"On Topic" With Doug Krile

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

We're Back

Finally.  Folks, we've been through a death in the family - my father in law.  He was not only my wife's Dad, but a really good friend to me.  But, it was a good weekend, culminated by an internment at Arlington National Cemetery yesterday morning.  And a wonderful chance for all the sisters and cousins, etc to get together and share. Our daughter and a friend flew in. Our son and his fiance flew in.  The other sisters and their children were there, so we were all together for a reunions, of sorts. And that is what Ted would have wanted.  We ate a lot of food, convinced the bar people in the hotel to feed us well and let us have some space.  All in all,  a wonderful experience. More on that later.  We'll get back to normal posts tomorrow, assuming I get my bags unpacked tonight!


One other thing, if you're from the upper midwest, read "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" by Bill Bryson.  It's an hilarious account of growing up in Iowa in the 1950's, as did I.  He's a wonderful writer.  My wife snagged the book for me and I read it ALL on the flights home today.  I was laughing out loud!  Really!  Go and have some fun.  Politics to follow.


|

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Posting Update

Blog posts will be sparse for the next few days. I have a ton of family stuff to do, but will try to keep a few posts fresh through Tuesday!


|

Another List Grows Longer

My, oh my.  He's been tap-dancing around the allegations for a while now.  Looks like ABC might just have the goods.


Mark Foley scandal grows - Former House Clerk says GOP Rep. Kolbe was a problem as well, apparently this was known for years



So now we have a potential cover-up of two GOP members of Congress who were "overly-friendl" with Pages. "A source close to former House Clerk Jeff Trandahl told ABC News that Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) was one of a small number of "problem members" of [...]


Tags: , ,



|

They Just Got It Wrong

Flat wrong.  No arguing this one, my friends.


Ohio GOP Smears Al Franken In Press Release With Doctored Photo, Fabricated Quote



Yesterday, the Ohio Republican Party sent out a news release (full text here) attacking Rep. Sherrod Brown (D) for enlisting the support of comedian Al Franken: "It is not surprising that Sherrod Brown is enlisting the help of a Hollywood liberal, who like him, is so far out of the mainstream of Ohio values. What is [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Hell May Be Freezing Over

I can't recall EVER hearing of anything like this in a campaign ad, can you?  Hattip to Talking Points Memo.


Sign of the...



Sign of the times watch. Embattled GOPer Clay Shaw is running a radio ad bragging on how well he got along with Bill Clinton [...]


Tags: ,



|

Political Polls

Everybody has one.  Here's the latest from one of the biggies - Zogby:


Zogby Poll: Dems 11 Points Ahead in House Races



A new Zogby-Reuters poll finds that 44% of voters are more likely to support Democratic candidates in House races in November. Only 33% were likely to support Republican candidates.  On the issues: "Asked to rank which party they thought was better suited to handle 13 pressing issues facing [...]


Tags: ,



|

And the Bubble Goes "Pop"

Really disappointing news on the housing front today.  AGAIN today. Dave Johnson has a grim prediction -


Today's Housing Bubble Post - BIGGEST PRICE DROP IN 35 YEARS!



NOW it's starting - but only starting. This kind of news will shake up sellers and wake up buyers. Home price drop is largest in 35 years, [...]


Tags: ,



|

Back Off

Rumsfeld was lost in the idealistic ozone today.  Ain't gonna happen.


Back Off?



You ought to just back off, take a look at it, relax, understand that it’s complicated, it’s difficult… Honorable people are working on these things together. There isn’t any daylight between them. - Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld No, I don’t think I will. Criticizing the actions of your government is as American as apple pie. [...]


Tags:



|

Fundraising Tactics

Republican-style.  I wonder if the Dems ever do anything like this?  Feel free to enlighten me!


Fundraising, Republican Style



A reader in Washington recently bought a house from a very conservative elderly man, and apparently the efficient folks at the National Republican Senatorial Committee have now started sending him their fundraising appeals. He sent me a copy [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Playing Politics

Look what's happening as we come down to the wire.  Any explanations?  Beyond the obvious, of course.


Total GOP Collapse in NY, PA, and Ohio



A strange thing is happening in Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania. In all three states there is a governor's race and a Senate race. In all three states those elections are beginning to look like total blowouts. New York: Governor: Eliot Spitzer: 70% John Faso: 22% [...]


Tags:



|

Calls For Rumsfeld's Resignation

Add another Republican to the still small, but growing, list of members of Congress who want a change at the Pentagon.


Republican in tough race for re-election calls for Rumsfeld’s resignation



Another Republican calls for Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation as Secretary of Defense: Louisville, Kentucky. - A Republican locked in a tight congressional race with a harsh critic of the Iraq war said Wednesday that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld should be replaced. Rep. Anne Northup, a five-term incumbent, also called for a change of course in Iraq, a stark [...]


Tags: ,



|

One Way of Looking At It

With a bunch of Republicans involved in a bunch of scandals, here's the way "GOP Bloggers" looks at the problem, complete with a laundry list of examples...


Republican Party's Superior Ethics



The Republican party is surely not perfectly good and the Democratic party is surely not perfectly bad. But the Republicans do have a better record of punishing misbehavior while the Democrats are more willing to let it slide in the interest of [...]


Ads by AdGenta.com



|

Talk Among Friends

This could, possibly, be one of the best interview posts ever.  Trust me.  Follow the link. You'll be amazed.


Bush: "There's some kind of reward during Ramadan for violence"



What's the reward for being a bigot? Interview needs to be read to be believed.


Tags: ,




|

The Numbers Are Growing

They started with 65.  Take a look at how many they have now.


U.S. troops on active duty call for Iraq withdrawal



More than 200 active duty U.S. armed service members, fed up with the war in Iraq, have joined an unusual protest calling for withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country, organizers said on Wednesday.  The campaign, called the Appeal for Redress from the War in Iraq, is the [...]


Tags: ,



|

The Negligent Press

It's difficult to argue against it.  Still, when the media does its job, critics start screaming.  Just look at the gang in the comments over at Olbermann Watch, where I'm debating Robert Cox over Countdown With Keith Olbermann.  And consider these thoughts from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr...


Robert Kennedy Jr.: 'We Have A Negligent Press In This Country'



Robert Kennedy Jr. blasted everyone from polluters to politicians to the press today during a speech today at the American Magazine Conference in Phoenix that was, by his own admission, a long, rambling, passionate digression. "We have a negligent press in this country," Kennedy Jr. said, one [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Political Prognostications

Spend some time with this one. Looking-ahead polling, analyzed at Daily Kos, provided by USA Today/Gallop.


What Democrats Would Do, Part II



Part I was here, with speculation by the pundits. Gallup has a fascinating poll analysis out (free today only) on what the public thinks Democrats might do should they control both chambers, and what they want Democrats to do (not the same thing) [...]


Tags: , ,



|

It's Enough To Make Ya' Worry

I wonder how many times we'll see this in the next week and a half.  I'm sure it was an honest error.  Just a secretary who forgot to send a memo.  Sure.....


WaPo Reveals Hidden Work by Diebold in Maryland as Thousands of System Boards Were Replaced in Secret!



And so it begins! Today the Washington Post has revealed, in a superbly written and investigated story, that Diebold secretly made modifications to thousands of their voting machines in Maryland and that everyone involved seems to have forgotten to tell the State Board of Elections about it. It seems that after [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Don't Look Now

But, the military buildup in the Persian Gulf is continuing and we're not alone anymore.  Oh, by the way, Blogger isn't having a good day today.  Connectivity is dicey and the servers seem to be kicking back more errors than normal. One of these days, we'll make some changes, bite the bullet and move!


UPDATE: Blogger just notified everyone of ANOTHER outage, late Thursday afternoon.  After 90 minutes or so, they say things should be normal. So, if you're reading this Thursday evening, all should be well.  If you can't read it, the "fix" obviously didn't work!  Now, back to the serious stuff.


US naval war games off the Iranian coastline



Did we discuss this already? I have been 'sleepwalking' for a few weeks now, so I just want to make sure I'm not bringing up old news. I remember we were discussing naval ships being deployed to the gulf a while back. According to this article, there are a few other countries 'deploying' their ships. Seems like it's just a practice 'get together' though, and they are just playing a few war [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Reading Between The Lines

Sometimes, what they say is just downright bothersome.  And frightening.  What do you think Rove means about "the" math?  Maybe I've been hanging around the fringes for too long, but it kind of sounds like they know something the rest of us don't, doesn't it?  You just have to love those electronic voting machines.....


Rove Says He's Entitled to "The" Math For The Elections



Yes that's right. Karl Rove is looking at "the" math for the upcoming elections... not the numbers that you and I are reading. He is very optimistic about the upcoming elections. He said so on NPR's "Radio Day" with Robert Siegal. (transcript here. scroll down) MR. SIEGEL: I'm looking at all the same polls that you're looking at every day. MR. ROVE: No you're not. No you're not! MR. SIEGEL: [...]



Booman Tribune blog has some more detailed thoughts about what could be happening:


What's Making Karl Rove So Optimistic about the Election?



... Rove would only want to to use NPR to spread this message in order to sow doubt in the minds of Democrats and Independent voters. And why would he want to sow doubt in the minds of people likely to vote against him? There are only two likely possibilities [...]




Tags: , , ,



|

Political Advertising

I post this with a bit of trepidation, because it swings both ways.  Good ads and bad ads both seem to influence voters. The problem with this research is that is supports my concern that voters are influenced directly by the ads; they don't always take note of the ad and then research it on their own before deciding.


The Michael J. Fox Effect



A new national study revealed that voters' support for stem cell research "increased after they viewed an ad featuring Michael J. Fox in which he expresses his support for candidates who are in favor of stem cell research."   Key finding: "Republicans who indicated that they were voting for a Republican candidate decreased [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Rove's Power and Influence

It does seem to be extensive.  Perhaps "all-pervasive" is a better word.  I guess nobody noticed this before, because nobody is watching the CBS Evening News these days.


'Rove would never allow it'



On Tuesday's edition of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, CBS White House correspondent Jim Axelrod mentioned that he's spoken with some White House officials about possible changes to the president's policy for the war in Iraq. He added what should have been a rather startling comment. AXELROD: Well, the White House is in quite [...]



Over at FireDogLake blog, Christy Hardin Smith notes the same interview, and includes it in a post that widens the topic. It, too, is a must-read:


How Many More…



...Here's my question, if the boss wants to call a presser less than two weeks before an election just to yell at reporters and fillibuster questions for an hour, do [...]




Tags: , ,



|

Missouri's Stem Cell Debate

I was listening to a local news/talk station on my way home yesterday, and heard a caller make the claim discussed in the post below - that Missouri's proposed Stem Cell Ammendment should not be approved because its main purpose is to allow human cloning.  Simply not true.


Opponents of Stem Cell Research are Liars



In Missouri, Amendment 2 on the ballot this year is a proposed referendum initiative (the "Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative") which would amend Missouri's Constitution to permit any stem cell research to be conducted in that state which is otherwise permitted under Federal Law. A fairly straightforward proposal, yes? Not according to opponents of the measure such as St Louis Cardinals pitching star, Jeff Suppan, who makes the following sensational claim in a television ad: In a video copy of the ad, produced and distributed by an anti-amendment [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Nevada Two-Fer

It's a double shot of political action from Nevada today. Both via AmericaBlog.  First, it just looks so much like they're trying to keep things quiet until after the election.  But, it doesn't look like that's going to happen.


Victim of assault by Jim Gibbons, Congressman and Nevada's GOP candidate for Governor, claims pressure and bribe attempt



Nevada is becoming one of the epicenters of GOP scandals. Congressman Jim Gibbons, the GOP candidate for Governor, has a couple going on. The incident over the alleged assault just keeps on giving. Yesterday, the woman at the center of the controversy had a press conference. There's a new twist every day: [...]



And, you don't have to go very far at all to run into another issue of interest:


Nevada Republican Jon Porter refuses to release records to prove he didn't make illegal fundraising calls from office - new email evidence arises



And not only is there a former staffer alleging that Porter broke the law, but the newspaper now has internal staff emails that back up the charge. "Rep. Jon Porter refused Tuesday to release phone records or copies of his daily schedule, even though his office says the documents would disprove charges by [...]


Tags: , , ,



|

Life In Iraq

I'll take this as the real thing.  It's one you really need to watch.  And read.  And pass along.  Just click the "watch now" button at the top of the page on the embedded link.


Baghdad: A Doctor's Story



This video filmed by an Iraqi doctor is a must see. I am amazed that someone could actually film the terrible conditions inside one of Iraq's most dangerous hospitals, Al-Yarmouk Hospital in western Baghdad, in these troubled days.  I was struggling to keep my tears from flowing because I was watching it with an American friend 2 days ago. But at one point, when an injured Shi'ite woman lying in an ambulance started screaming at the camera, "Bring Saddam back! It wasn't like this under his rule!" I lost control [...]


Tags: ,



|

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Stay The Course

It's just so simple.  And Olbermann did it so well tonight. Video, of course, on the link.


Countdown: Making adjustments to the language of making adjustments



Keith Olbermann did a great run down tonight on Bush's use of "stay the course". Olbermann: "Evidently, somebody at the White House needs a little help with "The Google." Actually using a simple Google query of "stay the course" within the White House's press release directory (which includes transcripts) returns 160 [...]


Tags: , ,



|

It's A Simple Question

It really is.  Whose numbers do you believe?  How many Iraqi deaths have been recorded since we invaded?  The President has one set.  But, that's not the only set.  Not by a long shot.


Bush's Cynical Numbers Game



The President finds it convenient to insist--despite compelling evidence to the contrary-- that there have been only 30,000 post-invasion Iraqi deaths. It's a nice round number for which the White House has many [...]


Tags: ,



|

Boys and Girls

Keeping them apart.  No social interaction.  No learning to get along together.  And we can assume they won't learn to live right at home, since so many parents expect schools to raise their kids these days.  So, just when are Sally and Billy supposed to learn to get along?


Feds Make Way for Single-Sex Public Ed



Sex discrimination now fine and dandy: The Bush administration is giving public school districts broad new latitude to expand the number of single-sex classes, and even schools, in what is widely considered the most significant policy change on the issue since a landmark federal law barring sex discrimination in education more than 30 years ago. Two years in the making, the new rules, announced [...]


Tags:



|

Newsweek and Fineman

They have the first official MSM analysis of the impact the President's speech and/or news conference today might have. Bottom line?  Sound and fury, signifying nothing.


Fineman: Bush's Bad 'Benchmark' Strategy



Remember Al Gore’s mysterious “lock box?” Well, I have a new item to nominate for the Museum of Inert Campaign Rhetoric: “Benchmarks.” The president says that they are the keys to victory in Iraq. But if I’m a struggling Republican candidate—buffeted by winds of anger and confusion over the war—I’m not sure “benchmarks” will insure MY [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Limbaugh Takes It Back

Everybody thought he had apologized.  Kind of.  Well, that was yesterday.  Today, Rush Limbaugh made a complete fool out of himself over the Michael J. Fox stem cell commercial.


Limbaugh on Michael J. Fox: ‘I Take Back None of What I Said’



Rush Limbaugh is sticking to his claim that Michael J. Fox is exaggerating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease — by “acting” or “not taking his medications” — in an advertisement promoting stem cell research. The media falsely reported that he “apologized” to Fox. On his radio show today, Limbaugh said he regrets nothing. Watch it: [...]


Tags: , ,



|

News Conference - Open Discussions

It's always informative (and usually entertaining) to watch folks on both sides of the political aisle debate and discuss an issue in what's called an "open thread" on the blogs.  Essentially, that's when the blogger makes a short post and opens it up for discussion in the comments.  And pretty much anything goes.  We're going to start today with (surprised?) one of the bigger right-leaning bloggers - Blogs for Bush:


President Bush's Press Conference


From the other side, this isn't technically an "open thread", but it's developing a pretty good bunch of comments:


Presser



Mercifully I was away from the teevee, but I gather that was up to the usual high standards of these things.


Tags: , ,



|

Another Report The President Missed

Okay, so Blogger has been MIA for most of tonight. Again. I guess I'm just going to have to look for a paid provider, if we want to keep all of this going!  Feel free to read an ad or two along the way.  Now, back to your regularly scheduled posting.


Another Report the President msised.  Or, so it would seem.  He's saying one thing in the news conference this morning.  The report doesn't sound quite like it's looking at the same Iraq.


Government Agency Issues Grim Report On Iraq, Warns Of ‘Descent Into Hell’



At his press conference this morning, President Bush said we are “absolutely” winning in Iraq, but a government-funded nonpartisan agency — the U.S. Institute of Peace — has released “an unremittingly grim report” ruling out victory in Iraq. Here are three of agency’s predictions for the future of Iraq: 1. “The Long Shot to Overcome Ethnic [...]


Tags: , , ,



|

Cheney Lays It On The Line

And that's not a good thing.  Not in this case.  We're talking torture. Waterboarding.  It's amazing what these people will say when they think they're in the friendly confines of microphone after microphone belonging to conservative talk radio hosts.


Cheney: Torture is a No-Brainer



McGlatchey Newspapers: Vice President Dick Cheney has confirmed that U.S. interrogators subjected captured senior al Qaida suspects to a controversial interrogation technique called "water-boarding," which creates a sensation of drowning. Cheney indicated that the Bush administration doesn't regard water-boarding as torture and allows the CIA to use it. "It's a no-brainer for me," Cheney said at one point in [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Our Tax Dollars at Work

I know both parties are guilty of similar things.  But this certainly seems to be a bit more than one would expect.


Bush officials taking private jets at taxpayer expense.



A new report by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) “reveals that Bush agency heads have taken 125 trips to over 300 locations aboard private jets, helicopters, and other aircraft at taxpayer expense.” Taxpayer-funded travel on private jets “intensified in 2004 when President Bush was campaigning for reelection,” and “much of this travel was concentrated in electoral [...]


Tags: ,



|

Sometimes She Makes A Lot Of Sense

I don't agree with everything Arianna Huffington says, but she did take great advantage of the "FreeSpeach" segment on CBS News -


Arianna on Election Fear Factor



Arianna Huffington issues an appeal for calm in the face of election season fear-mongering: “Remember FDR.  ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’ And, of course, those who use it for their own [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Big Dogs Weigh In

They're not happy with the President's News Conference today.  Kennedy and Leahy turned it around and tossed it right back at the White House.


Kennedy, Leahy Blast Bush's Iraq Wake-Up Call



In the wake of a [link:www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/10/20061025.html|press conference] today that had George W. Bush babbling such inanities as "my view is the only way we lose in Iraq is if we leave before the job is done" and asserting that "Al Qaeda is on the run" despite the unknown [...]



And, Kerry got a few licks in, too -


Kerry: The Bush Administration Has No Iraq Plan



John Kerry weighed in today on Bush’s latest press performance on Iraq, in the East Room this morning: “The President is working overtime to change his rhetoric on Iraq when we need him to change his policy. Our heroes are paying the price for the President’s pride and stubbornness. Today’s performance was another attempt two [...]




Tags: , , ,



|

Ouch!

Slapped by the guy we put in office.  That's really gotta hurt.


Maliki slams Bush administration.



“The defiant [Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri] al-Maliki…slammed the top U.S. military and diplomatic representatives in Iraq for their Tuesday news conference at which they said his government needed to set a timetable to curb violence ravaging the country. U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said al-Maliki had agreed. ‘I affirm that this government represents the will of [...]


Tags: , , , ,



|

Here We Go...

Guess who's having problems with early voting?  Florida!!!  Who'd a thunk it?


Election chaos already started in FL early voting



I live in Palm Beach County Florida where we started early voting today. My wife and I arrived at one of 10 voting venues to vote at 11:30 am. When we arrived there were 10 people sitting alongside a wall waiting to vote. It was a narrow hallway, thus they were sitting. We were told [...]



And, apparently, that is only the beginning -


Election Watcher: Several States Ripe for Election Problems



Do you live in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Florida, Maryland, Ohio, or New York? If so, be prepared for a chaotic trip to the polls. Those are the eight "states to watch" this election season, according to the Election Reform [...]




Tags: , , ,


Ads by AdGenta.com



|

Deep Analysis

Glenn Greenwald does some really deep analysis of the the President said today in the East Room and on the rift in the Republican party.  CNN gets Al Haig to name Neocon names and explain how they've divided the party.


The President's vow today to stay in Iraq



The President's Press Conference, devoted almost exclusively to Iraq, just concluded, and the internal contradictions and incoherent claims are literally too numerous to chronicle. But there really are only a few points worth making:  First, the President repeatedly defined "losing" as "leaving before the job is done" -- "the job" being the creation of a stable, unified Iraqi government that can defend itself. And we're not leaving before the job is done, which means that we are staying forever -- or at least as far as the eye [...]



And, Mahablog has a stupendous collection of comments from various pundits.


Our Plan for Glorious Victory in Iraq



Tags: , , ,



|

The Problem With Torture

Another problem.  Let's put it that way.  Sometimes is just kills your case. Outright.


Admin may have botched prosecution of ‘20th hijacker.’



Over the objections of the Pentagon’s Criminal Investigation Task Force, Donald Rumsfeld approved abusive interrogations of alleged 9/11 accomplice Mohammed al-Qahtani. Now, military prosecutors have told the Task Force “not to worry about making a criminal case against al-Qahtani…because what had been done to him would prevent [...]


Tags: , , , ,



|

Bumped From The Comments

Here's one to watch.  Thanks Texas_Kat for the tip!  General Wesley Clark went toe to toe with O'Reilly last night.  Here's a transcript and video.  Clark is just so darn quick on his feet.  I don't think you'll have much trouble decided who came out on top on this one.


Tags: ,


Ads by AdGenta.com


|

Gird Yourselves

From the close of the President's speech (before the news conference) - "We must gird ourselves for the sacrifices ahead." (Speaking, of course, about Iraq).  Let's see now - the majority of Americans are less optimistic about the way the war is going.  "Girding for sacrifices" is supposed to help shore up the base?  Here's the handoff lateral to Martini Republic:


The Decider’s Presser



Wow. The man is forcefully incoherent. Asked why he thinks we’re winning in Iraq, he just says, “absolutely we’re winning.” The question was why — I guess he thinks he can Decide we are. Asked why this war is taking longer than World War II, he responds in Monty Python-like fashion: [...]



Another poll. Another majority.


Gallup: 54% Want Iraq Pullout Within a Year



Tags: ,



|

Limbaugh's Non-Apology

I guess you would call it a "qualified" apology.  One with a very big "IF" attached to it. Limbaugh obviously wants a future in politics.


Who’s shameless?



He also went on to accuse Fox of giving people false hope, by implying that a cure lies with electing Democrats. And Limbaugh is calling Fox shameless? [...]


Tags: ,



|

The Presidential Impact

Just not working.  At least not for Sherwood.


In PA-10, Bush Visit Doesn't Help Sherwood



In Pennsylavania's 10th congressional district, a new Keystone Poll shows Chris Carney (D) leading Rep. Don Sherwood (R-PA), 48% to 39% with 13% undecided.  "Sherwood's admitted five-year, extramarital affair clearly is affecting his [...]


Tags: , ,



|

PR Problem Number Two

For the guy running for Governor in Nevada.  I'd say he has a couple of really serious issues.


"Made Her Hide In The Basement"



Republican Jim Gibbons, running for governor in Nevada, has an illegal nanny problem [...]



But, that's not all -


Bad Month To Be Jim Gibbons



...Congressman Gibbons wants to be governor of Nevada, but he keeps doing weird things like getting drunk with a cocktail waitress (not his wife) and allegedly assaulting said drunken Vegas gal — or, at the very least, trying to stuff her in a pickup truck so she could safely drive away. The new scandal is actually an old scandal that has just [...]




Tags:



|

The Bush News Conference

It's over.  React is starting to come in.  Craig Crawford just made some interesting points on MSNBC - noting that much of what the President said was carefully crafted after extensive focus group tests, all designed to reassure the American people that we're doing the right thing.  In other words, as Crawford said, there really wasn't all that much new.  And Joe Biden pointed out that key Democrats were calling for "benchmarks" a year ago.  He questions why the Administration is just now talking about them.  Now, from the blogosphere (and, note that the post also includes a damning video on the "stay the course" debate) -


Accountability Now



According to President George Bush during his hastily thrown together press conference this morning, it all depends on what the meaning of "benchmark" is, and we're going to keep on "adapting to win," because "stay the course" is so last week.  America deserves better than the same policy in Iraq [...]



From "Hotline On Call"


Bush On The Elections



Bush, on Dem hopes for a victory in Nov: "We got some people dancing in the end zone in DC, measuring their drapes. But the American people are going to decide and they're going to decide on who best to protect the American people and who best to keep the taxes low. I see that a lot of enthusiasm amongst the grassroots activists. [....]



Bush: "The Ultimate Accountability Rests With Me"



Asked about Sec/Def. Don Rumsfeld, Bush: "I've asked him to do some difficult tasks" as Sec/Def. "I've asked him to wage war on two different fronts" and "transform our military" around the world "and here at home." More Bush: "I'm satisfied of how he's done all his jobs. He's a smart, tough, capable, administrator, as [...]




Tags: , , ,



|

The Bush News Conference

It's over.  React is starting to come in.  Craig Crawford just made some interesting points on MSNBC - noting that much of what the President said was carefully crafted after extensive focus group tests, all designed to reassure the American people that we're doing the right thing.  In other words, as Crawford said, there really wasn't all that much new.  And Joe Biden pointed out that key Democrats were calling for "benchmarks" a year ago.  He questions why the Administration is just now talking about them.  Now, from the blogosphere -


Accountability Now



According to President George Bush during his hastily thrown together press conference this morning, it all depends on what the meaning of "benchmark" is, and we're going to keep on "adapting to win," because "stay the course" is so last week.  America deserves better than the same policy in Iraq [...]


Tags: , , ,



|

Wednesday Blogging

It's chilly and rainy around these parts today.  The President spent a lot of time on television this morning, talking about Iraq. We'll be digging up some posts for commentary shortly.  In the meantime, make sure you head over to the Olbermann Watch site for the latest post in the debate between that site's Robert Cox and yours truly.  He gets the latest volley.  I'll have another one by tomorrow.


Tags: ,


|

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Information Blockade

So, let's get this straight. We can send our military folks back to Iraq, over and over again.  But, we can't trust them to have access to the politics of the internet?  Can't trust them to separate fact from fiction? Yet we can put a gun in their hands and expect them to tell the good guys from the bad guys?  Come on!  This is just childish.


Freedom On the March



Guess what websites are being blocked by the Pentagon to make sure U.S. troops in Iraq don’t get any big ideas? One hint: Free Republic is coming through loud and clear! A Marine writes Wonkette: "I am currently stationed in Al Taqaddam, Iraq with the Marines…you’ve done a short piece about this before, but this is getting ridiculous. It seems that every non-conservative politics website has been blocked by our firewall guys…including your site. The reason it is blocked is because it is [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Wesley Clark and Bill O'Reilly

This must have been something to see. I'm looking for video.


General Wesley Clark Flattens Culture Warrior O'Reilly



Bill O'Reilly didn't know what hit him tonight when he pushed General Wesley Clark a bit too far. During a discussion about Iraq, O'Reilly challenged Clark about a donation from "bomb thrower" George Soros and Clark was not amused demonstrating for "culture warrior" O'Reilly the dignified strength of a true warrior. 10/23/04 [...]


Tags: ,



|

I Think We Need Some New Tech People

Obviously, nobody knew what to do to fix this problem in anything less than five months!  Glad it wasn't anything important the House Intelligence Committee was trying to read.


Flack: For Months, Tech "Snafu" Kept Key Intel Docs from Lawmakers



For five months this year, the House intelligence committee had a crucial intelligence report on the increasing threat of terrorism in the wake of the Iraq War -- yet not a single member read it. That's including the panel's chairman, [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Your Chance To Do Something

The issue is the military tribunals.  A topic for Keith Olbermann recently.  Now, there's a way to have an impact.  Just maybe.


Special Comment on the Military Commissions Act



I'm not generally much into posting things I receive in my e-mail, but this one struck me as all too appropriate. These things need to be said. They need to be heard. They need to be understood. Before the people find themselves in a brightly lit, cold prison cell [...]


Tags: ,



|

Iran. October 31?

A few bloggers are starting to throw fuel on the fire.  And, I have to admit, it's all making me a bit nervous.  Can you shrug it off as idle speculation?


Daily Kos: "Bush Iran War Plans - 4 Strike Groups in the Persian Gulf"



"Bad news. Very bad news. Another expeditionary strike group will imminently enter the Persian Gulf where it will join the Enterprise, Eisenhower and Iwo Jima strike [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Desperation and Trickery

This certainly should not be happening.  But who would have the power to stop it. Certainly not the Iraqi government.  And the police force and military are far too busy trying to keep their collective heads above the waters of war.


W is for Women



Spreading freedom…and sex trafficking.[...]Within a week of arriving in Damascus, Mona - whose name has been changed to protect her identity - had been plied with alcohol by Um Ahmad, required to dance for "friends of the factory owner" and had lost her virginity. …Mona had become another victim of the growing sex trade among an Iraqi refugee community in Syria that local NGOs now estimate at 800,000 people, and to whose plight aid agencies say [...]


Tags: , , ,



|

Prison Pictures

And, they won't be pleasant.  Nobody can shout "pre-election timing", though.  The government gets 20 days to appeal.


Judge Orders Release of Abu Ghraib Child Rape Photos



A federal judge ruled today that graphic pictures of detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison must be released over government claims that they could damage America's image. Last year a Republican senator conceded that they contained scenes of "rape and murder" and Secretary of Defense [...]


Tags: ,



|

Right Up There

With the Michael J. Fox political spots.  Follow the link via AmericaBlog for the YouTube video.


Who says Dems don't fight back?


Tags:



|

The Latest Change in Plans for Iraq

Yes, it was one of our first posts today.  But, now, the good folks in the blogosphere have had time to digest the details. Impressed?  Not from the left side of the aisle.


The latest in a long line of 'new' plans



U.S. and Iraqi officials rolled out the latest in a series of "plans" for the future of the war, but looking over the details, there are some new words, but old substance. Top U.S. officials in Iraq today predicted that Iraqi security forces could be largely self-sufficient within 12 to 18 months and said the Iraqi [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Some Are Simply Out of Touch

There are two "economies":  One for the very rich.  Another for the rest of us.


Those pesky American workers think wages are more important than GDP



When Republicans express dismay over public disappointment with the economy, it's generally indicative of how out of touch the party really is. When the New York Times does the same thing, it's just odd. In many ways, the economy has not looked so good in a long time…. But Republican candidates do not seem to be [...]


Tags: , ,


Ads by AdGenta.com



|

Afghanistan, Taliban and Opium

Some things really get me hot under the collar.  It amazes me how some people can criticize Keith Olbermann for "having his facts wrong" (Don't believe me?  Just hop on over to Olbermann Watch and check out some of the comments to the debate between the site operator and yours truly.)  At the same time, they'll profess total loyalty to the likes of Bill O'Reilly, even when he's so obviously off-base and wrong!  And, mean! Talk about Keith being "mean"! Check out this clip to learn the true meaning of "mean".


O’Reilly: Taliban Resurgence In Afghanistan Is A ‘Myth’



Yesterday on Fox News, host Bill O’Reilly tried to argue that Afghanistan has been “successful” and that “there’s no danger at all of the Taliban reclaiming that country.” At the worst, he said, the Taliban will be “annoying.” When his guest, Harvard University professor Sarah Sewall, pointed out that people on the ground disagree, O’Reilly [...]


Tags: , , ,



|

CNN vs. Rush Limbaugh

Sometimes, you just have to do what is right.  When somebody else is simply so wrong.


CNN on Michael J. Fox being attacked by Rush Limbaugh who doesn't believe Fox's Parkinson's symptoms are real



...You need to see this. CNN shows footage of Fox speaking at another event, footage in which his symptoms were just as bad as they appeared in the TV commercial he just taped. CNN juxtaposes Fox's appearance with Limbaugh's voice calling him a fake. It's disgusting. But the question remains whether [...]


Tags: , , ,



|

Scare Tactics

Completely different from the terrorist Fear Tactics.  Here's what we'll be hearing a lot over the next 14 days, as Republicans try to scare everyone into voting GOP.  There are four key points.  You get the first in the quote below.  Read on for the remainder. 


What Happens If Democrats Win?



If the Democrats do take the House, what changes might be made in America’s public policies?  First, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has promised that election of a Democratic House would insure “a rollback of the [Bush] tax cuts.” Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, who would be chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, would make sure no tax cut extension bill would ever [...]


Tags: , , ,



|

Stay The Course

Guess what?  Rumsfeld says we're still doing it.  Still "staying the course".  And, no, it's not an old quote.  He said it today. This is getting really confusing, isn't it?


Rumsfeld Agrees Bush Is ‘Not Backing Away From Stay The Course’



Faced with widespread disappoval of its Iraq policy, the Bush administration launched a coordinated effort this week to convince Americans it has never had a stay-the-course strategy in Iraq. On Sunday, President Bush said, “We’ve never been stay the course.” White House Counselor Dan Bartlett disavowed the label again yesterday. But in a radio interview today [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Did Mehlman Just Lie?

Or does he really not know what's going on in his own organization?


Is Ken Mehlman...



Is Ken Mehlman kidding? A short while ago we got this email from TPM Reader AJ ... I was just watching Tim Russert interview Ken Mehlman about the RNC's anti-Ford ad running in Tennessee. Russert asked him point blank if he would pull the ad given the outcry over racist overtones. He said it was an independent expenditure, so he wrote a check and that was it. He claimed to have no control [...]



Oh, by the way - completely unrelated - but Tony Snow just told Chris Matthews on MSNBC that we ARE winning the war in Iraq.  I'm not sure he watched the General and Ambassador this morning.



Tags: , ,



|

WSJ Readers Bash Bush

This is, quite frankly, unbelievable.  Online comments to a Wall Street Journal blog post on the President's CNBC interview.


WSJ Readers Are Mean To Dubya



We’re used to seeing the Administration clumsily torn apart by the liberals, but the Wall Street Journal blog has some of the cruelest comments about Bush that we’ve ever seen. Plus, they don’t bring up global warming or civil rights … just plain hatred. Bush was interviewed by “Mrs. Moneypenny” or whoever over at CNBC. He was asked if he likes to get busy on the Internets. His reply: "Occasionally. One of the things I’ve used on the Google is to pull up maps. It’s very interesting to see that. I forgot the name of the program, but you get the satellite and [...]


Tags: , ,



|

The Hispanic Vote

The GOP wanted it.  Went after it. Big Time. Just. Not. Working.


The Base



The LA Times reports that the Bush/Rove effort to woo Latino voters has run aground: "The Latino backlash has grown so intense that one prominent, typically pro-Republican organization, the Latino Coalition, has endorsed Democrats in competitive races this year in [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Gitmo Torture Tactics

Some great reporting from MSNBC.  If this is an indication of the direction Dan Abrams wants to take the network, more power to him.


Gitmo interrogations spark battle over tactics (Bill Dedman/MSNBC)



The inside story of criminal investigators who tried to stop abuse … PART ONE OF TWO  —  Speaking publicly for the first time, senior U.S. law enforcement investigators say they waged a long but futile battle inside the Pentagon [...]


Tags: , , ,



|

Strange

So very strange. I'm betting there were a couple of phone calls made to top administration officials from big business buddies asking, "Did George W. really say that?"


Bush 'astounded' by the salaries given to his base



This seems entirely out of character for the president. President Bush said yesterday he's "astounded" by some of the astronomical salaries that corporate CEOs collect and thinks companies should rethink the practice. "I don't think government should control salaries, but I would hope shareholders would take a close look at some of these compensation packages that they [...]



If that's not enough to make you roll your eyes in amazement, consider this from the same interview -


Questionable Tactics and Stance On Social Security



It's interesting that Social Security would be a topic; earlier today, Bush told CNBC's Maria Bartiromo that privatization is back on the table after the election (see video here).  Bad move. A press release from the latest AARP survey, also to be released Wednesday Tuesday (.pdf), says "A new AARP survey finds that boomer+ voters (age 42 and older) are strongly opposed to using Social Security taxes to fund private accounts.  More than seven in ten of those polled [...]




Tags: ,


Tags: ,



|

Quick! Put That Phone Down!

No, not there!


Study: Frequent Mobile Phone Users Have Significantly Lower Sperm Counts...



Men who are heavy users of mobile phones have significantly lower sperm counts than usual and may be at risk of infertility, according to a new study released at a medial conference in New Orleans in the U.S. this week. The researchers found that men who use mobiles for over four hours a day have 25 percent lower sperm count than men who never used a mobile, and there is a [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Olbermann Again

In case you're a bit lazy and don't plan on scrolling down the page, see if you don't agree with a lot of bloggers who are saying that Keith Olbermann's "Special Comment" last night was one of his best.  We have a transcript and several varieties of video clips in last night's post.


Tags: ,


|

Pretty Ugly In Wyoming

This sure ain't gonna help her campaign!  Not even in the wild west of Wyoming. Follow the link and read it all. It's not like his allegation was false!  Far from it.


WY-AL: Cubin is latest Republican to lose it



Seriously, what is it with Republicans and their tempers this cycle? They're cracking under the pressure. In the latest bizarre incident, Wyoming Rep. Barbara Cubin (R) went psycho on the disabled, wheel-chair bound Libertarian candidate Thomas Ranking...Immediately after the lights and cameras shut down, incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Barbara Cubin walked to Libertarian candidate Thomas Rankin, who had criticized her for receiving contributions from former House Speaker Tom Delay, R-Texas."'If you weren't sitting in that chair, I'd slap you across the face,'" Cubin told Rankin, [...]



UPDATE:  Today, Ranking called for Cubin to resign.


UPDATE 2:  She apologized.  Sort of. -


WY-AL: Changing stories



Tags: , ,



|

Hastert On The Hill

BREAKING NEWS - Dennis Hastert just popped into the House Ethics Commission meeting about Mark Foley.  MSNBC says he came out of nowhere.  They got 14 seconds of video of him walking into the room.  Stand by. Reports are that the committee could issue a report BEFORE election day!


Tags: ,


|

Useless Poll

If you think Keith Olbermann is one-sided, you have to admit that Sean Hannity is just as one-sided, the other way. Oh, that's not just my little editorial fingers typing baseless words.  Follow the link for screen captures and then try to argue against this blatant display -


Idiotic Hannity Polling Ignores Iraq War



It's always interesting to see what nonsense Sean Hannity decides to ask his troglodytic fans about in his web site's periodic polls and, when I saw this one today, I was shocked because it actually had a look of… legitimacy! It's two weeks until election day so it's a perfectly normal time to ask the question "what issue is most important to you this election season?" But take a look at his options. See anything missing?  You wouldn’t know that the Iraq war is far and away the issue on voters' minds in "this election season," would you? You wouldn’t know this from Hannity's goofy little poll, despite the fact that the [...]


Tags: , , ,



|

An Iraq Timetable and American Politics

Two big topics you'll be reading a lot about today.  We woke up this morning to a news conference from Baghdad that pretty much confirmed those weekend reports of a "timetable" and "benchmarks" in Iraq.  Why the administration had to play semantics for two days is beyond comprehension to me.  Iraq is first. Politics to follow.


Bush Administration Hypes ‘Timeline’ For Iraq, Policy Stays The Course



The American public wants a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. In response, the Bush administration has started throwing around terms like “timeline” and “timetable.” Watch some excerpts from today’s press conference with the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Gen. George W. Casey Jr.: [...]



Of course, THIS was just a bit embarrassing -


Acute Power Shortage In Baghdad Interrupts Bush Administration Press Conference



This morning, coverage of U.S. ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad and Gen. George Casey’s Baghdad press conference was briefly interrupted. The TurkishPress notes that “the hall was plunged into darkness by one of Baghdad’s regular power cuts, despite the fact the venue was in the capital’s heavily-fortified Green Zone, also home to the US embassy.” [...]



UPDATE:  Steve Soto has a very good collection of updated links over at The Left Coaster -


Morning Update



Tags: , ,



|

Monday, October 23, 2006

Posting Update

Folks, there are a ton of fresh posts down below this one.  Honestly, I think we've assembled about as good a collection of topics of anybody on the net tonight. Then, of course, there's my little debate with Robert Cox about Keith Olbermann. You'll want to check it out! Basically, just start reading. And, use the comments to let me know which ones are most interesting.


|

Oh, This is Just Great

Chicago is the latest.


EXCLUSIVE: ELECTION SECURITY BREACH - CHICAGO'S ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION DATABASE DISCOVERED VULNERABLE TO HACKERS!



Blogged from the road by Brad Friedman Another stunning security breach has been exposed in our nation's electoral system, The BRAD BLOG has learned, as the online voter registration database -- containing the personal information of some 1.5 million voters in Chicago -- has been found to be vulnerable to both [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Polls, Polls, And More Polls

The Left Coaster has all the polls that  you'll want or need.  At least, for tonight.  Dig in.


Newsweek, CNN Polls Show Democrats With Double-Digit Leads Among Likely Voters



The latest Newsweek poll over the weekend shows that Nancy Pelosi’s “100 Hours Agenda” has large public support. In this poll, Democrats have an 18-point edge over Republicans next month among likely voters, echoing results from a CNN poll that was also done over the weekend which showed [...]


Tags: , , ,



|

What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas

Uh, unless you're running for governor and do something really, REALLY, stupid.  Guys like this can write the book on how to screw up a sure thing.  Maybe he just has a political death wish. Maybe he thinks he, like Sherwood, can gather his family and get everyone to say they still love him and he's sorry.  The problem is, he isn't apologizing!


Candidates, Please Drink At Home Until After Election Day



Let’s check in with Rep. Jim Gibbons of Nevada, who was about to become governor of the Silver State until something happened outside a Vegas steak/seafood restaurant and bar: The Cocktail Waitress has not backed down from her charges that Gibbons assaulted her when she wouldn’t go back to his motel. The bill for Gibbons’ “flirty and dirty” drunkfest was [...]


Tags: ,



|

Not Going Quietly Into The Night

Ya know, when his own part leadership wants him to go, you'd think he might realize it's serious.


GOP candidate, who sent Latinos letter threatening them with arrest if they voted, refuses to drop out, blames his opponent



The Republicans are beyond arrogant. And, they never accept [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Olbermann's Special Comment

Tonight, he went after the latest GOP ads that focus on the threat of terror.  Here's a link to the transcript.  Video to follow as soon as I can find some.  As always, I'm impressed.


UPDATE:  Better late, than never - Here's the video.  And here, via Virtual Matter, is the YouTube Version.


Tags: , , ,


|

Another Day. Another Round of Allegations.

Trouble is no stranger to Representative Rodney Alexander.  Here's the latest batch.


More Sex Scandals For GOP Rep. Alexander: Chief Of Staffed Sued For Harassment...



"Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.), already enmeshed in the ex-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) page scandal, now faces a new controversy as a former staffer has sued his office for sexual harassment. "Elizabeth Scott, Alexander's former scheduler, claims that Royal Alexander, the Congressman's chief of staff, 'engaged in a course of misconduct' that included [..]


Tags: , ,



|

Foley's Follies - 10/23 Update

You can only imagine what's being said.  At least the Ethics Committee is handing tough and talking to the people who can break this thing wide open.


Foley Probe Hears from GOP Aides



After a quiet Friday and a relaxing weekend, the House panel investigating the Foley scandal is back in business. The special four-member subcommittee heard from Hastert confidante, housemate and senior aide Scott Palmer, as well as Sally Vastola, the executive [...]


Tags: , , , ,



|

Sectarian Violence

Amarah was looking a bit calmer for a day or so.  Looking like the violence might be under control.  So much for our hopes.


Standing up or falling down?



“Our policy is stand up/stand down; as the Iraqis stand up, we’ll stand down.” — George W. Bush Shiite Militiamen Kill 4 Police Officers, AP via NY Times: Shiite militiamen loyal to a fiery anti-American Shiite cleric re-emerged in the troubled southern city of Amarah on Monday, dragging four policemen aligned with a rival Shiite militia [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Regurgitating The Party Line

Apparently, it pays quite well.  Even after you're caught.


$34,000.



The amount conservative pundit Armstrong Williams will have to repay of the $240,000 government contract he received for promoting President Bush’s agenda. Under a settlement reached with prosecutors, Williams also [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Debating Detainee Treatment

It'll come front and center, if the Dems win in November.  And, it'll be much more than just debate.


Detainee Treatment Will Generate A Democratic Inquiry Next Year



Many of you are demoralized and rightly so at the recent cave-in by John McCain and other GOP senators on the detainee treatment bill. McCain will have to explain during the 2008 campaign how he could support a bill that allows for the abolishment of habeas corpus, and that grants the president power to arrest US citizens at his whim, and torture in violation of our constitution and the Geneva Convention protocols. This will especially get dicey for McCain and [...]


Tags: , ,



|

Olbermann, Krile and Cox

Here's your assignment for tonight. 


1. Watch Keith Olbermann. He has another "Special Comment" scheduled tonight.  My guess is they plugged it in because CNN is running a full week of "Broken Government" specials and tonight's is up against Countdown.  The numbers are always best on "Special Comment" nights. And the "Broken Government" specials seem to be almost as anti-administration as Countdown. Almost...


2. Check out my latest post over on the anti-Keith Olbermannwatch.com website.  The exchange between Robert Cox (of Olbermannwatch.com) is at the top of the post, followed by an extensive list of comments from readers.  Feel free to add your own. I'm having a lot of fun with the exchange, but there are some really outspoken (and emotional) commenters!


Tags: , , ,


|

New Polling Predictions

Look for things to get nasty in a long list of races.  All across the country.


New House Rankings



The latest National Journal House race rankings have been updated and it "now looks as if the Democrats are poised to win the 15 seats they need to win control of Congress. The question is: Can the battle-tested incumbents who have run the strongest campaigns -- Reps. Rob Simmons, Jim Gerlach and Heather Wilson -- withstand the Democratic tide? Their performance will determine [...]


Tags: ,



|

Imus - Number 1?

I thought the old geezer was pretty much a has-been.  He's either come to life again, or American Morning isn't doing something right.


Imus is Number One in the Key Demo



Imus in the Morning Thursday came within 4,000 viewers of beating CNN’s American Morning in the P2 category. Imus did beat American Morning in the Demo. Cable News Ratings for [...]


Tags: , , ,



|

Stem Cell Debate

Watch the way this Conservative blogger selectively quotes from an Australian newspaper article -


“U.S. study: Stem cells may cause brain tumors”



Just in time for Claire McCaskill's ad airing last night during the world series. Injecting human embryonic stem cells into the brains of Parkinson's disease patients may cause tumours to form, U.S. researchers reported on Sunday. No matter, the party of death will continue the "it holds the promise to cure debilitating [...]



Follow the links.  Read the article. Did you spot it?  True, there are indications of early tumors, but:



Writing in the journal Nature Medicine, the researchers said the transplants clearly helped the rats (emphasis mine), but some of the cells started growing in a way that could eventually lead to a tumour.


Tags: , ,



|