Friday, December 31, 2004

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: December 26, 2004 - January 01, 2005 Archives

Ayn Rand institute says US aid to disaster victims is wrong...

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: December 26, 2004 - January 01, 2005 Archives

Justice Expands 'Torture' Definition (washingtonpost.com)

Justice Expands 'Torture' Definition (washingtonpost.com)




washingtonpost.com
Justice Expands 'Torture' Definition
Earlier Policy Drew Criticism
By R. Jeffrey Smith and Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, December 31, 2004; Page A01


The Justice Department published a revised and expansive definition late yesterday of acts that constitute torture under domestic and international law, overtly repudiating one of the most criticized policy memorandums drafted during President Bush's first term.

In a statement published on the department's Web site, the head of its Office of Legal Counsel declares that "torture is abhorrent both to American law and values and international norms" and goes on to reject a previous statement that only "organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death" constitute torture punishable by law.

That earlier definition of torture figured prominently in complaints by Democrats and human rights groups about White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales, who oversaw its creation and is Bush's nominee to become attorney general for the second term. The new memo's public release came one week before the start of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Gonzales's nomination.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Daniel Levin said in the new memo that torture may consist of acts that fall short of provoking excruciating and agonizing pain and thus may include mere physical suffering or lasting mental anguish. His opinion is meant, according to its language, to undermine any notion that those who conduct harmful interrogations may be exempt from prosecution.

This second effort by the Bush administration to parse the legal meaning of the word "torture" was provoked by the damaging political fallout from the disclosure this summer of the first memo, drafted in August 2002 and criticized by human rights lawyers and experts around the globe.

Many of the critics charged that the first memo -- which they said laid out a very narrow view of what behavior might constitute torture and was crafted to help interrogators at the CIA evade prosecution -- created the context for a record of persistent ill treatment by that agency and the U.S. military of detainees at prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba's Guantanamo Bay and undisclosed locations.

"Clearly the release of this now is backfilling for Gonzales's confirmation hearing," said I. Michael Greenberger, a senior Justice Department official in the Clinton administration who now heads the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland. "These memos have been a tremendous source of embarrassment to both Gonzales and the administration."

Greenberger said that recent accounts of widespread abuse at U.S. detention facilities -- including disclosures that military interrogation practices were sharply criticized over the past two years by FBI and Defense Intelligence Agency personnel in the field -- have given ammunition to those within the administration who favor adherence to international norms against torture.

"It could be that this is not just a cynical ploy but a real sign of change," Greenberger said.

One of the most controversial provisions of the earlier memorandum, signed by Levin's predecessor, Jay S. Bybee, was an assertion that the president's executive powers were sufficient to permit tolerance of torturous acts in extraordinary circumstances. The International Committee of the Red Cross had declared in response that the prohibition on torture, embodied in a global convention signed by the United States, has no exceptions.

But advocates of strict adherence to the convention previously lost interagency battles to hard-liners in the Defense Department, the Justice Department and the White House, who maintained that the president has expansive powers during the war on terrorism. The new memo pointedly sidesteps this issue, stating that the "consideration of the bounds of any such authority would be inconsistent with the president's unequivocal directive that United States personnel not engage in torture."

The memo, which states that it "supersedes the August 2002 memorandum in its entirety," also drops an attempt in the earlier version to rule that harmful acts not specifically intended to cause severe pain and suffering might be legal, and to define "specific intent." Instead, it deliberately left the notion of "specific intent" undefined to avoid, Levin wrote, any notion that conduct amounting to torture might under some circumstances be considered legal.

The memo also explicitly states that "a defendant's motive (to protect national security, for example) is not relevant to the question" of his or her intent under the law.

Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, which has been critical of the Bush administration's legal opinions regarding the treatment of detainees, gave the memo a generally positive review and said its "definition of torture is not as tortured as it was."

But John Yoo, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley who helped draft the first memo while working in the legal counsel's office, said the new version "makes it harder to figure out how the torture statute applies to specific interrogation methods. It muddies the water. Our effort . . . was to interpret the statute clearly."



© 2004 The Washington Post Company

Aljazeera.Net - Mosul election staff quit en masse

Aljazeera.Net - Mosul election staff quit en masse
Democracy is on the March!

Tariq Aziz...and his house

Left I on the News

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial Observer: Legal Breach: The Government's Attorneys and Abu Ghraib

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial Observer: Legal Breach: The Government's Attorneys and Abu Ghraib



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

December 30, 2004
EDITORIAL OBSERVER
Legal Breach: The Government's Attorneys and Abu Ghraib
By ANDREW ROSENTHAL

he most obvious victims of the brutal treatment of prisoners at American military jails are the men, women and children who have been humiliated, sexually assaulted, beaten, tortured and even killed. But, as in all wars, the Bush administration's assault on the Geneva Conventions has caused collateral damage - in this case, to the legal offices of the executive branch and the military.

To get around the inconvenience of the Geneva Conventions, the administration twisted the roles of the legal counsels of the White House, the Pentagon and the Justice Department beyond recognition. Once charged with giving unvarnished advice about whether political policies remained within the law, the Bush administration's legal counsels have been turned into the sort of cynical corporate lawyers who figure out how to make something illegal seem kosher - or at least how to minimize the danger of being held to account.

This upheaval has been particularly vivid at the Pentagon, where the usual balance between civilian and military authority has been stood on its head. The American system of civilian control of the military recognizes that soldiers' attention must be fixed on winning battles and staying alive, and that the fog of war can sometimes obscure the rule of law. The civilian bosses are supposed to provide coolheaded restraint.

Now America has to count on the military to step up when the civilians get out of control.

When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved the initial list of interrogation methods for Guantánamo Bay in late 2002 - methods that clearly violated the Geneva Conventions and anti-torture statutes - there were no protests from the legal counsels for the secretary of defense, the attorney general, the president, the Central Intelligence Agency or any of the civilian secretaries of the armed services. That's not surprising, because some of those very officials were instrumental in devising the Strangelovian logic that lay behind Mr. Rumsfeld's order. Their legal briefs dutifully argued that the president could suspend the Geneva Conventions when he chose, that he could even sanction torture and that torture could be redefined so narrowly that it could seem legal.

It took an internal protest by uniformed lawyers from the Navy to force the Pentagon to review the Guantánamo rules and restrict them a bit. But the military lawyers' concerns were largely shoved aside by a team of civilian lawyers, led by Mary Walker, the Air Force general counsel. The group reaffirmed the notion that Mr. Bush could choose when to apply the Geneva Conventions.

That principle was originally aimed at the supposed members of Al Qaeda held at Guantánamo Bay, but it was quickly exported to Iraq and led, inexorably, to the horrors at Abu Ghraib and other recently disclosed crimes by American soldiers against Iraqi and Afghan prisoners.

If it had not been for a group of uniformed lawyers, the nation might never have learned of the torture and detention memos. In May 2003, soon after Ms. Walker's group produced its rationalization for prisoner abuse, a half-dozen military lawyers went to Scott Horton, who was chairman of the human rights committee of the City Bar Association in New York.

That led to a bar report on the administration's policies, a report that was published around the same time the Abu Ghraib atrocities came into public view. Those lawyers had to do their duty anonymously to avoid having their careers savaged. Meanwhile, the Justice Department official who signed the memo on torturing prisoners, Jay Bybee, was elevated by Mr. Bush to the federal bench.

This month, several former high-ranking military lawyers came out publicly against the nomination of the White House counsel, Alberto Gonzales, to be attorney general. They noted that it was Mr. Gonzales who had supervised the legal assault on the Geneva Conventions.

Jeh Johnson, a New York lawyer who was general counsel for the secretary of the Air Force under President Clinton, calls this shift "a revolution."

"One view of the law and government," Mr. Johnson said, "is that good things can actually come out of the legal system and that there is broad benefit in the rule of law. The other is a more cynical approach that says that lawyers are simply an instrument of policy - get me a legal opinion that permits me to do X. Sometimes a lawyer has to say, 'You just can't do this.' "

Normally, the civilian policy makers would have asked the military lawyers to draft the rules for a military prison in wartime. The lawyers for the service secretaries are supposed to focus on issues like contracts, environmental impact statements and base closings. They're not supposed to meddle in rules of engagement or military justice.

But the civilian policy makers knew that the military lawyers would never sanction tossing the Geneva Conventions aside in the war against terrorists. Military lawyers, Mr. Johnson said, "tend to see things through the prism of how it will affect their people if one gets captured or prosecuted."

Some Senate Democrats have said they plan to question Mr. Gonzales about this mess during his Senate confirmation hearings. But given the feckless state of Congressional oversight on this issue, there's not a lot of hope in that news.

Meanwhile, the relationship between the civilian and the military lawyers has gotten so bad that Senator Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican, pushed through legislation that elevated the military services' top lawyers to a three-star general's rank. That at least put them on a more equal footing with the civilian lawyers.



Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company | Home | Privacy Policy | Search | Corrections | RSS | Help | Back to Top

MyDD :: Democrats Must Abandon the War on Terror

MyDD :: Democrats Must Abandon the War on Terror

GOP's Soft Sell Swayed the Amish (washingtonpost.com)

GOP's Soft Sell Swayed the Amish (washingtonpost.com)



washingtonpost.com
GOP's Soft Sell Swayed the Amish
Unlikely Voters Cast Lot With Bush
By Evelyn Nieves
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 30, 2004; Page A03



BIRD-IN-HAND, Pa.

Early on a pale blue morning, a horse-drawn buggy clop-clopped along a farmland stretch of Route 340. A lone little Chevy compact came toward it at a Sunday pace.

From an intersection, a black SUV the size of an Indian elephant barreled up to the buggy's back, passing with a quick jerk that nearly clipped the oncoming car -- and the horse's nose.

That's Pennsylvania's Amish country, where the 19th and 21st centuries coexist, commingle and collide on a regular basis. The Amish may hold fast to their plain ways, rejecting cars, indoor electricity, home phones and televisions. But contact with the outside world is unavoidable. Malls stand on land where corn used to grow, tourists run around the village streets, and even the old unspoken rule -- leave the Amish alone -- is gone, left in the dust of the presidential campaign, when the Republicans came calling for votes.

Yes, the Republicans, true to their vow to leave no vote unwooed, came to Lancaster County hoping to win over the famously reclusive Old Order Amish -- who shun most modern ways -- along with their slightly less-strict brethren, the Mennonites. Democrats laughed at the very idea. The Amish had no use for politics. Were the Republicans that desperate? But the GOP effort, underscored by President Bush's meeting with some Amish families in early July, did the trick.

"Yup, we voted this time," said an elder Old Order Amish man approached at his home-based quilt shop on Route 340. He had a beard that straggled down to his chest and bright blue eyes. His first name, he said, is Amos, but in keeping with the Amish edict against calling attention to oneself, he would not give his last name.

"I didn't vote for the last 30 years," he said, puffing on a pipe. "But Bush seemed to have our Christian principles."

Outside looking in, it makes sense that the Amish would pay little attention to national politics. They have their own schools (formal education for eight years), their own churches (or religious gatherings, at one another's homes) and their own rules. This has worked for them. The population of Amish and Mennonites, at more than 20,000 in Lancaster County, keeps growing.

But it seems the outside world, the "English" world, as the Amish call it, has been creeping in too closely for the plain people not to worry. In recent months, reports of child abuse in Amish country have made local papers and national news. The reality show "Amish in the City" has brought a slew of curiosity seekers asking all kinds of questions. (Do you take showers? Read newspapers? Ride buses? Yes, yes and yes.) And the plain people have daily worries as well. "We've been worrying about liquor and beer being sold in the grocery stores," said Sam, a gazebo maker and writer who said he would "get into trouble" if his last name was printed.

"We were down," Sam said, "and when the president visited, it cheered us right up. We got a firsthand look at him, and it really warmed our hearts."

In short, as Sam and half a dozen other Amish men explained (women were hard to find, and harder to talk to), Bush won votes with a time-honored campaign convention: He showed up. On July 9 his campaign bus rolled down Route 340, hoping to fire up the base in Republican Lancaster County. The Amish, watching the spectacle from the road, became part of it.

"We came out," Amos said. "We were about 70 people. One of his security said he wanted to meet us and invited us to meet with him across the road at Lapp's Electric."

"They knew we didn't like publicity," said Amos, smiling at the recollection. "So the president met with us all in an office at Lapp's. He shook everyone's hand -- even the littlest ones in their mother's arms -- and he told us all he hoped we would exercise our right and vote."

Did Bush ask them to vote for him?

"Nope," Amos said. "That's another thing we liked about him."

Not to mention, the 4,000 Republican volunteers who blanketed Lancaster County for months and visited the fairs and farm auctions in Amish country talking up the president's Christian values. That helped them think abortion might be outlawed, Sam said. Thinking of Bush's Christian values even helped with their questions about the carnage in Iraq.

And so, while Bush lost Pennsylvania by more than 120,000 votes, he nearly halved his losing margin from 2000. In large part, that was because of the GOP's push among rural voters. Here in Lancaster County, where the party set a goal of besting the Democrat by 70,000 votes (or about 10,000 more than in 2000), Bush ended up winning by 70,896. Several hundred of those votes came from men in suspenders and black suits and women in bonnets and wide-skirt black dresses. Republicans registered more than 300 new voters in each of three mostly Amish districts. In Leacock Township, the GOP nearly doubled its voter rolls, from 1,000 to 1,800, with all but a handful of the new voters being Amish or Mennonite.

Just as everyone predicted the plain folks would not vote, the postmortems all suggested the Amish vote was a fluke. Amos -- another Amos, who sells wooden toys and other Amish crafts at a roadside stand -- said that bothers him. He could see more plain people voting next time, he said, "for another candidate with good morals."

Sam, the carpenter-journalist, had read reports suggesting that the GOP manipulated the Amish. That did not sit well at all. "They didn't come here just recruiting the Amish," he said. "They were trying to get anybody to vote."

The Amish, in turn, voted with pure hearts, he said, asking for nothing in return.

Or almost nothing.

"We're trying to get tickets for the inauguration," he said. "Do you know how to go about getting those?"

-- Evelyn Nieves



© 2004 The Washington Post Company

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: December 26, 2004 - January 01, 2005 Archives

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: December 26, 2004 - January 01, 2005 Archives


washingtonpost.com
On Nov. 2, GOP Got More Bang For Its Billion, Analysis Shows

By Thomas B. Edsall and James V. Grimaldi
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, December 30, 2004; Page A01


In the most expensive presidential contest in the nation's history, John F. Kerry and his Democratic supporters nearly matched President Bush and the Republicans, who outspent them by just $60 million, $1.14 billion to $1.08 billion.

But despite their fundraising success, Democrats simply did not spend their money as effectively as Bush. That is the conclusion of an extensive examination of campaign fundraising and spending data provided by the Federal Election Commission, the Internal Revenue Service and interviews with officials of the two campaigns and the independent groups allied with them.

In a $2.2 billion election, two relatively small expenditures by Bush and his allies stand out for their impact: the $546,000 ad buy by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the Bush campaign's $3.25 million contract with the firm TargetPoint Consulting. The first portrayed Kerry in unrelentingly negative terms, permanently damaging him, while the second produced dramatic innovations in direct mail and voter technology, enabling Bush to identify and target potential voters with pinpoint precision.

Those tactical successes were part of the overall advantage the Bush campaign maintained over Kerry in terms of planning, decision making and strategy. The Kerry campaign, in addition to being outspent at key times, was outorganized and outthought, as Democratic professionals grudgingly admit.

"They were smart. They came into our neighborhoods. They came into Democratic areas with very specific targeted messages to take Democratic voters away from us," Democratic National Committee Chairman Terence R. McAuliffe said. "They were much more sophisticated in their message delivery."

The ultimate test of the two campaigns is in the success of their efforts to increase turnout from 2000. Kerry and his allies increased the Democrat's vote by about 6.8 million votes; Bush increased his by nearly 10.5 million. In the key battleground of Ohio, Bush countered Kerry's gains in the metropolitan precincts by boosting his margin in exurban and rural counties from 57 to 60 percent, eking out a 118,457-vote victory.

A supposed strategic advantage for the Democrats -- massive support from well-endowed independent groups -- turned out to have an inherent flaw: The groups' legally required independence left them with a message out of harmony with the Kerry campaign.

A large part of Bush's advantage derived from being an incumbent who did not face a challenger from his party. He also benefited from the experience and continuity of a campaign hierarchy, based on a corporate model, that had essentially stayed intact since Bush's 1998 reelection race for Texas governor.

Take Office, Plan Campaign


When Bush moved into the Oval Office in 2001, planning for his presidential reelection campaign began almost immediately. Under the direction of Karl Rove, Bush's top White House adviser who served as a kind of chairman of the board, White House political director Kenneth B. Mehlman, the chief executive officer, pollster Matthew Dowd, chief operating officer, and Mark McKinnon, the principal media consultant, the Bush political team developed a strategy for 2004, began investing in innovative techniques to target voters and prepared an early and cost-effective advertising plan. During this period, the Republican National Committee, where much of the planning was based, outspent its Democratic counterpart by $122 million.

In 2001, Dowd said that "we made some of the basic strategic assumptions about what we thought the election would look like."

One fundamental calculation was that 93 percent of the voting-age public was already committed or predisposed toward the Democratic or Republican candidate, leaving 7 percent undecided.

Another calculation was that throughout the Bush presidency, "most voters looked at Bush in very black-and-white terms. They either loved and respected him, or they didn't like him," Dowd said. Those voters were unlikely to change their views before Election Day 2004.

That prompted Republicans to jettison their practice of investing 75 to 90 percent of campaign money on undecided voters. Instead, half the money went into motivating and mobilizing people already inclined to vote for Bush, but who were either unregistered or who often failed to vote -- "soft" Republicans.

"We systematically allocated all the main resources of the campaign to the twin goals of motivation and persuasion. The media, the voter targeting, the mail -- all were based off that strategic decision," Dowd said.

Republican officials said they put $50 million into "ground war" drives to register and turn out millions of new voters in 2001 and 2002, and an additional $125 million after that.

Meanwhile, Kerry, faced with a difficult primary campaign and infighting and turnover among his consultants, did not begin seriously to address the general election until after his Super Tuesday primary election victory in March, eight months before the November vote. By that time, the campaign was hamstrung by legal restrictions on any cooperation between the campaign and the independent 527 organizations running ads and mobilizing voters on Kerry's behalf.

527s' Ineffective Messages


The 527 groups, named after a section of the tax code and allowed by law to accept unlimited contributions, provided invaluable help in registering and turning out voters. America Coming Together put about $135 million into what became the largest get-out-the-vote program in the nation's history. But the 527s, fueled with money from billionaires such as George Soros, proved ineffective in helping Kerry deliver a consistent and timely message in his advertising.

Of all the money spent on television advertising for the Democratic nominee, Kerry's campaign controlled 62 percent, according to spending totals analyzed by The Washington Post. The rest was spent on ads whose content or placement could not be coordinated with the campaign. The Bush campaign controlled 83 percent of the money spent on its behalf, giving it far more control over when and how it advertised.

At two junctures, when Kerry was either out of funds or under pressure to conserve resources for the close of the campaign, the absence of an overall strategy had damaging consequences: in March 2004, just when the Bush campaign began its first anti-Kerry offensive; and in August 2004, when the Swift Boat Veterans commercials raised questions about Kerry's service in the Vietnam War.

The Democratic media 527s "didn't do what we wanted done," Kerry media adviser Tad Devine said. "We would have run ads about Kerry, we would have had answers to the attacks in kind, saying they were false, disproved by newspapers."

Harold Ickes, who ran the Media Fund, a 527 organization that raised about $59 million in support of Kerry, said the federal election law prohibiting communication with the Kerry campaign created insurmountable obstacles in crafting effective, accurate responses to anti-Kerry ads. Ickes said he regretted not responding to the Swift Boat Veterans' attacks, but at the time he thought they seemed "a matter so personal to Senator Kerry, so much within his knowledge. Who knew what the facts were?"

Early Research Is Like Yeast


The 2002 elections, along with the Kentucky and Mississippi gubernatorial contests the following year, became testing grounds for the Republican effort to mobilize supporters. Designed to get base voters to the polls, it became known as the "72 Hour Project," whose cost Republican officials refused to disclose but is estimated by sources to have been in the $200 million range.

Under Dowd's direction, the RNC began investing in extensive voter research. One of the most striking findings, according to Republican consultants, was the ineffectiveness of traditional phone banks and direct mail that targeted voters in overwhelmingly Republican precincts. The problem: Only 15 percent of all GOP voters lived in precincts that voted Republican by 65 percent or more. Worse, an even smaller percentage of "soft" Republicans, the 2004 target constituency, lived in such precincts.

The RNC decided to cast a wider net for voters. But to work, Dowd's motivation and mobilization strategy needed expensive, high-tech micro targeting to cherry-pick prospective Republicans who lived in majority Democratic neighborhoods.

Republican firms, including TargetPoint Consultants and National Media Inc., delved into commercial databases that pinpointed consumer buying patterns and television-watching habits to unearth such information as Coors beer and bourbon drinkers skewing Republican, brandy and cognac drinkers tilting Democratic; college football TV viewers were more Republican than those who watch professional football; viewers of Fox News were overwhelmingly committed to vote for Bush; homes with telephone caller ID tended to be Republican; people interested in gambling, fashion and theater tended to be Democratic.

Surveys of people on these consumer data lists were then used to determine "anger points" (late-term abortion, trial lawyer fees, estate taxes) that coincided with the Bush agenda for as many as 32 categories of voters, each identifiable by income, magazine subscriptions, favorite television shows and other "flags." Merging this data, in turn, enabled those running direct mail, precinct walking and phone bank programs to target each voter with a tailored message.

"You used to get a tape-recorded voice of Ronald Reagan telling you how important it was to vote. That was our get-out-the-vote effort," said Alex Gage, of TargetPoint. Now, he said, calls can be targeted to specific constituencies so that, for example, a "right to life voter" could get a call warning that "if you don't come out and vote, the number of abortions next year is going to go up. "

Dowd estimated that, in part through the work of TargetPoint and other research, the Bush campaign and the RNC were able to "quadruple the number" of Republican voters who could be targeted through direct mail, phone banks and knocking on doors.

Democrats had access to similar data files. But the Bush campaign and the RNC were able to make far better use of the data because they had the time and money to conduct repeated field tests in the 2002 and 2003 elections, to finance advanced research on meshing databases with polling information, and to clean up and revise databases that almost invariably contained errors and omissions.

"Very few people understand how much work it takes to get this technology to actually produce political results. We are one election cycle behind them in this area," said a Democrat who helped coordinate voter contact in the 2004 campaign.

The Bush campaign's early fundraising success made much of this possible. By March 2004, Bush had $110 million in the bank and virtually no debt. During this period, Kerry was forced to spend all his time and money in the Democratic primaries, a fight that cost him $36 million and that left him $5 million in debt.

"Nobody was giving a thought at all to the general election," said Kerry pollster Mark S. Mellman. Until that March, "it was: How do we survive this week?"

Bush Ads Undermine Kerry


Two days after Super Tuesday, the Bush campaign, anticipating Kerry would have no money to respond, began a $40 million, six-week televised assault designed to crush the Democratic nominee before he could get off the ground. "We had a financial advantage over them for four to six weeks. That's why we did what we did," Dowd said.

With a $177 million ad budget, the Bush campaign and its allies ran more than 101,000 anti-Kerry "attack" or negative ads, more than the combined total of "positive" and "contrast" ads, according to the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project, based on data from Nielsen Monitor-Plus ratings of media buying effectiveness.

Less than 5 percent of Kerry's ads were "attack" or negative, according to the Wisconsin advertising project, and the remaining 95 percent were positive or contrast ads.

During March and April, before the candidate had replenished his war chest to finance TV ads, Kerry strategists were convinced that Kerry needed a barrage of positive biographical ads describing him in a sympathetic light to counter the negative picture drawn by the Bush ads. But when the Democratic 527s began their ad campaign, they aired negative ads reflecting their intensely anti-Bush donor base.

By the time Kerry had raised enough money to begin his positive ad campaign two months later, the Bush "attack" ads had helped convert the ratio of Kerry's positive to negative ratings in battleground states. Kerry's positive ratings fell from 40 percent to 35 percent, and his negative ratings rose from 24 percent to 36 percent at the start of May, according to the National Annenberg Election Surveys.

The negative Bush barrage was followed in August by the Swift Boat Veterans ads, the first one airing on just four cable channels at a cost of $546,000. The Swift Boat Veterans eventually would raise and spend $28 million, but the first ad was exceptionally cost-effective: most voters learned about it through free coverage in mainstream media and talk radio.

An additional Republican television commercial that significantly affected the race, according to surveys, was a positive spot financed by a second GOP 527 group, Progress for America. It invested $17 million in "Ashley's Story," which featured Ashley Faulkner, 11, whose mother had been killed in the attack on the World Trade Center, describing her meeting with Bush.

GOP Dollar Power


Overall, Kerry, the DNC and the Democratic 527s spent $344 million on ads, while Bush and the GOP counterparts spent about $289 million, much of which was disbursed in the final three months. Arguably, Republicans got more bang for their bucks.

The Bush campaign's early strategy decisions shaped GOP spending. Under the guidance of Rove, Dowd and Mehlman, the Bush campaign had financed early research into ways to communicate to center-right voters through nontraditional media.

The Bush campaign concluded that many of their voters did not trust the networks and the establishment press, and therefore did not trust messages transmitted through them.

Mehlman said that talk radio and cable television "are more credible" to potential Bush voters. Ultimately the Bush campaign invested an unprecedented $20 million in narrowly targeted advertising on cable and in radio, with a heavy emphasis on religious, talk and country and western stations, and such specialty outlets as golf and health club channels.

"They did a lot of stuff really well. They were ahead of us," said one of the Democrats' get-out-the-vote managers who did not want to be identified. "They had a strategy set by the beginning that they were going to live and die by. And we didn't."

In an election with a 2.6 percent margin of victory, the Bush campaign was run to ensure that every dollar went to fulfill core strategies, that resources were allocated to capitalize on Bush's strengths and on Kerry's vulnerabilities, and that the money necessary to finance research, technological advance, television and the ground war was available when needed.

At the July Democratic National Convention in Boston, McAuliffe commented on the disciplined Republican team: "We are up against the dirtiest, meanest, toughest group of people we have ever faced. They have money, they have power, and they ain't going to give it up easily."

Researcher Alice Crites, database editor Sarah Cohen and research database editor Derek Willis contributed to this report.



© 2004 The Washington Post Company

Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Blue Lemur - Progressive Politics and Media News � Another teen dies after being Tasered

Should be the after Holiday Special Gifts on the Charity Circuit: Tasers for Tots

The Blue Lemur - Progressive Politics and Media News � Another teen dies after being Tasered

IraqWar: Differences among Muslims to be exploited: US study's recommendation

IraqWar: All about IraqWar. News from Iraq: IraqWar and politics, economy.

Yahoo! News - MAGINOT MINDS IN WASHINGTON GLOSS OVER THE TRUTH IN IRAQ

Yahoo! News - MAGINOT MINDS IN WASHINGTON GLOSS OVER THE TRUTH IN IRAQ

Euro Trash - Even drug dealers are giving up on the dollar. By Daniel�Gross

Euro Trash - Even drug dealers are giving up on the dollar. By Daniel�Gross

AP Wire | 12/29/2004 | Chief justice refuses to remove self from vote challenge

AP Wire | 12/29/2004 | Chief justice refuses to remove self from vote challenge

Ohio Election Fraud (Formerly "Fairness"): "Assassins of Democracy, Votergate Continues" Exellent Article by Anthony Wade on Op Ed News

Ohio Election Fraud (Formerly "Fairness"): "Assassins of Democracy, Votergate Continues" Exellent Article by Anthony Wade on Op Ed News

AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth

AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth

Eschaton

Eschaton

The American Street � Homeland Screwity

The American Street � Homeland Screwity

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

News From Saddam's Lawyers

News From Saddam's Lawyers

Left I on the News: Author didn't research issue very well

I must be in a contrarian mood this evening. This is another blog entry raising a flag for a false reason. The answer to this 4% portion of the vote question is that the Ukranian ballot allows a "none of the above" option.
News Report

Left I on the News

Reality distortion field

Left I on the News

Governments Purposely Allowed The 2004 Tsunami Disaster To Happen!!!

My two cents: Here's an example, in my mind, of half-truth. And "news" entries like these dilute the truth that this blog and others are exposing.

Governments Purposely Allowed The 2004 Tsunami Disaster To Happen!!!

Being Manipulated by Fear

Explosive BBC Doc Exposes Decades-Old Neocon Deceits

Reason: Who's Tortured? What prominent conservative commentators have said about prisoner abuse

Reason: Who's Tortured? What prominent conservative commentators have said about prisoner abuse

Yahoo! News - Scientists in USA saw tsunami coming

Yahoo! News - Scientists in USA saw tsunami coming

The Blue Lemur - Progressive Politics and Media News � Swedish paper reports tsunami warning halted out of concern for tourist industry

The Blue Lemur - Progressive Politics and Media News � Swedish paper reports tsunami warning halted out of concern for tourist industry

Audio Interview with David Ray Griffin on Flashpoints

Listen to KPFA Radio's Program on the 9/11 Cover Up -- PASS THIS ON WIDELY

Author, David Ray Griffin, dissembles the 9/11 Commissions report piece by
piece. OUR DEMOCRACY IS AT STAKE. After listening to this, go to 911Truth.org
and get involved in the 9/11 truth movement. Forward this email to all you
know.

Yesterday's Flashpoints (Pacifica) radio show with Dennis Bernstein. The
entire show was a radio interview with David Ray Griffin discussing his newest
book on the 9/11 Commission.

Both of the below strings must be pasted into your browser address window:
http://www.kpfa.org/cgi-bin/gen-mpegurl.m3u?server=209.81.10.18&port=80&mount=
/data/20041227-Mon1700.mp3

If for some reason the link doesn't work, you can listen to the show
(Monday's) directly from the Flashpoints website here:

http://www.flashpoints.net

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Soldier sacrificed finger to preserve wedding ring

I can't believe that anyone is glorifying or praising this action. The last quote is that we need more people like this - more people who are so confused about the meaning of marriage that they believe (as does the wife being honored) that cutting off a finger to save a wedding ring (that was subsequently lost) honors his marriage and wife? I'm too young to remember Vietnam, but I'm sure that the outrage was similar - sending 19 year old kids who are thinking like this in a moment of stress (which undoubtedly a medical situation in a battle zone is) to kill people half a world away is beyond my comprehension of anything human.

Soldier sacrificed finger to preserve wedding ring

Torture reconsidered: Shock, awe and the human body

Torture reconsidered: Shock, awe and the human body

Monday, December 20, 2004

Social Security Nonsense

Crooks and Liars

The 18� Minute Gap: CIA or KGB?

The 18� Minute Gap: CIA or KGB?

Bush Signs New Intelligence Bill; Forces FBI/CIA To Use Google (TheDailyFarce.com)

Bush Signs New Intelligence Bill; Forces FBI/CIA To Use Google (TheDailyFarce.com)

The '93 WTC attacks: Al Qaeda/CIA Operatives & The FBI

The '93 WTC attacks: Al Qaeda/CIA Operatives & The FBI

The mere tip of the iceberg - PRAVDA.Ru

The mere tip of the iceberg - PRAVDA.Ru

MARC RICH---SWINDLING THE POPE'S SOYBEAN COMPANY

MARC RICH---SWINDLING THE POPE'S SOYBEAN COMPANY

The NarcoSphere || Corruption alleged in U.S. Customs' Miami operations

The NarcoSphere || Corruption alleged in U.S. Customs' Miami operations

Conspiracy Planet - Phony 'Terrorism' War - William Kristol, NeoCons Want To Bomb Syria

Conspiracy Planet - Phony 'Terrorism' War - William Kristol, NeoCons Want To Bomb Syria

MSNBC - 2001 Memo Reveals Push for Broader Presidential Powers

MSNBC - 2001 Memo Reveals Push for Broader Presidential Powers

9/11: Who Told A NY Official The 2nd Tower Was About To Collapse?

9/11: Who Told A NY Official The 2nd Tower Was About To Collapse?

At Least 60 Killed In Najaf and Karbala Car Bombings

Daily Kos :: Political Analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation.

BBC NEWS | Programmes | From Our Own Correspondent | Christian ideals and Republican policies

BBC NEWS | Programmes | From Our Own Correspondent | Christian ideals and Republican policies

Sunday, December 19, 2004

BlondeSense...: Bitchin': America's Sinister Plan for Falluja

BlondeSense...: Bitchin'

Methodist pastor embarks on mission to raise opposition to war

Newsday.com - AP Regional

I Am A Conservative Christian, And The Religious Right Scares Me, Too

Daily Kos :: Political Analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation.

BBC NEWS | UK | Terror lawyer resigns over laws

BBC NEWS | UK | Terror lawyer resigns over laws

Dov Zakheim's Homeland Security biz and the remote control of aircraft - Forums powered by Reason and Principle

Dov Zakheim's Homeland Security biz and the remote control of aircraft - Forums powered by Reason and Principle

9/11 Conspiracy: A Summary - "By Way of Deception, Thou Shalt Do War." - Forums powered by Reason and Principle

9/11 Conspiracy: A Summary - "By Way of Deception, Thou Shalt Do War." - Forums powered by Reason and Principle

Re: Sibel Edmonds: Still Silenced, But Why? - Forums powered by Reason and Principle

Re: Sibel Edmonds: Still Silenced, But Why? - Forums powered by Reason and Principle

Evildoers, here we come

Asia Times - Asia's most trusted news source for the Middle East

Bank closes accounts of Middle Eastern customers - Saturday, 12/18/04

Bank closes accounts of Middle Eastern customers - Saturday, 12/18/04

Saturday, December 18, 2004

The Blue Lemur - Progressive Politics and Media News � Ohio Chief Supreme Court judge throws out election challenge case in which he is named#comments

The Blue Lemur - Progressive Politics and Media News � Ohio Chief Supreme Court judge throws out election challenge case in which he is named#comments

Crooks and Liars: Yaron Brook

Crooks and Liars

The MadCow Morning News

The MadCow Morning News

Torture Begins at the Top

Torture Begins at the Top

Discovery Channel 9/11: And That's What Happened

Discovery Channel 9/11: And That's What Happened

NBC 9/11/2001: Explosive Devices Planted In The WTC?

NBC 9/11/2001: Explosive Devices Planted In The WTC?

Poll: Nearly Half of All Americans Support Restricting Rights of Muslim-Americans - from TBO.com

Poll: Nearly Half of All Americans Support Restricting Rights of Muslim-Americans - from TBO.com

CNN On 9/11/2001: 'Third Explosion' Collapses The World Trade Center

CNN On 9/11/2001: 'Third Explosion' Collapses The World Trade Center

Daily Kos :: Political Analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation.

Daily Kos :: Political Analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation.

Pop goes the Bush mythology bubble: Part 3: 9-11 served a multitude of purposes

Pop goes the Bush mythology bubble: Part 3: 9-11 served a multitude of purposes

Yahoo! News - Rumsfeld's War

Yahoo! News - Rumsfeld's War

Asia Times - Asia's most knowledgable news source

Asia Times - Asia's most knowledgable news source

The Blue Lemur - Progressive Politics and Media News � Green Party candidate David Cobb blasts Kerry, says he�s thwarting recount

The Blue Lemur - Progressive Politics and Media News � Green Party candidate David Cobb blasts Kerry, says he�s thwarting recount

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Blue Lemur - Progressive Politics and Media News � Conyers� letter to FBI in response to allegations of Triad tampering

The Blue Lemur - Progressive Politics and Media News � Conyers� letter to FBI in response to allegations of Triad tampering

The Daily Howler, Naomi Wolf, Abortion, and other Stuff

The Daily Howler

Jesus Politics: Hitler Jesus Politics

Jesus Politics: Hitler Jesus Politics

Toronto Sun Columnist: Eric Margolis - U.S. caught in Kabul

Toronto Sun Columnist: Eric Margolis - U.S. caught in Kabul

UNDERNEWS: NOW EVEN LAWS ARE SECRET

UNDERNEWS: NOW EVEN LAWS ARE SECRET

UNDERNEWS: THE 9/11 QUOTE YOU PROBABLY MISSED, TOO

UNDERNEWS: THE 9/11 QUOTE YOU PROBABLY MISSED, TOO

Angry Girl : Those asking for fair elections are "dissidents"

Angry Girl : Those asking for fair elections are "dissidents"

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Excerpt from Parker Palmer's 'A Hidden Wholeness' about 'Standing in the Tragic Gap' -- Beliefnet.com

Excerpt from Parker Palmer's 'A Hidden Wholeness' about 'Standing in the Tragic Gap' -- Beliefnet.com

Explosions in the WTC-1 lobby

Explosions in the WTC-1 lobby

Seismic Data: Two Huge Energy Bursts Under WTC Towers New Seismic Data Refutes Official Explanation Of Collapses

Seismic Data: Two Huge Energy Bursts Under WTC Towers New Seismic Data Refutes Official Explanation Of Collapses

To Think or Not To Think by Charley Reese

To Think or Not To Think by Charley Reese

The oil-for-food 'scandal' is a cynical smokescreen

The oil-for-food 'scandal' is a cynical smokescreen

Video: A Message From The Iraq Resistance: To G W Bush, You said Bring it ON, and we have. Have you another challenge?

Video: A Message From The Iraq Resistance

BLACK BOX

BLACK BOX

The MadCow Morning News: CIA helpful Florida and Ukraine

The MadCow Morning News

War and Piece:

War and Piece:

Top News Article | Reuters.com, Pentagon Acknowledges Eight Afghan Detainee Deaths

Top News Article | Reuters.com

AxisofLogic/ Critical Analysis: Torture

AxisofLogic/ Critical Analysis

AP Exclusive: Top U.S. Officials Warned of Concerns Before AIDS Drug Sent to Africa - from TBO.com

AP Exclusive: Top U.S. Officials Warned of Concerns Before AIDS Drug Sent to Africa - from TBO.com

Salon.com Politics, See Bye Bye Bernie

Salon.com Politics

The New Republic Online: Lost Civilization

Any article that quotes from the 911 Commission Report as foundational evident is bound to be of dubious value, but maybe this article offers an interesting viewpoint.
The New Republic Online: Lost Civilization

Monday, December 13, 2004

CITY, FED PROBES EYE PARDONGATE BILLIONAIRE AS A 'MAJOR PLAYER' IN SADDAM'S SCAM (MARC RICH)

CITY, FED PROBES EYE PARDONGATE BILLIONAIRE AS A 'MAJOR PLAYER' IN SADDAM'S SCAM (MARC RICH)

t r u t h o u t - Resourcefulness a Crime in Rumsfeld's Army

t r u t h o u t - Resourcefulness a Crime in Rumsfeld's Army

JoelSkousen.com: Analysis of Strategic Threats

JoelSkousen.com: Analysis of Strategic Threats

BuzzFlash > Maureen Farrell > "God Is With Us": Hitler's Rhetoric and the Lure of "Moral Values"

BuzzFlash > Maureen Farrell > "God Is With Us": Hitler's Rhetoric and the Lure of "Moral Values"

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: December 12, 2004 - December 18, 2004 Archives: Kerik

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: December 12, 2004 - December 18, 2004 Archives

Has Antony Flew ceased to be an atheist?

Pop goes the Bush mythology bubble: Part 2: 9/11 Commission and Bridas

Pop goes the Bush mythology bubble: Part 2: 9/11 Commission and Bridas

BLACK BOX from 911?

BLACK BOX

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Battlefield Earth - It's time to take care of ourselves!

In this speech, Bill Moyers talks about the right-wing religious agenda of triggering the end of the world (and theoretically, their entrance into heaven) by supporting all-out war in the Middle East and destruction of the environment.

My question, when confronted with this seemingly desperate ideology, is to wonder why people would ever think this could be a good thing. I have a similar question about why people would allow "leaders" to come into power and then go to sleep for 4 years as these "leaders" take us towards such horrific events.

I think these questions have the same answer. I believe that they come from our very human fear that we don't really know how to take care of ourselves, we don't know how to understand complex world issues, we don't know how to solve big issues, we don't know how to directly connect spiritually with something greater than ourselves - so we need "them" to do it for us. Of course, "they" have different faces at different times, but "they" are the ones who we expect to fix it for us, and who often claim that they know more than we do.

So, I submit that it is time for us to start taking care of ourselves, to start recognizing that we do know how to do these things for ourselves, to realize that we have it within each of us to make our lives the way that we want them to be and in the process, help transform the world so that everyone can enjoy their lives they way they want to.

Here's another important point - you create what you defend against. The solution here is not to fight "them," which only ever adds energy to whatever they are doing. I believe that the recent election is a good example of what happens when many people create a movement against something, rather than for what they really want. How many voters actually voted against Bush, rather than for Kerry? No matter what the actual mechanism was in the election, which most probably included lots of voter fraud, it was the energy going towards the Bush campaign that allowed it to happen. It's time to start going for what we really want.

Major transformation happens when we are triggered in a major way to see it is necessary. The time is now. We each have our own unique role to play in this transformation. Each of us has something that really excites us, gets our juices flowing in a good way. Think of what yours is. Is it seeing children happy and healthy? Is is an artform that celebrates some beautiful aspect of our world? Is it maintaing wilderness trails so that more people can get in touch with the environment that sustains us? Is it understanding and sharing information with others about new technologies that lead us toward a more sustainable way to live? Find yours now and become involved with sharing your enthusiasm and joy with others. That is what will transform the world. Give every ounce of your energy to moving towards the world you want to live in and at some point, the balance will tip and that world will become reality.

AlterNet: EnviroHealth: Battlefield Earth

Discovery Network to launch The Military Channel

The continuing, horrifying trend of glorifying and substantiating war as something that we should focus lots of energy on.

WorkingForChange-Discovery Network to launch The Military Channel

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Reality flattens tall tale of war | ajc.com

Reality flattens tall tale of war | ajc.com

Election Fraud

The MadCow Morning News

American Born, Addicted to Happiness

This essay is the beginnings of what I believe about what's going on in the world right now. Namely, that we have to wake up to what is going on as a first step towards changing it.

I differ from the author, however, in her belief that we have to be willing to live in a place of suffering and that hope grows out of suffering. To be sure, we've been living in a fantasy world of an "American dream" built upon denial of what really allows it to happen. The happiness she speaks of is a facade, a mirage. Waking up from that fantasy certainly does have its own suffering and fear attached to it. But whatever we give our focus and energy to grows, so if our expectation is to need to suffer, we will certainly do that in increasing amounts.

I believe that our way out of this, our way to hope, is to believe and focus with everything we have that it is possible to have a world that works, where there truly is hope for everyone. We don't yet know what that looks like because we've never been there. However, the only way to move towards it is to believe that it is possible and let our wildest dreams help us imagine what it can look like. It is that belief in those wildest dreams that will take us there.
American Born, Addicted to Happiness

Aljazeera.Net - Who's behind the oil-for-food scandal?

Aljazeera.Net - Who's behind the oil-for-food scandal?

WorkingForChange-Banned in Iran, banned in the USA

WorkingForChange-Banned in Iran, banned in the USA

Conyers Vote Fraud Hearing Coverage

Daily Kos :: Political Analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation.

t r u t h o u t - Senator Byrd | Politics Surround Intelligence Reform

t r u t h o u t - Senator Byrd | Politics Surround Intelligence Reform

Truth be told, lies are part of Pentagon strategy

Truth be told, lies are part of Pentagon strategy

BuzzFlash > News Alert > Conyers Says Justice Department Cannot Verify Patiot Act Claims

BuzzFlash > News Alert > Conyers Says Justice Department Cannot Verify Patiot Act Claims

Criticism of NYT for not covering Conyers Election Fraud Hearing

BuzzFlash

Yahoo! News - Kerik Withdraws His Name for DHS Chief

Nice Try, Rudy

Yahoo! News - Kerik Withdraws His Name for DHS Chief

Defeat For an Empire

Defeat For an Empire

Kerik's Surveillance Activity in Saudi Arabia Is Disputed (washingtonpost.com)

Kerik's Surveillance Activity in Saudi Arabia Is Disputed (washingtonpost.com)

LiberalOasis: Archives For The Week Of December 5, 2004 (not the first time military was asked about armor)

LiberalOasis: Archives For The Week Of December 5, 2004

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: December 05, 2004 - December 11, 2004 Archives, paroxysms with charges of anti-Semitism any time the w

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: December 05, 2004 - December 11, 2004 Archives

MAN ON THE STREET?....NOT QUITE....

The Washington Monthly

New Woes Surface in Use of Estimates (washingtonpost.com)

New Woes Surface in Use of Estimates (washingtonpost.com)

More Evidence FDR Knew About Pearl In Advance

This supports the pattern of government behavior that may have continued with 9/11 of either allowing or facilitating an attack on US soil in order to trigger citizen support for a war.
More Evidence FDR Knew About Pearl In Advance

He lost an arm in Iraq; the Army wants money

He lost an arm in Iraq; the Army wants money

Mickey Z.: Sander Hicks and the 9/11 Truth Movement

Mickey Z.: Sander Hicks and the 9/11 Truth Movement

Friday, December 10, 2004

FALLUJAH NAPALMED

FALLUJAH NAPALMED

A New Mission for America by Bill Bonner

A New Mission for America by Bill Bonner

Salon.com News | "A damning story of sanctioned abuse"

Salon.com News | "A damning story of sanctioned abuse"

Rummy Reality Check

Salon.com Politics

ABC News: Official Who Criticized Homeland Security Is Out of a Job

ABC News: Official Who Criticized Homeland Security Is Out of a Job

Yahoo! News - Bush manipulated NKorea intelligence like he did in Iraq: US expert

Yahoo! News - Bush manipulated NKorea intelligence like he did in Iraq: US expert

Pet Project in Intelligence Reform Bill

The Washington Monthly

Understanding the roots of the problem

We can't possibly start to solve problems until we start to understand the roots of them, where they come from on some plane. This essay goes a long way towards explaining for me the ideology behind what is going on in the world today.

A pimple on a pumpkin

Left I on the News

Lean Left: When She's On, She's On!

Lean Left: When She's On, She's On!

The New Republic Online: Invalid License ... Intelligence Reform

The New Republic Online: Invalid License

This just looks interesting.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Wrong Man for the Job (Kerik)

The Daily Outrage

BlondeSense...: Kerik a Ticking Time Bomb

BlondeSense...: Kerik a Ticking Time Bomb

Millionaire Kerik Was Once A Deadbeat - December 7, 2004

Ok, I know that this type of hatchet job (Millionaire Kerik Was Once A Deadbeat - December 7, 2004) is smoking gun's stock-in-trade. It's just disappointing when a "news story" like this tends to obscure more than it illuminates. Unfortunately, having this article with its "facts" is like assailing Hitler because he had odd sexual proclivities (http://slate.msn.com/id/2059222/). Hitler's bedroom antics weren't really the key point of his immorality, were they?

The most logical noxious issue about Kerik is that he would seem to be one of Guiliani's (link to backgroud) lackeys: these men have been some of many criminals who were either part of the 911 plot, or they are just part of the cover up.

Scoop: Thom Hartmann: The Power of Nightmares

Scoop: Thom Hartmann: The Power of Nightmares

Nothing mentioned about 911?

Embassy - Newspaper Online.

911.blog-city.com

911.blog-city.com
911 Site I stumbled upon.

The Fundumentalist Agenda

Hullabaloo

The Raw Story � Senior CIA officer alleges agency urged false reporting on Iraqi arms

The Raw Story � Senior CIA officer alleges agency urged false reporting on Iraqi arms

Whitewash as Public Service (Harpers.org)

Whitewash as Public Service (Harpers.org)

The Village Voice: Nation: Mondo Washington: Ex-Feds Blast 9-11 Panel and Bush by James Ridgeway

The Village Voice: Nation: Mondo Washington: Ex-Feds Blast 9-11 Panel and Bush by James Ridgeway

The Courier-Mail: Saddam's lawyer meeting cancelled [09dec04]

The Courier-Mail: Saddam's lawyer meeting cancelled [09dec04]

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: December 05, 2004 - December 11, 2004 Archives

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: December 05, 2004 - December 11, 2004 Archives

I hate to be critical of people with might be friends, but it is the height of sheer idiocy to think that the crisis that we are facing which Mr. Beinart (author of the article linked in the Marshall Blog) is proposing an antidote to has to do with liberal / conservative values or pro national security / anti national security support. Arguments like this are a total diversion.

Although I believed Kerry would be a less heinous choice than Bush, there is nothing to indicate that Kerry, nor even Dean would address the hugh crime committed within the US on 911 or any of the related corruption.

I'm not the only one calling him (Beinart) an idiot...

LiberalOasis

They might have gotten a hint with the govt. complicity and coverup of 911.....

The Washington Monthly

BlondeSense...: Fuckface of Defense Meets Troops

Oh come on, little missy, don't be so angry: it's just death and destruction for the benefit of the elite.
BlondeSense...: Fuckface of Defense Meets Troops

Boston.com / News / Boston Globe / Opinion / Op-ed / Afraid to look in the moral abyss

Although there is much to laud in this editorial, it perpetuates myths such as intelligence failures rather than exposing the complete political corruption of honest intelligence gathering.

Boston.com / News / Boston Globe / Opinion / Op-ed / Afraid to look in the moral abyss

Schwarzenegger Loves the Ladies

Humor from Wonkette!
Schwarzenegger Loves the Ladies

From Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo

The Daily Outrage

Search for "i love jews" and Google asks "Did you mean: i love jesus" (kottke.org)

This is sorta funny.

Search for "i love jews" and Google asks "Did you mean: i love jesus" (kottke.org)

Can't pass up this posting to fill out the picture....

I don't see anything that is posted that shows Andrew Sullivan "ungentlemanly" and it seems to me his words in the debate are extremely powerful.
The Dawn Patrol

My sarcastic remark not meant to minimize pain or reality of serious emotional trauma

Any competent medical professional would prescribe an SSRI (such as Prozac) (based on iron clad peer reviewed scientific studies) too, wouldn't she?

After abortion

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Another Gal who seems similar to the female who asked Kerry the Abortion Question at the 2nd Pres. Debate

Just Believe: November 2004

Perhaps I need to place my less than fawning references to Christian "Pop" advocacy in a Separate Blog

C. S. Lewis and his ilk.
The Dawn Patrol

Overdoing the Christian Perspective, but with an interesting 911 Reference

At the very end of this blog entry, we get the wisdom of a cabby, which may indeed have merit:
"Especially when, blaming security checks for the tunnel traffic, he started going off on how "seven overpaid government officials who get overtime" were responsible for 9/11."
The Dawn Patrol

Is planned parenthood guilty of egregious enticement and encouraging illegal acts?

The Dawn Patrol

Is that why people vote for Bush?

If so, what can be done?

Note: I fully support Planned Parenthood's approach.

The 'Joy' of Abortion

This discussion (as shown in the linked blog entry) is rhetorically dishonest (totally taking the word Joy out of context). I think that it is instructive (in how much it is a scorched earth approach) to see what coarse words are meant to be accepted as reasonable debate.

Jumping back to a bird's eye view, I'm not sure we saw a great deal of honor and rhetorical honesty in the statement Kerry made during the debates, which was along the lines that he respected the moral concerns of those who don't want the gov't funding abortion but the government had already decided that it's a issue of freedom of choice, and we shouldn't be trying to change that.

Here's the quote exactly:
(begin)
SARAH DEGENHART: Senator Kerry, suppose you are speaking with a voter who believed abortion is murder and the voter asked for reassurance that his or her tax dollars would not go to support abortion, what would you say to that person?

KERRY: I would say to that person exactly what I will say to you right now.

First of all, I cannot tell you how deeply I respect the belief about life and when it begins. I‘m a Catholic, raised a Catholic. I was an altar boy. Religion has been a huge part of my life. It helped lead me through a war, leads me today.

But I can‘t take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn‘t share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever. I can‘t do that.

But I can counsel people. I can talk reasonably about life and about responsibility. I can talk to people, as my wife Teresa does, about making other choices, and about abstinence, and about all these other things that we ought to do as a responsible society.

But as a president, I have to represent all the people in the nation.

And I have to make that judgment.

Now, I believe that you can take that position and not be pro- abortion, but you have to afford people their constitutional rights. And that means being smart about allowing people to be fully educated, to know what their options are in life, and making certain that you don‘t deny a poor person the right to be able to have whatever the constitution affords them if they can‘t afford it otherwise.

That‘s why I think it‘s important. That‘s why I think it‘s important for the United States, for instance, not to have this rigid ideological restriction on helping families around the world to be able to make a smart decision about family planning.

You‘ll help prevent AIDS.

You‘ll help prevent unwanted children, unwanted pregnancies.

You‘ll actually do a better job, I think, of passing on the moral responsibility that is expressed in your question. And I truly respect it.
(end quote)

Of course, my sense of truth would have Kerry renouncing his Catholicism, and Christianity in general, so where would that leave his politcal fortunes?

Refocusing on what Kerry might have said: I would say Kerry is trying to discuss the subject at a much more detailed level than serves the purpose of winning a Pres. debate, which is just sad for a veteran office holder.

The Dawn Patrol

"Waxman Report Is Riddled with Errors and Inaccuracies"

In the same fashion that watching Newsmax (http://newsmax.com) provides a clear picture of the slime that Rightwingers are tossing, this posting at a blog After Abortion, whose authors seem to have an honest interest in pointing out harms and challenges for women and society relating to abortions, becomes a vehicle for crazy talk.

Waxman Report: http://www.house.gov/reform/min/politicsandscience/pdfs/pdf_politics_and_science_rep.pdf

After abortion

Yahoo! News - House Passes Sweeping Intelligence Reforms

Woo hoo!!!!
Glad we finally got the "structural weaknesses" fixed, aren't you.

Kean and Hamilton shoud be proud!
Wonder what is more scary: the idea that Kean and Hamilton believe the BS that they spew, or that they are knowing parts of the murder coverup.

Yahoo! News - House Passes Sweeping Intelligence Reforms

Readers: anybody have ideas about what actions can be taken to successfully protest against this mockery?

Rumsfeld; "You go to War with the Army You Have"

Billions and Billions are tapped, and this is the lame answer!

AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth

U.S. killed unarmed Iraqis, war-dodger hearing told

Nanaimo - canada.com network

What price an American Empire? Part Two Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire by Niall Ferguson, Penguin Press, 2004, ISBN 0-713-99615-3

Background Info.....
Reviewed Book captures True History of Imperialism?

Don't let the fact that it comes from the World Socialists Web Site spook you.

What price an American Empire? Part Two Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire by Niall Ferguson, Penguin Press, 2004, ISBN 0-713-99615-3

Atta, Abdus Sattar Shaikh, Bayoumi, Butler, bin Laden, Bob Graham, the FBI & al-Qaida in San Diego

Atta, Abdus Sattar Shaikh, Bayoumi, Butler, bin Laden, Bob Graham, the FBI & al-Qaida in San Diego

Language and conventional wisdom

Language and conventional wisdom

Robert Novak calls Harry Reid a racist!

Robert Novak calls Harry Reid a racist!

C-SPAN televising Rep. Conyers' "Voting Irregularities in Ohio" forum on Wed.

C-SPAN televising Rep. Conyers' "Voting Irregularities in Ohio" forum on Wed.

Mike Ruppert: 9-11 Saboteur

This posting links to a somewhat personal posting on the wingtv.net web site Link. My desultory remarks below:



1) Victor Thorn isn't the only Ruppert detractor within the 911 Movement.

2) This esculation to mudslinging takes away for a strong appeal to the public, but it a free country still to some extent. Victor was scorned by Ruppert, and he isn't taking it sitting down.

3) Ruppert's book "Crossing the Rubicon" is quite interesting and worth a read.

4) I don't think Ruppert represents some strong force to cover up the truth of 911. However, I don't think the peak oil argument Ruppert makes is the lynch pin to make sense of the murderous deeds of unknown agents behind 911 and other deadly crusades.

5) It does seem Ruppert is building his own empire-like organization to make a living from his background and efforts.

6) Since Thorn mentioned Catherine Austin Fitts, I'll make the comment that I'm not sure Ms. Fitts is a natural ally with Ruppert.

As with everything about the 911 story, it's hard to find answers to the many unanswered questions.

Was 9-11 The Ultimate Black Operation?

Was 9-11 The Ultimate Black Operation?

CHICAGO FIRE - LA SALLE NATIONAL BANK - REPUTED BRIBERY CENTER

CHICAGO FIRE - LA SALLE NATIONAL BANK - REPUTED BRIBERY CENTER

The Truth Is Out There: Merchants Of Deception

The Truth Is Out There: Merchants Of Deception

Memo: Workers Threatened Over Prison Abuse

My Way News

Writer tries to track down fate of 21 missing voting machines

Pop goes the Bush mythology bubble: Part 1: The 9-11 Commission

Pop goes the Bush mythology bubble: Part 1: The 9-11 Commission

voter fraud debunk?

Break for News - Your Independent News Source

Guardian Unlimited | Newsblog | Incredible propaganda

Guardian Unlimited | Newsblog | Incredible propaganda

Sick is the word. TalkLeft does the heavy lifting so I don't have to:

Sick is the word. TalkLeft does the heavy lifting so I don't have to:

Plans To Scrap WTC Towers For $5.9 In 1989!

Plans To Scrap WTC Towers For $5.9 In 1989!