Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The New James Carvilles 

The Guardian on how the internet has turned everyone into James Carville.

Today, it seems that every online political junkie secretly - if not openly - believes he's James Carville, a strategist possessed of such uncontested political genius that a particular candidate would be crazy not to listen to his advice, especially if that particular candidate is John Kerry. It's possible to find people on the web who'll claim that they could do at least as good a job in winning political races as the veteran consultants on the inside. So what if these people have never worked in any actual campaign? At least some of them were warning, months ago, that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth would be a problem for Kerry and that he should respond hard and fast - an idea that Kerry's team would have been wise to consider.

How is it possible that amateur political junkies are potentially having an effect on actual campaigns? The answer is that the internet has fundamentally changed politics as we know it. There is just so much out there that we didn't have access to four years ago: polling data, fundraising data, media-buy data; instant access to every TV ad and press release and unguarded gaffe and well-timed leak to jolt the campaign; insider dish on what the media's covering and what it's not covering and why; and perhaps most fun of all, there are massive online communities in which hundreds of thousands of people submit their mostly corny, often silly and sometimes unimaginably brilliant ideas for how this candidate or that should run his campaign. "As a political junkie," says Moulitsas, "this is heaven for me."

It's true, the internet has turned everyone into a political junkie, and now nothing that happens gets missed-someone out "there" has heard or seen it, and now is reporting it on their blog or commenting on it, on someone else's blog. I think it is a good thing, if it creates less bias in the media, or causes a politicican to watch what he/she says, but it also leads to the legions of internet junkies, to micromanage and complain about everything that happens. Nothing that Kerry does/says slips by without some criticism from the blogs(which tend to be more on the left than the candidate himself), and in my mind causing people to not realize that they're being unfair at times. If Kerry were to do everything that is suggested, he'd probably be denounced as being to far left to be President. To sum it up: keep up the anlaysis, but don't expect everything to happen the way you want it.


Monday, September 27, 2004

Congrats Conan! 

Conan O'Brien will replace Leno on the "Tonight Show" in 2009. A well deserved promotion! If only Leno would leave now.



Desert Storm war planner Mike Turner, sums up Iraq war Version 2.0:

From a purely military standpoint, the war in Iraq is an unmitigated disaster. This administration failed to make even a cursory effort at adequately defining the political end state they sought to achieve by removing Saddam Hussein, making it impossible to precisely define long-term military success. That, in turn, makes it impossible to lay out a rational exit strategy for U.S. troops. Like Vietnam, the military is again being asked to clean up the detritus of a failed foreign policy. We are nose-deep in a protracted insurgency, an occupying Christian power in an oil-rich, Arab country. That country is not now and has never been a single nation. A single, unified, democratic Iraq comprised of Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis is a willfully ignorant illusion at best.

Two thirds of America's combat brigades are now tied down in this war which, under present conditions, is categorically unwinnable. Having alienated virtually every major ally who might help, our troops are simply targets. If Bush is re-elected, there are only two possible outcomes in Iraq:

1. Four years from now, America will have 5,000 dead servicemen and women and an untold number of dead Iraqis at a cost of about $1 trillion, yet still be no closer to success than we are right now, or
2. The U.S. will be gone, and we will witness the birth of a violent breeding ground for Shiite terrorists posing a far greater threat to Americans than a contained Saddam.


Saturday, September 25, 2004

Fake Wedding? 

Rumors are circulating around the UN, that Allawi and Bush's marriage was only one of convenience, and not real. I'm sure Access Hollywood will find out the truth.


Friday, September 24, 2004


Drudge is soo excited that Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone, a self-proclaimed "liberal Democrat", has endorsed Bush, because, Bush is better for business. However, after a quick search, it appears Redstone has given only Kerry money. Is Redstone just doing a little damage control, because of "Rathergate"? Does anyone really care who he endorses anyway? You decide.



The RNC admits to mailing out Bible banning fear mailings.

On the flip side, I've heard that the DNC, or more likely, a Democratic 527, is going ahead with plans to send mailings of their own, which claim that Bush drove a former girlfriend to get an abortion. That info is in Kitty Kelley's new book, and would go over pretty well in West Virginia. I hate campaigns like this, but Democrats have to fight fire with fire, if they want to win.


Thursday, September 23, 2004


Peter Bergen says there is reason for optimism in Afghanistan.

What we are seeing in Afghanistan is far from perfect, but it's better than so-so. Disputes that would once have been settled with the barrel of a gun are now increasingly being dealt with politically. The remnants of the Taliban are doing what they can to disrupt the coming election, but their attacks, aimed at election officials, American forces and international aid workers, are sporadic and strategically ineffective.

If the elections are a success, it will send a powerful signal to neighboring countries like Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, none of which can claim to be representative democracies. If so, the democratic domino effect, which was one of the Bush administration's arguments for the Iraq war, may be more realistic in Central Asia than it has proved to be in the Middle East.

Bergen is no Pro-Bush lackey either. Check out his book Holy War, Inc.. Bergen is one of the few (only?) Western journalists who have met Bin Laden.


End of Pay to Play 

in New Jersey?

Under the executive order, state agencies and independent authorities will be prohibited from awarding contracts to businesses that have contributed to a gubernatorial candidate or a state- or county-level political committee. It will also apply to individuals who own or control more than 10 percent of a company or partnership. Advocacy groups known as 527's that are controlled by such businesses also fall under the order.

The measure applies to state contracts in excess of $17,500, but will not affect county and municipal contracts, unlike a bill earlier this year that failed to pass in the Legislature. Those contracts account for about half of all government spending in New Jersey. The restrictions also do not apply to legislative candidates or the powerful political action committees controlled by legislative leaders. Last year, those legislative leadership committees raised $12.6 million.

Still, the new rules are the strictest in the nation, according to Craig Holman, the campaign finance lobbyist for Public Citizen in Washington, who helped draft the first pay-to-play proposal in Trenton almost three years ago - a proposal that was not adopted. "I'm delighted," Mr. Holman said. "This is much more sweeping than what any other state has come up with."

I like the idea of getting a lot of the money (i.e. corruptable influence) out of politics, but I believe it'll always find a way of getting through. Maybe not as "PAC donations", but now just as bribes? I'm proud that NJ is leading the way, but with all the indictments for corruption, it had to start there.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

FPN Hears.... 

...Word around Georgia politics is that the reason first term Rep. Denise Majette decided to give up her easily reelected House seat to run for Senate, is that there's a good chance she'll get a job anyway. If she wins, she's Senator, if she loses and Kerry is elected President, Majette will be nominated to be Federal Judge. If she and Kerry both lose? Good luck to her.

...Lance Armstrong and high maintenance rocker girlfriend Sheryl Crow are about to officially split up, with Crow demanding back the car she gave Armstrong for his birthday.


War and a Movie 

I'm surprised that the military allows any movie but "The Longest Day" to be seen in Iraq:

WASHINGTON – Inside dusty, barricaded camps around Iraq, groups of American troops in between missions are gathering around screens to view an unlikely choice from the US box office: "Fahrenheit 9-11," Michael Moore's controversial documentary attacking the commander-in-chief.

"Everyone's watching it," says a Marine corporal at an outpost in Ramadi that is mortared by insurgents daily. "It's shaping a lot of people's image of Bush."

The film's prevalence is one sign of a discernible countercurrent among US troops in Iraq - those who blame President Bush for entangling them in what they see as a misguided war. Conventional wisdom holds that the troops are staunchly pro-Bush, and many are. But bitterness over long, dangerous deployments is producing, at a minimum, pockets of support for Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry, in part because he's seen as likely to withdraw American forces from Iraq more quickly.

[For] 9 out of 10 of the people I talk to, it wouldn't matter who ran against Bush - they'd vote for them," said a US soldier in the southern city of Najaf, seeking out a reporter to make his views known. "People are so fed up with Iraq, and fed up with Bush."

I have heard that one Division of Marines in Iraq has gotten in trouble for referring to the Commander-in-Chief as the "Deserter".


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Victor Bout 

The man who will sell weapons to anyone, is also working for us.

''Bout was brilliant,'' Gayle Smith said recently. ''Had he been dealing in legal commodities, he would have been considered one of the world's greatest businessmen. He's a fascinating but destructive character. We were trying to bring peace, and Bout was bringing war.''

A very interesting read, all 11 pages worth.


Republicans against Bush 

Not too much of a surprise here, but Dems should play it up a bit to counter Zell Miller.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee said Monday he plans to support his party in November but may write in a candidate instead of voting for President Bush...

The Republican said the party's direction in the future will determine his political career as well. He said he's "not OK" with the conservative platform from the Republican convention, but would not say if he'd consider switching parties in his next election in 2006.

"It wasn't that long ago that moderates had more of a voice," Chafee said. "It's a cycle that I hope will come back."

I'm glad to hear a moderate Republican stand up for himself, it's too bad they're almost extinct on a National level.


What is Bush Hiding? 

E.J. Dionne has got it right.

And, please, none of this nonsense about how Kerry "opened the door" to the assault on his Vietnam years by highlighting his service at the Democratic National Convention. Nothing any candidate does should ever be seen as "opening the door" to lies about his past. Besides, Vietnam veterans with Republican ties were going after Kerry's war record long before the Democratic convention.

But, most important, there is only one reason the story about Bush's choices during the Vietnam years persists. It's because the president won't give detailed answers to the direct questions posed by the Times story and other responsible media organizations, including the Boston Globe. Their questions never depended on the discredited CBS documents


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Curb Your Enthusiasm (to vote) 

Larry David is dead right in his New York Times Op/Ed.

I'd like to address this to the Undecideds: I'm on to you. You may be fooling everyone else with your little "undecided" act, but you're not fooling me. You know perfectly well whom you're voting for. The only reason you say you're undecided is that it's a cheap ploy to get attention. How do I know? Because I'm the most indecisive person in the world. I set the template, baby, and you're not passing the smell test...

The truth is, Undecideds, you're getting on our nerves. We Decideds hate all the attention you're getting and that you're jerking us around. Anyone who can't make up his or her mind at this point in the campaign should forget about the election entirely, buy a pint of ice cream and get into bed.

We'd love to tell you to take a hike, but we're afraid to alienate you. If we really had any brains, we wouldn't spend another second on you, but on the people who can truly make a difference: the "unlikely" voters. And there are millions more of them than there are of you. Those people aren't after attention, they're just incredibly lazy. The only way they'll register to vote is if someone shows up at their door with a form. And then the only way they'll actually vote is if you carry them to the booth.

Also check out David's Op/Ed on his time in the National Guard.
Then in the summer we would go away to camp for two weeks. It felt more like three. I wondered if I'd ever see my parakeet again. We slept on cots and ate in the International House of Pancakes. I learned the first night that IHOP's not the place to order fish. When the two weeks were up, I came home a changed man. I would often burst into tears for no apparent reason and suffered recurring nightmares about drowning in blueberry syrup. If I hadn't been so strapped for cash, I would've sought the aid of a psychiatrist



For the love of god, enough with the hurricane coverage! Do we really need up to the minute coverage of where Hurrican Ivan is? I can understand if you're in Florida, Lousiana, Alabama, etc., and are dealing with it. However, if it's coming your way, and you've been told to evacuate, you sure aren't watching CNN to find out what's going on. We have the "Weather Channel" for hurricane news, that's what it's there for. CNN,MSNBC, etc., are for real news, like the worsening situation in Iraq, Bush's National Guard lies, you get the idea.


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

AWOL from Washington 

Forget the National Guard, Bush has been AWOL from DC this summer:
The number of Bush travel days has been in double digits every month since February. And Bush has spent just a handful of full days in Washington all summer long - just 10 since Memorial Day

Sure, Bush is in the middle of a reelection campaign, but he's been in DC for only 10 days this summer. Does this have anything to do with the threat of a terror attack before the election?


Syria Used Chemical Weapons? 

Interesting development in Sudan. Let's follow how this story develops.

Syrian special forces used chemical weapons in June to kill dozens of people in Darfur, Sudan, the German newspaper Die Welt reported.

The attack came after an arrangement between Syria and the Sudanese government, Die Welt said, citing Western secret service documents and eyewitnesses as quoted in the Arab media.....

A second plan -- the one that was eventually carried out -- called for testing the weapons on black African residents of the war-torn Darfur region.

At least five planes from the Syrian civil airline Syrian Arab Airlines flew Syrian chemical weapons experts into Sudan to carry out the attack.

If Syria did use chemical weapons in Sudan, were they originally Iraq's chemical weapons? Why is Syria testing them, so they can be used to defend against against a U.S. invasion?


Kerry on the Attack 

This is what he should have been saying all along:

"The president would have us believe that his record is the result of bad luck, not bad decisions, that he's faced the wrong circumstances, not made the wrong choices," Kerry said in excerpts of remarks prepared for delivery at the Detroit Economic Club, a traditional forum for presidential candidates.

"In fact, this president has created more excuses than jobs. His is the Excuse Presidency -- never wrong, never responsible, never to blame. President Bush's desk isn't where the buck stops -- it's where the blame begins.He's blamed just about everyone but himself and his administration for America's economic problems. And if he's missed you, don't worry - he's still got 48 days left until the election."


Osama Bin Forgotten 

I'm not sure if he's alive or dead (I'm leaning towards dead), and I know catching Bin Laden, will not mark the end of the "War on Terror", but he does have the blood of 3,000 people on his hands. He has to be caught, or proven to be dead. But, I guess getting Bin Laden isn't much of a priority anymore.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 - Three years after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency has fewer experienced case officers assigned to its headquarters unit dealing with Osama bin Laden than it did at the time of the attacks, despite repeated pleas from the unit's leaders for reinforcements, a senior C.I.A. officer with extensive counterterrorism experience has told Congress.

Sometimes vengeance is necessary.


Bumpersticker Firing 

At least this story has a happy ending.

"We were going back to work from break, and my manager told me that Phil said to remove the sticker off my car or I was fired," she said. "I told him that Phil couldn't tell me who to vote for. He said, 'Go tell him.' "

She went to [Geddes'] office, knocked on the door and entered on his orders.

"Phil and another man who works there were there," she said. "I asked him if he said to remove the sticker and he said, 'Yes, I did.' I told him he couldn't tell me who to vote for. When I told him that, he told me, 'I own this place.' I told him he still couldn't tell me who to vote for."

Gobbell said [Geddes] told her to "get out of here."

"I asked him if I was fired and he told me he was thinking about it," she said. "I said, 'Well, am I fired?' He hollered and said, 'Get out of here and shut the door.' "

She said her manager was standing in another room and she asked him if that meant for her to go back to work or go home. The manager told her to go back to work, but he came back a few minutes later and said, "I reckon you're fired. You could either work for him or John Kerry," Gobbell said.

"I took off my gloves and threw them in the garbage and left," Gobbell said.

The story was picked up by Daily Kos, a political Web log, and spread quickly around the Web. By this morning, Geddes, who has declined to comment publicly on the matter, had apparently had enough of the bad publicity. Through an intermediary, he offered Gobbell an apology and said she could have her old job back. But Gobbell said she wouldn't return without some written guarantee that Geddes wouldn't turn around and fire her once he was out of the spotlight. Then, late this afternoon, Kerry himself phoned Gobbell. "He was telling me how proud he was that I stood up," Gobbell told me. "He'd read the part where Phil said I could either work for him or work for John Kerry. He said, 'you let him know you're working for me as of today.' I was just so shocked."

People being told how to vote by their employer happens everywhere. In 2000, I had worked in Northeastern Pennsylvania on a Congressional race. While there, I was told by many people that that they were threatened to be fired, if they didn't vote for the Republican candidates. I even heard stories of husbands going into the voting booth with their wives, to make sure they voted Republican. We need more stories of people being fired because of their political leanings to come out, in order to stop it.


Monday, September 13, 2004

A Strong Start 

The Eagles made it look easy yesterday, with a 31-17 win over the Giants. The real test is next Monday night against the Vikings.


Friday, September 10, 2004

U.S. Constitution a Fake? 

Let's call the format experts to take a look:

Look at this enlargement from Section 2: Clause 4. If we magnify the image we see that the "h" in When and the are identical. This cannot be possible because at the time the framers of the constitution were using a Johnson-Matlock Quill pen, this was a very messy pen and did not allow for uniform letters. The earliest a uniform quill pen was invented was in 1793. Four years after this document was purported to be written.


Taliban Regrouping 

Asia Times reports on the Taliban's big plan.
"The situation is going from bad to worse," says Malik Nabi, district president, Chaman, of the anti-Taliban Pashtunkho Mili Awami Party. "The numbers of Taliban and their supporters are increasing with every passing day. You take a ride to Chaman and you will find black and white turbans everywhere, a sort of propaganda tactic to show their strength. Just go to a football stadium in the evening and you will find hundreds of black turbans, a hallmark of the Taliban," Malik Nabi adds.

Nowadays, as far as the Taliban are concerned, there are two types of Taliban: those who are on the frontline battlefields, and those who are waiting for a call to become cannon fodder once the word goes out for a mass mobilization.

As far as al-Qaeda is concerned, a new, dispersed, generation of cells are involved in plotting attacks worldwide.

The "old" brigade, meanwhile, including bin Laden and Zawahiri, are concentrating their efforts on the battlefields of Afghanistan.

I don't believe that the Taliban control most of Afghaistan, and most of the U.S. forces are dug into trenches, but I do believe the Taliban/terrorists will do whatever they can to disrupt the elections.


Ghost Detainees 

Can someone tell me how this is a good idea? It's certainly not a way to put a good face on the "War on Terror". I thought only the Soviets had secret prison/prisoners.
Army jailers in Iraq, acting at the Central Intelligence Agency's request, kept dozens of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and other detention facilities off official rosters to hide them from Red Cross inspectors, two senior Army generals said Thursday. The total is far more than had been previously reported.

An Army inquiry completed last month found eight documented cases of so-called ghost detainees, but two of the investigating generals said in testimony before two Congressional committees and in interviews on Thursday that depositions from military personnel who served at the prison indicated that the real total was many times higher.

"The number is in the dozens, to perhaps up to 100," Gen. Paul J. Kern, the senior officer who oversaw the Army inquiry, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Another investigator, Maj. Gen. George R. Fay, put the figure at "two dozen or so," but both officers said they could not give a precise number because no records were kept on most of the C.I.A. detainees.

Under the Geneva Conventions, the temporary failure to disclose the identities of prisoners to the Red Cross is permitted under an exemption for military necessity. But the Army generals said they were certain that the practice used by the C.I.A. in Iraq went far beyond that.

We didn't go as far as the Germans during World War II to hide the prisoners and their conditions, but I don't like the way this is headed.

Note: I'm not comparing hiding up to 100 prisoners to the Nazi concentration camps.


Thursday, September 09, 2004


From Debka:
Weapons-explosives cache similar to arsenal used by Beslan hostage-takers discovered Thursday in basement of St. Petersburg cinema. Like the school, cinema was closed for construction work.

DEBKAfile reports that after Beslan, Kremlin ordered sweep of all public buildings across Russia - schools, universities, places of entertainment and crowd centers.

Are we going to have to do background checks on all construction workers now?


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Paris Underground Cinema 

Who knows what you'll find beneath Paris.
Police in Paris have discovered a fully equipped cinema-cum-restaurant in a large and previously uncharted cavern underneath the capital's chic 16th arrondissement...

There the police found a full-sized cinema screen, projection equipment, and tapes of a wide variety of films, including 1950s film noir classics and more recent thrillers. None of the films were banned or even offensive, the spokesman said.

A smaller cave next door had been turned into an informal restaurant and bar. "There were bottles of whisky and other spirits behind a bar, tables and chairs, a pressure-cooker for making couscous," the spokesman said.

"The whole thing ran off a professionally installed electricity system and there were at least three phone lines down there."


Tuesday, September 07, 2004


Dick Cheney today:

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday warned Americans about voting for Democratic Sen. John Kerry, saying that if the nation makes the wrong choice on Election Day it faces the threat of another terrorist attack.

Politics of fear is their only strategy. Sad.


In Memoriam 

1,000+ dead. But hey, we're safer now that Saddam's caught. Right?


Happy Birthday 

To ESPN. It's been 25 years!
The jubilee reminded us that before ESPN, viewers were sated by Saturday afternoon-only college football, "Wide World of Sports" and three-minute sports reports on the local news...

We didn't know - heck, nobody knew - that ESPN would become a wide world all its own with a manifest destiny to devour all sports and all manner of media. ESPN has become Microsoft...

(I still hope that Chris Berman will retire the nickname schtick)


Operation Truth 

Go take a look at Operation Truth.

Operation Truth is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that seeks to educate the American public about the truth of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the perspective of the soldiers who have experienced them first-hand.

The best section of the site is the hear it from the troops section, featuring letters from soliders in Iraq. They won't let the news from Iraq stay out of the front page, like the Bush Administration hopes.


U.S.-Chechen Relations 

Pooty-Poot is a bit upset with Dubya.
But Putin said each time Russia complained to the Bush administration about meetings held between U.S. officials and Chechen separatist representatives, the U.S. response has been "we'll get back to you" or "we reserve the right to talk with anyone we want."

Putin blamed what he called a "Cold War mentality" on the part of some U.S. officials, but likened their demands that Russia negotiate with the Chechen separatists to the U.S. talking to al Qaeda.
These are not "freedom fighters," Putin said. "Would you talk with Osama Bin Laden?" he asked.

Putin said the Chechen separatists are trying to ignite ethnic tensions in the former Soviet Union and it could have severe repercussions.

"Osama Bin Laden attacked the United States saying he was doing it because of policies in the Middle East," Putin said. "Do you call him a freedom fighter?"

Putin's comments came a few weeks after the U.S. granted asylum to Ilias Akhmadov, the "foreign minister" of the Chechen separatist movement.

Are U.S. officials really meeting with Chechen separatists on an official basis? Why grant asylum to the "foreign minister" of the Chechen separatist movement, when it would just give the Russians a reason to not support us? Is this an example of the forward-thinking post/911 world that the Bush Administration likes to tout? The world community rightfully should be worried about human rights violations carried out by the Russians in Chechnya, but after the school massacre, I wouldn't go anywhere near Chechnya for awhile. There does seem to be a deal, for Russian cooperation in the war on terror, the U.S. wouldn't criticize Russian human rights violations. However, to grant asylum to a Chechen leader? Like Putin said, it sounds like the Bush Administration still have a Cold War mentality.

More on U.S-Chechen relations.


Sunday, September 05, 2004

October Surprise 

This Election's October Surprise will be brought to you curtesy of Pakistan.

The United States and its allies have moved closer to capturing Osama bin Laden in the last two months, a top U.S. counterterrorism official said in a television interview broadcast Saturday.

"If he has a watch, he should be looking at it because the clock is ticking. He will be caught," Joseph Cofer Black, the U.S. State Department coordinator for counterterrorism, told private Geo television network.

Asked if concrete progress had been made during the last two months - when Pakistan has arrested dozens of terror suspects including some key al-Qaida operatives - Black said, "Yes, I would say this."

Not just Bin Laden's clock is ticking, the countdown until election day is well underway.


Bob Graham 

On the Saudi-Al Qaeda connection:

WASHINGTON - Two of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers had a support network in the United States that included agents of the Saudi government, and the Bush administration and FBI blocked a congressional investigation into that relationship, Sen. Bob Graham wrote in a book to be released Tuesday.

The discovery of the financial backing of the two hijackers ''would draw a direct line between the terrorists and the government of Saudi Arabia, and trigger an attempted coverup by the Bush administration,'' the Florida Democrat wrote.
And in Graham's book, Intelligence Matters, obtained by The Herald Saturday, he makes clear that some details of that financial support from Saudi Arabia were in the 27 pages of the congressional inquiry's final report that were blocked from release by the administration, despite the pleas of leaders of both parties on the House and Senate intelligence committees.

Graham also revealed that Gen. Tommy Franks told him on Feb. 19, 2002, just four months after the invasion of Afghanistan, that many important resources -- including the Predator drone aircraft crucial to the search for Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda leaders -- were being shifted to prepare for a war against Iraq.

Graham recalled this conversation at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa with Franks, then head of Central Command, who was ``looking troubled'':

``Senator, we are not engaged in a war in Afghanistan.''

''Excuse me?'' I asked.

''Military and intelligence personnel are being redeployed to prepare for an action in Iraq,'' he continued.


Friday, September 03, 2004

Clinton Hospitalized 


(more later)


The Liarnator 

Oops! Looks like Ahnold needs a history lesson on Austria.

Recalling that the Soviets once occupied part of Austria in the aftermath of World War II, Schwarzenegger told the convention on Tuesday: "I saw tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes."

No way, historians say "It's a fact -- as a child he could not have seen a Soviet tank in Styria," the southeastern province where Schwarzenegger was born and raised, historian Stefan Karner told the Vienna newspaper Kurier.
Schwarzenegger, now a naturalized U.S. citizen, was born on July 30, 1947, when Styria and the neighboring province of Carinthia belonged to the British zone. At the time, postwar Austria was occupied by the four wartime allies, which also included the United States, the Soviet Union and France.

The Soviets already had left Styria in July 1945, less than three months after the end of the war,

...In his convention address, Schwarzenegger also said: "As a kid, I saw the Socialist country that Austria became after the Soviets left" in 1955 and Austria regained its independence.

But Martin Polaschek, a law history scholar and vice rector of Graz University, told Kurier that Austria was governed by coalition governments, including the conservative People's Party and the Social Democratic Party. Between 1945 and 1970, all the nation's chancellors were conservatives -- not Socialists.

What's more, when Schwarzenegger left in 1968, Austria was run by a conservative government headed by People's Party Chancellor Josef Klaus, a staunch Roman Catholic and a sharp critic of both the Socialists as well as the Communists ruling in countries across the Iron Curtain.

I'm glad the fact-checkers were out on this one.


Job News 

144,000 Economic Girly-Men now have jobs. A modest gain that, no doubt will be exploited by the Bush Administration. Congratulations to thew newly employed, but it's still a few thousand below what Economists were predicting.


Thursday, September 02, 2004

On the Attack 

Sounds like Kerry is starting to go into attack mode.

Coming off what even his aides acknowledge has been a bad month for the candidate, Kerry is scrambling to regain momentum -- sharpening his critique of Bush's policies and shaking up his communications team to be more responsive to attacks on the Democrat and his running mate, Sen. John Edwards (N.C.).

After huddling with top staff in recent days in Nantucket, Kerry plans a more aggressive campaign style in the final two months -- starting with Wednesday's speech, aides said.

Joe Lockhart, the Clinton White House spokesman who was hired to sharpen and simplify Kerry's message, is taking a prominent, some say the preeminent, leadership role in a department largely bereft of advisers with considerable presidential-level experience. In an interview Wednesday, he promised that no attack would go unanswered.

I'm glad to hear Lockhart's getting involved to "sharpen and simplify" Kerry's message. That seems to have been a major flaw so far-Kerry's attacks not being sharp and to the point, or at least, having enought to bite to stay in the echo chamber. No more babbling answers. No more fear of attacking Bush. I think being optimistic, with a little edge can be pulled off by Kerry.


Wednesday, September 01, 2004


Is a bitch.

Linda Allison's story, never before published, contradicts the Bush campaign's assertion that George W. Bush transferred from the Texas Air National Guard to the Alabama National Guard in 1972 because he received an irresistible offer to gain high-level experience on the campaign of Bush family friend Winton "Red" Blount. In fact, according to what Allison says her late husband told her, the younger Bush had become a political liability for his father, who was then the United States ambassador to the United Nations, and the family wanted him out of Texas. "I think they wanted someone they trusted to keep an eye on him," Linda Allison said...

Allison's account corroborates a Washington Post investigation in February that found no credible witnesses to the service in the Alabama National Guard that Bush maintains he performed, despite a lack of documentary evidence. Asked if she'd ever seen Bush in a uniform, Allison said: "Good lord, no. I had no idea that the National Guard was involved in his life in any way." Allison also confirmed previously published accounts that Bush often showed up in the Blount campaign offices around noon, boasting about how much alcohol he had consumed the night before. (Bush has admitted that he was a heavy drinker in those years, but he has refused to say whether he also used drugs)...

While Kerry earned a Silver Star and a Bronze Star after saving a crewmate's life under fire on the Mekong River in Vietnam, by contrast, the Georgie that Allison knew was a young man whose parents did not allow him to live with the consequences of his own mistakes. His powerful father -- whom the son seemed to both idolize and resent -- was a lifeline for Bush out of predicaments. After Bush graduated from Yale in 1968, his slot in the Texas Air National Guard allowed him to avoid active duty service in Vietnam. The former speaker of the Texas state House, Democrat Ben Barnes, now admits he pulled strings to get Bush his coveted guard slot, and says he's "ashamed" of the deed. "60 Minutes" will air an interview with Barnes next Wednesday, but George H.W. Bush denounced Barnes' claims in an interview aired on CBS. "They keep saying that and it's a lie, a total lie. Nobody's come up with any evidence, and yet it's repeated all the time," the former president said, in what could just as well describe the playbook for the Swift Boat Veterans ads.

Go read the whole article. (You'll have to sit through a one minute ad for a free day pass from Salon.com


Virginia's trend 

A Massachusetts Yankee may win Virginia? Not a guarentee, but a possibility.

At a recent Northern Virginia Young Democrats meeting, we heard a representative from the Kerry campaign who is wildly optimistic about Kerry's chance of winning. Gore put VERY little money into Virginia in 2000 and lost by a thin margin(I think Bush had 53%).That's not supposed to happen in a State that's taken for granted to fall in line for the Republicans. Move over Florida, Virginia could be the State to watch.


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