Monday, October 18, 2004

Vet Files Suit Against Anti-Kerry Film

According to this AP story: A Vietnam veteran shown in a documentary criticizing Sen. John Kerry's anti-war activities filed a libel lawsuit against the movie's producer Monday, saying the film falsely calls the veteran a fraud and a liar.

This is the anti-Kerry film Sinclair plans to broadcast.

Daily Endorsement Tally

Editor and Publisher has a daily endorsement tally for the presidential race.

Kerry has the lead 45-30 and Kerry has a 3-1 lead in circulation (which means Kerry is getting endorsed by major papers in big cities).

Over the weekend, Kerry picked up the NY Times, the Boston Globe, the Miami Herald, the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury-News and (surprisingly to me) the Charlotte Observer.

The most interesting thing to me is that 3 papers who have traditionally endorsed Republicans have chosen not to endorse either candidate, which to my view is an indictment of Bush's failures. Those papers are the Tampa Tribune, the Wichita Falls Times Record and the Winston-Salem Journal.

11 Reasons Why No Child Left Behind is a Hoax

Read the entire article but here they are:

1. The massive increase in testing that NCLB will impose on schools will hurt their educational performance, not improve it.

2. The funding for NCLB does not come anywhere near the levels that would be needed to reach even the narrow and dubious goal of producing 100% passing rates on state tests for all students by 2014.

3. The mandate that NCLB imposes on schools to eliminate inequality in test scores among all student groups within 12 years is a mandate that is placed on no other social institution, and reflects the hypocrisy at the heart of the law.

4. The sanctions that NCLB imposes on schools that don't meet its test score targets will hurt poor schools and poor communities most.

5. The transfer and choice provisions of NCLB will create chaos and produce greater inequality within the public system without increasing the capacity of receiving schools to deliver better educational services.

6. These same transfer and choice provisions will not give low-income parents any more control over school bureaucracies than food stamps give them over the supermarkets.

7. The provisions about using scientifically-based instructional practices are neither scientifically valid nor educationally sound and will harmfully impact classrooms in what may be the single most important instructional area, the teaching of reading.

8. The supplemental tutorial provisions of NCLB will channel public funds to private companies for ideological and political reasons, not sound educational ones.

9. NCLB is part of a larger political and ideological effort to privatize social programs, reduce the public sector, and ultimately replace local control of institutions like schools with marketplace reforms that substitute commercial relations between customers for democratic relations between citizens.

10. NCLB moves control over curriculum and instructional issues away from teachers, classrooms, schools and local districts where it should be, and puts it in the hands of state and federal education bureaucracies and politicians. It represents the single biggest assault on local control of schools in the history of federal education policy. ...

11. NCLB includes provisions that try to push prayer, military recruiters, and homophobia into schools while pushing multiculturalism, teacher innovation, and creative curriculum reform out.

Just What is Sinclair?

David Neiwart explores this question: is Sinclair a broadcaster with a particular political bent or a partisan political organization that just happens to be a broadcaster?

In other Sinclair news, a Lehman Brothers analyst is not happy with Sinclair's actions. And more "concern" about Sinclair from Wall Street.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Lynn Cheney, Hypocrite

I'm amused by Lynn Cheney hitting all the shows this morning claiming to be outraged that John Kerry mentioned her lesbian daughter, Mary, in last night's debate. Kerry's comments were kind and supportive, but Cheney is calling Kerry a "mean man." But where was Lynn Cheney when Republican senatorial candidate Alan Keyes said homosexuals, including Mary Cheney, were "selfish hedonists?"

BTW, this is the same Lynne Cheney: (from the LA Times, 10/13/2004)

"Now, Lynne Cheney, Vice President Dick Cheney's wife and the former head of the National Endowment for the Humanities, has placed herself in the company of dictators and slaveholders. At her urging, the Education Department destroyed more than 300,000 copies of a booklet designed to help parents and children learn more about America's past. Cheney objected to the booklet's reference to the National Standards for History, guidelines for teaching history in secondary schools that were developed at UCLA in the 1990s and that suggest that American history should be taught with an eye not only to America's successes but to its struggles and dark moments as well."

Sinclair Clearinghouse

Kos has set this up.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Sinclair Stations in Raleigh

Hey local folks, read my post below and contact the sales manager at these two Sinclair stations:

3012 Highwoods Blvd, Ste 101
Raleigh, NC 27604

Find other Sinclair stations here:

Republicans Against Bush

At least two prominent Republicans have said they will not vote for Bush. Senator Lincoln Chaffee said so last week, and this week Rep. Bob Barr said he's not sure he can vote for Bush.

I think there are lots of these types. Some are concerned about the mess the economy is in (especially the deficit), some are concerned about eroding civil liberties (the increase in govt involvement in our private lives). Whatever the reason, there may be quite a few Republicans who either don't vote or vote for Kerry or someone else, because they can't bring themselves to vote for Bush.

Good news for our guy.

Furious George

I read that it was Maureen Dowd who first starting using that to describe Bush and boy, it was never more applicable than at the debate Friday night. Bush's anger was downright scary, it was so out of control. How anyone could interpret this kind of childish behavior as reassuring is beyond me. I think it was Digby who called Bush America's rage-filled ex-husband. Is there any connection between Bush's behavior and his postponement of his annual physical until after the election?

Good post here by James Wolcott on Bush's empty volcano syndrome.

How to Really have an Impact on Sinclair Stations

You may have heard that Sinclair Broadcasting is requiring its stations to carry an anti-Kerry Swift Boat documentary called "Stolen Honor" in prime time. That's 62 stations across the country, many in important swing states.

so I wrote the following to a bunch of popular lefty bloggers, but stupidly forget to include my own blog address!

I’ve worked in the media business for 30 years and I guarantee you that sales is what these local TV stations are all about. They don’t care about license renewal or overwhelming public outrage. They care about sales only, so only local advertisers can affect their decisions.

Here's how to have an impact on the local Sinclair stations: first, watch the station and make a list of all of the local advertisers. Then, write to the sales manager -- not the general manager, but the sales manager -- and tell him that you're going to contact all of the local advertisers to register a protest about the station airing this program. Be specific -- mention the names of those local advertisers. Then, actually contact them (if you write or email, cc the sales manager). These stations make most of their income (around 60%) from local advertisers and will NOT want to have that income threatened.

This has worked numerous times. A recent example was when a local radio morning show host in North Carolina told his listeners to aim for bicyclists on the road (he was ranting about how cyclists have no right to share the roadways). The station defended him for several days amidst public outcry, until the advertisers, under pressure from outraged cyclists, began to make noise. Suddenly, the station reversed itself, suspended the host for several days, and made him do public service announcements for weeks about sharing the road with cyclists.

This can work! I plan to start tonight!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Charting the Lies

Kevin Drum has put together a handy guide to all of Cheney's lies in the debate.

Please, Please Read This

I was going to wait until he finished the series to send this link to you, but today’s post (part 3) is so great, I really want you to read it now (and read it all the way through).

David Neiwart's series on American pseudo-fascism and conservatives.

This is why I take this all very seriously. And why you should, too.

Please, read this and if you have time, read the previous two parts.

Cause for Optimism

This is happening all over the country: hundrds of thousands of new voters are registering, including lots of new Democrats. In North Carolina 473,138 new voters have registered this year (the deadline is Friday). This is information not counted in polling. I'm optimistic that a huge voter turnout on Nov. 2 will be in our favor.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Ifill -- Clueless

I've read before about how clueless Gwen Ifill is, how she's ruined Washington Week in Review and how she's buds with Condi. But apparently last night she was particularly awful. I can hardly believe she "made a goofy challenge for both candidates to talk about each other without mentioning their running mates’ respective names" and apparently asked Edwards if his feelings were hurt by Cheney's jabs. Sheesh!

I stopped watching PBS a long time ago. Its pretty irrevelant. OK, I take that back, I still occasionally watch Antiques Roadshow.

I actually used to work for local PBS stations. We used to say that on Friday nights, when those boring public affairs shows were on, you could hear the audience dying one by one (they averaged about 147 years old).

Seeing the Light

How many members of the Bush Administration are needed to replace a lightbulb?
The Answer is TEN:

1. One to deny that a light bulb needs to be changed

2. One to attack the patriotism of anyone who says the light bulb needs to be changed

3. One to blame Clinton for burning out the light bulb

4. One to tell the nations of the world that they are either: "For changing the light bulb or for darkness"

5. One to give a billion dollar no-bid contract to Haliburton for the new light bulb

6. One to arrange a photograph of Bush, dressed as a janitor, standing on a stepladder under the banner "Light! Bulb Change Accomplished"

7. One administration insider to resign and write a book documenting in detail how Bush was literally "in the dark"

8. One to viciously smear #7

9. One surrogate to campaign on TV and at rallies on how George Bush has had a strong light bulb-changing policy all along

10. And finally one to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country.

and do you notice that they still didn't change the lightbulb?!!!

28 Days

(Wasn't that a terrible -- is there any other kind? -- Sandra Bullock movie?)

We've got 28 days left -- what are you doing to help elect John Kerry? Get a bumper sticker, get a yard sign, wear a button, give some money, talk up our candidate, write letters to the media, call in to talk shows. Do one or all of those things or whatever else you can. We must do the work NOW.

Remember, to paraphrase Moby, you don't want to wake up on Nov. 3 with Bush elected and think "was there something more I could've done?"

Business School Profs to Bush: Your Policies Stink

Ha Ha!

Vote for Change Tour

Talked to someone who went to one of the shows who said it was great. I don't have Sundance, but if you do they're airing a 4 1/2 hour documentary on the Vote For Change Tour on 10/11 at 6:30. It is going to be part footage from the tour, and the rest will be the live show that night from DC.

Hope and Help Are On the Way

The important thing to remember is that incumbent presidents with approval ratings at or under 50%, as Bush has had for months and months now, are almost never re-elected. The election is a referendum on the incumbent. Most of the undecideds already know they don’t want to vote for Bush, but they are yet to be convinced that they want to vote for Kerry. Everything Kerry and Edwards do is aimed at this group, while just about everything Bush and Cheney do is aimed at their base. Rove has said this is his strategery and its a really dumb on, IMHO. With all the intensive voter registration going on and the Democrats winning the ground game, I truly believe things are looking good for our side. The media just hasn’t caught on.

Brain the Size of a Walnut

That describes Chris Matthews. Jeez, what a loser. I could not watch the debate last night because I was working, although I did sneak back to the break room at one point to hear Darth Voldemort (Cheney) lying about something (he told more lies than Baron von Munchausen last night). But this morning, I hear the asswipe Matthews on Imus asking why Edwards is even on the ticket because despite his southern accent, not a single southern state is going to vote for the Kerry-Edwards ticket. What a maroon. Edwards' southerness has HUGE appeal in the midwest, where he also talks the language of hard work and reward that midwesterners understand. I wonder if Matthews ever wondered why Bush puts on his phony southern accent and channels Reagan out at that ranch Bush bought right before he started running for president. How do these pea-brained morons wind up as highly paid "news" commentators? Anyway, despite what the morons are saying, it appears Edwards did very well with the undecideds and that's all that counts right now.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Clueless Statement of the Day

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Monday he does not expect civil war in Iraq.


Maybe he should read Juan Cole:

"What I miss in these discussions of the guerrillas, however, is an understanding of their ultimate goal. It is to mobilize the urban masses against the occupation. They cannot win militarily, and can never be more than mosquitos to the US military behemoth in their midst...All of the guerrillas' actions are aimed at hastening that urban revolution...It is only after the Americans are gone that these various movements would then likely fall upon one another."

Vote for Kids

Among the many reasons to vote for Kerry is his goal of providing health insurance for every American child. Bush, of course, has a dismal record when it comes to issues related to children (health insurance is just one; education is another). So go visit Vote Kids to see what this organization is doing to fight for issues important to the health and welfare of our children.

Gordo Cooper

One of the original seven Mercury astronauts, Gordon Cooper, died yesterday. That leaves just three still alive: Wally Schirra, Scott Carpenter and the oldest of them, John Glenn (born in 1921). I have very vivid childhood memories of watching each of the Mercury launches on TV. I'll have to watch "The Right Stuff" soon -- Dennis Quaid played Gordo, supposedly as a bit more of a flyboy than he really was. Remember his signature line? Who's the best pilot in the world? "You're looking at him."

Letters to Mike

The Guardian has printed letters from US soldiers in Iraq to Michael Moore.

Onward Christian Soldiers

These misguided people are/will be the heart of American fascism. Understand, I'm not saying all religious people, most of whom embrace separation of church and state. Its these fundementalists, these American Taliban who will be on the front lines when fascism begins to grow in Amerika.

George Bush, the No Samaritan

Digby has a post up on what a complete a-hole W is. Here's a piece.

Remember when his daughter had an emergency appendectomy? As he boarded the plane, reporters inquired about Jenna's condition. 'Maybe she'll be able to join us in Florida,' the president-elect said. 'If not, she can clean her room.' The reporters stared at him, stunned. 'I couldn't believe it,' one of those present later said. 'First of all, I'm a father, and I cannot imagine a scenario in which my daughter would have major surgery and I would just leave on vacation. And then he just seemed so snarly about it, like he was pissed at her.'"

Terror Alerts = Jump in Bush's Approval Numbers

Like we didn't know this, but Kevin Drum links to a study that shows that a terror warning leads to an average increase in the president's approval rating of 2.75% which lasts for about a week. Regarding a terror alert, Kevin predicts "we can confidently expect it on about October 27..."

October Surprise in the Making?

Do you think the October surprise will be the firing of Rumsfeld? I’m very cynical about Paul Bremer suddenly saying there weren’t enough troops and the looting should’ve been stopped, two things Rumsfeld has been criticized for, and Rumsfeld himself suddenly saying there’s no connection between Saddam and al Qaeda. Very suspicious. The firing of Rumsfeld and maybe the appointment of McCain could be seen as very decisive and could be very popular, especially with swing voters. Plus I’m still thinking if things get really bad for Bush, Cheney will resign for health reasons and Guiliani will be put in his place.

Monday, October 04, 2004

VP Debate

Can't wait for this. I figure Edwards, with his trial lawyer background, is going to clean Cheney's clock. I think it was Evan Thomas (Newsweek) on Imus this morning who said (among a bunch of lame and pathetic crap he got off one good line) that it will depend on which Dick Cheney shows up -- if its the Dr Strangelove Cheney, he'll be in trouble.

What People Said This Weekend

Four observations:

1) I was talking with some people at work who have previously expressed very liberal viewpoints and was very surprised to hear them parrot Republican talking points. I'm not even sure they knew they were doing this. Both say they support Kerry, so this was surprising. One even said something like "Kerry hasn't been clear on his positions," which is a variant of flip-flop (not to mention grossly untrue). I think a lot of people are unaware that the Republicans have become so successful at planting memes that become conventional wisdom (and the media so in the bag with the right) that even liberals pick them up as if they were original opinion.

2) Another co-worker told me that he now hated Guiliani after the mayor's pathetic performance on The Daily Show Thursday after the debate. He said he'd always like Guiliani but after watching him pimp for Bush, he was no longer a fan of America's mayor.

3) I've also become accutely aware of how cynical 20-somethings are. I remember being like that myself, so its no surprise. But the level of angst is really high. I spend a lot of time pumping people up, saying that Kerry and the Dems are doing just fine and that we have to fight, fight, fight. This sort of malaise and cynicism will sure make it easy for aggressive fascists to take over, should it come to that.

4) I was at a local mall on Saturday and of course wearing my Kerry button. A woman came up to me and started in on how great Kerry had done in the debate and how she feared for the country's future if Bush gets elected. Amen, sister! I urged her to keep fighting.

Good News

Pierce will be writing daily on Altercation in the final month of C Plus Augustus's reign.

SpaceShip One Wins X-Prize

This is very exciting stuff to an old space geek like me.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Funny Stuff

We can enjoy ourselves for a day or two.

Bush's Faces of Frustation

Will Ferrell as Bush.

Tom Burka on Spin Alley.


Last night's Daily Show was, of course, a classic (as was the night before's with Sy Hersh). Best part was when Guiliani was on from Spin Alley. It was as obvious as it could be that Guiliani was being a good soldier but didn't have much to work with. Jon Stewart wasn't having any of it either. So it was Stewart calling Guiliani on what Guiliani knew was complete bullshit. Very funny.

Great Moments

The top unintentionally funny things Bush said:

"He forgot Poland."

"It's like a huge tax gap."

"Let me finish."

"Of course I know Osama bin Laden attacked us. I know that."

"I've got a good relation with Vladimir."

"It's hard work to try to love her as best as I can."

"I'm trying to put a leash on them."

"the Iranian moooooo-laws...."

“mexed missages”