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

DAMFA

Friday, February 27, 2004

ONE-TERM GEORGE

Instant Audio - Howard Stern - wav - 580K

OF COURSE IT HAPPENED IN COLORADO



THE PASSION

Study: 4,392 Priests Accused of Sex Abuse
David Gibson [no relation], author of "The Coming Catholic Church," said parishioners will respond positively to the bishops' willingness to undergo this examination only if they follow up with action
A rather unfortunate book title.

"FLAWED" ELECTIONS IN HAITI

FRIDAY UPDATE: Buzzflash Headline: "Powell Puts Pressure on Haitian Leader To Resign. As BuzzFlash Said from the Beginning, the Haitian Uprising Has All the Marks of An Otto Reich/Bush Cartel Backed Coup. Follow the Contras... 2/27" See also Democracy Now Special Coverage

Most important, the various leaders of this opposition have enjoyed little in the way of electoral success, the true measure of legitimacy in any country that calls itself a democracy. Mr. Aristide, by contrast, has been elected president twice, by overwhelming margins, and his party won the vast majority of seats in Parliament in the last legislative elections, held in May 2000.

Press reports generally date the current crisis to those elections, which they describe as flawed. In fact, they were flawed, but less flawed than we have been led to believe. Eight candidates, seven of them from Lavalas, were awarded seats in the Senate, even though they had won only pluralities. Consequently, many foreign diplomats expressed concern, and some went so far as to call the election "fraudulent."

But to a great extent, the proceedings were financed, managed and overseen by foreigners, and in the immediate aftermath many monitors declared a victory for Haiti's nascent democracy. Sixty percent of the country's eligible voters went to polling stations, many trudging for miles along mountain paths, then waiting for hours in the hot sun to vote. Moreover, those eight contested Senate seats didn't affect the balance of power in Parliament. Even if it had lost them all, Mr. Aristide's party would still have had a clear majority.

Citing the flaws in those elections, the United States and other foreign governments refused to monitor the presidential election that followed, later in 2000, which Mr. Aristide won handily. The opposition boycotted the affair and still claims that the election was illegitimate, but it does so against the weight of the evidence. This includes a Gallup poll commissioned by the United States government but never made public. (I obtained a copy last year.) It shows that as of 2002 Mr. Aristide remained far and away the most popular political figure in Haiti.

Again citing the flawed elections as its reason, the Bush administration also led a near total embargo on foreign aid to the Haitian government - even blocking loans from the Inter-American Development Bank for improvements in education, roads, health care and water supplies. Meanwhile, the administration has supported the political opposition. This is hardly a destructive act, unless, as Mr. Aristide's supporters believe, the aim has been to make room for an opposition by weakening the elected government.

THE WAY VOTING SHOULD BE
Catman

"Joe Voter is then asked whom he preferred, Al Gore or George W. Bush. He answers, "Gore over Bush, but Nader over both of them." In this flawed system of ours there is NO ACCOUNT for who the preferred candidate is, often leaving the preferred and most popular person out of office."

Thursday, February 26, 2004

HOWARD STERN THROWS WEIGHT AGAINST DUBYA

Digby has a great post about how Stern read Al Franken's book and absolutely loved it. Read this post and the links in it. All of his sexism aside, Stern is essentially calling to arms a huge army to march across political Middle Earth and join the forces of good.
Fred: (Southern Accent) No thank you!

Howard: (Southern Accent) I'm not readin' that!

Fred: (Southern Accent) I'm not readin' nun uh dat der bull...

Robin: (Southern Accent) I don't want my mind opened.

Howard: (Southern Accent) Don't open up my mind.

Robin: (Southern Accent) I like it closed.

Howard: Well I've been feeling really horrible about George W Bush since what's going on with the FCC and what's going on in this country with stem cell research. What's going on now

Robin: the abortion thing

Howard: the abortion thing. I feel that there's way too much government in our lives, and I can't believe G W Bush is behind it. I think this guy is a religious fanatic and a Jesus freak.

POLITICAL DEBATE IN CALIFORNIA

The final four Democratic candidates sit with Larry King. Frankly, as much as we have enjoyed him in this campaign, we're pretty tired of Al Sharpton's act. OK, then again, he's still pretty cool - "an amendment against Presidents who lie" sounds good.

DOES THE U.S. BACK THE COUP IN HAITI?

The US lawyer representing the government of Haiti charged today that the US government is directly involved in a military coup attempt against the country's democratically elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Ira Kurzban, the Miami-based attorney who has served as General Counsel to the Haitian government since 1991, said that the paramilitaries fighting to overthrow Aristide are being backed by Washington.

"I believe that this is a group that is armed by, trained by, and employed by the intelligence services of the United States," Kurzban told the national radio and TV program Democracy Now!. "This is clearly a military operation, and it's a military coup."
Thru Haiti Pundit, yet again.

HYPER-RELIGIOSITY DOESN'T GET VOTES

Only 18 percent of Americans say they are more likely to vote for President Bush because he is a born again Christian, with 11 percent less likely and 69 percent who say it makes no difference in how they vote.---

---The ARI, which compared its 2001 data to 1990 data collected in the National Survey of Religious Identification, found that the number of nones in the United States increased from 14 million in 1990 to more than 29 million in 2001. In 1990, nones accounted for only 8 percent of the U.S. population; in 2001 they had grown 6 points to 14 percent, making them one of the fastest-growing religious categories in the country and the nation's third-largest religious category behind Catholics and Baptists, according to the ARI.

BACKHANDED TIMES ENDORSEMENT

One could argue that it's strategic to address the claimed weaknesses about the candidate you endorse, countering each one. We disagree, for the most part. An endorsement should be a gleaming tribute piece.

Instead, it went something like this: John Kerry is seen as inconsistent, a poor campaigner, poor speaker, a Mass liberal, not charming, and we think he is unlikeable, politically craven and an embarassing early loser, but he's still a good choice.

The Times has been on a gradual decline. Meanwhile, MoDo writes a column with which it is surprisingly difficult to find any fault. "Hannah" is a great movie, by the way:

-Jeebus wav- -Jeebus 2- -bonus- (From The Legendary Max Von Sydow).

SISTANI CHILLS

He said elections by the end of the year would be OK. This may avert civil war, at least for now.

MARYLIN MUSGRAVE HEARTS SATAN



... and it's "flouting" not "flaunting."

Marylin Musgrave + Satan 4-eva (see Mary)

Check yes (wav)

Check no (wav - McCain "flaunt," Chris Matthews thinks he's a comedian).


SADDAM SMOKED WEED

According to Ananova and Fox News.

SMALL BLESSINGS

A little myhr from Upper Left.

AMENDING



Thru Calpundit.

COLIN POWELL IS NO BETTER

I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now. - Colin Powell, Remarks to Reporters, May 4, 2003

"Secretary of State Colin Powell appointed Charlotte Beers, an advertising executive best known for the Head and Shoulders campaign, to be undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs; Beers said her job would be the rebranding of America: "It's the battle for the 11-year-old mind." Bush Administration officials met with television executives to discuss effective propaganda strategy." - Harper's

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

OVERWHELMED

Something about the news cycle has just been suffocating lately. It's hard to explain this but it feels like there is so much happening and yet the news is absolutely clogged with irrelevant junk about Gibson's passion play, a ridiculous amendment, Martha Stewart. Sometimes blogging seems rather pointless when folks like Stranger are around to take care of it.

Now Howard Stern is being banned, Richard Perle resigned, Greenspan calls for permanent tax cuts and more vaguely specific terrorist memos are being floated.

Maybe it's nothing new but there is a unique feeling of strangulation. Maybe the thing to do is to rub some ash on our foreheads, buy a novelty nail or witness card and pray for Stern and those gay sinners.

America had really been sucking lately but, to be optimistic, it almost feels like a desperation push by a shrinking portion of the population who can see that their time is over.

DUBYA MEETS WITH CBC MEMBERS

He stooped to actually talk to the CBC.

---"We will turn back any refugee that attempts to reach our shore, and that message needs to be very clear as well to the Haitian people," Bush said. ---

Whatever one's view is on this situation, it looks like we are about to witness some kind of horror show in Port-au-Prince.

DENNIS KUCINICH GETS 30% IN HAWAII

Damfacrats are Pro-Hemp for farmers and the environment.

"As an interesting side note, Edwards grew up in Robbins, N.C., a town that from 1904 to 1943 was named "Hemp" due to hemp agriculture's prominence as one of America's most important crops before the "Reefer Madness" hysteria of last century."

ATTACK OF THE WINGNUT HATERS

Every discredited fringe and normally laughable group was all over the television and the radio today, slinging their phony logic about why the USA needs to ban SSM. "Crabby-ass" is the correct word to describe the resulting mood.

Normally, there is at least something, some legitimate, albeit small argument, which builds the wingers' case, even on the most outrageous topic. In this case, there is nothing.

Reasonable (and even unreasonable?) Republicans are cringing. Soccor-Moms are getting weepy for those cute lovebirds out west whose song Bush wants silenced. "Vote for me if you hate Homos." This is going to be the biggest boomerang yet for Karl Rove. It is shrill, shrill, shrill.

HAITIAN OPPOSITION POLS REJECT PLAN

With a typical Cartel-style denial, after already extending the acceptance deadline:
"There will be no more delays. Our answer remains the same. Aristide must resign," said Maurice Lafortune, president of the Haitian Chamber of Commerce ...

... The State Department said it did not accept as final the opposition's rejection, according to a U.S. official who refused to be named.
Stay tuned to Haiti Pundit.

ALIENATION

So, in one week, we've managed to voice several opinions contrary to what we sense is "everybody else's view." (UPDATE: always be reading)

Here we go again. Andrew Sullivan was on CNN tonight. He's an OK guy and smart and all but the Damfacrats are not impressed with his decision to abandon Bush.

Dubya pushes the asinine and puke-filled amendment. This time Bush targets his hate and destruction at Mr. Sullivan and "his group" so Mr. Sullivan becomes offended enough to drop support. Well, no shit, Sherlock, Bush is a psedo-fundmentalist dickbag.

Ahem. The point here is this - Log Cabin mutiny is just another example of the selfishness that made them Dubya-lovers in the first place. They are saying, essentially: "I enjoyed it when Bush was ordering the deaths of thousands of other people for no good reason but I don't like it when he wants to piss on MY rights, so I'm storming out in a huff."

If Sully had ditched Bush because he realized that the war in Iraq was a gigantic bloody Bush-inflicted nightmare, we'd back him. As it is - nah.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

THE AWOL GIRLFRIEND

She says that Bush's apartment in Houston was "really crappy." She said "I remember taking him with me to a lovely party, and a drunken person came up to him and said, 'You're a piece of shit, just like your father.'"

WHIFFLEBALL BURNED REPEATEDLY

Sorry Chris Matthews, he outsmarted you bigtime.

wav file - 1.1MB - 50 sec. -mp3-
wav file - 1.7MB - 1:22 -mp3-

UNCERTAIN

LIEBERMAN: They're not going to choose anyone who sends a message that is other than strength on defense and homeland security. The bible says that if the sound of the trumpet be uncertain, who will follow into battle? And I'm afraid this debate sends an uncertain message.

"The American people," Lieberman said, "won't elect anyone they can't trust on security. They will not elect as president a Democrat who sounds an uncertain trumpet in these dangerous times."

UNCERTAIN

Uncertain in the face of danger.

YEAR OF THE SHARP ELBOW

"Sharp elbow ... quick tongue. ... noise. ... balloon drops. ... hot air. ... catching the confetti, as they say." 20 sec. - Bush wav - 600K

If a quick tongue is a prerequisite then the Souffle is in trouble. He's not much of a campaign strategist, either.

That last catch phrase is especially tortured. Does one actually "catch" confetti? Has anyone else ever said that? Don't you catch a bouquet? Is Bush a hopeful bridesmaid?

Monday, February 23, 2004

PROPPING UP THE PHONY RICIN SCARE

Petrolicans, seeing how their phony Frist letter got no fear traction, resort to releasing scary-looking letter from previously underreported ricin incident.

SONG FOR RALPH NADER

Thanks to Incoming Signals for linking to a Bob Dylan album sleeve archive. It's weird how the mind makes connections (video) that aren't really there. We just go with it sometimes.

"Positively Fourth Street" - mp3 - 3.6 MB

You got a lotta nerve
To say you are my friend
When I was down
You just stood there grinning

You got a lotta nerve
To say you gotta helping hand to lend
You just want to be on
The side that's winning


You say I let you down
You know it's not like that
If you're so hurt
Why then don't you show it

You say you lost your faith
But that's not where it's at
You had no faith to lose
And you know it

I know the reason
That you talk behind my back
I used to be among the crowd
You're in with

Do you take me for such a fool
To think I'd make contact
With the one who tries to hide
What he don't know to begin with



You see me on the street
You always act surprised
You say, "How are you?" "Good luck"
But you don't mean it


When you know as well as me
You'd rather see me paralyzed
Why don't you just come out once
And scream it


No, I do not feel that good
When I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief
Perhaps I'd rob them

And now I know you're dissatisfied
With your position and your place

Don't you understand
It's not my problem

I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment
I could be you

Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is
To see you

FOX & FRIENDS

The vacuous morning show is now featuring regular "Phone call and email" astroturf segments. The calls sound totally scripted and the emails are like a palate of manipulative memes from which Ailes can paint his mural of hysterical fluff.

Is there any way to determine the origin and authenticity of these RNC phone calls? Is there anyone more inane and absurd than Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade?

RICIN LOOKING EVEN LESS BELIEVABLE

Blah3 had the link to more doubts: "NBC News has learned investigators are looking into the possibility that there never was any ricin attack in the first place. ... There are several reasons for the new theory. Investigators haven't been able to determine an apparent source of the ricin, and the suspicous substances was found in very small amounts. Since ricin comes from the castor bean, and some nontoxic parts of the plant are used to make paper, it might be possible that the tests found traces of the plant, but not ricin."

BILL PRYOR V. ROY MOORE

This old story has a soothing effect on two recent stingers (Nader announcement and Pryor appointment): 1) we are reminded of the talk that Roy 'Spoiler' Moore might run for President; 2) "Protesters hoping to keep a Ten Commandments monument in the state judicial building marched on Attorney General Bill Pryor's office Tuesday, demanding he resign for abiding by a federal court order for the marker's removal."

OREGON OLD GROWTH IN DANGER

http://oregonfuture.oregonstate.edu/index.html
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - Environmentalists have suffered another setback in a campaign to block logging in patches of old growth forests designated for timber harvest under the Northwest Forest Plan. ...

... ONRC also lost a legal challenge last week to U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which plans to log old growth in southwestern Oregon


PROMULGATE



Sunday, February 22, 2004

CHARLIE OVER AL
Tall Walt

I just spoke to Sharpton as he campaigned at my subway stop. He didn't have
anyone around him, just a couple of volunteers handing out leaflets. I
imagine that's what New Hampshire probably looked like for most candidates
last summer. He confirmed that if Rangel gets challenged in the primary,
he'll back our opponent.

Some Clarkies had the idea of making contributions to www.charlierangel.org in amounts ending with .04 (i.e. $20.04, $50.04) to in honor of Congressman Rangel's support of Clark '04 and in honor of the General's four stars. If [Damfacrats] could spread this idea around the blogosphere it would be terrific.

{ed note: we have defended Al Sharpton and we don't agree with Rangel's position on the draft (although we understand and appreciate his reasons). That being said, Charlie has been one of the toughest fighters for Democrats in the House. His refusal to be pushed around by Bill Thomas, who called the cops on him, is an instant legend. He has been heroic. Throw him some support.}

HAITI'S 2ND CITY FALLS

UPDATE: 50 Marines in Haiti to protect U.S. embassy.

It only took a few hours and about 200 men. Haiti Pundit has a lot of good links. Some rebels promise the capital as soon as tomorrow.

As for the Peace Plan, Aristide embraced it last month. It essentially calls for him to adjust the power structure so that the opposition politicians get more power. The opposition has thus far rejected it.

Let's be clear. Even if opposition politicians agree to this, that does not mean the armed gangs who now control Northern Haiti agree. It is unclear what will happen if the opposition does not accept the agreement by the Monday deadline. It is nearly as unclear what will happen if it does.

THE OH REALLY AGENDA

He claims he is not a Conservative or Republican hack. He's a working-class hero. This and this raise serious doubts (as in, completely expose his bull). He also said recently that if he was gay he would marry Hillary Clinton. King of the Asshats.

STOP STOP STOP

The Ralph Nader abuse is unacceptable and serves no purpose. Don't blame him for 2000. Blame Jeb Bush. Katherine Harris. A frivolous lawsuit. 100 million people who did not vote at all. Democrats who did not vote. Al Gore, who could not win his own state. Bill Clinton for lying under oath. Joe Lieberman, for not appealling to anyone. A slut media. Chads. An ignorant, compliant, fanatic, racist, mysoginist, greedy hypocrital mass of idiots who voted for George W. Bush.

Shut the fuck up about Ralph Nader. He's not a problem. Bill Richardson, we're looking in your direction.

GARRY TRUDEAU OFFERS 10 GRAND

A reward to anyone who witnessed Bush serving in Alabama. Through Tom Tomorrow.

RICHARD MORRISON FOR CONGRESS

He's running against Tom Delay. Through Bartcop.

PENTAGON: THE END IS NIGH

At Calpundit, a story in the Observer, which Kevin posts with a grain of salt - the report is probably just a "worse case scenario." A commentator over there noted that the same story was reported in Fortune a few weeks ago. It is a worse case scenario.
A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

'Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life.'
The bullet points of the analysis.

This thing was commissoned by 81-year-old "Pentagon defence adviser Andrew Marshall." Marshall tapped another eminent visionary, Peter Schwartz, to write a report on the national-security implications of the threat. Schwartz formerly headed planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group and has since consulted with organizations ranging from the CIA to DreamWorks - he helped create futuristic scenarios for Steven Spielberg's film Minority Report. Schwartz and co-author Doug Randall at the Monitor Group's Global Business Network, a scenario-planning think tank in Emeryville, Calif., contacted top climate experts and pushed them to talk about what-ifs that they usually shy away from - at least in public.

Marshall is "known as Yoda in defense circles." "According to Pentagon insiders, Marshall's orders are to undertake a broad analysis of America's likely adversaries, the nature of future wars, how many conflicts the United States should be prepared to fight at once and what forces it will need to do so," the Post reported in February, 2001.

American Prospect published a fascinating piece about Marshall, who has been "ensconced at the Pentagon since 1973." Connections to George I and the Plan B "stovepiping" of intelligence, AKA "competitive threat assessments" regarding the Soviets. Sound familiar? Good links. This is all good reading.

"He's hard to draw a bead on," says one analyst who worked with him, "because he spends his time coming up with every conceivable future scenario that could threaten the U.S." All disclaimers aside, Damfacrats find the Pentagon report quite terrifying.

WEEKENDS

On Fridays, the most obnoxious Bush news emerges. On Saturdays, we get bombings and attacks for people to consider during the Sunday talk shows. Usually it's in Iraq but this week it's Israel. Thank the Petrolicans for generally tainting even the institution of a pleasant weekend.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

MACKEREL

"For Saxby Chambliss, who got out of going to Vietnam because of a trick knee, to attack John Kerry as weak on the defense of our nation is like a mackerel in the moonlight that both shines and stinks." - Max Cleland.

LAY OFF NADER

Shrug it off, already. The media/GOP are ejaculating over this story: "Dems are scared;" "Dems are begging him to stay out of it."

Terry M. said "we can't afford" a Nader candidacy. We had better be able to afford it because the cheaters will steal it if we don't win by a good margin. We can't afford a squeaker in which Nader votes are a factor and we can't afford the apparent weakness that all this hand-wringing and Nader-bashing represents.

Ralph does not care what Democrats want - that is the whole point of being a third voice - and he is right on a lot of issues, by the way. It is wrong to bash someone who's ideas are so progressive and valuable. It swiftly becomes hypocritical.

Another Dem strategist said Nader "would hand the presidency to George Bush." How stupid is that statement? The correct reaction from Dems- "Eh. We are going to kick so much ass in November that 3% -even 10%- won't matter one bit."

TENET LIED; RICE INCOMPETENT

Last summer, America wondered how NIger Uranium conclusions, which Tenet had warned against making, wound up in the State of the Union. After about 40 different answers, the Cartel settled on a story about CIA warnings getting overlooked after arriving in Rice's office.

The Sequel: In the month prior to the war, Rice and Tenet both assured the UN and Congress that information regarding the top tier WMD suspect sites had been fowarded to UN inspectors. It hadn't been, which means that the inspectors were unable to cross-reference our "best stuff" with reality. Providing the "top site" info was lose-lose for the war-driven Cartel because even if the intel was correct, the WMD would have been siezed and all the fun spoiled.

The Excuse? "Dr. Rice provided a good-faith answer to Senator Levin based on the best information that was made available to her." Feeble.

All of this relates to one of the Resident's favorite theme-lies, to which he still clings, that Saddam defied the world and wouldn't come clean about his related program activities. If Saddam had nothing and he said he had nothing, and the UN inspectors couldn't find anything, exactly how does that make him defiant in the way that Bush suggests?

BREMER SAYS 12-15 MONTHS+ UNTIL ELECTIONS

He cites "technical problems" Like these?
Their revered spiritual leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who had threatened mass demonstrations if Iraq's first post-occupation government was not elected has insisted that any delay "must not be long".

Sistani, who gave a written interview to the German weekly, Der Spiegel, on Thursday called for a new UN resolution giving "clear guarantees" on when polls will be held.

His position has been backed by key Shiite interim Governing Council member, Muwaffaq Rubaie. "We need to agree on a definite date for elections, and we have to carve this date in stone," Rubaie told AFP on Friday.
This doesn't look good at all. Let's all hope the Shiites give the U.S. a reasonable opportunity to avoid civil war.

NOTED AND QUOTED

The Damfacrats got a very kind review from Haiti Pundit for this post. UPDATE: American Black called the essay "on point."

TIME WARNER SHILLING SEX ON CNN

CNN is going crazy pitching HBO's "Sex In The City" finale. Nothing new for CNN, a relentless advertiser of Time Warner's wares. Time Warner owns CNN and HBO. Wolf Blitzer admitted it today during his so-called report but it's not said often.

Aaron Brown was forced to spend about 20 minutes on it and mention "Sex" throughout his CNN show. He even sat with a three-member panel to discuss possible endings. It was an infomercial. He never said anything about Time Warner.

Here's how one writer on CNN's website disclaimed it:
(HBO also happens to be a division of Time Warner, but that has nothing to do with this column. I was also a contestant on the old "Millionaire," but I have nothing but fond memories of my appearance ... besides blowing the $32,000 question.)
It's also at the end of this article: "HBO and CNN are sister companies of AOL Time Warner," and in the middle of this one: "(HBO is a division of Time Warner, as is CNN.)"

Of course, here's the classic case movie.

OMISSIONS

The Padilla case involves numerous Constitutional offenses. The top three in order of offensiveness can be listed as follows:

1. No charges.
2. No judicial oversight.
3. No lawyers.
At issue is whether U.S. citizens arrested on American soil can be held incommunicado without charges.
The Fox News telescreen and other unAmerican Info-Corp. will list them like this:

1. No charges.
2. No judicial oversight.
3. No lawyers.
whether U.S. citizens arrested in America as "enemy combatants" may be held indefinitely without access to lawyers or courts ... ... The Padilla case will be argued along with the appeal of the other American charged as an enemy combatant

Friday, February 20, 2004

WHIFFLEBALL LETS KERRY LIES GO

Shaming himself. Again. When a GOP hack claimed that John Kerry, in 1972, accused US soldiers of committing atrocities, Whiffleball Matthews stood by and let him lie. He knows damn well that Kerry was reciting the recent testimony of fellow veterans, not making accusations.

STILL THERE

This unecessary and counterproductive message is still included in the State Department's update of it's Haiti travel warning. Does the U.S. want to send a mixed message or not?
Haiti's security environment has been deteriorating as President Aristide has continued to politicize the Haitian National Police and used government resources to pay for violent gangs to attack opposition demonstrators. The government of Haiti has failed to maintain order in Port-au-Prince or in other cities and in some instances has assisted in violently repressing the demonstrations.
One more point - Haiti Pundit found a good critic of the Raspberry column, which mistated a key fact. It was the May elections, of legislators, which was considered flawed or corrupt. Aristide's election, in November of 2000, was not in doubt. Wish we could say the same about U.S. elections around the same time.

DAMFATOWN ON LOU DOBBS

Because Carrier Corp is outsourcing jobs, bigtime. BTW, here's another Damfatown special - fear-mongering during the atomic age.

HATE TO DISAGREE AGAIN, BUT ...

Around the sphere, we see virtual unanimity on the issue of gay marriage, particularly, the oft-returning view from Atrios that the Dems should fully back gay marriage, mainly because we are the Queer-o-crats whether we like it or not. We should be on the side of what is right, he argues.

Here at the Damfacrats blog, we are thrilled that S.F. decided to send a big middle finger to the GOP dickbags who want this disgusting and worthless amendment. Nevertheless, Atrios is wrong.

Being on the side of what's right is not as important as winning. Given that axiom, what purpose will it serve to run around demanding gay marriage? It's difficult enough to woo the Jeebus sheeple to our side of the road. The gay vote is largely Dem anyway and there simply aren't enough of them to be a major electorate factor. It's another example of the kind of compromise we have to make, even though it betrays what we know in our hearts. That's politics - you can't have everything if you expect to win.

The Dems have been painted as the "weak on defense" party. Now, "the right thing" to do is what Kucinich proposes, a massive reduction in bloated defense spending and a concerted effort to reduce violence. Does this mean that we should all support Kucinich and/or his policy plan?

The public polls suggest that 2/3 are against gay marriage. We don't believe these polls. That is, they are not specific enough. It is likely that most Americans just don't care that much one way or the other. They are neither religious nuts who want an amendment nor lovable lefties waving a rainbow flag.

If that view is correct, the Dems need to let the Petrolicans keep frothing at the mouth about this until it becomes obvious what extremists they are, while the Dems remain appropriately wishy-washy and mirror the polls: if backed into a corner they will should say they oppose outright marriage but not enough to push a costly and ugly amendment. One Damfacratic idea is that Dems simply refuse to debate the issue at all. Ignore these freaks and let them flame out on their own as they attempt to distract from issues that matter.

The Atrios plan would be forcing people to take sides with either strongly opposed Pubs or strongly in favor Dems. The Dems would lose that fight. America, unfortunately, is not quite ready to treat gays as human beings. Putting a demand for marriage in the platform would be a mistake. Save it for a less precarious time, when a Dem is safely at the bully pulpit.

SNOOP TO O'REILLY: PUNK

GET READY TO RUMBLE: Fox News star Bill O'Reilly apparently has done something to annoy Snoop Dogg, the tough-talking rapper who has, I hope, put his tough-acting ways behind him.

When Maxim magazine asked Snoop whom he wants to fight, the rapper replied: "Bill O'Reilly, that bitch-a--. 'Cause he's a bitch."

O'Reilly said yesterday through a Fox flack, "I'll be happy to have lunch with him anytime."

No, Bill, maybe you didn't hear right: That's punch, not lunch.
In the Daily News, through that nice Mr. Hamster.

FIVE OF NINE GITMO BRITS TRANSFERED

If you ever watch "Prime Minister's Questions," you know that these prisoners were a commonly raised issue. A Dane too. Looks like they will be charged and lawyered up for the first time in two years.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

ECOPAINT, DUDE

Paint your house with smog-eating paint, read a pro-nuke comic book or everything Orwell wrote. Revisit some Big Lebowski quotes and check out some bizarre tampered-with GI Joe cartoons. At Christopher Bahn's very web-like website.

Bob Dylan ticket stubs, a Christian spirit war plan, "Terrah" T-shirts, The Dead at the Warfield. At Information Junk.

A tour through North Korea with unsettling photos, obtained at Consumptive.

GET BEHIND IT

Haitian rebels, including exiled death squad leaders, laugh it up at a speech about the Monroe DoctrineIt is not inconsistent to oppose how the Cartel went into Iraq, what they have done there and, yes, dare we admit it, be opposed even to the methodology in Afghanistan, while simultaneously supporting military intevention in Haiti. Knee-jerk isolationism in situations where millions of our neighbors' lives are at stake is a refusal to confront our legitimate moral responsibility. It is also a refusal to confront the practical implications of another refugee crisis.

Suddenly everyone is a cautious Monroe Doctrine fan, without much elucidation, as if the letter of the 200-year-old treaty, which prohibits European involvement in the Western Hemisphere, should outweigh the much-needed stability that French troops could bring.

We usually agree with our liberal blogosphere and we like to stick to issues on which we can continue to agree. The Haiti issue, from what we have found, has been greeted with virtual silence, neutral asides and vague disapproval of intervention based on, um Iraq, and um, the Monroe Doctrine? Surely there is an argument to be made that Aristide is not worth fighting for (although with 50 thugs able to take over a city of 87,000, it wouldn't be much of a fight) but we haven't heard it from the sphere.

Every day there is another op-ed or article that calls for tangible US intervention. Now. Aside from Raspberry and a few others (who appear to be mainly interested in this and this, praise Jeebus), there doesn't seem to be much noise to the contrary. This is Liberia again, when no one cared; Nathaniel Jones, when no one cared and it's Haiti, where the problems will not solve themselves and no one cares.

This is not directed to anybody in particular and certainly not meant to heap guilt upon any visiting bloggers, especially those whose readership is roughly as low as this one, but it is meant to be a message to the big bloggers, who wield influence and have the time and energy to make a statement, some statement, any statement on this issue. Convince us that going into Haiti is the wrong thing to do.

The gross misuse of America's military force in the Middle East and the widespread misery it has caused is now claiming lives in a small island nation in the Caribbean Sea. Iraq made intervention elsewhere politically unfeasible, which is another sad side effect: "We're overextended. We have meddled enough. No more troops should die on foreign soil." Sounds right but it's not. Three or four advisors sent today? Multiply those numbers by a thousand and break up this fight.

OVERHEARD

"It is a wedge issue and I'm happy to give George Bush a wedgie" - gay marriage supporter in San Francisco.

SOME FAVORITE AUDIO

Corrente posted a link to a favorite audio clip at the Damfacrats blog. If anyone has not yet heard it, we insist that it be heard. Well, we highly recommend it anyway.

WHOLE LOTTA ZEROS

IOU $7,000,000,000,000. Love, America.

SCRAPS OF PAPER

Josh Marshall posted an actual Dept. Of Defense WMD spin point memo dated last week.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

NO WORD FOR 'SCIENCE'

The search for new weapons continues unceasingly, and is one of the very few remaining activities in which the inventive or speculative type of mind can find any outlet. In Oceania at the present day, Science, in the old sense, has almost ceased to exist. In Newspeak there is no word for 'Science'. The empirical method of thought, on which all the scientific achievements of the past were founded, is opposed to the most fundamental principles of Ingsoc.
- George Orwell, 1984

A WAY OUT FOR HAITI

President Bill Clinton's special envoy for Haiti from 1994 to 1996 wrote a fine op-ed for Thursday's NYT. One of his main points can be put this way: based on official statements in regard to Haiti, the opinion of the Damfacrats and the Bush administration essentially converge - a rare occurrence. It's an excuse to do something good so let's get to doing it.

NOW THIS: Sen. Bob Graham and Sen. Bill Nelson (D - FL) are urging Bush to do something:
"I would characterize the position the administration is taking as being one of indifference and a strong desire of not wanting to get involved," Mr. Graham said. Both senators said the administration should not shy away from a show of force.

In addition to the potential for a vast human crisis, the matter is especially sensitive politically. The state, whose governor is Jeb Bush, the president's brother, is seen as pivotal in the November elections.

U.S. TRAVEL ADVISORY BLAMES ARISTIDE FOR HAITIAN UNREST

Let's be as fair as possible. The State Department's tone has been getting better and more clear regarding Haiti. It's not unreasonable to refer to the CARICOM plan as the U.S. policy. Still, this White House is so incapable of 1) saying what they actually believe, 2) answering a specific question and 3) ad-libbing off message that it was nice to hear a reporter press the right question about Haiti. (audio - wav - 900K) Does the U.S. blame/wish to punish Arisitide for the problems?

This is all happening about 750 miles from Florida. On it's face, the most simple version of the story is that a few hundred men with gruesome resumes are overpowering an officially approved federal government. Aristide disbanded his army and is basically unable to protect the people from this kind of instability. Who will protect them? France, perhaps?

The U.S. policy implies that if Aristide falls to violence, refugees will flee and the U.S. will finally move in and kick out the goon squad. Many people will die and suffer during that process. Why wait?

Bush invaded Iraq with massive resources for no good reason and thousands of have died. That does not mean it makes no sense to intervene with limited resources to prevent death and misery among our neighbors.

As for blame, if the U.S. State Department doesn't want to blame Aristide and encourage rebellion, they might want to fix this language in their travel advisory:
Haiti 's security environment has been deteriorating as President Aristide has continued to politicize the Haitian National Police and used government resources to pay for violent gangs to attack opposition demonstrators. The government of Haiti has failed to maintain order in Port-au-Prince or in other cities and in some instances has assisted in violently repressing the demonstrations.

THIS IDIOT

This idiot had better steer clear of Mary and Lisa. "Former University of Colorado kicker Katie Hnida's allegations that she was raped when she played for the team in 2000" elicited the following response from the coach:
On Tuesday, Barnett said he was surprised by the allegations and that Hnida should have expected some problems when she joined the football team.

"It's a guy's sport. (Players) felt like Katie was forced on them. It was obvious Katie was not very good. She was awful. You know what guys do? They respect your ability. I mean, you could be 90 years old, but if you could go out and play, they would respect you. Well Katie was a girl, and not only was she a girl, she was terrible," Barnett said.
She was "forced on" them? Watch the video. This insensitive fuckface better watch his back.

REPORTS EXAMINE HAITI WITH MORE DETAIL

The wires look better today. This one touches on the horrid reality of the men fueling the civil war and the fear they generate among Haitian people. This one quotes a critical former State Department official who says that Bush has cut off aid and ignored Haiti to the point of allowing this crisis to happen. It also noted the Helms legacy. Here's one that raises the issue of CBC support and mentions the theory that the U.S. is talking out of both sides of it's mouth.

Finally, here's a blog post from a 14-year-old kid living in Cap-Haitien, who saw some escalation today. He hangs out with this blogger and this blogger, who are apparently bailing out from the chaos. Haiti Pundit linked back at the Damfacrats today.

HOMOPHOBIA

"I have watched carefully what's happening in San Francisco, where licenses were being issued, even though the law states otherwise,'' Bush said. "I have consistently stated that I'll support law to protect marriage between a man and a woman. Obviously these events are influencing my decision.''

"I am watching very carefully, but I am troubled by what I've seen,'' Bush said.
"Troubled?" It would be excellent to place Bush in the middle of a huge gay party in San Francisco so the drag queens and newly married couples could run their fingers through his hair and pinch his ass. What a coward - he's even afraid of love.

HOWARD DEAN

He dropped out today. It's sad but not too sad. This was not the year for changing all the rules. It will be interesting to see if Dean throws his weight behind Edwards, who finished close to Kerry yesterday in Wisconsin.

A Stop-Kerry movement is still possible but probably not healthy. However, Kerry needs to jazz up his speeches a little bit - "a new day is on the way" - not the most inspiring closing line. Let's not get comfortable yet.

WHAT DOES THE U.S. STATE DEPT. WANT FOR HAITI?

Damfacrats noted the somewhat reckless contradictions in the State Department's expression of allegiances in Haiti. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Cal) told Democracy Now radio (26:15, don't skip the Coltrane) the same thing on Monday. The official line, clarified by Powell and Ambassador Foley, is that the U.S. will not accept the violent overthrow of Aristide.

The mainstream media sums things up as follows: Aristide was never perfect but he was the best hope Haiti had for a real Democracy when he was elected by 90% of the people in 1990. He was worth restoring by military force in 1994 but he has since fallen from grace. He tampered with elections in 2000 and is responsible for brutal attacks on the opposition. The world withheld $500 million dollars in international aid.

In January, The Hill reported on Arisitide's waning support in the Congressional Black Caucus. The article mentions the fact that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Cal) was the only member to attend Haiti's bicentenial celebration.

Rep. Waters just returned from another visit to Haiti. We have no idea what her exact interests may or may not be but we normally like what she says. Same with Barbara Lee and Shiela Jackson Lee. She insists that the U.S. is knowingly encouraging the uprising, as part of a foreign policy pattern that favors the ruling class and subjugates the Haitian people. She raises the Roger Noriega connection to Jesse Helms an his anti-Haiti agenda.

Her discussion is fascinating, so here's that radio link again: Democracy Now radio (26:15, don't skip the Coltrane) The same argument is being made at a couple of "extra-radical" sites and there is definitely a history of gritty CIA and Dominican manipulation.

The humanitarian considerations should predominate the thought process. Are these rebels, a gaggle of viscious undead from various failed power grabs, going to ease anyone's misery? Aristide must be given the chance to make the CARICOM plan work. More importantly, the State Department and media should really stop hinting that Aristide is no better than the opposition.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

HAITI BLOG

O.W. pointed to it.




THE NEXT THING: ENRON

Some talk has been floating around for about a week that suggests our Democratic family needs to back off the AWOL issue. It distracts from other fish worth frying. Although some of this talk may have come from GOP trolls in disguise, the issue has lost a lot of steam and Telescreen, Inc. has managed to ignore the fact that the WH "proof"didn't prove much of anything.

Next push? Enron! Ed Gillespie was lobbyist for Enron! The Texas Souffle's biggest contributor. The Kerry defense ad opened the door rather nicely and the media can tack on topical Halliburton stuff.

Remember when Niger-Uranium broke and the Dems were like that shark that wouldn't let go? It took Bill Clinton stepping in to shelf the issue with the final word, which was forgiving, but only at the surface.

Here's a similar line for him, which we can't resist writing (after this, this and this): "We all lose our way sometimes but, you know, if we get back on the path and try to make it up, we should be praised, not chastised. I'm not sure most people care about what the President did or didn't do thirty years ago. People have questions about what the President is doing right now and whether he's following the right path today for this country."

Finally, john Kerry's 1995 vote for curbing shareholder lawsuits is distantly related to Enron, at best, and is no big deal, despite the pathetic attempts to create false hypocrisy.

FEDERAL PROSECUTOR SUES MINISTRY OF LOVE

The story found at Buzzflash includes the following:GOPsheeple.com
A federal prosecutor in a major terrorism case in Detroit has taken the rare step of suing Attorney General John Ashcroft, alleging the Justice Department interfered with the case, compromised a confidential informant and exaggerated results in the war on terrorism.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Convertino of Detroit accused the Justice Department of "gross mismanagement" of the war on terrorism in a whistleblower lawsuit filed late Friday in federal court in Washington.

ATRIOS IS BLOG CHAMP

He really deserves the awards he won and today's posts are a good example of why. We'll pick the George W. Bush abortion story and advise everyone to click over to Eschaton daily. As if everyone didn't already know that.

SNIPER FULFILLED HIS DUTIES

"I did my duty. I was honorably discharged!" Bush proclaimed, as though that proves anything. Keep this in mind. Convicted D.C. sniper and serial killer John Muhammad served in the Louisiana National Guard from 1978 to 1985. He was twice court-martialed, once for striking an officer, another time for stealing. He was AWOL and spent time in the jail. Muhammad left the National Guard with an honorable discharge.

HAITIAN FLIGHT SONG

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Monday, February 16, 2004

RNC UNVEILS FANCY NEW SLOGAN

"Steady Leadership in Times of Change." Chairman Gillespie, despite his breathless seminar sponsored by Tim Russert and General Electric, fumbled the new line.

Audio - mp3 - 50K -

It's also been reported as "in a time of," which yielded surprising anagrams.

COOLER THAN A NASCAR JACKET; HAITI NEEDS U.S. ACTION

Over at the Carter Center, photos of Jimmy in African wear and helping Haiti with Colin Powell. in 1995.

The rebellion in Haiti raises another point that we direct at Tom Friedman in regard to who says what to whom and to what international end.
"When we talk about undergoing change in the way Haiti is governed, I think that could indeed involve changes in Aristide's position," the official said.

Administration officials stopped short of calling for President Aristide's resignation, but their remarks were seen as emboldening a widening and unwieldy opposition - including former supporters, armed gangs, demobilized army members and political foes - that seeks his removal.
Can the State Department all get on the same page?
However, Powell said Friday the United States and other nations "will accept no outcome that ... attempts to remove the elected president of Haiti."
The writer in The Nation makes the case to keep Aristide as another writer makes the opposite suggestion, but also notes that "doing nothing ... is not an option."

Sunday, February 15, 2004

RUSSERT ALMOST AVOIDS CRITICISM

He was the usual sluggish gumshoe, asleep in his car during surveillance, but he wasn't so bad that the Damfacrats would waste time on him this week.

Then he went and showed the Al Gore "anger" clip, then held up his little board with the 2000 delegate count. Much merriment ensued.

His message to Gore: "you lost fair and square, quit whining, you're just upset because you lost."

What a child. What a flimsy cheap useless thing to do. The former Vice President of the United States was shown accusing the President of lying on a grand scale regarding the most serious issues imaginable. Timid Tim pantomimes for a rim shot.

Gore's words, in reality, were immediately preceded by his explanation that after 9/11, even the most partisan wanted Bush to lead successfully. Even Al, who was robbed of the Presidency by a corrupt state executive branch and a meddling federal court, was willing to give Dubya a chance. Here's that audio clip again.

If Russert wanted a "light moment," he could have run the Kucinich dating show skit like the rest of the corporate cable brothel did this week. Instead, he betrayed America again and belittled our right to vote and our right to the truth.

RE-ADJUSTED

But actually, he thought as he re-adjusted the Ministry of Plenty's figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connection with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connection that is contained in a direct lie. Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version. A great deal of the time you were expected to make them up out of your head.
- George Orwell, 1984

SPEED DEMON

Petrolican figurehead gloms on to the popular Daytona 500. The video from NASCAR has the fly-by, the interview and the other chimp highlights.

FRIEDMAN BLAMES FUTURE NOMINEE FOR FUTURE IRAQ DEATHS

He actually writes this:
The [insurgency] strategy is to sow chaos, defeat President Bush and hope that his Democratic successor will pull out.... the most important statement on Iraq that can be made - one that could even save lives - ... could only come from the likely Democratic presidential nominee, John Kerry.
Friedman enjoyed playing Bush-pretend so much that he decided to play with his Kerry doll, making the Senator say to the Iraqi resitance: "understand one thing about a Kerry administration: `You can blow yourselves up from now until next Ramadan, but we'll still be in Iraq."

Mr. Friedman needs to understand that the Bush administration and its apologists, like Tom Friedman, pushed America into this war. If anyone is to blame besides the killers themselves, the blood is on their hands.

It is not unreasonable to believe that avoiding Iraq quagmire/civil war is a pipe dream and the troops might as well get out soon. Tom doesn't like how this adventure is evolving but he doesn't have the right to accuse folks, with an anti-war and U.S.-Out -of-Iraq mentality, of encouraging attacks in Iraq.

He can't wipe the blood on us because we won't support his sick occupation dream.

How dare Friedman say this???!?

JOHN KERRY AD HITS BACK WITH ENRON

Here's the video and its location. This is a rapid response to an attack ad sent out in emails.

All politicians take money. The issue is whether and to what degree the money influences their vote, and how that affects taxpayers. "Bush" and "Enron" in the same sentence. Often.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

FIGHT
Catman

Kerry goods...
"This is one Democrat who's going to fight back, and I've only just begun to fight," he said. "George Bush, who speaks of strength, has made America weaker - weaker economically, weaker in health care and education. And the truth is George Bush has made us weaker militarily by overextending our forces, overstraining our reserves, and driving away our allies."
Also, "shocking."

COMING HOME
Raven

Scars of Iraq.

COULTER REACHES NEW LOW

We thought it not possible. First Doug, then the big guns at CAP.

ECHOES

Through Poor Man we get Mistakes Were Made, for Scotty Boy audio here and here. Here is the Damfa remix- mp3, some music by Green City.

This is the kind of thing we like to do because it condenses and highlights the atrocious falsehoods and mechanized repetition used by the Cartel minions. Damfaudio also focuses on one or two very recent presentations, to keep the audio universe closed. Of course, (hear right column) adding music is always fun for the whole family and anyone can do it.

UPDATE: Here's the best one found so far, from the comments there. Hey, Nitpicker noticed first.

TRANSFER GRANTED, OVERTURNED, GRANTED

No documentary evidence that he did any military service in Alabama. Two Alabama guard members came forward to say that they recall being assigned to Bush and waited in vain for him to appear.

Contrary to previous understanding, he was not initially refused a transfer. The new documents show Bush moved to Alabama 5/72 and then requested a transfer, which was granted. The transfer was overturned, according to the Washington Post, on July 31, 1972 but approved again on September 15.

His physical exam deadline was July 6th, which the WH now says was deliberately skipped because Bush would not be flying the particular planes in Alabama. "Mr. Bartlett said Mr. Bush missed the exam because he felt there was no reason to take it," the post reported. David Corn points out that the 2000 explanation was different, an unavailable personal physician.

The news reports are pretty confusing. Reports say that Bush wrote down his prank arrest, despite other reports. Dubya was a highly regarded pilot in the earlier years.

The translation: Flight Suit blew off Texas, blew off duty in Alabama, blew off his physical and blew off an order to return to Texas, where he was grounded anyway for missing his exam. His campaign can't get the story straight and reporters should accept nothing short of direct and complete access to all unredacted files, without DOD perusing them first. We'd like to see those slacker Yale grades, too.

Of course, the WH tries to drown out the story by simultaneously announcing that Bush (and Clinton) will meet in private with the 9/11 panel. He's crumbling.

SENATOR McCAIN DEFENDS SENATOR KERRY; BURIES SAMPLEY

At one point, we were concerned that Kerry's war protest activities were a liability. We also got angry with John McCain for fluffing Bush's pillow. We also thought that Wes Clark would be President, so, shows what we know.
Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican, called the man, Ted Sampley, "one of the most despicable people I have ever had the misfortune to encounter."

In defending Mr. Kerry, Mr. McCain - who has campaigned for President Bush this year - said of Mr. Sampley: "I consider him a fraud who preys on the hopes of family members of missing servicemen for his own profit. He is dishonorable, an enemy of the truth, and despite his claims, he does not speak for or represent the views of all but a few veterans."
McCain has effectively taken the Hanoi John approach off the table by completely discrediting its primary messenger.

Friday, February 13, 2004

BUSH AWOL UPDATE

At Calpundit. Somebody, the first person ever, has come forward to allege that he remembers serving with Dubya in Alabama in 1972. Col. Burkett has been all over the TV, swearing firmly that he witnessed intentional destruction of the Bush ANG record in 1997.

The WH also let the press see something new: Shrub's answer to the legal problem question - two speeding tickets, two collisions. His answer did not include the admitted arrest incidents involving a college prank and rowdiness.

Just now: "Fox Alert" - WH is about to release 'entire' Bush file. "We did so in 2000, by the way," Bush told 8 million people on MTP. First reports: Nothing new in the file.

FAKE KERRY PHOTO

Atrios suggests that the NYT do its homework when it comes to "origins ...unclear" photos. He's right, as usual.

NASCAR AD

Live Briefing. Scotty Boy won't talk about "the campaign" - at all. However, he took time to advertise NASCAR and beat us about the head with the fact that Chimpy is going to the Daytona 500.

Now we see that Michael Waltrip, a NASCAR driver, is featured in today's "Ask the White House." Most of the previous "Ask the WH" featured actual members of the WH staff. However, this isn't even the first time a NASCAR driver has been featured. It's difficult to similarly complain about anything involving Cal Ripken or Lynn Swann but this NASCAR pandering is a goddam joke.

UPDATE, 2:18 - Waltrip is doing a phone interview on Fox News right now.

LARRY SILBERMAN

The judge who vacated Oliver North's Iran/Contra conviction. The mentor to now reformed right-wing hitman David Brock. Reagan's Iran liazon to delay hostage release until Carter lost the 1980 election. Co-chair of the WMD commission.

MAJOR NETWORK REPORTERS DISTORT THE AWOL ISSUE

Atrios saw ABC's Peter Moran doing it and here's some audio of Norah O'Donnell doing it too. -wav- -mp3-

Thursday, February 12, 2004

IF YOU CAN STOMACH IT

Go read RNC chairman Ed Gillespie's latest speech. It's brimming with lies by omission. Here's his bio, which includes lobbying for Enron. As a DNC rep said, Ed's "hyperventilating."
We now know that some time this fall Kerry campaign supporters intend to go into pro-life chat rooms on the Internet to spread a scurrilous story that President Bush drove a former girlfriend to an abortion clinic, and paid for her abortion, according to the New York Daily News.
Here's the RNC "Fact Sheet" item to support that claim:
Kerry Supporter Moby Suggested Democrats Spread Internet Rumors About President Bush. One of Sen. John Kerry's celebrity supporters is ready to pull out all the stops to get him elected. Republicans are shrieking over a suggestion by rocker Moby that Democrats spread gossip about President Bush on the Internet. "You target his natural constituencies," says the Grammy-nominated techno-wizard. "For example, you can go on all the pro-life chat rooms and say you're an outraged right-wing voter and that you know that George Bush drove an ex-girlfriend to an abortion clinic and paid for her to get an abortion." (Rush and Molloy, "Punk The Prez?" New York Daily News, 2/8/04)

DID THEY PUSH KAY TOO HARD?

David Kay has falsely blamed things on intelligence but he has a lot of opinions:
``My only serious regret about the continued holding on to the hope that eventually we'll find it is that it eventually allows you to avoid the hard steps necessary to reform the process,'' David Kay said in an interview with The Associated Press. ...

... Kay said the administration could fear the political costs of acknowledging error. ``I suspect if I had their jobs I'd probably, to keep my sanity, be an eternal optimist about some things,'' he said. ...

... Asked whether analysts believed their findings had been distorted, Kay said: "Were some people uncomfortable about some of the rhetoric? I think the fair answer to that is 'yes.'" He stressed that analysts are generally uncomfortable with any change to their wording, but understand that is the nature of political rhetoric.

"Politicians choose the best possible argument that will support the course of action they've decided on regardless of whether it's foreign policy or not,'' he said. "Is that cherry picking? That's the nature of the political process.'"
Nobody likes a pollyanna.

Also, Ken Guggenheim, the reporter, says "programs were the main justification for the Iraq war." Talk about preserving sanity.

WHAT MOST PEOPLE THINK

At what point will corporate cable stop saying "most people think there was an intelligence failure" or worse, run a caption saying "intelligence failure?"

54% believe the Shrub exaggerated or lied about WMD. Through O. Willis.

BUSH RUSHES TO SEEM COMPETENT, EXCUSE EVIL

The speech themes from the Panderer in Chief:

1. Be afraid
2. I'm a war president.
3. Our intelligence is good (this is true).
4. Iraq is now just part of a sweep and clear - sometimes things turn up and sometimes they don't. (Broaden broaden broaden the issues. Always take the bucket of issues and spill them all over the floor. Dilute and ignore specifics).
5. The new WMD commission is about refining our global intelligence to improve it. (Not fix, improve).
6. Asume that some action has been taken against A(l) Q(aeda) Kahn. Message to proliferators: "we will find you and we are not going to rest until you are stopped." (Find and stop, not punish. We will not criticize or object when you get a full pardon).
"I can think of no one who deserves less to be pardoned," Kay said in Washington. He called the disclosures "a wake-up call" and said Khan was "running essentially a Sam's Club" of weapons technology.
7. New is old and old is new. (Always the case with these idiots. Much of what Bush discussed is well in place. He simply "announces" it again. New questions about AWOL? Nope, that's old news).
8. Buy our missle shield, forget that we are breaking the Non-Prolif treaty by developing tactical mini-nukes.
9. Suddenly the IAEA, to whom they never listened regarding Iraq, is our asset. Maybe our tool, if we feel like it. If they fly right. (Pshhhh. They were the ones who caught the little Niger forgery -once you reluctantly released it).
10. "America is insisting that North Korea completely, verifiably, and irreversibly dismantle its nuclear programs." That sounds all too familiar.

It's difficult to argue against strengthening non-proliferation measures. It's one of those "good but let's do more" things.

Finally
"Islamist and opposition groups have protested Khan's fall from grace since Pakistan launched an investigation in November. The inquiry came in response to information from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, that Pakistani technology had been found in Iran and Libya."
Why, then, does Bush claim that Kahn was busted after years of work by Brits and American spies?
"This picture of the Khan network was pieced together over several years by American and British intelligence officers. Our intelligence services gradually uncovered this network's reach, and identified its key experts and agents and money men."
Whatever, we don't even want to hear the explanation because they'll spin it to the point of insult even if it is valid.

It might cause more harm than good, by causing unrest, if AQ Kahn (some kind of local hero) were to face punishment. It's not an easy call but - this guy Kahn should be sent away for the rest of his life.

INNER-CITY GUARD DUTY AND LOST MICROFICHE

Uggabugga notices that the NY Times AWOL timeline has Bush working in an inner-city poverty program for a few months. One of the things that fuels the drug-bust speculation (reality?) fires.

The timeline also says that the DOD claimed to have lost Bush's records for part of the the crucial 1972 period that is so open to questions.
Third quarter records were lost during conversion to microfiche, Dept of Defense says
We haven't seen much from the bloggers on this so maybe it's been so widely addressed that it's not interesting anymore. The Damfacrats will look around and update this.

CLARK ENDORSES KERRY; DRUDGE REPORT LOOMS

Wes Clark is endorsing John Kerry for President of the United States.

Drudge says Kerry may have problems with some woman who "fled the country" - could be some sort of affair but one never knows with Drudge. He also claims that Wes told reporters earlier in the week: "Kerry will implode over an intern issue." Kos says this is true. It doesn't make much sense that Clark would drop out and then endorse John Kerry if he suspected a scandal.

While the story may be bullshit, even if true, as Kos says, that's not the point - the media will have an RNC orgy. This is bad news. You know what? Fine. Kerry's campaign warned that "everything is on the table" if Rove keeps trying this stuff and the truth will favor the Good Guys.

If the story has any truth, it is quite fascinating that it remained hidden until Wes got out of the race. A lot of "news anchors" on Corp Cable, Inc. have had a distinct "mission accomplished" gleam in their eye in regard to Clark's departure.

JOHNNY A - CRIMEFIGHTER

With FCC/boob investigations, hetero marriage boosting and gay hating, demanding records on partial birth abortion patients and on down the line, it's no surprise that Ashcroft decided to announce the fruits of his work against steroids. Yawn. He's no Elliot Spitzer.

MONDAY MORNING BERGERAC

As in "Cyrano de," but writing after the fact "for slow-witted, but handsome Christian [Bush] in order to win her [America's] hand for him.

Friedman copies Brooksie's technique, of replacing the President's inability to communicate with his own fantasies of a capable leader's statements.

Enough of these articles and Bush can say nothing, knowing that his statements will be published the next day in the New York Times and sound much better than he ever could.

"GETS MORE ACCESS"

This commission on 9/11 is turning into pure frustration. Maybe this was obvious to everyone else but here are some random outrages:

1. On Sunday, the Plastic Turkey claimed "extraordinary cooperation" with the panel and mentioned those pre-9/11 PDBs, trying to sound official about his daily spoon feed. The full truth squad only gets a "summary" of the PDBs.

2. The media has completely dicked up the coverage of 9/11 and this commission.

3. The two articles linked above, one AP at Yahoo and the WaPo Dan Eggen, have essentially contradictory premises.

The AP/NYT Hope Yen says on Tuesday night that the deal allows all members to access the summary:
The 10-member, bipartisan panel had been barred from reviewing notes taken by three commissioners and the commission's executive director, Philip Zelikow, who reviewed the data in December but couldn't take the summaries with them. Under the agreement, the entire commission were allowed to read versions of the summaries that were edited by the White House.

Commissioners reviewed the materials in a daylong meeting Tuesday and said the information provided a better understanding of what the government knew prior to Sept. 11.
Poor editing -"were?"

The Post, dated the 11th but referring to the same Tuesday meeting, says this:
The deal will not allow the full 10-member commission to read the original documents, or have access to notes on the documents taken by some of the commission's own members.

The summary -- provided to commissioners during a closed-door meeting Tuesday -- covered several dozen original intelligence documents and was first examined by the White House, officials said. ...

... "You either say you didn't have warning prior to 9/11 and you let us see the documents, or you shouldn't claim that," said Democratic commission member Timothy J. Roemer, a former House member from Indiana. "To say there's nothing in the PDBs that gave the president warning and then put together an agreement that only allows one or two commissioners to see the PDBs is not defensible."
security aide3. What would a Hope Yen 9/11 investigation article be without that same picture of that nice real estate fellow who has nothing to do with the investigation? That headline labeled NSA Rice as a mere "security aide."

4. Here we have Ms. Yen reporting that "Some commissioners wanted to subpoena the unedited versions but that idea failed on a vote Tuesday by the full panel. Commissioners declined to disclose the vote count" but the Post says: "the move was rebuffed by Republicans on the commission, and at least one Democrat abstained, according to several commission members."

5. At the Observer: "They (the 9/11 commissioners) were unaware because their chief of staff, Philip Zelikow, chooses which evidence and witnesses to bring to their attention. Mr. Zelikow, as a former adviser to the pre-9/11 Bush administration, has a blatant conflict." Yen calls him "secretary general" and Eggens, "executive director."

Some days, the Petrolican lies cease to appear sinister, just by virtue of being so overwhelmingly annoying and confusing.

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