Saturday, October 16, 2004

October Surprise? 

My friend Gary wrote yesterday, “Is it just me, or does anyone else expect OSAMA to pop out of the woods within the next few weeks ?

Perhaps with George W. in a Special Forces outfit holding him in handcuffs...”

I have to think that ANYTHING could happen between now and election day with Bush in office and Karl Rove behind the curtain. From elevated terror alerts to major troop movements abroad to sudden caches of weapons being discovered, nothing would surprise me, given Rove and Bush’s Lee Atwater dirty trick legacies. Let’s not forget that Rove probably bugged his own office, then blamed it on his opponent, in a desperate (but successful) attempt to win a losing Congressional campaign early in his career. He’s not a changed man since then.

The other October Surprise scenario to wonder about is the actual terrorist attack, which could make everyone truly terrified. You wonder then, would Bush take credit for being afraid this would happen, blame it on Kerry, or say it’s another reason to vote for him (because…)? God knows. One thing to be sure of though—you won’t see the President apologize for not protecting us better.

Kerry for President 

The Big Diamond blog is supporting John Kerry for President. You should know why.

1- Foreign Policy. We need to return to the international community. There are myriad reasons and specifics, but let's focus on the big issue of the day. On terrorism, John Kerry supports a smart, cooperative war on Al Qaeda. He’s concerned that the US needs better alliances to be effective in that war. His opponent has dropped the ball on Al Qaeda in exchange for a wide and indiscriminate “War on Terror,” which is so diffused and confused with other conflicts it is actually counterproductive.
2- Iraq. If you’ve read this blog before, you know the war is tragic and wrong in my book. Kerry admits this and while not the perfect alternative on the war, he seems to understand the gravity of the problem. I hope a Kerry Presidency will lead to a multinational effort to end the conflict there and to pave the way for international peacekeeping to take hold. I’m not incredibly optimistic in the short run that any policy will work well now, but we need to make a serious effort to bring peace, not a wider war. Bush, on the other hand, IS the problem in Iraq.
3- Jobs. People are still hurting, especially in New York. We need more and better paying jobs. Kerry has proposed making job creation a priority. Bush simply denies that his administration has presided over a net job loss by saying he’s helped create jobs lately in smaller numbers than economists hoped. Thanks.
4- Energy. America’s future is closely tied to our ability to create energy without having to rape our land or formulate foreign policy around cozying up to countries with oil, however antidemocratic they might be. Kerry proposes a number of programs—not the new century version of the space program, which I think is called for, but a strong effort to create new energy sources and conserve our own energy through efficiency. Bush claims to support innovations, but has done little, except to look for more drilling, less regulation, and anything the oil companies ask for.
5- Civil Rights. Remember when the US had a policy for greater civil rights for all? This administration has none. African Americans, Hispanics, Gays, Muslims, Native Americans, and anyone believing in a multicultural future in America—we’re all better off seeing the last of this Administration. Kerry has shown some understanding that civil rights and fighting racism is an important priority. Even if he turns out to not to prioritize civil rights, a Democratic Administration will bring to power many people who deeply believe in antiracism efforts, civil rights enforcement, and celebrating our diversity.
6- Education. Kerry is pledged to fund the No Child Left Behind Act. Bush didn’t. Kerry proposes a National Education Trust to ensure school funding. Kerry seems to understand the racial dimensions to unequal funding of schools in poverty stricken areas and might do something about it, while we know Bush hasn’t and won’t. Kerry proposes tuition tax credits to families putting kids through college of up to $4,000 per year.
7- Healthcare. Kerry’s healthcare program will cover more Americans without requiring a massive overhaul of the system. He pledges to expand funding for existing programs, which has at least a prayer of passage if he brings new legislators with him into office. Bush has had four years to help reform healthcare. Notice any improvement?
8- The Supreme Court. The next president will appoint as many as three Justices. Imagine a reversal of Roe v. Wade, turning further away from past civil rights decisions, more Bush v. Gore political coups, less civil liberties, more draconian tactics to suppress political speech, fundamentalist prayer in our public institutions, less accountability for corporations, and more erosion of environmental rights. Imagine.
9- Environmental stewardship. Bush’s presidency is a disaster for the environment. The Clear Skies initiative is a license for polluters to spew more, not less toxins into the air. This Administration has gutted regulatory enforcement. Bush uses the Kyoto Treaty as a whipping boy against the international community. Bush has no policy to prevent an environmental holocaust that would result from a nuclear power catastrophe (terror or accident). The Administration only recently accepted generally known changes in the global climate as real science. Kerry can’t possibly be as bad and his known policies on enforcement of existing regulations alone qualify him as better. Beyond that, Kerry proposes to reverse the Bush/Cheney gutting of the Clean Air Act.
10- Social Security. Bush promises privatized retirement options for younger wage earners without taking money away from people with their retirement coming up. It’s impossible to do what he proposes without billions more than Social Security can provide, therefore he will either cut benefits or take money from elsewhere to fund them. Kerry promises to keep Social Security intact. That alone is enough.
11- Budget insanity. Bush is out of control. Spending is spiraling up while taxes on the wealthiest Americans are cut to the bone. Kerry may not be a fiscal conservative, but he promises a pay-as–you-go approach to the budget. If he comes even close, he’s a dramatic improvement.

I can’t imagine what four more years of this government will do to the United States. I hope not to find out. Vote for Kerry, get your family out to the polls, call your friends in swing states. This election is a critical moment. The country’s future is at stake.

Accountability is a Bitch 

Jon Alter's recent Newsweek column about Presidential accountability makes a great point about the problem with Bush's all-attack, all the time strategy. It stops working when it becomes obvious even to the village idiot that he's made some serious mistakes-- and won't even enter into a serious discourse about the future.

Drum on the "Bush Bulge" 

No, it's not a sudden surge in the polls, it's the funny thing we see now after every debate in back of the President's jacket. Drum asks what it is, since it's pretty obvious it's not an earpiece transmitter. Karl Rove woulda come up with better material than W has...

Friday, October 15, 2004

Cheers to Jon Stewart 

Two nice things happened:

1- Jon Stewart went on "Crossfire" and called Tucker Carlson "a big dick," during an escalating exchange in which he lambasted fake debate shows like his and laughed at Carlson for trying to hold him to his supposedly journalistic standards.
("Crossfire" transcript)

2- I decided that being a blogger shouldn't prevent me from supporting John Kerry for President. Bush has been so wretched for this country and the planet generally, I'd be irresponsible not to. Just so long as you know. I'm going straight to the phone and offering to help.

BTW- Catch Mike Leigh's new film "Vera Drake" if you can. It's a great British period piece depicting working class London during the 1950's. It's about abortion and the good old days when rich girls got them after a shrink certified it a medical/mental neccesity, while poor girls took their chances illegally in a backroom--and everyone pretended it didn't happen, unless something went horribly wrong. Very civilized, very scary. Could be 2006 America if Bush gets back in.

Keeping the Faith 

Every October, some crazy malady strikes the Fenway Faithful. The Sox are down 2-0, but coming home. Schilling is possibly out to have surgery. This is familiar territory. Be strong Sox fans. The fat lady is warming up, but for Bush, hopefully not for the Olde Town Team.

Fighting for Democracy- in the U.S. 

Paul Krugman writes today about a subject that looms large in my mind about now, the dirty tricks that are being employed in various parts of the country to block voters rights. It's a serious and significant threat to the true expression of democracy.

Earlier this week, the NY Times ran an editorial encouraging people to Be Part of the Solution. It's got good ideas for ways to help protect your right to be counted.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Even-Less Secret Weapon 

Terry Neal in the Washington Post picked up on the secret weapon theory that's now gaining more mainstream press credibility. (see blog entries on September 26 and on October 4)

This excerpt is pertinent to the suspicion I have about the coming election day surprise for pollsters:

"Remember the Republican Revolution of 1994? Leading up to the midterm election that year, most pollsters and analysts expected GOP gains, but few predicted the ensuing blowout, in part because it was difficult to quantify through polls the emotions that were percolating among white male voters in particular that year.

In many ways, this year's election is all about the president. Poll after poll has shown that he is more beloved among Republicans than Kerry is beloved among Democrats. Both candidates have equal unfavorable ratings among members of the opposing party. Forty-seven percent of independents in yesterday's Washington Post poll have an unfavorable impression of Bush, while 44 percent have an unfavorable impression of Kerry. But what these numbers don't reveal is who will be most motivated to vote.

"Nobody knows for sure what's going to happen," said Jack Pitney, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College in California, who has long been active in Republican politics. "But hatred is a more reliable motivator than love, particularly in a state like Florida where you have hatred and anger mixed with a thirst for revenge."

Hatred is too strong, but there's a pretty serious anger out there and it's working to tamp down the sense of futility progressives often feel about the odds of beating the power structure and to bear up their willingness to accept a pragmatic option as a standard bearer. The only other option is accepting that four more years of the same are inevitable. Many people who barely considered the electoral process worth discussing in past years are now ready to mobilize family and friends to vote and to pull out others to the polls.

Pre-Spin Results Debate 3 

So, for the minute-by-minute experiment, here were the preliminary results. See how they'll differ from what people say later on:

"A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released shortly after the debate indicated that more who watched it gave Kerry the edge. Among the poll's 511 respondents, 53 percent said Kerry did better, and 39 percent said Bush did. The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 5 percentage points.

The poll represents the views of those who watched the face-off only, not all Americans."

-CNN website this morning

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Debate 3 Log minutes 

9:09-Bush- Would they be the same Canadians who were sending drugs from some potentially "third world" during the last debate?

9:14-Kerry- ceiling fans from China?

9:16-Bush- 1st Massachusetts dis

9:18-Bush- He's sending kids through school to get this guy's job back from overseas? Oh, I see... sometime in the 21st century...

9:20-Kerry- I think I hear a fat lady singing. This is pretty searing if you are a sitting President....

9:21-Kerry- Jobs, jobs, jobs... finally someone's talking about jobs.

9:23-Bush- I wouldn't start with Pell Grants when your backside is being paddled over jobs, but hey, that's just me...

9:25-Kerry- More Pell Grants?

9:26-Bush-hmm, do I like women or men?... let me think...yeah, it's hard to tell if your sexuality is a choice or an inclination...

9:27-Kerry- This is stand-up. Finally, he's not squishy on giving real respect to sexual equality.

9:31-Kerry- ...wow...the guy actually put together a serious statement about faith and justice, while opposing the Catholic Church on abortion and public policy

9:34-Bush-Started well on buyer not being payer in health care, but seems to have gotten lost in the lawsuit thing...

9:36-Kerry-... brought up those damn Canadians again... are we for them or against them? I can't tell anymore...

9:38-Kerry- Sorry numbers game on whether he's a leader

9:40-Bush- What? Got lost... OK back on track, earpiece working again. Now strident, better, feeling good about healthcare. Wish I was...

9:43-Kerry- Oww... hurt him about the veterans.

9:43-Bush- Oww! You hurt me about the veterans...

9:45-Bush- This is bold, he's staking turf on privatizing Social Security.

9:46-Kerry- It was bold, but Kerry is nailing Bush's butt to the wall for it.

9:48-Kerry- A little history here on SS... hmm, interesting, but getting involved and meandering.

9:49-Kerry- Ah, yes...jobs....jobs! work...nonresponsive, but quite smart.

9:51-Bush- Answer D on Immigration. All of the above.

9:52-Bush- Oh, OK, he's serious. But temporary workers? Hmm. Bet Kimba Wood woulda' gone for that.

9:54-Kerry- Tightening border controls- this'll sell.

9:56-Bush/Kerry- This isn't working for Bush. People are scared and Kerry is drilling the border thing...

9:57-Kerry- Tax fairness, wages, and women. hmm, sounds like a demographic to me.

9:58-Bush- Back to education again when the job thing gets in the way. Reading is the new civil right. "Minorities" will love this, especially if unemployed.

10:00-Kerry- Roe v. Wade thing sharp. Also now looking like he actually remembers race gap in education and jobs.

10:01-Bush- 2nd Massachusetts dis.

10:02-Kerry zinger on kids, education, and jobs- effective about no funding for kids left behind

10:06-Kerry/Bush- war again-- thought this was a domestic debate...guess that was too boring for them...

10:08-Bush- Nice shot on first Iraq war vote- oww!

10:10-Kerry-... talk about nice shot...the assault weapons issue is a serious problem for Bush and Kerry's 1st hand thing is tough to counter

10:13-Kerry- civil rights and affirmative action. I vaguely remember we used to talk about that in this country.

10:15-Bush- prayer, here it comes...he feels it.

10:18-Kerry- God and man, work to do, like ending unequal schools and discrimination

10:20-Kerry- uniter thing reaches after how divisive this campaign has been

10:22-Bush- Special interests, this is important to his base

10:24-Bush-best one liner-"stand up straight and don't scowl" from Laura


Kerry...greatest moments waiting out there to be grasped...

Bush...optimism from the painting...safety, safety, safety

Sinclair's Money 

As promised, we’re following up on what might be motivating Sinclair Broadcasting to run a smear documentary about John Kerry two weeks before the election on all their television stations.

Well, perhaps they just really like Republicans. Or maybe war.

They stopped their stations from running “Nightline” earlier this year on the night that host Ted Koeppel read the names of the then hundreds of American soldiers to die in Iraq. When this occurred, Media Channel.org’s Timothy Karr wrote the following summary of Sinclair’s political inclination when it comes to giving money.

“Of the top twenty TV and Radio companies to make political contributions in 2004, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, is among the most conservative, giving 98 percent of its $65,434 in political contributions to GOP candidates.

By comparison, Clear Channel Communications, the conservative radio colossus run by longtime Bush cronies Tom and Steve Hicks, has given only 75 percent of its 2004 contributions to Republicans; Democratic candidates have received the remaining 25 percent of Clear Channel's political largesse.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Sinclair CEO and President David Smith personally gave $2,000, the maximum individual contribution, to President Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.”

Sinclair Broadcasting News 

Go to mediachannel.org for more information about Sinclair Broadcasting's attempt to smear Senator Kerry with a "news" documentary featuring all your favorite Swift Boaters in cameo appearances. They'll run this in swing state media markets, interrupting prime time programs, for the Swifties to spew vitriol at the twenty-something Kerry for coming home from Vietnam to oppose the war, yes, way back when... but wait! they offer Kerry a chance to come on and rubut the charges in an interview format. So it's fair, right?

"Senator Kerry, when did you stop hating America?"

Thanks for the link to Michael Phillips.

More soon on the just-so-predictable giving habits of Sinclair's exec's.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

E-mail from Baghdad 

Wall Street Journal Middle East reporter Farnaz Fassihi wrote an e-mail home from Iraq to friends a couple of weeks ago that has been pinging around the internet like a sonar signal from a hidden iceberg beneath the surface of a well-traveled shipping lane.

She describes the devolution of life in Iraq with the resignation reserved for a limited inner circle, while she was faced with both a desperate situation and a professional responsibility to describe this hell calmly in public communications.

Fassihi is battle-hardened and she's no stranger to conflict or danger, but her description below is of a level of chaos she clearly hasn't seen in Afghanistan or elsewhere.

The e-mail follows:

Subject: From Baghdad

Being a foreign correspondent in Baghdad these days is like being under virtual house arrest. Forget about the reasons that lured me to this job: a chance to see the world, explore the exotic, meet new people in far away lands, discover their ways and tell stories that could make a difference.

Little by little, day-by-day, being based in Iraq has defied all those reasons. I am house bound. I leave when I have a very good reason to and a scheduled interview. I avoid going to people's homes and never walk in the streets. I can't go grocery shopping any more, can't eat in restaurants, can't strike a conversation with strangers, can't look for stories, can't drive in any thing but a full armored car, can't go to scenes of breaking news stories, can't be stuck in traffic, can't speak English outside, can't take a road trip, can't say I'm an American, can't linger at checkpoints, can't be curious about what people are saying, doing, feeling. And can't and can't. There has been one too many close calls, including a car bomb so near our house that it blew out all the windows. So now my most pressing concern every day is not to write a kick-ass story but to stay alive and make sure our Iraqi employees stay alive. In Baghdad I am a security personnel first, a reporter second.

It's hard to pinpoint when the 'turning point' exactly began. Was it April when the Fallujah fell out of the grasp of the Americans? Was it when Moqtada and Jish Mahdi declared war on the U.S. military? Was it when Sadr City, home to ten percent of Iraq's population, became a nightly battlefield for the Americans? Or was it when the insurgency began spreading from isolated pockets in the Sunni triangle to include most of Iraq? Despite President Bush's rosy assessments, Iraq remains a disaster. If under Saddam it was a 'potential' threat, under the Americans it has been transformed to 'imminent and active threat,' a foreign policy failure bound to haunt the United States for decades to come.

Iraqis like to call this mess 'the situation.' When asked 'how are thing?' they reply: 'the situation is very bad."

What they mean by situation is this: the Iraqi government doesn't control most Iraqi cities, there are several car bombs going off each day around the country killing and injuring scores of innocent people, the country's roads are becoming impassable and littered by hundreds of landmines and explosive devices aimed to kill American soldiers, there are assassinations, kidnappings and beheadings. The situation, basically, means a raging barbaric guerilla war. In four days, 110 people died and over 300 got injured in Baghdad alone. The numbers are so shocking that the ministry of health -- which was attempting an exercise of public transparency by releasing the numbers -- has now stopped disclosing them.

Insurgents now attack Americans 87 times a day.

A friend drove thru the Shiite slum of Sadr City yesterday. He said young men were openly placing improvised explosive devices into the ground. They melt a shallow hole into the asphalt, dig the explosive, cover it with dirt and put an old tire or plastic can over it to signal to the locals this is booby-trapped. He said on the main roads of Sadr City, there were a dozen landmines per every ten yards. His car snaked and swirled to avoid driving over them. Behind the walls sits an angry Iraqi ready to detonate them as soon as an American convoy gets near. This is in Shiite land, the population that was supposed to love America for liberating Iraq.

For journalists the significant turning point came with the wave of abduction and kidnappings. Only two weeks ago we felt safe around Baghdad because foreigners were being abducted on the roads and highways between towns. Then came a frantic phone call from a journalist female friend at 11 p.m. telling me two Italian women had been abducted from their homes in broad daylight. Then the two Americans, who got beheaded this week and the Brit, were abducted from their homes in a residential neighborhood. They were supplying the entire block with round the clock electricity from their generator to win friends. The abductors grabbed one of them at 6 a.m. when he came out to switch on the generator; his beheaded body was thrown back near the neighborhoods.

The insurgency, we are told, is rampant with no signs of calming down. If any thing, it is growing stronger, organized and more sophisticated every day. The various elements within it-baathists, criminals, nationalists and Al Qaeda-are cooperating and coordinating.

I went to an emergency meeting for foreign correspondents with the military and embassy to discuss the kidnappings. We were somberly told our fate would largely depend on where we were in the kidnapping chain once it was determined we were missing. Here is how it goes: criminal gangs grab you and sell you up to Baathists in Fallujah, who will in turn sell you to Al Qaeda. In turn, cash and weapons flow the other way from Al Qaeda to the Baathisst to the criminals. My friend Georges, the French journalist snatched on the road to Najaf, has been missing for a month with no word on release or whether he is still alive.

America's last hope for a quick exit? The Iraqi police and National Guard units we are spending billions of dollars to train. The cops are being murdered by the dozens every day-over 700 to date -- and the insurgents are infiltrating their ranks. The problem is so serious that the U.S. military has allocated $6 million dollars to buy out 30,000 cops they just trained to get rid of them quietly.

As for reconstruction: firstly it's so unsafe for foreigners to operate that almost all projects have come to a halt. After two years, of the $18 billion Congress appropriated for Iraq reconstruction only about $1 billion or so has been spent and a chuck has now been reallocated for improving security, a sign of just how bad things are going here.

Oil dreams? Insurgents disrupt oil flow routinely as a result of sabotage and oil prices have hit record high of $49 a barrel. Who did this war exactly benefit? Was it worth it? Are we safer because Saddam is holed up and Al Qaeda is running around in Iraq?

Iraqis say that thanks to America they got freedom in exchange for insecurity. Guess what? They say they'd take security over freedom any day, even if it means having a dictator ruler.

I heard an educated Iraqi say today that if Saddam Hussein were allowed to run for elections he would get the majority of the vote. This is truly sad.

Then I went to see an Iraqi scholar this week to talk to him about elections here. He has been trying to educate the public on the importance of voting. He said, "President Bush wanted to turn Iraq into a democracy that would be an example for the Middle East. Forget about democracy, forget about being a model for the region, we have to salvage Iraq before all is lost."

One could argue that Iraq is already lost beyond salvation. For those of us on the ground it's hard to imagine what if any thing could salvage it from its violent downward spiral. The genie of terrorism, chaos and mayhem has been unleashed onto this country as a result of American mistakes and it can't be put back into a bottle.

The Iraqi government is talking about having elections in three months while half of the country remains a 'no go zone'-out of the hands of the government and the Americans and out of reach of journalists. In the other half, the disenchanted population is too terrified to show up at polling stations. The Sunnis have already said they'd boycott elections, leaving the stage open for polarized government of Kurds and Shiites that will not be deemed as legitimate and will most certainly lead to civil war.

I asked a 28-year-old engineer if he and his family would participate in the Iraqi elections since it was the first time Iraqis could to some degree elect a leadership. His response summed it all: "Go and vote and risk being blown into pieces or followed by the insurgents and murdered for cooperating with the Americans? For what? To practice democracy? Are you joking?"


This letter home, not written for our eyes, has a far more devastating effect than the most critical reportage. It has gotten Ms. Fassihi into the epicenter of a media maelstrom about showing her personal feelings about the “situation.” She’s been brought home on a scheduled rotation and it’s unclear what the WSJ has in mind for her.

However the leaked e-mail, distributed without permission, affects Fassihi’s career, it should have an impact on our understanding of the nature of the conflict. Some of the writing about her e-mail by the Houston Chronicle’s editorial page and by Tom Scocca in the New York Observer put some context around it.

Thanks to Michael Phillips for sending the e-mail.

"... we're not always right, that's a fairy tale, but..." 

"It is in seeking our truth... that we find a better ideal and a better America."

-Bruce Springsteen, in Washington DC tonight, singing at a concert benefiting a progressive turnout in the elections on Nov. 2, 2004.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Cooked Books (and Continued Violence) in Iraq 

In the fatally flawed accounting used by the Administration to defend the bloody Iraq occupation as a success-in-progress, the Iraqi police force is slated to include 100,000 "fully trained" officers by the year's end.

Read an Op Ed by Sean Flynn in today's NY Times for one of the trainers view of that promise. A retired Major in the Massachusetts State Police, Gerald F. Burke, sent to train his counterparts-to-be, discusses the difference between the statistic and the brutal reality for the Iraqi police-in-training.

It's interesting to note that the Administration also rejected placing 6,000 international police advisors in Iraq last year-- when it might have made a difference to the devolution of order there.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Marines Question Why 

The grinding, open-ended war of attrition in Iraq is leading Marines in country to openly question why we're there.

From Steve Fainaru's article in today's Washington Post: "I feel we're going to be here for years and years and years," said Lance Cpl. Edward Elston, 22, of Hackettstown, N.J. "I don't think anything is going to get better; I think it's going to get a lot worse. It's going to be like a Palestinian-type deal. We're going to stop being a policing presence and then start being an occupying presence. . . . We're always going to be here. We're never going to leave."

He's not alone. This is going downhill fast and the men and women out there need answers.

Bush to Peeple, "I'm One'a Y'all" 

Given the Dred Scott reference from Friday night's Town Hall and the amazing way President W always has a little bigger strut and a little deeper drawl whenever the occasion calls for more folkyness, I kick myself every time I misunderestimate his skills as a politician. He's like Glenn Close at the end of "Fatal Attraction."

It's not about Queensbury Rules for him, it's about doing whatever it takes...Don't think he's been put away till the fat lady sings.

Re: Sox/Yanks 

... revenge is a dish best served cold, and this year's edition of the Olde Towne Team has had plenty of time to chill and gel. It would be sweet to travel through the Bronx on the way to St. Louis.

Bring it On! 

... No, not the insurgency in Iraq.

The other Yankees are coming to do battle. Red Sox Nation awaits. We wouldn't have it any other way.

The Scales Have Fallen... (and boy am I scared to see this) 

Try this Google search and see if you still think Bush's reference to the 1857 Dred Scott decision was so weird and stupid as I did today...

Thanks to excellent blog-raking by Paperwight's Fair Shot, you can see that the President wasn't just attempting to wrap up the anti-slavery vote last night by citing a 150 year old Supreme Court decision upholding slavery as a bad idea. No, he was using a code that is now well known to serious and fanatical anti-abortion legal "scholars," who equate the thinking in Dred Scott with great regularity to the thinking behind Roe v. Wade, which established the right to privacy extending to abortion in the first trimester.

This is, when you realize it, part of a well worn appropriation of civil rights history by various threads of the Christian Right political movement. Bush was attempting to say, in code, because he can't say it out loud, that he'd make sure that new appointees to the high court overturn Roe v. Wade.

Pass this on. Anyone who thought the choice issue was important during the last thirty-plus years ought to know that Bush is taking this radical stance but would rather not say so in plain language to everyone.

NY Times 

In their editorial yesterday, the NY Times mentioned the seemingly bizarre Supreme Court answer by Bush in Friday's debate as "utterly incoherent"... without having the connection Paperwight brought to it. If only it WAS just utterly incoherent, I'd feel less concerned.

See Paperwight's Fair Shot. This is worth multiple checks to links contained there.

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