The issue is not dead. In my opinion, the dems need to aggressively go out there and attack with these talking points or something close, to flip it back on the repubs.
About the joke:
John Kerry botched a joke about the President, not the troops. George W. Bush has botched this war, endangered our troops, and allowed nearly three thousand young americans die in this invasion and occupation.
About John Kerry as ``party leader'':
John Kerry is one senator out of a hundred, and he is not running for office at this time. If you want to get us unstuck from this war, you need to elect a new democratic majority in the house and senate, because this republican congress is rubber stamping the failed policies of this administration.
About insulting the troops:
John Kerry and his democratic colleagues have consistently stood up for the troops, voting for body armor, veterans benefits, and oversight of this war when the republican congress rubber stamped Bush's failed policies. You don't have to believe me--the non-partisan Iraq and Afghan Veterans of America gave consistently higher ratings to democrats than republicans on supporting troops and vets.
George W. Bush and his administration are using this distortion of John Kerry's remarks and record to distract from their failure to lead in this war. Vote for a democratic majority in congress now to reverse the failed war leadership of the Bush Administration and the rubber stamp republican congress.
I saw Hardball last night, with Chris Matthews, Bob Herbert, and Mike Barnacle just slapping around this hapless conservative radio host Michael Smerconish from Philadelphia about the ads against Ford. Smerchonish tried to suggest the ad was funny and not racist, and Barnacle, Herbert, and Matthews wouldn't let him get away with it.
Then I flipped to Larry King where Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz were on with conservative talkers Neal Boortz and Mark Larson (who looks as though he were straight out of the seventies, the inspiration for the Ron Burgundy character in Anchorman!). Larry King brought up the Michael J. Fox slam by Limbaugh. Boortz refused to criticize Rush, but did say he was with Fox on stem cell research. Larson tried to give a lame defense of Rush and say he wouldn't have said it that way, but King, Miller, Schultz smacked him down, and King pointed out that Boston Legal had lots of editing to make MJF look less shaky.
Look, I am very leary of ``trust the experts'' references like yours. I went to the pdf you link to, and the entire summary of why they trust Kerry's numbers against fraud are these--his numbers are consistent with (i) the democratic gubernatorial candidate from 2002, and (ii) they are consistent with votes for another democratic statewide candidate, which, at least in the executive summary, they decline to specify in any detail. (See p. 17 of the pdf file.)
These are very indirect evidence against fraud. I certainly understand the arguments, but (i) an off presidential year can have a very different turnout pattern than a presidential year, (ii) statewide office is Not the same as a presidential selection, and (iii) consistent with means within some reasonable statistical norm--the vote was sufficiently close in Ohio that it might also be consistent with a flip in favor of Kerry.
This report primarily, and in an oustanding fashion, appears to have focused on suppression efforts and access anomaly, but it is certainly not a definitive report on the possibility of fraud.
How many ways is this troubling? One, if true, it confirms that Carville has decided loyalties at best. Two, it reaffirms the obvious about Ken Blackwell and the corrupt Ohio republican machine. Three, it reinforces the concern about the integrity of the vote that runs to the very top of the national republican party, to Ken Mehlman, Karl Rove, GW. Bush, and `President Cheney' to regroup the words used above (better tell the President Cheney told you...).
We seem poised for a tectonic shift of the political plates, but that earthquake can be disrupted if the integrity of the vote is in play. I have no idea whether the answer to this is yes or no, but my deepest question is this: are the dems on top of the integrity of the vote, as Kerry claimed to be in 2004 but clearly was not?
If not, the Dems will be sweeping up after that picture on Time this week, and not sweeping the election.
Brown must have hit home with his alerting the public about Doolittle's support for the Saipan sex trade by way of Abramoff. They have a commercial playing on the Sacramento stations (including air america!) first talking about Sean Penn and some of his outrageous statements, then Michael Moore and his outrages, and then saying `Now Charlie Brown has accused John Doolittle of supporting sex slavery'. Then it gets former congressman Ose and some republican local to vouch safe for Doolittle and demand an apology from Brown. I would say to Brown to keep at it.
I despair of what passes for discourse. This is an outstanding poem by William Stafford that I hold close to my heart always, and think of now when I do not hear bold and publicly voiced opposition to the NSA legislation of Specter by our democratic leaders (I am happy to hear it is dead, but why not yell that in Bush's face?) or to see them hide behind McCain, Warner, and Graham.
IT is why I love the blogs and continue to visit. We who come here heed the last line.
A Ritual to Read to Each Other William Stafford
If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dike.
And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognise the fact.
And so I appeal to a voice, to smething shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider-
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.
For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give-yes or no, or maybe-
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
First, let me say thank you for raising concerns about voting integrity. On the most pragmatically politically oriented websites, MyDD and DailyKos, it is my perception that this issue generally is viewed as arising from conspiracy theory land. I believe there is far too much evidence of outright vote theft and suppression from 2000-2004 to ignore and I am very concerned about this election when the repubs look ripe for the picking.
What concerns me is what you say about volunteering to monitor the vote. That is what it comes down to--no national coordination, just cheerleading for vote count volunteers, when, on the other side, there is almost certainly national coordination on voter suppression and vote theft. I happen to live in the Bay Area where there is no serious concern about this (apart from possibly Alameda county), and constraints of family and profession prevent me from travelling elsewhere on election day be a watchdog. It has to come to local volunteerism. But apart from encouragement like yours, what is there in the way of a coordinated effort?
Mark Crispin Miller on KPFA in Berkeley this AM opined that the whole point of Bush's blitz of fascism and terror speeches is to provide a plausible cover story for the media for when the repubs steal another election. The confidence with which Cheney and Bush assert that the republicans will retain the majority in both houses does concern me, although that is not necessarily different from the boasting before a big game by a sports team.
I have been in general frustrated by the lack of a coherent national effort to go after this concern about voting integrity. Dean has given it lip service. Blackwell was pushed back at least on this ridiculous criminalization of voter registration. However, there is no concerted public effort by the dems, and Rush Holt remains something of a voice in the wilderness on this issue in congress.
Can we keep this dialogue alive at least on MyDD and brainstorm on how to generate a more coherent watchdog effort nationally?
As you probably know, Scholastic has produced materials for teachers to ``teach'' the docudrama. I have scrutinized them all--they can be downloaded at this site.
You can write the VP for Investor Relations (hit em in the pocket book) for Scholastic about this--the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
The idea is to hit them on their wallet.
Here are some of the most objectionable items I gleaned:
First handout: This provides what at first glance is a reasonable geographic/demographic overview of the middle east for the most part. But if you look at the second paragraph you find the sentence
``Following are short descriptions of some of the countries and groups that
were involved in some way with the terrorist attacks.''
If you guess that this list includes Iran, Iraq, and Syria (as well as Yemen, Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan) you would be right. If you guess that it includes Saudi Arabia you would be wrong.
Student Resource Sheet 2:
This discusses organizations in the government mentioned
by the 9/11 commission report and involved in investigating 9/11. It is a bunch of benign looking bullet points. But, amongst them-
*The Department of Homeland Security is described as created by Pres. Bush in 2002. Uh,
didn't this actually require an act of congress? Didn't Bush drag his ass until Rove realized how to use this for political gain? Sheesh.
*The CIA, FBI, and NORAD are correctly slammed for the problems on 9/11. Curiously, the NSA is
only benignly praised and their failure to translate some key messages is ignored.
*No mention is made of the failures of the NSC to respond. Again, benign praise.
*The office of the president itself is absent completely, as though there is no reason to look there.
Debate questions: Here is a groaner:
``The 9/11 Commission Report affords us hindsight.
Knowing what we know now, do you think the
attacks on 9/11 could have been prevented? Back up
your argument with examples from the miniseries or
The 9/11 Commission Report.''
This question tacitly puts the docudrama on the same footing as the report. And where do you think the target audience of 9-12 graders will go to back up their arguments? Right! Those massive free downloads of this bloody travesty of a docudrama.
There is more to object to of course. But this offers a good start.
There is then the ``inconvenient truth'' released at EOB on last Friday about the public vs private school score on exams, and recall that on fourth grade math and reading and eighth grade math there was little difference on the tests while on eighth grade reading public schools lagged. This suggests that contra Spellings, modest investments in public schools could yield much bigger dividends.
I totally agree with you. That wind farm is not a great source of visual pollution and is unlikely to present a problem for tourism or marine life. The move seems to be about rich people avoiding a minor perturbation on their view of the horizon and that is it. What Nonsense.