Democrats & Liberals Archives

October 2003 Archives

October 31, 2003

"...we just mow the whole place down, see what happens"

As attacks on U.S. troops and NGO compounds continue in Iraq, the GOP's unified message about the war's success seems to be weakening.

While official party line now focuses on how the U.S. is bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq, some members forget the script from time to time.

Trent Lott recently suggested:

If we have to, we just mow the whole place down, see what happens. You're dealing with insane suicide bombers who are killing our people, and we need to be very aggressive in taking them out.

Now there's the way to win over the Iraqi people and show them that they're better off now. Oh wait. if they're all dead then we don't have to win anybody over...

Posted by blipsman at 1:49 PM

October 26, 2003

Media Manipulation, Part III

In what is becomming an increasingly common ploy to manipulate public opinion (first instance) | second instance), groups closely tied to the Bush administration have resorted to letter writing campaigns to manipulate public opinion.

In an October 17 memo, Halliburton President Dave Lesar asked his 100,000 employees to get out Halliburton's message to newspapers and members of Congress in response to the perceived preferential treatment the company--formerly headed by VP Dick Cheney--received when the Bush administration handed out contracts to assist in the rebuilding of Iraq.

» Continue reading "Media Manipulation, Part III"

Posted by blipsman at 12:37 PM

October 22, 2003

Which is more important? The message or the messenger?

Last weekend my wife and I watched Michael Moore's Academy Award-winning documentary Bowling for Columbine. My wife is no fan of Michael Moore (by any stretch of the imagination) and her political views tend to lean more towards the Conservative end of the political spectrum but she did find many of his points interesting and, to my surprise, she sat and watched the whole thing with very little commentary against Moore or the film. She even found herself (much to her chagrin) agreeing with the statements of Moore and even Marilyn Manson — although she still refuses to listen to Manson's music.

» Continue reading "Which is more important? The message or the messenger?"

Posted by huxley75 at 1:22 PM

October 18, 2003

The hidden danger of 'Black Box Voting' machines

There's been a lot of discussion on blogs recently about the new touchscreen voting machines (sometimes called "black boxes") that are being purchased by states eager to comply with the Help America Vote Act of 2002. An article in the Independent (UK) earlier this week offered an overview of some of the allegations and concerns raised by these new voting systems, and Wired is running a story alleging that patches were applied to the system before last year's Georgia elections, but that the machines were never recertified after the changes were made, something that should have been done, according to election laws.

I'm not really in a position to get into a serious discussion how much of a threat there may or may not be from the reported security problems with the machines or the concerns that there may be something of a conspiracy afoot to use them to help ensure Republican victories. Most of what I've read has been from the BlackBoxVoting site - a site who's sole purpose is to raise awareness of the potential threat to democracy that the operators believe these machines present, but I've not found much offering any other side to the story.

» Continue reading "The hidden danger of 'Black Box Voting' machines"

Posted by at 8:54 AM

October 15, 2003

Childhood's End

For those of you looking to find a truly political rant or discussion, I'm sorry to disappoint you — I am not writing this as a Democrat but as a disillusioned American who is watching another one of his childhood dreams fade further and further into oblivion. This morning, as I watched the video clips of China's first manned rocket lifting off, I felt that the final nail in the coffin of America's once-glorious space endeavors was finally driven home. While I was excited for the Chinese and their achievements, I lamented for the United States. Of course, I can't blame the current state of affairs on any one politician — Lord knows that the Democrats and Republicans alike have each had a (heavy) hand in killing off many of the "next generation" of spacecraft that have been promised to us! Remember the National Aerospace Plane, or "Orient Express"? What about Werner von Braun's dreams of gigantic rotating space stations (who can forget the "futuristic" scene from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey)?

» Continue reading "Childhood's End"

Posted by huxley75 at 3:15 PM

October 14, 2003

Keeping My Balance

Remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry insists that everything works out for him "even steven?" He loses a $20 bill - he finds $20 in royalty checks and so on. Well, anyway, that's what I thought about after reading back to back stories tonight.

The first was this article about the $83.9 million the Bush/Cheney campaign has raised -- a truly impressive, and daunting, figure. (That's just under one tenth of one percent of the $87 billion he wants to spend to rebuild Iraq. But I digress.)

The second was this article about the possible revolt of the so-called Reagan Democrats. It gives a nice historical perspective -- not to mention an interesting view of the upcoming presidential race.

So they balance each other out in a way, don't you think? They did for me at least.

Posted by 9thwave at 10:41 PM

October 13, 2003

More Underhanded Bush PR

Identical letters attributed to soldiers have been running in local newspapers across the country, describing supposed accomplishments in Iraq. Some soldiers admit being given the letter and asked to sign it while others claim no knowledge of the letter until congratulated by family members for having the letters published. So who's behind this PR campaign, and when will the Bush administration stop trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the American public? We want the facts, good and bad, about what's going on in Iraq! We deserve the facts, good and bad. Such blatant manipulation of the media is something leaders like... well, Saddam Hussein would do.

Posted by blipsman at 4:26 PM

Suicides among the Iraq War casualties

In any war, there will be casualties. It's a simple, inescapable fact that war kills. It's also pretty much to be expected that at least a few of those casualties will be soldiers who simply can't take it any more and decide to kill themselves. Though we haven't been hearing much about suicides in Iraq, they're happening - and the military is reporting that the suicide rate has increased enough that they're looking into why and what can be done about it.

» Continue reading "Suicides among the Iraq War casualties"

Posted by at 7:39 AM

October 12, 2003

Busy Weekend in Texas

Not sure what, if any, effect the Texas redistricting will have on next year's presidential election. But I do know that if there's any political story that will refuse to die, this one is it. If the Texas judicial system refuses to consider the case, what branch of the government will Tom DeLay misuse? Only time will tell.

And it's too bad that the medical miracle (well, it appears miraculous to me) that took place in Dallas this weekend should be sullied with the news of the sordid happenings in Austin. But as they say, timing is everything.

Posted by 9thwave at 11:07 PM

October 10, 2003

Follow the Bouncing Ball

I'll admit it right up front. I didn't watch tonight's debate. Luckily, I can read about it courtesy of CNN, the Washington Post (popup warning) and Wired. Funny - I know for someone who contributes to this blog and cares deeply about the outcome in November 2004 that I should have watched - but I played Nintendo instead. Confession is good for the soul.

» Continue reading "Follow the Bouncing Ball"

Posted by 9thwave at 12:19 AM

October 7, 2003

Clark's Campaign Manager Quits

According to, Wesley Clark's campaign manager, Donnie Fowler, quit on Tuesday because of disagreements among campaign staff. Among the larger issues was the lack of respect shown for the supporters who used the internet to draft Clark into the race and spread his message.

CNN reports that, "Fowler has complained that while the Internet-based supporters have been integrated into the campaign, their views are not taken seriously by [Mark] Fabiani, [Rob] Klain and other top advisers."

Cam has posted a brief post about this on Clark's blog, stating that while the media will portray this as a negative it's a "natural growing pain of any fledgling campaign."

» Continue reading "Clark's Campaign Manager Quits"

Posted by blipsman at 9:55 PM

October 6, 2003

And We're Back to Nine

So Bob Graham is the first to officially step down from the pack. His decision should be commended. Though I think he should have told his campaign staff before he told Larry King.

Posted by 9thwave at 10:47 PM

October 2, 2003

Plame Game

An Associated Press story says the Justice Department investigation (still John Ashcroft’s, conflict of interests and all) of the Valerie Plame leak is probably going to expand into the State and Defense departments.

Kevin Drum, the CalPundit, has an interesting note on this matter--and, so far, unsurpassed blogging of the story--"I'm all for making sure that every scrap of evidence is preserved, but I hope this isn't the start of a lame effort to drag this out and then pretend that it just wasn't possible to do an exhaustive investigation," he commented in response to the AP story, noting that while there are potentially hundreds of people in all branches of government with the information about Paul Wilson's wife, there is only a small White House circle who would have leaked it.

» Continue reading "Plame Game"

Posted by Ry Rivard at 6:41 PM