Thursday, September 30, 2004

Kerry wins across the board

see the poll results here

WSJ reporter spills the secret

Posted by Eschaton:
"But, what frustrates me, aside from the Bush administration's belief that fantasy trumps reality if only you clap hard enough, is that the media is complicit. I'm not entirely sure why, but 'everyone knows' that Iraq has been 'Lebanized.' Once upon a time I can understand why a healthy dose of optimism kept a lot of people cheerleading, but now it's just a mess. The media won't present the mess, they present the Rove-tinted fantasy version that he gives to them. I wish I knew why - it would be easier to figure out what to do about it. It could be simply because they're in the tank for Republicans, and we can't possible broadcast such 'partisan facts' at this time. It could be because they were all complicit in the runup to the war, and they're unwilling to face the monster they've created...."

Go read the whole thing.

common sense

isn't so common: "The fact that we could probably stay in Iraq just like this for twenty years as long as we don't mind burning through our military (which might come in handy if we ever faced a security threat outside Mesopotamia) and our sons and daughters isn't really the point."

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

here's a great ad

addressing the real problem behind Gallup -- how it drives media coverage

And get this quote:

George Gallup Jr., son of the poll’s founder, was the longtime head of the company and now directs its non-profit research center.Why hasn’t he pushed for an update of the company’s likely voter modeling, which his own father pioneered in the 1950s?

Gallup, who is a devout evangelical Christian, has been quoted as calling his polling “a kind of ministry.” And a few months ago, he said “the most profound purpose of polls is to see how people are responding to God.”

We thought the purpose is to faithfully and factually report public opinion.


In keeping with this post by Joshua Micah Marshall lets try and keep track of the most outlandish, out-of-touch comment by Dubya tomorrow night.

flip-flopper in chief

Bush's Top Ten Flip-Flops

This is powerful

Why We Cannot Win by Al Lorentz:

"Before I begin, let me state that I am a soldier currently deployed in Iraq, I am not an armchair quarterback. Nor am I some politically idealistic and naive young soldier, I am an old and seasoned Non-Commissioned Officer with nearly 20 years under my belt. Additionally, I am not just a soldier with a muds-eye view of the war, I am in Civil Affairs and as such, it is my job to be aware of all the events occurring in this country and specifically in my region.

I have come to the conclusion that we cannot win here for a number of reasons. Ideology and idealism will never trump history and reality."

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

what is at stake?

Here is an on-target assessment of what is at stake from

"When George W. Bush was elected president, and particularly after September 11, I saw that the values and principles of open society needed to be defended at home. September 11 led to a suspension of the critical process so essential to a democracy - a full and fair discussion of the issues. President Bush silenced all criticism by calling it unpatriotic. When he said that 'either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists,' I heard alarm bells ringing. I am afraid that he is leading us in a very dangerous direction. We are losing the values that have made America great."


"The White House denies that anybody in the administration did it. Several of the usual suspects outside the administration, including former White House officials Karen Hughes, Dan Senor and David Frum, have also denied culpability."

What are they hiding this time?

See here: Couldn't Have Said It Any Better Himself

Monday, September 27, 2004

Bush in Fantasyland

The fact that Dubya lives in a fantasy bubble of his own making is a weakness that should be exploited futher. He is divorced from the reality that the rest of us live in and his mistakes have no repercussions for him... but they do for us, deadly ones. That is how you broach the question of trust with regard to Dubya, not in respect to 'resolve' but with regard to 'reality.'

The closest Dubya has ever come to our reality is the seven minues on 9/11... and what did he do? He went AWOL as usual -- first with the pet goat, then in air force one.

"...At the root of this folly is a continuing refusal to face uncomfortable facts. Confronted with a bleak C.I.A. assessment of the Iraq situation - one that matches the judgment of just about every independent expert - Mr. Bush's response is that 'they were just guessing.' 'In many ways,' Mr. Cordesman writes, 'the administration's senior spokesmen still seem to live in a fantasyland.'

Fantasyland extended to the Rose Garden yesterday, where Mr. Bush said polls asking Iraqis whether their nation was on the right track were more positive than similar polls asking Americans about their outlook - and he seemed to consider that a good sign...."

Check out this photo

This explains everything:

"People have said this photo makes it look like Bush and Allawi like each other like each other. We think they don't understand: It's a puppet regime! Bush puts his hand up Allawi's ass every day and they're just good friends. Not there's anything wrong with that.

Oh, wait. . ."

Has to be read to be believed... - FNS w/ Chris Wallace - Transcript: Sen. Biden on 'FOX News Sunday':

"KERRY: As president, I will do what President Bush has not done. I will hold the Saudis accountable.


WALLACE: Is that how Kerry intends to engage the allies, sir, by insulting them?

BIDEN: Do you think the Saudis are our allies?"

Good comeback by Biden hee hee hee.

But the larger point: the Bushies want to attack Kerry for being rude to our 'allies'?

As Josh Marshall would say: "another up-is-downism"

Exposed: Gallups' 'likely voter' rationale

It turns out that polls including all registered voters have been more accurate over the past decade and a half.

Also, scroll down and check out the way the pollsters determine who is a 'likely voter' -- it reads like a questionaire out of a fashion magazine.

frame job

MyDD :: Losing the Election One GOP Frame at a Time: "The term 'War on Terror' is a GOP frame invented by Bush's communications team in the rhetorical aftermath of 9/11. People who buy into that frame overwhelmingly support Bush.... Yet, despite this, Kerry and Democrats in general continue to use this frame, which can only serve to help Bush and Republicans. The more we are complicit with the most powerful GOP frame of this entire election, the more we will help prop up Bush in the only area where he leads Kerry."

Depicting terrorism as a 'war' only helps our enemies, both Dubya and Osama. Perhaps we should start calling it the "Hunt for Osama"?

I think renaming the frame in this way might also defuse Bush's attempts to depict Kerry as 'supporting' Hussein: "would ya rather have Saddam in power?" is easily refuted with "I'd rather have Osama in prison."

Debate Thursday

Debate 2000 postscript: "One of the most interesting things I look for, is how the candidates address each other-- it's one of those guy things. In 2000, Gore simply said, Governor Bush, or the governor mostly. But did Bush refer to Gore as Vice President? Very rarely, and when he did, it was to backhand."

Karl Rove's moral majority

This is what they call 'winning dirty':

"So now we get some details about how the Rove treatment works -- and not just speculation, but with descriptions from former Rove staffers who helped organize some of his trademark whispering campaigns."

Friday, September 24, 2004

Sad but true

This Danziger cartoon says it all...

I couldn't agree more...

Eschaton: "The Kerry campaign needs to stop with the whiny 'this is outrageous!' or 'you must repudiate it!'

Punch back."

Monday, September 20, 2004

What are they waiting for?

Bush's Achilles' heel:
"With all its metered focus groups, the Kerry campaign remains blind to the core weakness of the Bush campaign. It is not Iraq, still a 50-50 proposition with American voters. The economy is backdrop when life-and-death fear grips us. It is the abject failure of the Bush team to make America safer—either by corralling the killers or raising the defenses. Three times as many Americans died in two hours on 9-11 than have died in 18 months in Iraq, and the country trembles with belief that many more could die tomorrow. No one better embodies the dismal three-year Bush record on terror than bin Laden and Zawahiri, who resurfaced in a new tape just last week looking healthy and threatening, an ace in a card deck the White House has yet to deal."

Saturday, September 18, 2004

About f---ing time!

What the heck were they waiting for?:

"...Kerry's attacks come as the Democratic nominee is zeroing in on Bush's character. After spending much of the summer complaining about the negative and misleading tone of the Bush campaign, Kerry is essentially adopting the president's tactics of focusing as much, if not more, on the trustworthiness of his opponent as on the substance of issues. 'He'll do anything he can to cover up the truth, including silencing the truth-tellers,' Kerry said...."

A DEFINITE must read

Kitty Kelly interview: Don't mess with the Bushes: "...The first President Bush is presented as a weak yes man, driven not by political vision but a savage preppy spirit of competition instilled in him by his whirlwind of a mother. But it is his wife, Barbara (whom the ex-wife of White House counsel C Boyden Gray calls 'bull-dyke tough'), and their eldest son, George, who are the true pieces of work in Kelley's book, a mother and son team brimming with such spite and ambition they would give the ruthless duo in The Manchurian Candidate the shivers.

In one of the creepier passages of the book, a family gathering from hell at Kennebunkport, Maine, Barbara is shown mercilessly baiting her dry-drunk son, then governor of Texas, as a teetotalling 'Chosen One', while he keeps pleading to skip the cocktails and put on the feed bag, and his elderly father 'drools over [TV newswoman] Paula Zahn's legs'...."

This overview and interview has convinced me to buy the book when it comes out this Tuesday. It promises to be a lot more gripping -- and up-to-date -- than Kevin Phillips' American Dynasty:

"...[S:] What do you think W will do if he loses in November? Will he happily go back to baseball?
[KK:] No. You know something that I have found out from this family after four years - he doesn't plan to lose. They know how to win - no matter what.
[S:] What does that mean?
[KK:] That means these people can put the Sopranos to shame.
[S:] Does that mean vote stealing?
[KK:] That's a bit overt. But nothing will stand in the way of these people winning. Nothing. You start out looking at the Bush family like it's The Donna Reed Show and then you see it's The Sopranos."

See what I mean?

Thanks to Josh

This is worth a read

James Wolcott: Attack Pussy

Friday, September 17, 2004

dirty tricks suck in media

"There's this guy. He's a Republican. Amazingly, for the past three presidential elections he's managed to convince reporters that he's gotten attacked and gotten his signs stolen and destroyed. What are the odds?"

Thursday, September 16, 2004

even MORE good news

check out these state polls

more good news

GOoPer to abandon race for OK Senate seat?

A winning slogan

Edwards: No military draft if Democrats win

Thanks to Kos

And here is some more good news:

Bush's Convention Bounce Vanishes as Race Tightens


abuse of power

Secret Service denies free press:

"Secret Service agents are famous for their willingness to take a bullet for the president. Less famous is their willingness to take out a heckler for the president....

One uniformed Secret Service agent complained to a colleague that 'the press is having a field day' with the [hecklers'] disruption -- and the agents quickly clamped down. Journalists were told that if they sought to approach the demonstrators, they would not be allowed to return to the event site -- even though their colleagues were free to come and go. An agent, who did not give his name, told one journalist who was blocked from returning to the speech that this was punishment for approaching the demonstrators and that there was a 'different set of rules' for reporters who did not seek out the activists...."

Damn right!

Taking On the Myth:

"...If Senator John Kerry really has advisers telling him not to attack Mr. Bush on national security, he should dump them. When Dick Cheney is saying vote Bush or die, responding with speeches about jobs and health care doesn't cut it.

Mr. Kerry should counterattack by saying that Mr. Bush is endangering the nation by subordinating national security to politics..."

sadly yes

Pre-emptive Paranoia:

"...Iraq is a vision of hell, and the Republicans act as if it's a model kitchen. The president and vice president brag about liberating Iraqis and reassure us that they are stopping terrorist violence at its source and inspiring democracy in the region by bringing it to blood-drenched Iraq.

But what they haven't mentioned is that they have known since July that their rosy scenarios are as bogus as their W.M.D. That's when the president received a national intelligence estimate that spelled out 'a dark assessment of prospects' for stability and governance in Iraq in the next 18 months, as Douglas Jehl wrote in today's Times. Worst-case estimates include civil war or anarchy.

Unlike the president, the young men and women trying to stay alive in the unraveling chaos of Iraq can't count on their daddies to get them out of the line of fire."

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Friday, September 10, 2004

what was that about frivolous law suits?

FEC Asks Court to Drop Bush Campaign Law Suit:

"The Federal Election Commission has asked a court to throw out a lawsuit by President Bush's campaign that seeks to force quick action on complaints against anti-Bush groups spending big donations in the presidential race.

In a court filing made public Friday, the commission told U.S. District Judge James Robertson the Bush campaign won't suffer irreparable harm if its March complaints to the FEC about 'soft money' groups aren't resolved before the November election.

The campaign finance laws aren't meant to help candidates avoid 'competitive harm,' FEC lawyers wrote.

'The Act was designed to protect the public interest - both by maintaining the integrity of the electoral process, and by avoiding the corruption and the appearance of corruption of the government,' they wrote. 'It was not the purpose of the Act to protect a candidate from public criticism, or from the registration of voters who might support his or her opponent.'"

Juan Cole on a roll

His first post concerns the spy investigation and the question of "dual loyalties." Cole dissects the question and in doing so shows how the US has become complicit with Likud party policies:

"Many readers have written me to express concern about my safety and/or reputation since I have spoken out frankly on the horrible Likud policies of stealing Palestinian lands and brutalizing them with occupation. I'm not a babe in the woods, and I know very well that saying these things is taboo in American political culture...."

The second post pursues a reasonable explanation on how the Pentagon inadvertantly got embroiled in a spy scandal involving AIPAC and a possible answer to why the FBI has gone after it so aggressively:

"...The puzzlement expressed by many AIPAC-linked figures and supporters as to why the organization is being investigated by the FBI derives from their experience with the legislature....

I've been thinking more about why FBI director Robert Mueller might have an interest in the issue of Israeli spying in the US and the disproportionate influence of pro-Likud Party lobbies in the US...."

Nice pick up

Juan Cole noticed this overlooked angle regarding Cheney's recent "fear and smear"-fest:

"Dick Cheney's statement that if Americans elected John Kerry they would suffer another terrorist attack like 9/11 has provoked outrage among Democrats.

But what is interesting to me is the policy implications. Cheney seems to be saying that the reason there won't be another attack if he is reelected is because he will keep fighting 'preemptive' wars.

So, he is promising us more wars, folks. And he almost certainly has Iran foremost on his mind."

The unspoken issue

The Dishonesty Thing: "It's the dishonesty, stupid. The real issue in the National Guard story isn't what George W. Bush did three decades ago. It's the recent pattern of lies: his assertions that he fulfilled his obligations when he obviously didn't, the White House's repeated claims that it had released all of the relevant documents when it hadn't.

It's the same pattern of dishonesty, this time involving personal matters that the public can easily understand, that some of us have long seen on policy issues, from global warming to the war in Iraq. On budget matters, which is where I came in, serious analysts now take administration dishonesty for granted....

Nobody knows what Mr. Bush would really do about taxes and spending in a second term. What we do know is that on this, as on many matters, he won't tell the truth."

My Pet Goat: instant classic

The reviews are so illuminating...

a "true" forgery

Like the Daily Show, this satire is closer to the truth than the evening news

god's anointed

Move over you scruffy, sandal-wearing, bearded weirdo, you you long-haired, pacifist, hippie-freak: a new anointed one is on the job!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Girly man

"What's Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger doing in a hot pink dress and matching shoes?"

what have we been telling you?

Campaign coverage needs to read between the lines: "The media are awash in 'he said/she said/we're mum' journalism, 'the practice of reporters parroting competing rhetoric instead of measuring it for veracity against known facts....'

'Reporters seem to think they've done an adequate job just because they give both sides a chance to state their case,' Lovelady says. 'But if that's all you do, you may have satisfied the imagined constraints of objectivity, but often you haven't told the reader anything.

'It's the most common and infuriating flaw in the press today. Reporters just don't measure what each side said against the known facts. It shouldn't just be he said/she said. It should be he said/she said/we say — and here's why we say it....'

But the steady stream of charges that the media have a liberal bias has made many journalists gun-shy when it comes to evaluating controversial, partisan charges.

'The press is so sensitive now to charges of liberal bias that it bends over backward to give the appearance of being evenhanded,' Lovelady says. 'Reporters can and do argue that it's not their job to ascertain veracity. But that is their job, especially when the facts are so available....'"

For more straight talk check out this site: CJR campaign desk

fear and smear exposed

And to think the election is still two months away... what will Cheney do for an encore? If only the Bushies had spent as much time and effort hunting for bin Laden as they have smearing Kerry. I guess that shows their priorities.

"...this week, Mr. Cheney wooed the voters with, Message: You die.

The terrible beauty of its simplicity grows on you. It is a sign of the dark, macho, paranoid vice president's restraint that he didn't really take it to its emotionally satisfying conclusion: Message: Vote for us or we'll kill you.

Without Zell Miller around to out-crazy him, and unplugged after a convention that tried to 'humanize'' him with grandchildren, horses and wifely anecdotes about his inability to dance the twist, Mr. Cheney is back as Terrifier in Chief.

He finally simply spit out what the Bush team has been more subtly trying to convey for months: A vote for John Kerry is a vote for the terrorists....

Mr. Cheney implies that John Kerry couldn't protect us from an attack like 9/11, blithely ignoring the fact that he and President Bush didn't protect us from the real 9/11. Think of what brass-knuckled Republicans could have made of a 9/11 tape of an uncertain Democratic president giving a shaky statement that looked like a hostage tape and flying randomly from air base to air base, as the veep ordered that planes be shot down.

Mr. Cheney warns against falling back "into the pre-9/11 mind-set,'' when, in fact, the Bush team's pre-9/11 mind-set was all about being stuck in the cold war and reviving "Star Wars" - which doesn't work and is useless against terrorist tactics. The Bush crowd played down terrorism because Bill Clinton and Sandy Berger had told their successors that Osama was a priority, and the Bushies scorned all things Clinton. The president shrugged off intelligence briefings with such headlines as "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States'' because there was brush to be cleared and unaffordable tax-cutting to be done...."

best summary of 60 minutes

I would vote for this quick thumbnail on Daily Kos

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

trifecta time

Well, my previous posts did not make it... now what was it I was going to say? Oh yeah, looks like Dubya hit the trifecta again... but this time with regards to bad publicity.

First in order of importance is the fact that the death toll of US soldiers in Dubya's war of choice in Iraq continues to inch up, now past 1000.

Second, the press has finally woken up on what Dubya was doing when his nation called -- no, not during the My Pet Goat-athon known as 9-11, but 30+ years earlier, when he was AWOL for the first time.

And it seems that the code of omerta governing the Bush dynasty (think about it, there has been a Bush on the presidential ballot for every election since 1980 except one...) has been broken by Sharon Bush, who reveals that Dubya was tooting nose candy at Camp David.

Gosh, with all this bad publicity, what does the man of action do? Run away, run away!

Will he go AWOL again

First he ducks out on his sworn pledge to the National Guard, then he hides behind a copy of My Pet Goat... now this?President Bush may skip one of the three debates that have been proposed by the Commission on Presidential Debates and accepted by Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), Republican officials said yesterday.

Bush hits trifecta

Sadly, dubya's irresponsibility was not just another cost-free indulgence, but on the contrary has exacted the highest cost from our best and brightest.

And I guess dubya was not just AWOL on Sept. 11 2001 (My Pet Goat day)... apparently he had a history of going AWOL and having family connections clean up his mess: the documentation is here and the interview with a chief fixer will be here.

And then there is this little tidbit from the past...

Seems like the old dubya magic has finally rubbed off his administration of our nation onto something he really values, his campaign.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Bush bounce?

Ruy Teixeira has the latest: "I think those of us who have expressed skepticism about the results of the Time and Newsweek polls can consider ourselves vindicated. The new Gallup poll, conducted entirely after the GOP convention and therefore the first poll that truly measures Bush's bounce, shows Bush with a very modest bounce indeed: 2 points..."

Expert summary of GOP convention

Feel the Hate: "...There was plenty of hatred in Manhattan, but it was inside, not outside, Madison Square Garden....

Why are the Republicans so angry? One reason is that they have nothing positive to run on....

Another reason, I'm sure, is a guilty conscience....

Nothing makes you hate people as much as knowing in your heart that you are in the wrong and they are in the right.

But the vitriol also reflects the fact that many of the people at that convention, for all their flag-waving, hate America. They want a controlled, monolithic society; they fear and loathe our nation's freedom, diversity and complexity....

Mr. Bush, it's now clear, intends to run a campaign based on fear. And for me, at least, it's working: thinking about what these people will do if they solidify their grip on power makes me very, very afraid."

some common sense advice

for Kerry that follows the immutable dictum:


Josh agrees: KISS

Saturday, September 04, 2004

key numbers regarding Bush

check out these numbers -- they should help keep you from despairing over the supposed "Bush bounce."

Thanks to Kos

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Excerpts of Kerry's remarks following Bush speech

Bring it on!:

"...Let me tell you what I think makes someone unfit for duty. Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation. Doing nothing while this nation loses millions of jobs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting 45 million Americans go without health care makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting the Saudi royal family control our energy costs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Handing out billions of government contracts to Halliburton while you're still on their payroll makes you unfit. That's the record of George Bush and Dick Cheney. And it's not going to change. I believe it's time to move America in a new direction; I believe it's time to set a new course for America...."

Bush junior

...finally has "a chance for a medal"

Wonkette edition

Miller as class... uh, not clown, maybe clod?

Here are some funny "now and then" photos

And for a change, something serious: the bias in reporting on media bias

How many

soldiers are being wounded in Iraq?

Juan Cole examines the figures.

My god...

could real reporting be coming back into vogue?: "WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Judy, speaking of Zell Miller, he is here with us. Zell Miller, who delivered the keynote speech... Senator Miller, you have accused the Democratic presidential nominee of being a flip-flopper, but remember, as you pointed out yourself, 12-years-ago you were here endorsing Bill Clinton and going after the first President Bush. The Democrats are saying, you've become a flip-flopper...."

The whole iinterview with Zell is worth a read, particularly when the reporters remind Zell that Bush himself has described Iraq as an "occupation" and that Cheney worked to kill the same weapons systems that Kerry voted against.

And if you missed it, Zell also challenged Chris Matthews to a duel becuae Matthews had the temerity to ask if he really believed that the Democrats only want to defend America with "spitballs."

Halloween comes early

Don't click on this if small children are present

Read more about the Zell-otry on display last night here

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Nixon endorses Kerry?

read about it here -- it's a hoot

catastrophic success?

That's not how Juan Cole sees it: "...Democrats are having a lot of fun with the phrase, but the real problem is that that analysis of what went wrong is incorrect. The Bush administration simply mismanaged Iraq. It dissolved the Iraqi army, throwing the country into chaos. That army was not gone and would have gladly showed up at the barracks for a paycheck. It pursued a highly punitive policy of firing and excluding members of the Baath Party, which was not done in so thorough-going a manner even to Nazis in post-war Germany. It canceled planned municipal elections, denying people any stake in their new 'government,' which was more or less appointed by the US. It put all its efforts into destroying Arab socialism in Iraq and creating a sudden free market, rather than paying attention to the preconditions for entrepreneurial activity, like security and services. It kept changing its policies-- early on it was going to turn the country over to Ahmad Chalabi in 6 months. Then that plan was scotched and Paul Bremer was brought in to play MacArthur in Tokyo for a projected two or three years. Then that didn't work and there would be council-based elections. Then those wouldn't work and there would be a 'transfer of sovereignty.' All this is not to mention the brutal and punitive sieges of Fallujah and Najaf and the Abu Ghuraib torture scandal, etc., etc...."

real journalism

...for a change. Imagine fact-checking the wild assertions made by a politician? As you can see here, a careful shading of the truth can be just as effective as a bald-faced lie: "Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani made a number of specific attacks based on statements allegedly made by Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry in his speech to the Republican National Convention Monday night. But Giuliani's description of those comments often lacked context...."