Saturday, October 16, 2004


I just received this weird-ass email. I can't believe these people are serious. It seems more like a "reverse psychology" effort to spread bad-for-Bush documents around (one of the "clearly suspect" documents is the "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." memo)...but why would lefty bloggers have any need of such pretenses? Maybe it's just as retarded as it seems.

RatherGate proved that bloggers are the best fact checkers. That is why we are writing to a few bloggers asking for help.

Yes Bush Can has collected several documents that are clearly suspect. But we need your help to prove they are fake:


Let's spring to action before these documents needlessly tarnish the reputation of our Commander and Chief. You know the drill: analyze the handwriting, search for factual errors, and post your discoveries.

And keep us posted by sending email to FakeDocs@yesbushcan.com.

Thanks in advance for your help.


USA Snapshots: A Visual Stethoscope on the Heartbeat of America 

Stand Up and Holla! writes:

I attended a live Michael Moore speaking engagement last night at my alma mater, the University of Southern California (wacky t-shirts from cross-town rival UCLA say the "USC" stands for "University of Spoiled Children" or "University of Surrounded Caucasians"; both slogans are deadly accurate). It was held outdoors in a big park on campus; estimates have said there were about 6,000 people there. It was supposed to be for students only, but I snuck on campus easily.

The show itself was great -- Moore did a sort of sloppy but hilarious stand-up routine about the debates, then showed some short film clips of material that didn't make it into "Fahrenheit 9/11." He brought up former Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello to play 3 protest songs, and then had 2 other guest speakers - one was a young substitute teacher from L.A. whose brother had been killed in Iraq a couple months ago, and the other was a 24-year-old black guy who had been in the army and was disgusted by his experiences.

Moore then read some of the 3,000 letters that he has been written by U.S. soldiers since the start of the war. A couple were very powerful. He closed the evening by riffing on the idea that college kids should embrace their status as "stoned slackers," and said the great thing about voting is you can still sleep in until 3 and still get it done. He then handed out packages of clean underwear and ramen noodles to kids who came up to register to vote. He also encouraged everyone to download the movie and burn it and pass it around to anyone they want. It was a great night of showcasing what Moore is so good at - the funny pop politics that get people excited about this stuff.

The evening would have been a blast were it not for the legions of anti-Moore protestors. It's no secret that USC is fairly conservative - lots of students from Orange County families with big old money - but it was a slap in the face to see it up close after, frankly, living in a fairly consistently liberal (or at least intelligent) environment in my day-to-day life. I was definitely ashamed of my school at many points (also nothing new, but that's mostly irrelevant).

Although the university had set up an area behind a fence for the people who brought signs, they was easily at least a thousand people wandering around giving out Bush/Cheney stickers, hawking "Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid Liar" books and SCAM t-shirts (which played on the SPAM logo with a picture of Kerry - not sure of the joke/significance), and trying to start infuriatingly stupid arguments.

Tragically, my camera phone could pick up very little in the dim light, so a lot of the genius will have to go visually unrecorded....

I wish I had managed to get pictures of:

- The skinny kid with a black t-shirt that had "The Godfather" logo on it, only it was rewritten as "God the Father," who handed out anti-abortion literature while wearing headphones during the speech, presumably to drown out Moore.

- The sorority girls with Bush stickers over their breasts, shaking them for anyone with a camera, like some sort of "Girls From the Depths of Hell Gone Wild"

- The group of about 10 older black (!!!) ladies with "W Stands for Women!" signs dancing around on the fringes of the crowd.

- The frat guys with tilted trucker hats putting Bush stickers on everyone who was walking by, then summarily throwing the backing paper for each sticker on the ground, making a huge mess.

- The group of USC water polo players with no shirts on and giant red "W"s painted on their chests, causing a homoerotic spectacle by blowing air horns (during the speech from the man whose brother was killed working for the army's Iraq Survey Crew, in the middle of the part about his brother's gruesome death) and bumping chests with each other.

- Some blonde Barbie half-heartedly holding a sign reading "FAKE-nheit 9/11" while literally screeching into her cell phone "Omigod! Omigod! He did NOT! That is SO CUTE!"

- The "Michael More Hates America" sign (sic)

I recommend attending one of these events at all costs; the people-watching is tremendous -- but your sanity will definitely be tested by the protestors, so be prepared.

Thursday (well, Saturday) Cat Blogging 

I forgot to cat-blog Thursday, so you'll have to belatedly satisfy yourselves with this "action" shot of the President:

"It's hurting America" 

Jon Stewart accomplished some very, very important work on CNN's Crossfire today. Of primary importance, he gave a performative demonstration of what it means for a human being to try and speak things they know and/or believe; of secondary importance, he took Tucker Carlson and kicked that little bow-tied shiteater's pansy ass from one end of the studio to the other. Randi Rhodes played the whole thing on Air America. You can delight yourself with the transcript here, and video clips here and here.

Friday, October 15, 2004

History lesson 

I'm catching a little late-night C-Span and it's pretty amazing. A raucous, lively debate between Sam Donaldson and Bob Novak, on February 20, 1993, before an unidentified (but clearly conservative) banquet audience. It's like a kind of pundit hip-hop battle. Donaldson talks about the disastrous "la-la land" economic policies of the Reagan years--how this new Clinton guy's going to finally make millionaires (including Donaldson himself) pay their fair share--and gets roundly booed.

Novak comes on and (by way of discussing the problem of "media bias") claims that if Bush had won the election, the media "would have had a cow." Wild applause. He then claims that if cuts need to be made in the budget, they ought to start with NEA grants (wild applause), Head Start (vigorous applause), and welfare (wild applause).

He then accuses Donaldson of following the rest of the media in "parroting" the demagogic Clinton/Panetta response to conservatives: "What would YOU cut?"

A guy from the audience just asked the panelists whether they would accept Rush Limbaugh's "$1 million Challenge" and bet against Limbaugh's claim that under Clinton's new plan the economy would go down the tubes.

Haha. Ha.

Before that, he asked (derisively) whether they thought New York City's economic plan ought to be the model for the rest of the country.

I wonder how much that guy's apartment is worth these days...

Another audience member just asked why they didn't say anything about conservative media bias, and Novak's response was "I don't even understand the question."

This footage is amazing. You can see the naked impotent outrage these people felt when Clinton won the election. The bitter scorn (even Donaldson, to much applause, "admitted" that he thought Clinton "might not be that bright." Haha. HA) they felt in losing power--even though that power had clearly failed in its job. They make reference after reference to what "the majority of the American people" think and believe, in contradiction to all of Clinton's plans, as though Clinton had not just been ELECTED president but had seized power in some sort of coup, and the American people were just too slow to recognize it.

Now Bob Novak's talking about the extreme ideologicism of liberals; says re Donaldson: "He has no idea that he's being a social democrat; he just believes he's doing what's right for America...."

It's 1993, and the country's just been taken over by socialists, apparently. My, how times have changed.

We should look back and pay attention to this stuff. It may be happening again very soon. And we ought to be prepared.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Wilgoren "Outed" as a Stupid Bitch 

Giuseppe Abote writes:


After two weeks of solid, substantive reporting, American journalism has again slipped into hysterical nattering, this time over John Kerry mentioning that Dick Cheney's openly gay daughter is, well, gay. ("Kerry's Mention of Cheney's Gay Daughter Sparks Sharp Reaction," 10/14). Sadly, you fell for this con. Even more sadly, it was not until the final paragraph that your story bothered to remind us that when John Edwards made similar comments in the Vice Presidential debate, Mr. Cheney actually thanked him for them.

Still far, far more depressing is the role your own reporter, Jodi Wilgoren, has played in this. Indeed, as far as I can tell, none of the post-debate spin on Wednesday evening remarked on Mr. Kerry's comment at all. Then you posted on your Web site a dispatch written by Ms. Wilgoren from the birthplace of Herbert Hoover, West Branch, Iowa, which begins thusly:

"Forget his health care plan. Forget abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Forget even how many times he did or did not vote to raise taxes. Senator John Kerry may have lost three critical votes with a simple aside, when he invoked Vice President Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter as part of an answer on same-sex marriage.

"That is very unfair," blurted Patsey Farrell, 64, one of a handful of undecided voters gathered here to watch the final presidential debate Wednesday night. "I'm sorry, that's too personal. That's too hurtful."

Her son-in-law, Kevin Uhde, the 50-year-old elementary school principal who held this pizza party, agreed. "Not by name," he said, shaking his head at Mr. Kerry on the 24-inch Phillips television set a few yards away. "Why single out one person?"

And Mr. Uhde's wife, Karlen, added, "I think it's like a low blow." ("After the Final Debate, Some Voters Are Still Sitting on the Fence")

Set aside the fact that Ms. Wilgoren got her story exactly wrong--every other major news outlet reported polls showing undecided voters coming into the Kerry camp in droves. Where was the context? Why did your editors not insist that this article correctly note that Mary Cheney is not a closeted lesbian but, on the contrary, is so to speak a "professional lesbian"--she was formerly employed to promote the Coors brewery in the gay community--who appeared on stage after the Vice Presidential debates with her lesbian partner? Why did you leave out Mr. Cheney's profuse gratitude for John Edwards' reference to his daughter's sexuality? Instead you and Ms. Wilgoren left the clear impression that Mr. Kerry had maliciously outed the Vice President's daughter. And then we were off to the races.

It makes me almost unbearably sad to remind you of the deletrious effect Ms. Wilgoren's faulty writing has had on past elections involving Democratic candidates. On the eve of the Iowa caucases, Ms. Wilgoren penned a series of articles clearly aimed at undermining the candidacy of Howard Dean. She interviewed a handful--a mere handful!--of skeptical Iowans outside a rally and overreached to characterize these findings as "a rising tide" of anti-Dean sentiment. And we all know what happened next. These and similar mistakes have been noted by your public editor, Daniel Okrent. Why are you allowing them to continue?

Please don't make me sad anymore. Fix the problems with your newspaper.

Best wishes,

[Giuseppe Abote]

Blicero adds:

At least there is one man who won't be falling for this crap:

Mr. Kerry issued a statement today in Las Vegas in which he showed no inclination to apologize. ``I love my daughters,'' he said. ``They love their daughter. I was trying to say something positive about the way strong families deal with this issue.''

Vision, Leadership 

Last night, as many of you know, President Bush called upon us to sacrifice for the good of our country and our fellow man:

My call to our fellow Americans is if you're healthy, if you're younger, don't get a flu shot this year. Help us prioritize those who need to get the flu shot, the elderly and the young.

Just look into your hearts and decide whether you're "younger" or "young"--that way you'll know whether to get the flu shot or (like the "younger" President Bush) not to get it.

Three Ways You Can Help 

1.) StopSinclair.org would like to see 100,000 signatures on their petition. If you haven't signed yet, do so.

2.) Al Gore is begging for money on behalf of Kerry and the DNC. As you know, there are 19 days before the election. If you haven't given money yet, for Christ's sake do it now!!

3.) And Barack Obama is appealing, via MoveOn, for last-minute donations to three Senate candidates in extremely tight races: Betty Castor in FL, Brad Carson in OK, and Tony Knowles in AK. All three running against nasty, hateful people, all three in margin-of-error-tight races, all three definitely winnable. Your contribution right now can help put them over the top.

Oh, and in case you haven't heard the news, Kos gives a nice roundup of Kerry's 3-debate hat trick:

Debate 1

ABC: Kerry won 45-36

CBS, uncommitted voters: Kerry won 44-26.

CNN/USA Today Gallup: Kerry won 53-37, 60-29 among independents

Democracy Corps: Kerry won 45-32

ARG: Kerry won 51-41

Debate 2

ABC: Kerry wins 44-41

CNN/USA Today Gallup: Kerry wins 47-45

Democracy Corps: Kerry wins 45-37

Debate 3

CBS, undecideds: Kerry wins 39-25. Before the debate, 29% said Kerry had clear positions on the issues, after, that number doubled to 60%.

ABC: Kerry won 42%-41% in a poll that surveyed 8% more Republicans than Democrats. Independen voters thought Kerry won: 42-35

CNN/USA Today Gallup: Kerry wins 52-39. Among independents, Kerry won: 54-34.

Democracy Corps: Kerry wins 41-36

and the polls are moving our way:

ABC News (likely voters)
October 1-3: BC-51, KE-46
October 10-12: BC-48, KE-48
Net shift: +5 Kerry-Edwards

ABC News (registered voters)
October 1-3: BC-50, KE-45
October 10-12: BC-47, KE-47
Net shift: +5 Kerry-Edwards

Washington Post (likely voters)
October 1-3: BC-51, KE-46
October 10-12: BC-48, KE-49
Net shift: +6 Kerry-Edwards

Washington Post (registered voters)
October 1-3: BC-49, KE-46
October 10-12: BC-46, KE-48
Net shift: +5 Kerry-Edwards

If you (like me) suffer from the uniquely Democratic syndrome of Things-Are-Going-Too-Well anxiety, don't worry. Prepare to behold the fury and destruction Karl Rove will be conducting from the shadows. Prepare for typical media-whore cluelessness and capitulation.

But if you get angry, and wish you could do something, and haven't yet donated to the DNC so they can get on the air in every battleground state and fight back strongly, then you really shouldn't complain.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Horrifying news from Sy Hersh 

It's worse than we think in Iraq. Interview here, transcribed excerpt here.


Sinclair VP Mark Hyman had the following to say on CNN's American Morning:

HYMAN: [T]he accusations coming from [Democratic National Committee chairman] Terry McAuliffe and others -- because there's some elements of this that may reflect poorly on John Kerry, that it's somehow an in-kind contribution to George [W.] Bush -- if you use that logic and reasoning, that means every car bomb in Iraq would be considered an in-kind contribution to John Kerry. Weak job performance rating that came out last month would have been an in-kind contribution to John Kerry. That's just nonsense. This is news. I can't change the fact that these people decided to come forward today. The networks had this opportunity over a month ago to speak to these people. They chose to suppress them. They chose to ignore them. They are acting like Holocaust deniers and pretending these men don't exist.

What a genius, this guy. Remember: please go to Stopsinclair.org and sign the petition, send some emails, make some phone calls, learn how to get in on the boycott.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Help Stop Sinclair 

It is very important that everyone help out with this Sinclair effort. The thing to do is find out if there is a Sinclair affiliate in your area, watch it, write down the advertisers you see, and then use this database to write to the advertisers politely threatening boycott.

There is no Sinclair affiliate in my area. But I used this function where you can send your letter automatically to all the advertisers in the national market. (You can also send your letter automatically to all of the advertisers in any of the local markets.) Here's my letter--feel free to use it if you don't feel like writing your own:

Dear Sir or Madam,

As you may have heard, the owners of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns at least one of the local TV affiliates with whom you advertise, has made an egregious decision to force their affiliate stations to pre-empt their regular prime-time programming and air a 90-minute anti-Kerry smear film, titled "Stolen Honor," in the days running up to the national election. While I respect the right of everyone to freely express their political views, I believe the actions of the Sinclair Broadcast Group constitute a major violation of both our campaign finance laws and FCC regulations. Not only does the programming constitutes a massive, undocumented contribution to the Bush re-election campaign, but FCC-licensed stations are required to provide balanced electoral coverage, not run free 90-minute campaign ads. Senator McCain worked to pass his campaign finance bill to prevent just this kind of thing--a corporation abusing its powers in an attempt to unfairly and illegally disrupt the democratic process.

Don't get me wrong--if the TV stations themselves want to air the anti-Kerry propaganda film, that is a decision for their programming directors to make. But the networks do not want to air it. They are being forced to air it by their corporate owners, unabashed political partisans who are improperly using their publicly-held assets for a personal political agenda.

Because of this unfortunate decision by Sinclair Broadcasting, I must respectfully ask that you stop all paid advertising on Sinclair-owned affiliates. If you do not stop advertising with Sinclair-owned affiliates, I will have to make the decision to permanently boycott your products and/or services. I will ask that all of my friends, family members, and co-workers do the same. I host a website which receives several hundred visits per day, and I will ask that all of my readers boycott your products and/or services.

But please, I don't want that, and neither do you. Please pull your advertising from Sinclair-owned stations, and help us show the Sinclair Broadcast Group that we value our legal system and democratic process, and will not tolerate its abuse. It is very important to all of us that this election be conducted fairly and properly, no matter who you happen to support.

Thank you very much for your time and attention.



Sinclair Bullshit 

I just wrote a long post about Sinclair Broadcasting and blogger ate it when I tried to publish.

The long and short of it is this: there is a very real October surprise about to be enacted. Sinclair Broadcasting Group--whose president and CEO is a convicted sex offender--has ordered their 62 affiliate TV stations in swing states to pre-empt their regular prime time broadcasting in the days leading up to the election and air a full-length anti-Kerry "documentary" called "Stolen Honor," made by the same villains behind the August swift boat ads, in concert with some other villains.

The New York Times covers it here.

This will be swift boat ads gone nuclear. It's billions of dollars of political advertising provided to the Bush campaign for free. It will be a catastrophe if they get away with it.

So what can be done? Bloggers are getting into action.

Dailykos provides a list of links to Sinclair's major institutional investors.

Stopsinclair.org is circulating an online petition.

And--perhaps most importantly--there is now a database showing all the advertisers on Sinclair's various affiliate stations. Probably there will have to be boycotting on a massive scale if anything's going to happen.

Anti-Bush Ads 

There are two new ads being run by independent organizations, and they need your help to get them on the air.

The first is from MoveOn. It's a spot directed by Rob Reiner, about Bush's infamous inability to admit any mistake, ever--for instance when asked directly in a nationally televised debate. You can watch it here, and donate to the effort if you like it.

The second is from Texans for Truth. The ad features Stacy Bannerman, the spouse of a National Guard Sgt. First Class, serving in Iraq. They've gotten a big response from their requests so far, and are now looking to double their ad buy in key states. Watch and contribute here.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

AmCop Turns 1 / Shitless (for now) Potomac 

In all the excitement I nearly failed to realize that today--yes, exactly today--is the one year anniversary of the founding of this blog, American Coprophagia, aka AmCop.

My first day of blogging, Friday, October 10, 2003, consisted of a post linking to Krugman's op-ed piece "Lessons in Civility," a parodic critique of the Democratic primary debate, and a contribution from speakingcorpse discussing why Californian men have a desire to be penetrated forcibly by "a large violent quasi-human male/robot figure."

It has been a fun year, and I thank everyone who has visited the blog, and especially everyone who has visited the blog and returned another day, and especially + those who have passed word of the blog along to friends, coworkers and relatives, and especially ++ those who have contributed posts, interesting links, and comments to the blog.

One year, and still not a goddamn spot on Atrios' goddamned blogroll, even though he has linked to AmCop twice in his posts. O well. We're still waiting, dude.

Yes, we are still a small blog by any standard. But our readership has increased steadily, and we now receive well over 100 distinct visits per day, far more than when we started out. Plus, a year is no small feat--as Atrios himself pointed out, most blogs tire and fizzle rather quickly after their high-ambition beginnings.

So, where are we now? AmCop will continue to exist at least through the election, after which all further need for human discourse will either be obviated, or renewed and re-energized. The country will be plunged in a permanent Dark Age, or save itself for at least one more decent try at democracy and a meaningful future. Until that time, AmCop will continue to comment on current developments in "news" and politics from a uniquely shit-eating and shit-spewing-oriented perspective.

Speaking of which--one of our readers expressed despair at my earlier post on voting chicanery in various states, and requested an uplifting and optimistic comment. So here it is:

Maryland, my home state, is back in the deep blue where it should be. That means, for now, the Potomac and River Falls neighborhoods of Montgomery County will not be sprayed with highly-pressurized liquid shit from a mobile hydraulic apparatus, as I have threatened to do here.

Just keep your eye on the ball, Maryland, and everyone stays dry.

Want to go to Florida? 

A volunteer opportunity, from the democraticamerica listserv:

Are you someone committed to helping make the difference in this election? Can you commit to working non-stop from Friday evening, October 29, through Tuesday, November 2 as part of the EMILY's List canvass team? If so, register as a Team EMILY member and sign up to volunteer today!

In return, all expenses -- air travel between Washington, D.C., and Florida, accommodations, and meals -- will be paid for by EMILY's List. Training will be provided.

Check out this website and register if you are interested:


If this connection is giving you trouble, try: www.teamemily.org then click on the Florida icon.


Well folks, it's election season again, and just like last time, there's going to be voting shenanigans on both sides. Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State in various states are jockeying for partisan advantage. For instance:
In the battlegrounds of Ohio and Missouri, Republican secretaries of state have crafted election rules that Democrats say could disenfranchise legitimate voters likely to cast ballots for Kerry. Republicans say Democratic election officials in New Mexico and Iowa are making it easier for potential Kerry supporters to vote.
Republicans, trying to disenfranchise legitimate voters; Democrats, trying to make it easier for "potential Kerry supporters" to vote. Well, he said, she said. Whether you're trying to prevent people from voting or trying to enable people to vote, it's all just jockeying for partisan advantage.

Says J. Kenneth Blackwell of Ohio (he of the mandatory 80-lb. card stock):
"What you have here is a clash of ideals," he said. "There are those that believe a person should be able to register any time, on any form, and vote in any place. Then you have another point of view -- my point of view -- that says ours is a society of rule and law and rules have to be complied with to turn a ballot into a vote."
A "clash of ideals" indeed. Between those who think everyone should be able to vote, and easily; and those who think it should be made difficult for people to vote. Just a friendly "difference of opinion." It's clear that both sides respect democracy--they just have different opinions about how it should be done!
In Missouri, Blunt went to court this summer and quashed an effort by Francis G. Slay (D), the mayor of St. Louis, to open polls early in that heavily minority, Democratic stronghold.

Slay, a co-chair of Kerry's national finance campaign, argued that early voting was needed to prevent widespread disenfranchisement of city voters caused by long poll lines and other problems that occurred in 2000; Blunt argued that the mayor was trying to bend state law for partisan gain.
How could the election possibly be fair with polls opened early in a "Democratic stronghold"? See, one side thinks the polls should be opened so people can go to the polls and vote there; and one side thinks the polls shouldn't be opened so people can go and vote there. A simple difference of opinion!
In Iowa, Secretary of State Chet Culver (D) is under attack for sending out a voter guide that included an absentee-ballot request. Although the mailing went to every Iowa household, absentee voting in that state has traditionally favored Democrats, and Republican officials cried foul.
Geez--sending out a voter guide that goes to "every Iowa household"? How dare this partisan attempt to help everyone in the entire state obtain an absentee ballot, which it is their right to do!
In the swing state of Minnesota, Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer (R) is fed up with the partisan sparring. Liberal groups have charged her with attempting to stifle voter turnout by failing to keep up with the demand for new voter registration forms, rushing into service a flawed statewide registration system and issuing warnings about terrorism at the polls.
Well, clearly what you have in Minnesota is voters trying to game the system by unfairly burdening poor Kiffmeyer with obnoxious requests for voter registration forms. Meanwhile, Kiffmeyer is simply trying to facilitate democracy by upholding every Minnesotan's right to be scared away from the polls by bogus terrorism warnings!

Friends, it's time we ended all this partisan bickering and simply made a compromise--some people should be allowed easy, uncomplicated access to the mechanisms of voting, while for others, voting should be made more difficult. Now that's bipartisanship!


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