Democrats & Liberals Archives

September 2003 Archives

September 29, 2003

Plame Scandal Overblown?

Is the current hoopla surrounding the outing of Valerie Plame overblown and a manufactured crisis? Sparkey at SSDB thinks that the issue is overblown and that former ambassador Wilson is grinding an axe with respect to the Bush administration. Furthermore, Matt Drudge is reporting that Novak denies that administration officials called him to out Plame. Finally, an interesting analysis was posted online at Pejmanesque. What exactly is going on here? Is this a bona fide crisis, or is the CIA using the Dept. of Justice to deflect the blame for outing Plame itself? Thoughts? Ideas?

Posted by cjkarr at 11:29 PM

September 24, 2003

Logical Fallacies

My colleague in the Third Party column has already talked eloquently about the smoking gun found by a British reporter. In this article, I'd like to examine the claims that have so far been used on this site to try and defend the Bush administration against this.

First, here's the original quote from Colin Powell, from February 2001:

He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors.

To use the words in Stephen Van Dyke's article: "the whole lie just went up in flames and this is the gasoline that will get the big media's attention."

So, how could someone on the right possibly defend this?

» Continue reading "Logical Fallacies"

Posted by Thomas Scott at 8:19 AM

September 23, 2003

No Right-wing Conspiracy?

Well, then what do you call an organized campaign meant to flood the Internet with the same "Letter to the Editor"? The Inquirer seems to have uncovered a Republican campaign which, using the same article "written" by different authors, is being used to hijack Google search results and, because of the lack of borders on the Internet, this canned article has made its way onto international news sites. I guess that if you repeat a message often enough, it becomes true, right? Maybe they should stop sending out articles about how great Bush's economic stimulus package has helped the US economy in favor of articles which "prove" there were weapons of mass-destruction in Iraq. Or articles "proving" that Iraq isn't about to turn into another Viet Nam.

Posted by huxley75 at 11:15 AM

September 16, 2003

Introducing Wesley Clark

A lot has been said about the wide range of candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for President. The Dems have lost focus, there are too many, the field needs to be trimmed down, etc. All of those are valid observations on one level or another, however, it appears a new candidate is poised to take the lead and he wears a few stars on his shoulders. CNN has announced Wesley Clark will announce his candidacy tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 17th.

Wesley Clark graduated first in his class at West Point, was a Rhodes Scholar and eventually earned a graduate degree from Oxford. He retired from the military as a four star general and is one of the country's most decorated soldiers since Dwight D. Eisenhower. He has received honorary Knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments and was made a commander of the French Legion of Honor. In 2000, Clark was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Or, as a friend put it, "actually he needs to get his [crap] together and start screwing up if he wants to be in politics."

If you're interested in getting the entire story straight from interviews with Clark I highly recommend reading the Wesley Clark FAQ, which is full of soundbytes and sources of his various interviews. I'll recap some of my favorites in this post.

» Continue reading "Introducing Wesley Clark"

Posted by joestump at 12:47 PM

The Polls are in: It's split down the middle!

After reporting on some numbers in my recent post "Revisiting Public Opinion" and Mike Van Winkle's subsequent post "The Unscientific Nature of Poll Reporting" I found a great Washintong Post poll covering a wide range of political topics.

The good thing about this poll is that it's just numbers up for interpretation. I'm not planning on giving the numbers any spin, instead letting the math part of my brain take over for the leftwing part of my brain for this post.

» Continue reading "The Polls are in: It's split down the middle!"

Posted by joestump at 9:29 AM

September 10, 2003

Welcome to Baltimore, Hon

What a difference six months make. And what a difference six hours make. I was ready to publish a post this morning about last night's Baltimore debate, sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus (co-sponsored by Fox News, who of course gives it the Fox perspective), but was distracted by work of all things - a major blogging hazard.

For those of you who missed it (and while I try to avoid sports cliches like the plague), Slate has a good overview of the 90-minute show. The Behind the Scenes coverage is even better.

There were no knockout punches however - and the "What's your favorite song?" question is truly classic - but Dean is setting the pace and the agenda, despite the focus on one sentence that's dominating the headlines this afternoon.

» Continue reading "Welcome to Baltimore, Hon"

Posted by 9thwave at 3:43 PM

September 8, 2003

Disgruntled Conservatives

Democrats are not the only political constituency that are interested in seeing Bush out of office in 2004. A growing base of core Republican voters are growing increasingly hostile to the Bush presidency. The Spoons Experience has compiled a list of offenses.

» Continue reading "Disgruntled Conservatives"

Posted by cjkarr at 10:18 AM

The Front Lines of Freedom

Towards the end of his address to the nation, President Bush said that all American troops are fighting on the front lines of freedom. I don't think he understands what freedom is. Sure, the Iraqi people are more free than they were two years ago, but we are less. The Iraqi people may have elections one day, maybe even soon. But it is doubtful they will have liberty. Democracy isn't as important as liberty, or at least democracy without liberty should not be our aim in Iraq or Afghanistan or even here in the US. The outcomes of President Bush's polices in Iraq and in the US will have a profound impact on the outcome of the 2004 presidential elections.

» Continue reading "The Front Lines of Freedom"

Posted by Grant at 7:46 AM

September 7, 2003

What's Patience Got To Do With It?

Just as the pre-news reports said, Bush II's brief speech tonight really contained nothing new. The $87 billion price tag was new. But pundits were already in the ballpark.

The primary question tomorrow will be the speech's impact on campaign 2004 - and where the $87 billion will come from. It's pretty simple really since Bush has made clear he wants to make tax cuts permanent. And would some enterprising journalist do me two favors: find the captain who wrote that letter and more importantly verify who exactly is attacking our soldiers in Iraq. Simply stated, Bush isn't all that credible when it comes to citing such facts in his speeches.

What continues to trouble me is the subtle - and sometimes not so subtle as in tonight's speech - insistence that the war with Iraq is about terrorism. When did Iraq become the "central front" of this war that started after 9/11? If that's the case, his military advisors aren't doing a very good job.

Tonight's speech was just another example of the rhetoric of fear that the Bush administration continues to pedal in its misguided attempt to silence anyone who questions it by labeling dissent as unpatriotic. It's a rhetoric that I for one reject as soundly as I hope the American people reject Bush II next year. We've met the enemy at the gate - and it's GWB.

Posted by 9thwave at 9:43 PM

Going Down?

From Zogby, an independent polling company:

President George W. Bush’s job performance ratings have reached the lowest point since his pre-Inauguration days ... a majority (52%) said it's time for someone new in the White House, while just two in five (40%) said the president deserves to be re-elected.

Just two in five (40%) said they would choose Bush if the election were held today, while 47% said they would elect a Democratic candidate.

Both polls have a margin of error of +/- 3.2%. It's worth reading the full article — it seems a lot of Democrat voters still think Bush will win. How long that perception will last remains to be seen.

Posted by Thomas Scott at 12:56 PM

September 3, 2003

Putting Faith in False Prophets

In the LA Times Robert Scheer has an article on the 'evidence' that the White House used to formulate their case for the war on Iraq, which Bush presented in his State of the Union Address. It now appears that the Iraqi weapon claims presented by Bush were based on the claims of Iraqi émigrés who lied to the US in order to start a war that suited their own needs. Now, after too many Americans have died in Iraq U.S. intelligence officials say the administration was lied to by Iraqi émigrés.

What about the intelligence process? Wouldn't the baseless lies of the Iraqi émigrés have been found out by the likes of the CIA or the NSA? According to Scheer:

"Bush ignored all the cautions of career diplomats and intelligence experts in every branch of the U.S. government over the unsubstantiated word of Iraqi renegades."

Scheer continues by raising concerns about our President:

"Clearly, the administration, from the president on down, did not want expert advice and intelligence that would have undermined its excuse for invading Iraq. This was a shell game from beginning to end in which Americans' legitimate fear of terrorism after Sept. 11 was almost immediately and cynically exploited by the neoconservative gang that runs U.S. foreign policy. "

» Continue reading "Putting Faith in False Prophets"

Posted by Lefty at 11:02 AM

September 2, 2003

Bush attacks 65 year old American Standard of Living

The people who benefited from the Fair Labor Standards Act, the law that introduced the 40-hour work week and overtime pay, have all retired now. After all, the law was signed sixty-five years ago on the heels of the Great Depression. If they are lucky, the folks who fought to get this law passed are spinning in their graves, otherwise they are alive to live through that Bush is doing to the 40 hour week for millions of Americans.

If you are not familiar with what Bush's plans for 40 hour weeks and overtime pay, here's the basics: he wants to re-classify millions of Americans as being exempt from overtime pay. All those long hours after 40 will no longer receive time-and-a-half; instead you'll get the same pay across the board. According to this article:

The move [Bush's plans to change the classification for overtime] could have a major impact on up to 8 million employees who work jobs such as police sergeants, assistant restaurant managers, supervisory firefighters and licensed practical nurses.

Aren't those the same folks who were first responders to the WTC attack?

» Continue reading "Bush attacks 65 year old American Standard of Living"

Posted by Lefty at 11:15 AM

September 1, 2003

Ready, Set...Who?

No matter when I started working for a particular campaign, Labor Day was always the equivalent of the green flag at the start of a Nascar race. And it didn't matter how many laps you had to go - there was something different once Labor Day arrived.

So in that vein, I found a couple of great articles about the upcoming election. This article (registration required) from the New York Times is worth reading. And while I put no stock in polls, I did find this one interesting. Last but not least, ABC offers a nice wrap-up of how the "unknowns" of the Democratic field spent their Labor Day. Only 14 months to go!

Posted by 9thwave at 11:21 PM