Friday, October 08, 2004



NYT/Adam Nagourney/Richard W.Stevenson- In New Attacks, Bush Pushes Limit on the Facts
"...Mr. Bush pushed the limits of subjective interpretation and offered exaggerated or what some Democrats said were distorted accounts of Mr. Kerry's positions on health care, tax cuts, the Iraq war and foreign policy...analysts, including some Republicans, said Mr. Bush was repeatedly taking phrases and sentences out of context, or cherry-picking votes, to provide an unfavorable case against Mr. Kerry...On foreign policy, analysts said, many of Mr. Bush's assertions fall into a gray area between opinion and distortion.."

Juan Cole- Bombs in Taba, Multan, Baghdad Signal Failure of War on Terror
"The Bush administration thinks the problem is rogue states. But the real problem is radical terrorist groups. Bush has done all too little about the latter. Most of the al-Qaeda officials captured have been taken by the Pakistani military, so that this vital task has actually been outsourced. But where the Pakistani military wants to coddle an al-Qaeda-linked group, like the Army of the Prophet's Companions, it does, and Bush seems too weak to stop it. Bush and Cheney want now to overthrow Syria and Iran, pushing them into the sort of instability we have seen in Iraq."

Informed Comment- Conditions In Iraq
"Zaid al-Ali, an Iraqi attorney who has practiced in New York and Paris, returned to his native land recently and wrote about what he saw."

Thomas Oliphant- Cheney's fading credibility
"The reason behind Cheney's dramatic misstatement of an easily verifiable fact is revealing. It helps explain why Cheney's performance overall may have been helpful to George Bush in its appeal to already rabid Republicans, but why Edwards's was more helpful to John Kerry in its stronger appeal to the undecided or still-persuadable."

NYT/Kessler- War's Rationales Are Undermined Again/Bush's Credibility Further Damaged
"One by one, official reports by government investigators, statements by former administration officials and internal CIA analyses have combined to undermine many of the central rationales of the administration's case for war with Iraq -- and its handling of the post-invasion occupation."

NYT/Goodman- The Myth of "Security Moms"
"Never mind all the anecdotes about undecided moms scared straight into the arms of the president. They are, by and large, voting for Bush because they already are Republicans. Ta da. They are more likely to align with the president on questions of faith and values than security. I never could figure why Bush would make women in particular feel safer."

LA Times/Carlson- (Flip-Flopping's a Good Thing--Who Knew?) Bush Fails to 'Flip-Flop' Despite Evidence Policies Are Failing
"Embrace Flip-Flopping, Be the Flip-Flopper....People just need to look at the carnage on the nightly news, their shrinking paychecks and their escalating doctor bills to know that Bush's steadfastness is stubbornness. His insistence that he's always right means he can't get off the wrong track."

Reuters- Turn Down Your Thermostats-Get Out the Blankets and Wool Sweaters/You're Going to Pay out The Ying-Yang for Heat This Winter
"American consumers will feel the effects of record-high crude oil prices with winter home heating oil bills jumping about 28 percent and natural gas costs rising by 15 percent, the U.S. government said on Wednesday."

American Prospect/Meyerson- "Imperfect Elections"-Blot Out the Vote-It will be difficult for many to vote in Iraq -- and, incredibly, in America.
"Yesterday the Democrats unveiled a task force that will guide the efforts of the thousands of volunteer lawyers whom the party plans to deploy at the polls and in the courts on Election Day, to ensure that the United States defends the right to vote in Cincinnati as urgently as it does in Samarra."

LA Times/Bob Drogin and Greg Miller- Bush lied, soldiers died: Iraq's illicit weapons gone since early '90s, CIA says
"Saddam Hussein did not produce or possess any weapons of mass destruction for more than a decade before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq last year, according to a comprehensive CIA report released Wednesday. Hussein intended to someday reconstitute his illicit programs and rebuild at least some of his weapons if United Nations sanctions were eased and he had the opportunity, the report concluded. But the Iraqi regime had no formal, written strategy to revive the banned programs after sanctions, and no staff or infrastructure in place to do so, the investigators found. The report said that Hussein's illicit-weapons capability was "essentially destroyed" after the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and was never rebuilt. It said Hussein considered the U.N. sanctions "an economic stranglehold" that in effect curbed his ability to build or develop weapons in the ensuing 12 years." Brown- The Return Of The World Warriors
"As the Bush administration's purported objectives for invading Iraq turn out to be strawmen, there's been an uptick in rhetoric about the Iraq as a front in the global war on terror. And it's working. Unfortunately, few on the left or the right are willing to challenge this notion that 9/11 launched the United States into a "world war." Certainly not the current Democratic contenders. But the real intellectual heavyweights behind the "World War IV" concept come from the right. Here, Brown -- a former diplomat -- argues that the belief we're in a "world war" is not only wrong, it's dangerous."

Media Matters- FRAUD: Russert Knew Cheney Lied About Not Meeting Edwards, But Withheld the Info
"Following the October 5 vice presidential debate, NBC's Meet the Press host Tim Russert repeated without challenge Vice President Dick Cheney's claim that Cheney had never met Senator John Edwards until the debate, but Russert knew Cheney's claim was false: Cheney and Edwards appeared on the same 2001 broadcast of Meet the Press. Russert said on the October 6 edition of NBC's Today show: "I thought that John Edwards would call him [Cheney] on it right at that very moment."

CAP/Alterman and McLeary- Think Again: Torturous Logic, Media Silence
"The all-encompassing rhetoric surrounding the 'war on terror' has been used by conservatives to sell the American public everything from tax cuts to the expansion of the federal government to the invasion a country that posed no discernable threat. At the same time, these same conservatives have portrayed anyone who points out these contradictions as near treasonous, recalling George Orwell's maxim: "The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them." Regarding, for instance, Abu Ghraib, conservatives almost hit for the cycle, with Donald Rumsfeld repeatedly ignoring reports of torture, President Bush insisting that Americans simply do not do such things, and Rush Limbaugh claiming that the abuse was little more than frat boy-style hazing."

Alvin York and Tonight's Debate

Alvin York and Tonight's Debate
"I don't remember whether I was working on a farm or on a road when war first broke out. But when we came in I was driving steel and blasting on the road that is now called the York Highway. I was earning a dollar and sixty cents a day. Had anybody at the time said the road was going to be named for me, I would have told him that I didn't believe it ever would."

--from Sgt. Alvin York's diary
As we draw near to the time of tonight's debate, I think about the two men who will be standing in front of America.

One is a leader who lost the popular American election, yet still got into office by a combination of luck, the Supreme Court, the electoral college, and cronyism. The worst attack on American citizens in history happened on his watch. He lied to America in order to convince its citizens to believe a war in Iraq was necessary, when we know it never was. I am so sad for our nation. I am so concerned for our fighting men and women.

The other man is a veteran of the war in Vietnam. It wasn't a war in which he wished to fight. It wasn't a war any of our soldiers wanted to fight, but John Kerry did his duty in Vietnam. He saw it through. He saved lives. He killed for his country. He saw it through.

On this day in our nation's history, Corporal Alvin C. York is credited with single-handedly killing 25 German soldiers and capturing 132 in the Argonne Forest of France. The action saved York's small detachment from annihilation by a German machine-gun nest and won the reluctant warrior, who halied from backwater Tennessee, the Congressional Medal of Honor.

In 1917, two months after the United States had declared war on Germany, Alvin York received his draft notice.

Because his church opposed war, he asked for conscientious objector status, but he was denied at both the state and local level because the small Church of Christ in Christian Union was not recognized as a legitimate Christian sect. Enlisting in the 82nd Infantry Division, he was offered noncombat duty but eventually agreed to fight after being convinced by a superior that America's cause was just.

Alvin York trusted that his nation's cause was just.

What soldier can confidently say that today with a known incompetent---a known misleader--as commander in chief?

If anyone can truly say they love this great country of ours, regardless of partisanship, they need to realize that this particular leader and his administration are corrupt to the core. It will take a transcendence of ego for the right wing pundits to understand that the nation's best interests are far more important than the Republican party's interests. It will take new leadership to turn this ill course around and to regain not only the world's trust, but more importantly, America's trust.

When John Kerry steps up to speak tonight, think of Alvin York's contribution to America. York wound up to be a hero, a word that would have, no doubt, sounded absurd to him in the days leading up to that fateful day, October 8, 1918.

I see John Kerry as our generation's absurd hero. He never expected to go to Vietnam, but he served when called. Fate lead him to save the life of a brother-in-arms. Bush hovered behind in the 1960s and pulled easy duty stateside. I think John Kerry was brave. I think George Bush was not brave.

In 2002, John Kerry trusted Bush to be presidential when Kerry gave Bush the necessary authority on the Iraq decision, much as Alvin York trusted his nation's cause. Bush let us down miserably and his pride and fear of political damage will not allow him to admit his misleading or his incompetence. John Kerry is sorry he ever trusted George Bush. I'm sorry John Kerry trusted Bush. Bush wasn't trustworthy.

I believe it's John Kerry's fate to be the one to turn America in the right direction. I trust he will do it.

Blog Recommendation

Blog Recommendation

"I have lived nearly sixty years with myself and my own century and am not so enamoured of either as to desire no glimpse of a world beyond them."

~C.S. Lewis, "De Audiendis Poetis", Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature

I read a lovely blog today and wanted to share it with my readers. Arevanye does a great job of displaying a daily C.S. Lewis reading along with colorful illustrations and/or photos. The link:

The Window in the Garden Wall: daily quotes from the works of C.S. Lewis

Media: Is there still a place for truth

Media: Is there still a place for truth?
Kirsty Milne/Scotsman
For anyone accustomed to the partisan British press, the attack mode is familiar, but the mainstream US media has been slow to grasp what is happening. Fox is dismissed as "a boutique operation", yet during the Republican convention, it had more viewers than any of the three major TV networks.

Fox is not a boutique. It is a noisy shopping mall, the Walmart of the airwaves. Liberal America does not watch and therefore does not understand it - in the way that liberal Britain does not read, or understand, the Sun - but knows that something monstrous is out there....

.....the avid audience for Fox and other partisan outlets suggests a more complicated picture...It is easy to make fun of the [American journalists'] handwringing, which is more conscientious than the UK media - other than the BBC - would ever attempt. But the effect on readers, viewers and journalists is comparable to the impact of the Kelly affair. Who can be trusted? Where are the credible sources of information? Or are they all contaminated?

.... Meanwhile, the 2004 election campaign is passing the conventional media by. Excitement has come, not from networks or newspapers, but from blogs, books and films....

...For US journalists, who take themselves and their ethics seriously, the question is urgent. In this clamour of partisan voices, is there still a market for truth?

Related blog article:
BLOGGERS: Documenting the Media Coup of 2004
Teaching Newspeople the value of impartiality.
Holding them accountable for their crimes...captured in millions of recording homes
by Anonymoses

Evan Williams, Blogger co-founder, leaving Google

Evan Williams, Blogger co-founder, leaving Google

Evan Williams, co-founder of Blogger/Pyra, is leaving Google to pursue independent interests. He says he's going to be informally advising, on an as-needed basis and that Blogger is in excellent hands. He says he wouldn't feel comfortable leaving at all if he didn't believe that. He's optimistic about Blogger's future.

I'd like to thank Even for all that he's done for me, a blogger who knew nothing about blogging until Evan made it possible and, thankfully, easy.

Best of luck, Evan.