Friday, July 23, 2004


I've been lucky enough to be going to the Democratic Convention next week in Boston, so I will probably not get the opportunity to post anything. However, I plan on keeping a journal of the events and will post it when I get back. Until then, enjoy the links.

As for next weeks events, I will be attending receptions in honor of the Democratic Women of Congress, Senators Tom Daschle (SD),Harry Reid (NV) and Ben Nelson (Neb), Congressman Bob Matsui of California, Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island and a couple receptions in honor of the New Jersey Delegation (my home State). Additionally, I plan on hitting up a few Convention watching parties in bars on Harvard's campus(if I otherwise can't sneak into the Fleet Center), a fundraiser for Kerry at a Comedy club, and I'm sure some things that I'm not aware of at the moment.

Hopefully, I return with stories to tell and pictures to show off. Till then, take it easy, or don't take it at all...


Conservatives for Kerry 

Why does it take someone outside the country to say this so eloquently??

"American policy in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad has been incompetent. Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, used too few troops to secure the borders or to capture the stockpiles of weaponry. Disbanding Iraq's security forces was a foreseeable error. Backing Ahmed Chalabi for president flew in the face of wise counsel. The blitz on Falluja was a military and diplomatic catastrophe. The rather good interim government of Iraq that took power last week emerged in spite of, not because of, the United States...
I begin to think the West can purge itself of American misdemeanours only by some symbolic sacrifice. Rumsfeld would have done nicely had the president dismissed him over the Abu Ghraib horrors. He signally failed to do it. Now only the defeat of the Republican administration will suffice.
Senator John Kerry does not impress. Whereas the president has difficulty in stringing two words together, the Democratic candidate can say nothing in fewer than four long sentences, which is worse. The main charge against Kerry - a telling one -is that he is inconsistent. But is Bush less so? Was not this president elected on a platform of disengagement and did he not go on to fight two foreign wars? Did he set out for battle despising the UN and America's former allies in "old Europe", and does he not now grub about for their moral and practical support? ... For America to brush away its recent disgraces, the electorate will have to bin this administration. I never expected to say this to my American friends: vote Democrat." - Michael Portillo, of the British Conservative party


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Iran and Al Qaeda sitting in a.... 

Laura Rozen has the scoop:

Commission sources acknowledge they have been unable to resolve key questions about what precisely the 9/11 plotters did while they transited through Iran and, in particular, whether they were receiving active assistance from Iranian security officials, who appear to have maintained relations with Al Qaeda. But investigators say there is mounting evidence about Al Qaeda-Iranian relationships that appear to have been overlooked by a Bush administration that was far more focused on finding connections between bin Laden’s organization and the government of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

Indeed, during the trial of another alleged Hamburg cell member, Abdelghani Mzoudi, prosecutors produced a last-minute witness, Hamid Reza Zakeri, who said he was a former officer of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security. Zakeri testified there was a meeting at an airbase near Tehran on May 4, 2001, between top Iranian leaders—including supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and ex-president Hashemi Rafsanjani—and one of Osama bin Laden's elder sons, Saad, at which plans for 9/11 were discussed.

Zakeri also reportedly claimed he had earlier helped arrange security for a January 2001 meeting between Saad bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's principal deputy. He also claimed that he met with a CIA officer at the U.S. Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, in July 2001 and passed on a warning to the United States about the forthcoming 9/11 attacks.

So drip by drip, the Iran-Al Qaeda links are coming out. We've long known Iran has assited terrorists-not just Hizbollah and Hamas, but Al Qaeda in the Khobar Towers bombing, now they are close to building nukes. We pretty much have a reason to preemptively attack Iran, because they've pretty much been at war with us, yet we attacked Iraq. Now, with our military bogged down in Iraq, how can we take on Iran-our real enemy?

Debka has their theory of a Saudi-Iran-Syria plot...


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Osama's Man in Washington 

A must read Krugman.

The Arabian candidate wouldn't openly help terrorists. Instead, he would serve their cause while pretending to be their enemy.

After an attack, he would strike back at the terrorist base, a necessary action to preserve his image of toughness, but botch the follow-up, allowing the terrorist leaders to escape. Once the public's attention shifted, he would systematically squander the military victory: committing too few soldiers, reneging on promises of economic aid. Soon, warlords would once again rule most of the country, the heroin trade would be booming, and terrorist allies would make a comeback.

Meanwhile, he would lead America into a war against a country that posed no imminent threat. He would insinuate, without saying anything literally false, that it was somehow responsible for the terrorist attack. This unnecessary war would alienate our allies and tie down a large part of our military. At the same time, the Arabian candidate would neglect the pursuit of those who attacked us, and do nothing about regimes that really shelter anti-American terrorists and really are building nuclear weapons.

Again, he would take care to squander a military victory. The Arabian candidate and his co-conspirators would block all planning for the war's aftermath; they would arrange for our army to allow looters to destroy much of the country's infrastructure. Then they would disband the defeated regime's army, turning hundreds of thousands of trained soldiers into disgruntled potential insurgents.


Monday, July 19, 2004

The Kerry I Know 

Not me, this guy.

The initial year of his presidential campaign was almost fatal because of two rookie mistakes influenced by hubris: Kerry bought into front-runner-ism via fund-raising yardsticks, and, worse, he bought into a presentation based mostly on himself, his war record, and his résumé. What was missing from the calculus was a Democratic electorate in Iowa and New Hampshire (and nationally) that was more interested in how national policy might improve its members lives, not just in Iraq or even in the much-celebrated “anger.”

What I still find arresting is that Kerry not only listened and responded to the simple message that he was tanking, a regular occurrence in the political career of someone who mostly understands that campaigning doesn’t come naturally to him; he also took his new campaign manager and communications director straight from the top of Kennedy’s Senate staff, more at his senior colleague’s insistence than recommendation. Not only that, Kerry had the guts to walk away from the reason (the importance of neighboring New Hampshire’s primary) that there have been so many New England presidential candidates over the last four decades (John F. Kennedy, Muskie, Ted Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, George Bush Senior, Michael Dukakis, and Tsongas).


Outrage-Felon List 

From Billmon:

The state had tried to keep the list a secret. It fought a lawsuit aimed at opening the records to the public. A series of errors emerged once a Tallahassee judge rejected the state's arguments and released the records on July 1. The error that proved final — and garnered national attention — was that Hispanics were largely overlooked because of glitches ["glitches" would be more appropriate] in how the state records information about race and ethnicity. The list was created by cross-checking voter registration and criminal records. Of the more than 47,000 voters on the potential felon list, Hispanics made up one tenth of 1 percent — this in a state where nearly 1 in 5 residents is Hispanic. Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood issued a written statement Saturday saying the exclusion of Hispanics was "unintentional and unforeseen." "We are deeply concerned and disappointed that this has occurred," Hood said. . . . Many Hispanic voters vote Republican, with the Cuban population votes overwhelmingly Republican. And I suspect that's why only 50 — yes, 50 — Latinos were on a list of 47,000 names.

This is the article Billmon references.

It gets even better. Jeb Bush found himself facing some trouble, and despite previous protestations that the process was clean, wouldn't you know it? They found a glitch. Apparently the names of the Hispanic felons were kept on a separate list, for unknown reasons of course, and they forgot to merge it with the Guys Who Are Most Likely To Vote For Kerry list. So Jeb decided to punt on the whole deal.

I'm sorry, i'm sorry, that we got CAUGHT!! Is what Jeb meant to say.


Friday, July 16, 2004

Strong Leader 

Is this the Western-style justice that we're supposed to be introducing to Iraq? At least it wasn't Saddam...right?

Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq, pulled a pistol and executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station, just days before Washington handed control of the country to his interim government, according to two people who allege they witnessed the killings.

They say the prisoners - handcuffed and blindfolded - were lined up against a wall in a courtyard adjacent to the maximum-security cell block in which they were held at the Al-Amariyah security centre, in the city's south-western suburbs.

They say Dr Allawi told onlookers the victims had each killed as many as 50 Iraqis and they "deserved worse than death".


Thursday, July 15, 2004

Ohio on Bush 

Interesting focus group results here. Bush's support in Ohio appears to be softening. Go read it.


Wednesday, July 14, 2004


Tom Coburn, a former member of the House of Representatives from Oklahoma, who is campaigning to become the Republican party's candidate to replace retiring Senator Don Nickles, recently said he supports the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions.

"I favor the death penalty," Coburn told the AP last week, "for abortionists and other people who take life."

The Republican primary is July 27th; the winner will face likely Democratic nominee Brad Carson.

Does that mean he's Pro-Life, but would like to have at least, some people killed?
Update:  He said he performed two abortions to save the lives of mothers who had congenital heart disease, but opposes the procedure in cases of rape. "Under the mores we live under today, my lineage wouldn't exist," Coburn said, explaining that his great-grandmother was raped by a territorial sheriff.
I guess he'd have himself killed then.


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Supreme Court 

Random thought: Remember back during the 2000 election, how everyone was talking about how important the election was, because the next President was going to make (probably) 2 appointments to the Supreme Court? It has turned out that ZERO Supreme Court appointments have occured. However, with O'Connor talking about retirement and Stevens getting older, it appears the NEXT President will make at least 2 appointments. Do you think either of those two judges have seen some of the candidates Bush has nominated for Federal judge positions, and postponed their retirment in hopes that Bush isn't the President that picks their successor?


Monday, July 12, 2004

Long Strange Trip 

"I think I stole a car car, I'm not so sure." Ah, college.


Friday, July 09, 2004

Off to the Beach 

(No, not that one)

Back Monday


Inadvertently AWOL 

How convenient, the documents that would cover the three months of a period in 1972 and 1973 when Bush's claims of service in Alabama are in question, were inadvertently destroyed.

Below is a letter from Altercation, that about says it all:
In the years that I drove truck the only thing on the radio, with a few exceptions such as NPR, was Limbaugh, his clones and Christian radio. If it was not for Bernie Ward and Ray Taliaferro on KGO I think I would have gone completely nuts. In an age with the computer things have improved but I still do not think you get it.

I am supporting Kerry because as a fellow Vietnam veteran I understand where he is coming from on the war. I love Edwards because not only does he get what the problem is but has articulated it so well with his two Americas theme.

My problem is with people like you and the alleged journalists who have covered the President. A capsule of what the main issue that is confronting America is what the President did to get into the Air National Guard and out of the draft. The then Secretary of Sate of Texas pulled strings to get the President into the Guard. Someone from the other America had to take his place and take the risks of being sent to war. As a veteran of that war I admit that it is personal. I knew many boys, for we were all boys then, who came from that second America and got to pay the many prices of doing what your country wanted you to do. I have no problem with those that were against the war and went to Canada. I think of draft resisters who went to jail for their beliefs as heroes. It does not bother me that the Vice President decided not to serve and got deferments. The hypocrisy of what the President and his father did is at the core of what is wrong with this country. Both men supported the Vietnam War and the father used political pull to get his son out of it. If you really give it some thought this is what the Republican Party stands for and the President is really the poster boy for what the Republicans are all about. First America, second America.

I cannot get real mad at Bush for a man who would do such a thing is missing something inside. That something is called Character and sadly one either has it or does not.

You on the other hand are a different cup of tea. I read your blog every day and I think you care about this country and all that live in it. You are obviously well educated and are certainly smarter than I am. How is it that you do not get what the President did to get into the guard as an important issue in this election? How is it that Chris Mathews, any of 60 Minutes crew, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, and the rest of these “journalists” have not asked the President or any of his crew about this? They say that 45% of the country will always vote for Bush. I will tell you that it is not true. If this story ever got the coverage it deserved and everyone was aware of it and of its implications Bush could not get elected to dog catcher.

Who is at fault here? It is not Bush for what he did lines up with his beliefs. In front of a bunch of his first America crowd he said, “Some would call you the elite but I call you my base.” He meant it. The problem is with all you smart commentators and journalists. It is your job to get the facts out to everyone. The facts of the President sending someone else to face the risks of the draft by using political pull should be known to every person in this country. That it is not is because of the “liberal media” and commentators like you. Though I like you and agree with you politically on 90% of what you write I must tell that you really piss me off.

Name: John S. Lucas
Hometown: El Cerrito, CA


Thursday, July 08, 2004

PR=Pissed Reporters or Public Relations? 

One thing that drives me nuts about the current state of affairs, here in the U.S., is that of all things, we are losing the "PR war" with the terrorists and other bad guys. For a country who has done so much good for the World community, to not be able to get positive press is rediculous. Then we go and do this.

Just five months before American voters decide who will be appointed to the most powerful office in the world, the US state department said it would no longer allow overseas journalists to renew visas from within the country.

From next week the estimated 20,000 foreign journalists stationed in the US, who used to be able to renew their visas with ease in any major city, will be forced to leave the country to do so.

Rather than applying to renew their visas in Washington or New York, they will be forced to leave the country and re-apply at a US embassy or consulate abroad, delaying their application for between four weeks and six months

Andrew Sullivan tells what he's heard from reporter friends:
It's already a nightmare to enter this country, because of the new security regulations. British journalists have been jailed, humiliated and deported for the most minor of details, immigration officials at the borders now have powers that defy judicial review and act accordingly. Many of my European friends tell me that they simply won't visit the U.S. any more because of the experience of entering what appears to be a police state at the border - and the risk of summary arrest for no good reason. This is bad enough when it affects millions of ordinary people - tourists, business-people (I've noticed a big decline in European tourists on the Cape this summer). But when you target the group that is responsible for conveying what the United States is to the rest of the world, you are only hurting yourself.

Is he talking about North Korea, or the "Leader of the Free World"?


A Surprise Party in the Works? 

Will Bin Laden be the guest of honor?

This spring, the administration significantly increased its pressure on Pakistan to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman Al Zawahiri, or the Taliban's Mullah Mohammed Omar, all of whom are believed to be hiding in the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan. A succession of high-level American officials--from outgoing CIA Director George Tenet to Secretary of State Colin Powell to Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca to State Department counterterrorism chief Cofer Black to a top CIA South Asia official--have visited Pakistan in recent months to urge General Pervez Musharraf's government to do more in the war on terrorism. In April, Zalmay Khalilzad, the American ambassador to Afghanistan, publicly chided the Pakistanis for providing a "sanctuary" for Al Qaeda and Taliban forces crossing the Afghan border. "The problem has not been solved and needs to be solved, the sooner the better," he said. ...

A third source, an official who works under ISI's director, Lieutenant General Ehsan ul-Haq, informed tnr that the Pakistanis "have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of HVTs before [the] election is [an] absolute must." What's more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: "The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington." Says McCormack: "I'm aware of no such comment." But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston. ...

Pushing Musharraf to go after Al Qaeda in the tribal areas may be a good idea despite the risks. But, if that is the case, it was a good idea in 2002 and 2003. Why the switch now? Top Pakistanis think they know: This year, the president's reelection is at stake.


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The Edwards Choice 

E.J. Dionne is right on about the Edwards choice:

When you hear Republicans disparage Sen. John Edwards's lack of experience, remember the words of Sen. Orrin Hatch, spoken to George W. Bush at a debate on Dec. 6, 1999.

"You've been a great governor," Hatch declared of his rival for the Republican presidential nomination. "My only problem with you, governor, is that you've only had four and going into your fifth year of governorship. . . . Frankly, I really believe that you need more experience before you become president of the United States. That's why I'm thinking of you as a vice presidential candidate."

Which is exactly what Edwards was chosen for yesterday.

To argue against the Edwards choice, we have Dick Morris and his weak GOP anti-Trial lawyer talking points. Don't forget, Morris works for the NY Post, who picked the wrong VP.



Iranian officers with explosives, caught in Iraq. Iran is stirring up trouble all over the Middle East, and have been for years. They're nuke program is on the fast track, and they openly support terrorists. Good thing we attacked Iraq.


Friday, July 02, 2004

Marlon Brando 

Last night, the greatest actor of all time died. Hopefully he'll be remembered for his artistic brilliance, and not his odd behavior. The picture is from Apocalypse Now, my favorite Brando film. What is yours?


Help in Iraq 

Pakistani troops may end up in Iraq. We could use some non "Western" allies there. I heard a report that Jordan may also send some troops. Any muslim assistance we can get is crucial. However, i'm not sure they will be safe because they are fellow muslims

"Pakistan is the specific domain of the US Central Command, like India falls under the Pacific Command, and the visit of General John Abizaid means there is an exclusive agenda in the region with marked priorities, which include operations in the Pakistan-Afghanistan tribal areas and forcing Pakistan to support its war in Iraq, where the US now has realized that its troop operations are a failure and only Muslim armies can play a role," said Gul, who was a part of Pakistan's ruling oligarchy until Islamabad did an about-turn on Afghanistan and support of the Taliban in late 2001, and gradually sidelined those who supported jihadi movements. Gul is the architect of Pakistan's jihadi movement, which played an active role in Kashmir and Afghanistan.

Gul strongly believes that by giving Pakistan "major non-NATO ally" (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) status, the US has already struck a deal under which it bargained military cooperation in return for the support of Musharraf's regime. "The US establishment has already accepted Musharraf's non-democratic rule in return for his support to help them crush anti-US movements which the US has branded as terror outfits," said Gul.


Thursday, July 01, 2004

Saddam's New Look 

Someone call Queer Eye:


Just a Thought 

After reading several stories on the marine that has been abducted, and threatened with beheading, one thing jumped out at me:

About two months ago, he told a cousin that several American deserters had escaped by bribing Iraqis to help get them out of the country.
"He said a lot of soldiers, they don't want to die, especially when they see someone dying in front of them," said the cousin, Tarek Hassoun, who lives in Salt Lake City.

The fact that soldiers desert during a war, isn't new, and obviously the Pentagon would like to keep news of soldiers deserting away from the press, but how many of our troops have deserted? As Tacitus so bravely put it, most soldiers think of what life would be like, if they could get away from their military duties. However, some do more than just think it. Anyone know how many?



Rumor has it that teams of Delta Force are in Sudan wiping out the Janjaweed milita. The Delta Force are "technically" supposed to be in Iraq, but have been operating in Western Sudan.

No word if Chuck Norris is leading this Action.


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