Tuesday, August 31

Kerry Has Landed

And 1,000 folks were there to greet him in Tennessee. Welcome back, John.
Kerry Says U.S. Can Win War on Terrorism

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, seizing on President Bush's suggestion that victory in the war on terrorism might not be possible, declared Tuesday that "we can, we must and we will win the war on terror."

Kerry told about 1,000 people gathered at a late-night airport rally that he would fight a smarter, more effective war by bringing in help from allies who have been opposed to Bush's military leadership.

Kerry said he has not been watching the Republican National Convention on television this week, but he has been reading coverage of it in the newspaper.

"All they're talking about is the war on terror, which the president yesterday said he doesn't think we can win," Kerry said in his first campaign appearance since the beginning of the convention. "Well, ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you something: We can, we must and we will win the war on terror."

Swift Boat Veterans for Extortion

In their open letter to John Kerry (on their homepage - find it yourself), the Swift Boat Liars stop short of demanding he bark like a dog and they'll call of their ads.

This goes beyond lying. These are sick extortionists - plain and simple.
We urge you to:

1. Apologize for your conduct once you returned from Vietnam. Your exaggerated testimony before the US Senate; the blanket indictment of your fellow veterans; throwing away medals and ribbons; all of these actions dishonored America and the armed forces. Your rhetoric and actions were not only wrong, they aided the enemy and brought great pain to POW's, veterans and their families.

2. Clarify the conflicting accounts involving the Bay Hap River incident of March 13, 1969 (Bronze Star and 3rd Purple Heart). You have now described three different versions of this incident. In the first version of this incident presented during the Democrat National Convention, you stated: "No man left behind," suggesting to the American people that you alone stayed on the river to rescue Mr. Rassmann. Later, when forced to acknowledge conflicting eyewitness testimony from fellow swift boat veterans, you said that your boat left the scene to return moments later to retrieve Jim Rassmann from the water. Yet, in another version of the same incident discovered in the Congressional Record, you reported that your boat struck a mine and Rassmann fell off the boat. Mr. Kerry, please explain to your fellow veterans and the American people which version is the truth.

3. Affirm that the injuries for which you received your purple hearts never required any medical treatment beyond perhaps a bandage and that, in all instances, these injuries were self-inflicted and came from your own weapon. Further, that if any of these purple hearts were falsely awarded, that you would not have been eligible to leave Vietnam after serving only four months.

4. Acknowledge what your own biographer is now saying, that the Christmas in Cambodia claim is "obviously wrong," that you were never in Cambodia over Christmas or any other time during your brief, four-month tour in Vietnam and that your statements before the United States Senate in 1986 were false.

If you undertake these steps we will be satisfied that the American public has been sufficiently apprised as to these aspects of your career, and we will discontinue the media advertisements you have sought so fervently to silence.

Michael Moore: Day 2

I felt really bad for McCain standing there on the stage. The man wanted to be president. That dream was snuffed out during the 2000 primaries, when George W. Bush's supporters spread nasty rumors about what five and a half years in a North Vietnamese POW camp might have done to McCain's sanity.

Then there were the calls to potential white voters in South Carolina to inform them that McCain had a "black baby." (He and his wife adopted a child from Bangladesh.) The Bush supporters also spread other rumors that questioned McCain's patriotism, even though the man was a decorated war hero while W. chose to oh, let's not get into that again.

Still, McCain has offered to soldier on for Bush. So how does Bush's campaign treat him? It doesn't tell him I might be in the press section, officially credentialed.

It has him say some gibberish about my movie. Everyone then sees me, I start laughing my ball cap off, the crowd goes bananas, and poor McCain must think he said something funny or cool, so he says, "That line was so good, I'll use it again."


Thousands of Republicans turned to me chanting "Four more years." I thought, "That's strange, Republicans are usually good at math, but they're off by a few dozen months. Bush only has two months left." So I held up two fingers to correct their miscalculation. But that just drove them into more of a frenzy.

If you have never had this happen to you, I insist you try it at least once in your life. It is better than an angry mosh pit at a Slayer concert.

What Happened to MSNBC's Crowds?

I saw this happen this afternoon, and it's always one bad apple, isn't it?

Chris Matthews was presiding over Hardball when Howard Fineman was making a point. With the camera on Fineman, he stopped mid-sentence, looked out behind Matthews and went "Whoa!"

They switched to the panel shot to catch a guy jumping Matthews, followed immediately by about four cops and several NBC folks. From what I saw, the guy didn't get much of Matthews, but they immediately switched to a long shot of the street.

Matthews took it like a champ, and with his mic still live, kept his composure and deftly handed it over to their reporter inside the Garden while they regrouped.

When they came back to the panel, the crowd in the background was replaced by cops on horses - and it's been that way since.

Dave Barry's at the RNC

Karl Rove is Elvis to Young Republicans

I attended a gathering of the College Republicans, a group of politically active young people whose views I wholeheartedly endorse because they gave the media free food and liquor.

They had gathered at a Manhattan bar to hear from Karl Rove, who, depending on your political perspective, is either the (a) chief political adviser to President Bush, or (b) the Antichrist. Some people claim he's the brains behind the president, who, let's face it, does not always appear to be 100 percent aware of what he is thinking. This was demonstrated Monday when the president said we could not win the war on terror, and his aides had to clarify this by explaining that what the president meant was that we COULD win the war on terror. (John Kerry immediately released a statement stating that he strongly disagreed with both of the president's positions.)

Anyway, as far as the College Republicans are concerned, Karl Rove is Elvis; when he entered the bar, they chanted "WE LOVE ROVE!" in a manly heterosexual way. Rove, who has a large, roundish head to accommodate all the various brains he keeps in there, gave a rousing talk in which he told the College Republicans that they should get all the other Republicans at their colleges to - and this is why he is a legendary political strategist, and you are not - vote Republican. Then everybody cheered and set fire to a large spherical doll representing Ted Kennedy.

From the World's Most Famous Hotel

Love it. See the photo story here.

He Had to Be On Drugs to Say That in the First Place

The soft, pink and oily Dennis Hastert insinuated that George Soros got a lot of his wealth from drug cartels. Yeah. That's ironic. So did most of the GOP campaigns.

Nonetheless, Josh Marshall has Soros' terse reply. Even Soros has a rapid response team.

Convention ProtestCams

I'll load what I know:

Camera on Macy's - hit F5 to refresh the pic.
NYC Traffic Cams - Lotsa coppage at 34th and 6th.

More as I find 'em. Add your own if you know of any...

Stay Right There!

Don't move! I'll be right back with some shrapnel to put under that! And a sock full of manure to plant on the other cheek!

Make sure this giggling snotbag has nothing to smile about November 3rd, folks.

Cuttin' My Vacation Short! C-Ya!

Wow. So much for kicking back for the week...

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry waves as he boards his plane in Nantucket, Massachusetts, August 31, 2004. Kerry will fly to Nashville to speak at the 86th Annual National American Legion Convention.

Yeah...This Might Be A Good Time To Start

The Kerry-Edwards campaign makes their move...
Kerry Adds Ex-Clinton Staffer

The Kerry campaign has announced several staff additions amid reports that a shake-up is in the works. Ex-Clinton spokesman Joe Lockart was named as a senior adviser and Joel Johnson, a former Clinton staffer, is becoming director of rapid response.

Kerry has been hearing from major Democrats that he needs to overhaul his campaign. CBS News has been told that there will not be any firings but there are plans to augment the communications operation. Sources say on idea is to put together a major war room. The campaign plans to tell more about their fall plans on Thursday.

The GOP's Hidden Platform

I remember during the Democratic convention, the DNC had the platform right there on the DNC homepage. I've been scouring the RNC site, and aside from a bunch of Kerry pictures, I cannot, CANNOT find the Republican platform to see exactly how intolerant it really is. Anyone?

"People of Compassion"?

"PEOPLE of COMPASSION"!?! That's tonight's theme? "PEOPLE OF COMPASSION"?!?!

Oooo. Kitties...

Say It Ain't So, Mike!

He says it ain't, although the decision is his own to make - not USA Today's. We hope he stands his ground.
GOP 2004: Moore May Not Return to MSG

NEW YORK - Following all the commotion Monday night, Michael Moore may not return to Madison Square Garden for the Republican National Convention. According to editors at USA Today, which is publishing his daily column this week, Moore told them that he was choosing not to return again.

However, they said he would continue to write his daily column and they stressed that in no way did they second-guess their decision to have him write the commentary.

But on Tuesday afternoon, Moore e-mailed E&P to clarify his position, saying that he may return to the convention and that it is his "right as a writer to be there."
Moore's email included:
"Your article is not quite true. I may go back inside. It is my right as a writer to be there. I followed all the rules, both of the convention and those put forth by USA Today. I was given official credentials. The New York City police assured me that they would guarantee me my right to be there with my credentials.

"I see no 'down side' in my attending the convention - only a down side for the Republicans come Nov. 2."
Go back in and keep 'em honest, Mike.

Live Coverage of the Protests in NYC

Wow. A-Noise is tricked out with a live broadcast-quality stream and cel phone stringers covering all the demonstrations. They're covering the Fox News demonstration right now.

Here's the site.
Here's the streaming options page isolated.

Kerry's Rapid Response Team - HELLO!?!

Uh...why isn't the Kerry-Edwards Rapid Response Team posting anything on the dreck coming out of the RNC?

Come to think of it, is there a DNC war room at the convention, like the GOP had? I haven't seen any kicker stories about it. Then again, I've been watching C-SPAN...

Why Are These Wild-Eyed Hollywood Elitists So Damned ANGRY?

Ron. Baby. Chill. Here.

Okay. Fine. You Guys Want to Hand Out Purple Heart Band Aids?

Here's one that's just as unfair to our servicepeople, you little bastards.

Keith Olbermann: Moore Owes McCain

Heh. Keith seems to be lovin' this almost as much as Moore...

Michael Moore's big smile tonight wasn't defensive, nor pasted on, nor panicky. He shouldn't have just smiled, he should've sent John McCain a check.

For the thousands inside Madison Square Garden and the millions of Republican faithful watching on television, John McCain's skewering of Moore tonight was a moment of revenge, served per the old Italian saying - the dish that is best enjoyed cold.

And it just sent another weekend-full of movie-goers to see "Fahrenheit 9/11," put another million or two into Moore's pockets, and revivified a controversy that had begun to deflate behind the Swift Boat ads and the President's sudden reversal of field towards the impossibility of "winning" a war on terror.

It is a lesson unlearned by generation after generation of politicians of all stripes, religious leaders of every denomination, and moralists of any other field: If you want to belittle something in the media, ignore it.

Instead John McCain just gave it a plug.

John McCain put Michael Moore back into the Presidential Campaign.

From the Pen of: Jeff Danziger

This has GOT to be the Most Naive Press Secretary EVER

From now on, every time you hear Scott McClellan say "We haven't seen it" or "We don't know anything about it" as a reply to ANYTHING, give $10 to the DNC. We can buy horizontal network roadblocks out the kazoo. Link
Q Last night on the floor of the convention some delegates were wearing Purple Heart band-aids that the Kerry campaign said is a show of disrespect for Purple Heart winners. What does the President think of behavior like that?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know anything about it. I don't think he's seen -- I don't think he knows anything about it.

Q Would you think that's appropriate behavior on a convention floor?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know anything about it. I'm sure it's not something condoned by the convention or the campaign.

Jeremy Dauber's Top Ten Surprises of Last Night's RNC

1. Seeing, after all the "mission accomplished" brouhaha, President Bush on an aircraft carrier. But there he was - President George Herbert Walker Bush, that is, speaking earlier that day on the USS Intrepid. Sure, it seems like a slam dunk - a tribute to America's veterans - but they couldn't have held it at West Point?

2. A defense of the Patriot Act on the convention floor during prime time, with an incredibly earnest former assistant US attorney explaining in detail how some of its criticisms were wrong. Reminding viewers in detail that the Patriot Act really, really doesn't pay attention to what you check out of the library is creepy as well as comforting.

3. During the veterans video, a "reporter" (who, charmingly, had a microphone that said RNC on it), asked a retired soldier if he thought it was important for young people to know what veterans did, possibly the most obvious question in the history of journalism.

4. Michael Moore, somehow in the Garden (you would have thought all the guards would have his picture), happily acknowledging the crowd's boos when John McCain referred to him as a "disingenuous filmmaker" - twice. This was the one time the crowd genuinely got riled up.

5. The first President Bush being introduced to the crowd to a Muzak version of Van Halen's "Jump"; I suppose it was appropriate to someone who celebrates major birthdays by skydiving, but still...

6. Delegates who were wearing Band-Aids, mocking the Kerry injuries that earned him his Purple Hearts. The campaign said they didn't know anything about it, and if you believe that, I've got a swift boat to sell you.

7. Denny Hastert, who, after a strained reference to the DNC as a "Boston Tax Party," attacked Kerry by saying that "this is not the time to pick a leader who is weak on the war and wrong on taxes," begging the question as to when he believes the right time is to pick a weak warrior and a wrong taxer.

8. The tribute to Gerald Ford, which was so badly edited that you couldn't focus on anything the president was doing in the video. Given that the phrase "Ford legacy", to most people, would mean some kind of four-door sedan, though, that might have been the idea.

9. Ron Silver. I'm a fan, but, you know, a little more celebrity wattage before Arnold gets out there might be helpful.

10. Including, in the Broadway medley that opened the show, a selection from "Chicago," the musical about manipulating media bias for your own gain.

Waking Up and Sinking In

That's kind of the boomerang effect of last night's 9/11fest. I realize this morning that it was an entire night of aligning 9/11 to the invasion of Iraq. Plain and simple. From Ron "I Can't Say No To A Script" Silver, to John "2008" McCain to Rudy "Thank God for Bush" Giuliani - all of them laid out the case that the war in Iraq was a necessary response to 9/11.

I thought this was a dead argument repudiated by even Bush himself? Unbelievable. It just makes me angrier. Jackasses.

Aw, looka the CUTE KITTY...

Since I'll Spend Most of This Week Pissed Off...

Allow me to introduce you to the cute damned kitty. He'll pop up whenever I get too hot-headed for the GOP's liking.

Get used to the little bastard. Because every minute that ticks by on this Republican squirtfest will just make the blood boil and infuriate anyone who...

AW, Looka the CUTE KITTY...

All Hail the Real Star of the Night

Hey - he got a longer "ovation" than the end of Giuliani's speech...

When Push Polling Turns to Shove Polling

They called the wrong guy...
Pushed by poll, state Democrat pushes back

This month, Oregon-based Moore Information called hundreds of state residents to ask them questions about the presidential contest.

Little did the questioner know that one of the respondents was [Democratic activist and former lobbyist Tom] Krajewski, who immediately began taking notes. And when the survey veered toward becoming a push poll - encouraging answers with slanted questions, particularly about the current swift-boat controversy - Krajewski quickly called foul.

And when a political veteran such as Krajewski calls foul, he knows whom to call to make a little mischief.

"I wrote the affidavit so I would have an accurate representation, to the best of my recollection, of what happened," Krajewski said, sounding as innocent as an altar boy.

"I gave it to the Kerry people; I thought they should be aware of it."

Krajewski, a veteran spinmeister, said he was "terribly offended" by one question in particular.

The question, as Krajewski wrote in his affidavit: "Whose position do you think is closer to the truth - those 'veterans who served with John Kerry' and say that he does not deserve the medals that he received, or John Kerry who disagrees with the veterans that he served with and who appear in the ad?"

That is, to put it mildly, a nudge, if not an all-out shove.

Days after conducting the poll, the firm put out a news release nationally, saying it had found that President Bush was slightly ahead of his Democratic challenger in Wisconsin, though the lead was within the 4 percentage point margin of error.

Monday, August 30

Moore's First USA Today Column

And as you may have guessed, it's not nearly as strident and pejorative-riddled as Ann Coulter's pile o'hate for the DNC which McPaper spiked last month. A portion...
The GOP doesn't reflect America

Hanging out around the convention, I've encountered a number of the Republican faithful who aren't delegates. They warm up to me when they don't find horns or a tail. Talking to them, I discover they're like many people who call themselves Republicans but aren't really Republicans. At least not in the radical-right way that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft and Co. have defined Republicans.

I asked one man who told me he was a "proud Republican," "Do you think we need strong laws to protect our air and water?"

"Well, sure," he said. "Who doesn't?"

I asked whether women should have equal rights, including the same pay as men.

"Absolutely," he replied.

"Would you discriminate against someone because he or she is gay?"

"Um, no." The pause - I get that a lot when I ask this question - is usually because the average good-hearted person instantly thinks about a gay family member or friend.

I've often found that if I go down the list of "liberal" issues with people who say they're Republican, they are quite liberal and not in sync with the Republicans who run the country.

There's a name for these Republicans: RINOs or Republican In Name Only. They possess a liberal, open mind and don't believe in creating a worse life for anyone else.

So why do they use the same label as those who back a status quo of women earning 75 cents to every dollar a man earns, 45 million people without health coverage and a president who has two more countries left on his axis-of-evil-regime-change list?

Safer, My Democratic Ass...

I kept hearing tonight about how Bush is making America safer. Safer, safer, safer.

Bullcrap, bullcrap, bullcrap.

Everybody's favorite mother, Mother Jones, begs to differ. In their latest issue, they have a chilling chart of what still hasn't been done to protect us - and how Bush's Amazing Iraq Adventure has absolutely decimated these programs.
Amount needed for basic security upgrades for subway and commuter trains in large cities: $6 BILLION
(Iraq spending equivalent: 20 days)

Bush budget allocation for train security: $100 MILLION
(Iraq equivalent: 8 hours)

Amount needed to equip all U.S. airports with machines that screen baggage for explosives: $3 BILLION
(Iraq equivalent: 10 days)

Bush budget allocation for baggage-screening machines: $400 MILLION
(Iraq equivalent: 32 hours)

Amount needed for security upgrades at 361 U.S. ports: $1.1 BILLION
(Iraq equivalent: 4 days)

Bush budget allocation for port security: $210 MILLION
(Iraq equivalent: 17 hours)

Amount needed to buy radiation portals for U.S. ports to detect dirty bombs in cargo: $290 MILLION
(Iraq equivalent: 23 hours)

Bush budget allocation for radiation portals: $43 MILLION
(Iraq equivalent: 3 hours)

Amount needed to help local firefighters preparefor terrorist attacks: $36.8 BILLION
(Iraq equivalent: 122 days)

Bush budget allocation for firefighter grants: $500 MILLION
(Iraq equivalent: 40 hours)

Amount needed to get local emergency medical crews ready for terrorist atttacks: $1.4 BILLION
(Iraq equivalent: 5 days)

Bush budget allocation for emergency medical training grants prior to eliminating program altogether: $50 MILLION
(Iraq equivalent: 4 hours)

Quote of the Night

Rudy Giuliani - in his speech tonight - said on September 11th as the towers fell: "Thank God George Bush is our president."

Yeah, Rudy. Thank God. Too bad he didn't have your reflexes.

UPDATE: After his impassioned 9/11 rhetoric, Rudy has now become a clown by opening up the big ol' can of "Kerry is a flip-flopper." He has just become the hack politician he really is. What a jerk.

UPDATE AGAIN: Um...it's 11:17pm ET and Rudy's still going. I'm watching C-SPAN, so I don't know this - but are the networks still on this meandering insanity? He's really starting to lose the crowd. At least the Dems knew how to hit the lights at the top of the hour.

The Elephant and Pony Show

Y'know, it's really easy for me to sit out here and throw back at the GOP the same stuff they hurled at us about our convention: It's staged. It's hype. It's an infomercial.

Don't get me wrong. It's staged. It's really, REALLY staged. It's almost an overdose of staged. So tightly staged that the delegates don't know where to cheer.

And the hyperbole is overwhelming. The faux reporters on the floor and "in the field" are the definition of hype - all of whom are shrieking with enthusiasm and awe at the overflow of love they're witnessing.

I could easily knock the entertainment (it was nice of Darryl Worley to get dressed for this distinguished event with his three-day beard and clean t-shirt - and his band who almost looked they were called in last minute). But they're the artists of the right, and they're singing to the base.

The fact is, there are people who believe all this, just as we believed in our convention. So I'm not adverse to letting them have their party.

Trouble is, it looks like anything BUT a party. At the DNC, we saw real emotion. Real energy. Real enthusiasm. Here, we see a lot of looking around. A lot of milling about. A lot of bumping into each other. Only the uniformed Texas delegation (all in their denim shirts and white cowboy hats) are showing any outward emotion. CSPAN seems to be fixed on them, since the rest of MSG seems kind of...there. When Lindsey Graham shouted, "Are ya ready to WIN?" the crowd almost replied with a resounding "I guess."

The delegates are so...well behaved. They're almost kinda glad to see John McCain - but despite the "RNC reporters" excitement, they're not really heaping on the love. In short, if they're depending on the crowd to "sell" this convention, they're off to a rocky start.

It might be because they've been inundated all day and night with 9/11. Being in NYC and being reminded of that day relentlessly along with the band playing "Good Times" during the downtime is a sobering combination. Early on, it looks like the Big Apple Gambit might be having a backlash.

An aside: Now Michael Moore is basking in the delegates' reaction at his mention by McCain as a "disingenuous filmmaker" - the loudest this crowd has been all damned day! Nice to use the primetime slot to put Michael Moore in the spotlight during the GOP party. Oops.

Much to McCain's credit, he's not throwing red meat at the crowd by taking any shots at Kerry. But earlier, Ron Silver turned blue in the face and still couldn't get them above a murmur.

Oh, God, they brought out Deena Burnett. If we had any question as to whether or not they'd politicize 9/11, all doubt is erased. The question from all this remains: Will all this reminding of 9/11 keep alive the fact that Bush has basically botched homeland security and went to war against the wrong bad guy?

They've done it. They've officially made 9/11 the centerpiece of this convention in the short time that I've been writing this piece. If this is all they have to fire up this crowd - and it did - the hard cold fact remains: there's a big fat festering poverty-stricken populace outside of Madison Square Garden, thanks in no small part to the money Bush and his USA Corporation threw at Iraq and the rich when they should have eradicated al Qaeda, which now continues to grow.

When the Republicans leave New York Thursday night, they're still going to have to deal with those other sobering truths.

GOP Unveils Bush's Answer to Kerry's "Send Me"

"Help Me."

The Confetti that will Fall at the GOP Convention

Oh brother. Just about the size as a gob of spit.

from MSNBC

The Next Few Posts In Memory of Gerald Gardner

"Okay, Cheney. You're creating jobs. Right. You have no ties to Haliburton. Uh-huh. You like gay rights. Sure, pal..."

The Dickster

"Thank you. F*** yourself. F*** you, too. Thank you. F*** yourselves..."

"Let's Go Rangers!"

Ugh. I used to watch hockey from those seats.

Please Don't Gouge Out Your Eyes When You See This Picture

"Welcome, Mr. bin Laden. Let me show you to your dressing room..."

From the Pen of: Ann Telnaes

From the Pen of: Jeff Danziger

Can We PLEASE Start Using This in a TV Commercial?

Bush Spent About 42 Percent of His Presidency On Vacation. According to an April 2004 CBS News report, Bush has spent 233 days at his Texas ranch since being inaugurated, including his 78 days at Camp David and five days in Kennebunkport, Maine. Since April, Bush has spent an additional 33 days at either Camp David or his Crawford ranch. In total, Bush has spent 42.4 percent, or all or part of 535 days, of his time in the White House at a vacation spot. [Washington Post, 4/9/04]
Tagline: In the most dangerous days in American history, George Bush took vacations over 42% of his days as president. And HE wants to challenge John Kerry on showing up for work?

When the going gets tough, Bush takes vacations. America can do better.

Settin' the Tone

Lie early! Lie often! Let's count 'em so far:
House Speaker Dennis Hastert said Monday that voters have a big yet easy choice in November: Stay with the party that favors (1) "job-creating tax cuts" and will "keep America strong" and (2) avoid the one that is "weak on the war and wrong on taxes."

Hastert addressed the Republican National Convention's opening session by outlining for delegates what he said are President Bush's accomplishments, ranging from tax and education policy to the global war on terrorism.

"(3) We have crushed the Taliban and promoted a (4) democracy in Afghanistan. Saddam Hussein is in jail instead of (5) supporting terrorists and murdering his citizens and invading his neighbors," the Illinois Republican said. (6) "And Osama bin Laden is on the run."
Wow. A new land speed lying record. Let's analyze:

(1) - Job-creating tax cuts. Too easy.
(2) - See, Democrats only know how to make a surplus from the taxes we collect. The GOP, by God, knows how to SPEND it!
(3) - Stop the presses! The Taliban is crushed!
(4) - The same great bomb-detonating democracy Iraq's enjoying now.
(5) - Still no connection's been made here, Denny.
(6) - That should be "Osama bin Laden is on the LOOSE." Small oversight.

Three and a half more days of this, folks.

If you need to watch this trainwreck, we have only three words for you. C-SPAN, C-SPAN, C-SPAN. Don't make yourself crazy watching the anchored kissyface squirtfest.

Sunday, August 29

Citius, Altius, Fortius, Baby!

Okay! I finally caught Olympic fever! Let the games begin! USA! USA!


"Mixed Bag"?

USA Today calls Bush's performance on his promises four years ago "a mixed bag." Read it, and decide for yourself if it doesn't tilt a smidge in the "failure" column.

Laura Branigan Exits

Many a disk jockey blew out a lung trying to talk over the intro to "Gloria"...
Laura Branigan dies

Laura Branigan, a Grammy-nominated pop singer whose 1982 platinum hit "Gloria" stayed atop the pop charts for a remarkable 36 weeks, has died. She was 47.

Branigan died of a brain aneurysm Thursday in her sleep at her home in East Quogue, said her brother, Mark Branigan. He said she had complained to a friend of a headache for about two weeks before she died, but had not sought medical attention.

CNN: "Counting Not Necessary"

Tens of thousands of demonstrators carrying signs and chanting "No More Bush" marched Sunday past Madison Square Garden, the site of this week's Republican National Convention.
Let's clear things up here. "Tens of thousands" show up for a Yankee game. Here's what "HUNDREDS of thousands" looks like:

CNN used to mean something. Now it's just Fox News Jr.

Great thing to be. A cheap knockoff of a journalistic pustule.

Anyway, the demonstration got a gold star from hizz-kinda-honor:
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the march was peaceful.

"United for Peace and Justice have behaved responsibly, as have most of the marchers," Bloomberg said.

Share the Love of Hoffmania with Your Pals

You'll notice a new icon in the title of each post. This allows you to send a link to that all-important article to your friends' inboxes. I've been assured that the info you enter will not be used or sold for anything. If I find out otherwise, it's outtathere.

Meanwhile, take advantage of it while it's still new and innocent.

GOP Tough Guys Show Their Tolerance

Let's see...during the Democratic Convention, there was row after row after row of right-wing Republican cheerleaders hogging the radio area in the Fleet Center, spitting out their usual wingnut pap over their networks.

At the GOP convention, Michael Moore will be filing reports for USA Today, and they don't want him there. And of course they demonstrate the kneejerk violent streak which has made us famous around the world. Link
Alabama delegate Terry Butts: "I'm from South Alabama, and we're used to dealing with jackasses, and so I look forward to making his acquaintance. In Alabama, there are probably a few good ol' boys who would know how to put a good knot on his head."

Louisiana delegate Carey Holliday: "I would be delighted if he slapped me. Because then I could defend myself. And it would all be on camera. He'd be hit from so many angles - he'd never even catch me. Four hundred-pounders move very slowly and with no wind at all. I'm 53 and in good shape."

Alabama delegate Rick Sellers: "I think I'm going to contact the officials with the convention and have his media tag pulled. This is ridiculous!"

North Carolina delegate Jim Cain: "The bomb squads and drug-sniffing dogs should give him a thorough once-over before letting him into Madison Square Garden."

Nebraska delegate Rod Krogh: "I doubt he's going to want to provoke people - I would assume he's a better judge of his body than that. I'm 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds. If we went to the mat, that's one match that I know my limits."

South Dakota delegate John Teupel: "If he's going to show up at the GOP convention, hopefully he has the sense and tact to act like a civilized human being. If he wants to get in my face, I'm plenty capable of getting back in his."

Laura Didn't Get the Memo

No, no, no...Laura...the message is to "honor Kerry's service" and "denounce all 527s." NOT "honor 527s."
First lady criticized for swift boat remark

The Kerry campaign Sunday criticized first lady Laura Bush for what the campaign called her "statement in support of the swift boat smear ads."

The campaign was referring to a new Time magazine interview in which Mrs. Bush is asked about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads attacking Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry's war record and his comments upon return from Vietnam.

In the interview she is asked, "Do you think these swift boat ads are unfair to John Kerry?"

"Not really," she replies. "There have been millions of terrible ads against my husband."

What the...?

Zell Miller suddenly gets a moment of total clarity when he momentarily registers horror over the realization that he's surrounded by Republicans. It quickly passes when his brain clicks back down to "low."

Dick Does a Sound Check

"Test 1-2, test 1-2-3. Hey. Kerry. Go f*** yourself. Heh heh. Test 1-2..."

Saturday, August 28

America Meets Dana Rohrabacher

If you catch the reruns of tonight's Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, you'll finally get to see the genius of the California Rep of the 46th district (Coastal Orange County and the Palos Verdes peninsula of LA County), whom we've talked about often here. Dana Rohrabacher was the guy who introduced the bill that - if passed - would have given hospitals the right to report and kick out unregistered aliens.

Tonight, he called global warming "global baloney." Charming guy.

UPDATE: We moved this up to show you this horrifying little gem from the Orange County Weekly two years ago, courtesy of Socktopi:
Rohrabacher's post-Sept. 11 finger-pointing was a fraud designed to distract attention from his own ongoing meddling in the foreign-policy nightmare. Federal documents reviewed by the Weekly show that Rohrabacher maintained a cordial, behind-the-scenes relationship with Osama bin Laden's associates in the Middle East - even while he mouthed his most severe anti-Taliban comments at public forums across the U.S. There's worse: despite the federal Logan Act ban on unauthorized individual attempts to conduct American foreign policy, the congressman dangerously acted as a self-appointed secretary of state, constructing what foreign-affairs experts call a "dual tract" policy with the Taliban.

A veteran U.S. foreign-policy expert told the Weekly, "If Dana's right-wing fans knew the truth about his actual, working relationship with the Taliban and its representatives in the Middle East and in the United States, they wouldn't be so happy."

Rohrabacher also once lobbied shamelessly for the Taliban. A November/December 1996 article in Washington Report on Middle East Affairs reported, "The potential rise of power of the Taliban does not alarm Rohrabacher" because the congressman believes the "Taliban could provide stability in an area where chaos was creating a real threat to the U.S." Later in the article, Rohrabacher claimed that:

- Taliban leaders are "not terrorists or revolutionaries."

- Media reports documenting the Taliban's harsh, radical beliefs were "nonsense."

- The Taliban would develop a "disciplined, moral society" that did not harbor terrorists.

- The Taliban posed no threat to the U.S.

Although he continues to describe himself as an expert on Afghan history and politics, Rohrabacher was obviously dead wrong on all counts.

Rohrbacher with Afghan rebels, 1988
Photo courtesy Congressman Dana Rohrbacher

See the comments for another choice passage. Seems as late as April, 2001, Rohrabacher was still trying to strike deals with the Taliban - long after Clinton put a premium on bin Laden's head for the Cole bombings.

Y'know - if I lived in the OC or the PV peninsula, I'd definitely look into Jim Brandt. Seriously. I mean it. Either that, or move.

Seattle Times has Had Enough

Kerry for President

Four years ago, this page endorsed George W. Bush for president. We cannot do so again - because of an ill-conceived war and its aftermath, undisciplined spending, a shrinkage of constitutional rights and an intrusive social agenda.

The Bush presidency is not what we had in mind. Our endorsement of John Kerry is not without reservations, but he is head and shoulders above the incumbent.

Michael Moore's Latest Love Letter to Bush

An excerpt...
It Takes Real Courage to Desert Your Post and Then Attack a Wounded Vet

I have written some new ads you can use on TV. People will soon tire of the swift boat veterans and you are going to need some fresh, punchier material. Feel free to use any of these:

ANNOUNCER: "When the bullets were flying all around him in Vietnam, what did John Kerry do? He said he leaned over the boat and 'pulled a man out of the river.' But, as we all know, men don't live in the river -- fish do. John Kerry knows how to tell a big fish tale. What he won't tell you is that when the enemy was shooting at him, he ducked. Do you want a president who will duck? Vote Bush."

ANNOUNCER: "Mr. Kerry's biggest supporter, Sen. Max Cleland, claims to have lost two legs and an arm in Vietnam. But he still has one arm! How did that happen? One word: Cowardice. When duty called, he was unwilling to give his last limb. Is that the type of selfishness you want hanging out in the White House? We think not. Vote for the man who would be willing to give America his right frontal lobe. Vote Bush."

Hope these help, Mr. Bush. And remember, when the American death toll in Iraq hits 1,000 during the Republican convention, be sure to question whether those who died really did indeed "die" -- or were they just trying to get their faces on CNN's nightly tribute to fallen heroes? The sixteen who've died so far this week were probably working hand in hand with the Kerry campaign to ruin your good time in New York. Stay consistent, sir, and always, ALWAYS question the veracity of anyone who risks their life for this country. It's the least they deserve.

The Ten Ways Bush Screwed New York

Via Blah3 - a great Village Voice article about what Bush has done (or hasn't done) for NYC since he put down the bullhorn.

A Hole in the GOP Big Tent

Nothing like losing a delegate just before the big party. From the Phila Inquirer:
The Pennsylvania Republican State Committee has touted its own breakthroughs this year: record numbers of minorities in its delegation, the election of the delegation's first African American and first female chair, and the election of its first openly gay delegate.

That was before a seam in Pennsylvania's tent ripped - partially, anyway.

Ten days before the convention's opening next week in New York City, Jesse Walters, a Philadelphia resident and the party's first openly gay delegate, submitted his resignation. He said he was unhappy about the direction the Bush administration was taking on the war in Iraq and on social issues such as same-sex marriage.

Fun on Crossfire

Highlights from yesterday's Crossfire, courtesy of alert viewer Ilona:
NOVAK: Congressman Weiner, I want to read you a couple polls taken from the CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup survey this week. Who is the stronger and more decisive leader? Bush 54 percent, Kerry 34 percent. That's 20 points difference. Who is more likely to stand up for what he believes in? Bush 52 percent, Kerry 35 percent, a 17-point difference.

What's happening to your candidate?

REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: Well, all I can say that is President isn't over 50 in any of these polls. And there's been a grand total of about a three-point swing throughout perhaps one of the most expensive smear campaigns in American history.

Listen, this is going to happen when the Republicans go out and smear people like Max Cleland, smear people like John McCain and smear people like John Kerry, it works for a while. It is going to wear off pretty quick, though, when the American people start realizing that the president has miscalculated. He's miscalculated the rise in poverty.


WEINER: Miscalculated in health care.

NOVAK: All right, well, you gave the answer. You don't have to give the whole campaign speech in one bite. You have plenty of time.

Mr. Weiner, I just wonder if you would agree with me this, though, that there was a miscalculation on the part of the Kerry strategists in bringing up his war record and opening up things that were better left unlooked upon on his conduct both in the war and after the war 20 years ago?

WEINER: Well, I agree with the president. I agree with John McCain. I agree with the Defense Department about the heroics of John Kerry.

But it's funny you use the word miscalculate, because that's the word that President Bush used today. He apparently miscalculated how poorly the economy was doing, two million less jobs. He miscalculated how many more people in poverty. He miscalculated the events in Iraq, which he freely admits. I'm just curious, what was the big calculation that he made that was correct over the last 3 1/2 years?

CARVILLE: Charlie, this of course is people who were all over the country this morning. When the president of the United States after almost 1,000 young Americans have been killed, after hundreds of billions of dollars of our tax money has gone down a rat hole in Iraq, after irreparable damage has been done to the reputation of the United States, the president of the United States says, you know what, I miscalculated.

I mean, how in the world is this man going to finish out this campaign telling the American people that he caused our nation all of this grief?

CHARLIE BLACK, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, James, let's talk about what he said. What he said was that his military advisers thought that the Iraqi army would fight a lot harder and longer before giving up.

Instead, we routed them in less than three weeks. A lot of them faded into the countryside and took their weapons with them. And so this so-called insurgency, the terrorist warfare, started out before we could train Iraqi soldiers and police. We're well on the way to doing that. Iraq has sovereignty. There are tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and police.


BLACK: And they'll be running -- they'll be running their own free country now, thanks to what we did.


CARVILLE: Charlie, you're entitled to your own opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts.

BLACK: Iraq's a free country and terrorists


CARVILLE: Yes, you're free to get blown up. That's the one thing you're really free from.

And, of course, let me ask you, what do you think, in talking about New York? Can you tell what the president was thinking when he stood there for seven minutes and didn't do a thing after he was told that New York was under attack?


CARVILLE: I'm just asking, what do you think he was thinking?

BLACK: Let me tell you what the president did. He came back. He rallied the country to fight the war on terror.

CARVILLE: The country was rallied.


BLACK: He got the doctrine of preemption under way, so that we went to Afghanistan and cleaned out al Qaeda and their training camps.


BLACK: And the Taliban.

CARVILLE: Oh, I'm sorry. Al Qaeda is gone!?!

BLACK: We have Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and other countries on our side in the war on terror, who in fact had been cooperating with al Qaeda.


WEINER: So you think he has unified the country and the world in this fight? You think we are a more united country and a more united world?


BLACK: I think we're united against the terrorists.

WEINER: You guys should have your convention in Wonderland, though, if you think that's the case.

Friday, August 27

Wind Leaving SBVfT's Sails

I know, Swift Boats don't have sails. Work with me here.

The Annenberg Survey, just released, shows public skepticism is rising - and belief in the liars is going limp.
Belief in Bush campaign backing of the ads increased during the week. On August 23 and 24, when the Kerry campaign was making the accusation, 42 percent said the campaign was behind the ads and 41 percent said they were truly independent. On August 25 and 26, after Benjamin L. Ginsberg resigned as national counsel to the Bush campaign when his connection to the ads' sponsors was revealed, 50 percent said the campaign was connected and 34 percent said it was not.

Kerry's attackers, known as Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, first accused him of deception about earning the medals he received in Vietnam. Belief that Kerry had not earned all of his medals rose from 23 percent early in August to a high of 30 percent on August 19, but declined after news reports documented discrepancies between the claims of the ads, previous statements by the attackers, and government records.

The rise in belief that Kerry did not earn all of his medals coincided with extensive cable and political talk radio discussion of the original Swift Veterans ad. The decrease followed a five day period in which investigations by major news outlets challenged the story told in the ad and an eyewitness first person account in The Chicago Tribune corroborated Kerry's account of one of the events in question.

In the August 23-26 polling, of 1,244 adults, belief that Kerry had not earned his medals had receded to 24 percent, a view held by 43 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of independents, and 7 percent of Democrats.

Air America Radio's Grand Old Party Adventures

They're proactive to say the least. AAR is jumping into the GOP convention with gusto.

Unfiltered has a great promotion called "Take a Republican to Lunch" where AAR listeners bring a GOP delegate to lunch at one of the Time Out NY restaurants and get 10% off the tab.

Al Franken is spearheading The Great American Shoutout. It's simple yet elegant. Thursday night, as Bush is applauded to the podium, thousands of Americans will fling open their windows and yell "FUGGEDDABOUDIT" until he starts his speech. Vincent "Big Pussy" Pastore and Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz have given Franken their blessings on this project.

Randi Rhodes hosts the Satire for Sanity comedy show every night of the convention at Rocky Sullivans. Admission is $10 for Democrats, $400 for Republicans.

Liberals are funnier. We have to be. It gets us through the pain.

Bob Dole Says McCain Was Right in 2000

That's what Bob Dole says. In a moment of brutal honesty, and totally forgetting that he was supposed to heap praise on Bush on Wolf Blitzer's show Sunday, the cameras rolled on Dole while Blitzer played the 2000 "Shame On You" debate clip.

A CNN mole released the tape to Slate. Although the broadband version of the video loads horribly long even with broadband, let it load. The audio is much more clear and unmistakable.
BLITZER: At that time, John McCain was in a neck and neck battle with the president for the Republican presidential nomination. I want you to listen to what he said to the president in that debate...

DOLE (under Blitzer): Oh, I saw it. Yeah...

BLITZER: ...on February 15th, 2000.

(As tape plays on air, off-air we hear:)

DOLE: ...And he was right.
Ouch. As we get older, we sometimes to forget when to lie and when to let our true feelings out.

Definition of "Oy"

This will NOT look good on Bush's resume'. On MSNBC, former CIA analyst/terrorism expert Larry Johnson said this is "going to be huge."
FBI Probes Pentagon Spy Case

CBS News has learned that the FBI has a full-fledged espionage investigation under way and is about to -- in FBI terminology -- "roll up" someone agents believe has been spying not for an enemy, but for Israel from within the office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon.

60 Minutes Correspondent Lesley Stahl reports the FBI believes it has "solid" evidence that the suspected mole supplied Israel with classified materials that include secret White House policy deliberations on Iran.

At the heart of the investigation are two people who work at The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington.

The FBI investigation, headed up by Dave Szady, has involved wiretaps, undercover surveillance and photography that CBS News was told document the passing of classified information from the mole, to the men at AIPAC, and on to the Israelis.

CBS sources say that last year the suspected spy, described as a trusted analyst at the Pentagon, turned over a presidential directive on U.S. policy toward Iran while it was, "in the draft phase when U.S. policy-makers were still debating the policy."

This put the Israelis, according to one source, "inside the decision-making loop" so they could "try to influence the outcome."
FBI investigates alleged Pentagon spy
Senior official believed to have passed documents to Israel

The FBI is investigating whether a high-ranking Defense Department official passed sensitive information to Israel through an Israeli lobbying group, authorities told NBC News on Friday.

U.S. officials described the target of the investigation, whom they would not identify, as a “fairly senior Pentagon official.”

The Associated Press, quoting two federal law enforcement officials, reported that the person works in the office of Douglas J. Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy. Feith is a key aide to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, working on sensitive policy issues, including U.S. policy toward Iraq and Iran.

From the Pen of: Steve Sack

Hey! Over Here! Past the Swift Boats. Hello?

If we may turn your attention to something a little more pithy about this election...

Bush is getting absolutely hammered on the economy thing. HAMMERED. A lot of you already know yesterday's news from the census bureau - two sectors have skyrocketed. The poverty and the uninsured sectors.
Poverty grips more in nation

The number of poor Americans grew by 1.3 million last year, according to a sobering and politically sensitive Census Bureau report issued Thursday.

The increase marks the third straight year the impoverished population has grown. An estimated 35.9 million U.S. residents were living in poverty in 2003, compared with 31.6 million at the advent of George W. Bush's presidency.

That increase, and a similarly steady rise in the number of Americans without health insurance, immediately cast the otherwise-dry Census Bureau statistics into the white heat of the presidential campaign.
And a few days ago, we told you about this endorsement by some folks who know something about economics:
Ten Economic Nobel Laureates Endorse Kerry

Ten Nobel Prize-winning economists today published a letter endorsing John Kerry for president. In their letter, the Nobel laureates draw the sharp contrast between George Bush's disastrous economic policies and the sound economics of the Kerry-Edwards economic plan.
Today, Wall Street isn't so crazy about the little maniac.
Republican fundraisers on Wall St shy away from Bush

Wall Street's enthusiasm for US President George W. Bush appears to have cooled as the presidential race tightens and concerns grow about foreign policy and fiscal deficits.

Some leading fundraisers of Mr Bush's re-election bid have stopped active campaigning and others privately voice reservations.

The New York financial community is expected to give the Republicans a lavish welcome when the president's party arrives for its national convention next week. Wall Street has been a big contributor to Mr Bush's record-breaking re-election fund. But one senior Wall Street figure, once talked of as a possible Bush cabinet member, said that he and other prominent Republicans had been raising money with increasing reluctance. "Many are doing so with a heavy heart and some not at all." He cited foreign policy and the ballooning federal deficit as Wall Street Republicans' main concerns.

We Would've Used a Different Headline than the NY Times

Ours would have been "Bush Admits: "I F***ed Up Over Iraq" - but it ain't my world. I have different priorities. They buried the lead. Italics for emphasis:
Bush Dismisses Idea That Kerry Lied on Vietnam

President Bush said on Thursday that he did not believe Senator John Kerry lied about his war record, but he declined to condemn the television commercial paid for by a veterans group alleging that Mr. Kerry came by his war medals dishonestly.

Mr. Bush's comments, in a half-hour interview with The New York Times, undercut a central accusation leveled by the veterans group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, whose unproven attacks on Mr. Kerry have dominated the political debate for more than two weeks.

In the interview, which included topics like preparations for the Republican National Convention, the reconstruction of Iraq and the twin nuclear threats of North Korea and Iran, Mr. Bush portrayed himself as a victim of the same type of political interest groups - called 527 committees for the section of the tax code that created them - that are attacking Mr. Kerry.

"I understand how Senator Kerry feels - I've been attacked by 527's too,'' he said, adding that he had spoken earlier in the day to Senator John McCain and had agreed to join him in a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission to bar the groups.

Mr. Bush also acknowledged for the first time that he made a "miscalculation of what the conditions would be'' in postwar Iraq. But he insisted that the 17-month-long insurgency that has upended the administration's plans for the country was the unintended by-product of a "swift victory'' against Saddam Hussein's military, which fled and then disappeared into the cities, enabling them to mount a rebellion against the American forces far faster than Mr. Bush and his aides had anticipated.
No, George - you haven't been attacked by any definition of the word. What MoveOn.org has been doing to you is pelting you with the truth in their ads. Kerry was attacked with lies and smears by your Swift Boat Jerks. There's a difference.

And yes - you failed on post-war Iraq. Failed.

Republican Good Guys

They're out there. I'm watching Rep. Ron Paul (R - TX 14th CD) on C-SPAN right now. Admittedly - and I'm sure due to the GOP keeping guys like him under wraps - I knew very little about this guy other than he took an anti-war stance on Iraq. He's running uncontested this year in his district, and isn't so sure about suporting Bush. His politics are downright...well, we used to call folks like him "moderate" before we tilted so far to the right.

Check him out.

Thursday, August 26

And While We're Still at the P-I...

I have to share this David Horsey cartoon with y'all.

While We're Blog-Visiting Seattle...

Wake up, class! We have a new voting scandal erupting in the State of Washington!
"You have lost my primary vote," declared another voter, reacting, like the first, to Washington's new primary election system.

"I have never voted party line, and I'll not be strong-armed into party line now!" another wrote.

"We will NEVER vote again," vowed another.

The gusher of angry correspondence came from citizens upon whom it finally dawned that the state's popular, wide-open, 7-decade-old "blanket" primary is dead. The outpouring was triggered by the mass mailing of a state guide to the new primary, including a warning that cross-ballot votes will be invalidated.

No longer will voters be able to skip back and forth across the primary ballot, voting for a Democrat for one office, a Republican for another and a Libertarian for still another.

In the Sept. 14 primary, voters will have to choose a single party affiliation -- Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or independent -- and pick from among only that party's candidates.

The party choice will be confidential, and no party registration is required. But any vote outside the chosen party will be invalidated, and a failure to mark a party preference can invalidate the entire ballot.

At a Seattle news conference yesterday, [Secretary of State Sam] Reed, the state's chief elections officer, predicted that public anger over the new system will diminish voter turnout by 10 percent. For a presidential year primary, it typically is 41 percent to 45 percent of those registered.

Et Tu, Seattle P-I?

Wow. This is blowing up on John O'Neill's face in a huge way.
Credibility taking hits

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign is taking on water. Hole after hole has been blown in the group's credibility. We hope the damage is sufficient to finally sink 30-year-old anguish over the Vietnam War as a campaign issue.

The campaign to smear Sen. John Kerry took three more direct hits this week.

Despite repeated assertions that the Bush campaign had no connection to the anti-Kerry group, the campaign's counsel, Benjamin Ginsberg, resigned, conceding that he'd provided legal advice to the swift boat bunch. One of the group's founders was commander at the time of a task force whose report confirmed that on March 13, 1969, Kerry's boat was involved in "an enemy-initiated firefight." And an Oregon lawyer who appeared in a Kerry-bashing ad faces a state bar association complaint that he was misleading in a sworn affidavit alleging that Kerry had not earned his Purple Heart medals.

One man who can -- and should -- blow this nasty campaign out of the water is President Bush. His recent call to ban all campaign advertising by all such outside groups -- known as 527 committees -- is not only insufficiently critical of the swift boat campaign but also restraint of free speech.

The answer, Mr. President, is not to restrict the use of political free speech, but to condemn its abuse.
Thank you, P-I's Editorial Board. Very VERY well put.

1972 - A Very Busy Year for George W. Bush

Ever have a year where just all kinds of stuff happened and you needed to make changes in your life? Bush had one of those in 1972. So diverse was his life that year that a seemingly endless number of accounts don't even cover it.

The Washington Times says he was with the Alabama Air National Guard during the summer. This was conclusively proven by none other than a girl who said she dated him back then. She also mentioned he went to work for the campaign of Winton Blount that summer - after which he called her to say he was going to finish his ANG duty. Bush working for Blount is also mentioned at...

The US Embassy Web Site in S, Korea - except his official bio there says he worked for Blount in the spring of 1972, and returned to Houston after the election to do a little "volunteer" work at the Professional United Leadership League (PULL), teaching underprivledged kids basketball and wrestling and taking them on field trips to prisons. The bio skips to his enrollment into Harvard biz school in 1973. But wait...

The Official Bush Bio at the White House site says he didn't enroll in Harvard until 1975. And apparently, all his charitable anthropological achievements in 1972 didn't exist - as well as the year 1972 itself. But the decidedly pro-Bush...

Factcheck.org has at least ten screens worth of Bush's accomplishments in 1972 - none of which seems to be on the Bush Administration's own radar.

All I know is I graduated high school, registered as a CO with the Selective Service, goofed off all summer and started an education riff with the State University of New York system (which we lovingly refer to as Grades 13 and 14). Man, I guess I just led a boring youth.

Welcome, Atrios Viewers

You've linked to the site he still lists as "Squeaky Wheel" in his blogroll. Nice to have y'all on board. Jump in with both feet...

Here's Your Invitiation