Thursday, July 29, 2004


John Kerry closes the Democratic Convention reminding us that America can do better, setting the guidelines for his presidency, and promising that help is on the way.

Please contribute to the Kerry/Edwards campaign!!!

Breaking News: "July Surprise" - Pakistanis Deliver on Their Part of the Deal

Pakistan Says It Seizes Top Qaeda Suspect-Arabiya TV

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Reuters) - Pakistan has arrested a top al Qaeda suspect wanted by the United States, Al Arabiya satellite news channel quoted Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf as saying. (...)

Just as predicted by TNR. What I find mind-bending is how the story reveals they apprehended the guy days ago, but Pakistan waited to release this info until TODAY, as requested by Rove months ago (according to the revealing article by TNR, the Bush administration negotiated in advance with Pakistan the capture of a "high level" al Qaeda member to coincide with the Democratic Convention). They sure waited until hours before the key speech by Kerry at the Democratic convention, exactly as they asked the Pakistanis to do.

Even after a major magazine blew the lid on these people they are adamant enough to go ahead with the plan. Tony Soprano would be proud of Karl Rove.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Democratic Convention - Second Day

On with the second day. The highlight of the night were the speeches of Dean, Barack Obama and Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Howard Dean, the man who energize our party and made it ok to criticize the GOP policies in difficult times, focused his speech on party unity and the need for accountability. His call for accountability was not just referred to a Bush administration out of control, but accountability from Democrats that did not stand up to the most ominous transgressions of our freedoms and rights by the Bush/Cheney gang.

  • Click here to read a transcript of Howard Dean's address
  • Click here to listen Howard Dean's address in Windows Media audio
  • Click here to view Howard Dean's address in RM streaming video

    Barack Obama delivered the keynote speech of the convention and proved to everyone his strength, conviction, and potential. Barack Obama has definitely arrived, and he will be a force within the Democratic Party. Obama focused on the promise of America, on the beauty of the American dream and the hopes for a better future that it offered to millions. He used the story of his father's humble beginnings as an example. Obama also appealed to the media to change the tune regarding a "divided America," exhorting us all to look past our differences and believe on those things that unite us and make us stronger as a nation. Powerful and moving speech masterfully delivered.

  • Click here to read a transcript of Barack Obama's address
  • Click here to listen Barack Obama's address in Windows Media audio
  • Click here to view Barack Obama's address in RM streaming video

    Teresa Heinz Kerry delivered a very inspiring speech about hope. She demonstrated to be a strong woman with principles and deep convictions. She brushed the recent attacks by right-wing critics by pointing that men do not get the same media treatment in similar situations. She introduced her husband to us with class and the deep believe that John Kerry represents the hope for a better tomorrow.

  • Click here to read a transcript of Teresa Heinz Kerry's address
  • Click here to listen Teresa Heinz Kerry's address in Windows Media audio
  • Click here to view Teresa Heinz Kerry's address in RM streaming video

    Now on to day three!!!

  • Teresa, You Tell Him!!!

    Joe Conason has a great article today about the incident between Teresa Heinz Kerry and the right-wing reporter that harassed her all day on Sunday. As the media have reported ad nauseam, Teresa told him to "shove it" after he kept chasing her around asking her the very same questions over and over again.

    What they are not reporting is that the reporter is from a Scaife-funded newspaper (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) that has been dogging her and her husband for years, peddling all sorts of dirt and innuendo in their pages.

    If it was me, I would have probably said a few stronger words to that guy.

    Here's a song I think it expresses what Teresa should have told that guy (make sure you listen until the very end):

    Download: Martha Wainwright - "BMFA" (song offered courtesy of Salon.com)

    (Note: the explicit content of that song may not be appropriate for children)

    Morning News Shows - more sugar, less brains

    I have to confess I have a bad habit: every morning I watch a bit of CNN with my wakey, wakey coffee. I swear it's not good for my health (watching CNN, not the coffee).

    I have noticed that in the morning shows they get away with a lot, probably more than they do in prime-time, but since CNN decided to "outfox Fox", I think their whole programming schedule is one atrocity after another.

    One things that truly bothers me about the CNN morning show is its utter brainlessness and lack of insight that all their anchors, reporters, and analysts display. They could replace them all with carton cutouts, mannequins or Lego figurines, and I'm not sure many people would notice. Once thing is for sure: these people take the RNC faxes like they are their personal schedule for the day. Case in point: Bill Hemmer found the pictures of Kerry with the astronaut suit very funny, so he spent the entire morning peddling these pictures to anyone he interviewed. He would end up every interview at the Convention asking about these funny pictures and how damaging hey are, and how much the Repugs will use them against Kerry, and if there's a way to recover from this.... and so and so on...

    I switched channels and saw Katie Couric interviewing Jon Stewart. She was all over him, giggling, like a Japanese schoolgirl, touching his leg, holding his hand, making cute voices, and cutely berating Jon for making fun of the big media. Enough to give you a sugar coma, I swear. Jon looked a bit surprised by Katie's advances.

    Later on the NBC show, Katie had to introduce a piece about Michael Moore inviting Bush to see F9/11 in Crawford. Her face turned sour and her voice adopted a disgusted tone. She looked as if she could have been talking about roaches or sewage systems. Little Katie is pissed off that Moore made fun of her in F9/11. You can't criticize big media, apparently. It all turns personal with these people.

    Of course, they all had little to say about the Democratic Convention, despite broadcasting from the very Fleet Center in Boston.

    Tuesday, July 27, 2004

    Democratic Convention - Inspiring First Day

    Unlike many of our fellow bloggers who were invited to share their views at the convention (lucky devils), I was resigned to view the speeches on CSPAN and type my commentary from home. Still, it was a pretty good experience, and all the speakers delivered powerful and inspiring calls to unity, confidence and victory.

    The first of the top speeches was delivered by the man who was supposed to be president, Al Gore. His speech, while strong and determined, was peppered with a terrific sense of humor and the capability of making fun of himself comfortably. He highlighted the importance of voting, the responsibility of all citizens by exercising their right to vote.

  • Click here to read a transcript of Al Gore's address
  • Click here to listen Al Gore's address in Windows Media audio
  • Click here to view Al Gore's address in RM streaming video

    Jimmy Carter delivered an outstanding speech which focused, almost exclusively, on the disastrous Bush presidency, and criticized the damage done to American standing in world affairs by the Bush administration. Jimmy Carter did all this without mentioning Bush by name, not even once! Quite a class act, if you ask me. His tone was grave and concerned, and emphasized the abysmal differences in character between Bush and Kerry, reminding the audience of the heroic service of John Kerry in Vietnam. His money quote: "In the world at large we cannot lead if our leaders mislead." Ouch!

  • Click here to read a transcript of Jimmy Carter's address
  • Click here to listen Jimmy Carter's address in Windows Media audio
  • Click here to view Jimmy Carter's address in RM streaming video

    Bill Clinton was introduced by his wife Hilary, and delivered THE SPEECH. The man is the Michael Jordan of oratory, the Lance Armstrong of public speaking. It truly was an enjoyable speech, strong and convincing without reservations. He focused most of it on drawing the serious differences between the Bush team and Kerry on the economy, foreign affairs, and defense. Over and over again he ripped apart the policies of the Bush administration using logic, empathy and common sense. Clinton roused the audience with a call to “send him [Kerry] in" and to remind Americans that unlike Republicans, Democrats do not need a divided nation to triumph.

  • Click here to read a transcript of Bill Clinton's address
  • Click here to listen Bill Clinton's address in Windows Media audio
  • Click here to view Bill Clinton's address in RM streaming video

    Now on to day two!!!

  • Friday, July 23, 2004

    9/11 Report: "Move along! Nothing to see here"

    Yesterday the much awaited report of the 9/11 Commission was released, and as many have suggested, I feel it is disappointing as it doesn't point at any officials in particular, or specifies who's to blame for the serious lapses in security, intelligence and law enforcement that allowed the tragedy to take place. It's "typical D.C." in the sense that it claims "mistakes were made" and "nobody's to blame". You can picture them holding hands singing "Cumbaya."

    It is interesting, though, how in chapter 8 of the massive report they stop short of actually saying "Condi Rice and Dubya really dropped the ball on this one." I think that very chapter is key to understand the state of the administration before the tragedy and the missteps that led to the security failures.  Still, in the 'spirit of bipartisanship,' the report does not outright say what needed to be done. It's an election year after all.

    To read more about the report, I recommend you the following articles:

    Reading Between the Lines
    What's covered in the 9-11 report? What's covered up?
    by James Ridgeway, The Village Voice

    'The 9/11 report: Bad news for Bush'
    by David Corn, The Nation.

    Thursday, July 22, 2004

    Story of a Fake Scandal

    By now you probably have heard the outrageous stories being blasted all over the media about Sandy Berger. This is a prime example of how the RNC has a stronghold on American media, setting the agenda, and manipulating the facts with no checks and balances. Let's try to recap:

    - Sandy Berger, in preparation for his deposition to the 9/11 commission, requests access to classified documents. In late 2003 he is given access to copies of some of these documents. He forgets to return a couple of these copies. Following procedure for these types of things, there's an investigation.

    - Two days before the release of the report by the 9/11 commission, the "news" of the investigation of Sandy Berger's handling of those classified documents is leaked to the media. Our "so called unbiased media" makes a huge scandal of this, in many cases acknowledging that they are getting their primary source of information from RNC's faxes (CNN).

    - As the day progresses, every shady medium starts spinning the story in convoluted ways. By mid-day, they were claiming Berger stuffed top-secret documents in his socks. By the evening, Berger smuggled the documents in his underwear. The usual suspects were trying to tie this to Kerry. By the next day, some were speculating Berger was going to sell those "top secret al-qaeda documents" in the black market. It was beyond ridiculous.

    - Sane heads prevailed, and people like David Gergen made sure to set the record straight, and point at the convenient timing of the leak. It seemed like it could serve as a nice distraction from the potentially devastating findings of the 9/11 commission.

    - DNC chairman Terry McCauliff requested the release of any documents pertinent to communications between the Justice Department and the White House regarding the Sandy Berger leak. There's a strong suspicions that the leak came from the Justice Dept.

    In all this, a nasty campaign orchestrated by the RNC, the media has played the role of the Republican attack dog, unable to even question the motives or even the veracity of these so-called "revelations." CNN played a disgustingly servile role, with all its anchors (Paula Zahn, Wolf Blitzer) spewing RNC propaganda without even blinking.

    Tuesday, July 13, 2004

    The Deficit is Out of Control

    This is just unbelievable! They are about to reach new deficit records:
    Deficit balloons to $326.6 billion

    The government's deficit ballooned to $326.6 billion in the first nine months of the 2004 budget year, according to a snapshot of U.S. balance sheets released Tuesday.

    That's more than 20 percent larger than the $269.7 billion shortfall for the corresponding period last year. For the current budget year which began Oct. 1, this spending has totaled $1.73 trillion, 6.4 percent more than the same period a year ago. Revenues came to $1.40 trillion, 3.5 percent more than the previous year. (...)

    The government produced a record $374 billion deficit last year.

    The Congressional Budget Office has said this year's budget deficit is expected to be less than the $477 billion shortfall the office projected in March. The White House is expected to lower its forecast from the current $521 billion deficit projected for this year whenever it releases updated figures.
    So it's July and the deficit for the year is already $326.6 billion, that's only $50 billion short of the entire deficit for 2003. They are definitely on their way to beat any possible records. The deficit for 2004 will most likely surpass the unbelievable number of half a trillion bucks. Ponder on that!

    Our grandchildren will thank us for this one day, I'm sure...

    Friday, July 09, 2004

    Destroyed records... yeah... that's the ticket...

    In another amazing "coincidence" that once again saves the reputation of Dear Leader, the military records of Bush have been "so conveniently" destroyed. These are the specific records could have established for good the whereabouts of Bush during his "missing year" in service.

    New York Times

    Pentagon Says Bush Records of Service Were Destroyed

    Military records that could help establish President Bush's whereabouts during his disputed service in the Texas Air National Guard more than 30 years ago have been inadvertently destroyed, according to the Pentagon.
    It said the payroll records of "numerous service members," including former First Lt. Bush, had been ruined in 1996 and 1997 by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service during a project to salvage deteriorating microfilm. No back-up paper copies could be found, it added in notices dated June 25.

    The destroyed records cover three months of a period in 1972 and 1973 when Mr. Bush's claims of service in Alabama are in question. (...)

    How freakin' convenient!

    Wednesday, July 07, 2004

    Talking Points Memo blows lid off of OBL "October Surprise"

    This is the story that Josh M. Marshall was referring recently. This is HUUUUUGE!!!

    A couple months ago, in passing, I noted that the Bush administration had been leaning heavily on the Pakistanis to produce some high-value al Qaida bad-guys -- bin Laden? Mullah Omar? Zawahiri? -- at the end of July, nicely timed to knock the Democratic convention seriously off-stride, and certainly, if at all possible, before the November election.

    Well, tomorrow The New Republic is going to release a story -- written by recent TPM guest bloggers John Judis and Spencer Ackerman and another colleague -- which provides considerably more evidence and detail about what they've been up to.

    I'm told Judis and Ackerman have mulitple Pakistani intelligence sources confirming key details.

    If only baggin OBL had been such a priority for them in early '02. But, alas, Iraq called. And priorities are priorities.

    More shady behavior from this very shady administration.

    TNR Article "July Surprise?"

    Here's the revealing article previously announced by Joshua Micah Marshall:
    July Surprise?

    by John B. Judis, Spencer Ackerman & Massoud Ansari

    ate last month, President Bush lost his greatest advantage in his bid for reelection. A poll conducted by ABC News and The Washington Post discovered that challenger John Kerry was running even with the president on the critical question of whom voters trust to handle the war on terrorism. Largely as a result of the deteriorating occupation of Iraq, Bush lost what was, in April, a seemingly prohibitive 21-point advantage on his signature issue. But, even as the president's poll numbers were sliding, his administration was implementing a plan to insure the public's confidence in his hunt for Al Qaeda.

    This spring, the administration significantly increased its pressure on Pakistan to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman Al Zawahiri, or the Taliban's Mullah Mohammed Omar, all of whom are believed to be hiding in the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan.(...)
    Read the whole thing here:

    The New Republic

    Shrek and the "homosexual agenda"

    More wit and wisdom from the loonie bin: right-wing fundamentalist X-tians just started a campaign to boycott the cartoon "Shrek 2" because, get a hold of this, it promotes "the homosexual agenda."
    Traditional Values Coalition to boycott Shrek

    The [Traditional Values Coalition‘s] advisory says, "Parents who are thinking about taking their children to see 'Shrek 2,' may wish to consider the following: The movie features a male-to-female transgender (in transition) as an evil bartender. The character has five o'clock shadow, wears a dress and has female breasts. It is clear that he is a she-male. His voice is that of talk show host Larry King."

    The bartender is only the beginning. The warning continues: "During a dance scene at the end of the movie, this transgendered man expresses sexual desire for Prince Charming, jumps on him, and both tumble to the floor." ... And then, the warning says, "In another scene in the movie, Shrek and Donkey need to be rescued from a dungeon where they are chained against the wall."

    The warning continues: "The rescue is conducted by Pinocchio who is asked to lie so his nose will grow long enough for one of the smaller cartoon characters to use it as a bridge to reach Shrek and Donkey. Donkey encourages him to lie about something and suggests he lie about wearing women's underwear. When he denies wearing women's underwear, his nose begins to grow."

    I called Frank York, the editorial director for the Traditional Values Coalition, and asked him: "Are you serious?"

    "Yes," he said. "Yes, I am." He said, "What they showed in the film was supposed to be humorous, but if you look at the transgender agenda ... there are more serious things going on here." ... Anyway, he talked about the whole transsexual agenda and how it wants to take over the world and stuff like that. He clearly spends a lot of time thinking about transsexuals, not that there's anything wrong with that.(...)
    Unbelievable. Our own "Taliban" keeps their crusade against fuzzy, funny-looking animated creatures. Fictional creatures. Now the Teletubbies have good companionship with the likeable fellows from Shrek... and their "eeeevil homosexual ways."

    Hey guys: don't forget Bugs Bunny! He used to smooch Elmer Fudd all the time! I hear they've been sharing an apartment in Chelsea for years... Roommates! Yeah, that's the ticket...


    Tuesday, July 06, 2004

    The "So Called Liberal Media" Start Trashing Edwards

    the SCLM didn't wait around to start trashing Edwards.

    On CNN this morning they had their congressional reporter Joe Johns saying that Edwards is a problem for the Dems because, being a trial lawyer he is considered (and I quote) "an enemy of corporate America." Just like that, CNN declares a candidate an "enemy" of capitalism.

    This was followed by that nasty ideologue, Bill Schneider, CNN's Republican operative on staff. Schneider looked smug and talked about Edwards in very condescending terms. Schneider had the temerity to say that the VP debates will be a win for Cheney, because Edwards "will look like his grandson" and also Cheney brings (and I quote) lots of "gravitas" and "war experience, Like Gulf War I, Afghanistan, Iraq..." I almost lose my breakfast right there.

    Every day CNN is not telling its viewers that Bill Schneider is a Republican strategist and an AEI scholar, it's committing FRAUD. Schneider, Lundz, and others should not be allowed to wear two hats without a major disclaimer.

    On a positive note, Kerry's choice upset the laughable NY Post. This is absolutely hilarious, and another indication of how little credibility the Murdoch media really have. Apparently the rabidly right-wing rag printed today in the cover that Kerry had picked Gephardt for VP. Archive your copy of today's NY Post with that famous cover headline: "Dewey Defeat's Truman." Here's the cover, for your enjoyment:

    Not only did the Kerry pick upset the stupid NY Post's predictions: it also trashed Chris "Tweety" Matthews' own!

    Last night i caught a bit of Matthews discussing on NBC the choices for VP, and although he thought it was really up for grabs and believe it could be either Edwards, Gephardt or Vilsack, Matthews predicted that Kerry's VP choice could be a complete surprise, like.... Hillary Clinton!

    Yes, Chris Matthews said that. We know that he suffers from an acute case of Clintonitis, but it's no excuse. For Matthews, it's all Hillary, all the time. He's developing a Quixotic obsession with the Clintons that can only lead to more distress and mental instability. If I were a relative of Chris Matthews, I would be organizing an intervention pronto!

    It's Official: Kerry - Edwards 2004

    Kerry just announced his choice for VP: John Edwards. This is a wise and safe decision that brings a lot of appeal and energy to the Democratic ticket. Congratulations!

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