Saturday, August 14, 2004

Cheney vs. Cheney

On Hugh Hewitt's show:

HH: Vice President Dick Cheney, welcome to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

VP: It is good to be on here.

HH: Today you brought attention to John Kerry's plan to wage a more 'sensitive'
war on terror. What do you think John Kerry meant when he said 'sensitive,' Mr.
Vice President?

VP: Well, I'm not sure what he meant (laughing). Ah, it strikes me the two words
don't really go together, sensitive and war. If you look at our history, I don't
think any of the wars we've won, were won by us being quote sensitive. I think
of Abraham Lincoln and General Grant, they didn't wage sensitive war. Neither
did Roosevelt, neither did Eisenhower or MacArthur in World War II. A sensitive
war will not destroy the evil men who killed 3,000 Americans, and who seek
chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons to kill hundreds of thousands more....


HH: Will the Najaf offensive continue until that city is subdued even if that
means a siege of the Imam Ali shrine?

VP: Well, from the standpoint of the shrine, obviously it is a sensitive area,
and we are very much aware of its sensitivity. On the other hand, a lot of
people who worship there feel like Moqtada Sadr is the one who has defiled the
shrine, if you will, and I would expect folks on the scene there, including U.S.
commanders, will work very carefully with the Iraqis so that we minimize the
extent to which the U.S. is involved in any operation that might involve the
shrine itself.

(thanks to reader ecoast)

An Issue

The Slacktivist points us to this editorial from the Delaware News Journal.

The sudden resignation of New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey is not only a political bombshell, it is also a personal tragedy involving bad choices and badly flawed judgments. The fact that he is homosexual -- or bisexual since he has fathered children -- is less of an issue than putting his unqualified gay lover on the state payroll.

Less of an issue, but still an issue. I'm not one who thinks that any sex scandals involving legal consensual sex should be enough to drive a politician from office, though of course for better or for worse they may be enough to cause voters to vote them out. One minor change would have made this editorial more than reasonable:

The sudden resignation of New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey is not only a political bombshell, it is also a personal tragedy involving bad choices and badly flawed judgments. The fact that he is homosexual -- or bisexual since he has fathered children -- is not an issue. What is the issue is that he put his unqualified gay lover on the state payroll.

With one caveat - as far as I have seen, the timing of McGreevey's relationship hasn't been established (though I may have missed it). But, in any case, that wasn't the editorial they wrote.

Arianna Huffington has some thoughts.


Here are some excerpts from bigot Marilyn Musgrave's recent fundraising appeal:

You see, the left-wing radicals and Democrats hope to drain my resources and bleed me dry with negative attacks in the primary.

Then comes the nastier storm on the horizon, already swelling, with liberal activists backing my general election challenger, Democrat Stan Matsunaka.


Right now, Stan Matsunaka is not only pushing individual donors to max out, but also all of the liberal special interest donors across the country.

Just one liberal website alone raised over $20,000 for Matsunaka in a matter of days! And there are literally dozens of liberal websites targeting me for defeat.

Most of these extremist donors will give again and again (many will even give the legal maximum of $2000 per person, per election). This will add hundreds of thousands of dollars to Matsunaka's already ballooning war chest.


The bank accounts of liberal special interests seem to have no limit . . . The liberal special interests and the other democrats are stopping at nothing to dfeat me. They are pulling out all the stops and calling in the reserves.

Let's show her the power of extremist donors. Give some money to Stan Matsunaka!

Blasts from the Past

Via Sadly, No! we have this old article from Michael Berube:

Guinier was treated to a similarly phantasmic reception in the pages of The New Republic, where her neocon nemesis, Abigail Thernstrom, offered the following synopsis of Guinier's beliefs just before President Clinton withdrew her nomination to the post of assistant attorney general for civil rights:

[I]n Guinier's world, black constituents can lack representation even if their elected officials are black. If the officeholders are not "community-based," "culturally rooted" and politically and psychologically "authentic," then they're "tokens contaminated by white support.... The authentic black has a "distinctive voice" and a level of group consciousness incompatible with white enthusiasm.

The content of Thernstrom's claim was ludicrous, bearing no relation to Guinier's actual writing; but what was really astonishing about this hit job (as opposed to similar items by Clint Bolick and Paul Gigot in the Wall Street Journal) was Thernstrom's pretense that she was citing Guinier in those scare quotes. Apparently, TNR was familiar with fabricated quotes and intellectual fraud long before anyone heard of Stephen Glass.

Hmmm... I wonder who was editor then? Nah, I don't.

Looking back, we should have all taken a serious lesson from the media treatment of Guinier. It was all truly Factesque. Guinier got Gored before Gore did. And, yes, shame on Bill Clinton for throwing her to the wolves. More from Fair:

In the media smear campaign against Lani Guinier, Clinton's nominee as assistant attorney general for civil rights, her views were not only distorted, but in many cases presented as the exact opposite of her actual beliefs.

One of the most prominent themes of the attack on Guinier was her supposed support for electoral districts shaped to ensure a black majority -- a process known as "race-conscious districting." An entire op-ed in the New York Times -- which appeared on the day her nomination was withdrawn (6/3/93) -- was based on the premise that Guinier was in favor of "segregating black voters in black-majority districts."

In reality, Guinier is the most prominent voice in the civil rights community challenging such districting. In sharp contrast to her media caricature as a racial isolationist, she has criticized race-conscious districting (Boston Review, 9-10/92) because it "isolates blacks from potential white allies" and "suppresses the potential development of issue-based campaigning and cross-racial coalitions."

Another media tactic against Guinier was to dub her a "quota queen," a phrase first used in a Wall Street Journal op-ed (4/30/93) by Clint Bolick, a Reagan-era Justice Department official. The racially loaded term combines the "welfare queen" stereotype with the dreaded "quota," a buzzword that almost killed the 1991 Civil Rights Act.

The problem is that Guinier is an opponent of quotas to ensure representation of minorities. In an article in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (Spring/89), she stated that "the enforcement of this representational right does not require legislative set-asides, color-coded ballots, electoral quotas or 'one black, two votes' remedies."

But once the stereotype was affixed to her, there was seemingly no way she could dispel it: "Unbelievably, the woman known as the 'quota queen' claimed she did not believe in quotas," columnist Ray Kerrison wrote in the New York Post (6/4/93).

And from Guinier herself:

No one who had done their homework seriously questioned the fundamentally democratic nature of "my ideas." Indeed, two conservative columnists, George Will and Lally Weymouth, both wrote separate columns on the same day in the Washington Post (7/15/93), praising ideas remarkably similar to mine.

Lally Weymouth wrote: "There can't be democracy in South Africa without a measure of formal protection for minorities." George Will wrote: "The Framers also understood that stable, tyrannical majorities can best be prevented by the multiplication of minority interests, so the majority at any moment will be just a transitory coalition of minorities." In my law review articles I had expressed exactly the same reservations about unfettered majority rule, about the need sometimes to disaggregate the majority to ensure fair and effective representation for minority interests.

The difference is that the minority that I used to illustrate my academic point was not, as it was for Lally Weymouth, the white minority in South Africa. Nor did I write, as George Will did, about the minority of wealthy landlords in New York City. I wrote instead about the political exclusion of the black minority in local, county and municipal governing bodies in America.

Yet these same two journalists (Washington Post, 5/25/93; Newsweek, 6/14/93) and many others condemned me as anti-democratic. Apparently, some of us feel comfortable providing special protections for wealthy landlords or white South Africans, but we brand as "divisive" and "radical" the idea of providing similar remedies to include black Americans, who after centuries of racial oppression are still excluded.

Last I saw Thernstrom she'd gotten John Lott (giggle, giggle) to put forth some hilariously fraudulent statistical analysis of the Florida 2000 election. I mean, hilarious if you think disenfranchising black voters is good for giggles. How such hacks are still given a platform I'll never know...

The Air War

I probably should have flipped my earlier metaphor, as it probably would've made more sense that way, but in any case since I had some unkind things to say about the media operations of the Kerry campaign let's talk about what they're doing right.

...Okay, first, the short version of what they're doing wrong - a crappy job of dealing with the beltway journalists/cable news bobbleheads/talk radio set.

What they're doing right - making it local. Making it hand to hand, cheek to cheek, person to person, politician to baby. On the ground campaigning, and its associated benefit - local media coverage. As the private nature of Bush's "public" events becomes more apparent, that coverage inevitably will favor the Kerry campaign. Some examples:

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Arizona Daily Sun characterized John Kerry's Sunday night rally in Heritage Square as "practically the second coming" and devoted its entire Monday front page to the blessed event.

Stories examined the opinions of undecided voters in the crowd, Teresa Heinz Kerry's speech, Indian issues and, for balance, protesters supporting President Bush.

You can't buy that kind of publicity. And that, in large measure, was the point of the Democratic presidential nominee's 4,971-mile trip from Boston to Oregon by bus and train, which ended on Friday.

A recent study by the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University found that, on a cost-per-vote basis, it's more effective to send a presidential candidate into smaller media markets than to buy advertising in major television markets. While millions of eyeballs see 30-second spots, local visits are better at moving voters, the research found.

This, they're doing well. The more the better. It's their surrogates who need better training.

Friday, August 13, 2004

We Are Not Fat!

So Stop Saying That!

Or you feel the pain as the laser beams shoot out of our eyes!

Hoeffel Update

Chris Bowers hit a couple Hoeffel events today. I'll be travelling with the campaign on Monday, from Scranton to West Chester, which may or may not provide for some interesting blogging.

Greek-American Baseball Team

I don't have a problem with this, but it's exactly the kind of thing which would cause a wingnut shitstorm of historic proportions if it involved an immigrant group they didn't like that week. Most of the Greek olympic baseball team is made up of Greek-Americans. And, no, I don't mean Greek immigrants, I mean "grandparent was Greek." Peter Angelos financed and organized the movement to get Greek-American players to obtain the citizenship they were entitled to under Greek law, and then have them go play for the opposing team.

If this involved the hated-immigrant group of the month, or a country Toby Keith didn't like that week, we'd be hearing screaming howls of rage from the usual suspects. Not a peep from what I can tell.

punchline: American team didn't qualify.

50K in Portland


Open Thread

Chat Away.


I'd recommend that the Kerry campaign read this by Bob Somerby and this from the Mighty Reason Man. I'm not sure things are quite as dire as either of them say, but I do think there is, shall we say, room for improvement.

To invoke bad and probably inappropriate military analogies, but when it comes to the propaganda campaign, I think the Kerry campaign is running an excellent air campaign but they're not focused enough on the ground war.

From Somerby:

INDEED: If you want to see the shape of the problem, go to the “Rapid Response” section of Kerry’s site. With regard to Cheney’s comments, the “Rapid Responses” do a lot of name-calling, but they make little attempt to say why Cheney’s attack was misleading. In particular, look at the letter from Clark and McPeake; the generals accuse Cheney of “gutter” politics, but never say what was actually wrong with his misleading presentation. This is truly awful campaigning—deeply awful, to the point of embarrassment. Yes, reporters should have shown what Kerry actually said. But this campaign’s message work is deeply inept. How about a “Relevant Response?” Yesterday, such responses were notably Missing In Action.

From the Mighty one:

You know this. So why in God's name am I seeing interview clips that involve your spokespeople beginning sentences by stuttering, looking nonplussed, and saying things like "I believe" and "That's not entirely correct"?

I don't know, maybe you're hiring your favorite nieces or the neighbor children to be your spokespeople, but whatever it is, it ain't gonna cut it my friends. Anyone who goes in front of a camera with the imprimatur of the campaign and is blindsided by quotes, allegations, or outright lies that I have already heard needs to be fired immediately. There's a lot of dirt gonna be thrown your way in the next few months, and the time to pattycake with this bullshit is over.

Basically, the campaign needs more and better surrogates.

You need people who do nothing but immerse themselves in the world of right wing media. As the Mighty one suggests elsewhere in his post, Blogs provide a handy Reader's Digest version of what's being thrown around talk radio, etc. Watch Fox. Listen to Sean Hannity's radio show. Frequently, you can get a 24 hour or more heads up about what's going to show up on Inside Politics soon.

I don't know how they organize who is on deck for media appearances, but they just have to be better prepared. It doesn't even matter if they have a fancy title, or are recognizable, or whatever -- they just have to be good. Train them. Drill them. Look, there are some various dem bigwigs who I like very much, and who in some contexts are very effective, but that doesn't mean they're effective media spokespeople in all contexts.

Quality comprehensive media training exists. Have a stable of professional coaches around to help people.

Sure, the media deck is stacked, but there's no use whining about it now. Every single issue needs to be distilled down to one sentence. Every single right wing charge needs to have a bullet-point rebuttal and countercharge, at everyone's fingertips - at least everyone who's going to go in front of the cameras.


Stay safe.

Some Lovely Words

From Mrs. Howard Kurtz.

Friday Cat Blogging

Doing what they do best.

A Change is Gonna Come

The Hoeffel campaign just began its tour of all 67 counties in PA. I dragged myself out of bed to go witness the sendoff. Here's the Joemobile:

Fill the tank!

Rumsfeld Failed

Aside from Bush himself, the person who got the biggest pass regarding 9/11 was Donald Rumsfeld. Gaily Sheehy explains why. It's about time someone did.

Election Debate Moderators

Oy. Rice's friend Ifill, Jim "being non-partisan means shutting off your brain" Lehrer, Charles "medal obsession" Gibson. Schieffer could be okay.

(according to Drudge)


From the New York Times:

An article on July 21 about President Bush's campaign plans for the rest of the summer referred imprecisely to the trend in American military casualties in Iraq after the transfer of sovereignty there on June 28. From the transfer date to the date on which the article was written, casualties increased compared with the same length of time before the transfer; they did not show "some reduction." (Go to Article)

Well, it only took about 3 weeks. Numerous people cc:'d their exchanges with the public editor, including one rather distinguished professor of statistics, in which they carefully tried to explain how to count only to be met with denial.

Money Trail

Jeffrey Dubner notes that O'Neill's claim to have voted for Perot in 1992 is rather, um, odd given that he donated to Bush I that year.

But, more generally, the guy's given about $15,000 to Republicans over the years, and only Republicans.

More Sensitivity

I'd like to be able to laugh at the press corps and how easily they're led around by their noses. I'd have a few extra giggles for the vile (though sometimes useful) Note, with its hilarious pretenses of being "above it all," looking down from on high on to its readers and the press, with its smug we-know-better-than-everybody tone, even as it transmits the latest bit of gossip and justifies and rationalizes the herd mentality of the Heathers.

But, sadly, for some people in this country, it actually matters who gets elected.

Liberal Oasis has compiled a list of sensitive statements coming from our rulers.


Alterman has a column on PBS's latest insanity.


I suppose it'll take a little awhile before the full story trickles out, if it ever does, but if this report can be believed it's rather sad. So far, it sounds like McGreevey was the victim of being the target of blackmail by a former lover, and that there is no legitimate lawsuit in the works. If that's the case, we have a politician who resigned because he was forced to publicly reveal his previously hidden sexual orientation. That's something which should never happen again.

Sure, it's probably not that simple. And, you don't have to be gay to be party to a "sex scandal" or be open to blackmail over such a thing. But, public revelations of adultery generally don't derail the careers of straight politicians, though they obviously aren't particularly helpful.

...look, yes I know there are other reasons McGreevey was in a weakened position politically. Yes, I know that putting your lover on the payroll (assuming that happened - his lover was on the payroll, though as far as I can tell it hasn't been 100% established that they were lovers before he was put on the payroll) isn't a particularly good thing for a politician to do, though that hasn't stopped many from doing it.

But I find people who think he's trying to cry victim over this pretty disgusting -- I didn't get that from the speech at all. If, as is being claimed, he was effectively being blackmailed then coming out in that fashion was the necessary and proper course of action, both for McGreevey the man and McGreevey the governor.

And, for those who are just offended that he was closeted and married, as if that kind of dishonesty itself results from some deep character flaw -- well, it does in a way, but it's the kind of character flaw a huge number of people who were born almost 5 decades ago, growing up Catholic, have. It's what happens when you're told your existence is sinful, that your perfectly normal desires are "temptations" to be resisted, and when you live in a society that does not allow you to live anything resembling a "normal" life. It's what happens when you're bombarded with media and social messages about how disgusting you are, and when you're told you should go for re-education by "ex-gay" organizations. There's no sin in being gay and ambitious, and recognizing the incompatibility of the two.

None of this absolves him from all responsibility for the complex personal situation he's created for himself (though, that is almost entirely a private matter, even for someone with a public life). And, sure there may be the kinds of corruption people keep making allegations about, though I haven't yet seen any indictments. But, at the end of the day there's one simple question -- if everything was as it was, except Cipel was female, would McGreevey have felt the need to resign? I don't have the answer to that, but it seems to me the answer is likely "maybe not."

...for those who can't read, in no place in this post did I address the question of whether, given the facts on the table, I personally think he was fit to be governor or whether I think he should have resigned. There are lots of politicians I think should resign, but strangely few do.

Is the Bush Campaign Telling the Truth?

Sadly, No!

Morning Thread

Chat away.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Sophie's Choice

I just saw Bush's latest horrible ad. I mean, I know I'm not the kind of person he's trying to appeal to, but man it was a bad ad. The weird "the agony of deciding which child to pick up first on September 11th" and the bizarre "punish an enemy" comment.

I want to hear about the agony of 7 minutes reading "The Pet Goat" after your chief of staff whispers "Amerca is under attack" in your ear.

Stewart Scoops the Hos

Once again, the Daily show scoops the rest of the bobbleheads by juxtaposing Bush's "sensitive" remark with Cheney's "sensitive" attack.

...I hear ABC News and Lou Dobbs did similar.

Gossip II

One occasionally mentioned, but not frequently raised, issue about the Plame case is at what point the actions of the journalists involved negate whatever 1st amendment protections they could potentially claim to prevent them from having to reveal their sources. That is, if journalists were blabbing the source of the leak to each other, does this gossip revoke their 1st amendment protections?

Judy in Jail?

Drudge says Ms. Miller has been subpoenaed in the Plame case.

...holy crap update. Pinch Sulzberger sez:

"Journalists should not have to face the prospect of imprisonment for doing nothing more than aggressively seeking to report on the government's actions. Such subpoenas make it less likely that sources will be willing to talk candidly with reporters and ultimately it is the public that suffers.''

From my perspective, "aggressively seeking to report on the government's actions" would involve a story about how a vindictive corrupt administration tried, and succeeded, to get hacks in the media to participate in their illegal, and national security undermining, efforts to get petty revenge on a political opponent. But, since I missed that story by Ms. Miller, I don't know what the hell Pinch is talking about.

To be fair, as far as I know Miller didn't pass on this particular tale, but nor did she report on the real story.


The Slacktivist explains what the modern guardians of our discourse think of their craft.

Oh, Hitch?

One wonders what Snitchens thinks of his good friend's sudden anti-American turn...

Open Thread

yammer away


Sadly, No! claims another victim.

McGreevey Coming Out


..."I am a gay American."

...resigns as of Nov. 15 - delay avoids special election. Background is his former employee, whose hire was pretty controversial, is apparently about to file suit claiming sexual harassment. So, two possibilities. Either there is merit to the sexual harassment charges, or we've had a (previously) closeted governor resign over what amounted to an outing threat.


Bush is a sensitive guy.

(thanks to Attaturk)

Honorary Team Leader

It really doesn't get any funnier. Even I'm a Team Leader...

McGreevey to Resign

Effective November.

Rumors, and common sense, say there's more to this story...

...more, which doesn't confirm the resignation report.

More Spinsanityinanity

In their article, they commit three other sins. First, they never tells us that Letson, who claims to have treated Kerry, was not the person who signed the medical record. Second, they refer to "backup documentation on the Web site," which is just an additional claim by Letson, and not, you know, actual documentation. And, third, when they inform us:

Letson speculated that the wound could have been caused by shrapnel from a grenade fired by Kerry himself, but he was not present during the firefight and bases his accusation on the contested accounts of others.

they neglect to include the rather salient point that even if it had been shrapnel from his own grenade, he still would have qualified for the goddamn purple heart.

okay, post deleted

until I have to time to verify.

Election Follies

Guess which party the person who said this belongs to:

For over 200 years, this nation has conducted elections fairly and impartially, ensuring that each person's vote will count.

Bush Lied About His Military Service

I just want to point out, for about the hundredth time, that even aside from the whole awol/desertion dishonesty, there is absolutely no dispute that Bush, in his autobiography, lied about his service while in TANG.

I'm sure this will be on Wolf Blitzer's show this evening.

From Conason:

George W. Bush lied about his military service record. The lie can be found in his own 1999 campaign autobiography (as written by Karen Hughes), where he dramatically describes his experience as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. On page 34 of A Charge to Keep, Mr. Bush claims that, after learning to fly the F-102 fighter jet, he was turned down for Vietnam duty because "had not logged enough flight hours" to qualify for a combat assignment. Before going on to recall the "challenging moments" that involved close formation drills at night during poor weather, he adds: "I continued flying with my unit for the next several years."

Bush only continued to fly for 22 months.


The point of the below posts is to demonstrate how the right wing talking point of "four months in Vietnam" has infected the public discourse. What's the truth about John Kerry's service in Vietnam? Well, he signed up for two tours of duty during the Vietnam war. He began training on 8/22/66, which of course takes some time. He received his commission as an ensign 4 months later. For the next 6 months, he receives additional training. He then worked on the USS Gridley, which over a 4 month period the follow years was working in direct support of the Vietnam War, including some time spent in the Gulf of Tomkin.

During that period, he requests to command a Swift Boat, which were operating in coastal waters.

A few months later, he begins the four months of training for that position, after which he reported for duty in Vietnam on 11/17, where he was until the following April. He then served about another 9 months stateside before requesting, and obtaining, a discharge.

Is it technically accurate to say, as the Washington Post did, that John Kerry served "four-plus months in Vietnam?" Only in a Bush administration kind of way, and only barely at that. The spin point devalues not just Kerry's lengthy volunteered service, but everyone else who served. Now, was "only" serving "four plus months" in direct combat duty as he did an "unusually short tour?" Well, compared to what?

The spin point, taken as a whole, implies that only doing 4 months of combat duty in Vietnam was somehow unusual. The vast majority of those serving in Vietnam did not serve in combat units, so Kerry's service commanding a Swift Boat was indeed unusual, but not for the reason given. Kerry's multiple medals are indeed unusual, as not everyone was that highly decorated, but unless you're accusing the Navy of being corrupt institution that handed out medals to John Kerry because he bribed them, or something, then the unusual part was that Kerry did so many things to deserve medals.

What was not unusual at that time was the sons of prominent wealthy people jumping ahead of more qualified people to get cushy assignments which would keep them out of Vietnam. What was slightly more unusual was those people being AWOL from even that duty. What is even more unusual is for those people to lie about their service, as George Bush did in his autobiography, claiming that he "continued to fly with my unit for the next several years," when in reality he continued to fly with his unit for only 22 months, which doesn't even allow for the generously broad definition of "several" which includes the number "two."

Four Months, Newspaper Edition

AJC, 8/11:

Vietnam communists are advising the Islamic terrorists on how to handle John Kerry: Wound him slightly and often and he'll leave the Middle East in four months.

Cleveland Plain Dealer, Kevin O'Brien, 8/11

Are they truly hoping that Americans will focus so cooperatively on John Kerry’s four months of doing the right thing in Vietnam that they’ll forget that he’s spent the rest of his adult life doing the wrong thing with nearly perfect consistency?

LTTE, St. Petersburg Times, 8/11:

For instance, why did he leave his crew in Vietnam after serving just over four months?

LTTE, LA Times, 08/10:

As far as I can tell the reasons Kerry offers for people to vote for him are that he served in Vietnam for four months on a Swift boat 35 years ago;

Marsha Mercer, Tampa Tribune, 08/09:

Kerry received three Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star during his four months in Vietnam.

Boston Herald, op-Ed, 08/07:

By making his four months of service in Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign for the presidency, Sen.

John Kerry himself invites further scrutiny of that service.

LTTE, Newsday, 08/06:

He avoided hot topics like abortion, gay marriage and gun control and spent most of his time peddling stories of four months in Vietnam 35 years ago.

AJC, the Vent, 08/05:

John Kerry spent four months fighting communism and then spent the next 30 years fighting capitalism.

Linda Chavez, 08/05/2004:

But Mr. Kerry's insistence on making his four-month tour of duty in Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign could backfire as Americans learn more about what he did in that country and, more important, what he did when he returned home.

David Brooks, 07/31:

For though convention viewers may not be aware of it, Kerry has actually had a career since his four months in Vietnam -- mostly in the Senate.

Cal Thomas, 08/03:

Kerry repeatedly brings up his four-month service in Vietnam.

Adam Nagourney, NYT, 08/01, reporting Republican spin without correction:

Entering a four week run-up to the unusually late Republican convention, Mr. Bush's aides said they had laid out a week-by-week in plan in which Mr. Bush would talk about his accomplishments and his second-term agenda. But they said they would also try to blunt what Democrats and Republicans said was a successful four-day Democratic convention focused on Mr. Kerry's veteran credentials by turning attention from what they described as his brief four-month tour in Vietnam to his 20 years in Washington.

LTTE, San Diego Tribune, 8/3

He did spend four months in Vietnam. Since his return, the only consistent factors of his life have been undermining our national defense, and promoting himself.

Four Months

I really can't believe the Post put this in their op-ed:

Mr. Kerry's four-plus months in Vietnam made for an unusually short tour.

But, they're in good company:
We have Fred Barnes on Fox Special Report (8/10)

I wonder what John McCain thinks about Kerry using his four-month record in Vietnam as the centerpiece of his campaign?

Fred Barnes again (8/9)

Now, if he I telling things that are not true about his four months in Vietnam, then that's important.

Again, same day:

Well, it's also part of the record that he left after four months on the basis of three flesh wounds and not many others did that.

David calling into Talk of the Nation on 08/09:

I read in the Boston (technical difficulties) Web site that Kerry could have only served four months in Vietnam.

Uncorrected by the host, Neal Conan.
Mara Liasson, falsely correcting a false statement by Gigot, on Fox News Sunday, (08/08)

GIGOT: You know, Kerry's got a lot of other legitimate vulnerabilities, including that asterisk he's put next to his 20 years in the Senate in that speech. I mean, that's what really ought to concern people, because I think Kerry has also overdone his Vietnam record and tried to say, "Look, because I spent four years in Vietnam, therefore I deserve to be president." I think his Senate record is a much better indicator.

LIASSON: Four months in Vietnam.

GIGOT: Four months, yes.

Novak on Crossfire, 08/07:

I have some question whether 30 years later you should be inspecting the minutiae, the record of John Kerry, which is a very questionable record, how he got his decorations, his very short term of duty, four months of combat, one third of the time.

Tucker Carlson, 08/06, Crossfire:

Kerry has turned his four months in Vietnam into the rationale for an entire presidential campaign.

Republican Chris Horner, on Hannity and Colmes, 08/06:

It is his claims, it is his stake to the presidency on not 19 years in the Senate but four months of Vietnam.

Mara Liasson, 08/06, Talk of the Nation:

Indeed he focuses so much on his four months in Vietnam that critics say he has virtually ignored his 20 years as a United States senator.

Hannity, H&C, 08/05:

You were there with John Kerry for three of the four months that he was there, correct?

Horner, again, John Gibson's show 08/05:

let's talk about the two things that John Kerry thinks qualify him for the White House: the four months in Vietnam and the 19 years in the Senate.

Craig Crawford, from Congressional Quarterly, on CNC's Capital Report:

He wants to run on his four months in Vietnam more than his party or his voting record.

Mary Matalin, on Steffie's show, 08/01:

Four months of honorable service in the height of the Cold War where the national strategies, national security strategies were radically different than what we need today, he's trapped in that thinking.

Novak, 07/31, Capital Gang:

that the tremendous attention for that whole convention, Thursday night, for the whole convention, on his four months in Vietnam is -- is...

Craig Crawford, CBS Political Analyst, the Early Show 07/30:

Well, I think John Kerry hopes to run on his four months in Vietnam as opposed to his many decades in Congress, especially his own votes on the war.

Jeff Greenfield, on Aaron Brown's show, 07/30:

The resume is thin. We heard a lot more about his four months in Vietnam than about 20 years in the Senate.

And on and on...


They shoot and mislead, yet again.

But as Chris Suellentrop pointed out on, Kerry volunteered for swift boat duty before it became so dangerous. In a multipart series on Kerry's life, the Boston Globe recounted that the swift boats "were still considered relatively safe" when Kerry made his decision. It then quotes Kerry saying in 1986: "When I signed up for the swift boats, they had very little to do with the war. They were engaged in coastal patrolling, and that's what I thought I was going to be doing." However, the boats' mission changed after Kerry made his decision, and they were tasked with more dangerous river patrols.

Democrats are glossing over this important distinction, implying Kerry volunteered knowing that the mission was extremely risky. Kerry's biography on his campaign Web site states: "In 1968, John Kerry began his second tour of duty, and volunteered to serve on a swift boat, one of the most dangerous assignments of the war." And in his convention speech, former President Bill Clinton stated: "When they sent those swift boats up the river in Vietnam and they told them their job was to draw hostile fire, to wave the American flag, and bait the enemy to come out and fight, John Kerry said: 'Send me.' "

Some journalists have also gotten the facts wrong. For instance, Bennett Roth of the Houston Chronicle wrote that Kerry "requested to command a swift boat, one of the more dangerous assignments during the war."

It's fair to say that they've overemphasized this a bit, but the Spinsanity guys have taken an additional leap themselves. How has Roth "gotten the facts wrong?" The fact is, for someone in the Navy, the Swift Boats were still "one of the more dangerous assignments during the war," even before they started doing aggressive river patrolling, as far as I can tell.



The U.S. government, which has held Yaser Esam Hamdi incommunicado in a Navy brig for two years without charges, much of the time without a lawyer, indicated yesterday that it is nearing a deal that would free him altogether.

The government is negotiating with Hamdi's lawyers about "terms and conditions acceptable to both parties that would allow Mr. Hamdi to be released from . . . custody," according to documents filed in federal court in Norfolk. The legal papers, submitted jointly by federal prosecutors and Hamdi's attorneys, asked the court to stay all proceedings for 21 days while negotiations continue.

Terms of the release are still being hammered out but, according to people familiar with the situation, are likely to include that Hamdi renounce his U.S. citizenship, move to Saudi Arabia and accept some travel restrictions, as well as some monitoring by Saudi officials. In addition, he may have to agree not to sue the federal government over whether his civil rights were violated....


From the Post:

"We should have warned readers we had information that the basis for this was shakier" than widely believed.

(via Lunaville)


Across the country, "the voices raising questions about the war were lonely ones," Downie said. "We didn't pay enough attention to the minority."

No, they weren't lonely ones. The were not represented in your paper, or anywhere else in the media, but right before the war polls showed that a majority opposed this war. While a case could be made that a majority supported a war, they supported giving the inspectors more time and then going in with the UN if necessary.

Apparently, they listen to the freepi:

Priest noted, however, that skeptical stories usually triggered hate mail "questioning your patriotism and suggesting that you somehow be delivered into the hands of the terrorists."

What a goddamn joke:

Downie said that even in retrospect, the story looks like "a close call." He said the inability of dissenters "to speak up with their names" was a factor in some of his news judgments.

Bush administration officials are always, without any good justification, allowed to speak "anonymously" to push the latest administration line. It is precisely dissenters who are the ones who should be given that protection. Jeebus, has the world turned upside down?

Oh, and this was a good one to spike:

In October 2002, Ricks, a former national security editor for the Wall Street Journal who has been covering such issues for 15 years, turned in a piece that he titled "Doubts." It said that senior Pentagon officials were resigned to an invasion but were reluctant and worried that the risks were being underestimated. Most of those quoted by name in the Ricks article were retired military officials or outside experts. The story was killed by Matthew Vita, then the national security editor and now a deputy assistant managing editor.

We had a neverending parade of "retire military officials" telling us what a good idea this was.

This is rich:

"Do I feel we owe our readers an apology? I don't think so."

No, you owe these people, and their families, an apology.

You've got to be kidding:
In the days before the war, Priest and DeYoung turned in a piece that said CIA officials "communicated significant doubts to the administration" about evidence tying Iraq to attempted uranium purchases for nuclear weapons. The story was held until March 22, three days after the war began. Editors blamed a flood of copy about the impending invasion.

That was less important than stories with words like "shock and awe" in them?

The final insult:

"People who were opposed to the war from the beginning and have been critical of the media's coverage in the period before the war have this belief that somehow the media should have crusaded against the war," Downie said. "They have the mistaken impression that somehow if the media's coverage had been different, there wouldn't have been a war."

No, we just didn't want you to crusade for it. Bastards.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Oh, Jerry!

The sitcom.

...Salon also looks at the fresh comedy stylings of J. Corsi. Someone should contact the Last Comic Standing producers.

Sampley vs. Bush I

Digby tells us what Ted Sampley, the sort of "godfather" of the Swift Boat Liars, thinks of George Bush I's military experience.

Strangely, I never saw this in Paula Zahn's weekly update about Bush I's war stories.

Poor Porter

From Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Congressman Porter Goss, President Bush's nominee for CIA director, could be his own worst enemy when it comes to making the case that he deserves to lead the U.S. intelligence agency.

"I couldn't get a job with CIA today. I am not qualified," the Florida Republican told documentary-maker Michael Moore's production company during the filming of the anti-Bush movie "Fahrenheit 9/11."

A day after Bush picked Goss for the top U.S. spy job, Moore on Wednesday released an excerpt from a March 3 interview in which the 65-year-old former House of Representatives intelligence chief recounts his lack of qualifications for employment as a modern CIA staffer.


Moore told Reuters that Goss, who until Tuesday was chairman of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, granted an interview to two of his producers without first checking to see who they worked for.

"You'd think the person who was the head of the intelligence committee would ask a few more questions," said Moore.

"The reality is that Porter Goss was in charge of the oversight of the CIA during a time when the CIA didn't do its job, which in part resulted in the loss of lives of 3,000 people," he said via telephone from New York.

...remember, you heard it from Matt Gunn first!

Rudy for Freeholder

It's always important to support good people for local office, too. Local gov't has lots of power, and it's where tomorrow's stars come from. So, if you're feeling a bit generous, support Nathan Rudy for Freeholder.
His pitch:

Nathan Rudy is a progressive Democrat who is running for Freeholder* in Somerset County, NJ, a stronghold or Republicanism in a largely Democratic state. He is serving in his second term as a councilman in North Plainfield, NJ, a community named the most diverse community in central NJ by USA Today. He is also a blogger who is using the web to reach out to constituents and voters.

The Rudy for Freeholder campaign is starting a fundraising drive on Wednesday, August 11th called A Thousand Fifties which is looking to raise a thousand fifty dollar contributions in fifty days, ending on September 30th. Contributions can be made on-line here.

Nathan is an ardent environmentalist (he and his wife both drive hybrids) who took on Lockheed when they abandoned a trichloroethylene (TCE) spill that was bubbling up in North Plainfield's neighborhood creeks at 1,000 times the legal limit. After three years of struggling, the North Plainfield Environmental Commission got Lockheed to install a pump-and-treat system at their expense and the creeks are now TCE free.

Nathan is also pro-choice, supports Living Wage Laws and workers' right to organize, universal health care, smart growth, enforced affordable housing, and a return to progressive taxation as opposed to an over reliance on sales and other consumption taxes.

The Somerset County Freeholder Board has been Republican for 25 years, and has served as the springboard for people like former NJ Governor and EPA Director Christie Todd Whitman and Congressman Mike Pappas who sang "Twinkle, Twinkle Kenneth Starr" on the floor of the House and then lost reelection to the great Congressman Rush Holt. Not for 20 years have Democrats been closer to taking a seat on this board, a blow that would reverberate throughout the New Jersey Republican Party.

Nathan's Freeholder runs have been endorsed by New Jersey for Democracy, Democrats 2000and Congressmen Rush Holt (NJ-12) and Frank Pallone (NJ-6). He serves as the Somerset County Chair of Democracy for America, and is a speechwriter and public relations professional.

*A Freeholder is what New Jersey calls a county commissioner, and it is responsible for human services; county roads, parks and bridges; and setting the budget for the county jail, prosecutor, courts and surrogate.

Veterans for Truth

Some Vets respond to the swift boat liars.

Tee Hee

I think I hear the sound of someone being hoisted by his own petard...

...unless I'm missing something, it sounds about right.

Notice of candidacy; financial statements; political advertising; penalties

A.(1)(a) A notice of candidacy shall be in writing and shall state the candidate's name, the office he seeks, the address of his domicile, the parish, ward, and precinct where he is registered to vote, and the political party, if any, with which he is registered as being affiliated. No candidate shall change or add his political party designation, for purposes of printing on the election ballot as required by R.S. 18:551(D), after he has qualified for the election.

...I was a bit concerned about the time of qualification - whether it's when you file or at the filing deadling. Sounds like it's the former. Oops.

(1) Upon receipt of a notice of candidacy, the secretary of state or the clerk of court, as the case may be, shall endorse upon it the date and time of filing and either the amount of the qualifying fee paid by the candidate or a statement that a nominating petition was filed by the candidate. If a candidate qualifies in person, a certified copy of the original notice of candidacy shall be furnished to the candidate at the time he qualifies with the qualifying official but after the date and time have been endorsed thereon. If a candidate qualifies by submitting his notice of candidacy by certified mail, commercial carrier, or agent, the qualifying official shall mail a certified copy of the original notice of candidacy after the date and time have been endorsed thereon to the candidate at the address of his domicile as set forth in the notice of candidacy within forty-eight hours after receipt of the notice of candidacy.

(2) At the time a candidate files his notice of candidacy with the clerk of court it shall become a public record and shall be recorded by the clerk of court in the same manner as sales of immovables and the recordation of mortgages and miscellaneous acts are recorded with him. The clerk of court shall place all notices of candidacy for each election in a separate book which he shall keep in his office, and each such notice of candidacy shall be the official document and the official public record. The clerk of court shall daily post a list of all the candidates, and the offices for which they qualify, whose notices of candidacy have been filed with his office.

Comedy gold.

...Jerome has some more on the shitstorm. This is great, it's so nice to see some Dems throwing a little muscle around.


Apparently meeting me did not make Kaus any less hacktackular.

Porter Problems

Haha. This is pretty funny. I have pretty good confirmation that this is legit though I haven't seen it. From F911 outtakes:

INTERVIEWER: [Y]ou come from intelligence. This is what you did, this is what you know.

REP. GOSS: Uh, that was, uh, 35 years ago.


REP. GOSS: It is true I was in CIA from approximately the late 50’s to approximately the early 70’s. And it's true I was a case officer, clandestine services officer and yes, I do understand the core mission of the business. I couldn't get a job with CIA today. I am not qualified. I don't have the language skills. I, you know, my language skills were romance languages and stuff. We're looking for Arabists today. I don't have the cultural background probably. And uh, as my children remind me every day, 'Dad you got to get better on your computer.’ Uh, so, the things that you need to have, I don't have.

– Rep. Porter Goss, March 3, 2004, Washington, DC


Apparently, Kerry didn't just save lives in Vietnam.

Former U.S. Sen. Chic Hecht of Nevada is a staunch Republican, but he thanks his lucky stars for Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.

On July 12, 1988, Hecht was attending a weekly Republican luncheon when a piece of apple lodged firmly in his throat.

Hecht stumbled out of the room, thinking he might vomit but not wanting to do it in front of his colleagues. Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., thumped his back, but Hecht quickly passed out in the hallway.

Just then, Kerry stepped off an elevator, rushed to Hecht's side and gave him the Heimlich maneuver -- four times.

The lifesaving incident made international news, and Dr. Henry Heimlich, who invented the maneuver in 1974, called Hecht to say that had Kerry intervened just 30 seconds later Hecht might have been in a vegetative state for life.

"This man gave me my life," the 75-year-old Hecht said Thursday.

Don't Forget...

Support Stan Matsunaka!

Taking Bets

Who thinks this'll show up on CNN today, sourced only to Drudge...


There's a new ad up for Trippi's book, which I've heard good things about. I'd have my own opinion if, you know, he didn't send my copy to the wrong address... (ahem).


I'm sure Karl is very glad that Elisabeth Bumiller is at the New York Times.

For example:

The appointment would put someone in place at the top of the C.I.A. who is not identified with the agency's failures, unlike the acting director, John E. McLaughlin, who has been deputy director since 2000.

Yes, but Goss should be identified with the agency's failures. Goss has been Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee since 1997, the committee which is charged with, you know, oversight of the intelligence community. Since 2001, the executive branch has been on the same team as him and since 2003 all 3 branches of government have been on his side. What's he done about all these problems we keep hearing about? Not too much, apparently, as unless there's a dress with a stain on it he's not very interested.

Somebody sends me a blue dress and some DNA, I'll have an investigation.

Bumiller also goes on to quote Carlin Levin:

Mr. Goss angered Democrats in June when he criticized Senator John Kerry, Mr. Bush's Democratic opponent, on the House floor, and he has also participated in a Bush campaign conference call with reporters.


"It's a very troubling issue, and the stakes here are huge," Mr. Levin said. "Does North Korea have a nuclear weapon, does Iran have a nuclear weapon? Are they on their way to getting nuclear weapons? We have to be sure that whoever is giving us intelligence is giving us objective analysis and is not shaping it to support administration policy."

But, she manages to leave out the connection between those two paragraphs which provides the context for Senator Levin's comments. Fortunately, we have Mike Allen and Pincus at the Washington Post to fill in the missing bits:

On June 1, Goss took part in a Bush-Cheney conference call with reporters to critique Kerry's first national security speech. He described one of Kerry's nonproliferation proposals as "naive," and answered "clearly yes," to a question about whether Bush's policy toward North Korea was producing results. North Korea, he said, is "no longer making the progress they were making at Yongbyon [their key nuclear production site] and other places because we have called their bluff."

In fact, since the Bush administration confronted the Pyongyang government, North Korea has thrown out inspectors, removed nuclear fuel from internationally monitored storage, and may have increased the size of its nuclear arsenal, according to U.S. intelligence.

But, the readers of the liberal New York Times need not have these pesky details, even though without them Bumiller's story is almost incoherent.

SEIU Heroes

Over at Fighting for the Future, Andy Stern tells us about SEIU Heroes -- people who have taken leave for their jobs to work on the campaign full time. Good for them.

Over the last couple of years, I've read/heard from a lot of people complaining that while they want to get involved and do something, they've been unable to find a way to do that -- they've reached out to local parties or candidates and been ignored, etc. This election season, we shouldn't be hearing any of those stories. There are numerous ways to get out there and volunteer - for campaigns, for voter registration work, etc... I'm not trying to guilt people into volunteering, but what I am suggesting is that if it's something you want to do now really is the time to do it.


Contact your local Kerry campaign office.
Contact your local congressional campaign's office.
League of Conservation Voters.

Go for Broke

Okay, I've chosen my 3rd candidate - after Hoeffel and Keever - Stan Matsunaka. This is going to be the only candidate overlapping with the Dkos 8 (nothing against the rest of them, I just don't want to do too much replication).

Why Matsunaka? A lot of reasons.

First -- his opponent is the anti-gay bigot Marilyn Musgrave.

Second -- in honor of Michelle "Little Lulu" Malkin. Matsunaka's father was a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Look elsewhere for your quality history lesson, but short version is the 442nd was a unit of Japanese-Americans fighting in WWII desperate to prove their "loyalty" to their own country -- many coming home to find their property lost and a few employment opportunities due to the Malkins of the time.

Third -- He can win. Hard to believe, given the district, but polls have shown him with striking distance and with surprising support among Republicans. Will he win? If I said yes, we wouldn't have to give him money.

Fourth -- he's going head to head against Musgrave's bigotry. I'd like to see that be a winning strategy:

Stan opposes all forms of discrimination, whether in housing, adoption, or other areas of the law.

Stan is OPPOSED to Marilyn Musgrave's Federal Marriage Amendment. The Constitution is a document to protect individual rights, not to institutionalize discrimination.
Stan supported civil unions legislation in the legislature, and voted for enhanced penalties for hate crimes.

So, show a little love for Stan Matsunaka! I'll be in for $50 as soon as I remember where I put my wallet.

Ads, Cheap!

Cut the rates, as I always do when the advertising drops off...

...SALE OVER! Prices back up...

...on a not-very-related note, thanks to all who continue to click through the amazon search box to make your amazon purchases. I took down most of my amazon links to reduce the clutter, but I still appreciate when people click through. It's especially appreciated when people buy big-ticket items through there - amazon now gives 5% on just about everything without any limit. Whoever bought that grill, thanks for the $50!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Douchebag of Liberty Returns

Watch the Daily Show in your time zone.

...oh man, now I'm going to have nightmares about Tom Friedman showing up at my door saying "let's have a daquiri!"

Big Guns

Hoeffel brings'em on:

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate hopeful Joe Hoeffel will end a two-week statewide campaign tour on a high note with one of the Democratic Party's biggest stars: former President Bill Clinton.

Clinton will headline an Aug. 30 fund-raiser for Hoeffel in Pittsburgh, the Senate candidate's campaign said Tuesday. The luncheon will cap a 67-county tour of Pennsylvania for Hoeffel, who will walk the last leg of the trip - from Johnstown to Pittsburgh.

Click here to help the next senator from the great state of Pennsylvania!

Carville Today

On Xfire:

John Kerry, Tim Russert, Chris Matthews, Katie Couric, CBS, NBC are all communists. Hillary Clinton is a lesbian fat hog with fake hair. Al and Tipper Gore are terrorists who are part of the Taliban. The pope is senile. And pedophilia is fine with him as long as it's not reported in the liberal press. If you think all this sounds nutty, well, it is.

According to the organization Media Matters For America, all this has been written by Jerome Corsi. Why do we care what Jerome Corsi says? Well, we don't. But as co-author of the book "Unfit for Command" about John Kerry and his service in Vietnam, some people are making the mistake of taking him seriously. In the world of putrid right-wing pond scum, Corsi is one of the biggest bottom-feeders of them all.


Young Bush, shows his sense of fair play.

This is the appropriate time to remind everyone that Bush lied about playing varsity rugby, which did not exist.

Torture Lou!


AP Does Corsi

Says he's sorry.

Of course, he also recently wrote:

Finally, we all owe a huge salute to a great American patriot, Jim Robinson. Free Republic is a ground breaking forum, which allows us the free and robust expression of conservative political ideas.

I am honored to be associated with Free Republic, as I am honored to be participating in bringing the case against John Kerry as co-author of UNFIT FOR COMMAND.

You be the judge...

More History

New York Times:


..Government sources acknowledged that the Administration was considering giving field commanders in South Vietnam authoriy for "hot pursuit" into the country."

...The present interpretation of the policy of self-defense generally bars hot pursuit, but in practice American commanders have engaged in it on occasion during the heat of battle."


...a plan to this effect, allowing for follow-up by American forces, was "under active consideration..." ..."the decision to move into Cambodia was all but made."


Since last July Cambodia has been holding eleven American crewmen from an Army river supply vessel that strayed inadvertently into Cambodian territory.

...Cambodia has finally recognized the two-sided nature of the border incidents and has asked the International Control Commission to investigate the Communist incursions that provoked allied attacks across the border."


Cambodia said today that equipment was abandoned on the battlefield by the "American-South Vietnamese" force that, Cambodia maintains, crossed into her territory Thursday....

...He said that the abandoned items included red scarves worn by paratroop commandos, a United States officer's helmet, weapons, and radio sets.

Cambodia regularly charged that forces attacked targets, military and civilian, in their territory throughout this time period. I'll leave it to contemporary scholars to unravel the truth/lack of truth of those claims. But, it's quite clear that at this time the US was in possession of quite a bit of intelligence about North Vietnamese troop positions and strongholds in Cambodia which would have been difficult to derive without some cross-border surveillance.

History Lesson

From Frontline

By 1967, the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong were operating along Cambodia's border with South Vietnam, with Sihanouk's approval. The United States and South Vietnam responded with cross-border operations, which Sihanouk publicly protested.

(via Campaign Desk)


Look, can you all (you know who you are) stop pretending that McCain is the Fantasy McCain that you dream about at night and recognize that he's this John McCain. I'm so tired of people on my side dreaming of Their Own Personal McCain. The guy is what he is, not what you want him to be.

Scarborough Stumps for Bush

Congrats, MSGOP, for making yourselves look even worse than Fox.

Goss and the CIA

Digby reminds us just how seriously Bush's new choice for heading the CIA takes the intelligence community. Regarding the Plame investigation, Goss said:

Somebody sends me a blue dress and some DNA, I'll have an investigation.

Priorities people, priorities.


I've been pretty fascinated by the almost complete lack of coverage, advertising, etc... related to the olympics. No theory about it, just find it odd.

National Sales Tax

Bruce Bartlett puts this stupid idea to bed.
(via max)

Jobs for Heroes

Lead Balloons is right -- Turncoat Alexander's congressional staff, who all resigned after his party switch, need to be taken care of. Let's hope there are people in the vast beltway-industrial-complex who are calling them up right now.


One question I find rather silly is the "is blogging journalism?" question. The fact is, most of what we've agreed to collectively call "journalism" isn't really "journalism" -- or, to the extent that it is, much of it isn't any different from blogging.

A big chunk of television journalism, particularly cable and local news, though less the nightly network newscasts, involves recycling wire stories or other stuff from print journalism, adding in additional analysis, facts, opinion, debate, and some funky graphics and catchy theme music. Hey, that's almost just like blogging, though my graphics usually aren't so funky and I have no catchy theme music.


Larry Patterson pleads guilty.

Remember When...

The White House has refused to condemn the actions and ad campaign of the Swift Boat Liars. How things have changed. From TAPPED:

[From] George H.W. Bush and Floyd Brown's "Bill Clinton Fact Line" in 1992 (from the Washington Post, July 15, 1992):

The Bush reelection campaign today filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Floyd Brown, a conservative activist who produced the infamous Willie Horton ad in 1988 and recently has been digging for dirt about Bill Clinton.

Speaking in San Diego after a meeting with Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Bush said, "We will do whatever we can to stop any filthy campaign tactics," and "we will do whatever we can ... to see that [Brown] does not use my name for these nefarious purposes."

The 364 contributors listed on Brown's FEC reports have received letters from the Bush campaign informing them that Brown's "Citizens for Bush" is not affiliated with Bush/Quayle '92, according to a statement by White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater. The same message -- and encouragement not to contribute to Brown's effort -- also went to 85,697 "major contributors" over the signature of the president's son, George W. Bush. (Emphasis added.)


Swopa says:

And perhaps not coincidentally, by late July I was seeing signs of a Bushite PR counteroffensive to "prepare the media battlefield" for possible Plame indictments. Did Cooper and/or Russert tip off their sources in the administration that the feds were closing in on them, pushing the matter to a judicial decision that prosecutors were likely to win?

It would certainly help explain the sudden churning of the GOP smoke machine. As those who lived through the heady Clinton-era days of Lewinskymania may recall, one of the buried scandals then was grand inquisitor Ken Starr citing journalists as "confidential informants" in a court document. Has that unholy alliance raised its head again?

Morning Thread

Have some coffee.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Open Thread

Chat away.

$2110 Today So Far!

The lazy cat and I thank you. With the $1000 matching funds from Run Against Bush, that's an extra $3110 for the Hoeffel campaign.


Russert Flashback, 10/5/03


Novak: Well, there is a code in this—the business I’m in and have made my life’s work, that you do not reveal confidential sources, sources who are giving you information, not for attribution. I have said elsewhere, on CNN, that if I were to give up that name, I would leave journalism. But I wouldn’t give up the name. I have had officials who have given me information about the government, classified, unclassified, for over 40 years, and, obviously, if you once reveal a source on that kind of information, just as Dana is not revealing the source on her story, you’re finished.

Russert: You would be willing to go to prison?

Novak: I don’t think I’ll have to go to prison. I don’t—I’d be surprised—you’re a lawyer, do you think I’m culpable?

Russert: I’m not going to practice this morning.

Novak: OK.

Russert: But would you be willing to go to prison before giving up the source?

Novak: Well, I think that’s a dramatic question that—I will not give up the source. Put it that way.

Russert should have been put on leave. Actually, he should have put himself on leave. He's both part of the story, and covering it. Atrocious.

(thanks to Igrantius)

Russert Squeals

Depending on what Russert actually knew, I actually thinking squealing is the right thing to do here, and doing so is not a violation of any reasonable journalistic code of ethics.

But, here we have what appears to be a case of Russert standing on what he perceived as principle -- until faced with the possibility of jail time. If so -- coward.
A reporter is being held in contempt of court and faces possible jail time, and another was earlier threatened by a federal judge with the same fate, after they refused to answer questions from a special prosecutor investigating whether administration officials illegally disclosed the name of a covert CIA officer last year.

Newly-released court orders show U.S. District Court Chief Judge Thomas F. Hogan two weeks ago ordered Matt Cooper of Time magazine and Tim Russert of NBC to appear before a grand jury and tell whether they knew that White House sources provided the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame to the media.The Justice Department probe is trying to determine whether this information was provided knowingly, in violation of the law. Hogan's orders show that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald believes Cooper and Russert know the answer.

Cooper still refused to answer questions after Hogan's July 20 order, and on Aug. 6 Hogan held him in contempt of court and ordered that he go to jail. Cooper has been released on bond pending his emergency appeal to a federal appeals court. Hogan has ordered that Time pay a $1,000 fine for each day Cooper does not appear before the grand jury.

Sources close to the investigation said they believe Russert was not held in contempt Aug. 6 because he agreed to answer the questions after Hogan's July 20 ruling.

Of course, it goes without saying that once Russert became a part of an investigation of the highest officials in government he should have been put on leave until it was resolved.


Don't forget... Run Against Bush is matching your Hoeffel donations today, 50 cents on the dollar, up to a total of $1000. Donate now!

And, check out Run Against Bush. Every lazy cat needs a t-shirt.


Wow, the burning of Khan sounds much worse than I imagined...

(thanks to def)


Josh Marshall reminds us what "on background" means:

Here Rice seems to be implying that things discussed 'on background' aren't for public release and thus that the White House did not in fact release his name.

But that's simply false. White House officials give 'backgrounders' all the time, Rice at least as often as others. The information discussed in those briefings is very much for public use. The restrictions are simply a matter of identifying who is talking.

Fair and Balanced

Fox News claims to be Fair and Balanced, but today they're doing All Malkin All Day, likely without much balance.

If we had a liberal media, someone arguing that interning people based on their ethnic background,... Oh never mind.

But, anyway, Eric Muller could provide that balance.

From FAIR:

Fox News Channel
1211 Ave. of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 301-3000
Fax: (212) 301-4229

Hannity & Colmes:,

She's a guest on H&C tonight.

She'll also be on MSNBC on Scarborough's show.

Chalabi Update

Laura Rozen has a good update.

The Second Greatest Threat

The "rogue devil madman from the Hermit Thrush State."

Greatest Threat to Our Freedom That We Face Today

Apparently it's gay people. Who "wield extreme power." Another fine Republican. If we had a liberal media these kinds of comments would get someone swept off the national political stage, Trent Lott-like. Of course, if we had a liberal media, Trent Lott would have been swept off the national stage many years ago, instead of, you know, simply being swept down to the 4th or 5th most powerful position in the Senate.

They've also "infiltrated the very centers of power." That is very true. Even, I hear, the offices of many Republican senators. Scary.

Oh, and the kicker? In addition to running for the Senate from Oklahoma, he's the person George W. Bush thought was the very best person he could find to head the presidential AIDS commission.

Does Anyone Remember Laughter?

Kos has a link to a clip you should all hear.

Run Against Bush!

As Hoeffel plans to Walk Against Specter!

The good people at Run Against Bush have offered to put up $1,000 in matching funds for Hoeffel. For every dollar we pull in today, they'll kick in an additional 50 cents, up to $1000 for the day.

Run Against Bush is a great organization, combining fitness, fundraising, visibilty, and community building. They're getting set for Run Against Bush Day, which is going to be on September 18th. Here's the description:

Break out your sneakers for National Run Against Bush Day! You may have seen these fine patriots parading across your town in t-shirts that proudly proclaim "Run Against Bush." On September 18, in 100+ cities across the country, 10,000+ Americans will run and walk 100,000+ miles to raise money to support John Kerry's election. Exercise democracy by buying a t-shirt, spreading the word, and burning some calories to boot Bush. Go to Run Against Bush to find out more and get involved.

I myself am a member, though since I've been traveling/sick I've only managed to get out there and show off my T-shirt once.

As for Hoeffel, he's kicking off his grand tour of Pennsylvania which is culminating in a 67 mile walk from Johnstown to Pittsburgh. So, click here to donate!

10,000 at 10:40PM

In Flagstaff.

Open Thread

Khan edition.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

The Freepi Make Threats


Wait a Minute...

...for some reason I haven't gotten my lovely hooded uniform yet...


There are moments of disconnect, when the reality on the ground diverges sufficiently from the media spin that people start realizing something's up.

The sheer size of the crowds attending Kerry/Edwards rallies are impressive. Something's happening here.

There's something we used to hear a lot -- that incumbents with under 50% approval ratings are in deep deep trouble. We haven't heard it much since Bush dropped below 50.

In national polls, Kerry is almost always ahead. In electoral vote analysis, Kerry has consistently been ahead.

In another year, the press would be (rather unfairly) writing Bush's epitaph and painting him as an inevitable loser. I'm not suggesting that's the appropriate way to cover this (or any) campaign, but they do seem to be doing a pretty good job of not mentioning the obvious -- right now, Kerry's ahead, and that isn't good news for that other guy.

Who Served?

For the record, I was in Wonkette's unit.

Bushies Burn Another Agent

So, Condi admits they blew the cover of yet another intelligence asset...

Na Na Na Na

Could this be the end of our intrepid crusader, Ahmed Chalabi? Tune in next week...
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq has issued an arrest warrant for Ahmad Chalabi, a former governing council member, on money laundering charges and another for Salem Chalabi, the head of Iraq's special tribunal, on murder charges, Iraq's chief investigating judge said Sunday.

Here's more info on the murder charge for Salem.


AP Poll

Well, this nicely contradicts most of the "conventional wisdom" that the bobbleheads mindlessly parrot.

As many think Kerry is likeable as Bush. More people think Kerry's honest. A majority think Iraq was a mistake. More people (barely) think Kerry shares their values.

(thanks to grytpype)

William Safire Flashback

Interesting. From August 27, 1984:

That political direction from the pulpit went beyond impropriety; had it been allowed to stand, the ground under St. Patrick's Cathedral would have been rightly subject to real estate taxes paid by other political organizations. Gov. Mario Cuomo challenged the Archbishop's intrusion into the political system, and the Catholic prelate backed off a little.

No such sober second thoughts from Paul Laxalt, President Reagan's campaign chairman. ''Shame on you, Mario Cuomo!'' he cried, trying to curry favor by siding with the Archbishop. The President and his political vicar then turned truth on its head by suggesting that those who are trying to preserve the separation of church and state are guilty of intolerance, and invoking the name of Al Smith, the first Catholic candidate for President.

Shame on them for forgetting that Al Smith was defeated by the ''drys'' who imposed their Prohibition views on the rest of the population, and by the fundamentalist Protestants who led the whispering campaign that a Catholic President would be a vassal of the Pope.

The successors to those evangelical anti-papists of the 20's were the preachers at the Dallas convention. Today, fundamentalist intolerance is directed not at Catholics and Jews, but at the New Heathen: the unreligious and the privately religious who dare to disagree with their outlook on morality. Different targets, same spirit. In their zeal to put God in the classroom, too many preachers have taken the angel out of evangelism.

No President, not even born-again Jimmy Carter, has done more to marshal the political clout of these evangelicals than has Ronald Reagan - to his historic discredit. ''Dear Christian Leader,'' wrote Senator Laxalt last month to Texas ministers, part of the party's ''Christian Voter Program''; he urged them to ''organize a voter registration drive in your church'' to give them a voice ''that will surely help secure the re-election of President Reagan and Vice President Bush.''

That political proselytizing is surely so unethical as to be un-American. Since the Reverend Reagan has decreed that ''politics and morality are inseparable,'' with religion the common denominator, such a pitch for pulpit politics is akin to constitutional sin.

A Wee Bit of Truth

Steve Volk as the Philadelphia Weekly lets his readers know what Cokie, Judy, and Wolf won't tell them.


What lambert says.

Sunday Morning Follies

Oy, 3 minutes of Rice and I'm ready to reach for a bottle.