Saturday, September 04, 2004

Voter Outreach

Kudos to the patron sitting outside of Uncle's on 12th and Locust for his unique voter outreach program. I'm not sure if yelling, drink in hand, at every passerby "Fuck Bush! Vote Kerry!" is a particularly effective method of motivating voters, but especially for someone on the way home from a sudden trip to the hospital with the 4 year old nephew (nothing wrong, don't worry), it was amusing.

Open Thread

Stay safe Floridians.


A lot of people have expressed this basic idea one way or another, but Joe Lockhart hits the nail on the head:

"It's almost like the president, with his boyish charm, is looking for a political do-over" — as if he has not been president the last four years, Lockhart told reporters.

Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for the Bush campaign, said that while Bush "is focused on his positive vision for the future … John Kerry … is consumed with the past."

Yeah, yeah, the last 4 years were a disaster, but, you know, can I get another try?

Open Thread

Chat away.


So, I'm watching The Hurricane Channel CNN and they keep showing this yacht sitting right off the coast, and the anchor just said that the yacht's employees are still on it? The anchor said something like "maybe it's not stupidity, they're just trying to do their jobs..." Who the hell is the yacht owner telling his employees to stay on the thing?

Coming Soon...

It could be nuclear.

Labor Day Weekend Schedule

Have family visiting, things will probably be a bit slow here. In any case, take the opportunity to go out and enjoy yourselves. The next 60 days are going to be a rocky ride...

Perlstein in the Voice

Read the article here, and then read what the editors cut here:

Tuesday was compassionate conservatism night. Arnold Schwarzeznegger was scheduled to rhapsodize about the immigrant dream, Laura Bush to wax gauzy about the man she calls "Bushie." At the Laugh Factory eight blocks away, on the other hand, it was "GOP Comedy Night," and the comedians apparently didn't get the compassionate conservatism memo. Jokes, argued Sigmund Freud, are best understood as a response to anger and frustration. If you want to learn what the Republican rank and file gets angry and frustrated about when they're not reading from Karl Rove's script, the Laugh Factory turned out to be a useful place to be.

*"To my fellow immigrants listening tonight, I want you to know how welcome you are in this party,"* Arnold said later that night at the Garden.

"I want to take that torch off and put in a finger, right like that!" gestured the MC about the Statue of Liberty.

*"It doesn't make any difference if, like me, you couldn't even speak English until you were in your twenties..."*

"Islamic prayer in Spanish," said comic Julia Gorin. "That's the next step."

The First Lady: *"We are determined to provide a quality education for every child in America."*

The MC: We "have to face the fact that there are some dumb kids!...It's time to give just a few of them coloring books, some crayons--press on to what we can save."

Steven McDonald, the hero cop shot in Central Park in 1986, on AIDS: *"Here at home, President Bush has committed record levels of support to fighting the disease. Internationally, President Bush has marshalled an army of compassion..."*

For wacky Julia, who wears a cameo of "my Georgie" around her neck, AIDS is nothing but a pet cause of Hollywood activists. Want to know why they're so eager to find a cure? "They can't keep their legs shut."

The MC kills with a Cosbyesque riff--"What' the hell is a 'time out'? The only time out I had was when I was unconscious for three and a half minutes!" Then loses the crowd when the next line rushes out too loud and fast, like a 12-step confession instead of a joke. ("'Time out' was for my old man to switch hands"). Then he composes himself. He produces an image of what his mother would do if he, who only had a stick to play with instead of an X-box, complained that he was bored. Punchline: "She would have stuck the stick up my ass!"And now the audience is his again. The only joke that yields a bigger laugh is Gorin's Valley Girl squeal about why John Kerry should be glad Empress Hillary didn't install herself as running mate:

"He would have gone the way of Ron Brown, Vince Foster, and Buddy the dog."
Those Democrats!

Though of course the only time you saw that kind of anger on the convention podium it CAME from a Democrat--and the delegates gave it their warmest acclaim of the week. Which is all part of the hustle. If the bloodiest chunks are tossed out by someone who's not Republican, it can't be vicious partisanship, right? Even if the speech was the sheerest extrusion of rage since the days when Senator Joe McCarthy ranted and raved about Democrats as the party of twenty years of treason.

1% Tip

Wow. I felt so bad for all the cab drivers in NYC I was giving them 50% tips, and needless to say the Eschaton family fortune isn't quite as great as the Bush's.


So, the Bush bounce is partly due to the fact that Gallup is comparing apples and oranges. Before the convention they didn't push the leaners, after the convention they did.

It's also biased in favor of getting a male respondent.
Always in the tank...

Friday, September 03, 2004

Ken Layne Gets Shrill


Sorry about wishing the Bush Administration all the best after 9/11. Sorry I ever entertained the thought that these vicious pigs might find redemption in defending our country with honor.

For the record, I was shrill before it was cool to be shrill.

(via Arthur Silber)

Friday Cat Blogging

Okay, it's a little late and this is an old picture... didn't have time to take any today.

Boo Update

I'm happy to accept that Clinton wasn't really booed, though I do want to say that video/audio of the event would provide neither affirmation or refutation, depending on where the microphones were. Someone should, you know, call the reporter and ask why the hell it was reported if it didn't happen...

Open Thread


RNC Protesters

Majority Report had a camera person inside. Some stills.

Feel the Love

The Republican hate machine rolls on.

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) President Bush on Friday wished Bill Clinton ``best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery.''

``He's is in our thoughts and prayers,'' Bush said at a campaign rally.

Bush's audience of thousands in West Allis, Wis., booed. Bush did nothing to stop them.

Lord Saletan is Shrill

I mean, I bet even that shrill Krugman would get a little uncomfortable with such shrillness.

Recession. Unemployment. Corporate fraud. A war based on false premises that has cost us $200 billion and nearly a thousand American lives. They're all hills we've "been given to climb." It's as though Bush wasn't president. As though he didn't get the tax cuts he wanted. As though he didn't bring about postwar Iraq and authorize the planning for it. All this was "given," and now Bush can show up, three and a half years into his term, and start solving the problems some other president else left behind.

Lord Saletan sure has changed. Perhaps this weekend we'll examine how much of this he noticed while it was, you know, in progress.

Get Well Soon

Clinton in for quadruple bypass.

...more info here.

Daryn *Hearts* Rush


Moment of Zen

From last night's speech.

Lyin' Arnie


VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- Austrian historians are ridiculing California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for telling the Republican National Convention that he saw Soviet tanks in his homeland as a child and left a "Socialist" country when he moved away in 1968.

Recalling that the Soviets once occupied part of Austria in the aftermath of World War II, Schwarzenegger told the convention on Tuesday: "I saw tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes."

No way, historians say, challenging Schwarzenegger's knowledge of postwar history -- if not his enduring popularity among Austrians who admire him for rising from a penniless immigrant to the highest official in America's most populous state.

"It's a fact -- as a child he could not have seen a Soviet tank in Styria," the southeastern province where Schwarzenegger was born and raised, historian Stefan Karner told the Vienna newspaper Kurier.

Neal Pollack's Goodbye

It's all been too much for him.




Another lackluster jobs report.

Sept. 3 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. employers added 144,000 workers to payrolls in August, the most since May and the first acceleration in five months, suggesting the economy is emerging from a midyear lull. The unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent.


Economists expected payrolls would rise by 150,000 last month following a previously reported increase of 32,000 in July, according to the median of 79 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. They expected the jobless rate to hold at 5.5 percent.

Economists such as Ethan Harris at Lehman Brothers Inc. in New York, say the economy needs to create about 150,000 jobs a month to absorb a growing workforce and hold the unemployment rate steady. An average 201,000 jobs a month were added during the record expansion from 1991 to 2001.

...DeLong asks the question that every reporter should be asking:

What has gone wrong with the economy to leave us with an employment level 1.7 million below what you projected last February that it would be by now?

Late Night


Thursday, September 02, 2004

4 Years In

And all they've got is Bush standing on a mass grave with a bullhorn.

Weird, really.


Well, I learned that we need to invade any country with the ability to produce box cutters.

Oh. Kay.

Bush Speech

Here ya go:



Mr. Chairman, delegates, fellow citizens: I am honored by your
support, and I accept your nomination for President of the United States.

When I said those words four years ago, none of us could have
envisioned what these years would bring. In the heart of this great city,
we saw tragedy arrive on a quiet morning. We saw the bravery of rescuers
grow with danger. We learned of passengers on a doomed plane who died with
a courage that frightened their killers. We have seen a shaken economy
rise to its feet. And we have seen Americans in uniform storming mountain
strongholds, and charging through sandstorms, and liberating millions, with
acts of valor that would make the men of Normandy proud.

Since 2001, Americans have been given hills to climb, and found the
strength to climb them. Now, because we have made the hard journey, we can
see the valley below. Now, because we have faced challenges with resolve,
we have historic goals within our reach, and greatness in our future. We
will build a safer world and a more hopeful America-and nothing will hold
us back.

In the work we have done, and the work we will do, I am fortunate to
have a superb Vice President. I have counted on Dick Cheney's calm and
steady judgment in difficult days, and I am honored to have him at my side.

I am grateful to share my walk in life with Laura Bush. Americans
have come to see the goodness and kindness and strength I first saw 26
years ago, and we love our First Lady.

I am a fortunate father of two spirited, intelligent, and lovely
young women. I am blessed with a sister and brothers who are also my
closest friends. And I will always be the proud and grateful son of George
and Barbara Bush.

My father served eight years at the side of another great American-
Ronald Reagan. His spirit of optimism and goodwill and decency are in this
hall, and in our hearts, and will always define our party.

Two months from today, voters will make a choice based on the records
we have built, the convictions we hold, and the vision that guides us
forward. A presidential election is a contest for the future. Tonight I
will tell you where I stand, what I believe, and where I will lead this
country in the next four years.

I believe every child can learn, and every school must teach-so we
passed the most important federal education reform in history. Because we
acted, children are making sustained progress in reading and math,
America's schools are getting better, and nothing will hold us back.

I believe we have a moral responsibility to honor America's seniors-
so I brought Republicans and Democrats together to strengthen Medicare.
Now seniors are getting immediate help buying medicine. Soon every senior
will be able to get prescription drug coverage, and nothing will hold us

I believe in the energy and innovative spirit of America's workers,
entrepreneurs, farmers, and ranchers-so we unleashed that energy with the
largest tax relief in a generation. Because we acted, our economy is
growing again, and creating jobs, and nothing will hold us back.

I believe the most solemn duty of the American president is to
protect the American people. If America shows uncertainty and weakness in
this decade, the world will drift toward tragedy. This will not happen on
my watch.

I am running for President with a clear and positive plan to build a
safer world, and a more hopeful America. I am running with a compassionate
conservative philosophy: that government should help people improve their
lives, not try to run their lives. I believe this Nation wants steady,
consistent, principled leadership-and that is why, with your help, we
will win this election.

The story of America is the story of expanding liberty: an
ever-widening circle, constantly growing to reach further and include more.
Our Nation's founding commitment is still our deepest commitment: In our
world, and here at home, we will extend the frontiers of freedom.

The times in which we live and work are changing dramatically. The
workers of our parents' generation typically had one job, one skill, one
career-often with one company that provided health care and a pension.
And most of those workers were men. Today, workers change jobs, even
careers, many times during their lives, and in one of the most dramatic
shifts our society has seen, two-thirds of all Moms also work outside the

This changed world can be a time of great opportunity for all
Americans to earn a better living, support your family, and have a
rewarding career. And government must take your side. Many of our most
fundamental systems-the tax code, health coverage, pension plans, worker
training-were created for the world of yesterday, not tomorrow. We will
transform these systems so that all citizens are equipped, prepared-and
thus truly free-to make your own choices and pursue your own dreams.

My plan begins with providing the security and opportunity of a
growing economy. We now compete in a global market that provides new
buyers for our goods, but new competition for our workers. To create more
jobs in America, America must be the best place in the world to do
business. To create jobs, my plan will encourage investment and expansion
by restraining federal spending, reducing regulation, and making tax relief
permanent. To create jobs, we will make our country less dependent on
foreign sources of energy. To create jobs, we will expand trade and level
the playing field to sell American goods and services across the globe.
And we must protect small business owners and workers from the explosion of
frivolous lawsuits that threaten jobs across America.

Another drag on our economy is the current tax code, which is a
complicated mess-filled with special interest loopholes, saddling our
people with more than six billion hours of paperwork and headache every
year. The American people deserve-and our economic future demands-a
simpler, fairer, pro-growth system. In a new term, I will lead a
bipartisan effort to reform and simplify the federal tax code.

Another priority in a new term will be to help workers take
advantage of the expanding economy to find better, higher-paying jobs. In
this time of change, many workers want to go back to school to learn
different or higher-level skills. So we will double the number of people
served by our principal job training program and increase funding for
community colleges. I know that with the right skills, American workers
can compete with anyone, anywhere in the world.

In this time of change, opportunity in some communities is more
distant than in others. To stand with workers in poor communities-and
those that have lost manufacturing, textile, and other jobs-we will
create American opportunity zones. In these areas, we'll provide tax
relief and other incentives to attract new business, and improve housing
and job training to bring hope and work throughout all of America.

As I've traveled the country, I've met many workers and small
business owners who have told me they are worried they cannot afford health
care. More than half of the uninsured are small business employees and
their families. In a new term, we must allow small firms to join together
to purchase insurance at the discounts available to big companies. We will
offer a tax credit to encourage small businesses and their employees to set
up health savings accounts, and provide direct help for low-income
Americans to purchase them. These accounts give workers the security of
insurance against major illness, the opportunity to save tax-free for
routine health expenses, and the freedom of knowing you can take your
account with you whenever you change jobs. And we will provide low-income
Americans with better access to health care: In a new term, I will ensure
every poor county in America has a community or rural health center.

As I have traveled our country, I have met too many good doctors,
especially OB-GYNS, who are being forced out of practice because of the
high cost of lawsuits. To make health care more affordable and accessible,
we must pass medical liability reform now. And in all we do to improve
health care in America, we will make sure that health decisions are made by
doctors and patients, not by bureaucrats in Washington, DC.

In this time of change, government must take the side of working
families. In a new term, we will change outdated labor laws to offer
comp-time and flex-time. Our laws should never stand in the way of a more
family-friendly workplace.

Another priority for a new term is to build an ownership society,
because ownership brings security, and dignity, and independence.

Thanks to our policies, homeownership in America is at an all-time
high. Tonight we set a new goal: seven million more affordable homes in
the next 10 years so more American families will be able to open the door
and say welcome to my home.

In an ownership society, more people will own their health plans, and
have the confidence of owning a piece of their retirement. We will always
keep the promise of Social Security for our older workers. With the huge
Baby Boom generation approaching retirement, many of our children and
grandchildren understandably worry whether Social Security will be there
when they need it. We must strengthen Social Security by allowing younger
workers to save some of their taxes in a personal account-a nest egg you
can call your own, and government can never take away.

In all these proposals, we seek to provide not just a government
program, but a path-a path to greater opportunity, more freedom, and more
control over your own life.

This path begins with our youngest Americans. To build a more
hopeful America, we must help our children reach as far as their vision and
character can take them. Tonight, I remind every parent and every teacher,
I say to every child: No matter what your circumstance, no matter where you
live-your school will be the path to the promise of America.

We are transforming our schools by raising standards and focusing on
results. We are insisting on accountability, empowering parents and
teachers, and making sure that local people are in charge of their schools.
By testing every child, we are identifying those who need help-and we're
providing a record level of funding to get them that help. In northeast
Georgia, Gainesville Elementary School is mostly Hispanic and 90 percent
poor-and this year 90 percent of its students passed state tests in
reading and math. The principal expresses the philosophy of his school
this way: "We don't focus on what we can't do at this school; we focus on
what we can do-We do whatever it takes to get kids across the finish
line." This principal is challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations,
and that is the spirit of our education reform, and the commitment of our
country: No dejaremos a ningún niño atrás. We will leave no child behind.

We are making progress-and there is more to do. In this time of
change, most new jobs are filled by people with at least two years of
college, yet only about one in four students gets there. In our high
schools, we will fund early intervention programs to help students at risk.
We will place a new focus on math and science. As we make progress, we
will require a rigorous exam before graduation. By raising performance in
our high schools, and expanding Pell grants for low and middle income
families, we will help more Americans start their career with a college

America's children must also have a healthy start in life. In a new
term, we will lead an aggressive effort to enroll millions of poor children
who are eligible but not signed up for the government's health insurance
programs. We will not allow a lack of attention, or information, to stand
between these children and the health care they need.

Anyone who wants more details on my agenda can find them online. The
web address is not very imaginative, but it's easy to remember:

These changing times can be exciting times of expanded opportunity.
And here, you face a choice. My opponent's policies are dramatically
different from ours. Senator Kerry opposed Medicare reform and health
savings accounts. After supporting my education reforms, he now wants to
dilute them. He opposes legal and medical liability reform. He opposed
reducing the marriage penalty, opposed doubling the child credit, and
opposed lowering income taxes for all who pay them. To be fair, there are
some things my opponent is for-he's proposed more than two trillion
dollars in new federal spending so far, and that's a lot, even for a
senator from Massachusetts. To pay for that spending, he is running on a
platform of increasing taxes-and that's the kind of promise a politician
usually keeps.

His policies of tax and spend-of expanding government rather than
expanding opportunity-are the policies of the past. We are on the path
to the future-and we are not turning back.

In this world of change, some things do not change: the values we try
to live by, the institutions that give our lives meaning and purpose. Our
society rests on a foundation of responsibility and character and family

Because family and work are sources of stability and dignity, I
support welfare reform that strengthens family and requires work. Because
a caring society will value its weakest members, we must make a place for
the unborn child. Because religious charities provide a safety net of
mercy and compassion, our government must never discriminate against them.
Because the union of a man and woman deserves an honored place in our
society, I support the protection of marriage against activist judges. And
I will continue to appoint federal judges who know the difference between
personal opinion and the strict interpretation of the law.

My opponent recently announced that he is the candidate of
"conservative values," which must have come as a surprise to a lot of his
supporters. Now, there are some problems with this claim. If you say the
heart and soul of America is found in Hollywood, I'm afraid you are not the
candidate of conservative values. If you voted against the bipartisan
Defense of Marriage Act, which President Clinton signed, you are not the
candidate of conservative values. If you gave a speech, as my opponent
did, calling the Reagan presidency eight years of "moral darkness," then
you may be a lot of things, but the candidate of conservative values is not
one of them.

This election will also determine how America responds to the
continuing danger of terrorism-and you know where I stand. Three days
after September 11th, I stood where Americans died, in the ruins of the
Twin Towers. Workers in hard hats were shouting to me, "Whatever it
takes." A fellow grabbed me by the arm and he said, "Do not let me down."
Since that day, I wake up every morning thinking about how to better
protect our country. I will never relent in defending America-whatever
it takes.

So we have fought the terrorists across the earth-not for pride,
not for power, but because the lives of our citizens are at stake. Our
strategy is clear. We have tripled funding for homeland security and
trained half a million first responders, because we are determined to
protect our homeland. We are transforming our military and reforming and
strengthening our intelligence services. We are staying on the offensive-
striking terrorists abroad-so we do not have to face them here at home.
And we are working to advance liberty in the broader Middle East, because
freedom will bring a future of hope, and the peace we all want. And we
will prevail.

Our strategy is succeeding. Four years ago, Afghanistan was the home
base of al-Qaida, Pakistan was a transit point for terrorist groups, Saudi
Arabia was fertile ground for terrorist fundraising, Libya was secretly
pursuing nuclear weapons, Iraq was a gathering threat, and al-Qaida was
largely unchallenged as it planned attacks. Today, the government of a
free Afghanistan is fighting terror, Pakistan is capturing terrorist
leaders, Saudi Arabia is making raids and arrests, Libya is dismantling its
weapons programs, the army of a free Iraq is fighting for freedom, and more
than three-quarters of al-Qaida's key members and associates have been
detained or killed. We have led, many have joined, and America and the
world are safer.

This progress involved careful diplomacy, clear moral purpose, and
some tough decisions. And the toughest came on Iraq. We knew Saddam
Hussein's record of aggression and support for terror. We knew his long
history of pursuing, even using, weapons of mass destruction. And we know
that September 11th requires our country to think differently: We must,
and we will, confront threats to America before it is too late.

In Saddam Hussein, we saw a threat. Members of both political
parties, including my opponent and his running mate, saw the threat, and
voted to authorize the use of force. We went to the United Nations
Security Council, which passed a unanimous resolution demanding the
dictator disarm, or face serious consequences. Leaders in the Middle East
urged him to comply. After more than a decade of diplomacy, we gave Saddam
Hussein another chance, a final chance, to meet his responsibilities to the
civilized world. He again refused, and I faced the kind of decision that
comes only to the Oval Office-a decision no president would ask for, but
must be prepared to make. Do I forget the lessons of September 11th and
take the word of a madman, or do I take action to defend our country?
Faced with that choice, I will defend America every time.

Because we acted to defend our country, the murderous regimes of
Saddam Hussein and the Taliban are history, more than 50 million people
have been liberated, and democracy is coming to the broader Middle East.
In Afghanistan, terrorists have done everything they can to intimidate
people-yet more than 10 million citizens have registered to vote in the
October presidential election-a resounding endorsement of democracy.
Despite ongoing acts of violence, Iraq now has a strong Prime Minister, a
national council, and national elections are scheduled for January. Our
Nation is standing with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, because when
America gives its word, America must keep its word. As importantly, we are
serving a vital and historic cause that will make our country safer. Free
societies in the Middle East will be hopeful societies, which no longer
feed resentments and breed violence for export. Free governments in the
Middle East will fight terrorists instead of harboring them, and that helps
us keep the peace. So our mission in Afghanistan and Iraq is clear: We
will help new leaders to train their armies, and move toward elections, and
get on the path of stability and democracy as quickly as possible. And
then our troops will return home with the honor they have earned.

Our troops know the historic importance of our work. One Army
Specialist wrote home: "We are transforming a once sick society into a
hopeful place-The various terrorist enemies we are facing in Iraq," he
continued, "are really aiming at you back in the United States. This is a
test of will for our country. We soldiers of yours are doing great and
scoring victories in confronting the evil terrorists."

That young man is right-our men and women in uniform are doing a
superb job for America. Tonight I want to speak to all of them-and to
their families: You are involved in a struggle of historic proportion.
Because of your service and sacrifice, we are defeating the terrorists
where they live and plan, and making America safer. Because of you, women
in Afghanistan are no longer shot in a sports stadium. Because of you, the
people of Iraq no longer fear being executed and left in mass graves.
Because of you, the world is more just and will be more peaceful. We owe
you our thanks, and we owe you something more. We will give you all the
resources, all the tools, and all the support you need for victory.

Again, my opponent and I have different approaches. I proposed, and
the Congress overwhelmingly passed, 87 billion dollars in funding needed by
our troops doing battle in Afghanistan and Iraq. My opponent and his
running mate voted against this money for bullets, and fuel, and vehicles,
and body armor. When asked to explain his vote, the Senator said, "I
actually did vote for the 87 billion dollars before I voted against it."
Then he said he was "proud" of that vote. Then, when pressed, he said it
was a "complicated" matter. There is nothing complicated about supporting
our troops in combat.

Our allies also know the historic importance of our work. About 40
nations stand beside us in Afghanistan, and some 30 in Iraq. And I deeply
appreciate the courage and wise counsel of leaders like Prime Minister
Howard, and President Kwasniewski, and Prime Minister Berlusconi-and, of
course, Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Again, my opponent takes a different approach. In the midst of war,
he has called America's allies, quote, a "coalition of the coerced and the
bribed." That would be nations like Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Japan,
the Netherlands, Denmark, El Salvador, Australia, and others-allies that
deserve the respect of all Americans, not the scorn of a politician. I
respect every soldier, from every country, who serves beside us in the hard
work of history. America is grateful, and America will not forget.

The people we have freed won't forget either. Not long ago, seven
Iraqi men came to see me in the Oval Office. They had "X"s branded into
their foreheads, and their right hands had been cut off, by Saddam
Hussein's secret police, the sadistic punishment for imaginary crimes.
During our emotional visit one of the Iraqi men used his new prosthetic
hand to slowly write out, in Arabic, a prayer for God to bless America. I
am proud that our country remains the hope of the oppressed, and the
greatest force for good on this earth.

Others understand the historic importance of our work. The
terrorists know. They know that a vibrant, successful democracy at the
heart of the Middle East will discredit their radical ideology of hate.
They know that men and women with hope, and purpose, and dignity do not
strap bombs on their bodies and kill the innocent. The terrorists are
fighting freedom with all their cunning and cruelty because freedom is
their greatest fear-and they should be afraid, because freedom is on the

I believe in the transformational power of liberty: The wisest use
of American strength is to advance freedom. As the citizens of Afghanistan
and Iraq seize the moment, their example will send a message of hope
throughout a vital region. Palestinians will hear the message that
democracy and reform are within their reach, and so is peace with our good
friend Israel. Young women across the Middle East will hear the message
that their day of equality and justice is coming. Young men will hear the
message that national progress and dignity are found in liberty, not
tyranny and terror. Reformers, and political prisoners, and exiles will
hear the message that their dream of freedom cannot be denied forever. And
as freedom advances-heart by heart, and nation by nation-America will
be more secure and the world more peaceful.

America has done this kind of work before-and there have always
been doubters. In 1946, 18 months after the fall of Berlin to allied
forces, a journalist wrote in the New York Times, "Germany is-a land in
an acute stage of economic, political and moral crisis. [European]
capitals are frightened. In every [military] headquarters, one meets
alarmed officials doing their utmost to deal with the consequences of the
occupation policy that they admit has failed." End quote. Maybe that same
person's still around, writing editorials. Fortunately, we had a resolute
president named Truman, who with the American people persevered, knowing
that a new democracy at the center of Europe would lead to stability and
peace. And because that generation of Americans held firm in the cause of
liberty, we live in a better and safer world today.

The progress we and our friends and allies seek in the broader Middle
East will not come easily, or all at once. Yet Americans, of all people,
should never be surprised by the power of liberty to transform lives and
nations. That power brought settlers on perilous journeys, inspired
colonies to rebellion, ended the sin of slavery, and set our Nation against
the tyrannies of the 20th century. We were honored to aid the rise of
democracy in Germany and Japan and Nicaragua and Central Europe and the
Baltics-and that noble story goes on. I believe that America is called
to lead the cause of freedom in a new century. I believe that millions in
the Middle East plead in silence for their liberty. I believe that given
the chance, they will embrace the most honorable form of government ever
devised by man. I believe all these things because freedom is not
America's gift to the world, it is the Almighty God's gift to every man and
woman in this world.

This moment in the life of our country will be remembered.
Generations will know if we kept our faith and kept our word. Generations
will know if we seized this moment, and used it to build a future of safety
and peace. The freedom of many, and the future security of our Nation, now
depend on us. And tonight, my fellow Americans, I ask you to stand with

In the last four years, you and I have come to know each other. Even
when we don't agree, at least you know what I believe and where I stand.
You may have noticed I have a few flaws, too. People sometimes have to
correct my English-I knew I had a problem when Arnold Schwarzenegger
started doing it. Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which
in Texas is called "walking." Now and then I come across as a little too
blunt-and for that we can all thank the white-haired lady sitting right
up there.

One thing I have learned about the presidency is that whatever
shortcomings you have, people are going to notice them-and whatever
strengths you have, you're going to need them. These four years have
brought moments I could not foresee and will not forget. I have tried to
comfort Americans who lost the most on September 11th-people who showed
me a picture or told me a story, so I would know how much was taken from
them. I have learned first-hand that ordering Americans into battle is the
hardest decision, even when it is right. I have returned the salute of
wounded soldiers, some with a very tough road ahead, who say they were just
doing their job. I've held the children of the fallen, who are told their
dad or mom is a hero, but would rather just have their dad or mom.

And I have met with parents and wives and husbands who have received
a folded flag, and said a final goodbye to a soldier they loved. I am awed
that so many have used those meetings to say that I am in their prayers-
to offer encouragement to me. Where does strength like that come from?
How can people so burdened with sorrow also feel such pride? It is because
they know their loved one was last seen doing good. Because they know that
liberty was precious to the one they lost. And in those military families,
I have seen the character of a great nation: decent, and idealistic, and

The world saw that spirit three miles from here, when the people of
this city faced peril together, and lifted a flag over the ruins, and
defied the enemy with their courage. My fellow Americans, for as long as
our country stands, people will look to the resurrection of New York City
and they will say: Here buildings fell, and here a nation rose.

We see America's character in our military, which finds a way or
makes one. We see it in our veterans, who are supporting military families
in their days of worry. We see it in our young people, who have found
heroes once again. We see that character in workers and entrepreneurs, who
are renewing our economy with their effort and optimism. And all of this
has confirmed one belief beyond doubt: Having come this far, our tested
and confident Nation can achieve anything.

To everything we know there is a season-a time for sadness, a time
for struggle, a time for rebuilding. And now we have reached a time for
hope. This young century will be liberty's century. By promoting liberty
abroad, we will build a safer world. By encouraging liberty at home, we
will build a more hopeful America. Like generations before us, we have a
calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom. This is the everlasting
dream of America-and tonight, in this place, that dream is renewed. Now
we go forward-grateful for our freedom, faithful to our cause, and
confident in the future of the greatest nation on earth.

God bless you, and may God continue to bless America.

"Unfit to Lead"

From CBS:

(AP) Fighting back, Democratic Sen. John Kerry called President Bush "unfit to lead this nation" because of the war in Iraq and his record on jobs, health care and energy prices. He lashed out at the incumbent and Vice President Dick Cheney for avoiding service in the Vietnam War.

"I'm not going to have my commitment to defend this country questioned by those who refused to serve when they could have and by those who have misled the nation into Iraq," Kerry said in prepared remarks issued as the Republican was poised to accept his party's nomination for a second term.

...more excerpts:

We all saw the anger and distortion of the Republican Convention. For the past week, they attacked my patriotism and my fitness to serve as Commander-in-chief. We’ll, here’s my answer. I’m not going to have my commitment to defend this country questioned by those who refused to serve when they could have and by those who have misled the nation into Iraq.

The Vice President even called me unfit for office last night. I guess I'll leave it up to the voters whether five deferments makes someone more qualified to defend this nation than two tours of duty.

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

Hateathon Continues

New York's in total lockdown. Kos and I just made the fairly short trip to the Air America studio and it's impossible to cross the city. They're stopping all traffic to let the goddamn delegate buses have unimpeded progress through the city. We had one angry angry cab driver. "They bring the convention here, and the people get nothing!"

I thought the security in Boston was over the top and mostly for show, but it's nothing compared to what they've done here. Temporary express bus lanes for delegate buses? Holding traffic for 15 minutes to let a few make left turns? Nuts.

Vandalism Roundup

State College.

Grand Rapids.

Dixiecrat Goes Nuts


Stupid Journalists

Letter to Romenesko:

From DAVE BROOKS, Nashua (NH) Telegraph: I don't want to get too mathematical here, but John Maggs is very wrong in his note when he says a polling advantage which is less than the margin of error is somehow still an advantage. It's not, and to imply otherwise is to get the story just as wrong as if you'd misspelled a name.

Reporters are correct to use the dull term "statistical dead heat" or its equivalent if, say, a poll of 500 people shows Bush leading Kerry 48 percent to 46 percent, with a 4 percentage point margin of error. This example does not show that "it is far more likely that Bush is ahead," as Maggs thinks, because *any* result within the margin of error, including a Kerry win, is *equally* likely.

Uh, in a word, no.

Daily Show Video


This Guy Looks Familiar...

Or, maybe this is a better resemblance...

Or this one...

Social Security, Bitches!

I'm with the CW which seems to be telling us that the centerpiece of the domestic agenda that we'll hear about tonight will be privatizing social security. As BMM points out, there's little chance of them actually releasing any kind of plan with any kind of numbers that would add up. But, they'll do it anyway, using lots of nice words to make it sound like the best thing since sliced bread. That'll leave Kerry to criticize a plan which doesn't exist, and leave the pundits all scratching their heads because all those numbers are so complicated.

Miller Time

His Burr moment on MSNBC (you can watch and read more about it here).

And, CNN doing their job for once.

Lord Saletan Gets Even More Shrill

Joins the ranks of the great unwashed masses.

I'm sure he'll be back to tut-tutting other shrill people, who aren't shrill in precisely the appropriate fashion, another day. But for now it's fun.

(thanks to pdp)

Open Thread

Enjoy .


We couldn't have hoped for a bigger convention fuckup from the Republicans than we had tonight. A thing of beauty.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004



The Democratic Party is smarter than I thought. Who knew that they'd spent the last two years inserting Zell Miller as a deep mole into the Republican Party so that he could bring the whole operation down from the inside.

Zell Miller, proud Democrat, we salute you.

This is Great Stuff

Best Convention Night Ever. People around me seem to be getting upset, but these speeches only resonate with those familiar with Rush Limbaugh's latest talking points. To everyone else it sounds like crazy bitter bullshit.

It's lie after lie, and the media won't bother to get a wee bit annoyed that the Vice President of the United States currently is wearing some burning dungarees, but it doesn't matter.

Remember, tonight's theme was "Land of Opportunity."

Senator Zell Miller

Wow, look at what is still posted on Zell's website:

I continue to be impressed with all that Governor Barnes and Lieutenant Governor Taylor and the Speaker and the General Assembly are getting done over at the Gold Dome. Georgia is fortunate to have this kind of leadership.

My job tonight is an easy one: to present to you one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders – and a good friend.

He was once a lieutenant governor – but he didn't stay in that office 16 years, like someone else I know. It just took two years before the people of Massachusetts moved him into the United States Senate in 1984.

In his 16 years in the Senate, John Kerry has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington.

Early in his Senate career in 1986, John signed on to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Bill, and he fought for balanced budgets before it was considered politically correct for Democrats to do so.

John has worked to strengthen our military, reform public education, boost the economy and protect the environment. Business Week magazine named him one of the top pro-technology legislators and made him a member of its "Digital Dozen."

John was re-elected in 1990 and again in 1996 – when he defeated popular Republican Governor William Weld in the most closely watched Senate race in the country.

John is a graduate of Yale University and was a gunboat officer in the Navy. He received a Silver Star, Bronze Star and three awards of the Purple Heart for combat duty in Vietnam. He later co-founded the Vietnam Veterans of America.

Where's Mary?

Will the Cheney kids come out to support Mom and Pop? Will the delegates turn their backs?

...Mary has been spotted at the convention, with her partner.

...Mary did not appear with the rest of the family. Why does Cheney not want his daughter on stage with him and the rest of the extended family?

A Vewwy Bad Boy

Young George:

The break happened not long after a boozy election-night wake for Blount, who lost his Senate bid to the incumbent Democrat, John Sparkman. Leaving the election-night "celebration," Allison remembers encountering George W. Bush in the parking lot, urinating on a car, and hearing later about how he'd yelled obscenities at police officers that night. Bush left a house he'd rented in Montgomery trashed -- the furniture broken, walls damaged and a chandelier destroyed, the Birmingham News reported in February. "He was just a rich kid who had no respect for other people's possessions," Mary Smith, a member of the family who rented the house, told the newspaper, adding that a bill sent to Bush for repairs was never paid. And a month later, in December, during a visit to his parents' home in Washington, Bush drunkenly challenged his father to go "mano a mano," as has often been reported.

Around the same time, for the 1972 Christmas holiday, the Allisons met up with the Bushes on vacation in Hobe Sound, Fla. Tension was still evident between Bush and his parents. Linda was a passenger in a car driven by Barbara Bush as they headed to lunch at the local beach club. Bush, who was 26 years old, got on a bicycle and rode in front of the car in a slow, serpentine manner, forcing his mother to crawl along. "He rode so slowly that he kept having to put his foot down to get his balance, and he kept in a weaving pattern so we couldn't get past," Allison recalled. "He was obviously furious with his mother about something, and she was furious at him, too."


Wow, I never thought Zell would be able to improve on the original German version of Pat Buchanan's '92 speech, but he did.

Good Little Stenographers

How many reporters dutifully reported the spin that Colin Powell's non-attendance was simply because it was "in keeping with tradition, Cabinet officials do not speak at the conventions — or other campaign events."

At the time it took 5 seconds to demonstrate that there was no such tradition, and Ms. Chao has demonstrated that this non-tradition is not currently operating.

One More Time

Tommy Thompson, CNN this morning:

HEMMER: How do you feel about Rudolph Giuliani, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who do not share that same view? Featured speakers here at the convention.

THOMPSON: I think they are outstanding. I think, you know, the crowd responded extremely well to both of them.

In fact, I think Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor Schwarzenegger's speech last night was one of the finest speeches I've ever heard at the convention. And I've been going to conventions now for 28 years, national conventions.

So I would have to say that his speech was outstanding. He gave a portrayal, a -- he painted a picture of why people should be a Democrat better and more ably than any person I've ever heard before.

HEMMER: That is very high praise

Salon Heads Up

Young Bush story out tonight/tomorrow...

Open thread

And the text of Kerry's speech today.


The National Review is promoting a book by the spokesman of Radovan Karadzic.

Good and Evil

It's really amazing how our media can get all in a tizzy about some slogan on some protester's sign, while the head of the NSRC refers to a Senate race as a "battle between good and evil."

I think that's some of the political hate speech the Republicans keep telling me about.

Fun With W

Lots of women are wandering around with "W" or "W Stands for Women" buttons/signs/etc. My new mission is to ask as many of them as possible what "W" really stands for. So far, they're one for two...

Presidential Debate Committee Veterans for Truth

That Arnie, making stuff up.

But, the problem is that Arnold keeps telling this story.

But, in any case, it's no surprise he and Bush get along. They have a lot in common. Both were AWOL.

Convention Day 2

From Berube:

Next up were the twins, Barbara and Jenna. And here, I think, is where my new party revealed a genius I didn't know it had. For years, progressive-left literary types like me used to taunt Republicans: "nyah nyah, nyah nyah," we suggested, "you don't know anything about surrealism, nyah nyah, never heard of the European avant-garde, la la la la la la." We thought we were the last word in urbane sophistication, and that Republicans could not begin to comprehend– or even catch– our allusions to figures like Bréton and Bataille. But then along come the Bush twins, and ooh la la, surrealism is born anew! "My Dad already had a chief of staff– and his name is Andy!" said Jenna. It is beyond humor, it is beyond your petty-ironic Democrat understanding. "Our parents' favorite term of endearment for each other is Bushy," they said, following this with "we had a hamster too, but our hamster didn't make it." What does this mean? you ask. Foolish liberal Democrats, fretting about "what does this mean, this strange talk of bushes and lost hamsters." It is not about meaning. It is about the irruption of the unconscious into the very fabric of everyday life, where the eye becomes an egg and the hamster disappears into the bushy undergrowth, there to be transformed into the heart and soul of America. Hah! Now we find that Republican diversity is even more diverse than Michael Steele and Arnold Schwarzenegger– it extends even to the domain of live performance art, where Barbara and Jenna Bush evoke Bréton and Bataille and Beavis and Butthead in an intertextual performance that leaves you girlie-men cultural-studies Democrats gasping for air. I especially liked the bit about how their parents taught them to respect everyone. Except the people we run against-- them we slime! Heh. Heh heh. Heh.

Bad Dentist

Make sure to check out, who is a sponsor of the convention week festivities in the Tank.


So, I came across a couple of Real Live Republicans. A couple of dorky dudes were standing outside the subway station handing out buttons, screeching something like "Combat Michael Moore's lies! Help President Bush! Take a button! It's too help President Bush!"

The button has the address of a website, and they're apparently very concerned about the DVD release of Farenheit 9/11 (I won't link to it, they don't need the attention).

Anyway, I stopped and started playing clueless with them, looking uncomprehendingly at the button he was handing me. The guy said "combat Michael Moore's lies! You know, the movie! It's to help President Bush!". I let the light of comprehension slowly fill my eyes, and said "ohhh...right... I didn't see the movie.... Did you see it?"

Of course, the answer was "no."

High Comedy

Yesterday on SiriusOutQ, Signorile was interviewing David Dreier and he asked him point blank if he was gay. The congressman refused to confirm or deny either that he was gay or that he was heterosexual.

WaPo: Giuliani Big liar

Cool. A bit of fact-checking.


So, we really have entered a new age where a prime time speaker at the RNC (Arnie) invokes Nixon's name with pride?


Potemkin Softball Players


Tommy Thompson

On CNN just now:

I think Arnold Schwarzenegger's, Governor Schwarzenegger's speech last night was one of the finest I've ever seen at a convention, and I've been going to conventions for 28 years. his speech was outstanding, he gave a portrayal, he painted a picture of why people should be a Democrat, better and more ably than any person I've ever heard before.

Indeed he did.

Swift Boat Liars

These are the people that George Bush, Sr. and Bob Dole support. What losers.

COLUMBUS - Swift boat veteran Bob Anderson of Columbus is ticked.

It bothers him that Sen. John Kerry's swift boat history has become such a political hot potato. But he's even more irritated that his name was included - without his permission - on a letter used to discredit Kerry.

"I'm pretty nonpolitical," the 56-year-old Anderson said Tuesday. So, when he found out last week that his name was one of about 300 signed on a letter questioning Kerry's service, he was "flabbergasted."

"It's kind of like stealing my identity," said Anderson, who spent a year on a swift boat as an engine man and gunner.

The letter, which was posted on the Swift Boat Veter-ans for Truth Web site, claims the Demo-cratic presidential candidate has "grossly and knowingly distorted the conduct of the American soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen of that (Vietnam) war."

The letter also criticizes Kerry for trying to change his image from a critic of the war to a war hero.

"After reading the letter," Anderson said, "it kind of got under my skin. I had never come across a situation where someone used my name without my support or approval. It's not a very comforting feeling."

Trained Seelye


Once more, with feeling...

This year, an ANTI-CHOICE DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN SPOKE AT THE DNC IN PRIME TIME. Yes, for some reason, I was the only one who noticed, but IT STILL HAPPENED.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Michelangelo's Atrios

A thing of beauty.

Jenna and NotJenna

A prediction I can love.

Girly Men

Suck it up if you're unemployed. Pussies.

Great Headlines

"For G.O.P., Another Night of Moderation Lies Ahead"

(thanks to reader d)

Losing Berube

I've so far managed to watch absolutely none of the convention, despite my best intentions. But, it's good thing I haven't. Apparently the power of those forceful steadfast speakers has turned that lefty over to the dark side. Perhaps for good.

So, all good liberals, please turn off your television before it's too late!

(via digby)

Convention Thread


Shut Up

Briefly stopped off at the Fox News protest. Sorry - no camera, no pictures. Poofy haired John Gibson wandered out briefly to survey the crowd.

Was sizeable and growing crowd. I enjoyed the much more effective "The More You Watch The Less You Know" chant rather than the "Shut Up!" one. The latter is funny, but only if you realize what the joke is, otherwise it's just those crazy liberals trying to stifle free speech.

The police were all well behaved as far as I can tell, except for the fact that they were videotaping the crowd which I don't believe they're allowed to do. But, the crowd was growing bigger and I left so who knows...

...looks like I left just before it got a bit ugly.

Being There

Lord Saletan briefly drops his aristocratic way and gets a bit shrill.

Open thread


God's Own Party

jesus wept.

Atrios vs. Trump

Donald Trump, who recently spoke some truth and pointed out that the stock market does better when Democrats are in charge, is raising cash for Arlen Specter in NYC.

How cool would it be if I can raise more money for Hoeffel than Trump can for Specter?

Show some love for Joe!

In the Garbage

Bush on Limbaugh

According to Drudge. Here's a recent Limbaugh best of.

The Big Story

In the middle of the Republican National Convention, a co-sponsor of the Bush-supported FMA and virulently anti-gay congressman is forced to resign... over allegations that he's gay.

For some reason this hasn't yet been as newsworthy as the McGreevey resignation.

One Party State

MSNBC gives us choices.

Via Liberal Oasis.

Blogging on 34th Street

Well, my camera battery is dead so I can't take any exciting pictures until I get back to my hotel and charge it up. Anyway, some thoughts...

I've managed to not see too many Real Live Republicans. Maybe they've built a special system of underground tunnels or something that they're using to go from place to place without having to actually interact with the natives.

I'm sitting at the Starbucks here, and across the street are 3 banners right in a row. Two are identical Fox News banners "America's Newsroom -- Trusted. Independent. Powerful." Maybe they're no longer fair and balanced. On the banners are pictures and times for "HUME-SMITH-O'REILLLY-HANNITY&colmes-VAN SUSTEREN."

Then, just a few feet away is a giant, very similar looking, banner advertising the Daily Show. Slogan -- "The Most Trusted Name In Fake News."

Last night the Planned Parenthood benefit was quite enjoyable. Lewis Black was great, and he said something which was really on target. Paraphrasing -- 'I can't believe we still have to come together and raise money for this shit.' Indeed.

..."Nobody" provides the picture of my view, roughly. There's one more Fox banner off to the right.

Self-Parody of a Self-Parody

Why do editors continue to run the inane garbage of Easterbrook? Check out this article in the Monthly, in a forum on a 2nd Bush presidency, in which he asserts this:

A reelected Bush, if he wants to win favor with historians, will have to do something impressive, statesmanlike, and out of character.
Which is why I think a second-term Bush will be the president who imposes global-warming controls

And, no editor should run anything in which Gregg "Intelligent Design" Easterbrook claims to know something about "science."

A Family With No Class


Former President George Bush fanned doubts yesterday about Senator John Kerry's service in Vietnam, sustaining a decades-old debate that has dominated the presidential campaign in the last few weeks.

In an interview with CNN, Mr. Bush did not directly challenge Mr. Kerry's record but rather, with the subtlety of a seasoned pro, parried questions in a way to gently bat the controversy aloft.

Pressed about advertisements by a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Mr. Bush called "rather compelling" the claims of some veterans who have attacked Mr. Kerry's service, and he noted that others had accused these veterans of lying. "I have great confidence in Bob Dole," he added. "I don't think he'd be out there just smearing."

Have you no shame, Fly Boy?

SECTION: Section 1; Part 1, Page 33, Column 5; National Desk

LENGTH: 262 words

HEADLINE: Dukakis Defends Bush Over Record in War

BYLINE: Special to the New York Times


"Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, questioned about a World War II gunner's challenge to Vice President Bush's account of being shot down over the Pacific, said, ''I don't think that kind of thing has any place in the campaign.''

The Democratic Presidential nominee said the challenge to Mr. Bush's war record was ''unfair'' and ''unfortunate.''

Mr. Bush ''served this country,'' Mr. Dukakis said. ''He served it well and with tremendous courage, and you don't fly 58 missions without enormous courage and tremendous patriotism.''

Mr. Bush, who was a Navy pilot, , has said his airplane was in flames when it plunged to the ocean Sept. 2, 1944.

Chester Mierzejewski of Cheshire, Conn., a turret gunner on another plane in Mr. Bush's squadron, said that the plane was not engulfed in flames, as the Vice President has recounted, and that Mr. Bush might have saved the lives of two other men on the plane had he tried a water landing.

In his autobiography, Mr. Bush wrote that his Grumman Avenger torpedo bomber began burning after it was hit in an attack on a Japanese radio installation and that he ejected after radioing his gunner and radioman to jump.

(via Hesiod)

Delegate on Schrock Resignation


Not all delegates were disappointed. “I’m a conservative Christian, and the gay lifestyle is the wrong lifestyle,” said Fred Gerald, a delegate from southern Virginia. “It does not set a very good example for our young people, and it lowers the values in America having gay people in government.”

Fox Convention Speech Coverage Watch

Day 1: DNC, 0:41, RNC 1:14.

Who is Morton Balckwell?

Let's see here...

THE LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE ($25,000): Trains young right wing activists, primarily on college campuses. TLI's attitude toward gays was summed up by its president, Morton Blackwell, in a speech titled "Survival Values," in which he declared, "I believe it could be demonstrated statistically that in the last ten years major network television productions have portrayed sympathetically fewer clergy than homosexuals. And in doing so they have killed a lot of people. Literally killed them by leading them into temptation... Studies indicate that about one third of former homosexuals have reformed themselves."

Another major supporter of TLI was former Vice President Spiro Agnew, who resigned in disgrace while being investigated for taking bribes--an indiscretion tastefully referred to in TLI's newsletter as "charges that he had received unreported income."

Republicans Hate Veterans

All class:

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Delegates to the Republican National Convention found a new way to take a jab at Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's Vietnam service record: by sporting adhesive bandages with small purple hearts on them.

Morton Blackwell, a prominent Virginia delegate, has been handing out the heart-covered bandages to delegates, who've worn them on their chins, cheeks, the backs of their hands and other places.

Blackwell is president of the Leadership Institute, a nonpartisan educational foundation he founded in 1979. According to its Web site, the institute prepares conservatives for success in politics, government and the news media.

Contact the Leadership Institute.

(via barry)

Late Night Thread

Hopefully more bloggy goodness from me tomorrow.

But, coolest thing tonight? Watching Lou Reed sing "Walk on the Wild Side" while he was wearing a "Buck Fush" t-shirt.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Late Night Open Thread

(posted by Mrs. Atrios)

So... still sober watching the GOP convention?

Open Thread

(posted by Mrs. Atrios)

For those who have the stomach to watch the GOP Convention... I sure don't. Or whatever else that might be going on...

Congressman Shrock (R-VA) Resigns

Story here.

Real story here.

...Kos has more.


So, the Republicans have been attcking "527 ads" from a group which isn't a 527. So, all we can conclude now is that they really don't believe .in any kind of freedom of speech.

(sorry about posting problems, troublesome wireless network).

Open Thread

Chat away.

The Company You Keep

If I were the Dems, I'd be snidely talking about how Dick Cheney cavorts with Rush Limbaugh at every opportunity.

PARTY PEOPLE: Talk about a power dinner. Rush Limbaugh, Peggy Noonan and Matt Drudge - Republican sympathizers all - hosted a glittering affair at Patsy's last night, headlined by Vice President Dick Cheney and wife Lynne, Gov. Pataki and wife Libby, Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and the ubiquitous Mary Matalin (sans her Democratic firebrand husband, Ragin' Cajun James Carville.

...and, then, there was this line:

A restaurant source told me that a surprised guest was CNN anchor Daryn Kagan, who I hear is friendly with recently separated fellow broadcaster Limbaugh.

Explains a lot. One finds the Kagan/Limbaugh "rumor" elsewhere on the web...

...Kagan flashback.

Penn Station

Anyone know if the train system in New York is a complete mess?

Train or bus, the decision I face...

"Bush Leadership"

Since the central focus of the convention is apparently "Bush's Leadership," doesn't that mean that a 500,000 ad buy by the "Pet Goats for Truth," should provide for 3 weeks of free media coverage to just how great Bush's leadership was on 9/11?

Just asking...

...Oh, and, phrase most likely to be in Bush's speech...

"I can hear you."

Not One Word

Still not one word in the press about the fact that the person the RNC decided was the very best person to give the convention's opening invocation thinks that those who support gay marriage are just like those who supported the man who implemented the systematic slaughter of 6 million Jews, gypsies, gays, etc...

But, I do hear that Candy Crowley will report that Dew likes her cheesesteaks "Wiz Wit."

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Movie Reviews

Dirty Pretty Things -- Two Thumbs Up.

Matrix 3 -- Craptacular! Even worse than I'd been led to believe, and I didn't hate the second one...


One thing we should be on the lookout for during the convention is for any of the speakers to make any kind of nudge nudge wink wink disparaging remark about Kerry's military service. Presumably a chickenhawk might do this. I'm thinking we all step up to the plate and make a donation pledge in case this happens. It'd be nice if one nasty comment raked in 50 grand or so.

Put your pledges in the comments. I'm in for $100.

Convention Blogging

Well, like last time I'm mostly going to hang out and meet people and see what's up. No plans to revolutionize journalism, but one never knows. I'll be hanging out at the Tank at times starting tomorrow, where other bloggers are hanging out. Their RNCblogger aggregator is here.

Sheri Dew

The General informs us that apparently Jerry Falwell didn't quite hate gay people enough to be chosen to perform the opening invocation at the RNC hatefest. That honor has been bestowed upon one Sheri Dew.
A recent speech by the childless, single Ms. Dew:

Also, while I was peddling away, I found myself reading the latest edition of one of the nation’s most popular news magazines. One of the major articles was about gay “marriage.” There were several statements that stood out for me in a dramatic and terrifying way, but one of the most sobering features of the entire article was a picture of two handsome, young men, getting “married.” What distressed me most was the fact that they were both holding an infant “daughter”–twin girls they had adopted. I was, frankly, heartsick. What kind of chance do those girls have being raised in that kind of setting? What will their understanding of men and women, marriage and families be? Is there any chance that, as adults, they could expect to marry and enjoy a healthy relationship with a man, including rearing children together? In addition, there were alarming concepts about “family” presented throughout the article–concepts that even questioned the validity of heterosexual families.

To say I found the entire article sobering would be a grand understatement. And I found myself thinking, “Talk about influence. Imagine the influence of that one magazine in presenting ideas about the family that are totally in opposition to God’s plan and will for His children.”

Lining Up With Hitler or Against Him

This escalating situation reminds me of a statement of a World War II journalist by the name of Dorothy Thompson who wrote for the Saturday Evening Post in Europe during the pre-World War II years when Hitler was building up his armies and starting to take ground. In an address she delivered in Toronto in 1941 she said this: “Before this epic is over, every living human being will have chosen. Every living human being will have lined up with Hitler or against him. Every living human being either will have opposed this onslaught or supported it, for if he tries to make no choice that in itself will be a choice. If he takes no side, he is on Hitler’s side. If he does not act, that is an act—for Hitler.”

May I take the liberty of reading this statement again and changing just a few words, applying it to what I fear we face today? “Before this era is over, every living human being will have chosen. Every living human being will have lined up in support of the family or against it. Every living human being will have either opposed the onslaught against the family or supported it, for if he tries to make no choice that in itself will be a choice. If we do not act in behalf of the family, that is itself an act of opposition to the family.”

At first it may seem a bit extreme to imply a comparison between the atrocities of Hitler and what is happening in terms of contemporary threats against the family—but maybe not. I just turned 50 years old, and I have never married. That was not my intention, and it has not been my choice. When someone asks me why I have never married, the simple and truthful answer is that nobody has ever asked me. Nonetheless, when I speak about the family, I have a deep, profound and abiding belief that the family is absolutely ordained of God, that it is part of His plan for His children, that marriage is supposed to be between a male and a female, and that children deserve to be born to and raised by two parents, father and mother. That is the ideal.

A letter to the SL Metro gives Ms. Dew a little history lesson:

I would have thought that the President of Deseret Book would at least be educated enough to know that homosexuals were also targeted by the Nazis. Homosexuals were arrested and sent to Dachau, Mauthausen and other concentration camps. Homosexuals were enslaved, beaten, raped, tortured and murdered alongside the Jews, Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, common criminals and other “undesireables” considered to be a threat to Hitler, morality and the Nazi Party. Unlike the others, however, upon liberation by the Allied Forces, homosexuals were sent to prison to complete their sentences. Murderers, thieves and other common criminals were released from the camps while homosexuals were re-imprisoned for their sexual orientation. To suggest that those who support gay marriage would have also supported the Nazis is illogical, dishonest and just plain stupid.

If Dew still wishes to ignore documented world history perhaps a refresher course in LDS church history is in order. Concerned members of the LDS Church in Germany asked then-president Heber J. Grant what they should do about Hitler’s rise in power. He told them not to make waves but rather to obey the 12th Article of Faith, which required them to honor and sustain their elected leaders. I could more accurately rephrase her statement to say those who oppose gay marriage are like the members of the LDS church who, at the counsel of their prophet, did not oppose Hitler and the Nazi Party.

Certainly she must aware of the story of Helmuth Hubener. Deseret Book has sold at least three books about him and one of its recent ad campaigns featured his story. He was an LDS youth who, with a few friends, secretly fought against Hitler and the Nazis. He was eventually arrested and executed for those actions but not before the LDS church excommunicated him for “conduct unbecoming a member of the church” or, as she so succinctly put it, opposing Hitler’s rise to power. By her comparison, the LDS leaders of the time, including President Heber J. Grant, were the type of people who would have supported gay marriage.

Maybe she should learn a little bit about Hitler and the Holocaust before calling anyone else a Nazi.

If we had a decent press, every Bush surrogate would be asked "do you agree with Sheri Dew that support for gay marriage is like support for Hitler?"

If we had an even better press they'd get asked "Do you think Dick Cheney who thinks that people should be free to enter into whatever relationships they want to is, as Ms. Dew thinks, equivalent to someone who supported Hitler?"

Senator Peddles Lies

Check out this op-ed by Jim Boyd of the Star Tribune. Here's a bit, but read the whole thing:

We have a responsibility to separate legitimate political opinion -- and the latitude is great -- from deliberate smear. That responsibility is especially important in this campaign. Sometimes it's difficult to tell whether a piece crosses that line; to me, this is not one of those times. A legitimate piece might have raised hard questions about Kerry in Cambodia; theirs wasn't that piece.

Colleagues wanted to print today's Hinderaker and Johnson piece to be "fair" to them. But these are folks who take unfair advantage of that concern.

And what about fairness for John Kerry? These authors take great umbrage at my use of the word "fraudulent" to describe their writing. That word choice was quite deliberate: They hurled it at Kerry; I merely hurled it back.

Here is some of what I've seen during this presidential campaign: About six weeks ago, former Sen. Rudy Boschwitz submitted a piece that took on former counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke. The piece contained demonstrably false statements. I required that they be stripped from the piece, and they were. The piece ran.

Days later, Sen. Norm Coleman submitted a piece on Joe Wilson, who made the famous trip to Niger to investigate the yellowcake episode. The Coleman piece contained demonstrably false statements against Wilson. I asked that they be stripped out. One was not. It claimed that Wilson had "repeatedly" accused President Bush of deliberately lying to the American people about Iraq. Wilson is on the record, including in the Star Tribune, denying he ever said such a thing. I insisted that Coleman provide at least one quote in which Wilson accused the president of deliberately lying to the American people. His office either could not or would not do that. The piece did not run.

Then along came the Hinderaker-Johnson piece on Kerry. It should have set off all kinds of alarms. As one of the editors responsible for these pages, I regret that it did not -- and that I was not here to weigh in on the decision.

Fun in the Sun

Off to New York tomorrow to join the party.

With a Capital T

So, the media is beating the drum that all of the latest polls spell trouble for Kerry and his candidacy must be doomed, blahblahblah.

Remember when, you know, Kerry had been consistently up in the polls for months? Remember how Bush's campaign people were badgered about how much in trouble their candidate was?

First Lady Attacks War Record of Decorated Hero


Do you think these swift-boat ads are unfair to John Kerry?

Do I think they're unfair? Not really.

We have a First Lady who spits on Veterans for sport. Disgusting.

Send this classless couple and the rest of the gang home:

Donate to Stan and Patsy!
Donate to Joe!
Donate to the DNC!

Donate to the DSCC
Donate to the DCCC

Morning Bobblehead Thread

Discuss the atrocities.

Accountability Follow Up

My bashing of the Post below, though a joke, was actually a serious comment in the context of their editorial. What our media has failed to understand throughout the Bush administration, and especially since 2003, was that they have a slightly different role to play than when divided government exists. With Republican control of everything, the Democrats have no ability to set the agenda. They have no investigative power. They are unable to get out in front in a way which allows the media to happily continue its "one side/the other side" reporting. They actually have to get out in front of things - not just investigate them but make some noise about them.

Right now the 4th Estate shouldn't be lecturing anyone on accountability - the lack of accountability can be placed squarely at their feet. I missed the daily editorials calling on top DOD officials to resign - instead, we're just given a bit of whining.

...Digby was on this yesterday.

Newsweek Scoop!

They've discovered a previously unknown border between Israel and Iran!
(thanks to c)

A Failure of Accountability

I thought this WaPo editorial was going to be talking about the Post. But, it's still ok I guess.


It appears our little friend Michael Ledeen has been very busy.

And, it seems, the CEO president can't control his employees. can also read this post by Swopa and watch him chat with the real Michael Ledeen here.

...and, Juan Cole feels in some more details on this nexus of right wing thuggery.

The Neoconservatives have some sort of shadowy relationship with the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization or MEK. Presumably its leaders have secretly promised to recognize Israel if they ever succeed in overthrowing the ayatollahs in Iran. When the US recently categorized the MEK as a terrorist organization, there were howls of outrage from scholars associated with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (a wing of AIPAC), such as Patrick Clawson and Daniel Pipes. MEK is a terrorist organization by any definition of the term, having blown up innocent people in the course of its struggle against the Khomeini government. (MEK is a cult-like mixture of Marx and Islam). The MEK had allied with Saddam, who gave them bases in Iraq from which to hit Iran. When the US overthrew Saddam, it raised the question of what to do with the MEK. The pro-Likud faction in the Pentagon wanted to go on developing their relationship with the MEK and using it against Tehran.

So it transpires that the Iranians were willing to give up 5 key al-Qaeda operatives, whom they had captured, in return for MEK members.

Franklin, Rhode and Ledeen conspired with Ghorbanifar and SISMI to stop that trade. It would have led to better US-Iran relations, which they wanted to forestall, and it would have damaged their proteges, the MEK.

Since high al-Qaeda operatives like Saif al-Adil and possibly even Saad Bin Laden might know about future operations, or the whereabouts of Bin Laden, for Franklin and Rhode to stop the trade grossly endangered the United States.


Franklin's movements reveal the contours of a rightwing conspiracy of warmongering and aggression, an orgy of destruction, for the benefit of the Likud Party, of Silvio Berlusconi's business in the Middle East, and of the Neoconservative Right in the United States. It isn't about spying. It is about conspiring to conscript the US government on behalf of a foreign power or powers.