Saturday, October 30, 2004

So the Bastard is Still Alive.

As usual William Rivers Pitt gets to the heart of the matter.

t r u t h o u t - William Rivers Pitt | Osama's Election Editorial

"He isn't dead of kidney failure or rotting in a cave somewhere in the Hindu Kush. He wasn't smoked out of his hole, and he in no way appeared to be on the run. The images broadcast on every American television station in the last few hours showed a man apparently in good health, clothed in traditional white and wrapped in a golden robe. His hands were steady and his voice was clear. From all appearances, Osama bin Laden is tanned, rested and ready.

In as much as it is possible for a wanted mass murderer to have a conversation with the American public, this is what we are seeing tonight. Osama bin Laden directed his message not at the Muslim world, not at the American government, but at the people gearing up to vote for a President on Tuesday. "You American people, my speech to you is the best way to avoid another conflict about the war and its reasons and results," said bin Laden. A lot of people thought the capture of bin Laden would be the 'October Surprise' to affect the vote. Instead, we got, hard as it is to believe, an election editorial from Osama, who remains alive and free. As far as October surprises go, this one is completely off-the-grid strange. "

Taking Bush at His Word

Nicholas Kristoff is taking Bush at his word...whoops!

"• Oct. 11, 2000: "If we're an arrogant nation, [foreigners] will resent us. If we're a humble nation but strong, they'll welcome us. ... We've got to be humble."

It's a good thing Mr. Bush tried to be humble, or the U.S. would have an approval rating even lower than 5 percent in Jordan, and Osama bin Laden's approval rating in Pakistan would be higher than 65 percent.

• Feb. 27, 2001: "I hope you will join me to pay down $2 trillion in debt during the next 10 years. ... We should approach our nation's budget as any prudent family would."

But Mr. Bush, with the help of a weak economy, has transformed the Clinton budget surpluses into huge deficits. Since Mr. Bush took office, the federal debt has increased by $2.1 trillion, or 40 percent.

• Sept. 25, 2000: "It is clear our nation is reliant upon big foreign oil. More and more of our imports come from overseas."

Hmm. And many of our exports go abroad. Meanwhile, despite the lackluster economy, oil imports are 1.3 million barrels per day higher than in Mr. Clinton's last year in office."

There's more...

Friday, October 29, 2004

The Bush Pledge

This is absolutely the scariest thing so far. At a rally in Florida last night the following happened. I am in a bad dream, I just know it.

"I want you to stand, raise your right hands," and recite "the Bush Pledge," said Florida state Sen. Ken Pruitt. The assembled mass of about 2,000 in this Treasure Coast town about an hour north of West Palm Beach dutifully rose, arms aloft, and repeated after Pruitt: "I care about freedom and liberty. I care about my family. I care about my country. Because I care, I promise to work hard to re-elect, re-elect George W. Bush as president of the United States."
(via John Marshall)

"All officers of the SS were required to take the loyalty oath. Raising their right hand and their left hand placed on their officers sword, the oath went as follows: "I swear to thee, Adolph Hitler as Fuhrer and chancellor of the German Reich, my Loyalty and Bravery. I vow to thee and the superiors whom those shall appoint, obedience until death, so help me God." thanks to Jim Harris

Only a 100,000 - No Worries, No Mistakes!

May God Have Mercy!

A survey of deaths in Iraqi households estimates that as many as 100,000 more people
may have died in the 18 months since Bush's invasion than would be expected based on
the death rate before the war. The survey indicated violence accounted for most of the
extra deaths seen since the invasion, and airstrikes from coalition forces caused most of
the violent deaths, the researchers wrote in the British-based journal.

"Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children," they said

Link via BartCop

Hard Right Endorsements

For those of you who don't remember former Senator Bob Smith of New Hamshire he was one of the most radical far right wing Senators. He even left the Republican party once because it was too moderate. Well, He is endorsing Kerry. (PDF)

"As someone who worked with you daily for 12 years as a United States Senator, I am acutely conscious of the fact that we disagree on many important issues. Despite our differences, you have always been willing to engage in constructive debate in an effort to forge sound public policy.
I deeply respect your commitment to our nation and your patriotism which, I believe, was forged when you-like I-proudly wore the uniform of the United States Navy in Viet Nam...

Because of the courage and character you demonstrated in Vietnam, I believe you when you say that you'll do a better job than President Bush to win the peace in Iraq, as well as to win the war against terrorism.

President Bush has failed to restrain federal spending, sending our deficit spinning into the stratosphere. I well remember that you were one of a handful of Democrats who crossed the aisle to forge a bipartisan coalition in the Senate to balance the federal budget [...]

John, for each of these reasons I believe President Bush has failed our country and my party. Accordingly, I want you to know that when I go into the booth next Tuesday I am going to cast my vote for you. So will my wife, Mary Jo, and all three of my children: Jason, Bobby and Jenny.

Moreover, I will do all that I can to encourage my friends in New Hampshire and Florida to join me in supporting you."


Thursday, October 28, 2004

GOP Plan for the Election

Nick Confessore at Tapped has an excellent distillation of the GOP plan for the election.

"If Reuters were an opinion magazine, here's how they'd spell out the strategy. First, the GOP, using what appear to qualify as illegal methods, has attempted to mislead thousands of Democratic-leaning voters in Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, into thinking they'd be registered but are not. (And Ed Gillespie, whose own outfit is funding these efforts via Sproul & Associates and God knows what other firms and consultants, is alleging Democratic fraud in precisely those states! Black is white. Up is down.) Consequently, those thousands of people are going to show up at polls and probably run into a lot of confusion and paperwork and problems. At the same time, Republican secretaries of state and election officials in Ohio, Florida, and elsewhere are pushing interpretations of election statutes that further muddy the waters for those who do get to vote.
Having done as much as possible to create the conditions for a confusing election, the GOP is getting ready to cast the inevitable results of that confusion -- people turning up in the wrong precincts, people who've moved from the neighborhood they originally registered and are trying to vote wherever they live now, and so forth -- as symptoms of outright election fraud. On Election Day, the GOP will challenge as many votes as they can at the polls, on whatever pretext is handy. They've already said they will. And then, if they're behind at the end of the day, GOP officials will start alleging massive voter fraud in Ohio, Florida, and elsewhere, whatever the facts on the ground are. That will give them a rhetorical advantage in the short-term -- if, say, John Kerry is far enough ahead that he declares victory, but there are still some votes to be counted or re-counted. And it's important for the long-term, too. If Kerry does win, but only narrowly, the GOP will allege that the Democrats stole the election, which will set the stage for later Republican efforts to shut down Kerry's ability to govern and deny him legitimacy."

Lambert over at Corrente has a interesting connection to the 1930's as well.
In the increasingly desperate situation of 1930, the Nazis managed to project an image of strong, decisive action, dynamism, energy and youth that wholly eluded the propaganda efforts of the other political parties, with the partial exception of the Communists. The cult of leadership which they created around Hitler could not be matched by comparable efforts by other parties to project their leaders ... All this was achieved through powerful, simple slogans and images, frenetic, manic activity.. which underlined the Nazi's claim to be far more than a political party: they were a movement, sweeping up the German people and carrying them unstoppably to a better future. What the Nazis did not offer, however, were concrete solutions to Germany's problems.....

More strikingly still, the public disorder which loomed so large in the minds of the respectable middle classes in 1930, and which the Nazis promised to end though the creation of a tough, authoritarian state, was to a considerable extent of [the Nazis] own making. Many people evidently failed to realize this....
(via Richard J. Evan's magisterial The Coming of the Third Reich, Penguin 2004)

No More Question about Al QaaQaa

This is huge...seems lioke KSTP-TV in Minneapolis had a film crew embedded with the 101st and they have film of of US soldiers breaking the seals on the bunkers and showing off the explosives and then leaving the bunkers wide open and leaving......this was filmed on April 18th. This blows the whole it was gone before we got these story out of the window.
Here is the Link via Attaturk at Hegemon
Rising Hegemon: HOLY SHITE!! Film from Al QaaQaa

MoDo gets cooking for Halloween- In Cheney's Face

Maureen Down in the New York Times takes off the gloves--here's a snip.

"If you really want to be chilled to the bone this Halloween, listen to what Peter W. Galbraith, a former diplomat who helped advance the case for an Iraq invasion at the request of Paul Wolfowitz, said in a column yesterday in The Boston Globe.
He said he'd told Mr. Wolfowitz about 'the catastrophic aftermath of the invasion, the unchecked looting of every public institution in Baghdad, the devastation of Iraq's cultural heritage, the anger of ordinary Iraqis who couldn't understand why the world's only superpower was letting this happen.'' He told Mr. Wolfowitz that mobs were looting Iraqi labs of live H.I.V. and black fever viruses and making off with barrels of yellowcake.
'Even after my briefing, the Pentagon leaders did nothing to safeguard Iraq's nuclear sites,'' he said.
In his column, Mr. Galbraith said weapons looted from the arms site called Al Qaqaa might have wound up in Iran, which could obviously use them to pursue nuclear weapons."

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

General Clark Agrees with Bush

Gen. Wesley Clark agrees with Bush:

"Today George W. Bush made a very compelling and thoughtful argument for why he should not be reelected. In his own words, he told the American people that '... a political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your Commander in Chief'.
President Bush couldn't be more right. He jumped to conclusions about any connection between Saddam Hussein and 911. He jumped to conclusions about weapons of mass destruction. He jumped to conclusions about the mission being accomplished. He jumped to conclusions about how we had enough troops on the ground to win the peace. And because he jumped to conclusions, terrorists and insurgents in Iraq may very well have their hands on powerful explosives to attack our troops, we are stuck in Iraq without a plan to win the peace, and Americans are less safe both at home and abroad.
By doing all these things, he broke faith with our men and women in uniform. He has let them down. George W. Bush is unfit to be our Commander in Chief."

I agree as well......

More Good News

Thirty Six Newspapers that endorsed the Chimp in 2000 are endorsing John Kerry this election.

Something Else that is Being Hidden from You

As if you couldn't guess it was hiding out there. A prominent NASA scientist said today that the Bush administration is consistently hiding the dangers of Global Warming from the public.

'In my more than three decades in government, I have never seen anything approaching the degree to which information flow from scientists to the public has been screened and controlled as it is now,' James E. Hansen told a University of Iowa audience.
Hansen is director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and has twice briefed a task force headed by Vice President Dick Cheney on global warming.
Hansen said the administration wants to hear only scientific results that 'fit predetermined, inflexible positions.' Evidence that would raise concerns about the dangers of climate change is often dismissed as not being of sufficient interest to the public.
'This, I believe, is a recipe for environmental disaster.'

Here is the Link

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Toward never!

The Chimp is still moving in the right direction. I have to admit he seems to be doing something right but it is probably my imagination--it's the American people waking up.
The Washington Post Poll daily tracking poll.....

Bush | Kerry
10/26 | 48 | 50
10/25 | 48 | 49
10/24 | 48 | 48
10/23 | 50 | 46
10/22 | 50 | 46
10/21 | 51 | 45"

A Letter to Americans from an Iraqi Blogger

Here is a link to an open letter to Americans from Riverbend. (Those of you who either don't know about or read Riverbend a young woman who has been blogging from Iraq since before we attacked.) Here is part of it, but read it all, please.

"I guess what I'm trying to say is this: Americans, the name of your country which once stood for 'freedom & justice' is tarnished worldwide. Your latest president has proved that the great American image of democracy is just that ---- an image. You can protest, you can demonstrate, you can vote ---- but it ends there. The reigns were out of your hands the moment Bush stepped into the White House. You were deceived repetitively and duped into two wars. Your sons and daughters are dying, and killing, in foreign lands, your embassies are in danger all over the world. 'America' has become synonymous with 'empire,' 'hegemony' and 'warfare.' And why? All because you needed to be diverted away from the fact that your current president is a failure.

Some people associate the decision to go to war as a 'strength.' How strong do you need to be to commit thousands of your countrymen and women to death on foreign soil? Especially while you and your loved ones sit safely watching at home. How strong do you need to be to give orders to bomb cities to rubble and use the most advanced military technology available against a country with a weak army and crumbling infrastructure? You don't need to be strong, you need to be mad.

Americans ---- can things be worse for you? Can things be worse for us in Iraq? Of course they can...only imagine-four more years of Bush."

Thanks to Tena at First-Draft for pointing it out.

I Need a President - Again

You won't find a much more passionate statement that reflects our need for a new president than this one from John Cory and Truthout.
It is a must read. It pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter.

Monday, October 25, 2004

The New Yorker Endorses Kerry

Amazing! This is the first time in its 80 year history The New Yorker enters the political fray. Following is a paragraph from near the end. You should read the whole thing.
This is via the Official John Kerry Blog

"The damage visited upon America, and upon America's standing in the world, by the Bush Administration's reckless mishandling of the public trust will not easily be undone. And for many voters the desire to see the damage arrested is reason enough to vote for John Kerry. But the challenger has more to offer than the fact that he is not George W. Bush. In every crucial area of concern to Americans (the economy, health care, the environment, Social Security, the judiciary, national security, foreign policy, the war in Iraq, the fight against terrorism), Kerry offers a clear, corrective alternative to Bush's curious blend of smugness, radicalism, and demagoguery. Pollsters like to ask voters which candidate they'd most like to have a beer with, and on that metric Bush always wins. We prefer to ask which candidate is better suited to the governance of our nation."

High Explosives for Dummies via Xan at Corrente

Xan at Corrente has an excellent contribution to the general knowlege pool concerning high explosives of the type handed to the terroists in Iraq by George and company. No wonder the very small bit of it used so far has killed over a 1000 of our loved ones and 10,000 or so of the people we are liberating.
Here's the meme " Seven hundred and sixty thousand pounds of high explosive. One pound took down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie."

"The difference is in the speed of the explosion. The reason [another 'slow' explosive called ANFO] used in mining is because it has a slower reaction rate, producing gas and shockwaves that shove rather than shatter.

In most mines, high explosive sticks or gel packs are fired which shatters the rock and detonates the ANFO. The ANFO than pushes the shattered rock outward.

The shattering effect is what makes RDX and such so deadly. A barrel containing a small amount of ANFO and detonated will tend to rupture and separate into large chunks. If the pressure wave doesn't get you, you have pretty good odds of getting away unscathed because there are only a few large pieces flying around.

A barrel with RDX or another high explosive turns into a grenade, forming many more smaller fragments with much higher velocities."


UPdate: Fixed Link

Financial Times backs Kerry, bashes 'radical' Bush

Yahoo! News - Financial Times backs Kerry, bashes 'radical' Bush

Well, Well, Well. It seems the most respected Financial Times has decided to endorse John Kerry.

The paper, one of the world's leading financial dailies, called Bush "a polarizer, exploiting the war on terror to cow domestic opposition and divide the world into Them and Us."

"Mr. Bush's flaw is his stubborn reluctance to admit mistakes and to adjust personnel and policy. Blind faith in military power as a tool for change has too often influenced decision-making," it said.

"The US needs allies in the struggle against terrorism but Mr. Bush's crusading moralism has alienated the rest of the world, and a large constituency at home already fearful of the religious right."

While the average Bushie won't see this on CNN or FAUX it tickles my root.

Matthew Yglesias: John Kerry For President

Well - Matthew does a pretty good job of explaining his position and we accept it with thanks.
Matthew Yglesias: John Kerry For President
"Things are not better now than when George W. Bush took office. Instead, on virtually every front there has been deterioration. The proportion of the population at work has fallen. The number of people with health insurance has fallen. The number of people living in poverty has risen. The dollar -- and with it the average American's purchasing power -- has fallen. The federal government's fiscal capacity to cope with an unexpected crisis or the looming problems in Medicare financing has deteriorated. The esteem in which America is held in the world has fallen. The degree of trust foreign governments and the American people have in the US President's description of foreign threats has fallen. The number of terrorist attacks has risen. The state of human rights in China has fallen. Russia's progress toward democracy has been reversed. Politics in the non-Iraq portions of the Middle East are less liberal. In Iraq, a dictatorship and the human suffering of the sanctions regime has been replaced by chaos and the human suffering of a civil war. The American military is less prepared to cope with a foreign threat. The propensity of friendly governments to cooperate with us has eroded markedly. One could go on."

Bull Moose jumps on the latest Corporate Tax Giveaway

Bull Moose: "Here is the great Washinton conceit - the President goes on and on about how the country is at war and that these are extraordinary times. Yet, the only ones sacrificing in this unusual war are the brave heroes who are risking their lives on the front lines in combat and their families."

This whole disaster got almost no play in the media. The average American taxpayer has no idea how he has been screwed once again and that Bush just spent another chunk of our future.

"The Moose wonders how many Gold Star mothers benefited from this law? How many families of servicemen and women who perished in this struggle will gain a new loophole? How many Marines surrounding Fallujah will see their paycheck increase because of this law?"

Jimmy Carter - Bush is exploiting the suffering of (/11

Jimmy Carter is not holding back on his criticism of Bush in this article from the Guardian.
Guardian Unlimited | US elections 2004 | Bush exploits suffering of 9/11, says Carter: "George Bush has exploited the suffering of September 11 and turned back decades of efforts to make the world a safer place, the former president Jimmy Carter says in an interview with the Guardian published today.
Attacking Mr Bush and Tony Blair over Iraq, Mr Carter calls the war 'a completely unjust adventure based on misleading statements'.
He also criticises Mr Bush for 'lack of effort' on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and accuses him of abandoning nuclear non-proliferation initiatives championed by five presidents."

...and he [ed. Bush] has elevated himself, in the consciousness of many Americans, to a heroic commander-in-chief, fighting a global threat against America," Mr Carter says.

"He's repeatedly played that card, and to some degree quite successfully. I think that success has dissipated. I don't know if it's dissipating fast enough to affect the election. We'll soon know."

Yep we'll soon know.

Finally Someone is Asking Questions - Questions Mount Over Failure to Hit Zarqawi's Camp: ">From the Wall Street Journal
"As the toll of mayhem inspired by terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi mounts in Iraq, some former officials and military officers increasingly wonder whether the Bush administration made a mistake months before the start of the war by stopping the military from attacking his camp in the northeastern part of that country."

"But the raid on Mr. Zarqawi didn't take place. Months passed with no approval of the plan from the White House, until word came down just weeks before the March 19, 2003, start of the Iraq war that Mr. Bush had rejected any strike on the camp until after an official outbreak of hostilities with Iraq."

This was probably one of the greatest missed opportunities in the campaign against terrorism and the nobody has pressed this issue.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Karmic Revolution

Josh Marshall has the whole story on the complete screw up and coverup. Want to make bets whether this gets any mainstream play? Just in case, if you can't put two and two together, these are the explosives that have killed over a thousand of our best.

"This has been rumored in Washington for several days. And now the Nelson Report has broken the story.
Some 350 tons of high explosives (RDX and HMX), which were under IAEA seal while Saddam was in power, were looted during the early days of the US occupation. Like so much else, it was just left unguarded"

Self-Interest - A Broader View

Jesse over at Pandagon has a post asking about why it seem the Republicans are always trying to disnfranchise while the Dems are doing the opposite.

It always boils down to the fundamental difference and that is greed. The other guys (any idiot that would vote to elect Bush) vote strictly on what they "perceive" as their self interest. This is typically either short sighted, mis-informed or flat wrong but it is what they think. We, on the other hand, seem to take a different view of exactly what is in our best interest and it involves a grasp of the bigger picture. We see the fundamental reality of "Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later". We too vote for our own self interest but I believe it is a broader view.

How Many More Like This?

Xan over at Corrente has the blurb via Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice
I keep reading stories like this from all parts of the country and I just was wondering how many others, for no apparent reason, have been shunted out of Chimp parties. It is bound to be adding up "Karma Wise". I wouldn't be surprised if this policy of only allowing the othe "Kool-Aid" drinkers into the party turns out to be a major turn off for many borderline voters. It may not be concious but it might needle them enough to make a difference.

These guys are sweating

Via Daily Kos
Kos has this quote from an insider in the GOP and from the internal polls in the Bush camp things suck.

"GOP officials who talked to Bush-Cheney campaign leaders said the leaders have grown more worried about Ohio, Florida and other key states where Bush lacks a lead with just 10 days until the election. A poll by Ohio University's Scripps Survey Research Center, completed Thursday night, found Kerry leading 49 percent to 43 percent among registered voters, with a margin of error of five percentage points [...]
The Republican official said polling for Bush showed him in a weaker position than some published polls have indicated, both nationally and in battlegrounds. In many of the key states, the official said, Bush is below 50 percent, and he is ahead or behind within the margin of sampling error -- a statistical tie.
'There's just no place where they're polling outside the margin of error so they can say, 'We have this state,'' the official said. 'And they know that an incumbent needs to be outside the margin of error.'"

Useful Link and Service

Thanks to Digby Hullabaloo:
Digby says:
"Here's a very helpful service:

My Polling

It got mine and a couple of friends' right so I assume this data base is correct. On election day, if anyone you know or hear of says they don't know where they are supposed to vote, this site not only gives them an address, you can even get a map.

Pass the word."

A Multitude of Endorsements

Kerry continues to pick up the big dailys. Bush gained the Columbus [OH] paper and Bush also picked up the Denver Post which is a switch from Gore in 2000.

Kerry has picked up 17 papers that backed Bush in 2000, while losing only two Gore papers to Bush.

Kerry now leads Bush 70-58 in endorsements in E&P's exclusive tally, and by about 11.9 million to 7.1 million in the circulation of backing papers.

Pittsburg Post-Gazette

There is no doubt that Americans have gone from a generally happy time in the 1990s to four years of deficit, discord and disappointment. We would pose the same question that President Reagan asked famously in the heat of his own campaign: Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

Relatively few, we think, would answer that with "yes." If your answer is "no" or "not sure," then we have a president for you. The Post-Gazette enthusiastically endorses John Kerry. It's definitely time for a fresh start.

Orlando Sentinel

Four years ago, the Orlando Sentinel endorsed Republican George W. Bush for president based on our trust in him to unite America. We expected him to forge bipartisan solutions to problems while keeping this nation secure and fiscally sound.

This president has utterly failed to fulfill our expectations. We turn now to his Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry, with the belief that he is more likely to meet the hopes we once held for Mr. Bush.

Our choice was not dictated by partisanship... Indeed, it has been 40 years since the Sentinel endorsed a Democrat -- Lyndon Johnson -- for president.

Kansas City Star

The country cannot afford four more years of such misguided leadership.

That's why The Kansas City Star strongly endorses John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Americans realize what is at stake: the United States' ability to lead in the world, protect its citizens at home, preserve its treasured liberties, and leave a legacy of hope and opportunity. George W. Bush's presidency has put all that at risk. Sen. John Kerry proposes a sharp course change.

The Star Tribune endorses John Kerry for president.

AP roundup:

The Des Moines Register, of Des Moines, Iowa, endorsed Kerry on Oct. 24:

"It can be assumed that the next president, be it Bush or Kerry, will do everything in his power to make America safe from terrorism. ... But on the broad range of other issues, Kerry has more to offer. He is in touch with the middle class. He is better informed on health care and has sound ideas for creating jobs."

The Union-Bulletin of Walla Walla, Wash., endorsed Kerry on Oct. 21.

And next a Murdock paper endorse Kerry:

The Chicago Sun-Times endorsed Kerry on Oct. 24

"We want leaders to stay the course only when the course is a good one. ... The question that Americans need to ask themselves, going into the voting booth a week from Tuesday, is this: Do you like the direction our nation is heading? If the answer is no, then your vote should be for Sen. John Kerry."

Iowa City Press-Citizen, Iowa City, Iowa, endorsed Kerry on Oct. 23:

The Journal Times, Racine, Wis., endorsed Kerry on Oct. 23:

Newsday, Long Island, N.Y., endorsed Kerry on Oct. 22:

The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Ind., endorsed Kerry on Oct. 22:

Wausau Daily Herald, Wausau, Wis., endorsed Kerry on Oct. 22:

The following rags have continued their Repub Regurg and backed BubbleBoy:

The Austin (Texas) American-Statesman endorsed Bush on Oct. 24

Houston Chronicle endorsed Bush on Oct. 24

The Chronicle of Centralia, Wash., endorsed Bush on Oct. 20

The Express-Times, Easton, Pa., endorsed Bush on Oct. 24

The Denver Post endorsed Bush on Oct. 23

The Cincinnati Post endorsed Bush on Oct. 23

The Gazette, Janesville, Wis., endorsed Bush on Oct. 23

Oshkosh Northwestern, Oshkosh, Wis., endorsed Bush on Oct. 22:

The Detroit News, on Oct. 24 has a very intersting Non endorsement:

"The Detroit News will not lend its endorsement to a candidate who has made too many mistakes, nor to one who offers a governing philosophy we reject. This decision to remain silent will disappoint readers who expect The Detroit News to stand with the Republican presidential candidate come hell or high water. Their expectations are not unwarranted - we have never endorsed a Democrat for president, and only failed to endorse twice before, both times during the Franklin Roosevelt years. ... We will never feel obliged to defend a president whose blunders and misjudgments have hurt the nation. Nor will we settle for an equally bad choice."

Very Interesting!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Kerry's the One

The American Conservative Magazine editor's endorsement of Kerry. Yeah that's what I said.

Kerry's the One: "George W. Bush has come to embody a politics that is antithetical to almost any kind of thoughtful conservatism. His international policies have been based on the hopelessly naive belief that foreign peoples are eager to be liberated by American armies'a notion more grounded in Leon Trotsky's concept of global revolution than any sort of conservative statecraft. His immigration policies' temporarily put on hold while he runs for re-election are just as extreme. A re-elected President Bush would be committed to bringing in millions of low-wage immigrants to do jobs Americans "won't do". This election is all about George W. Bush, and those issues are enough to render him unworthy of any conservative support." Read the whole thing.

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Non-Arguable Case Against the Bush Administration

Here is an excellent document from The Nation. It might be useful to hand out the undecideds you might meet.

100 Facts and 1 Opinion:

Here is a link to a great PDF put out by The Nation – 100 Facts against the Bush Administration.

In case you want here it is in HTML as well.

The Non-Reality-Based Community

I keep asking myself -- Why do people support George W. Bush? According to a report from PIPA it's because they think he supports stuff he doesn't actually support but which they do support. They support Bush because they think(thanks mainstream media) Iraq had actual WMD, which, of course, they didn't. The believe that Duelfer discovered evidence of major WMD programs, which he didn't, and that Iraq gave substantial aid to al-Qaeda whci is untrue nomatter how many times Cheney says it. They also believe that world opinion was either behind the Iraq War or closely divided, which is hardly true, and that world opinion is either for Bush or closely divided. Read the article to understand how abosolutely clueless Bush supporters are and you may begin to lose that sense of utter disbelief when you see a BC04 sign.

THe New Republic endorses Kerry

Stolen from Kevin Drum:

The Washington Monthly: "TNR ENDORSES KERRY....If you happen to be a liberal who's nonetheless planning to vote for George Bush based on his hawkish foreign policy, go read the hawkish New Republic's endorsement of John Kerry first.
Bottom line: Bush simply doesn't understand the true nature of our war against radical Islamic terrorism, and his approach over the past three years has largely made things worse, not better. He has lost the support of our allies, he has made us hated in the Muslim world, he has polarized the American public, he has hideously mismanaged the war in Iraq, and he has done virtually nothing to genuinely promote democracy in the Middle East.
In John Kerry, conversely, we have a man who understands the nature of al-Qaeda and understands how best to defeat it. It's not possible to know how effective he'll be, of course, but at least he knows what we're up against. As TNR says, George Bush 'has failed the challenge of these momentous times. John Kerry deserves a chance to do better.'"

He Just doesn't get it

Click on the following link to see an add that will soon be running in the swing states. I think it is very effective. It's rough and startling but I think it has to be. Somehow true sense of the tragedy we are experiencing in Iraq has got to get through to the sheep who are still insisting Bush and company are the right choice for the country.

Win Back Respect

Thursday, October 21, 2004

John Cleese Steps In

From William Gibson Via Mark Kleiman

Mark A. R. Kleiman: "How many Bush administration officials does it take to change a light bulb?
John CLeese responds:
None. There's nothing wrong with that light bulb. There is no need to change anything. We made the right decision and nothing has happened to change our minds. People who criticize this light bulb now, just because it doesn't work anymore, supported us when we first screwed it in, and when these flip-floppers insist on saying that it is burned out, they are merely giving aid and encouragement to the Forces of Darkness."

Nader's Raiders come to their senses, endorse Kerry

Less than two weeks before the election, dozens of former "Nader's Raiders" and other former Nader associates have announced their own opposition to his candidacy and are launching ads in battleground states in an attempt to keep the "Nader Factor" to a minimum. The letter released today from Nader's former Raiders urges voters not to support their former hero, expresses regret that Nader has taken support from right-wing groups, and says progressive voters can be the key to the election, by voting for John Kerry.

The letter, with 75 signatories including organizer Ken Ward, who has served as Executive Director of Rhode Island PIRG and New Jersey PIRG, and Robert Brandon, who served as director of Public Citizen's Tax Reform Research Group from 1972-1977, reads [in part]

"Dear Voters,

Many of us -- former Nader's Raiders and leaders of his organizations -- voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. Many did not. This November, none of us will vote for Ralph. We believe there is nothing more important than defeating George W. Bush. Ralph argues that he is creating an independent political voice. In 2000, when he ran as the Green Party candidate, that may have been true.

In 2004, as the candidate of the increasingly reactionary, anti-immigrant Reform Party, and the recipient of financial and political support from right-wing funders and operatives, it is not credible. Unfortunately, Ralph is party to a disingenuous effort to split the progressive vote in key states.

With the major party candidates in a dead heat, Nader is poised to tip the election to Bush -- again. We do not agree with Ralph that there is little difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. We know that the country cannot afford another four years of Republicans controlling the White House, both chambers of Congress, the Supreme Court and the entire federal Judiciary. The price of a protest vote is too high for families who live from paycheck to paycheck, for those concerned about the realities of war, for those who lack decent jobs and access to health care, and for the environment. ....

Join us. Cast your vote for a progressive future and support John Kerry."

(via Salon)

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Blood is thinner than Oil

This is encouraging! Here's a site of Bush's relatives telling why they are voting for Kerry.

Bush Relatives for Kerry
Bush Relatives for Kerry

Casualties - What Casualties?

Steve Gilliard highlights and article from CNN yesterday that points out that Bush was not expecting any casualties in Iraq.

Steve Gilliard's News Blog: "Robertson: I warned Bush on Iraq casualties
President's response: 'We're not going to have any'"

Just Believe

Ezra over at Pandagon has a left coast take on the Suskind article that even makes it more scary, if that's possible.

Pandagon: Just Believe: "And the Iraqis will greet us with flowers and shiatsu massages, the tax cuts will result in more revenue entering government coffers while stimulating the economy, the Northern Alliance will do an excellent job securing Tora Bora, we know Putin is good because his soul said so, Ariel Sharon is a 'man of peace', our allies are materially unimportant because a small and maneuverable fighting force can easily carry out the mission in Iraq, simply requesting that companies consider the environment will be more effective than actual regulation...
Time and again, the Bush administration has placed their trust and crafted their policy based on a dubious or unproven assertion, and time and again they've found their faith misplaced, though not before the situation spun out of control to the country's great harm. This Administration's problem isn't that they're optimistic, it's that they're certain the world is similarly sunny. People are grabbing on to Suskind's 'reality-based community' quote, as well they should. But they're missing its point. The Bush aide is arguing that the Administration operates off the idea that they shape their reality, that they are history's forces, not victims. That's why, presumably, they only plan for what they believe will happen. The parallels to New Age spirituality would be funny, if they weren't so scary, and the idea would be admirable if reality didn't keep proving it wrong."

Sucking Democracy Dry

Rick Perlstein's latest in the Village Voice. It's worth reading--here's a snip:
The Village Voice: Features: Sucking Democracy Dry: The End of Democracy by Rick Perlstein: "nce upon a time, not too long ago, the president of the United States declared that the war on terrorism was the most important issue in this year's presidential campaign.
Then every time his opponent brought up this most important of issues, George W. Bush cried foul, accusing John Kerry of hindering the war on terrorism. (America might be a democracy, but that doesn't mean the Democrat has a right to campaign.)
The president's campaign enlisted the taxpayers' servants as agents of his re-election, with Secret Service officers submitting attendees at Bush rallies to ideological X-rays, and election officials systematically suppressing the franchise of groups most likely to vote Democratic. Meanwhile the president, who earned some 500,000 votes less than his opponent, busied himself ramming through a radical legislative program as if he had won by a landslide�his congressional deputies all but barring deliberative input from the opposition party in order to do it and gaming the legislative apportionment system in ways, as the counsel to one Texas representative bragged in an e-mail to colleagues, that 'should assure that Republicans keep the House no matte[r] the national mood.'
In Washington, it has turned some once calm souls into apocalyptics.
Thomas Mann is a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, noted for his deliberateness of manner, his decency, and his near religious devotion to the ideal of bipartisan comity. Now, he says, 'I see the damage to our system and our sense of ourselves as a democratic people as really quite substantial. . . . "

Bob Rumson's back

An entry from Bob's new blog, lifted whole:
"Bob Rumson, er, Dick Cheney is at it again.
Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday evoked the possibility of terrorists bombing U.S. cities with nuclear weapons and questioned whether Sen. John Kerry could combat such a threat...
Only we, who ignored a daily briefing called Osama Bin Laden Determined To Strike In US, can protect you from the terrorists.
Only we, who have been so focused on Iraq -- which had no WMD -- and thus allowed North Korea and Iran to join the nuclear club, can protect you from the nuclear threat.
Only we, who were completely unable to anticipate that Iraq would spiral horribly out of control, have the vision to rule this country safely.
And there are actually people -- about 100 million of them, apparently -- who can believe this bullshit.
I say this again: AAAAAAGGGGGGHHH."

Easy Money?

Glenn Reynolds accidently brings up a significant point concerning the interview in the New Republic by Nobel proze economist Edward Prescott. -: "In The Republic interview, he said such a policy would discourage people from working.
'It's easy to get over $200,000 in income with two wage earners in a household,' Prescott said. 'We want those highly educated, talented people to work.'"

Excuse me but what country is Mr. Prescott living in where it is easy for a two income family to top 200K$. The median income, las time I checked, was 40K$ and that means you would have to have about 5 full time eage earners in the household. The Bushies are touting this as proof that Kerry is off base concerning roll back of the top wage earner's tax cut. This should get little more air play.

Dumb Republicans - Nothing New

Via Corrente
Eric Margolis wraps it up in a nutshell so to speak. While it is clearly inexplicable why nyone, with the evidence at hand' would even consider voting to actually elect the current administration Eric gives it a try.
Yankees are Blind to Blundering Bush, By Eric Margolis

"How can Republicans remain so blinkered? Part of the fault lies with the sycophantic national media, which collaborated with the Bush administration in whipping up war fever. The media still are not telling people the truth about Iraq, Afghanistan, or the so-called war on terrorism.

The media utterly failed to remind Americans that Bush, who loves to play war leader, actually claimed Iraqi drone aircraft were poised to fly off ships in the North Atlantic and bombard America with germs. Bush should have been laughed out of office for believing and promoting this comic-book nonsense.

Many Republicans simply don't see what the rest of the world does. So what if Iraq was no threat? Don't bother these golf club Rambos with details. They're delighted to see the U.S. pounding Arabs in revenge for 9/11.

Bush's core Republican support lies in the suburbs and Bible-belt rural areas, where many people rely on TV sound bites for their world view, and have little understanding of history, geography or foreign affairs. This is the new 'dumbed-down Republicans Party,' fertile ground for nationalist hysteria, religious extremism, and anti-foreign xenophobia."

Somebody needs to push this out.

Here's the link:

'It is shocking: The Bush Administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names. Although the report by the inspector general's office was completed in June, it has not been made available to the congressional intelligence committee that mandated the study almost two years ago.'

This report is being suppressed until after the election is because it could destroy the Bush Administration. Needless to say, this report is of great interest to the public and is not being suppressed because of national security. How come the LA Times is the only media outlet I have seen this in?"

Bush gets the Iranian endorsement

I'm sure no one is surprised that Bush has captured the militant Islamic vote. I am sure they are proud of getting the endorsement of Iran.

Here's the link:
"'Historically, Democrats have harmed Iran more than Republicans, said Hasan Rowhani, head of the Supreme National Security Council, Iran's top security decision-making body.
'We haven't seen anything good from Democrats,' Rowhani told state-run television in remarks that, for the first time in recent decades, saw Iran openly supporting one U.S. presidential candidate over another.
'We should not forget that most sanctions and economic pressures were imposed on Iran during the time of Clinton,' Rowhani said of the former Democratic president. 'And we should not forget that during Bush's era � despite his hard-line and baseless rhetoric against Iran � he didn't take, in practical terms, any dangerous action against Iran.'
Though Iran generally does not publicly wade into U.S. presidential politics, it has a history of preferring Republicans over Democrats, who tend to press human rights issues.
'We do not desire to see Democrats take over,' Rowhani said when asked if Iran was supporting Kerry against Bush.' "

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Ex KGB Agents for Bush

Good old Vlad baby gets on the freedom train.

Bush and Mao

Juan Cole looks at the similarities between Mao's "Great Leap Forward" and the the thinking behind it and the faith based actions of Bush in Iraq:

Suskind on Bush: 'I can Fly!'
Ron Suskind's profile of George W. Bush reminded me eerily of Mao Zedong, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party. Suskind portrays Bush as filled with unwarranted certainty, sure that God is speaking and working through him, and convinced that decisive action shapes reality in ways that make it unnecessary to first study reality.

This approach to policy-making, it seems to me, should be called Right Maoism. The History Learning Site reminds us that in 1958 Mao initiated what he called the 'Great Leap Forward' with the aim of boosting both Chinese industry and agriculture, through the reorganization of China into over 25,000 communes.

' Mao had introduced the Great Leap Forward with the phrase 'it is possible to accomplish any task whatsoever.' By the end of 1958, it seemed as if his claim was true . . . However, in 1959, things started to go wrong.

In 1960 alone, as a result of Mao's faith-based initiative, 9 million persons starved to death. The total toll from famine, hunger, and illness in 1959-1962 was around 20 million dead.'

The above description of the way in which China fell apart under Mao sounds eerily like contemporary Iraq under Bush, since both situations were produced by the same mantra. Reality doesn't matter. Power creates reality. Suskind says that a senior Bush official told him, 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.' This official may as well have been quoting Mao's Little Red Book: ''it is possible to accomplish any task whatsoever.'

How dare they?

Via The Campaign Desk

Spin Buster
October 18, 2004
How Dare You??

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz today brings us this tidbit: Stunned by the efforts of fact-check teams and "truth squads" in the press who are belatedly holding the claims and counterclaims of the candidates up to scrutiny, the Bush campaign has struck back.

In an extraordinary response to these recent stories, Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt spoke thusly:

"The Bush campaign should be able to make an argument without having it reflexively dismissed as distorted or inaccurate by the biggest newspapers in the country."

The Bush campaign has evidently grown so accustomed to a campaign press that seldom fact-checked much of anything between March and September that it is downright indignant anyone would have the temerity to muse, "Gee, I wonder if that's right?" and then have the industry to actually ascertain the veracity of the claims and assertions contained in stump speeches and debate transcripts.

We wouldn't believe it if we hadn't seen it with our own eyes, but there it is in black-and-white.

"I subordinate myself without further ado to Herr Adolph Hitler. Why? He has proved that he can lead; on the basis of his view and his will,.... He and the party are one, and offer the unity that is the unconditional premiss of success." ~ Ernst Graf zu Reventlow, 1927.

Sound familiar?

Monday, October 18, 2004

The Reality-Based Community

Matt, I think has found a unifying theme for the anti Bush forces.

Matthew Yglesias: The Widening Reality-Based Community: "it appears that the anti-Bush coalition may at last, thanks to an anonymous White House advisor, have found a unifying theme."...we are, proud members of the Reality-Based Community.

Classic Stupid

I see in The Los Angeles Times a report in Sunday's paper on the deployment of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the "Blackhorse" for the stallion on its shoulder patch, to Iraq for a year of combat duty. The regiment has long served as as the opposing force, or "OPFOR", for units from other installations coming to train at the Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. This is obviously a sure sign of the desparation of the Pentagon. The 11th Cav is the major resource for training new troops for combat and taking them out of the training game and replacing them with National Guard troops is tatamount to disaster. Now all of out new troops will be even less able to address situations they face in Iraq. This is classic stupid.

The Putinization of America

Matt Yglesias takes a turn left, describing the 'creeping Putinization of American life.' Examples:
...the Sinclair incident, the threatening letter to Rock The Vote, the specter of the top official in the House of Representatives making totally baseless charges of criminal conduct against a major financier of the political opposition [shades of Mikhail Khodorovsky], the increasing evidence that the 'terror alert' system is nothing more than a political prop, the 'torture memo' asserting that the president is above the law...

and more all in one paragraph.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Total Shitheads

Why does this not surprise me? Am I beginning to accept the principle that my government when, given the choice, will invariably make the wrong one? Have they managed to lower my expectations this far? I guess so.

"The United States has refused to join 85 other heads of state and government in signing a statement that endorsed a 10-year-old U.N. plan to ensure every woman's right to education, health care, and choice about having children.
President Bush's administration withheld its signature because the statement included a reference to 'sexual rights.'
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kelly Ryan wrote to organizers of the statement that that the United States was committed to the Cairo plan of 1994 and 'to the empowerment of women and the need to promote women's fullest enjoyment of universal human rights.'
'The United States is unable, however, to endorse the world leaders' statement,' Ryan said, because it 'includes the concept of `sexual rights,' a term that has no agreed definition in the international community.'
Ryan did not elaborate on the Bush administration's objections to the phrase 'sexual rights,' but at past U.N. meetings U.S. representatives have spoken out against abortion, gay rights and what they see as the promotion of promiscuity by giving condoms to young people to prevent AIDS"

If one were to use one's brain and follow this action to it's inevitable result one would see the U.S. has put itself in the company of other countries that don't recognize women as full parties to the human race and the resultant parade of continuing AIDs epidemics, unneccesary pregancies and basement abortions will be justified as God's will.

Has Bush lost his reason? from the Guardian

The Observer | Comment | Has Bush lost his reason?:
The entire article is worth reading but this paragraph pretty much tells it all.

"The prophets of doom, whom Cheney exemplifies, are precisely right about the importance of this election. But the momentous decision awaiting Americans is not whether they return to power a President who is uniquely qualified to protect the US against terrorism, as Cheney et al would have us believe. It is whether they re-elect a man who, it is now clear, has become palpably unstable."

Without a Doubt

Very revealing article in the NYT magazine today by Ron Suskind that predicts that if Bush should win reelection in November that there will be a major war within the Republican party 0n Nov. 3.

The New York Times > Magazine > Without a Doubt: "''Just in the past few months,'' Bartlett said, ''I think a light has gone off for people who've spent time up close to Bush: that this instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do.'' Bartlett, a 53-year-old columnist and self-described libertarian Republican who has lately been a champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush's governance, went on to say: ''This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be persuaded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them. . . .
''This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts,'' Bartlett went on to say. ''He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence.'' Bartlett paused, then said, ''But you can't run the world on faith.'' " - New York Times endorses Kerry - Oct 17, 2004 - New York Times endorses Kerry - Oct 17, 2004
"We have been impressed with Mr. Kerry's wide knowledge and clear thinking," the endorsement said. "He is blessedly willing to re-evaluate decisions when conditions change."

Friday, October 15, 2004

Froomkin is at it again

Dan Froomkin's White House Briefing is excellent today. Here are a few highlights:

On George's brief chat with reporters in Air Force One after the third debate:

The last time President Bush ventured into the rear cabin of Air Force One to reassure the press pool that everything was okay was on Sept. 11, 2001.

Yesterday's five-minute visit on a flight from Phoenix to Las Vegas came after three widely panned debate performances that have arguably given Democratic challenger John F. Kerry the momentum going into the final weeks of the campaign.

So it was time for spin from the highest level.

Bush insisted he is unworried. "I feel great about where we are," he said.

But his very appearance was interpreted by reporters as a sign of how eager -- possibly even desperate -- Bush is to put the debate phase of the campaign behind him.

On the Bush Campaign's strategy here on out:

"Bush has effectively ended his direct appeal to swing voters, his aides say, and will spend the next 19 days speaking to his hard-core supporters. He will remind them to vote, work hard and get excited."

On the Bush's odd chuckling:

And [Mark Leibovich of The Washington Post] notes an odd, and possibly more frequent, Bush tick: "Bush sometimes punctuates his sentences with quick cackles, even when he hasn't said anything funny. He did this more than usual Thursday, giggling, for instance, upon mention that Nevada has a 4 percent unemployment rate.

" 'I'm proud of my record, heh heh heh,' he says. 'But my opponent seemed to want to avoid talking about his, heh heh heh heh.' "

Yesterday's campaing stop in Oregon:

"Police in riot gear fired pepperballs Thursday night to disperse a crowd of protesters assembled in this historic gold mining town where President Bush was spending the night after a campaign appearance."

Also in Oregon:

"President Bush taught three Oregon schoolteachers a new lesson in irony -- or tragedy -- Thursday night when his campaign removed them from a Bush speech and threatened them with arrest simply for wearing t-shirts that said 'Protect Our Civil Liberties,' the Democratic Party of Oregon reported.


"All three said they applied for and received valid tickets from Republican headquarters in Medford.

Supporting the Troops

This article from ABC News is difficult to read but I think everyone should.

Here are a few paragraphs.
Many of the severely wounded soldiers returning from Iraq face the prospect of poverty and what they describe as official indifference and incompetence.

"Guys I've met, talking to people, they'd be better off financially for their families if they had died as opposed to coming back maimed," said Staff Sgt. Ryan Kelly, who served as a civil affairs specialist for the Army while in Iraq.

On July 14, 2003, the Abilene, Texas, native had been on his way to a meeting about rebuilding schools in Iraq when his unarmored Humvee was blown up. A piece of shrapnel the size of a TV remote took his right leg off, below the knee, almost completely, Kelly said.

Kelly attests to receiving excellent medical care at Ward 57, the amputee section of Walter Reed, but said he quickly realized that the military had no real plan for the injured soldiers. Many had to borrow money or depend on charities just to have relatives visit at Walter Reed, Kelly said.

"It's not what I expected to see when I got here," he said. "These guys having to, you know, basically panhandle for money to afford things."

Swift Boat Lies

I knew the Swift Boat Veterans were lying and now ABC Nightline has sent a team of reporters to Viet Nam to the actual villages where the Silver Star incident happened and it turns out that Kerry's version is accurate on O'Neill's is a lie. What is more it turns out that the SBVT guys has already sent someone and a cameraman to the village earlier, knew the truth, and still lied. Scum!
Kevin Drum at The Washington Monthly: "In August the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth charged that John Kerry had lied about the events that led to his Silver Star. In order to figure out if the SBVT account was true, Nightline sent a crew to Vietnam, where they visited the hamlets of Tran Thoi and Nha Vi and interviewed the local villagers to get their recollections of what really happened 35 years ago. You can read the resulting story yourself, but it's summarized pretty easily: Kerry was right and SBVT honcho John O'Neill wasn't."

Thursday, October 14, 2004

More good News from the Bush Economy

Now to touch on the highlights from today's economic news.

As the presnit says; "It's strong and getting stronger."

--The U.S. trade deficit, propelled by a record foreign oil bill, surged to $54 billion in August, the second highest level in history.

--The August trade deficit in goods and services was 6.9 percent higher than a $50.5 billion imbalance in July. A small 0.1 percent rise in exports was dwarfed by a 2.5 percent jump in imports.

--For the year, America's trade deficit is running at a record annual rate of $590 billion, 19 percent higher than the previous record, last year's $496.5 billion imbalance.

--The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose by 15,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted level of 352,000. The four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out weekly changes, rose by 4,000 to a seven-month high of 352,000.

--The country added a lower-than-expected 96,000 jobs in September as the unemployment rate held steady at 5.4 percent.

--The nation has lost 2.7 million manufacturing jobs over the past four years.

--The average price for crude oil jumped to a 23-year high of $36.37 per barrel, up by $3.09 per barrel from July. Imported oil is likely to climb even higher in coming months reflecting rising oil prices that are now at record levels above $50 per barrel.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Even Bob Barr can't vote for Bush

Creative Loafing Atlanta | NEWS & VIEWS | AN AGONIZING CHOICE

But the concerns for many conservative voters -- concerns that may cause them not to vote for Mr. Bush on Nov. 2 -- fall generally into three categories: fiscal, physical (as in the physical security of our nation) and freedom (as in protecting our civil liberties).

When Bush became president Jan. 20, 2001, he inherited an enviable fiscal situation. Congress, then controlled by his own party, had -- through discipline and tough votes -- whittled down decades of deficit spending under presidents of both parties, so that annual deficits of hundreds of billions of dollars had been transformed to a series of real and projected surpluses. The heavy lifting had been done. All Bush had to do was resist the urge to spend, and he had to exert some pressure on Congress to resist its natural impulses to do the same. Had he done that, he might have gone down in history as the most fiscally conservative president in modern times.

Instead, what we got were record levels of new spending, including nearly double-digit increases in nondefense discretionary spending. We now have deficits exceeding those that the first Republican-controlled Congress in 40 years faced when it convened in January 1995.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Another Joins Up

The Albuquerque Tribune (circulation: 16,713) endorsed Bush in 2000. This year it's all Kerry, baby!

The United States has lost its way under President Bush, who too often has failed on both foreign and domestic fronts. Worse, he has been unable to unite a deeply divided nation.

Bush, whom The Tribune endorsed in 2000, has offered simplistic slogans to complex problems, while Kerry sees complicated problems and offers the promise of appropriate solutions - complex or not.

The reality is the world is not a simple place, seldom black or white, and Kerry knows that intuitively. He understands the gray, the nuance - and that easy-bake solutions like nuclear weapons, Navy carriers and conservative or liberal platitudes usually don't apply or work.


From the war in Iraq and the acidic sections of the Patriot Act to global warming and national energy policy, Bush's foreign and domestic policies have been based on secrecy, fear, distortion and misinformation.

For these reasons, we urge independent and undecided voters in particular to double-check what Bush says against what he has done. Bush continues to insult American intelligence with his:

Mistaken and unreal views of the war in Iraq, with its mounting costs in American and Iraqi lives, money and good will.

Failure to focus U.S. military might on pursuing our real enemy, the terrorists.

Willingness to compromise American freedoms, in contrast to a resistance to develop and implement safeguards to protect our people, borders, ports and infrastructure from future terror attacks.

Unabashed flip-flop of the conservative fiscal ideal, turning a balanced federal budget - indeed, a huge surplus - into the largest deficit in U.S. history.

Unrelenting attack on 30 years of environmental promise to benefit political friends in the fossil fuel and utility industries.

Willingness to accept a $422 billion federal deficit, a ballooning $7.42 trillion national debt and grossly unfair tax cuts.

These all come at the expense of ordinary, hard-working, taxpaying Americans - and our children's children, who will be stuck paying the bill.

Understanding why Anyone would vote for Bush and Co.

David Neiwert of Orcinus Has the first four parts of an excellent 6 part series on the rise of "PseudopFascism" in America today and how it is transforming and moving the United States toward a truly Fascist state. Reasding the whole thing is vastly worthwhile. Below is just a snippet from the first part of the series on the symptoms.

The final morph into Pseudo Fascism occurred under the dynamic under which the "conservative movement" operated after taking control of all three estates of American government in 2000. By seizing the presidency through means perceived by nearly half the nation at the time as illegitimate, conservative-movement ideologues were forced to govern without anything approaching a popular mandate. But rather than responding by moderating their approach to governance, the Bush administration instead acted as though it had won in a landslide, and proceeded to follow an openly radical course:

-- Instituting a massive transfer of the tax burden from the upper class to the middle, an approach that deepened the nation's economic malaise.

-- Appointing radical right-wingers to key positions in the nation's court system; shifting the emphasis in national security from terrorism to missile defense, a policy that left us vulnerable to the Sept. 11 attacks.

-- Instituting, in the wake of those attacks, the radical "Bush Doctrine" of unilateralist pre-emption.

-- Further using the attacks to undermine civil liberties under the Patriot Act and creating a policy of incarcerating citizens indefinitely as "enemy combatants".

-- Invading another nation by raising the false specter of the "imminent threat" of weapons of mass destruction.

-- Allowing intelligence officials to run amok, violating the Geneva Convention in interrogations at Bagram, Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

-- Fighting, for clearly political reasons, every effort to have a thorough examination of the causes of the 9/11 security failures.

-- Moreover, at every step of nearly every policy it has pursued, the administration has erected obstacles to transparency, making clear it intends to operate in utter secrecy whenever possible.

The radical course followed by the Bush administration was, in fact, guaranteed to further divide the nation rather than unify it in a time of need. Moreover, the administration clearly proved itself wrong on so many major counts -- the economy, the pre-Sept. 11 handling of the terrorist threat, the rationale for war, the postwar occupation of Iraq -- that under normal circumstances, their competence above all should have come into serious question.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Now think about the previous post

Think about what it means. Consider all ofthe ramifications of not moving ahead.

The generals say we should move now. Moving now gives us the greatest chance of victory at the lowest likely cost. Moving later gives us a lesser chance of victory at a higher cost in terms of our soldiers' lives. But moving later is helpful to the Bush-Cheney campaign.

John Kerry should be on this message like white on rice.

Our Leader Cares

Thanks to Atrios and Will Bunch

There are a lot of reasons why you should vote for John F. Kerry instead of George W. Bush. However, there is one reason which overrides all others and that is George Bush believes that his re-election is more important than the lives of our soldiers.

From the LA Times

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration will delay major assaults on rebel-held cities in Iraq until after U.S. elections in November, say administration officials, mindful that large-scale military offensives could affect the U.S. presidential race.

Although American commanders in Iraq have been buoyed by recent successes in insurgent-held towns such as Samarra and Tall Afar, administration and Pentagon officials say they will not try to retake cities such as Fallujah and Ramadi -- where insurgents' grip is strongest and U.S. military casualties could be the greatest -- until after Americans vote in what is likely to be a close election.

"When this election's over, you'll see us move very vigorously," said one senior administration official involved in strategic planning, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Once you're past the election, it changes the political ramifications" of a large-scale offensive, the official said. "We're not on hold right now. We're just not as aggressive."

One More!

Philadelphia Inquirer
Editorial | Kerry for President

The choice is vivid. The stakes are vast.

Our nation is threatened by jihad warriors who scoff at boundaries. It stumbles toward a fiscal ruin that will punish our children. The rules that protect our air, water and health are weaker than we know. When 45 million of our neighbors fall ill, they have no insurance card to hand to the doctor.

We boast of exporting liberty and rule of law, yet watch them erode at home. A hooded prisoner on a box has replaced a soaring lady with a lamp as the global icon of America's intentions. Our national discourse has grown peevish, choking on distortion and bile.

On Nov. 2, we can return to office the man who, since 2001, has spawned some of those ills and shown a shaky touch at healing the others.

Or we can go a new way, one alert to fresh global challenges yet rooted in the approaches that made the 1990s so productive. We can elect Democratic nominee John F. Kerry.

Dear fellow citizen, this is as important an election as any in which you've had a chance to vote.

The Inquirer's urgent, deeply felt recommendation: Cast that ballot on Nov. 2 for JOHN F. KERRY.

Read the whole thing. This is one of the best endorsements I've seen.

Sunday, October 10, 2004


Did you notice Bush repeating one of his grest lies during the debate?

"Non-homeland, non-defense discretionary spending was raising at 15 percent a year when I got into office. And today it's less than 1 percent, because we're working together to try to bring this deficit under control."

Here's the truth about increases in non-defense discretionary spending over the past six administrations:

Nixon/Ford: 6.8% per year
Carter: 2.0% per year
Reagan: -1.3% per year
Bush I: 4.0% per year
Clinton: 2.5% per year
Bush II: 8.2% per year

Adjusted for inflation.

The truth is simple: all spending has skyrocketed under his administration — with help from a Republican Congress, of course. It's more of the great Bush fantasy.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Bush Resume

Hello. My name is George W. Bush and I am running for president. Please consider my qualifications as set forth in the following resume.

DON'T forget the Lies

Remember these quotes when Bush looks you in the eye tomorrow night and tells you how hard his job is:

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."
-Dick Cheney Speech to VFW National Convention, Aug. 26, 2002. [i]

"Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."
-George W. Bush Speech to U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 12, 2002. [ii]

"We know they have weapons of mass destruction … There isn't any debate about it." "[It is] beyond anyone's imagination" that U.N. inspectors would fail to find such weapons if they were given the opportunity.
-Donald Rumsfeld, September 2002. [iii]

"If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world."
-Ari Fleischer Press Briefing, Dec. 2, 2002. [iv]

"We know for a fact that there are weapons there."
-Ari Fleischer Press Briefing, Jan. 9, 2003. [v]

"We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more."
-Colin Powell Remarks to U.N. Security Council, Feb. 5, 2003. [vi]

"We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have."
-George W. Bush Radio Address, Feb. 8, 2003. [vii]

“Does Saddam now have weapons of mass destruction? Sure he does. We know he has chemical weapons. We know he has biological weapons. ... How far he’s gone on the nuclear-weapons side I don’t think we really know. My guess is it’s further than we think. It’s always further than we think, because we limit ourselves, as we think about this, to what we’re able to prove and demonstrate. ... And, unless you believe that we have uncovered everything, you have to assume there is more than we’re able to report.”
-Defense Policy Board Chair, Richard Perle, speaking to a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing, March, 2003. [viii]

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."
-George W. Bush Address to the Nation, March 17, 2003. [ix]

"Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly... all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes."
-Ari Fleisher Press Briefing, March 21, 2003. [x]

"There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. And... as this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them."
-Gen. Tommy Franks Press Conference, March 22, 2003. [xi]

"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
-Donald Rumsfeld ABC Interview, March 30, 2003. [xii]

"I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now."
-Colin Powell Remarks to Reporters, May 4, 2003. [xiii]

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

More lies and more lies

In the debate last night Cheney said:

"Now, in my capacity as vice president, I am the president of Senate, the presiding officer. I'm up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they're in session."

In the past 4 years, there have been 128 Tuesdays. Dick Cheney has presided over 2 of them.

One more time, Dick Cheney has presided over 2 Tuesdays, or 1.5% of the total.

During the same period, John Edwards also presided over the Senate twice.

Dick Cheney and John Edwards have both presided over the Senate two times.

Three Americas and the patron saint of stupid

JOHN KERRY AND John EDWARDS ARE WRONG: There aren't "Two Americas." There are actually three Americas.

There's the sane, rational, informed and normal America, which properly and overwhelmingly supports Kerry and Edwards.

There's the crazed, insane, wingnut America which, unbelieveably, supports George Bush or even crazier Ralph Nader.

Then there's the uninformed or ignorant America which, for the moment, supports Bush because it easier than thinking.

The real problem John Kerry faces is that George Bush is practically the patron saint of "shit for brains" America.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Mark Kleiman has the The Kerry doctrine

Mark A. R. Kleiman: The Kerry doctrine: "Defend the country. Promote freedom. Pay attention to the facts. Listen to the experts. Make sure your buddies have your back. Plan for victory. Tell the truth."

Monday, October 04, 2004

Two Faces. One Public, One Private. One Phony, One Real

Below are several graphs from digsby on the president we saw in the debate. I think he is on target.

Over the last week or so we have seen an edgy, enigmatic black and white image of George W. Bush appear on web-sites and blogs. At first people thought that sites had been hacked, as Eschaton and Kos and Democratic Underground spontaneously erupted with the black and white figure only to have it disappear and randomly return. Within days it linked to a mysterious DNC web-site with cryptic material that only slowly came into focus. Clearly something was up.


I believe that this happened because after 9/11, the media cast Bush in the role of strong, resolute leader, perhaps because the nation needed him to be that, at least for a little while. And the people gratefully laid that mantle on him and he took it because the office demanded no less. The narrative of the nation at war required a warrior leader and George W. Bush was all we had. Karl Rove and others understood that they could use this veil to soothe the American people and flatter the president to take actions that no prudent, thoughtful leader would have taken after our initial successes in Afghanistan. This “man with the bullhorn” image of Bush crystallized in the minds of many Americans and has not been revisited until now.


His handlers wisely kept him under wraps, allowing him face time on television only in the company of world leaders or to give stirring speeches written by his gifted speechwriter, Mark Gerson. He rarely held press conferences and when he took questions, he was aggressively unresponsive, choosing instead to offer canned sound bites and slogans and daring the press corps to call him on it. Few did. The mask stayed in place and he remained a symbol instead of a president --- the symbol of American strength, resilience and fortitude. He was, in many people’s minds, the president they wished they had.

On Thursday night sixty-one million people watched George W. Bush for the first time since 9/11 not as that symbol, but as a man. And for those who had not reassessed their belief in his personal leadership since 9/11, it was quite a shock. Their strong leader was inarticulate, arrogant, confused and immature. They must be wondering who that man was.

The truth is that since George W. Bush entered politics he has always had two faces. In fact, virtually everything you know about his public persona is the opposite of the real person.

He claims to be a compassionate, caring man, often admonishing people to "love your neighbor like you loved to be loved yourself." Yet, going all the way back to Yale, he is quoted as saying he disapproved of his fellow students as "people who felt guilty about their lot in life because others were suffering." His business school professor remembers him saying that poor people are poor because they are lazy. This from a man who was born rich into one of America's leading families and relied on those connections for everything he ever achieved.


He ostentatiously calls himself a committed Christian and yet he rarely attends church unless it’s a campaign stop or a national occasion. The man who claims that Christ is his favorite political philosopher famously and cruelly mocked a condemned prisoner begging for her life. He portrays himself as a man of rectitude yet he pumped his fist and said "feels good!" in the moment before he announced that the Iraq war had begun. (One would have thought that if there was ever a time to utter a prayer it was then.) How many funerals of the fallen has he attended? How many widows has he personally comforted?

He portrays himself as a salt of the earth "hard working" rancher, clearing brush on his land in an artfully sweaty Calvin Klein-style t-shirt. Yet in the first 8 months of his presidency leading up to 9/11, he spent 42% of his time on vacation. His "ranching" didn't begin until he bought his million dollar property just before he ran for president in 1999. He has lived in suburbs and cities since a brief period in his childhood in the 50’s, when he lived in the medium sized boom town of Midland before going to Andover.



George W. Bush is a man with two faces--- a public image of manly strength and a private reality of childish weakness. His verbal miscues and malapropisms are the natural consequence of a man struggling with internal contradictions and a lack of self-knowledge. He can’t keep track of what he is supposed to think and say in public.

There is no doubt that whether it's a cowboy hat or a crotch hugging flightsuit , George W. Bush enjoys wearing the mantle of American archetypal warriors. But when he goes behind the curtain and sheds the costume, a flinty, thin-skinned, immature man who has never taken responsibility for his mistakes emerges. The strong compassionate leader is revealed as a flimsy paper tiger.

On Thursday night, the president forgot himself. After years of being protected from anyone who doesn't flatter and cajole, he let his mask slip when confronted with someone who didn't fear his childish retribution or need anything from him. Many members of the public got a good sharp look at him for the first time in two years and they were stunned. Like that black and white image, the dichotomy of the real Bush vs. the phony Bush is profoundly discomfiting.

Luckily for America and the world, a fully synthesized, mature man stood on the other side of that stage ready to assume the mantle of leadership, not as a theatrical costume but as an adult responsibility for which he is prepared by a lifetime of service, study and dedication. I would imagine that many voters felt a strong sense of relief that he was there.