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November 25, 2004

Cross-Posts on Franken Blog

Happy Thanksgiving ...



Posted by Eric at 02:19 PM | Comments (39)

November 22, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving Week

Sooo ... My computer's broken (I guess I didn't fix the problem the first two times), so I'm sending it back to Dell this week and hopefully I'll get it back when I return from Thanksgiving vacation. When I return, though, it's finals / hell week, so I'm not sure on the status of blogging (yes, again ...). But I'll try to at least do the roundups, but we'll see. In the meantime, I'll still be doing blogging on the alfrankenshow.com. But anyway, Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by Eric at 07:09 AM | Comments (40)

November 19, 2004

Commentary Online and Paper Roundup

Zack Pelta-Heller. Voters, Fighters, Citizens, Youth
Derrick Z. Jackson. Educating George Bush
Ward Harkavy. With Rice in the State Department, We'll Really See the Arrogance of Power
Terence Samuel and Matthew Yglesias. Fight Club: Should Dems should come out swinging on Capitol Hill or fight their battles more discreetly?
Bob Herbert. 'Bush's echo chamber'
John W. Dean. 'Does Bush now have political capital to spend?'
Stanley Crouch. McCain has right take on environment
Seattle PI. A 'moral' warning: With new warnings on an abortion pill, the Food and Drug Administration has given conservative medical advice. Whatever factors may have gone into the change, the FDA must focus on science, not conservative politics
E. J. Dionne Jr. Revolution In Reverse: In solidifying its power, the GOP is loosening its ethics.
Jonathan Chait. Are Democrats Painted Into a Corner? Not Yet
Greg Mitchell. Return of the embeds; Since the start of the Fallujah offensive, almost 500 wounded U.S. military personnel have been airlifted to Germany -- but you wouldn't know it to read the coverage
Byron Williams. Powell wasted his credibility as secretary of state; Loyalty to a president trumped loyalty to America
Lou Dubose. Justice DeLayed: Tom DeLay has spun one of Washington's most powerful fundraising networks. But now a series of state and federal investigations could unravel it all.
Marie Wilson. How can women fight back?
Leon Jaroff . Faith-Based Parks? Creationists meet the Grand Canyon
Bruce Cole. How To Fix a Broken Electoral System In Six Easy Steps

Posted by Eric at 05:39 PM | Comments (102)

Kerry Releases Video to Email List

Email to supporters:

Dear Eric,

I want to thank you personally for what you did in the election -- you rewrote the book on grassroots politics, taking control of campaigns away from big donors. No campaign will ever be the same.

You moved voters, helped hold George Bush accountable, and countered the attacks from big news organizations such as Fox, Sinclair Broadcasting, and conservative talk radio.

And your efforts count now more than ever. Despite the words of cooperation and moderate sounding promises, this administration is planning a right wing assault on values and ideals we hold most deeply. Healthy debate and diverse opinion are being eliminated from the State Department and CIA, and the cabinet is being remade to rubber stamp policies that will undermine Social Security, balloon the deficit, avoid real reforms in health care and education, weaken homeland security, and walk away from critical allies around the world.

Regardless of the outcome of this election, once all the votes are counted -- and they will be counted -- we will continue to challenge this administration. This is not a time for Democrats to retreat and accommodate extremists on critical principles -- it is a time to stand firm.

I will fight for a national standard for federal elections that has both transparency and accountability in our voting system. It's unacceptable in the United States that people still don't have full confidence in the integrity of the voting process.

I ask you to join me in this cause.

And we must fight not only against George Bush's extreme policies -- we must also uphold our own values. This is why on the first day Congress is in session next year, I will introduce a bill to provide every child in America with health insurance. And, with your help, that legislation will be accompanied by the support of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

There are more than eight million uninsured children in our nation.

That's eight million reasons for us to stay together and fight for a new direction. It is a disgrace that in the wealthiest nation on earth, eight million children go without health insurance.

Normally, a member of the Senate will first approach other senators and ask them to co-sponsor a bill before it is introduced -- instead, I am turning to you. Imagine the power of a bill co-sponsored by hundreds of thousands of Americans being presented on the floor of the United States Senate. You can make it happen. Sign our "Every Child Protected" pledge today and forward it to your family, friends, and neighbors:


This is the beginning of a second term effort to hold the Bush administration accountable and to stand up and fight for our principles and our values. They want you to disappear; they are counting on that. I'm confident you will prove them wrong, and you will rewrite history again.

Here is what I want you to know. I understand the strength, commitment, and passion that are at the core of what we built together -- and I am determined to make our collective energy and organization a force to be reckoned with in the weeks and months ahead.

Let's roll up our sleeves and get back to work for our country.

Thank you,

John Kerry

Posted by Eric at 04:33 PM | Comments (15)

Where Does Santorum Live?

If MTV Cribs did a segment on Rick Santorum's dig, where would they go? Would they find anything in Penn, wonders the Pitt PG:

All of which begs a much bigger question: Is Rick Santorum R-Pa. or R-Va.? No one should represent Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate because he once lived here or because he visits all 67 counties every year. A traveling salesman can do that.

Article I of the U.S. Constitution says, "No person shall be a Senator ... who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen." Rick Santorum last won election in November 2000, when he owned the house at 111 Stephens Lane in Penn Hills plus a house in Virginia. Where he was an "inhabitant" at the time only he can say.

He faces re-election in 2006, but if that election were held today, the two-term Republican would be hard-pressed to convince voters that he inhabits a house on Stephens Lane. Sure, he and his wife pay taxes on the house. They also use the address for voter registration, but so do two other people. When a Post-Gazette reporter visited the house last Friday, a young man came to the door and declined to comment. He wasn't Rick Santorum.

It gets worse. The two-bedroom house that the Santorum children called home for education purposes and that gives Mr. and Mrs. Santorum the right to vote in Pennsylvania lacks an occupancy permit. And the property tax break from the homestead exemption claimed by the Santorums on the Penn Hills house is allowed under law only if the dwelling is their "permanent home."

It's a strange case of political turnabout. In his initial House race against Rep. Doug Walgren in 1990, challenger Santorum attacked the incumbent from Mt. Lebanon for buying a house and raising his children in McLean, Va. Now Rick Santorum of Leesburg, Va., is saying that he is and he isn't a resident of Pennsylvania.

Well, which is it?

Posted by Eric at 03:04 PM | Comments (49)

Bill Gates Gets Lots of Spam


The Microsoft Corp. chairman receives 4 million pieces of e-mail per day, most of it junk, said Steve Ballmer, the company's chief executive.

"There are two people who probably are the number one spam recipients in the world," Ballmer said. "Bill Gates (is first) because he is Bill Gates."

Alas, I only get about 400/day.

Posted by Eric at 02:57 PM | Comments (33)

ANWR Drilling Likely to Move Forward

The Democrats' failure in the 2004 Senate elections is likely to mean the approval of ANWR drillilng, reports USA Today:

When the new Congress meets in January, the Senate will have three more members than it does now who favor opening the refuge to energy exploration. The Senate has been the last significant obstacle to drilling approval.

Environmentalists say drilling in the refuge would despoil one of the USA's last pristine wildernesses, a place where caribou and wolves roam. Industry groups and Alaskan politicians say the refuge holds enough oil — the source of gasoline — to lessen U.S. dependence on foreign supplies from places like Iraq.

Both Democratic and Republican leaders say that as a result of the Nov. 2 elections, the Senate will almost certainly muster the votes to overturn the existing ban on ANWAR drilling. That vote could come as early as April. President Bush and the House of Representatives have long favored drilling.

Posted by Eric at 02:56 PM | Comments (45)

News Roundup

USAT. Obstacle to drilling for oil in ANWAR is removed
AP. Stocks Sink on Greenspan Deficit Warning
LAT. San Diego Mayor Widens Lead
LAT. Santorum Pulls Kids from School
LAT. Powell's Talk of Iran Weapons Has Fallout
AP. Bush to Take Security Plan to Asia Meeting
AP. Leaders Hope to Push $388B Spending Bill
AP. U.S., Iraqi Troops Storm Baghdad Mosque
Newsday. Naples concedes defeat in Congressional race
CNET. Report: Florida data suggests e-voting machine problems
HoustonChron. State certifies Democrat Vo's House victory; Heflin's lawyer says the campaign still has options
BGlobe. Democrat warns on CIA changes
AP. Clinton Says Library Represents His Hopes
ChicTrib. Bush: Praise for one-time foe
SFC. Clinton dedicates presidential center
WP. GOP Governors Celebrate Party Wins
WP. Judiciary Panel Backs Specter
WP. FDA Officer Suggests Strict Curbs on 5 Drugs
NYT. Reporter Convicted for Refusing to Give Identity of a Source
NYT. Congress Passes $800 Billion Debt Limit Increase
NYT. Bush Confronts New Challenge on Issue of Iran

Posted by Eric at 02:43 PM | Comments (13)

Little Big Companies

"How did corporations like Halliburton get millions in government contracts designated for small minority businesses?" Mother Jones:

Partnerships between multinational companies and tribal businesses, most of them Alaska native corporations, have skyrocketed in recent years—in large part because of a provision in federal law that exempts tribal companies from rules that apply to other minority-owned businesses. The system was established in the mid-1990s to help native communities, where unemployment rates often exceed 40 percent. But it has also become a way for large corporations with no Native American ownership to receive no-bid contracts, an avenue for federal officials to steer work to favored companies, and a device for speeding privatization. “It’s a loophole gone wild,” Charles Tiefer, an expert in federal contract law, recently told the trade journal Washington Technology. “I have seen little evidence that this produces jobs in Alaska as opposed to profits for those entrepreneurs skillful enough to exploit it.”

A Mother Jones analysis of federal contracting records shows that no-bid, or “sole-source,” awards to native companies have risen dramatically since the late 1990s (see chart). Back in 1999, the largest tribal firms received just $195.5 million worth of no-bid work, or roughly 3 percent of the awards under the federal government’s program to assist small and minority-owned companies. By 2003, however, large tribal companies were getting $1.3 billion worth of contracts without any competition, accounting for nearly 15 percent of the minority program. Bruce Pozzi, a spokesman for Olgoonik, says the company decided to “jump on this bandwagon” after it realized how much money other native companies were making. Olgoonik has 175 employees, but only 7 of them are tribal members and thus shareholders of the corporation.

Posted by Eric at 01:01 PM | Comments (17)

Texas Widely Supports Med Marijuana

In that red state, this poll result:

A strong majority of Texans favor legalizing the medical use of marijuana, according to a new poll.

Seventy-five percent said people with cancer and other serious illnesses should be allowed to use marijuana for medical purposes as long as their doctor approves, according to a Scripps Howard Texas poll question commissioned by Texans for Medical Marijuana. Nineteen percent said they would oppose such a bill.

"I'm surprised support is that high," said Dr. Richard Evans, president of the Texas Cancer Center and medical adviser to Texans for Medical Marijuana. "That should help when we next testify before the Legislature."

Bills that would have legalized the medical use of marijuana have been introduced in the last four sessions of the Texas Legislature but have never passed. Evans said he expects legislation again will be introduced in 2005.

Meanwhile, in the US Senate, the first-ever Senate medical marijuana bill has been introduced.

Posted by Eric at 12:19 AM | Comments (77)

November 18, 2004

Net Commentary Roundup

Robert B. Reich. A Really Dumb Idea: You can sum up Social Security privatization in four words
Berkeley. UC Berkeley Research Team Sounds 'Smoke Alarm' for Florida E-Vote Count
Robert Kuttner. Attacking American Tolerance: Never before has a president cast his lot with the absolutists
Michael Erard. Frame Wars: The next move for the left in the frame war is to accept that it’s okay to cherry-pick reality as long as it conforms to a frame that’s morally acceptable.
Frida Berrigan. Soldier of Misfortune
Sandeep Kaushik. How Do We Win?
Sasha Abramsky. Why Bush Scored in Nevada: Sasha Abramsky explains why the GOP message machine triumphed
Farhad Manjoo. Third World democracy The real problem with the American election system isn't fraud, it's good old-fashioned incompetence. And that's something we can fix -- if we have the will
David Cole. Less safe, less free; John Ashcroft's war on terrorism has done enormous damage to our liberties -- and he has few tangible results to show for it
Sharon Lerner. The first battle in the new war against Roe: Grim Specter of Things to Come
Ari Berman. The Social Security Sham; That dirty "privatization" word
Spencer Ackerman. Killing the Messenger: Porter Goss' purge at the CIA will ensure the agency is full of Bush yes men - but it will seriously damage U.S. intelligence
Steve Weissman. How Much Fraud Does the GOP Need?
Tom Engelhardt. The Carthaginian Solution
Chalmers Johnson. Where will America stand in the world?
David Brock. What’s on the media agenda?
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. What strategy should the Democrats pursue?

Posted by Eric at 06:13 PM | Comments (11)

Cross-Post: The Flimsy Delay Rule Change Defense

Post over at Al Franken Show blog.

Posted by Eric at 01:51 PM | Comments (64)

Oped Roundup

Sidney Blumenthal. Colin and the crazies: The culling of the US secretary of state is symptomatic of a swing even further to the right.
Maureen Dowd. A Plague of Toadies
Richard K. Simms. Bush proposal not good for wild fish
StarTrib. DeLay & Co./Protecting their own
SFC. Ohio Finds Possible Double Votes, Counts
Wisconsin State Journal. Job one: Cut federal debt
SFC. Damming dissent: WEAKER EMISSION rules, rollbacks on wilderness protections and more logging: This is the White House brand of conservation
John Nichols. Condoleezza Rice is a politician, not a diplomat
Ellen Goodman. The Specter spectacle
BG. Coddling Tom DeLay
Clarence Page. Sacrificing Pvt. Ryan, and common sense
HonoluluAdv. For Powell, loyalty trumped leadership
NYT. Politics and the C.I.A. The country deserves a C.I.A. where intelligence operatives feel free to tell the administration that policies are based on wrong or incomplete information

Posted by Eric at 09:53 AM | Comments (19)

Morning Stories Roundup

AP. Ohio Finds Possible Double Votes, Counts
AP. Chafee: Reid Sounded Out Joining Democrats
WP. Bishops Avoid Abortion Showdown
WP. Education Nominee a Bush Confidante
WP. Powell: Iran Pursuing Bomb; He cites U.S. intelligence on adaptation of missiles to deliver a nuclear weapon
NYT. Senate Votes to Raise Federal Debt Limit
NYT. House G.O.P. Acts to Protect Chief
NYT. Bombs Kill Four in Baghdad and Kirkuk
NYT. Marine Officers See Risks in Reducing U.S. Troops in Falluja
CBS. More Fallout Over 'Desperate' Move
CBS. FDA On Hot Seat Over Vioxx Safety
Palm Beach Post. Appeals court bumps Limbaugh case to state Supreme Court
San Diego Union Tribune. UC rejects 'multiracial' category
BGlobe. Activists seek wider gay-marriage rights
ChicST. Clinton fans reunite for a day
BGlobe. Top adviser tapped for education post
LAT. Goss Isn't Done With Housecleaning at CIA
LAT. Congress Approves Nevada Public Lands Bill
LAT. Mixed Smoke Signals; Anti-tobacco campaigns try to respect Native American rituals and warn of cigarettes' dangers
Reuters. Recount Ordered in Washington Governor Race
Reuters. Chirac Visits Blair Amid Rancor Over Iraq
Reuters. Recount Ordered in Washington Governor Race

Posted by Eric at 09:36 AM | Comments (12)

Smog Kills

According to those crazy environmental wackos in ... the Journal of the American Medical Association:

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that smog is directly linked to deaths from heart and lung ailments in major U.S. metropolitan areas. With this troubling new evidence, the Bush Administration and Congress must make it a priority to save thousands of lives by enforcing and strengthening the Clean Air Act and by providing Americans with better transportation choices.

The November 17th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association includes an extensive study titled, "Ozone and Short-term Mortality in 95 US Urban Communities" which finds that even a relatively small increase in ozone (a main ingredient of smog) is directly linked to an increase in deaths from heart and lung ailments. This study in the nation's most prestigious medical journal shows our air is too polluted and our health is at risk. According to the study, ozone smog pollution causes a significant increase in the risk of death for those in the 95 largest communities, where up to 40% of Americans live. Ozone smog comes from factories--including power plants, cars and trucks.

Posted by Eric at 06:34 AM | Comments (30)

November 17, 2004

Stupid Stupid Stupid

And since we're talking about indencency, here's reaaalll indecency from a week or so ago:

Because director Steven Spielberg wouldn't allow the profanity in his film to be edited out, it is likely to offend hypersensitive viewers most likely to lodge a complaint with censorious bureaucrats. Meanwhile, the FCC refused to issue a waiver in advance of the broadcast, insisting that it was up to ABC to follow the dictates of its own conscience.

To its credit, ABC was willing to risk it, but many of its affiliates weren't willing to follow, despite the network's promise to pay all FCC fines. The affiliates were afraid that fines would be used as a pretext to challenge their broadcast licenses when they come up for renewal in some communities.

Several years ago, conservative interest groups lobbied hard against ABC showing "Saving Private Ryan" on network television. Now affiliates are terrified that those operatives are still lying in wait for the broadcast now that the drift of national politics is on their side. These groups are already going after ABC's "Desperate Housewives," television's top-rated drama.

yes. it's really come to blocking 'Saving Private Ryan' from TV. sigh.

Posted by Eric at 11:14 PM | Comments (12)

FCC Reviews 'Desperate Housewives' Football Promo

Jesus Christ:

The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday reviewed complaints about ABC's steamy "Desperate Housewives" promotion before "Monday Night Football" and while the agency's chairman expressed disappointment, it was not clear whether government would tackle the network.
Although the FCC plans to fine 20 CBS affiliates for its live telecast of the Super Bowl halftime show this year in which Janet Jackson bared her breast, agency chief Michael Powell was measured in his comments about the seductive prime-time "Desperate Housewives" promo.

"First of all, as a legal matter, whether it's a problem is yet to be determined. We only respond to complaints and evaluate them fairly and make a decision," Powell said in an interview with CNBC.

"But I think it's very disappointing. I wonder if Walt Disney would be proud," Powell added.

Posted by Eric at 06:29 PM | Comments (17)

Nasty Politics: Delay Trying to Block Post-Election Jobs for Daschle Staff

Hm, and I thought Tom Delay was such a nice guy; The Hill:

Several Democratic aides said that a midsize Washington lobbying firm, the Alpine Group, declined last week to hire a Daschle staffer with whom the group had been in long-standing discussions about a possible job. They said the Daschle aide, who The Hill agreed not to name, believed he would get the job based on conversations with the firm about three months before the election.
According to one Senate aide familiar with the situation, the firm told the Daschle aide, “This is a cold town for Democrats. It’s especially cold for Daschle’s staff.” Asked whether DeLay or any of his associates had specifically conveyed a message to the firm, the Senate aide said, “The implication was that DeLay had put the word out that Daschle staff should not be hired.” ...

“We have heard from two different Republican lobbyists that this is true,” said one Senate Democratic aide. The aide cited the “K Street Project,” an effort to get firms to eschew Democrats and hire Republicans to top posts at major Washington associations, and reported GOP efforts to punish the Motion Picture Association of America for hiring former Clinton administration Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman as its head, saying the efforts had deliberately created a sense of paranoia on K Street against hiring Democrats.

And, as I almost always do in a Tom Delay post, here's my favorite Tom Delay moment:
He and Quayle, DeLay explained to the assembled media in New Orleans, were victims of an unusual phenomenon back in the days of the undeclared Southeast Asian war. So many minority youths had volunteered for the well-paying military positions to escape poverty and the ghetto that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself. Satisfied with the pronouncement, which dumbfounded more than a few of his listeners who had lived the sixties, DeLay marched off to the convention.
Those Vietnam-hogging minority bastards.

Posted by Eric at 03:51 PM | Comments (53)

"How a Montana Democrat bagged the hunting and fishing vote, and won the governor's mansion"

David Sirota in the December 2004 Washington Monthly:

How did Schweitzer pull off such a dramatic victory in an election year when Democrats seemed to have lost their capacity to win red states? The answer should give Democrats everywhere some hope and Republicans reason to worry ... But in addition to a winning personality and strong populist convictions, Schweitzer had an innovative, three-part political strategy, one that perfectly fit the current conditions in Montana, but which Democrats across the country could learn from. First, Schweitzer took advantage of public dissatisfaction with two decades of insular one-party rule in the state capital, casting himself as an outsider and a reformer. Second, he rallied small business, usually a solidly GOP constituency, to his side by opposing the deals Republicans had cut in Washington and Helena to favor large or out-of-state corporations over local entrepreneurs. Third, and most interesting of all, Schweitzer figured out how to win over one of the most important, reliably Republican, and symbolically significant groups of voters: hunters and fishermen ...

But that underestimates the path Schweitzer has blazed for a national Democratic Party that desperately needs to reconnect with the working-class and rural regions it was originally built on. His success in using outdoorsmen's priorities helped him bridge a cultural divide that ultimately allowed voters to hear a message they already know deep down is true: that the GOP has sold out its small business roots and has abused power when left unchecked. As the Missoula Independent wrote, “Montanans, having suffered through more than a decade of one-party control of state government, have cast their ballots to bring the state back into balance.”

When I arrived back in Washington after the election, I found Democrats despondent, furious and desperate to find a way to reach out to red state voters. Despite the national disaster, one message from this election is clear: Just head to Whitefish, Mont., and follow the gregarious mint farmer with a smile on his face—he's already out of the wilderness.

Posted by Eric at 11:34 AM | Comments (5)

Morning News Roundup

NYT. House Republicans Move to Protect Their Leader
NYT. New C.I.A. Chief Tells Workers to Back Administration Policies
NYT. Cabinet Choices Seen as Move for More Harmony and Control
NYT. U.S. Troops Move to Rein in Rebels in North of Iraq
NYDN. Run, Colin, run-vs. Hil, New York GOPers urge
SeattleTimes. For now, Rossi has 19-vote edge
LAT. Shuffle Hits Top Army and Air Force Jobs
AP. Special master to oversee California Youth Authority reforms
Las Vegas Review-Journal. MINORITY POST: Reid elected Senate leader
Reuters. Inquiry backs Gulf War syndrome
LAT. Tradition-Bound Senators Rally Around Specter
LAT. Iraq Shooting Spurs Uproar, Inquiry
LAT. U.S. and Iraqi Forces Target Insurgents in Mosul
Newsday. Survey 'shatters' youth vote myths
Newsday. Below Rice, a chain reaction; Vacancies created by Condoleezza Rice's nomination to secretary of state post is getting insiders speculating about who will shore up, or change, policy
WP. Troops Move to Retake Mosul From Insurgents
WP. Specter Seeks, Gets Support
WP. GOP Proposes Rule Change; Republicans eagerly push to protect Majority Leader Tom DeLay's post

Posted by Eric at 07:47 AM | Comments (5)

Kerry on 2008: "We'll See"

From the AP:

In his first extensive interview since his Nov. 2 defeat, Kerry was asked by the Fox News affiliate in Boston about running again in 2008 and reminded the questioner that Ohio is still counting votes from 2004.

He then said, ``It is so premature to be thinking about something that far down the road. What I've said is I'm not opening any doors, I'm not shutting any doors.'' Kerry added, ``If there's a next time, we'll do a better job. We'll see.''

Reflecting on his loss, Kerry said he was not sitting around thinking about it. ``You've got to go on,'' he said. ``Do I find it some mark of failure or distress, the answer is no.''

Posted by Eric at 07:27 AM | Comments (14)

November 16, 2004

The Election Isn't Over

Waaaat, you say? Well, it's true; new Hamster ad from House Dems:

The Election Isn't Over! There are two more chances to put the brakes on the Bush Administration's plans. Democrats Willie Mount and Charlie Melancon NEED YOUR HELP to win their runoff elections on Saturday, December 4th.

Show the nation that Democrats are not going to take another four years lying down - Click below to volunteer for this critical fight. The DCCC will be flying activists in from Washington and meeting up with activists from around the country in Louisiana. No matter how you get there, we will pay for your food and lodging.

Louisiana, as seen in late night infomercials for Girls Gone Wild! If you're not happy with the results of the November 4th election, take action now - or at least see how you can help.

Posted by Eric at 05:31 PM | Comments (4)

O'Reilly: Nominate Clinton for Sec State

Ha, I post you decide (tip to Chris in the comments):

And now I'm going to be controversial. Now, I know the word is Condoleezza Rice (search) will get the job. And she is absolutely brilliant and very loyal to President Bush, but I would replace Secretary Powell with Bill Clinton.Yikes! The former president probably wouldn't take the job, but if he did, countries like France, Germany, and Spain would like the move, perhaps cooperate more with America. Add Canada and Indonesia to that group as well.

Mr. Clinton is a smart guy, knows the players and the issues, and has clout, especially in the Palestinian-Israeli arena. So there you go, bold move, little downside, maybe big benefits. But I'm sure President Bush isn't going to do it.

Posted by Eric at 05:28 PM | Comments (15)

Mary Matalin's MTP Lies

See Media Matters:

On the November 14 edition of NBC's Meet the Press, Republican political strategist Mary Matalin exaggerated both the margin of President George W. Bush's reelection victory and the state of the economy in historic terms. Matalin falsely claimed that Bush "increased his margin in a greater proportion than anyone has done in many, many decades," and that today's U.S. economy is "a great economy, better than it was even in the Clinton years." ... As for Matalin's claim that the current economy is "better than it was even in the Clinton years," the major economic indicators suggest otherwise. The following indicators show that economy grew increasingly stronger during the Clinton administration (1993-2000) followed by a reverse trend in the first three years of the Bush administration (2001-2003). The current economy is still below that of 2000, the end of Clinton's second term

Posted by Eric at 01:58 PM | Comments (2)

Let's Reward Failure

E.g. in the case of Condi Rice and her wonderful record:

INATTENTION TO TERRORISM: According to the 9/11 Commission report, chief White House expert on terrorism Richard Clarke sent Rice an urgent memo just days after she took office, stressing the severity of the terrorist threat. She did not respond, and although the national security leadership "met formally nearly 100 times in the months prior to the Sept. 11 attacks…terrorism was the topic during only two of those sessions." The first meeting on al Qaeda did not occur until 9/4/01.

MISLEADING STATEMENTS PRE-WAR: Rice was one of the primary perpetrators of misinformation in the push for war with Iraq. In September 2002, she claimed, "We do know that [Saddam] is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon." Weapons inspector David Kay and his successor, Charles Duelfer, debunked that outright, saying Saddam had no nuclear program. Rice also pushed the phantom nuclear threat by charging that certain aluminum tubes Saddam sought were "only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs." A 10/3/04 New York Times article exposed that as false.

RICE GIVEN LEADERSHIP ROLE IN IRAQ, FIZZLES: In October 2003, President Bush announced he was "giving his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, the authority to manage postwar Iraq." With great fanfare, Rice was put in charge of the "Iraq Stabilization Group." Seven months later, the Washington Post reported "the four original leaders of the Stabilization Group have taken on new roles, and only one remains concerned primarily with Iraq." Even within the White House, "the destabilized Stabilization Group is a metaphor for an Iraq policy that is adrift." According to the White House website, the Iraq stabilization group hasn't been publicly mentioned for more than a year.

MISLEADING STATEMENTS POST-WAR: Even after the invasion of Iraq failed to turn up any evidence of weapons of mass destruction, Rice continued a calculated effort to keep the nonexistent threat in the public eye. On 9/7/03, she ominously warned, "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." On 3/18/04, Rice said that "It's not as if anybody believes that Saddam Hussein was without weapons of mass destruction." In fact, the administration's handpicked weapons inspector, David Kay, had publicly said – two months earlier – that he didn't believe Saddam had WMD before the March 2003 invasion. When Kay resigned in January he said "he did not believe banned stockpiles existed before the invasion" and that pre-war intelligence that said Iraq possessed WMD was probably "all wrong."

See a video of Condi's brilliance.

Posted by Eric at 01:26 PM | Comments (9)

Michael Moore Scouting Candidates for 2008

You'll remember Michael Moore once pushed Oprah for president, so what about Tom Hanks?

Looks like "Fahrenheit 9/11" director and proud lefty Michael Moore is hatching a scheme to draft Tom Hanks for the White House in 2008.

"We need to find our Arnold," Moore told Lowdown at Sunday's "Hotel Rwanda" premiere, adding that the box-office star is the Democratic Schwarzenegger.

"You know, Americans want to vote for someone that they trust, that they like, that has a friendly face. They don't expect their President to be the one who's actually setting the policy and writing the laws. They know Bush doesn't do that. They want the person in charge, though, to be someone who will make them feel safe and someone who they like and who they trust.

"Americans love celebrities, they love movie stars, and when they get the chance to vote for them, they do." ... "That will never, ever, ever happen," Hanks declared through his PR rep.

While I don't believe running a celebrity in 2008 is the solution, I'll link to another celeb-prez site with amusement: Cusack for President

Posted by Eric at 09:44 AM | Comments (10)

Computer Back

For now ... DUN Dun dun.

Posted by Eric at 09:39 AM | Comments (2)

November 12, 2004

Deader Than Dead

Well, instead of the system being corrupted, it's actually the hardware, so my hard drive is dead and I have to get a new one. I'll probably be back on Monday, at the earliest ...

Posted by Eric at 01:50 PM | Comments (2)

November 11, 2004

Computer Offline for Now

I'll resume regular posting tomorrow, as my computer is acting up and I have to reinstall the system.

Posted by Eric at 12:09 PM | Comments (10)

Concerns About Gonzales

Another group, Alliance for Jusice, has serious concerns about Alberto Gonzales:

"Alberto Gonzales served as a primary author of memos advocating the use of torture in defiance of the Geneva Conventions, international law and standards of human decency," said Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron. "Gonzales provided the Bush administration with the legal architecture to sidestep and ignore the rule of law that, as attorney general, he will be mandated to enforce."

Prominent members of the legal community, in a bipartisan effort, have long been demanding full disclosure of all memos related to torture-a request that White House Counsel Gonzales, among others, has failed to meet. "Alliance for Justice urges the Senate Judiciary Committee to review all memos relating to torture written during Gonzales' tenure as White House counsel before voting on his nomination," said Aron.

Aron noted other areas of concern in Gonzales' record, including his direct role as White House counsel in selecting extremist judicial nominees; his cavalier treatment of clemency petitions in Texas death penalty cases while advising then- Governor George W. Bush; and his financial connections to Enron as a Texas Supreme Court justice.

Posted by Eric at 11:49 AM | Comments (1)

Serious Problems Remain With Voting System

From American Progress Talking Points:

  • Electronic voting machines recorded "extra" votes.  A voting machine in a suburban Columbus, OH precinct recorded an additional 3,893 votes for President Bush even though there were just 800 voters registered in the precinct. Similar glitches were discovered in e-voting machines across the country. There were as many as 10,000 extra e-votes cast in Nebraska and 19,000 mysterious "extra ballots" were added on electronic machines in Florida

  • No paper trail for electronic machines meant some votes "disappeared."  More than 4,000 early votes were lost in North Carolina's Carteret County because an electronic voting system could not store the volume of votes it received. This could have been avoided with a verifiable paper trail. 

  • Long lines made voting difficult for millions of Americans. The most common problem of all in this year's election was long lines which caused hours-long waits in many precincts in the country.  The problems appeared to be particularly acute in some low-income areas due to the lack of adequate numbers of voting machines. 

  • Posted by Eric at 05:45 AM | Comments (4)


    My post over at the Al Franken blog. Programming note, I'll probably be doing a post or so daily at the Franken blog (and link whenever I write something over there).

    Posted by Eric at 02:23 AM | Comments (15)

    PFAW on Gonzales Record

    Serious questions need to be asked, says People for the American Way; for example:

    "Alberto Gonzales's role in the development of policies that ultimately led to the Abu Ghraib prison scandals in Iraq is deeply troubling. Few images have done more to scar our nation's image at home and abroad than the terrible pictures of prisoners being abused in Iraq. Further, there are many questions that must still be answered regarding the rights and treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. We expect Senators to question him closely on these matters.

    "An even more fundamental question is whether Mr. Gonzales will continue the damaging course set by John Ashcroft at the Justice Department. John Ashcroft's tenure was marked by a severe erosion of Americans' civil liberties and a diminished commitment to civil rights enforcement. Would an Attorney General Gonzales continue policies that restrict Americans' constitutional protections? Would he undermine voting rights by supporting recent Justice Department actions to restrict Americans from turning to the courts to enforce the Help America Vote Act?

    "Senators should explore Mr. Gonzales' support for the excesses of the PATRIOT Act, parts of which come up for renewal in 2005, as well as his central role in the administration's efforts to pack the federal judiciary with far-right ideologues. Senators should also examine his role in White House actions promoting excessive secrecy, interfering with constitutional checks and balances and demonstrating contempt for Congress' oversight role, threatening affirmative action, and restricting workers' rights by executive order.

    Posted by Eric at 12:02 AM | Comments (1)

    November 10, 2004

    Bush Looks to ANWR Drilling ... Again

    From the AP:

    Republican gains in the Senate could give President Bush his best chance yet to achieve his No. 1 energy priority - opening an oil-rich but environmentally sensitive Alaska wildlife refuge to drilling.

    If he is successful, it would be a stinging defeat for environmentalists and an energy triumph that eluded Bush his first four years in the White House. A broader agenda that includes reviving nuclear power, preventing blackouts and expanding oil and gas drilling in the Rockies will be more difficult to enact.

    Republicans in the House and Senate said this week they plan to push for Alaska refuge drilling legislation early next year, and they predict success, given the 55-44-1 GOP Senate majority in the next Congress. Democrats and some environmental activists say continued protection of the refuge has never been as much in doubt.

    What's at stake, and what's the fight? Sierra Club:
    Today, oil industry lobbyists persistently press lawmakers to open the coastal plain to oil and gas drilling -- despite indisputable proof that oil drilling irreparably damages the fragile tundra and its wildlife. At Prudhoe Bay, home to one of the world's largest industrial complexes, 43,000 tons of nitrogen oxides pollute the air each year. Hundreds of spills involving tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil and other petroleum products occur annually. Decades-old diesel spill sites still show little regrowth of vegetation. Gravel fill, excavation and waste disposal alone have destroyed 17,000 acres of wildlife and marine habitat.

    A similar fate awaits the coastal plain if the oil companies have their way. Drilling for oil and gas in the coastal plain would require 280 miles of roads, hundreds of miles of pipelines, 50 million cubic yards of gravel scoured from nearby ponds and rivers, and massive production facilities. There is little doubt that such activities would forever alter and irreparably harm the coastal plain.

    But despite nationwide opinion polls showing that an overwhelming 70 percent of Americans support protection of the Arctic Refuge and its coastal plain, the Alaska delegation continues to threaten the coastal plain with onshore and offshore drilling proposals, road-building schemes and powerful attacks on the Wilderness Act itself.

    The most optimistic estimates of commercially recoverable oil from the coastal plain would yield only about six months’ worth of oil for the U.S. -- not even a dent in our dependence on foreign oil. America could save far more oil simply by increasing the fuel efficiency of our cars and light trucks. We wouldn’t flood the Grand Canyon to build a hydroelectric dam. We wouldn’t plug Yellowstone’s Old Faithful to tap its geothermal energy. Why should we permanently destroy this unique wilderness for an unecessary and uncertain amount of oil?

    Posted by Eric at 10:57 PM | Comments (2)

    Falwell to Return

    Plans an 'Evangelical Revolution.' Oh, tell me more:

    Seeking to take advantage of the momentum from an election where moral values proved important to voters, the Rev. Jerry Falwell announced Tuesday he has formed a new coalition to guide an "evangelical revolution."

    Falwell, a religious broadcaster based in Lynchburg, Va., said the Faith and Values Coalition will be a "21st century resurrection of the Moral Majority," the organization he founded in 1979.

    Falwell said he would serve as the coalition's national chairman for four years.

    He added that the new group's mission would be to lobby for anti-abortion conservatives to fill openings on the Supreme Court and lower courts, a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and the election of another "George Bush (news - web sites)-type" conservative in 2008.

    How strongly does Falwell believe that same-sex marriages or relations is wrong? Strong enough to compare it to bestiality and crack addiction.

    Posted by Eric at 06:39 PM | Comments (5)

    Oped Roundup

    Robert Kuttner. No, the pocketbook rules
    BG. A combatant's rights
    NYT. The Rule of Law at Gitmo
    HonoluluAdvertiser. Find less ideological A.G. than Ashcroft
    Mark Morford. We Are All Dubya's Doormat; News flash for ordinary Repubs and born-agains: Bush doesn't care about you, either
    Pierre Tristam. 'Subordinating nation's secular values to zealots' will'
    Susan Reimer. Got Values? Republicans Apparently Think They Do
    Michael Kinsley. I apologize for all that I believe in; may I go now?
    Seattle PI. Overdue at Justice
    Newsday. Bush should obey Geneva Conventions
    Derrick Z. Jackson. Heeding the call: `Vote or die'

    Posted by Eric at 04:45 PM | Comments (1)

    Online Commentary Roundup

    Robert B. Reich. Bush's Republican Problem
    mediamatters. Michelle Malkin's "freakish" mischaracterization
    Mike Davis. Apocalypse Denial
    Slavoj Zizek. The Liberal Waterloo (Or, finally some good news from Washington!)
    Sally Kohn. Back In The Ring
    Robert Parry. Upgrading The Liberal Media
    Amanda Griscom Little. Muckraker: Lax on, lax off; Bush appointee charges that EPA tried to thwart lawsuits against polluting power plants
    Bill Berkowitz. Assaulting America's public lands: The American Recreation Coalition is taking command of the nation's public lands
    Rory McCarthy. Countrywide conflict: The Iraq insurgency spreads as eight militant groups say they plan to step up operations against the "American enemy" in retaliation for Fallujah
    Eric Boehlert. The media gives Bush a mandate: Falling to its knees in record time, the press predicts the president will be a uniter this time -- really
    Farhad Manjoo. Was the election stolen? The system is clearly broken. But there is no evidence that Bush won because of voter fraud
    Gordon Adams. America Must Find Alternatives to Fear
    Naomi Klein. Die Now, Vote Later
    John Nichols. Danger for Dems: A Moral Misstep; Misreading exit polls could lead to a doomed outreach to social conservatives
    David Corn. A Stolen Election?

    Posted by Eric at 03:02 PM | Comments (2)

    A Lot Happens in Two Months ...

    From the Center for American Progress (edit: sorry, forgot the cite):

    “The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.”

    – Attorney General John Ashcroft's resignation letter, 11/9/04


    “We are not yet safe.”

    – President Bush, 9/11/04

    Posted by Eric at 12:04 PM | Comments (135)

    Sanctity of Marriage

    If we're all in an uptight citizens brigade about marriage, here's numbers that's been kicked around for a while which I thought deserved a repeat:

    The state with the lowest divorce rate in the nation is Massachusetts. At latest count it had a divorce rate of 2.4 per 1,000 population, while the rate for Texas was 4.1.

    But don't take the US government's word for it. Take a look at the findings from the George Barna Research Group. George Barna, a born-again Christian whose company is in Ventura, Calif., found that Massachusetts does indeed have the lowest divorce rate among all 50 states. More disturbing was the finding that born-again Christians have among the highest divorce rates.

    The Associated Press, using data supplied by the US Census Bureau, found that the highest divorce rates are to be found in the Bible Belt. The AP report stated that "the divorce rates in these conservative states are roughly 50 percent above the national average of 4.2 per thousand people."

    And the obligatory Al Franken joke:

    "Frankly, I"m getting a little sick of cranky Republicans who can't keep their own families together telling everybody else about family values. Quick. What do Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Phil Gramm, Pete Wilson and George Will have in common? Answer. They've all been married only one less time than Rush Limbaugh."

    Posted by Eric at 08:30 AM | Comments (13)

    Possible Replacements for Ashcroft

    As Ashcroft has departed, leaving for other opportunities to lose to dead guys, who will replace him as the most vilified member of the cabinet? LAT names a few:

    Among the publicly identified contenders for Ashcroft's job are former Deputy Atty. Gen. Larry D. Thompson, now an executive with PepsiCo, and White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales. Thompson would be the nation's first African American attorney general, and Gonzales the first Latino.

    Other possible replacements include former Montana Gov. Marc Racicot, chairman of the 2004 presidential campaign; former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani; and former Alabama Atty. Gen. William H. Pryor Jr., whom Bush named to the federal appellate bench as a recess appointment this year.

    Talk Left says Thompson is a good pick. Here's that notorious WashTimes:
    A shortlist of potential replacements for Mr. Ashcroft includes Mr. Racicot, White House General Counsel Al Gonzales, Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. McNulty in Virginia and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
    Giuliani is being mentioned far and wide for a spot, but I'm not sure why he'd want to take such a lightning rod position when he has teflon status in the media.

    Update: Alberto Gonzales

    Posted by Eric at 07:58 AM | Comments (4)

    Morning News Roundup

    LAT. U.S.-Iraqi Force Pushes Deeper Into Fallouja
    NYT. Ashcroft Quits Top Justice Post; Evans Going, Too
    LAT. Reality of Combat Hits U.S. Platoon
    AP. GOP to try again to drill for oil in Alaska refuge
    LAT. Unions Confront Postelection Reality
    AP. Fed Expected to Boost Interest Rates
    LAT. Frist Faces Balancing Act in Senate
    HoustonChron. Texas Baptists define marriage as man, woman
    SunSent. Federal judge rules against counting late absentee ballots
    SFC. Drop in foreign college students
    AP. Kerry joins party chiefs in Capitol
    WP. Democrats Vow to Hold Bush Accountable
    BGlobe. Puerto Rice in Limbo After Race
    BGlobe. Massachusetts facing $1 billion shortfall; The governor's top economist predicted an increase in tax receipts, but not enough to maintain programs and services at current levels
    newsday. Poll: Iraq war seen as moral issue for Bush
    Reuters. Powell: U.S. Will Pursue Aggressive Foreign Policy
    Reuters. Slow to Execute, California Sees Death Row Swell
    WP. Liberal Christians Decry 'Values Vote'
    WP. Democrats Gaining a Foothold in Tex.
    WP. Law Leaves Schools Behind; High achievers are using the No Child Left Behind transfers meant for area's struggling students
    NYT. Plan May Keep Bird Off Endangered List
    NYT. Largest Union Issues Call for Major Changes
    NYT. U.S.-Led Assault Marks Advances Against Falluja

    Posted by Eric at 07:33 AM | Comments (1)

    "Polluters to Face Even Less Resistance from EPA in Second Bush Term"

    The NRDC reports that the EPA is taking its job as the environmental protection agency seriously and going on longer lunch breaks:

    The reelection of President George Bush means that polluters will enjoy four more years of lax enforcement of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to experts from the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC). The good news, the groups say, is that at least some state attorneys general and citizen enforcers will step in to tackle the worst cases when the EPA fails to act.

    Also today, EIP released a new analysis showing that civil penalties imposed by the EPA against polluters in 2004 hit a 15-year low. The $56.8 million in 2004 civil penalties is the lowest amount since 1990, the first year for which such "big picture" penalty information is readily available, EIP reported.

    Commenting on the implications of this month's elections for EPA enforcement, Environmental Integrity Project Director Eric Schaeffer said: "Watch out for efforts to break up the federal enforcement program at EPA through 'reorganizations,' or through continued budget cuts. If we want our environmental laws to survive, we had better be prepared to make creative use of the opportunities we have in a federal system. We'll need to put pressure on state agencies to enforce the law when EPA won't, and to hold both federal and state elected officials accountable when agencies fail to protect the public. We also anticipate an increase in the number of citizens' lawsuits -- such as the recent Hatsfield's Ferry case in Pennsylvania - that are brought when EPA drops the ball."

    Schaeffer, you may remember, quit the EPA in protest of Bush.

    Posted by Eric at 07:25 AM | Comments (1)

    November 09, 2004

    Tuesday Oped Roundup Jesse Jackson.

    Tuesday Oped Roundup

    Jesse Jackson. No GOP monopoly on God
    Thomas Oliphant. Why the Specter flap matters
    Guardian. Fearful in Falluja
    George Monbiot. Puritanism of the rich: Bush's ideology has its roots in 17th century preaching that the world exists to be conqueredPuritanism of the rich
    Marie Cocco. Bush should see this film on abortion
    Robert Scheer. He Won. Live With It, for Now
    Gary Hart. If 'faith' is to govern policy, let's go all the way
    Bob Herbert. Take care with that 'values' word
    EJ Dionne. Moderates, Not Moralists
    AJC. Miller needs anger management
    Ed Garvey. Bush planning changes, so we must organize, be ready
    honoluluadvertiser. Nation needs to know more about Rehnquist
    Jerry Burris. Democrats keep clout in Hawai'i

    Posted by Eric at 11:05 AM | Comments (1)

    I get the impression that

    I get the impression that this new format isn't working as well as before (I enjoyed this comment: "Are you trying deliberately to turn people off this site? The blog has been great, but the new changes just defy the fundamental conventions of typography. C'mon."), so I'm partially switching back to the old, blog format. I'm still playing around with things, and I might as well do it now since it's post-election, and heading toward the holiday season, i.e. less news-hungry readers. So expect some tweaks every now and then. Surprisingly, though, visits to this site haven't dropped off substantially (though there is a drop off). I think the 'roundups' work, and I'll probably do three a day: an online commentary, a morning news stories (from papers and wire), and an oped. Anyway, if you feel so inclined, use this thread as a way to comment on ways to improve the blog, etc. And please do comment, as it is always helpful.

    Posted by Eric at 09:27 AM | Comments (90)

    Morning News Roundup, Tuesday ChicTrib.

    Morning News Roundup, Tuesday

    ChicTrib. Jesse Jackson says Kerry ignored key Democratic blocs
    Houston Chronicle. Key legislation still on table for House, Senate: Energy bill and trade agreement unlikely to see the light of day until next year's session
    NYT. Another run by Kerry possible, brother says
    Huntsville Times. Top Alabama Democrats say replace party chairman
    Guardian. Arafat in 'deeper' coma
    LAT. Ohio Is Set to Reckon With Outstanding Ballots
    LAT. Rumsfeld Looks to Success to 'Tip' Iraqi Opinion
    WPost. Judge Rules Trials Unlawful; "Commissions" for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay are invalid, court says
    WPost. McGreevey Gives Farewell Address
    CSM. An Arctic alert on global warming
    BGlobe. Stem-cell vote blurs religion-based politics
    WTimes. Conservatives target Specter
    DenPost. Court crusade in Springs: Colo. groups lead national call for conservative justices
    NYT. The President: Card Will Stay On as Chief of Staff
    NYT. New Study Puts Sept. 11 Payout at $38 Billion
    NYT. Hispanic Voters Declared Their Independence
    NYT. 6,500 American G.I.'s and 2,000 Iraqis on Attack
    CSM. In Texas, a stand to teach 'abstinence only' The state's Board of Education approved new texts without any mention of contraception
    CSM. US tests new tactics in urban warfare; The Fallujah fight may offer a verdict on training - and whether control can bring peace to the Iraqi city

    Posted by Eric at 06:03 AM | Comments (0)

    Online Commentary Roundup, Tuesday Thom

    Online Commentary Roundup, Tuesday

    Thom Hartmann. This is a Game Where Principles are the Stake
    Matthew Rothschild. A Letter to Incredulous Friends Around the World
    Howard Zinn. The Optimism of Uncertainty
    Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson. Popular Fiction; re: Republicans' mandate line
    Grist. The Shadow In The Valley
    Micah L. Sifry. The Rise of Open-Source Politics; Thanks to Web-savvy agitators, insiderism and elitism are under heavy attack
    Thom Hartmann. Evidence Mounts that the Vote Was Hacked
    The Nation. Stand and Fight: The fight is over. Let the fight begin
    Paul Waldman. A Warning on Over-Interpreting Exit Polls; Lining up your beliefs and your vote
    Michelle Goldberg. Joyful and triumphant The religious right is in heaven at the prospect of remaking the Supreme Court
    Edwin M. Yoder Jr. The Founders would be appalled at the Bush administration's shameless religious exhibitionism
    Sean Gonsalves. What it means to be 'evangelical'
    John Podesta and Sonal Shah. A Progressive Trade Agenda
    Bill Berkowitz. Team Bush's 'November surprise'; Karl Rove's army of evangelical Christian 'values voters' put President Bush over the top
    Michael Tomasky. The Gettables; Democrats locked in the values debate need to remember an important distinction
    Allan J. Lichtman. From the Ashes; Forget the 2008 election. Democrats should focus on 2006 and 2010
    Tom Hayden. Learning from the Loss: A transition to a new generation of leadership is needed if the massive outpouring of activism of the past year is to flourish and be funded for the future
    Michael Moore. 17 Reasons Not to Slit Your Wrists

    Posted by Eric at 01:46 AM | Comments (2)

    November 08, 2004

    [AP] Dean to become DNC

    [AP] Dean to become DNC head? Former Vermont gov ponders bid:

    "I strongly urged (Dean) to seek the position," he ["Steve Grossman, himself a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee"] said. "Howard is a voice of political empowerment and that to me is important, for the Democrats to get their sea legs back as quickly as possible, to get beyond the disappointment of the last week and to believe there is a bright future ahead for the Democratic Party."
    Previously: Clinton perfect for DNC head role, LAT writes.

    Posted by Eric at 10:48 PM | Comments (3)

    [American Progression Action Fund] "The

    [American Progression Action Fund] "The Fight Goes On: Progress Report Readers Write Back."

    Posted by Eric at 07:11 PM | Comments (2)

    [Reuters] Arctic threatened by global

    [Reuters] Arctic threatened by global warming; eight-nation report says "global warming is heating the Arctic almost twice as fast as the rest of the planet in a thaw that threatens millions of livelihoods.

    The biggest survey to date of the Arctic climate, by 250 scientists, said the accelerating melt could be a foretaste of wider disruptions from a build-up of human emissions of heat-trapping gases in the earth's atmosphere. The "Arctic climate is now warming rapidly and much larger changes are projected," according to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
    Previously: U.S. Wants No Warming Proposal: Administration Aims to Prevent Arctic Council Suggestions

    Posted by Eric at 09:46 AM | Comments (164)

    [Guardian] Bush and co. head

    [Guardian] Bush and co. head to next target: space. "US ready to put weapons in space."

    Internal USAF documents reveal that seizing control of the 'final frontier' is deemed essential for modern warfare. Counterspace Operations reveals that destroying enemy satellites would improve the chance of victory. It states: 'Space superiority provides freedom to attack as well as freedom from attack. Space and air superiority are crucial first steps in any military operation.' Theresa Hitchens, vice-president of a Washington-based independent think-tank, the Centre for Defence Information, said: 'These documents show that they are taking space control seriously.'

    Posted by Eric at 06:01 AM | Comments (1)

    [ACORN] Report finds lending disparities

    [ACORN] Report finds lending disparities for minorities and low-income people.

    Nationally, the study found that even upper-income African-Americans were more than twice as likely (2.6 times) to be turned down than upper-income whites. Findings also show that larger gains in lending to minorities and lower income people were made in the earlier 1993-1998 time period, while disparities increased in the more recent five years since 1998. Although, lending to minorities and lower income families has increased, it is still at low levels compared to their share of the population and the quality of these loans has changed.

    Posted by Eric at 05:23 AM | Comments (8)

    [US News] Hillary 2008 speculation

    [US News] Hillary 2008 speculation once again as 'friends' say the NY Senator is exploring a run.

    Friends of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton tell us that the New York Democrat is set to begin the hard work of running for president in 2008. Associates say that she already has organized a team to target fundraising prospects, create voter lists, and draw up a campaign agenda. The presidential effort will run in tandem with Clinton's 2006 senatorial re-election bid.

    Posted by Eric at 05:12 AM | Comments (3)

    Morning Papers Roundup (News) WPost.

    Morning Papers Roundup (News)

    WPost. U.S. Unready for Bioterrorism; Despite progress, many U.S. officials express unease about biodefenses
    Houston Chron. Bush faces foreign challenges; Outcome in Iraq could influence next term's policies
    USAT. Bush seeks tax overhaul;
    President pledges to make sweeping tax cuts permanent

    USAT. Prison population a record
    USAT. Marriage will be spelled out in Texas textbooks
    Wisconsin State Journal. Mixed stem-cell research feelings after election
    Toledo Blade. Businesses may not need air permits: Too much paperwork, agency says
    WTimes. Specter denies pro-choice litmus test
    WPost. Evangelicals Led GOP Efforts; Christian groups were often more aggressive than the Bush campaign
    Boston Globe. In Oregon, same-sex marriage ban leaves wedded couples in confusion
    Boston Globe. Jitters before assault wearing on soldiers
    Boston Globe. Conservative radio host apologizes for using racial slur
    Baltimore Sun. The architect's next plan: After more than a decade helping make Bush a two-term president, Rove prepares to build GOP into durable national majority
    USAT. Surfer-activist may win San Diego mayor's post
    NYT. G.O.P. Plans to Give Environment Rules a Free-Market Tilt
    NYT. Even With Campaign Finance Law, Money Talks Louder Than Ever
    NYT. Big Tax Plans, Big Tax Risks
    NYT. Guantánamo Prisoners Getting Their Day, but Hardly in Court
    NYT. President Feels Emboldened, Not Accidental, After Victory
    Seattle Times. Teaching often out of reach for minority aides
    LAT. Villaraigosa Grim on Return From Kerry Campaign
    LAT. Dejected voters find themselves in an even bluer state
    LAT. Business Groups Invested in Races, Wait for Returns; After a hefty push for Republican candidates, industry organizations form their wish lists
    LAT. U.S. Troops Advance to Fallouja's Edge
    SFC. Battle Over Arafat's Millions:
    The leader's wife is fighting to win a part of his fortune. Officials hope the money goes to the people

    SFC. What Now For Democrats?
    In the wake of a stinging defeat, party members say it's time for an overhaul in message and candidates

    Posted by Eric at 03:15 AM | Comments (14)

    November 07, 2004

    [Mother Jones] Being Ralph Reed:

    [Mother Jones] Being Ralph Reed: "The man who mobilized the religious right puts his conservative connections to work for business"

    Reed's value to corporate America has been enhanced by his close ties to the Bush administration and especially to Karl Rove, the president's chief political guru. Not long after Century Strategies started, Rove reportedly helped Reed land an Enron contract worth at least $300,000 to help build support for energy deregulation. Century Strategies did voter-mobilization work for the Bush campaign and the Republican National Committee in 2000; it has been retained again this year for similar projects.

    Posted by Eric at 07:29 PM | Comments (2)

    [Reuters] From the book of

    [Reuters] From the book of scary quotes: "With a bigger majority, we can do even more exciting things." Tom Delay, 11/3/04

    Posted by Eric at 05:14 PM | Comments (2)

    [AP] Wisconsin school district to

    [AP] Wisconsin school district to teach creationism

    Members of Grantsburg's school board believed that a state law governing the teaching of evolution was too restrictive. The science curriculum "should not be totally inclusive of just one scientific theory," said Joni Burgin, superintendent of the district of 1,000 students in northwest Wisconsin.

    Posted by Eric at 05:02 PM | Comments (8)

    [Baltimore Sun] All publicity is

    [Baltimore Sun] All publicity is good publicity, apparently, for the Sinclair Media Group, which finds some good in the fallout from the Stolen Honor controversy

    "The thing that has really gone unnoticed by most is the promotional value we've received ... which is probably worth tens of millions of dollars," said David D. Smith, president and chief executive officer .... "What's the promotional value of being on Good Morning America for five minutes?" Smith asked. "What's the promotional value of being on every cable news channel literally for a period of six to eight days and being the topic of conversation. What's the effect of being in the print media a multiple number of times."

    Posted by Eric at 11:21 AM | Comments (5)

    [Media Matters] O'Reilly lies about

    [Media Matters] O'Reilly lies about voting trends in election

    O'Reilly told Reverend Al Sharpton: "The Democrats actually lost votes from four years ago in addition to losing seats in both the House and the Senate. So what happened?" The truth is that Senator John Kerry won 5 million more votes in 2004 than Al Gore won in the 2000 presidential election. Kerry won nearly 56 million votes in 2004 (at last count), while Gore won about 51 million. Later in his discussion with Sharpton, O'Reilly claimed: "The 18- to 24[-year-old]s didn't go [to the polls]. That was about the same [as 2000]." In fact, as the Associated Press noted, voter turnout among 18- to 24-year-olds was up

    Posted by Eric at 09:28 AM | Comments (8)

    [LAT Editorial] LA Times says

    [LAT Editorial] LA Times says Clinton is perfect for new DNC head role.

    How about a slightly raffish, smooth-talking Southerner, a statesman with a strategic mind who delights in outsmarting his opponents? Someone who can go into a black church and rouse the congregation. Someone with a proven track record, an astute political analyst admired for his ability to split political differences and make it sound like a good thing.

    Posted by Eric at 08:43 AM | Comments (11)

    [WPost] 52 killed, at least

    [WPost] 52 killed, at least 16 U.S. soldiers wounded in new attacks in Iraq. U.S. headed for assault on Fallujah.

    Hours after the attacks began, Fallujah's mujaheddin shura, or council of holy warriors, which governs the city, issued a statement in which it threatened to "launch wide military operations within the first hours of the U.S. attack on Fallujah, to open several fronts at the same time." The statement said insurgents were standing by in the cities of Baghdad, Kirkuk, Basra and Samarra.

    Posted by Eric at 08:08 AM | Comments (7)

    [Honolulu StarBulletin] University of Hawaii's

    [Honolulu StarBulletin] University of Hawaii's Timmy Chang breaks NCAA record for most career passing yards, becomes most visible Asian football star ever.

    Posted by Eric at 07:49 AM | Comments (5)

    [Economic Policy Institute] Tax cuts

    [Economic Policy Institute] Tax cuts meet October target, cumulative impact falls far short

    The October job growth of 337,000 jobs exceeded the Bush Administration's projections by 31,000. However, the overall projection that 4,896,000 jobs would be created over the last 16 months is not close to having been realized. In reality, since Bush’s “Jobs and Growth” tax cut plan took effect, there are 2,738,000 fewer jobs than the administration projected would be created. In fact, job creation failed—often by a large margin—to meet the administration's projections in 13 of the past 16 months.

    Posted by Eric at 07:38 AM | Comments (5)

    [WPost] U.S. Wants No Warming

    [WPost] U.S. Wants No Warming Proposal: Administration Aims to Prevent Arctic Council Suggestions

    The Bush administration has been working for months to keep an upcoming eight-nation report from endorsing broad policies aimed at curbing global warming, according to domestic and foreign participants, despite the group's conclusion that Arctic latitudes are facing historic increases in temperature, glacial melting and abrupt weather changes.

    Posted by Eric at 07:32 AM | Comments (0)

    [AP] Durbin to take 2nd

    [AP] Durbin to take 2nd post, Harry Reid to replace Daschle in Senate.

    Senate Democrats worked to avoid an internal squabble over leadership jobs after their party's disappointing showing in Tuesday's elections that increased Republican majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives.

    Posted by Eric at 07:11 AM | Comments (3)

    [Maureen Dowd] Rove's Revenge.Like the

    [Maureen Dowd] Rove's Revenge.

    Like the president, vice president and defense secretary, General Karl wanted to wipe out the gray, if-it-feels-good-do-it, blame-America-first, doused-in-Vietnam-guilt 60's and turn the clock back to the black-and-white Manichaean values of the 50's.

    Posted by Eric at 07:02 AM | Comments (15)

    Thanks for all the positive

    Thanks for all the positive comments and emails over the past few days. It's obviously nice to receive such feedback, and I'm grateful that people find this site of some use. As I said previously, I wasn't sure whether or not I was going to continue this site past the election. I wanted to take a couple days to think about what to do with this site, and I've ultimately decided to continue, though in a slightly different format. It's been my impression that people find the daily links the most beneficial, and thus I'm switching to a more link-emphasis format. The intent of the new format is to compile a couple dozen useful / amusing stories daily in a reader-friendly format. A note, every story won't be completely political. Please feel free to email me comments about the format, or how I can improve. Again, thanks for all the nice words. Eric.

    Posted by Eric at 06:45 AM | Comments (26)

    November 04, 2004

    Site Note

    I wasn't sure whether or not I was going to continue this site regardless of the election's outcome. Right now, instead, I'm tinkering with a possible format change that'll be more link-emphasis and less blog entry emphasis. Anyway, stay tuned.

    Posted by Eric at 09:15 PM | Comments (38)

    November 03, 2004

    Kerry: "Today, I hope we can begin the healing"

    AP writeup.


    Says to supporters:

    And I wish, you don't know how much, that I could have brought this race home for you, for them. And I say to them now: Don't lose faith. What you did made a difference.

    Posted by Eric at 02:29 PM | Comments (113)

    Bush is President; Kerry Concedes

    And so it ends, from the AP:

    President Bush (news - web sites) won a second term from a divided and anxious nation, his promise of steady, strong wartime leadership trumping John Kerry (news - web sites)'s fresh-start approach to Iraq (news - web sites) and joblessness. After a long, tense night of vote counting, the Democrat called Bush to concede Ohio and the presidency, The Associated Press learned.

    Posted by Eric at 11:12 AM | Comments (121)

    The President Is ...

    The House.

    The Senate.

    Posted by Eric at 01:00 AM | Comments (47)

    November 02, 2004

    Election Day

    AP. Presidential Election Handed Off to Voters
    LAT. Silence of the Wolves, and Their Ilk, in Swing States; A record-setting barrage of political ads that hit a feverish pitch in the final week is all over
    LAT. Final Sprint in Marathon Campaign
    LAT. Records Set for Early Voters, Absentee Ballots
    BGlobe. The final pitch: Bush, Kerry campaigns prepare for tight nationwide vote today
    orlandosentinel. Castor, Martinez dash across Florida; Big names join last-minute vote stumping
    Courier-Journal. KY Senate campaigns crisscross state; Candidates make last push for votes
    Chicago Tribune. Court OKs GOP bid to challenge voters
    Cox. Civil rights groups, GOP trade charges of dirty tricks
    USAT. Bin Laden Message: Bankrupt US
    USAT. Report cites abuse in rebuilding; U.S. investigators open more than 100 cases investigating fraud, waste of funds, theft and more
    USAT. Networks plan to go slow; Vow not to repeat 2000 disaster
    AP. U.S. Faces Record Borrowing Requirement
    Bloomberg. US Voters Wait for Hours to Cast Ballots for Kerry, Bush
    Chicago Sun Times. Candidates milk every last vote in Wisconsin
    AP. Lines of Voters Try to Cast Ballots Early
    Reuters. Kerry Presidency Could Mean Cheaper Oil--Analysts
    Reuters. Kerry: Voters Choose New Direction or More of Same
    Newsday. Lines, malfunctions as NYC votes
    Reuters. Bush Casts Vote, Says Trusts Judgment of People
    Reuters. Bush, Kerry Face Voters; Turnout Critical
    NYT. Florida: Ready or Not, Floridians Gird for Another Close One
    NYT. G.O.P. Can Challenge Voters at Ohio Polls, Court Rules
    NYT. At the End, Race Between Kerry and Bush Is Too Close to Call
    NYT. Campaign Over, Voters Stream to Polls
    AP. Two Bombs Explode in Iraq; As many as 12 are dead. Two Iraqi guards taken hostage are released
    WP. Gay Blacks Feel Strained Church Ties
    WP. Parties Brace for All Eventualities
    WP. Court Clears Way for Ohio Challengers
    WP. As Election Day Dawns, Polls Show Deadlock
    Wired. E-Voting Tests Get Failing Grade

    Sen. John Kerry. Why you should vote for me today
    Buzzflash. For Bush, Nothing Succeeds Like Failure. Today is Your Chance to Fire Him and Restore Democracy to America
    Jimmy Breslin. Why Kerry will beat Bush
    Mother Jones. Purple Hearts: Back from Iraq
    Kurt Vonnegut. The End is Near
    James Wolcott. On the Eve
    Corey Anderson. George W. Bush in His Own Words
    Bob Norman. Republican Activists Hijack Broward County's Elections Office
    shepherd-express. Vote Like Your Life Depends on It
    Dan Kennedy . Bush Blindfolds the Public
    Don St.Clair. Ten Reasons for Greens to Vote for Kerry
    Norman Solomon. The World Is Depending on Us to Defeat Bush
    Rupert Cornwell. A Day That Will Decide the Fate of the World
    Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. Murdoch Exploits 9/11 for Kerry Smear
    Krugman. Faith in America
    E. J. Dionne Jr. What Bush Threw Away
    Marie Cocco. A vote to oust Bush helps democracy
    LAT. The U.N. Deserves an Apology
    Naomi Klein. The Manchurian cover-up
    Richard Roeper. Still undecided? Consider these facts on Bush
    Jesse Jackson. GOP doing all it can to keep minorities from voting
    Thomas Oliphant. The tale of the turnout
    BG. A new direction
    NY Observer. After Blundering Bush Years, John Kerry for President
    Michael Moore. One day left
    Bill Gallagher. 'George Bush worst president ever?'
    David Corn. Anti-Bushism: Before and After E Day; From Eminem to The Economist--how Bush inspired such a diverse--and angry--opposition
    Katrina vanden Heuvel. Election Day Top Ten: Regardless of who wins, progressives aren't going away after November 2nd
    The Nation. Blocking-and Rocking-the Black Vote
    Marjorie Cohn. Bush and Bin Laden
    John Nichols. Bush's Lone Star Scheming: A worried Rove and his president go for a "just-in-case" win of the popular vote
    Paul Waldman. For Shame: The GOP does it again
    Kevin Berger. Real sportsmen don't vote Bush; Worried there won't be any wilderness left to hunt or fish in, increasing numbers of American sportsmen are tuning out the NRA and turning to Kerry
    Marc Ash. An Honest Election
    Miles S. Rapoport. The Vote Rocks; There’s a lot of reason for optimism in this election -- not just for Democrats but for democracy itself
    Matthew Yglesias. War Profiteer; The worse George W. Bush handles terrorism, the better he does in the polls
    Steven Rosenfeld. Supreme Disenfranchisement
    Laura Flanders. You Can't Stop This Democracy
    Rose Aguilar. Where Have All The Lawyers Gone? To the swing states, apparently. Yes, 25,000 lawyers have been dispatched to the swing states for election day. And that may not be a bad thing.
    Bill Berkowitz. Remembering Bush's dead on Election Day; The 1,122 US soldiers and the 100,000 Iraqis that have died in Iraq will never vote
    Cynthia Tucker. A senate star is born; Obama may turn out to be first black senator with clout

    Posted by Eric at 11:55 PM | Comments (1)

    Obama Victory

    Great, but expected news:

    Posted by Eric at 10:54 PM | Comments (52)

    Senate Notes

    Looks like:

    Jim DeMint in SC
    Bunning in Kentucky
    Coburn in OK.

    All Republican wins in possible Democratic pickups, so obviously disappointing for Democrats.

    Update: Pickup for Republicans in NC, re: John Edwards seat.

    Posted by Eric at 10:28 PM | Comments (1)

    More Early Polling Numbers

    From Slate, again just for your FYI. Vote vote.

    Posted by Eric at 08:23 PM | Comments (1)

    Ridiculous Rhetoric from Right

    There they go again, Media Matters:

    On the eve of the presidential election, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham said that if you vote for Senator John Kerry, "you're aligning yourself with" Osama bin Laden, China, and France. Right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh went a step further, saying that "a Kerry victory after the bin Laden tape [a videotaped message broadcast October 29], will ... give Osama bin Laden bragging rights all across the Middle East" and that if Kerry wins, "militant Islamists" will conclude that "they had the ability to affect the election of this country without firing a shot like they had to do in Spain."

    Posted by Eric at 07:46 PM | Comments (2)

    DSCC Exit Polls

    The DSCC's numbers, via Kos:

    SENATE AK: Knowles 50 - Murk 47 CO Salazar 51, Coors 47 FL Castor 51, Martinez 48 KY Bunning 52, Mongiardo 48 LA Vitter may get the 50 percent that would elect him, 51 percent NC Burr 50 Bowles 48 OK Coburn 51 Carson 46 SC DeMint 50.2 - Tenenbaum 49.8SD Thune 50 Daschle 50

    Posted by Eric at 07:34 PM | Comments (7)

    Unforeseen Voting Problems

    Not everything is ballot-related, e.g. in Hilo, Hawaii:

    It was theme repeated all over O'ahu, but not quite as much on the Neighbor Islands, where the biggest problem appeared to be angry bees dive-bombing Hilo election workers at Kaumana Elementary School.

    Posted by Eric at 07:12 PM | Comments (0)

    Excuse Me, May I Interest You in a Post About Guam?

    Guam and its 0 electoral votes go to George W. Bush.

    Posted by Eric at 06:32 PM | Comments (22)

    Zogby Predicts Kerry



    Obviously, again, this is just a prediction based on their data, so take it as is.

    Posted by Eric at 06:18 PM | Comments (1)

    Exit Polls: Kerry Strong

    Keep voting in the west, of course, but here are some numbers:

    CO Bush 50 Kerry 48
    FL Kerry 51 Bush 49
    IA Kerry 50 Bush 49
    MI Kerry 51 Bush 47
    MN Kerry 54 Bush 44
    NV tied
    NH Kerry 53 Bush 45
    NJ Kerry 54 Bush 44
    NM Kerry 50 Bush 48
    OH Kerry 51 Bush 49
    OR still too early to get accurate reading
    PA Kerry 53 Bush 46
    WI Kerry 51 Bush 48
    If you can't get to several sites, well, that's because everyone is on the internet.

    Posted by Eric at 06:04 PM | Comments (0)

    Progress Report's Suggestions for Voting

    From Christy Harvey, Judd Legum and Jonathan Baskin:

    KNOW THE CANDIDATES: Time is up! It's time to make your final voting decisions. The League of Women Voters can help with its interactive election map. Enter your zip code and find out all the information you need on elections and issues in your district. The site, designed to "create a more educated and engaged electorate," provides information for presidential, congressional and local elections in individual districts.

    KNOW WHERE YOU'RE GOING: The next step is, of course, knowing where to go. The website www.mypollingplace.com has a polling place locator to help you find your voting booth. If that site is busy, call your state's elections officials; the group New Voters' Project provides a handy list of phone numbers for each state.

    BRING I.D.: Avoid problems – bring your I.D. The rules vary in different states. Also, poll workers are often confused about the law and may turn away voters by mistake. The the Center for American Progress, in a joint statement with other progressive groups, recommends, "The most preferable form is a current government-issued photo ID such as a driver's license or a passport. Voters who do not have this should bring other types of valid photo ID, or other documentation showing the voter's name and address, such as a bank statement or utility bill. Additionally, several states may require proof of citizenship in the form of a voter's naturalization certificate."

    KNOW WHO TO CALL FOR HELP: The Election Protection Coalition is ready to provide help to voters on Election Day. Voters needing assistance can call the toll-free number 1-866-OUR-VOTE. Multi-lingual assistance, including Spanish, will be available to callers. The hotlines will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. PST.

    READ YOUR RIGHTS: Want to know your rights? People For The American Way has a list of states with Voters Bills of Rights. Voters can find their state and click either on a short version, which explains their rights in clear and simple language, or the longer version, which provides all of the state laws backing up each of those rights.

    WHAT'S A PROVISIONAL BALLOT?: The New York Times explains, "No voter can be turned away in any state this year without being allowed to vote. If there is a question about your eligibility, you must be allowed to vote on a provisional ballot, the validity of which will be determined later. But if you are entitled to vote on a regular ballot, you should insist on doing so, since a provisional ballot may be disqualified later on a technicality."

    BRING A BOOK: Be prepared – the line may be long at your polling place. To keep yourself occupied, bring along a book or a magazine. Or you could print out old Progress Reports and read them to your neighbors in line.

    Posted by Eric at 12:48 PM | Comments (5)

    Heavy Turnout So Far

    Several people I talked to said the poll lines are long, long, long. AP/CBS reports lotsa long lines.

    Posted by Eric at 12:41 PM | Comments (41)

    Ventura Ad

    Pretty effective audio ad by Jesse Ventura for Operation Truth.

    Posted by Eric at 12:30 PM | Comments (5)

    John Kerry: Why You Should Vote for Me

    John Kerry's election day op-ed in the USA Today:

    First, we'll create good-paying jobs and lower taxes for hardworking Americans. We'll stop rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas and start rewarding ones that keep and create them here in America. And we'll give families tax credits to help pay for college, health care and child care. We'll cut the deficit in half and restore fiscal responsibility.

    Second, we'll ensure that health care is a right — not a privilege — for all Americans, affordable and accessible. That means covering all of our children and giving families access to the same private health insurance as members of Congress. It means allowing our seniors to import safe, FDA-approved prescription drugs from Canada. And it means lifting the ban on federal funding for stem cell research so that our scientists can pursue cures and treatments for Parkinson's, diabetes, Alzheimer's and other diseases.

    Third, we'll fight to save Social Security, because when you work hard and pay in for a lifetime, America owes you what you've earned. I will not privatize Social Security, I will not cut benefits, and I will not raise the retirement age.

    Finally, we'll make America independent of Middle East oil within 10 years. We'll invest in alternative energy sources and in cars and SUVs you have to fill up only once a month, not every week. It's high time America relied on its own ingenuity and innovation instead of the Saudi royal family.

    If you join with me today, together we will protect our country and fight for America's middle-class families. We will unite Democrats and Republicans to succeed in Iraq and restore America's leadership in the world. We will once again stand up for the middle class and all of those struggling to join it. And together, we will lift up the nation we love with the confidence that our best days are still ahead.

    Posted by Eric at 11:06 AM | Comments (9)

    Rocky Mountain News Calls Election ...

    Yes, one day before (link via Talk Left).

    Posted by Eric at 01:43 AM | Comments (23)

    Election Day Fun

    Things to do this election day, post over at Franken blog.

    Posted by Eric at 01:35 AM | Comments (30)

    Palast: Thousands of Stolen Votes

    But such has never happened before! Palast:

    It's not even Election Day yet, and the Kerry-Edwards campaign is already down by a almost a million votes. That's because, in important states like Ohio, Florida and New Mexico, voter names have been systematically removed from the rolls and absentee ballots have been overlooked—overwhelmingly in minority areas, like Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, where Hispanic voters have a 500 percent greater chance of their vote being "spoiled." Investigative journalist Greg Palast reports on the trashing of the election.

    John Kerry is down by several thousand votes in New Mexico, though not one ballot has yet been counted. He's also losing big time in Colorado and Ohio; and he's way down in Florida, though the votes won't be totaled until Tuesday night.

    Through a combination of sophisticated vote rustling—ethnic cleansing of voter rolls, absentee ballots gone AWOL, machines that "spoil" votes—John Kerry begins with a nationwide deficit that could easily exceed one million votes.

    Read on.

    Posted by Eric at 12:22 AM | Comments (49)

    Iran for Bush

    Don't you forget it:

    The head of the Iranian security council said President Bush's re-election would be in Tehran's best interests, despite the administration's calling Iran part of an axis of evil, accusations that Iran harbors Al Qaeda members and threats of sanctions over nuclear ambitions. Historically, Democrats have harmed Iran more than have Republicans, said Hasan Rowhani, head of the Supreme National Security Council. [AP, 10/20/04]

    "We should not forget that during Bush's era despite his hard-line and baseless rhetoric he didn't take, in practical terms, any dangerous action against Iran," Mr. Rowhani said. [Washington Times, 10/28/04]

    Posted by Eric at 12:10 AM | Comments (115)

    Kerry Wins Newspaper Endorsements

    As of Monday. And, like everything else in the race, it's a close one: 208-188.

    Posted by Eric at 12:08 AM | Comments (33)

    The Independent Factor

    From Donkey Rising's post, "Kerry's Lead Among Independents Makes Bush's Situation Extremely Dire."

    No Republican in the modern era has won a presidential election without carrying the independent vote. In the 2000 election, despite losing the national popular vote, George Bush led Al Gore by a narrow margin among independent voters. However, according to the final, supersized Gallup Poll, John Kerry now has an 8 point lead over George Bush among independent voters. In fact, Kerry led Bush among independents in all four Gallup polls this month--by an average of 6 points. This is one more piece of evidence that George Bush's situation is extremely dire.
    For a battleground look, here's Donkey Rising again.

    Posted by Eric at 12:05 AM | Comments (120)

    Hannity and Colmes: Fair and Balanced?

    "'Hannity & Colmes' to Stack Election Eve Deck," from the Brad Blog:

    It was announced at the end of Friday's Hannity & Colmes on Fox that their Monday (Election Eve) guests would be:

    ON THE RIGHT: Karl Rove, Dick Morris, William Weld (UPDATE!) Jeb Bush just added!!!
    ON THE LEFT: Bill Richardson

    Obviously, this is anything but "Fair and Balanced" and on the eve of a national Election it's simply outrageous!

    I have a highly placed source inside the Hannity & Colmes show who I've sent Email to complain about this, and I received back a similar response to the ones I usually receive from them on the lack of balance on H&C. Namely; the Kerry campaign is simply not as willing to help them by supplying guests as the Bush campaign is. (I wonder why!)

    I have tried to explain to my source that it's Fox's and H&C's responsibility to ensure that their show is fair and balanced! Not the responsibility of the Kerry campaign or the DNC to ensure that.

    Posted by Eric at 12:00 AM | Comments (72)

    November 01, 2004

    Monday Stories

    Reuters. Kerry, Bush Make Final Bid in Key States
    LAT. Schwarzenegger Star Power Fades for GOP in State Races
    LAT. Sorting Friends From Foes; For Marines hunting Afghan insurgents, the distinction is often hard to make
    Reuters. Bush Makes Final Bid for Votes with Marathon Sweep
    Reuters. Kerry in Four-State Marathon Dash to Get Out Vote
    AP. Rehnquist missing from bench as court returns
    AP. Calif. Voters Try to Keep Ballot Straight
    AP. Polls Suggest Higher Voter Turnout Likely
    AP. American, 3 Others Kidnapped in Iraq
    AP. Bush, Kerry Squeeze Every Hour to Campaign
    NYT. Poll Shows Voter Anxiety
    NYT. Frantic Presidential Race Ends With a Flood of Ads
    LAT. With 527s, New Power Players Take Position
    NYT. Rebuffing G.O.P., 2 Judges Bar Challengers at Polls in Ohio
    NYT. States Are Battling Against Wal-Mart Over Health Care
    honoluluadvertiser. Cheney predicts Bush will 'carry Hawai'i'
    USAT. USAT Poll
    AP. Clinton Visits Ark. to Stump for Kerry
    orlandosentinel. Senate rivals tap top help; Castor stumps with Kerry, Martinez with Bush
    Courier-Journal. Bush, Carroll, Ford pitch in for Senate race; Bunning, Mongiardo to fly across state on election eve
    AP. A Few House Races May Offer Some Surprise
    Times-Picayune. Senate race tightens close to finish line; Vitter may be forced into runoff, but with which Democrat?
    BG. Big push to the finish Bush, Kerry make last stand in crucial states
    NYT. Cheney's Core Speech Seems Stale to Some in Local News
    CBS. GIs Lack Armor, Radios, Bullets

    G. Henry M. Schuler. Bush's False Doctrine
    Lakshmi Chaudhry. A Soldier Speaks: Sean Huze
    Amy Quinn. It's the Incompetence, Stupid
    CapTimes. Kerry can renew America's promise
    John Nichols. 'We can move America toward her deepest ideals'
    VillageVoice. Bush's Courting of Saddam
    Abby Christopher. HIV/AIDS offers one more example of how the health care system is failing Americans.
    Adam Klaus. Send Republicans packing
    Ari Berman. Misleading by Mail; Republican scare tactics in swing states
    The Nation. Palm Beach Déjà Vu?
    Phoebe Connelly. Making Every Vote Count
    Joel Bleifuss. The Choice is Yours
    Bob Herbert. Days of Shame
    John S. Irons. Economy Muddling Along
    Jon M. Peha. Homeland Security Deficiencies
    Helen Thomas. Bush Win Would Mean Dark Times; World Would Perceive Support For Preemptive War
    Rachel Sylvester. Why Blair secretly wants his partner in war to lose
    Clay Evans. The President Cries 'Wolf!'
    John F. Kerry. A fresh start for America
    LAT. A Failed Presidency

    Posted by Eric at 11:58 PM | Comments (24)

    Bruuuce on Kerry

    The video introduction of Kerry by Bruce.

    Posted by Eric at 11:18 PM | Comments (19)

    O'Reilly Reaches Out to Young Voters

    From Media Matters:

    CALLER: I'm calling today because I think it's fair to say that a large amount of the youth that are involved in this election now, this time around. And I just think that the majority of them are voting Kerry. Is that crazy?

    O'REILLY: Yeah, I think the stoned slackers'll go for Kerry. I think he'll carry that vote. ... The stoned-slacker vote. Ummm -- but I don't know if they're gonna go. You know, look, Puff Daddy [Combs] and his crew -- they're running around, "Vote or Die!" and all that. Yeah, it's good publicity to get on TV. Are they gonna get out? Are they gonna leave the bong and stand in line for an hour? I don't know.

    Posted by Eric at 08:57 PM | Comments (38)

    Michael Moore's Message on November 1

    From Michael Moore.com:

    To Decent Conservatives and Recovering Republicans:

    In your heart of hearts you know Bush is a miserable failure. From having no plan on what to do in Iraq once he conquered Baghdad to the 380 missing tons of explosives that could be used to kill our brave young men and women, this guy doesn’t have a clue how to fight and win a war. You should see the mail I’ve been getting lately from our troops over there. They know how much the Iraqi people hate them. They are sitting ducks anytime they go out on the road. Many believe we are not that far away from a Tet-style offensive inside the Green Zone with hundreds of Americans and Brits killed.
    Bush refused to go after and capture Osama bin Laden. He fought, every step of the way, the investigation into the 9/11 attacks. Who on earth would oppose such a thing? If 3,000 people died at your place of work and your boss said we don’t need to find out why or how it happened, he’d be thrown out on his ear. Bush’s behavior after this great tragedy alone is reason enough for his removal.
    You already know that George W. Bush is the farthest thing from a conservative. He’s a reckless spender who has run up record-breaking deficits and the biggest debt in our history. He believes in having the government pry into everything from your library records to your bedroom. He has hit you with hidden taxes with his tax cuts for the rich.
    I know many of you don’t like Bush, but are unsure of Kerry. Give the new guy a chance. He won’t raise your taxes (unless you are super-rich), he won’t take your hunting gun away, and he won’t make you visit France. He risked his life for you many years ago. He’s asking for the chance to do it again. Scott McConnell at The American Conservative magazine has endorsed him. What more do you need?

    Posted by Eric at 07:09 PM | Comments (29)

    Today, I Voted

    Yes, I voted today in my first presidential election. I did so by faxing my ballot to the election office this morning (I had to waive ballot confidentially to do it this way). Readers of this site should not be surprised that I voted for the next president of the United States: John F. Kerry.

    When I started this site three years ago, it was initially a high school project to keep me informed about current events. As I read the news, and learned more about what was happening in my country, the site’s initial mission changed. I read about the roadblocks and lack of solutions poor Americans faced everyday. I read about the Environmental “Protection” Agency rolling back environmental regulations while our air and water conditions worsened. I read about the blatant political corruption in Washington that favored large corporations at the expense of people like my grandparents. I read about the millions of workers losing their jobs, while their kids went to underfunded schools. And I read the stories of people my age losing their lives in a country we didn’t need to invade.

    Over the past three years, this site has received over one and a half million hits, and posted thousands of stories. In the end, the most important story is the one we’ll write tomorrow. The story of how we, together, took back our country and made John Kerry our next president of the United States. Tomorrow, there’s a fresh start for America.

    Posted by Eric at 06:48 PM | Comments (43)

    Quotable Quote

    "It's good to see that Jon (Stewart) had a good impact on you guys, a real reality check, yeah, Jon made some good points. Yeah, let's be better journalists, let's book Conan's dog." Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

    Posted by Eric at 06:41 PM | Comments (25)

    "Halliburton critic endured racism, sexism"

    From the AP:

    A senior Army contracting officer who had criticized a contract given to Halliburton had been subjected to a racist and sexist work environment, her former supervisor, a retired general, said in an affidavit.

    The affidavit by retired Lt. Gen. Joe N. Ballard demonstrated the integrity of Bunnatine Greenhouse, said her attorney, Michael Kohn. Greenhouse, chief contracting officer for the Army Corps of Engineers, has charged that the Army showed favoritism to Halliburton, Vice President Dick Cheney's former company.

    That work environment ''just made it that much more difficult for Ms. Greenhouse to take the action she took,'' Kohn said Sunday.

    In the affidavit, Ballard said, ''Ms. Greenhouse's race and gender ruffled a lot of feathers in the Corps command.''

    Posted by Eric at 04:40 PM | Comments (27)

    Too Many Polls

    If you want too many polls telling you the same thing (it's tied up), then look no further than Political Wire's exhaustive list.

    Posted by Eric at 04:18 PM | Comments (24)

    College Republicans Still Silent on Corruption Charges

    Last week, the Seattle Times brought an expose on the deceptive fundraising practices of the College Republicans, a group that spends "nearly 90 percent ... to direct-mail vendors and postage expenses, according to records filed with the Internal Revenue Service." When an official with the College Republicans, Kris Hart, was pressed on the issue, he was misleading about his role in the group:

    Former Student Association President Kris Hart is a vice chairman of a national Republican group suspected of using misleading fundraising tactics on the elderly. Hart, who is running for a seat on the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission, refused to comment on the allegations.

    An Oct. 28 Seattle Times article said the College Republican National Committee raised millions of dollars since 2001 partly by using official-sounding names such as "Republican Headquarters 2004" and "Republican Elections Committee" in a direct-mail fundraising campaign. The story said that many voters in their 80s and 90s donated to the groups, which they thought were affiliated with the Bush campaign. Instead, most of the money was spent on the direct-mail program and postage expenses for the college group.

    Hart, a senior, declined to speak on the issue, saying, "I don't really deal with day-to-day operations."

    Ready for the oh snap?
    But the CRNC Web site said Hart was directly involved with mailing initiatives since he became the group's finance chair in 2002. "He has more than tripled the output of direct mail program while cutting costs, resulting in an exponential increase in CRNC fundraising," the site (www.crnc.org) said.

    Officials from the CRNC did not return calls from The Hatchet for this story.

    Hart is also mentioned in a September 2003 article from the Center for Public Integrity, a publication that investigates the actions of the government and independent groups. In the article, Hart said the average check amount from donors to the CRNC was $28.

    Oh snap.

    Posted by Eric at 04:10 PM | Comments (40)

    Young Cell Phone Voters Like Kerry

    According to Zogby International / Rock the Vote:

    Polling firm Zogby International and partner Rock the Vote found Massachusetts Senator John Kerry leading President Bush 55% to 40% among 18-29 year-old likely voters in their first joint Rock the Vote Mobile political poll, conducted exclusively on mobile phones October 27 through 30, 2004.Independent Ralph Nader received 1.6%, while 4% remain undecided in the survey of 6,039 likely voters. The poll is centered on subscribers to the Rock the Vote Mobile (RTVMO) platform, a joint initiative of Rock the Vote and Motorola Inc. (for more information: http://www.rtvmo.com). The poll has margin of error of +/-1.2 percentage points.

    The poll also found that only 2.3% of 18-29 year-old respondents said they did not plan to vote, and another .5% who were not sure if they would. The results of the survey are weighted for region, gender, and political party.

    The Rock the Vote Mobile political poll was conducted using a sample group from Rock the Vote Mobile's 120,000-subscriber base. Participants in the Rock the Vote Mobile (RTVMO) platform, a civic engagement initiative launched last March by Rock the Vote and Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT), responded to this poll between October 27 and October 30.

    Posted by Eric at 04:08 PM | Comments (134)

    Final Day, Kerry Video


    "How will we find our way forward? How will we keep America safe, and keep the American dream alive? I believe we begin by giving this country we love a fresh start. This morning, I would like to give you as plainly as I can the summary of my case on how –- together –- we can change America." - John Kerry

    Posted by Eric at 03:46 PM | Comments (18)

    Bush vs. Reality

    From the progress report:

    "The accusation made that this was a sealed sight [sic] is being contradicted by a marine major who said he was sent into the site to destroy the ammunition there."

    – President Bush, 10/31/04


    "I don't know. I don't have that information."

    – Major Austin Pearson, asked if he destroyed the sealed IAEA ammunition, 10/29/04

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

    Packers and Favre Portend Kerry Win

    It's always been right!

    John Kerry supporters got a welcome omen Sunday in the Green Bay Packers' 28-14 win over the Washington Redskins.

    According to NFL and political lore, if the Redskins win the last home game before Election Day, the incumbent wins another term in the White House.

    If the 'Skins lose, the incumbent loses.

    Packers safety Darren Sharper, a Kerry supporter, was jubilant. "Oh yeah, he's going to win. It's guaranteed," Sharper said.

    Kerry, who admits being superstitious and carries a buckeye to help his chances in Ohio, cheered the omen.

    "I couldn't be more thrilled with the Packers' win today," Kerry said. "The Packers have done their part. This Tuesday, we'll do ours."

    To see more on this, see snopes.

    Posted by Eric at 11:35 AM | Comments (30)