George W. Bush scribbled on American flags at a rally in Michigan, July, 2003.


Tuesday, August 31, 2004


The coverage is even more of a joke than we expected. Here's the permissible "challenge" to the convention: The GOP is putting three moderates in front to hide the "conservative" truth of the party. All the talk, over and over, is about Rudy, Arnold and McCain.

This line of discussion actually helps bolster the GOP purpose, because R, A and Mc get even more attention, and both the "moderate" word and "conservative" word sound good to middle American focus groups. It might be fair if they said "radical" or "extreme." instead, hey, it's a Big Tent, folks.

Aside from that, and especially for Tweetie Matthews, the election is over and Bush has won. Laura is more popular than anybody and T'rr is what it's all about this year.


Good tinfoil hat stuff. Joe at Photon Theory linked to this fascinating movie.

If Flight 77 didn't really crash into the Pentagon, what happened to it? Who really knows what to believe anymore?


At the Sierra Club site.


Look at the podiums.


One of the things we do here is point out when we think a mega-popular left wing blogger is off the mark. We don't link to Pandagon or Matt Y, and these two posts are good examples of why we do not.

Pandagon and Matt Y think the protests are incoherent and they both launch a snobby and tortured thesis about how protests of this kind are worth little or nothing on the grand scheme of politics.
... each and every person there had something to say, but the protest as such didn't have much of a message, so it's hard to know what to say about it (Matt)
... making the product a muddled mass of bodies assembled for...things, rather than a uniform group advocating an [sic] single policy (Ezra)
Um, maybe they missed the theme of the day: Say NO to the Bush agenda and express opposition to this little thing called the Invasion of Iraq. Maybe they missed the fact that this was the largest protest against any convention, which might just cause some folks, especially young people, to pause for a second and wonder why everyone is so upset. Maybe they haven't considered the manifestation of the severely divided condition into which the GOP has plunged this nation. Perhaps they haven't considered how many people donated money to causes or signed up as volunteers in that motivating environment. Maybe they believe that there are more people being persuaded by reading their internet writings than there are people seeing images of hundreds of thousands rejecting George W. Bush on the national news.

Let's see how these guys feel about protests in ten years, when the GOP has become the one-party oppression machine, we are in a forever war all over the world and such events are prohibited in the "interest of national security."

P.S. Ricky at Timshel happened to post something about Matt Y at around the same time. He's right.


Get out your deception dollars. From Zogby:

On the eve of a Republican National Convention invoking 9/11 symbols, sound bytes and imagery, half (49.3%) of New York City residents and 41% of New York citizens overall say that some of our leaders "knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act," according to the poll conducted by Zogby International. The poll of New York residents was conducted from Tuesday August 24 through Thursday August 26, 2004. Overall results have a margin of sampling error of +/-3.5.

The poll is the first of its kind conducted in America that surveys attitudes regarding US government complicity in the 9/11 tragedy. Despite the acute legal and political implications of this accusation, nearly 30% of registered Republicans and over 38% of those who described themselves as "very conservative" supported the claim.


At NPR, including the Jerry Garcia quote re: "Yellow Journalism"

Bonus: Bob Weir interview on NPR. (warning - weak song played in interview)


Eric Alterman notes that the nearly twenty percent of enRoNC delegates are active military, which seems to be against Dept. of Defense regulations. The convention site he linked to has been scrubbed, apparently, but the story is still on the site.

Proudly beaking the law, as usual.

Here's the Yahoo PR Release, in case they scrub that one too.


Ollie says he can get his fellow Damfacrat into the Garden for the big finish, featuring the Smirker himself. Should be great fun, especially if a tape recorder and a Wingnut find each other. Still, the lineup really looks weak. Dorothy Hamill? Lynn Swann? Token Black Guy: Michael Williams, Texas RR commissioner.

The bloating and disgusting BS, and ghoulish reliance on 9/11, makes it tempting to simply ignore blogging about this Liefest. Until Thursday, anyway ...

Monday, August 30, 2004


The Dems, like the GOP, have a Truth Squad operating during the convention. They will get even less attention than did he GOP truth squad.

Let's look at one of the perceived strengths of George W. Bush and his party, compared to the reality: National Defense.

1. 9/11 - The worst domestic attack in American history occurred on their watch, as did the Anthrax attacks. To date, they have been unable to punish Osama or even identify the Anthrax attacker.

2. Spies - Someone in the Bush administration outed a CIA field agent and now we learn that there is an Israeli mole in the Pentagon.

3. Nukes - Secrets went astray at the Los Alamos Laboratory, forcing its closure. North Korea has developed nuclear weapons and Iran is progressing to that end. They have to find out from Pakistani intelligence that AQ Kahn, a Pakistani scientist, has been selling secrets about nuclear technology to dangerous regimes. Kahn was immediately pardoned by the Pak government. They have failed to make the global danger of loose nuclear materials a priority.

4. War - They promised the world that Iraq had WMD and invaded Iraq, only to find that there were none, miring us in a quagmire costing many lives and almost 200 billion dollars. Doing so managed to inflame passions against America all over the world, resulting in widespread advocacy of suicide bombing against the US and the hatred of long-time allies. Everyone agrees that our military is now stretched to its limit. Afghanistan continues to get worse, becoming a narco-state that if rife with attacks against U.S. forces and nation-building actors. Gitmo and Abu Grhaib have shamed our nation and further inflamed enemies, needlessly.

5. Domestic Security - They are proceeding with the development of a missle defense shield, which has never worked and has nothing to do with terrorism. They have failed to install explosive detection devices at airports, failed to monitor more than 2% of cargo at ports an borders, failed to fund protection of chemical and nuclear plants, and failed to effectively enforce laws that protect our borders from illegal immigration. The color-code, duct tape and plastic system is a national joke.

6. International Terrorism - Terrorism is up (not down, as the State Dept. "mistakenly" claimed before acknowledging the truth). Spain, Morrocco, Russia, SE Asia, Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, to name just a few, have all experienced major terrorist attacks in the last year.

These are just examples we could think of without research. Do voters need any more?



We aren't sure what the Master Plan is here. Maybe Dubya is just flying blind. Let's summarize what he has said in the last few days: "John Kerry did not lie about Vietnam. John Kerry was more heroic than I was because he went into combat. The War on Terror cannot be won and miscalculations in Iraq resulted in a catastrophic success. Sure, North Korea has nukes but I don't think we should give timelines to dictators."

Our best guess is that these comments are meant to deflect blowback for the Vet-Liars campaign and deflect the perception that Bush is too arrogant to admit mistakes, as well as too reliant on military means to activate international change. Perhaps these things are more of a problem than the polls indicated.


As in 500,000. Thru Talking Dog, we notice the NY Times report on the protest numbers. Forget the vague junk from the AP about "tens of thousands" or even the Wash Post "over 200,000."
The protest organizer, United for Peace and Justice, estimated the crowd at 500,000, rivaling a 1982 antinuclear rally in Central Park, and double the number it had predicted. It was, at best, a rough estimate. The Police Department, as is customary, offered no official estimate, but one officer in touch with the police command center at Madison Square Garden agreed that the crowd appeared to be close to a half-million.


We are entering a dark time in the campaign, which will last for the next couple of weeks, at least. The media is more shameless and incompetent than ever, and the enRoNC festivities will be stroked vigorously.

Gallup shows that Pennsylvania is a tie, which, if at all accurate, is a massive decline for Kerry. Digby and Teixira see this as the natural earthbound trend after the Dem convention bounce (which did happen, despite the media script) and contend that Kerry has weathered the Swifty attacks well. We can hope that this period is the best it will get for the Shrub.

Also, we have to keep reminding ourselves that aMurka's ignorance can work to our advantage. We have to remind ourselves that almost nobody watches these idiotic news programs anyway. Whereas maybe 2 million people watch O'Reilly, for example, most of them wouldn't vote for Kerry in a million years anyway, and O'Reilly is by far the top show. Less and less people read newspapers.

The voters will stay ignorant until the debates, whereafter they will vote based on hair, sighs, accents, ads and who they think will win - like people who ignore the regular baseball season and become avid Yankees fans as the Series approaches. This last part is what troubles us the most. To the extent that voters check the horserace, the media is straining to make it look like Bush is ahead, so this may be the media's most poisonous influence.


Has anyone else noticed this subtle taking point among the GOP puppetheads?

Someone on a show finally mentions the fact that Bush said Kerry did not lie about Nam. Then the GOPer floats the Point: Bush is not being sincere, just playing nice.

Bush cronies lie and say Kerry lied. Then Bush says Kerry did not lie. Then Bush cronies say that Bush is lying about his belief that Kerry did not lie. Hence, Kerry lied, so elect Bush. Insane.


Caught the rerun of Press the Meat. Timid Tim got out his markers again, so he could laugh about the theft of 2000. What a fathead clown.

Olbermann used the right term (and analysis) on Thursday:
To put a number on it, Zogby says just the blue and red states right now would make it Kerry 286, Bush 214 in the electoral college, so much of a margin that even if both remaining yellow states, Missouri and Florida, went to Mr. Bush, it wouldn't matter. Still, Kerry by 34 votes; 16 more than needed for electoral certification. Tim Russert would not even have time to get out his grease board.

Sunday, August 29, 2004


Bush was quoted recently as saying that the Iraq invasion was a "catastrophic success."

1. This term is so Orwellian that reporters are literally explaining it in opposite ways. Look at how this AP reporter explains:
He called the swift military offensive that led to the fall of Baghdad in April 2003 "a catastrophic success" even though fighting continues despite the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's government.
Now compare that understanding with this version, which is what Bush wanted to convey:

Mr Bush raised eyebrows in his latest defence of the Iraq war, referring in an interview to the "catastrophic success" of the initial invasion, which he said created problems further down the line.

"Had we to do it over again, we would look at the consequences of catastrophic success, being so successful so fast that an enemy that should have surrendered or been done in escaped and lived to fight another day," he said.

The first take puzzles at the term, thinking it means simply a "large" success, while the second take understands the idea of just being "too damn good." It's kind of like when they ask you at an interview "what is your greatest fault" and you answer "I'm a perfectionist."

2. Anyway, this little Orwellian description has already been floated by two head honchos in the Regime:
The U.S. general [Tommy Franks] who routed Saddam Hussein's army in three weeks warned before the invasion that a quick victory could lead to a "catastrophic success" because the United States was not prepared for postwar anarchy in Iraq.
and ...

Rumsfeld (April 11, 2003): This is fascinating. This is just fascinating. We did... recognize that there was at least a chance of catastrophic success, if you will, to reverse the phrase ... and that we needed to be ready for that; we needed to be ready with medicine, with food, with water.
3. John Edwards has it right about Bush's new Doublethink words: "He's half right."


12:10 Arrival at 14th and 7th Ave. Things are so crowded that people are asked to move North on 6th and enter the protest between 16th and 18th. The signs are very creative and the police are chill. LaRouchians on each corner. Helicopter and blimp in the sky. Pall bearers solicit help as mock flag-draped coffins gather.

12:45 Enter the main protest on 7th Ave. The crowd can barely move. Some people are selling rows and rows of bumper stickers and buttons. Purchase a two-dollar peace sign button. Lots of old people and small children also despise the Shrub. A man in just US flag-shorts and boxing gloves jabs at a plastic Bush doll until onlookers cheer the knockdown. The cops let anyone sit on top of phone booths, bunched barricades and I perch on a lamppost for a while.

1:30 Approaching the Garden. Spot the huge Green Dragon Float. Drumming is cool. Chants begin but fade quickly. Out of style. Everyone is smiling, everyone is polite. Obtain a Deception Dollar.

1:45 The crowd moves faster at the Garden entrance but they are free to linger as long as they like. A huge row of cops stands a few feet from barriers. Waving my Deception Dollar around, taunting the suits. A few people begin to wave their own actual dollars. Most of the cops look at the deception dollar and some smile. Chants are more sustained: "Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame! " Many people flip The Bird(!). I go for the thumb-down.

2:15 I leave 7th on 34th to meet Ollie, who is working AV inside the Garden. Machine guns in this area and I can't go back into the crowd or linger at the corner. Ollie and I decide to go over to 10th, south four blocks and back into the march for another pass at the Garden.

2:45 Because of the barriers on many cross streets, things might have gone tough for some elderly folks. Ollie and I helped a very thin old man in a suit climb over the barrier so he could get out of the crowd. It was very hot and sunny and he seemed dazed. Others helped immediately. Back in the crowd, spot two women holding rubber heads on a stick - Condi and Laura. Very nice.

3:00 Nearing the Garden again. Ollie spots faint smoke up ahead. Turns out this is the much publicized torching of the aforementioned green dragon float. (Times are approximate on this post) A sort of Love Drum Corps does a sort of cheerleader pyramid routine. The girls hold cardboard cutouts of machine guns, colored pink with the word "Love" on them. It's quite wonderful.

3:15 At the Garden again. I spot the same guy I saw on the first pass, who I had seen mouthing "Blah Blah Blah" as we walked by. I pointed at him and said it back to him, taunting. He tried to look menacing - he looked psychotic. People approach the huge Fox News ad and chant "Fox News sucks!" Rounding the turn at 35th, a heckler for Bush starts up. I ask him how many funerals Bush went to. He asked me how many I wnt to. I said I wasn;t the President - but of course - neither is Bush. He said we don't care about the troops. I told him that's why we are marching because we don;t want any more dead. He floundered and ignored.

3:45 Down Broadway, approaching Union Square finish line. Jeebus people around - holding the infamous signs for Bush. I begin to yell and others join in, "Who would Jesus Bomb?" The crowd is way more spread out on Broadway. Union Square is chill, and I hang out for a while. A man in a wheelchair gives me a war criminal deck of cards. Bush is only the 4 of Clubs, which tells you something.

During the march, three photographers stopped me to photograph the Deception Dollar up close. They were all Asian, for whatever that is worth.

This thing was a massive success and as far as I know, there was no violence and very few arrests, mostly for blocking traffic. When there are 200,000 to 400,000 people and like twenty people get arrested, it is not a "mostly peaceful" affair. It is a totally peaceful affair - much to the disappointment of the GOP.


Just a 6 train ride away.


Seems like now is a good time to raise a middle finger in the direction of the Washington Post, for its hideously unfair Nader slam a couple weeks ago.

Seems like now is also a good time to raise a middle finger in BoBo's direction. Remember his January column?
The full-mooners fixated on a think tank called the Project for the New American Century, which has a staff of five and issues memos on foreign policy. To hear these people describe it, PNAC is sort of a Yiddish Trilateral Commission, the nexus of the sprawling neocon tentacles.

Saturday, August 28, 2004


That evil-doer Novak just pointed out something on CNN's Capital Gang. Ben Barnes, the man whose videotaped confession, about helping AWOL Boy into the Texas Guard, showed up yesterday, managed to get something wrong.

On the tape, which we were thrilled to link to, he says he helped Bush when he was Lt. Governor. Sadly, as we just posted last week sometime, he was the Speaker of the Texas legislature at the time.

Now, he can use the Bush/Rice/Cheney/Rumsfeld excuse, that he just "mispoke," but the damage is done. Can't these Dems get anything right?


CNN will show "The Mission of George W. Bush" on Sunday night. CNNfn ran it this afternoon so we got to see most of it.

Review: John King, CNN lead WH reporter, didn't dig too deep. In that sense, it was easy on the Shrub. However, it was not as forgiving as we guessed it would be and King usually made sure to note how divisive Bush and his policies are. Lots of creepy Jeebus footage earned our approval.

In a related note, Catman recommends the Frontline episode on Georgie's Jeebus view, especially Parts 3 and 4.


Why else would they deliberately mention Al's brand of vehicle?
ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Near the home of the world famous New Year's Eve bash, Democrats have invaded Time Square to send a message. They're here to crash the Republicans' party. Al Sharpton happened to be driving down 42nd Street. He hopped out of his Cadillac to give the new billboard a thumbs up.


Even John Glenn gets to be victimized by Judy Woodruff and her unending quest to handjob Bush back into the White House.
WOODRUFF: But I interviewed John Glenn, the former senator today. I asked him if John Kerry had brought this on himself to some degree by talking so much at his convention about his Vietnam War experience. He said he agreed that that had happened, that to some extent he did bring it on himself. Was that a mistake?

So, is this what Glenn actually said? Woodruff ran her interview later in the program:
WOODRUFF: I spoke with Senator Glenn a little while ago and I asked him if Kerry brought this issue on himself by focusing so much attention on his own war record.

SEN. JOHN GLENN (D), FMR. U.S. SENATOR: Well, possibly to some extent...

... WOODRUFF: But don't you think John Kerry could have avoided this to a large extent by focusing himself on the future at the Democratic convention?

GLENN: He probably could have said more about that at the convention. I wouldn't disagree with that. I think he was proud of his military record, as he should be. ... Maybe he invited it, I wouldn't even make a judgment on that.


The Democrats in Congress need to return from vacation and simply refuse to participate in anything until a law is passed to require varification safeguards. Seriously.


Goddam brutes. The word here in East Harlem, via Tall Walt and Ollie, is that they arrested more like 250. The Voice confirms. Good luck proving that the specific people arrested were responsible for a specific violation:

The two-hour ride began about 7:15 p.m. in Union Square with a cacophony of bells, whistles, hooting and howling, and the police seemed to tolerate it.

An hour and a half into the ride, the police patience appeared to grow thin, as helmeted officers dragged netting across Seventh Avenue and 14th Street to block the ride.

Hundred of cyclists at first gathered by the net and then most turned west on 14th Street and south on Greenwich Street and kept riding toward the East Village.

As the ride backed up, the police arrested dozens of people on Seventh Avenue near the Garden on charges of blocking streets, saying some riders had stopped traffic on side streets to let the larger mass through.

More arrests took place at the end of the ride in the East Village, including along Second Avenue outside St. Mark's-in-the-Bowery Church, where cyclists gathered for a celebration of the ride and shouted abuse at the police who were arresting their companions.

"Ninety-five percent of the ride was beautiful,'' said Bill DiPaola, executive director of Time's Up!, an environmental group that participates in and promotes the monthly ride. "People were cheering us on the streets, but at the end it was difficult to funnel
people off and it was very clear the police were upset at how well the ride went.''


Wow. Video of former Lt Gov. of Texas Ben Barnes, openly apologizing for getting Dubya into the National Guard. Thru Atrios.

Man. The FBI is about to nail a mole in the Pentagon, who was spying for Israel while working under Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith. Jeebus.

Friday, August 27, 2004


Most people are basically stupid. Americans are even more so. Sorry if that seems harsh but we know it's true.

Karl Rove knows it's true and has pinned every public message with that in mind. It has worked pretty well for him, largely because logical fallacies go unrecognized by most Americans, if they even pay attention in the first place.

With this unshakable premise in mind, Kerry must forget about winning on policy. If Americans had any notion of good or bad policy, Bush would already have a 3% approval rating. America's ignorance goes hand-in-hand with cynicism, which protects them from their ignorance, by making them feel that there is no reason to pay attention, since all politicians just lie anyway.

With the flipper concept hung around Kerry's neck, he needs to rely not on promises of an ucertain future but on the documented personality faults of the Fuckwit-in-Chief. Kerry's ads need to focus primarily on video of the Shrub at his worst. For example, saying stupid things, looking stupid, scribbling on the flag, his DWI sheet, signing Jesus Day into law as a governor, Top Gun footage and, of course, overtly flip-flopping on two dozen issues.


Using the media to prop up small ad Vet-smear tactics. Veterans have gone from tied in the polls to 46-39 for Bush.

What does the Cartel do to try and milk this? Issue tr'r alert to VA Hospitals.


This spastic secret-agent-cover-blower interviewed another Vet against Kerry who claimed to be an independent. Trouble is, Josh Marshall clicked around and discovered the guy gave $1000 to Bush in 2000 and 2004, and is "the new law partner of one of the guys running the Republican National Convention."


"Damfacrats clearly does more research than the New York Times or any newsmedia in the U.S. for that matter." -- Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth" v. The Truth

They linked to Damfacrats here regarding our post here. Thanks also to Corrente and American Politics Journal for the links.


That guy from MTV. New Move On PAC ad.


One of Symbolman's best. At Take Back The Media.


Atrios linked to a post about Ben Ginsburg's possible ethics violations, in terms of his possible pro bono work for the Swifties and fee arrangements. Ginsburg, of course, was forced to resign from Bush/Cheney and claimed publicly that he never informed Bush/Cheney that he had given counsel to the Swifties.

To the Damfacratic legal team (Dr. Damfa, Esq.), the obvious unethical behavior is the failure to inform either of the clients that the potential conflict existed. Look at what Ginsburg said to the Blank-Stare Blitzer:

BLITZER: Did you tell people at the Bush-Cheney campaign that you were also giving legal advice to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth?

GINSBERG: Not until yesterday with the exception of a conversation on the legalities, a generic conversation of legalities of representing both campaigns and 527 groups. But nobody at the Bush campaign or the White House knew of my dual representation, which is appropriate under the legal ethics rules.

BLITZER: Since you were working for the campaign earlier, wouldn't it have been appropriate first to ask the campaign, do you have a problem if I also give advice to this other Swift Boat group?

GINSBERG: Well, Wolf, I didn't do that for three reasons. The first is that the legal ethics rules really require lawyers not to talk to different clients about the work that they're performing for other clients.

This last part is complete garbage. First, let's be clear that Ginsburg's representation of the Swifties amounted to a classic Conflict of Interest, because it exposed Bush/Cheney to embarrassment and charges of illegal coordination.

(b) Except as permitted by paragraph (c) below, a lawyer shall not represent a client with respect to a matter if:

2) Such representation will be or is likely to be adversely affected by representation of another client; (3) Representation of another client will be or is likely to be adversely affected by such representation;
When a potential conflict exists in regard to representing two clients, the exact opposite of what Ginsburg said is true: a lawyer must disclose the situation to both clients, at the very least, and usually obtain their clear consent, and must drop one of them if the conflict is unavoidable.
(c) A lawyer may represent a client with respect to a matter in the circumstances described in paragraph (b) above if each potentially affected client provides consent to such representation after full disclosure of the existence and nature of the possible conflict and the possible adverse consequences of such representation.


To the NYT and USA Today.

Clearly, the most newsworthy remark was that Bush does not think Kerry lied about his Vietnam record. That should be blasting all over the telescreen, given four weeks of Swifty attention, but it isn't - probably because the media, besides being worthless, lazy and sycophantic to Bush, is embarassed by their 100% responsibility for promoting the lies.

The award for most illegitimate question goes to USA Today, asking Bush why he has not given up running again and simply quit politics.
"That is a legitimate question," he said. "There's a lot of my friends who come and bass-fish with me. They don't say it out loud, I know they're thinking it: Why?' And the answer is because the stakes are high.
See, Dubya is just a normal guy, the type who sports a bumper sticker "I'd rather be bass-fishing."

Other interesting bits include Bush's "acknowledgment" that there were "miscalculations" in regard to Iraq (using the old 'dead-enders' theory about 'winning too fast'), his confusion about his own administration's new-found acknowledgment of global warming and this classic projection:
"It seems my opponent said that going to war with the terrorists is actually improving their recruitment efforts. That logic is upside-down," he said.


Damfacratic readers will have seen our previous posts on the AP's Ron Fournier, the sometimes harmless, sometimes perverted Bushie Boy. Today we find him up to some of his obscenities again:

Headline: Bush, Kerry Bow to McCain's Wishes on Ads.

See, this is already a problem. While Kerry did pull an ad featuring McCain, Bush continues to avoid condemning the Swifty Lies, which McCain clearly "wished" that he do, reiterating that "wish" again yesterday. Fournier, amazingly, claims that the "wish" was for the Shrub to join the silly 527 lawsuit, even though Shrubie has been "wishin'" for their demise now for a couple of weeks.

... as a decorated Vietnam veteran, Kerry argues, he is capable of replacing the incumbent Republican while the nation is at war." Ah, no. Kerry "argues that" as a non-corrupt, non-chimp, non-Churcher-Crusader, he is capable of replacing the unelected smirker "while the nation is at war."

McCain sought to take Bush off the hook, suggesting that the president had gone far enough in condemning the accusations. Hmmm ... no exact quote on this ... let's see what the Post says:
In an interview with Washington Post editors and reporters, McCain said that he is grateful for Kerry's action and that he still hopes Bush will condemn the Swift boat veterans' ad attacking Kerry's service. McCain added that he plans to raise the issue when he campaigns with Bush next week.
Why would McCain "raise the issue" again if Bush had "gone far enough?" Still, Fournier won't let go of his fantasy: McCain suggested, and associates privately confirmed, that he had accepted Bush's statements as proper condemnations of the anti-Kerry ad.

To wind it all up, Fournier queers a poll result: A CNN-USA Today survey shows that people believe 2-to-1 that Kerry is probably telling the truth about his Vietnam record. Just "probably" Ron? From USA Today:
the poll found that most people, 63%, say they think Kerry is definitely or probably telling the truth about his military service.
Hell, even the Preznit himself thinks Kerry is definitely telling the truth :
Bush did not hesitate when asked about the central charge issued by the Swift Boat veterans' group that has leveled unsubstantiated attacks against Kerry's record in Vietnam. "I think Senator Kerry should be proud of his record," Bush told The Times. "No, I don't think he lied."

Thursday, August 26, 2004


According to this report. Even Republicans agree.


So what should happen is that any illegal activity by these protestors should be considered a terrorist act on its face. Putting the lives of New Yorkers in danger by distracting the police is terrorism, period.

There are reports of some anarchists who are going to douse themselves with gun powder to cause security alarms to go crazy. We also hear some of these people may roll marbles underneath the hooves of police horses. Any of that stuff is terrorism and the federal government should take over the prosecution.

Instead of being slapped on the wrist, violent and damage causing protestors should be slapped with federal prison time. Most Americans value protest. I certainly do. But we're fighting a war here. And any act that puts this country in danger is sabotage. Again, a terrorist act.

Hidden PocketClick animation for Pocket Oh Really and click here for bonus audio.


Karl Rove gave Brit Hume an interview yesterday. We aren't sure of the last time the Minister of Disinformation showed his pasty face but Hume acknowledged it was "the first broadcast interview in years."

The purpose of the interview, on it's face, seemed to be the act of getting Rove on camera, flatly denying any coordination with the Swifty Liars. That way, Fox and Co. can force Dems to accuse Rove of "lying," a charge that is always confirmed by the media script to be shrill and outrageous.

We are just wondering if his emergence is a good or bad sign. Our guess is that it's a good sign. For whatever reason, probably because focus groups hate Rove, he has stayed in his hole all this time. Being forced into the light, kind of like Jenna and lil Babs, may be a sign that big league Bush supporters were demanding some reassurance and reinforcements.

Anyway, Rove twisted the truth in almost every response, including lies about his contact with Swifty funds Bob Perry in the last year, whom he had previously said had been out of contact for a year; vague lies about Kerry lawyers' connections to 527 groups, and this:
HUME: Has anybody in the Bush campaign or the White House, to your knowledge, engaged in any consultations, coordinations, cooperation, with the swift boat veterans group?
ROVE: No, absolutely not. Absolutely not.

Except, of course, Ben Ginsburg, who had to resign, and Ken Cordier, who had to resign...


WASHINGTON - The number of Americans living in poverty increased by 1.3 million last year, while the ranks of the uninsured swelled by 1.4 million, the Census Bureau reported Thursday.

It was the third straight annual increase for both categories. While not unexpected, it was a double dose of bad economic news during a tight re-election campaign for President Bush.

Approximately 35.8 million people lived below the poverty line in 2003, or about 12.5 percent of the population, according to the bureau. That was up from 34.5 million, or 12.1 percent in 2002.

The rise was more dramatic for children. There were 12.9 million living in poverty last year, or 17.6 percent of the under-18 population. That was an increase of about 800,000 from 2002, when 16.7 percent of all children were in poverty.


During the news break of Special Report, Fox reported on the incident in Florida where the father of a dead Marine torched the Marine's van after they arrived to inform him. The Fox anchor said it was "his son's van." Creepy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


This is the guy the cowardly Bush Boy sent out to obstruct Max Cleland today, when Max was trying to deliver a letter to said Shrub. Patterson, who was never wounded during his service, had his own letter.

[The letter] steered clear of the Swift boat veterans' charges, saying instead that they are "concerned about the comments you made AFTER you came home from Vietnam," referring to Mr. Kerry's role as an antiwar leader in the early 1970's, after his decorated naval service.

"You accused your fellow veterans of terrible atrocities and, to this day, you have never apologized," they said. "We served honorably in Vietnam and we were deeply hurt and offended by your comments." ...

... "I tried to accept that letter and he would not give it to me," Mr. Patterson told The Associated Press, referring to Mr. Cleland. "He would not face me. He kept rolling away from me. He's quite mobile."

With all due respect for Patterson's son, who is apparently an active Marine, besides the well-reported money Patterson has gotten from Bob Perry, who funds the Swifty Liars, and Patterson's gun-nut (this too) and Oil & Gas devotees, we found the following, which was part of a Patterson screed in defense of the Confederate Flag:

Even though I am not proud of slavery, I can continue to honor symbols of the Confederacy as I honor the American flag. I am as proud an American as they come. I am, however, not proud of what my country did to the American Indian. I have pride in my service as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam, but I am embarrassed at the atrocities that occurred at My Lai. I still wear a small Vietnam service pin on my lapel, knowing that not everything done in Vietnam is worthy of pride.


From Ad Age, a marketing expert focusing on the US image abroad and testifying before Congress:
"Even with careful planning such an effort is likely to meet with failure at this time. Based on everything we know, the U.S. government is simply not a credible messenger," he said. "In present circumstances in the Arab and Muslim world, the need to strengthen and elevate the voices of those within the Islamic faith and culture who oppose radical ideas is a task much more effectively performed by non-government actors than by the government."


Ten ways Bush has specifically screwed NYC.
One thousand reasons not to vote for him. (it's over 1300 now).


When they came to his door to tell him that his son was killed in Najaf, he doused their van with gasoline, got in and set himself on fire.

Is this what it takes to make America notice the grief that this pointless war has caused?

UPDATE: We just saw the CNN Headline News ticker report that the man "mistakenly" set himself on fire. Where are they getting that? We just checked the Fox News ticker and even FOX is reporting it as "set himself on fire after getting into the van."


I'm sick of the starry-eyed, feel-good stories NBC has exploited about Iraqi and Afghanistan athletes participating in the games. Not that having women compete for the first time from those countries is bad - far from it. However, Raven can't help thinking the message at the end of the pieces always comes back to one clear message: "Re-elect George W Bush". What a joke, and the people will eat this shit up. "Oh, so that's what the war on terror is all about. What a great job he's done 'fightin' for freedum'."


These Swifty Goons were represented by a lawyer who is the top lawyer representing the Bush campaign, Benjamin Ginsberg. He had to resign from Bush/Cheney '04 today. Tsk tsk.

In other Swifty news, the Nixon tapes reveal that John O'Neil, the primary goon who has vehemently denied that anybody ever went into Cambodia illegally during the war, is cold busted for being a liar: "O'NEILL: I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water.NIXON: In a swift boat?O'NEILL: Yes, sir."

Maybe Kerry has been playing the rope-a-dope game after all...


Like Nathaniel Heatwole:
A STRING of breathtaking security blunders allowed me to clinch a job as an airport baggage handler — and take a fake bomb on a packed holiday jet.
Looks pretty damning for the English.


From Inside Politics:
WOODRUFF: Jill Dougherty in Texas, covering the president and the vice president. Interesting, as you say, on two counts. Number one, because he openly talked about the fact that his daughter is gay. And, secondly, because one of the rare occasions we hear the vice president saying his views are different from the president.
As far as we know, there was never any other such occasion. Well, unless you count all the times Bigtime decided to "late hit" and tell lies about Iraq that even the adminstration had already stopped telling. Anyway, Lynne must be uncomfortable:
On Sunday, when ABC's Cokie Roberts started to ask the GOP vice presidential nominee's wife about having a daughter who has "declared she's openly gay," an irate Lynne Cheney shot back: "Mary has never declared such a thing." Cheney then blasted the media for its interest in the story, and chided Roberts: "I'm surprised, Cokie, that even you would want to bring it up on this program." (July 2000)

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Meredith fears it is unconstitutional to change a state's electoral system by referendum. He fears a court battle. Fair enough, although Damfacratic comments there raise questions.

Our point is still this - the Dems have to try. In fact, maybe if it actually fell in the Supreme Court's lap again somehow, they would refrain from interfering this time, because two elections in a row would be just too absurd.


"I'm CNN's Jill Dougherty and I'm a shameless mouthpiece for government propaganda."


Didn't know about this site. Great photos, too. Thanks to Eric Alterman.


Bwawwck. 63 million. 63 million. Baaawck. Kerry brought it on himself. Bwee bwee. Brought on himself. Bwuckie wuck. Noble service. Noble service. Taaweeeeet. 63 million. Brought on himself.


After some disappointments here and there, recently - One of the best blog posts ever written.


So the video buff gets a quick indictment and faces 55 years but the actual fake terrorist, as opposed to the simply fake terrorist, gets his case delayed until...after the election?
Judge Delays Fake Anthrax Case Sentencing 8:05 p.m. ET PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A judge has delayed the sentencing of an anti-abortion extremist who was convicted of mailing fake anthrax to women's clinics, saying the Supreme Court must first clarify the legality of federal sentencing rules.
In other abortion clinic terror news ... what's this? More time for the bona fide terrorist to gear up a defense:
Judge Gives Rudolph Lawyers More Prep Time 6:49 p.m. ET BIRMINGHAM, Ala.(AP) -- A federal judge on Monday gave attorneys for alleged serial bomber Eric Rudolph more time to draft a plan for fighting charges in a fatal attack on an abortion clinic. ...

... He is also charged in three bombings in Atlanta, including the one that killed a woman during the 1996 Olympics.
We're not suggesting any rigged judges. Just good old Due Process, holding things up, unlike how it is down in Gitmo - or whenever Arabs are involved.


We've been keeping up with the video buff's case. Looks like he'll get fifty years for overstaying a visa and lyin' to the po'-lice:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- A federal grand jury indicted a Pakistani man for alleged immigration violations Monday, a month after police spotted him videotaping the Charlotte skyline.

Kamran Akhtar, 35, of New York City, was charged with six counts in the indictment, but none of them involved terrorism.

The indictment charges Akhtar with two immigration violations and four counts of lying to investigators after he was detained by police on July 20. He could face up to 55 years if convicted on all charges.

Monday, August 23, 2004


The new Zogby battleground states poll. Zogby's WV numbers have been a bit different than others, so it's not that surprising to see Kerry eight behind now. Looks like it was a tie before the Swifties launched. Ohio is not too promising either but they are a bit slow in those states. Ahem.

The great news is that Kerry is leading by 2 in Tennessee, almost 3 in (wait for it) Arkansas and almost 2 in NV. Plus, our blue states seem to be pulling away. So, margin of error, all that, but we'll decide to be optimistic.


You just made the list. For this crap:

Bush Says 'That Ad' Attacking Kerry Should Stop

CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - Under pressure from Democrats and Republican Sen. John McCain, President Bush on Monday called for ads attacking John Kerry's record in Vietnam to be stopped along with others run by independent groups, and said Kerry should be proud of his war service.

"That means that ad and every other ad," Bush said when asked if he wanted to bring a stop to commercials by a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which accuse Sen. Kerry of lying about his war record in Vietnam.


Two years in this Ministry of Love and now they are presumed innocent?

If acquitted, they still could be held indefinitely under Bush administration policy that considers them enemy combatants in the ongoing war on terror prompted by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that killed about 3,000 people in the United States.

They could be freed only if a separate military panel finds they are not a danger and have no information that could prevent future attacks, military officials said. "They could still be held, depending on the outcome of the war on terror, or the decision they are no longer a threat or an intelligence [concern]," McWilliams said. ...

... The panel includes a presiding officer who is a lawyer, Army Colonel Pete Brownback, and four military officers who have no legal training. Brownback will run the proceedings, but all decisions, including the final verdict, will be made by a majority vote among the five, McGarvey said. She said the defendants are presumed innocent and must be proved guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt."


But the spectacle of veterans tilting in favor of a slacker regime (Bush & Cheney) and against a combat veteran could not be more ridiculous. And it isn't even the first episode; it's a repeat of the Repug Bush/McCain primary.

MaxSpeak hereby declares that all veterans supporting Bush on the basis of Kerry's service record are completely full of shit. I have lost all respect for them. They have soiled themselves.


Good for what ails ya:
"People think Texas is George W. Bush country," Dean told hundreds packed into the Houston International Theatre School on Saturday. "But right now, 40 percent of Texans would vote for a yellow dog before they place a vote for George W. Bush."


Better. Press the Meat. Donna Brazile still has to go.


A Faux exclusive

Audio - mp3 - 170K - 57 sec.


A little. Just saw, on "Sunday Best of Fox," Bill Mahr forcing Hannity to admit that the Presdient should have gotten up and done something on 9/11 besides reading with children.

Sunday, August 22, 2004


Nothing looks good today for America. Americans continue to die in Iraq, with 963 now gone, despite the AP's delayed reporting of 949.

Secret software voting machines and confusing ballots are still a huge problem.

The Swifty debate is just quicksand for the inept Dem talking heads. They need to do something drastic, really drastic. Forget parsing details and forget hiding behind Unka McCain, who tells folks to vote for Shrub despite everything. Boycott all discussion of the Swifties ... something, anything to change the subject. Let Clinton sacrifice a shred of his tattered Presidential image and enter the fray, somehow, something.

Halliburton floats above it's own filth, playing patty-cake with the Army. Irani related sword-rattling is on the rise.

The media is largely useless and whenever it grows balls it soon runs back into its hole.

Honduras had to issue a terror alert based on who knows what.

Gitmo detainees are getting their big day in kangaroo court while Wingers declare the current US Supreme Court dangerously liberal.

The EnRoNConvention is arriving next week and the Thugs want everyone to expect Dem-inspired violence.

Liberals in NJ are corrupt and Liberals in Claifornia are out doing hate-crimes against evangelicals.

The Damfacrats are feeling very low today. Maybe we shoulda gone with Howard Dean after all...

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A young couple shot in their heads as they slept on a remote California beach may have been killed because of their evangelical Christian religious beliefs, police said on Saturday.
Wingers take flight.


The former Enron lobbyist, now RNC chair:
I think the Democrats are going to have to be careful about not letting the protesters get out of hand," Mr. Gillespie said. "The line between the official Democratic Party and labor protesters, environmental protesters and antiwar protesters is fairly blurry, and I'm not sure they want to have Democrats engaging in violence in New York against our convention. It would seem disrespectful and antidemocratic."


Dwight Meredith has a post about the ballot initiative to change Colorado's system from winner-take-all to proportional by percentage. If it passes and takes affect immediately, the state's nine votes will be divided between Kerry and Bush. You can read more about it in USA Today, WaPo and Talk Left.

We respect Meredith's intellect and particularly his posts debunking the merits of so-called tort reform. We think he is wrong to resist the Colorado thing. Here are previous Damfacratic posts on it, especially in relation to the "tie-goes-to-Bush" reality.

The only question that matters to anyone who wants Bush gone is whether the change helps Kerry. Meredith worries about a scenario where the Dems win a majority and the intiative ends up shooting Kerry in the foot. Despite recent close polls and macro-trends, all the evidence points to Bush victory in Colorado. Since the Dems must decide immediately whether to support the measure or not, they cannot afford to bet the farm on an outright win.

He also worries about a slippery-slope in Blue states, wherein California must one day give up half it's EVs because they copy Colorado. Our guess is that the GOP will begin trying this type of thing in all the Blue states, and much worse, regardless of whether the Dems back down in Colorado.

Meredith correctly notes that the extra four votes will only help Kerry if the outcome from other states leaves him with either 266, 267, 268, or 269 votes. One of those numbers is rather likely to exist, if Florida and Ohio "go" for Bush again and we have to play a sort of "small ball" to win it.

The states that are most likely to go from Red to Blue, assuming that all other states go the same way as 2000, are NH(4), WV(5) and NV(5), in that order. Also, Maine could quite possibly give up one to Bush. So, here are the Kerry-win combos where the extra four would be essential: NH+WV (269), NH+NV (269), WV+NV -1 in ME (269).

Even if Kerry wins a majority in Colorado, and the votes get split, he'll still get five from there, which means that he can win it all with just one more flip state, say WV or NV. If Colorado remains winner-take-all, and Kerry wins, Kerry still needs one more flip state to surpass 269. Thus, Kerry will lose under either system if Colorado is the only converted state.

Meredith is also correct that Kerry is better off with winner-take-all in Colorado if his vote count outside the state is 261-264. He points to a NH flip, which is the only such outcome without a Blue-state flip. Otherwise, in a our "small-ball" scenario, a Blue flip is required to arrive at 261-264, either ME, NM or WI, for example, and, those scenarios require accompanying Red-flips. All these permeations become complex and meaningless very quickly, so they are little upon which to base opposition to the Colorado change.

Meredith wonders whether it will pass. As we have said, the Independent and 3rd-party folk will be in favor. If the Dems are 100% in favor, thanks to a strong PR effort, a 3%/48%-Indy/Dem combo can make it happen. A whiny Colorado GOP is clearly against the measure, which should tell us something.

Will it be legally applicable to November? Our guess is that the Sec. of State would not have approved it if it was unconstitutional on the fed or state level, but the real answer is: who cares? We have to try. Then he says it is unfair to candidates, to which we have the same answer: who cares? These are greaseball partisan tactics, just like Texas redistricting, and if will probably help Kerry this time, let the future be damned.

The essential point is that the Dems must decide immediately that they will support this measure. It needs to be part of a big PR campaign there, so that every Dem knows to vote YES when they go to the polls. It was smart to try this in a state where the Dems + Indys were likely to breach a majority. We all know what's at stake. Support Amendment 36.


A dishonorable old bastard. Just his opening statements to Blitzer are enough to show that. He said, roughly "one day Kerry is protesting the war and the next day he is running for President and trying to be a war hero." Yeah, Bob, 30+ years and one day, that's the same. He even took some shot at Kerry's wounds, like "well, they didn't bleed."

Of course, Blitzer treats Dole like a King of Integrity, with absolutely no recognition of Dole's transparent partisan agenda. Blitzer is so devoid of follow-up, he's like a deaf guy who can speak.

President Bush's Hispanic nephew -- he's the grandson of migrant worker Jose Maria Garnica -- is in Mexico on a week-long visit to drum up support for his uncle among the estimated 1 million Americans living there.

The younger Bush, whose father is Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and mother, Columba, is originally from Mexico, acknowledged at a news conference that the war in Iraq is not popular in Mexico but defended the military action, saying "we're almost done with it.''


She can drive ya nuts but she is right this time. 100%. We were wondering why nobody in the blogosphere seemed to even comment on Clinton's August 9th Daily Show appearance. To us, the Big Dog was sending a clear message and MoDo picked it up too:
Bill Clinton implied two weeks ago that Mr. Kerry was acting sluggish. "Whenever they hit me, I hit 'em back," he told Jon Stewart. "And whenever they came up with a charge I didn't believe was true, I answered back."
Here's what Damfacrats expressed on August 7th:

GET THE GLOVES OFF QUICKLY - Anyone who thinks that the Swift Boat Liars thing is not going to hurt Kerry is totally wrong. Americans are, in fact, that petty.

The media has played the thing 10,000 times this week and the Dem heads are doing a bad job of deflecting it. McCain's word won't help all that much because everyone knows he will continue to fluff the AWOL Boy's pillow, so how upset can he really be?

We cannot let the GOP set a precedent with this attack by getting away with it. They need a kick in the balls. Grab the most cheap-shot Move On or 527 ad off the cutting room floor and run it. Bare knuckle time.

Saturday, August 21, 2004


While our Dem family pounds on Nader and his supporters, and gleefully relish each of his failed attempts to simply get on the ballot in various states, perhaps they should be more concerned with Mr. Cobb, the Green Party candidate, who has already qualified in 30 states.

What makes these vicious Dems think that the average Nader voter will ever cast a vote for Senator Kerry? Don't they realize that the same people will vote Green?

It is only in a disturbing world of myopia that anyone could accept the false logic proclaiming Nader cost Gore the election or could cost Kerry this year's election. Nader is but one small factor among dozens, all of which are far more influential - and far less benevolent.


Florida's Collier County Republican Central Committee soliciting contributions to the Swifty Liars. Thru B3.


[David] Kay was replaced in January by former U.N. weapons inspector Charles Duelfer, who is overseeing the production of the survey group's final report. A CIA spokesman declined to say whether the report would attempt to forecast what Iraq's weapons programs might have looked like if there had not been a U.S. invasion. ...

... In her Aug. 13 letter, Harman said that Dayton had "told staff that the report will focus on what the state of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs would have been in 2006 or 2008 had the United States not gone to war with Iraq in 2003."


The official Minnesota GOP site links to and promotes the Swiftie ad.


Flags. Bibles. Maybe he'll sign a soldier's coffin next.

AP photo in the treehouse.


From Digby.

Ken Cordier, appearing in the most recent Swift Boat ad, is a member of the Veterans for Bush Steering Committee. The google cache has his name at the B/C '04 site but - how shocking - it is scrubbed from the current site.

Friday, August 20, 2004


As Orwellian as it gets. What will the final WMD/Iraq report say about the past searches? The future:

Congressional and intelligence officials say the agency plans to project as far as 2008 what Iraq might have achieved in its unconventional weapons programs if the U.S. had not invaded the country.


Soced this smoking gun thru an Atrios commentator, from the Democratic Underground.


From a Kerry press release. Busted for coordinating with Swift Vets. Bush/Cheney campaign:
Tallahassee -- On the same day that the Bush-Cheney campaign repeatedly denied
coordinating attacks with the anti-Kerry group "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth," the Bush-Cheney campaign in Florida was caught promoting a rally in Gainesville for the group. A flyer being distributed at the Alachua County Republican party headquarters, which doubles as the Bush-Cheney campaign headquarters for the county, promotes a weekend rally sponsored by "Swift Boat Vets for Truth, Veterans for Bush, Alachua Bush/Cheney Committee," and others.


Headlines blared that the stand-off in Najaf was over. It isn't.


At Wolf Blitzer. Off the scale. Inside Politics should be called Inside Bush's Ass.

Tad Devine did OK for Kerry but he needs to get better.


The Swift Liars have their second ad and it's all about the "accusations" that Kerry made concerning his fellow veterans. This should be easily debunked but so far, we haven't seen anyone on the telescreen doing it. (UPDATE : Blitzer just said that "Kerry says" his testimony was based on others' testimony - not good enough)

1. Kerry was reciting the testimony of fellow veterans, not accusing them of anything.
2. Everyone knows that some American forces committed bad acts in Vietnam.

If these simple truths are not immediately revealed, we call on Kerry and his PACs to wage an all out war of distortion against Bush. We can see what is happening and it's time to forget about parsing facts and being ethical. Damfacrats have been warning that this would be necessary for months now.

One tactic we saw in a PAC ad was to have an average person say "I've haven't heard Bush talk about health care at all," or something close to that. This is the kind of thing we need, because it's not a lie, technically, and it is at the level of petty cheap-shot the American people require in order to be persuaded. Other "average Joe" sentiments:

"As far as I can tell, Bush is just an idiot who rides his dad's coattails"

"Didn't Bush do cocaine? I know he got a DWI"

"He's no Christian"

"He laughed about the first plane hitting the tower ... he said he saw it, when nobody did, and said he was thinking 'that's one bad pilot'"

"I don't want a Presidnent who freezes up for seven minutes when he hears that America is under attack."

"The man can't string three words together without goofing it up"

"Who does he think he's kidding with those lies?"

and so on ...

It's time to take off the rose-colored glasses. The media is already writing the whole Swiftie thing as a wash, wherein both candidates are using "attack ads." Fuck it. let's get some real negative ads. The Dems need to do this or it's big trouble. (and, yes, we are panicking but we are right).


NYT simplifies some of the Swifty bull.


These AP reports have been, shall we say, less than reliable. Reuters reporting Shrine is captured. Purty good progress...


"Seven in 10 in the poll say they believe the United States went to war in Iraq based on false assumptions. A similar number say the war in Iraq has given the United States a worse image in the world. A majority, 55 percent, say they don't think the war in Iraq will result in greater peace and stability in the Mideast."


For those of us who monitor the Electoral Vote Predictor every day, today looks bad. Kerry is still ahead but the strange drop in his numbers in California, Pennsylvania and Connecticut suggest that the media's promotion of the Swift Boat lies and Kerry's delayed reaction are hurting his numbers. Let's hope the polls are just outliers.

Kerry needs to attack and change the subject, starting on Monday. How about the Bush record of lying about environmental issues? 9/11 air quality, global warming, mercury, snowmobiles, whichever ...


Going to the dogs. It's sad.


Damfacrats were particularly outraged by the pedantic musings of Candy Crowley on Inside Politics regarding Bush's smug preference for cheesesteaks "whiz with."

Turns out the Shrub was lying about that too. Thru Campaign Desk via the A-man. Unbelievable.
Jim's Special, in fact, is altered to whet the "W" appetite. No. 43 prefers his steak absent of the usual Cheez Whiz and provolone, accompanied only by cheese of the American variety, Barnabei reported.The commander-in-chief, however, fooled thousands Tuesday to believe he eats like the epicureans here -- with the Cheez Whiz and fried onions.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Julie 3Mo

Play the game.


Interesting graph of network coverage, postive/negative Bush/Kerry ... looks like a good week for Kerry last week.

Also, Raven spies commmentary on the Vernon Robinson ads we mentioned, other weird ads, and the ten RNC Michael Moore attack points.


CNN and other telecreen outlets have latched on to the bullshit script, claiming that the new Move On ad is dishonest because there is no proof that Dubya used his father's influence to get into the Guard.

From the Washington Post, 1999:

The speaker of the Texas legislature personally asked the top official of the Texas Air National Guard to help George W. Bush obtain a pilot's slot in a Guard fighter squadron during the war in Vietnam, according to informed sources.

The speaker, Ben Barnes, intervened on Bush's behalf sometime in late 1967 or early 1968 at the request of a good friend of Bush's father, then a Republican congressman from Houston, the sources said. The friend, Sidney A. Adger, was a prominent Houston business executive who died in 1996.


Check out the photos. Through This Century Sucks.


The Sludge Report linked to something interesting today from Sports Illustrated:

Afterward, Sadir had a message for U.S. president George W. Bush, who is using the Iraqi Olympic team in his latest re-election campaign advertisements.

In those spots, the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan appear as a narrator says, "At this Olympics there will be two more free nations -- and two fewer terrorist regimes."

"Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign," Sadir told through a translator, speaking calmly and directly. "He can find another way to advertise himself."

Ahmed Manajid, who played as a midfielder on Wednesday, had an even stronger response when asked about Bush's TV advertisement. "How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women?" Manajid told me. "He has committed so many crimes."


Can we please return to the real world where there is a difference between a "negative attack" ad and a completely incredible and demonstrably false ad?

Nope, guess not, says Fox-wanabee CNN. No "proof" Bush got in the Guard through his family influence, so, - it's all a wash, just one big ugly campaign on both sides. Watching Inside Politics is becoming hazardous to the TV's well-being.



Ashcroft said this guy was so dangerous, he did not deserve any rights to due process. When the Supreme Court said otherwise, Ashcroft's bluff was called and he folded miserably. It's Ashcroft that belongs in jail.

Now, it seems, the government is negotiating with Hamdi's attorneys for his release from confinement. According to reports, Hamdi would renounce his U.S. citizenship, move to Saudi Arabia and accept some travel restrictions, as well as some monitoring by Saudi officials, in exchange for his freedom. In addition, he may have to agree not to file a civil rights lawsuit against the federal government.


With the first signs of damage to the Holy Shrine in Najaf, today seems like a good time to link to this video production, one of our all-time favorites. If you have dial-up, don't bother, otherwise, watch it if you never have.


They've done it now.

CNN's Kianne Sadeq, who was briefly inside the compound Thursday with other journalists at the invitation of al-Sadr's Mehdi militia, reported persistent sounds of mortars, gunfire and many explosions, and devastation to the streets, homes and businesses around the mosque compound.

Two of the mosque's minarets have been damaged in recent fighting, and al-Sadr loyalists said a clock in one of the towers caught fire, Sadeq reported. The mosque is one of the holiest shrines in Shiite Islam.


Kerry should have done this two weeks ago. The damage has already been done, which was mainly caused by two weeks of unadulterated media play of the Swift ad. His statements now are just extending the coverage.


Ricky links to the story about the bear that passed out after drinking thirty-six beers from a camper's cooler. Now, he refrained from commenting because the story sells itself, but we thought we would quote this small passage:

"He drank the Rainier and wouldn't drink the Busch beer,'' said Lisa Broxson, bookkeeper at the campground and cabins resort east of Mount Baker.

Fish and Wildlife enforcement Sgt. Bill Heinck said the bear did try one can of Busch, but ignored the rest. "He didn't like that (Busch) and consumed, as near as we can tell, about 36 cans of Rainier.''

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


Poll of media buyers and planners.

Close to half, 40.5 percent, agreed with this statement: "What we are seeing is pure excess. Neither has a real media strategy. They are spending because the other is, but America long ago tuned out." ...

... We asked, "What network is providing the best, most balanced coverage of the election?" and two vastly dissimilar networks tied as the top choice. Fox News Channel and Comedy Central each received 24.9 percent of the vote.

Catman (the Return of)

Really, if JESUS voted here and now he would probably not vote (or more likely be held at Guantanamo Bay)(or go for Nader) ( (ridiculous/incredulous)....

He has no relevance on this election (did any other President ever bring JESUS as an issue AGAINST the other guy for election?) THIS COUNTRY IS ABOUT OUR PEOPLE AND THEIR VIEWS and NEEDS under the current CONDITION of PLANET EARTH and especially America.
"Interestingly, Jesus never sided with any of these groups but remained above such earthly disputes," Davis said. "This does not mean we should do the same. He was God. We are mere humans."
... God? ...c'mon,..... Jesus was a hippy in his day, and for promoting his views he was accosted... Some interesting things in this BLOB but I think we can figure out the negligence..JESUS!


Inadequate. Get him off TV. Ill-prepared. He lost the debate on Paula Zahn's town hall thing tonight. Where is the Dem guy with a Southern accent?


Totally worth reading and easy to read. Thru Bartcop, yet again.

Even 9-year-old Jonathan Frisby, who came from Mechanicsburg, Pa., with his grandmother, had an opinion. "Kerry is going to raise taxes, and Bush will get us into wars we don't belong in,'' he said. "I'd vote for Bush, because I'd rather be in a war than spend a lot of money.''


Nick Confessore at Tapped is right. The correct reaction to this troop movement thing would be this: "It's fine that it will happen. But it's just another cosmetic and manipulative exploitaton of the military for political gain. George Bush can't figure out any end to the war in Iraq so he pretends to care about the troops by rotating them around the world. It's a shell game and Americans won't be fooled."

The fact is that Wes Clark has about zero credibility on this issue because he ran for President. He isn't a plausible expert anymore. This whole debate is a waste of time, it's a loser for the Dems and it looks like knee-jerk contrariness.


Remember those guys in Albany who were nabbed in a phony money laundering sting? Well, the DOD tried to back up the bust with the claim that some notebook was found in a tr'r camp in Iraq, which referred to one of the men as "Commander."

As it turns out, the word is Kurdish, albeit written using the Arabic alphabet, and the translation may be incorrect. "Commander" could be translated as "brother," according to federal prosecutors.

Nijyar Shemdin, the United States representative for the Kurdistan Regional Government in Washington, reviewed a copy of the page at the request of The New York Times and said he did not see how a translation would have come up with the word "commander."

Mr. Shemdin said that Mr. Aref is referred to with the common honorific, "kak," which could mean brother or mister, depending on the level of formality.

From Digby.


Inside Politics on CNN seems to get worse every day. Yesterday, we hinted at the cheese whiz story. Here's the clip of Dubya trying to clean out the back of the cheap humiliation closet:

Audio mp3 Bush Whiz - 6 sec. - 17K

"Whiz with" means choosing Cheese Whiz with onions. In how many ways is this story a nightmare for Democracy?
CROWLEY: We want to begin this story about a year ago, when John Kerry went to Philadelphia and a famous cheese steak place called Pat's. There he ordered, of course, a cheese steak, but he ordered it with Swiss cheese. That's kind of a food faux pas in Philadelphia. You're supposed to order it with Cheez Whiz, maybe American, but Swiss cheese, definitely a faux pas. ...

... There were also complaints at the time that John Kerry took dainty bites of his Philadelphia cheese steak. Unfortunately, the president did not get into that.
Without a tape, we can't be sure, but we could swear that Candy said "fortunately" not "unfortunately," which would be the right sentiment. At least they didn't run the photo.


Michelle Goldberg has an article in Salon that reflects what Eric Alterman has been saying. Protests at the NeoConvention and "violent" protests, especially, will be bad for Dem PR.

1. This may be facially true. Among undecided voters, there may be a small number who are shocked and alienated by these strange people walking in a big group with signs and costumes. However, that number is probably about equal to the number of undecided voters, most of them young people, who will see the protests and think "damn, what did the Bush administration do to make everybody so mad?"

2. People are really, really mad at these traitors. The protests have nothing to do with running to the center with Kerry to win over the numbskulls and everything to do with honest, unadulterated expression, which is a value unto itself. Still, it is hardly the preeminent value, as we shall see below.

3. The article notes the historical consensus regarding Chicago in 1968. It was a "police riot." Goldberg also cites a 1978 investigation finding one in six protesters involved with the chaos were actually "undercover military intelligence agents." These two facts tell us that, unless everyone stays home in cowardly fashion, the cops and spooks will create a problem no matter what.

4. Recent protests have received little or no media coverage. The minimal coverage was generally unfavorable. The nation yawned when cops assaulted old people in Miami and a judge stated in open court that he had witnessed the police committing felonies. The coverage of the RNC protests will be unfavorable no matter what.

5. The law enforcement margins are moving dramatically. Our whole system is designed to prevent government abuse of power. It was rightfully assumed by the founders that the cops and feds would abuse their power. These days there is an assumption that they will not. They are taking advantage of this attitude.

They used to pace the sidewalk in front of your house, cursing the Fourth Amendment, and now they are in the front hallway, eyeing the living room couch. Why would you mind, they ask, unless you have something to hide?

Just last night, some "former spokewoman for the Justice Department," some tart, was on Hardball, defending the FBI's interstate questioning of potential protestors and other attrocities against liberty. Here's the part I found the most offensive:
EIDINGER: They're going to search people with backpacks, backpacks, who get on the subway. They're doing it up here in Washington, D.C.

COMSTOCK: Routine stops and checks for security purposes are not a Fourth Amendment violation.
In Boston they had civilian volunteers doing random searches and ID checks on trains. We don't know what searches they are planning to do in New York, exactly, but we do know this: In the United States of America there is no such thing as "routine stops and checks."

DWI cases get tossed out because rookies fail to state a pretext for stopping the car, or fail to state a valid one. A roadblock is allowable under narrow conditions of course and there are a score of exceptions for warrantless searching of people and places but the big, important, general rule is that the cops cannot search without a warrant.

So here's the ignorant and/or lying former spokewoman, snickering through her nose at her co-guest protester, and at a clueless Matthews, and at all of us - "routine stops and checks." How silly the protestor boy is.

Yet, in the same interview, Comstock admits that the FBI interviewees "are perfectly free to shut the door" in the face of their inquisitors. According to the New Way, so easily achieved in the wake of 9/11, the government has the power to detain and search you but no power to merely question you against your will. That paradigm inverts the law's understanding of what Fourth Amendment intrusion is.

When radicals extend the margin of protest activity, they are dragging the police state back in the correct direction. If the left shuts down all its weirdos, it gives up ground that is terribly difficult to win back.

The extreme margin of the battlefield against government intrusion is all-out violent revolution. Goldberg seems to endorse the notion that "violence" includes property damage. That's complete crap, and only serves to minimize the horrible violence problem that America has. It also gives up ground to the police. Suddenly violence can be against a human or a window - it's all reprehensible to the same degree, so just lump it under the same heading of "violence." The next logical step is to punish the two trangressions equally. Six months for punching a cop becomes six months for breaking a window.

Goldberg hopes there will be no violence, no property damage. Fair enough, although unhealthy. Alterman takes it a step further and hopes that no one will even show. That's the erosion. The margin is squeezed.

The slippery-slope is a trite concept - because it is completely valid one. When there is violence and property damage, those activities are the problem. When they aren't there, trodding on Central Park grass becomes the problem. When that's fixed, getting too near the object of protest is the problem. When that gets put in a freedom cage, apparently looking too weird for Maw and Paw 'Merka is the problem.


We don't ordinarily blog about blogging but we will make an exception. It starts with the invaluable Howler, who objected to the pandemic media meme, poorly passing as clever, that Kerry's stance on the war is not a "bumper sticker" position. Howler proposed this encapsulation. "I voted to give President Bush the authority. Then President Bush f*cked it up."

Not only was this met with grand approval and propagation around the blogs, we learn at Blah3 that it has actually become a bumper sticker, within eighteen hours of it's electronic utterance.

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