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October 02, 2004

More unimpeachable reporting from Fox News


Of course, there were some Kerry supporters in attendance who had no doubts whatever about their candidate.

"We're trying to get Comrade Kerry elected and get that capitalist enabler George Bush out of office," said 17-year-old Komoselutes Rob ofCommunists for Kerry.

"Even though he, too, is a capitalist, he supports my socialist values more than President Bush," Rob said, before assuring FOXNews.com that his organization was not a parody group. When asked his thoughts on Washington's policy toward Communist holdout North Korea, Rob said: "The North Koreans are my comrades to a point, and I'm sure they support Comrade Kerry, too."

It is unclear whether the Kerry campaign has welcomed the Communists' endorsement.

Trouble is, Communists for Kerry is a pretty obvious joke. And it's not hard to find the Republicans behind it.

In all seriousness: what the hell is going on over at Fox these days?

(Big tip of the pen to Todd Miller.)

(...I see Atrios was on this hours ago...)


October 01, 2004

Every life is precious

Or so Bush claimed to believe during last night's debate. Wonder if he's including these lives. (Warning: very disturbing images.)


Do not miss Josh Marshall's catch on the fake Fox News story by Carl Cameron. Short story: the fair-and-balanced Fox News correspondent assigned to the Kerry campaign authored a "satirical" list of fake Kerry quotes straight out of the RNC handbook which was somehow accidentally posted to the Fox site as real.

I'm sure the Guys with Websites will be outraged by this latest example of a biased media outlet disseminating manufactured news.

Won't they?

At any rate, let me be the first to call for Carl Cameron's resignation. Such obvious personal bias certainly can't be tolerated at a respected news organization like Fox.

Not dead

But dead tired. Been on the road for two days. Got to listen to a lot of right wing talk radio. On the way up, pre-debate, they all sounded optimistic and happy. On the way back home, post-debate, they sounded let down and uncertain. I have to admit, I'm surprised by the public response (though not unpleasantly so)--this is how Bush always looks to me. So he's shifty-eyed, smirks inappropriately, doesn't seem capable of maintaining a coherent train of thought for a full ninety seconds, seems generally befuddled and irritable? Well, it's nice the media and the commentariat finally noticed, but it's not exactly as if any of this is news. Point is, when I went back to the hotel last night I was too tired to watch much post-debate spin, so I had no real idea how this was going to play--I would have been unsurprised to find that Kerry had been declared the loser, or that the whole thing had been declared a draw. I just can't tell anymore. The gulf between what I observe when watching Bush and what the media report has just grown too wide. But he did look pretty terrible to me (and to the audience of derisive young students with whom I watched the debate). He looked like someone who's spent so much time talking to yes men and sycophantic reporters and audiences who sign loyalty oaths that he's forgotten what it's like to have someone actually challenge him to his face when he conflates Saddam and Osama.

Anyway, I haven't had much of a chance to look through the papers or the blogs, but I'm sure I'm not saying anything new here. One great moment on talk radio today: a caller on Limbaugh's show postulated that Bush's poor performance was due to the fact that he, unlike John Kerry, is used to talking to audiences which respond with applause and laughter, and since the debate audience had been instructed to stay quiet, it threw him off balance. Apparently the dittoheads believe Kerry goes and speaks at campaign rallies and is greeted with stony silence, and was therefore in his element last night. Oh, and one talking point to watch out for--both Limbaugh and Hannity had callers who were obviously reading from some RNC script--I'm too damn tired right now but I'll bet if you dug through the various RNC websites you'd find it somewhere--claiming that they were Guardsmen and they were highly offended that Kerry would say there was a "back door draft," because they were volunteers and they knew they could be called up at any time so for John Kerry to suggest that indefinitely extended deployments and stop-loss programs constituted a back door draft was a slap in their face. Blah blah blah.


September 28, 2004

Just sayin'

If you are not reading Roy Edroso's blog, you are missing out on one of life's sublime pleasures. The finesse with which he skewers the right wing morons of blogland is a joy to behold.


The presidential debate people forgot to check with me before scheduling Thursday's big event--that's the night I'm taking the dog and pony show to FLCC--but fortunately my talk will be over before the debate begins, and the room will even be set up so that anyone who wants to can stay and watch the sparring match afterwards. Could be fun.

How many times...

...have we heard that no one could have possibly foreseen the mess in Iraq?

Well, whaddya know:

The same intelligence unit that produced a gloomy report in July about the prospect of growing instability in Iraq warned the Bush administration about the potential costly consequences of an American-led invasion two months before the war began, government officials said Monday.

The estimate came in two classified reports prepared for President Bush in January 2003 by the National Intelligence Council, an independent group that advises the director of central intelligence. The assessments predicted that an American-led invasion of Iraq would increase support for political Islam and would result in a deeply divided Iraqi society prone to violent internal conflict.

One of the reports also warned of a possible insurgency against the new Iraqi government or American-led forces, saying that rogue elements from Saddam Hussein's government could work with existing terrorist groups or act independently to wage guerrilla warfare, the officials said. The assessments also said a war would increase sympathy across the Islamic world for some terrorist objectives, at least in the short run, the officials said.

All right, so maybe someone could have seen it coming. And in fact did.

But hey, at least they've got schools now, right?

Indeed they do. And according to NBC news tonight, the schools which have been rehabilitated at great expense to the American taxpayer are mostly being run by--yes, you guessed it--hardline Islamic fundamentalists.

"Democracy, Whiskey, Sexy," my ass.

Well, they should know
CRAWFORD, Texas - A tiny weekly newspaper that bills itself as President Bush's hometown paper has endorsed John Kerry for president, saying the Massachusetts senator will restore American dignity.

The Lone Star Iconoclast, which has a weekly circulation of 425, said in an editorial dated Sept. 29 that Texans should rate the candidates not by hometown or political party, but by where they intend to take the country.



September 27, 2004

Good news/bad news

As noted a few posts back, the good news is that Democrats are registering way more voters in swing states than Republicans. The bad news is that Republicans are doing what they always do: playing dirty.

Voters-rights advocates are criticizing two recent decisions by Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell that they say will unfairly limit some people's ability to vote Nov. 2. Blackwell's office has told county boards of elections to follow strictly two provisions in Ohio election law: One requires Ohio voter registration cards be printed on thick, 80-pound stock paper. The other ordered boards to strictly interpret the rules regarding provisional ballots, the ones cast by voters who move before the election but are still registered in Ohio. The paper-stock issue is frustrating Montgomery County Board of Elections officials, who have a backlog of registrations to complete. If they get an Ohio voter registration card on paper thinner than required, they are mailing a new card out to the voter. But if they still have the backlog by the registration deadline, Oct. 4, voters will not have another chance to get their correct paperwork in, said Steve Harsman, deputy director of the Montgomery County board. In Montgomery County there is a backlog of around 4,000 registrations, Harsman said. A few hundred could be affected by this provision, he said.

Via Duncan, who notes that this pretty clearly violates the voting rights of those affected.

Pass it on to your favorite dittohead

This email is apparently making the rounds (via South Knox Bubba):


Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks on the government-provided sidewalk to subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe also forgets that his in addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state funded university.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards to go along with the tax-payer funded roads.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans.

The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

Changes ahead, cont'd.

Many, many emails in the wake of my suggestion that this blog might go dark after the election, the vast majority of which indicating that I should post as little or as much as I damn well want to, and ignore the pressure to chain myself to the computer 24/7. We shall see what happens, but I am greatly encouraged by this response. In the meantime, for the next six weeks or so, I'm going to experiment with Blogads, which means there will be some changes to the design of the front page which some of you may find aesthetically displeasing. Sorry about that. But be warned: anyone who complains excessively officially has Way Too Much Time on Their Hands.

Also: while I myself have nowhere near enough time on my hands, I will still try to get the various archive pages back up online within the next few weeks.

A small piece of good news


COLUMBUS, Ohio - A sweeping voter registration campaign in heavily Democratic areas has added tens of thousands of new voters to the rolls in the swing states of Ohio and Florida, a surge that has far exceeded the efforts of Republicans in both states, a review of registration data shows.

The analysis by The New York Times of county-by-county data shows that in Democratic areas of Ohio - primarily low-income and minority neighborhoods - new registrations since January have risen 250 percent over the same period in 2000. In comparison, new registrations have increased just 25 percent in Republican areas. A similar pattern is apparent in Florida: in the strongest Democratic areas, the pace of new registration is 60 percent higher than in 2000, while it has risen just 12 percent in the heaviest Republican areas.

Republicans want to psyche you out, make you think that this election is already over, that a Bush victory is inevitable. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Politics 101

From this morning's Times:

After a case of mad cow disease surfaced in Washington State late last year, federal regulators vowed to move swiftly to adopt rules to reduce the risks of further problems and restore confidence in the nation's meat industry.

Some rules were adopted this year. But a few weeks ago, the Food and Drug Administration, after heavy lobbying from the beef and feed industries, took steps to delay - and to the concern of food safety groups, possibly kill - completion of the most controversial and perhaps most expensive proposal for cattle companies.

That proposal would sharply restrict what could be included in animal feed. Shortly after the administration slowed its consideration of the rule, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association broke its nonpartisan tradition and endorsed President Bush.

Translation: Federal regulators wanted the cattle industry to stop feeding their herds the ground up carcasses of diseased cattle, cow cannibalism being the method by which mad cow disease spreads from one cow to the next. But apparently the elimination of this handy source of animal feed would cost the cattle industry some money, so lobbyists whispered in the right ear, and the proposed regulation was scuttled. In short, the Bush administration is playing politics with public health in exchange for an endorsement.

Think about that the next time you eat a hamburger. Or enter a voting booth.

The actual contractual ground rules for the upcoming "debates"

(Note: this entry posted by Bob Harris)

Just came across the actual rider signed by the John Kerry and Delusional Monkey campaigns in arranging their upcoming "debate," which will actually be (like most U.S. "debates") more of a joint press conference.

The candidates are forbidden from asking each other any direct questions of any kind, nor can they challenge each other with proposed pledges. Thus, much of the skill used in actual debating is explicitly forbidden. Point for Monkey.

No pre-written notes of any kind will be allowed, nor can candidates use any props or have anyone in the audience to point to (like, say, Allawi) to examplify their rhetoric. Point for Kerry.

In the "Town Hall" debate, audience members will ask their moderator-screened questions, but they won't be allowed any follow-up, and if they deviate from approved levels of free speech, they will be silenced. Candidates will therefore be able to a) change the subject entirely, b) misleadingly paraphrase the question (one of Monkey's best tactics), or c) stall by following-up an earlier point, especially since their opponent is forbidden from asking any direct questions in response. Huge point for Monkey.

Remaining-time lights will be mounted directly onto the cameras, so the candidates don't have to break fake eye contact with TV viewers.

In the "Town Hall" debate, the candidates will have small, predesignated areas in which they can "move about" in their attempts to simulate the body language of actual human connection. The candidates' "move about" areas will not overlap in any way.

The shaking of hands is contractually mandatory.


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