Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Here are links to two articles that examine George W. Bush's character. First, William Saletan asks "What does 9/11 tell us about Bush?" in this Slate article. Second, Sebastian Mallaby writes that flaws in Bush's character can be seen in "his disdain for policy detail" in this Washington Post column.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Garrison Keillor wonders, "How did the Party of Lincoln and Liberty transmogrify into the party of Newt Gingrich’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk?" in this article from In These Times.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

The F.B.I. is investigating a Pentagon official for allegedly giving classified information to the Israelis. This Washington Post article and this Knight Ridder article explain most of what is known about the investigation. This Washington Monthly article explores the background of the investigation by explaining that:

"The focus of the investigation, according to U.S. government officials, is Larry Franklin, a veteran Defense Intelligence Agency Iran analyst now working in the office of the Pentagon's number three civilian official, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith.

The investigation of Franklin is now shining a bright light on a shadowy struggle within the Bush administration over the direction of U.S. policy toward Iran. In particular, the FBI is looking with renewed interest at an unauthorized back-channel between Iranian dissidents and advisers in Feith's office, which more-senior administration officials first tried in vain to shut down and then later attempted to cover up."

Thursday, August 26, 2004

This article from The Campaign Desk explains why the press allowed the presidential campaign to be hijacked by a small group of veterans with a thirty-year old grudge.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

In this Morning News article, Matthew Baldwin reveals the trade secrets of several professions:


If you have to change a light bulb where the glass is broken, you can press a potato into the metal base to unscrew the remains of the bulb from the fixture.


Patients will occasionally pretend to be unconscious. A surefire way to find them out is to pick up their hand, hold it above their face, and let go. If they smack themselves, they’re most likely unconscious; if not, they’re faking."

Read all the trade secrets here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

John Kerry was Jon Stewart's guest tonight on The Daily Show. Here's a transcript of Kerry's appearance.

Monday, August 23, 2004

In this American Prospect article, Michael Tomasky explains what the controversy over John Kerry's service in Viet Nam "actually proves is that a bunch of liars who have in the past contradicted their own current statements can, if their lies are outrageous enough and if they have enough money, control the media agenda and get even the most respected media outlets in the country to focus on picayune "truths" while missing the larger story."

According to Tomasky, the "Swift Boat Veterans" have taken control of the media agenda because, "our media can sort through the facts in front of their nose and determine, at least some of the time, who's lying and who's not. But they are completely incapable of taking a step back and describing the larger reality. Doing that would require making judgments that are supposedly subjective rather than objective; but the larger reality here is clearer than clear. Just imagine if the situation were reversed: The same people now questioning Kerry's "character" would have worked to establish Bush as a war hero long ago. They would have labeled Kerry a coward. If by chance a liberal-backed group came forward to question Bush's wartime actions, they would have been called traitors and worse. And the mainstream media would be following the agenda they set every step of the way."

Sunday, August 22, 2004

In this editorial, the Boston Globe explains how the Bush campaign is using the "big lie" against John Kerry.

"Imagine if supporters of Bill Clinton had tried in 1996 to besmirch the military record of his opponent, Bob Dole. After all, Dole was given a Purple Heart for a leg scratch probably caused, according to one biographer, when a hand grenade thrown by one of his own men bounced off a tree. And while the serious injuries Dole sustained later surely came from German fire, did the episode demonstrate heroism on Dole's part or a reckless move that ended up killing his radioman and endangering the sergeant who dragged Dole off the field?

The truth, according to many accounts, is that Dole fought with exceptional bravery and deserves the nation's gratitude. No one in 1996 questioned that record. Any such attack on behalf of Clinton, an admitted Vietnam draft dodger, would have been preposterous.

Yet amazingly, something quite similar is happening today as supporters of President Bush attack the Vietnam record of Senator John Kerry."

Read the whole editorial here.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

In this column, Gene Lyons looks at the presidential campaigns and finds that while, "the Kerry-Edwards duo are drawing large, volatile crowds," George W. Bush is "conducting one of the oddest campaigns in American history," by preaching "to the converted at invitation-only events limited to campaign volunteers, congregations from conservative churches, and people willing to sign party loyalty oaths."

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I'm adding a permalink to Political Animal, the weblog of Washington Monthly. Political Animal is a weblog on politics and current affairs written by Kevin Drum, the blogger formerly known as Calpundit.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Matthew Yglesias explains why his "three years of watching Bush makes the point: intelligence matters more than “character,” in this American Prospect article.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

I'm adding a permalink to the weblog of my friend Girl Detective. The weblog "is not about girl detectives. It is, however, an homage to the inquisitive nature, untiring spirit and passion for justice that marked these great literary heroines." Recently, Girl Detective has been investigating buying a house.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Rodney Alexander is a first term Democratic Congressman from Louisiana. Alexander filed for reelection as a Democrat. But last Friday afternoon, 20 minutes before filings closed, he refiled for election as a Republican.

However, Alexander's switch may have violated Louisiana election law. As the blogs MyDD and the Stakeholder explain:

”A voter in Louisiana is filing a legal challenge to defective Congressman Rodney Alexander's ballot qualification, and seeks an injunction preventing the Secretary of State from issuing ballots printed with his name. The petition, filed by a voter and based on both Louisiana statute and prior precedent, rightly argues that Alexander's SECOND filing 20 minutes before the deadline is in effect a withdrawal of his candidacy under Louisiana law since candidates are prohibited from amending their ballot qualification in any way once it has been made. Others in Louisiana have been tossed for just this kind of behavior in the past.”

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

This New York Times article profiles the Pixies, discusses their reunion tour, and suggests they may record a new album.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Gary Wills discusses the Tragedy of Bill Clinton in this review of Clinton's book My Life from the New York Review of Books.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Ted Koppel and Jon Stewart discuss Stewart's role on the Daily Show in this transcript of a Nightline interview that was shown during Nightline's coverage of the Democratic Convention.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

"Knight Ridder Washington reporters Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay received the Raymond Clapper Memorial award from the Senate Press Gallery for their coverage of the sketchy intelligence used to justify war with Iraq." As this American Journalism Review article explains, Strobel and Landay were almost the only reporters to question the administration's reasons for going to war. "I think the failure of the media in general in covering this story," Landay says, "is as egregious as the intelligence failure."

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The Electoral Vote Predictor 2004 tracks the electoral vote for the presidential election. The electoral vote totals are based on the most recent poll results for each state.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

American Radio Works presents: President Lyndon Johnson orders pants from Joe Haggar. (Includes audio.)

Monday, August 02, 2004

Will Ferrell and ACT bring you a behind-the-scenes look at a "Bush" campaign commercial from White House West.