Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


NOW with Bill Moyers had a good segment last Friday about presidential debates.

Specifically, it critiqued how the debates have become watered down since the Commission on Presidential Debates took over. Previously, the League of Women Voters was the primary organization behind them.

All these rules, previously mentioned here, really end up doing a disservice to the public.

Just a note that I've changed the comments feed back to Blogger. You'll now have to enter a username or post anonymous. Just sign your name in your comment if you want to identify yourself without registering. Unfortunately, all previous comments are now gone (sorry). Basically, the reason for the change is the page/comments load faster this way.

Marine declares war on Bush: Iraq war veteran Steve Brozak is running hard for Congress. And he's turning his campaign into a referendum on Bush's military folly.

"The bottom line is I'm going to take him down," Brozak says of Ferguson. "I'm just going to keep hitting at him. This is a national race because I'm going to start hitting not just him but his boss. They lied to us, they misled us about what was at stake in the war with Iraq, and they're misleading us about what is going to happen going forward."


Seafood of Mass Destruction: Story of a Mercury-Poisoned American

The level of mercury emissions polluting our country's waterways is an alarming problem, and the above column by Stacey Reynolds is indicative of it. It's particulary troublesome for pregnant women since excessive mercury levels can cause great damage to an unborn baby's nervous system. Read the latest FDA warning here.

Under former President Clinton, the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that utilities should be held accountable for toxic emissions and regulated. The Bush Administration is in the process of rolling back those regulations. To add insult to injury, the Washington Post has reported that the wording of new EPA rules matches almost word for word the wording in memos written by a law firm representing coal-fired power plants.

John Eisenhower, son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, endorses John Kerry for president.

John Eisenhower served as Ambassador to Belgium under President Richard Nixon.

It's official. The Montreal Expos are closing up shop and moving to Washington, DC.

The Expos have been a failing franchise in a city of French Canadians who generally don't like baseball. The picture of this kid made me feel a little bad for those loyal fans who have supported their team though.

It will be said by critics that previous DC baseball teams haven't worked out (the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers were both previously the Washington Senators). However, given the population growth in DC, northern Virginia, and southwestern Maryland over the years since the Rangers left, I believe this team will do just fine in their new home.

On another baseball note, the Milwaukee Brewers have reportedly been sold to Los Angeles investor Mark L. Attanasio. While the Brewers haven't officially announced the deal, the Journal Sentinel reports today that Attansio is seeking local investors to purchase a minority interest in the team.

PC World: Republican National Committee outsourced voter database work to India.

Is this really all that surprising that the GOP would do this? I think not. The intriguing thing is that nobody at the RNC thought this would raise eyebrows if the public got wind of it.


Put Up or Shut Up - It’s time for disgruntled conservatives to decide which is more important: their president or their principles.

American Prospect columnist Jeffrey Dubner puts that question to conservative Republicans who have supported the President in the past, but are weary to do so again because of his mistakes in fiscal and foreign policy.

George W. Bush's hometown newspaper endorses John Kerry for President.

In 2000, the Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas endorsed Bush. Citing his efforts to erode civil liberties and Social Security, repeated mistakes in Iraq, and the lackluster economy, the paper chose to endorse Kerry this time around.

Take Back The Media presents Flipper.

This one is from June, but it's a good one. The Bush campaign's strategy continues to be to lie about John Kerry's record in the Senate. The flash presentation presents the irony that it's they who are guilty of being consistently inconsistent.


Reuters: Key Bush Assertions About Iraq in Dispute

President Bush as part of his optimistic Iraq pitch last week said that nearly 100,000 "fully trained and equipped" Iraqi soldiers, police officers and other security personnel are on the job. According to the president, that number will rise to 125,000 by the end of 2004.

The fact is that only 8,169 have had the full eight-week academy training according to Pentagon documents.

Either the President was given bad information once again, or he just lied unapologetically about this. With only about 8000 Iraqis fully trained, how can we expect the security situation to improve any time soon? The Reuters article also points out that it will be July 2006 before there can be 135,000 fully trained police in Iraq.

Bin Laden's Candidate by Joe Conason

Salon columnist Joe Conason attacks the right-wing claim that the terrorists want George W. Bush to lose in November, and John Kerry to win. As the column accurately says, Bush has been al-Qaida's best recruiting tool.

View the ad for a free Salon daypass.

Powell: Situation in Iraq 'Getting Worse'

Just days after President Bush and Iraq Prime Minister Ayad Allawi espoused an optimistic scenario taking place in Iraq, the Secretary of State contradicted the Administration's take on the situation.

Don't hold your breath that Powell will be condemned for saying basically the same thing that John Kerry said last week about the worsening security in Iraq.


Kos illustrates just how off message the administration is on Iraq as they're giving mixed signals about the Iraqi elections:

"They're going to have elections in January in Iraq. When America gives its word, America will keep its word. We'll stand with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq." [9/22/04, Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Rally , Latrobe, Pennsylvania]

"First of all, I'll be happy to pass along the message. I will see Mr. Allawi, as I mentioned, on Thursday -- both in the Congress, and then he'll come to the White House for a meeting with the President and myself. He has indicated repeatedly that he wants to keep that January deadline. We agree wholeheartedly. It's important to remember this is an Iraqi decision." [Dick Cheney, Lansing, Michigan, 9/21/04]

"Let's pretend hypothetically that you get to election time in January and lets pretend that its roughly like it is, or a little worse, which it could be, because you've got to expect it to continue. They're not happy the way its going. They don't want a government elected in that country...badly, they don't want that. And let's say you try to have an election and you could have it in three-quarters or four-fifths of the country, but some places you couldn't because the violence was too great. So be it. Nothing is perfect in life. So you have election that's not quite perfect." [Donald Rumsfeld, Senate testimony 9/23/04]

"We're going to have an election that is free and open and that has to be open to all citizens. It's got to be our best effort to get it into troubled areas as well," [Dick Armitage, House testimony, 9/24/04]


Just who is this interim Prime Minister of Iraq, Iyad Allawi?

In a nutshell, he's a former Baathist, and former ally of Saddam Hussein. He has spent much of his life in the UK where he studied medicine, and he retains British citizenship to this day. While in London, he built a relationship with British security forces. In the early 90s, he formed the exile group Iraqi National Accord with the support of the CIA and MI6.

When President Bush criticized John Kerry for his comments about Allawi, he acted as if Allawi was a leader who enjoys the elected support of the people of Iraq. On the contrary, as his biography indicates, he's a longtime friend of American and British intelligence who in turn got him the position of interim PM. He's already declared martial law, and even Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is scaling back on expectations for the elections.

Is it just me or is this situation starting to look more like when the CIA and MI6 installed the Shah of Iran back in 1953?

More info about Allawi over at Wikipedia.

Editorial cartoonist Jeff Danziger sums up the Bush campaign's reelection strategy.

Found this one over at Talking Points Memo.


John Kerry's speech this week on Iraq has resulted in President Bush saying that he has taken a new position on the war. This isn't true, and it's an indictment of the media that they're too lazy to actually research just how consistent Kerry has been on the war since the vote to authorize force in 2002. His position is summed up quite simply in this paragraph from the Monday speech:

"Two years ago, Congress was right to give the President the authority to use force to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. This President… any President… would have needed the threat of force to act effectively. This President misused that authority."

Now go read Kerry's Senate floor speech from October 9, 2002, and it becomes very clear that his position has been consistent. Here's one key paragraph from that speech courtesy of Independents for Kerry:

"In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days--to work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force. If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out."

There's no word yet on the fate of the British hostage Kenneth Bigley. Earlier this week, two American hostages, Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley, were beheaded after being kidnapped in Iraq along with Bigley. Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has reportedly claimed responsibility for these killings, the beheading of Nicholas Berg, and is considered responsible for hundreds of other attacks in the war torn nation.

I discussed Zarqawi with a co-worker the other day, and he had just heard for the first time about the fact that the Bush Administration killed three plans put together by the Pentagon to take out Zarqawi and his camps in the Kurdish territory in northern Iraq. The plans were put together at various points leading up to the Iraq war in 2002 and early 2003.

The reason for letting Zarqawi off the hook? The president and his national security team believed removing the terrorist from the equation would've undercut the rationale for the war itself.

Pentagon relents on blocking overseas voting site

After receiving massive criticism, the Defense Department has backed off on blocking their Federal Voting Assistance Program from certain ISPs. Visitors in 25 countries were to be prevented from visiting from the site.

Members of Congress and the public protested the announcement citing concerns this would suppress Americans living abroad from voting in the upcoming presidential election.


The video of John Kerry's top ten list on The Late Show with David Letterman is up on the show's site. It's quite a funny clip.

Here's the list of Kerry's "Top 10 Bush Tax Proposals":

10. No estate tax for families with at least two U.S. presidents.

9. W-2 Form is now Dubya-2 Form.

8. Under the simplified tax code, your refund check goes directly to Halliburton.

7. The reduced earned income tax credit is so unfair, it just makes me want to tear out my lustrous, finely groomed hair.

6. Attorney General (John) Ashcroft gets to write off the entire U.S. Constitution.

5. Texas Rangers can take a business loss for trading Sammy Sosa.

4. Eliminate all income taxes; just ask Teresa (Heinz Kerry) to cover the whole damn thing.

3. Cheney can claim Bush as a dependent.

2. Hundred-dollar penalty if you pronounce it "nuclear" instead of "nucular."

1. George W. Bush gets a deduction for mortgaging our entire future.

Annan, Bush clash in sombre start to UN meeting

The local daily criticizes President Bush's speech at the UN as "unconvincing."

You can read the speech for yourself here if you'd like, but the contents are just more of the lies we've been getting from the president. He paints a a pretty picture, and talks about how we're winning in Iraq and democracy is coming any day now.

There's a reason why John Kerry's bold speech and statements about Iraq are resonating. A) They're the truth; and B) Even Bush supporters know they've been kidding themselves about how well the situation in Iraq is going.

When Republican Senators like Chuck Hagel, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Richard Lugar are all openly criticizing their own party's president on Iraq less than two months before a presidential election, you know there's serious trouble.

I have to agree with the paper. The president blew it once again.

I didn't get around to posting about John Kerry's speech about Iraq on Monday. C-SPAN has the video on its site and if you have the time to spare, it's worth viewing.

He told it like it is, and I know Kerry supporters like myself were glad to see it. Here are just a few excerpts of the Senator hammering home just how badly President Bush and his administration have botched the job in Iraq:

"Security is deteriorating, for us and for the Iraqis. 42 Americans died in Iraq in June -- the month before the handover. But 54 died in July…66 in August… and already 54 halfway through September. And more than 1,100 Americans were wounded in August – more than in any other month since the invasion. We are fighting a growing insurgency in an ever widening war-zone. In March, insurgents attacked our forces 700 times. In August, they attacked 2,700 times – a 400% increase."

"The first and most fundamental mistake was the President’s failure to tell the truth to the American people. He failed to tell the truth about the rationale for going to war. And he failed to tell the truth about the burden this war would impose on our soldiers and our citizens. By one count, the President offered 23 different rationales for this war. If his purpose was to confuse and mislead the American people, he succeeded. His two main rationales – weapons of mass destruction and the Al Qaeda/September 11 connection – have been proved false… by the President’s own weapons inspectors… and by the 9/11 Commission. Just last week, Secretary of State Powell acknowledged the facts. Only Vice President Cheney still insists that the earth is flat."

"Last February, Secretary Rumsfeld claimed that more than 210,000 Iraqis were in uniform. Two weeks ago, he admitted that claim was exaggerated by more than 50 percent. Iraq, he said, now has 95,000 trained security forces. But guess what? Neither number bears any relationship to the truth. For example, just 5,000 Iraqi soldiers have been fully trained, by the administration’s own minimal standards. And of the 35,000 police now in uniform, not one has completed a 24-week field-training program. Is it any wonder that Iraqi security forces can’t stop the insurgency or provide basic law and order?"

DNC chief Terry McAuliffe: Will GOP Answer If They Know Whether Stone, Others Had Involvement With CBS Documents?

“In today’s New York Post, Roger Stone, who became associated with political ‘dirty tricks’ while working for Nixon, refused to deny that he was the source the CBS documents.

“Will Ed Gillespie or the White House admit today what they know about Mr. Stone’s relationship with these forged documents? Will they unequivocally rule out Mr. Stone’s involvement? Or for that matter, others with a known history of dirty tricks, such as Karl Rove or Ralph Reed?”


Regarding the debates, the Note covers what the Bush campaign got changed in the negotiations:

"1. The first widely watched and covered debate will be on foreign policy and national security, rather than domestic policy.

2. No direct engagement between the candidates is allowed — the Commission's proposed plan had actually encouraged such dynamic-changing contact.

3. As "Miss (Nicolle) Devenish" told the Washington Times : "the agreement reached yesterday also will make 'very clear whenever the candidates attempt to filibuster or grandstand. There is a light that will flash for TV audiences when that happens — a historic first,' she said. 'Moderators have to sign on and say they agree with the rules, or we'll find new moderators.'"

4. The voters at the town-hall debate won't be undecideds, but, rather "soft" supporters of each side — and we have yet to figure out what that means or why Team Bush prefered that — but Baker got it.

5. The candidates can't address each other with "proposed pledges" (although rhetorical questions are allowed!!).

6. The town-hallers can't ask follow ups or participate after they ask their one question — avoiding any prospect of a "Richmond" moment."


Campaigns agree to three presidential debates

The debate schedule will reportedly go forward as proposed by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Also, the debate in St. Louis will indeed have the town hall format with audience members able to ask the candidates questions. Participants will be chosen by Gallup.

  • Thursday, September 30 at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida
  • Friday, October 8 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Wednesday, October 13 at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

The Vice Presidential debate will take place Tuesday, October 5 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Interest in the debates is expected to be high since the race is still considered to be very close.

Well it looks like Clear Channel pulled one over on me and other Milwaukee radio listeners. The format change to talk radio was a hoax, and they're now playing 80s music (wow, how original).

However, the fact that they teased the audience that the station would move to "progressive talk" tells me they believe that there's an audience for it in Milwaukee. I wouldn't be surprised if CC switches one of their other low-rated stations to the format in the weeks or months ahead.

For the time being though, the wasteland of Milwaukee radio lives on unchanged in any significant way.


It looks like the rumors perpetuated here last week were true. Reports from and the Business Journal indicate that Light 97.3FM will flip formats on Monday to liberal talk radio featuring Air America programming.

Station management haven't confirmed that's the case, but if you tune in the station right now, all the songs they're playing reflect the words "air" and "America" in them. Also, the station IDs are saying things like "starting Monday, you'll be talking."

If this is true, it will certainly be a breath of fresh air for those of us who have had to settle for the right-wing echo chamber's domination of the local airwaves. Since the station is operated by Clear Channel, the lineup is sure to be similar to The Mic 92.1FM in Madison which also recently switched to this format. The Milwaukee station's name supposedly will be 97.3 The Brew which is backed up by the fact that Clear Channel has registered

Keep an eye on the station's website in the coming days for more details.

Kerry Accuses Bush of Hiding Troops Plan: John Kerry Accuses President Bush of Hiding Plan to Mobilize More Troops for Iraq After Election

We're about six weeks to election day, and if you're not already registered to vote, it's time to get up off your arse and do so.

If you're a Wisconsinite, you have the ability to register at the polls on election day. If you live elsewhere, you may be required to register in advance.

For Americans living abroad, you can vote absentee by applying for a ballot online.

Why the race is a lot closer than people think; Labor Day leads and election outcomes by Ruy Teixeira.

A good article which dissects the problems we're seeing in much of the polling data. Among other things, Teixeira, as he does on Donkey Rising frequently, criticizes the practice of surveying "likely voters" instead of "registered voters."

Gallup is one of those polls that used the "likely voter" model in its recent poll which showed Bush leading Kerry by 11 points. The poll is easily explained when you look at the fact that the Gallup model speculates that on election day, 40% of voters will be Republicans, while only 33% will be Democrats. Considering the Democratic Party is more motivated than I've seen it in memory, I find it hard to take the poll seriously at all.

One more thing on polling. Jimmy Breslin in Newsday (link via Kos) echoes what I was saying yesterday about the growing problem with polling by telephone. He interviewed pollster John Zogby who says this: "The people who are using telephone surveys are in denial," Zogby was saying. "It is similar to the '30s, when they first started polling by telephones and there were people who laughed at that and said you couldn't trust them because not everybody had a home phone. Now they try not to mention cell phones. They don't look or listen. They go ahead with a method that is old and wrong."


The National Intelligence Council recently provided President Bush an estimate of the security situation in Iraq. In the report, they provided very disturbing scenarios that are quite possible. The best case they offered, based on the current economic and political situation, is a "tenuous stability." The worst case was all out civil war between Shiite, Sunni, and Kurds.

The situation is so bad that even Republican Senators, notably Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), are speaking out about how much worse things are getting in Iraq and how the Administration is trying to cover it up.

Recent polls suggest Wisconsin is one of the closest battleground states in the country with Bush and Kerry neck and neck. However, two reasons for optimism is that turnout is going to be high and that always helps Democrats in elections. Also, young people are registering in huge numbers. This is speculation, but I believe the polls are undercounting young voters, because many of them use a cell phone as their primary phone and therefore aren't being contacted.

This photo at a Madison Kerry rally, courtesy of DU, provides another reason to be optimistic in Wisconsin.


9/11 group endorses Kerry: Widows cite a list of grievances against president, vow to help Democratic challenger win presidential race

Democrat Kerry Slams Bush for 'Excuse Presidency'

This is the type of contrast John Kerry needs to continue to draw between himself and the president. The Bush Administration has no accomplishments to run on, and doesn't take any responsibility for its failures.


State Sen. Gwen Moore won the Democratic primary overwhelmingly tonight for the 4th Congressional district being vacated by Jerry Kleczka. As a Moore supporter, I was quite impressed by her margin of victory. Her campaign worked hard to turn out her supporters and it certainly paid off tonight.

In the Senate primary to determine who will take on Sen. Russ Feingold, Tim Michels pulled off a solid victory against the well financed Russ Darrow. I guess all that television advertising paid off for Michels. State Sen. Bob Welch finished third which leads me to believe more people came to the conclusion that one losing US Senate race was enough for him.

The updates are available here. Here are the current Milwaukee primary results as of this moment:

4th Congressional District (D):
Gwen Moore 46,527 64%
Matt Flynn 18,395 25%
Tim Carpenter 7535 11%
97% reporting

4th Congressional District (R):
Gerald Boyle 11,211 53%
Corey Hoze 10,088
97% reporting

US Senate (R):
Tim Michels 151,067 43%
Russ Darrow 101,294 30%
Bob Welch 83,012 23%
Robert Lorge 13,398 4%
81% Reporting


The September primary election is Tuesday here in Wisconsin.

In my neck of the woods, the two races to watch are the US Senate and 4th Congressional district primary. Vying to oppose Sen. Russ Feingold are Tim Michels, Russ Darrow, State Sen. Bob Welch, and some guy named Robert Lorge. Michels has stepped up the ad campaign in recent weeks. During the little time I've spent watching television recently, I've been inundated by his commercials.

I tend to think the real battle is between Welch and Darrow. Welch has a following among social conservatives, but also gained recognition for endorsing a state cap on local property taxes. Darrow, on the other hand, is the candidate for the more traditional fiscally conservative Republican who doesn't much care for the pandering the party does on social issues. This is not to say Darrow doesn't share many of the same positions as Welch and Michels on abortion and gay marriage, but those aren't the reasons many voters are attracted to him. Darrow's strength is his name recognition, and his ability to raise money. Many Republicans are going to vote for him simply because they think he has the best chance to win in November, and they aren't impressed by the fact Welch got his clock cleaned the last time he ran for the US Senate against Sen. Herb Kohl in 1994.

On the 4th Congressional District race, Riverwest Currents has a good breakdown on the positions the various candidates hold. Matt Flynn picked up the endorsement of the Shepherd Express last week while the Journal Sentinel endorsed State Sen. Gwen Moore. The third candidate is State Sen. Tim Carpenter whom I had a chance to meet at the John Edwards rally a few weeks ago. Any of these three candidates would be a fine representative for the 4th district, and I expect any of them will beat their Republican opponent Corey Hoze or Gerald Boyle handily in November.

In other action, Republican State Senate Majority Leader Mary Panzer is being challenged the right by Glenn Grothman for her seat. It's been entertaining for us followers of the donkey to watch the infighting going on in the state GOP. It kind of reminds me of the old battles between then Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Chvala and State Sen. Gary George.

We're in the home stretch of the presidential campaign as election day nears seven weeks from today.

At this point, we're waiting for those debates to happen. The Commission on Presidential Debates has debates between George W. Bush and John Kerry scheduled, with one debate between vice presidential candidates Dick Cheney and John Edwards.

Last week, however, news reports said the Bush campaign is trying to skip out on the second debate. The reason? The town hall format where questions from the audience are allowed.

Here's the schedule as proposed by the commission.

First presidential debate: University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL
Thursday, September 30
Jim Lehrer, Anchor and Executive Editor, The NewsHour, PBS

Vice presidential debate: Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH
Tuesday, October 5
Gwen Ifill, Senior Correspondent, The NewsHour, and Moderator, Washington Week, PBS

Second presidential debate: Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Friday, October 8
Charles Gibson, Co-Anchor, ABC News Good Morning America

Third presidential debate: Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ
Wednesday, October 13
Bob Schieffer, CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent, and Moderator, Face the Nation


For all you Milwaukeeans, allow me to plug a charity event that I'm volunteering for. The Young Variety Bear Trap BBQ is being held at the Bay View Bar on Sunday, September 19 from 11am-7pm.

Don't worry, you won't miss the Packer game since it will be shown in the hall on a projection screen. The proceeds go to benefit the Variety Club children's charities. Check out the site for registration and further details.

Event Details:

  • Sunday September 19th, 2004
  • Watch the Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
  • $20.00 advance registration, $25.00 at the door
  • Bay View Bar (2860 S Kinnickinnic Ave / Milwaukee, WI 53207)
  • Doors open at 11:00AM, closes at 7:00pm
  • Beer, soda, pork, chili, salsas, cookies and lots of other food
  • Games, raffles and other fun events


Bush, Kerry Set Aside Personal Battles for Sept. 11


A reader at Atrios' blog found a great piece in Mad Magazine.

Between this and the earlier story from the Onion, the kings of printed satire have reminded us of the important role they play.

Everyone's talking about memos. Memos memos memos.

Quite honestly, I haven't been spending hours comparing documents online like some others have. It's mostly because I've been spending those hours trying to evict my cat's new flea friends, but I didn't catch the 60 Minutes piece the other night either.

The National Guard story may hurt the president with some independents, but probably not enough to make a difference. At this point in the race, John Kerry can't depend on Bush's shortcomings to win. He needs to get back on message and tell the voting public why this president is wrong on domestic and foreign policy.

What I have found intriguing though is the White House is not disputing what those memos say which is quite telling. From their standpoint, the longer the media focuses on the authenticity of the memos and not what they say, the better.


The American Prospect has a great article about Vice President Dick Cheney's history on cutting intelligence funding and defense spending. As many of us were aware, as Defense Secretary, it was Cheney who endorsed the idea of getting rid of the weapons systems he's now accusing John Kerry of eliminating.

It's another example of how disingenuous the veep and the administration can be. Their strategy for re-election remains a perpetual game of smoke and mirrors.


Onion flashback to January 2001: Bush: Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity is Finally Over

I remember laughing when I read this issue after the 2000 election. Now it seems prophetic on the part of the weekly satirical newspaper to have run it. This updated edition contains hyperlinks to illustrate that.


Cheney says 'wrong choice' on Election Day would risk terrorist attack

"It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States,"

Mr. Vice President, at long last, have you no shame?

Sen. John Edwards responded today with the following statement:

"Dick Cheney's scare tactics crossed the line today, showing once again that he and George Bush will do anything and say anything to save their jobs. Protecting America from vicious terrorists is not a Democratic or Republican issue, it's an American issue and Dick Cheney and George Bush should know that.

"John Kerry and I will keep America safe, and we will not divide the American people to do it."

US Military Deaths in Iraq Pass 1,000

Most people likely saw this day approaching based on the continuing instability in Iraq. This is a sad benchmark in the ongoing conflict over there. Take a moment today to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in this war.

A second liberal talk radio station has hit the airwaves in Madison on 92.1 FM. The station will feature some of the shows on the Air America network.

Unfortunately, Milwaukee also has an easy listening station on that frequency so those of us on this side of the state are still out of luck for a liberal/progressive voice on the radio dial. However, there are rumors circulating that Clear Channel, which owns the Madison, Portland, and Miami stations where Air America is airing, may be bringing the network to one of its Milwaukee stations soon.


Lies, Damned Lies, and Convention Speeches

Fred Kaplan sets the record straight on John Kerry's voting record in his Slate column.

Kerry: Bush Is 'Unfit To Lead'

As longtime political junkies know, the presidential race kicks into high gear after Labor Day. Kerry's statements about Bush's performance as a commander-in-chief coupled with his big television ad buy this week are signs he's getting ready for an aggressive run to November.

Andrew Sullivan sums up Zell's speech quite well.

His speech tonight was in this vein, a classic Dixiecrat speech, jammed with bald lies, straw men, and hateful rhetoric. As an immigrant to this country and as someone who has been to many Southern states and enjoyed astonishing hospitality and warmth and sophistication, I long dismissed some of the Northern stereotypes about the South. But Miller did his best to revive them.

It's telling that a politician like Miller is more comfortable speaking at a Republican rather than a Democratic convention.

Sen. Zell Miller on John Kerry just three years ago.

At this event, Miller referred to Kerry as "one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders – and a good friend."

Now look at him. As evidenced by his rage-filled speech last night, this is a man who only stays a registered Democrat to sell books and pump up his own ego.

The suspense is over.

"Mr. Chairman, delegates, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans: I accept your nomination for vice president of the United States." -Vice President Dick Cheney Wednesday night.

The event marks the end of the many months of speculation over whether or not Bush would dump Cheney for a running mate with more appeal and one who could be a standard bearer for 2008. Meanwhile, a new Gallup poll indicates the veep's approval rating is at a new low.


Former Texas Lieutenent Governor Ben Barnes to tell '60 Minutes' how he helped George W. Bush get into the Air National Guard.

I agree with Kos who says this probably won't hurt President Bush all that much in the polls. Since Kerry's service has been the subject of so much media coverage, the public is likely tiring of debating Vietnam (you'd think three decades later that would already be the case).

Even so, this is a story that deserves attention if for no other reason than simple balance.

The 2004 Republican Party platform is available at the convention site. However, I noticed that they tucked it away on the website. You have to go to the Delegates page and then click on the link in the lower right hand corner of the page.

Also, it's only available in Adobe PDF format and not in more user-friendly HTML. Just another whitewash brought to you by the compassionate-conservative public relations team.

I have to confess that I'm behind on watching the RNC coverage. The first observation I wanted to add about Laura Bush is who's responsible for the hideous distracting backdrop during her speech?