August 2005 Archives

August 28, 2005

Defending The Mainstream Media

Jeff Alworth at BlueOregon posted a sensible article August 27 headlined "The Mainstream Media: A Defense." It was prompted by an article "in this week's New Yorker (no link available for the article) that "reminds me how much we all depend on the mainstream media and why we all have a stake in its survival."

I agree. Without the Mainstream Media most bloggers wouldn't have a clue about what goes on the U.S. and the world. We political bloggers probably wouldn't have much to write about either. I want to see it survive and thrive.

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Over a dozen of Illinois' 102 Democratic Chairmen Get State Jobs.

The Peoria (Illinois) Star-Journal revealed in its August 28, 2005 issue that, "During its first 2 1/2 years, the [Rod] Blagojevich administration has hired more than a dozen of the state's 102 Democratic county chairmen for state jobs. And some of them are working in agencies where hundreds of other employees were laid off due to reorganizations or budget cuts," the paper said..

"In all, the salaries of the new hires exceed $725,000 annually."

This is no surprise. After all, Illinois is considered one of the most corrupt states in the nation. Here's more.

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Many Bush, Kerry Supporters Not Removing Bumper Stickers

The Washington Post has an article in the August 28, 2005 edition that says, "Nearly 10 months after it supposedly ended, the bellicose 2004 election campaign rages on, in the streets. Bumper and window stickers on cars beseech you, even now, to vote for George W. Bush or John Kerry."

I've noticed the same thing here in Chicago. Here's the Post article.

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August 25, 2005

Bush Returns to the They Want to Destroy Our Way of Life Theme

On August 24, 2005 U.S. President George W. Bush told a friendly audience in Nampa. Idaho, USA that, "Our nation is engaged in a global war on terror that affects the safety and security of every American. In Iraq," he added, "Afghanistan and across the world, we face dangerous enemies who want to harm our people, folks who want to destroy our way of life."

Has Osama bin Ladin and his allies ever said they wanted to destroy the American way of life, something they know they can't do?

Michael Scheuer, who once headed the CIA's bin Ladin unit, adequately addresses the "they want to destroy our way of life" issue in his book Imperial Hubris: Why The West Is Losing The War On Terror. According to the book, whose points are also outlined in Wikipedia, bin Ladin and his allies' attack U.S. interest because::

(1) The U.S. government supports Israel and is indifferent to the Palestinians
(2) To force U.S. and western troops out of the Arabian Peninsula
(3) To end U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan
(4) To end U.S. support of countries that oppress Muslims such as Russia, India and China
(5) To end U.S. pressure on Arabs to keep oil prices low; and
(6) To end U.S. support for tyrannical governments

These same reasons are outlined in Mr. Scheuer's book Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama Bin Laden, Radical Islam & the Future of America, which was initially a CIA training manual on bin Ladin.

Here is a White House transcript of Mr. Bush's Idaho speech.

Note: This item is cross-posted at The Diplomatic Times Review.

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Iraq War Veteran to Challenge U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes

Tim Dunn of Fayetteville, North Carolina, "An Iraq war veteran and lawyer who helped mount a case against Saddam Hussein has become the first Democrat to challenge Republican U.S. Representative Robin Hayes," according to Charlotte.Com."

He" kicked off his bid Wednesday [August 23, 2005] in the 8th District, which runs from Fayetteville to Charlotte," the publications said.

It's good to see war veterans entering politics. Maybe they can shake up the old guard in both the Republican and Democratic parties.

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Court: Recall Effort Against Spokane Mayor Can Continue

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer says in its August 26, 2005 edition that, "The Washington Supreme Court's ruling that signature gathering may continue in the effort to recall Spokane Mayor James West is in the spirit of the state's populist tradition."

"Among the allegations against West is that he proposed using the power of his office to help a young man obtain an internship with the city, in exchange for sexual favors," the paper said in an editorial.

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August 21, 2005

Captain Ed: 'Rich 'Swiftboats' Himself Into Irrelevancy'

Captain Ed over at the always interesting Captain's Quarters doesn't like New York Times Op-Ed columnist Frank Rich's August 21, 2005 column headlined "The Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan." Says The Captain:

Rarely does a columnist for a national news outlet publish a piece as intellectually bankrupt as Frank Rich's entry today in the New York Times. The only item in the column that has full engagement with the truth is this single, lonely statement:

Nicholas D. Kristof and David Brooks are on vacation.

Otherwise, Rich engages in transparent sophistry that must be fisked to be believed.

I'm think a columnist of Mr. Rich's stature adds balance to what has essentially been a lecture from the conservative punditocracy on the merits of the Iraq war and President Bush's democracy crusade in Iraq and the Middle East. Unlike Captain Ed, I don't think Mr. Rich is making himself irrelevant. In fact, I think he's more relevant today than he was when he was a theater critic. He is one of a handful of Mainstream Media (MSM) voices with the courage to say what's on his mind about the war without fear of being ostracized or blog swarmed for his views.

For more of The Captain's thoughts, see "Rich 'Swiftboats' Himself Into Irrelevancy."

By way, I enjoy reading Captain Ed's opinions although I disagree with them more than I agree.

Note: This item is cross-posted at The Diplomatic Times Review and The Opinion Gazette.

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Frank Rich on the 'Swift Boating' of Cindy Sheehan

New York Times Op-Ed columnist Frank Rich paints a vivid picture of President Bush that his media handlers and supporters won't like. It's called:"The Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan." Here's part of the portrait:

Cindy Sheehan couldn't have picked a more apt date to begin the vigil that ambushed a president: Aug. 6 was the fourth anniversary of that fateful 2001 Crawford vacation day when George W. Bush responded to an intelligence briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" by going fishing. On this Aug. 6 the president was no less determined to shrug off bad news. Though 14 marine reservists had been killed days earlier by a roadside bomb in Haditha, his national radio address that morning made no mention of Iraq. Once again Mr. Bush was in his bubble, ensuring that he wouldn't see Ms. Sheehan coming. So it goes with a president who hasn't foreseen any of the setbacks in the war he fabricated against an enemy who did not attack inside the United States in 2001.
Mr. Rich said, "When these setbacks happen in Iraq itself, the administration punts. But when they happen at home, there's a game plan. Once Ms. Sheehan could no longer be ignored, the Swift Boating began."

Mr. Rich's article is worth reading whether you are pro or anti-war.

By the way, the verb "Swift Boating" comes from an effort during the 2004 presidential campaign of some Swift Boat veterans of the Vietnam war to discredit Democratic presidential contender John Kerry's role in the war. Mr. Kerry commanded a Swift Boat

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August 20, 2005

Is MSM Suffering Collateral Damage From Iraq War?

Ron Hutcheson of Knight Ridder Newspapers asserted August 18, 2005 that, "As the battle for Iraq's future plays out half a world away, the American news media are caught in the crossfire at home."

For more, see "Mainstream news media suffer collateral damage from Iraq war."

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Bush Plans to Visit War Supporters in the Western U.S.

It is obvious that the political impact of the growing anti-war movement in the United States, symbolized by Gold Star Families and Cindy Sheehan, is on U.S. President George W. Bush's mind, and the minds of his image shapers. To counter the international focus on Ms. Sheehan and the antiwar movement's challenge of his Iraq policies, Mr. Bush will hit the road next week in search of friendly audiences. He plans to fly thousands of miles to meet with friendly crowds in Idaho; crowds he knows support his wars. For some reason, he seems to fear exchanging thoughts and ideas with U.S. citizens camped out near his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Mr. Bush announced his intention to visit citizens in Idaho during his August 20, 2005 radio address. He said:

During the coming weeks, I will meet with some of the brave men and women who have been on the front lines in the war on terror. Next week in Idaho, I will visit with some of the fine citizen soldiers of the Idaho National Guard. I will also see the men and women of the Mountain Home Air Force Base who played a leading role in the air campaign in Afghanistan after the September the 11th attacks. I will thank all of them for their service in the war on terror and I will thank the families who make their essential work possible.
He also said:
Our troops know that they're fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere to protect their fellow Americans from a savage enemy. They know that if we do not confront these evil men abroad, we will have to face them one day in our own cities and streets, and they know that the safety and security of every American is at stake in this war, and they know we will prevail.

Next week, in Utah, I will also address the Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention and thank the proud veterans who have given today's troops such a noble example of devotion and courage. At the end of the month, I will join our veterans and current service members in San Diego to commemorate the 60th anniversary of V-J Day, the day that ended World War II, the bloodiest conflict in human history

Mr. Bush said, "In this war, our nation depends on the courage of those who wear the uniform." But no matter what he says, there is no guarantee that the U.S. will prevail in Afghanistan and Iraq. In fact, I predict that the it won't.

On the other hand, I understandable that Mr. Bush has to reinforce his message among a public that is becoming increasingly skeptical about the Iraq war, with each death of a U.S. soldier.

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CNN Presents 'Dead Wrong: Inside an Intelligence Meltdown'

The CNN Presents documentary "Dead Wrong -- Inside an Intelligence Meltdown"airs August 21, 2005 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern Time. According to CNN, it "pieces together the events leading up to the mistaken WMD intelligence that was presented to the public" by Secretary of State Colin Powell.

"A presidential commission that investigated the pre-war WMD intelligence found much of it to be "dead wrong," CNN said.

Note: This item is cross-posted at The Opinion Gazette and The Diplomatic Times Review, my other blogs.

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Bush v. Rumsfeld Leads to Rumsfeld v. Kristol

Pentagon Spokesman Lawrence Di Rita stands up for his boss, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in the August 29, 2005 issue of The Weekly Standard. Mr. Rumsfeld is frequently attacked in print by Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol. The last time was in a piece headlined Bush v. Rumsfeld."( Aug. 15 / Aug. 22, 2005 issue),

The Pentagon struck back in the pages of The Standard. In an article headlined Rumsfeld v. Kristol, Mr. Di Rita noted that,

In his recent editorial ("Bush v. Rumsfeld," Aug. 15 / Aug. 22), William Kristol thinks that he senses the "inescapable whiff of weakness and defeatism" in the leadership of the Pentagon. This is nonsense.

"Kristol thinks that talking about a "struggle against violent extremism" is a step down from the "war on terror." They are one and the same. The president constantly reminds us that this is a new kind of war.

The family feud between Neo-cons and empire managers continues.

Note: This item is cross-posted at The Opinion Gazette and The Diplomatic Times Review, my other blogs.

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August 10, 2005

He Wants to Repeal Reading Proficiency Requirements: Why

According to The Witchita Eagle, the Kansas State Board of Education "should repeal standards that require all Kansas students to achieve reading and math proficiency by 2014, Attorney General Phill Kline said" August 9, 2005. Here's why

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It Starts With a Small Crime

Stephen Crockett at American Chronicle made this observation about the Valerie Plame Affair:

Abuse of government power for partisan political purposes was at the root of the Watergate scandal. The collapse of the Nixon White House started with a simple burglary which revealed many other serious crimes. I suspect the Rove/Novak Traitorgate scandal is just the tip of the iceberg concerning the Bush Administration.
I wonder what's beneath the iceberg?

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Questions on 9/11 Just Won't Go Away

If, as is being reported around the world, an elite, Defense Department unit had identified 9/11 attack leader Mohammad Atta and three others in 2000 and concluded that they were part of an Al-Qaida cell in the United States, why weren't they detained for questioning?. Some one will have to answer that question. Look for a lot of buck passing of this.

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August 9, 2005

Gonzales Refuses to Say Whether Patrick Fitzerald Will be Retained

Abdon Pallasch, legal affairs reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, reported today that U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales refused to say whether Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois " would be kept on for Bush's full second term once he hits his four-year mark in October."

Mr. Fitzgerald is currently making headlines with his investigation of the Valerie Plame affair and his investigation of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daly's administration. That investigation has resulted in the indictment of several individuals in city departments and guilty pleas for bribery and mail fraud stemming from the city's hired truck program.

Mr. Gonzales, speaking August 8, 2005 at an American Bar Association convention, said, "I have great confidence in Patrick Fitzgerald. He is like all 93 U.S. attorneys around the country. He serves at the pleasure of the president."

According to Mr. Pallasch, Mr. Gonzales "referred questions on Fitzgerald's future to President Bush. The White House had earlier referred questions on his future to Gonzales' Justice Department. Fitzgerald said last week that every day the phone does not ring reassigning him, he's happy to keep doing his job," Mr. Pallasch noted. Here's more.

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August 8, 2005

Ebony and Jet Magazines Publisher John H. Johnson Dead at 87

The National Political Observer offers condolences to the family of Ebony and Jet magazines publisher John H. Johnson, 87, who died August 8, 2005 here in Chicago. Here is the Johnson Publishing Company press release on his death. May he rest in peace.

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August 7, 2005

Condolences to the Family of Peter Jennings

The National Political Observer offers condolences to the family of ABC News anchor Peter Jennings. He passed away tonight. May his soul rest in peace. Here is ABC News' statement announcing his death.

Munir Umrani, editor and publisher.

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Did Army Archered Hang Around Too Long in the Gossip Business?

Jeff Jarvis over at BuzzMachine comments on Jesse McKinley's "brief " New York Times "Week In Review piece sussing out the vaster meaning of gossip Army Archerd's retirement."

"People magazine did it," he declared.

"He quotes Jessica Coen of Gawker and me," Mr. Jarvis wrote on August 7, 2005. The founder of Entertainment Weekly told The Times:

I think Army Archerd's time, like Liz Smith's, was over a few decades ago, when gossip stopped being mere gossip and became an industry or, rather, became the heart if not the soul of media.
Here's Mr. Jarvis' email answering Mr. McKinley's questions.

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U.S. News: FBI Keeping an Eye on Homegrown Extremists

USNews.Com reports that, "In the decade since the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, local police and federal agents have foiled roughly 60 right-wing extremist terrorist plots [in the United States], according to the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project."

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Begala Predicts Bush Will Pardon Rove

Paul Begala predicts that President George W. Bush will pardon Karl Rove if he is indicted and convicted of deliberately blowing CIA operative Valerie Plame's' cover as an agent working on weapons of mass destruction (WMD) issues.

The Bush Administration considered her "fair game" because her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, discredited the administration's claim that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein sought to obtain Uranium yellowcake from Niger, to use in WMDs.

Mr. Wilson criticized the administration in a July 6, 2003 New York Times Op-ed piece headlined "What I Didn't Find in Africa."

Mr. Begala's argument seems valid to me.

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Can Newsweek's Ben Ladin Exclusive Hold Up Under Scrutiny?

Will the Bush Administration force Newsweek to retract this headline in its August 15, 2005 issue? "Exclusive: CIA Commander: We Let bin Laden Slip Away." Just asking.

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Is Peter Jennings Near Death?

What's Happening at CNN (WHAC) published an item today that said ABC News has alerted affiliates to prepare for the death of ABC's World New Tonight anchor Peter Jennings. He was diagnosed with lung cancer on July 5, 2005. WHAC got its information from Newsblues.

ABC says the NewsBlues report "is not accurate." TVNewser said NewsBlues "has removed its earlier statement, which stated that ABC affiliates were preparing for Jennings' death. An ABC spokesperson reiterated that this information was incorrect," TVNewser said.

Whatever the truth, I pray that Mr. Jennings is granted peace and pain-free days.

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A Mother Wants to Ask President Bush, 'What did my son die for?''

If more American mothers with sons and daughters in Iraq do what Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, California did on August 6, 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush and the Republicans might be in political trouble. Ms. Sheehan, whose son "Casey, 24, was killed in Sadr City, Iraq, on April 4, 2004, marched on Mr. Bush's ranch in Crawford Texas, and demanded to see him. She was "supported by more than 50 demonstrators, according to the Associated Press.

"I want to ask the president, 'Why did you kill my son? What did my son die for?' " the AP quoted her as telling reporters.

Ms. Sheehan, 48, "didn't get to see Mr. Bush, but did talk about 45 minutes with national security adviser Steve Hadley and deputy White House chief of staff Joe Hagin, who went out to hear her concerns," the AP noted. After they explained why the U.S. was in Iraq, which she didn't buy, she again demanded to see Mr. Bush, and vowed to remain in the area until she saw him.

If she sees Mr. Bush, it will be a miracle. Troops will continue to die in Iraq until mothers and fathers by the thousands demand that their sons and daughters come home from a war launched under false pretenses. Of course, for some it's too late. They are already six feet under or crippled for life. Then there are thousands of Iraqis who died as a result of the war, whether killed by the U.S. and its so-called coalition allies or insurgents resisting the occupation. But who cares about them? They're just Arabs and Muslims.

For more on the Ms. Sheehan's demonstration, see "Fallen GI's mom leads protest near Bush ranch."

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August 6, 2005

Newsweek: A Deadly Week Leads to Drop in Support for War

Newsweek reported today that, "As U.S. troops endured a deadly week in Iraq, 61 percent of Americans polled say they disapprove of the way President George W. Bush is handling the war in Iraq. "Thirty four percent say they approve," according to the new Newsweek poll.

"This is Bush's lowest rating on Iraq and the first time it has dropped below 40 percent in the Newsweek poll," the publication said. "And 50 percent of those polled say the United States is losing ground in its efforts to establish security and democracy in Iraq; just 40 percent say the U.S. is making progress there."

I wonder whether Newsweek would retract the poll data if the Bush Administration challenged it.

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The 'Other Shoe' Falls in the Larry Franklin Spy Case

"The other shoe has finally dropped in the case of the spy scandal involving the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) contends Justin Raimondo in an informative article at Antiwar.Com headlined "AIPAC Spy Nest Exposed." He said "New indictments implicate unnamed government officials and reporters."

Mr. Raimondo's analysis is the most incisive I've come across this week since, as The Washington Post noted in an August 5, 2005, article:

The former director of foreign policy issues for the American Israel committee, Steven Rosen, 63, of Silver Spring, Md., was indicted on two counts related to unlawful disclosure of "national defense information" obtained from [former Pentagon Analyst Larry] Franklin and other unidentified government officials since 1999, on topics ranging from Iran to Saudi Arabia to al Qaeda.

A former committee analyst, Keith Weissman, 53, of Bethesda, Md., was indicted on one count of conspiracy to illegally communicate classified information.

I can imagine the fear in Pentagon, AIPAC and Israeli embassy circles as investigators continue to unraveling links between a cabal of people in Washington who seem to think Israeli has a right to all U.S. secrets. Rest assured, one day it will be back to business as usual.

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Gandelman: 'Bob Novak Is Now CNN's Baggage'

Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice has informative commentary and good links to other views prompted by Columnist Robert Novak walking off the set of CNN's "Inside Politics" on August 4, 2005. CNN suspended him for it.

Mr. Novak apologized for his antics. However, the damage has been done. It's another blow to his reputation, which has taken a hit in the Plame Affair, in which the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame was leaked to Mr. Novak and other journalists, for political reasons.

Mr. Novak identified her as an operative studying weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in his July 14, 2003 Chicago Sun-Times column.

The leak is being investigated by Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

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Jay Rosen Has Outstanding Analysis of Novak's CNN Troubles

Jay Rosen at PressThink has the best analysis I've seen so far on "Why Robert Novak Stormed Off the Set" of CNN's "Inside Politics" on the afternoon of August 4, 2005. As an analyst, Mr. Rosen stands above the crowd when it come to putting media events into perspective. Here is the transcript of the episode he analyzes so brilliantly.

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How Many Military Funerals Has Mr. Bush Attended?

According to the Associated Press, "Representative Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, a critic of U.S. policy in Iraq, has attended six war-linked funerals since the war began and said he would attend as many as he can for the most recent casualties."

How many has President Bush attended?

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Why Aren't President Bush's Daughters in Iraq?

Why doesn't President Bush send his daughters over there [to Iraq]?"

That question, according to the Globe and Mail of Toronto, was asked by 39-year-old ex-marine Darrell Stewart, "who was paying his respects [in Ohio] to his fallen comrades and now regrets voting for Mr. Bush."

"I love America, and I love our armed services. I just don't like the way things are being handled over there," he said.

Mr. Stewart's statement, and numerous others that should worry President George W. Bush and the republicans, if true, is in an article by Globe and Mail Correspondent Alan Freeman, who writes:

Ohio, the battleground state that sealed Mr. Bush's second term as President the morning after the November, 2004, election, is grieving as it prepares to bury 14 of its soldiers killed in a particularly lethal week of ambushes, roadside bombs and suicide attacks.
For more see, "United in grief, yet divided by war." This article is cross-posted at The Diplomatic Times Review.

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August 4, 2005

Mr. Bush, You Are Needed in Brook Park, Ohio

It's time for President George W. Bush to leave his ranch in Crawford, Texas and head to Brook Park, Ohio, where the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines is headquartered.

According to a report in the Chillicothe (Ohio)Gazette, the battalion has lost 20 men in two days. It lost 14 soldiers yesterday.

Mr. Bush needs do some comforting and explaining.

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August 3, 2005

Hackett Did Well in Ohio Despite Loss to Schmidt

As the Associated Press and other publications and news services have noted, former Ohio state Representative Jean Schmidt defeated Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett by about 3,500 votes" August 2, 2005. " Up for grabs was the congressional seat vacated by former Republican Rob Portman, who stepped down to be President George W. Bush's trade representative.

Ohio's 10th Congressional district is heavily Republican. Although he did not win it, I think Mr. Hackett deserves kudos for giving Ms. Schmidt and the Republicans a good contest.

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Do Detroit's Voters Want a New Direction?

The Detroit Free Press reported today that, "A majority of Tuesday's Detroit primary voters say the city is on the wrong track.

"That sentiment -- from about 52% of Detroit voters -- propelled them to seek new leadership and underscored Freman Hendrix's first-place finish over Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in the primary. The voters have spoken. Will Kilpatrick demand a recount? Stay tuned. Here's more on the voting.

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August 2, 2005

Jay Rosen Analyzes BlogHer '05

Jay Rosen at PressThink has posted very informative "Notes and Comment on BlogHer '05." His description and analysis of the conference of female bloggers is the best I've read. I recommend it.

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Will Bush, Rove Political Partnership Surive Plame Investigation?

Ron Hutcheson at Knight Ridder News Service contends that the 30-year-old political partnership between President George W. Bush and political adviser Karl Rove "is being tested by Rove's involvement in the unauthorized outing of an undercover CIA officer."

Here's Mr. Hutcheson's analysis. It's quite interesting.

By the way, Mr. Bush said today that he had confidence in Mr. Rove.

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The Plame Scandal is Getting 'Curiouser and Curiouser'

Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice says "It's getting curiouser and curiouser and downright confusing in the Plame scandal, dubbed Rovegate by some, with a Time magazine tidbit that contradicts one of Karl Rove's key contentions."

Read "Rove Is Plame Confusing" to understand why.

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Editorial Pages, Blogs Weigh in On Ambassador Bolton

The Christian Science Monitor has a roundup of editorial page and blog "reaction to President Bush's controversial recess appointment" of John R. Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

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On First Reference

Here's is an interesting Associated Press (AP) lead in a story describing the vote count in the August 2, 2005 election in Ohio to replace "Republican Rob Portman, who, the AP noted, "stepped down this year after being named U.S. trade representative by President Bush":

A Bush-bashing Iraq war veteran and a Republican former state lawmaker were neck-and-neck Tuesday in a closely watched congressional race that could serve as a bellwether for next year's midterm elections.
I find it telling that Paul Hackett is not identified as a Democrat on first reference but as a Bush bashing war veteran. On the other hand, Jean Schmidt, his opponent, is identified as a Republican

By the way, when this item was posted, the candidates "were neck-and-neck" in the vote count.

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Kilpatrick, Freeman Expected to Meet in Detroit's General Election

The Associated Press (AP) reported the night of August 2, 2005 that Detroit "incumbent Kwame Kilpatrick and challenger Freeman Hendrix were expected to defeat 10 other hopefuls" in the August 2, 2005 mayoral primary for the right to face off" in the general election in November."

The AP said, "The top two vote-getters in the nonpartisan primary square off November 8, [2005] and the winner will be asked to lead a city with a multimillion-dollar budget deficit and a severe population decline."

Well, deficit or not, it's still a lucrative prize. Why else would would 12 people want to be in position to give contracts to their friends? Here's more.

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Will It Be The Republican Or The War Critic?

As PRNewswire noted in an August 1, 2005 press release, "voters in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District will elect a successor to former Representative Rob Portman, who quit Congress to become President Bush's trade representative."

The election is today.

Will Republican Candidate Jean Schmidt or Democrat Paul Hackett, "an Iraq war veteran highly critical of President Bush's policies," be sent to Washington?

Expect conversative pundits to have a fit if the war critic wins.

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August 1, 2005

Can John Bolton Be Diplomatic?

Howard LaFranchi, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor, says now that U.S. President George W. Bush has made John R. Bolton U.S. Ambassador to the United nation, "The question now is whether Bolton, who has caused even U.S. allies like the British to express private concerns in the past about his diplomatic skills, will be impaired in his ability to press the US case for UN reform."

Some observers predict that he will be a disaster, while others say he is the kind of man the U.S. needs at the U.N. Time will tell. See "Bolton's next hurdle: spurring UN reform" for more of the Monitor'sanalysis.

Note: This istemn is cross-posted at The Diplomatic Times Review.

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The Washington Note's Latest on John Bolton

Steve Clemons at The Washington Note said July 31, 2005, that, "All reports seem to point toward a recess appointment for [John]Bolton sometime during the early part of the week, prior to President Bush's departure for Crawford on Tuesday [August 2, 2005].

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Today May Be Bolton's Lucky Day

The word out of Washington is that, as of today, the controversial John R. Bolton will be President George W. Bush's ambassador to the United Nations. I believe it. The Democrats rightly tried to block his nomination in the Senate out of fear that he would be a disaster for the U.S. Some of it was just plain politics.

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