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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Saturday, September 04, 2004

James Wolcott is blogging

posted by Jazz at 9/04/2004 06:05:00 AM

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Check it out.

Post Convention Realities

posted by Jazz at 9/04/2004 05:32:00 AM

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In the Washington Post, Richard Cohen takes a look today at the means and methods of both parties in the last sixty days of the election. I like it. He not only points out where Bush has simply gone wrong, but also why Kerry is failing to capitalize on that and seize the initiative.
The Bush campaign knows what it is doing. Bush is a minority president, elected with less than half the votes, and often 50 percent still eludes him in the polls. The campaign is engaged in hand-to-hand combat for just enough votes -- a mandate of one, if need be. It is infused with such a sense of righteousness that, like the Crusaders of old, it can commit atrocity after atrocity on the way to Jerusalem. All that matters is the goal. God understands.


Rural Life

posted by Jazz at 9/04/2004 05:19:00 AM

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In the middle of all the political frenzy, the New York Times is still taking time out to publish editorials from people commenting on a peaceful life outside the big city. This weekend's edition is a particularly good one, written by Verlyn Klinkenborg. (You may need to be subscribed online to the Times to see the article, but it's free and well worth it.)

Some evenings I notice the haze that settles in the valley nearby or the big orange moon coming up over the trees. But that night I noticed how we all fit together, the animals and the humans. The piglets arrive pretty wild. Baby chicks clatter about the brooder house in fear. But time passes, and they all settle down. They seem to tame themselves somehow.

That night I suddenly realized all the ways that they've tamed me. I never rush the ducks. It only confuses them. I never ask too much when herding chickens. The horses expect a certain presence from me, which changes with every situation. The pigs want joy and vigorous scratching.

None of the animals seem to want me to be other than human. But they want me to be a human who knows how the world looks to them and respects it.



Thursday, September 02, 2004

What you see and what they get

posted by Jazz at 9/02/2004 04:09:00 PM

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Serious Kudos and thanks to Attaturk at Rising Hegemon for turning me on to the following information. (Pictures courtesy of Attaturk.)

As you may know, I've long felt that Dick Cheney is the ultimate mask of evil in our party, and the person pulling the strings of George W. as he leads the GOP down the dead end path to ultraconservative positions. Recently, however, I almost had a glimmer of hope for the Vice Prince of Darkness. When asked in a recent series of interviews about his views on gay marriage, he once again owned up to having a lesbian daughter and said he wasn't personally in favor of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. He said, as many of us feel, that it's best left in the hands of the individual states.

I'll confess, I had my doubts. I am suspicious by nature, and feared that was just Cheney playing to the moderates in our party while letting the Shrub carry the banner for the homophobic conservatives. My fears may have proved true.

At the convention, we are here provided with two photos of the Cheney family when Dick spoke on Wed. night. Notice the captions provided.


U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney (second from left) waves from the stage with his family (L-R) daughter Liz Cheney Perry holding grandson Phillip Richard Perry, granddaughter Elizabeth Perry, granddaughter Kate Perry, wife Lynne, granddaughter Grace Perry, and son-in-law Phil Perry.

Hmmmm... where's Mary? Oh, there she is. Up there in the crowd.


Mary Cheney, left, daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, sits with an unidentified guest in Madison Square Garden during the Republican National Convention in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2004.

Did they really say unidentified guest? I've seen the woman three times total and even I know who that is. If Dick is that hung ho about gay rights all of a sudden, wouldn't Mary's lover be welcome on the platform?

I'd like to fall for their "big tent" story, and think some of the movers and shakers in the GOP are really reaching out for more equality. But this just blows it right back out of the water.

Consolidating G.O.R.E. posts

posted by Jazz at 9/02/2004 01:40:00 PM

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I decided to make one permanent page to collect all the items relating to the GOP Office of Republican Embarrassment. It's here and will stay linked from the right hand side.

Conservatives Breeding Liberals out of Existence?

posted by Jazz at 9/02/2004 11:41:00 AM

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"The trouble with Scotland," observed King Henry the Longshanks in the movie Braveheart, "is that there are too many Scots. If we can't burn them out... we'll breed them out."

Of course that phrase was set long ago in the time of the battle of Sterling, referring to the oppressive practice of allowing English lords to have sexual rights to Scottish women on the first night of their marriage. But it came to mind and gave me a bit of a chill when I read this analysis in the Washington Post by Phillip Longman. (Longman ... Longshanks ... coincidence? I'm kidding, of course.) He is the author of "The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity and What to Do About It."

He brings up a point which, quite frankly, would have never occurred to me on my own. His basic premise is that fertility rates have been steadily declining among demographic and geographic splits that favor liberals and Democrats, while they have grown among white, conservative, heavily religious sectors. According to Longman, since 1990 the birth rate has dropped 14% among Mexican Americans and 24% among Puerto Ricans. For the first time Blacks are reproducing at a lower rate than whites, and are "no longer producing enough children to replace their population." The fact that minorities traditionally tend to vote overwhelmingly for liberals and Democrats makes his point clear. The reverse side of this picture is predictable, as he says in the article:
In Utah, for example, where 69 percent of all residents are registered members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, fertility rates are the highest in the nation. Utah annually produces 90 children for every 1,000 women of child-bearing age. By comparison, Vermont -- the only state to send a socialist to Congress and the first to embrace gay unions -- produces only 49.
Now, this isn't going to prompt me to suddenly run about trying to adopt a bunch of kids to I can raise them to be moderates. And while I'd love to turn this into a conspiracy theory to pin on Bush, Cheney, and the Christian Coalition, I'm afraid I simply don't see it.

It certainly is an eye opening trend, though, isn't it? So come on, all you moderates out there! This is the perfect excuse to go out and have sex. (But only with other moderates or liberals, of course.)



Help Out Defender Bear

posted by Jazz at 9/02/2004 09:19:00 AM

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One of the places our Republican party has been the weakest under George W. Bush is the environment. Too many blunders to list here, but today I found a spot on the web that could lighten your heart a little, give you a chuckle, and possibly even help out.

Please check out Defender Bear comics.
America�s imperiled wildlife, already facing huge threats to their existence, are further endangered by George Bush�s egregious and insensitive policies of promoting unsustainable exploitation of our scarce natural resources to benefit their corporate friends, almost regardless of the risks to wild nature and future generations. Much as we might wish they could, wildlife can do nothing to combat Bush themselves. They need our help.


Tomorrow's Headline: Zell Miller Fires Webmaster

posted by Jazz at 9/02/2004 08:53:00 AM

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Zell might want to update his website after his speech at the RNC last night. Could this Democrat actually be a mole for G.O.R.E.? (GOP Office of Republican Embarrassment.)

EDIT: Since Zell's folks will likely take that page down once they realize this mistake, the link is to a speech he gave introducing John Kerry in 2001. I'll save a section of it here for you in case you find the link broken later.

I continue to be impressed with all that Governor Barnes and Lieutenant Governor Taylor and the Speaker and the General Assembly are getting done over at the Gold Dome. Georgia is fortunate to have this kind of leadership.

My job tonight is an easy one: to present to you one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders � and a good friend.

He was once a lieutenant governor � but he didn't stay in that office 16 years, like someone else I know. It just took two years before the people of Massachusetts moved him into the United States Senate in 1984.

In his 16 years in the Senate, John Kerry has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington.

Early in his Senate career in 1986, John signed on to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Bill, and he fought for balanced budgets before it was considered politically correct for Democrats to do so.

John has worked to strengthen our military, reform public education, boost the economy and protect the environment. Business Week magazine named him one of the top pro-technology legislators and made him a member of its "Digital Dozen."


Florida East Coast - Fly, You Fools!

posted by Jazz at 9/02/2004 08:46:00 AM

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Pardon the Lord of the Rings, reference please. To FredFromFla and Rothman, who write to me here at times, and to my brother and sister-in-law, and all the rest of you on the Eastern coast of the sunshine state, I wish you good luck. Frances is on the way, and I hope you all get out of there quickly and safely and find your homes intact when you return.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

GORE Update

posted by Jazz at 9/01/2004 03:13:00 PM

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GORE (the GOP Office of Republican Embarrassment) is getting busy again. This time we have two new items.

First up, there is House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R - Ill.) suggesting that billionaire George Soros made his fortune by receiving it from international drug cartels. Our brilliant speaker actually went on record during an interview on Fox with the following gem:
Hastert said, �You know, I don�t know where George Soros gets his money. I don�t know where � if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from. �� Asked if Soros had earned money from drug cartels, Hastert added, �Well, that�s what he�s been for a number years � George Soros has been for legalizing drugs in this country. So, I mean, he�s got a lot of ancillary interests out there. � I�m saying I don�t know where groups � could be people who support this type of thing. I�m saying we don�t know.�
That's just great, Dennis. Even if you really thought that was true, if you didn't have iron clad evidence that could prove it within one day, did you really think it was a good idea to go out on television and say it? Do you really think that makes you (and by association, the GOP) look stable?!?

Next up, in the Oklahoma Senate race, we have Republican candidate Tom Coburn going on record saying that his campaign against Representative Brad Carson (D - Okla) was a "battle of good versus evil." Coming out and effectively calling a seated member of the House an agent of Satan is generally not sound campaign strategy. In a rare case like this, you'd think some senior national GOP member would ride to the rescue, reign Tom in and try to put some lipstick on this pig. But not with GORE on the job! No, instead we saw Patrick Davis, the political director for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee come out today and say, "We also view this race as good versus evil."

Thanks, Patrick. Just the man we need in a pinch.

Duck and Cover, RNC Bloggers

posted by Jazz at 9/01/2004 11:00:00 AM

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The massive security forces present in New York City for the convention, consisting of thousands of police, National Guard units and Federal agents are a comforting sign against any possible attacks. But, as picked up by Joe Territo and later covered by the Star-Ledger in New Jersey, local and state police are assisting federal officials in pulling over and searching trucks heading from the Garden State into New York. They apparently received intelligence that terrorists may attempt to drive a bomb into the area of the convention from Jersey.

While we certainly have plenty to worry about already, this got me thinking about (of all things) bloggers. In addition to the millions of normal Big Apple residents, all of the visiting conventioneers, protesters and mainstream media, there are a ton of bloggers down there covering the action for us and taking a look at things not picked up by the canned commercial coverage. I know that Atrios, Mr. Left, and The Buzz Machine are on site. Probably quite a few others as well. I have to take a moment and wonder if we aren't just taking the security of this event for granted. It's obviously one of the most mouth watering targets a terrorist group could hope for.

For some reason, I expect to see massive police and military presence in the city for this. But the sight of troopers searching trucks in the corn fields of Northern Jersey with New York City nearly visible on the horizon just gives me chills. Taking a moment to say a short prayer for us all.

Black Box Voting

posted by Jazz at 9/01/2004 10:30:00 AM

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This falls into the "Oh. My. God" category if it can be verified.

As reported by David Weinberger at Loose Democracy, a very serious exposure in electronic voting machines from Diebold has come to light, just in time for the next elections. This information came from Black Box Voting.

The Diebold GEMS central tabulator contains a stunning security hole

Manipulation technique found in the Diebold central tabulator � 1,000 of these systems are in place, and they count up to two million votes at a time.

By entering a 2-digit code in a hidden location, a second set of votes is created. This set of votes can be changed, so that it no longer matches the correct votes. The voting system will then read the totals from the bogus vote set. It takes only seconds to change the votes, and to date not a single location in the U.S. has implemented security measures to fully mitigate the risks.

This program is not "stupidity" or sloppiness. It was designed and tested over a series of a dozen version adjustments.

*snip*

The central tabulator is far more vulnerable than the touch screen terminals. Think about it: If you were going to tamper with an election, would you rather tamper with 4,500 individual voting machines, or with just one machine, the central tabulator which receives votes from all the machines? Of course, the central tabulator is the most desirable target.



The Illusion of Job Creation

posted by Jazz at 9/01/2004 07:39:00 AM

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I have, for a long time, scoffed at the people who blame presidents for poor economic times and thank them for prosperous times. These cheers and jeers seem to be completely political and give credit (or blame) where none is due. Particularly in terms of the economy, presidents are largely figureheads. Their policies and "vision" can have an influence on the economy, but I think it slight and happens only over long periods of time. If presidents had any magic switch they could throw to turn the economy from "awful" to "great" then we would never have a recession or negative job growth. Congress has a much larger effect on the economy, but even they do not hold the power to forcefully move it in one direction or the other. In the end, the businesses of America and, even more significantly, the consumers of America are the ones who control the fate of the economy.

Today, Robert Samuelson of the Washington Post gives an excellent analysis of this. It's not a political piece which either praises or condemns Bush for our current economic woes. Nor is it an endorsement or criticism of Kerry's plans. A short piece from this column:

Explaining the slow job growth isn't easy, particularly now. Everything is politicized. John Kerry slams Bush's policies -- and Bush boasts that they're working. Where they agree is in the presumption that presidents can deliver prosperity. Politicians, the media and the public embrace this notion. Unfortunately, it isn't even a half-truth. More like a sixteenth. A president's policies do affect the economy. But they're one of many influences. The others (including the business cycle, technology and the Federal Reserve) usually dominate.

The actual jobs story and the campaign's stories are barely connected. The first is complicated and uncertain. Indeed, government employment surveys disagree on the extent of job creation. By contrast, the stories told by both campaigns are simplistic. Kerry and Bush both pledge policies that will produce more jobs. Their promises sound reassuring even if they aren't particularly plausible. But they do represent the agreed-on terms of debate. The Labor Department releases its next employment report on Friday. Whatever the numbers say, they will entitle one -- or maybe both -- of the candidates to claim vindication.


One thing you can be sure of, though, is that Bush and Kerry will both grab onto those numbers and claim the other one is the devil.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The "Win" Debacle

posted by Jazz at 8/31/2004 03:55:00 PM

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As much as it pains me to ever give the appearance of supporting Bush, am I the only one getting fed up with all this fluster over his infamous "I don't think you can win it" comment? One person who is really latching on to this like a mad dog is Josh Marshall at Talking Points. Three posts in 24 hours about that one comment seems a bit much. Of course, the rest of the media and all of the liberal side of the blogosphere is going nuts over it. Dead Parrot Society commented on it in a bit more realistic fashion.

But even more sad is how the Kerry campaign reacted. True, John Kerry stuck with his plan to go wind surfing, but Edwards immediately scrapped whatever his talking points for the day were and started hammering on that one phrase endlessly. CNN was running clips of him until my head was spinning. It was as if starving dogs has suddenly been thrown a t-bone steak.

Was it a political blunder for Bush, knowing that his opponents would be all over it like white on rice? Of course. But it's hardly news anymore for Bush to "misunderestimate" his linguistic skills. The problem is, are they jumping on something that is even an issue? What Bush said, when I put aside my "Vote for anyone but Bush" hat for a moment, is something that seems patently true. Dealing with the terrorist threat, (which is very real, even if it's not in Iraq) isn't a conventional war you can win. There isn't a terrorist government with a capitol city that you can crash your way into, topple a few statues, take down their flag, declare victory and go home. The "war on terror" isn't even a "war" at all in the classical sense. It involves countries who are being attacked joining together to try to root out all the extremists around the globe using violent terror tactics against them.

I'm choking on my own bile to type the following phrase, but.... Bush was right. (Ack! Gag! Spit!) It's not a war you can win and have a cut and dried victory. We might be able to eventually flush all of the terrorists and Taliban sympathizers out of Afghanistan and the surrounding areas. (Assuming, of course, we ever turn our attention back there where the actual conflict with the terrorists is happening.) But that doesn't mean we've got "them" all nor that more attacks on us won't be forthcoming. This is going to drag on as long as the massive cultural gulf exists between these disparate societies.

Ok, Bush made a funny slip up and contradicted his own exact terms. Fine. You had your fun with it. Now let's get back to the real issues at stake in this country, shall we? There are so many more productive things to criticize Bush about.

G.O.R.E. (The GOP Office of Republican Embarrassment)

posted by Jazz at 8/31/2004 01:30:00 PM

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G.O.R.E.

(I'm having too much fun with the G.O.R.E. items, so they need their own page where they can be consolidated. However, note that I do not offer this simply as a way to lampoon the party. It really should also be a lesson for future activities. Sort of a "Don't Do This!" list.)

Q. What is G.O.R.E.?

A. The GOP Office of Republican Embarassment is a shadowy function of our party about which very little is known. Apparently, unhappy with maintaining control of the White House and both houses of Congress, our party has established a team of operatives to add more of a challenge to all elections by discrediting the Republicans. They can show up anywhere, at any time, ready to do something to cast the GOP in an unfavorable light. Here is a brief list of some of their recent accomplishments:

Young Republican at RNC kicks female protester on the ground. Nice work.
Zell Miller, G.O.R.E mole?
Dennis Hastert and Tom Coburn making us look good. (Not.)
Fred Gerald explains why Gays hurt America. Thanks Gerald.
George W. Bush proclaims "catastrophic success" in Irag.
We send Scott McClellan to attack Ben Barnes. (Who defended Scott's Mom.)
Distributing Pentagram shaped pasta at the RNC.


Michael Moore's RINO Comments

posted by Jazz at 8/31/2004 12:16:00 PM

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This week Michael Moore is covering the GOP convention in NYC and writing daily articles for USA Today. He goes on for a good bit about some mythical large number of Republicans being "RINOs." ("Republicans in Name Only.")
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. Most don't want America to be the world's police officer and prefer peace to war. They applaud civil rights, believe all Americans should have health insurance and think assault weapons should be banned. Though they may personally oppose abortion, they usually don't think the government has the right to tell a women what to do with her body. 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.
Moore then goes on to wonder why people who have these views wouldn't just be Democrats.

I asked my friend on the street. He said what I hear from all RINOs: "I don't want the government taking my hard-earned money and taxing me to death. That's what the Democrats do." Money. That's what it comes down to for the RINOs. They do work hard and have been squeezed even harder to make ends meet. They blame Democrats for wanting to take their money. Never mind that it's Republican tax cuts for the rich and billions spent on the Iraq war that have created the largest deficits in history and will put all of us in hock for years to come.
I have enjoyed a fair bit of Moore's work, though I thought some other pieces were rather dreary. But this is one case where he's dead wrong. Hey, Michael, guess what? I'm not a RINO, and there's much more that separates the people you describe from the arch-conservatives.

The people you are talking about are not RINOs. They are moderate Republicans. They are members of the Log Cabin Republicans. They are members of Republicans for Choice, and the Republican Youth Majority. That does not make them Democrats in any sense of the word, except perhaps in your dreams.

The Democratic party does not hold exclusive rights on believing in equal rights for everyone, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation. Not all Republicans want everyone to have an Uzi. It is not only Democrats who can believe that a woman should have the right to make choices regarding her own health and reproductive issues. And as much as it may shock you, not all Republicans want to declare war on the world.

What separates most of these "RINOs" as you call us, from the Democrats, are the old school, core values of the GOP. These are matters of basic government theory. They include things like a belief that less government is better - that shrinking the huge bloated bureaucracy and returning more power to the states as the constitution intended is a good thing. They believe that government spending is out of control on endless government programs and a welfare state that is bigger than most third world nations. They believe that tax cuts are, in fact, good - but that you need to eliminate the deficit, cut the national debt, and cap spending before you can go handing out the tax cuts. We don't need the Federal government to be some type of panacea and baby-sitter to all Americans. Some decisions are best left up to the states.

The differences between Democrats and moderate Republicans isn't to be found on the surface as to whether or not we agree on any individual social issues. The differences run much deeper than that. One of our biggest problems, believe it or not, isn't you, Michael Moore. It's the extreme right wing, ultra-conservatives in the party like Bush, Cheney, and their crowd who have highjacked the platform and painted us with one brush so we appear to be moneygrubbing, warmongering bigots and homophobes. And you can't fix that problem for us by trying to recruit us. Only we can fix it.



Tuesday's "Embarrass Our Party" Initiative

posted by Jazz at 8/31/2004 11:24:00 AM

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The highly secretive GOP Office of Republican Embarrassment (GORE) was obviously too busy to attend the RNC in New York City themselves. They were, however, able to send an able representative in the form of Fred Gerald, delegate from Virginia. Upon hearing that Rep. Ed Schrock (R - Va.) had resigned from the House under growing speculation that he was gay, Gerald was quoted as saying:
�I�m a conservative Christian, and the gay lifestyle is the wrong lifestyle. It does not set a very good example for our young people, and it lowers the values in America having gay people in government.�
Sure, that's just what we need. I mean, seriously. I'm a moderate, pro-choice, pro gay marriage Republican, so obviously I'm not pulling for Bush. But this makes the entire party look bad. And it's certainly doing nothing for the reputation of Virginia.

That ludicrous, homophobic platform document that was voted in this week is already doing enough to the GOP's image. We really don't need this.

Today's Photo from the RNC

posted by Jazz at 8/31/2004 08:36:00 AM

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From theoria at kos.


Mr. Left Temporarily Offline

posted by Jazz at 8/31/2004 08:24:00 AM

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For those of you trying to follow links from this page to items on Mr. Left's blog site, it is currently not responding. I have been told that high traffic issues required some re-work and the site would be back up shortly, (hopefully today) for continuing coverage from the RNC.

Zell Miller Flash Video

posted by Jazz at 8/31/2004 08:21:00 AM

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View a flash video showing the flip-flop of retiring Democratic Senator Zell Miller (Georgia) who suddenly supports Bush.

Log Cabin Republicans Fight Back

posted by Jazz at 8/31/2004 05:08:00 AM

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Apparently unwilling to sit still for the ultra-conservative, homophobic language of this years GOP platform, the Log Cabin Republicans launched a series of television ads in New York City calling for change. This comes just as the RNC is swinging into full gear. They are protesting the rejection of a unity plank in the platform as suggested by them and Republicans for Choice.

This will undoubtedly come as too little, too late. However, it is good to see them getting out the message as the party prepares to feature a series of moderate speakers this week who do not represent the far right wing conservative views currently dominating party policy and the wording of the platform.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Quote of the Day

posted by Jazz at 8/30/2004 03:00:00 PM

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George W. Bush: "Had we had to do it over again we would look at the consequences of catastrophic success."

John Edwards: "I, like most Americans, have no idea what that means."

Interview Link

More inside coverage from the RNC

posted by Jazz at 8/30/2004 12:06:00 PM

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In addition to Mr. Left, The New Republic is running a blog from inside the convention. You can read some of their amusing antics in trying to get the Republicans to talk to anyone about anything that isn't pre-scripted and approved by the committee.

*added: RNC Bloggers. Combining input from a number of blogs covering the RNC from on site.

The Bush - Swifties Connection

posted by Jazz at 8/30/2004 11:47:00 AM

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Mr. Left has dug up a chart built by the Kerry team detailing the direct connections between Bush-Cheney04 and the Swift Boat Veterans for Somethingorother. It's in adobe .pdf format, but it's worth a look.

How Else Can We embarrass the GOP?

posted by Jazz at 8/30/2004 11:24:00 AM

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The media finally got around to moving on the Ben Barnes story. In usual Bush-Cheney fashion, rather than answering the charge, they felt it better to attack the messenger. So who do they pick to do the deed? White House press secretary and attack dog Scott McClellan. That's not such a surprise, obviously, and he came out with his statement declaring:
"It is not surprising coming from a longtime partisan Democrat.
Ok. The goal here is clear. Identify Barnes as a hyperpartisan Democrat, and give the insinuation (without coming out and saying it) that Barnes would do anything for the Democrats, including lying about this, and is just making it up to slander Bush. There's a bit of a problem with this strategy, though.

During the last campaign cycle, in 2002, Barnes was actively endorsing and donating money to Carole Keeton Strayhorn. She was running for the office of state comptroller in Texas. There are two things about Barnes' efforts on her behalf that won't play well.

First - she is a Republican.
Second - she is White House press secretary Scott McClellan's MOTHER.

I'll give you a moment to let that sink in.

Previously I speculated that the national Republican committee must have hired a new person to work full time ensuring that at the GOP does at least one thing per day to make themselves look stupid. I am now more convinced of this than ever. We need to find this person and get an interview so that he or she can lay out the long range embarrassment plans for the rest of the campaign. Perhaps we can make Kerry look like a racist by claiming that Bush tortures children of ALL races in his basement?


The FDR Smear Campaign

posted by Jazz at 8/30/2004 09:35:00 AM

NOTE: YOU ARE VIEWING AN ARCHIVED POST AT RUNNING SCARED'S OLD BLOG. PLEASE VISIT THE NEW BLOG HERE.

One party running smear campaigns against the other is hardly an invention of our generation. Apparently the Republicans took a rather odd attack strategy in 1944, attacking FDR using a rumor that he was spending taxpayer money to transport his dog around with him.

This is a link to an audio file of a speech he gave to the Teamsters on this subject. It's really priceless. (You'll probably need RealPlayer to listen to it.)
"These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don't resent attacks, and my family doesn't resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I had left him behind on the Aleutian Islands and had sent a destroyer back to find him--at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars--his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since. I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself--such as that old, worm-eaten chestnut that I have represented myself as indispensable. But I think I have a right to resent, to object to libelous statements about my dog."

Online Voter Information

posted by Jazz at 8/30/2004 09:15:00 AM

NOTE: YOU ARE VIEWING AN ARCHIVED POST AT RUNNING SCARED'S OLD BLOG. PLEASE VISIT THE NEW BLOG HERE.

In case you are one of the many Americans who aren't even sure which offices you will be voting for this fall, who the candidates are, and where they stand, you can visit this link.

http://www.dnet.org/ Very easy to use, and based on your home address you can quickly get a list of all of the races coming up and who the candidates are.

Party for All of Us

posted by Jazz at 8/30/2004 08:30:00 AM

NOTE: YOU ARE VIEWING AN ARCHIVED POST AT RUNNING SCARED'S OLD BLOG. PLEASE VISIT THE NEW BLOG HERE.

Edward R. Brooke was the first black American elected to the Senate in our country. He represented Massachusetts from 1967 to 1979, and he's a Republican. (Yes, I know you're shocked, but we actually have more black GOP members than just Alan Keyes.) Today he wrote a very moving letter for the New York Times. The title is, "A Party for All of Us."

Brooke has eloquently addressed the issues I have with the state of the Republican party today. A distinct minority of the most conservative members of the party are dictating the party platform and setting an agenda that is not the will of the majority.

In foreign affairs, more and more Americans - almost a majority now - question the wisdom of the bloody and expensive war in Iraq, as the promise of democracy there is overwhelmed by the reality of chaos. Our party must not forget the pitiful spectacle of Lyndon Johnson, elected overwhelmingly over Goldwater in 1964, but forced out of office four years later because he persisted in an increasingly unpopular war. There is an urgent need for more candor about this war and for a specific plan to end it.

At home, the issues are the same ones we have faced for decades: an unconscionable rise in poverty, the need for universal health care and safe and affordable housing, the failure of American education, the need for more jobs at living wages, and the continuing challenge of equal rights for all.

I spent much of my political career unsuccessfully trying to bring black voters into the Republican Party. It was a difficult task, and it remains so. Understandably, black voters still see domestic policies that do little to advance their hopes for a better life for themselves and their children. They see black unemployment rates more than double those for whites. They also see too many young black men in jail and too few in college.

Moreover, I fear that, as in 1964, they will see far too few black delegates at our convention. One reason Barry Goldwater failed so totally was that he and his advisers hoped that by opposing the civil rights movement - or, less gently put, supporting racism - they would sweep to victory both in the South and elsewhere in America. This strategy failed because it underestimated the decency of the American people. If our party writes off black votes in a cynical appeal to votes based on prejudice, it too will fail, both politically and morally.

The same is true with the issue of same-sex marriage. A great many Americans oppose a constitutional ban on such marriages, and if our party ignores their opinion and caters to homophobia, it will once again be wrong - morally and politically. There is a great need, too, for more tolerance on the difficult issue of abortion and more respect for those on both sides of the debate.

It's probably far too late to hope for a change in the platform terminology. But conventions are traditionally a place where topics are debated and decisions are made. Today they seem nothing more than scripted dog shows. In this tight presidential race, are we so paralyzed by fear of every appearing to internally disagree that dissent is taken as being "the enemy" of the party?



Sunday, August 29, 2004

Leak, Leaker, Leakest?

posted by Jazz at 8/29/2004 05:18:00 AM

NOTE: YOU ARE VIEWING AN ARCHIVED POST AT RUNNING SCARED'S OLD BLOG. PLEASE VISIT THE NEW BLOG HERE.

This morning, Glenn Reynolds over at Instapundit alerted us that Tom Maguire was questioning the timing of this weekend's story about a possible mole inside the Pentagon leaking security information to Israel. The information in question seems to be tied into an older, larger story which has been brought up before - namely that certain lower level administration officials had taken meetings with an Iranian arms dealer and dissident. This prompted concerns about the possibility Washington insiders pushing for a more regime change oriented policy towards Iran. However, that is not the policy currently being pursued by the Bush administration.

This revelation immediately prompted a response from Ace of Spades about how Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo was not questioning the timing, insinuating a partisan bias. (Insinuating might be a bit mild here, considering he refers to Marshall as a "hyperpartisan hack.")

So to review, we now have a sad but almost predictable flow of events which will repeat itself all through the election season.

1.) A news story emerges.
2.) Someone immediately questions the timing of the report and claims evil partisan intent.
3.) Someone else does not question the timing of the report.
4.) A third party will now question the shadowy partisan scheming of the previous party for failing to question the timing.

Of course, by this stage, most people have slipped into a coma and forgotten what the original story was about.

For the record, Marshall was working on this story for a good while, preparing an article in the Washington Monthly which was just released.

While I'm positive that both sides of the aisle take delight in releasing negative information which might hurt their opponents at key times in an election year, what do these critics expect journalists to do? Sit on all stories until November 4th to ensure that nobody will "question their timing" in releasing the news?