MyDD :: Losing the Election One GOP Frame at a Time:
"The term 'War on Terror' is a GOP frame invented by Bush's communications team in the rhetorical aftermath of 9/11. People who buy into that frame overwhelmingly support Bush."

"Working the Ref"

In sports, "working the ref" means blasting every decision the referee makes that goes against your side, with the hope that it will cause the ref to think he/she needs to "look impartial" and therefore give you a break you don't deserve.

The Republican "liberal media" propaganda blitz is a similar strategy. By blasting everything the mainstream does as "liberal" the hope is twofold: First, that the public will not believe reports that are unfavorable to the Right, and second that the media, because they do not want to look "liberal," will "self-censor" and give the right an undeserved break.

Well, this tactic is paying off in spades. CBS has decided not to tell the public some things it has uncovered about the Bush drive to war: The Fallout: '60 Minutes' Delays Report Questioning Reasons for Iraq War
According to the Newsweek report, the "60 Minutes" segment was to have detailed how the administration relied on false documents when it said Iraq had tried to buy a lightly processed form of uranium, known as yellowcake, from Niger. The administration later acknowledged that the information was incorrect and that the documents were most likely fake.


They Don't?

The Gweilo Diaries: Say it ain't so.

Not that I would ever have any reason to try them.

Thank you Harpers!

Naomi Klein's "Year Zero" article is online.

Milion Old-Man March

Read about it at skippy the bush kangaroo.

Working America

You've all joined Working America, right?

Bloggered Again

Bloggered again. Can you even see this?

Google has put a new verb in the dictionary: to Blogger.



Coffee and Wireless

I'm posting this while parked outside of a Starbucks, that is near a Pete's. I'm drinking a Peet's and using Starbuck's wireless. Starbucks has wireless, but Peet's has real coffee.

(Spelling fixed)

The Good Germans

For months now Brad DeLong has been asking for the adult Republicans to stand up and be counted. Every once in a while little teasers make you think that it might actually happen. For example, just recently four Republican Senators stiffly criticized Bush's Iraq policy. A Wall Street Journal columnist described the Bush Administration as "hapless and incompetent." And when you think about it, there really are no reasons why a conservative should vote for Bush: his fiscal policies are the worst ever, his handling of the Iraq War has been a disaster from the beginning -- and there's a lot more.

Nonetheless, all the above are still supporting Bush. With the exception of Lincoln Chaffee, no important Republican has distanced himself from Bush, and not a single one supports Kerry. A number of conservatives and moderates from the military, the State Department, and the intelligence and security services are supporting Kerry or have repudiated Bush, but almost no politicians have, nor have any of the conservatives in the punditocracy.

This is appalling. Apparently the "grownup conservatives" and "moderate Republicans" value their party above their own integrity or the fate of the nation. They might criticize their miserable failure of a President, but they will not oppose him politically. Some even say that the Iraq War "should not be politicized", but that's actually what elections are for: getting the bad leaders out of office. (And of course, the ones who are being "political" here are the Republicans who support Bush even though they understand how wretched his performance has been.)

Why is this happening? My guess is that it's because of fear. Karl Rove is known to be ruthless in punishing anyone who steps out of line, and my guess is that Senator Jeffords has been given good reason to regret going independent. Any Republican who deserts Bush can kiss his career ambitions goodbye.

Rove and Bush have put together a political campaign which is directed entirely at the lowest common denominator. Almost none of the Republican talking points (which are almost entirely attacks on Kerry) can be taken seriously: flip-flop, raising taxes, not supporting the troops, fake Purple Heart, fake Silver Start, elitist windsurfer, ketchup, WMD, al-Qaeda in Iraq, democracy in Iraq, and so on. (And this is to say nothing of the extraordinary viciousness of some of the high-level attacks on the al-Qaeda-loving, Saddam-loving Democrats.)

But it's quite possible that Bush will be able to win on these issues, without any help from the "Republican moderates and intelligent conservatives." In that case, Bush will owe them nothing, and they will be irrelevant forever. We will have a President who owes nothing to anyone who knows anything at all about the world -- and God help anyone who stands in his way.

A lot depends on which way the adult Republicans swing, but they're even more gutless than Democrats. We shouldn't hope for much.

"Support our troops"

Here's a heart-warming story that doesn't warm my heart at all:

"On Monday, it was Oprah Winfrey, who came to congratulate
the soldiers’ wives expecting babies between September and December — all 640 of
them. Each became pregnant after their husband returned from Iraq.

“This is incredible. This is the biggest blessing. It’s
unbelievable,” said Holly Munster, a military spouse."

I happen to know a pregnant Guardswoman who has been told that she will be sent to Iraq two months after the baby is born. The GI Rights hotline tells me that she has virtually no options. The military is hard up for warm bodies, and they're grabbing everyone they can find and taking a very hard line on all petitions for exemption.

She finished her two years of active service three or four years ago, but still has two or three years of obligation in the "Individual Ready Reserve". GI's are led to believe that the IRR is never called up except in case of national emergency, but Rumsfeld's lean and mean new model Army, combined with the Bush administration's disastrous mishandling of the Iraq War, means that the National Guard and the reserves are being drawn on the way they never have been before. (Ex-Guardsman Bush likes to hide behind this fact: unlike today, however, the Vietnam era Guard really was a way of staying out of combat).

"Support our troops" is an age-old lie. Being lied to, ordered around, and sent to die or to be mutilated is what troops are for. They support us, and the best way for us to support them is to bring them back home. Unless something changes, the young Guardswoman I know is going to have her life made a living hell.

Why Did Bush Stop Flying?

"'He just couldn't cut it,' says Linke. 'I was let to believe he was kind of a coward.' ":

Kerry Staff Read This

The Candidates, Seen From the Classroom, on the communications skill of the candidates.

WBLOG Radio - The Lost Episode

Waaayyy back during the Republican convention I did a radio show with the DCCC. Well, they finally got it posted: The Stakeholder :: WBLOG Radio - The Lost Episode


Kiss Your New Job Goodbye got me thinking. Maybe an economist can answer this question:

When we read about the number of jobs being "outsourced" does this count only existing jobs lost and sent out of the country? Or does it also count the number of new jobs that would have been created here but are not?

Back in 2003, Closing In on Bush and Harken...

For a post below I dug up a post from April, 2003. It got me thinking. The press was closing in on the corporate corruption of Bush and Cheney, and their involvement with Harken Oil and Haliburton corruption. But then there was a war, and a series of major terrorist alerts and the story was dropped. Let's see if we can revive the story.

Here is the entire post: (Yes, some links have disappeared, but there's more than enough info still there.)
OK, That's Over, So Where Were We?
A while back the press was closing in on a number of issues of corruption involving both the President and Vice President and it started looking like Bush and Cheney were in some real legal trouble. But suddenly there were a lot of great big terror alerts, everyone look over there, everyone get scared, there's a big scary dragon, glorious leader will slay the dragon that is making you all scared, run around, run around, kill Iraq, frenzy, frenzy, kill Hitler, war, war, glorious leader HOORAY, HOORAY -- whatever.

So tonite Bush is going to tell us that He has led us to Glorious Victory and the "threat to the United States from Baghdad has ended." OK. Well that's out of the way, then.

So where were we? Oh yeah, Bush and Cheney and Harken and Haliburton and conflicts of interest and SEC investigations and insider trading and tax evasion and corporate corruption, and a whole bunch of other things were starting to hit the news.

Take a look at BuzzFlash's Bush Harken insider trading collection.

Remember the stories about Harvard bailing out Bush at Harken? There's more here from The Nation.

What about Cheney's business dealings and the SEC investigation of his dealings at Haliburton?

Remember hearing about Bush and Harken setting up offshore subsidiaries to dodge paying their taxes?

I remember I had several questions.

Does it all just go away? Is that how the American system of justice works now? Or is it time to start looking at this again, pick up where we left off?
And here is one from August, 2002:
Ongoing Questions - Keeping Them In Your Face
Why won't Bush release those SEC files that he says clear up all the questions about his Harken transactions? And what about the minutes of the Harken Board meetings, so we can find out if Bush approved of the Aloha Petroleum scam?

Did Bush pay taxes on that Harken loan money?

Did Bush pay taxes when he sold the Texas Rangers?

Why isn't there an INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION of Harken and Haliburton?

Why isn't there an INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION of what we knew, and where we failed, regarding 9/11? (See Bartcop today, "Partners in Crime")

Why aren't there any jobs programs for people whose unemployment benefits are running out?

Who is our economy for?

What Bush Says Now - What Bush Did Then. (I know, it's not a question, but it does start with the word "what.")
Did these questions get ANSWERED? Or did we all just get DIVERTED?

So what say we start looking into these again?

Cursor fund drive

As far as I'm concerned, Cursor is the best one-stop political news source on the net, especially with their new
election news feature. Their fund drive is still going. These guys are working for peanuts (I know-- I applied for a job there) but someone's gotta send them the peanuts.

Not Enough Troops

Panel Calls U.S. Troop Size Insufficient for Demands:
"A Pentagon-appointed panel of outside experts has concluded in a new study that the American military does not have sufficient forces to sustain current and anticipated stability operations, like the festering conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and other missions that might arise."
This is how Bush has "protected" the country. Not enough troops.

If you are draft age, see if you can guess what this means.
Mr. Reed added that the study raises troubling questions in the event that the American presence in Iraq drags on and new emergencies arise. "Iran and North Korea are provocative," he said. "They very well might cause us to take military action; one hopes not. And then, as you often say, there's also the surprises that we don't even contemplate at this moment."
Just one burp, anywhere in the world, in fact, and you will be wearing a uniform, wondering at the course your life is taking.
An article published Thursday by Inside the Pentagon, a military affairs newsletter, quoted the study as concluding that "current and projected force structure will not sustain our current and projected global stabilization commitments."
Let's see if we can break down those big words: "Current and projected force structure" -- how many troops we HAVE, and how many we NEED -- "will not sustain our current" -- not enough NOW -- "and projected global stabilization commitments" -- not enough at all for the future.

Translation -- you're gonna get drafted.


George W. Bush's "fear of flying": an Erica Jong President?

The sourcing here is a bit uncertain, but this is a great rumor, and it may be true. Let it all come out in the wash.

"Contrary to some news reports that suggest Killian admired Bush, Linke says the officer didn't have much use for the young Lieutenant. He mentioned that Bush appeared to have a drinking problem, she recalls, but he was most offended by another incapacity: his fear of flying. According to Linke, Killian said Bush was grounded in his fourth year of flying after he became incapable of flying or properly landing a plane."


Via Glenn Smith of Texans For Truth at BOP

PS. Dave already posted this, but I thought the Erica Jong reference was worth keeping.

UPDATE: Maybe he was afraid to fly because he was no good at it.

Who Went Instead Of Bush?

When Bush found out that Harken Oil was going to announce they lost money, he raced to sell his stock before the news reached the public, which would make the price go down. (This is what Martha Stewart is going to jail for.) But no one asks about the person who BOUGHT the stock and suffered the loss in his place.

Similarly, there is another side of the Bush National Guard story. That is the story of the people who who had to take Bush's place. SOMEONE took his place in Vietnam. SOMEONE took his pace in the Guard when Bush stopped showing up. (SOMEONE took command of the government while the nation was under attack and Bush sat stupified and immobilized in a classroom reading My Pet Goat.)

When "protected" people like Bush screw up or screw us, SOMEONE takes the fall, takes the rap, takes the loss, or does the job.

Read about another example of this over at The Blogging of the President:
"This evening, reporters are calling. Janet Linke, an art teacher, said her husband was recruited to fill the slot abandoned by Bush. Jerry Killian, Bush's superior officer, told her Bush had grown afraid to fly.

There is a growing list of Americans who have stepped forward to give their personal testimony about the man who ducked Vietnam and abandoned his commitment to the military, a man all too willing to send others to fight and die in battle."
He SAYS he is the great wartime leader, fearless, resolute, staying the course... But who is the REAL man, the one we would find if only we could see past the fog of lies and cover stories that props Bush up?

Update - Bush Harken Oil insider trading info here. (Notice from this April, 2003 post how the press was closing in on this story and was redirected by a major terror alert.)


So Bush says he is "protecting the country?" That he is a "war president?" That the country faces its threat ever?

Well, forces are stretched thin in Iraq, no? Wouldn't a President who was intent on protecting the country be taking steps to do something about our military force levels?

Or is he saying one thing, but doing another?

Where's Kelley?

I'm watching John O'Neil of the Swift Boat Liars on Hardball right now. I just realized I've seen him on several shows this week. He just said that Kerry supported the Communists in Vietnam.

So where is Kitty Kelley? She has an explosive new book out, much better documented than anything from the Swift Boat Liars! It says that Bush was using cocaine while his father was president. BUT I AM NOT SEEING HERE ANYWHERE!

So why don't we see THIS author anywhere?

Draft Making a Comeback?

John Lichman -- Is a draft making a comeback?:
"However you choose to look at it, realize that the plan itself isn't imaginary, nor are congressional bills H.R. 163 or S.89 which state the plan."
Watch your backs!


BAGnewsNotes has placed a BlogAd, and here's what he says about his site:
"The blog has three purposes:

1.) To deliver opinion in a unique format, combining political, sociological and psychological commentary with iconic illustrations and ironic humor.

2.) To create a place to visit for liberal news and opinion particularly when visual content is involved (including, but not limited to: charts, graphs, maps, flash, video clips, political illustrations and political graphics).

3.) To provide a platform for my highly regarded BAGnews cartoon, which has been featured on such well regarded political websites as Znet, Bartcop, CommercialAlert.org, Adbusters and New York Surveillance Camera Players."
So go visit.

Here It Comes

U.S. Economic Gauge Signals Weakness:
"A key gauge of future economic activity weakened for a third straight month in August as costlier oil spread worry among consumers and businesses, a report from a business research group showed on Thursday . "
It should hit hard just after the election.

let's see, massive trade deficits, massive budget deficits, housing price bubble, dollar overpriced, interest rates held unnaturally low... LOTS of rubber bands ready to snap back just after the election... Watch your backs!

The ReBirchican Party

Mary at Left Coaster notices that the 2004 Republican party agenda closely matches the 1950's John Birch Society agenda.

Draft News Daily

Bush, talking about the draft, "What we need to do is - don't worry about it." (See #1)


From March, Agency initiates steps for selective draft, "The government is taking the first steps toward a targeted military draft of Americans with special skills in computers and foreign languages."

Military Draft: A Sleeping Giant Stirs


April, Nader tells youths to brace for draft

May, U.S. Preparing For Military Draft in Spring of 2005 -- Legislation in the works: Selective Service System already mobilizing

Also May, Old Enough to Vote? Old Enough to Die.

What happens during a Draft?

TalkLeft: The Draft is Not a Republican vs. Democrat Issue:
Despite his statements to the contrary, Bush may reinstate the draft. This is supported not only by his "stop-loss" orders extending soldiers' duties in Iraq and the acknowledgement that there is a shortage of soldiers for a prolonged war, which seems to be what we're in for with Bush at the helm, but also by actions of the Selective Service System,(more here), whose directors and members serve under the direction of his Administration.
Scroll down for more on the draft. Especially see: You're Gonna Get Drafted

Election Reform

I'm suddenly absolutely, completely burned out on politics. Just as we get close to the finish line I need a break! I have the awful feeling that I'm not the only person suffering from this, either. By the time we finally vote, who gives a damn?

Enough money's being spent on this election to feed and house all the homeless in this country for life. Or to provide a free college education for every child. Or health care for everyone. This is no longer a Democratic process. Nobody who isn't independently rich and/or backed by powerful interests can possibly run for a national office. This is now true even on a local level, at least in states like New York and New Jersey and cities like New York. People spending this kind of money expect it to be a good investment. There's no better basis for corruption. Worse, no matter how much money is spent, the candidates for the party not in office are essentially invisible. Equal time on radio and TV for each party's candidates used to be required by law. We've got to restore the fairness doctrine.

Because running for office is now so expensive, and because of the electoral college, only the "swing states" count. The rest of us are not exactly being told that our vote doesn't count, but it couldn't be more clear that we're written off as unimportant, so why should we bother to vote? There's got to be a better way to do this.

We could analyze how we got ourselves into this mess from now until doomsday. Gigantic plot or unexpected results of previous honest attempts at reform? Undoubtedly some of each, and so what? We have to deal with the mess we have now. Reform has to begin on the local level and especially the party level. Congress isn't going to do anything that cuts its own throat.

Once the election is over, regardless, we've got to start thinking about reforming the process. What we've been doing is crazy! No campaign should go on this long, and the sad truth is that the next campaign starts the minute the last one ends. Which means that nobody is taking care of business and the country just drifts.

Harry Speakup

Diebold claims that their latest voting system security features are impervious to human tampering. So, Bev Harris of Black Box Voting trained a chimp to do it. Really.

Bev said that at yesterday's press conference a reporter expressed some scepticism after seeing Baxter (the election stealing chimp) mess with Diebold's votes database. The reporter pointed out that surely chimps would not be granted access to the election computer room. Really.

(Via Bev Harris appearance on today's Morning Sedition with Marc Maron and Mark Riley, a consistently excellent Air America show.)


TalkLeft: Selective Service Proposed Draft Plan Document

TalkLeft: Selective Service Proposed Draft Plan Document:
Here is the official document (pdf) calling for a reinsatement of the draft--for men and women--ages 18-34, not just to those who might qualify for active military duty, but for those with skills the Government finds helpful in war--linguists, medical workers, etc. Just about everyone.

Note this has nothing to do with bills to reinstate the draft by Democrats like Charlie Rangel that made headlines two years ago. This is the Bush Administration at work--its representatives on the Selective Service System (SSS).
Maybe we should change the tagline of Seeing the Forest to DRAFT NEWS DAILY for a while.

Congressional Evaluation Project

lightning writes: "Kit, of Kit's Concatenation has just put up her "Congressional Evaluation Project". If you want to know what your (or anybody else's) Congresscritter or Senator has been doing for the last few years, check it out."

Bush Music

A great piece of music at skippy the bush kangaroo

Send An E-Mail

That little picture of an envelope that follows each post allows you to send an e-mail about that post. I suggest trying it out with this post: You're Gonna Get Drafted!

Draft Alert!

Here. (Be sure to scroll down to the cartoon.)

Elect Us A Congress

Please go read what Joe Trippi has to say about how we can elect us a Congress!

Private Retirement Accounts

I don't get it. Bush says we need "private personal savings accounts" for retirement. What am I missing? Is there something stopping people from setting up a private savings account NOW? I have an IRA, and the government gives me a good tax break when I put money in it. If you work for a corporation you might have a 401K account, and you get to put even more tax-free money in that.

But Bush says that we need to get rid of Social Security and replace it with private accounts. From this story:
"He [Bush] said allowing younger workers to set up personal savings accounts could bring them a better rate of return than the government gets with Social Security trust funds, which hold federal bonds. 'We've got to think differently,' he said."
But we have private accounts NOW. So how is a plan to replace Social Security with private accounts different from just getting rid of Social Security? It seems to be little more than a word game to trick people into giving up Social Security.

And, by the way, has the rule that rate of return = risk somehow CHANGED? Bush says we would get a higher return by taking our retirement money out of bonds and putting it into stocks. But doesn't that also mean that we then have our money at a higher risk?

Draft? Bush's War Needs Troops

The Charleston Gazette - Draft? Bush's War Needs Troops:
"ALARM is spreading that President Bush may seek a military draft, or mobilize more of the National Guard and Army Reserve, to obtain enough combat troops to wage his bogged-down Iraq war.

Two bills pending in Congress would launch a new draft for all young Americans ages 18 to 26, both male and female, with no college exemption. Also, a new border agreement with Canada is designed to prevent young Americans from fleeing northward to elude the draft."
They're gonna grab your asses off the street, put a rifle in your hands, and send you off to a place that is 120 degrees in the shade and the people hate you. Better get registered and vote.

(Thanks to TruthOut.)

Today's Google Experiment: "Kerry Lied" and "My Lai"

In today's Google experiment, let's see how many websites say "kerry lied". The answer is "about 41,200." (Yes, that search is for the phrase, not the words individually.) The first site found, "KerryLied.com" says, "John Kerry told the world we were war criminals who raped, tortured and murdered in Vietnam. Now, thirty-three years later, we told America the truth." Scrolling through what is found, most right-wing sites claim that Kerry accused the US of committing atrocities in Vietnam, which they say was a lie.

Well, the first lie is that Kerry accused the US of committing atrocities. This is not what he said. And the second lie is that American forces did not commit atrocities.

STF BONUS - Second Google Experiment in the same post! Let's see what happens if we search for "My Lai"? GOSH! There are "about 72,000" websites that say there WERE atrocities committed by US forces!

Note - Some of the websites say Kerry lied about being in Cambodia - they say that the US was never in Cambodia... Well, Kerry made a mistake about when he was in Cambodia. It turns out he was there in January, not "Christmas."

As for the claim that the US military was not in Cambodia, from a U.S. State Department report: "In April 1970, U.S. and South Vietnamese forces entered Cambodia in a campaign aimed at destroying NVA/VC base areas."

Whoa! Draft Coming Even Sooner

Press Reports on U.S. Casualties: About 17,000 Short, UPI Says,
Nearly 17,000 service members medically evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan are absent from public Pentagon casualty reports commonly cited by newspapers, according to military data reviewed by United Press International. Most don't fit the definition of casualties, according to the Pentagon, but a veterans' advocate said they should all be counted.

The Pentagon has reported 1,019 dead and 7,245 wounded from Iraq.

The military has evacuated 16,765 individual service members from Iraq and Afghanistan for injuries and ailments not directly related to combat, according to the U.S. Transportation Command, which is responsible for the medical evacuations. Most are from Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Whoa! Looks like they're gonna need a draft even sooner than previously expected!

And it's HOT there. IF YOU ARE DRAFT AGE YOU'D BETTER GET REGISTERED SO YOU CAN VOTE!!! (When you look at this report, remember the time difference and look a tomorrow's forecast. Loooks like they're in a cool spell.)

Good Today

Altercation is good today. Funny, smart. Especially read the think that starts "Eric R. has more on this liberal conundrum thing:"

Kerry: Draft Likely to Return Under Bush

Young people, pay attention now - if you don't want a drill sergeant shouting "Attention!" AT you.

Kerry: Draft Likely to Return Under Bush:
"Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, citing the war in Iraq and other trouble spots in the world, raised the possibility Wednesday that a military draft could be reinstated if voters re-elect President Bush. "

War President = Draft President

Bush is campaigning as the "War President."

If we remind young people that THE DRAFT usually accompanies A WAR, then every time Bush repeats that he is the "War President" what they will hear is that he is the "GONNA DRAFT THEIR ASSES President."


How Ideas Circulate

This just came in, one message in a digest from a list server. Compare it to the original from 5 days ago:

Subject: YOU ARE GONNA BE DRAFTED c flyer for college campuses

I loaded this 1/2 page Microsoft Word document YOU'RE GONNA BE DRAFTED Flyer
into the file section of this yahoo group so that you can share it with your
PEOPLE TO REGISTER TO VOTE! I have been passing it out to college students,
please pass it out where you live. It really does get their attention, and their
help. If you make lots of copies, then cut them in half you WILL find
volunteers who WILL help you pass this out which will result in more college students
registering and voting. I carry my Fire Bush sign with me when passing them

You're Gonna Get Drafted The Draft - A Reason to Vote if You´re
Under 30
If you didn't vote in 2000, or voted for Nader or Bush you blew it, and now
you're gonna get drafted. There's no way around it now, the draft is almost a
certainty, they´ve been hiring the staff & Congress has written the legislation
to re-start the draft! You're hearing about the Reserve & National Guard
units being called up, & about soldiers not allowed to leave the military even
though their term is up, & about the back door draft? Have you thought about what
this means to you? You KNOW this means they're having trouble finding enough
soldiers to go to Iraq, right? Of course! Bush doesn´t want to start the draft
BEFORE the election. Duh! But what do you think will happen the day after the
election? I repeat, they are having trouble finding enough soldiers to go to
Iraq so guess what; Young People ARE Going TO Get Drafted to Go To WAR! Ah,
maybe you think they can't do that? Maybe you think the draft won´t happen to
you? Maybe you think they can't just grab your ass up off the street, stick a
rifle in your hands & send you off to war? Don´t deceive yourself and think
Bush cares about YOU when he has NOT attended ONE funeral of any of our 1017+
dead Americans from the war! NOT ONE! Assault rifles are back on the streets &
You are gonna be drafted just as fast! WAR. The word you have been hearing from
Bush´s lips for months now. "I'm a WAR president", he says. Well, what did you
think war MEANS? Who´s gonna replace the downsizing of Britain´s troops in
Iraq and our 7000+ wounded and 1017+ dead?? YOU! WAR means young people getting
drafted from off the street, out of school and sent off to fight. That. Is.
PARTICIPATE. No exemptions this time! If you don´t vote, you are supporting Bush:
pre-emptive warS, deficit spending, & his divisive policies and rhetoric on the
basis of religion, political party, race, choice and sexual preference. Bush
says our preemptive war with Iraq was not a mistake so don´t you think we are
more likely to go to (MORE) war with North Korea which has WMD? Which
candidate do you want as YOUR Commander and Chief after you are drafted?? YOU HAD
BETTER VOTE! Bush says, "we're at WAR, and that's the issue in this election".
WAR! So call your friends and family, and make sure they are registered by Oct
PASS OUT FLYERS, MAKE A DIF-FERENCE & VOTE 4 KERRY! You can make a difference
because YOU COUNT when YOU VOTE!!!

New Post at American Street

I have a new post over at American Street, on how the Right communicates the message that "Democrats hate relitgion."

Fun Stuff

Just for fun. (Found while researching a coming piece for American Street)

60 Hard Truths about "Liberals",

60 Hard Truths about gun hating Liberals.

25 More Hard Truths About Liberals

Do The Democrats Really Hate America?

Why Liberals Hate America

Why "Liberals" are so despicable

Liberals hate fellow Americans more than Islamists

Update - Link in "60 Hard Truths" is fixed.

Every Single One of Us

Every single one of us should read this post on press bias over at Eschaton, including the linked articles. CBS screwed up. But look at what the press has been doing for DECADES.


From most accounts, Bush appears to have received
preferential treatment to get into the Air National Guard and avoid the draft
after he graduated from Yale University in 1968. He was initially regarded as a
good pilot, but his performance faded over his final two years in the Guard and
he was suspended from flight status. He did not fly for the remaining 18 months
he served in the Guard, though he was obligated to do so.
And for
significant chunks of time, Bush did not report for duty at all. His superiors
took no action, and he was honorably discharged in 1973, six months before he
should have been.
In a 2002 interview with USA Today, Dean Roome, a former
fighter pilot who lived with Bush in the early 1970s, said Bush was a model
officer during the first part of his career. But overall, he said, Bush’s Air
Guard career was erratic — the first three years solid, the last two troubled.
“You wonder if you know who George Bush is,” Roome said. “I think he
digressed after a while. In the first half, he was gung-ho. Where George failed
was to fulfill his obligation as a pilot. It was an irrational time in his



Kerry and Iraq

The Washington Monthly has some good words about Kerry vs. Bush on Iraq:
"Pundits have been kvetching for months now that Kerry hasn't produced a gift-wrapped miracle that definitively solves all our problems in Iraq. But that's just not in the cards anymore. Iraq is such a mess that there's nothing left except choosing the least worst of a bunch of bad choices.

In any case, Kerry has now said what he'd do in Iraq, and while it might not be a slam dunk, it's surely better than George Bush's apparent plan to keep doing what he's been doing all along ('stay the course'). What Bush has been doing all along is exactly what got us where we are today, and practically anything would be better than that."
Someone else, I don't remember who, said asking what Kerry is going to do about Iraq is like when you have two kids, and one of them has knocked over your vase and it's in 1000 pieces on the floor, and you turn to the other one and say, "What's your plan for fixing the vase?"

Is it hopeless, folks?

Awhile back Kevin Drum accused me and my kind of being hacks because I said we should treat the recennt accusations of memo forgery as political moves, rather than enlisting ourselves in a careful investigation of the claims.

Just recently Kevin has said that he wished that the left-liberal Robert Scheer weren't writing for the LA Times. Today he gave a reason why. Basically, he wants Scheer to shade his message for political effect.

Here's what Scheer wrote:

"If they were true to their principles, moderate Republicans and consistent
conservatives would be supporting John Kerry.

Instead, their acquiescence to the reckless whims of George W. Bush marks a descent into that political abyss of opportunism where
partisanship is everything and principle nothing.

How else to explain their cynical support for this shallow
adventurer, a phony lightweight who has bled the Treasury dry while
incompetently squandering the lives of young Americans in a needless imperial

And here's what Kevin wrote about Scheer:
[H]e needs to be confined to writing flyers for anti-globo rallies and polemics for CounterPunch. In the meantime, I don't feel like losing any elections because of him.

Isn't this utter bullshit? The idea that Scheer is going to lose an election for us is hysterical paranoia. And second, Kevin is criticizing Scheer for telling the truth. Kevin wants Scheer to be a political hack instead.

Awhile back Brad Delong made a similiar comment about Barbara Ehrenreich:

Most sophisticated left-wing Democrats are aware of the contempt that centrist Democrats feel for us, and we fully expect to be frozen out once Kerry wins. Nonetheless, we're still plugging along, trying to get out the vote for Kerry. Drum apparently thinks of himself as a sharp political tactician, but this kind of thing isn't making our job any easier.


Pictures of the bigger picture.

(Got it from Left Coaster, who got it from Sideshow.)

More Forgery Story (Trees)

From this story (scroll down):
"The hot rumor in New York political circles has Roger Stone, the longtime GOP activist, as the source for Dan Rather's dubious Texas Air National Guard 'memos.'
The irony would be delicious, since Rather became famous confronting President Nixon, in whose service a very young Stone became associated with political 'dirty tricks.'

Reached at his Florida home, Stone had no comment. "
The forgery story is a tree. It is a disctaction. See the forest, the bigger picture. The press was closing in on the big question, and someone shouted "look over there." Let's look back at the big picture now: WHY DID BUSH STOP FLYING?

Do any of you fly, or know any pilots? Ask ANY pilot if they can understand why a young man would stop flying fighter jets if they didn['t absolutely have to. And not only that, why would someone refuse to take a flight physical and stop reporting for Guard drills? MOST of us would face serious consequences for such behaviour. (Of course, most of us would face serious consequences for selling shares of a company when we knew they are about to report a loss. Or for running up a massive deficit. Or for launching a war against a country that did us no harm and was no threat to us, when we were already in the middle of another war.)

Not Allowed to Vote

TalkLeft: America's Disenfranchised: Excluded From Voting asks you to get involved in changing one of the schemes that was initially designed to keep African-Americans from voting.

Lakoff's New Book

Buy George Lakoff's important new book, Don't Think of an Elephant!, through Seeing the Forest by clicking here:

From Amazon's description:
Don’t Think of An Elephant! is the antidote to the last forty years of conservative strategizing and the right wing’s stranglehold on political dialogue in the United States.

Author George Lakoff explains how conservatives think, and how to counter their arguments. He outlines in detail the traditional American values that progressives hold, but are often unable to articulate. Lakoff also breaks down the ways in which conservatives have framed the issues, and provides examples of how progressives can reframe the debate.

Lakoff’s years of research and work with environmental and political leaders have been distilled into this essential guide, which shows progressives how to think in terms of values instead of programs, and why people vote their values and identities, often against their best interests.

Don’t Think of an Elephant! is the definitive handbook for understanding and communicating effectively about key issues in the 2004 election, and beyond.

New Anti-Kerry Smear Out!

I was driving, and Paul Harvey News came on. Paul Harvey is one of the most widely-listened to news sources, FYI.

He said that even though it is illegal for governments to try to influence the elections of other governments, the Kerry campaign has been meeting with a "secret agent" from South Korea. They are trying to organize Korean-Americans to vote for Kerry.

This brings to mind the anti-Asian stuff that was going on during the last election, linking Gore to "Budhist Temples," and donors with Asian names, etc. I guess they have data that shows this influences a certain number of voters.

ALSO during the broadcast harvey said that two Kerry aides have "confired" that they were part of the planning of the CBS forgeries broadcast.

Update - More here.

The universe (which others call the Library)

The Wikipedia is not Borges's library. Not yet. But it's getting there.

Ad Strip

Over on the right, under the Blogads, is a "Google Ad Strip." Why do they keep putting ads for Republican sites in the strip? And what is 'W' ketchup?

What Is Bush Hiding?:

"But what's good for Dan Rather, who is not running for president, ought to be good for George Bush, who is. 'There are a lot of questions and they need to be answered.' Surely that presidential sentiment applies as much to Bush's Guard service as to Rather's journalistic methods. "
Why did Bush refuse to take his flight physical, and stop flying?

I'm a pilot. I can't IMAGINE a young guy having the opportunity to fly jet fighters, and just stop. ESPECIALLY after the government had spent over a million dollars training him, and was ordering him to take that physical and continue flying!

Why. Did. Bush. Stop. Flying?


For a greater understanding of the Bush family animosity toward Dan Rather (amd John Kerry), read Just Cut Out Their Tongues by Thom Hartmann. excerpt:
The Bush family's hostility to Rather first broke the surface of public attention back in 1988, when Vice President George H.W. Bush was confronted on network television about his various roles in the criminal affair now known as Iran/Contra. At the time, rumors were flying that in the fall of 1980 then-VP-candidate Bush had negotiated with Iran to hold the American hostages until after the election. The hostages were not only held throughout the election campaign, but were released the very hour Ronald Reagan was sworn into office. The ongoing dragged-out hostage crisis (and Carter's failed attempt at rescue) had knocked the incumbent president down so far in the polls that the long-shot ticket of Reagan/Bush won.

When it later came out, in part because of an investigation started by Senator John Kerry, that after the 1980 election Reagan/Bush were illegally selling American missiles to the Iranians "in exchange for hostages" at a time there were no hostages (the Iranian hostages had been freed, and the Lebanese hostages not yet taken), speculation intensified. The key to busting the whole deal open and indicting George H.W. Bush, some congressional investigators believed, would be Bill Casey. As the manager of the 1980 Reagan/Bush campaign, he would have known of the deal, and persistent allegations floated around Washington that he'd even helped organize the initial negotiations between Bush and Iranian representatives.
The plot thickens. See if this sounds a bit like the "forged memos" controversey:
Others have suggested - although there is no clear evidence one way or the other - that Rove was behind the appearance in the Gore campaign of Bush's debate prep notes. Had Bush "lost" the debates in a big way, the issue could have been deftly shifted to the Gore campaign having had advance copies of his notes.
Remember that? A video of Bush's preparations for debating Gore was mailed to Gore's campaign. Imagine of the aide hadn't immediately called the FBI and turned it in, and Gore smeared Bush in the debates. Do you think maybe the story would be that Gore had a video of Bush's preparations?

Go read the rest.

A National Draft in the Future?

Howard Dean | Hidden Agenda: A National Draft in the Future?:
"A key issue for young Americans and their families to consider as they prepare to cast their votes in the upcoming presidential election is the real likelihood of a military draft being reinstated if President Bush is re-elected. President Bush should tell us now whether he supports a military draft.

Here is the evidence that makes a draft likely:
  • The U.S. Army has acknowledged that they are stretched thin and that finding new recruits is challenging. They recently placed 300 new recruiters in the field. Bonuses for new recruits to the Army have risen by 67 percent to a maximum of $10,000 and $15,000 for hard-to-fill specialties.

  • The extended tours of duty have made service less attractive for both the regular armed forces, and particularly for the National Guard and Reserves. To meet this year's quota for enlistees, the Army has sped up the induction of 'delayed entry' recruits, meaning they are already borrowing from next year's quotas in order to meet this year's numbers.

  • Reservists are now being called away for longer periods. In 2003, President Bush dramatically extended the length of time for the Guard and Reserves deployment in Iraq. Extended tours of up to a year have become common."
The list continues, go read.

The draft is coming. Under 30? Should'a voted. And you had better vote THIS TIME.


Satan Endorses Bush

Video here.

Pentagon blocks site for voters outside U.S.

Pentagon blocks site for voters outside U.S.:
In a decision that could affect Americans abroad who are not yet registered to vote in the Nov. 2 presidential election, the Pentagon has begun restricting international access to the official Web site intended to help overseas absentee voters cast ballots.
The Bush administration is engaged in an all-out effort to keep as many people as they can from voting. THIS example is probably because Americans oversees are seeing and hearing news that is not censored as it is here, and are well aware of the way Bush has isolated us from the international community of nations.

Your Favorite Political Weblogs?

Slashdot wants to know what are Your Favorite Political Weblogs?


SURVEY: How many more troops will it take to pacify Iraq?

40,000? 400,000? 1,000,000?

Answer in comments. Also available as options are: "we can't do it", and "we shouldn't try". Feel free to expand on your thoughts. Also to comment on what differences you see between a Kerry and a Bush administration in terms of future conduct of the war in Iraq, and how you see this playing out in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles.

Kerry Should Call War a Religious Issue

For Many in Missouri, Picking a President Is More a Matter of Values Than Policy:
"'I can't get past the moral issues, I just can't,' said Mr. Woods. 'So I cannot in any way support the Democratic Party,' because of his objections to abortion and homosexuality."
Basic marketing: the Republicans declare they are the party for religious voters, it becomes a "brand," and religious voters feel they have to vote Republican.

Maybe Kerry should try the same game, and declare his issues as religious, too. WAR is certainly an issue that can be cast as a make-or-break religious vote. How about the death penalty? How about lying, cheating, stealing, intimidation, and giving no-bid contracts to your cronies? Should religious voters be approving THAT? But it won't be seen that way by religious voters unless someone SAYS IT that way! It MIGHT just occur to some religious voters that war and killing and lying and cheating and steaing are ALSO religious issues ... but in my own humble opinion I think that putting IN FRONT OF THEIR FACES would help that process along.

It's the Draft, Stupid - Calling All Bloggers

In the 1992 election James Carville hung a sign in the Clinton campaign "war room" that read, "It's the economy, stupid!" He was saying that the issue that was going to win for them in that election was the economy, and everything else was a time-wasting distraction. Perceptions about the economy tend to decide elections because people tend to vote in their blatant self-interest.

In this election I think there is another issue that is a winner: the Draft. I think if young people start to believe they could be drafted they will register and vote because it is in their blatant self-interest. There are enough young non-voters to completely change the dynamics of this election - even in the short time remaining to get them registered.

The news from Iraq is not good. We are not winning, the anti-American insurgency is gaining momentum, and we obviously need a lot more troops there as soon as possible. This is why we are hearing about National Guard and Reserve call-ups, as well as stories about troops being threatened with being sent to Iraq if they do not re-enlist. It appears that Bush is waiting until after the election to do something about this - and this politically-motivated hesitation means that things will be even worse in November than they are now.

It's just reality that our military is stretched too thin in Iraq, and consequently is stretched too thin in the rest of the world. If ANYthing happens in another location, like Korea, we are in trouble. We should have a draft in effect NOW, but Bush will not discuss this before the election for obvious political reasons.

If we can start getting the word out that a draft is coming, it will be self-re-enforcing. Every time Bush calls himself a "war president" it reminds young people that they are of draft-age.

I encourage all bloggers to start writing about the draft. It is coming, and it is necessary, because of the mess that Bush has us in. We need to start explaining this. Older bloggers can write about their own experiences in the Vietnam era. Let's get the word out!

I am not asking bloggers to link to this piece, I am asking you to write about the draft on your blogs, and say that it is coming, that young people had better start paying attention now because they are going to find their lives taking an unexpected turn after the election.

Tactics, Strategy, Messages Might Not Matter

All the tactics, strategies, messages, smears., issues, etc. might not even matter in this election.

Ready or Not (and Maybe Not), Electronic Voting Goes National:
"nearly one-third of the more than 150 million registered voters in the United States will be asked to cast their ballots on machines whose accuracy and security against fraud have yet to be tested on such a grand scale."
You click a box on a screen that says Kerry, but later the machine reports that you voted for Bush. Or, maybe you click a box that says Bush, and the machine reports that you voted for Kerry. And there is NO WAY at all to check. None.

Or maye the machines don't change any votes. There's no way to know that either.

There is no way to trust the results of the coming election for a third of all votes cast. None.

This is a formula for civil strife if there ever was one. Watch your backs.