Right-wing delusions.

On October 29th, the Chron ran a feature that briefly quoted the thoughts of nine separate historians on the long term consequences of the war in Iraq.

Historians dissect war in Iraq

Eminent academics scrutinize the single most important issue in the presidential campaign and find two central truths: quick success, long-term problems

There was one exception to that overall consensus: Victor Davis Hanson, of Stanford's Hoover Institution, who was bold enough to predict that "in five years, if we persevere, there will be a stable consensual government, and then both Iraq and Afghanistan will properly be seen as the anchors of a new Middle East".

Which is, of course, exactly what I thought to myself as I opened up the article: that if any voice dissented from the overall consensus ("reality"), it would be one associated with an identifiably "conservative" institution like the Hoover Institute (who give my great uncle a bad name). ... because, of course, these organizations don't pay their "fellows" to do anything but toe the party line.

Side note: I've been making a habit of reading through the paper each day... I find that you get more out of a paper that way, as you see stories develop over time, and you begin to follow larger threads in the news that transcend individual stories. Admittedly, the San Francisco Chronicle, in comparison to the Los Angeles Times (the paper I grew up reading) is mediocure at best, but it is still better than nothing. I find reading a paper exposes me to a wider variety (in terms of topics and points of view) than merely getting my news on-line. This is a change from my previous position that "I get all my news on-line and don't need a paper."

Side, side note: Debra Saunders really is a Republican talking point parrot. We need more people writing the Chronicle and other papers complaining about this phenomenon, wherein allegedly "independent" pundits spew Republican talking point propaganda in barely edited form.

--Thomas Leavitt

Citizen Journalist

Another thing MSNBC is doing for the election is a "Citizen Journalist" experiment. Joe Trippi writes, "I am hoping you will be a citizen journalist and file your story or stories with us from now through Tuesday."

Report your stories to MSNBC.com.

And see them here.

First Post at MSNBC's Hardblogger

Part of what I'll be doing for MSNBC is helping put together a sort-of "pulse of the blogosphere" for Hardblogger. My first post is up, at The buzz from Bloggers' Cafe. (Scroll to "The Little Gift.") This is sort-of a dress rehearsal post.

In fact, they're doing a real dress rehearsal for Tuesday night's election broadcast in the big studio around the corner (and lots of remote locations) and it's on the monitors. "Pennsylvania is still too close to call."

Osama isn't running and he isn't hiding. He's laughing.

Osama doesn't have to run, and he doesn't have to hide. He's kicking back ,
and he's laughing. "I truly am not that concerned about him", says George.

Osama is looking forward to laughing at Bush for four more years.

Election Day at Seeing the Forest

For your Election Day pleasure Seeing the Forest will have a blogger writing from the Kerry Headquarters in Boston. Sam Perry will introduce himself in a post Tuesday or maybe sooner.

I'm writing this from a Starbucks in Manhattan. I took an overnight flight, and will be working from MSNBC through Tuesday night. I'll post details later.

And the other regulars will also be keeping you informed. So bookmark Seeing the Forest and check in regularly.

October Surprise

Right on schedule we've had our two terrorist warnings now.

Will they help Bush? Were they intended to help him? I have no idea. I can't read Osama's mind,
and I can't read the mind of the American people either. We've been waiting for months for something
fishy to show up, and now we have it.

Pray for the Kerry spin doctors -- let's hope they're up to the job. So far the Bush spin hasn't been
too powerful, but it usually takes them a few days to saturate the media. The Osama tape came at
almost exactly the right time for Bush, if his guys succeed in winning the spin war. He sure needs
the help.

I have no evidence, but I can't help suspecting that both warnings were fake -- Rove's magnum opus.
(Did they unload a couple of the loose billions floating around Iraq on Osama?).

But probably that's just me.


Stop Bush / Vote Kerry

Powerful images from the current cover feature of LA Weekly (via pandagon.net).

Vote or Die

From an e-mail I received:

1. A simple Banner for Florida beaches:

airplane ~~~ rope ~~~ banner:"READY TO DIE IN IRAQ? DON’T VOTE TODAY"

They have an airplane pulling a banner along Florida beaches, so young people will see them. The idea is to suggest they might want to go vote...


Uh, OK

We win

When You Vote

I recomment a post titled, Pacific Views: Emergency aid for U.S. voters. It outlines things to do before and when you vote, and includes a downloadable voter rights card from MoveOn.

Hersh, Quoted at American Street

The American Street -- Seymour Hersh Speaks:
"I hope it comes out the right way in the election. If it doesn't then we're all in trouble. The Europeans so far give us a pass on the grounds that, well, you've got these crazy leaders and they do crazy things. But if we re-elect them, then it's not just the president they're mad at. They're going to be mad at all of us."


Curse Eclipsed

The Curse of the Bambino comes to an end in Busch Stadium during an eclipse of the moon, and two Boston teams are now world champions.

That should swing the remaining undecideds for us!

Some people don't want you to vote



Some people don't want you to vote




911Truth.org - Only the Truth will Set Us Free.:
"An alliance of 100 prominent Americans and many family members of those killed on 9/11 today announced the release of the 911 Truth Statement, a call for immediate inquiry into evidence that suggests high-level government officials may have deliberately allowed the September 11th attacks to occur. The Statement supports an August 31st Zogby poll that found nearly 50% of New Yorkers believe the government had foreknowledge and "consciously failed to act," with 66% wanting a new 9/11 investigation. Focusing on twelve questions, the Statement highlights areas of incriminating evidence that were either inadequately explored or ignored by the Kean Commission, ranging from insider trading and hijacker funding to foreign government forewarnings and inactive defenses around the Pentagon. The Statement asks for four actions: an immediate investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Congressional hearings, media analysis, and the formation of a truly independent citizens-based inquiry. "

And they have a blog.

Republican Switchers

Republican Switchers: "WHY REPUBLICANS ARE SWITCHING FROM BUSH TO KERRY and why you, and the conservatives you love, should vote for Kerry, too!"


At Enjoy The Draft:
But I'm a girl
And won't you be a popular one when they draft your ass to Iraq.
Read them all!

Iraq vs Vietnam

From an e-mail I received:

Q) What's the difference between Iraq and Vietnam?

A) Bush had a plan to get out of Vietnam.

DRAFT - Freeway Blogging

At Gropinator.

Math Pun


Voting Machines

There is a washingtonpost.com - Live Online question/answer thing coming up. I submitted this question:
I have to say it matters little to me what anyone TELLS me about an electronic voting machine. If I can not see for myself that a machine recorded my vote and other votes correctly, then the election is not legitimate in my eyes, period. Why should I have to accept ANY other person's word that the machines are secure, working, etc.? Why can't it just print a ballot that I SEE FOR MYSELF, and that I place into a ballot box, and that can be looked at to verify that the machines reported accurate tabulations? And who in their right mind ever accepted these machines that do not do that?
There is no reason to accept the results from any election conducted with these machines.

Story Was Reported Here October 14

Iraqi nuke sites "carefully stripped", post-invasion which included the line, "Jesus honking Christ!"

Kristof Is A Nitwit

I don't know why I bothered to read it ... well, I do know why, it was the title of the piece, Pants on Fire? Otherwise I just skip most of the "mainstream" pundits. Anyway, in the piece I came across this:
"One example is Mr. Bush's determination since 9/11 to add to the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, even though this pushes up gasoline prices. Mr. Bush's approach is foolish economically, and it is crazy politically. Yet his grim willingness to raise gas prices during his re-election campaign underscores a solidity of character and convictions."
This guy is writing in the NY Times, and he doesn't even follow the news.

No, it isn't a grim willingness, a sign of solidity of character. Jeeze. It's BECAUSE THE CRONY THAT BUSH GAVE THE CONTRACT TO FUNDS THE RIGHT! Even though oil is at the highest price EVER, we are BUYING it from Koch Oil, sending them BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of tax dollars, instead of releasing oil from the reserve to lessen the burden on American consumers. And the money is used to fund the Right's massive propaganda machine (and enrich Bush's cronies.) DOH!

Does anyone know how to reach Kristof with this info?





consortium sex

The Bush Defense -- Just Lie

I'm listening to Rush Limbaugh. He's saying that the story about the 380 tons of explosives is ... a lie. He's saying this is an attempt by "the liberal media" to affect the election, and that the explosives were gone before the war. He's just making shit up.

This is how Bush defends himself -- just lie. Just lie. Spend hundreds of millions of dollars on lies, and the right's infrastructure spends hundreds of millions ore just lying. And when anyone tries to alert the public they launch a loud smear campaign to destroy the messenger, like terrorism advisor Richard Clarke or Ambassador Joe Wilson or Treasury Secretary O'Neill... Then they tell the public not to believe the mainstream press, as Bush did during the final debate.

Democracy is gone -- history. The Congress has not done their job of oversight and has not investigated a single thing the Administration has done; the Justice Department has stopped investigations of crimes committed by Republicans; the Federalist Society court appointments have dismissed lawsuits and stopped investigations; the ideologues in the Defense Department have purged any opposition to their war plans; the Right's media has misled the public about crucial facts. And now the Democrats in the Senate have gone along and allowed a partisan to take control of the CIA and he is purging non-ideologues.

They just lie, and smear anyone who gets in their way.

On His Watch!

The AFL-CIO has a Flash presenation, titled Can America Afford Four More Years?


Pakistani schoolgirls for Kerry

Respected in the world.

Electronic Voting Machines

Electronic Voting Raises New Issues,
Voters using screens similar to ATMs are guided step-by-step through a ballot. They cannot pick too many candidates or leave marks that would have to be scrutinized to guess their intent. Counts will be generated automatically and almost instantaneously. There will be no paper ballots to transport, store or pore over. Advocates said recounts will be a thing of the past.
No possibility of recounts is GOOD?

Let me raise an issue. You can't tell me to vote on a machine that can not PROVE to me that it recorded my vote correctly. If there is no way for ME to verify that MY vote is recorded the way I voted, then forget it.

Never mind enhanced security, open source software, independent verification that the machines are working correctly, or ANYthing that OTHER people assure me makes everything OK. Doesn't matter. Not relevant. Some crank - namely me - is going to show up at every single precinct where these machines are used and say, "PROVE IT." Well, the problem is that they CAN'T prove it. THERE IS NO WAY TO PROVE THAT THE MACHINE CORRECTLY RECORDED WHAT THE VOTERS WANTED. And without that, there is no legitimacy to the election.

380 Tons of Fun, Coming Your Way Thanks to Bush

380 tons of high explosives are missing in Iraq because the Bush administration did not bother to post guards.

This is a Seeing the Forest moment. This is one of those times when the fog of propaganda is so thick that it's best to put your hands over your ears, and do nothing but look at what you can actually see for yourself as certain, and reject everything else.

They use words to misdirect you so you do not see what they are really doing. Sometimes their words-of-confusion are just so thick that you can't even figure out if your name is really your name. That's when it is important to step back and look at what they DO rather than what they SAY. Ignore everything you have been led to think, everything you hear, everything coming from their mouths ad their media channels. Just believe what your own eyes can see for themselves.

They did not guard a cache of 380 tons of extremely dangerous high explosives.

They did guard the oil pipelines, the oil ministry...

This HAS TO have an effect on Bush supporters. Circulate this story! I have gathered a few sources - starting with FOX News - for you to send to Bush supporters, and ask them to please explain why they are endangering all of our lives by voting for Bush! Don't attach any of my highly-sophisticated, ultra-nuanced, subtle but insightful, intellectual, deep analysis -- that's just between you and me (our little secret.) Just send the stories, and ask them to please explain to you how this kind of thing squares with the idea that Bush is making us safer.

380 Tons of Explosives Missing in Iraq

U.N.: Explosives Missing from Former Iraq Atomic Site

Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq

Kerry Facts

John Kerry for Dummies at Compassiongate.

Astroturf on the editorial page

I sent the letter below, which I have edited slightly, to Michael Arrieta-Walden, the the Oregonian public editor:

Dear Michael:

Your piece on astroturf was good. The internet can be a valuable tool in spotting that kind of thing.

You might also take a look at some of your columnists, for example Debra Saunders.

Of the 784 words in this piece, all but 88 (see below) could have been written by a Bush campaign spokesman. The arguments and talking points are identical. The Bush people have a powerful outreach program, which makes it easy for columnists to write a column with minimal research.

Furthermore, if you look at the 88 words in context, yoiu will see that they're concessive -- she's setting up other, pro-Bush points. A Bush spokesman could not allow himself make these concessions, because the Bush campaign is mostly directed at true believers who are unwilling to admit anything at all. But it is very helpful if a surrogate like Saunders makes these concessions in order to immediately dismiss them, as she did.

Your own Rick Reinhardt often writes similiarly.

I am not asking for ideological uniformity, but when columnists coordinate their efforts with the RNC (as many do -- the meaningless, endlessly repeated "flip-flop" charge being an example) rather than doing their own research and writing independently, it makes the Oregonian into an unpaid RNC organ.

When the media came under pressure to represent the conservative point of view better, it did not have to mean that there would be Republican plants in the newspapers, but that's what happened. If someone is hired as the result of outside pressure of that type, he or she is more or less invulnerable, and furthermore, the ideological content of their thinking is effectively written into their job description.

I know of very few columnists anywhere who parrot the Democratic line the way that Saunders, Reinhardt, and others do the Republican line. Of the Democratic columnists I know of -- Paul Krugman, Molly Ivins, Joe Conason, Anthony Lewis, E. J. Dionne, Frank Rich, and a handful of others -- all work independently, and they are all more likely to be ahead of the Democratic Party than they are to be following it.


John Emerson

"The world now knows that Bush, the CIA and other countries' intelligence agencies -- and even Hussein's Iraqi lieutenants until December 2002 -- were wrong about Iraq possessing WMD.... "

"Did the Bush administration make mistakes? Of course. There is strong reason to believe this administration sent too few troops to Iraq. And it doesn't help that the top Bushies have a way of freezing out those likely to tell them news they don't want to hear. Also, Bush so overvalues loyalty that it leads him to overlook incompetence."

PS. Blogger REALLY can be annoying at times.


Things You Can Do

Visit America Coming Together | ACT for Victory for things you can do between now and election day.

Click on the Campaign for a New Majority button on the left, of just click here, and make a contribution. The DCCC will apply the money as necessary in a close House race, helping bring a Democratic Majority to the House of Representatives. Even $5 helps, because there are a lot of us.

Things You Can Do

Visit America Coming Together | ACT for Victory for things you can do between now and election day.

Click on the Campaign for a New Majority button on the left, of just click here, and make a contribution. The DCCC will apply the money as necessary in a close House race, helping bring a Democratic Majority to the House of Representatives. Even $5 helps, because there are a lot of us.

Weekly Electoral College Status Update

Matt Hubbard has a new Weekly Electoral College Status update.

Explanation here.