|A proud member of the reality-based community (aquatic division)|
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Matthew Yglesias raises a profound issue:
According to the Bush campaign, "anything that makes people nervous about their personal safety helps Bush."Answers? I got nothing.
Scorpio indulges in some free verse:
Friday, October 29, 2004
Just saw him on the NewsHour.
"As many people have pointed out, there were between 650 and a trillion ... 650 million and a trillion tons sitting out there. We destroyed at least 400 million tons. So this is 0.1% of the munitions sitting out there in that country. ... To me, this story has been vasly overblown."
Will someone put David Brooks in a small room and explain to him the difference between thousands, millions, billions, and trillions?
"A trillion tons of munitions..."?
My God, this man is a shameless hack. He has just increased the amount of arms in Iraq by one thousand times. Maybe even one million times.
Moron. Just a fucking moron.
Brad DeLong has a good roundup of the latest bullshit:
There's something really, really wrong--really UnAmerican--going on here. In America we pledge allegiance to the United States of America. We swear to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We do not swear ourselves to individual politicians.Billmon is back. Reality must prevail. I refuse to believe that the American people are such morons that they will fall for a cheap stunt like this.
All together now: WHY is Osama bin Laden alive today?
You know those tons of explosives from al Qaqaa? They were just a drop in the bucket. Knight-Ridder does some more mighty fine reporting:
Far more ordnance lost in Iraq, sources sayNo wonder there's a bloodbath. American soldiers were ordered to recover Saddam's cash, seize his palaces, and protect the Oil Ministry at all costs. Apparently, these other details, like giant munitions dumps, just fell through the cracks.
From a commenter at MaxSpeak:
These remind me of the plain vanilla (non celeb) fellow I heard making call in comments to a radio show last night. He claimed that it could not be the case that President Bush has lied about anything to do with Iraq, because if he had, he would be impeached. Since he is not being impeached, it follows that he has not lied.Must. Stop. Brain. Hurting.
Jerome at MyDD has the story on GOP voter suppression in Ohio. Go read the whole thing, especially the transcript of the election board hearing, which ended in a Republican lawyer advising his client, who had brought the complaint challenging duly registered Democratic voters, to stop testifying and "exercise her privilege against self-incrimination."
From another mailing list I belong to comes this firsthand report from Cleveland, which backs up the story:
You know how the Republicans are pre-emptively challenging new voters whose "registration mail" was undeliverable? Total distortion. That is not what happened.Once again, in this election, Democrats are trying to get people to vote. Republicans are trying to prevent people from voting. Which one sounds like a free country?
Thursday, October 28, 2004
President Kerry speaks:
“This week’s revelations about the missing explosives speaks to the president’s continuing misjudgments in Iraq. According to the commanders on the ground, our forces were not ordered to secure a weapons dump in Iraq where 380 tons of explosives were stored. Now, the president’s former chief weapons inspector says it’s likely that these explosives are being used against our own troops. The president’s shifting explanations and excuses demonstrate, once again, that this president believes the buck stops anywhere but his desk.I approve this message, too.
Bush says he has no idea when the explosives at Al Qa Qaa went missing. We need to do a full investigation. In a speech in Pennsylvania, he said:
"Our military is now investigating a number of possible scenarios, including that the explosives may have been moved before our troops even arrived at the site..."Ahem.
Mr. President, your own weapons inspector, David Kay, said the explosives were indisputably there a few weeks before the war and probably weren't removed in the weeks just before the invasion:
I must say, I find it hard to believe that a convoy of 40 to 60 trucks left that facility prior to or during the war, and we didn't spot it on satellite or UAV. That was because the main road to Baghdad from the south was a road that was constantly under surveillance.Yes, I recall that Secretary of State Powell had lots of satellite pictures of trucks. A convoy of trucks moving from a known weapons site might have raised some alarm, yes? And then there's this EXCLUSIVE EYEWITNESS NEWS report, complete with video, from an embedded reporter:
A 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crew in Iraq shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein was in the area where tons of explosives disappeared.Oops.
[Hat tip to the Bob the Blaster in the comments at Pandagon.]
There must be something in the water this year in Beantown. The Yankee machine had the Sox down and they battled their way back and back and back to get into the series. And then they won with authority, dammit!I approve this message.
Update: Kenneth S. Baer has another suggestion:
If George W. Bush loses this election, he will face a career crisis not seen since his days as a failed oil wildcatter before he was elected governor of Texas. But like all confused job seekers, Bush should follow his passion, which is clearly bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq. That is why if John Kerry is elected president, he should appoint Bush to be his ambassador to Iraq.Well, OK. But Dick Cheney would have to be Vice-Ambassador, wouldn't he?
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Congratulations. Your latest column in The New Republic is a well-reasoned, if somewhat tortured, analysis that is fair to Kerry, generous to Bush, and ultimately quite convincing.
Welcome to the reality-based community.
PS: Oliver Willis thinks you're a dickhead.
Damn. The boy is talented, to be sure, and the video is riveting. It makes Fahrenheit 9/11 look like an episode of Sesame Street. Be sure to watch all the way to the end.
From the director: "Two years ago, this video would not have been approved by a single record label. A year ago it would never had the possibility of being played on television. But with the changing tide of public sentiment marked by the success of our last video for Chronic Future, an anti-war message that made it into rotation on TRL we think it might just have a chance."
The DesMoines Register is doing great work:
Tight security and screening at President Bush's campaign events in Iowa has led to at least five arrests, frightened one teenager, and caused several other people to be turned away when they failed to voice support for the president.I was in high school when Nixon was President. I thought he was bad, but these guys are much, much worse.
This "final analysis" the day before the 2000 election illustrates how screwed up polls are. The source is RealClear Politics, whose home page could be a case study in How to Design an Ugly Web Page. Anyway, read this analysis, which went into excruciating detail to make this confident and supremely wrong prediction:
George W. Bush will be elected President of the United States tomorrow by the American people. But the last minute Gore push in some polls has perhaps given enough liberal Democrats hope to not waste their vote on Nader.In this prediction, Gore was going to do a Dukakis, winning a few northeastern states and getting blown out by George W. Bush. RCP said the result would be Bush 51.2, Gore 41.9, Nader 5.8. The polls in 2000 consistently showed Bush with a lead ranging from comfortable to huge. The actual popular vote was, you might recall, a little different, and so was the outcome in the Electoral College.
Four years ago, Gallup said Bush was going to win by 9 points or more. This year, the corresponding Gallup poll has Bush up by five points. Other recent polls show Kerry taking a slim lead.
Everyone makes predictions. I believe in my heart that John Kerry will win by a decisive margin next Tuesday. But the important thing to remember is this is not a spectator sport. It's a participant sport, and there are going to be a lot of people on the field this year, many of them for the first time, making a lot of noise.
Monday, October 25, 2004
Today, President Bush spoke with Charlie Gibson on Good Morning America:
Bush, in an ABC interview broadcast Monday, was asked about the possibility of a terrorist attack on the United States before the election, a threat the administration has repeatedly raised. "We don't have actionable intelligence to say there's an attack, and of course if we did, we'd be moving heaven and earth to stop it," the president said.Remember the last time President Bush said that? It was April 11, 2004, while the 9/11 Commission was hearing testimony.
Q Mr. President, could you tell us, did you see the presidential -- the President's Daily Brief from August of '01 as a warning --Two days later, at a rare presidential press conference:
THE PRESIDENT: Had there been a threat that required action by anybody in the government, I would have dealt with it. In other words, had they come up and said, this is where we see something happening, you can rest assured that the people of this government would have responded, and responded in a forceful way.The briefing, of course, was the August 6 PDB headlined, "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US."
He's trotting out the exact same excuses that he and Condi used to say they weren't reponsible for the attacks of 9/11. Feel safer?
Over at The American Street, Julia picks out this quote from an AP story on the catastrophic failure to secure 380 tons of explosives in Iraq:
At the Pentagon, an official who monitors developments in Iraq said U.S.-led coalition troops had searched Al Qaqaa in the immediate aftermath of the March 2003 invasion and confirmed that the explosives were intact. Thereafter the site was not secured by U.S. forces, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.Her comment:
We checked to see that there were almost four hundred tons of explosives used in manufacturing nuclear weapons, ascertained that there were almost four hundred tons of explosives used in manufacturing nuclear weapons in a stockpile and then left, leaving almost four hundred tons of explosives used in manufacturing nuclear weapons unguarded.Oh yes, it does.
The best endorsement of the year comes from the DesMoines Register. I'm going to anger the copyright gods by posting the entire thing here:
About half of Americans have lost confidence in President Bush, yet many hang back from embracing the alternative. That's unfortunate, because Senator John F. Kerry is a wise and decent man who has the makings of a fine president.Spread the word.
This is mind-boggling:
Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in IraqAnd the New York Times is letting the Bush Administration off easy, as Josh Marshall has pointed out in a super series of posts. You could start with this one and then scroll down:
The material seems to have been missing since some time shortly after the US invasion of Iraq in March/April 2003. So this isn't something that just happened. It probably happened some eighteen months ago.This is more than 750,000 pounds of explosives, ladies and gentlemen. High explosives. The Times story notes: "The explosives missing from Al Qaqaa are the strongest and fastest in common use by militaries around the globe. The Iraqi letter identified the vanished stockpile as containing 194.7 metric tons of HMX, which stands for 'high melting point explosive,' 141.2 metric tons of RDX, which stands for 'rapid detonation explosive,' among other designations, and 5.8 metric tons of PETN, which stands for 'pentaerythritol tetranitrate.' The total is roughly 340 metric tons or nearly 380 American tons. ... The bomb that brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 used less than a pound of the same type of material, and larger amounts were apparently used in the bombing of a housing complex in November 2003 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the blasts in a Moscow apartment complex in September 1999 that killed nearly 300 people." You could set off 100 bombs a day for 20 years with a cache this size.
Let's review the facts:
Juan Cole asks:
If Bush cannot even protect our troops from explosives at a sensitive facility in a country he had conquered, how is he going to protect the American public from terrorists who have not even yet been identified? ... I just don't feel any safer with Bush in the White House. Maybe it is just me.No, it's not just you, Dr. Cole. In any sane world, this is, at best, incompetence and mismanagement on a catastrophic, colossal scale. At worst, it is criminal. We didn't guard the hospitals, the power plants, the art museums, or the warehouses filled with explosives. How can anyone say with a straight face that Iraq or the world is better off today?
Saturday, October 23, 2004
Ex-EPA chief raps Bush on policies:
The Bush administration has turned its back on public health and given the international community "the back of its hand" in dealing with global environmental policy, a prominent Republican campaigning for Sen. John Kerry said Tuesday. Russell Train, hired by President Nixon in 1973 to lead the fledgling Environmental Protection Agency, urged a small crowd at College of the Atlantic to vote for Democrat Kerry in the Nov. 2 presidential election.As a member of my hiking group noted this morning, our grandchildren will be paying for the damage to the environment done in a few short years by this terrible President.
The Poor Man has the storyboards from the Bush campaign's new "Wolves" ad.
Warning: Fully consume any drinks before reading.
Friday, October 22, 2004
Blogger tells me that this is a red-letter day. This is the 666th post since this blog opened for business. To honor the occasion, I present a short excerpt from Item 10 on a list called The Twelve Signs Of The End Of The World:
Preparations will be made for the coming of Antichrist, called the son of perdition and the beast. Preceded by false prophets and false signs and wonders, Antichrist will be a master of illusion, of "shock and awe," taking away people's freedom, but making them think that they have been freed.Sound like anyone we know?
Josh Marshall has an excellent question:
Now, you'll remember from the 9/11 commission hearings earlier this year that the National Security Advisor is, or should be, the quarterback when the country faces a heightened or imminent threat of terrorist attack. She's the one who pulls together all the various threat reports and makes sure all legs and arms of the national security apparatus are working in unison.So which is it? Will any member of the press ask?
You know, if you're going to have a debate about the role of government in science and the ethical implications thereof, you should try to be ethical in your argument. Sadly, this doesn't always happen. Case in point:
Jesse at Pandagon links to a post from BeldarBlog and says: "Correct me if I'm wrong, but is this guy comparing stem-cell research to the Holocaust?"
As it turns out, Beldar did exactly that. He quotes a Reuters reporter who covered Senator Kerry's speech on technology yesterday, and then says:
Dubya would have sided with the Gypsies, the mentally retarded, and the Jews against Hitler's sterilization and genocide. Whatever one thinks of abortion, whenever one thinks meaningful human life begins, it's ugly - outrageous - to compare human embryos to typewriters and buggy whips.Yes, it would be outrageous to make that comparison. Except it never happened. Although the Reuters story was sloppy, it made no such comparison, and none was in the original speech.
In the comments at Jesse's site, Beldar plays outraged and innocent, and to his credit he back-pedaled on the accusation in an update to the original post. But he is actually engaging in the worst form of intellectual dishonesty, taking two out-of-context quotes and trying to make a connection between them. He strongly implies that Kerry compared human embryos to buggy whips and ignored the ethical implications of stem cell research. This is simply not true, and to make this implication is dishonest. Here's the full quote from Kerry's speech:
From nanotechnology to artificial intelligence, we know where the next generation of high-paying jobs will come from: jobs that pay, on average, 70 percent more than other jobs. Yet, George Bush has been so obsessed with cutting taxes for the wealthy that our investments in creating those jobs are dying on the vine.What was missing? Oh yes, the reference to human embryos, which was in another section of the speech.
The Reuters report was fuzzy-headed in the extreme. Senator Kerry's actual remarks weren't. It appears that our Conehead correspondent didn't actually go and read the source material but instead relied on a flawed news report, based on a tip from a right-wing hack at the Corner.
Friend Beldar, you might want to read these remarks from Senator Kerry. Pay special attention to this section:
Kerry today said we must continue in our nation’s great ethic of discovery and push the boundaries of medical exploration. While providing strict ethical oversight, he said we must do everything we can to make sure doctors and scientists keep learning and researching stem cells to find cures and treatments.Goodwill and good sense. Now, there's a concept. The trouble is, the supporters of President Bush are doing too much of this sort of casual mudslinging. It's almost as if Karl Rove wants this sort of thing.
Update: While I was writing this post, Jesse was updating the original to make the exact same point about the irony of using a profoundly dishonest argument while ostensibly defending ethics.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
ESPN has the best one line-review:
In hindsight, perhaps it was a mistake for the Yankees to raise a "Mission Accomplished" banner above their dugout after Game 3.Heh.
Update: Best live-blogging of ALCS Game 7 is from The Poor Man:
... 8-1 in the 7th, Sox threatening. I accept on an abstract, intellectual level that it is physically possible for the Red Sox to win this game. Prediction: Yankees win 43-43* in the 104th inning when Zombie Babe Ruth leaps from his grave beneath the pitcher's mound and eats Manny Ramirez's brain seconds before he can score the winning run.Is this the October Surprise?
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
OK, He tells Bush one thing, and then he tells Pat Robertson something completely different. At least, that's what Pat Robertson told Paula Zahn on CNN:
I met with him down in Nashville before the Gulf War started. And he was the most self-assured man I ever met in my life.... He was just sitting there, like, I'm on top of the world, and I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, Mr. President, you better prepare the American people for casualties.You know, I think some of those Iraqis were getting a completely different story from God as well. I'm beginning to think that maybe our President isn't getting good advice from upstairs.
PS: 1100+ dead Americans. Well over 10,000 dead Iraqis. More than 8000 wounded Americans. Only God knows how many Iraqis have been wounded, and apparently he's not telling the President.
A number of bloggers have embraced the charge that Bush is not part of the reality based community.... We agree that much of what Bush does is not reality based, but saying so does not give the listener an idea of what Bush is for. A better charge, in our view, is calling the president 19th Century Bush. It's a snappy phrase (matches the well known '20th Century Fox') and it discribes where Bush is heading this country. Bush is trying to dismantle many of the developments that made the last hundred years The American Century."Antitrust laws. Direct election of Senators. The progressive income tax. Social Security. Separation of church and state. The right to privacy. Abortion rights. Poof. All gone (or on their way to being phased out) in a second Bush term.
An excellent, well-documented list.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Every American should demonstrate their patriotism with firm statements of resolve. Be sure to ask your Republican friends to take the Patriot Pledge!
(You'll want to be there when they figure it out.)
Media Matters for America is underwriting a shareholder lawsuit aimed at Sinclair:
Media Matters for America (MMFA) announced today that it is underwriting the costs of a shareholder action, demanding that Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., provide equal time to those 'with views opposed to the allegations' in the anti-Kerry film Stolen Honor, which Sinclair plans to air between October 21-24, in prime time, on all 62 of its stations reaching up to 25 percent of U.S. TV households.Maybe they could look into this investment, which was reported in the Baltimore Business Journal:
January 29, 1999As of this morning, Acrodyne shares were trading at 25 cents a share, a 92% loss. Interestingly, an October 4, 2004 press release from Acrodyne announcing a "dramatic power savings" when a Sinclair-owned station used its new transmitter technology does not mention that Sinclair holds a substantial ownership position in the company. I'm not a securities lawyer, but that sure does seem like it's withholding material information. I mean, someone considering whether to invest in Acrodyne based on this positive test might want to know that the station doing the test stands to gain if the results are positive. Right?
If I were a Sinclair stockholder, I would be really pissed off right now. And I would sure be looking carefully at this list of companies they've invested in.
Monday, October 18, 2004
Hey, you live by the smear, you die by the smear. A press release from Sinclair claims someone sent out a phony e-mail purportedly from the CEO:
BALTIMORE, Oct 15, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Sinclair Broadcast Group is notifying the public of an email spoof that attempts to make the recipient believe that they are receiving an email from Sinclair's CEO David Smith. The email is entitled, 'Update on Kerry POW Film and FEC Ruling.' Recipients should ignore and delete any such correspondence. Sinclair would also urge that any purported communication coming from a Sinclair executive or employee be confirmed as authentic.Heh. If only they were as diligent with the stuff they broadcast.
If you've received a copy of this thing, send me a copy, wouldja?
Kerry can't sue, because he's a public figure. But this guy can and will. The Baltimore Sun is in front of this story too:
A Vietnam veteran filed a libel lawsuit today claiming he was falsely portrayed as a fraud and a liar in a film criticizing Sen. John Kerry's anti-war activities.Oh, and Sinclair's stock is down nearly 7% today so far.
I believe the boats have been turned to shore and fire is raking Sinclair from all directions.
From the Baltimore Sun:
The Washington bureau chief for Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group's news division angrily denounced his employer last night for plans to air an hourlong program that is to include incendiary allegations against Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry for his anti-war activism three decades ago.That took guts. If Sinclair fires this guy, I predict that there will be a line of people waiting to hire him.
Update: Oliver Willis says Sinclair fired Lieberman this afternoon.
Via Buzzflash, this blast from the not-so-distant past - specifically, a New York Times article originally printed on January 25, 2001:
Republican Unity Coalition: It was a first for gay Republicans. Last week's inaugural events included a breakfast honoring the Republican Unity Coalition, a new political group that includes gay members of the party. The master of ceremonies at Friday's celebration was a respected Republican elder, former Senator Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming, a close friend of both the Bush and Cheney families.Well, slap me on the tail fins and call me a fighting betta! Isn't that almost exactly what Kerry said in the debate last week about Mary Cheney? When he said it, mom Lynne Cheney called him a "bad man" and papa Dick said he turned into an "angry father" just thinking about it.
I guess this means that Alan Simpson has been off the Cheneys' Christmas card list for the last three years, right? Oh wait, I forgot: It's OK if you're a Republican! Especially if you're part of the "Wall Street wing." The Times story continues:
While social conservatives argue that civil rights for gay people amount to special treatment, the Wall Street wing of the party has already begun instituting equal rights and benefits for gays in the private sector.And I promise, this is the last time I will write about this stupid non-issue.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
The amazing thing about Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire yesterday is that he stayed relentlessly on message. Carlson and Begala never seemed to realize that he had come on their show to deliver a serious message of their utter craven hackery.
Compare and contrast:
The Daily Show pretends to be a comedy program. In reality, it delivers large helpings of truth with astute analysis on the side.
Crossfire pretends to be a news show. In reality, it is a sordid piece of political theater that amplifies partisan deceptions and launches them into the marketplace of ideas daily.
Our news media are hurting America. I can't wait to see what The Daily Show does in the next few weeks.
Ron Suskind's article in tomorrow's New York Times Magazine, "Without a Doubt", is remarkable. It's long, long, long, but a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of the world.
Bruce Bartlett, a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and a treasury official for the first President Bush, told me recently that ''if Bush wins, there will be a civil war in the Republican Party starting on Nov. 3.'' The nature of that conflict, as Bartlett sees it? Essentially, the same as the one raging across much of the world: a battle between modernists and fundamentalists, pragmatists and true believers, reason and religion.Unfortunately, it looks like we may be on the verge of getting exactly what our Resolute Leader wants:
Associated Press: "On Friday, the Association of Muslim Scholars, a Sunni group with ties to some insurgents, called upon political parties to withdraw from the government to protest bloodshed in Fallujah, Samarra and other cities.Oh my goodness. Read the part in Suskind's article where a "senior adviser to Bush" explains how the Bush White House works:
The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''Whoa. I don't know about you, but I always thought that maintaining a firm connection to reality was the best way to survive in the, you know, real world.
This is truly scary stuff. Pure madness. Whatever cave he's in, Osama bin Laden is praising Allah for sending George W. Bush out to bring on the holy war he always wanted.
Friday, October 15, 2004
The Poor Man has a transcript of Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire. He went on with a single message to Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson: "Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America." Best moment? Stewart to Tucker Carlson: "You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show."
Oh, man. This guy is awesome. Totally awesome.
Update: Ezra at Pandagon links to this video clip of the whole show. He says:
Speaking of our, er, underwhelming press corps, you really must watch this video of Stewart smacking down Begala and Carlson. Unlike other copies of the encounter, this one is a crystal-clear recording of the whole segment. The balls it took for Stewart to walk onto the Crossfire set and, without a smile, without irony, and without faltering, inform them that their show epitomized all that plagues the media...it's a pretty astonishing performance.I agree. Watch it. The best political commentators in America through the past century have often been comedians: Will Rogers, Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin. Jon Stewart's name belongs on this list.
William Gibson is blogging again after a one-year hiatus. He leads with this joke:
President Bush goes to an elementary school to talk about the war.The real knee-slapping funny part, of course, is that this is an old joke about the Soviet Union. And it applies perfectly to America under George W. Bush.
President Bush's top political aide, Karl Rove, testified on Friday before the federal grand jury investigating whether anyone in the administration illegally leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer.Apparently, he didn't use the word lesbian, so it's not all that important.
In other news, Osama bin Laden hasn't said the word lesbian lately, either, so he remains unimportant. Nothing to worry about, America. Stay tuned for another terror alert.
Media Matters for America reviews: "MMFA has viewed Stolen Honor and can confirm that it is filled with lies and smears against Senator John Kerry."
Many details follow.
The Swift Boat gang? Liars. There's plenty of documentation that establishes the inaccuracy of virtually every sleazy claim they've made, and now ABC News has the rest of the story, from halfway around the world:
Nightline traveled to Vietnam and found a number of witnesses who have never been heard from before, and who have no particular ax to grind for or against Kerry. Only one of them, in fact, even knew who Kerry is. The witnesses, all Vietnamese, are still living in the same villages where the fighting took place more than 35 years ago. A Nightline producer visited them and recorded their accounts of that day. The accounts were subsequently translated by a team of ABC News translators.The Nightline report shreds every charge that John O'Neill and his pack of paid character assassins came up with. The story also notes without comment, this report from a Vietnamese villager who witnessed all the events on that fateful day:
Back in Tran Thoi, villager Nguyen Van Khoai said that about six months ago he was visited by an American who described himself as a Swift boat veteran and told him another American from the Swift boats was running for president of the United States. Nguyen said the man was accompanied by a cameraman.Apparently, John O'Neill was on Nightline last night, and nearly went ballistic on Ted Koppel. It's a shame that all of America can't be forced to watch this man try to defend his slimey actions.
And then there's the Swift Boat Liars' new partner, Carlton Sherwood, who produced the 40-minute attack ad that Sinclair plans to broadcast. I wrote previously about this guy's shadowy past. Digby had a similar story, and Josh Marshall did an excellent piece as well. A tipster who goes by the nom de blog "jus' walkin' the dawg" sends these additional juicy details:
According to the bio on the website of his mercenary shop, the WVC3 Group, Carlton Sherwood "served as Special Media Advisor to the Secretary of the Navy during the Reagan Administration".We already know Sherwood gets office space and PR services from a well-connected RNC operative. He's been appointed by Bush to an advisory board in Pennsylvania. And he's a vice president with a company founded and run by former high-ranking CIA and Pentagon officials from the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations. Independent? Uh-huh.
And then there's Sinclair. Jay Rosen has a lengthy essay on why Sinclair is fighting so hard:
Sinclair Broadcast's inexact plan to air Stolen Honor in the weeks before the election is an unprecedented move, and it signals the arrival of a new combination in broadcasting: a political empire made of television stations.Read the rest. It'll make your blood run cold.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Remarkable. Ian Welsh explains the Kerry plan in plain English. I had seen these details before, but never laid out so well. If you know someone who is concerned about health care, send them this link.
Here are a few things 9/11 didn't change, just off the top of my head: it didn't change our Constitution, our laws, our history, or our traditions. It didn't change our need for access to healthcare, good jobs, and a strong economy. It didn't change the meaning of fairness, honesty, or truth. It didn't change our essential impulse to be good to each other. It didn't change our need to educate our children, nor did it diminish in any way the importance of a free press. 9/11 didn't make us any less obsessed with pop culture or with shopping or gossip. 9/11 didn't make us any less dependent on foreign oil. Our freedom to travel has been subject to small inconveniences, but not curtailed in the least. 9/11 didn't even change the fundamental safety record of airlines, for crying out loud; flying is still the safest way to travel.I can't add a word.
The Smoking Gun Web site is practically melting down as people read the sexual harassment complaint of a former employee against Bill O'Reilly. As the Web site notes, "Based on the extensive quotations cited in the complaint, it appears a safe bet that Mackris recorded some of O'Reilly's more steamy soliloquies."
The material in the complaint is stunning. And it's not just raunchy sex stuff, although there is lots of that. This quote has got to be making Fox executives nervous:
If you cross FOX NEWS Channel, it's not just me, it's Roger Alies who will go after you. I'm the street guy make loud noises about the issues, but Alies operates behind the scenes, strategies and makes things happen so one day BAM! That person gets what's coming to them but never sees it coming. Look at Al Franken, one day he is going to get a knock on his door and life as he's known it will change forever. That day will happen trust me.If even 1% of these allegations are true, and especially if the tapes ever become public, O'Reilly is through. Wonder how he will possibly respond to this? Stay tuned.
Update: What will we tell the children?
Now we know why Karl Rove hates Al Gore so much. Gore invented the Internet [No he didn't! - Ed.], and the blogosphere has been using the infinite resources of the Internet to uncover all sorts of dirty tricks. The sleazy moves that worked so well in the past are now exposed practically in real time.
Case in point: A diarist at Daily Kos has found links that tie the Republican National Committee to a sweeping, nationwide voter fraud campaign. The ringleaders created a dummy company that posed as a nonpartisan "get out the vote" group, but they systematically destroyed voter registration forms they received from Democrats.
Found the following links which all seem to point to the same company that is suspected of tearing up Democratic voter registration forms in Las Vegas. It has set up registration drives in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Florida and Nevada and is accused of the same things in most if not all of these states. Sproul & Associates is a Republican consulting firm run by Nathan Sproul, former head of the Arizona Republican party and Arizona Christian Coalition.Kos follows the links and concludes: "The Republican Party is funding these efforts. The link is direct and unambiguous."
In my home state, you get a duplicate copy of the voter registration form when you register. If enough Democrats hung on to their forms, there'll be plenty of evidence for a special prosecutor.
More good stuff at Change for America.
I don't really believe that this letter, ostensibly from George H.W. Bush, is real. But every word in it is true, and it would make perfect sense if it were. So in the interests of elevating the discourse, I pass it on:
Dear ****,(via Seeing The Forest)
If all this stuff about Sinclair Broadcasting is confusing, I urge you to read Josh Marshall's latest article in The Hill. Here's the money quote:
Democrats are obviously in an uproar over this stunt. But it's not a free-speech issue or even a fairness issue. It's a massive instance of election and campaign-finance fraud done right out in the plain light of day.Still waiting for a network or major newspaper to pick this up.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
An announcement on the Sinclair Broadcast Group home page says:
We welcome your comments regarding the upcoming special news event featuring the topic of Americans held as prisoners of war in Vietnam. The program has not been videotaped and the exact format of this unscripted event has not been finalized. Characterizations regarding the content are premature and are based on ill-informed sources.Right. Senator, you're invited to appear in ... something. We don't know what yet. Can we count on you?
These people are morons.
Oh, and the DNC flack who was on the NewsHour tonight needs to go back to basic training.
No More Mister Nice Blog reports:
Sinclair Broadcast Group says Stolen Honor isn't a Bush campaign ad, but it ought to be noted that filmmaker Carlton Sherwood's Red, White and Blue Productions shares a mailing address and phone number with Quantum Communications in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The 'principal' of Quantum Communications (here he's called the CEO) is Charles R. Gerow -- a delegate to this year's Republican convention and a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association. Other items listed on Gerow's RNLA page:More fingerprints that can be traced plausibly back to Rove.
Karl Rove, you've been busted.
You've read here and elsewhere about Sinclair Broadcasting Group, a fiercely right-wing company that controls 62 TV stations, many in swing states. They donate lots of money to Republican causes, and they recently decided to give a massive boost to the Bush campaign by preempting regular primetime programming in the days before the election to show an anti-Kerry smear piece produced by Carlton Sherwood, a former media consultant to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge (the Disinfopedia profile of Sherwood is temporarily offline but Catch.com has some good stuff.) Oh, and Sherwood's group, POWs for Truth, just merged with the Swift Boat liars, for good measure.
So, Sinclair is prepared to give a major blast of propaganda to the Bush campaign. What's in it for them? Thanks to The Raw Story, we learn that a company called Jadoo Power Systems has been awarded a contract to develop power systems for the US Special Operations Command. No word on how much it was worth, but it must have been a big deal, because a Jadoo press release from 2003 brags that the company's president and CEO, Larry Bawden, personally briefed President George W. Bush on his company's technology.
It could have been old-school ties. A Fortune magazine profile from October 2003 notes:
Barely two years old, [Jadoo] has sold its fuel cells to Boeing; government agencies like the CIA, the Secret Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; and the U.S. Army. Earlier this year Jadoo placed in the business-plan competition at Harvard Business School, where vice president of business development Jon Berger, 30, earned his MBA this past spring.Or maybe it was an Enron alumni gathering, The Fortune article continues:
Jadoo's president, Larry Bawden, 45, learned about fuel-cell technology at Aerojet, based in Sacramento, where he worked as director of fuel-cell products. In 1995, Aerojet sold off his unit, and Bawden left with a golden parachute. Embarking on an around-the-world boat trip with his wife, he got as far as Australia before some former colleagues called. They persuaded him to return to become a vice president at a fuel-cell company they were starting called PowerTek. They'd soon lined up a huge customer—the energy giant Enron—but unfortunately it was about to collapse.So, who owns Jadoo?
The company's Investor Relations page lists only two "current investors":
Sinclair Ventures, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc....Hey, this is interesting. Wasn't Enron located in Houston too? Why, lookie here:
John BergerSo a guy who got rich at Enron goes to work for the Bush Administration's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission during the period when they're investigating Enron. He gets an MBA at Harvard, founds a company backed with his Enron stash and some extra seed capital from Sinclair Broadcasting, and uses his connections to get a one-on-one meeting with the President. His company then gets a (presumably no-bid) contract from the Defense Department, thus (presumably) guaranteeing they'll hit their revenue goals this year and (presumably) greasing their skids for the company's planned IPO.
The President even had his picture taken with one of Jadoo's founders:
Connect all the dots. Enron. Harvard Business School. Sinclair. The Swift Boat liars. This is how Rove works. Unfortunately, he left too many tracks this time.
Will somebody please take this story to to the networks and put it on the front page of every newspaper in the country?
Update: Digby was working on the same story at the same time.
South Dakota's KELO reports:
...six people connected with the South Dakota republican party have resigned over questions surrounding absentee ballot applications.Meanwhile, in Maine, Josh Marshall has the latest on a dirty-tricks scandal in which two high-ranking Republicans pled guilty last year:
The state Republican party hired an Idaho company to knock out the phones of the Democratic get-out-the-vote operation on election day by placing hundreds of automated hang-up calls to their phone banks. The whole episode might seem to be fading back into history were it not for the fact that a motion filed Friday in US District Court in Concord claims that a key player in the felonious scheme was none other than the man who now serves as the New England Chairman of Bush-Cheney 2004.Oh, and let's not forget Tom DeLay. If there's any justice, he'll be indicted soon as well.
Why wait for the debate tomorrow night? Paul Krugman has a list of eight lies that Bush will tell:
Mr. Bush will talk about the 1.7 million jobs created since the summer of 2003, and will say that the economy is "strong and getting stronger." That's like boasting about getting a D on your final exam, when you flunked the midterm and needed at least a C to pass the course.Oh, and even though the debate is about domestic issues only, which candidate do you think will mention Iraq first? Which one will refer to the war most often?
Monday, October 11, 2004
Memorable image from last week's debate:
ABC News quotes John Kerry:
"Here I am in the state of New Mexico. George Bush is still in the state of denial. New Mexico has five electoral votes. The state of denial has none. I like my chances."
(Hat tip to Kevin at The American Street)
"When you live in a fishbowl, everything seems a little distorted... I keep thinking it's Tuesday."
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