April 03, 2005

When does a government probe for a $10,000 fine cost $21m?

When it's about sex. From the WPost:

Nearly a decade after he was appointed to investigate then-Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros, independent counsel David M. Barrett spent more than $1.26 million of federal money in the last six months of fiscal 2004, the Government Accountability Office reported Thursday.

Since its inception, the Cisneros investigation has cost nearly $21 million, a total rivaling some of the largest independent counsel investigations in history.

Barrett was appointed in May 1995 to investigate allegations that Cisneros lied to the FBI about money he paid to a former mistress. Cisneros pleaded guilty and in September 1999 and paid a $10,000 fine and a $25 court assessment. He was later pardoned by President Clinton ... "There can't be a more graphic example of just burning money," said Phil Schiliro, chief of staff of Rep. Henry Waxman of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee. "It's indefensible."

Here's Paul Waldman of The Gadflyer:
Just so you understand, what this was all about is that Cisneros was not honest to the agents conducting his background check about money he had paid a former mistress (he said the amount was lower than it actually was). Dishonest? Sure. Stupid? Absolutely. But he admitted it and paid the fine. For this, an investigation that lasts for a decade and spends over $20 million of taxpayers' money? And they're still investigating?

It's Cisneros' bad fortune that his particular ethical lapse didn't involve, say, insider trading, or lying to start a war that has killed over 1500 Americans and maimed another 11,000. Then there'd be no need to investigate.

Posted by Eric at 05:43 AM | Comments (1)

December 16, 2004

'Centrists'

Another good one from David Sirota:

On healthcare, we are led to believe that it is a “liberal,” “left” or “socialist” position to support a single-payer system that would provide universal coverage to all Americans. But if you believe the Washington Post, that would mean America was some sort of hippie commune. The newspaper’s 2003 national poll found that almost two-thirds of Americans say they prefer a universal healthcare system “that’s run by the government and financed by taxpayers” as opposed to the current private, for-profit system.

Same thing with prescription drugs. DLCers like Senators John Breaux and Evan Bayh, who both pocket thousands from the pharmaceutical industry, have vehemently opposed bipartisan legislation allowing Americans to import lower-priced, FDA-approved medicines from Canada. But polls consistently show overwhelming support for the proposal. A March 2004 AP poll, for instance, showed that two-thirds of Americans favor making it “easier for people to buy prescription drugs from Canada or other countries at lower cost.” The measure is so popular among average Americans that even some ardent Republicans like Senator Trent Lott have been embarrassed into supporting it. But apparently the same can’t be said for some corporate factions of the Democratic Party.

On energy policy, those who want government to mandate higher fuel efficiency in cars are labeled “lefties,” even though a 2004 Consumers Union poll found that 81 percent of Americans support the policy. Corporate apologists claim this “extremist” policy would hurt Democrats in places like Michigan, where the automobile manufacturers employ thousands. But the Sierra Club’s 2004 polling finds more than three-quarters of Michigan voters support it—including 84 percent of the state’s autoworkers.

Posted by Eric at 08:50 PM | Comments (1)

November 01, 2004

College Republicans Still Silent on Corruption Charges

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh snap.

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

October 28, 2004

Guliani's Soldiers Comments

Things that make you go hmmmm, via Atrios:

The president was cautious the president was prudent the president did what a commander in chief should do. No matter how you try to blame it on the president the actual responsibility for it really would be for the troops that were there. Did they search carefully enough? Didn't they search carefully enough?

Posted by Eric at 11:15 AM | Comments (56)

October 27, 2004

Ooooh, To Be Middle-Aged, Katherine Harris, and In Love

From the NYDN:

Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) might think about sitting too close to the C-SPAN cameras the next time she's in Congress.
Harris, who was Florida's secretary of state during the infamous 2000 "hanging chad" recount debacle, is seen whispering, giggling, touching and appearing to peck the cheek of Republican Rep. Rick Renzi of Arizona during the 9/11 Commission reforms bill debate. At one point, she throws her head back in laughter as Rep. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.) presents intelligence data at the podium.

While a Renzi staffer admitted Harris appears to give him a "shoulder grab," Renzi's press secretary, Matthew Ash, told us: "They shared an exchange on the House floor and nothing more. The congressman is looking directly at Simmons and following the debate on the floor."

See the video here.

Posted by Eric at 02:15 PM | Comments (9)

October 23, 2004

Reeve to Appear in Pro-Stem Cell Ad

Christopher Reeve will appear post-mortem in an ad advocating stem cell research in California:

Less than two weeks after his sudden death, actor Christopher Reeve has begun appearing in a taped appeal to Californians to vote for a controversial ballot measure that would fund a decade of stem cell research.

Reeve filmed the ad shortly before his death on October 10, but proponents of California's Proposition 71 decided to go forward with the campaign after consulting his family.

The ad began airing on Friday, one day after Dana Reeve, the widow of the paralysed actor, endorsed Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry. Kerry has urged expanded federal funding for stem cell research.

"Stem cells have already cured paralysis in animals," Reeve says in the TV spot. "Stem cells are the future of medicine. Please support Proposition 71 and stand up for those who can't."

View the ad here.

Posted by Eric at 04:33 PM | Comments (27)

October 20, 2004

The Secret Administration

Why's the Bush administration playing politics with our nation's security? Why are they suppressing a potentially damning report? Robert Scheer in the LA Times:

It is shocking: The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names. Although the report by the inspector general's office of the CIA was completed in June, it has not been made available to the congressional intelligence committees that mandated the study almost two years ago.

"It is infuriating that a report which shows that high-level people were not doing their jobs in a satisfactory manner before 9/11 is being suppressed," an intelligence official who has read the report told me, adding that "the report is potentially very embarrassing for the administration, because it makes it look like they weren't interested in terrorism before 9/11, or in holding people in the government responsible afterward."

When I asked about the report, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said she and committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) sent a letter 14 days ago asking for it to be delivered. "We believe that the CIA has been told not to distribute the report," she said. "We are very concerned."

Posted by Eric at 12:04 AM | Comments (19)

October 19, 2004

Sign Stealer Gets Hurt

From the Rocky Mountain News (link via Rodkey):

A Lakewood Republican stealing campaign signs late one night got nabbed when he ran across a low- hanging driveway chain, fell face first onto a pilfered sign and the concrete and knocked himself unconscious.

Randal Wagner, 50, was loaded into an ambulance, treated at Lutheran Medical Center for abrasions and facial cuts and issued a summons.

Wagner, who unsuccessfully tried to steal a "Dave Thomas" congressional sign that evening, had signs for other Democratic candidates in his Toyota pickup, Wheat Ridge police reported.

Uh oh ... you know it's coming ... can't ... contain ... myself ...

"Stealing Dave Thomas signs? Whaa, did the guy work for Burger King?"

Sorry - but seriously, this is Dave Thomas for US Congress.

Posted by Eric at 06:25 PM | Comments (40)

Legalize Marijuana Petition Actually GOP Registration

Gettin high, voting Republican, I guess they're sorta similar:

Students, who last month signed a petition that was being circulated on the Blue Bell campus to legalize marijuana for primarily medicinal purposes, now are finding out that they are registered Republicans.

"This is just very disheartening," said Plymouth resident Jennifer Fugo, a 24-year-old continuing education student who describes herself as a "victim of voter registration manipulation."

"Everyone is encouraging young people to register and vote and then they experience something like this," Fugo said Monday. "This is just outrageous."

Posted by Eric at 05:58 PM | Comments (45)

A Very Special Bush Moment

From Suskind:

Joe Biden was telling a story, a story about the president. ‘’I was in the Oval Office a few months after we swept into Baghdad,’’ he began, ‘’and I was telling the president of my many concerns’’—concerns about growing problems winning the peace, the explosive mix of Shiite and Sunni, the disbanding of the Iraqi Army and problems securing the oil fields. Bush, Biden recalled, just looked at him, unflappably sure that the United States was on the right course and that all was well. ‘’’Mr. President,’ I finally said, ‘How can you be so sure when you know you don’t know the facts?’’’

Biden said that Bush stood up and put his hand on the senator’s shoulder. ‘’My instincts,’’ he said. ‘’My instincts.’’

Biden paused and shook his head, recalling it all as the room grew quiet. ‘’I said, ‘Mr. President, your instincts aren’t good enough!’’’

Posted by Eric at 01:56 AM | Comments (43)

October 18, 2004

Embarrassed to Be Gay

Eric Alterman:

Anyway, back to the hysterics. On Fox, co-host of Fox and Friends, E.D. Hill compared Mary Cheney to a wino. The Wall Street Journal accuses Kerry of having “outed” Mary, which, of course, is rather redundant in the case of someone who’s already out. William Kristol speaks of “cheap, cold, calculating cynicism--and cruelty,” here. Cruelty? Hello, she’s gay. It’s only cruelty if you have a problem with that. Kerry doesn’t. Mary doesn’t. It seems to me rather cruel of her mom to get so upset about it as if there were something shameful about her daughter. If those now non-voting evangelicals do, well, tough luck. If they want to vote (nor not vote) their homophobic prejudices, that’s their right. If Bush and Cheney are going to court the votes of people who think gay sex is a cause for jail, or perhaps everlasting damnation—why in the world is it unfair for Kerry to point out that they don’t really mean it? They’re just playing with the rubes, while inviting the homos to live in their houses—and work in their campaigns—without forcing them to try to convert or embrace celibacy or something.

Posted by Eric at 06:27 PM | Comments (218)

October 15, 2004

Bush's Lost Year

James Fallows in the Atlantic Monthly.

Posted by Eric at 03:01 PM | Comments (126)

October 11, 2004

Who's Looking Out for You?

From Newsday: Friends on the inside; Bush-appointed administrators at the FDA have consistently sided with the interests of business

Shocking, since most of them come from that side.

Posted by Eric at 09:24 AM | Comments (32)

October 08, 2004

Denial Aint Just a River in Egypt

It's the Bush foreign policy, notes David Kay:

President George W. Bush (news - web sites)'s administration is in denial over the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (news - web sites) before the US-led invasion in 2003, ex-chief US arms inspector David Kay said. ... But Kay told CNN television "Right now we have a lot of people who are desperate to justify the Bush administration's decision to go to war with Iraq.

"They will focus on issues such as intent. You will also hear that although we haven't found the weapons or manufacturing capability, they could have been shipped across the border. You can't ship that which you haven't produced. You can't bury that which you haven't obtained or produced."

"Look, Saddam was delusional. He had a lot of intent. He wanted to be Saladin the Great, of the Middle East yet again. He wanted to put Iraq in a preeminent position to remove the US from the region," Kay added.

"He had a lot of intent. He didn't have capabilities. Intent without capabilities is not an imminent threat."

"There is the issue that remains as to whether the scientists and engineers living in the chaotic, corrupt situation in Iraq might have transferred individually technology to terrorists," he said.

But "that was not the case the administration made."

Posted by Eric at 12:17 AM | Comments (15)

September 29, 2004

Galluping to the Right

Ruy Teixeira, one of the better Democratic pollsters out there, on the Gallup controversy:

I'm sure many have heard about today's full-page ad, "Gallup-ing to the Right", in The New York Times (page 5!) by MoveOn.org questioning Gallup's methodology and numbers. But if you haven't actually seen the ad, by all means click on the link and take a look. I think it's a striking and effective ad.

The numbers in the ad, which are quite eye-opening, are rock-solid. The ad says Gallup's average LV lead for Bush this month has been 10 points, while the average of all other LV polls has been 4 (they're clearly referring to 3-way LV results--which are by far the most numerous LV results--based on other data in the ad). That's correct. Even taking into account data released since 9/26 (the end-date for the ad's analysis), Gallup this month has averaged a 10 point lead for Bush among LVs in 3-way trial heats, while the other 27 3-way LV trial heats taken this month have averaged a 4 point Bush lead.

Similarly, the ad says polls released since 9/12 (that is, two weeks before the end-date of the ad's analysis), excluding Gallup, have averaged a 3 point lead for Bush in 3-way LV trial heats. Correct again, even adding in polls released since 9/26. In the 17 3-way trial heats released since 9/12 by polling organizations whose names are not "Gallup", Bush is averaging just a 3 point lead.

Posted by Eric at 06:44 AM | Comments (30)

September 28, 2004

Lie of the Day

From Brendan Gilfillan of America Coming Together:

Rhetoric: “Alan Greenspan recently reminded us that when the government gets bigger, it is very, very hard to bring back down to size. And now spending usually costs more in the future than we ever expected. This is what would happen under my opponent’s plan. In four short years, he would leave obligations that would haunt our children for generations to come.” [Source: Governor Bush’s remarks in Green Bay, WI, 9/28/00]

Reality:
Bush’s runaway spending and tax cutting will cost every household $2,900 by 2012. “Sustained budget deficits have deleterious consequences. Under assumptions reported by President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, the deterioration in the budget outlook since January 2001 will, by 2012, raise interest rates by 125 basis points, reduce annual national income by $340 billion (more than $2,900 per household), and increase U.S. indebtedness to foreign investors. The adverse effects would persist (and grow) over time.” [Source: Brookings Institution, 1/29/04]

Posted by Eric at 12:03 PM | Comments (24)

Rove Turning Tricks

Joshua Green in the new Atlantic Monthly.

Posted by Eric at 09:45 AM | Comments (13)

September 27, 2004

Bush Proud of 'Mission Accomplished' Sign

From the NYDN:

President Bush says he has no regrets about standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier with the sign that declared "Mission Accomplished" 17 months ago.
"You bet I'd do it again," Bush tells Fox News' Bill O'Reilly in an interview that airs tonight on the cable network.

Bush said he was honoring the military campaign that ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. "I flew out there and said thanks. Thanks, on behalf of a grateful nation," Bush said.

But his opponent, Democrat John Kerry, said it's "unbelievable" that Bush would still make that speech. "I'll get the mission accomplished," he said at a rally in Wisconsin.

Posted by Eric at 06:16 PM | Comments (27)

September 26, 2004

More Fear Politics

More of what ails the country; WPost:

The attack ad, picturing some of the world's most notorious terrorists, says: "These people want to kill us. They killed hundreds of innocent children in Russia, 200 innocent commuters in Spain and 3,000 innocent Americans.

"John Kerry has a 30-year record of supporting cuts in defense and intelligence and endlessly changing positions in Iraq. Would you trust Kerry against the fanatic killers? President Bush didn't start this war, but he will finish it."

While Kerry has voted for some military cutbacks as a senator, his campaign says he has supported $4.4 trillion in defense spending since 1985, including a sizable increase in 2002.

Progress for America, which is represented by the former Bush campaign lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, has raised at least $14 million. More than two-thirds of it has come from two Californians, Alex Spanos and Dawn Arnall, who are major Bush and GOP fundraisers. Singer said the group is clearly "linked" to Bush. Last week, the fund ran a mocking ad of Kerry windsurfing that was similar to a Bush campaign spot.

Posted by Eric at 09:03 PM | Comments (28)

The Bible Will Be Banned

Liberals and their book banning ways.

Posted by Eric at 09:48 AM | Comments (38)

Did You Know ...

Donald Rumsfeld co-owns a New Mexico ranch with .... Dan Rather?

Posted by Eric at 09:46 AM | Comments (26)

September 24, 2004

Newt's Sister Campaigns for Democrats

From the Morning Sentinel in Maine:

Candace Gingrich, half-sister to former U.S. House speaker and conservative icon Newt Gingrich, came Wednesday to Colby College, attempting to convince young Mainers to vote in upcoming elections -- and vote for two Democrats: John Kerry and U.S. Congressman Michael Michaud.

"I'm stumping to fire George Bush," she said.

Gingrich, 38, is an activist for gay and lesbian causes. Working as a youth outreach co-ordinator for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay political organization, Gingrich arrived in Waterville as part of a multi-state tour taking her to battleground states in the presidential contest or states with Congressional races the HRC sees as key ... Her opposition to the Bush administration centers largely on what she sees as Bush's overall hostility toward gays and lesbians, especially his push for a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriages. She is not mollified by comments from Vice President Dick Cheney that suggested he disagrees with the president's amendment stance.

"Anyone who uses the constitution as a political tool," Gingrich said, "and who supports the enshrinement of discrimination in that document isn't worthy of being my president."

Posted by Eric at 04:07 PM | Comments (55)

September 23, 2004

Saint Clinton

Of course, no one honestly believes Clinton will be up for sainthood anytime soon (or do they ...), but how can you not enjoy the silly reaction to this.

Posted by Eric at 04:26 PM | Comments (75)

LA Weekly: "David Dreier and his straight hypocrisy"

Should someone be outed? Doug Ireland in LA Weekly says David Dreier should be:

The latest target of a Capitol Hill outing campaign — designed to expose closeted homosexual Republicans who oppose civil rights for gay people — is San Gabriel Valley Congressman David Dreier.

The powerful 12-term congressman — chairman of the House Rules Committee, chairman of the California Republican House delegation, co-chairman of Californians for Bush, chairman of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s transition team — is in the cross hairs of Mike Rogers and his Blogactive.com Web site, whose outing campaign has already forced one GOP congressman out of politics. Representative Ed Schrock, a reactionary from Virginia, ended his re-election campaign last month after Rogers put on his Web site an audiotape of Schrock trolling for tricks on a gay chat line ... I have always taken the view that outing a gay person should be approached with caution, and that in doing so one should strictly adhere to the Barney Frank Rule. As articulated by the openly gay Massachusetts congressman during another anti-gay GOP witch-hunt over a decade ago, when Frank threatened to out a number of gay-baiting Republican fellow congressmen, the rule insists that outing is only acceptable when a person uses their power or notoriety to hurt gay people.

Dreier clearly meets that standard, for his voting record is strewn with anti-gay positions. To cite just a few: He voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would have banned discrimination against gay people in hiring; voted for the gay-bashing Defense of Marriage Act; voted for banning adoption by gay and lesbian couples in the District of Columbia (3,000 miles away from Dreier’s district); voted to allow federally funded charities to discriminate against gays in employment, even where local laws prohibit such bias; and voted against the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Dreier is not just a political homophobe but a heartless AIDS-phobe as well, voting against the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program designed to give shelter to the impoverished sick, and against funding for the federal ADAP program that furnishes the poor with the AIDS meds they need to stay alive.

Posted by Eric at 10:35 AM | Comments (112)

September 20, 2004

AP: "GOP Mailing Warns Liberals Will Ban Bibles"

More fear politics:

The literature shows a Bible with the word "BANNED" across it and a photo of a man, on his knees, placing a ring on the hand of another man with the word "ALLOWED." The mailing tells West Virginians to "vote Republican to protect our families" and defeat the "liberal agenda."

Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie said Friday that he wasn't aware of the mailing, but said it could be the work of the RNC. "It wouldn't surprise me if we were mailing voters on the issue of same-sex marriage," Gillespie said.

The flier says Republicans have passed laws "protecting life," support defining marriage as between a man and a woman and nominate conservative judges who will "interpret the law and not legislate from the bench." It does not mention the names of the presidential candidates.

Posted by Eric at 08:54 AM | Comments (103)

September 17, 2004

Bush and the Gay Purge

From the NY Blade:

A gay former member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS has accused the Bush administration of conducting "clandestine purges" of gays on the AIDS panel, saying the action is symbolic of the president's record on gay appointments.

Gay Republican activist James Driscoll, who Bush appointed in 2002 to the AIDS advisory panel, said the administration dropped him from the panel, known as PACHA, earlier this year and replaced him with a "safe straight, white male."

"Gays represent at least 4 percent of the electorate, according to exit polls," Driscoll said. "We are more numerous than Jews, as numerous as Asians, and in 2000 we gave Bush more votes than did African Americans," he said, referring to exit poll data on various ethnic groups that voted for Bush.

"Yet our representation [among Bush administration appointees] is a tiny fraction of those groups' and includes no important appointments," Driscoll said.

After nearly four years in office, only 16 openly gay appointees in the Bush administration have been identified by name, and out of that number, eight were non-paid appointments to PACHA. And of the eight PACHA members appointed by Bush, only five remain on the AIDS panel. By comparison, President Clinton appointed more than 150 open gays in his eight years in office, according to Clinton administration officials.

Posted by Eric at 03:02 PM | Comments (199)

September 16, 2004

Hit and Run Kicker Found

And here's the kicker!

Posted by Eric at 06:58 PM | Comments (62)

September 15, 2004

Feds Admit Some Wrong in Scalia Tape Seizure

From the AP; A refresher

During an April 7 speech at a high school in Hattiesburg, Miss., a deputy federal marshal, Melanie Rube, demanded that AP reporter Denise Grones and Hattiesburg American reporter Antoinette Konz erase recordings of the justice's remarks. The reporters had not been told before the speech that they could not use tape recorders.

When Grones resisted, the marshal took the digital recorder out of her hands. The reporter then showed Rube how to erase the recording.

Rube then reached across Grones and demanded that Konz hand over her tape. Konz surrendered the tape and, after the speech, was able to get it back only after she erased the recording in front of the marshal.

So now:
The government has conceded that the U.S. Marshals Service violated federal law when a marshal ordered reporters with The Associated Press and the Hattiesburg American to erase their recordings of a speech by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

The Justice Department also said the reporters and their employers are each entitled to $1,000 in damages and reasonable attorney fees, which had been sought by the media organizations.

The government's concessions were contained in court papers filed Friday in response to a lawsuit by the news organizations.

While agreeing the federal Privacy Protection Act forbids the seizure of the work product of a journalist, the government said the plaintiffs were not entitled to an injunction that would bar the Marshals Service from a repeat of the incident.

Posted by Eric at 06:14 PM | Comments (24)

Ashcroft: Law Breaker

It's not like he oversees some department that's in charge of the law or something; CAP:

A new Government Accountability Office report found that Attorney General John Ashcroft spent more than $200,000 of taxpayer money on trips to 32 cities in August and September of 2003 to specifically whip up public support for the Patriot Act. In the process, Ashcroft may have broken the law. A 2002 federal law explicitly prohibits federal funds from being used by any executive branch agency – including the Justice Department – to lobby the public for support or defeat of legislation pending before the Congress. Ashcroft's trips came immediately after the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan amendment, sponsored by Rep. Butch Otter (R-ID), which would have limited the Patriot Act – something Ashcroft opposed and was using public money to campaign against. Ashcroft even traveled to Otter's home district to publicly lobby Otter's constituents against reforming the Patriot Act. Again, this behavior by a Cabinet secretary is prohibited by federal law. After two months of Ashcroft's taxpayer-financed trips, Congress reconvened from its summer recess and stripped out the provision from the final bill behind closed doors in a conference committee.

Posted by Eric at 11:22 AM | Comments (42)

Why Bush Left Texas

The Nation.

Posted by Eric at 12:03 AM | Comments (41)

September 14, 2004

More on Bush Guard Service

From Bush's professor at Harvard; CNN:

Yoshi Tsurumi, in his first on-camera interview on the subject, told CNN that Bush confided in him during an after-class hallway conversation during the 1973-74 school year.

"He admitted to me that to avoid the Vietnam draft, he had his dad -- he said 'Dad's friends' -- skip him through the long waiting list to get him into the Texas National Guard," Tsurumi said. "He thought that was a smart thing to do."

While the campaign has not responded directly to Tsurumi's allegations, White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett said last week, "Every time President Bush gets near another election, all the innuendo and rumors about President Bush's service in the National Guard come to the forefront."

Tsurumi said Vietnam was a top topic among the 85 students in his class, when he was a visiting associate professor at Harvard from 1972 to 1976. He now teaches at Baruch College in New York.

"What I couldn't stand -- and I told him -- he was all for the U.S. to continue with the Vietnam War. That means he was all for other people, Americans, to keep on fighting and dying."

Expect the attack machine to take care of Tsurumi.

Meanwhile, the DNC is tackling Bush's guard service.

Posted by Eric at 06:39 PM | Comments (34)

September 13, 2004

Blood on the NRA's Hands

LATimes.

Posted by Eric at 04:47 PM | Comments (7)

September 12, 2004

Bush Lying About Military Record

Democratic Underground with a campaign lit "in which he falsely claims to have served in the U.S. Air Force."

Posted by Eric at 02:31 PM | Comments (18)

September 10, 2004

NYDN Source: Sharon Bush Lying

From Rush and Malloy in the NYDN:

"I categorically deny that I ever told Kitty Kelley that George W. Bush used cocaine at Camp David - or that I ever saw him use cocaine at Camp David. The one time I met in person with Kitty Kelley, she mentioned drug use at Camp David. I responded by saying something along the lines of, 'Who would say such a thing?'" ... "We met at the Chelsea Bistro on April 1, 2003," says our insider. "It was a very long lunch. Sharon was talking about affairs in the Bush family ... [that they are] very dysfunctional. She said they talk about family values, but they don't practice what they preach.

"Then Kitty raised the drug issue," our source continues. "Kitty, who can make a rock talk, said: 'I know about the drugs. I know that W did drugs at Camp David during his father's presidency.'

"Sharon agreed. She said, 'Absolutely. That's all true.'"

Posted by Eric at 02:41 AM | Comments (35)

September 07, 2004

How the Bush Admin Screwed Up

Yet people still think the Bush admin is tough on national security; Elizabeth Drew in The New York Review of Books:

The administration fought the commission at nearly every turn—at first denying it sufficient funds, then opposing an extension of time, refusing it documents, trying to prevent Condoleezza Rice from testifying in public. The White House, in a preemptive move, told the commission that Bush would not testify under oath, and insisted that he appear along with Vice President Cheney. The main partisan division within the commission, I was told, was over how hard to press the White House for information that it was holding back. In its effort to achieve a unanimous, bipartisan report, the commission decided not to assign "individual blame" and avoided overt criticism of the President himself. Still, the report is a powerful indictment of the Bush administration for its behavior before and after the attacks of September 11.

The biggest obstacle the administration placed before the commissioners was CIA Director George Tenet's refusal to let them interview detainees directly, including key figures in the September 11 plot—despite the strong objections of some of the commissioners. They were forbidden to talk to, among others, the plot's mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (called KSM in the report), who had been captured in Pakistan

And more blockage:
In an attempt to discredit the commission, the White House charged that some of its Democratic members were "partisan," a view some Bush officials expressed in interviews with an obviously phony show of sorrow. "Partisan" meant that certain commissioners, in particular Richard Ben-Veniste, a Democrat and a skilled trial attorney, asked tough questions—as if somehow tough questions weren't in order. Some Republican commissioners—in particular Jim Thompson, Fred Fielding, and John Lehman—in appearances on television or in the commission's deliberations, sometimes seemed to be doing the White House's bidding, repeating some of its "talking points." But in the end they didn't attempt to block damning information about the Bush administration's performance from appearing in the final report.

The administration also attempted to put pressure on the commission through the process of clearing the staff reports—by a committee set up by the White House. Several commissioners told me that the clearance process sometimes elicited new facts, which they accepted. Sometimes the administration questioned the staff's conclusions or inferences, but the commissioners insist that they made changes only on the basis of new facts, and that they did not negotiate with the administration.

And screwups by the Bush admin at the time of the attacks:
In fact, the commission gives a devastating picture of the chaos within the Bush administration on the morning of the attacks, when the President famously remained in the Florida classroom for some five to seven minutes (according to the report) after learning of the second attack on the World Trade Center. But this is just one of several examples that morning of questionable judgment on the part of the President, as well as of the officials traveling with him, including his chief of staff, Andrew Card, and his political mentor, Karl Rove. Bush told the commission that he attributed the first crash, which he learned of before he entered the school classroom, to "pilot error," but this seems strange, since it is unlikely that a pilot would accidentally stray into a very tall, prominent building in a highly controlled air space on a clear autumn day. Subtly but damningly, the report makes it clear that after Bush left the classroom, "the focus was on the President's statement to the nation"—his "message"—rather than on taking charge of the nation's response to the attacks.

The President didn't convene a meeting of his National Security Council until after all of the planes had crashed. And though the chain of command for military actions runs from the president to the secretary of defense, Bush didn't call Rumsfeld for nearly an hour after the second tower was hit, though more than a half-hour lapsed between the crash into the second tower in New York and the attack on the Pentagon. Morever, despite the established chain of command, Bush in that call didn't discuss with Rumsfeld the authorization to shoot down planes. Astonishingly, according to information the commission received between the writing of the staff reports and the final report, the secretary of defense, upon learning of the two attacks in New York, simply returned to the work he had already been doing in his Pentagon office.

Posted by Eric at 01:19 PM | Comments (21)

Clinton Update

AP: "Bill Clinton underwent a successful quadruple heart bypass operation Monday to relieve severely clogged arteries that doctors said put the former president at grave risk of suffering a heart attack"

Posted by Eric at 12:19 AM | Comments (21)

Kitty Kelley's Bush Book: Will It Create a Storm?

See Wonkette.

cover

The Family : The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty

The controversial claim:

GEORGE W Bush snorted cocaine at Camp David, a new book claims.

His wife Laura also allegedly tried cannabis in her youth.

Author Kitty Kelley says in her biography The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty, that the US President first used coke at university in the mid-1960s.

She quotes his former sister-in-law Sharon Bush who claims: "Bush did coke at Camp David when his father was President, and not just once either."

Other acquaintances allege that as a 26-year-old National Guard, Bush "liked to sneak out back for a joint or into the bathroom for a line of cocaine".

Posted by Eric at 12:10 AM | Comments (63)

September 05, 2004

A Gary Bauer Moment

As noted by the Progress Report:

Roll Call reports, "Guess who's the latest victim of Cheney Potty Mouth Syndrome? Hard as it may be to believe, it's none other than the man formerly known as Mr. Family Values, one-time presidential candidate Gary Bauer." Walking outside Madison Square Garden, a protester yelled at the Christian activist. "Bauer, without skipping a beat, popped off the now commonly procured and deployed F Bomb. 'F--- you,' Bauer said as he kept walking."

Posted by Eric at 01:50 PM | Comments (38)

September 03, 2004

GOP's Pro-Choicers

From Newsweek: "Pro-choice Republicans say they've got the numbers on their side. Now they just have to win over party bigwigs."

The GOP's largest pro-choice advocacy group, the Republican Majority for Choice (RMC), was a chief proponent of the new language in the platform preamble and regards the change as a small step in the right direction. Far from viewing itself as a renegade faction, the RMC touts a recent American Viewpoint poll that found that 73 percent of Republicans claim to be pro-choice. The organization says it is an outspoken minority that has overwhelmed those voices and established the party's agenda.

This week, GOP stalwarts Libby Pataki, wife of the New York governor; Bloomberg and former Bush administration official Christie Todd Whitman hosted what they said was the largest-ever gathering of pro-choice Republicans, raising $1 million for their cause.

RMC executive director Kellie Rose Ferguson:
Polling shows that 73 percent of Republicans and over 80 percent of Americans support a woman's right to choose. Again, we're not pushing this to be a central core part of a party platform. What we're saying is, "You can be pro-choice and you can be anti-choice and still be members of the Republican Party-vital key members of the Republican Party. Without the pro-choice members, we wouldn't have the majority in Congress, and I think both sides need to recognize that. Where a moderate Republican can win, we should be supporting the moderate Republican, no matter what your belief is on a lot of these social issues. We would love to see the day when women's reproductive health is so safe that we no longer have to be in business. But unfortunately, there are so many attacks on the right to choose from so many different sides that we've had to start up a lobbying arm; we've got chapters around the country, and now we have a political action committee to support pro-choice candidates and moderate candidates who set the policy.
In Bush's speech last night, The Guardian notes:
To huge cheers from the large numbers of delegates who campaign against abortion and regard their stance as an essential part of the Republican platform, he said that in a "caring society ... we must make a place for the unborn child."

Posted by Eric at 05:10 PM | Comments (168)

Schwarzenegger's Odd History

From the AP:

Recalling that the Soviets once occupied part of Austria in the aftermath of World War II, Schwarzenegger told the convention on Tuesday: "I saw tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes."

No way, historians say, challenging Schwarzenegger's knowledge of postwar history -- if not his enduring popularity among Austrians who admire him for rising from a penniless immigrant to the highest official in America's most populous state ... But Martin Polaschek, a law history scholar and vice rector of Graz University, told Kurier that Austria was governed by coalition governments, including the conservative People's Party and the Social Democratic Party. Between 1945 and 1970, all the nation's chancellors were conservatives -- not Socialists.

What's more, when Schwarzenegger left in 1968, Austria was run by a conservative government headed by People's Party Chancellor Josef Klaus, a staunch Roman Catholic and a sharp critic of both the Socialists as well as the Communists ruling in countries across the Iron Curtain.

Schwarzenegger "confuses a free country with a Socialist one," said Polaschek, referring to East European Communist officials' routine descriptions of their countries as Socialist.

Posted by Eric at 02:22 PM | Comments (263)

Secret Democrat?

Not sure why a Republican would appreciate him; From the Honolulu Star Bulletin:

What should have been the most embarrassing moment for Hawaii's GOP delegates came when their vice-chairman Willes Lee, who was vignetted daily by C-Span, was televised kneeling before radio talk-show host G. Gordon Liddy, saying, "I so admire what you did," then asking for the autograph of the man who became famous as a lead Plumber in the Nixon White House. Was Lee referring to Liddy's role in the break-in of the office of Daniel Ellsburg's psychiatrist or in the Watergate burglary?

Posted by Eric at 01:03 PM | Comments (215)

September 02, 2004

Bush To Alter Economic Stats Again

From Misleader.org:

Last week, the Census Bureau released statistics showing that for the first time in years, poverty had increased for three straight years, while the number of Americans without health care increased to a record level.1 But instead of changing its economic and health care policies, the Bush administration today is announcing plans to change the way the statistics are compiled. The move is just the latest in a series of actions by the White House to doctor or eliminate longstanding and nonpartisan economic data collection methods.

In a Bush administration press release yesterday, the Census Bureau said next week it "will announce a new economic indicator" as "an additional tool to better understand" the economy. The change in statistics is being directed by Bush political appointees and comes just 60 days from the election. It will be the first modification of Census data in 40 years.2

This is not the first time the White House has tried to doctor or manipulate economic data that exposed President Bush's failed policies. In the face of serious job losses last year, the Associated Press reported "the Bush administration has dropped the government's monthly report on mass layoffs, which also had been eliminated when President Bush's father was in office."

Posted by Eric at 11:45 AM | Comments (68)

99% of Republican Legislators White

That, according to a study from Retro vs. Metro America:

One Percent of Republican Legislators in the States and Washington are African-American or Hispanic.

The uninformed viewer watching TV coverage of this week's Republican national convention in New York might come away thinking that the President's party is built upon a solid commitment to inclusion of racial minorities. Once again, as it does every four years, the Republican Party is trying to portray itself as a "big tent," with room for every American ...

Of 3,643 Republicans serving in the state legislatures, only 44 are minorities, or 1.2 percent. In the Congress, with 274 of the 535 elected senators and representatives Republican, only five are minorities - three Cuban Americans from Florida, a Mexican American from Texas and a Native American senator originally elected as a Democrat.

"President Bush's home state leads the way. Texas, with a minority population of 47 percent, has 106 Republicans in the state legislature, but there are 0 blacks and 0 Hispanics among them, Sperling writes. "No major corporation doing business with the government could be so white without being subject to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) action!"

Posted by Eric at 01:21 AM | Comments (131)

September 01, 2004

Zig Zag Zell

The Progress Report on Zell Miller.

Posted by Eric at 02:12 PM | Comments (118)

August 31, 2004

Zogby Poll: "Half of New Yorkers Believe US Leaders Had Foreknowledge of Impending 9-11 Attacks"

From a just released Zogby poll:

On the eve of a Republican National Convention invoking 9/11 symbols, sound bytes and imagery, half (49.3%) of New York City residents and 41% of New York citizens overall say that some of our leaders "knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act," according to the poll conducted by Zogby International. The poll of New York residents was conducted from Tuesday August 24 through Thursday August 26, 2004. Overall results have a margin of sampling error of +/-3.5.

The poll is the first of its kind conducted in America that surveys attitudes regarding US government complicity in the 9/11 tragedy. Despite the acute legal and political implications of this accusation, nearly 30% of registered Republicans and over 38% of those who described themselves as "very conservative" supported the claim.

Posted by Eric at 01:36 PM | Comments (91)

August 25, 2004

Partisan Porter Goss

Center for American Progress has the goods.

Posted by Eric at 02:55 PM | Comments (45)

The Moby Rumor

I repost, you decide:

Noticed that Sen. John McCain looks a little pained in his pro-Bush advertisements? Rock star Moby knows why: "I'm best friends with [John's son] Sid McCain. John McCain hates President Bush. He's just doing those ads to help the Republicans." We asked Moby if he'd be protesting the convention. "I'm just going to sit by and watch," he told us. "I'm not hopeful"...

Posted by Eric at 10:24 AM | Comments (50)

Hawaii Republican Gov Criticizes Swift Vets for Lies

From the Honolulu Star Bulletin:

In an interview yesterday, Lingle said the current national debate over Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry's Vietnam War experiences should not be part of the presidential campaign.

"I said from the very beginning, he is a hero, and I don't think anyone should try to take that away from him," Lingle said.

But Lingle added that now Kerry should be judged on his record as a senator and his ability to lead.

"I respect anyone who served their country in a war and put their life on the line. How he conducted himself after he came back is not the way I would have conducted myself necessarily, but I don't think anyone should take from his service," Lingle said.

Lingle during the 'Nam era:
In protest over the Vietnam War in 1972, Gov. Linda Lingle, then a college student in California, voted for George McGovern, the Democratic candidate for president. Republican Lingle said her vote for a Democrat was "because of the war."

Posted by Eric at 06:30 AM | Comments (51)

John O'Neill Lies

The truth dies; For example:

O'Neill said on CNN on August 11, "[T]he people in our organization have no partisan ties, we didn't campaign in the last four elections for Democrats, by and large we didn't campaign for anybody."

That's a lie. The new Swift Boat Veterans for Truth advertisement, unveiled August 20, features Ken Cordier criticizing Kerry. Cordier is identified in the ad as "P.O.W., Dec. 1966 - Mar. 1973."

But Cordier isn't just a former prisoner of war. He was also a member of the Bush-Cheney '04 National Veterans Steering Committee until controversy over his dual role with the campaign and the SBVT led to his resignation. The Bush-Cheney '04 campaign web site suddenly -- mysteriously -- omits Cordier's name from the list of Steering Committee members, presumably in an effort to hide ties between the campaign and this 527 advertising. But images from a cached copy of the page, as well as a list of committee members, prove his membership.

Cordier was also named to a Bush administration POW Advisory Committee.

Cordier's involvement with the Bush campaign is not a new development. In September 2000, Dick Cheney personally announced Cordier's selection as Vice-Chair of the Veterans for Bush-Cheney '00.

And also this:
On the August 12 edition of CNN's Crossfire, O'Neill claimed he has had "no serious involvement in politics of any kind in over 32 years."

In fact, O'Neill has made more than $14,000 in federal contributions to Republican candidates and causes since 1990; most people would consider giving $14,000 a "serious" involvement.

John O'Neill: "helping run what is arguably the most aggressive outside campaign to defeat Senator John F. Kerry thus far in the presidential election cycle"

Posted by Eric at 04:41 AM | Comments (60)

August 20, 2004

Hottest University for Politics: George Washington U

According to the 2005 Kaplan/Newsweek guide to colleges, the DC-based school is number one for political junkies, beating Georgetown, among others. From the GWU propoganda department:

The 2005 Kaplan/Newsweek "How to Get into College" Guide named The George Washington University as the hottest university in the nation for "political junkies." GW is commended for its blend of academics and politics in the classroom and throughout campus, as well as for its fixed tuition program. For the second time in three years GW is on the "Hot Schools" list.

"There aren't many universities that hosted John Kerry, Tom Ridge, foreign diplomats, U.S. ambassadors and government officials for speeches and campus programs in a single academic year," said GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. "However, at GW students expect and receive attention from those in the global political arena."

From professors who engage in political consulting to internships with government agencies, non-profits and policy and advocacy groups; from guest speakers in government and international affairs to study abroad programs and CNN's "Crossfire," GW has near limitless opportunities for those interested in politics and a real-life laboratory setting.

Posted by Eric at 02:46 AM | Comments (47)

Hottest University for Politics: George Washington U

According to the 2005 Kaplan/Newsweek guide to colleges, the DC-based school is number one for political junkies, beating Georgetown, among others. From the GWU propoganda department:

The 2005 Kaplan/Newsweek "How to Get into College" Guide named The George Washington University as the hottest university in the nation for "political junkies." GW is commended for its blend of academics and politics in the classroom and throughout campus, as well as for its fixed tuition program. For the second time in three years GW is on the "Hot Schools" list.

"There aren't many universities that hosted John Kerry, Tom Ridge, foreign diplomats, U.S. ambassadors and government officials for speeches and campus programs in a single academic year," said GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. "However, at GW students expect and receive attention from those in the global political arena."

From professors who engage in political consulting to internships with government agencies, non-profits and policy and advocacy groups; from guest speakers in government and international affairs to study abroad programs and CNN's "Crossfire," GW has near limitless opportunities for those interested in politics and a real-life laboratory setting.

Posted by Eric at 02:46 AM | Comments (6)

August 19, 2004

Vote For Change Tour Finale Set for Miami

From Billboard:

As expected, the upcoming Vote for Change tour will wrap Oct. 10 with a blowout concert at a Miami venue to be announced. The lineup will feature Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, R.E.M., John Fogerty, Dave Matthews Band, Bright Eyes, Dixie Chicks, James Taylor, Ben Harper, Jurassic 5, My Morning Jacket and Death Cab For Cutie.

In addition, a handful of tweaks have been made to the VFC schedule. The Springsteen/R.E.M./Bright Eyes/Fogerty show scheduled for Oct. 3 at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich., has been moved to Detroit's Cobo Hall, while Jack Johnson and Crosby, Stills and Nash will join Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Keb' Mo' for a Sept. 29 show in Phoenix.

Pearl Jam will also be playing on Sept. 28 at Boston's FleetCenter.

Site.

Posted by Eric at 09:06 AM | Comments (27)

Vote For Change Tour Finale Set for Miami

From Billboard:

As expected, the upcoming Vote for Change tour will wrap Oct. 10 with a blowout concert at a Miami venue to be announced. The lineup will feature Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, R.E.M., John Fogerty, Dave Matthews Band, Bright Eyes, Dixie Chicks, James Taylor, Ben Harper, Jurassic 5, My Morning Jacket and Death Cab For Cutie.

In addition, a handful of tweaks have been made to the VFC schedule. The Springsteen/R.E.M./Bright Eyes/Fogerty show scheduled for Oct. 3 at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich., has been moved to Detroit's Cobo Hall, while Jack Johnson and Crosby, Stills and Nash will join Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Keb' Mo' for a Sept. 29 show in Phoenix.

Pearl Jam will also be playing on Sept. 28 at Boston's FleetCenter.

Site.

Posted by Eric at 09:06 AM | Comments (5)

Hamster Numbers: Felons and Votingg

From the WPost:

  • "On Election Day it will not matter to some 4.7 million Americans whether they are Republicans, Democrats, independents or whether they have an opinion on anything at all. Under various state laws, they are barred from voting because they have felony records."
  • "This includes not just prison inmates (48 states), parolees (33 states) and probationers (29 states) but also a large number of people -- one third of the disenfranchised in all -- who are off parole and "free." Minorities are hit particularly hard by these state laws: They deny 13 percent of African American men the vote."
  • "Incarceration in America is up 600 percent since 1974, and the absence of this fast-growing shadow population has been altering the nation's politics."

    For more on felon disenfranchisement, see this site (link via Talk Left).

    Posted by Eric at 08:28 AM | Comments (18)

    Hamster Numbers: Felons and Votingg

    From the WPost:

  • "On Election Day it will not matter to some 4.7 million Americans whether they are Republicans, Democrats, independents or whether they have an opinion on anything at all. Under various state laws, they are barred from voting because they have felony records."
  • "This includes not just prison inmates (48 states), parolees (33 states) and probationers (29 states) but also a large number of people -- one third of the disenfranchised in all -- who are off parole and "free." Minorities are hit particularly hard by these state laws: They deny 13 percent of African American men the vote."
  • "Incarceration in America is up 600 percent since 1974, and the absence of this fast-growing shadow population has been altering the nation's politics."

    For more on felon disenfranchisement, see this site (link via Talk Left).

    Posted by Eric at 08:28 AM | Comments (5)

    Weekly World News: Bush Library No Go!

    If it's from the Weekly World News, it must be true!

    THE PRESIDENTIAL library that President Bush plans to build upon leaving office won't contain any books -- because it's an open secret that the President doesn't read, and he doesn't want to be portrayed as a hypocrite!

    That's the startling claim from an anonymous White House insider.

    "President Bush is proud of the fact that he doesn't read and makes decisions 'from his gut,' " the insider says.

    "He doesn't keep books in the White House, so he thinks it would be hypocritical to fill up his library with them."

    In other news: DISEASE FORCES RAPPERS TO TALK CLEAN!

    Posted by Eric at 04:42 AM | Comments (49)

    Weekly World News: Bush Library No Go!

    If it's from the Weekly World News, it must be true!

    THE PRESIDENTIAL library that President Bush plans to build upon leaving office won't contain any books -- because it's an open secret that the President doesn't read, and he doesn't want to be portrayed as a hypocrite!

    That's the startling claim from an anonymous White House insider.

    "President Bush is proud of the fact that he doesn't read and makes decisions 'from his gut,' " the insider says.

    "He doesn't keep books in the White House, so he thinks it would be hypocritical to fill up his library with them."

    In other news: DISEASE FORCES RAPPERS TO TALK CLEAN!

    Posted by Eric at 04:42 AM | Comments (7)

    Hiram Fong Dead at 97

    A Republican, Fong was the first U.S. senator of Asian ancestry. Star Bulletin:

    Hiram Leong Fong, who rose from a childhood in Kalihi as a son of impoverished immigrants to become a millionaire tycoon and the first U.S. senator of Asian ancestry, died early today at home surrounded by family. He was 97.

    ... He was a person who really cared about Hawaii and the politics after the election didnt matter that much.

    In those days whether you were a Democrat or a Republican, we tried to do and say what we felt was right for Hawaii and we had respect for each other, Ariyoshi said.

    Other firsts:

    Dan Inouye (D-HI): first Japanese-American (Interesting Inouye war stories).
    Patsy Mink (D-HI): First Asian American woman.
    George Ariyoshi (D-HI): First Asian American Governor

    Posted by Eric at 12:22 AM | Comments (45)

    Hiram Fong Dead at 97

    A Republican, Fong was the first U.S. senator of Asian ancestry. Star Bulletin:

    Hiram Leong Fong, who rose from a childhood in Kalihi as a son of impoverished immigrants to become a millionaire tycoon and the first U.S. senator of Asian ancestry, died early today at home surrounded by family. He was 97.

    ... He was a person who really cared about Hawaii and the politics after the election didnt matter that much.

    In those days whether you were a Democrat or a Republican, we tried to do and say what we felt was right for Hawaii and we had respect for each other, Ariyoshi said.

    Other firsts:

    Dan Inouye (D-HI): first Japanese-American (Interesting Inouye war stories).
    Patsy Mink (D-HI): First Asian American woman.
    George Ariyoshi (D-HI): First Asian American Governor

    Posted by Eric at 12:22 AM | Comments (8)

    August 18, 2004

    Bush Twins to Attend Gay Wedding

    Good for them:

    Yesterday, the 39-year-old Gomez - a makeup expert for the Elizabeth Arden shop in the D.C. suburb of Chevy Chase, Md. - told Lowdown that the First Twins have become devotees of his popular eyebrow waxes over the past few weeks.

    And, Gomez added, Bush's daughters have expressed an enthusiastic desire to go to Gomez and Packard's Sept. 11 wedding celebration at their home in Laytonsville, Md.

    "I gave them the party invitation, and they said, 'That sounds great, we'd love to come - it sounds like a lot of fun,'" Gomez said.

    "The way they reacted, they were very open-minded."

    Never mind that their father supports a constitutional ban of gay marriages.

    Posted by Eric at 05:48 PM | Comments (31)

    Bush Twins to Attend Gay Wedding

    Good for them:

    Yesterday, the 39-year-old Gomez - a makeup expert for the Elizabeth Arden shop in the D.C. suburb of Chevy Chase, Md. - told Lowdown that the First Twins have become devotees of his popular eyebrow waxes over the past few weeks.

    And, Gomez added, Bush's daughters have expressed an enthusiastic desire to go to Gomez and Packard's Sept. 11 wedding celebration at their home in Laytonsville, Md.

    "I gave them the party invitation, and they said, 'That sounds great, we'd love to come - it sounds like a lot of fun,'" Gomez said.

    "The way they reacted, they were very open-minded."

    Never mind that their father supports a constitutional ban of gay marriages.

    Posted by Eric at 05:48 PM | Comments (12)

    August 17, 2004

    Conservatives to Monitor Suspected Liberals in Church

    In the Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, Va:

    A conservative religious organization is keeping an eye on local churches, threatening to report any that endorse or disparage political candidates in violation of their nonprofit status.

    The Big Brother Church Watch, a group sponsored by the Religious Freedom Action Coalition, is sending volunteers throughout Virginia to sit in church pews and take notes.

    If there is any indication of an endorsement of, or objection to, a specific political candidate, the group has said it will report that church to the Internal Revenue Service, which could revoke their tax-exempt status.

    The group is targeting so-called "liberal churches" such as the Metropolitan Community churches, Unitarian Universalist fellowships and African Methodist Episcopal churches.

    "You tend to hear more about the conservatives, but no one is checking the liberal churches," said Peggy Birchfield, executive director of the Religious Freedom Action Coalition in Washington.

    Posted by Eric at 09:15 AM | Comments (25)

    Conservatives to Monitor Suspected Liberals in Church

    In the Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, Va:

    A conservative religious organization is keeping an eye on local churches, threatening to report any that endorse or disparage political candidates in violation of their nonprofit status.

    The Big Brother Church Watch, a group sponsored by the Religious Freedom Action Coalition, is sending volunteers throughout Virginia to sit in church pews and take notes.

    If there is any indication of an endorsement of, or objection to, a specific political candidate, the group has said it will report that church to the Internal Revenue Service, which could revoke their tax-exempt status.

    The group is targeting so-called "liberal churches" such as the Metropolitan Community churches, Unitarian Universalist fellowships and African Methodist Episcopal churches.

    "You tend to hear more about the conservatives, but no one is checking the liberal churches," said Peggy Birchfield, executive director of the Religious Freedom Action Coalition in Washington.

    Posted by Eric at 09:15 AM | Comments (0)

    August 16, 2004

    Chuck Hagel to Consider Prez Run

    In 2008, the Nebraskan says.

    Posted by Eric at 10:05 AM | Comments (56)

    Chuck Hagel to Consider Prez Run

    In 2008, the Nebraskan says.

    Posted by Eric at 10:05 AM | Comments (4)

    John Warner: Kerry Deserved Medals

    The Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee on CNN's "Late Edition":

    Sen. John Warner, an ex-Navy secretary under President Richard Nixon, particularly defended the process by which Kerry won his highest honor, the Silver Star.

    "I'd stand by the process that awarded that medal, and I think we best acknowledge that his heroism did gain that recognition," Warner (R-Va.) told CNN's "Late Edition."

    Kerry was awarded a Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Hearts as a Navy Swift boat commander in the Mekong Delta in February and March 1969.

    "We did extraordinary, careful checking on that type of medal [the Silver Star], a very high one, when it goes through the secretary," Warner said. "I feel that he deserved it."

    Posted by Eric at 09:52 AM | Comments (21)

    John Warner: Kerry Deserved Medals

    The Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee on CNN's "Late Edition":

    Sen. John Warner, an ex-Navy secretary under President Richard Nixon, particularly defended the process by which Kerry won his highest honor, the Silver Star.

    "I'd stand by the process that awarded that medal, and I think we best acknowledge that his heroism did gain that recognition," Warner (R-Va.) told CNN's "Late Edition."

    Kerry was awarded a Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Hearts as a Navy Swift boat commander in the Mekong Delta in February and March 1969.

    "We did extraordinary, careful checking on that type of medal [the Silver Star], a very high one, when it goes through the secretary," Warner said. "I feel that he deserved it."

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

    August 14, 2004

    O'Neill on Hardball

    Occasionally Chris Matthews is fun to watch. This one, with John O'Neill, was an amusing interview. Por ejemplo:

    MATTHEWS: Well, he risked his life, didnt he?

    ONEILL: I dont believe that...

    MATTHEWS: You mean he didnt face enemy, potential enemy fire by going up on the beach in Vietnam in V.C. territory?

    ONEILL: You mean on that occasion?

    MATTHEWS: Yes.

    ONEILL: I dont really think so, Chris. We had people shoot at us. John Kerry got shot at. Im not denying that John Kerry in being shot at showed courage. I think he did, just like all the rest of us.

    (CROSSTALK)

    MATTHEWS: Well, compare that to Bushs record in Vietnam.

    ONEILL: Well, Im not here to...

    MATTHEWS: No, I mean, if a man shows any courage in the battlefield, hes done more than most people do in this country. Hes gone out and fought for his country and risked his life for his country and shot one of the enemy for his country. That puts him a step above most people, doesnt it?

    ONEILL: I think he is millions of steps behind, because he went over...

    MATTHEWS: Behind whom?

    ONEILL: Behind everybody.

    MATTHEWS: You mean Bush? President Bush?

    ONEILL: Yes. Im not going to speak to President Bush.

    Also ...
    ONEILL: You havent let me talk about most of them. We talked about his first Purple...

    MATTHEWS: You talked about each one.

    ONEILL: His first Purple...

    MATTHEWS: One of the oldest tricks on this show is for somebody to come on the show after talking for 20 minutes and say they havent had the chance to talk.

    ONEILL: Well, the first...

    MATTHEWS: Ill be glad to clock you, John...

    ONEILL: OK.

    MATTHEWS: ... on how many minutes you spoke on the show. So dont try that old trick. It is a particularly conservative trick, OK? So lets move on here.

    And:
    MATTHEWS: No, because it comes down to the question. Were going over the issue here of you going after a guys war record and admitting he was courageous in battle, but then arguing about the nature of the way he was awarded the Silver Star. Im just wondering why youre doing this ... Well, Ive already heard enough that hes done more than I ever did for my country and a lot more than anybody else.
    Media Matters has more on the debate, noting several O'Neill lies.

    Posted by Eric at 08:21 AM | Comments (25)

    O'Neill on Hardball

    Occasionally Chris Matthews is fun to watch. This one, with John O'Neill, was an amusing interview. Por ejemplo:

    MATTHEWS: Well, he risked his life, didnt he?

    ONEILL: I dont believe that...

    MATTHEWS: You mean he didnt face enemy, potential enemy fire by going up on the beach in Vietnam in V.C. territory?

    ONEILL: You mean on that occasion?

    MATTHEWS: Yes.

    ONEILL: I dont really think so, Chris. We had people shoot at us. John Kerry got shot at. Im not denying that John Kerry in being shot at showed courage. I think he did, just like all the rest of us.

    (CROSSTALK)

    MATTHEWS: Well, compare that to Bushs record in Vietnam.

    ONEILL: Well, Im not here to...

    MATTHEWS: No, I mean, if a man shows any courage in the battlefield, hes done more than most people do in this country. Hes gone out and fought for his country and risked his life for his country and shot one of the enemy for his country. That puts him a step above most people, doesnt it?

    ONEILL: I think he is millions of steps behind, because he went over...

    MATTHEWS: Behind whom?

    ONEILL: Behind everybody.

    MATTHEWS: You mean Bush? President Bush?

    ONEILL: Yes. Im not going to speak to President Bush.

    Also ...
    ONEILL: You havent let me talk about most of them. We talked about his first Purple...

    MATTHEWS: You talked about each one.

    ONEILL: His first Purple...

    MATTHEWS: One of the oldest tricks on this show is for somebody to come on the show after talking for 20 minutes and say they havent had the chance to talk.

    ONEILL: Well, the first...

    MATTHEWS: Ill be glad to clock you, John...

    ONEILL: OK.

    MATTHEWS: ... on how many minutes you spoke on the show. So dont try that old trick. It is a particularly conservative trick, OK? So lets move on here.

    And:
    MATTHEWS: No, because it comes down to the question. Were going over the issue here of you going after a guys war record and admitting he was courageous in battle, but then arguing about the nature of the way he was awarded the Silver Star. Im just wondering why youre doing this ... Well, Ive already heard enough that hes done more than I ever did for my country and a lot more than anybody else.
    Media Matters has more on the debate, noting several O'Neill lies.

    Posted by Eric at 08:21 AM | Comments (4)

    August 13, 2004

    Dems and Religion

    Can the Democrats bring the church crowd to the party? Eyal Press in The Nation:

    By refocusing the debate about values away from what happens in the bedroom and toward issues like homelessness and poverty, strategists like Perriello believe progressives can reclaim the moral high ground in American politics while mobilizing religious activists to advance concerns they share. At the Call to Renewal conference, Jim Wallis, editor-in-chief of Sojourners, echoed this line, arguing that unlike inherently divisive issues such as gay marriage and abortion, a campaign against poverty could unify Christians "across political and denominational lines." It's an inspiring thought, although in reality such a campaign would likely fracture along familiar political lines. For as Jackson's speech showed, framing poverty as a religious issue can as easily buttress a conservative agenda as a progressive one. The faith community is ultimately no less divided about the causes of poverty than the rest of society is, with some viewing it as a "state of mind" for which individuals have themselves to blame, others as a product of structural inequality that requires a radically different set of policies.

    Posted by Eric at 03:24 PM | Comments (5)

    Dems and Religion

    Can the Democrats bring the church crowd to the party? Eyal Press in The Nation:

    By refocusing the debate about values away from what happens in the bedroom and toward issues like homelessness and poverty, strategists like Perriello believe progressives can reclaim the moral high ground in American politics while mobilizing religious activists to advance concerns they share. At the Call to Renewal conference, Jim Wallis, editor-in-chief of Sojourners, echoed this line, arguing that unlike inherently divisive issues such as gay marriage and abortion, a campaign against poverty could unify Christians "across political and denominational lines." It's an inspiring thought, although in reality such a campaign would likely fracture along familiar political lines. For as Jackson's speech showed, framing poverty as a religious issue can as easily buttress a conservative agenda as a progressive one. The faith community is ultimately no less divided about the causes of poverty than the rest of society is, with some viewing it as a "state of mind" for which individuals have themselves to blame, others as a product of structural inequality that requires a radically different set of policies.

    Posted by Eric at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

    August 12, 2004

    Bush Defeat Good for Party?

    So muse John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge in the CSMonitor. Why? Not conservative enough, misguided foreign policy, and also:

    The third reason for the right to celebrate a Bush loss comes in one simple word: gridlock. Gridlock is a godsend to some conservatives - a proven way to stop government spending. A Kerry administration is much more likely to be gridlocked than a second Bush administration because the Republicans look sure to hang on to the House and have a better-than-even chance of keeping control of the Senate.

    A fourth reason has to do with regeneration. Some conservatives think the Republican Party - and the wider conservative movement - needs to rediscover its identity. Is it a "small government" party, or does "big government conservatism" make sense? Is it the party of big business or of free markets? Under Bush, Western antigovernment conservatives have generally lost ground to Southern social conservatives, and pragmatic internationalists have been outmaneuvered by neoconservative idealists. A period of bloodletting might help, returning a stronger party to the fray.

    And that is the fifth reason a few conservatives might welcome a November Bush-bashing: the certain belief that they will be back, better than ever, in 2008. The conservative movement has an impressive record of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Ford's demise indeed helped to power the Reagan landslide; "Poppy" Bush's defeat set up the Gingrich revolution. In four years, many conservatives believe, President Kerry could limp to destruction at the hands of somebody like Colorado Gov. Bill Owens.

    Posted by Eric at 12:50 AM | Comments (17)

    Bush Defeat Good for Party?

    So muse John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge in the CSMonitor. Why? Not conservative enough, misguided foreign policy, and also:

    The third reason for the right to celebrate a Bush loss comes in one simple word: gridlock. Gridlock is a godsend to some conservatives - a proven way to stop government spending. A Kerry administration is much more likely to be gridlocked than a second Bush administration because the Republicans look sure to hang on to the House and have a better-than-even chance of keeping control of the Senate.

    A fourth reason has to do with regeneration. Some conservatives think the Republican Party - and the wider conservative movement - needs to rediscover its identity. Is it a "small government" party, or does "big government conservatism" make sense? Is it the party of big business or of free markets? Under Bush, Western antigovernment conservatives have generally lost ground to Southern social conservatives, and pragmatic internationalists have been outmaneuvered by neoconservative idealists. A period of bloodletting might help, returning a stronger party to the fray.

    And that is the fifth reason a few conservatives might welcome a November Bush-bashing: the certain belief that they will be back, better than ever, in 2008. The conservative movement has an impressive record of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Ford's demise indeed helped to power the Reagan landslide; "Poppy" Bush's defeat set up the Gingrich revolution. In four years, many conservatives believe, President Kerry could limp to destruction at the hands of somebody like Colorado Gov. Bill Owens.

    Posted by Eric at 12:50 AM | Comments (7)

    August 11, 2004

    Silly Halliburton

    Tricks are for kids.

    Pentagon auditors have concluded that Halliburton Co. failed to adequately account for more than $1.8 billion of work in Iraq and Kuwait, said a newspaper citing a Pentagon report.

    The amount represents 43 percent of the $4.18 billion that Houston-based Halliburton's Kellogg Brown & Root unit has billed the Pentagon to feed and house troops in the region, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    It said the findings in the 60-page Pentagon audit report, dated Aug. 4 but not publicly released, are likely to increase pressure on the U.S. government to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars of payments to Halliburton.

    So what?
    This, it said, potentially threatens the services that KBR provides U.S. troops and other personnel in Iraq and Kuwait.
    UnAmerican indeed.

    Posted by Eric at 08:39 AM | Comments (23)

    Silly Halliburton

    Tricks are for kids.

    Pentagon auditors have concluded that Halliburton Co. failed to adequately account for more than $1.8 billion of work in Iraq and Kuwait, said a newspaper citing a Pentagon report.

    The amount represents 43 percent of the $4.18 billion that Houston-based Halliburton's Kellogg Brown & Root unit has billed the Pentagon to feed and house troops in the region, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    It said the findings in the 60-page Pentagon audit report, dated Aug. 4 but not publicly released, are likely to increase pressure on the U.S. government to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars of payments to Halliburton.

    So what?
    This, it said, potentially threatens the services that KBR provides U.S. troops and other personnel in Iraq and Kuwait.
    UnAmerican indeed.

    Posted by Eric at 08:39 AM | Comments (1)

    Alterman on McCain

    On Eric Alterman's Altercation weblog:

    President Bush is in northwest Florida, one of the most reliably Republican parts of the state, with Senator John McCain today. I like a lot of things about McCain, but lets face it, when the rubber hits the road, he wimps out. He did not call the Bush campaign to account for their campaign to smear him (in a racist fashion) as the father of a black out-of-wedlock child in South Carolina in 2000. He did not defend fellow vet Max Cleland when his party smeared the legless veteran as an ally of Osama bin Laden in the election of 2002. Now, even though hes called upon the White House to renounce the dishonest smears of the Swift Boaters campaign against Kerryand they wont because, after all, this is what they doMcCain buckles and appears with Bush. Why? Because he wants to be president some day more than he wants to be the man people like to think he is. Its a choice I can understand, but lets be honest about it. McCain is no hero. He may have been one once, but no longer.
    Atrios has similar comments.

    Posted by Eric at 05:21 AM | Comments (24)

    Alterman on McCain

    On Eric Alterman's Altercation weblog:

    President Bush is in northwest Florida, one of the most reliably Republican parts of the state, with Senator John McCain today. I like a lot of things about McCain, but lets face it, when the rubber hits the road, he wimps out. He did not call the Bush campaign to account for their campaign to smear him (in a racist fashion) as the father of a black out-of-wedlock child in South Carolina in 2000. He did not defend fellow vet Max Cleland when his party smeared the legless veteran as an ally of Osama bin Laden in the election of 2002. Now, even though hes called upon the White House to renounce the dishonest smears of the Swift Boaters campaign against Kerryand they wont because, after all, this is what they doMcCain buckles and appears with Bush. Why? Because he wants to be president some day more than he wants to be the man people like to think he is. Its a choice I can understand, but lets be honest about it. McCain is no hero. He may have been one once, but no longer.
    Atrios has similar comments.

    Posted by Eric at 05:21 AM | Comments (6)

    August 10, 2004

    Amusing Porter Goss Story

    Gail Sheehy has this story about the new CIA head and four 9/11 widows:

    The four moms--Kristen Breitweiser, Patty Casazza, Mindy Kleinberg and Lorie van Auken--use tactics more like those of a leaderless cell. They have learned how to deposit their assorted seven children with select grandmothers before dawn and rocket down the Garden State Parkway to Washington. They have become experts at changing out of pedal-pushers and into proper pantsuits while their S.U.V. is stopped in traffic, so they can hit the Capitol rotunda running. They have talked strategy with Senator John McCain and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. They once caught Congressman Porter Goss hiding behind his office door to avoid them. And they maintain an open line of communication with the White House.

    Posted by Eric at 12:39 PM | Comments (29)

    Amusing Porter Goss Story

    Gail Sheehy has this story about the new CIA head and four 9/11 widows:

    The four moms--Kristen Breitweiser, Patty Casazza, Mindy Kleinberg and Lorie van Auken--use tactics more like those of a leaderless cell. They have learned how to deposit their assorted seven children with select grandmothers before dawn and rocket down the Garden State Parkway to Washington. They have become experts at changing out of pedal-pushers and into proper pantsuits while their S.U.V. is stopped in traffic, so they can hit the Capitol rotunda running. They have talked strategy with Senator John McCain and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. They once caught Congressman Porter Goss hiding behind his office door to avoid them. And they maintain an open line of communication with the White House.

    Posted by Eric at 12:39 PM | Comments (1)

    August 06, 2004

    Intimate Knowledge of Kerry?

    How close are the swift boat vets to Kerry? Media Matters:

    In the new ad, members of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth claim that they "served with John Kerry." Hannity & Colmes co-host Sean Hannity echoed the false claim, saying that the veterans in the ad are "the people that know him best," and referred to them as "some of his fellow crewmates." Even Pat Halpin, who was filling in for co-host Alan Colmes, called them "some of John Kerry's crewmates." Scarborough echoed Swift Boat Veterans' misleading claim that they "served with John Kerry in Vietnam."

    While the veterans attacking Kerry in the ad are veterans of the Vietnam War and may have served at the same time as Kerry, as The New York Times reported on August 5, the Kerry campaign noted that "none of the men had actually served on the Swift boats that Mr. Kerry commanded." Adm. Roy F. Hoffman, one of the veterans in the ad, has even "acknowledged he had no first-hand knowledge to discredit Kerry's claims to valor," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on May 7, "and said that although Kerry was under his command, he really didn't know Kerry much personally."

    In contrast, many of the veterans who have appeared on the campaign trail with Kerry did serve alongside him. The Wall Street Journal's Albert R. Hunt noted in his August 5 "Campaign Journal" column, titled "Sham Charges Against a War Hero" (subscription required): "Indeed, 10 of the 11 men who served on his two swift boats all have sworn by John Kerry; nine living members were in Boston [for the Democratic National Convention]."

    Posted by Eric at 03:24 AM | Comments (165)

    Intimate Knowledge of Kerry?

    How close are the swift boat vets to Kerry? Media Matters:

    In the new ad, members of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth claim that they "served with John Kerry." Hannity & Colmes co-host Sean Hannity echoed the false claim, saying that the veterans in the ad are "the people that know him best," and referred to them as "some of his fellow crewmates." Even Pat Halpin, who was filling in for co-host Alan Colmes, called them "some of John Kerry's crewmates." Scarborough echoed Swift Boat Veterans' misleading claim that they "served with John Kerry in Vietnam."

    While the veterans attacking Kerry in the ad are veterans of the Vietnam War and may have served at the same time as Kerry, as The New York Times reported on August 5, the Kerry campaign noted that "none of the men had actually served on the Swift boats that Mr. Kerry commanded." Adm. Roy F. Hoffman, one of the veterans in the ad, has even "acknowledged he had no first-hand knowledge to discredit Kerry's claims to valor," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on May 7, "and said that although Kerry was under his command, he really didn't know Kerry much personally."

    In contrast, many of the veterans who have appeared on the campaign trail with Kerry did serve alongside him. The Wall Street Journal's Albert R. Hunt noted in his August 5 "Campaign Journal" column, titled "Sham Charges Against a War Hero" (subscription required): "Indeed, 10 of the 11 men who served on his two swift boats all have sworn by John Kerry; nine living members were in Boston [for the Democratic National Convention]."

    Posted by Eric at 03:24 AM | Comments (5)

    August 05, 2004

    Dems Reaching Youth?

    The Boston Phoenix says that yes, the Dems are finally doing so:

    AN EMERGING GENERATION of young, progressive Democrats is networking, brainstorming, and organizing to fill a gap in liberal politics. Because the Democratic Party has long failed to harness their energy, these young people are trying with the help of several new and already-existing organizations to channel it themselves by tapping into their own resources and using the tools of their generation. Their goal? To help build a stronger base and revitalize the infrastructure that has left the party stagnant and struggling against conservative opponents.

    Many of the major players in this developing movement were in Boston during last weeks Democratic National Convention, and they had more than John Kerry on their minds. Like all Democrats, they know that winning the election this November is essential. These up-and-comers are staunch Kerry supporters, dedicated to getting George W. Bush out of office. But they have identified a weak spot in the party, and to fix it requires a much more farsighted approach than the next-election focus Democrats have held on to for years.

    Long-term investment in the partys younger base, missing until now (at least in concentrated form), is a vital part of renovating the Democratic strategy, they say. And a well-organized infrastructure nuts-and-bolts stuff like fundraising, media communication, candidate training, voter mobilization, and grassroots activism is imperative to winning back not only the White House in 2004, but the House, the Senate, and state governments (Republicans control four more legislatures and six more governorships than Democrats do) over the next 15 to 20 years.

    "The 90s was a period when the party really modernized our message," says New Democrat Network (NDN) president Simon Rosenberg, referring to the centrist rhetoric of the Clinton administration. "Whats happening now is that were modernizing our politics. Its going to make us stronger." Rosenbergs organization is not a new one the NDN has been around since the 1980s. Other groups, like MoveOn.org and America Coming Together, also focus on revamping the partys inner workings. But in a May speech, Rosenberg acknowledged that to tackle the challenge comprehensively requires "a new generation of progressive leadership entrepreneurs, investors, intellectuals, and political leaders."

    One of the most unfortunate recent episodes from the Democratic Party was its pissing on youngsters via Gore and Lieberman:
    1984 was also the year that Congressman Al Gore of Tennessee was elected to the Senate. Soon thereafter, his wife, Tipper, began attacking rock lyrics and youth culture. In the final months of the 2000 presidential campaign, Gore chose to revive these attacks on teen culture, even in his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention. Mario Velasquez, executive director of Rock the Vote, told me that the Gore campaign didn't even send surrogates to youth voter-registration events at which George W. Bush and Ralph Nader had representatives until a couple of months before the election. On election day, the Gore-Lieberman ticket merely tied Bush-Cheney among the 9 million people aged 18-24 who voted, a dramatic decline from the 19-point margin by which Bill Clinton had carried younger voters in 1996. If Gore had equaled Clinton's margin among that cohort, he would have added almost 2 million votes to his popular-vote count and he would have easily won Florida, Missouri and the election.

    Posted by Eric at 01:12 PM | Comments (37)

    Dems Reaching Youth?

    The Boston Phoenix says that yes, the Dems are finally doing so:

    AN EMERGING GENERATION of young, progressive Democrats is networking, brainstorming, and organizing to fill a gap in liberal politics. Because the Democratic Party has long failed to harness their energy, these young people are trying with the help of several new and already-existing organizations to channel it themselves by tapping into their own resources and using the tools of their generation. Their goal? To help build a stronger base and revitalize the infrastructure that has left the party stagnant and struggling against conservative opponents.

    Many of the major players in this developing movement were in Boston during last weeks Democratic National Convention, and they had more than John Kerry on their minds. Like all Democrats, they know that winning the election this November is essential. These up-and-comers are staunch Kerry supporters, dedicated to getting George W. Bush out of office. But they have identified a weak spot in the party, and to fix it requires a much more farsighted approach than the next-election focus Democrats have held on to for years.

    Long-term investment in the partys younger base, missing until now (at least in concentrated form), is a vital part of renovating the Democratic strategy, they say. And a well-organized infrastructure nuts-and-bolts stuff like fundraising, media communication, candidate training, voter mobilization, and grassroots activism is imperative to winning back not only the White House in 2004, but the House, the Senate, and state governments (Republicans control four more legislatures and six more governorships than Democrats do) over the next 15 to 20 years.

    "The 90s was a period when the party really modernized our message," says New Democrat Network (NDN) president Simon Rosenberg, referring to the centrist rhetoric of the Clinton administration. "Whats happening now is that were modernizing our politics. Its going to make us stronger." Rosenbergs organization is not a new one the NDN has been around since the 1980s. Other groups, like MoveOn.org and America Coming Together, also focus on revamping the partys inner workings. But in a May speech, Rosenberg acknowledged that to tackle the challenge comprehensively requires "a new generation of progressive leadership entrepreneurs, investors, intellectuals, and political leaders."

    One of the most unfortunate recent episodes from the Democratic Party was its pissing on youngsters via Gore and Lieberman:
    1984 was also the year that Congressman Al Gore of Tennessee was elected to the Senate. Soon thereafter, his wife, Tipper, began attacking rock lyrics and youth culture. In the final months of the 2000 presidential campaign, Gore chose to revive these attacks on teen culture, even in his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention. Mario Velasquez, executive director of Rock the Vote, told me that the Gore campaign didn't even send surrogates to youth voter-registration events at which George W. Bush and Ralph Nader had representatives until a couple of months before the election. On election day, the Gore-Lieberman ticket merely tied Bush-Cheney among the 9 million people aged 18-24 who voted, a dramatic decline from the 19-point margin by which Bill Clinton had carried younger voters in 1996. If Gore had equaled Clinton's margin among that cohort, he would have added almost 2 million votes to his popular-vote count and he would have easily won Florida, Missouri and the election.

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

    August 04, 2004

    Lies About Heinz Foundation

    Here.

    Posted by Eric at 01:51 PM | Comments (47)

    Lies About Heinz Foundation

    Here.

    Posted by Eric at 01:51 PM | Comments (1)

    August 03, 2004

    GOP Takes on Subway for "blame-America-first" Activities

    From the talking car Knight Ridder:

    House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, issued a statement Monday decrying the tray liners, saying Subway thumbed its nose at American customers and promoted "Michael Moore's blame-America-first conspiracy in a foreign country." ...

    The tray liners include a picture of Spurlock with his mouth stuffed with french fries, as well as a depiction of a fat Statue of Liberty with fries in her raised hand and a burger in the other hand, a description of the film and the caption - translation provided by the National Legal and Policy Center - "Why are the Americans so fat?" Kane said DeLuca was surprised by DeLay's statement.

    Kane also explained that the German franchises don't have to first run their promotional activities by the corporate parent.

    Posted by Eric at 04:47 PM | Comments (47)

    GOP Takes on Subway for "blame-America-first" Activities

    From the talking car Knight Ridder:

    House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, issued a statement Monday decrying the tray liners, saying Subway thumbed its nose at American customers and promoted "Michael Moore's blame-America-first conspiracy in a foreign country." ...

    The tray liners include a picture of Spurlock with his mouth stuffed with french fries, as well as a depiction of a fat Statue of Liberty with fries in her raised hand and a burger in the other hand, a description of the film and the caption - translation provided by the National Legal and Policy Center - "Why are the Americans so fat?" Kane said DeLuca was surprised by DeLay's statement.

    Kane also explained that the German franchises don't have to first run their promotional activities by the corporate parent.

    Posted by Eric at 04:47 PM | Comments (2)

    August 02, 2004

    Fox Airs Fewest Amount of Dem Speeches

    Media Matters: "During the Democratic National Convention, which took place between July 26 and July 29, Media Matters for America monitored coverage by FOX News Channel, CNN, and MSNBC and calculated the amount of time each aired convention speeches live. FOX News Channel aired one hour and 16 minutes less of speeches from the convention live than did CNN and one hour and 47 minutes less than did MSNBC."

    Posted by Eric at 12:54 PM | Comments (13)

    Fox Airs Fewest Amount of Dem Speeches

    Media Matters: "During the Democratic National Convention, which took place between July 26 and July 29, Media Matters for America monitored coverage by FOX News Channel, CNN, and MSNBC and calculated the amount of time each aired convention speeches live. FOX News Channel aired one hour and 16 minutes less of speeches from the convention live than did CNN and one hour and 47 minutes less than did MSNBC."

    Posted by Eric at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)

    Dems Eye the House

    TIME magazine on the Dem House prospects:

    The possibility that the Democrats could retake the Senate in November has recently become a staple of discussion among political consultants and reporters. But if any Democrat had suggested six months ago that the party could also win back the House of Representatives, you'd have asked them to take a drug test. Democrats would only need a net gain of 11 seats to win back the House not a huge number when you consider that 435 seats are up for grabs. Still, that target seemed beyond reach in light of the 2000 congressional redistricting, which drew lines that made practically all incumbents Democrats and Republicans pretty safe from challenges. What's more, Republicans' chances of holding the House were further enhanced by their huge funding-raising advantage and the popularity of the president ... How does the 1994 math look ten years later? Democrats see 33 seats across the country as competitive far less than the 68 in play in 1994, but then the Dems only need a net gain of 11 to win back the House. That means winning one out of every three competitive races easier, perhaps, than the one out of every 1.8 Gingrich's Republicans had to win in 1994.

    Money is a second indicator encouraging Hoyer's optimism. Republicans have always raised truckloads more cash than Democrats in past elections. But for April, May and June of this year, House Democrats surged and by June 30, the Democratic campaign organization for the House had $18.5 million on hand compared with $20.2 million in GOP coffers a far narrower Republican cash-on-hand advantage of than in the past.

    Also, the polls are looking better for Democrats.

    Want to help take back the House? Help the DCCC or get inovlved with ourcongress.org.

    Posted by Eric at 09:19 AM | Comments (4)

    Dems Eye the House

    TIME magazine on the Dem House prospects:

    The possibility that the Democrats could retake the Senate in November has recently become a staple of discussion among political consultants and reporters. But if any Democrat had suggested six months ago that the party could also win back the House of Representatives, you'd have asked them to take a drug test. Democrats would only need a net gain of 11 seats to win back the House not a huge number when you consider that 435 seats are up for grabs. Still, that target seemed beyond reach in light of the 2000 congressional redistricting, which drew lines that made practically all incumbents Democrats and Republicans pretty safe from challenges. What's more, Republicans' chances of holding the House were further enhanced by their huge funding-raising advantage and the popularity of the president ... How does the 1994 math look ten years later? Democrats see 33 seats across the country as competitive far less than the 68 in play in 1994, but then the Dems only need a net gain of 11 to win back the House. That means winning one out of every three competitive races easier, perhaps, than the one out of every 1.8 Gingrich's Republicans had to win in 1994.

    Money is a second indicator encouraging Hoyer's optimism. Republicans have always raised truckloads more cash than Democrats in past elections. But for April, May and June of this year, House Democrats surged and by June 30, the Democratic campaign organization for the House had $18.5 million on hand compared with $20.2 million in GOP coffers a far narrower Republican cash-on-hand advantage of than in the past.

    Also, the polls are looking better for Democrats.

    Want to help take back the House? Help the DCCC or get inovlved with ourcongress.org.

    Posted by Eric at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)

    July 31, 2004

    Lies and the Lying Liars ...

    On the federal deficit. From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Point 1:

    The Administration has hailed the 2004 projected deficit as evidence that its policies are working. The Administration notes that the $445 billion deficit it now forecasts for 2004 represents a significant improvement compared with the larger, $521 billion deficit it projected last February. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported at that time, however, the Administrations February forecast artificially inflated the projected deficit for 2004, apparently so that subsequent downward adjustments in the deficit estimate could be presented as progress rather than as being, in significant part, the substitution of more realistic estimates for overstated ones.[1] Furthermore, as noted above, the $445 billion deficit now forecast for 2004 represents a deterioration from the level of the deficit in 2003, when the deficit stood at $375 billion.
    Point 2:
    The Administration also is portraying the drop in the projected 2004 deficit as a sign of stronger-than-expected economic growth. Such a portrayal is not accurate. Overall economic growth has been no faster than the Administration forecast earlier this year. The economy grew at a 3.9 percent annual real rate in the first three quarters of the fiscal year, in line with what the Administration projected when it released its earlier deficit projection in February. Indeed, economic growth has been below the growth rate the Congressional Budget Office projected at the start of the year.
    Point 3:
    The Administration is again contending that under its proposed budget policies, the deficit would be cut in half by 2009. But, the Administration uses a further set of unrealistic budget estimates for years after 2004 to make this case; the Administration omits major costs from its projections for those years, such as the costs of continuing relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax, something that the Administration has made clear it favors. Moreover, the Administrations budget figures are provided for five years rather than ten, leaving out the years from 2010-2014 when the baby-boom generation will begin to retire in large numbers and the deficit is expected to rise.
    Read the full analysis here.

    Posted by Eric at 08:55 PM | Comments (13)

    Lies and the Lying Liars ...

    On the federal deficit. From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Point 1:

    The Administration has hailed the 2004 projected deficit as evidence that its policies are working. The Administration notes that the $445 billion deficit it now forecasts for 2004 represents a significant improvement compared with the larger, $521 billion deficit it projected last February. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported at that time, however, the Administrations February forecast artificially inflated the projected deficit for 2004, apparently so that subsequent downward adjustments in the deficit estimate could be presented as progress rather than as being, in significant part, the substitution of more realistic estimates for overstated ones.[1] Furthermore, as noted above, the $445 billion deficit now forecast for 2004 represents a deterioration from the level of the deficit in 2003, when the deficit stood at $375 billion.
    Point 2:
    The Administration also is portraying the drop in the projected 2004 deficit as a sign of stronger-than-expected economic growth. Such a portrayal is not accurate. Overall economic growth has been no faster than the Administration forecast earlier this year. The economy grew at a 3.9 percent annual real rate in the first three quarters of the fiscal year, in line with what the Administration projected when it released its earlier deficit projection in February. Indeed, economic growth has been below the growth rate the Congressional Budget Office projected at the start of the year.
    Point 3:
    The Administration is again contending that under its proposed budget policies, the deficit would be cut in half by 2009. But, the Administration uses a further set of unrealistic budget estimates for years after 2004 to make this case; the Administration omits major costs from its projections for those years, such as the costs of continuing relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax, something that the Administration has made clear it favors. Moreover, the Administrations budget figures are provided for five years rather than ten, leaving out the years from 2010-2014 when the baby-boom generation will begin to retire in large numbers and the deficit is expected to rise.
    Read the full analysis here.

    Posted by Eric at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

    July 30, 2004

    Highest Ever!

    Federal! Deficit! $445 billion!

    Posted by Eric at 10:35 PM | Comments (32)

    Highest Ever!

    Federal! Deficit! $445 billion!

    Posted by Eric at 10:35 PM | Comments (4)

    Ron Reagan Blasts Bush in Esquire

    His convention speech may not have been political, but this article is Esquire certainly is:

    Does anyone really favor an administration that so shamelessly lies? One that so tenaciously clings to secrecy, not to protect the American people, but to protect itself? That so willfully misrepresents its true aims and so knowingly misleads the people from whom it derives its power? I simply cannot think so. And to come to the same conclusion does not make you guilty of swallowing some liberal critique of the Bush presidency, because that's not what this is. This is the critique of a person who thinks that lying at the top levels of his government is abhorrent. Call it the honest guy's critique of George W. Bush. ...

    GEORGE W. BUSH PROMISED to "change the tone in Washington" and ran for office as a moderate, a "compassionate conservative," in the focus-group-tested sloganeering of his campaign. Yet he has governed from the right wing of his already conservative party, assiduously tending a "base" that includes, along with the expected Fortune 500 fat cats, fiscal evangelicals who talk openly of doing away with Social Security and Medicare, of shrinking government to the size where they can, in tax radical Grover Norquist's phrase, "drown it in the bathtub." That base also encompasses a healthy share of anti-choice zealots, homophobic bigots, and assorted purveyors of junk science. Bush has tossed bones to all of them"partial birth" abortion legislation, the promise of a constitutional amendment banning marriage between homosexuals, federal roadblocks to embryonic-stem-cell research, even comments suggesting presidential doubts about Darwinian evolution. It's not that Mr. Bush necessarily shares their worldview; indeed, it's unclear whether he embraces any coherent philosophy. But this president, who vowed to eschew politics in favor of sound policy, panders nonetheless in the interest of political gain. As John DiIulio, Bush's former head of the Office of Community and Faith-Based Initiatives, once told this magazine, "What you've got is everythingand I mean everythingbeing run by the political arm."

    Posted by Eric at 08:00 PM | Comments (33)

    Ron Reagan Blasts Bush in Esquire

    His convention speech may not have been political, but this article is Esquire certainly is:

    Does anyone really favor an administration that so shamelessly lies? One that so tenaciously clings to secrecy, not to protect the American people, but to protect itself? That so willfully misrepresents its true aims and so knowingly misleads the people from whom it derives its power? I simply cannot think so. And to come to the same conclusion does not make you guilty of swallowing some liberal critique of the Bush presidency, because that's not what this is. This is the critique of a person who thinks that lying at the top levels of his government is abhorrent. Call it the honest guy's critique of George W. Bush. ...

    GEORGE W. BUSH PROMISED to "change the tone in Washington" and ran for office as a moderate, a "compassionate conservative," in the focus-group-tested sloganeering of his campaign. Yet he has governed from the right wing of his already conservative party, assiduously tending a "base" that includes, along with the expected Fortune 500 fat cats, fiscal evangelicals who talk openly of doing away with Social Security and Medicare, of shrinking government to the size where they can, in tax radical Grover Norquist's phrase, "drown it in the bathtub." That base also encompasses a healthy share of anti-choice zealots, homophobic bigots, and assorted purveyors of junk science. Bush has tossed bones to all of them"partial birth" abortion legislation, the promise of a constitutional amendment banning marriage between homosexuals, federal roadblocks to embryonic-stem-cell research, even comments suggesting presidential doubts about Darwinian evolution. It's not that Mr. Bush necessarily shares their worldview; indeed, it's unclear whether he embraces any coherent philosophy. But this president, who vowed to eschew politics in favor of sound policy, panders nonetheless in the interest of political gain. As John DiIulio, Bush's former head of the Office of Community and Faith-Based Initiatives, once told this magazine, "What you've got is everythingand I mean everythingbeing run by the political arm."

    Posted by Eric at 08:00 PM | Comments (4)

    The Word Liberal

    Alterman:

    The demonization of the word "liberal" has been an ongoing project of the well-funded right and draws its fire from intellectuals who should really know better. Shelby Steele, for instance, has provided useful and interesting challenges to conventional wisdom on race and affirmative action but look what he wrote on the Wall Street Journal editorial page about John Walker Lindh and liberals. Speaking of the allegedly liberal values of Marin County, California, where Lindh was raised, and taking a page from the playbook of former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Steele charged, sans evidence that "This liberalism thrives as a subversive, winking, countercultural hipness...Cultural liberalism serves up American self-hate to the young as idealism. It's too much to say that treason is a rite of passage in this context. But that is exactly how it turned out for Walker. In radical Islam he found both the victim's authority and the hatred of America that had been held out to him as marks of authenticity...And when he turned on his country to be secure in his new faith, he followed a logic that was a part of his country's culture." This begs the question, why does Shelby Steele hate America? An interesting line of reasoning, this, considering that conservatives normally reject victimization in favor of personal responsibility. Apparently, liberalism trumps free will in Steele's sociological methodology ... Given the rhetorical dominance of conservatives over the past several decades, one might be surprised to learn from a June Wall Street Journal analysis that "[The] proportion of Americans calling themselves "liberal" edged up to 21 percent in [ pollster Stan] Greenberg's May poll from 16 percent a month earlier. Self-identified "conservatives" dropped to 37 percent from 41 percent. And why not? One of the most honored guests here in Boston this week turns out to be none other than George McGovern. As he told a reporter from National Journal when queried about his apparently alien ideological affiliation "Every program that ever helped working people -- from rural electrification to Medicare -- was enacted by liberals over the opposition of conservatives. When people tell me they don't like liberals, I ask, 'Do you like Social Security? If so, then shut up!' "

    Posted by Eric at 12:16 PM | Comments (106)

    The Word Liberal

    Alterman:

    The demonization of the word "liberal" has been an ongoing project of the well-funded right and draws its fire from intellectuals who should really know better. Shelby Steele, for instance, has provided useful and interesting challenges to conventional wisdom on race and affirmative action but look what he wrote on the Wall Street Journal editorial page about John Walker Lindh and liberals. Speaking of the allegedly liberal values of Marin County, California, where Lindh was raised, and taking a page from the playbook of former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Steele charged, sans evidence that "This liberalism thrives as a subversive, winking, countercultural hipness...Cultural liberalism serves up American self-hate to the young as idealism. It's too much to say that treason is a rite of passage in this context. But that is exactly how it turned out for Walker. In radical Islam he found both the victim's authority and the hatred of America that had been held out to him as marks of authenticity...And when he turned on his country to be secure in his new faith, he followed a logic that was a part of his country's culture." This begs the question, why does Shelby Steele hate America? An interesting line of reasoning, this, considering that conservatives normally reject victimization in favor of personal responsibility. Apparently, liberalism trumps free will in Steele's sociological methodology ... Given the rhetorical dominance of conservatives over the past several decades, one might be surprised to learn from a June Wall Street Journal analysis that "[The] proportion of Americans calling themselves "liberal" edged up to 21 percent in [ pollster Stan] Greenberg's May poll from 16 percent a month earlier. Self-identified "conservatives" dropped to 37 percent from 41 percent. And why not? One of the most honored guests here in Boston this week turns out to be none other than George McGovern. As he told a reporter from National Journal when queried about his apparently alien ideological affiliation "Every program that ever helped working people -- from rural electrification to Medicare -- was enacted by liberals over the opposition of conservatives. When people tell me they don't like liberals, I ask, 'Do you like Social Security? If so, then shut up!' "

    Posted by Eric at 12:16 PM | Comments (4)

    July 29, 2004

    OOoouh That Halliburton

    Money money money:

    Halliburton Co., the biggest U.S. contractor in Iraq, has lost $18.6 million of government property that country, about a third of the items it was given to manage, including trucks, computers and office furniture.

    Government auditors couldn't account for 6,975 of 20,531 items on the ledgers of Halliburton's Kellogg Brown & Root unit, according to a report by Stuart Bowen, auditor for the coalition provisional authority inspector general, which oversees contractors. Halliburton is providing services to U.S. troops under a contract that has generated $3.2 billion in revenue so far.

    Posted by Eric at 12:28 AM | Comments (17)

    OOoouh That Halliburton

    Money money money:

    Halliburton Co., the biggest U.S. contractor in Iraq, has lost $18.6 million of government property that country, about a third of the items it was given to manage, including trucks, computers and office furniture.

    Government auditors couldn't account for 6,975 of 20,531 items on the ledgers of Halliburton's Kellogg Brown & Root unit, according to a report by Stuart Bowen, auditor for the coalition provisional authority inspector general, which oversees contractors. Halliburton is providing services to U.S. troops under a contract that has generated $3.2 billion in revenue so far.

    Posted by Eric at 12:28 AM | Comments (1)

    Bomb Attack Kills Dozens

    In Iraq:

    As many as 70 people were killed Wednesday after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed sedan on a busy street here.
    .
    The attack was apparently aimed at new police recruits but killed scores of ordinary Iraqis shopping or waiting in morning traffic.
    .
    About 55 people were wounded, the Iraqi Ministry of Health reported.
    .
    It was one of the deadliest single attacks in the country and by far the worst since Iraqis took over sovereignty from the American occupation on June 28.

    Posted by Eric at 12:00 AM | Comments (5)

    Bomb Attack Kills Dozens

    In Iraq:

    As many as 70 people were killed Wednesday after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed sedan on a busy street here.
    .
    The attack was apparently aimed at new police recruits but killed scores of ordinary Iraqis shopping or waiting in morning traffic.
    .
    About 55 people were wounded, the Iraqi Ministry of Health reported.
    .
    It was one of the deadliest single attacks in the country and by far the worst since Iraqis took over sovereignty from the American occupation on June 28.

    Posted by Eric at 12:00 AM | Comments (1)

    July 28, 2004

    Right-Wing on Obama: Really One of Us!

    As Kos notes: Funny.

    Posted by Eric at 09:20 PM | Comments (20)

    Right-Wing on Obama: Really One of Us!

    As Kos notes: Funny.

    Posted by Eric at 09:20 PM | Comments (2)

    Obama-Rama!

    Chicago Sun Times. Candidate, wife all smiles after speech.
    CNN. Obama looks to own past in convention speech.
    Kos. Meditating on Obama.
    Mathew Gross. Reviewing Obama.
    Honolulu Advertiser. Sister, other viewers here proud of keynote speaker .
    Pandagon. This Man Makes Me Want To Freestyle.
    KRT. Obama's crossover appeal defies labels, will energize party.
    WTVO. Local Supporters Cheer for Obama.
    AP. Obama Draws Roars of Approval at DNC.
    Ill Leader. Obama's speech called most memorable convention speech in 25 years.
    WTVO. Republicans Still Searching for U.S. Senate Candidate.
    KRT. Obama finds himself to be convention's hottest political celebrity.
    WP. The Other Man of the Hour.
    Houston Chron. Keynote speaker Obama a rising star.
    Reuters. Rising Black Star Tells Democrats of Life Story.

    Posted by Eric at 05:51 AM | Comments (48)

    Obama-Rama!

    Chicago Sun Times. Candidate, wife all smiles after speech.
    CNN. Obama looks to own past in convention speech.
    Kos. Meditating on Obama.
    Mathew Gross. Reviewing Obama.
    Honolulu Advertiser. Sister, other viewers here proud of keynote speaker .
    Pandagon. This Man Makes Me Want To Freestyle.
    KRT. Obama's crossover appeal defies labels, will energize party.
    WTVO. Local Supporters Cheer for Obama.
    AP. Obama Draws Roars of Approval at DNC.
    Ill Leader. Obama's speech called most memorable convention speech in 25 years.
    WTVO. Republicans Still Searching for U.S. Senate Candidate.
    KRT. Obama finds himself to be convention's hottest political celebrity.
    WP. The Other Man of the Hour.
    Houston Chron. Keynote speaker Obama a rising star.
    Reuters. Rising Black Star Tells Democrats of Life Story.

    Posted by Eric at 05:51 AM | Comments (3)

    Bush Cribs from Dartmouth Undergrad

    If you want to attack Fidel, there are easier ways than copying from papers on the internet, NBC News:

    Speaking to Florida law enforcement officials on July 16, Bush claimed the Cuban leader shamelessly promotes sex tourism.

    The dictator welcomes sex tourism. Heres how he bragged about the industry, said Bush. This is his quote Cuba has the cleanest and most educated prostitutes in the world and sex tourism is a vital source of hard currency.

    The president made his accusations amid the release of the State Department yearly report on global human trafficking, which lists Cuba among the top ten violators.

    Three days after Bushs remarks, the Los Angeles Times reported that the White House found the comments in a Dartmouth undergraduate paper posted on the Internet and lifted them out of context. It shows they didnt read much of the article, commented Charlie Trumbull, the author.

    Speaking in 1992 to the Cuban parliament, Castro actually said, There are prostitutes, but prostitution is not allowed in our country. There are no women forced to sell themselves to a man, to a foreigner, to a tourist.

    Posted by Eric at 04:40 AM | Comments (58)

    Bush Cribs from Dartmouth Undergrad

    If you want to attack Fidel, there are easier ways than copying from papers on the internet, NBC News:

    Speaking to Florida law enforcement officials on July 16, Bush claimed the Cuban leader shamelessly promotes sex tourism.

    The dictator welcomes sex tourism. Heres how he bragged about the industry, said Bush. This is his quote Cuba has the cleanest and most educated prostitutes in the world and sex tourism is a vital source of hard currency.

    The president made his accusations amid the release of the State Department yearly report on global human trafficking, which lists Cuba among the top ten violators.

    Three days after Bushs remarks, the Los Angeles Times reported that the White House found the comments in a Dartmouth undergraduate paper posted on the Internet and lifted them out of context. It shows they didnt read much of the article, commented Charlie Trumbull, the author.

    Speaking in 1992 to the Cuban parliament, Castro actually said, There are prostitutes, but prostitution is not allowed in our country. There are no women forced to sell themselves to a man, to a foreigner, to a tourist.

    Posted by Eric at 04:40 AM | Comments (1)

    Michael Moore on Bill O'Reilly's Show

    Transcript here.

    Posted by Eric at 12:04 AM | Comments (42)

    Michael Moore on Bill O'Reilly's Show

    Transcript here.

    Posted by Eric at 12:04 AM | Comments (6)

    July 27, 2004

    Kennedy's Speech

    Remarks tonight:

    In these challenging times for our country, in these fateful times for the world, America needs a genuine uniter not a divider who only claims to be a uniter.

    We have seen how they rulethey divide and try to conquer. They know the power of the people is weakened when our house is divided. They believe they cant win, unless the rest of us lose. We reject that shameful view.

    The Democratic Party has a different idea. We believe that all of us can win. We believe we are one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. And when we say all, we mean all.

    Today in this global age, our goal of the common good extends far beyond Americas borders.

    Posted by Eric at 09:33 PM | Comments (12)

    Kennedy's Speech

    Remarks tonight:

    In these challenging times for our country, in these fateful times for the world, America needs a genuine uniter not a divider who only claims to be a uniter.

    We have seen how they rulethey divide and try to conquer. They know the power of the people is weakened when our house is divided. They believe they cant win, unless the rest of us lose. We reject that shameful view.

    The Democratic Party has a different idea. We believe that all of us can win. We believe we are one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. And when we say all, we mean all.

    Today in this global age, our goal of the common good extends far beyond Americas borders.

    Posted by Eric at 09:33 PM | Comments (0)

    Rolling Stone: Doonesbury Goes to War

    The cover story:

    Posted by Eric at 09:46 AM | Comments (15)

    Rolling Stone: Doonesbury Goes to War

    The cover story:

    Posted by Eric at 09:46 AM | Comments (1)

    Obama: The Natural

    Today's "big" speaker is a rather unknown state politician from Illinois. Ryan Lizza in The Atlantic Monthly asks, Why is Barack Obama generating more excitement among Democrats than John Kerry?

    Over the past couple of years Obama has used his chairmanship of the health committee to broaden his appeal, promoting issues aimed at the Lisa Lipins of the world. He led a fight to ban the dietary supplement ephedra, and after the collapse of a Chicago porch killed thirteen people, he voiced support for stricter building codes. Some of these efforts echo the micro-initiatives that Bill Clinton used so effectively to mobilize the middle class. But Obama hasn't forsaken minority voters: he has promoted legislation to broaden children's access to health insurance and to make the state's earned-income tax credit refundable. He has earned a reputation as a show horse and a workhorseapt to take a visible role in high-profile issues causing anxiety in suburbia, but equally willing to work doggedly to forge compromises on serious legislation. And he hasn't shied away from potentially polarizing racial issues; he helped to pass an important law to address racial profiling in Illinois. Obama has transcended the strictly racial identity often forced onor embraced byblack officials.

    Like any political star, Obama has a knack for effortlessly fitting into disparate racial, ideological, and social worlds. As we walked past Abraham Lincoln's old law offices, a disheveled black man standing on a street corner called out, "Hey, Obama, how you doing?" They bantered like old friends. Later, at an Illinois State Dental Society cocktail party, an entire roomful of mostly white Republican-leaning dentists reoriented themselves in Obama's direction. The accolades flowed: "You are fantastic." "If you were my husband, I wouldn't let you go around alone." "You're going to do a wonderful job in Washington!" "You impress the hell out of me." Obama has perfected a becoming modesty; he often reacts to praise by looking at his shoes and saying, "Oh, you are making me blush."

    His skill with constituents extends even to a group that politicians frequently mishandle: the press. Obama has mastered the art of appearing to take reporters into his confidence by dispensing the sort of forthright political chatter that causes them to swoon. I received a signed copy of his autobiography and with it a trenchant analysis of his party's presidential nominee. ("Sometimes Kerry just doesn't have that oomph," he said, punctuating the thought with a tight-lipped shake of the head and a clenched fist.)

    Posted by Eric at 02:04 AM | Comments (30)

    Obama: The Natural

    Today's "big" speaker is a rather unknown state politician from Illinois. Ryan Lizza in The Atlantic Monthly asks, Why is Barack Obama generating more excitement among Democrats than John Kerry?

    Over the past couple of years Obama has used his chairmanship of the health committee to broaden his appeal, promoting issues aimed at the Lisa Lipins of the world. He led a fight to ban the dietary supplement ephedra, and after the collapse of a Chicago porch killed thirteen people, he voiced support for stricter building codes. Some of these efforts echo the micro-initiatives that Bill Clinton used so effectively to mobilize the middle class. But Obama hasn't forsaken minority voters: he has promoted legislation to broaden children's access to health insurance and to make the state's earned-income tax credit refundable. He has earned a reputation as a show horse and a workhorseapt to take a visible role in high-profile issues causing anxiety in suburbia, but equally willing to work doggedly to forge compromises on serious legislation. And he hasn't shied away from potentially polarizing racial issues; he helped to pass an important law to address racial profiling in Illinois. Obama has transcended the strictly racial identity often forced onor embraced byblack officials.

    Like any political star, Obama has a knack for effortlessly fitting into disparate racial, ideological, and social worlds. As we walked past Abraham Lincoln's old law offices, a disheveled black man standing on a street corner called out, "Hey, Obama, how you doing?" They bantered like old friends. Later, at an Illinois State Dental Society cocktail party, an entire roomful of mostly white Republican-leaning dentists reoriented themselves in Obama's direction. The accolades flowed: "You are fantastic." "If you were my husband, I wouldn't let you go around alone." "You're going to do a wonderful job in Washington!" "You impress the hell out of me." Obama has perfected a becoming modesty; he often reacts to praise by looking at his shoes and saying, "Oh, you are making me blush."

    His skill with constituents extends even to a group that politicians frequently mishandle: the press. Obama has mastered the art of appearing to take reporters into his confidence by dispensing the sort of forthright political chatter that causes them to swoon. I received a signed copy of his autobiography and with it a trenchant analysis of his party's presidential nominee. ("Sometimes Kerry just doesn't have that oomph," he said, punctuating the thought with a tight-lipped shake of the head and a clenched fist.)

    Posted by Eric at 02:04 AM | Comments (0)

    July 26, 2004

    Obama Shines on National TV

    Makes the Sunday talk rounds:

    Obama, the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention here Tuesday night, appeared on NBC's Meet the Press with Tim Russert, CBS' Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer and Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer. Russert, in particular, put Obama to the test, asking a series of hardball questions designed to throw the intellectually nimble Obama off his game ... shortcomings of poor blacks, then asked Obama, an African-American, to respond. Obama said that he understood Cosby's remarks and agreed with them to a point. Obama said that it is true that African-Americans need to stretch beyond the "anti-intellectualism" that infects portions of their culture. But Obama said it is incumbent upon wealthier Americans to lend a helping hand to people in need, no matter their race.

    "There has got to be an element of individual responsibility and communal responsibility in African-American communities," Obama said.

    On Face the Nation, Obama criticized President Bush for not addressing the NAACP convention, calling that snub "a mistake."

    "The attitude has to be that if you're the president, you're the president of all people," Obama said.

    MTP transcript.

    FTN (pdf)

    Obama, a graduate of Punahou High School in Hawaii (home to Michelle Wie), says he credits Hawaii with his ability "to relate to a lot of different people." From the AP:

    "Hawaii's spirit of tolerance might not have been perfect or complete, but it was -- and is -- real," said Obama, the son of a black African father and Caucasian mother from Kansas, who met at the University of Hawaii.

    "The opportunity that Hawaii offered -- to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect -- became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear," he wrote in a Fall 1999 essay in the Punahou Bulletin, the magazine of his alma mater ... "Both my mother and father embraced the ideal of racial harmony that Hawaii represented, and although their marriage proved short-lived, it was that ideal that my family continued to nurture in me throughout my early childhood," he wrote.

    The NY Times also covers Obama's rise to prominence.

    Posted by Eric at 04:21 AM | Comments (35)

    Obama Shines on National TV

    Makes the Sunday talk rounds:

    Obama, the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention here Tuesday night, appeared on NBC's Meet the Press with Tim Russert, CBS' Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer and Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer. Russert, in particular, put Obama to the test, asking a series of hardball questions designed to throw the intellectually nimble Obama off his game ... shortcomings of poor blacks, then asked Obama, an African-American, to respond. Obama said that he understood Cosby's remarks and agreed with them to a point. Obama said that it is true that African-Americans need to stretch beyond the "anti-intellectualism" that infects portions of their culture. But Obama said it is incumbent upon wealthier Americans to lend a helping hand to people in need, no matter their race.

    "There has got to be an element of individual responsibility and communal responsibility in African-American communities," Obama said.

    On Face the Nation, Obama criticized President Bush for not addressing the NAACP convention, calling that snub "a mistake."

    "The attitude has to be that if you're the president, you're the president of all people," Obama said.

    MTP transcript.

    FTN (pdf)

    Obama, a graduate of Punahou High School in Hawaii (home to Michelle Wie), says he credits Hawaii with his ability "to relate to a lot of different people." From the AP:

    "Hawaii's spirit of tolerance might not have been perfect or complete, but it was -- and is -- real," said Obama, the son of a black African father and Caucasian mother from Kansas, who met at the University of Hawaii.

    "The opportunity that Hawaii offered -- to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect -- became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear," he wrote in a Fall 1999 essay in the Punahou Bulletin, the magazine of his alma mater ... "Both my mother and father embraced the ideal of racial harmony that Hawaii represented, and although their marriage proved short-lived, it was that ideal that my family continued to nurture in me throughout my early childhood," he wrote.

    The NY Times also covers Obama's rise to prominence.

    Posted by Eric at 04:21 AM | Comments (0)

    From the Mouth of God to Bush

    Bush says he was told by God to strike down ye enemies.

    Posted by Eric at 12:08 AM | Comments (45)

    From the Mouth of God to Bush

    Bush says he was told by God to strike down ye enemies.

    Posted by Eric at 12:08 AM | Comments (1)

    July 23, 2004

    No Link

    'Operational Relationship' With Al Qaeda Discounted.

    Can we finally put this to rest?

    Posted by Eric at 08:34 AM | Comments (40)

    No Link

    'Operational Relationship' With Al Qaeda Discounted.

    Can we finally put this to rest?

    Posted by Eric at 08:34 AM | Comments (4)

    Dean Member of Republican National Committee's Victory 2004 Club

    *See, Democrats are really Republicans in disguise*. WPost:

    Former Vermont governor Howard Dean learned something new yesterday: He's a member of the Republican National Committee's Victory 2004 club. Even has the membership card to prove it. It arrived in the mail with a striking picture of President and Laura Bush, and a typed note: "To: Howard Dean, thank you for your loyal commitment, I'm looking forward to working with you for a great Republican victory in Vermont this year. Warmest regards, George Bush." (And the onetime Democratic presidential contender thought his loss in Iowa was a good reason to shriek.)

    When we called the RNC yesterday, spokeswoman Christine Iverson sniffed: "Well, the RNC was pleased to recently receive a fundraising solicitation for Senator Kerry -- with the name 'Republican National Committee' fully typed out on the envelope. Unfortunately for Senator Kerry, we chose not to respond."

    By the way, if you need convincing there is a difference between Republicans and Democrats (empty Nader rhetoric doesn't count), go here.

    Posted by Eric at 01:50 AM | Comments (133)

    Dean Member of Republican National Committee's Victory 2004 Club

    *See, Democrats are really Republicans in disguise*. WPost:

    Former Vermont governor Howard Dean learned something new yesterday: He's a member of the Republican National Committee's Victory 2004 club. Even has the membership card to prove it. It arrived in the mail with a striking picture of President and Laura Bush, and a typed note: "To: Howard Dean, thank you for your loyal commitment, I'm looking forward to working with you for a great Republican victory in Vermont this year. Warmest regards, George Bush." (And the onetime Democratic presidential contender thought his loss in Iowa was a good reason to shriek.)

    When we called the RNC yesterday, spokeswoman Christine Iverson sniffed: "Well, the RNC was pleased to recently receive a fundraising solicitation for Senator Kerry -- with the name 'Republican National Committee' fully typed out on the envelope. Unfortunately for Senator Kerry, we chose not to respond."

    By the way, if you need convincing there is a difference between Republicans and Democrats (empty Nader rhetoric doesn't count), go here.

    Posted by Eric at 01:50 AM | Comments (10)

    July 22, 2004

    Prophet G

    From MoDowd:

    Last year, Ali G asked James Baker III, the Bush I secretary of state, if it was wise for Iraq and Iran to have such similar names. "Isn't there a real danger," the faux rapper wondered, "that someone give a message over the radio to one of them fighter pilots, saying 'Bomb Ira-' and the geezer doesn't heard it properly" and bombs the wrong one?

    "No danger," Mr. Baker replied.

    Well, as it turns out, the United States did bomb the wrong Ira-.

    President Bush says he's now investigating Qaeda-Iran ties, and whether Iran helped the 9/11 hijackers.

    Whoops. Right axis. Wrong evil.

    For those interested, Dowd has a new book, which is a collection of her columns about Bush and family.

    Posted by Eric at 08:34 PM | Comments (12)

    Prophet G

    From MoDowd:

    Last year, Ali G asked James Baker III, the Bush I secretary of state, if it was wise for Iraq and Iran to have such similar names. "Isn't there a real danger," the faux rapper wondered, "that someone give a message over the radio to one of them fighter pilots, saying 'Bomb Ira-' and the geezer doesn't heard it properly" and bombs the wrong one?

    "No danger," Mr. Baker replied.

    Well, as it turns out, the United States did bomb the wrong Ira-.

    President Bush says he's now investigating Qaeda-Iran ties, and whether Iran helped the 9/11 hijackers.

    Whoops. Right axis. Wrong evil.

    For those interested, Dowd has a new book, which is a collection of her columns about Bush and family.

    Posted by Eric at 08:34 PM | Comments (1)

    Candidate Caught Stealing Opponent's Signs

    Candidate campaigns always believe the other side is sabatoging their campaign signs. Well, this guy was caught red-handed:

    Armed with a video camera and dressed in camouflage clothing, a candidate for Sequoyah County commissioner hid in the thickets along U.S. 64 and waited in the dim morning light for the culprit who had been stealing his campaign signs.

    He caught the thief in the act.

    Candidate Steve Carter said he never expected the culprit to be incumbent Sequoyah County Commissioner Lewis Warren.

    But Carter has videotape and the testimony of a county sheriff's deputy who accompanied him to prove his story.

    "I was shocked," Carter said Thursday from his home in Gore. "This is a public officer. What kind of example is this for children? Since the news got out about the video, people have generally said the same thing. They can't believe a public official would stoop so low to actually steal an opponent's campaign signs."

    Video here.

    Posted by Eric at 08:05 PM | Comments (18)

    Candidate Caught Stealing Opponent's Signs

    Candidate campaigns always believe the other side is sabatoging their campaign signs. Well, this guy was caught red-handed:

    Armed with a video camera and dressed in camouflage clothing, a candidate for Sequoyah County commissioner hid in the thickets along U.S. 64 and waited in the dim morning light for the culprit who had been stealing his campaign signs.

    He caught the thief in the act.

    Candidate Steve Carter said he never expected the culprit to be incumbent Sequoyah County Commissioner Lewis Warren.

    But Carter has videotape and the testimony of a county sheriff's deputy who accompanied him to prove his story.

    "I was shocked," Carter said Thursday from his home in Gore. "This is a public officer. What kind of example is this for children? Since the news got out about the video, people have generally said the same thing. They can't believe a public official would stoop so low to actually steal an opponent's campaign signs."

    Video here.

    Posted by Eric at 08:05 PM | Comments (0)

    No Blacks Support Bush in Michigan

    Well, at least in percentage points. At least there's no blacks in Michigan!

    The however:

    Pollster Steve Mitchell of Mitchell Research said if Bush could siphon off African-American votes from Kerry, leaving him with 85 percent instead of 90 percent of the total cast, he likely would beat the Democrat in Michigan. A small shift would be important it could swing the state, said Mitchell, who polls for The Detroit News.

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

    No Blacks Support Bush in Michigan

    Well, at least in percentage points. At least there's no blacks in Michigan!

    The however:

    Pollster Steve Mitchell of Mitchell Research said if Bush could siphon off African-American votes from Kerry, leaving him with 85 percent instead of 90 percent of the total cast, he likely would beat the Democrat in Michigan. A small shift would be important it could swing the state, said Mitchell, who polls for The Detroit News.

    Posted by Eric at 10:32 AM | Comments (1)

    F-911 Making GOP Nervous

    The popular movie has the potential to move voters this election:

    Two senior Republicans closely tied to the White House said the movie from director Michael Moore is seen as a political headache because it has reached beyond the Democratic base. Independents and GOP-leaning voters are likely to be found sitting beside those set to revel in its depiction of a clueless president with questionable ties to the oil industry.

    "If you are a naive, uncommitted voter and wander into a theater, you aren't going to come away with a good impression of the president," Republican operative Joe Gaylord said. "It's a problem only if a lot of people see it."

    Based on a record-breaking gross of $94 million through last weekend, theaters already have sold an estimated 12 million tickets to "Fahrenheit 9/11." A Gallup survey conducted July 8-11 said 8 percent of American adults had seen the film at that time, but that 18 percent still planned to see it at a theater and another 30 percent plan to see it on video.

    More than a third of Republicans and nearly two-thirds of independents told Gallup they had seen or expected to see the film at theaters or on video.

    Posted by Eric at 07:34 AM | Comments (45)

    F-911 Making GOP Nervous

    The popular movie has the potential to move voters this election:

    Two senior Republicans closely tied to the White House said the movie from director Michael Moore is seen as a political headache because it has reached beyond the Democratic base. Independents and GOP-leaning voters are likely to be found sitting beside those set to revel in its depiction of a clueless president with questionable ties to the oil industry.

    "If you are a naive, uncommitted voter and wander into a theater, you aren't going to come away with a good impression of the president," Republican operative Joe Gaylord said. "It's a problem only if a lot of people see it."

    Based on a record-breaking gross of $94 million through last weekend, theaters already have sold an estimated 12 million tickets to "Fahrenheit 9/11." A Gallup survey conducted July 8-11 said 8 percent of American adults had seen the film at that time, but that 18 percent still planned to see it at a theater and another 30 percent plan to see it on video.

    More than a third of Republicans and nearly two-thirds of independents told Gallup they had seen or expected to see the film at theaters or on video.

    Posted by Eric at 07:34 AM | Comments (4)

    A Safer World?

    Reuters:

    The world is no safer than it was three years ago, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Wednesday, countering President Bush's claims he had made the world a safer place.

    Annan, at a news conference, also criticized a Bush administration decision to withhold $34 million from the U.N. Population Fund, saying the agency was saving women's lives.

    Annan's remarks could renew strains on ties between the United States and United Nations, which -- while devastated by Bush's inability to win U.N. backing for the U.S.-led war on Iraq -- had improved following U.N. help in setting up a new government in Baghdad in time for the U.S. occupation to end.

    "No, I cannot say the world is safer today than it was two, three years ago," the U.N. leader said.

    But what would he know? It's not like he works with world leaders or anything.

    Posted by Eric at 07:31 AM | Comments (37)

    A Safer World?

    Reuters:

    The world is no safer than it was three years ago, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Wednesday, countering President Bush's claims he had made the world a safer place.

    Annan, at a news conference, also criticized a Bush administration decision to withhold $34 million from the U.N. Population Fund, saying the agency was saving women's lives.

    Annan's remarks could renew strains on ties between the United States and United Nations, which -- while devastated by Bush's inability to win U.N. backing for the U.S.-led war on Iraq -- had improved following U.N. help in setting up a new government in Baghdad in time for the U.S. occupation to end.

    "No, I cannot say the world is safer today than it was two, three years ago," the U.N. leader said.

    But what would he know? It's not like he works with world leaders or anything.

    Posted by Eric at 07:31 AM | Comments (1)

    July 21, 2004

    Will Bush Deepen Housing Burden for Children?

    From the Children's Defense Fund:

    The report reveals that more than 3.6 million children live in low-income families who pay more than half of their income for rent or live in severely substandard housing. Demand for affordable housing has been growing over the years and now far exceeds the available supply. The report also illustrates that families with children make up 40 percent of the U.S. homeless population.

    Addressing the housing crisis rather than eroding housing policies should be the direction of the Administration.

    Despite the vast numbers of families facing housing issues, the Bush Administration is backing away from the federal government's commitment to provide low-income rental housing assistance through the Section 8 program to our nation's families. Section 8 is a voucher program that currently provides housing to approximately two million low-income households of which 1.2 million are families with children. The Bush Administration's FY 2005 budget proposal would slash funding for the Section 8 program, leaving it underfunded by $1.6 billion. This gap abandons 150,000 families along with 280,000 children, leaving them with no place to live.

    "The Administration's actions are creating fear among tenants, skepticism among Section 8 landlords, and hesitancy on the part of housing authorities to reissue Section 8 vouchers to new families," said Richelle Friedman, Senior Program Associate for the Children's Defense Fund. If enacted, the Administration's proposals for Section 8 housing could increase the cost of rent for low-income families by almost 10 percent, leaving them without any assistance, or even homeless. "It is unconscionable that HUD is knowingly putting vulnerable families and their children at risk by pulling back from the federal government's longstanding housing commitment to low-income families," said Friedman.

    Posted by Eric at 07:03 AM | Comments (8)

    Will Bush Deepen Housing Burden for Children?

    From the Children's Defense Fund:

    The report reveals that more than 3.6 million children live in low-income families who pay more than half of their income for rent or live in severely substandard housing. Demand for affordable housing has been growing over the years and now far exceeds the available supply. The report also illustrates that families with children make up 40 percent of the U.S. homeless population.

    Addressing the housing crisis rather than eroding housing policies should be the direction of the Administration.

    Despite the vast numbers of families facing housing issues, the Bush Administration is backing away from the federal government's commitment to provide low-income rental housing assistance through the Section 8 program to our nation's families. Section 8 is a voucher program that currently provides housing to approximately two million low-income households of which 1.2 million are families with children. The Bush Administration's FY 2005 budget proposal would slash funding for the Section 8 program, leaving it underfunded by $1.6 billion. This gap abandons 150,000 families along with 280,000 children, leaving them with no place to live.

    "The Administration's actions are creating fear among tenants, skepticism among Section 8 landlords, and hesitancy on the part of housing authorities to reissue Section 8 vouchers to new families," said Richelle Friedman, Senior Program Associate for the Children's Defense Fund. If enacted, the Administration's proposals for Section 8 housing could increase the cost of rent for low-income families by almost 10 percent, leaving them without any assistance, or even homeless. "It is unconscionable that HUD is knowingly putting vulnerable families and their children at risk by pulling back from the federal government's longstanding housing commitment to low-income families," said Friedman.

    Posted by Eric at 07:03 AM | Comments (3)

    New Progressive Group To Be Launched

    Progressive Democrats of America, a new organization to be launched at the Dem convention. The PR:

    A new political organization will be officially launched next week in Boston, at the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention. The group, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), will reflect a broad desire by many within the Democratic Party to champion progressive issues, along with working to defeat President George Bush. PDA has already won the support of well-known activists and political figures such as Tom Hayden, and actors Ed Asner and Mimi Kennedy.

    "The Democratic Party needs our help to regain its soul," said Kennedy, who has been a supporter of grassroots efforts. "If this is to be the party of peace, of universal, single payer healthcare, of fair trade, then it needs people to speak out on those issues." PDA will work to mobilize supporters within the Democratic Party on behalf of progressive office holders, including public servants and Democratic Party officials.

    "There are many progressives, newly energized by the Dean and Kucinich campaigns, who are also new to the Democratic Party. We're going to do the hard work of integrating them into the party and shifting the balance of power in the progressive direction," adds Charles Lenchner, acting director of PDA.

    Many newly established grassroots organizations who have sprung up in recent months - in the wake of the Howard Dean and Congressman Dennis Kucinich campaigns - are working together to ensure a Republican defeat and to empower grassroots efforts.

    "Our strategy is to work with the grassroots movement and with other groups established in the wake of the Dean and Kucinich campaigns," says Kevin Spidel, former field director for the Kucinich for Campaign. Spidel will serve as the field director for PDA.

    Progressives working within the party to enact change. Sounds good, huh Ralph?

    Can't find a website yet.

    Posted by Eric at 04:37 AM | Comments (28)

    New Progressive Group To Be Launched

    Progressive Democrats of America, a new organization to be launched at the Dem convention. The PR:

    A new political organization will be officially launched next week in Boston, at the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention. The group, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), will reflect a broad desire by many within the Democratic Party to champion progressive issues, along with working to defeat President George Bush. PDA has already won the support of well-known activists and political figures such as Tom Hayden, and actors Ed Asner and Mimi Kennedy.

    "The Democratic Party needs our help to regain its soul," said Kennedy, who has been a supporter of grassroots efforts. "If this is to be the party of peace, of universal, single payer healthcare, of fair trade, then it needs people to speak out on those issues." PDA will work to mobilize supporters within the Democratic Party on behalf of progressive office holders, including public servants and Democratic Party officials.

    "There are many progressives, newly energized by the Dean and Kucinich campaigns, who are also new to the Democratic Party. We're going to do the hard work of integrating them into the party and shifting the balance of power in the progressive direction," adds Charles Lenchner, acting director of PDA.

    Many newly established grassroots organizations who have sprung up in recent months - in the wake of the Howard Dean and Congressman Dennis Kucinich campaigns - are working together to ensure a Republican defeat and to empower grassroots efforts.

    "Our strategy is to work with the grassroots movement and with other groups established in the wake of the Dean and Kucinich campaigns," says Kevin Spidel, former field director for the Kucinich for Campaign. Spidel will serve as the field director for PDA.

    Progressives working within the party to enact change. Sounds good, huh Ralph?

    Can't find a website yet.

    Posted by Eric at 04:37 AM | Comments (4)

    July 20, 2004

    Kerry and Edwards, Sitting in a Tree

    This has been going on for a while, but here's Rush on Kerry and Edwards:

    LIMBAUGH (reading from The American Spectator): "But we still have the problem of Kerry's unwillingness to kiss his Breck boy. [During the presidential primary season, Republicans opponents dubbed Edwards the "Breck girl," alluding to the Breck shampoo ad campaigns.] Supposedly, thanks to gay liberation and the apparent inevitability of same-sex marriage, the spectacle of two men kissing in public shouldn't be cause for alarm, even disapproval any more. But by refusing to kiss in public, Kerry and Edwards are displaying a residual heterosexist bias. Hugging and groping cannot obscure what remains a fundamental homophobia."

    You get what he's saying here? [laughter] Uh-huh. He's saying, it's -- and -- and -- he's in his own way, what this looks like, well, why don't you just -- OK, Johns, why don't you finish. Just, you know, stop play-acting, stop pretending, stop the little rump pats, stop with the tousled hair. Let's see the kiss. Let's see the smooch. You're putting your hands on his face. He's putting his hands on your face. You're cupping each other. Well, let -- let's just -- let's just -- let's cement this.

    Posted by Eric at 12:01 AM | Comments (57)

    Kerry and Edwards, Sitting in a Tree

    This has been going on for a while, but here's Rush on Kerry and Edwards:

    LIMBAUGH (reading from The American Spectator): "But we still have the problem of Kerry's unwillingness to kiss his Breck boy. [During the presidential primary season, Republicans opponents dubbed Edwards the "Breck girl," alluding to the Breck shampoo ad campaigns.] Supposedly, thanks to gay liberation and the apparent inevitability of same-sex marriage, the spectacle of two men kissing in public shouldn't be cause for alarm, even disapproval any more. But by refusing to kiss in public, Kerry and Edwards are displaying a residual heterosexist bias. Hugging and groping cannot obscure what remains a fundamental homophobia."

    You get what he's saying here? [laughter] Uh-huh. He's saying, it's -- and -- and -- he's in his own way, what this looks like, well, why don't you just -- OK, Johns, why don't you finish. Just, you know, stop play-acting, stop pretending, stop the little rump pats, stop with the tousled hair. Let's see the kiss. Let's see the smooch. You're putting your hands on his face. He's putting his hands on your face. You're cupping each other. Well, let -- let's just -- let's just -- let's cement this.

    Posted by Eric at 12:01 AM | Comments (9)

    July 19, 2004

    Cleland: Bush Lied

    Said in a conference call to reporters:

    Cleland, a national co-chairman of Kerry's campaign, described the Bush administration's arguments that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaeda terrorists, as a "pack of lies."


    The former lawmaker from the southern state of Georgia defended the vote that he, Kerry and others cast in the Senate to authorize military intervention in Iraq, saying the Congress was "flat-out lied to."


    Asked whether they were lied to by the intelligence services or the White House, he said emphatically: "By the president, by the vice president and by the secretary of defense."


    Cleland said that Bush went to war "because he concluded that his daddy was a failed president and one of the ways he failed was that he did not take out Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)" in the 1991 Gulf war. "So he (Bush junior) is Mr. Macho Man."

    Posted by Eric at 07:40 PM | Comments (23)

    Cleland: Bush Lied

    Said in a conference call to reporters:

    Cleland, a national co-chairman of Kerry's campaign, described the Bush administration's arguments that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaeda terrorists, as a "pack of lies."


    The former lawmaker from the southern state of Georgia defended the vote that he, Kerry and others cast in the Senate to authorize military intervention in Iraq, saying the Congress was "flat-out lied to."


    Asked whether they were lied to by the intelligence services or the White House, he said emphatically: "By the president, by the vice president and by the secretary of defense."


    Cleland said that Bush went to war "because he concluded that his daddy was a failed president and one of the ways he failed was that he did not take out Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)" in the 1991 Gulf war. "So he (Bush junior) is Mr. Macho Man."

    Posted by Eric at 07:40 PM | Comments (2)

    Someone Steals Dean's Wallet

    Those buggahs:

    As he was delivering an impassioned pep talk about impending Democratic victory, Dean saw some disembodied fingers suddenly slip around his wallet - containing all his credit cards and an undetermined amount of cash - and just as suddenly disappear with them.

    "I gotta go. Somebody just stole my wallet," Dean abruptly ended his speech.

    Posted by Eric at 09:39 AM | Comments (21)

    Someone Steals Dean's Wallet

    Those buggahs:

    As he was delivering an impassioned pep talk about impending Democratic victory, Dean saw some disembodied fingers suddenly slip around his wallet - containing all his credit cards and an undetermined amount of cash - and just as suddenly disappear with them.

    "I gotta go. Somebody just stole my wallet," Dean abruptly ended his speech.

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

    July 18, 2004

    Whoopi Over Whoopi

    Paul Begala with the note:

    BEGALA: I think it's an interesting example of the double standard in the media. Whoopi Goldberg apparently told some jokes people didn't like. I didn't hear them, don't even know what they are and everybody got their panties in a wad and here's this big corporation fires her. Meanwhile yesterday, Dennis Miller at a Bush rally basically implies that John Edwards and John Kerry are gay, then attacks my pal James Carville for the way that he looks and nobody says anything. I doubt CNN has even covered that story today at all. So why is it that a liberal comedian can make fun of President Bush, but she gets fired from her job? A conservative comedian makes really nasty sexual innuendoes about Kerry and Edwards and nobody says anything. So it's a double standard.
    Regardless, has Slim Fast ever seen Whoopi's act? It's not like she wasn't doing Bush / sexual jokes before.

    Posted by Eric at 06:14 PM | Comments (127)

    Whoopi Over Whoopi

    Paul Begala with the note:

    BEGALA: I think it's an interesting example of the double standard in the media. Whoopi Goldberg apparently told some jokes people didn't like. I didn't hear them, don't even know what they are and everybody got their panties in a wad and here's this big corporation fires her. Meanwhile yesterday, Dennis Miller at a Bush rally basically implies that John Edwards and John Kerry are gay, then attacks my pal James Carville for the way that he looks and nobody says anything. I doubt CNN has even covered that story today at all. So why is it that a liberal comedian can make fun of President Bush, but she gets fired from her job? A conservative comedian makes really nasty sexual innuendoes about Kerry and Edwards and nobody says anything. So it's a double standard.
    Regardless, has Slim Fast ever seen Whoopi's act? It's not like she wasn't doing Bush / sexual jokes before.

    Posted by Eric at 06:14 PM | Comments (6)

    July 15, 2004

    Cheney Drop?

    Capital Hill rumors persist about why Cheney dropped his drug-addicted George Washington University (represent) doc:

    The newest theory - advanced privately by prominent Democrats, including members of Congress - holds that Mr. Cheney recently dismissed his personal doctor so that he could see a new one, who will conveniently tell him in August that his heart problems make him unfit to run with Mr. Bush. The dismissed physician, Dr. Gary Malakoff, who four years ago declared that Mr. Cheney was "up to the task of the most sensitive public office" despite a history of heart disease, was dropped from Mr. Cheney's medical team because of an addiction to prescription drugs.

    "I don't know where they get all these conspiracy theories," said Matthew Dowd, the Bush campaign's chief strategist, who has heard them all. "It's inside-the-Beltway coffee talk, is all it is."

    It may be inside the Beltway, but in recent days the Washington summer clamor about dropping Mr. Cheney has so greatly intensified that Mr. Cheney himself was forced to address it on Wednesday. Asked in a C-Span interview if he could envision any circumstances under which he would step aside, Mr. Cheney replied: "Well, no, I can't. If I thought that were appropriate, I certainly would."

    In the interview, to be broadcast Sunday, Mr. Cheney also said that Mr. Bush "has made very clear he doesn't want to break up the team," but that chatter of his stepping down was to be expected.

    Of course, if you want Bush out of office, you want Cheney on the ticket, as he's an unpopular drag:
    One recent contribution to the buzz about Mr. Cheney came Tuesday in a column by Charlie Cook, the editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. "Stipulating that dumping a totally loyal, integral part of his inner circle is something that is absolutely not in George W. Bush's DNA, losing with plenty of notice does not appear to be part of his genetic makeup either," Mr. Cook wrote. He concluded that in an election year as close as this one, "the president badly needs something to shake this race up, and I can think of just one thing. Cheney may need to watch his back."

    Mr. Cook's column came less than a week after Alfonse M. D'Amato, the once-influential Republican senator from New York, said on the cable station NY1 that Mr. Bush should replace Mr. Cheney with Mr. Powell or Mr. McCain. Mr. D'Amato's motives have stirred speculation among New Yorkers, although some who know him well said that getting attention might have been primary among them. An assistant in Mr. D'Amato's office said Wednesday that he would have no further comment on the matter.

    Posted by Eric at 12:47 AM | Comments (49)

    Cheney Drop?

    Capital Hill rumors persist about why Cheney dropped his drug-addicted George Washington University (represent) doc:

    The newest theory - advanced privately by prominent Democrats, including members of Congress - holds that Mr. Cheney recently dismissed his personal doctor so that he could see a new one, who will conveniently tell him in August that his heart problems make him unfit to run with Mr. Bush. The dismissed physician, Dr. Gary Malakoff, who four years ago declared that Mr. Cheney was "up to the task of the most sensitive public office" despite a history of heart disease, was dropped from Mr. Cheney's medical team because of an addiction to prescription drugs.

    "I don't know where they get all these conspiracy theories," said Matthew Dowd, the Bush campaign's chief strategist, who has heard them all. "It's inside-the-Beltway coffee talk, is all it is."

    It may be inside the Beltway, but in recent days the Washington summer clamor about dropping Mr. Cheney has so greatly intensified that Mr. Cheney himself was forced to address it on Wednesday. Asked in a C-Span interview if he could envision any circumstances under which he would step aside, Mr. Cheney replied: "Well, no, I can't. If I thought that were appropriate, I certainly would."

    In the interview, to be broadcast Sunday, Mr. Cheney also said that Mr. Bush "has made very clear he doesn't want to break up the team," but that chatter of his stepping down was to be expected.

    Of course, if you want Bush out of office, you want Cheney on the ticket, as he's an unpopular drag:
    One recent contribution to the buzz about Mr. Cheney came Tuesday in a column by Charlie Cook, the editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. "Stipulating that dumping a totally loyal, integral part of his inner circle is something that is absolutely not in George W. Bush's DNA, losing with plenty of notice does not appear to be part of his genetic makeup either," Mr. Cook wrote. He concluded that in an election year as close as this one, "the president badly needs something to shake this race up, and I can think of just one thing. Cheney may need to watch his back."

    Mr. Cook's column came less than a week after Alfonse M. D'Amato, the once-influential Republican senator from New York, said on the cable station NY1 that Mr. Bush should replace Mr. Cheney with Mr. Powell or Mr. McCain. Mr. D'Amato's motives have stirred speculation among New Yorkers, although some who know him well said that getting attention might have been primary among them. An assistant in Mr. D'Amato's office said Wednesday that he would have no further comment on the matter.

    Posted by Eric at 12:47 AM | Comments (8)

    July 14, 2004

    McCain Refutes Bush re: Anti-Gay Amendment

    Yet McCain still filmed his ad for Bush. Go figure.

    Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona broke forcefully with President Bush and the Senate GOP leadership Tuesday evening over the issue of same-sex marriage, taking to the Senate floor to call a constitutional amendment to prohibit the practice unnecessary -- and un-Republican.

    "The constitutional amendment we're debating today strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans," McCain said. "It usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states do not believe confronts them."

    McCain also said the amendment "will not be adopted by Congress this year, nor next year, nor any time soon until a substantial majority of Americans are persuaded that such a consequential action is as vitally important and necessary as the proponents feel it is today."

    "The founders wisely made certain that the Constitution is difficult to amend and, as a practical political matter, can't be done without overwhelming public approval. And thank God for that," he said.

    Meanwhile, the LA Times reports that the vote on gay marriage is "backfiring."
    But with the vote coming today, it is a divided Republican Party that will seal the measure's doom. And it is President Bush who faces a potentially embarrassing defeat in the Republican-controlled Senate on a measure he has pushed ... But the amendment has caused discomfort within the GOP's ranks, despite Bush's support for it.

    Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and John McCain of Arizona have come out against the amendment.

    Collins told reporters Tuesday: "I see no need for a constitutional amendment at a time when we already have a federal law on the books that protects the rights of states to define marriage as between a man and a woman."

    Even Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), usually a reliable GOP vote, expressed concerns about the wording of the measure, saying it could prevent states from passing legislation dealing with civil unions and domestic partnerships.

    Playing politics with the constitution. The US Senate at its finest.

    Posted by Eric at 09:12 AM | Comments (48)

    McCain Refutes Bush re: Anti-Gay Amendment

    Yet McCain still filmed his ad for Bush. Go figure.

    Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona broke forcefully with President Bush and the Senate GOP leadership Tuesday evening over the issue of same-sex marriage, taking to the Senate floor to call a constitutional amendment to prohibit the practice unnecessary -- and un-Republican.

    "The constitutional amendment we're debating today strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans," McCain said. "It usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states do not believe confronts them."

    McCain also said the amendment "will not be adopted by Congress this year, nor next year, nor any time soon until a substantial majority of Americans are persuaded that such a consequential action is as vitally important and necessary as the proponents feel it is today."

    "The founders wisely made certain that the Constitution is difficult to amend and, as a practical political matter, can't be done without overwhelming public approval. And thank God for that," he said.

    Meanwhile, the LA Times reports that the vote on gay marriage is "backfiring."
    But with the vote coming today, it is a divided Republican Party that will seal the measure's doom. And it is President Bush who faces a potentially embarrassing defeat in the Republican-controlled Senate on a measure he has pushed ... But the amendment has caused discomfort within the GOP's ranks, despite Bush's support for it.

    Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and John McCain of Arizona have come out against the amendment.

    Collins told reporters Tuesday: "I see no need for a constitutional amendment at a time when we already have a federal law on the books that protects the rights of states to define marriage as between a man and a woman."

    Even Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), usually a reliable GOP vote, expressed concerns about the wording of the measure, saying it could prevent states from passing legislation dealing with civil unions and domestic partnerships.

    Playing politics with the constitution. The US Senate at its finest.

    Posted by Eric at 09:12 AM | Comments (9)

    July 13, 2004

    It's a Man's World at the White House

    The Washington Post notes that women, on average, earn less at the White House.

    With new White House salary figures leaked to The Washington Post and an Excel spreadsheet, crack researcher Margot Williams determined that men in the Bush White House earn an average of $76,624 a year. Women earn $59,917 on average. That means Bush women earn about 78 percent of what Bush men earn.

    As it happens, that's almost exactly the national average for the gap in pay between the sexes, although it's a good bit below the 88 percent for the nearly 1 million professional and administrative employees in the federal workforce. Also, the White House has the advantage of making all its hires from scratch after the 2000 election.

    At the White House, the gap has nothing to do with wage discrimination: Women and men with similar titles receive similar pay. Rather, it comes from the dominance of men in high-end jobs; of the 17 White House staffers earning $157,000 -- the top of the pay scale this year -- 12 are men. That's roughly comparable to the 26 percent representation of women in the federal government's 7,000-person Senior Executive Service, according to the Partnership for Public Service.

    Posted by Eric at 05:37 PM | Comments (38)

    It's a Man's World at the White House

    The Washington Post notes that women, on average, earn less at the White House.

    With new White House salary figures leaked to The Washington Post and an Excel spreadsheet, crack researcher Margot Williams determined that men in the Bush White House earn an average of $76,624 a year. Women earn $59,917 on average. That means Bush women earn about 78 percent of what Bush men earn.

    As it happens, that's almost exactly the national average for the gap in pay between the sexes, although it's a good bit below the 88 percent for the nearly 1 million professional and administrative employees in the federal workforce. Also, the White House has the advantage of making all its hires from scratch after the 2000 election.

    At the White House, the gap has nothing to do with wage discrimination: Women and men with similar titles receive similar pay. Rather, it comes from the dominance of men in high-end jobs; of the 17 White House staffers earning $157,000 -- the top of the pay scale this year -- 12 are men. That's roughly comparable to the 26 percent representation of women in the federal government's 7,000-person Senior Executive Service, according to the Partnership for Public Service.

    Posted by Eric at 05:37 PM | Comments (0)

    July 02, 2004

    Kettle, Pot, Black

    From the Pioneer Press:

    Last week, Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie attacked the Democrat-leaning group America Coming Together, saying he was "disturbed" that it allowed convicted felons to register voters door to door in some states.

    But on Thursday, a Minnesota GOP official acknowledged Friday that several ex-convicts were among the people who have worked phone banks for the state party during the past year.

    Minnesota GOP officials say they are just giving the ex-cons a second chance and that they don't have access to sensitive information about contributors and voters.

    But America Coming Together called the practice hypocritical given last week's attack.

    Posted by Eric at 08:38 AM | Comments (41)

    Kettle, Pot, Black

    From the Pioneer Press:

    Last week, Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie attacked the Democrat-leaning group America Coming Together, saying he was "disturbed" that it allowed convicted felons to register voters door to door in some states.

    But on Thursday, a Minnesota GOP official acknowledged Friday that several ex-convicts were among the people who have worked phone banks for the state party during the past year.

    Minnesota GOP officials say they are just giving the ex-cons a second chance and that they don't have access to sensitive information about contributors and voters.

    But America Coming Together called the practice hypocritical given last week's attack.

    Posted by Eric at 08:38 AM | Comments (3)

    What Happens When You Give Projects to GOP Summer Interns with Microsoft Paint Listed on Their Resumes?

    "Gop.com's Kerryoke Lounge."

    Posted by Eric at 01:56 AM | Comments (43)

    What Happens When You Give Projects to GOP Summer Interns with Microsoft Paint Listed on Their Resumes?

    "Gop.com's Kerryoke Lounge."

    Posted by Eric at 01:56 AM | Comments (9)

    July 01, 2004

    Interesting Rhetoric from the Right

    From Jack Wheeler in the Washington Times:

    Bill Clinton is such a repulsive subject I never thought I would ever write about him again after he was replaced by a man of decency and integrity in the White House. Yet the sight of all those women lining up to buy his book, to get that book autographed by a serial abuser of women, like prostitutes idolizing their abusive pimp, is sadly illustrative of a bizarre truth.

    Posted by Eric at 03:51 AM | Comments (27)

    Interesting Rhetoric from the Right

    From Jack Wheeler in the Washington Times:

    Bill Clinton is such a repulsive subject I never thought I would ever write about him again after he was replaced by a man of decency and integrity in the White House. Yet the sight of all those women lining up to buy his book, to get that book autographed by a serial abuser of women, like prostitutes idolizing their abusive pimp, is sadly illustrative of a bizarre truth.

    Posted by Eric at 03:51 AM | Comments (4)

    June 30, 2004

    Ralph Reed Channels Bill Bennett

    Link via Liberal Oasis, Ralph Reed is a big, not fat hypocrite. From The Nation:

    When Ralph Reed was the boyish director of the Christian Coalition, he made opposition to gambling a major plank in his "family values" agenda, calling gambling "a cancer on the American body politic" that was "stealing food from the mouths of children." But now, a broad federal investigation into lobbying abuses connected to gambling on Indian reservations has unearthed evidence that Reed has been surreptitiously working for an Indian tribe with a large casino it sought to protect--and that Reed was paid with funds laundered through two firms to try to keep his lucrative involvement secret. Reed has always operated behind the scenes, and apparently he didn't want to risk becoming a humbled hypocrite like his right-wing cohorts William Bennett and Rush Limbaugh ...

    Reed's involvement with the casino effort followed his departure from the Christian Coalition in 1997 and his reinvention of himself as a corporate lobbyist and campaign hatchet man. One of his first clients was the Enron Corporation--a deal arranged by Karl Rove when George W. Bush was starting to think about running for President in 2000. Rove wasn't ready to put Reed directly on a campaign payroll but presumably wanted to cultivate good will from Reed toward the coming Bush candidacy. Enron paid Reed's Century Strategies more than $300,000 to generate support for energy deregulation. In the 2000 GOP presidential primary, Reed justified his big Enron fee by helping to smear John McCain during the South Carolina primary. Now McCain's Indian Affairs subcommittee is investigating Indian gambling in the context of lobbying abuses, kickbacks and money laundering, with public hearings scheduled for early September.

    Reed is in charge of Bush's 2004 election campaign in the Southeast, including Florida. In 2000, he was paid almost $3.7 million for helping Bush. In 1995, when he was still exploiting intolerance and fear, Time did a story on him that included the cover line "The right hand of God." Today God's right hand seems to be holding dice and a bloody political hatchet.

    Posted by Eric at 03:31 AM | Comments (33)

    Ralph Reed Channels Bill Bennett

    Link via Liberal Oasis, Ralph Reed is a big, not fat hypocrite. From The Nation:

    When Ralph Reed was the boyish director of the Christian Coalition, he made opposition to gambling a major plank in his "family values" agenda, calling gambling "a cancer on the American body politic" that was "stealing food from the mouths of children." But now, a broad federal investigation into lobbying abuses connected to gambling on Indian reservations has unearthed evidence that Reed has been surreptitiously working for an Indian tribe with a large casino it sought to protect--and that Reed was paid with funds laundered through two firms to try to keep his lucrative involvement secret. Reed has always operated behind the scenes, and apparently he didn't want to risk becoming a humbled hypocrite like his right-wing cohorts William Bennett and Rush Limbaugh ...

    Reed's involvement with the casino effort followed his departure from the Christian Coalition in 1997 and his reinvention of himself as a corporate lobbyist and campaign hatchet man. One of his first clients was the Enron Corporation--a deal arranged by Karl Rove when George W. Bush was starting to think about running for President in 2000. Rove wasn't ready to put Reed directly on a campaign payroll but presumably wanted to cultivate good will from Reed toward the coming Bush candidacy. Enron paid Reed's Century Strategies more than $300,000 to generate support for energy deregulation. In the 2000 GOP presidential primary, Reed justified his big Enron fee by helping to smear John McCain during the South Carolina primary. Now McCain's Indian Affairs subcommittee is investigating Indian gambling in the context of lobbying abuses, kickbacks and money laundering, with public hearings scheduled for early September.

    Reed is in charge of Bush's 2004 election campaign in the Southeast, including Florida. In 2000, he was paid almost $3.7 million for helping Bush. In 1995, when he was still exploiting intolerance and fear, Time did a story on him that included the cover line "The right hand of God." Today God's right hand seems to be holding dice and a bloody political hatchet.

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

    Yanks Boo Cheney

    Fair enough, Yankee fans would boo their own mothers, but entertaining none the less. ESPN:

    Cheney, who visited both clubhouses after batting practice, watched part of the game from the box of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and part from a first-row seat next to the Yankees dugout, where he sat between New York Gov. George Pataki and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Cheney was booed when he was shown on the right-field videoboard during the seventh-inning stretch.
    You'll recall that Bush also had an amusing baseball booing episode.

    Posted by Eric at 03:24 AM | Comments (24)

    Yanks Boo Cheney

    Fair enough, Yankee fans would boo their own mothers, but entertaining none the less. ESPN:

    Cheney, who visited both clubhouses after batting practice, watched part of the game from the box of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and part from a first-row seat next to the Yankees dugout, where he sat between New York Gov. George Pataki and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Cheney was booed when he was shown on the right-field videoboard during the seventh-inning stretch.
    You'll recall that Bush also had an amusing baseball booing episode.

    Posted by Eric at 03:24 AM | Comments (0)

    June 29, 2004

    Buckley on War

    In hindsight, William F. Buckley Jr tells the NY Times:

    "With the benefit of minute hindsight, Saddam Hussein wasn't the kind of extra-territorial menace that was assumed by the administration one year ago," Mr. Buckley said. "If I knew then what I know now about what kind of situation we would be in, I would have opposed the war."
    Atrios has a few words on the conservative thinker.

    Posted by Eric at 09:09 AM | Comments (54)

    Buckley on War

    In hindsight, William F. Buckley Jr tells the NY Times:

    "With the benefit of minute hindsight, Saddam Hussein wasn't the kind of extra-territorial menace that was assumed by the administration one year ago," Mr. Buckley said. "If I knew then what I know now about what kind of situation we would be in, I would have opposed the war."
    Atrios has a few words on the conservative thinker.

    Posted by Eric at 09:09 AM | Comments (9)

    June 24, 2004

    Bloomberg Irks Republicans

    With reelection next year in the Democratic city of New York, Mayor Bloomberg is stepping up criticisms of Republicans in Congress:

    Until recently, Bloomberg had taken a low-key approach to the city's campaign for more homeland security funding. But the gloves came off when the mayor disinvited Bob Ney, R-Ohio, to a luncheon with wealthy New Yorkers expected to donate to Republicans.

    The mayor was angered by lawmakers, including Ney, who voted 237-171 against an amendment that would have shifted about $450 million in anti-terror funding from rural areas to big cities like New York at high risk of attack. Voting against the measure were 147 Republicans, 89 Democrats and an independent.

    The canceled lunch left a bad taste in the mouths of a number of politicos. And chief among them was Ney, who holds a key insider position in Washington as an official with the National Republican Congressional Committee, which helps elect Republicans to the House.

    The mayor's remarks "crossed the line" by implying Ney wasn't taking the war on terrorism seriously," Ney said Wednesday.

    Posted by Eric at 01:09 AM | Comments (45)

    Bloomberg Irks Republicans

    With reelection next year in the Democratic city of New York, Mayor Bloomberg is stepping up criticisms of Republicans in Congress:

    Until recently, Bloomberg had taken a low-key approach to the city's campaign for more homeland security funding. But the gloves came off when the mayor disinvited Bob Ney, R-Ohio, to a luncheon with wealthy New Yorkers expected to donate to Republicans.

    The mayor was angered by lawmakers, including Ney, who voted 237-171 against an amendment that would have shifted about $450 million in anti-terror funding from rural areas to big cities like New York at high risk of attack. Voting against the measure were 147 Republicans, 89 Democrats and an independent.

    The canceled lunch left a bad taste in the mouths of a number of politicos. And chief among them was Ney, who holds a key insider position in Washington as an official with the National Republican Congressional Committee, which helps elect Republicans to the House.

    The mayor's remarks "crossed the line" by implying Ney wasn't taking the war on terrorism seriously," Ney said Wednesday.

    Posted by Eric at 01:09 AM | Comments (4)

    John Kerry - Ronald Reagan '04

    Now wouldn't that be interesting. Anyway, Ronald Reagan Jr. on Larry King Live:

    REAGAN: Absolutely, a terrible mistake. Terrible foreign policy error. We didn't have to do it. It was optional. And we were lied to. The American public was lied to about WMD, the connection between Osama bin Laden and Saddam, which is virtually nonexistent except for fleeting contacts. But they're still trying to pull that one off now, Cheney and all are out there flogging that.

    KING: Can I gather from that, that you will not support this president?

    REAGAN: No, I won't.

    KING: Will you support his opponent?

    REAGAN: I will vote for whoever the viable candidate is who can defeat George W. Bush, yes.

    KING: So, you might vote for Ralph Nader?

    REAGAN: If he were a viable candidate I might.

    KING: So the obviously you're going to vote -- what did you think your father would say, if he were here and listening to this?

    REAGAN: I don't think he would have gone into Iraq. I think he would have been much more interested in going after Osama bin Laden, who after all planned the 9/11 transactions.

    KING: Would he be mad at you for saying, I'm not going to vote for this Republican?

    REAGAN: I can't imagine he would be. So long as I was telling the truth he'd be okay with that. And I am. So -- no, I don't think he'd be upset. Again, these are just my personal feelings you've asked, so I'll answer.

    Posted by Eric at 01:04 AM | Comments (15)

    John Kerry - Ronald Reagan '04

    Now wouldn't that be interesting. Anyway, Ronald Reagan Jr. on Larry King Live:

    REAGAN: Absolutely, a terrible mistake. Terrible foreign policy error. We didn't have to do it. It was optional. And we were lied to. The American public was lied to about WMD, the connection between Osama bin Laden and Saddam, which is virtually nonexistent except for fleeting contacts. But they're still trying to pull that one off now, Cheney and all are out there flogging that.

    KING: Can I gather from that, that you will not support this president?

    REAGAN: No, I won't.

    KING: Will you support his opponent?

    REAGAN: I will vote for whoever the viable candidate is who can defeat George W. Bush, yes.

    KING: So, you might vote for Ralph Nader?

    REAGAN: If he were a viable candidate I might.

    KING: So the obviously you're going to vote -- what did you think your father would say, if he were here and listening to this?

    REAGAN: I don't think he would have gone into Iraq. I think he would have been much more interested in going after Osama bin Laden, who after all planned the 9/11 transactions.

    KING: Would he be mad at you for saying, I'm not going to vote for this Republican?

    REAGAN: I can't imagine he would be. So long as I was telling the truth he'd be okay with that. And I am. So -- no, I don't think he'd be upset. Again, these are just my personal feelings you've asked, so I'll answer.

    Posted by Eric at 01:04 AM | Comments (3)

    June 22, 2004

    Cheney Lies Again

    From WPost's Al Kamen:

    June 17, 2004. Vice President Cheney talking to CNBC's Gloria Borger.

    Borger: "Well, let's go to MohamedAtta for a minute, because you mentioned him as well. You have said in the past that it was, quote, 'pretty well confirmed.' "

    Cheney: "No, I never said that."

    Borger: "Okay."

    Cheney: "Never said that."

    Borger: "I think that is . . . "

    Cheney: "Absolutely not. What I said was the Czech intelligence service reported after 9/11 that Atta had been in Prague on April 9th of 2001, where he allegedly met with an Iraqi intelligence official. We have never been able to confirm that nor have we been able to knock it down."

    On Dec. 9, 2001. Cheney talking to NBC's Tim Russert.

    Cheney: "Well, what we now have that's developed since you and I last talked, Tim, of course, was that report that -- it's been pretty well confirmed that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack. Now, what the purpose of that was, what transpired between them, we simply don't know at this point, but that's clearly an avenue that we want to pursue."

    Posted by Eric at 12:45 AM | Comments (24)

    Cheney Lies Again

    From WPost's Al Kamen:

    June 17, 2004. Vice President Cheney talking to CNBC's Gloria Borger.

    Borger: "Well, let's go to MohamedAtta for a minute, because you mentioned him as well. You have said in the past that it was, quote, 'pretty well confirmed.' "

    Cheney: "No, I never said that."

    Borger: "Okay."

    Cheney: "Never said that."

    Borger: "I think that is . . . "

    Cheney: "Absolutely not. What I said was the Czech intelligence service reported after 9/11 that Atta had been in Prague on April 9th of 2001, where he allegedly met with an Iraqi intelligence official. We have never been able to confirm that nor have we been able to knock it down."

    On Dec. 9, 2001. Cheney talking to NBC's Tim Russert.

    Cheney: "Well, what we now have that's developed since you and I last talked, Tim, of course, was that report that -- it's been pretty well confirmed that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack. Now, what the purpose of that was, what transpired between them, we simply don't know at this point, but that's clearly an avenue that we want to pursue."

    Posted by Eric at 12:45 AM | Comments (2)

    June 21, 2004

    Clinton Interview in Guardian

    Interesting.

    The book comes out tomorrow.

    Posted by Eric at 02:07 AM | Comments (2)

    Clinton Interview in Guardian

    Interesting.

    The book comes out tomorrow.

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

    June 18, 2004

    Draft Bruce for Convention Distraction

    Link via Talk Left, a concert promoter has "put Giants Stadium on hold on September 1" in the hopes that The Boss will put on a concert against Bush. http://www.draftbruce.com/:

    On September 1, the Republicans will hold their convention in New York City and will nominate George Bush for President. Many people will see this event as it will be broadcast on all the major television networks. However, an opportunity exists at that time to make it clear to Americans that they can choose an alternative to George Bush.

    I have put Giants Stadium on hold on September 1 in the hope that you will lead the music industry in coming together and perform in a concert for change. Once it is known that you are involved, many other artists will want to perform with you. Together your collective voices and music will send a clear message to all Americans that our country needs their vote to create change. The event is called VoteAid: "Concert for Change" and we think that it has the potential to become the largest concert in history. We would like the money that this concert generates to go to support voter registration and participation throughout the country, but more importantly your decision to play at exactly the same time George Bush is being nominated will focus all Americans on the importance in this election for their future as well as the future of the world.

    I have asked the undersigned to join me in signing this letter.

    We need you.

    Posted by Eric at 04:15 AM | Comments (24)

    Draft Bruce for Convention Distraction

    Link via Talk Left, a concert promoter has "put Giants Stadium on hold on September 1" in the hopes that The Boss will put on a concert against Bush. http://www.draftbruce.com/:

    On September 1, the Republicans will hold their convention in New York City and will nominate George Bush for President. Many people will see this event as it will be broadcast on all the major television networks. However, an opportunity exists at that time to make it clear to Americans that they can choose an alternative to George Bush.

    I have put Giants Stadium on hold on September 1 in the hope that you will lead the music industry in coming together and perform in a concert for change. Once it is known that you are involved, many other artists will want to perform with you. Together your collective voices and music will send a clear message to all Americans that our country needs their vote to create change. The event is called VoteAid: "Concert for Change" and we think that it has the potential to become the largest concert in history. We would like the money that this concert generates to go to support voter registration and participation throughout the country, but more importantly your decision to play at exactly the same time George Bush is being nominated will focus all Americans on the importance in this election for their future as well as the future of the world.

    I have asked the undersigned to join me in signing this letter.

    We need you.

    Posted by Eric at 04:15 AM | Comments (4)

    Cheney Blames Media for Reporting; Still Claims Link

    There goes ol' Cheney:

    Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday the evidence is "overwhelming" that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, and he said media reports suggesting that the 9/11 commission has reached a contradictory conclusion were "irresponsible."

    "There clearly was a relationship. It's been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming," Cheney said in an interview with CNBC's "Capitol Report."

    "It goes back to the early '90s. It involves a whole series of contacts, high-level contacts with Osama bin Laden and Iraqi intelligence officials."

    "The press, with all due respect, (is) often times lazy, often times simply reports what somebody else in the press said without doing their homework."

    Members of 9/11 commission found "no credible evidence" that Iraq was involved in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks carried out by al Qaeda hijackers, and they concluded that there was "no collaborative relationship" between Iraq and Osama bin Laden, the network's leader, according to details of its findings disclosed Wednesday at a public hearing.

    However, the commission also found that bin Laden did "explore possible cooperation with Iraq."

    And shall we reiterate:
    ALISON CALDWELL: Peter Bergen, you're the author of Holy War, Inc: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden.

    Can you tell us if in your research over the past few years, have you ever seen any tangible sign of cooperation between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden?

    PETER BERGEN: The short answer is no.

    One of the striking things about al-Qaeda is how few Iraqis there are in the organisation. A lot of Saudis, a lot of Algerians, a lot of Yemenis, but no Iraqis. There are probably more American members of al-Qaeda than Iraqis, and stronger ties to Brooklyn than Baghdad, if al-Qaeda had an office in Brooklyn.

    But I mean the larger point is there were no substantive dealings between al-Qaeda and Iraq. I mean, they met in Sudan on a number of occasions. We know from the United Nations you can have meetings without results, and that was the case you can't point to any outcomes.

    ALISON CALDWELL: So when President Bush says there are numerous contacts between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein...

    PETER BERGEN: Well, it's an interesting kind of construct, isn't it? Because, I mean, I have contacts with all sorts of people, I met with bin Laden it's doesn't mean I did business with him. You know, I think this is grasping at straws at this point.

    Posted by Eric at 03:23 AM | Comments (37)

    Cheney Blames Media for Reporting; Still Claims Link

    There goes ol' Cheney:

    Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday the evidence is "overwhelming" that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, and he said media reports suggesting that the 9/11 commission has reached a contradictory conclusion were "irresponsible."

    "There clearly was a relationship. It's been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming," Cheney said in an interview with CNBC's "Capitol Report."

    "It goes back to the early '90s. It involves a whole series of contacts, high-level contacts with Osama bin Laden and Iraqi intelligence officials."

    "The press, with all due respect, (is) often times lazy, often times simply reports what somebody else in the press said without doing their homework."

    Members of 9/11 commission found "no credible evidence" that Iraq was involved in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks carried out by al Qaeda hijackers, and they concluded that there was "no collaborative relationship" between Iraq and Osama bin Laden, the network's leader, according to details of its findings disclosed Wednesday at a public hearing.

    However, the commission also found that bin Laden did "explore possible cooperation with Iraq."

    And shall we reiterate:
    ALISON CALDWELL: Peter Bergen, you're the author of Holy War, Inc: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden.

    Can you tell us if in your research over the past few years, have you ever seen any tangible sign of cooperation between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden?

    PETER BERGEN: The short answer is no.

    One of the striking things about al-Qaeda is how few Iraqis there are in the organisation. A lot of Saudis, a lot of Algerians, a lot of Yemenis, but no Iraqis. There are probably more American members of al-Qaeda than Iraqis, and stronger ties to Brooklyn than Baghdad, if al-Qaeda had an office in Brooklyn.

    But I mean the larger point is there were no substantive dealings between al-Qaeda and Iraq. I mean, they met in Sudan on a number of occasions. We know from the United Nations you can have meetings without results, and that was the case you can't point to any outcomes.

    ALISON CALDWELL: So when President Bush says there are numerous contacts between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein...

    PETER BERGEN: Well, it's an interesting kind of construct, isn't it? Because, I mean, I have contacts with all sorts of people, I met with bin Laden it's doesn't mean I did business with him. You know, I think this is grasping at straws at this point.

    Posted by Eric at 03:23 AM | Comments (4)

    June 16, 2004

    Pentagon: Breaking Laws to Help Halliburton

    HalliburtonWatch on the latest Congressional hearings:

    The GAO told Congressional investigators today that Pentagon officials "overstepped the latitude provided by competition laws" before the war by awarding oil-related work to Halliburton under a pre- existing global logistics contract (LOGCAP).

    Testimony before the House Committee on Government Reform hearing confirmed today that Bush administration political appointees overruled career contracting officials in the Pentagon by giving Halliburton the oil-related task order months before the invasion of Iraq.

    The hearing came two days after Pentagon officials admitted that Pentagon political appointees notified Vice President Cheney's chief of staff of the decision to award Halliburton a no-bid contract to repair Iraq's oil infrastructure.

    Contracting experts say it is highly unusual for political appointees to be involved in the contracting process since contracts are normally awarded by career civil servants with expertise in government contracting. Involvement by Cheney's chief of staff in the contracting process contradicts Cheney's assertion that he had no role in awarding contracts to his former company.

    At the same time, the committee's failure to call Halliburton whistleblowers to testify underscores Congress' continuing failure to hold the company accountable for contracting abuses and potential fraud.

    CAP has more on Cheney's deception regarding the contracts.

    Posted by Eric at 01:13 AM | Comments (0)

    Pentagon: Breaking Laws to Help Halliburton

    HalliburtonWatch on the latest Congressional hearings:

    The GAO told Congressional investigators today that Pentagon officials "overstepped the latitude provided by competition laws" before the war by awarding oil-related work to Halliburton under a pre- existing global logistics contract (LOGCAP).

    Testimony before the House Committee on Government Reform hearing confirmed today that Bush administration political appointees overruled career contracting officials in the Pentagon by giving Halliburton the oil-related task order months before the invasion of Iraq.

    The hearing came two days after Pentagon officials admitted that Pentagon political appointees notified Vice President Cheney's chief of staff of the decision to award Halliburton a no-bid contract to repair Iraq's oil infrastructure.

    Contracting experts say it is highly unusual for political appointees to be involved in the contracting process since contracts are normally awarded by career civil servants with expertise in government contracting. Involvement by Cheney's chief of staff in the contracting process contradicts Cheney's assertion that he had no role in awarding contracts to his former company.

    At the same time, the committee's failure to call Halliburton whistleblowers to testify underscores Congress' continuing failure to hold the company accountable for contracting abuses and potential fraud.

    CAP has more on Cheney's deception regarding the contracts.

    Posted by Eric at 01:13 AM | Comments (0)

    June 15, 2004

    Media Research Center: AIDs Small Issue

    Link from The Progress Report, apparently the conservative Media Research Center thinks AIDs isn't much of a problem:

    "Most Americans liked Ronald Reagan for the big things he did - beating the Soviet Union in the Cold War, freeing millions from communism, reinvigorating the economy," said Rich Noyes, the MRC's research director. "Liberals like to attack him on a range of smaller issues, like AIDS and homelessness and so-called budget cuts."

    Posted by Eric at 04:21 PM | Comments (1)

    Media Research Center: AIDs Small Issue

    Link from The Progress Report, apparently the conservative Media Research Center thinks AIDs isn't much of a problem:

    "Most Americans liked Ronald Reagan for the big things he did - beating the Soviet Union in the Cold War, freeing millions from communism, reinvigorating the economy," said Rich Noyes, the MRC's research director. "Liberals like to attack him on a range of smaller issues, like AIDS and homelessness and so-called budget cuts."

    Posted by Eric at 04:21 PM | Comments (2)

    Cheney Again Claims al-Qaida - Saddam Link

    In a speech to The James Madison Institute:

    Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that Saddam Hussein had "long-established ties" with al Qaida, an assertion that has been repeatedly challenged by some policy experts and lawmakers ... "He was a patron of terrorism," Cheney said of Hussein during a speech before The James Madison Institute, a conservative think-tank based in Florida. "He had long established ties with al Qaida."

    In making the case for war in Iraq, Bush administration officials frequently cited what they said were Saddam's decade-long contacts with al-Qaida operatives. They stopped short of claiming that Iraq was directly involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, but critics say Bush officials left that impression with the American public.

    Cheney listed what he described as the accomplishments of the Bush administration in the war on terror, including fledgling democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq; and the decision by Libya's leader, Moammar Gadhafi, to abandon his nuclear ambitions.

    And my favorite paragraph from the article: "The vice president offered no details backing up his claim of a link between Saddam and al Qaida."

    Of course. Kos has more.

    Posted by Eric at 05:27 AM | Comments (23)

    Cheney Again Claims al-Qaida - Saddam Link

    In a speech to The James Madison Institute:

    Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that Saddam Hussein had "long-established ties" with al Qaida, an assertion that has been repeatedly challenged by some policy experts and lawmakers ... "He was a patron of terrorism," Cheney said of Hussein during a speech before The James Madison Institute, a conservative think-tank based in Florida. "He had long established ties with al Qaida."

    In making the case for war in Iraq, Bush administration officials frequently cited what they said were Saddam's decade-long contacts with al-Qaida operatives. They stopped short of claiming that Iraq was directly involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, but critics say Bush officials left that impression with the American public.

    Cheney listed what he described as the accomplishments of the Bush administration in the war on terror, including fledgling democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq; and the decision by Libya's leader, Moammar Gadhafi, to abandon his nuclear ambitions.

    And my favorite paragraph from the article: "The vice president offered no details backing up his claim of a link between Saddam and al Qaida."

    Of course. Kos has more.

    Posted by Eric at 05:27 AM | Comments (0)

    June 11, 2004

    Reagan on AIDs

    This has been posted all over the net, but it's worth reposting again. Reagan press briefing with Larry Speakes, Oct 1982.

    Q: Larry, does the President have any reaction to the announcement from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, that AIDS is now an epidemic and have over 600 cases?
    MR. SPEAKES: What's AIDS?
    Q: Over a third of them have died. It's known as "gay plague." (Laughter.) No, it is. I mean it's a pretty serious thing that one in every three people that get this have died. And I wondered if the President is aware of it?
    MR. SPEAKES: I don't have it. Do you? (Laughter.)
    Q: No, I don't.
    MR. SPEAKES: You didn't answer my question.
    Q: Well, I just wondered, does the President ...
    MR. SPEAKES: How do you know? (Laughter.)
    Q: In other words, the White House looks on this as a great joke?
    MR. SPEAKES: No, I don't know anything about it, Lester.
    Q: Does the President, does anyone in the White House know about this epidemic, Larry?
    MR. SPEAKES: I don't think so. I don't think there's been any ...
    Q: Nobody knows?
    MR. SPEAKES: There has been no personal experience here, Lester.
    Q: No, I mean, I thought you were keeping ...
    MR. SPEAKES: I checked thoroughly with Dr. Ruge this morning and he's had no - (laughter) - no patients suffering from AIDS or whatever it is.
    Q: The President doesn't have gay plague, is that what you're saying or what?
    MR. SPEAKES: No, I didn't say that.
    Q: Didn't say that?
    MR. SPEAKES: I thought I heard you on the State Department over there. Why didn't you stay there? (Laughter.)
    Q: Because I love you Larry, that's why (Laughter.)
    MR. SPEAKES: Oh I see. Just don't put it in those terms, Lester. (Laughter.)
    Q: Oh, I retract that.
    MR. SPEAKES: I hope so.
    Q: It's too late.
    Michael Miner wonders why the fawning media didn't mention this part of the Reagan presidency.

    Posted by Eric at 02:57 AM | Comments (42)

    Reagan on AIDs

    This has been posted all over the net, but it's worth reposting again. Reagan press briefing with Larry Speakes, Oct 1982.

    Q: Larry, does the President have any reaction to the announcement from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, that AIDS is now an epidemic and have over 600 cases?
    MR. SPEAKES: What's AIDS?
    Q: Over a third of them have died. It's known as "gay plague." (Laughter.) No, it is. I mean it's a pretty serious thing that one in every three people that get this have died. And I wondered if the President is aware of it?
    MR. SPEAKES: I don't have it. Do you? (Laughter.)
    Q: No, I don't.
    MR. SPEAKES: You didn't answer my question.
    Q: Well, I just wondered, does the President ...
    MR. SPEAKES: How do you know? (Laughter.)
    Q: In other words, the White House looks on this as a great joke?
    MR. SPEAKES: No, I don't know anything about it, Lester.
    Q: Does the President, does anyone in the White House know about this epidemic, Larry?
    MR. SPEAKES: I don't think so. I don't think there's been any ...
    Q: Nobody knows?
    MR. SPEAKES: There has been no personal experience here, Lester.
    Q: No, I mean, I thought you were keeping ...
    MR. SPEAKES: I checked thoroughly with Dr. Ruge this morning and he's had no - (laughter) - no patients suffering from AIDS or whatever it is.
    Q: The President doesn't have gay plague, is that what you're saying or what?
    MR. SPEAKES: No, I didn't say that.
    Q: Didn't say that?
    MR. SPEAKES: I thought I heard you on the State Department over there. Why didn't you stay there? (Laughter.)
    Q: Because I love you Larry, that's why (Laughter.)
    MR. SPEAKES: Oh I see. Just don't put it in those terms, Lester. (Laughter.)
    Q: Oh, I retract that.
    MR. SPEAKES: I hope so.
    Q: It's too late.
    Michael Miner wonders why the fawning media didn't mention this part of the Reagan presidency.

    Posted by Eric at 02:57 AM | Comments (1)

    Jack Black at the MTV Movie Awards

    Won Best Comedic Performance for his role in 'School of Rock.'

    Posted by Eric at 02:36 AM | Comments (31)

    Jack Black at the MTV Movie Awards

    Won Best Comedic Performance for his role in 'School of Rock.'

    Posted by Eric at 02:36 AM | Comments (5)

    June 08, 2004

    Shrink Analyzes Bush

    A "professor of psychiatry at George Washington University Medical Center" (represent) has a new book on Bush in which he claims:

    Based on his applied psychoanalysis of Dubya's life, the White House is occupied by an "untreated ex-alcoholic" with paranoid and megalomaniac tendencies. Even though he's a helluva nice guy ... George H.W. Bush's "emotional and physical absence during his son's youth triggered feelings of both adoration and revenge in George W."

    Bush has shown a "lifelong streak of sadism," ranging from "childhood pranks (using firecrackers to explode frogs)" to "insulting journalists, gloating over state executions ... [and] pumping his fist gleefully before the bombing of Baghdad."

    Bush's years of drinking "may have affected his brain function - and his decision to quit drinking without the help of a 12-step program [puts] him at far higher risk of relapse."

    Frank's recommendation? "The sole treatment option - for his benefit and ours - is to remove [him] from office."

    Posted by Eric at 08:26 AM | Comments (38)

    Shrink Analyzes Bush

    A "professor of psychiatry at George Washington University Medical Center" (represent) has a new book on Bush in which he claims:

    Based on his applied psychoanalysis of Dubya's life, the White House is occupied by an "untreated ex-alcoholic" with paranoid and megalomaniac tendencies. Even though he's a helluva nice guy ... George H.W. Bush's "emotional and physical absence during his son's youth triggered feelings of both adoration and revenge in George W."

    Bush has shown a "lifelong streak of sadism," ranging from "childhood pranks (using firecrackers to explode frogs)" to "insulting journalists, gloating over state executions ... [and] pumping his fist gleefully before the bombing of Baghdad."

    Bush's years of drinking "may have affected his brain function - and his decision to quit drinking without the help of a 12-step program [puts] him at far higher risk of relapse."

    Frank's recommendation? "The sole treatment option - for his benefit and ours - is to remove [him] from office."

    Posted by Eric at 08:26 AM | Comments (6)

    June 04, 2004

    RNC Head Ed Gillespie Flashback

    While Ed Gillespie is attacking John Kerry for his riches at Kerryopoly, let's not forget this gem from Ed's past:

    By appointing Ed Gillespie, a leading corporate lobbyist, to head the Republican National Committee, President Bush has opened a conduit for Corporate America to strengthen its already formidable influence in the White House and Congress, Public Citizen said today.

    The lobbying firm Gillespie co-founded in 2000, Quinn, Gillespie & Associates, has grown into one of the capitals most lucrative, in part because of Gillespies strong ties to the Bush administration ... Gillespie has worked to keep national energy policy in lockstep with the wishes of Enron and other energy giants. Quinn Gillespie earned $700,000 from Enron in 2001 alone to lobby the White House on the electricity crisis on the West Coast. The administration aggressively supported Enrons position against re-regulating electricity markets. Gillespie also channeled money from DaimlerChrysler and Enron to his 21st Energy Project, which bought print and television ads in July 2001 to promote the administrations energy plans, including blocking any increase in fuel-economy standards.

    Posted by Eric at 02:58 AM | Comments (31)

    RNC Head Ed Gillespie Flashback

    While Ed Gillespie is attacking John Kerry for his riches at Kerryopoly, let's not forget this gem from Ed's past:

    By appointing Ed Gillespie, a leading corporate lobbyist, to head the Republican National Committee, President Bush has opened a conduit for Corporate America to strengthen its already formidable influence in the White House and Congress, Public Citizen said today.

    The lobbying firm Gillespie co-founded in 2000, Quinn, Gillespie & Associates, has grown into one of the capitals most lucrative, in part because of Gillespies strong ties to the Bush administration ... Gillespie has worked to keep national energy policy in lockstep with the wishes of Enron and other energy giants. Quinn Gillespie earned $700,000 from Enron in 2001 alone to lobby the White House on the electricity crisis on the West Coast. The administration aggressively supported Enrons position against re-regulating electricity markets. Gillespie also channeled money from DaimlerChrysler and Enron to his 21st Energy Project, which bought print and television ads in July 2001 to promote the administrations energy plans, including blocking any increase in fuel-economy standards.

    Posted by Eric at 02:58 AM | Comments (6)

    GOP Reaching Out to Gays

    By refusing a delegate spot at the RNC Convention to an openly gay Republican and, in North Carolina, refusing a convention table to Log Cabin Republicans.

    Posted by Eric at 02:47 AM | Comments (39)

    GOP Reaching Out to Gays

    By refusing a delegate spot at the RNC Convention to an openly gay Republican and, in North Carolina, refusing a convention table to Log Cabin Republicans.

    Posted by Eric at 02:47 AM | Comments (23)

    June 02, 2004

    RNC Using Drudge Rumor as Fact

    I love this. And they don't even stand behind their source, instead resorting to laundering the source of the report.

    The Republican National Committee (RNC) is using Matt Drudge's unsubstantiated rumor regarding Senator John Kerry's hair to attack the senator. The RNC claims, in its new online game "Kerryopoly," that Kerry paid $1,000 for a haircut. Interestingly, the RNC did not cite the original source of the rumor -- a Drudge Report "Exclusive" -- but, rather, cited an April 28 Washington Times "Inside Politics" column by Greg Pierce. But Pierce made it clear that his report was based on Drudge's "Exclusive"; moreover, Pierce cited Drudge five times in nine sentences, and everything in Pierce's report came directly from Drudge's "Exclusive." Drudge's unsubstantiated claim was thus laundered -- through The Washington Times -- into an RNC attack on Kerry.

    Posted by Eric at 10:29 PM | Comments (29)

    RNC Using Drudge Rumor as Fact

    I love this. And they don't even stand behind their source, instead resorting to laundering the source of the report.

    The Republican National Committee (RNC) is using Matt Drudge's unsubstantiated rumor regarding Senator John Kerry's hair to attack the senator. The RNC claims, in its new online game "Kerryopoly," that Kerry paid $1,000 for a haircut. Interestingly, the RNC did not cite the original source of the rumor -- a Drudge Report "Exclusive" -- but, rather, cited an April 28 Washington Times "Inside Politics" column by Greg Pierce. But Pierce made it clear that his report was based on Drudge's "Exclusive"; moreover, Pierce cited Drudge five times in nine sentences, and everything in Pierce's report came directly from Drudge's "Exclusive." Drudge's unsubstantiated claim was thus laundered -- through The Washington Times -- into an RNC attack on Kerry.

    Posted by Eric at 10:29 PM | Comments (2)

    Bush: Current War as Heroic as WW2 or Cold War

    In a speech to the Air Force Academy on Wednesday, AP:

    In a commencement speech at the Air Force Academy on Wednesday, Bush was to tell graduating cadets they would be joining a conflict as heroic as World War II or the Cold War.

    Bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq, Bush says, would undercut the stagnation and despair that feeds the extremist ideologies of al-Qaida and its terrorist allies ... ''Part of winning the war on terror is spreading freedom and democracy in the Middle East,'' Bush told reporters at the White House before leaving for Colorado on Tuesday.

    Previously, France had warned Bush:
    French officials fear George Bush will inflame anti-American sentiment in France this weekend by linking the D-Day landings with the invasion of Iraq.

    Advisers close to Jacques Chirac have let it be known that any reference to Iraq during the 60th anniversary of the Allied invasion of France on Sunday would be ill-advised and unwelcome ... "He'd better not go too far down the road of making a historical comparison because it's likely to backfire on him," said a source close to President Chirac.

    Posted by Eric at 04:21 PM | Comments (5)

    Bush: Current War as Heroic as WW2 or Cold War

    In a speech to the Air Force Academy on Wednesday, AP:

    In a commencement speech at the Air Force Academy on Wednesday, Bush was to tell graduating cadets they would be joining a conflict as heroic as World War II or the Cold War.

    Bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq, Bush says, would undercut the stagnation and despair that feeds the extremist ideologies of al-Qaida and its terrorist allies ... ''Part of winning the war on terror is spreading freedom and democracy in the Middle East,'' Bush told reporters at the White House before leaving for Colorado on Tuesday.

    Previously, France had warned Bush:
    French officials fear George Bush will inflame anti-American sentiment in France this weekend by linking the D-Day landings with the invasion of Iraq.

    Advisers close to Jacques Chirac have let it be known that any reference to Iraq during the 60th anniversary of the Allied invasion of France on Sunday would be ill-advised and unwelcome ... "He'd better not go too far down the road of making a historical comparison because it's likely to backfire on him," said a source close to President Chirac.

    Posted by Eric at 04:21 PM | Comments (3)

    June 01, 2004

    The Flip-Flopping President

    Courtesy of The Center for American Progress, 20 Flip Flops from George W. Bush. My favorite:

    BUSH SAYS WE FOUND THE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION..."We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratoriesfor those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them." [President Bush, Interview in Poland, 5/29/03]

    ...BUSH SAYS WE HAVEN'T FOUND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION "David Kay has found the capacity to produce weapons. And when David Kay goes in and says we haven't found stockpiles yet, and there's theories as to where the weapons went. They could have been destroyed during the war. Saddam and his henchmen could have destroyed them as we entered into Iraq. They could be hidden. They could have been transported to another country, and we'll find out." [President Bush, Meet the Press, 2/7/04]

    Posted by Eric at 09:27 PM | Comments (6)

    The Flip-Flopping President

    Courtesy of The Center for American Progress, 20 Flip Flops from George W. Bush. My favorite:

    BUSH SAYS WE FOUND THE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION..."We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratoriesfor those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them." [President Bush, Interview in Poland, 5/29/03]

    ...BUSH SAYS WE HAVEN'T FOUND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION "David Kay has found the capacity to produce weapons. And when David Kay goes in and says we haven't found stockpiles yet, and there's theories as to where the weapons went. They could have been destroyed during the war. Saddam and his henchmen could have destroyed them as we entered into Iraq. They could be hidden. They could have been transported to another country, and we'll find out." [President Bush, Meet the Press, 2/7/04]

    Posted by Eric at 09:27 PM | Comments (2)

    Ashcroft Out?

    It seems increasingly likely, as the AG is losing favor with the Bush administration. Can you wait for the tell-all book? From TIME:

    Has John Ashcroft fallen out of favor at the White House? The question may not be whether but how far. He was given a rare rebuke by Bush during the President's testimony before the 9/11 commission, over Ashcroft's political swipe at commission member Jamie Gorelick, a Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton. Well-placed Republican sources say the President has gone out of his way to take the spotlight off the Attorney General at high-profile law-enforcement-related events. It was Ashcroft's former deputy, Larry Thompson, now a visiting law professor at the University of Georgia, who joined Bush at a recent event promoting the Patriot Act in Buffalo, N.Y. And the White House prevailed upon Thompson to sit near Ashcroft during his testimony before the 9/11 commission in an attempt to soften the Attorney General's hard edge with commission members, who have grown contemptuous of his imperious manner and methods. Thompson, an African American, left Justice after serving almost two years under Ashcroft. Many believe Thompson may be back and in the top job if Bush wins a second term. In Buffalo, Bush extolled Thompson's credentials before a crowd and implied that Justice needs him back. "Larry, we miss you over there," Bush said. "Don't get too comfortable." Bush partisans interpreted those remarks and Thompson's rising profile as a sign the President is giving up on a long-term future for his truculent Attorney General. Said one: "Ashcroft will not be the A.G. by Christmas if Bush wins."
    Ashcroft can always go back to doing what he does best: losing elections to the deceased.

    Posted by Eric at 01:31 PM | Comments (34)

    Ashcroft Out?

    It seems increasingly likely, as the AG is losing favor with the Bush administration. Can you wait for the tell-all book? From TIME:

    Has John Ashcroft fallen out of favor at the White House? The question may not be whether but how far. He was given a rare rebuke by Bush during the President's testimony before the 9/11 commission, over Ashcroft's political swipe at commission member Jamie Gorelick, a Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton. Well-placed Republican sources say the President has gone out of his way to take the spotlight off the Attorney General at high-profile law-enforcement-related events. It was Ashcroft's former deputy, Larry Thompson, now a visiting law professor at the University of Georgia, who joined Bush at a recent event promoting the Patriot Act in Buffalo, N.Y. And the White House prevailed upon Thompson to sit near Ashcroft during his testimony before the 9/11 commission in an attempt to soften the Attorney General's hard edge with commission members, who have grown contemptuous of his imperious manner and methods. Thompson, an African American, left Justice after serving almost two years under Ashcroft. Many believe Thompson may be back and in the top job if Bush wins a second term. In Buffalo, Bush extolled Thompson's credentials before a crowd and implied that Justice needs him back. "Larry, we miss you over there," Bush said. "Don't get too comfortable." Bush partisans interpreted those remarks and Thompson's rising profile as a sign the President is giving up on a long-term future for his truculent Attorney General. Said one: "Ashcroft will not be the A.G. by Christmas if Bush wins."
    Ashcroft can always go back to doing what he does best: losing elections to the deceased.

    Posted by Eric at 01:31 PM | Comments (11)

    Bush Setting AF1 Record

    Getting his taxpayer funded benefits while he can. From the AP:

    President Bush is using Air Force One for re-election travel more heavily than any predecessor, wringing maximum political mileage from a perk of office paid for by taxpayers.

    While Democratic rival John Kerry digs into his campaign bank account to charter a plane to roam the country, Bush often travels at no cost to his campaign simply by declaring a trip "official" travel rather than "political."

    Even when the White House deems a trip as political, the cost to Bush's campaign is minimal. In such instances, the campaign must only pay the government the equivalent of a comparable first-class fare for each political traveler on each leg, Federal Election Commission guidelines say.

    Usually, that means paying a few hundred or a few thousand dollars for the president and a handful of aides. It's a minuscule sum, compared to the $56,800-per-hour the Air Force estimates it costs to run Air Force One.

    And here's your hypocritical moment of the day:
    It is an advantage that Bush and other presidents before him have enjoyed. President Clinton frequently was criticized by Republicans for his record-setting use of Air Force One in the campaign season, and Bush is exceeding Clinton's pace.

    Posted by Eric at 01:24 PM | Comments (11)

    Bush Setting AF1 Record

    Getting his taxpayer funded benefits while he can. From the AP:

    President Bush is using Air Force One for re-election travel more heavily than any predecessor, wringing maximum political mileage from a perk of office paid for by taxpayers.

    While Democratic rival John Kerry digs into his campaign bank account to charter a plane to roam the country, Bush often travels at no cost to his campaign simply by declaring a trip "official" travel rather than "political."

    Even when the White House deems a trip as political, the cost to Bush's campaign is minimal. In such instances, the campaign must only pay the government the equivalent of a comparable first-class fare for each political traveler on each leg, Federal Election Commission guidelines say.

    Usually, that means paying a few hundred or a few thousand dollars for the president and a handful of aides. It's a minuscule sum, compared to the $56,800-per-hour the Air Force estimates it costs to run Air Force One.

    And here's your hypocritical moment of the day:
    It is an advantage that Bush and other presidents before him have enjoyed. President Clinton frequently was criticized by Republicans for his record-setting use of Air Force One in the campaign season, and Bush is exceeding Clinton's pace.

    Posted by Eric at 01:24 PM | Comments (1)

    May 27, 2004

    Caring For Our Troops

    This is what Bush has said:

    "[When I am President, we] will not have our veterans standing in line waiting for benefits that they've been promised." (Federal Document Clearing House Political Transcripts, September 7, 2000)
    This is what Bush wants to do:
    Veterans Affairs would be cut by $910 million in 2006 from $29.7 billion in 2005 while spending growth at the Education Department would slow.

    Posted by Eric at 08:03 PM | Comments (12)

    Caring For Our Troops

    This is what Bush has said:

    "[When I am President, we] will not have our veterans standing in line waiting for benefits that they've been promised." (Federal Document Clearing House Political Transcripts, September 7, 2000)
    This is what Bush wants to do:
    Veterans Affairs would be cut by $910 million in 2006 from $29.7 billion in 2005 while spending growth at the Education Department would slow.

    Posted by Eric at 08:03 PM | Comments (2)

    May 26, 2004

    Questions, Smestions

    Yeah, it'd be nice to know the answer to these questions:

  • How long will our troops be in Iraq?
  • Who will be in charge of the new Iraqi government after June 30?
  • What kind of control will the new Iraqi government have over U.S. military forces?
  • How much will our continuing commitment in Iraq cost American taxpayers?
  • On CNN, Madeleine Albright had similar concerns about the ambiguity and lack of answers from Bush.
    First of all, there's still no guarantee that the Iraqi people will accept whatever interim government -- the sovereignty that we are going to turn over something to somebody -- but we're not clear yet what is what.

    The other question is whether the security will really be adequate because [these are] the same points that were made before: the Americans will train the Iraqis. How long will that take?

    Will there be help, in terms of the reconstruction of Iraq? Where will it come from? Who will do it? We have to let contracts [go] to somebody other than American companies.

    Will there, in fact, be international assistance, generally, on providing a multi-national force? And will these elections really take place?

    Posted by Eric at 03:49 AM | Comments (22)

    Questions, Smestions

    Yeah, it'd be nice to know the answer to these questions:

  • How long will our troops be in Iraq?
  • Who will be in charge of the new Iraqi government after June 30?
  • What kind of control will the new Iraqi government have over U.S. military forces?
  • How much will our continuing commitment in Iraq cost American taxpayers?
  • On CNN, Madeleine Albright had similar concerns about the ambiguity and lack of answers from Bush.
    First of all, there's still no guarantee that the Iraqi people will accept whatever interim government -- the sovereignty that we are going to turn over something to somebody -- but we're not clear yet what is what.

    The other question is whether the security will really be adequate because [these are] the same points that were made before: the Americans will train the Iraqis. How long will that take?

    Will there be help, in terms of the reconstruction of Iraq? Where will it come from? Who will do it? We have to let contracts [go] to somebody other than American companies.

    Will there, in fact, be international assistance, generally, on providing a multi-national force? And will these elections really take place?

    Posted by Eric at 03:49 AM | Comments (6)

    May 25, 2004

    DeLay the Hypocrite

    As noted in the Chicago Sun Times:

    News Item (2004): House Majority Leader Tom DeLay condemns House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for calling President Bush "incompetent" in time of war, saying, "Her words are putting American lives at risk."

    News Item (1999): House Majority Whip Tom DeLay questions the competence of President Clinton during Kosovo war, saying he committed American troops "unwisely" into a "Balkan quagmire."

    Posted by Eric at 08:45 AM | Comments (19)

    DeLay the Hypocrite

    As noted in the Chicago Sun Times:

    News Item (2004): House Majority Leader Tom DeLay condemns House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for calling President Bush "incompetent" in time of war, saying, "Her words are putting American lives at risk."

    News Item (1999): House Majority Whip Tom DeLay questions the competence of President Clinton during Kosovo war, saying he committed American troops "unwisely" into a "Balkan quagmire."

    Posted by Eric at 08:45 AM | Comments (6)

    Bush Addresses the Nation

    At least on the cable channels. The White House official transcript.

    The Washington Post writes:

    But Bush did not provide the midcourse correction that even some Republicans had called for in the face of increasingly macabre violence in recent weeks -- from the assassination of the president of Iraq's Governing Council and controversy over dozens killed by U.S. warplanes at a purported wedding party to the grisly beheading of an American civilian.

    Nor did Bush try to answer some of the looming questions that have triggered growing skepticism and anxiety at home and abroad about the final U.S. costs, the final length of stay for U.S. troops, or what the terms will be for a final U.S. exit from Iraq. After promising "concrete steps," the White House basically repackaged stalled U.S. policy as a five-step plan.

    The larger point of Bush's speech, according to the Post, was not necessarily about outlining a new bold plan, but reiterating that the "current plan is good enough to win." The NY Times in a similar fashion:
    Otherwise, Mr. Bush stuck to the basic approach he has settled on over the past several months, betting that his steady-on strategy would ultimately be judged resolute rather than inflexible or unrealistic. He again tied what is happening in Iraq to the broader war on terror, and he warned that the attacks in Iraq would not end with the planned handover of sovereignty in five weeks, but he was optimistic about the final outcome.
    The op-ed board writes that Bush failed to "come up with a realistic way to internationalize the military operation and to get Iraq's political groups beyond their current game of jockeying for power and into a real process of drafting a workable constitution."

    The Pitts Post-Gazette notes that "with few details, Bush rhetoric may fall short."

    Posted by Eric at 12:45 AM | Comments (28)

    Bush Addresses the Nation

    At least on the cable channels. The White House official transcript.

    The Washington Post writes:

    But Bush did not provide the midcourse correction that even some Republicans had called for in the face of increasingly macabre violence in recent weeks -- from the assassination of the president of Iraq's Governing Council and controversy over dozens killed by U.S. warplanes at a purported wedding party to the grisly beheading of an American civilian.

    Nor did Bush try to answer some of the looming questions that have triggered growing skepticism and anxiety at home and abroad about the final U.S. costs, the final length of stay for U.S. troops, or what the terms will be for a final U.S. exit from Iraq. After promising "concrete steps," the White House basically repackaged stalled U.S. policy as a five-step plan.

    The larger point of Bush's speech, according to the Post, was not necessarily about outlining a new bold plan, but reiterating that the "current plan is good enough to win." The NY Times in a similar fashion:
    Otherwise, Mr. Bush stuck to the basic approach he has settled on over the past several months, betting that his steady-on strategy would ultimately be judged resolute rather than inflexible or unrealistic. He again tied what is happening in Iraq to the broader war on terror, and he warned that the attacks in Iraq would not end with the planned handover of sovereignty in five weeks, but he was optimistic about the final outcome.
    The op-ed board writes that Bush failed to "come up with a realistic way to internationalize the military operation and to get Iraq's political groups beyond their current game of jockeying for power and into a real process of drafting a workable constitution."

    The Pitts Post-Gazette notes that "with few details, Bush rhetoric may fall short."

    Posted by Eric at 12:45 AM | Comments (13)

    May 24, 2004

    Carl Bernstein: Hold Bush Accountable

    The issue about Bush is "failure, or inability, to lead competently and honestly" and like Nixon, "this president decided the Constitution could be bent on his watch." Who will stand up to Bush? Bernstein suggests the GOP must hold the president unaccountable, though this is unlikely:

    To curtail any hint of dissension in the ranks, Bush scheduled a "pep rally" with congressional Republicans speaking 35 minutes, after which, characteristically, he took no questions and lawmakers dutifully circled the wagons.

    What did George W. Bush know and when did he know it? Another wartime president, Harry Truman, observed that the buck stops at the president's desk, not the Pentagon.

    But among Republicans today, there seems to be scant interest in asking tough questions or honoring the example of courageous leaders of Congress who, not long ago, stepped forward, setting principle before party, to hold accountable presidents who put their country in peril.

    Posted by Eric at 03:54 PM | Comments (4)

    Carl Bernstein: Hold Bush Accountable

    The issue about Bush is "failure, or inability, to lead competently and honestly" and like Nixon, "this president decided the Constitution could be bent on his watch." Who will stand up to Bush? Bernstein suggests the GOP must hold the president unaccountable, though this is unlikely:

    To curtail any hint of dissension in the ranks, Bush scheduled a "pep rally" with congressional Republicans speaking 35 minutes, after which, characteristically, he took no questions and lawmakers dutifully circled the wagons.

    What did George W. Bush know and when did he know it? Another wartime president, Harry Truman, observed that the buck stops at the president's desk, not the Pentagon.

    But among Republicans today, there seems to be scant interest in asking tough questions or honoring the example of courageous leaders of Congress who, not long ago, stepped forward, setting principle before party, to hold accountable presidents who put their country in peril.

    Posted by Eric at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)

    May 20, 2004

    The President Unpopular with Minorities

    Terry Neal in the Washington Post about Bush's poor standing with minorities:

    President Bush's campaign advisers sat down and crunched some numbers after the 2000 election and hypothesized that, because of the growth of minority populations, if whites and non-whites voted in the same proportions they did in the 2000 election, Democrats would win the White House by about three million votes in 2004.
    Why's that?
    This week, Cornell Belcher, a black pollster based in Washington, D.C., who works for several progressive organizations, shared some startling numbers with me. He has been doing monthly polling in six key battleground states -- Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Florida, Michigan and Nevada. Even as white voters nationwide have been moving toward negative feelings about the war, black voters have taken those feelings and supersized them.

    Seventy-three percent of African Americans in those states disagree that the war in Iraq is worth the U.S. casualties there because the country is safer. Sixty-three percent agree that America should cut its losses and pull out of Iraq right now.

    And here's the real kicker. On the question of whether Bush intentionally misled the country, 77 percent agree at least somewhat.

    In other words, distrust of the Right. And heck, why wouldn't you distrust the Right when the most trusted conservative commentator has a problem with color, and the President has this condescending section of his webpage.

    Posted by Eric at 06:04 PM | Comments (8)

    The President Unpopular with Minorities

    Terry Neal in the Washington Post about Bush's poor standing with minorities:

    President Bush's campaign advisers sat down and crunched some numbers after the 2000 election and hypothesized that, because of the growth of minority populations, if whites and non-whites voted in the same proportions they did in the 2000 election, Democrats would win the White House by about three million votes in 2004.
    Why's that?
    This week, Cornell Belcher, a black pollster based in Washington, D.C., who works for several progressive organizations, shared some startling numbers with me. He has been doing monthly polling in six key battleground states -- Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Florida, Michigan and Nevada. Even as white voters nationwide have been moving toward negative feelings about the war, black voters have taken those feelings and supersized them.

    Seventy-three percent of African Americans in those states disagree that the war in Iraq is worth the U.S. casualties there because the country is safer. Sixty-three percent agree that America should cut its losses and pull out of Iraq right now.

    And here's the real kicker. On the question of whether Bush intentionally misled the country, 77 percent agree at least somewhat.

    In other words, distrust of the Right. And heck, why wouldn't you distrust the Right when the most trusted conservative commentator has a problem with color, and the President has this condescending section of his webpage.

    Posted by Eric at 06:04 PM | Comments (2)

    The Unpopular President Continued

    Bush's unpopularity is prompting concern among some members of Congress, and dimming their reelection prospects. In The Hill:

    Republican members of Congress are growing increasingly concerned over President Bushs sinking approval rating and the souring public mood over the war in Iraq.

    At the same time, many members say Bushs poll numbers are also affecting them by coloring public opinion about the economy and other issues more directly linked to their own re-election prospects ...

    While most of the 20 House and Senate Republicans surveyed by The Hill as Congress prepared for the Memorial Day recess professed to be optimistic about the presidents public standing, many also hinted at anxieties.

    Iraq has become a concern, said Rep. Tom Feeney (Fla.). Its a picture that none of us see the end of.

    Indeed, House Democrats are now more popular than ever: "But perhaps most alarming for Republicans, a Time/CNN poll conducted May 12 and 13 showed that respondents favored Democrats over Republicans on a generic congressional ballot by a margin of 13 points, 53 to 40 percent."

    Posted by Eric at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)

    The Unpopular President Continued

    Bush's unpopularity is prompting concern among some members of Congress, and dimming their reelection prospects. In The Hill:

    Republican members of Congress are growing increasingly concerned over President Bushs sinking approval rating and the souring public mood over the war in Iraq.

    At the same time, many members say Bushs poll numbers are also affecting them by coloring public opinion about the economy and other issues more directly linked to their own re-election prospects ...

    While most of the 20 House and Senate Republicans surveyed by The Hill as Congress prepared for the Memorial Day recess professed to be optimistic about the presidents public standing, many also hinted at anxieties.

    Iraq has become a concern, said Rep. Tom Feeney (Fla.). Its a picture that none of us see the end of.

    Indeed, House Democrats are now more popular than ever: "But perhaps most alarming for Republicans, a Time/CNN poll conducted May 12 and 13 showed that respondents favored Democrats over Republicans on a generic congressional ballot by a margin of 13 points, 53 to 40 percent."

    Posted by Eric at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)

    Hastert Questions McCain's GOP Credentials

    House Speaker Dennis Hastert took a jab at Senator John McCain:

    The exchange started when a reporter asked: "Can I combine a two issues, Iraq and taxes? I heard a speech from John McCain the other day..."

    Hastert: "Who?"

    Reporter: "John McCain."

    Hastert: "Where's he from?"

    Reporter: "He's a Republican from Arizona."

    Hastert: "A Republican?"

    Amid nervous laughter, the reporter continued with his question: "Anyway, his observation was never before when we've been at war have we been worrying about cutting taxes and his question was, 'Where's the sacrifice?' "

    Hastert: "If you want to see the sacrifice, John McCain ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed and Bethesda. There's the sacrifice in this country. We're trying to make sure they have the ability to fight this war, that they have the wherewithal to be able to do it. And, at the same time, we have to react to keep this country strong."

    Denny Hastert lecturing John McCain on service. Ha.

    Posted by Eric at 04:23 AM | Comments (21)

    Hastert Questions McCain's GOP Credentials

    House Speaker Dennis Hastert took a jab at Senator John McCain:

    The exchange started when a reporter asked: "Can I combine a two issues, Iraq and taxes? I heard a speech from John McCain the other day..."

    Hastert: "Who?"

    Reporter: "John McCain."

    Hastert: "Where's he from?"

    Reporter: "He's a Republican from Arizona."

    Hastert: "A Republican?"

    Amid nervous laughter, the reporter continued with his question: "Anyway, his observation was never before when we've been at war have we been worrying about cutting taxes and his question was, 'Where's the sacrifice?' "

    Hastert: "If you want to see the sacrifice, John McCain ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed and Bethesda. There's the sacrifice in this country. We're trying to make sure they have the ability to fight this war, that they have the wherewithal to be able to do it. And, at the same time, we have to react to keep this country strong."

    Denny Hastert lecturing John McCain on service. Ha.

    Posted by Eric at 04:23 AM | Comments (5)

    May 19, 2004

    Rice to Leave by Year's End?

    Pleeeease, please, don't cry too many tears. If Bush wins, Rice won't stay, gossip some in the Washingtonian (link via Political Wire):

    A former Stanford provost, Rice has been telling pals that shes returning to California even if Bush is reelected.

    People who dont believe shes leaving dont know Condi, a friend says. Shes outta here, and that was happening before the commission mess.

    Sources in the Washingtonian also speculate that if Rice is nominated for a confirmation post, she may be "too controversial politically to ever get past a Senate confirmation hearing."

    Posted by Eric at 04:52 PM | Comments (13)

    Rice to Leave by Year's End?

    Pleeeease, please, don't cry too many tears. If Bush wins, Rice won't stay, gossip some in the Washingtonian (link via Political Wire):

    A former Stanford provost, Rice has been telling pals that shes returning to California even if Bush is reelected.

    People who dont believe shes leaving dont know Condi, a friend says. Shes outta here, and that was happening before the commission mess.

    Sources in the Washingtonian also speculate that if Rice is nominated for a confirmation post, she may be "too controversial politically to ever get past a Senate confirmation hearing."

    Posted by Eric at 04:52 PM | Comments (3)

    Bush Donors Cashing In

    The DNC has a decent special report on how HMOs, and other industry groups, have given millions to the GOP and gotten special favors in return.

    Recently, the Washington Post had a two-part series on the Bush fundraising pioneers.

    One of the more complete sites about the Bush fundraisers has been put together by Public Citizen at http://whitehouseforsale.org/

    Posted by Eric at 08:46 AM | Comments (35)

    Bush Donors Cashing In

    The DNC has a decent special report on how HMOs, and other industry groups, have given millions to the GOP and gotten special favors in return.

    Recently, the Washington Post had a two-part series on the Bush fundraising pioneers.

    One of the more complete sites about the Bush fundraisers has been put together by Public Citizen at http://whitehouseforsale.org/

    Posted by Eric at 08:46 AM | Comments (7)

    May 18, 2004

    If Rummy Resigns ...

    Will an equally inept guy take over, e.g. Paul Wolfowitz? That's the concern of some Democrats, AP:

    As details of prison abuses in Iraq surfaced, many Democrats on Capitol Hill demanded that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld resign. But not Sen. Carl Levin. The top Senate Democrat on a key military committee said he is wary about who might be the post-Rumsfeld secretary.

    "If it would be his deputy, I don't see that that would represent a change at all in terms of the direction we should go," Levin told reporters this month.

    Rumsfeld's deputy is Paul Wolfowitz. If Democrats are dissatisfied with Rumsfeld, that doesn't compare to the disdain some feel for the man seen as the intellectual architect of the Iraq war.

    Some of their anger spilled out at last week's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., told Wolfowitz his credibility had been undermined because he had "made numerous predictions, time and time again, that have turned out to be untrue and were based on faulty assumptions."

    My favorite Wolfowitz moment was his bashing of war hero Gen. Eric Shinseki:
    After Gen. Eric Shinseki, then the Army chief of staff, said in February 2003 that several hundred thousand troops would have to stay in Iraq after the war, Wolfowitz told a House panel that "we can say with reasonable confidence" the estimate was "way off the mark."

    Posted by Eric at 05:27 PM | Comments (13)

    If Rummy Resigns ...

    Will an equally inept guy take over, e.g. Paul Wolfowitz? That's the concern of some Democrats, AP:

    As details of prison abuses in Iraq surfaced, many Democrats on Capitol Hill demanded that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld resign. But not Sen. Carl Levin. The top Senate Democrat on a key military committee said he is wary about who might be the post-Rumsfeld secretary.

    "If it would be his deputy, I don't see that that would represent a change at all in terms of the direction we should go," Levin told reporters this month.

    Rumsfeld's deputy is Paul Wolfowitz. If Democrats are dissatisfied with Rumsfeld, that doesn't compare to the disdain some feel for the man seen as the intellectual architect of the Iraq war.

    Some of their anger spilled out at last week's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., told Wolfowitz his credibility had been undermined because he had "made numerous predictions, time and time again, that have turned out to be untrue and were based on faulty assumptions."

    My favorite Wolfowitz moment was his bashing of war hero Gen. Eric Shinseki:
    After Gen. Eric Shinseki, then the Army chief of staff, said in February 2003 that several hundred thousand troops would have to stay in Iraq after the war, Wolfowitz told a House panel that "we can say with reasonable confidence" the estimate was "way off the mark."

    Posted by Eric at 05:27 PM | Comments (13)

    Zell Miller Compares Abu Ghraib to Gym Class

    As Pandagon points out:

    Zell Miller compares the torture at Abu Ghraib to having to shower in gym class.

    Yes, I remember the first time I had to shower in a locker room. It was my first time naked (or with a towel on) in front of other men. I was embarassed a little bit. However, since nobody locked the door, put a bag over my head, beat me, sodomized me with broomsticks and light sticks, forced men into sexual acts with other people, threatened my life, and took pictures of the whole thing for their amusement, I never thought to compare it to what happened in Iraq, because it wasn't even in the same galaxy of occurences.

    Posted by Eric at 12:45 PM | Comments (4)

    Zell Miller Compares Abu Ghraib to Gym Class

    As Pandagon points out:

    Zell Miller compares the torture at Abu Ghraib to having to shower in gym class.

    Yes, I remember the first time I had to shower in a locker room. It was my first time naked (or with a towel on) in front of other men. I was embarassed a little bit. However, since nobody locked the door, put a bag over my head, beat me, sodomized me with broomsticks and light sticks, forced men into sexual acts with other people, threatened my life, and took pictures of the whole thing for their amusement, I never thought to compare it to what happened in Iraq, because it wasn't even in the same galaxy of occurences.

    Posted by Eric at 12:45 PM | Comments (9)

    Politicians Love Spam?

    Not the mystery meat (though the Hawaii delegation probably enjoys it), the junk email, notes the computer nerds at CNET:

    Russo, whose films include "The Rose" and "Trading Places," is not alone. Political spam has become a thoroughly nonpartisan communications technique, with Democrats, Republicans and third parties alike turning to bulk e-mail in numbers that are still small but steadily increasing. Two percent of all spam is political, according to statistics compiled by antispam vendor Brightmail.

    Since Jan. 1, a federal law has regulated spam. But if you look at the law's fine print, you'll find a telling exemption: Our elected representatives made sure the restrictions don't apply to them. As a result, the Can-Spam Act covers only e-mail promoting "a commercial product or service," which lets political spammers off the hook.

    Politicians love to spam for the same reason that Viagra vendors and alleged widows of deposed Nigerian dictators do: Bulk e-mail is a cheap way to reach lots of people. I wrote last year about how Sen. Joseph Lieberman was caught spamming, as was Howard Dean's ostensibly tech-savvy campaign. Republicans Bill Jones, the unsuccessful candidate for governor of California, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and senatorial candidate Elizabeth Dole have resorted to junk e-mail, too.

    Do emails from the Director-General in the Federal Ministry of Miniral and Energy in the Republic of South Africa count as political?

    Posted by Eric at 08:35 AM | Comments (3)

    Politicians Love Spam?

    Not the mystery meat (though the Hawaii delegation probably enjoys it), the junk email, notes the computer nerds at CNET:

    Russo, whose films include "The Rose" and "Trading Places," is not alone. Political spam has become a thoroughly nonpartisan communications technique, with Democrats, Republicans and third parties alike turning to bulk e-mail in numbers that are still small but steadily increasing. Two percent of all spam is political, according to statistics compiled by antispam vendor Brightmail.

    Since Jan. 1, a federal law has regulated spam. But if you look at the law's fine print, you'll find a telling exemption: Our elected representatives made sure the restrictions don't apply to them. As a result, the Can-Spam Act covers only e-mail promoting "a commercial product or service," which lets political spammers off the hook.

    Politicians love to spam for the same reason that Viagra vendors and alleged widows of deposed Nigerian dictators do: Bulk e-mail is a cheap way to reach lots of people. I wrote last year about how Sen. Joseph Lieberman was caught spamming, as was Howard Dean's ostensibly tech-savvy campaign. Republicans Bill Jones, the unsuccessful candidate for governor of California, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and senatorial candidate Elizabeth Dole have resorted to junk e-mail, too.

    Do emails from the Director-General in the Federal Ministry of Miniral and Energy in the Republic of South Africa count as political?

    Posted by Eric at 08:35 AM | Comments (2)

    May 17, 2004

    Powell: I was misled by CIA

    Claims the Secretary of State, whose credibility is currently shattered. NY Daily News:

    Secretary of State Powell said yesterday that some of the intelligence and evidence of banned weapons that he was fed were "deliberately misleading."
    Powell said he's "very concerned" about how the CIA prepared him ahead of his now-infamous UN speech in February 2003 that made America's case for war with Iraq.

    "It turned out that the sourcing was inaccurate and wrong and, in some cases, deliberately misleading," he told NBC's "Meet the Press."

    "And for that, I am disappointed and I regret it," he added.

    Posted by Eric at 06:00 PM | Comments (97)

    Powell: I was misled by CIA

    Claims the Secretary of State, whose credibility is currently shattered. NY Daily News:

    Secretary of State Powell said yesterday that some of the intelligence and evidence of banned weapons that he was fed were "deliberately misleading."
    Powell said he's "very concerned" about how the CIA prepared him ahead of his now-infamous UN speech in February 2003 that made America's case for war with Iraq.

    "It turned out that the sourcing was inaccurate and wrong and, in some cases, deliberately misleading," he told NBC's "Meet the Press."

    "And for that, I am disappointed and I regret it," he added.

    Posted by Eric at 06:00 PM | Comments (5)

    May 09, 2004

    Gen. Clark: "Bush made mistake after mistake as Commander-in-Chief..."

    "... He took us into a war we didn't have to wage, alone and under false pretenses and is now managing it poorly." From the Democratic radio address:

    Now the mission is in danger as the self-imposed June 30th deadline approaches. To prevent Iraq from becoming a failed state that breeds new terrorists, America must change course. Enough of the unilateralism and over reliance on the military. We must bring in our allies, give them a seat at the table and together create an international organization to provide economic and political assistance to the Iraqi. The US must not bear so much of the burden. We are unlikely to succeed if we continue to do so.

    With new American leadership we can gain real help from our NATO allies - and from countries in the region. With their help, we can create the conditions for free and fair elections, transition to a secure and free Iraq, and bring home much of our military.

    My fellow Americans. This is an election year. It is our duty to use the power of the vote and hold accountable our President. We need new leadership in America to keep us safe at home, and to regain respect for America abroad.

    An mp3 of the address can be found at WesPac.

    Posted by Eric at 07:01 AM | Comments (1)

    Gen. Clark: "Bush made mistake after mistake as Commander-in-Chief..."

    "... He took us into a war we didn't have to wage, alone and under false pretenses and is now managing it poorly." From the Democratic radio address:

    Now the mission is in danger as the self-imposed June 30th deadline approaches. To prevent Iraq from becoming a failed state that breeds new terrorists, America must change course. Enough of the unilateralism and over reliance on the military. We must bring in our allies, give them a seat at the table and together create an international organization to provide economic and political assistance to the Iraqi. The US must not bear so much of the burden. We are unlikely to succeed if we continue to do so.

    With new American leadership we can gain real help from our NATO allies - and from countries in the region. With their help, we can create the conditions for free and fair elections, transition to a secure and free Iraq, and bring home much of our military.

    My fellow Americans. This is an election year. It is our duty to use the power of the vote and hold accountable our President. We need new leadership in America to keep us safe at home, and to regain respect for America abroad.

    An mp3 of the address can be found at WesPac.

    Posted by Eric at 07:01 AM | Comments (5)

    Katherine Harris's Ballot Rejected

    Aw, poor thing. From the BBC:

    The Florida official who presided over the election which handed George W Bush his presidential victory in 2000 has had a ballot of her own rejected.
    Republican Congresswoman Katherine Harris admitted she forgot to sign her absentee ballot form in a local election.

    True, Longboat Key is electing a new councillor, not the US president, but she said she felt "terrible".

    "I know how important voting is," the former Florida state secretary added.

    Boy, does she. And remember all those people who, in response to the Florida recount, said stuff like, 'If they're not smart enough to vote right, their vote shouldn't count'?

    Posted by Eric at 04:23 AM | Comments (41)

    Katherine Harris's Ballot Rejected

    Aw, poor thing. From the BBC:

    The Florida official who presided over the election which handed George W Bush his presidential victory in 2000 has had a ballot of her own rejected.
    Republican Congresswoman Katherine Harris admitted she forgot to sign her absentee ballot form in a local election.

    True, Longboat Key is electing a new councillor, not the US president, but she said she felt "terrible".

    "I know how important voting is," the former Florida state secretary added.

    Boy, does she. And remember all those people who, in response to the Florida recount, said stuff like, 'If they're not smart enough to vote right, their vote shouldn't count'?

    Posted by Eric at 04:23 AM | Comments (15)

    May 07, 2004

    NY Times Calls for Rummy to Resign

    From the NY Times op-ed page:

    It is time now for Mr. Rumsfeld to go, and not only because he bears personal responsibility for the scandal of Abu Ghraib. That would certainly have been enough. The United States has been humiliated to a point where government officials could not release this year's international human rights report this week for fear of being scoffed at by the rest of the world. The reputation of its brave soldiers has been tarred, and the job of its diplomats made immeasurably harder because members of the American military tortured and humiliated Arab prisoners in ways guaranteed to inflame Muslim hearts everywhere. And this abuse was not an isolated event, as we know now and as Mr. Rumsfeld should have known, given the flood of complaints and reports directed to his office over the last year.

    The world is waiting now for a sign that President Bush understands the seriousness of what has happened. It needs to be more than his repeated statements that he is sorry the rest of the world does not "understand the true nature and heart of America." Mr. Bush should start showing the state of his own heart by demanding the resignation of his secretary of defense.

    This is far from a case of a fine cabinet official undone by the actions of a few obscure bad apples in the military police. Donald Rumsfeld has morphed, over the last two years, from a man of supreme confidence to arrogance, then to almost willful blindness. With the approval of the president, he sent American troops into a place whose nature and dangers he had apparently never bothered to examine.

    The Boston Globe also calls for Rumsfeld to resign.

    And The Economist.

    And, of course, John Kerry and other Democrats.

    Posted by Eric at 05:22 AM | Comments (3)

    NY Times Calls for Rummy to Resign

    From the NY Times op-ed page:

    It is time now for Mr. Rumsfeld to go, and not only because he bears personal responsibility for the scandal of Abu Ghraib. That would certainly have been enough. The United States has been humiliated to a point where government officials could not release this year's international human rights report this week for fear of being scoffed at by the rest of the world. The reputation of its brave soldiers has been tarred, and the job of its diplomats made immeasurably harder because members of the American military tortured and humiliated Arab prisoners in ways guaranteed to inflame Muslim hearts everywhere. And this abuse was not an isolated event, as we know now and as Mr. Rumsfeld should have known, given the flood of complaints and reports directed to his office over the last year.

    The world is waiting now for a sign that President Bush understands the seriousness of what has happened. It needs to be more than his repeated statements that he is sorry the rest of the world does not "understand the true nature and heart of America." Mr. Bush should start showing the state of his own heart by demanding the resignation of his secretary of defense.

    This is far from a case of a fine cabinet official undone by the actions of a few obscure bad apples in the military police. Donald Rumsfeld has morphed, over the last two years, from a man of supreme confidence to arrogance, then to almost willful blindness. With the approval of the president, he sent American troops into a place whose nature and dangers he had apparently never bothered to examine.

    The Boston Globe also calls for Rumsfeld to resign.

    And The Economist.

    And, of course, John Kerry and other Democrats.

    Posted by Eric at 05:22 AM | Comments (2)

    May 05, 2004

    The Weird, Wacky World of Dick Morris

    Media Matters gets its foot in the door on Dick Morris and recent foot-in-the-mouth statements.

    Posted by Eric at 01:24 PM | Comments (7)

    The Weird, Wacky World of Dick Morris

    Media Matters gets its foot in the door on Dick Morris and recent foot-in-the-mouth statements.

    Posted by Eric at 01:24 PM | Comments (4)

    GQ: Colin Powell Wants Out

    According to Wil S. Hylton in GQ, Colin is "salvaging his legacy" and looking for the exit. The, well, sad profile.

    I had come to see Powell because, for several weeks, his closest friends and colleagues had been telegraphing a story to me. Powell was finished, they'd said. Exhausted. Frustrated. Bitter. He was uncomfortable with the president's agenda and fatigued from his battles with the Pentagon. His reputation had been stained by his speech at the U.N. in February 2003, when he insisted that Iraq had stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, and as the journalist Bob Woodward has noted in Plan of Attack, he was despondent about being cut out of the war plan in Iraq. In the months since those humiliations, as the body count mounted and the WMDs never appeared, his enthusiasm for the job had waned. His enthusiasm for the whole administration had waned. As his mentor from the National War College, Harlan Ullman, described it, "This is, in many ways, the most ideological administration Powell's ever had to work for. Not only is it very ideological, but they have a vision. And I think Powell is inherently uncomfortable with grand visions like that." Or as Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said of Powell's disastrous speech at the U.N. last year, "It's a source of great distress for the secretary." Or as Powell's chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, put it, "He's tired. Mentally and physically."

    None of Powell's friends had made any pretense of speculating about or guessing at his feelings. They spoke for him, openly and on the record. Some even went so far as to alert me when something they said was not coming from Powell or had not been expressed by him. And now, at the tail end of my reporting, I was going to hear from Powell himself. He had invited me in for a rare one-hour chat. Not to the formal sitting room, where he entertains state visitorsthe room he calls "the funeral parlor"but the dark, private cubbyhole where he actually spends his day. As I settled into my chair, I couldn't help wondering what he wanted to say. I knew from his staff that he had been briefed on my interviews with his friends and knew exactly what I had been told, in detail. But I also knew that however disenchanted and humiliated he may have felt, however severe his disillusionment and frustration, he was a soldier, unlikely to speak out against a sitting president or discuss his battles with the administration. It seemed unlikely he would even admit the urge to retire. So where, exactly, did that leave us?

    If you think he's tired, don't ask about the guys Powell sent to war under false pretenses.

    Posted by Eric at 12:39 AM | Comments (40)

    GQ: Colin Powell Wants Out

    According to Wil S. Hylton in GQ, Colin is "salvaging his legacy" and looking for the exit. The, well, sad profile.

    I had come to see Powell because, for several weeks, his closest friends and colleagues had been telegraphing a story to me. Powell was finished, they'd said. Exhausted. Frustrated. Bitter. He was uncomfortable with the president's agenda and fatigued from his battles with the Pentagon. His reputation had been stained by his speech at the U.N. in February 2003, when he insisted that Iraq had stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, and as the journalist Bob Woodward has noted in Plan of Attack, he was despondent about being cut out of the war plan in Iraq. In the months since those humiliations, as the body count mounted and the WMDs never appeared, his enthusiasm for the job had waned. His enthusiasm for the whole administration had waned. As his mentor from the National War College, Harlan Ullman, described it, "This is, in many ways, the most ideological administration Powell's ever had to work for. Not only is it very ideological, but they have a vision. And I think Powell is inherently uncomfortable with grand visions like that." Or as Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said of Powell's disastrous speech at the U.N. last year, "It's a source of great distress for the secretary." Or as Powell's chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, put it, "He's tired. Mentally and physically."

    None of Powell's friends had made any pretense of speculating about or guessing at his feelings. They spoke for him, openly and on the record. Some even went so far as to alert me when something they said was not coming from Powell or had not been expressed by him. And now, at the tail end of my reporting, I was going to hear from Powell himself. He had invited me in for a rare one-hour chat. Not to the formal sitting room, where he entertains state visitorsthe room he calls "the funeral parlor"but the dark, private cubbyhole where he actually spends his day. As I settled into my chair, I couldn't help wondering what he wanted to say. I knew from his staff that he had been briefed on my interviews with his friends and knew exactly what I had been told, in detail. But I also knew that however disenchanted and humiliated he may have felt, however severe his disillusionment and frustration, he was a soldier, unlikely to speak out against a sitting president or discuss his battles with the administration. It seemed unlikely he would even admit the urge to retire. So where, exactly, did that leave us?

    If you think he's tired, don't ask about the guys Powell sent to war under false pretenses.

    Posted by Eric at 12:39 AM | Comments (8)

    May 03, 2004

    Bush 100 Mistakes

    Center for American Progress: "100 Mistakes for the President to Choose From."

    Posted by Eric at 01:07 PM | Comments (2)

    Bush 100 Mistakes

    Center for American Progress: "100 Mistakes for the President to Choose From."

    Posted by Eric at 01:07 PM | Comments (1)

    Joseph Wilson on MTP

    Transcript here.

    Posted by Eric at 02:54 AM | Comments (36)

    Joseph Wilson on MTP

    Transcript here.

    Posted by Eric at 02:54 AM | Comments (2)

    April 29, 2004

    Joe Wilson Names Possible Leakers

    In his brand new book,

    cover

    AP:

    Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, has been pegged as a possible leaker of the name of CIA (news - web sites) operative Valerie Plame to a syndicated columnist, according to accounts in a book by former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, Plame's husband.

    In "The Politics of Truth," to be published Friday, Wilson says Libby is "quite possibly the person who exposed my wife's identity," according to The Washington Post, which obtained an early copy ... "The other name that has most often been repeated to me in connection with the inquiry and disclosure into my background and Valerie's is that of Elliott Abrams, who gained infamy in the Iran-Contra scandal," he writes.

    Another suspect named in Wilson's book: White House chief political adviser Karl Rove. "The workup on me that turned up the information on Valerie was shared with Karl Rove, who then circulated it in administration and neoconservative circles," Wilson writes.

    Posted by Eric at 07:13 PM | Comments (23)

    Joe Wilson Names Possible Leakers

    In his brand new book,

    cover

    AP:

    Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, has been pegged as a possible leaker of the name of CIA (news - web sites) operative Valerie Plame to a syndicated columnist, according to accounts in a book by former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, Plame's husband.

    In "The Politics of Truth," to be published Friday, Wilson says Libby is "quite possibly the person who exposed my wife's identity," according to The Washington Post, which obtained an early copy ... "The other name that has most often been repeated to me in connection with the inquiry and disclosure into my background and Valerie's is that of Elliott Abrams, who gained infamy in the Iran-Contra scandal," he writes.

    Another suspect named in Wilson's book: White House chief political adviser Karl Rove. "The workup on me that turned up the information on Valerie was shared with Karl Rove, who then circulated it in administration and neoconservative circles," Wilson writes.

    Posted by Eric at 07:13 PM | Comments (8)

    April 27, 2004

    The Dick Cheney National Security Record

    See Dick attack.

    See Dick's record:

    Cheney Proposed Cutting F-16 Aircraft. In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Cheney said, "If you're going to have a smaller air force, you don't need as many F-16s...The F-16D we basically continue to buy and close it out because we're not going to have as big a force structure and we won't need as many F-16s." According to the Boston Globe, Bush's 1991 defense budget "kill[ed] 81 programs for potential savings of $ 11.9 billion...Major weapons killed include[d]....the Air Force's F-16 airplane." [Cheney testimony, House Armed Services Committee, 2/7/91; Boston Globe, 2/5/91]

    Cheney Proposed Cuts to B-2 Program. According to the Boston Globe, in 1990, "Defense Secretary Richard Cheney announced a cutback... of nearly 45 percent in the administration's B-2 Stealth bomber program, from 132 airplanes to 75..." [Boston Globe, 4/27/90]

    Cheney Proposed Cutting AH-64 Apaches. In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Defense Subcommittee, Cheney said, "This is just a list of some of the programs that I've recommended termination: the V-22 Osprey, the F-14D, the Army Helicopter Improvement Program, Phoenix missile, F-15E, the Apache helicopter, the M1 tank, et cetera." In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Cheney said, "The Army, as I indicated in my earlier testimony, recommended to me that we keep a robust Apache helicopter program going forward, AH-64...I forced the Army to make choices...So I recommended that we cancel the AH-64 program two years out." [Cheney testimony, Senate Appropriations Committee, Defense Subcommittee, 6/12/90; Cheney Testimony, House Armed Services Committee, 7/13/89, emphasis added]

    Isn't that special.

    Of course, the Bush ad talks about Kerry supposedly cutting all these fancy smancy military stuff.

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

    The Dick Cheney National Security Record

    See Dick attack.

    See Dick's record:

    Cheney Proposed Cutting F-16 Aircraft. In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Cheney said, "If you're going to have a smaller air force, you don't need as many F-16s...The F-16D we basically continue to buy and close it out because we're not going to have as big a force structure and we won't need as many F-16s." According to the Boston Globe, Bush's 1991 defense budget "kill[ed] 81 programs for potential savings of $ 11.9 billion...Major weapons killed include[d]....the Air Force's F-16 airplane." [Cheney testimony, House Armed Services Committee, 2/7/91; Boston Globe, 2/5/91]

    Cheney Proposed Cuts to B-2 Program. According to the Boston Globe, in 1990, "Defense Secretary Richard Cheney announced a cutback... of nearly 45 percent in the administration's B-2 Stealth bomber program, from 132 airplanes to 75..." [Boston Globe, 4/27/90]

    Cheney Proposed Cutting AH-64 Apaches. In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Defense Subcommittee, Cheney said, "This is just a list of some of the programs that I've recommended termination: the V-22 Osprey, the F-14D, the Army Helicopter Improvement Program, Phoenix missile, F-15E, the Apache helicopter, the M1 tank, et cetera." In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Cheney said, "The Army, as I indicated in my earlier testimony, recommended to me that we keep a robust Apache helicopter program going forward, AH-64...I forced the Army to make choices...So I recommended that we cancel the AH-64 program two years out." [Cheney testimony, Senate Appropriations Committee, Defense Subcommittee, 6/12/90; Cheney Testimony, House Armed Services Committee, 7/13/89, emphasis added]

    Isn't that special.

    Of course, the Bush ad talks about Kerry supposedly cutting all these fancy smancy military stuff.

    Posted by Eric at 04:18 AM | Comments (4)

    April 20, 2004

    Bush - Cheney to Pay 90 Grand FEC Penalty

    From the 2000 elections. FEC:

    The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has entered into a conciliation agreement with Bush-Cheney 2000, Inc. resulting from the failure to report to the FEC receipts and disbursements associated with its recount activities. Bush Cheney 2000, Inc. has agreed to pay a $90,000 civil penalty.

    According to the conciliation agreement, Bush Cheney 2000 held a bank account designated Bush-Cheney 2000, Inc. Media. After the November 7, 2000 presidential election, the Committee redesignated this bank account Bush-Cheney 2000, Inc. Recount Fund and used the account to raise funds and pay costs associated with the recount. However, the Committee failed to include that activity in disclosure reports filed with the Commission.

    The Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act) requires authorized committees of candidates for federal office to report the total amount of all receipts of disbursements in committee accounts, and to itemize them when the aggregate amount or value exceeds $200 in an election cycle. In Advisory Opinions 1998-26 and 1978-92, the Commission held that while separate organizations established solely to fund a recount effort would not be required to file disclosure reports, a federal political committee establishing a bank account for recount purposes must report those receipts and disbursements.

    Posted by Eric at 07:03 PM | Comments (14)

    Bush - Cheney to Pay 90 Grand FEC Penalty

    From the 2000 elections. FEC:

    The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has entered into a conciliation agreement with Bush-Cheney 2000, Inc. resulting from the failure to report to the FEC receipts and disbursements associated with its recount activities. Bush Cheney 2000, Inc. has agreed to pay a $90,000 civil penalty.

    According to the conciliation agreement, Bush Cheney 2000 held a bank account designated Bush-Cheney 2000, Inc. Media. After the November 7, 2000 presidential election, the Committee redesignated this bank account Bush-Cheney 2000, Inc. Recount Fund and used the account to raise funds and pay costs associated with the recount. However, the Committee failed to include that activity in disclosure reports filed with the Commission.

    The Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act) requires authorized committees of candidates for federal office to report the total amount of all receipts of disbursements in committee accounts, and to itemize them when the aggregate amount or value exceeds $200 in an election cycle. In Advisory Opinions 1998-26 and 1978-92, the Commission held that while separate organizations established solely to fund a recount effort would not be required to file disclosure reports, a federal political committee establishing a bank account for recount purposes must report those receipts and disbursements.

    Posted by Eric at 07:03 PM | Comments (7)

    Rep. John Hostettler 'Forgets' about Gun at Airport

    From the AP:

    Rep. John Hostettler of Indiana was briefly detained Tuesday when airport security workers found a handgun in his briefcase as he was going through a checkpoint on a trip back to Washington.

    The five-term Republican congressman was preparing to board a US Airways flight at Louisville International Airport when the gun was found, said his press secretary Michael Jahr.

    Posted by Eric at 02:40 PM | Comments (36)

    Rep. John Hostettler 'Forgets' about Gun at Airport

    From the AP:

    Rep. John Hostettler of Indiana was briefly detained Tuesday when airport security workers found a handgun in his briefcase as he was going through a checkpoint on a trip back to Washington.

    The five-term Republican congressman was preparing to board a US Airways flight at Louisville International Airport when the gun was found, said his press secretary Michael Jahr.

    Posted by Eric at 02:40 PM | Comments (14)

    Powell Lies ... About Pottery Barn

    As reported in a light manner on The O'Franken Factor and Lloyd Grove, Colin Powell has LIEEEED about Pottery Barn.

    "You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people. You will own all their hopes, aspirations and problems. You'll own it all," Woodward quotes Powell as warning Bush about the consequences of invading Iraq. "Privately, Powell and [Deputy Secretary of State Richard] Armitage called this the Pottery Barn rule: You break it, you own it."

    Yesterday, Pottery Barn's Oshirak complained bitterly: "This is certainly not our policy in any of our 174 Pottery Barn retail outlets in North America. In fact, there is no policy regarding this whatsoever."

    So go forth, ye Hamster readers, and break things in Pottery Barn without regard to the consequences and extruding asses!

    Posted by Eric at 11:44 AM | Comments (54)

    Powell Lies ... About Pottery Barn

    As reported in a light manner on The O'Franken Factor and Lloyd Grove, Colin Powell has LIEEEED about Pottery Barn.

    "You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people. You will own all their hopes, aspirations and problems. You'll own it all," Woodward quotes Powell as warning Bush about the consequences of invading Iraq. "Privately, Powell and [Deputy Secretary of State Richard] Armitage called this the Pottery Barn rule: You break it, you own it."

    Yesterday, Pottery Barn's Oshirak complained bitterly: "This is certainly not our policy in any of our 174 Pottery Barn retail outlets in North America. In fact, there is no policy regarding this whatsoever."

    So go forth, ye Hamster readers, and break things in Pottery Barn without regard to the consequences and extruding asses!

    Posted by Eric at 11:44 AM | Comments (13)

    April 19, 2004

    Conservative vs. Moderate Rift in Penn

    Is Bush the Uniter helping to divide Penn politics between the conservative and 'moderate' candidate? LA Times:

    Specter, 74, is a vanishing breed of Republican a pragmatic, "Rockefeller Republican" who is a supporter of abortion rights, sympathetic to organized labor and an unabashed advocate of government spending to help his state and address social ills. He believes that an ideology that is too rigid narrows the reach of the GOP and polarizes the country ... Toomey, 42, is the prototype of a younger, post-Reagan generation of Republicans who are dedicated to cutting taxes, limiting government spending and ending abortion. He believes the party owes it to voters to stand for a clear, unwavering ideology ...

    The Specter-Toomey fight is a cautionary tale for Bush, a reminder of the balancing act he has to perfect to win reelection. He needs to generate enthusiasm among the kind of conservatives represented by Toomey. But in a swing state such as Pennsylvania where Democrats narrowly outnumber Republicans Bush cannot afford to alienate the centrist Republicans and Democrats attracted to Specter. That's why some analysts argue that Bush was wise to endorse Specter and would have a harder time winning Pennsylvania if Toomey was on the ticket ...

    Still, for conservative activists concerned about the party's direction, the primary fight is about something even bigger than control of the Senate: It is about the soul of the party.

    Posted by Eric at 11:14 AM | Comments (27)

    Conservative vs. Moderate Rift in Penn

    Is Bush the Uniter helping to divide Penn politics between the conservative and 'moderate' candidate? LA Times:

    Specter, 74, is a vanishing breed of Republican a pragmatic, "Rockefeller Republican" who is a supporter of abortion rights, sympathetic to organized labor and an unabashed advocate of government spending to help his state and address social ills. He believes that an ideology that is too rigid narrows the reach of the GOP and polarizes the country ... Toomey, 42, is the prototype of a younger, post-Reagan generation of Republicans who are dedicated to cutting taxes, limiting government spending and ending abortion. He believes the party owes it to voters to stand for a clear, unwavering ideology ...

    The Specter-Toomey fight is a cautionary tale for Bush, a reminder of the balancing act he has to perfect to win reelection. He needs to generate enthusiasm among the kind of conservatives represented by Toomey. But in a swing state such as Pennsylvania where Democrats narrowly outnumber Republicans Bush cannot afford to alienate the centrist Republicans and Democrats attracted to Specter. That's why some analysts argue that Bush was wise to endorse Specter and would have a harder time winning Pennsylvania if Toomey was on the ticket ...

    Still, for conservative activists concerned about the party's direction, the primary fight is about something even bigger than control of the Senate: It is about the soul of the party.

    Posted by Eric at 11:14 AM | Comments (4)

    April 15, 2004

    Top Ten Bush Flip-Flips

    If we're going to keep talking about flip-flops ... From the DNC research, the flip flops:

    1. Bush Flip-Flops on Independent 9/11 Commission
    Bush Flip: Initially Opposed to Independent 9/11 Commission
    Bush opposed an independent inquiry into 9/11, arguing it would duplicate a probe conducted by Congress. In July 2002, his administration issued a "statement of policy" that read "...the Administration would oppose an amendment that would create a new commission to conduct a similar review [to Congress's investigation]." [Statement of Administration Policy, Executive Office of the President, 7/24/02; LA Times, 11/28/02]

    Bush Flop: Bush Relented and Appointed Independent Commission
    President Bush finally agreed to support an independent investigation into the 9/11 attacks after "the congressional committees unearthed more and more examples of intelligence lapses, the administration reversed its stance." [Los Angeles Times, 11/28/02] ...

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

    Bush Flop: Bush Decides to Support Homeland Security
    The New York Times reported, "Bush initially resisted Democratic proposals for a Cabinet-level agency. But once he endorsed it, the president pushed Congress for fast action as it debated such issues as whistle-blower protections, concerns over civil liberties and collective bargaining for department employees."

    In remarks to Homeland Security Department employees, Bush claimed credit for supporting the Department: "In just 12 months, under the leadership of your President...you faced the challenges standing up this new Department and you get a -- and a gold star for a job well done." [New York Times, 2/28/03; Bush Remarks at One-Year Anniversary of DHS, 3/2/04]

    Posted by Eric at 11:13 AM | Comments (220)

    Top Ten Bush Flip-Flips

    If we're going to keep talking about flip-flops ... From the DNC research, the flip flops:

    1. Bush Flip-Flops on Independent 9/11 Commission
    Bush Flip: Initially Opposed to Independent 9/11 Commission
    Bush opposed an independent inquiry into 9/11, arguing it would duplicate a probe conducted by Congress. In July 2002, his administration issued a "statement of policy" that read "...the Administration would oppose an amendment that would create a new commission to conduct a similar review [to Congress's investigation]." [Statement of Administration Policy, Executive Office of the President, 7/24/02; LA Times, 11/28/02]

    Bush Flop: Bush Relented and Appointed Independent Commission
    President Bush finally agreed to support an independent investigation into the 9/11 attacks after "the congressional committees unearthed more and more examples of intelligence lapses, the administration reversed its stance." [Los Angeles Times, 11/28/02] ...

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

    Bush Flop: Bush Decides to Support Homeland Security
    The New York Times reported, "Bush initially resisted Democratic proposals for a Cabinet-level agency. But once he endorsed it, the president pushed Congress for fast action as it debated such issues as whistle-blower protections, concerns over civil liberties and collective bargaining for department employees."

    In remarks to Homeland Security Department employees, Bush claimed credit for supporting the Department: "In just 12 months, under the leadership of your President...you faced the challenges standing up this new Department and you get a -- and a gold star for a job well done." [New York Times, 2/28/03; Bush Remarks at One-Year Anniversary of DHS, 3/2/04]

    Posted by Eric at 11:13 AM | Comments (12)

    Roberts contradicts Frist on Clarke

    A little GOP on GOP action, from The Hill:

    Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says former Bush counterterrorism chief Richard Clarkes testimony before a joint congressional panel on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks did not contradict his later testimony before a presidentially appointed commission.

    Robertss comments to The Hill contradict a stinging condemnation of Clarke by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) on the Senate floor after Clarke accused President Bush of failing to take Osama bin Laden seriously before Sept. 11.

    Roberts said Frist did not consult him before making his floor speech, which has been criticized by Democrats. Robertss words make perjury charges against Clarke highly unlikely.

    Nice, but a little too late, though.

    Posted by Eric at 09:45 AM | Comments (78)

    Roberts contradicts Frist on Clarke

    A little GOP on GOP action, from The Hill:

    Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says former Bush counterterrorism chief Richard Clarkes testimony before a joint congressional panel on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks did not contradict his later testimony before a presidentially appointed commission.

    Robertss comments to The Hill contradict a stinging condemnation of Clarke by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) on the Senate floor after Clarke accused President Bush of failing to take Osama bin Laden seriously before Sept. 11.

    Roberts said Frist did not consult him before making his floor speech, which has been criticized by Democrats. Robertss words make perjury charges against Clarke highly unlikely.

    Nice, but a little too late, though.

    Posted by Eric at 09:45 AM | Comments (4)

    April 14, 2004

    Shales: "little new" in Bush Press Conference

    Indeed, as was plain to the viewer, the conference was further reaffirmation that Bush has trouble defending his own policy. From the WPost TV critic:

    "When I say something, I mean it," George W. Bush said decisively near the end of last night's prime-time presidential news conference. Nobody called out, "When will you say something?" -- the White House press corps is too mannerly for that -- but some reporters, and some viewers, must have been thinking it ... Bush similarly struggled, a few minutes earlier, to cite the single biggest mistake of his presidency. He looked baffled and incredulous. "I'm sure something will pop into my head here," he said, noting the intense "pressure" of holding a news conference on TV. Of course people watching throughout the country expect a president to be able to handle that kind of pressure without blinking, based on the assumption that this is one of the milder forms of pressure that come with the office.

    Earlier still, Bush stopped in mid-answer and for a few seconds appeared to have lost his train of thought. Looking anxious, he fell back on phrases and thoughts he'd used earlier, saying he and the world changed after 9/11, which was a truism, and that in the 21st century, America is no longer protected by the oceans on either side. But that's been true since the invention of nuclear weapons and of missiles to deliver them from halfway around the world.

    The extreme-conservative John Derbyshire at The National Review remarks about Bush:
    I guess these things need saying, but they slide off the consciousness like Muzak. Nothing sticks, nothing makes an interesting point. And nobody's mind gets changed.

    I'm on board with the Iraq war. I'll be voting for George W. Bush in November. The petty sniping at the War & at the administration's anti-terrorism efforts, the blood-for-oil insinuations, the infantile sloganeering -- "Bush lied," "Halliburton's war," and so on -- is disgraceful. I'm with this guy, I'm on his side. Still, there is just something about a Bush speech, or news conference, that fails to stir my blood. I'm sorry, but I think the President is desperately, hopelessly inarticulate.

    However, will the public still give Bush props? Shales thinks so:
    And yet people responding to polls today will probably give Bush points for just showing up. By having so few televised news conferences, he's made the ones he does have into big events. By expressing tremendous confidence in his own judgment and actions, even to the point of not being able to recall a single mistake, it's likely Bush made Americans feel a renewed confidence as well.
    Unfortunately, one of the more astute analysts of Bush, Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, is in repeats.

    Posted by Eric at 11:20 AM | Comments (18)

    Shales: "little new" in Bush Press Conference

    Indeed, as was plain to the viewer, the conference was further reaffirmation that Bush has trouble defending his own policy. From the WPost TV critic:

    "When I say something, I mean it," George W. Bush said decisively near the end of last night's prime-time presidential news conference. Nobody called out, "When will you say something?" -- the White House press corps is too mannerly for that -- but some reporters, and some viewers, must have been thinking it ... Bush similarly struggled, a few minutes earlier, to cite the single biggest mistake of his presidency. He looked baffled and incredulous. "I'm sure something will pop into my head here," he said, noting the intense "pressure" of holding a news conference on TV. Of course people watching throughout the country expect a president to be able to handle that kind of pressure without blinking, based on the assumption that this is one of the milder forms of pressure that come with the office.

    Earlier still, Bush stopped in mid-answer and for a few seconds appeared to have lost his train of thought. Looking anxious, he fell back on phrases and thoughts he'd used earlier, saying he and the world changed after 9/11, which was a truism, and that in the 21st century, America is no longer protected by the oceans on either side. But that's been true since the invention of nuclear weapons and of missiles to deliver them from halfway around the world.

    The extreme-conservative John Derbyshire at The National Review remarks about Bush:
    I guess these things need saying, but they slide off the consciousness like Muzak. Nothing sticks, nothing makes an interesting point. And nobody's mind gets changed.

    I'm on board with the Iraq war. I'll be voting for George W. Bush in November. The petty sniping at the War & at the administration's anti-terrorism efforts, the blood-for-oil insinuations, the infantile sloganeering -- "Bush lied," "Halliburton's war," and so on -- is disgraceful. I'm with this guy, I'm on his side. Still, there is just something about a Bush speech, or news conference, that fails to stir my blood. I'm sorry, but I think the President is desperately, hopelessly inarticulate.

    However, will the public still give Bush props? Shales thinks so:
    And yet people responding to polls today will probably give Bush points for just showing up. By having so few televised news conferences, he's made the ones he does have into big events. By expressing tremendous confidence in his own judgment and actions, even to the point of not being able to recall a single mistake, it's likely Bush made Americans feel a renewed confidence as well.
    Unfortunately, one of the more astute analysts of Bush, Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, is in repeats.

    Posted by Eric at 11:20 AM | Comments (3)

    Press Conference Response

    Links from Talk Left. David Sirota of CAP and O'Franken Factor is the man who never stops researching, as he posts responses to the Bush press conference:

    CLAIM:

    "But there was nobody in our government, at least, and I don't think the prior government that could envision flying airplanes into buildings on such a massive scale."
    - George W. Bush, 4/13/04

    FACT:

    In the very same press conference, President Bush said "part of [the reason I requested the PDB] had to do with the Genoa G-8 conference I was going to attend" in 2001, where he was warned that Islamic terrorists were potentially plotting to fly airplanes into buildings.

    CLAIM:

    "The oil revenues, they're bigger than we thought they would be at this point in time."
    - George W. Bush, 4/13/04

    FACT:

    Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said before the war that "we are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon" with Bush administration officials claiming "that Iraq's oil revenues would be $20 billion to $30 billion a year." Those oil revenues are now only "running at a rate of about $14 billion a year" while Americans taxpayers are shelling out billions for reconstruction.
    NY Times, 10/6/03

    CLAIM:

    Iraq "refused to disarm."
    - George W. Bush, 4/13/04

    FACT:

    "The Bush administration's top weapons inspector in Iraq, David Kay said that his group found no evidence Iraq had stockpiled unconventional weapons before the U.S.-led invasion in March."
    - CNN, 1/26/04

    Also, John Kerry has this response:
    The President may refuse to acknowledge a single mistake in the course of his presidency, but with deaths mounting and American sacrifice increasing, its time he offered a specific plan that secures real international involvement, gets the target off the backs of our troops, and starts to share the burden in Iraq.

    Posted by Eric at 12:05 AM | Comments (43)

    Press Conference Response

    Links from Talk Left. David Sirota of CAP and O'Franken Factor is the man who never stops researching, as he posts responses to the Bush press conference:

    CLAIM:

    "But there was nobody in our government, at least, and I don't think the prior government that could envision flying airplanes into buildings on such a massive scale."
    - George W. Bush, 4/13/04

    FACT:

    In the very same press conference, President Bush said "part of [the reason I requested the PDB] had to do with the Genoa G-8 conference I was going to attend" in 2001, where he was warned that Islamic terrorists were potentially plotting to fly airplanes into buildings.

    CLAIM:

    "The oil revenues, they're bigger than we thought they would be at this point in time."
    - George W. Bush, 4/13/04

    FACT:

    Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said before the war that "we are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon" with Bush administration officials claiming "that Iraq's oil revenues would be $20 billion to $30 billion a year." Those oil revenues are now only "running at a rate of about $14 billion a year" while Americans taxpayers are shelling out billions for reconstruction.
    NY Times, 10/6/03

    CLAIM:

    Iraq "refused to disarm."
    - George W. Bush, 4/13/04

    FACT:

    "The Bush administration's top weapons inspector in Iraq, David Kay said that his group found no evidence Iraq had stockpiled unconventional weapons before the U.S.-led invasion in March."
    - CNN, 1/26/04

    Also, John Kerry has this response:
    The President may refuse to acknowledge a single mistake in the course of his presidency, but with deaths mounting and American sacrifice increasing, its time he offered a specific plan that secures real international involvement, gets the target off the backs of our troops, and starts to share the burden in Iraq.

    Posted by Eric at 12:05 AM | Comments (11)

    April 13, 2004

    More Ashcroft Guides

    This time from the American Progrss folks:

    If Ashcroft Says, 'We Increased Funding for Counterterrorism,' Remember That:

    • According to his final budget document submitted to the Office of Management and Budget on Sept. 10, 2001, the attorney general requested spending increases in 68 programs, none of which directly related to counterterrorism.
    • In fact, Ashcroft proposed cuts in 14 programs, including trimming $65 million from grants to state and local governments to improve counterterrorism preparedness. He also did not endorse an FBI request for $58 million for new counterterrorism field agents, translators and intelligence analysts.
    • An official memo from the attorney general on the budgetary goals of the DOJ dated May 10, 2001, does not include terrorism among its seven strategic goals, a major departure from then-Attorney General Janet Reno's last budget memo in April 2000 that listed counter-terrorism as its top priority. According to the New York Times, Reno's counterterrorism budget increased 13.6 percent in 1999, 7.1 percent in 2000, and 22.7 percent in 2001.
    • Even after the Sept. 11 attacks, internal OMB documents reveal that the administration cut nearly $1 billion from the FBI request for additional counterterrorism funding.

    Posted by Eric at 12:19 PM | Comments (19)

    More Ashcroft Guides

    This time from the American Progrss folks:

    If Ashcroft Says, 'We Increased Funding for Counterterrorism,' Remember That:

    • According to his final budget document submitted to the Office of Management and Budget on Sept. 10, 2001, the attorney general requested spending increases in 68 programs, none of which directly related to counterterrorism.
    • In fact, Ashcroft proposed cuts in 14 programs, including trimming $65 million from grants to state and local governments to improve counterterrorism preparedness. He also did not endorse an FBI request for $58 million for new counterterrorism field agents, translators and intelligence analysts.
    • An official memo from the attorney general on the budgetary goals of the DOJ dated May 10, 2001, does not include terrorism among its seven strategic goals, a major departure from then-Attorney General Janet Reno's last budget memo in April 2000 that listed counter-terrorism as its top priority. According to the New York Times, Reno's counterterrorism budget increased 13.6 percent in 1999, 7.1 percent in 2000, and 22.7 percent in 2001.
    • Even after the Sept. 11 attacks, internal OMB documents reveal that the administration cut nearly $1 billion from the FBI request for additional counterterrorism funding.

    Posted by Eric at 12:19 PM | Comments (5)

    April 12, 2004

    Racicot Warns: Liberals Will Outspend Us

    In a recent email to GeorgeWBush.com supporters, the Chairman of Bush-Cheney '04 and RNC head:

    We must prepare for the worst and assume that these shadowy liberal propaganda groups - who are illegally working to help Senator Kerry - will outspend our campaign until they are forced to shut down. President Bush needs the help of grassroots leaders like you to respond to the deceitful ads these groups are airing with this illegal cash. Please contribute today, using our secure server, so we'll have the resources to counter their efforts.

    Posted by Eric at 01:06 PM | Comments (49)

    Racicot Warns: Liberals Will Outspend Us

    In a recent email to GeorgeWBush.com supporters, the Chairman of Bush-Cheney '04 and RNC head:

    We must prepare for the worst and assume that these shadowy liberal propaganda groups - who are illegally working to help Senator Kerry - will outspend our campaign until they are forced to shut down. President Bush needs the help of grassroots leaders like you to respond to the deceitful ads these groups are airing with this illegal cash. Please contribute today, using our secure server, so we'll have the resources to counter their efforts.

    Posted by Eric at 01:06 PM | Comments (8)

    Sleep Schedule

    God, I wish I had this sleep schedule:

    Regardless of what is going on in the world Mr Bush is usually in bed by 10pm and wakes at 6am. As governor of Texas he would be in work by 8.30am and out by 5.30pm. In between was a 90-minute to two-hour break for exercise or a nap.

    Posted by Eric at 11:03 AM | Comments (40)

    Sleep Schedule

    God, I wish I had this sleep schedule:

    Regardless of what is going on in the world Mr Bush is usually in bed by 10pm and wakes at 6am. As governor of Texas he would be in work by 8.30am and out by 5.30pm. In between was a 90-minute to two-hour break for exercise or a nap.

    Posted by Eric at 11:03 AM | Comments (10)

    April 10, 2004

    In 2002, According to Cheney, Clarke WAS in the Loop

    Interesting find by Ryan Lizza of TNR.

    Posted by Eric at 02:04 PM | Comments (71)

    In 2002, According to Cheney, Clarke WAS in the Loop

    Interesting find by Ryan Lizza of TNR.

    Posted by Eric at 02:04 PM | Comments (5)

    April 08, 2004

    On Condi

    This pretty much covers what she said. American Progress.

    Posted by Eric at 11:54 AM | Comments (54)

    On Condi

    This pretty much covers what she said. American Progress.

    Posted by Eric at 11:54 AM | Comments (5)

    Osama Hearts Democrats

    I got an email from TownHall.com hawking a book, The Official Handbook of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. One of the talking points or rather 'answers':

    Get the answers from The Official Handbook of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy:

    Osama bin Laden: why, if he could vote, he'd vote Democratic

    Of course.

    Posted by Eric at 07:22 AM | Comments (27)

    Osama Hearts Democrats

    I got an email from TownHall.com hawking a book, The Official Handbook of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. One of the talking points or rather 'answers':

    Get the answers from The Official Handbook of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy:

    Osama bin Laden: why, if he could vote, he'd vote Democratic

    Of course.

    Posted by Eric at 07:22 AM | Comments (4)

    April 07, 2004

    The GOP Minority PAC Scam

    Washington Post:

    When Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-Tex.) took charge of an independent political fund called American Dream PAC in 1999, he made clear that its mission was "to give significant, direct financial assistance to first-rate minority GOP candidates."

    Since then, only $48,750 -- or 8.9 percent -- of the $547,000 the southwest Texas congressman has raised for his political action committee has gone to minority office-seekers while more than $100,000 has been routed to Republican Party organizations or causes, including a GOP redistricting effort in Texas, a legal defense fund for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Tex.) and Bonilla's reelection campaign. Most of the remainder of the money went to legal fees, fundraisers in Miami and other cities, airline tickets, hotels, catering services, consultants and salaries.

    Well Tom DeLay is Nauruan, so I don't know what the big deal is.

    Posted by Eric at 01:30 AM | Comments (40)

    The GOP Minority PAC Scam

    Washington Post:

    When Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-Tex.) took charge of an independent political fund called American Dream PAC in 1999, he made clear that its mission was "to give significant, direct financial assistance to first-rate minority GOP candidates."

    Since then, only $48,750 -- or 8.9 percent -- of the $547,000 the southwest Texas congressman has raised for his political action committee has gone to minority office-seekers while more than $100,000 has been routed to Republican Party organizations or causes, including a GOP redistricting effort in Texas, a legal defense fund for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Tex.) and Bonilla's reelection campaign. Most of the remainder of the money went to legal fees, fundraisers in Miami and other cities, airline tickets, hotels, catering services, consultants and salaries.

    Well Tom DeLay is Nauruan, so I don't know what the big deal is.

    Posted by Eric at 01:30 AM | Comments (17)

    April 06, 2004

    The David Duke Swing Vote?

    So says two political scientists, in writing about Louisiana politics:

    The way two political scientists from Hamilton College in upstate New York see it, these voters -- specifically, the rural white North Louisiana voters who were Duke's biggest backers in his 1991 campaign for governor -- played a decisive role in Kathleen Blanco's 2003 win over Bobby Jindal for governor.

    These voters normally support Republicans such as Jindal in a statewide race, but last year they voted for the Democrat Blanco in large enough numbers to ensure her victory, according to an analysis by Richard Skinner and Philip Klinkner. Their new paper, titled "Black, White, Brown and Cajun: The Racial Dynamics of the 2003 Louisiana Gubernatorial Election," makes a depressingly strong case that Jindal, who had led comfortably in pre-election polls, lost because of his Indian ancestry. Blanco is white.

    The authors came to that conclusion after comparing voting patterns in the 2003 runoff to those in 1991, when Duke's face-off with Edwin Edwards drew worldwide attention and concern. They also looked at what they considered more typical Democratic wins, including Mary Landrieu's Senate victory the year before. Compared to Landrieu's vote, they found that Blanco's support lined up more strongly with Duke's twelve years earlier.

    "This correlation is remarkably robust, whether measured at the parish or precinct level," Skinner and Klinkner wrote. "It remains significant even when controlling for income, race and region. It appears that racial voting lives on, even when the nonwhite candidate's skin is not black and even when his politics are conservative and Republican."

    Posted by Eric at 09:55 AM | Comments (10)

    The David Duke Swing Vote?

    So says two political scientists, in writing about Louisiana politics:

    The way two political scientists from Hamilton College in upstate New York see it, these voters -- specifically, the rural white North Louisiana voters who were Duke's biggest backers in his 1991 campaign for governor -- played a decisive role in Kathleen Blanco's 2003 win over Bobby Jindal for governor.

    These voters normally support Republicans such as Jindal in a statewide race, but last year they voted for the Democrat Blanco in large enough numbers to ensure her victory, according to an analysis by Richard Skinner and Philip Klinkner. Their new paper, titled "Black, White, Brown and Cajun: The Racial Dynamics of the 2003 Louisiana Gubernatorial Election," makes a depressingly strong case that Jindal, who had led comfortably in pre-election polls, lost because of his Indian ancestry. Blanco is white.

    The authors came to that conclusion after comparing voting patterns in the 2003 runoff to those in 1991, when Duke's face-off with Edwin Edwards drew worldwide attention and concern. They also looked at what they considered more typical Democratic wins, including Mary Landrieu's Senate victory the year before. Compared to Landrieu's vote, they found that Blanco's support lined up more strongly with Duke's twelve years earlier.

    "This correlation is remarkably robust, whether measured at the parish or precinct level," Skinner and Klinkner wrote. "It remains significant even when controlling for income, race and region. It appears that racial voting lives on, even when the nonwhite candidate's skin is not black and even when his politics are conservative and Republican."

    Posted by Eric at 09:55 AM | Comments (4)

    April 02, 2004

    McCain: GOP "has gone astray"

    Mr. Senator from Arizona! Boston Herald:

    Sen. John McCain yesterday unleashed an attack on his own party, saying the GOP is ``astray'' on key issues and criticizing President Bush on the war in Iraq.

    ``I believe my party has gone astray,'' McCain said, criticizing GOP stands on environmental and minority issues.

    ``I think the Democratic Party is a fine party, and I have no problems with it, in their views and their philosophy,'' he said. ``But I also feel the Republican Party can be brought back to the principles I articulated before.''

    The maverick senator made the remarks at a legislative seminar hosted by U.S. Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Lowell) as he again ruled out running on a ticket with Democrat John F. Kerry [related, bio].

    The Arizona Republican took on President Bush for failing to prepare Americans for a long involvement in Iraq, saying, ``You can't fly in on an aircraft carrier and declare victory and have the deaths continue. You can't do that.''

    McCain said the U.S. should seek more U.N. involvement in Iraq. ``Many people in this room question, legitimately, whether we should have gone in or not,'' he said, adding that that debate ``will be part of this presidential campaign.''

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

    McCain: GOP "has gone astray"

    Mr. Senator from Arizona! Boston Herald:

    Sen. John McCain yesterday unleashed an attack on his own party, saying the GOP is ``astray'' on key issues and criticizing President Bush on the war in Iraq.

    ``I believe my party has gone astray,'' McCain said, criticizing GOP stands on environmental and minority issues.

    ``I think the Democratic Party is a fine party, and I have no problems with it, in their views and their philosophy,'' he said. ``But I also feel the Republican Party can be brought back to the principles I articulated before.''

    The maverick senator made the remarks at a legislative seminar hosted by U.S. Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Lowell) as he again ruled out running on a ticket with Democrat John F. Kerry [related, bio].

    The Arizona Republican took on President Bush for failing to prepare Americans for a long involvement in Iraq, saying, ``You can't fly in on an aircraft carrier and declare victory and have the deaths continue. You can't do that.''

    McCain said the U.S. should seek more U.N. involvement in Iraq. ``Many people in this room question, legitimately, whether we should have gone in or not,'' he said, adding that that debate ``will be part of this presidential campaign.''

    Posted by Eric at 01:10 PM | Comments (5)

    Richard Clarke: "yesterday's news"?

    Well, maybe not, if you consider book sale rankings as an indicator:

    White House spokesman Scott McClellan told The New York Times this week, "I think most Americans view Richard Clarke and his contradictions as yesterday's news."
    Hardly.

    Clarke's news-making book, "Against All Enemies," will debut at No. 1 on The Times best-seller list to be published April 11.

    The Free Press, a Simon & Schuster unit, started with 300,000 copies and now has 650,000 in print.

    Clarke's whistle-blowing account of the war on terror will top a nonfiction list that includes so many books unflattering to the Bush White House that it recalls when former President Bill Clinton was the booksellers' best friend.

    And please, don't look at polls!

    Posted by Eric at 08:49 AM | Comments (9)

    Richard Clarke: "yesterday's news"?

    Well, maybe not, if you consider book sale rankings as an indicator:

    White House spokesman Scott McClellan told The New York Times this week, "I think most Americans view Richard Clarke and his contradictions as yesterday's news."
    Hardly.

    Clarke's news-making book, "Against All Enemies," will debut at No. 1 on The Times best-seller list to be published April 11.

    The Free Press, a Simon & Schuster unit, started with 300,000 copies and now has 650,000 in print.

    Clarke's whistle-blowing account of the war on terror will top a nonfiction list that includes so many books unflattering to the Bush White House that it recalls when former President Bill Clinton was the booksellers' best friend.

    And please, don't look at polls!

    Posted by Eric at 08:49 AM | Comments (6)

    March 30, 2004

    Kerry Big in Conn

    A University of Connecticut poll shows John Kerry to take the state.

    Less than six weeks ago, as Kerry was just beginning his domination of the Democratic primaries, a national UConn poll showed the two men virtually tied in a head-to-head matchup.

    As Kerry pulled off a near sweep of the presidential contests, locking up the Democratic nomination earlier this month, his numbers in Connecticut soared.

    In the latest UConn poll, conducted March 25-28, Kerry received 52 percent of the vote, compared to 33 percent for Bush and 4 percent for Connecticut native Ralph Nader, who is running as an independent.

    The numbers mirror the 2000 election results, when Democrat Al Gore beat Bush in Connecticut, 56 percent to 38 percent.

    Posted by Eric at 08:04 AM | Comments (10)

    Kerry Big in Conn

    A University of Connecticut poll shows John Kerry to take the state.

    Less than six weeks ago, as Kerry was just beginning his domination of the Democratic primaries, a national UConn poll showed the two men virtually tied in a head-to-head matchup.

    As Kerry pulled off a near sweep of the presidential contests, locking up the Democratic nomination earlier this month, his numbers in Connecticut soared.

    In the latest UConn poll, conducted March 25-28, Kerry received 52 percent of the vote, compared to 33 percent for Bush and 4 percent for Connecticut native Ralph Nader, who is running as an independent.

    The numbers mirror the 2000 election results, when Democrat Al Gore beat Bush in Connecticut, 56 percent to 38 percent.

    Posted by Eric at 08:04 AM | Comments (7)

    March 29, 2004

    Rice Lies on "60 Minutes"

    From the good people at The Center for American Progress:

    FACT CHECK: Condi Rice's 60 Minutes Interview, 3/28/04

    National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice appeared on CBS's 60 Minutes in an effort to quell growing questions surrounding the Administration's inconsistent claims about its pre-9/11 actions. Not only did Rice refuse to take Richard Clarke's lead and admit responsibility for her role in the worst national security failure in American history, but she continued to make unsubstantiated and contradictory assertions:

    RICE CLAIM: "The administration took seriously the threat" of terrorism before 9/11.

    FACTS: President Bush himself acknowledges that, despite repeated warnings of an imminent Al Qaeda attack, before 9/11 "I didn't feel the sense of urgency" about terrorism. Similarly, Newsweek reports that his attitude was reflected throughout an Administration that was trying to "de-emphasize terrorism" as an overall priority. As proof, just two of the hundred national security meetings the Administration held during this period addressed the terrorist threat, and the White House refused to hold even one meeting of its highly-touted counterterrorism task force. Meanwhile, the Administration was actively trying to cut funding for counterterrorism, and "vetoed a request to divert $800 million from missile defense into counterterrorism" despite a serious increase in terrorist chatter in the summer of 2001.

    Source: "Bush At War" by Bob Woodward
    Source: Newsweek & vetoed request - link
    Source: Refusal to hold task force meeting - link
    Source: Only two meetings out of 100 - link

    RICE CLAIM: "I don't know what a sense of urgency any greater than the one we had would have caused us to do anything differently. I don't know how...we could have done more. I would like very much to know what more could have been done?"

    FACTS: There are many things that could have been done: first and foremost, the Administration could have desisted from de-emphasizing and cutting funding for counterterrorism in the months before 9/11. It could have held more meetings of top principals to get the directors of the CIA and FBI to share information, especially considering the major intelligence spike occurring in the summer of 2001. As 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick said on ABC this morning, the lack of focus and meetings meant agencies were not talking to each other, and key evidence was overlooked. For instance, with better focus and more urgency, the FBI's discovery of Islamic radicals training at flight schools might have raised red flags. Similarly, the fact that "months before Sept. 11, the CIA knew two of the al-Qaeda hijackers were in the United States" could have spurred a nationwide manhunt. But because there was no focus or urgency, "No nationwide manhunt was undertaken," said Gorelick. "The State Department watch list was not given to the FAA. If you brought people together, perhaps key connections could have been made."

    Source: Slash counterterrorism funding - link
    Source: CIA knew 2 hijackers in the U.S. - link

    RICE CLAIM:Nothing would be better from my point of view than to be able to testify, but there is an important principle involved here it is a longstanding principle that sitting national security advisors do not testify before the Congress.

    FACTS: Republican Commission John F. Lehman, who served as Navy Secretary under President Reagan said on ABC this morning that "This is not testimony before a tribunal of the CongressThere are plenty of precedents for appearing in public and answering questionsThere are plenty of precedents the White House could use if they wanted to do this. 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick agreed, saying Our commission is sui generisthe Chairman has been appointed by the President. We are distinguishable from Congress. Rice's remarks on 60 Minutes that the principle is limited to "sitting national security advisers" is also a departure from her statements earlier this week, when she said the principle applied to all presidential advisers. She was forced to change this claim for 60 Minutes after 9/11 Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste cited examples of non-Cabinet presidential advisers who have testified publicly to Congress." Finally, the White House is reportedly moving to declassify congressional testimony then-White House adviser Richard Clarke gave in 2002. By declassifying this testimony, the White House is breaking the very same "principle" of barring White House adviser's testimony from being public that Rice is using to avoid appearing publicly before the 9/11 commission.

    Source: Quote from Tony Snow Show - link

    RICE CLAIM: "Iraq was put aside" immediately after 9/11.

    FACTS: According to the Washington Post, "six days after the attacks on the World Trade Center the Pentagon, President Bush signed a 2-and-a-half-page document" that "directed the Pentagon to begin planning military options for an invasion of Iraq." This is corroborated by a CBS News, which reported on 9/4/02 that five hours after the 9/11 attacks, "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq." The President therefore did not put Iraq aside -- he merely deferred it to a second phase, after Afghanistan. To the question of Iraq or Afghanistan, Bush replied: let's do both, starting with Afghanistan. In terms of resources, the Iraq decision had far-reaching effects on the efforts to hunt down Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. As the Boston Globe reported, "the Bush administration is continuing to shift highly specialized intelligence officers from the hunt for Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan to the Iraq crisis."

    Source: September 17th directive - link
    Source: Rumsfeld orders Iraq plan - link
    Source: Shifting special forces - link

    Posted by Eric at 02:43 AM | Comments (36)

    Rice Lies on "60 Minutes"

    From the good people at The Center for American Progress:

    FACT CHECK: Condi Rice's 60 Minutes Interview, 3/28/04

    National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice appeared on CBS's 60 Minutes in an effort to quell growing questions surrounding the Administration's inconsistent claims about its pre-9/11 actions. Not only did Rice refuse to take Richard Clarke's lead and admit responsibility for her role in the worst national security failure in American history, but she continued to make unsubstantiated and contradictory assertions:

    RICE CLAIM: "The administration took seriously the threat" of terrorism before 9/11.

    FACTS: President Bush himself acknowledges that, despite repeated warnings of an imminent Al Qaeda attack, before 9/11 "I didn't feel the sense of urgency" about terrorism. Similarly, Newsweek reports that his attitude was reflected throughout an Administration that was trying to "de-emphasize terrorism" as an overall priority. As proof, just two of the hundred national security meetings the Administration held during this period addressed the terrorist threat, and the White House refused to hold even one meeting of its highly-touted counterterrorism task force. Meanwhile, the Administration was actively trying to cut funding for counterterrorism, and "vetoed a request to divert $800 million from missile defense into counterterrorism" despite a serious increase in terrorist chatter in the summer of 2001.

    Source: "Bush At War" by Bob Woodward
    Source: Newsweek & vetoed request - link
    Source: Refusal to hold task force meeting - link
    Source: Only two meetings out of 100 - link

    RICE CLAIM: "I don't know what a sense of urgency any greater than the one we had would have caused us to do anything differently. I don't know how...we could have done more. I would like very much to know what more could have been done?"

    FACTS: There are many things that could have been done: first and foremost, the Administration could have desisted from de-emphasizing and cutting funding for counterterrorism in the months before 9/11. It could have held more meetings of top principals to get the directors of the CIA and FBI to share information, especially considering the major intelligence spike occurring in the summer of 2001. As 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick said on ABC this morning, the lack of focus and meetings meant agencies were not talking to each other, and key evidence was overlooked. For instance, with better focus and more urgency, the FBI's discovery of Islamic radicals training at flight schools might have raised red flags. Similarly, the fact that "months before Sept. 11, the CIA knew two of the al-Qaeda hijackers were in the United States" could have spurred a nationwide manhunt. But because there was no focus or urgency, "No nationwide manhunt was undertaken," said Gorelick. "The State Department watch list was not given to the FAA. If you brought people together, perhaps key connections could have been made."

    Source: Slash counterterrorism funding - link
    Source: CIA knew 2 hijackers in the U.S. - link

    RICE CLAIM:Nothing would be better from my point of view than to be able to testify, but there is an important principle involved here it is a longstanding principle that sitting national security advisors do not testify before the Congress.

    FACTS: Republican Commission John F. Lehman, who served as Navy Secretary under President Reagan said on ABC this morning that "This is not testimony before a tribunal of the CongressThere are plenty of precedents for appearing in public and answering questionsThere are plenty of precedents the White House could use if they wanted to do this. 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick agreed, saying Our commission is sui generisthe Chairman has been appointed by the President. We are distinguishable from Congress. Rice's remarks on 60 Minutes that the principle is limited to "sitting national security advisers" is also a departure from her statements earlier this week, when she said the principle applied to all presidential advisers. She was forced to change this claim for 60 Minutes after 9/11 Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste cited examples of non-Cabinet presidential advisers who have testified publicly to Congress." Finally, the White House is reportedly moving to declassify congressional testimony then-White House adviser Richard Clarke gave in 2002. By declassifying this testimony, the White House is breaking the very same "principle" of barring White House adviser's testimony from being public that Rice is using to avoid appearing publicly before the 9/11 commission.

    Source: Quote from Tony Snow Show - link

    RICE CLAIM: "Iraq was put aside" immediately after 9/11.

    FACTS: According to the Washington Post, "six days after the attacks on the World Trade Center the Pentagon, President Bush signed a 2-and-a-half-page document" that "directed the Pentagon to begin planning military options for an invasion of Iraq." This is corroborated by a CBS News, which reported on 9/4/02 that five hours after the 9/11 attacks, "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq." The President therefore did not put Iraq aside -- he merely deferred it to a second phase, after Afghanistan. To the question of Iraq or Afghanistan, Bush replied: let's do both, starting with Afghanistan. In terms of resources, the Iraq decision had far-reaching effects on the efforts to hunt down Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. As the Boston Globe reported, "the Bush administration is continuing to shift highly specialized intelligence officers from the hunt for Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan to the Iraq crisis."

    Source: September 17th directive - link
    Source: Rumsfeld orders Iraq plan - link
    Source: Shifting special forces - link

    Posted by Eric at 02:43 AM | Comments (12)

    March 27, 2004

    GOP Funding Nader Run

    Well geeee, why would Republicans want to fund the real deal lefty ideological run?! I'm sooo confused! Dallas Morning News:

    Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader is getting a little help from his friends and from George W. Bush's friends.

    Nearly 10 percent of the Nader contributors who have given him at least $250 each have a history of supporting the Republican president, national GOP candidates or the party, according to computer-assisted review of financial records by The Dallas Morning News.

    Among the new crop of Nader donors: actor and former Nixon speechwriter Ben Stein, Florida frozen-food magnate Jeno Paulucci and Pennsylvania oil company executive Terrence Jacobs. All have strong ties to the GOP.

    Democrats have warned that Mr. Nader's entry in the race could help Mr. Bush by drawing votes from John Kerry. Some analysts say Mr. Nader's third-party candidacy four years ago siphoned off Democratic voters and cost Vice President Al Gore the White House.

    "Republicans are well aware that Ralph Nader played a spoiler role in the 2000 election. And there is no reason why they wouldn't want to encourage and help him do so again in 2004," said Jano Cabrera, a spokesman for the Democrat National Committee.

    Because we all know Ben Stein is just a Naderite at heart.

    Posted by Eric at 03:29 PM | Comments (8)

    GOP Funding Nader Run

    Well geeee, why would Republicans want to fund the real deal lefty ideological run?! I'm sooo confused! Dallas Morning News:

    Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader is getting a little help from his friends and from George W. Bush's friends.

    Nearly 10 percent of the Nader contributors who have given him at least $250 each have a history of supporting the Republican president, national GOP candidates or the party, according to computer-assisted review of financial records by The Dallas Morning News.

    Among the new crop of Nader donors: actor and former Nixon speechwriter Ben Stein, Florida frozen-food magnate Jeno Paulucci and Pennsylvania oil company executive Terrence Jacobs. All have strong ties to the GOP.

    Democrats have warned that Mr. Nader's entry in the race could help Mr. Bush by drawing votes from John Kerry. Some analysts say Mr. Nader's third-party candidacy four years ago siphoned off Democratic voters and cost Vice President Al Gore the White House.

    "Republicans are well aware that Ralph Nader played a spoiler role in the 2000 election. And there is no reason why they wouldn't want to encourage and help him do so again in 2004," said Jano Cabrera, a spokesman for the Democrat National Committee.

    Because we all know Ben Stein is just a Naderite at heart.

    Posted by Eric at 03:29 PM | Comments (5)

    March 26, 2004

    Kerry Promises 10 Million Jobs

    From a speech in Detroit, Michigan:

    Last August, I proposed a new jobs credit that would give manufacturers a break on the payroll taxes for every new worker they hire. I believe we should expand it to industries outside manufacturing where jobs are endangered by outsourcing so that we help create more jobs, whether it comes to cars or computer software or call centers.

    Second, the savings from ending the tax incentives for outsourcing can also expand jobs tax credit to cover all small businesses and their employees. For most small business owners, that means that if they create jobs, they will pay lower taxes in a Kerry Administration than they do under President Bush.

    Third, savings can finance a 25% tax credit for small businesses when they provide health care for their workers. The rise in health care costs under this Administration has hit everyone hard, but no one harder than small business owners and their employees. As the Chair of the Small Business committee in the Senate, I saw again and again how small businesses can be the engine of job creation and those jobs are the ones most likely to be created here and to stay here.

    Fourth, if we are willing to close loopholes and abuses in our tax system, then we can afford to lower taxes in the right way to spur growth and jobs. With the savings I proposed today, we can and should reduce the corporate tax rates by 5% to improve competitiveness and to narrow the difference between corporate tax rates here and overseas. Some may be surprised to hear a Democrat calling for lower corporate tax rates. The fact is, I dont care about the old debates. I care about getting the job done and about creating jobs in America.

    Finally, I wont let America wage the fight for our economic future with one hand tied behind our back. No one should misunderstand me: I am not protectionist but I am a competitor. American workers are the most competitive in the world and they deserve a government thats as competitive as they are. We will demand our trading partners play by the rules theyve agreed to and show them that America means business when it comes to enforcing our trade agreements. The Bush Administration has refused to enforce our trade agreements. That not only costs jobs; over time, it threatens to erode support for open markets and a growing global economy. And it deprives us of one of the most important tools we have to safeguard our own workers and our environment and to raise standards internationally.

    More on John Kerry's jobs proposal.

    Posted by Eric at 03:17 PM | Comments (47)

    Kerry Promises 10 Million Jobs

    From a speech in Detroit, Michigan:

    Last August, I proposed a new jobs credit that would give manufacturers a break on the payroll taxes for every new worker they hire. I believe we should expand it to industries outside manufacturing where jobs are endangered by outsourcing so that we help create more jobs, whether it comes to cars or computer software or call centers.

    Second, the savings from ending the tax incentives for outsourcing can also expand jobs tax credit to cover all small businesses and their employees. For most small business owners, that means that if they create jobs, they will pay lower taxes in a Kerry Administration than they do under President Bush.

    Third, savings can finance a 25% tax credit for small businesses when they provide health care for their workers. The rise in health care costs under this Administration has hit everyone hard, but no one harder than small business owners and their employees. As the Chair of the Small Business committee in the Senate, I saw again and again how small businesses can be the engine of job creation and those jobs are the ones most likely to be created here and to stay here.

    Fourth, if we are willing to close loopholes and abuses in our tax system, then we can afford to lower taxes in the right way to spur growth and jobs. With the savings I proposed today, we can and should reduce the corporate tax rates by 5% to improve competitiveness and to narrow the difference between corporate tax rates here and overseas. Some may be surprised to hear a Democrat calling for lower corporate tax rates. The fact is, I dont care about the old debates. I care about getting the job done and about creating jobs in America.

    Finally, I wont let America wage the fight for our economic future with one hand tied behind our back. No one should misunderstand me: I am not protectionist but I am a competitor. American workers are the most competitive in the world and they deserve a government thats as competitive as they are. We will demand our trading partners play by the rules theyve agreed to and show them that America means business when it comes to enforcing our trade agreements. The Bush Administration has refused to enforce our trade agreements. That not only costs jobs; over time, it threatens to erode support for open markets and a growing global economy. And it deprives us of one of the most important tools we have to safeguard our own workers and our environment and to raise standards internationally.

    More on John Kerry's jobs proposal.

    Posted by Eric at 03:17 PM | Comments (13)

    Military Families Not Amused

    Good comedians know there's some material they shouldn't touch. Is Bush a good comedian? A funny guy? Well, some in the Washington press corps may think he is, but military families don't seem to think so. NY Daily News:

    George Medina, 43, of Orange County, who lost a son in Iraq, heard about Bush's remarks when his outraged daughter, an Army sergeant, called him yesterday. "She was very upset," Medina said.

    "This is disgraceful," Medina continued. "He doesn't think of all the families that are suffering. It's unbelievable, how this guy tries to run the country."

    His 22-year-old son, Spec. Irving Medina, died Nov. 14 in Baghdad when an explosive device struck his convoy.

    Charles Celestin, 28, of Coral Springs, Fla., and Irving Medina's brother-in-law, blasted the commander-in-chief's remarks.

    "To be poking fun; it's just a travesty to the soldiers who lost their lives. I think it's disrespectful," he said ... The President's dinner act also bombed with Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan). "It's disgusting that during his little performance on stage, the President seemed to forget that people are dying in Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction he lied about," Nadler said.

    Posted by Eric at 10:48 AM | Comments (24)

    Military Families Not Amused

    Good comedians know there's some material they shouldn't touch. Is Bush a good comedian? A funny guy? Well, some in the Washington press corps may think he is, but military families don't seem to think so. NY Daily News:

    George Medina, 43, of Orange County, who lost a son in Iraq, heard about Bush's remarks when his outraged daughter, an Army sergeant, called him yesterday. "She was very upset," Medina said.

    "This is disgraceful," Medina continued. "He doesn't think of all the families that are suffering. It's unbelievable, how this guy tries to run the country."

    His 22-year-old son, Spec. Irving Medina, died Nov. 14 in Baghdad when an explosive device struck his convoy.

    Charles Celestin, 28, of Coral Springs, Fla., and Irving Medina's brother-in-law, blasted the commander-in-chief's remarks.

    "To be poking fun; it's just a travesty to the soldiers who lost their lives. I think it's disrespectful," he said ... The President's dinner act also bombed with Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan). "It's disgusting that during his little performance on stage, the President seemed to forget that people are dying in Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction he lied about," Nadler said.

    Posted by Eric at 10:48 AM | Comments (16)

    March 25, 2004

    Dem Fundraiser Says Bush Believed Iraq Main Threat

    From Daniel Schorr in the CSM:

    A Texas Democratic fundraiser, speaking not for attribution, told me about the lunch he recently had at the home of former President Clinton in the New York suburbs. Clinton recounted his last meeting with President Bush over coffee, just before the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2001.

    The outgoing president counseled his successor that he would face five challenges in the international arena - the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, the Al Qaeda terrorist threat, a nuclear-armed North Korea, the India-Pakistan confrontation, and the Saddam Hussein dictatorship in Iraq.

    Clinton was surprised at Bush's response. He said he disagreed with Clinton's order - that he considered Saddam Hussein to be the primary threat that he would have to deal with.

    Well, then I guess the Bush war on terrorism is a success.

    Posted by Eric at 05:57 PM | Comments (39)

    Dem Fundraiser Says Bush Believed Iraq Main Threat

    From Daniel Schorr in the CSM:

    A Texas Democratic fundraiser, speaking not for attribution, told me about the lunch he recently had at the home of former President Clinton in the New York suburbs. Clinton recounted his last meeting with President Bush over coffee, just before the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2001.

    The outgoing president counseled his successor that he would face five challenges in the international arena - the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, the Al Qaeda terrorist threat, a nuclear-armed North Korea, the India-Pakistan confrontation, and the Saddam Hussein dictatorship in Iraq.

    Clinton was surprised at Bush's response. He said he disagreed with Clinton's order - that he considered Saddam Hussein to be the primary threat that he would have to deal with.

    Well, then I guess the Bush war on terrorism is a success.

    Posted by Eric at 05:57 PM | Comments (8)

    Lobby to Your Mama

    Who knew I've been spendin' all my GW life livin' in a lobbyist paradise?

    Several lobbyists told The Associated Press they need to raise at least $10,000 when trying to get a freshman lawmaker to attend one of their events, $15,000 or more for veterans and at least $50,000 for a congressional committee chairman or leader.


    Getting lawmakers to attend is the key reward for the lobbyists. And the longer they want the lawmaker to stay, the more money they're expected to raise.


    The Independent Petroleum Association of America Wildcatters Fund plans a $500-a-person breakfast next week to raise money for Washington Rep. George Nethercutt, a Republican member of a House energy subcommittee who is trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.


    "We're going to take every opportunity to educate members of Congress about the domestic energy industry," association spokesman Jeff Eshelman explained.

    Yeaaa, I wish people would pay me to get educated.

    Posted by Eric at 05:10 PM | Comments (6)

    Lobby to Your Mama

    Who knew I've been spendin' all my GW life livin' in a lobbyist paradise?

    Several lobbyists told The Associated Press they need to raise at least $10,000 when trying to get a freshman lawmaker to attend one of their events, $15,000 or more for veterans and at least $50,000 for a congressional committee chairman or leader.


    Getting lawmakers to attend is the key reward for the lobbyists. And the longer they want the lawmaker to stay, the more money they're expected to raise.


    The Independent Petroleum Association of America Wildcatters Fund plans a $500-a-person breakfast next week to raise money for Washington Rep. George Nethercutt, a Republican member of a House energy subcommittee who is trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.


    "We're going to take every opportunity to educate members of Congress about the domestic energy industry," association spokesman Jeff Eshelman explained.

    Yeaaa, I wish people would pay me to get educated.

    Posted by Eric at 05:10 PM | Comments (4)

    Bin Laden: High Priority

    Win a copy of Sean Hannity's latest book from the CAP!

    Yesterday, on Hannity and Colmes, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said "the assertion that somehow the Bush administration wasn't paying attention when we came into office is just false." But, despite Rice's comments, we were unable to find a single instance where Rice, Vice President Cheney or President Bush said "al Qaeda" or "bin Laden" in public between Bush Inauguration and 9/11. (The closest thing we could dig up despite extensive searches on Nexis and the White House website was a routine written extension of an executive order dealing with the Taliban.) During the same period, however, we were able to identify roughly 400 times that Rice, Cheney and Bush publicly mentioned "tax relief" or "tax cut." Prove you're better than the Progress Report! Send any instance of Rice, Cheney or Bush uttering the words "al Qaeda" or "bin Laden" in public between 1/20/01 and 9/10/01 to pr@americanprogress.org. The first person to submit a successful entry (which we can verify) will receive a free copy of "Deliver Us From Evil" by Fox News Anchor Sean Hannity signed by the members of the Progress Report team.

    Posted by Eric at 04:32 PM | Comments (16)

    Bin Laden: High Priority

    Win a copy of Sean Hannity's latest book from the CAP!

    Yesterday, on Hannity and Colmes, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said "the assertion that somehow the Bush administration wasn't paying attention when we came into office is just false." But, despite Rice's comments, we were unable to find a single instance where Rice, Vice President Cheney or President Bush said "al Qaeda" or "bin Laden" in public between Bush Inauguration and 9/11. (The closest thing we could dig up despite extensive searches on Nexis and the White House website was a routine written extension of an executive order dealing with the Taliban.) During the same period, however, we were able to identify roughly 400 times that Rice, Cheney and Bush publicly mentioned "tax relief" or "tax cut." Prove you're better than the Progress Report! Send any instance of Rice, Cheney or Bush uttering the words "al Qaeda" or "bin Laden" in public between 1/20/01 and 9/10/01 to pr@americanprogress.org. The first person to submit a successful entry (which we can verify) will receive a free copy of "Deliver Us From Evil" by Fox News Anchor Sean Hannity signed by the members of the Progress Report team.

    Posted by Eric at 04:32 PM | Comments (6)

    March 24, 2004

    Richard Clarke KOs the Bushes?

    This is what Fred Kaplan writes in Slate:

    Richard Clarke made his much-anticipated appearance before the 9/11 commission this afternoon and, right out of the box, delivered a stunning blow to the Bush administrationthe political equivalent of a first-round knockout.

    The blow was so stunning, it took a while to realize that it was a blow. Clarke thanked the members for holding the hearings, saying they finally provided him "a forum where I can apologize" to the victims of 9/11 and their loved ones.

    Why the KO?
    And so now here's Clarke, in an official, nationally broadcast forum, announcing: I failed, I'm sorry, please forgive me. Which, as one member of the panel noted, is more than any official in the Bush administration has said to any victims of the far more devastating 9/11 attacks ... "There's a very fine line that anyone who's been in the White House, in any administration, can tell you about," Clarke replied. Someone in his position had three choices. He could have resigned, but he had important work yet to do. He could have lied, but nobody told him to do that, and he wouldn't have in any case. "The third choice," he said, "is to put the best face you can for the administration on the facts. That's what I did."

    Well, Thompson asked in a bruised tone, is there one set of moral rules for special assistants to the White House and another set for everybody else?

    "It's not a question of morality at all," Clarke replied. "It's a question of politics." The crowd applauded fiercely. To invoke another sports metaphor: Game, set, and match.

    And he's a Republican! The book.

    Posted by Eric at 08:31 PM | Comments (135)

    Richard Clarke KOs the Bushes?

    This is what Fred Kaplan writes in Slate:

    Richard Clarke made his much-anticipated appearance before the 9/11 commission this afternoon and, right out of the box, delivered a stunning blow to the Bush administrationthe political equivalent of a first-round knockout.

    The blow was so stunning, it took a while to realize that it was a blow. Clarke thanked the members for holding the hearings, saying they finally provided him "a forum where I can apologize" to the victims of 9/11 and their loved ones.

    Why the KO?
    And so now here's Clarke, in an official, nationally broadcast forum, announcing: I failed, I'm sorry, please forgive me. Which, as one member of the panel noted, is more than any official in the Bush administration has said to any victims of the far more devastating 9/11 attacks ... "There's a very fine line that anyone who's been in the White House, in any administration, can tell you about," Clarke replied. Someone in his position had three choices. He could have resigned, but he had important work yet to do. He could have lied, but nobody told him to do that, and he wouldn't have in any case. "The third choice," he said, "is to put the best face you can for the administration on the facts. That's what I did."

    Well, Thompson asked in a bruised tone, is there one set of moral rules for special assistants to the White House and another set for everybody else?

    "It's not a question of morality at all," Clarke replied. "It's a question of politics." The crowd applauded fiercely. To invoke another sports metaphor: Game, set, and match.

    And he's a Republican! The book.

    Posted by Eric at 08:31 PM | Comments (17)

    RNC to Visit MTV

    Nothing gets the attention of the kids like the GOP's Reggie the Registration Rig

    For young Americans who care more about G-Unit than the GOP, choosing their favorite music videos on MTV's "Total Request Live" may be as close as they have come to the democratic process.

    Republicans hope to change that by sending their voter registration truck Thursday to two places where Republicans are usually in short supply: MTV and Times Square.

    The National Republican Committee's Reggie the Registration Rig is scheduled to visit the "TRL" studio, where the contest between President Bush and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry usually takes a back seat to the vying videos of Usher and Clay Aiken. RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie will be on hand, espousing the youths' right to vote for the right wing.

    "Chairman Gillespie has three kids of his own ... so he is no stranger to MTV and 'TRL,"' Heather Layman, an RNC spokeswoman, said. "He's hip enough to know how important it is, so I think he'll have fun."

    And using buzzwords like hip always helps connect with the kids.

    Poll wise, Kerry has a 9-point lead over Bush with voters aged 18-29, with GOP Ralph taking away a bunch o' votes.

    Posted by Eric at 03:18 PM | Comments (22)

    RNC to Visit MTV

    Nothing gets the attention of the kids like the GOP's Reggie the Registration Rig

    For young Americans who care more about G-Unit than the GOP, choosing their favorite music videos on MTV's "Total Request Live" may be as close as they have come to the democratic process.

    Republicans hope to change that by sending their voter registration truck Thursday to two places where Republicans are usually in short supply: MTV and Times Square.

    The National Republican Committee's Reggie the Registration Rig is scheduled to visit the "TRL" studio, where the contest between President Bush and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry usually takes a back seat to the vying videos of Usher and Clay Aiken. RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie will be on hand, espousing the youths' right to vote for the right wing.

    "Chairman Gillespie has three kids of his own ... so he is no stranger to MTV and 'TRL,"' Heather Layman, an RNC spokeswoman, said. "He's hip enough to know how important it is, so I think he'll have fun."

    And using buzzwords like hip always helps connect with the kids.

    Poll wise, Kerry has a 9-point lead over Bush with voters aged 18-29, with GOP Ralph taking away a bunch o' votes.

    Posted by Eric at 03:18 PM | Comments (3)

    March 22, 2004

    Response to Richard Clarke Fact Check

    On the administration responding to the Richard Clarke interview, from the Center for American Progress:

    CLAIM #1: Richard Clarke had plenty of opportunities to tell us in the administration that he thought the war on terrorism was moving in the wrong direction and he chose not to. - National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04

    FACT: Clarke sent a memo to Rice principals on 1/24/01 marked urgent asking for a Cabinet-level meeting to deal with an impending Al Qaeda attack. The White House acknowledges this, but says principals did not need to have a formal meeting to discuss the threat. No meeting occurred until one week before 9/11. - White House Press Release, 3/21/04

    CLAIM #2: The president returned to the White House and called me in and said, I've learned from George Tenet that there is no evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. - National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04

    FACT: If this is true, then why did the President and Vice President repeatedly claim Saddam Hussein was directly connected to 9/11? President Bush sent a letter to Congress on 3/19/03 saying that the Iraq war was permitted specifically under legislation that authorized force against nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11. Similarly, Vice President Cheney said on 9/14/03 that It is not surprising that people make that connection between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks, and said we dont know if there is a connection.

    CLAIM #3: "[Clarke] was moved out of the counterterrorism business over to the cybersecurity side of things." - Vice President Dick Cheney on Rush Limbaugh, 3/22/04

    FACT: "Dick Clarke continued, in the Bush Administration, to be the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and the President's principle counterterrorism expert. He was expected to organize and attend all meetings of Principals and Deputies on terrorism. And he did." - White House Press Release, 3/21/04.

    Click down for more

    CLAIM #4: In June and July when the threat spikes were so highwe were at battle stationsThe fact of the matter is [that] the administration focused on this before 9/11. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04

    FACT: Documents indicate that before Sept. 11, Ashcroft did not give terrorism top billing in his strategic plans for the Justice Department, which includes the FBI. A draft of Ashcroft's Strategic Plan from Aug. 9, 2001, does not put fighting terrorism as one of the department's seven goals, ranking it as a sub-goal beneath gun violence and drugs. By contrast, in April 2000, Ashcroft's predecessor, Janet Reno, called terrorism the most challenging threat in the criminal justice area. - Washington Post, 3/22/04

    CLAIM #5: The president launched an aggressive response after 9/11. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04

    FACT: In the early days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Bush White House cut by nearly two-thirds an emergency request for counterterrorism funds by the FBI, an internal administration budget document shows. The papers show that Ashcroft ranked counterterrorism efforts as a lower priority than his predecessor did, and that he resisted FBI requests for more counterterrorism funding before and immediately after the attacks. Washington Post, 3/22/04

    CLAIM #6: "Well, [Clarke] wasn't in the loop, frankly, on a lot of this stuff - Vice President Dick Cheney, 3/22/04

    FACT: "The Government's interagency counterterrorism crisis management forum (the Counterterrorism Security Group, or "CSG") chaired by Dick Clarke met regularly, often daily, during the high threat period." - White House Press Release, 3/21/04

    CLAIM #7: "[Bush] wanted a far more effective policy for trying to deal with [terrorism], and that process was in motion throughout the spring." - Vice President Dick Cheney on Rush Limbaugh, 3/22/04

    FACT: Bush said [in May of 2001] that Cheney would direct a government-wide review on managing the consequences of a domestic attack, and 'I will periodically chair a meeting of the National Security Council to review these efforts.' Neither Cheney's review nor Bush's took place. - Washington Post, 1/20/02

    Posted by Eric at 05:24 PM | Comments (21)

    Response to Richard Clarke Fact Check

    On the administration responding to the Richard Clarke interview, from the Center for American Progress:

    CLAIM #1: Richard Clarke had plenty of opportunities to tell us in the administration that he thought the war on terrorism was moving in the wrong direction and he chose not to. - National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04

    FACT: Clarke sent a memo to Rice principals on 1/24/01 marked urgent asking for a Cabinet-level meeting to deal with an impending Al Qaeda attack. The White House acknowledges this, but says principals did not need to have a formal meeting to discuss the threat. No meeting occurred until one week before 9/11. - White House Press Release, 3/21/04

    CLAIM #2: The president returned to the White House and called me in and said, I've learned from George Tenet that there is no evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. - National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04

    FACT: If this is true, then why did the President and Vice President repeatedly claim Saddam Hussein was directly connected to 9/11? President Bush sent a letter to Congress on 3/19/03 saying that the Iraq war was permitted specifically under legislation that authorized force against nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11. Similarly, Vice President Cheney said on 9/14/03 that It is not surprising that people make that connection between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks, and said we dont know if there is a connection.

    CLAIM #3: "[Clarke] was moved out of the counterterrorism business over to the cybersecurity side of things." - Vice President Dick Cheney on Rush Limbaugh, 3/22/04

    FACT: "Dick Clarke continued, in the Bush Administration, to be the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and the President's principle counterterrorism expert. He was expected to organize and attend all meetings of Principals and Deputies on terrorism. And he did." - White House Press Release, 3/21/04.

    Click down for more

    CLAIM #4: In June and July when the threat spikes were so highwe were at battle stationsThe fact of the matter is [that] the administration focused on this before 9/11. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04

    FACT: Documents indicate that before Sept. 11, Ashcroft did not give terrorism top billing in his strategic plans for the Justice Department, which includes the FBI. A draft of Ashcroft's Strategic Plan from Aug. 9, 2001, does not put fighting terrorism as one of the department's seven goals, ranking it as a sub-goal beneath gun violence and drugs. By contrast, in April 2000, Ashcroft's predecessor, Janet Reno, called terrorism the most challenging threat in the criminal justice area. - Washington Post, 3/22/04

    CLAIM #5: The president launched an aggressive response after 9/11. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04

    FACT: In the early days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Bush White House cut by nearly two-thirds an emergency request for counterterrorism funds by the FBI, an internal administration budget document shows. The papers show that Ashcroft ranked counterterrorism efforts as a lower priority than his predecessor did, and that he resisted FBI requests for more counterterrorism funding before and immediately after the attacks. Washington Post, 3/22/04

    CLAIM #6: "Well, [Clarke] wasn't in the loop, frankly, on a lot of this stuff - Vice President Dick Cheney, 3/22/04

    FACT: "The Government's interagency counterterrorism crisis management forum (the Counterterrorism Security Group, or "CSG") chaired by Dick Clarke met regularly, often daily, during the high threat period." - White House Press Release, 3/21/04

    CLAIM #7: "[Bush] wanted a far more effective policy for trying to deal with [terrorism], and that process was in motion throughout the spring." - Vice President Dick Cheney on Rush Limbaugh, 3/22/04

    FACT: Bush said [in May of 2001] that Cheney would direct a government-wide review on managing the consequences of a domestic attack, and 'I will periodically chair a meeting of the National Security Council to review these efforts.' Neither Cheney's review nor Bush's took place. - Washington Post, 1/20/02

    Posted by Eric at 05:24 PM | Comments (4)

    Richard Clarke Interview

    Part of the Richard Clarke - 60 Minutes interview can be found here on CBS's website.

    And this is the book Richard Clarke has written about his experiences with the White House.

    Posted by Eric at 06:04 AM | Comments (9)

    Richard Clarke Interview

    Part of the Richard Clarke - 60 Minutes interview can be found here on CBS's website.

    And this is the book Richard Clarke has written about his experiences with the White House.

    Posted by Eric at 06:04 AM | Comments (3)

    March 16, 2004

    Christian Coalition Fun

    Let's see, I have that quote around here somewhere, where could it be ... hmmm ... oh, here it is.

    "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone" John 8:7

    So this:

    The Christian Coalition of America (CCA), once a formidable political voice whose advocacy for traditional family values helped propel the Republican Party to power, finds itself at the center of a nasty divorce between top employees.

    The proceeding involves Tracy Ammons, CCAs former Senate lobbyist and outreach coordinator, and Michele Combs, CCA vice president for communications and the daughter of CCA President Roberta Combs.

    Combs and Ammons were wed in December 1999, but their marriage soon disintegrated and was replaced with lawsuits, countersuits and even jail time over relatively small amounts of money that hinge on custody of their 3 1/2-year-old child.

    While the nation debates traditional marriage versus gay marriage, the president of the Christian Coalition, Roberta Combs, is encouraging and bankrolling a nasty, hardball divorce by her own daughter, said Jonathon Moseley, an attorney for Ammons.

    Posted by Eric at 08:38 PM | Comments (7)

    Christian Coalition Fun

    Let's see, I have that quote around here somewhere, where could it be ... hmmm ... oh, here it is.

    "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone" John 8:7

    So this:

    The Christian Coalition of America (CCA), once a formidable political voice whose advocacy for traditional family values helped propel the Republican Party to power, finds itself at the center of a nasty divorce between top employees.

    The proceeding involves Tracy Ammons, CCAs former Senate lobbyist and outreach coordinator, and Michele Combs, CCA vice president for communications and the daughter of CCA President Roberta Combs.

    Combs and Ammons were wed in December 1999, but their marriage soon disintegrated and was replaced with lawsuits, countersuits and even jail time over relatively small amounts of money that hinge on custody of their 3 1/2-year-old child.

    While the nation debates traditional marriage versus gay marriage, the president of the Christian Coalition, Roberta Combs, is encouraging and bankrolling a nasty, hardball divorce by her own daughter, said Jonathon Moseley, an attorney for Ammons.

    Posted by Eric at 08:38 PM | Comments (2)

    Republican on Republican Action

    Courtesy of the DNC blog, the Log Cabin Republicans are starting a

    $1 million TV advertising campaign in swing states targeting President Bushs support for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
    The ads can be seen at their site, logcabin.org, and can be described as
    The 30-second spot opens with Vice President Dick Cheney, framed in grayscale, speaking clearly and deliberately during his 2000 vice presidential debate about freedom and his belief that people should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they choose.

    After several images of gay couples and past civil rights battles, Cheney appears on the screen again and states the position he took gay marriageat that time: I dont think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area. Two words, We Agree, follow Cheneys remarks.

    Posted by Eric at 07:29 PM | Comments (9)

    Republican on Republican Action

    Courtesy of the DNC blog, the Log Cabin Republicans are starting a

    $1 million TV advertising campaign in swing states targeting President Bushs support for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
    The ads can be seen at their site, logcabin.org, and can be described as
    The 30-second spot opens with Vice President Dick Cheney, framed in grayscale, speaking clearly and deliberately during his 2000 vice presidential debate about freedom and his belief that people should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they choose.

    After several images of gay couples and past civil rights battles, Cheney appears on the screen again and states the position he took gay marriageat that time: I dont think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area. Two words, We Agree, follow Cheneys remarks.

    Posted by Eric at 07:29 PM | Comments (1)

    March 12, 2004

    Lying Liars: Bush Administration Hid Medicare Costs from Public

    Or, at least, until the Bush deception was recently revealed. Of course, the White House got its victory since the bill passed. From the talking car Knight-Ridder:

    The government's top expert on Medicare costs was warned that he would be fired if he told key lawmakers about a series of Bush administration cost estimates that could have torpedoed congressional passage of the White House-backed Medicare prescription-drug plan.

    When the House of Representatives passed the controversial benefit by five votes last November, the White House was embracing an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office that it would cost $395 billion in the first 10 years. But for months the administration's own analysts in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had concluded repeatedly that the drug benefit could cost upward of $100 billion more than that.

    Withholding the higher cost projections was important because the White House was facing a revolt from 13 conservative House Republicans who'd vowed to vote against the Medicare drug bill if it cost more than $400 billion.

    Rep. Sue Myrick of North Carolina, one of the 13 Republicans, said she was "very upset" when she learned of the higher estimate.

    Yes, Republicans turning on Republicans. Fun. This is the email the "government's top expert on Medicare costs, Richard S. Foster (chief actuary, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), sent to colleagues that said he would be fired if he talked to lawmakers about his estimates:
    "This whole episode which has now gone on for three weeks has been pretty nightmarish. I'm perhaps no longer in grave danger of being fired, but there remains a strong likelihood that I will have to resign in protest of the withholding of important technical information from key policy makers for political reasons. Stay tuned."
    As the Center for American Progress notes, the White House has a history of threats and intimidation against dissenting individuals.

    Posted by Eric at 05:56 PM | Comments (28)

    Lying Liars: Bush Administration Hid Medicare Costs from Public

    Or, at least, until the Bush deception was recently revealed. Of course, the White House got its victory since the bill passed. From the talking car Knight-Ridder:

    The government's top expert on Medicare costs was warned that he would be fired if he told key lawmakers about a series of Bush administration cost estimates that could have torpedoed congressional passage of the White House-backed Medicare prescription-drug plan.

    When the House of Representatives passed the controversial benefit by five votes last November, the White House was embracing an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office that it would cost $395 billion in the first 10 years. But for months the administration's own analysts in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had concluded repeatedly that the drug benefit could cost upward of $100 billion more than that.

    Withholding the higher cost projections was important because the White House was facing a revolt from 13 conservative House Republicans who'd vowed to vote against the Medicare drug bill if it cost more than $400 billion.

    Rep. Sue Myrick of North Carolina, one of the 13 Republicans, said she was "very upset" when she learned of the higher estimate.

    Yes, Republicans turning on Republicans. Fun. This is the email the "government's top expert on Medicare costs, Richard S. Foster (chief actuary, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), sent to colleagues that said he would be fired if he talked to lawmakers about his estimates:
    "This whole episode which has now gone on for three weeks has been pretty nightmarish. I'm perhaps no longer in grave danger of being fired, but there remains a strong likelihood that I will have to resign in protest of the withholding of important technical information from key policy makers for political reasons. Stay tuned."
    As the Center for American Progress notes, the White House has a history of threats and intimidation against dissenting individuals.

    Posted by Eric at 05:56 PM | Comments (1)

    March 11, 2004

    Tony Raimondo

    If you want to know why the AFL-CIO is spending $44 million to boot Bush, and other unions are taking their lead, see no further than Tony Raimondo, the Bush admin's pick to be "manufacturing czar" to aid the manufacturing industry . Center for American Progress has the dish:

    TONY RAIMONDO IS HOSTILE TO WORKERS: Raimondo is "a longtime board member of the National Association of Manufacturers," a group that is notorious for opposing efforts to improve conditions for American workers. NAM has lobbied to strip 8 million workers of federal overtime protections, consistently opposed any effort to increase the minimum wage to keep up with inflation and fought workplace safety laws.

    TONY RAIMONDO IS A UNION BUSTER: According to the business publication Inc. Magazine, shortly after Raimondo took over Behlen in 1982 he pushed hard to decertify the labor union operating at his company. Raimondo coached management to sweet talk likely union supporters just prior to the vote and, on a close vote, was able to bust the union. Later, Raimondo said that had he not been able to get rid of the union he was not sure he would "have had the courage or determination" to continue operating the company.

    TONY RAIMONDO FACED FINES FOR WORKPLACE VIOLATIONS: Under Raimondo's leadership Behlen has been accused by the federal government of maintaining unsafe working conditions. On 5/16/98 The Omaha World-Herald reported "the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed a $123,000 fine against Behlen Manufacturing Co. of Columbus for alleged safety violations that resulted in an employee being injured."

    Posted by Eric at 02:11 PM | Comments (13)

    Tony Raimondo

    If you want to know why the AFL-CIO is spending $44 million to boot Bush, and other unions are taking their lead, see no further than Tony Raimondo, the Bush admin's pick to be "manufacturing czar" to aid the manufacturing industry . Center for American Progress has the dish:

    TONY RAIMONDO IS HOSTILE TO WORKERS: Raimondo is "a longtime board member of the National Association of Manufacturers," a group that is notorious for opposing efforts to improve conditions for American workers. NAM has lobbied to strip 8 million workers of federal overtime protections, consistently opposed any effort to increase the minimum wage to keep up with inflation and fought workplace safety laws.

    TONY RAIMONDO IS A UNION BUSTER: According to the business publication Inc. Magazine, shortly after Raimondo took over Behlen in 1982 he pushed hard to decertify the labor union operating at his company. Raimondo coached management to sweet talk likely union supporters just prior to the vote and, on a close vote, was able to bust the union. Later, Raimondo said that had he not been able to get rid of the union he was not sure he would "have had the courage or determination" to continue operating the company.

    TONY RAIMONDO FACED FINES FOR WORKPLACE VIOLATIONS: Under Raimondo's leadership Behlen has been accused by the federal government of maintaining unsafe working conditions. On 5/16/98 The Omaha World-Herald reported "the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed a $123,000 fine against Behlen Manufacturing Co. of Columbus for alleged safety violations that resulted in an employee being injured."

    Posted by Eric at 02:11 PM | Comments (8)

    March 02, 2004

    Senate Extends Assault Weapons Ban, Require Gunshow Checks

    It's about time re: gunshows. WPost:

    In the first of two rare victories for gun control advocates, the Senate voted 52-47 to extend for 10 years the ban on 19 types of semi-automatic guns, which was passed in 1994 and expires in September.

    The vote on the proposal by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John W. Warner (R-Va.) and Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) was expected to be even closer than it was, and Vice President Cheney was on hand to cast a tie-breaking vote, which turned out to be unnecessary.

    On the second vote, the Senate approved, 53-46, a proposal by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) to require criminal background checks for purchases from unlicensed as well as licensed dealers at gun shows, closing a loophole in current law that has been blamed for sales of weapons to criminals and terrorists. The Senate passed a similar gun show proposal in 1999, but the House refused to go along.

    A little more about the gun show loophole:
    In 1993, Congress passed the Brady Bill, which requires federally licensed gun dealers to perform background checks on all gun buyers. And the system has worked fairly well - since this law went into effect in 1994, background checks have stopped over 800,000 convicted felons, domestic abusers and other illegal buyers from getting guns. But because the Brady Bill does not apply to private gun sellers, criminals and other prohibited buyers who cannot buy firearms at gun stores can skirt the law and obtain guns from private sellers at gun shows. In most states, these gun sales do not require a background check. That means no ID, no questions asked.

    Criminals and gun-runners have figured it out according the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, gun shows are now the second leading source of guns recovered in illegal gun trafficking investigation. And it doesnt stop with domestic criminals: AGS has uncovered cases in which known or suspected terrorists were able to obtain guns at gun shows.

    So far, only 18 states have closed the gun show loophole and require background checks for all gun show sales (or require some kind of firearms ID card for purchasing a gun). Colorado and Oregon recently closed the loophole by a vote of the electorate loophole-closing ballot initiatives in both states passed by wide margins in the 2000 election. But in 32 states, the loophole remains wide open.

    That is why AGS is backing federal legislation sponsored by Senators John McCain Jack Reed, Mike DeWine and Joe Lieberman. Their bi-partisan bill will require background checks at gun shows and would finally close this dangerous loophole that allows criminals, domestic abusers and even terrorists to get guns.

    Also see myths and facts about gun safety.

    Posted by Eric at 04:13 PM | Comments (2)

    Senate Extends Assault Weapons Ban, Require Gunshow Checks

    It's about time re: gunshows. WPost:

    In the first of two rare victories for gun control advocates, the Senate voted 52-47 to extend for 10 years the ban on 19 types of semi-automatic guns, which was passed in 1994 and expires in September.

    The vote on the proposal by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John W. Warner (R-Va.) and Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) was expected to be even closer than it was, and Vice President Cheney was on hand to cast a tie-breaking vote, which turned out to be unnecessary.

    On the second vote, the Senate approved, 53-46, a proposal by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) to require criminal background checks for purchases from unlicensed as well as licensed dealers at gun shows, closing a loophole in current law that has been blamed for sales of weapons to criminals and terrorists. The Senate passed a similar gun show proposal in 1999, but the House refused to go along.

    A little more about the gun show loophole:
    In 1993, Congress passed the Brady Bill, which requires federally licensed gun dealers to perform background checks on all gun buyers. And the system has worked fairly well - since this law went into effect in 1994, background checks have stopped over 800,000 convicted felons, domestic abusers and other illegal buyers from getting guns. But because the Brady Bill does not apply to private gun sellers, criminals and other prohibited buyers who cannot buy firearms at gun stores can skirt the law and obtain guns from private sellers at gun shows. In most states, these gun sales do not require a background check. That means no ID, no questions asked.

    Criminals and gun-runners have figured it out according the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, gun shows are now the second leading source of guns recovered in illegal gun trafficking investigation. And it doesnt stop with domestic criminals: AGS has uncovered cases in which known or suspected terrorists were able to obtain guns at gun shows.

    So far, only 18 states have closed the gun show loophole and require background checks for all gun show sales (or require some kind of firearms ID card for purchasing a gun). Colorado and Oregon recently closed the loophole by a vote of the electorate loophole-closing ballot initiatives in both states passed by wide margins in the 2000 election. But in 32 states, the loophole remains wide open.

    That is why AGS is backing federal legislation sponsored by Senators John McCain Jack Reed, Mike DeWine and Joe Lieberman. Their bi-partisan bill will require background checks at gun shows and would finally close this dangerous loophole that allows criminals, domestic abusers and even terrorists to get guns.

    Also see myths and facts about gun safety.

    Posted by Eric at 04:13 PM | Comments (2)

    March 01, 2004

    Bush's Risky Stance on Gay Marriage?

    According to Eleanor Clift, Bush's position against gays may actually help the Democrats more than the Repubs (and not to mention the "constitutional amendment banning gay marriage will never get through Congress"). Why is it risky?

    Second, what Bush did is all about base-tending, and the fact that he had to do it this deep into the election cycle reveals a weakness. This is the time when Bush should be reaching for the political center. Instead, from his perspective, he had no choice but to bow to the fire-breathing evangelicals. Without their enthusiastic support in November, he would suffer the same fate as his fatherone term and out.

    Finally, supporting an amendment to the Constitution to exclude a whole group of people from the rights and benefits of marriage is overreaching on a scale that Bush could regret. He dithered about it for weeks, hoping to avoid taking a definitive position. Polls show that a majority of the country opposes gay marriage, but a majority of voters also opposes amending the Constitution. A parade of influential social conservatives warned the White House that Bush couldn't stay on the sidelines. "It reminds me of his father's reelection campaign, when the senior Bush didn't have a strong hold on the conservative base and had to take positions he was uncomfortable with, culminating in the [1992] Houston convention," recalls an aide to a senior Senate Republican. "If you're a Republican, the fact he had to do it is discouraging."

    Posted by Eric at 12:11 AM | Comments (138)

    Bush's Risky Stance on Gay Marriage?

    According to Eleanor Clift, Bush's position against gays may actually help the Democrats more than the Repubs (and not to mention the "constitutional amendment banning gay marriage will never get through Congress"). Why is it risky?

    Second, what Bush did is all about base-tending, and the fact that he had to do it this deep into the election cycle reveals a weakness. This is the time when Bush should be reaching for the political center. Instead, from his perspective, he had no choice but to bow to the fire-breathing evangelicals. Without their enthusiastic support in November, he would suffer the same fate as his fatherone term and out.

    Finally, supporting an amendment to the Constitution to exclude a whole group of people from the rights and benefits of marriage is overreaching on a scale that Bush could regret. He dithered about it for weeks, hoping to avoid taking a definitive position. Polls show that a majority of the country opposes gay marriage, but a majority of voters also opposes amending the Constitution. A parade of influential social conservatives warned the White House that Bush couldn't stay on the sidelines. "It reminds me of his father's reelection campaign, when the senior Bush didn't have a strong hold on the conservative base and had to take positions he was uncomfortable with, culminating in the [1992] Houston convention," recalls an aide to a senior Senate Republican. "If you're a Republican, the fact he had to do it is discouraging."

    Posted by Eric at 12:11 AM | Comments (9)

    February 26, 2004

    McAuliffe Leaving DNC After February of '05

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

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

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

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

    Posted by Eric at 11:15 AM | Comments (5)

    McAuliffe Leaving DNC After February of '05

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

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

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

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

    Posted by Eric at 11:15 AM | Comments (3)

    February 23, 2004

    Rod Paige Calls NEA "terrorist organization"

    Wow. AP:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted by Eric at 09:44 PM | Comments (167)

    Rod Paige Calls NEA "terrorist organization"

    Wow. AP:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted by Eric at 09:44 PM | Comments (23)

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

    From Feb 20's Minnesota Public Radio / Marketplace.

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

    AMY SCOTT reporting:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted by Eric at 08:03 AM | Comments (163)

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

    From Feb 20's Minnesota Public Radio / Marketplace.

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

    AMY SCOTT reporting:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted by Eric at 08:03 AM | Comments (15)

    February 12, 2004

    2 Eyewitnesses: Bush Never Showed

    From the Memphis Flyer:

    Two members of the Air National Guard unit that President George W. Bush allegedly served with as a young Guard flyer in 1972 had been told to expect him and were on the lookout for him. He never showed, however; of that both Bob Mintz and Paul Bishop are certain.

    The question of Bushs presence in 1972 at Dannelly Air National Guard base in Montgomery, Alabama or the lack of it has become an issue in the 2004 presidential campaign.

    Recalls Memphian Mintz, now 63: I remember that I heard someone was coming to drill with us from Texas. And it was implied that it was somebody with political influence. I was a young bachelor then. I was looking for somebody to prowl around with. But, says Mintz, that somebody -- better known to the world now as the president of the United States -- never showed up at Dannelly in 1972. Nor in 1973, nor at any time that Mintz, a FedEx pilot now and an Eastern Airlines pilot then, when he was a reserve first lieutenant at Dannelly, can remember.

    And I was looking for him, repeated Mintz, who said that he assumed that Bush changed his mind and went somewhere else to do his substitute drill. It was not somewhere else, however, but the 187th Air National Guard Tactical squadron at Dannelly to which the young Texas flyer had requested transfer from his regular Texas unit the reason being Bushs wish to work in Alabama on the ultimately unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of family friend Winton "Red" Blount.

    Posted by Eric at 09:00 PM | Comments (104)

    2 Eyewitnesses: Bush Never Showed

    From the Memphis Flyer:

    Two members of the Air National Guard unit that President George W. Bush allegedly served with as a young Guard flyer in 1972 had been told to expect him and were on the lookout for him. He never showed, however; of that both Bob Mintz and Paul Bishop are certain.

    The question of Bushs presence in 1972 at Dannelly Air National Guard base in Montgomery, Alabama or the lack of it has become an issue in the 2004 presidential campaign.

    Recalls Memphian Mintz, now 63: I remember that I heard someone was coming to drill with us from Texas. And it was implied that it was somebody with political influence. I was a young bachelor then. I was looking for somebody to prowl around with. But, says Mintz, that somebody -- better known to the world now as the president of the United States -- never showed up at Dannelly in 1972. Nor in 1973, nor at any time that Mintz, a FedEx pilot now and an Eastern Airlines pilot then, when he was a reserve first lieutenant at Dannelly, can remember.

    And I was looking for him, repeated Mintz, who said that he assumed that Bush changed his mind and went somewhere else to do his substitute drill. It was not somewhere else, however, but the 187th Air National Guard Tactical squadron at Dannelly to which the young Texas flyer had requested transfer from his regular Texas unit the reason being Bushs wish to work in Alabama on the ultimately unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of family friend Winton "Red" Blount.

    Posted by Eric at 09:00 PM | Comments (3)

    GOP Blames Clinton for Iraq Intel Lapse

    You had to have seen this one coming. AP

    In a sign of how Republicans may try to quell criticism of prewar intelligence in Iraq (news - web sites), the head of the House Intelligence Committee tried Wednesday to direct blame to the Clinton administration.

    Rep. Porter J. Goss, R-Fla., said he heard a 1998 speech in which then-President Clinton (news - web sites) warned that something must be done about Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) and his weapons of mass destruction.

    "Unfortunately, he did not complete that task before his term expired," Goss said at a Capitol Hill press conference.

    Goss said the Clinton administration gutted intelligence assets in the 1990s and today's intelligence analysts "did the best they could with what they had."

    Goss also said Clinton rarely, if ever, met with intelligence officials and that top officials in the administration were not "particularly engaged" on the subject.

    Goss said an effort at political correctness prompted intelligence agencies to stop using "distasteful people" for human intelligence, meaning America lost people who served as its eyes and ears around the world.

    Posted by Eric at 07:20 PM | Comments (63)

    GOP Blames Clinton for Iraq Intel Lapse

    You had to have seen this one coming. AP

    In a sign of how Republicans may try to quell criticism of prewar intelligence in Iraq (news - web sites), the head of the House Intelligence Committee tried Wednesday to direct blame to the Clinton administration.

    Rep. Porter J. Goss, R-Fla., said he heard a 1998 speech in which then-President Clinton (news - web sites) warned that something must be done about Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) and his weapons of mass destruction.

    "Unfortunately, he did not complete that task before his term expired," Goss said at a Capitol Hill press conference.

    Goss said the Clinton administration gutted intelligence assets in the 1990s and today's intelligence analysts "did the best they could with what they had."

    Goss also said Clinton rarely, if ever, met with intelligence officials and that top officials in the administration were not "particularly engaged" on the subject.

    Goss said an effort at political correctness prompted intelligence agencies to stop using "distasteful people" for human intelligence, meaning America lost people who served as its eyes and ears around the world.

    Posted by Eric at 07:20 PM | Comments (6)

    February 11, 2004

    DickMorris: Bush SOTU "historic failure"

    According to Dick, the speech "must rank as one of the great failures of recent American politics." Ha.

    Posted by Eric at 09:47 AM | Comments (2)

    DickMorris: Bush SOTU "historic failure"

    According to Dick, the speech "must rank as one of the great failures of recent American politics." Ha.

    Posted by Eric at 09:47 AM | Comments (1)

    February 10, 2004

    Censure Bush?

    MoveOn.org's latest campaign is to censure President Bush for misleading statements about Iraq. Part of their letter/petition:

    But the facts need no clarification. Despite repeated warnings from the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, President Bush and his administration hyped and distorted the threat that Iraq posed.(footnote) And now that reality is setting in, the President seeks to pin the blame on someone else.

    You have the power to censure the President -- to formally reprimand him for his betrayal of the nation's trust. If ever there was a time to use this function, it is now. If you do not act, Congress risks losing its relevance as a check and balance on the Presidency.

    MoveOn.org also placed a full page ad in the Washington Post (not cheap), which can be viewed here.

    Posted by Eric at 08:07 PM | Comments (22)

    Censure Bush?

    MoveOn.org's latest campaign is to censure President Bush for misleading statements about Iraq. Part of their letter/petition:

    But the facts need no clarification. Despite repeated warnings from the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, President Bush and his administration hyped and distorted the threat that Iraq posed.(footnote) And now that reality is setting in, the President seeks to pin the blame on someone else.

    You have the power to censure the President -- to formally reprimand him for his betrayal of the nation's trust. If ever there was a time to use this function, it is now. If you do not act, Congress risks losing its relevance as a check and balance on the Presidency.

    MoveOn.org also placed a full page ad in the Washington Post (not cheap), which can be viewed here.

    Posted by Eric at 08:07 PM | Comments (7)

    February 09, 2004

    The Differences Between Kerry and Bush's Military Records

    As if you needed more, from Mother Jones.

    February 20, 1969:
    Kerry is wounded again, taking shrapnel in the left thigh, after a gunboat battle. He is awarded a second Purple Heart.

    February 28, 1969:
    Kerry and his boat crew, coming under attack while patroling in the Mekong Delta, decide to counterattack. In the middle of the ensuing firefight, Kerry leaves his boat, pursues a Viet Cong fighter into a small hut, kills him, and retreives a rocket launcher. He is awarded a Silver Star.

    March 13, 1969:
    A mine detonates near Kerry's boat, wounding him in the right arm. He is awarded a third Purple Heart. He is also awarded a Bronze Star for pulling a crew member, who had fallen overboard, back on the boat amidst a firefight.

    May 26, 1972:
    Bush transfers to Alabama Guard unit so he can work on Senator William Blount's reelection campaign. According to his commanding officer, Bush never shows up for duty while in Alabama.

    August 1972:
    Bush is grounded for missing a mandatory physical.

    November 1972:
    Bush returns to Houston, but never reports for Guard duty.

    Still, let's call Kerry an unpatriotic Jane Fonda lover.

    Posted by Eric at 06:05 PM | Comments (10)

    The Differences Between Kerry and Bush's Military Records

    As if you needed more, from Mother Jones.

    February 20, 1969:
    Kerry is wounded again, taking shrapnel in the left thigh, after a gunboat battle. He is awarded a second Purple Heart.

    February 28, 1969:
    Kerry and his boat crew, coming under attack while patroling in the Mekong Delta, decide to counterattack. In the middle of the ensuing firefight, Kerry leaves his boat, pursues a Viet Cong fighter into a small hut, kills him, and retreives a rocket launcher. He is awarded a Silver Star.

    March 13, 1969:
    A mine detonates near Kerry's boat, wounding him in the right arm. He is awarded a third Purple Heart. He is also awarded a Bronze Star for pulling a crew member, who had fallen overboard, back on the boat amidst a firefight.

    May 26, 1972:
    Bush transfers to Alabama Guard unit so he can work on Senator William Blount's reelection campaign. According to his commanding officer, Bush never shows up for duty while in Alabama.

    August 1972:
    Bush is grounded for missing a mandatory physical.

    November 1972:
    Bush returns to Houston, but never reports for Guard duty.

    Still, let's call Kerry an unpatriotic Jane Fonda lover.

    Posted by Eric at 06:05 PM | Comments (4)

    Gettin Fristy Wit It

    Sorry, the headline writer has been sacked. According to US News Whispers, people are whispering about Dr. Frist:

    Vice President Dick Cheney's political problems have folks in Tennessee gabbing about rumors that their own Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, would be tagged to take the veep's job if the former Halliburton exec had to step aside. Both sides make the expected denials that anything's afloat.

    Posted by Eric at 01:33 AM | Comments (0)

    Gettin Fristy Wit It

    Sorry, the headline writer has been sacked. According to US News Whispers, people are whispering about Dr. Frist:

    Vice President Dick Cheney's political problems have folks in Tennessee gabbing about rumors that their own Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, would be tagged to take the veep's job if the former Halliburton exec had to step aside. Both sides make the expected denials that anything's afloat.

    Posted by Eric at 01:33 AM | Comments (0)

    Young Republicans Irrelevant

    Funny. According to piece, liberals / Democrats go into fields where they affect government policy (because they like government, duh), but conservatives go into fields where they affect their pocket book (because they like money, duh). Sounds simplistic, but that's what happens.

    Call it a return on investment: Conservative groups have spent millions changing the debate on college campuses, funding and promoting speakers, clubs, magazines and even "affirmative-action bake sales" (minority students are charged 50 cents per cookie, whites, $1, to illustrate the injustice of racial preferences).

    But the investment is yielding a low return. Right-leaning folks wanted to grow young reporters, academics, artists and public servants who would change the culture, not just the campus. Instead, they've grown activists who enjoy campus politics, but flee to the business world or conservative institutions after graduation. Until someone convinces young conservatives to battle up the low-paid ladder of newspapers and other mainstream institutions, conservatives will see livelier campus debates and bake sales for their money but not much cultural change.

    Posted by Eric at 12:27 AM | Comments (97)

    Young Republicans Irrelevant

    Funny. According to piece, liberals / Democrats go into fields where they affect government policy (because they like government, duh), but conservatives go into fields where they affect their pocket book (because they like money, duh). Sounds simplistic, but that's what happens.

    Call it a return on investment: Conservative groups have spent millions changing the debate on college campuses, funding and promoting speakers, clubs, magazines and even "affirmative-action bake sales" (minority students are charged 50 cents per cookie, whites, $1, to illustrate the injustice of racial preferences).

    But the investment is yielding a low return. Right-leaning folks wanted to grow young reporters, academics, artists and public servants who would change the culture, not just the campus. Instead, they've grown activists who enjoy campus politics, but flee to the business world or conservative institutions after graduation. Until someone convinces young conservatives to battle up the low-paid ladder of newspapers and other mainstream institutions, conservatives will see livelier campus debates and bake sales for their money but not much cultural change.

    Posted by Eric at 12:27 AM | Comments (10)

    Where Did Bush Go Wrong?

    In a special report, the American Progress outlines where Bush, in his interview with Russert, went wrong.

    The DNC also has a report, which isn't quite as good, and, for now, is in the blog unfriendly PDF form. How hard is it to put it in HTML?

    Posted by Eric at 12:23 AM | Comments (114)

    Where Did Bush Go Wrong?

    In a special report, the American Progress outlines where Bush, in his interview with Russert, went wrong.

    The DNC also has a report, which isn't quite as good, and, for now, is in the blog unfriendly PDF form. How hard is it to put it in HTML?

    Posted by Eric at 12:23 AM | Comments (6)

    February 08, 2004

    DSCC Responds to Bush MTP

    From a DSCC email:

    Credibility Gap #1 Moving the Goal Posts on the Reason for War
    Bush used the appearance on the Sunday talk show to move the goal posts on the reason for going to war in Iraq by changing his rationale from one where there was "no doubt" [March 17, 2003] that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and posed an "urgent" [September 28, 2002 radio address] threat to America to one in which Hussein "had the capacity to have a weapons, make a weapon," [February 8, 2004, Meet the Press] a standard that could apply to many countries including North Korea, Iran, Syria and Sudan.

    Credibility Gap #2 The Use of Pre War Intelligence Bush's Failure to Heed the CIA's Caveats
    Bush also failed to explain the wide gap between the certainty with which he and his Administration made the case for war, saying there was "no doubt" [March 17, 2003] about Iraq's weapons programs and that Iraq posed "a threat of unique urgency" [October 2, 2002], and the caveats and qualifiers for the intelligence assessment related to Iraq's weapons programs provided at the time by the CIA. On Thursday, in a speech at Georgetown University, CIA Director George Tenet said the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) "never said Iraq was an imminent threat" but Bush chose to use the similar words "urgent" and "urgency" in describing the threat just the same. When asked by Russert to explain why he and is Administration had used such certain language with knowledge of the CIA's caveats and qualifiers Bush referred only to the Administration's new rationale for war "Well, because he had the capacity to have a weapon, make a weapon" [February 8, 2004, Meet the Press].

    Credibility Gap #3 The 911 Commission
    Also today, in his appearance on Meet the Press, President Bush made the audacious claim that his Administration has cooperated with the investigation into intelligence failures prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks being conducted by the 9/11 Commission chaired by former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean (R) and former Congressman Lee Hamilton (D). Bush said to Russert "we have given extraordinary cooperation with Chairmen Kean and Hamilton" despite persistent complaints that the Administration, which fought the establishment of the commission in he first place, has obstructed its work. While Bush claims he is cooperating with the 9/11 Commission, Newsweek Magazine is reporting a very different story in its February 16th issue: Commission sources tell NEWSWEEK that panel members are fed up with what one calls "maddening" restrictions by White House lawyers on their access to key documents. Unless the panel gets to see the docs, the report "will not withstand the laugh test," a commission official says. The panel is threatening to force a showdown soonby voting to subpoena the White House. [Newsweek Magazine, February 16th Issue]

    Credibility Gap #4 Bush and the Budget - "The Mother of All Big Spenders"
    In his appearance today, President Bush fell head long into his growing credibility gap on his management of the nation's finances. As noted by Russert, when Bush took office, the federal budget enjoyed a $281 billion surplus while today the President's Office of Management and Budget has projected a $521 billion deficit for the next fiscal year. Russert noted that Bush has been called the biggest spending president in American history: "But your base conservatives and listen to Rush Limbaugh, the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, they're all saying you are the biggest spender in American history." Bush said his critics were wrong, and he claimed that increased spending had been prompted by the war but that discretionary spending had fallen under his watch. "If you look at the appropriations bills that were passed under my watch, in the last year of President Clinton, discretionary spending was up 15 percent, and ours have steadily declined. And the other thing that I think it's important for people who watch the expenditures side of the equation is to understand we are at war¿" However, the conservative CATO institute as early as last summer called Bush "The Mother of All Big Spenders" [July 28, 2003]. CATO went on to cast doubt on Bush's claim regarding the budget.

    The real truth is that national defense is far from being responsible for all of the spending increases. According to the new numbers, defense spending will have risen by about 34 percent since Bush came into office. But, at the same time, non-defense discretionary spending will have skyrocketed by almost 28 percent. [CATO Institute, July 28, 2003].

    Bush went on to claim that the recent budget he proposed to Congress would halve the deficit (the deficit he created) in five years, though many of his assumptions for such a cut in the deficit have been rejected by members of Congress from both parties. In fact, as has been reported, Bush's budget does not include the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, it counts on revenues that do not exist, such as $2.4 billion from royalty payments for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge which has never passed Congress, and it proposes cuts in popular education programs that Congress is unlikely to approve.

    Credibility Gap #5 Jobs and the Economy
    Tim Russert effectively pointed out the large credibility gap the President has when it comes to his management of the economy. Russert noted that the unemployment rate has shot up from 4.2 percent when Bush took office to 5.6 percent today. Russert also noted that the President's tax cuts have failed to create the jobs he promised they would. Russert noted that instead, the nation has lost 2.2 million jobs on Bush's watch and that the tax cuts have not worked as advertised "But when you proposed your first tax cut in 2001, you said this was going to generate 800,000 new jobs. Your tax cut of 2003, create a million new jobs. That has not happened."

    Bush also claimed that he "want(s) people to find work" though there is no evidence beyond tax cuts for the wealthy that he or his Administration have any concrete plans to either support workers or create jobs. The Administration has opposed the extension of unemployment benefits for millions of Americans which began to expire late last year, and his budget proposes cuts to a host of programs vital to workers and the creation of jobs including the Department of Commerce's Advanced Technology Program and vocational education and literacy programs within the Department of Education.

    Posted by Eric at 06:21 PM | Comments (49)

    DSCC Responds to Bush MTP

    From a DSCC email:

    Credibility Gap #1 Moving the Goal Posts on the Reason for War
    Bush used the appearance on the Sunday talk show to move the goal posts on the reason for going to war in Iraq by changing his rationale from one where there was "no doubt" [March 17, 2003] that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and posed an "urgent" [September 28, 2002 radio address] threat to America to one in which Hussein "had the capacity to have a weapons, make a weapon," [February 8, 2004, Meet the Press] a standard that could apply to many countries including North Korea, Iran, Syria and Sudan.

    Credibility Gap #2 The Use of Pre War Intelligence Bush's Failure to Heed the CIA's Caveats
    Bush also failed to explain the wide gap between the certainty with which he and his Administration made the case for war, saying there was "no doubt" [March 17, 2003] about Iraq's weapons programs and that Iraq posed "a threat of unique urgency" [October 2, 2002], and the caveats and qualifiers for the intelligence assessment related to Iraq's weapons programs provided at the time by the CIA. On Thursday, in a speech at Georgetown University, CIA Director George Tenet said the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) "never said Iraq was an imminent threat" but Bush chose to use the similar words "urgent" and "urgency" in describing the threat just the same. When asked by Russert to explain why he and is Administration had used such certain language with knowledge of the CIA's caveats and qualifiers Bush referred only to the Administration's new rationale for war "Well, because he had the capacity to have a weapon, make a weapon" [February 8, 2004, Meet the Press].

    Credibility Gap #3 The 911 Commission
    Also today, in his appearance on Meet the Press, President Bush made the audacious claim that his Administration has cooperated with the investigation into intelligence failures prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks being conducted by the 9/11 Commission chaired by former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean (R) and former Congressman Lee Hamilton (D). Bush said to Russert "we have given extraordinary cooperation with Chairmen Kean and Hamilton" despite persistent complaints that the Administration, which fought the establishment of the commission in he first place, has obstructed its work. While Bush claims he is cooperating with the 9/11 Commission, Newsweek Magazine is reporting a very different story in its February 16th issue: Commission sources tell NEWSWEEK that panel members are fed up with what one calls "maddening" restrictions by White House lawyers on their access to key documents. Unless the panel gets to see the docs, the report "will not withstand the laugh test," a commission official says. The panel is threatening to force a showdown soonby voting to subpoena the White House. [Newsweek Magazine, February 16th Issue]

    Credibility Gap #4 Bush and the Budget - "The Mother of All Big Spenders"
    In his appearance today, President Bush fell head long into his growing credibility gap on his management of the nation's finances. As noted by Russert, when Bush took office, the federal budget enjoyed a $281 billion surplus while today the President's Office of Management and Budget has projected a $521 billion deficit for the next fiscal year. Russert noted that Bush has been called the biggest spending president in American history: "But your base conservatives and listen to Rush Limbaugh, the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, they're all saying you are the biggest spender in American history." Bush said his critics were wrong, and he claimed that increased spending had been prompted by the war but that discretionary spending had fallen under his watch. "If you look at the appropriations bills that were passed under my watch, in the last year of President Clinton, discretionary spending was up 15 percent, and ours have steadily declined. And the other thing that I think it's important for people who watch the expenditures side of the equation is to understand we are at war¿" However, the conservative CATO institute as early as last summer called Bush "The Mother of All Big Spenders" [July 28, 2003]. CATO went on to cast doubt on Bush's claim regarding the budget.

    The real truth is that national defense is far from being responsible for all of the spending increases. According to the new numbers, defense spending will have risen by about 34 percent since Bush came into office. But, at the same time, non-defense discretionary spending will have skyrocketed by almost 28 percent. [CATO Institute, July 28, 2003].

    Bush went on to claim that the recent budget he proposed to Congress would halve the deficit (the deficit he created) in five years, though many of his assumptions for such a cut in the deficit have been rejected by members of Congress from both parties. In fact, as has been reported, Bush's budget does not include the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, it counts on revenues that do not exist, such as $2.4 billion from royalty payments for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge which has never passed Congress, and it proposes cuts in popular education programs that Congress is unlikely to approve.

    Credibility Gap #5 Jobs and the Economy
    Tim Russert effectively pointed out the large credibility gap the President has when it comes to his management of the economy. Russert noted that the unemployment rate has shot up from 4.2 percent when Bush took office to 5.6 percent today. Russert also noted that the President's tax cuts have failed to create the jobs he promised they would. Russert noted that instead, the nation has lost 2.2 million jobs on Bush's watch and that the tax cuts have not worked as advertised "But when you proposed your first tax cut in 2001, you said this was going to generate 800,000 new jobs. Your tax cut of 2003, create a million new jobs. That has not happened."

    Bush also claimed that he "want(s) people to find work" though there is no evidence beyond tax cuts for the wealthy that he or his Administration have any concrete plans to either support workers or create jobs. The Administration has opposed the extension of unemployment benefits for millions of Americans which began to expire late last year, and his budget proposes cuts to a host of programs vital to workers and the creation of jobs including the Department of Commerce's Advanced Technology Program and vocational education and literacy programs within the Department of Education.

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

    February 06, 2004

    Party Infighting in GOP

    According to the Washington Times, some Republicans are none too happy about Bush:

    House lawmakers, stunned by the intensity of their constituents' displeasure at some of Mr. Bush's key domestic policies, gave his political strategist Karl Rove an earful behind closed doors.

    "It was intense, but I was not surprised at the tone of questioning during Rove's session," said Rep. Tom Feeney, Florida Republican. "But then this was supposed to be a no-holds-barred discussion, and our constituents are upset."

    "They were all over Karl on immigration and spending," said Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican and a leading House proponent of controlling the nation's borders and curbing illegal immigration. "This is the first time I didn't even have to raise the immigration issue myself. Everyone else did."

    Posted by Eric at 02:46 PM | Comments (16)

    Party Infighting in GOP

    According to the Washington Times, some Republicans are none too happy about Bush:

    House lawmakers, stunned by the intensity of their constituents' displeasure at some of Mr. Bush's key domestic policies, gave his political strategist Karl Rove an earful behind closed doors.

    "It was intense, but I was not surprised at the tone of questioning during Rove's session," said Rep. Tom Feeney, Florida Republican. "But then this was supposed to be a no-holds-barred discussion, and our constituents are upset."

    "They were all over Karl on immigration and spending," said Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican and a leading House proponent of controlling the nation's borders and curbing illegal immigration. "This is the first time I didn't even have to raise the immigration issue myself. Everyone else did."

    Posted by Eric at 02:46 PM | Comments (2)

    The Bush National Guard Record

    From the Boston Globe. Basic information, and also look at AWOLBush

    Posted by Eric at 01:42 PM | Comments (1)

    The Bush National Guard Record

    From the Boston Globe. Basic information, and also look at AWOLBush

    Posted by Eric at 01:42 PM | Comments (0)

    January 28, 2004

    Frist Aide on Leave

    The first in what should be many more ... who else, and how far did the leaks go (authorized)?

    An aide to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has been put on leave during an investigation into how Republicans gained access to Democratic memos concerning opposition to President Bush's judicial nominees.

    Manuel Miranda, who works for the Tennessee Republican on judicial nominations, is on leave pending the outcome of the inquiry by the Senate sergeant-at-arms, Frist spokesman Nick Smith said Tuesday. In the matter under investigation, Democratic memos stored on a computer server shared by Judiciary Committee members ended up in GOP hands.

    Miranda told The Knoxville News-Sentinel that investigators were looking at work he performed for the Judiciary Committee before he joined Frist's office. "There was no stealing," he said. "No systematic surveillance. I never forwarded these memos period."

    Asked about the investigation Tuesday, Frist refused to talk about it.

    Posted by Eric at 01:44 PM | Comments (59)

    Frist Aide on Leave

    The first in what should be many more ... who else, and how far did the leaks go (authorized)?

    An aide to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has been put on leave during an investigation into how Republicans gained access to Democratic memos concerning opposition to President Bush's judicial nominees.

    Manuel Miranda, who works for the Tennessee Republican on judicial nominations, is on leave pending the outcome of the inquiry by the Senate sergeant-at-arms, Frist spokesman Nick Smith said Tuesday. In the matter under investigation, Democratic memos stored on a computer server shared by Judiciary Committee members ended up in GOP hands.

    Miranda told The Knoxville News-Sentinel that investigators were looking at work he performed for the Judiciary Committee before he joined Frist's office. "There was no stealing," he said. "No systematic surveillance. I never forwarded these memos period."

    Asked about the investigation Tuesday, Frist refused to talk about it.

    Posted by Eric at 01:44 PM | Comments (7)

    January 26, 2004

    The Bush Legacy

    Someone has to get a summer job. Deficits galore.

    Federal deficits will total nearly $2.4 trillion over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office projected Monday, a worsening of nearly $1 trillion since its last forecast in August.

    In its annual wintertime economic update, Congress' nonpartisan fiscal analyst also projected that the red ink would hit a record $477 billion this year.

    Though the report envisions next year's shortfall dipping to $362 billion, the estimates are sure to become ammunition in the election-year fight over red ink. Already, Democrats are hitting President Bush for the stark reversal from huge surpluses of just three years ago, while conservative Republicans are criticizing him for excessive spending as well.

    "The president wants to go to Mars, and he's got deficits going to the moon," said Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee.

    Conrad, that joker. Deficits, which reminds me ...

    Posted by Eric at 07:14 PM | Comments (89)

    The Bush Legacy

    Someone has to get a summer job. Deficits galore.

    Federal deficits will total nearly $2.4 trillion over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office projected Monday, a worsening of nearly $1 trillion since its last forecast in August.

    In its annual wintertime economic update, Congress' nonpartisan fiscal analyst also projected that the red ink would hit a record $477 billion this year.

    Though the report envisions next year's shortfall dipping to $362 billion, the estimates are sure to become ammunition in the election-year fight over red ink. Already, Democrats are hitting President Bush for the stark reversal from huge surpluses of just three years ago, while conservative Republicans are criticizing him for excessive spending as well.

    "The president wants to go to Mars, and he's got deficits going to the moon," said Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee.

    Conrad, that joker. Deficits, which reminds me ...

    Posted by Eric at 07:14 PM | Comments (0)

    January 21, 2004

    Young Republicans Practicing Hispanic Outreach in California

    It's never too early to start voter outreach in your high school campus. Just ask Tim Bueler, likely candidate for jr. class court attendant at the prom:

    Since the beginning of January, Bueler has been escorted by an adult school official to and from every class and to his father's car at the end of the day. The precaution was ordered by the school district superintendent after several confrontations between Bueler and fellow members of the school Conservative Club, and other students who object to what they claim are "racist" writings in the club's political tracts ...

    According to a timeline issued by the Cotati-Rohnert Park City School District, the controversy started Dec. 3 when the Conservative Club, which Bueler organized last fall, posted an inflammatory flier at the high school announcing the creation of a "Conservative Hotline," where students could report examples of "un-American" comments by their teachers.

    "Let's take a stand against the liberal traitors who call themselves teachers," proclaimed the flier, which had not been approved by the club's faculty advisor as required under school rules.

    In response, an anonymous faculty member proposed a "Liberal Hotline" to counter the Conservative Club. "Have you heard any un-American comments expressed by your reactionary students lately?" the flier asked, parodying the original. "Let's take a stand against the neo-conservative wing-nuts who call themselves Americans." The Liberal flier concluded: "P.S. Flush Rush," referring to right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

    On Dec. 12 Bueler inflamed matters by distributing a Conservative Club newsletter in which he wrote that "Liberals welcome every Muhammad, Jamul and Jose who wishes to leave his Third World state and come to America mostly illegally to rip off our health-care system, balkanize our language and destroy our political system."

    The statement was borrowed directly from the sayings and writings of nationally syndicated San Francisco radio host Michael Savage, whom Buehler credits for inspiration.

    The resulting political turmoil which angered some of the school's Latino students and provoked a letter of protest from 40 school officials, including the nurse and Principal Carter has tested the 1st Amendment tethers of this bedroom community about one hour's drive north of San Francisco.

    Posted by Eric at 09:06 AM | Comments (91)

    Young Republicans Practicing Hispanic Outreach in California

    It's never too early to start voter outreach in your high school campus. Just ask Tim Bueler, likely candidate for jr. class court attendant at the prom:

    Since the beginning of January, Bueler has been escorted by an adult school official to and from every class and to his father's car at the end of the day. The precaution was ordered by the school district superintendent after several confrontations between Bueler and fellow members of the school Conservative Club, and other students who object to what they claim are "racist" writings in the club's political tracts ...

    According to a timeline issued by the Cotati-Rohnert Park City School District, the controversy started Dec. 3 when the Conservative Club, which Bueler organized last fall, posted an inflammatory flier at the high school announcing the creation of a "Conservative Hotline," where students could report examples of "un-American" comments by their teachers.

    "Let's take a stand against the liberal traitors who call themselves teachers," proclaimed the flier, which had not been approved by the club's faculty advisor as required under school rules.

    In response, an anonymous faculty member proposed a "Liberal Hotline" to counter the Conservative Club. "Have you heard any un-American comments expressed by your reactionary students lately?" the flier asked, parodying the original. "Let's take a stand against the neo-conservative wing-nuts who call themselves Americans." The Liberal flier concluded: "P.S. Flush Rush," referring to right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

    On Dec. 12 Bueler inflamed matters by distributing a Conservative Club newsletter in which he wrote that "Liberals welcome every Muhammad, Jamul and Jose who wishes to leave his Third World state and come to America mostly illegally to rip off our health-care system, balkanize our language and destroy our political system."

    The statement was borrowed directly from the sayings and writings of nationally syndicated San Francisco radio host Michael Savage, whom Buehler credits for inspiration.

    The resulting political turmoil which angered some of the school's Latino students and provoked a letter of protest from 40 school officials, including the nurse and Principal Carter has tested the 1st Amendment tethers of this bedroom community about one hour's drive north of San Francisco.

    Posted by Eric at 09:06 AM | Comments (50)

    January 20, 2004

    Bush SOTU

    Here's the transcript ...

    I'll post responses when they are available. Al Franken's response can be heard here. Center for American Progress will probably also have a good response online. They already did a pre-speech rebuttal.

    Posted by Eric at 09:41 PM | Comments (38)

    Bush SOTU

    Here's the transcript ...

    I'll post responses when they are available. Al Franken's response can be heard here. Center for American Progress will probably also have a good response online. They already did a pre-speech rebuttal.

    Posted by Eric at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

    January 19, 2004

    See Candidates Eat

    Yeah, that's a little bit weird.

    I want to give James O'Brien due credit for coming up with an entirely original (albeit very, very weird) way to analyze the current political contest, which launches tonight with the Iowa caucuses.

    O'Brien meets with various candidates and watches them, well, eat.

    "John Edwards is choking on a piece of popcorn chicken, and I'm worried I may have to Heimlich him," O'Brien begins his article in the February GQ.

    Howard Dean "eschews the quiche because it has 'something in it.' He orders a peach yogurt instead. A disappointing choice: I've never known a man to open up over a cup of peach yogurt."

    Dick Gephardt "shoves a piece [of cherry pie] into his mouth and moans."

    O'Brien wasn't allowed to watch John Kerry eat.

    "The senator may have some issues with food," he theorizes, recalling when Kerry ordered a Philadelphia cheese steak with "Swiss cheese [everyone knows you get it with Cheez Whiz] and proceeded to eat it daintily and with seeming disgust."

    Posted by Eric at 09:54 AM | Comments (24)

    See Candidates Eat

    Yeah, that's a little bit weird.

    I want to give James O'Brien due credit for coming up with an entirely original (albeit very, very weird) way to analyze the current political contest, which launches tonight with the Iowa caucuses.

    O'Brien meets with various candidates and watches them, well, eat.

    "John Edwards is choking on a piece of popcorn chicken, and I'm worried I may have to Heimlich him," O'Brien begins his article in the February GQ.

    Howard Dean "eschews the quiche because it has 'something in it.' He orders a peach yogurt instead. A disappointing choice: I've never known a man to open up over a cup of peach yogurt."

    Dick Gephardt "shoves a piece [of cherry pie] into his mouth and moans."

    O'Brien wasn't allowed to watch John Kerry eat.

    "The senator may have some issues with food," he theorizes, recalling when Kerry ordered a Philadelphia cheese steak with "Swiss cheese [everyone knows you get it with Cheez Whiz] and proceeded to eat it daintily and with seeming disgust."

    Posted by Eric at 09:54 AM | Comments (1)

    January 17, 2004

    Al Franken to Offer State of Union Response

    In coordination with 2020 Democrats. The Press Release:

    Leading progressive commentator, best-selling author and comedian Al Franken
    will offer candid analysis of President Bush's 2004 State of the Union address
    this Tuesday evening following the official Democratic Party response. On a
    conference call, Franken will join at least a thousand callers as well as
    hundreds of members of 2020 Democrats gathering at house parties across the
    country.

    2020 Democrats is a nationwide network of progressive youth committed to
    creating a vision that articulates the long-term aspirations of our party and
    our nation. In an effort to communicate youth views on the state of our union,
    2020 asked young people from around the country to submit their views on the
    State of the Union at www.2020Democrats.org/souvision.php. On Tuesday morning,
    these views will be delivered to the White House.

    After the speech, Franken will offer his own humorous - and serious - opinions
    on the President's performance and comment on the importance of youth
    involvement in politics.

    For more information on 2020 Democrats, visit www.2020democrats.org.

    WHAT: State This / Al Franken Responds to the State of the Union Address
    Franken will make commentary and take questions from interested media and the
    young people of 2020.

    WHEN: Tuesday, January 20th, 2004
    Approximately 10:30 pm for 20 minutes, immediately following the Democratic
    Party's response to the State of the Union address.

    CALL IN NUMBER: 1-877-366-0713
    PASSCODE: 64520911#

    Posted by Eric at 01:25 AM | Comments (9)

    Al Franken to Offer State of Union Response

    In coordination with 2020 Democrats. The Press Release:

    Leading progressive commentator, best-selling author and comedian Al Franken
    will offer candid analysis of President Bush's 2004 State of the Union address
    this Tuesday evening following the official Democratic Party response. On a
    conference call, Franken will join at least a thousand callers as well as
    hundreds of members of 2020 Democrats gathering at house parties across the
    country.

    2020 Democrats is a nationwide network of progressive youth committed to
    creating a vision that articulates the long-term aspirations of our party and
    our nation. In an effort to communicate youth views on the state of our union,
    2020 asked young people from around the country to submit their views on the
    State of the Union at www.2020Democrats.org/souvision.php. On Tuesday morning,
    these views will be delivered to the White House.

    After the speech, Franken will offer his own humorous - and serious - opinions
    on the President's performance and comment on the importance of youth
    involvement in politics.

    For more information on 2020 Democrats, visit www.2020democrats.org.

    WHAT: State This / Al Franken Responds to the State of the Union Address
    Franken will make commentary and take questions from interested media and the
    young people of 2020.

    WHEN: Tuesday, January 20th, 2004
    Approximately 10:30 pm for 20 minutes, immediately following the Democratic
    Party's response to the State of the Union address.

    CALL IN NUMBER: 1-877-366-0713
    PASSCODE: 64520911#

    Posted by Eric at 01:25 AM | Comments (5)

    January 16, 2004

    Bush Immigration Plan Angers Conservatives

    Where's Pat Buchanan when you need him? According to the Wash Times:

    "The Republican Congress is spending at twice the rate as under Bill Clinton, and President Bush has yet to issue a single veto," Paul M. Weyrich, national chairman of Coalitions for America, said at a news briefing with the other five leaders. "I complained about profligate spending during the Clinton years but never thought I'd have to do so with a Republican in the White House and Republicans controlling the Congress."

    Warning of adverse consequences in the November elections, the leaders said the Senate must reject the latest House-passed omnibus spending bill or Mr. Bush should veto the measure.

    "The whole purpose of having a Republican president is to lead the Republican Congress," said Paul Beckner, president of Citizens for a Sound Economy, whose co-chairman is former House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas. "The Constitution gives the president the power to veto legislation, and if Congress won't act in a fiscally responsible way, the president has to step in but he hasn't done that."

    "If the president doesn't take a stand on this, there's a real chance the Republicans' voter base will not be enthusiastic about turning out in November, no matter who the Democrats nominate," Mr. Beckner said.

    Mr. Weyrich warned that if the Senate passes the omnibus bill and the president fails to veto it, "in all probability the party's conservative-activist core voters aren't going to work to help win the election for Bush and the Republicans, and they may well not even vote."

    Indeed, the Heritage Foundation - the conservative think-tank - points the finger at the Republican White House and Congress:
    Altogether, total federal spending in 2003 topped $20,000 per household for the first time since World War II, and is set to grow another $1,000 per household in 2004.[4] It is time for President Bush and Congress to stop playing budget bookkeeping games and take a stand against runaway spending by rewriting the omnibus appropriations bill.

    Posted by Eric at 09:16 AM | Comments (9)

    Bush Immigration Plan Angers Conservatives

    Where's Pat Buchanan when you need him? According to the Wash Times:

    "The Republican Congress is spending at twice the rate as under Bill Clinton, and President Bush has yet to issue a single veto," Paul M. Weyrich, national chairman of Coalitions for America, said at a news briefing with the other five leaders. "I complained about profligate spending during the Clinton years but never thought I'd have to do so with a Republican in the White House and Republicans controlling the Congress."

    Warning of adverse consequences in the November elections, the leaders said the Senate must reject the latest House-passed omnibus spending bill or Mr. Bush should veto the measure.

    "The whole purpose of having a Republican president is to lead the Republican Congress," said Paul Beckner, president of Citizens for a Sound Economy, whose co-chairman is former House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas. "The Constitution gives the president the power to veto legislation, and if Congress won't act in a fiscally responsible way, the president has to step in but he hasn't done that."

    "If the president doesn't take a stand on this, there's a real chance the Republicans' voter base will not be enthusiastic about turning out in November, no matter who the Democrats nominate," Mr. Beckner said.

    Mr. Weyrich warned that if the Senate passes the omnibus bill and the president fails to veto it, "in all probability the party's conservative-activist core voters aren't going to work to help win the election for Bush and the Republicans, and they may well not even vote."

    Indeed, the Heritage Foundation - the conservative think-tank - points the finger at the Republican White House and Congress:
    Altogether, total federal spending in 2003 topped $20,000 per household for the first time since World War II, and is set to grow another $1,000 per household in 2004.[4] It is time for President Bush and Congress to stop playing budget bookkeeping games and take a stand against runaway spending by rewriting the omnibus appropriations bill.

    Posted by Eric at 09:16 AM | Comments (2)

    January 12, 2004

    O'Neill on 60 Minutes

    Hey, what would he know? It's not like he was in some sort of inner circle of political advisers, like a 'cabinet,' or something ... transcript

    From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go, says ONeill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11.

    From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime, says Suskind. Day one, these things were laid and sealed.

    As treasury secretary, O'Neill was a permanent member of the National Security Council. He says in the book he was surprised at the meeting that questions such as "Why Saddam?" and "Why now?" were never asked.

    "It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying Go find me a way to do this," says ONeill. For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap.

    And that came up at this first meeting, says ONeill, who adds that the discussion of Iraq continued at the next National Security Council meeting two days later.

    He got briefing materials under this cover sheet. There are memos. One of them marked, secret, says, Plan for post-Saddam Iraq," adds Suskind, who says that they discussed an occupation of Iraq in January and February of 2001.

    Also this ...
    He says everyone expected Mr. Bush to rubber stamp the plan under discussion: a big new tax cut. But, according to Suskind, the president was perhaps having second thoughts about cutting taxes again, and was uncharacteristically engaged.

    He asks, Haven't we already given money to rich people? This second tax cut's gonna do it again, says Suskind.

    He says, Didnt we already, why are we doing it again? Now, his advisers, they say, Well Mr. President, the upper class, they're the entrepreneurs. That's the standard response. And the president kind of goes, OK. That's their response. And then, he comes back to it again. Well, shouldn't we be giving money to the middle, won't people be able to say, You did it once, and then you did it twice, and what was it good for?"

    But according to the transcript, White House political advisor Karl Rove jumped in.

    Karl Rove is saying to the president, a kind of mantra. Stick to principle. Stick to principle. He says it over and over again, says Suskind. Dont waver.

    Posted by Eric at 12:06 PM | Comments (42)

    O'Neill on 60 Minutes

    Hey, what would he know? It's not like he was in some sort of inner circle of political advisers, like a 'cabinet,' or something ... transcript

    From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go, says ONeill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11.

    From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime, says Suskind. Day one, these things were laid and sealed.

    As treasury secretary, O'Neill was a permanent member of the National Security Council. He says in the book he was surprised at the meeting that questions such as "Why Saddam?" and "Why now?" were never asked.

    "It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying Go find me a way to do this," says ONeill. For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap.

    And that came up at this first meeting, says ONeill, who adds that the discussion of Iraq continued at the next National Security Council meeting two days later.

    He got briefing materials under this cover sheet. There are memos. One of them marked, secret, says, Plan for post-Saddam Iraq," adds Suskind, who says that they discussed an occupation of Iraq in January and February of 2001.

    Also this ...
    He says everyone expected Mr. Bush to rubber stamp the plan under discussion: a big new tax cut. But, according to Suskind, the president was perhaps having second thoughts about cutting taxes again, and was uncharacteristically engaged.

    He asks, Haven't we already given money to rich people? This second tax cut's gonna do it again, says Suskind.

    He says, Didnt we already, why are we doing it again? Now, his advisers, they say, Well Mr. President, the upper class, they're the entrepreneurs. That's the standard response. And the president kind of goes, OK. That's their response. And then, he comes back to it again. Well, shouldn't we be giving money to the middle, won't people be able to say, You did it once, and then you did it twice, and what was it good for?"

    But according to the transcript, White House political advisor Karl Rove jumped in.

    Karl Rove is saying to the president, a kind of mantra. Stick to principle. Stick to principle. He says it over and over again, says Suskind. Dont waver.

    Posted by Eric at 12:06 PM | Comments (5)

    New Book: American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

    Just released:

    cover

    American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

    Booklist Description:

    There are many Bush-bashing books out there, but this one is quite different. Ivins, Franken, and Conason, among others, have focused primarily on the current president's administration. This book, written by a former Republican strategist, is more wide ranging, more scholarly, and in many ways, more disturbing. Focusing on the last four generations of Bush men, Phillips brings the reader into the secretive upper echelon of the American power establishment, where connections are made in Ivy League clubs, and he shows how members of that old-boy network become the policymakers of the country. In the case of the Bushes, this resulted not only in money and power but also in links to the CIA, the energy industry, and the military-industrial complex--links that have shaped this country's national and foreign policy for decades. Phillips explains the Bushes' relationship with Enron and the House of Saud in eyebrow-raising detail and adds confirming information about troubling claims, including the notion that the Reagan-Bush ticket arranged that American captives would not be released from Iran until Reagan took office. One of Phillips' main points is the juxtaposition between the Bush family ascent and European aristocracies, but this discussion almost seems intrusive. Unfortunately, Phillips' source notes were not appended in the galley; it will be interesting to peruse them in the finished book, which will generate much debate in the coming months.

    Phillips also wrote about the Bushes in the LAT over the weekend.

    Posted by Eric at 06:15 AM | Comments (24)

    New Book: American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

    Just released:

    cover

    American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

    Booklist Description:

    There are many Bush-bashing books out there, but this one is quite different. Ivins, Franken, and Conason, among others, have focused primarily on the current president's administration. This book, written by a former Republican strategist, is more wide ranging, more scholarly, and in many ways, more disturbing. Focusing on the last four generations of Bush men, Phillips brings the reader into the secretive upper echelon of the American power establishment, where connections are made in Ivy League clubs, and he shows how members of that old-boy network become the policymakers of the country. In the case of the Bushes, this resulted not only in money and power but also in links to the CIA, the energy industry, and the military-industrial complex--links that have shaped this country's national and foreign policy for decades. Phillips explains the Bushes' relationship with Enron and the House of Saud in eyebrow-raising detail and adds confirming information about troubling claims, including the notion that the Reagan-Bush ticket arranged that American captives would not be released from Iran until Reagan took office. One of Phillips' main points is the juxtaposition between the Bush family ascent and European aristocracies, but this discussion almost seems intrusive. Unfortunately, Phillips' source notes were not appended in the galley; it will be interesting to peruse them in the finished book, which will generate much debate in the coming months.

    Phillips also wrote about the Bushes in the LAT over the weekend.

    Posted by Eric at 06:15 AM | Comments (1)

    January 09, 2004

    Ex-Treasury secretary O'Neill: Bush uninterested in government policy

    Not like we didn't know that from the previous books written about Bush and his 'rise' to power, but it's nice that a former member of his cabinet is leaking out the information.

    White House officials braced yesterday for a forthcoming book in which former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill lavishes criticism on the Bush administration.

    The book, "The Price of Loyalty," chronicles O'Neill's tenure at Treasury and conveys his impression of President Bush as a man uninterested in government policy, who tuned out detailed discussion of the economy and whose decisions were driven primarily by partisan politics.

    Posted by Eric at 06:55 PM | Comments (11)

    Ex-Treasury secretary O'Neill: Bush uninterested in government policy

    Not like we didn't know that from the previous books written about Bush and his 'rise' to power, but it's nice that a former member of his cabinet is leaking out the information.

    White House officials braced yesterday for a forthcoming book in which former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill lavishes criticism on the Bush administration.

    The book, "The Price of Loyalty," chronicles O'Neill's tenure at Treasury and conveys his impression of President Bush as a man uninterested in government policy, who tuned out detailed discussion of the economy and whose decisions were driven primarily by partisan politics.

    Posted by Eric at 06:55 PM | Comments (1)

    January 05, 2004

    New Vanity Fair Piece to Slam Ashcroft

    The Justice Dept calls it a 'hit piece ... and can hardly be called journalism." According to the NY Daily News, the piece will include such allegations as:

    Bachrach writes that former Missouri Sen. Ashcroft - a devout adherent of the Christian fundamentalist Assemblies of God denomination - presides over regular prayer groups in his office for Justice Department employees and "routinely compares himself to Christ in his 1998 memoir ... in which he refers to his campaign victories as 'resurrections' [and defeats as] 'crucifixions.'"

    Therapist William Demeo tells Bachrach that Ashcroft's "determination to liken his political career to the life and death of Christ is a sign of 'narcissism - without question.' "

    While hosting a dinner as governor of Missouri, she reports, Ashcroft once tactlessly insulted the African-American waiters at the mansion, noting that the valuables were "bolted down" because the waiters were convicts on furlough from state prison. Ashcroft allegedly told a guest: "I'm sure you know who the waiters are. You know how they are."

    At the Justice Department, Bachrach alleges, Ashcroft has replaced influential women and minorities with white men, and when he gathered a group of female Justice lawyers to mark Women's History Month, he arranged for his wife, Janet, to address them.

    "And he introduces her by saying she's the woman who taught him how to put the dishes away," a witness recounts.

    You can learn more about Ashcroft from PFAW including this:
    Ashcroft spent years and significant state resources in efforts to stymie voluntary St. Louis desegregation plans designed to enable city and suburban students and families to choose whether to participate on a completely voluntary basis. He repeatedly tried to delay and reverse court orders, and his arguments were rejected in three appeals to the Supreme Court. He was threatened with contempt of court and was criticized and rebuked by federal judges. His conduct was likened to the Southern "massive resistance" that had followed the Supreme Courts decision more than two decades earlier in Brown v. Board of Education. Observers chastised him for exploiting his opposition to desegregation in his campaign for governor through rhetoric widely perceived as racially divisive. Even supporters and fellow Republicans criticized his tactics. And he failed completely to undertake meaningful efforts to solve the problems of state-created segregation, to resolve the litigation through negotiations or settlement, or to provide constructive leadership on the issue, all important qualities for a future U.S. Attorney General.

    Posted by Eric at 05:36 PM | Comments (15)

    New Vanity Fair Piece to Slam Ashcroft

    The Justice Dept calls it a 'hit piece ... and can hardly be called journalism." According to the NY Daily News, the piece will include such allegations as:

    Bachrach writes that former Missouri Sen. Ashcroft - a devout adherent of the Christian fundamentalist Assemblies of God denomination - presides over regular prayer groups in his office for Justice Department employees and "routinely compares himself to Christ in his 1998 memoir ... in which he refers to his campaign victories as 'resurrections' [and defeats as] 'crucifixions.'"

    Therapist William Demeo tells Bachrach that Ashcroft's "determination to liken his political career to the life and death of Christ is a sign of 'narcissism - without question.' "

    While hosting a dinner as governor of Missouri, she reports, Ashcroft once tactlessly insulted the African-American waiters at the mansion, noting that the valuables were "bolted down" because the waiters were convicts on furlough from state prison. Ashcroft allegedly told a guest: "I'm sure you know who the waiters are. You know how they are."

    At the Justice Department, Bachrach alleges, Ashcroft has replaced influential women and minorities with white men, and when he gathered a group of female Justice lawyers to mark Women's History Month, he arranged for his wife, Janet, to address them.

    "And he introduces her by saying she's the woman who taught him how to put the dishes away," a witness recounts.

    You can learn more about Ashcroft from PFAW including this:
    Ashcroft spent years and significant state resources in efforts to stymie voluntary St. Louis desegregation plans designed to enable city and suburban students and families to choose whether to participate on a completely voluntary basis. He repeatedly tried to delay and reverse court orders, and his arguments were rejected in three appeals to the Supreme Court. He was threatened with contempt of court and was criticized and rebuked by federal judges. His conduct was likened to the Southern "massive resistance" that had followed the Supreme Courts decision more than two decades earlier in Brown v. Board of Education. Observers chastised him for exploiting his opposition to desegregation in his campaign for governor through rhetoric widely perceived as racially divisive. Even supporters and fellow Republicans criticized his tactics. And he failed completely to undertake meaningful efforts to solve the problems of state-created segregation, to resolve the litigation through negotiations or settlement, or to provide constructive leadership on the issue, all important qualities for a future U.S. Attorney General.

    Posted by Eric at 05:36 PM | Comments (1)