Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"10K for a Picture with Bush?"

Matt Stoller on MyDD: Darcy Burner's opponent David Reichert is getting lots of Bush cash.

President Bush will attend a private reception June 16 in Medina to raise money for the re-election campaign of Republican Rep. David Reichert, whose suburban 8th District voted for Democrat John Kerry for president in 2004.

Neither the Reichert campaign nor the White House would confirm Bush's visit, which was first announced, gleefully, by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Tuesday. It was confirmed by several local Republicans who received invitations.
The article goes to talk about a $10k price tag on a photo with the President for really high rollers. It's kind of hilarious, like kids getting ripped off by a comic book store owner who promises them that their copy of X-Men 297 will be worth a lot of money some day.

What's even funnier are the semi-lies coming from the White House and the Reichert campaign.

A Reichert campaign spokeswoman said she couldn't confirm Bush's stop here during what reportedly is a presidential campaign swing through several Western states for GOP candidates.

White House spokesman Alex Conant said that for scheduling and security reasons, "we haven't announced the president's schedule beyond this Friday. ... It's premature to discuss potential presidential events this far in advance."
Ok, so they have sent out invitations to Republicans announcing Bush's visit, and have even put a price tag on pictures with the President, but neither the campaign nor the White House will confirm that the President will be there?

Lose credibility much?

Meanwhile netroots endorsed Darcy Burner is kicking ass and demanding a plan for Iraq.

How much would you pay for a picture with Bush?

"An Inconvenient Truth" Opens in Seattle on Friday

"An Inconvenient Truth" opens in Seattle this Friday and it's creating a buzz across the country. Thousands of us have already seen it and according to Variety magazine, it's setting major records at the box office.

How the movie does on opening weekend in your town will determine how it's received in the local press and how many other cities get to see it. That's why we're asking folks to pledge to see the movie and get tickets in advance.

You can sign the pledge and buy tickets to the film (for any day) through the link below. Just click Buy Tickets.

You'll also be invited to join a special conference call with Al Gore this Sunday, June 4th at 7:00 pm EST / 4:00 pm PST. On the call we'll have a chance to learn more about the issue and ask him questions. Plus, Paramount Classics just announced that it will donate 5% of ticket sales to the Alliance for Climate Protection—so just by going to see the film, you'll be donating to help fight global warming.

Theater: Pacific Place
Where: Seattle, WA 98101
Buy Tickets.

Theater: Guild
Where: Seattle, WA 98103
Buy Tickets

"Meet The Blogger: Peter Daou"

Bits and pieces from the interview/profile by James Boyce.
In essence, I argue that the power of the blogs is a function of the relationship of the netroots to the media and the political establishment (thus, the triangle). I don't think bloggers alone have the public penetration to alter conventional wisdom on their own, at least not yet, but they can put targeted pressure on the media and on political operatives and work with those two power centers to shape public opinion.

I've gradually come to the realization that the single biggest obstacle facing the left is the pervasiveness of anti-left and pro-right narratives in the media. What's the point of your message if it's filtered through a media lens that's unfavorable to your position? You know, 'weak' Dems and 'strong' Republicans, 'un-American' left and 'patriotic' right, and so on.

Until the left gets its act together to address this imbalance, we'll have more Gore-ing of Gore and Swift-Boating of Kerry. And more anti-Hillary tabloid journalism like the kind we've seen recently from the New York Times, David Broder, Tim Russert and others. The astonishing thing is that the "liberal media" absurdity is so entrenched that arguments about pro-right narratives are still met with suspicion, if not outright derision. The standard reply from rightwing bloggers is not a factual rebuttal, but simply "you must be crazy." Jamison Foser recently posted a great piece about the media problem.

...if you're asking whether Markos deserves his success because of something he's done, the answer is yes. The high traffic blogs I follow offer something to readers that justifies the size of their readership. HuffPo is a perfect example: there were early critics, but the site fills a void and success has followed. The same holds true for Glenn Greenwald, Crooks and Liars and Firedoglake. Having said that, I make it a point to feature new and lesser known blogs on my site; every blog plays a role in the dissemination of information, whether it reaches five readers or five thousand.

There's another larger point here as well, and that's about the long-term evolution of this medium. Human nature being what it is, hierarchies are bound to form and typical social dynamics come into play. Cliques and power spheres emerge and you end up with the usual internecine fighting. I'm a big believer in the open, decentralized, democratic nature of the online world and I understand why people celebrate the revolutionary nature of online communication, but I realize that in time this structure will calcify and something new will come along to shake everything up."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Gore: Bush is 'renegade rightwing extremist'

Guardian Unlimited (UK):

"Al Gore has made his sharpest attack yet on the George Bush presidency, describing the current US administration as "a renegade band of rightwing extremists".

In an interview with the Guardian today, the former vice-president calls himself a "recovering politician", but launches into the political fray more explicitly than he has previously done during his high-profile campaigning on the threat of global warming.

Denying that his politics have shifted to the left since he lost the court battle for the 2000 election, Mr Gore says: "If you have a renegade band of rightwing extremists who get hold of power, the whole thing goes to the right."

The new levels of attention he is receiving have led some Democrats to call on him to run again for president, while others have responded with anger that Mr Gore did not show the same level of passion in the 2000 campaign.

He has since acknowledged that he followed too closely the advice of his consultants during that campaign, and - before he started to scoff at the idea of running again - swore that if he ever did so, he would speak his mind.

Mr Gore's true attitude towards a potential return to the White House - or, at least, a potential battle with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination - remains unknown.

At the weekend, Time magazine reported that he was telling key fundraisers they should feel free to sign on with other potential candidates. The magazine quoted unnamed Democratic sources as saying that the former vice-president had also been asking the fundraisers to "tell everybody I'm not running".

Mr Gore would not find it difficult to raise millions of dollars, if he did decide to run. But while public denials might prove a wise campaign strategy - not least by prolonging the period of positive attention Mr Gore is now receiving - actively turning away fundraisers does suggest a firmer resolve not to re-enter electoral politics.

It is significant, however, that Mr Gore refuses to go beyond saying that he has no "plans" for such a campaign. "I haven't made a Shermanesque statement because it just seems odd to do so," he has said - a reference to the famous announcement by the civil war general William Sherman, who unequivocally refused to stand in the election of 1884. "If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve," General Sherman said."

"Rahm Emanuel leads rally for Darcy Burner"

Andrew from Northwest Progressive Institute was there today:
"Rahm Emanuel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC, just finished speaking at a packed and very energized rally on Mercer Island for Darcy Burner, the Democrat who is challenging Dave Reichert in Washington's 8th Congressional District.

Emanuel was one of many speakers, including State Democratic Chairman Dwight Pelz and Rodney Tom, who is running for the state Senate in the 48th against Republican Luke Esser. All three spoke about the importance of winning back Congress in 2006, holding the administration accountable, and changing the course of America.

As in past speeches, Darcy spoke knowledgeably about the situation we face in Iraq - and why we owe it to our men and women in uniform to come up with a plan for giving Iraq back to the Iraqis.

She delivered her remarks smoothly and concisely. It is clear to anyone who listens to her speak these days how comfortable and relaxed she is in front of a podium or in front of a microphone.

Emanuel seemed pleased to be in attendance, despite the fact that he'd apparently just gotten off a plane and had come a long way out from Illinois. He was very polished, and made a compelling argument about the importance of winning this year, in 2006, not in 2008.

"We can stay the course, or choose a new direction," Emanuel said. "But all the Republicans want to offer is stay the course, the status quo - stand pat."

"All Dave Reichert wants to do is rubber stamp Bush's policies," Emanuel continued. "Voters needs to know there's a choice."

"Every election, and every effort [to take back Congress] starts in individual Congressional Districts," he noted. "You have a candidate who fits the district perfectly," he said.

"We're going to invest alongside you," Emanuel declared, of the DCCC's commitment to the race. "But you have to make it happen. We can't do it without you."

Darcy continues to do an admirable job of blending her personal background, her motivation for running, her values, and her priorities into her presentation. She has crafted a very appealing, unique and personable stump speech that is not only convincing, but also inspiring, and even captivating.

The rally, although short, was exceptionally well attended and filled with a contagious spirit. Attendees were delighted to hear the news (just announced today) that Dubya himself is coming out in mid June to raise money for Dave Reichert's campaign.

All of the speakers repeatedly emphasized the importance of this - because, as most activists know, Dubya's handlers don't allow him to appear at a fundraiser with just any Republican candidate. Bush is coming out because Reichert's campaign is in danger. Darcy's campaign, on the other hand, is strong, robust, and refreshing.
The campaign is thinking strategically and creatively, reaching out to the netroots, and engaging voters early. But Darcy needs our help - our time, talents, and treasure - to continue to make this race competitive. It's clear from today's rally that she's beginning to get the kind of support she really needs to wage a powerful, successful campaign."

"The Blogfather"

Michael Scherer runs down Jerome Armstrong, a defender of the blogosphere and Mark Warner.
Even with the DLC ties, Armstrong, who is employed by Warner's Forward Together PAC, has been remarkably effective in getting his boss a welcoming reception on key sites like DailyKos and MyDD. In national newspaper interviews and Op-Eds, Moulitsas regularly trumpets Warner as a favored 2008 contender, along with Feingold, giving the governor the hip sheen of a rising Internet populist. Armstrong has gone so far as to post Warner's picture in a cover box on MyDD, a space that features famous liberal leaders like Thurgood Marshall and Bill Clinton. Inside the Warner campaign, Armstrong's success has earned him the nickname "Ambassador of Kwan," a nod to the adrenaline-filled sports agent in the film "Jerry Maguire." "I think you can argue that the Net and the population online has sort of matured, beyond the initial -- call them ultra-partisans that were with Dean," Armstrong told me. "The spectrum of people, as the number increases, grows to reflect the Democratic Party online."

Such pronouncements have outraged a few liberal bloggers, who see Warner's middle-way pragmatism as just another version of the Democrat lite, which they blame for the conservative takeover of government. In a recent post on his blog, Bob Brigham, a former employee of Armstrong and former blogger on Swing State Project, wrote that the netroots would never unite around a candidate associated with the DLC. "Hiring a netroots coordinator to talk at bloggers while using the DLC content isn't going to get a candidate anywhere," he argued in a reference to Warner and Armstrong. "What is changing about Democratic Party politics isn't just the container, but the content." It is a debate that has quickly become personal. In the comments section of several blogs, readers have charged that Armstrong has traded on his reputation -- and his friendship with Moulitsas and other bloggers at MyDD -- to further his political consulting business.

Armstrong's friendship with Moulitsas, whose Web site attracts more traffic than the next three largest liberal blogs combined, is the topic of extensive discussion on DailyKos and other sites. The pair's friendship dates back to 2002, and the early days of the Dean campaign, when Moulitsas began blogging for Armstrong's MyDD, the home page for many of Dean's early supporters. In addition to the Hackett posts, bloggers have wondered if Armstrong's work for Warner caused Moulitsas to abandon his once ferocious campaign to shame any Democrat who associated with the DLC. "We need to make the DLC radioactive," Kos wrote in August 2005. "No calls for a truce will be brooked."

Moulitsas says he does not identify Warner with the DLC, especially when compared to other prospective presidential candidates. As for the lack of recent rants against the organization, he says he no longer rails against the DLC because he does not want to raise its profile. "I realized that the more I talked about them the more relevant they became," he said. "That was my realization last summer." As for his friendship with Armstrong, Moulitsas makes no apologies. "There is no doubt that Jerome impacts my thinking and my thinking impacts his," he said. "The fact is that Jerome and I talk a lot."

Next week, Warner will be given another opportunity in Las Vegas, at YearlyKos, the first national liberal blogger convention. According to the schedule, Warner is the only presumptive presidential candidate who is scheduled to address the entire convention, as the host of a Saturday lunch. He will appear in person, without any bells or whistles, without online video streams or blog endorsements. Just like politicians of old, he will have to take his message directly to the people."

"Hillary wants to use the DLC to ... "unite the party"? lol

Kos seems to mock Hillary:

"I found this hilarious:

This summer, [Hillary] Clinton will participate in the rollout of a Democratic agenda, a project initiated by the centrist Democratic Leadership Council. At her urging, the project includes participation of the liberal Center for American Progress, as well as two other centrist groups, the New Democrat Network and Third Way.

When he sought the presidency, Bill Clinton used the DLC to signal a break from the old Democratic Party when the DLC officials were at war with the liberal wing. Hillary Clinton appears to have the opposite goal, which is to use the DLC as a base from which to unite the party to rebut criticism that Democrats have no common message.

"If Not Hillary, Then Who?"

"At the moment there are four candidates who appear to be able to raise the funds needed to compete with Hillary Clinton: Evan Bayh, the former governor and current Senator from Indiana, John Edwards, the former North Carolina Senator and 2004 Vice-Presidential candidate, John Kerry, the junior Senator from Massachusetts and 2004 Presidential candidate, and Mark Warner: The former Virginia Governor.

There are at least six additional candidates who have indicated they may run for the Democratic nomination but probably can't raise the necessary millions. These include Joe Biden, the senior Senator from Delaware, Wes Clark, the retired four-star general and NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Tom Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader, Russ Feingold, the Wisconsin Senator, Bill Richardson, the voluble New Mexico governor, and Tom Vilsack, the popular Governor of Iowa. (This list does not include Howard Dean, Al Gore, or Barack Obama, who have indicated that they will not run in 2008.)

In Democratic politics, as in much of American life, it's money that matters. So it looks like Dems will choose between Bayh, Clinton, Edwards, Kerry, and Warner. There are several ways to compare them. One would be their electability. Many Democrats believe that neither Clinton nor Kerry is electable in 2008; that neither could beat John McCain, for example. Hiding behind this is the belief that to win the presidency, Democrats have to reach beyond blue states and capture traditionally red states like Montana. Many rank-and-file Dems don't think that Clinton or Kerry can do this. Many believe that Bayh, Edwards, and Warner can.

Which of these five candidates can provide the leadership that the US needs to deal with our common problems? It's too soon to tell. One thing for sure, money can buy a lot of things, but not love or leadership."-Bob Geiger on The Huffington Post.

Monday, May 29, 2006

"Neocons in the Democratic Party"

"DON'T LOOK now, but neoconservatism is making a comeback — and not among the Republicans who have made it famous but in the Democratic Party.

A host of pundits and young national security experts associated with the party are calling for a return to the Cold War precepts of President Truman to wage a war against terror that New Republic Editor Peter Beinart, in the title of his provocative new book, calls "The Good Fight."

The fledgling neocons of the left are based at places such as the Progressive Policy Institute, whose president, Will Marshall, has just released a volume of doctrine called "With All Our Might: A Progressive Strategy for Defeating Jihadism and Defending Liberty." Beinart's book is subtitled "Why Liberals — and Only Liberals — Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again." Their political champions include Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and such likely presidential candidates as former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who is chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council.

This new crop of liberal hawks calls for expanding the existing war against terrorism, beefing up the military and promoting democracy around the globe while avoiding the anti-civil liberties excesses of the Bush administration. They support a U.S. government that would seek multilateral consensus before acting abroad, but one that is not scared to use force when necessary."-from the op-ed by Jacob Heilbrunn in the LA Times.

Scoop, can you hear them now?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

"A New Open-Source Politics"

"Bob Schieffer of CBS News made a good point on "The Charlie Rose Show" last week. He said that successful presidents have all skillfully exploited the dominant medium of their times. The Founders were eloquent writers in the age of pamphleteering. Franklin D. Roosevelt restored hope in 1933 by mastering radio. And John F. Kennedy was the first president elected because of his understanding of television.

Will 2008 bring the first Internet president? Last time, Howard Dean and later John Kerry showed that the whole idea of "early money" is now obsolete in presidential politics. The Internet lets candidates who catch fire raise millions in small donations practically overnight. That's why all the talk of Hillary Clinton's "war chest" making her the front runner for 2008 is the most hackneyed punditry around. Money from wealthy donors remains the essential ingredient in most state and local campaigns, but "free media" shapes the outcome of presidential races, and the Internet is the freest media of all."-Jonathan Alter.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Hillary and Al

UPDATE: Thanks to Bev Marcus for sending this, "Frank Rich: Gore Should Run in 2008" from Editor&Publisher (based on Frank Rich's column today in the NY Times). You can enjoy it, knowing you don't have to give comfort to the grey lady, directly (it's pay to read there.)

David Sirota asks, "Is There An "Anti-Hillary" Movement In the Democratic Party?" Howie answers, "Yes, David, there is."

MyDD tells us how "Adam Nagourney Misses the Boat on Al Gore." Actually, the best part is how Al smacks Adam down, gently (Tennessee style).

Ian Welsh is not quite ready to forgive "The New Al Gore" for the sins of the old one.

After much serious thought, I am sure, the Rude One weighs in with, "Al Gore - Fuck Yeah." This post features a lesson in Shakespearean drama.

Wrapping it all together: In "Hillary Clinton's character gap," the author argues, "She could learn a few things from Al Gore."

"Get Off Your Knees"

"Democrats need to stop the pandering. The way you treat people in the South and Midwest with respect is to talk to them like adults. An essential part is not to pretend you don't believe what you believe. Because when, out of "respect," you try to hide who you are, guess what happens? People come away thinking you're a weak, pandering politician who doesn't know who he/she is.

And when push comes to shove, they have to have the strength to say, I'll give you a hundred reasons to vote for me, but if you're not going to, then that's just too bad - I'm not going to get down on my knees and beg. Because that does nothing but make everyone everywhere - in red states and blue - think I'm a wimp.

For the hundredth time: Does anyone think Karl Rove sits around wondering how the GOP can win the votes of cultural studies professors in Berkeley and Cambridge? So why is it that Democrats gnash their teeth about winning the voters who hate them the most? Maybe they should just stop worrying about whether they're being nice enough and start campaigning with some spine."-The Gadflyer.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Some Dems Bend Over

Glenn Greenwald: "As I posted a couple of days ago, I found the Democrats' embrace of Gen. Hayden's nomination as CIA Director to be indefensible and strategically inept. The reason isn't because there was a real chance to block the nomination; the Republican majority made confirmation all but inevitable. The reason for Democrats not to support the nomination was to avoid (accurate) lead paragraphs like this one, from a Reuters article today reporting on Hayden's confirmation by the full Senate by a vote of 78-15:

The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden as CIA director in a vote that gave a broad bipartisan endorsement to the architect of President George W. Bush's domestic spying program.

To put it mildly, it is difficult to listen to Democrats express solemn "concern" over the president's lawbreaking when the majority of those in the Senate just voted to install as CIA Director the principal symbol, advocate and "architect" of the President's illegal NSA programs."

Maria Cantwell voted against Hayden's confirmation on the floor vote in the Senate.

Howard Dean: 'That's just gossip'

I am going to interrupt my distaste for Chris Matthews (Tweety) to bring you this: Dean plays Hardball, with video.

Congressional Progressive Caucus holds a forum on Iran

If you've got one hour and 39 minutes, this video's for you.

McDermott to host KIRO talk show

As I have said for some time, this is the perfect job for Congressman Jim.

Al Gore in Seattle

From the interview by film critic William Arnold in the Seattle P-I:
When former Vice President Al Gore enters the suite of Seattle's Fairmont Olympic Hotel, sizes me up with a quick glance and thrusts out his hand, it's more than evident that he is a man on a mission and -- at this particular moment -- I am the most important person in the world to him.

This single-minded, unconflicted intensity of focus -- the hallmark of a true missionary -- is rare in the famous people I have interviewed in the past, who have mostly been from the greedy and ego-driven world of Hollywood. Clearly, the light of ambition in this man's eyes beams from an entirely different source.

As we sit down to talk, he breaks the ice with a subtle bit of flattery ("We've met before, right? No? You're sure? You look very familiar to me.") and he studies me with a friendly, inquisitive glare, as if gauging whether I might be supportive or hostile to his quest: a journalistic friend or foe.

At age 58, he radiates energy, good health and, above all, this idealistic sense of purpose. Unlike a lot of celebrities out of the camera's eye, he seems totally relaxed and easy in his own skin, even though he would rather be wearing jeans than the standard-issue business suit with which destiny has stuck him.

As we talk for the next 45 minutes, his manner is funny, self-deprecating and effortlessly charming but his message is deadly serious. He does not talk down to me in any way and it seems crucial to him that I get what he's saying, and fully grasp the gravity of the problem he's outlining."
This has to be the most appealing portrait of Al I have ever seen in print. On the other hand, Eric Boehlert asks "Why Is The Press (Still) Unfair To Al Gore?" He provides examples. He does not answer his own question. Video BONUS: "Unseen Al Gore Campaign Video," Part 1 and Part 2. Al landed in New York yesterday and here's one report
another one from The Rude One.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

"Apology"--FALSE Iran Dress Code Story

Steven D on Booman Tribune has this: "A few days late and many dollars short, but you take what you can get from warmongers: :
TORONTO — A Canadian newspaper apologized Wednesday for publishing an erroneous story last week claiming that an Iranian law would require Jews and Christians to wear badges identifying them as religious minorities. [...]
Douglas Kelly, editor-in-chief of the National Post, ran a column on page 2 Wednesday explaining the story was based on a column by Amir Taheri, an Iranian author and journalist, and two expatriates Iranians living in Canada. It is now clear the story is not true. Given the seriousness of the error, I felt it necessary to explain to our readers how this happened.
Should you care to read the whole explanation it's there on Booman. Unfortunately, like sewage flowing into a river, this lie will be hard to suck back up into the cesspool from where it came.

"An Inconvenient Truth"- Find a Theater

Right here.

"Open Season on Democrats"-- Right Wing Smear Machine

Peter Daou continues his series of posts observing how "rightwing extremists and various media cohorts ratchet up their anti-Dem offensive."

Coalition Sues Secy of State On Voter Reg Issue

"SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (May 24, 2006)--A coalition of citizens and groups concerned about voting rights today asked a federal court in Seattle to block implementation of a five-month-old state election law. The law (RCW 29A.08.107) bars citizens from voting this fall unless the Secretary of State first succeeds in matching ID data on a registration application – usually a driver’s license or Social Security number – with existing government databases.

Federal law requires each state to create a database of registered voters. The vast majority will do so without adopting a “no match, no vote” rule like the one challenged in Washington.

“We still have time to avoid a scar on Washington’s elections later this year,” said Wendy Weiser, counsel for the coalition and deputy director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. “But not unless the ‘no match, no vote’ rule is overturned. Otherwise, the new matching requirement will saddle the people of Washington and state election officials with an impossible bureaucratic burden between now and Election Day.”

“People often have a tendency to get seduced by technology, and I fear our lawmakers may have fallen into that trap,” said Reverend John Boonstra, Executive Minister of Washington Association of Churches and a plaintiff in the suit. “They’re asking computers to accurately identify eligible voters in a way that exceeds the limits of human error in entering data. Subjecting civil rights to technology can be a bad idea.”

The absence of a match between data on a registration form and data held in a government computer occurs for many reasons having nothing to do with voter eligibility:

*human error by government election workers, including misspelling of names, omitting or adding letters in a name, and transposing numbers in a Social Security or driver’s license ID.
*Asian-Americans, American Indians, and Alaska Natives with names that are especially prone to multiple English spellings, or flipping of first and last names;
married women who have taken hyphenated names or their husbands’ names but have not yet seen those changes recognized throughout the bureaucracy;
*inconsistent use of nicknames; inconsistent punctuation of names containing apostrophes or hyphens;
*computer errors caused by file corruption from computer viruses; and
absence of uniformity in maintaining, storing, and transferring computer data.

These sources of error will confront election officials with tens of thousands of bureaucracy-generated mistakes preventing eligible citizens from voting. Even under the best case scenario, disenfranchisement will be widespread. The only question is how many voters will be denied.

“The matching system adopted by the state contains serious flaws,” confirmed Professor Alon Halevy of the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Washington, who has spent years studying advanced techniques in matching data. “Given the number of applications we typically see, we’re likely to have many thousands of eligible voters wrongly rejected.”

State election officials are likely to face a vast pool of at least 88,000 registration forms requiring review because of voter-supplied data that fails to match database information.

This is a conservative estimate based upon two figures: (i) the 440,887 voter registration applications received by Washington State four years ago in the last mid-term election cycle; and (ii) a 20% rate of erroneous discrepancies (false negatives) between voter-supplied data and database information. The 20% discrepancy rate is substantially lower than the 28.5% discrepancy rate documented in efforts to match information with the U.S. Social Security database, and in line with voter registration processing in similar systems tested in Virginia (20%); Los Angeles County (18%); New York City (20%); and elsewhere.

Based on past experience in Washington, at least 15% of the registration applications, will likely hit the election system in the 30 days before October 7, the registration deadline this year. At this rate, election officials will be faced with over 13,000 failed registrations right before Election Day.

“I’m worried by the potential for a civic disaster within our community,” said Alaric Bien, Executive Director of the Chinese Information & Service Center. “Washington’s Asian Americans have become increasingly active in politics. Now, someone unfamiliar with Asian names may cause widespread disenfranchisement, focused on first time voters. It will cut voters down just when they’re learning to stand up and be counted.”

“No amount of good intentions on the part of state election officials will protect eligible voters from being barred from the polls,” said Clare Crawford, Regional Field Director for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (“ACORN”). “A ‘no match, no vote’ rule will mistakenly reject too many registration applications, too close to the election. The system just can’t shoulder that burden.”

Plaintiffs joining the complaint filed today include: Washington Association of Churches, Washington Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (“ACORN”), Service Employees International Union, 775 (“SEIU”), Washington Citizens Action, Organization of Chinese-Americans (Greater Seattle Chapter), Chinese Information and Service Center, Korean American Voters Alliance, and Filipino American Political Action Group of Washington.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, based in New York City, represents plaintiffs as pro bono co-counsel. Robert A. Atkins, leader of the Paul Weiss team, underscored the stakes in the lawsuit: “No right is more vital than a citizen’s right to vote. That’s why we’re dedicated to supporting this effort.”

Justin Levitt, a Brennan Center attorney, added: “The goal of making sure that every eligible citizen is able to get on and stay on the voter rolls requires great vigilance by election officials. The work is always a big challenge, never more so than in a time of transition defined by new technologies. Washington State can avoid the problem it faces. We want to be part of the solution.”

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law works to ensure adoption of practical election procedures that foster full and equal political participation. Two months ago, the Center published Making the List, an unprecedented survey of new voter registration programs adopted by the states in accordance with federal mandates under the Help America Vote Act. Making the List offers the first and still only review of state matching protocols such as the system challenged in Washington."-from the press release. Contacts: Scott Schell, Brennan Center: (917) 226-0237; Adam Glickman, SEIU 775: (206) 295-9613; Kevin Whelan, ACORN: (985) 960-1108

"Prosecutors say silence in CIA leak case may signal Rove indictment coming" (UPDATED)

UPDATE: More speculation here on reality-based educator on what's going on behind the curtain of silence.

"MSNBC's coverage of the CIA leak case continued Wednesday with new suggestions that presidential adviser Karl Rove may yet be indicted. The indictment of 'Bush's Brain' seemed imminent after reports from MSNBC and the Washington Post indicating that the Rove camp expected a decision earlier this month -- but it has now been 28 days since Rove testified for a fifth time before the grand jury investigating the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame.

MSNBC's David Shuster says former federal prosecutors believe the silence from Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald doesn't bode well for Rove.

"Fitzgerald's office refuses to comment," Shuster said. "But former federal prosecutors describe the following procedure when considering an indictment: First, a prosecution team would review the evidence. Then, they would examine case law on the relevant criminal statutes. And finally, the prosecutors would decide whether a reasonable jury would convict at trial."

Here's the video -- the transcript follows."-RAW STORY.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

"House Democrats plan hearings, write Bush on Iran strike"

"As concerns build over increased tensions between the United States and Iran, some Democrats in Congress are beginning to mount opposition to a preemptive nuclear strike, RAW STORY has learned.

Members of the House Democrats' Progressive Caucus are holding unofficial hearings and gathering signatures for a letter to President Bush, in hopes, they say, of attenuating the risk of nuclear confrontation.

The first unofficial meeting of Congress on the subject of a possible war with Iran is set to take place later this afternoon in the U.S. Capitol. At 3:00 pm, a group of Democratic Representatives plan to hold a hearing probing the question: "Would war with Iran help or hurt U.S. national security?"

Testifying before lawmakers will be Samantha Power, Former Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard University, and Dr. Jessica Tuchman Matthews, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Both speakers are also authors of books relating to U.S. foreign policy.

The 62-member caucus, co-chaired by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), plans to continue holding ad hoc hearings and public forums to examine the potential effects of a war with Iran. Also on the table will be the broader question of preemptive warfare as a national security strategy.

Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) are also reportedly taking part in the proceedings.

"War with Iran is not inevitable if the United States is ready to lead the way with honest, patient negotiations," Kucinich said yesterday on the House floor, "However, this Administration seems intent on war."

Toning down the debate
Meanwhile, caucus member Ed Markey (D-MA) is gathering signatures for a letter to President Bush, asking for a change in rhetoric on the subject of Iran.

Markey's letter raises concern about remarks made by Bush on April 18, indicating he might be willing to launch a nuclear strike on the nation. If done before Iran obtained nuclear weapons, this would be in violation of a pledge made in a 1995 U.S. statement, and U.S. commitments to the U.N Security Council.

The Congressman is asking President Bush to make it clear that the U.S. does not currently intend to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on Iran.

The letter
Markey's letter to Bush, for which he hopes to gather co-signers, follows."

"The Next Netroots Candidate"

Darcy Burner has splashed onto the front page of MyDD. A photo, a long quote from Goldy and this: "The Washington State blog community is one of the more mature blogging communities out there.They don't fall lightly for a candidate, so seeing this kind of note on the exceptional Horse's Ass is quite meaningful."

Daou: "the media establishment slanders Democrats"

Peter Daou runs it down AGAIN.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Zogby: Under 50% Satisfied on 9/11 Investigations

In response to overwhelming popular demand (Annie and Peter):

According to a new Zogby poll, less than half of Americans are convinced that that the events of September 11 have been thoroughly investigated, RAW STORY has learned.

In the telephone survey of 1200 individuals, just 47% agreed that "the 9/11 attacks were thoroughly investigated and that any speculation about US government involvement is nonsense." Almost as many, 45%, indicated they were more likely to agree "that so many unanswered questions about 9/11 remain that Congress or an International Tribunal should re-investigate the attacks, including whether any US government officials consciously allowed or helped facilitate their success."

The poll is the first survey that has attempted to gauge the level of Americans' doubts about 9/11 and was carried out for the "9/11: Revealing the Truth, Reclaiming Our Future" conference to be held in Chicago in June.

Not surprisingly, Republicans as a group were the most supportive of existing investigations, with 70% expressing their satisfaction -- about the same percentage that has expressed approval of Bush's performance in recent polls. Sixty-four percent of those earning over $75,000 were also skeptical of doubts about 9/11. The groups most likely to want the attacks re-investigated were Hispanics at 67% and African-Americans at 64%.

Other groups also skewed one way or another, but with the majority position generally not above 58%. Overall, the breakdown on the question closely followed the usual political divisions in the country: Republicans vs. Democrats and independents, whites vs. minorities, the wealthier and better-educated vs. the poorer and less educated, people over fifty vs. those under fifty, men vs. women.

This rough balance in opinions is itself a striking finding. It suggests that doubts about the officials accounts of 9/11, far from representing an extreme fringe position, have become a standard component of anti-establishment attitudes.

When asked specificially if they thought there had been a government coverup of evidence that contradicts the official story, the results were again not far from an even split, with 48% rejecting the idea of a deliberate coverup and 42% supporting it. Belief in a coverup was the majority position among Democrats, 18-29 year olds, and a few other groups.

In an attempt to focus more specifically on the attitudes of those who were best informed about the events of 9/11, the poll asked its responders if they were aware of WTC Building 7, whose collapse on September 11 for no obvious reason was not investigated by the 9/11 Commission. Only 52% answered that they were aware of the collapse of Building 7, but out of that subgroup, 73% believed it should have been investigated.

On a related topic, those polled were asked if they felt the Bush Administration had exploited the September 11th attacks to justify the invasion of Iraq or if Bush had been right to go into Iraq because Saddam Hussein supported terrorism. Here the country was divided exactly, 44% to 44%, with the answers following party lines more closely than those to the 9/11 questions. Among Republicans, 72% felt the invasion was appropriate, while among Democrats 69% felt it was not.

A final question asked about the media's performance regarding 9/11, including coverage of victims' families, unanswered questions, theories that challenged the official account, and how the attacks were investigated. A majority of 55% rated the media as only fair or poor, while only 33% rated it as good.

Surprisingly, the groups most likely to rate the media positively tended to be those that were also most skeptical about official accounts of 9/11, including African-Americans, progressives, and those with lower incomes. The media were rated poorly by roughly 60% of Republicans, conservatives, and the more affluent and better educated. Libertarians and extreme conservatives, at 74% and 67% respectively, were the most negative of all.


Former DNC Chief Fowler to Dean: "Keep it Up!"

"Recent complaints by some Washington pundits with limited agendas that the Democratic National Committee should withdraw support from state Democratic parties are short-sighted and misplaced.

One of the long-time shortcomings of the Democratic National Committee has been its control by Washington people whose visions dim south of the Potomac, west of Chevy Chase, and north of RFK stadium. This lack of understanding of anything much about American politics other than the fees of Washington campaign consultants is what has given our party defeats in 2000, 2002, and 2004. We Democrats shouldn't be led down that same bumpy road in 2006 and 2008.

I did not support Howard Dean in his campaign for Chair of the DNC. I supported my son, who also ran. But one thing Governor Dean has done that is absolutely right is his support -- financial, organizational, and technological -- for state parties. Many of our Party's difficulties during the last three elections have been due to weak state parties. Governor Dean, to his great credit, pledged during his campaign for Chair to change this sad state of affairs. He has kept his word and deserves our appreciation -- he certainly has mine."-read more here.

Swiftboating the Dems (Again)

Peter Daou quotes Digby:
"today I have seen three --- count 'em --- three different stories trashing the GOP's favorite Democratic punching bags in that patented superficial tabloid nastiness that we have mercilessly been spared since the Bush administration came to town and trashed the country ( to paraphrase a famous insider bon mot.) Now why is that? I'm sure it can't be because the GOP is back to its smearing ways just because they are on the ropes. They wouldn't do that would they? Why we're at war!"

"Democrats be advised: the press is a bunch of braindead robots who are uninterested in changing their puerile Democratic storyline even in the face of the most disasterous administration in American history.It's shocking. You can love Hillary or hate her, I don't care. But goddamit the intimate state of her marriage to Bill Clinton is nobody's business and it NEVER HAS BEEN. If the gossip rags want to play this game, there's nothing anyone can do. But it is just shameful that the New York Times would go back to their cheap, tabloid coverage of politics when the world is on fire. I'm honestly stunned that this is happening again."

Monday, May 22, 2006

Rally for Darcy--May 30th

"Please Join us for a rally for

Congressman Rahm Emanuel, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee


Architect of the Democratic Strategy to Take Back Our Country

At a rally for Washington's Democratic candidate in the Eighth Congressional District for the U.S. House of Representatives,


Tuesday - May 30th, 2006

5:45-7:00 PM

Community Center at Mercer View

8236 SE 24th ST

Mercer Island, WA

Hosted by Dwight Pelz - Washington State Democrats Chairman
-from the Darcy Burner campaign.

MSNBC: Rove's legal team expects decision 'at any time'

"MSNBC's David Shuster declared Monday evening that Karl Rove's legal team expects Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to announce a decision "at any time" in the ongoing CIA leak investigation and that new documents put Cheney's former chief of staff in the hot seat.

Meanwhile, Rove spokesman Mark Corallo told TalkLeft, a progressive legal blog, the timing is still unknown.

"We have no expectation on timing anymore," Corallo said.

Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, added that "there has never been any discussion of any plea under any circumstances whatsoever."

"As a defense lawyer," Luskin told TalkLeft, "you'll understand that if a prosecutor hasn't figured out whether or not he thinks a charge is appropriate, plea discussions are a bit premature."

RAW STORY acquired a transcript of the MSNBC report, which follows."

"DNC consults lawyers after Drudge Report story on Dean"

UPDATE: "Drudge 'retracts' story on Howard Dean after receiving letter from DNC lawyer"-RAW STORY. One smear down, many more to go.

"The Democratic National Committee consulted its attorneys Monday after a story posted by online heavyweight Matt Drudge claimed that DNC chairman Howard Dean intervened in New Orleans' recent mayoral race, RAW STORY can reveal.

In an exclusive Sunday evening, The Drudge Report claimed that Dean threw his support behind mayoral candidate and sitting Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu (D-LA) over sitting mayor Ray Nagin. DNC Communications director Karen Finney said the report was "absolutely false."

Finney told RAW STORY Monday she had just gotten off the phone with Joe Sandler of Sandler, Reiff & Young, the committee's attorney, and says the DNC is exploring legal options. A second DNC staffer confirmed the account."-RAW STORY.

If we are going to call a lawyer everytime the rovians lie, we should put them on a retainer. We've got a lot of legal business for them.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

"John Edwards Slams Bush & Cheney"

ABC's This Week had John Edwards on Sunday's show. Crooks and Liars has video and some of the transcript.

Stephanopoulos: You've also said that his boss, the President, is "the worst president of our lifetime".

Edwards: Yes.

Stephanopoulos: Worse that Richard Nixon?

Edwards: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Stephanopoulos: What has President Bush done that is worse than the crimes and the cover-ups of Watergate.

Edwards: Well he's done a variety of things. Things that are going to take us forever to recover from. I think we can recover from them but the damage done to the way America is viewed in the World. The lack of respect for American in the World. What the ongoing conflict in Iraq is doing to America's image. His response to this hurricane on the Gulf Coast which I think is part of a pattern of incompetence.

Stephanopoulos: But if he's worse than Richard Nixon, should President Bush be impeached?

Edwards: I think that the way to deal with this is we need a Democratic President in the next election. I think the damage this President has done -- and I didn't get through the whole list. For example, leading an effort -- an illegal effort, I think it's absolutely clear that it's illegal -- effort to spy on Americans, completely ignoring the law and the Constitution. The President knew and his advisor knew...

Stephanopoulos: He says that he has the authority under the Constitution. Article Two of the Constitution.

Edwards: He is wrong. He is wrong. It is the reason we have a separation of powers in this country. Congress had in enacted a [FISA] law that told the President exactly what he was supposed to do and he just ignored it. He intentionally ignored it. If there was any question about this, the least they should have done is to go to Congress and try to get the law changed. Should we be monitoring al-Qaeda? Absolutely. It is necessary to keep this country safe but we can do it under the law and the President is not above the law...
Stephanopoulos: So, you're for censure, not impeachment?

Edwards: If I were in the Senate, I would vote for censure.

"The Do Nothing Democrats" (UPDATED)

UPDATE: I heard Thomas Oliphant telling Al Franken on his Air America show Monday that the reason the Dems went easy on Hayden was because "the FIX was on." A deal had been cut in typical Beltway fashion) the previous day: if the Administration would agree to brief more Members of Congress on the details of the NSA program, they would let Hayden slide in the hearing. WHAT A LOUSY DEAL.

"He(General Hayden) acknowledges that the NSA had an internal debate as to whether to ignore Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act - they decide they would. They also made an active decision that they would not consult Congress or the courts in making this decision. They would unilaterally break this law, and then inform a handful of compliant Congressmen about it later.

When asked why he chose this route, General Hayden said three NSA lawyers he trusted gave him this advice. When asked if these lawyers wrote these legal opinions down (finally a good question) - General Hayden answered no. Wait, take a minute to absorb that. The top lawyers at the NSA gave the most important legal advice of their careers to the Director of the NSA - and they didn't write it down.

This was not a small matter. Even according to General Hayden's testimony, this was a very serious issue to which they gave considerable thought. Remember, they were making the decision to bypass a very clear federal law. And the lawyers who gave that advice didn't write it down?

This is when incredulous senators should have demanded to see the so-called legal advice that Hayden received or told him in no uncertain terms that he would not be confirmed. Instead, the sound of silence.

This guy is going to pass through Congress like a hot knife through butter. He is going to get confirmed in a cakewalk. I want to be fair -- Senators Wyden, Feingold and Levin asked him some actual tough and interesting questions. The rest of them were creampuffs.

Every sports fan knows what prevent defense does - it prevents victories. Action matters. It matters that we just added another $70 billion on top of our already grotesquely large deficit. It matters that the head of our CIA will be both incompetent and a wanton law-breaker. We cannot run out the clock to 2006, let alone 2008. These next two and half years matter.

Democrats have to fight back and win. If they don't, there is absolutely no point to their big leads in the polls. The American people aren't behind you because they want you to do nothing. They're behind you because they want you to bring change.

I know, I know, Chuck Schumer and the like yell, "But we can't do anything until we regain Congress." First of all, that's not true; the minority can definitely block a nominee or even filibuster terrible bills - if they had the guts for it. Did you see how quickly the Republicans filibustered an early version of the immigration bill they didn't like? They did it at the drop of a hat, without any hand-wringing about "procedural maneuvers."

Second, and most important of all, inaction is not necessarily smart politics. That's such a funny statement. We live in a world where we have to convince people that inaction and compliance with a hated political party is not the correct political route.

Have Schumer and Clinton considered just once that perhaps what voters like most of all is strength. The courage of your convictions. In 2004, 17% of voters said they voted based on who they thought would be a "strong leader," and 87% of those voted for Bush. You don't think that makes a difference?

Why did Paul Wellstone keep winning? Why does Russ Feingold keep winning? Why does Bernie Sanders have a 45 point lead in his Senate race? According to the Clinton-Schumer logic, shouldn't they be toast for being among the most liberal members of Congress and speaking their minds loudly?

Bernie Sanders is a socialist. And he has a 45 point lead! Vermont has a Republican governor. The people of Vermont might not necessarily agree with everything Sanders says - but they respect him.

This is apparently a concept lost on the Do Nothing leadership of the Democrats. The next six months is not time to sit on your lead. The next six months is the time for action. To show the American people what you have to offer. It is not a time for jogging in place, it is a time for moving forward. It is a time to show that you have the strength to lead the country.

An excellent start would be blocking the nomination of General Michael Hayden. Unfortunately, I can't even get myself to believe they will do that. At a time when we have the overwhelming majority of the American people so clearly behind us, how can our leaders provide us with such little hope?"-Cenk Uygur from The Young Turks on The Huffington Post.

"Information Sharing on the Rove Indictment Story"

Truthout tells us "what we know" and "what we believe." Here's what they know:
We know that we have now three independent sources confirming that attorneys for Karl Rove were handed an indictment either late in the night of May 12 or early in the morning of May 13. We know that each source was in a position to know what they were talking about. We know that the office of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald will not confirm, will not deny, will not comment on its investigation or on our report. We know that both Rove's attorney Robert Luskin and Rove's spokesman Mark Corallo have categorically denied all key facts we have set forth. We know we have information that directly contradicts Luskin and Corallo's denials. We know that there were two network news crews outside of the building in Washington, DC that houses the offices of Patton Boggs, the law firm that represents Karl Rove. We know that the 4th floor of that building (where the Patton Boggs offices are located) was locked down all day Friday and into Saturday night. We know that we have not received a request for a retraction from anyone. And we know that White House spokesman Tony Snow now refuses to discuss Karl Rove - at all.

Further, we know - and we want our readers to know - that we are dependent on confidential sources. We know that a report based solely on information obtained from confidential sources bears some inherent risks. We know that this is - by far - the biggest story we have ever covered, and that we are learning some things as we go along. Finally, we know that we have the support of those who have always supported us, and that must now earn the support of those who have joined us as of late.
If you are also interested in the "what we believe" stuff, check out the rest of the post, released Sunday at noon EST. In the comments section, there are doubters and supporters.

"Mainstream"---Dems Have a Shot at the House

"I was surprised to hear that in Washington, D.C. they view the race between first-term Republican Congressman Dave Reichert and Democratic challenger Darcy Burner as a toss-up. I would have thought incumbency and the fact that the Dems had not been able to attract a more experienced, better-known candidate were signs Reichert was in pretty good shape. They don't see it that way in D.C."-from the new blog at the Seattle P-I.

"Growing Number of GOP Seats In Doubt" from deep inside the beltway and this from the dreaded Nagourney: "In House Races, More G.O.P. Seats Look Vulnerable."

Another sign it's NOW time for you to do something for Darcy Burner.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

"Why is the Media Downplaying Our Voting Scandal?"

I'm not just trying to bring you down at the beginning of the weekend, but
Explain this to me. Why do so few of our TV “journalists” and political reporters seem interested in all the questions that have been raised about the integrity of our voting system?

Voting is at the heart of our democracy. Billions of dollars are spent on political campaigns and tens of millions on covering them. All the networks have election units complete with pollsters, analysts and experts up the kazoo. All of them sound authoritative and spice their commentary with personal war stories and a parade of insider anecdotes.

Just tune in any election night and you have to marvel at all the space age technology, fancy graphics and computer assisted projections. The anchors seem to know as much about the history of voting percentages in each Congressional district as fanatical baseball fans recall earned run averages and the speed of each pitch.

If there are ten military men and women backing up each soldier in the field, there are tens of political aides, advisors, interns and hangers on “supporting” our elected politicians, or is it poli-trikians?. Handicapping elections is one of their specialties and they know most of the races and players by heart.

Compared to corporate machinations, or even military-industrial decisions, politics is over-covered, And yet the actual process of voting—the machines, the counting, the verification, and the questions raised by well informed journalists and analysts about voting fraud seem to bore the punditocracy."
-Danny Schecter. The rest of his piece on Common Dreams is here.

Friday, May 19, 2006

"The Rove Indictment Story as of Right Now"

"On Saturday afternoon, May 13, 2006, TruthOut ran a story titled, "Karl Rove Indicted on Charges of Perjury, Lying to Investigators." The story stated in part that top Bush aide Karl Rove had earlier that day been indicted on the charges set forth in the story's title.

The time has now come, however, to issue a partial apology to our readership for this story. While we paid very careful attention to the sourcing on this story, we erred in getting too far out in front of the news-cycle. In moving as quickly as we did, we caused more confusion than clarity. And that was a disservice to our readership and we regret it.

As such, we will be taking the wait-and-see approach for the time being. We will keep you posted."

There are lots of comments pro and con there, too.

"All's Quiet...Too Quiet... "

"Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald knows what's happening, of course. He knows whether he's announcing Rove's indictment today, whether he's announcing it later in the month, whether Rove has accepted a deal to tell tales on Cheney in order to lessen his jail time, or whether Rove has avoided indictment entirely.

I doubt we will get any announcement today. It's nearing 10:30 AM here in New York and I think Fitzgerald would have already made the annoucement if he were going to hold a press conference today. The wait will go on even longer."-reality-based educator. Salon's Tim Grieve agrees.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

"Another Internet Report of Karl Rove Indictment"

Talk Left:
Wayne Madsen, whom I have not read previously, is reporting there will be an announcement of Karl Rove's indictment Friday. His story somewhat tracks Jason's Leopold's article, except he says the meeting at Luskin's office Friday was not for 15 hours, Rove wasn't given 24 hours to get his affairs in order and he adds that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales met with the grand jury on May 12 and was advised by them that Rove would be indicted.
WMR can report tonight on more details concerning the confusing reports regarding Karl Rove and Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald from last Friday. WMR can confirm that the appearance of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales before the Grand Jury at the US Federal Courthouse in Washington was a formality in which the jury informed the Attorney General of their decision to indict Karl Rove. That proceeding lasted for less than 30 minutes and took place shortly after noon. Gonzales's personal security detachment was present in the courthouse during the Grand Jury briefing. From the courthouse, Gonzales's motorcade proceeded directly down Constitution Avenue to the Department of Justice.

According to sources within the Patton and Boggs law firm, Karl Rove was present at the law firm's building on M Street. WMR was told by a credible source that a Patton and Boggs attorney confirmed that Fitzgerald paid a visit to the law firm to inform Rove attorney Robert Luskin and Rove that an indictment would be returned by the Grand Jury against Rove.
Madsen says that some of Jason's information may have emanated from within the Rove camp as a means of deflection. He also writes:

In the Scooter Libby case last October, after the Grand Jury decided to indict Libby on Friday, October 21 and the Attorney General personally heard the decision the same day at a meeting with the jury, the actual indictment was issued the following Friday, October 28. Several sources have told WMR that an announcement concerning the indictment of Rove will be made on Friday, May 19 generally following the same scenario from October 28, 2005 -- the posting of the indictment on the Special Prosecutor's web site followed by a press conference at Main Justice.
Madsen reported the Gonzales-grand jury meeting regarding Libby on his website in October, 2005 but then he said the date was October 19, not October 21.

Is this inside information, or putting two and two together that an Indictment will be announced Friday? Has he just tweaked Jason's article to remove the points receiving the most skepticism: (1) the meeting was 15 hours, (2) Rove was given 24 hours to get his affairs in order and (3) the grand jury had already returned the Indictment and Fitzgerald handed it to Luskin and Rove?

Madsen's observations about Gonzales being at the grand jury last Friday stem from his own scouting:
May 13, 2006 -- Yesterday afternoon, WMR was staked out at the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington awaiting any developments in the CIA leak case. A little after noon, a large motorcade consisting of black and one green SUV, several police cars and police motorcycles sped into the street behind the courthouse. Two SUVs split from the motorcade and quickly dashed into the underground parking garage. Several personal security officers were spotted on guard in the annex of the courthouse where the CIA leak case grand jury was meeting. Although there is no final confirmation that the motorcade was that of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, there is every indication that he spent approximately a little under 30 minutes in the courthouse.

Last October, Gonzales made a similar trip in an identical motorcade to the courthouse on a Friday to hear the decision of the grand jury investigating Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. The Attorney General's appearance at the grand jury is a formality and there is an opportunity for him to pose questions to the jury. After last October's visit to the grand jury, Gonzales informed the White House that Libby was to be indicted. One week later, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald delivered a five count indictment against Libby.
Has any other media source reported that Gonzales met with the Libby grand jury on October 21 or with the Rove grand jury on May 12?

Madsen also fingers a lawyer at Patton Boggs as a source -- although not his direct source:

"WMR was told by a credible source that a Patton and Boggs attorney confirmed that Fitzgerald paid a visit to the law firm to inform Rove attorney Robert Luskin and Rove that an indictment would be returned by the Grand Jury against Rove."

So it's hearsay....A lawyer told a source of Madsen's who told Madsen. Wouldn't this lawyer be discovered, fired and face disciplinary action for leaking privileged information about a client of the firm?

If this lawyer-rat does exist, it sounds like he or she may also be one of Jason's sources, in which case, he or she gave different informaton to Jason than to Madsen's source. Considering that Madsen is a former NSA officer, and former CIA Analyst Larry Johnson and Joseph Wilson reportedly have received similar information, it's beginning to sound like a close-knit group of sources.

There's another similarity between Jason and Madsen's reporting -- some inapt terminology. Madsen reports Luskin was advised Friday that Rove had become a "subject." Rove has always been a "subject." The issue was whether he was a "target." Either Madsen got the terms mixed up or his source relaying the information from the Patton Boggs lawyer is not a lawyer and got them mixed up-- just as some of the legal details in Jason's report sounded off.

Here is Madsen's bio.

I do think Rove will be indicted. Friday has seemed like the most logical day for a while. If Madsen is correct that the Libby grand jury voted on October 21 although the Indictment wasn't filed until October 28, and we learn on May 19 that Rove is indicted, then Jason may also have been correct in saying the grand jury had already indicted Rove by the afternoon of May 12 when Fitz met with Team Rove. Jason's article did say the Indictment would be revealed during sometime this week but the date was unsure.

Is this just a case of the same people spinning both Madsen and Jason? Or was Jason correct except for minor details and Madsen is also correct, just refining some of those details?

I doubt we will ever learn whether Fitz really met with Luskin last Friday. I'm not sure it matters, other than if they did meet, then Team Rove lied in denying it and the blogosphere owes Jason an apology for relentlessly bashing him this week.

But, as I said at the beginning, I don't know Wayne Madsen so I don't know whether his report is credible, or just a rehash of Jason's with the most skeptical portions removed.

One last note: I've been talking a lot about a sealed indictment, but if Fitzgerald just sat on the Indictment after the grand jury returned it without filing it, there's no reason for him to ask for it to be sealed now. He'd just file it Friday a few minutes before the press conference. I still think there are issues with Rule 6(e) if he shared the signed Indictment with Luskin and Rove ahead of time, as it would be a "matter occurring before the grand jury." Of course, as I also pointed out once before, he could have shared a list of the charges he intended to submit to the grand jury, or a proposed plea agreement that contained the charges on which he intended to indict Rove.

I guess we'll all have to just wait and see. If tomorrow is really the date, the mainstream media should be all over it by this afternoon.
Jeralyn Merritt also has an extensive list of background articles on this issue at the bottom of this post.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

"Still Waiting...."

On Monday, David Corn of The Nation magazine asked Karl Rove (text and video) why he fed White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan misinformation about his involvement in leaking Valerie Plame’s identity.

Earlier today, Corn wondered why "there's not been more coverage of the Rove's final (we think) battles with special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald." Corn adds this comment, which seems to put him on the side of the skeptics: "I do know this: observers of the leak case are on high-alert for something to happen soon. But--as I've said previously--there is no telling." He then quotes at length from a column in the Houston Chronicle that observes Rove in action this week.

"Update on the Rove Indictment Story"

"For the past few days, we have endured non-stop attacks on our credibility, and we have fought hard to defend our reputation. In addition, we have worked around the clock to provide additional information to our readership. People want to know more about this, and our job is to keep them informed. We take that responsibility seriously.

Here's what we now know: I spoke personally yesterday with both Rove's spokesman Mark Corallo and Rove's attorney Robert Luskin. Both men categorically denied all key points of our recent reporting on this issue. Both said, "Rove is not a target," "Rove did not inform the White House late last week that he would be indicted," and "Rove has not been indicted." Further, both Corallo and Luskin denied Leopold's account of events at the offices of Patton Boggs, the law firm that represents Karl Rove. They specifically stated again that no such meeting ever occurred, that Fitzgerald was not there, that Rove was not there, and that a major meeting did not take place. Both men were unequivocal on that point.

We can now report, however, that we have additional, independent sources that refute those denials by Corallo and Luskin. While we had only our own sources to work with in the beginning, additional sources have now come forward and offered corroboration to us.

We have been contacted by at least three reporters from mainstream media - network level organizations - who shared with us off-the-record confirmation and moral support. When we asked why they were not going public with this information, in each case they expressed frustration with superiors who would not allow it.

We also learned the following: The events at the office building that houses the law firm of Patton Boggs were not in fact a very well-guarded secret. Despite denials by Corallo and Luskin, there was intense activity at the office building. In fact, the building was staked out by at least two major network news crews. Further, although Corallo and Luskin are not prepared to talk about what happened in the offices of Patton Boggs, others emerging from the building were, both on background and off-the-record. There were a lot of talkers, and they confirmed our accounts. We do have more information, but want additional confirmation before going public with it."-from
There's more at the link.

"An Inconvenient Truth" - Trailer

"The most terrifying movie of the summer. You owe it to the planet to see the truth. Pledge to see An Inconvenient Truth opening weekend."-from Paramount Classics. Watch the trailer here.

Why do they say "opening weekend." you ask? Because like early money in politics, the first week's numbers will determine how much "buzz" the film gets and will impact how wide the distribution will be.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Gore: “recovering politician,” worried about "a relapse"

Former Vice President Al Gore gave yet another vague hint yesterday in Atlanta that he might be open to a run for the presidency in 2008...

Gore told a reporter for the Atlanta Progressive News, a nascent politics site, that he was a "recovering politican," but added, "You always have to worry about a relapse."
The exchange took place following an Atlanta screening of “An Inconvenient Truth,” the Tennessee Democrat's new global warming film.

Kalee Kreider, Gore's communications director, did not immediately return a RAW STORY call seeking comment.

According to the Progressive News' account, the site's news editor asked the erstwhile Vice President, “Will you please, please run for President?”

After the crowd cheered Gore in encouragement, the Progressive News' Matthew Cardinale reports, the former Vice President told the audience, “I’m a recovering politician, on Step Nine. Thank you for your sentiment.”

"Later, after the larger crowd left the theater, APN Staff Writer Susan Keith brought the issue up again in a more private, yet informal gathering in the theater after the show," Cardinale adds. "'It’s not a sentiment!' she said, while others in attendance offered their campaign support and said, stop listening to those consultants."

According to the site's account, Gore replied: "Like I said, I'm a recovering politician. But you always have to worry about a relapse."

"Governor Dean is Going to YearlyKos!"

I am delighted to announce that, it is official, - Governor Dean will be speaking at YearlyKos!

From Governor Dean:
"When I was running for Chairman last year, I said that we would take our country back, state-by-state, precinct-by-precinct, block-by-block. I also said that we would build up our party's strength, from the grassroots up, through the Internet and person-to-person outreach. The netroots have been an important part of this process and I am grateful for your continuing support. YearlyKos shows Washington why the Internet is such a vital part of rebuilding our party and I'm looking forward to attending."
The details:

When: Saturday, June 10th - Morning Session

Where: YearlyKos in Las Vegas

What: Q & A with YearlyKos attendees
from Daily Kos.

BREAKING: Jason Leopold on Ed Schultz Show Soon (UPDATED)

Update [2006-5-17 7:25:6 by howieinseattle]:: "Olbermann reported that special prosecutor Fitzgerald was in town yesterday for business in the Scooter Libby case and we know that the grand jury handling the CIA leak case usually meets on Wednesdays and Fridays. It's not too big a stretch to wonder, as Keith did, if Fitzgerald will be arriving at the courthouse today for some work with the CIA leak grand jury. If so, the indictment could be handed up and announced later today (or later in the week too, I suppose.)

Of course, the wait for Fitzmas could continue and continue and continue..."-from reality-based educator.

Update [2006-5-16 21:5:51 by howieinseattle]: The Jason Leopold interview is now available on the show's home page.

Ed Schultz just announced that (1) He believes Leopold is a good journalist and
(2) Leopold will be a guest on his show today.

The show airs until 3PM (Pacific Time) live online and on 1090AM in Seattle. Or, find a station near you.

ROVE: Is He or Isn't He...(UPDATED)

getting indicted this week? Peter Daou and Matt Stoller think not.
Jason Leopold reveals more details and promises to disclose his sources, if it doesn't happen.
UPDATE: More back and forth here and here.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Russ Feingold will be in Seattle this weekend to campaign for Maria Cantwell

Goldy has the details:
Sen. Feingold will join local elected officials at a rally on Saturday, May 20th, 12:30 PM, at Whittier Elementary School, 1320 NW 75th Street. Afterwards, volunteers will canvass the neighborhood. (Please RSVP if you’re planning to attend.)

With his vocal, anti-war stance and his bold proposal to censure the President for illegal wiretapping, Sen. Feingold has become a darling of progressive Democrats nationwide. So I’m hoping some local progressives will take notice that Sen. Feingold is taking time from his busy schedule to come out to WA state to stump for Sen. Maria Cantwell. (He’ll also be joining her at a fundraiser on Sunday.)

Sen. Feingold gets the bigger picture, and if you want to help him achieve his agenda, then you need to help him win control of the US Senate. And the best way local Democrats can contribute is to help reelect Sen. Cantwell.

If you think I’ve got this wrong, then Saturday is your chance to ask Sen. Feingold yourself.

Howard Dean on The Daily Show TONIGHT

The Daily Show airs at 8 and 11pm in Seattle on the Comedy Channel.

"50-state strategy and Begala: Utah's response"

Mr. Begala:

"What he has spent it on, apparently, is just hiring a bunch of staff people to wander around Utah and Mississippi and pick their nose." -- Dem strategist Paul Begala on DNC Chair Howard Dean's spending, CNN, 5/11

This statement hitting on the eve of our convention, where we are about to nominate Congressman Jim Matheson for re-election, is not helpful. And, the "pick their nose" comment is hurtful to Democrats who are truly on the frontline. An apology to my hardworking staff is in order.

By leaving the GOP unopposed in places like Utah, it frees them up to concentrate on making inroads in marginal districts. Congressmen in tough places deserve support, too. Jim Matheson, Stephanie Herseth (keynote speaker at tonight's pre-convention dinner) and even a potential pick-up like Gary Trauner in Wyoming deserve the support they are getting from the DNC.

"Win for today" as a long-term strategy has left many areas of the country without a healthy dialogue. The April 29 canvass where we put the DNC message on 15,000 registered Democrats doorsteps was a first for Utahns. They have never heard from the DNC. When Clinton was in the White House, he never made a public address to the people of Utah. Democrats have become outsiders who do things to us, not insiders who do things for us. The 50 state strategy is one way to turn it around.

Even in Utah, there are thoughtful Democrats elected to office like Congressman Matheson, Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon. The DNC's investment here will make sure that they retain their seats. I expect it will help Mayor Corroon get a majority of Democrats to support his policies on the Salt Lake County Council. That will show Utahns for the first time in a decade that we have the ability to govern.

I wish I had more time today to be thoughtful. But this fight is disheartening, and not productive. Chairman Dean is not going to change what he has started. Too many DNC members appreciate it. (And, they are Dean's electorate.) I encourage you and Congressman Rahm Emmanuel to move on, and find a way to make it work for the DCCC.

Wayne Holland, Jr.
Utah Democratic Party
Kos adds:
There were Democratic Parties around the country that didn't even have a full-time staffer to answer press calls. We are now building the infrastructure to support candidates at all levels of government. The Republicans have had no controversy in building their machine from the ground up, in all 50 states. Why are our DC Democrats so afraid of doing so?


Michael Hood (blatherWatch) says
Censoring liberals for jesus- buy 'em up & shut 'em up--Big Eddie is pissed off. Ed Shultz, (KPTK m-f,12-3p) the impassioned red-sounding blue talker is the No. 1 rated liberal talker in the country. He's number one liberal talker in Seattle. In his time slot, he edges out not only the "Cheap Lunch Limbaugh," Sean Hannity (KVI, m-f, 12-3) but also passes Dori Monson, (KIRO) and Michael Medved (KTTH) by a mile or two.

"It's clear, he says, "that the Christian hard right is buying up the signals of progressive stations to get liberals off the air." He says in the next few years, Christian broadcasters will increase their AM station ownership to the tune of $500 million.

Stations with these small numbers can't effect much influence, you'd think. But shutting down liberal talkers by buying them out is as effective a method of censorship as we've ever seen.

Everything is for sale- especially in media. Especially radio stations. So as long as they have the dough,(and they do) theocratic capitalists can buy up big chunks of any market. And that's what they're doing, says Shultz.

"This is conservative push-back at the success of me and other liberal talkers- it's about controlling the airwaves" he says.

"Radio ownership is a key free speech issue, and we deserve to hear about this in the Congress."

"Howard Dean on values and reaching out"

Renee in Ohio comes to Dean's defense
As Howie in Seattle has noted here, Howard Dean has admitted that he made a mistake when he said in an interview on CBN that the 2004 Democratic platform said that marriage is between a man and a woman. (Thanks to floridagal for providing a link to the video.) But, as Corinne commented, I'd like to see someone, anyone, travel as much as he does, give as many interviews and speeches as he does, and retain an extraordinary amount of information as he does and not screw up at some point. Enough.

Indeed. He misspoke. I shudder to think how many times I do that in a given day. And in this case, I can imagine that it seemed to Howard Dean that the Democrats wanted to be very clear about their non-support for same-sex marriage in the 2004 election, given this:

On Page 113 of his book "You Have the Power, Dean says:

"It remains to be seen, too, just how much my support for the civil unions bill will hurt my chances to reshape Democratic politics. Some pretty important Democrats have shown they think it might. When former president Clinton was trying to drum up support (for another candidate), just prior to (that candidate's) entry into the presidential race a year ago, he called a friend in a large city and said "I need you to be for so and so." The friend demurred. (sentence left out)

The friend told Clinton he was Dean supporter. "Howard Dean", Clinton said "forfeited his right to run for president when he signed the civil unions bill. He can't win."

It was a rare mistake for the president. The supporter was gay and called us to tip us off.
Also, as I noted elsewhere, here in Ohio, I've seen the anti-gay crap work. Getting people riled up about the notion that "those Democrats don't share our values--they want to bring gay marriage to our state" is such a tried and true tactic, it was even used to get people to vote against ballot/election reform amendments.

My husband, Demetrius, got robocalled before the election in which the Reform Ohio Now Amendments were on the ballot. He's gotten calls and mailings from the Republican party ever since he voted for McCain in the primary of 2000. He was encouraged by whoever to vote against the amendments because they are backed by those homo-loving abortionists. From out of state. Something like that. Not those exact words, but that's the effect they were going for. Booga-booga!

There's more of her diary on Kos here.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day's CRAP-ing on Hillary

Full Disclosure Preamble: I have not been eager to pile on Hillary and while she's not my first choice, I have said that, as of now, I would vote for her if she becomes the Democratic nominee for President.

But cynic that I am, it's a bit eerie that several stories appear on Mother's Day, here, here and here --to create a nice story-line on her. And as I have quoted Peter Daou previously
"A single storyline is more effective than a thousand stories."
If this isn't a *CRAP* attack, it might as well be.

*"Coordinated Rovian Attack Plan" (CRAP)*

Saturday, May 13, 2006

If Booman And Jason Leopold are Right (UPDATED)

UPDATE: William Pitt says

"I just got off the phone with Jason Leopold who clarified something for me that is pretty damned important. In his article, he said:

"During the course of that meeting, Fitzgerald served attorneys for former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove with an indictment charging the embattled White House official with perjury and lying to investigators related to his role in the CIA leak case, and instructed one of the attorneys to tell Rove that he has 24 hours to get his affairs in order, high level sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said Saturday morning."

In point of fact, those 24 hours are "business hours," i.e. starting on Monday.

"Jeez, Jason," I said, "we might want to put that into the essay. Half the planet thought 24 hours was 24 hours. They thought the deal would go down today."

So. Monday at the very earliest, but more like Tuesday or Wednesday.

...then we have another explanation for why Bush wants Monday prime time to talk about "immigration" and the need to deploy the National Guard on our southern border.

Booman: "Rove Has 24 Hours to Prepare for Frog-March"

"As I expected, Jason Leopold has possibly broken the biggest scoop of the Bush administration. It looks like Rove has been given 24 hours to get his affairs in order before he must turn himself in.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald spent more than half a day Friday at the offices of Patton Boggs, the law firm representing Karl Rove.

During the course of that meeting, Fitzgerald served attorneys for former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove with an indictment charging the embattled White House official with perjury and lying to investigators related to his role in the CIA leak case, and instructed one of the attorneys to tell Rove that he has 24 hours to get his affairs in order, high level sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said Saturday morning.

In other news, Fitzgerald has released an amazing exhibit (.pdf). It is a copy of Joe Wilson's editotial that was marked up by Dick Cheney. Cheney actually wrote on the newspaper:

Have they done this sort of thing before?

Send an Amb to answer a question?

Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us?

Or did his wife send him on a junket?

Talk about a smoking gun!!!!!!!!!!!

For even more exciting reading, you can read Fitz's full disclosure GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO COURT’S INQUIRY REGARDING NEWS

And the walls come tumbling down..."-Booman Tribune.

Peter Daou: More Media CRAP

I did a post last month called "More Media Crap," before I was given the "Coordinated Rovian Attack Plan" (CRAP) acronym (thanks again, Roger Fulton). So now I must capitalize the word in this context.

Here's a dangerous misconception for Dems: that the Bush-fawning media will stop peddling false pro-right and anti-left narratives. The latest installment is from the AP - dubbed by some the 'Associated Presstitutes' - with an inexplicable piece pitting Cindy Sheehan against a man who lost his son in Iraq: "A soft-spoken suburban real-estate broker, John Prazynski didn't consider himself political and never expected to become a public figure, much less a pro-war activist. But in the year since his son Taylor, a Marine, died in Iraq, Prazynski has devoted much of his time to supporting the troops through fundraisers, two trips to Camp Lejeune, N.C., and interviews backing the war effort." [emphasis added]

The article continues along the 'war opponents bad', 'Bush supporters good' tack, with this gem of a Bush-propping paragraph: "On opening day of the baseball season in Cincinnati, he joined President Bush and two wounded soldiers on the field in pregame ceremonies. Prazynski said he wanted to thank Bush for his support "and give him two thumbs up with his positive stance on security, military and veterans' issues." The former Air Force tech school instructor shares the pain - but not the viewpoint - of Cindy Sheehan, who became a high-profile war protester after her son Casey was killed in Iraq in April 2004.

So there you have it: Prazynski "supports the troops" by "backing the war effort" and giving Bush "two thumbs up." Cindy Sheehan, on the other hand, is described in the piece as having an "agenda. Back in January, I wrote a piece distinguishing between stories and storylines: "You’ve heard the narratives: Bush is likable, Bush is a regular guy, Bush is firm, Bush is a religious man, Bush relishes a fight, Democrats are muddled, Democrats have no message, national security is Bush’s strength, terror attacks and terror threats help Bush (even though he presided over the worst attack ever on American soil), Democrats are weak on security, Democrats need to learn how to talk about values, Republicans favor a “strict interpretation” of the Constitution, and on and on.

A single storyline is more effective than a thousand stories. And a single storyline delivered by a “neutral” reporter is a hundred times more dangerous than a storyline delivered by an avowed partisan. Rightwingers can attack the media for criticizing Bush, can slam the New York Times for being liberal, but when the Times and the Post and CNN and MSNBC echo the ‘Bush stands firm’ mantra, it adds one more brick to a powerful pro-Bush edifice.

"These narratives are woven so deeply into the fabric of news coverage that they have become second nature and have permeated the public psyche and are regurgitated in polls. (The polls are then used to strengthen the narratives.) They are delivered as affirmative statements, interrogatives, hypotheticals; they are discussed as fact and accepted as conventional wisdom; they are twisted, turned, shaped, reshaped, and fed to the American public in millions of little soundbites, captions, articles, editorials, news stories, and opinion pieces. They are inserted into the national dialogue as contagious memes that imprint the idea of Bush=strong/Dems=weak. And they are false.

Once again, the AP does the right's bidding by delivering a pro-Bush storyline in a seemingly innocuous piece about a grieving father.

As we approach the '06 and '08 elections, you can expect much more of the same from the press. Those who are lulled by Bush's Nixonian poll numbers are in for a rude awakening."-Peter Daou.