January 31, 2004

Local People

A couple of key grafs first from TNR:

For example, the idea of flying thousands of twentysomethings into Iowa to help organize the state for Dean--Trippi's so-called "perfect storm"--proved to be a colossal, money-draining failure. As Ryan Lizza has reported, these twentysomethings turned out to be incompetent amateurs who got their hats handed to them on caucus night--not only by the professional organizers of rival campaigns, but by these campaigns' more dedicated volunteers. Worse, the perfect stormers probably scared off a significant number of Iowans, who took one look at their nose-rings and their died hair and decided that they had nothing to talk about. In retrospect, it would have obviously been wiser for Trippi et al to rely on local volunteers to beef up his Iowa ground game--something that worked reasonably well in New Hampshire (at a fraction of the cost).

And second this reply to a Dean letter that Craigorian Chant chief UK reporter Chris C-B wrote to a South Carolina Democrat , :

Subject: post card

You and Howard Dean have lost your minds. My dog wouldn't vote for
Howard Dean, and I hope you stay in Scotland with your anti-American

I think when the full history of the Dean campaign is written the "remote campaign" will be shown to be a no go. I just don't think it works to have people from halfway across the county try and persuade people to vote for Dean. You can convince your neighbors to vote for someone, you know the issues, what people talk about. Lets say the unnamed Dem in SC above lived in a town where a plant closed. A local Deaniac could talk about jobs, trade, whatever would reach them. A campaign can't focus it's internet supporters on a local. You have take your internet supporters and use them where they are. Use your Iowa Deaniacs in Iowa, your New Mexico Deaniacs in New Mexico and so on. If Dean people have blue hair and piercing then they should be on college campuses getting dragging apathetic 20-somethings to the polls.

January 29, 2004

BBC reminded: You are a state-run media

The Hutton report did not go at all like anticipated in my earlier post. Lord Hutton decided that the issue of the government's interpretation of intelligence about Iraq was beyond the scope of his inquiry. Instead, he concentrated on this issue of whether anyone was culpable in the death of Dr. Kelly. His report astounded me. He exonerated Tony Blair and his former spin Doctor Alastair Campbell saying that they had not behaved in a "dishonorable, underhanded or duplicitous manner" in revealing Dr. Kelly's identity to the media. Instead, Lord Hutton slammed the BBC for its behavior in reporting Kelly's comments in the first place.

Lord Hutton's report
  • said that reporter Andrew Gillagan made a 'grave allegation' when he reported that the dossier that Tony Blair used to motivated the war had been 'sexed up' by the government.
  • condemned the BBC for allowing its reporter to say government knew that its '45-minutes' claim was unfounded (The 45-minutes claim was a point that was added to the Iraq dossier which stated that Iraq had the means to deploy a chemical weapon attack within 45-minutes of an order by Sadam Hussien. It was added after Alastair Campbell had read an initial draft of the document which was provided by intelligence services, which did not contain the claim).
  • declared that because it had failed to censor its reporter's allegations against the government, the BBC editorial system was 'defective'.

BBC chairman Gavyn Davies has resigned. His parting words could be interpreted as a parting jab towards the Prime Minister's stacking the House of Lords and various judicial panels with his own friends and supporters:
I've been brought up to believe that you cannot choose your own referee and that the referee's decision is final. There is an honourable tradition in British public life that those charged with authority at the top of an organisation should accept responsibility for what happens in that organisation.
BBC director general Greg Dyke has also quit, apologizing "unreservedly" for any errors in the David Kelly affair. The 11 remaining BBC governors have been considering whether they should follow Mr Davies and quit. Reporter Andrew Gilligan will likely tender his resignation soon.

The irony is, of course, that there is no evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, as was claimed in the government's dossier.

This is a sad day for free-thinking journalism.

January 26, 2004

Stuff to Watch
Thanks to Craigorian Chant's senior UK correspondent Chris with that report. Shoes are dropping all over the place now. It seems to me that Bush is in real trouble. The Dems are getting all the coverage, and they are all attacking Bush. The State of the Union went thud and the conservative troops are discontent. I'm not saying the forces of good will win, but things are looking better.

January 25, 2004

Fallout from manipuated intelligence in the UK

The issue of whether the government cooked intelligence about Iraq's WMD is also getting a lot of attention in the UK this week. Lord Hutton, a British judge, has been leading an inquiry into the death of Dr. David Kelly, a prominent scientist who worked for the Ministry of Defense as an expert on biological weapons. After a BBC reporter ran a story quoting an anonymous security expert as having said that the government had "sexed up" intelligence about Iraq's weapons program, Tony Blair's press officer gave Dr. Kelly's identity to the press apparently in retribution for his stance. This action was similar to the (still undisclosed) senior member of Bush's cabinet who outted Valerie Plame to punish her husband for exposing the administration's flagrant lies about Nigerian uranium. However, it is not quite as serious since Dr. Kelly was not an undercover operative, so exposing him didn't put him in any immediate danger. His death was due to suicide after the government ruined his reputation, and he was dragged before the press and a parliamentary hearing to defend his statement.

The Hutton inquiry was to determine whether the government acted inappropriately in revealing the identity of Dr. Kelly, but may have a wider scope by lending credibility to Dr. Kelly's claim that Blair cooked evidence to motivate the war. Lord Hutton's report will be issued on Wednesday. The Guardian speculates about the potential fall-out if the report is critical of Blair:

The Prime Minister, who has said that if Hutton finds that he lied over either the naming strategy or WMD he would resign, suffered a fresh blow yesterday after David Kay, the head of the Iraqi Survey Group, quit on Friday night, saying there were no large WMD stockpiles in Iraq. ... Robin Cook, the former Foreign Secretary, challenged Blair to admit the war had been a mistake. Cook, who resigned before the war began, said Blair had been driven by 'evangelical certainty'. ... 'It is becoming undignified for the Prime Minister to continue to insist that he was right all along when everybody can now see he was wrong,' he said.

It seems unlikely that the Hutton report will damn Blair enough to force his resignation, but hopefully this will lead to a wider knowledge that the UK and the US mislead us about the need to go to war with Iraq.

January 24, 2004

January 21, 2004

Weapons of Mass Destruction-Related Program Activity


January 19, 2004

State By State Deaths

Here is something that I haven't seen before: the deaths in Iraq by State. Because of course we now run everything through the Blue State/Red State thing, here is my back of the envelope math:

Bush States: 261
Gore States: 235

I put American Samoa and Puerto Rico in with the Blue states and Florida with the Red. I'm really not sure what these numbers mean, I leave it to smarter people than I to say.

Predictions are Hard Especially about the Future

Really what I meant to put in the last post was Kerry will win, Edwards a strong second, Dean third and Gephardt will be finished. Darn Iowa Kill one campaign. But really Gephardt would not even be in this race if Iowa didn't come first. Live by the all white Mid-West state die by the all white Mid-West State.

January 18, 2004


Someone will win the Iowa Caucuses! But three other guys will claim moral victories! And they will all have a case! I really think the most important thing is that canidates don't get knocked out of the process so dam early. There is a lot of Pundit talk of Iowa killing Gephardt or New Hampshire finishing off Kerry. Why on earth should Iowa and New Hampshire be able to eliminate canidates? California and New York should be the ones to crush the hopes and dreams of these guys. Little states should only be alowed to scare and hurt them.

January 14, 2004

And Then There Were Eight

Bye, Bye Carol. You know there are several women who could be president. Carol Moseley Braun is not one of them. There are something like 13 women in the US Senate and Hillary is not the only one who could be a credible candidate. Braun was by far the weakest of the senate class of 92, the "year of the woman." She got bounced after one term by a candidate so weak he only lasted one term. But enough on Braun. Who's Next?

January 13, 2004

TPM Goes Off
Josh is doing his thing here I just love this O'Neill stuff. It's time to tee off on Bush.

January 10, 2004

Bush Planned Iraqi War Before 9/11
This is really something. This is not some web site. This is not Michael Moore. This is Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. Look, in any cabinet the only jobs that really matter are SecDef, SecState and SecTreasury. If O'Neill starts talking like the this, the damage will be huge for Bush. Much has been made about how loyal the W administration has been and how little they leak. We really have very little inside stuff on these guys. O'Neill could be the jackpot. I guess I have to watch 60 minutes on Sunday.

January 7, 2004

Dean Meetup Report
Well that sucked! I don’t think that could possible be a part of the “Dean phenomenon” Two guys in need of hair cuts sitting around talking politics do not a movement make. I must say that SLO in January is not a hotbed of political activism but come on! I could get a better turn-out for a Craig for President meet-up with a six pack of beer. Well anyway I’ll try again in a few weeks maybe a location that isn’t the sixties retread coffee shop will show more promise.

January 6, 2004

Dean Meetup
So I'm going to my first Dean Meetup Wednesday. Mostly I just want to get back into politics again. But I would not mind meeting a nice liberal girl. Maybe someone like Michelle Cottle. You know smart, fairly liberal, and really really good looking.
Go Michelle Go
This is pretty good stuff. The only quibble that I would have with Michelle is to argue that even lib bomb-throwers are more accurate than conservative ones. If you read Michael Moores entire book carefully you can find errors, distortions, ect. If you pick any random page of Ann Coulter's book you can find an outright lie and toe curling invective. I've yet to find anybody who can find factual mistakes in Al Franken's books.