Only the blind would think that New York welcomed the RNC with anything but contempt. Even my mother is mocking them. My mother.
I'll do a round up later, but this is pretty much an open thread about the convention and protests tonight.
Oh yeah, for my fellow bloggers who want to experience New York while at the Tank.
Walk east one block, turn on to 9th Avenue and walk up one of the best restaurant rows in the city. If you get tired of donuts and pizza, if you have the cash, some of the best inexpensive restaurants in the city are on 9th Avenue.
It's something the tourists miss, the delegates will definitely miss, but New Yorkers love. I don't think there are any great places, but a lot of interesting ones.
There are a lot of other places to see. If you want ideas, just e-mail me. I just feel that with all these fine guests in our city, there's more to life than pizza, beer and donuts, although, like a cop, I love all three:)
Oh yeah, has anyone noticed that the black delegates look even stupider than the white ones?
There are a shitload of arrests tonight. Indymedia has reports and I'll post on what the local news says after Jenna and Not Jenna and Zombie First Lady babble their way through their speech.
Let me count the number of times Judi and I had sex in Gracie Mansion while I was married to Donna
While I'm listening to Air America at home tonight, because I've been running two days straight, and if a man can't work from his own home one night, what's the point? Besides, I wanted to check out the TV coverage, since I'm going to be at the Tank most of the day tomorrow and Thursday night, unless I just crap out. After all, conventions are a lot of work, even when you sit on your ass and write.
Anyway, it's taken me this long to write about Giuliani's Mussolini-like speech because it so enraged me. It was filled with lies. But then, it takes a coward to admire a coward. Giuliani stole the credit from honest, hardworking New Yorkers and made himself into a hero across America. The racist prick can barely open his mouth here, but in cowtown USA, he's a real hero, despite the mousy voice and creepy grin.
Ok, like most non-white and many white New Yorkers, every time I see Giuliani, I feel like reminding him of the lives he ruined, starting with his kids and ending with the Dorismond and Diallo families. He strides across like a hero, when he's really just a small-minded punk. With a father who was a draft dodging knee-breaker, Giuliani is the second generation of draft dodgers in his family. His language is of the phony tough and the big talking bully, which is why he gets along with Bush so well.
Don't be fooled by Pataki's gracious words, Giuliani is his mortal enemy, but he is a patient man.
Anyway, John McCain's speech either sucked on purpose, masquaraded as high minded politics, or is laying the foundation for a John Walker level of betrayal. McCain knows the party neither likes nor trusts him. The odds of him surviving a primary campaign are small. However, if he torpedos Bush, the GOP may hate him, but he could switch parties overnight.
Not that I think he'll do this, but I, like any smart person, wouldn't trust McCain farther than I can piss. If he betrays Bush, well, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
Having turned Ford into their instrument, Rumsfeld and Cheney staged a palace coup. They pushed Ford to fire Defense Secretary James Schlesinger, tell Vice President Nelson Rockefeller to look for another job and remove Henry Kissinger from his post as national security adviser. Rumsfeld was named secretary of defense, and Cheney became chief of staff to the president. The Yale dropout and draft dodger was, at the age of thirty-four, the second-most-powerful man in the White House.
As the 1976 election approached, Rumsfeld and Cheney used the immense powers they had arrogated to themselves to persuade Ford to scuttle the Salt II treaty on nuclear-arms control. The move helped Ford turn back Reagan's challenge for the party's nomination -- but at the cost of ceding the heart of the GOP to the New Right. Then, in the presidential election, Jimmy Carter defeated Ford by 2 million votes.
In his first test-drive at the wheels of power, Cheney had played a central role in the undoing of a president. Wrote right-wing columnist Robert Novak, "White House Chief of Staff Richard Cheney . . . is blamed by Ford insiders for a succession of campaign blunders." Those in the old elitist wing of the party thought the decision to dump Rockefeller was both stupid and wrong: "I think Ford lost the election because of it," one of Kissinger's former aides says now. Ford agreed, calling it "the biggest political mistake of my life."
Cheney is the dark omen which ruins presidencies.
Appointed to another powerful position, Cheney promptly went about screwing it up. He pushed to turn many military duties over to private companies and began moving "defense intellectuals" with no military experience into key posts at the Pentagon. Most notable among them was Paul Wolfowitz, who later masterminded much of the disastrous strategy that George W. Bush has pursued in Iraq. In 1992, as undersecretary of defense, Wolfowitz turned out a forty-page report titled "Defense Planning Guidance," arguing that historic allies should be demoted to the status of U.S. satellites, and that the modernization of India and China should be treated as a threat, as should the democratization of Russia. "We must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role," the report declared. It was nothing less than a blueprint for worldwide domination, and Cheney loved it. He maneuvered to have the president adopt it as doctrine, but the elder Bush, recognizing that the proposals were not only foolish but dangerous, immediately rejected them.
By the end of the first Bush administration, others had come to the conclusion that Cheney and his followers were dangerous. "They were referred to collectively as the crazies," recalls Ray McGovern, a CIA professional who interpreted intelligence for presidents going back to Kennedy. Around the same time, McGovern remembers, Secretary of State James Baker and National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft counseled the elder President Bush, "Keep these guys at arm's length."
Cheney is a power addict. He may be reflexisively conservative, but principles don't much matter to him.
Cheney suffered his biggest failure in March 2002, when he visited nine Arab and Muslim countries six months after the 9/11 attacks. The vice president anticipated a triumphal tour of the region as, one by one, he enlisted the countries he visited in the cause of "taking out" Saddam Hussein. In the end, not a single country Cheney visited provided troops for the Bush-Cheney war -- including staunch American allies in Jordan and Turkey -- and almost all refused to let their territory be used for the attack.
Once again, however, Cheney did not let reality dissuade him from his course. As the disaster has unfolded in Iraq, he has continued to insist against all evidence that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction, that the dictator was aiding Al Qaeda, that nothing the Bush administration has done was a mistake. Those who have known him over the years remain astounded by what they describe as his almost autistic indifference to the thoughts and feelings of others. "He has the least interest in human beings of anyone I have ever met," says John Perry Barlow, his former supporter. Cheney's freshman-year roommate, Steve Billings, agrees: "If I could ask Dick one question, I'd ask him how he could be so unempathetic."
Cheney is as much a failure as Bush, but he hides it under a veneer of competence. Which, in Cheney's life, is an illusion. He, far more than daddy's boy Bush, has failed upward. At every turn, Dick Cheney has left a disaster behind him (see, Shia, 1991), but powerful patrons have saved him. There isn't the dramatic drunk to Jesus trail behind him, but there's enough damage behind him to rival a demolition derby.
So McCain's big "mistake" was to mention Michael Moore. Whether it was for a cheap applause line or to make the delegates look like thugs, it certainly worked on both accounts. Tonight, George Bush is whining about the "horrible" Michael Moore. Which is certainly ironic, since his cousin got Moore into the documentary business.
The Dems were handwringing about the Swift Boat attacks and were chided for it. Why isn't someone saying "hey, it's a film. Let it alone." Nope, he's all manner of scumbag liar instead. Look, if there was a lie in F 9/11 it would have been discreted. It hasn't been. So why make him more famous.
Anyway, while watching the speeches in the Tank, I was screaming shit out, like I was at the movies. Whenever Dick Cheney came on, I made a cup with my hands and hummed the Imperial March from Star Wars. I figure Maureen Dowd got one thing right, and that is Dick Cheney as Darth Vader. I think I called Giuliani a lying cocksucker several times. Recited his marital history. Called him a fucking liar. Racist as well. Then I mentioned his draft dodging thug daddy.
As Kos said, I speak like I write. The poor guy was on his Powerbook, wearing his Cubs jersey, and as I looked over his shoulder, checked on his rotisserie team. OSX is sweet. A lot of the bloggers have Macs, like Jeralyn Merritt, who I recognized from TV. I had been slighty confused as to if they were the same person (blogger and MSNBC person), but I guess they are. She's pretty nice, not that I said three words to her, besides pointing out an outlet. Her son, a Columbia Law student showed up. I think they went to the big Stand Up show at the Beacon. I haven't done shit other than write. It's my reporter head kicking in, besides, it was brutally humid the last two days. And to be honest, my job, such as it is, is to watch the convention and write on it, not see a comedy show.
But since I was sitting right behind him, I hope I didn't yell in his ear too much. Loud public discussion is a New York thing.
I should see something besides the inside of the Tank. But that's a decision for tomorrow.
However, the thing about blogging from the Tank, far more than from the Fleet Center, is that you have two different vibes, one, being outlaws, and bloggers need to at least feel that they're outside the system. Two, a wonderful sense of cooperation. Just like the rightwingers have. They all socialize and work together, but those of us on the left hadn't done so. There were no movement liberals.
So, even from home, I feel that this has been a MUCH better experiment with bloggers than what happened in Boston. No matter which party runs the show, people should seek to work outside it. They should keep that independent voice. Some of the folks there are, for lack of a better term, hardcore lefties. Some loyal Democrats. Hell, the McManus Democratic club have kept us fat and happy in dounts.
This is the kind of thing which has been so missing from Democratic politics. We have relied so long on the party to define what our role as citizens should be. There were conservatives before there were Republicans and liberals need to do the same thing. We can save ourselves if we want. We don't need terry McAuliffe, John Kerry or anyone to define our beliefs. They should reflect them.
In a small way, the Tank and the independent voice that the bloggers have there is the start of rebuilding our democratic voice.
Being There What does 9/11 tell us about Bush? Nothing.
By William Saletan
Posted Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2004, at 11:19 AM PT
For the past month, a group of veterans funded by a Bush campaign contributor and advised by a Bush campaign lawyer has attacked the story of John Kerry's heroism in Vietnam. They have argued, contrary to all known contemporaneous records, that Kerry was too brutal in a counterattack that earned him the Silver Star, and that he survived only mines, not bullets, when he rescued a fellow serviceman from a river. President Bush, who joined the National Guard as a young man to avoid Vietnam, has been challenged to denounce the group's charges. He has refused.
Now the Republican National Convention is showcasing Bush's own heroic moment. As John McCain put it last night: "I knew my confidence was well placed when I watched him stand on the rubble of the World Trade Center with his arm around a hero of September 11 and, in our moment of mourning and anger, strengthen our unity and our resolve by promising to right this terrible wrong and to stand up and fight for the values we hold dear."
Pardon me for asking, but where exactly is the heroism in this story? Where, indeed, is the heroism in anything Bush has done before 9/11 or since?
He says it better than I can at the moment. I'm still pissed at the Giuliani speech.
Is he merely a money-grubbing Jew or drug dealing Jew. The right needs to make up its mind
You'll remember a couple days ago we noted House Speaker Denny Hastert suggesting that George Soros may get his money from drug cartels or other such groups.
I've talked to reporters who've asked Hastert this around the convention hall. And he's been aggressively restating the 'charge.' I'm told he even shoved his finger in the chest of one of them when repeating it.
Now Soros has written this letter to Hastert, asking him to put up or shut up, or, more specifically "either substantiate these claims -- which you canont do because they are false -- or publicly apologize for attempting to defame my character and damage my reputation."
Whatever you think of Soros, this is the sort of slur that only comes from a real pig. And to think that the author of it is the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and out in the light of day.
-- Josh Marshall
Pig, yes, idiot, surely.
Unless there is some master plan, George Soros could bankrupt Denny Hastert and go after his seat, prevent him from a post-Congress lobbying career or just sue his ass back to the Stone Age.
Hastert is a stupid hatchet man, but like with the purple heart insults, a lot of people are wandering off the reservation. But fucking with a billionaire? That's just fucking stupid. I mean, Soros lets a lot slide, but accusing him of being a member of a drug cartel is insane.
And his letter is basically a retract or be sued for libel/slander demand. It's something I'd take very seriously, because unless there's some state secrets lying around, Hastert has no defense, and the lie is driven by his support of liberal causes.
Why is it such a stupid thing to say, repeatedly?
Because while you can claim some things as opinion, this is a lie designed to harm Soros's career and political viability. It is a lie without basis in fact and designed to harm, the textbook case of libel/slander.
Oh yeah, there is the Zyklon B whiff of gross anti-semitism.
Hey, moolie (well, why should he talk to me differently than he talked to my elected representatives?)
Last night, in Madison Square Garden, I took the stage at the Republican National Convention to speak to America about the threats we face in the world, the events we have been through together over the last three years, and the clear, steady leadership of President George W. Bush that has guided us through these difficult times.
Kind of like your leadership helped your family during your serial adultery. Your whore wife was sitting near Darth Cheney last night. I bet your kids felt great seeing that.
Millions of Americans tuned their TVs to convention coverage last night and heard my words. And many more will hear the words of others who will come before our convention. They will hear our story.
Your lies, Rudy, your lies.
Will you help us tell the story to those who don't tune in?
Goddamn right. I certainly will, Mayor serial adulterer
President Bush has been the steady hand we need in these times of uncertainty and danger. He understands the stakes. He makes decisions based on deeply held beliefs, not the political winds. He chooses to fight terror in places like Baghdad and Kabul, rather than New York and Kansas. It is the right way to fight this enemy and it is a fight we must win.
Yes, as if Al Qaeda isn't a world wide organization. All those battles in Fallujah sure kept Madrid safe, right? What the fuck do you think terrorists are? Some kind of Army? They're all over the world, cretin. What happens in Iraq doesn't mean shit to New York.
In order to keep the pressure on al-Qaeda, we must keep George W. Bush in the White House. In order to take the fight to our enemies, we must have the strength of conviction, and support for our Armed Forces. This is not a fight for those who talk tough, and then leave our troops unarmed. This is not a fight for those who talk about the need for better intelligence, but have a history of voting against it.
Yes, after all, Osama is facing trial today in New York....what, he isn't?
This is not a fight that favors sensitivity and nuance. This is a fight that requires strength, determination and resolve.
So why has Bush called for a more sensititve war. I don't need lessons on toughness from a second generation draft dodger.The ONLY time your old man was tough was when he was knocking heads for the Mob. When it came to serving his country, he freely admitted he was a convicted felon and ineligible for the draft, even though other people with criminal records were eager to serve. Save your fake machismo for the families of innocent people murdered by the police and your mistresses.
Will you help ensure this fight is won by contributing $1000, $500, $250, $100 or even $50 to the President's campaign?
No, actually, I'll send that amount to ACT If Giuliani and his fellow lying fucks piss you off, send the money to ACT
I hope I can count on you to help me tell this story. As you watch the convention tonight, you will know that you have helped us reach millions that may not be watching. You have spread the message to those who may not watch, but need to know.
Yeah, spread the lies and the insult. Not only have I made millions off the bodies of the dead, I want to run for higher office on their corpses. Necromancy, the best tool possible for a rising pol. They only let the dead vote in Jersey City, I plan to have them walk side by side for me.
You will make the difference.
That's goddamn right. Give generously to ACT. Remember. Every dime you give will help register voters and fight for a real democracy in America. Tasking back our government, one citizen at a time.
John McCain unleashed the big guns on Michael Moore last night, unleashing pent-up partisan fury on the Bush-bashing filmmaker as he sat in the hall.
McCain called Moore, whose "Fahrenheit 9/11" drew unprecedented crowds for a documentary, a "disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace."
"I'm just trying to do my job," Moore said as the rabid Republicans pointed his way and booed for several minutes.
As the crowd broke out into chants of "Four more years," Moore stood, grinned and flashed an "L" sign with his fingers, meaning "loser," to the crowd jeering his presence.
He also appeared to respond "two more months"
McCain was tickled at the spontaneous reaction his comments about Moore, who is at the GOP convention writing a column for USA Today, received and exclaimed: "That line was so good, I'll use it again."
The delegates went wild, thrilled that in such a public forum they could show the filmmaker just how angry at him they are.
Michael Moore makes movies. He doesn't work for John Kerry. He isn't associated with the Democratic Party any more than I am, although they treat him nicer.
Why John McCain would point him out is beyond me.
All it signals is that the film has had a major impact on the race and has hurt Bush. They can't debunk its claims, so they boo Moore?
What they did is make Moore into a hero. They so hate what he had to say, that they disrupt the speech and boo him. He's not a Kerry surrogate, in fact he hasn't even said he's backing Kerry. Yet, they derail a less than inspiring speech to go after a filmmaker.
I think Moore went home quite happy last night, with the free ad and all.
Why would the GOP be distracted by a movie? Unless it was eroding support among independents.
While sitting in the Tank, the crowd broke out in applause when McCain launched his attack on Moore. Why? Because it signaled that Moore had gotten a good shot in on the GOP.
Manchester United have informed the Stock Exchange they have reached an "outline agreement" to sign England striker Wayne Rooney from Everton.
The deal is likely to be in the region of £25m, and should be sealed once Rooney has completed a medical and hospital tests in Manchester.
But Everton are still pressing for the highest possible transfer fee.
"We have always said we are looking for the best available deal for the club," said Toffees spokesman Ian Ross.
The 18-year-old arrived at United's Carrington training complex in Manchester on Tuesday after Everton gave permission for them to proceed with medical check-ups.
England's Euro 2004 star has been sidelined since the tournament with the foot injury he sustained in the quarter-final defeat to Portugal.
Rooney's arrival is a clear indication the deal will be sealed before Tuesday's transfer deadline, though it is also obvious there are still a few outstanding issues to be resolved before it is completed.
Newcastle had also wanted Rooney, who handed in a transfer request at Goodison Park on Friday after rejecting a club-record contract offer from Everton.
At one stage, it seemed Rooney preferred St James' Park as a destination, but it is now clear his future lies at Old Trafford
So what is it that makes Rooney so special, and worth the very public multi-million pound scramble?
And why was Ferguson so determined to win the battle?
Rooney's talent was whispered about in almost hushed tones when he emerged barely out of his teens at Everton.
He was quickly labelled as the finest youngster Everton had ever produced, and occasionally visiting reporters would be beckoned into the club's Bellefield training headquarters to watch a video of the prodigy's latest feat.
Even veteran former Everton manager and youth team coach Colin Harvey, never a man to deliver undeserved praise, could not contain his enthusiasm.
Rooney signed his first contract on the pitch at Goodison Park before he was even near a first team place - the club was that sure they had a budding genius on their hands.
Rooney made his debut as a 16-year-old on the opening day of the 2002/03 against Spurs - but burst on to the national consciousness on 19 October 2002.
He scored a now famous 25-yard winner in the last minute as Everton ended Arsenal's 30-match unbeaten run with a 2-1 victory.
Rooney then became England's youngest player and goalscorer, although his form was mixed last season in a struggling Everton side.
Indeed he went into Euro 2004 with question marks surrounding his weight and fitness - questions he answered so spectacularly that it effectively set the ground for the current bidding war.
The highest stage in European football held no terrors as he roughed up France hard man Lilian Thuram, then scored twice in wins against Switzerland and Croatia.
England was in the grip of "Roomania" - while Everton feared his feats were forcing him further away from the club he supported as a boy.
Manchester United felt they could wait until next summer before signing Rooney at a relatively knockdown price, but Newcastle's dramatic intervention forced their hand.
Ferguson simply felt he could not allow Rooney to move elsewhere, a testimony to his importance in the future Old Trafford strategy.
Now we will soon discover whether Sir Alex's move - and determination to empty Old Trafford's coffers - will be successful.
Why all the fuss? Because the last time a young player had talent like this, his name was Michael Owen. With Rooney, they have the chance to have the allure of David Beckham without the metrosexuality and famous wife. It's not just about his talent, which seems to be considerable, or the risk of his "lurid" personal life (he's 18, most lives at that age are pretty much not for family consumption, toss money on it....), but the fact that they can rebuild the franchise around him, the way that Beckham was the perfect partner for the marketing boom of ManU and the entire Premiership. Rooney may well be the player for a new era in not only the Premiership, but international soccer.
"Everyone wants to go to Baghdad; real men want to go to Tehran." That was the attitude in Washington two years ago, when Ahmad Chalabi was assuring everyone that Iraqis would greet us with flowers. More recently, some of us had a different slogan: "Everyone worries about Najaf; people who are really paying attention worry about Ramadi."
Ever since the uprising in April, the Iraqi town of Falluja has in effect been a small, nasty Islamic republic. But what about the rest of the Sunni triangle?
Last month a Knight-Ridder report suggested that U.S. forces were effectively ceding many urban areas to insurgents. Last Sunday The Times confirmed that while the world's attention was focused on Najaf, western Iraq fell firmly under rebel control. Representatives of the U.S.-installed government have been intimidated, assassinated or executed.
Other towns, like Samarra, have also fallen to insurgents. Attacks on oil pipelines are proliferating. And we're still playing whack-a-mole with Moktada al-Sadr: his Mahdi Army has left Najaf, but remains in control of Sadr City, with its two million people. The Christian Science Monitor reports that "interviews in Baghdad suggest that Sadr is walking away from the standoff with a widening base and supporters who are more militant than before."
For a long time, anyone suggesting analogies with Vietnam was ridiculed. But Iraq optimists have, by my count, already declared victory three times. First there was "Mission Accomplished" - followed by an escalating insurgency. Then there was the capture of Saddam - followed by April's bloody uprising. Finally there was the furtive transfer of formal sovereignty to Ayad Allawi, with implausible claims that this showed progress - a fantasy exploded by the guns of August.
Now, serious security analysts have begun to admit that the goal of a democratic, pro-American Iraq has receded out of reach. Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies - no peacenik - writes that "there is little prospect for peace and stability in Iraq before late 2005, if then."
Mr. Cordesman still thinks (or thought a few weeks ago) that the odds of success in Iraq are "at least even," but by success he means the creation of a government that "is almost certain to be more inclusive of Ba'ath, hard-line religious, and divisive ethnic/sectarian movements than the West would like." And just in case, he urges the U.S. to prepare "a contingency plan for failure."
Does this sound like we're winning the war on terra?
The Republican Party opened its convention yesterday with a searing evocation of the Sept. 11 attacks that leveled the World Trade Center three years ago, as former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York asserted that Senator John Kerry did not have the fortitude to lead the nation through a war on terror.
A procession of speakers - including a former New York City police commissioner, the current mayor of New York and a former terrorism prosecutor - invoked Mr. Bush's leadership after Sept. 11, 2001, in the city where the attacks took their greatest toll to recount the tragedy that the president's aides view as the linchpin to his re-election. Three relatives of victims of the terrorist attacks, standing before the words "September 11, 2001" beamed in white on the darkened stage behind them, paid quiet tribute to their lost ones, as television cameras showed delegates, bathed in deep blue light, weeping.
Mr. Giuliani, who was in the final months of his second term when the two planes rammed the towers, went even further, combining a withering attack on Mr. Kerry's record and character with a description of his first hours at ground zero, and Mr. Bush's visit there three days later, that at times left Republicans gathered in Madison Square Garden listening in stunned silence.
"Yes, people in public office at times change their minds, or realize that they are wrong - I have, others have - when they realize they are wrong or circumstances change,'' Mr. Giuliani said. "But John Kerry has made it the rule to change his position, rather than the exception." [Excerpts, Page P10; video, nytimes.com.]
"The contrasts are dramatic," Mr. Giuliani continued. "They involve very different views of how to deal with terrorism. President Bush will make certain that we are combating terrorism at the source, beyond our shores, so we can reduce the risk of having to confront, or run the risk of confronting it, here in New York or Chicago. John Kerry's record of inconsistent positions on combating terrorism gives us no confidence he'll pursue such a determined, difficult course."
I'll do a more detailed response later. I'll be back at the Tank Wednesday, I'll work from home today.
Monday, August 30, 2004 Posted: 11:25 PM EDT (0325 GMT)
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Delegates to the Republican National Convention found a new way to take a jab at Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's Vietnam service record: by sporting adhesive bandages with small purple hearts on them.
Morton Blackwell, a prominent Virginia delegate, has been handing out the heart-covered bandages to delegates, who've worn them on their chins, cheeks, the backs of their hands and other places.
Blackwell is president of the Leadership Institute, a nonpartisan educational foundation he founded in 1979. According to its Web site, the institute prepares conservatives for success in politics, government and the news media.
Kerry was a decorated Navy officer in Vietnam who became a prominent antiwar activist upon his return home. A group calling itself "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" has accused Kerry of lying to win combat decorations in Vietnam, including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
And last week, former Sen. Bob Dole, the party's 1996 presidential nominee, brought more attention to the allegations when he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, "With three Purple Hearts, he never bled that I know of. And they're all superficial wounds."
Dole apologized for the remark the next day after a personal call from Kerry, saying that before taping the interview, "maybe I should have stayed longer for brunch somewhere."
Donna Cain, an Oregon delegate, wore a purple heart bandage on her wrist.
"Probably a lot of people are handing them out because they are very symbolic," she said. Kerry, she said, "has made the war that he served in far more important than his recent records of the last 18 to 20 years."
Stupid, mean and ignorant.
Even if Kerry didn't win his medals fairly, and he did, this is like spitting on the graves of 973 Americans.
Working out of the Tank, not really, but I like the pun
Rightwing Congressman caught up in gay sex scandal.
No shit. Why am I not shocked beyond all reason.
The story broke on Blogactive and hit the mainstream via Kos and Atrios, who ate sitting, oh, 10 feet from me.
Congressman Ed Schrock had a little problem. He liked to troll for men on an online phone dating service. Which would be cool, if he weren't A: married, B: a cosponsor of the Family Marriage Amendment, or the Nuremberg law Hitler missed. Now, he's going to have to develop that law practice or something. And probably find a new place to live. But since he's from Virginia Beach, he should have no problem finding gay men for frolicing with.
Not bad for a C-list blogger, as according to a certain racist law professor obssesed with copyright law.
The thing is that the set up at the Tank, where all the liberal bloggers are based is one of the cooler setups for covering the convention. True, we're not being lavished upon like Howie Kurtz and the credentialed reporters, but we can relax, chat, and have the occasional drink and work in a stable, air conditioned environment with sane people.
The thing is that this allows people to build trust and create an atmosphere of respect. We're bloggers and when we get in trouble, we'll all stick up for each other, or I hope so. It's kinda neat being an independent voice with independent voices.
The fact is that face to face meeting makes things easier. Because you need to build trust. Working reporters tend to at least know each other. Bloggers work alone, unless something happens. So hanging out at the Tank makes for connections with real people.
It's easy to forget that there is a human behind every post and comment. This reminds you that there is.
New York Post columnist Robert George says that "unlike some Republican conventions of the past, there's more than one event or party featuring prominent black Republicans." He's also interested in Mayor Mike Bloomberg holding a Bryant Park reception for gay Republicans.
I like Bob George. I don't agree with his choice of employers, but I like the guy. He has managed to keep some of his dignity while working for the right.
He also sent me an early e-mail about the site which was nice. So I don't have any personal animus towards him.
But this is fucking delusional.
They have a multiple coon show? Lordy, that's what us colored folks call progress.
The local ABC station gave this black woman mayor from Mississippi a DV camera to shoot video of her adventures in New York.
When they ask her to get their bags, like GOP delegates did to their black cohorts last time, well, I wonder if she'll get that on film.
And the casual racism she'll encounter. They usually do. It's what happens when you sell your people out for quick gain.
I don't know why these people want to be Republicans, but I know we all love to see them humiliated.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 29--The first customer of the night, a friendly guy with a head of neat cornrows, was a prophet. "Should be busy," he told the bartender. "The Republican convention's here. There's a lot of cats in town looking for a little entertainment."
Sure enough, a few hours later the delegates began to trickle in. The first group I waited on told me they were from D.C. A mix of young, attractive men and women, they seemed more interested in flirting with each other--"I'm going to make sure I sit right across from you," a man with lacquered hair said to a giggling blond--than in watching "the girls" on stage. The group shelled out a few twenties for dances, but purely for the novelty of it, it seemed. Otherwise, they acted unimpressed. "This is it?" one man asked me.
Other delegates followed in ones and twos, and I started to see driver's licenses from the South attached to men who displayed ever-increasing levels of naïveté. A Texas man sitting alone in front of the stage balked at the price of his glass of wine and insisted that I ask the bartender what brand it was.
When I returned with an answer, his indignation had subsided. "Why aren't you up there dancing?" he asked me, gesturing to the woman gyrating. (On the list of questions frequently asked of a strip-club waitress, this one is rivaled only by "Can we see some girls over here?") "Listen," he said, his already thick drawl slurred by alcohol. "I like buying beautiful women expensive clothes. I like taking them out to any restaurant in town." He went on, detailing his gentlemanly ways, for some time. I noticed he had a red, white, and blue ribbon pinned to his lapel.
Then he said, "I like playing with two girls at once--but that's not a requirement. If I wanted to pay for a girl to spend the night with me, I could." He wrote his cell phone number on the back of a business card. "But that makes me uncomfortable." He handed me the card. I saw the name of an energy firm.
The party of family values in action.
Everybody likes two girls. We just don't lecture people on their morals beforehand.
"We the people say no to Bush" Hundreds of thousands of protesters filled the New York streets Sunday. Clash songs blasted, anarchists taunted "Aida"-goers, and moms, queers and Wall Street bankers told the Bush administration it must go.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Michelle Goldberg
For most of the day, there was a carnival air in the streets. The crowd was almost as polyglot as New York itself. A man from the International Bolshevik Tendency marched beside a guy whose sign called for "More Dior, Less War." Christians Against the War held posters asking "Whose Taxes Would Jesus Cut?" An incredibly tight marching band from Seattle moved through the mass of people. There was a giant green papier-mache dragon, which later caused a few moments of chaos when it was set on fire outside Madison Square Garden. Clash songs blasted. It was a party.
It was also a rebuke. A great many New Yorkers are profoundly insulted by Bush's decision to use their city -- whose cosmopolitan values he's treated with utter contempt -- to bolster his reelection bid. "Our city's tragedy is being used for propaganda," said Bradley McCormick, a 35-year-old from Spanish Harlem. "I'm upset about the insult to New York City. I think it's going to backfire."
In the run up to the convention, there were fears that the protests would backfire, that swing voters would see middle American delegates besieged by angry urban radicals and blame it all on the Democrats. Some had worried that undercover agent provocateurs would try to spur violence, but that didn't happen. Indeed, the provocateurs made no effort to disguise themselves.
Protest Warriors, a Texas-based, right-wing group whose members have crashed lefty demonstrations carrying mocking signs like "Communism has only killed 100 million people. Let's Give it Another Chance," sent a contingent to march into the crowd. "We're about to have some fun," said Sergio Kadinsky, a 20-year-old Protest Warrior from City College of New York. At first, to their evident frustration, they were ignored or indulged. "They have the right to be here, but they're jerks," shrugged McCormick
Michelle, don't you feel like a fucking idiot with all your fearmongering articles?
I mean, if shame was a journalistic trait, and it's not, your head should hang low.
Anarchists causing mayhem.
Yeah, that paper dragon was a real showstopper. Man, that was such a bummer, all that paper burning and shit.
Next time, ask yourself if the hype is just that or backed ny oh, arrests by the police and FBI. See anyone arrested for conspiracy? No? Oops.
What's next, telling us that thugs may disrupt voting?
Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin - who'll perform Thursday night at the Republican Convention before President Bush's acceptance speech - is ex-gay and proud.
Actually, the 44-year-old McClurkin calls himself a "reformed bisexual." "I was involved at one time in bisexuality, but it was God that delivered me from that," McClurkin told Lowdown.
"There is a way out, there is change, there is another way," added the Grammy-winning artist, who's the father of a young son as well as the pastor of the Perfecting Faith nondenominational church in Freeport, N.Y.
"Those that want help, I am here to help. There may be someone at the convention that the message could reach."
McClurkin said a staffer from First Lady Laura Bush's office first asked him if he'd sing in Madison Square Garden. "My response was, 'Anything for the President,' " he said. "I'm going to pray with the President. We'll shoot the breeze and we'll say a general prayer."
For McClurkin, maintaining a strong heterosexual identity has been a continual struggle.
"It was a progression of years around '88, '89. It's not like you just stop smoking," McClurkin explained. "There are still some thoughts. You're subject to the memories of the past. But I understand who I am now."
And does he agree with the President that the Constitution should be amended to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman?
"I sure do," McClurkin said. "Because that's what I had - a mom and a dad." McClurkin sure isn't afraid of controversy.
He's quoted on the Christian Broadcasting Network's Web site as harshing homosexuals: "I'm not in the mood to play with those who are trying to kill our children."
McClurkin's publicist, Erma Byrd, insisted yesterday that the incendiary comment has been taken out of context.
Oh, so he was on the down low, huh?
So he just stopped sucking dick, right? Sure, and one day I'll stop lusting after women.
When he was sucking dick and assfucking, it was OK, now the homos are trying to "kill our kids". Uh, Donnie, you ARE a homo. I've lived 39 years and I've never had a "bisexual" moment. Never wanted to be naked with another man. Not once.
Yeah, right. One time. If he walked into a room and oh, Leonardo Di Caprio was naked on the bed, we'd see how "reformed" he is. I mean, this guy is lying about where his dick is going and people tolerate this crap. He's a reformed bisexual my ass. Well, I don't think I'd let him get near my ass, honestly. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I'm an active heterosexual and I really don't have to struggle with that. Any time you have to struggle, you still wanna do it.
Kill our kids? When he was on the down low, was he killing kids?
Out of context?
Just another homophobe/closet case for Hatefest, 2004.
I am a former cancer victim in my third year of what I hope to be a successful remission. It is therefor disturbing to find that apart from ABC's Peter Jennings' inquiries about Sen. John Kerry's fairly recent encounter with prostate cancer, the issue appears to have been totally avoided by the media.
Kerry is seeking the presidency. Is that a responsible undertaking for anyone who could well be faced with a recurrence of cancer? Is Kerry truly confident that Sen. John Edwards, a first-term senator, is ready and qualified to replace him should that happen a year or so into a President Kerry's first term in office?
Before too long, Kerry should be asked the following question during a prime-time TV appearance: "In this time when the United States faces an extended war against terror, is the nation best served by a president who has not so long ago been a victim of cancer?"
The U.S. public deserves an honest answer.
SHARON CORNISH Hillsboro
Bush backers' scare tactics Sunday, August 29, 2004
A representative of the Bush campaign called recently, asking if she could count on me to vote for him in November. I am a registered independent voter.
After a short, respectful discussion, she asked if I knew that Kerry had had cancer. She added that a patient is not truly a "cancer survivor" until one is cancer-free for five years.
The message was clear: I should not vote for Kerry for fear that he will have a recurrence while in office. A February 2003 Reuters article noted that after surgery to remove his prostate, Kerry's doctor gave him a 95 percent chance of being cancer-free in 10 years.
This is another excellent example of the scare tactics used by the Bush administration and its supporters. Thank you, caller, for reinforcing my conviction that I will not vote for an administration that deliberately instills fear among its constituents for political gain.
ROD LUNDBERG Southwest Portland
Are Bush's internals that bad?
He had prostate cancer. And was treated early and successfully for it. Just like Rudy Giuliani.
I mean, bringing up his prostate cancer as a reason to not vote for him? What the fuck? This is even dumber than the Swift Boat ads and deeply offensive to millions of cancer survivors and their families. My father had cancer and survived, hell, he kept working for years after. Steven Spielberg is a cancer survivor as well, as are millions of people. Using this against Kerry is not only offensive, and wrong, but stupid. Very, very stupid.
Now they're push polling his cancer and treatment. Jesus, I'd love to see what Rove is reading. And since the President is deeply involved in his campaign, this has to be part of the game plan.
What's next? His ability to speak French fluently?
This escalating situation reminds me of a statement of a World War II journalist by the name of Dorothy Thompson who wrote for the Saturday Evening Post in Europe during the pre-World War II years when Hitler was building up his armies and starting to take ground. In an address she delivered in Toronto in 1941 she said this: “Before this epic is over, every living human being will have chosen. Every living human being will have lined up with Hitler or against him. Every living human being either will have opposed this onslaught or supported it, for if he tries to make no choice that in itself will be a choice. If he takes no side, he is on Hitler’s side. If he does not act, that is an act—for Hitler.”
May I take the liberty of reading this statement again and changing just a few words, applying it to what I fear we face today? “Before this era is over, every living human being will have chosen. Every living human being will have lined up in support of the family or against it. Every living human being will have either opposed the onslaught against the family or supported it, for if he tries to make no choice that in itself will be a choice. If we do not act in behalf of the family, that is itself an act of opposition to the family.”
At first it may seem a bit extreme to imply a comparison between the atrocities of Hitler and what is happening in terms of contemporary threats against the family—but maybe not. I just turned 50 years old, and I have never married. That was not my intention, and it has not been my choice. When someone asks me why I have never married, the simple and truthful answer is that nobody has ever asked me. Nonetheless, when I speak about the family, I have a deep, profound and abiding belief that the family is absolutely ordained of God, that it is part of His plan for His children, that marriage is supposed to be between a male and a female, and that children deserve to be born to and raised by two parents, father and mother. That is the ideal.
I will say that because my life has not taken the traditional pattern which I expected and hoped for, that when I speak of the family, in addition to what I know is the divinely-appointed role of father and mother, I also include in my definition of family grandfathers and grandmothers, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, and so on, because I have a deep feeling that an extended family is crucial to the raising of children and to the bolstering of one another.
So if you support gay marriage, you are aligned with the greatest mass murderer of homosexuals in modern history?
What the fuck?
Hey, Log Cabin Republicans, the no faggots allowed sign is in neon. And Bush is leading the parade. Voting for him is like asking to be shoved into the ovens. He's already got his version of the Nuremburg Laws in Congress.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 - The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation and is demanding records regarding Internet postings by critics of the Bush administration that list the names of Republican delegates and urge protesters to give them an unwelcome reception in New York City.
Federal prosecutors said in a grand jury subpoena that the information was needed as part of an investigation into possible voter intimidation. Protesters and civil rights advocates argued that the Web postings were legitimate political dissent, not threats or intimidation.
The investigation, conducted by the Secret Service, comes at a time when federal officials have begun an aggressive effort to prevent what they say could be violence by demonstrators at the convention this week and at other major political events. Large-scale demonstrations in New York began over the weekend.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has questioned at least several dozen would-be protesters about whether they knew of any plans for violent demonstrations, and it has directed agents nationwide to identify possible criminal plots. Some Democrats in Congress and civil rights advocates have criticized the efforts, saying the inquiries have had a chilling effect on free speech.The accusations are likely to intensify with the disclosure of the subpoena regarding the Republican delegates.
"People have a right to be heard politically, and the names of a lot of these delegates are already public anyway," said Matt Toups, 22, a system administrator for the Web site under federal investigation. "This is just part of the government's campaign to intimidate people into not saying things."
A senior Justice Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the department was sensitive to First Amendment concerns. But when officials were alerted to the posting of the names and identifying information for delegates, they were concerned about the prospect that delegates could be harassed or become victims of identity theft, and they wanted to know why the information was posted, the official said.
"When you're confronted with something like this, you can't just ignore it," the official said. "I think people would expect us to look into it and find out whether there is anything going on here that goes beyond the bounds of free speech."
The Justice Department issued the subpoena on Aug. 19 to Calyx Internet Access, an Internet service provider in New York City, after a Secret Service agent asked the company to turn over information about postings on a client's site, nyc.indymedia.org. Calyx refused to turn over the information, citing privacy concerns, and a subpoena was issued.
The subpoena seeks subscriber information, and contacts and billing records for the Indy Media site. It says the information is needed to investigate possible violations of the federal criminal code barring efforts to intimidate, threaten or coerce voters.
So if voter intimidation is the issue, when is Jeb Bush going before a grand jury?
Isn't this public information anyway?
So why the scare tactics? Doing Bush's dirty work?
Republican leaders said yesterday that they would repeatedly remind the nation of the Sept. 11 attacks as their convention opens in New York City today, beginning a week in which the party seeks to pivot to the center and seize on street demonstrations to portray Democrats as extremist.
Party aides said the convention would begin with an elaborate tribute to Sept. 11 victims, with speeches by Senator John McCain and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, reminding voters of Mr. Bush's role in leading the nation after the attacks, which took place a couple of miles from Madison Square Garden, home of the convention.
"Winston Churchill saw the dangers of Hitler when his opponents and much of the press characterized him as a warmongering gadfly," Mr. Giuliani plans to say, according to excerpts from his speech released last night. "George W. Bush sees world terrorism for the evil that it is, and he will remain consistent to the purpose of defeating it while working to make us ever safer at home."
Indeed, the Sept. 11 invocations began even before the convention opened, leaving little doubt of the prominent role the attack on New York will play at the first Republican convention ever held in this city. At a rally yesterday afternoon on Ellis Island, Vice President Dick Cheney recalled the president's visit to ground zero three days after the attack.
"They saw a man calm in crisis, comfortable with responsibility and determined to do everything to protect our people," he said.
At the same time, responding to the sight of New York streets packed with protesters yesterday, Republican officials sought to connect the demonstrations to Democrats as part of a broader effort to paint Senator John Kerry as out of the mainstream. The Republican Party chairman, Ed Gillespie, noted to reporters that the legion of protesters included Peggy Kerry, Mr. Kerry's sister, who lives in New York and attended an abortion rights rally.
And Mr. Bush's campaign communications director, Nicolle Devenish, said in an interview: "Those who support the president are inside the Garden. Those who are opposed to the president's policies are protesting outside the Garden."
Their developments came on the eve of what party officials saw as a potentially tumultuous and politically complicated week. Mr. Bush seeks to accomplish a critical political goal - broadening his appeal to the center - against the backdrop of the biggest demonstrations in New York in 22 years and charges by some Democrats that he is trying to turn the tragedy of Sept. 11 to his political advantage.
When the Republicans chose New York City for their national convention, it was clear that the Sept. 11 attacks would provide an emotional backdrop.
Tomorrow, on the first night of the convention, three victims' relatives will address the delegates. So will former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who is expected to single out family members from the stage.
With the third anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks coming little more than a week after the convention, a survey by The New York Times shows that those with the most personal connection to 9/11 - those who lost a loved one - differ from the public at large on some political and national issues: They are more skeptical about national safety and less impressed with the administration's efforts before and after the attacks.
Their views on the way the 9/11 investigation was handled are also complex. About half of the 339 people questioned faulted the Bush administration for not providing "adequate cooperation," but almost four in five said the administration was taking the commission's findings "somewhat seriously" or "very seriously." A majority said the federal government was still not doing enough to prevent terrorism, and almost as many expressed concern about another attack on New York. About half also said the city was not prepared to deal with one.
Both major parties have tried to form an emotional connection with the victims' families, but the survey indicates that the relatives have seesawing feelings about whom to blame and whom to vote for - feelings that will probably keep them from becoming political props this year.
"The intelligence agencies sit there with their suits and their Rolex watches, and people like my husband and the police and the Fire Department come in and fix up their mistakes," said Francine Raggio of Staten Island, whose husband was working as an operations supervisor at the World Trade Center on 9/11. She said she would vote for President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney even as she added, "Everybody is still cleaning up the mess from the government, the intelligence agencies."
Nor are the victims' relatives pleased that a political convention is about to open in New York. About half said the Republicans should have gone somewhere else. Slightly more than a quarter said the G.O.P. had chosen New York "to capitalize on Sept. 11," about the same number who said that the Republicans' motivation was "to support the city" and "show it's safe."
In a few dozen blocks of the same slender island, two worlds collided yesterday: the Republican convention's calculated claims to patriotism and the presidency met elaborately planned and heavily Democratic street protests that turned those same arguments back at President Bush - in ways that might help, or hurt, both sides.
The demonstrations were New York City's biggest in decades, and the most emphatic at any national political convention since Democrats and demonstrators turned against each other in fury over Vietnam in Chicago in 1968. But the first day was overwhelmingly peaceful, and the demonstrators doused a good bit of Mr. Bush's intended message with television images of dissent.
This was not the reception the Republicans had planned. They chose New York to evoke the moment of national unity that rallied Americans to Mr. Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks, only to find protesters claiming Mr. Bush had forfeited that goodwill by attacking Iraq. The marchers carried placards calling Mr. Bush "the next Milosevic" and demanding, "What would Jesus bomb?"
"I left God's country," said Leon Mosley of Waterloo, Iowa, co-chairman of his state party. "They could use a bunch of people from Iowa to come here to show New Yorkers what life is all about, what being patriotic is all about, and what country is all about. I'm as confident about Bush being re-elected as I am that eggs are going to be in New York tomorrow morning.''
This man can kiss my ass. More New Yorkers have died in Iraq than Iowans. We don't need lectures on patriotism from rednecks. Doesn't he have a cow to fuck or something?
"The protests are anti-Bush, with heavy antiwar overtones, but this is Chicago without the fisticuffs, without the fight, without the bloodshed - so far," Mr. Gergen added. "To interpret this politically is hard, but my gut is that large, peaceful protests are not what the Republicans want. The protesters are stealing the story for the first day and drowning out the Republican message. If there's violence, that could all change."
To be sure, a seething anger pulsed throughout the protesting crowds. T-shirts and signs branded Mr. Bush a warmonger, a liar or a criminal, and there were fly-swatters with an image of his face. Two protesters, Jim Higgins and Kathy Roberts, dressed in suits made of duct tape to spoof Mr. Bush's handling of national security.
A certain clash of cultures is inevitable when so much of red-state America crams into so few square miles of the blue-state Big Apple. The White House was so concerned that the Republicans be gracious guests that it issued a stern warning to administration officials attending the convention not to misbehave at cocktail parties and turn down gifts worth more than $20, The Chicago Tribune reported.
I spent the day in the Tank, where there is a small set up for the bloggers. It's a performance space on 42nd Street, close enough to the action to see it. Far enough away to avoid the police.
Since it was pushing 90, I decided to forgo the march and collect reports. The thing about marches and other events is that you either go and tell people what you've seen, or you get others to do that and try and make sense of it.
So far, the protests are on scale to minimize the impact of the RNC and any bounce. The mass outpouring of people must be stunning to Rove and company.
And as mg_65 reports, it was a cross section of New York, not just a freak show. She decscribes encoutering the Protest Warrior idiots.
I should tell you what happened with the Protest Warriors. We were standing on the sidewalk on 7th and 29th, watching the march. There was an increasingly violent scuffle in the crowd. There were so many people there that it was hard to see anything and there was no way for the people in the street to get out. Anyway, the cops waded in, and I went running over and stood on the barrier thingy. Some extremely young (fifteen or sixteen year old) bandanna-over-the-face types were trying to tear down these other people's signs, but I couldn't figure out why. Everyone in the crowd started shouting Peace, Peace, and saying to be calm. So I stood up there, telling these young kids to remain calm and not fall for any operative shit. Then I got a look at the offending signs and sure enough, they were these snarky Protest Warrior things, like the picture here of the Founding Fathers signing the Declaration of Independence, with the caption "Right Wing Extremists"--whatever! For their time, those guys were a lefty as ANYONE today... anyway, as the crowd chanted "Free Speech" and "Peace", the cops pulled the Protest Warriors out of the crowd and onto the sidewalk and gave them a talking to. Ha ha ha ha ha.
So I went over to ask them what their point is, what they're trying to accomplish, and they were all, you know, INJURED INNOCENCE, oh the mean lefties are so mean, and I asked why they wanted to disrupt our march and make us look bad and they said we already looked bad and why did we want to take away their freedom of speech blah blah blah. I told my husband to stay where he was because he's a scary badass when he wants to be and I didn't want any trouble. But I never did get an answer and for some reason I didn't get any close-ups of them either. They were from, like, Kentucky or somewhere. My bad--I fed the trolls.
Then the cops escorted them out of the crowd on the sidewalk and around the corner onto 29th.
Later, in front of Macy's, there were more but my husband pulled me away. All the lefties were, of course and as usual, very relaxed and good-natured about it and there wasn't any trouble. I guess everyone was keeping an eye on the young kids.
Another marcher described their signs as highly professional work, printed out and laminated. However, they were blocked from the march by the Legal Observers and then escorted on their way.
This is one of the largest, if not the largest protest New York has seen in decades. The protesters saved a rather shocking picture for the day, a line of coffins representing every dead American soldier.
I have 32 pictures from crb and mg_65 on the following page. You can take a look there.
If people have other pictures they'd like to share, and get credit for, please let me know.
Now, the odd thing about blogging is that you know people you haven't met. So today, I wound up having a nice chat with Kos, sitting two feet from Sam Seder of Air America, who gave me a pen, and watching Joe Trippi fiddle with his pen and get spam on his phone.
Unlike Boston, the bloggers here have so many things to choose from and a central place to hang, grab coffee, a coke or after a suitable hour, a beer, and then chase down events, of which there will be some every day.
Today was crazy, and fun and all I did was stay in the Tank and post. But there is a vibe here which is fun, like a combination carnival, party and giant upraised finger to Bush. While Cheney had a canned rally on Ellis Island, citizens filled the streets is a massive, orderly procession which made the city look better than it should have, after a week of dicking around.
And while the GOP may have wanted to play the disrespect angle, half a million people will provide nightmare pictures for Rove and company.
Oh my God, it's that's pesky First Amendment again
Violent protestor fighting cops in large brawl
So what the fuck was Eric Alterman going on about.
Oh, the protest will embarass us. We can't have people speaking their minds or something like that. We all must make sure we don't offend the GOP.
Fuck this nonsense. I know Alterman lives in New York, so how did he so misread the city. All of the protests have been peaceful. No one wants to mess with the cops. They just really, really, really dislike Bush. And if the GOP was smart, they would take the hint.
Chicago, 1968 and Miami, 1972 was nothing, pikers compared to this mass outpouring of anger and contempt. This is at least a quarter of a million people in midtown, suggesting that they dislike Bush, rather intensely.
There has never been this kind of march against a sitting president and his nominating convention. It is a loud and blunt outpouring of open hostility. New York is a perfect place to express open hostility. And we do it with such style.
New Yorkers usually act with common sense and don't burn down their city,unlike the folks in LA. So why would we let people smash in a few Starbucks and run back to Scarsdale?
Unless the cops and firefighters go off, real violence, not just disorderly conduct, will be the bulk of the arrests.
I do not think, even in the middle of a hot spell, people want to argue with the cops. The beef is with Bush and (insert leftist phrase of the day-imperial regime, et al) not the NYPD. So what would be the point of punishing them?
The irony is that the ANSWER march and rally just fizzled out yesterday and the women's march dominated the news cycle. Whatever they planned to hijack with their march, didn't catch fire and whatever energy was there went to the UFPJ rally today.
I think Bush might find New York was a bad idea for a convention.
I'm sitting here in the Tank, the blogger HQ for hatefest 2004, the RNC. It's interesting, in that you get to actually put faces to names, but the whole vibe is much better than Boston. Why? Because it's better to be on the the outside looking in, than on the inside looking out.
From early reports, the march may be the largest in New York City in 40 years. So many people that movement up and down the march is at a crawl. Which for New York is amazing.
The strange thing about covering an event as massive as the march is that as a writer, you have two choices, do your own walking, or listen to other people's stories. Given the fact that my constitution isn't up for a four mile walk in 90 degree heat, my ass is here, away from the action.
Getting here was two bus rides and a cab ride and that's weird, even for NY. Some protest blocked 42nd Street, and thus began my round about trip.
I'm now arguing with my donut, I've had three, telling it, like Homer Simpson, that it isn't a substitute for lunch. And it it's not. It is not a lunch, forget healthy and nutritious. Journalism,even of the blogger kind, is not good for your stomach.
What I want to do is to have people post here about their protest experiences. I'll leave a protest thread open every day, so people can record their own experiences.
If people want to send me pictures, use the e-mail link with your name, so you can get credit, and I'll post them. The more the merrier.
This thread is open for observations, comments and impressions of the march.
The Road to Resolve A Sober View: He partied hard, then dried out and found a fierce determination. How George Bush was saved—and never looked back
By Evan Thomas, Tamara Lipper and Rebecca Sinderbrand
It is easy to mark the turning point in George Bush's life. It was the morning of July 28, 1986, when he woke up, wretchedly hung over after a night of celebrating his 40th birthday at the Broadmoor, a resort in Colorado, and decided to quit drinking. He did not seek therapy or join Alcoholics Anonymous. He just quit, and joined a regular Bible group. Before Bush gave up the bottle, his life was more feckless than accomplished. After that day, he moved from success to success. Bush has been sober for 18 years (less time than John Kerry has spent in the U.S. Senate); for 12 of those years, he has been running for office or governing. His mature life, then, has been a public one, mastering, despite his occasional inarticulateness, the art of politics. And his relatively brief adulthood may also help explain the roots of the self-confident side of his nature. If a man starts focusing only when he's 40 and finds himself president of the United States at 54, what can't he do if he sticks to the script that got him from the Broadmoor to the White House?
Bush is still a drunk,dry or wet. You don't just quit drinking. At best, he just transfered addictions from booze to Jesus.
Bush told another friend that his marriage was in trouble, and he blamed himself for risking the loss of Laura and his twin girls. Laura had been after him to quit drinking and go to church more. A lapsed Episcopalian, Bush had been attending a Methodist church with Laura, but he was deeply affected when evangelist Billy Graham asked him in 1985 if he was "right with God." After he quit drinking, Bush began attending a men's Bible-study group with Don Evans and some other Texas businessmen. Bush's religious turn—his decision to "serve the Lord"—was in a sense liberating. As Evans, a fellow born-again Christian, puts it, faith "provides comfort to make decisions because decisions are not about me."
The point here is that people cannot be guided to quit. They have to quit on their own. It seems that Bush has two sides of his personality, amazing slackness and an iron will. Which means he's goal focused, but misses the details, no matter how deeply he gets involved with them. People who call Bush stupid miss the point, Bush is smart, but incurious and lazy, and there is a difference between the two.
Bush will jump into a debate. "I'm a questioner; I know how to cut to the chase pretty quickly," he says. But he rarely explains his decisions to his own aides, much less the American people. Bush can become exasperated when his aides engage in circular wrangling. Calio recalls a tendentious debate in the Roosevelt Room over steel tariffs. Bush interrupted. "He just basically said, 'Enough. I can make this decision. Here's my decision'." (Bush raised tariffs, just in time to boost the steel industry in swing states like Pennsylvania before the 2002 election; the tariffs were later rolled back when they hurt the economies of other swing states, like Ohio. Aides say that Bush disdains polls and decides by instinct, but his instincts can be pretty political.
Bush thinks this is leadership, and has personal disdain for Kerry's more deliberative style, which is why Kerry ois able to pick his shots. While Newsweek gussies it up, Bush is intemperate, or more bluntly, a hothead. He can be goaded and he doesn't get the kind of guidance you need to make smart decisions.
Bush's convictions can make him dogmatic and too unyielding. In Bob Woodward's "Plan of Attack," the best inside account so far of the Bush administration's lead-up to the Iraq war, it is striking how little Bush talks to his top advisers about whether to go to war. He meets constantly with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his top military commander, Gen. Tommy Franks, to go over war plans. But there is almost no debate over whether invading and occupying Iraq is a good idea to begin with.
Bush thinks leadership is rigid decisionmaking. The fact that he lives inside his own head so much is bad. It means that he has impressions and wants to convince you of his rightness.
Many of Bush's friends, as well as his critics, wonder why Bush failed to consult one particularly experienced and able expert in the field of foreign affairs: his father. "41" often calls "43," but usually to say, "I love you, son," President Bush told NEWSWEEK. "My dad understands that I am so better informed on many issues than he could possibly be that his advice is minimal." That is a pity, say some old advisers to 41, because 43 badly needed to be rescued from the clutches of the neocons, the Defense Department ideologues who, in the view of the moderate internationalists who served in 41's administration, have hijacked American foreign policy.
But the fact is that President Bush did not want to be rescued. To say he has a complicated relationship with his father is an understatement. Bush clearly admires, even worships, his father, says a friend who notes that Bush wept when his father lost political races. But he doesn't want his father's help. To some degree, he is following a Bush family code. According to family lore, Bush's grandfather Prescott refused an inheritance from his father, while W's dad refused Prescott's plea to put off joining the Navy in World War II before going to college. "No, sir, I'm going in," said the 19-year-old George H.W. Bush. In the Bushes' world, real men are supposed to make it on their own, without Dad's looking over their shoulders. After the 1988 presidential campaign, W was eager to shed the nickname "Junior."
While people chide Maureen Dowd for her breezy columns, this is one she has right. Bush and his daddy have this weird sort of relationship where he wants to best his father and has failed it so badly it is shameful. It must suck to be a lesser man than your father.
But George W. hasn't just been independent, he's been defiant. The degree to which Bush defines himself in opposition to his father is striking. While 41 raised taxes, 43 cut them, twice. Forty-one is a multilateralist; 43 is a unilateralist. Forty-one "didn't finish the job" in Iraq, so 43 finished it for him. Much was made of 43's religiosity when he told Bob Woodward that "when it comes to strength," he turns not to 41, but rather to "a higher father." But what was the president saying about his own father?
But then, he's not really like his father, is he.
Several of Bush's friends and advisers commented that Bush is really more like his mother than his father. Barbara Bush, they say, can be more judgmental, more black and white, and more caustic than her husband. Andy Card, who has spent considerable time around the Bushes, observed that he has never seen President Bush argue with his father. The father won't engage or argue back, says Card. Not because Bush Sr. agrees with his son's policies, says an old friend of 41's. "It's an agony for him" to watch 43 make policy on Iraq. "It's doubly frustrating to him because that's not the way he'd run it if he was still in charge."
Because he's getting it wrong. Bush, Sr. for all his faults, knows what its like to have people to try and kill you, when you can take too much risk and pay for it. His personal courage has never been questioned.
In her memoir, Barbara Bush writes frankly of the resentment she felt when she was stuck carpooling kids in the dusty town of Midland, Texas, while her husband gallivanted about the country and the world making oil deals and laying the groundwork for his political career. Young George no doubt picked up on his mother's distress.
And according to Spy, screw hookers.
Bush's temperment is not the one of a succesful man. He is too quick to act, too slow to change. Which is fine in achieveing goals, but bad in managing situations. He has had to be rescued from his own strongheaded behavior over and over, and this was after he "stopped" drinking.
John Kerry's surrogates have failed in one area: linking Bush to a record of lifelong incompetence. Bush has failed at everything that he has ever tried. Even as Governor of Texas, a job with mininmal powers, life got worse for Texans, and they are paying the bill, now. Bush didn't just turn into a failure, he's been one his entire life. Now, there are 972 dead Americans as the result of his lifelong habits and stubborness.
Nero, Caligula. Why not split the difference, because there isn't one given how Bush runs things.
The value of Mr. Bush's involvement in his own campaign - and whether he has the political savvy of some other presidents - is the subject of debate among Democrats and some Republicans who have expressed misgivings about some pivotal tactical moves the campaign has made.
But aides said he was determined not to repeat the mistake of his father, who refused to immerse himself in his re-election drive until late, and was not nearly as combative in his losing effort against Bill Clinton in 1992.
In particular, aides said, Mr. Bush has, along with Mr. Rove, been a driving force behind the attacks that have become a hallmark of his campaign since Mr. Kerry emerged from the spring primaries as the Democratic candidate.
Two weeks ago, after learning that Mr. Kerry said he would have voted to authorize the president to invade Iraq even if he had known that Saddam Hussein was not armed with unconventional weapons, the president jumped at what he described as a political opening, aides said.
"That was a mistake - we need to seize on it," Mr. Bush said, according to aides. The next day, he began hammering Mr. Kerry on the issue, and has not stopped.
At the same time, Mr. Bush was described by aides as consumed with building the get-out-the-vote operation, a front where he and Mr. Rove argue Al Gore nearly won the presidency four years ago, and has frequently warned that the effort could become neglected given the demands of raising money and making television advertisements.
"How are the grass roots, how are the volunteers?" Mr. Bush asked the Ohio Republican chairman, Bob Bennett, a few weeks ago in the middle of what Mr. Bennett described as a detailed conversation on Ohio farming and Ohio politics as the president's campaign bus rolled through his state.
The president calls Mr. Rove most mornings, sometimes as early as 6 a.m., for an update on matters like the latest state polls and what Mr. Kerry said the night before, aides said.
Mr. Bush and his wife, Laura, screen early cuts of campaign advertisements, brought over by his media adviser, Mark McKinnon, in the Yellow Room of the family residence. Campaigning in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a few weeks ago, he spotted two senior aides, Matthew Dowd and Nicolle Devenish, at a rally and called them into his limousine to pepper them with campaign questions.
His conversations with Mr. Rove - often by telephone as Mr. Rove is driving to work; sometimes in the Oval Office before 8 a.m. - amount to two political operatives sharing a take on the lay of the land. The subjects, Mr. Rove said in an interview: "What's the general buzz, state polls, what is out there as major activity in the campaign, voter registration numbers."
And it is not only broad matters. Mr. Rove recently shared the kind of inside-baseball news that could be appreciated only by someone who had run another campaign, as Mr. Bush did for his father: that the Kerry campaign had suspended its advertising in Louisiana and Arkansas.
Mr. Bush makes it a practice as president to speak disdainfully of politics and politicians as he travels the country, presenting himself as an outsider in the city where he lives. And that was a perception he sought to encourage in the interview. He responded vaguely to questions about his political involvement and said he did not recall the conversation recounted by aides in which he seized on the statement by Mr. Kerry on Iraq.
In truth, Mr. Bush has always had a strong taste for politics, and was an important player in his father's presidential campaigns of 1988 and 1992, as well as in his own race in 2000. But his intense involvement this time reflects what aides said was his concern about his prospects, a determination not to repeat the mistakes that he watched his father make in 1992, and lessons he drew from the close election of 2000.
Mr. Bush has put to use the knowledge that he accumulated working on his father's campaigns, like the political dynamics and history of battleground states, and the names of important local Republicans.
As Mr. Bush was flying from Texas to New Mexico on Thursday, Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, turned to him on Air Force One and suggested that Albuquerque was heavily Democratic, White House aides said. Mr. Bush responded by saying the city was split politically, and he talked about the importance of its suburban counties.
In an interview, Representative Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, recounted a campaign trip with Mr. Bush this month on Air Force One to Traverse City.
"We talked a lot about northern Michigan; I was amazed at how much he knew,'' Mr. Camp said. "He's very strategic in the way he thinks. He had an understanding of the makeup of the district, of the nature of the registration and of the voting patterns."
Representative Rob Portman of Ohio, a top campaign adviser, had a similar observation. "He understands the distinction between the Northeast and the Southwest, and he understands that central Ohio is a battleground," Mr. Portman said. "He knows what it takes on the ground to win a campaign. Not every candidate has that feel."
Gambling on the Attack
Whether Mr. Bush's enthusiasm for the nuts and bolts of campaigning translates into the kind of expertise of, say, a Bill Clinton is a matter of debate. Some Republicans have questioned some of the campaign's strategic decisions, including appealing to base Republican voters by emphasizing issues like Mr. Bush's opposition to gay marriage right through the summer. And some of Mr. Bush's own associates cringed when he decided against speaking at the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People because he was annoyed with its criticism of his civil rights record. It provided an opening for Mr. Kerry and reinforced an image of Mr. Bush as a president who played hardball.
Even so, Mr. Bush has brought a focus and intensity that often seemed missing from his father's effort in 1992. One aide said a common scene in the White House these days was Mr. Bush, after reading the morning news accounts of the campaign, shouting, as he did a few weeks ago, "Hit him - we need to hit back."
The Bush campaign is organized - at least most visibly - around two central places, the White House and campaign headquarters in a nondescript office building in Arlington, Va., run by Mr. Bush's campaign manager, Ken Mehlman.
But many of the most significant decisions are made out of the spotlight of either the White House or the headquarters. They are instead reached by the Breakfast Club.
For nearly a year, that small group of senior aides from the White House and campaign headquarters has assembled for what Mr. Rove calls "eggies" - cholesterol-laden concoctions of eggs, butter, cream and bacon fat. He serves them with slabs of bacon. There, they discuss a schedule of attacks on Mr. Kerry, speeches by Mr. Bush, and forthcoming television advertisements and strategic thrusts, according to several aides.
The group typically includes Mr. Rove; Mr. Mehlman; Mr. McKinnon; Mr. Dowd; Ms. Devenish; Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director; Mary Matalin, a senior adviser to Dick Cheney; Ed Gillespie, the national Republican chairman; Mr. Dowd's deputy, Sara Taylor; and Steve Schmidt, the campaign press spokesman.
Ask yourself this question: did Roosevelt direct the Normandy battle?
Why is Bush involved so deeply with his campaign?
There's a saying, that some generals are good division commanders, but should go no higher. This is what seems to be the case here. Bush has the small picture down, but he misses the big picture.
And it makes it extremely hard to believe someone this involved with the campaign knew little or nothing about the Swift Boat campaign.
So far, the Bush campaign has made misstep after misstep going after Kerry. The flip flop meme never stuck in the media and the backlash to the Swift Boat liars is coming hard and fast. Bush is getting hammered inside the beltway for his loyalty oath rallies. People don't like it, not in the public and not in the media. Bush is in a bubble, yet he wants to run his campaign? Which is why the campaign seems so tone deaf. Which is why they're saying stupid shit like the Democrats are behind the protest.
Let me explain something, there is enough anger at the delegates to fill a Rangers-Islanders game. They aren't wanted here, no matter how nice Ed Koch makes. It was a mistake. And instead of acting graciously, they're already acting like pigs.
Bush is running his campaign into the ground like a certain German ran his army into the ground. Bush cares about details when details cannot help him. The GOTV effort is, well, misguided, bordering on insane. Bush is still shoring up his base. His advisors let him turn Max Cleland away. Of course, Bush is ill at ease in unfamiliar situations. And it is reflected in the way he campaigns. In a cocoon. Everything stagemanaged for TV. And it isn't working.
We're gonna start to see Bush collapse after the convention. I get the feeling that delegates will not be singing New York's praises, and the "bounce" will still keep him, to be generous, under 51 percent. Bush will be ready for a knock out blow by the debates. I get the feeling that this race will be done before October. Bush is on a precipice. Things could turn around, but....it don't look good.
A good commander has one quality, the ability to adjust on the fly. He can size up the battleground and strike at weakness with force. Bush cannot. He can't even take the easy opportunities.
What the polling shows is one critical fact, Bush isn't over 50 percent in either the swing state polling or national polling and that spells disaster. Bush should be up in the mid 50's and losing ground slowly. He isn't. Kerry is gaining ground and doing better with veterans and other "conservative" groups than he should be.
More importantly, Bush is violating the O'Neill rule. Tip O'Neill was canvasing for votes, and he ran into a neighbor. After some small talk, he asked her if she voted for him. She said "well, you never asked me for my vote". Bush is not asking a lot of people for their votes and Kerry is. What boggles the mind is this: so what if 4m evangelicals come out to vote if 5m new Democratic voters show up? I think the idea is that Zell Miller will show people that dems are useless and they all need to vote for Bush. Well, besides being chided for his disloyalty, the switch ads from Move On lie in wait, and they are powerful stuff. What is amazing is that Republicans usually do that kind of thing, and Bush doesn't seem interested.
I am loath to give campaign advice, but I know I would jump on Miller like the rat that he is. It's not critical, but I would remind people how many former Gore supporters now support Bush and the legions of disgusted Republicans voting for Kerry or staying home.
By ignoring the middle of the GOP for his base, they may well either stay home or vote Kerry. Polling isn't indicative enough of this.
Also, listen to Tad Devine's aural smirk when he says "this is a close election". We both know that's bullshit. It's about to be a rout. He sees internals and he knows Bush's suck ass. Kerry isn't shoring up his base. He isn't forming last minute 527's. He's going after Republican voters with a vengence. There's a tipping point coming, whether it's an arrest or a flub, or something, the clock is running on Bush and one of the many problems facing him will explode.
You don't think Sistani wants Bush to lose and knows he can make that happen? And my bet is that Mr. Sadr will be taking over another town, sooner rather than later.
Oh yeah, Australia's election in October 9, and guess what the issue is: the war. If Labour wins, they pull the troops out, just like Spain. And that's a dagger at the Bush Administration's heart. The Aussies provide a LOT of the Special Ops muscle. Without them, you have a real problem. You can bet Aussies, unhappy with the Gitmo and the war, well, the polls are even now, but my bet is that they won't be for long. And if the Aussies go, Britain's stay becomes far more difficult.