Saturday, August 07, 2004


I have no idea whether it is or isn't particularly newsworthy that Colin Powell won't be making an appearance at the convention. However, it's just flat out wrong for the article which reports this to claim that cabinet members never make convention appearances. In fact, there will be a cabinet member making a prime time speech at this convention.

Why oh why is our press corps so horrible...

Blunkett rejects terror calls

That's a good thing.

The Home Secretary has warned that American-style openness over the al-Qaeda threat risked exposing politicians to 'ridicule', and dismissed calls for him to supply more details to the British public as 'arrant nonsense'.

In a startling sideswipe at the White House - which put troops around what it said were new targets in New York last week, only for it to emerge that the intelligence underpinning the supposed threat was years old - David Blunkett says he is not prepared to discuss security operations simply to 'feed the news frenzy' in a slow summer. The Home Secretary, writing in The Observer today, is understood to be furious with David Davis, his Tory shadow, whom he had offered a confidential briefing about the arrests of 13 terror suspects in Britain last week.


Blunkett's words reflect a growing row over political handling of intelligence, with accusations in Washington that George Bush may be overemphasising the threat in order to boost his chances in November's presidential election - and in London, a new willingness by the Tories to make political capital out of the terror issue.


Update: anonymous in nc comments, "Shorter Blunkett: I'm not Tom Ridge."


Do those who write it record history more accurately because they experience it?

War? Poverty? Discrimination?

Corsi Returns to Freeperville



Digby on Shelby.

Who says bloggers don't do "real journalism"...

Ain't Too Proud to Beg Either

If anyone has, um, access to tickets for the October 1 Vote for Change show in Philadelphia...

Fox Poll Internals

Wow, the Bush campaign staff probably sent out for a lot of liquor after reading these.

On just about all the things the Bush campaign has tried to paint Kerry as, Kerry scores better or the same. People think he's more optimistic. People think he's more honest. People think he's as friendly. People think Bush has run a more negative campaign.

Message From Patsy Keever

Thanking everyone for their support:

Thank you, Atrios and Atrios readers. I’m honored to be the first House candidate you have chosen to support.

For me, one of the most exciting parts about getting your support is that it so closely mirrors the kind of support I’ve been getting here in western North Carolina – support from ordinary people who know it’s time for a change in Washington.

It’s people like you who have propelled us to where we are today: 600 active volunteers, organizations working in every county of my district, fundraising that has outpaced my opponent for 3 quarters and counting, and the support of national organizations such as EMILY’s List, the AFL-CIO, the NEA, and more.

As I’ve traveled across my mountainous, largely rural district, the message I’ve gotten from people has been clear. They’re ready for change – change to bring good jobs, better schools, and more responsible spending to our district and the nation.

We’re ready to send someone to Washington who is in touch with the concerns of real people, a mother and grandmother who has taught in our public schools for 25 years, and who has a proven track record of service as a locally elected official.

We have a challenge ahead of us, and thanks to you, we’re one step closer to a Congress who represents us. I’m excited to have you on board!

Thanks again!


Official website here.

Donation page here.

$3260 raised so far.

Dear BoBo

If you're unsure what Kerry's agenda would be, you could download the book that the campaign has conveniently made available on their website. Perhaps you could even inform your readers of that fact, and then they too could have an informed opinion.



Pop Quiz - TV News Edition

The point here is not to be right, but to give an answer based on what you remember hearing on TV.

How many US soldiers have been killed in Iraq since August 1?

...the answer can be found here.

Friday, August 06, 2004


I don't link to Herbert enough. There's something about his style -- too understated -- which doesn't always attract my attention. But, he's angry. Really angry. As he should be. Go read.

Despite my odd reticence to draw attention to his work, Herbert should be in line for every humanitarian award there is for his critical role in bringing attention to the Tulia, TX injustices. Herbert's contribution to the cause of justice in this situation cannot be overstated. One would hope that some of his colleagues would look at his example and begin to understand the power for good they have at their fingertips (cough, Modo, cough).'

And, even writing that... I've not given him enough credit. If once in my life I could claim as an accomplishment what Herbert did with the Tulia case I'd consider it a life worth living.

Friday Catblogging

(since kevin drum isn't allowed to anymore)

Gay Day

This is pretty incredible.

Varney's essentially calling on Disney to not let gay people in their parks.

Even More Right Wing Media

The Wall Street Journal editorial roundtable, which gave us all so many laughs on CNBC, is moving to PBS.

Not a joke.'s the kind of exciting commentary, underserved by commercial media, that PBS will be providing for us.

Who is Jerome Corsi?

At Media Matters.

(thanks to backlash2 for the original catch)

Still There

Christopher Allbritton is still in Iraq. Things don't sound very good.

Failing Upwards

What is with the Times? Promoting snippy Berke?

See the Howler...

First Draft

A wee bit busy. Go check out the great blog run by pie, Tena, Athenae, and Holden...

Stock Going Up

I wonder if this'll get Big Media Matt some action this weekend:

A funny thing happened after the United States transferred sovereignty over Iraq. On the ground, things didn't change, except for the worse.

But as Matthew Yglesias of The American Prospect puts it, the cosmetic change in regime had the effect of "Afghanizing" the media coverage of Iraq.



WASHINGTON -- A week after Senator John F. Kerry heralded his wartime experience by surrounding himself at the Democratic convention with his Vietnam ''Band of Brothers," a separate group of veterans has launched a television ad campaign and a book that questions the basis for some of Kerry's combat medals.

But yesterday, a key figure in the anti-Kerry campaign, Kerry's former commanding officer, backed off one of the key contentions. Lieutenant Commander George Elliott said in an interview that he had made a ''terrible mistake" in signing an affidavit that suggests Kerry did not deserve the Silver Star -- one of the main allegations in the book. The affidavit was given to The Boston Globe by the anti-Kerry group to justify assertions in their ad and book.

Obviously, Kerry sent his goons after the guy's family.


Jobs report out. Not so good. Only 32K new jobs. Last month's numbers revised downards from 112k to 78K. May's numbers were revised downwards as well.

Somebody should put Jack Cafferty on suicide watch., the CNBC guys really are suicidal.

Open Thread

yadda yadda yadda.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Swift Boat Liars

Over at Kos, DCBlues has a fascinating post, assumming he's correct that it was Larry Thurlow that was on Inside Politics today (can anyone confirm? I caught a bit of it, but never caught the name. Will check when transcript comes out).

In any case, assuming it was Thurlow, he was arguing that in a mission where Kerry got a bronze star, the one where according he saved his pal Rassmann, as described by him at the DNC, that they didn't actually take any fire.

As DCBlues discovers, Thurlow himself also received a bronze star for the very same mission.'s the transcript:

THURLOW: Yes, I do. My thought is that since no mine was detected on the other side of the river, no blast was seen, no noise heard, there's two things that are inconsistent with my memory.

Our boats immediately put automatic weapons fire on to the left bank just in case there was an ambush in conjunction with the mine. It soon became apparent there was no ambush.

The rescue efforts began on the 3-boat (ph). And at this time, the second boat in line, mine being the third boat on the left bank, began to do this.

Now, two members in this boat, keep in mind, are in the river at that time. They're picked up. The boat that picks them up starts toward Lieutenant Rassmann at this time, that's the 23-boat (ph). But before they get there, John does return and pick him up. But I distinctly remember we were under no fire from either bank.

Here's the account from Brinkley:

Almost casually, the Swifts formed up and headed out from the village. The five boats had gone about half a mile when the blast came. Right where they had been hit on an earlier mission, a mine exploded directly beneath Lieutenant James Rassman's PCF-3 near Kerry's port side. Rassman's Swift lifted about two feet up out of the water, engulfed in mud and spray, then settled, rocking so hard from side to side that the boat started zigzagging from the banks to the middle of the river. Everybody on board PCF-3 was wounded. "At the same moment, we came under a hail of small-arms fire from both banks," Kerry recorded in his journal. "I turned the boat into the fire on the left with the intention of trying to get the troops ashore on the outskirts of the ambush, but Sandusky, who was driving the boat and who had his eyes glued on the crippled 3 boat, pointed out to me how badly hit they had been. We veered back toward her then and tried to provide cover from the engaged side. Suddenly another explosion went off right beside us, and the concussion threw me violently against the bulkhead on the door, and I smashed my arm. At the same instant, Jim Rassman was blown overboard, although nobody knew it. But we continued sidling up to the 3, and as we came closer I could see that her twin-.50 mount over the pilothouse had been completely blown out of its stand and had landed on the gunner. No one was moving on the stern. [PCF-3 crewman] Ken Tryner, on his first real river expedition, was kneeling dazed in the doorway with a small trickle of blood down his face, aimlessly firing his M-79."

Thurlow had maneuvered his PCF-53 over by this time, and he hopped aboard PCF-3 to offer assistance. The boat was a shambles, but they were still shooting too hard to assess the damage. "Someone on the fantail must have noticed Jim swimming in back of us, ducking against the fire that was trying to pick him off because I suddenly heard the yell of 'man overboard' and looked back to see the bullets splashing in the water beside him," Kerry reported. "We turned around with the engines screaming against each other -- one full astern, the other full forward -- and then charged the several hundred yards back into the ambush where Jim was trying to find some cover. Everyone on board must have been firing without pause to keep the sniper heads down."
Kerry, thanking God the scramble nets were over the bow, struggled to get Rassman on board. "It must have looked like a comedy," he recalled. "Jim was exhausted from swimming and my right arm hurt and I couldn't pull very hard with it. Everyone else was firing a machine gun or something, except for Sandusky, who was maneuvering the boat, trying not to run over Jim but also trying to get near him as quickly as possible. Christ knows how, but somehow we got him on board and I didn't get the bullet in the head that I expected, and we managed to clear the ambush zone and move down near the 3 boat that was still crawling [on] a snail-like zigzag through the river."

Thurlow was struggling to get PCF-3's wounded gunner out of his hole and onto the deck when the damaged Swift ran aground hard on a shoal on the right side of the river, sending Thurlow somersaulting into the water. At the same moment, the five Swifts came under fire from the right side again, and Kerry remembered thinking that was it -- they were going to get completely cut off and annihilated in a crossfire. Spontaneously, however, every boat there stood its ground and filled the entire right bank of the river with .50-caliber, M-79, M-16 and any other firepower they had, while one of the Swifts moved in and retrieved Thurlow, who had picked himself up out of the mud. PCF-94 then moved in and attached a line to the damaged boat's stern to try to tow PCF-3 out, but the tether snapped. Kerry put another line on, and this one held. "We managed to get her clear of the kill zone," he exulted. Finally, the tumult subsided. "The wounded were transferred to another of the Swifts, which set off at full speed with a cover boat to take them out to the LST to be medevaced."


Kerry and the other wounded men received medical attention aboard a Coast Guard cutter, which was the closest ship capable of treating them. Along with a third Purple Heart for the injury to his right arm, Kerry was also awarded a Bronze Star for his bravery, as was Larry Thurlow.

By any standard, John Kerry had become a bona fide war hero. When the commander of Coastal Division 11, Charles F. Horne, recommended him for the Bronze Star on March 23, 1969, he pointed out that the 25-year-old lieutenant had previously earned two Purple Hearts (on December 2, 1968, and February 20, 1969) and the Silver Star (on March 6, 1969). Kerry became, along with Larry Thurlow, one of the most decorated officers in the "brown water navy." Yet he had also become a more uncommitted soldier than ever in the wake of the combat experiences for which he had earned a chestful of shiny medals and the horrific memories that came with them.

Give a Little...

Don't forget to dig deep and give a bit to Patsy Keever.

One thing on donation begging - I know it annoys some people. If it does, scroll past. This site gets about 90,000 "visitors" per day. I don't know how many unique pairs of eyeballs that is every day, but I definitely don't expect each person to donate every time I ask. And, I know plenty of people have modest-or-worse financial means and aren't really able to give at all. What I do know is that if every time I throw out the begging bowl 40 or 50 of you give, then over the next couple of months that'll add up to a lot of much-needed money. for non-money things you can do. Sign up with ACT. Sign up with the League of Conservation Voters. Sign up with your favorite local campaign.


Sunny Bob Novak.

Swift Boat Lies and Liars

At Media Matters.

Little LuLu

Eric Muller spends way more time than should be necessary to try to convince some of Malkin's potential audience that her latest book is full of shit.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

Part 4.

Part 4 the second.

Part 5.

Part 6.

Big John, Today


Had I been reading to children and had my top aide whisper in my ear that America is under attack, I would have told those kids very nicely and politely that the president of the United States has something that he needs to attend to.

Finally. Once it was clear that the post-9/11 "unity" crap was just another Rove conjob, the Democrats should have come out swinging.

40 Donations Today

Come on, let's get 40 donations for Keever today. That's an insigificant percentage of my readesrhip. 35 to go...


Yeah, it's silly to waste time even kicking this corpse, but here's Alan Keyes in 2000:

I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton's willingness to go into a state she doesn't even live in and pretend to represent people there. So I certainly wouldn't imitate it.

Flip Flop

From FAS:

Some of the most important intelligence reforms proposed by the 9-11 Commission, including the creation of a Director of National Intelligence (DNI), might have been adopted over a decade ago if not for the opposition of the Secretary of Defense at the time, Dick Cheney.

In a March 1992 letter to Congress, Secretary Cheney defended the status quo and objected to proposed intelligence reform legislation, particularly the DNI position.

"The roles of the Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence have evolved in a fashion that meets national, departmental and tactical intelligence needs," Cheney wrote.

The intelligence reform proposals "would seriously impair the effectiveness of this arrangement by assigning inappropriate authority to the proposed Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who would become the director and manager of internal DoD activities that in the interest of efficiency and effectiveness must remain under the authority, direction, and control of the Secretary of Defense," he wrote.

A companion letter from the DoD General Counsel elaborated on Secretary Cheney's objections, complaining that the intelligence reform proposal would "give the DNI far more extensive authority and responsibility for program and budget matters than is now exercised by the DCI," which is indeed the whole point.

Secretary Cheney successfully torpedoed the initiative with his warning that "I would recommend that the President veto [the measure] if [it] were presented to him in its current form."

(tip from Sirota)

Bush Today


They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

...AP actually runs with it:

Bush Insists His Administration Seeking 'new Ways to Harm Our Country'
The Associated Press
Published: Aug 5, 2004

Swift Boat Veterans for Patsy Keever!

Let some good come out of the evil. Let's all of us who served with John Kerry, which apparently includes all those people who heard the word "Vietnam," throw a little love towards Patsy Keever, the second candidate for Congress I've chosen try to help support (after Hoeffel).

Here's the Emily's List writeup on the candidate, which does a better job than I could.

But, don't donate through that site, donate through Act Blue which I'm going to be trying out, so donations from this site can be tracked.

So, all of us Swift Boat Veterans for Patsy Keever, donate now! I'm in for 50.

All That Needs to be Said

End of story. Bored now.

The Kerry campaign has denounced the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, saying none of the men in the ad served on the boat that Kerry commanded. The leader of the group, retired Adm. Roy Hoffmann, said none of the 13 veterans in the commercial served on Kerry's boat but rather were in other swiftboats within 50 yards of Kerry's.

Jim Rassmann, an Army veteran who was saved by Kerry, said there were only six crewmates who served with Kerry on his boat. Five support his candidacy and one is deceased.

Choosing Candidates

is hard work. oy.

Not in the Mood

To watch TV. Is CNN eating up the latest swift boat crap?


Nice to see this story get as much play as the Berger story (cough). Shelby, you see, actually leaked serious classified information which the media then broadcast.

Federal investigators concluded that Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) divulged classified intercepted messages to the media when he was on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, according to sources familiar with the probe.

Specifically, Fox News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron confirmed to FBI investigators that Shelby verbally divulged the information to him during a June 19, 2002, interview, minutes after Shelby's committee had been given the information in a classified briefing, according to the sources, who declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the case.

Cameron did not air the material. Moments after Shelby spoke with Cameron, he met with CNN reporter Dana Bash, and about half an hour after that, CNN broadcast the material, the sources said. CNN cited "two congressional sources" in its report.

The FBI and the U.S. attorney's office pursued the case, and a grand jury was empaneled, but nobody has been charged with any crime. Last month it was revealed that the Justice Department had decided to forgo a criminal prosecution, at least for now, and turned the matter over to the Senate Ethics Committee.

Thursday is New Jobless Day

Congratulations to the 336K new lucky duckies.

But, more importantly, tomorrow the monthly jobs report comes out. The usual reminder - anything under 150K or so is a "bad" number and anything under 300K or so is less than the average monthly job creation number Bush used to justify his most recent tax cut...

Now, that would be a question for a press conference. "Mr. Preznit, in Februrary of 2004, your Council of Economic Advisers predicted that if your tax plan passed, that 3,672,000 new jobs would be created. What went wrong?"



There is a lot that makes me angry... but, I have to say that the lost opportunities post-9/11 really make me sad.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The Night Has a Thousand Saxamaphones

Sorry for the absence. Me, Mrs. A, A-Bro, J-Still, Dirk, Lerxst, and Pratt, were jammin'.

Bush pretends to be an environmentalist

What? There aren't any natural resources that can be pillaged?

LeSUEUR, Minn. (AP) - President Bush told several hundred farmers, ranchers and sportsmen Wednesday that he plans to expand a program that pays them to keep environmentally sensitive lands out of production.


Bush's announcement ``is a grand slam for wildlife and conservationists,'' said Howard Vincent, who heads the nonprofit group Pheasants Forever.

The president told the farmers in LeSueur that the program would protect habitats for hundreds of thousands of quail.

Gotta keep the hunters happy. How interesting that he keeps in place a nearly two-decade-old program.


Flip Flop

Bush Then:

Now that the Taliban are gone and al Qaeda has lost its home base for terrorism, we have entered the second stage of the war on terror ? a sustained campaign to deny sanctuary to terrorists who would threaten our citizens from anywhere in the world. In Afghanistan, hundreds of trained killers are now dead. Many have been captured. Others are still on the run, hoping to strike again. These terrorist fighters are the most committed, the most dangerous, and the least likely to surrender. They're trying to regroup, and we'll stop them.

NPR yesterday:

After months of rumors that Afghan President Hamid Karzai was courting former Taliban officials, he confirmed it, saying giving them legitimacy would help bring normalcy to war-torn Afghanistan.


KENNEDY: But according to Muzhda who is helping the negotiations, some Taliban have conditions. They say they won't join the government unless Karzai cracks down more on moral corruption and becomes more rigorous in promoting Islamic values.

Mr. MUHAMMAD ASTALL (Hazara): (Foreign language spoken)

KENNEDY: The idea that some former Taliban may take up government positions again makes Muhammad Astall furious. He's a Hazara, the ethnic group most persecuted by the Taliban regime. Almost 100 members of his family were killed when the Taliban stormed their central Afghanistan village in 1998. The Taliban is alleged to have murdered some 10,000 ethnic Hazaras, Tajiks and Uzbeks that year.

Unidentified Man: All the Talibans are criminals. There is nobody inside that Taliban regime that are not shedding the people's blood. But I think the main purpose of Mr. Karzai to join the Taliban within the government is to bring a national unity, but I think it's very harmful to democracy and we should not expect democracy in the presence of Taliban in the government.

KENNEDY: Karzai recently said that he only considers about 150 Taliban leaders to be criminals. No former Taliban have been given ministry positions yet, but it probably won't be long until they are.


Regarding the recent fines paid by Halliburton over shareholder fraud, JMM says:

Now, with a whitewash, you might at least expect that Cheney would be denying knowledge that this took place, as implausible as it might sound. But he won't. After taking down O'Donnell's crowing about the results of the investigation, the Times asked whether Cheney "had been aware of the effect of the accounting change on the company's profits." But O'Donnell wouldn't answer.

So here you have the Vice President of the United States. His company gets caught in about as clear a case of cooking the books to inflate profits as you can imagine during the time he was CEO. (His salary and bonuses are tied to company profits.) And he won't even go to the trouble of denying that he was aware of the wrongdoing.

Can we have some more aggressive reporting on this one?

I'm sure Jeff Gerth will get right on it...

Bush Blog Attacks Firefighters

The Bush Blog links to this NRO article which contains absolutely disgusting attacks on Firefighters.

Generally speaking, the likelihood that a firefighter will vote for John Kerry is inversely proportional to the number of fires he has actually fought. Witness all those T-shirted "Fire Fighters for Kerry" you saw at the convention. A little soft around the middle some of them were, weren't they? Do you think some of them could haul a hose pack up 50 flights of stairs? I'm not betting on it. I'm guessing the only fires many of them have seen lately were at IAFF barbecues.

...Chris Bowers has more.

North Korea Has Dozen Subs

Could threaten us with sea-launched missiles. Where'd Dear Leader get them? It looks like he got them from the guy who writes the paychecks of BillGertz, Tony Blankley, Wes Pruden, Andrew Sullivan, Jonah Goldberg...

Why do they hate America?

...Tapped has more.

Going for Broke

Not a specific fundraising plea, but a general one.

This is it folks, the big one. There are any number of underfunded races. Underfunded 527s. Underfunded party organizations (State/national).

Give where you want. Give where you can. But, give.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Looks like an incumbent Dem governor may lose his primary.

Manly Beauty

Not quite as manly, or as beautiful, as The General, but still quite beautiful and manly...

Celebrate Diversity

oy. I've been trying to figure out how to write this post for a couple of hours. I want to make clear that this isn't a shot at instapundit, cheap or otherwise, but something I think it's necessary to point out. I'm no fan of the guy, and think he's quite frequently been the transmitter of some truly hateful ideas (blaming the victims of genocide, for one), but in this case I think he's just clueless.

In the previous post someone linked to a conservative t-shirt seller, proudly featuring Reynolds wearing this T-shirt. Now, Glenn's a gun fan and I imagine he's just celebrating the joys of guns, or whatever, but this shirt is no joke. There's a serious subtext here which is totally obvious to me that I think should be pointed out. Now, I don't think everyone who has purchased a shirt like this has purchased it with the subtext in mind, but nonetheless the message is clear.

The caption is "celebrate diversity." The colors of the caption are commonly used pan-African colors: red, yellow, and green. While, for many, the "joke" (though, I'm not sure why it's funny) is that here diversity is a diversity of guns. Ha ha. But, look, the clear message here is that the way to celebrate diversity, particularly that pan-African diversity, is to buy a bunch of fucking guns. In other words, celebrate diversity by arming yourself.


...yes, someone points out, Reynolds is wearing the black version of the T-shirt in which the caption does not use the Pan-African colors. But, still, even without the colors the "celebrate diversity" slogan is enough.

Elsewhere in Tennessee


Iraqis visiting on a civil rights tour were barred from city hall after the city council chairman said it was too dangerous to let them in.

The seven Iraqi civic and community leaders are in the midst of a three-week American tour, sponsored by the State Department to learn more about the process of government. The trip also includes stops in Washington, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The Iraqis were scheduled to meet with a city council member, but Joe Brown, the council chair, said he feared the group was dangerous.

``We don't know exactly what's going on. Who knows about the delegation, and has the FBI been informed?'' Brown said. ``We must secure and protect all the employees in that building.''

Elisabeth Silverman, the group's host and head of the Memphis Council for International Visitors, said Brown told her he would ``evacuate the building and bring in the bomb squads'' if the group entered.

Controlling the Press

Kudos to Knight-Ridder. How embarassing for the rest of them. The constitutional protections afforded to a free press should come with certain obligations -- the willingness to be independent of government influence chief among them.

At first, Hoyt says, Knight Ridder papers gave Landay and Strobel's stories inconsistent play. But "as time went by, the play got better and better."

And the heat, hotter.

"As the pressure built on the administration and their case got shakier and shakier, there was obviously a lot greater stress, and there was some shouting that was done at us over the telephone," Hoyt says. Some of those calls came from well-known names in high places, Bureau Chief John Walcott adds, declining to drop any names.

Around that time, the White House turned up the pressure, Strobel says, and "tried to freeze us out of briefings."

Landay adds: "I think this administration may have a fairly punitive policy when it comes to journalists who get in their face. And if you talk to some White House reporters, there is a fear of losing access." He says that fear may have played into the relatively uncritical approach of news organizations like the Times.

Another likely factor in that equation were the calls for national unity following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. "Many other news organizations were willing to give the administration the benefit of the doubt, particularly in the post-9/11 environment," Strobel says. "We were not."

The Times' editor's note, which acknowledges Knight Ridder in its seventh paragraph, applauds the chain's efforts to examine "the failings of American and allied intelligence" in Iraq, adding, "it is past time we turn the same light on ourselves."

The note suggests a variety of reasons for the paper's failings, everything from the faults of "individual reporters" (without naming any) to editors "perhaps too intent on rushing scoops into the paper" to a lack of proper follow-ups, especially when key sources for several Times accounts were later found not to be credible.

The Times declined to elaborate on the editor's note.

Here We Go

In Defense of Internment, by Little LuLu.

Instapundit endorsed.

I love conservatarians.

But, what can we say about people who advocate collective guilt based on ethnicty? And, of course, the good professor is careful not to explicitly endorse that part of the book. But, you know, the title says it all... I'm not going to endorse a book called "In Defense of Concentration Camps" even if it does have a great chocolate chip cookie recipe.

(via tbogg)

Legislative Accomplishments

Cheney, 11 years in the House:

96th Congress: 4 Sponsored; 0 became Law

97th Congress: 4 Sponsored: 0 became Law

98th Congress: 8 Sponsored: 0 became Law

99th Congress: 7 Sponsored: 1 became Law
(H.R.1246 : A bill to establish a federally declared floodway for the Colorado River below Davis Dam.)

100th Congress: 7 Sponsored: 1 became Law

(H.R.712 : A bill for the relief of Lawrence K. Lunt.)

101st Congress: 1 Sponsored: 0 became Law

Taken from a Kerry press release, which included this quote from Congressman Spratt (D-SC):

Dick Cheney served in the Congress for 11 years. I served with him for most of these years. In that time, he only passed two bills. One was to build a flood plain on the Colorado River and the other was a bill to help a constituent. What’s even more telling about Dick Cheney’s record in the House is not what he supported but what he opposed – things like Headstart and funding for seniors. It seems pretty dishonest for Bush and Cheney to be attacking John Kerry - who passed 57 bills in the Senate – for his legislative accomplishments.

One More Time



"We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security."

Two Days Ago, August 1, 2004:

"But we must understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the President's leadership in the war against terror. The reports that have led to this alert are the result of offensive intelligence and military operations overseas, as well as strong partnerships with our allies around the world, such as Pakistan. Such operations and partnerships give us insight into the enemy so we can better target our defensive measures here and away from home."

Blind Item

What John asks. Does anyone know who this is?

They Knew

David Sirota and Christy Harvey have a piece in In These Times which clearly documents the timeline of "What They Knew, When They Knew It, and When They Continued to Lie About It." It should put to rest the current media narrative of "the poor Bush administration was DUPED by those nasty people at the CIA." The truth is, every journalist knows that the standard narrative is crap. The fact that they continue to perpetuate it demonstrates just how in the tank they are. Excerpt:

By the spring of 2002, major news publications such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, Newsweek and Time were running stories calling the “Prague connection” an “embarrassing” mistake and stating that, according to European officials, the intelligence supporting the claim was “somewhere between ‘slim’ and ‘none’.” The stories also quoted administration officials and CIA and FBI analysts saying that on closer scrutiny, “there was no evidence Atta left or returned to the United State at the time he was supposed to be in Prague.” Even FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, a Bush political appointee, admitted in April 2002, “We ran down literally hundreds of thousands of leads and checked every record we could get our hands on, from flight reservations to car rentals to bank accounts,” but found nothing.

But that was not good enough for the administration, which instead of letting the story go, began trying to manipulate intelligence to turn fantasy into reality. In August 2002, when FBI case officers told Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz that there was no Atta meeting, Newsweek reported Wolfowitz “vigorously challenged them.” Wolfowitz wanted the FBI to endorse claims that Atta and the Iraqi spy had met. FBI counterterrorism chief Pat D’Amuro refused.

In September 2002, the CIA handed Cheney a classified intelligence assessment that cast specific, serious doubt on whether the Atta meeting ever occurred. Yet, that same month, Richard Perle, then chairman of the Bush’s Defense Policy Board, said, “Muhammad Atta met [a secret collaborator of Saddam Hussein] prior to September 11. We have proof of that, and we are sure he wasn’t just there for a holiday.” In the same breath, Perle openly admitted, “The meeting is one of the motives for an American attack on Iraq.”

By the winter of 2002, even America’s allies were telling the administration to relent: In November, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he had seen no evidence of a meeting in Prague between Atta and an Iraqi intelligence agent.

But it did not stop. In September 2003, on “Meet the Press,” Cheney dredged up the story again, saying, “With respect to 9/11, of course, we’ve had the story that’s been public out there. The Czechs alleged that Mohammed Atta, the lead attacker, met in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official five months before the attack.” He provided no new evidence, opted not to mention that the Czechs long ago had withdrawn the allegations, and ignored new evidence that showed the story was likely untrue.

Even today, with all of the intelligence firmly against him, Cheney remains unrepentant. Asked in June about whether the meeting had occurred, he admitted, “That’s never been proven.” Then he added, “It’s never been refuted.” When CNBC’s Gloria Borger asked about his initial claim that the meeting was “pretty well confirmed,” Cheney snapped, “No, I never said that. I never said that. Absolutely not.”

His actual words in December 2001: “It’s been pretty well confirmed that [Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service.”

In other words, Cheney hit a new low. He resorted not only to lying about the story, but lying about lying about the story.


Can we have a story about successful African-Americans that doesn't refer to them as "eloquent?" God, I thought we'd all learned that the word had become a punchline in this context.

Former GOP presidential candidate Alan Keyes told Illinois Republicans Monday that he is ''open to the idea'' of taking on the Democrat in the U.S. Senate race -- a move that would pit two eloquent, nationally known African Americans against one another.

Flip Flop

From the New York Times, May 3, 2003.

The Bush administration is planning to withdraw most United States combat forces from Iraq over the next several months and wants to shrink the American military presence to less than two divisions by the fall, senior allied officials said today.

The United States currently has more than five divisions in Iraq, troops that fought their way into the country and units that were added in an attempt to stabilize it. But the Bush administration is trying to establish a new military structure in which American troops would continue to secure Baghdad while the majority of the forces in Iraq would be from other nations.

Under current planning, there would be three sectors in postwar Iraq. The Americans would keep a division in and around Baghdad; Britain would command a multinational division in the south near Basra; and Poland would command a third division of troops from a variety of nations.

The British are organizing a "force generation" conference next week in London to solicit troops for the effort, and another conference is likely to be held later this month in Warsaw.

The Bush administration's aim is to bring most of the American troops here back to their bases in the United States and Europe so they can prepare for potential crises.

The administration does not want substantial numbers of American forces to be tied down in Iraq. It is eager to avoid the specter of American occupation, and it is hoping to shift much of the peacekeeping burden of stabilizing Iraq to other governments.

If the administration plan is carried out, the effect would be to reduce the number of American troops in Iraq from over 130,000 soldiers and marines at present to 30,000 troops or fewer by the fall.


So, a reporter who recently wrote that things are better in Iraq than the media portrayed has now changed his mind and is saying they're worse. I was struck by this statement:

In March, as I was writing, the $18.4 billion reconstruction effort was just getting off the ground. I had sat in on a briefing in which a senior U.S. official confidently predicted that, by June, thanks to American rebuilding efforts, Iraq would have electricity 18 hours a day throughout the country.

I called that promise "credible," and argued that, once Iraqis could see that kind of progress from the rebuilding program, perhaps the insurgency would abate.

How on Earth could any sentient journalist consider that to be a "credible" promise? I mean, we've been hearing promises about restoring electricity to pre-war levels since Flightsuit Boy appeared.


Lying, revealing classified information, oh just take your pick...

In an interview after the speech, Harris said she learned from classified information about the 100 potential attacks that have been thwarted since 9/11.

"Actually, it's been more than 100," she said. "It's classified … obviously not classified to me … but things I can't go into detail about."


Harris told the audience that while she was in the Midwest recently, the mayor of Carmel, Ind., recounted how a man of Middle Eastern heritage had been arrested. She said hundreds of pounds of explosives were found in his home.

"He had plans to blow up the area's entire power grid," she said.

Pressed after the speech for details about the arrest, Harris said it had not been made public and she asked a reporter not to name the city she mentioned to the audience.

"I probably said too much," Harris said.


Edna Hussman of Venice said she came to the event primarily to see Harris.

"She's an attraction," said Hussman, a retiree who has lived in Venice 21 years. "I like her integrity, her honesty. She's classy, but she doesn't make you feel she's looking down on you."

Poor Ms. Hussman...


It's more important to keep your job than to speak the truth. Whores.

I hear that political journalist Howard Fineman is in very hot water with his bosses at MSNBC for comments he made on the air about "Hardball" host Chris Matthews.

Fineman, a "Hardball" regular who has moonlighted at MSNBC and NBC for the past six years while writing for Newsweek magazine, went on Don Imus' radio show Friday and compared the ratings-challenged "Hardball" to Matthews' much more popular syndicated Sunday show.

"One reason why Chris Matthews' Sunday show is so successful is that the producer there tells Chris, 'Shut up!'" Fineman told Imus, who was goading him to criticize Matthews. "And he does, and the rest of us get to talk."

I'm told that the sleep-deprived Fineman, who was a "Hardball" panelist all week at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, realized his mistake as soon as the words were out of his mouth.

On a couple of hours later, Fineman wrote: "Sometimes when you are tired - when you've been yakking all week and racing from a convention hall to a political reception to an interview - you screw up, big time, as Dick Cheney would say.

"Well, I did that this morning by failing to defend the best political mind on TV, my loyal colleague and host Chris Matthews ... Matthews is the best thing on political TV."

But Fineman's apology has come too late, and I hear that MSNBC president Rick Kaplan, "Hardball" executive producer Tammy Haddad and especially Matthews remain angry with him.

Yesterday, it wasn't clear whether Fineman would be punished with an unpaid suspension from the cable network.

Fineman and MSNBC declined to comment, and Matthews and Haddad didn't return phone calls.

He should now lose his job at Newsweek, after he's admitted what he is. Ailes says:

There's a man who won't sell his soul for less than spot on a cable show with sub-basement ratings. You can always trust Howard -- to kiss the biggest ass in town.

(thanks to bkny)

Real Security

Senator Corzine (see ad, left) is trying to educate people and obtain support for a genuine security initiative - the Chemical Security Act. Check it out.

On Bended Knee

Tom Ridge, Sunday:

But we must understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the president's leadership in the war against terror, the reports that have led to this alert are the result of offensive intelligence and military operations overseas, as well as strong partnerships with our allies around the world, such as Pakistan.

WaPo today:

It is important that prominent Democrats such as former governor Howard Dean refrain from observing, as Mr. Dean did, that "every time something happens that's not good for President Bush, he plays this trump card, which is terrorism," because that would imply that no terrorist threats, however serious, should be taken as such. It is equally important that the administration not politicize its warnings, because to do so would weaken them.

In his statement, Mr. Ridge stayed away from politics, although he did, as in the past, find it necessary to attach a list of his homeland security achievements along with the warning, which did reduce its impact.

Things in order of importance:

1) The WaPo should ignore that Ridge explicitly politicized the terror warning.

2) The WaPo should chastize Howard Dean and unnamed Democrats for pointing out the truth - that this and other terror alerts in the past were explicitly political.

3) Then, finally, the WaPo should meekly suggest that maybe it's a bad idea to use these for political purposes, without acknowledging that it had been done.

...and, yes, to be clear -- the Post is doing some excellent reporting on this subject. Hiatt just can't get his head out of Bush's ass.

Times Editorial

For wimpy Collins, who is in charge of these things, tough words. Why, she almost sounds like that CRAAAAAZZZZZZZZZYYYYYYY HOWARD DEAN! (yeeargh!)

The Times reports today that much of the information that led to the heightened alert is actually three or four years old and that authorities had found no concrete evidence that a terror plot was actually under way. This news does nothing to bolster the confidence Americans need that the administration is not using intelligence for political gain.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Woodruff Then

February 16, 1998
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Much has been made of President Clinton's current troubles and similarities to the hit movie "Wag the Dog," in which a cynical White House manufactures a phony war in order to deflect public attention from a presidential sex scandal.

CNN Today


ANNOUNCER: The Empire State's governor is our guest.

Howard Dean does it again.

DR. HOWARD DEAN (D), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am concerned that every time something happens that's not good for President Bush, he plays this trump card, which is terrorism.


WOODRUFF: Governor, what about the comments we've heard in the last two days from Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont. I mean, he is suggesting that there's some politics in here.

And just a quick quote from him. He says, "I am concerned every time something happens that's not good for President Bush, he plays this trump card, which is terrorism." He said, "His whole campaign is based on the notion," quote, "'I can keep you safe, therefore at times in difficulty for America, stick with me' and then out comes Tom Ridge.

PATAKI: Judy, I think Howard Dean is an embarrassment. I mean, he almost makes Michael Moore look objective in how he analyzes these situations. And the American people got to know him during the campaign and rejected him.

The sad part is that his policies and his warped beliefs are having a significant impact on Senator Kerry's policies. Senator Kerry talked about being tough in the war on terror, but he essentially adopted the Dean line when he had to do it to get through at the Democratic primaries.

And this president understands the real threat that America faces. He is providing extraordinary leadership. And I'm just proud to stand with him and stand with the people of New York, because we understand that these threats aren't political; they are real.

And I'll tell you, Judy, I've seen the courage of New Yorkers, in the face, not just of threats, but of the attacks of September 11th. And right now, New Yorkers are showing that same courage in the face of these threats.


WOODRUFF: Well, Congress -- we were just discussing Congress -- it would have to approve many of the changes recommended by the 9/11 Commission. Of course, right now, we're in the August recess. But coming up, a look at what, if any, work is being done on Capitol Hill.

Plus, we've been hearing about this. Howard Dean goes on the attack. But is he damaging the Republicans or his own party's credibility?


WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.

Well, Vice presidential nominees traditionally are the presidential campaign's attack dogs. But for the Democrats these days, the loudest attacks are coming from someone who isn't even on the ticket. Coming up: Howard Dean gets rough again.


WOODRUFF: Early in the Democratic presidential campaign, Howard Dean emerged as a front-runner, partly because of his willingness to attack the Bush administration and directly criticize the president. Well, he may not have won the nomination, but Howard Dean still is on the attack.


BUSH: The elevation of the threat level in New York and New Jersey and Washington, D.C. is a serious reminder, a solemn reminder of the threat we continue to face.

WOODRUFF (voice-over): Not everyone sees it entirely that way.

DEAN: It's just impossible to know how much of this is real and how much of this is politics. And I suspect there's some of both in it.

WOODRUFF: Howard Dean threw down the gauntlet yesterday, questioning whether the Bush administration gemmed (ph) up the terror warning to blunt positive media coverage of the Democratic convention.

DEAN: Every time something happens that's not good for President Bush, he plays his trump card, which is terrorism.

WOODRUFF: Republicans took umbrage, and so did some Democrats.

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: I don't think anybody who has any fairness or is in their right mind would think that the president or the secretary of Homeland Security would raise an alert level and scare people for political reasons.

WOODRUFF: It's not the first time the former Vermont governor's words have made waves. Remember what he said after U.S. forces in Iraq bagged the ace in the deck?

DEAN: We're not safer today than we were before Saddam Hussein left.

That's all in a half hour show.


Thanks all, for a great Joe Hoeffel fundraising day. And, bonus for me, at the last minute the campaign was kind enough to put us in a skybox for the AC Milan-Chelsea game at Lincoln Field. Chatted with Afro-Netizen, who I also briefly met at the convention.

Bad omen, though. The "red team" (Milan) won.

Howard Dean, He So Crazy

I'm sure Bill Hemmer, Wolf Blitzer, and Judy Woodruff will issue their apologies tomorrow.

From the eggman:

Much of the information that led authorities to raise the terror alert at several large financial institutions in the NY and D.C. areas was 3 or 4 years old... NYT Tuesday Page One Splash To Claim: Intelligence and law enforcement officials 'had not yet found concrete evidence that a terror plot or preparatory surveillance operations were still under way'... WASH POST Page One: Alerts Stemmed from Pre-9/11 Acts /// 'There is nothing right now that we're hearing that is new,' said one senior law enforcement official who was briefed on the alert. 'Why did we go to this level?... I still don't know that'... POST: 'Most of the information was compiled prior to the Sept. 11 attacks and that there are serious doubts about the age of other, undated files'...

"Better Qualified to be Commander-in-chief""


Kerry leads Bush as "better qualified to be commander-in-chief," by 52 percent to 44 percent.


That's how much we've sent to Hoeffel today, including the $500 that I just sent. Maxed out my promised matching funds, but that shouldn't stop you... step closer!

WASHINGTON - The national chairman of the Constitution Party said he filed more than 35,000 signatures Monday to get on Pennsylvania's ballot for the U.S. Senate, all but certainly pitting Sen. Arlen Specter against another conservative challenger this year.

In an unusual cross-party display of animosity against Specter, R-Pa., volunteers for Democratic candidate Rep. Joe Hoeffel helped Constitution Party chairman Jim Clymer collect enough signatures to quality for the ballot.

Democrats have long hoped that Clymer would enter the race, pulling Republican support from Specter and boosting Hoeffel's chances of winning the Nov. 2 election. But Clymer said he expects to have support from Republicans and Democrats who oppose abortion rights - a main plank of his campaign.

"I just don't believe the people of Pennsylvania agree with their views on a number of issues," Clymer, 56, said. "On the issues of jobs, trade, immigration, a runaway judiciary, runaway spending - I think all those issues, Specter and Mr. Hoeffel are on the same side. And I think they're at odds with what a majority Pennsylvanians believe is right."

Specter, a moderate Republican, barely survived a primary challenge this spring against conservative Rep. Pat Toomey. He won by 12,603 votes - the closest challenge of his Senate career.

Hollywood Values

Looks like we know where the Heart and Soul of Republican America is:

Call out the tow trucks: A 60-foot black-and-white billboard showing Chloe Sevigny pleasuring Vincent Gallo was unveiled Saturday on Hollywood's Sunset Blvd.
The steamy and controversial ad, plugging a notorious scene in the upcoming "X-Rated Adults Only" flick "The Brown Bunny," which opens next month, went up near the famed Chateau Marmont Hotel. Wonder what they'll charge for a room with a view.


Gallo is now in New York and says he will attend the Republican National Convention later this month.

"I'm here trying to help out in any way that I can. I have made it clear that I am open in any way to promote and protect the Republican administration," he said.

Cigars and Ties

What Digby says:

Gosh, what ever happened to the roving band of legal analysts on cable TV 24/7 babbling like magpies about the legal ramifications of cigars and birthday ties? Those were the days, man. The press left no stone left unturned when it came to Monica's wardrobe or big Bill's allegedly curved penis. There would have been screaming headlines if the Secretary of State had been called before the Grand Jury and everyone from Geraldo to C. Boyden Gray would have weighed in on the significance of it.

This is an investigation into matters of political dirty tricks concerning national security that appears that it may involve the president of the United States and nobody gives a shit. This isn't some third rate burglary --- but, wtf. It looks like the only way anyone will pay attention to this story is if Plame goes on Larry King and has a wardrobe malfunction.


Yglesias has a post up questioning the motivations for leaking the source of information for the latest terror alert. More generally, I find the "motivations of the leakers" to be an underreported story in almost every context. In fact, quite often the motive-and-identiy of leakers is actually an even more interesting story than the leak itself.

Obviously, during those crazy last days of the Clinton administration, the press collectively agreed to ignore the ugly elephant in the living room - the illegal (And often dishonest) leaks which could have only come from Starr OIC insiders. To me, the fascinating turn events in the whole Plame story, after the initial bit of interest when Novak's column first hit, was the fact that two senior administration officials went to reporters with the story.

But, for various reasons (some good some bad), there's rarely much discussion of these stories-behind-the-stories.

Money Where My Mouth Is

Let's start off August fundraising with an extra boost to the candidacy of Joe Hoeffel. I'll match 50 cents on the dollar, up to $500 total from me (shh... don't tell Mrs. Atrios), for donations received today.

August is going to be fundraising nagging month. Look, this is it. We've been whining and wailing and screaming for the past 3+ years. 2002 was a bust, partly due to a failure of the Democratic leadership, but partly because there were plenty of underfunded candidates.

So, let's start with Hoeffel and in a few days I'll choose another candidate.

Click to give!

Krugman to CBS

At Romenesko:

From PAUL KRUGMAN: In response to Jim Murphy's comment regarding my July 30 column on the absence of issue coverage in this election, and the "miffed" staff at CBS Evening News: as Greg Mitchell has already pointed out [below Murphy's letter], Mr. Murphy apparently misread what I said. I did not say that there has been no issue reporting at all over the past two months; I said that issue coverage is very thin, and that there has in particular been no clear explanation of even the most basic elements of the Kerry health care plan.

That statement is, alas, true. The CBS evening news report from June 29 was the best coverage of the competing health care plans I could find. But did it explain that the Kerry plan would cover most of those now uninsured? No. Did it explain that the plan would, according to the Kerry campaign, be financed by a tax-cut rollback? No. In fact, by giving time to Bush claims that "the Kerry plan would break the bank", without mentioning Kerry's plan to pay for it with a tax-cut rollback, the CBS report conveyed the false impression that the plan is unfunded pie in the sky.

Bear in mind that this is not one among many issues: health care-cum-tax cut rollback is Kerry's signature domestic policy proposal. Yet a voter who gets his or her news from TV, even CBS with its "issues" series, would have little or no idea of what Kerry is offering, or how it differs from Bush.

Straight Talk

From the White House West.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Best in Philly

They like me! They really like me!

Was wondering why I got an invitation to the party...

Faith Based Taxation

Wonder if Bush will really make abolishing the IRS a campaign theme [drudge link]. The thing about those who advocate replacing all federal taxes with a VAT taxes, they almost inevitably lie about just about everything when they're advocating it. Any changing tax system needs to start with what it would take for a revenue neutral change. They always set the tax rate too low, often obscuring it by calculating percentages rather weirdly (say, if the total price including tax is $1.30, and the price without tax is $1.00, they call the associated tax rate as ((1.30-1)/1.30)= .23 instead of the .3 that we normally think of it). They claim you can include progressivity by exempting the first $X worth of purchases, ignoring how this would require a massive increase in the underlying tax rate. They pretend compliance and enforcement costs simply don't exist (abolish the IRS!). And, they exaggerate the overly impact on the economy which serious studies find to be at best a tiny bump.

But, I'm sure by next week the media will be goo goo over the fact that we won't have to file our income taxes anymore! Though, the dollar and bond prices may plunge...

Nixon and G.

Recently, Michael Kinsley wrote:

These themes have reverberated around Democratic conventions since the first post-McGovernite election year of 1976. By now the word "McGovernite," never exactly filled with schismatic drama and romance, must be about as meaningful to the average voter as "Shachtmanite" or "Albigensian." George McGovern, children, was a senator from South Dakota (a region of the upper west side of Manhattan in the geographical mythology of Democratic Party critics) and the Democratic presidential candidate in 1972. He was, and is, a left-liberal. The Republican offering that year was Richard Nixon (with Spiro Agnew for dessert), but it is the Democrats who have been apologizing for their choice ever since.

From yesterday's weekend All Things Considered, about journalist Jack Anderson:

Mr. FELDSTEIN: Well, it's pretty wild, but it's true. The CIA started spying on Anderson under Nixon which was illegal, and Anderson found out about it and he sicced his nine kids--he's a devote Mormon and has nine children--on the CIA agents and they waved and let the air out of the tires of the agents and made sport of it all. So everything Nixon tried, you know, didn't seem to work and finally he turned to smearing him sexually and an assassination plot.

NAYLOR: Now what did the assassination plot involve? I mean, was this something that Nixon was directly involved with?

Mr. FELDSTEIN: We don't know. Here's what we do know--and it's been really interesting. I've been going through the National Archives documents on this and the White House tapes. We do know that E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, two names that would become famous a few weeks later during the Watergate break-in when they were arrested as part of that, secretly met at The Hay-Adams Hotel in March of 1972, a block from the White House, and they discussed rubbing out Jack Anderson, and they discussed various ways they were going to kill him. First, they talked about putting LSD in his drink. The trouble was as Mormon and a teetotaler, he didn't drink alcohol. So that was out. So then they talked about making him crash in an automobile accident, but they would have to go to the CIA and use a special car for that. So finally G. Gordon Liddy volunteered to kill Anderson himself personally by knifing him, slitting his throat, and staging it as a mugging that would look like a Washington street crime. At the last minute, this assassination plot was aborted, and a few weeks later, the men were arrested in the Watergate break-in and never had a chance to put their plan into operation.

Playing Politics With Terror Alerts

Ridge, today:

But we must understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the president's leadership in the war against terror, the reports that have led to this alert are the result of offensive intelligence and military operations overseas, as well as strong partnerships with our allies around the world, such as Pakistan.

New Progressive Book Club

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Open Thread

Chat away.

August Fundraising

It's time to me to Throw the Mighty Force of My Blogs behind a few candidates, as Kos has been doing. Obviously, I'll continue pushing Joe Hoeffel, but i'd like to pick 3-5 more candidates to support. I haven't yet chosen them, but I have been mulling over the criteria I'd like to use to pick them.:

1) They've built a decent online/online outreach operation.

No, this doesn't mean they've purchased blogads. But, we are, roughly, "netroots," and it's only reasonable to throw support behind candidates who have found ways to reach out to the online community (and, no, this isn't a call for candidates to reach out to me personally, or this blog, just more generally).

2) The money we can raise here can make a difference.

This one's rather complicated. Obviously, we can make a difference in terms of their fundraising with candidates who haven't managed to raise any money, but ideally we'd like to actually help someone to win (though, as I'll discuss in a bit, winning isn't the only goal). But, I don't expect to pull in Kerry-fundraising levels of money for congressional candidates (though that would be great). So, we're talking about a bias towards races in more inexpensive media markets, where 10 or 20 grand can be a nontrivial addition.

3) The candidate can win.

An obvious plus.

4) Even if the candidate doesn't win, the money will help seed future operations.

If a candidate has more money, they can hire more staff. This creates some more people with campaign experience, and helps build future operations down the road. In some places, there's a well-established democratic machine, with experience, in some places there isn't.

5) Some local bias. I'd like to help PA races.

Some bias -- as in, all things equal I'll choose a PA candidate.

6) Candidates need to be partisan Democrats.

They can be conservative (though it isn't my preference), particularly if they are running in a conservative area, but they must be proud Democrats. They may not vote as a liberal democrat, but they must be proud to stand next to them.

7) Bias towards helping challengers or redistricting victims.

8) Swing state bias.

None of these are dealbreakers, and I have no strong sense of how each is weighted, but that's roughly what'll guide my choices... Suggestions welcome.

The Incumbent

"If you want change in this country, you ought to vote for President Bush."

--Matthew Dowd, Bush/Cheney Strategist, Fox News Sunday.

Sunday Morning Gasbags

Discuss the atrocities of the morning.

Follow the Lies

Digby notes that Reuters has picked up the bullshit Newsweek poll spin, as he notes "just in time for the Sunday gasbags to inscribe 'baby bounce' in granite."

(and, Donkey Rising was on this before I was.)

And, 6:35 AM, the story still says that Kerry gave his speech on Friday night which, if true, would have been after the entire poll they took...

Contact Reuters here.