Saturday, October 23, 2004

Gotta Get Down to It... Ohio Intimidation Squads 

On the subject of “It’s hard to vote,” the Republicans are attempting to make it harder in Ohio. Michael Moss writes in today’s NY Times that the GOP will be doing the opposite of encouraging democracy there on Nov. 2. Instead, they’ll be stationing thousands of recruits in polling places to challenge the credentials of voters in the Buckeye State.

Hmm, where do we think they’ll be stationing these recruits? Probably not in Shaker Heights. No, they’ll be in working class and African American neighborhoods.

Will they be volunteering to insure the credibility of voters because they really believe that fraud is taking place? No, they’ll be paid $100 apiece to challenge voters.

Will there be concerted effort to slow, intimidate, and otherwise disrupt voting in these communities? You betcha.

Euro Notes 

Two other items in the press here... the Independent in UK reports that former Cabinet Minister Claire Short has accused Tony Blair of deliberately misleading the public on the intel before the Iraq invasion-- sound familiar?

And in the hardly surprising department, many US citizens abroad are reporting bizarre problems trying to cast a ballot in the Presidential election. Some are sent sample ballots, two ballots, no ballots, some are sent ballots marked "Military." One reports getting a ballot with Al Gore on it. Florida Euro? Let's hope not...

Kissing Up to Henry 

Well, I’m back in old Europe, reading up on the US as it’s seen over here. There’s a fascinating piece in the International Herald Tribune about good old Henry Kissinger, the press’ favorite war criminal. Turns out he had his secretary snoop on all his calls and transcribe them. The transcripts have finally been released through the Freedom of Information Act and the results are highly embarrassing for some notable journalists. The sucking up never ended for Ted Koppel and Marvin Kalb. Poor Kalb, caught on transcript calling Kissinger to tell him he had a friend in Marvin, felt betrayed. “I didn’t think he would be so duplicitous—you can underscore that word—as to record my conversations for his future exploitation,” the former CBS journalist whines.

Ted Koppel, then covering Kissinger for ABC, told Kissinger in one call, “It has been an extraordinary three years for me and I’ve enjoyed it immensely… if I had a teacher like you earlier I might not have been so cynical.”

If these people had covered Kissinger as toughly as he deserved to be earlier, I might not be so cynical either.

Friday, October 22, 2004

No More Florida Foldup 

If you're worried about the election being stolen again this year, there's backup on the way. 10,000 lawyers have volunteered to be an hour's flight away or on the ground already in swing states to be a quick reaction to the shenanigans we saw in 2000.

Don't expect Kerry to do an Al Gore redux if it's disputed either. The Kerry campaign has prepared to announce the new administration's national security team on November 3, whether or not the outcome is still in dispute. They'll do what Bush did last time-- pretend you've won already.

Red State, Blue State 

See the LA Times story about the electoral math narrowing. The really interesting thing is to look not at the Southern strategy, which really is old hat since 2000, but at the possibility of Kerry carrying Colorado.

The LA Times map is also lots of fun if you enjoy thinking of ways to win with/without Ohio, Michigan, Florida, etc.
Keep the scary "Hail to the Chief" from playing for the Red States by keeping them under 270.

Hell Froze Over 

Hell Froze Over. Dateline NY. The Boys from Boston took the pennant. Unbelievable. Killed them 10-3. Not close. Once the aura of invincibility was gone, the Bronx Bombers were just another team to beat. This is something to keep in mind on November 2, for everyone waiting for the other shoe to drop from Karl Rove's gnarled hands.

Personally, I'm just glad to be able to call my Dad and say, "We lived to see it." They went right through the Yankees!"

The only thing that would have made this more politically perfect would be to face the Astros in the World Series. Massachusetts v. Texas. But this'll do just fine.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Go Sox! 

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words...

Wounds That Can't Be Exploited Enough 

Jim Rutenberg and Kate Zernike's article in today's NY Times casts more light on the extent of the charges made (and made up) in Sinclair's docuschlock, "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal." Their article states that the film's accusations include that Kerry, "single-handedly prolonged the Vietnam War, worsened the torture of prisoners of war and ultimately caused countless, needless deaths with his antiwar activism 30 years ago."

One thing that continues to fascinate is the proximity of the Swift Boat Veterans to the Sinclair documentary to the political past of Karl Rove. Kenneth Cordier, freshly resigned as an advisor to the Bush campaign, appears prominently in the now truncated documentary, bashing Kerry anew. After his debut in the Swift Boat Veteran ad, I guess he was a celebrity...The Swiftie ads, the the Swiftie book, now the documentary, ping, ping, ping-- and then an election. Hey, I'm just asking...maybe it only LOOKS like a plan out of the Lee Atwater playbook...

...and the Supreme Court is Extra Innings? 

Amy Sullivan, as a guest on Drum's Political Animal blog, equates the Bush/ Kerry struggle to the Evil Empire/ Red Sox series.

Sinclair Blinks 

Sinclair Broadcasting, under scrutiny by media watchdogs and it's stock plummeting on Wall St, changed plans to air it's anti-Kerry screed, "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal." The company will now air in it's place a program, "A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media," that incorporates parts of the film. Doubtless, the rest will be dedicated to explaining why Sinclair was right in the first place.

With lawsuits being filed and programming being offered by progressive groups for equal time on their 62 stations, Sinclair claimed it wasn't backing down. Just ducking and covering I guess. I'm sure the growing boycott of their advertisers had nothing to do with their decision.

We Believe! 

Unbelievable as it is, the phones in Red Sox Nation are ringing with joy at strange hours. "Can you believe it?"

We believe! Sox pitcher Kurt Schilling, with blood seeping through his sock, pitched seven beautiful innings and the team made history. Red Sox 4, Yankees 2. That's three. The guys never quit. Whatever happens, they've been extraordinary.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

...And Speaking of Making It Up 

...you couldn't make up last night's 14 inning twist to the series that wouldn't die. Boston 5 Yankees 4. That's two times back from the dead. David Ortiz could take all 12 of Massachusetts' Electoral Votes if the election were held today. Imagine THAT math.

Making It Up As You Go Along 

Kate Zernike’s article in today’s NY Times reports on more fallout from Sinclair Broadcasting’s last-minute smear campaign against Senator Kerry. Kenneth J. Campbell, a decorated ex-Marine who’s shown in Sinclair’s mockumentary, “Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal,” sued Sinclair and a theater slated to show the film for allegedly distorting his comments through editing and omission.

“It edits little clips to make it look like they’re just making up instances,” Campbell said. The film’s screening at a local theater was cancelled when management got word of Campbell’s defamation suit.

Meanwhile, Sinclair’s Washington Bureau Chief, Jonathan Lieberman, was fired by Sinclair for objecting to the broadcaster’s plans to air the documentary as news on it’s 62 stations, two weeks before the election.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Still. In. The. House. 

We're still in the house.
-David Ortiz
6-4. in 12 innings.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Sinclair's Folly 

Bill Carter's article in tomorrow's NY Times highlights the downside for Sinclair Broadcasting in running their anti-Kerry smear documentary. Sometimes too much really IS enough.

Keeping the Faith II 

Down 3-0, Derek Lowe, the disgraced- yet pitching well, the Sox still are hanging in--down 2-0 in the middle of the 5th. These guys have class.

Political Flu Outbreak 

The shortage of flu vaccine came in for some back and forth on Wednesday night during the Presidential debate.

During the exchange, the President gave us all the “inside scoop” on how this problem developed because of a UK company and that US officials were thinking about resolving it by importing more vaccine from Canada (yes, the same Canada that Bush was so concerned might import drugs from "a third world" during debate 2).

Interestingly, the company President Bush referred to as being “out of the UK” turns out to be a US company, Chiron, “out of” Emeryville, CA. Another blog, South Knox Bubba, points out that it wasn’t US authorities that uncovered the problem as Bush implied, but UK authorities, checking into Chiron’s manufacturing process.

Hopefully we’ll see more on this soon, as Kevin Drum at Political Animal is also following up on the flu story…

I just can’t get over how reflexive lying seems to be for Bush. Even on the little things, he makes it up as he goes along.

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