Thursday, September 30, 2004

Post Game

All of the instant polls by media outlets point to a decisive victory for Kerry in the debate tonight. I voted in about 15.

If I'm Karl Rove I'm worried. This was supposed to be their strong point. They fought to have the first debate be on foreign policy and the President crapped the bed.

Next comes the town hall debate format and then the focus on domestic issues.

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Bush's Line of the Night

"I know how the world works."

I don't think he had to read it.

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Tom Delay & Coincidences

It's just a political witch hunt:
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay should not be untouchable. The powerful Texas Republican has wiggled out of ethics investigations before, but not this time. Not when criminal indictments for illegal fund-raising activities are handed up in Texas against three men associated with his political action committee and eight corporations.

The Houston Republican is trying to brush off any attempt to link him to a scandal unfolding in Texas with a PAC he set up, and on whose advisory board he served, by insisting it "isn't about me." Besides, said the tough-talking Texan, "this is 41 days before the election. You do the political math. People see this for what it is."

That they do, which is why the criminal investigation under way in Texas on the conduct of the fund-raising network formed by Mr. DeLay bears urgent examination by the House Ethics Committee.

A Texas grand jury indicted three close Delay associates running his Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee, and eight out-of-state companies, on 32 felony charges of illegally funneling corporate money to Republican Texas House candidates...

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WaPo Blogging Nominees Announced

In a case of blatant voter suppression/disenfranchisement/intimidation/noogie threats, Uncle Horns has been shut out of the Washington Post Readers Choice Awards for Political Blogs.

I have some investigating to do because several of the checks cleared people told me I had a good shot.

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Let's Not Forget This


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Debate Answer I'd Like to See

The Rude Pundit has it here after 44 is asked, "What would you have done differently in Iraq?"

Caution: As the blogger's name attests, the language in the, linked to, post should be considered graphic enough to make George Carlin blush. You've been warned.

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F911 DVD Goes On Sale Next Week!

According to the All Spin Zone the extras in the DVD are even more inflammatory than the content of the film.

If you buy the DVD here a portion of the proceeds will go to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

You're going to buy it anyway.

Do you need a better reason?

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Real Voices

Check out this powerful ad.

(Works best on Windows as it's a WVX file, but there is a way to play it on Mac via WMP Nine. I just don't know how to do it.)

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Debate Tonight

Keep this in mind while you watch Bush and 44 go at it this evening.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Drafty II

Newsweek, via AMERICAblog has some excellent points about a possible draft:
...The threshold question before the election is this: which candidate is more likely to have so few international friends amid a crisis that he would have to move beyond the all-volunteer force?...

I have much to catch up on with my blogroll but, AMERICAblog is a good start. Read. Often.

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More Florida Voter Suppression Shenanigans

I've heard that Jeb Bush may run for President in 2008. He better hope his successor is just as big a scumbag.

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One Simple Question

It's posed at The World's Shortest Blog, "How many times have you been arrested, Mr. President?"

If you can ask this question of the President, you'll we awarded the princely sum of $2,386.00, with an additional $6,000 if the exchange is televised. To me, the value of this question being asked is priceless. I hope it happens.

How hard can it be? Go to a rally in full Bush regalia (don't forget the flip-flops.) Sign your name saying you support the President. Get in line to ask the question. Ask it. Spend a couple of years at Gitmo. Collect.

No worries.

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So Sorry, Seattle

KVI Talk Radio 570 in Seattle and Fox News have partnered to provide the first Fox News branded radio station in the country. KVI will feature Fox News personalities and radio news updates. The station's new moniker will be "KVI Talk Radio 570…Fox News and talk radio."

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Debate Transcript Released One-Day Early

Face-off Overly Choreographed, Critics Charge. A full transcript of Thursday's
presidential debate between President George W. Bush and Democratic
nominee John Kerry was released today,sparking criticism that the debate has
been overly choreographed by the committee representing the two major

The transcript, full of pre-planned quips and sound bites from both
candidates, is a verbatim reflection of what the actual debate will be on
Thursday night, a committee member confirmed.

"We have shared the written transcript with both President Bush and
Senator Kerry and warned them to stick to the script," said Davis Loudon
of the Presidential Debate Steering Committee. "If they stray one iota,
we're threatening to turn the heat in the room up to 71 degrees."

According to the transcript, the debate will begin with opening statements
by both candidates, after which Mr. Bush will turn to Mr. Kerry and ask,
"Where's the beef?"

Mr. Kerry, totally prepared for this witticism, will reply by saying,
"I've got your beef right here," to which Mr. Bush will reply, "Beef

After Mr. Bush goes on to extol the legacy of Ronald Reagan, Mr. Kerry
will respond, "I served in the Senate under Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan
was an enemy of mine. President Bush, you're no Ronald Reagan."

Jonah Traylor, the Washington correspondent for the Toledo Blade, said
that having a written transcript of the debate a day in advance means that
he can skip the event altogether: "I might TiVo it, but probably not."

Elsewhere, after an earthquake in central California failed to cause any
serious damage, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called the 5.9 tembler "a
girlie quake."

I have no idea of the source for this. If you do, leave me a comment and I'll give credit.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Tornado Photo

My wife's step-father took this photo today just south of Wilmington.

UPDATE: I heard on the radio this morning that this tornado was a Category Two that destroyed a hangar at the New Castle County Airport.

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My Commute Home

Remnants of Jeanne.
Heavy traffic.
A Bush Cheney Billboard.

this is an audio post - click to play

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Free Hot-Spots

Doing some travelling? Have a wireless enabled notebook?

You can find free hotspots around the country here.

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Register People to Vote: Get Free Music Downloads

A cool idea from Must Vote.

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Buster Keaton Would Be Proud

Increased chatter? Threat level raised? Long airport lines?

Don't worry the Federal Government is on the case:
Despite major increases in money and personnel, the FBI is still failing to translate many al-Qaida surveillance recordings in a timely manner and faces a giant backlog of untranslated material from terrorism and espionage investigations, a new Justice Department audit shows.

The report released Monday by Glenn A. Fine, the department's inspector general, found more than one-third of al-Qaida intercepts authorized by a secret federal court were not reviewed within 12 hours of collection, as required by FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 123,000 hours of audio in languages associated with terrorists still had not been reviewed as of April 2004, the audit found. In addition, more than 370,000 hours of audio associated with counterintelligence had not been reviewed.

This backlog existed even though money for the FBI's language services had increased from $21.5 million in fiscal 2001 to about $70 million in fiscal 2004. The number of linguists had risen from 883 to 1,214 over that period, the audit found, while electronic surveillance collection in key languages such as Arabic and Pashto has risen 45 percent....

Yes, the No Sarcasm sign has been extinguished.

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Crawford, TX Newspaper Endorses Kerry

This, after endorsing Bush in 2000. Maryscott O'Connor has the details.

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Palestine/Israel Media Cover-up?

Yet another reason to seek out alternative media outlets:
Three and a half years ago, when the current Palestinian uprising began, I started to look into Israel and Palestine. I had never paid much attention to this issue before and so – unlike many people – I knew I was completely uninformed about it. I had no idea that I was pulling a loose piece of thread that would steadily unravel, until nothing would ever be quite as it had been before.

When I listened to news reports on this issue, I noticed that I was hearing a great deal about Israelis and very little about Palestinians. I decided to go to the Internet to see what would turn up, and discovered international reports about Palestinian children being killed daily, often shot in the head, hundreds being injured, eyes being shot out.1 And yet little of all this was appearing in NPR reports, the New York Times, or the San Francisco Chronicle.

There was also little historic background and context in the stories, so this, too, I began to fill in for myself, reading what has turned into a multitude of books on the history and other aspects of the conflict.2 I attended presentations and read international reports.

The more I looked into all this, the more it seemed that I had stumbled onto a cover-up that quite possibly dwarfed anything I had seen before...

Much more to this story.

Go. Read.

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Blair Comes Close to an Apology

Tony Blair offered his Labour party on Tuesday a partial apology for waging war in Iraq -- a desperate attempt to pull supporters back behind him ahead of an election next year.

But as two more British soldiers died in Iraq and a hostage remained under threat of death, his hopes of drawing a line under two years that has wrecked his public trust ratings are far from secure.

"The evidence about Saddam having actual biological and chemical weapons ... has turned out to be wrong," Blair said, his nearest yet to a mea culpa.

"The problem is, I can apologize for the information that turned out to be wrong but I can't, sincerely at least, apologize for removing Saddam," he said. "The world is a better place with Saddam in prison not in power."...

I don't think we'll see something like this from Bush anytime soon. Although an apology from him would be a real October surprise.

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Headline of the Day

I know it's early, but nothing will top this.

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Monday, September 27, 2004

Shaving Question

I have the Quattro. It has four blades.

Will there be something more?

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Traveling Music

One of the good things about extended trips in the car with the baby is the music. He doesn't like talk radio for extended periods of time (he'll learn the beautiful voices of Linda Wortheimer & Scott Simon when the time is right) or books on tape. Nope, the big man wants to hear music. And I was happy to oblige this weekend when we spent 12 hours on the road. I know at least one reader of Uncle Horns is an avid music fan, so I thought I'd list our weekend musical selections.

These are in no particular order but I jumped around to please my pint sized passenger. I stand almost 6'3" so it's easy for me to keep the beat on the baby's leg while keeping my eyes on the road. He let me know when he wanted a change. And as long as my betrothed isn't in the car I usually sing as well.

Anyway, here they are:

Lyle Lovett - My Baby Don't Tolerate
Cold Play - Parachutes
Keane - Hopes & Fears
Old 97s - Satellite Rides
U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind
Beatles - Abbey Road
Talking Heads - Compilation
Sonny Landreth - The Road We're On
Sublime - Compilation
The Kinks - Compilation
This is Crucial Reggae(SKA) - Various Artists
Jason Mraz - Tonight, Not Again (Live)
World Cafe Live Volume 10 - Various Artists

I hope when my son grows older he can appreciate all types of music and that someday he'll be able to teach me about his favorite music. I feel you can tell a lot about a person by the diversity of their musical tastes.

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Bush Could Be Bitten

Our President's "humor" could come back to bite him in the ass:
President Bush said on Monday his Democratic rival John Kerry had shifted his positions on Iraq so many times he could "debate himself" at the prime-time face-off between the two candidates in three days.
"It's been a little tough to prepare because (Kerry) keeps changing positions on the war on the terror," he joked.

He's a riot. And a liar.

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Jon Stewart

Viewers of The Daily Show are better informed on the issues regarding the Presidential campaign than people who don't watch late-night television.

And, during six of the eight nights of both Conventions The Daily Show had better ratings than Fox, CNBC, CNN and MSNBC.

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President Schwarzenegger?

Don't laugh. The ball is already rolling:
A California Republican congressman introduced a constitutional amendment Wednesday that would allow Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to run for president. But he insisted the candidate he really wants to see is a 76-year-old House Democrat from Hungary.

"There are those here Wednesday who will interpret this constitutional proposal permitting naturalized citizens to serve as president as a political ploy," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, an early supporter of Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial bid, said in remarks prepared for the House floor.

And here's a little reminder of Arnold's sordid past.


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Billmon's Last Post

Here. Just an image.

(I saw his LA Times article and have no opinion. He's a great writer, but definitely marches to the beat of a different drummer.)

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Quote of the Day

From James Carville:
"You know, back in 2000 a Republican friend warned me that if I voted for Al Gore and he won, the stock market would tank, we'd lose millions of jobs and our military would be totally overstretched," he writes. "You know what: I did vote for Al Gore, he did win, and I'll be damned if all those things didn't come true."

Tip of the Horn to Eric Alterman for bringing this to our attention.

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Jimmy Carter: FL Has a Long Way to Go

In today's WaPo former President Jimmy Carter points out that several things are still needed in FL:
...A nonpartisan electoral commission or a trusted and nonpartisan official who will be responsible for organizing and conducting the electoral process before, during and after the actual voting takes place. Although rarely perfect in their objectivity, such top administrators are at least subject to public scrutiny and responsible for the integrity of their decisions. Florida voting officials have proved to be highly partisan, brazenly violating a basic need for an unbiased and universally trusted authority to manage all elements of the electoral process.

Uniformity in voting procedures, so that all citizens, regardless of their social or financial status, have equal assurance that their votes are cast in the same way and will be tabulated with equal accuracy. Modern technology is already in use that makes electronic voting possible, with accurate and almost immediate tabulation and with paper ballot printouts so all voters can have confidence in the integrity of the process. There is no reason these proven techniques, used overseas and in some U.S. states, could not be used in Florida.

It was obvious that in 2000 these basic standards were not met in Florida, and there are disturbing signs that once again, as we prepare for a presidential election, some of the state's leading officials hold strong political biases that prevent necessary reforms.

Four years ago, the top election official, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, was also the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney state campaign committee. The same strong bias has become evident in her successor, Glenda Hood, who was a highly partisan elector for George W. Bush in 2000. Several thousand ballots of African Americans were thrown out on technicalities in 2000, and a fumbling attempt has been made recently to disqualify 22,000 African Americans (likely Democrats), but only 61 Hispanics (likely Republicans), as alleged felons.

The top election official has also played a leading role in qualifying Ralph Nader as a candidate, knowing that two-thirds of his votes in the previous election came at the expense of Al Gore. She ordered Nader's name be included on absentee ballots even before the state Supreme Court ruled on the controversial issue.

Florida's governor, Jeb Bush, naturally a strong supporter of his brother, has taken no steps to correct these departures from principles of fair and equal treatment or to prevent them in the future.

It is unconscionable to perpetuate fraudulent or biased electoral practices in any nation. It is especially objectionable among us Americans, who have prided ourselves on setting a global example for pure democracy. With reforms unlikely at this late stage of the election, perhaps the only recourse will be to focus maximum public scrutiny on the suspicious process in Florida.

How sad is it that our "democracy" has come to this?

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Mission Accomplished?

In a sign that our President has only the most tenuous grasp of reality, he recently said that he would still declare "mission accomplished" aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln, if he could do it all over again.

In another sign that there has been very little accomplished in Iraq; five additional U.S. soldiers have died in the past two days.

I hope 44 brings this up in the debate on Thursday.

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I'm Back

A long weekend. I spent six hours in the car on Saturday and then again on Sunday. It was nice to see my grandmother and aunts, they enjoyed playing with my 16-month old son.

I gave my one aunt a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker and asked her to stop by this forum and she asked, "...so you're one of those blogsters?"

On the trip back there was a border patrol roadblock. They stopped every car and asked if the occupants were U.S. Citizens. They let us pass. It was set up about two hours south of the Canadian border.

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Friday, September 24, 2004

Quiet Blogging Weekend

I will be travelling to NH this weekend to see family, so blogging will be light-to-non-existent until Sunday night or Monday morning.

Be sure to visit the blogs to your left. There's something there for almost everyone.

Have a good weekend.

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Freeway Blogger

I wish I could take credit for this message:

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Line of the Day

This eloquence from Number 44 today at Temple University in Philadelphia:
They say the Europeans won’t help us, no matter what. We’re not going to get more cooperation in the war on terror, no matter what. Ordinary people around the world will resent us, no matter what. But I have news for President Bush: just because you can’t do something, doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

Love that! Could the closer be here?

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Job Tracker

Working for America has a web site that will tell you what companies in your area are outsourcing jobs overseas. Just enter your zip code and you'll get a list of companies.

Tip of the Horn to Barry Ritholtz who posted this in a letter at Altercation. Barry is also the proprietor of The Big Picture. Very informative and worth a look.

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A Pentagon-appointed panel of outside experts has concluded in a new study that the American military does not have sufficient forces to sustain current and anticipated stability operations, like the festering conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and other missions that might arise.

Portions of the study, which has not been officially released, were read into the public record on Thursday by Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a leader of Democrats who want to expand the size of the military. During testimony by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his top commanders, Senator Reed said he found the study "provocative and startling."

Mr. Rumsfeld said the report was an "excellent piece of work," and that he had ordered briefings on its findings for senior military and civilian officials.

But he cautioned after the hearing that the section read by Senator Reed was not a comprehensive synopsis, and that the authors of the study may not be fully aware of the variety of steps under way by the Pentagon broadly to lessen stress on the force, and actions taken specifically by the Army to increase the number of available combat forces without further expanding the military...

I wonder what they're hiding?
(My emphasis)

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Apt Political Cartoon

JMM is right.

This cartoon sums it up pretty well.

(I'd put up the cartoon, but it has come to my attention that Uncle Horns is loading slower these days because of all the posted pictures.)

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Cheney Says Kerry Disrespectful of Allawi

Coming from Cheney, this is funny:
..."I must say I was appalled at the complete lack of respect Senator Kerry showed for this man of courage, when he rushed to hold a press conference and attack the prime minister, a man America must stand beside to defeat the terrorists," Cheney told several thousand supporters.

"John Kerry is trying to tear down all the good that has been accomplished, and his words are destructive to our effort in Iraq and in the global war on terror," Cheney said. "As Prime Minister Allawi said in his speech, and I quote, 'When political leaders sound the siren of defeatism in the face of terrorism, it only encourages more violence.' End quote."...

At least Kerry didn't tell Allawi to go f**k himself.

(But it does seem that Allawi has picked up the idea of 'talking points' rather well.)

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The Power of Political Blogs

This commentary by John Powers (scroll down) aired at the end of NPR's Fresh Air last night. Kos & Atrios each got shout outs.

The best part was when Powers identified a certain right leaning blog as Little Green Apples.

Of course Atrios's name for the site is much better than that: "Little Green Snot Bubbles."

No link, sorry.

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Thursday, September 23, 2004


Hearts and minds:
Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq, pulled a pistol and executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station, just days before Washington handed control of the country to his interim government, according to two people who allege they witnessed the killings.

They say the prisoners - handcuffed and blindfolded - were lined up against a wall in a courtyard adjacent to the maximum-security cell block in which they were held at the Al-Amariyah security center, in the city's south-western suburbs.

They say Dr Allawi told onlookers the victims had each killed as many as 50 Iraqis and they 'deserved worse than death'...

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From the presser today at the White House:
Q Mr. President, you say today that the work in Iraq is tough and will remain tough. And, yet, you travel this country and a central theme of your campaign is that America is safer because of the invasion of Iraq. Can you understand why Americans may not believe you?

PRESIDENT BUSH: No. Anybody who says that we are safer with Saddam Hussein in power is wrong. We went into Iraq because Saddam Hussein defied the demands of the free world. We went into Iraq after diplomacy had failed. And we went into Iraq because I understand after September the 11th we must take threats seriously, before they come to hurt us.

And I think it's a preposterous claim to say that America would be better off with Saddam Hussein in power. I certainly know that that's the case for America and I certainly know it's the case for the Iraqi people. These are people who were tortured. This good man was abed in a London flat, and he wakes up with two Saddam henchmen there with axes, trying to cut him to pieces with an axe. And, fortunately, he's alive today; fortunately, we call him friend and ally. But he knows what it means to have lived under a society in which a thug like Saddam Hussein would send people with axes to try to kill him in bed in a London flat.

No, this world is better off with Saddam Hussein in prison.

Q Sir, may I just follow, because I don't think you're really answering the question. I mean, I think you're responding to Senator Kerry, but there are beheadings regularly, the insurgent violence continues, and there are no weapons of mass destruction. My question is, can you understand that Americans may not believe you when you say that America is actually safer today?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Imagine a world in which Saddam Hussein were still in power. This is a man who harbored terrorists -- Abu Abbas, Abu Nidal, Zarqawi. This is a man who was a sworn enemy of the United States of America. This is a man who used weapons of mass destruction. Going from tyranny to democracy is hard work, but I think the argument that says that Saddam Hussein -- if Saddam Hussein were still in power, we'd be better off is wrong.

Deny ANY wrongdoing - check
Lie about failed diplomacy - check
Iraq & 9/11 in the same sentence - check
Lie about terrorist presence - check

And that's just in two questions.

Kos said it, and I agree. This will be the last time we'll see Bush taking questions in a press conference before the election. I'll miss the babbling brook.

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Porter Goss Confirmed

We have a new CIA Chief.

Never mind if he thinks he can't do the job:
In March Goss told left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore: "It is true I was a case officer, clandestine services officer, and yes, I do understand the core mission of the business. But I couldn't get a job with the CIA today. I am not qualified."

I feel safer already.

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God vs. Bush

Decisions. Decisions.

Let's let Florida decide.

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Please take the time to read about Andrew Wilson. What's so special about him? He changed his full name to, They. Why would They do this? I'll let They take it from here:
They said people often make references to an anonymous "they."

"'They do this,' or 'They're to blame for that.' Who is this 'they' everyone talks about? 'They' accomplish such great things. Somebody had to take responsibility," They said.

He did it for the humor, he said.

"I was just having a good time," They said. "I've faced health issues in my life, and I know better than to take life for granted. Life is short, and you should try to find a way to make yourself smile."

Before taking the legal step, They searched the Internet for other people named They, but found none, he said.

As you can see, the story is a grammatical Molotov Cocktail. Or so they say.

Ideas for the name of his first born?

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I'm not sure when our man returned, but I'm sure glad he's back.

If you don't know of whom I speak, say hello to Counterspin Central.

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CBS and Hypocrisy

So there is a reasonable chance that the memos are forgeries. CBS messed up.

Is that enough for the GOP?

What do you think?

The Right is agog about the whole episode saying there should be an investigator with subpoena power etc. etc. etc. What is the purpose of this? Clearing the President's good name? Everything I've read points to the fact that the content of the 60 Minutes story is true. I'm not sure pushing for an investigation is such a wise idea from their perspective because these things have a way of ending up on your own back porch.

This point is belabored but, the hypocrisy shown by the right is galling, even for them. They get supreme complicity from the media during the march to war, the 9/11 commission testimony, half-a-million dollar swift boat ad buy and voter supression. Now they complain about being treated unfairly by CBS.

I'm outraged by their outrage.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Do you think Iraq is growing out of control?

That's the question of the day on MSNBC.com.

The results after 257,629 responses?

Yes 81%
No 19%

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Countries Where al Qaeda Has Operated

The State Department has a map and list of the countries where OBL's organization has had activity.

One question. Why isn't Iraq on the list?

(Unless they are counting Iraq as a U.S territory.)

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Drinking Liberally

A good time last night at the Ten Stone. I met some very cool people and look forward to hanging out with them again soon.

Here's a picture from the festivities. Another Cosmo for the gentleman in the back.

Will get a link to more pictures up soon.

UPDATE: See all of the pictures here.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Line of the Day

In the comments over at Corrente, lambert strether, in response to an anonymous(!) troll, comes up with this beauty:

It takes a village to stomp a weasel.

If you don't know who's the village and who's the weasel then you haven't been paying attention.

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We've heard all about Iran ignoring the International Atomic Energy Agency's demands and North Korea's bolstering of their arsenal. Two countries who went full steam ahead while we searched Iraq for bottlerockets.

What about proliferation in South America?

Tristero has the details.

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Kerry on Letterman

Of course he read the Top 10 List, "Top 10 Bush Tax Proposals."

Number three is a winner:

10. No estate tax for families with at least two U.S. presidents.

9. W-2 Form is now Dubya-2 Form.

8. Under the simplified tax code, your refund check goes directly to Halliburton.

7. The reduced earned income tax credit is so unfair, it just makes me want to tear out my lustrous, finely groomed hair.

6. Attorney General (John) Ashcroft gets to write off the entire U.S. Constitution.

5. Texas Rangers can take a business loss for trading Sammy Sosa.

4. Eliminate all income taxes; just ask Teresa (Heinz Kerry) to cover the whole damn thing.

3. Cheney can claim Bush as a dependent.

2. Hundred-dollar penalty if you pronounce it "nuclear" instead of "nucular."

1. George W. Bush gets a deduction for mortgaging our entire future.

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Terra Alert - More Like It

Thanks to AC for the heads up!

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Monday, September 20, 2004

Kalashnikov Vodka

“I’ve always wanted to improve and expand on the good name of my weapon by doing good things, so we decided to create a vodka under my name. And we wanted that vodka to be better than anything made, up until now, in both Russia and England.”

Lt. Gen. Mikhail Kalashnikov explaining his decision to launch a libation bearing his name.

Can also kill you, but at a slower pace.

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WMD: The Movie

That's Weapons of Mass Deception. Danny Schechter, the proprietor of the blog at Media Channel has put together a film detailing the media's failure to do their job in the lead up to the Iraq War. It will be available on DVD soon and is currently showing at film festivals around the country.

Here is a flash video promotion of the film and more information about the film is available here.

Here is what writers are saying:

"A comprehensive and devastating critique of the TV news networks' complacency and complicity in the war on Iraq... brilliantly argued and scrupulously documented... a must see" -- Chicago Reader

"More cohesive and devastating than Fahrenheit 911" -- Boston Phoenix

“Searing... Powerful" -- Sacramento Bee

Sure to enter the Uncle Horns DVD vault upon release.

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Kerry on Monday in NY

Hitting Hard
...The first and most fundamental mistake was the President’s failure to tell the truth to the American people.

He failed to tell the truth about the rationale for going to war. And he failed to tell the truth about the burden this war would impose on our soldiers and our citizens.

By one count, the President offered 23 different rationales for this war. If his purpose was to confuse and mislead the American people, he succeeded.

His two main rationales – weapons of mass destruction and the Al Qaeda/September 11 connection – have been proved false… by the President’s own weapons inspectors… and by the 9/11 Commission. Just last week, Secretary of State Powell acknowledged the facts. Only Vice President Cheney still insists that the earth is flat.

The President also failed to level with the American people about what it would take to prevail in Iraq.

He didn’t tell us that well over 100,000 troops would be needed, for years, not months. He didn’t tell us that he wouldn’t take the time to assemble a broad and strong coalition of allies. He didn’t tell us that the cost would exceed $200 billion. He didn’t tell us that even after paying such a heavy price, success was far from assured.

And America will pay an even heavier price for the President’s lack of candor...

Time for a terror alert!

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Sunday, September 19, 2004

New York Commute

Show Tunes 1 Fundamentalists 0


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McCain Critical of Bush's Iraq Policy

John, my man, where have you been?

A Republican senator who campaigned for the US president at last month's Republican convention says the Bush Administration has made mistakes in their Iraq policy.

Senator John McCain says the toleration of looting in Iraq after the invasion and the failure to prevent insurgents from establishing strongholds within the country are examples of these mistakes.

Mr McCain says a ground offensive is urgently needed in Iraq to re-take areas held by insurgents.

"We made serious mistakes right after the initial successes by not having enough troops there on the ground, by allowing the looting, by not securing the borders - there was a number of things that we did," he said.

"Most of it can be traced back to not having sufficient numbers of troops there."

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National Talk Like a Pirate Day

Today is the day, me hearties. Do your part.


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Saturday, September 18, 2004

Know Someone Under 30?

Send them this from See the Forest:

The Draft – A Reason to Vote if You’re Under 30

You already blew it: You didn't vote last time, or voted for Nader or Bush, and now you're gonna get drafted. There's no way around it now, the draft is almost a certainty.

You're hearing about Reserve and National Guard units being called up, and about people not allowed to leave the military even though their term is up. Have you thought about what this means to you? You KNOW this means they're having trouble finding enough soldiers to go to Iraq, right? Of course Bush doesn’t want to start the draft BEFORE the election. Duh! But what do you think happens the day AFTER the election?

I repeat, they are having trouble finding enough soldiers to go to Iraq. Think about it. Right, you're gonna get drafted.

Or, maybe you think they can't do that? Maybe you think the draft doesn't happen in America. Maybe you think they can't just grab your ass up off the street, stick a rifle in your hands and send you off to war? Of course not, that NEVER happens. Right.

WAR. Yes, that word. The word you have been hearing from Bush’s lips for months now. "I'm a WAR president", he says. Well, what did you think war MEANS? Somebody ELSE’S war? Did you think it means you get to watch a TV show with planes and stuff?

No, WAR means young people getting grabbed up off the street and sent off to fight. That. Is. What. War. Is.

And, by the way, women and students are NOT going to be exempt this time. Maybe not even rich kids. ONLY the children of politicians will be exempt. THIS TIME.

So, are you finally ready to do something about it THIS TIME? Which candidate do you think is more likely to grab your ass off the street and send it to Iraq? Which candidate do you think is more likely to start a war with Iran, or Syria, or maybe even North Korea? Like Bush says, we're at war, and that's the issue in this election. Well, THAT’S what you should be thinking about THIS TIME.

So vote. THIS TIME.

UPDATE: Tweaked post title to be less gender specific.

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Kerry Takes Off the Gloves

Attempting to change the terms of the debate in the 2004 presidential campaign, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass) came out swinging today, asking a Michigan audience, “Do you really want four more years of that lying cokehead?”

Saying that a second Bush administration would subject the nation to “four more years of blow and snow,” Mr. Kerry unleashed his most savage attack on the president to date, accusing Mr. Bush of spending the federal surplus on a $40,000-a-day cocaine habit.

“Where did the surplus go? I’ll tell you!” thundered Mr. Kerry, who then mimed inhaling a line of cocaine to the delight of the partisan crowd.Mr. Kerry’s decision to accuse Mr. Bush of “snorting foo-foo dust” and “tooting racehorse charlie” seemed to be inspired by the new unauthorized book about the Bush family penned by celebrity biographer Kitty Kelley, who coincidentally was named to the Axis of Evil today.

But just minutes after Mr. Kerry accused Mr. Bush of “hitching up the reindeers,” Vice President Dick Cheney returned fire, telling an audience in West Virginia that if Mr. Kerry is elected, the Earth will spin off its axis and collide with the sun.

After being told of Mr. Cheney’s latest dire prediction, Mr. Kerry chuckled, “I guess George Bush isn’t the only one in the White House who’s horning the Peruvian lady!”

In other campaign news, President Bush told reporters today that he “doubted” that the Texas National Guard memos discovered by CBS last week could be authentic because “I know exactly where the real ones are hidden.

”Mr. Kerry’s decision to accuse Mr. Bush of “snorting foo-foo dust” and “tooting racehorse charlie” seemed to be inspired by the new unauthorized book about the Bush family penned by celebrity biographer Kitty Kelley, who coincidentally was named to the Axis of Evil today.

But just minutes after Mr. Kerry accused Mr. Bush of “hitching up the reindeers,” Vice President Dick Cheney returned fire, telling an audience in West Virginia that if Mr. Kerry is elected, the Earth will spin off its axis and collide with the sun.

After being told of Mr. Cheney’s latest dire prediction, Mr. Kerry chuckled, “I guess George Bush isn’t the only one in the White House who’s horning the Peruvian lady!”

In other campaign news, President Bush told reporters today that he “doubted” that the Texas National Guard memos discovered by CBS last week could be authentic because “I know exactly where the real ones are hidden.”

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Kitty Kelley

For those who haven't heard, Kelley's book, The Family is out and it's juicy. The Guardian has posted a lengthy description, including a Kelley interview with Salon.

If you havent, or don't plan to, read the book, there are plenty of stories included. Enjoy and discuss.

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I Found Some of Your Life

Imagine losing the memory card to your digital camera with a full year's worth of pictures on it. Imagine, next, someone finds the memory card and starts a blog, posting one picture a day with commentary, despite not knowing anyone in the pictures.

Behold I Found Some Of Your Life.

(Read the explanation first.)

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Friday, September 17, 2004

Drinking Liberally in Philly

Atrios has floated the idea of launching a Philadelphia branch of Drinking Liberally. Though my best Liberal Drinking days are behind me (save the handful of weekends each fall in Happy Valley) I think tilting a pint of Vitamin G with like minded Philly area Leftys sounds like a capital idea.

The tentative meeting is scheduled for 6:00pm this Tuesday at the Ten Stone (21st & South.) If you're local, why not stop by?

If the time or location changes I'll alert you in this space.

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In Case You Missed It

...Bush's manipulation of 9/11 for his re-election campaign helps explain why his administration fights so doggedly to suppress the details of what happened that day. Bush promised to cooperate fully with the congressional Joint Intelligence Committee investigation in 2002. The Bush administration blocked the committee from interviewing an FBI informant who rented rooms to two of the 19 hijackers, refused to disclose whether the Office of Management and Budget had slashed counterterrorism budget requests, refused to permit an interview with CIA chief George Tenet, refused to disclose the National Security Agency's plans to cope with new technology challenges, and fought to prevent congressional investigators from learning when Bush received specific warning information about terrorist plots. The report was finished in late 2002 but the White House blocked its publication until July 2003.

Congress responded to the Bush stonewall to its committee by passing a law creating an 9/11 commission. Bush made his intentions clear when he appointed cover-up connoisseur Henry Kissinger as commission chairman. (Kissinger resigned after public demands that he disclose his business clients). Bush proclaimed that he wanted the commission to "uncover every detail and learn every lesson of September 11." But the White House fought the commission staff tooth-and-nail to prevent them from seeing a President's Daily Brief from August 6, 2001 entitled "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US." Prior to the memo's public disclosure, National Security Advisor Condi Rice misled the commission, claiming it was a historical document. Patty Casazza, one of a group of "Jersey girls" who lost their husbands on 9/11 and subsequently publicly turned up the heat on the government to open its records, commented recently: "It was President Bush who thwarted our attempts at every turn."...

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Evil Terrorists

Molly Ivins:
...I think we're all capable of evil under extreme circumstances. I do know that most humans are kinder and better people when they are healthy, well-fed, raised by loving people in a secure environment and taught it is wrong to kill. But that doesn't change human nature.

One trouble with defining terrorism as absolute evil is, as the saying goes, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Second, we appear to be stuck -- permanently stuck -- with war of unequal forces, since no country is dumb enough to declare war on the United States. So we need to learn every thing we can about how to fight these people effectively. Third, defining "terrorist" or any "other" as an absolute, irrational evil gives us a spurious and intoxicating sense of self-righteousness. We become the simon-pure contrast, thus missing any chance to consider if correcting or just changing our own conduct would be effective...

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PA is Important

To that end, if you live in (or near) PA go to PA Victory '04 and volunteer your time to get out the vote. Interning opportunities are also available.

If you're nowhere near PA (and operate a blog) do me a favor and link to the PA Victory '04 website. My buddy Karl is the director of Internet Outreach over there and is trying to drive Google traffic. (If you do link to it please leave a comment below so I can shower you with accolades.)

Kerry chances of winning the election are slim if he does not carry PA.

Thanks in advance for your help & support.

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DOD Underreporting Casualties by MORE THAN 100%

But will it make the Evening News?
NEW YORK (UPI) Nearly 17,000 service members medically evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan are absent from public Pentagon casualty reports commonly cited by newspapers, according to military data reviewed by United Press International. Most don't fit the definition of casualties, according to the Pentagon, but a veterans' advocate said they should all be counted.

The Pentagon has reported 1,019 dead and 7,245 wounded from Iraq.

The military has evacuated 16,765 individual service members from Iraq and Afghanistan for injuries and ailments not directly related to combat, according to the U.S. Transportation Command, which is responsible for the medical evacuations. Most are from Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Pentagon's public casualty reports, available at www.defenselink.mil, list only service members who died or were wounded in action. The Pentagon's own definition of a war casualty provided to UPI in December describes a casualty as, "Any person who is lost to the organization by having been declared dead, duty status/whereabouts unknown, missing, ill, or injured."

The casualty reports do list soldiers who died in non-combat-related incidents or died from illness. But service members injured or ailing from the same non-combat causes (the majority that appear to be "lost to the organization")are not reflected in those Pentagon reports.

In a statement Wednesday, the Pentagon gave a different definition that included casualty descriptions by severity and type and said most medical evacuations did not count. "The great majority of service members medically evacuated from Operation Iraqi Freedom are not casualties, by either Department of Defense definitions or the common understanding of the average newspaper reader."

I wonder if Seb and his abacus could work a little magic with these numbers?

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Mower Tattoo

I was thinking about getting one of these but my comb over would obscure the artwork.

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Former EPA Chief Bashes Bush's Environmental Policies

Not a surprise for those paying attention:
One of the earliest heads of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a lifelong Republican joined a group of Minnesota Republicans on Tuesday in a blistering attack against President Bush's environmental policies.

Russell Train, who headed the EPA under Presidents Nixon and Ford, called the Bush administration's environmental record over the past four years appalling and filled with paybacks to special interests.

In an interview and at a news conference at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Train accused Bush of systematically weakening environmental laws, promoting reckless development on public lands and appointing people with conflicts of interests to key posts.

"He represents a turning back of the clock, environmentally,'' said Train, who, as national chairman of Conservationists for Bush in 1988, supported the environmental policies of Bush's father...

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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Bully Tactics

COLORADO SPRINGS - Soldiers from a Fort Carson combat unit say they have been issued an ultimatum - re-enlist for three more years or be transferred to other units expected to deploy to Iraq.

Hundreds of soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team were presented with that message and a re-enlistment form in a series of assemblies last Thursday, said two soldiers who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The effort is part of a restructuring of the Army into smaller, more flexible forces that can deploy rapidly around the world.

A Fort Carson spokesman confirmed the re-enlistment drive is under way and one of the soldiers provided the form to the Rocky Mountain News. An Army spokesmen denied, however, that soldiers who don't re-enlist with the brigade were threatened...

And now that the Green Zone has been breached in Baghdad we'll probably see more of this.

Don't think Iran and the DPRK aren't aware of exactly what kind of trouble we're in.

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...W. Andrew Terrill, professor at the Army War College's strategic studies institute - and the top expert on Iraq there - said: "I don't think that you can kill the insurgency". According to Terrill, the anti-US insurgency, centred in the Sunni triangle, and holding several cities and towns - including Fallujah - is expanding and becoming more capable as a consequence of US policy.

"We have a growing, maturing insurgency group," he told me. "We see larger and more coordinated military attacks. They are getting better and they can self-regenerate. The idea there are x number of insurgents, and that when they're all dead we can get out is wrong. The insurgency has shown an ability to regenerate itself because there are people willing to fill the ranks of those who are killed. The political culture is more hostile to the US presence. The longer we stay, the more they are confirmed in that view."...

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Sign O' the Times

At least someone is:

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Get Some, Withhold Some

In a new twist on GOTV, Votergasm is asking people to take the pledge.

There are three pledge levels:

Citizen - I pledge to withhold sex from non-voters for the week following the election.

Patriot - I pledge to have sex with a voter on election night and withhold sex from non-voters for the week following the election.

American Hero - I pledge to have sex with a voter on election night and withhold sex from non-voters for the next four years.

As if you needed the impetus for either activity.

(Be sure to check out the disclaimers on the pledge page. High comedy.)

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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Blogroll Addition

I've overcome the fear of my template and added Hullabaloo to the blogroll.

Read. Fervently. Gain. Knowledge.

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Are We Safer?

How about if the President gets another four-year term?
...The administration has been secretive about the cost of the war and the likely impact that the bulging defense budget and continuing cost of tax cuts will have on domestic spending next year. The White House put government agencies on notice this month that if Bush is reelected, his budget for 2006 may include $2.3 billion in spending cuts from virtually all domestic programs not mandated by law, including education, homeland security and others central to Bush's campaign...

Smoke and mirrors. Read the whole article.

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The Politics of Fear

A good overview from Intervention Magazine:
...“Five times in his speech in West Virginia,” according to a report in Saturday’s Washington Post, “Bush spoke of making the country and the world ‘safer.’ He told members of the audience to bring their friends to the polls and ‘remind them, if they want a safer America, a stronger America, and a better America, to put Dick Cheney and me back in there for four more years.”

Safer? Stronger? Better? This is not the America I see after almost four years of Bush/Cheney rule.

We are not safer. Our borders are porous. Most container ships enter our harbors without being inspected. Bush and the Republican Congress have drastically cut funding for the U.S. Border Patrol and Customs Agency; have eliminated a program initiated by President Clinton to put more police officers on America’s streets; have denied promised funding for equipment desperately needed by police officers, fire fighters, and first responders in our cities; have arbitrarily allocated Homeland Security funding evenly to all states so that sparsely populated Wyoming gets as much money as New York City, already the target of two terrorist attacks; and have allowed the assault weapons ban to lapse so that these deadly weapons whose only purpose is to kill people will now be easily attainable by those who want to kill people.

We are not stronger. Because of our Iraqi misadventure, our armed forces have been stretched dangerously thin as North Korea and Iran blithely develop nuclear weapons. Because Bush and Donald Rumsfeld have wasted billions on obsolete high-tech weaponry and an absurd, unworkable, and useless missile defense program, we cannot afford to field sufficient armed forces and provide them with the equipment they need to protect themselves and us. Because of the staggering deficit created by the Bush regime’s unconscionable tax cuts for the rich, we have become a debtor nation subject to the whims of countries who now prop up our wobbly economy. Because of the Patriot Act, our Constitutional liberties have been eroded, weakening our democratic system. We have lost the trust and friendship of our allies and encouraged the enmity of those who would be our enemies.

And we most certainly are not better. Almost two million Americans remain out of work, the highest number since the Great Depression. More than 36 million Americans have slid into poverty, the highest number since the Great Depression. Fifteen percent of the American population lacks health care coverage. Our infant mortality rate is among the worst in the industrialized world. Most Americans are unable to save money because they need every cent simply to survive. The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the earth upon which we live are less safe because of the Bush regime’s attack on the environment--to make America a better place for the energy companies and other corporations who have been given carte blanche to do whatever they choose...

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Tip of the Iceberg

It turns out Ben Barnes may have called in a favor to then Governor Bush in 1994 to help his business keep a state contract.


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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

An Almost Blog Free Day

I spent the day at a golf outing. One of my agency's clients organized it as a breast cancer research benefit. Through sponsors and the silent auction they raised over $100,000 for this charity. Other good news included my finally feeling some comfort with my driver after 15 years playing. I also chipped in for par from twenty yards. Now I'm exhausted.

Back to business on Wednesday.

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Monday, September 13, 2004

Interesting Idea

From Zackpunk:
I was just listening to the Al Franken show, and he touched on a point, but didn't make an interesting connection. Colin Powell told president Bush, "if you break it, you own it." And now president Bush is going around talking about having an "ownership society." That's a huge opening for Kerry:

"Mr. president, Colin Powell told you about this war that 'if you break it, you own it.' And now you're going around talking about an 'ownership society.' Well, Mr. President, let me tell you what you own. A million jobs lost. You own that. A thousand soldiers lost. You own that. 1.4 million new people living below the poverty line. You own that. 1.2 million less people covered by health insurance. You own that. A seventeen percent medicare increase. You own that. Health care costs skyrocketing. You own that. The tax burden increasing amongst the middle class. You own that. Mr. President, if you want to talk about an ownership society, let's talk about what you own."

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Fallujah Invasion a Mistake

According to former Commander Lt. General James T. Conway:
FALLUJAH, Iraq, Sept. 12 -- The outgoing U.S. Marine Corps general in charge of western Iraq said Sunday he opposed a Marine assault on militants in the volatile city of Fallujah in April and the subsequent decision to withdraw from the city and turn over control to a security force of former Iraqi soldiers.

That security force, known as the Fallujah Brigade, was formally disbanded last week. Not only did the brigade fail to combat militants, it actively aided them, surrendering weapons, vehicles and radios to the insurgents, according to senior Marine officers. Some brigade members even participated in attacks on Marines ringing the city, the officers said.

The comments by Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, made shortly after he relinquished command of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force on Sunday, amounted to a stinging broadside against top U.S. military and civilian leaders who ordered the Fallujah invasion and withdrawal. His statements also provided the most detailed explanation -- and justification -- of Marine actions in Fallujah this spring, which have been widely criticized for increasing insurgent activity in the city and turning it into a "no-go" zone for U.S. troops...

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Sunday, September 12, 2004

Another Bush Commercial

Aired during the Eagles game.

Choice line:

"Healthcare for every eligible child."

Rest easy America.

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My First Day Volunteering to GOTV

Today I spent over three hours educating registered voters in suburban Philadelphia. Through the organization America Coming Together, me and my canvassing partner, Holly (also a first timer), went door-to-door asking undecided voters if they've made their Presidential voting decision yet. We pointed out to everyone we spoke with that Bush has underfunded his No Child Left Behind debacle initiative by $1 Billion in Pennsylvania alone.

After going to over 70 homes and apartments the Bush & Kerry supporters were about even with voters being undecided. There was no one home at about two-thirds of the houses we visited (or they didn't want to talk to us.) Holly and I looked pretty intimidating with our clip boards.

Some observations on our day:

-If anyone had an accent (first generation immigrant, perhaps) they supported Kerry 100% of the time.

-Best reason given for voting for Bush: "I like him." (No NAFTA talk here.)

-The ACT crew in the Philly burbs of Alan, Jake, Lorraine & Julia were amazingly nice. Gracious too. Well done gang, you do ACT proud.

-I visited four(4) million-dollar homes today. There was no one home at two, the last provided the "best reason" above and the fourth was firmly Kerry. This was a little surprising to me because the one reason I could almost understand voting for Pinhead would be if my salary had at least one comma. Full marks to the thinking family with the sweet Mercedes convertible.

-I found myself guessing who the house's occupant supported based on the home, car & peripherals. I was right less than half the time. More proof that prejudice will get you nowhere.

-I called on a Bush family today. They had a Kerry sign in their window which gave us some amusement. The lady of the house was a DNC volunteer but complained she still didn't have a yard sign or a button. Earlier in the day, Jake made me take off my Kerry/Edwards button. I fished it out of my pocket and gave it to Mrs. Bush. Jake, I don't hold a grudge but, I'll let you by me a beer when Kerry hits 300 Electoral Votes (though I'll settle for 270 EVs and a warm YooHoo.)

-I had a great time canvassing with Holly. We laughed at the crazy freepers and applauded each other's successes in the few "A-HA" moments we had with the undecideds. I was lucky to be paired with her.

I worked my ass off today walking what must have been over three miles. It's now after 10pm and I'm invigorated. The entire experience has left me empowered and I'll be back at it next weekend. (Forgoing my PSU tickets. I'll live. We're not so good.)

If you've ever considered working for a get out the vote effort, now is the time. Go here and find something near you. Our kids' future depends on it.

Please do it.

(For the ACT gang: What you're looking for is here and here.)

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Saturday, September 11, 2004

Headline of the Year

Trust me

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Save Our Forests

David over at largehearted boy has a post up detailing what our environment is up against, particularly if Bush is re-elected.

This is from ourforests.org:
On July 12, 2004 the Bush administration repealed the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, despite promising to uphold it. Now, 58.5 million acres of our national forests are at risk to destructive road-building, logging and drilling.

The Heritage Forests Campaign and our partners throughout the country are working feverishly to stop this shortsighted proposal, but we need your help! A public comment period started last week with this announcement and we need to let the administration know that the public wants our national forests protected not given away to corporate special interests.

We have set an ambitious goal of 1 million comments to send a clear and powerful message that we will not tolerate the administration giving our national forests away. Please send the letter below and if you have a few extra minutes please edit the letter with some personal comments.

Thank you for your continued support and please remember to comment today, to protect our national forests for tomorrow.

Go make your voice heard.

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Friday, September 10, 2004

Navigating the Blogosphere

This map of Bloggahland may help.

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I agree with this:
...Citizens of the United States are a decent, fair-minded people. The only reason we tolerate what is being done in our name in Iraq is that, for us, this war exists only in the realm of metaphor. The words "war on terrorism" fall on our ears much in the way that "war on poverty" or "war on drugs" did.

War is an abstraction in the American imagination. It lives there, cloaked in glory, as an emblem of patriotism. We show our love for our country by sending our troops abroad and then "supporting" them, no matter what. When images appear that contradict the high-flown rhetoric of war -- whether of young GIs disgracefully humiliating Iraqi prisoners or of a devastated holy city where vast fields of American-created rubble surround a shrine -- we simply do not take them in as real. Thinking of ourselves as only motivated by good intentions, we cannot fathom the possibility that we have demonized an innocent people, that what we are doing is murder on a vast scale...

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Kerry's Gonna Lose

In Karl Rove's dreams! This post was lifted in it's entirety from a diary by cls 180 over at Kos.

Nine reasons why Kerry/Edwards will take it to the house:

1. George Bush had 3.4 million votes fewer than his challengers in 2000, this in a year when there was little interest in the election and the candidates were portrayed as the flip side of the same coin.

2. The only reason Nader is getting on state ballots is because Republicans are putting him there. Not Democrats, not Nader supporters, Republicans. Unless the Republicans who got him on the ballot actually go ahead and vote for him in November (and we have questioned the intelligence of Republicans on this site before), Nader will get far fewer votes than he got in 2000 (or at the very least he'll pull off the aforementioned unclear-on-the-concept Republicans).

3. Democrats are virtually united (at least for Democrats) in their desire to boot Bush. There is little likelihood that Democrats will jump ship in large numbers in November. Democrats have rarely shown such unanimity in any election.

4. Independents appear to be leaning Kerry in large numbers. You have to figure a Republican is going to proudly register as a Republican, no matter what. Independents appear to be disaffected Democrats more than anything else. Independents have overtaken Republicans in voter registration in a Harris poll I read recently (33% D, 29% R, 31% I)

5. Voter registration continues to defy expectations. After a slight increase in Republican registration after 9/11, Democrats are back to their historic advantage in registration numbers. I read on a diary this morning that registration in Durham, North Carolina alone favors Democrats by 6:1 or more.

6. Voter turnout for the primaries was phenomenal. Turnout in some states was 3 times normal. 5000 Republicans in New Hampshire alone wrote in a Democrats' name on their Republican primary ballots.

7. Three open House seats, 2 in very conservative districts, were taken by Democrats so far this year.

8. Polls run by the SCLM (So Called Liberal Media) consistently oversample Republicans and insist Kerry is in trouble. Fox, oddly enough, sees Kerry ahead or close to even. I'm just throwing out a possibility but you have to wonder, does Fox show the race close in order to scare Republicans to polls? Does ABC hope to spur Democrats with the same sort of reverse psychology? Just wondering.....

9. Bush has lost significant support among gays, Arab Americans, younger Cuban Americans, moderate Republicans, military families (if not military personnel themselves) and the elderly. Bush has gained support among......who? Name one large group of voters who can close the 3.4 million vote gap plus those Bush has lost since. Who are these people? Evangelicals alone won't cut it.

Sounds like pretty good reasoning to me.

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First Amendment

This is what happens if you happen to get into a Bush rally and voice your opinion:

The accompanying caption from the AP:
A member of the audience pulls a demonstrator's hair as he forces her out of an auditorium where President Bush was addressing a crowd of supporters at Byers Choice in Colmar, Pa. Thursday Sept. 9, 2004.

Tip of the Horn to the prowling Red Wolf for sharing this.

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Thursday, September 09, 2004

60 Minutes Blacked Out in Scranton

Those nasty glitches:

A CBS affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania stopped broadcasting around the time ‘60 Minutes’ was supposed to be broadcast, leading thousands to question whether the network dropped the show because its content was critical of President Bush.

A news director confirmed that the program was not carried, saying, “Our transmitted busted.”

“I can tell you that it was not part of a vast right wing conspiracy,” he added.

One viewer, who asked not to be named, wrote to RAW STORY outraged that WYOU would pull the program.

“When the CBS affiliate goes off air at 8:00 PM, and promptly resumes coverage at 9:00 PM, and no other stations had technical problems – it’s a clear case of censorship,” the viewer wrote. Folks have been calling WYOU non-stop about this since last night, and station officials are extremely
defensive and hostile.”

“They refuse to re-broadcast the 60 Minutes episode,” the letter continued, “telling callers to “get a life” and “take it up with CBS” if they’ve got a problem.”

The reader also noted that because CBS and NBC are part of the same duopoly, both stations likely would have been affected, but NBC carried programming as usual...

As long as they didn't show Janet Jackson's nipple ring all will be well.

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Jeopardy's Millionaire

You can find some news about Ken Jennings here.

If you don't want to know, don't click the link.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

You Don't Know Dick Cheney

Until you read this from Rolling Stone.

A choice graf about his service in Wyoming:
...In an overwhelmingly Republican state, Cheney now had a safe seat in Congress for as long as he wanted. On Capitol Hill, he combined a moderate demeanor with a radical agenda. People who find Cheney's extremism as vice president surprising have not looked at his congressional voting record. In 1986, he was one of only twenty-one members of the House to oppose the Safe Drinking Water Act. He fought efforts to clean up hazardous waste and backed tax breaks for energy corporations. He repeatedly voted against funding for the Veterans Administration. He opposed extending the Civil Rights Act. He opposed the release of Nelson Mandelafrom jail in South Africa. He even voted for cop-killer bullets...

Fear More Years.

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A Blog of No Words

Ever since Blogger added the "Next Blog" button at the top of my home page I've found some pretty interesting stuff. Some other people have found my little soapbox in the same way. While obsessing on perusing my traffic page I found a blog whose name intrigued me.

The Homeless Guy isn't about what you think.

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1,004 and Counting

Exit Strategy?


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Cheney Says, "Wrong Vote Invites Attack"

Ramping up the politics of fear.

Everyone in the Bush Administration has said to expect another attack. The threat levels are going up-and-down like a yo-yo. And now our Vice President is insinuating that a vote for the incumbent will make us safer.

Without shame.

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Log Cabin Republicans Withhold Bush Endorsement

The gay and lesbian Republican group endorsed Bush in 2000 and Dole in 1996, not this time.

When you try to put an exclusionary amendment in the Constitution this is bound to happen.

Good for them.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2004


Can someone please tell me what this means?
President Bush offered an unexpected reason on Monday for cracking down on frivolous medical lawsuits: "Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country..."

Is he advocating what is seems?

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Monday, September 06, 2004

Happy Labor Day

David Sirota and John Podesta have published an op-ed piece in the LA Times:
...Since his inauguration, the president has delivered more than 1,000 major addresses, news conferences and short public remarks. Yet he has uttered the phrase "middle class" in only 34 of them. On Thursday night at the convention, he kept the pattern going — the phrase never passed his lips.

Maybe it's just an oversight, but in such a highly scripted White House, is anything left to chance? Omitting references to America's most critical demographic is surely no accident — it's evidence of a tectonic shift in philosophy. No longer part of a bipartisan consensus that government should work to expand opportunity for ordinary Americans, conservatives are instead eliminating those opportunities. Bush's words — or lack thereof — simply punctuate the effort.

Consider, for example, decent wages. The gateway to the middle class is considered to be a salary of about $35,000 a year. Yet the Bush administration has refused to support a serious increase in the minimum wage, which at $5.15 an hour provides a salary of less than $12,000 a year — well below the poverty line. At the same time, the White House has worked to strip workers of federal overtime pay protections, and in budget after budget it has tried to cut billions out of job training programs...

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Saturday, September 04, 2004

Happy Valley

Light blogging today & tomorrow as I'm in State College to see Penn State play Akron.

As you may or may not know Central PA is Bush Country, so my 'Got Fear?' pin (with milk mustache on Bush) should go over great.

I'll recount amusing stories in this space.

Go State!

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Friday, September 03, 2004

Bill Clinton Hospitalized

To have bypass surgery tomorrow.

Get well soon, Big Dog!

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GOP Distances Itself from Zell

Nice loyalty:
After gauging the harsh reaction from Democrats and Republicans alike to Sen. Zell Miller’s keynote address at the Republican National Convention, the Bush campaign — led by the first lady — backed away Thursday from Miller’s savage attack on Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, insisting that the estranged Democrat was speaking only for himself.

Late Thursday, Miller and his wife were removed from the list of dignitaries who would be sitting in the first family’s box during the president’s acceptance speech later in the evening. Scott Stanzel, a spokesman for the Bush campaign, said Miller was not in the box because the campaign had scheduled him to do too many television interviews.

There was no explanation, however, for why Miller would be giving multiple interviews during Bush’s acceptance speech, or what channels would snub the president in favor of Miller. Nor was it made clear why Miller’s wife also was not allowed to take her place in the president’s box 24 hours after his deeply personal denunciation of his own party’s nominee.

The change was made only a few hours after Laura Bush, asked about Miller’s speech, said in an interview with NBC News that “I don’t know that we share that point of view.” Aides to President Bush and his campaign said Miller was not speaking for all Republicans...

They were so proud to have Democrat Zell Miller give the keynote speech, especially because he introduced Clinton in 1992.
So what happens?
They give him a speech to read.
He reads it.
The reaction isn't what the GOP was looking for.
They ostracize him.

In the words of Rudy, from Fat Albert, "They're like school in the summer time. No class."

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Still Undecided?

Read this:
...And on education, Bush voiced an inherent contradiction, dating back to his 2000 campaign, in stating his stout support for local control of education, yet promising to toughen federal standards that override local decision-making.

"We are insisting on accountability, empowering parents and teachers, and making sure that local people are in charge of their schools," he said, on one hand. Yet, "we will require a rigorous exam before graduation."

On Iraq, Bush derided Kerry for devaluing the alliance that drove out Saddam Hussein and is trying to rebuild the country. "Our allies also know the historic importance of our work," Bush said. "About 40 nations stand beside us in Afghanistan, and some 30 in Iraq."

But the United States has more than five times the number of troops in Iraq than all the other countries put together. And, with 976 killed, Americans have suffered nearly eight times more deaths than the other allies combined.

Bush aggressively defended progress in Afghanistan, too. "Today, the government of a free Afghanistan is fighting terror, Pakistan is capturing terrorist leaders ... and more than three-quarters of al-Qaida's key members and associates have been detained or killed. We have led, many have joined, and America and the world are safer."

Nowhere did Bush mention bin Laden, nor did he account for the replacement of killed and captured al al-Qaida leaders by others.

He attacked Kerry for voting against an $87 billion package for Iraq and Afghanistan operations that included money for extra sets of body armor and other supplies, mocking his opponent for saying the issue was complicated. "There's nothing complicated about supporting our troops in combat," Bush said.

But the bill in question was not solely about supporting troops and Kerry's campaign said he ultimately voted against it because, among other reasons, it included no-bid contracts for companies.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who tracks the accuracy of campaign rhetoric at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication, said Bush overstepped on a few claims about Kerry.

"The speech distorts Kerry's positions by suggesting that he opposed Medicare reform when he instead favored an alternative, and opposed tax cuts for all when he in fact supported the middle class cuts and opposed cuts for those making more than $200,000," she said.

And on Bush's second-term domestic initiatives, she was not surprised to find missing dollar signs.

"One expects acceptance speeches to make grand promises without specifying the ways that the money will be raised to pay for them," she said. "This speech is no exception."

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Bush's Speech


After three days of hate, Bush tried to put a pretty dress on the pig.

No dice.

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Thursday, September 02, 2004

9/11 Pentagon Conspiracy Theory


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Best Comment in response to Zell's Speech

Zell's speech reads better in the original German.


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Glaring Omission

What do the following Convention speakers have in common?

Rudy Giuliani
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Laura Bush
Jenna and Barbara Bush
John McCain
Zell Miller
Michael Reagan
Dick Cheney

Not one of them spoke the name Osama bin Laden.

I wouldn't bet on that to change tonight.

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Zell Miller

Wow. First this DINO gives a speech full of hate and inflammatory invective and then appears on Chris Matthews' Hardball where he completely lost his composure.

Zell Miller challenged the host of Hardball to a DUEL!!!

Must be seen. Go here and click the link to see the video.

First, the daughters Bush and now Zell. Karl is sweating it a little.

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Freeway Blogger 2

Someone was clever enough to post this sign on the day Bush Speaks at the Republican National Convention...

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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Mitt Romney

There was buzz that Mitt is going to bring something tonight. But what?

Modified play-by-play follows...

A cynical start to the speech by the MA Governor attacking Kerry & Edwards with sarcastic barbs and one liners that bring zip to the discourse of the campaign. Obama, he ain't.

He's preaching that the, "tolerance to all of god's children." Right. The party of Trent Lott and Jesse Helms. Tolerance. Heh.

Mitt trots out 9/11. They're getting good political mileage out of the worst tragedy in our country's history. I bet Cheney & Bush will rub our faces in it. Hey! Over here! We're leaders!

That's it. I don't know what the "buzz" was about

Zig Zag Zell is next and then Monsieur Halliburton. I don't think I'll be able to stomach those hypocritical tubs of goo.

The only other thing that could happen tonight is the October surprise, a month early. What happens if Cheney declines the VP nomination for the good of the party health reasons? Possible but not likely.

Here's Zell, Good night.

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Only In Pennsylvania

Clerk accepts $200 bill with Bush's picture on it, hilarity ensues.
State police aren't laughing about the person who allegedly passed some funny money - a $200 bill with President Bush's picture on it - at a women's clothing store.

Police on Wednesday charged Deborah Trautwine, 51, with theft by deception, for allegedly passing a bogus $200 bill at the Fashion Bug store in Hempfield Plaza on Aug. 22. There is no such denomination, even without Bush's picture on it.

Police said they didn't know how the clerk was taken in by the ruse, even though several other things about the bill should have been a dead giveaway.

Among other things, the bill had a hokey serial number - DUBYA4U2001 - and didn't bear the signature of the secretary of the treasury. Instead, the bill was "signed" by Ronald Reagan, whose title was "Political Mentor" and by Bush's father, who is listed as "Campaign Advisor and Mentor."

I'm glad they caught the culprit, as is First Lady Laura Bush, who first thought of her daughters. But the twins had an airtight alibi, they were "rehearsing" their convention speech.

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Get Involved

If you really want to do your part to see Kerry get elected it's important to be in contact with the media about inconsistencies and overt misrepresentations in their coverage. Go to this page at Southpaw where you can find email addresses and phone numbers for every major broadcast and cable TV news network along with contact inf for specific shows.

Also included are phone numbers for our elected representatives. Take a second to put your senator's phone number into your cell phone. Call them and tell them your concerns. Their job is to serve us.

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BC04 Ad Buys

Via the letters portion from today's Altercation comes some information about ad buys for our fearless fearsome leader. Enlightening:
Based upon the cable buys the Bush re-election campaign has been making, there appears to be some serious concern by Rove & Company over 'the base.' The Bush campaign is not only outspending Kerry on cable -- by more than 10 to 1 -- but placing their ad dollars in places that you might have suspected were (excuse the term) a slam-dunk.

While the challenger has purchased only 265 cable spots, the incumbent has bought a whopping 3092 cable adverts thru (June of 2004). Even more intriguing are the types of channels the incumbent has been buying: The Golf Channel, Fox News, MSNBC, The Speed Channel and The Travel Channel...

It seems as though the campaign has some information that might not be as positive as some of the polls would have you believe.

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Not a Difficult Question

Thanks to the enlightened mother of Uncle Horns for the idea.

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Another Great Search

Number five result on the list. But I'm not sure it's true based on what I've read in the NY papers & magazines.

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