January 12, 2005

Kerry Indication for 08?

The speculation in The Hill (via Kos, and I agree with him that Kerry shouldn't run in '08):

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is vetting the leading candidates to be the next Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman, and asking them to remain neutral in the presidential selection process in 2008. It is the latest indication that Kerry is putting down markers to run again for the party’s presidential nomination in 2008.

His outreach to DNC candidates also marks his return to the fray after Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, that candidate he was backing for chairman, ruled himself out of contention in November. The DNC contest is exposing the presidential ambitions of a number of Democratic politicians. In addition to Kerry, other potential 2008 presidential candidates have also contacted — or been contacted by — the several DNC aspirants, providing an early list of who is sending clear signals within the party that they will run for the Democratic nomination ... But Kerry appears to be the only potential candidate in ’08 to maintain an open line of communication with the DNC candidates and has further set himself apart by requesting that the next DNC chairman remain neutral three years hence, when the Democratic selection process begins anew. Last week, Kerry asked former Rep. Tim Roemer (D-Ind.), whose home-state Democratic senator, Bayh, may run, to remain neutral.

And this on the DNC chair:
Several of the campaigns said that Dean is all but a shoo-in to be on the final ballot, with all of the other candidates scrambling to be among the last two or three standing.

“Dean has the highest floor and the lowest ceiling,” a strategist for one of the rival campaigns said. Blanchard, who did not attend the first regional gathering of DNC delegates in Atlanta, said, “I do believe Howard deserves a second chance. I don’t know if this is the position for him, and this is not an endorsement, but he deserves a second look.”

Posted by Eric at 04:15 PM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2004

Rep. John Conyers on Ohio Vote Inquiry

Democracy Now interview with background information on what's going on there, and what Conyers wants in the future:

AMY GOODMAN: Good to have you. Can you explain what is happening now in Ohio, and what you are calling for?

JOHN CONYERS: Well, we have received, of course, thousands of complaints of irregularities, failure of process, suppression of voting rights, and so we have come now -- have came up in the hearings we went to Columbus on Monday, and to really be there and to attempt to have the electoral disposition of the presidential vote in Ohio delayed until we have investigated some of these complaints. Sure enough, we had staff interview a person who was supposed to have had direct evidence about misconduct, and we have a sworn affidavit, a courageous person. We're hoping that others will come forward, and we are asking that the Ohio F.B.I. and the county prosecutor all get into this case, and if necessary, we may be required to go back in ourselves.

AMY GOODMAN: Realistically, what do you think will happen now?

JOHN CONYERS: Well, realistically, we'd like the right thing to happen. Namely, that we get enough support in and out of the state to persuade those running the electoral college to realize that holding this up until we get some of these questions resolved would strengthen the confidence in the electoral process in Ohio where there have been more complaints than from anywhere else, even including Florida, which had the second highest number of complaints. So this is not an anti-Bush operation or sour grapes. All we want to do is to have this kick in and the Secretary of State there has been amazing in holding back cooperation of being political at the same time that he conducts the presidential -- supervises the presidential election in Ohio. So, realistically, we want people to realize that there are some serious problems, and --

AMY GOODMAN: Now, that's legal, right? That's legal, Ken Blackwell, the Ohio --

JOHN CONYERS: The deputy director was pretty stunning.

Audio avail.

Posted by Eric at 05:46 AM | Comments (0)

December 09, 2004

PFAW Post-Election Voting Review

People for the American Way, a liberal legal-type interest group, recently released a report on voting problems in the 2004 election. More specifically,

The myth that the 2004 elections ran smoothly has become conventional wisdom for pundits and politicians, but nothing could be further from the truth. A preliminary review released today by members of the nonpartisan Election Protection coalition demonstrates that persistent problems continue to deny millions of Americans their fundamental voting rights, and makes the case for election reform at the local, state and national level ... The preliminary review, “Shattering the Myth: An Initial Snapshot of Voter Disenfranchisement in the 2004 Elections” surfaces a myriad of systemic problems. In addition to the long lines and unreasonable waiting times that kept many people - disproportionately urban minority voters - from being able to vote, the top five problems overall were registration processing, absentee ballots, machine errors, voter intimidation and suppression, and problems with the use and counting of the new provisional ballots mandated under new federal law.

Election Protection also fought pre-election decisions by local election officials that tended to disenfranchise voters, including Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell’s ludicrous demand that voter registration forms be printed on 80-pound card stock instead of common printer paper, or Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood’s attempts to implement a “felon purge” list that state officials knew was flawed. Those decisions were both eventually abandoned.

“The bright light of public scrutiny, intense pressure from the media and action in the courts helped us stop some of the most egregious actions, but nevertheless, too many voters were either disenfranchised or discouraged by the decisions of public officials,” said Neas. “It’s the job of government officials to advocate for voters and to clear the path to the ballot box, not erect barriers.”

The report (pdf) can be viewed here.

Posted by Eric at 05:49 PM | Comments (0)

John Conyers Holds Ohio Vote Fraud Hearing

If you're interested in coverage of it, William Rivers Pitt of Truthout.org has a blog on it over here.

Posted by Eric at 02:26 AM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2004

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

AP writeup.

Text.

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 (0)

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 (0)

The President Is ...

The House.

The Senate.

Posted by Eric at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2004

More Early Polling Numbers

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

Posted by Eric at 08:23 PM | Comments (0)

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 (0)

Zogby Predicts Kerry

Bush
213

Kerry
311

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

Posted by Eric at 06:18 PM | Comments (0)

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 (0)

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 (0)

Ventura Ad

Pretty effective audio ad by Jesse Ventura for Operation Truth.

Posted by Eric at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

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 (0)

Rocky Mountain News Calls Election ...

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

Posted by Eric at 01:43 AM | Comments (0)

Election Day Fun

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

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

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 (0)

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 (0)

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 (0)

November 01, 2004

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 (0)

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 (0)

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 (0)

Final Day, Kerry Video

Link.

"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 (0)

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 (0)

October 31, 2004

Elections Short Workers

AP: "A shortage of at least 500,000 poll workers nationwide means many voters could face long lines, cranky volunteers, polling places that don't open or close on schedule and the chance that results won't be known until long after the polls are closed."

Posted by Eric at 08:26 PM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2004

Republicans for Kerry

I have an entry over at the Franken blog quoting Republicans for Kerry.

Posted by Eric at 02:07 PM | Comments (0)

Those Polls?

Kos has this interesting reminder from the year 2000:

BLITZER: And now, let's take a look at the latest poll numbers. The new CNN/"USA Today" Gallup Tracking Poll results are being released at this hour. It shows George W. Bush with 48 percent, Al Gore 43 percent, Ralph Nader with 4 percent, Pat Buchanan with 1 percent.

And those numbers are similar to other tracking polls. Take a look: ABC's poll has Bush at 49 percent, Gore at 45 percent; The Washington Post, Bush at 48 percent, Gore at 46 percent; the NBC-Wall Street Journal tracking poll, Bush at 47 percent, Gore 44 percent. And both the CBS and MSNBC-Reuters-Zogby tracking polls have Bush at 46, Gore at 44 percent.

Posted by Eric at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

Mr. Gore Goes to Hawaii

Attends rally at Farrington High School with Alexandra Kerry; Honolulu Star Bulletin:

In his speech, Gore mentioned Gen. Eric Shinseki's 2002 retirement, saying the Kauai native was shunned because he told Bush advisers a war in Iraq would require "hundreds of thousands of troops."

"That conflicted with the rose-colored lens that the Bush administration had," Gore said. "So they make an early announcement of Gen. Shinseki's retirement and kind of cut off his legs."

The former vice president wore lei and a traditional Filipino dress shirt to the event, which included a concert of local Filipino talent and was attended by many Filipino Americans. He also singled out Filipino veterans as "a group that has been treated unfairly" under the Bush administration.

"John Kerry has fought for the rights of all Filipino veterans," he continued.

Clinton is also hitting the local TV stations for Kerry.

Meanwhile, the GOP's response? Send one of the most anti-environment politicians in the country to the most pro-environment state in the country. Talk about out of touch.

Posted by Eric at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2004

The War President

President Bush, with war on his mind, was determined to attack Iraq. This, from his former ghost writer; Russ Baker on Mickey Herskowitz:

Houston: Two years before the September 11 attacks, presidential candidate George W. Bush was already talking privately about the political benefits of attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer, who held many conversations with then-Texas Governor Bush in preparation for a planned autobiography.

“He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,” said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. “It was on his mind. He said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade….if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.”

Herskowitz said that Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father’s shadow. The moment, Herskowitz said, came in the wake of the September 11 attacks. “Suddenly, he’s at 91 percent in the polls, and he’d barely crawled out of the bunker.”

That President Bush and his advisers had Iraq on their minds long before weapons inspectors had finished their work – and long before alleged Iraqi ties with terrorists became a central rationale for war – has been raised elsewhere, including in a book based on recollections of former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill. However, Herskowitz was in a unique position to hear Bush’s unguarded and unfiltered views on Iraq, war and other matters – well before he became president.

Posted by Eric at 09:39 PM | Comments (0)

On the OBL Tape

From Josh M. Marshall:

A friend tells me that the Bush-propaganda-organ Fox News is calling it bin Laden's 'endorsement' of Kerry.

On the other hand, this cuts against the Bush administration's frequent suggestions that al Qaida has been routed or that bin Laden may in fact be dead.

Much depends of course on how the press plays it. I notice for instance that as of 4:37 PM on MSNBC the front page headline momentarily had bin Laden saying "Bush cannot protect America" before correcting it to read "neither Bush nor Kerry can protect America."

[ed. note: That observation is from a rushed clicking back and forth over their site. So let me make that subject to possible later correction. But that's how it appeared.]

Clearly, Kerry has to hit the ground with a tough and emphatic statement in response to this and gear up his team's operation to go head-to-head with what will no doubt be a desperate Bush campaign's effort to use this to connect Kerry and bin Laden to shift the pro-Kerry momentum of the race in the final days of the campaign.

It seems to me that Kerry should tell voters what he's been telling them for months. That he'll take the fight to bin Laden, that he won't get distracted the way the president has, and that the one thing this tape shows is that the president hasn't gotten the job done. If he had, there'd be no bin Laden to be making these tapes.

John Kerry's statement:
In response to this tape from Osama bin Laden, let me make it clear, crystal clear. As Americans, we are absolutely united in our determination to hunt down and destroy Osama bin Laden and the terrorists. They are barbarians. And I will stop at absolutely nothing to hunt down, capture or kill the terrorists wherever they are, whatever it takes. Period.

Posted by Eric at 07:59 PM | Comments (0)

Bush Campaign Doctored Ad

AP with the story, which a Kos diary broke.

Posted by Eric at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2004

Democrats Aggressively Courting Hawaii

Including trotting out the Big Dog. Republicans, meanwhile, apparently won't do anything:

The Democratic National Committee is now running an ad attacking President Bush customized for Hawaii.

The new ad follows Republican Gov. Linda Lingle's criticism of the Democrats' first television spot saying "they are out of touch with what is happening in our state." ... The DNC also arranged to have former President Clinton give satellite interviews from his home in suburban New York to the four TV network affiliates in Honolulu. When asked why the presidential race in Hawaii had grown so close, Clinton said, "I don't think the candidates have had a great presence there, and the issues haven't been fully debated."

The DNC announced earlier this week that it would spend $200,000 in the last week of the election in Hawaii to make sure Hawaii supports Sen. John Kerry for president ... Brennon Morioka, state GOP chairman, said the national party does not have any plans yet to buy television or radio ads in Hawaii.

Both major Hawaii newspapers, the Honolulu Advertiser and Star Bulletin, have endorsed Kerry.

Posted by Eric at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

College Republicans Deceive Elderly

From a Seattle Times expose, link via Brown Democrats:

The College Republican National Committee has raised $6.3 million this year through an aggressive and misleading fund-raising campaign that collected money from senior citizens who thought they were giving to the election efforts of President Bush and other top Republicans.
Many of the top donors were in their 80s and 90s. The donors wrote checks — sometimes hundreds and, in at least one case, totaling more than $100,000 — to groups with official sounding-names such as "Republican Headquarters 2004," "Republican Elections Committee" and the "National Republican Campaign Fund."

But all of those groups, according to the small print on the letters, were simply projects of the College Republicans, who collected all of the checks.

And little of the money went to election efforts.

Of the money spent by the group this year, nearly 90 percent went to direct-mail vendors and postage expenses, according to records filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

Some of the elderly donors, meanwhile, wound up bouncing checks and emptying their bank accounts

Posted by Eric at 10:47 AM | Comments (0)

Poll: Kerry Gaining Among Swing Voters

From the AP on a Pew poll:

Democratic Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) gained some ground on President Bush (news - web sites) among swing voters in the last month, with several citing the presidential debates as a factor in their shift, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press called back 519 voters who were either undecided in September or said they could still change their minds. That group tilted toward Bush in September and is now evenly split on Bush and Kerry.

By more than 3-to-1, the swing voters said Kerry did the better job in the debates.

Swing voters "have been drifting toward Kerry a little more than Bush," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center. "But everything about the remaining slice of the electorate says it's pretty much even."

The number of swing voters in that group either committed or leaning toward Kerry was 40 percent, up from 28 percent in September. The number either committed or leaning toward Bush was 38 percent, compared to 34 percent in September.

Posted by Eric at 02:12 AM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2004

Bush Gives You the Finger

As if you haven't already seen it, see it again.

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

Bush Makes The Case for His Booting

From General Wesley Clark on President Bush:

"Today George W. Bush made a very compelling and thoughtful argument for why he should not be reelected. In his own words, he told the American people that "...a political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your Commander in Chief."

"President Bush couldn't be more right. He jumped to conclusions about any connection between Saddam Hussein and 911. He jumped to conclusions about weapons of mass destruction. He jumped to conclusions about the mission being accomplished. He jumped to conclusions about how we had enough troops on the ground to win the peace. And because he jumped to conclusions, terrorists and insurgents in Iraq may very well have their hands on powerful explosives to attack our troops, we are stuck in Iraq without a plan to win the peace, and Americans are less safe both at home and abroad."

"By doing all these things, he broke faith with our men and women in uniform. He has let them down. George W. Bush is unfit to be our Commander in Chief."

Posted by Eric at 02:56 PM | Comments (0)

New Florida Voting Scandal Alleged

From Greg Palast of BBC's Newsnight:

A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals.

Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's national research director in Washington DC, contain a 15-page so-called "caging list".

It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Florida.

An elections supervisor in Tallahassee, when shown the list, told Newsnight: "The only possible reason why they would keep such a thing is to challenge voters on election day."

Ion Sancho, a Democrat, noted that Florida law allows political party operatives inside polling stations to stop voters from obtaining a ballot ... Republican state campaign spokeswoman Mindy Tucker Fletcher stated the list was not put together "in order to create" a challenge list, but refused to say it would not be used in that manner.

Rather, she did acknowledge that the party's poll workers will be instructed to challenge voters, "Where it's stated in the law."

There was no explanation as to why such clerical matters would be sent to top officials of the Bush campaign in Florida and Washington.

Posted by Eric at 03:40 AM | Comments (0)

Help Your Local House Candidates

This election's main event is the presidential race. There's little doubt about that. However, across America, there are important local races with outcomes that'll have a significant effect on the next president's agenda. The DCCC is the main body responsible for directing crucial funding to House of Rep races. Recently, the DCCC compiled fundraising targets by region:

Defend Texas

Ticket East

Ticket West

Ticket South

Ticket Heartland

If you can, donate some $$ to the DCCC - the money directly helps candidates in competitive races to take back the House from Tom Delay and his cronies.

Posted by Eric at 02:05 AM | Comments (0)

Slate: Kerry the Choice

Slate also asks you to choose John F. Kerry.

But not the intern!

David Bradley Kenner, Intern: Bush

I'm voting for Bush. I don't want, or find it necessary, to defend every piece of his record. The simple fact is that he is the only candidate who has had the courage to envision a long-term solution to the danger of terrorism—the liberalization and democratization of the Middle East. John Kerry, on the other hand, cannot manage to think beyond the next political obstacle. Only one candidate has the courage to keep America safe in these dangerous days. Four more years!

Well if that doesn't convince you ...

Posted by Eric at 01:06 AM | Comments (0)

Andrew Sullivan Will Vote for Kerry

The conservative blogger says he's had enough of Bush, who Sullivan says has become a polarizer and not a uniter; Sullivan in pro-Iraq war The New Republic (which is also endorsing Kerry):

Which candidate is best suited for this unappetizing ordeal? In Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration has shown itself impatient with and untalented at nation-building. Moreover, the toll of the war has left the United States with minimal international support, one important ingredient for the successful rebuilding of nations. If Bush is reelected, even Britain will likely shift toward withdrawal in Iraq, compounding American isolation there and making it even harder for a new Iraqi government to gain legitimacy. In the essential tasks of building support for greater international help in Iraq--financially, militarily, diplomatically--Kerry is the better choice. No, other countries cannot bail us out or even contribute much in the way of an effective military presence. But within Iraq, the impact of a more international stamp on the occupation and on the elections could help us win the battle for the hearts and minds of Iraqis. That battle--as much as the one on the battlefield itself--is crucial for success. I fear Bush is too polarizing, too controversial, too loathed a figure even within his own country, to pull this off.

Posted by Eric at 12:58 AM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2004

Not an Activist?

Sinclair CEO not an activist?

Apparently, even Sinclair CEO David Smith is turned off by his company's programming: in an interview on Friday, Smith denied being a Republican activist and said he rarely watched anything but golf on TV. He denied trying to sway the presidential election by requiring his stations to air a special on Friday that included several minutes of an anti-Kerry documentary, and said he gave more money to Democrats than Republicans. According to Federal Election Commission records, at least the latter of these statements was untrue. Since 1997, Smith has given only $2,250 in donations to Democrats while he has pitched in $22,000 for Republicans. "Brothers Frederick G. Smith and J. Duncan Smith, also Sinclair board members, have made tens of thousands of dollars in GOP contributions over the same period, record show."

Posted by Eric at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)

Hawaii Officially Battleground State

According to the Honolulu Advertiser, the DNC will buy adtime in Hawaii, and the Bush campaign is also thinking about it; From the Honolulu Advertiser:

The Democratic National Committee, concerned that the presidential race has tightened in Hawai'i, has purchased local television advertisements to help Sen. John Kerry's campaign.

The decision comes after the Advertiser Hawai'i Poll and other polls found that Kerry and President Bush are in a dead heat in Hawai'i, a state that has traditionally supported Democrats for president.

"This is an indication that John Kerry and the Democrats are not taking a single vote for granted," said Josh Earnest, a DNC spokesman.

Earnest said he could not describe the content or scope of the ads but he acknowledged that Democrats had not invested resources in Hawai'i before because the state was viewed as safe for Kerry. Two local television executives described the ad buy as significant. The Bush campaign has also contacted local television stations about advertising.

So why is Hawaii so close? Probably the main reason is the war. Hawaii has a big military culture, and this helps Bush:
U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, said he has thought for months that the presidential campaign in Hawai'i would be closer than many Democrats believed. He said people are reluctant to oppose the commander-in-chief during wartime but that he believes Kerry still has the advantage.
Also this irony:
What is interesting about the Hawai'i Poll results reported yesterday is that a substantial number of voters appear determined not to change horses in midstream despite strong negative feelings about such things as the war in Iraq and their own personal economic security.

Think about it: A majority of those surveyed said they believe they were misled about the rationale for the war in Iraq. A strong majority believe we are less safe than we were before we invaded. A substantial majority believe the troops won't be brought home on schedule.

And they are evenly split about whether Social Security will be there for them when they retire. More than half of the respondents said they were Democrats.

Yet after all that, they were just as likely to say they'll vote for Bush as for Kerry. The power of incumbency!

Ah yes, the incumbency. Hawaii has never thrown out an incumbent for Congress. We also voted for Nixon and Ronald Reagan's reelections. One of the things the Hawaii polls made clear is Democrats in Hawaii are willing to vote for Bush. In the past decade, the Hawaii Democratic party has been awful - too many corruptions, poor leaders, and an unpopular governor. This is why Linda Lingle, a Republican, is governor (and quite popular). Has all this made voting for a Republican easier for those Democrats? Perhaps. Also take into account Hawaii has a strong religious base (including a lot of Mormons).

EDIT: Chris Bowers at MyDD says the polling sample may be a bit off for one of the polls, because the neighbor islands aren't included.

Posted by Eric at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2004

Conservatives Accidentally Send EMail to Satire GeorgeWBush.org

Instead of the real GeorgeWBush.com address. See the collection here.

Posted by Eric at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)

The Disenfranchised Eric

No sign of my absentee ballot ...

Posted by Eric at 06:32 PM | Comments (0)

Puppy Ad All Wrong

Who knew - Bush's new (and very funny) puppy ad is full of doggie poo; from the Progress Report:

FACT – THE VOTE OCCURRED SEVEN YEARS BEFORE 9/11: The advertisement says that John Kerry's vote came "after the first terrorist attack on America" implying that it occurred after 9/11. In fact, the vote in question occurred in 1994. In the years immediately prior to 9/11, John Kerry consistently supported increases in intelligence spending.

FACT – GOSS VOTED TO DRAMATICALLY REDUCE INTELLIGENCE PERSONNEL: The central message of the advertisement is that because Kerry supported reductions in intelligence resources in the mid-1990s, he can't be trusted to be in charge today. But in 1995, Porter Goss "sponsored legislation that would have cut intelligence personnel by 20 percent." That didn't stop President Bush from appointing Goss this year to head the Central Intelligence Agency. In contrast, Kerry's proposal would have amounted to just a 3.7 percent reduction in intelligence funding.

FACT – KERRY'S PROPOSAL WAS PART OF AN EFFORT TO REDUCE THE DEFICIT: It's not surprising Bush would criticize Kerry's 1994 proposal – it was an effort to reduce the deficit, which is something Bush doesn't understand. Bush has turned a $236 billion surplus into a more than $400 billion deficit. The national debt – which Bush said he would "pay down to a historically low level" – now exceeds $7.4 trillion, an all-time high. For more of Bush's broken promises, check out this document from the American Progress Action Fund.

SCARE TACTIC HYPOCRISY: While his campaign runs advertisements featuring menacing wolves, Vice President Cheney has recently accused the Kerry campaign of trying to "scare people" by talking about Bush's public plan to begin privatizing Social Security. Let's review some of what Cheney has said recently on the campaign trail. Cheney on Sept. 8: "if we make the wrong choice [on Nov. 2] then the danger is that we'll get hit again, that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating." Cheney last Tuesday: "The biggest threat we face now as a nation is the possibility of terrorists' ending up in the middle of one of our cities with...biological agents or a nuclear weapon or a chemical weapon of some kind...able to threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.'' Cheney on Saturday: "if John Kerry had been in charge, maybe the Soviet Union would still be in business."

Posted by Eric at 02:51 PM | Comments (0)

Headline: Mafia Soldiers Support Bush-Cheney

From the Smoking Gun.

Posted by Eric at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

Political Contributions of the Rich and Famous

See the list from Newsmeat.

Names of interest:

For Bush (lotsa sports): Bill Gates, Al Michaels, Jim Nantz, Chuck Norris, Maury Povich, Alex 'A-Rod' Rodriguez, Kevin Sorbo, Donald Trump, George Steinbrenner, Bobby Valentine.

For Kerry (obviously longer list, and artistic-types): Steve Buscemi, Roger Ebert, Matt Groening, Tom Hanks, Hugh Hefner, Joan Jett, Ralph Lauren, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Donald Trump (both sides, smart guy), James Zogby, Amy Tan.

And finally, the most important endorsement for a male 20-year old college kid: Natalie Portman. Uh huh.

Posted by Eric at 02:41 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2004

We Need a Fresh Start

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Four years ago Al Gore won the popular vote and George Bush, after a Supreme Court decision, became president. The new chief executive promised to be a uniter, not divider. So much for that pledge.

It gets worse. Since 2001, the incumbent has been lacking on foreign policy, national security, the economy, safeguarding constitutional rights and maintaining credibility at home and abroad.

In all of these categories, the Post-Gazette believes the United States needs a fresh start and that John Kerry can provide such leadership. A President Kerry will make the country safer because he will not take his eye off Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. A President Kerry will look after the workers of America because he is concerned about both the haves and the have-nots.

George W. Bush's approach to the economy has been to take care of the rich, his political base; give the companies run by his campaign contributors free rein; and tell other Americans that his policies will improve their situation, eventually. ...

Posted by Eric at 03:44 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2004

Poll Surprise: Hawaii May Swing to Bush

In a surprise for many Hawaii political observers, according to a Honolulu Advertiser poll, Bush and Kerry are statistically tied in Hawaii:

President Bush and Sen. John Kerry are deadlocked among likely voters in Hawai'i, a surprising boost for the Republican president in a state that many Democrats had considered safe for Kerry.

The findings of the Honolulu Advertiser Hawai'i Poll suggest that Hawai'i's four electoral votes are in play with just over a week to go before the election. Nationally, other opinion polls have found that Bush and Kerry are essentially tied for the popular vote.

The Hawai'i Poll, taken among 600 likely voters statewide between Oct. 13 and Monday, had Bush at 43.3 percent and Kerry at 42.6 percent. The margin of error was 4 percentage points ... "It is shocking," said Greg Gaydos, an associate professor of political science at Hawai'i Pacific University. "I'd say it's very bad news for Kerry if he's tied in a state like Hawai'i."

Even with this poll, don't expect either campaigns to spend money in the four electoral vote state.

Posted by Eric at 02:13 PM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2004

The Reasons Not to Vote for Bush

As if you needed more, here are:

Over 1500.

94.

59.

Posted by Eric at 08:51 PM | Comments (0)

Bush Supporters Wildly Misinformed

That's right, according to Judd Legum, on a PIPA study:

– 75% believe Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda.

– 74% believe Bush favors including labor and environmental standards in agreements on trade.

– 72% believe Iraq had WMD or a program to develop them.

– 72% believe Bush supports the treaty banning landmines.

– 69% believe Bush supports the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

– 61% believe if Bush knew there were no WMD he would not have gone to war.

– 60% believe most experts believe Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda.

– 58% believe the Duelfer report concluded that Iraq had either WMD or a major program to develop them.

– 57% believe that the majority of people in the world would prefer to see Bush reelected.

– 56% believe most experts think Iraq had WMD.

– 55% believe the 9/11 report concluded Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda.

– 51% believe Bush supports the Kyoto treaty.

– 20% believe Iraq was directly involved in 9/11.

Posted by Eric at 02:43 PM | Comments (0)

John Glenn, Mrs. Christopher Reeve Join Kerry in Pro-Science Rally

It's sorta silly that any politician should even need to have a pro-science rally, but after this president, yes, we do need a president that's pro-science (and part of the reality-based community). Plain Dealer:

Columbus- Flanked by space hero John Glenn and the widow of stem-cell research crusader Christopher Reeve, Sen. John Kerry pledged Thursday that he would be "a president who believes in science."

"This moment in history is too important, the opportunities before us are too great, for America to trust a president who himself doesn't trust science," the Democratic presidential nominee told an enthusiastic crowd of 1,200 gathered at the Atheneum in downtown Columbus.

Kerry blasted President Bush for promoting an "extreme ideological agenda" that has failed to make technology and innovation a priority in favor of catering to foreign oil and corporate special interests.

He said Bush has proposed cuts to government-funded research, blocked future embryonic stem-cell research and supported tax policies that export technology jobs overseas.

"You get the feeling that if George Bush had been president during other periods in American history, he would have sided with the candle lobby over electricity, the buggy-makers over cars, and typewriter companies against computers," Kerry said. The Bush campaign challenged Kerry's facts.

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

Nader's 2000 VP: I'm Voting for Kerry

Another Green who is voting for Kerry:

I am voting for John Kerry this November. I love this land, and I know that we need to make drastic changes in Washington if we are going to protect our land and our communities. I am committed to transforming the American democracy so that it is reflective of the diversity of this country. I believe in a multi-party system and a multi-racial democracy. I believe there are many opinions, not simply two, that merit a hearing on any issue. I believe we should be working harder to increase the numbers of people of color, women and Native people elected to office because we are this country, and we are what America looks like. I’m voting my conscience on Nov. 2; I’m voting for John Kerry.
Meanwhile, a Green Party group (Greens for Impact) is criticizng Nader and his association with the Newmanites cult (pdf), in addition to other complaints. This isn't the first criticism of Nader and his association with the cult. Doug Ireland in The Nation magazine took Nader to task in January. Ireland, who "wrote columns in support of Nader's 2000 presidential candidacy," concluded his article with:
And despite Ralph's important, decades-long contributions to citizen activism, it's a sign that in his eerie isolation he may be losing his political judgment. I find that sad--and I pray that he will in the end decide against another run that would be immensely damaging to his image and his legacy.

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

Harvard: High College Kid Interest in Prez Race

According to "a new national poll by Harvard University's Institute of Politics":

  • "Nearly 72 percent of college students report that they are "certain" they are registered to vote and "definitely" plan on voting this November. More than in other years, students believe that they have a stake -- and will have a say -- in the outcome of the election."
  • "Senator Kerry maintains a 13-point lead among college students, and a slightly stronger 17- point advantage among likely voters in key swing states. Kerry's lead appears to be a function of several factors, including strong support from female voters and Independents, dissatisfaction over the war in Iraq, concern for the economy, and movement of formerly uncommitted voters to the Kerry camp."
  • "Economy is the number-one issue in determining college students' vote for President. Forty-two percent of college students say the economy is the most important or second most important issue in determining their vote for President. Other important issues include the situation in Iraq with 38 percent citing it as the most or second most important issue, followed by terrorism and homeland security at 33 percent, moral value issues (such as gay marriage and abortion) at 29 percent, and education at 27 percent."
  • "Dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq reaches a new high. Agreement with the war in Iraq has reached an all-time low among college students. For the first time since 2002, more students oppose having gone to war than support it."

    Posted by Eric at 12:46 AM | Comments (0)

    October 21, 2004

    Kids Vote, Kerry Wins

    So all you kids better head to the polls and vote.

    Posted by Eric at 06:27 PM | Comments (0)

    October 19, 2004

    Feingold Challenger: Polls That Show Him Losing Badly Are "communistic"

    Because, you know, that WGN poll is trying to overthrow the other capitalist polls by revolution in order to establish a classless poll society in which all data is socially owned. From the AP:

    Wisconsin Senate GOP candidate Tim Michels complained Friday about “communistic” polls that he says are skewing results toward his opponent, Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.

    Michels specifically cited a recent Chicago Tribune/WGN poll that reported Feingold with a lead of 57 percent to 33 percent among Wisconsin voters, with 10 percent undecided. Those results were published in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story Friday.

    “What are they polling — just Madison?” Michels said during an appearance on Milwaukee radio station WTMJ’s “Midday with Charlie Sykes.”

    “I call them communistic polls that are coming out,” Michels continued.

    Posted by Eric at 06:51 PM | Comments (0)

    Teachers Kicked Out of Bush Event

    For wearing 'protect our civil liberties' shirts. Ha.

    Posted by Eric at 12:36 PM | Comments (0)

    October 18, 2004

    State / National Polls

    See Political Wire for details.

    Posted by Eric at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

    Ron Suskind's "Without a Doubt"

    A must-read article. If you already read it, read it again.

    Posted by Eric at 04:34 AM | Comments (0)

    October 15, 2004

    Ralph Nader Lies

    From the NYT:

    Mr. Nader maintained in the interview "there is no evidence" that he takes votes from Mr. Kerry. He said surveys by Zogby showed him pulling equally from Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry.
    Ready for the Oh Snap?
    A spokeswoman for Zogby International, Shawnta Walcott, said that Zogby polls showed Mr. Nader drawing far more from Mr. Kerry. She said the polls, aggregated from March through last month, showed that if Mr. Nader was not an option, 41 percent of his supporters went to Mr. Kerry and 15 percent went to Mr. Bush. Thirty percent went elsewhere and 13 percent were undecided.
    OH SNAP! Nader 'pwned' by Zogby.

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

    NRA Finally Endorses Bush

    The most unexpected campaign endorsement of the 2004 season came today from the NRA:

    The National Rifle Association finally made the obvious official: It endorsed President Bush. The group's backing promises him help getting out the pro-gun vote and a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign. Kerry, a longtime hunter, has moved to the right of many Democrats on gun issues. But unlike Bush, he supports legislation that would require gunmakers to add child safety locks to guns, and he opposes a proposal to shield manufacturers from lawsuits stemming from gun crimes.

    Kerry has been endorsed by one of the NRA's nemeses, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The gun-control group announced that it is teaming up with the Million Mom March to launch a television ad criticizing Bush for not urging Congress to renew a recently elapsed ban on some kinds of semiautomatic weapons.

    The next question? Who will the RNC endorse?

    Posted by Eric at 08:50 AM | Comments (0)

    October 14, 2004

    I'm a Republican for Kerry

    No, not really. You see, it only works if you register as a Republican and then vote for the candidate of the opposite party. The guy who tried a similar tactic in Oklahoma (nice state, nice UO campus, but I digress) could learn this lesson; from the Carson campaign:

    In an attempt to counter the over 200 Republicans who announced their public support yesterday of Congressman Carson’s bipartisan campaign, Tom Coburn yesterday released the support of an alleged "Democrat for Coburn" and former political opponent Virgil Cooper. But in reality, Cooper is a self-professed registered Republican, and Coburn has acknowledged this fact.

    "An endorsement from a Republican disguised as a 'Democrat For Coburn' is just another half-truth from the Coburn campaign," said Kristofer Eisenla, Carson spokesperson. "This is typical of Tom Coburn who continues to run and hide from his ethically challenged behavior. These are the types of lies you would expect to hear from a man who has confessed under oath to fraud and has a pattern of grotesquely immoral conduct of sterilizing lots of underage girls."

    Virgil Cooper is quoted in a press release from the Coburn campaign on October 13^th , "I'm not a Republican". However, according to public voting records, Cooper is listed as a registered Republican in Drumright, Oklahoma. Dr. Coburn even acknowledged that Cooper is a registered Republican at an event in Cushing, OK:

    COBURN: You know, if all the Democrats stood for what Virgil Cooper stood for, I'd be a Democrat. [MALE: Yeah.] You know, the fact is, is they used to believe like it. They've been hiking it.

    COOPER: But I'm not a Democrat.

    COBURN: I know you're not. I know you're not. [Tom Coburn and Virgil Cooper, Cushing Town Hall, 6/18/04]

    Yeah.

    Posted by Eric at 06:19 PM | Comments (0)

    Rights of Gays and Lesbians On the Line?

    Ralph Neas of People for the American Way bring up the real issue that the Cheneys are attempting to distract the public from:

    The president elected this November almost certainly will get to name two, three or even four new Supreme Court justices. That should grab the attention of every gay and gay-supportive voter. The historic 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas overturning state sodomy laws would have gone the other way with two more right-wing justices. As we know, those laws had a reach far beyond the bedroom—they defined gay men and lesbians as de facto criminals and were used to justify such actions as firing employees and taking children away from loving parents.

    Gay and gay-friendly voters should be especially alarmed that President Bush has cited Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas as his models for future Supreme Court nominees.

    Anyone who is tempted to think there are no important differences between the presidential candidates, or who is thinking about supporting a third-party candidate, should think about Antonin Scalia’s bitter dissent in Lawrence, which drips with contempt for the justices who voted to overturn the infamous Bowers v. Hardwick decision, which had allowed states to treat gay men and lesbians as criminals.

    The same Scalia wrote a venomous dissent to the 1996 decision in Romer v. Evans, which overturned an antigay amendment to the Colorado constitution. In a case concerning an employee fired by the CIA after he revealed he was gay, Justice Scalia claimed that the employee should not even be able to have a court consider his constitutional claims.

    Imagine a Supreme Court with one, two, or three additional Scalias. Imagine those denunciations of gay equality being majority opinions rather than angry dissents.With a Scalia-Thomas majority on the Supreme Court, marriage equality would be a distant hope, and a return to other forms of institutionalized discrimination would be an imminent threat.

    Posted by Eric at 06:15 PM | Comments (0)

    Is Bush Making Health Care More Affordable?

    Or, rather, can he run on his record? From American Progress:

    BUSH PROMISE: MAKE HEALTH CARE MORE AFFORDABLE: In 2000, President Bush campaigned on the promise he would insure more Americans by "making health insurance affordable for hard-working, low-income families." Last night, he blamed "defensive medicine," "lawsuits" and "information technology" for his inability to deliver on that pledge and put forward some already discredited ideas to "control the costs in health care." But the president's record speaks for itself: since Bush took office, health insurance premiums have risen by an average rate of 12.5 percent per year and the "ranks of the uninsured" have swelled for three straight years. As for Bush's favorite scapegoats, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that even aggressive malpractice reform "would lower health care costs by only about 0.4 percent to 0.5 percent." The CBO "also says there is no way to gauge the cost of 'defensive medicine,' but that evidence it's a major factor in rising costs is 'weak or inconclusive.'"

    Posted by Eric at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

    Where Was Lynne Cheney ...

    From Counterspin:

    WHERE WAS LYNNE CHENEY: When Alan Keyes said Mary Cheney was practicing "selfish hedonism?"

    She had a chance to directly respond to what Keyes said, but let her other daughter do the talking instead.

    Posted by Eric at 12:32 PM | Comments (0)

    October 13, 2004

    3-Peat for Kerry

    Polls once again show a win for Kerry.

    Posted by Eric at 11:30 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush on Osama

    See it for yourself.

    "I don’t know where he is. You know, I just don’t spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you. ... I truly am not that concerned about him."

    Posted by Eric at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)

    Big Time Voter Fraud in Nevada?

    Yowsers:

    Employees of a private voter registration company allege that hundreds, perhaps thousands of voters who may think they are registered will be rudely surprised on election day. The company claims hundreds of registration forms were thrown in the trash.

    Anyone who has recently registered or re-registered to vote outside a mall or grocery store or even government building may be affected.

    The I-Team has obtained information about an alleged widespread pattern of potential registration fraud aimed at Democrats. The focus of the story is a private registration company called Voters Outreach of America, AKA America Votes.

    The out-of-state firm has been in Las Vegas for the past few months, registering voters. It employed up to 300 part-time workers and collected hundreds of registrations per day, but former employees of the company say that Voters Outreach of America only wanted Republican registrations.

    Two former workers say they personally witnessed company supervisors rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats.

    "We caught her taking Democrats out of my pile, handed them to her assistant and he ripped them up right in front of us. I grabbed some of them out of the garbage and she tells her assisatnt to get those from me," said Eric Russell, former Voters Outreach employee.

    The impact for Democrats, of course, is clear: "So the people on those forms who think they will be able to vote on Election Day are sadly mistaken."

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

    Pre-Debate Rebuttal

    CAP sets it up.

    Posted by Eric at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

    Headline: Cheney rally lures few African-Americans

    Hold your laughter ... Cincy Post:

    In a sea of red, white and blue Bush/Cheney signs and confetti shot from two air cannons, another color stood out Monday afternoon at Vice President Dick Cheney's rally at Clermont County Airport: white skin.
    Of an estimated crowd of 2,500 supporters, an informal survey of the audience found six people who were not white.

    Amber Coogan, a 22-year-old African-American from Silverton, is a Bush volunteer who works to register voters and campaign for Bush on a phone bank.

    "He's a people person," she said, with whom she agrees on abortion and handling of the economy.

    ... and release. Oh, maybe ready-up another one:
    Why aren't more African-Americans rallying around Bush?

    "I basically think they don't read," Coogan said.

    ... oh geez ...

    Posted by Eric at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)

    59 Reasons Why Bush Sucks

    Greg Stacy counts the ways.

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

    October 12, 2004

    Stem Cell Research

    From Arizona Star:

    Stem-cell research is likely to take the stage again in the third and final presidential debate Wednesday at Arizona State University now that one of the most recognizable faces for the cause has died.

    Superman actor Christopher Reeve lobbied for years for federal funding to back embryonic stem-cell research, which is controversial because it results in the destruction of fertilized human eggs.

    His hope, and the hope of scientists involved in the research, was that embryonic stem cells could be grown to regenerate damaged tissue, in Reeve's case, his spinal cord.

    Embryonic stem cells hold promise over adult stem cells, researchers say, because they are formed in the earliest days of life and have not yet differentiated to become organs or bones or tissue.

    President Bush effectively banned that research three years ago by allowing only a few dozen stem-cell lines to be used and prohibiting federal money to be spent on developing any more.

    58 senators asked President Bush to relax those federal restrictions.

    As the Seattle Times notes, Bush is completely wrong on this issue, allowing ideology to trump science:

    President Bush's overly cautious policy on stem-cell research shackles scientists and limits hope for many Americans.

    The United States has always been a leader in pushing the outer limits of scientific research. Science should trump ideology; Bush lets it be the other way around.

    The death of former President Ronald Reagan, and Nancy Reagan's poignant plea to loosen rules on stem-cell research to help Alzheimer's' patients, did not change Bush's mind.

    In a recent speech to the Southern Baptist Convention, he restated his commitment to an earlier policy that limits federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research to cells already isolated in the lab and grown into stem cell "lines." The policy becomes less defensible every day.

    No one knows for certain all that can be helped by stem cells. Scientists believe they hold extraordinary healing powers and may aid everything from brain function impaired by Alzheimer's and Parkinson's to pancreas function limited by diabetes and heart function after a heart attack.

    In contrast to Bush, Sen. John Kerry's call to restore the role of scientific advancement more clearly represents the American character. With the endorsement of 48 Nobel Prize laureates, Kerry called for the U.S. to find the cures of tomorrow.

    Bush hoped his 2001 decision to allow federal funds to be used on existing stem-cell lines would end the debate. He attempted to carve an imaginary middle line in our country's politics.

    For people suffering a variety of ailments, there is no middle ground. Federal funding of research on a broader supply of stem cells should proceed in earnest.

    Many embryonic stem cells at the center of the debate are left over from in vitro fertilization and otherwise would be discarded and wasted.

    Staunch conservative Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, supports stem-cell research. Fifty-eight senators recently sent a letter to the White House urging Bush to relax the restrictions.

    Bush's stubbornness on this issue lets other countries lead the way. The president is wrong to impede progress.

    Michael J. Fox cited stem cell research as a reason why he's backing John Kerry.

    Posted by Eric at 07:36 AM | Comments (0)

    October 09, 2004

    MJ Fox for Kerry

    This is a simple, yet pretty effective ad on the internets for John Kerry from Marty McFly. So make like a tree and view it.

    Posted by Eric at 10:32 AM | Comments (0)

    Polls, Shmolls

    Onto the debate polls, a Democracy Corps poll shows:

  • Kerry wins debate by 8 points (45 to 37 percent).
  • Kerry moves up his vote margin over Bush by 2 points.
  • Kerry makes significant gains in personal favorability.
  • Kerry made his biggest gains on likeability, giving people confidence, and having clear plans.
  • Kerry won especially strongly in the swing electorate—independents, the undecided, and battleground state voters
  • Further:
  • Independents. By 11 points, they said Kerry won the debate (44 to 33 percent).
  • Undecided. They gave Kerry a 9-point edge (39 to 30).
  • Battleground state voters. They gave the debate to Kerry by 5 points (45 to 40 percent).
  • ABC News: "An ABC News poll of debate viewers gave the edge to Kerry by the narrow margin of 44-41 percent. The survey included slightly more Democrats (35 percent) than Republicans (32 percent)."

    And on CNN/USA Today/Gallup: "respondents gave a slight, statistically insignificant edge to Sen. John Kerry over President Bush, 47 percent to 45 percent."

    Posted by Eric at 07:38 AM | Comments (0)

    October 08, 2004

    Kerry Rapid Response

    Here.

    One of the weirder moments of the debate was when Bush was stunned to learn he had some part in a timber company. I thought to myself, geeeee-wilikers, prez bush have got carrie on that one - what a flip-flopping pathological liar. However ...

    President Bush himself would have qualified as a "small business owner" under the Republican definition, based on his 2001 federal income tax returns. He reported $84 of business income from his part ownership of a timber-growing enterprise. However, 99.99% of Bush's total income came from other sources that year. (Bush also qualified as a "small business owner" in 2000 based on $314 of "business income," but not in 2002 and 2003 when he reported his timber income as "royalties" on a different tax schedule.)
    BUSH: I own a timber company? That's news to me.

    But you'll remember Bush doesn't read the news.

    As with last time, reaction summary coming when it comes.

    Posted by Eric at 10:57 PM | Comments (0)

    Is Bush Wired?

    In terms of an internet rumor, this one is rather interesting: "Was President Bush literally channeling Karl Rove in his first debate with John Kerry? That's the latest rumor flooding the Internet, unleashed last week in the wake of an image caught by a television camera during the Miami debate." Salon.com has a pretty good summary of the evidence / positions out there, and the author tries to be fair, so it's worth a look. The main blog on this is isbushwired.com. Political Wire also has more.

    Posted by Eric at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

    Can Libertarian Candidate Be Spoiler?

    It's possible, say some in this NY Sun article:

    The presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party, Michael Badnarik, is on the ballot in 48 states. Mr. Nader, by contrast, is certain to be on the ballot in only 35 states, though he may pick up a few more by Election Day ... "The Libertarians are drawing somewhere between 1% and 3% - not big numbers, but in these very close races like the presidential contest, they could well be the margin of difference," a political science professor at the University of Minnesota, Lawrence Jacobs, said. "They pose a genuine threat to be the kingmaker in several swing states."

    Most national polls don't ask about Mr. Badnarik, but some state surveys do. Polls done by Rasmussen Reports for Mr. Badnarik's campaign showed him with 5% of the vote in New Mexico in August and with 3% support in Nevada last month.

    Newspaper polls haven't shown him doing quite as well. They often peg his support at roughly 1%, but even that number could prove decisive. In 2000, Mr. Gore carried New Mexico by 366 votes, or 0.06%.

    Mr. Jacobs, who has studied third-party campaigns, said Mr. Bush's policies appear to have driven some conservative Republicans into the Libertarian camp.

    So how is the Libertarian candidate trying to appeal to Republicans / conservatives? Badnarik's website issues these points to Republicans on why they should support him and not Bush:
  • The Bush administration's discretionary spending has exceeded the Clinton administration's discretionary spending—not including the additional 500 billion spent on the war
  • The Bush administration lied to the American people in order to invade Iraq
  • The Bush administration plans to re-institute the draft after the election
  • Bush administration policies have created an increase in the cost of petroleum products
  • Bush administration, under the guise of national security has nearly bankrupted the transportation industry
  • If George Bush wins this election, Hillary Clinton will be the democratic nominee in 2008
  • The Bush administration has usurped state and local control on multiple issues
  • Posted by Eric at 03:30 AM | Comments (0)

    Ralph Nader's Own Org Shows Difference in Parties

    Paul T. von Hippel in Gadflyer:

    In 1975-76, Congress Watch began scoring U.S. Senators and Representatives on selected roll-call votes. Congress Watch is a branch of Public Citizen, which Ralph Nader founded in 1971 and directed until 1980. Although Public Citizen now distances itself from Nader, until 2000 it wore Nader's name as a badge of pride.

    The Congress Watch scoring system has not fundamentally changed since Nader left the organization. In each Congress, Congress Watch selects a number of divisive votes, focusing on the corporate-consumer issues that are dear to Nader's heart. On these issues, Congress Watch reports the percentage of the time that each Senator and Representative votes the "pro-consumer" position.

    Though you might be surprised to hear it if you listen to Nader talk, Congress Watch scores typically show a large gap between Democrats and Republicans. In the 106th Congress—the last Congress before the 2000 election—the average Democratic Senator voted the Congress Watch position 77% of the time; the average Republican Senator sided with Congress Watch on only 13% of key votes. The spread in the House was similar, with Democrats scoring 77% and Republicans scoring 15%.

    If we assume that Ralph Nader himself would vote "for consumers" 100% of the time, it seems that the gap between Democrats and Republicans in Congress is almost three times larger than the gap between Democrats and Nader.

    While we're citing Congress Watch, why not support Nader? Because his run is hurting the groups he helped create, such as PIRG and Public Citizen (I've seen it many times, having interned with PIRG).

    Posted by Eric at 02:52 AM | Comments (0)

    October 07, 2004

    Kevin Drum on Cheney Lies

    Good stuff here.

    Posted by Eric at 01:16 AM | Comments (0)

    October 06, 2004

    Online Polls

    These are all very unscientific, and I don't really put any faith in them, but this is just for your edification / enjoyment; KE04 email FYI:

    Between 11:30 PM and 11:45 PM the immediate response in online polls overwhelmingly showed Edwards as the winner.

    CBS: 76% Edwards, 21% Cheney

    MSNBC: 70% Edwards, 30% Cheney

    WSJ: 95% Edwards, 4% Cheney

    LA Times: 97% Edwards, 2% Cheney

    FOX News: 57% Edwards, 41% Cheney

    CNN: 77% Edwards, 18% Cheney

    Philly.com: Edwards 99%, Cheney 1%

    Orlando Sentinel: Edwards 80.3%, Cheney 19.4%

    Akron Beacon-Journal: Edwards 98%, Cheney 2%

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Edwards 64.23%, Cheney 29.77%

    Har har, the Fox News poll.

    Posted by Eric at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)

    Dissecting the Cheney Spin

    Among some of the points from the Kerry Edwards campaign:


    Q: “After four years of vice president and with Iran having been declared by your administration as part of the axis of evil, do you still believe we should lift sanctions on Iran?

    CHENEY: “No, I do not. And at the time I was talking specifically about this question of unilateral sanctions.”


    REALITY: Cheney Pushed To Have Sanctions Lifted

    While in Canada, Cheney Called for End to U.S. Sanctions Against Iran. In June 2000, Cheney called for an end to U.S. sanctions against Iran. Speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary, Canada, Cheney said, “I would hope we could find ways to improve [US-Iran relations]. One of the ways I think is to allow American firms to do the same thing that most other firms around the world are able to do now, and that is to be active in Iran. ... We’re kept out of there primarily by our own government, which has made a decision that U.S. firms should not be allowed to invest significantly in Iran, and I think that’s a mistake.” Cheney said Halliburton has some operations in Iran through foreign subsidiaries, but that “we would like to do more than we’re able to do in Iran at present.” [Hart’s Middle East Oil and Gas, 6/27/00; Calgary Herald, 6/15/00]


    Cheney Called Getting U.S. Business Into Iran His “Favorite Hobby Horse.” When he ran Halliburton, Cheney “frequently complained about the Iran sanctions. In a 1998 speech he called the topic ‘my favorite hobby horse,’ arguing that unilateral U.S. sanctions aimed at changing other nations’ behaviors usually end up penalizing U.S. companies.” [Dallas Morning News, 9/8/04]


    CHENEY: “We have added 1.7 million jobs to the economy.”– Dick Cheney [Presidential Debates, 10/5/04]


    REALITY:

    The Economy is 7 million jobs Short of Bush Administration Prediction. The economy needed to create more than 6 million jobs during the Bush administration just to keep up with population growth. In fact, the 2002 Economic Report of the President projected more than 6 million new jobs between January 2001 and August 2004. Instead, we have lost 900,000 million jobs. As a result, we are more than 7 million jobs short of the prediction which President Bush made after 9/11, the tech bubble, and the recession. [BLS and Economic Report of the President, 2002. Note the Economic Report of the President projected an average of 138.3 million jobs in 2004. That corresponds to roughly 138.7 million jobs in August; the actual jobs total in August was 131.5 million.]

    Posted by Eric at 07:04 AM | Comments (0)

    Cheney Advertises for George Soros

    As Daily Kos and Bold Print note, Dick Cheney is apparently advertising for George Soros (that's who FactCheck.com belongs to)

    Posted by Eric at 06:59 AM | Comments (0)

    CBS Poll: Edwards Wins

    From CBS:

    John Edwards continued the Democratic ticket’s winning streak in Tuesday night's vice presidential debate. He was judged the winner by uncommitted voters who watched the debate, just as John Kerry was last week.

    Forty-one percent of these uncommitted debate watchers said Edwards won the encounter, while 28 percent chose Vice President Dick Cheney. Another 31 percent thought it was a tie.

    Immediately after the debate, CBS News interviewed a nationally representative sample of 178 debate watchers assembled by Knowledge Networks who were uncommitted voters – voters who are either undecided about who to vote for or who have a preference but say they could still change their minds.

    Both men and women gave the win to Edwards, with 42 percent of the women giving the edge to the Democrat. Another 25 percent picked Cheney. Among men, 40 percent thought Edwards was the winner, while 32 percent picked Cheney.

    Edwards also greatly improved his standing among the uncommitted voters. Cheney made more limited gains. Nearly half of the uncommitted voters said their opinion of Edwards has changed for the better as a result of the debate. Just 14 percent had a lower opinion of Edwards. Another 37 percent didn’t change their opinion.

    I write a little more on the subject here.

    Posted by Eric at 06:54 AM | Comments (0)

    October 05, 2004

    Cheney Lie About Not Meeting Edwards?

    "The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight."

    This has been forwarded to me from Kerry's Rapid Response:

    February 1, 2001, Thursday
    SECTION: WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING

    LENGTH: 434 words

    HEADLINE: REMARKS BY VICE PRESIDENT RICHARD CHENEY AT NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST

    LOCATION: WASHINGTON HILTON, WASHINGTON, D.C.

    BODY:
    VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: (Applause.) Thank you very much.

    Congressman Wamp, Senator Edwards, friends from across America, and distinguished visitors to our country from all over the world: Lynne and I are honored to be with you all this morning. I've always counted myself fortunate to have been raised in a part of the country where the Almighty chose to do some of His finest work. (Laughter.) Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, the Big Horn Canyon, Devil's Tower. He made them; I didn't say he named them. (Laughter.)

    EDIT: More Cheney / Edwards meetings here. And a picture.

    And the LA Times notes this about Cheney's role in the Senate:

    Although Cheney is the Senate's presiding officer, he actually sits in the chamber only on rare occasions, such as to break a tie vote and to swear in new senators.

    He does attend the GOP senators' weekly luncheons to discuss party strategy. But only Republicans attend, and Cheney usually breezes into the building, goes to the meeting, then leaves without hobnobbing with Democrats.

    In fact, Cheney was teased by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (news, bio, voting record) (D-Vt.) for only associating with Republicans when, in an encounter on the Senate floor, Cheney cursed at Leahy.

    Posted by Eric at 11:09 PM | Comments (0)

    Debate Transcript

    Transcript available here. Reactions, etc, to come when available.

    Posted by Eric at 10:50 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Rapid Response

    Quick responses from the Kerry camp, see here.

    Posted by Eric at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

    VP Debate Briefer

    Courtesy of American Progress: What Cheney Will Say ... What You Should Know

    John Nichols has Ten Questions for Dick.

    Posted by Eric at 11:01 AM | Comments (0)

    Leading Pediatricians Organize Against Bush

    Those bastards. Why are they organizing? Among their points:

  • 27 million children were without health insurance at some point in 2002-2003. (Click here for more information)

  • President Bush’s latest budget shows little commitment to pre-natal care, basic maternal and child health services, preventive child health services including immunizations, medical treatment of acute and chronic illness such as asthma, the training of needed pediatric health professionals, and pediatric medical research. (Click here for more information)

  • The Bush Administration’s tax and budget policies contributed to the fiscal crisis many states have experienced, which in turn resulted in deep cuts to successful programs serving millions of children. In the President’s home state of Texas alone, nearly 150,000 children of working class families have been dropped from the State Child Health Insurance Program leaving them without any insurance. (Click here for more information)

  • The Bush Administration’s policies are moving us away from effective and longstanding federal commitments that improved the health of children, commitments proudly initiated and supported by previous Republican and Democratic presidents. (Click here for more information)
  • More about the group can be found here.

    Posted by Eric at 07:41 AM | Comments (0)

    GOP: Iraq Vet 'Weakening' Terror War

    That's how you treat the vets:

    A state Republican Party mailing accuses Democratic congressional candidate David Ashe--a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq--of "weakening the war on terror" by supporting John Kerry.

    A flier sent on behalf of his Republican opponent, Thelma Drake, says Ashe and the Democratic presidential candidate are "two peas in a pod" on "issues like higher taxes, abortion on demand and the war on terror."

    Drake, a five-term House of Delegates member from Norfolk, and Ashe, a political newcomer, are seeking to succeed Rep. Ed Schrock in the 2nd Congressional District. Schrock dropped his bid for a third term after a Web site reported that he had used a gay telephone dating service to solicit men for sex.

    The Republican mailing depicts the faces of Kerry and Ashe sticking out of a pea pod.

    Under the heading "weakening the war on terror," the flier says "Democrat David Ashe is working hard to make John Kerry the commander in chief of our armed forces." Then it accuses Kerry of wavering in his positions on Iraq, of opposing money to pay for the war and of opposing better pay for troops.

    Posted by Eric at 01:47 AM | Comments (0)

    October 04, 2004

    Press Release: "More than 180 Former U.S. Ambassadors from Republican and Democratic Administrations Endorse Kerry"

    From a K-E campaign press release:

    United by a deep concern about the mounting failures of the Bush administration’s foreign policy, more than 180 former United States Ambassadors who have served under Republican and Democratic presidents endorsed John Kerry for president on Monday.

    At a news conference at the National Press Club, members of Ambassadors for Kerry-Edwards issued a letter stating, “We believe it is imperative to our national security that we change the leadership of the nation we all love and elect John Kerry and John Edwards.” The statement criticized President Bush for needlessly squandering the good will and support of the world following the September 11 attacks and undermining our ability to win the war on terror by eroding our strong international alliances.

    “The war on terror can only be won with the active cooperation of people and governments around the world,” said Ambassador Sol Polansky, who represented the United States to Bulgaria, and served as a Foreign Service officer for almost 40 years before his retirement in 1990. “We’ve spent our careers building that kind of cooperation for the sake of our country’s security. But in the last three years, the Bush administration has undermined the strong alliances American leaders worked half a century to build.”

    Click down for rest of press release / list.

    For Immediate Release

    October 4, 2004

    More than 180 Former U.S. Ambassadors from Republican and Democratic Administrations Endorse Kerry

    Unprecedented Support from Group of Bipartisan Foreign Policy Professionals

    Washington, DC - United by a deep concern about the mounting failures of the Bush administration’s foreign policy, more than 180 former United States Ambassadors who have served under Republican and Democratic presidents endorsed John Kerry for president on Monday.

    At a news conference at the National Press Club, members of Ambassadors for Kerry-Edwards issued a letter stating, “We believe it is imperative to our national security that we change the leadership of the nation we all love and elect John Kerry and John Edwards.” The statement criticized President Bush for needlessly squandering the good will and support of the world following the September 11 attacks and undermining our ability to win the war on terror by eroding our strong international alliances.

    “The war on terror can only be won with the active cooperation of people and governments around the world,” said Ambassador Sol Polansky, who represented the United States to Bulgaria, and served as a Foreign Service officer for almost 40 years before his retirement in 1990. “We’ve spent our careers building that kind of cooperation for the sake of our country’s security. But in the last three years, the Bush administration has undermined the strong alliances American leaders worked half a century to build.”

    "Senator Kerry, in whom I am willing to place my trust, has demonstrated that he is courageous, sober, competent, and concerned with fighting the dangers associated with the widening socio-economic gap in this country. I will vote for him enthusiastically,” wrote John Eisenhower in an opinion article entitled, “Why I will vote for John Kerry for President” in New Hampshire's Union Leader. “The fact is that today's 'Republican' Party is one with which I am totally unfamiliar. Leadership involves setting a direction and building consensus, not viewing other countries as practically devoid of significance. Recent developments indicate that the current Republican Party leadership has confused confident leadership with hubris and arrogance.”

    Eisenhower, who served as Ambassador to Belgium is a lifelong Republican and the son of Republican President Dwight Eisenhower.

    This unprecedented show of support from this group of former Ambassadors and national security professionals includes more than 80 career Foreign Service Officers and 100 non-career appointees, who have represented the United States under both Republican and Democratic administrations in postings around the world.

    “John Kerry has the capacity to renew America’s credibility around the world and find solutions to global problems. John Kerry will fight a more effective war on terror, and he has a plan to win the peace in Iraq. He has the strength, experience, and resolve to make America safer and more secure,” said Ambassador Pete Peterson, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam.

    -30-

    Statement issued by Ambassadors for Kerry Edwards 2004:

    “We are more than 180 former United States Ambassadors who had the privilege of representing our country around the world under nine presidents, Democratic and Republican - from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush. Almost half of us were nonpartisan career foreign service officers. We believe it is imperative to our national security that we change the leadership of the nation we all love and elect John Kerry and John Edwards.

    “After September 11, the world was fully behind us, but George W. Bush has needlessly squandered much of that support and undermined our ability to win the war on terror. He

    has also seriously eroded the alliances we need to keep our nation safe. Now, we face a loss of respect and trust amongst our allies such as we have never seen. As a result, our troops and taxpayers must bear the risks and costs of building a safer world virtually alone.

    “The Congress and the American people were misled by an ever-changing rationale for launching a preemptive war in Iraq. We failed to finish the mission in Afghanistan and stood on the sidelines while North Korea and Iran advanced their nuclear programs. George W. Bush's failings have made the threat of terrorism worse, not better.

    “The Bush administration's go-it-alone polices are making Americans less safe at home and abroad. Even the world's only superpower needs friends and allies, and we are blessed with the challenge of using our position for good. War should be the last resort - not the first.

    “John Kerry has the experience, strength and wisdom to lead us in fighting the war on terrorism, winning the peace in Iraq, making America more secure, and restoring America as the beacon of democracy and freedom in the world.”

    -30-

    Ambassadors endorsing Kerry-Edwards 2004:

    J. Brady Anderson

    Ambassador to Tanzania (1994-97)

    David R. Andrews

    Special Negotiator for US-Iran claims (2000-01)

    Christopher C. Ashby

    Ambassador to Uruguay (1997-01)

    Harriet C. Babbitt

    Ambassador to Organization of American States (1993-97)

    Jeffery A. Bader

    Ambassador to Namibia (1999-01)

    Elizabeth F. Bagley

    Ambassador to Portugal (1994-97)

    Harry G. Barnes, Jr.

    Ambassador to Romania (1973-77)

    Foreign Service Director-General (1977-81)

    Ambassador to Chile (1985-88)

    Ambassador to India (1981-85)

    Robert L. Barry

    Ambassador to Bulgaria (1981-84)

    Ambassador to Indonesia (1992-95)

    Josiah H. Beeman

    Ambassador to New Zealand (1994-99)

    Gordon R. Beyer

    Ambassador to Uganda (1980-83)

    James D. Bindenagel

    Chargé d'Affaires ad interim Germany (1996-97)

    Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues (1999-01)

    Jack R. Binns

    Ambassador to Honduras (1980-81)

    James J. Blanchard

    Ambassador to Canada (1993-96)

    Alan J. Blinken

    Ambassador to Belgium (1993-98)

    Donald M. Blinken

    Ambassador to Hungary (1994-97)

    Richard J. Bloomfield

    Ambassador to Ecuador (1976-78)

    Ambassador to Portugal (1978-82)

    William Bodde Jr.

    Ambassador to Fiji, Tonga and Tuvalu (1980-81)

    Ambassador to Marsall Islands (1990-92)

    Richard W. Boehm

    Ambassador to Oman (1984-87)

    Ambassador to Cyprus (1988-91)

    Amy L. Bondurant

    Ambassador to OECD (1997-01)

    Stephen W. Bosworth

    Ambassador to Tunisia (1979-81)

    Ambassador to Philippines (1984-87)

    Ambassador to Korea (1997-01)

    Peter S. Bridges

    Ambassador to Somalia (1984-86)

    Sam Brown

    Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (1994-98)

    George C. Bruno

    Ambassador to Belize (1994-97)

    Edward P. Brynn

    Ambassador to Mauritania (1982-83)

    Ambassador to Gambia (1984)

    Ambassador to Burkina Faso (1991-93)

    Ambassador to Ghana (1995-98)

    Peter Burleigh

    Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism (1991-92)

    Ambassador to Sri Lanka & Maldives (1996-97)

    Representative to the United Nations(1997-99)

    Patricia M. Byrne

    Ambassador to Mali (1976-79)

    Ambassador to Burma (1980-83)

    Walter C. Carrington

    Ambassador to Senegal (1980-81)

    Ambassador to Nigeria (1993-97)

    Paul Cejas

    Ambassador to Belgium (1998-01)

    Richard F. Celeste

    Ambassador to India (1997-01)

    James F. Collins

    Ambassador to At-Large & Advisor to Secretary on NIS (1995-97)

    Ambassador to Russia (1998-01)

    Clay Constantinou

    Ambassador to Luxembourg (1994-99)

    Carleton S. Coon Jr.

    Ambassador to Nepal (1981-84)

    Jane Coon

    Ambassador to Bangladesh (1981-84)

    James F. Creagan

    Ambassador to Honduras (1996-99)

    T. Frank Crigler

    Ambassador to Rwanda (1976-79)

    Ambassador to Somalia (1987-90)

    William J. Crowe

    Ambassador to the United Kingdom (1994-97)

    C. Edward Dillery

    Ambassador to Tonga, Figi, Tuvalu and Kiribati (1984-87)

    Robert S. Dillon

    Ambassador to Lebanon (1981-83)

    Thomas J. Dodd

    Ambassador to Uruguay (1993-97)

    Ambassador to Costa Rica (1997-01)

    K. Terry Dornbush

    Ambassador to Netherlands (1994-98)

    Robin Chandler Duke

    Ambassador to Norway (2000-01)

    Charles F. Dunbar Jr.

    Chargé d'Affaires Afghanistan (1982-83)

    Ambassador to Qatar (1983-85)

    Ambassador to Yemen (1988-91)

    David J. Dunford

    Ambassador to Oman (1992-95)

    Ralph Earle II

    Chief Negotiator, SALT II Treaty (1977-80)

    William B. Edmondson

    Ambassador to South Africa (1978-81)

    John Eisenhower

    Ambassador to Belgium (1969-71)

    Stuart E. Eizenstat

    Ambassador to European Union (1993-96)

    Edward E. Elson

    Ambassador to Denmark (1993-98)

    Nancy Ely-Raphel

    Ambassador to Slovenia (1998-00)

    Susan G. Esserman

    Deputy US Trade Representative (2000-01)

    March Fong Eu

    Ambassador to Micronesia (1994-96)

    Robert W. Farrand

    Ambassador to Papua New Guinea (1990-93)

    Robert C. Felder

    Ambassador to Benin (1998-00)

    John Ferch

    Ambassador to Honduras (1985-86)

    Glenn W. Ferguson

    Ambassador to Kenya (1966-69)

    Thomas M. Foglietta

    Ambassador to Italy (1997-00)

    Wyche Fowler

    Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (1996-01)

    Edward E. Gabriel

    Ambassador to Morocco (1997-01)

    Peter W. Galbraith

    Ambassador to Croatia (1993-98)

    John Kenneth Galbraith

    Ambassador to India (1961-63)

    Richard N. Gardner

    Ambassador to Italy (1977-81)

    Ambassador to Spain (1993-97)

    Paul F. Gardner

    Ambassador to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands (1984-86)

    Robert S. Gelbard

    Ambassador to Indonesia (1999-01)

    D. Gordon Giffin

    Ambassador to Canada (1997-01)

    Harry J. Gilmore

    Ambassador to Armenia (1993-95)

    Marc C. Ginsberg

    Ambassador to Morocco (1994-98)

    Raymond E. Gonzalez

    Ambassador to Ecuador (1978-82)

    James Eugene Goodby

    Ambassador to Finland (1980-81)

    A. Lincoln Gordon

    Ambassador to Brazil (1961-66)

    Gabriel Guerra-Mondragon

    Ambassador to Chile (1994-98)

    Anthony S. Harrington

    Ambassador to Brazil (1999-01)

    Samuel F. Hart

    Ambassador to Ecuador (1982-85)

    Ulric Haynes, Jr.

    Ambassador to Algeria (1977-81)

    Gerald B. Helman

    Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva (1979-81)

    Irving Hicks

    Ambassador to Ethiopia (1994-96)

    Hugh Kenneth Hill

    Ambassador to Bulgaria (1990-93)

    James C. Hormel

    Ambassador to Luxembourg (1999-00)

    William J. Hughes

    Ambassador to Panama (1995-98)

    Swanee Grace Hunt

    Ambassador to Austria (1993-97)

    Robert E. Hunter

    Ambassador to NATO (1993-98)

    Edward Hurwitz

    Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan (1994)

    Karl F. Inderfurth

    Deputy Permanent Representative on the UN (1993-97)

    Frederick Irving

    Ambassador to Iceland (1972-76)

    Ambassador to Jamaica (1977-78)

    William H. Itoh

    Ambassador to Thailand (1996-99)

    Mari-Luci Jaramillo

    Ambassador to Honduras (1977-80)

    James R. Jones

    Ambassador to Mexico (1993-97)

    George Jones

    Ambassador to Guyana (1992-95)

    James A. Joseph

    Ambassador to South Africa (1995-99)

    Philip Kaiser

    Ambassador to Senegal and Mauritania (61-64)

    Ambassador to Hungary (1977-81)

    Ambassador to Austria (1980-81)

    Rodney Kennedy-Minott

    Ambassador to Sweden (1977-80)

    Lowell Kilday

    Ambassador to Dominican Republic (1985-88)

    Henry L. Kimelman

    Ambassador to Haiti (1980-81)

    Dennis H. Kux

    Ambassador to Ivory Coast (1986-89)

    Philip Lader

    Ambassador to United Kingdom (1997-01)

    Denis Lamb

    Ambassador to OECD (1987)

    Lyle F. Lane

    Ambassador to Uruguay (1979-80)

    Ambassador to Paraguay (1980-82)

    Luis J. Lauredo

    Ambassador to Organization of American States (2000-01)

    Nelson Ledsky

    Negotiator in Germany and Special coordinator for Cyprus (1989-92)

    Donald C. Leidel

    Ambassador to Bahrain (1983-86)

    James F. Leonard

    Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations (1976-80)

    Delano Eugene Lewis

    Ambassador to South Africa (1999-01)

    John A. Linehan

    Ambassador to Sierra Leone (1977-80)

    James G. Lowenstein

    Ambassador to Luxembourg (1977-81)

    Patrick J. Lucey

    Ambassador to Mexico (1977-79)

    Raymond Edwin Mabus

    Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (1991-96)

    David L. Mack

    Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (1986-89)

    Frank E. Maestrone

    Ambassador to Kuwait (1976-79)

    Charles Taylor Manatt

    Ambassador to Dominican Republic (1999-01)

    Richard C. Matheron

    Ambassador to Swaziland (1979-82)

    John McDonald

    Ambassador to UN World Conferences (1978-83)

    Tom McDonald

    Ambassador to Zimbabwe (1997-01)

    Gerald S. McGowan

    Ambassador to Portugal (1997-01)

    Stan McLelland

    Ambassador to Jamaica (1997-01)

    William G. Miller

    Ambassador to Ukraine (1993-96)

    David C. Miller, Jr.

    Ambassador to Tanzania (1981-83)

    Ambassador to Zimbabwe (1984-87)

    Robert Miller

    Ambassador to Malaysia (1977)

    Ambassador to Ivory Coast (1983-86)

    Jay P. Moffat

    Ambassador to Chad (1983-85)

    Walter F. Mondale

    Ambassador to Japan (1993-97)

    Richard L. Morningstar

    Ambassador to NIS (1995-99)

    Ambassador to the European Union (1999-01)

    Carol Moseley-Braun

    Ambassador to New Zealand (1999-01)

    Alfred H. Moses

    Ambassador to Romania (1994-97)

    Matthew Nimetz

    Counselor to the Secretary of State (1977-80)

    Under Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science and Technology (1980)

    Donald R. Norland

    Ambassador to Netherlands (1965-69)

    Ambassador to Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland (1976-79)

    Ambassador to Chad (1979-81)

    John O'Leary

    Ambassador to Chile (1998-01)

    Lyndon L. Olson, Jr.

    Ambassador to Sweden (1997-01)

    Ronald D. Palmer

    Ambassador to Togo (1976-80)

    Ambassador to Malaysia (1981-85)

    Ambassador to and Mauritius (1986-88)

    Joseph R. Paolino

    Ambassador to Malta (1994-96)

    Edward L. Peck

    Ambassador to Iraq (1977-80)

    Ambassador to Mauritania (1983-85)

    Jack R. Perry

    Ambassador to Bulgaria (1979-81)

    Pete Peterson

    Ambassador to Vietnam (1997-01)

    Donald Petterson

    Ambassador to Somalia (1978-82)

    Ambassador to Tanzania (1986-89)

    Ambassador to Sudan (1992-95)

    Donald J. Planty

    Ambassador to Guatemala (1996-99)

    Sol Polansky

    Ambassador to Bulgaria (1987-90)

    Joseph A. Presel

    Ambassador to Uzbekistan (1997-00)

    Kathryn Proffitt Haycock

    Ambassador to Malta (1997-01)

    Nicholas Andrew Rey

    Ambassador to Poland (1993-97)

    Robert G. Rich, Jr.

    Ambassador to Belize (1987-90)

    Bill Richardson

    Ambassador to United Nations (1997-98)

    Felix Rohatyn

    Ambassador to France (1997-01)

    Peter F. Romero

    Ambasador to Ecuador (1993-96)

    Edward L. Romero

    Ambassador to Spain and Andorra (1998-01)

    James C. Rosapepe

    Ambassador to Romania (1998-01)

    Peter Rosenblatt

    Ambassador to the Trust Territories of the Pacific (1977-81)

    Edward L. Rowell

    Ambassador to Bolivia (1985-87)

    Ambassador to Portugal (1988-89)

    Ambassador to Luxembourg (1990-93)

    Jim Sasser

    Ambassador to China (1995-99)

    Howard B. Schaffer

    Ambassador to Bangladesh (1984-87)

    Teresita C. Schaffer

    Ambassador to Sri Lanka (1992-95)

    Arthur L. Schechter

    Ambassador to the Bahamas (1998-01)

    David J. Scheffer

    Ambassador at Large for War Crimes (1997-01)

    Cynthia P. Schneider

    Ambassador to Netherlands (1998-01)

    Peter Sebastian

    Ambassador to Tunisia (1984-87)

    Talcott W. Seelye

    Ambassador to Tunisia (1972)

    Ambassador to Syria (1978-81)

    Ira S. Shapiro

    Chief Negotiator for Japan and Canada (1995-97)

    John Shattuck

    Ambassador to the Czech Republic (1998-00)

    Derek Shearer

    Ambassador to Finland (1994-97)

    Wendy R. Sherman

    Counselor to the Secretary; North Korea Policy Coordinator

    Ambassador at Large (1997-01)

    David Shinn

    Ambassador to Burkina Faso (1987-90)

    Ambassador to Ethiopia (1996-99)

    Edward E. Shumaker

    Ambassador to Trinidad & Tobago (1997-01)

    M. Osman Siddique

    Ambassador to Fiji, Tongo, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Nauru (1999-01)

    Thomas L. Siebert

    Ambassador to Sweden (1994-98)

    Thomas W. Simons, Jr.

    Ambassador to Poland (1990-93)

    Ambassador to Pakistan (1996-98)

    Richard Sklar

    Ambassador to the United Nationsl(1997)

    Special Representative for Implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords (1996-97)

    Ambassador to and Special Representative to Promote Economic Reconstruction and the Development of Market Economies in Southeast Europe (1999-01)

    Robert P. Smith

    Ambassador to Malta (1974-76)

    Ambassador to Ghana (1976-79)

    Ambassador to Liberia (1979-81)

    Keith C. Smith

    Ambassador to Lithuania (1997-00)

    Nancy Soderberg

    Ambassador to the United Nations (1997-01)

    E. Michael Southwick

    Ambassador to Uganda (1994-97)

    Joan E. Spero

    Ambassador to UN Economic and Social Council (1980-81)

    Daniel L. Spiegel

    Ambassador to United Nations in Geneva (1993-97)

    Carl Spielvogel

    Ambassador to Slovak Republic (2000-01)

    Andrew Steigman

    Ambassador to Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe (1975-77)

    John Todd Stewart

    Ambassador to Moldova (1995-98)

    Robert Strauss

    Ambassador to the Russian Federation (1991-92)

    Michael J. Sullivan

    Ambassador to Ireland (1998-01)

    Richard N. Swett

    Ambassador to Denmark (1998-01)

    Richard W. Teare

    Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu (1993-96)

    Theresa Tull

    Ambassador to Guyana (1987-90)

    Ambassador to Brunai (1993-96)

    Abelardo L. Valdez

    Chief of Protocol (1979-81)

    William J. Vanden Heuvel

    Permanent Representative to United Nations in Geneva (1977-79)Deputy Permanent Representative to United Nations (1979-81)

    George S. Vest

    Ambassador to European Union (1981-84)

    Sandra Louise Vogelgesang

    Ambassador to Nepal (1994-97)

    James D. Walsh

    Ambassador to Argentina (2000-03)

    Keith Wauchope

    Ambassador to Gabon (1989-92)

    A. Vernon Weaver

    Ambassador to the European Union (1996-99)

    Thomas G. Weston

    Special Coordinator for Cyprus (1999-04)

    Kenneth Yalowitz

    Ambassador to Belarus (1994-97)

    Ambassador to Georgia (1998-01

    Posted by Eric at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

    Detroit Free Press Endorses John Kerry

    Quote:

    America needs a new direction, and that can begin only with new leadership. Kerry is not a perfect candidate, but he is a promising alternative to things as they are. The Massachusetts senator is certainly more thoughtful than Bush, more open to new ideas and more sensitive to the issues confronting the middle and working classes. He is as resolute as the incumbent about fighting terrorism but more willing to change strategies that are not effective.

    Kerry would refocus American military and diplomatic efforts on fighting terrorism, a bigger threat to freedom here and around the world than Saddam Hussein ever was. He also offers a timetable to get American forces out of Iraq, as opposed to the Bush administration's open-ended commitment. Under the Kerry plan, the people of Iraq would know that they cannot depend indefinitely on a U.S. military presence and must begin taking more control over their own situation.

    No nation in the world should want Iraq to become what Kerry calls "a failed state that inevitably would become a haven for terrorists and a destabilizing force" in the Middle East. Bush's declaration to the contrary, that is the path Iraq is now on. Yet few other nations are willing to help the United States and its small coalition purge Iraq of its violent radicals. Why? They are wary of America's current leadership and its with-us-or-against-us attitude.

    That must change. Iraq is but one among an array of problems that cry out for international solutions and U.S. leadership. Many of them, such as AIDS, are or will become national security issues for America if they are not addressed on a multilateral basis.

    Posted by Eric at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

    October 02, 2004

    Activist Goes on Anti-Nader Hunger Strike

    Insert obligatory Olsen Twins joke here. From the AP:

    A Southern California peace activist once fasted for 63 days to protest movie violence and war toys. Now he's taking on Ralph Nader.

    Jerry Rubin is launching a hunger strike to persuade Ralph Nader to abandon his presidential bid. Rubin says Nader isn't doing the right thing by running for president.

    Rubin, who's 60, says he plans to consume only liquids for the next month unless Nader meets with him.

    Many believe the votes Nader received in Florida in 2000 would have gone to Democratic candidate Al Gore if Nader hadn't run. Gore lost the state -- and the national election -- by 537 votes.

    Rubin is not the 60s radical Jerry Rubin of ``Chicago Seven'' fame. In fact, this Rubin's legal name is Jerry Peace Activist Rubin.

    Posted by Eric at 06:49 PM | Comments (0)

    Fox News Starts Making Shit Up

    Josh Marshall is all over this. Fox News made up Kerry quotes. For example:

    "Women should like me! I do manicures."
    "Didn't my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!"

    "I'm metrosexual — [Bush's] a cowboy."

    The LA Times has more.

    The Houston Chronicle says: "a Fox insider claimed late Friday that tempers were raging. "The folks here are furious," the source said."

    Posted by Eric at 04:10 AM | Comments (0)

    October 01, 2004

    Vote for Kerry, Then You Die

    That's pretty much the message coming from the Bush campaign:

    Dear eric,

    Over the next few days, at the office, at your children's football or soccer games, and in your homes, people will be talking about last night's debate. Here are some important facts to keep in mind as you're talking with friends and neighbors about the exchange.

    President Bush spoke clearly and from the heart last night about the path forward - toward victory and security - in the War on Terror. The President spoke candidly about the difficulties facing our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as these countries prepare for their first free elections. The terrorists will continue to fight these steps toward freedom because they fear winning the War on Terror. People saw for themselves last night where John Kerry would lead our military, our allies and the world in the War on Terror - down a bumpy road paved with indecision, vacillation and cynicism. John Kerry has a record of wavering in the face of real challenges.

    Truth and optimism are not competing ideals. The War on Terror is difficult - there will be good days and bad days, but the war is essential to our safety at home and victory is the only option.

    Sincerely,

    Ken Mehlman

    The Kerry Edwards campaign was a little more happy in their email about the debate:
    Dear Eric,

    Tonight's debate was a decisive victory for John Kerry because America saw him as our next president. He showed strength, conviction, and a steady command of the facts. He offered clear plans for Iraq and fighting terrorism.

    George Bush has a record of failure to defend, and he failed to defend it. The president just gave us more of the same shallow promises.

    However, the Republican spin machine is already hard at work. We need your help to beat back their distortions. Right now we need you contact the media and speak your mind.

    Contact national media using the link below and remember to emphasize the points above.

    http://volunteer.johnkerry.com/speakout/tv

    Thank you,

    Mary Beth Cahill
    Campaign Manager

    Posted by Eric at 06:15 AM | Comments (0)

    The October Surprises

    Shiver with anticipation. From the fair and balanced Newsmax:

    President Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, said Wednesday that the Bush-Cheney campaign is planning some October "surprises" for challengers John Kerry and John Edwards.

    "We've got a couple of surprises that we intend to spring," Rove told ABC radio host Sean Hannity while explaining that he intends to wage an aggressive campaign no matter what the polls show.

    "It's 34 days [till the election] and that's a long time in politics, and when you get complacent you lose," the top White House adviser said.

    "We've got to stay on the offense. We've got to continue to press the battle onto the turf that they won in 2000: the Pennsylvanias, the Michigans and the Wisconsins and Iowas and Minnesotas and New Mexicos and Oregons.

    "And we've got to make sure that we lose none of the close states that we won in 2000 - Florida or Ohio or Colorado or Nevada or New Hampshire.

    "And you've also got to have a couple of surprises - and we've got a couple of surprises that we intend to spring."

    Posted by Eric at 05:56 AM | Comments (0)

    Democracy Corps Poll: Gains for Kerry

    From a Democracy Corps email:

    In an unprecedented national panelback survey of 1,318 likely voters who watched the debate conducted by Democracy Corps in coordination with Knowledge Networks, Democrat John Kerry decisively won tonight's presidential debate by a margin of 45 to 32 percent. Kerry gained a modest two points in the head-to-head race with Bush, cutting in half Bush's initial lead in the survey, but measures of Kerry's standing on key personal attributes and top issues suggest Kerry made much more significant gains among likely voters who watched the debate ...

    Ø Kerry makes major gains on personal favorability. John Kerry's performance was very well received by tonight's debate watchers, who gave him a 7-point increase in his thermometer score (up 8 points in "warm" responses and down 5 points in "cool" responses). Kerry's increases were relatively consistent across the board, including an 8-point jump in his thermometer score with women and 6 points with men. By contrast, Bush's thermometer only increased only 2 points after the debate (up 1 point in "warm" and down 1 point in "cool" responses).

    Ø Broad increases on the issues pertinent to the debate. In a debate that covered issues that were considered by many to be Bush's strongest points, John Kerry realized major gains. Kerry gained 9 points on who will do a better job on homeland security, 8 points on the war on terrorism, and 3 points on Iraq. Kerry also made important gains on having clear plans for what he wants to achieve (12-point net shift).

    Ø With the opportunity to be heard unfiltered for the first time since his convention, Kerry broke through on leadership qualities. Polling by Democracy Corps and other outlets has clearly demonstrated that consistent attacks by Bush and his allies have led to significant losses for Kerry on key measures of personal strength and leadership over the last two months. But after seeing Kerry's performance in this debate, likely voters gave him increases of 11 points on having good plans for Iraq, 9 points on strong leader, and 9 points on having confidence in him.

    Ø Large movement with key demographic groups. In this even race between John Kerry and George Bush, the critical bloc of Independent voters moved considerably toward John Kerry. Kerry's most notable achievement of the night was the vote shift among Independents where his vote increased 4 points from 50 to 54 percent while Bush's vote dropped 3 points from 45 to 42 percent. Kerry's favorability among independents jumped 12 points, and he addressed many of their concerns, both on security - up 10 points on making America safer and more secure, and 16 points on having good plans for Iraq - and leadership qualities - up 13 points on strong leader, up 10 points in having confidence in him, and a drop of 11 points on flip-flopping.

    Ø No real gains for Bush. In contrast to Kerry's major gains on a wide range of measures, President Bush saw little movement in the post-debate survey. The good news for Bush is that he did not lose ground on his personal attributes, job approval, or overall vote. But neither did he succeed in addressing voters' doubts about his leadership on Iraq and other foreign policy fronts or enforcing the attacks his campaign has leveled against Kerry.

    Posted by Eric at 05:50 AM | Comments (0)

    NRO on Bush: Blehh

    Jay Nordlinger:

    I thought Kerry did very, very well; and I thought Bush did poorly — much worse than he is capable of doing. Listen: If I were just a normal guy — not Joe Political Junkie — I would vote for Kerry. On the basis of that debate, I would. If I were just a normal, fairly conservative, war-supporting guy: I would vote for Kerry. On the basis of that debate.

    And I promise you that no one wants this president reelected more than I. I think that he may want it less.

    ... I hate to say it, but often Bush gave the appearance of being what his critics charge he is: callow, jejune, unserious. And remember — talk about repetition! — I concede this as someone who loves the man.

    When he talked about Iraq, he ran the risk of sounding Pollyanna-ish — a little head-in-the-sand-ish. Bush is not. But he might have left that impression.

    And why didn't he do more to tie the Iraq war to 9/11? To the general War on Terror? Why didn't he remind people that this is a war of self-defense — that, after 9/11, we couldn't go back to the days of episodic strikes, and law enforcement, and intelligence gathering?

    Rich Lowry:
    I guess I side with those who are disappointed in Bush's performance, but only with hesitation because it is so difficult to judge Bush in debates. When you think of the arguments he could ideally make, he almost always is lacking. He tends to be repetitive and tongue-tied. But, then again, he usually manages to get his point across to voters just fine, and to defy his pundit-doubters. Two things that I think most people will take away from this debate that will help Bush: 1) when push comes to shove Bush will defend the country and its interests, no matter what international opinion says; 2) Bush wants to be on the offense on the war on terror. These are points that Bush emphasized again and again. Maybe not always artfully, but that doesn't matter so much as the fact that majority sentiment in the country is on his side on both.
    Stan Kurtz: "I agree with the general consensus. Both candidates did well, and as a performance, the debate was essentially a draw."

    Posted by Eric at 05:23 AM | Comments (0)

    Lies and the Debate Lies

    From Matt Yglesias in Tapped; among them:

    Bush said, proudly, that "10 million people have registered to vote" in Afghanistan. While a high number of registered voters is to be applauded, Human Rights Watch says (PDF): "As the non-governmental organization Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) noted in a recent report, the number of registered voters in several provinces is significantly larger than the estimated population of known eligible voters. . . and Afghan and international NGOs told Human Rights Watch that they believe the overall number of registered voters is vastly inflated. Several election officials in Kabul told Human Rights Watch in late September that the number of Afghans expected to vote on October 9 could range as low as five to seven million."

    DNC

    John Kerry 04.

    And yes, those silly online polls ... well ... silly this:

    Philly.com: Kerry 87%, Bush 10%

    MSNBC: Kerry 70%, Bush 30%

    Houston Chronicle: Kerry 87%, Bush 11%

    Wall Street Journal: Kerry 60%, Bush 33%

    Florida Sun-Sentinel: Kerry 71%, Bush 16%

    LA Times: Kerry:89% Kerry, Bush 8%

    CNN: Kerry 79%, Bush 18%

    Atlanta Journal Constitution: Kerry 62%, Bush 30%

    And probably more scientific ones:
    CNN / GALLUP POLL ON WHO WON DEBATE

    Kerry: 53
    Bush: 37

    CBS POLL ON WHO WON DEBATE:

    Kerry: 44
    Bush: 26
    Tie: 30

    ABC POLL ON WHO WON DEBATE:

    Kerry: 45
    Bush 36:
    Tie: 17

    And a te he he moment:
    Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online's the Corner: "The Bush campaign miscalculated on having the first night be foreign policy night."
    However, according to my page view tracking statistics, one person was not found of John Kerry last night, as indicated by this search term:
    01 Oct, Fri, 05:16:44 Google: john kerry is a big fat douchebag
    Then again, someone also searched this:
    01 Oct, Fri, 05:31:44 Google: animal sex photos zebras
    But I digress.

    Posted by Eric at 05:10 AM | Comments (0)

    Quick Poll

    USA Today shows Kerry 53, Bush 37 in terms of who did 'the better job in the debate.'

    Posted by Eric at 12:28 AM | Comments (0)

    Uh Oh, Spaghetio

    Same reaction all night.

    Posted by Eric at 12:24 AM | Comments (0)

    September 30, 2004

    Reaction

    Smattering of blog opinions. Kos:

    Was it me, or was Bush on the defensive the entire debate? He could lip-smack, smirk, roll his eyes, blink like crazy, and look angry all he wanted, fact is, he has screwed things up and he was livid that he had to account for his mess.
    In fact, if I got anything from the debate, it was that regardless of how Iraq looks, he wasn't going to do anything to shift tactics. He had set his course, and nothing was going to change his decision.

    Strange, given the backdrop of violence in Iraq. I suppose people have a clear choice. More of the same, or a fresh new approach to Iraq.

    Talk Left:
    I thought Kerry Ace'd it. I thought Bush was a mess. His final scripted closing showed just how off he was during the actual debate. Bottom line: Kerry soared, Bush flailed around.
    From Pandagon:
    The after-analysis on CNN is struggling to come up with something Bush did good, and all they can say is that he stayed on message. And Carlos Watson just compared Kerry admitted he made a mistake to Bush's relaying a personal story as moments of humility. Watson's analysis is horrible - Bush had "command of policies"...but he didn't. He mentioned countries, a few policies, but Kerry destroyed Bush on policy knowledge outright.

    Greenfield just called the debate for Kerry, essentially. He said Kerry connected, he said conservative blogs thought Bush was on the defensive and he said he wanted to wait a few days to decide if Bush reassured. And the other guy (Carlos Watson, I think...?) said undecideds are now going to take another look at John Kerry.

    Kerry won this. Thank God.

    From Nate Newman:
    Bush just seems to keep repeating himself. And insisting that Kerry is flip-flopping when Kerry is saying completely reasonable explanations of his position-- Bush screwed up a war that Kerry would have supported if done right-- just undermines his whole argument.

    And yes, the eye rolling and smirking, angry mouth just makes him look like a pouty little boy.

    Kerry's aggressiveness just seems to work well. He may get wonky at points, but compared to Bush's repetitiveness, it just makes Kerry look like he has a vision to deal with the complications of Iraq and the rest of the world.

    And of course, Kerry doesn't even need to beat Bush point for point. He just needs to seem like a reasonable alternative as commander in chief. Polls consistently show people think the country's going in the wrong direction. If voters feel comfortable with Kerry, they can vote against Bush with the will that's out there.

    Paul Begala:
    Bottom line: Kerry looked more presidential than the president did. Perhaps Bush believes his own spinners. He seemed surprised and a bit befuddled to be confronted not by the weak, waffling, French-looking wimp he attacks on the stump. Instead, he saw a strong, confident leader, in command of both the facts and the debate itself. Bush spent most of the night on defense -- and you don't win on defense.

    Bush is like a PAC-10 football team: He just doesn't play defense well.

    Posted by Eric at 10:41 PM | Comments (0)

    KE: Mixed Messages

    From KE:

    Mixed Messages on Winning the War on Terror
    “Can’t Win The War On Terror” Asked “Can we win [the war on terror]?” Bush said, “I don’t think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the - those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.” [NBC, “The Today Show,” 8/30/04]

    Mixed Messages on Osama Bin Laden
    QUESTION: Do you want bin Laden dead?
    BUSH: I want justice. And there’s an old poster out west, that I recall, that said, “Wanted, Dead or Alive.” [Bush Remarks, 9/17/01, emphasis added]

    BUSH: “And [Osama Bin Laden is] just – he’s a person who has now been marginalized. His network is -- his host government has been destroyed. He’s the ultimate parasite who found weakness, exploited it, and met his match…So I don’t know where he is. Nor -- you know, I just don’t spend that much time on him really, to be honest with you. I…I truly am not that concerned about him.” [Bush Remarks, 3/13/02]

    Mixed Messages on Protecting the Homeland
    Bush Thought Homeland Security Cabinet Position Was "Just Not Necessary” And Blocked Its Creation. In October 2001, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said Bush opposed creating Office of Homeland Security position for Ridge. "[T]he president has suggested to members of Congress that they do not need to make this a statutory post, that he [Ridge] does not need Cabinet rank, for example, there does not need to be a Cabinet-level Office of Homeland Security is because there is such overlap among the various agencies, because every agency of the government has security concerns," Fleischer said. [White House Press Briefing, 10/24/01]

    Posted by Eric at 10:37 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush's Top Ten FlipFlops

    See here.

    Posted by Eric at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush Supporters Have No Clue

    From PIPA, Bush supporters don't know Bush:

    As the nation prepares to watch the presidential candidates debate foreign policy issues, a new PIPA-Knowledge Networks poll finds that Americans who plan to vote for President Bush have many incorrect assumptions about his foreign policy positions. Kerry supporters, on the other hand, are largely accurate in their assessments. The uncommitted also tend to misperceive Bush’s positions, though to a smaller extent than Bush supporters, and to perceive Kerry’s positions correctly. Steven Kull, director of PIPA, comments: “What is striking is that even after nearly four years President Bush’s foreign policy positions are so widely misread, while Senator Kerry, who is relatively new to the public and reputed to be unclear about his positions, is read correctly.”

    Majorities of Bush supporters incorrectly assumed that Bush favors including labor and environmental standards in trade agreements (84%), and the US being part of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (69%), the International Criminal Court (66%), the treaty banning land mines (72%), and the Kyoto Treaty on global warming (51%). They were divided between those who knew that Bush favors building a new missile defense system now (44%) and those who incorrectly believe he wishes to do more research until its capabilities are proven (41%). However, majorities were correct that Bush favors increased defense spending (57%) and wants the US, not the UN, to take the stronger role in developing Iraq’s new government (70%).

    Kerry supporters were much more accurate in assessing their candidate’s positions on all these issues. Majorities knew that Kerry favors including labor and environmental standards in trade agreements (90%); the US being part of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (77%); the International Criminal Court (59%); the land mines treaty (79%); and the Kyoto Treaty on climate change (74%). They also knew that he favors continuing research on missile defense without deploying a system now (68%), and wants the UN, not the US, to take the stronger role in developing Iraq’s new government (80%). A plurality of 43% was correct that Kerry favors keeping defense spending the same, with 35% assuming he wants to cut it and 18% to expand it.

    Posted by Eric at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

    John Eisenhower: "Why I will vote for John Kerry for President"

    In the NH The Union Leader, another Republican for Kerry:

    As son of a Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, it is automatically expected by many that I am a Republican. For 50 years, through the election of 2000, I was. With the current administration’s decision to invade Iraq unilaterally, however, I changed my voter registration to independent, and barring some utterly unforeseen development, I intend to vote for the Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry.

    The fact is that today’s “Republican” Party is one with which I am totally unfamiliar. To me, the word “Republican” has always been synonymous with the word “responsibility,” which has meant limiting our governmental obligations to those we can afford in human and financial terms. Today’s whopping budget deficit of some $440 billion does not meet that criterion.

    Responsibility used to be observed in foreign affairs. That has meant respect for others. America, though recognized as the leader of the community of nations, has always acted as a part of it, not as a maverick separate from that community and at times insulting towards it. Leadership involves setting a direction and building consensus, not viewing other countries as practically devoid of significance. Recent developments indicate that the current Republican Party leadership has confused confident leadership with hubris and arrogance.

    Posted by Eric at 01:46 AM | Comments (0)

    September 29, 2004

    Cheney Flipity Flopity

    Kick:

    In an assessment that differs sharply with his view today, Dick Cheney more than a decade ago defended the decision to leave Saddam Hussein in power after the first Gulf War, telling a Seattle audience that capturing Saddam wouldn't be worth additional U.S. casualties or the risk of getting "bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq."

    Cheney, who was secretary of defense at the time, made the observations answering audience questions after a speech to the Discovery Institute in August 1992, nearly 18 months after U.S. forces routed the Iraqi army and liberated Kuwait. ... "And the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth?" Cheney said then in response to a question.

    "And the answer is not very damned many. So I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we'd achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq."

    Columnist Joel Connelly with more.

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

    Howard Dean's Advice to John Kerry

    From an NPR interview:

    NPR.org, September 29, 2004 · Howard Dean says John Kerry is on the attack against President Bush -- exactly what the Democratic senator needs to do to get voters fired up about his campaign.

    "I think John Kerry's speeches over the past few weeks have been much tighter, much more pointed, much clearer, willing to take on the president and the president's obvious hypocrisy," the former presidential candidate tells NPR's Renee Montagne. "And I think that's what's necessary."

    "I'm a different kind of politician than John Kerry -- no two politicians are ever the same," Dean says. "So it's true there was an enormous amount of passion in my campaign, but in the end politics is about policy. It can't just be about passion."

    Dean, by the way, has a new book (and who doesn't?).

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

    Bush's Hometown Newspaper Endorses Kerry

    Reuters: "The weekly Lone Star Iconoclast criticized Bush's handling of the war in Iraq and for turning budget surpluses into record deficits. The editorial also criticized Bush's proposals on Social Security and Medicare."

    Posted by Eric at 01:43 AM | Comments (0)

    September 28, 2004

    Name the October Surprise

    What will the Bush campaign pull out of its hat? Guess here, with prizes.

    Posted by Eric at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

    The Least Likely

    Asian Americans are the least likely to vote. PSA Trailer.

    Posted by Eric at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

    Bush Makes Out with Pam Anderson

    Well ... sorta. See Post picture.

    Posted by Eric at 06:43 AM | Comments (0)

    September 23, 2004

    On "Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry"

    Atrio has a nice post on the new John Kerry movie.

    You can also order the movie based on W's life.

    Posted by Eric at 05:03 PM | Comments (0)

    More Bush Administration Anti-Gay Action

    This time on social security:

    The Social Security Administration is trying to remove language from the agency's labor contract that protects its employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The change would make it legal for gay and lesbian employees in the Bush administration to be discriminated against, or even fired, by their employers.

    The contract language at issue was added in 2000 in response to an executive order by President Clinton establishing a uniform policy protecting federal employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    "I call on President Bush to intercede and protect the hard-working employees of the Social Security Administration," said Terry McAuliffe, Democratic National Committee chairman. "Unfortunately, if Bush's record of divisive politics is any indicator, he will ignore this problem and fail us once again. If Bush's appointees within the SSA are successful in removing this protection, then other agencies are sure to follow, and gay and lesbian Americans would have no legal recourse to fight against wrongful discrimination."

    Posted by Eric at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)

    September 22, 2004

    Swift Boat Ad Fact Check

    The Kerry campaign has released a response to the new SBVT ad.

    Meanwhile, Mike McCurry is calling on President Bush to condemn the reprehensible ads:

    “This week has seen a further deterioration of chaos in Iraq. American servicemen have been killed, two Americans were brutally beheaded, car bombs continue to explode and, according to Prime Minister Allawi’s own account, thousands of terrorists continue to pour into Iraq.

    “And the response from George W. Bush and his campaign? A shrug of the shoulder from the President at the U.N., and an advertisement that takes a lighthearted approach to the war in Iraq.

    “Mr. President, this is a shameful advertisement that shows a disturbing disregard for those fighting and sacrificing in Iraq, and you should repudiate it immediately.”

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

    Kerry Tops Bush In MTV Poll

    CBS, 46-40.

    Posted by Eric at 09:03 AM | Comments (0)

    September 20, 2004

    Bush Lawyer Representing Nader

    Surely a coincidence; link from Buzzflash, in Tampa Trib yet another example of Nader siding with the GOP instead of progressives:

    Representing Nader in Florida is Kenneth Sukhia, a George W. Bush lawyer during 2000 who was later nominated by the president for a federal judgeship.
    This is what that oooh so partisan Democrat Noam Chomsky said about people like Ralph:
    "Anyone who says, 'I don't care if Bush gets elected' is basically telling poor and working people in the country, 'I don't care if your lives are destroyed. I don't care whether you are going to have a little money to help your disabled mother. I just don't care, because from my elevated point of view I don't see much difference between them.' That's a way of saying, 'Pay no attention to me, because I don't care about you.' Apart from its being wrong, it's a recipe for disaster if you're hoping to ever develop a popular movement and a political alternative."--Noam Chomsky, 2004

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

    September 17, 2004

    Be John Kerry

    A new game allows you to be John Kerry in the swift boat. From USA Today:

    Want to see how you handle Swift Boat controversy? A new downloadable video game gives gamers the chance to play then-Lt. John Kerry and lead the Swift Boat campaign in the Mekong Delta for which he received a Silver Star in 1969 during the Vietnam War ...

    In the real world, Democratic presidential candidate Kerry, President Bush and Vietnam veterans have haggled over Kerry's Naval career and his commendations. Its creation of a virtual version Kerry's Silver Star mission is not Kuma's attempt to make a political point. "The visceral experience … of commanding and executing the mission," CEO Keith Halper says, "will help people make up their own minds."

    Kuma uses Department of Defense and Naval records in creating a playable first-person version playable of the mission. News information from the Associated Press and Kerry biographies were also use. "We put people on the boat in Vietnam and give them a very good sense of what a Swift Boat is like and who are the soldiers involved with this," Halper says.

    However, like each Kuma game mission, players first view a presentation of video from the real world and the game with background news about the actual campaign as it happened. Then, players access an intelligence package with actual satellite photos and documents about the mission, equipment and weapons.

    The game will be here at the end of the month.

    Posted by Eric at 09:52 AM | Comments (0)

    September 16, 2004

    Tony Coehlo: War in Kerry Camp

    The veteran Democratic operative to CBS News:

    "There is nobody in charge and you have these two teams that are generally not talking to each other," says Coehlo, who ran Al Gore's campaign early in the 2000 presidential race. As Coelho and other detractors see it, there is a civil war within the Kerry campaign.

    Sen. Ted Kennedy's former staff members, Mary Beth Cahill, the Kerry campaign manager, and veteran Democratic strategist Bob Shrum are at odds with recent additions who served under President Clinton.

    "Here are two groups that have never gotten along and have fought, and it is a lot over money," says Coehlo. "Because in the Democratic Party the consultants get paid for the creation and the placement of [advertising]. Republicans only pay you for the creation."

    Coelho, a former congressman who served as House majority whip for the Democrats from 1987 to 1989, does not question any of the Kerry staff's sincerity in wanting to unseat President Bush. But his comments highlight a longstanding battle within the Democratic Party for national campaign control.

    "In 1988, Dukakis: Shrum is involved. In 1992, Clinton: nothing to do with Shrum. They don't want Shrum in any way," Coelho says. "In 1996, they do not want Shrum in any way. In 2000, Gore doesn't want Clinton people. We go forward, 2004, all of a sudden it's the Shrum/Kennedy people."

    Posted by Eric at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

    September 15, 2004

    K Street Low on Dem Chances?

    According to this The Hill article, that's the idea:

    Retiring House Democrats are feeling a cold draft from K Street as they seek post-congressional employment at lobbying firms, trade groups and corporations.

    By contrast, K Street is aggressively courting GOP lawmakers who have announced their retirements, suggesting that the business community is confident the GOP will retain the Speaker’s gavel in January and that business wants to fortify its Republican Rolodexes ... But the lack of open arms for midlevel Democratic lawmakers is also one indication, however imprecise, that the donor community on K Street does not believe that Democrats will retake the House this year.

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

    Church and Politics Mix

    While the IRS turns its attention to political churches. From the St. Petersburg Times:

    Across the nation, people are turning to the IRS to keep pastors from promoting political agendas. It is happening in a year when both presidential campaigns are increasingly using churches as a way to reach voters.

    The Bush campaign has courted evangelical Christians, including asking for church mailing lists in some states. Democrat John Kerry has campaigned at black churches and invoked his faith in speeches. In July, Kerry's running mate stumped at a black church in Orlando.

    As the political influence of churches grows, opponents are wielding the tax code as a weapon against them.

    "It could have a chilling effect," said state Rep. Arthenia Joyner, a Tampa Democrat who is African-American. "I see it as a way to try to intimidate people, but I think it's not going to work."

    And one Republican wants to change that:
    U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican, has introduced a bill in Congress that would let churches endorse candidates. The bill could come up for a vote before the November election.

    Opponents fear that would turn churches into arms of political parties, reshaping politics and cheapening religion.

    Posted by Eric at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

    $50,000 for Bush Service Proof

    Got info? Texas for Truth is offering a reward.

    Posted by Eric at 01:03 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry vs. Bush on AIDs Funding

    No difference here:

    Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry would double U.S. spending on domestic and international AIDS programs if elected in November, Kerry's daughter Vanessa said at the annual National Association of People With AIDS conference on Friday in Atlanta, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Kerry also would expand research on medications and vaccines for the disease and "always use science and not ideology" when establishing AIDS policies, unlike the current administration, she said. "We cannot fight an epidemic if we are shackled by ideology," Vanessa Kerry said, adding that Bush administration officials have allowed religious and conservative views to guide the nation's AIDS policies, particularly the ongoing push for abstinence-only sex and HIV education for youths. The extra funds pledged by Kerry for the AIDS programs would come from the repeal of tax cuts implemented by President Bush for families who earn more than $200,000 per year.

    NAPWA executive director Terje Anderson praised Vanessa Kerry's speech and her participation in a roundtable meeting at the NAPWA conference, calling it "important for all people living with HIV and those who care about us." Anderson says both the Kerry and Bush campaigns were asked to send representatives to speak at the conference, but Bush administration officials didn't respond to the group's invitation.

    Posted by Eric at 12:10 AM | Comments (0)

    Sierra Club to Launch Voter Education Drive

    In, where else, battleground states:

    The Sierra Club announced today that it has launched the most ambitious voter education program in the 112-year-old environmental organization's history, and is on track to have direct conversations with nearly half a million voters in key states by November 2.

    The 527 voter education program, called "Sierra Club Votes," is now operating in 10 key metropolitan areas and statewide in New Hampshire. The cities, all located in battleground states, include: Albuquerque/Santa Fe, NM; Columbus, OH; Las Vegas, NV; Milwaukee, WI; Minneapolis, MN; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; Reno, NV; and Tampa Bay, FL.

    "Between now and Election Day, the Sierra Club will be contacting an average of 40,000 environmental voters in each of our sites at least eight times to educate them about the environmental records of George Bush and John Kerry," National Political Director Greg Haegele said.

    More from the Sierra Club at their website.

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

    September 14, 2004

    Limbaugh "Official Unpaid Advisor to Bush-Cheney '04"

    Not sure if it's a play on the Begala / Carville thing, but so says his website.

    Posted by Eric at 06:26 PM | Comments (0)

    "Outspoken 9/11 widows to endorse Kerry"

    From the AP:

    Five outspoken Sept. 11 widows will publicly endorse John Kerry for president, The Associated Press has learned.

    Some also have agreed to make campaign appearances for the Democratic challenger to President George W. Bush, Democratic campaign sources told AP.

    "We will be speaking from the heart, and speaking from our conscience," Kristen Breitweiser, by far the most visible and outspoken of the Sept. 11 family advocates, said yesterday.

    Posted by Eric at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

    September 13, 2004

    Kerry Questions Bush on Iraq-911 Connection

    From CNN:

    Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry accused the Bush administration Sunday of falsely linking Iraq to the attacks of September 11, 2001, "in its desperate attempts to reinvent a rationale for the Iraq war."

    Kerry made his charge in a statement released after Secretary of State Colin Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he has seen nothing to link Saddam Hussein's regime with the 9/11 attacks.

    "We know that there had been connections and there had been exchanges between al Qaeda and the Saddam Hussein regime. And those have been pursued and looked at," Powell said on the program.

    "But I have seen nothing that makes a direct connection between Saddam Hussein and that awful regime, and what happened on 9/11."

    On the same note, Eleanor Clift says Kerry needs to keep hammering Bush on Iraq and the war deaths.

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

    Fiscal Conservatives Unhappy with Bush

    From the AP:

    But even fiscal conservatives, traditionally allied with the Republican White House, were skeptical of Bush's plans.

    "While it's true that Kerry hasn't provided a detailed plan, neither has the president," said Heritage Foundation budget analyst Brian Riedl.

    William Niskanen, chairman of the Cato Institute, said Bush's warnings about Kerry's spending plans were "inconsistent" with his own proposals. "There's no way to accomplish (Bush's) major new measures, including tax reform, without substantial increases in spending," Niskanen said.

    Stephen Moore of the Club for Growth, a group that raises money for conservative political candidates, said Bush was not being "very forthright" about his plans. He called Bush's fiscal record "abysmal," adding that under both Bush and Kerry "fiscal responsibility takes the back seat."

    Posted by Eric at 03:32 AM | Comments (0)

    Nader Targets Democrats

    The man Republicans love to love, Ralph Nader, will fight for votes in the battleground states; Hartford Courant:

    In what could become a worst-case scenario for Democrats, Ralph Nader announced plans to launch a spirited new phase to his independent candidacy in swing states Thursday. At the same time, he is suggesting that part of its purpose would be to retaliate against Democrats who had fought his candidacy.

    Nader will begin his fall campaign by traveling through Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin in the next week. He plans to rally voters by blasting the war in Iraq and corrupt corporations, and also by criticizing Democrats for their efforts to keep him off ballots in the most competitive states.

    Nader made it clear at a breakfast gathering with journalists here that he is angered by Democratic efforts to stall his candidacy and he will focus attention on what he deems harassment. "We're exposing all the pus and the bile," Nader said of the Democratic efforts. "We're flushing the system out."

    Posted by Eric at 03:27 AM | Comments (0)

    September 10, 2004

    Most Conservative Judges in History

    According to a study by several academics; AP:

    A study of thousands of federal court cases has found that judges appointed by President Bush (news - web sites) are the most conservative on record in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties. The study's authors say the re-election of Bush would give U.S. courts a strong rightward tilt that could last for years.

    "If Bush wins re-election you're going to have a very conservative judiciary," University of Houston political scientist Robert Carp said on Thursday. "An average president puts in about a third of the federal judiciary in two terms, so this really is a watershed year in terms of what happens." ... They found that Republican appointees issued liberal rulings in about a third of their cases while Democrats did so 45 percent to 50 percent of the time.

    But in civil rights and civil liberties cases -- abortion, gay rights, freedom of speech, right to privacy, race relations, for example -- Bush judges made liberal decisions only 26.5 percent of the time.

    That was well below 37.9 percent for appointees of Richard Nixon, 32.3 percent for Ronald Reagan (news - web sites) and 32.2 percent for George H.W. Bush, all fellow Republican presidents.

    People for the American Way reminds us:
    The Supreme Court is the final authority on Americans' basic rights. It interprets the law and decides what the Constitution permits and the Bill of Rights protects. As many as three of the nine justices on the Court may retire in the next few years. President Bush has stated that his model for Supreme Court nominations will be Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the two most right-wing justices on the Court. And it will only take one or two new right-wing votes to roll back many social justice gains of the past 65 years. In fact, right-wing activists want to return America to before the New Deal, when the Supreme Court blocked many government efforts to address issues from child labor to poverty.

    Turning Back the Clock
    The current Supreme Court's conservative majority has already begun to turn back the clock, adopting a new theory of states' rights and limiting remedies to discrimination. But even this conservative majority has not been willing to follow the radically right-wing course that the Court's most far-right justices have argued for. On many issues, they just need a vote or two.

    Interpret laws. Rulings. Supreme Court justices = old. Retire. Appoint? Liberal justices? Ahaha. No.

    Posted by Eric at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

    Fucking Crazies?

    So claims a journalist overseas; Lloyd Grove's NYDN column:

    Did Secretary of State Colin Powell tell his British counterpart two years ago that the U.S. government's three top hawks were "f--g crazies"? Respected Brit journalist James Naughtie reports that in private talks with Foreign Secretary Jack Straw before the war in Iraq, a deeply frustrated Powell used just those words to describe Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Powell's chief rivals in the Bush administration.

    Yesterday, Powell - through a spokeswoman - predictably denied Naughtie's account, which appears in a new book, "The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency."

    "This is nonsense," Powell said. "I never said anything like that to Jack, nor him to me. Anyone who says I did is wrong."

    Likewise, after fevered consultations between the State Department and the Foreign Office Wednesday night and yesterday, a British official E-mailed me: "These allegations are without foundation. Secretary Powell has never used these words to the Foreign Secretary."

    But Naughtie - a well-known BBC radio personality whose contacts in the British government are deep and wide - refused to back off.

    "I did not use these words lightly," he told me yesterday. "I had information which convinced me utterly that they had been used. Whatever the statements issued from the two offices concerned, I stand by the quote."

    Posted by Eric at 01:10 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush Makes NJ Competitive

    The state, which is largely expected to go to Kerry, is swinging between Bush and the Democrat; NJ Star-Ledger:

    On the strength of withering attacks against his opponent in TV ads and at the Republican National Convention, President Bush has cut Democrat John Kerry's lead in New Jersey to just four points, a new Star-Ledger/Eagleton-Rutgers Poll shows.

    Kerry led Bush by 20 points after the Democratic National Convention in July, and both parties have long counted New Jersey as a safe bet to land in the Kerry column in the Nov. 2 election.

    The poll, conducted Friday through Tuesday, found the Massachusetts senator leading Bush 43 percent to 39 percent. Five percent sided with independent Ralph Nader or another candidate, while 13 percent said they had not yet decided. The poll of 738 registered voters has a margin of error of 3.7 points.

    More state polls here.

    Posted by Eric at 01:07 PM | Comments (0)

    September 09, 2004

    Cheney Hypocrisy

    Some would call it hypocritical. I call it hypodipocritical. But that's just me.

    In March of this year, Cheney attacked Kerry for having "repeatedly voted against weapons systems for the military,"hammering the senator for voting "against the Apache helicopter, against the Tomahawk cruise missile, against even the Bradley Fighting Vehicle." He said this record has "given us ample doubts about [Kerry's] judgment and the attitude he brings to bear on vital issues of national security."

    What Cheney leaves out of his stump speeches is the ironic fact that almost all of the cuts Kerry voted for were endorsed or originally proposed by Cheney himself. At issue is not the cuts themselves, but the hypocrisy of Cheney attacking an opponent who merely followed his lead.

    Cheney accuses Kerry of calling for "major reductions or outright cancellations of many of our most important weapons systems"; Bush ads attack the senator for voting "against 13 weapons systems for our troops" over 20 years. But it was Defense Secretary Cheney who gloated that he had "put an end to more than 100 systems" in less than three years. In December 1991, he bragged to the Washington Post that he was setting "an all-time record as Defense Secretary for canceling or stopping production" of weapons and equipment.

    In fact, a lot of the attacks against Kerry on defense spending have been misleading. And there is another point about voting in regards to spending packages that Chris Matthews actually touched upon on his Hardball show with guest Zell Miller:
    MILLER: Well, I certainly don't believe they want to defend America by putting the kind of armor and the kind of equipment that we have got to have out there for our troops. I mean, nothing could be clearer than that, than what John Kerry did when he voted against that $87 billion in appropriations, that would have provided protective armor for our troops and armored vehicles.

    MATTHEWS: All right, let me ask you. Senator, you are the expert. Many times, as a conservative Republican, you have had to come out on the floor and obey party whips and vote against big appropriations passed by the Democrats when they were in power.

    You weren't against feeding poor people. You weren't against Social Security. You weren't against a lot of programs that, because of the nature of parliamentary procedure and combat, you had to vote against the whole package. Didn't you many times vote against whole packages of spending, when you would have gladly gone for a smaller package?

    Just silly distortion politics. Sick.

    Posted by Eric at 07:25 PM | Comments (0)

    Nader off Balot in Florida

    Bush campaign suffers a loss in Florida.

    Likely won't be overturned.

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

    More Questions About Bush Service Record

    More information surfacing; from CBS News.

    Posted by Eric at 12:25 PM | Comments (0)

    Moore to Help Release Two Albums

    And - surprise - right before the election; NYT:

    Michael Moore has struck deals with two major record companies to release "Fahrenheit 9/11"-theme albums less than a month before the presidential election, record executives and Mr. Moore said yesterday.

    The deals, with Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group, were reached after months of closely guarded and laborious talks and will add a musical dimension to Mr. Moore's political efforts. The albums are set for release Oct. 5.

    Sony BMG will release the more unusual of the two recordings, a compilation of artists who Mr. Moore said provided motivation to him and his crew while they were making the film. It includes a new song from Zack de la Rocha, the former front man for the politically charged rock band Rage Against the Machine, and previously released songs from Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, the Clash, System of a Down and Jeff Buckley. It also includes a new song from the Nightwatchman, an alter ego of Tom Morello, the former Rage Against the Machine guitarist.

    Warner Music is set to release a soundtrack of the film's score and several songs used in the film, including Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" and R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People."

    Posted by Eric at 12:21 PM | Comments (0)

    September 08, 2004

    GOP Mayor to Protest Bush?

    May use the Electoral College to lodge a protest vote against Bush; Charleston Daily Mail:

    South Charleston Mayor Richie Robb said today he may vote against George W. Bush in the Electoral College, even if the president carries West Virginia's popular vote.

    Robb, long known as a maverick Republican, said he is considering using his position as one of the state's five Republican electors to protest what he believes are misguided policies of the current administration.

    "It's not likely that I would vote for Kerry," Robb said. "But I'm looking at what my options are when it comes time to cast my vote."

    Posted by Eric at 08:17 PM | Comments (0)

    World Wants Change

    Finds new poll.

    Posted by Eric at 03:18 PM | Comments (0)

    More Bush Ineptitude

    From MSNBC:

    Bush refused to answer questions from reporters. He simply stared at a reporter who asked if he agreed with Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that if Democrat John Kerry is elected, "the danger is that we'll get hit again" by terrorists.
    0_0

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

    'Texans for Truth' Ad to Challenge Guard Record

    Texans for Truth. Hyuk. USA Today:

    A group called Texans for Truth will release a TV ad today in which a former lieutenant colonel in the Alabama Air National Guard says neither he nor his friends saw George W. Bush when the future president was supposed to be with their unit in 1972.

    The ad could renew questions about Bush's Vietnam-era service in the National Guard, just as ads by a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth renewed debate over Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's service in Vietnam and his anti-war efforts.

    Since the 2000 campaign, Bush has been dogged by questions about whether he reported for duty throughout his Guard service. He served as a pilot with the Texas Air National Guard and sought a transfer to Alabama in 1972 so he could work on a political campaign there. But some records that could document his service in Alabama are missing.

    Texans for Truth is an arm of DriveDemocracy, an Austin-based organization that got its initial funding from the liberal group MoveOn.org. Affiliates of MoveOn.org - MoveOn PAC and MoveOn Voter Fund — have spent about $7 million since March 1 on anti-Bush TV ads.

    And - of course - Drive Democracy has a website (though the Texans ad isn't covered).

    Edit: As noted in the comments, find the ad here

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

    Log Cabin GOP Withholds Bush Endorsement

    Not like the GOP party establishment cares what they think; NYTimes:

    The board of Log Cabin Republicans, the largest group for gay men and lesbians in the party, voted overwhelming last night against endorsing President Bush for re-election because of his support for a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

    The decision ends six months of soul-searching as the group, which endorsed Mr. Bush in 2000 and Bob Dole in 1996, wrestled with its divided loyalties.

    Although the group was immediately critical when the president announced his support for the amendment in February, it pointedly refrained from ruling out an endorsement. Its effort to balance loyalty to the party with opposition to a major item on the Republican agenda has made it a target of criticism from both supporters and opponents of the proposed amendment.

    Posted by Eric at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)

    September 07, 2004

    Idiotic Rhetoric

    This is pretty bad:

    "It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States," Cheney told about 350 supporters at a town-hall meeting in this Iowa city.

    If Kerry were elected, Cheney said the nation risks falling back into a "pre-9/11 mind-set" that terrorist attacks are criminal acts that require a reactive approach. Instead, he said Bush's offensive approach works to root out terrorists where they plan and train, and pressure countries that harbor terrorists.

    Posted by Eric at 06:49 PM | Comments (0)

    The Horton - Swfit Connection

    Washington Post:

    In both the Horton and Swift boat cases, the respective Bush campaigns disclaimed responsibility, saying the ads were the work of unaffiliated groups. But in both instances, news media reports subsequently exposed ties between the official campaigns and the independent groups. In Horton's case, Bush's campaign manager, the late Lee Atwater, was at one point quoted as saying he intended to make Horton "a household name." But subsequent inquiry by the Federal Election Commission found no illegal coordination between the campaign and the independent group.

    And neither of the Bush campaigns specifically repudiated the controversial spots -- although George W. Bush has called for an end to all advertising by "527" independent groups, several of which have spent millions of dollars on ads attacking his record. In fact, immediately after the Horton ad stopped airing, the Bush campaign ran its own ad about the Massachusetts prison release program using a picture of Horton, thereby reinforcing the initial commercial and the soft-on-crime message.

    What is fascinating to Kenneth Goldstein, a political science professor who directs the University of Wisconsin political advertising study project, is the needle-in-a-haystack quality of the two ads -- the fact that they, of all campaign commercials, became so widely discussed.

    Neither one, he points out, was viewed by very many people at first. The anti-Dukakis spot aired on cable TV in just two New England markets. The Swift boat commercial has had somewhat larger exposure, running about 700 times in three battleground states. But that is a pittance, Goldstein said, in a campaign in which more than 500,000 commercials have been run through mid-August. It is also in keeping with other famed negative campaign spots, such as Lyndon B. Johnson's 1964 "Daisy" commercial against Barry Goldwater. That commercial, which showed a little girl picking a daisy followed by a nuclear explosion, aired just once.

    Posted by Eric at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)

    Bushism - OBGYN

    Atrios has the funny.

    Posted by Eric at 01:49 AM | Comments (0)

    New Prez Polls

    Political Wire compiles the numbers so others don't have to.

    Posted by Eric at 12:18 AM | Comments (0)

    September 06, 2004

    NYC to Pay Protesters?

    Village Voice on potential consequences from NYC's handling of the convention protesters:

    In an extraordinary move, a judge last night held the city in contempt for refusing to abide by his order to release some 560 people who had been detained without a hearing for up to 67 hours, most of them on minor violations. New York Supreme Court Justice John Cataldo slapped fines of as high as $1,000 per person for the city's failure to release people by 5 p.m. on Thursday. A hearing is expected next week to determine how many protesters remained behind bars beyond the cutoff time, and whether the city will actually be forced to compensate them.

    "I think this is the first time a major municipality has actually been held in contempt and possibly fined for violating the rights of demonstrators before their cases went to court," says Daniel Alterman, one of the heavyweight lawyers-including Norman Siegel, Elizabeth Fink, and William Kunstler's wife, Margaret Ratner Kunstler-who went to bat for the demonstrators.

    City attorneys say fines are 'inappropriate' and are expected to vigorously challenge them.

    Meanwhile, TalkLeft has the story of a GOP delegate who bent it like Beckham on a protester.

    Posted by Eric at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

    Rasmussen: Kerry / Bush Near Tie

    Contradicting several other polls, the Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll "shows President George W. Bush with 48% of the vote and Senator John Kerry with 47%."

    Posted by Eric at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

    September 04, 2004

    RNC Mucked-up Moore Security

    Editor and Publisher.

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

    September 03, 2004

    Clinton Into Hospital

    "quadruple heart bypass surgery"

    Posted by Eric at 12:56 PM | Comments (0)

    Catholic Voters Give Lower Priority to Abortion Than Other Issues

    Econ, War, Healthcare tops it:

    Abortion was named as a "very important" priority by 49 percent of Catholics who expect to vote for President George W. Bush, coming behind Iraq, terrorism, moral values and the economy, each of which was named by at least 64 percent in a recent Pew poll ... Catholics who expect to vote for Kerry named health care, the economy, Iraq, the federal budget deficit, education and terrorism as their highest priorities. At least 74 percent of Catholic supporters of Kerry named each of those. Abortion was named as a priority for probable Kerry-voting Catholics 40 percent of the time.

    Catholic voters who have not yet made up their minds about the presidential race gave top priority to health care, followed by the economy, terrorism, Iraq and the federal budget deficit. All those topics were named by at least 66 percent of Catholics who are still deciding.

    Among those swing voters, abortion was named as a very important priority by 45 percent.

    Posted by Eric at 09:16 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Attacks Back

    Bush "unfit to lead this nation":

    In a unprecedented political rebuttal, the Democratic presidential challenger told cheering supporters at a midnight rally in his home state of Massachusetts: "I'm not going to have my commitment to defend this country questioned by those who refused to serve when they could have and by those who have misled the nation into Iraq. Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this country.

    "Doing nothing while this nation loses millions of jobs makes you unfit to lead this country. Letting 45 million Americans go without healthcare makes you unfit to lead this country. Letting the Saudi royal family control our energy costs makes you unfit to lead this country." ... "They did everything except talk about that" at their four-day convention, he said. "We have had insults; we have had anger from Republicans, and I'll tell you why: because they can't come to you and talk to you about having created jobs, since they have lost them. They can't come to you and talk to you about creating healthcare, since 5 million Americans have lost it.

    Posted by Eric at 08:50 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Camp Response

    Their response to the Bush convention speech is here.

    Posted by Eric at 08:42 AM | Comments (0)

    Zogby: 46%-44%

    From the poll: "The President has widened his lead in the Red States and tightened things up considerably in the Blue States. For the first time in months he now leads among Independents and Catholics. While the President has improved his numbers, he still has a negative re-elect, job performance, and wrong direction. So the battle is now engaged."

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

    September 02, 2004

    Does Downing Street Want Kerry?

    From The Guardian (link via Kos):

    John Kerry supporters in America have been told by Peter Hain that Downing Street is hoping the Democratic candidate wins the US presidential election in November.
    Mr Hain, who sits in the cabinet as Leader of the Commons, has been in the US on a near-private visit. He met Labour supporters in New York, as well as members of the Kerry team. He has declined to discuss the visit, and his public remarks at a party thrown by the former Sunday Times editor Harold Evans were largely bland. But in private discussions with guests, his tone was markedly different.

    Those who met him had the strong impression that he was acting with No 10's support, and that a Democratic victory was clearly sought. Such a supposition ought to be natural, but historic ties have been jolted by the strategic and sometimes personal alliance between George Bush and Tony Blair over Iraq. Mr Hain's visit may be seen by some as diplomatic ground-covering in the event of a Kerry victory.

    Posted by Eric at 01:26 PM | Comments (0)

    Republicans Love Veterans

    From Stewart Nusbaumert, in Intervention Mag:

    Republicans Insult Wounded Veterans: A wounded combat veteran awarded the Purple Heart is outraged that Republicans have mocked his Purple Heart medal and dishonored all Americans wounded in war.

    When did it become acceptable in America for our Purple Heart decorations to be a political stunt for votes? When did veterans wounded in war become fair gain for ridicule? When did slight wounds become props for political advantage? And this from Republicans, few of whom served in our military and fewer who were wounded in war; who support a president who never went to a war which he strongly supported as he took actions to avoid that war. This reeks of hypocrisy and I am outraged.

    The Republican Party is out of control; vicious and hateful, it is disrespectful and desperate; a political party that is now attacking America's wounded veterans. And the leadership of this Party remains quiet. First they attacked John McCain claiming the former POW was unfit to be President because he had been a prisoner in Vietnam; then they insisted that Max Cleland who lost three limbs on the battlefield in Vietnam did not sacrifice for his country; then they smeared John Kerry's military service and dismissed his sacrifices for America; now Republicans are insulting all veterans who are Purple Heart recipients, every American wounded in a war.

    Never could I imagine this happening in America. Never have I witnessed antiwar demonstrators insulting military veterans as these so-called patriotic Republicans are insulting our wounded veterans. Never could I imagine.

    Posted by Eric at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)

    Montanan Angry at Swift Boat Group Inclusion

    Stealing his identity? Where's the mainstream media on this? From the The Billings Gazette:

    It bothers him that Sen. John Kerry's swift boat history has become such a political hot potato. But he's even more irritated that his name was included - without his permission - on a letter used to discredit Kerry.

    "I'm pretty nonpolitical," the 56-year-old Anderson said Tuesday. So, when he found out last week that his name was one of about 300 signed on a letter questioning Kerry's service, he was "flabbergasted."

    "It's kind of like stealing my identity," said Anderson, who spent a year on a swift boat as an engine man and gunner.

    "After reading the letter," Anderson said, "it kind of got under my skin. I had never come across a situation where someone used my name without my support or approval. It's not a very comforting feeling."

    What's worse, he said, he disagrees with the letter.

    "Had they asked me to use my name, I wouldn't have allowed them to," he said ... Wedge, 60, of Mesquite, Nev., said his name, too, was on the list - and he's mad.

    "This is the fourth or fifth time someone has called me or e-mailed me in regard to signing this damn letter," he wrote in an e-mail to Anderson. "I don't agree with it and want no part of it and especially don't want my name on it."

    Posted by Eric at 10:17 AM | Comments (0)

    Will Bob Barr Vote Against Bush?

    From Newsday:

    Former Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia, a staunch conservative Republican, suggested yesterday that his concern over civil liberties issues raised in the Patriot Act might lead him to vote for a candidate other than President George W. Bush in November.

    "To me it's the most important issue on which I will be basing my vote in this election," Barr said at a forum about the controversial anti-terrorism law. The forum was sponsored jointly by the Arab American Institute and the American Conservative Union.

    When pressed, Barr would not say he was voting for Democrat John Kerry, but said he'd been following Kerry's positions on the law and found the Democrat's expression of reservations about it to be positive. "I would consider voting for any of the candidates based on this issue alone," Barr said.

    Posted by Eric at 09:13 AM | Comments (0)

    Rove Not Amused by Twins?

    According to the NYDN gossip page:

    President Bush and wife Laura may have been charmed by their darling daughters' introduction Tuesday night, but Bush-Cheney political aides thought Barbara and Jenna's shtick was an absolute bomb.

    Reliable sources tell the Daily News that Bush's chief political mastermind, Karl Rove, was among several advisers who panned the twins' convention act.

    "Whoever approved this," Rove moaned to a colleague, "I'm going to put on a slow boat to China."

    Another Bush-Cheney zealot called the monologue "perfect for 'Saturday Night Live' - without any editing."

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

    Kerry to Begin $50m Ad Buy

    The AP notes that after Labor Day, Kerry will begin airing new commercials in battleground states:

    John Kerry's $50 million post-Labor Day advertising effort will start in seven states before expanding to an additional 13, creating a coast-to-coast presidential battleground map by Nov. 2.

    The Democrat's commercials begin airing Friday in Ohio, then next week in Florida, Iowa, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Wisconsin, according to Democratic officials familiar with the buy.

    In an unusual strategy, the campaign was reserving airtime over the entire two-month period until the election. The rest of the states - Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Michigan, Arizona, Louisiana, Colorado, Arkansas and North Carolina and West Virginia - won't see the spots until later this fall.

    Ads will air on local network affiliates, cable TV and broadcast outlets targeting minorities.

    Posted by Eric at 09:04 AM | Comments (0)

    Trippi: Kerry Asleep

    From Joe Trippi, on MSNBC:

    As Howard Dean's campaign manager, I saw a front-running Kerry campaign literally fall asleep in the early months of 2003 because they knew they had the nomination won. Then our little ragtag Dean campaign gathered steam while the Kerry campaign spent nine months walking in its sleep. By the end of the long summer of 2003, the Kerry campaign's slumber was so pronounced that many thought it dead ... Someone has to say it: The Kerry campaign is doing it again. The campaign became so sure of victory over Bush, so confident of a win in November that the old slumbering Kerry campaign of summer 2003 is back like clockwork in August of 2004.

    The big difference is that they are not facing the under-funded campaigns of Dick Gephardt, Joe Lieberman, and John Edwards. Nor are they facing the energized but woefully inexperienced campaign of Howard Dean.

    They are facing the most monied campaign in history, among the most experienced campaign teams ever, and the most deceptive campaign since Richard Nixon's.

    If the Dukakis campaign of 1988 taught Democrats anything, it should have taught us that you don't sleep in August. Not against these guys, and not against anyone in this business no matter how formidable the lead. The Kerry campaign should have learned from their close call with the Dean campaign to never sleep walk or fall into the slumber of overconfidence again.

    Josh Marshall, on the other hand, says Dems need to calm down:
    There are articles about a possible shake-up among high-level staffers, blind quotes from Democratic insiders saying that after a couple more days it may be too late; and I've gotten a slew of emails from readers either asking me if I still think there's hope or ranting that they've had it with Mary Beth Cahill or Stephanie Cutter or someone else.

    All I can say is, really, really, shut up and calm down.

    Politically, this is one of the worst things about Democrats -- and it has many sources. As a group they seem to have a great tendency toward becoming disheartened, turning on their candidate, doubting his strategy, doubting his advisors, and so forth. Unfortunately, the candidates and advisors have an equal tendency to be open to that kind of fretting. And with the media playing the handmaiden to the synergizing anxiety, the whole thing can become very demoralizing and damaging for campaigns.

    Posted by Eric at 01:17 AM | Comments (0)

    September 01, 2004

    Kerrey on Swift

    From the NYDN:

    New School president Bob Kerrey - a former Democratic senator from Nebraska and a Medal of Honor recipient in Vietnam - had choice words for the Swifties accusing Sen. John Kerry of volunteering for Vietnam combat duty to pad his political resume.

    "Oh, f-- them," he told the Daily News' James Gordon Meek. "Quote me on that. The idea that you'd volunteer for [Swift boat duty] because you're thinking about a political career. ... That's what you think about doing if you want a posthumous political career."

    Posted by Eric at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

    George W. Bush: Hamster Killer?

    Weeeelll. Now he's not going to get my vote:

    On Tuesday night, the Bush family took the stage at the Republican convention to soften the image of a man branded by opponents as a leader who took the nation unnecessarily to war. They had a hamster tale as well.

    "We had a hamster too," Bush's daughter Barbara said. "Let's just say ours didn't make it."

    Hamsters for Kerry has this:
    We just about fell off of our hamster wheels when we heard that! Here was one of the President's daughters confessing on live television in front of millions of viewers that her father was a hamster killer! We're outraged! How did we ever let this evil enemy of domesticated crittters ever rise to power? Our mission is now clearer than ever--we have to stop George W. Bush! Please join us in our efforts to oust the tyrant and put the truly honorable John Kerry in the oval office.

    Posted by Eric at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

    Michael Moore on McCain

    In his latest USA Today column:

    I know Republicans are mad that my film may have convinced just enough people to tip the balance in this election. Yet with all the serious issues facing our country, and right smack in the middle of an important speech about the need to catch the terrorists and continue the war in Iraq, McCain decided to turn the convention into the Ebert and McCain Show. He claimed that I portrayed Saddam's Iraq as an "oasis of peace."

    Some of the 20 million who have seen the film must have wondered, "Did I miss that scene? I knew I shouldn't have gone out for those Goobers." All I can imagine McCain was referring to was a brief cutaway just as President Bush announces the commencement of the bombing of Baghdad on March 19, 2003.

    Human-rights groups say thousands of civilians were killed because of our bombing. I thought it would be worthwhile to show some of the faces of Iraqi people who might soon meet their death.

    I felt really bad for McCain standing there on the stage. The man wanted to be president. That dream was snuffed out during the 2000 primaries, when George W. Bush's supporters spread nasty rumors about what five and a half years in a North Vietnamese POW camp might have done to McCain's sanity.

    Then there were the calls to potential white voters in South Carolina to inform them that McCain had a "black baby." (He and his wife adopted a child from Bangladesh.) The Bush supporters also spread other rumors that questioned McCain's patriotism, even though the man was a decorated war hero while W. chose to oh, let's not get into that again.

    Still, McCain has offered to soldier on for Bush. So how does Bush's campaign treat him? It doesn't tell him I might be in the press section, officially credentialed.

    Posted by Eric at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)

    First Time for Everything?

    Rolling Stone notes that Cheney is a big fat re-election failure:

    Should George W. Bush win this election, it will give him the distinction of being the first occupant of the White House to have survived naming Dick Cheney to a post in his administration. The Cheney jinx first manifested itself at the presidential level back in 1969, when Richard Nixon appointed him to his first job in the executive branch. It surfaced again in 1975, when Gerald Ford made Cheney his chief of staff and then -- with Cheney's help -- lost the 1976 election. George H.W. Bush, having named Cheney secretary of defense, was defeated for re-election in 1992. The ever-canny Ronald Reagan was the only Republican president since Eisenhower who managed to serve two full terms. He is also the only one not to have appointed Dick Cheney to office.
    This pattern of misplaced confidence in Cheney, followed by disastrous results, runs throughout his life -- from his days as a dropout at Yale to the geopolitical chaos he has helped create in Baghdad. Once you get to know his history, the cycle becomes clear: First, Cheney impresses someone rich or powerful, who causes unearned wealth and power to be conferred on him. Then, when things go wrong, he blames others and moves on to a new situation even more advantageous to himself.

    "Cheney's manner and authority of voice far outstrip his true abilities," says Chas Freeman, who served under Bush's father as ambassador to Saudi Arabia. "It was clear from the start that Bush required adult supervision -- but it turns out Cheney has even worse instincts. He does not understand that when you act recklessly, your mistakes will come back and bite you on the ass."

    Posted by Eric at 09:03 AM | Comments (0)

    August 31, 2004

    Nader Loses Ballot Access in Penn and Missouri

    Reports AP. Both swing states.

    Posted by Eric at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

    McCain Targets Moore

    Noted from the NYDN:

    McCain called Moore, whose "Fahrenheit 9/11" drew unprecedented crowds for a documentary, a "disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace."

    "I'm just trying to do my job," Moore said as the rabid Republicans pointed his way and booed for several minutes.

    As the crowd broke out into chants of "Four more years," Moore stood, grinned and flashed an "L" sign with his fingers, meaning "loser," to the crowd jeering his presence.

    He also appeared to respond "two more months"

    McCain was tickled at the spontaneous reaction his comments about Moore, who is at the GOP convention writing a column for USA Today, received and exclaimed: "That line was so good, I'll use it again."

    The NY Times puts the booing in perspective:"The terrorists were booed, and so was Senator John Kerry, but the loudest scorn in the convention hall Monday night was reserved for the filmmaker Michael Moore."

    Posted by Eric at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

    Carville Company: Bush 'unmistakable' Gains in August

    From the AP:

    President Bush has gained ground on Democrat John Kerry in the month of August because of "relatively small but unmistakable" shifts in the political environment, Democratic strategists said in a memo released Monday.

    The polling memo by Democracy Corps, a group led by pollster Stan Greenberg and strategist James Carville, said the subtle gains by Bush have knotted the race again after Kerry had a slight advantage after the Democratic National Convention in late July.

    "There is no doubt that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads (attacking Kerry's Vietnam service) have had an impact on the race," according to the Democracy Corps memo. Those attacks combined with the Summer Olympics have combined to "shift the focus away from Iraq and worrisome economic trends."

    Posted by Eric at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)

    August 27, 2004

    Another Crewman Supports Kerry

    Yet another one:

    A swiftboat crewman decorated in the 1969 Vietnam incident where John Kerry (news - web sites) won a Bronze Star says not only did they come under enemy fire but also that his own boat commander, who has challenged the official account, was too distracted to notice the gunfire.

    Retired Chief Petty Officer Robert E. Lambert, of Eagle Point, Ore., got a Bronze Star for pulling his boat commander — Lt. Larry Thurlow — out of the Bay Hap River on March 13, 1969. Thurlow had jumped onto another swiftboat to aid sailors wounded by a mine explosion but fell off when the out-of-control boat ran aground.

    Thurlow, who has been prominent among a group of veterans challenging the Democratic presidential candidate's record, has said there was no enemy fire during the incident. Lambert, however, supports the Navy account that says all five swiftboats in the task force "came under small arms and automatic weapon fire from the river banks" when the mine detonated.

    Posted by Eric at 04:09 AM | Comments (0)

    Nader Ballot Petition in OH County: Less Than 4% Valid

    And the Nader follies continue, from the Cincy Enquirer (link via Logan's Lurch):

    The Butler County Board of Elections ruled that only 24 of Nader's 633 petition signatures - less than 4 percent - were valid in the county.

    Butler was the first major Ohio county to verify its share of petitions carrying a total 14,473 signatures submitted by Nader backers to Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell Aug. 18, said Dan Trevas of the Ohio Democratic Party, which has asked election boards to scrutinize Nader petitions.

    Nader needs at least 5,000 valid signatures from voters anywhere in the state to appear on the ballot in Ohio, a presidential battleground state. Nader drew 2.5 percent of the Ohio vote in 2000, when George W. Bush beat Democrat Al Gore by 3.6 percentage points in the state.

    About that 95 percent error rate:
    Carlo LoParo, spokesman for Blackwell, said that "a 95 percent error rate is extremely high, and perhaps unprecedented." ... 220 signatures gathered by Steven Laws Aug. 14-15 in Butler County were thrown out because Laws also collected signatures those days in Lorain and Cuyahoga counties in northern Ohio.

    "We felt it was physically impossible for one person to get signatures in all of those places in one day," McGary said. "Now it's up to the Nader camp to provide evidence that they are valid."

    The Nader camp's response?
    "Boy, they sure don't want anyone to have a choice, do they?" Kevin Zeese, national spokesman for the Nader campaign, said Wednesday. He called the Butler County ruling "disgusting."
    Almost as disgusting as petition fraud?

    Posted by Eric at 03:51 AM | Comments (0)

    AFL-CIO: Thousands to Mobilize on Sept. 2

    The union plans "the largest single-day election mobilization in the union movement's history." From a press release:

    As President Bush addresses the Republican National Convention on Thursday, September 2, 10,000 union members will go door-to-door to talk with a million union households about the jobs crisis, the need for affordable healthcare and a secure retirement - - and where the candidates stand on these issues. It will be the largest single-day election mobilization in the union movement's history.

    From Davenport, Iowa and St. Louis, Missouri to the coast of Maine and the mountains of the Northwest, nurses, cooks, steelworkers, teachers, office workers and others will fan out to conduct voter education with union members as part of the AFL-CIO's Labor '04 program. This year, political volunteerism is at an all-time high in the movement because workers are concerned about the direction of the nation under President Bush, especially jobs leaving the country and the family budget-busting, rising cost of health care.

    "Despite the rosy rhetoric of the Republicans, the prolonged jobs crisis tears at the fabric of America's middle class," said John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO. "Never before have working people been so energized about an election. We've been overwhelmed by the number of volunteers who want to be out in their neighborhoods, talking to fellow union members while President Bush accepts his party’s nomination."

    Posted by Eric at 02:37 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Wants Weekly Debates

    And you know how good Bush is at those ... AP:

    "America deserves a serious discussion about its future. It does not deserve a campaign of fear and smear," the Massachusetts senator told a crowd at a community college near Minneapolis. The campaign said the audience was chosen from undecided voters.

    He said he was prepared to have a discussion with Bush "every single week from now until the election" on a different topic each time, such as national security, the environment and health care.

    The special commission on presidential debates has recommended three such debates beginning in late September. The Kerry campaign has accepted that format but the Bush campaign has delayed its decision on the debates until after the Republican National Convention in New York next week.

    Posted by Eric at 01:45 AM | Comments (0)

    August 26, 2004

    Tie? What Tie?

    From Alan Waldman in the Orlando Weekly:

    The latest state polls, as of Aug. 24, put Kerry ahead of Bush by 108 electoral votes (with Colorado's nine votes tied). Currently, Kerry leads in former Bush states Florida, Tennessee, Missouri, Nevada and New Hampshire. (And at one time or another during the past five weeks, Kerry has also led in former Bush states Arkansas, Ohio, Arizona and West Virginia.)

    Why is Kerry leading handily in electoral votes while the popular vote remains close? Because there has been a major shift in about 15 states, with seven former "battlegrounds" moving to Kerry and eight former Bush states becoming freshly competitive. Although many pollsters and pundits have been focusing much of their attention on Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, New Hampshire and New Mexico, those states have moved firmly toward Kerry. At the same time, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and even South Carolina are now in play.

    Seven ongoing battleground states have stayed close, with the candidates currently within 5 percent of each other. In addition Kerry currently has a dozen states in the West, East and Midwest, which provide an unshakeable foundation of 113 electoral votes for him – versus 17 mostly smaller bedrock Bush states, with 134 votes. Finally, Kerry benefits from the fact that currently only onestate (Nevada; five votes) is likely to be taken from him by the Nader vote.

    More battleground poll looks in the article.

    Posted by Eric at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

    GWU Poll: Kerry by 2

    Noted by Political Wire:

    The latest George Washington University Battleground Poll shows Sen. John Kerry with a two point lead over President Bush, 49% to 47%, in a two-way race where the candidate is named. Just 4% of the electorate remains undecided.

    The most striking finding: If the election were just an up or down vote on Bush, 60% say they would not vote to re-elect the president.

    Posted by Eric at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

    LA Times Poll on Kerry - Bush and Swift Vets

    From the LA Times, it notes that many have seen the Swift Vets ads:

    But with the controversy attracting intense media attention, especially on talk radio and cable television, the ads have achieved extraordinary visibility among voters. Fully 48% of those polled said they had seen the ad accusing Kerry of lying to win his medals; an additional 20% said they had heard about it. Similarly, 44% said they had seen the ad criticizing Kerry's Senate testimony; another 17% said they had heard about it.
    However, few say Kerry is dishonest about his record:
    At the same time, 18% of those surveyed said they "believe that Kerry misrepresented his war record and does not deserve his war medals," while 58% said Kerry "fought honorably and does deserve" the medals.

    Attitudes on that question divided along party lines. As many Republicans said they believed Kerry was lying as believed he fought honorably. By nearly 10 to 1, Democrats said Kerry served honorably.

    Independents sided with Kerry in the dispute by more than 5 to 1.

    Still, the numbers on Kerry's service quals have dropped:
    Asked how Kerry's overall military experience would affect their vote, 23% said it made them more likely to vote for him, while 21% said it made them less likely; the remaining 53% said it would make no difference. That has to be a disappointment for the Kerry camp after a Democratic convention last month that placed Kerry's Vietnam service at the top of the marquee.

    Two other key questions produced even more troubling results for Kerry.

    In the July Times poll, 53% of voters said Kerry had demonstrated in his Vietnam combat missions the "qualities America needs in a president," while 32% said that by "protesting the war in Vietnam, John Kerry demonstrated a judgment and belief that is inappropriate in a president."

    In the August survey, that balance nudged away from Kerry, with 48% saying he had demonstrated the right qualities and 37% saying he had exhibited poor judgment.

    Posted by Eric at 03:45 AM | Comments (0)

    August 25, 2004

    Cheney 'Breaks from Bush on Gays'

    You've heard about this, but here it is: "Vice President Dick Cheney, whose younger daughter is a lesbian, said Tuesday that he believed that decisions about same-sex marriages should be left to the states, contending that "freedom means freedom for everyone"."

    Freaking liberals who screw with the moral fabric of our country. Those comments, according to our great friends at NewsMax.com, drew criticism from conservatives. Can we not crown Cheney Master of the Universe?

    Those comments drew criticism from the conservative Family Research Council, with President Tony Perkins saying: "I find it hard to believe the vice president would stray from the administration's position on defense policy or tax policy. For many pro-family voters, protecting traditional marriage ranks ahead of the economy and job creation as a campaign issue."

    Perkins added that if Cheney sees a problem with activist judges, "then how can he not endorse the same solution the president and his pro-family allies have proposed? We urge Vice President Cheney to support President Bush and a constitutional amendment on marriage."

    Posted by Eric at 12:18 PM | Comments (0)

    Republican 527 Set to Attack

    From the NY Times: "A day after President Bush called for an end to campaign spending by independent groups, one such Republican organization said on Tuesday that it had raised $35 million to counter Democratic attacks on television and hoped to wage a $125 million advertising campaign through Election Day. The organization, the Progress for America Voter Fund, is the first Republican group to announce that it had raised a substantial amount of money to compete with Democratic-leaning groups that have collected tens of millions of dollars."

    Meanwhile, MoveOn.org will launch its own ads featuring noted Hollywood stars.

    Posted by Eric at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)

    Cleland and Rassman to Press Bush at Ranch

    From Reuters:

    Kerry is sending to Crawford former Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia, a frequent companion of Kerry's on the campaign trail and a fellow Vietnam War veteran who lost three limbs during the war.

    Cleland and former Army Green Beret Jim Rassman, whose life was saved by Kerry during a Vietnam war firefight, will try to deliver a letter protesting the ads to Bush at his heavily guarded ranch, Kerry aides said ... The Kerry letter, signed by at least seven Democratic senators who have served in the military, calls on Bush to "recognize this blatant attempt at character assassination, and publicly condemn it."

    "Call on this group to cease and desist," they wrote.

    Meanwhile, JohnKerry.com announces the launch of a new ad asking Bush to "denounce the smear" and "get back to the issues."

    Posted by Eric at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)

    August 20, 2004

    When People Who Know Nothing Talk About Things They Know Nothing About

    Someone needs to go to debating school. Michelle Malkin talks about the Swiftboat Vets on Hardball. She bombs. Blogitics with the video clip.

    Posted by Eric at 03:31 AM | Comments (0)

    When People Who Know Nothing Talk About Things They Know Nothing About

    Someone needs to go to debating school. Michelle Malkin talks about the Swiftboat Vets on Hardball. She bombs. Blogitics with the video clip.

    Posted by Eric at 03:31 AM | Comments (0)

    Swift Boat Vets? One Word: Rove

    The stench of politics, ugh ... anyway, The New York Times has a lengthy and probably the most thorough look at the Swift Boat Vets and their campaign against Kerry; The NY Times:

    Records show that the group received the bulk of its initial financing from two men with ties to the president and his family - one a longtime political associate of Mr. Rove's, the other a trustee of the foundation for Mr. Bush's father's presidential library. A Texas publicist who once helped prepare Mr. Bush's father for his debate when he was running for vice president provided them with strategic advice. And the group's television commercial was produced by the same team that made the devastating ad mocking Michael S. Dukakis in an oversized tank helmet when he and Mr. Bush's father faced off in the 1988 presidential election.

    The strategy the veterans devised would ultimately paint John Kerry the war hero as John Kerry the "baby killer" and the fabricator of the events that resulted in his war medals. But on close examination, the accounts of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth' prove to be riddled with inconsistencies. In many cases, material offered as proof by these veterans is undercut by official Navy records and the men's own statements.

    Several of those now declaring Mr. Kerry "unfit" had lavished praise on him, some as recently as last year.

    In an unpublished interview in March 2003 with Mr. Kerry's authorized biographer, Douglas Brinkley, provided by Mr. Brinkley to The New York Times, Roy F. Hoffmann, a retired rear admiral and a leader of the group, allowed that he had disagreed with Mr. Kerry's antiwar positions but said, "I am not going to say anything negative about him." He added, "He's a good man."

    In a profile of the candidate that ran in The Boston Globe in June 2003, Mr. Hoffmann approvingly recalled the actions that led to Mr. Kerry's Silver Star: "It took guts, and I admire that."

    George Elliott, one of the Vietnam veterans in the group, flew from his home in Delaware to Boston in 1996 to stand up for Mr. Kerry during a tough re-election fight, declaring at a news conference that the action that won Mr. Kerry a Silver Star was "an act of courage."

    Posted by Eric at 02:06 AM | Comments (0)

    Swift Boat Vets? One Word: Rove

    The stench of politics, ugh ... anyway, The New York Times has a lengthy and probably the most thorough look at the Swift Boat Vets and their campaign against Kerry; The NY Times:

    Records show that the group received the bulk of its initial financing from two men with ties to the president and his family - one a longtime political associate of Mr. Rove's, the other a trustee of the foundation for Mr. Bush's father's presidential library. A Texas publicist who once helped prepare Mr. Bush's father for his debate when he was running for vice president provided them with strategic advice. And the group's television commercial was produced by the same team that made the devastating ad mocking Michael S. Dukakis in an oversized tank helmet when he and Mr. Bush's father faced off in the 1988 presidential election.

    The strategy the veterans devised would ultimately paint John Kerry the war hero as John Kerry the "baby killer" and the fabricator of the events that resulted in his war medals. But on close examination, the accounts of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth' prove to be riddled with inconsistencies. In many cases, material offered as proof by these veterans is undercut by official Navy records and the men's own statements.

    Several of those now declaring Mr. Kerry "unfit" had lavished praise on him, some as recently as last year.

    In an unpublished interview in March 2003 with Mr. Kerry's authorized biographer, Douglas Brinkley, provided by Mr. Brinkley to The New York Times, Roy F. Hoffmann, a retired rear admiral and a leader of the group, allowed that he had disagreed with Mr. Kerry's antiwar positions but said, "I am not going to say anything negative about him." He added, "He's a good man."

    In a profile of the candidate that ran in The Boston Globe in June 2003, Mr. Hoffmann approvingly recalled the actions that led to Mr. Kerry's Silver Star: "It took guts, and I admire that."

    George Elliott, one of the Vietnam veterans in the group, flew from his home in Delaware to Boston in 1996 to stand up for Mr. Kerry during a tough re-election fight, declaring at a news conference that the action that won Mr. Kerry a Silver Star was "an act of courage."

    Posted by Eric at 02:06 AM | Comments (0)

    Iraqi Players to Bush: Stop Using Us As Election Tool

    From Sports Illustrated:

    Afterward, Sadir had a message for U.S. president George W. Bush, who is using the Iraqi Olympic team in his latest re-election campaign advertisements.

    In those spots, the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan appear as a narrator says, "At this Olympics there will be two more free nations -- and two fewer terrorist regimes."

    "Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign," Sadir told SI.com through a translator, speaking calmly and directly. "He can find another way to advertise himself."

    Ahmed Manajid, who played as a midfielder on Wednesday, had an even stronger response when asked about Bush's TV advertisement. "How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women?" Manajid told me. "He has committed so many crimes."

    There was a similar article in ESPN magazine a couple weeks back about how the Iraqi team is not too pleased with Bush and the United States. You need to be an ESPN insider to read the article, but the theme is the same: Iraqis (in this case the soccer team) are happy Saddam is gone, but not pleased with the Bush reconstruction effort.

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

    Iraqi Players to Bush: Stop Using Us As Election Tool

    From Sports Illustrated:

    Afterward, Sadir had a message for U.S. president George W. Bush, who is using the Iraqi Olympic team in his latest re-election campaign advertisements.

    In those spots, the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan appear as a narrator says, "At this Olympics there will be two more free nations -- and two fewer terrorist regimes."

    "Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign," Sadir told SI.com through a translator, speaking calmly and directly. "He can find another way to advertise himself."

    Ahmed Manajid, who played as a midfielder on Wednesday, had an even stronger response when asked about Bush's TV advertisement. "How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women?" Manajid told me. "He has committed so many crimes."

    There was a similar article in ESPN magazine a couple weeks back about how the Iraqi team is not too pleased with Bush and the United States. You need to be an ESPN insider to read the article, but the theme is the same: Iraqis (in this case the soccer team) are happy Saddam is gone, but not pleased with the Bush reconstruction effort.

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

    August 19, 2004

    Kerry Fights Back: "not going to let anyone question my commitment to defending America"

    From a speech to the International Association of Fire Fighters:

    But heres what you really need to know about them. Theyre funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor out of Texas. Theyre a front for the Bush campaign. And the fact that the President wont denounce what theyre up to tells you everything you need to knowhe wants them to do his dirty work.

    Thirty years ago, official Navy reports documented my service in Vietnam and awarded me the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. Thirty years ago, this was the plain truth. It still is. And I still carry the shrapnel in my leg from a wound in Vietnam ...

    Im not going to let anyone question my commitment to defending Americathen, now, or ever. And Im not going to let anyone attack the sacrifice and courage of the men who saw battle with me.

    And let me make this commitment today: their lies about my record will not stop me from fighting for jobs, health care, and our security the issues that really matter to the American people.

    Posted by Eric at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Fights Back: "not going to let anyone question my commitment to defending America"

    From a speech to the International Association of Fire Fighters:

    But heres what you really need to know about them. Theyre funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor out of Texas. Theyre a front for the Bush campaign. And the fact that the President wont denounce what theyre up to tells you everything you need to knowhe wants them to do his dirty work.

    Thirty years ago, official Navy reports documented my service in Vietnam and awarded me the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. Thirty years ago, this was the plain truth. It still is. And I still carry the shrapnel in my leg from a wound in Vietnam ...

    Im not going to let anyone question my commitment to defending Americathen, now, or ever. And Im not going to let anyone attack the sacrifice and courage of the men who saw battle with me.

    And let me make this commitment today: their lies about my record will not stop me from fighting for jobs, health care, and our security the issues that really matter to the American people.

    Posted by Eric at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

    The Big Bounce

    Bush will need it:

    Of the last 11 national polls, Mr Kerry was ahead in nine of them, Mr Bush was ahead in one, and one was tied. Mr Kerry's average lead was around 3 points.

    It is not much, but among the crucial undecided voters, only 25 per cent approve of Mr Bush's performance, while 68 per cent disapprove. That is seriously bad news for Mr Bush.

    Said Mr Cook: 'If the fundamentals of the race remain the same, then President Bush is not going to get re-elected. He needs something to happen to shake this race up.'

    Mr Bush hopes to do that very soon. He aims to shake up the election campaign at his Republican Party's national convention at the end of the month ... If President Bush does not shake up the polls with such a high-powered convention line-up of both hardcore conservatives and compassionate centrists, then he truly will be in deep trouble.

    Posted by Eric at 08:47 AM | Comments (0)

    The Big Bounce

    Bush will need it:

    Of the last 11 national polls, Mr Kerry was ahead in nine of them, Mr Bush was ahead in one, and one was tied. Mr Kerry's average lead was around 3 points.

    It is not much, but among the crucial undecided voters, only 25 per cent approve of Mr Bush's performance, while 68 per cent disapprove. That is seriously bad news for Mr Bush.

    Said Mr Cook: 'If the fundamentals of the race remain the same, then President Bush is not going to get re-elected. He needs something to happen to shake this race up.'

    Mr Bush hopes to do that very soon. He aims to shake up the election campaign at his Republican Party's national convention at the end of the month ... If President Bush does not shake up the polls with such a high-powered convention line-up of both hardcore conservatives and compassionate centrists, then he truly will be in deep trouble.

    Posted by Eric at 08:47 AM | Comments (0)

    MoveOn.org to Launch New Ads; "10 Weeks of Grassroots Activism to Defeat Bush"

    Hollywood is helping Moveon.org with 12 ads. They are:

    -- The Mistake, directed by Rob Reiner, featuring the voice of Rob Reiner

    -- Tommy, written and directed by Richard Linklater

    -- Who Profits? directed by Wildbrain Animation, featuring the voices of Scarlett Johanssen, Kevin Bacon, & Ed Asner

    -- The Air We Breathe, written and directed by Bush in 30 seconds winner Charlie Fisher, featuring music by moby

    -- Stranded Republicans, written by Larry Kopald and John Buffalo Mailer, starring Rebecca Romijn, directed by Marty Callner

    -- Cheney is Not on Our Side, written and directed by & starring Woody Harrelson

    -- Register and Vote, written and directed by Benny Boom

    -- American Opinions, written and directed by John Sayles featuring the voice of Martin Sheen

    -- The Disappeared, written by Darren Aronofsky, directed by Doug Limon, voice over by Matt Damon

    -- Love is Love, written by and starring Margaret Cho, directed by Lorene Machado

    -- The Pie, written by Al Franken, directed by Allison Anders, starring Illeana Douglas & Ione Skye

    -- Jimmy the Cab Driver: Tax Break?, starring Donal Logue as Jimmy the Cab Driver, directed by Jesse Perez

    Posted by Eric at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)

    MoveOn.org to Launch New Ads; "10 Weeks of Grassroots Activism to Defeat Bush"

    Hollywood is helping Moveon.org with 12 ads. They are:

    -- The Mistake, directed by Rob Reiner, featuring the voice of Rob Reiner

    -- Tommy, written and directed by Richard Linklater

    -- Who Profits? directed by Wildbrain Animation, featuring the voices of Scarlett Johanssen, Kevin Bacon, & Ed Asner

    -- The Air We Breathe, written and directed by Bush in 30 seconds winner Charlie Fisher, featuring music by moby

    -- Stranded Republicans, written by Larry Kopald and John Buffalo Mailer, starring Rebecca Romijn, directed by Marty Callner

    -- Cheney is Not on Our Side, written and directed by & starring Woody Harrelson

    -- Register and Vote, written and directed by Benny Boom

    -- American Opinions, written and directed by John Sayles featuring the voice of Martin Sheen

    -- The Disappeared, written by Darren Aronofsky, directed by Doug Limon, voice over by Matt Damon

    -- Love is Love, written by and starring Margaret Cho, directed by Lorene Machado

    -- The Pie, written by Al Franken, directed by Allison Anders, starring Illeana Douglas & Ione Skye

    -- Jimmy the Cab Driver: Tax Break?, starring Donal Logue as Jimmy the Cab Driver, directed by Jesse Perez

    Posted by Eric at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)

    August 18, 2004

    Negative vs. Positive Campaigning

    You know, people often complain about negativity in politics. Though Kerry has criticized Bush, he certainly hasn't come even close to the Bush campaign's negativity. Just compare websites. And don't even get started on negative ads ...

    Posted by Eric at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

    Negative vs. Positive Campaigning

    You know, people often complain about negativity in politics. Though Kerry has criticized Bush, he certainly hasn't come even close to the Bush campaign's negativity. Just compare websites. And don't even get started on negative ads ...

    Posted by Eric at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

    Sex Workers and the RNC

    From Democracy Now, about the RNC Convention and speculation that sex workers will be flown to NYC:

    AMY GOODMAN: Are there preparations being made and does it happen at Democratic and Republican conventions around the country? Like in San Diego, in says the 1996 Republican convention, an escort service in search of delegate dollars changed its name to G.O.P., Good Old-fashioned Pleasure.

    JUHU THUKRAL: You know, the sex workers that we're concerned about are the ones out there on the streets, the ones who are already in very vulnerable and marginalized situations, and in fact, sex workers who are out there near the Madison Square Garden, in the hot zone for the convention and in fact throughout the city, are going to have problems receiving services that they -- that they're used to receiving. Outreach bands are not going to go out and get them. There's going to be an increased police presence. So, you know, while on the one hand, there's a story about prostitutes coming into the city to work, a lot of local prostitutes are saying that they don't want to work that week because of fear of undercover police officers, because of just increased sweeps during that time. Because the city wants to put its best face on. They don't want street-based prostitutes being the first thing that the Republican conventioneers see. We are actually talking about a different type of reality for sex workers here in New York.

    Posted by Eric at 05:53 PM | Comments (0)

    Sex Workers and the RNC

    From Democracy Now, about the RNC Convention and speculation that sex workers will be flown to NYC:

    AMY GOODMAN: Are there preparations being made and does it happen at Democratic and Republican conventions around the country? Like in San Diego, in says the 1996 Republican convention, an escort service in search of delegate dollars changed its name to G.O.P., Good Old-fashioned Pleasure.

    JUHU THUKRAL: You know, the sex workers that we're concerned about are the ones out there on the streets, the ones who are already in very vulnerable and marginalized situations, and in fact, sex workers who are out there near the Madison Square Garden, in the hot zone for the convention and in fact throughout the city, are going to have problems receiving services that they -- that they're used to receiving. Outreach bands are not going to go out and get them. There's going to be an increased police presence. So, you know, while on the one hand, there's a story about prostitutes coming into the city to work, a lot of local prostitutes are saying that they don't want to work that week because of fear of undercover police officers, because of just increased sweeps during that time. Because the city wants to put its best face on. They don't want street-based prostitutes being the first thing that the Republican conventioneers see. We are actually talking about a different type of reality for sex workers here in New York.

    Posted by Eric at 05:53 PM | Comments (0)

    August 17, 2004

    Some Protestors: More Harm Than Good?

    From Salon.com:

    Thus the demonstrators assumed that public sympathy would be with them, the victims. They were wrong. "To our innocent eyes, it defied common sense that people could watch even the sliver of the onslaught that got onto television and side with the cops -- which in fact was precisely what polls showed," writes former antiwar organizer Todd Gitlin in his 1987 book, "The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage." Indeed, many people believe that the fighting in Chicago helped cement the victory of Richard Nixon, who, as Gitlin notes, won the popular vote by a mere two-thirds of 1 percent.

    A similarly minuscule margin could determine this year's election, and the possibility of history repeating itself leaves Gitlin aghast. "I think the Republicans will probably do what they did in 1968 and make television commercials of people rioting in the street and then promote their guy as the superintendent of order," he says. "I sure wouldn't want to be explaining to my kid how it turned out that Bush won election by three electoral votes because of some last-minute surge of opinion in West Virginia where that commercial played three times an hour." Gitlin and Passacantando's anxiety led them to coauthor an article in the Nation warning that the RNC 2004 could be Chicago '68 all over again unless progressives exercised restraint during the convention protests.

    Milton Glaser, the legendary graphic designer behind the I Love New York logo, has thought about this prospect a lot. He knows the power of images, and he's scared that pictures of rampaging protesters flashing on the nation's TV screens during the Republican National Convention will be a catastrophe.

    "A lot of people in this town are very angry," he says. "When you have so many angry people up against the police, without any question violence will occur. If this turns out to be the visual material that the country is looking at, there's just the chance that there will be an incremental turn towards Bush."

    Eric Alterman echoes this view:
    Anarchists and idiots ruined the Seattle protests and the medialoving conflict and hating contextwill eat any violence and property destruction, even bad language, to smear not only the protesters but also anyone and everyone who opposes Bush. Chicago 68 unquestionably helped elect Nixon. (Ive read the polling data.)

    And the same thing could happen here. Second, as with Johnson, Nixon and Reagan, it hardly requires an act of imagination to prepare for the possibility that Republican conservative spies and thugs will infiltrate these protests and cause the violence themselves, with the knowledge that it will be blamed on the protesters and their cause.

    I would be surprised if they dont do this, but of course, it will be years if not decades before we ever found out that those crazies who wanted to start fires and break windows were actually right-wing operatives. The media will treat this possibility as beyond the pale, just as they did when the CIA and FBI did it to the anti-war movement under both Johnson and Nixon, and when the FBI did it to the anti-intervention in Central America movement under Reagan.

    Posted by Eric at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

    Some Protestors: More Harm Than Good?

    From Salon.com:

    Thus the demonstrators assumed that public sympathy would be with them, the victims. They were wrong. "To our innocent eyes, it defied common sense that people could watch even the sliver of the onslaught that got onto television and side with the cops -- which in fact was precisely what polls showed," writes former antiwar organizer Todd Gitlin in his 1987 book, "The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage." Indeed, many people believe that the fighting in Chicago helped cement the victory of Richard Nixon, who, as Gitlin notes, won the popular vote by a mere two-thirds of 1 percent.

    A similarly minuscule margin could determine this year's election, and the possibility of history repeating itself leaves Gitlin aghast. "I think the Republicans will probably do what they did in 1968 and make television commercials of people rioting in the street and then promote their guy as the superintendent of order," he says. "I sure wouldn't want to be explaining to my kid how it turned out that Bush won election by three electoral votes because of some last-minute surge of opinion in West Virginia where that commercial played three times an hour." Gitlin and Passacantando's anxiety led them to coauthor an article in the Nation warning that the RNC 2004 could be Chicago '68 all over again unless progressives exercised restraint during the convention protests.

    Milton Glaser, the legendary graphic designer behind the I Love New York logo, has thought about this prospect a lot. He knows the power of images, and he's scared that pictures of rampaging protesters flashing on the nation's TV screens during the Republican National Convention will be a catastrophe.

    "A lot of people in this town are very angry," he says. "When you have so many angry people up against the police, without any question violence will occur. If this turns out to be the visual material that the country is looking at, there's just the chance that there will be an incremental turn towards Bush."

    Eric Alterman echoes this view:
    Anarchists and idiots ruined the Seattle protests and the medialoving conflict and hating contextwill eat any violence and property destruction, even bad language, to smear not only the protesters but also anyone and everyone who opposes Bush. Chicago 68 unquestionably helped elect Nixon. (Ive read the polling data.)

    And the same thing could happen here. Second, as with Johnson, Nixon and Reagan, it hardly requires an act of imagination to prepare for the possibility that Republican conservative spies and thugs will infiltrate these protests and cause the violence themselves, with the knowledge that it will be blamed on the protesters and their cause.

    I would be surprised if they dont do this, but of course, it will be years if not decades before we ever found out that those crazies who wanted to start fires and break windows were actually right-wing operatives. The media will treat this possibility as beyond the pale, just as they did when the CIA and FBI did it to the anti-war movement under both Johnson and Nixon, and when the FBI did it to the anti-intervention in Central America movement under Reagan.

    Posted by Eric at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

    Ohio: Next Florida?

    In the Cincy Enquirer:

    Four years after the presidential election hung on a few chads in Florida, Ohio is bracing for another potentially close race with the same troublesome punch-card ballots.

    State and county officials promise an accurate count, but critics are skeptical.

    "We are headed for a train wreck because the state has not done its job," said Scott Greenwood, general counsel for the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union,which is suing the state over the continued use of the old-fashioned ballots.

    Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell helped draft a 2002 federal law giving states millions for more accurate voting machines.

    But worries about security of the machines derailed Blackwell's effort to bring electronic voting to his own state in time for the Nov. 2 election, which means 69 of Ohio's 88 counties will still use punch cards.

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

    Ohio: Next Florida?

    In the Cincy Enquirer:

    Four years after the presidential election hung on a few chads in Florida, Ohio is bracing for another potentially close race with the same troublesome punch-card ballots.

    State and county officials promise an accurate count, but critics are skeptical.

    "We are headed for a train wreck because the state has not done its job," said Scott Greenwood, general counsel for the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union,which is suing the state over the continued use of the old-fashioned ballots.

    Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell helped draft a 2002 federal law giving states millions for more accurate voting machines.

    But worries about security of the machines derailed Blackwell's effort to bring electronic voting to his own state in time for the Nov. 2 election, which means 69 of Ohio's 88 counties will still use punch cards.

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

    August 16, 2004

    Widespread Voter Fraud by Nader in Oregon

    According to the SEIU, as reported by Blue Oregon:

    Alice Dale, Vice-President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was joined by Ellen Lowe, the chief petitioner of the Initiative Integrity Act, as she released preliminary findings of an investigation into the quality of the first round of signature sheets turned into Multnomah and Washington Counties of the Ralph Nader for President petition.

    As part of the investigation, 269 people whose names were on petition sheets have been contacted face to face through SEIUs research project. Out of those contacts, it was learned that 27% of the addresses do not exist, 22% of the names belong to people who are deceased or do not live at the address, and 17% of the people contacted reported they did not sign the petition. Only 32% of the people contacted whose names appear on the Nader petition report actually signing the petition.

    "Based on our experience fighting signature fraud in the past, we believe the problem originates from the circulators themselves," says Alice Dale, Service Employees Union International Vice President. "This fraud is too pervasive to have been committed without at least the complicity of the signature gatherers. Furthermore, looking at the sheets for any length of time raises the question of whether campaign officials knew or at the very least should have known about the false signatures."

    More sad times for Nader. This investigation, of course, from a progressive labor group.

    Posted by Eric at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

    Widespread Voter Fraud by Nader in Oregon

    According to the SEIU, as reported by Blue Oregon:

    Alice Dale, Vice-President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was joined by Ellen Lowe, the chief petitioner of the Initiative Integrity Act, as she released preliminary findings of an investigation into the quality of the first round of signature sheets turned into Multnomah and Washington Counties of the Ralph Nader for President petition.

    As part of the investigation, 269 people whose names were on petition sheets have been contacted face to face through SEIUs research project. Out of those contacts, it was learned that 27% of the addresses do not exist, 22% of the names belong to people who are deceased or do not live at the address, and 17% of the people contacted reported they did not sign the petition. Only 32% of the people contacted whose names appear on the Nader petition report actually signing the petition.

    "Based on our experience fighting signature fraud in the past, we believe the problem originates from the circulators themselves," says Alice Dale, Service Employees Union International Vice President. "This fraud is too pervasive to have been committed without at least the complicity of the signature gatherers. Furthermore, looking at the sheets for any length of time raises the question of whether campaign officials knew or at the very least should have known about the false signatures."

    More sad times for Nader. This investigation, of course, from a progressive labor group.

    Posted by Eric at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

    Conservatives Bleh about Nov

    It's no secret that liberals are excited about the possibilities in November. But conservatives? From the conservative CNS:

    When conservatives gathered in the nation's capital last Wednesday for a panel discussion on the 2004 election, they certainly didn't leave with good news about President Bush's re-election hopes. Even the conservative member of the panel said Republicans weren't excited by Bush.

    "For all the talk about polarization, I find a startling agreement [from] everybody I talk to," syndicated columnist Robert Novak told the audience. "Nobody seems to like George Bush very much. The Democrats I talk to hate him and the Republicans aren't very enthusiastic about him."

    The point of the discussion, sponsored by the Free Congress Foundation, was the impact of the traditional non-voter on the 2004 election. It turns out, according to the panelists, that Sen. John Kerry has an advantage with them because liberals typically don't vote as much as conservatives.

    More bad news followed. Political analyst Stuart Rothenberg said it won't be easy for Bush to win re-election. In Rothenberg's view, Bush will either need to make Kerry seem so unacceptable that voters reject him or he must convince voters the country is headed in the right direction.

    Posted by Eric at 09:17 PM | Comments (0)

    Conservatives Bleh about Nov

    It's no secret that liberals are excited about the possibilities in November. But conservatives? From the conservative CNS:

    When conservatives gathered in the nation's capital last Wednesday for a panel discussion on the 2004 election, they certainly didn't leave with good news about President Bush's re-election hopes. Even the conservative member of the panel said Republicans weren't excited by Bush.

    "For all the talk about polarization, I find a startling agreement [from] everybody I talk to," syndicated columnist Robert Novak told the audience. "Nobody seems to like George Bush very much. The Democrats I talk to hate him and the Republicans aren't very enthusiastic about him."

    The point of the discussion, sponsored by the Free Congress Foundation, was the impact of the traditional non-voter on the 2004 election. It turns out, according to the panelists, that Sen. John Kerry has an advantage with them because liberals typically don't vote as much as conservatives.

    More bad news followed. Political analyst Stuart Rothenberg said it won't be easy for Bush to win re-election. In Rothenberg's view, Bush will either need to make Kerry seem so unacceptable that voters reject him or he must convince voters the country is headed in the right direction.

    Posted by Eric at 09:17 PM | Comments (0)

    Smearing David Alston

    Freepers claim Alston never served with Kerry. They are, of course, wrong.

    Posted by Eric at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)

    Smearing David Alston

    Freepers claim Alston never served with Kerry. They are, of course, wrong.

    Posted by Eric at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)

    August 14, 2004

    On Kerry's Experience

    From Tapped:

    A final word on John Kerry's entirely unnecessary recent statements, already much discussed on this blog, about how he would have voted to authorize Bush's war in Iraq even had WMD not been the issue. Isn't answering just this sort of hypothetical question exactly what got Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.) in trouble on his first day out on the campaign trail 11 months ago? Clark's error in (badly) answering the question of how he would have voted had he been in office was attributed by most observers to his inexperience as a political candidate; Kerry has no such excuse.
    Perhaps experience is less the issue, though, than temperament. The example of John Edwards is a useful counterpoint. Edwards has the same voting record as Kerry on the Iraq war, but somehow manages to present it more coherently. And while Edwards sometimes is criticized for being excessively plastic and practiced, he also almost never says anything that's off message or that provides fodder for the other side, even though he's a much less experienced candidate than Kerry. Kerry's already absorbed much of Edwards' economic message; it might not hurt to absorb some of his cautious demeanor, too.

    Posted by Eric at 11:43 PM | Comments (0)

    On Kerry's Experience

    From Tapped:

    A final word on John Kerry's entirely unnecessary recent statements, already much discussed on this blog, about how he would have voted to authorize Bush's war in Iraq even had WMD not been the issue. Isn't answering just this sort of hypothetical question exactly what got Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.) in trouble on his first day out on the campaign trail 11 months ago? Clark's error in (badly) answering the question of how he would have voted had he been in office was attributed by most observers to his inexperience as a political candidate; Kerry has no such excuse.
    Perhaps experience is less the issue, though, than temperament. The example of John Edwards is a useful counterpoint. Edwards has the same voting record as Kerry on the Iraq war, but somehow manages to present it more coherently. And while Edwards sometimes is criticized for being excessively plastic and practiced, he also almost never says anything that's off message or that provides fodder for the other side, even though he's a much less experienced candidate than Kerry. Kerry's already absorbed much of Edwards' economic message; it might not hurt to absorb some of his cautious demeanor, too.

    Posted by Eric at 11:43 PM | Comments (0)

    Prez Debate Schedule

    From the Commission on Presidential Debates:

    First presidential debate:
    University of Miami
    Coral Gables, FL
    Thursday, September 30
    Jim Lehrer
    Anchor and Executive Editor, The NewsHour, PBS

    Vice presidential debate:
    Case Western Reserve University
    Cleveland, OH
    Tuesday, October 5
    Gwen Ifill
    Senior Correspondent, The NewsHour, and Moderator, Washington Week, PBS

    Second presidential debate:
    Washington University in St. Louis
    St. Louis, MO
    Friday, October 8
    Charles Gibson
    Co-Anchor, ABC News Good Morning America

    Third presidential debate:
    Arizona State University
    Tempe, AZ
    Wednesday, October 13
    Bob Schieffer
    CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent, and Moderator, Face the Nation

    Posted by Eric at 07:43 AM | Comments (0)

    Prez Debate Schedule

    From the Commission on Presidential Debates:

    First presidential debate:
    University of Miami
    Coral Gables, FL
    Thursday, September 30
    Jim Lehrer
    Anchor and Executive Editor, The NewsHour, PBS

    Vice presidential debate:
    Case Western Reserve University
    Cleveland, OH
    Tuesday, October 5
    Gwen Ifill
    Senior Correspondent, The NewsHour, and Moderator, Washington Week, PBS

    Second presidential debate:
    Washington University in St. Louis
    St. Louis, MO
    Friday, October 8
    Charles Gibson
    Co-Anchor, ABC News Good Morning America

    Third presidential debate:
    Arizona State University
    Tempe, AZ
    Wednesday, October 13
    Bob Schieffer
    CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent, and Moderator, Face the Nation

    Posted by Eric at 07:43 AM | Comments (0)

    Web Surfers Hit JohnKerry.com

    A campaign of big nerds, I say:

    Nielsen/NetRatings, an independent research firm, reported that traffic to the nominee's official Web site increased by 191 percent during the week of the convention, making it the fastest-growing major Web site in the country (for that week, anyway). In all, about 771,000 people visited the site from their homes. The firm distinguishes between Internet use at home and at work, and it did not release data on how the Massachusetts senator's site, or any other one, fared among those on the job. It estimated that visitors spend an average of eight minutes on the site

    Overall, the Kerry campaign's site was the 213th most popular in the country, just ahead of the online home of the business supply company Staples and right behind InPhonic.com, a site for a communications firm. JohnKerry.com was more popular than, for example, United Airlines' site, but it had fewer guests than either the Boston Globe's site or one called "Kara's Adult Playground."

    .... But Kerry's readership far eclipsed that of his Republican rivals. Nielsen/NetRatings estimated that the Republican National Committee's site had about 275,000 readers during the convention week, a 32 percent increase over the previous seven-day period. President Bush's campaign site, meanwhile, did not have enough visitors to register with the firm.

    Of course, it remains to be seen how much web traffic increases during the RNC's convention week.

    Posted by Eric at 07:38 AM | Comments (0)

    Web Surfers Hit JohnKerry.com

    A campaign of big nerds, I say:

    Nielsen/NetRatings, an independent research firm, reported that traffic to the nominee's official Web site increased by 191 percent during the week of the convention, making it the fastest-growing major Web site in the country (for that week, anyway). In all, about 771,000 people visited the site from their homes. The firm distinguishes between Internet use at home and at work, and it did not release data on how the Massachusetts senator's site, or any other one, fared among those on the job. It estimated that visitors spend an average of eight minutes on the site

    Overall, the Kerry campaign's site was the 213th most popular in the country, just ahead of the online home of the business supply company Staples and right behind InPhonic.com, a site for a communications firm. JohnKerry.com was more popular than, for example, United Airlines' site, but it had fewer guests than either the Boston Globe's site or one called "Kara's Adult Playground."

    .... But Kerry's readership far eclipsed that of his Republican rivals. Nielsen/NetRatings estimated that the Republican National Committee's site had about 275,000 readers during the convention week, a 32 percent increase over the previous seven-day period. President Bush's campaign site, meanwhile, did not have enough visitors to register with the firm.

    Of course, it remains to be seen how much web traffic increases during the RNC's convention week.

    Posted by Eric at 07:38 AM | Comments (0)

    August 12, 2004

    It's Called a Good Point

    From Digby's Blog:

    The redoubtable Hesiod, in the comments below, wonders why nobody has unearthed the story of George H. W. Bush Sr's 1988 brush with controversy over his navy heroics in WWII. Apparently, there were some fellow aviators --- not on his own plane mind you (ahem) --- who claimed that he bailed prematurely on two of his comrades on the Barbara II and got them killed.

    I only bring this up because it's interesting that even though a man came forward to make these charges in an August 12, 1988 NY Post story by Allan Wolper and Al Ellenberg, called "The Day Bush Bailed Out," the Democrats didn't then use it as a line of attack to destroy Bush Sr's reputation. In fact, the story died down quite quickly. Had they chosen to smear him, there was enough mud around to make it ugly. They didn't.

    And, it's not as if Bush Sr. didn't run on his war record. In fact, CNN is currently helping his son run on it too. In every campaign it was front and center. But, in all the years of running against George Bush our side never stooped to questioning his bravery or integrity in the Big One.

    But somebody did. His name is Ted Sampley, Godfather of the Swift Boat Liars. If you'd like to read all about Bush Sr's alleged cowardice in WWII, here it is, from the chief veteran smear artist himself. Seems he has problems with a lot of war heroes.

    Posted by Eric at 01:44 AM | Comments (0)

    It's Called a Good Point

    From Digby's Blog:

    The redoubtable Hesiod, in the comments below, wonders why nobody has unearthed the story of George H. W. Bush Sr's 1988 brush with controversy over his navy heroics in WWII. Apparently, there were some fellow aviators --- not on his own plane mind you (ahem) --- who claimed that he bailed prematurely on two of his comrades on the Barbara II and got them killed.

    I only bring this up because it's interesting that even though a man came forward to make these charges in an August 12, 1988 NY Post story by Allan Wolper and Al Ellenberg, called "The Day Bush Bailed Out," the Democrats didn't then use it as a line of attack to destroy Bush Sr's reputation. In fact, the story died down quite quickly. Had they chosen to smear him, there was enough mud around to make it ugly. They didn't.

    And, it's not as if Bush Sr. didn't run on his war record. In fact, CNN is currently helping his son run on it too. In every campaign it was front and center. But, in all the years of running against George Bush our side never stooped to questioning his bravery or integrity in the Big One.

    But somebody did. His name is Ted Sampley, Godfather of the Swift Boat Liars. If you'd like to read all about Bush Sr's alleged cowardice in WWII, here it is, from the chief veteran smear artist himself. Seems he has problems with a lot of war heroes.

    Posted by Eric at 01:44 AM | Comments (0)

    MoveOn to Mobilize Even More

    To spend $5m on battleground states. From their PR:

    MoveOn PAC has launched an unprecedented $5 million campaign in battleground states to apply a technique which experts say is the single most effective strategy for voter persuasion and increased voter turnoutperson-to-person contact by friends and neighbors. MoveOn calls this precinct-level GOTV effort: Leave No Voter Behind.


    Using the same technology it pioneered for grassroots organizing over the internet, MoveOn PAC has developed the capacity and infrastructure to wage a door-to-door campaign in support of John Kerry in 10,000 neighborhoods in most key battleground states. Over the next six weeks, MoveOn PAC will hire 500 organizers to assist 30,000+ MoveOn volunteers in turning out as many as 440,000 new votes for John Kerry -- a combination of previously undecided voters and infrequent Democratic voters who would otherwise be unlikely to go the polls.

    Posted by Eric at 01:31 AM | Comments (0)

    MoveOn to Mobilize Even More

    To spend $5m on battleground states. From their PR:

    MoveOn PAC has launched an unprecedented $5 million campaign in battleground states to apply a technique which experts say is the single most effective strategy for voter persuasion and increased voter turnoutperson-to-person contact by friends and neighbors. MoveOn calls this precinct-level GOTV effort: Leave No Voter Behind.


    Using the same technology it pioneered for grassroots organizing over the internet, MoveOn PAC has developed the capacity and infrastructure to wage a door-to-door campaign in support of John Kerry in 10,000 neighborhoods in most key battleground states. Over the next six weeks, MoveOn PAC will hire 500 organizers to assist 30,000+ MoveOn volunteers in turning out as many as 440,000 new votes for John Kerry -- a combination of previously undecided voters and infrequent Democratic voters who would otherwise be unlikely to go the polls.

    Posted by Eric at 01:31 AM | Comments (0)

    X-Games and Politics

    Pro Surfer Kelly Slater endorses Kerry / Edwards, though most sports stars stay out of politics; From the AP:

    "Answering questions like that could get him in a lot of trouble,'' publicist Mark Ervin said.

    Though their sports are based on individual creativity and expression, X Games competitors are paid mainly by corporate sponsors who don't always appreciate controversial comments.

    Representatives from brands like T-Mobile or Quiksilver hover at the events, and their logos are omnipresent -- attached to helmets, water bottles and uniforms. (Though there are no logos on X Games ramps, as there are at other competitions.)

    So with the presidential campaign in full tilt, a few athletes are finding quiet ways to express their preferences during the four-day action sports competition, which continues through Sunday.

    Kelly Slater slapped a "Kerry-Edwards'' sticker on his surfboard, and Andy Macdonald wrote "Regime change in the USA'' on his skateboard's grip tape.

    Posted by Eric at 01:26 AM | Comments (0)

    X-Games and Politics

    Pro Surfer Kelly Slater endorses Kerry / Edwards, though most sports stars stay out of politics; From the AP:

    "Answering questions like that could get him in a lot of trouble,'' publicist Mark Ervin said.

    Though their sports are based on individual creativity and expression, X Games competitors are paid mainly by corporate sponsors who don't always appreciate controversial comments.

    Representatives from brands like T-Mobile or Quiksilver hover at the events, and their logos are omnipresent -- attached to helmets, water bottles and uniforms. (Though there are no logos on X Games ramps, as there are at other competitions.)

    So with the presidential campaign in full tilt, a few athletes are finding quiet ways to express their preferences during the four-day action sports competition, which continues through Sunday.

    Kelly Slater slapped a "Kerry-Edwards'' sticker on his surfboard, and Andy Macdonald wrote "Regime change in the USA'' on his skateboard's grip tape.

    Posted by Eric at 01:26 AM | Comments (0)

    August 10, 2004

    Rassmann Defends Kerry

    Vet who actually served with Kerry says the Senator is being unfairly portrayed. From the WSJ (link unavail)

    When I surfaced, all the swift boats had left, and I was alone taking fire from both banks. To avoid the incoming fire, I repeatedly swam under water as long as I could hold my breath, attempting to make it to the north bank of the river. I thought I would die right there. The odds were against me avoiding the incoming fire and, even if I made it out of the river, I thought I'd be captured and executed. Kerry must have seen me in the water and directed his driver, Del Sandusky, to turn the boat around. Kerry's boat ran up to me in the water, bow on, and I was able to climb up a cargo net to the lip of the deck. But, because I was nearly upside down, I couldn't make it over the edge of the deck. This left me hanging out in the open, a perfect target. John, already wounded by the explosion that threw me off his boat, came out onto the bow, exposing himself to the fire directed at us from the jungle, and pulled me aboard.

    ... Nobody asked me to join John's campaign. Why would they? I am a Republican, and for more than 30 years I have largely voted for Republicans. I volunteered for his campaign because I have seen John Kerry in the worst of conditions. I know his character. I've witnessed his bravery and leadership under fire. And I truly know he will be a great commander in chief.

    Now, 35 years after the fact, some Republican-financed Swift Boat Veterans for Bush are suddenly lying about John Kerry's service in Vietnam; they are calling him a traitor because he spoke out against the Nixon administration's failed policies in Vietnam. Some of these Republican-sponsored veterans are the same ones who spoke out against John at the behest of the Nixon administration in 1971. But this time their attacks are more vicious, their lies cut deep and are directed not just at John Kerry, but at me and each of his crewmates as well. This hate-filled ad asserts that I was not under fire; it questions my words and Navy records. This smear campaign has been launched by people without decency, people who don't understand the bond of those who serve in combat.

    Click down for full op-ed

    Shame on the Swift Boat
    Veterans for Bush

    By JIM RASSMANN
    August 10, 2004; Page A10

    I came to know Lt. John Kerry during the spring of 1969. He and his swift boat crew assisted in inserting our Special Forces team and our Chinese Nung soldiers into operational sites in the Cau Mau Peninsula of South Vietnam. I worked with him on many operations and saw firsthand his leadership, courage and decision-making ability under fire.

    On March 13, 1969, John Kerry's courage and leadership saved my life.

    While returning from a SEA LORDS operation along the Bay Hap River, a mine detonated under another swift boat. Machine-gun fire erupted from both banks of the river, and a second explosion followed moments later. The second blast blew me off John's swift boat, PCF-94, throwing me into the river. Fearing that the other boats would run me over, I swam to the bottom of the river and stayed there as long as I could hold my breath.

    When I surfaced, all the swift boats had left, and I was alone taking fire from both banks. To avoid the incoming fire, I repeatedly swam under water as long as I could hold my breath, attempting to make it to the north bank of the river. I thought I would die right there. The odds were against me avoiding the incoming fire and, even if I made it out of the river, I thought I'd be captured and executed. Kerry must have seen me in the water and directed his driver, Del Sandusky, to turn the boat around. Kerry's boat ran up to me in the water, bow on, and I was able to climb up a cargo net to the lip of the deck. But, because I was nearly upside down, I couldn't make it over the edge of the deck. This left me hanging out in the open, a perfect target. John, already wounded by the explosion that threw me off his boat, came out onto the bow, exposing himself to the fire directed at us from the jungle, and pulled me aboard.

    For his actions that day, I recommended John for the Silver Star, our country's third highest award for bravery under fire. I learned only this past January that the Navy awarded John the Bronze Star with Combat V for his valor. The citation for this award, signed by the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Vietnam, Vice Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, read, "Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry's calmness, professionalism and great personal courage under fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service." To this day I am grateful to John Kerry for saving my life. And to this day I still believe that he deserved the Silver Star for his courage.

    It has been many years since I served in Vietnam. I returned home, got married, and spent many years as a deputy sheriff for Los Angeles County. I retired in 1989 as a lieutenant. It has been a long time since I left Vietnam, but I think often of the men who did not come home with us.

    I am neither a politician nor an organizer. I am a retired police officer with a passion for orchids. Until January of this year, the only public presentations I made were about my orchid hobby. But in this presidential election, I had to speak out; I had to tell the American people about John Kerry, about his wisdom and courage, about his vision and leadership. I would trust John Kerry with my life, and I would entrust John Kerry with the well-being of our country.

    Nobody asked me to join John's campaign. Why would they? I am a Republican, and for more than 30 years I have largely voted for Republicans. I volunteered for his campaign because I have seen John Kerry in the worst of conditions. I know his character. I've witnessed his bravery and leadership under fire. And I truly know he will be a great commander in chief.

    Now, 35 years after the fact, some Republican-financed Swift Boat Veterans for Bush are suddenly lying about John Kerry's service in Vietnam; they are calling him a traitor because he spoke out against the Nixon administration's failed policies in Vietnam. Some of these Republican-sponsored veterans are the same ones who spoke out against John at the behest of the Nixon administration in 1971. But this time their attacks are more vicious, their lies cut deep and are directed not just at John Kerry, but at me and each of his crewmates as well. This hate-filled ad asserts that I was not under fire; it questions my words and Navy records. This smear campaign has been launched by people without decency, people who don't understand the bond of those who serve in combat.

    As John McCain noted, the television ad aired by these veterans is "dishonest and dishonorable." Sen. McCain called on President Bush to condemn the Swift Boat Veterans for Bush ad. Regrettably, the president has ignored Sen. McCain's advice.

    Does this strategy of attacking combat Vietnam veterans sound familiar? In 2000, a similar Republican smear campaign was launched against Sen. McCain. In fact, the very same communications group, Spaeth Communications, that placed ads against John McCain in 2000 is involved in these vicious attacks against John Kerry. Texas Republican donors with close ties to George W. Bush and Karl Rove crafted this "dishonest and dishonorable" ad. Their new charges are false; their stories are fabricated, made up by people who did not serve with Kerry in Vietnam. They insult and defame all of us who served in Vietnam.

    But when the noise and fog of their distortions and lies have cleared, a man who volunteered to serve his country, a man who showed up for duty when his country called, a man to whom the United States Navy awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts, will stand tall and proud. Ultimately, the American people will judge these Swift Boat Veterans for Bush and their accusations. Americans are tired of smear campaigns against those who volunteered to wear the uniform. Swift Boat Veterans for Bush should hang their heads in shame.

    Posted by Eric at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

    Rassmann Defends Kerry

    Vet who actually served with Kerry says the Senator is being unfairly portrayed. From the WSJ (link unavail)

    When I surfaced, all the swift boats had left, and I was alone taking fire from both banks. To avoid the incoming fire, I repeatedly swam under water as long as I could hold my breath, attempting to make it to the north bank of the river. I thought I would die right there. The odds were against me avoiding the incoming fire and, even if I made it out of the river, I thought I'd be captured and executed. Kerry must have seen me in the water and directed his driver, Del Sandusky, to turn the boat around. Kerry's boat ran up to me in the water, bow on, and I was able to climb up a cargo net to the lip of the deck. But, because I was nearly upside down, I couldn't make it over the edge of the deck. This left me hanging out in the open, a perfect target. John, already wounded by the explosion that threw me off his boat, came out onto the bow, exposing himself to the fire directed at us from the jungle, and pulled me aboard.

    ... Nobody asked me to join John's campaign. Why would they? I am a Republican, and for more than 30 years I have largely voted for Republicans. I volunteered for his campaign because I have seen John Kerry in the worst of conditions. I know his character. I've witnessed his bravery and leadership under fire. And I truly know he will be a great commander in chief.

    Now, 35 years after the fact, some Republican-financed Swift Boat Veterans for Bush are suddenly lying about John Kerry's service in Vietnam; they are calling him a traitor because he spoke out against the Nixon administration's failed policies in Vietnam. Some of these Republican-sponsored veterans are the same ones who spoke out against John at the behest of the Nixon administration in 1971. But this time their attacks are more vicious, their lies cut deep and are directed not just at John Kerry, but at me and each of his crewmates as well. This hate-filled ad asserts that I was not under fire; it questions my words and Navy records. This smear campaign has been launched by people without decency, people who don't understand the bond of those who serve in combat.

    Click down for full op-ed

    Shame on the Swift Boat
    Veterans for Bush

    By JIM RASSMANN
    August 10, 2004; Page A10

    I came to know Lt. John Kerry during the spring of 1969. He and his swift boat crew assisted in inserting our Special Forces team and our Chinese Nung soldiers into operational sites in the Cau Mau Peninsula of South Vietnam. I worked with him on many operations and saw firsthand his leadership, courage and decision-making ability under fire.

    On March 13, 1969, John Kerry's courage and leadership saved my life.

    While returning from a SEA LORDS operation along the Bay Hap River, a mine detonated under another swift boat. Machine-gun fire erupted from both banks of the river, and a second explosion followed moments later. The second blast blew me off John's swift boat, PCF-94, throwing me into the river. Fearing that the other boats would run me over, I swam to the bottom of the river and stayed there as long as I could hold my breath.

    When I surfaced, all the swift boats had left, and I was alone taking fire from both banks. To avoid the incoming fire, I repeatedly swam under water as long as I could hold my breath, attempting to make it to the north bank of the river. I thought I would die right there. The odds were against me avoiding the incoming fire and, even if I made it out of the river, I thought I'd be captured and executed. Kerry must have seen me in the water and directed his driver, Del Sandusky, to turn the boat around. Kerry's boat ran up to me in the water, bow on, and I was able to climb up a cargo net to the lip of the deck. But, because I was nearly upside down, I couldn't make it over the edge of the deck. This left me hanging out in the open, a perfect target. John, already wounded by the explosion that threw me off his boat, came out onto the bow, exposing himself to the fire directed at us from the jungle, and pulled me aboard.

    For his actions that day, I recommended John for the Silver Star, our country's third highest award for bravery under fire. I learned only this past January that the Navy awarded John the Bronze Star with Combat V for his valor. The citation for this award, signed by the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Vietnam, Vice Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, read, "Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry's calmness, professionalism and great personal courage under fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service." To this day I am grateful to John Kerry for saving my life. And to this day I still believe that he deserved the Silver Star for his courage.

    It has been many years since I served in Vietnam. I returned home, got married, and spent many years as a deputy sheriff for Los Angeles County. I retired in 1989 as a lieutenant. It has been a long time since I left Vietnam, but I think often of the men who did not come home with us.

    I am neither a politician nor an organizer. I am a retired police officer with a passion for orchids. Until January of this year, the only public presentations I made were about my orchid hobby. But in this presidential election, I had to speak out; I had to tell the American people about John Kerry, about his wisdom and courage, about his vision and leadership. I would trust John Kerry with my life, and I would entrust John Kerry with the well-being of our country.

    Nobody asked me to join John's campaign. Why would they? I am a Republican, and for more than 30 years I have largely voted for Republicans. I volunteered for his campaign because I have seen John Kerry in the worst of conditions. I know his character. I've witnessed his bravery and leadership under fire. And I truly know he will be a great commander in chief.

    Now, 35 years after the fact, some Republican-financed Swift Boat Veterans for Bush are suddenly lying about John Kerry's service in Vietnam; they are calling him a traitor because he spoke out against the Nixon administration's failed policies in Vietnam. Some of these Republican-sponsored veterans are the same ones who spoke out against John at the behest of the Nixon administration in 1971. But this time their attacks are more vicious, their lies cut deep and are directed not just at John Kerry, but at me and each of his crewmates as well. This hate-filled ad asserts that I was not under fire; it questions my words and Navy records. This smear campaign has been launched by people without decency, people who don't understand the bond of those who serve in combat.

    As John McCain noted, the television ad aired by these veterans is "dishonest and dishonorable." Sen. McCain called on President Bush to condemn the Swift Boat Veterans for Bush ad. Regrettably, the president has ignored Sen. McCain's advice.

    Does this strategy of attacking combat Vietnam veterans sound familiar? In 2000, a similar Republican smear campaign was launched against Sen. McCain. In fact, the very same communications group, Spaeth Communications, that placed ads against John McCain in 2000 is involved in these vicious attacks against John Kerry. Texas Republican donors with close ties to George W. Bush and Karl Rove crafted this "dishonest and dishonorable" ad. Their new charges are false; their stories are fabricated, made up by people who did not serve with Kerry in Vietnam. They insult and defame all of us who served in Vietnam.

    But when the noise and fog of their distortions and lies have cleared, a man who volunteered to serve his country, a man who showed up for duty when his country called, a man to whom the United States Navy awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts, will stand tall and proud. Ultimately, the American people will judge these Swift Boat Veterans for Bush and their accusations. Americans are tired of smear campaigns against those who volunteered to wear the uniform. Swift Boat Veterans for Bush should hang their heads in shame.

    Posted by Eric at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

    August 09, 2004

    Kerry Holds Lead in Hawaii

    In the safe state of Hawaii, Kerry only leads by 8 points:

    Of the 681 registered voters who were surveyed, just more than 48 percent said they support Kerry. But because of the number of undecided voters, there is no clear majority in the presidential race. Forty-one percent were behind President Bush, while 11 percent were undecided.
    Meanwhile, Hawaii's most competitive House seat is not so competitive:
    Incumbent Democrat Ed Case leads Republican challenger Mike Gabbard by a more than 3-to-1 margin in the race for the 2nd Congressional District seat, according to a new statewide poll conducted for the Star-Bulletin and KITV-4 News.

    Of 449 respondents, 67 percent said they would vote for Case, 18 percent picked Gabbard and 15 percent were undecided.

    Posted by Eric at 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Holds Lead in Hawaii

    In the safe state of Hawaii, Kerry only leads by 8 points:

    Of the 681 registered voters who were surveyed, just more than 48 percent said they support Kerry. But because of the number of undecided voters, there is no clear majority in the presidential race. Forty-one percent were behind President Bush, while 11 percent were undecided.
    Meanwhile, Hawaii's most competitive House seat is not so competitive:
    Incumbent Democrat Ed Case leads Republican challenger Mike Gabbard by a more than 3-to-1 margin in the race for the 2nd Congressional District seat, according to a new statewide poll conducted for the Star-Bulletin and KITV-4 News.

    Of 449 respondents, 67 percent said they would vote for Case, 18 percent picked Gabbard and 15 percent were undecided.

    Posted by Eric at 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

    Intimate Knowledge?

    Still rather interesting that none of the people in the Swift Boat ad against Kerry actually served with Kerry.

    Posted by Eric at 06:49 AM | Comments (0)

    Intimate Knowledge?

    Still rather interesting that none of the people in the Swift Boat ad against Kerry actually served with Kerry.

    Posted by Eric at 06:49 AM | Comments (0)

    August 06, 2004

    George Elliott Retracts Statement

    From the Boston Globe:

    But yesterday, a key figure in the anti-Kerry campaign, Kerry's former commanding officer, backed off one of the key contentions. Lieutenant Commander George Elliott said in an interview that he had made a ''terrible mistake" in signing an affidavit that suggests Kerry did not deserve the Silver Star -- one of the main allegations in the book. The affidavit was given to The Boston Globe by the anti-Kerry group to justify assertions in their ad and book ... Yesterday, reached at his home, Elliott said he regretted signing the affidavit and said he still thinks Kerry deserved the Silver Star.

    ''I still don't think he shot the guy in the back," Elliott said. ''It was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words. I'm the one in trouble here."

    Elliott said he was no under personal or political pressure to sign the statement, but he did feel ''time pressure" from those involved in the book. ''That's no excuse," Elliott said. ''I knew it was wrong . . . In a hurry I signed it and faxed it back. That was a mistake

    Posted by Eric at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)

    George Elliott Retracts Statement

    From the Boston Globe:

    But yesterday, a key figure in the anti-Kerry campaign, Kerry's former commanding officer, backed off one of the key contentions. Lieutenant Commander George Elliott said in an interview that he had made a ''terrible mistake" in signing an affidavit that suggests Kerry did not deserve the Silver Star -- one of the main allegations in the book. The affidavit was given to The Boston Globe by the anti-Kerry group to justify assertions in their ad and book ... Yesterday, reached at his home, Elliott said he regretted signing the affidavit and said he still thinks Kerry deserved the Silver Star.

    ''I still don't think he shot the guy in the back," Elliott said. ''It was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words. I'm the one in trouble here."

    Elliott said he was no under personal or political pressure to sign the statement, but he did feel ''time pressure" from those involved in the book. ''That's no excuse," Elliott said. ''I knew it was wrong . . . In a hurry I signed it and faxed it back. That was a mistake

    Posted by Eric at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)

    August 03, 2004

    WPost Poll Gives Kerry "Slight Lead"

    To note, from the Washington Post-ABC News poll:

  • "The poll showed Kerry with the support of 50 percent of all registered voters, compared with 44 percent for Bush, with independent Ralph Nader at 2 percent. On the eve of the convention, Bush led Kerry 48 percent to 46 percent."
  • "By historical standards, Kerry's post-convention bounce is modest, at best -- a fact that set off a debate between the candidates' campaign advisers. The Bush team said Kerry's failure to gain more significant ground from his national convention puts him at a serious disadvantage for the fall, while Kerry advisers said the electorate is already so polarized and partisans so energized that there was far less chance for a big bounce this year."
  • "A bare majority of voters -- 53 percent -- say they now have a clear idea of where Kerry stands on the issues, up from 46 percent immediately before the convention."
  • "Kerry also runs about even with Bush as the candidate best able to deal with the situation in Iraq and has erased the president's double-digit advantage on the campaign against terrorism."

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

    WPost Poll Gives Kerry "Slight Lead"

    To note, from the Washington Post-ABC News poll:

  • "The poll showed Kerry with the support of 50 percent of all registered voters, compared with 44 percent for Bush, with independent Ralph Nader at 2 percent. On the eve of the convention, Bush led Kerry 48 percent to 46 percent."
  • "By historical standards, Kerry's post-convention bounce is modest, at best -- a fact that set off a debate between the candidates' campaign advisers. The Bush team said Kerry's failure to gain more significant ground from his national convention puts him at a serious disadvantage for the fall, while Kerry advisers said the electorate is already so polarized and partisans so energized that there was far less chance for a big bounce this year."
  • "A bare majority of voters -- 53 percent -- say they now have a clear idea of where Kerry stands on the issues, up from 46 percent immediately before the convention."
  • "Kerry also runs about even with Bush as the candidate best able to deal with the situation in Iraq and has erased the president's double-digit advantage on the campaign against terrorism."

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

    August 02, 2004

    Bush Campaign Demands Race of Reporter

    Hmm:

    President Bush's re-election campaign insisted on knowing the race of an Arizona Daily Star journalist assigned to photograph Vice President Dick Cheney.

    The Star refused to provide the information.

    Cheney is scheduled to appear at a rally this afternoon at the Pima County Fairgrounds.

    A rally organizer for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign asked Teri Hayt, the Star's managing editor, to disclose the journalist's race on Friday. After Hayt refused, the organizer called back and said the journalist probably would be allowed to photograph the vice president.

    "It was such an outrageous request, I was personally insulted," Hayt said later.

    Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the president's re-election campaign, said the information was needed for security purposes.
    As The Center for American Progress notes, Bush previously said: "I've asked the attorney general and the deputy attorney general to examine racial profiling. It's wrong in America and we've got to get rid of it."

    Posted by Eric at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush Campaign Demands Race of Reporter

    Hmm:

    President Bush's re-election campaign insisted on knowing the race of an Arizona Daily Star journalist assigned to photograph Vice President Dick Cheney.

    The Star refused to provide the information.

    Cheney is scheduled to appear at a rally this afternoon at the Pima County Fairgrounds.

    A rally organizer for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign asked Teri Hayt, the Star's managing editor, to disclose the journalist's race on Friday. After Hayt refused, the organizer called back and said the journalist probably would be allowed to photograph the vice president.

    "It was such an outrageous request, I was personally insulted," Hayt said later.

    Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the president's re-election campaign, said the information was needed for security purposes.
    As The Center for American Progress notes, Bush previously said: "I've asked the attorney general and the deputy attorney general to examine racial profiling. It's wrong in America and we've got to get rid of it."

    Posted by Eric at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

    Get Ready for the GOP Convention

    With High Times.

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

    Get Ready for the GOP Convention

    With High Times.

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

    Kerry and the Drug War

    Of interest to the youth vote: What will Kerry do about the drug war?

    Talk Left has some answers.

    Posted by Eric at 02:56 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry and the Drug War

    Of interest to the youth vote: What will Kerry do about the drug war?

    Talk Left has some answers.

    Posted by Eric at 02:56 AM | Comments (0)

    July 29, 2004

    Kerry Outlines Presidential Vision

    Text of his speech.

    Posted by Eric at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Outlines Presidential Vision

    Text of his speech.

    Posted by Eric at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark: Kerry "leader and fighter"

    From speech tonight:

    War. I've been there. Heard the thump of enemy mortars. Seen the tracers fly. Bled on the battlefield. Recovered in hospitals. Received and obeyed orders. Sent men and women into battle. Awarded medals, comforted families, attended funerals. And this soldier has news for you: Anyone who tells you that one political party has a monopoly on the defense of our nation is committing a fraud on the American people. Franklin Roosevelt said it best: "Repetition does not transform a lie into the truth."

    This hall and this party are filled with veterans who have served under this flag -- our flag. We rose and stood reveille to this flag. We fought for this flag. And we've seen brave men and women buried under this flag. This flag is ours! And nobody will take it away from us.

    The safety of our country demands urgent and innovative measures to strengthen our armed forces. The safety of our country demands credible intelligence. The safety of our country demands cooperation with our allies. The safety of our country demands making more friends and fewer enemies. The safety of our country demands an end to the doctrinaire, ineffective policies that currently grip Washington.

    Enough is enough! A safe America -- a just America -- that's what we want, and that's what we need. And with John Kerry and John Edwards, that's what we will achieve.

    Posted by Eric at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark: Kerry "leader and fighter"

    From speech tonight:

    War. I've been there. Heard the thump of enemy mortars. Seen the tracers fly. Bled on the battlefield. Recovered in hospitals. Received and obeyed orders. Sent men and women into battle. Awarded medals, comforted families, attended funerals. And this soldier has news for you: Anyone who tells you that one political party has a monopoly on the defense of our nation is committing a fraud on the American people. Franklin Roosevelt said it best: "Repetition does not transform a lie into the truth."

    This hall and this party are filled with veterans who have served under this flag -- our flag. We rose and stood reveille to this flag. We fought for this flag. And we've seen brave men and women buried under this flag. This flag is ours! And nobody will take it away from us.

    The safety of our country demands urgent and innovative measures to strengthen our armed forces. The safety of our country demands credible intelligence. The safety of our country demands cooperation with our allies. The safety of our country demands making more friends and fewer enemies. The safety of our country demands an end to the doctrinaire, ineffective policies that currently grip Washington.

    Enough is enough! A safe America -- a just America -- that's what we want, and that's what we need. And with John Kerry and John Edwards, that's what we will achieve.

    Posted by Eric at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Zogby: Kerry Leads Electoral

    From a July 27, 2004 survey:

    The collection of state polls, conducted July 19-23, shows Mr. Kerry leading, 275 to 220, with three of the 16 states in the collection - Florida, Missouri, and Nevada - excluded from the count.

    Florida is an absolute dead heat; while Missouri and Nevada are razor-thin advantages leaning toward Mr. Kerry. All three states were won by Mr. Bush four years ago. Even without considering the votes from those states, Mr. Kerry still has enough support in the Zogby model to win the Presidency.

    But it cannot be emphasized enough that the polling shows this race is too close to call right now.

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

    Zogby: Kerry Leads Electoral

    From a July 27, 2004 survey:

    The collection of state polls, conducted July 19-23, shows Mr. Kerry leading, 275 to 220, with three of the 16 states in the collection - Florida, Missouri, and Nevada - excluded from the count.

    Florida is an absolute dead heat; while Missouri and Nevada are razor-thin advantages leaning toward Mr. Kerry. All three states were won by Mr. Bush four years ago. Even without considering the votes from those states, Mr. Kerry still has enough support in the Zogby model to win the Presidency.

    But it cannot be emphasized enough that the polling shows this race is too close to call right now.

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

    Obama Delievered, But Did America See It?

    John Nichols on the problem with the media's coverage of the convention:

    ABC, NBC and CBS chose not to air any of Tuesday night's convention proceedings. For the first time since the development of broadcast television, Americans could not tune into one of their local commercial television stations and watch the nation's oldest political party reinventing itself for the newest campaign ...

    It is true that much of what is said from the convention podium these days adds up to little more than a partisan infomercial. But there are still meaningful moments, and Obama's address was one of them. In fact, the Illinois state senator's speech was an exceptionally significant expression of the ever-evolving story of American citizenship and political engagement. Obama's often poetic message - with its "E pluribus unum: out of many one" theme - was the talk of the convention.

    It was not, however, the talk of the nation because, of course, the networks chose not to give it the same time and attention they devoted to that program about the eating habits of "pageant girls."

    Posted by Eric at 08:44 PM | Comments (0)

    Obama Delievered, But Did America See It?

    John Nichols on the problem with the media's coverage of the convention:

    ABC, NBC and CBS chose not to air any of Tuesday night's convention proceedings. For the first time since the development of broadcast television, Americans could not tune into one of their local commercial television stations and watch the nation's oldest political party reinventing itself for the newest campaign ...

    It is true that much of what is said from the convention podium these days adds up to little more than a partisan infomercial. But there are still meaningful moments, and Obama's address was one of them. In fact, the Illinois state senator's speech was an exceptionally significant expression of the ever-evolving story of American citizenship and political engagement. Obama's often poetic message - with its "E pluribus unum: out of many one" theme - was the talk of the convention.

    It was not, however, the talk of the nation because, of course, the networks chose not to give it the same time and attention they devoted to that program about the eating habits of "pageant girls."

    Posted by Eric at 08:44 PM | Comments (0)

    Sharpton

    Pretty good line: "It, to me, is a glaring contradiction that we would fight, and rightfully so, to get the right to vote for the people in the capital of Iraq in Baghdad, but still don't give the federal right to vote for the people in the capital of the United States, in Washington, D.C."

    This one too:

    You said the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule.

    That's where the argument, to this day, of reparations starts. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres.

    We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us.

    Posted by Eric at 08:42 AM | Comments (0)

    Sharpton

    Pretty good line: "It, to me, is a glaring contradiction that we would fight, and rightfully so, to get the right to vote for the people in the capital of Iraq in Baghdad, but still don't give the federal right to vote for the people in the capital of the United States, in Washington, D.C."

    This one too:

    You said the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule.

    That's where the argument, to this day, of reparations starts. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres.

    We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us.

    Posted by Eric at 08:42 AM | Comments (0)

    Thursday Finale

    Thursday:

    Stronger at Home, Respected in the World

    Madeline Albright, Former Secretary of State
    Joe Biden, U.S. Senator from Delaware
    Wesley Clark, Four Star General, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    Max Cleland, Former U.S. Senator from Georgia
    James Clyburn, U.S. Representative from South Carolina
    Alexandra Kerry, Daughter of John Kerry
    John Kerry, 2004 Democratic Presidential Nominee
    Vanessa Kerry, Daughter of John Kerry
    Joe Lieberman, U.S. Senator from Connecticut, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    Ed Markey, U.S. Representative from Massachusetts
    Juanita Millender-McDonald, U.S. Representative from California
    Eleanor Holmes Norton, U.S. Representative from the District of Columbia
    Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Representative from California, Democratic Leader
    Jim Rassman, Green Beret rescued by John Kerry in Vietnam
    Louise Slaughter, U.S. Representative from New York
    (joined by Congressional Women)
    John Sweeney, President of AFL-CIO
    Mark Warner, Governor of Virginia

    Posted by Eric at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)

    Thursday Finale

    Thursday:

    Stronger at Home, Respected in the World

    Madeline Albright, Former Secretary of State
    Joe Biden, U.S. Senator from Delaware
    Wesley Clark, Four Star General, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    Max Cleland, Former U.S. Senator from Georgia
    James Clyburn, U.S. Representative from South Carolina
    Alexandra Kerry, Daughter of John Kerry
    John Kerry, 2004 Democratic Presidential Nominee
    Vanessa Kerry, Daughter of John Kerry
    Joe Lieberman, U.S. Senator from Connecticut, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    Ed Markey, U.S. Representative from Massachusetts
    Juanita Millender-McDonald, U.S. Representative from California
    Eleanor Holmes Norton, U.S. Representative from the District of Columbia
    Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Representative from California, Democratic Leader
    Jim Rassman, Green Beret rescued by John Kerry in Vietnam
    Louise Slaughter, U.S. Representative from New York
    (joined by Congressional Women)
    John Sweeney, President of AFL-CIO
    Mark Warner, Governor of Virginia

    Posted by Eric at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)

    Impending Disaster?

    From PFAW:

    A computer crash erased detailed records from Miami-Dade County's first widespread use of touchscreen voting machines, raising again the specter of elections troubles in Florida, where the new technology was supposed to put an end to such problems.

    The crashes occurred in May and November of 2003, erasing information from the September 2002 gubernatorial primaries and other elections, elections officials said Tuesday.

    The malfunction was made public after the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition, a citizen's group, requested all data from the 2002 gubernatorial primary between Democratic candidates Janet Reno and Bill McBride.

    The loss of data underscores problems with the touchscreen voting machines, the citizen's group said. "This is a disaster waiting to happen," said Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, chairwoman of the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition. "Of course it's worrisome."

    Learn more with People for the American Way.

    Posted by Eric at 08:23 AM | Comments (0)

    Impending Disaster?

    From PFAW:

    A computer crash erased detailed records from Miami-Dade County's first widespread use of touchscreen voting machines, raising again the specter of elections troubles in Florida, where the new technology was supposed to put an end to such problems.

    The crashes occurred in May and November of 2003, erasing information from the September 2002 gubernatorial primaries and other elections, elections officials said Tuesday.

    The malfunction was made public after the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition, a citizen's group, requested all data from the 2002 gubernatorial primary between Democratic candidates Janet Reno and Bill McBride.

    The loss of data underscores problems with the touchscreen voting machines, the citizen's group said. "This is a disaster waiting to happen," said Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, chairwoman of the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition. "Of course it's worrisome."

    Learn more with People for the American Way.

    Posted by Eric at 08:23 AM | Comments (0)

    July 28, 2004

    Edwards: "Hope is on the way"

    Speech here.

    Posted by Eric at 11:53 PM | Comments (0)

    Edwards: "Hope is on the way"

    Speech here.

    Posted by Eric at 11:53 PM | Comments (0)

    Lincoln Chafee on Iraq

    From the AP:

    Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee criticized the Bush administration on Tuesday for a "host of mistakes" in its postwar reconstruction of Iraq, saying the country is less secure than before and that basic infrastructure is still not working.

    The senator, who was the only Republican to vote against the White House war resolution in October 2002 leading up to the invasion of Iraq, said the U.S. effort will fail if the White House does not work more closely with other countries in the region and re-engage itself in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    "I don't think we can be successful if we're not working regionally," he told The Associated Press.

    Chafee said he favored recruiting more allies, and feared that demagogues in the Middle East and terrorists would exploit a U.S. invasion. He did vote to authorize reconstruction money.

    Posted by Eric at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

    Lincoln Chafee on Iraq

    From the AP:

    Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee criticized the Bush administration on Tuesday for a "host of mistakes" in its postwar reconstruction of Iraq, saying the country is less secure than before and that basic infrastructure is still not working.

    The senator, who was the only Republican to vote against the White House war resolution in October 2002 leading up to the invasion of Iraq, said the U.S. effort will fail if the White House does not work more closely with other countries in the region and re-engage itself in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    "I don't think we can be successful if we're not working regionally," he told The Associated Press.

    Chafee said he favored recruiting more allies, and feared that demagogues in the Middle East and terrorists would exploit a U.S. invasion. He did vote to authorize reconstruction money.

    Posted by Eric at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

    Someone Wake-Up Dan Rather

    Falling asleep during the convention.

    Now its official: This convention really is duller than those the parties held four years ago. Inside the hall, its scripted down to the nanosecond. Outside the hall, security is battened down tighter than the lug nuts on a 55 Ford. Remember DNC 2000s anti-globalism protestors and the Rage Against the Machine concert in the Staples Center parking lot? Nothing of that sort this time around perhaps if they put an exercise wheel and a water bottle inside the so-called protestors cage (a.k.a. Free-Speech Zone).

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

    Someone Wake-Up Dan Rather

    Falling asleep during the convention.

    Now its official: This convention really is duller than those the parties held four years ago. Inside the hall, its scripted down to the nanosecond. Outside the hall, security is battened down tighter than the lug nuts on a 55 Ford. Remember DNC 2000s anti-globalism protestors and the Rage Against the Machine concert in the Staples Center parking lot? Nothing of that sort this time around perhaps if they put an exercise wheel and a water bottle inside the so-called protestors cage (a.k.a. Free-Speech Zone).

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

    Wed's Schedule

    Theme: A Stronger More Secure America

    Speakers:
    Steve Brozak, Ret. Lt. Col., USMC, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New Jersey
    Elijah Cummings, U.S. Representative from Maryland
    Cate Edwards, Daughter of John Edwards
    Elizabeth Edwards, Wife of John Edwards
    John Edwards, Democratic Vice-Presidential Nominee
    Bob Graham, U.S. Senator from Florida, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    Jennifer Granholm, Governor of Michigan
    Dennis Kucinich, U.S. Representative from Ohio, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    Greg Meeks, U.S. Representative from New York
    Martin OMalley, Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland
    Harry Reid, U.S. Senator from Nevada
    Ed Rendell, Governor of Pennsylvania
    Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico
    Al Sharpton, 2004 Presidential Candidate

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

    Wed's Schedule

    Theme: A Stronger More Secure America

    Speakers:
    Steve Brozak, Ret. Lt. Col., USMC, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New Jersey
    Elijah Cummings, U.S. Representative from Maryland
    Cate Edwards, Daughter of John Edwards
    Elizabeth Edwards, Wife of John Edwards
    John Edwards, Democratic Vice-Presidential Nominee
    Bob Graham, U.S. Senator from Florida, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    Jennifer Granholm, Governor of Michigan
    Dennis Kucinich, U.S. Representative from Ohio, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    Greg Meeks, U.S. Representative from New York
    Martin OMalley, Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland
    Harry Reid, U.S. Senator from Nevada
    Ed Rendell, Governor of Pennsylvania
    Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico
    Al Sharpton, 2004 Presidential Candidate

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

    July 27, 2004

    Nancy Reagan Likely to Skip GOP Convention

    From The New Republic blog:

    GOP officials don't seem too bothered by the fact that presidential son Ron Reagan will address the Democratic convention tonight. They're clearly more troubled, however, by the fact that Reagan's mother, Nancy, apparently won't be speaking at theirs. It's no secret that Mrs. Reagan is dismayed by George W. Bush's restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, which holds enormous promise for future disease cures. Researchers admit the near-term potential of stem cells for Alzheimer's patients like Ronald Reagan is quite limited, but Mrs. Reagan doesn't seem to care: "I do not expect her at our convention," Republican chairman Ed Gillespie admitted in a press briefing here this morning.

    But Gillespie wasn't content to leave reporters with the impression that Mrs. Reagan was boycotting the convention over stem cells. Instead, he cast her as a traumatized old widow. "Let's be a little thoughtful here," the GOP chairman lectured inquisitive reporters. "Mrs. Reagan's been through a lot this year. And whether she determines she wants to come to our convention this year is Mrs. Reagan's decision, and no one else's. ... Just keep in mind for a moment the year Mrs. Reagan has had, and be understanding."

    Nancy Reagan is undoubtedly drained and in mourning. But that wasn't enough to keep her from speaking last month at the public christening of an aircraft carrier named after her husband. Sure, a national convention is a much bigger ordeal than a ceremony naming an aircraft carrier. But I have a feeling that's not what's going on here--and that Gillespie knows it.

    Posted by Eric at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

    Nancy Reagan Likely to Skip GOP Convention

    From The New Republic blog:

    GOP officials don't seem too bothered by the fact that presidential son Ron Reagan will address the Democratic convention tonight. They're clearly more troubled, however, by the fact that Reagan's mother, Nancy, apparently won't be speaking at theirs. It's no secret that Mrs. Reagan is dismayed by George W. Bush's restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, which holds enormous promise for future disease cures. Researchers admit the near-term potential of stem cells for Alzheimer's patients like Ronald Reagan is quite limited, but Mrs. Reagan doesn't seem to care: "I do not expect her at our convention," Republican chairman Ed Gillespie admitted in a press briefing here this morning.

    But Gillespie wasn't content to leave reporters with the impression that Mrs. Reagan was boycotting the convention over stem cells. Instead, he cast her as a traumatized old widow. "Let's be a little thoughtful here," the GOP chairman lectured inquisitive reporters. "Mrs. Reagan's been through a lot this year. And whether she determines she wants to come to our convention this year is Mrs. Reagan's decision, and no one else's. ... Just keep in mind for a moment the year Mrs. Reagan has had, and be understanding."

    Nancy Reagan is undoubtedly drained and in mourning. But that wasn't enough to keep her from speaking last month at the public christening of an aircraft carrier named after her husband. Sure, a national convention is a much bigger ordeal than a ceremony naming an aircraft carrier. But I have a feeling that's not what's going on here--and that Gillespie knows it.

    Posted by Eric at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

    Gillette: The Best The Dems Can't Get

    Yeah ... I sorta do feel sorry for the corporation, or at least the person who's going to lose his/her job. From Wash Monthly:

    NOW THAT WAS BRIGHT....With all of the headlines and commotion about strict security at this year's political conventions you would think that someone would have thought twice about the decision to place boxes of Gillette razors in each of the welcome bags handed out with credentials to delegates and press types in Boston. Boston-based Gillette reportedly spent over a million dollars on the product placement, only to have: a) their products unused as all of the razors were confiscated when convention-goers attempted to pass through security; and b) their name taken in vain repeatedly because the already-long security lines became even more backed-up due to the razor snafu. Might we suggest substituting a nice moisturizer instead next time?

    Posted by Eric at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

    Gillette: The Best The Dems Can't Get

    Yeah ... I sorta do feel sorry for the corporation, or at least the person who's going to lose his/her job. From Wash Monthly:

    NOW THAT WAS BRIGHT....With all of the headlines and commotion about strict security at this year's political conventions you would think that someone would have thought twice about the decision to place boxes of Gillette razors in each of the welcome bags handed out with credentials to delegates and press types in Boston. Boston-based Gillette reportedly spent over a million dollars on the product placement, only to have: a) their products unused as all of the razors were confiscated when convention-goers attempted to pass through security; and b) their name taken in vain repeatedly because the already-long security lines became even more backed-up due to the razor snafu. Might we suggest substituting a nice moisturizer instead next time?

    Posted by Eric at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

    Inside the RNC's War Room

    The main point of it all:

    Mr. Feehery is only one soldier in the Republican field operation. Ed Gillespie, chairman of the Republican National Committee, is overseeing about three dozen people, including a rotation of "spinners" like Ralph Reed and Mary Matalin, and top Republican strategists. There is a regional desk focused on battleground states and a nerve center with computers monitoring and cataloging all things Kerry. The effort here is coordinated with scores of surrogate speakers in the battleground states so all are talking from the same page.

    "The goal is to get into the stories," Mr. Gillespie said in an interview in his bare-bones bunker office. "We know we're swimming upstream and that our quotes are going to be on the jump page. But we don't want to let charges go unanswered and we don't want to allow them to ditch the senator's record, because we believe it's important in the debate."

    It is the Republican view that Mr. Kerry's voting record in the Senate shows him to be a liberal, partial to tax raises and weak on defense and that the convention is trying to conceal that information, hence the new Republican Web site DemsExtremeMakeover.com.

    And hence, if you have a media that is willing to put those bits of info in their stories ...

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

    Inside the RNC's War Room

    The main point of it all:

    Mr. Feehery is only one soldier in the Republican field operation. Ed Gillespie, chairman of the Republican National Committee, is overseeing about three dozen people, including a rotation of "spinners" like Ralph Reed and Mary Matalin, and top Republican strategists. There is a regional desk focused on battleground states and a nerve center with computers monitoring and cataloging all things Kerry. The effort here is coordinated with scores of surrogate speakers in the battleground states so all are talking from the same page.

    "The goal is to get into the stories," Mr. Gillespie said in an interview in his bare-bones bunker office. "We know we're swimming upstream and that our quotes are going to be on the jump page. But we don't want to let charges go unanswered and we don't want to allow them to ditch the senator's record, because we believe it's important in the debate."

    It is the Republican view that Mr. Kerry's voting record in the Senate shows him to be a liberal, partial to tax raises and weak on defense and that the convention is trying to conceal that information, hence the new Republican Web site DemsExtremeMakeover.com.

    And hence, if you have a media that is willing to put those bits of info in their stories ...

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

    Send John Kerry

    Big Dawg:

    Here is what I know about John Kerry. During the Vietnam War, many young menincluding the current president, the vice president and mecould have gone to Vietnam but didnt. John Kerry came from a privileged background and could have avoided it too. Instead he said, send me.

    When they sent those swift-boats up the river in Vietnam, and told them their job was to draw hostile fireto show the American flag and bait the enemy to come out and fightJohn Kerry said, send me. When it was time to heal the wounds of war and normalize relations with Vietnamand to demand an accounting of the POWs and MIAs we lost thereJohn Kerry said, send me.

    When we needed someone to push the cause of inner-city kids struggling to avoid a life of crime, or to bring the benefits of high technology to ordinary Americans, or to clean the environment in a way that creates jobs, or to give small businesses a better chance to make it, John Kerry said send me.

    Tonight my friends, I ask you to join me for the next 100 days in telling John Kerrys story and promoting his plans. Let every person in this hall and all across America say to him what he has always said to America: Send Me.

    Posted by Eric at 05:10 AM | Comments (0)

    Send John Kerry

    Big Dawg:

    Here is what I know about John Kerry. During the Vietnam War, many young menincluding the current president, the vice president and mecould have gone to Vietnam but didnt. John Kerry came from a privileged background and could have avoided it too. Instead he said, send me.

    When they sent those swift-boats up the river in Vietnam, and told them their job was to draw hostile fireto show the American flag and bait the enemy to come out and fightJohn Kerry said, send me. When it was time to heal the wounds of war and normalize relations with Vietnamand to demand an accounting of the POWs and MIAs we lost thereJohn Kerry said, send me.

    When we needed someone to push the cause of inner-city kids struggling to avoid a life of crime, or to bring the benefits of high technology to ordinary Americans, or to clean the environment in a way that creates jobs, or to give small businesses a better chance to make it, John Kerry said send me.

    Tonight my friends, I ask you to join me for the next 100 days in telling John Kerrys story and promoting his plans. Let every person in this hall and all across America say to him what he has always said to America: Send Me.

    Posted by Eric at 05:10 AM | Comments (0)

    Tuesday's Schedule

    Theme: A Lifetime of Strength & Service

    Speakers:

    Tom Daschle, U.S. Senator from South Dakota, Democratic Leader
    Howard Dean, Former Governor of Vermont, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    Richard Durbin, U.S. Senator from Illinois
    James Forbes, Senior Minister at Riverside Church, New York City
    Richard Gephardt, U.S. Representative from Missouri, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    Chris Heinz, Stepson of John Kerry
    Teresa Heinz Kerry, Wife of John Kerry
    Mike Honda, U.S. Representative from California
    Ted Kennedy, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
    Jim Langevin, U.S. Representative from Rhode Island
    Carol Moseley-Braun, Former U.S. Senator from Illinois, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    Janet Napolitano, Governor of Arizona
    Barack Obama, State Senator from Illinois, U.S. Senate Candidate
    Ron Reagan, Son of former President Ronald Reagan
    Christie Vilsack, First Lady of Iowa
    Ilana Wexler, 13-Year-Old Founder of Kids for Kerry

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

    Tuesday's Schedule

    Theme: A Lifetime of Strength & Service

    Speakers:

    Tom Daschle, U.S. Senator from South Dakota, Democratic Leader
    Howard Dean, Former Governor of Vermont, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    Richard Durbin, U.S. Senator from Illinois
    James Forbes, Senior Minister at Riverside Church, New York City
    Richard Gephardt, U.S. Representative from Missouri, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    Chris Heinz, Stepson of John Kerry
    Teresa Heinz Kerry, Wife of John Kerry
    Mike Honda, U.S. Representative from California
    Ted Kennedy, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
    Jim Langevin, U.S. Representative from Rhode Island
    Carol Moseley-Braun, Former U.S. Senator from Illinois, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    Janet Napolitano, Governor of Arizona
    Barack Obama, State Senator from Illinois, U.S. Senate Candidate
    Ron Reagan, Son of former President Ronald Reagan
    Christie Vilsack, First Lady of Iowa
    Ilana Wexler, 13-Year-Old Founder of Kids for Kerry

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

    DNC Chat

    democrats.org/chat: "Each day of the convention, we'll be hosting a live chat with a different guest. They'll answer your questions about why they're supporting John Kerry and the Democrats and how you can get involved."

    Tuesday, July 27, 4:00 p.m. Rob Reiner
    Wednesday, July 28, 6:00 p.m. Al Franken
    Thursday, July 29, 4:30 p.m. DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe

    Posted by Eric at 12:31 AM | Comments (0)

    DNC Chat

    democrats.org/chat: "Each day of the convention, we'll be hosting a live chat with a different guest. They'll answer your questions about why they're supporting John Kerry and the Democrats and how you can get involved."

    Tuesday, July 27, 4:00 p.m. Rob Reiner
    Wednesday, July 28, 6:00 p.m. Al Franken
    Thursday, July 29, 4:30 p.m. DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe

    Posted by Eric at 12:31 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry - Bush Close in 3 Battleground States

    According to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll:

    President Bush and Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry are essentially tied in Florida, Ohio and Missouri, three of the most populous battleground states in the November election, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll of likely voters released Sunday.

    Together, the states account for 58 electoral votes -- more than one-fifth of the 270 needed to win the presidency.

    Bush holds a slight numerical lead over Kerry in Florida, Kerry has a little larger numerical lead in Ohio, and the two are tied in Missouri.

    But because the results are all within each poll's margin of error, the candidates are essentially even. The three polls were conducted between July 19 and Thursday.

    In Florida, with 27 electoral votes, Bush was the choice of 50 percent of the 699 likely voters polled, while 47 percent of those surveyed preferred Kerry.

    Posted by Eric at 12:24 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry - Bush Close in 3 Battleground States

    According to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll:

    President Bush and Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry are essentially tied in Florida, Ohio and Missouri, three of the most populous battleground states in the November election, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll of likely voters released Sunday.

    Together, the states account for 58 electoral votes -- more than one-fifth of the 270 needed to win the presidency.

    Bush holds a slight numerical lead over Kerry in Florida, Kerry has a little larger numerical lead in Ohio, and the two are tied in Missouri.

    But because the results are all within each poll's margin of error, the candidates are essentially even. The three polls were conducted between July 19 and Thursday.

    In Florida, with 27 electoral votes, Bush was the choice of 50 percent of the 699 likely voters polled, while 47 percent of those surveyed preferred Kerry.

    Posted by Eric at 12:24 AM | Comments (0)

    Recap

    Transcripts, and some videos here.

    Posted by Eric at 12:10 AM | Comments (0)

    Recap

    Transcripts, and some videos here.

    Posted by Eric at 12:10 AM | Comments (0)

    July 26, 2004

    Lehrer Criticizes Network Coverage

    From the Boston Globe:

    Speaking before a crowd of Democrats, dignitaries, and journalists at Harvard University yesterday, PBS "NewsHour" anchor Jim Lehrer rebuked the big three anchors for their networks' decision to air only three hours of prime-time coverage at each national convention this summer.

    "I think that starting tomorrow, we're going to have four of the eight most important days we can have as a nation," said Lehrer, criticizing CBS's Dan Rather, ABC's Peter Jennings, and NBC's Tom Brokaw for not getting more air time. "I'm sorry. You guys are a hell of a lot more important than your bosses are willing to admit."

    Poynter with more.

    Posted by Eric at 09:45 AM | Comments (0)

    Lehrer Criticizes Network Coverage

    From the Boston Globe:

    Speaking before a crowd of Democrats, dignitaries, and journalists at Harvard University yesterday, PBS "NewsHour" anchor Jim Lehrer rebuked the big three anchors for their networks' decision to air only three hours of prime-time coverage at each national convention this summer.

    "I think that starting tomorrow, we're going to have four of the eight most important days we can have as a nation," said Lehrer, criticizing CBS's Dan Rather, ABC's Peter Jennings, and NBC's Tom Brokaw for not getting more air time. "I'm sorry. You guys are a hell of a lot more important than your bosses are willing to admit."

    Poynter with more.

    Posted by Eric at 09:45 AM | Comments (0)

    Today's Schedule

    Monday's theme: The Kerry-Edwards Plan for America's Future

    Speakers:

    David Alston, Vietnam Swift Boat Crewmate of John Kerry
    Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Representative from Wisconsin
    Jimmy Carter, Former President of the United States
    Bill Clinton, Former President of the United States
    Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator from New York
    Al Gore, Former Vice-President of the United States
    Steny Hoyer, U.S. Representative from Maryland, Democratic
    Whip
    Terry McAuliffe, Chairman of the Democratic Party
    Kendrick Meek, U.S. Representative from Florida
    Robert Menendez, U.S. Representative from New Jersey
    Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston
    Barbara Mikulski, U.S. Senator from Maryland
    (joined by all Women Senators)
    Stephanie Tubbs Jones, U.S. Representative from Ohio
    Jim Turner, U.S. Representative from Texas

    FYI, the Convention's blog is here (Hamster link-less!)

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

    Today's Schedule

    Monday's theme: The Kerry-Edwards Plan for America's Future

    Speakers:

    David Alston, Vietnam Swift Boat Crewmate of John Kerry
    Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Representative from Wisconsin
    Jimmy Carter, Former President of the United States
    Bill Clinton, Former President of the United States
    Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator from New York
    Al Gore, Former Vice-President of the United States
    Steny Hoyer, U.S. Representative from Maryland, Democratic
    Whip
    Terry McAuliffe, Chairman of the Democratic Party
    Kendrick Meek, U.S. Representative from Florida
    Robert Menendez, U.S. Representative from New Jersey
    Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston
    Barbara Mikulski, U.S. Senator from Maryland
    (joined by all Women Senators)
    Stephanie Tubbs Jones, U.S. Representative from Ohio
    Jim Turner, U.S. Representative from Texas

    FYI, the Convention's blog is here (Hamster link-less!)

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

    Ron Reagan and Stem Cell

    Sort of a preview of Reagan's Tuesday convention speech. On the potential political nature of the speech:

    Reagan: "Maybe the Democrats are using me. Wouldn't that be shocking? But you know what? I'm using them. You know? And all these people that have been taking shots at me lately for doing this thing. As long as they spell embryonic stem cell correctly, I don't care. It's fine. It puts the issue in the public eye, and that's the only reason I'm doing this."

    Posted by Eric at 01:24 AM | Comments (0)

    Ron Reagan and Stem Cell

    Sort of a preview of Reagan's Tuesday convention speech. On the potential political nature of the speech:

    Reagan: "Maybe the Democrats are using me. Wouldn't that be shocking? But you know what? I'm using them. You know? And all these people that have been taking shots at me lately for doing this thing. As long as they spell embryonic stem cell correctly, I don't care. It's fine. It puts the issue in the public eye, and that's the only reason I'm doing this."

    Posted by Eric at 01:24 AM | Comments (0)

    July 23, 2004

    Kerry Large Lead in Penn

    Ten points, according to latest poll. AP:

    In Pennsylvania, a key swing state won by Democrat Al Gore (news - web sites) in 2000, Kerry was up over Bush by 48 percent to 38 percent, while Nader was at 5 percent, in a state poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times.

    In Oregon, Kerry led Bush 50 percent to 42 percent, while Nader had 4 percent, according to a poll by the American Research Group. Gore narrowly won Oregon in 2000.

    In Florida, a Mason-Dixon poll found Bush at 48 percent, Kerry at 46 percent and Nader at 2 percent. The race was equally close in a Los Angeles Times poll, with Bush at 45 percent, Kerry at 44 percent and 2 percent for Nader.

    In other competitive states, Kerry and Bush were tied in ARG polls in New Hampshire and Ohio. Bush won both states in 2000.

    In New Hampshire, Kerry had 47 percent, Bush 45 percent and Nader 3 percent. In Ohio, Kerry and Bush also were deadlocked in a three-way race.

    Posted by Eric at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Large Lead in Penn

    Ten points, according to latest poll. AP:

    In Pennsylvania, a key swing state won by Democrat Al Gore (news - web sites) in 2000, Kerry was up over Bush by 48 percent to 38 percent, while Nader was at 5 percent, in a state poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times.

    In Oregon, Kerry led Bush 50 percent to 42 percent, while Nader had 4 percent, according to a poll by the American Research Group. Gore narrowly won Oregon in 2000.

    In Florida, a Mason-Dixon poll found Bush at 48 percent, Kerry at 46 percent and Nader at 2 percent. The race was equally close in a Los Angeles Times poll, with Bush at 45 percent, Kerry at 44 percent and 2 percent for Nader.

    In other competitive states, Kerry and Bush were tied in ARG polls in New Hampshire and Ohio. Bush won both states in 2000.

    In New Hampshire, Kerry had 47 percent, Bush 45 percent and Nader 3 percent. In Ohio, Kerry and Bush also were deadlocked in a three-way race.

    Posted by Eric at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

    Still Deadlocked

    New LA Times. Among the points:


  • Overall. "Sen. John F. Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, leads President Bush by 2 percentage points among registered voters nationwide, with or without liberal independent candidate Ralph Nader included in the matchup. That's an advantage within the poll's margin of error, and a smaller lead than Kerry enjoyed in a Times survey last month."
  • Wrong Direction. "Fully 54% say the nation is moving in the wrong direction. Nearly half say Bush's economic policies have made the country worse off almost twice as many as say his agenda has improved conditions. A slim majority says the war in Iraq was not justified. Perhaps most ominously for Bush, nearly three-fifths say the country should not "continue in the direction he set out," and "needs to move in a new direction"."
  • Kerry Confidence. "The poll shows Kerry has progressed in making his case to voters. Nearly three-fifths say he is qualified to be commander in chief, traditionally a key hurdle for a challenger. And just over four-fifths of his supporters say they are certain to vote for him, equal to the percentage of Bush supporters who say they are locked in."
  • Kerry Who? "But one-third of voters, a portion virtually unchanged from June, say they do not know enough about Kerry to decide whether he would be a better president than Bush."

    Posted by Eric at 02:06 AM | Comments (0)

    Still Deadlocked

    New LA Times. Among the points:


  • Overall. "Sen. John F. Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, leads President Bush by 2 percentage points among registered voters nationwide, with or without liberal independent candidate Ralph Nader included in the matchup. That's an advantage within the poll's margin of error, and a smaller lead than Kerry enjoyed in a Times survey last month."
  • Wrong Direction. "Fully 54% say the nation is moving in the wrong direction. Nearly half say Bush's economic policies have made the country worse off almost twice as many as say his agenda has improved conditions. A slim majority says the war in Iraq was not justified. Perhaps most ominously for Bush, nearly three-fifths say the country should not "continue in the direction he set out," and "needs to move in a new direction"."
  • Kerry Confidence. "The poll shows Kerry has progressed in making his case to voters. Nearly three-fifths say he is qualified to be commander in chief, traditionally a key hurdle for a challenger. And just over four-fifths of his supporters say they are certain to vote for him, equal to the percentage of Bush supporters who say they are locked in."
  • Kerry Who? "But one-third of voters, a portion virtually unchanged from June, say they do not know enough about Kerry to decide whether he would be a better president than Bush."

    Posted by Eric at 02:06 AM | Comments (0)

    July 22, 2004

    John Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards on Larry King

    Transcript here.

    Posted by Eric at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

    John Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards on Larry King

    Transcript here.

    Posted by Eric at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

    Kucinich Endorsement Part 2

    On his website, Kucinich has released this statement about his support for the Kerry - Edwards ticket.

    The tens of thousands of volunteers who helped our campaign across America will be enlisted to help the Kerry-Edwards ticket. Those delegates who pledged to me at the convention will be asked to join the Kerry- Edwards delegates in our sweep to victory. This convention will be a great celebration of John Kerry, John Edwards and our Democratic Party and its capacity to restore hope for all Americans.

    The word is unity. My volunteers united at the Democratic Platform and we will unite now because we recognize that unity is essential to bring change in November. Unity is essential to repair America. Unity is essential to set America on a new path.

    John Kerry is a good friend and a decent man. He has a lifelong commitment of honorable service to our nation as a soldier and as a Senator. He can be trusted with power. He will help heal America. He has outstanding intellectual gifts he will bring to the White House and to world affairs. I am proud to stand here to say I will do everything possible to make John Kerry the next President of the United States.

    He also addressed those thinking of supporting Nader:
    John Kerry can win because there is a place within the Democratic party for everyone, including those who may be thinking of supporting Ralph Nader. Most people know I have many of the same commitments Ralph has.

    If there is room for me in the party and the Kerry-Edwards campaign, there is certainly room for Ralph and for his supporters.

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

    Kucinich Endorsement Part 2

    On his website, Kucinich has released this statement about his support for the Kerry - Edwards ticket.

    The tens of thousands of volunteers who helped our campaign across America will be enlisted to help the Kerry-Edwards ticket. Those delegates who pledged to me at the convention will be asked to join the Kerry- Edwards delegates in our sweep to victory. This convention will be a great celebration of John Kerry, John Edwards and our Democratic Party and its capacity to restore hope for all Americans.

    The word is unity. My volunteers united at the Democratic Platform and we will unite now because we recognize that unity is essential to bring change in November. Unity is essential to repair America. Unity is essential to set America on a new path.

    John Kerry is a good friend and a decent man. He has a lifelong commitment of honorable service to our nation as a soldier and as a Senator. He can be trusted with power. He will help heal America. He has outstanding intellectual gifts he will bring to the White House and to world affairs. I am proud to stand here to say I will do everything possible to make John Kerry the next President of the United States.

    He also addressed those thinking of supporting Nader:
    John Kerry can win because there is a place within the Democratic party for everyone, including those who may be thinking of supporting Ralph Nader. Most people know I have many of the same commitments Ralph has.

    If there is room for me in the party and the Kerry-Edwards campaign, there is certainly room for Ralph and for his supporters.

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

    Forget Policies ... Get Don King

    At least, that seems to be the GOP's plan to woo black voters.

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

    Forget Policies ... Get Don King

    At least, that seems to be the GOP's plan to woo black voters.

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

    Average Phoenix, AZ Household Sees 200+ Prez Ads

    And they're not the biggest market. From the Arizona Republic:

    If yours is a metropolitan Phoenix household with "average" television-viewing habits, you've been subjected to more than 200 commercials touting John Kerry or George W. Bush in the early stages of their presidential campaigns, a study reveals.

    The ads blanketed the Valley at the rate of roughly two "hits" a day per household, whether TVs were tuned to the local news or 60 Minutes, or Oprah, Judge Judy or a Spanish-language station.

    Phoenix, as the most populous market in a state counted among 21 that could prove crucial in the Nov. 2 general election, ranked 37th among 93 markets nationwide in the concentration of ads, according to a joint analysis by the Nielsen Monitor-Plus ratings organization and the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project.

    If you're interested in the project, their website is here.

    Posted by Eric at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)

    Average Phoenix, AZ Household Sees 200+ Prez Ads

    And they're not the biggest market. From the Arizona Republic:

    If yours is a metropolitan Phoenix household with "average" television-viewing habits, you've been subjected to more than 200 commercials touting John Kerry or George W. Bush in the early stages of their presidential campaigns, a study reveals.

    The ads blanketed the Valley at the rate of roughly two "hits" a day per household, whether TVs were tuned to the local news or 60 Minutes, or Oprah, Judge Judy or a Spanish-language station.

    Phoenix, as the most populous market in a state counted among 21 that could prove crucial in the Nov. 2 general election, ranked 37th among 93 markets nationwide in the concentration of ads, according to a joint analysis by the Nielsen Monitor-Plus ratings organization and the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project.

    If you're interested in the project, their website is here.

    Posted by Eric at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)

    List of Convention Speakers

    Preliminary list of primetime convention speakers, from Monday to Thursday.

    Posted by Eric at 04:57 AM | Comments (0)

    List of Convention Speakers

    Preliminary list of primetime convention speakers, from Monday to Thursday.

    Posted by Eric at 04:57 AM | Comments (0)

    Kucinich to Formally Endorse Kerry

    Kucinich will formally endorse Kerry in Detroit:

    Democrat Dennis Kucinich (news - web sites), who has remained in the presidential race despite John Kerry (news - web sites)'s obvious lock on the party's nomination, will formally throw his support to the Massachusetts Democrat on Thursday.

    The Ohio congressman, who has waged a long-shot bid for right to challenge President Bush (news - web sites) in November, will announce the endorsement during a joint appearance with Kerry in Detroit, according to spokesmen for both candidates.

    Kerry returns to the campaign trail Thursday to address a conference of the National Urban League after four days in Nantucket, Mass., where he spent time preparing for next week's Democratic National Convention in Boston.

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

    Kucinich to Formally Endorse Kerry

    Kucinich will formally endorse Kerry in Detroit:

    Democrat Dennis Kucinich (news - web sites), who has remained in the presidential race despite John Kerry (news - web sites)'s obvious lock on the party's nomination, will formally throw his support to the Massachusetts Democrat on Thursday.

    The Ohio congressman, who has waged a long-shot bid for right to challenge President Bush (news - web sites) in November, will announce the endorsement during a joint appearance with Kerry in Detroit, according to spokesmen for both candidates.

    Kerry returns to the campaign trail Thursday to address a conference of the National Urban League after four days in Nantucket, Mass., where he spent time preparing for next week's Democratic National Convention in Boston.

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

    Kerry Huge Adv with Latinos

    2-1 favor Kerry over Bush. Also give Bush low ratings, WPost:

    At a time when Bush and Kerry are running about even among all registered voters, Kerry enjoys a 2 to 1 advantage over Bush among Latino registered voters. Hispanics give Bush lower approval ratings than the overall population does, and the poll shows that the bulk of the Latino community continues to identify with the Democratic Party.

    The findings suggest that, at this point in the campaign, Bush is falling short of his goal of notably improving on the 35 percent share of the Hispanic vote he received four years ago, although his advisers said they believe he is still on track to do so. Kerry advisers, in contrast, said they are determined to keep Bush from winning as much of the Hispanic vote as he did in 2000 ...

    Three-quarters of all Latinos live in high-growth western and southern states, and their political influence has grown with their numbers. Although their clout has been muted by low rates of turnout, the number of Hispanics who voted in 2000 represented a 20 percent increase over 1996 and they accounted for about 5 percent of the overall electorate.

    Posted by Eric at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Huge Adv with Latinos

    2-1 favor Kerry over Bush. Also give Bush low ratings, WPost:

    At a time when Bush and Kerry are running about even among all registered voters, Kerry enjoys a 2 to 1 advantage over Bush among Latino registered voters. Hispanics give Bush lower approval ratings than the overall population does, and the poll shows that the bulk of the Latino community continues to identify with the Democratic Party.

    The findings suggest that, at this point in the campaign, Bush is falling short of his goal of notably improving on the 35 percent share of the Hispanic vote he received four years ago, although his advisers said they believe he is still on track to do so. Kerry advisers, in contrast, said they are determined to keep Bush from winning as much of the Hispanic vote as he did in 2000 ...

    Three-quarters of all Latinos live in high-growth western and southern states, and their political influence has grown with their numbers. Although their clout has been muted by low rates of turnout, the number of Hispanics who voted in 2000 represented a 20 percent increase over 1996 and they accounted for about 5 percent of the overall electorate.

    Posted by Eric at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

    July 20, 2004

    Large Latino Delegation at Dem Convention

    From the MetroWest Daily News:

    Nearly 600 Hispanic delegates will attend the much-hyped event to participate in more than 20 activities focused on discussing issues including immigration, education, health coverage and employment throughout the four-day convention ...

    The convention will mark a record in participation of Hispanic delegates, who represent more than 12 percent of the 4,300 delegates expected to attend. Twenty percent of the delegates are African-American and nearly 4 percent are Asian-Pacific Islander, according to convention organizers.

    While inside the FleetCenter, Hispanic events will focus on issue briefings sponsored by likely Democratic nominee John Kerry's campaign. Events outside the convention hall will serve to receive the delegates, honor them and discuss the future of the largest minority in the United States.

    Two Latino Caucus meetings planned at the Sheraton Boston Hotel on July 26 and 28 will attract a large number of Hispanic leaders. Immigration, health coverage and education will be some of the issues discussed on both occasions.

    Also, note that Gov. Bill Richardson "is the first Hispanic chairman of a Democratic National Convention."

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

    Large Latino Delegation at Dem Convention

    From the MetroWest Daily News:

    Nearly 600 Hispanic delegates will attend the much-hyped event to participate in more than 20 activities focused on discussing issues including immigration, education, health coverage and employment throughout the four-day convention ...

    The convention will mark a record in participation of Hispanic delegates, who represent more than 12 percent of the 4,300 delegates expected to attend. Twenty percent of the delegates are African-American and nearly 4 percent are Asian-Pacific Islander, according to convention organizers.

    While inside the FleetCenter, Hispanic events will focus on issue briefings sponsored by likely Democratic nominee John Kerry's campaign. Events outside the convention hall will serve to receive the delegates, honor them and discuss the future of the largest minority in the United States.

    Two Latino Caucus meetings planned at the Sheraton Boston Hotel on July 26 and 28 will attract a large number of Hispanic leaders. Immigration, health coverage and education will be some of the issues discussed on both occasions.

    Also, note that Gov. Bill Richardson "is the first Hispanic chairman of a Democratic National Convention."

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

    July 19, 2004

    Close in Minnesota

    From a Pioneer Press/Minnesota Public Radio poll:

    Posted by Eric at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)

    Close in Minnesota

    From a Pioneer Press/Minnesota Public Radio poll:

    Posted by Eric at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)

    July 15, 2004

    Dick Armey's Nader Army

    From the Institute for Public Accuracy:

    Citizens for a Sound Economy, a national organization led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R., Texas), is widening its efforts to help presidential candidate Ralph Nader get on the ballot in pivotal states. A recent news release from the corporate-backed group says it plans to pursue those efforts "in key battleground states like Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and elsewhere."

    John Stauber, founder and executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, said today: "The Republican machine is mobilizing for Nader. Major Republican funders are sending checks to Nader, and a far-right industry-funded front group, Citizens for a Sound Economy, is organizing to get Ralph on the November ballot in a number of swing states. Nader, the sworn enemy of corporate power and influence, has become its not-so-secret weapon for the November election." ...

    He added: "Citizens for a Sound Economy describes itself as an organization of 'grassroots citizens dedicated to free markets and limited government,' but according to internal documents leaked to the Washington Post in January 2000, the bulk of its revenues ($15.5 million in 1998) came not from its 250,000 members but from contributions of $250,000 and up from large corporations. CSE is co-chaired by former Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey and C. Boyden Gray, a Washington attorney who served as counsel to former president George H.W. Bush. The bulk of its income now comes from corporations including Allied Signal, Archer Daniels Midland, DaimlerChrysler, Emerson Electric Company, Enron, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Philip Morris and U.S. West."

    Green Party ... no. Dick Armey, CEOs, Republicans ... Yes.

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

    Dick Armey's Nader Army

    From the Institute for Public Accuracy:

    Citizens for a Sound Economy, a national organization led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R., Texas), is widening its efforts to help presidential candidate Ralph Nader get on the ballot in pivotal states. A recent news release from the corporate-backed group says it plans to pursue those efforts "in key battleground states like Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and elsewhere."

    John Stauber, founder and executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, said today: "The Republican machine is mobilizing for Nader. Major Republican funders are sending checks to Nader, and a far-right industry-funded front group, Citizens for a Sound Economy, is organizing to get Ralph on the November ballot in a number of swing states. Nader, the sworn enemy of corporate power and influence, has become its not-so-secret weapon for the November election." ...

    He added: "Citizens for a Sound Economy describes itself as an organization of 'grassroots citizens dedicated to free markets and limited government,' but according to internal documents leaked to the Washington Post in January 2000, the bulk of its revenues ($15.5 million in 1998) came not from its 250,000 members but from contributions of $250,000 and up from large corporations. CSE is co-chaired by former Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey and C. Boyden Gray, a Washington attorney who served as counsel to former president George H.W. Bush. The bulk of its income now comes from corporations including Allied Signal, Archer Daniels Midland, DaimlerChrysler, Emerson Electric Company, Enron, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Philip Morris and U.S. West."

    Green Party ... no. Dick Armey, CEOs, Republicans ... Yes.

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

    July 14, 2004

    Kerry Camp Sets up 'SWAT Team' to Watch Voting

    Hoping to prevent a repeat of the 2000 debacle, the Kerry campaign is enlisting a team of lawyers to watch the election results, reports the Seattle PI:

    Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry yesterday announced the formation of a nationwide SWAT team of election lawyers to combat the kind of voting irregularities that occurred in Florida four years ago, contributing to the disputed election of President Bush.

    Kerry said his team would take "tough action" to prevent the kind of voter "intimidation and harassment" that kept about 1 million African American voters from the polls in 2000 and prevented about 57,000 black voters from casting votes in Palm Beach County, Fla.

    The legal team is led by Washington, D.C., attorney Robert Bauer and backed by teams of lawyers around the nation.

    Posted by Eric at 04:55 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Camp Sets up 'SWAT Team' to Watch Voting

    Hoping to prevent a repeat of the 2000 debacle, the Kerry campaign is enlisting a team of lawyers to watch the election results, reports the Seattle PI:

    Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry yesterday announced the formation of a nationwide SWAT team of election lawyers to combat the kind of voting irregularities that occurred in Florida four years ago, contributing to the disputed election of President Bush.

    Kerry said his team would take "tough action" to prevent the kind of voter "intimidation and harassment" that kept about 1 million African American voters from the polls in 2000 and prevented about 57,000 black voters from casting votes in Palm Beach County, Fla.

    The legal team is led by Washington, D.C., attorney Robert Bauer and backed by teams of lawyers around the nation.

    Posted by Eric at 04:55 AM | Comments (0)

    July 13, 2004

    Dem Convention Speakers

    From the AP:

    * Monday, July 26: Former Vice President Al Gore, former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio, Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Rep. Bob Menendez of New Jersey.

    * Tuesday, July 27: Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, Christie Vilsack, wife of Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona, Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Sen. John Kerry.

    * Wednesday, July 28: Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, Mayor Martin O'Malley of Baltimore, Md., Retired Marine Lt. Col. Steve Brozak of New Jersey, presumptive vice presidential nominee Sen. John Edwards, who will be introduced by his wife, Elizabeth Edwards.

    * Thursday, July 29: Presumptive presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry, who will be introduced by former Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia, Kerry's daughters Alex and Vanessa Kerry, and Kerry's stepsons, Chris and Andre Heinz.

    Posted by Eric at 07:38 PM | Comments (0)

    Dem Convention Speakers

    From the AP:

    * Monday, July 26: Former Vice President Al Gore, former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio, Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Rep. Bob Menendez of New Jersey.

    * Tuesday, July 27: Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, Christie Vilsack, wife of Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona, Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Sen. John Kerry.

    * Wednesday, July 28: Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, Mayor Martin O'Malley of Baltimore, Md., Retired Marine Lt. Col. Steve Brozak of New Jersey, presumptive vice presidential nominee Sen. John Edwards, who will be introduced by his wife, Elizabeth Edwards.

    * Thursday, July 29: Presumptive presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry, who will be introduced by former Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia, Kerry's daughters Alex and Vanessa Kerry, and Kerry's stepsons, Chris and Andre Heinz.

    Posted by Eric at 07:38 PM | Comments (0)

    Did Bush Flip Off Protestor?

    Amusing.

    Posted by Eric at 05:44 PM | Comments (0)

    Did Bush Flip Off Protestor?

    Amusing.

    Posted by Eric at 05:44 PM | Comments (0)

    National and State Polls

    See Political Wire for the list. Kerry leads in both Newsweek and USA Today / CNN / Gallup polls.

    Posted by Eric at 05:32 PM | Comments (0)

    National and State Polls

    See Political Wire for the list. Kerry leads in both Newsweek and USA Today / CNN / Gallup polls.

    Posted by Eric at 05:32 PM | Comments (0)

    July 12, 2004

    Kerry - Edwards on 60 Minutes

    If you missed it, here's the CBS News online write-up / partial transcript.

    Posted by Eric at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry - Edwards on 60 Minutes

    If you missed it, here's the CBS News online write-up / partial transcript.

    Posted by Eric at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

    Reagan Jr. to Talk at Dem Convention

    Great move by the Dems. He'll speak in primetime:

    Ron Reagan will speak in prime time at the Democratic National Convention on the importance of stem cell research, a senior adviser to presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry told CNN on Sunday.

    The Kerry adviser, who did not want to be identified, said the appearance of the younger son of the late former President Ronald Reagan came about after "overtures were made by both sides -- friends of both."

    The adviser did not say on which night Reagan, 46, will speak. The four-day convention kicks off July 26 in Boston, Massachusetts.

    Ron Reagan, a self-described liberal whose political views were often at odds with his conservative Republican father, has said publicly that he does not support President Bush's re-election.

    Posted by Eric at 04:13 AM | Comments (0)

    Reagan Jr. to Talk at Dem Convention

    Great move by the Dems. He'll speak in primetime:

    Ron Reagan will speak in prime time at the Democratic National Convention on the importance of stem cell research, a senior adviser to presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry told CNN on Sunday.

    The Kerry adviser, who did not want to be identified, said the appearance of the younger son of the late former President Ronald Reagan came about after "overtures were made by both sides -- friends of both."

    The adviser did not say on which night Reagan, 46, will speak. The four-day convention kicks off July 26 in Boston, Massachusetts.

    Ron Reagan, a self-described liberal whose political views were often at odds with his conservative Republican father, has said publicly that he does not support President Bush's re-election.

    Posted by Eric at 04:13 AM | Comments (0)

    July 01, 2004

    Richardson Drops from VP Search

    Most reports didn't have Richardson in the top 3, but it's safe to say he was being considered. From the AP:

    Richardson said he wants to keep a promise to the people of New Mexico to serve a full, four-year term and noted that Kerry has "numerous experienced and talented leaders" from which to choose a vice presidential candidate.

    "It is with that knowledge and comfort that I must tell you that I respectfully remove myself from the selection process and withdraw my name from consideration for the vice presidential nomination," Richardson said.

    He delivered the news in a letter sent Thursday to Kerry's campaign headquarters.

    Posted by Eric at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)

    Richardson Drops from VP Search

    Most reports didn't have Richardson in the top 3, but it's safe to say he was being considered. From the AP:

    Richardson said he wants to keep a promise to the people of New Mexico to serve a full, four-year term and noted that Kerry has "numerous experienced and talented leaders" from which to choose a vice presidential candidate.

    "It is with that knowledge and comfort that I must tell you that I respectfully remove myself from the selection process and withdraw my name from consideration for the vice presidential nomination," Richardson said.

    He delivered the news in a letter sent Thursday to Kerry's campaign headquarters.

    Posted by Eric at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)

    Academics Predict Bush Win

    From Reuters, a group of professor, using formulas "based on key measures of the nation's economic health and the public's political views", are predicting a Bush win:

    Most of these academics are predicting Bush, bolstered by robust economic growth, will win between 53 and 58 percent of the votes cast for him and his Democratic opponent John Kerry.

    Their track record for calling election outcomes months in advance has often been surprisingly accurate. In 1988, the models projected Bush's father, former President George Bush, would win even though Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis enjoyed a double digit poll leads that summer.

    And in 1996, one model came within a tenth of a percentage point of Clinton's actual vote share.

    However, last election they predicted an easy victory for Al Gore. Their failure to note the closeness of the last election is a bummer:
    This dealt a fatal blow to the models' credibility, said Thomas Mann, a scholar at the Brookings Institution who has written about election forecasts.

    "There's really less there than meets the eye, and I get the sense the forecasters will be going out of business soon," Mann said.

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

    Academics Predict Bush Win

    From Reuters, a group of professor, using formulas "based on key measures of the nation's economic health and the public's political views", are predicting a Bush win:

    Most of these academics are predicting Bush, bolstered by robust economic growth, will win between 53 and 58 percent of the votes cast for him and his Democratic opponent John Kerry.

    Their track record for calling election outcomes months in advance has often been surprisingly accurate. In 1988, the models projected Bush's father, former President George Bush, would win even though Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis enjoyed a double digit poll leads that summer.

    And in 1996, one model came within a tenth of a percentage point of Clinton's actual vote share.

    However, last election they predicted an easy victory for Al Gore. Their failure to note the closeness of the last election is a bummer:
    This dealt a fatal blow to the models' credibility, said Thomas Mann, a scholar at the Brookings Institution who has written about election forecasts.

    "There's really less there than meets the eye, and I get the sense the forecasters will be going out of business soon," Mann said.

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

    Pro-Bush Group's Misleading Ad

    See here.

    Posted by Eric at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)

    Pro-Bush Group's Misleading Ad

    See here.

    Posted by Eric at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)

    June 30, 2004

    Nader vs. Dean

    Link via Pandagon, this will be an interesting debate:

    Among the debate topics: Should Ralph run for president? The participants: Howard Dean and a candidate who always has an opinion on the subject -- independent Ralph Nader.

    Dean, the former Democratic presidential hopeful who attracted legions of liberal followers before his bid fizzled out, will debate Nader for 90 minutes on July 9 before a studio audience.

    National Public Radio's weekly program "Justice Talking" is sponsoring the debate, and correspondent Margot Adler will moderate.

    Dean previously wrote an op-ed in the NY Times saying he was "for Nader" but not if he's running for president.

    Posted by Eric at 07:02 PM | Comments (0)

    Nader vs. Dean

    Link via Pandagon, this will be an interesting debate:

    Among the debate topics: Should Ralph run for president? The participants: Howard Dean and a candidate who always has an opinion on the subject -- independent Ralph Nader.

    Dean, the former Democratic presidential hopeful who attracted legions of liberal followers before his bid fizzled out, will debate Nader for 90 minutes on July 9 before a studio audience.

    National Public Radio's weekly program "Justice Talking" is sponsoring the debate, and correspondent Margot Adler will moderate.

    Dean previously wrote an op-ed in the NY Times saying he was "for Nader" but not if he's running for president.

    Posted by Eric at 07:02 PM | Comments (0)

    SHOCKER: Muslim Voters Spurn Bush

    Now why would they do that? From the SFC. Before:

    Four years ago, presidential candidate George W. Bush reached out to American Muslim voters, gathering several key endorsements from U.S. Islamic leaders ... Fifty-five percent of those same Muslim American voters said they had cast ballots for Bush in 2000.
    Now:
    Out of the 1,161 responses it received from eligible voters, 54 percent said they were voting for Democrat John Kerry, 26 percent backed Ralph Nader, and only 2 percent said they were voting for President Bush. The rest were undecided.

    Posted by Eric at 06:34 PM | Comments (0)

    SHOCKER: Muslim Voters Spurn Bush

    Now why would they do that? From the SFC. Before:

    Four years ago, presidential candidate George W. Bush reached out to American Muslim voters, gathering several key endorsements from U.S. Islamic leaders ... Fifty-five percent of those same Muslim American voters said they had cast ballots for Bush in 2000.
    Now:
    Out of the 1,161 responses it received from eligible voters, 54 percent said they were voting for Democrat John Kerry, 26 percent backed Ralph Nader, and only 2 percent said they were voting for President Bush. The rest were undecided.

    Posted by Eric at 06:34 PM | Comments (0)

    Will Green Party VP Vote for Herself?

    Maybe not, Pat LaMarche says:

    Pat LaMarche, the Green Party's newly nominated candidate for vice president, said Tuesday that her top priority is not winning the White House for her party, but ensuring that President Bush is defeated. She is, in fact, so determined to see Bush lose that she would not commit to voting for herself and her running mate, Texas lawyer David Cobb.

    LaMarche, who won 7 percent of the vote when she was the Green Independent candidate for governor of Maine in 1998, said she'll vote for whoever has the best chance of beating Bush.

    But "if Bush has got 11 percent of the vote in Maine come November 2, I can vote for whoever I want," she said in an interview with the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.

    And if the state is, as it is now, a toss-up between Bush and presumptive Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry?

    She could well vote for the Democrat.

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

    Will Green Party VP Vote for Herself?

    Maybe not, Pat LaMarche says:

    Pat LaMarche, the Green Party's newly nominated candidate for vice president, said Tuesday that her top priority is not winning the White House for her party, but ensuring that President Bush is defeated. She is, in fact, so determined to see Bush lose that she would not commit to voting for herself and her running mate, Texas lawyer David Cobb.

    LaMarche, who won 7 percent of the vote when she was the Green Independent candidate for governor of Maine in 1998, said she'll vote for whoever has the best chance of beating Bush.

    But "if Bush has got 11 percent of the vote in Maine come November 2, I can vote for whoever I want," she said in an interview with the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.

    And if the state is, as it is now, a toss-up between Bush and presumptive Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry?

    She could well vote for the Democrat.

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

    Networks to Scale Back Convention Coverage

    Unlike previous years, "the networks dont feel obliged to cover the four-day windup to their acceptance speeches" and thus are cutting coverage, notes The Hill:

    Sources say each networks will likely reduce coverage from four years ago, even though coverage in 2000 already was scaled back from historic levels. Networks could provide as little as an hour of live coverage on the penultimate nights (Wednesdays), with perhaps two hours for the Thursday finale.

    This is a significant challenge for candidates. Kerry must use the convention to define himself before a national audience, presenting his carefully packaged image as a veteran and a leader, and overcome characterizations in Bushs TV ads that he is a flip-flopper, observers say.

    Bush, whose approval ratings dropped to 48 percent in the latest Gallup poll, needs his convention to reestablish his credentials on terrorism, security, and the economy, and counteract any post-convention bounce by Kerry. Harry Truman is the only president to win reelection despite a June approval rating below 50 percent. Democrats and Republicans will continue talks with the networks this week and plead for more coverage

    Still, the convention can be seen widely on cable:
    Black Entertainment Television will be broadcasting nightly from Bostons Fleet Center. The Spanish language Univision will have a correspondent there. MTV, Comedy Central and ESPN will also be producing convention shows.

    The cable political network C-SPAN plans gavel-to-gavel coverage from the convention floor, as it has in the past. The Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC, and Internet coverage can fill some of the void left by the withdrawing networks. The proliferation of media has given the networks an excuse to scale back coverage, observers add.

    Posted by Eric at 02:36 AM | Comments (0)

    Networks to Scale Back Convention Coverage

    Unlike previous years, "the networks dont feel obliged to cover the four-day windup to their acceptance speeches" and thus are cutting coverage, notes The Hill:

    Sources say each networks will likely reduce coverage from four years ago, even though coverage in 2000 already was scaled back from historic levels. Networks could provide as little as an hour of live coverage on the penultimate nights (Wednesdays), with perhaps two hours for the Thursday finale.

    This is a significant challenge for candidates. Kerry must use the convention to define himself before a national audience, presenting his carefully packaged image as a veteran and a leader, and overcome characterizations in Bushs TV ads that he is a flip-flopper, observers say.

    Bush, whose approval ratings dropped to 48 percent in the latest Gallup poll, needs his convention to reestablish his credentials on terrorism, security, and the economy, and counteract any post-convention bounce by Kerry. Harry Truman is the only president to win reelection despite a June approval rating below 50 percent. Democrats and Republicans will continue talks with the networks this week and plead for more coverage

    Still, the convention can be seen widely on cable:
    Black Entertainment Television will be broadcasting nightly from Bostons Fleet Center. The Spanish language Univision will have a correspondent there. MTV, Comedy Central and ESPN will also be producing convention shows.

    The cable political network C-SPAN plans gavel-to-gavel coverage from the convention floor, as it has in the past. The Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC, and Internet coverage can fill some of the void left by the withdrawing networks. The proliferation of media has given the networks an excuse to scale back coverage, observers add.

    Posted by Eric at 02:36 AM | Comments (0)

    June 29, 2004

    Nader's Illegal Activities? Bush/Cheney Campaigns for Nader?

    Joe Conason of Salon.com writes that Nader's Oregon activities "may have violated federal campaign law":

    Melanie Sloan, CREW's executive director, plans to file a complaint on Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission, charging that Nader and his conservative enablers in Oregon violated the federal statute prohibiting corporate contributions to presidential candidates.

    Accused in Sloan's complaint along with the Nader and Bush campaigns will be Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Oregon Family Council, whose leaders have acknowledged that they are trying to help the "independent" gadfly win a place on the state's November presidential ballot. The two conservative groups admit that they are backing President George W. Bush, and quite frankly describe Nader as nothing more than a convenient instrument to drain support from Democrat John Kerry in a closely fought battleground state.

    ... But Sloan said their telephone campaign -- and any other assistance provided by the right-wing outfits in Oregon -- was unlawful. "Both of these groups are 501C4 corporations," she said, referring to the section of the federal tax code under which such political "educational" outfits are exempt from taxation. "They are corporations, and therefore can't make donations. The phone calls are an in-kind corporate contribution prohibited by the Federal Election Commission."

    Is Bush/Cheney campaigning for Ralph?
    Sloan has also included the Bush-Cheney campaign itself in her complaint. "Apparently the Bush campaign encouraged these calls and may have even allowed some of them to have been made from Bush campaign headquarters," she told Salon. "It is illegal to solicit a corporation for a campaign donation so Bush-Cheney, by soliciting CSE and OFC to make calls, would have been soliciting a prohibited in-kind corporate donation."

    Posted by Eric at 03:44 PM | Comments (0)

    Nader's Illegal Activities? Bush/Cheney Campaigns for Nader?

    Joe Conason of Salon.com writes that Nader's Oregon activities "may have violated federal campaign law":

    Melanie Sloan, CREW's executive director, plans to file a complaint on Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission, charging that Nader and his conservative enablers in Oregon violated the federal statute prohibiting corporate contributions to presidential candidates.

    Accused in Sloan's complaint along with the Nader and Bush campaigns will be Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Oregon Family Council, whose leaders have acknowledged that they are trying to help the "independent" gadfly win a place on the state's November presidential ballot. The two conservative groups admit that they are backing President George W. Bush, and quite frankly describe Nader as nothing more than a convenient instrument to drain support from Democrat John Kerry in a closely fought battleground state.

    ... But Sloan said their telephone campaign -- and any other assistance provided by the right-wing outfits in Oregon -- was unlawful. "Both of these groups are 501C4 corporations," she said, referring to the section of the federal tax code under which such political "educational" outfits are exempt from taxation. "They are corporations, and therefore can't make donations. The phone calls are an in-kind corporate contribution prohibited by the Federal Election Commission."

    Is Bush/Cheney campaigning for Ralph?
    Sloan has also included the Bush-Cheney campaign itself in her complaint. "Apparently the Bush campaign encouraged these calls and may have even allowed some of them to have been made from Bush campaign headquarters," she told Salon. "It is illegal to solicit a corporation for a campaign donation so Bush-Cheney, by soliciting CSE and OFC to make calls, would have been soliciting a prohibited in-kind corporate donation."

    Posted by Eric at 03:44 PM | Comments (0)

    Even in Florida

    Business as usual in Florida, reports AP:

    Bush and Kerry had the backing of 43 percent apiece in a three-way matchup with independent Ralph Nader (news - web sites), who had the support of 5 percent in the telephone poll conducted by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute of Connecticut.

    Without Nader, Kerry had 46 percent and Bush 44 percent, within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Voters were evenly split on having a favorable or unfavorable view of both Bush and Kerry, the poll found.

    "Both Bush and Kerry have sharply polarized the Florida voters," Quinnipiac's Clay Richards said. "At this stage in the campaign, Florida voters don't like either of the candidates very much."

    Meanwhile, "a University of Miami report released Monday that found Florida's Hispanics think economics, the war and national security are at the top of the agenda for the United States" and "49 percent of Florida's Hispanics support President Bush, while 29.8 percent said they would vote for Sen. John Kerry."

    Posted by Eric at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)

    Even in Florida

    Business as usual in Florida, reports AP:

    Bush and Kerry had the backing of 43 percent apiece in a three-way matchup with independent Ralph Nader (news - web sites), who had the support of 5 percent in the telephone poll conducted by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute of Connecticut.

    Without Nader, Kerry had 46 percent and Bush 44 percent, within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Voters were evenly split on having a favorable or unfavorable view of both Bush and Kerry, the poll found.

    "Both Bush and Kerry have sharply polarized the Florida voters," Quinnipiac's Clay Richards said. "At this stage in the campaign, Florida voters don't like either of the candidates very much."

    Meanwhile, "a University of Miami report released Monday that found Florida's Hispanics think economics, the war and national security are at the top of the agenda for the United States" and "49 percent of Florida's Hispanics support President Bush, while 29.8 percent said they would vote for Sen. John Kerry."

    Posted by Eric at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Talks with Military Times

    Interview / write-up here.

    Posted by Eric at 02:15 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Talks with Military Times

    Interview / write-up here.

    Posted by Eric at 02:15 AM | Comments (0)

    Nader Lashes Out at Michael Moore; Calls Him Fat

    No really, he does. From VoteNader.org:

    Once upon a time, there was Michael Moore the First. He never forgot his friends. Come time for the Washington, DC premiere of Bowling for Columbine a while back, he invited his old buddies in Washingtongave them good seats and spent the rest of the evening with them. During his other movie's premiere, he affectionately recognized how much those old friends helped him and supported him after he was mistreated and let go by Mother Jones. He was generous with his words and time.

    Now there is Michael Moore the Second. Last night he hosted the Washington, DC premiere of Fahrenheit 9/11, and who was there? The Democratic political establishment, the same people whom he took to such mocking task on the road with us in campaign rally after campaign rally in 2000. Who was not there? His old buddies! Not personally invited, not personally hung out with.

    A few weeks ago, Michael, I sent you a message: "Hey, Dude, where's my Buddy?" It is attached. It has gone without reply. It simply asked you to come back to your progressive constituency and take on the two-party monopoly of our rigged election systemto challenge the pro-warlike, corporate party with two heads, wearing different makeup when it comes to playing toady for Big Business. These are the giant multinationals who have no allegiance to our country or to communities like Flint except to control, deplete or abandon them. It is not that your views have changed, with an exception or two. It is that your circles have changed. Too much Clinton, not enough Camejo.

    Your old friends remain committed to blazing paths for a just society and world. As they helped you years ago, they can help you now. They are also trim and take care of themselves. Girth they avoid. The more you let them see you, the less they will see of you. That could be their greatest gift to Moore the Secondthe gift of health. What say you?

    Best wishes,

    Ralph Nader

    I'm not sure if Nader should be the one to talk about losing friends.

    Posted by Eric at 01:29 AM | Comments (0)

    Nader Lashes Out at Michael Moore; Calls Him Fat

    No really, he does. From VoteNader.org:

    Once upon a time, there was Michael Moore the First. He never forgot his friends. Come time for the Washington, DC premiere of Bowling for Columbine a while back, he invited his old buddies in Washingtongave them good seats and spent the rest of the evening with them. During his other movie's premiere, he affectionately recognized how much those old friends helped him and supported him after he was mistreated and let go by Mother Jones. He was generous with his words and time.

    Now there is Michael Moore the Second. Last night he hosted the Washington, DC premiere of Fahrenheit 9/11, and who was there? The Democratic political establishment, the same people whom he took to such mocking task on the road with us in campaign rally after campaign rally in 2000. Who was not there? His old buddies! Not personally invited, not personally hung out with.

    A few weeks ago, Michael, I sent you a message: "Hey, Dude, where's my Buddy?" It is attached. It has gone without reply. It simply asked you to come back to your progressive constituency and take on the two-party monopoly of our rigged election systemto challenge the pro-warlike, corporate party with two heads, wearing different makeup when it comes to playing toady for Big Business. These are the giant multinationals who have no allegiance to our country or to communities like Flint except to control, deplete or abandon them. It is not that your views have changed, with an exception or two. It is that your circles have changed. Too much Clinton, not enough Camejo.

    Your old friends remain committed to blazing paths for a just society and world. As they helped you years ago, they can help you now. They are also trim and take care of themselves. Girth they avoid. The more you let them see you, the less they will see of you. That could be their greatest gift to Moore the Secondthe gift of health. What say you?

    Best wishes,

    Ralph Nader

    I'm not sure if Nader should be the one to talk about losing friends.

    Posted by Eric at 01:29 AM | Comments (0)

    Poll: Bush Numbers Lowest of Presidency

    A NYT/CBS poll finds:

    The 42 percent of Americans who say they approve of the way Mr. Bush is handling his job is the lowest such figure in a Times/CBS News survey since the beginning of Mr. Bush's presidency in January 2001; 51 percent say they disapprove.

    Over the past 25 years, according to pollsters, presidents with job approval ratings below 50 percent in the spring of election years have generally gone on to lose. Mr. Bush's father had a 34 percent job approval rating at this time in 1992.

    Similarly, 45 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of Mr. Bush himself, again the most negative measure the Times/CBS Poll has found since he took office. And 57 percent say the country is going in the wrong direction, another measure used by pollsters as a barometer of discontent with an incumbent.

    Yet the survey found little evidence that Mr. Kerry has been able to take advantage of the president's difficulties, even though Mr. Kerry has spent $60 million on television advertising over the past three months.

    Posted by Eric at 01:10 AM | Comments (0)

    Poll: Bush Numbers Lowest of Presidency

    A NYT/CBS poll finds:

    The 42 percent of Americans who say they approve of the way Mr. Bush is handling his job is the lowest such figure in a Times/CBS News survey since the beginning of Mr. Bush's presidency in January 2001; 51 percent say they disapprove.

    Over the past 25 years, according to pollsters, presidents with job approval ratings below 50 percent in the spring of election years have generally gone on to lose. Mr. Bush's father had a 34 percent job approval rating at this time in 1992.

    Similarly, 45 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of Mr. Bush himself, again the most negative measure the Times/CBS Poll has found since he took office. And 57 percent say the country is going in the wrong direction, another measure used by pollsters as a barometer of discontent with an incumbent.

    Yet the survey found little evidence that Mr. Kerry has been able to take advantage of the president's difficulties, even though Mr. Kerry has spent $60 million on television advertising over the past three months.

    Posted by Eric at 01:10 AM | Comments (0)

    June 28, 2004

    GOP Convention Lucrative Business for "Sex pros"

    NYDN:

    With thousands of Republicans set to invade the city this summer, high-priced escorts and strippers are preparing for one grand old party.
    Agencies are flying in extra call girls from around the globe to meet the expected demand during the Aug. 30-Sept. 2 gathering at Madison Square Garden.

    "We have girls from London, Seattle, California, all coming in for that week," said a madam at a Manhattan escort service. "It's the week everyone wants to work."

    "It's going to be big," agreed one operator at a midtown escort service.

    Posted by Eric at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)

    GOP Convention Lucrative Business for "Sex pros"

    NYDN:

    With thousands of Republicans set to invade the city this summer, high-priced escorts and strippers are preparing for one grand old party.
    Agencies are flying in extra call girls from around the globe to meet the expected demand during the Aug. 30-Sept. 2 gathering at Madison Square Garden.

    "We have girls from London, Seattle, California, all coming in for that week," said a madam at a Manhattan escort service. "It's the week everyone wants to work."

    "It's going to be big," agreed one operator at a midtown escort service.

    Posted by Eric at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)

    GOP Selecting Convention Speakers

    According to the NYDN, likely to include: Schwarzenegger, McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Gov. Pataki.

    Posted by Eric at 06:17 PM | Comments (0)

    GOP Selecting Convention Speakers

    According to the NYDN, likely to include: Schwarzenegger, McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Gov. Pataki.

    Posted by Eric at 06:17 PM | Comments (0)

    Colorado Politics News

    From the Denver Post:

    "Bush is leading the state with 48 percent, while Kerry has support from 43 percent."

    Senate: "But in a battle between the best-known candidates - Salazar and Coors - the lead of 7 percentage points is close enough to make the race highly competitive. Against Schaffer, Salazar leads by 14 percentage points."

    Posted by Eric at 06:16 PM | Comments (0)

    Colorado Politics News

    From the Denver Post:

    "Bush is leading the state with 48 percent, while Kerry has support from 43 percent."

    Senate: "But in a battle between the best-known candidates - Salazar and Coors - the lead of 7 percentage points is close enough to make the race highly competitive. Against Schaffer, Salazar leads by 14 percentage points."

    Posted by Eric at 06:16 PM | Comments (0)

    June 27, 2004

    Greens Reject Nader

    Ralph Nader has been rejected by the Green Party at their national convention, despite his choice of Peter Camejo as his VP. LA Times:

    Nader, the Green candidate in the last two presidential elections, sought the party's endorsement this year for his independent candidacy a move that could have gained him ballot access in at least 22 states and the District of Columbia. Instead, after days of feverish debate, the Greens opted for David Cobb, 41, by a narrow margin.

    That was good news for Kerry, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee whose campaign is worried about a repeat of the 2000 election. Nader was on the ballot in most states that year, thanks largely to the Green Party, and he was blamed by some and thanked by others for paving the way for Republican George W. Bush's narrow win over Democrat Al Gore.

    Cobb's nomination means that Nader faces the arduous task of qualifying for the ballot on his own in the states where the Green Party has a ballot line. Many ballot experts predict Nader will fall short in some of these states, which include key battlegrounds Wisconsin, Oregon, Minnesota, New Mexico and Nevada.

    By nominating Cobb, the Greens have a candidate "with zero name recognition," said Dean Spiliotes, a fellow at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. "It may be a good exercise in building up the party on the local level, but it means the party will drop off the radar. It's a shock, but it is great news for Kerry."

    Why was Cobb nominated?
    Cobb plans to avoid a hard sell in the states that Kerry and President Bush are most closely contesting an approach that some have described as a "safe state" strategy.

    His focus will be in states that are dominated by either the Republicans or Democrats, where he has said he will push progressives to vote Green as an "investment" in the party's future. Those states probably will include California, which Kerry is expected to carry easily and where the Green Party has a ballot line.

    Posted by Eric at 07:38 AM | Comments (0)

    Greens Reject Nader

    Ralph Nader has been rejected by the Green Party at their national convention, despite his choice of Peter Camejo as his VP. LA Times:

    Nader, the Green candidate in the last two presidential elections, sought the party's endorsement this year for his independent candidacy a move that could have gained him ballot access in at least 22 states and the District of Columbia. Instead, after days of feverish debate, the Greens opted for David Cobb, 41, by a narrow margin.

    That was good news for Kerry, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee whose campaign is worried about a repeat of the 2000 election. Nader was on the ballot in most states that year, thanks largely to the Green Party, and he was blamed by some and thanked by others for paving the way for Republican George W. Bush's narrow win over Democrat Al Gore.

    Cobb's nomination means that Nader faces the arduous task of qualifying for the ballot on his own in the states where the Green Party has a ballot line. Many ballot experts predict Nader will fall short in some of these states, which include key battlegrounds Wisconsin, Oregon, Minnesota, New Mexico and Nevada.

    By nominating Cobb, the Greens have a candidate "with zero name recognition," said Dean Spiliotes, a fellow at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. "It may be a good exercise in building up the party on the local level, but it means the party will drop off the radar. It's a shock, but it is great news for Kerry."

    Why was Cobb nominated?
    Cobb plans to avoid a hard sell in the states that Kerry and President Bush are most closely contesting an approach that some have described as a "safe state" strategy.

    His focus will be in states that are dominated by either the Republicans or Democrats, where he has said he will push progressives to vote Green as an "investment" in the party's future. Those states probably will include California, which Kerry is expected to carry easily and where the Green Party has a ballot line.

    Posted by Eric at 07:38 AM | Comments (0)

    June 25, 2004

    GOP Group Trying to Get Nader on Ballot in Oregon?

    Kos has the details.

    Posted by Eric at 04:38 AM | Comments (0)

    GOP Group Trying to Get Nader on Ballot in Oregon?

    Kos has the details.

    Posted by Eric at 04:38 AM | Comments (0)

    June 24, 2004

    Tied in Penn

    Poll shows Bush and Kerry locked up in Pennsylvania:

    Kerry had the backing of 44 percent, Bush 43 percent and independent candidate Ralph Nader 7 percent in the Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

    In May, Kerry had 44 percent and Bush 41 percent a statistical tie. Bush had a slight lead in the state in April.

    In a two-way matchup, Kerry leads Bush 49 percent to 43 percent in the state with 21 electoral votes.

    Posted by Eric at 09:10 AM | Comments (0)

    Tied in Penn

    Poll shows Bush and Kerry locked up in Pennsylvania:

    Kerry had the backing of 44 percent, Bush 43 percent and independent candidate Ralph Nader 7 percent in the Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

    In May, Kerry had 44 percent and Bush 41 percent a statistical tie. Bush had a slight lead in the state in April.

    In a two-way matchup, Kerry leads Bush 49 percent to 43 percent in the state with 21 electoral votes.

    Posted by Eric at 09:10 AM | Comments (0)

    June 23, 2004

    Kerry Campaign Attacks Cheney re: Halliburton

    In an email to supporters, Mary Beth Cahill, Campaign Manager for Kerry for President, sent talking points about Dick and Halliburton:

  • Vice President Dick Cheney was Halliburton's CEO from 1995-2000. In addition to providing him with a massive salary and bonus for just eight months of work in 2000, Halliburton's board of directors voted to give Cheney a $20 million retirement package when he resigned. Following his departure from Halliburton, Cheney retained possession of 433,333 options of Halliburton stock. [Washington Post, 9/26/03; Richard B. Cheney Personal Financial Disclosure, May 15, 2002; May 15, 2003; New York Times, 8/12/00; LA Times, 7/24/00; AP, 7/18/02]
  • For months, Cheney denied any involvement in Halliburton contracts. On "Meet the Press," he even said "...I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of in any way, shape or form of contracts..." [NBC News, "Meet the Press", 9/14/03]
  • Time Magazine recently reported on a smoking gun email between the Department of Defense and the Vice President's office showing that Cheney's office "coordinated" a multi-billion dollar, no-bid government contract for
  • Halliburton, his former employer. [Time, 5/30/04]
    As an example of overspending, Halliburton billed the government for 36 percent more meals than were served. In all, Halliburton charged $186 million for meals that were never delivered. [Detroit Free Press, 6/16/04]
  • A Halliburton subsidiary was criticized for abandoning numerous $85,000 trucks with flat tires, housing company officials in a five-star Kuwaiti hotel, raising prices for gasoline deliveries in Iraq and ordering empty trucks to crisscross the country to run up the gas bills. [Detroit Free Press, 6/16/04]
  • The DNC blog is playing The Dick Cheney Matching Game.

    Posted by Eric at 05:09 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Campaign Attacks Cheney re: Halliburton

    In an email to supporters, Mary Beth Cahill, Campaign Manager for Kerry for President, sent talking points about Dick and Halliburton:

  • Vice President Dick Cheney was Halliburton's CEO from 1995-2000. In addition to providing him with a massive salary and bonus for just eight months of work in 2000, Halliburton's board of directors voted to give Cheney a $20 million retirement package when he resigned. Following his departure from Halliburton, Cheney retained possession of 433,333 options of Halliburton stock. [Washington Post, 9/26/03; Richard B. Cheney Personal Financial Disclosure, May 15, 2002; May 15, 2003; New York Times, 8/12/00; LA Times, 7/24/00; AP, 7/18/02]
  • For months, Cheney denied any involvement in Halliburton contracts. On "Meet the Press," he even said "...I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of in any way, shape or form of contracts..." [NBC News, "Meet the Press", 9/14/03]
  • Time Magazine recently reported on a smoking gun email between the Department of Defense and the Vice President's office showing that Cheney's office "coordinated" a multi-billion dollar, no-bid government contract for
  • Halliburton, his former employer. [Time, 5/30/04]
    As an example of overspending, Halliburton billed the government for 36 percent more meals than were served. In all, Halliburton charged $186 million for meals that were never delivered. [Detroit Free Press, 6/16/04]
  • A Halliburton subsidiary was criticized for abandoning numerous $85,000 trucks with flat tires, housing company officials in a five-star Kuwaiti hotel, raising prices for gasoline deliveries in Iraq and ordering empty trucks to crisscross the country to run up the gas bills. [Detroit Free Press, 6/16/04]
  • The DNC blog is playing The Dick Cheney Matching Game.

    Posted by Eric at 05:09 PM | Comments (0)

    Nader Rebukes Black Leaders; Stays Course

    The Congressional Black Caucus asks Nader to quite race, Nader refuses:

    Ralph Nader had a testy meeting Tuesday with black members of Congress and rejected their request that he quit the presidential race. At the same time, Arizona Democrats prepared to challenge Nader's qualifications to appear on that state's ballot as an independent candidate.
    The developments reflect Democrats' increasing frustration with Nader and his potential to woo liberal votes away from John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

    Shouts could be heard from inside the meeting with more than a dozen Congressional Black Caucus members, including Nader's voice, in what proved to be a rancorous session. One female shouted, "You can't win," to which Nader shot back an inaudible response.

    "It became abundantly clear to us that this was about Ralph Nader and we were sorely disappointed," caucus chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md, said afterward. "If nothing else, we believe we've had an impact on his conscience. Now we pray he'll synchronize his conscience with his conduct."

    Posted by Eric at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

    Nader Rebukes Black Leaders; Stays Course

    The Congressional Black Caucus asks Nader to quite race, Nader refuses:

    Ralph Nader had a testy meeting Tuesday with black members of Congress and rejected their request that he quit the presidential race. At the same time, Arizona Democrats prepared to challenge Nader's qualifications to appear on that state's ballot as an independent candidate.
    The developments reflect Democrats' increasing frustration with Nader and his potential to woo liberal votes away from John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

    Shouts could be heard from inside the meeting with more than a dozen Congressional Black Caucus members, including Nader's voice, in what proved to be a rancorous session. One female shouted, "You can't win," to which Nader shot back an inaudible response.

    "It became abundantly clear to us that this was about Ralph Nader and we were sorely disappointed," caucus chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md, said afterward. "If nothing else, we believe we've had an impact on his conscience. Now we pray he'll synchronize his conscience with his conduct."

    Posted by Eric at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

    Minorities, Gays: Bush Divides, Not Unites

    No duh:

    A majority of gays and racial minorities voted Democratic in 2000, according to interest groups and academics that track such trends. Bush could gain hundreds of thousands of votes in 2004 by making inroads among these groups if these voters think he has kept his promise.

    Instead, some Hispanic, black and gay voters are disappointed with the president but for different reasons political scientists, minorities and gay groups say.

    Bush appointed blacks to high-ranking positions, including Secretary of State Colin Powell and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. But he has done little else to reach out to black voters, said Ron Walters, a University of Maryland professor and expert on blacks in politics. Fewer than one of 10 blacks voted for Bush in 2000, exit polls and interest groups say.

    Four years ago, about one of three Hispanics backed Bush, according to the National Council of La Raza, a nonpartisan organization that advocates improving Hispanic Americans' lives. But Bush may not increase support to his two-of-five-voter goal, said Clarissa Martinez, La Raza's voter mobilization director. Some Hispanics say Bush has not helped create many new jobs nor provided adequate money for his No Child Left Behind educational reforms. The economy and education are the most important issues for Hispanic voters the Republican Party heavily courts.

    In related news, The Hill notes that Log Cabin Republicans are still unsure about whether or not to endorse Bush.

    Posted by Eric at 01:54 PM | Comments (0)

    Minorities, Gays: Bush Divides, Not Unites

    No duh:

    A majority of gays and racial minorities voted Democratic in 2000, according to interest groups and academics that track such trends. Bush could gain hundreds of thousands of votes in 2004 by making inroads among these groups if these voters think he has kept his promise.

    Instead, some Hispanic, black and gay voters are disappointed with the president but for different reasons political scientists, minorities and gay groups say.

    Bush appointed blacks to high-ranking positions, including Secretary of State Colin Powell and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. But he has done little else to reach out to black voters, said Ron Walters, a University of Maryland professor and expert on blacks in politics. Fewer than one of 10 blacks voted for Bush in 2000, exit polls and interest groups say.

    Four years ago, about one of three Hispanics backed Bush, according to the National Council of La Raza, a nonpartisan organization that advocates improving Hispanic Americans' lives. But Bush may not increase support to his two-of-five-voter goal, said Clarissa Martinez, La Raza's voter mobilization director. Some Hispanics say Bush has not helped create many new jobs nor provided adequate money for his No Child Left Behind educational reforms. The economy and education are the most important issues for Hispanic voters the Republican Party heavily courts.

    In related news, The Hill notes that Log Cabin Republicans are still unsure about whether or not to endorse Bush.

    Posted by Eric at 01:54 PM | Comments (0)

    June 22, 2004

    Bad Numbers for Bush in New ABC/WPost Poll

    Among some of the bad numbers from the new poll:

  • "For the first time in ABC News/Washington Post polls, more than half of Americans, 52 percent, say the Iraq war was not worth fighting. Seven in 10 call U.S. casualties there "unacceptable," a new high. And there's been a steady slide in belief that the war has enhanced long-term U.S. security; 51 percent now say so, down 11 points this year."
  • "Approval of his handling of the U.S. campaign against terrorism has fallen to 50 percent, its lowest yet down eight points in the last month and 29 points below its immediate postwar peak. In a hazardous turn of fortune for Bush, Democrat John Kerry now runs evenly with him in trust to handle terrorism; Bush had led by 13 points on this issue a month ago, and by 21 points the month before."
  • "But Kerry is scoring against Bush elsewhere as well, running ahead in trust to handle five of nine issues tested in this poll, from taxes to education to health care; Bush doesn't lead significantly in any of them. And personally, while Americans broadly see Bush as more consistent, they see Kerry as more honest and trustworthy, by a 13-point margin, and more in touch with their problems, by 20 points."

    The only bad numbers for Kerry, it seems, is that "the public by a 14-point margin picks him over Kerry to keep the nation safer and more secure. And the Massachusetts senator may be vulnerable on specifics; only four in 10 say he has a "clear plan" on terrorism."

    Posted by Eric at 06:51 AM | Comments (0)

    Bad Numbers for Bush in New ABC/WPost Poll

    Among some of the bad numbers from the new poll:

  • "For the first time in ABC News/Washington Post polls, more than half of Americans, 52 percent, say the Iraq war was not worth fighting. Seven in 10 call U.S. casualties there "unacceptable," a new high. And there's been a steady slide in belief that the war has enhanced long-term U.S. security; 51 percent now say so, down 11 points this year."
  • "Approval of his handling of the U.S. campaign against terrorism has fallen to 50 percent, its lowest yet down eight points in the last month and 29 points below its immediate postwar peak. In a hazardous turn of fortune for Bush, Democrat John Kerry now runs evenly with him in trust to handle terrorism; Bush had led by 13 points on this issue a month ago, and by 21 points the month before."
  • "But Kerry is scoring against Bush elsewhere as well, running ahead in trust to handle five of nine issues tested in this poll, from taxes to education to health care; Bush doesn't lead significantly in any of them. And personally, while Americans broadly see Bush as more consistent, they see Kerry as more honest and trustworthy, by a 13-point margin, and more in touch with their problems, by 20 points."

    The only bad numbers for Kerry, it seems, is that "the public by a 14-point margin picks him over Kerry to keep the nation safer and more secure. And the Massachusetts senator may be vulnerable on specifics; only four in 10 say he has a "clear plan" on terrorism."

    Posted by Eric at 06:51 AM | Comments (0)

    June 21, 2004

    Kos on AZ Nader Ballot Effort

    Interesante. Is Nader sinking to new lows?

    The petition collectors were working for a GOP outfit, and were collecting signatures for two high-profile ballot initiatives. One is the "Protect Arizona Now" initiative, which is an anti-immigrant effort. The other is an attempt to repeal Arizona's landmark Clean Elections Bill which provides for public financing of political campaigns.

    The actual Nader petition did its best to fudge its purpose. The petitioners only said they were collecting signatures for an "independent candidate". The words "RALPH NADER" were buried in the petition page in 9pt font.

    So to make this perfectly clear -- Nader's petition effort piggybacked on both a xenophobic anti-immigrant effort, and an effort to roll back the state's public financing of elections. This is how low Nader has sunk. Is it any wonder his negatives are in the 70s and 80s?

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

    Kos on AZ Nader Ballot Effort

    Interesante. Is Nader sinking to new lows?

    The petition collectors were working for a GOP outfit, and were collecting signatures for two high-profile ballot initiatives. One is the "Protect Arizona Now" initiative, which is an anti-immigrant effort. The other is an attempt to repeal Arizona's landmark Clean Elections Bill which provides for public financing of political campaigns.

    The actual Nader petition did its best to fudge its purpose. The petitioners only said they were collecting signatures for an "independent candidate". The words "RALPH NADER" were buried in the petition page in 9pt font.

    So to make this perfectly clear -- Nader's petition effort piggybacked on both a xenophobic anti-immigrant effort, and an effort to roll back the state's public financing of elections. This is how low Nader has sunk. Is it any wonder his negatives are in the 70s and 80s?

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

    June 16, 2004

    Ad Claim: Bush and Reagan Similar

    At least, according to a new ad from Club for Growth, which "aligns [Reagan] with President Bush and criticizes Democratic presidential candidate John Kerr."

    Posted by Eric at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

    Ad Claim: Bush and Reagan Similar

    At least, according to a new ad from Club for Growth, which "aligns [Reagan] with President Bush and criticizes Democratic presidential candidate John Kerr."

    Posted by Eric at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

    June 15, 2004

    Dean Hindsight

    Link from Political Wire, what would Dean have done differently with his presidential campaign? AP:

    There are things he would have done differently: He says he should have had better debate preparation and more media training. ''I needed some serious media training,'' he said. ''I did it on the job but I could have saved myself a lot of hassle if I had done it earlier on.''

    He feels he and the campaign staff were spread too thin and did poorly handling the press; and he wishes he had asked his wife Judy, a doctor in private practice, to join him on the campaign trail sooner.

    ''She was a huge hit,'' he said. ''We got all these wonderful letters afterwards saying it was so wonderful to see a normal person just like me in this role. I was shocked by how well she did and I was more shocked that she liked it. She was great!''

    Posted by Eric at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

    Dean Hindsight

    Link from Political Wire, what would Dean have done differently with his presidential campaign? AP:

    There are things he would have done differently: He says he should have had better debate preparation and more media training. ''I needed some serious media training,'' he said. ''I did it on the job but I could have saved myself a lot of hassle if I had done it earlier on.''

    He feels he and the campaign staff were spread too thin and did poorly handling the press; and he wishes he had asked his wife Judy, a doctor in private practice, to join him on the campaign trail sooner.

    ''She was a huge hit,'' he said. ''We got all these wonderful letters afterwards saying it was so wonderful to see a normal person just like me in this role. I was shocked by how well she did and I was more shocked that she liked it. She was great!''

    Posted by Eric at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

    June 14, 2004

    Reasons for Optimism in Florida

    "Registration, fund-raising bolster Kerry campaign," writes the Orlando Sentinel:

    Democratic voter registration is outpacing Republican registration in the heart of the "Interstate-4 corridor" that will be pivotal in this election.

    Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is favored among the fast-growing and swing-voting Hispanic community of Central Florida. Kerry even is making inroads among younger Cuban-Americans in South Florida who are adding a moderate voice to Miami's Republican exile community.

    The Kerry campaign is organizing early, with a dozen field operatives at work in Florida and a state director who arrived this weekend -- earlier than Democrats have targeted Florida in the past.

    And early on, Kerry and allied committees have outspent President Bush in television advertising in the most critical, independent-minded markets of this TV-driven state -- one of the few states on which the 2004 election is likely to turn.

    Posted by Eric at 09:32 AM | Comments (0)

    Reasons for Optimism in Florida

    "Registration, fund-raising bolster Kerry campaign," writes the Orlando Sentinel:

    Democratic voter registration is outpacing Republican registration in the heart of the "Interstate-4 corridor" that will be pivotal in this election.

    Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is favored among the fast-growing and swing-voting Hispanic community of Central Florida. Kerry even is making inroads among younger Cuban-Americans in South Florida who are adding a moderate voice to Miami's Republican exile community.

    The Kerry campaign is organizing early, with a dozen field operatives at work in Florida and a state director who arrived this weekend -- earlier than Democrats have targeted Florida in the past.

    And early on, Kerry and allied committees have outspent President Bush in television advertising in the most critical, independent-minded markets of this TV-driven state -- one of the few states on which the 2004 election is likely to turn.

    Posted by Eric at 09:32 AM | Comments (0)

    June 13, 2004

    Nader Restoring Trust in Politics

    What a hypocrite.

    Since October, Ralph Nader has run his campaign for president out of the same downtown Washington offices that through April housed a public charity he created -- an overlap that campaign finance specialists said could run afoul of federal laws.

    Tax law explicitly forbids public charities from aiding political campaigns. Violations can result in a charity losing its tax-exempt status. In addition, campaign law requires candidates to account for all contributions -- including shared office space and resources, down to the use of copying machines, receptionists and telephones.

    Records show many links between Nader's campaign and the charity Citizen Works. For example, the charity's listed president, Theresa Amato, is also Nader's campaign manager. The campaign said in an e-mail to The Washington Post that Amato resigned from the charity in 2003. But in the charity's most recent corporate filing with the District, in January, Amato listed herself as the charity's president and registered agent.

    The office suite housing the campaign, the charity and other sub-tenants had a common receptionist for greeting visitors ... "Candidates should not be running a campaign for public office out of a nonprofit organization," said campaign-finance expert and attorney Fred Wertheimer. "It makes a lot more sense to keep them separate and apart to avoid any sense of appearance of interrelationship or problem of intermingling."

    Posted by Eric at 04:29 AM | Comments (0)

    Nader Restoring Trust in Politics

    What a hypocrite.

    Since October, Ralph Nader has run his campaign for president out of the same downtown Washington offices that through April housed a public charity he created -- an overlap that campaign finance specialists said could run afoul of federal laws.

    Tax law explicitly forbids public charities from aiding political campaigns. Violations can result in a charity losing its tax-exempt status. In addition, campaign law requires candidates to account for all contributions -- including shared office space and resources, down to the use of copying machines, receptionists and telephones.

    Records show many links between Nader's campaign and the charity Citizen Works. For example, the charity's listed president, Theresa Amato, is also Nader's campaign manager. The campaign said in an e-mail to The Washington Post that Amato resigned from the charity in 2003. But in the charity's most recent corporate filing with the District, in January, Amato listed herself as the charity's president and registered agent.

    The office suite housing the campaign, the charity and other sub-tenants had a common receptionist for greeting visitors ... "Candidates should not be running a campaign for public office out of a nonprofit organization," said campaign-finance expert and attorney Fred Wertheimer. "It makes a lot more sense to keep them separate and apart to avoid any sense of appearance of interrelationship or problem of intermingling."

    Posted by Eric at 04:29 AM | Comments (0)

    June 10, 2004

    Kerry VP Down to 3?

    According to the Washington Whispers of the USNews:

    Kerry campaign insiders tell us that his vice presidential selection team is down to three finalists. They won't say who they are, but we hear that Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack remains the front-runner and that North Carolina Sen. John Edwards is in the pack. Edwards is liked inside Kerry HQ, as evidenced by the Edwards bumper stickers in some cubicles.

    Posted by Eric at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry VP Down to 3?

    According to the Washington Whispers of the USNews:

    Kerry campaign insiders tell us that his vice presidential selection team is down to three finalists. They won't say who they are, but we hear that Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack remains the front-runner and that North Carolina Sen. John Edwards is in the pack. Edwards is liked inside Kerry HQ, as evidenced by the Edwards bumper stickers in some cubicles.

    Posted by Eric at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Leads in LA Times Poll

    "51% to 44% nationally in a two-way matchup, and by 48% to 42% in a three-way race".

    Posted by Eric at 01:54 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Leads in LA Times Poll

    "51% to 44% nationally in a two-way matchup, and by 48% to 42% in a three-way race".

    Posted by Eric at 01:54 AM | Comments (0)

    June 09, 2004

    Tied Up in Florida

    According to the latest Rasmussen Report, it's pretty much tied up:

    Just like it was four years ago, the Presidential race in Florida is tied. A Rasmussen Reports survey finds Senator John F. Kerry and President George W. Bush each earning 46% of the vote in the Sunshine State.

    In April, a Rasmussen Reports survey found virtually identical results.

    Like Florida, most states polled so far this year are showing similar results to four years ago. However, the President is behind his pace from four years ago in a few states such as Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. There are, of course, other states in which Bush is doing better than he did four years ago. Most notable in this category is Pennsylvania.

    Posted by Eric at 09:29 AM | Comments (0)

    Tied Up in Florida

    According to the latest Rasmussen Report, it's pretty much tied up:

    Just like it was four years ago, the Presidential race in Florida is tied. A Rasmussen Reports survey finds Senator John F. Kerry and President George W. Bush each earning 46% of the vote in the Sunshine State.

    In April, a Rasmussen Reports survey found virtually identical results.

    Like Florida, most states polled so far this year are showing similar results to four years ago. However, the President is behind his pace from four years ago in a few states such as Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. There are, of course, other states in which Bush is doing better than he did four years ago. Most notable in this category is Pennsylvania.

    Posted by Eric at 09:29 AM | Comments (0)

    June 08, 2004

    Bush's Cuban-American Lead Shrinking

    From a New Democrat Network poll, as reported in the Miami Herald:

    Among all Cuban-American voters, Bush leads Kerry 69 to 21 percent, with 10 percent undecided -- a massive lead, but a decline from 2000 when more than eight of 10 Cuban Americans helped Bush narrowly defeat Al Gore in Florida and win the White House.

    Kerry leads Bush 40 to 29 percent among Cubans who arrived in the United States after 1980, with 31 percent undecided.

    Among all Hispanic voters in Miami-Dade, Bush leads Kerry 60 to 29 percent, with 11 percent undecided.

    Posted by Eric at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush's Cuban-American Lead Shrinking

    From a New Democrat Network poll, as reported in the Miami Herald:

    Among all Cuban-American voters, Bush leads Kerry 69 to 21 percent, with 10 percent undecided -- a massive lead, but a decline from 2000 when more than eight of 10 Cuban Americans helped Bush narrowly defeat Al Gore in Florida and win the White House.

    Kerry leads Bush 40 to 29 percent among Cubans who arrived in the United States after 1980, with 31 percent undecided.

    Among all Hispanic voters in Miami-Dade, Bush leads Kerry 60 to 29 percent, with 11 percent undecided.

    Posted by Eric at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

    New Gallup: Kerry "Slight Lead"

    Text: "The poll finds Kerry leading Bush in the presidential contest by 49% to 44% among registered voters, and 50% to 44% among likely voters."

    Posted by Eric at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

    New Gallup: Kerry "Slight Lead"

    Text: "The poll finds Kerry leading Bush in the presidential contest by 49% to 44% among registered voters, and 50% to 44% among likely voters."

    Posted by Eric at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

    June 07, 2004

    Kerry By Ten in Maine

    According to a Critical Insights poll.

    Posted by Eric at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry By Ten in Maine

    According to a Critical Insights poll.

    Posted by Eric at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

    June 04, 2004

    New Poll: Tied Up

    In national poll numbers, the presidential race continues to be a close one. From ARG:

    John Kerry and George W. Bush remain in a statistical tie among Americans registered to vote according to a nationwide survey from the American Research Group, Inc. In the ballot preference between Kerry and Bush, 48% say they would vote for Kerry and 46% say they would vote for Bush. In May, Kerry was at 47% and Bush was at 44%. When Ralph Nader is added to the ballot, 46% say they would vote for Kerry, 45% say they would vote for Bush, and 3% say they would vote for Nader.
    Daily Kos has state poll numbers from Rasmussen. Battleground state numbers of interest:
    Missouri.
    Bush 44 (49)
    Kerry 43 (42)

    North Carolina.
    Bush 48 (51)
    Kerry 44 (43)

    Ohio.
    Bush 46 (41)
    Kerry 44 (45)

    Oregon.
    Bush 46 (46)
    Kerry 45 (45)

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

    New Poll: Tied Up

    In national poll numbers, the presidential race continues to be a close one. From ARG:

    John Kerry and George W. Bush remain in a statistical tie among Americans registered to vote according to a nationwide survey from the American Research Group, Inc. In the ballot preference between Kerry and Bush, 48% say they would vote for Kerry and 46% say they would vote for Bush. In May, Kerry was at 47% and Bush was at 44%. When Ralph Nader is added to the ballot, 46% say they would vote for Kerry, 45% say they would vote for Bush, and 3% say they would vote for Nader.
    Daily Kos has state poll numbers from Rasmussen. Battleground state numbers of interest:
    Missouri.
    Bush 44 (49)
    Kerry 43 (42)

    North Carolina.
    Bush 48 (51)
    Kerry 44 (43)

    Ohio.
    Bush 46 (41)
    Kerry 44 (45)

    Oregon.
    Bush 46 (46)
    Kerry 45 (45)

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

    June 01, 2004

    Kerry Intern Speaks

    Writing in New York Magazine, Alexandra Polier on being "falsely accused of having an affair with John Kerry" and shifting "through the mud and the people who threw it."

    Though my name wasnt mentioned in the initial Drudge exclusive, it made its first appearance in the British tabloid The Sun on Friday, February 13. The article, by one Brian Flynn, referred to Kerry as a SLEAZEBALL in the headline and said I was 24 (didnt I wish). It purported to quote my father at home in Pennsylvania discussing the senator, saying, I think hes a sleazeball. The article also claimed to quote my mother as saying Kerry had once chased after me to be on his campaign. My mother was not even home when Flynn called, and Flynn didnt tell my fatherwho at this stage was unaware of the Drudge allegationsthat he was interviewing him. Instead, he presented himself as a friend trying to get hold of me to talk about John Kerry. My father, a Republican, who believed Kerry had flip-flopped on various issues, said, Oh, that sleazeball. Heres how it reappeared in Flynns piece: There is no evidence the pair had an affair, but her father, Terry, 56, said: I think hes a sleazeball. Drudge quickly linked to The Suns interview ...

    One reporter had a little girl call up, assuming I wouldnt hang up on a child. They even made her say, Can I talk to Alex? And when I said, Yes, its me, a reporter jumped on the line. CNNs Zain Verjee wrote beseeching notes, slipping them under the front gate. It was like a horror movie where the zombies are on the other side of the door and then an arm comes through the window. Stuck with Kerrys denial, each of the American networks had hired a local fixer to approach me for a big sit-down. Tell me its true and were on the next plane to Nairobi! ABCs Chris Vlasto e-mailed hopefully. Good Morning America, the Today show, CNN, and 60 Minutes all offered me airtime to tell my story. Editors whom Id been begging for work were now clamoring for my attention ...

    And what about Time? I thought it was absurd, says political columnist Joe Klein. There are a whole bunch of things were looking into all the time. And theres an important word here: Drudge. The world really has changed since September 11; the time is past when wed waste two years on late-night pizza deliveries.

    Still, Drudge had been right about Monica, and no news outlet wanted to be caught without the story if it turned out to be true. I discovered they all had teams assembling background on me to run if the story stood up.

    Posted by Eric at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Intern Speaks

    Writing in New York Magazine, Alexandra Polier on being "falsely accused of having an affair with John Kerry" and shifting "through the mud and the people who threw it."

    Though my name wasnt mentioned in the initial Drudge exclusive, it made its first appearance in the British tabloid The Sun on Friday, February 13. The article, by one Brian Flynn, referred to Kerry as a SLEAZEBALL in the headline and said I was 24 (didnt I wish). It purported to quote my father at home in Pennsylvania discussing the senator, saying, I think hes a sleazeball. The article also claimed to quote my mother as saying Kerry had once chased after me to be on his campaign. My mother was not even home when Flynn called, and Flynn didnt tell my fatherwho at this stage was unaware of the Drudge allegationsthat he was interviewing him. Instead, he presented himself as a friend trying to get hold of me to talk about John Kerry. My father, a Republican, who believed Kerry had flip-flopped on various issues, said, Oh, that sleazeball. Heres how it reappeared in Flynns piece: There is no evidence the pair had an affair, but her father, Terry, 56, said: I think hes a sleazeball. Drudge quickly linked to The Suns interview ...

    One reporter had a little girl call up, assuming I wouldnt hang up on a child. They even made her say, Can I talk to Alex? And when I said, Yes, its me, a reporter jumped on the line. CNNs Zain Verjee wrote beseeching notes, slipping them under the front gate. It was like a horror movie where the zombies are on the other side of the door and then an arm comes through the window. Stuck with Kerrys denial, each of the American networks had hired a local fixer to approach me for a big sit-down. Tell me its true and were on the next plane to Nairobi! ABCs Chris Vlasto e-mailed hopefully. Good Morning America, the Today show, CNN, and 60 Minutes all offered me airtime to tell my story. Editors whom Id been begging for work were now clamoring for my attention ...

    And what about Time? I thought it was absurd, says political columnist Joe Klein. There are a whole bunch of things were looking into all the time. And theres an important word here: Drudge. The world really has changed since September 11; the time is past when wed waste two years on late-night pizza deliveries.

    Still, Drudge had been right about Monica, and no news outlet wanted to be caught without the story if it turned out to be true. I discovered they all had teams assembling background on me to run if the story stood up.

    Posted by Eric at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)

    Washington Post: Bush Campaign "Unprecedented Negativity"; "Making History With Often-Misleading Attacks"

    Indeed. From the Washington Post's staff writers:

    The charges were all tough, serious -- and wrong, or at least highly misleading. Kerry did not question the war on terrorism, has proposed repealing tax cuts only for those earning more than $200,000, supports wiretaps, has not endorsed a 50-cent gasoline tax increase in 10 years, and continues to support the education changes, albeit with modifications.

    Scholars and political strategists say the ferocious Bush assault on Kerry this spring has been extraordinary, both for the volume of attacks and for the liberties the president and his campaign have taken with the facts. Though stretching the truth is hardly new in a political campaign, they say the volume of negative charges is unprecedented -- both in speeches and in advertising.

    Three-quarters of the ads aired by Bush's campaign have been attacks on Kerry. Bush so far has aired 49,050 negative ads in the top 100 markets, or 75 percent of his advertising. Kerry has run 13,336 negative ads -- or 27 percent of his total. The figures were compiled by The Washington Post using data from the Campaign Media Analysis Group of the top 100 U.S. markets. Both campaigns said the figures are accurate.

    How does it compare to other campaigns?
    Brown University professor Darrell West, author of a book on political advertising, said Bush's level of negative advertising is already higher than the levels reached in the 2000, 1996 and 1992 campaigns. And because campaigns typically become more negative as the election nears, "I'm anticipating it's going to be the most negative campaign ever," eclipsing 1988, West said. "If you compare the early stage of campaigns, virtually none of the early ads were negative, even in '88."
    How much worse can it get? Ask John McCain. And he's a Republican.

    EDIT: In an email today to supporters, campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill contrasted Kerry's positive ads with Bush's negative ads.

    Posted by Eric at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

    Washington Post: Bush Campaign "Unprecedented Negativity"; "Making History With Often-Misleading Attacks"

    Indeed. From the Washington Post's staff writers:

    The charges were all tough, serious -- and wrong, or at least highly misleading. Kerry did not question the war on terrorism, has proposed repealing tax cuts only for those earning more than $200,000, supports wiretaps, has not endorsed a 50-cent gasoline tax increase in 10 years, and continues to support the education changes, albeit with modifications.

    Scholars and political strategists say the ferocious Bush assault on Kerry this spring has been extraordinary, both for the volume of attacks and for the liberties the president and his campaign have taken with the facts. Though stretching the truth is hardly new in a political campaign, they say the volume of negative charges is unprecedented -- both in speeches and in advertising.

    Three-quarters of the ads aired by Bush's campaign have been attacks on Kerry. Bush so far has aired 49,050 negative ads in the top 100 markets, or 75 percent of his advertising. Kerry has run 13,336 negative ads -- or 27 percent of his total. The figures were compiled by The Washington Post using data from the Campaign Media Analysis Group of the top 100 U.S. markets. Both campaigns said the figures are accurate.

    How does it compare to other campaigns?
    Brown University professor Darrell West, author of a book on political advertising, said Bush's level of negative advertising is already higher than the levels reached in the 2000, 1996 and 1992 campaigns. And because campaigns typically become more negative as the election nears, "I'm anticipating it's going to be the most negative campaign ever," eclipsing 1988, West said. "If you compare the early stage of campaigns, virtually none of the early ads were negative, even in '88."
    How much worse can it get? Ask John McCain. And he's a Republican.

    EDIT: In an email today to supporters, campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill contrasted Kerry's positive ads with Bush's negative ads.

    Posted by Eric at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry - Bush Statistical Tie in Minnesota

    According to the latest St. Paul Pioneer Press and Minnesota Public Radio poll:

    A new poll shows support for Democrat John Kerry and President George W. Bush is virtually even among voters in Minnesota, considered one of about 17 states that could go either way in this fall's presidential election.

    The poll conducted for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Minnesota Public Radio shows 44 percent of Minnesota voters would vote for Kerry, while 41 percent favor Bush. That puts the race within the poll's four-point margin of error, meaning results could differ by four percentage points in either direction. Two percent of those polled support independent candidate Ralph Nader, while 13 percent were undecided ...

    Bush's performance ratings in Minnesota continue to slip, according to the Pioneer Press-MPR poll. Fifty-six percent of the respondents rated his performance as fair or poor, while 44 percent said it was good or excellent.

    Posted by Eric at 12:28 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry - Bush Statistical Tie in Minnesota

    According to the latest St. Paul Pioneer Press and Minnesota Public Radio poll:

    A new poll shows support for Democrat John Kerry and President George W. Bush is virtually even among voters in Minnesota, considered one of about 17 states that could go either way in this fall's presidential election.

    The poll conducted for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Minnesota Public Radio shows 44 percent of Minnesota voters would vote for Kerry, while 41 percent favor Bush. That puts the race within the poll's four-point margin of error, meaning results could differ by four percentage points in either direction. Two percent of those polled support independent candidate Ralph Nader, while 13 percent were undecided ...

    Bush's performance ratings in Minnesota continue to slip, according to the Pioneer Press-MPR poll. Fifty-six percent of the respondents rated his performance as fair or poor, while 44 percent said it was good or excellent.

    Posted by Eric at 12:28 AM | Comments (0)

    May 29, 2004

    Bush's 3rd Party Threat?

    With the Libertarian National Convention meeting in Atlanta this weekend, does the 3rd party have a chance to take away votes from Bush? Many think so, according to CBS:

    It is a hypothesis not yet made in the mainstream media. But interviews with third-party experts and activists across the country, as well as recent political patterns, illustrate that there could be a conservative rear-guard political attack against President Bush.

    Libertarians will be on at least 49 state ballots, several more than the most optimistic expectations of Nader. While Democrats rally around their nominee, the base of the Republican Party is showing some signs of fragmentation ... The Libertarians will impact Republicans more than Nader will impact Democrats, said Lawrence Jacobs, the director of the 2004 Elections Project for the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota and possibly the nations preeminent expert on third-party politics.

    In the key battleground state of Wisconsin, the 2002 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Ed Thompson garnered about 185,000 votes, a startling 10.5 percent. The new governor, Democrat Jim Doyle, won the state by about 75,000 votes.

    Who are the main candidates?
    The two personalities most likely to be nominated at next weeks Libertarian convention in Atlanta include Gary Nolan, a talk-radio host and longtime Libertarian, and Aaron Russo, a successful Hollywood producer who ran a strong gubernatorial campaign in Nevada in 1998 ... Russo, whose films have won three Golden Globes, believes he can get a million voters to contribute $100 each. Russo boasts that his Web site now gets more traffic than Nader's. He says he has connected support, like legendary actor Jack Nicholson, who did an ad campaign for him in 1998 but has not, as of yet, endorsed Russo for president.
    The two main candidates and their problems with the GOP. Nolan:
    As a small businessman in Cleveland, Ohio, I was initially attracted to the Republican Party. However, over time, I became increasingly frustrated with their bloated budgets and continuing failure to cut spending. Finally, during a live nationwide radio broadcast in January 1999, I publicly resigned from the Republican Party and became a proud card-carrying member of the Libertarian Party.
    And Hollywood producer Russo:
    Aaron Russo decided to run for Governor of Nevada in the 1998 election, even though he had never run for or held a political office. Against all odds, he received 26% of the vote in a four-way race in the Republican primary, while building the largest grassroots volunteer organization in Nevada gubernatorial history. At the height of his campaign, Russo earned an unexpected 47% in the polls as a political outsider, posing a serious threat to his political opponents. After that highly successful experience, he resigned from the Republican Party, and registered as an Independent, believing that both major political parties dont serve the American public's interest and actually cause great harm. As the result of his support in Nevada, Russo helped mobilize a large enough coalition of people to vote to legalize the medical use of marijuana against the Governors opposition. He was geared to run again for the 2002 gubernatorial election in Nevada, but withdrew to battle cancer.

    While successfully battling bladder cancer, (using alternative medicine, against his doctor's wishes, combined with surgery) Russo watched the government implement the unconstitutional and immoral Patriot Act followed by the unsanctioned War on Iraq. As his health strengthened, so did his resolve. As the adage goes, what doesnt kill you makes you stronger, and for Russo this meant taking on his greatest challenge to enter the Presidential race in order to steer this great country back onto the course established by the Constitution. He wants to return the federal government back to its proper role in peoples lives and bring our troops home from Iraq and the rest of the world.

    Posted by Eric at 05:49 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush's 3rd Party Threat?

    With the Libertarian National Convention meeting in Atlanta this weekend, does the 3rd party have a chance to take away votes from Bush? Many think so, according to CBS:

    It is a hypothesis not yet made in the mainstream media. But interviews with third-party experts and activists across the country, as well as recent political patterns, illustrate that there could be a conservative rear-guard political attack against President Bush.

    Libertarians will be on at least 49 state ballots, several more than the most optimistic expectations of Nader. While Democrats rally around their nominee, the base of the Republican Party is showing some signs of fragmentation ... The Libertarians will impact Republicans more than Nader will impact Democrats, said Lawrence Jacobs, the director of the 2004 Elections Project for the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota and possibly the nations preeminent expert on third-party politics.

    In the key battleground state of Wisconsin, the 2002 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Ed Thompson garnered about 185,000 votes, a startling 10.5 percent. The new governor, Democrat Jim Doyle, won the state by about 75,000 votes.

    Who are the main candidates?
    The two personalities most likely to be nominated at next weeks Libertarian convention in Atlanta include Gary Nolan, a talk-radio host and longtime Libertarian, and Aaron Russo, a successful Hollywood producer who ran a strong gubernatorial campaign in Nevada in 1998 ... Russo, whose films have won three Golden Globes, believes he can get a million voters to contribute $100 each. Russo boasts that his Web site now gets more traffic than Nader's. He says he has connected support, like legendary actor Jack Nicholson, who did an ad campaign for him in 1998 but has not, as of yet, endorsed Russo for president.
    The two main candidates and their problems with the GOP. Nolan:
    As a small businessman in Cleveland, Ohio, I was initially attracted to the Republican Party. However, over time, I became increasingly frustrated with their bloated budgets and continuing failure to cut spending. Finally, during a live nationwide radio broadcast in January 1999, I publicly resigned from the Republican Party and became a proud card-carrying member of the Libertarian Party.
    And Hollywood producer Russo:
    Aaron Russo decided to run for Governor of Nevada in the 1998 election, even though he had never run for or held a political office. Against all odds, he received 26% of the vote in a four-way race in the Republican primary, while building the largest grassroots volunteer organization in Nevada gubernatorial history. At the height of his campaign, Russo earned an unexpected 47% in the polls as a political outsider, posing a serious threat to his political opponents. After that highly successful experience, he resigned from the Republican Party, and registered as an Independent, believing that both major political parties dont serve the American public's interest and actually cause great harm. As the result of his support in Nevada, Russo helped mobilize a large enough coalition of people to vote to legalize the medical use of marijuana against the Governors opposition. He was geared to run again for the 2002 gubernatorial election in Nevada, but withdrew to battle cancer.

    While successfully battling bladder cancer, (using alternative medicine, against his doctor's wishes, combined with surgery) Russo watched the government implement the unconstitutional and immoral Patriot Act followed by the unsanctioned War on Iraq. As his health strengthened, so did his resolve. As the adage goes, what doesnt kill you makes you stronger, and for Russo this meant taking on his greatest challenge to enter the Presidential race in order to steer this great country back onto the course established by the Constitution. He wants to return the federal government back to its proper role in peoples lives and bring our troops home from Iraq and the rest of the world.

    Posted by Eric at 05:49 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Hits Bush on Veterans Cuts

    From the Boston Globe, Kerry is hitting Bush on his plan to cut the veterans budget:

    The presumptive Democratic nominee, on the eve of the Memorial Day weekend, yesterday stood before the train from which Dwight D. Eisenhower commanded allied troops in World War II, and castigated the Bush administration for what he called a rush into war in Iraq, the mistreatment of military commanders, and the consideration of a $910 million cut in next year's Veterans Administration budget.

    "My friends, I'm not going to listen to Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld and these other people talk about patriotism in America, when the first definition of patriotism is keeping faith with the people who wore the uniform of our country," Kerry told a crowd of current and former members of the armed forces during a sometimes tear-filled town hall meeting at the National Railroad Museum. In the crowd were two of Kerry's former Vietnam crewmates.

    Kerry's plan for veterans can be found here.

    Posted by Eric at 07:34 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Hits Bush on Veterans Cuts

    From the Boston Globe, Kerry is hitting Bush on his plan to cut the veterans budget:

    The presumptive Democratic nominee, on the eve of the Memorial Day weekend, yesterday stood before the train from which Dwight D. Eisenhower commanded allied troops in World War II, and castigated the Bush administration for what he called a rush into war in Iraq, the mistreatment of military commanders, and the consideration of a $910 million cut in next year's Veterans Administration budget.

    "My friends, I'm not going to listen to Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld and these other people talk about patriotism in America, when the first definition of patriotism is keeping faith with the people who wore the uniform of our country," Kerry told a crowd of current and former members of the armed forces during a sometimes tear-filled town hall meeting at the National Railroad Museum. In the crowd were two of Kerry's former Vietnam crewmates.

    Kerry's plan for veterans can be found here.

    Posted by Eric at 07:34 AM | Comments (0)

    May 28, 2004

    Kerry Small Lead in Iowa

    As linked from Political Wire, a Survey USA poll (pdf) finds John Kerry with a 3 point lead over Bush, 48% to 45%, with 8% undecided. Political Wire also notes that "Kerry paired with Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) loses to Bush-Cheney by three points." However, one should note that the results are within the margin of error.

    Posted by Eric at 03:01 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Small Lead in Iowa

    As linked from Political Wire, a Survey USA poll (pdf) finds John Kerry with a 3 point lead over Bush, 48% to 45%, with 8% undecided. Political Wire also notes that "Kerry paired with Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) loses to Bush-Cheney by three points." However, one should note that the results are within the margin of error.

    Posted by Eric at 03:01 PM | Comments (0)

    May 27, 2004

    Kerry Ahead in Penn

    According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll:

    Democratic challenger John Kerry has moved into a thin 44 -- 41 percent lead over President George W. Bush among Pennsylvania voters, with 6 percent for independent candidate Ralph Nader, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

    This compares to a 45 -- 39 percent lead for President Bush, with 8 percent for Nader in an April 21 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University.

    Bush's job approval has dropped to an all-time low of 41 percent in Pennsylvania, with 55 percent disapproving. Voters say 51 -- 42 percent that going to war in Iraq was the wrong thing to do, reversing a 49 -- 45 percent vote in favor of the war April 21.

    Meanwhile, "Arlen Specter has a 49 -- 37 percent lead over U.S. Rep. Joseph Hoeffel, the Democratic challenger."

    And for those who'd like a Kerry/McCain ticket, there's this news: a "hypothetical Kerry/McCain pairing holds a 14-point advantage over President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney, nearly double the 8-point lead Kerry has alone over Bush."

    Posted by Eric at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Ahead in Penn

    According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll:

    Democratic challenger John Kerry has moved into a thin 44 -- 41 percent lead over President George W. Bush among Pennsylvania voters, with 6 percent for independent candidate Ralph Nader, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

    This compares to a 45 -- 39 percent lead for President Bush, with 8 percent for Nader in an April 21 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University.

    Bush's job approval has dropped to an all-time low of 41 percent in Pennsylvania, with 55 percent disapproving. Voters say 51 -- 42 percent that going to war in Iraq was the wrong thing to do, reversing a 49 -- 45 percent vote in favor of the war April 21.

    Meanwhile, "Arlen Specter has a 49 -- 37 percent lead over U.S. Rep. Joseph Hoeffel, the Democratic challenger."

    And for those who'd like a Kerry/McCain ticket, there's this news: a "hypothetical Kerry/McCain pairing holds a 14-point advantage over President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney, nearly double the 8-point lead Kerry has alone over Bush."

    Posted by Eric at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

    May 26, 2004

    Kerry Double Digit Lead in California

    According to the 'Field Poll' in the San Fran Chron. Interestingly enough, Nader doesn't get much support in the state:

    President Bush lags behind Democrat John Kerry by 12 points in California, and is now down by more than 2-1 among the state's independent voters -- the critical bloc which may decide the election, a new Field Poll shows.

    In a head-to-head matchup, Kerry batters Bush in California 51 percent to 39 percent, with independent Ralph Nader getting 4 percent of the vote and 6 percent undecided, the poll shows. Without Nader in the mix, Kerry's lead over Bush grows -- 55 percent to 40 percent -- with 5 percent undecided.

    Posted by Eric at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Double Digit Lead in California

    According to the 'Field Poll' in the San Fran Chron. Interestingly enough, Nader doesn't get much support in the state:

    President Bush lags behind Democrat John Kerry by 12 points in California, and is now down by more than 2-1 among the state's independent voters -- the critical bloc which may decide the election, a new Field Poll shows.

    In a head-to-head matchup, Kerry batters Bush in California 51 percent to 39 percent, with independent Ralph Nader getting 4 percent of the vote and 6 percent undecided, the poll shows. Without Nader in the mix, Kerry's lead over Bush grows -- 55 percent to 40 percent -- with 5 percent undecided.

    Posted by Eric at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

    May 25, 2004

    GW's Cuban Support Fading

    Critical to his bid to 'win' Florida again, Bush's Cuban support is eroding due to much talk but little action, reports Newsweek. Indeed, like the rest of the country, Cuban Americans apparently are becoming more and more disillusioned with Bush's leadership:

    Bush's support among Cuban-Americans in south Floridaabout 80 percent of whom backed him in 2000shows signs of eroding. A March Florida International University poll, for instance, showed that only 56 percent of the state's Cuban-Americans planned to vote for Bush, with 25 percent undecided. While the vast majority will almost certainly back Bush in November, even a shift of 5 percent could tip the balance if Florida is a close race.

    Cuban-American grievances range from the administration's decision last year to repatriate 12 immigrants intercepted at sea to its failure to support dissidents on the island more vigorously. A few weeks ago President Bush sought to staunch the bleeding by announcing a raft of anti-Castro policies including additional funding for dissidentsa package he touted on Cuban Independence Day last Thursday. But some of those policies ignited another firestorm: Cuban-Americans who regularly visit relatives on the island and send them much-needed money now face new travel and remittance restrictions. On Independence Day, hundreds crowded into the conference room of a Miami hotel to denounce the measures. "This is dividing families," said Luis Miguel Hernandez, who fears he won't be able to visit his terminally ill mother-in-law. "I'm totally disappointed" with Bush, whom he voted for in 2000 but likely won't back this year. A Bush campaign spokeswoman says, "No one has a stronger record of fighting the Castro dictatorship than the president." One palliative for Bush: those most affected by the new policies are often recently arrived and not yet eligible to vote.

    In Florida, Bush and Kerry are basically tied: "In Florida, Bush and Kerry are tied. Bush had the backing of 47 percent, Kerry of 46 percent and Nader at 3 percent, a poll by the American Research Group found."

    On a similar note, Kos has a pertinent post on the Hispanic vote.

    Posted by Eric at 04:56 PM | Comments (0)

    GW's Cuban Support Fading

    Critical to his bid to 'win' Florida again, Bush's Cuban support is eroding due to much talk but little action, reports Newsweek. Indeed, like the rest of the country, Cuban Americans apparently are becoming more and more disillusioned with Bush's leadership:

    Bush's support among Cuban-Americans in south Floridaabout 80 percent of whom backed him in 2000shows signs of eroding. A March Florida International University poll, for instance, showed that only 56 percent of the state's Cuban-Americans planned to vote for Bush, with 25 percent undecided. While the vast majority will almost certainly back Bush in November, even a shift of 5 percent could tip the balance if Florida is a close race.

    Cuban-American grievances range from the administration's decision last year to repatriate 12 immigrants intercepted at sea to its failure to support dissidents on the island more vigorously. A few weeks ago President Bush sought to staunch the bleeding by announcing a raft of anti-Castro policies including additional funding for dissidentsa package he touted on Cuban Independence Day last Thursday. But some of those policies ignited another firestorm: Cuban-Americans who regularly visit relatives on the island and send them much-needed money now face new travel and remittance restrictions. On Independence Day, hundreds crowded into the conference room of a Miami hotel to denounce the measures. "This is dividing families," said Luis Miguel Hernandez, who fears he won't be able to visit his terminally ill mother-in-law. "I'm totally disappointed" with Bush, whom he voted for in 2000 but likely won't back this year. A Bush campaign spokeswoman says, "No one has a stronger record of fighting the Castro dictatorship than the president." One palliative for Bush: those most affected by the new policies are often recently arrived and not yet eligible to vote.

    In Florida, Bush and Kerry are basically tied: "In Florida, Bush and Kerry are tied. Bush had the backing of 47 percent, Kerry of 46 percent and Nader at 3 percent, a poll by the American Research Group found."

    On a similar note, Kos has a pertinent post on the Hispanic vote.

    Posted by Eric at 04:56 PM | Comments (0)

    May 24, 2004

    Worst Poll Numbers Ever

    CBS: "Worst poll numbers ever" for Bush.

    Just 41% approve of the overall job Bush is doing, versus 52 disapproving. Low, low marks elsewhere:

    Sixty-one percent of Americans now disapprove of the way Mr. Bush is handling the situation in Iraq, while just 34 percent approve.

    As concern about the situation in Iraq grows, 65 percent now say the country is on the wrong track matching the highest number ever recorded in CBS News Polls, which began asking this question in the mid-1980's. Only 30 percent currently say things in this country are headed in the right direction. One year ago, in April 2003, 56 percent of Americans said the country was headed in the right direction.

    The last time the percentage that said the country was on the wrong track was as high as it is now was back in November 1994. Then, Republicans swept into control of both houses of Congress for the first time in decades.

    Majorities disapprove of the way Mr. Bush is handling foreign policy and the economy. Terrorism remains the only positive area for the president a majority of 51 percent approve of the way he is handling the campaign against terrorism. But that number matches his lowest rating ever on terrorism.

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

    Worst Poll Numbers Ever

    CBS: "Worst poll numbers ever" for Bush.

    Just 41% approve of the overall job Bush is doing, versus 52 disapproving. Low, low marks elsewhere:

    Sixty-one percent of Americans now disapprove of the way Mr. Bush is handling the situation in Iraq, while just 34 percent approve.

    As concern about the situation in Iraq grows, 65 percent now say the country is on the wrong track matching the highest number ever recorded in CBS News Polls, which began asking this question in the mid-1980's. Only 30 percent currently say things in this country are headed in the right direction. One year ago, in April 2003, 56 percent of Americans said the country was headed in the right direction.

    The last time the percentage that said the country was on the wrong track was as high as it is now was back in November 1994. Then, Republicans swept into control of both houses of Congress for the first time in decades.

    Majorities disapprove of the way Mr. Bush is handling foreign policy and the economy. Terrorism remains the only positive area for the president a majority of 51 percent approve of the way he is handling the campaign against terrorism. But that number matches his lowest rating ever on terrorism.

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

    Zogby: Kerry Leading in Battleground States

    Daily Kos has an especially nice screenshot of a graph from the WSJ/Zogby interactive flash site. Take a look, and as Kos notes, just from the polls, 320-218 Kerry victory.

    Posted by Eric at 06:43 PM | Comments (0)

    Zogby: Kerry Leading in Battleground States

    Daily Kos has an especially nice screenshot of a graph from the WSJ/Zogby interactive flash site. Take a look, and as Kos notes, just from the polls, 320-218 Kerry victory.

    Posted by Eric at 06:43 PM | Comments (0)

    Merrill Lynch Donates Over 12m to Bush

    From the WPost:

    The money flowing from Merrill Lynch employees is part of a $12.14 million tidal wave of cash to the Bush campaign from the finance and insurance sectors.

    Wall Street has stepped up to the plate in support of Bush, and Bush has sponsored legislation producing billions of dollars in revenue on Wall Street.

    Capital gains and dividend tax cuts have encouraged substantial asset shifting by investors -- transactions producing commissions for securities firms. In addition, in 2001, Bush secured a gradual repeal of the estate tax, allowing the accumulation of investment wealth without fear of large tax liability for heirs.

    Posted by Eric at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

    Merrill Lynch Donates Over 12m to Bush

    From the WPost:

    The money flowing from Merrill Lynch employees is part of a $12.14 million tidal wave of cash to the Bush campaign from the finance and insurance sectors.

    Wall Street has stepped up to the plate in support of Bush, and Bush has sponsored legislation producing billions of dollars in revenue on Wall Street.

    Capital gains and dividend tax cuts have encouraged substantial asset shifting by investors -- transactions producing commissions for securities firms. In addition, in 2001, Bush secured a gradual repeal of the estate tax, allowing the accumulation of investment wealth without fear of large tax liability for heirs.

    Posted by Eric at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

    May 21, 2004

    Bush Outsourced Fundraising & Voter Operations

    From Misleader.org:

    According to the report, the Republican National Committee shipped the India operation its voter database for 125 local staff to use to "solicit political contributions ranging between $5 and $3,000 from thousands of registered Republican voters." While the contract for running the campaigns was originally awarded to Washington-based Capital Communications Group, "for cost and efficiencies gains, the company outsourced the work to HCL Technologies that in turn sent it offshore."

    Public pressure has forced President Bush has to downplay his support for outsourcing. But this new story is consistent with his Administration's actions in support of shipping American jobs overseas. Late last year, the New York Times reported that the Bush Commerce Department co-sponsored a conference at the lavish Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York that was designed to "encourage American companies to put operations and jobs in China". Then, this year, the President's top economic adviser said outsourcing was "a plus for the economy".

    Posted by Eric at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush Outsourced Fundraising & Voter Operations

    From Misleader.org:

    According to the report, the Republican National Committee shipped the India operation its voter database for 125 local staff to use to "solicit political contributions ranging between $5 and $3,000 from thousands of registered Republican voters." While the contract for running the campaigns was originally awarded to Washington-based Capital Communications Group, "for cost and efficiencies gains, the company outsourced the work to HCL Technologies that in turn sent it offshore."

    Public pressure has forced President Bush has to downplay his support for outsourcing. But this new story is consistent with his Administration's actions in support of shipping American jobs overseas. Late last year, the New York Times reported that the Bush Commerce Department co-sponsored a conference at the lavish Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York that was designed to "encourage American companies to put operations and jobs in China". Then, this year, the President's top economic adviser said outsourcing was "a plus for the economy".

    Posted by Eric at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Leads in Quinnipiac Poll

    By a slim margin, however:

    Forty-six percent of the respondents support Kerry, 43 percent back Bush, and 5 percent would vote for independent candidate Ralph Nader. The poll, released yesterday, has a sampling error margin of plus or minus three percentage points. Among independent voters polled, Kerry and Bush are about even. The telephone survey of more than 1,100 registered voters was conducted May 10-16.
    Kerry also has a slight lead in New Jersey.

    Posted by Eric at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Leads in Quinnipiac Poll

    By a slim margin, however:

    Forty-six percent of the respondents support Kerry, 43 percent back Bush, and 5 percent would vote for independent candidate Ralph Nader. The poll, released yesterday, has a sampling error margin of plus or minus three percentage points. Among independent voters polled, Kerry and Bush are about even. The telephone survey of more than 1,100 registered voters was conducted May 10-16.
    Kerry also has a slight lead in New Jersey.

    Posted by Eric at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

    May 20, 2004

    Historians Agree: Bush Presidency Crap

    According to a "recent informal, unscientific survey of historians conducted at my suggestion by George Mason Universitys History News Network found that eight in ten historians responding rate the current presidency an overall failure." From HNN.us, link via Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.

    Of 415 historians who expressed a view of President Bushs administration to this point as a success or failure, 338 classified it as a failure and 77 as a success. (Moreover, it seems likely that at least eight of those who said it is a success were being sarcastic, since seven said Bushs presidency is only the best since Clintons and one named Millard Fillmore.) Twelve percent of all the historians who responded rate the current presidency the worst in all of American history, not too far behind the 19 percent who see it at this point as an overall success

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

    Historians Agree: Bush Presidency Crap

    According to a "recent informal, unscientific survey of historians conducted at my suggestion by George Mason Universitys History News Network found that eight in ten historians responding rate the current presidency an overall failure." From HNN.us, link via Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.

    Of 415 historians who expressed a view of President Bushs administration to this point as a success or failure, 338 classified it as a failure and 77 as a success. (Moreover, it seems likely that at least eight of those who said it is a success were being sarcastic, since seven said Bushs presidency is only the best since Clintons and one named Millard Fillmore.) Twelve percent of all the historians who responded rate the current presidency the worst in all of American history, not too far behind the 19 percent who see it at this point as an overall success

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

    May 19, 2004

    Edwards Would Put North Carolina in Play

    According to a WRAL/Mason-Dixon Poll:

    Statewide, Bush is supported by 48% of voters, while Kerry is backed by 41%, independent Ralph Nader draws 3% and 8% remain undecided. With Edwards as Kerry's running-mate, the GOP ticket of Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney is favored by 46%, the Kerry/Edwards Democratic ticket gets 45%, Nader draws 2% and 7% are undecided.

    Posted by Eric at 04:57 PM | Comments (0)

    Edwards Would Put North Carolina in Play

    According to a WRAL/Mason-Dixon Poll:

    Statewide, Bush is supported by 48% of voters, while Kerry is backed by 41%, independent Ralph Nader draws 3% and 8% remain undecided. With Edwards as Kerry's running-mate, the GOP ticket of Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney is favored by 46%, the Kerry/Edwards Democratic ticket gets 45%, Nader draws 2% and 7% are undecided.

    Posted by Eric at 04:57 PM | Comments (0)

    May 17, 2004

    Poll: Latino Vote Up for Grabs

    Latino voters in key swing states could go either Democrat or Republican, according to a poll from "Sergio Bendixen & Associates, a Democratic firm that polled in Spanish and English" in USA Today:

    In Florida, Bush leads Kerry, a Massachusetts senator, 55%-35%. The numbers resemble the outcome in 2000, when Bush got 61% of the state's Hispanic vote and Gore got 39% ... Nationally, Bush won 35% of the Latino vote in 2000. Matthew Dowd, chief strategist for the Bush campaign, says it will be hard to win re-election unless Bush raises his share to 40%. In the new poll, Bush falls short with the large Hispanic population in the Southwest. He is backed by 31% in Nevada and by 30% in Arizona and New Mexico. But Bush reached 38% in a nationwide Pew Hispanic Center poll released April 19.

    Bendixen says the Latino vote is "very much up for grabs." About 40% of his poll's respondents said they were undecided or could change their minds. In the rest of the electorate, 85%-90% say their minds are made up, he says.

    Pollster Simon Rosenberg recently said to Hispanics about the 2004 election: "You are key more than any single group of people." However, 54% of Hispanics and blacks are not registered to vote.

    Posted by Eric at 08:36 PM | Comments (0)

    Poll: Latino Vote Up for Grabs

    Latino voters in key swing states could go either Democrat or Republican, according to a poll from "Sergio Bendixen & Associates, a Democratic firm that polled in Spanish and English" in USA Today:

    In Florida, Bush leads Kerry, a Massachusetts senator, 55%-35%. The numbers resemble the outcome in 2000, when Bush got 61% of the state's Hispanic vote and Gore got 39% ... Nationally, Bush won 35% of the Latino vote in 2000. Matthew Dowd, chief strategist for the Bush campaign, says it will be hard to win re-election unless Bush raises his share to 40%. In the new poll, Bush falls short with the large Hispanic population in the Southwest. He is backed by 31% in Nevada and by 30% in Arizona and New Mexico. But Bush reached 38% in a nationwide Pew Hispanic Center poll released April 19.

    Bendixen says the Latino vote is "very much up for grabs." About 40% of his poll's respondents said they were undecided or could change their minds. In the rest of the electorate, 85%-90% say their minds are made up, he says.

    Pollster Simon Rosenberg recently said to Hispanics about the 2004 election: "You are key more than any single group of people." However, 54% of Hispanics and blacks are not registered to vote.

    Posted by Eric at 08:36 PM | Comments (0)

    Little Protests for NYC GOP Convention?

    The Washington Post reports this on Mike Bloomberg and protestors.

    Still, Bloomberg has grown weary of watching the plans for demonstrations grow and grow. So he is poking back. The firefighters and police can complain to Republicans about their contracts, but that is not "very intelligent," he opined. As for that request for a permit in Central Park?

    "You'd ruin the lawn," the mayor replied.

    Civil libertarians note that more than 20 groups have applied for march and rally permits, and the city has not approved one. The New York Civil Liberties Union filed more than 300 complaints against the city for its treatment of demonstrators at a march just before the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Since then, police have several times denied requests for high-visibility rallies.

    Posted by Eric at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)

    Little Protests for NYC GOP Convention?

    The Washington Post reports this on Mike Bloomberg and protestors.

    Still, Bloomberg has grown weary of watching the plans for demonstrations grow and grow. So he is poking back. The firefighters and police can complain to Republicans about their contracts, but that is not "very intelligent," he opined. As for that request for a permit in Central Park?

    "You'd ruin the lawn," the mayor replied.

    Civil libertarians note that more than 20 groups have applied for march and rally permits, and the city has not approved one. The New York Civil Liberties Union filed more than 300 complaints against the city for its treatment of demonstrators at a march just before the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Since then, police have several times denied requests for high-visibility rallies.

    Posted by Eric at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)

    May 15, 2004

    The Unpopular President: Bush Rating Hits New Low

    From a Newsweek poll:

    May 15 - As his administration grapples with the fallout from the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, President George W. Bushs approval ratings have dropped to 42 percent, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll, a low for his presidency. Fifty-seven percent say they disapprove of Bushs handling of the war in Iraq. And 62 percent say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States, a number that has been steadily increasing since April, 2003, when it was 41 percent.
    On the presidential race:
    Still, when pitted in a hypothetical two-way race with Sen. John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee, Bush holds his own. Forty-five percent of Americans say they would vote for Bush; 46 percent say they would support Kerry and 9 percent remain undecided.

    Posted by Eric at 07:42 PM | Comments (0)

    The Unpopular President: Bush Rating Hits New Low

    From a Newsweek poll:

    May 15 - As his administration grapples with the fallout from the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, President George W. Bushs approval ratings have dropped to 42 percent, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll, a low for his presidency. Fifty-seven percent say they disapprove of Bushs handling of the war in Iraq. And 62 percent say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States, a number that has been steadily increasing since April, 2003, when it was 41 percent.
    On the presidential race:
    Still, when pitted in a hypothetical two-way race with Sen. John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee, Bush holds his own. Forty-five percent of Americans say they would vote for Bush; 46 percent say they would support Kerry and 9 percent remain undecided.

    Posted by Eric at 07:42 PM | Comments (0)

    May 14, 2004

    Cops to Hate America

    Endorses John Kerry over President Bush.

    "After three and a half years of disappointing leadership under George Bush, we need to change course in November and elect a president with a real record of supporting police officers and a lifetime of standing with law enforcement," IBPO President David Holway said in a statement provided by the Kerry campaign.

    The union endorsed Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996. Kerry scheduled a round-table discussion with members of the group on Friday to talk about law enforcement issues.

    Ah, they're just another union that's in bed with Democrats.
    Presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry on Friday collected the endorsement of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, a police union that backed President Bush in the 2000 election.
    Oh SNAP!

    Posted by Eric at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)

    Cops to Hate America

    Endorses John Kerry over President Bush.

    "After three and a half years of disappointing leadership under George Bush, we need to change course in November and elect a president with a real record of supporting police officers and a lifetime of standing with law enforcement," IBPO President David Holway said in a statement provided by the Kerry campaign.

    The union endorsed Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996. Kerry scheduled a round-table discussion with members of the group on Friday to talk about law enforcement issues.

    Ah, they're just another union that's in bed with Democrats.
    Presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry on Friday collected the endorsement of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, a police union that backed President Bush in the 2000 election.
    Oh SNAP!

    Posted by Eric at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)

    Disenfranchisement Starts Young: Officials Attempting to Shaft Young Voters

    Some polls indicate that young voters "favor John Kerry by as many as ten points." Will those young voters be turned away from the polls this election? Rolling Stone:

    But in recent years, many election officials have been building a variety of hurdles to make it more difficult for students to register and vote. In May 2002, the city council in Saratoga Springs, New York, shut down a polling place at Skidmore College, forcing students to travel off-campus to vote. That same year, a judge in Arkansas tried to block 1,000 students at Ouachita Baptist University and Henderson State University from casting ballots, ruling that they must vote in their hometowns -- even though the deadline for absentee ballots had already passed. And when students from the University of New Hampshire showed up at the polls on Election Day that year, poll workers handed them a pamphlet warning them that voting locally could affect their financial aid and taxes. The scare tactic worked: Many students left without voting.

    Refusing to register students is "a blatant form of disenfranchisement," says Jennifer Weiser, who advocates for young voters as associate counsel of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. "It's clearly illegal."

    In some cases, election officials simply don't seem to understand the law. Jehmu Greene, president of Rock the Vote, was surprised by the response when her group called state election offices in Oregon and Washington about laws regarding student voting: "They were clueless about the issue," says Greene.

    In many cases, however, there's more than ignorance at work. In small college towns, students often outnumber all other voters combined -- raising fears that they could determine the outcome of local elections. The colonial town of Williamsburg, Virginia, has only 6,000 registered voters -- and 7,600 students at the College of William and Mary. In January, when campus leaders began pushing students to register and vote, the city responded by requiring every student to fill out a two-page questionnaire detailing everything from their personal finances to where their car is registered. Of an estimated 150 students who completed questionnaires, only four have been registered. "They don't want students involved," says Rob Forrest, who quit school and moved off campus so he could run for a seat on the city council. "It's a cop-out to interpret the law like this -- and if the law says that we're not supposed to get involved, then the law is wrong."

    Posted by Eric at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

    Disenfranchisement Starts Young: Officials Attempting to Shaft Young Voters

    Some polls indicate that young voters "favor John Kerry by as many as ten points." Will those young voters be turned away from the polls this election? Rolling Stone:

    But in recent years, many election officials have been building a variety of hurdles to make it more difficult for students to register and vote. In May 2002, the city council in Saratoga Springs, New York, shut down a polling place at Skidmore College, forcing students to travel off-campus to vote. That same year, a judge in Arkansas tried to block 1,000 students at Ouachita Baptist University and Henderson State University from casting ballots, ruling that they must vote in their hometowns -- even though the deadline for absentee ballots had already passed. And when students from the University of New Hampshire showed up at the polls on Election Day that year, poll workers handed them a pamphlet warning them that voting locally could affect their financial aid and taxes. The scare tactic worked: Many students left without voting.

    Refusing to register students is "a blatant form of disenfranchisement," says Jennifer Weiser, who advocates for young voters as associate counsel of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. "It's clearly illegal."

    In some cases, election officials simply don't seem to understand the law. Jehmu Greene, president of Rock the Vote, was surprised by the response when her group called state election offices in Oregon and Washington about laws regarding student voting: "They were clueless about the issue," says Greene.

    In many cases, however, there's more than ignorance at work. In small college towns, students often outnumber all other voters combined -- raising fears that they could determine the outcome of local elections. The colonial town of Williamsburg, Virginia, has only 6,000 registered voters -- and 7,600 students at the College of William and Mary. In January, when campus leaders began pushing students to register and vote, the city responded by requiring every student to fill out a two-page questionnaire detailing everything from their personal finances to where their car is registered. Of an estimated 150 students who completed questionnaires, only four have been registered. "They don't want students involved," says Rob Forrest, who quit school and moved off campus so he could run for a seat on the city council. "It's a cop-out to interpret the law like this -- and if the law says that we're not supposed to get involved, then the law is wrong."

    Posted by Eric at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

    Aaron Russo for President

    Could he siphon off votes from libertarian Republicans (who are poorly represented by the GOP)? MyDD and Daily Kos on Russo.

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

    Aaron Russo for President

    Could he siphon off votes from libertarian Republicans (who are poorly represented by the GOP)? MyDD and Daily Kos on Russo.

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

    Kerry Leads in Ohio

    Ohio is one of the states that will help decide the presidency, and Kerry is leading in the state, according to the American Research Group:

    John Kerry leads George W. Bush among likely voters in Ohio according to a survey by the American Research Group. A total of 49% of likely voters say they would vote for Kerry if the presidential election were being held today and 42% say they would vote for Bush. A total of 2% of likely voters say they would vote for Ralph Nader and 7% of likely voters are undecided.

    In a race between just Kerry and Bush, Kerry is at 50%, Bush is at 43%, and 7% are undecided.

    Posted by Eric at 01:25 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Leads in Ohio

    Ohio is one of the states that will help decide the presidency, and Kerry is leading in the state, according to the American Research Group:

    John Kerry leads George W. Bush among likely voters in Ohio according to a survey by the American Research Group. A total of 49% of likely voters say they would vote for Kerry if the presidential election were being held today and 42% say they would vote for Bush. A total of 2% of likely voters say they would vote for Ralph Nader and 7% of likely voters are undecided.

    In a race between just Kerry and Bush, Kerry is at 50%, Bush is at 43%, and 7% are undecided.

    Posted by Eric at 01:25 AM | Comments (0)

    McCain for Defense Secretary?

    A Republican from the Senate, ala William Cohen during the Clinton administration? From The Guardian (link via Talk Left):

    The Democratic presidential candidate, John Kerry, yesterday made a dramatic bid for crossover votes, declaring that if elected, he would choose John McCain, an outspoken Republican senator, as defence secretary.
    Senator Kerry named another senior Republican, Senator John Warner, currently chairing hearings into the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, as an alternative.

    Senator McCain is a personal friend of Senator Kerry, a fellow Vietnam veteran, and the Kerry campaign has used a picture of the Democratic candidate with his arm around Mr McCain in its TV advertisements. There has even been talk of Mr McCain being picked as Mr Kerry's vice-presidential candidate.

    "I'm not the president today," Senator Kerry told a radio interviewer yesterday, but added: "I have any number of people that I would make secretary of defence, beginning with our good friend John McCain as an example."

    However, when asked about Mr Kerry's comments, Mr McCain said: "No thanks."

    Of course, in Washington, 'No Thanks' often means 'I can't say yes now, but if you do get elected, I'll probably say yes.'

    Posted by Eric at 12:54 AM | Comments (0)

    McCain for Defense Secretary?

    A Republican from the Senate, ala William Cohen during the Clinton administration? From The Guardian (link via Talk Left):

    The Democratic presidential candidate, John Kerry, yesterday made a dramatic bid for crossover votes, declaring that if elected, he would choose John McCain, an outspoken Republican senator, as defence secretary.
    Senator Kerry named another senior Republican, Senator John Warner, currently chairing hearings into the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, as an alternative.

    Senator McCain is a personal friend of Senator Kerry, a fellow Vietnam veteran, and the Kerry campaign has used a picture of the Democratic candidate with his arm around Mr McCain in its TV advertisements. There has even been talk of Mr McCain being picked as Mr Kerry's vice-presidential candidate.

    "I'm not the president today," Senator Kerry told a radio interviewer yesterday, but added: "I have any number of people that I would make secretary of defence, beginning with our good friend John McCain as an example."

    However, when asked about Mr Kerry's comments, Mr McCain said: "No thanks."

    Of course, in Washington, 'No Thanks' often means 'I can't say yes now, but if you do get elected, I'll probably say yes.'

    Posted by Eric at 12:54 AM | Comments (0)

    May 13, 2004

    Yet Another Poll Shows Bush Decline

    The CBS poll finds "lowest level of his presidency": 44%.

    Posted by Eric at 04:29 PM | Comments (0)

    Yet Another Poll Shows Bush Decline

    The CBS poll finds "lowest level of his presidency": 44%.

    Posted by Eric at 04:29 PM | Comments (0)

    May 12, 2004

    "Bush's Poll Numbers Hitting the Danger Zone"

    According to Reuters, "voters are slowly sinking into the kind of pessimistic funk that doomed other presidents."

    Several recent polls show Bush's approval ratings slipping below 50 percent amid growing doubts among voters about his handling of the war in Iraq and of the economy.

    Growing majorities believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, a traditional early indicator of the electorate's mood and a clear warning sign for an incumbent trying to persuade the public to rehire him four more years.

    "He is in dangerous territory now," pollster John Zogby said of Bush, although Democratic challenger John Kerry so far has failed to take much advantage of Bush's slump six months before the November election.

    Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup poll, said Bush's slowly sinking job approval rating, down to 46 percent in his latest survey, was similar to the dropping trajectory of the last three incumbents to lose their elections -- George Bush, the current president's father, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford.

    Posted by Eric at 04:07 PM | Comments (0)

    "Bush's Poll Numbers Hitting the Danger Zone"

    According to Reuters, "voters are slowly sinking into the kind of pessimistic funk that doomed other presidents."

    Several recent polls show Bush's approval ratings slipping below 50 percent amid growing doubts among voters about his handling of the war in Iraq and of the economy.

    Growing majorities believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, a traditional early indicator of the electorate's mood and a clear warning sign for an incumbent trying to persuade the public to rehire him four more years.

    "He is in dangerous territory now," pollster John Zogby said of Bush, although Democratic challenger John Kerry so far has failed to take much advantage of Bush's slump six months before the November election.

    Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup poll, said Bush's slowly sinking job approval rating, down to 46 percent in his latest survey, was similar to the dropping trajectory of the last three incumbents to lose their elections -- George Bush, the current president's father, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford.

    Posted by Eric at 04:07 PM | Comments (0)

    May 09, 2004

    Barbara Bush Enters Fundraising Fray

    The proud mother reminds people:

    "With Mother's Day coming up this weekend, I've been thinking about how proud I am of our children," Mrs. Bush wrote. "And it's with a mother's pride that I'm writing you today to ask you to support our eldest, George W., and his re-election campaign with a donation of $1,000, $500, $250, $100 or $50."

    Mrs. Bush told prospective donors her son has been president during challenging times and "has met the tasks at hand with a steely determination."

    "This election is going to be a tough one. That is why I'm asking for your support," she wrote. "For months the president has been facing negative advertising from John Kerry and all sorts of pro-Kerry groups. I've been particularly disappointed in the personal attacks."

    Posted by Eric at 05:11 AM | Comments (0)

    Barbara Bush Enters Fundraising Fray

    The proud mother reminds people:

    "With Mother's Day coming up this weekend, I've been thinking about how proud I am of our children," Mrs. Bush wrote. "And it's with a mother's pride that I'm writing you today to ask you to support our eldest, George W., and his re-election campaign with a donation of $1,000, $500, $250, $100 or $50."

    Mrs. Bush told prospective donors her son has been president during challenging times and "has met the tasks at hand with a steely determination."

    "This election is going to be a tough one. That is why I'm asking for your support," she wrote. "For months the president has been facing negative advertising from John Kerry and all sorts of pro-Kerry groups. I've been particularly disappointed in the personal attacks."

    Posted by Eric at 05:11 AM | Comments (0)

    May 08, 2004

    Nader's Mission: Hurt Democrats, Republicans Irrelevant

    Not to beat a dead horse, but we should rid ourselves of the notion that Nader is about creating a viable third party, holding Democrats responsible or building a progressive movement. Ultimately, the reason why Nader is running is because he's obsessed with hurting the Democrats more than Republicans, even if it includes smears and lies. As Harry G. Levine in the Village Voice notes:

    Martin reports that during the 2000 campaign, "no matter how hard he tried to be evenhanded in doling out criticism of Bush and Gore, Nader did show a bias"against Gore. "It was clear to many," writes Martin, "that he truly despised Gore, while he was merely dismissive of Bush." Martin was especially struck by a Portland speech where Nader said that Gore was "more reprehensible" than Bush because Gore "knows so much and refuses to act on his knowledge." ...

    Ralph Nader exploited his reputation as a self-sacrificing idealist to pursue an utterly selfish goal. He claimed his purpose was to build the Green Party by drawing the 5 percent vote required for federal funding. But this was covera way of justifying his lust for revenge. Nader campaigned as the honest man who told the truth while lying about what he believed and wanted.

    The most pernicious myth spread by his campaign was the Tweedledee and Tweedledum linea claim columnist Marianne Means branded "insane" and his opposite number Pat Buchanan never got near. Perhaps Nader concealed from himself that his nostalgic view of a Democratic Party that had shifted away from its progressive traditions was at odds with the hodgepodge he actually grew up withan amalgam of machine hacks and Ivy League liberals, rip-roaring Southern racists and farmer-labor populists. But he certainly recognized the huge difference between a timid moderate Democrat like Al Gore and fierce right-wingers like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. These were Republicans of a sort never in power before Reagan. Like most politicians, however, Nader couldn't reveal what he really thought. He needed an explanation for campaigning in the swing states. So he exaggerated, distorted, misled, and dissembled. He lied.

    "Throughout the campaign, Nader brushed aside concerns that he might help elect Bush by employing one of several blithe quips," wrote Jonathan Chait in the November 2002 American Prospect. "If asked about being a spoiler, he'd invariably reply, 'You can't spoil a system that's spoiled to the core.' " Chait concludes: "Not since Steve Forbes has a presidential candidate turned aside unwanted queries so robotically. Nader's one-liners were pure, made-for-television nonsequiturs, all refusing to engage on any substantive level the fact that his candidacy might prove a decisive factor in Bush's election."

    Twisty. But sad.

    Posted by Eric at 12:35 AM | Comments (0)

    Nader's Mission: Hurt Democrats, Republicans Irrelevant

    Not to beat a dead horse, but we should rid ourselves of the notion that Nader is about creating a viable third party, holding Democrats responsible or building a progressive movement. Ultimately, the reason why Nader is running is because he's obsessed with hurting the Democrats more than Republicans, even if it includes smears and lies. As Harry G. Levine in the Village Voice notes:

    Martin reports that during the 2000 campaign, "no matter how hard he tried to be evenhanded in doling out criticism of Bush and Gore, Nader did show a bias"against Gore. "It was clear to many," writes Martin, "that he truly despised Gore, while he was merely dismissive of Bush." Martin was especially struck by a Portland speech where Nader said that Gore was "more reprehensible" than Bush because Gore "knows so much and refuses to act on his knowledge." ...

    Ralph Nader exploited his reputation as a self-sacrificing idealist to pursue an utterly selfish goal. He claimed his purpose was to build the Green Party by drawing the 5 percent vote required for federal funding. But this was covera way of justifying his lust for revenge. Nader campaigned as the honest man who told the truth while lying about what he believed and wanted.

    The most pernicious myth spread by his campaign was the Tweedledee and Tweedledum linea claim columnist Marianne Means branded "insane" and his opposite number Pat Buchanan never got near. Perhaps Nader concealed from himself that his nostalgic view of a Democratic Party that had shifted away from its progressive traditions was at odds with the hodgepodge he actually grew up withan amalgam of machine hacks and Ivy League liberals, rip-roaring Southern racists and farmer-labor populists. But he certainly recognized the huge difference between a timid moderate Democrat like Al Gore and fierce right-wingers like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. These were Republicans of a sort never in power before Reagan. Like most politicians, however, Nader couldn't reveal what he really thought. He needed an explanation for campaigning in the swing states. So he exaggerated, distorted, misled, and dissembled. He lied.

    "Throughout the campaign, Nader brushed aside concerns that he might help elect Bush by employing one of several blithe quips," wrote Jonathan Chait in the November 2002 American Prospect. "If asked about being a spoiler, he'd invariably reply, 'You can't spoil a system that's spoiled to the core.' " Chait concludes: "Not since Steve Forbes has a presidential candidate turned aside unwanted queries so robotically. Nader's one-liners were pure, made-for-television nonsequiturs, all refusing to engage on any substantive level the fact that his candidacy might prove a decisive factor in Bush's election."

    Twisty. But sad.

    Posted by Eric at 12:35 AM | Comments (0)

    May 07, 2004

    Veterans Anti-Kerry Site Funded by Republican Activist

    From St. Louis Post-Dispatch .

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

    Veterans Anti-Kerry Site Funded by Republican Activist

    From St. Louis Post-Dispatch .

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

    Bush By 3 in AP Poll

    And everyone's favorite Republican ally is getting 7 percent. AP/Ipsos:

    The AP-Ipsos poll found the race between Bush and Kerry remains close, with Bush's support at 46 percent, Kerry at 43 percent and independent candidate Ralph Nader at 7 percent.

    Despite recent encouraging economic news on both jobs and growth of the economy, support for Bush's handling of the economy was at 43 percent, the lowest number since Ipsos began tracking that question at the start of 2002.

    Support for Bush's handling of foreign policy and terrorism, usually his strongest area, was at 50 percent, down from 55 percent a month ago. The current level almost matched the 51 percent who approved last November, before the capture of Saddam Hussein.

    The poll also reports that, "Southerners and Republican women, two key Bush constituencies, have lost enthusiasm about his handling of foreign policy and terrorism."

    Posted by Eric at 08:47 AM | Comments (0)

    Bush By 3 in AP Poll

    And everyone's favorite Republican ally is getting 7 percent. AP/Ipsos:

    The AP-Ipsos poll found the race between Bush and Kerry remains close, with Bush's support at 46 percent, Kerry at 43 percent and independent candidate Ralph Nader at 7 percent.

    Despite recent encouraging economic news on both jobs and growth of the economy, support for Bush's handling of the economy was at 43 percent, the lowest number since Ipsos began tracking that question at the start of 2002.

    Support for Bush's handling of foreign policy and terrorism, usually his strongest area, was at 50 percent, down from 55 percent a month ago. The current level almost matched the 51 percent who approved last November, before the capture of Saddam Hussein.

    The poll also reports that, "Southerners and Republican women, two key Bush constituencies, have lost enthusiasm about his handling of foreign policy and terrorism."

    Posted by Eric at 08:47 AM | Comments (0)

    May 06, 2004

    Special Interests? Bush Outraises Kerry in Lobbyist Money By More Than 3:1 Margin

    According to the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity:

    President Bush has collected far more money from Washington lobbyists than Democratic rival John Kerry roughly $1.1 million to the challenger's $305,000, according to a nonpartisan group's study.

    In this election cycle, at least 704 federally registered lobbyists have given more than a million to Bush's 2004 campaign while Kerry has taken in slightly more than $305,000 from 263 lobbyists, said the Center for Public Integrity. The organization reviewed lobbying and campaign finance reports.

    Posted by Eric at 12:52 PM | Comments (0)

    Special Interests? Bush Outraises Kerry in Lobbyist Money By More Than 3:1 Margin

    According to the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity:

    President Bush has collected far more money from Washington lobbyists than Democratic rival John Kerry roughly $1.1 million to the challenger's $305,000, according to a nonpartisan group's study.

    In this election cycle, at least 704 federally registered lobbyists have given more than a million to Bush's 2004 campaign while Kerry has taken in slightly more than $305,000 from 263 lobbyists, said the Center for Public Integrity. The organization reviewed lobbying and campaign finance reports.

    Posted by Eric at 12:52 PM | Comments (0)

    Florida Purges Felons from Voter List

    As many as 40,000 will be taken off the voter rolls, by order of the Jeb Bush people:

    The state Division of Elections is turning the list over to local election supervisors in all 67 counties, and has ordered them to make sure to remove any felons whose voting rights have not been restored. The state says a preliminary check shows as many as 40,000 former felons are still registered to vote.

    ''As part of our quality assurance testing, felon and clemency information was run against a copy of the current voter registration database and has identified over 40,000 potential felon matches statewide,'' wrote Ed Kast, director of the state Division of Elections, in a memo sent out to election supervisors on Wednesday.

    The issue of felon voting became controversial after the contested 2000 presidential election, when critics said Florida used out-of-state lists to purge former felons, taking voting rights away from people who had committed crimes outside the state but had had their voting rights restored in those other states.

    During the 2000 election, some local election supervisors refused to purge their rolls based on the state list, saying they had no faith in how the list was compiled.

    So the effect?
    Any move to eliminate thousands of felons from voter lists would probably aid President Bush and Republican candidates. State records since 1990 show that even though blacks are nowhere near a majority of the state's population, they make up a majority of those serving time in state prisons. And a large majority of blacks traditionally vote Democratic.

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

    Florida Purges Felons from Voter List

    As many as 40,000 will be taken off the voter rolls, by order of the Jeb Bush people:

    The state Division of Elections is turning the list over to local election supervisors in all 67 counties, and has ordered them to make sure to remove any felons whose voting rights have not been restored. The state says a preliminary check shows as many as 40,000 former felons are still registered to vote.

    ''As part of our quality assurance testing, felon and clemency information was run against a copy of the current voter registration database and has identified over 40,000 potential felon matches statewide,'' wrote Ed Kast, director of the state Division of Elections, in a memo sent out to election supervisors on Wednesday.

    The issue of felon voting became controversial after the contested 2000 presidential election, when critics said Florida used out-of-state lists to purge former felons, taking voting rights away from people who had committed crimes outside the state but had had their voting rights restored in those other states.

    During the 2000 election, some local election supervisors refused to purge their rolls based on the state list, saying they had no faith in how the list was compiled.

    So the effect?
    Any move to eliminate thousands of felons from voter lists would probably aid President Bush and Republican candidates. State records since 1990 show that even though blacks are nowhere near a majority of the state's population, they make up a majority of those serving time in state prisons. And a large majority of blacks traditionally vote Democratic.

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

    May 05, 2004

    Bush Losing Approval

    Still, in a Quinnipiac University poll, Bush is leading Kerry:

    President Bush's approval rating hovers at an all time low, but if the election were held today more voters would still vote for Bush than his Democratic rival John Kerry, according to a poll published on Wednesday.

    The nationwide poll by Hamden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University found Republican Bush's lead over the Massachusetts senator had narrowed, but Kerry had not gained ground.

    If the Nov. 2 election were held today, 43 percent of the registered voters surveyed April 26-May 3 said they would vote for Bush, 40 percent for Kerry and 6 percent for independent Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate. Bush had a six-point lead over Kerry in the previous Quinnipiac poll published March 25 -- 46 percent to 40 percent.

    The poll found 46 percent of registered voters approve of the job Bush is doing and 47 percent disapprove. A CBS/New York Times survey released a week ago found the same result, which was down five points from early March and well below his 67 percent approval rating immediately after the fall of Baghdad a year ago.

    Posted by Eric at 06:47 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush Losing Approval

    Still, in a Quinnipiac University poll, Bush is leading Kerry:

    President Bush's approval rating hovers at an all time low, but if the election were held today more voters would still vote for Bush than his Democratic rival John Kerry, according to a poll published on Wednesday.

    The nationwide poll by Hamden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University found Republican Bush's lead over the Massachusetts senator had narrowed, but Kerry had not gained ground.

    If the Nov. 2 election were held today, 43 percent of the registered voters surveyed April 26-May 3 said they would vote for Bush, 40 percent for Kerry and 6 percent for independent Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate. Bush had a six-point lead over Kerry in the previous Quinnipiac poll published March 25 -- 46 percent to 40 percent.

    The poll found 46 percent of registered voters approve of the job Bush is doing and 47 percent disapprove. A CBS/New York Times survey released a week ago found the same result, which was down five points from early March and well below his 67 percent approval rating immediately after the fall of Baghdad a year ago.

    Posted by Eric at 06:47 PM | Comments (0)

    Nader Addressing the Important Issues

    Thank God for Ralph Nader, talking about the serious issues affecting this country that the mainstream media and Republicans and Democrats are too afraid to address.* WPost:

    Presidential candidate Ralph Nader called the advertisements on uniforms during Major League Baseball's season-opening series an "obscene embarrassment" and sent a letter of protest yesterday.

    "This overcommercialization is sapping the fun out of being a fan of major league baseball," Nader wrote in his letter to Commissioner Bud Selig. "Now, you have sunk to a greedy new low."

    The ads appeared on the uniform sleeves and caps of the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays during their two-game series in Tokyo on March 30-31.

    *sarcasm.

    Posted by Eric at 06:28 PM | Comments (0)

    Nader Addressing the Important Issues

    Thank God for Ralph Nader, talking about the serious issues affecting this country that the mainstream media and Republicans and Democrats are too afraid to address.* WPost:

    Presidential candidate Ralph Nader called the advertisements on uniforms during Major League Baseball's season-opening series an "obscene embarrassment" and sent a letter of protest yesterday.

    "This overcommercialization is sapping the fun out of being a fan of major league baseball," Nader wrote in his letter to Commissioner Bud Selig. "Now, you have sunk to a greedy new low."

    The ads appeared on the uniform sleeves and caps of the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays during their two-game series in Tokyo on March 30-31.

    *sarcasm.

    Posted by Eric at 06:28 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Leads in Rasmussen Poll

    47 - 43, in the daily tracking poll.

    Posted by Eric at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Leads in Rasmussen Poll

    47 - 43, in the daily tracking poll.

    Posted by Eric at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Wants to Challenge GOP at Convention

    Kerry getting tough? "Mr. Kerry will open a special New York office for the duration of the convention, and his campaign has already begun contacting local supporters, including Senator Hillary Clinton and City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, to coordinate a response to the G.O.P. gala." From the NY Observ:

    This early, combative approach to the convention, which will run from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 in Madison Square Garden, reflects a years shift in the national mood. When the Republican National Committee announced its choice of New York in January 2003, President Bushs approval rating was hovering at around 60 percent. "It seemed like a stroke of genius," said Democratic consultant Howard Wolfson of the G.O.P.s decision to bring its convention to New York for the first time. The Democrats choice of Boston for their convention seemed a retreat, and they could only rail against the President for trying to capitalize on the memory of Sept. 11 in the city hit hardest by the attacks. Since then, however, the Presidents approval ratings have sunk below 50 percent. The report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, due out a month before the convention, is expected to lay out opportunities the Bush administration missed to preempt the attacks. And continued unrest in Iraq has made the war on terror an open political issue.
    Bush, by the way, has no chance in NY.

    Posted by Eric at 09:49 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Wants to Challenge GOP at Convention

    Kerry getting tough? "Mr. Kerry will open a special New York office for the duration of the convention, and his campaign has already begun contacting local supporters, including Senator Hillary Clinton and City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, to coordinate a response to the G.O.P. gala." From the NY Observ:

    This early, combative approach to the convention, which will run from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 in Madison Square Garden, reflects a years shift in the national mood. When the Republican National Committee announced its choice of New York in January 2003, President Bushs approval rating was hovering at around 60 percent. "It seemed like a stroke of genius," said Democratic consultant Howard Wolfson of the G.O.P.s decision to bring its convention to New York for the first time. The Democrats choice of Boston for their convention seemed a retreat, and they could only rail against the President for trying to capitalize on the memory of Sept. 11 in the city hit hardest by the attacks. Since then, however, the Presidents approval ratings have sunk below 50 percent. The report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, due out a month before the convention, is expected to lay out opportunities the Bush administration missed to preempt the attacks. And continued unrest in Iraq has made the war on terror an open political issue.
    Bush, by the way, has no chance in NY.

    Posted by Eric at 09:49 AM | Comments (0)

    The Vanishing Vote?

    According to Greg Palast, because of some recent election reforms, 2004 will see similar vote spoiling to 2000. Especially affected will be the minority vote. From The Nation:

    That's Florida. Now let's talk about America. In the 2000 election, 1.9 million votes cast were never counted. Spoiled for technical reasons, like writing in Gore's name, machine malfunctions and so on. The reasons for ballot rejection vary, but there's a suspicious shading to the ballots tossed into the dumpster. Edley's team of Harvard experts discovered that just as in Florida, the number of ballots spoiled was--county by county, precinct by precinct--in direct proportion to the local black voting population.

    Florida's racial profile mirrors the nation's--both in the percentage of voters who are black and the racial profile of the voters whose ballots don't count. "In 2000, a black voter in Florida was ten times as likely to have their vote spoiled--not counted--as a white voter," explains political scientist Philip Klinkner, co-author of Edley's Harvard report. "National figures indicate that Florida is, surprisingly, typical. Given the proportion of nonwhite to white voters in America, then, it appears that about half of all ballots spoiled in the USA, as many as 1 million votes, were cast by nonwhite voters."

    So there you have it. In the last presidential election, approximately 1 million black and other minorities voted, and their ballots were thrown away. And they will be tossed again in November 2004, efficiently, by computer--because HAVA and other bogus reform measures, stressing reform through complex computerization, do not address, and in fact worsen, the racial bias of the uncounted vote.

    Posted by Eric at 05:09 AM | Comments (0)

    The Vanishing Vote?

    According to Greg Palast, because of some recent election reforms, 2004 will see similar vote spoiling to 2000. Especially affected will be the minority vote. From The Nation:

    That's Florida. Now let's talk about America. In the 2000 election, 1.9 million votes cast were never counted. Spoiled for technical reasons, like writing in Gore's name, machine malfunctions and so on. The reasons for ballot rejection vary, but there's a suspicious shading to the ballots tossed into the dumpster. Edley's team of Harvard experts discovered that just as in Florida, the number of ballots spoiled was--county by county, precinct by precinct--in direct proportion to the local black voting population.

    Florida's racial profile mirrors the nation's--both in the percentage of voters who are black and the racial profile of the voters whose ballots don't count. "In 2000, a black voter in Florida was ten times as likely to have their vote spoiled--not counted--as a white voter," explains political scientist Philip Klinkner, co-author of Edley's Harvard report. "National figures indicate that Florida is, surprisingly, typical. Given the proportion of nonwhite to white voters in America, then, it appears that about half of all ballots spoiled in the USA, as many as 1 million votes, were cast by nonwhite voters."

    So there you have it. In the last presidential election, approximately 1 million black and other minorities voted, and their ballots were thrown away. And they will be tossed again in November 2004, efficiently, by computer--because HAVA and other bogus reform measures, stressing reform through complex computerization, do not address, and in fact worsen, the racial bias of the uncounted vote.

    Posted by Eric at 05:09 AM | Comments (0)

    May 04, 2004

    Steve Jobs to Join Kerry

    The hip CEO is joining the Kerry economic team, SF Chronicle:

    Jobs' involvement is not a surprise, either, considering the Silicon Valley icon has the last Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Al Gore, sitting on Apple's six-person board of directors.

    Jobs also has been generous to the Democratic Party in recent years. Since 1996, he has donated more than $200,000 to the Democratic National Committee as well as individual Democrats such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, according to an online database managed by the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics.

    Jobs, who has double duty as CEO of both Cupertino's Apple Computer Inc. and Emeryville's Pixar Animation Studios, has been getting lots of attention lately as an executive who successfully bridged the gap between high tech and Hollywood.

    "I associate Jobs with something cutting edge and exciting," Pitney said. "And that's important for (Kerry), who often comes across as dull. He can stir up a crowd, but very often, he gets to be a wooden legislator."

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

    Steve Jobs to Join Kerry

    The hip CEO is joining the Kerry economic team, SF Chronicle:

    Jobs' involvement is not a surprise, either, considering the Silicon Valley icon has the last Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Al Gore, sitting on Apple's six-person board of directors.

    Jobs also has been generous to the Democratic Party in recent years. Since 1996, he has donated more than $200,000 to the Democratic National Committee as well as individual Democrats such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, according to an online database managed by the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics.

    Jobs, who has double duty as CEO of both Cupertino's Apple Computer Inc. and Emeryville's Pixar Animation Studios, has been getting lots of attention lately as an executive who successfully bridged the gap between high tech and Hollywood.

    "I associate Jobs with something cutting edge and exciting," Pitney said. "And that's important for (Kerry), who often comes across as dull. He can stir up a crowd, but very often, he gets to be a wooden legislator."

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

    Roy Moore, Oh Four?

    Will the conservative religious icon attempt a run for the White House, thus stealing a portion of Bush's base, ala Nader? Salon:

    Meanwhile, the 57-year-old Moore is acting more and more like a candidate as he crisscrosses the country, speaking at gatherings of Christian rightists, home-schoolers and state conventions of the far-right Constitution Party, which was on 41 state ballots in the 2000 election, and is courting Moore to head its ticket. If he ran on the Constitution Party ticket, he would probably be on more state ballots than Nader this year. With 320,000 members it is the third-largest party in the U.S, in terms of registered voters.

    Will the dynamics of the race change if Moore throws his hat in the ring? Hastings Wyman, a former aide to the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., and editor of the Southern Political Report, thinks so. Wyman told Salon that he thinks Moore has the potential to "do to Bush what Nader did to Gore." Other Republican and Democratic strategists aren't so sure, but no one thinks Bush can stand much erosion in his base. Certainly some Republican leaders take Moore seriously enough to quietly court him, hoping to keep him in the party and preserve the president's Christian far-right constituency.

    The deadline for Moore to declare himself is the June 22-26 Constitution Party national convention, in Valley Forge, Pa. Even a few months can be an eternity in politics. But in recent weeks, Moore has spoken to Constitution Party state conventions in Oregon, Montana, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Ohio. And a Moore for President Web site has popped up. Meanwhile, Moore, like many a pol before him, is keeping his finger to the wind and everyone at the edge of their seats.

    For Moore? Go to the website.

    Posted by Eric at 12:56 AM | Comments (0)

    Roy Moore, Oh Four?

    Will the conservative religious icon attempt a run for the White House, thus stealing a portion of Bush's base, ala Nader? Salon:

    Meanwhile, the 57-year-old Moore is acting more and more like a candidate as he crisscrosses the country, speaking at gatherings of Christian rightists, home-schoolers and state conventions of the far-right Constitution Party, which was on 41 state ballots in the 2000 election, and is courting Moore to head its ticket. If he ran on the Constitution Party ticket, he would probably be on more state ballots than Nader this year. With 320,000 members it is the third-largest party in the U.S, in terms of registered voters.

    Will the dynamics of the race change if Moore throws his hat in the ring? Hastings Wyman, a former aide to the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., and editor of the Southern Political Report, thinks so. Wyman told Salon that he thinks Moore has the potential to "do to Bush what Nader did to Gore." Other Republican and Democratic strategists aren't so sure, but no one thinks Bush can stand much erosion in his base. Certainly some Republican leaders take Moore seriously enough to quietly court him, hoping to keep him in the party and preserve the president's Christian far-right constituency.

    The deadline for Moore to declare himself is the June 22-26 Constitution Party national convention, in Valley Forge, Pa. Even a few months can be an eternity in politics. But in recent weeks, Moore has spoken to Constitution Party state conventions in Oregon, Montana, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Ohio. And a Moore for President Web site has popped up. Meanwhile, Moore, like many a pol before him, is keeping his finger to the wind and everyone at the edge of their seats.

    For Moore? Go to the website.

    Posted by Eric at 12:56 AM | Comments (0)

    May 03, 2004

    New Kerry Ads

    These are the new ads, with 25m behind them.

    Posted by Eric at 04:28 PM | Comments (0)

    New Kerry Ads

    These are the new ads, with 25m behind them.

    Posted by Eric at 04:28 PM | Comments (0)

    Familiar Faces in VP Hunt

    According to Newsweek, several former Dems seeking the nomination are being considered for the VP slot:

    In the meantime, behind the scenes, Team Kerry has stepped up the pace of the search for a running mate. Jim Johnson, a longtime friend of Kerry's, is supervising the process, which has fully vetted two contenders so far, Rep. Dick Gephardt and Sen. John Edwards. A third is undergoing the process now, NEWSWEEK has learned. He is retired Gen. Wesley Clarka further sign of Kerry's interest in the commander theme. And the tight-lipped Johnson, NEWSWEEK has learned, privately expressed considerable interest several weeks ago in Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa, who meets several veeply criteria: he's close to Kerry (having helped him win Iowa), he's Roman Catholic (which has become a major plus in national politics) and he's a geographical twofer, having been reared in western Pennsylvania, a key battleground. One insider predicts that Kerry will pick someone by the end of this monthextraordinarily early but perhaps an urgent necessity to fend off GOP attacks.

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

    Familiar Faces in VP Hunt

    According to Newsweek, several former Dems seeking the nomination are being considered for the VP slot:

    In the meantime, behind the scenes, Team Kerry has stepped up the pace of the search for a running mate. Jim Johnson, a longtime friend of Kerry's, is supervising the process, which has fully vetted two contenders so far, Rep. Dick Gephardt and Sen. John Edwards. A third is undergoing the process now, NEWSWEEK has learned. He is retired Gen. Wesley Clarka further sign of Kerry's interest in the commander theme. And the tight-lipped Johnson, NEWSWEEK has learned, privately expressed considerable interest several weeks ago in Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa, who meets several veeply criteria: he's close to Kerry (having helped him win Iowa), he's Roman Catholic (which has become a major plus in national politics) and he's a geographical twofer, having been reared in western Pennsylvania, a key battleground. One insider predicts that Kerry will pick someone by the end of this monthextraordinarily early but perhaps an urgent necessity to fend off GOP attacks.

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

    Kerry to Buy $25m in Ads

    In May, to air all over the place. From the AP:

    The buy for ads running from Sunday through May 27 is the single-largest purchase of airtime yet this year by either presidential campaign. However, President Bush spent almost double that in multiple buys in March, his first month on the air.

    In all, Bush has poured more than $60 million into TV and radio ads since early March, compared to $17 million for Kerry during the same time period ...

    The Massachusetts senator has been airing moderate levels of ads on local broadcast channels in select media markets in 17 battleground states. But starting later this week, he will run new 60-second ads in all media markets in those states, plus in Louisiana and Colorado, according to Democratic sources familiar with the buy.

    The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the two new ads - one that focuses on aspects of Kerry's life such as his Vietnam service and another that talks primarily about his top issues - also will run on national cable networks.

    Recent John Kerry ads .

    Posted by Eric at 01:11 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry to Buy $25m in Ads

    In May, to air all over the place. From the AP:

    The buy for ads running from Sunday through May 27 is the single-largest purchase of airtime yet this year by either presidential campaign. However, President Bush spent almost double that in multiple buys in March, his first month on the air.

    In all, Bush has poured more than $60 million into TV and radio ads since early March, compared to $17 million for Kerry during the same time period ...

    The Massachusetts senator has been airing moderate levels of ads on local broadcast channels in select media markets in 17 battleground states. But starting later this week, he will run new 60-second ads in all media markets in those states, plus in Louisiana and Colorado, according to Democratic sources familiar with the buy.

    The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the two new ads - one that focuses on aspects of Kerry's life such as his Vietnam service and another that talks primarily about his top issues - also will run on national cable networks.

    Recent John Kerry ads .

    Posted by Eric at 01:11 AM | Comments (0)

    Buffett to Join Kerry Camp

    However, he says his role will be limited. From Reuters:

    Buffett said Kerry had asked him three weeks ago if he would be part of an economic advisory council that includes Robert Rubin, who was Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration. Buffett said he had accepted.

    Buffett, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes at $42.9 billion, said he was not likely to have much contact with Kerry and expected to play a limited role.

    He said that he believed the election would be more about Bush than about Kerry.

    "I personally think our election will be a referendum on George W. Bush," Buffett said. "The Kerry campaign is much less important than how people feel about Bush."

    Posted by Eric at 01:06 AM | Comments (0)

    Buffett to Join Kerry Camp

    However, he says his role will be limited. From Reuters:

    Buffett said Kerry had asked him three weeks ago if he would be part of an economic advisory council that includes Robert Rubin, who was Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration. Buffett said he had accepted.

    Buffett, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes at $42.9 billion, said he was not likely to have much contact with Kerry and expected to play a limited role.

    He said that he believed the election would be more about Bush than about Kerry.

    "I personally think our election will be a referendum on George W. Bush," Buffett said. "The Kerry campaign is much less important than how people feel about Bush."

    Posted by Eric at 01:06 AM | Comments (0)

    May 01, 2004

    Cali Tackles E-Voting

    Diebold Election Systems is coming under fire by the state's top election official, reports the AP:

    The states top election official called for a criminal investigation of Diebold Election Systems Inc. as he banned use of the companys newest model touchscreen voting machine, citing concerns about its security and reliability. Fridays ban will force up to 2 million voters in four counties, including San Diego, to use paper ballots in November, marking their choices in ovals read by optical scanners.


    Secretary of State Kevin Shelley asked the attorney generals office to investigate allegations of fraud, saying Diebold had lied to state officials. A spokesman for Attorney General Bill Lockyer said prosecutors would review Shelleys claims ...

    A number of failures involving touchscreen machines in Georgia, Maryland and California have spurred serious questioning of the technology. As currently configured, the machines lack paper records, making recounts impossible.

    BlackBoxVoring.org is one of the leading watchdogs of voting fraud.

    Posted by Eric at 03:28 AM | Comments (0)

    Cali Tackles E-Voting

    Diebold Election Systems is coming under fire by the state's top election official, reports the AP:

    The states top election official called for a criminal investigation of Diebold Election Systems Inc. as he banned use of the companys newest model touchscreen voting machine, citing concerns about its security and reliability. Fridays ban will force up to 2 million voters in four counties, including San Diego, to use paper ballots in November, marking their choices in ovals read by optical scanners.


    Secretary of State Kevin Shelley asked the attorney generals office to investigate allegations of fraud, saying Diebold had lied to state officials. A spokesman for Attorney General Bill Lockyer said prosecutors would review Shelleys claims ...

    A number of failures involving touchscreen machines in Georgia, Maryland and California have spurred serious questioning of the technology. As currently configured, the machines lack paper records, making recounts impossible.

    BlackBoxVoring.org is one of the leading watchdogs of voting fraud.

    Posted by Eric at 03:28 AM | Comments (0)

    April 28, 2004

    Simmons to March at GOP Convention

    From MTV:

    On August 30, the same day the Republican National Convention commences in the Big Apple, Simmons and his Hip-Hop Summit Action Network are planning to hold "The March on New York."

    According to a spokesperson for the HHSAN, Simmons' organization is planning for tens of thousands to converge on NYC, and is calling out to people all over the world to participate. The group is expecting that members of the hip-hop community will have a particularly strong presence at the march. So far no artists are confirmed, but the HHSAN says it will announce names throughout the summer.

    The three main topics Simmons wants to address at the March on New York are the three he's been speaking about most ardently for the past year: the elimination of the Rockefeller drug laws (see "Diddy, Jay-Z, Susan Sarandon Rally Against New York Drug Laws"), national funding for deprived schools across the country, and voter registration.

    Posted by Eric at 01:54 AM | Comments (0)

    Simmons to March at GOP Convention

    From MTV:

    On August 30, the same day the Republican National Convention commences in the Big Apple, Simmons and his Hip-Hop Summit Action Network are planning to hold "The March on New York."

    According to a spokesperson for the HHSAN, Simmons' organization is planning for tens of thousands to converge on NYC, and is calling out to people all over the world to participate. The group is expecting that members of the hip-hop community will have a particularly strong presence at the march. So far no artists are confirmed, but the HHSAN says it will announce names throughout the summer.

    The three main topics Simmons wants to address at the March on New York are the three he's been speaking about most ardently for the past year: the elimination of the Rockefeller drug laws (see "Diddy, Jay-Z, Susan Sarandon Rally Against New York Drug Laws"), national funding for deprived schools across the country, and voter registration.

    Posted by Eric at 01:54 AM | Comments (0)

    Gen. Clark Responds

    But what would he know about military service and patriotism? Karen Hughes is much better qualified. Clark:

    The evaluations were uniformly glowing. One commander wrote that Mr. Kerry ranked among "the top few" in three categories: initiative, cooperation and personal behavior. Another commander wrote, "In a combat environment often requiring independent, decisive action, Lt. j.g. Kerry was unsurpassed." The citation for Mr. Kerry's Bronze Star praises his "calmness, professionalism and great personal courage under fire."

    In the United States military, there's no ideology there are no labels, Republican or Democrat when superiors evaluate a man or woman's service to country. Mr. Kerry's commander for a brief time, Grant Hibbard, now a Republican, gave Mr. Kerry top marks 36 years ago ... Although President Bush has not engaged personally in such accusations, he has done nothing to stop others from making them. I believe those who didn't serve, or didn't show up for service, should have the decency to respect those who did serve often under the most dangerous conditions, with bravery and, yes, with undeniable patriotism.

    Posted by Eric at 01:51 AM | Comments (0)

    Gen. Clark Responds

    But what would he know about military service and patriotism? Karen Hughes is much better qualified. Clark:

    The evaluations were uniformly glowing. One commander wrote that Mr. Kerry ranked among "the top few" in three categories: initiative, cooperation and personal behavior. Another commander wrote, "In a combat environment often requiring independent, decisive action, Lt. j.g. Kerry was unsurpassed." The citation for Mr. Kerry's Bronze Star praises his "calmness, professionalism and great personal courage under fire."

    In the United States military, there's no ideology there are no labels, Republican or Democrat when superiors evaluate a man or woman's service to country. Mr. Kerry's commander for a brief time, Grant Hibbard, now a Republican, gave Mr. Kerry top marks 36 years ago ... Although President Bush has not engaged personally in such accusations, he has done nothing to stop others from making them. I believe those who didn't serve, or didn't show up for service, should have the decency to respect those who did serve often under the most dangerous conditions, with bravery and, yes, with undeniable patriotism.

    Posted by Eric at 01:51 AM | Comments (0)

    April 26, 2004

    Bush Continues Attacks on Kerry's National Security Creds

    From Reuters:

    The Bush campaign produced a new television advertisement for 18 battleground states and national cable and Vice President Dick
    Cheney went on the offensive with a Missouri speech attacking Kerry.

    "As our troops defend America in the war on terror, they must have what it takes to win," the narrator says in the ad, as U.S. troops in the
    video run across a desert landscape.

    "Yet John Kerry has repeatedly opposed weapons vital to winning the war on terror: Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Patriot missiles, B-2 Stealth
    bombers, F-18 fighter jets and more," the ad says. Each weapon disappears as it is mentioned.

    For his part, Cheney cited specific votes by Kerry for either cancelling weapons systems or cutting funding for them: the Apache helicopter,
    the Aegis cruiser, Tomahawk cruise missiles, Blackhawk helicopters and the Predator drone.

    Posted by Eric at 06:19 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush Continues Attacks on Kerry's National Security Creds

    From Reuters:

    The Bush campaign produced a new television advertisement for 18 battleground states and national cable and Vice President Dick
    Cheney went on the offensive with a Missouri speech attacking Kerry.

    "As our troops defend America in the war on terror, they must have what it takes to win," the narrator says in the ad, as U.S. troops in the
    video run across a desert landscape.

    "Yet John Kerry has repeatedly opposed weapons vital to winning the war on terror: Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Patriot missiles, B-2 Stealth
    bombers, F-18 fighter jets and more," the ad says. Each weapon disappears as it is mentioned.

    For his part, Cheney cited specific votes by Kerry for either cancelling weapons systems or cutting funding for them: the Apache helicopter,
    the Aegis cruiser, Tomahawk cruise missiles, Blackhawk helicopters and the Predator drone.

    Posted by Eric at 06:19 PM | Comments (0)

    John Kerry vs. George W. Bush

    Is there a choice? From the John Kerry camp:

    John Kerry will protect a woman's right to choose by opposing judicial nominees who refuse to uphold Roe v. Wade.
    Kerry believes that women have the right to control their own bodies. He believes that the Constitution protects a woman's right to choose and to make their reproductive choices in consultation with their doctor, their conscience, and their God. As Senator, Kerry promised to filibuster any Supreme Court nominee who would "turn back the clock on a woman's right to choose or the constitutional right to privacy, on civil rights and individual liberties and on the laws protecting workers and the environment." Based on this commitment to protecting women's rights, NARAL and Planned Parenthood gave Kerry a perfect 100 percent rating for his strong voting record. As president, John Kerry will fight Congressional attempts to chip away at a woman's right to choose, and he will only appoint judges who would uphold Roe v. Wade. [NARAL Scorecards 104th Congress-Present; Planned Parenthood Action Fund Congressional Scorecard, 2003; Associated Press, 6/20/03]

    George Bush consistently appoints judges who want to turn back the clock on a woman's right to choose.
    Bush has said that he wants to appoint more lifetime justices in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the two most anti-choice justices on the Supreme Court. Just this year, Bush nominated Alabama Attorney General William Pryor to the appeals court, even though Pryor stated that Roe v. Wade was "the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history." To make matters worse, he claimed that the landmark decision "ripped the Constitution and ripped out the life of millions of unborn children." When the Senate blocked Pryor's confirmation, Bush took the extraordinary step of installing him on the court during a Congressional recess without the Senate's approval. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/21/04; CBS Face the Nation, 1/23/00]

    Posted by Eric at 12:38 AM | Comments (0)

    John Kerry vs. George W. Bush

    Is there a choice? From the John Kerry camp:

    John Kerry will protect a woman's right to choose by opposing judicial nominees who refuse to uphold Roe v. Wade.
    Kerry believes that women have the right to control their own bodies. He believes that the Constitution protects a woman's right to choose and to make their reproductive choices in consultation with their doctor, their conscience, and their God. As Senator, Kerry promised to filibuster any Supreme Court nominee who would "turn back the clock on a woman's right to choose or the constitutional right to privacy, on civil rights and individual liberties and on the laws protecting workers and the environment." Based on this commitment to protecting women's rights, NARAL and Planned Parenthood gave Kerry a perfect 100 percent rating for his strong voting record. As president, John Kerry will fight Congressional attempts to chip away at a woman's right to choose, and he will only appoint judges who would uphold Roe v. Wade. [NARAL Scorecards 104th Congress-Present; Planned Parenthood Action Fund Congressional Scorecard, 2003; Associated Press, 6/20/03]

    George Bush consistently appoints judges who want to turn back the clock on a woman's right to choose.
    Bush has said that he wants to appoint more lifetime justices in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the two most anti-choice justices on the Supreme Court. Just this year, Bush nominated Alabama Attorney General William Pryor to the appeals court, even though Pryor stated that Roe v. Wade was "the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history." To make matters worse, he claimed that the landmark decision "ripped the Constitution and ripped out the life of millions of unborn children." When the Senate blocked Pryor's confirmation, Bush took the extraordinary step of installing him on the court during a Congressional recess without the Senate's approval. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/21/04; CBS Face the Nation, 1/23/00]

    Posted by Eric at 12:38 AM | Comments (0)

    April 21, 2004

    Heinz donations go to Bush, not Kerry

    So complain away. AP:

    Although John F. Kerry's wife is an heir to the H.J. Heinz Co. fortune, members of the board of the Fortune 500 company and its corporate political action committee have donated thousands of dollars to Republicans in recent years, including contributions to the Bush campaign. The corporate PAC has given nothing to Kerry. Republicans, meanwhile, have criticized the Pittsburgh-based company's job cuts and overseas moves -- an effort to taint the presumptive Democratic nominee with the conglomerate's business practices. Teresa Heinz Kerry gained much of her $500 million portfolio through her Heinz inheritance, but she does not serve on the board and is not involved with the management of the company.

    Posted by Eric at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

    Heinz donations go to Bush, not Kerry

    So complain away. AP:

    Although John F. Kerry's wife is an heir to the H.J. Heinz Co. fortune, members of the board of the Fortune 500 company and its corporate political action committee have donated thousands of dollars to Republicans in recent years, including contributions to the Bush campaign. The corporate PAC has given nothing to Kerry. Republicans, meanwhile, have criticized the Pittsburgh-based company's job cuts and overseas moves -- an effort to taint the presumptive Democratic nominee with the conglomerate's business practices. Teresa Heinz Kerry gained much of her $500 million portfolio through her Heinz inheritance, but she does not serve on the board and is not involved with the management of the company.

    Posted by Eric at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

    April 19, 2004

    Bush Trounced in New York

    Where something happened - Oh, I forget - that Bush enjoys referencing during his ads. AP:

    The statewide poll, from Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion, showed Sen. John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat, leading President Bush, 56 percent to 38 percent. With third-party candidate Ralph Nader in the race, Kerry leads the Republican president, 54 percent to 37 percent, with Nader collecting 5 percent of the vote ... The findings from Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based Marist mirror those of a statewide poll released last week by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. The Quinnipiac pollsters had Kerry leading Bush, 53 percent to 36 percent.

    "New York is clearly not in play" for Bush, said Lee Miringoff, head of the Marist Institute.

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

    Bush Trounced in New York

    Where something happened - Oh, I forget - that Bush enjoys referencing during his ads. AP:

    The statewide poll, from Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion, showed Sen. John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat, leading President Bush, 56 percent to 38 percent. With third-party candidate Ralph Nader in the race, Kerry leads the Republican president, 54 percent to 37 percent, with Nader collecting 5 percent of the vote ... The findings from Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based Marist mirror those of a statewide poll released last week by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. The Quinnipiac pollsters had Kerry leading Bush, 53 percent to 36 percent.

    "New York is clearly not in play" for Bush, said Lee Miringoff, head of the Marist Institute.

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

    John Kerry on MTP

    Here.

    Posted by Eric at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

    John Kerry on MTP

    Here.

    Posted by Eric at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

    April 15, 2004

    Kerry to Rumsfeld: "Troops are not chess pieces"

    Rumsfeld said this in a press conference:

    QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, can I ask you about your opening statement? You said that the challenge in Fallujah is being contained and that the situation in the South is largely stabilized. and I wonder if that is the case, why, then is it necessary to keep extra troops in Iraq for 90 days?

    RUMSFELD: Well, it is -- the reason it is contained is because we have the extra troops there. That is self-evident. Come on, people are fungible. You can have them here or there.

    We have announced the judgment, it is clear, you understand it, everyone in the room understands that we needed additional -- The commander decided he'd like to retain in country an additional plus or minus 20,000 people and that is what we are doing.

    So Kerry responds with this statement:
    ''Secretary Rumsfeld's comment that 'people are fungible' is further indication of this Administration's continuing disregard for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day in Iraq. Secretary Rumsfeld has it wrong. Troops are not chess pieces to be moved on a board, they are real people with families and loved ones who depend on them. From failing to provide our troops with adequate body and vehicle armor to breaking their commitment not to extend assignments beyond one year, this Administration has continually let them down. They deserve more than cold impersonal calculations when their tours are extended, they deserve compassion and understanding of the sacrifice they and their families are making for their country. Our troops are asked to serve in an action where the Administration can't even tell them what the plan is to move forward. They are key to our success in Iraq and deserve more from their leaders.''

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

    Kerry to Rumsfeld: "Troops are not chess pieces"

    Rumsfeld said this in a press conference:

    QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, can I ask you about your opening statement? You said that the challenge in Fallujah is being contained and that the situation in the South is largely stabilized. and I wonder if that is the case, why, then is it necessary to keep extra troops in Iraq for 90 days?

    RUMSFELD: Well, it is -- the reason it is contained is because we have the extra troops there. That is self-evident. Come on, people are fungible. You can have them here or there.

    We have announced the judgment, it is clear, you understand it, everyone in the room understands that we needed additional -- The commander decided he'd like to retain in country an additional plus or minus 20,000 people and that is what we are doing.

    So Kerry responds with this statement:
    ''Secretary Rumsfeld's comment that 'people are fungible' is further indication of this Administration's continuing disregard for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day in Iraq. Secretary Rumsfeld has it wrong. Troops are not chess pieces to be moved on a board, they are real people with families and loved ones who depend on them. From failing to provide our troops with adequate body and vehicle armor to breaking their commitment not to extend assignments beyond one year, this Administration has continually let them down. They deserve more than cold impersonal calculations when their tours are extended, they deserve compassion and understanding of the sacrifice they and their families are making for their country. Our troops are asked to serve in an action where the Administration can't even tell them what the plan is to move forward. They are key to our success in Iraq and deserve more from their leaders.''

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

    April 13, 2004

    Kerry Win in Iowa?

    According to Iowa columnist David Yepsen, "Bush faces an uphill battle here in November." Among other reasons why ...

    * According to a Rasmussen Reports Poll of 500 likely Iowa voters taken March 23, Democrat John Kerry leads Bush 51 percent to 41 percent; 2 percent were for other candidates and 5 percent weren't sure. The survey has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.

    Also, an Iowa Poll that was taken by The Des Moines Register in February showed Kerry leading Bush, 49 percent to 42 percent. Bush's deficit is growing here, and that's before he hit a rough patch in Iraq.

    * Bush's television ad spending, once thought to be a trump card for the president, is effectively being countered by the ads from left-of-center groups that are allegedly not part of Kerry's campaign. Exact figures aren't available, but just watching a little television in Iowa suggests the two sides are at parity.

    * Democrats and their constituency groups have superior absentee-ballot and get-out-the vote programs in Iowa. Nothing new there. GOP strategists concede the fact. But the Kerry side is expanding its effort. Groups such as Americans Coming Together or the Iowa Citizen Action Network and assorted women, youth, Latino and union operations plan on registering more anti-Bush voters. No comparable effort can be found on the Republican/con- servative side.

    Posted by Eric at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Win in Iowa?

    According to Iowa columnist David Yepsen, "Bush faces an uphill battle here in November." Among other reasons why ...

    * According to a Rasmussen Reports Poll of 500 likely Iowa voters taken March 23, Democrat John Kerry leads Bush 51 percent to 41 percent; 2 percent were for other candidates and 5 percent weren't sure. The survey has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.

    Also, an Iowa Poll that was taken by The Des Moines Register in February showed Kerry leading Bush, 49 percent to 42 percent. Bush's deficit is growing here, and that's before he hit a rough patch in Iraq.

    * Bush's television ad spending, once thought to be a trump card for the president, is effectively being countered by the ads from left-of-center groups that are allegedly not part of Kerry's campaign. Exact figures aren't available, but just watching a little television in Iowa suggests the two sides are at parity.

    * Democrats and their constituency groups have superior absentee-ballot and get-out-the vote programs in Iowa. Nothing new there. GOP strategists concede the fact. But the Kerry side is expanding its effort. Groups such as Americans Coming Together or the Iowa Citizen Action Network and assorted women, youth, Latino and union operations plan on registering more anti-Bush voters. No comparable effort can be found on the Republican/con- servative side.

    Posted by Eric at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)

    April 07, 2004

    Kerry Promises Fiscal Responsibility

    Kerry spoke at Georgetown University (hm) in Washington, CNN:

    Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry promised Wednesday he would cut the federal budget deficit before it becomes a "fiscal cancer" that undermines the U.S. economy.

    Kerry said he would raise taxes on the richest Americans, restrain spending, crack down on tax loopholes for companies that move jobs overseas and eliminate corporate welfare to cut the deficit -- now expected to run about $480 billion this year -- in half in four years.

    "We can't restore fiscal responsibility unless we have a president willing to bring our divided parties together, and ready to be straight with the public about what we can and can't afford," the four-term senator from Massachusetts told a Georgetown University audience.

    Most of the ideas Kerry has proposed earlier, but Kerry used the speech to tie them together and focus on the government's red ink.Kerry's prior comments on Bush and spending

    The Bush campaign dismissed the speech as a "political gimmick," saying Kerry's record in the Senate belies any interest in fiscal discipline.

    Posted by Eric at 07:03 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Promises Fiscal Responsibility

    Kerry spoke at Georgetown University (hm) in Washington, CNN:

    Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry promised Wednesday he would cut the federal budget deficit before it becomes a "fiscal cancer" that undermines the U.S. economy.

    Kerry said he would raise taxes on the richest Americans, restrain spending, crack down on tax loopholes for companies that move jobs overseas and eliminate corporate welfare to cut the deficit -- now expected to run about $480 billion this year -- in half in four years.

    "We can't restore fiscal responsibility unless we have a president willing to bring our divided parties together, and ready to be straight with the public about what we can and can't afford," the four-term senator from Massachusetts told a Georgetown University audience.

    Most of the ideas Kerry has proposed earlier, but Kerry used the speech to tie them together and focus on the government's red ink.Kerry's prior comments on Bush and spending

    The Bush campaign dismissed the speech as a "political gimmick," saying Kerry's record in the Senate belies any interest in fiscal discipline.

    Posted by Eric at 07:03 PM | Comments (0)

    A New Bush Low

    Now that's just low. Eh, Newsday?

    With Bush hoping to win re-election as a wartime president, political analysts say continued violence in Iraq could threaten Bush's hold on the White House. Unfortunately for Bush, the news from the military campaign isn't any better, as even his own generals now are raising a politically explosive topic for an election year: The United States might need to send more troops to Iraq ... This week's events also have given ammunition to Democrats like Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, a leading opponent of the war, who on Monday called Iraq "Bush's Vietnam." Bush's presidential rival, Sen. John Kerry, hasn't gone that far but called the June 30 deadline "a fiction" devised to hand over Iraqi control well before the presidential election.

    Some polls suggest the Democratic arguments are taking hold. Bush's overall job approval has dropped to 43 percent, a low point for his presidency, and more than half of Americans disapprove of the way he is handling Iraq, according to a poll released Monday by the Pew Research Center.

    The report from Pew.

    Posted by Eric at 01:06 AM | Comments (0)

    A New Bush Low

    Now that's just low. Eh, Newsday?

    With Bush hoping to win re-election as a wartime president, political analysts say continued violence in Iraq could threaten Bush's hold on the White House. Unfortunately for Bush, the news from the military campaign isn't any better, as even his own generals now are raising a politically explosive topic for an election year: The United States might need to send more troops to Iraq ... This week's events also have given ammunition to Democrats like Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, a leading opponent of the war, who on Monday called Iraq "Bush's Vietnam." Bush's presidential rival, Sen. John Kerry, hasn't gone that far but called the June 30 deadline "a fiction" devised to hand over Iraqi control well before the presidential election.

    Some polls suggest the Democratic arguments are taking hold. Bush's overall job approval has dropped to 43 percent, a low point for his presidency, and more than half of Americans disapprove of the way he is handling Iraq, according to a poll released Monday by the Pew Research Center.

    The report from Pew.

    Posted by Eric at 01:06 AM | Comments (0)

    April 06, 2004

    President Using Full Incumbency Advantage

    From the AP:

    The Treasury Department analyzes Sen. John Kerry's tax proposals and the numbers soon find their way to the Republican National Committee.

    The Health and Human Services Department spends millions on ads promoting President George W. Bush's prescription drug plan. The House Resources Committee posts a diatribe against Kerry's "absurd" energy ideas on its government-funded Web site.

    In the time-honored tradition of presidents past, Bush is using the resources of the federal government to promote his re-election. Some critics say the president is going beyond his predecessors in using government means to accomplish political ends.

    But what about in comparison to other presidents?
    "What this administration has done is taken trends from the past and then projected them into the stratosphere," said Allan Lichtman, a presidential scholar at American University. "We've never seen a political operation like this White House does, and that includes the maximum use of government resources."

    Posted by Eric at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

    President Using Full Incumbency Advantage

    From the AP:

    The Treasury Department analyzes Sen. John Kerry's tax proposals and the numbers soon find their way to the Republican National Committee.

    The Health and Human Services Department spends millions on ads promoting President George W. Bush's prescription drug plan. The House Resources Committee posts a diatribe against Kerry's "absurd" energy ideas on its government-funded Web site.

    In the time-honored tradition of presidents past, Bush is using the resources of the federal government to promote his re-election. Some critics say the president is going beyond his predecessors in using government means to accomplish political ends.

    But what about in comparison to other presidents?
    "What this administration has done is taken trends from the past and then projected them into the stratosphere," said Allan Lichtman, a presidential scholar at American University. "We've never seen a political operation like this White House does, and that includes the maximum use of government resources."

    Posted by Eric at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

    State Poll Numbers

    See Kos for 6 state polls on Bush v. Kerry

    Posted by Eric at 12:45 AM | Comments (0)

    State Poll Numbers

    See Kos for 6 state polls on Bush v. Kerry

    Posted by Eric at 12:45 AM | Comments (0)

    Nader Fails in Oregon Bid

    Aw, Ralphie! In a state very familiar with him, Ralph threw a party, but only 741 people showed up. AP

    Ralph Nader (news - web sites) failed to qualify for Oregon's presidential ballot on Monday when fewer than 1,000 people showed up at a Portland gathering to sign their names to petitions. But aides to the independent presidential candidate said he would try again.

    A total of 741 people came to a Portland theater to sign the petitions 259 fewer than those the veteran consumer advocate needed to qualify for the Oregon ballot, said state elections director John Lindback.

    "Even the best basketball player doesn't get a slam-dunk every time," Nader told the crowd, acknowledging the numbers fell short.

    The low turnout is a blow for Nader, who has been counting on using his traditional strong showing in Oregon to make it the first state to put him on the 2004 ballot.

    Greg Kafoury, head of Nader's Oregon campaign, said Nader would not abandon his quest to qualify for the state's ballot.

    He said Nader would make use of another option under Oregon law collecting 15,000 signatures over a three-month period, rather than 1,000 signatures at a single gathering.

    Posted by Eric at 12:11 AM | Comments (0)

    Nader Fails in Oregon Bid

    Aw, Ralphie! In a state very familiar with him, Ralph threw a party, but only 741 people showed up. AP

    Ralph Nader (news - web sites) failed to qualify for Oregon's presidential ballot on Monday when fewer than 1,000 people showed up at a Portland gathering to sign their names to petitions. But aides to the independent presidential candidate said he would try again.

    A total of 741 people came to a Portland theater to sign the petitions 259 fewer than those the veteran consumer advocate needed to qualify for the Oregon ballot, said state elections director John Lindback.

    "Even the best basketball player doesn't get a slam-dunk every time," Nader told the crowd, acknowledging the numbers fell short.

    The low turnout is a blow for Nader, who has been counting on using his traditional strong showing in Oregon to make it the first state to put him on the 2004 ballot.

    Greg Kafoury, head of Nader's Oregon campaign, said Nader would not abandon his quest to qualify for the state's ballot.

    He said Nader would make use of another option under Oregon law collecting 15,000 signatures over a three-month period, rather than 1,000 signatures at a single gathering.

    Posted by Eric at 12:11 AM | Comments (0)

    April 05, 2004

    Kerry in Colorado?

    Some strategists are saying that the state could become a battleground, though many have previously shrugged the state off. Rocky Mountain News:

    Leading Colorado Democrats are urging the Kerry campaign to spend time and money in the state, where President Bush won 51 percent of the vote in 2000. They've believed Bush is ripe for an upset since last summer.

    Kerry is listening. Campaign strategists are considering airing ads and sending paid organizers to the state. Colorado, a deputy campaign manager says, ranks with Louisiana and Arkansas as states where Kerry wasn't expected to compete with Bush - but could now.

    Republicans and some local political analysts say Colorado is still safely Bush country. A new poll by the Rocky Mountain News and News 4 shows the president leading Kerry by 9 points in the state.

    But some of the nation's most respected pundits say the race here could be close, based in part on two other recent polls that show Kerry and Bush statistically tied in Colorado.

    Charlie Cook, who edits the Cook Political Report in Washington, D.C., says Colorado could be in 2004 what Florida was in 2000: a once-Republican lock that goes up for grabs faster than expected.

    Posted by Eric at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry in Colorado?

    Some strategists are saying that the state could become a battleground, though many have previously shrugged the state off. Rocky Mountain News:

    Leading Colorado Democrats are urging the Kerry campaign to spend time and money in the state, where President Bush won 51 percent of the vote in 2000. They've believed Bush is ripe for an upset since last summer.

    Kerry is listening. Campaign strategists are considering airing ads and sending paid organizers to the state. Colorado, a deputy campaign manager says, ranks with Louisiana and Arkansas as states where Kerry wasn't expected to compete with Bush - but could now.

    Republicans and some local political analysts say Colorado is still safely Bush country. A new poll by the Rocky Mountain News and News 4 shows the president leading Kerry by 9 points in the state.

    But some of the nation's most respected pundits say the race here could be close, based in part on two other recent polls that show Kerry and Bush statistically tied in Colorado.

    Charlie Cook, who edits the Cook Political Report in Washington, D.C., says Colorado could be in 2004 what Florida was in 2000: a once-Republican lock that goes up for grabs faster than expected.

    Posted by Eric at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Commands Big Lead Among Hispanics

    The Miami Herald finds it at 58-33:

    The presumptive Democratic nominee held a 58 percent to 33 percent lead over Bush among voters who identify themselves as Hispanic in a poll for The Miami Herald. The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted March 29-31 and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

    Despite the advantage, strategists say Kerry must hold Bush's support among Hispanic-Americans to less than 35 percent to have a shot of winning the White House in November. Bush narrowly won the presidency in part by taking a sliver of the traditionally Democratic Hispanic base and drawing 35 percent of its vote in 2000.

    "The Hispanic vote is borderline for Kerry and it's borderline for the president," said pollster John Zogby of Zogby International, which conducted the poll. "Nothing is going to make this one easy to predict."

    But the Kerry campaign was encouraged by the results.

    "John Kerry is going to do very well among Hispanic voters in South Florida and across the country because they have felt very acutely the impact of George Bush's failed policies and broken promises," Kerry spokesman Mark Kornblau said.

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

    Kerry Commands Big Lead Among Hispanics

    The Miami Herald finds it at 58-33:

    The presumptive Democratic nominee held a 58 percent to 33 percent lead over Bush among voters who identify themselves as Hispanic in a poll for The Miami Herald. The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted March 29-31 and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

    Despite the advantage, strategists say Kerry must hold Bush's support among Hispanic-Americans to less than 35 percent to have a shot of winning the White House in November. Bush narrowly won the presidency in part by taking a sliver of the traditionally Democratic Hispanic base and drawing 35 percent of its vote in 2000.

    "The Hispanic vote is borderline for Kerry and it's borderline for the president," said pollster John Zogby of Zogby International, which conducted the poll. "Nothing is going to make this one easy to predict."

    But the Kerry campaign was encouraged by the results.

    "John Kerry is going to do very well among Hispanic voters in South Florida and across the country because they have felt very acutely the impact of George Bush's failed policies and broken promises," Kerry spokesman Mark Kornblau said.

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

    March 27, 2004

    Don King Helps Out GOP

    In a Kerry bashing cartoon. Well, you gotta get the huge Don King vote somehow.

    Posted by Eric at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)

    Don King Helps Out GOP

    In a Kerry bashing cartoon. Well, you gotta get the huge Don King vote somehow.

    Posted by Eric at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)

    March 25, 2004

    Bush Misquotes Kerry Quote

    From the people at Spinsanity.org:

    During a March 6 interview with the New York Times, Kerry stated that "the final victory in the war on terror depends on a victory in the war of ideas, much more than the war on the battlefield. And the war - not the war, I don't want to use that terminology. The engagement of economies, the economic transformation, the transformation to modernity of a whole bunch of countries that have been avoiding the future."

    In context, it is clear that Kerry was referring to the "war of ideas" when he said he did not want to use the term war, which he then rephrased, describing it as "he engagement of economies, the economic transformation, the transformation to modernity."

    Yet the White House has spun Kerry's comments to suggest that he was referring to the war on terror itself, as Columbia Journalism Review's Campaign Desk showed (disclosure: one of us works there). On March 11, for instance, President Bush stated that "my opponent indicated that he's not comfortable using the word 'war' to describe the struggle we're in. He said, 'I don't want to use that terminology." Both Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have made this claim repeatedly in the last few weeks, ignoring the fact that Kerry repeatedly referred to the "war on terror" in the interview in question.

    This, of course, isn't the only thing the Bush campaign is mischaracterizing about Kerry. Jonathan Alter:
    The Bush administration now has an old-fashioned credibility gap. If numbers are released saying that the economy is perking up, why should anyone believe them? After all, it counts hamburger flippers as manufacturing jobs. The context of the election only magnifies the issue. New Bush ads charge that Kerry wants to raise taxes by $900 billion. This is a made-up number; Kerry has no such proposal. But even if he did, voters would not be able to take the Bush campaign's word on it, because its word is no longer good.

    Posted by Eric at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush Misquotes Kerry Quote

    From the people at Spinsanity.org:

    During a March 6 interview with the New York Times, Kerry stated that "the final victory in the war on terror depends on a victory in the war of ideas, much more than the war on the battlefield. And the war - not the war, I don't want to use that terminology. The engagement of economies, the economic transformation, the transformation to modernity of a whole bunch of countries that have been avoiding the future."

    In context, it is clear that Kerry was referring to the "war of ideas" when he said he did not want to use the term war, which he then rephrased, describing it as "he engagement of economies, the economic transformation, the transformation to modernity."

    Yet the White House has spun Kerry's comments to suggest that he was referring to the war on terror itself, as Columbia Journalism Review's Campaign Desk showed (disclosure: one of us works there). On March 11, for instance, President Bush stated that "my opponent indicated that he's not comfortable using the word 'war' to describe the struggle we're in. He said, 'I don't want to use that terminology." Both Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have made this claim repeatedly in the last few weeks, ignoring the fact that Kerry repeatedly referred to the "war on terror" in the interview in question.

    This, of course, isn't the only thing the Bush campaign is mischaracterizing about Kerry. Jonathan Alter:
    The Bush administration now has an old-fashioned credibility gap. If numbers are released saying that the economy is perking up, why should anyone believe them? After all, it counts hamburger flippers as manufacturing jobs. The context of the election only magnifies the issue. New Bush ads charge that Kerry wants to raise taxes by $900 billion. This is a made-up number; Kerry has no such proposal. But even if he did, voters would not be able to take the Bush campaign's word on it, because its word is no longer good.

    Posted by Eric at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush Gets Little Traction from Millions in Ads

    From Daily Kos, this point about recent events:

    Bush and company have sunk $18 million in ads, many of them anti-Kerry attack ads, in the past three weeks. And for all their trouble, they get what -- absolutely nothing? How could that be?

    Really, given the swing in the past two days, we have two possible culprits. One, MoveOn and the Media Fund are countering the Bush ads, and while their ad buy is much smaller, it's still significant.

    But we all know the real culprit. It's the reason the administration went after Clarke as hard as they did following his 60 Minutes appearance.

    Kerry has stayed out of the mess, yet it is he who is benefitting the most. And with headlines tomorrow proclaiming, "Terrorism not urgent issue for Bush administration before Sept. 11, former adviser testifies", Bush has additional room to drop.

    Not to mention, Bush's '9-11: partisanship during non-partisan times' ad hurt more than helped.

    Posted by Eric at 01:24 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush Gets Little Traction from Millions in Ads

    From Daily Kos, this point about recent events:

    Bush and company have sunk $18 million in ads, many of them anti-Kerry attack ads, in the past three weeks. And for all their trouble, they get what -- absolutely nothing? How could that be?

    Really, given the swing in the past two days, we have two possible culprits. One, MoveOn and the Media Fund are countering the Bush ads, and while their ad buy is much smaller, it's still significant.

    But we all know the real culprit. It's the reason the administration went after Clarke as hard as they did following his 60 Minutes appearance.

    Kerry has stayed out of the mess, yet it is he who is benefitting the most. And with headlines tomorrow proclaiming, "Terrorism not urgent issue for Bush administration before Sept. 11, former adviser testifies", Bush has additional room to drop.

    Not to mention, Bush's '9-11: partisanship during non-partisan times' ad hurt more than helped.

    Posted by Eric at 01:24 PM | Comments (0)

    March 23, 2004

    Lies and the Lying Liars: Bush and Kerry's "Tax"

    A Reuters news analysis shoots down a Bush claim:

    In the presidential race's war of words over the economy, President Bush makes it sound as if small-business owners are in the cross hairs of Democrat John Kerry's plan to roll back tax cuts for wealthy Americans ... "Taxing the rich?" Bush said during a recent White House forum where his guests included the owners of a hair salon, a convenience store franchise and an office supply dealer.

    "When you're running up individual tax rates, you're taxing small businesses," he said.

    But?
    But data from the Internal Revenue Service and the Census Bureau suggest the vast majority of small businesses provide their owners with incomes far below the $200,000-a-year mark where Kerry says he would begin eliminating tax cuts ... Their profits fall into a median range of $40,000 and $60,000, according to the National Federation of Independent Business, a leading advocate of the small-business community. That puts them just above U.S. median household income of $42,409.

    "These are not rich people," said NFIB researcher Bruce Phillips. "Changing the tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, for the most part, doesn't apply to our membership."

    Posted by Eric at 04:05 PM | Comments (0)

    Lies and the Lying Liars: Bush and Kerry's "Tax"

    A Reuters news analysis shoots down a Bush claim:

    In the presidential race's war of words over the economy, President Bush makes it sound as if small-business owners are in the cross hairs of Democrat John Kerry's plan to roll back tax cuts for wealthy Americans ... "Taxing the rich?" Bush said during a recent White House forum where his guests included the owners of a hair salon, a convenience store franchise and an office supply dealer.

    "When you're running up individual tax rates, you're taxing small businesses," he said.

    But?
    But data from the Internal Revenue Service and the Census Bureau suggest the vast majority of small businesses provide their owners with incomes far below the $200,000-a-year mark where Kerry says he would begin eliminating tax cuts ... Their profits fall into a median range of $40,000 and $60,000, according to the National Federation of Independent Business, a leading advocate of the small-business community. That puts them just above U.S. median household income of $42,409.

    "These are not rich people," said NFIB researcher Bruce Phillips. "Changing the tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, for the most part, doesn't apply to our membership."

    Posted by Eric at 04:05 PM | Comments (0)

    March 22, 2004

    Bush Outsourcing Campaign Gear

    See Daily Kos for more info.

    Posted by Eric at 06:13 AM | Comments (0)

    Bush Outsourcing Campaign Gear

    See Daily Kos for more info.

    Posted by Eric at 06:13 AM | Comments (0)

    March 18, 2004

    Franken Kerry's Secret Weapon

    So speculates the gossipers Rush and Malloy in the NY Daily News:

    Could Al Franken have been John Kerry's secret weapon in the Democratic primaries?

    In December, the humorist convened a cadre of New York know-it-alls - including Time managing editor Jim Kelly, Eric Alterman from The Nation, the New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg and political historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. - to meet Kerry at a private gathering at his upper West Side apartment.

    "I think the idea was to put John Kerry into the belly of the beast," Kelly tells this Sunday's New York Times Magazine. "It may have been the actual beginning of the new approach he took - 'I'm going to stay in this room and take every question you throw at me.' "

    When the candidate and comedian met again seven weeks later, Kerry's nomination was looking secure.

    "I told him I'm taking credit for the turnaround," Franken said. "He said, 'I knew you would.' "

    I'm sure O'Reilly will now condemn Kerry as associating with the hate-mongers.

    Posted by Eric at 01:33 PM | Comments (0)

    Franken Kerry's Secret Weapon

    So speculates the gossipers Rush and Malloy in the NY Daily News:

    Could Al Franken have been John Kerry's secret weapon in the Democratic primaries?

    In December, the humorist convened a cadre of New York know-it-alls - including Time managing editor Jim Kelly, Eric Alterman from The Nation, the New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg and political historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. - to meet Kerry at a private gathering at his upper West Side apartment.

    "I think the idea was to put John Kerry into the belly of the beast," Kelly tells this Sunday's New York Times Magazine. "It may have been the actual beginning of the new approach he took - 'I'm going to stay in this room and take every question you throw at me.' "

    When the candidate and comedian met again seven weeks later, Kerry's nomination was looking secure.

    "I told him I'm taking credit for the turnaround," Franken said. "He said, 'I knew you would.' "

    I'm sure O'Reilly will now condemn Kerry as associating with the hate-mongers.

    Posted by Eric at 01:33 PM | Comments (0)

    March 17, 2004

    RNC Rolls Out 'Reggie the Registration Rig'

    Nothing says get out the vote like poorly planned alliteration by the RNC. Actually, it's a sound idea, where the RNC will attend Bush target spots such as

    NASCAR races and other sporting events, college campuses, parades, ethnic festivals, and church Sundays
    and lure the easily distracted with temptations of
    interactive multimedia capabilities, Xbox systems, and fully converts into a sound stage and entertainment platform when parked.
    Already big celebrities, half of whom work for the RNC, have stopped by!

    Posted by Eric at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

    RNC Rolls Out 'Reggie the Registration Rig'

    Nothing says get out the vote like poorly planned alliteration by the RNC. Actually, it's a sound idea, where the RNC will attend Bush target spots such as

    NASCAR races and other sporting events, college campuses, parades, ethnic festivals, and church Sundays
    and lure the easily distracted with temptations of
    interactive multimedia capabilities, Xbox systems, and fully converts into a sound stage and entertainment platform when parked.
    Already big celebrities, half of whom work for the RNC, have stopped by!

    Posted by Eric at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

    March 15, 2004

    Sharpton Backs Kerry

    The Rev. is finally backing John Kerry:

    "It would be misleading and futile to campaign for the nomination, but it continues for the platform and direction of the party," Sharpton told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "My campaign continues now to pick up delegates so that we can go to the convention to coalesce with other delegates."

    Sharpton said he and Kerry plan to meet soon with black business leaders to discuss the Massachusetts senator's appeal to urban and minority voters.

    In welcoming the endorsement, Kerry praised Sharpton's "ability to cut through the double-talk we see coming from this administration," and pledged to work for Sharpton's oft-stated goal of a new "urban agenda."

    More of the Kerry statement on the endorsement can be found here.

    Posted by Eric at 05:45 PM | Comments (0)

    Sharpton Backs Kerry

    The Rev. is finally backing John Kerry:

    "It would be misleading and futile to campaign for the nomination, but it continues for the platform and direction of the party," Sharpton told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "My campaign continues now to pick up delegates so that we can go to the convention to coalesce with other delegates."

    Sharpton said he and Kerry plan to meet soon with black business leaders to discuss the Massachusetts senator's appeal to urban and minority voters.

    In welcoming the endorsement, Kerry praised Sharpton's "ability to cut through the double-talk we see coming from this administration," and pledged to work for Sharpton's oft-stated goal of a new "urban agenda."

    More of the Kerry statement on the endorsement can be found here.

    Posted by Eric at 05:45 PM | Comments (0)

    Return of the War Room?

    According to the Cox News Service, John Kerry's campaign is running "the most aggressive presidential campaign a Democrat has run in decades.":

    The tactics already seem to have caused a sputter in the much vaunted Bush political machine at a crucial point in the campaign when the president is anxious to define the Massachusetts senator before the senator can define himself, much as the president's father defined his opponent, Gov. Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, in the 1988 campaign.

    "John Kerry is no Michael Dukakis," said Darrell West, a Brown University professor who has closely followed Kerry's 19-year career in the Senate. "He will respond immediately to any Bush attacks to make sure news stories carry the rebuttal. His goal is to make sure negative information does not stick to him. If you can rebut charges right away, it reduces the odds that voters will believe them."

    In fact, the Kerry campaign does not wait to respond. Thursday, hours before the Bush campaign began its first television ads attacking Kerry, the senator's "war room" had distributed rebuttal facts by e-mail to hundreds of political reporters, set up a conference call with Kerry surrogates, and made Kerry officials available to television news programs. It also responded with TV ads of its own Friday.
    Most of the rapid resource from the Kerry campaign, of course, can be found on their website, especially their newsroom.

    Posted by Eric at 05:13 PM | Comments (0)

    Return of the War Room?

    According to the Cox News Service, John Kerry's campaign is running "the most aggressive presidential campaign a Democrat has run in decades.":

    The tactics already seem to have caused a sputter in the much vaunted Bush political machine at a crucial point in the campaign when the president is anxious to define the Massachusetts senator before the senator can define himself, much as the president's father defined his opponent, Gov. Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, in the 1988 campaign.

    "John Kerry is no Michael Dukakis," said Darrell West, a Brown University professor who has closely followed Kerry's 19-year career in the Senate. "He will respond immediately to any Bush attacks to make sure news stories carry the rebuttal. His goal is to make sure negative information does not stick to him. If you can rebut charges right away, it reduces the odds that voters will believe them."

    In fact, the Kerry campaign does not wait to respond. Thursday, hours before the Bush campaign began its first television ads attacking Kerry, the senator's "war room" had distributed rebuttal facts by e-mail to hundreds of political reporters, set up a conference call with Kerry surrogates, and made Kerry officials available to television news programs. It also responded with TV ads of its own Friday.
    Most of the rapid resource from the Kerry campaign, of course, can be found on their website, especially their newsroom.

    Posted by Eric at 05:13 PM | Comments (0)

    March 13, 2004

    Kerry Maintains Large Lead Among Hispanics

    From a Democracy Corps poll, John Kerry is the favorite among America's fastest growing minority group:

    A new poll conducted among Hispanic likely voters and released today by an independent, non-profit organization confirmed that Hispanics remain one of the most Democratic groups in the electorate and President Bush has not been able to make any gains among this group of voters since the 2000 election.

    Republican pollster Matthew Dowd has said that in order to win this election, Bush needs to get at least 38 percent of the Hispanic vote, but the poll, conducted by Democracy Corps, reveals that Bush's prospects to win more support among Hispanics are slim.

    The survey also found that Senator John Kerry enjoys a very comfortable advantage over Bush among Hispanics. Even before the end of the Democratic primary season, Senator Kerry would have received 56 percent of the Hispanic vote, in a Presidential election, in contrast with Bush's 34 percent. In addition, Kerry's base support among Hispanics is twice as large as Bush's, with 28 percent of Hispanics being "loyal" Kerry voters, while only 14 percent identify themselves as Bush "loyal" voters.

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

    Kerry Maintains Large Lead Among Hispanics

    From a Democracy Corps poll, John Kerry is the favorite among America's fastest growing minority group:

    A new poll conducted among Hispanic likely voters and released today by an independent, non-profit organization confirmed that Hispanics remain one of the most Democratic groups in the electorate and President Bush has not been able to make any gains among this group of voters since the 2000 election.

    Republican pollster Matthew Dowd has said that in order to win this election, Bush needs to get at least 38 percent of the Hispanic vote, but the poll, conducted by Democracy Corps, reveals that Bush's prospects to win more support among Hispanics are slim.

    The survey also found that Senator John Kerry enjoys a very comfortable advantage over Bush among Hispanics. Even before the end of the Democratic primary season, Senator Kerry would have received 56 percent of the Hispanic vote, in a Presidential election, in contrast with Bush's 34 percent. In addition, Kerry's base support among Hispanics is twice as large as Bush's, with 28 percent of Hispanics being "loyal" Kerry voters, while only 14 percent identify themselves as Bush "loyal" voters.

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

    Ads Backfire: 2-1 Find Bush's 9-11 Ads Inappropriate

    National Annenberg Election Survey finds this:

    Undecided voters, by a 2-1 margin, feel it was inappropriate for President Bush's re-election campaign to use images from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in a television commercial, according to a poll released Friday.

    Among those who have not yet decided who they will support in the November presidential election, or say they could change their minds, 52 percent thought the ad was inappropriate while 27 percent said it was appropriate, according to the results of the National Annenberg Election Survey.

    Which, of course, doesn't bode well for the Bush campaign since its essentially making 9-11 the centerpiece of its campaign ...

    At a press briefing this morning at Bush campaign headquarters in Arlington, Bush media adviser Mark McKinnon addressed a question about the use of Sept. 11 images, saying "obviously 9/11 was the defining moment of these times," and that the president's response to attacks "are important parts of this administration's record."
    Where is the convention again? Some state that is being rewarded because it always votes Republican, right?

    Remember that 9-11 was about national unity and bringing the country together regardless of politics. So what is the Bush administration doing? Using that non-partisan movement for partisan gains. And it's not just the decided votes like me who apparently think its inappropriate: again, 2-1 margin among undecided voters. And they rarely decide on anything!

    Posted by Eric at 12:05 AM | Comments (0)

    Ads Backfire: 2-1 Find Bush's 9-11 Ads Inappropriate

    National Annenberg Election Survey finds this:

    Undecided voters, by a 2-1 margin, feel it was inappropriate for President Bush's re-election campaign to use images from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in a television commercial, according to a poll released Friday.

    Among those who have not yet decided who they will support in the November presidential election, or say they could change their minds, 52 percent thought the ad was inappropriate while 27 percent said it was appropriate, according to the results of the National Annenberg Election Survey.

    Which, of course, doesn't bode well for the Bush campaign since its essentially making 9-11 the centerpiece of its campaign ...

    At a press briefing this morning at Bush campaign headquarters in Arlington, Bush media adviser Mark McKinnon addressed a question about the use of Sept. 11 images, saying "obviously 9/11 was the defining moment of these times," and that the president's response to attacks "are important parts of this administration's record."
    Where is the convention again? Some state that is being rewarded because it always votes Republican, right?

    Remember that 9-11 was about national unity and bringing the country together regardless of politics. So what is the Bush administration doing? Using that non-partisan movement for partisan gains. And it's not just the decided votes like me who apparently think its inappropriate: again, 2-1 margin among undecided voters. And they rarely decide on anything!

    Posted by Eric at 12:05 AM | Comments (0)

    March 12, 2004

    Kerry Strikes Back in New Ad

    The Kerry camp says the Bush campaign is misleading on Kerry and his record:

    The 30-second spot discusses how yet again the President is misleading the American people, except this time on John Kerrys record. The ad sets the record straight about Kerrys plan to cut taxes for middle class Americans, protect American jobs, get health care costs under control and cut the deficit to put the nation back on track. The ad will run in 16 states, including: Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Mexico, Oregon, Wisconsin, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, West Virginia, Arizona, Arkansas, and Ohio.
    We are determined to make this campaign about real issues facing Americans, like making health care affordable, improving education and getting our economy back on track, said Kerry Campaign Manager, Mary Beth Cahill. But when the Bush Campaign misrepresents John Kerrys record or his plans for the future, we will not hesitate to set the record straight.
    The new ad can be viewed here.

    The text:

    Announcer: Once again, George Bush is misleading America. John Kerry has never called for a $900 billion dollar tax increase He wants to cut taxes for the middle class. Doesnt America deserve more from its president than misleading negative ads?

    John Kerry will crack down on the export of American jobsget health care costs under controland cut the deficit.

    John Kerry: Im John Kerry and I approved this message because we need to do whats right for Americas economy.

    Announcer: John Kerry. A new direction for America.

    Posted by Eric at 06:39 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Strikes Back in New Ad

    The Kerry camp says the Bush campaign is misleading on Kerry and his record:

    The 30-second spot discusses how yet again the President is misleading the American people, except this time on John Kerrys record. The ad sets the record straight about Kerrys plan to cut taxes for middle class Americans, protect American jobs, get health care costs under control and cut the deficit to put the nation back on track. The ad will run in 16 states, including: Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Mexico, Oregon, Wisconsin, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, West Virginia, Arizona, Arkansas, and Ohio.
    We are determined to make this campaign about real issues facing Americans, like making health care affordable, improving education and getting our economy back on track, said Kerry Campaign Manager, Mary Beth Cahill. But when the Bush Campaign misrepresents John Kerrys record or his plans for the future, we will not hesitate to set the record straight.
    The new ad can be viewed here.

    The text:

    Announcer: Once again, George Bush is misleading America. John Kerry has never called for a $900 billion dollar tax increase He wants to cut taxes for the middle class. Doesnt America deserve more from its president than misleading negative ads?

    John Kerry will crack down on the export of American jobsget health care costs under controland cut the deficit.

    John Kerry: Im John Kerry and I approved this message because we need to do whats right for Americas economy.

    Announcer: John Kerry. A new direction for America.

    Posted by Eric at 06:39 PM | Comments (0)

    Working Man Suspended for Anti-Bush Sign

    Another man whose job fell victim to President Bush:

    A snowplow driver in Cleveland has been suspended from his job after displaying an anti-Bush sign.

    When President Bush visited Cleveland this week, Michael Gerstenslager, a highway maintenance worker, was asked to help provide security for the president's motorcade by using his snowplow to block access to a highway entrance, the Cleveland Plan Dealer reported.

    Gerstenslager hung a sign on the side of the plow that said "traitor" a message aimed at Mr. Bush. A state trooper in the president's motorcade saw the sign and reported it to the Ohio transportation department.

    Posted by Eric at 06:10 PM | Comments (0)

    Working Man Suspended for Anti-Bush Sign

    Another man whose job fell victim to President Bush:

    A snowplow driver in Cleveland has been suspended from his job after displaying an anti-Bush sign.

    When President Bush visited Cleveland this week, Michael Gerstenslager, a highway maintenance worker, was asked to help provide security for the president's motorcade by using his snowplow to block access to a highway entrance, the Cleveland Plan Dealer reported.

    Gerstenslager hung a sign on the side of the plow that said "traitor" a message aimed at Mr. Bush. A state trooper in the president's motorcade saw the sign and reported it to the Ohio transportation department.

    Posted by Eric at 06:10 PM | Comments (0)

    Firefighters to Attack Bush 'loudly and aggressively'

    The firefighters want to get Kerry elected because they know, as the Bush ads suggest, a vote for Kerry is a vote against national security. The Hill:

    But these first spots also brought controversy over the use of the images from Sept. 11, including those of firefighters. The IAFF, along with the families of some victims, has been most vocal in condemning the ads.

    The relationship between the Bush administration and firefighters turned sour quickly after the terrorist attacks.

    The IAFF and Congress wanted more federal funding for firefighters, which the administration opposed. Schaitberger argued that this has resulted in fire stations being closed and fire fighters being less safe ... Asked whether the IAFFs reaction to the Bush ads reflects the unions support for
    Kerry, Schaitberger said only that there is a perfect contrast between the candidates. [Kerry] has responded to fire fighters and their community throughout his career, he added.

    Posted by Eric at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

    Firefighters to Attack Bush 'loudly and aggressively'

    The firefighters want to get Kerry elected because they know, as the Bush ads suggest, a vote for Kerry is a vote against national security. The Hill:

    But these first spots also brought controversy over the use of the images from Sept. 11, including those of firefighters. The IAFF, along with the families of some victims, has been most vocal in condemning the ads.

    The relationship between the Bush administration and firefighters turned sour quickly after the terrorist attacks.

    The IAFF and Congress wanted more federal funding for firefighters, which the administration opposed. Schaitberger argued that this has resulted in fire stations being closed and fire fighters being less safe ... Asked whether the IAFFs reaction to the Bush ads reflects the unions support for
    Kerry, Schaitberger said only that there is a perfect contrast between the candidates. [Kerry] has responded to fire fighters and their community throughout his career, he added.

    Posted by Eric at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

    March 11, 2004

    Willie Horton 2004

    From Talk Left, we find The New Republic's Ryan Lizza on the Bush campaign's new ad which, as Lizza speculates, will "probably ignite a debate about race, ethnicity, and terrorism. You have to wonder about why they did it."

    His newest spot, "100 Days," might soon become famous for another campaign first. It is the first ad to use the image of a dark-skinned man who is obviously meant to be a terrorist.

    The ominous slow-motion footage comes about halfway through the 30-second ad. A female voiceover darkly warns about John Kerry's agenda, charging, "On the war on terror: weaken the Patriot Act used to arrest terrorists and protect America." On the left of the screen flash the words "John Kerry's Plan." On the bottom a red box warns, "Weaken Fight Against Terrorists." If you look closely, on the right side of the screen you can see an airplane taking off.

    The center of the screen is filled with three different rectangles of slow-motion video. In the top panel travelers at an airport study the arrivals and departures monitor. In the center panel there is a shadowed image of a person wearing a gas mask. And on the bottom there is a close-up of a swarthy, somewhat sinister-looking man with darting eyes who slowly turns toward the camera. He is clearly the terrorist in this scary montage.

    The Bush campaign held a conference call for the press this afternoon to unveil the ads, and one reporter asked whether it was appropriate to use an Arab-American to depict a terrorist. Campaign aides said the actor in "100 Days" wasn't Arab-American. One official on the call insisted it was just a "very generic" image.

    Very generic, of course.

    If it floats your boat, you can see the new ads here. Apparently if we elect John Kerry, we're all going to die.

    Posted by Eric at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Willie Horton 2004

    From Talk Left, we find The New Republic's Ryan Lizza on the Bush campaign's new ad which, as Lizza speculates, will "probably ignite a debate about race, ethnicity, and terrorism. You have to wonder about why they did it."

    His newest spot, "100 Days," might soon become famous for another campaign first. It is the first ad to use the image of a dark-skinned man who is obviously meant to be a terrorist.

    The ominous slow-motion footage comes about halfway through the 30-second ad. A female voiceover darkly warns about John Kerry's agenda, charging, "On the war on terror: weaken the Patriot Act used to arrest terrorists and protect America." On the left of the screen flash the words "John Kerry's Plan." On the bottom a red box warns, "Weaken Fight Against Terrorists." If you look closely, on the right side of the screen you can see an airplane taking off.

    The center of the screen is filled with three different rectangles of slow-motion video. In the top panel travelers at an airport study the arrivals and departures monitor. In the center panel there is a shadowed image of a person wearing a gas mask. And on the bottom there is a close-up of a swarthy, somewhat sinister-looking man with darting eyes who slowly turns toward the camera. He is clearly the terrorist in this scary montage.

    The Bush campaign held a conference call for the press this afternoon to unveil the ads, and one reporter asked whether it was appropriate to use an Arab-American to depict a terrorist. Campaign aides said the actor in "100 Days" wasn't Arab-American. One official on the call insisted it was just a "very generic" image.

    Very generic, of course.

    If it floats your boat, you can see the new ads here. Apparently if we elect John Kerry, we're all going to die.

    Posted by Eric at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush Launches Anti-Kerry Ads

    The ads:

    Announcer: ``A president sets his agenda for America in the first 100 days. John Kerry's plan: To pay for new government spending, raise taxes by at least $900 billion. On the war on terror: Weaken the Patriot Act used to arrest terrorists and protect America. And he wanted to delay defending American until the United Nations approved. John Kerry: Wrong on taxes. Wrong on defense.''

    Bush: ``Over the past three years, Americans have faced many serious challenges. Now we face a choice: We can go forward with confidence, resolve and hope. Or we can turn back to the dangerous illusion that terrorists are not plotting and outlaw regimes are no threat. We can continue to work to create jobs, reform education and lower the cost of health care. Together, we're moving America forward. I'm George W. Bush and I approve this message.''

    The Kerry camp responds:

    Kerry's campaign, calling the $900 billion figure "completely made up," prepared a response ad titled, "Misleading America" that accuses Bush of distorting the Democrat's record while touting Kerry's middle-class tax cut plans, said officials, on condition of anonymity ... Meeting with congressional Democrats on Capitol Hill, Kerry dismissed the ads, saying they fail to focus on health care, jobs, education, the environment and a safe America. "They can't talk about those things because George Bush doesn't have a record to run on, he has a record to run away from, and that's what they're trying to do," Kerry said.

    Posted by Eric at 05:33 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush Launches Anti-Kerry Ads

    The ads:

    Announcer: ``A president sets his agenda for America in the first 100 days. John Kerry's plan: To pay for new government spending, raise taxes by at least $900 billion. On the war on terror: Weaken the Patriot Act used to arrest terrorists and protect America. And he wanted to delay defending American until the United Nations approved. John Kerry: Wrong on taxes. Wrong on defense.''

    Bush: ``Over the past three years, Americans have faced many serious challenges. Now we face a choice: We can go forward with confidence, resolve and hope. Or we can turn back to the dangerous illusion that terrorists are not plotting and outlaw regimes are no threat. We can continue to work to create jobs, reform education and lower the cost of health care. Together, we're moving America forward. I'm George W. Bush and I approve this message.''

    The Kerry camp responds:

    Kerry's campaign, calling the $900 billion figure "completely made up," prepared a response ad titled, "Misleading America" that accuses Bush of distorting the Democrat's record while touting Kerry's middle-class tax cut plans, said officials, on condition of anonymity ... Meeting with congressional Democrats on Capitol Hill, Kerry dismissed the ads, saying they fail to focus on health care, jobs, education, the environment and a safe America. "They can't talk about those things because George Bush doesn't have a record to run on, he has a record to run away from, and that's what they're trying to do," Kerry said.

    Posted by Eric at 05:33 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Statistically Tied in Tenn

    A poll from MidTenn State U poll finds that Kerry is close to Bush in the state of Tennessee:

    A new poll conducted by Middle Tennessee State University shows that President Bush and likely Democratic nominee, Senator John Kerry are in a statistical dead heat among Tennessee voters.

    The poll revealed support for Bush stands at 48 percent, while Kerry polled at 44 percent. With a margin of error of plusor minus four percentage points, the two men are neck and neck.

    Bush won Tennessee four years ago in a victory over then-VP Al Gore. Tennessee is Gore's home state. The win in Tennessee was key to Bush's victory.

    Posted by Eric at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Statistically Tied in Tenn

    A poll from MidTenn State U poll finds that Kerry is close to Bush in the state of Tennessee:

    A new poll conducted by Middle Tennessee State University shows that President Bush and likely Democratic nominee, Senator John Kerry are in a statistical dead heat among Tennessee voters.

    The poll revealed support for Bush stands at 48 percent, while Kerry polled at 44 percent. With a margin of error of plusor minus four percentage points, the two men are neck and neck.

    Bush won Tennessee four years ago in a victory over then-VP Al Gore. Tennessee is Gore's home state. The win in Tennessee was key to Bush's victory.

    Posted by Eric at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

    March 09, 2004

    Clark on Kerry

    Gen . Wesley Clark has been stumping for John Kerry, and is playing up his connection with Southern states. See email:

    On the road with John Kerry these past few weeks, meeting and talking with many of you, I have been consistently inspired by your patriotism and devotion to our democratic cause. Even though my campaign has ended, the campaign for America's future continues on. I've asked my supporters to join me in standing up for the man I believe will bring change to this country, and I'd like to send you a similar message now.

    Why did I endorse John Kerry? Put simply, he has the right experience to beat George W. Bush. John has a great plan to bring back jobs and prosperity, provide affordable health care for all, move our economy forward into the 21st century, and make America safer and stronger in the world. I know that during the course of this election you've heard similar promises from many candidates, but I believe John Kerry will make it happen.

    Together, I will work with John and you to do everything we can to help return the White House to its rightful owners -- the American people. We'll do everything we can to help you win back a future of opportunity and prosperity for all Americans. George W. Bush has had three long years to keep our country moving forward -- but instead, he's done nothing but set us back ... P.S. I ask my neighbors in the four Southern states holding primaries today to send George W. Bush a strong message. Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas -- please vote!

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

    Clark on Kerry

    Gen . Wesley Clark has been stumping for John Kerry, and is playing up his connection with Southern states. See email:

    On the road with John Kerry these past few weeks, meeting and talking with many of you, I have been consistently inspired by your patriotism and devotion to our democratic cause. Even though my campaign has ended, the campaign for America's future continues on. I've asked my supporters to join me in standing up for the man I believe will bring change to this country, and I'd like to send you a similar message now.

    Why did I endorse John Kerry? Put simply, he has the right experience to beat George W. Bush. John has a great plan to bring back jobs and prosperity, provide affordable health care for all, move our economy forward into the 21st century, and make America safer and stronger in the world. I know that during the course of this election you've heard similar promises from many candidates, but I believe John Kerry will make it happen.

    Together, I will work with John and you to do everything we can to help return the White House to its rightful owners -- the American people. We'll do everything we can to help you win back a future of opportunity and prosperity for all Americans. George W. Bush has had three long years to keep our country moving forward -- but instead, he's done nothing but set us back ... P.S. I ask my neighbors in the four Southern states holding primaries today to send George W. Bush a strong message. Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas -- please vote!

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

    March 08, 2004

    USA Today: Kerry Over Bush

    USA Today finds Kerry ahead of Bush:

    In the first national poll since the presidential campaign became a two-person race, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry leads President Bush, 52%-44%.
    Kerry's 8-point lead with likely voters in the USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll comes after he effectively clinched the Democratic nomination on Tuesday and Bush followed with three speeches criticizing Kerry's record in the Senate and charging that the country would be less safe under his leadership.

    Ralph Nader, who announced an independent candidacy Feb. 22, got 2%.

    Posted by Eric at 05:51 PM | Comments (0)

    USA Today: Kerry Over Bush

    USA Today finds Kerry ahead of Bush:

    In the first national poll since the presidential campaign became a two-person race, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry leads President Bush, 52%-44%.
    Kerry's 8-point lead with likely voters in the USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll comes after he effectively clinched the Democratic nomination on Tuesday and Bush followed with three speeches criticizing Kerry's record in the Senate and charging that the country would be less safe under his leadership.

    Ralph Nader, who announced an independent candidacy Feb. 22, got 2%.

    Posted by Eric at 05:51 PM | Comments (0)

    Class Warfare

    Though Republicans may decry 'class warfare' in the political arena, a pro-Republican conservative attack group seems to have no problem employing it:

    With ads by the Bush-Cheney campaign and the liberal grass-roots group MoveOn.org already battling it out on the airwaves, another set of ads was rolled out nationwide Monday, the first conservative attack ads against presumptive Democratic candidate John Kerry.

    Paid for by the group Citizens United, the 30-second message calls Kerry "another rich liberal elitist from Massachusetts who claims he's a man of the people."

    In the style of a popular MasterCard advertising campaign, the ad lists the Massachusetts senator's expenses -- including a "42-foot luxury yacht" and beachfront estates worth "over $30 million" -- before calling his alleged claim that he is one of the people "priceless."

    Not exactly sure how effective that ad will be considering Bush and Cheney aren't doing too badly themselves.

    Posted by Eric at 05:48 PM | Comments (0)

    Class Warfare

    Though Republicans may decry 'class warfare' in the political arena, a pro-Republican conservative attack group seems to have no problem employing it:

    With ads by the Bush-Cheney campaign and the liberal grass-roots group MoveOn.org already battling it out on the airwaves, another set of ads was rolled out nationwide Monday, the first conservative attack ads against presumptive Democratic candidate John Kerry.

    Paid for by the group Citizens United, the 30-second message calls Kerry "another rich liberal elitist from Massachusetts who claims he's a man of the people."

    In the style of a popular MasterCard advertising campaign, the ad lists the Massachusetts senator's expenses -- including a "42-foot luxury yacht" and beachfront estates worth "over $30 million" -- before calling his alleged claim that he is one of the people "priceless."

    Not exactly sure how effective that ad will be considering Bush and Cheney aren't doing too badly themselves.

    Posted by Eric at 05:48 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush on Poor People

    If the Bush campaign is going to bring up statements from 30 years ago ... George W. Bush clearly didn't benefit from his family name, or any other variables in life, so this statement from George W at Harvard Business School is nothing out of the ordinary. Yoshi Tsurumi:

    At Harvard Business School, thirty years ago, George Bush was a student of mine. I still vividly remember him. In my class, he declared that "people are poor because they are lazy." He was opposed to labor unions, social security, environmental protection, Medicare, and public schools. To him, the antitrust watch dog, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities Exchange Commission were unnecessary hindrances to "free market competition." To him, Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal was "socialism." Recently, President Bush's Federal Appeals Court Nominee, California's Supreme Court Justice Janice Brown, repeated the same broadside at her Senate hearing. She knew that her pronouncement would please President Bush and Karl Rove and their Senators. President Bush and his brain, Karl Rove, are leading a radical revolution of destroying all the democratic political, social, judiciary, and economic institutions that both Democrats and moderate Republicans had built together since Roosevelt's New Deal.

    Posted by Eric at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush on Poor People

    If the Bush campaign is going to bring up statements from 30 years ago ... George W. Bush clearly didn't benefit from his family name, or any other variables in life, so this statement from George W at Harvard Business School is nothing out of the ordinary. Yoshi Tsurumi:

    At Harvard Business School, thirty years ago, George Bush was a student of mine. I still vividly remember him. In my class, he declared that "people are poor because they are lazy." He was opposed to labor unions, social security, environmental protection, Medicare, and public schools. To him, the antitrust watch dog, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities Exchange Commission were unnecessary hindrances to "free market competition." To him, Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal was "socialism." Recently, President Bush's Federal Appeals Court Nominee, California's Supreme Court Justice Janice Brown, repeated the same broadside at her Senate hearing. She knew that her pronouncement would please President Bush and Karl Rove and their Senators. President Bush and his brain, Karl Rove, are leading a radical revolution of destroying all the democratic political, social, judiciary, and economic institutions that both Democrats and moderate Republicans had built together since Roosevelt's New Deal.

    Posted by Eric at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)

    Right to Target Kerry Family

    Not only will this election feature attacks against John Kerry, there will also be attacks on John Kerry's wife.

    Now that her husband, Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry, is locked into the Democratic presidential nomination, an assemblage of right-wing groups is gearing up to target Teresa Heinz Kerry, depicting her as a temperamental political spouse and financier of radical groups ... Some of the attacks are likely to come not from the campaign of President Bush, but groups on the fringes of the political campaign, where deeply personal attacks have become commonplace.

    "I do believe she clearly will be an issue. Her and her financial resources and her corporate entities and donations -- all those things need to be looked at real closely," said David Bossie, a former congressional aide who now heads Citizens United, a conservative group that has kibitzed in presidential elections dating to 1988 ... "She's well known to be a difficult woman to deal with," Brown said. "I would encourage you to look up some old Heinz staffers. I think she'll undergo the same kind of scrutiny that Hillary did because she's been so active."

    If you thought they had fun with Hillary ...

    The AP ran this profile of Heinz this weekend. Salon previously had this feature on her.

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

    Right to Target Kerry Family

    Not only will this election feature attacks against John Kerry, there will also be attacks on John Kerry's wife.

    Now that her husband, Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry, is locked into the Democratic presidential nomination, an assemblage of right-wing groups is gearing up to target Teresa Heinz Kerry, depicting her as a temperamental political spouse and financier of radical groups ... Some of the attacks are likely to come not from the campaign of President Bush, but groups on the fringes of the political campaign, where deeply personal attacks have become commonplace.

    "I do believe she clearly will be an issue. Her and her financial resources and her corporate entities and donations -- all those things need to be looked at real closely," said David Bossie, a former congressional aide who now heads Citizens United, a conservative group that has kibitzed in presidential elections dating to 1988 ... "She's well known to be a difficult woman to deal with," Brown said. "I would encourage you to look up some old Heinz staffers. I think she'll undergo the same kind of scrutiny that Hillary did because she's been so active."

    If you thought they had fun with Hillary ...

    The AP ran this profile of Heinz this weekend. Salon previously had this feature on her.

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

    March 07, 2004

    Letters to Bush

    From Leonid Teytelman.

    When the planes hit the World Trade Center, my mother was inside it; my wife was in the subway, directly below the buildings as they were collapsing. To this day, my mother wakes up screaming during thunderstorms, and my wife is terrified of flying or being in skyscrapers.

    That day, and the events that have transpired since then, have raised a lot of questions in my mind. Today, for the first time, I got a definite answer to one of those questions, thanks to the campaign ad with WTC images that President Bush has begun to air.

    It has become abundantly clear to me that Bush has no qualms about shamelessly exploiting 9/11 for his own purposes. It is no longer hard for me to believe that he can use that day as a pretext for starting wars and passing laws, that he can take advantage of the attack for his own benefit. Whether his reasons are political or financial, I do not know, but it is obvious that he sees the terrorist act as his ticket for the next term.

    My cousin, a 26-year-old reserve Marine, has returned from Iraq without a foot after stepping on a landmine. It is unbearably painful to think that he has become an invalid for nothing.

    It is scary to think that instead of trying to address terrorism and respond to 9/11, Bush has simply been misusing the day, ruining lives, breaking diplomatic ties and making the United States less safe.

    I am troubled and disgusted. Despite that, I'm also grateful to the Bush campaign for the ad -- for answering at least one question.


    A.R. Torres:

    My husband, Luis Eduardo Torres, was at his second day of work at Cantor Fitzgerald when he was killed on Sept. 11. He jumped from the 105th floor of the North Tower. Most of his upper body was recovered, identifiable only through dental records. I was seven months pregnant at the time ...

    In effect, then, Mr. Bush, you've paraded all our 9/11 dead out as the official mascots of your reelection campaign. You use them to show our nation that you can protect us against what we should all fear the most -- being an anonymous corpse in another attack.

    But these sleights of image and crafty juxtapositions are the only true demonstrations of your leadership abilities. After all, on that tragic day you didn't actually lead the nation: according to the work of the "Jersey girls" -- the four 9/11 widows who fought to have an independent commission investigate the tragedy -- your first reaction to the plane hitting the North Tower was to blame the pilot. And you continued your activities -- reading stories to a group of young schoolchildren. And as you try to impress our nation with your role during and after 9/11 in these ads, you refuse to talk meaningfully to the independent commission about the specifics of your role prior to 9/11 and how much you knew about a potential large-scale al-Qaida plot.

    I didn't think that co-opting 9/11 with such disregard for those of us who have been affected by this tragedy would anger me so much. I hope that John Kerry doesn't use 9/11 to strengthen his own candidacy . But so many 9/11 families are sick at your use of our sadness ... I can't imagine it being any worse than where you have already led us.

    Posted by Eric at 02:34 PM | Comments (0)

    Letters to Bush

    From Leonid Teytelman.

    When the planes hit the World Trade Center, my mother was inside it; my wife was in the subway, directly below the buildings as they were collapsing. To this day, my mother wakes up screaming during thunderstorms, and my wife is terrified of flying or being in skyscrapers.

    That day, and the events that have transpired since then, have raised a lot of questions in my mind. Today, for the first time, I got a definite answer to one of those questions, thanks to the campaign ad with WTC images that President Bush has begun to air.

    It has become abundantly clear to me that Bush has no qualms about shamelessly exploiting 9/11 for his own purposes. It is no longer hard for me to believe that he can use that day as a pretext for starting wars and passing laws, that he can take advantage of the attack for his own benefit. Whether his reasons are political or financial, I do not know, but it is obvious that he sees the terrorist act as his ticket for the next term.

    My cousin, a 26-year-old reserve Marine, has returned from Iraq without a foot after stepping on a landmine. It is unbearably painful to think that he has become an invalid for nothing.

    It is scary to think that instead of trying to address terrorism and respond to 9/11, Bush has simply been misusing the day, ruining lives, breaking diplomatic ties and making the United States less safe.

    I am troubled and disgusted. Despite that, I'm also grateful to the Bush campaign for the ad -- for answering at least one question.


    A.R. Torres:

    My husband, Luis Eduardo Torres, was at his second day of work at Cantor Fitzgerald when he was killed on Sept. 11. He jumped from the 105th floor of the North Tower. Most of his upper body was recovered, identifiable only through dental records. I was seven months pregnant at the time ...

    In effect, then, Mr. Bush, you've paraded all our 9/11 dead out as the official mascots of your reelection campaign. You use them to show our nation that you can protect us against what we should all fear the most -- being an anonymous corpse in another attack.

    But these sleights of image and crafty juxtapositions are the only true demonstrations of your leadership abilities. After all, on that tragic day you didn't actually lead the nation: according to the work of the "Jersey girls" -- the four 9/11 widows who fought to have an independent commission investigate the tragedy -- your first reaction to the plane hitting the North Tower was to blame the pilot. And you continued your activities -- reading stories to a group of young schoolchildren. And as you try to impress our nation with your role during and after 9/11 in these ads, you refuse to talk meaningfully to the independent commission about the specifics of your role prior to 9/11 and how much you knew about a potential large-scale al-Qaida plot.

    I didn't think that co-opting 9/11 with such disregard for those of us who have been affected by this tragedy would anger me so much. I hope that John Kerry doesn't use 9/11 to strengthen his own candidacy . But so many 9/11 families are sick at your use of our sadness ... I can't imagine it being any worse than where you have already led us.

    Posted by Eric at 02:34 PM | Comments (0)

    March 05, 2004

    McClellan Response to 9-11 Exploitation Complaints

    From the March 4th White House briefings:

    Q Some of the families of the 9/11 victims have criticized the President for using these -- using 9/11 footage in those ads. Are you exploiting the situation, and what do you say to that?

    MR. McCLELLAN: Actually, September 11th was a defining moment for our nation. It was an experience that all Americans shared. It is the reason we are still at war on terrorism. And all of us, as Americans, shared in the experience of that tragic day. And it is vital to our future that we learn what September 11th taught us. September 11th changed the equation in our public policy. It forever changed our world. And the President's steady leadership is vital to how we wage the war on terrorism.

    Q Shouldn't that be off-limits to politics, Scott, that tragedy?

    MR. McCLELLAN: September 11th? September 11th, as I said, it taught us that we must confront dangers before it's too late, and that we must continue to take the fight to the enemy. There's a clear choice for Americans in how we confront the threats of terrorism.

    Q But the President -- the party is using it for political purposes. I mean, it's pretty clear now --

    MR. McCLELLAN: Look, these are threats that didn't happen overnight; that September 11th taught us that we must confront these threats by taking the fight to the enemy.

    All right, thanks, sorry.

    END 9:06 A.M. PST

    Indeed, the White House will use 9-11 as the centerpiece of its campaign. From Misleader.org:
    Of course, this is only the latest chapter in the president's efforts to politicize 9/11 for his own personal political gain. Less than 19 weeks after the 9/11 attacks, Bush's top political adviser Karl Rove urged Republicans to "go to the country" on national security issues, claiming Americans "trust the Republicans to do a better job" of "protecting America" against another 9/11-like attack.4 AP soon reported that the "White House is advising GOP candidates to focus on the War on Terror."5

    Then, nine months after the attacks, CNN reported that "the White House approved of the Republican congressional campaign committee's plan to use a photograph of President Bush taken on September 11 as part of a GOP fundraising effort. The photograph shows Bush aboard Air Force One, talking to Vice President Dick Cheney hours after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon" and was given to "donors who contributed at least $150 and attend a fund-raising dinner with Bush and the first lady next month."6

    To top it off, the president took the extraordinary step of making the 2004 Republican National Convention the latest in party history in order to have it come three days before the 9/11 anniversary. Even White House advisers admit "they are wary of being portrayed as exploiting the trauma of Sept. 11, a perception that might be particularly difficult to rebut as Mr. Bush shuttles between political events at Madison Square Garden and memorial services at ground zero."7

    Despite the Bush ads rhetoric, as the Center for American Progress notes, there are still many dangerous holes in our national security. Yes, talk is cheap, but making political ads to distort the Bush record on national security isn't: Bush/Cheney is now spending $4.5 million on the morally corrupt ads and will likely spend tens of millions more on similar ads in the campaign.

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

    McClellan Response to 9-11 Exploitation Complaints

    From the March 4th White House briefings:

    Q Some of the families of the 9/11 victims have criticized the President for using these -- using 9/11 footage in those ads. Are you exploiting the situation, and what do you say to that?

    MR. McCLELLAN: Actually, September 11th was a defining moment for our nation. It was an experience that all Americans shared. It is the reason we are still at war on terrorism. And all of us, as Americans, shared in the experience of that tragic day. And it is vital to our future that we learn what September 11th taught us. September 11th changed the equation in our public policy. It forever changed our world. And the President's steady leadership is vital to how we wage the war on terrorism.

    Q Shouldn't that be off-limits to politics, Scott, that tragedy?

    MR. McCLELLAN: September 11th? September 11th, as I said, it taught us that we must confront dangers before it's too late, and that we must continue to take the fight to the enemy. There's a clear choice for Americans in how we confront the threats of terrorism.

    Q But the President -- the party is using it for political purposes. I mean, it's pretty clear now --

    MR. McCLELLAN: Look, these are threats that didn't happen overnight; that September 11th taught us that we must confront these threats by taking the fight to the enemy.

    All right, thanks, sorry.

    END 9:06 A.M. PST

    Indeed, the White House will use 9-11 as the centerpiece of its campaign. From Misleader.org:
    Of course, this is only the latest chapter in the president's efforts to politicize 9/11 for his own personal political gain. Less than 19 weeks after the 9/11 attacks, Bush's top political adviser Karl Rove urged Republicans to "go to the country" on national security issues, claiming Americans "trust the Republicans to do a better job" of "protecting America" against another 9/11-like attack.4 AP soon reported that the "White House is advising GOP candidates to focus on the War on Terror."5

    Then, nine months after the attacks, CNN reported that "the White House approved of the Republican congressional campaign committee's plan to use a photograph of President Bush taken on September 11 as part of a GOP fundraising effort. The photograph shows Bush aboard Air Force One, talking to Vice President Dick Cheney hours after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon" and was given to "donors who contributed at least $150 and attend a fund-raising dinner with Bush and the first lady next month."6

    To top it off, the president took the extraordinary step of making the 2004 Republican National Convention the latest in party history in order to have it come three days before the 9/11 anniversary. Even White House advisers admit "they are wary of being portrayed as exploiting the trauma of Sept. 11, a perception that might be particularly difficult to rebut as Mr. Bush shuttles between political events at Madison Square Garden and memorial services at ground zero."7

    Despite the Bush ads rhetoric, as the Center for American Progress notes, there are still many dangerous holes in our national security. Yes, talk is cheap, but making political ads to distort the Bush record on national security isn't: Bush/Cheney is now spending $4.5 million on the morally corrupt ads and will likely spend tens of millions more on similar ads in the campaign.

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

    9-11 Family Groups Continue Protest of Ads

    Bush's ad buy may backfire if this is the attention his ads are getting:

    Not all of the 9/11 families who oppose Bush's use of their greatest personal tragedy to win votes are Democrats, of course, although many will likely choose not to vote for Bush in the fall if he keeps this up.

    Wright Salisbury of Boston, whose son-in-law Ted Hennessey was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11, called Hughes' comments that it's Democrats opposing the ads "a load of baloney."

    "I have no idea what the political affiliation is of people I've been talking to," he said in an interview Thursday. "I was a Republican up until I voted for Bush. I will still vote for a good Republican, but not for Bush. To say this is Democrats doing this is another damn lie."

    If Bush and the Republican Party want a war of words with the 9/11 families, they're well on their way. While the survivors and victims of the tragedy fall across a wide political spectrum -- and many will surely emerge to support Bush and his ad campaign -- leaders of 9/11 family groups, as well as politically influential firefighters groups, say his exploitation of Sept. 11, coupled with his stonewalling of the investigation into the attacks, will rouse them to political action. And that could spell trouble for Bush, who's making 9/11 the centerpiece of a campaign based largely on national security.

    Posted by Eric at 12:29 AM | Comments (0)

    9-11 Family Groups Continue Protest of Ads

    Bush's ad buy may backfire if this is the attention his ads are getting:

    Not all of the 9/11 families who oppose Bush's use of their greatest personal tragedy to win votes are Democrats, of course, although many will likely choose not to vote for Bush in the fall if he keeps this up.

    Wright Salisbury of Boston, whose son-in-law Ted Hennessey was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11, called Hughes' comments that it's Democrats opposing the ads "a load of baloney."

    "I have no idea what the political affiliation is of people I've been talking to," he said in an interview Thursday. "I was a Republican up until I voted for Bush. I will still vote for a good Republican, but not for Bush. To say this is Democrats doing this is another damn lie."

    If Bush and the Republican Party want a war of words with the 9/11 families, they're well on their way. While the survivors and victims of the tragedy fall across a wide political spectrum -- and many will surely emerge to support Bush and his ad campaign -- leaders of 9/11 family groups, as well as politically influential firefighters groups, say his exploitation of Sept. 11, coupled with his stonewalling of the investigation into the attacks, will rouse them to political action. And that could spell trouble for Bush, who's making 9/11 the centerpiece of a campaign based largely on national security.

    Posted by Eric at 12:29 AM | Comments (0)

    Anti-Bush = Vote for Hitler?

    Did Oklahoma Republican Rep. Tom Cole equate a vote against President Bush to a vote for Adolf Hitler? AP:

    During a speech to Republicans in Yukon, Okla., last Saturday, the first-term congressman said that "if George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election" since enemies of the United States would interpret it as a sign of weakness ... "What do you think Hitler would have thought if Roosevelt would've lost the election in 1944? He would have thought American resolve was" (weakening), Cole said, according to a spokeswoman.

    After local news reports paraphrased Cole as claiming a vote against Bush is a vote for Hitler, some Democrats demanded he apologize.

    "What I am saying is that in a time of war, if our commander in chief is defeated in an election, our adversary will regard that as a triumph," Cole told CNN in an interview Thursday.

    California Rep. Robert Matsui, chairman of the Democrats' House campaign committee, compared Cole's comments to Bush's new campaign commercials that use images from the terrorist attacks.

    "The Republican Party's continuing attempt to politicize the 9/11 tragedy is an insult to the victims' families and our entire nation," Matsui said in a statement.

    House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer also criticized the statements.

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

    Anti-Bush = Vote for Hitler?

    Did Oklahoma Republican Rep. Tom Cole equate a vote against President Bush to a vote for Adolf Hitler? AP:

    During a speech to Republicans in Yukon, Okla., last Saturday, the first-term congressman said that "if George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election" since enemies of the United States would interpret it as a sign of weakness ... "What do you think Hitler would have thought if Roosevelt would've lost the election in 1944? He would have thought American resolve was" (weakening), Cole said, according to a spokeswoman.

    After local news reports paraphrased Cole as claiming a vote against Bush is a vote for Hitler, some Democrats demanded he apologize.

    "What I am saying is that in a time of war, if our commander in chief is defeated in an election, our adversary will regard that as a triumph," Cole told CNN in an interview Thursday.

    California Rep. Robert Matsui, chairman of the Democrats' House campaign committee, compared Cole's comments to Bush's new campaign commercials that use images from the terrorist attacks.

    "The Republican Party's continuing attempt to politicize the 9/11 tragedy is an insult to the victims' families and our entire nation," Matsui said in a statement.

    House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer also criticized the statements.

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

    March 04, 2004

    James Carville's VPs

    From Political Wire, we find James Carville's VP picks. John Edwards, 6-5: "What Kerry needs is someone to defend him and help make his case. If you had to hire a lawyer to defend you, name a better one."

    Bill Richardson and Dick Gephardt, 5-1, tied for second.

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

    James Carville's VPs

    From Political Wire, we find James Carville's VP picks. John Edwards, 6-5: "What Kerry needs is someone to defend him and help make his case. If you had to hire a lawyer to defend you, name a better one."

    Bill Richardson and Dick Gephardt, 5-1, tied for second.

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

    It's Ohio

    The state of Ohio is the number one battleground state for 2004, some say. Cincy Enquirer:

    Ohio has been called "the new Florida," "Ground Zero," and the No. 1 battleground state in the November election.

    "My dream is to bring the Hardball show out there for a couple nights and just talk to the people, because you people in Ohio are going to decide the election," MSNBC's Chris Matthews told Gov. Bob Taft on Tuesday night.

    On Sunday's Meet the Press, Tim Russert simply wrote, "Ohio, Ohio, Ohio" on his dry-erase board and declared: "This is the state."

    "We have a microcosm of the entire country. And it's the must-win state," said Taft, chairman of the Bush campaign in Ohio. "It's a 50-50 state in the presidential battles although we have almost all the Republican offices now throughout the state. But it will be a number one battleground."

    No Republican has won the White House without winning Ohio.

    "It's going to be a critical state," Vega said. "With the job losses in the state, we think a lot of people in Ohio are looking for new leadership." The state has lost 265,000 jobs in the past three years.

    Posted by Eric at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

    It's Ohio

    The state of Ohio is the number one battleground state for 2004, some say. Cincy Enquirer:

    Ohio has been called "the new Florida," "Ground Zero," and the No. 1 battleground state in the November election.

    "My dream is to bring the Hardball show out there for a couple nights and just talk to the people, because you people in Ohio are going to decide the election," MSNBC's Chris Matthews told Gov. Bob Taft on Tuesday night.

    On Sunday's Meet the Press, Tim Russert simply wrote, "Ohio, Ohio, Ohio" on his dry-erase board and declared: "This is the state."

    "We have a microcosm of the entire country. And it's the must-win state," said Taft, chairman of the Bush campaign in Ohio. "It's a 50-50 state in the presidential battles although we have almost all the Republican offices now throughout the state. But it will be a number one battleground."

    No Republican has won the White House without winning Ohio.

    "It's going to be a critical state," Vega said. "With the job losses in the state, we think a lot of people in Ohio are looking for new leadership." The state has lost 265,000 jobs in the past three years.

    Posted by Eric at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

    More Relatives Criticize Bush

    From the AP:

    Barbara Minervino, a Republican from Middletown, N.J., who lost her husband, Louis, in the attacks, questioned whether Bush was "capitalizing on the event."

    David Potorti, an independent from Cary, N.C., whose brother Jim died in the north tower, called the campaign's use of the images audacious.

    "It's an insult to use the place where my brother died in an ad," Potorti said. "I would be just as outraged if any politician did this."

    Until Bush cooperates with the federal commission that is investigating the nation's preparedness before the attacks and its response "by testifying in public under oath ... he should not be using 9/11 as political propaganda," said Kristen Breitweiser, of Middletown Township, N.J., whose husband, Ronald Breitweiser, 39, died in the World Trade Center.

    "Three thousand people were murdered on President Bush's watch," Breitweiser said. "He has not cooperated with the investigation to find out why that happened."

    Posted by Eric at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)

    More Relatives Criticize Bush

    From the AP:

    Barbara Minervino, a Republican from Middletown, N.J., who lost her husband, Louis, in the attacks, questioned whether Bush was "capitalizing on the event."

    David Potorti, an independent from Cary, N.C., whose brother Jim died in the north tower, called the campaign's use of the images audacious.

    "It's an insult to use the place where my brother died in an ad," Potorti said. "I would be just as outraged if any politician did this."

    Until Bush cooperates with the federal commission that is investigating the nation's preparedness before the attacks and its response "by testifying in public under oath ... he should not be using 9/11 as political propaganda," said Kristen Breitweiser, of Middletown Township, N.J., whose husband, Ronald Breitweiser, 39, died in the World Trade Center.

    "Three thousand people were murdered on President Bush's watch," Breitweiser said. "He has not cooperated with the investigation to find out why that happened."

    Posted by Eric at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)

    Firefighters Respond: Bush Ads "Smack of Political Opportunism"

    The International Association of Fire Fighters, which "represents more than 263,000 full-time professional fire fighters and emergency medical personnel who protect 80 percent of the nations population," rebukes the new Bush 'Leadership' on 9-11 ads. General President Harold Schaitberger

    Im disappointed but not surprised that the President would try to trade on the heroism of those fire fighters in the September 11 attacks. The use of 9/11 images are hypocrisy at its worst. Heres a President that initially opposed the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and now uses its first anniversary as cause to promote his re-election. Here is a President that proposed two budgets with no funding for FIRE Act grants and still plays on the image of Americas bravest. His advertisements are disgraceful.

    Bush is calling on the biggest disaster in our countrys history, and indeed in the history of the fire service, to win sympathy for his campaign. Since the attacks, Bush has been using images of himself putting his arm around a retired FDNY fire fighter on the pile of rubble at ground zero. But for two and a half years he has basically shortchanged fire fighters and the safety of our homeland by not providing fire fighters the resources needed to do the job that America deserves.

    The fact is Bushs actions have resulted in fire stations closing in communities around the country. Two-thirds of Americas fire departments remain under-staffed because Bush is failing to enforce a new law that was passed with bipartisan support in Congress that would put more fire fighters in our communities. President Bushs budget proposes to cut Homeland Security Department funding for first responders by $700 million for next year and cuts funding for the FIRE Act, a grant program that helps fire departments fund equipment needs, 33% by $250 million. In addition, state and local programs for homeland security purposes were reduced $200 million.

    Were going to be aggressive and vocal in our efforts to ensure that the citizens of this country know about Bushs poor record on protecting their safety and providing for the needs of the people who are supposed to respond in an emergency.

    Posted by Eric at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)

    Firefighters Respond: Bush Ads "Smack of Political Opportunism"

    The International Association of Fire Fighters, which "represents more than 263,000 full-time professional fire fighters and emergency medical personnel who protect 80 percent of the nations population," rebukes the new Bush 'Leadership' on 9-11 ads. General President Harold Schaitberger

    Im disappointed but not surprised that the President would try to trade on the heroism of those fire fighters in the September 11 attacks. The use of 9/11 images are hypocrisy at its worst. Heres a President that initially opposed the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and now uses its first anniversary as cause to promote his re-election. Here is a President that proposed two budgets with no funding for FIRE Act grants and still plays on the image of Americas bravest. His advertisements are disgraceful.

    Bush is calling on the biggest disaster in our countrys history, and indeed in the history of the fire service, to win sympathy for his campaign. Since the attacks, Bush has been using images of himself putting his arm around a retired FDNY fire fighter on the pile of rubble at ground zero. But for two and a half years he has basically shortchanged fire fighters and the safety of our homeland by not providing fire fighters the resources needed to do the job that America deserves.

    The fact is Bushs actions have resulted in fire stations closing in communities around the country. Two-thirds of Americas fire departments remain under-staffed because Bush is failing to enforce a new law that was passed with bipartisan support in Congress that would put more fire fighters in our communities. President Bushs budget proposes to cut Homeland Security Department funding for first responders by $700 million for next year and cuts funding for the FIRE Act, a grant program that helps fire departments fund equipment needs, 33% by $250 million. In addition, state and local programs for homeland security purposes were reduced $200 million.

    Were going to be aggressive and vocal in our efforts to ensure that the citizens of this country know about Bushs poor record on protecting their safety and providing for the needs of the people who are supposed to respond in an emergency.

    Posted by Eric at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)

    Furor over Bush's 9/11 Ad; "slap in the face of the murders of 3,000 people"

    Some 9-11 families are angry about new Bush ads that cite Bush's 'leadership' during 9-11 as a reason to vote for him. NY Daily News:

    Gabrielle and several other family members said the injury was compounded by Bush's refusal to testify in open session before the 9/11 commission.

    "I would be less offended if he showed a picture of himself in front of the Statue of Liberty," said Tom Roger, whose daughter was a flight attendant on doomed American Airlines Flight 11. "But to show the horror of 9/11 in the background, that's just some advertising agency's attempt to grab people by the throat."

    Mindy Kleinberg said she was offended because the White House has not cooperated fully with the commission and because of the sight of remains being lifted out of Ground Zero in one of the spots.

    "How heinous is that?" Kleinberg asked. "That's somebody's [loved one]."

    Firefighter Tommy Fee in Rescue Squad 270 in Queens was appalled.

    "It's as sick as people who stole things out of the place. The image of firefighters at Ground Zero should not be used for this stuff, for politics," Fee said.

    Posted by Eric at 09:45 AM | Comments (0)

    Furor over Bush's 9/11 Ad; "slap in the face of the murders of 3,000 people"

    Some 9-11 families are angry about new Bush ads that cite Bush's 'leadership' during 9-11 as a reason to vote for him. NY Daily News:

    Gabrielle and several other family members said the injury was compounded by Bush's refusal to testify in open session before the 9/11 commission.

    "I would be less offended if he showed a picture of himself in front of the Statue of Liberty," said Tom Roger, whose daughter was a flight attendant on doomed American Airlines Flight 11. "But to show the horror of 9/11 in the background, that's just some advertising agency's attempt to grab people by the throat."

    Mindy Kleinberg said she was offended because the White House has not cooperated fully with the commission and because of the sight of remains being lifted out of Ground Zero in one of the spots.

    "How heinous is that?" Kleinberg asked. "That's somebody's [loved one]."

    Firefighter Tommy Fee in Rescue Squad 270 in Queens was appalled.

    "It's as sick as people who stole things out of the place. The image of firefighters at Ground Zero should not be used for this stuff, for politics," Fee said.

    Posted by Eric at 09:45 AM | Comments (0)

    Guardian: John Kerry "hope of the world"

    The British newspaper says Kerry's nomination is "something for Britons to welcome too."

    But the consensus of current polls is that this is now a genuine contest. It is clear both that Mr Bush is beatable and that Mr Kerry is the best choice that the Democrats could have made to beat him. America's voters have done themselves a great favour. If they had picked Mr Dean, Mr Bush would have made mincemeat of him. By picking Mr Kerry, they have given the Democrats their best chance of recapturing the White House. That is something for Britons to welcome too. Nothing in world politics would make more difference to the rest of us than a change in the White House.

    The free world has never had a stronger interest in the result of a US election than it has in the defeat of Mr Bush. Senator Kerry carries the hopes not just of millions of Americans but of millions of British well-wishers, not to mention those of nations throughout Europe and the world.

    Posted by Eric at 09:33 AM | Comments (0)

    Guardian: John Kerry "hope of the world"

    The British newspaper says Kerry's nomination is "something for Britons to welcome too."

    But the consensus of current polls is that this is now a genuine contest. It is clear both that Mr Bush is beatable and that Mr Kerry is the best choice that the Democrats could have made to beat him. America's voters have done themselves a great favour. If they had picked Mr Dean, Mr Bush would have made mincemeat of him. By picking Mr Kerry, they have given the Democrats their best chance of recapturing the White House. That is something for Britons to welcome too. Nothing in world politics would make more difference to the rest of us than a change in the White House.

    The free world has never had a stronger interest in the result of a US election than it has in the defeat of Mr Bush. Senator Kerry carries the hopes not just of millions of Americans but of millions of British well-wishers, not to mention those of nations throughout Europe and the world.

    Posted by Eric at 09:33 AM | Comments (0)

    March 03, 2004

    Edwards: Kerry "has what it takes, right here in his heart, to be president of the United States"

    The concluding speech to his campaign.

    Posted by Eric at 09:05 PM | Comments (0)

    Edwards: Kerry "has what it takes, right here in his heart, to be president of the United States"

    The concluding speech to his campaign.

    Posted by Eric at 09:05 PM | Comments (0)

    And So It Begins ...

    George W Bush can "lead" on a variety of issues.

    George W Bush has been "tested" during times of national adversity (9-11, terrorism). Further, Bush has given America strength through his leadership.

    George W Bush has made the country "safer, stronger" during his 4 years. Inherited bad economy, 9-11 reference again.

    GW Bush new ads to begin airing tomorrow. All playing on the theme of Bush uniting and leading the country with his strong leadership after 9-11 to safe ground.

    Posted by Eric at 05:58 PM | Comments (0)

    And So It Begins ...

    George W Bush can "lead" on a variety of issues.

    George W Bush has been "tested" during times of national adversity (9-11, terrorism). Further, Bush has given America strength through his leadership.

    George W Bush has made the country "safer, stronger" during his 4 years. Inherited bad economy, 9-11 reference again.

    GW Bush new ads to begin airing tomorrow. All playing on the theme of Bush uniting and leading the country with his strong leadership after 9-11 to safe ground.

    Posted by Eric at 05:58 PM | Comments (0)

    Should Sharpton and Kucinich Go?

    With likely little additional media attention (though they never really got much), the nominee decided, and their pet issues pushed for the past several months, should Rep. Kucinich and Al Sharpton drop out as well? David Corn thinks so:

    Every presidential campaign needs someone to push the policy envelope. With his advocacy of a single-payer, nonprofit healthcare system, his proposal for a Department of Peace, his pledge to trash Nafta, and his call to replace U.S. troops in Iraq with international peacekeepers (a plan that rests on several optimistic assumptions), Kucinich played that noble role. But now it's time to fold the tent. He had his shot. The left wing of the party--the peaceniks, the anti-Naftaistas--did not rally behind him in sufficient numbers. And the math is undeniable; he has no chance. One can--and should--only defy the physical laws of the universe for so long. Yet before the votes were tallied on Super Tuesday Kucinich was vowing to keep going until the convention. On CNN, he claimed that Democrats had to choose him because he is the only candidate who could bring in "the Greens, the Natural Law Party." The Natural Law Party? While every vote does count--Florida showed that--it's doubtful that the Democratic nominee's fortunes will rise or fall on the disposition of the Natural Law Party vote. And Kucinich failed to win over more than 9 percent of the Democratic voters of his home state of Ohio. With his presidential campaign, Kucinich did position himself as a--if not the--leading progressive of the House Democrats. But if Kucinich stays in the race, insisting that only he can beat Bush by attracting outsider voters, he risks coming across as a crank who cannot recognize political realities rather than as a visionary willing to challenge conventional thinking.

    9. If Kucinich should go, then Sharpton should really go. It's galling to watch this man go on and on about the need to stay in the race so he can arrive at the convention with delegates and make sure his party ends up with the right policy positions. Sharpton endorsed Republican Senator Alfonse D'Amato, an ethics-challenged machine hack, in 1986 over Democratic nominee Mark Green. (History declared: I worked on the Green campaign.) Sharpton also supported Republican Michael Bloomberg's mayoral bid in 2001 (again, over Green). And this year he is being advised and assisted (including financially) by GOP strategist Roger Stone, who was involved in the so-called khaki riot at the Dade County municipal office in 2000 that may have led to the shutdown of the Miami recount. So where is (and was) the party loyalty Sharpton now cites as his reason for staying in the race until the convention? He's not in this for a platform debate--as if that matters this year. He's in this to advance a single cause: Al Sharpton. He wants the camera time, and he wants a speaking gig at the convention. The Democrats have showed him more than enough kindness. He's lucky to have received the free air time he's already obtained. This reverend deserves no more time in the pulpit.

    Kucinich, by the way, says he won't drop. Sharpton hasn't given any indication he's leaving yet. None of this ultimately matters, of course, since the nominee is Kerry.

    Posted by Eric at 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

    Should Sharpton and Kucinich Go?

    With likely little additional media attention (though they never really got much), the nominee decided, and their pet issues pushed for the past several months, should Rep. Kucinich and Al Sharpton drop out as well? David Corn thinks so:

    Every presidential campaign needs someone to push the policy envelope. With his advocacy of a single-payer, nonprofit healthcare system, his proposal for a Department of Peace, his pledge to trash Nafta, and his call to replace U.S. troops in Iraq with international peacekeepers (a plan that rests on several optimistic assumptions), Kucinich played that noble role. But now it's time to fold the tent. He had his shot. The left wing of the party--the peaceniks, the anti-Naftaistas--did not rally behind him in sufficient numbers. And the math is undeniable; he has no chance. One can--and should--only defy the physical laws of the universe for so long. Yet before the votes were tallied on Super Tuesday Kucinich was vowing to keep going until the convention. On CNN, he claimed that Democrats had to choose him because he is the only candidate who could bring in "the Greens, the Natural Law Party." The Natural Law Party? While every vote does count--Florida showed that--it's doubtful that the Democratic nominee's fortunes will rise or fall on the disposition of the Natural Law Party vote. And Kucinich failed to win over more than 9 percent of the Democratic voters of his home state of Ohio. With his presidential campaign, Kucinich did position himself as a--if not the--leading progressive of the House Democrats. But if Kucinich stays in the race, insisting that only he can beat Bush by attracting outsider voters, he risks coming across as a crank who cannot recognize political realities rather than as a visionary willing to challenge conventional thinking.

    9. If Kucinich should go, then Sharpton should really go. It's galling to watch this man go on and on about the need to stay in the race so he can arrive at the convention with delegates and make sure his party ends up with the right policy positions. Sharpton endorsed Republican Senator Alfonse D'Amato, an ethics-challenged machine hack, in 1986 over Democratic nominee Mark Green. (History declared: I worked on the Green campaign.) Sharpton also supported Republican Michael Bloomberg's mayoral bid in 2001 (again, over Green). And this year he is being advised and assisted (including financially) by GOP strategist Roger Stone, who was involved in the so-called khaki riot at the Dade County municipal office in 2000 that may have led to the shutdown of the Miami recount. So where is (and was) the party loyalty Sharpton now cites as his reason for staying in the race until the convention? He's not in this for a platform debate--as if that matters this year. He's in this to advance a single cause: Al Sharpton. He wants the camera time, and he wants a speaking gig at the convention. The Democrats have showed him more than enough kindness. He's lucky to have received the free air time he's already obtained. This reverend deserves no more time in the pulpit.

    Kucinich, by the way, says he won't drop. Sharpton hasn't given any indication he's leaving yet. None of this ultimately matters, of course, since the nominee is Kerry.

    Posted by Eric at 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

    March 02, 2004

    John Kerry Victory Speech

    John Kerry tonight:

    And in 2004, we will tell the truth about whats happened in our country, and we will fight to give America back its future and its hope.

    There are powerful forces that want America to continue on its present path. And there are also millions of Americans hurt by policies that favor the few, who doubt whether government once again can work for them. Millions more live in fear everyday that they will lose their job, or lose their healthcare or lose their pensions.

    My campaign is about replacing doubt with hope, and replacing fear with security.

    Together we will build a strong foundation for growth by repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to cut the deficit in half in four years and invest in health care and education.

    We will repeal every tax break and every loophole that rewards any corporation for gaming the tax code to go overseas and avoid their responsibilities to America.

    We will provide new incentives for manufacturing that reward good companies for creating and keeping good jobs here at home.

    We will fight for worker and environmental protections in the core of every trade agreement and we will raise the minimum wage because no one who works 40 hours a week should have to live in poverty in America.

    And we will meet one of the historic challenges of our generation with a bold new plan for energy independence that will invest in technologies of the future and create 500,000 new jobs, so young Americans in uniform will never be held hostage to Mideast oil.

    We will stand up for the fundamental fairness of health care as a right and not a privilege.

    For an America where Medicare and Social Security are protected; health care costs are held down; and your familys health is just as important as any politicians in Washington.

    We will rejoin the community of nations and renew our alliances because that is essential to final victory in the war on terror.

    The Bush Administration has run the most arrogant, inept, reckless, and ideological foreign policy in modern history.

    This President wants to run on national security. Well, if George Bush wants to make national security the central issue in 2004, I have three simple words for him I know he understands: Bring it on.

    Posted by Eric at 11:00 PM | Comments (0)

    John Kerry Victory Speech

    John Kerry tonight:

    And in 2004, we will tell the truth about whats happened in our country, and we will fight to give America back its future and its hope.

    There are powerful forces that want America to continue on its present path. And there are also millions of Americans hurt by policies that favor the few, who doubt whether government once again can work for them. Millions more live in fear everyday that they will lose their job, or lose their healthcare or lose their pensions.

    My campaign is about replacing doubt with hope, and replacing fear with security.

    Together we will build a strong foundation for growth by repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to cut the deficit in half in four years and invest in health care and education.

    We will repeal every tax break and every loophole that rewards any corporation for gaming the tax code to go overseas and avoid their responsibilities to America.

    We will provide new incentives for manufacturing that reward good companies for creating and keeping good jobs here at home.

    We will fight for worker and environmental protections in the core of every trade agreement and we will raise the minimum wage because no one who works 40 hours a week should have to live in poverty in America.

    And we will meet one of the historic challenges of our generation with a bold new plan for energy independence that will invest in technologies of the future and create 500,000 new jobs, so young Americans in uniform will never be held hostage to Mideast oil.

    We will stand up for the fundamental fairness of health care as a right and not a privilege.

    For an America where Medicare and Social Security are protected; health care costs are held down; and your familys health is just as important as any politicians in Washington.

    We will rejoin the community of nations and renew our alliances because that is essential to final victory in the war on terror.

    The Bush Administration has run the most arrogant, inept, reckless, and ideological foreign policy in modern history.

    This President wants to run on national security. Well, if George Bush wants to make national security the central issue in 2004, I have three simple words for him I know he understands: Bring it on.

    Posted by Eric at 11:00 PM | Comments (0)

    Edwards Out

    The likable candidate ran a great campaign, and gave Kerry a strong debate. Let the VP speculation begin. But anyway, John Kerry is your Democratic nominee. CNN:

    Sen. John Edwards decided to quit his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday night, following projected victories by front-runner Sen. John Kerry, according to sources.

    Edwards will announce his decision Wednesday in Raleigh, North Carolina, according to a campaign aide. In Atlanta, Georgia, Edwards was addressing supporters, and he had words of praise for Kerry.

    Edwards' departure clears the way for Kerry to claim his party's nomination in July. While two other candidates remain in the race, they have never figured in the fight.

    Kerry, who came into Super Tuesday as the front-runner, will win Maryland, Connecticut and his native state of Massachusetts by wide margins, CNN projected, and he is projected to win Ohio as well.

    Help out the future Democratic Party nominee.

    Contribute.

    Volunteer.

    Meetup

    Sign-up for Kerry Core.

    Other online actions.

    Posted by Eric at 08:11 PM | Comments (0)

    Edwards Out

    The likable candidate ran a great campaign, and gave Kerry a strong debate. Let the VP speculation begin. But anyway, John Kerry is your Democratic nominee. CNN:

    Sen. John Edwards decided to quit his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday night, following projected victories by front-runner Sen. John Kerry, according to sources.

    Edwards will announce his decision Wednesday in Raleigh, North Carolina, according to a campaign aide. In Atlanta, Georgia, Edwards was addressing supporters, and he had words of praise for Kerry.

    Edwards' departure clears the way for Kerry to claim his party's nomination in July. While two other candidates remain in the race, they have never figured in the fight.

    Kerry, who came into Super Tuesday as the front-runner, will win Maryland, Connecticut and his native state of Massachusetts by wide margins, CNN projected, and he is projected to win Ohio as well.

    Help out the future Democratic Party nominee.

    Contribute.

    Volunteer.

    Meetup

    Sign-up for Kerry Core.

    Other online actions.

    Posted by Eric at 08:11 PM | Comments (0)

    Dean Wins Vermont

    Dean has done a lot of good for the Democratic Party, and apparently he's done a lot of good for his home state: he's taken Vermont even though he's not in the race anymore.

    Posted by Eric at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

    Dean Wins Vermont

    Dean has done a lot of good for the Democratic Party, and apparently he's done a lot of good for his home state: he's taken Vermont even though he's not in the race anymore.

    Posted by Eric at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

    Edwards and Georgia

    John Edwards will need to take Georgia in order to continue to be competitive, Northwest Georgia Daily Citz:

    Tuesday is do or die for North Carolina Sen. John Edwards' presidential campaign, say some experts.

    "He has to win in Georgia," said University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock.

    Georgia is one of 10 states taking part in the Super Tuesday presidential primaries.

    Recent polls show Edwards closing the gap in the state with Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic front-runner.

    "The real surprise may be that (Edwards) hasn't gained even more momentum. He's more moderate than Kerry, and probably more in tune with Georgia Democrats. And he's a Southerner," said Robert Sanders, a political scientist at the State University of West Georgia.

    Georgia has an open primary. A registered voter can just show up and ask for either a Democratic or Republican ballot. Since President George W. Bush is unopposed this year, some Republicans and independents may vote in the Democratic primary.

    "That's good news for Edwards. He has been doing better than Kerry among Republicans and independents so far," Bullock said.

    Posted by Eric at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

    Edwards and Georgia

    John Edwards will need to take Georgia in order to continue to be competitive, Northwest Georgia Daily Citz:

    Tuesday is do or die for North Carolina Sen. John Edwards' presidential campaign, say some experts.

    "He has to win in Georgia," said University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock.

    Georgia is one of 10 states taking part in the Super Tuesday presidential primaries.

    Recent polls show Edwards closing the gap in the state with Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic front-runner.

    "The real surprise may be that (Edwards) hasn't gained even more momentum. He's more moderate than Kerry, and probably more in tune with Georgia Democrats. And he's a Southerner," said Robert Sanders, a political scientist at the State University of West Georgia.

    Georgia has an open primary. A registered voter can just show up and ask for either a Democratic or Republican ballot. Since President George W. Bush is unopposed this year, some Republicans and independents may vote in the Democratic primary.

    "That's good news for Edwards. He has been doing better than Kerry among Republicans and independents so far," Bullock said.

    Posted by Eric at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

    March 01, 2004

    Don't Go There, Snap Snap

    Ryan Lizza over at The New Republic blog notes that the "Bush campaign put out a useful fact sheet this morning documenting John Kerry's views on various defense and national security issues going back to a 1970 interview Kerry gave to The Harvard Crimson when he was 26 years old" but "if this election is really going to be about what the candidates said or did 20 or 30 years ago, we might as well have a side-by-side comparison." Lizza notes that the Bush campaign may be wary of these past things:

    Bush in 1972: After Smashing Into Trash Cans, Bush Wanted To Fight Future Head of CIA. "In a now famous incident, [Bush] took his then-16-year-old brother, Marvin, out drinking and ran over a neighbor's garbage cans on the way home; and when confronted by his father, he challenged him to go 'mano a mano'outside." (Lois Romano and Mike Allen, "Guard Records on President are Released," The Washington Post, 2/11/04) ... Bush in 1986: As Struggling Oilman, Bush Drank a Lot. "

    On July 28, 1986, George W. Bush woke up with a hangover. It had been a loud, liquid night at the venerable Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs as he and friends from Texas celebrated their collective 40th birthdays. Now, as he embarked on his ritual morning run through a spectacular Rockies landscape, Bush felt lousy.... A charismatic partier since his school days, Bush liked to drink what he called the four Bs--beer, bourbon and B&B." (Lois Romano, "1986: A Life-Changing Year; Epiphany Fueled Candidate's Climb," The Washington Post, 7/25/99)

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

    Don't Go There, Snap Snap

    Ryan Lizza over at The New Republic blog notes that the "Bush campaign put out a useful fact sheet this morning documenting John Kerry's views on various defense and national security issues going back to a 1970 interview Kerry gave to The Harvard Crimson when he was 26 years old" but "if this election is really going to be about what the candidates said or did 20 or 30 years ago, we might as well have a side-by-side comparison." Lizza notes that the Bush campaign may be wary of these past things:

    Bush in 1972: After Smashing Into Trash Cans, Bush Wanted To Fight Future Head of CIA. "In a now famous incident, [Bush] took his then-16-year-old brother, Marvin, out drinking and ran over a neighbor's garbage cans on the way home; and when confronted by his father, he challenged him to go 'mano a mano'outside." (Lois Romano and Mike Allen, "Guard Records on President are Released," The Washington Post, 2/11/04) ... Bush in 1986: As Struggling Oilman, Bush Drank a Lot. "

    On July 28, 1986, George W. Bush woke up with a hangover. It had been a loud, liquid night at the venerable Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs as he and friends from Texas celebrated their collective 40th birthdays. Now, as he embarked on his ritual morning run through a spectacular Rockies landscape, Bush felt lousy.... A charismatic partier since his school days, Bush liked to drink what he called the four Bs--beer, bourbon and B&B." (Lois Romano, "1986: A Life-Changing Year; Epiphany Fueled Candidate's Climb," The Washington Post, 7/25/99)

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

    Napolitano For VP?

    Increasing speculation about the Arizona Gov for the VP slot. Arizona Republic:

    Governors of such states as Michigan, Iowa and New Mexico identified those qualities last week in explaining Napolitano's swift and steady rise in national politics since she became governor of Arizona 14 months ago.

    "Boy, she is tough and smart as a whip," said Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, herself a rising star in Democratic circles. "She's got a great sense of humor. She is a leader on national issues. If I'm going into battle, I definitely want Janet Napolitano on my side."

    Her name is on the most-talked-about "short list" in politics: the vice presidential sweepstakes. And last week, she was a hit among her peers at the National Governors Conference in Washington, D.C.

    A Republican strategist says these flattering things about Napolitano:
    Nathan Sproul of Phoenix, a Republican consultant, said the political reality is that Napolitano would stumble at a national level because she is unmarried and doesn't have children. She is opposed to same-sex marriage and has said she is not gay. Still, she does not fit the family profile of a winning national candidate, Sproul said.
    Whisper, whisper.

    Another governor, Bill Richardson of New Mexico, is being touted by Democrats.

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

    Napolitano For VP?

    Increasing speculation about the Arizona Gov for the VP slot. Arizona Republic:

    Governors of such states as Michigan, Iowa and New Mexico identified those qualities last week in explaining Napolitano's swift and steady rise in national politics since she became governor of Arizona 14 months ago.

    "Boy, she is tough and smart as a whip," said Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, herself a rising star in Democratic circles. "She's got a great sense of humor. She is a leader on national issues. If I'm going into battle, I definitely want Janet Napolitano on my side."

    Her name is on the most-talked-about "short list" in politics: the vice presidential sweepstakes. And last week, she was a hit among her peers at the National Governors Conference in Washington, D.C.

    A Republican strategist says these flattering things about Napolitano:
    Nathan Sproul of Phoenix, a Republican consultant, said the political reality is that Napolitano would stumble at a national level because she is unmarried and doesn't have children. She is opposed to same-sex marriage and has said she is not gay. Still, she does not fit the family profile of a winning national candidate, Sproul said.
    Whisper, whisper.

    Another governor, Bill Richardson of New Mexico, is being touted by Democrats.

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

    February 29, 2004

    Another Poll Shows Kerry-Edwards Beats Bush

    From AP / CBS News poll:

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

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

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

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

    Another Poll Shows Kerry-Edwards Beats Bush

    From AP / CBS News poll:

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

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

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

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

    February 28, 2004

    Kerry Leads in Maryland and Georgia

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

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

    Kerry Leads in Maryland and Georgia

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

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

    February 27, 2004

    John Kerry: Bush Lite?

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

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

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

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

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

    John Kerry: Bush Lite?

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

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

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

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

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

    John Kerry Weak on Defense?

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

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

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

    Another bit of dishonesty is RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie's claim, at a news conference today, that in 1995, Kerry voted to cut $1.5 billion from the intelligence budget. John Pike, who runs the invaluable globalsecurity.org Web site, told me what that cut was about: The Air Force's National Reconnaissance Office had appropriated that much money to operate a spy satellite that, as things turned out, it never launched. So the Senate passed an amendment rescinding the moneynot to cancel a program, but to get a refund on a program that the NRO had canceled. Kerry voted for the amendment, as did a majority of his colleagues.

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

    John Kerry Weak on Defense?

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

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

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

    Another bit of dishonesty is RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie's claim, at a news conference today, that in 1995, Kerry voted to cut $1.5 billion from the intelligence budget. John Pike, who runs the invaluable globalsecurity.org Web site, told me what that cut was about: The Air Force's National Reconnaissance Office had appropriated that much money to operate a spy satellite that, as things turned out, it never launched. So the Senate passed an amendment rescinding the moneynot to cancel a program, but to get a refund on a program that the NRO had canceled. Kerry voted for the amendment, as did a majority of his colleagues.

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

    February 26, 2004

    Kerry Big in NY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Kerry Big in NY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Perle "Resigns"

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

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

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

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

    This is his resignation letter.

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

    Perle "Resigns"

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

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

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

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

    This is his resignation letter.

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

    February 25, 2004

    Dean Advisor: Nader Team Asked Dean for VP Slot

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

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

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

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

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

    Dean Advisor: Nader Team Asked Dean for VP Slot

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

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

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

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

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

    Bob Graham to Kerry

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

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

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

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

    Bob Graham to Kerry

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

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

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

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

    Kerry Wins Hawaii, Kucinich in 2nd

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Speaking of Hawaii, this is me.

    No, it's not.

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

    Kerry Wins Hawaii, Kucinich in 2nd

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Speaking of Hawaii, this is me.

    No, it's not.

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

    February 21, 2004

    Another Poll, Another Bush Defeat

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

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

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

    Another Poll, Another Bush Defeat

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

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

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

    Doug Ireland on Al Sharpton

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Ireland concludes that Sharpton's campaign is "nothing more than another scam hes running on black Americans, one designed to undermine the movement to defeat George Bush. Fortunately, black voters arent as gullible as the cynical Sharpton thinks they are they know an unprincipled huckster when they see one. Which is why Sharpton despite the help from his GOP bedmates on which his campaign depends has been rejected by significant majorities of African-Americans this year at the polls." Ouch.

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

    Doug Ireland on Al Sharpton

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Ireland concludes that Sharpton's campaign is "nothing more than another scam hes running on black Americans, one designed to undermine the movement to defeat George Bush. Fortunately, black voters arent as gullible as the cynical Sharpton thinks they are they know an unprincipled huckster when they see one. Which is why Sharpton despite the help from his GOP bedmates on which his campaign depends has been rejected by significant majorities of African-Americans this year at the polls." Ouch.

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

    The 3 Forgotten States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The 3 Forgotten States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    February 20, 2004

    Edwards Wants More Debates

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

    Dear Senator Kerry:

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

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

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

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

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

    Regards,

    John Edwards

    CC:
    Congressman Dennis Kucinich
    Reverend Al Sharpton

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

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

    Edwards Wants More Debates

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

    Dear Senator Kerry:

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

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

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

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

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

    Regards,

    John Edwards

    CC:
    Congressman Dennis Kucinich
    Reverend Al Sharpton

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

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

    Economic Policy Inst: "Bush budget clearly tailored for election year"

    Nah, really?

    The figure shows selected areas where spending increases proposed by President Bush for the coming fiscal year 2005 are followed by slowdowns or reversals in spending growth. For instance, the Department of Veterans Affairs increases by more than 11% in 2005, but by an annual average of less than 3% from 2006 through 2009. The implied fall in education spending after 2005 is especially troubling in light of the burgeoning cost to the states of implementing the "No Child Left Behind" education guidelines.

    The contrast between proposed spending growth in 2005 and the years that follow points to several problems. Under any circumstances, it would make more sense to have a smooth rate of increase in any given area. But even more problematic is that after 2005 the slow rates of increaseand in some cases, decreasesare unrealistic and exaggerate likely budget savings and deficit reduction.

    See the handy graph

    Posted by Eric at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

    Economic Policy Inst: "Bush budget clearly tailored for election year"

    Nah, really?

    The figure shows selected areas where spending increases proposed by President Bush for the coming fiscal year 2005 are followed by slowdowns or reversals in spending growth. For instance, the Department of Veterans Affairs increases by more than 11% in 2005, but by an annual average of less than 3% from 2006 through 2009. The implied fall in education spending after 2005 is especially troubling in light of the burgeoning cost to the states of implementing the "No Child Left Behind" education guidelines.

    The contrast between proposed spending growth in 2005 and the years that follow points to several problems. Under any circumstances, it would make more sense to have a smooth rate of increase in any given area. But even more problematic is that after 2005 the slow rates of increaseand in some cases, decreasesare unrealistic and exaggerate likely budget savings and deficit reduction.

    See the handy graph

    Posted by Eric at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

    Evangelicals to Stay Home?

    Evangelical say they aren't being properly attended to by the Bush administration:

    President Bush left several million evangelical voters "on the table" four years ago and again is having trouble energizing Christian conservatives, prominent leaders on the religious right say.

    "It's not just economic conservatives upset by runaway federal spending that he's having trouble with. I think his biggest problem will be social conservatives who are not motivated to work for the ticket and to ensure their fellow Christians get to the polling booth," said Robert H. Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute.

    "If there is a rerun of 2000, when an estimated 6 million fewer evangelical Christians voted than in the pivotal year of 1994, then the Bush ticket will be in trouble, especially if there is no [Ralph] Nader alternative to draw Democratic votes away from the Democratic candidate," added Mr. Knight, whose organization is an affiliate of Concerned Women for America (CWA).

    So what specifically do they want?
    Their list of grievances is long, but right now social conservatives are mad over what many consider the president's failure to strongly condemn illegal homosexual "marriages" being performed in San Francisco under the authority of Mayor Gavin Newsom.

    Top religious rights activists have been burning up the telephone lines, sharing what one privately called their "apoplexy" over Mr. Bush's failure to act decisively on the issue, although he has said he would support a constitutional amendment if necessary to ban same-sex "marriages."

    They also want tougher, more conservative judges appointed to the bench, with the power of the White House behind the appointments.

    Posted by Eric at 01:41 AM | Comments (0)

    Evangelicals to Stay Home?

    Evangelical say they aren't being properly attended to by the Bush administration:

    President Bush left several million evangelical voters "on the table" four years ago and again is having trouble energizing Christian conservatives, prominent leaders on the religious right say.

    "It's not just economic conservatives upset by runaway federal spending that he's having trouble with. I think his biggest problem will be social conservatives who are not motivated to work for the ticket and to ensure their fellow Christians get to the polling booth," said Robert H. Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute.

    "If there is a rerun of 2000, when an estimated 6 million fewer evangelical Christians voted than in the pivotal year of 1994, then the Bush ticket will be in trouble, especially if there is no [Ralph] Nader alternative to draw Democratic votes away from the Democratic candidate," added Mr. Knight, whose organization is an affiliate of Concerned Women for America (CWA).

    So what specifically do they want?
    Their list of grievances is long, but right now social conservatives are mad over what many consider the president's failure to strongly condemn illegal homosexual "marriages" being performed in San Francisco under the authority of Mayor Gavin Newsom.

    Top religious rights activists have been burning up the telephone lines, sharing what one privately called their "apoplexy" over Mr. Bush's failure to act decisively on the issue, although he has said he would support a constitutional amendment if necessary to ban same-sex "marriages."

    They also want tougher, more conservative judges appointed to the bench, with the power of the White House behind the appointments.

    Posted by Eric at 01:41 AM | Comments (0)

    February 19, 2004

    Supporters Losing the Texas Swagger

    Bad polling, poor public performances, and all those Bushisms are making some GOP faithful nervous. From Reuters:

    Since the beginning of 2004, President Bush (news - web sites) has suffered one political misfire after another, prompting some Republicans to wonder anxiously when the White House political machine will get in gear.

    This may have been the worst six weeks of Bush's political career," said Rick Davis, who managed the 2000 presidential bid by Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) which lost to Bush.

    In the latest embarrassment to hit the White House, the administration on Wednesday distanced itself from its own buoyant employment forecast that had predicted 2.6 million new jobs this year.

    That followed red faces over a statement by Gregory Mankiw, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, who described the process by which hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs are migrating overseas as both natural and good.

    With many Americans extremely anxious over their job security, that statement seemed particularly callous and politically ill-judged.

    "For whatever reason, the White House has hit a rough patch and can't seem to get its political machinery in motion," said Keith Appell, a Republican political consultant ... The White House allowed a controversy over Bush's service in the National Guard to grab headlines for two weeks. And the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Bush's main justification for last year's war, promises to be a continuing embarrassment.

    "It seems to me that Bush's people were so busy raising their incredible war chest that they didn't focus on reaching back to their political base and to the people," said K.B. Forbes, a former spokesman for Republican presidential candidates Steve Forbes (news - web sites) and Pat Buchanan (news - web sites).

    Posted by Eric at 05:42 PM | Comments (0)

    Supporters Losing the Texas Swagger

    Bad polling, poor public performances, and all those Bushisms are making some GOP faithful nervous. From Reuters:

    Since the beginning of 2004, President Bush (news - web sites) has suffered one political misfire after another, prompting some Republicans to wonder anxiously when the White House political machine will get in gear.

    This may have been the worst six weeks of Bush's political career," said Rick Davis, who managed the 2000 presidential bid by Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) which lost to Bush.

    In the latest embarrassment to hit the White House, the administration on Wednesday distanced itself from its own buoyant employment forecast that had predicted 2.6 million new jobs this year.

    That followed red faces over a statement by Gregory Mankiw, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, who described the process by which hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs are migrating overseas as both natural and good.

    With many Americans extremely anxious over their job security, that statement seemed particularly callous and politically ill-judged.

    "For whatever reason, the White House has hit a rough patch and can't seem to get its political machinery in motion," said Keith Appell, a Republican political consultant ... The White House allowed a controversy over Bush's service in the National Guard to grab headlines for two weeks. And the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Bush's main justification for last year's war, promises to be a continuing embarrassment.

    "It seems to me that Bush's people were so busy raising their incredible war chest that they didn't focus on reaching back to their political base and to the people," said K.B. Forbes, a former spokesman for Republican presidential candidates Steve Forbes (news - web sites) and Pat Buchanan (news - web sites).

    Posted by Eric at 05:42 PM | Comments (0)

    AFL-CIO Backs Kerry

    Today, in a public rally right across from where I work, the AFL-CIO made it official. The AFL-CIO is comprised of 64 unions representing more than 13 million U.S. workers. AP:

    "John Kerry will lead us in our fight to make creating good jobs America's number one priority," Sweeney said, his focus on ousting President Bush in November.

    All the talk of unity was in sharp contrast to the fate of organized labor in recent months. Unable to settle on one candidate, the AFL-CIO withheld its endorsement late last year, a reflection of the fissures among the unions.

    More than 20 of the international unions backed Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri, the presidential candidate who had carried labor's water in Congress for nearly three decades. But the largest unions -- the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union -- stunned the Democratic race by endorsing Howard Dean.

    When the first votes were counted in Iowa, labor proved to be the big loser -- along with Gephardt, who finished a poor fourth and exited the race, and Dean, who was a disappointing third. The political influence of labor and its voter-turnout operations appeared to be waning.

    The labor vote has been critical to the Democrats, with union members voting for Al Gore over George Bush by about a 2-to-1 margin in 2000, according to exit polls. Those in labor households made up a quarter of the vote, and they went for Gore by almost as big a margin.

    The AFL-CIO website has an extensive list of reasons why they're supporting Kerry. Among them:
    One of the first priorities of a John Kerry White House will be to restore the nearly 3 million private sector jobsincluding some 2.8 million manufacturing jobsthat have disappeared during the Bush administration. Kerry backs polices that will strengthen the middle class: He wants to protect the increases in the child tax credit, the reduced marriage penalty and the new tax bracket that helps people save $350 on their first level of income. Kerry wants to give more tax breaks to the middle class with new tax credits on health care and college tuition. Kerry says one way to shore up our nation's industrial base is with a new tax credit to encourage manufacturers to remain in this country and expand their operations in the United States. Kerry has proposed creating jobs through a new manufacturing jobs credit, by investing in new energy industries, restoring technology and stopping layoffs in education. Kerry believes one of the surest steps to job creation is focusing federal infrastructure resources on critically needed projects such as building roads and bridges and water and sewer systems and upgrading the nations transportation systems. Kerry also calls for a new State Tax Relief and Education Fund to help states overcome the nearly $100 billion in state budget deficits created by Bush administration policies that have forced states to cut public safety, education and health care, lay off workers and raise taxes and fees. A Kerry administration will fight to save overtime rights, close the pay gap between men and women wage earners and raise the minimum wage.

    Posted by Eric at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)

    AFL-CIO Backs Kerry

    Today, in a public rally right across from where I work, the AFL-CIO made it official. The AFL-CIO is comprised of 64 unions representing more than 13 million U.S. workers. AP:

    "John Kerry will lead us in our fight to make creating good jobs America's number one priority," Sweeney said, his focus on ousting President Bush in November.

    All the talk of unity was in sharp contrast to the fate of organized labor in recent months. Unable to settle on one candidate, the AFL-CIO withheld its endorsement late last year, a reflection of the fissures among the unions.

    More than 20 of the international unions backed Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri, the presidential candidate who had carried labor's water in Congress for nearly three decades. But the largest unions -- the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union -- stunned the Democratic race by endorsing Howard Dean.

    When the first votes were counted in Iowa, labor proved to be the big loser -- along with Gephardt, who finished a poor fourth and exited the race, and Dean, who was a disappointing third. The political influence of labor and its voter-turnout operations appeared to be waning.

    The labor vote has been critical to the Democrats, with union members voting for Al Gore over George Bush by about a 2-to-1 margin in 2000, according to exit polls. Those in labor households made up a quarter of the vote, and they went for Gore by almost as big a margin.

    The AFL-CIO website has an extensive list of reasons why they're supporting Kerry. Among them:
    One of the first priorities of a John Kerry White House will be to restore the nearly 3 million private sector jobsincluding some 2.8 million manufacturing jobsthat have disappeared during the Bush administration. Kerry backs polices that will strengthen the middle class: He wants to protect the increases in the child tax credit, the reduced marriage penalty and the new tax bracket that helps people save $350 on their first level of income. Kerry wants to give more tax breaks to the middle class with new tax credits on health care and college tuition. Kerry says one way to shore up our nation's industrial base is with a new tax credit to encourage manufacturers to remain in this country and expand their operations in the United States. Kerry has proposed creating jobs through a new manufacturing jobs credit, by investing in new energy industries, restoring technology and stopping layoffs in education. Kerry believes one of the surest steps to job creation is focusing federal infrastructure resources on critically needed projects such as building roads and bridges and water and sewer systems and upgrading the nations transportation systems. Kerry also calls for a new State Tax Relief and Education Fund to help states overcome the nearly $100 billion in state budget deficits created by Bush administration policies that have forced states to cut public safety, education and health care, lay off workers and raise taxes and fees. A Kerry administration will fight to save overtime rights, close the pay gap between men and women wage earners and raise the minimum wage.

    Posted by Eric at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)

    February 18, 2004

    Kerry and Edwards Now Ahead of Bush

    Granted, early polls don't mean much, but they can be used by the campaigns of Edwards and Kerry as 'I'm electable' evidence. Also, this is a large lead (double digits for both). From the AP:

    Both John Kerry and John Edwards are ahead of President Bush by double digits when matched against him in hypothetical elections, says a poll released Wednesday.

    Kerry, the Democratic front-runner and a Massachusetts senator, leads Bush by 55 percent to 43 percent among likely voters, according to the CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll. Edwards, the North Carolina senator who is challenging Kerry, leads Bush by 54 percent to 44 percent.

    The poll comes at a time that both Kerry and Edwards have been highly visible as they compete for the Democratic presidential nomination. Bush has been defending himself on his National Guard service and his Iraq policy after an adviser acknowledged he doesn't believe weapons of mass destruction existed.

    Posted by Eric at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry and Edwards Now Ahead of Bush

    Granted, early polls don't mean much, but they can be used by the campaigns of Edwards and Kerry as 'I'm electable' evidence. Also, this is a large lead (double digits for both). From the AP:

    Both John Kerry and John Edwards are ahead of President Bush by double digits when matched against him in hypothetical elections, says a poll released Wednesday.

    Kerry, the Democratic front-runner and a Massachusetts senator, leads Bush by 55 percent to 43 percent among likely voters, according to the CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll. Edwards, the North Carolina senator who is challenging Kerry, leads Bush by 54 percent to 44 percent.

    The poll comes at a time that both Kerry and Edwards have been highly visible as they compete for the Democratic presidential nomination. Bush has been defending himself on his National Guard service and his Iraq policy after an adviser acknowledged he doesn't believe weapons of mass destruction existed.

    Posted by Eric at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

    Dean Officially Ends Campaign


    To make the announcement at 1pm on TV.

    Here's what he just posted on his blog

    Today my candidacy may come to an end--but our campaign for change is not over.

    I want to thank each and every person who has supported this campaign. Over the last year, you have reached out to neighbors, friends, family and colleagues--building one American at a time the greatest grassroots campaign presidential politics has ever seen. I will never forget the work and the heart that you put into our campaign.

    In the coming weeks, we will launching a new initiative to continue the campaign you helped begin. Please continue to come to www.deanforamerica.com for updates and news as our new initiative develops. There is much work still to be done, and today is not an end--it is just the beginning.

    This Party and this country needs change, and you have already begun that process. I want you to think about how far we have come. The truth is: change is tough. There is enormous institutional pressure in our country against change. There is enormous institutional pressure in Washington against change, in the Democratic Party against change. Yet, you have already started to change the Party and together we have transformed this race. Along the way, weve engaged hundreds of thousands of new Americans in the political process, as witnessed by this years record participation in the primaries and caucuses.

    The fight that we began can and must continue. Although my candidacy for president may end today, the most important goal remains defeating George W. Bush in November, and I hope that you will join me in doing everything we can to support the Democrats this fall. From the earliest days of our campaign, I have said that the power to change Washington rests not in my hands, but in yours. Always remember, you have the power to take our country back.

    Posted by Eric at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

    Dean Officially Ends Campaign


    To make the announcement at 1pm on TV.

    Here's what he just posted on his blog

    Today my candidacy may come to an end--but our campaign for change is not over.

    I want to thank each and every person who has supported this campaign. Over the last year, you have reached out to neighbors, friends, family and colleagues--building one American at a time the greatest grassroots campaign presidential politics has ever seen. I will never forget the work and the heart that you put into our campaign.

    In the coming weeks, we will launching a new initiative to continue the campaign you helped begin. Please continue to come to www.deanforamerica.com for updates and news as our new initiative develops. There is much work still to be done, and today is not an end--it is just the beginning.

    This Party and this country needs change, and you have already begun that process. I want you to think about how far we have come. The truth is: change is tough. There is enormous institutional pressure in our country against change. There is enormous institutional pressure in Washington against change, in the Democratic Party against change. Yet, you have already started to change the Party and together we have transformed this race. Along the way, weve engaged hundreds of thousands of new Americans in the political process, as witnessed by this years record participation in the primaries and caucuses.

    The fight that we began can and must continue. Although my candidacy for president may end today, the most important goal remains defeating George W. Bush in November, and I hope that you will join me in doing everything we can to support the Democrats this fall. From the earliest days of our campaign, I have said that the power to change Washington rests not in my hands, but in yours. Always remember, you have the power to take our country back.

    Posted by Eric at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

    Dean Gone, But Still on Ballot

    According to a top aide, Gov. Dean will:

    Howard Dean decided to essentially end his presidential bid Tuesday, according to a top aide, after he placed a distant third in the Wisconsin primary, his 17th straight loss at the polls.

    Though Dean is not going to formally drop out of the race, he is going to stop campaigning, the aide said. The move would allow his supporters to continue to vote for him in the upcoming primaries and have a say at the Democratic National Convention in July.

    The former Vermont governor is scheduled to announce his decision today at a local hotel.

    Posted by Eric at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

    Dean Gone, But Still on Ballot

    According to a top aide, Gov. Dean will:

    Howard Dean decided to essentially end his presidential bid Tuesday, according to a top aide, after he placed a distant third in the Wisconsin primary, his 17th straight loss at the polls.

    Though Dean is not going to formally drop out of the race, he is going to stop campaigning, the aide said. The move would allow his supporters to continue to vote for him in the upcoming primaries and have a say at the Democratic National Convention in July.

    The former Vermont governor is scheduled to announce his decision today at a local hotel.

    Posted by Eric at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

    Edwards Plays on Momentum / Grassroots

    In his latest campaign email:

    Less than a week ago, we were 37 points behind John Kerry in Wisconsin. Today we finished within a few points of him. In just a few days, we cut Kerry's lead by 30 points!!

    This campaign, this movement is catching fire across America for a lot of reasons.

    Voters are tired of negative politics, tired of seeing their jobs shipped overseas, and above all tired of George W. Bush in the White House. People are ready for an optimistic vision of America, and they want a candidate who can fight George Bush everywhere in America and win.

    We had a great week in Wisconsin with major endorsements, huge events and great opportunities to show voters the differences between the candidates.

    But in the end, I owe this victory to supporters like you. We had thousands of people in Wisconsin and across the country calling voters to get them to the polls. We've had more than 18,000 supporters like you donate online since we caught fire in Iowa.

    Supporters like you have stuck through this campaign during the lean times, when national polls had us in single digits, and when the media were ready to anoint one candidate--then another--as the presumptive nominee. Now look how things have changed. We're beating Bush in head-to-head polls, and surging in a neck-and-neck battle for the nomination.

    I will never forget what you did to get us to this point, and now I need your help to push on to victory.

    Wisconsin proved that this is a two-man race and that American voters are hungry for a candidate who can beat Bush with an optimistic message of hope and opportunity.

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

    Edwards Plays on Momentum / Grassroots

    In his latest campaign email:

    Less than a week ago, we were 37 points behind John Kerry in Wisconsin. Today we finished within a few points of him. In just a few days, we cut Kerry's lead by 30 points!!

    This campaign, this movement is catching fire across America for a lot of reasons.

    Voters are tired of negative politics, tired of seeing their jobs shipped overseas, and above all tired of George W. Bush in the White House. People are ready for an optimistic vision of America, and they want a candidate who can fight George Bush everywhere in America and win.

    We had a great week in Wisconsin with major endorsements, huge events and great opportunities to show voters the differences between the candidates.

    But in the end, I owe this victory to supporters like you. We had thousands of people in Wisconsin and across the country calling voters to get them to the polls. We've had more than 18,000 supporters like you donate online since we caught fire in Iowa.

    Supporters like you have stuck through this campaign during the lean times, when national polls had us in single digits, and when the media were ready to anoint one candidate--then another--as the presumptive nominee. Now look how things have changed. We're beating Bush in head-to-head polls, and surging in a neck-and-neck battle for the nomination.

    I will never forget what you did to get us to this point, and now I need your help to push on to victory.

    Wisconsin proved that this is a two-man race and that American voters are hungry for a candidate who can beat Bush with an optimistic message of hope and opportunity.

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

    The CBS Prognosticator

    As has been noted on Atrios, and a Dean site, a CBS affiliate in Jacksonville, Florida posted a Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News wire story entitled, "Dean's Campaign Hit with Another Blow after Wisconsin Loss" on its website. Only problem? It was 8:42am on Tuesday. CJR.org:

    "I'm really upset about it," said Susan Adams Loyd, Vice President and General Manager at CBS 47. She blamed an automatic feed from Knight-Ridder, and said the station removed the story as soon as it was discovered on its website.

    It's common practice for reporters, particularly those at wire services, to try to beat their deadlines by cranking out pieces in advance based on their expectations.

    But the snafu exposed to the public, for a few brief moments, one of the fundamental flaws of campaign journalism: that storylines are written long before the stories themselves actually happen, and that political reporters are often more reliant on conventional wisdom than reality in putting together their coverage.

    Posted by Eric at 01:49 AM | Comments (0)

    The CBS Prognosticator

    As has been noted on Atrios, and a Dean site, a CBS affiliate in Jacksonville, Florida posted a Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News wire story entitled, "Dean's Campaign Hit with Another Blow after Wisconsin Loss" on its website. Only problem? It was 8:42am on Tuesday. CJR.org:

    "I'm really upset about it," said Susan Adams Loyd, Vice President and General Manager at CBS 47. She blamed an automatic feed from Knight-Ridder, and said the station removed the story as soon as it was discovered on its website.

    It's common practice for reporters, particularly those at wire services, to try to beat their deadlines by cranking out pieces in advance based on their expectations.

    But the snafu exposed to the public, for a few brief moments, one of the fundamental flaws of campaign journalism: that storylines are written long before the stories themselves actually happen, and that political reporters are often more reliant on conventional wisdom than reality in putting together their coverage.

    Posted by Eric at 01:49 AM | Comments (0)

    Larger Significance for Chandler Win?

    Josh Micah Marshall on the recent Ben Chandler win:

    The first is the shot in the arm it'll give to Democrats around the country.

    But another part of the story is Internet fundraising. As you'll notice there on the left, the Chandler campaign has been advertising for about the last two weeks on this and a number of other blogs. The campaign budgeted about two grand for blog advertising. And my understanding is that by today they had raised close to $100,000 from contributors who linked through from those blogs on which the campaign was advertising.

    In other words, they got roughly a 50-fold turnaround on their investment in the final two weeks of the campaign. And in case you're wondering one hundred grand is a lot of money in a House race.

    Now, obviously that's exciting news for proprietors of blogs looking to open up revenue streams from advertisers. But the bigger story here is about the Democrats and the Internet, and the way this technology seems to click, shall we say, for the Democratic demographic.

    Democrats have always lamented how Republicans just have far better direct-mail lists than they do, and how the Republicans are just plain better at it. And they do have better lists and they are better at it. But I've always thought that it wouldn't really matter all that much if the Democrats had high quality lists too. The truth is that direct-mail, for whatever reason, just works with folks who are apt to give money to Republican campaigns. And it just doesn't with Dems, or at least not nearly as well. It's a different demographic. For whatever social or cultural reasons, the technology or mechanism -- in this case fundraising by mail -- is just particularly well suited to one demographic and not to the other.

    But the Internet does seem to work for Democrats. That was clear in the spectacular early success of the Dean campaign and now you're seeing it in smaller ways in individual House races. That doesn't mean that it won't work equally well for Republicans; we just don't know yet. But for the first time in a long time Democrats have a technology, a mechanism that is allowing them to raise large sums of money, not from a few well-heeled givers but from large numbers of energized Democrats giving $10, $50 or $100 a shot. It's already starting to make a difference.

    DCCC blog has more on the race / win.

    Posted by Eric at 01:03 AM | Comments (0)

    Larger Significance for Chandler Win?

    Josh Micah Marshall on the recent Ben Chandler win:

    The first is the shot in the arm it'll give to Democrats around the country.

    But another part of the story is Internet fundraising. As you'll notice there on the left, the Chandler campaign has been advertising for about the last two weeks on this and a number of other blogs. The campaign budgeted about two grand for blog advertising. And my understanding is that by today they had raised close to $100,000 from contributors who linked through from those blogs on which the campaign was advertising.

    In other words, they got roughly a 50-fold turnaround on their investment in the final two weeks of the campaign. And in case you're wondering one hundred grand is a lot of money in a House race.

    Now, obviously that's exciting news for proprietors of blogs looking to open up revenue streams from advertisers. But the bigger story here is about the Democrats and the Internet, and the way this technology seems to click, shall we say, for the Democratic demographic.

    Democrats have always lamented how Republicans just have far better direct-mail lists than they do, and how the Republicans are just plain better at it. And they do have better lists and they are better at it. But I've always thought that it wouldn't really matter all that much if the Democrats had high quality lists too. The truth is that direct-mail, for whatever reason, just works with folks who are apt to give money to Republican campaigns. And it just doesn't with Dems, or at least not nearly as well. It's a different demographic. For whatever social or cultural reasons, the technology or mechanism -- in this case fundraising by mail -- is just particularly well suited to one demographic and not to the other.

    But the Internet does seem to work for Democrats. That was clear in the spectacular early success of the Dean campaign and now you're seeing it in smaller ways in individual House races. That doesn't mean that it won't work equally well for Republicans; we just don't know yet. But for the first time in a long time Democrats have a technology, a mechanism that is allowing them to raise large sums of money, not from a few well-heeled givers but from large numbers of energized Democrats giving $10, $50 or $100 a shot. It's already starting to make a difference.

    DCCC blog has more on the race / win.

    Posted by Eric at 01:03 AM | Comments (0)

    February 17, 2004

    The Story: Edwards Surges

    Wisconsin results. Seems Kerry will pull off a narrow victory, with Edwards very close behind.

    Remember this Zogby poll from yesterday?

    Candidate
    Feb 13 -15%

    MA Senator John Kerry
    47

    Former VT Governor Howard Dean
    23

    NC Senator John Edwards
    20

    And now, with 50% reporting, Kerry = 39%; Edwards = 37%.

    Far from being over, Edwards will use this as an example of campaign momentum, and certainly the media will portray it as such. Will Edwards take support from Kerry and Dean (who says he's not done, despite a disappointing 3rd place finish)?

    Still, remember that Edwards has only won 1 state, neighboring and native South Carolina. But it's not over.

    To be continued.

    Posted by Eric at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

    The Story: Edwards Surges

    Wisconsin results. Seems Kerry will pull off a narrow victory, with Edwards very close behind.

    Remember this Zogby poll from yesterday?

    Candidate
    Feb 13 -15%

    MA Senator John Kerry
    47

    Former VT Governor Howard Dean
    23

    NC Senator John Edwards
    20

    And now, with 50% reporting, Kerry = 39%; Edwards = 37%.

    Far from being over, Edwards will use this as an example of campaign momentum, and certainly the media will portray it as such. Will Edwards take support from Kerry and Dean (who says he's not done, despite a disappointing 3rd place finish)?

    Still, remember that Edwards has only won 1 state, neighboring and native South Carolina. But it's not over.

    To be continued.

    Posted by Eric at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush Ad Hypocrisy

    Who's beholden to special interests? From Public Citizen:

    The Bush-Cheney campaigns elite fundraisers who have raked in more than $142 million and counting since June include at least 53 federal registered lobbyists, according to an analysis by Public Citizen. While the Bush campaign has strongly criticized Democratic challenger John Kerry for being beholden to "special interests," the president accepted more in direct contributions from lobbyists in one year than Kerry did in the past 15 years. In addition, he collected at least $6.5 million "bundled" by Washington influence-peddlers last year.

    On Thursday, the Bush-Cheney campaign sent a video message to more than 6 million people, decrying U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as an "unprincipled" politician "brought to you by the special interests." The video (available on the campaigns Web site here) cites a recent Washington Post story reporting that Kerry had raised more campaign money in individual "hard money" donations from lobbyists since 1989 about $640,000 than any other senator (although this does not account for the fact that Kerry does not accept PAC money, which, if counted, would rank him near the bottom among all senators in total special interest contributions). According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Bush received more than $960,000 in individual contributions from lobbyists last year.

    Kerrys total is just a fraction of the money brought in to the Bush re-election campaign by lobbyists. Twelve registered federal lobbyists have been named Bush Rangers, the title awarded to those fundraisers who bundle at least $200,000 in individual contributions. Another 41 lobbyists have become Pioneers by raising at least $100,000. Although the campaign refuses to release exact fundraising totals for its big-money bundlers, lobbyists last year collected at least $6.5 million in bundled donations for Bush or 10 times what Kerry raised in direct contributions from lobbyists over 15 years.

    Posted by Eric at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush Ad Hypocrisy

    Who's beholden to special interests? From Public Citizen:

    The Bush-Cheney campaigns elite fundraisers who have raked in more than $142 million and counting since June include at least 53 federal registered lobbyists, according to an analysis by Public Citizen. While the Bush campaign has strongly criticized Democratic challenger John Kerry for being beholden to "special interests," the president accepted more in direct contributions from lobbyists in one year than Kerry did in the past 15 years. In addition, he collected at least $6.5 million "bundled" by Washington influence-peddlers last year.

    On Thursday, the Bush-Cheney campaign sent a video message to more than 6 million people, decrying U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as an "unprincipled" politician "brought to you by the special interests." The video (available on the campaigns Web site here) cites a recent Washington Post story reporting that Kerry had raised more campaign money in individual "hard money" donations from lobbyists since 1989 about $640,000 than any other senator (although this does not account for the fact that Kerry does not accept PAC money, which, if counted, would rank him near the bottom among all senators in total special interest contributions). According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Bush received more than $960,000 in individual contributions from lobbyists last year.

    Kerrys total is just a fraction of the money brought in to the Bush re-election campaign by lobbyists. Twelve registered federal lobbyists have been named Bush Rangers, the title awarded to those fundraisers who bundle at least $200,000 in individual contributions. Another 41 lobbyists have become Pioneers by raising at least $100,000. Although the campaign refuses to release exact fundraising totals for its big-money bundlers, lobbyists last year collected at least $6.5 million in bundled donations for Bush or 10 times what Kerry raised in direct contributions from lobbyists over 15 years.

    Posted by Eric at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)

    Dean "Optimistic," Says Campaign in "Good Shape"

    Despite the unnamed sources in his campaign, Howard Dean sounds like he wants to continue on regardless of what happens in Wisconsin. Reuters:

    "I think we are in reasonable shape," the former Vermont governor told CBS's "Early Show" as he made the rounds on television morning talk shows. "I'm optimistic."

    The anti-war, anti-Washington maverick, who lost his front-runner status a month ago to U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, said he had the money and staff to regroup.

    "Our campaign is not in turmoil at all. We are moving forward and we are going to go to 'Super Tuesday' and on beyond that," Dean told NBC's "Today Show."

    On "Super Tuesday," March 2, 10 states -- including California, New York and Ohio -- vote in the process to pick a Democrat to challenge President Bush in November.

    Despite Dean's optimistic talk, a senior aide said it remained unclear how far he will go, and in what form he would proceed.

    "A lot depends on today and what happens here," the aide said.

    Posted by Eric at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)

    Dean "Optimistic," Says Campaign in "Good Shape"

    Despite the unnamed sources in his campaign, Howard Dean sounds like he wants to continue on regardless of what happens in Wisconsin. Reuters:

    "I think we are in reasonable shape," the former Vermont governor told CBS's "Early Show" as he made the rounds on television morning talk shows. "I'm optimistic."

    The anti-war, anti-Washington maverick, who lost his front-runner status a month ago to U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, said he had the money and staff to regroup.

    "Our campaign is not in turmoil at all. We are moving forward and we are going to go to 'Super Tuesday' and on beyond that," Dean told NBC's "Today Show."

    On "Super Tuesday," March 2, 10 states -- including California, New York and Ohio -- vote in the process to pick a Democrat to challenge President Bush in November.

    Despite Dean's optimistic talk, a senior aide said it remained unclear how far he will go, and in what form he would proceed.

    "A lot depends on today and what happens here," the aide said.

    Posted by Eric at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)

    How Bush Will Attack the Dem Nom

    From US News, we find the likely strat Bush will use when the 1vs1 begins (if it's Kerry):

    "The liberal." The Republicans will bill Kerry as an out-of-touch liberal who voted against a balanced budget and opposed increases in defense spending, who fought new weapons systems and attempted to cut funds for the CIA. Kerry's reply: He wanted to divert money to more worthwhile programs ...

    "The vacillator." Kerry has changed his position on a variety of issues over the years, and Bush will try to portray him as unpredictable and hypocritical. For instance, he voted for the Patriot Act, which imposes many security restrictions and softens privacy safeguards across American society, but now wants it repealed. He voted to authorize the war on Iraq but now says that the president was deceptive and that the war as Bush conducted it, pre-emptively and without enough international support, was a mistake. Kerry says his shifts were justified by changing circumstances or by new information, or were part of the inevitable compromises required by the legislative process ...

    "Out of the cultural mainstream." Kerry will be attacked for supporting gun control (although he is a hunter) and for backing abortions funded by taxpayers. Republicans will also attack his opposition to most forms of capital punishment. The Bush team hopes Kerry's hits on the president for favoring the rich and big corporations can be turned against him. "He's practicing class warfare," says a senior White House official. "He's pitting one group of Americans against another. It's been tried before. And I don't think this is what the American people want." ...

    "The special-interest senator." Kerry has indeed taken money from an array of lobbyists. "John Kerry has left himself open to a charge of hypocrisy because he says one thing and does another," argues Bush chief strategist Matthew Dowd. But Kerry responds that he doesn't take money from political action committees, which, he says, shows him to be a reformer.

    Posted by Eric at 09:18 AM | Comments (0)

    How Bush Will Attack the Dem Nom

    From US News, we find the likely strat Bush will use when the 1vs1 begins (if it's Kerry):

    "The liberal." The Republicans will bill Kerry as an out-of-touch liberal who voted against a balanced budget and opposed increases in defense spending, who fought new weapons systems and attempted to cut funds for the CIA. Kerry's reply: He wanted to divert money to more worthwhile programs ...

    "The vacillator." Kerry has changed his position on a variety of issues over the years, and Bush will try to portray him as unpredictable and hypocritical. For instance, he voted for the Patriot Act, which imposes many security restrictions and softens privacy safeguards across American society, but now wants it repealed. He voted to authorize the war on Iraq but now says that the president was deceptive and that the war as Bush conducted it, pre-emptively and without enough international support, was a mistake. Kerry says his shifts were justified by changing circumstances or by new information, or were part of the inevitable compromises required by the legislative process ...

    "Out of the cultural mainstream." Kerry will be attacked for supporting gun control (although he is a hunter) and for backing abortions funded by taxpayers. Republicans will also attack his opposition to most forms of capital punishment. The Bush team hopes Kerry's hits on the president for favoring the rich and big corporations can be turned against him. "He's practicing class warfare," says a senior White House official. "He's pitting one group of Americans against another. It's been tried before. And I don't think this is what the American people want." ...

    "The special-interest senator." Kerry has indeed taken money from an array of lobbyists. "John Kerry has left himself open to a charge of hypocrisy because he says one thing and does another," argues Bush chief strategist Matthew Dowd. But Kerry responds that he doesn't take money from political action committees, which, he says, shows him to be a reformer.

    Posted by Eric at 09:18 AM | Comments (0)

    February 16, 2004

    Kerry Tops Bush In CBS Poll

    81% would be satisfied with Kerry as the nom, and 50% approve of Bush's job as president. Poll.

    WHO WOULD YOU VOTE FOR? (Registered voters)

    George W. Bush
    42%
    The Democratic candidate
    47%

    George W. Bush
    43%
    John Kerry
    48%

    George W. Bush
    50%
    John Edwards
    41%

    George W. Bush
    54%
    Howard Dean
    37%

    WAS IRAQ WAR WORTH THE COSTS?
    Yes
    41%
    No
    50%

    ADMINISTRATION POLICIES HAVE CAUSED JOBS TO:
    Increase
    16%
    Decrease
    45%
    Stay the same
    28%

    CHOICE FOR DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE
    (Democratic primary voters)

    John Kerry
    Now
    53%
    1/2004
    7%

    Howard Dean
    Now
    8%
    1/2004
    24%

    John Edwards
    Now
    7%
    1/2004
    5%

    Dennis Kucinich
    Now
    1%
    1/2004
    1%

    Al Sharpton
    Now
    4%
    1/2004
    3%

    Undecided
    Now
    15%
    1/2004
    15%

    Posted by Eric at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Tops Bush In CBS Poll

    81% would be satisfied with Kerry as the nom, and 50% approve of Bush's job as president. Poll.

    WHO WOULD YOU VOTE FOR? (Registered voters)

    George W. Bush
    42%
    The Democratic candidate
    47%

    George W. Bush
    43%
    John Kerry
    48%

    George W. Bush
    50%
    John Edwards
    41%

    George W. Bush
    54%
    Howard Dean
    37%

    WAS IRAQ WAR WORTH THE COSTS?
    Yes
    41%
    No
    50%

    ADMINISTRATION POLICIES HAVE CAUSED JOBS TO:
    Increase
    16%
    Decrease
    45%
    Stay the same
    28%

    CHOICE FOR DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE
    (Democratic primary voters)

    John Kerry
    Now
    53%
    1/2004
    7%

    Howard Dean
    Now
    8%
    1/2004
    24%

    John Edwards
    Now
    7%
    1/2004
    5%

    Dennis Kucinich
    Now
    1%
    1/2004
    1%

    Al Sharpton
    Now
    4%
    1/2004
    3%

    Undecided
    Now
    15%
    1/2004
    15%

    Posted by Eric at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

    Kerry Big Lead in Wiscon

    According to latest Zogby:

    Candidate
    Feb 13 -15%

    MA Senator John Kerry
    47

    Former VT Governor Howard Dean
    23

    NC Senator John Edwards
    20

    OH Congressman Dennis Kucinich
    2

    Civil Rights Activist Rev. Al Sharpton
    1

    With the quote from Zogby:

    Pollster John Zogby: "Kerry goes into the primary with a commanding lead. Dean is polling very well among young people around Madison. It is hard to see Dean going on from here however, he is polling well enough to get delegates and it's interesting to see that Edwards and Dean together suggest a substantial non-Kerry vote. What would happen if Kerry were to face just one opponent? Kerry has the highest favorable ratings and is given by far and away, the best shot at defeating President Bush. Again, it's all about electability. "

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

    Kerry Big Lead in Wiscon

    According to latest Zogby:

    Candidate
    Feb 13 -15%

    MA Senator John Kerry
    47

    Former VT Governor Howard Dean
    23

    NC Senator John Edwards
    20

    OH Congressman Dennis Kucinich
    2

    Civil Rights Activist Rev. Al Sharpton
    1

    With the quote from Zogby:

    Pollster John Zogby: "Kerry goes into the primary with a commanding lead. Dean is polling very well among young people around Madison. It is hard to see Dean going on from here however, he is polling well enough to get delegates and it's interesting to see that Edwards and Dean together suggest a substantial non-Kerry vote. What would happen if Kerry were to face just one opponent? Kerry has the highest favorable ratings and is given by far and away, the best shot at defeating President Bush. Again, it's all about electability. "

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

    Nader Run Expected

    In the Seattle Times:

    Former Green Party candidate Ralph Nader is poised to declare that he will seek the presidency again this year, this time as an independent and despite a vigorous effort by the left to dissuade him, according to friends and associates.

    "I think there's very little doubt," said Micah Sifry, author of a book on third-party politics and a longtime Nader watcher. "I think he's going to run."

    Posted by Eric at 02:07 AM | Comments (0)

    Nader Run Expected

    In the Seattle Times:

    Former Green Party candidate Ralph Nader is poised to declare that he will seek the presidency again this year, this time as an independent and despite a vigorous effort by the left to dissuade him, according to friends and associates.

    "I think there's very little doubt," said Micah Sifry, author of a book on third-party politics and a longtime Nader watcher. "I think he's going to run."

    Posted by Eric at 02:07 AM | Comments (0)

    Dean Chairman to Back Kerry if Dean Loses

    Steven Grossman said he will reach out to the Kerry camp and "build bridges with the Dean organization" if Dean loses in Wisconsin. NYT:

    The chairman of Howard Dean's presidential campaign said on Sunday that he would leave and shift his support to Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts if Dr. Dean lost the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday, an outcome he sees as all but inevitable.

    "If Howard Dean does not win the Wisconsin primary, I will reach out to John Kerry unless he reaches out to me first," said the chairman, Steven Grossman, who was chairman of Mr. Kerry's 1996 Senate race. "I will make it clear that I will do anything and everything I can to help him become the next president, and I will do anything and everything I can to build bridges with the Dean organization."

    The comments by Mr. Grossman, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee who has known Mr. Kerry for 34 years, came as Dr. Dean faced growing pressure from aides and outside backers to abandon his quest. But while many leading supporters and staff members expect him to either quit the campaign altogether or radically scale it back by the end of this week, the candidate remained steadfast Sunday that he would soldier on.

    "We're not dropping out after Tuesday, period," Dr. Dean said in a television interview with the Fox affiliate here Sunday.

    Posted by Eric at 01:04 AM | Comments (0)

    Dean Chairman to Back Kerry if Dean Loses

    Steven Grossman said he will reach out to the Kerry camp and "build bridges with the Dean organization" if Dean loses in Wisconsin. NYT:

    The chairman of Howard Dean's presidential campaign said on Sunday that he would leave and shift his support to Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts if Dr. Dean lost the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday, an outcome he sees as all but inevitable.

    "If Howard Dean does not win the Wisconsin primary, I will reach out to John Kerry unless he reaches out to me first," said the chairman, Steven Grossman, who was chairman of Mr. Kerry's 1996 Senate race. "I will make it clear that I will do anything and everything I can to help him become the next president, and I will do anything and everything I can to build bridges with the Dean organization."

    The comments by Mr. Grossman, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee who has known Mr. Kerry for 34 years, came as Dr. Dean faced growing pressure from aides and outside backers to abandon his quest. But while many leading supporters and staff members expect him to either quit the campaign altogether or radically scale it back by the end of this week, the candidate remained steadfast Sunday that he would soldier on.

    "We're not dropping out after Tuesday, period," Dr. Dean said in a television interview with the Fox affiliate here Sunday.

    Posted by Eric at 01:04 AM | Comments (0)

    February 15, 2004

    Dean: 'We Are Not Bowing Out'

    Despite dropping support from regular joes and even those closest to him, Dean will apparently continue on:

    Howard Dean's top advisers are urging him to abandon the Democratic presidential race if he loses Wisconsin's primary, officials said Sunday, but the former Vermont governor asserted, "We are not bowing out."

    Dean, winless in 16 contests and badly trailing in Wisconsin polls, said in an interview with The Associated Press, "In fact, we are staying in the race. The forum we will use to stay in the race remains to be seen. Period. Anybody who says anything to the contrary has misspoken."

    But several of his top advisers said Sunday that Dean should cede the nomination if he loses Tuesday and consider several options, including dropping from the race outright, suspending his campaign or at least acknowledging Kerry's victory and redirecting his own efforts. They said the fallen front-runner was all but certain to effectively abandon his bid, one way or another ... For the first time, there is a near-unanimous consensus among advisers that it would be foolhardy for Dean to continue fighting for the nomination beyond Wisconsin. The circle of die-hards has shrunk, and most confidants are telling Dean it's time to find a way to convert his Internet-fueled network into a long-term political movement.

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

    Dean: 'We Are Not Bowing Out'

    Despite dropping support from regular joes and even those closest to him, Dean will apparently continue on:

    Howard Dean's top advisers are urging him to abandon the Democratic presidential race if he loses Wisconsin's primary, officials said Sunday, but the former Vermont governor asserted, "We are not bowing out."

    Dean, winless in 16 contests and badly trailing in Wisconsin polls, said in an interview with The Associated Press, "In fact, we are staying in the race. The forum we will use to stay in the race remains to be seen. Period. Anybody who says anything to the contrary has misspoken."

    But several of his top advisers said Sunday that Dean should cede the nomination if he loses Tuesday and consider several options, including dropping from the race outright, suspending his campaign or at least acknowledging Kerry's victory and redirecting his own efforts. They said the fallen front-runner was all but certain to effectively abandon his bid, one way or another ... For the first time, there is a near-unanimous consensus among advisers that it would be foolhardy for Dean to continue fighting for the nomination beyond Wisconsin. The circle of die-hards has shrunk, and most confidants are telling Dean it's time to find a way to convert his Internet-fueled network into a long-term political movement.

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

    Nader To Decide Shortly

    All of this seems silly since the only people who are supporting a Nader candidacy are Republicans and those too cool to vote for a mainstream politician.

    And look at this quote:

    Another measure of grass-roots support, or lack thereof, can be found at meetup.com, where candidates' supporters register to arrange meetings in their communities. As of Saturday, there were more than 188,000 registered supporters for Howard Dean, 45,000 for John Kerry, 23,000 for Dennis J. Kucinich, 9,000 for John Edwards and a grand total of 375 for Mr. Nader. He did however come out ahead of the Rev. Al Sharpton, who had 233.

    Mr. Nader said his decision would depend mainly on the returns from a fund-raising appeal he recently mailed, and to a lesser extent on whether Dr. Dean remains in the race. Mr. Nader said he was not dissuaded by his standing on meetup.com.

    "A third party can push the agenda and increase voting turnout," said Mr. Nader, who did not sound discouraged by his low numbers on meetup.com. "I really don't deal with the Web. There isn't enough time in the day to go into virtual reality."

    This sounds like saving face, since Nader used a website, naderexplore04.com, to initially test support for his candidacy (until it was overrun by negative responses) and is still using "virtual reality" as a fundraising tool.

    Posted by Eric at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)

    Nader To Decide Shortly

    All of this seems silly since the only people who are supporting a Nader candidacy are Republicans and those too cool to vote for a mainstream politician.

    And look at this quote:

    Another measure of grass-roots support, or lack thereof, can be found at meetup.com, where candidates' supporters register to arrange meetings in their communities. As of Saturday, there were more than 188,000 registered supporters for Howard Dean, 45,000 for John Kerry, 23,000 for Dennis J. Kucinich, 9,000 for John Edwards and a grand total of 375 for Mr. Nader. He did however come out ahead of the Rev. Al Sharpton, who had 233.

    Mr. Nader said his decision would depend mainly on the returns from a fund-raising appeal he recently mailed, and to a lesser extent on whether Dr. Dean remains in the race. Mr. Nader said he was not dissuaded by his standing on meetup.com.

    "A third party can push the agenda and increase voting turnout," said Mr. Nader, who did not sound discouraged by his low numbers on meetup.com. "I really don't deal with the Web. There isn't enough time in the day to go into virtual reality."

    This sounds like saving face, since Nader used a website, naderexplore04.com, to initially test support for his candidacy (until it was overrun by negative responses) and is still using "virtual reality" as a fundraising tool.

    Posted by Eric at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)

    Hanoi Kerry? When People Doctor Photos

    Oh that John Kerry and the company he keeps:

    But wait!

    According to Snopes.com, it's all fake.

    The original photograph (shown in a thumbnail to the right) captured Kerry alone preparing to give a speech at the Register for Peace Rally held in Mineola, New York, on 13 June 1970 (three months prior to the event pictured in the previous Fonda/Kerry photograph). Someone has grafted an image of Jane Fonda with a microphone onto the picture and mocked it up as a newspaper photo to create an impression of closeness between the subjects. (We haven't yet found any articles verifying that Jane Fonda even attended the Register for Peace Rally at which the original photograph was taken.)
    Newsday has more.

    But the photo of Kerry eating kittens? Now that's a different story.

    Posted by Eric at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

    Hanoi Kerry? When People Doctor Photos

    Oh that John Kerry and the company he keeps:

    But wait!

    According to Snopes.com, it's all fake.

    The original photograph (shown in a thumbnail to the right) captured Kerry alone preparing to give a speech at the Register for Peace Rally held in Mineola, New York, on 13 June 1970 (three months prior to the event pictured in the previous Fonda/Kerry photograph). Someone has grafted an image of Jane Fonda with a microphone onto the picture and mocked it up as a newspaper photo to create an impression of closeness between the subjects. (We haven't yet found any articles verifying that Jane Fonda even attended the Register for Peace Rally at which the original photograph was taken.)
    Newsday has more.

    But the photo of Kerry eating kittens? Now that's a different story.

    Posted by Eric at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

    February 14, 2004

    Signs Indicate Dean Ending Campaign

    If the campaign activity over at Dean for America is any indication, the Dean campaign won't continue after the Wisconsin primary. Boston Globe:

    Though the former Vermont governor, who for months led polls in the race for the Democratic nomination, says he will continue campaigning regardless of the results of the Wisconsin primary -- which polls indicate he is likely to lose by a significant margin -- his actions are beginning to say otherwise.

    His calendar for next week is not booked beyond Wednesday, when he plans to return home to Burlington, Vt.

    His staff, some of whom are already planning to leave his headquarters for good on Wednesday, has not sought a new contract with the main air charter company that has been flying him around the country, aides say.

    Dean himself said yesterday he does not know whether he will continue campaigning in a manner resembling the appearances that have filled his calendar for the past two years.

    Asked about his upcoming schedule, he mocked his own raucous speech following his Jan. 19 third-place finish in Iowa, indicating how much his candidacy has changed both in tone and confidence since then. "We're going to California, and then we're going to Minnesota, and then we're going to go to New York," he said, chuckling and in a muted voice, as several listeners made a mock cheer of "Yeagghh." Dean used a similar but full-throated roar to punctuate his speech on caucus night, in which he predicted a political rebound.

    Turning serious, he told a group of reporters who joined him on a dairy farm tour: "I'm going to go back to Burlington and kind of regroup and figure out how to tackle 10 of the biggest states in the country at the same time."

    Yet moments later, when asked if he would remain an official candidate heading into the March 2 "Super Tuesday" voting in those 10 states, Dean said, "I don't know the answer to that question yet."

    Posted by Eric at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)

    Signs Indicate Dean Ending Campaign

    If the campaign activity over at Dean for America is any indication, the Dean campaign won't continue after the Wisconsin primary. Boston Globe:

    Though the former Vermont governor, who for months led polls in the race for the Democratic nomination, says he will continue campaigning regardless of the results of the Wisconsin primary -- which polls indicate he is likely to lose by a significant margin -- his actions are beginning to say otherwise.

    His calendar for next week is not booked beyond Wednesday, when he plans to return home to Burlington, Vt.

    His staff, some of whom are already planning to leave his headquarters for good on Wednesday, has not sought a new contract with the main air charter company that has been flying him around the country, aides say.

    Dean himself said yesterday he does not know whether he will continue campaigning in a manner resembling the appearances that have filled his calendar for the past two years.

    Asked about his upcoming schedule, he mocked his own raucous speech following his Jan. 19 third-place finish in Iowa, indicating how much his candidacy has changed both in tone and confidence since then. "We're going to California, and then we're going to Minnesota, and then we're going to go to New York," he said, chuckling and in a muted voice, as several listeners made a mock cheer of "Yeagghh." Dean used a similar but full-throated roar to punctuate his speech on caucus night, in which he predicted a political rebound.

    Turning serious, he told a group of reporters who joined him on a dairy farm tour: "I'm going to go back to Burlington and kind of regroup and figure out how to tackle 10 of the biggest states in the country at the same time."

    Yet moments later, when asked if he would remain an official candidate heading into the March 2 "Super Tuesday" voting in those 10 states, Dean said, "I don't know the answer to that question yet."

    Posted by Eric at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)

    How the Lawyer Became Kerry's Top Opponent

    Yes, after dinner, we should all "kill the lawyers," as Shakespeare once wrote. But a look at John Edwards and his lawyer past reveals, according to Howard Blume in the LA Weekly, the "heart of John Edwards"

    In the end, how much is Edwards the malleable advocate, with positions based on what he thinks most people want to hear, especially if it will advance his career? Does he hold progressive core beliefs that he could marshal into progressive policy?

    Edwards courtroom victories suggest a positive answer, showcasing as they do his desire to right wrongs, to see justice in financial terms at least delivered to victims whove suffered because of medical malpractice, a defective product or an indifferent corporation focused exclusively on the bottom line.

    One notable case involved the family of my friend Harry Howard, with whom Id also grown up. Harrys brother and his brothers wife had died when the driver of a 30,000-pound tractor-trailer lost control, crossed the center line of a narrow, dangerous road and plowed into their car. Their 4-year-old son was orphaned. Edwards and his team, which included my lawyer pal Mark Holt, argued that the driver was negligent and that his companys policies encouraged unsafe driving. One reason that Harrys mother had pursued the case was to send a message to trucking companies. Edwards later noted, Trucking firms in North Carolina were soon placing greater emphasis on driver-safety training. They were equipping more and more of their vehicles with governors to regulate driving speed. Some companies even abandoned the practice of paying drivers by the mile.

    But Edwards was less encouraged by another response. Insurance-company lobbyists subsequently prevailed on a bill that disallowed punitive damages related to an employees actions, unless that particular action was specifically ratified by corporate officers, wrote Edwards in Four Trials, his book published to coincide with his presidential campaign.

    Yes, wrote Edwards, our lawsuit had sent a message, and that message ultimately was: If you dont like the law, change it . . . The message to me, on the other hand, was one Id confronted over my legal career and Id grown to appreciate: If you cant help enough people being a lawyer, consider being a lawmaker. ... The case of Valerie Lakey had clear public-policy implications for the future senator. Valerie had nearly died at age 5 when caught in the suction of a pool drain. The accident tore out 80 percent of her small intestine and 50 percent of her large intestine. Valeries father, David, spearheaded a successful legislative drive requiring pools in North Carolina to have two drains, a safety feature that could have prevented the tragedy. In the trial, Edwards and Kirby uncovered a series of previous tragedies that had not spurred the company to remedy its product.

    Valerie, now 16, faces a lifetime of expensive health challenges, but has emerged from her ongoing ordeal a smart, slightly sassy teen, with a waif-like attractiveness and a taste for goth.

    We think the world of John Edwards, said Valeries mother, Sandy. We think hes extremely intelligent and articulate and would be an awesome president.

    Edwards final cases marked a turning point, said Kirby. He was even better at representing these people, more connected to his clients, after the death of his son. He felt it. He could communicate to others what it is like to have this loss. But I think it was too painful from an emotional standpoint.

    Were in the misery business, added Kirby. We deal with loss and injury here, in particular we represent a lot of children who are killed, brain-damaged, horribly burned. Having lost his own child, it became a very difficult, emotional struggle for John.

    Frank A. Daniels Jr., the retired publisher of the Raleigh News & Observer, on why he supports Edwards:
    And I think Edwards understands that if you want to do anything for this country, youve got to represent somebody other than those folks who have money. I have some money. I believe in people trying to get some, but I also believe people have an opportunity to give as much as they can get, achieve whatever they can achieve. I think John Edwards advocates that far, far better than anybody whos been running in recent times.

    Posted by Eric at 03:53 PM | Comments (0)

    How the Lawyer Became Kerry's Top Opponent

    Yes, after dinner, we should all "kill the lawyers," as Shakespeare once wrote. But a look at John Edwards and his lawyer past reveals, according to Howard Blume in the LA Weekly, the "heart of John Edwards"

    In the end, how much is Edwards the malleable advocate, with positions based on what he thinks most people want to hear, especially if it will advance his career? Does he hold progressive core beliefs that he could marshal into progressive policy?

    Edwards courtroom victories suggest a positive answer, showcasing as they do his desire to right wrongs, to see justice in financial terms at least delivered to victims whove suffered because of medical malpractice, a defective product or an indifferent corporation focused exclusively on the bottom line.

    One notable case involved the family of my friend Harry Howard, with whom Id also grown up. Harrys brother and his brothers wife had died when the driver of a 30,000-pound tractor-trailer lost control, crossed the center line of a narrow, dangerous road and plowed into their car. Their 4-year-old son was orphaned. Edwards and his team, which included my lawyer pal Mark Holt, argued that the driver was negligent and that his companys policies encouraged unsafe driving. One reason that Harrys mother had pursued the case was to send a message to trucking companies. Edwards later noted, Trucking firms in North Carolina were soon placing greater emphasis on driver-safety training. They were equipping more and more of their vehicles with governors to regulate driving speed. Some companies even abandoned the practice of paying drivers by the mile.

    But Edwards was less encouraged by another response. Insurance-company lobbyists subsequently prevailed on a bill that disallowed punitive damages related to an employees actions, unless that particular action was specifically ratified by corporate officers, wrote Edwards in Four Trials, his book published to coincide with his presidential campaign.

    Yes, wrote Edwards, our lawsuit had sent a message, and that message ultimately was: If you dont like the law, change it . . . The message to me, on the other hand, was one Id confronted over my legal career and Id grown to appreciate: If you cant help enough people being a lawyer, consider being a lawmaker. ... The case of Valerie Lakey had clear public-policy implications for the future senator. Valerie had nearly died at age 5 when caught in the suction of a pool drain. The accident tore out 80 percent of her small intestine and 50 percent of her large intestine. Valeries father, David, spearheaded a successful legislative drive requiring pools in North Carolina to have two drains, a safety feature that could have prevented the tragedy. In the trial, Edwards and Kirby uncovered a series of previous tragedies that had not spurred the company to remedy its product.

    Valerie, now 16, faces a lifetime of expensive health challenges, but has emerged from her ongoing ordeal a smart, slightly sassy teen, with a waif-like attractiveness and a taste for goth.

    We think the world of John Edwards, said Valeries mother, Sandy. We think hes extremely intelligent and articulate and would be an awesome president.

    Edwards final cases marked a turning point, said Kirby. He was even better at representing these people, more connected to his clients, after the death of his son. He felt it. He could communicate to others what it is like to have this loss. But I think it was too painful from an emotional standpoint.

    Were in the misery business, added Kirby. We deal with loss and injury here, in particular we represent a lot of children who are killed, brain-damaged, horribly burned. Having lost his own child, it became a very difficult, emotional struggle for John.

    Frank A. Daniels Jr., the retired publisher of the Raleigh News & Observer, on why he supports Edwards:
    And I think Edwards understands that if you want to do anything for this country, youve got to represent somebody other than those folks who have money. I have some money. I believe in people trying to get some, but I also believe people have an opportunity to give as much as they can get, achieve whatever they can achieve. I think John Edwards advocates that far, far better than anybody whos been running in recent times.

    Posted by Eric at 03:53 PM | Comments (0)

    Conservatives Love The Kerry

    Kerry is the hot topic among conservative columnists.

    Posted by Eric at 03:16 PM | Comments (0)

    Conservatives Love The Kerry

    Kerry is the hot topic among conservative columnists.

    Posted by Eric at 03:16 PM | Comments (0)

    February 13, 2004

    Clark Officially Backs Kerry

    Clark joined the Kerry bandwagon today, saying Kerry "will stand up to the Republican attack dogs and send them home licking their wounds":

    "Working together, we can build a better America. An America where we don't just talk about family values, but where we actually value families. Where a job, an education, and health care aren't just luxuries for the chosen few. An America where we don't just preach our faith - we practice it. Where those that have the most reach out to those with the least. An America where everyone has a shot at the American dream, no matter where they're from. Where we include everyone, recognizing that diversity is our greatest strength. An America where we understand that debate and dissent - that questioning your leaders and holding them accountable - is the highest form of patriotism. Where being patriotic means using force as a last resort, not as a political tool. An America where we look up to our leaders, and trust our commander in chief. An America that the world listens to and admires again.

    "I'm here today because I believe John Kerry has the right experience, the right values, and the right leadership and character to beat George W. Bush. I believe he has the right message to bring back jobs and prosperity, provide affordable health care for all, move our economy forward into the 21st century, and make America safer and stronger in the world.

    "And I believe he has the crucial experience and background in foreign policy to go toe-to-toe with George Bush on national security and win.

    "Both John and I served in Vietnam - and know what it is to be tested on the battlefield, fighting for your country. John Kerry never quit fighting for his country. From a young DA sending criminals away for life to a courageous Senator standing up for what's right, John Kerry has been the kind of leader America needs. He will stand up to the Republican attack dogs and send them home licking their wounds.

    "John Kerry is the leader our party and our nation need for the 21st century. And that is why I am so proud to endorse him as our next President of the United States. Ladies and gentleman, our leader, the next president, John Kerry!"

    Posted by Eric at 08:14 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark Officially Backs Kerry

    Clark joined the Kerry bandwagon today, saying Kerry "will stand up to the Republican attack dogs and send them home licking their wounds":

    "Working together, we can build a better America. An America where we don't just talk about family values, but where we actually value families. Where a job, an education, and health care aren't just luxuries for the chosen few. An America where we don't just preach our faith - we practice it. Where those that have the most reach out to those with the least. An America where everyone has a shot at the American dream, no matter where they're from. Where we include everyone, recognizing that diversity is our greatest strength. An America where we understand that debate and dissent - that questioning your leaders and holding them accountable - is the highest form of patriotism. Where being patriotic means using force as a last resort, not as a political tool. An America where we look up to our leaders, and trust our commander in chief. An America that the world listens to and admires again.

    "I'm here today because I believe John Kerry has the right experience, the right values, and the right leadership and character to beat George W. Bush. I believe he has the right message to bring back jobs and prosperity, provide affordable health care for all, move our economy forward into the 21st century, and make America safer and stronger in the world.

    "And I believe he has the crucial experience and background in foreign policy to go toe-to-toe with George Bush on national security and win.

    "Both John and I served in Vietnam - and know what it is to be tested on the battlefield, fighting for your country. John Kerry never quit fighting for his country. From a young DA sending criminals away for life to a courageous Senator standing up for what's right, John Kerry has been the kind of leader America needs. He will stand up to the Republican attack dogs and send them home licking their wounds.

    "John Kerry is the leader our party and our nation need for the 21st century. And that is why I am so proud to endorse him as our next President of the United States. Ladies and gentleman, our leader, the next president, John Kerry!"

    Posted by Eric at 08:14 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark Considering Gov?

    From USNews gossip column, a brief aside:

    Hours after Wes Clark bowed out of the presidential race this week, he phoned up to say thanks to the group who put him on the map: the Draft Clark network. We hear that he took pains to credit the draft effort with helping him get so far, noting that even his professional team of advisers still didnt get it that the draft effort was the key to his limited success. The retired general said that "Campaigns are fluky, and you never know if something weird is going to happenand it did. The leading candidate (Howard Dean) folded."

    Clark, who is now rumored to be considering a run for governor of Arkansas, said he wanted the draft movement to retain "our own identity," and its goal should be to get "George W. Bush out of there. That's the most important thing for our country."

    In the meantime, Clark and his wife are going on vacation, even though aides said he used to avoid them because they were boring. But, he told his troops, hes ready to be bored for a change.

    Posted by Eric at 03:10 AM | Comments (0)

    Clark Considering Gov?

    From USNews gossip column, a brief aside:

    Hours after Wes Clark bowed out of the presidential race this week, he phoned up to say thanks to the group who put him on the map: the Draft Clark network. We hear that he took pains to credit the draft effort with helping him get so far, noting that even his professional team of advisers still didnt get it that the draft effort was the key to his limited success. The retired general said that "Campaigns are fluky, and you never know if something weird is going to happenand it did. The leading candidate (Howard Dean) folded."

    Clark, who is now rumored to be considering a run for governor of Arkansas, said he wanted the draft movement to retain "our own identity," and its goal should be to get "George W. Bush out of there. That's the most important thing for our country."

    In the meantime, Clark and his wife are going on vacation, even though aides said he used to avoid them because they were boring. But, he told his troops, hes ready to be bored for a change.

    Posted by Eric at 03:10 AM | Comments (0)

    February 12, 2004

    Clark to Endorse John Kerry

    Won't support fellow Southerner John Edwards. AP:

    Wesley Clark will endorse presidential contender John Kerry, a high-profile boost for the front-runner as he looks to wrap up the party's nomination, according to Democratic officials.

    With next week's Wisconsin primary looming, Clark plans to join Kerry at a campaign stop in Madison, Wis., Friday to make a formal endorsement, said officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    Clark spokesman Matt Bennett would not confirm the endorsement, and would only say, "General Clark is looking forward to going to Wisconsin to be with Senator Kerry."

    Kerry has racked up wins in 12 of 14 Democratic contests and hopes to add Wisconsin to his win column. The backing of Clark, who registered in the low double digits in earlier Wisconsin polls, could increase Kerry's advantage in a state with 72 pledged delegates at stake.

    Posted by Eric at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark to Endorse John Kerry

    Won't support fellow Southerner John Edwards. AP:

    Wesley Clark will endorse presidential contender John Kerry, a high-profile boost for the front-runner as he looks to wrap up the party's nomination, according to Democratic officials.

    With next week's Wisconsin primary looming, Clark plans to join Kerry at a campaign stop in Madison, Wis., Friday to make a formal endorsement, said officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    Clark spokesman Matt Bennett would not confirm the endorsement, and would only say, "General Clark is looking forward to going to Wisconsin to be with Senator Kerry."

    Kerry has racked up wins in 12 of 14 Democratic contests and hopes to add Wisconsin to his win column. The backing of Clark, who registered in the low double digits in earlier Wisconsin polls, could increase Kerry's advantage in a state with 72 pledged delegates at stake.

    Posted by Eric at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)

    Aides: Kerry-Edwards Ticket Unlikely

    I don't think a Kerry Edwards ticket is likely (Senator-Senator not appealing), and it appears aides are nixing the idea as well:

    But interviews with both campaigns indicate a Kerry-Edwards ticket is unlikely, and advisers to both men lack the excitement for such a pairing that some voters feel.

    Several Kerry advisers say the Massachusetts senator is skeptical about Edwards's strength as a running mate, saying he appears to lack the clout with Southern voters that he often brags about being able to deliver. Edwards's inability to win more than a single primary state thus far may give him the aura of a loser in the general election, these Kerry aides said. And Kerry himself recently noted with a touch of derision that, according to opinion polls, President Bush would defeat Edwards in his own home state of North Carolina.

    Kerry is also said to be unconvinced that Edwards is experienced enough to step in as a wartime president should something happen to him. National security credentials are the most important assets that the Democratic presidential front-runner would use to choose a running mate, these aides said.

    Edwards, meanwhile, has dismissed talk that he would accept anything other than the Democratic nomination and has said he would not want Kerry to consider him for a running mate. Top Edwards staff members say he has never had a serious discussion about the vice presidency with them nor mused aloud about the possibility.

    Most of this, however, could just be aides taking the chance to get in jabs at the other side.

    Posted by Eric at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

    Aides: Kerry-Edwards Ticket Unlikely

    I don't think a Kerry Edwards ticket is likely (Senator-Senator not appealing), and it appears aides are nixing the idea as well:

    But interviews with both campaigns indicate a Kerry-Edwards ticket is unlikely, and advisers to both men lack the excitement for such a pairing that some voters feel.

    Several Kerry advisers say the Massachusetts senator is skeptical about Edwards's strength as a running mate, saying he appears to lack the clout with Southern voters that he often brags about being able to deliver. Edwards's inability to win more than a single primary state thus far may give him the aura of a loser in the general election, these Kerry aides said. And Kerry himself recently noted with a touch of derision that, according to opinion polls, President Bush would defeat Edwards in his own home state of North Carolina.

    Kerry is also said to be unconvinced that Edwards is experienced enough to step in as a wartime president should something happen to him. National security credentials are the most important assets that the Democratic presidential front-runner would use to choose a running mate, these aides said.

    Edwards, meanwhile, has dismissed talk that he would accept anything other than the Democratic nomination and has said he would not want Kerry to consider him for a running mate. Top Edwards staff members say he has never had a serious discussion about the vice presidency with them nor mused aloud about the possibility.

    Most of this, however, could just be aides taking the chance to get in jabs at the other side.

    Posted by Eric at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

    February 11, 2004

    Bush / Cheney Reelect Team Edits MTP Interview to Correct Speech Problems

    From the NY Times, apparently the Bush reelect team can't let Bush's MTP interview stand by itself:

    NBC News executives said they were particularly alarmed that the excerpt ran with music and carefully chosen pictures of Mr. Bush.

    The organization said in a statement, "This promotional video is set to music, edited for impact, and mixed with other images, graphics and footage unrelated to the interview."

    The executives said the words seemed to have been digitally enhanced, to do away with some stammering.

    Posted by Eric at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

    Bush / Cheney Reelect Team Edits MTP Interview to Correct Speech Problems

    From the NY Times, apparently the Bush reelect team can't let Bush's MTP interview stand by itself:

    NBC News executives said they were particularly alarmed that the excerpt ran with music and carefully chosen pictures of Mr. Bush.

    The organization said in a statement, "This promotional video is set to music, edited for impact, and mixed with other images, graphics and footage unrelated to the interview."

    The executives said the words seemed to have been digitally enhanced, to do away with some stammering.

    Posted by Eric at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark Promises to Continue Fighting for the Democratic Party

    From an email to campaign supporters:

    Together, five months ago, we began our journey for the presidency. We had no money, no office, and no staff. All we had was hope and a vision for a better America.

    Today, after traveling the country, after visiting with the American people, we end that journey even more full of hope and even more committed to building a better America.

    I will support our Party's nominee, to continue this campaign until we take back the White House next November. This soldier stands ready for duty. It's not going to be easy. So I've got one bit of advice for our nominee: give 'em hell and never retreat.

    As a general who spent thirty-four years fighting for my country, here is my pledge: I will do everything I can -- everything -- to make sure George W. Bush doesn't play politics with national security ... I'm going to fight on, and I hope you will join me, until we win the campaign to create a new vision for America in the twenty-first century. Because I believe America's best days lie ahead. Today, I end my campaign for the presidency -- but our Party's campaign to change America is just beginning. This old soldier will not fade away. I'll be in the field and out in front, working the issues, supporting our candidates, and doing all I can to contribute to building a new and better America.

    Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

    Posted by Eric at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)

    Clark Promises to Continue Fighting for the Democratic Party

    From an email to campaign supporters:

    Together, five months ago, we began our journey for the presidency. We had no money, no office, and no staff. All we had was hope and a vision for a better America.

    Today, after traveling the country, after visiting with the American people, we end that journey even more full of hope and even more committed to building a better America.

    I will support our Party's nominee, to continue this campaign until we take back the White House next November. This soldier stands ready for duty. It's not going to be easy. So I've got one bit of advice for our nominee: give 'em hell and never retreat.

    As a general who spent thirty-four years fighting for my country, here is my pledge: I will do everything I can -- everything -- to make sure George W. Bush doesn't play politics with national security ... I'm going to fight on, and I hope you will join me, until we win the campaign to create a new vision for America in the twenty-first century. Because I believe America's best days lie ahead. Today, I end my campaign for the presidency -- but our Party's campaign to change America is just beginning. This old soldier will not fade away. I'll be in the field and out in front, working the issues, supporting our candidates, and doing all I can to contribute to building a new and better America.

    Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

    Posted by Eric at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)

    Blair Won't Endorse Bush or Kerry

    AP:

    The question was put by lawmaker David Burnside in the House of Commons. "What is in the best interests of the United Kingdom? The re-election of President Bush, pro war, or the election of anti-war Sen. Kerry?" Burnside asked.

    Blair, who was Bush's staunchest ally in the campaign to topple Saddam Hussein, but whose centrist Labor Party is a more natural ally of the Democrats than the Republicans, demurred.

    "I have learned enough in the six or seven years I have been prime minister not to interfere in the American presidential elections. That is a decision that is and should be for the American people alone," Blair said.

    Posted by Eric at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

    Blair Won't Endorse Bush or Kerry

    AP:

    The question was put by lawmaker David Burnside in the House of Commons. "What is in the best interests of the United Kingdom? The re-election of President Bush, pro war, or the election of anti-war Sen. Kerry?" Burnside asked.

    Blair, who was Bush's staunchest ally in the campaign to topple Saddam Hussein, but whose centrist Labor Party is a more natural ally of the Democrats than the Republicans, demurred.

    "I have learned enough in the six or seven years I have been prime minister not to interfere in the American presidential elections. That is a decision that is and should be for the American people alone," Blair said.

    Posted by Eric at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

    Clark Out

    General Wesley Clark has left the race.

    Ultimately, the strong qualities Clark possessed were the ones that, in the end, brought him down. Clark has an impressive resume, and isn't a Washington politician, but that's what hurt him. Clark, being a political novice, couldn't assure voters that he knew enough about domestic issues like Medicare, Social Security, and abortion. Everyone knows Clark's an impressive war hero, and has impeccable national security credentials, but voters want more than just a resume: they want a candidate who has the 'complete package.' They want a politician. Wesley Clark is not a politician.

    Part of this problem was the inability of Clark to get his domestic message across to voters. When covering Clark, the media covered the same issues: voted Republican in the past, made mistakes in the early part of his campaign, what's his position on Iraq? Rarely did we hear about the boring details of the Clark campaign, such as his economic or 'Families First Tax Reform' plan. In a campaign where perception rules, Clark was unable to shake the perception that he had little beyond his resume and could handle the dirty details of political life.

    Still, Wesley Clark helped the Democratic Party by being a symbol of people turned off by the Bush foreign policy doctrine. Clark ran because he believed Bush squandered the nation's trust after 9/11. If people like Clark continue to speak out against the Bush administration and bring new voters to the party then the Democratic Party will be better off. How actively Clark works to boot Bush now that he's out remains to be seen, but one would imagine that he'd be on the short list of potential VPs.

    On a more personal note, the Clark campaign was the first national campaign I volunteered for and, for inspiring me to go to New Hampshire, and work the trenches, I thank you, General Clark.

    Posted by Eric at 09:04 AM |