For The Trees

Who is our economy FOR, anyway?

About the Authors:
Dave Johnson
John Emerson
Richard Reich
Thomas Leavitt


Recent Posts:
Moved to Seeingtheforest.com
This Blog Has Moved
Democracy Arsenal
Thought Crimes
Think Progress
Bill Bradley Describes VRWC in NY Times Piece Toda...
Blog Change Coming Friday
How the Liberal Media Myth is Created
Interest Rates
Finally Leaving Blogger


BEST OF STF:

Dave's:

Articles not at STF:

The ATLA Speech on building a progressive infrastructure
Lowering the Bar
The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law
Who's Behind the Attack on Liberal Professors

On the Right and their communications infrastructure:

Why Republicans Win
Win or Lose
The "Conventional Wisdom" Machine
Some History of the Conservative Movement
HOW TO FIGHT BACK
An Amplifier Of Our Own
Don't Blame the Democrats
How They Do It 1 2 3 4
Getting Rolled

Other:

You're Gonna Get Drafted
Scalia and Self-Government
Who is Our Economy For?
Voting Machine Story Link Collection
What's Wrong with this Picture? (Voting Machines)
Like Meat in the Supermarket
Get Active
Thin Line 1 2 3
Fixing Social Security
Seeing the Forest I, II, III
"Incredibly Positive News"
The Breadth of It
The Republican Crony Club
Moon Bush
Ralph Nader is a Scab


John's Best Of:
Kerry Smear Page
Bandar Bush
9/11 Commission Report Damages Bush -- if you read it
Florida Goon Squad Intimidated the Supreme Court
The Use and Abuse of George Orwell
Zizka's Archives (John's previous identity)
Zizka Sampler


News Sources:
AlterNet
BuzzFlash
Common Dreams
Cursor
Drudge Retort
Information Clearing House
Smirking Chimp
TruthOut
What REALLY Happened

Links to Other Weblogs:




8/07/2004
 



He's Nuts

Check out the Alan Keyes Is Fucking Nuts Update over at Roger Ailes blog.


 



A Role for Bloggers After All - Part II

Part I is here.

Connecting the Dots

Bloggers are connecting the dots and bringing out stories the press does not see or will not cover.

At the convention I was almost completely isolated from incoming information other than whatever I am covering at the moment. I just did not have time to follow the news the way I usually do. This is not like my usual blogging environment, with time to read the morning news and several other blogs. I grab some news off of the internet. I get information from talking to other bloggers. This is significant.

A LOT of what I usually write about comes from detailed following what's in the media, (and what the Right is printing and saying.) There was almost no opportunity for any of that at the convention, and I can see how in the Washington or New York top-level journalist life there is little opportunity either.

So - special role of Blogging #2 – we bring important stories to the attention of the readers, and our readers include media and political circles.

During the convention Pakistan announced that it had captured a major al Queda figure. You and I know, because we read blogs, that The New Republic and others had previously carried the "July Surprise" story that the White House had ordered Pakistan to capture high al Queda officials during the convention, for entirely political reasons. But when CNN covered the story of the capture during the convention there was no mention of this at all. I read a few blogs complaining about CNN's failure to cover this most important aspect of the story, but with my convention experience at the time, it occurred to me that this was likely because they just didn't know that the "July Surprise" had been predicted. This is not an excuse, because it is their job to know. This failure is something they should be compensating for, but the transformation of news from a public service to a commercial venture has brought with it certain shortcomings, apparently including less than adequate research departments. And, as we all know (because we read blogs and are so much more well-informed than almost everyone else), these shortcomings are being used to the political and financial advantage of certain politicians and their cronies.

This is where we come in. Bloggers are connecting the dots. Bloggers are keeping important stories alive.

Another aspect of this comes from thinking about my years in tech marketing. Tech editors can make or break a product, so marketers are always pitching product stories to them. They receive hundreds of press releases and calls, and you have to put a great great spin and cast your story a certain way to even get a foot in the door toward getting a story. I can see that news editors would have the same problem. The UFO Society, and the people who can prove that the Trilateral Commission faked the Apollo moon project using movie studios, are in line in front of us, telling the editors how important their story is. So when someone shows up with a story about how we shouldn't trust voting machines that have no way for the voter to verify that their vote was correctly recorded, the editor will probably roll his or her eyes, thank us, and have a good laugh at our expense.

But bloggers are the reason the voting machines story is reaching the mainstream. We kept at that story and kept at it and kept at it. And through the "marketplace" nature of weblogs, the story spread, and spread, and was discussed, and we found new ways to explain it, and eventually it rose to prominence. It rose up in the marketplace of the weblogs. Other stories, like the Trent Lott story and the Bush National Guard Service story were repeated and repeated in the weblogs until they just couldn't be ignored by the national media.

Bloggers are making up for some of the current shortcomings of the major media by connecting the dots and bringing important stories to the public's attention.

End of Part II of my post-convention blogging report. More to come.


 



A Role for Bloggers After All (I)

Post-Convention Blogging Report

There has been lots of talk about blogger "coverage" of the convention. Some had expectations that there would be breakthrough, inspired commentary; others wondered at our amateurish appearance and prose. So why were we invited? No one has yet stated what, to me, is the obvious. (Perhaps there has been a conscious decision to avoid being crass – but if that's the case they wouldn't have invited me.) Money. There it is. Expectations of brilliance and innovation are fine, but bloggers raised lots of money for the party. And volunteers. Money and volunteers. And publicity. After the rise of Howard Dean, bloggers were going to be in the Show. Money and volunteers and publicity. There it is.

I came to the convention with few expectations, but arrived to find myself part of the story. The first event I attended was a blogger gathering at a bar on Sunday night, and there were reporters there interviewing us because bloggers at the convention was a STORY! NEWS! One of my first convention posts included a picture of a TV news crew filming a reporter interviewing a blogger who was interviewing the reporter. With a war on and other serious things they could be covering, this struck me as absurd, which led me to think that the whole phenomenon of blogging might have already outlived its usefulness.

But that changed. I came to believe that there is a very important role for the webloggers in the political process.

I think is the most important ongoing value of the new phenomena of blogging is that bloggers offer observations without the media filter. This is not better or worse than what we get from the media. The value is the difference. This is a resource for political professionals. Bloggers are able to give the political leadership a way to tap into opinion that is there but is not yet salient. I think bloggers offer Washington and local leadership an additional channel for learning what the public is thinking – or, even better, what the public WILL BE thinking. The huge number of weblogs and the number of people choosing which blogs to read on a given day offers a true "marketplace" method of learning what that segment of the public considers important.

While I think it is important that our readers have access to this perspective, I think that this is especially valuable to the political class.

Smart People - Marketplace
I read somewhere that there are over three million weblogs! Of course, many of these have about nine readers, but it says something about the 36 webloggers who received credentials to work at the Democratic convention. The webloggers who were at the convention were there because they have risen through a "marketplace" of internet users deciding to read their weblogs instead of other weblogs.

Through this marketplace process the "Convention Bloggers" have reached a point where they were noticed and invited to the convention. Some of the webloggers were invited for obvious reasons – large numbers of readers (and generating large donations to candidates and the party.) Some of these weblogs might have traffic numbers that seem less than impressive, but have contributed in one way or another to the process. (There were hundreds of weblogs at the same "level" as Seeing the Forest, and I am not claiming to have any superior insight or readership here. I also got lucky, no question about it.)

Possibly relevant to their invitations, these are weblogs that are read by members of Congressional and party staff, and elected officials. (I learned from different sources that STF is read by very well-placed people in the political structure. I have been surprised to find STF listed at Gary Hart's weblog, then Howard Dean's, then John Kerry's and so many others.)

Here is what I am getting at: The bloggers I met at the convention were all people who are very smart, who make very sharp observations, who communicate well through written words and who have an audience.

This is fine, but the question here is, isn't this the role of the media? You read over and over that webloggers are not part of the media culture. But what does this mean, and is this a good thing, if true?

The media culture.
Webloggers were given press passes for the convention. This meant we had access to special areas set aside for the media to get their work done, and special access to events, through separate entrances, special seating areas, etc.

I have experience working with the media, but not as the media. My first experience inside the media culture was going to the Press floor at the convention, and then into the Press Filing Room. It was immediately clear that this is a very thick culture – thick like how cop culture is thick. And a think culture will have an effect on a person. Everyone wants to fit in to any group they find themselves in, and walking into this area as "one of them," picking up the little glances, trying to read the expressions, looking at how they were dressed and when they talked or didn't or any of the thousands of other ways humans get signals immediately made me very self-conscious. It was clear I was an "outsider." A young person entering this culture and wanting to rise up in the profession – and in hierarchy of the group – is certainly going to be strongly influenced.

I was immediately immersed rather than slowly introduced. I was standing next to Sam Donaldson and Wolf Blitzer and talking to David Corn and E.J. Dionne in the first hours and days of my media life, which I doubt the journalism student experiences. So I think my observation of the likely effect of the power of the culture has merit.

One observation of the culture was the respect paid to each other and to the people they interact with – candidates, officials, etc. These are people you are going to be working with tomorrow – every tomorrow. AND many of these people are in positions to assist or harm your career. It would have to be very difficult to break through this and ask embarrassing questions, and I think this may have something to do with why they do not. If you are able to, the Republicans work to make sure that you don't get the opportunity. And it was confirmed to me at what you would probably agree are the highest levels of the profession, in Washington right now if you DO manage to get past all of this and ask embarrassing questions, the Republicans WILL work very hard to harm your career.

Press people are very, very arrogant. Some of this is actually from consciously defending their role as public servants -- informers of the public. This is a very important role in a democracy and there are always undemocratic elements challenging that.

The media culture has the quality of a clear "inside" and "outside," or "us and them" aspect of the experience. A press badge actually means you cross certain lines – like to the "press area." So you have the physical separation from "regular" people. Another thing you have is special access. I went to an event where Howard Dean and Michael Moore were speaking, and when I arrived the line was many, many blocks long to enter an event that was already full. But I was able to walk right in and get a seat. This is necessary, because each reporter reaches hundreds or thousands of people, but it also means that you are a person of special privilege.

These are things that are absolute requirements of getting the job done – and the job is supposed to be informing the people. But they also necessarily will affect the story you write.

Professional Training
There are several things a professional journalist learns. One is the importance of removing yourself from the story. Another is to attempt to have objectivity. (Nedra skipped that class.)

The culture, special status and training all add up to filters applied to what is written.

Here Come the Bloggers
So along come the bloggers, offering a voicing of what regular people are thinking – well, some of us, anyway – without the filters that journalistic professionalism demands.

It Helped Dean
Dean's campaign was reading blogs and was able to understand that there was widespread feeling that had not yet reached the point of being understood by the political structure. To understand this, think back a couple of years to the frustrations of all Democrats with the Party leadership. But this is a two-way street. Politicians respond to the public. The Party leadership HAS responded. But two years ago they were not receiving the information.

In Washington's "inside the beltway" environment they really do have trouble understanding what people are feeling. The Dean phenomona demonstrated to them -- the ones paying attention -- just how far they have been from their constituencies. (I was told that two years ago a very high official in the Kerry campaign had said there won't be a single vote that comes from the Internet.) Blogging provides a way for elected officials and staffs to guage public opinion, at least of those actively informed enough to be reading blogs – a second channel from the media, which when functioning is extremely important.

So, special role of Blogging #1 – we provide observations without the filters that the mainstream media uses. I am not saying this makes our observations better, just different, and this is important. I think bloggers are a special kind of information filter. At the convention I realized that bloggers serve a much more important role in the political process than I had thought before the convention.

This is the end of Part I of my post-convention blogging report. More to come.

Update - Part II is up.


 



I Want You All To Be As Afraid As You Can Be

Bush Warns Americans They Are 'Still Not Safe'.

Contrast this with a real leader, in a time of real emergency. FDR comforted the country in his inauguration address, saying, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."


(By the way, looking for a good reference for FDR's quote, I discovered that the Right is sponsoring a number of websites accusing FDR of responsibility for the Pearl Harbor attack! What are they up to now, teaching kids this stuff? Some of the sites also accuse Kennedy of "lying" about the Cuban Missile Crisis.)




8/06/2004
 



Whatever happened to Sibel Edmonds?

Sibel Edmonds is a former FBI translator who was fired after having accused the FBI translation service of serious lapses (including an apparent compromise of security which allowed an employee to protect a suspect). She was ignored entirely, not only by the 9/11 Commission but also by the U.S. press. (Her letter to the commission was ultimately published by the Asia Times in Hong Kong.) Despite the whistle-blower law, and despite a supportive report from Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine, Edmonds is now out of a job. The FBI has admitted nothing.

Thanks to my friend Diana Moon for the link. Diana is always interesting and is sometimes willing to rush in where angels fear to tread -- though she did wimp out on us just recently. (She justified herself using the "sanity clause", but there's one thing she forgot: as Chico Marx pointed out, "There ain't no Sanity Claus".)

(P.S.: If there's a Blogspot expert out there, Diana seems to have a permalink problem).



 



Swift Boat Liars, etc.: Combating Republican Slime Operations

A few posts down, Dave linked to a bunch of the Republican character assassin sites pushing the "Swift Boat" smear. For those of you who want to do your own research, here are some links to the most prolific sources of Republican slime, together with links to debunking sites and to some research I did a few months ago.

The Bad Guys:

Citizens United (Bossie) / Vietnam Special Forces Against Kerry (Noe) / GOP USA (Aldrich) / Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry (Stampley) / NRO: The Corner / Ann Coulter / Front Page / Worldnet Daily / NY Post / Washington Times / Republican National Committee / George W. Bush.com

The Good Guys:

Daily Howler / Media Matters / Kerry Campaign: D-Bunker / Move On: Daily Misleader / CJR Campaign Desk / Snopes (search "Kerry") / Spinsanity (search "Kerry")

Some stuff I gathered:

Kerry's Military Service / Kerry's Anti-war Activities / Kerry's Military & Intelligence Votes / Cleland's Military Service .

The links just above are only up-to-date as of March 31 or so. Ex-Senator Max Cleland is included as an example of the way the Republican attack machine (e.g., the near-psychotic TV personality Ann Coulter) is willing to smear absolutely anyone. Sen. John McCain during the 2000 South Carolina primary is another example.

Most of the surrogates have no direct connection with Bush or the Republican Party, but they all show up reliably whenever there's dirty work that needs to be done.



 



Experts

The voting machine makers and their palsy-walsy state and local election officials fashionably deride computer scientists, but what do they say to the real experts?

The Ponemon Institute surveyed 2,933 members of the general public and then 100 DEFCON and Black Hat attendees to get their views on electronic voting. 'The degree of difference was startling,' said director Larry Ponemon. It was the biggest split between 'experts and the public he'd ever found. For example, 83% of the experts said e-voting is less or much less secure against election tampering than paper ballots, compared with just 19% of the general public."




 



Wow

Mark A. R. Kleiman: The Rev. Mr. Moon and North Korean WMD:
"Is this a hoax? Or is it true that the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church give North Korea the Russian missile submarines from which they have now successfully copied intermediate range ballistic missile launchers?"
That's Moon, as in Washington Times.


 



Jeeze

Steve Soto found this: Bush, family and top aides received $127,600 gifts last year from Saudi crown prince. And that's just last year.
The State Department's annual tally of gifts to administration officials shows that Abdullah gave them $127,600 in jewelry and other presents last year, including a diamond-and-sapphire jewelry set for first lady Laura Bush that was valued at $95,500.


The Saudi royal family's gifts dwarfed those of other world leaders, according to the tally, and easily eclipsed Abdullah's $55,020 in gifts in 2002. Abdullah has been Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler since 1996 after a stroke sidelined King Fahd.
I report, you decide.




8/05/2004
 



The Smear is Widespread

Scary John Kerry and Vietnam. Well-produced. Circulating via e-mail...

If you can stomach watching this one to the end ... it's a LOT worse than the "swift boat veterans" smear. It is MUCH worse.

And this one.

And this one.

And this one.

And this one.

And this one.

And this one.

And this one.

And this one.

And there is so much more.


Update - What he says. (From the comments.)


 



No More Kerry In The News

Kerry Opposes Media Consolidation Trend:
Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry said on Thursday he opposes the push for media consolidation and would pursue a policy aimed at broad and diverse ownership of media outlets.

"I'm against the ongoing push for media consolidation," Kerry told a conference of minority journalists. "It is contrary to the interests of the country."
Remember what happened to Dean when he said the same thing?


 



Another Republican Vote-Suppression Scam

Get this one -- getting voter registration lists, and sending "change of address cards" for the Democrats on the list.

[lbo-talk] Old, old way to steal an election
"Apparently there are groups out there who buy copies of the voter
registration rolls, then send in new registrations for registered
voters giving them a new address. It's really a more sophisticated
version of the whole thing with the felony lists in Florida in the
last election - however, people aren't being REMOVED from the voting
rolls, and hence there's no red flag being raised. After all, people
DO move and send in change of address, so there's no reason for them
to suspect voter fraud. And there's really no way to trace this, so
there's really no way to detect this. But in effect what it means is
voters are removed from the rolls - after all, if you're unknowingly
registered in another precinct, how can you vote at yours?

[. . .] By the way, I'll just say that I think it's significant that I happen
to live in a largely minority, heavily Democratic district in a swing
state. You can draw your own conclusions from that."
Surprised? WHY?


 



Here It Is

Here it is. The latest smear. The big one. Drudge is pushing (and Limbaugh repeating) a new smear ad, supposedly by veterans who "served with" Kerry. This is Bush campaigning at its ... finest. This is what we all knew was coming.
"VIET VETS CHARGE: KERRY KILLED A LONE, FLEEING, TEENAGE FOE; LIED TO SUPERIORS TO GAIN MEDAL

Slaughters Animals, Burns Down Tiny Village

**Exclusive**

A veterans group seeking to deeply discredit Democrat John Kerry's military service will charge in the new bombshell book UNFIT FOR COMMAND:

"Kerry earned his Silver Star by killing a lone, fleeing, teenage Viet Cong in a loincloth."

"And if Kerry's superiors had known the truth at the time, they would never have recommended him for the medal."

The book also claims to detail how Kerry personally ordered the slaughter of small animals at a small hamlet along the Song Bo De River."
This is a pretty big smear, and you can be sure they are pushing it through every channel available to them. Drudge. Limbaugh. Internet chain letters. Internet discussion sites. Churches... They are also running a new commercial in swing states.

Of course the entire right-wing machine is all over this today. Limbaugh, etc. are talking about nothing else.

This is the expected, coordinated, well-funded smear. We bloggers have been talking about this for more than a year. Everyone knew it was coming. This is what Bush did to McCain in 2000 -- and it's even the same people doing it. From a New York Times story about this smear,
"Mr. Kerry's aides circulated an 18-page packet discrediting the veterans group and linking its backers to Republicans, noting that a public-relations consultant the group paid $27,000 this spring, Merrie Spaeth, was also involved in a advertising campaign attacking Senator John McCain during his tough race against Mr. Bush in the 2000 primary in South Carolina."
So here we are. What does Kerry have ready in response?

Two weeks ago there was a coordinated smear campaign involving Sandy Berger, that the Republicans claimed proved that Clinton was entirely responsible for 9/11. The Democrats weren't ready for this at all, and did not respond. I don't even think they understand today that this was a planned, coordinated smear designed to convince people that Bush was not responsible for letting the 9/11 attack happen!

And now a big Kerry smear arrives. What response has Kerry prepared? To me, this is the question of the election. What does Kerry have ready in response? Did I say that we all knew it was coming. This is what Bush Sr. did to Dukakis. This is what Bush did to Gore. The Big Smear. This is what Republicans do.

Since Bush Sr. effectively used these tactics on Dukakis the Democrats must have been preparing a response. Right? Or at least since they did it to Gore. Right? They must have had teams of psychologists, linguists, advertising pros, etc. doing the necessary research on how to most effectively respond to this kind of smear. Right?

To me, this goes beyond the campaign. This goes beyond protecting their own political careers. This goes to protecting us. What is the criticism of Bush for 9/11? That all the signs were there that we were going to be attacked, and they ignored it.

Does Kerry have a devastating response ready for The Big Smear? To me this is the same question as: Is Kerry ready to be president?

Update - For those who think that McCain speaking out for Kerry is all that is needed, remember: Bush did this to McCain in South Carolina, AND THE RESULT WAS THAT McCAIN LOST!




8/04/2004
 



Are Bloggers Gentlemen?

During the Democratic Convention there was a mini-controversy about whether bloggers are real journalists or not. Today Paul Krugman gave his own answer to this question, by recommending that his fellow journalists start reading David Brock's Media Matters, The Columbia Journalism Review's Campaign Desk, and especially Bob Somerby's Daily Howler.

Krugman gave special attention to Somerby's belief that political journalists are "writing to a script" -- deciding on their story in advance, and then selecting or twisting the facts to fit the script, while suppressing the facts that contradict it. By citing Somerby's blog, Krugman effectively destroys the most serious single objection to blogdom. For while it is indeed true that bloggers don't have factcheckers or editors, the big media don't factcheck any more either. As a result, that job is left to bloggers, and Somerby is the best of the best. In short, the blog critics are 180 degrees off. It's the legit media that needs to clean up its act.

So why do people say such mean things about bloggers?

Well, it's like a Jane Austen novel. Bloggers are not gentlemen, and our social status is uncertain -- perhaps we are cads and bounders. The print journalists, on the other hand (including the ladies, God bless them!) are gentlemen. They have institutional connections and get paid, while we're all still in the "Who the hell does he think he is?" category.

Because of their institutional connections, legit journalists have come to believe that they are authorities and kingmakers, and that the rest of us are laymen whose opinion is of no real importance. They are professionals in their own minds, and they believe that they have no more need to listen to the criticisms of amateurs than physicists or mathematicians do.


The odd thing is that an unfortunate professional inversion has taken place. At the very moment when journalists achieved their quasi-professional status, their work began to degenerate and become less professional. Because "professionalism" now means (rather than following professional standards) the possession of authority, and being part of an in-group, and being a loyal member of a powerful team which begins with the beat reporters at the bottom, and goes on past the byline reporters and columnists and the editors and publishers all the way up to the highest government officials.


That's the significance of all the cute little nicknames and jokes Bush has for media people. It's like he's telling him that they're now low-ranking members of the same powerful fraternity he is, and that he's going to haze them a bit but they're really part of the gang -- as long as they act right. (Doonesbury's Garry Trudeau, who knew Bush backin in the day, says that he has "the soul of a rush chairman").

And the ones lower down on the food chain have learned that the only way to be successful is to please the ones above them. Journalistic success is defined by promotions and pay, and promotion is decided by agreeing with the boss -- which includes slanting or suppressing stories . There is plenty of evidence that professional standards have been weakened, and this is because most media outlets have fallen into the hands of ideologues and financiers. The big decisions are increasingly made for purposes of ideology or marketing or for other non-professional, non-journalistic reasons.

But alas for the "pros"! Right at the moment we're going through another one of those McLuhanesque media revolutions. Anyone who cares can now check up on the big names and find out how good or bad a job they're doing. Blog readership is not numerically great, but it's high quality, and the media clowns are increasingly finding themselves being held in justified contempt by many of their best informed readers. It's got to be taking a lot of fun out of it for them.

"Who are these guys?" Well, we're citizens using a new medium. The best comparison is with the eighteenth-century pamphleteers who used the newfangled printing presses to topple the Ancien Regime or George III. Or maybe I'm just being optimistic.

Are Bloggers Gentleman? (version 1.0)

A young blogger becomes a gentleman and forgets his old friends

Grumpy blogger response

George IV is worse than George III

P.S. Almost nobody has recognized so far that blog journalism is, in one key sense, superior to print journalism. Bloggers can give supporting citations to the reader directly, with links which are immediately checkable. In order to check up on a print journalist (much less a TV newsman), you have to go to the library and dig around, and enough journalists get caught misusing citations that you can be sure that a lot of them get away with it. Somerby makes my case for me: not only does he link everything, but his whole site back several years is a searchable database. Kit Seelye, Chris Matthews, Bill O'Reilly -- you've got them right there at your fingertips. Somerby is able to back up everything he says in a way that print journalists cannot, and within the range of his specific interests he's the go-to guy.

P.P.S. Probably the reason Krugman is able to accept Somerby is that Krugman isn't really a journalist -- he's really a Ph.D. professor at a top university. The status "journalist" isn't really a very lofty one, but if it's all he's got, a dog will fight to the death for a dry, smelly bone.

P.P.P.S. It should be said that bloggers almost never do the kinds of detailed investigation that real reporters do. We can fact-check and critique real reporting, but few of us really do any. On the other hand, dozens of bloggers can bloviate as well as David Broder by now.

(Extensively edited and rewritten, 9:00 p.m. August 4. My imaginary editor didn't feel like coming in today).






 



The Fear IV

Over at Michael Berube Online:
"Following the release of a new psychological study that indicates voters prefer George Bush over John Kerry only when they are asked to think about death, Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge has raised the terror alert level to 'black,' the White House revealed today.

The new level-- 'higher and worser' than red, according to President Bush-- suggests that a terrorist attack is only minutes away and will involve either flesh-eating bacteria or gradual disembowelment. However, Ridge stressed in a press conference today that the threat was 'nonspecific.' 'All we know is that they're coming for you and your infant child, perhaps as we speak,' Ridge said. 'The information is highly reliable, and is absolutely not based on intelligence that is three or four years old, like our last warning. Therefore we are asking Americans to go about their business as usual, but to remain in a state of gut-wrenching fear at all times.'
The new terror alert reflects a dramatic shift in administration policy over the past week, as high-ranking cabinet officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, reported that the Bush campaign had jettisoned plans to present the GOP as the party of "hope" and "optimism" in the 2004 elections. Instead, officials say, Republicans now prefer to be seen as the party of death.

[. . .] "Hope? Screw hope. Optimism? Optimism can go fuck itself. Check out this passage from the CNN story," said one official: ..."
Go read the rest.


 



Are You Experienced?

Have you ever really READ Opinions You Should Have?


 



Firefighters Smeared at Bush Blog

Unbelievable. Firefights support Kerry, so they get smeared. Check this out at the OFFICIAL Bush weblog, GeorgeWBush.com :: Official Blog :: August 01, 2004 - August 07, 2004 Archive. The post links to this:
"Generally speaking, the likelihood that a firefighter will vote for John Kerry is inversely proportional to the number of fires he has actually fought. Witness all those T-shirted "Fire Fighters for Kerry" you saw at the convention. A little soft around the middle some of them were, weren't they? Do you think some of them could haul a hose pack up 50 flights of stairs? I'm not betting on it. I'm guessing the only fires many of them have seen lately were at IAFF barbecues."
There's more, and it is just disgusting. It praises Cheney for his use of foul language, it says Republicans are "regular guys," etc.


 



WAY Over the Line

Steve Gilliard thinks that right-winger Instapundit has gone over the line and suggests some things you can do to act on this. Instapundit is promoting a T-shirt that basically says 'shoot non-whites.'


 



New Smears

From Drudge:
"Two of John Kerry's three Purple Heart decorations resulted from self-inflicted wounds, not suffered under enemy fire.

All three of Kerry's Purple Hearts were for minor injuries, not requiring a single hour of hospitalization.

A 'fanny wound' was the highlight of Kerry's much touted 'no man left behind' Bronze Star.

Kerry turned the tragic death of a father and small child in a Vietnamese fishing boat into an act of 'heroism' by filing a false report on the incident.

Kerry entered an abandoned Vietnamese village and slaughtered the domestic animals owned by the civilians and burned down their homes with his Zippo lighter.

Kerry's reckless behavior convinced his colleagues that he had to go -- becoming the only Swift Boat veteran to serve only four months. "
This is how Republicans campaign. They keep throwing mud -- lies -- until some sticks. Smears, lies, and psychological manipulation. This is called vote suppression. They're trying to get people to say "I can't vote for either of them" and not show up at the polls.

Ignore these trees. Don't take your eyes off the forest -- the big picture. Kerry volunteered to go to Vietnam and is a decorated war hero. Bush's daddy got him into the "champagne unit" of the National Guard and he STILL took off, didn't show up.

Labels: ,






8/03/2004
 



Can Someone Explain This To Me?

BlogShares - Seeing The Forest


 



Missed?

There are two posts that I would like to bring back to your attention, now that the convention is over. I think these are very important and you might have missed them.

The first is a report of a psychological study of the effect of fear of death on people's voting choices. From the report:
"When asked to think about television, the 100 or so volunteers did not approve of Bush or his policies in Iraq. But when asked to think about Sept. 11 first and then asked about their attitudes to Bush, another 100 volunteers had very different reactions.

"They had a very strong approval of President Bush and his policy in Iraq," Solomon said. "
Read this, and keep it in mind as you watch Bush campaign, declare terror alerts, etc. Send it to your family and friends.

The second is Michael Moore's July 28 talk to the Campaign for America's Future conference going on at the same time as the convention. (The transcript is here.)



 



Funny Ad

Before you watch the ad, it helps to know that President Bush-of-the-cowboy-image is rumored to be afraid of horses. (The ex-cheerleader also insists on travelling with a special pillow that he calls his "pilly".)


 



The Real Story: $87 Billion Middle Class Dollars

Yesterday, John wrote a very cogent piece about the whole "$87 billion dollar vote" controversy which got me thinking about how I would put an end to this issue and knock the republicans back on their heels at the same time...



Here's what John Kerry needs to say:

"Let me set the record straight, there were two funding bills for this war.  I voted for the $87 billion to be taken out of the tax cut Bush & Cheney gave to their fat cat friends...  the republicans couldn't tolerate that.

I voted against the republicans taking $87 billion right out of the pockets of middle-class Americans and against passing the bills on to our children.

My fellow Americans, the "war" was going to be funded no matter what --  I voted FOR the fiscally responsible course, the deficit-spending Republicans voted to pay for this war out of your pockets, with the school lunches and after-school programs for your kids, and by increasing your state and local taxes!"


Anything else is just playing word games and letting the republicans have a free ride

[Tip o'the hat and thanks to Dave Johnson for inviting me to guest blog here at STF. More on me at my own blog The Zeitgeist]


 



Meanwhile...

Another story that isn't in the news.

Four US soldiers killed in Iraq in 24 hours.


 



How to Con the Public

I haven't gone out to get the NY Times yet this morning, but this one I want to read for myself. It's to Mayor Bloomberg's credit that he pointed out in his news conference on Sunday that he didn't know how old the information was on which the latest terrorist alert is based. Maybe he really didn't know yet, but now he does. The fact that we have this information does seem to be new. The fact that the information itself is three and four years old and predates the attack on the WTC is what we should have been told and, of course, weren't told. I've probably been as angry as I am this morning, but not often.

Yeah, it's shocking to learn how complete the information gathered by the terrorists really was, but the odds are very high that the information was important to the terrorists while making the choice of targets for 9/11 2001 and we don't really need to have traffic jams that are 4 and 5 miles long or police in battle gear carrying assult rifles at this moment. Yeah, it's not a bad idea to generally increase security for financially important buildings, and not just the ones mentioned in the information on that captured hard disk in Pakistan. And yeah, now that a little bit more of the truth is coming out, it couldn't be more obvious that the administration is cynically issuing terrorist alerts whenever this gives them some political advantage.

Sadly, even the "security precautions" are being applied cynically. Those who live behind the Citicorp headquarters are trying to point out that there's now plenty of security in front of the building, barricades, police presence, etc. along Lexington Ave. which is well traveled, and NOTHING, no extra security, behind the building, which is equally vulnerable. So -- that's pure theater. On the other hand, the Mayor is taking advantage of the situation to provide extra security for areas that really need it regardless, like Grand Central Station.

Nobody's considering the psychological cost of fake terrorist alerts on the citizens of NYC. How about the effect on the schoolchildren who live near the WTC site and were so badly affected on 9/11? What do their parents tell them now? Not to mention the adults still suffering from PTSD. Or the workers trudging bravely off to work in the supposedly threatened buildings. How sweet of Laura Bush and her twins to show up for coffee with them! As though this were somehow a brave and noble sacrifice? I wonder if she brought cookies?



 



How to Con the Public

I haven't gone out to get the NY Times yet this morning, but this one I want to read for myself. It's to Mayor Bloomberg's credit that he pointed out in his news conference on Sunday that he didn't know how old the information was on which the latest terrorist alert is based. Maybe he really didn't know yet, but now he does. The fact that we have this information does seem to be new. The fact that the information itself is three and four years old and predates the attack on the WTC is what we should have been told and, of course, weren't told. I've probably been as angry as I am this morning, but not often.

Yeah, it's shocking to learn how complete the information gathered by the terrorists really was, but the odds are very high that the information was important to the terrorists while making the choice of targets for 9/11 2001 and we don't really need to have traffic jams that are 4 and 5 miles long or police in battle gear carrying assult rifles at this moment. Yeah, it's not a bad idea to generally increase security for financially important buildings, and not just the ones mentioned in the information on that captured hard disk in Pakistan. And yeah, now that a little bit more of the truth is coming out, it couldn't be more obvious that the administration is cynically issuing terrorist alerts whenever this gives them some political advantage.

Sadly, even the "security precautions" are being applied cynically. Those who live behind the Citicorp headquarters are trying to point out that there's now plenty of security in front of the building, barricades, police presence, etc. along Lexington Ave. which is well traveled, and NOTHING, no extra security, behind the building, which is equally vulnerable. So -- that's pure theater. On the other hand, the Mayor is taking advantage of the situation to provide extra security for areas that really need it regardless, like Grand Central Station.

Nobody's considering the psychological cost of fake terrorist alerts on the citizens of NYC. How about the effect on the schoolchildren who live near the WTC site and were so badly affected on 9/11? What do their parents tell them now? Not to mention the adults still suffering from PTSD. Or the workers trudging bravely off to work in the supposedly threatened buildings. How sweet of Laura Bush and her twins to show up for coffee with them! As though this were somehow a brave and noble sacrifice? I wonder if she brought cookies?





8/02/2004
 



Mike Malloy!!!

Mike Malloy on Air America Radio tonite!

You can listen on the internet - just go to their site.


 



Why is it so hard to say this?

"In the end, everyone knew that Kerry was going to vote to authorize funds for the troops, and Bush was going to sign the bill. But there was more than one authorization bill being considered, and Kerry and Bush disagreed as to which one was best. Bush threatened to veto the one he didn't like, and Kerry voted against the one he didn't like. That's the way business is done there.

What was it that they disagreed about? The reconstruction money that's being grafted away right now in Iraq. Kerry wanted to separate that from the money dedicated to supporting the war itself. It sure looks like he was right now, doesn't it?"

113 words would put an end to hundreds of thousands of words of TV pontification and Republican speechifying. But somehow nobody can be found who's able to get those words out there.

This is just the most horrible example of the way that Bush is aiming the campaign only at his most fanatical and ill-informed core supporters. This is probably his major single arguing point against Kerry, and it's really just too silly for words.

Once we have a new President, we should elect a new media too. What a lame bunch of liars.

Daily Howler: Tim Russert knowingly watches the lie run right past him

C.S.Monitor: Iraq reconstruction money being grafted

Left Coaster / NYT: Billions of Iraqi oil dollars unaccounted for






 



Blogosphere Controversey

There is disagreement about whether Robert Novak did or did not turn into a bat and fly away. I was there. I saw it. Byron LeMasters also saw it happen, and his picture is close to proof -- I mean, how could the person in that picture NOT turn into a bat and fly away? I think Bill was there. What is xian's statement? What does Logical Realism say?

Pacific Views: Novak Baiting


 



Terror Warnings

According to the Republicans, the terrorists want the Democrats to win. So I've been wondering, how come the terrorists always, always stir up trouble and cause terror warnings at the worst possible times, politically, for the Democrats?

Update - What he said.




8/01/2004
 



test

test post


 



Zell Said

I just got this in an e-mail form the Kerry campaign:
Did He Really Say That???

This morning on “Meet the Press” Senator Zell Miller, a man known for speaking his mind, offered an outrageous views of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission and criticized his fellow backers of President Bush for their moderate views. Are these some things we can expect to hear from “Zig Zag Zell” during his speech to the Republican National Convention???

Zell Miller Said 9/11 Commission Report Helped Our Enemy???
MR. RUSSERT: “Let me turn to the September 11 Commission. President Bush is expected to implement many of the recommendations the commission has put forward. Back in March, you had this observation:

“I've come to seriously question this panel's usefulness. I believe it will ultimately play a role in doing great harm to this country, for its unintended consequences, I fear, will be to energize our enemies and demoralize our troops.”— Zell Miller

MR. RUSSERT: “Do you still believe that?”

SEN. MILLER: “There's no doubt that it energized our enemy at the time that it was first set up, and there's no doubt that there was a lot of politics involved.” [NBC, Meet the Press, 8/1/04]
Zell Miller Disagreed With Moderate Message of McCain, Giuliani, and Schwarzenegger???
MR. RUSSERT: “The other prime-time speakers--Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain--are all pro-gay rights, and Schwarzenegger and Rudy Giuliani are pro-abortion rights and pro-anti-gun rights. Should they be speaking to a Republican convention, and are they out of sync with your thinking?”

SEN. MILLER: “Well, of course, I disagree with them on all those issues” [NBC, Meet the Press, 8/1/04]
Zell Miller Said John McCain Doesn’t Share American-Family Values???
SEN. MILLER: “And how can a person say that they are for American values and for the American family whenever they vote or not vote but oppose an amendment to the Constitution that would define marriage as a union between man and woman?” [NBC, Meet the Press, 8/1/04]
Republicans Who Zell Miller Believes Don’t Share “American Values” for the “American Family”:
John McCain (R-AZ); Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO); Susan Collins (R-ME)

John Sununu (R-NH); Olympia Snowe (R-ME); John Chafee (R-RI) [Senate Roll Call Vote #155, 7/14/04]
…And When Questioned About His Defense/Intel Record Compared to Kerry’s Zell Says…
MR. RUSSERT: “But on defense and intelligence authorization bills, you have the same voting record as John Kerry.”

SEN. MILLER: “…(long awkward pause)…I didn't try to cut--now ultimately he came along and voted for some” [NBC, Meet the Press, 8/1/04]





Copyright © 2002-05.





SUBSCRIBE

Blogger's RSS feed

Subscribe with Bloglines



Please help Seeing the Forest meet expenses. You can contribute using Paypal or Amazon by clicking either of the following buttons. Thanks!
I took out the Amazon "donate button" because they are a red company, helping fund the right.

Archives

7/14/02 - 7/21/02 7/21/02 - 7/28/02 7/28/02 - 8/4/02 8/4/02 - 8/11/02 8/11/02 - 8/18/02 8/18/02 - 8/25/02 8/25/02 - 9/1/02 9/1/02 - 9/8/02 9/8/02 - 9/15/02 9/15/02 - 9/22/02 9/22/02 - 9/29/02 9/29/02 - 10/6/02 10/6/02 - 10/13/02 10/13/02 - 10/20/02 10/20/02 - 10/27/02 10/27/02 - 11/3/02 11/3/02 - 11/10/02 11/10/02 - 11/17/02 11/17/02 - 11/24/02 11/24/02 - 12/1/02 12/1/02 - 12/8/02 12/8/02 - 12/15/02 12/15/02 - 12/22/02 12/22/02 - 12/29/02 12/29/02 - 1/5/03 1/5/03 - 1/12/03 1/12/03 - 1/19/03 1/19/03 - 1/26/03 1/26/03 - 2/2/03 2/2/03 - 2/9/03 2/9/03 - 2/16/03 2/16/03 - 2/23/03 2/23/03 - 3/2/03 3/2/03 - 3/9/03 3/9/03 - 3/16/03 3/16/03 - 3/23/03 3/23/03 - 3/30/03 3/30/03 - 4/6/03 4/6/03 - 4/13/03 4/13/03 - 4/20/03 4/20/03 - 4/27/03 4/27/03 - 5/4/03 5/4/03 - 5/11/03 5/11/03 - 5/18/03 5/18/03 - 5/25/03 5/25/03 - 6/1/03 6/1/03 - 6/8/03 6/8/03 - 6/15/03 6/15/03 - 6/22/03 6/22/03 - 6/29/03 6/29/03 - 7/6/03 7/6/03 - 7/13/03 7/13/03 - 7/20/03 7/20/03 - 7/27/03 7/27/03 - 8/3/03 8/3/03 - 8/10/03 8/10/03 - 8/17/03 8/17/03 - 8/24/03 8/24/03 - 8/31/03 8/31/03 - 9/7/03 9/7/03 - 9/14/03 9/14/03 - 9/21/03 9/21/03 - 9/28/03 9/28/03 - 10/5/03 10/5/03 - 10/12/03 10/12/03 - 10/19/03 10/19/03 - 10/26/03 10/26/03 - 11/2/03 11/2/03 - 11/9/03 11/9/03 - 11/16/03 11/16/03 - 11/23/03 11/23/03 - 11/30/03 11/30/03 - 12/7/03 12/7/03 - 12/14/03 12/14/03 - 12/21/03 12/21/03 - 12/28/03 12/28/03 - 1/4/04 1/4/04 - 1/11/04 1/11/04 - 1/18/04 1/18/04 - 1/25/04 1/25/04 - 2/1/04 2/1/04 - 2/8/04 2/8/04 - 2/15/04 2/15/04 - 2/22/04 2/22/04 - 2/29/04 2/29/04 - 3/7/04 3/7/04 - 3/14/04 3/14/04 - 3/21/04 3/21/04 - 3/28/04 3/28/04 - 4/4/04 4/4/04 - 4/11/04 4/11/04 - 4/18/04 4/18/04 - 4/25/04 4/25/04 - 5/2/04 5/2/04 - 5/9/04 5/9/04 - 5/16/04 5/16/04 - 5/23/04 5/23/04 - 5/30/04 5/30/04 - 6/6/04 6/6/04 - 6/13/04 6/13/04 - 6/20/04 6/20/04 - 6/27/04 6/27/04 - 7/4/04 7/4/04 - 7/11/04 7/11/04 - 7/18/04 7/18/04 - 7/25/04 7/25/04 - 8/1/04 8/1/04 - 8/8/04 8/8/04 - 8/15/04 8/15/04 - 8/22/04 8/22/04 - 8/29/04 8/29/04 - 9/5/04 9/5/04 - 9/12/04 9/12/04 - 9/19/04 9/19/04 - 9/26/04 9/26/04 - 10/3/04 10/3/04 - 10/10/04 10/10/04 - 10/17/04 10/17/04 - 10/24/04 10/24/04 - 10/31/04 10/31/04 - 11/7/04 11/7/04 - 11/14/04 11/14/04 - 11/21/04 11/21/04 - 11/28/04 11/28/04 - 12/5/04 12/5/04 - 12/12/04 12/12/04 - 12/19/04 12/19/04 - 12/26/04 12/26/04 - 1/2/05 1/2/05 - 1/9/05 1/9/05 - 1/16/05 1/16/05 - 1/23/05 1/23/05 - 1/30/05 1/30/05 - 2/6/05 2/6/05 - 2/13/05 2/13/05 - 2/20/05 2/20/05 - 2/27/05 2/27/05 - 3/6/05 3/6/05 - 3/13/05 3/13/05 - 3/20/05 3/20/05 - 3/27/05 3/27/05 - 4/3/05 4/1/12 - 4/8/12

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?