Prosecute the torture.

September 30, 2004

Spin the Tale on the FOX

You got to hand it to Linda Vester -- she tries her damnedest to keep spinning for the Bushies no matter what obstacles come her way. Yesterday's roadblock came in the form of a guest on the show who was obviously supposed to put a happy face on the Iraq quagmire but who instead spoke the plain truth to the DaySide with Linda Vester audience.

Ms. Vester announced the segment by saying that they were always on the lookout for good stories on Iraq to balance the bad. Unfortunately that is what passes for journalism these days (and not just on FOX News): you can't just report significant events -- you must give equal time to the 'other side' of a story no matter how much that may distort the presentation of the 'news.'


Ms. Vester's guest was Ali Salhi who was identified as the Chair of Iraq Security & Economic Committee (who was a Kurdish opposition leader who spent the past 30 years in exile in South Dakota). The problem for Ms. Vester (and Faux News and Bush) is that Mr. Salhi did not stick to the FOX approved script.

While Vester repeatedly tried to get him to say how well the situation was going in Iraq, Salhi couldn't help but to say that after his recent visit to Iraq, he thought that the situation on the ground there looked worse than it did on TV. Vester kept prompting him for a rosy perspective on the prospect of holding scheduled elections there in January but Salhi was pessimistic that elections could take place given the massive violence in many areas.

Vester then floated Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's ideas on limited elections in Iraq ("Let's" say you tried to have an election and you could have it in three-quarters or four-fifths of the country. But in some places you couldn't because the violence was too great," Rumsfeld said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Well, so be it. Nothing's perfect in life, so you have an election that's not quite perfect. Is it better than not having an election? You bet," he said.) but Salhi did not take the bait.

The best Vester could get was to have the poor guy say that he was hopeful that one day Iraq would be the kind of place where one could hold an election (without the fear, say, of being blown up or kidnapped on the way to the polls).

Thanks again, Linda!

You never fail to provide good grist for the blog mill!

September 28, 2004

Hometown Boy Gets Dissed


Crawford's own Lone Star Iconoclast newspaper has endorsed Kerry.

They went with Bush four years ago.

[Insert your own suitably snarky comment here.]



Are We Being Set Up?

First things first, while I have no formal schooling in survey research back in the day I worked at more than a couple market research companies and political polling departments (including SRBI and NBC's Election Division) from being a lowly interviewer to Head Field Supervisor to Coding Director and I have to say something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

I'm certainly no expert on the subject, but it doesn't take an expert to know that if your sample sucks (no cell phones called which leaves out many younger, more Kerry-friendly voters who only use cell phones) and if you screen out people who have only recently registered (in the middle of a historically massive voter registration drive conducted by Dem-friendly groups) and if you weight the whole damn survey in favor of Republicans, you may just get flawed results.

Gallop's latest poll interviewed 12% more Republicans than Democrats even though nothing would suggest that there are 12% more Republicans than Democrats in the voting population.

A paranoid person might think we are being set up to think that everyone likes Bush and we should jump on the winning team or to dismiss any possible idea of thievery on a grand scale this time around because, after all, Bush was way ahead in the polls all along.

September 24, 2004

Fox News Journalist of the Week

Today on "DaySide with Linda Vester" Canadian Journalist Scott Taylor who had been kidnapped in Northern Iraq and managed to escape was interviewed by Ms. Vester. In the course of the interview it was revealed that Mr. Taylor had been handed over to the kidnappers by American-paid Iraqi police and that he and his captors moved easily throughout Iraq in full sight of Iraqi police.

Upon hearing this, Linda Vester first asked for clarification and when Mr. Taylor confirmed that the Iraqi police (whom according to Bush and Allawi we will soon rely upon to run elections) were indeed collaborating with the insurgents, she quickly cut Taylor off and switched the subject to torture he endured in captivity.

No other questions were asked of Mr. Taylor about Iraqi police particpation by either Ms. Vester or the audience members.

And that is why we are awarding Linda Vester with the coveted:
Fox News Journalist of the Week Award

After all, it takes a REAL journalist to step all over and squash the bigger story to make sure you don't conflict with the Party Line on Iraq.

Congratulations to Linda!!

They Say A Picture Is Worth...


He Said/He Said

During any election it's almost natural for things to devolve into He Said/He Said, but this year's presidential election is becoming the mental equivalent of watching a Ping-Pong match (on acid). If the back and forth has got you crazy, this blog entry is NOT designed to help because this entry chronicles recent He Said/He Said's, but both "he's" are Bush (or Bush Administration Officials). For example:

On the one hand:
Regarding the latest bleak National Intelligence Estimate of Iraq's future, Bush said, "Life could be lousy, life could be OK, life could be better. And they were just guessing as to what the conditions might be like."
...And on the other:
Bush said he misspoke and should have used the word "estimate" instead of the word "guess."

* * * * *

On the one hand:
Still on the subject of Iraq, Bush said the following (all in the space of 11 seconds), "And they want us to leave. That's what they want us to do. And, I think the world would be better off if we did leave...if we did...
And on the other:
...if we didn't...If, if, if we left, the world would be worse...The world is better off with us not leaving" (Click HERE to listen to audio file.)

* * * * *

On the one hand:
When asked about holding elections in Iraq in January, Bush said, "The fifth and most important step in our plan is to help Iraq conduct free, national elections no later than next January. An Iraqi electoral commission is now up and running and has already hired personnel and is making key decisions about election procedures."
...And on the other:
Bush's Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said, "Let's say you tried to have an election and you could have it in three-quarters or four-fifths of the country. But in some places you couldn't because the violence was too great. Well, so be it. Nothing's perfect in life, so you have an election that's not quite perfect. Is it better than not having an election? You bet."

* * * * *


But maybe the best example of Bush He Said/He Said was chronicled by Patricia J. Williams in her September 16th "Diary Of A Mad Law Professor" column in The Nation. As she put it:

"More prominent were the crazy-making contradictions flowing from the White House: A vote for Kerry means that the terrorists will strike again. Vote for Bush because the terrorists are going to strike again anyway. A vote for Kerry means that the danger will increase. Vote for Bush because the danger is increasing all the time. Oh and by the way, we've never been safer."

And Now for Something Completely Different...

If the above made your head hurt, here's a campaign commercial to make it all better:

http://www.n3t.net/humor/Seriously.mpg

September 20, 2004

Telling Letter in the P-G

Today the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a letter from, the Chairman of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County Robert A Glancy. Mr Glancy writes that he's commenting on a recent editorial. Although there's enough of a disconnect between the P-G's editorial and Mr Glancy's letter that I wonder whether Mr Clancy understands what he reads.

Glancy starts by saying that the P-G manages:
To repeat the claims about President Bush's National Guard Service with which Dan Rather made a fool of himself last week after breathlessly going on the air to report on what appear to be not only forgeries, but not particularly good ones at that.
Yet, this is what the P-G actually wrote:


Let's talk about Vietnam for a minute and then put it out of the way once and for all, since what we really need to discuss are the very real, painful issues confronting Americans today.

First, you were in Vietnam and you were wounded there. You certainly didn't get hurt as badly as some other people did, but you were there and you were under enemy fire. George W. Bush, a pilot for the National Guard at the same time, stayed nice and safe and comfortable in Texas, Alabama and Harvard, thanks to his daddy's connections and money. Period.
Where did the P-G mention Rather's claims for which he "made a fool of himself"? Did the P-G mention the Killian memos in some other edition? Did I miss them? Or was Mr Glancy trying, just like his co-conspirators in the White House, to deflect any attention on Bush's military record by focusing instead on the Killian Memos? There are whole reams of authentic documents that prove exactly what the P-G was talking about. The RCAC's website states that

Next there's this:
[The editorial manages] To portray the war on terror which has -- at a tragic but inescapable cost -- made America safer into some sort of personal vendetta of the president, since American presidents ought to act to protect our nation only when French troops are willing to march into battle with American soldiers.
And here is what the P-G actually wrote:

The Iraq war. You voted for it when Congress approved it because you, like almost everyone else, didn't believe the president would lie to us or get the intelligence behind his case for the war wrong. You, like the rest of us, know now that that was wrong.

Where we are now is that George Bush is getting our soldiers killed -- a thousand so far -- in pursuit of a war to make himself a war president, a president whom the rest of us are supposed to support and give another term. Yet this is a war that he got us into, with unclear objectives, a war he doesn't know how to get us out of.

He is also spending way too much of the public's money -- at least $200 billion so far -- in pursuit of his war, putting money into the pockets of Halliburton and other companies that finance his political campaign. Yet you know what we need that money for -- to fund Medicare, to preserve Social Security, to repair our roads and bridges, to put enough teachers in our schools so that Mr. Bush's claim of "no child left behind" will not be just a cruel joke.
Notice again, what Glancy says the P-G says and how little of it actually resembles what the P-G really says. He says that the P-G feels that the Iraq war is a "personal vendetta" implying that it's not. But where is that in the P-G editorial? There is the point about how the war is lining the pockets of Bush's political supporters. But isn't that, in fact, true? Isn't Halliburton, for example, making millions, if not billions off this war? To think otherwise is to assert that the capitalists in Dick Cheney's old company are not interested in profit. Which is absurd - haven't they heard? War is good for business. (Go take a look - it's rule number 35)

Please note the "French troops" line. Wow, those Republicans have such wonderful comedy writers! When challenged about the Iraq war, just mention The French - that'll make everyone laugh their way out of treason!

There's more to the Glancy's letter. Same old, same old from the "Blame Clinton First" crowd. He's to blame (or didn't you know) for the Enron scandal. Give them time, I am sure they can pin the Lindburgh kidnapping on Clinton.

I find it interesting that Bob Glancy would be troubled by the P-G's "misstating the facts." Take a look here. According to the article, Glancy made a number of misstatements about a number of different things. Perhaps Mr Glancy should not throw so many stones, living as he does in a glass house.

September 15, 2004

Do we have to do this AGAIN??

Yesterday, when he spoke at the General Conference of the National Guard Association of the United States, the current occupant of the White House said this:

I have made a pledge to those who wear the uniform that they will have the resources and the tools they need to do their jobs. That's why I went to the United States Congress last September and requested $87 billion for vital funding -- funding for our troops in harm's way, funding for those who wear the uniform of America in Afghanistan and Iraq. I was pleased with the overwhelming bipartisan support for this important funding request. Matter of fact, the support was so strong, that only 12 members of the United States Senate voted against it. Two of whom are my opponent and his running mate.

They asked him why and he said: Well, I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it. Then they said, well, they pressed him for it, he said he was proud of his vote. And finally he said the whole thing was a complicated matter. There's nothing complicated about supporting our troops in combat.

So Bush is still misleading the National Guard.

Here's the story about that $87 Billion - There were a couple of funding bills proposed. John Kerry is quoted as saying that the bill he supported would have "reduced the tax cut on the wealthiest Americans."

The truth is that Bush threatened to veto that bill it if arrived at his desk. So think of that for a moment. Had this other bill arrived at the Oval Office, one that would have funded the already underfunded troops by rolling back part of the tax cut to his rich friends, Bush would have said, "No!" But he didn't say that to the cheering crowd yesterday. Georgie Dubya Bush, shirker of his duties at the Texas National Guard, lied to members of the very organization he fled 30 years ago.

Bush also said "there's nothing complicated about supporting our troops in combat." Note the change in the verb, by the way. It went from "funding" to "supporting." This little rhetorical sleight of hand is designed to spin this lie into something much much worse: John Kerry doesn't support the troops.

All because he wanted to roll back part of Bush's tax cut to the wealthy.

September 14, 2004

Soul Mates

We all know about the super special relationship that Bush has with Putin...an understanding they share...almost like love at first site (After his first meeting with Putin, Bush said he looked into the eyes of his Russian counterpart and "gotten a sense of his soul"). It's a beautiful thing. And when two are so close they can at times finish each others thoughts, indeed they can begin to resemble each other.

So it should come as no surprise that both Bush and Putin might share some of the same ideas when it comes to the subject of politicals and ruling their nations. Indeed, Bush has said, "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm dictator."

Putin now wants to do a wee bit of reorganizing of his government that would give him a wee leg-up (On Monday, Putin demanded an overhaul of Russia's political system, including an end to the direct popular election of governors, saying the changes were needed to combat terrorism.)

It would seem that Bush has also had governors and elections on his mind (Kismet!) as Reuters has reported that despite a court injunction, Nader will be on the ballot for the election in Florida -- a state whose governor is Bush's big bro -- and a move which will undoubtedly give Bush his own leg-up in terms of seeking power.

September 12, 2004

Paper Trail

It's become apparent that the only real way to determine if the Killian Memos are legitimate or forgeries is to have experts view the original documents. To that end -- and at great monetary expense and possible risk to our very lives -- 2 Political Junkies has secured one of the original memos (see below) referenced in the 60 Minutes story.



OK, OK, no angry letters on the above 'document' puhleeeeze. But it did cross the mind of this political junkie that Karl Rove is more than capable of pulling off this type of dirty trick and Paul Begala floated the same theory on Crossfire later that day (that the memos were planted by the Republicans to create a distraction from the real story). Certainly the authenticity question of the Killian memos has shifted the focus of the story away from the legitimate questions about George Bush's Guard service brought up in the Boston Globe and US News & World Report.

But just in case you still care to decry the "obvious" forgery of the memos, check out the following discussions at Daily Kos (Thread 1, Thread 2, Thread 3) and Eschaton.

September 9, 2004

The Beginning of the End

It's good to be here. Now there are truly 2 political junkies present.

This is a must read. The only problem is that you'll have to sit through a commercial to read it. Here is first paragraph:
On Feb. 13, as controversy swirled around President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, the White House released more than 400 pages of documents on the press corps, proving, it claimed, that Bush had served honorably and fulfilled his commitment. The sudden rush of records, often redundant, jumbled and out of chronological order, generally left reporters baffled. From Bush's point of view, the document dump was a political success, as the controversy cooled and the paper trail ran dry.
And now the set up for the piece:
In retrospect, it's doubtful that even White House aides understood all the information embedded in the records, specifically the payroll documents. It's also unlikely they realized how damaging the information could be when read in the proper context. Seven months later, the document dump is coming back to haunt the White House, thanks to researcher Paul Lukasiak, who has spent that time closely examining the paperwork, and more important, analyzing U.S. Statutory Law, Department of Defense regulations, and Air Force policies and procedures of the 1960s and 1970s. As a result, Lukasiak arrived at the overwhelming conclusion that not only did Bush walk away from his final two years of military obligation, coming dangerously close to desertion, but that he attempted to cover up his absenteeism through swindle and fraud.
It's a devastating indictment of the man sitting in the Oval Office. And much of the original information can be found here.

Finally the so-called liberal media (hereafter: "SCLM") is doing its job. A job that should have been done 4 years ago - and maybe even 4 years before that.


September 7, 2004

US Troop Death Toll in Iraq Tops 1,000



What can be said at this point that hasn't already been said better elsewhere...The lies and promises that got us into this war...The lack of planning for the "catastrophic success?"

What does the Bush Administration have to say on this dark day about Iraq and the War on Terror? Why only that voting for Kerry will lead to "devastating" terror attacks.

Hell, let's just call off the election right now.

Tom Tomorrow Arrested

This Modern World is a savagely funny comic strip of the lefty persuasion (and shame on you if you aren't already familiar with it). Click HERE to read the author's harrowing account of his arrest at the Republican Convention in New York City.

Spare Change?

Those of you who just don't know what to do with your discretionary income now that you can no longer donate to the Kerry Presidential Campaign might want to check out the Texans for Truth website and contribute to their fund to air their ad entitled "AWOL" (one guess who it's about).



To view the ad click HERE

To view a nifty timeline on W's time in the Guard click HERE

Share the Love

Correct quote:
"Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country."
- George W Bush, September 6, 2004


September 6, 2004

New Bushism Born Today

It went pretty much like this (I was laughing too hard to write it down as he was saying it):

"Too many OB-GYN's are having to get out of the business. Too many OB-GYN's are unable to practice their love with women all across the country."


- George W Bush, September 6, 2004