Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Destroy..To Save

Falluja "a horror' after U.S.-led offensive

"All the wealth will not bring back my son, but now I have to think of the future for the rest of my children," said Zubari's wife, Selma. "What will become of us?"

That is a sentiment shared by many residents of the shattered city, which remains under curfew and where pockets of fighting continue to rage. Some homes in the city have begun posting signs in both Arabic and English that read, "Family inside."

Who would have expected to find families in a city the size of Cincinnatti?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Giving Thanks

I'll be away celebrating the American holiday of Thanksgiving with friends and family. Reduced activity here on Riffle for a week. But I'll probably toss up a post or two occasionally.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Republican Priorities

In just the last few days, Republicans have already begun sleaze that should be condemnable even to most in the GOP. What are Republican priorities now?
  • SPECIAL PRIVILEGES TO TRASH PRIVACY AND GATHER INFO TO ATTACK ENEMIES: Republicans tried to insert language into a bill that would allow Congressional leaders access to any American's tax returns. It was a few lines in a huge omnibus bill; they hoped no one would catch it. Thank you Democratic staffer, for finding this travesty!
  • KEEP THE POOR UNEDUCATED: Republicans voted to cut college funds for around a hundred thousand students
  • REWARD CRIMINALLY INDICTED REPUBLICANS: Republicans voted to change the rule barring indicted Republican congressional leaders from their positions: with the vote, Delay can still serve as leader even when he's indicted.
  • TAKE RIGHTS FROM WOMEN: They inserted anti-abortion provisions into a huge spending bill.
Those are just off the top of my head, and they probably don't reflect other sneaky stuff that went through unnoticed.

It's not even the new Congressional session yet, which will have safer margins in House and Senate for Republicans. What scary times we live in.

[At Dailykos.com, DemFromCT says "Welcome to the seventies." I'd agree, except that Nixon actually tried to help the poor -- this crowd cuts their college funds -- and Nixon had the opposition party running Congress -- Bush has a sycophantic Republican Congress that won't investigate any idiocy he perpetrates.]

Why Do They Hate Us, Again?

Juan Cole Informed Comment puts it well:
I personally agree that there may have been extenuating circumstances regarding the shooting of a wounded Iraqi guerrilla in a mosque by a marine (wounded guerrillas often lure US troops close and then blow them up). But most people aren't good at seeing both sides of the story. If guerrillas had stacked four wounded American Marines up somewhere, and then a second set of guerrillas came in, and a guerrilla shot one of the unarmed, wounded Marines in the head on camera, I guarantee you no one in the American media would be talking about extenuating circumstances. This act would be seen as cowardly and perfidious, with no need for further investigation.
Those who hated us pre 9/11 had many reasons ("they hate out freedom" was not among the top 20), but the millions who have come to hate us since then have concrete reasons they see on their televisions.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Not Liked or Respected -- The Costs

Matt Welch has a killer piece has in Reason Online that puts the Bushies' contempt for the rest of the world in perspective.

America Unbound...or Insolvent?
Bush knows that Anti-Americanism is costly; he just doesn't care

He takes us through Alberto Gonzales' nomination, the current state of the dollar and the deficit, and why maybe it's not such a great idea to flip off every country in the world.

Highly recommended.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Bounties on Shiites, Americans

The AP offers a story about bounties on Shiites, Americans, and Iraqi National Guardsmen:
Bayan Jaber of the major Shiite political party said that a week ago, five Shiites traveling to Najaf from Diyala province near the Iranian border were waylaid in the "triangle of death" and shot dead. The attackers demanded — and received — $15,000 from their families to return the bodies.

According to Jaber, insurgent leaders in the area offer cash bounties for killing certain kinds of people: $1,000 for a Shiite, $2,000 for a member of the Iraqi National Guard and $3,000 for an American.
Thank you George W. Bush for contributing to a free market economy in Iraq.

Stench of Failure

Here's a UPI story by Richard Sale with a bleak overview of the situation in Iraq.

There's too much damning information to excerpt it all, but here are some bits:
WASHINGTON -- As insurgents launched counterattacks in cities following the U.S. victory in Fallujah, several administration official acknowledged that U.S. military tactics in Iraq since last April have proved ineffective in destroying guerrilla forces and have acted to weaken popular support for the new U.S.-appointed government.


A senior Pentagon official complained that U.S. counterintelligence investigations designed to prevent enemy penetration of U.S. facilities had proved "pitiably inadequate."

The ability of the insurgents to penetrate U.S. intelligence was made clear in the recent massacre of 49 Iraqi soldiers who were taken from three minibuses at a fake checkpoint and then shot in the back of the head.

"That massacre would not have been possible without enemy penetration of U.S. plans," a knowledgeable U.S. official said.


"Things are absolutely terrible," said former CIA counterterrorism chief, Vince Cannistraro. "The insurgency is growing and spreading, and its ability to coordinate operations, the growing sophistication of those operations places us in a disaster of unprecedented proportion."

Referring to the "pin strike bombings" claimed by the administration against Zarqawi, Peter Singer, national security fellow at the Brookings Institution, called the bombings a "stop-gap measure" and "unwise."

"When I hear of an F-16 dropping a 500-pound bomb on a populated area, I cringe, because you have to know innocent people are being killed," he said.
There's more information in that story -- read it. What an incredible disaster .

Thank you, George W. Bush.

Kerry's a Closer. NOT!

Kerry to Give Dems Leftover Campaign Cash

Boy this sucks. Concerning the millions the Kerry campaign had left over after the election:
One member of Kerry's inner circle of campaign aides said Thursday that the failure to spend the money cost the senator victory in a close election.
I rearlize this is one, perhaps disgruntled insider. But, really, Kerry had fifteen million dollars or so to spend. (And that should not have been saved for a recount: Any potential recount would have used a seperate account they were raising money for, not general campaign funds. )

Sitting on that money was foolish. What could he have been thinking?

[I've not been jumping on Kerry, even though he made some other mistakes (like not hitting back hard enough on the Swiftie liars and tying them closer to Bush), but letting millions accrue interest while he should have been spending them .... Words fail me.]

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Alabamans favor racist language in their constitution

That's a simplification of Russell Arben Fox's thoughtful post about the recent amendment vote in Alabama. Here's his summation of the news story that prompts his post:

This morning, I read John Brummett's column about the close but likely defeat of Amendment 2 in Alabama, a proposed amendment to the state constitution which would have repealed segregation-era language included in the document back in the 1950s. The strategy of Alabama politicians back then to avoid any potential interference with their racist educational system was to amend the constitution so that it included, besides poll taxes and mandated segregation, language which denied the right to an education at taxpayer expense for any Alabama child. Thanks to federal action, poll taxes and the doctrine of separate-but-equal was rendered moot; but the rejectionist language itself remains in the constitution, and has become a branch which many of those who reject a sense of obligation to the larger (and multiracial) social unit which Alabama in fact is continue to cling to. The push for Amendment 2 was led by Governor Bob Riley, who has bravely fought for a better Alabama before, and done so on explicitly Christian grounds. But once again, the Christian Coalition of Alabama and many of their Republican allies refused to budge on their opposition. Not that they necessarily still harbor segregationist sympathies; Amendment 2's opponents insisted that the racist language in their state constitution is meaningless, and that they would introduce legislation to strip them in particular anyway.

He goes on to give several other reasons why this amendment may have failed, but to me it boils down to tolerating racist language in the constitution.

It's depressing that Dems can't make inroads into this mindset, but it's fertile ground for dermagoguery with tinges (or more) of racism and bait-and-switch political argumentation.

I think Mr. Fox is way too easy on the cynical methods these folks employ. For instance, he says:
Many social and religious conservatives in the South and West have drawn themselves away from civic responsibility, shamefully allowing archaic and otherwise rejected political strategies to provide them with a way to hide from the inequality and need that education can provide at least a partial solution to.
I think those "archaic and otherwise rejected political strategies" are, sotto voce or not, bedrock tactics of Republicans, and they're a goodly part of the reason why Repubs won as much as they did recently. They're not a hiding place for their responsibility -- they believe that they are being responsible by acting this way (not so much about the racist undertones, but about much else of their policies).

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Friendly Iraqis

Making friends in Fallujah

FALLUJAH, Iraq — The men from Fallujah gathered on the red carpet inside their mosque to vent their anger. Instead of feeling liberated, they said the violence of the U.S. offensive to take control of their city has deepened their hatred.

These men came to collect food from U.S. and Iraqi forces at the Hadra Mohamadiya mosque, and were secretly given a swab test for recent explosives handling, something that might mark them as insurgents.

Forty-seven men were arrested as a result of the tests. These men were clean and said they were bitter.

"When you captured Saddam Hussein, I was very happy, and not fighting Americans, but you used your guns, and your military debased me," said Mahmoud al-Samarrai, who says his house was hit by U.S. airstrikes.

Way to win hearts and minds -- winning them to hating Americans and into recruitment to Al Qaeda.

Thanks, George W. Bush

Paris Hilton Tax

Rrom a commenter in a Washington Post Online Chat with Steven Pearlstein: "To counteract I suggest we all start calling the estate tax the Paris Hilton tax instead of the death tax and see what people think."

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Why Do They Hate Us?

Well, it doesn't exactly explain why some of them hated us pre-9/11. But these photos from a site called Fallujah in Pictures help explain why a lot more of them hate us a lot more than they did before.

Many of these photos are graphic: they are war photographs, after all. Though many in the US have apparently forgotten, war is violent and images of war are ugly.

Photos of kids with limbs amputated, for instance -- that's one answer to that old question "Why do they hate us?"

A Doctor Is Haunted by Those He Couldn't Save

The LA Times reports on the experiences of an Iraqi Doctor in Fallujah.

What a horrible mess. How can you attack a city of a quarter million (largely by bombing from air, even with precision munitions) , and not harm or kill many civilians?

You can't.
"I was doing amputations for many patients. But I am an orthopedic surgeon. If a patient came to me with an abdominal injury, I could do nothing," he said, eyes cast down, close to tears. "We would bring the patient in and we would have to let him die."

Electricity was cut off to the city. There was no water, no food, no fluids for the patients, Ghanim said. But the patients just kept coming.

"We were treating everyone. There were women, children, mujaheds. I don't ask someone if they are a fighter before I treat them. I just take care of them," he said.

Late Tuesday, a bomb struck one side of the makeshift medical center. Ghanim ran out.

A second bomb hit, crashing through the roof and destroying most of the facility. Ghanim believes it killed at least two of the young resident doctors working there and most of the patients.

"At that moment I wished to die," he said. "It was a catastrophe."
Of course, there's more, if you have the stomach.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Robotics Sidebar

RoboDump 1.0

Passes the Turing Test. And a lot more.
From Christian Exodus :: Come Out of Her, My People
ChristianExodus.org is coordinating the move of thousands of Christians to South Carolina for the express purpose of re-establishing Godly, constitutional government. It is evident that the U.S. Constitution has been abandoned under our current federal system, and the efforts of Christian activism to restore our Godly republic have proven futile over the past three decades. The time has come for Christians to withdraw our consent from the current federal government and re-introduce the Christian principles once so predominant in America to a sovereign State like South Carolina.
Kooks. Reminds me of the Libertartian's Free State Project.

[Christian Exodus link via William Gibson Blog.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Good News! Ummm...

That glowing economic news about the recent trade surplus numbers not being quite so horrible?

Well, after a fashion, maybe.
Globblog notes: "September's trade deficit was still the third largest in history. The four largest in history have all occurred over the past four months. "

Also he writes "What did we buy less of? Fuel oil!! It was the #2 declining category, at -$384m. Kind of puts the troubling fall in fuel oil stocks throughout September into a new context, doesn't it?"

And winter is coming on.

Fundie, Meet Fundie

At the end of a typically informative post about the mess in Mosul, Juan Cole adds this fillip:
On a lighter note, it is hard to avoid observing that al-Baghdadi castigated Bush's administration as "fundamentalist" and "right-wing." When even the Sunni Salafis of Mosul consider you too fundamentalist and right-wing, you have probably gone too far.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Arafat Joke

From Nick Gillespie at Hit and Run
Arafat has a dream that he is going to die so he goes to see a medium who might be able to explain the circumstances of his death. The medium gazes into her crystal ball and declares, "You are going to die on a Jewish holiday." Arafat replies, "Which one?" The medium responds, "It doesn't matter. Whatever day you die will become a Jewish holiday."
Yeah, that's a funny joke.

I've been surprised about the number of Arafat-death jokes in the usual suspects (Letterman, Leno, Daily Show) on US national TV.

I suppose it's a reflection of the (largely deserved) ill-esteem in which Arafat is held, but still I found it odd that a man's death would be the springboard for mass jocularity.

Even if I do indulge in it myself.

Will Ariel Sharon's death lead to such a joke-fest? No way -- not even about obesity (ok, there will be fat jokes).

Opposition, Not Obstruction

Opposition, Not Obstruction: that's the slogan Matthew Yglesias is adopting. I hope the Dems pick it up.

As Atrios says re the Gonzales for AG nomination, it's best to shine a light on the guy in the strongest terms possible.

I also think they should do some down-and-dirty rhetoric, which is not untrue, saying that Gonzales essentially OKed the torture of Arabs if they have any suspicion they may possibly be terrorists. Then say to the world that it's no wonder the Arab world (and much of the non-Arab world) doesn't trust Bush, when he nominates to the highest law enforcement office in the land a torture-pimp who scoffs at the Geneva Conventions.

Keep the rhetoric true if hot, back it up with stories about non-terrorists who were detained and tortured (in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and elsewhere). Their stories fall on Alberto Gonzales, and on George W. Bush.

Don't let them get away with the "we only torture terrorists" crap either: there are enough stories out of Abu Ghraib about people who were definitely not terrorists or even insurgents who were locked up and tortured. If Abu Ghraib was filled with terrorists, why were prisoners there released en masse (in the hundreds) when the stories of Abu Ghraib came to light?

The Democrats didn't do that stuff -- the Bushies did and it may as well be laid out starkly.

Iraq: Hellhole

From the L.A. Times, a bleak assessment of Iraq.
BAGHDAD —Iraqi insurgents have extended their reach over large swaths of the country, including sections of the capital, making it unlikely that the United States can establish the stability needed for credible elections in January even if its forces succeed in Fallouja, military and political analysts say.

There is little doubt that American-led forces will recapture Fallouja within days, the analysts say. But U.S. officials who are planning for the election face another challenge: a law and order vacuum in many Sunni Muslim areas where there are no American or Iraqi forces and insurgents can operate with impunity.

Masked gunmen patrol these places, particularly at night, assassinating government officials, carrying out kidnappings and intimidating the people.

"There are large areas of countryside that are controlled 24 hours a day by the mujahedin, where people do not see U.S. forces," said Charles Heyman, a senior defense analyst for the London-based Jane's Defence Weekly.
The rest of the piece includes a bleak tour of several hotspots around Iraq, including:
Civil authority appears to have all but vanished in some areas. In Haditha and Haqlaniya, neighboring towns 135 miles west of Baghdad, people say they are afraid to walk the streets. Insurgents sent a strong warning months ago after the U.S. military put a local tribal leader in control. Militants killed him and his sons. A second group of leaders, including a police chief, was also deposed.

The current chairman of the city council, Khaled Hussein, who has the approval of the insurgents, painted a bleak picture of life in the city. He spoke about a weekend attack on two police stations in the towns, in which 22 police officers were killed. Some were handcuffed, then executed.

"Now the Iraqi police refuse to go to work. The shops are closed, the streets are empty and very few people go out," Hussein said.

The picture is reflected in other areas.
Thank you, George W. Bush.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Veterans Day

Greater Love

Red lips are not so red
As the stained stones kissed by the English dead.
Kindness of wooed and wooer
Seems shame to their love pure.
O Love, your eyes lose lure
When I behold eyes blinded in my stead!

Your slender attitude
Trembles not exquisite like limbs knife-skewed,
Rolling and rolling there
Where God seems not to care;
Till the fierce love they bear
Cramps them in death's extreme decrepitude.

Your voice sings not so soft,-
Though even as wind murmuring through raftered loft,-
Your dear voice is not dear,
Gentle, and evening clear,
As theirs whom none now hear,
Now earth has stopped their piteous mouths that coughed.

Heart, you were never hot
Nor large, nor full like hearts made great with shot;
And though your hand be pale,
Paler are all which trail
Your cross through flame and hail:
Weep, you may weep, for you may touch them not.

-- Wilfred Owen

[There's a fine collection of Wilfred Owen poems at The War Poems & Manuscripts, part of the Wilfred Owen Multimedia Archive]

A Very Old Story

Digby at Hullabaloo has a long and interesting post on Southern exceptionalism. It's worth your time to read it. Here's the concluding paragraph:
It sure looks to me as if they've been nursing a case of historical pique for more than 200 years and that resentment no longer has any more meaning than a somewhat self-destructive insistence on maintaining a cultural identity that's really defined by it's anger toward the rest of the country. They are talking themselves into a theocratic police state in order to "crack the whip over the heads of the northern men" and it's not likely to work out for them any better this time than it did the first time. The real elites in the church, the government and the corporations will take them down right along with us when that comes to pass.
As someone who's from the South, I really don't know what to make of all this (I've been a Yankee for over a decade now). I'm as peeved as any other blue stater about being lectured to by people who claim I'm lecturing them while they pocket the tax money their states disproportionately suck from blue-land. I find the religious right offensive at best, scary at worst.

There is little doubt that the South really does consider itself exceptional. A great essay that points this out (sotto voce) is "The South: Where is it? What is it?" by John Shelton Reed. [Emphasis added.]
It tells us that the South is, to begin with, a concept and a shared one. It's an idea that people can talk about, think about, use to orient themselves and each other. People know whether they're in it or not. As a geographer would put it, the South is a "vernacular" region.

Stop and think about that. Why should that be? Why can I write "South" with some assurance that you'll know I mean Richmond and don't mean Phoenix? What is it that the South's boundaries enclose?
Click on the map links in the linked essay-- Reed uses maps that delineate the South in different ways: where cotton can be cultivated, where kudzu grows, percentage of dentists per capita, or where the word "Dixie" appears in telephone directory listings:

I'll never understand why getting your ass kicked in a war where you fought for the "right" to own other human beings is such a source of pride. My ancestors, dirt-poor hardscrabble Scots-Irish who never owned slaves, didn't bequeath to me any of the feelings of superiority or exceptionalism or religious zealotry that I hear from the contemporary South.

But pointing that out won't help Democrats win the South. I'm not sure what -- if anything -- will. The prairie states, however, are a different matter.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Nation's Poor Win Election For Nation's Rich

The Onion gets it right.

There's been a lot of talk recently about contributing factors to the Dem loss last week. There are many facets to the loss. You can find that talk all over.

I've been thinking about a few things which could help win upcoming elections. Some important factors seem to me to be:
  • A narrative (Kos points Carville mentioning this). To me this is essential and leads to other things. To put it crassly, Democrats have (among other things) a serious branding problem.
  • The narrative is one that'll speak to (almost) all Americans, and the smaller issues will spring from that. These issues will have to be as focused and strongly posed as Republican issues are. This will be difficult but not impossible.
  • On the ground, Democrats must start peeling away red areas with the messages above, and the medium of a self-perpetuating narrative.
There. All fixed.

[As an aside, it's strange to me that as of this posting Google has no hits for "Democratic Party as a brand." We'll probably need some marketing help, but more what Frank Luntz does than what weenie "branding experts" generally do. ]

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Bush's Real Mandate

Don't start any large new projects until you prove that you can fix some of the nasty messes you created in your firs term. I can't see why anyone would trust you to start a big new mess when you still won't:

  • show any seriousness about budgets. Instead we hear more programs from you that are going to further blow out the deficit you created.
  • Get Iraq on the right track and stop our soldiers from getting killed over there.
  • Make a serious dent in terrorism with a grand strategy beyond Iraq --where an assault on Fallujah is about to incite a bunch more people to hate the U.S.
  • Have an economy that lifts people out of poverty rather than adding to their roles.
  • Rather than having fewer people with health coverage, have more.

    Maybe when you fix a few of those horrific problems, I'll trust you to do something else.

    If not, then no.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


KEN LAYNE takes us to Jesusland. Wait, we're already there.
Rove's re-election strategy was elegantly simple: Scare the bejesus out of Jesusland. Faggots are headed your way! Satanic Muslims are hiding everywhere! That's all it took to get Jesusland to do the job. Intellectual conservatives like the National Review staff are flattering themselves if they honestly believe Jesusland cares about conservative thought. The "reality-based" folks are learning that Jesusland doesn't even care about jobs or the economy.
As Froomkin writes today:

The Bush campaign super-charged the "moral minority." Exit polls showed 21 percent of voters said moral values were the most important issue -- and 78 percent of them voted for Bush. That's about 18 million Bush votes right there.
Even more than terror, these people voted against gays and abortion, and for the belief that God selected Bush.

Here's a question (actually, a statement) Froomkin got in his chat today:

College Park, Md.: Just a comment!
I'm an African-American female who is a registered democrat. I voted for George Bush, because I am also a believer in the Word of God. Although I don't agreed with a lot of decisions he made over the last four years, as a Christian his belief in God and open confession of his beliefs persuaded me to vote for him. I think you will find a lot of people voted because of morale values versus party affiliation. I think we are better off with a president who has a biblical foundation and is not a shame to admit he hears from God. With the help of God we can get through anything. Kerry didn't offer me the same assurance. Thank you for allowing me to speak.
There's no reasoning with that, because it's faith-based, not logical. Many of them believe God picked Bush.

They really do live in Jesusland.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Ohio = Florida

And may I introduce you to
J. Kenneth Blackwell

J Kenneth "Katherine Harris" Blackwell

Maybe he feels if he helps steal an election for Bush, he can get a Congressional seat, too. And he'll use the same excuse: "I'm not corrupt, just incompetent, nudge nudge wink wink."

Maps, etc. that may help

Media Matters for America has a list of the states called for each candidate by each news network, and the time of the projection.

Two good electoral maps:



I think C-SPAN's is a bit cooler.

If you have not voted, don't bother looking at the maps until after you cast your ballot.




Even if you're in a non-swing state, vote to increase the total votes, so your candidate gets a majority of the national popular vote.

It'll mean something, believe me.

If you're in a swing state, then


Lying Liars Who Don't Want You to Vote

Those lying liars will try to suppress the vote in many Democratic areas.

There will be rumors and crazy stories and seemingly official-looking documents and lying phone calls which may cause you to lose your vote, vote inappropriately, or miss something important. There will be lots of underhanded things that have been done for decades (but which you may not be familiar with), and there may be some new ones. Be prepared.
  1. Know where to vote. MyPollingPlace.com is a great place to start.
  2. Take ID, two pieces if you have them. Perhaps bring a utilities bill (for instance) showing your current address.
  3. If you can, vote after the morning voting rush and before people generally get off work.
  4. Be prepared to stand in line, whatever that means to you. Water, snacks, books, magazines, umbrella, poncho, folding stool, cell phone, etc. Someone on dailykos pointed out that "a roll of garbage bags makes for a good emergency pancho cache for the rain."
  5. If you need help in voting (using the machine, for instance), ask at the polling place.
  6. If you're not listed among registered voters, it's your right to receive a provisional ballot. Demand one.
  7. If you have any problems, here are a list of places to
  8. Take these number with you:
    1 (866) OUR-VOTE or 1 (866) 687-8683
    1-866-MYVOTE1 or 1 (866) 698-6831 .
    If you have any problems, call those numbers for Election Protection.
For more information, visit DailyKos' Tips for Voters and this less detailed list at RockTheVote.

I'll copy from Eszter at Crooked Timber for a couple more tips (note the websites she links to):

A U.S. toll-free telephone hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1 866-687-8683) and a great set of Web sites at http://voteprotect.org and http://verifiedvoting.org, help citizens to vote and have their votes counted as intended. Voting questions and problems can be reported, tracked, and responded to by thousands of specially trained operators, attorneys, and technologists, now and beyond November 2nd.

There is also a “do-it-yourself” 24/7 incident reporting form on the Web at http://voteproblem.org, as an alternative recording method, without real-time follow-up.

The more people hear about and use the Web sites and hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1 866-687-8683), the better the world can trust U.S. elections to be

Chat with people in line. Be upbeat. For most of human history people had to put up with unelected leaders telling them what to do, and they couldn't speak back in any meaningful way.

Celebrate the fact that you can speak back, and that you can help change the course of history.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Bush and Jewish Leaders

AMERICAblog finds a great graphical exemplar of the weakness of Bush's Jewish vote. At least as of this posting time, the "Jewish Leaders on President Bush" sidebar on his Jewish pandering page is still "Check back for updates" and nothing else.

The night before the election.

Embarassing for them! But me likey.


There are a number of good omens for Kerry today. I'll just pick a few.
  • Josh Marshall's posts here and especially here, and scroll around for more
  • Bush's disaappearing lead in several polls this week, as pointed out by the (admittedly, generally a site with rose-colored glasses for Dems) Donkey Rising (again, scroll for more).
  • Fox's poll showing a small (within margin of error) Kerry lead.
  • Meta-analysis from a Princeton prof with some statistical expertise showing a likely Kerry win.
There's more good news for Democrats out there. Kerry has momentum. I feel pretty hopeful. But everyone has to vote, wait in long lines if necessary. Bring a book. Bring an umbrella. Bring some leftover halloween candy to hand out. Make it enjoyable!

And the Dems have to make sure the election isn't outright stolen from them by voting machines, election hanky panky, or whatever scummy tricks the Republicans pull. Turnout is essential to put this election beyond question.

To win this war, the Dems have to get out the vote. Vote and take 1, 2, 3 or more people with you.

I was listening to Hardball and they seem to think that polls are moving for Kerry because of Iraq. I wouldn't be surprised at all. Dick Morris doesn't say many things I agree with, but I do agree with this quip of his (from memory, so it may not be precise): "If you're going to run as a war President, you kind of have to win the war."

More Dead Letters II

The DEAD LETTER OFFICE, as I said in the post below, has put up newly found emails. Those with an interest should visit -- there may be something that jumps out among the new stuff.

One of the newly found missives probably has a lot of interesting information. It's an email sent in mid-August among several rpof.org (Republican Party of Florida) operatives, and to those at RNChq.org (Republican National Committe HQ), and the Bush/Cheney campaign operation. It has -- count them-- around 25 Florida-related spreadsheets attached.

What do you want to bet that these, like the earlier "caging" spreadsheets we looked at, are focused in largely Democratic and probably African-American zip codes?

-----Original Message-----

From: Carrie Thompson [mailto:cthompson@rpof.org]
Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2004 8:55 PM
To: Sarah Anderson [mailto:sanderson@rpof.org]
Cc: Andy Palmer [mailto:apalmer@rnchq.org]; jbennick@georgewbush.org
Subject: CSV Files

ATTACHMENTS: 11A_7664_20_2004817.CSV; 11E_7470_238_2004817.CSV; 24R-1_7672_140_2004817.CSV; 25E_7665_238_2004817.CSV; 25J_7666_188_2004817.CSV; 25T_7667_144_2004817.CSV; 25X_7671_175_2004817.CSV; 2B_7669_337_2004817.CSV; 2E_7483_187_2004817.CSV; 2F_7670_242_2004817.CSV; 43X_7451_208_2004817.CSV; 44X_7471_322_2004817.CSV; 63Q_7452_219_2004817.CSV; 70Q_7811_210_2004818.CSV; 70V_7813_11_2004818.CSV; 71Q_7812_262_2004818.CSV; 90R_7814_18_2004818.CSV; 91Q_7815_41_2004818.CSV; 91R_7816_3_2004818.CSV; 92Q_7817_123_2004818.CSV; 92Q-1_7818_122_2004818.CSV; 93Q_7819_2_2004818.CSV; 93Q-1_7820_35_2004818.CSV; 97R-1_7821_2_2004818.CSV; 98R_7822_9_2004818.CSV;


What a wonderful party, the Republican party. The "don't let the Negroes vote" party for a new century!

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