Sunday, October 31, 2004
Voting is the most direct way for you to affect your government -- don't let anyone deprive you of this precious right! Read through the list below and be aware of your rights before you go to the polls, and use the information below if you encounter any harassment or intimidation.
* You are entitled to vote without being harassed or intimidated by anyone.
* Bring personal identification with you to the polls (driver's license, government ID, bank statement or utility bill).
* If you forget your ID, you can still vote. (All you need to do is sign an affidavit or you can vote by provisional ballot. Try to avoid this route, as these ballots could take 1-5 days to be counted!). Better yet—DON’T FORGET YOUR ID!
* If records show you have moved, you can vote by signing an address confirmation.
* If you are in line at the polling place before the polls close, you can vote.
* You have the right to receive a demonstration of voting equipment before voting.
* If you are disabled, or are over the age of 65, or are having difficulties, you have the right to an accessible polling place and help in voting.
If anyone challenges your right to vote:
* Ask for the name of the person who is denying you the right to vote and write it down.
* Ask to talk to a supervisor and lodge a complaint or call the Harris County Election’s Office at: 713-368-POLL (7055)
* Call the Harris County Democratic Party at 713-802-0085 and report your complaint.
Election Protection Hotline:
1-866-MYVOTE1 to report problems
1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) for immediate legal assistance
Employees who do not have two hours before or after work to vote may take leave to vote.
Employees are entitled to paid leave.
Source: Texas Election Code § 276.004.
Find your voting location in Harris County with just your name or precinct number.
Another study gives the poll analysis that has Kerry at 311 EV.
Reports on left-leaning sites (from comments and dairies) that the PAX network and Sinclair Broadcasting are running versions of "Stolen Honor" the Kerry smear ad, all over the country. By the stealth method they are running, claiming it is an infomercial, the GOP kept it out of mainstream political discourse this weekend. Call 1-800-NEWSMAX to talk about it on their dime.
Tucker Carlson and many of the smarter conservatives are pretty much conceding the election to Kerry. Fox News this Sunday talks about their poll showing a tie but their scrawl shows a 1% Kerry lead. Reports of huge turnouts in Democratic counties, up 50 to 200% from 2000, modest increases in GOP counties. A report out of Florida has Kerry at a double digit lead in early voting. This after the Florida GOP party urged all Republicans to vote early. The slant from the far right conservatives is that the media is biased against Bush and starting to claim registration and vote fraud. (Registration fraud like their trashing of Democratic registrations? Somehow it is not mentioned except one top GOP official defending it!) Hitchins has given a different presidential endorsement in each of three publications he writes for - 2 for Bush, 1 for Kerry.
ADDED - The Counter to Stolen Honor, Going Upriver. is converting college campuses.
Bush Planned to Invade Iraq before election. Claims his father lost because he wasn't a war president. This is from two conservative journalists. Also note the typical Bush teams smears against one journalist not sufficiently loyal should cause the journalist to reconsider other peoples stories of being smeared by Bush.
- Bush admitted that he failed to fulfill his Vietnam-era domestic National Guard service obligation, but claimed that he had been “excused.” This contradicts recent stories.
- Bush revealed that after he left his Texas National Guard unit in 1972 under murky circumstances, he never piloted a plane again. Several Bush instances where he had said otherwise.
“He told me that as a leader, you can never admit to a mistake,” Herskowitz said. “That was one of the keys to being a leader.”
Twelve ways the GOP is now stealing the Ohio vote
Should Kerry go after the GOP moderates these last two days? Bush has failed them by fiscal irresponsibility, religious extremism, overt imperialism, raising partisanship instead of fostering bi-partisanship, and favoring Wall Street over Main Street.
Latest right-wing talk radio lunacy. They are attacking Teresa Heinz Kerry for paying less than 13% of her income in taxes. This rate is a result of the Bush tax cut cult for millionaires lowering the dividend rate to 15%. If they object to this why aren't they blaming Bush for the tax cuts? The person who pays the taxes isn't to blame , the person who created the tax rates is. Of course, they don't really object to this. This is just another faux indignation the GOP talking points creators thought up.
Saturday, October 30, 2004
My nephew Troy, the sergeant in the Rangers, has decided to vote for Kerry. Last time I talked to him he was a big Bush fan, pro-Iraq war. A year in Iraq and seeing friends die can change your mind. Coming back and seeing Republicans saying that the newspapers and media are not showing the good news from Iraq when he knew there is no good news in Iraq changed his mind.
Like my sister, despite his pro-life position, he feels compelled to vote Democratic. He says except for a couple issues like abortion he might be called a liberal now. A large number of the others in the military feel the same way.
NEWSMAX, the Richard Mellon Scaife-funded conservative "news" organization is purchasing large blogs of TV time to run scurrilous attack ads on Senator Kerry. The ads feature conservative veterans calling Kerry a traitor responsible for the torture and dishonor of fellow American soldiers in Vietnam as well as extending the length of the war.
The time is purchased as infomercial time but is just a large portion of "Stolen Honor" the "documentary" by an employee of the conservative Washington Times with an occasional banner overlay listing a 1-800 number to buy the documentary.
In the Houston area I spotted this running on Saturday 2:30 to 3:00 PM on a PAX (Christian family programming) network station.
The phone number they are paying for to take orders is 1-800-NEWSMAX. A number for my local PAX station KPXB that ran shortly afterwards is 713-533-5303. Perhaps a lot of polite calls to these numbers protesting the dishonorable shameful attacks that violate the ninth commandment against bearing false witness might be appropriate.
Friday, October 29, 2004
How you can help Kerry now - VOTERCall.org. Call new voters in swing states.
Non-partisan groups across America have registered over 2 million new young, low income and minority voters for the 2004 elections. If all these people vote, they can have a powerfully progressive impact on American democracy, compelling our leaders to bring greater justice to our country, and peace to the world. Experts agree that calling voters can make all the difference between them voting and not voting. Register to call voters now!
by B.K. "Bev" Carter
It won't kill you....
Come on, It really won't hurt too much. I promise that parts of your body will not fall off. That's right! You, too, can vote for Democrat Richard Morrison to replace that scoundrel Tom DeLay.
In my weekly column last week, I admonished you to find and recruit someone in the next two years to run against Tom DeLay in the Republican primary. However, I've had second thoughts about that. I was wrong. Most of the people who vote in primaries are the party hardy voters. They'd vote for DeLay because they are used to voting for DeLay and sadly, the Fort Bend Republican Party has been highjacked by the Christian Right (which are neither), and DeLay plays to them. A friend of mine admitted to me that she had early voted for DeLay before reading my column. "Why did you do that?" I asked because I knew that she was aware of some of DeLay's more villainous actions. "Habit," she replied.
So it is my belief that the only way we can rid ourselves of this DeLay pest is to hold our nose and cross over and at least vote on the Democrat side of the ballot for Richard Morrison as our U.S. Congressman.
A Little About Morrison...
... cut for length
Why I can't support Teflon Tom...
Tom DeLay has almost single-handedly made the Republican party the party of derisive action. He has turned his governance over to the very lobbyists that are only interested in their own industry. Our "Teflon Tom" belongs to the school of "leave no CEO behind." He has woven a cloudy group of money, lobbying, and grass-roots true believers that push right-wing pressure on the entire Republican agenda and therefore on the country's agenda. These true believers are ideological extremist. (sp)
This far-flung network is composed of money pockets that are state or federal PAC's, direct-mail operations, partisan right-wing religious groups that have aggressive sounding acronyms like ARM, ROMP, STOMP. They sound suspiciously like the off books entities created by Enron, don't they?
DeLay has been rebuked by the House Ethics Committee three times overall, two times in the last ten days. These admonishments are unusual for any legislator, especially one who wants to be speaker of the House. Some watchdog groups have called for him to resign.
The 62-page Ethics Committee report chastised DeLay for trading support for the congressional candidacy of the son of retiring Rep. Nick Smith, R-Mich., in exchange for Smith's vote on Bush's Medicare Bill, for asking federal aviation officials to track an airplane involved in a Texas political spat, and for conduct that suggested political donations might influence legislative action.
Yet, in a press conference reminiscent of "Baghdad Bob,' DeLay applauded the admonishments and said they proved he was clean. He said, "I'm very pleased that the ethics committee and these honorable people that serve on that ethics committee have dismissed the frivolous charges brought against me." Talk about spin. They didn't dismiss the charges. They admonished him.
Tom has openly declared himself sent by God to "stand up for a biblical world view in everything I do and everywhere I am." For him, politics is a "battle of souls." He says that he seeks a "God-centered" nation that, among other things, would curb contraception, discriminate against homosexuals, outlaw abortion, end the separation of church and state, and post the Ten Commandments in every school (even though Tom has violated more than a few of the Ten himself).
He states that "our nation will only be healed through a rebirth of religious conviction and moral certitude." The thing that concerns me is that this biblical world view sounds suspiciously like the "end times" prophets and I don't really like someone who wants to see the end of the world be the same someone with the power to affect (sp?) the end of the world.
Tom DeLay has been in Washington the past 20 years and in Austin the six years before that. The framers of both the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Constitution did not intend that serving in the body politik would be a full-time, lifetime occupation. They expected volunteers to serve for a few years then go back home and work a real job.
I think it is time to send DeLay out to get a real job.
Her current column above not up yet but this is prior week DeLay bash.
I don't know if a majority of Fort Bend residents can bring themselves to vote for Democrat Richard Morrison this time. But I'm serving notice on you that if not this year, then we MUST recruit a viable Republican before the next primary. I can't believe we can't find some Republican with enough guts to take on this little Napoleon. After all, "He's five foot seven in high heels and he can kiss my a-- "
*Editor's note: Although I am a Republican precinct chair, I am reminded of what John F. Kennedy said many years ago: "Sometimes party loyalty requires too much."
Why don't I deserve a secret service visit? A live journal poster was visited by the Secret Service over comments she had about the President on her journal. I think W is the worst unelected President in American history who deserves to be tar-and-feathered and tossed in a Crawford briar and cactus patch. I want to tell that to the FBI and the Secret Service.
SALON: Image analysis by NASA scientist reveals Bush wore electronic device in debates.
General Clark: "Today George W. Bush made a very compelling and thoughtful argument for why he should not be reelected. In his own words, he told the American people that "...a political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your Commander in Chief."
"President Bush couldn't be more right. He jumped to conclusions about any connection between Saddam Hussein and 911. He jumped to conclusions about weapons of mass destruction. He jumped to conclusions about the mission being accomplished. He jumped to conclusions about how we had enough troops on the ground to win the peace. And because he jumped to conclusions, terrorists and insurgents in Iraq may very well have their hands on powerful explosives to attack our troops, we are stuck in Iraq without a plan to win the peace, and Americans are less safe both at home and abroad."
Krugman - It's not just Al Qaqaa, Bush incompetence and mendacity can no longer be hidden.
The GOP administrators also had a scornful attitude toward the Department of Justice and Congress for not allowing them to hold the election however they wanted and for requiring procedures to ensure a fair vote. The e-vote trainer also repeatedly warned people to keep the media out, to keep politicians out, and to make poll-watchers jobs difficult.
Thom Hartman is on fire and I am sure is making thousands of new fans on CSPAN. CSPAN has been broadcasting talk radio shows all week. Thom is a liberal Limbaugh with passionate arguments for democracy but unlike Limbaugh has reasonable broadcasts. Hartman is polite and manages to be enthusiastically liberal without being shrill. Lots of facts and lots of respect for viewers opinions. A great patriot who I liked before he had a radio show.
Ashcroft trying to limit vote in states.
Four years ago today Gallup had Bush with a 7% lead. Bush actually lost by 0.5%.
There is still time to volunteer to drive people to the polls and help campaigns. Good Democrats don't vote alone, grab your friends. If you can't contribute money, go make phone calls or volunteer for election day. There are lots of little jobs around in the campaigns and the parties.
Local Texas races from Off the Kuff
TODAY IS LAST DAY OF EARLY TEXAS VOTING
(Later - over 400,000 early voters this year - 240,000 in 2000 for Harris County.)
For over six months Bush has been attacking Kerry. This would be crazy for any President but this one. Only if you don't have a record to stand on you do you run an entire campaign against your opponent and with no plan for the future.
Massive Spin Job Misleading American Voters
They spin the media and the media spins the voters.
CNN proves the explosives were at al Qaqaa, confirmed by Bush's weapons inspector, but then follows the GOP line that they were removed before the invasion.
The Rove Campaign: (1) Getting in front of media interpretation of a controversy in a way that reshapes public perceptions of the actual event, and sticking with the spin come hell or high water. (2) Deliberately pursuing outrageous tactics and then using the opposition's outrage to establish a false moral equivalency. Presently this is being used in GOP block the vote efforts.
US troops refused requests to protect explosives store
Revealed: War has cost 100,000 Iraqi lives
Mohammed Hamid Abdullah, from Yusufiah, 30 miles south of Baghdad, where al-Qaqa'a is located, said: "I know the Americans were told what was in the factories, and they must protect it. But they said they had to go on to Baghdad. We all saw people go in there afterwards and take everything they could. It went on for days."This is the bearing false witness campaign of the bearing false witness president.
Thom Hartman, Uncommon Sense from the Radical Middle is on CSPAN right now with Independent Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders.
A new report this morning states that White House is planning to seek another $70 billion in emergency funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan early next year, bringing the total cost close to $225 billion.
Bush trying to end NAACP tax-exempt status.
I saw on CSPAN David Cobb, Green Party candidate for President. A terrific person and I support his platform 100%. Why am I not voting for him? Third parties should devote their energy to reforming one of the two major parties.
Dowd - White House of Horrors!
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
James Wolcott tunes into Fox News and hears four instances of them whining about "liberal media bias."
There are no coincidences at Fox News. Three times today, and the day is still relatively young, Fox hit the note of liberal bias to sound the theme that the press is "in the tank" for Kerry, and that any victory he gets will be a tainted gift from the media elite.Amy Sullivan - Faith Without Works
I'm not saying Fox News is anticipating a Bush loss, only that they seem to be laying the ground work for the blame game should he cough it up on November 2nd. They are taking the first baby steps to denying the legitimacy of a Kerry win, preparing the first batch of sour grapes.
P.S... Again, there are no coincidences. [The head of Fox News and former Nixon speechwriter] Roger Ailes claps his hands and the monkeys go into their little dance.
After four years, the president's faith-based policies have proven to be neither compassionate nor conservative. For example, the White House tossed out allowing all taxpayers to deduct charitable giving and instead eliminated the estate tax and lowered tax rates for the wealthy for purely political purposes.
Ayelish McGarvey - As God Is His Witness
Bush is no devout evangelical. In fact, he may not be a Christian at all.
Ironically for a man who once famously named Jesus as his favorite political philosopher during a campaign debate, it is remarkably difficult to pinpoint a single instance wherein Christian teaching has won out over partisan politics in the Bush White House. Though Bush easily weaves Christian language and themes into his political communication, empty religious jargon is no substitute for a bedrock faith. Even little children in Sunday school know that Jesus taught his disciples to live according to his commandments, not simply to talk about them a lot... the Ninth Commandment admonishes, “Thou shalt not bear false testimony against thy neighbor.” God wasn’t joking around there. But time and again, Bush and Rove have relied on repugnant lies to discredit their opponents.Molly Ivins on Right Talk
"The great triumph of the political right in this country has been the creation of a network of alternative media. There are people who listen to Rush Limbaugh for more hours every day than the Branch Davidians listened to David Koresh."
The Takeover by the Religious Right of the Republican Party
The Daily Howler on very strange right wing debates of Bush's religion
Where will your job be with $10.00 gas? Life after the Oil Crash.
Fahrenheit 9-11 FRESH 85% Positive reviews "It is worth seeing, debating and thinking about, regardless of your political allegiances."
Celsius 41.11 ROTTEN Only 15% Positive Reviews "The new documentary film Celsius 41.11 represents another unconvincing effort on the part of conservatives to mount a viable critique of Michael Moore."
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Using a different method of stastical regression another poll site is showing a narrow Kerry win in the electoral college.
Chart and Map. In addition to the narrow Kerry victory seven states have Bush leads of less than 2%.
My previous statistics site is Princeton Professor Sam Wang's which currently predicts a Democratic victory when allocating undecided voters: Kerry 307, Bush 231.
After review the elections division is blaming this on voter error. They were first saying that while flipping through the electronic pages of the ballot voters must accidently be pressing enter for Bush. It now appears to be a less obvious flaw in the machines.
If a voter presses the enter key twice quickly to vote a straight ticket the second enter is interpreted as a vote for the first candidate on the next page even if that page had not appeared yet. It takes a second and a half before the second page appears. The first candidate after the straight ticket is Bush. Hitting the enter key twice to vote the straight democratic ticket casts a vote for Bush/Cheney.
The lesson is don't hit cast ballot until you have reviewed your selections and gone back and made changes if necessary.
The other lesson is isn't it funny how these little flaws benefit the GOP.
This story appears to be an exclusive to me online.
Unrelated - AWOL Bush.
The 962 reason code for lt. Bush being removed from active duty has been found. It is change of address. This is odd but another mystery cleared up. His change of address was moving to Boston where he did not report to continue his national guard duties as required under regulations. See previous posts on AWOL Bush.
AP - New Bush Guard Papers Leave Questions
Unearthed under legal pressure, three-decade-old documents portray President Bush as a capable and well-liked Air National Guard pilot who stopped flying and attending regular drills two-thirds of the way through his six-year commitment — without consequence.
Monday, October 25, 2004
We've known and liked George Bush for years. As governor, he visited and impressed our Editorial Board several times. As a reporter, I covered some of his local visits and always found him to be likable, easy-going and informed.
Bush was a strong and effective leader of our state. We supported him as governor, and I'm sure we would have endorsed him independently in 2000 even if Scripps hadn't had the corporate-wide policy at the time. But as outlined in our editorial today, we've not seen those traits in his performance as president, and are increasingly alarmed at the direction he is taking the country.
For Texans familiar with Gov. George W. Bush's bipartisan successes in Austin, this failure by the president to reach across party lines, this failure to capitalize on a national yearning for unity in the wake of 9/11, has been a huge disappointment.
May Require Registration.
Buried in this WP lackluster story is the news that the Bush campaign is very worried - he is not winning in the states he needs.
GOP officials who talked to Bush-Cheney campaign leaders said the leaders have grown more worried about Ohio, Florida and other key states where Bush lacks a lead with just 10 days until the election. One Republican official described the mood at the top of the campaign as apprehensive. " 'Grim' is too strong," the official said. "If we feel this way a week from now, that will be grim."As typical with the Washington Post they bury this inside the paper and have a misleading headline and opening paragraphs. They have Dana Milbank, who I consider along with Pincus their best reporter doing little odds and ends. The Washington Post which is righfully ashamed of its recent performance under Bush gave a tepid endorsement to Kerry. This post and links inspired by Pacific Views.
It was the third time in eight days that Bush had devoted an entire day to campaigning in Florida, and the dramatic stagecraft underscored the conclusion of his aides that -- as in 2000 -- the election will come down to Florida.
The Republican official said polling for Bush showed him in a weaker position than some published polls have indicated, both nationally and in battlegrounds. In many of the key states, the official said, Bush is below 50 percent, and he is ahead or behind within the margin of sampling error -- a statistical tie.
"There's just no place where they're polling outside the margin of error so they can say, 'We have this state,' " the official said. "And they know that an incumbent needs to be outside the margin of error."
The media is falling for the White House and Pentagon spin.
Some things seen and heard this weekend.
The Difference Between 1964 and 2004
In 1964 the United States was supporting a corrupt dictatorship in Vietnam.
In 2004 the United States is the corrupt dictatorship in Iraq.
Texas Bush Country Signs?
I am now living in the bedrock solid Bush country, I thought. A Texas oil company suburb, middle and upper-middle incomes, radios all tuned to Christian or country music or classic rock - supposedly all redneck, all Republican, all Bush. So why is it when I went for a long walk there are seven Kerry signs in my neighborhood and only three Bush? There isn't one at our house. It is for sale and you don't want to possibly offend potential buyers.
When I voted early why were there such long lines of quiet, not very happy, silent Republicans? My sister noticed pretty much solid Republican poll workers and I noticed pretty much everyone in line was dressed upper-middle-class. A huge number of nice cars and trucks in the parking lot. But they didn't seem a happy crowd. In a state, county and city that has only Republican statewide, countywide and citywide office holders, why were there so many more Democratic signs at the polling place? Why has my sister and her husband, solid Bush supporters until three weeks ago, switched to Kerry? I know of no one who voted for Gore switching to Bush but several people switching to Kerry. I guessed wrong in the 2002 elections, but I have more of a gut feel this election is different. Kerry 311 electoral votes.
Bush Win Job Opportunity
I have been pondering a job for after the elections. I might manage to get a sales job before the elections but right now the only thing I have lined up is for election day itself. Not having transportation right now sucks in the suburbs. I was out walking Sunday before I have been going stir crazy in the house.
If Bush wins I see a great job opportunity. Working for an underground abortion service center. If Bush wins Texas is one of 30 states poised to outlaw abortions. This won't stop them of course but will drive them underground like in the 60's. I could refer and take women to the underground doctors performing abortions. Abortion will be the new prohibition and fortunes could be made meeting the demand as conservative fundamentalists also don't like contraception. Other opportunites would of course be available in the porn and drug industries. Ashcroft is already spending millions setting up task forces to take on the cable systems and local porn shops. Saw that statistic the other day that crime, drugs and abortions are up under Bush when they were going down under Clinton.
If Kerry wins there is much less to worry about jobs being available.
BTW, never send an angry, hateful email to the New York Times. They have an idiot bastard for an ombudsman who will publish it and your name and city. Google gives thousands of people your phone number and address which the ombudsman knew. I am waiting for someone to publish the ombudsman's home phone and address.
Sunday, October 24, 2004
If you have early voted you can see some pictures of Fantasy Fest in Key West.
It has just started this year but here are some pictures from 2001.
Can someone suggest a public site for our female early voters?
Their "likely voters" now overstate Southern Whites and Republicans and understates minorities, young voters, and new voters. The internals of the national polls look disastrous for Bush.
New York Times:
In early November 2001, with Americans still staggered by the Sept. 11 attacks, a small group of White House officials worked in great secrecy to devise a new system of justice for the new war they had declared on terrorism.
Determined to deal aggressively with the terrorists they expected to capture, the officials bypassed the federal courts and their constitutional guarantees, giving the military the authority to detain foreign suspects indefinitely and prosecute them in tribunals not used since World War II.
The plan was considered so sensitive that senior White House officials kept its final details hidden from the president's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and the secretary of state, Colin L. Powell, officials said. It was so urgent, some of those involved said, that they hardly thought of consulting Congress.
Military lawyers were largely excluded from that process in the days after Sept. 11. They have since waged a long struggle to ensure that terrorist prosecutions meet what they say are basic standards of fairness.
Civil libertarians and some Congressional leaders saw an attempt to supplant the criminal justice system. Critics also worried about the concentration of power: The president or his proxies would define the crimes (often after an act had been committed); set the rules for trial; and choose the judges, juries and appellate panels. (This is Part One)
The Onion is under no pressure to be fair and balanced.
In an announcement that has alarmed voters across the nation, Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that he will personally attack the U.S. if Sen. John Kerry wins the next election.
"If the wrong man is elected in November, the nation will come under a devastating armed attack of an unimaginable magnitude, one planned and executed by none other than myself," Cheney said, speaking at a rally in Greensboro, NC. "When they go to the polls, Americans must weigh this fact and decide if our nation can ignore such a grave threat."
Well Funded GOP Block the Vote Campaign in Ohio "Republican Party officials in Ohio took formal steps yesterday to place thousands of (el - paid) recruits inside polling places on Election Day to challenge the qualifications of voters they suspect are not eligible to cast ballots."
The new Bush ad directed to the all important Little Red Riding Hood vote ("vote for Kerry and be eaten by wolves") turns out to be be based on a lie. It states that after 9/11 Kerry voted to cut intelligence spending by billions of dollars. Flatly untrue. The vote referenced in small print, too small to read on nearly all televisions, refers to a vote years before 9/11. During this vote Kerry proposed cutting the intelligence budget by 3% while the Republicans lead by Dick Cheney were proposing cutting the budget by 5%.
In your opinion, how big a lie is this compared to the many others the GOP is campaigning on?
In a new exclusive interview former workers at Houston's Project PULL imply Bush was required to work as a community service requirement.
"George had to sign in and out - I remember his signature was a hurried cursive - but he wasn't an employee. He was not a volunteer either," she said. "John said he had to keep track of George's hours because George had to put in a lot of hours because he was in trouble."Bush has said he volunteered. All the workers say he was not a volunteer but hourly records had to be kept for him unlike other volunteers.
Friday, October 22, 2004
Former CIA Director Tenet - Iraq War Wrong.
Tom DeLay subpoenaed, aides trial postponed. DeLay and GOP threatening ethics committee (also Bush's War on the Poor in the Daily Progress Report.)
Bush aides call minister Pat Robinson a liar for saying Bush said there would be no U.S. casualties in Iraq.
Latest AP Poll has Kerry with 3% lead
Washington abuzz about a new engaged first lady, more parties!
Bush suppresses damning CIA report, Now postponed with other negative reports of his administration until after the election. Feith outed for exagerating, skewing CIA claims.
More Iraqi insurgents, better strategies, more money, few foreign ties. Encouraging for Kerry in election, discouraging for solving Bush's Iraq mess.
Krugman: Kerry leads, a narrow Bush win depends on disenfranchisement of voters
Dowd: Bush's blind faith makes him blind to casualties.
The 'non-reality states' Study finds Bush supporters suppressing knowledge of basic facts to support Bush They still think there were WMDs, were Saddam links to 9/11, to al-Qaeda, that the world supported the war, more statistics.
"The roots of the Bush supporters' resistance to information," according to Steven Kull, "very likely lie in the traumatic experience of 9/11 and equally in the near pitch-perfect leadership that President Bush showed in its immediate wake. This appears to have created a powerful bond between Bush and his supporters--and an idealized image of the President that makes it difficult for his supporters to imagine that he could have made incorrect judgments before the war, that world public opinion could be critical of his policies or that the President could hold foreign policy positions that are at odds with his supporters."Truth will come out and seep in.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
What's followed ever since is an orgy of schadenfreude and hypocrisy almost entertaining enough to take your mind off Iraq (as the Bush-Cheney campaign hopes it will). It's the kind of three-ring circus that makes me love this country. Only in America could Mr. O'Reilly appear on "Live With Regis and Kelly" to plug his new moralistic children's advice book (sample dictum: "Healthy sex is a combination of sensible behavior and sincere affection") just as old and young alike were going online to search thesmokinggun.com for the lewd monologues attributed to him in Ms. Mackris's 22-page complaint. Everyone is now so busy matching Mr. O'Reilly's alleged after-hours oratory - none of which he or his lawyer immediately denied - with his past condemnations of Janet Jackson, Ludacris, wet T-shirt contests, Joycelyn Elders and the televised Madonna-Britney smooch that the findings could fill another Starr report. My own favorite example, hands down, is Mr. O'Reilly's reverie about hooking up with "hot" Italian women during a visit to the Vatican while his pregnant wife was marooned at home in Plandome, Long Island.
To try to prop up its fictional headline "Outing Mary Cheney," The Journal argued that "Mr. and Mrs. Cheney have not kept their daughter's lesbianism a secret but neither have they shouted it to the sky." Huh? Though Dick Cheney doesn't shout anything, he described his daughter as gay on camera at an Iowa campaign appearance this summer. But whatever Mr. and Mrs. Cheney may have to say about it, The Journal never entertained the thought that Mary Cheney herself has a voice in this matter. She has been openly gay for years. Before the 2000 campaign, she held a job that literally announced her homosexuality: gay and lesbian liaison for Coors, a public marketing assignment that even required her to travel the country with the winner of the 1999 International Mr. Leather competition.
Though the president pays "compassionate conservative" lip service to "tolerance" of homosexuality to appease suburban swing voters, his campaign has pushed a gratuitous constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, one opposed by Mary Cheney's own father, to stir up as much fear and ugly rage as it can.
From all the outcry over Mr. Kerry's invocation of Ms. Cheney, with the attendant rhetoric about the evil of exploiting a candidate's "child" in a campaign, you might never guess that the child in question is not Chelsea Clinton at age 12 but a 35-year-old woman (two years older than Andrea Mackris). Or that she lives openly with her partner, Heather Poe, whom she brought onstage after the vice presidential debate. Or that she is the paid director of vice presidential operations for the Bush campaign, and that her mother is the author of a notorious potboiler ("Sisters," 1981) that drools over the prospect of lesbian coupling with O'Reilly-like glee.
When Mrs. Cheney hyperbolically implies that even using the word lesbian in 2004 is a slur out of the McCarthy era - "a cheap and tawdry political trick," she said - she is playing a similar game. She is positioning lesbian as a term comparable to child molester. But as Dave Cullen writes in Salon: "It is not an insult to call a proudly public lesbian a lesbian. It's an insult to gasp when someone calls her a lesbian." Mrs. Cheney and her surrogates are in effect doing exactly what Elizabeth Edwards had the guts to say they were doing: they are sending the message to Mr. Rove's four million that they are ashamed of Mary Cheney. They are disowning her under the guise of "defending" her. They are exploiting her for the sake of political expediency even as they level that charge at Democrats.
Easter Lemming Blogs - now over 1,500,000 words, over 9,500 posts.
Harris County will go from solid GOP to DEM, The question is when
Right now the focus is on races pitting GOP veterans against grassroots campaigns.
Tom DeLay was quoted that debates usually had more candidates than constituents in attendance. This was clearly not the case at a debate sponsored by a High School Debate Club in Clear Lake, just south of Houston. Over 288 constituents attended, with standing room only. It was a debate crowd that DeLay couldn¹t miss without backlash from the community. So just 30 minutes before the debate he announced via a right wing radio show that he was coming.
Tom DeLay has never debated during his entire 20-year career. It required a group of high school kids, phone calls from the community, and a ton of bad publicity to bring DeLay to his debate knees. DeLay didn¹t even have the decency to advise the students of his last minute intentions. His staff continued to say that only a 'representative' would show up until the last minute. When he finally graced us with his presence, he used the back door for his entrance and exit without attending the meet and greet session with constituents. While the other candidates Richard Morrison, Thomas Morrison (more on him later), and Mike Fjetland, were shaking hands and meeting voters, Tom DeLay with his entourage of body guards and staff, entered in a back door and hid behind the curtain on the stage until the debate.
The debate was very well done. The moderator a 14-year old student created 5 questions on issues concerning the area, then took 6 questions from the audience screened by the debate club. The set up was very professional and except for a few obnoxious pomp-pomp carrying (yes pomp-pomp carrying) DeLay supporters with the big sponge fingers, (yes big sponge fingers) the event went off pretty much without a hitch. DeLay supporters numbering 30 or so,many who were paid staff, were their usual obnoxious, rude selves, pushing and grabbing signs after the debate on the stage, and causing at least one confrontation.
Hoots and Hollering
During the debate there were a times when the crowd groaned loudly in disbelief, laughed loudly, and even boo-ed LOUDLY at DeLay when he praised Bush for his leadership in taking us into Iraq and claiming our environment was better off because of him. The only other laughter was directed at Thomas Morrison for his comment about the air being cleaner now than it was 20 years ago. (More on him later)
Richard Morrison held his own and was never boo-ed, laughed at, or had any groans from the audience. Mike Fjetland (Independent) was very well spoken and at times took sharp jabs at Tom DeLay, who was sitting next to him. Thomas Morrison was another story.
Who is Thomas Morrison? It seems odd that at a time when Tom DeLay is considered to be vulnerable and a viable candidate named Richard Morrison (Libertarian) is running, another Morrison just so happens to enter the race. Thomas Morrison is an advocate for a flat tax or national sales tax, much like Tom DeLay. He was the director of Texans for Fair Tax, an organization that references Tom DeLay. Implying that Thomas Morrison is a plant by DeLay would be irresponsible, but it sure does seem odd especially since he has absolutely no chance of winning, doesn¹t have yard signs or even a website. It should make one wonder.
San Jacinto Rail
On specific issues DeLay was able to use the limited debate format to his advantage. He claimed he was working to find a solution to the proposed San Jacinto Rail, a rail to carry toxic explosive chemicals through the Clear Lake area. What he didn¹t say was that for 2 years he has done nothing but collect $51,000 from the rail company (BNSF) and told a citizen contingency that he didn¹t want to get involved after they pleaded for his help. The rail was opposed by the overwhelming majority of elected officials from the subdivisions to Congress, except for DeLay.
On education he claimed to support The No Child Left Behind Act, but failed to note that he refused to fully fund the measure. The moderator mentioned the lack of funding had affected his Debate Club, costing members an extra $50 for each debate function, one per week, as well as cuts to classes, bus service, and school teachers. Richard Morrison also pointed out that DeLay¹s redistricting strong-arming destroyed any political capital that could have been used for school finance reform much needed in Texas. And DeLay sidestepped the issue on the Social Security Fairness act affecting Texas teachers, which DeLay blocked even with wide bi-partisan support for the bill.
DeLay blamed the lack of an energy policy on the Democrats in the Senate, but failed to mention that the energy plan would have been accepted, had DeLay guarantees the lawsuit protection clause for Lyondell would not be placed back into the bill during committee. Lyondell has been involved in lawsuits for the contamination of water supplies due to a chemical called MTBE. Lyondell is also a member of the San Jacinto Rail Project. DeLay wanted lawsuit protection for Lyondell put into the bill. The Democrats and Republicans would not allow a vote on the bill because of it.
DeLay supported assault rifles while the others believe the ban should remain, but should be strengthened. DeLay was clear on his opposition to commuter rail diverting hundreds of millions of dollars to other cities,while Richard Morrison and Fjetland supported rail.
It was clear after this debate Tom DeLay is not well liked and has too much power for one Congressman especially when that power is directed against his own constituents. His disrespect for his constituents by announcing he would not participate in the debate is enough to throw him out of office, but his arrogance when dealing with the High School students was just disgusting. At the end of the debate I asked if those in attendance would consider a donation to the debate club to offset costs and cuts to the Debate Club. True to form, the self proclaimed most powerful man in Congress gave just $20.
el - Interesting Report - I believe the Libertarian did not support gun control measures.
Good News - Bad News For Richard Morrison
A recent poll has DeLay below the crucial 50% needed for election. The Bad News - only half know who the Democrat Richard Morrison is. You can help that.
Daily Kos had this to say: Club for Growth is now running ads for DeLay in the district. Club for Growth wouldn't be throwing money at this race if they weren't worried about DeLay's chances.
Remember when we first contributed to this race? Morrison was a nobody. My hope was to simply force DeLay to campaign more in the district, thus keeping him from campaigning and fundraising for other Republicans. Now Morrison is a serious candidate with a legitimate chance to win.
Kerry Pulling into the Lead
The Meta-Analysis of polls with undecideds assigned based on past elections now has Kerry winning 311 electoral votes. Without undecided assignment it is 267 for Kerry.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
A more encouraging poll shows Kerry with a lead overall and with new voters, independent voters, and so-called undecided voters.
(This is the fourth time I have tried to post this. My previous posts were much longer more articulate. In the last few weeks either blogger or blogspot is not posting half the time. When it does post it frequently shows up more than once.)
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
The fact that Bush was discharged from the Texas Air National Guard under a Personnel Transaction Identifier used to denote a reduction in total Air Force strength means Bush was considered not merely “useless” under present circumstances, but of no possible use to the Air Force at any point in the future. PTI 961 meant that Bush was unfit for service in the United States Armed Forces, and that there was no point in keeping him around in case of a national emergency.
Baghdad Still Burning
I haven't been keeping up with Riverbend since she has been posting infrequently and I have less web access. Some excellent posts I had missed were Fahrenheit 9/11 in Iraq, Liar, Liar, While Samara is burning, and Valium and other drugs in Baghdad.
Gore said that he had previously resisted saying Bush intentionally deceived the public in the run-up to the invasion but that the evidence now shows "that in virtually every case the president chose to ignore -- and indeed often to suppress -- studies, reports, information, facts, that were directly contrary to the false impressions he was in the process of giving to the American people."
"He refuses to ever admit mistakes, which means that so long as he is our president we are doomed to repeat his mistakes," Gore said, to applause. "It is beyond incompetence. It is recklessness that risks the safety and security of the American people."
The New York Times has a better story which includes this quote: "The essential cruelty of Bush's game is that he takes an astonishingly selfish and greedy collection of economic and political proposals, then cloaks them with a phony moral authority, thus misleading many Americans who have a deep and genuine desire to do good in the world."
Monday, October 18, 2004
David Brin has an interesting take on the similarities between Islamic fundamentalists and NeoConservatives.
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell portrayed a future world divided into hostile zones, each dominated by dogmatic oligarchies that were free of accountability, keeping their nations in perpetual, futile war so that the prols would stay distracted from the real enemy, which was dogmatic oligarchy itself. (See "The Self-Preventing Prophecy.") The only beneficiaries of such artificial hostility were the oligarchs themselves. That is exactly what the neocons would do with their "cultural war" against liberalism and against the Muslim World.
We must learn to recognize this trick -- one of the most basic used by tyrants, ever since Gilgamesh. We can recognize it and then turn to our own arsenal. Calm. Patience. Accountability. Passionate eagerness to keep trying new ways to save the world, while flexibly abandoning methods that fail. Turning away from nostalgia and worship of the past, in favor of improving tomorrow, step-by-step.
And moderation. Plus a dedication to the tentative and contingent nature of truth, as it is seen by fallible human beings, none of whom will ever view the whole picture clearly.
There is a cultural war going on, all right. Not between East and West. Or between North and South. Or Islam vs. Christianity. Nor is it based on that ridiculous political metaphor and curse bequeathed to us by the French -- left versus right. Not even faith vs. humanism. All are distractions.
The struggle is between panic and confidence. Between those -- both left and right -- who preach that we must enslave our minds to simple doctrines, and those who know that free people can argue, learning from each other, using all of the tools at hand to raise a generation of human beings who are smarter and better than we are.
Bush Doubles Troop Presence in Colombia
Will this be the next War without Reason? NYT - Herbert - There should no longer be any doubt that the war in Iraq is an exercise in lunacy.
Gov't Employs Accounting Maneuvers To Avoid $7.4 Trillion Debt Limit
el - Bush is following the Karl Rove strategy of trying to look like you're winning big no matter how you are really doing in the last days of an election. The start of early voting can be considered the last days in many states. Bush's trip to New Jersey where he has no chance is a typical ploy that Bush did four years ago when he went ot California and New Jersey. Is Gallup helping with this in his biased "likely voter" projections with a 9% Republican edge when the nation is evenly split DEM/GOP?
"We finally have a scandal in this election: Lesbogate. Bob Schieffer asked a question about is homosexuality a choice, and Kerry mention Cheney's daughter. The Cheneys are now furious at him. They say they are very proud of her daughter. They are so proud, she should never, ever be mentioned in public." –Bill Maher
"Dick Cheney wouldn't even confirm that she's gay. She just says that she touches her roommate in an undisclosed location." –Bill Maher
"There's a new three strikes and you're out policy. But enough about President Bush in the debates. Let's move on." --Jay Leno
"I thought it was a pretty good debate. Both candidates got to dodge a range of issues." --David Letterman
"After the debate, Dick Cheney's wife, Lynne, was upset that John Kerry brought up their lesbian daughter. She said, 'The only thing that upsets me more is the fact that I brought up a lesbian daughter.'" --Conan O'Brien
"A female producer at Fox News has filed a sexual harassment against Bill O'Reilly. He reportedly talked to her about phone sex, threesomes and masturbation. Of coarse, the people at Fox News were shocked. They had no idea O'Reilly was a Democrat. Oh, it gets worse, after she hung up on him, Bill tried to *69 her." --Jay Leno
"I thought George Bush looked great. He was wearing his three-piece bulge. ... They have a picture of George Bush from the first debate and on his back there's a big, lumpy bulge. People were saying that's a radio receiver and someone is feeding him answers to questions. It turned out tonight, the first thing George W. did was show everyone that the bump in his jacket was just his flask." --David Letterman
"Bad news for Ralph Nader. Today the state of Ohio rejected Ralph Nader's attempt to get on the ballot. Experts say this will hurt Nader's chances of losing all 50 states." --Conan O'Brien
"The latest polls say Bush and Kerry are in a dead heat. Reuters' three-day tracking poll says it’s tied at 45 percent; the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll has it 49 percent Kerry and 48 percent Bush. In an election this close, it's gonna come down to who wants it more and which candidate's brother is governor of Florida." -- Jimmy Kimmel
"Florida Governor Jeb Bush announced that to avoid any election return problems in Florida this year, this time he is going to announce the results before people go into vote." --Jay Leno
"President Bush and Vice President Cheney have officially conceded that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. And today the soldiers in Iraq said, uh, can we come home now?" --Jay Leno
"A female producer at Fox News has filed a sexual harassment suit against Bill O-O-O'Reilly. She claims he repeatedly talked to her about phone sex, threesomes and masturbation. The last straw was when he asked her if her breasts were fair and balanced" --Jay Leno
Suskind: In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend - but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
"He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence", Bruce Bartlett, former Reagan advisor.
The Houston Chronicle endorsed Richard in the strongest possible terms yesterday. "A Democrat who promises to place the district's interests above grasping for partisan power in Washington, Morrison seeks to unseat the long-serving Republican incumbent, U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay."
Meanwhile DeLay is out blockwalking for votes for the first time in almost twenty years because he's feeling the heat and he's scared for his political life. Help us end the DeLay era by contributing to Richard's campaign.
The Supreme Court also sends DeLay's Texas redistricting back to the Federal District Court for another look.
Sunday, October 17, 2004
From CSPAN this morning on what was supposed to be call-ins about newspaper endorsements an older lady said: "I'm voting for Bush because God endorses him."
Just an extremist Bush backer? No. Polls show that about one-half of Bush supporters link their support for Bush with religious feelings.
The New York Times Magazine this morning has a long article by Ron Suskind on top Republicans and Democrats who are now very concerned because Bush truly believes he is on a mission from God and doesn't need facts. Bush believes his new God-given instincts are always correct. "He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence."
Suskind has another version of the Carlyle story: "There is a guy who would like to be on the board. He's kind of down on his luck a bit. Needs a job. . . . Needs some board positions." Though Rubenstein didn't think George W. Bush, then in his mid-40's, "added much value," he put him on the Caterair board. "Came to all the meetings," Rubenstein told the conventioneers. "Told a lot of jokes. Not that many clean ones. And after a while I kind of said to him, after about three years: 'You know, I'm not sure this is really for you. Maybe you should do something else. Because I don't think you're adding that much value to the board. You don't know that much about the company.' He said: 'Well, I think I'm getting out of this business anyway. And I don't really like it that much. So I'm probably going to resign from the board.' And I said thanks. Didn't think I'd ever see him again." (Missing "and now he is President of the United States.")
"When I was first with Bush in Austin, what I saw was a self-help Methodist, very open, seeking... I started to see at this point was the man that would emerge over the next year -- a messianic American Calvinist. He doesn't want to hear from anyone who doubts him."
"You think he's an idiot, don't you?" I said, no, I didn't. "No, you do, all of you do, up and down the West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don't care. You see, you're outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don't read The New York Times or Washington Post or The L.A. Times. And you know what they like? They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence. They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it's good for us. Because you know what those folks don't like? They don't like you!" In this instance, the final "you," of course, meant the entire reality-based community.
Maureen Dowd weighs in: "Vote and Be Damned. The president's certitude - the idea that he can see into people's souls and that God tells him what is right, then W. tells us if he feels like it - is disturbing. It equates disagreeing with him to disagreeing with Him... America is awash in selective piety, situational moralists and cherry-picking absolutists."
Other Bush news
Did Bush have a stroke? His left side of his mouth is drooping down, it's as if he had a stroke or something. For the first time in history the White House has cancelled his annual physical exam.
Like the Nixon administration before it, the current White House has kneecapped with impunity any news organization that challenges its message.
49% Think Bush cheating during debates with radio receiver!
Friday, October 15, 2004
Bill O'Reill's porn - masturbating phone sex with a unwilling subordinate seems similar to his porn book. Lynne Cheney's forbidden frontier love book still off the shelves till after the election.
Why Rove and the GOP try to block the vote.
Ohio poll - all adults 50% Kerry 44% Bush
Registered voters 50% Kerry 45% Bush
Likely Voters 47% 48%
A reservist platoon has been placed under arrest for refusing a direct order to take vehicles that had been "deadlined" for being extremely unsafe to troops north of Baghdad. The troops believed it to be a "suicide mission" and are currently in detention. Lets keep an eye out for this one because if so this is an amazing reflection of rock bottom morale. I hope it isn't true as it suggest a war that is going even worse than I thought. -- James Denton
I refuse to post about this fake outrage campaign by the Rove team - what are they outraged about? Cheney has frequently mentioned his gay daughter. Why are they not outraged by Bush supporters who condemn her hedonistic unAmerican lifestyle?
Karl Rove "seems to understand—indeed, to count on—the media's unwillingness or inability, whether from squeamishness, laziness, or professional caution, ever to give a full estimate of him or his work." Nasty, dirty campaigns, lots of money, smears, whispers, code-words, and dirty tricks - these are Karl Rove's secrets to winning.
One example of his nature is a state supreme court judge who managed to squeeze out a win but later left office because of Rove's national smear campaign and a Rove spread off-the-record lie that he was a homosexual pedophile.
GOP MALFEASANCE: This week, explosive new evidence emerged of direct ties between the RNC and a Republican consulting firm being investigated by Oregon and Nevada for perpetrating widespread voter fraud. Sproul & Associates, paid $500,000 by the Republican National Committee, created a voter registration front group in several states. Some of the canvassers the company hired say they were told they wouldn't be paid for registering Democrats. Employees in the two western states have accused the firm of destroying, dumping or shredding the forms of Democrats who thought they were registered to vote. Also, an employee in West Virginia quit after she was told to only register individuals who would confirm they were planning to vote for President Bush. The head of Sproul & Associates, Nathan Sproul, has long ties to the GOP: he was the former executive director of the Arizona Republican Committee. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA) have asked Attorney General John Ashcroft to launch an immediate investigation on the federal level. (The New Yorker provides a look at how Ashcroft's Justice Department itself has politicized the voting process.)
GOP Block The Vote Campaigns As the election gets closer, the Republican Party has turned to voter suppression efforts to try to sway the election, by keeping voters "off of the rolls and away from the polls." Paul Krugman has the latest rundown on Republican efforts to block the vote.
Karl Rove forced to testify in Plame Game.
Morford: Imagine Bush filches another election in November. And within a very short time, as many as 30 U.S. states have recriminalized abortion and made repressing women and hating sex fun again, as young American females everywhere who thought their right to choose was pretty much incontrovertible and indisputable and unfailing and who therefore didn't bother to vote in '00 or '04 suddenly go, oh holy freaking hell.
Hello, 1950s. Hello, coat-hanger surgery. Hello, millions of despondent daughters of uptight parents. Hello, dead or mutilated teenage girls who suffer botched procedures. Hello, a fresh national nightmare, revisited, regurgitated, reborn. And hello again to smug right-wing males who've wanted to put women back in their place for the past 50 years. Check that: 200 years. Check that: forever.
Of course, Oprah can do much more than urge women to vote, she could launch a sea change in the electorate as CNN ponders An Oprah moment: While the opportunity to address 40 million to 60 million people at once has come and gone with the debates, there still may be an opportunity for a candidate to reach 10 million to 20 million people at once -- and for free. In particular, a major interview on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" or "60 Minutes" could capture such attention. In the days ahead, watch to see if either side -- or both -- agree to such a high-profile move to reach a large group of voters quickly and set off a broader media buzz.
No retreat, no surrender
I was watching CSPAN which covered the Kerry / Edwards rally in Iowa and saw how optimistic and hopeful they were. What a contrast to the scowling, smirking, smearing, invitation-only high-gloss Bush / Cheney rallies. For the first time in a long while I thought there was a big difference in the candidates even with the Kerry move to the middle and with no difference in official plans for Iraq. It struck me Kerry reminded me of Robert Kennedy after winning California, or John Kennedy preparing for his reelection and optimistic while visiting Dallas and I became fearful that "they" wouldn't allow this. Could a "Kennedy movement" be the October surprise?
Thursday, October 14, 2004
If the election was held today we might know who won until after court challenges - it is too close to call.
Here is the best electoral college calculations - the meta-analysis.
Bush leads Kerry by 0.7% (polls overstate incubents and the Republican party.)
Kerry 257 EV, Bush 281 EV
1. Flipping states: How much is the win probability affected by guaranteeing a given state? If Kerry wins Florida, then his overall win probability today jumps to 83% (five-to-one odds). If Bush wins Ohio then his win probability is 87% (eight-to-one odds).
2. Shifting the margin: What is the benefit of changing the margin by one point? You could imagine a campaign strategist making use of this to help decide where to place ads. For both candidates the three best states are Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania. No surprises there.
3. Hitting the streets: How much do you affect the election by going somewhere to get out the vote? The way to do this calculation is to see how much the Electoral College win probability is changed by incrementing a state's margin by some fraction F, where F is inversely proportional to the state's voting population. This is because as an individual, you can only get out a finite number of votes.
Today, the best states to go to, in descending order, are: Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, and Florida. Things change a little bit if sentiments shift (for instance towards Kerry because of the incumbent rule as described by the Mystery Pollster and Mark Shields), but the top four states always include Ohio and Nevada. Why Nevada? Nevada is a near-tossup and has a disproportionately high share of electoral votes.
Tie conditions continue, the outcome is driven mainly by Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida.
The incumbent rule: In 28 surveys involving presidential elections, 86% showed undecideds breaking mostly to the incumbentchallenger. In another study: In every case, the challenger(s) -- I include Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996 -- exceed their final poll result by at least 2 points, and the average gain is 4 points. At any given moment, the President's percentage of the vote relative to 50% is a better indicator of where the race stands than the margin separating Bush and Kerry.
Kerry won all three debates.
Ariana - Appealing To Our Lizard Brains: Why Bush Is Still Standing
Molly Ivins - Sometimes, I get the feeling the whole country is being run by Paris Hilton.
The elitist argument for the electoral college by George Will. America's federal system aims not merely for majority rule but for rule by certain kinds of majorities suited to this heterogeneous nation.
Kerry won all three debates. With each debate Bush looked less Presidential and more flailing. With each debate even more distortions and attacks on Kerry and efforts to convert questions to his stump speech soundbites.
In this last debate Bush had two big gaffes that will resonate against him - his lie about his previous statement about Osama bin Ladin in the first question and his answer to outsourcing is - No Child Left Behind? He tried to answer every question by pointing to education (when he cuts college and junior college programs) and implied that women and the unemployed are stupid otherwise they would earn more and have jobs. Programmers who lose their jobs to India would benefit from going back to elementary and high school?
Bush has failed in his presidency. Even in the GOP's penultimate point of difference with the Democrats Bush has failed. Abortions have reversed trend and are now increasing in the United States. As the economy and hope and jobs get worse abortions go up.
Under the Clinton years we saw fewer abortions, less teen pregnancy, lower drug use rates, and a decrease in poverty. That is the same world view that John Kerry articulated in all three debates. The truth is that Senator Kerry offers a fundamentally stronger pro-life agenda than the man who claims to want a 'culture of life.'
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
The best political ad of the season has come out of nowhere and has the impact of LBJ's classic Daisy ad against Goldwater. And it can be argued it isn't even a political ad.
Operation Truth, set up by a group of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, has an ad that shows a veteran talking about losing his hand in Iraq.
See the ad here and donate to have it run nationally. With no explicit politics it condemns the people who have lead us into Iraq for reasons they can't explain and a diversion against fighting terrorists.
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 troops who have experienced them first-hand.
The White House releases more documents from the 70's on Bush's military record including one with the same proportional font.
"It is clear that the major media thinks that when CBS makes a mistake, it is a far more important story that the deliberate withholding of documents by the Bush Administration, and lies concerning Bush?s military records being told by the White House."
On a separate matter here is a list on Sinclair Broadcasting advertisers - you might boycott or write them to protest the partisan bias of their "news" program. This appears to be working.
A Voter Registration Company in Nevada was destroying Democratic Registrations and only turning in Republican. Hundreds of voters who show up at the polls will find they are not registered. It's work done the company has now moved on to Oregon. Karl Rove at work.
A followup report from Oregon where it is happening again : "The company has been largely funded by the Republican National Committee."
I fould like Kerry in the debates tonight to come out swinging with the facts - the GOP has been taking over by unethical politicos and war profiteers.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
There are now two articles about how PR workers for Bush's campaign created the 50-point Big Lie that claims Bush successfully completed his military service.
Albert Lloyd has gotten the most publicity but Lt. Col. Thomas A Deall, Chief of Public Affairs for the Air Reserve Personnel Center also was involved in ignoring actual requirements for completion of service and elevating a retirement points system to center place.
Bush was AWOL and there are still reporters looking into this.
Charlie Rose had on Garry Trudeau who mentioned that he was with W in college. They both served on a student organization committee that arranged parties and entertainment. He disliked him then and thinks his handlers keep the public away from the real Bush. He thought Bush was noblesse oblige without the oblige, just a sense of entitlement. In the debates viewers may have seen the real Bush, angry and petulant about being held to account.
This is not surprising. I first started this mainly political blog because of the lies this administration was making about the necessity of invading Iraq and quickly learned you could not count on the administration for the truth about any policy they initiated.
The lumber that Bush brought to a debate to show he did not not own a timber company - his last three tax returns shows that Bush is a part owner and is classified as a small business. Let's go to FactCheck.org for that link.
Cheney never meeting Edwards - lies on videotape. Cheney presiding over the Senate every Tuesday - he has presided twice, in fact the same number of times as Edwards.
Iraq, where his weapons inspector showed that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, had no mass weapons programs, had no contacts with terrorists, had no intentions of passing weapons to terrorists, that showed Saddam was contained and was a diminishing threat. Bush and Cheney and supporters ignore this and still use their old arguments and try to twist the words of the weapons inspectors and the 9/11 commission whose members Bush appointed. This is not really news either, see my blog for two years, but now it has been in official reports from Bush appointees the press corps feels they can report it.
The lies by this administration and it's supporters particularly struck me last night was a Daily Show rerun where Christian activist and Bush campaign manager Ralph Reed replied to Jon Stewert's question about why Iraq. Jon like myself understood and supported going to Afghanistan. Reed replied with the litany of misdirections and lies from two years ago.
The Daily Show is now essential viewing. It has had the best post debate wrap-ups of all news programs - remarkable for what is supposed to be a fake news program.
The more intelligent of the Washington, New York, and Los Angeles based press corps is now recognizing this pattern of lies. Not Bush supporters. I check in with former Democrat Roger L. Simon occasionally to see how Bush is doing. He still is blinded and refuses to recognize what the press corps is finally seeing - Bush has another higher level of distortion (i.e. lies) than the Kerry campaign. He objects to the recent ABC News memo that has in it the self-evident truth : 'Kerry distorts, takes out of context, and mistakes all the time, but these are not central to his efforts to win.'
Here is a link to a recent Progress Report which covers some of the recent lies and Bush and the GOP's new corporate tax giveaway. To correct a $5 billion dollar tax increase necessary for trade agreements they just gave business supporters $145 billion in new tax breaks while running a deficit. Guess who will eventually have to make up that deficit? Lies and shafting the middle class tax payer - Bush's legacy.
Monday, October 11, 2004
From the creators of the Internet phenomenon "This Land" comes a new animated election spoof, "Good to Be in DC." The sequel features Bush, Kerry, Cheney, and Edwards singing along to the classic American folk song "Dixie." Presented by JibJab and AtomFilms.
No one in Washington is safe: George Bush, John Kerry, Al Gore, Dan Rather, John Ashcroft, Bill Clinton, and others.
Vote for a Man, Not a Puppet Former conservative Bush supporter urges a vote for Kerry.
I have sadly come to the conclusion that President Bush is merely a frontman, an empty suit, who is manipulated by the people in his administration. Bush has the most dangerously simplistic view of the world of any president in my memory.
Human biologist/anthropologist Desmond Morris reveals that women have four G-spots in new book.
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift gives up on Bush, uses the L-word
This is the moment of truth for American foreign policy. Will Bush's bald-faced lies carry the day?
The rationale for war in Iraq has collapsed, so President George W. Bush has declared another war, this one on John Kerry. Bush's blistering attack on Kerry as weak and wavering on war and the worst kind of tax-and-spend liberal foreshadows the next four weeks. Get ready for a scorched-earth campaign from the Bushies, beginning with tonight’s debate in St. Louis. Bush can't defend his policies, so he's conjuring up an image of Kerry as a looming threat whose “strategy of defeat" and insistence on global cooperation would "paralyze America in dangerous times." The dirty little secret is that Bush, if elected, is more likely to pull out of Iraq once elections are held in January, while Kerry, with his commitment to international norms and behavior, would be inclined to stay the course with the assistance of the world community.
The Duelfer report, Bremer’s words and Rumsfeld’s confession may take some time to sink in with voters.
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Austin prosecutor closing in on DeLay: "Nobody can just violate Texas law, brag about it and then get away with it."
LA TIMES: Bush Administration Plans to Delay Major Assaults in Iraq Until After U.S. Election
FCC warns TV group not to carry ad-free anti-Kerry propaganda show. You can email Sinclair to voice your opinion. The conservative Sinclair Media Group earlier this year ordered it's stations to not carry Ted Koppel's tribute to US soldiers killed in Iraq and had previously ordered it's stations to carry it's conservative op-eds and support Bush's war. Now the LA Times got word it was going to require it's stations to run an anti-Kerry documentary without ads days before the election. Sinclair responds by smearing other media networks: "The networks are acting like Holocaust deniers." Boycott Sinclair website.
As voters see the two possible Presidents side-by-side in debates they are shifting to Kerry.
Bush Interpreter is sure that Bush's uses radio cues
The Rise of the American Apocalyptic One-Party State
Good paying permanent jobs disappearing. Toyota is keeping "temps" working for low pay for over four years.