Saturday, July 31, 2004

These Two Headlines Beside Each Other In NYT Print Edition 

Citing His Success in Policy, Bush Re-enters Fray


Economy Slowed in 2nd Quarter, U.S. Report Says

New Zogby Polls hat tip Atrios 

Granted Zogby tends towards Dems

Among Hispanic Voters:
Kerry 69%
Bush 19%

Among Southern Voters:
Kerry 48%
Bush 46%

Viewed Favorably in the South:
Kerry 55%
Bush 55%

Approve of Bush's Job Performance in the South: 44%

US Headed in the Right Direction in the South: 43%

Among Young Voters (18-29) :
Kerry 53%
Bush 33%

Among Single Voters:
Kerry 69%
Bush 19%

In the Red States:
Kerry 46%
Bush 48%

In the Blue States:
Kerry 50%
Bush 38%

Among People Who Did Not Vote in 2000:
Kerry 50%
Bush 25%

Florida Republicans Tell Some Voters to Skip Touchscreens, Vote Absentee 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Republican Gov. Jeb Bush has tried for months to persuade Florida voters touchscreen voting machines are reliable. His own party apparently hasn't gotten the message.

The state GOP paid for a flier critical of the new technology and sent it to some south Florida voters where a primary election is scheduled next month.

"The new electronic voting machines do not have a paper ballot to verify your vote in case of a recount," the message states. "Make sure your vote counts. Order your absentee ballot today."

We’re Not The Only Ones Worried

Friday, July 30, 2004

Report Bad News on Friday Afternoon- hat tip Agonist 

US predicts 445-billion-dollar budget deficit in 2004

WASHINGTON, July 30 (AFP) - President George W. Bush's administration forecast Friday a record budget deficit of 445 billion dollars in 2004.

The budget shortfall, equal to 3.8 percent of gross domestic product, would be trimmed to a deficit of 331 billion dollars in fiscal 2005, the Office of Management and Budget said. The fiscal year runs to the end of September.

New York oil hits all-time high 43.60 dollars

NEW YORK, July 30 (AFP) - New York's main crude oil contract shot to an all-time high Friday as a financial crisis at Russian oil titan Yukos unleashed a fresh wave of speculative buying.

Quotable Quotes 

"I don't wear my own faith on my sleeve. But faith has given me values and hope to live by -- from Vietnam to this day. ... I don't want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God's side."

-- Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in his acceptance speech last
night at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

What's Little Health When You Consider How Much We Need Nice Grass? 

Bush Eases Pesticide Laws

Bush Campaigner Offers Advice For Unhappy US Workers 

Compassionate Conservative Offers Advice To Americans Who Don’t Like Their Job: Let Them Eat Prozac

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?" said Susan Sheybani, an assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Kerry's Speech Kicked Ass 

The Reverend Kicks Ass 

You said the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule.

That's where the argument, to this day, of reparations starts. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres.

We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us.

Mr. President, you said would we have more leverage if both parties got our votes, but we didn't come this far playing political games. It was those that earned our vote that got our vote. We got the Civil Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the Voting Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the right to organize under Democrats.

Mr. President, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took Florida so seriously, is our right to vote wasn't gained because of our age. Our vote was soaked in the blood of martyrs, soaked in the blood of good men (inaudible) soaked in the blood of four little girls in Birmingham. This vote is sacred to us.

This vote can't be bargained away.

This vote can't be given away.

Mr. President, in all due respect, Mr. President, read my lips: Our vote is not for sale.

What's Little Health When You Consider How Much We Need Nice Grass? 

Bush Eases Pesticide laws

Bush Campaigner Offers Advice For Unhappy US Workers 

Compassionate Conservative Offers Advice To Americans Who Don’t Like Their Job: Let Them Eat Prozac

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?" said Susan Sheybani, an assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt.

Too Bad It Didn't Work 

As Promised, Al Quaeda Biggie Is Delivered On The Exact Day Kerry Speaks

F/911 Crawford Style 

Crawford Texas F 9-11 Showing Attracts Three Times The Predicted Number

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Spin Machine Winds Down 

Paul Bremer, the former U.S. administrator in Iraq, has packed up his trademark boots and gone home. Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the deputy chief of military operations in Iraq, and Dan Senor, the former U.S. main spokesman in Iraq, no longer grace our television screens. And the controversial John Negroponte, who is now running the show out of the largest U.S. embassy in the world, is rarely seen or heard.

In other words, the U.S. occupation of Iraq has officially gone underground. The Bush administration is indeed putting an "Iraqi face" on the occupation by keeping its operations outside the media spotlight. Since the White House can't come up with a strategy to actually get out of Iraq, it is now hoping that voters will simply forget we're over there.

Although the chaos, killings, kidnappings and destruction continue, the administration's spin-doctors are no longer on the front lines managing the news in Iraq. The steady drumbeat of pro-war analysis on television has slowed to a trickle with the usual parade of White House supporters seemingly on a summer break.

In Iraq, the PR flacks for the Coalition Press Information Center in Baghdad no longer offer daily press briefings. They are too busy training Iraqis for their job, now that the interim government is becoming public face of security operations on the ground. According to the New York Times, Ambassador Negroponte has deliberately kept a low profile.

Well whadya know? 

Florida officials: Some voting records wiped out

Bush on meds? 

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Cable News And The Convention 

I watched so much of the Democratic Convention on MSNBC and Then on Faux News and then on CNN and then, finally, on C-Span.

Thank the Lord I found C-Span.

I mean I have to say that the Three Musketeers, Chris Matthews/ Keith Olberman/Howard Fineman really dropped the ball on this one and in fact so did all of them. The so-called leading cable news channels were pathetic caricatures of themselves and so obviously anti Kerry that it was about as fair as a Clear Channel station in Tennessee.I mean even the camera angle showed people in the background holding Bush Cheney 04 posters up while each cable news ditto head took a tired cheat shot at Kerry. You know what was going on when the speakers were speaking? Keith Olberman was playing back that old theme of Kerry the flip flopper. Jesus Fucking Christ W has changed directions more often than a tropical depression. But to hear Keith Olberman play back that shit with his “I…er… yes Kerry has been hard to get clarity on in regards to the issues of supporting the war…” And Chris Matthews, what a suck ass..” He voted for a war and now is running on the platform that the war he voted for was wrong.” You guys are not journalists, you’re journalist celebrities who put yourself in between the audience, us, and the Convention, and drone on with your predictable hacketry.

You are all zingers and sound bytes and tired over-chewed analysis cud. “I’d say that Hillary is certainly one of the most polarizing figures here..” Yeah, well you know what numb nuts, when you ditto heads have nothing to do but keep repeating it over and over again I guess it does make it true. I mean every time you put her on camera you say something nasty about her or repeat old bathroom talk that much more closely resembles rumormongering in a sorority clique than real thinking form real journalists.

I turned to Barak Obama and heard a fine speech while you all grabbed your face time, guaranteed another year’s contract and generally missed the good parts. Watching the DNC at MSNBC is like kissing through a screen door.

Bravo Tango Whiskey, Mr. Olberman, my wife and I were amazed when you spanked o Reilly about the Fair and balanced lawsuit. It was brave and right on and well said. Excellently crafted and delivered with all your heart.

But tonight you sucked. You were a fawning, servile copycat.

You are better than this.

Now for the Clarity: Kerry volunteered to serve, served, saved people, killed enemies, got wounded, and fought again anyway. He won medals.

His opponent did not.

Clear now?

And you know what? He changed his mind. Yeah…oooh…how can we elect someone who changes his mind about say…war? You know what guys? You have nothing on Kerry. Nothin. You’re reaching.

I mean if ever there was a time when events proscribed a change of mind, I believe it might be now.

Last night: 

"You should watch "Outfoxed." It's a great movie that says why people like you say things like that on this television station."
-Howard Dean to Sean Hannity


Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal American and a conservative America -- there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and a white America -- there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States [...] but I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

-Barak Obama

Overseas Voters Trying To Unseat Bush 

Yet Another Constituency Against Bush

More than three months before the elections, Democrats Abroad, the group for which Miara works, claims it has helped register 8,000 American voters in Britain. In the 2000 contest between Bush and Al Gore and Bush, the group registered fewer than 7,000 U.S. citizens. Worldwide, it is setting similar records, according to Frances Deak, 68, who has lived in Britain for 23 years and is in charge of the organization's global efforts…


…''I didn't vote last time, and I'm not big on the Democrats, but I think these guys in power now are out of control and a threat to our civil liberties in their messianic pursuit of a goal,'' says Alan Hirzel, 37, a management consultant who has lived in London for five years. Hirzel, from Ohio, was a prize recruit for Miara.

Wisdom holds that the expatriate vote overwhelmingly goes Republican, by a ratio of about 3-to-1. The large number of military and government workers and executives who live abroad traditionally vote Republican, according to Robert Pingeon of Republicans Abroad in France.

Republican expats will vote because they are ''fed up with the steady stream of anti-Bush propaganda from the European press,'' Pingeon says.

Hill agrees that the polarizing nature of the campaign is likely to bring out more voters.

''More civilians are voting this time because people are upset,'' says Hill. ''It makes sense that the military vote may be more up for grabs this time because military families overseas are concerned about their loved ones being sent to Iraq.''

''They always say the overseas vote is Republican,'' says Robert Checkoway, a copywriter in the Netherlands and a Democrats Abroad volunteer. ''But this time I think everyone is in for a big surprise.'

Ann Coulter’s Column Rejected 

Brian Gallagher, editor of USA TODAY's editorial page, said of Coulter’s column- it had ''basic weaknesses in clarity and readability that we found unacceptable.''

Quotable Quotes 

"That flag is our flag. We served under that flag. We got up and stood reveille formation, we stood taps, we fought under that flag. We've seen men die for that flag, and we've seen men buried under that flag. No Dick Cheney or John Ashcroft or Tom DeLay is going to take that flag away from us."

-Wesley Clarke

"John Kerry is a better man than George W. Bush. I'm talking man to man. Man to man, it ain't even close."

James Carville

Bush's Dark Pages in Conservation History 

By Stewart L. Udall

SANTA FE, N.M. — A crucial struggle over land stewardship is taking place south of my home on the Greater Otero Mesa, a 1.2-million-acre stretch of grassland that looks pretty much the way it did when Coronado explored the region almost 500 years ago. As much as half of Otero Mesa still qualifies for protection under the landmark 1964 Wilderness Act, which was enacted when I headed the Interior Department under presidents Kennedy and Johnson. This law prevents industrial development on designated federal land "retaining its primeval character and influence."

But the Bush administration, determined to ransack public lands for the last meager pockets of petroleum , has turned my old department into a servile, single-minded adjunct of the Energy Department. It is intent on opening Otero Mesa and other wild lands to oil and gas exploration under the guise of reducing our ever-growing dependency on imported oil.

Here in New Mexico, where citizens cherish sublime landscapes, the administration's attack on the mesa is a heated issue. Gov. Bill Richardson has been joined by lawmakers, environmental groups and thousands of citizens in opposing drilling on Otero.

This crusade is part of a wave of public resentment across the West over the dark chapter that President Bush and his aides are writing in the history of the American conservation movement. From California to Colorado, Montana to Arizona, drill rigs pockmark the West's wild places, licensed by a White House that views opening of the nation's last untrammeled country to private development as a prime economic priority.

Kevin Drum Nails It 

Bush has the worst environmental record of any president in history. The only silver lining is that America is a big place and there's only so much damage that can be done in four years.

Clinton’s Quotes: 

"They need a divided America, but we don't," Clinton said. "We Democrats want to build a world and an America of shared responsibilities and shared opportunities ... On the other hand, Republicans in Washington believe that America should be run by the right people, their people."

"Wisdom and strength are NOT opposing virtues."

This Just In…Arab World Hates Us  

Opinion polls in the Arab world are a comparatively rare event, but last week there were two and their message was very clear: US foreign policy is a disaster.

One poll was commissioned by the Arab American Institute (AAI) and the other by the University of Maryland. Both were conducted by Zogby International, a US-based polling firm which interviewed 3,300 people in six Arab countries: Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In all six countries, an overwhelming majority of Arabs expressed an unfavourable view of the United States, ranging from 69% in Lebanon to 98% in Egypt, according to the AAI poll…

The simple fact is that the US is losing the battle for Arab hearts and minds. No matter how many jolly tunes it plays for the Arab world on Radio Sawa, or how much it spends polishing its image through al-Hurra TV, it is not going to win people over. Only a radical change of policies will do that.

Bill Clinton’s Awesome Speech  

Original Neo-Con Withdraws Support For Bush  

Fukuyama Withdraws Bush Support

Famous academic Francis Fukuyama, one of the founding fathers of the neo-conservative movement that underlies the policies of US President George W. Bush's administration, said on July 13 that he would not vote for the incumbent in the November 2 US Presidential election.

In addition to distancing himself from the current administration, Fukuyama told TIME magazine that his old friend, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, should resign.

In 1997, Fukuyama together with Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Jeb Bush, signed a declaration entitled 'The New American Century Project'. That declaration set the groundwork for the neo-conservative movement.

Krugman is onto Jeb 

More Voter Fraud

Let's not be coy. Jeb Bush says he won't allow an independent examination of voting machines because he has "every confidence" in his handpicked election officials. Yet those officials have a history of slipshod performance on other matters related to voting and somehow their errors always end up favoring Republicans. Why should anyone trust their verdict on the integrity of voting machines, when another convenient mistake could deliver a Republican victory in a high-stakes national election?

This shouldn't be a partisan issue. Think about what a tainted election would do to America's sense of itself, and its role in the world. In the face of official stonewalling, doubters probably wouldn't be able to prove one way or the other whether the vote count was distorted - but if the result looked suspicious, most of the world and many Americans would believe the worst. I'll write soon about what can be done in the few weeks that remain, but here's a first step: if Governor Bush cares at all about the future of the nation, as well as his family's political fortunes, he will allow that independent audit.

Scorpios Are Assholes- Scientific Proof of Scorpio Gene. 

"Yes, I'm a Scorpio, so I'm un peu vindictive," said the woman, who swore certain payback if her name appeared in this newspaper.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Our Anniversary 

Gosh, going over old posts, I just noticed that we have had our one year anniversary week before last.

Over 1500 posts and tens of thousands of visitors later, I can only hope that we have made a difference.

We will see come November 2nd, whether we, and the thousands of bloggers like us have made a difference.

I don't really know who you are, those who read us. I only see you as growing numbers on sitemeter.

If I could get you to click the comment section and say hello that would be awesome.

Otherwise, It's still a comfort to know you are reading. Thank you everyone who visits. I hope Trajan and I have made it worth
your efforts.

More on F 9/11 

F- 9/11 Still Having An Impact

"It's really cool now to talk about politics, and this is the first time I've seen this happen in decades, really," Moore said. "Being apathetic right now is very uncool."

F 9/11 Affecting Even Foreigners

I watched Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 at a friend’s house last weekend. He downloaded the entire film from the Internet. I came away from the documentary upset, disturbed and angry. And I’m not even American.

Ramadi The Next Falluja? 

Though battles in places such as Fallujah and Najaf have gotten far more attention, the Marine battalion in this provincial capital has encountered the most deadly combat fighting and logged the highest number of casualties of any U.S. battalion since the war in Iraq began.

In the past four months of fighting, the 2nd Battalion of the 4th Marine Regiment - nicknamed "The Magnificent Bastards" - has had 31 killed and 175 wounded, roughly 20% of its 1,000-man fighting strength.

Among the latest to die was Sgt. Kenneth Conde, 23, of Orlando. Conde had been wounded in fighting in April and recommended for a Silver Star. He was killed July 1. In an interview a few weeks before his death, Conde described the rebels Marines fight in Ramadi. "They were young just like me. Fighting for something different, something I don't understand, something they believe in," he said. "And that's the worst kind of enemy."

What Happens When A Sadistic Torturer Comes Across The 101 Airborne Division 

This fucker really needed to die.

Iraq Shows Odai's Olympic Torture Tools

Great Quotes 

"The last thing this country needs is two Republican parties."

-Senator Kennedy

Nevada Apologises To Linda Ronstadt 

"We hope to be approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission to become the new owners of the Aladdin Resort in Las Vegas as early as September 1, 2004. Upon the assumption of ownership, and with a new management team in place, we would like to offer the use of the Theatre of Performing Arts to Linda Ronstadt for a second concert and further to take Michael Moore up on his offer to join her on stage to introduce her and sing a song."

Daily Show Beats Out Frontline and Nightline For Top News Award 

If you can believe it, Jon Stewart and his fake newscast won the Television Critics Association award for news and information programming, beating out PBS' Frontline and ABC's Nightline. As much as I enjoy The Daily Show, this crosses the line.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Time for a sing a long. 

The West Virginia Hoe-Down, From West Virginia, the State that created the single digit IQ human being, and the family tree that has no branches.

Swing your chickens round and round

Wind them up and throw them down

Stomp and kick them left and right

Kentucky Fried Chickens’ appetite.

From the state that brought us private Lynndie

Them feathers do fly when it gets windy

Keep them fists and blows a raining

Where Private Lynndie got her training

West Virginia and Pilgrims pride

Know chickens that are battered are better than fried

Welcome to Darwin’s waiting room

Where a brother is his sister’s own bridegroom

Swing your chickens round and round

Wind them up and throw them down

When they offered to give out free DNA

West Virginians all done run away.

The Age Of Oil Is Over 

Frank Rich The Great reminds us that fear is the only platform Chimp can run on. 

Bush Needs A Scared America To Win

Bush Moves To Stop People From Suing His Financial Backers  

WASHINGTON, July 24 — The Bush administration has been going to court to block lawsuits by consumers who say they have been injured by prescription drugs and medical devices.

Oh Yes Drug Manufacturers Need Immunity From Lawsuits.

Yeah…sure just 7 soldiers Did It All 

A new report from the U.S. Army says 39 prisoners have died in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan and there have been 94 cases of proven or suspected abuse, including one case in which troops conspired to make Iraqis jump off a bridge. Numerous investigations are continuing.

From Kevin Drum’s comments section on the Bush daughters 

The charges of drinking and sleeping around are minor issues to me. If the twins start talking the family values talk, then they become relevant. But to me the main charge is the abuse of privilege - being babysat by the Secret Service. Jenna, it would seem, is exactly like her father in taking the public for a ride. Rich people are free to be jerks on their own dime, but my tax dollar should not be spent on preserving Jenna's reputation any more than my parents tax dollar should not have been spent on flight training for Prince George so he could avoid real service - while my father was doing two tours of duty, no less. The US government does not exist to support the Bush clan, despite what they and the Republican Party might think.

This is Safer? 

The US-led occupation of Iraq has boosted recruitment to Islamist groups in Europe and is a "black hole" pulling in militants from across the Middle East, warns France's top anti-terrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguière in this interview with Agence France-Presse.

The best discussions are on blogs 

From Kops comments section’’ brilliant

Corporations are not democratic.

One of the bases of democratic institutions is one-person, one-vote. In the American corporate system, it is one-share, one vote.

Another basis of modern democracy is universal suffrage. Employees who produce and consumers who use a corporation's products have no voice in its management (unless they own shares, which is not a given, and even then, their voice, through their meager sharedholdings, is far less than their proportionate vote would be in a democratic system).

Leader of corporations are not elected, they are appointed by an elite board. Power in a corporation lies with the moneyholders. That is not just an historical accident, a problem of "concentration". That is written right into corporate law and corporate charter.

Corporations serve shareholders, and the fiduciary responsibility of an appointed CEO is not to serve the interests of "the people", it is to maximize shareholder profit.

The fact that a CEO now serves as president, with a cabinet of CEOs and corporate board members, is indicative of how deeply this distorted view has embedded itself in the American psyche.

Corporations are profoundly undemocratic, and serve as very poor models for democratic society.

Nor is "capitalism" itself democratic--certainly not the distorted form of hyper-capitalism practiced in the US today, where everything is monetized and only that which can be quantified is valued. There are inherent inequities built into capitalism -- in fact, the successful survival of the marketplace depends on those inequities, as they are what "greases" the wheels of commerce.

Final point: your immediate pulling out of the straw herring (straw man and red herring) of "state owned" enterprise is neither relevant to my critique, nor does it do your argument justice; I was not attacking the merits of capitalism, per se, and certainly not making a communist argument (let alone a big-C Communist argument).

What I was doing, was presenting the argument that capitalism is a terrible analogy for politics in general, and for the grass-roots neopopulist revolution in the Democratic Party in particular.

Capitalism is not democratic, and corporations and corporate heroes are a poor model for democratizing our political system. If you have an argument, let it be with that point, the one I actually make.

Wal-Mart Invades 

Barb argues That Wal-Mart Makes Us Less Wealthy. She Should Know. She Worked There.

Then it began to grow. By 2000, measures of mere size - bigger than General Motors! richer than Switzerland! - no longer told the whole story. It's the velocity of growth that you need to measure now: two new stores opening and $1 billion worth of U.S. real estate bought up every week; almost 600,000 American employees churned through in a year (that's at a 44 percent turnover rate). My thumbnail calculation suggests that by the year 4004, every square inch of the United States will be covered by supercenters, so that the only place for new supercenters will be on top of existing ones.

9/11 report too bi-partisan for its own good 

Honorable Commission, Toothless

Richard The Lionhearted Hearted

Unfortunately, because of America's low standing in the Islamic world, we are now at a great disadvantage in the battle of ideas. This is primarily because of the unnecessary and counterproductive invasion of Iraq. In pulling its bipartisan punches, the commission failed to admit the obvious: we are less capable of defeating the jihadists because of the Iraq war.

Unanimity has its value, but so do debate and dissent in a democracy facing a crisis. To fully realize the potential of the commission's report, we must see it not as the end of the discussion but as a partial blueprint for victory. The jihadist enemy has learned how to spread hate and how to kill - and it is still doing both very effectively three years after 9/11.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Hey What Is The Health of 145,000 Children When You Consider How Much Money The US Government Will Save? 

More Compassionate Conservatism

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Some 145,000 poor children were dropped from a U.S. federal-state health insurance plan in the second half of 2003, with more than half the cuts made by Texas, a health-care research foundation said on Friday.

They Have Faux News, We Have Micheal Moore 

“Contrary to Republicans’ claims, it’s clear that voters across the political spectrum want to see what Michael Moore has to say.

Fully 23% of voters who intend to see the film self-identify as Bush voters, while another 10% say they are supporting Nader or undecided. Forty one percent of potential movie viewers reside in battleground states, which mirrors the national average of 40% of voters residing in battleground states.

A survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research captured data from 1000 likely voters fielded between June 28 – July 1, with a margin of error of +/- 3 points. Six percent of voters surveyed had seen the movie and 38% say they plan to see it.

The film has stimulated a conversation in households across America about the Bush Administration’s decisions and actions,” said Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn PAC.

Looks Like F 9/11 IS Affecting The Vote  

New Records Release Answer No Questions 

The records do not give any new information about Bush's National Guard training during 1972, when he transferred to the Alabama National Guard unit so he could work on the U.S. Senate campaign of a family friend. The payroll records do not say definitively whether Bush attended training that summer because they are maintained.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Flip Flopper 

"The important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our Number One priority and we will not rest until we find him!"

-George W. Bush, Sept. 13, 2001

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and I really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."

-George W. Bush, March 13, 2002

Republican Congressman Mentions The Need To Suppress The Detroit Vote 

Another Group Working To Restore America  

Krugman Spanks Halliburton 

Accountability is important. The nation will be ill served if officials who didn't do all they could to prevent a terrorist attack, or led the nation into an unnecessary war, manage to shift the blame to someone else.

About All Those new Jobs 

A startling new study shows that all of the growth in the employed population in the United States over the past few years can be attributed to recently arrived immigrants.

Can’t Beat ‘Em ? Abandone 'Em 

Andrew Sullivan On The GOP War Against The Gays 


The summer campaign I predicted last May has now been stepped up in the House. The bill that passed yesterday singles out gay citizens and denies them access to the federal courts to defend their right to marry. Does the Defense of Marriage Act violate the constitution? Then amend the constitution, most Republicans say. If you cannot amend the constitution, knee-cap the courts. And all this is defended with the rhetoric of a man like James Sensenbrenner, who declared, "Marriage is under attack!" By whom, sir? All gay people want is to join civil marriage, and be an equal part of their own families. To describe this deep human need, this conservative impulse, as an "attack" on an institution revered by many homosexuals and their families is itself a piece of callous demonization. And the precedent is chilling. If gays can be singled out and denied access to the courts, why not other minorities? Blacks? Hispanics? If the Republicans can do this to exclude gays from access to the courts, why couldn't Democrats one day do it to prevent conservative Christians? I loved this quote from a news story:
The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service said it could find no precedent for Congress passing a law to limit federal courts from ruling on the constitutionality of another law, although Democrats said opponents of civil rights legislation tried to do the same thing.
Yes, today's Republicans are now the inheritors of those Democrats who did all they could to prevent African-Americans from winning their civil rights.

A QUESTION OF RESPECT: Here's a simple question: Can you think of any other minority targeted by a single party for discrimination? Did the GOP cushion this by saying anything in defense of gay people or families? Did they signal that they could support, say, civil unions? Did they say this gag on the courts was sufficient and the FMA was now redundant? Nah - they promised to amend the Constitution as well, if they can. The only faintly civil impulse is the president's declaration that the debate should be conducted with respect. I will grant the president the benefit of the doubt on this if and when he ever says the words "gay and lesbian citizens." It is the first mark of respect to call people by their name. But he won't. We are unmentionable to him - because if he ever named us, he would humanize us, and if he humanized us, it would become clear how divisive his policies are. I am amused by the fuss made by Bush's refusal to visit the NAACP, and go to the Urban League instead. Isn't it telling that no one even asks whether the president has met with any group representing millions of his fellow gay Americans? Think about that for a minute. It will tell you a lot about this president's ability to be a uniter of this country. Some in the gay world have gone out on a very long limb to defend this president on the war, and even endorsed him when he promised to be inclusive. He has rewarded them with this kind of gambit. What are they supposed to do in return? Campaign for him?

- 12:59:44 AM

Macaque In Jerusalem Begins Bipedal Walking 

Surviving Marriage From Agonist 

DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.

DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that?
SAFER: Gee, you look good in brown.
SAFEST: WOW! Look at you!
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.

DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?
SAFER: Could we be overreacting?
SAFEST: Here's fifty dollars.
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.

DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that? OR Are you eating AGAIN?
SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left.
SAFEST: Can I get you a glass of wine with that?
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.

DANGEROUS: What did you do all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn't overdo it today.
SAFEST: I've always loved you in that robe!
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some more chocolate.

Robert Reich's Scary Look At AmericA Under A 2nd Bush Term 

Fish Bites Man 

Ronald Reaga's Daughter On Micheal Moore. 

September 11 either made me love this country or it made me realize how much I already did. I think it's the latter. Seeing "Fahrenheit 9/11" made me think deeply about love of country--how it molds us, drives and emboldens us and how it can sometimes make us so angry we want to shout out to the world: "No, this is wrong." Many things have been said about the movie, and of course about its director, Michael Moore. But I don't think I've heard anyone comment on Moore's love for America. It seemed evident to me that the film was born from that love.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Decisive Battles 

This post is completely unrelated to current events or politics, but I wanted to take a moment to make people aware of a rather interesting series debuting on the History Channel tomorrow evening: Decisive Battles.

With each episode, the series will delve into the details of a decisive battle from history, visiting the location, hearing from experts, etc.  What makes it unique, however, is that they will not make use of the same shot of twenty reenactors over and over again to portray the battle.  Rather, they will use advanced computer technology.  Specifically, the graphics engine from the upcoming computer game, Rome: Total War.

I've gave up the gaming bug years ago, save for the Total War series.  Basically it is a highly complicated version of Risk!, except rather than deciding battles by rolling dice you actually fight them out on vast battlefields with thousands of men.  Medieval: Total War was outstanding, and the Rome installment looks to upstage it and then some when it hits the shelves in the fall.

Using the RTW engine will allow Decisive Battles to depict the battles in their full, epic scale.  Entire armies, tens of thousands of men, true battlefields.  It will be, I think, quite a thing to watch.  If you want to see the sort of thing this engine is capable of, here's the link to a SCREENSHOT.  The full album can be seen HERE.

The first episode, as stated, debuts Friday night at 9 PM Eastern/8PM Central.  It will focus on the legendary Battle of Cannae, Hannibal's greatest and most famous victory.  If you are at all a student of history, it should be worth watching, if only for the innovative presentation.

Yet Another Lovely Gift From West Virginia 

Once I was arrested in West Virginia for possession of books. Got off though. No one could prove they were books.

That about sums it up. First the Appalachian State gave us Private Lynddie English who put a prisoner on a leash because she apparently had no training ( in what? asks, Andy Rooney, in being a human being?)

Now we have West Virginians stomping chickens to death before slaughtering them.

I mean let's just open the entire fucking state as an Air Force and Naval bombing practise facility. Wesy Virginia is like Darwin's waiting room. Fuck it. Save the DNA.

RPGs At Sea 

"They Were Arabs...They Kept Going Into The Bathroom...They Were Scary" 

The piece in question, "Terror in the Skies, Again?" is the work of Annie Jacobsen, a writer for WomensWallStreet.com. Jacobsen shares the account of the emotional meltdown she and her fellow passengers experienced when, aboard a Northwest Airlines flight from Detroit to Los Angeles, a group of Middle Eastern passengers proceeded to act "suspiciously." I'll invite you to experience "Terror" yourself, but be warned it's quite long. It needs to be, I suppose, since ultimately it's a story about nothing, puffed and aggrandized to appear important.

The editors get the drama cooking with some foreboding music: "You are about to read an account of what happened," counsels a 70-word preamble. "The WWS Editorial Team debated long and hard about how to handle this information and ultimately we decided it was something that should be shared ... Here is Annie's story" [insert lower-octave piano chord here].

What follows are six pages of the worst grade-school prose, spring-loaded with mindless hysterics and bigoted provocation.

Fourteen dark-skinned men from Syria board Northwest's flight 327, seated in two separate groups. Some are carrying oddly shaped bags and wearing track suits with Arabic script across the back. During the flight the men socialize, gesture to one another, move about the cabin with pieces of their luggage, and, most ominous of all, repeatedly make trips to the bathroom. The author links the men's apparently irritable bladders to a report published in the Observer (U.K.) warning of terrorist plots to smuggle bomb components onto airplanes one piece at a time, to be secretly assembled in lavatories.

"What I experienced during that flight," breathes Jacobsen, "has caused me to question whether the United States of America can realistically uphold the civil liberties of every individual, even non-citizens, and protect its citizens from terrorist threats."

Intriguing, no? I, for one, fully admit that certain acts of airborne crime and treachery may indeed open the channels to a debate on civil liberties. Pray tell, what happened? Gunfight at 37,000 feet? Valiant passengers wrestle a grenade from a suicidal operative? Hero pilots beat back a cockpit takeover?

Well, no. As a matter of fact, nothing happened. Turns out the Syrians are part of a musical ensemble hired to play at a hotel. The men talk to one another. They glance around. They pee.

That's it?

That's it.

What happens When A White, Affluent Christian Wall Street Journal Writer Is Forced To Fly With ARABS!!!!!!

Franken Whips O' Liely 

LOS ANGELES, July 20 -- Despite the rocky start of his liberal Air America radio network, political humorist Al Franken surged past conservative nemesis Bill O'Reilly in the first quarterly ratings matchup between the two in New York City.

Political Animal On Arnold Watching 

From Kevin Drum

MORE ARNOLD WATCHING....LA Times columnist Steve Lopez has a few Arnold-related statistics he'd like to share with us:

Total dollar amount of the 2003-04 budget signed by ex-Gov. Gray Davis: $99.1 billion.

Total amount of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's first budget after promising to shrink government: $103 billion.

....Number of employees on Gov. Schwarzenegger's staff who make $100,000 or more: 14.

Number of employees on Gov. Davis' staff who made $100,000 or more: 8.

....Schwarzenegger's whereabouts just hours after vowing to stay in Sacramento and fight like a warrior to end the budget stalemate: Beverly Hills fund-raiser.

Amount raised at Beverly Hills fund-raiser by Schwarzenegger, who earlier promised to end fund-raising during budget season: Roughly $400,000.

....Number of the top 100 donations to Schwarzenegger that came from businesses or their executives: 87.

....Number of people at Stockton mall food court who cheered Schwarzenegger's criticism of legislators beholden to special interests: Hundreds.

Schwarzenegger sure does have a handle on the marketing part of politics, though. So far he's:

Borrowed his way to a balanced budget after repeatedly promising to stop the "crazy deficit spending" during his campaign.

• Passed a flabby workers' comp bill that did virtually nothing to reduce insurance premiums.

• Caved in to the prison guards so cravenly that a federal judge is now threatening to take over the entire California prison system.

• Cut a "$1 billion deal" with tribal casinos that's actually worth at most $200 million even if you crunch the numbers with a tailwind.

• Deliberately sabotaged a nearly complete budget deal for no apparent reason, leaving California in its usual July chaos.

And yet, as Lopez points out, he's more popular as governor than Ronald Reagan at his peak. I predict that the backlash, when it inevitably comes, is going to be fierce.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

It’s Clinton’s Fault  

Alpe d'Huez  

Lance Armstrong is about to roll out on the individual time trial up the Alpe d' Huez. He's already got the yellow jersey, and with a strong showing today he could all but lock it up. May he have a great ride. Vive Lance!

Gripping Account of Combat In Iraq 

One Day In Real Combat

The first light was breaking at 5:30 a.m. as 1st Lieut. Max Stroud and his platoon of Bradley Fighting Vehicles rumbled toward Mufrek traffic circle in western Baqubah on a mission to clear road bombs, or IEDs. Like other North Carolina guardsmen of the 30th Brigade, an irreverent bunch of infantry veterans, Lieutenant Stroud considered the sweeps "pretty boring." But just as they paused to turn off their night-vision devices, Stroud saw the first volley of heavy machine-gun fire shoot in front of his Bradley. He ducked into the turret, expecting a brief engagement. Within seconds, though, the crescendo and accuracy of fire told him he and his buddies from "Old Hickory" faced the fight of their lives.

Machine-gun rounds were pinging off the hatches, while rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) slammed into the vehicles. A daisy chain of road bombs blew up around them, obscuring their view.

"We pushed through to get out of the kill zone, then I received an order to stay in contact, so we turned around and went back, shooting at everything we could find," Stroud says.

But the gauntlet of enemy fire worsened; soon the main guns on all three of his Bradleys were ineffective. They fixed one turret with an 8-lb. sledgehammer, and lurched again through the ambush.

Back at their base, Sgt. 1st Class Chad Stephens, sergeant of Stroud's sister platoon, was awoken at 6 a.m. by a shout from his commander, Capt. Christopher Cash of the 1-120th infantry's Alpha Company. "Third platoon's under attack!" Sgt. Stephens, a Gulf War veteran from Jacksonville, N.C., roused his men.

Within minutes of leaving the gate with five more Bradleys, they began taking sniper and RPG fire "from everywhere," Stephens says. "Button up," Captain Cash radioed. Seconds later, he looked out to make sure the hatches were closed and was fatally shot in the head. Two Bradleys left to evacuate the commander, leaving Stephens's vehicle and two others to fight past Mufrek circle and move east to secure the Twin Bridges leading to the heart of Baqubah and the governor's house.

As they advanced, they took intense fire from enemy positions that lined the route. "You could hear the rounds popping and ricocheting off the turret," says Spec. Jeffery Walton, an infantryman. Suddenly, an armored piercing RPG blasted in. It hit the gunner, Spec. Daniel Desens, knocked out the radios, and ignited high-explosive ammunition. "My eyes were on fire," said Walton, who, with five others, was hit by shrapnel and choking on smoke and gas.

I Guessed This Would Begin To Happen 

Bush Support Wanes Among Military Families

"There's just so much negativity around," she says, explaining her decision to host this party. "There's not a lot of positive affirmation about why George W. Bush should be president. We just want to let people know, he's not as bad as people think."

Bourque is not a balloons and party hats type. Her family just moved to this ranch house outside Savannah and the decorations are spare -- some birthday cards on the mantelpiece next to a portrait of the president and the first lady, plus trays of cold cuts and fruit to feed a couple of dozen people. Alas, only two have turned out this evening, an Army couple from the base.

But between them and the kids, they are plenty enthusiastic. Christopher, the young host, recently wrote Bush a letter to "cheer him up, and let him know how grateful I am for what he did in Iraq." His father, Staff Sgt. Kenneth Bourque, is about to be deployed there. Christopher's twin brother, Andrew, wrote one, too, telling Bush to "relax, have fun whenever he can, because right now he's in for a fight." A form letter response from the president also sits on the mantelpiece.

"Kerry, Kerry, Kerry," says one of the guests, Stacie Young. "These young guys in the squad say, 'I'm voting for Kerry,' " she says, meaning the guys who serve with her husband. "And I say, 'Why would you do that? Vote for your kids! Vote for your security!' "

US Troops Call It Quits In Anbar Province 

RAMADI, Iraq - After more than a year of fighting, U.S. troops have stopped patrolling large swaths of Iraq's restive Anbar province, according to the top American military intelligence officer in the area.

Linda and the truth 

What really Happened At The Linda R Concert. :According to Tbogg

Mr. Goldberg --
My wife & I were at the Linda Ronstadt performance in question, at the Aladdin in Las Vegas, and quite frankly, Aladdin President Bill Timmins' account of what happened is complete crap. There was mixed booing and cheering at Ronstadt's pro-Michael Moore comment, and that was about the extent of the "bedlam" that supposedly broke out. I saw no posters being torn down or cocktails being thrown in the air, and if people stomped out of the theatre unhappy, it was because 1) that was the last song Ronstadt performed; it was her encore; and 2) she mainly sang her standards repertoire, with the Nelson Riddle orchestrations, and a large part of the crowd wanted to hear more of her rock-'n'-roll stuff; she got the biggest round of applause for doing a lackadaisical run-through of her version of "Blue Bayou."

Frankly, my suspicion is that Timmins is way overdramatizing what happened, in order to justify giving Ronstadt the boot. It simply wasn't that big a deal.

Henry Waxman Has A Quick Question: 

What The Fuck Have You Done with All That Money?

Nearly all of the $20bn in the DFI was spent or allocated by June 28 - but only 2% of the $18.4bn promised by the US for reconstruction was actually spent. According to White House figures, for example, and despite all the rhetoric about building a new Iraq, not a cent of America's own money had been spent on construction, healthcare, sanitation and water projects as of last month.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Come On. This Is Bullshit. 

Imagine You're Neil Armstrong 

You pour another scotch, put your arm around your wife, and look into the sky at the moon. And know that 35 years ago tonight, you were there.

35th Anniversary

Meanwhile...In Other News 

Flip Flopper 

I'm a war president.

George W. Bush
Meet the Press
February 13th, 2004

Nobody wants to be the war president. I want to be the peace president.

George W. Bush
Campaign Speech
July 20th 2004

-hat trick TPM

Good To See The British Reporting The News In US 

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The head of the Environmental Protection Agency for two Republican presidents criticized President Bush's record on Monday, calling it a ``polluter protection'' policy.

Russell E. Train, who headed the EPA from September 1973 to January 1977 - part of the Nixon and Ford administrations - said Bush's record on the environment was so dismal that he would cast his vote for Democrat John Kerry.

``It's almost as if the motto of the administration in power today in Washington is not environmental protection, but polluter protection,'' Train said.



Civil War In Palestine? 

This can’t be good unless it unseats Arafat, who is by now, just a figure who isn’t even desperately holding onto power. His supporters are desperately holding onto him.

At this rate, Arafat is a figurehead while the poor Palestinians look for anyone who can lead them through all this nonsense.

Monday, July 19, 2004

IN MY OPINION by Mark Oberzil  

Appeared in the Oregonian

I am a conservative. I believe in staying solvent and out of debt.

I am a conservative. I believe in keeping my nose out of other people's business, their nations and their bedrooms.

I am a conservative. I believe in conserving our assets and our resources -- our air, our land, our water. Accordingly, I don't support or engage in wastefulness, inefficiency or lavish excesses.

I am a conservative. I think an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Therefore I support appropriate government spending on such things as infrastructure, schools, social welfare and crime prevention, because in the long run it's cheaper and more effective.

I am a conservative. I don't sign on to risky schemes. I think if you give Bob a dollar, it helps Bob, but it may not necessarily help Oscar, Fred or Maria.

I am a conservative. If I am attacked, I respond appropriately and conservatively. I do not swat mosquitoes with dynamite.

I am a conservative. I don't deal falsely or prematurely with facts.

I am a conservative. I understand the purposes of various institutions. It is the job of government to govern, the job of religion to address spiritual needs, and the job of business to secure profits by producing needed goods and services. I do not confuse these institutions.

I am a conservative. I understand my position in the world and that my opinions are not the only valid ones.

I do not have an exclusive claim on what is right, good or patriotic, and those who disagree with me are not automatically evil traitors.

British Cite Fox For Dishonesty 

MEDIA – FOX CITED FOR ITS DISHONESTY: The British Government's Office of Communications (Ofcom) – the official regulator of the UK's communications industries - recently chastised Fox News and found it in violation of various regulations in that country aimed at preventing the media from deliberately spreading misinformation. Ofcom found that Fox News anchor John Gibson made "false statements by undermining facts." Its report stated, "Fox News was unable to provide any substantial evidence to support the overall allegation that the BBC management had lied and the BBC had an anti-American obsession…Even taking into account that this was a 'personal view' item, the strength and number of allegations that John Gibson made against the BBC meant that Fox News should have offered the BBC an opportunity to respond." Ofcom concluded, "Fox News was therefore in breach of Sections 2.1 (respect for truth), 2.7 (opportunity to take part), and 3.5(b) (personal view programmes - opinions expressed must not rest upon false evidence) of the [British] Programme Code."

You bet. Everything for appearance here at the palace of the Spin King 

F-9/11 Apparently had some effect on Bush’s vacations Schedule

At this White House, Mr. Rove's views, which may well have been the president's views, prevailed, to no one's surprise. "What Karl advocated happened," said a Republican close to the White House. "I don't think any voting decision is going to be made on what the president did for three weeks in August, but there are people who believe very strongly that it created the wrong visuals. They didn't want those pictures."

Military families applaud Fahrenheit 9/11 

Natalie Sorton, a 25-year-old moderate Republican and wife of an infantryman who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, told the Fayetteville Observer in North Carolina, where Fort Bragg is, that the movie changed her opinion of the war in Iraq. “All this movie did was open my eyes a little more to what's really going on”, she said. “I think this is definitely going to have an impact on the election. I'm glad I'm a voter.”

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Bill o Liely 

My First (and Last) Time With Bill O'Reilly


[posted online on July 13, 2004]

It started innocuously enough. On Monday, June 21, a producer from Fox News's The O'Reilly Factor called to ask me to appear as a guest that evening to comment on a front-page story in the New York Times claiming that the Bush Administration had overstated the value of intelligence gained at Guantánamo and the dangers posed by the men detained there. I'm generally not a fan of shout-television, and I had declined several prior invitations to appear on O'Reilly's show, but this time I said yes. Little did I know it would not only be my first time, but also my last.

I sat in the Washington studio as the taping of the show began in New York with a rant from Bill O'Reilly. He claimed that "the Factor" had established the link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, and then played a clip from Thomas Kean, head of the Senate's 9/11 Commission, in which Kean said, "There is no evidence that we can find whatsoever that Iraq or Saddam Hussein participated in any way in attacks on the United States, in other words, on 9/11. What we do say, however, is there were contacts between Iraq and Saddam Hussein. Iraq, Saddam--excuse me. Al Qaeda."

I was impressed. O'Reilly, who had announced his show as the "No Spin Zone," was actually playing a balanced soundbite, one that accurately reported the commission's findings both that there was no evidence linking Saddam and 9/11, and that there was some evidence of contacts (if no "collaborative relationship") between Saddam and Al Qaeda. Maybe all those nasty things Al Franken had said about O'Reilly weren't true after all.

But suddenly O'Reilly interrupted, plainly angry, and said, "We can't use that.... We need to redo the whole thing." Three minutes of silence later, the show began again, with O'Reilly re-recording the introduction verbatim. Except this time, when he got to the part about Kean, he played no tape, and simply paraphrased Kean as confirming that "definitely there was a connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda." The part about no link to 9/11 was left on the cutting-room floor.

Now it was my turn. O'Reilly introduced the segment by complaining that we are at war and need to be united, but that newspapers like the New York Times are running biased stories, dividing the country and aiding the enemy. "The spin must stop--our lives depend on it," O'Reilly gravely intoned. He then characterized the Times story that day as claiming that the Guantánamo detainees were "innocent people" and "harmless." He said the paper's article "questions holding the detainees at Guantánamo."

I noted that the Times had said nothing of the sort. And I pointed out that the article relied on a CIA study finding that the detainees seemed to be low-level and had provided little valuable intelligence.

That didn't convince O'Reilly, however, who again criticized the Times for misleading its readers by terming the detainees innocent and not dangerous. I replied that he was misleading his own viewers, by exaggerating what the Times had said. "No, I'm not," he retorted. So far, the usual fare on newstalk television.

But then I decided to go one step further: "It seems to me like the pot calling the kettle black, Bill, because I just sat here five minutes ago as you re-recorded the introduction to this show to take out a statement from the head of the 9/11 commission stating that there was no evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11."

Apparently O'Reilly does not like being called "the pot." He exploded, repeatedly called me an "S.O.B." and assured me that he would cut my accusation from the interview when the show aired. He also said I would "never ever" be on his show again. At this point, I wasn't sure whether to take that as a threat or a promise.

Sure enough, when The O'Reilly Factor aired later that night, both Thomas Kean's statement about 9/11 and my charge about O'Reilly deleting it were missing. All that was left was Bill O'Reilly, fuming at the liberal media's lack of objectivity and balance, and ruing the divisive effect "spin" has on our national unity.

The Indomitable Frank Rich  

The local news revolution nailed in this movie — the dictum that the popularity of a news "personality" with the viewers, not the story, must always come first — has long since overrun most of both network and cable news. (The occasional holdout, typified by "Nightline," must often fight for its life or be subsidized at PBS.) No sooner do we rejoice at the demise of much of the 70's cultural detritus lampooned in "Anchorman," from polyester leisure suits to unembarrassed on-camera sexism, than we start wondering if TV news may be even more farcical now than it was then. But these days the farce isn't so funny. The worst damage committed by Ron Burgundy at the movie's mythical News Center 4 of San Diego is to overplay the pregnancy of a panda at the San Diego Zoo. Our news culture, and not just TV news, muffed the run-up to a war.

Watching Mr. Ferrell go on TV to promote "Anchorman" on the eve of its premiere, you had to notice just how plausibly his buffoonish, supposedly anachronistic, fictional persona fits into our "real" news. He turned up in his Burgundy blazer on the "Today" show the same morning The New York Post broke its front-page exclusive on John Kerry's choice of Dick Gephardt as his running mate. "This is an excellent journalism periodical," said Mr. Ferrell while thumbing through the offending tabloid before the crowd of "Today" show groupies in Rockefeller Center. Thus we watched a fictional anchorman mocking a fictional story from a real newspaper on a real news program — but was it so clear which was which?…

… But such is the vacuum now often left by the real news that Mr. Stewart's fake anchor is increasingly drafted to do the job of a real one.

Mr. Cheney thought he could lie to Ms. Borger because he mistook CNBC, home to Dennis Miller, for a fake news outlet….

… Fox isn't exactly pursuing a stealth strategy: anyone who can't figure out that it's in the tank with the Republican party must be brain dead. It's more insidious when some of its more fair-and-balanced competitors blow-dry the news not to serve an ideology but to tell the public what they think the public wants to hear.

Elton John Ravages Bush 

"There's an atmosphere of fear in America right now that is deadly. Everyone is too career-conscious," he told New York magazine, Interview.

Sir Elton said performers could be "frightened by the current administration's bullying tactics",

The singer likened the current "fear factor" to McCarthyism in the 1950s.

"There was a moment about a year ago when you couldn't say a word about anything in this country for fear of your career being shot down by people saying you are un-American," he told the magazine.

The singer said things were different in the 1960s.

"People like Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, The Beatles and Pete Seeger were constantly writing and talking about what was going on.


"That's not happening now. As of this spring, there have been virtually no anti-war concerts - or anti-war songs that catch on, for that matter," he said.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

This Just In- Shit Starting To Stick To Diebold 

COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell today halted deployment of Diebold Election Systems’ electronic voting devices in Ohio for the 2004 General Election. The decision is based on preliminary findings from the secretary of state's second round of security testing conducted by Compuware Corporation showing the existence of previously identified, but yet unresolved security issues. Hardin, Lorain and Trumbull counties had selected to use new Diebold equipment this November. Those counties will use their current voting devices in 2004.

This Just In- US Press Grows Balls, Stands For Something 

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Associated Press asked a federal judge Friday to order the Pentagon to quickly turn over a full copy of President Bush's military service record.

The White House has released partial documentation of Bush's military service in the Texas Air National Guard but has not complied with the news service's Freedom of Information Act request for any record archived at a state library records center in Texas, the AP said in a court filing.

Margaret Cho on Martha Stewart  

50 worst beers  

Friday, July 16, 2004

Thank You Vanity Fair 

DENVER (AP) — The military has decided not to pursue charges against a U.S. soldier accused of cowardice after he sought help for panic attacks.

My guess is that the Vanity Fair article had something to do with it. Magazine Journalism at its best, IMHO

Is Alawi A Murderer? 

Thomas Frank on why it was all theatre and spectacle and grist for the future civil war 

The VOTE Meant To Create A Righteous Army

And, as do the partisans of each of these other culture-causes, the proponents of the marriage amendment made soaring, grandiose claims for the significance of the issue they were debating. While editorialists across the nation tut-tutted and reminded the senators that they had important work they ought to be doing, the senators fired back that in fact they were debating that most important of all possible subjects. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who took particular offense at the charges of insignificance, argued that this was a debate about nothing less than "the glue that holds the basic foundational societal unit together." Wake up, America!

Of course, as everyone pointed out, the whole enterprise was doomed to failure from the start. It didn't have to be that way; conservatives could have chosen any number of more promising avenues to challenge or limit the Massachusetts ruling. Instead they went with a constitutional amendment, the one method where failure was absolutely guaranteed — along with front-page coverage

Then again, what culture war offensive isn't doomed to failure from the start? Indeed, the inevitability of defeat seems to be a critical element of the melodrama, on issues from school prayer to evolution and even abortion.

Failure on the cultural front serves to magnify the outrage felt by conservative true believers; it mobilizes the base. Failure sharpens the distinctions between conservatives and liberals. Failure allows for endless grandstanding without any real-world consequences that might upset more moderate Republicans or the party's all-important corporate wing. You might even say that grand and garish defeat — especially if accompanied by the ridicule of the sophisticated — is the culture warrior's very object.

Having some problems posting this morning- I have asked for help- Thanks for reading and keep checking- Judah 

Excellent Reader E-mail on Andrew Sullivan's site 

I'm actually a registered libertarian, but this reader e-mail really does a good job of conveying my thoughts on Bush.

"I'm wondering if you could answer for some of your politically torn readers a question. I know I speak for myself and a lot of GOP Undecideds, when I ask you this question in all sincerity: I voted for Bush, was pro-war, and now, along with many others, concede that Iraq has become a debacle and (unlike yourself) think the War on Terror (not Iraq) would have been more efficient, better funded, and as a whole more successful if we had not marched into Baghdad. I know you don't agree with this, but let me tell you, this is the sentiment of a lot of moderate, even conservative Republicans who are disgusted by Bush's arrogance. A lot of my friends like to say that Bush would be better on the War on Terror than Kerry, and I want to believe that, I really do, but no one has convinced me of that, much less the president himself. No matter how "single-minded" (obtuse, in my opinion) the president is, he's done nothing to shore up support in his REAL BASE--southerners and midwesterners like myself--who don't see how a lunatic fiscal policy, right-wing social policy, and a general F-U to the world in general improves America or its War on Terror. My point is this: I really loathe Kerry, but when it comes down to it, if you exclude Bush's support for the war, why does he deserve four more years? And to all those who think this administration dropped the ball in Iraq, how can we believe that that they will make us safer? I haven't voted for a democrat since Kennedy (at the time I lived in California and knew what kind of moral idiot Nixon was) and I don't want to--but frankly, can someone please make the case for Bush? Because no one has, and frankly, to the Republican faithful like myself who roll our eyes at Sean Hannity, Bush has a heck of a lot of convincing to do."

A Little Late For This 

Saddam Hussein was indisputably a violent and vicious tyrant, but an unprovoked attack that antagonized the Muslim world and fractured the international community of peaceful nations was not the solution. There were, and are, equally brutal and potentially more dangerous dictators in power elsewhere. Saddam Hussein and his rotting army were not a threat even to the region, never mind to the United States.

Now that we are in Iraq, we must do everything possible to see that the country is stabilized before American forces are withdrawn. But that commitment should be based on honesty. Just as we cannot undo the invasion, we cannot pretend that it was a good idea — even if it had been well carried out.

Congress would never have given President Bush a blank check for military action if it had known that there was no real evidence that Iraq was likely to provide aid to terrorists or was capable of inflicting grave damage on our country or our allies. Many politicians who voted to authorize the war still refuse to admit that they made a mistake. But they did. And even though this page came down against the invasion, we regret now that we didn't do more to challenge the president's assumptions.

Frontier justice in iraq 

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Fair And Balanced Memos Instruct "Journalists" Exactly As The White House Says 

John Moody, Propagandist

If, as promised, the coalition decides to take Fallujah back by force, it will not be for lack of opportunities for the terrorists holed up there to negotiate. Let's not get lost in breast-beating about the sadness of the loss of life. They had a chance (4/22/04).

[L]et's refer to the US marines we see in the foreground [of pictures coming out of Fallujah] as "sharpshooters" not snipers, which carries a negative connotation (4/28/04).

Two style notes: [Eric Ru]dolph is charged with bombing an abortion clinic, not a "health clinic." ...[TO]DAY'S HEARING IS NOT AN ARRAIGNMENT. IT IS AN INITIAL HEARING (6/2/03).

Gas prices are at all time highs in the US. There are reasons for the surge, some economic, some mere business tactics. Remember: US prices, while they seem high to us, are a half or less the cost of gasoline elsewhere (3/16/04).

In case anyone actually thinks Fox employes journalists, here are some memos telling journmalist what to say and how to think about things.

Dressing Up Like A Soldier 

You have to look to Saddam or Fidel for another head of state who spends as much media time before military backdrops.

Former Fox Employee Says: 

ROBERT GREENWALD: The hypothesis I went into this movie with was what would come out would be a conservative bias --although they claim to be fair and balanced, but at other times they say well we're a conservative network and we're balancing the other liberal networks. However, what I found, and I was actually quite troubled by it, is it's not a conservative network, it's a partisan network. They are not advocating a philosophy --conservatism. They are advocating the party in power -- Republican Party. That's dangerous in a democracy. It's particularly dangerous when it's hidden. And it is consistent with what News Corp. has done throughout the world -- there is a pattern to this which is, whether it's in Britain or Communist China, the News Corp., in an effort to maximize their funds, tends to align with the predominant party.

Researcher’s Look at The Propaganda Service at Fox  

Ahhh the Great Uniter Again Unites Factions 

Environmentalists and Hunters Unite Againt Bush

Unlike many public lands issues, this one unites environmentalists with hunters.

"It's about open space and clean water and providing hunting and fishing opportunities as more and more land is posted 'no trespassing'," says Chris Wood, vice president of the conservation group Trout Unlimited. "This is an issue that certain people care very, very deeply about."

Bush officials say they're looking for a better balance to environmental protection and development, for more local and state input on such issues, and for a way to end the court battles.

This’ll Shock You 

Turns out the average Al Quaeda Guy is not a cave dwelling poor man.

Worth a read

The Coalition of the We’ve Had It 

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Independant Voters Lean To Kerry Big Time 

Tony Fabrizio of the Republican polling firm Fabrizio McLaughlin & Associates has released two polling memos recently with in-depth analysis of two interesting and important voting groups…

…Confirming this theory, Fabrizio found that undecided voters in 2004 are overwhelmingly anti-Bush and pro-Kerry. By almost every criteria they look like Kerry voters, according to the memo:

They are more than twice as likely to see things headed down the wrong track as compared to voters overall. ... They give President Bush a net NEGATIVE image rating. ... They give President Bush a net NEGATIVE job approval rating. ... A solid majority sees the Country as being WORSE OFF than they were 4 years ago. ... They are significantly more pessimistic about the current state of the nation's economy. ... They are significantly more pessimistic about their own current financial condition. ... They are twice as likely to see the number of jobs in their area as DECREASING instead of increasing. ... They are significantly more likely to favor the federal government doing more as opposed to doing less. ... They are more likely to be pro-choice on the issue of abortion. ... They are more likely to have seen or heard advertising critical of President Bush than John Kerry in the past year. ... John Kerry holds a slight net POSITIVE image rating [among the undecided voters].

As the memo notes, "Clearly, if these undecided voters were leaning any harder against the door of the Kerry camp, they would crash right through it."

Activists Plant Marijuana Outside CHP Office 

Dick Meyer Sticks It To Bush For Playing Political Tricks 

Bush Logic Holds No Water

President Bush has taken not one ounce of personal responsibility for the failings of our intelligence. Pathetically, that is the custom in American politics, but it still reflects poorly on the president…

… Mr. Bush uses another trick of modern rhetoric: repeat your sound bite in hopes that it hypnotizes the audience into acceptance. In this case, the mantra is, “the American people are safer.” It is repeated seven times in the speech.

But to his credit, Mr. Bush also offers coherent arguments and not just subliminal suggestions. The president’s first argument, obviously, is that the war was the right thing to do because America is now safer. Iraq was a “threat” to America the president argued. That threat has been eliminated. Ergo, America is better off and the war was just.

It is crucial to note a logical and ethical mistake here: War is not automatically justifiable because it may result in increased safety or general well being of the attacking nation or alliance. The increase in safety is one value weighed against others: U.S. fatalities (890 Americans so far in Iraq), enemy and Iraqi civilian casualties, money costs, relations with allied nations and relations with less friendly nations.

And even if we stipulate that Saddam did pose some threat (we can argue about the extent of it), it doesn’t plainly follow that eliminating that threat makes America safer.

Mr. Bush’s speech wholly ignores the two main arguments about why the U.S. is less safe after the war. The first is that by invading an Arab country we fueled even more anti-American hate and increased the supply of Islamist terrorists worldwide. The second is that by acting over the objections of so many major allies, we have weakened international cooperation in battling terror and the chances for cooperation in the next major crisis.

If eliminating threats was so clearly justifiable and prudent, we would have invaded both North Korea and Iran by now and maybe even Saudi Arabia.

US Aids Funding Comes With Strings Attached.  

Yeah, seems like US officials want abstinence, not condoms to be a chief feature of our funding. Sure. It’lll work just like “Just say No” worked to stop drugs.

Excerpts from Fox News Director John Moody TELLING REPORTERS WHAT TO SAY AND HOW TO SLANT IT 

Smoking Gun Proof That Fox News Tells Reporters What To Say And How To Slant It.

Wonkette has a bunch of them.

---- Let's spend a good deal of time on the battle over judicial nominations, which the President will address this morning. Nominees who both sides admit are qualified are being held up because of their POSSIBLE, not demonstrated, views on one issue -- abortion. This should be a trademark issue for FNC today and in the days to come.

We'll take the Rumsfeld Franks briefing, as we did in the days before Franks opened his office in Baghdad.

At the UN, Catherine Herridge will follow the US sponsored resolution calling for the lifting of sanctions against Iraq. Not surprisingly, we're facing resistance from our erstwhile European buddies, the French and Germans.

2003-05-22, John Moody

----From: John Moody
Date: 5/22/2003

The terror alert continues to affect the way Americans live their lives, both as consumers, participants in public events and citizens. Let's explain to viewers that while prudent precautions need to be taken, the disruption of the American way of life is in itself a terrorist goal and should not be conceded to our enemies…

… In ever treacherous Iraq, there was gunplay between US troops and iraqi attacks who paid the price.
From: John Moody
Date: 6/2/2003

Heads of state don't leave G-8 meetings early unless they have good reasons. President Bush has two: he has to get to Egypt, and he doesn't like the French. Let's explain to viewers that despite the tepid handshake, Bush and Chirac are far from reconciled, as are the US and Germany.

---- From: John Moody
Date: 3/12/2004

For our purposes, as a story, it's very important to know whether ETA or Al Qaeda was responsible for the Madrid bombings. For the victims the distinction is minimal. Terrorism is international, and the United States is the leader of the coalition to stamp it out. That's the tone we want to impart throughout the day. We are beefing up our staffing there and will stay with the story through the weekend.

Scary thought of the day: what if it's a consortium of terrorist groups working together?


---- The INTl Court of Justice ruling against the US is something that many americans might find offensive. We'll take a look at just what this court is, and what gives it the right to tell US courts what to do with death row prisoners.

---- From: John Moody
Date: 4/4/2004

MONDAY UPDATE: Into Fallujah: It's called Operation Vigilant Resolve and it began Monday morning (NY time) with the US and Iraqi military surrounding Fallujah. We will cover this hour by hour today, explaining repeatedly why it is happening. It won't be long before some people start to decry the use of "excessive force." We won't be among that group.

The continuing carnage in Iraq -- mostly the deaths of seven US troops in Sadr City -- is leaving the American military little choice but to punish perpetrators. When this happens, we should be ready to put in context the events that led to it. More than 600 US military dead, attacks on the UN headquarters last year, assassination of Irai officials who work with the coalition, the deaths of Spanish troops last fall, the outrage in Fallujah: whatever happens, it is richly deserved.

Do not fall into the easy trap of mourning the loss of U.S. lives

---- From: John Moody
Date: 4/6/2004

The events in Iraq Tuesday are going to be the top story, unless and until something else (or worse) happens. Err on the side of doing too much Iraq rather than not enough. Do not fall into the easy trap of mourning the loss of US lives and asking out loud why are we there? The US is in Iraq to help a country brutalized for 30 years protect the gains made by Operation Iraqi Freedom and set it on the path to democracy. Some people in Iraq don't want that to happen. That is why American GIs are dying. And what we should remind our viewers.

Isn’t This What They Wanted? Money? Well, They’re Making It. 

Hard Right Wing Cleric Literally Taking Over Parts of Baghdad. 

Joe Trippi Writes That The Internet May Wake Up Democracy 

The revolution comes for you next.

When the Dean campaign ended and I sat down to write this book, several people asked if it would be a standard campaign memoir, a tell-all with all the juicy behind-the-scenes details about what went right and went wrong during Howard Dean's dramatic rise and sudden fall.

These people still don't get it.

The truth of this campaign, the "tell all,' the juicy behind-the-scenes details are these: a woman who sold her bike for democracy and inspired hundreds, maybe thousands of people to do the same; a man who raised $400,000 in one week by himself by doing nothing more than sending out an e-mail; an eighty-nine-year-old man who said that he thought he was done living until the Dean campaign re-engaged his life with meaning and civic purpose.

Yes, this book is the story of a long-shot presidential campaign. But it's far more than that.

For me, it's the story of a person who spends his life reconciling two vastly different worlds – politics and technology – and wakes up one morning to find himself standing at the place where they're about to converge, to crash together and begin reversing fifty years of political cynicism in one glorious explosion of civic re-engagement.

It's the story of dozens of committed people who waged a political campaign unlike any in history. It's about the things that we did right, the mistakes we made, and the lessons we learned that can be applied to every election, every product, every issue in America. It's about the man we rallied behind, a politician who had the courage to stand up and question the country's path when all the others seemed to want nothing more than to hide.

But most of all it's the story of people standing up and making themselves heard. It's the story of how to engage those Americans in a real dialogue, how to reach them where they live, how to stop selling to them and start listening to them, how to make better use of the most revolutionary idea to come along since the first man learned to light a fire.

Excellent Comment From Washington Monthly 

Anybody who rails against universal health care because it's socialism is a fool. As if we don't already have socialism in this country! How about free education through high school? How about roads and water and parks and police and firemen etc? If you don't want socialist health care, then you're just drawing the socialism line in a slightly different place. And looking at the facts, a damn stupid place. Unless of course you just don't give a damn about the other 40% because you're insured well enough.

Wake up and smell the coffee! Why subsidize HMOs and for profit hospitals and insurance companies? So Bill Frist will like you? All they do is profit from the suffering of their fellow citizens. If that's your idea of ethics, then you've got a bit of thinking to do. The fact that these big-money interests have been able to hold universal health care at bay by buying politicians who play the socialism card like McCarthy played communism is an affront to decency and common sense, and a betrayal of our responsibilities to our society as a whole. And it says a lot about the gullibility of the electorate that they've been allowed to get away with it so long. But if rational thought were our nation's strong suit, we wouldn't have an idiot in the White House, would we?

Going To Church To Ask For Votes. 

Christ the Bush Administration has its own news channel and radio station network. Isn’t that enough?

God Says Vote GOP

Bush Vs Blacks 

Bush Not Doing That Well With Black Voters

Still, experts said, Mr. Bush is unlikely to win many black votes. He won 8 percent of the black vote in 2000, and just getting into double digits this year would be a major accomplishment, they said.

You have to wonder why in hell would any Black person vote for Bush. Why would a gay person vote for Bush? Why would gay Black man vote for Bush?

Republican Hate Amendment Fails 

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Christians are having such a hard time these days. I mean you can’t even burn books anymore. 

The Gray Lady Writes 

If subverting informed decision-making were illegal, Thomas Scully, the Bush administration's former top Medicare official, would be in trouble. The Health and Human Services Department reported last week that before the vote on the huge Medicare reform bill last November, Mr. Scully threatened to fire the agency's chief actuary, Richard Foster, if he released estimates to Congress showing that the bill could cost as much as 50 percent more than the White House had let on.

But the report said that Mr. Scully had broken no law. Moreover, because he is no longer with Medicare — he now lobbies for drug companies — he faces no disciplinary action.

The Bush administration would no doubt love to have the issue end there. But Congress should not allow that. Ordinary citizens and their representatives have a right to be informed about public policy. The White House cannot continue to get away with treating Congress as some pesky organization with which it needn't share information.

In absolving Mr. Scully of breaking any law, the Health and Human Services Department relied on a legal analysis by the Justice Department that strongly suggested the estimates were protected by executive privilege. But federal employees also have a legal right to communicate with lawmakers, and in this case Congress had explicitly asked Mr. Foster for his cost estimates.

Regardless of the legal technicalities, it is a terrible policy to deprive legislators of information they need to make informed choices. Mr. Foster has said that he shared his estimates not only with Mr. Scully, but also with Doug Badger, President Bush's health policy adviser. Both Mr. Scully and Mr. Badger declined an invitation to appear before the House Ways and Means Committee in April. The committee should call both men again, under subpoena if necessary, to answer questions about what looks like a conspiracy to keep Congress in the dark.

What It's Really Like To Live In Baghdad 

Tom Delay Has Hired Two Criminal Attorneys 

Oy Yoy Yoy 

This Just In- Chalabi Might Not Have Been Telling The Truth. 


Tedx Koppel and Tom Brokaw Get Bent Out of Shape Over 9/11. Tough Shit. Do A Better Job With The News If You Don't Like It 

Can you believe Tom Brokaw and Ted Koppel are pissed about Micheal Moore. Well, here is what Stephanopolous says about that: "What was most striking to me is that when I asked them, 'Why did you go to see it?' they said, 'Because we wanted to get the facts,' " Stephanopoulos said. "There wasn't time to get into a big argument with them ... but at least a few of them had the sense that if it's coming from the government [or] if it's coming from established media, they must not be telling us something and we have to go to this alternative venue to get the facts. I think that's a challenge for all of us."

That’s the point!

Americans feel they are not getting the facts. Is that Micheal Moore’s problem or the network news problem.

Saw This Coming 

Re-enlistments down big time

JASPER, Ind. -- Almost two-thirds of Indiana National Guardsmen in a battalion that spent a year in Iraq chose not to re-enlist when their service time expired.

Over the past 21 months, the service contracts of 102 soldiers in the 1st Battalion of the 152nd Regiment expired. Of those, 32, or less than one-third, chose to re-enlist.

Bush Proposes Opening National Forests to Logging 

Story Here

I'll be frank, I am no Nader-style environmentalist. I'm not about to go out and buy a Toyota Prius. However, I offroad (trail driving is FAR, FAR different from the "muddin" most people visualize the activity as) and mountain bike, and I love the tranquility of the outdoors. This country's beauty is one of its greatest treasures, and nothing represents that better than the national parks.

I'm by no means a Greenpeace environmentalist, but I am a conservationist, and this latest move by the Bush administration sickens me.

Teddy Roosevelt must be rolling in his grave.

I mean, can't we just invade some other country for their timber resources?

Buzzflash Outs Matt Drudge 

Boy How the Republican party has Changed 

"The election is a necessity," Lincoln said. "We cannot have a free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forgo, or postpone, a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered us."

Monday, July 12, 2004

Bush's Problems 

I mean at this point you simply have to wonder if the administration is in a quiet meltdown.

Bush and Cheney keep repeating the WMD/We-were-right-to-invade meme. The bipartisan Senate Committee sticks to their guns and says no connection between al-Quaeda and Iraq. Bush and Cheney look like idiots.

Bush, trying to woo Black voters snubs the NAACP.

The President's poll numbers slip further into the toilet with every dead Marine and all they can think to do is "protect marriage". Neil Bush, the President's brother has flown to Thailand and had 14 year old Thai hookers in his room.

He is on his second divorce.

Rush Limbaugh is on his third divorce.

Hell, if the President wants to protect marriage he should convince his right wing friends to stay away from their wives. But the Gay Marraige prohibition is just a wedge issue to get the so called "Christians" to vote with him. It's just a way to take someone's rights away.

The Florida Election Commission can't purge voter polls especially after purging Democrats and not Rethuglicans.

Who do think they (Rethuglicans) are talking about postponing the elections? Because they know come November, they are going to be sent home.

The President just opens millions of protected land to devleopment outside of any legislative body. To make sure his money friend are happy, of course.

Of course, another piece of America is sold to the corporations. Veterans lost $1.5 billion in benefits while they applauded for Bush who did something they never thought of doing: used his Dad's connections to avoid warfare.

Up is down in America. The people who will hurt the most from Bush seem to be vehemetly behind him. Bush has brought back a frightened tired polarized America and he will not win this. No matter what he and his thugs do, no matter what the polls say, when the election happens, he and his shit hook fascists will lose at the ballot box.

They are desperate. They have nothing to run on. The tax cuts haven't helped anyone. The war is a disaster. The economy still sucks. We are not safer.


Watch what the desperate neo cons try as the election season wears on. One perfidious attempt after the next to fool everyone into thinking they are in charge or even know what they are doing.

This whole argument doesn'r even mention the fact that soon the Valerie Plame incident has yet to blossom and it will very soon.



Lots of the tectonic shifts in election year politics are visceral, not quantifiable. Perhaps it’s like my boxing coach said: it’s really not one shot that wins a boxing match, it’s more like the accumulation of punches that best stops opponents. So it’s hard to tell exactly when it first seemed like the administration was starting to unravel. But it is the accumulation of perfidious stories that seem unending that keeps me feeling that people will not elect Bush. It feels in my guy like much of it is the fact that people generally like Bush but really don’t like who he has surrounded himself with.

A comment from the comment section of Kos I picked up because this guy Tom Schaller sums it up perfectly: On screen you have Fahrenheit 9/11, The Hunting of the President, Control Room and Outfoxed. Among whisteblowers and public critics you have Richard Clarke, Joseph Wilson, Paul O'Neill and Anonymous. Among investigations you have the 9-11 Commission's study, the Senate Intelligence Committee's pre-war inquiry (hmmm....where's the House?), the Plame leak investigation, the Taguba report and Abu Ghraib investigation. Among embarrassing televised moments, you have Bush's widely-panned SotU address, his stumbling repetitions on Russert, his "make no mistakes: I don't make mistakes" press conference, Condi Rice's "I believe the title of that memo" 9-11 commission appearance, Donny Rummy's post-Abu Ghraib congressional committee grillings. Among books you have titles from Conason, Corn, J. Dean, Franken, Krugman, Ivins, Unger, Waldman...

...it's enough to give a dedicated liberal "outrage fatigue," surmises The Onion!

There are so many things going wrong, it’s exhausting. It doesn’t feell optimistic. And frankly, Bush and his Fox news slaves have attacked everyone from Paul O Neil to Joe Wilson to Richard Clarke so hard that it’s hard to remember who got blamed for what. The Republicans have attack so often and so thoroughly that it’s numbing. It’s growing largely ineffective and even has backfired. That’s why almost $100 million in ad revenues spent haven’t helped Bush. His ads are not only negative and puerile, attacking people’s patriotism and using the word Liberal as a pejorative.

People are tired of it. They will tell uss how tired at the ballot box in about four months as well.

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