Thursday, October 21, 2004

Tenet: Iraq war is "wrong"

A little gem found today:

Exclusive for Local Reporter: Ex-CIA Chief Tenet Comes to Town

By E&P Staff

Published: October 21, 2004 5:30 PM EDT

NEW YORK The guest speaker was famous, and he was visiting a small town far from the spotlight of network TV cameras and the reach of big-name reporters from national newspapers. In other words: It was a perfect scenario for a local reporter to snag an exclusive. And Anna Clark, 24, correspondent for The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph, Mich., was there to grab it.

Addressing the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Wednesday night, George Tenet, former director of central intelligence, called the war on Iraq "wrong," according to Clark's article on Thursday, although it was unclear whether he meant the war itself or mainly the intelligence it was based on.

Tenet also said that the Iraq war was "rightly being challenged," but the CIA was making important strides toward success in the greater war on terrorism, according to the reporter.

Tenet added that while the CIA boasts "tremendously talented men and women," the agency "did not live up to our expectations as professionals" regarding the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the search for WMDs in Iraq, according to Clark.

"We had inconsistent information, and we did not inform others in the community of gaps in our intelligence," Tenet said, with surprising frankness, as recorded by Clark, who recently covered a speech by Paul Bremer before the same group. "The extraordinary men and women who do magnificent work in the CIA are held accountable every day for what they do, and as part of keeping our faith with the American people, we will tell you when we're right or wrong."

Tenet spoke before 2,000 members of The Economic Club at Lake Michigan College's Mendel Center.

In a wide-ranging speech, and in a Q & A afterward, he said the United States is "winning the war on terror" due to the CIA's efforts to "capture or kill" three-quarters of al-Qaida's leaders, and that he expects to see Osama bin Laden captured.

As for the regime of Saddam Hussein: "I believed he had weapons of mass destruction. He didn't. At the end of the day I have to stand up accountable for that. In the meantime our nation needs to honor the commitment we made in Iraq."

Just this week, news emerged that Tenet had been appointed a professor at Georgetown University.

Special thanks to Salon.com for this baby.

uh... ok. Bullshit

interesting bit about how evangelical christians did not vote in high numbers 4 years ago...

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/24/arts/24rich.html?oref=login&8hpib

"To understand what strange game is playing out here, you must go back to the equally close 2000 election. In the campaign postmortems, Karl Rove famously attributed his candidate's shortfall in the popular vote to four million "fundamentalists and evangelicals" in the Republican base who didn't turn up on Election Day. A common theory among Bush operatives had it that these no-shows had been alienated by the pre-election revelation of Mr. Bush's arrest for drunk driving years earlier."

karl rove can kiss my royal scotish ass...

I don't believe a word of it. Many evangelicals think every 4 years they can get the conservative elected to overturn roe v. wade... they are more dependable voters than probably any other group out there.

karl rove will say anything... God, I hope his career is finished on Nov. 2.

ps:

don't forget to look at my art project:

http://www.missionaccomplished.tv/index_new.php

Fahrenheit For Free

Michael Moore and the nation's video stores bring you Fahrenheit 911 for free, October 26. Talk about a little payback for Payper View. The republicans don't understand that you can't put out a grease fire with water.

MICHAEL MOORE ANNOUNCES "FAHRENHEIT FOR FREE" OCTOBER 26

VIDEO STORES ACROSS THE NATION TO RENT CUSTOMERS "FAHRENHEIT 9/11" FREE OF CHARGE

While on his 60 city "Slacker Uprising Tour," Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore is joining forces with video store operators in an effort to get as many Americans as possible to see the film before the election. Video stores across the country will be waiving the usual rental fee for "Fahrenheit 9/11," beginning on October 26. A recent Harris poll showed that 44 percent of Republicans who have seen the film gave it a positive rating. "It isn't possible to view this film and come out saying you are voting George W. Bush," stated Moore.

Moore is currently on a 60-city tour to the 20 battleground states to rally non-voters and slackers, America's majority, to give voting a try, just this once. He's offering clean underwear and Ramen noodles to slackers, which has Republicans in his home state of Michigan calling for his arrest.

Moore is appearing on college campuses, arenas, stadiums and field houses. Nearly all venues hold between 5,000 and 15,000 people, with students -- historically the largest block of non-voters in presidential elections -- admitted for free at most events.

If you are a video store owner interested in getting involved, please e-mail us at F911ForFree@michaelmoore.com.

Bush Makes You Look Stupid

A new PIPA survey shows that an alarming amount of Bush supporters believe things that are objectively untrue. Looks like Bush's Geobble experiment has paid off.

Bush Supporters Still Believe Iraq Had WMD or Major Program,
Supported al Qaeda


Agree with Kerry Supporters Bush Administration Still Saying This is the Case

Agree US Should Not Have Gone to War if No WMD or Support for al Qaeda

Bush Supporters Misperceive World Public as Not Opposed to Iraq War,
Favoring Bush Reelection


Even after the final report of Charles Duelfer to Congress saying that Iraq did not have a significant WMD program, 72% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq had actual WMD (47%) or a major program for developing them (25%). Fifty-six percent assume that most experts believe Iraq had actual WMD and 57% also assume, incorrectly, that Duelfer concluded Iraq had at least a major WMD program. Kerry supporters hold opposite beliefs on all these points.

Similarly, 75% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda, and 63% believe that clear evidence of this support has been found. Sixty percent of Bush supporters assume that this is also the conclusion of most experts, and 55% assume, incorrectly, that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission. Here again, large majorities of Kerry supporters have exactly opposite perceptions.

These are some of the findings of a new study of the differing perceptions of Bush and Kerry supporters, conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes and Knowledge Networks, based on polls conducted in September and October.

Steven Kull, director of PIPA, comments, "One of the reasons that Bush supporters have these beliefs is that they perceive the Bush administration confirming them. Interestingly, this is one point on which Bush and Kerry supporters agree." Eighty-two percent of Bush supporters perceive the Bush administration as saying that Iraq had WMD (63%) or that Iraq had a major WMD program (19%). Likewise, 75% say that the Bush administration is saying Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda. Equally large majorities of Kerry supporters hear the Bush administration expressing these views--73% say the Bush administration is saying Iraq had WMD (11% a major program) and 74% that Iraq was substantially supporting al Qaeda.

Steven Kull adds, "Another reason that Bush supporters may hold to these beliefs is that they have not accepted the idea that it does not matter whether Iraq had WMD or supported al Qaeda. Here too they are in agreement with Kerry supporters." Asked whether the US should have gone to war with Iraq if US intelligence had concluded that Iraq was not making WMD or providing support to al Qaeda, 58% of Bush supporters said the US should not have, and 61% assume that in this case the President would not have. Kull continues, "To support the president and to accept that he took the US to war based on mistaken assumptions likely creates substantial cognitive dissonance, and leads Bush supporters to suppress awareness of unsettling information about prewar Iraq."

Kerry Rollingstone Interview

Read the Rolling Stone interview with Kerry here.

Highlights:

I wish he'd say these things more often:

What do you mean when you say you know how to do it?

I've spent thirty-five years dealing with these kinds of issues. When I came back from fighting in a war, I fought against the war here in America. As a senator, I led the fight to stop Ronald Reagan's illegal war in Central America. I helped expose Oliver North and Manuel Noriega. I've been at this for a long time. You know, I led the initial efforts to change our policy on the Philippines -- which ultimately resulted in the elections, and became part of the process that helped get rid of Marcos.

I negotiated personally with the prime minister of Cambodia, to get accountability for the killing fields of the Pol Pot regime. I've negotiated with the Vietnamese to let me and John McCain in and put American forces on the ground to resolve the POW-MIA issue. I've spent twenty years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; I've been chairman of the Narcotics Terrorism Subcommittee. I have five times the experience George Bush does in dealing with these issues, and I know that I can get this done.


And of course, me being the film snob I am, I have to give Kerry props for calling this one:

OK -- enough. Let's talk about movies quickly. Of the Vietnam movies you've seen, what's the most accurate? And your favorite?

The most powerful Vietnam movie, to me, was The Deer Hunter, which was more about what happened to the folks who went, and about their relationships . . . and about what happened to this small-town community. I thought it was a brilliant movie, because the metaphor of Russian roulette was an incredible way of capturing the fatalism about it all: the sense that things were out of your control. And it really talked to what happened to the folks who went. So I thought it was a very, very powerful movie.

DeLay Gets Served

Oh this is just too sweet not to point out:

Tom Delay Subpoenaed for Role in 2003 Texas Redistricting

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R) was subpoenaed in Houston to an October 25, 2004 deposition concerning his role in the controversial dispute between Democratic Legislators and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) during last year's redistricting struggle. Texas State Representative Lon Burnam (D--Fort Worth) subpoenaed DeLay in his ongoing lawsuit challenging DPS's use of public funds to achieve political ends and for its destruction of documents following the exodus of Democratic Legislators from the State to prevent a quorum in a redistricting effort that Democrats claim was illegal.

Burnam's subpoena of DeLay comes just days after the Republican House Majority Leader was officially rebuked by the House Ethics Committee for his inappropriate use of government resources in an effort to track down and arrest House Democrats--including Burnam--who went to Ardmore to block redistricting efforts of the Texas Republicans.

Burnam's lawsuit alleges that the DPS destroyed documents regarding their efforts to apprehend the Legislators and that DPS had no lawful authority to arrest Democratic members who went to Ardmore. A number of high ranking DPS officials have given their depositions, as has Burnam in the case. An Austin Appeals Court recently held that Burnam's case on the open records issue could go forward.

"Questions have been raised about Majority Leader DeLay's role in directing both DPS and Homeland Security personnel in the use of the state and federal funds in the search for House Democrats. We believe these funds were improperly used for political gain and House Majority Leader DeLay should be required to testify about his role in the matter," said Fort Worth lawyer, Art Brender, who together with Austin lawyer Catherine Mauzy represents Burnam in the case.

"I believe DeLay's testimony is especially important in light of the Supreme Court's recent decision ordering a reconsideration of the redistricting plan to determine whether it was overly partisan," Burnam said. This Monday, October 18, 2004, the United States Supreme Court reversed the three judge lower federal court ruling that upheld the Republican drawn congressional lines and remanded the matter back to that court in light of the Supreme Court's ruling in a similar case in Pennsylvania.

Burnam claims DeLay continued a pattern of obstruction and abuse of power in avoiding service of the subpoena. Burnam had sought to subpoena DeLay at a major Republican fundraising event in Austin on the evening of October 1, 2004, but DeLay and his supporters secretly rescheduled the event to 7:00 a.m., thwarting Burnam's process server. Preventing execution of civil process is a misdemeanor under the Texas Penal Code. On Wednesday, DeLay's attorneys agreed to accept the subpoena for him to prevent service at the event.

"I brought this lawsuit because no government official should be able to use government resources for partisan political purposes and to oppress duly elected officials who are acting in their official capacity," Burnam stated. "If they can do this to an elected official and get away with it, then no citizen's rights can be protected against abuse."

Homeland Unsecurity

Public Citizen has published a report on the failures of Bush's homeland security.

Bush Administration Leaves Chemical and Nuclear Plants, HazMat, Ports and Water Systems Vulnerable to Terrorists

Bush Aversion to Regulation and Allegiance to Campaign Contributors Has Blocked Progress on Homeland Security, New Report Shows

[...]

Chemical plants

A strike at one or more of the 15,000 chemical plants across the United States could cause thousands, even millions, of injuries and deaths. But the Bush administration and the chemical industry have blocked legislation that would require chemical plants to shift to safer chemicals and technologies, and blocked Environmental Protection Agency efforts to compel security improvements via the Clean Air Act.

Nuclear plants

Twenty-seven state attorneys generals warned Congress in October 2002 that the consequences of a catastrophic attack against one of the country’s 103 nuclear power plants “are simply incalculable.” The plants were not designed to withstand the impact of aircraft crashes or explosive forces, and the government does not require nuclear plants to be secure from an aircraft attack. Radioactive waste is stored in standing pools or dry casks, making it vulnerable, and the plants have grossly inadequate security. But the Bush administration and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have resisted congressional efforts for additional security regulation. In fact, the NRC proposed weakening fire safety regulations, which would make it harder for a reactor to be safely shut down in the event of a terrorist attack.

Hazardous materials transport

The trains and trucks that carry tens of millions of tons of toxic chemicals and other hazardous materials annually on our highways make tempting terrorist targets. More than half of the nation’s 60,000 rail tank cars carrying hazardous materials are too old to meet current industry standards and thus are more likely than newer cars to break open after derailing. A weapon as simple as the legal, widely available 50-caliber rifle has the potential to inflict serious damage on a train car or truck carrying lethal materials, by penetrating tanks and causing an explosion or derailment. Despite the risk, though, there are insufficient checks on where trucks carrying hazardous materials may drive; insufficient oversight and tracking of the types, amounts and locations of trucks moving these lethal loads; and insufficient controls on the issuance of commercial licenses for drivers of trucks carrying hazardous materials. Legislation to assess rail security has been blocked by members of the president’s party, and other safety proposals have been dropped because of industry opposition.

Port security

Every year, 8,100 foreign cargo ships make 50,000 visits to the United States. International sea transport is an attractive terrorist target because there are millions of shipping containers, hundreds of ports and dozens of methods to damage infrastructure, disrupt the world economy, undermine our military readiness and harm Americans. Just 4 to 6 percent of shipping containers are inspected today. Inspectors are not adequately trained. And innovative pilot security programs have not been implemented. At least one important security initiative has been adopted since 9/11, the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) of 2002, but new security measures and proposed funding put forward by the Bush administration fall far short of what is needed.

Drinking water systems

Few acts of sabotage against the public could be more insidious than delivering poison into a family’s home through tap water. The water distribution network—the pumping stations, storage tanks and pipes that might cover thousands of miles within a metropolitan area—provides countless opportunities to introduce biological, chemical or radiological contaminants. But there is no funding mechanism for the federal government to provide direct grants to cities to upgrade water security, and the private water utility industry’s campaign to take over public water systems is getting a push from the Bush administration. This could make securing our water supply even more difficult because private water companies, like chemical companies, nuclear power companies and other industries, will resist strong security standards mandated by the government.

The terrorist threat is particularly acute in Washington, D.C., where 8,500 rail cars carrying hazardous materials travel through the city each year. Ninety-ton rail cars that regularly pass within four blocks of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., contain enough chlorine to potentially injure or kill 100,000 people within 30 minutes and could endanger 2.4 million people.

The D.C. Council considered a bill requiring the rerouting of hazardous material-carrying trains away from the city, but it was postponed because the federal government promised to study the matter. In May 2004, though, a Transportation Security Administration official told Congress that the federal government intended to continue allowing trains and hazardous materials to pass close to the Capitol.

“A year of hearings, meetings and entreaties to the Bush administration has failed to persuade them to take obvious action to protect the safety of Washington residents,” said D.C. Councilmember Kathy Patterson. “I am urging my colleagues to move ahead with our legislative remedy, and urge other communities to follow suit.”

Added Rick Hind, legislative director of the Toxics Campaign at Greenpeace USA, “The good news is that threats to chemical plants and train shipments are preventable. In fact, the most serious threats can actually be eliminated thanks to safer available chemicals and safer rail routes. The bad news is that the Bush administration would rather listen to the Dow and Exxon lobbyists than take action to prevent a disaster.”

Stolen Honor Transcript

Thanks to Kos for posting this:

Read it and respond.

Contradicting Statements

Today is the day I publicly concede agreeing with Bush. As he has recently and adequately put it, "it is wrong to try to scare people going into the polls."

With republicans like Cheney and Hastert practicing passionate McCarthyism, the choice the choice this November, according to the president, is pretty clear.

Cheney

10-20-04:

"I'm fearful that John Kerry has that kind of pre-9/11 mind-set."

"Cheney: Terrorists May Bomb U.S. Cities."

9-8-04:

"It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States."

10-19-04

"The biggest threat we face now as a nation is the possibility of terrorists ending up in the middle of one of our cities with deadlier weapons than have ever before been used against us -- biological agents or a nuclear weapon or a chemical weapon of some kind to be able to threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans," Cheney said."

Bush

March, 2004

"[John Kerry] has a pattern" of trying to cut intelligence funding. Bush personally accused Kerry of attempting to "gut the intelligence services"

Hastert

9-20-04

[Hastert's] spokesman, John Feehery, said Sunday that the speaker's comments "were consistent with the speaker's belief that John Kerry would be weak on the war."

9-24-04:

"I don't have data or intelligence to tell me one thing or another, [but] I would think they would be more apt to go [for] somebody who would file a lawsuit with the World Court or something rather than respond with troops."

and...

Orrin Hatch

Democrats are "consistently saying things that I think undermine our young men and women who are serving over there."

"Terrorists are going to throw everything they can between now and the election to try and elect Kerry."

John Thune on Tom Daschle

"His words embolden the enemy."
"[Daschle has brought] comfort to America's enemies."

Richard Armitage

"[Terrorists in Iraq] are trying to influence the election against President Bush."

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Gee, Thanks

What does Sinclair do when faced with public pressure to shut down their hot partisan "newsworthy" documentary? They promise to air only parts of it and get "commentary" later. Gee, thanks for missing the point. The dog is now eating it's own tail.

Sinclair backs down; or does it?

Sinclair Broadcast Group is rethinking its controversial decision to use its more than 60-plus television stations nationwide for political purposes on the eve of the election by forcing them to air an anti-Kerry documentary, "Stolen Honor." Under siege from angry Democrats, and hearing from unsettled advertisers, analysts and shareholders, the Maryland-based communications giant, with a heavy Republican slant, moved on Tuesday to clarify its plans. It now insists "Stolen Honor" will not air in its entirety, instead the news special "A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media" is scheduled and will be seen on 39 of its 62 stations.

What exactly is "A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media"? According to Sinclair's rather muddled press release, the "news special will focus in part on the use of documentaries and other media to influence voting, which emerged during the 2004 political campaigns, as well as on the content of certain of these documentaries. The program will also examine the role of the media in filtering the information contained in these documentaries, allegations of media bias by media organizations that ignore or filter legitimate news and the attempts by candidates and other organizations to influence media coverage."

Sweetness

This election has proven that the speculative power of the internet - the modern day free press, if you will - has transformed into a reality.

Today, we enter phase 2: www.p2p-politics.org.

Revealing Endorsement

Iran has officially endorsed President Bush. Why in the world would one of the Axis of Evil want the arch-enemy of terrorism in the White House, you ask? Because they don't like Democratic administrations. Why would they fear President Bush when he's done almost nothing to stop them from coming closer to having actual nuclear weapons? I suppose empty threats and labels just aren't the show of force they used to be in the days of the Cold War.

Iran also doesn't like Democratic administrations because they tend to pressure them on human rights issues. Stop me from laughing, I might have to get a hernia operation and I'm not insured.

Bush receives endorsement from Iran

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI

Oct. 20, 2004 | TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- The head of Iran's security council said Tuesday that the re-election of President Bush was in Tehran's best interests, despite the administration's axis of evil label, accusations that Iran harbors al-Qaida terrorists and threats of sanctions over the country's nuclear ambitions.

Historically, Democrats have harmed Iran more than Republicans, said Hasan Rowhani, head of the Supreme National Security Council, Iran's top security decision-making body.

"We haven't seen anything good from Democrats," Rowhani told state-run television in remarks that, for the first time in recent decades, saw Iran openly supporting one U.S. presidential candidate over another.

Though Iran generally does not publicly wade into U.S. presidential politics, it has a history of preferring Republicans over Democrats, who tend to press human rights issues.
"We do not desire to see Democrats take over," Rowhani said when asked if Iran was supporting Democratic Sen. John Kerry against Bush.

The Bush campaign said no thanks.

I wonder if he'd turn down David Duke, too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

When Irony is Real

Actual CNN headline. Posted on Salon's War Room:

From CNN's crawler, courtesy of War Room reader A.B.

"PUBLIC SPLIT ON WHETHER BUSH IS A DIVIDER"

Waiting Until After the Elections is Downright Anti-Democratic

How are we supposed to elect the right man for president when important information about the incumbents presidency is deliberately stalled until after the election? What if you were interviewing me for a job and you asked me if I had ever gotten high at work before and I told you I'd let you know after you hired me?

Many people, like devout democrat and former NY Mayor, Ed Koch, are voting for Dubya soley because they feel safe with him. Yet, there is new evidence out that contradict the theory that the Commander in Chief can actually do it. Aside from actual facts that support otherwise - the mishandling of Iraq for example - Bush is trying to convince the nation that he's the man for national security. Bush's only strength in the polls has been wittled down to "who will make us safer." Apparently, everything else from domestic issues and now likeability, is in Kerry's favor.

LA Times reports that a new CIA document, which finally names names of those who fucked up before 911, will be suppressed until after the elections.

Let me get this strait. Sinclair gets to show a dishonest, partisan documentary attacking John Kerry's anti-war invovlement from over 30 years ago with no lashings from the media or the government itself (i.e. the toothless, spineless F.E.C.), but its completely wrong to show important evidence behind one of the biggest blunders in American history that involves the current administration?

I'm sorry, but I'm not voting this year just to change presidents. I want Bush on the coals, telling us that he's sorry for fucking up and I want to at least see some wraps on the knuckles drawing blood. Our country was vicously attacked on his watch, because apparently vacationing was more important than doing things involving leadership. He has not once apologized, let alone mentioned one fuck up on his part and he wants us to re-elect his ass?

Please, God, I don't ever ask for anything or write often, but for the love of yourself, strike this man dead for the sake of the world. Clearly, a half a life time of acoholism, a bicycle and a pretzel have not finished the job.

LA Times reports:

The 9/11 Secret in the CIA's Back Pocket
The agency is withholding a damning report that points at senior officials.

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

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

DUH! I think we came to that conclusion when we learned Condi thought those PDB's were "historical."

Update: Rising Sinclairity

Great news for us, bad news for Wallstreet. If I had to pick between supporting a stock or a democracy, I'd rather be poor and free.

Follow closely here.



And then there's this doozy: Sinclair Broadcasting Shareholders Demand Officers Return Profits From Insider Trading

SINCLAIR BROADCASTING SHAREHOLDERS DEMAND OFFICERS RETURN PROFITS FROM INSIDER TRADING

Officers Who Ordered Stations to Show Anti-Kerry Film Also Sold Stocks at High Mark, then Drove Values Down

DETAILS:

Famed shareholder attorney William S. Lerach will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. today to discuss insider self-dealing by officers of Sinclair Broadcasting, the Baltimore-based television chain that is forcing its affiliates to show a propaganda film that attacks presidential candidate John Kerry. He will release a set of demands aimed at making Sinclair executives disgorge millions of dollars in unjustified profits taken out of the firm when stock prices were high during the past 12 months. Yesterday the company's stock fell a further 8 percent after being down more than 50 percent from the year's beginning, as advertisers pulled back to avoid the station's self-generated political controversy.

[...]

For more information on Boycotting Sinclair, check this shit out.

Bush Deceptions

Thank you, Center for American Progress, for your hardwork and diligence over the years. Today, they outline some key Bush deceptions:

BUSH DECEPTION #1 – TERRORISTS NOW OPERATE IN A LIMITED AREA: Bush said that the war in Iraq and other administration policies have worked "to shrink the area where the terrorists can operate freely, and that strategy has the terrorists on the run." The London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, however, found the occupation of Iraq actually helped al Qaeda recruitment. In its annual report, the IISS said "the network has reconstituted itself after losing its Afghan base." It estimated al Qaeda today has "18,000 potential operatives and is present in more than 60 countries."

BUSH DECEPTION #2 – ASHCROFT'S COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS ARE EFFECTIVE: Bush bragged that "since September the 11th, law enforcement professionals have stopped terrorist activities" in eleven states, including New Jersey. It's unclear how the Justice Department has "stopped terrorist activities" because it hasn't convicted any terrorists. According to Georgetown Law professor David Cole, "On September 2 a federal judge in Detroit threw out the only jury conviction the Justice Department has obtained on a terrorism charge since 9/11... Until that reversal, the Detroit case had marked the only terrorist conviction obtained from the Justice Department's detention of more than 5,000 foreign nationals in antiterrorism sweeps since 9/11. So Ashcroft's record is 0 for 5,000."

BUSH DECEPTION #3 – 100,000 IRAQIS ARE TRAINED: Bush claimed, "more than 100,000 soldiers, police, and border guards are already trained, equipped, and bravely serving their country." Bush has repeatedly made that claim in campaign appearances during recent weeks. But, according to the Pentagon, "only about 53,000 of the 100,000 Iraqis on duty now have undergone training."

BUSH DECEPTION #4 – HE NEVER WAVERS IN THE WAR ON TERRORISM: According to Bush, "winning the war on terror requires more than tough-sounding words repeated in the election season. America needs clear moral purpose and leaders who will not waver." But Bush himself has wavered on whether the war on terrorism can be won. On Aug. 30 he told NBC's Matt Lauer, "I don't think you can win it [the war on terrorism]... I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world. Let's put it that way."

BUSH DECEPTION #5 – HE NEVER WAVERS ON IRAQ: Bush accused Kerry of taking "almost every conceivable position in Iraq" and that such vacillation will "lead to a major defeat." An analysis by the Los Angeles Times illustrates that "Bush's statements on Iraq show that he also has sent differing...signals" on the justification for war in Iraq. For example, before the war, "the major chord was security and terrorism. Bush continually warned that Hussein could provide weapons of mass destruction to terrorists." When it became clear Iraq did not possess WMD, "Bush increasingly has argued that building a democracy in Iraq would inspire democratic change across the region in a domino effect." Read the full article, complete with timeline.

BUSH DECEPTION #6 – KERRY OPPOSES ALL PREEMPTIVE ACTIONS: Yesterday, Bush said that "Senator Kerry's approach would permit a response only after America is hit." Kerry has specifically endorsed the use of preemptive force. During the first debate, Kerry said, "The president always has the right, and always has had the right, for preemptive strike...No president, through all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America.

BUSH DECEPTION #7 – KERRY'S RECORD ON INTELLIGENCE FUNDING IS SHAMEFUL: Bush said that Kerry "has a record of trying to weaken American intelligence." His evidence is that Kerry "proposed a $6 billion cut in the nation's intelligence budget" in 1993. Kerry's proposal was part of a bipartisan effort to balance the budget. In fact, "Kerry's proposed intelligence cuts were smaller than those proposed in 1995 by Bush's choice to head the CIA, Porter J. Goss."

BUSH DECEPTION #8 – KERRY DOES NOT SUPPORT VITAL WEAPONS SYSTEMS: Bush accused Kerry of voting "against vital weapon systems during his entire career." The nonpartisan factcheck.org notes, the "Bush campaign bases its claim mainly on Kerry's votes against overall Pentagon money bills in 1990, 1995 and 1996, but these were not votes against specific weapons." Nevertheless, Kerry voted for Pentagon bills in 16 of the 19 years he's been in the Senate. Therefore, "even by the Bush campaign's twisted logic, Kerry should – on balance – be called a supporter of the "vital" weapons."

Before You Start Playing Defeatist

Perhaps its our own sense of denial or a lack of understanding the basics of reality, much like our own president. If there are any indications that Kerry is going to come out on top this election year, I'm placing my bets on pollster John Zogby. Its good practice to find a set of polls you have faith in and can trust and follow them. I have been following Zogby's polls, mostly because of Charlie Rose. Analysts on his show have said repeatedly, Zogby was the "standard" when it came to polling. I don't claim to be an expert, but Charlie never hangs out with an awry crowd.

Through all the muddled, barf-bag wielding, contradicting polls out there, the good news is in the Kerry camp. Anyone who's been reading the blogosphere the last couple of days has heard this little ditty, for sure:

Analysts watch the incumbent's numbers in the polls so closely because most voters who stay undecided until the very end of a presidential campaign traditionally break for the challenger. As a result, challengers often run ahead of their final poll results, while incumbents rarely exceed their last poll numbers.

Yadda, yadda, yadda. I won't bore you with the repitition after that doozy, but I would like to shed some light on the chance of a Kerry win. My man, Zogby, has come out and openly staked his entire 20 year career in polling on a win for Kerry, barring any illegal voter supresson:
John Zogby's Reuters Asia Tour - Tin Man vs Scarecrow - Who will Americans vote for? - US pollster is betting on Tin Man Kerry winning the race against Scarecrow Bush

LOST in the maze of conflicting views as to who is likely to win the US presidential election? The Tin Man and the Scarecrow from the Land of Oz may prove to be useful guides. They did for top US pollster John Zogby.

In 2000, Mr Zogby took a novel approach to predicting the race between Mr George W. Bush and former vice-president Al Gore.

He asked voters to make a choice: 'You live in the Land of Oz, and the candidates are either Tin Man, with all brains and no heart, or the Scarecrow, who is with all heart and no brains.'

The score - 46.2 per cent to the Scarecrow (seen to depict Mr Bush) and 46.2 per cent to the Tin Man (Mr Gore).

That made him conclude that Mr Gore had drawn level with Mr Bush when other polls had predicted a shoo-in for the latter.

It was a more accurate reading of the situation.

In the end, Mr Gore went on to win 48.4 per cent of the popular vote - higher than Mr Bush's 47.9 per cent. But he lost to Mr Bush in the Electoral College tally, which determines who gets to occupy the White House.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Mr Zogby sees the Tin Man-versus-Scarecrow model as still relevant in the present race, with Mr Bush now facing a new Tin Man in the form of Senator John Kerry.

And the pollster is staking his 20 years of experience in a Kerry win - at least from soundings of America's 'undecided' voters.

Kerry's now back to a tie in Zogby's latest national tracking poll, at 45-45, with Zogby saying, "If I were to factor in the leaners in the 3-day track, it would be Kerry 47.2% to Bush 46.6%. Kerry has the lead because of Independents."

Monday, October 18, 2004

Dissention at Sinclair

Finally, a journalist with a conscience. Sinclair's D.C. Bureau Cheif lambasted his employer in the Baltimore Sun today.

"It's biased political propaganda, with clear intentions to sway this election," said Jon Leiberman, Sinclair's lead political reporter for more than a year. "For me, it's not about right or left -- it's about what's right or wrong in news coverage this close to an election."
Read the full article.

update: Unless I'm mistaken (and if I am I do apologize), it has been reported that Jon Leiberman was fired this afternoon as Sinclair's D.C. Bureau Cheif. If this is true, Jon, then you are a real patriot and we respect you more now than before.

update: Looks like the rumors are true. Jon, if I had any extra cash, I'd mail it to you. But, chances are you made in one year what I've made in a lifetime.

Rising Sinclairity

Sinclair Broadcasting stock has been falling for over a week now. Today, it has been taking its biggest and fastest dive yet.

Follow closely here.

You Call That a Major Speech?

Bush has fooled the cable news yet again. Claiming today's New Jersey speech a "Major Speech on Terror," Bush pulled the rug out from under the American people by doing another lame stump speech.

I'm sorry, but it's extremely petty for a President to constanly trick the media and his people by claiming that an hour long bash on his opponent is news-worthy. We have actual problems with our country, like a misguided war in Iraq, a bungled war on terrorism, a deeply divided country, a lack of leadership in the presidency, eroded border control, skyrocketing debts, and healthcare problems.

The President thinks you're a douche.

Salon.com has the story:

Bush's "major" stump speech

There he goes again. Right now, George W. Bush is delivering what his aides have billed as a "major speech" on terrorism in New Jersey. But after his last "major speech" in Pennsylvania, we knew better than to expect actual news or substance. As Bush would say, "Fool us once, shame on … shame on you … If fooled, you can't get fooled again." Or something. Unsurprisingly, Bush's speech is anything but "major," unless you were looking for a major campaign event. Instead, it's Bush's typical stump speech fare, complete with the usual stretched and mangled truths, trumped up to sound like something more in the hopes of tricking cable networks into carrying the whole thing live -- and to trick viewers into thinking Bush was actually saying something new and substantial. As they did with his last "major speech," the cable networks carried it live, with Fox News obediently labeling it on-screen "a major speech on war on terror."

Delivered to appropriately-timed boos and cheers from a partisan crowd, Bush's "really important speech," as Nicolle Devenish called it on Fox this morning, included gems like: "Senator Kerry's approach would permit a response only after America is hit. This kind of Sept. 10 attitude is no way to protect our country." And then this distortion: "The senator from Massachusetts has now flip-flopped his way to a dangerous postion. My opponent has settled on a strategy, a strategy of defeat," Bush said. Mischaracterizing Kerry's position, Bush said, "'America's overriding goal in Iraq is to leave, even if the job is not done.'"

The Kerry campaign issued rebuttals to the president's address even before he delivered it, with Joe Lockhart mocking the very idea of it: "What the Bush campaign considers to be a major address provides a telling window into this President and his priorities: He considers a nasty, vitriolic attack line to constitute a significant address. What might have been new and significant would have been the President addressing a health care crisis that has forced New Jersey to hold a lottery to decide who should get flu shots. But no, that would involve being straight with the American public and taking responsibility for his Administration's inaction."

John Edwards also went for the flu-shot dig in his response to the president's speech -- wethinks the Democrats have Floridians of a certain age in mind with their two-pronged flu-shot/Social Security assault on Bush. "George Bush is so out of touch," Edwards said. "And he couldn't even manage this latest flu vaccine crisis. How can we trust him to deal with anthrax? This is not leadership. This is incompetence. He has failed and it is time for a change. And John Kerry will bring that change."

-- Geraldine Sealey

Limbaugh Sings

In case you never heard this before, give it a listen. Its not only a good laugh, but catchy, too!

Rush Limbaugh is a Nazi.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Wedgie Voters in your life...

If any of you are suffering from "wedge issue" voters in your life, here are two articles that may crack open the tunnel vision they may have concerning abortion. I have a whole family of lower-middle and middle-class kin that only vote for Repugnicans due to vehement "Pro-Life" views.

I learned that when Chimpy took over in 2001, the abortion rate in this country was at a 17 year low, and was dropping every year. Fast forward 3 years? The abortion rate has increased every year under Repugnican leadership.

Read This

and

this on which i stole from atrios

Social Security Spam

BEGIN SPAM

Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month -- and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of the money we paid to the federal government to "put away," you may be interested in the following:

Q: Which party took Social Security from an independent fund and put it in the general fund so that Congress could spend it?
A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic-controlled House and Senate.

Q: Which party put a tax on Social Security? A: The Democratic party. Q: Which party increased the tax on Social Security?
A: The Democratic Party with Al Gore casting the deciding vote.

Q: Which party decided to give money to immigrants?
A: That's right, immigrants moved into this country and at 65 got SSI SocialSecurity.

The Democratic Party gave that to them although they never paid a dime into it. Then, after doing all this, the Democrats turn around and tell you the Republicans want to take your Social Security.

And the worst part about it is, people believe it!

Pass it on please!

2004 Election Issue
This must be an issue in "04". Please! Keep it going.

SOCIAL SECURITY: (This is worth the read. It's short and to the point.) Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years. Our Senators and Congress men & women do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it. You see, Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society. They felt they should have a special plan for themselves. So, many years ago they voted in their own benefit plan. In more recent years, no congress person has felt the need to change it. After all, it is a great plan. For all practical purposes their plan works like this:

When they retire, they continue to draw the same pay until they die, except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments. Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made. That change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us ... then sit back and watch how fast they would fix it. If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe good changes will evolve.

BEGIN REBUTTAL

Let's see if I understand the point. Our Social Security money is being taxed and its because of the democrats. Well, goodie, goodie, then I can put full support behind the president and his brilliant economic policies such as a 700 billion dollar tax cut that will aid only the richest 1% of the nation or the one closer to our topic, the privatization of Social Security.


The United States will put the financial care of the elderly into the hands of Meryl Lynch, and Sherson, and T Rowe Price. After all, as we are reminded by their many commercials, they care about us. Isn't it dangerous to assume
that these financial institutions will be around longer than the United States? Isn't it monopolistic to make doing business with specific private companies compulsory? I guess such a move would only spark the creation of
many new financial groups and therefore, greater economic growth. And of course those new institutions would be aloud to compete on a level field of play and not be consumed by multinational conglomerates like USB Warburg
Paine Webber Kitchen Sink Longwinded Name. If my sarcasm has been lost, then
I will try one without a joke.

President Bush would like to turn our Social Security money into a 401k. That is the long and short of it, or in
republican-speak, the black and white of it. There is no appreciation for the grey area in such an idea. It is irresponsible in its optimism. Sitting smack dab in the middle of the grey area is the strong likelihood that these
honest joe companies, which are not elected and not beholden to citizens, would skirt the law to inflate stock prices. In the end, the investors lose everything and the CEOs lose nothing. Am I a worry wart? Too bad I wasn't
emailing before the Enron Corporation did exactly what I just described. Furthermore, I wonder how those 401k's are doing for Global Crossing investors, or WorldCom, or Adelphi, or United Airlines, or or or. Is Ken Lay in jail? Well, his wife says they might as well be having to give up three of their five homes. At least we can hold our politicians accountable by not voting for them.

So, that is why the Democrats turn around and tell you the Republicans want to take your Social Security.

Now, let's address the veracity of the dastardly deeds the Democrats did to Social Security.

LBJ did in fact move SS from an independent fund to a general fund. This move pooled the money so that it could grow more rapidly and allowed for the creation of Medicare. The money was indeed being spent by Congress... on
seniors. The democrats did spearhead the tax and the increase on SS. That is not paid by the citizens, but is incurred by corporations. Having said this, I would also like to again point out that the budget was balanced and there
was even a surplus. Where is it now and when will it be back? Will we be around?

My last response to this slanted email is that I have found this exact email posted throughout the internet on hoax websites. Its completely made up and worded to tell half of the story. Feel free disregard its points, its tone, and especially its logic.

And the worst part about it is, people believe it!