A "chain letter" from our side of the fence.

[Just got this from my mother. Did a Google search, and confirmed that yes, there is a State Senator named Howard Carroll who serves in the Illinois State Senate as a representative from the Chicago area. I was only able to find one copy of this list (posted on the 15th of October), so I think this is new stuff. Pass it on! -Thomas]

Date Sent: 12 Oct 2004 09:54 AM

Absolutely Infuriating!

Please pass this along.

FW: Military experience

Hi all - As Sen. Carroll requests (see below,) please keep this
info moving...

Pattern here? What does this say?


* Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
* David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72.
* Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.
* Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.
* Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam.
* Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-47; Medal of Honor, WWII.
* John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V, Purple Hearts.
* Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.
* Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star & Bronze Star, Vietnam.
* Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-53.
* Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.
* Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91.
* Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII; Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons.
* Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76; Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Stars, and Soldier's Medal.
* Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart, Silver Star and Legion of Merit.
* Mike Thompson: Staff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.
* Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Governor. Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Star with Combat V.
* Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star.
* Pete Stark: Air Force 1955-57
* Chuck Robb: Vietnam
* Howell Heflin: Silver Star
* George McGovern: Silver Star & DFC during WWII.
* Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments. Entered draft but received #311.
* Jimmy Carter: Seven years in the Navy.
* Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953
* John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCs and Air Medal with 18 Clusters.
* Tom Lantos: Served in Hungarian underground in WWII. Saved by Raoul Wallenberg.

Republicans -- and these are the guys sending people to war:

* Dick Cheney: did not serve. Several deferments, the last by marriage.
* Dennis Hastert: did not serve.
* Tom Delay: did not serve.
* Roy Blunt: did not serve.
* Bill Frist: did not serve.
* Mitch McConnell: did not serve.
* Rick Santorum: did not serve.
* Trent Lott: did not serve.
* John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business.
* Jeb Bush: did not serve.
* Karl Rove: did not serve.
* Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. "Bad knee." The man who attacked Max Cleland's patriotism.
* Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
* Vin Weber: did not serve.
* Richard Perle: did not serve.
* Douglas Feith: did not serve.
* Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
* Richard Shelby: did not serve.
* Jon! Kyl: did not serve.
* Tim Hutchison: did not serve.
* Christopher Cox: did not serve.
* Newt Gingrich: did not serve.
* Don Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as flight instructor.
* George W. Bush: failed to complete his six-year National Guard; got assigned to Alabama so he could campaign for family friend running for U.S. Senate; failed to show up for required medical exam, disappeared from duty.
* Ronald Reagan: due to poor eyesight, served in a non-combat role making movies.
* B-1 Bob Dornan: Consciously enlisted after fighting was over in Korea.
* Phil Gramm: did not serve.
* John McCain: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.
* Dana Rohrabacher: did not serve.
* John M. McHugh: did not serve.
* JC Watts: did not serve.
* Jack Kemp: did not serve. "Knee problem," although continued in NFL for 8 years.
* Dan Quayle: Journalism unit of the Indiana National Guard.
* Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
* George Pataki: did not serve.
* Spencer Abraham: did not serve.
* John Engler: did not serve.
* Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer.
* Arnold Schwarzenegger: AWOL from Austrian army base.

Pundits & Preachers

* Sean Hannity: did not serve.
* Rush Limbaugh: did not serve (4-F with a 'pilonidal cyst.')
* Bill O'Reilly: did not serve.
* Michael Savage: did not serve.
* George Will: did not serve.
* Chris Matthews: did not serve.
* Paul Gigot: did not serve.
* Bill Bennett: did not serve.
* Pat Buchanan: did not serve.
* John Wayne: did not serve.
* Bill Kristol: did not serve.
* Kenneth Starr: did not serve.
* Antonin Scalia: did not serve.
* Clarence Thomas: did not serve.
* Ralph Reed: did not serve.
* Michael Medved: did not serve.
* Charlie Daniels: did not serve.
* Ted Nugent: did not serve. (He only shoots at things that don't shoot back.)

Please keep this information circulating

Sen. Howard W. Carroll


A comment I made in a flu vaccine thread at Digby's:

Pretty funny. Our prevailing system of rationing health care (especially preventive health care) by wealth is temporarily replaced by a much more humane system of rationing by need. And what happens? People get pissed off about it! Fucked up.

Let's wait for the adult Republicans, Santa Claus and the unicorns to save us

From the New York Times (cited here, there, and everywhere):

"Bruce Bartlett, a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and a treasury official for the first President Bush, told me recently that ''if Bush wins, there will be a civil war in the Republican Party starting on Nov. 3.'' The nature of that conflict, as Bartlett sees it? Essentially, the same as the one raging across much of the world: a battle between modernists and fundamentalists, pragmatists and true believers, reason and religion."

What a load of crap. Supposedly, these guys are going to wait until after Bush is elected, and then, when they have no bargaining chips left, are going to talk to Bush about a few things. And Bush, sitting there with the four-year blank check in his pocket, is going to listen to them.

I can tell you what this civil war is really going to look like:

A dozen of the most highly esteemed centrist Republicans will gather together and file into Bush's office -- big-time Senators and high officials from several different Republican administrations. The most eminent among them will begin his statement and put forth his grave concerns. After about two minutes George W. Bush will say something like "I don't need to listen to this crap" and ask the Secret Service to escort the group out of the building. The eminent Republicans will jam the exit as they shuffle away. And Bush will call in a janitor to mop up twelve puddles of piss, and the civil war will be over.

The real adult Republicans, if there are any, will vote for Kerry. If Bush wins, he won't have to listen to anybody, and he won't. Bush's second administration will be revolutionary, transformational, and brutal, and instead of saying that the world changed on 9/11, we'll be saying that the world changed on January 20, 2005.

I suppose it's really my fault. The reason so many Democrats have this pathetic need to find adult Republicans somewhere is that they would do anything rather than buddy up to the likes of me and my friends.

Damn! we must be badasses!

Probably I should be making it easier for those guys to finally turn into partisan Democrats and ditch their imaginary Republican friends, but it's not like they're paying attention or anything. I imagine that the whole bunch of them will figure out what actually happened about two years too late -- the way they did with the Iraq War.

Planting the seeds for the theft of the election by lowering expectations?

Bush Lawyer Anticipates Delay in Tally
sub required

By Jo Becker - Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 16, 2004; Page A07

President Bush's top campaign lawyer said yesterday that the winner of next month's presidential vote may not be known for "days or weeks" after Election Day if the contest is close.

Experts predict that a large number of absentee ballots will be cast, which could take time to count. For the first time nationwide, voters whose names do not appear on the rolls will be allowed to cast "provisional ballots," which will be counted only after a post-Election Day review determines their eligibility.

In addition, some battleground states will count overseas military ballots received after Election Day as long as they are postmarked before Nov. 3. In Florida, for instance, military ballots received through Nov. 12 will be counted.

Tom Josefiak, the Bush-Cheney campaign's general counsel, said he worries that the uncertainty caused by potential delays could undermine confidence in the outcome. "If it's a close election in any one state, it may be days or weeks before we know who actually is the winner," he said. "I hope that doesn't happen.

Josefiak's comments came as most national polls show Bush and Democrat John F. Kerry in a dead heat. Four years ago, a similarly close race between Bush and Vice President Al Gore deadlocked in Florida and produced a 36-day whirlwind of lawsuits as Democrats sought to recount votes and Republicans pushed to stop while Bush was ahead.

Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Jenny Backus denounced Josefiak's comment. "It seems like the Republicans want people to somehow think that the results they see on election night aren't accurate, which is a far cry from where they were in 2000," she said. "Maybe they think they're going to be behind."

No Government, Just Party

This is how Bush uses the people's government. This President's weekly radio address to the nation is now just one more campaign piece. Bush Uses Radio Address to Pan Kerry:
Bush repeated his claim that during the past 20 years, Kerry has voted to raise taxes 98 times, which he has said repeatedly to reinforce his characterization of Kerry as a free-spending liberal.


Prove It!

Worries Persist Over U.S. Electronic Voting:
"'A lot of people, I think, saw it as a solution to the problems we had in 2000 but have now found that it has its own set of problems,' said Sean Greene, research director for Electionline.org, a nonpartisan research group. "
Yeah, here's a set of problems for you: After the election, if they say "Bush won" or "Kerry won," if anyone says "Prove it!" THEY CAN'T! There is absolutely no way to know if the machines recorded the votes correctly. That's a problem, all right.

What Terrorist killed 18,000 Americans last year?

It’s happening again with the Mary Cheney meme: Republican slime is being flung at Kerry with such persistence that I am afraid some of it will stick.

The Republicans understand how to play the media as their own echo chamber. Of course, owning huge chunks of it doesn’t hurt. Andrea Mackris’ sexual harassment suit against Bill O’Reilly really shows how, for these guys, it’s all about one thing: power. Here’s Bill O’Reilly, showing off:

"If you cross Fox News Channel, it's not just me, it's Roger Ailes who will go after you. I'm the street guy out front making loud noises about the issues, but Ailes operates behind the scenes, strategizes and makes things happen so that one day BAM! The person gets what's coming to them but never sees it coming. Look at Al Franken, one day he's going to get a knock on his door and life as he's known it will change forever." (The Smoking Gun)

But despite the zealots and the deep pocket financing on the other side, the Democrats could do vastly better in the rhetoric game. It amazes me how the Democrats don’t aggressively set the values agenda. This is the poetry of politics. It requires lyricism and an instinct for the jugular. This should be our hunting season! Under the ‘family friendly’ fa├žade, Republicans are the party of ‘Americans Treat Americans Like Sh*t’. An aggressive values agenda would point this out, over and over and over and over, until even people who don’t like the Democrats would begin to doubt the Republicans.

Case in point: 18,000 people die every year because they lack health insurance. Let’s put that into context of the casualties in Iraq, and the deaths at the WTC. Remember, we’re the richest nation in the world and we’re doing this to ourselves. Moreover, it is the Republicans who are primarily responsible for this situation, because they are the ones that oppose any and all reasonable fixes. You think my number is exaggerated? Not at all! This is a National Academy of Sciences study that came out this year.

It should be one of the campaign’s memes: “18,000 people die every year because they lack health insurance… and I, John Kerry, will fix this situation, with my plan.”

Bush doesn’t even believe in health insurance! This is what he said in the 3rd debate:

“Health care costs are on the rise because the consumers are not involved in the decision-making process. Most health costs are covered by third parties. And therefore, the actual user of health care is not the purchaser of health care. And there's no market forces involved with health care.”

So now you know: we solve the crisis of 18,000 dead every year for lack of health insurance – by getting rid of health insurance. We’ll be dumping a portion of our shrinking pay into ‘health savings accounts’ instead.

The stakes of these issues need to be brought home forcefully. What is more important to you, American voter: the propriety of mentioning the lesbianism of Mary Cheney? Or the possible death of a family member from lack of health insurance?

This is not academic for me. A man I worked for a year ago committed suicide this year. He was a million dollars in debt from health care bills incurred when he was struck by a serious illness while uninsured. I believe the overwhelming debt was a large part of what drove him to kill himself.

What Hit the Pentagon?

Interesting. I report -- you decide. Nut stuff? Leave comments.

Bush's Earpiece

See it here. Thanks to Salon.

Now It's Official

The lie about Democrats "making up" charges of voter fraud is now the official position of the Repubican Party. The headline at the front page of the Republican Party website reads, Chairman Gillespie Statement on DNC/Kerry Campaign Document Instructing Democrats to Make Up Charges of Voter Intimidation,
This document proves the Kerry Campaign and the DNC are more interested in scaring minority voters than in working to reach out to them on Election Day, even if it means completely making things up.
“The Kerry Campaign and the DNC are instructing Democrats around the country to make charges they know to be false, and to manipulate the media into printing and repeating the false charges in newspapers around the country.
Of course, the Democrats have done nothing of the kind. What the Republicans have done is isolate ONE SENTENCE in a document, removing the context, and claiming it says something entirely different from what it really says. This is what they have done through the entire Presidential campaign.



24 hours a day, seven days a week. No fraud is too big, no fee is too big!

Sinclair Brodacasting -- Advancing the Right's Takeover

Jay Rosen has a piece at The Blogging of the President titled Like Agnew with TV Stations: Sinclair Broadcast Group Takes On Kerry and The Liberal Media. This is an important read. Just what is Sinclair Broadcasting up to, consolidating media power to advance a right-wing agenda?

I don't think pressure on advertisers is going to stop this. The Moonies have no problem spending hundreds of millions on "news" media that always loses money. And public corporations justify to shareholders their political contributions quite frankly - as "investments" (bribes) designed to secure favorable legislation like tax cuts, deregulation, subsidies, insider contracts, etc. It works.

Let's suppose for a minute that Bush and his crowd have the best of intentions, and are streamlining the government - systematically eliminating oversight and accountability, etc. - so they can better serve and protect the public. The problem with this is that there are always OTHER people with less noble intentions waiting in the wings for just such an opportunity. You remove the checks and balances, and someone ELSE can step in - someone corrupt or dangerous.

Whether Bush and his cronies want it or not, groups like Sinclair, Pat Robertson, "Christian Nation" activists, etc. will show up to feast on the harvest. Suppose Bush tries to object to their raw use of power -- with Democracy's protections removed they can just push him aside and take the chair themselves. THAT is where we are today, with the doors wide open and unprotected. Watch your backs!

They're At It Again!

Remember our STF rule! When Republicans are accusing others of something it usually means it's something they are doing themselves. And now, just as the Republican Party has been caught in a national voter-registration fraud operation -- setting up voter registration drives and then throwing out all the Democrat registrations -- they start making accusations.

From the Moonie's Washington Times, Anti-Bush registration drive stirs fraud concerns:
A coalition of liberal groups committed to defeating President Bush has spent more than $100 million orchestrating the largest voter-registration drive in U.S. history, raising concerns of widespread voter fraud in 14 battleground states.
At the same time, Democratic Party officials are gearing up to challenge unfavorable Election Day results in a number of states through "pre-emptive strikes," charging that Republicans prevented minorities from voting even before any such incidents are confirmed.
Why does a massive voter registration drive "raise concerns" of widespread voter fraud?
In the past several months, coalition members have flooded minority neighborhoods in an extensive door-to-door voter-registration drive, using bar-coded sheets to identify undecided and potential Democratic voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Colorado Gov. Bill Owens this week accused the groups of trying to undermine the election process and demanded an investigation by his state attorney of hundreds of questionable voter-registration applications.
"I am very concerned that such groups have registered people who are not qualified to vote," said Mr. Owens, a Republican.
Oh, I see. It's because MINORITIES are involved! BLACK PEOPLE! YIKES!

And the other accusation? That Democrats are going to make up "pre-emptive strikes?" Turns out that's not what the documents cited say at all. They say to describe typical Republican intimidation tactics -- to warn people about what Republicans do -- as a way of helping PREVENT them from happening. The Republican claim that Democrats are being told to make stuff up is ... wait for it ... making stuff up. The rule holds.


DAILY STUNNER: Iraqi nuke sites "carefully stripped", post-invasion.

Saw this report from Rueters on CNN just now:

"Iraqi N-sites 'stripped carefully'"

"We're talking about dozens of sites being dismantled," a diplomat said on condition of anonymity. "Large numbers of buildings taken down, warehouses were emptied and removed. This would require heavy machinery, demolition equipment. This is not something that you'd do overnight."

... how completely irresponsible and oblivious do you have to be in administering the security for a site containing equipment useful for nuclear weapons research and manufacturing (dual-use materials carefully tagged as such by the U.N.), to have the whole friggin' shebang disappear right out from under your nose without you noticing?

The International Atomic Energy Agency noticed this from satellite photographs...

One diplomat said there were "dozens of others" that gradually disappeared from satellite photos analyzed by IAEA experts at its headquarters in Vienna.

Jesus honking Christ!

This is Keystone Cops material... someone ought to make one of those little Macromedia Flash movies... I can see it now. Dubya swaggering up and down the street, all macho and tough, while hordes of thieves with bulldozers and cranes and other such stuff swarm through the background, busily dismantling the town right behind him... there goes the bank... there goes the jail... there goes the courthouse... end it with a French guy going up to him and alerting him to the situation.

Unbelieveable. I wish this had come out yesterday, before the debate...

What reply could Bush make to a statement like this from John Kerry:

"Citzens of America: under George Bush's watch, Iraq has been systematically stripped of equipment and facilities potentially useful in the manufacture of nuclear weapons - these materials were taken from locations that were well known, that U.N. security inspectors had marked and monitored for years, that should have been at the top of the administration's priority list for protection.

Warehouses have been emptied. Entire buildings have vanished without anyone noticing. It took experts at the U.N.--people not even in Iraq--looking at satellite photos, to figure out that this was happening. The report I read said that 'dozens' of sites were stripped this way.

Citizens of America: I submit to you that the world is a much less safer place as a result of these events, the responsibility for which is entirely and exclusively that of my opponent. Ladies and gentleman - when the building is robbed... not just robbed, but systematically stripped of anything and everything valueable, you fire the people responsible for security and hire someone new. My opponent and his administration have proven incapable of securing Iraq and the world against the terrorists. It is time they are replaced."

UPDATE: Quote from Dick Cheney Speech of Oct. 12th, 2004

The biggest danger we face today is having nuclear weapons technology fall into the hands of terrorists. The President is working with many countries in a global effort to end the trade and transfer of these deadly technologies. The most important result thus far -? and a very important one -? is that the black-market network that supplied nuclear weapons technology to Libya, to North Korea, and to Iran has been shut down. (Applause.) The world's worst source of nuclear proliferation is out of business, and we are safer as a result. (Applause.)

Hmm... spoke too soon, Mr. Cheney? Or did you know about the IAEA's pending report, and choose to ignore it (like so many others your administration has found inconvenient)? It would appear that you're correct, Iraq WAS the world's worst source of nuclear proliferation... but mostly AFTER the invasion, and the only reason it is "out of business" is because everything but the kitchen sink has been hauled off and sold to the highest bidder on the black-market, right under your nose.

Entire buildings! Entirely unnoticed! (except by those U.N. bunglers your administration so loves to bash)

What's next? The Washington Monument? The Smithsonian?

The entire speech is available via the White House web site. It was brought to my attention by Declan McCullagh via his Politech list, who found it "unintentionally hilarious" (I couldn't agree more) and was "compelled" to pass it along.

--Thomas Leavitt

Favorite freewayblogger day sign

Latest Republican Smear

The latest Republican smear claims that a Democratic Party manual tells local party officials to "make up" stories about Republican voter intimidation "even if none exists."

Click here to see the ACTUAL WORDING AND CONTEXT of the Democratic Party manual.
The best way to combat minority voter intimidation tactics is to prevent them from occurring in the first place and prepare in advance to deal with them should they take place on election day.

1. If there are any signs of present or expected intimidation activity, in advance of election day, launch a press program that might include the following elements:

[. . .] 2. If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a "pre-emptive strike" (particularly well-suited to states in which there techniques have been tried in the past).

• Issue a press release

i. Reviewing Republican tactic used in the past in your area or state

ii. Quoting party/minority/civil rights leadership as denouncing tactics that discourage people from voting

• Prime minority leadership to discuss the issue in the media; provide talking points

• Place stories in which minority leadership expresses concern about the threat of intimidation tactics

• Warn local newspapers not to accept advertising that is not properly disclaimed or that contains false warnings about voting requirements and/or about what will happen at the polls
Nice try, Republicans. But the part you left out is where it says TO PREVENT. The document says to launch a pre-emptive strike to warn about and TO HELP PREVENT Republican intimidation tactics, not to invent them! Inventing things is what Republicans do, so I guess I can see why they might have thought it meant that.

Clearly what they are trying to do is seed the impression that stories of voter intimidation are just made-up. Now why would they be doing that?

(Credit to Drudge for linking to the Democratic Party response.)

Voter suppression in Oregon

Election fraud and voter suppression efforts are going to be major parts of the 2004 election story. The Republicans are attempting to match Democratic GOTV efforts with their own voter-suppression activities, which are often illegal. Here's an AP story about what's happening in Oregon generally.

This story describes a bizarre variant. Apparently the contract group, realizing that they'd only be paid for Republican registrations, used deceptive methods to try to get people to sign voter-registration forms with blank party-designation slots, which they would later fill out and file as Republican registrants. It doesn't seem to me that the Republicans gain much by conning people into registering as Republicans -- seemingly here the contractors are just playing their own little game.

Presumably people are keeping record of this, and let's hope that the Democrats are prepared for a nasty fight. (The Republicans, as per usual, have already started accusing us of doing the same things that they're doing). It strikes me as unlikely that this election will be decided by November 3.

Cheney suppression in Oregon: smart move!

"If you're looking for Vice President Dick Cheney's photo and statement in the Oregon Voters' Pamphlet, it's not there.

Fred Neal, pamphlet supervisor at the state Elections Division, said Wednesday that the 40-page booklet, mailed to Oregon voters Tuesday night, lacks a separate section on President George W. Bush's running mate because Republicans decided not to file the material........

Neal said he made an effort to alert Republicans to the Aug. 24 deadline for placing Cheney's photo, personal information and a statement in the pamphlet. He said he talked to Amy Casterline, executive director of the Oregon Republican Party, to call her attention to the deadline.

Neal said he called her back on Aug. 25. She told Neal she talked to national party officials and that they decided not to file a Cheney statement.

"It certainly perplexed us," Neal said."

"Voters' Pamphlet leaves Cheney out", Portland Oregonian, Oct. 14, 2004

Nationwide FreewayBlogging!

FREEWAYBLOGGER.com - Free Speech: Use It or Lose It


Demon litigation

Bush, after more-or-less addressing the debate question about flu vaccine, wanders into prepared text territory with:
We have a problem with litigation in the United States of America. Vaccine manufacturers are worried about getting sued, and therefore they have backed off from providing this kind of vaccine.
This kind of vaccine? Tainted vaccine? Damn lawyers!

Self-Destructive Institution

Bush made a "joke" about the press -- saying no one should trust the mainstream media. Is "the press" going to self-destructively tolerate that?

My local mainstream newspaper runs the Mallard Fillmore comic strip - a strip that tells its readers not to trust or even read mainstream newspapers! This sounds more than a little self-destructive. They put the strip in "for balance." Balancing the by giving people who think they should be dead a voice in their paper. Smart, huh?

This is what I call the "afraid Rush Limbaugh will say bad things about them" syndrome. Like when Democrats in the Congress vote for Republican tax cuts - and CIA Directors - thinking it buys them something with voters who are propagandized by the conservative machine... All they're really accomplishing is hastening the Right's takeover. I think Max Cleland knows what I'm talking about -- a little too late to do him any good, though.

The press currently sucking up to the Right is going to learn a very hard lesson if they are in office next year.

DRAFT - somewhere else

I forgot to mention that I have a post on the draft today, over at American Street.

Who Won?

I think Kerry lapsed into long-winded Senatorial answers, phrasing things in ways that regular people would not understand.

I think Bush lied with a smile.

So I think it was a draw. We all have to go out and work as hard as we can to get people to the voting booth! I believe we are literally trying to save democracy. If Bush and his cronies are in control next year we will lapse into a permanent one-party corporate-controlled state.

Bush sure did try to change the subject of several questions.

Update - I am changing my opinion. The result of the post-debate fact-checking is the TV showing Bush's press conference saying he is not concerned about bin Laden. Over and over. BIG win for Kerry.

What Bush Said About bin Laden

Here is what Bush said that he never said. Transcript, Bush press conference, March 13, 2002:
QUESTION: Mr. President, in your speeches now, you rarely talk or mention Osama bin Laden. Why is that? ...

BUSH: ... So I don't know where he is. Nor -- you know, I just don't spend that much time on him really, to be honest with you.

Lies, Said Nicely

Bush's tem perment is much better. He is lying and lying and lying. And smiling.


"In those days after 9/11 I think the President did a terrific job."
- John Kerry, announcing that he plans to lose the election.


It's 7:48, and Kerry is being so "Senatorial" that I can't understand what he's saying./ He's going on and on...

Fact is, Social Security is NOT "going broke" and the moderator is just repeating right-wing slogans.

Kerry whips Bush's ass a third time; Kerry and Edwards sweep, 4-0

Even though President Bush's Wednesday debate performance was marginally superior to his hapless earlier appearances, it's no surprise that he lost again to the challenger, Senator John Kerry. When you're expected to strip the "Worst President Ever" crown from Franklin Pierce, who has held it for over a century and a half, re-election is unlikely indeed. And the most eloquent orator in the history of bullshit would be hard-pressed to defend the worst job-creation record since Herbert Hoover, the bait-and-switch Iraq War disaster, or several of our President's other dishonest policy initiatives.

After the debate Karl Rove said that debates are not really very important, and that he expects that negative campaigning, voter suppression, control of the voting machines, and promises of pork will be enough to bring the win to the Republican team. "But I suppose that we're losing the wonk vote on this", he said, laughing uproariously.





false, incoherent and pernicious Paul CellaLech Walesa


Opposition such as this consists of sophisters and energumens who would murder this nation by their abstractions, and call the whole bloody crime an act of healthy self-possession.

The Devil or his demons who did the possessing were called the'energumenus,' and the possessed person was the 'energumen'

Another Outrage!

Opinions You Should Have - Cartoon Network To Broadcast 'George W. Bush: Big Ass Junkie' Documentary

Bush Senior may not be supporting Bush Junior

The letter from George H. W. Bush below has been floating around the internet. Some believe that it might be a hoax, but who knows, really? True, the fact that it all makes pretty good sense does cast doubt on the idea that it might be from a Republican.

(Recently the below was forwarded to me from someone who had played a small part in settling the affairs of an old friend of George H.W. Bush who had died unexpectedly. He does not want his identity to become public and has also suppressed the identity of the late friend, who was relatively unknown, but who had known Bush since childhood.)

Dear ****,

Just a note on your birthday. Bar and I often think of those wonderful times on the water back when the kids were young. At the end of a long life, your old friends become more important to you.It's been a good life, but this election has been a trial.

Loyalty requires public support for our son, which of course he gets, but you wonder whether reelection would really be the best thing. Maybe the family future lies in the younger brother, who has performed so splendidly in Florida.

The outlook in Iraq is appalling and maybe we should leave it for the other team to handle. Some of the choices made going in were terribly ill-advised, and I'm afraid that the team now in place is just not up to the job. Dick Cheney is not the man I remember. His face is twisted and you wonder whether ill health and his medication have affected his judgment. And Wolfowitz's kind should never be allowed in a serious policy position.

And you know that I think that a degree of religious belief is necessary, but some of the people my son relies on have gone far over the line on that.

I've stayed in the background. No other choice. But now I can't really talk to the boy any more, and Colin tells me he can't reach him either. I've lost good, old friends over this, and with several others it can get uncomfortable.

The stress of the job is greater now than it was during my day and we wonder whether his weaknesses haven't returned. His wife, God bless her, has been a real trooper. She keeps us posted and tries to keep a lid on things.We're hoping for the best.

Hope this hasn't been an imposition – if you can't talk to your oldest friends, who can you talk to? God willing, we should be able to see each other sometime in the next few months.



Media complicity

Ok, this is the biggest story of the election to date. And I can't find it in the corporate media (except local news outlets in Nevada).


debate preview





Bush and The Draft.

Stopping Sinclair Broadcasting

By now you know that Sinclair Broadcasting is ordering all of their stations to broadcast during prime-time - just before the election - a smear "documentary" made by the Swift Boat Veterans.

The Democratic National Committee has a web page devoted to action on this: DNC Action Alert: Stop Sinclair's Anti-Kerry Smear.

Also, Steve at Left Coaster and Kevin at The American Street have taken the lead in blogging and suggesting ways to act on this.

But this is what AM radio is and has been for twenty years -- a full-time 24/7 commercial for the organized Right's takeover of the Republican Party and the country. I think this is the kind of thing to expect as long as the Right's powerful, well-funded network of ideological advocacy/communications organizations is not countered by similarly-funded and chartered Progressive organizations. I think it can only get worse until people who support OUR side and have money come to understand that they need to step up to the plate and get this underway. The organized "conservative movement" has somewhere betwen 350 and 500 organizations in place, employing literally thousands of professional propogandists. Meanwhile, "our side" has a bunch of broke bloggers battling for BlogAds bucks to boost bandwidth - and buy beer. (Please visit our sponsors.)

As The Party consolidates their control over all aspects of our society, more and more of our institutions will become little more than Party propaganda organs. First we saw the Republican Party itself fall, then churches, the military, sports and sporting events, even the Boy Scouts... Each of these have been infiltrated, overtaken ... As history warns us, next comes the purges.

Is Florida encouraging voter fraud?


I haven't lived in Florida since 1999. I'm a resident of the state of California. Why did I get this if I don't even have a Florida drivers license anymore?

Let's recap: the Republican Party of Florida has sent me an absentee ballot request form to my brand new California address of four months and change, but attached my old voters registration # to it, pretty much ensuring I'll get a ballot, even though I'm a resident of California and legally able to vote in the state.

http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/ap/ap_story.html/National/AP.V7927.AP-Schools-Warning.html http://www.accuracy.org/press_releases/PR092904.htm http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/president/2004-10-06-election-warning_x.htm http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A10108-2004Oct5.html http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2004_10_03.php#003624


Al-Qaeda Supports Bush

I can actually support this statement. That cannot be said for all the froth issued by the Bush campaign and conservative columnists alleging that a vote for Kerry is a vote for terror.

The money quote appeared in an Al-Qaeda letter issued after the Madrid bombings. It stated that Al-Qaeda hoped Bush would win re-election ....

"because he acts with force rather than wisdom or shrewdness, and it is his religious fanaticism that will rouse our (Islamic) nations, as has been shown. Being targeted by an enemy is what will wake us from our slumber." (NYRB, 4-29-04, footnote, also quoted on the Islamic news website, www.elaph.com, 3-17-04)

Understanding why this makes sense requires the slightest pause to consider what Al Qaeda aims actually are. Pause, people! It's in your political best interest. The primary Al Qaeda goal is not to kill Westerners, it is to unite the Islamic world. This is why George Bush is such a gift to the fanatics. He rouses opposition from all levels of society in all Islamic countries, so that America is alone on a crowded planet.

I am rather tired of reading apologias from Democratic (and even Republican) hawks. I was never such, and I will quote myself, in case there are any readers who are skeptical of my political wisdom in this area: that Al-Qaeda supports Bush. This is what I wrote in my blog 'Ich Bin Ein Iraqi' on 10/8/2002:

"...Last night the president gave a speech, trying to persuade Americans of the need for this war. What a nightmare. This president epitomizes the stereotype of the know-nothing American and he wants to invade Iraq; to disrupt the fragile stability of the whole Middle-east, to “fight terror” by making enemies for the United States among Muslims everywhere. He can’t even control the warring parties within his own Administration. He can’t even keep the Israelis from slaughtering Palestinians at moments which are politically inopportune for his own cause. This Administration will win the war but they will never win the peace....

Americans have no appetite for the complexities of this region. The current Administration says they’ll replace Saddam with a democracy. Well, wishing doesn’t make it so. It may be impossible to impose civil society on Iraq. Certainly this Administration, which lacks diplomacy, tact, judgement, respect, and patience, is incapable. Our military is highly skilled and America will win eventually, perhaps quickly (perhaps not, given that so many Iraqis blame the United States for sanctions). But what comes after? ... If we invade Iraq, there will be more terror, not less."

I am posting this because I just read the survey of novelists in Slate. Every Bush supporter said he (and the supporters were all men) was a supporter because of the "war on terror". What insanity! In my view, a vote for Bush is pouring oil on the flames of international terrorism.

Sinclair Poll

One Sinclair station is running a poll, asking if they should run the anti-Kerry documentary. NewsCentral.tv. Scroll to the bottom of the page.

(Thanks to skippy for finding this.)


If They Win With Lies?

Following is an e-mail that is circulating. Try not to get sidetracked correcting or otherwise reacting to the lies -- see the bigger picture: IT IS ALL LIES! This is how the Republicans are trying to "win" this election -- entirely with lies and tricks.

What does it mean for the future of the country, and the world, if they are able to hold power using methods like these? In history, what kind of governments emerge from such tactics and lies, and what are the consequences to the citizens and the rest of the world?

Here's the e-mail:
What to believe?

I'm trying to get all this political stuff straightened out in my head so I'll know how to vote come November. Right now, we have one guy saying one thing. Then the other guy says something else. Who to believe?

Lemme see; have I got this straight?

Clinton awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Yugoslavia - good...
Bush awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Iraq - bad...

Clinton spends 77 billion on war in Serbia - good...
Bush spends 87 billion in Iraq - bad...

Clinton imposes regime change in Serbia - good...
Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad...

Clinton bombs Christian Serbs on behalf of Muslim Albanian terrorists-good...
Bush liberates 25 million from a genocidal dictator - bad...

Clinton bombs Chinese embassy - good...
Bush bombs terrorist camps - bad...

Clinton commits felonies while in office - good...
Bush lands on aircraft carrier in jumpsuit - bad...

No mass graves found in Serbia - good...
No WMD found Iraq - bad...

Stock market crashes in 2000 under Clinton - good...
Economy on upswing under Bush - bad...

Clinton refuses to take custody of Bin Laden - good...
World Trade Centers fall under Bush - bad...

Clinton says Saddam has nukes - good...
Bush says Saddam has nukes - bad...

Clinton calls for regime change in Iraq - good...
Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad...

Terrorist training in Afghanistan under Clinton - good...
Bush destroys training camps in Afghanistan - bad...

Milosevic not yet convicted - good...
Saddam turned over for trial - bad...

Ahh, it's so confusing!

Every year an independent tax watchdog group analyzes the average tax burden on Americans, and then calculates the "Tax Freedom Day". This is the day after which the money you earn goes to you, not the government. This year, tax freedom day was April 11th. That's the earliest it has been since 1991. It's latest day ever was May 2nd, which occurred in 2000. Notice anything special about those dates?

Recently, John Kerry gave a speech in which he claimed Americans are actually paying more taxes under Bush, despite the tax cuts. He gave no explanation and provided no data for this claim.

Another interesting fact: Both George Bush and John Kerry are wealthy men.
Bush owns only one home, his ranch in Texas.
Kerry owns 4 mansions, all worth several million dollars.
(His ski resort home in Idaho is an old barn brought over from Europe in pieces. Not your average A-frame).

Bush paid $250,000 in taxes this year;
Kerry paid $90,000.
Does that sound right?

The man who wants to raise your taxes obviously has figured out a way to avoid paying his own.

Pass this on. Not many days left until the election.
It is essential to the country - and to the world - that the kind of people who would employ such tactics not succeed. History has taught us a hard lesson about this. Have you done everything you can?

Update - It's also posted on about 800 websites.

Employment(and lack of)

Politicians can make things sound good or bad depending on many factors. Take a look at these charts and see for yourself how good or bad the unemployment situation is.

The Index of Help Wanted Advertising in Newspapers. This chart shows how many employment ads there are in local newspapers. (Hint for those who have trouble reading charts -- worst in ten years.)

Here's the Median Duration of Unemployment. (Hint for those who have trouble reading charts -- slightly better than the worst in ten years.)

Civilian Employment-Population Ratio. (Slightly better than the worst in ten years.)

Civilian Participation Rate. (Worst in ten years.)

Swiftboat film





disinfopedia Carleton Sherwood

Eli asks

... an interesting question.


The Third Debate

Diana Moon (9.10.04) has big plans for the third debate. My feeling is that if John Kerry plays Bush right, perhaps by mouthing silent obscenities, Bush will eventually lose it and come after him. Kerry should then easily be able to use his reach advantage to hold Bush off until he's able to put him down with one pop.

It seems to me that that should count as winning the election, too.

Dealing With The Right

Steve Soto, over at The Left Coaster: How To Deal With The Moral Bankruptcy Of The GOP, It's Power, And Their "Stepford" Supporters.

Your thoughts? What should be done after the election to deal with this takeover and attempted destruction of our democracy by the Right?

Weekly Electoral College Status

Introducing Matt Hubbard's Weekly Electoral College Status. From Matt:
The idea for this website came from two sources. The first was Ryan Lizza’s webpage during the 2000 election where he analyzed state polling data and came up with the remarkable prediction that it all hinged on Florida.

The second idea came to me last year when I was teaching statistics for the first time. The thing that struck me is how few people – including myself, my students and several good mathematicians I know – knew about the margin of error being tied to a confidence level, and that the standard confidence level is 95%. This means that if a candidate has 47% in a poll with a +/-3% margin of error, then 95% of the time, the true polling numbers should be between 44% and 50%; the other 5% of the time, the polling numbers may go above 50% or below 44%, and it is assumed both the high and the low have the same probability, 2.5% each.

You can change the margin of error with poll data, but it will also change the confidence level. My idea is to make the margin of error half the lead; this way the candidate with the lead in a particular state should win if his total stays inside the new margin of error or goes higher than the new margin of error, and he will only lose that state if his totals go below the new margin of error. (This assumes that percentage gains for one candidate are reflected in percentage losses for the other; while there are more than two candidates, they are getting only marginal numbers; if we had an election like 1992 where Perot was getting double digit numbers in many states, I would have to change my assumptions considerably. The math wouldn’t be impossible, but it would be much harder.)

Here’s an example of the method: Let's say Candidate A leads Candidate B 47%-45% in a poll with a 3% margin of error. The margin of error should always be the 95% confidence level, or +/-1.96 standard deviations (SD) around the statistic; I then use that to get the confidence level for a margin that is half the lead, which in this case is 1 point; 1/3 ? 1.96 = .65; taking the integral of the normal distribution from -/+.65 SD, we get that about 48.4% of the time Candidate A will stay inside the 48%-46% range and Candidate B will stay inside the 46%-44% range and Candidate A will win; it is also possible Candidate A will do better than expected about 25.8% of the time, and also do worse than expected 25.8% of the time. This adds up to a 74.2% chance for victory for Candidate A and a 25.8% chance of victory for Candidate B in this state.

I collect data from state polls and put the information into a computer program written in C; if the leader's chance to win a particular state is better than 99.5%, which is to say if half the lead is greater than 2.6 SD, then I consider that state a lock and add the electoral votes to the party's total. For all the n states that are not locks, I then put them into a calculation pool of 2n¬ possibilities and figure out the probability for each of the possibilities and add that probability into its proper category, either GOP victory, DEM victory or tie.
For this week's stats, Matt writes,
For the first time since the Republican National Convention, my data shows Kerry in the lead. It's still very close and hinges largely on the outcome of Ohio, but it looks like those undecided voters (who are these people?) are starting to see Our Resolute Leader as petulant and impatient instead of forceful and resolved.
Write to Matt at mhubbard@bay.csuhayward.edu





Swiftboat Liars Part II

I just got a heads-up (via Brad DeLong's comments) on the next trick Rove has promised us he has up his sleeve: an attack on Kerry's membership in the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Soon he will be asked to take the blame for everything that anyone in that group ever did or said. So we'll be refighting the Vietnam War one more time.

This can't be a surprise, and I presume that the Kerry campaign has a sharp response and counterattack sitting on the shelf ready to throw out there -- it might even make sense for them to take the initiative, or to reopen an attack on Bush's pitiful Guard record.

By contrast to the rest of the swiftboaters' BS, this is really a legit political issue, and one that Kerry should be able to make work for him. Most of the people who are going to be angry about Kerry's V.V.A.W. activities made up their minds about him decades ago. Those for whom it is a new issue might see Kerry's activities in a positive light.

Here's the warning. Supposedly the ad will be out in the next few days:

"The swift vets are NOT done, friends

I can't say a lot...but I wonder.

Mr. Kerry, do you have some rowdy friends?

Better yet, are you ready for some commercials?"

Red State

P.S. Here's Yuval Rubenstein's take on the situation. He believes that further recourse to the discredited SBV's is a sign of desperation, as was the early release of their first "bombshell" -- which gave us time to discredit them. Let's hope he's right.


(thanks, jeanne)

Who won?

Blitz Wolf!

Our hotheaded, whiny President is 0-3 in the debates

George's W. Bush's real face is starting to peek out from behind the mask. He's got a mean streak, like a lot of good ol' boys, and doesn't like it when people disagree with him. Kerry makes him mad, questions from the audience make him mad, and even the moderator Charlie Gibson makes him mad.

He's been asked the same question several times by now, and is still unaware of having made a single mistake during the last four years. This isn't really the guy whose finger you want on the nuclear trigger.

"What's this -- the swimsuit competition part?" asked my son when he saw Bush strutting around in front of the cameras. Bush's confrontational body language is familiar to anyone who's ever encountered an ex-con who rehabbed with Jesus and picked up the street-preacher game. Intimidating "damned sinners" is a big part of their new operation, and they are not required to suppress their meanness in the slightest.

Contentwise, Bush's performance was mostly misrepresentations and demagoguery. There were some questions about Kerry's plans which might have been reasonable, if they hadn't come from the worst American President since the Civil War. (Bush is not really in a position to lecture about fiscal conservativism, for example.)

Bush still has to perform one more time, and he doesn't have a lot of options left. My guess is that in the next debate he will up the ante, go even more negative, and look even less Presidential. (The pre-spin should give us some warning).

Increasingly it's starting to look as if the Bush strategists plan to rely entirely on Bush's demented core constituency, voter suppression, and Diebold. I hope that we're better prepared for the post-election fight this time than we were last time.

P.S. The Bush flacks choreographed an elaborate post-debate victory dance:

"They high-fived, slapped backs and flashed grins at a roomful of reporters, who
were still busy decoding a flurry of arguments over tax cuts, health care and
the environment."
The Bush team believes that reporters are weak-minded people who might be influenced by that kind of thing. They're probably right about some of them, though the reviews of Bush's Missouri performance haven't been all that great. Republicans have been reduced to claiming that Bush won because he wasn't as bad as he was last time, or that Bush won because the Missouri debate was "a draw" (which it wasn't).

The six (!) Newsweek writers who produced this 1100-word piece play on both sides in a nice, postmodern way. They let you know that the Republicans were shovelling out cheesy BS, and they warn you that there's more to come, but their headline (perhaps written by a seventh person, possibly Karl Rove) just relays the Republican line:
"Bush limped into St. Louis, but bounded back out—confident that his debate
performance left the race dead even."
Bush lost the debate and looked sort of scary, but that's not the script these guys were working on.

Flu Vaccine Shortage

There will be around 36,000 deaths caused by the flu this year. More, many thousands more, if the flu hits especially hard. The terrorist attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon killed around 3,000 people. That doesn't begin to compare to the deaths expected from the flu, which can be prevented by one safe flu shot. So why are we facing a second year of extreme shortages of the flu vaccine? Because the government doesn't give a damn, that's why. The pharmaceutical industry doesn't want to bother with making an inexpensive vaccine when it can rip us off by selling overpriced drugs. This news about the flu shot shortage comes right after the news about Vioxx, prescribed for millions even though it has caused at least 26,000 deaths from strokes or heart attacks. And it was Merck, the manufacturer, that pulled it off the market, not the FDA, the agency supposed to protect us. I was prescribed Vioxx not long ago, but it was so expensive I decided not to buy it and took Advil instead, thank God. Advil worked just fine. Plus we then heard the news about Remicaid, which seems to cause lymphomas. Very expensive, dubious and dangerous drugs = Good for Business. Cheap, effective vaccines = bad for business. Gotta have that free, unregulated market! Ideology triumphs again; the ideology of greed.

The federal government has stockpiled enough smallpox vaccine to vaccinate the entire country, and there isn't the slightest chance of an outbreak of smallpox. Remember that fiasco intended to convince us that we were being "protected" against the chance of a bioterrorism attack? The anthrax vaccine is forced on American military, in spite of the fact that the vaccine is known to be especially dangerous, although most are in regions where they don't have the slightest chance of being exposed to anthrax. I have a friend who suffered permanent neurological damage from the anthrax vaccine. Anthrax can be cured using a couple of doses of antibiotics. We get vaccines when there's a political statement to be made. Otherwise, we're told to wash our hands a lot.

No Accountability

I just had to make this my first post to SeeingTheForest because I have been saying to anyone who will listen that the most obvious chariacteristic of the Bush administation is also one of their greatest potential weaknesses. And that is their lack of Accountability. They are accountable to one for anything. It's a simple concept folks, and I believe a huge vulnerability that the voters can and will understand. Take a look at what David Broder over at the Wapo has to say on the subject (sorry I have yet to master the fancy HTML stuff):


"the accountability questions for Kerry and Edwards are outweighed, in my view, by the startling refusal of Bush and Vice President Cheney to acknowledge the errors and failures of their audacious policy in Iraq.

When has the United States launched a preemptive attack on a foreign nation with as little provocation -- and as spurious a rationale -- as this war on Iraq? The great selling point was Saddam Hussein's possession of weapons of mass destruction. Last week, that contention was definitively demolished in a 1,000-page report from the head of the U.S. inspection team in Iraq. Charles A. Duelfer concluded that Hussein did not possess and had no real plans or programs to develop biological, chemical or nuclear weapons.


I think the Kerry and Edwards campaign should hit them hard and often on this point. This is in my view the administration of Zero Accountability.