Friday, July 30, 2004

Kerry highlights

My greatest fear when Kerry began to pull away in the primaries was that his campaign style and origins in Massachusetts would result in a "Dukakis on stilts" campaign. Am I glad that I was wrong! He hit GOoPers hard and where it hurts, but in a classy way that looks past the GOP mess to a brighter future -- both a democratic future and a Democratic future -- and a better America.

Here are my favorite highlights:

John Kerry's remarks at the Democratic convention

"I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty!We are here tonight because we love our country.We're proud of what America is and what it can become. My fellow Americans, we are here tonight united in one simple purpose: to make America stronger at home and respected in the world....

As president, I will restore trust and credibility to the White House.... I will be a commander in chief who will never mislead us into war. I will have a vice president who will not conduct secret meetings with polluters to rewrite our environmental laws. I will have a secretary of Defense who will listen to the advice of our military leaders. And I will appoint an Attorney General who actually upholds the Constitution of the United States....

I am proud that after Sept. 11 all our people rallied to President Bush's call for unity to meet the danger. There were no Democrats. There were no Republicans. There were only Americans. How we wish it had stayed that way.

Now I know there are those who criticize me for seeing complexities and I do because some issues just aren't all that simple. Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesn't make it so. Saying we can fight a war on the cheap doesn't make it so. And proclaiming mission accomplished certainly doesn't make it so....

As President, I will wage this war with the lessons I learned in war.... And on my first day in office, I will send a message to every man and woman in our armed forces: You will never be asked to fight a war without a plan to win the peace....

I defended this country as a young man and I will defend it as President. Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force when it is required. Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response. I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security. And I will build a stronger American military.... And we will end the backdoor draft of National Guard and reservists. To all who serve in our armed forces today, I say, help is on the way....

And tonight, we have an important message for those who question the patriotism of Americans who offer a better direction for our country. Before wrapping themselves in the flag and shutting their eyes to the truth and their ears, they should remember what America is really all about. They should remember the great idea of freedom for which so many have given their lives. Our purpose now is to reclaim democracy itself. We are here to affirm that when Americans stand up and speak their minds and say America can do better, that is not a challenge to patriotism; it is the heart and soul of patriotism. You see that flag up there. We call her Old Glory. The stars and stripes forever. I fought under that flag.... That flag doesn't belong to any president. It doesn't belong to any ideology and it doesn't belong to any party. It belongs to all the American people....

For four years, we've heard a lot of talk about values. But values spoken without actions taken are just slogans. Values are not just words. Values are what we live by. They're about the causes we champion and the people we fight for. And it is time for those who talk about family values to start valuing families. You don't value families by kicking kids out of after-school programs and taking cops off our streets, so that Enron can get another tax break....

I want an America that relies on its ingenuity and innovation, not the Saudi royal family....

And let me say it plainly: in that cause, and in this campaign, we welcome people of faith. America is not us and them. I think of what Ron Reagan said of his father a few weeks ago, and I want to say this to you tonight: I don't wear my own faith on my sleeve. But faith has given me values and hope to live by, from Vietnam to this day, from Sunday to Sunday. I don't want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God's side. And whatever our faith, one belief should bind us all: The measure of our character is our willingness to give of ourselves for others and for our country.

These aren't Democratic values. These aren't Republican values. They're American values. We believe in them. They're who we are. And if we honor them, if we believe in ourselves, we can build an America that's stronger at home and respected in the world...."

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Dems finally get it

Although Edwards seemed a bit tight and hoarse, I thought he did quite well, I really liked his two Americas theme. I've read about it of course, but this was the first time I'd heard it and it was much more powerful and inclusive than media reports had let on. I especially liked the "civil rights is an american issue" statement.

Finally, the Dems have clued in: politics is about identity and projecting the identity that is attractive to the voters, in short--what type of America do you want to live in? I even heard Howard Dean mention George Lakoff during an interview.

Policies are nice, but you need to hook them up to something overarching and sustaining and for most people this boils down to who "we" are and who "we" want to be. For as successful as Clinton was, it seemed that it was due more to his innate charisma and political instincts than a conscious grasp of the importance of "identity" (for lack of a better word). For too long we've let the GOP dominate this discourse, whether overtly (moral majority) or covertly (dirty Harry). A better America: more equal, just, rewarding… I think a lot of "swing" voters will line up for that, particularly given the alternative… but we've got 30+ years of brainwashing (librulz=elitists snobs) to undo.

Choice bits from John Edwards' remarks at the Democratic convention

"...Decisive. Strong. Aren't these the traits you want in a Commander in Chief?

We hear a lot of talk about values. Where I come from, you don't judge someone's values based on how they use that word in a political ad. You judge their values based upon what they've spent their life doing...."

"...For the last few months, John has been talking about his positive, optimistic vision for the country — talking about his plan to move this country in the right direction.

But we've seen relentless negative attacks against John. So in the weeks ahead, we know what's coming — don't we — more negative attacks.

Aren't you sick of it?

They are doing all they can to take this campaign for the highest office in the land down the lowest possible road...."

"...I have heard some discussions and debates about where, and in front of what audiences we should talk about race, equality, and civil rights. Well, I have an answer to that question. Everywhere.

This is not an African-American issue, not a Latino issue, not an Asian-American issue, this is an American issue. It's about who we are, what our values are, what kind of country we want to live in...."

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

another great quote

from Obama's remarks at the Democratic convention: "Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?"

Kos got it right when he said: "The reason Obama has put the Right into a quandry is that he exposed, in one masterful performance, every caricature the Right has of liberalism."

The GOoPers have nothing to hold together their disparate coalition of libertarians, anti-tax anti-government folks, corporate suits, and religious believers than blind hatred of the "librul" bogeyman. Conservatism is currently the biggest form of identity politics around, and it is predicated on fear and division.

What is conservative about a one year $420,000,000,000 deficit? What is conservative about destroying centuries of church-state separation? What is conservative about corporate welfare for Halliburton? What is conservative about a state that can imprison you without recourse to legal counsel or a hearing before a judge?


That is why fear and loathing of "librulz" is the glue of dubya's "conservatism": a caricature designed to fool people into thinking they have no choice.

Well they do. And they should examine the two choices objectively and wisely. Who performs and who doesn't? If they simply ask the same question Ron Reagan asked, they will find the answer: "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?"


No mere excerpt can do justice to the grace, scope, and sensitivity of the speech given by Barack Obama last night. It was truly breath-taking and electrifying. It reminded me of an instance when someone is struggling to put their feelings into words and then someone else is able not only to understand what they are trying to say, but states the matter so well that the original person comes away understanding their own feelings more fully as a result.

Here are some of my favorite parts:Barack Obama's remarks at the Democratic convention: "...John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded. So instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he'll offer them to companies creating jobs here at home. John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for themselves. John Kerry believes in energy independence, so we aren't held hostage to the profits of oil companies or the sabotage of foreign oil fields. John Kerry believes in the constitutional freedoms that have made our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties nor use faith as a wedge to divide us. And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world, war must be an option, but it should never he the first option....

...I thought of more than 900 service men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors, who will not be returning to their hometowns. I thought of families I had met who were struggling to get by without a loved one's full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or with nerves shattered, but who still lacked long-term health benefits because they were reservists. When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world."

Sharpest words...

... came during Ron Reagan, Jr.'s "non-political" speech on stem cell research. Pay attention to the words he chose to describe the respective sides:

Ron Reagan, Jr. - Democratic National Convention

"In a few months, we will face a choice. Yes, between two candidates and two parties, but more than that. We have a chance to take a giant stride forward for the good of all humanity. We can choose between the future and the past, between reason and ignorance, between true compassion and mere ideology. This is our moment, and we must not falter."

True compassion versus mere ideology? I couldn't have put it better myself!

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Carter hammers home lessons of Iraq

Carter's speech really hammered on the value of having a C-in-C who knows first-hand the sacrifices required in war and who will not call for such sacrifice on a whim (Carter, like Kerry, served in the Navy). As with the other speeches, do yourself a favor and read the whole thing:

Jimmy Carter's speech to the Democratic National Convention: "...You can't be a war president one day and claim to be a peace president the next, depending on the latest political polls. When our national security requires military action, John Kerry has already proven in Vietnam that he will not hesitate to act. And as a proven defender of our national security, John Kerry will strengthen the global alliance against terrorism while avoiding unnecessary wars...."

Gore's humor underlines stark reality

Text of Al Gore's speech: "...These challenges we now confront are not Democratic or Republican challenges; they are American challenges -- that we all must overcome together.

It is in that spirit, that I sincerely ask those watching at home who supported President Bush four years ago: did you really get what you expected from the candidate you voted for?

Is our country more united today?

Or more divided?

Has the promise of compassionate conservatism been fulfilled?

Or do those words now ring hollow?

For that matter, are the economic policies really conservative at all?

Did you expect, for example, the largest deficits in history? One after another? And the loss of more than a million jobs?

By the way, I know about the bad economy. I was the first one laid off. And while it's true that new jobs are being created, they're just not as good as the jobs people have lost. And incidentally, that's been true for me too.

Unfortunately, this is no joke for millions of Americans. And the real solutions require us to transcend partisanship...."

Big Dog sums it up

Bill Clinton's remarks at the Democratic convention: "...We Democrats want to build a world and an America of shared responsibilities and shared benefits. We want a world with more global cooperation where we act alone only when we absolutely have to.

We think the role of government should be to give people the tools to create the conditions to make the most of their own lives. And we think everybody should have that chance.

On the other hand, the Republicans in Washington believe that America should be run by the right people -- their people -- in a world in which America acts unilaterally when we can and cooperates when we have to.

They believe the role of government is to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of those who embrace their economic, political and social views, leaving ordinary citizens to fend for themselves on important matters like health care and retirement security.

Now, since most Americans aren't that far to the right, our friends have to portray us Democrats as simply unacceptable, lacking in strength and values. In other words, they need a divided America.

But we don't...."

Coulter goes too far?

"Here it is: the controversial column Ann Coulter wrote on consignment for USA Today that was deemed by the USA Today editorial board as unfit for human consumption. This version includes notes from both Ann and the USA Today...

'Here at the Spawn of Satan convention in Boston...'"

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Take that, bee-yitch!

So who is Meryl Streep really playing in the upcoming political thriller "The Manchurian Candidate?" Columnist Peggy Noonan may need to look in the mirror.

Meryl Streep Plays Peggy Noonan?

Media culpability? what a concept!

Not as hard-hitting as I would have liked (remember all the fluffy coverage of shark attacks, Condit, Lewinski, Gore and earthtones?), but it's a start:

Report Hits Media Coverage of Terrorism Before 9/11

"While at first glance the 9/11 commission's report seems to offer little examination of the media, a key summary paragraph criticizes newspapers' coverage in the months leading up to Sept. 11, an E&P reading of the full report finds. "

Daily Howler on Wilson

Another typically thorough probing of the public record at the Daily Howler, this time showing how Joe Wilson's injudicious overstatements (claiming to know something he could not have known--after all, how could he know that Iraq never sought--not obtained, which they clearly had not--yellowcake uranium) have distracted people from the real issue at hand: the overall weakness of the intelligence used to trump up the case for war in Iraq.

I never claimed to debunk Bush's claim, Wilson says. We warned you about this last year:

"...Wilson's loud, dramatic overstatements distracted Dems from stronger pursuits. Bush's 16-word statement was always a relatively weak example of the Admin's pre-war embellishment. Yes, Bush's statement was poorly founded; he had to rely on British intelligence because our own intel was inconclusive. But other examples of dissembling were much more clear; Admin officials often said things in the run-up to war that were, as a matter of fact, baldly wrong. No matter! Loudmouth Wilson kept banging the drums, leading us down that Niger road. Now, he's being called the latest liberal liar, and the charge is close enough to true so that, in part, it's going to stick. Lord Butler said Bush's claim was well-founded--and Wilson admits he can't debunk it! Given those facts, many American are going to wonder why Bush was trashed for those 16 words. This was always a weak side road, with Wilson the piper who led Dems down it...."

GOP Hypocrite of the Week: Dennis Miller

This BuzzFlash Editorial is very funny as well as illuminating. Why the double standard: comedian makes fun of Bush -- is castigated, loses endorsements; comedian makes fun of Kerry (never mind what they did and are continuing to do to Gore and the Clintons) -- nary a peep.

Another thought on the jib-jab cartoon: did you notice that it was a total recycling of the memes from the Gore-Bush campaign? I mean, if you were to replace Kerry with Gore, what would be all that different except for a few minor details (Lurch, purple hearts)? "Stupid, likeable" (not a word about messianic beliefs) versus "smart, elitist" -- sounds like the "librul" media CW from 2000 to me... Will people swallow it a second time?

Maybe if it's packaged like candy: sweet to the tastebuds even if it is poison to the brainstem.

There comes a point where a jolly, "oh they are politicians and they are all really just same underneath after all" joke is more than just "comforting," it is just plain misleading.

And that point is when one of the "politicians" is not just a politician but rather someone who is intent on destroying the ordered political consensus. Go back and re-read Paul Krugman's intro to his latest book, where he cites (of all people) Henry Kissinger's treatment of radical political actors and why they are able to implement their "final solutions." It is because very few took the radicals and their radical ambitions seriously. Dubya is not just another "conservative gun-nut" (stupid or not) -- he intends to abolish not only the settled order established under FDR and Truman (multilateralism in diplomacy, social security, educational opportunity) but he intends to destroy the secular state established by the founding fathers when they erected a wall between church and state over two centuries ago.

Ohh, but that is so shrill, let's just pretend he is a genial dunce and that he and Kerry are really not so different after all, that is so much more comforting.

Friday, July 23, 2004


The U.S. Army has long lured recruits with the slogan "Be All You Can Be," but now soldiers and their families can receive plastic surgery, including breast enlargements, on the taxpayers' dime.

Something fishy about this : Pentagon Finds Bush National Guard Records: "The Pentagon on Friday released payroll records from President Bush's 1972 service in the Alabama National Guard, saying its earlier contention the records were destroyed was an 'inadvertent oversight.'"

Makes me wonder if the records held in Texas (each state holds records as well) were more detailed/worse?

UPDATE: This is definitely starting to stink.

UPDATE 2: Joshua Micah Marshall agrees with me and Atrios... this is all very suspicious, being released on Friday night on the eve of the Democratic Convention, when the news is likely to be drowned out. Amazing how destroyed records can still be recovered, eh? And even more amazing how the records basically confirm that W stands for aWol... and yet the "librul" media can't seem to see what is otherwise so obvious.


This is too damn funny (use headphones if at work), but also... sadly true: Jon Stewart on talking points as disseminated through our "independent" media.

Thanks to Atrios at Eschaton

Failure of leadership

It has been said that "all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to neglect to stand up for good

...or something like that.

having cake and eating it too?

That's what Bush is trying to do in fanning the flames of a politically motivated leak intended to distract from the multiple ongoing scandals when he says no comment (distance self from obvious political nature of leak) and then comments (ooh, Dems is bad): It all depends on what the meaning of 'no comment' is.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Interesting read on underreported facts

Kerry's war didn't end in the Mekong: "John Kerry's political education is far deeper than that of senators who have merely legislated. He has journeyed to the heart of darkness many times and emerged to tell the tale.... He has explored the dark recesses of contemporary history, often without political reward. Tarred as a 'flip flopper' by Bush's $85m TV ad campaign, Kerry in fact is one of the most consistent politicians of his generation."...

Who do you trust?

I agree with Juan Cole... the guy in the kitchen is the one who actually knows how hot it gets:Informed Comment: "Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz recently alleged that Western reporters writing on Iraq are negative because they sit in the Green Zone safe in Baghdad and report 'rumors.'

Lasseter, in contrast, asked Sgt. Maj. John Jones if most Americans had any idea whatsoever how bad things were in Ramadi. He replied, 'When people come over here, where do they stay? In the Green Zone. I call it the Safe Zone . . . They miss the full picture.'

That is, Sgt. Maj. Jones has the same analysis of the press reporting as Wolfowitz does, only in reverse. Jones thinks the journalists and politicians don't have a clue as to how difficult the situation is because they mainly stay in the Green Zone. "

Possible Bush slogans ...

Courtesy of Joshua Micah Marshall click, they are quite funny.

Close WH coop on bin Laden flight

More info on the Plane that Carried 13 Bin Ladens: "Although much was already known about the 'bin Laden flight,' [senator] Lautenberg provided additional details, including the information that the plane, a 727 owned by DB Air and operated by Ryan International. . . . The aircraft, tail number N521DB, has been chartered frequently by the White House for the press corps traveling with President Bush.

A staff report by the Sept. 11 commission this spring said the flight was one of six chartered flights carrying 142 people, mostly Saudi nationals, from the United States between Sept. 14 and 24 after airspace was reopened. The U.S. government had allowed, before commercial airspace was reopened, at least one domestic flight for Saudis who had feared for their safety, Lautenberg's staff said."

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Cult of personality

A great read from Rick Perlstein in the The Village Voice entitled "The Church of Bush."

It touches on the very things that are most disturbing about Bush (something sadly missing from the jib-jab cartoon making the rounds), his faith that he is god's instrument and his corresponding disdain for democracy. It is a faith that his cult embraces as well:

"Once I interviewed a Freeper who told me he first became a committed conservative after discovering the Federalist Papers. 'I absolutely devoured them, recognizing, my God, these things were written hundreds of years ago and they still stand up as some of the most intense political philosophy ever written.'

I happen to agree, so I asked him--after he insisted Bush couldn't have been lying when he claimed to have witnessed the first plane hit the World Trade Center live on TV, after he said the orders to torture in Iraq couldn't have possibly come from the top, all because George Bush is too fundamentally decent to lie--what he thinks of the Federalists' most famous message: that the genius of the Constitution they were defending was that you needn't base your faith in the country on the fundamental decency of an individual, because no one can be trusted to be fundamentally decent, which was why the Constitution established a government of laws, not personalities.

'If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary . . . '

Conservatives see something angelic in George Bush. That's why they excuse, repress, and rationalize away so much.

And that is why conservatism is verging on becoming an un-American creed

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

This is funny...

...but in real life, guess who gets the bill?

Secretary Of Defense Humiliated As U.S. Credit Card Rejected: "ST. LOUIS—An attempt to build international goodwill backfired horribly for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Monday, when he was unable to pick up the tab for Australian Defense Minister Sen. Robert Hill's order of 11 Apache AH-64 helicopters using the U.S.'s credit card."

Krugman strikes again

The Arabian Candidate:

"The Arabian candidate wouldn't openly help terrorists. Instead, he would serve their cause while pretending to be their enemy....

Last but not least, by blatantly exploiting the terrorist threat for personal political gain, he would undermine the nation's unity in the face of its enemies, sowing suspicion about the government's motives.

O.K., end of conceit. President Bush isn't actually an Al Qaeda mole, with Dick Cheney his controller. Mr. Bush's "war on terror" has, however, played with eerie perfection into Osama bin Laden's hands - while Mr. Bush's supporters, impressed by his tough talk, see him as America's champion against the evildoers...."

Monday, July 19, 2004

Brits cite Fox for lying

from Daily Kos: "Not sure how Fox might manage to survive in a country that apparently requires, by law, actual fairness and balance. "

Sadly, No!: Children in Iraqi prisons

Sadly, No!: Children in Iraqi prisons

"Yesterday, we posted the video from a German TV report about alleged abuse and detention of children in Iraqi prisons. While the US media remains silent (as far as we know,) this story is getting some coverage outside of Germany."

Past Peak: "Some of the worst things that happened that you don’t know about."

Seymour Hersh's ACLU Keynote Speech Transcribed: "On July 8, Seymour Hersh addressed the ACLU's 2004 Membership Conference....I've transcribed Hersh's remarks below. It's a long talk, but I've added some headings and emphasized some things in bold, so you can scan through it if you don't wish to read the whole thing."

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Sold his soul to the US company store?

Retired Army doctor recalled to active duty:

"Seven years ago, Lexington psychiatrist Charles Ham retired from the Army.

Or at least he thought so.

Then, the other day, he got a call telling him to report to Fort Jackson for a physical examination.

Ham, who wore a U.S. Army uniform for 41 years, knew 5,600 veterans who recently had left the service were being called up. But he never thought he would be on the list.

'You know, I'm 67 years old. Why do you need me?' Ham asked."

And what to make of this remark?

"Ham, who retired as a colonel, is subject to being recalled because he’s an officer, Army spokeswoman Andrea Wales said.

There is no age limit for officers to serve, she said.

'In general, officers are considered to be management,' Wales said."

Considered to be managament? WTF is that supposed to mean?!?

It certainly has given Ham a few things to think about:

"Charles Ham still is amazed the Army tracked him down after seven years of retirement.

'You’d think if they can find me in my office, they sure could find Osama bin Laden,' he said."

Viceroy Negroponte

Busy, Busy, Busy has the goods on Negroponte (our "ambassador" to Iraq) giving the slapdown to supposed PM Iyad Allawi, and Allawi coming back with a "thank you sir, may I have another" type response. Negroponte has prior experience running banana republics from the US embassy, having done so during he 1980s in Latin America.

Really, the only people this puppet regime is intended to fool are the Americans who may be watching at home.

A BuzzFlash Reader Contribution

This is really funny; click and read about John Stewart's deconstruction on the Daily Show of the GOP's "talking points": Talking Points: "They're True Because They're Said A Lot" - A BuzzFlash Reader Contribution

Caesaropapism -- American style

Bush essentially tells Amish group -- I am God's prophet: "At the end of the session, Bush reportedly told the group, 'I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job.'"

Saturday, July 17, 2004

GOoPer attempts to muddy the waters

t r u t h o u t - Joseph Wilson Vs. the Right-Wing Conspiracy:

"Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on the U.S. intelligence community's prewar assessments on Iraq. An appendix discusses the role taken by former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson in determining whether Iraq had obtained uranium from Niger. The following is Wilson's letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee pointing to errors in the Republican senators' additional comments to the report and demanding corrections."

Thursday, July 15, 2004


An interesting article on the making of the movie Outfoxed: How to Make a Guerrilla Documentary
It is not exactly earth-shattering, of course, to learn that Fox is more conservative than other news networks. What ''Outfoxed'' does is detail the specific ways, both onscreen and behind the scenes, in which the network's conservatism shapes its news and opinion programs. The most stinging blow that ''Outfoxed'' delivers to Fox's ''fair and balanced'' claim comes in a segment of the film on the daily memos apparently sent to the entire Fox news operation by John Moody, Fox News's senior vice president for news and editorial. The memos, which Greenwald says were provided by two unnamed employees at the network, set the agenda for how events will be covered. One memo, thought to have been circulated at Fox in April, instructs employees how to report on the increasing number of American fatalities in Iraq: ''Do not fall into the easy trap of mourning the loss of U.S. lives,'' it reads. Another memo outlines the approach to covering the United States military's siege on Falluja: ''It won't be long before some people start to decry the use of 'excessive force,''' it says. ''We won't be among that group.'' A third, on the 9/11 Commission, is equally firm: ''The fact that former Clinton and both former and current Bush administration officials are testifying gives it a certain tension, but this is not 'what did he know and when did he know it' stuff,'' it cautions. ''Do not turn this into Watergate.''

Greenwald is pleased with the finished product. ''I wanted to use Fox's own words and images to show exactly what they do,'' he says. ''Fox is a Republican, not merely a conservative, network.''

Find a viewing of Outfoxed near you.

Guess who's wearing the blazer...

shown here: FMA News Conference: Mixed Messages

... and win yourself an autographed CD!


Remain Calm

and do as Tom Ridge says...

religion or delusion?

Strange Doctrines: Anti-Encephalalimentationism

A pair of editorials under the heading "Politics of Piety" in the Los Angeles Times today: Charlotte Allen's ("Bush's public religiosity connects with America -- and that will win him votes") and Rick Perlstein's ("Are Kerry's expressions of faith subpar? The Republicans would have the electorate think so").

Josh Marshall sorts out CIA outing / Iraq-Niger foolishness

Novak once again justifies his nickname: "No-facts":

"At the head of Novak's column he says that committee Democrats 'did not dissent from the committee's findings that Iraq apparently asked about buying yellowcake uranium from Niger.'

Dissenting from this finding would admittedly have been a challenge since this is not in fact what the Report said."

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

hearts and minds and...?

'The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking'

Seymour Hersh says the US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Hate Amendment Fails

Senate Scuttles Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriage

Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, the Democratic presidential candidate who will run against Bush in November, hailed the Senate's rejection of an issue "designed to divide us for political purposes." He said in a statement distributed by his campaign, "Even Republicans concede that this amendment is being offered only for political gains." Meanwhile, Kerry said, "the unfortunate result is that the important work of the American people . . . is not getting done."

His running mate, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, said in a separate statement, "The Constitution should never be used as a political tool to divide Americans."

Monday, July 12, 2004

Talk about one-upsmanship

Ron Reagan to Speak at Democratic Convention ( The younger son of the late President Reagan will address the Democratic National Convention in Boston about stem cell research.

Wonder if Bush is relishing his decision to politicize Ronnie's death now?

Thursday, July 08, 2004

July Surprise?

"The Bush administration denies it has geared the war on terrorism to the electoral calendar. . . . But The New Republic has learned that Pakistani security officials have been told they must produce HVTs [high value targets] by the election."

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

How now, brown cloud?

Dan Froomkin wonders if we'll have have an answer for the mystery wrapped in enigma that is Cheney... or is that wrapped in "brown cloud"?

"'Judy Keen: You must be well aware of the caricature of you that has evolved over the last three years, the whole undisclosed location thing, the sinister force behind the President's policies. What do you make of that? And do you feel compelled to deal with it, especially in the context of this campaign that's just beginning? . . .

'Cheney: Why do I want to deal with it? What's wrong with my image? . . . Am I brown cloud? Am I the evil genius in the corner that nobody ever sees come out of his hole? It's a nice way to operate, actually.'

We never figured out what Cheney meant by 'brown cloud.' But now I wonder: Is that what he disappears into?"

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

This is worth

a quick chuckle

Busy, Busy, Busy is on, on, on

What do you mean "we", media face?

Cole on Edwards

"One thing that hadn't been clear to me before was Edwards' antipathy to Halliburton and his critique of 'unbid contracts.' Edwards as a trial lawyer who helped consumers get their due from rich corporations that had harmed them would be ideally placed to take on the whole issue of Halliburton and the ways in which the Bush administration has mishandled Iraq by funneling huge amounts of money into expensive contracts that did not even employ many Iraqis. That is to say, Edwards may be the Anti-Cheney in ways that could be important to the campaign."

Also, if you link to Cole's site, scroll down and check out the series of quotes from Edwards--he is quite good.

Like so much in Iraq, it was manufactured for domestic consumption

When Saddam Fell: How the Press was Misled From Day One: "They were the shots seen 'round the world: newspaper photographs and TV images of jubilant Iraqis toppling a giant statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad on April 9, 2003, shortly after the U.S. military chased him out of town. Now, after months of rumors, the U.S. military has confirmed that the entire stunt was conceived by the U.S. military and enacted with the help of a fast-thinking Army psychological operation. . . ."

Kos has found an interesting endorsement

"amidst the hoopla over the Bush ads featuring McCain, let's see if the Republicans can explain this, from the back cover of Edwards' book:"
Click here and check out the endorsement at the bottom

Murdoch wrong -- again

Check out this photo.

Think this may have been a case of wishful thinking?

Thank goodness we aren't relying on Bush's brother and his appointees to sort out the discrepancy...

It's official

Kerry Taps Edwards for Running Mate

Edwards is "a champion for middle class Americans, and for those struggling to reach the middle class," Kerry told cheering supporters in Pittsburgh.

"Throughout this campaign, John talked about the great divide in America, the two Americas that exist between those who are doing very well and those who are struggling to make ends meet in our country," Kerry told the crowd.

"That concern is at the center of this campaign. It is what it is all about," Kerry said. "It is what the 35 years of my struggle have been about. And I am so proud that together John Edwards and I are now going to fight to build one America for all Americans."

Sunday, July 04, 2004

An American Patriot Speaks

Senator Byrd - Senate Speeches:
"'Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again, - -
The eternal years of God are hers;
But Error, wounded, writhes in pain,
And dies among his worshippers.'

Truth has a way of asserting itself despite all attempts to obscure it. Distortion only serves to derail it for a time. No matter to what lengths we humans may go to obfuscate facts or delude our fellows, truth has a way of squeezing out through the cracks, eventually.

But the danger is that at some point it may no longer matter. The danger is that damage is done before the truth is widely realized. The reality is that, sometimes, it is easier to ignore uncomfortable facts and go along with whatever distortion is currently in vogue. We see a lot of this today in politics. I see a lot of it -- more than I would ever have believed -- right on this Senate Floor...."

Saturday, July 03, 2004

The Talent Show: "This is not fun, Paul."

"Thanks to the magic of Tivo, I now get to regularly see Crossfire, one of the only truly 'fair and balanced' shows on television. For those of you who didn't see today's episode, you missed this awesome exchange"

Friday, July 02, 2004

Press corps continues to miss the story

KRISTOF: In fact, of course, Mr. Bush did stretch the truth. The run-up to Iraq was all about exaggerations, but not flat-out lies.

Incredible, isn't it? According to Kristof's own account--an account that is stronger than any we'd offer--President Bush has indeed "stretched the truth." Indeed, according to Kristof's stinging analysis, the run-up to our war in Iraq was "all about exaggerations!" But what has the pundit concerned this week? He's really concerned because some people dare to list such exaggerations as "lies." According to Kristof, you and yours were misled into war! But he's upset by the choice of words of those who would pipe up in protest.

Can't argue with these descriptions

Jay calls Bush an "unelected [expletive] drunken OILMAN" who is "squatting" in the White House and "muttering over his prayer book every morning."

He calls Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld "rusted hulks" and "zombies" who have "fought their way back up out of the peat bogs where they've been lying, and they're stumbling around with grubs scurrying in and out of their noses and they're going, 'We -- are -- your -- advisers.' "

Cheney, Jay says, is "hunched, man, the corruption has completely hunched and gnarled him. His mouth is pulled totally over on one side of his face."

GOP operative caught doing dirty tricks

This story at Yahoo news helps expose the seemy side of GOP "voter outreach." Why am I not surprised? After Florida 2000 none of us should be. The bigger and better question is "who funded these folks and asked for their 'services'"?

Krugman hits right tone in movie review

Krugman's take on Fahrenheit 9/11 strikes me as essentially correct: its value lies in the tuths exposed that the press has failed to investigate and not in the rather marginal "innuendo" aspects that its critics would want you to believe "disqualify" it. And although this may be considered faint praise, there is far less innuendo in the film than in Bush's ongoing and flip-flopping "justifications" for the Iraq war.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Church and State?

Or just one big "holy hierarchy"?

This is interesting...

An examination of the Bush military files within the context of US Statutory Law, Department of Defense regulations, and Air Force policies and procedures of that era lead to a single conclusion: George W. Bush was considered a deserter by the United States Air Force.