Saturday, September 18, 2004

Big Mo in CO


open thread.

"I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died."

This got lost in the shuffle (to me) before, but the General was on it, as was hairy fish nuts.

From a recent Jimmy Swaggart television program:

I'm trying to find the correct name for it ... this utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men. ... I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died.

By clicking this link, you too can receive Swaggart's blessing. Minute 36...

Military Call Up

The real question is this -- is Bush letting election considerations impact his conduct in the war in Iraq? More specifically, does he know believe that we need more troops in Iraq than we currently have, but isn't willing to bring them there until after the election? If so, he's jeapordizing the lives of American troops for the purpose of increasing his chances of re-coronation. That's despicable.

``He won't tell us what congressional leaders are now saying, that this administration is planning yet another substantial call-up of reservists and Guard units immediately after the election,'' Kerry said. ``Hide it from people through the election, then make the move.''

Republicans said Kerry was making a baseless charge to cover up his inconsistent positions on Iraq. ``Desperate candidates are generally not the most accurate sources of information on these issues,'' said New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici, adding that the Senate defense spending committee that he serves on hasn't been notified of any such plans.

But Rep. John Murtha, D-Penn., ranking member on the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee and a former Marine who served in Vietnam, said he had learned through conversations with Pentagon officials that beginning in November, ``the Bush administration plans to call up large numbers of the military Guard and Reserves, to include plans that they previously had put off to call up the Individual Ready Reserve.''

Another Dickhead of Democracy


Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage alleged Friday that insurgents have stepped up their deadly assaults in Iraq because they want to "influence the election against President Bush," a statement that drew a sharp condemnation from the campaign of Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry.

It is apparently the first time that a Bush administration official has linked the escalating violence in Iraq to an effort by insurgents to help defeat Bush in November.

Look, can we all at least agree on one thing -- if the "I didn't do it" administration is re-coronated, that come November 3, EVERYTHING IS THEIR FUCKING FAULT.

Pop Quiz

How many governors have received exploding letters in the past few days?

...answer here.

Friday, September 17, 2004


It's clear that this is a dead even race, nationally, right now. The question that's still out there is - what would possibly make Gallup and CBS/NYT think that there are more self-identified Republicans this year than there were in the last couple elections? This isn't about a belief in who is or isn't a likely voter -- they're drawing their registered voters from the same basic sample. Has there been any piece of data out there to suggest that either self-identified Republicans or self-identified Republicans who are registered voters have increased their numbers in the past 4 years?

It's possible, I suppose, but I haven't seen any evidence of it.

...reader n sends in the full NYT/CBS Poll results. It includes a question asking who the respondent voted for in 2000. Answers:

Gore - 28
Bush - 36
Buchanan - 1
Nader - 1
Voted, won't say - 1
Didn't vote - 32

That's representative.


Proof that conservative idiots are always recycled.

For those who may not remember, Laffer was the guy who scribbled what became known as the "Laffer curve" on napkin to demonstrate how if you cut taxes then revenues will magically go up! The idea (correct) being that too high tax rates will so discourage economic activity and encourage evasion that by lowering them revenue collected will increase. That part isn't crazy. What's crazy are all the people who think it always works - the lower the taxes, the higher the revenues! Or, specifically, the question is what is the tax rate which maximizes revenue? (not that revenue maximization is necessarily your goal, but if you haven't yet reached that rate then it just isn't true that lowering taxes will increase revenues).

So, that famous little napkin helped Reagan enact the largest tax cut in history, which was almost immediately followed by the biggest tax increase in history as the wheels started to come off the wagon.

Open Thread

Chat away.

New Talking Point

Now it isn't just the terra ists, but insurgents in Iraq who are trying to influence our election by killing people. I bet they sit around watching the Sabbath Gasbags before they start shooting, the political junkies that they are.

According to a commenter, pol, none other than Tim Russert is saying these things too:

I just heard Timmy Russert interviewed by our area CBS affiliate. They wanted to know his take on the polls, and why Gallup is so out of line with the others this week. Timmy said, he didn't know, that CW is you have to look at each party's internal polling, and if you do, Bush is ahead by 5-6 points. I know that was true for last week, but I'm highly sceptical about it now. Has anyone found any internal polling data?

By the way, the interviewers asked Timmy, since everything is a mess in Iraq and word is seeping out, would not Russert's claim possibly be in question. Russert gave some garbage that it is believed that the insurgency in Iraq is possibly intentionally aimed at getting Bush defeated!

[that probably is NBC affiliate, though I don't know]

So, that's where we stand. All the bad people in the world have united with a common goal of electing John Kerry. Anything bad that happens, anywhere, anytime, by anybody, happens because somebody is trying to deny George Bush his throne.

Friday Cat Blogging

Run Against Bush Day!

Tomorrow is National Run Against Bush Day! I'll be there, assuming I can haul myself out of bed.

Kicker Update

Looks like friend is no longer willing to be on the record.


He gets destroyed by two of the best.



Drinking Liberally

Someone should organize a weekly event in Philadelphia. Preferably within walking distance of me (in the general orbit of Rittenhouse Square-South-Broad), and not on Wednesday nights.

...Consensus on Nodding Head at 6pm Tuesdays?

...oops, never mind that, no wheelchair accessibility. I think Ten Stone or Tritone it is then. Debate.

Gallup Garbage

So, Gallup is oversampling Republicans and will be doing so for the entire election season.

Senator Barney Frank

It's about time we had the first openly gay senator, so he has the all-important Eschaton endorsement. Besides, he knows where all the closets are buried.

Parlock Updates

The Union has issued this statement, though it's unclear if they've identified the member or know what actually transpired.

This message board has some claimed eye witness views of the event. Unable to verify, of course.

Kicker Update

He's denying it, and a friend is providing an alibi.


Judith Miller has been ordered to talk. Will she stand on principle and go to jail or wimp out and testify? But, Ailes raises the important question:

But will her answers be any more credible than her reporting?

One wonders if she knows what truth is anymore. Remember this jolly little outburst:

"You know what," she offered angrily. "I was proved fucking right. That's what happened. People who disagreed with me were saying, 'There she goes again.' But I was proved fucking right."


There's this guy. He's a Republican. Amazingly, for the past three presidential elections he's managed to convince reporters that he's gotten attacked and gotten his signs stolen and destroyed. What are the odds?

I'm just gonna nick the whole post from Rising Hegemon to make sure everyone sees it:

Serial Republican Victim complains for the THIRD straight presidential election of being assaulted and has his family assist.


Here is today's newspaper story:

A Republican family attended the rally to show support for the Bush-Cheney ticket. Phil Parlock, a Barboursville resident and strong Republican, said his family was accosted by some Kerry supporters.

"We do it peacefully and quietly to show respect. And, we don’t want to get kicked out of anything," Parlock said.

After standing on the tarmac with the Kerry supporters, Parklock and three of his children moved down to the airport road near a parking lot exit.

With Parlock were sons Phil II, 21, and Alex, 11, and daughter Sophia, 3.

Parlock said a Kerry supporter yanked a Bush-Cheney sign out of Sophia’s hands, making her cry. As they stood along the road later, someone threw the ripped-up remains of the sign at them as they passed.

Problem is, as pointed out by some (Rezmutt) at D.U. is he has done this before.

Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, August 27, 1996, Page 3C

Phil Parlock's experience was less calm.

The Huntington man said he was knocked to the ground by a Clinton supporter when he tried to display a sign that read "Remember Vince Foster," the deputy White House counsel who committed suicide in a Washington, D.C., park. His death has become the subject of much debate among Clinton opponents.

"It must have been a strict Democrat who did this," Parlock said, feeling the red abrasions on his face. "Everyone with the exception of him was real peaceful about our protest."

Parlock said some of the crowd tried to make other anti-Clinton demonstrators feel unwelcome. He estimated that about 150 Dole supporters attended the rally, but their signs couldn't be seen for most of the rally.

Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, October 28, 2000, pg. 1A:

Phil Parlock didn't expect to need all 12 of the Bush-Cheney signs he and his son Louis smuggled in their socks and pockets into the rally for Vice President Al Gore.

But each time they raised a sign, someone would grab it out of their hands, the two Huntington residents said. And sometimes it got physical.

"I expected some people to take our signs," said Louis, 12. "But I did not expect people to practically attack us."

The two said they didn't go to the Friday morning rally to start trouble.

"I came to support Bush and try to change some people's minds," Louis said.

Now here is the picture of Parlock with his three-year old daughter, who he enlisted as his assistant (father of the year no doubt).

Notice closely the young man wearing the union shirt and holding a piece of the sign?

Now here is a picture of the very productive Parlock family:

What are the odds, this allegedly angry sign-ripper in the union shirt, holding the fragments of a ripped Bush sign is either the guy in the grey sweater or the blue shirt?

So was Parlock having one of his sons portray a union stooge?

This guy is a serial disrupter with pretty much the same story every time.

Remember this when the Cornerites and Little Green Snot Bubbles spout off and try to make this a big story...especially in the wake of the known abuse protestors get at the regular "Triumph of the Will" functions that comprise a Bush Campaign appearance.


Three more marines were killed yesterday in Iraq. Kidnappings are commonplace. The insurgency is growing and becoming more sophisticated, which means more deadly. Ordinary Iraqis are becoming ever more enraged at the U.S.

When the newscaster David Brinkley, appalled by the carnage in Vietnam, asked Lyndon Johnson why he didn't just bring the troops home, Johnson replied, "I'm not going to be the first American president to lose a war."

George W. Bush is now trapped as tightly in Iraq as Johnson was in Vietnam. The war is going badly. The president's own intelligence estimates are pessimistic. There is no plan to actually win the war in Iraq, and no willingness to concede defeat.

I wonder who the last man or woman will be to die for this colossal mistake.

Precisely right. It was a colossal mistake. We will continue on because it will be falsely believed it is necessary to show strength, when it shows just the opposite.

I have no idea what the best exit strategy is, but neither did Rumsfeld and the gang when they started this thing. There will be no "good" outcome, all we can hope for is that we figure out how to minimize the damage. The people who inflicted it are not the ones we can trust to do that wisely.


10/24-26/00 # 39 52 1 4 4 851LV

You gotta be smoking crack to believe that the election swung 13 points in 2 weeks.

Good Stuff

Philly locals should check out the Shen Wei Dance Arts performance, tomorrow or Saturday.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Listen to Grover

Kos has the audio.

Dreier Chief of Staff Paid Unusally Large Salary


Open Thread


RNC Kicker Identified?

Looks like Julian found him. I emailed the alleged kicker and asked for confirmation, but have yet to hear a response.

...sneaky sneaky. They just cropped him out of the picture. Here's a screenshot of the original.

...just so people know, this isn't just based on photo comparison, it's based on people who know him identifying him from the video. And, I've received an additional confirmation as well.

...he never responded to my email, but has has sent a denial to Talk Left.


A few extra dollars at this point can really help out House races. So, give to Matsunaka. Give to Keever. Give to the DCCC.

A Chilling Day

This should frighten us all.

Sept. 15 - The first U.S. government-declared "enemy combatant" in the war on terror will soon be released from a military prison in South Carolina under an agreement that will allow him to fly home to Saudi Arabia as a free man, administration officials tell NEWSWEEK.

The agreement to free Yaser Esam Hamdi represents a stunning reversal for the Bush administration, which argued for more than two years that the former Taliban fighter was potentially so dangerous that he had to be detained indefinitely in solitary confinement with no access to counsel and no right to trial.

But in a landmark ruling last June, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that Hamdi, an American citizen, be allowed to consult with his lawyer and challenge the basis for his imprisonment. This pushed the case back into federal court and forced the Justice Department to mount a hasty retreat.

The result, officials say, is a highly detailed agreement that is expected to be made public later this week. It will result in Hamdi being flown back to Saudi Arabia on a U.S. military aircraft without ever being charged with any terror-related activity—a symbolic victory for critics who have long pointed to the case as a prime example of what they see as the Bush administration's overreaching in combating the terrorist threat.

Still, Justice Department officials said today the agreement contains important provisions to protect U.S. interests, including requirements that Hamdi renounce his U.S. citizenship, agree not to return to the United States and consent not to travel to an extensive list of countries, including Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq or Syria, where he could be presumably be recruited for terrorist activity. Hamdi is also supposed to keep Saudi authorities notified of his whereabouts—a requirement that even government officials say will do little, if anything, to restrict his movements in the country.

So, our government keeps a guy locked up for 3 years without trial because he's too dangerous to let go. When he was allowed to challenge his imprisonment, the JD backed off. And, then, to end the whole thing they're going to require that he renounce his citizenship.


I can't wait for the full transcript. Woodruff's report on the Oklahoma Senate race was incredible.

And, they hardly showed any of Kerry's speech to the Guard convention. Incredible.


When Bush keeps giving speeches saying that "we're making progress" in Iraq, just what the hell is he talking about?

...that's a serious question, by the way. If anyone makes to make a case that we're geniunely "making progress" give it your best shot.

Oh My

This *is* hilarious.

...though it may be topped by this.

Notable Quotables

Who said "We have an idiot, stupid, corrupt, dumb rotten republican Governor in that State [Ohio]."

Click here for the answer.

Support the Troops

This is just horrible:

COLORADO SPRINGS - Soldiers from a Fort Carson combat unit say they have been issued an ultimatum - re-enlist for three more years or be transferred to other units expected to deploy to Iraq.

Hundreds of soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team were presented with that message and a re-enlistment form in a series of assemblies last Thursday, said two The effort is part of a restructuring of the Army into smaller, more flexible forces that can deploy rapidly around the world.

A Fort Carson spokesman confirmed the re-enlistment drive is under way and one of the soldiers provided the form to the Rocky Mountain News. An Army spokesmen denied, however, that soldiers who don't re-enlist with the brigade were threatened.

The form, if signed, would bind the soldier to the 3rd Brigade until Dec. 31, 2007. The two soldiers said they were told that those who did not sign would be transferred out of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

Big Time

It'd be nice if some reporters asked Cheney about this stuff:

Perhaps even more troubling, at the same time Cheney was doing business with Iraq, he launched a public broadside against sanctions laws designed to cut off funds to regimes like Iran, which the State Department listed as a state sponsor of terrorism. In 1998, Cheney traveled to Kuala Lumpur to attack his own country's terrorism policies for being too strict. Under the headline, "Former US Defence Secretary Says Iran-Libya Sanctions Act 'Wrong,'" the Malaysian News Agency reported that Cheney "hit out at his government" and said sanctions on terrorist countries were "ineffective, did not provide the desired results and [were] a bad policy."

Two years later, Cheney traveled to another country to demand America weaken restrictions on doing business with Iran's petroleum industry, despite Clinton administration warnings that Iranian oil revenues could be used to fund terrorism. "We're kept out of [Iran] primarily by our own government, which has made a decision that U.S. firms should not be allowed to invest significantly in Iran," he told an oil conference in Canada. "I think that's a mistake."

Mission Accomplished

From the DNC.

Incompetent and Unaccountable

9/11 drove a lot of people a little bit crazy, understandably. And, sadly, a lot of those people felt it necessary to suspend their distrust of the Bush administration. They needed to believe that, whatever else these people might screw up, that they wouldn't screw up on anti-terrorism. When Iraq unfathomably became part of "anti-terrorism," some (though not all) of those same people again felt the need to believe that, okay, how could they screw that one up? I think even some people who were opposed to the war, but figured it was inevitable, thought that well, at least they couldn't possibly screw this one up.

But, they have. It's quite possible that there was no way to not screw it up, that it was such a colossally bad idea which couldn't possibly have a good outcome. But, they've managed to screw it up with a degree of incompetence that even shocked me. And, still, no one thinks it necessary to hold them accountable.

Right now the press is constantly asking "what is John Kerry's plan for Iraq?" But, for 18 months now they've failed to ask the question "what is George Bush's plan for Iraq?" Finally, Lou Dobbs actually stepped up:

GERGEN: I think it's totally inadequate, given where he is. If you were 10 points ahead, perhaps he could get away with the old Nixon formulation about Vietnam, you know, I've got a secret plan to win in Vietnam, but he's not 10 points ahead.

He has to -- what has been, I think, the single biggest weakness of the Kerry campaign has become -- that he's -- his rhetoric and his votes on Iraq have struck many, many voters as being incoherent, and they don't understand what he thinks about Iraq or what he thinks ought to happen in the future, and I think the absence of a framework for a -- the war on terrorism and what to do about Iraq is coming back to plague this campaign.

You cannot -- as the Democratic challenger, when deaths are accumulating in Iraq, you know, when the place seems to be closer and closer to the edge of real chaos itself, you can't as a Democratic candidate say, well, you know, let's talk about the economy. We've got to -- he's got to talk about both. He needs a strategy for the war on terrorism, and it has to include Iraq.

DOBBS: Do you have a clear understanding of the Bush Administration's strategy on Iraq?

GERGEN: No. And you've got a good point there. I don't know exactly -- I mean, I know they want to have elections, and I have a sense of what they're going to do after the elections in January, if we hold them, but at least I do think this: I think the president is clearer about his overall strategy on the war on terror and where Iraq fits into that. He's at least clear about what he wants to create at least as a stable Iraq and, hopefully, a Democratic Iraq.

Gergen's answer is, of course, nonsense, unless one believes that "Words Speak Louder Than Actions."

Psychedelic 'W' and the Goat Squadron

The truth about W's missing year.

"Leaning Somewhat Conservative"

Ah,, the most useless organization on the planet.

BROOKS JACKSON: $1.5 trillion. The president's correct: There is an independent study from the American Enterprise Institute that came out that day that costs Kerry's plan at $1.5 trillion.

What the president doesn't mention is that there is also an earlier study done by Professor Ken Thorpe at Emory University that costs it at less than half that, between $600 billion and $700 billion. Now, these are both ten-year figures, and Professor Thorpe, who used to work for the Clinton administration and the American Enterprise Institute, which is pro-business, leaning somewhat conservative, are arguing over who's right about this.

What's interesting, though, is that these two studies actually agree on a couple of things. One is that Kerry's plan would cover an additional 27 million persons who are not covered by health insurance, and that's many times more than President Bush's much less expensive plan, and that the plan would also drop health premiums for those who already have health insurance, which it is designed to do.

Big Mo

Big John ahead. Majority say Bush doesn't deserve to be re-elected.

On that latter fact, in any normal election year that would be the story framing the election. "Majority not happy with incumbent." But, for some reason it isn't. Odd.

I Work for a Nazi

I had no idea. Thank God Bill O'Reilly let me know.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Roger Waters has a couple new songs.

Pop Quiz

How many US soldiers have died so far this month in Iraq? As always, the point is not to give the right answer (easily found if you know where to look), but your gut answer given what you've seen/read on the news.

...the answer is here.

Open Thread


Alt Weeklies

Let me recommend, which brings together the best stuff from alternative weeklies around the country. Yes, they've placed an ad, but I've been clicking through since they did and it's worth reading.


CBS and Dan Rather have their problems which they're going to have to sort out, but as anonymous reminds us in comments, this is the key point:

Q Scott, on the National Guard documents on "60 Minutes," the First Lady says she believes these are forgeries. The RNC has accused the Democratic Party of being the source of these documents. Knowing then what you know now, would you still have released those documents when you did?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, that's a hypothetical question, John. We received those documents from a major news organization. We had every reason to believe that they were authentic at that time.

If the basic thrust of the memos was false - if, say, Bush came forward and said "Hey, wait a minute! Those can't be real! I never disobeyed a direct order..." then why would our dear Scotty say such a thing?

And, yes, trolls, if the documents are proven to be forgeries than Rather and CBS will have major egg on face, and they'll get their punishment like the Bush administration did when they fell for forged documents recently. And, yes, if they're proven to be forgeries, then whoever passed them to CBS, at least if they *knew* they were forged, should be outed.

But, none of that changes the fact that as Scotty said, they "had every reason to believe that they were authentic at that time."

Open Thread

Yammer away.

Shocking Allegation

From Newsweek's Christopher Dickey on Fresh Air today. At about minute 32.
Now, in the summer of 2004 we are in much greater danger. Because, by pushing too far, by rushing into the war, and it's still not clear what the agenda was for this war. Why were we in such a rush in March of 2003 to go to war. Was it because Saddam was refusing to cooperate? It wasn't up to the United States to determine that - the terms of the Resolution were clear. It was up to Hans Blix to say 'he is in material breach again and we will go to the security council.' We couldn't wait for that. We had to go to war I think probably because of the administration's concern about the domestic political agenda."

Step back a minute and think about what he's saying. The Middle East regional editor of Newsweek says, rather nonchalantly, that the administration went off to war for domestic political purposes. What's shocking is that this isn't shocking. Especially, you know, given the sacrifices that have been made for the Bush '04 election campaign.

Hold Them Accountable

This organization (new ad) appears to understand that there's no accountability in the "'I didn't Do It' Boy" administration. They do have a crazy idea that we, on the other hand, can hold them accountable. Let's hope so.

Once Again, Here's Digby

What he says.

Oh, and BMM too.

The Reality in Iraq

I highly recommend everyone listen to today's Fresh Air for a bit of a reality check.

...sorry, listen to the Newsweek reporter once he stops talking about his book. About 16:30.


Just go read the top 5 or so posts over at Americablog.

Burning Sources

I actually agree with Glenn Reynolds.

Big John Goes After the "I Didn't Do It" Kid


At that convention in New York the other week, President Bush talked about his ownership society. Well Mr. President, when it comes to your record, we agree – you own it.

Of course, the President would have us believe that his record is the result of bad luck, not bad decisions. That he’s faced the wrong circumstances, not made the wrong choices. In fact, this President has created more excuses than jobs. His is the Excuse Presidency: Never wrong, Never Responsible, Never to Blame. President Bush’s desk isn’t where the buck stops – it’s where the blame begins. He’s blamed just about everyone but himself and his administration for America’s economic problems. And if he’s missed you, don’t worry – he’s still got 48 days left until the election.

That sounds sorta familiar.

You can listen to the Bush campaign theme right here.


At a Bush campaign rally:

Most confusing sign of the day: "If Jesus weren't a Jew, he'd be an American."


I was unaware that Aaron, of, had passed away. Condolences to family and friends.

Uppity Negro

I was going to write some more about this, but I think it's enough to go read the give and take over in Romenesko's letters section. Start with the letter from Roland S. Martin who is upset that Tavis Smiley is being called a "journalist" even though he has an activist role and, shock!, accepts gifts such as a car! Then, scroll up to read Bob Laurence being shocked that Smiley might actually have any money!

I'm all for having conversations about journalists and conflicts of interests, etc... But there's little reason for that conversation to begin with Smiley.

For the record, I accept free gifts, offers to appear in commercials, and obscene speaking fees.

Some Good News

Death sentences in decline.

Adam Ant

Adam Nagourney, NYT hack extraordinaire, expressed his belief on the 7/6/04 Charlie Rose show that he "could overshadow John Kerry."


Email Scott H. Heekin-Canedy, president and general manager of the NYT, and ask him if he could explain to his readers the ways in which Nagourney overshadows Kerry.

48 Days

That's it. You know what you can do.

Signs and Bumper Stickers

Broke busy people wonder what they can do. One thing you can do is obtain some bumper stickers and signs for your congressional candidate. If you're in a district where a challenger has a chance against an incumbent, name recognition is key. Get some stickers. Give them to your friends. When name recognition is the issue, the benefit of one additional bumper sticker riding around for an hour or so every day during the morning/afternoon commute is huge.


Kristof gets it just about right for once.

(yes, he's too easy on him, but the general thrust is about right)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Yeah, What He Says

Cut the crap people.

...just to add, in my experience when Democrats are given Elvis they wish they had Paul Tsongas. When they're given Tsongas, they say he's boring and lacks charisma and they demand Elvis.

And, now that we have a candidate who has the best of both the criticisms are mostly incoherent.

Documents Update

May be forgeries, though strangely could be more like reproductions of originals.

And, yet another new document shows Bush didn't live up to his obligations.


I think it's perfectly valid - in fact, appropriate -- for hosts to take a skeptical view of un-or-thinly sourced allegations in books. But, my God, does anyone ever get the third degree over any book that isn't critical of the Bush administration? I've been reading over Tweety Transcripts from the Clinton era, when every wingnut had a book, and he was just a little puddy tat for them.

...Wolcott says:

As soon as I get my greedy mitts on Kitty Kelley's epic tone poem about a certain upper-crust white-trash clan, I intend to provide ongoing interpretation of its findings. Michiko Kakutani was so hopping mad about it in The Times, stamping both her little moccasins at once, that I'm convinced La Kitty is on to something. The Times never gets that indignant about a simple piece of pop trash; it's only when the ruling class is given the tabloid treatment that the paper becomes institutionally huffy. And it's rather rich for a Times writer to squawk about an author using anonymous sources. The Times couldn't function without self-serving leaks from highly placed urinators. It might have been better had the Times assigned the review to Janet Maslin, who has the taste of a middlebrow hausfrau; she could have devoured the book in one sitting and put on seven pounds.

Kerry Hires Gobbell

A happy ending:

The story was picked up by Daily Kos, a political Web log, and spread quickly around the Web. By this morning, Geddes, who has declined to comment publicly on the matter, had apparently had enough of the bad publicity. Through an intermediary, he offered Gobbell an apology and said she could have her old job back. But Gobbell said she wouldn't return without some written guarantee that Geddes wouldn't turn around and fire her once he was out of the spotlight. Then, late this afternoon, Kerry himself phoned Gobbell. "He was telling me how proud he was that I stood up," Gobbell told me. "He'd read the part where Phil said I could either work for him or work for John Kerry. He said, 'you let him know you're working for me as of today.' I was just so shocked."

Gobbell accepted Kerry's job offer, "so I reckon I'll be working for John Kerry." Kerry left it that someone from his campaign would call Gobbell to work out the details. Let's hope there's quick follow-through (I'll be checking!), because Gobbell told me she couldn't wait to tell Geddes that she had a better offer.

Hoeffel Ad Up and On the Air

Go watch.

Then, donate lots of money so everyone in Pennsylvania goes to sleep muttering "Hoeffel...Hoeffel...Hoeffel..."

Preznit Dick

August is right -- the CW that Dick Cheney wouldn't run for president in 2008 is based only on the false perception that he's "too old." Sure, he has a bit of a ticker problem, but he's a pretty young guy. Dick's only 63.

Open Thread

Chat away.


Silly Drudge:

Sept. 14, 2004 | Attempting to bolster President Bush as he continues to stonewall questions about his Texas Air National Guard service, Internet gossip Matt Drudge posted a 1968 document from Bush's military personnel file Monday afternoon that purports to buttress a long-ago claim by Bush that he served not only in the Texas Air National Guard but in the Air Force as well. Although this "exclusive" Drudge posting is a trivial sidebar to the larger story of Bush's absence from two years of military service, the document itself -- presumably provided to Drudge by a Republican operative -- turns out to be an incriminating piece of evidence against Bush's case.


Bush's 1978 assertion that he served in the Air Force is "an embellishment, but not a lie," one former Air Force pilot says. Yet the story soon disappeared from Bush's official biography -- perhaps the best indication of his camp's recognition that the Air Force claim stretched credulity. (Not that the story of his military life then grew more accurate: During the 2000 campaign, Bush's official bio, scrubbed and rewritten by Hughes, said he flew F-102 planes in the Guard until 1973. Of course, that's untrue: Bush walked away from flying in 1972 never to return, an event he has yet to explain.)


For example, in his 1968 statement, Bush pledged to maintain "satisfactory participation" with his Guard unit, which meant fulfilling "satisfactory performance of assigned duties at 48 scheduled inactive duty training period days and 15 days filed training annually." Failure to do so meant being transferred to active duty, and the possibility of being sent to Vietnam. But in both 1972 and 1973, Bush failed to meet that participation standard.

White House aides have pointed out that while Bush may have missed some mandatory drill dates, he made them up later, earning enough annual points for a satisfactory rating. But the makeup points he earned -- some of which appear to be highly dubious -- counted only toward his retirement benefits, not his participation ratings.

What's more, those points were based on a calendar year, from January to December, while the "satisfactory participation" requirement was based on the military's fiscal year, from July to June. And according to the Bush records released by the White House, he failed to meet the required "48 scheduled inactive duty training period days" in both 1972 and 1973. Bush showed up for duty so infrequently during those two years that his commanders couldn't complete mandatory annual ratings of his service. Yet the son of a prominent political father faced no disciplinary action.

Patsy on the Air

Keever's first ad is up. You can see it at the campaign website.

And, as always, you can donate here.

Limbaugh's Girlfriend

A lot like her new cuddlebunny.


The look on Walter Rodgers' face after reporting to Wolf Blitzer about today's carnage, including 12 dead policemen, and hearing Wolf respond:

Does there seem to be significant progress being made on a day to day basis in terms of Iraqi security personnel, taking over the main responsibility for their country's security?

On the One Handism

I just watched a CNN report on the link between antidepressants and child suicide which brought "on the one handism" reporting to new heights of hackdom. It basically went something like:

"Some parents blame the death of the child on the drugs...[specific story]...on the other hand, some people credit the drugs for saving their lives [specific story]."

What the hell kind of reporting is this? It frames the issue as "do anti-depressants make you happy or cause you to kill yourself?" The issue, of course, is whether or not the additional risk of suicide is too great to a) responsibly prescribe them at all, b) responsibly prescribe them with the frequency they do, or c) responsibly prescribe them without making sure to have additional safeguards/monitoring in place to reduce the suicide risk.

Oh, and the little fact of the drug companies covering up the research.

Lyin' Powell

God, it just never ends.

''What . . . distressed me is that there were some in the intelligence community who had knowledge that the sourcing was suspect and that was not known to me," Powell told the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. ''They knew at the time I was saying it that some of the sourcing was suspect."

Powell stated he has learned some intelligence reports produced before his UN speech included ''disclaimers" that were not circulated to top officials, including himself and President Bush. After more than a year of fruitless searching, Powell repeated his view that at this point it is ''unlikely we will find any stockpiles" of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.


'It's disingenuous for Powell not to mention the fact that even his own people were doing their best to warn him about categorical statements and warn him about exaggerating the threats, warning him about the reliability of some of the human intelligence reporting," said Greg Thielmann, formerly Powell's chief of intelligence on nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

Thielmann said analysts at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research provided Powell with a report just two days before the speech calling into question many of the claims. Among them were disagreements that Iraq's acquisition of aluminum tubing was for use in a nuclear weapons program. Thielmann had left the administration a few weeks before the speech.

Goddamn liars.

Why Does Mark Hyman Want American Soldiers to Die?

These people are unbelievable.


Richard Perle, just about a year ago:

A year from now I'd be surprised if there's not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Boobies on a Train

Ha Ha

"What difference does it make how well he avoided combat? Isn't it enough just to know he avoided it?"

Rob Cordry, Daily Show.



I Didn't Do It

Increasingly, Bush and his adminstration are reminding me of Bart Simpson. Specifically, the episode in which Bart knocks over Krusty's set on live TV, instinctively says "I didn't do it," and for a brief time becomes a new star with a wacky hilarious catchphrase - which is funny until, well, it suddenly stops being funny.

The blame Clinton stuff was cute a few years ago, and oh we had a good laugh many times about the unholy powers of the Clenis even when it was out of office.

But, as with every wacky sitcom character catch phrase - it gets old. "I didn't do it," the mantra of the personal accountability administration, just isn't funny anymore.

...Tim Dunlop thinks Arnie is the "I didn't do it" boy.

Open Thread



A doctor who has performed abortions wants there to be the death penalty for those who perform them. He also sterilized a 20 year old woman without her consent, and then illegally billed Medicaid for the procedure. He said "That ["the gay"] agenda is the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today." He criticized NBC for showing "Schindler's List," saying that it promoted "irresponsible sexual behavior."

Oh, and he's the Republican candidate for Senate from Oklahoma.


Well, another neocon dream down the toilet.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress has fired one of its most senior members for visiting Israel, a spokesman for the group said Monday.

During an emergency meeting, the leadership of the former exile group decided to ``fire Mithal al-Alusi from the Iraqi National Conference,'' spokesman Haidar al-Mousawi told The Associated Press.

Al-Alusi's visit to a terrorism conference angered his colleagues, who said they learned about the trip from the media. A part of Chalabi's inner circle, al-Alusi headed the de-Baathification Committee, which fired thousands of members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party from their jobs.

Israel's daily Haaretz quoted al-Alusi as saying that many elements in Iraq are interested in diplomatic ties with Israel.

``His statements, which were carried by the media, do not represent the Iraqi National Congress' point of view,'' an INC statement said.

I really would like to sample some of the crack that made people believe that not only would it be possible (nay, easy!) to create a secular democracy in Iraq headed by Chalabi, but that one of the benefits of doing so would be that said secular democracy would be Israel-friendly.

(via War and Piece).

Goodbye Pensions

US Airways asks to skip pension payment. Reason number 8 million why we need Social Security...

Media Failure

Right about the time the media was giving weak apologies for not paying much attention to things like "facts" during the march to war, they were busy dropping the ball on another important subject -- the 9/11 Report. They were quick to tell us how the report didn't really blame anyone, as if the only real story there was whether they give Clinton, Bush, or both of them, a spanking. Why they expected to find anywhere in the report a sentence like "We blame the Bush administration" I do not know, and why it would be necessary to find such a sentence to reach such a conclusion is unfathomable. As those of us who actually read at least parts of the 9/11 report discovered, the report is incredibly brutal to the Bush administration. Elizabeth Drew, who actually took the time to read it and to have some discusssions with the various commissioners explains what should have been obvious to everyone in our cowed media -- before and during 9/11, the absolute incompetence of the Bush administration is shocking.

I've linked to this before, but she's talking about it now on Franken's show. Everyone should read it.

Bring'em On

As things continue to get worse and worse, it seems appropriate to remind the world of what was perhaps the most offensive moment of the failed Bush presidency.

Anybody who wants to harm American troops will be found and brought to justice," Bush said. "There are some that feel like if they attack us that we may decide to leave prematurely. They don't understand what they are talking about if that is the case. Let me finish. There are some who feel like the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring 'em on."

So, here we have the cowardly bully suggesting that somehow he, being a part of "we," taunting insurgents as if personally would somehow be part of the ensuing carnage. Of course, much like Reagan who believed he was a part of a liberation force in World War II, Bush apparently has a hard time understanding the difference between grabbing a gun, putting on a uniform, and getting shot at and, well, not doing those things. As he said:

I've been to war. I've raised twins. If I had a choice, I'd rather go to war.

And, as we know, we didn't have the force necessary to deal with security situation. Insurgents continue to bring it on. We've lost complete control of much of Iraq.

Flypaper Returns

God, why does anyone publish Easterbrook. As Josh Marshall says:

Knocking holes in this argument is really too easy and after a bit beside the point. The real problem with this argument is its proponents -- folks who seem inclined to put insipid wordplay above the lives of American soldiers and marines, indeed, above against the future security of the country itself.

Bush Desecrates the Flag



Some metaphors really just are inappropriate.


This is funny:

On the CNN panel show, "Capital Gang," Novak expressed grave doubts about the CBS documents, then said: "I'd like CBS, at this point, to say where they got these documents from. They didn't get them from a CIA agent. I don't believe there was any laws involved. I don't think we'll have a special prosecutor, if they tell. I think they should say where they got these documents because I thought it was a very poor job of reporting by CBS...."

Fellow panelist, Al Hunt, from the Wall Street Journal, then replied: "Robert Novak, you're saying CBS should reveal its source?"

The transcript continues:


HUNT: You do? You think reporters ought to reveal sources?

NOVAK: No, no. Wait a minute.

HUNT: I'm just asking.

NOVAK: I'm just saying in that case.


NOVAK: I think -- I think it's very important. If this is a phony document, the American -- the people should know about it.

HUNT: So in some cases, reporters ought to reveal sources.


HUNT: But not in all cases.

NOVAK: That's right.

HUNT: OK. Mark Shields, what's the relevance of all this?

SHIELDS: A point well taken, Al.

Flag Desecration

What a bunch of buffoons we have in congress. This stuff just makes me embarrassed. I could point out that there are more important things to be worrying about. I could point out that in a free society individual political speech should be afforded the highest protection possible. I could point out that the proper way to retire a flag is, yes, to burn it. I could wonder out loud what will become of all the "flag clothing" and how a Supreme Court would have to waste time dealing with all the ridiuclous cases that would result.

Or, I could just remind us all of one of Doonesbury's better comics one Sunday back when Poppy was pushing this nonsense. It was a flag, with the caption "what are you going to do with this newspaper now?"

Bush Visits Major Donor to Swift Boat Liars


And now Campaign Extra! has learned that when President Bush flew to the Philadelphia suburbs to campaign last Thursday, he held his rally at the business of a major donor to the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth. The Bush campaign said it selected Byers Choice Ltd., a maker of Christmas figurines in Colmar, Pa., as a way of showing its support for small business.

"They decided to take risk," Bush said around the same time that several hecklers were removed from the event, one pulled by her hair. "They hired people wisely, they invested wisely, and their company is growing. And I appreciate the contribution they made."

So did the Bush campaign appreciate -- or know of -- the $2,500 contribution that Byers made to Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth on Aug. 20, about two weeks before the rally was scheduled? Byers' contribution came after the first round of commericials. They questioned whether Kerry earned the combat medals he won serving as a Swift Boat commander during the Vietnam War -- a claim contradicted by official U.S. Navy records.

Byers -- who won an award from the Bush-led U.S. Small Business Administration, has reportedly given at least $30,000 to GOP causes, including -- in the last year -- the Republican National Committee and Sens. Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum.

Efforts to reach Byers over the weekend through business associates and family members were not successful.

Flip Flop

So, it's pretty much the case that we went into Fallujah because some warbloggers got excited about the video of the desecration of the dead civilian contractors. And, apparently the White House ordered it so they could look tough.

He echoed an argument made by many Iraqi politicians and American analysts -- that the U.S. attack further radicalized a restive city, leading many residents to support the insurgents. "When we were told to attack Fallujah, I think we certainly increased the level of animosity that existed," Conway said.

He would not say where the order to attack originated, only that he received an order from his superior at the time, Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the overall commander of U.S. forces in Iraq. Some senior U.S. officials in Iraq have said the command originated in the White House.

And, here's what Bush told Russert in February:

The thing about the Vietnam War that troubles me as I look back was it was a political war. We had politicians making military decisions, and it is lessons that any president must learn, and that is to the set the goal and the objective and allow the military to come up with the plans to achieve that objective. And those are essential lessons to be learned from the Vietnam War.

I really try to stay away from criticizing military tactics here, but the idea that they're sending kids in to kill and be killed for some red meat for the teevee pisses me off.

(thanks to reader t)

Morning Thread


Sunday, September 12, 2004

Outgoing General Attacks


FALLUJAH, Iraq, Sept. 12 -- The outgoing U.S. Marine Corps general in charge of western Iraq said Sunday he opposed a Marine assault on militants in the volatile city of Fallujah in April and the subsequent decision to withdraw from the city and turn over control to a security force of former Iraqi soldiers.

That security force, known as the Fallujah Brigade, was formally disbanded last week. Not only did the brigade fail to combat militants, it actively aided them, surrendering weapons, vehicles and radios to the insurgents, according to senior Marine officers. Some brigade members even participated in attacks on Marines ringing the city, the officers said.


The comments by Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, made shortly after he relinquished command of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force on Sunday, amounted to a stinging broadside against top U.S. military and civilian leaders who ordered the Fallujah invasion and withdrawal. His statements also provided the most detailed explanation -- and justification -- of Marine actions in Fallujah this spring, which have been widely criticized for increasing insurgent activity in the city and turning it into a "no-go" zone for U.S. troops.


He would not say where the order to attack originated, only that he received an order from his superior at the time, Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the overall commander of U.S. forces in Iraq. Some senior U.S. officials in Iraq have said the command originated in the White House.

I don't spend much time here criticizing specific military tactics, though it would be nice if our civilian leaders could articulate a clear political goal of our various military incursions which didn't exist mostly in fairy land.

...let met just add that at this point is seems pretty clear that while we're the only real force capable of providing "security" in Iraq, it's also the case that our presence is the primary cause of "insecurity." I wish I had an easy solution to this, but it does seem to be a bit of a Catch-22. We can't put into place a security force while we're there because they'll be seen as fighting on our side (or, as happens, they'll take our weapons and use them against us), but we can't leave until there's a security force in place.

My advice - invest heavily in Egyptian cotton and gin futures.

My Favorite Lie

Bush has been a serial liar on the subject of his military service for years. My favorite lie has always been the one which appeared in his autobiography. That one can't be attributed to staffers or to a mistake in an off the cuff remark. It's his autobiography, and the fact that Karen Hughes actually wrote it doesn't get him off the hook. From a Charge to Keep:

I continued flying with my unit for the next several years.

Since Bush stopped flying 22 months after the date in question, this doesn't even qualify for the overly generous definition of "several" as a number greater than two.

Oh, and if I were a reporter or an oppo researcher or someone else with an interest I'd compare the recently released flight logs with other details of his flying discussed in A Charge to Keep.

Full of Crap

From Time:

Bill Glennon, a technology consultant in New York City who worked for IBM repairing typewriters from 1973 to 1985, says those experts "are full of crap. They just don't know." Glennon says there were IBM machines capable of producing the spacing, and a customized key -- the likes of which he says were not unusual -- could have created the superscript th.

Some experts.

Big John


When asked why the National Guard took him on as a pilot, Bush responded to the Houston Chronicle in 1998:

They could sense I would be one of the great pilots of all time.

Apparently, they had bad senses.

WASHINGTON (AP) - George W. Bush began flying a two-seat jet especially designed for training purposes more frequently in the weeks just before he quit flying for the Texas Air National Guard, and twice required multiple attempts to land a one-seat fighter, his pilot logs show.

The White House said it cannot explain the changes in Bush's official flight logs, released to The Associated Press this week as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, but noted they occurred at a time in the spring of 1972 when Bush was trying to cram in extensive flying time before departing the Guard for six months to work on a political campaign in Alabama.

Isikoff a Liar?

Glenn Smith of Texans for Truth says so.


The more I think about the flyer posted below, the more annoyed I get. This isn't just the usual resume puffery. Bush actually claims he served in the United States Air Force, something he most definitely did not do. He tried to claim that he served in the USAF during the Vietnam war, rather than serving in TANG to avoid the draft.

And, the amazing thing is that in 1999, he and Hughes were still lying about it:

Bush lost that congressional race, but twenty-one years later, the AP questioned him about the ad. The news outlet had a good reason to do so. Bush had never served in the Air Force. He had only been in the Air National Guard. But when AP asked Bush if he had been justified in claiming service in the Air Force, Bush, then the governor of Texas and a presidential candidate, said, "I think so, yes. I was in the Air Force for over 600 days." Karen Hughes, his spokeswoman, maintained that when Bush attended flight school for the Air National Guard from 1968 to 1969 he was considered to be on active duty for the Air Force and that several times afterward he had been placed on alert, which also qualified as active duty for the Air Force. All told, she said, Bush had logged 607 days of training and alerts. "As an officer [in the Air National Guard]," she told the AP, "he was serving on active duty in the Air Force."

But this explanation was wrong. Says who? The Air Force. As the Associated Press reported,

The Air Force says that Air National Guard members are considered 'guardsmen on active duty' while receiving pilot training. They are not, however, counted as members of the overall active-duty Air Force.

It's really quite incredible.

Bush - History of Lying About Military Service


In his 1978 congressional campaign Bush claimed that he had served in the Air Force. "A pullout ad from the Lubbock Advance-Journal on May 4, 1978, showed a huge photo of George W. with a 'Bush for Congress' logo on the front. On the back, a synopsis of his career stated he had served in the U.S. Air Force and the Texas Air National Guard where he piloted the F-102 aircraft.' When confronted about the misleading ad years later, Bush claimed that while he was attending flight school from November 1968 to December 1969, he was considered to be on active duty for the U.S. Air Force. The military branch denied his assertion by stating that Air National Guard members were considered 'guardsmen on active duty' while receiving pilot training. They were not, however, counted as members of the overall active-duty Air Force."


Full flyer here.

...more info.

...reader j points out the flyer also incorrectly says he was in TANG and the Air Force after he went to Harvard.

Pop Quiz

Word vs. Selectric Composer. Which is which?

Bush Fell Short

From US News:

Because Bush signed a six-year "military service obligation," he was required to attend at least 44 inactive-duty training drills each fiscal year beginning July 1. But Bush's own records show that he fell short of that requirement, attending only 36 drills in the 1972-73 period, and only 12 in the 1973-74 period. The White House has said that Bush's service should be calculated using 12-month periods beginning on his induction date in May 1968. Using this time frame, however, Bush still fails the Air Force obligation standard.

Moreover, White House officials say, Bush should be judged on whether he attended enough drills to count toward retirement. They say he accumulated sufficient points under this grading system. Yet, even using their method, which some military experts say is incorrect, U.S. News 's analysis shows that Bush once again fell short. His military records reveal that he failed to attend enough active-duty training and weekend drills to gain the 50 points necessary to count his final year toward retirement.

The U.S. News analysis also showed that during the final two years of his obligation, Bush did not comply with Air Force regulations that impose a time limit on making up missed drills. What's more, he apparently never made up five months of drills he missed in 1972, contrary to assertions by the administration. White House officials did not respond to the analysis last week but emphasized that Bush had "served honorably."

There you go.

Don't Know What We're Doing

Big Don:

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld mixed up Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden with deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein twice in a speech Friday.

Among other things, Rumsfeld talked about the world just before the Sept. 11 attacks, whose third anniversary is today. In Afghanistan, he told the National Press Club, "the leader of the opposition Northern Alliance, Masoud, lay dead, his murder ordered by Saddam Hussein, by Osama bin Laden, Taliban's co-conspirator."

Ahmed Shah Masoud, who opposed the ruling Taliban, was killed by suspected Al Qaeda operatives — not Hussein — two days before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Later, Rumsfeld said, "Saddam Hussein, if he's alive, is spending a whale of a lot of time trying to not get caught. And we've not seen him on a video since 2001."

Hussein was captured by U.S. forces in Iraq; Bin Laden has not been found.

I do hope that our press, who elevated this guy to godhood some time ago, will some day feel a bit embarassed about the whole thing.

...wait, as Arthur Silber reminds us, Rumsfeld is simply giving the official administration position. Sez Bush:

The war on terror, you can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror. And so it's a comparison that is -- I can't make because I can't distinguish between the two, because they're both equally as bad, and equally as evil, and equally as destructive."

Well, there you go.

Rule of Law

Where are Cokie and Tim now? Bush missed filing deadline in florida.

Nothing Changes

On September 11, 2001, Bush wasn't concerned with stopping an attack on our soil, but how he would appear to the people. Now that NK may be testing nukes, they're just concerned about how it will affect the election.

Several officials speculated that the test, if it occurred, could be intended to influence the presidential election, though a senior military official said while "an election surprise" could be the motive, "I'm not sure what that would buy them."

And, we remember how the steely-eyed rocket man responded to questions about North Korea early. What a steadfast foreign policy he has!

Bush took issue with Kerry's argument, in an interview at the end of May with The New York Times, that the administration's focus on Iraq had given North Korea the opportunity to significantly expand its nuclear capability. Showing none of the alarm about North Korea's growing arsenal that he once voiced regularly about Iraq, he opened his palms and shrugged when an interviewer noted that new intelligence reports indicate that North Korea may now have the fuel to produce six or eight nuclear weapons.

He said that in North Korea's case, and in Iran's, he would not be rushed to set deadlines for the countries to disarm, despite his past declaration that he would not "tolerate" nuclear capability in either nation.

"I don't think you give time lines to dictators," he said. He said he would continue diplomatic pressure - using China to pressure North Korea and Europe to pressure Iran - and gave no hint that his patience was limited or that at some point he might consider pre-emptive military action.

"I'm confident that over time this will work - I certainly hope it does," he said of the diplomatic approach.

Lottsa Crap

Will the NYT ever stop embarrassing itself? Publishing stories about John Fucking Lott?