Friday, October 15, 2004

Rove Finally Brought to Court

Where's Novak? Its his turn...

Full Article

Rove Testifies in CIA Leak Investigation

WASHINGTON - President Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, testified Friday before a federal grand jury trying to determine who leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer.

Rove spent more than two hours testifying before the panel, according to an administration official who spoke only on condition of anonymity because such proceedings are secret.

Saving Mom from Right-Wing Spam

I just got this great little piece of spam and I felt like a little exercise.

Normally, this kind of poop would simply be flushed. But I worry for my mom. She gets these and she reads them and she believes them sometimes. She is not alone.

These spams make very good arguements sometimes. They fall flat when one looks at the veracity of the "facts".

Here is the spam followed by my rebuttal:

Bush

Learn these facts to properly debate our poor misguided friends and family before election time !!!

There were 39 combat related killings in Iraq during the month of January.....In the fair city of Detroit there were 35 murders in the month of January.That's just one American city, about as deadly as the entire war torn country of Iraq.

When some claim President Bush shouldn't have started this war, state the following ............

FDR...led us into World War II.Germany never attacked us. Japan did.From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost, an average of 112,500 per year.

Truman...finished that war and started one in Korea, North Korea never attacked us. From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost, an average of 18,334 per year.

John F. Kennedy...started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam never attacked us.

Johnson...turned Vietnam into a quagmire. From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost, an average of 5,800 per year.

Clinton...went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent, Bosnia never attacked us. He was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter three times by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked us on multiple occasions.

In the two years since terrorists attacked us President Bush has ...liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled al-Qaida, put nuclear inspectors in Libya, Iran and North Korea without firing a shot, and captured a terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people.

The Democrats are complaining about how long the war is taking, but...It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound. That was a 51 day operation.

We've been looking for evidence of chemical weapons in Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find the Rose Law Firm billing records.

It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Ted Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick.

It took less time to take Iraq than it took to count the votes in Florida!!!!

Our Commander-In-Chief is doing a GREAT JOB!

The Military moral is high!

The biased media hopes we are too ignorant to realize the facts.

Just some facts would be nice but I am sorry, there is not a single accuracy in this email. Not one. I am not surprised because it take a very familiar form. Lots of spam just like this is sent out daily by many right-wing 527 groups. This particular email can also be found posted to such fact finding websites as BeerLoverCam.com (http://www.beerlovercam.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1072) and The Baptist Board (http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/23/2647.html). Enough of the theories, let's get to the facts.

Bush

Learn these facts to properly debate our poor misguided friends and family before election time !!!There were 39 combat related killings in Iraq during the month of January.....In the fair city of Detroit there were 35 murders in the month of January.That's just one American city, about as deadly as the entire war torn country of Iraq.

This must be an old email since January was 10 months ago now. There were actually 47 American fatalities in January. There were also 5 British soldiers killed and none from any of the other countries of our vast coalition.

http://icasualties.org/oif/

If you want to compare apples and oranges, then we will compare murders in Detroit to soldiers killed in Iraq.

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=398411

Not too many people in Detroit were killed by F-16 fighter planes, either. I think it is important to remember that 13224 Iraq civilians have been killed so far.

http://www.iraqbodycount.net

We should keep that number front and center in our thought processes since our true reason for Operation Iraqi Freedom is to liberate Iraqi citizens. The country may be on fire to this very day, but we can be sure that 13224 Iraqis have been liberated from the pains of this earth.

When some claim President Bush shouldn't have started this war, state the following ............

FDR...led us into World War II.

Germany never attacked us.
Japan did.
From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost, an average of 112,500 per year.

Well, Germany did attack us. Repeatedly. They sunk over 200 merchant ships in 1939, over 1000 in 1940, and about 1300 in 1941. We declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941. Bound by a treaty with Japan, Germany declared war on us on December 11, 1941.
http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/germany-declares.htm Subsequently, we declared war on them.

I find it humerous when people try to compare Saddam Hussein's Iraq to Adolph Hitler's Germany. Germany was a wealthy industrial powerhouse. Iraq has not been described as a prosperous country since the 1980's.

Truman...finished that war and started one in Korea, North Korea never attacked us.
From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost, an average of 18,334 per year.

North Korea invaded South Korea. That was the equivalent of the U.S.S.R. moving to take over West Berlin during the Cold War. Korea was conquered by both the United States and Russia in World War II and then split up into north and south like with Germany. The north invaded the south and The U.N. went to stop that. So, North Korea did attack our allies.

John F. Kennedy...started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam never attacked us.

Well, Dwight Eisenhower sent the first troops to Vietnam in 1958. Is that a deliberate deception by you or just a lie?

Johnson...turned Vietnam into a quagmire. From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost, an average of 5,800 per year.

Johnson was president from 1965-1975? How could that be? Oh!!! You want to only point out democrats who have been in wars. Those warmongering democrats really get my blood boiling. They should just be hawks and not actually serve. I have taken the time to compile a list of those evil serving democrats and those courageous republicans who get deferments.

Democrats
Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72.
Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.
Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.
Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam.
Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-'47; Medal of Honor, WWII.
John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star and 3 Purple Hearts.
John Edwards: did not serve.
Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.
Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star & Bronze Star, Vietnam.
Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-1953.
Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.
Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91.
Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII, receiving the Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons.
Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76; Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Stars, and Soldier's Medal.
Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart, Silver Star and Legion of Merit.
Mike Thompson: Staff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.
Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Governor. Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Star with Combat V.
Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star.
Pete Stark: Air Force 1955-57
Chuck Robb: VietnamHowell Heflin: Silver Star.
George McGovern: Silver Star & DFC during WWII.
Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments. Entered draft but received 311.
Jimmy Carter: Seven years in the Navy.
Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953
John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCs and Air Medal with 18 Clusters.
Tom Lantos: Served in Hungarian underground in WWII. Saved by Raoul Wallenberg.
Wesley Clark: U.S. Army, 1966-2000, West Point, Vietnam, Purple Heart, Silver Star. Retired 4-star general.
John Dingell: WWII vet
John Conyers: Army 1950-57, Korea

Republicans
Dennis Hastert: did not serve.
Tom Delay: did not serve.
House Whip Roy Blunt: did not serve.
Bill Frist: did not serve.
Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
George Pataki: did not serve.
Mitch McConnell: did not serve.
Rick Santorum: did not serve.
Trent Lott: did not serve.
Dick Cheney: did not serve. Several deferments, the last by marriage.
John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business.
Jeb Bush: did not serve.
Karl Rove: did not serve.
Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. "Bad knee." The man who attacked Max Cleland's patriotism.
Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
Vin Weber: did not serve.
Richard Perle: did not serve.
Douglas Feith: did not serve.
Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
Richard Shelby: did not serve.
Jon Kyl: did not serve.
Tim Hutchison: did not serve.
Christopher Cox: did not serve.
Newt Gingrich: did not serve.
Don Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as aviator and flight instructor.
George W. Bush: six-year Nat'l Guard commitment (in four).
Ronald Reagan: due to poor eyesight, served in a non-combat role making movies.
Gerald Ford: Navy, WWII
Phil Gramm: did not serve.
John McCain: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.
Bob Dole: an honorable veteran.
Chuck Hagel: two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, Vietnam.
Duke Cunningham: nominated for Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Silver Stars, Air Medals, Purple Hearts.
Jeff Sessions: Army Reserves, 1973-1986
JC Watts: did not serve.
Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer.
G.H.W. Bush: Pilot in WWII. Shot down by the Japanese.
Tom Ridge: Bronze Star for Valor in Vietnam.
Antonin Scalia: did not serve.Clarence Thomas: did not serve

Pundits & Preachers
Sean Hannity: did not serve.
Rush Limbaugh: did not serve (4-F with a 'pilonidal cyst.')
Bill O'Reilly: did not serve.
Michael Savage: did not serve.
George Will: did not serve.
Chris Matthews: did not serve.
Paul Gigot: did not serve.
Bill Bennett: did not serve.
Pat Buchanan: did not serve.
Bill Kristol: did not serve.
Kenneth Starr: did not serve.
Michael Medved: did not serve.

Clinton...went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent, Bosnia never attacked us. He was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter three times by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked us on multiple occasions.

I love when people point out the French! Being French, I just love it. The French had a larger contingent of troops committed than the Brittish did. Clinton didn't go to war in Kosovo (I know you meant to say Kosovo - we'll let it slide), NATO went to war in Kosovo. It's funny that Bush's threats to Slobodan Milosovich never come up. Anyway, General Wesley Clark, Supreme Commander of NATO Allied Forces Europe, led the NATO forces to victory in 8 months. Not one American was killed.

In the two years since terrorists attacked us President Bush has ...liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled al-Qaida, put nuclear inspectors in Libya, Iran and North Korea without firing a shot, and captured a terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people.

Well, it has been 3 years now and the terrorists are attacking us daily. Not here, mind you, but in Iraq. Okay, Iraq and Afganistan have been liberated. What does that mean? The warlords are still in control of large parts of Afganistan and terrorist groups actually hold entire cities in Iraq. Heard of Fallujah? Heard of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi? Yes, he is the guy who cuts off American citizen's heads. He is controlling Fallujah right now.

The Taliban is not crushed, in fact, they have meaningful control of part of the south of the country, and have driven doctors without borders out of the country.

Al-Qaida is barely crippled. They have a presense in most countries including the United States. They are recruiting new members daily. Al-Qaida is attacking daily and I don't just mean in Iraq. Remember Bali? Remember Turkey? Remember Madrid?

As far as the nuclear inspectors, what in hell are you talking about? Iran just told the International Atomic Energy Association to get out. There are no inspectors in North Korea and on Bush's watch, they have developed 4-7 nuclear bombs. Libya negotiated disarmament with Europe, not George W. Bush. It did happen on his watch but so did Brittney Spears popularity. He is as responsible for Libya's disarming as he is for Brittney Spears being pretty and flirty and slutty.

The British have admitted that the mass graves thought to have hundreds of thousands buried number less than 5000. That is still genocide. It is horrible. But 5000 is not 300,000.

The Democrats are complaining about how long the war is taking, but...It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound. That was a 51 day operation.

Has Iraq been taken? That's good. Now all my friends in the National Guard will be coming home now. That's great news. It's also a lie. That 'Mission Accomplished' banner really fooled those at home watching TV. The mission is far from accomplished and we have experienced more casualties since the war was declared won. It has been over a year now.

We've been looking for evidence of chemical weapons in Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find the Rose Law Firm billing records.

Not really. We have been looking for chemical weapons in Iraq since 1991. Great shot at Hillary Clinton, though. Real good showing of non-partisanship. She wasn't convicted of anything, by the way, but why let that get in the way of propoganda.

It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Ted Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick.

Wow. Is it really a good idea to make a joke about somebody getting dead? Mary Jo Kopechne drowned in that Oldsmobile. Never pass up an opportunity to zing Ted Kennedy.

It took less time to take Iraq than it took to count the votes in Florida!!!!

Our Commander-In-Chief is doing a GREAT JOB!

The Military moral is high!

The biased media hopes we are too ignorant to realize the facts.

Wrong again. We are still losing in Iraq and the votes were recounted... and Gore won.

Learn these facts because they are facts.


America's Twelve Step Program

Whoever thought unilateral foreign policy would be popular? We sharply pushed away our allies, tromped over opposing views and renamed anything with word "french" in it with "freedom" and some people wonder why the world hates us so much. Those in denial call this "pessimism" and stick the label onto the backs of democrats.

Acknowledging world resentment is not pessimissm. In any twelve step program, the first step is always admitting your mistake. President Bush has not admitted to making one mistake. You'd think he'd have enough experience to bring America to step one. Apparently, he learned nothing and we're all suffering.

What we have today is a growing world resentment towards America. The Bush administration solves the problems of America today and worries about the fallout tomorrow. Dubya is the only president in modern history to think that the earth is synonomous with U.S.A.

As Bill Maher adequately put it last weekend on Real Time, "The world hasn't changed. America finally joined it." If John Kerry were elected on November 2nd, it would be step one for America.

Here's another poll from the Guardian. Like we didn't already know what it reveals...

Poll reveals world anger at Bush

Eight out of 10 countries favour Kerry for president

Alan Travis, home affairs editor
Friday October 15, 2004

George Bush has squandered a wealth of sympathy around the world towards America since September 11 with public opinion in 10 leading countries - including some of its closest allies - growing more hostile to the United States while he has been in office.

According to a survey, voters in eight out of the 10 countries, including Britain, want to see the Democrat challenger, John Kerry, defeat President Bush in next month's US presidential election.

The poll, conducted by 10 of the world's leading newspapers, including France's Le Monde, Japan's Asahi Shimbun, Canada's La Presse, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Guardian, also shows that on balance world opinion does not believe that the war in Iraq has made a positive contribution to the fight against terror.

The results show that in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Japan, Spain and South Korea a majority of voters share a rejection of the Iraq invasion, contempt for the Bush administration, a growing hostility to the US and a not-too-strong endorsement of Mr Kerry. But they all make a clear distinction between this kind of anti-Americanism and expressing a dislike of American people. On average 68% of those polled say they have a favourable opinion of Americans.

The 10-country poll suggests that rarely has an American administration faced such isolation and lack of public support amongst its closest allies.

The only exceptions to this trend are the Israelis - who back Bush 2-1 over Kerry and see the US as their security umbrella - and the Russians who, despite their traditional anti-Americanism, recorded unexpectedly favourable attitudes towards the US in the survey conducted in the immediate aftermath of the Beslan tragedy.
Note: Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor for Bush Sr, said in a Financial Times inverview, "Sharon just has [Bush] wrapped around his little finger. I think the president is mesmerised."

Post-Debate Affects Settle In

Days after the third debate, the american consciousness is lapping up the damage. We see honest pundits, who may have been Bush supporters at one point, admitting defeat and reality. There are some who still cling onto the sunset of a dying dream. Frankly, I'm dying for a reality bite. The last four years have become a distant and vacant memory, a hole in my life which I desperately wish to forget. I'm happy to see some rational-thinking people finally get it, if they hadn't before.

E.J. Dionne Jr.
Washington Post Columnist

Full Column

"In President Bush's worldview, everything is "post-9/11" except his campaign tactics. When it comes to the tired, shopworn ways in which he's attacking John Kerry, the president is, as Dick Cheney likes to say, in a "pre-9/11 mindset."

The debates altered the campaign in Kerry's favor because Bush could no longer run and hide from his own record and cast Kerry as a cardboard character. The debates showcased Kerry as presidentially consistent. Bush kept changing his act. He scowled in the first debate. He practically shouted in the second. He pasted a strange smile over the scowl in the third.

---------------------

Richard Cohen

Washington Post Columnist

Full Column

"For months now I've dropped bets on the presidential election like Hansel (of "Hansel and Gretel") dropped pebbles. For honor and money, I've wagered on George Bush, not because I wanted him to win but rather because I thought he would. Now I'm changing my mind. It's not the tightening polls that have done it -- I knew that would happen -- but rather something I could not have predicted. The president is missing.

The president I have in mind is the funny, good-natured regular guy I once saw on the campaign trail -- a man of surprisingly quick wit and just plain likeability. I contrasted this man to John Kerry, who is as light and as funny as a mud wall, and I thought, "There goes the election."

Where it has mattered most -- the three debates -- Bush has been wooden, ill at ease and downright spooky. He makes bad jokes, cackles at them in the manner of a cinematic serial killer and has lacked the warmth that he not only once had but that I thought would compensate for a disastrous presidency and give him a second -- God help us -- term. In short, he could take over the Bates Motel in an instant."

---------------------

Robert Scheer
LA Times Editorial

Read Full Editorial

So, once again, as with Bill Clinton, I find myself supporting a Democrat with a domestic agenda to the right of Richard Nixon. Yes, the man Arnold Schwarzenegger eulogized at the GOP convention was in favor of a guaranteed annual income for all Americans — something that can be made to sound even more socialist than liberal. Nixon's point man on such issues was Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who as a Democratic senator from New York later blasted Clinton's anti-welfare bill as an immoral assault on the poor.

I interviewed Nixon in 1984, long after he had been chased from office, and found him to be quite proud of his domestic agenda. How sad for the nation that his domestic policy is now considered progressive compared with Bush's. Many excellent programs such as Social Security and Medicare that once had strong bipartisan support are now under attack by a perversely destructive president.

OK, Kerry may not be a daring liberal, but he is an enlightened moderate who would at least safeguard the gains made since Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. By contrast, the Bush administration seems determined to return us to the 19th century, when corporate robber barons owned the White House and employed crude "gunboat diplomacy" to serve their greed.

Swift Vet Liars Got Owned

ABC News Nightline ran a story last night thoroughly discrediting the Swift Vet Liars claim that John Kerry is not an honest man. The former Nixon attack dog, John O'Neill, had pulled himself out from the carcass of the former President to attack Kerry once again 35 years later, with brand new fantastical claims that everyone involved in a firefight in February 1969 lied to get silver stars.

Nightline interviewed Vietnamese witnesses from the incident who coroborated with the Navy reports which led to a hand out of honorable metals to many of the soldiers involved. When confronted by Nightline's Ted Koppel, O'Neill refused to address the content of the report, afterwards rushing to the bathroom to clean his underwear.

Read the full story here.

In the controversy over Sen. John Kerry's service in Vietnam, Americans have heard from Kerry, from the crew of the Navy Swift boats he commanded and from other Swift boat veterans who question the official account of a 1969 incident for which Kerry was awarded a Silver Star. But there is one group they have not heard from: the Vietnamese who were there that day.

According to the military citation, Kerry was awarded the medal for his actions during an intense firefight on Feb. 28, 1969, during which he shot and killed a Viet Cong fighter who was armed with a rocket launcher. Members of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group have charged that the Viet Cong fighter was a teenager who was alone, who was not part of a numerically superior force, and who was already wounded and running away when Kerry shot him.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Sinclair Update

Oh, the Sinclairty of it all! Joe Trippi nails it again!

From MSNBC's Hardblogger 10-13-04:

Sinclair knows not what it has unleashed (Joe Trippi)

[...]

My view for some time has been that the Internet is changing [the bottom-up empowering nature of the Internet]. That the Internet is the first medium that allows thousands (sometimes millions) of Americans to come together and combine our power to challenge top down institutions that are failing us and our country.

That is because in a society where information is power— then the Internet is not distributing information, it's distributing power. And in a top-down society, it’s distributing power to the bottom.

Sinclair Broadcasting Inc.’s top brass does not understand this. So when they made the decision to air the anti-Kerry documentary “Stolen Honor” they made one of those top-down decisions they thought the rest of us would simply accept. Wrong.

[...]


We love you, Joe. When you talk about Robert Kennedy with a lump in your throat, we hear ya, man.

Catastrophic Success

Lynne Cheney is pissed. John Kerry talked about Mary Cheney's lesbianism in the debates and the republicans are calling it "out of line." Today, all over cable news and talk radio, pundits and republicans are crying foul. What do we make of it?

Well, to quote George Bush, "it was a catastrophic success" for the democrats. At a post debate rally, Mrs. Cheney fired back at Kerry for mentioning her daughter, using it for "cheap and tawdry" politics. I gotta laugh at this. I also have to laugh at Karl Rove for this strategic blunder. Karl Rove, for all his mastery, probably didn't want to make an issue out of this and I think that Lynn is truly outraged. What mother wouldn't defend her children if they thought they were being picked on? But, she must have pushed aside Rove to let her emotions out and this plays directly into the hand of the Democrats.

What are people talking about today? The question has become not if Kerry went over the line, but of Mary Cheney being a lesbian, the daughter of the VP running with a conservative base against homosexuality. My question is, who in this country is it going to affect? It certainly won't affect any pro-gay people out there. It won't affect any homosexuals. On local right-wing talk radio this morning, the pundits were making a big issue out of it, and several pro-Bush callers had made the point that they thought Kerry hadn't gone over the line and him brining it up wasn't a big issue on his character. In fact, most of them wondered why they were even talking about it. On Hardball tonite, Chris Matthews was talking to the editors of the San Francisco Chronicle and the Nation (sorry, I don't remember their names - touche gin and tonics - but I will try to update when I read the show transcript later). The SF Chronical editor, who was clearly a Bush supporter in her rhetoric, in the end said this was not a big issue for her, right after she spent five minutes on a diatribe about how great Bush was. Clearly, this republican was not affected by this.

But, it does put a quandry on the table for those homophobic conservatives who would like to see an ammendment to the Constitution to ban gay marriage. I think this tactic by the Kerry campaign has put the Bush team unknowingly on the defensive.

First, let me ask any of you who think Kerry was out of line if you think it was as unethical as Bush promoting a federal ban on gay marriage? If you think it was, then you'd be hypocritical if you were outraged. Kerry did not out Mary Cheney, as she was already openly talked about by Dick Cheney live on television and she also is part of homosexual organizations. Not only that, but John Edwards brought this same thing up during the VP debates and it clearly did not phase Dick Cheney. He even thanked Edwards for his understanding.

So, I will have to thank Lynne Cheney for making such a debacle over something so insignificant. Confuse your base with mixed messages over homosexuality and empower your opponents. You've now tangled the web of Bush courting the religious conservatives for over sixteen years. There is no way in hell any of this is going to be flak on John Kerry, who by the way gave a warm and loving statement today about it.

Statement from John Kerry in Reaction to Comments by Mrs. Cheney

Las Vegas, NV - Senator John Kerry released the following statement today:

"I love my daughters. They love their daughter. I was trying to say something positive about the way strong families deal with this issue."

Now, instead of Bush commanding the news with his constant barage of Kerry rips, we democrats get a couple of days of breathing room. With nineteen days to go before the election, every minute counts.

Update: from Andrew Sullivan's blog:

A TYPICAL POINT: Here's an email that makes a point many others have. I cite it because it's representative:

You won't read this or reply, but that's fine. Your support of Kerry's bringing up Mary Cheney in the debate just lost my respect completely. The best analogy I can think of would have been Carter mentioning Betty Ford's addiction or someone mentioning Martha Mitchell's instability and alcoholism in a presidential debate. Just beyond the pale. The young woman, and the family, are entitled to their privacy on private matters.

Notice two things. First, the equation of gayness with some sort of embarrassing problem or, worse, some kind of affliction. For people who believe this, of course Kerry was out of line. That's why Rove's base is so outraged. But if you don't believe this, it's no different than, say, if a candidate were to mention another candidate's son in the Marines. Or if, in a debate on immigration, a pro-immigrant candidate mentioned Kerry's immigrant wife. You have to regard homosexuality as immoral or wrong or shameful to even get to the beginning of the case against Kerry. That's why it's a Rorschach test. Secondly, Mary Cheney isn't private. She ran gay outreach for Coors, for pete's sake. She appears in public with her partner. Her family acknowledges this. She's running her dad's campaign! Whatever else this has to do with - and essentially, it has to do whether you approve of homosexuality or not - privacy is irrelevant.

Thanks, Andrew. Point taken.

Three Strikes for Bush

Kerry handily defeated Bush in last night's debate. In fact, I think Bush did a lot worse than the town hall meeting, for many reasons. He continued to pounce Kerry will heavily debunked claims, which are transforming into a feeble attempt to keep the criticism off himself. Bush also did not defend his policies well, other than staying on the offense by using antiquated slogans like, "tax and spend liberal" (although he rephrased it with a hacked paraphrase, "pay-go liberal". Kerry had mentioned the "Pay as you go" standard of fiscal responsibility from the 90's). Staying on the offensive (Bush's main strategy in the war on terror) does not hold with the same might in his campaign strategy. Staying on the offensive is great for say, football, where the complexities are limited by the rules of the game. But, this is real life, full of complexities that cannot be contained in a set of agreed upon limitations.

This was the last time Bush had to show his strengths over Kerry's. Bush failed to define himself the clearer choice of the two, leaving the debates with the American people more in doubt over President Bush instead of Senator Kerry. Though his jabs and smirks might have energized his base, we could all agree that no matter what Bush says or does will not deter his dearest supporters. There is a minute and fragile core of those people who are undecided still, and I doubt weak jabs by either side are going to ultimately change these people's minds one way or the other. The strength for Kerry is that he looked more mature and had command of policy facts and consquences, overwhelming Bush and shrinking his image into a goofey jokester. In a serious debate about serious issues, with the next man elected most certainly going to decide the fate of millions of people in the world, I doubt the class clown attitude was the sales pitch undecided voters were asking for.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Bush is staking his reelection on negative attacks against John Kerry. The problem with that is he leaves his own record behind to be ridiculed by the DNC, dismal ecnomic reports and bad news coming out of Iraq. As Joe Trippi pointed out on MSNBC's Hardblog, Kerry has shifted his campaign from rhetoric to telling Americans his presidential plans. Bush has yet to address his future plans concretely and leaves us to believe Kerry's assertion that a second Bush term would be "more of the same."

Both men used facts and figures, some out of context, some complete lies. However, if FactCheck.org's research points to an obvious consistency, it is that Bush has been overwhelmingly misleading and at times, flat out lying.

As we shift into the final lap of the race, the attack ads will no doubt become extremely negative, especially on Bush's side. Perhaps those udecideds will become increasingly turned off by the tone. If Trippi is correct and Kerry finishes the race on his plans for the future, undecided voters will no doubt lean towards his optimism.

Debate Polls

I just pulled this off of www.dailykos.com

-----------------------------------------------------------

Clean sweep
by kos Thu Oct 14th, 2004 at 15:55:04 GMT

Kerry won all the "who won the debate" polls conducted after the three presidential debates.

Debate 1
ABC: Kerry won 45-36
CBS, uncommitted voters: Kerry won 44-26.
CNN/USA Today Gallup: Kerry won 53-37, 60-29 among independents
Democracy Corps: Kerry won 45-32
ARG: Kerry won 51-41

Debate 2
ABC: Kerry wins 44-41
CNN/USA Today Gallup: Kerry wins 47-45
Democracy Corps: Kerry wins 45-37

Debate 3
CBS, undecideds: Kerry wins 39-25. Before the debate, 29% said Kerry had clear positions on the issues, after, that number doubled to 60%.
ABC: Kerry won 42%-41% in a poll that surveyed 8% more Republicans than Democrats. Independen voters thought Kerry won: 42-35
CNN/USA Today Gallup: Kerry wins 52-39. Among independents, Kerry won: 54-34.
Democracy Corps: Kerry wins 41-36

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Bush Loses: A Theory

The first thing that can be said of Bush in campaigns and policies, is that he's resolute and will live or die by his decisions. That may be admirable, if you think that allowing someone to die without understanding the consequences were a resolute decision. What we can extract from Bush's resoluteness is his unrestrained ability to come to a quick decision on very complex ideas. He cannot or will not understand the full spectrum of human emotions.

A review of Rove's final round strategy at NewDonkey.com is a good foreshadow into the demise of incompetent incumbent. Bush has bet all his money on the Iraq War and tax cuts. However, as each day passes, the growing concern about the Economy and the war are on the minds of Americans and his chances for reelection are becoming slim and slimmer.

Rove's final strategy has morphed the campaign into complete negative attack on John Kerry. Bush unveiled this strategy with his mock policy speech last week, which duped cable news programs to cover the entirety of his post-debate "I fucked up" stump speech. As New Democrats Online points out, "Bush has all but abandoned any effort to defend his own record, much less offer a compelling agenda for the future."

Translation: Bush has stocked the rest of his campaign on Kerry's record as a Senator and human being. Bush, in order to scare people to vote for him, will in turn scare voters into John Kerry's corner. When John Kerry talks or shares his opinion, he doesn't live up to what Bush makes him out to be. Contrastly, the president starts deflating as Kerry transforms into a very presidential candidate.

The pundits don't like talking about substance, they only talk about style, as if each candidate were just the shell of a hotrod, ignoring the power of the engine. Why did Bush lose the first debate? It's simple. He spent weeks beforehand mocking Kerry with his oath-sworn supporters, completey void from reality. What we witnessed last Wednesday wasn't Kerry kicking George Bush's ass into a spittling chimpanze, but rather Bush suddenly at the doorstep of reality. His attacks on John Kerry only hold water when Kerry is not present to defend himself and return fire on the president.

The second debate was far worse. This time, Bush was prepared to fire back. He got lucky with his stump speech and thought he could run over John Kerry in a town hall meeting. But, things started to go wrong the minute an audience member asked him a question that didn't start with, "Mr. Bush, I pray for you every day." The President's vacuum was shattered once more and he tried to revert back to Kerry being a liberal. This time, instead of being stumped by his own lack of imagination, he became uncontrollably angered that the audience couldn't understand his simple ideas. Watching the faces on those behind the President on Camera, it looked like he was losing his crowd.

So, what more does Bush have to offer in the third debate? We already know Kerry is a liberal. We already know he voted "98 times to raise taxes." We know all the labels and rhetoric Bush has thrown against his opponent, and yet Kerry is moving up in the polls and Bush is either stagnent or waning.

Here we are, in the final weeks and Bush has put all his money on going 100% negative on Kerry. As we know from the Iraq War and the Economy, we'll be seeing more of the same. Why, in George Bush's reality, his campaign is turning a corner and succeeding. We will find on November 2nd just how resolute George Bush really is as we watch him die by his own sword. I can at least respect that.

An Overdose of Voter Fraud

What is wrong with this country? No wait, what is wrong with the Repugnicans? They have sunk lower and lower into the gutter. Now, they fear losing power in the white house and have resorted to cheating voters out of their voting rights. Are these the kind of people you feel comfortable voting for?

Voter Registrations Possibly Trashed

(Oct. 12) -- Employees of a private voter registration company allege that hundreds, perhaps thousands of voters who may think they are registered will be rudely surprised on election day. The company claims hundreds of registration forms were thrown in the trash.

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

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


Bradbury plans to investigate election complaint

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Secretary of State Bill Bradbury and Attorney General Hardy Myers plan to investigate allegations that a paid canvasser might have destroyed voter registration forms.

"There have been allegations made that someone threw out some voter registration forms that had been submitted to them," Bradbury told The Associated Press late Tuesday. "This is a violation of the law and I will meet with the attorney general in the morning to talk about what we can do to pursue this, and to make sure it doesn't happen again."


Janklow Criticizes GOP Vote Effort

Bill Janklow's commenting on the resignation of six people connected with the state Republican Party over absentee ballot applications.

The former governor and congressman says the national GOP is encouraging campaign workers to cheat. He says his ire is directed at the Republican Party's Victory operation, which helps register people and get them to the polls.

Janklow says his problem with the organization goes back to 2002 when he was a candidate for the US House.

Sinclairity, by David Shuster

Some asshole on Eschaton told us "Democraps" that we were fucking with the First Ammendment and being hypocrits about the Sinclair debacle. Oh really? According to Federal Election Law, it is illegal for a broadcasting station to give a candidate free advertising.

MSNBC's David Shuster, on the Hardblogger, noted the clearest argument against the Sinclair broadcast.

Sinclair's sin (David Shuster)

Imagine if the CBS television network pre-empted "60 Minutes" this Sunday and broadcast Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11." Many of you might be thrilled. But many of you would be disgusted and outraged, calling it a deliberate, misleading, and unfair ploy to impact the presidential election at the very end.

Sinclair

Will they stop at nothing?

The world of Karl Rove is a nasty nasty place.

As I'm sure most of you have heard, Sinclair Broadcasting, the largest owner of local television stations in the US, ordered its 62 stations to preempt regular programming to air an anti-Kerry documentary just a few days before the election.

There are, however, things we can do.

1) Visit http://www.freepress.net/sinclair/dn.php?zip=&h=t to find the address and phone number of Sinclair Boradcasting AND to send an e-mail to the FCC.

2) Go here http://www.boycottsbg.com/advertisers/default.aspx (and this is pobably MUCH more important than the first, sad world) to find out who is advertising with Sinclair and tell them that you are upset with the broadcasting of the film before the election.

Monday, October 11, 2004

The Argument on Religion in the White House

On Real Time with Bill Maher, Bill and his panel discussed religion in the White House in regards to President Bush. After a long and exasperating debate including our forefathers, the ten commandments and law, Bush's believing God appointed him Emporer of the United States and so forth, they missed the opportunity to answer the question.

What should the role of religion play in the White House, if any?

The role of the President should not represent only his base, but all Americans. Bush does not represent us all nor does he try. During his acceptence speech at the RNC he poked fun at liberals and talked personally to his own people. The DNC was far more expansive, reminding us what it is to be an American and talked heavily on American History (refer to Kennedy's speech for a good chunk of that). Kerry may not represent all of America, but at least he tries to be that statemen-like.

The argument on religion in the White House is not what the religion of our Presidents should be or whether or not they talk openly about it. We need a President that doesn't wear his religion on his sleeves and takes in account the multitude of religious and agnostic beliefs of all of us.

In this case, I think Kerry nailed this argument on the head at the second debate:


Q: Senator Kerry, suppose you're speaking with a voter who believed abortion is murder, and the voter asked for reassurance that his or her tax dollars would not go to support abortion, what would you say to that person?

Mr. Kerry: I would say to that person exactly what I will say to you right now. First of all, I cannot tell you how deeply I respect the belief about life and when it begins. I'm a Catholic - raised a Catholic. I was an altar boy. Religion has been a huge part of my life, helped lea me through a war, leads me today.

But I can't take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn't share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever. I can't do that. But I can counsel people, I can talk reasonably about life and about responsibility. I can talk to people, as my wife, Teresa, does, about making other choices and about abstinence and about all these other things that we ought to do as a responsible society. But as a president, I have to represent all the people in the nation and I have to make that judgment.

Now I believe that you can take that position and not be pro-abortion, but you have to afford people their constitutional rights. And that means being smart about allowing people to be fully educated, to know what their options are in life and making certain that you don't deny a poor person the right to be able to have whatever the Constitution affords them if they can't afford it otherwise.

That's why I think it's important. That's why I think it's important for the United States, for instance, not to have this rigid ideological restriction on helping families around the world to be able to make a smart decision about family planning - you'll help prevent AIDS; you'll help prevent unwanted children, unwanted pregnancies; you'll actually do a better job, I think, of passing on the moral responsibility that is expressed in your question. And I truly respect it.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

I Listened, Solvently



Just got back from the Solvent show at the Empty Bottle. Holy crap, I've been waiting for years for this guy to do a U.S. tour and my dreams finally came true. Jason rocked the house, reminiscent of the Mooney Suzuki show over a year ago. The Bottle never bumped so hard before. I hope more people fall in love with his music.

I got the rare chance to speak to the Canadian master of beats, and he says he's been listening to Mute Records, bands like Soft Cell. Time to break out my record collection...