Saturday, August 07, 2004

"In keeping with tradition..." 

In terms of this story from the WaPo--
GOP Star to Skip Convention

Powell, Following Cabinet Tradition, Will Stay Out of Fray

But in keeping with tradition, Cabinet officials do not speak at the conventions -- or other campaign events. So Powell will not appear.
--PSoTD over at Kos notes the following:
At the 1992 Republican convention in Houston, then-Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander, now a U.S. senator from Tennessee, was given a second-night prime-time slot.

What about this Cabinet Member this year?
Paige Given Prime Slot At the GOP Convention

It is a time slot often reserved for firebrand speakers and party favorites, and during the Republican National Convention next month, a portion of it will belong to Secretary of Education Rod Paige.
It's more like the time-honored tradition of not having a cabinet secretary speak at the Convention that would remind everyone of incredibly failed policies and strategies.

'Politically Motivated'? 

Look at the data and decide for yourself. Click here for a larger view and the author's interpretation. Thanks to JuliusBlog for the chart.

"What About Iraq?" 

Around the time of the June 30 "hand over" of Iraqi "sovereignty," speakingcorpse and I were discussing what were going to be the practical effects of the changed situation.

Certainly, George W. Bush was going to try to claim that the U.S. was no longer an occupying force (which it still is) and that end of the occupation disaster was in sight (which it is not).

We also agreed that perhaps the biggest impact the hand over would have would be on the media’s ability to cover -- and their interest in covering -- the continuing war.

For one, with the Coalition Provisional Authority no longer in "control" of Iraq, there’d be no story line about Iraqi resistance to CPA forces. The Iraqis are now sovereign, so it’s not an Iraq-vs.-U.S. story anymore. It’s, instead, militias fighting militias and terrorists doing terrorism and all sorts of crazy wild spontaneous violence. (Never mind that, meanwhile, the Iraqi interim government crouches in a bunker inside the American Green Zone, guarded by private American security goons).

For another, now that the officially sanctioned war-show is over, there’d be no more spoon-fed military news P.R., and no more embedding, which means that news organizations that would have liked to cover what’s actually going on would have to do so on their own, with no military protection.

The result, as Paul Krugman discusses in his latest Times column ("What About Iraq?"), is that the American news media has tuned out of the conflict in Iraq just as it moves into its direst, deadliest phase. It’s simply too dangerous, expensive, and irrelevant to cover any more.
[A]fter June 28.… Iraq stories moved to the inside pages of newspapers, and largely off TV screens. Many people got the impression that things had improved. Even journalists were taken in: a number of newspaper stories asserted that the rate of U.S. losses there fell after the handoff. (Actual figures: 42 American soldiers died in June, and 54 in July.)

Need it be said that the Bush administration is thrilled by this media blind spot?

Wait? Another orange alert! Shit, looks like the war’s coming back to our shores….

(That wasn’t supposed to happen, was it?)

McCain Shits on Self 

Dear Hanoi John,

You are the most disgraceful member of the United States Senate. You have violated, desecrated, shat on, the most sanctified aspect of your own life on this earth: your years-long imprisonment and torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese army. You have in effect become your own symbolic torturer; you have shat all over yourself publicly.

Your latest "defense" of John Kerry (and his record of heroism in war) amounts to jack shit, because you continue to campaign for and with Bush, who personally shits in your mouth every time you come within defecating distance. He did so in 2000, when he spread vicious lies about you in South Carolina and sabotaged your campaign. That wasn't some ad agency: it was Bush himself; and you know that in your heart. Not so long ago men would have called duels over far lesser abuse; it would naturally have been a matter of honor. You know that Bush shits on John Kerry just as he shat on you in 2000, and yet you continue to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with Bush in the campaign, even as he continues to shit on you, and your life, and everything you purport to stand for.

You now stand for nothing. Every "maverick" cause you champion means nothing. You have personally chosen to reduce yourself to the status of a common celebrity. You relish your own cheesy, pop vulgarity as you do Bush's feces. Do you even know what it means to "be a man"? Are you even a man...or has the combination of your extreme suffering and your extreme vanity rendered you a mere thing? Do you give half a shit about how history will perceive you? Obviously you don't, as you prefer to stand with the side of lies, filth, slander, and murder, against the side of reason, hope, and doing the best you can. You do this because you associate the latter qualities with your party's former identity, even though you well know your party has been rotted from within by a viral fungus of greed, fascism, and hatred. You know you're campaigning with a small piece of insensate tumor extracted from the Body of Evil. But it doesn't matter, because for some reason you remain enslaved to the trappings of media image and fleeting popularity. You obviously fear the anger and rebukes of your colleagues, even though you well know your colleagues are deformed stumps of rotting flesh. Why do you care? Why would you continue to lie to yourself, your family, and the world, by saying you don't think the Bush campaign is responsible for the slander against John Kerry, even though you know their methods consists of nothing but such slander against their opponents?

Your behavior is so inexplicable that I can only conclude you have been deranged as a result of that malignant growth on the side of your whitish-grey head. (The growth is not your fault, nor is the physical structure of your head, but your behavior and actions are, and deserve to be condemned, whether or not they have been caused by the growth.)

Please go back to Arizona and die sooner rather than later. I say this not out of malice but out of sympathy, since your recent behavior indicates that you wish for death. Nobody committed to life could say or do what you do. If you pray hard enough to Fathers Falwell and Robertson, they may forgive you for calling them evil. And you couldn't possibly crave anything more than the blessings of those more powerful than you.

Eat shit,


Irony of the Week 

President Bush said yesterday that U.S. colleges and universities should abandon a long-standing, if disputed, practice of giving preference in admissions to students with family connections.

"I think colleges ought to use merit in order for people to get in," Bush said.

A Powerful Person Saying Things 

Said Colin Powell:
"Some people think that if you're a Republican you cannot have moderate views. I have moderate views in a number of issues, moderate by normal political definition, with respect to affirmative action and things of that nature, and I find that there are many, many Republicans like me who feel that way," he said last month in an interview with radio host Armstrong Williams.

The Democratic Party has traditionally drawn more minorities than the GOP has. But Powell said the Republicans deserve more credit for action. "If you look at where affirmative action really started, I mean, who really started to put this in the law, you will find that it has a Republican origin," Powell, the party's most prominent African American, told Williams, a black conservative commentator and protege of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.).

"You will find that President Nixon got a lot of these programs started," he said.
Right. Well, who's going to second-guess a man with a 69% approval rating?

Friday, August 06, 2004

...and but also how about a little good news? 

Kerry's bounce is being reflected in the state polls that give us a picture of the electoral college vote. And in the electoral college Kerry's kicking ass. Some highlights:

In New Hampshire (which Bush won by a point in 2000) Kerry's up 9 points.

In the latest Pennsylvania poll Kerry's up 12 points (Gore won by 4 points in 2000).

In West Virginia Kerry's up by 4 (Bush won by 6 in 2000).

The latest Minnesota poll has Kerry up 8 points (Gore won by 2).

Bush's lead is slim in several states he won soundly in 2000: Arizona (3 points); Arkansas (2 points); Tennessee (2 points); Virginia (3 points). In North Carolina and South Carolina, which Bush won by (respectively) 13 points and 16 points in 2000, he is currently up 7 points in both states.

Kerry leads in the four major midwestern battleground states--Minnesota (8 points), Wisconsin (1 point), Iowa (4 points), and Missouri (1 point).

The electoral votes in all the states in which Kerry leads by 4 points or more (generally the margin of error) add up to 250 electoral votes. Bush controls 186 votes in this category. (And note: that doesn't count Florida, where Kerry's up by 3.)

In fact, Kerry's doing...whoa, what's that? Terror alert? Oop, gotta run...

New York Taken Hostage by (Willing) Hostages 

I was fortunate enough to have been in a mostly-news-free western PA location for much of this week's terror-warning shitstorm; however I was not fortunate enough to miss the Woodruff-skull chattering out its death-gabber on Monday afternoon.

(Incidentally, did you know that when Lieberman made his comments about "fairness," being in one's "right mind," and the impossibility of the president or the secretary of Homeland Security raising an alert level to " scare people for political reasons," he had actually just returned from Georgia, where Zell Miller (D-Ga.) had personally baptized Lieberman in the name of Jesus Christ, Savior of the Jews?)

Yes, it was painful to watch Pataki, Head Bus Boy to the Corpsophagics-in-Chief (Giuliani being the Maitre d') being interviewed by Woodruff, who was sensually basking in the poisonous air being blown out of his asshole-mouth. But the most disturbing thing about the interview was that Pataki was given free reign to slander Howard Dean and John Kerry and to campaign for Bush, without any response from the other side. Of course, every time a "partisan" Democrat is interviewed, "equal time" is always given to a "partisan" Republican (e.g. campaign spokespersons going back and forth trading barbs while Woodruff masturbates). But of course Pataki wasn't speaking as a campaign spokesperson--he was speaking as "the Governor of New York."

Except that he wasn't. He was speaking only as a Bush campaign spokesperson. In fact, as far as he's concerned, that is his only role from now until the election. And the same goes for Michael Bloomberg and Rudolph Giuliani and John McCain, not to mention Tom Ridge. This isn't surprising--and it's not news--but it is truly frightening to realize that the people in charge of actual homeland security--protecting us from being killed by terrorists--at the levels of city, state, and national government--now have no other function than being spokespeople for the Bush campaign. Whether or not they are actually engaged in any activity meant to protect us from being killed (and that is doubtful), every word that comes out of their mouths from here on out is pure propaganda. (If it happens to coincide with truth, so be it.) And these people can go on any television program they want, and be given as much airtime as they want, and all without a "balancing" viewpoint--because by definition whatever they say is a priori "balanced."

Can this really be--that the mayor of New York City and the governor of New York, the chief officials responsible for the personal protection of New Yorkers (especially as we move closer to the RNC), will be continually appearing on TV, for no other reason than to deliver Bush campaign ads out of their face holes?

Are we really this fucked? Should we have seen this coming? Not only all the corpse-eating and profane ash-worshipping to be done on the hollowed grounds of our city, but for the city to be methodically built up as the site of the next huge potential attack--the terrorists all keening to have a go at the Convention of Freedom Itself--and as the very real issue of protecting New York looms larger and larger, we'll have New York's own elected officials appearing before the nation, in their (now) sole capacity as Team Bush shit-lickers?

Thursday, August 05, 2004


"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we," Bush said.

"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

Blistering NY Times editorial: "The Terror Alerts" 

Evidently, someone on the editorial board has balls.
Finally, there is the matter of politics. The Bush administration expressed outrage at the suggestion that there could be any politics behind any of its warnings, but the president has some history to overcome on this issue. There is nothing more important for Mr. Bush to do every day until Nov. 2 than to make it clear that he would never hype a terror alert to help his re-election chances. It is a challenge complicated by the fact that he is running on his record against terrorism and is using images of 9/11 and the threat of more attacks to promote his candidacy. The president's credibility on national security issues was gravely wounded by the way he misled Americans, intentionally or not, about the reasons for invading Iraq - including the suggestion that the war was part of the campaign against Al Qaeda.

Some of the past terror alerts have seemed aimless and happened when the Bush administration would have benefited from a change in the political conversation. On Sunday, when the administration had grim and specific information to convey, Mr. Ridge did a real disservice to himself, his president and the public by giving what amounted to a campaign pitch for "the president's leadership in the war against terror.''

It's hard to write that off as an offhand comment. If Mr. Ridge is to continue in this role, he must stay out of the election; using him as a campaign surrogate would be disastrous for public confidence. The administration should also stop dropping dark hints about Al Qaeda's having election-related motives to attack, as if a vote against the current president were appeasement.


Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Ridge: "We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security.'' 

Tom Ridge is a physiological wonder. How can this guy manage to puke and shit out of the same tiny little pucker hole in the center of his face?

I don't know, but he does it!


Sunday, August 1, 2004, announcing this week’s terror warning:

"We must understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the president's leadership in the war against terror."


Tuesday, August 3, 2004, responding to suggestions that the timing of this week’s terror warning could be politically motivated:

"We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security.''

Meanwhile, the New York Times’ Todd Purdum helpfully turns back the clock for some context:

Among Democrats, only former Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont has gone so far as to say out loud that he believes the administration is "manipulating the release of information in order to affect the president's campaign."

And even those remarks, barbed as they are, are no sharper than the comments some Republicans leveled at President Bill Clinton six years ago, when he ordered cruise missile strikes against Qaeda outposts in retaliation for the bombing of American embassies in East Africa days after confessing to his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Daniel R. Coats, then a Republican senator from Indiana and now Mr. Bush's ambassador to Germany, summed up his feeling at the time.

"The danger here," Mr. Coats said then of Mr. Clinton, "is that once a president loses credibility with the Congress, as this president has through months of lies and deceit and manipulations and deceptions, stonewalling, it raises into doubt everything he does and everything he says, and maybe everything he doesn't do and doesn't say." He added: "I just hope and pray the decision that was made was made on the basis of sound judgment, and made for the right reasons, and not made because it was necessary to save the president's job."

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

KRUGMAN: Reading the Script 

Essential, vital, heroic, omniscient Krugman today.

Written after a blackout 

Today we learn that yesterday's truly frightening alerts concerning possible terrorist attacks were based on information that was three to four years old. The information was discovered last Sunday (8 days ago), and was saved until this Sunday, and it has now erased coverage of the presidential campaign. But Tom Ridge did assert, at the news conference announcing the warnings, that the discovery that Al Qaeda had "cased" selected buildings three to four years ago was a testatment to the "president's success in prosecuting the war on terror."

Yesterday, Howard Dean said that the terror warnings may be politically motivated. He was mocked and reviled by Republicans, reporters, and Lieberman. Here, for example, are selected transcripts, courtesy of Atrios, from Judy Woodruff's daily televised celebration of mass-murder, "Inside Politics," broadcast Monday afternoon on CNN.

ANNOUNCER: The Empire State's governor is our guest. Howard Dean does it again.

DR. HOWARD DEAN (D), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am concerned that every time something happens that's not good for President Bush, he plays this trump card, which is terrorism.

WOODRUFF: Governor, what about the comments we've heard in the last two days from Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont. I mean, he is suggesting that there's some politics in here. And just a quick quote from him. He says, "I am concerned every time something happens that's not good for President Bush, he plays this trump card, which is terrorism." He said, "His whole campaign is based on the notion," quote, "'I can keep you safe, therefore at times in difficulty for America, stick with me' and then out comes Tom Ridge.

PATAKI: Judy, I think Howard Dean is an embarrassment. I mean, he almost makes Michael Moore look objective in how he analyzes these situations. And the American people got to know him during the campaign and rejected him. The sad part is that his policies and his warped beliefs are having a significant impact on Senator Kerry's policies. Senator Kerry talked about being tough in the war on terror, but he essentially adopted the Dean line when he had to do it to get through at the Democratic primaries. And this president understands the real threat that America faces. He is providing extraordinary leadership. And I'm just proud to stand with him and stand with the people of New York, because we understand that these threats aren't political; they are real. And I'll tell you, Judy, I've seen the courage of New Yorkers, in the face, not just of threats, but of the attacks of September 11th. And right now, New Yorkers are showing that same courage in the face of these threats.


WOODRUFF: Well, Congress -- we were just discussing Congress -- it would have to approve many of the changes recommended by the 9/11 Commission. Of course, right now, we're in the August recess. But coming up, a look at what, if any, work is being done on Capitol Hill. Plus, we've been hearing about this. Howard Dean goes on the attack. But is he damaging the Republicans or his own party's credibility?

WOODRUFF: We appreciate it. Well, Vice presidential nominees traditionally are the presidential campaign's attack dogs. But for the Democrats these days, the loudest attacks are coming from someone who isn't even on the ticket. Coming up: Howard Dean gets rough again.

WOODRUFF: Early in the Democratic presidential campaign, Howard Dean emerged as a front-runner, partly because of his willingness to attack the Bush administration and directly criticize the president. Well, he may not have won the nomination, but Howard Dean still is on the attack.


BUSH: The elevation of the threat level in New York and New Jersey and Washington, D.C. is a serious reminder, a solemn reminder of the threat we continue to face.

WOODRUFF (voice-over): Not everyone sees it entirely that way.

DEAN: It's just impossible to know how much of this is real and how much of this is politics. And I suspect there's some of both in it.

WOODRUFF: Howard Dean threw down the gauntlet yesterday, questioning whether the Bush administration gemmed (ph) up the terror warning to blunt positive media coverage of the Democratic convention.

DEAN: Every time something happens that's not good for President Bush, he plays his trump card, which is terrorism.

WOODRUFF: Republicans took umbrage, and so did some Democrats.

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: I don't think anybody who has any fairness or is in their right mind would think that the president or the secretary of Homeland Security would raise an alert level and scare people for political reasons.

WOODRUFF: It's not the first time the former Vermont governor's words have made waves. Remember what he said after U.S. forces in Iraq bagged the ace in the deck?

DEAN: We're not safer today than we were before Saddam Hussein left.

A dirty cancer

The last statement from Governor Dean, suggesting that the
capture of Saddam has not made Americans safer, is not a
statement that you can consider for its possible truth-value. It's
just a funny bad thing that he said. It was improper, and silly in a
bad way. And his statement regarding the politicization of
terror threats should also be understood first of all as inappropriate,
even if it eventually becomes clear that Sunday's warnings were
based on knowledge of activities Al Qaeda had undertaken four
years ago. So there will be no need for me to correct what I said
on Monday's edition of my television news program "Inside Politics."

Anyway, I hate myself. I'm very angry that I've become what I am.

So I'm doing everything in my power to bring a painful death to
millions of Americans. My efforts to marginalize Howard Dean's
statements are part of my ongoing attempt to kill you personally.

A deflated plastic robot

I am the governor of a state in which 3,000 people were killed by
the terrorists. If Howard Dean is an "embarassment," as the the
sounds that came out of my mouth yesterday seemed to suggest,
then I am far beyond embarrassment. For I delight in using the
memory of the murdered citizens of my state for the purpose of
currying favor with the kleptocratic regime of the asshole-birth.
And I am always happy to collaborate with the terrorists and to
terrorize my fellow citizens, and to mock speaking persons like
Howard Dean who try to stop me from using the memory of the
dead to terrorize my fellow citizens with spurious threats. If I have
my way, there will be no end to the mass desecration of corpses

A melted face

Howard Dean is "not in his right mind." I suspect that he not only
doubts the seriousness of yesterday's threats, but that he also does
not believe that the Holocaust occurred. To question the seriousness
of the terror warning is to forget about September 11, which would be
a lot like forgetting about the six million dead, for whom I speak.

Also: John Kerry is going to lose the election.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Bush Planning August Attack Against Kerry

Mr. Bush's advisers plan to cap the month at the Republican convention in New York, which they said would feature Mr. Kerry as an object of humor and calculated derision.

It is true that during my time on the earth I tended to side with the objects of mockery and derision rather than with the mockers and deriders. But, you know, the times change, and I think my view of this has evolved. I now see "calculated derision" as a necessary, practical tool in the movement to preserve and reify the power of those seeking to promote a Christian world view. My new motto: "Blessed be the calculating deriders, for they will surely enter the Kingdom of Heaven." Can you hear me laughing? It's all so "humorous." Although it looks like I'm weeping, I'm really laughing. I'm laughing with the power-mongers, at the objects of their derision. This RNC convention's going to be a 'gas.' Ha. Hahaha.

Colorado: Frontier of Democracy? 

Dave writes:

This could be the biggest story of the election. Imagine if all states started awarding electoral votes proportionally -- the red / blue state divisions would be replaced by a completely new calculus. I think Colorado is leading the country towards something important.
The measure would go into effect immediately for this year's presidential battle if voters approve.

Had it been in effect here four years ago, Al Gore would have been elected president.

The plan was denounced by Gov. Bill Owens and Ted Halaby, chairman of the Colorado State Republican Party. They viewed it as a political ploy that could bankrupt Colorado's clout in presidential elections.

"If that passes, Colorado will cease to be a factor in any presidential campaign in the future," Owens said.

Said Halaby, "This whole effort just doesn't pass the smell test."
Blicero adds: could it be any clearer that the Republicans genuinely hate and fear democracy? How can people not want proportionate voting representation? It seems so obvious--if only it could be explained to voters in a way everyone could understand, despite the GOP's best efforts to confuse them.

Stand up, holla, and die! 

Says a recent Bush-Cheney campaign email:

The 2004 Republican National Convention and MTV's "Choose or Lose" campaign last week announced the 10 finalists for the "Stand Up and Holla!" essay contest. The contest is part of a comprehensive plan to energize America's youth and empower them to take part in grassroots efforts on behalf of President Bush.

Your votes will help send one of them to New York City where the winner will be announced on MTV's TRL on August 16 and participate in the 2004 Republican National Convention.

1. First of all, MTV should be fucking ashamed for having anything to do with this.

2. USA Today should be doubly ashamed for printing Ed Gillespie’s metabolic waste on its pages in this "Editorial/Opinion" piece ("Bush's agenda rocks") which advertises the contest.

3. The Republicans owe AmCop an apology for stealing the nickname of our ace photo-journalist, Stand Up and Holla!

4. All AmCoppers should visit the Stand Up and Holla! finalist page to meet the 10 finalists, watch their video entries, vote for your favorite, and then Stand Up and Holla! at God, begging him to bestow mercy and send lightening to strike us all dead.

Finalist Highlights!

1. Clarence Dass, Age 18, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Wayne State University:

"…in 2001, I urged my family to launch an organization that service hundreds of Middle Eastern denominations and defeated racial profiling within the United States…"

2. Adam Hunter, Age 20, Somerset, New Jersey, Howard University

"...The youth all across America have answered the call to be leaders in their own community. We have poured out our love for our country by teaching a young child to read…"

3. Princella Smith, Age 20, Wynne, Arkansas, Ouachita Baptist University

What about President George W. Bush’s leadership inspires you?
"…He can sit in a chair and discuss foreign policy with you, and in the same seat converse with you about sports over a cheeseburger…"

Fun Fact!

In response to the question "what singer or band would you want to see if you were in the audience of MTV's TRL?", the finalists repeatedly cited bands (Dave Matthews Band, U2, Maroon Five, Aerosmith) demonstrably supportive of John Kerry and hostile to the reelection of Bush.

NYTimes: New York Cites a Terror Threat 

Law enforcement officials are particularly concerned about the threat of a terrorist invasion occurring between the dates of August 30 to September 2, 2004.

Says the Times:
The New York Police Department, responding to new information that terrorists may be planning to attack corporations or large public institutions in the city, last night advised building managers and corporate security personnel to step up their procedures to guard against vehicles rigged with explosives and against chemical agents placed in ventilation systems.

Recent intelligence reports have hinted that such an attack might be planned during the Republican National Convention in Manhattan….

But all jokes aside…

Wait, actually, is there anything we can do besides crack jokes?

(That is, outside of visiting Tom Ridge’s website?)

We’re screwed.


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