan to win the peace, it's no surprise that his campaign is distorting every word John Kerry has ever said," the spokesman said.
Make New Friends
Says Atrios on the media folks at Sinclair; let's see how long their emails keep working:I believe there's too much partisanship these days. I'd like everyone to reach out to our Republican friends at Sinclair Broadcasting Group. Say hello. Try to bridge the gap a bit:
Mark Hyman: email@example.com Vice President for Corporate Relations, and always to the point.
David Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org CEO
Joe Defeo: email@example.com Corporate News Director
Be nice to your new friends.
Possible Pickup in Kentucky?
The Mongiardo campaign (D-KY) sends along word that their candidate is making traction in their race against a Republican incumbent. From their campaign:A new poll shows Dr. Daniel Mongiardo, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, within six points of Jim Bunning, trailing just 43%-37%. The poll was conducted by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group on October 6-7, surveying 506 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.4% (see attached memo).Previously, Mongiardo had a 24-point deficit.
Kim Geveden, Mongiardo’s campaign manager, said, "This poll shows that Senator Bunning is exceptionally vulnerable, and that Dr. Mongiardo is in a strong position to win this race."
Mongiardo is in striking distance of Bunning despite being outspent 4-to-1 on media. Geveden said, "While Senator Bunning is running a relentless, negative smear campaign, Dr. Mongiardo is talking about the issues Kentucky voters care about - lowering the cost of healthcare and taking care of working families."
The poll contains other encouraging numbers for Mongiardo. Among voters familiar with both candidates, Mongiardo soundly defeats Bunning 56%-38%. Among the undecided voters who will ultimately determine this election, a paltry 12% give Bunning a positive job rating.
Live Tour Finale Webcast
From ACT:Vote for Change wraps-up its 33 city, 11-state tour with a grand finale set for Monday, October 11th in Washington, D.C. with a sold out show at the MCI Center. Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Dave Matthews Band, Dixie Chicks, Jackson Brown, James Taylor, Jurassic 5, Keb’ Mo’, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Pearl Jam and R.E.M will perform.
This unprecedented and historic concert will be accessible to millions via a live webcast entitled “National Anthem: Inside the Vote for Change Concert Tour.” Viewers are encouraged to download the free RealPlayer 10 (for Windows, Mac or Linux desktops) in advance of the October 11th grand finale.
All Vote for Change shows are presented by MoveOn PAC to benefit America Coming Together (ACT). All Vote for Change artists are donating their time and talent in support of the tour.
Hamster Numbers: Jobs
From Americans for Democratic Action, Inc. (ADA):The monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report in out and the outlook in sluggish at best. A mere 96,000 jobs were added for the month of September and the unemployment rate remained about 5.4%.
An increase of 150,000 jobs per month is needed in order to just match regular growth in the work force.
The numbers mean that Bush will end his term with fewer people working than he began. In January 2001 there were roughly 800,000 for jobs than in September 2004. For the first time since 1932 or when Herbert Hoover's Administration has a president seen fewer employed when he ended his term than when he started.
The record is even worse when the private sector situation is reviewed and government employment figures are excluded. (Government jobs increased over 900,000 between January 2001 and September 2004). Looking at the private sector alone there were 1.7 million fewer jobs in September 2004 than in January 2001.
During this anemic recovery wage and salary increase has been a mere 1% and contrasts sharply with the average 4% gain during past recessions.
In the past year alone average hourly and weekly earnings in real terms have actually declined. Wages now comprise the lowest share of GDP since 1929, and the typical American family has lost about $1500 in real income since Bush's term began in 2001.
What's Sinclar Media About?
Here's a repost from the Center for American Progress from the time Sinclair boycotted the Nightline troops special:
SINCLAIR REQUIRES JOURNALISTS TO READ PRO-BUSH STATEMENTS: In September 2001, Sinclair Broadcasting required its affiliates to air messages "conveying full support" for the Bush administration. At a Baltimore affiliate, WBFF "officials required news and sports anchors, even a weather forecaster, to read the messages, "which included statements such as "[the station] wants you to know that we stand 100% behind our President." Several WBFF staffers objected on the grounds that reading the statements would "erode their reputations as objective journalists" because it made them appear to be "endorsing specific government actions."
SINCLAIR REFUSES TO AIR AD HIGHLIGHTING 2003 BUSH ERROR: In July 2003, Sinclair Broadcasting refused to allow WMSN TV – its FOX affiliate in Madison, WI – to air a DNC advertisement that featured a clip of President Bush making the false claim "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa" in his 2003 State of the Union Address. Three other Madison stations, including ABC, NBC and CBS, readily agreed to air the ad. The Madison CBS affiliate, WISC, said the advertisement was "no worse than any other political ad."
SINCLAIR PRODUCES CENTRALIZED RIGHT-WING CONTENT FOR 'LOCAL STATIONS': In a controversial business practice, Sinclair Broadcasting has fired much of the staff for the local affiliates it owns, instead producing content for its local stations from a central facility outside Baltimore which it then airs on "local" news broadcasts. The centralized content features nightly commentary by Sinclair corporate communications chief Mark Hyman. Hyman regularly refers to the French as "cheese-eating surrender monkeys," the so-called liberal media as the "hate-America crowd," and progressives as "the lonely left" On one recent commentary, Hyman called members of Congress who voted against a recent resolution affirming the righteousness of the Iraq war "unpatriotic politicians who hate our military." You can see all of Hyman's commentaries this month HERE. (Read more from American Progress about the problems of media consolidation.)
SINCLAIR AIRS FAKE NEWS BROADCASTS PRODUCED BY BUSH ADMINISTRATION: In March, it was discovered that the Bush Administration was producing "television news stories, written and paid for by the government, which have the appearance of legitimate news segments delivered by independent reporters," and distributing them to local newscasts as a way of promoting administration policies – including its ill-conceived Medicare prescription drug law. On the broadcasts, a public relations professional named Karen Ryan pretended to be a reporter. Among the stations which aired the administration propaganda as news: WPGH in Pittsburgh "the Sinclair Broadcasting station that fired much of its news staff in favor of feeds from a centralized newsroom in Baltimore."
SINCLAIR EXECUTIVES MAJOR BUSH CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTORS: Sinclair executives have contributed more than $16,500 to President Bush since 2000. This year, Sinclair CEO David Smith gave President Bush the maximum $2000 contribution. Before soft money contributions became illegal, Sinclair Broadcasting gave more than $130,000 to the president's political allies but no money to his opponents.
What Are Soldiers Fighting For?
From Mother Jones, in a profile on soldiers and some who are fighting against war:When Hoffman arrived in Kuwait in February 2003, his unit’s highest-ranking enlisted man laid out the mission in stark terms. “You’re not going to make Iraq safe for democracy,” the sergeant said. “You are going for one reason alone: oil. But you’re still going to go, because you signed a contract. And you’re going to go to bring your friends home.” Hoffman, who had his own doubts about the war, was relieved—he’d never expected to hear such a candid assessment from a superior. But it was only when he had been in Iraq for several months that the full meaning of the sergeant’s words began to sink in.Condi Rice might be helpful: she's offered at least 24 rationales for war.
“The reasons for war were wrong,” he says. “They were lies. There were no WMDs. Al Qaeda was not there. And it was evident we couldn’t force democracy on people by force of arms.”
Who's Looking Out for You?
Shocking, since most of them come from that side.
October 10, 2004
Letter from David Brock to Sinclair Media
From the Prez of Media Matters:
David D. Smith
President and Chief Executive Officer
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
10706 Beaver Dam Road
Hunt Valley, Maryland 21030
Dear Mr. Smith:
I'm writing to ask you to cancel plans, reported in the October 9 edition of the Los Angeles Times, to force Sinclair Broadcasting Group stations to preempt regular programming and broadcast a film attacking Senator John Kerry between now and the November 2 presidential election.
According to the Times, the film, Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal, "features former POWs accusing Kerry -- a decorated Navy veteran turned war protester -- of worsening their ordeal by prolonging the war." The Times reported that the maker of the film, former Washington Times reporter (and former Bush administration official) Carlton Sherwood, tells viewers on the film's website: "Intended or not, Lt. Kerry painted a depraved portrait of Vietnam veterans, literally creating the images of those who served in combat as deranged, drug-addicted psychopaths, baby killers" that has endured for 30 years.
I don't have to remind you, as the Times pointed out, that "Sinclair stations are spread throughout the country, in major markets that include Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Las Vegas. ... Fourteen of the 62 stations the company either owns or programs are in the key political swing stations of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where the presidential election is being closely fought."
As described by the Times, Sinclair's plan to air the film raises questions about whether Sinclair would be running afoul of federal regulations "requiring broadcasters to provide equal time to major candidates in an election campaign ..." Provisions of the McCain-Feingold law would also appear to be at issue in your decision. The reported effort by Sinclair executives to instruct station managers to classify the film as "news," thus skirting these political broadcasting regulations, would be a charade given its blatant anti-Kerry slant.
I trust that in light of these concerns, you will reconsider your company's apparent decision to air "Stolen Honor."
President and CEO
Media Matters for America
Media Matters off this contact information:Email Sinclair Broadcasting group and urge them not to broadcast the anti-Kerry attack film Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal between now and the Nov. 2 presidential election.
David D. Smith
President and Chief Executive Officer
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
10706 Beaver Dam Road
Hunt Valley, Maryland 21030
410-568-1500 (Main Telephone)
410-568-1533 (Main Fax)
Sunday Sports Blogging
Vote the Environment
Consider that American babies born this election year will turn 46 in 2050. What will their world be like if we continue to roll back our modest gains of cleaner air and water? Or continue to tolerate ever-increasing waste and toxicity as ordinary by-products of human activity? Or fail to reach accord with other nations to reduce carbon emissions? Or maintain the same standard of living as most Europeans yet go on using twice the nonrenewable energy?
Forecasting is an imprecise art, but here are a few basic strokes to the picture. Even Pentagon planners are concerned that global climate change may reach a “tipping point,” after which widespread drought would turn farmland into dust and forests to ash. Even without accelerated weather change, parts of the Great Plains and Midwest will become desert as the Ogallala aquifer further shrinks. In Appalachia, more mine waste will choke more rivers below more decapitated mountaintops. The soil of California’s San Joaquin Valley will be too polluted to grow food. There will be fewer wetlands and forests to sustain fewer species of birds, fish and mammals. By 2050, our children will pay dearly for scarce water as well as energy and food. Ditto for national security, because large parts of Africa and Asia will suffer great harm induced by global warming before we do. Cancer incidence will be higher; viruses are likely to be stronger.
Our children will not miss the world we know now, as we do not miss the world our parents knew in 1950. Memories are short. The natural world we have, diminished from the one our parents knew, will slowly become irretrievable to the imagination. But the dread we now suffer, dread none of our parents could imagine in 1950, will play a central role in our children’s lives – face to face, as they may be, against the failure of the earth to sustain itself as an organism complex and resilient enough to support a species as extractive and destructive as ours.
We can do better than that. And we do know how to do better: to conserve our dwindling fresh water supply, to switch to renewable energy. Three states alone have the wind power to provide electricity to the nation as a whole. We do not have to pay public subsidies to poison our fields. We have the capacity to develop a sophisticated, low-impact agriculture free of pesticides. We are beginning to understand how to make products from recycled materials that can be recycled again, which would bring to a close the era of junk. And we can save wildlands to give a diversity of species a rest from exploitation and some distance from the human hand.
We can use our human ingenuity to steward rather than pillage our remaining inheritance. But the need is urgent. Many ecologists think that turnaround may not be possible much longer.
Jobs and the economy, national security, health care, education: all are important. But this is the time to vote the environment first – locally, statewide, nationally – so that a civil human society and a survivable planet will be possible by the time this year’s babies reach early middle age.
Vote the environment November 2nd.
Iraq"Sometimes I see no reason why we're here," Perez said. "First of all, you cannot engage as many times as we want to. Second of all, we're looking for an enemy that's not there. The only way to do it is go house to house until we get out of here."Then AP: Two Car Bombs Kill 10 Iraqis in Baghdad ... "The dead included three police academy students and a female officer."
Perez is hardly alone. In a dozen interviews, Marines from a platoon known as the "81s" expressed in blunt terms their frustrations with the way the war is being conducted and, in some cases, doubts about why it is being waged. The platoon, named for the size in millimeters of its mortar rounds, is part of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment based in Iskandariyah, 30 miles southwest of Baghdad.
October 09, 2004
More on Tom "The Hammer" Delay
AP: "DeLay's foes force House to vote on special counsel"
Sean Siperstein of the Brown U Democrats has a rather good post on the subject (and I bet he tests well too).
Kerry Likes Bill O'Reilly
From the AP:After John Kerry pronounced himself a fan of Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News Channel host is hoping that will translate into a pre-election interview.Bill O'Reilly, of course, was his usual modest self:
“I like Bill O’Reilly,” the Democratic presidential candidate told TV Guide. “I think he does a terrific job. I think he’s got a very good show.”
Kerry said he’d “love to” appear on “The O’Reilly Factor” and would ask his schedulers about it.“This would be a huge event for John Kerry, huge,” O’Reilly said Thursday. “What other media forum would attract as much attention from him? Is there one?”
MJ Fox for Kerry
Onto the debate polls, a Democracy Corps poll shows:Further:
Kerry wins debate by 8 points (45 to 37 percent).
Kerry moves up his vote margin over Bush by 2 points.
Kerry makes significant gains in personal favorability.
Kerry made his biggest gains on likeability, giving people confidence, and having clear plans.
Kerry won especially strongly in the swing electorate—independents, the undecided, and battleground state votersABC News: "An ABC News poll of debate viewers gave the edge to Kerry by the narrow margin of 44-41 percent. The survey included slightly more Democrats (35 percent) than Republicans (32 percent)." Independents. By 11 points, they said Kerry won the debate (44 to 33 percent).
Undecided. They gave Kerry a 9-point edge (39 to 30).
Battleground state voters. They gave the debate to Kerry by 5 points (45 to 40 percent).
And on CNN/USA Today/Gallup: "respondents gave a slight, statistically insignificant edge to Sen. John Kerry over President Bush, 47 percent to 45 percent."
October 08, 2004
WP. Former UN Inspectors Cite New Report as Validation
WP. Both Sides Use Arms Report; Fiery exchange between Bush, Kerry is likely preview of tonight's debate
WP. Initiative on Hate Crimes Scrapped
WP. Journalist Cited for Contempt in Leak Probe
LAT. Bush Sees a Rare Chance to Win Wisconsin
AP. Kerry Takes Lead Over Bush in AP Poll
AP. Cheney Once Pushed to Lift Iran Sanctions
AP. County prosecutors in Michigan reject request to charge Michael Moore
AP. Filmmaker Michael Moore Responds to Charges by Michigan Republican Party
Houston Chronicle. Scriptwriters take over debate
Houston Chronicle. Eyebrows raised by fund-raiser; Panel: DeLay's golf outing for energy executives looked improper
Reuters. Japan Defense Chief: Talks on U.S. Troops 'Grueling'
Reuters. Republican Convention Protesters Sue NY on Arrests
WP. Bitter Taste of Metro Arrest Lingers; Agency's Police Need Restraint, Woman Jailed in July Over Bite of Candy Tells Judge
NYT. After Ethics Rebukes, DeLay's Fortunes May Lie With His Party's
NYT. Nader Ballot Petitions Present a Phone Book Full of Problems
NYT. Tax Revenue Below 2000's Despite Growth in Profits
Eric Alterman and Paul McLeary. Torturous Logic, Media Silence
Americans for Democratic Action. Professors Against Bush Economic and Labor Policy
Dave Lindorff. Bush's mystery bulge; The rumor is flying around the globe. Was the president wired during the first debate?
Mary Jacoby. Karl Rove's Florida Frankenstein; Did Team Bush turn once-moderate GOP Senate candidate Mel Martinez into a gay-bashing, reactionary ogre?
Mother Jones. Conversation with a Conservative: Clyde Prestowitz; In the first of four filmed conversations between Mother Jones and prominent conservatives who've become Bush critics, Reagan administration veteran Clyde Prestowitz explains that four years of Republican rule have put the country on the wrong track
StarTrib. Fox's blunder/Brushing aside a staffer's hoax
StarTrib. The next Iraq/Will U.S. still go its own way?
Ari Berman. Swift Boat Veterans for Nader; Candidate takes shady money, again
David Corn. Springsteen for Change
Christian Parenti. Afghanistan: What 'Democracy' Looks Like
Eric Alterman. When Presidents Lie
Krugman. Ignorance Isn't Strength
Herbert. Working for a Pittance
WP. Tom DeLay, Ethical Recidivist
Jonathan Chait. He's So Bad, He Might Be Perfect
Guardian. Definitive and deadly; Over recent months George Bush has brushed away questions about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction with the words: 'Wait till Charlie gets done.'
Derrick Z. Jackson. Where's debate about Supreme Court?
Scot Lehigh. Bush's campaign of distortion
Terence Samuel. The Out-of-Towners; Missing votes may be the right way to win votes
Robert B. Reich. Real Intelligence
Kerry Rapid Response
One of the weirder moments of the debate was when Bush was stunned to learn he had some part in a timber company. I thought to myself, geeeee-wilikers, prez bush have got carrie on that one - what a flip-flopping pathological liar. However ...President Bush himself would have qualified as a "small business owner" under the Republican definition, based on his 2001 federal income tax returns. He reported $84 of business income from his part ownership of a timber-growing enterprise. However, 99.99% of Bush's total income came from other sources that year. (Bush also qualified as a "small business owner" in 2000 based on $314 of "business income," but not in 2002 and 2003 when he reported his timber income as "royalties" on a different tax schedule.)BUSH: I own a timber company? That's news to me.
But you'll remember Bush doesn't read the news.
As with last time, reaction summary coming when it comes.
RNC Launches Attack on Chris Matthews
The Hardball host is the target of a RNC campaign attack against his credibility, notes National Journal:In a rare offensive, the Republican National Committee launched an all-out attack on "Hardball" host Chris Matthews for comments he made on NBC's "Today" show the morning after the vice presidential debate. First, the RNC sent out a release refuting Matthews headlined: "Democrat Chris Matthews' Selective 'Analysis' -- Matthews Pinch Hits For Edwards And Strikes Out The Truth." Then, the RNC posted video on its Web site purporting to show where Matthews was wrong ... A couple points on all of this are worth pondering. First, the direct and forceful response by the RNC smacked of over-reaction, if not hysteria. Matthews, after all, isn't a news anchor. He's the host of an opinion show and a political analyst. He's not paid to deliver the straight news; he's paid to deliver his opinions. Correcting the record as they see it is one thing, but attacks can be counterproductive.
Secondly, this isn't the first time the RNC and Matthews have clashed. Several weeks ago, Matthews publicly called on the RNC to remove a clip of Kerry from "Hardball" that was being used in another of the group's videos. That one is a highly-produced 20-minute spot showing Kerry's various Iraq positions. The clip from "Hardball" showed Kerry answering Matthews in the affirmative when asked if he was one of the "anti-war" candidates. Matthews complained it was taken out of context and did not take into account what Kerry said next. Kind of like the GOP complaint about the Cheney clip.
Is Bush Wired?
In terms of an internet rumor, this one is rather interesting: "Was President Bush literally channeling Karl Rove in his first debate with John Kerry? That's the latest rumor flooding the Internet, unleashed last week in the wake of an image caught by a television camera during the Miami debate." Salon.com has a pretty good summary of the evidence / positions out there, and the author tries to be fair, so it's worth a look. The main blog on this is isbushwired.com. Political Wire also has more.
From Hotline:Bill O'Reilly, apologizing to Jon Stewart for calling his viewers stoned slackers: "C'mon, you know I was stoned when I said that" ("Daily Show").
More shameless behavior from Bill O'Reilly, independent journalist:O'REILLY: [I]f you're sitting in a cave and you're watching satellite TV, if you're watching [Today co-host Matt] Lauer or O'Reilly, okay, you're looking at these two guys, Edwards or Cheney, who are you more afraid of? If you're Osama [bin Laden] and you've got a picture of Edwards and Cheney in the cave, who are you more afraid of? So it works to his advantage -- Cheney's.After all, when you're talking about Bush / Cheney, doesn't this just send shivers down Osama's spine?"I don't know where he is.You know, I just don't spend that much time on him... I truly am not that concerned about him."[President Bush, Press Conference, 3/13/02]
Can Libertarian Candidate Be Spoiler?
It's possible, say some in this NY Sun article:The presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party, Michael Badnarik, is on the ballot in 48 states. Mr. Nader, by contrast, is certain to be on the ballot in only 35 states, though he may pick up a few more by Election Day ... "The Libertarians are drawing somewhere between 1% and 3% - not big numbers, but in these very close races like the presidential contest, they could well be the margin of difference," a political science professor at the University of Minnesota, Lawrence Jacobs, said. "They pose a genuine threat to be the kingmaker in several swing states."So how is the Libertarian candidate trying to appeal to Republicans / conservatives? Badnarik's website issues these points to Republicans on why they should support him and not Bush:
Most national polls don't ask about Mr. Badnarik, but some state surveys do. Polls done by Rasmussen Reports for Mr. Badnarik's campaign showed him with 5% of the vote in New Mexico in August and with 3% support in Nevada last month.
Newspaper polls haven't shown him doing quite as well. They often peg his support at roughly 1%, but even that number could prove decisive. In 2000, Mr. Gore carried New Mexico by 366 votes, or 0.06%.
Mr. Jacobs, who has studied third-party campaigns, said Mr. Bush's policies appear to have driven some conservative Republicans into the Libertarian camp.
The Bush administration's discretionary spending has exceeded the Clinton administration's discretionary spending—not including the additional 500 billion spent on the war
The Bush administration lied to the American people in order to invade Iraq
The Bush administration plans to re-institute the draft after the election
Bush administration policies have created an increase in the cost of petroleum products
Bush administration, under the guise of national security has nearly bankrupted the transportation industry
If George Bush wins this election, Hillary Clinton will be the democratic nominee in 2008
The Bush administration has usurped state and local control on multiple issues
Ralph Nader's Own Org Shows Difference in Parties
Paul T. von Hippel in Gadflyer:In 1975-76, Congress Watch began scoring U.S. Senators and Representatives on selected roll-call votes. Congress Watch is a branch of Public Citizen, which Ralph Nader founded in 1971 and directed until 1980. Although Public Citizen now distances itself from Nader, until 2000 it wore Nader's name as a badge of pride.While we're citing Congress Watch, why not support Nader? Because his run is hurting the groups he helped create, such as PIRG and Public Citizen (I've seen it many times, having interned with PIRG).
The Congress Watch scoring system has not fundamentally changed since Nader left the organization. In each Congress, Congress Watch selects a number of divisive votes, focusing on the corporate-consumer issues that are dear to Nader's heart. On these issues, Congress Watch reports the percentage of the time that each Senator and Representative votes the "pro-consumer" position.
Though you might be surprised to hear it if you listen to Nader talk, Congress Watch scores typically show a large gap between Democrats and Republicans. In the 106th Congress—the last Congress before the 2000 election—the average Democratic Senator voted the Congress Watch position 77% of the time; the average Republican Senator sided with Congress Watch on only 13% of key votes. The spread in the House was similar, with Democrats scoring 77% and Republicans scoring 15%.
If we assume that Ralph Nader himself would vote "for consumers" 100% of the time, it seems that the gap between Democrats and Republicans in Congress is almost three times larger than the gap between Democrats and Nader.
Denial Aint Just a River in Egypt
It's the Bush foreign policy, notes David Kay:President George W. Bush (news - web sites)'s administration is in denial over the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (news - web sites) before the US-led invasion in 2003, ex-chief US arms inspector David Kay said. ... But Kay told CNN television "Right now we have a lot of people who are desperate to justify the Bush administration's decision to go to war with Iraq.
"They will focus on issues such as intent. You will also hear that although we haven't found the weapons or manufacturing capability, they could have been shipped across the border. You can't ship that which you haven't produced. You can't bury that which you haven't obtained or produced."
"Look, Saddam was delusional. He had a lot of intent. He wanted to be Saladin the Great, of the Middle East yet again. He wanted to put Iraq in a preeminent position to remove the US from the region," Kay added.
"He had a lot of intent. He didn't have capabilities. Intent without capabilities is not an imminent threat."
"There is the issue that remains as to whether the scientists and engineers living in the chaotic, corrupt situation in Iraq might have transferred individually technology to terrorists," he said.
But "that was not the case the administration made."
October 07, 2004
Houston Chronicle. DeLay rebuked again for ethics violations
LAT. Stern Vows He'll Rise Above FCC
LAT. Cheney, Edwards Don't Let Up on Attacks the Day After Debate
LAT. UC Employees Dig Deeper for Bush, Kerry Campaigns
RockyMN. Kerry training hard at suburban hotel; Democrat remains behind closed doors to prepare for debate
LAT. Karzai Hopes to Prove Himself
OrlandoSent. Cheney, Edwards take campaigns to Florida
AzRepub. Undecideds up, Bush slips in Arizona
USAT. Edwards goes to bat for Kerry again
Philadelphia Daily News. He insists Bush is Soros of peril
AP. African community leaders trying to increase voting
WP. Poll: Kerry Gains on Bush
WP. Report's Release Bad Timing for Bush
NYT. Senate Approves 9/11 Bill at Odds With House Version
NYT. Speech Retooled, Bush Goes on Attack
NYT. U.S. Report Finds Iraqis Eliminated Illicit Arms in 90's
AFP. US Republican enforcer again cited for ethics violations
AP. Actor Fox Films Campaign Ad for Kerry
AP. Candidates' Health Plans Differ Sharply
Reuters. Bush Attacks Kerry; Edwards Says Bush 'In Denial'
Reuters. Stand-Ins Swap Jabs in Battle for U.S. Presidency
Reuters. Bush Holds Narrow Two-Point Lead on Kerry
E. J. Dionne. Switching Stories
Gene Lyons. 'Big loss for Bush'
Michael Moore. 'Republicans, out of ideas, ask prosecutors to arrest me'
Bill Berkowitz. Iraq: A bloody day in the life
Joe Conason. In a down-to-the-wire Senate race in South Carolina, right-winger Jim DeMint is running on major tax reform. Yet he fails to pay his own taxes on time and has been slapped with liens by the IRS
Jonathan Alford. Looking for votes, finding America; Scared, angry and needing to act, I left California to volunteer for John Kerry in Pennsylvania. I changed some minds -- including my own
Emil Guillermo. New Campaign Issue: Hiding Bush's Civil Rights Record
SeattlePI. Are we secure?
Marie Cocco. Looking good being wrong; Give that man a bonus.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. A Terror Attack, Coming Soon to a Plant Near You
LAT. Not 780. Not Even One.
LAT. Is He a Dope?
Sidney Blumenthal. The day that Dick Cheney was silenced
Naomi Klein. The making of a hero
Richard Leakey. A poachers' charter
Joan Vennochi. The unsung truth about the war
Robert Kuttner. Exiting Iraq
Ellen Goodman. The myth of 'security moms'
Thomas Oliphant. Cheney's fading credibility
BG. Tax code conflicts
Douglas Farah. Terror in the Shadows
DCCC Hammers The Hammer
Tom Delay is in trouble; The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee seizes the issue on their blog.
Hannity Rejects Plane Ideas
What would satisfy the luxurious appetite of Sean Hannity, wonders some in the Washington U Student Life:Since he can't fly in style, Sean Hannity says he won't come to St. Louis at all.Sean Hannity will apparently still fly on a private jet to Utah Valley State College, though.
After promising to counter Michael Moore's speech this Friday, the conservative commentator pulled out of the deal less than a week before his scheduled appearance-but reportedly asked that the media not be informed of his motivations for the decision.
Hannity cited personal reasons for his cancellation, said law student Ruth Hollander after speaking with the right-wing pundit over the phone yesterday. Hannity, Hollander said, requested a private jet to fly him to St. Louis for the speech, but then rejected "several" different jets offered by a private donor. He told Hollander about a "bad experience" with the prominent company that had manufactured all the jets offered for his trip.
"[Hannity's agent] said he thought we should say that because of the short time frame involved, it didn't work out," said Hollander. "I said I didn't think that was the truth, and...I really felt we had met all of our commitments and we were going to be honest when asked."
When Hollander and fellow law student Melinda Gorman failed to locate a jet manufactured by another company, they offered Hannity a first-class ticket on a commercial flight. He refused.
"He was very forceful on the phone," said Hollander. "It was hard to get a word in edgewise with him. He was interrupting me a lot. But that's sort of the nature of his personality-at least, his radio personality and T.V. personality."
Sean Hannity's regular appearance fee, by the way? $100,000, which is only slightly more than mine (Alan Colmes will appear for a Klondike bar).
CNN and the Limbaugh Story
Yeah, I chuckled a few chuckley chuckles at this one; NYDN:"Breaking news from Florida," CNN anchor Daryn Kagan announced yesterday from Atlanta, shortly after 11 a.m. "For more on that, let's go to my colleague, Kyra Phillips."Liars and the news anchors who love them.
As Kagan tossed to Phillips, she looked admirably composed.
That's because a Florida appeals court had just added to the legal woes of Kagan's boyfriend, Rush Limbaugh - upholding law officers' seizure of his medical records in a prosecution investigation of whether he illegally obtained painkillers.
"Rush Limbaugh's nightmare," CNN correspondent Susan Candiotti called the situation in the taped package that followed.
A few minutes later, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin opined: "Limbaugh isn't out of the woods. He's deeper in the woods."
Finally, Phillips tossed it back to Kagan. Understandably, she looked a little rattled.
Email: Byrd Condemns Republican Fear Tactics
From Sen. Byrd:
They've used lies, misrepresentations, threats and fear to tear down Democrats this election season. Now, incredibly, the campaign weapon being brandished by the Republicans is the Holy Bible itself. If ever there were one book that should never be used for political gain, if ever there were one book that should never be the subject of lies and deception, it is the Bible.
Yet, that is exactly what the Republican National Committee (RNC) is doing with a mailing sent to voters in my state of West Virginia. The flyer claims that Democrats are out to ban the Bible. You heard me, the Bible. And they sent it to voters in Arkansas, too.
This flat-out, no-doubt-about-it, silly, sophomoric charge is part of a nationwide pattern in Republican National Committee politics to use any means necessary-even the Bible-to win elections. If the RNC is willing to go that far in West Virginia, imagine how far they'd go elsewhere. These smear tactics are happening in our Senate races across the nation.
What is their basis to determine which party is for the Bible and which is against, or for whom Christ would vote? It is a crass insult to people and to their faith.
Will you stand for that? Charges that Democrats would ban the Bible? I know I won't! That's why I am standing with the DSCC. They're the only ones watching every Senate race, every hour to make sure Democratic candidates across the country have the resources they need to fight back against this kind of shameless Republican smear.
Please make a contribution to the DSCC today so that we can put an end to this kind of Republican National Committee fear mongering. Click here to contribute now.
Scarborough Literally Throws Away Poll Showing Edwards WinDuring MSNBC's coverage following the vice presidential debate, Scarborough Country host and former U.S. Representative Joe Scarborough (R-FL) claimed that Americans who had indicated in an MSNBC online poll that Senator John Edwards defeated Vice President Dick Cheney in the debate had been "drinking vodka." Then, apparently after silently reading the results of a CBS poll that also showed that Edwards had won, Scarborough crumpled up the paper showing the results and threw it away, saying, "since it's CBS, we're not going to give you the results." He did, however, report the results of an ABC poll that showed Cheney as the victor, but he failed to note that the survey disproportionately polled Republicans.
Programming Note and Activism Suggestions
Here's the programming note: between next week and November 2nd, I have 6 midterm exams, so postings may be at weird times or somewhat infrequent. That doesn't mean, though, I won't work hard to boot Bush from office. And neither should you.
John Kerry needs your help now more than ever. What can you do this month? Here are a few suggestions:
Visit JohnKerry.com and look for stuff under the 'Take Action' section.
Donate to the DNC, which "is the only entity that can provide direct support to the Kerry/Edwards presidential campaign."
Look for events / action items in Democratic Underground's Activism section.
Volunteer / Contribute to America Coming Together.
F-911 Has Explosive DVD Sales
From Reuters:Michael Moore's politically charged documentary ``Fahrenheit 9/11'' sold about 2 million combined DVD and VHS units Tuesday (Oct. 5), its first day in release, according to industry sources.Get the DVD here, send this site a few bucks.
That Day 1 sales figure and projected Week 1 sales of 3 million combined units set the benchmark as the most successful documentary ever released on home video.
But wait! In the interest of crass capitalism, there's even more political DVDs just released in time for the election. Oh to be liberal ... and have a DVD player:
Hamster Numbers: Deficit Growth
From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:Fiscal Year 2004 ended on September 30, and today the Congressional Budget Office reported that the deficit for 2004 was $415 billion. At $415 billion:
The 2004 deficit marks the fourth consecutive year of fiscal deterioration, the first time this has happened since the U.S. entered World War II.
The deficit increased in 2004 even though the recession officially ended in November 2001. This is the first time since before the Depression of the 1930s that the deficit has continued to increase this far into a recovery.
The 2004 deficit was $41 billion higher than the 2003 deficit, which stood at $375 billion.
The 2004 deficit equaled 3.6 percent of GDP, up from the 2003 level of 3.5 percent of GDP and the highest level since 1993.
The growth of deficits has largely reflected stunning revenue declines. Federal tax revenues this year are at their lowest level, measured as a share of the Gross Domestic Product, since 1959. In contrast, federal spending in 2004, measured as a share of GDP, is slightly below its average level of the last four decades.
Does Satellite Represent Future of Radio?
Like HBO (which doesn't have the idiotic FCC and government watching them), satellite radio has no such limitations; Reuters:The federal government granted traditional radio free use of the public airwaves in 1927, and in the decades that followed piled on a wealth of legal perks and protections satellite radio does not enjoy, such as the exclusive right to air music without paying royalties to performers. But the Stern move may expose traditional radio's Achilles' heel: Stations' free use of the airwaves makes them subject to unique content regulations by the Federal Communications Commission.
That regulation has gotten far stricter this year in the wake of Janet Jackson's breast exposure on Viacom's (nyse: VIAb - news - people ) CBS during the Super Bowl. Last month the FCC socked CBS with a $550,000 fine for that stunt. Stern's program was knocked off six Clear Channel Communications (nyse: CCU - news - people ) stations for alleged indecency this year, and the host has had to scale back some of his more profane material.
Satellite radio has no such restrictions. It is a subscription service, akin to Time Warner's (nyse: TWX - news - people ) HBO on cable, and thus subject to the very loose content regulations that allow such violent and profanity-laced cable shows as The Sopranos and Deadwood.
Executives at Sirius (nasdaq: SIRI - news - people ) and XM Satellite Radio (nasdaq: XMSR - news - people ) make no secret of their admiration of the HBO model. The cable network has used its artistic freedom to produce, along with more profane shows, higher-quality shows as well. This year the network received a record 124 Emmy nominations. It won 32, the most of any network in nearly two decades.
From Political Wire:"My opponent says he has a plan for Iraq. Parts of it should sound pretty familiar -- it's already known as the Bush plan."
"In Iraq, Senator Kerry has a strategy of retreat; I have a strategy of victory."
-- President Bush, in the same speech, this morning in Pennsylvania.
Kevin Drum on Cheney Lies
Good stuff here.
October 06, 2004
DMReg. Admit mistakes, Kerry tells Bush
The Hill. Presidential race could determine control of Senate
Plain Dealer. Post-debate festivities cap day full of spectacle
LAT. Political Groups Are Big Spenders
Anchorage Daily News. Knowles campaign hits Murkowski coordinator
WP. Funds to Rebuild Iraq Are Drifting Away From Target; State Department to Rethink U.S. Effort
WP. Car Bomb Kills at Least 10 Iraqis
NYT. Bill to Restore the Draft Is Defeated in the House
NYT. Iraq Chief Gives a Sobering View on Security
NYT. Bremer Critique on Iraq Raises Political Furor
Newsday. La. judge throws out amendment banning gay marriage
Reuters. Cheney Sticks with Al Qaeda, Saddam Link
Reuters. Fannie Mae Executives Defend Decisions
Reuters. Iraq Had No Stockpiles of WMD - Duelfer
AP. Bush Asks Another $691M in Hurricane Aid
AP. Campaigns Urge Support in Post-Debate Spin
AP. Bush Assails Democrats' Position on Iraq
AP. New Kerry Ad Says Bush Lied About Debate
AP. France vows 'discreet' bid to free journalists in Iraq
CBS. Electoral Quagmire-In-Waiting?
CBS. Uncommitteds Tab Edwards Winner
AP. Meeting Was Not First for Cheney, Edwards
LAT. Edwards Woos Another Jury
Jimmy Breslin . Bush ignores value of a straight face
Buzzflash. The Vice-Presidential Debate: Dick Cheney's House of Lies
Christopher D. Cook. Environmental Hogwash; The EPA works with factory farms to delay regulation of ‘Extremely Hazardous Substances.’
St. Louis Post-Dispatch. IRAQ WAR: Now they tell us
John Buell. Divine Endorsements and Fear Among Voters
Michael Moore. Dear Dad, Iraq Sucks
Molly Ivins. Our petulant president; Pampering from 'advisors' leads to bubble-boy style of management
Lucy Burningham. Working the Swing Shift; For one Utah Democrat, political participation means crossing state lines. The view from the ground floor
Cliff Schecter. Sweetheart deal: Republican congressman Steven LaTourette of Ohio left his wife for a female aide who now makes a lucrative career out of lobbying his committee
Eric Boehlert. Daddy hunger: While the rest of the TV commentariat declared the Edwards-Cheney duel a draw, Chris Matthews and his MSNBC crew threw their arms around the gruff old veep
Bruce Ackerman. Oath of Offense; These four experts should know better than to swear to Donald Rumsfeld.
T. Eve Greenaway, Jan Frel. Reality Check; John Edwards managed to counter Dick Cheney’s self-righteous tone in the vice-presidential debate by successfully questioning his opponent’s veracity and patriotism
J. Caleb Mozzocco. State of Disunion
NYT. Cover-Up on Clean Air
Harold Meyerson. Voters Excluded in Iraq -- and at Home (
Joseph Stiglitz. Bush is dead wrong
Guardian. Rumsfeld's missing link
Derrick Z. Jackson. A downward spiral
Thomas Oliphant. Cheney proves his irrelevance
Dick Meyer. Edwards Shoots And Scores
Wildlife: Who Needs It?The Bush administration has set aside Reagan-era rules aimed at protecting wildlife in national forests, rules that environmentalists had used to block logging projects in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere.On this note, allow me to plug the WWF, the non-wrestling interest group and still one of the best environmental groups out there.
Under a temporary regulation published last week, U.S. Forest Service managers reviewing road-building, logging or other proposals are allowed to waive the 22-year-old requirement that the forests maintain "viable populations" of fish and wildlife. Instead of having to conduct population counts of representative species, for example, officials now can rely on "best available science," a less specific standard, to guide their decisions.
The change, which is not subject to public comment, is the latest move in an ongoing battle over how to protect vulnerable species in national forests. The forests cover 191 million acres, or roughly 8 percent of the national landscape, and are home to one-quarter of the U.S. species at risk of extinction.
These are all very unscientific, and I don't really put any faith in them, but this is just for your edification / enjoyment; KE04 email FYI:Between 11:30 PM and 11:45 PM the immediate response in online polls overwhelmingly showed Edwards as the winner.Har har, the Fox News poll.
CBS: 76% Edwards, 21% Cheney
MSNBC: 70% Edwards, 30% Cheney
WSJ: 95% Edwards, 4% Cheney
LA Times: 97% Edwards, 2% Cheney
FOX News: 57% Edwards, 41% Cheney
CNN: 77% Edwards, 18% Cheney
Philly.com: Edwards 99%, Cheney 1%
Orlando Sentinel: Edwards 80.3%, Cheney 19.4%
Akron Beacon-Journal: Edwards 98%, Cheney 2%
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Edwards 64.23%, Cheney 29.77%
Bush Fails on Florida Water Rules
From the Sierra Club on a federal court ruling:A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that the Bush administration did not meet its obligations to protect Florida waters from pollution. Specifically, the Bush administration failed to require the State of Florida to clean up the state's most heavily polluted rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.
"The health and safety of Florida communities depends on cleaning up these waters polluted with mercury, fecal coliform and other dangerous toxics," said John Swingle, Sierra Club Florida Conservation Chair. "We need our federal and state leaders to do their jobs." ... By failing to act, the administration allowed the state to omit from its pollution clean-up list more than 100 waterbodies with fish consumptionadvisories due to mercury. Mercury is a toxic pollutant known to causeserious health effects to people, including damage to developing brains and neurological systems in fetuses and children. Among the waters with fish consumption advisories that are not included for clean up are Tampa Bay, Lake Kissimmee, Peace River, Escambia River and the Ochlockonee River. All of Florida's coastal waters and more than 100 of its rivers, streams, and lakes are under fish consumption advisories for mercury.
Republicans Copy Answers
If I did this in school, I'd get expelled:Copying a national Republican group's sample answers, Kentucky 4th District congressional candidate Geoff Davis and several others seeking office around the country have submitted identical answers to an AARP survey.
At least five GOP candidates offered the same responses to questions about Social Security, health-care costs and prescription drugs. The others are from California, Florida, Nebraska and Georgia.
Davis admitted yesterday through a spokesman that he copied the answers to all three questions from materials distributed by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
SIRIUS and Howard Stern Sign Deal
Howard Stern, recent convert to the Democratic side, will start brodcasting on SIRIUS satellite radio starting in 2006. Big spark, obviously, for SIRIUS, which has struggled behind XM. From press release:"It has been my dream to have the top-rated show in radio since I was five years old," said Stern. "SIRIUS -- the future of radio -- will take this dream to a whole new level as I bring my fans my show my way. It will be the best radio they will ever hear."
Known for his extremely loyal fan base and for his unequalled ability to migrate fans to other media, Stern has embarked on numerous highly successful ventures over the years while maintaining dominant ratings in his demographic. Stern has written two best-selling books -- Private Parts, which was Simon & Schuster's fastest-selling book ever, and Miss America, the fastest-selling book in publishing history. He later starred in the highly successful motion picture adaptation of Private Parts, orchestrated the fastest-selling soundtrack in motion picture history and starred in the most watched entertainment pay-per-view special of all time. "The Howard Stern Show" is E! Entertainment Television's most successful show.
"Signing Howard Stern is, without a doubt, the most exciting and transformational event in the history of radio," said Joseph P. Clayton, CEO of SIRIUS. "He is an entertainment force of unprecedented recognition and popularity in the broadcast world, who is capable of changing the face of satellite radio and generating huge numbers of subscribers for SIRIUS."
Dissecting the Cheney Spin
Among some of the points from the Kerry Edwards campaign:
Q: “After four years of vice president and with Iran having been declared by your administration as part of the axis of evil, do you still believe we should lift sanctions on Iran?
CHENEY: “No, I do not. And at the time I was talking specifically about this question of unilateral sanctions.”
REALITY: Cheney Pushed To Have Sanctions Lifted
While in Canada, Cheney Called for End to U.S. Sanctions Against Iran. In June 2000, Cheney called for an end to U.S. sanctions against Iran. Speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary, Canada, Cheney said, “I would hope we could find ways to improve [US-Iran relations]. One of the ways I think is to allow American firms to do the same thing that most other firms around the world are able to do now, and that is to be active in Iran. ... We’re kept out of there primarily by our own government, which has made a decision that U.S. firms should not be allowed to invest significantly in Iran, and I think that’s a mistake.” Cheney said Halliburton has some operations in Iran through foreign subsidiaries, but that “we would like to do more than we’re able to do in Iran at present.” [Hart’s Middle East Oil and Gas, 6/27/00; Calgary Herald, 6/15/00]
Cheney Called Getting U.S. Business Into Iran His “Favorite Hobby Horse.” When he ran Halliburton, Cheney “frequently complained about the Iran sanctions. In a 1998 speech he called the topic ‘my favorite hobby horse,’ arguing that unilateral U.S. sanctions aimed at changing other nations’ behaviors usually end up penalizing U.S. companies.” [Dallas Morning News, 9/8/04]
CHENEY: “We have added 1.7 million jobs to the economy.”– Dick Cheney [Presidential Debates, 10/5/04]
The Economy is 7 million jobs Short of Bush Administration Prediction. The economy needed to create more than 6 million jobs during the Bush administration just to keep up with population growth. In fact, the 2002 Economic Report of the President projected more than 6 million new jobs between January 2001 and August 2004. Instead, we have lost 900,000 million jobs. As a result, we are more than 7 million jobs short of the prediction which President Bush made after 9/11, the tech bubble, and the recession. [BLS and Economic Report of the President, 2002. Note the Economic Report of the President projected an average of 138.3 million jobs in 2004. That corresponds to roughly 138.7 million jobs in August; the actual jobs total in August was 131.5 million.]
Cheney Advertises for George Soros
CBS Poll: Edwards Wins
From CBS:John Edwards continued the Democratic ticket’s winning streak in Tuesday night's vice presidential debate. He was judged the winner by uncommitted voters who watched the debate, just as John Kerry was last week.I write a little more on the subject here.
Forty-one percent of these uncommitted debate watchers said Edwards won the encounter, while 28 percent chose Vice President Dick Cheney. Another 31 percent thought it was a tie.
Immediately after the debate, CBS News interviewed a nationally representative sample of 178 debate watchers assembled by Knowledge Networks who were uncommitted voters – voters who are either undecided about who to vote for or who have a preference but say they could still change their minds.
Both men and women gave the win to Edwards, with 42 percent of the women giving the edge to the Democrat. Another 25 percent picked Cheney. Among men, 40 percent thought Edwards was the winner, while 32 percent picked Cheney.
Edwards also greatly improved his standing among the uncommitted voters. Cheney made more limited gains. Nearly half of the uncommitted voters said their opinion of Edwards has changed for the better as a result of the debate. Just 14 percent had a lower opinion of Edwards. Another 37 percent didn’t change their opinion.
October 05, 2004
St.PtsT. Box may prevent hundreds of votes; A state official says that a small box - left unchecked - could keep people from voting
Denver Post. Kerry, Bush take another swing for Colo. voters
SFC. Dueling Second Fiddles; Cheney, Edwards meet in tonight's VP debate with an audience likely to be greater than normal
NYT. Justices Show Inclination to Scrap Sentencing Rules
NYT. Pension Failures Foil 6-Figure Retirements, Too
NYT. Poll Finds Kerry Assured Voters in Initial Debate
WP. The 'Hard Work' Issue Isn't Taking a Holiday
WP. Kerry: Stem Cell Policy 'Unscientific'
WP. China's Land Grabs Resisted; Growth pits rural peasants against developers, officials
LAT. 'Old Granny D' Just Keeps On Walking -- Into a Race for Senate
LAT. In a '50-50 Nation,' Voter Applications Up Sharply
LAT. Lining Up for Dangerous Work; Desperate Iraqi men covet jobs in the security forces, despite carnage at recruitment centers
LAT. Bush and Kerry Press Ahead on Domestic Issues
AP. Senate May Be More Diverse After Election
AP. Gains in Health Insurance Could Be Lost
AP. Bush Blasts Kerry, Signs Tax Bill in Iowa
Reuters. Halliburton Set for Spotlight in VP Debates
Reuters. Ex-U.S. Governor of Iraq Criticizes Troop Levels
Reuters. Cheney, Edwards Prepare for Debate
Reuters. Bush Lead Over Kerry Narrows in New Polls
Reuters. Rumsfeld Says He Was Misunderstood on Iraq-Al Qaeda
CincyEnq. Touting 'American values,' Kerry courts urban vote
Salim Muwakkil. The Right Choice for Terror
Democracy 21. Statement of Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer on Ethics Committee Admonishment of Majority Leader DeLay
Kenneth S. Baer. He's the Boss; Bruce Springsteen knows exactly how to sell John Kerry to swing voters
Thomas F. Schaller. Drunken Rage; Bush revealed his true dependency Thursday
Salon. The State Department's extreme makeover; A veteran Foreign Service officer warns that when Colin Powell departs in a second Bush term, America will lose its last bulwark against the radical ideologues who are planning more Iraqs
Salon. Ready for his close-up; Will youth and beauty triumph over old age and treachery? John Edwards faces off against Dick Cheney
Katrina vanden Heuvel. FOX Rejects The Nation
The Nation. Cheney's Cronies
Naomi Klein. You Can't Bomb Beliefs
Krugman. The Falling Scales
Theresa Novak. What if Bush's allies lose their countries' next elections?
LAT. L'Etat, C'est George W.
Jay Inslee. Bush no friend of the environment
Marianne Means. Darth Cheney meets Luke Edwards
J. Bradford DeLong. To Buy Cheap or Not to Buy Cheap
Robert Scheer. Buck Stops in the Voting Booth
Des Moines Register. Poverty can kill
Jesse Jackson. Jim Crow back for election attack
Thomas Oliphant. 'Global test' tactic turns against Bush
BG. Questions for Cheney
Gene Armstrong. Humor Emergency; Margaret Cho brings her controversial, up-to-the-minute topical comedy to the TCC Music Hall
Tara Servatius. Big Brother In Your Car; Futuristic hi-tech could save your life -- and raid your privacy
Juan Cole. If America Were Iraq, What Would It Be Like?
Cheney Lie About Not Meeting Edwards?
"The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight."
This has been forwarded to me from Kerry's Rapid Response:February 1, 2001, ThursdayEDIT: More Cheney / Edwards meetings here. And a picture.
SECTION: WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING
LENGTH: 434 words
HEADLINE: REMARKS BY VICE PRESIDENT RICHARD CHENEY AT NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST
LOCATION: WASHINGTON HILTON, WASHINGTON, D.C.
VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: (Applause.) Thank you very much.
Congressman Wamp, Senator Edwards, friends from across America, and distinguished visitors to our country from all over the world: Lynne and I are honored to be with you all this morning. I've always counted myself fortunate to have been raised in a part of the country where the Almighty chose to do some of His finest work. (Laughter.) Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, the Big Horn Canyon, Devil's Tower. He made them; I didn't say he named them. (Laughter.)
And the LA Times notes this about Cheney's role in the Senate:Although Cheney is the Senate's presiding officer, he actually sits in the chamber only on rare occasions, such as to break a tie vote and to swear in new senators.
He does attend the GOP senators' weekly luncheons to discuss party strategy. But only Republicans attend, and Cheney usually breezes into the building, goes to the meeting, then leaves without hobnobbing with Democrats.
In fact, Cheney was teased by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (news, bio, voting record) (D-Vt.) for only associating with Republicans when, in an encounter on the Senate floor, Cheney cursed at Leahy.
Transcript available here. Reactions, etc, to come when available.
Kerry Rapid Response
Quick responses from the Kerry camp, see here.
Bill O'Reilly: Shameless
This is just unbelievably stupid:One week before the first presidential debate, FOX News Channel host Bill O'Reilly promised his radio show listeners: "[W]e're going to give you a numerical system -- who won the debate and then how they won." Following the September 30 debate, however, as a consensus emerged that Senator John Kerry had "won" the debate, O'Reilly changed his mind. "I'm not going to tell you who won the debate because I really don't have any right to tell you that," he said ...More, of course, available.
VP Debate Briefer
Courtesy of American Progress: What Cheney Will Say ... What You Should Know
John Nichols has Ten Questions for Dick.
Poll: 1 in 4 Hold Anti-Muslim ViewsAnd if it even needs repeating, one of the leading conservative pundits in the country is anti-Muslim and proud of it. Politically, from Zogby, Muslims "overwhelmingly supporting Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry over Republican George W. Bush."
More than one-fourth of survey respondents agreed with stereotypes such as "Muslims teach their children to hate" and "Muslims value life less than other people."
When asked what comes to mind when they hear "Muslim," 32 percent of respondents made negative comments. Only two percent had a positive response.
Those with the most negative attitudes toward Islam and Muslims tend to be less-educated white males who are politically conservative.
General knowledge of Islam is low but the presence of Muslim friends and colleagues drives more enlightened attitudes.
It's Hard Work
Leading Pediatricians Organize Against Bush
Those bastards. Why are they organizing? Among their points:More about the group can be found here.
27 million children were without health insurance at some point in 2002-2003. (Click here for more information) President Bush’s latest budget shows little commitment to pre-natal care, basic maternal and child health services, preventive child health services including immunizations, medical treatment of acute and chronic illness such as asthma, the training of needed pediatric health professionals, and pediatric medical research. (Click here for more information) The Bush Administration’s tax and budget policies contributed to the fiscal crisis many states have experienced, which in turn resulted in deep cuts to successful programs serving millions of children. In the President’s home state of Texas alone, nearly 150,000 children of working class families have been dropped from the State Child Health Insurance Program leaving them without any insurance. (Click here for more information) The Bush Administration’s policies are moving us away from effective and longstanding federal commitments that improved the health of children, commitments proudly initiated and supported by previous Republican and Democratic presidents. (Click here for more information)
Bush: No Good Samaritan
Digby has the goods on the silly hypothetical question of who's the good Samaritan: Bush or Kerry.
What About Poland?
From the IHT, "Poland said Monday that it would withdraw its troops from Iraq by the end of 2005, leaving the U.S.-led multinational forces the task of finding replacements to fill a crucial security role in south-central Iraq."
GOP: Iraq Vet 'Weakening' Terror WarA state Republican Party mailing accuses Democratic congressional candidate David Ashe--a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq--of "weakening the war on terror" by supporting John Kerry.
A flier sent on behalf of his Republican opponent, Thelma Drake, says Ashe and the Democratic presidential candidate are "two peas in a pod" on "issues like higher taxes, abortion on demand and the war on terror."
Drake, a five-term House of Delegates member from Norfolk, and Ashe, a political newcomer, are seeking to succeed Rep. Ed Schrock in the 2nd Congressional District. Schrock dropped his bid for a third term after a Web site reported that he had used a gay telephone dating service to solicit men for sex.
The Republican mailing depicts the faces of Kerry and Ashe sticking out of a pea pod.
Under the heading "weakening the war on terror," the flier says "Democrat David Ashe is working hard to make John Kerry the commander in chief of our armed forces." Then it accuses Kerry of wavering in his positions on Iraq, of opposing money to pay for the war and of opposing better pay for troops.
Tell Congress to Call for an Outside Counsel and Investigate DeLay
New sponsor, and something pretty important for the integrity of the Congress: Tell Congress to Call for an Outside Counsel and Investigate DeLay
Bremer: Mistakes Were Made
Uh oh; Washington Post:The former U.S. official who governed Iraq after the invasion said yesterday that the United States made two major mistakes: not deploying enough troops in Iraq and then not containing the violence and looting immediately after the ouster of Saddam Hussein.
Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, administrator for the U.S.-led occupation government until the handover of political power on June 28, said he still supports the decision to intervene in Iraq but said a lack of adequate forces hampered the occupation and efforts to end the looting early on.
"We paid a big price for not stopping it because it established an atmosphere of lawlessness," he said yesterday in a speech at an insurance conference in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. "We never had enough troops on the ground."
Bremer's comments were striking because they echoed contentions of many administration critics, including Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry, who argue that the U.S. government failed to plan adequately to maintain security in Iraq after the invasion. Bremer has generally defended the U.S. approach in Iraq but in recent weeks has begun to criticize the administration for tactical and policy shortfalls.
Michael Moore: 5 Things to Do Before D Day
If you feel the activism bug, see here for suggestions.
Comedy Monday, Tuesday Edition
"President Bush and Senator John Kerry's first debate was held last Thursday. While neither candidate delivered a knock-out punch, polls indicate John Kerry was the winner. Though Bush later complained it was because he couldn't get his buzzer to work." Tina Fey
"During the debate there were several tense moments when President Bush and Kerry got into it with each other. Not only that, Ralph Nader got into a heated discussion with the guy at the McDonald's drive-through." Conan O'Brien
"Everyone is talking about the ground rules. Kerry wants his podium to be tall enough so he can rest his hands. And President Bush wants it to be wide enough to hide Dick Cheney." Conan O'Brien
"62 million people tuned into the debate this week. That's almost one viewer for every time President Bush said mixed message." Bill Maher
"I don't want to say who won this debate, but today the FCC is furious and is fining the networks for showing the emperor with no clothes." Bill Maher
"This is a weird one; the Bush people requested Rule No. 56: What happens in Iraq stays in Iraq." Michael Ian Black
Castparty Productions. Bush Focus Group.
"Late Show with David Letterman":
"Top Ten George W. Bush Debate Strategies
10. Ask the question, 'We've never had a horse-faced president so why start now?'
9. Instead of witty retorts, have Secret Service wrestle Sen. Kerry to the ground.
8. Use Kerry's long-winded answers to take much-needed bathroom breaks.
7. Hope one of them hurricanes cancels the debate.
6. Instead of water, fill Kerry's mug with Red Bull and vodka.
5. Find time to work in joke prop — giant waffle.
4. Moving his lips to pretend microphone isn't working.
3. Handle it same way he handled National Guard duty — don't show up.
2. If Kerry makes a good point, distract him with some chaw spit in the eye.
1. Point out Sen. Kerry's mispronunciation of the word 'nucular.'"
Click down for comics
October 04, 2004
AP. U.S. missile defense system moves toward 'go'
SH. On the Issues: Rivals differ on public lands
Kalamazoo Gazette. Author: GOP split over Iraq
USA Today. Tour is rocking the vote — gently
NYT. In the Senate, Raising a (Quiet) Republican Voice Against the Administration
NYT. Sentencing Tops Justices' Agenda as Term Begins
NYT. After First Debate, Both Sides Work Hard to Sway Perceptions
WP. New Marijuana Initiative Is Planned
WP. Mitch Daniels Is Bush's 'Man' in Ind.
WP. Kerry Promotes Stem Cell Research
LAT. Arabs in Florida Angered by Bush
LAT. Post-Invasion Chaos Blamed for Drug Surge
AP. Rice Defends Comments on Iraq Nuke Threat
AP. Bush, Kerry Campaigns Focus on Pa.
AP. Bush to Sign Tax Cut Bill in Iowa
AP. Kerry Accuses GOP of Suppressing Voting
AP. 21 Killed in Baghdad Car Bomb Blasts
Newsday. Soldier from LI, injured in Iraq, dies
Reuters. With Month to Go, Kerry on Offense Against Bush
Reuters. New Poll Shows Bush and Kerry in Dead Heat
Reuters. Top Court Upholds Do-Not-Call Registry
Hon SB. Reservists endure financial hardships
MinST. Voting flaps/Public scrutiny is essential
Bill Bradley. The sweet music of activism
Ellen Goodman. 40 more years? Election 2004 could control Supreme Court for decades
E.J. Dionne, Jr. Bush scowls, Democrats smile
Howard Dean, Interviewed By Jeff Fleischer. Taking Back Democracy
Jon Alter. Your Gut Only Gets You So Far
NYT. More Troubles for Diebold
Bob Herbert. Bush and Reality
Peter J. Kuznick. Scientists on the Stump
Sidney Blumenthal. Retreat Into a Substitute Reality
Paul Waldman. Reversal of Fortune; Kerry’s back on top. Will it last?
John Gorenfeld. Berkeley Radicals; Michelle Malkin says the Japanese and the Arabs are conspiring to destroy America!
Action Fund Daily Progress Report. Putting Ideology Over Science
Noy Thrupkaew. Apocalypse Then; A new film shows how John Kerry and other young men dealt with the horrors of Vietnam
John Gartner. Music with a Message
Barbara Ehrenreich. To Catch a Thief
Media Matters: "Post-debate swing state focus groups of undecideds included more Republicans"
Common, don't make it toooo obvious ... e.g.:A USA Today focus group conducted in Pennsylvania included twelve registered Republicans and only three registered Democrats. Of the 15 "undecided voters," USA Today noted: "Five said they voted for Bush in 2000, five voted for Democrat Al Gore and five did not vote." Despite the study's oversampling of registered Republicans, it still showed that the debate helped Kerry: "Seven members of the panel said they came away from the debate closer to a decision about how they would cast their vote. Of those, six said they were leaning toward Kerry."
Press Release: "More than 180 Former U.S. Ambassadors from Republican and Democratic Administrations Endorse Kerry"
From a K-E campaign press release:
United by a deep concern about the mounting failures of the Bush administration’s foreign policy, more than 180 former United States Ambassadors who have served under Republican and Democratic presidents endorsed John Kerry for president on Monday.
At a news conference at the National Press Club, members of Ambassadors for Kerry-Edwards issued a letter stating, “We believe it is imperative to our national security that we change the leadership of the nation we all love and elect John Kerry and John Edwards.” The statement criticized President Bush for needlessly squandering the good will and support of the world following the September 11 attacks and undermining our ability to win the war on terror by eroding our strong international alliances.
“The war on terror can only be won with the active cooperation of people and governments around the world,” said Ambassador Sol Polansky, who represented the United States to Bulgaria, and served as a Foreign Service officer for almost 40 years before his retirement in 1990. “We’ve spent our careers building that kind of cooperation for the sake of our country’s security. But in the last three years, the Bush administration has undermined the strong alliances American leaders worked half a century to build.”
Click down for rest of press release / list.
For Immediate Release
October 4, 2004
More than 180 Former U.S. Ambassadors from Republican and Democratic Administrations Endorse Kerry
Unprecedented Support from Group of Bipartisan Foreign Policy Professionals
Washington, DC - United by a deep concern about the mounting failures of the Bush administration’s foreign policy, more than 180 former United States Ambassadors who have served under Republican and Democratic presidents endorsed John Kerry for president on Monday.
At a news conference at the National Press Club, members of Ambassadors for Kerry-Edwards issued a letter stating, “We believe it is imperative to our national security that we change the leadership of the nation we all love and elect John Kerry and John Edwards.” The statement criticized President Bush for needlessly squandering the good will and support of the world following the September 11 attacks and undermining our ability to win the war on terror by eroding our strong international alliances.
“The war on terror can only be won with the active cooperation of people and governments around the world,” said Ambassador Sol Polansky, who represented the United States to Bulgaria, and served as a Foreign Service officer for almost 40 years before his retirement in 1990. “We’ve spent our careers building that kind of cooperation for the sake of our country’s security. But in the last three years, the Bush administration has undermined the strong alliances American leaders worked half a century to build.”
"Senator Kerry, in whom I am willing to place my trust, has demonstrated that he is courageous, sober, competent, and concerned with fighting the dangers associated with the widening socio-economic gap in this country. I will vote for him enthusiastically,” wrote John Eisenhower in an opinion article entitled, “Why I will vote for John Kerry for President” in New Hampshire's Union Leader. “The fact is that today's 'Republican' Party is one with which I am totally unfamiliar. 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.”
Eisenhower, who served as Ambassador to Belgium is a lifelong Republican and the son of Republican President Dwight Eisenhower.
This unprecedented show of support from this group of former Ambassadors and national security professionals includes more than 80 career Foreign Service Officers and 100 non-career appointees, who have represented the United States under both Republican and Democratic administrations in postings around the world.
“John Kerry has the capacity to renew America’s credibility around the world and find solutions to global problems. John Kerry will fight a more effective war on terror, and he has a plan to win the peace in Iraq. He has the strength, experience, and resolve to make America safer and more secure,” said Ambassador Pete Peterson, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam.
Statement issued by Ambassadors for Kerry Edwards 2004:
“We are more than 180 former United States Ambassadors who had the privilege of representing our country around the world under nine presidents, Democratic and Republican - from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush. Almost half of us were nonpartisan career foreign service officers. We believe it is imperative to our national security that we change the leadership of the nation we all love and elect John Kerry and John Edwards.
“After September 11, the world was fully behind us, but George W. Bush has needlessly squandered much of that support and undermined our ability to win the war on terror. He
has also seriously eroded the alliances we need to keep our nation safe. Now, we face a loss of respect and trust amongst our allies such as we have never seen. As a result, our troops and taxpayers must bear the risks and costs of building a safer world virtually alone.
“The Congress and the American people were misled by an ever-changing rationale for launching a preemptive war in Iraq. We failed to finish the mission in Afghanistan and stood on the sidelines while North Korea and Iran advanced their nuclear programs. George W. Bush's failings have made the threat of terrorism worse, not better.
“The Bush administration's go-it-alone polices are making Americans less safe at home and abroad. Even the world's only superpower needs friends and allies, and we are blessed with the challenge of using our position for good. War should be the last resort - not the first.
“John Kerry has the experience, strength and wisdom to lead us in fighting the war on terrorism, winning the peace in Iraq, making America more secure, and restoring America as the beacon of democracy and freedom in the world.”
Ambassadors endorsing Kerry-Edwards 2004:
J. Brady Anderson
Ambassador to Tanzania (1994-97)
David R. Andrews
Special Negotiator for US-Iran claims (2000-01)
Christopher C. Ashby
Ambassador to Uruguay (1997-01)
Harriet C. Babbitt
Ambassador to Organization of American States (1993-97)
Jeffery A. Bader
Ambassador to Namibia (1999-01)
Elizabeth F. Bagley
Ambassador to Portugal (1994-97)
Harry G. Barnes, Jr.
Ambassador to Romania (1973-77)
Foreign Service Director-General (1977-81)
Ambassador to Chile (1985-88)
Ambassador to India (1981-85)
Robert L. Barry
Ambassador to Bulgaria (1981-84)
Ambassador to Indonesia (1992-95)
Josiah H. Beeman
Ambassador to New Zealand (1994-99)
Gordon R. Beyer
Ambassador to Uganda (1980-83)
James D. Bindenagel
Chargé d'Affaires ad interim Germany (1996-97)
Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues (1999-01)
Jack R. Binns
Ambassador to Honduras (1980-81)
James J. Blanchard
Ambassador to Canada (1993-96)
Alan J. Blinken
Ambassador to Belgium (1993-98)
Donald M. Blinken
Ambassador to Hungary (1994-97)
Richard J. Bloomfield
Ambassador to Ecuador (1976-78)
Ambassador to Portugal (1978-82)
William Bodde Jr.
Ambassador to Fiji, Tonga and Tuvalu (1980-81)
Ambassador to Marsall Islands (1990-92)
Richard W. Boehm
Ambassador to Oman (1984-87)
Ambassador to Cyprus (1988-91)
Amy L. Bondurant
Ambassador to OECD (1997-01)
Stephen W. Bosworth
Ambassador to Tunisia (1979-81)
Ambassador to Philippines (1984-87)
Ambassador to Korea (1997-01)
Peter S. Bridges
Ambassador to Somalia (1984-86)
Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (1994-98)
George C. Bruno
Ambassador to Belize (1994-97)
Edward P. Brynn
Ambassador to Mauritania (1982-83)
Ambassador to Gambia (1984)
Ambassador to Burkina Faso (1991-93)
Ambassador to Ghana (1995-98)
Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism (1991-92)
Ambassador to Sri Lanka & Maldives (1996-97)
Representative to the United Nations(1997-99)
Patricia M. Byrne
Ambassador to Mali (1976-79)
Ambassador to Burma (1980-83)
Walter C. Carrington
Ambassador to Senegal (1980-81)
Ambassador to Nigeria (1993-97)
Ambassador to Belgium (1998-01)
Richard F. Celeste
Ambassador to India (1997-01)
James F. Collins
Ambassador to At-Large & Advisor to Secretary on NIS (1995-97)
Ambassador to Russia (1998-01)
Ambassador to Luxembourg (1994-99)
Carleton S. Coon Jr.
Ambassador to Nepal (1981-84)
Ambassador to Bangladesh (1981-84)
James F. Creagan
Ambassador to Honduras (1996-99)
T. Frank Crigler
Ambassador to Rwanda (1976-79)
Ambassador to Somalia (1987-90)
William J. Crowe
Ambassador to the United Kingdom (1994-97)
C. Edward Dillery
Ambassador to Tonga, Figi, Tuvalu and Kiribati (1984-87)
Robert S. Dillon
Ambassador to Lebanon (1981-83)
Thomas J. Dodd
Ambassador to Uruguay (1993-97)
Ambassador to Costa Rica (1997-01)
K. Terry Dornbush
Ambassador to Netherlands (1994-98)
Robin Chandler Duke
Ambassador to Norway (2000-01)
Charles F. Dunbar Jr.
Chargé d'Affaires Afghanistan (1982-83)
Ambassador to Qatar (1983-85)
Ambassador to Yemen (1988-91)
David J. Dunford
Ambassador to Oman (1992-95)
Ralph Earle II
Chief Negotiator, SALT II Treaty (1977-80)
William B. Edmondson
Ambassador to South Africa (1978-81)
Ambassador to Belgium (1969-71)
Stuart E. Eizenstat
Ambassador to European Union (1993-96)
Edward E. Elson
Ambassador to Denmark (1993-98)
Ambassador to Slovenia (1998-00)
Susan G. Esserman
Deputy US Trade Representative (2000-01)
March Fong Eu
Ambassador to Micronesia (1994-96)
Robert W. Farrand
Ambassador to Papua New Guinea (1990-93)
Robert C. Felder
Ambassador to Benin (1998-00)
Ambassador to Honduras (1985-86)
Glenn W. Ferguson
Ambassador to Kenya (1966-69)
Thomas M. Foglietta
Ambassador to Italy (1997-00)
Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (1996-01)
Edward E. Gabriel
Ambassador to Morocco (1997-01)
Peter W. Galbraith
Ambassador to Croatia (1993-98)
John Kenneth Galbraith
Ambassador to India (1961-63)
Richard N. Gardner
Ambassador to Italy (1977-81)
Ambassador to Spain (1993-97)
Paul F. Gardner
Ambassador to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands (1984-86)
Robert S. Gelbard
Ambassador to Indonesia (1999-01)
D. Gordon Giffin
Ambassador to Canada (1997-01)
Harry J. Gilmore
Ambassador to Armenia (1993-95)
Marc C. Ginsberg
Ambassador to Morocco (1994-98)
Raymond E. Gonzalez
Ambassador to Ecuador (1978-82)
James Eugene Goodby
Ambassador to Finland (1980-81)
A. Lincoln Gordon
Ambassador to Brazil (1961-66)
Ambassador to Chile (1994-98)
Anthony S. Harrington
Ambassador to Brazil (1999-01)
Samuel F. Hart
Ambassador to Ecuador (1982-85)
Ulric Haynes, Jr.
Ambassador to Algeria (1977-81)
Gerald B. Helman
Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva (1979-81)
Ambassador to Ethiopia (1994-96)
Hugh Kenneth Hill
Ambassador to Bulgaria (1990-93)
James C. Hormel
Ambassador to Luxembourg (1999-00)
William J. Hughes
Ambassador to Panama (1995-98)
Swanee Grace Hunt
Ambassador to Austria (1993-97)
Robert E. Hunter
Ambassador to NATO (1993-98)
Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan (1994)
Karl F. Inderfurth
Deputy Permanent Representative on the UN (1993-97)
Ambassador to Iceland (1972-76)
Ambassador to Jamaica (1977-78)
William H. Itoh
Ambassador to Thailand (1996-99)
Ambassador to Honduras (1977-80)
James R. Jones
Ambassador to Mexico (1993-97)
Ambassador to Guyana (1992-95)
James A. Joseph
Ambassador to South Africa (1995-99)
Ambassador to Senegal and Mauritania (61-64)
Ambassador to Hungary (1977-81)
Ambassador to Austria (1980-81)
Ambassador to Sweden (1977-80)
Ambassador to Dominican Republic (1985-88)
Henry L. Kimelman
Ambassador to Haiti (1980-81)
Dennis H. Kux
Ambassador to Ivory Coast (1986-89)
Ambassador to United Kingdom (1997-01)
Ambassador to OECD (1987)
Lyle F. Lane
Ambassador to Uruguay (1979-80)
Ambassador to Paraguay (1980-82)
Luis J. Lauredo
Ambassador to Organization of American States (2000-01)
Negotiator in Germany and Special coordinator for Cyprus (1989-92)
Donald C. Leidel
Ambassador to Bahrain (1983-86)
James F. Leonard
Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations (1976-80)
Delano Eugene Lewis
Ambassador to South Africa (1999-01)
John A. Linehan
Ambassador to Sierra Leone (1977-80)
James G. Lowenstein
Ambassador to Luxembourg (1977-81)
Patrick J. Lucey
Ambassador to Mexico (1977-79)
Raymond Edwin Mabus
Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (1991-96)
David L. Mack
Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (1986-89)
Frank E. Maestrone
Ambassador to Kuwait (1976-79)
Charles Taylor Manatt
Ambassador to Dominican Republic (1999-01)
Richard C. Matheron
Ambassador to Swaziland (1979-82)
Ambassador to UN World Conferences (1978-83)
Ambassador to Zimbabwe (1997-01)
Gerald S. McGowan
Ambassador to Portugal (1997-01)
Ambassador to Jamaica (1997-01)
William G. Miller
Ambassador to Ukraine (1993-96)
David C. Miller, Jr.
Ambassador to Tanzania (1981-83)
Ambassador to Zimbabwe (1984-87)
Ambassador to Malaysia (1977)
Ambassador to Ivory Coast (1983-86)
Jay P. Moffat
Ambassador to Chad (1983-85)
Walter F. Mondale
Ambassador to Japan (1993-97)
Richard L. Morningstar
Ambassador to NIS (1995-99)
Ambassador to the European Union (1999-01)
Ambassador to New Zealand (1999-01)
Alfred H. Moses
Ambassador to Romania (1994-97)
Counselor to the Secretary of State (1977-80)
Under Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science and Technology (1980)
Donald R. Norland
Ambassador to Netherlands (1965-69)
Ambassador to Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland (1976-79)
Ambassador to Chad (1979-81)
Ambassador to Chile (1998-01)
Lyndon L. Olson, Jr.
Ambassador to Sweden (1997-01)
Ronald D. Palmer
Ambassador to Togo (1976-80)
Ambassador to Malaysia (1981-85)
Ambassador to and Mauritius (1986-88)
Joseph R. Paolino
Ambassador to Malta (1994-96)
Edward L. Peck
Ambassador to Iraq (1977-80)
Ambassador to Mauritania (1983-85)
Jack R. Perry
Ambassador to Bulgaria (1979-81)
Ambassador to Vietnam (1997-01)
Ambassador to Somalia (1978-82)
Ambassador to Tanzania (1986-89)
Ambassador to Sudan (1992-95)
Donald J. Planty
Ambassador to Guatemala (1996-99)
Ambassador to Bulgaria (1987-90)
Joseph A. Presel
Ambassador to Uzbekistan (1997-00)
Kathryn Proffitt Haycock
Ambassador to Malta (1997-01)
Nicholas Andrew Rey
Ambassador to Poland (1993-97)
Robert G. Rich, Jr.
Ambassador to Belize (1987-90)
Ambassador to United Nations (1997-98)
Ambassador to France (1997-01)
Peter F. Romero
Ambasador to Ecuador (1993-96)
Edward L. Romero
Ambassador to Spain and Andorra (1998-01)
James C. Rosapepe
Ambassador to Romania (1998-01)
Ambassador to the Trust Territories of the Pacific (1977-81)
Edward L. Rowell
Ambassador to Bolivia (1985-87)
Ambassador to Portugal (1988-89)
Ambassador to Luxembourg (1990-93)
Ambassador to China (1995-99)
Howard B. Schaffer
Ambassador to Bangladesh (1984-87)
Teresita C. Schaffer
Ambassador to Sri Lanka (1992-95)
Arthur L. Schechter
Ambassador to the Bahamas (1998-01)
David J. Scheffer
Ambassador at Large for War Crimes (1997-01)
Cynthia P. Schneider
Ambassador to Netherlands (1998-01)
Ambassador to Tunisia (1984-87)
Talcott W. Seelye
Ambassador to Tunisia (1972)
Ambassador to Syria (1978-81)
Ira S. Shapiro
Chief Negotiator for Japan and Canada (1995-97)
Ambassador to the Czech Republic (1998-00)
Ambassador to Finland (1994-97)
Wendy R. Sherman
Counselor to the Secretary; North Korea Policy Coordinator
Ambassador at Large (1997-01)
Ambassador to Burkina Faso (1987-90)
Ambassador to Ethiopia (1996-99)
Edward E. Shumaker
Ambassador to Trinidad & Tobago (1997-01)
M. Osman Siddique
Ambassador to Fiji, Tongo, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Nauru (1999-01)
Thomas L. Siebert
Ambassador to Sweden (1994-98)
Thomas W. Simons, Jr.
Ambassador to Poland (1990-93)
Ambassador to Pakistan (1996-98)
Ambassador to the United Nationsl(1997)
Special Representative for Implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords (1996-97)
Ambassador to and Special Representative to Promote Economic Reconstruction and the Development of Market Economies in Southeast Europe (1999-01)
Robert P. Smith
Ambassador to Malta (1974-76)
Ambassador to Ghana (1976-79)
Ambassador to Liberia (1979-81)
Keith C. Smith
Ambassador to Lithuania (1997-00)
Ambassador to the United Nations (1997-01)
E. Michael Southwick
Ambassador to Uganda (1994-97)
Joan E. Spero
Ambassador to UN Economic and Social Council (1980-81)
Daniel L. Spiegel
Ambassador to United Nations in Geneva (1993-97)
Ambassador to Slovak Republic (2000-01)
Ambassador to Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe (1975-77)
John Todd Stewart
Ambassador to Moldova (1995-98)
Ambassador to the Russian Federation (1991-92)
Michael J. Sullivan
Ambassador to Ireland (1998-01)
Richard N. Swett
Ambassador to Denmark (1998-01)
Richard W. Teare
Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu (1993-96)
Ambassador to Guyana (1987-90)
Ambassador to Brunai (1993-96)
Abelardo L. Valdez
Chief of Protocol (1979-81)
William J. Vanden Heuvel
Permanent Representative to United Nations in Geneva (1977-79)Deputy Permanent Representative to United Nations (1979-81)
George S. Vest
Ambassador to European Union (1981-84)
Sandra Louise Vogelgesang
Ambassador to Nepal (1994-97)
James D. Walsh
Ambassador to Argentina (2000-03)
Ambassador to Gabon (1989-92)
A. Vernon Weaver
Ambassador to the European Union (1996-99)
Thomas G. Weston
Special Coordinator for Cyprus (1999-04)
Ambassador to Belarus (1994-97)
Ambassador to Georgia (1998-01
Detroit Free Press Endorses John KerryAmerica needs a new direction, and that can begin only with new leadership. Kerry is not a perfect candidate, but he is a promising alternative to things as they are. The Massachusetts senator is certainly more thoughtful than Bush, more open to new ideas and more sensitive to the issues confronting the middle and working classes. He is as resolute as the incumbent about fighting terrorism but more willing to change strategies that are not effective.
Kerry would refocus American military and diplomatic efforts on fighting terrorism, a bigger threat to freedom here and around the world than Saddam Hussein ever was. He also offers a timetable to get American forces out of Iraq, as opposed to the Bush administration's open-ended commitment. Under the Kerry plan, the people of Iraq would know that they cannot depend indefinitely on a U.S. military presence and must begin taking more control over their own situation.
No nation in the world should want Iraq to become what Kerry calls "a failed state that inevitably would become a haven for terrorists and a destabilizing force" in the Middle East. Bush's declaration to the contrary, that is the path Iraq is now on. Yet few other nations are willing to help the United States and its small coalition purge Iraq of its violent radicals. Why? They are wary of America's current leadership and its with-us-or-against-us attitude.
That must change. Iraq is but one among an array of problems that cry out for international solutions and U.S. leadership. Many of them, such as AIDS, are or will become national security issues for America if they are not addressed on a multilateral basis.
McEnroe Suffers in Ratings
From NYDN:How much more humiliation can CNBC take? The cable network is paying tennis ace John McEnroe more than $1 million to host a nightly talk show. But Monday's installment of "McEnroe" - featuring such guests as Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and CNBC "Money Honey" Maria Baritoromo - ranked 833rd out of the 834 shows that aired on all of cable television in the period from 6 a.m. Monday through 3 a.m. Tuesday. "McEnroe" beat only the Food Network's "How to Boil Water."
US Senate Candidate in SC: Gays should not teach
Don't tell Tom Hanks. From The State in SC:Gays and lesbians should not be allowed to teach in public schools, Republican Jim DeMint said Sunday in a U.S. Senate debate. The remark came late in the first debate between DeMint and Democrat Inez Tenenbaum — a testy and acrimonious hour that broke little new ground on their positions on most issues.According to a Global Strategy Group poll, in SC, the Democratic candidate in the race, Inez Tenenbaum, "has closed the gap and now leads Jim DeMint by three points with a month remaining in the race for U.S. Senate."
DeMint, a Greenville congressman, said the government should not endorse homosexuality and “folks teaching in school need to represent our values.”
Tenenbaum, the state education superintendent, called DeMint’s position “un-American.”
DeMint said after the debate that he would not require teachers to admit to being gay, but if they were “openly gay, I do not think that they should be teaching at public schools.”
Tenenbaum later told reporters that “the private life of our teachers should stay private. I was shocked to hear him say that.”
Headline: Candidate Keyes crashes GOP dinner partyRepublican U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes wasn't invited to speak Sunday at a dinner sponsored by the New Trier Township Republican Organization, but he showed up anyway.
Tolbert Chisum, who heads the group, said the ultraconservative candidate didn't get a chance to be heard "because we have a full program."
Despite the apparent snub, Keyes' deputy campaign manager, Dan Proft, said Keyes was "encouraged" by his reception at the event, held at Allgauer's Restaurant at the Northbrook Hilton.
Lincoln Chafee Won't Vote for W
I once met Senator Chafee when he was leaving a Capitol building, and told him that I was happy he was standing up for the environment, to which he responded: "Well, my party once was the party of the environment, you know." But anyway, NYT on Chafee's presidential vote:For Mr. Chafee, who was a prep school buddy of the president's brother Jeb and whose father, the late Senator John Chafee, was close to the first President Bush, that day was the beginning of an estrangement with the president, whom he had worked to elect. In the months since, he has opposed Mr. Bush on everything from tax cuts to gay marriage and the war in Iraq. Now, this life-long Republican has concluded that he cannot cast his ballot for the leader of his party.
"I'll vote Republican," he said, explaining that he would choose a write-in candidate, perhaps George Bush the elder, as a symbolic act of protest. Asked if he wanted Senator John Kerry to be president, Mr. Chafee shook his head sadly, as if to say he could not entertain the question. "I've been disloyal enough," he said.
On Capitol Hill, some regard Mr. Chafee, a soft-spoken, gentle man who once shoed horses for a living, as the Republican counterpart to Senator Zell Miller, the fiery Georgia Democrat who is campaigning for Mr. Bush. But the truth is more complex. While Mr. Miller is retiring, Mr. Chafee is planning to run again in 2006. His misgivings about his party's conservative tilt have thrust him into a powerful position in Washington, where Republicans' memories are still fresh of how another moderate, Senator James M. Jeffords of Vermont, defected in 2001 and became an independent, temporarily giving Democrats control of the Senate.
Mr. Chafee insists he has no intention of defecting. But it is no secret that Democrats would welcome him, and already, Mr. Jeffords is offering him counsel.
October 03, 2004
Moonies Get Bush Funding
From the SF Chron:President Bush has some new troops in his crusade to promote "healthy marriage" and teen celibacy with federal funds -- followers of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the controversial Korean evangelist and self-proclaimed new world messiah.
At least four longtime operatives of Moon's Unification Church are on the federal payroll or getting government grants in the administration's Healthy Marriage Initiative and other "faith-based" programs. ... Through such publications as the Washington Times, a church-financed, conservative daily newspaper in the nation's capital, and through alliances with priests and pastors across the theological spectrum, Moon and company have spent a fortune courting the opinion-makers of church and state.
Moon showed an early interest in the Bush administration's faith-based initiative. In the spring of 2001, the American Leadership Conference, a project of the Caprara's American Family Coalition and Washington Times Foundation, sponsored a "Faith-Based Initiative Summit," a conference that was transmitted via satellite to 40 gatherings in churches and hotel meeting rooms across the country.
October 02, 2004
Communists Love Kerry
Fox News once again spreads lies, this time asserting that Communists support Kerry. However, they were snookered by a parody group: See Atrios.
Activist Goes on Anti-Nader Hunger Strike
Insert obligatory Olsen Twins joke here. From the AP:A Southern California peace activist once fasted for 63 days to protest movie violence and war toys. Now he's taking on Ralph Nader.
Jerry Rubin is launching a hunger strike to persuade Ralph Nader to abandon his presidential bid. Rubin says Nader isn't doing the right thing by running for president.
Rubin, who's 60, says he plans to consume only liquids for the next month unless Nader meets with him.
Many believe the votes Nader received in Florida in 2000 would have gone to Democratic candidate Al Gore if Nader hadn't run. Gore lost the state -- and the national election -- by 537 votes.
Rubin is not the 60s radical Jerry Rubin of ``Chicago Seven'' fame. In fact, this Rubin's legal name is Jerry Peace Activist Rubin.
Vatican to US: Iraq War Can Suckit
Says world no safer after the Iraq invasion:The war in Iraq has left neither Iraq nor the world a safer place, the Vatican said on Wednesday, disputing a key claim of President George W. Bush a little over a month before the Nov. 2 U.S. election.
"Everyone can see that it did not lead to a safer world, either inside or outside Iraq," Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for the Holy See's Relations with States, told the U.N. General Assembly.
"The Holy See believes it is now imperative to support the present government in its efforts to bring the country to normality and to a political system that is substantially democratic and in harmony with the values of its historic traditions," Lajolo said.
Fox News Starts Making Shit Up
Josh Marshall is all over this. Fox News made up Kerry quotes. For example:"Women should like me! I do manicures."The LA Times has more.
"Didn't my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!"
"I'm metrosexual — [Bush's] a cowboy."
The Houston Chronicle says: "a Fox insider claimed late Friday that tempers were raging. "The folks here are furious," the source said."
October 01, 2004
AP. Post-Debate Polls Favor Kerry
SFC. Some undecided readers who watched debate give edge to Kerry
Reuters. Senators Slam Republican Party for Bible Pamphlet
DailyCal. Asian Americans Unite to Fight Voter Apathy
SacBee. Sons killed in Iraq; mothers turn political
GWHatchet. Sen. Kennedy blasts Bush in GW speech
NBCSandiego.com. Al Franken Brings Air America To San Diego
WP. Call for Probe Into Race Relations
WP. House Rejects Gay Marriage Ban
WP. Offensive in Rebel Haven Underway
AP. Nevada ACLU likes federal court ruling against Patriot Act
AP. Document: Bush Leaves Military Service
AP. Edwards: Religion Shouldn't Divide Voters
AP. Focus Group Gives Slight Edge to Kerry
AP. U.S. presidential debate facinates world
BG. Round One: Bush, Kerry trade tough words on Iraq
AP. 96 Killed in Major U.S. Assault in Iraq
NYT. Inspector General Says E.P.A. Rule Aids Polluters
NYT. Its Recruitment Goals Pressing, the Army Will Ease Some Standards
NYT. For Merck, Defense of a Drug Crumbles at a Difficult Time
NYT. House Ethics Panel Says DeLay Tried to Trade Favor for a Vote
NYT. Bush and Kerry Clash Over Iraq in Debate
Krugman. America's Lost Respect
James Ridgeway. A Knockout for Kerry; Big John Sends Dubya to the Mat in Round One
E. J. Dionne Jr. Spinning the Debate in Advance
SFC. A sharp debate
Helen Thomas. Elections watched by foreign observers
Seattle PI. Kerry makes his case
Jonathan Chait. Oh, Now That's Rich!
Bill Maher. We Need an Exit Strategy, Not a Couscous Recipe
LAT. Kerry Won. However ...
Thomas Oliphant. Bush's costly gaffe
Derrick Z. Jackson. Kerry holds his fire
BG. Kerry's turnaround
Buzzflash. BuzzFlash Declares Kerry the Winner of Round One: He Puts Bush on the Defensive. The Weasel in Chief Appeared to Get Smaller by the Minute
Paul Glastris, Gayle Smith, Michael Tomasky, Robert Borosage. Neutralizing The Flip-Flop Charge
John Nichols. Whiner-in-Chief; A sullen George W. Bush grumbles about how hard it is to be president
David Corn. Kerry Keeps Hopes Alive
Paul Waldman. It's Not What I Do, It's What I Say; The rhetorical presidency
Tim Grieve. It's the IQ, stupid; Kerry outsmarts Bush in crucial first debate
Garance Franke-Ruta. Sunshine State?
Harold Meyerson. The Clear Candidate
AlterNet. Short Takes on the Debate
Steven Rosenfeld, Jan Frel. Father Kerry vs. Boy George
DNC Releases Bush Faces Video
MediaChannel: Lehrer Considered Fair
From the MediaChannel:Moderator Lehrer received high marks for fairness. More than 83% of both groups of supporters felt he showed no favoritism to either candidate. More Kerry supporters thought his question selection was "extremely" relevant than Bush supporters did (55% v 39%), a rating that jibes with their reactions to the amount of attention paid to Iraq. Lehrer was well rated for being "extremely" plainspoken (60% by Kerry supporters, 49% by Bush's), low rated for being "extremely" imaginative (15% and 12%).
Acosta on The Franken Show
Download the show here. Listen to Robert Acosta 1:27h into the show. "Robert, who was an ammunitions Specialist in the Army for three years, spent four months in Iraq, for which he’ll no doubt be attacked in 30 or so years." Another story about a casualty in Bush's war.
While Bush Lies, People DieThree bombs exploded at a neighborhood celebration Thursday in western Baghdad, killing 35 children and seven adults, officials said. Hours earlier, a suicide car bomb killed a U.S. soldier and two Iraqis on the capital's outskirts.
The bombs in Baghdad's al-Amel neighborhood caused the largest death toll of children in any insurgent attack since the conflict in Iraq (news - web sites) began 17 months ago. The children, who were still on school vacation, said they had been drawn to the scene by American soldiers handing out candy.
The blasts — at least two of which were car bombs — went off in swift succession about 1 p.m., killing 42 people and wounding 141 others, including 10 U.S. soldiers. The bombs targeted a ceremony in which residents were celebrating the opening of a new sewage system, and a U.S. convoy was passing by at the same time, said Interior Ministry spokesman Col. Adnan Abdul-Rahman.
"The Americans called us, they told us, 'Come here, come here,' asking us if we wanted sweets. We went beside them, then a car exploded," said 12-year-old Abdel Rahman Dawoud, lying naked in a hospital bed with shrapnel embedded all over his body.
Scalia on Orgies
Well, if Antonin says so ...But Scalia said his personal views on social issues have no bearing on his courtroom decisions.
“I even take the position that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged,” Scalia said.
Did Arizona Republic Move Photo
Because it featured an interracial couple? That's one of the charges in a letter from the Arizona Association of Black Journalists to the Az. Republic. From Poynter:On June 11, The Arizona Republic ran an A1 story about how more weddings are being held on weekdays. It lead with a young couple who was about to become man and wife. The cover photo showed the young African-American woman in her dress with her godmother in the background. The story jumps to A2 where another photo is found, however, this one is even more compelling. It shows the young bride in her husband's arms as they both stand under her veil looking to the sky.Couldn't find an Arizona Republic response to this, but if there is one I'll update.
We understand that the second picture was scheduled to run on A1, which it should have since it is a great photo. Unfortunately, the photo was moved to A2 because certain top-level editors were allegedly concerned about how readers would view it. You see, the young woman's new husband is White.
Considering the multicultural image of Gannett, we are confused and disappointed by this decision. Especially in the 21st century.
There was nothing obscene or negative about the photo. It showed two people in love about to start their life together. It is a picture of a “diverse” couple, two "real people;" something I know the Republic tries to push heavily in its coverage. Unfortunately, it appears that management has problems understanding what diversity and real people mean, on its pages and in its staffing.
The WSJ Friends Letter on Iraq
This has been kicked around a bit, but it's worth another kick. The Wall Street Journal’s Baghdad correspondent, Farnaz Fassihi, sent out an email to friends. Here's a clip:What they mean by situation is this: the Iraqi government doesn't control most Iraqi cities, there are several car bombs going off each day around the country killing and injuring scores of innocent people, the country's roads are becoming impassable and littered by hundreds of landmines and explosive devices aimed to kill American soldiers, there are assassinations, kidnappings and beheadings. The situation, basically, means a raging barbaric guerilla war. In four days, 110 people died and over 300 got injured in Baghdad alone. The numbers are so shocking that the ministry of health -- which was attempting an exercise of public transparency by releasing the numbers -- has now stopped disclosing them ... America's last hope for a quick exit? The Iraqi police and National Guard units we are spending billions of dollars to train. The cops are being murdered by the dozens every day-over 700 to date -- and the insurgents are infiltrating their ranks. The problem is so serious that the U.S. military has allocated $6 million dollars to buy out 30,000 cops they just trained to get rid of them quietly.
As for reconstruction: firstly it's so unsafe for foreigners to operate that almost all projects have come to a halt. After two years, of the $18 billion Congress appropriated for Iraq reconstruction only about $1 billion or so has been spent and a chuck has now been reallocated for improving security, a sign of just how bad things are going here.
Oil dreams? Insurgents disrupt oil flow routinely as a result of sabotage and oil prices have hit record high of $49 a barrel. Who did this war exactly benefit? Was it worth it? Are we safer because Saddam is holed up and Al Qaeda is running around in Iraq?
Iraqis say that thanks to America they got freedom in exchange for
insecurity. Guess what? They say they'd take security over freedom any day, even if it means having a dictator ruler.
I heard an educated Iraqi say today that if Saddam Hussein were allowed to run for elections he would get the majority of the vote. This is truly sad.
Then I went to see an Iraqi scholar this week to talk to him about
elections here. He has been trying to educate the public on the importance of voting. He said, "President Bush wanted to turn Iraq into a democracy that would be an example for the Middle East. Forget about democracy, forget about being a model for the region, we have to salvage Iraq before all is lost."
Vote for Kerry, Then You Die
That's pretty much the message coming from the Bush campaign:Dear eric,The Kerry Edwards campaign was a little more happy in their email about the debate:
Over the next few days, at the office, at your children's football or soccer games, and in your homes, people will be talking about last night's debate. Here are some important facts to keep in mind as you're talking with friends and neighbors about the exchange.
President Bush spoke clearly and from the heart last night about the path forward - toward victory and security - in the War on Terror. The President spoke candidly about the difficulties facing our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as these countries prepare for their first free elections. The terrorists will continue to fight these steps toward freedom because they fear winning the War on Terror. People saw for themselves last night where John Kerry would lead our military, our allies and the world in the War on Terror - down a bumpy road paved with indecision, vacillation and cynicism. John Kerry has a record of wavering in the face of real challenges.
Truth and optimism are not competing ideals. The War on Terror is difficult - there will be good days and bad days, but the war is essential to our safety at home and victory is the only option.
Ken MehlmanDear Eric,
Tonight's debate was a decisive victory for John Kerry because America saw him as our next president. He showed strength, conviction, and a steady command of the facts. He offered clear plans for Iraq and fighting terrorism.
George Bush has a record of failure to defend, and he failed to defend it. The president just gave us more of the same shallow promises.
However, the Republican spin machine is already hard at work. We need your help to beat back their distortions. Right now we need you contact the media and speak your mind.
Contact national media using the link below and remember to emphasize the points above.
Mary Beth Cahill
Coulter Caught Plagiarizing?
Or is World Net Daily pulling a Jayson Blair? See ConWebWatch.
The October Surprises
Shiver with anticipation. From the fair and balanced Newsmax:President Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, said Wednesday that the Bush-Cheney campaign is planning some October "surprises" for challengers John Kerry and John Edwards.
"We've got a couple of surprises that we intend to spring," Rove told ABC radio host Sean Hannity while explaining that he intends to wage an aggressive campaign no matter what the polls show.
"It's 34 days [till the election] and that's a long time in politics, and when you get complacent you lose," the top White House adviser said.
"We've got to stay on the offense. We've got to continue to press the battle onto the turf that they won in 2000: the Pennsylvanias, the Michigans and the Wisconsins and Iowas and Minnesotas and New Mexicos and Oregons.
"And we've got to make sure that we lose none of the close states that we won in 2000 - Florida or Ohio or Colorado or Nevada or New Hampshire.
"And you've also got to have a couple of surprises - and we've got a couple of surprises that we intend to spring."
Democracy Corps Poll: Gains for Kerry
From a Democracy Corps email:In an unprecedented national panelback survey of 1,318 likely voters who watched the debate conducted by Democracy Corps in coordination with Knowledge Networks, Democrat John Kerry decisively won tonight's presidential debate by a margin of 45 to 32 percent. Kerry gained a modest two points in the head-to-head race with Bush, cutting in half Bush's initial lead in the survey, but measures of Kerry's standing on key personal attributes and top issues suggest Kerry made much more significant gains among likely voters who watched the debate ...
Ø Kerry makes major gains on personal favorability. John Kerry's performance was very well received by tonight's debate watchers, who gave him a 7-point increase in his thermometer score (up 8 points in "warm" responses and down 5 points in "cool" responses). Kerry's increases were relatively consistent across the board, including an 8-point jump in his thermometer score with women and 6 points with men. By contrast, Bush's thermometer only increased only 2 points after the debate (up 1 point in "warm" and down 1 point in "cool" responses).
Ø Broad increases on the issues pertinent to the debate. In a debate that covered issues that were considered by many to be Bush's strongest points, John Kerry realized major gains. Kerry gained 9 points on who will do a better job on homeland security, 8 points on the war on terrorism, and 3 points on Iraq. Kerry also made important gains on having clear plans for what he wants to achieve (12-point net shift).
Ø With the opportunity to be heard unfiltered for the first time since his convention, Kerry broke through on leadership qualities. Polling by Democracy Corps and other outlets has clearly demonstrated that consistent attacks by Bush and his allies have led to significant losses for Kerry on key measures of personal strength and leadership over the last two months. But after seeing Kerry's performance in this debate, likely voters gave him increases of 11 points on having good plans for Iraq, 9 points on strong leader, and 9 points on having confidence in him.
Ø Large movement with key demographic groups. In this even race between John Kerry and George Bush, the critical bloc of Independent voters moved considerably toward John Kerry. Kerry's most notable achievement of the night was the vote shift among Independents where his vote increased 4 points from 50 to 54 percent while Bush's vote dropped 3 points from 45 to 42 percent. Kerry's favorability among independents jumped 12 points, and he addressed many of their concerns, both on security - up 10 points on making America safer and more secure, and 16 points on having good plans for Iraq - and leadership qualities - up 13 points on strong leader, up 10 points in having confidence in him, and a drop of 11 points on flip-flopping.
Ø No real gains for Bush. In contrast to Kerry's major gains on a wide range of measures, President Bush saw little movement in the post-debate survey. The good news for Bush is that he did not lose ground on his personal attributes, job approval, or overall vote. But neither did he succeed in addressing voters' doubts about his leadership on Iraq and other foreign policy fronts or enforcing the attacks his campaign has leveled against Kerry.
NRO on Bush: BlehhI thought Kerry did very, very well; and I thought Bush did poorly — much worse than he is capable of doing. Listen: If I were just a normal guy — not Joe Political Junkie — I would vote for Kerry. On the basis of that debate, I would. If I were just a normal, fairly conservative, war-supporting guy: I would vote for Kerry. On the basis of that debate.Rich Lowry:
And I promise you that no one wants this president reelected more than I. I think that he may want it less.
... I hate to say it, but often Bush gave the appearance of being what his critics charge he is: callow, jejune, unserious. And remember — talk about repetition! — I concede this as someone who loves the man.
When he talked about Iraq, he ran the risk of sounding Pollyanna-ish — a little head-in-the-sand-ish. Bush is not. But he might have left that impression.
And why didn't he do more to tie the Iraq war to 9/11? To the general War on Terror? Why didn't he remind people that this is a war of self-defense — that, after 9/11, we couldn't go back to the days of episodic strikes, and law enforcement, and intelligence gathering?I guess I side with those who are disappointed in Bush's performance, but only with hesitation because it is so difficult to judge Bush in debates. When you think of the arguments he could ideally make, he almost always is lacking. He tends to be repetitive and tongue-tied. But, then again, he usually manages to get his point across to voters just fine, and to defy his pundit-doubters. Two things that I think most people will take away from this debate that will help Bush: 1) when push comes to shove Bush will defend the country and its interests, no matter what international opinion says; 2) Bush wants to be on the offense on the war on terror. These are points that Bush emphasized again and again. Maybe not always artfully, but that doesn't matter so much as the fact that majority sentiment in the country is on his side on both.Stan Kurtz: "I agree with the general consensus. Both candidates did well, and as a performance, the debate was essentially a draw."
Lies and the Debate Lies
From Matt Yglesias in Tapped; among them:Bush said, proudly, that "10 million people have registered to vote" in Afghanistan. While a high number of registered voters is to be applauded, Human Rights Watch says (PDF): "As the non-governmental organization Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) noted in a recent report, the number of registered voters in several provinces is significantly larger than the estimated population of known eligible voters. . . and Afghan and international NGOs told Human Rights Watch that they believe the overall number of registered voters is vastly inflated. Several election officials in Kabul told Human Rights Watch in late September that the number of Afghans expected to vote on October 9 could range as low as five to seven million."
And yes, those silly online polls ... well ... silly this:Philly.com: Kerry 87%, Bush 10%And probably more scientific ones:
MSNBC: Kerry 70%, Bush 30%
Houston Chronicle: Kerry 87%, Bush 11%
Wall Street Journal: Kerry 60%, Bush 33%
Florida Sun-Sentinel: Kerry 71%, Bush 16%
LA Times: Kerry:89% Kerry, Bush 8%
CNN: Kerry 79%, Bush 18%
Atlanta Journal Constitution: Kerry 62%, Bush 30%CNN / GALLUP POLL ON WHO WON DEBATEAnd a te he he moment:
CBS POLL ON WHO WON DEBATE:
ABC POLL ON WHO WON DEBATE:
Tie: 17Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online's the Corner: "The Bush campaign miscalculated on having the first night be foreign policy night."However, according to my page view tracking statistics, one person was not found of John Kerry last night, as indicated by this search term:01 Oct, Fri, 05:16:44 Google: john kerry is a big fat douchebagThen again, someone also searched this:01 Oct, Fri, 05:31:44 Google: animal sex photos zebrasBut I digress.
USA Today shows Kerry 53, Bush 37 in terms of who did 'the better job in the debate.'
Uh Oh, Spaghetio
Same reaction all night.