Saturday, October 30, 2004

Kerry has a good shot. An update on electoral votes:Election Scorecard - Where the presidential race stands today. By William�Saletan, David�Kenner, and Louisa Herron�Thomas

Friday, October 29, 2004

Eminem has a powerful new video that's aimed at mobilizing young voters against Bush. It's a must-see. Click on the links accompanying the article about the video, "Mosh," one of the most politically direct -- and effective -- music videos ever. Eminem Aims at Bush

Let's go to the videotape: the Bush-Drudge spin that the explosives were taken before the invasion falls apart. ABC News: Video Suggests Explosives Disappeared After U.S. Took Control

Maureen Dowd offers a scathing look at the terrorist jihad monster and Mideast chaos Bush-Cheney have helped create. The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: White House of Horrors

Thursday, October 28, 2004

How to protect the vote: 1-866-Our-Vote.Election Protection 2004.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Here's a solid state-by-state background, with Bush ahead on electoral votes. Kerry within striking distance, even in Florida.Election Scorecard - Where the presidential race stands today. By William�Saletan, David�Kenner, and Louisa Herron�Thomas

NBC backs off of its earlier story that the explosives were missing before the war.Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: October 24, 2004 - October 30, 2004 Archives

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Ugly fight ahead in Ohio and other states: white Republican poll-watchers vs. new minority voters.Some Fear Ohio Will Be Florida of 2004 (washingtonpost.com)

Monday, October 25, 2004

Bush puts PR over security: how his administration dropped the ball on Zarqawi in order to sell the war on Iraq.War and Piece:

Sunday, October 17, 2004

It's worse than you thought: Rummy and the neo-cons ignored the Pentagon's own troop and post-war planning proposals. This excellent three-part Knight Ridder series builds on James Fallows' ground-breaking work in the Atlantic on the way the Pentagon's civilian leadership ignored expert advice on securing the peace. KR Washington Bureau 10/17/2004 Post-war planning non-existent

A powerful New York Times editorial lays out clearly the case for Kerry and against Bush. The New York Times > Opinion > John Kerry for President

GOP on the march: blocking Florida voters.Salon.com News Seeing red in Florida

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

It's confirmed: Bush lies a lot more than Kerry. The Washington Monthly

It's confirmed: Bush lies a lot more than Kerry. The Washington Monthly

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Kerry's (slightly) ahead on electoral votes! The website is a good snapshot and regularly updated, indicating that Kerry ahead, but "weakly" in some critical states.. The debates have helped.Current Electoral Vote Predictor 2004

Friday, October 08, 2004

See Bruce, Dixie Chicks, Bonnie Raitt, John Fogerty live Monday The final blow-out concert to raise awareness and votes for change will be broadcast on the Sundance channel, and will be at moveon.org parties hosted in your area. Action Tools

Thursday, October 07, 2004

How bad is it on the ground in Iraq? A Wall Street Journal reporter's personal e-mail to friends tells all.
WSJ reporter Fassihi's e-mail to friends
9/29/2004 2:58:10 PMFrom: [Wall Street Journal reporter] Farnaz Fassihi
Subject: From Baghdad

Being a foreign correspondent in Baghdad these days is like being undervirtual 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 Aprilwhen 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 whenSadr City, home to ten percent of Iraq's population, became a nightly battlefield for the Americans? Or was it when the insurgency beganspreading 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,' aforeign 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, therewere 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./CONTINUED BELOW
WSJ reporter Fassahi's e-mail to friends /2
9/29/2004 2:47:12 PMThe 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 Guardunits we are spending billions of dollars to train. The cops are beingmurdered 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 thatalmost all projects have come to a halt. After two years, of the $18billion Congress appropriated for Iraq reconstruction only about $1 billion or so has been spent [A.L: may even be less -- www.washingtonmonthly.com cites a new study showing actual monies spent on construction as little as $200 million) 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 sabotageand 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 forinsecurity. 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 aboutelections 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 monthswhile half of the country remains a 'no go zone'-out of the hands of thegovernment 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 inthe Iraqi elections since it was the first time Iraqis could to some degreeelect 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?"-Farnaz

Be of good cheer: it's been a bad week for George Bush. Political Animal has the details:http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2004_10/004865.php

The case against Bush: a memo from the Democratic Leadership Council:NDOL: Bush's Failed Presidency by Al From and Bruce Reed

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Can Kerry pull off an upset? This new poll gives some hope. There's still the troubling matter of Kerry facing an uphill battle or close race in states that normally go Democratic, including New Jersey, Minnesota and Wisonsin, let alone the more prominent battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida. Still, the first debate made a difference. Yahoo! News - Kerry Pulls Ahead of Bush in Newsweek Poll

Friday, October 01, 2004

Avoiding the reality in Iraq.Out of the Question - Is Bush's biggest mistake too awful to admit? By William�Saletan

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?