Liberal Oasis



American Prospect

Black Commentator

Boston Review

Consortium News



In These Times


Mother Jones


The Nation

The New Republic

The Progressive

Progressive Populist


Tom Paine


Washington Monthly

Women's eNews





Body and Soul

Joe Conason

Daily Kos



Nathan Newman

The Sideshow

Talk Left

Talking Points Memo





The Email Activist


True Majority


Al Gore Democrats

Blog For America

Dem Party Meetup

Democratic Underground

Institute for Global Communications

Music Row Democrats

Smirking Chimp


First Read

The Hill

The Note

Open Secrets

Political Wire




From The Roots

The Stakeholder


Write your U.S. Rep

Write your Senator

Or call Congress




Join the LO $100 Revolution: Give to Kerry

Kerry Meetup


Concerts For Kerry

Conservatives For Kerry

Designs on the White House

Grassroots For Kerry

Greens For Kerry

Kerry Connector

Kerry Freedom Fighters

Kerry Pioneers

Tough Enough

Veterans United For Kerry

John F. Kerry in '04?



Kerry Smear Page

Slate: Kerry's Defense Defense

Snopes: Kerry's Military Service


Applied Research Center

Center for American Progress

Center for Policy Alternatives

Commonweal Institute

Economic Policy Institute

Institute for Policy Studies

Institute for Women's Policy Research

Moving Ideas Network

NJ Policy Perspective

OMB Watch


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Concord Coalition

National Priorities Project


Center for Applied Rural Innovation

Center for Rural Affairs

Center for Rural Development

Center for Rural Strategies

Center for Rural Studies


Daily Howler


Lying Media Bastards

Media Matters for America

Media Study

Media Whores Online

Media Transparency

News Hounds

PR Watch

Take Back The Media

TV News Lies

We Want The Airwaves


Democracy Corps

Polling Report

Prof. Pollkatz

Public Opinion Watch





Donkey Rising


Mathew Gross

Kicking Ass

Ms. Musings

Notes on the Atrocities


Pacific Views

Greg Palast

Reading & Writing

Road To Surfdom

Rittenhouse Review





SF Bay Guardian

Texas Observer

Village Voice


The Agonist


Common Dreams


Drudge Retort

Easter Lemming

Free Speech News


Make Them Accountable

Progressive Southerner

The Raw Story

The Screed

Seriously Though

Smudge Report


Unknown News


Working For Change


Angry Bear

Brad DeLong




Babes Against Bush

Billionaires For Bush

Bush 2004


Bush Draft

Bush Occupation

Bush Recall

Down With Bush


Dumb and Dubya



Peace Pretzel

ReDefeat Bush


Uproot Bush

Vote Bush Out


Alliance For Justice

American Constitution Society

Independent Judiciary


Arms Control Association

Brookings Institution

Carnegie Endowment

Carter Center

Center for Defense Information

Fourth Freedom Forum

Henry L. Stimson Center

9-11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

Peace Action

Traprock Peace Center

Veterans Against the Iraq War

Veterans For Common Sense

World Policy Institute


Century Foundation


Across The River

Back To Iraq 3.0

Baghdad Burning

Juan Cole

Iraq Body Count

Iraq Today

Raed In The Middle

Where Is Raed?


Amnesty International

Human Rights First

Human Rights Watch


The American Street

Blogging of the President

Crooked Timber

Open Source Politics


Abolish The Death Penalty

Death Penalty Information Center

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty


Fortune Society

National Center on Institutions & Alternatives

Sentencing Project


Bear Left

Blog Left

Kick The Leftist

Lean Left

The Left Coaster

Left Is Right

Left Leaner

The Lefty Directory

MoveLeft Media

So Far, So Left


Con Web Watch

Evil GOP Bastards


Best of the Blogs

Progressive Gold


Center for Public Integrity


Common Cause

Public Citizen


Black Box Voting

Verified Voting


The Agora

Alas, A Blog

American Amnesia


Coherence Theory
of Truth



Green[e]house Effect


Just World News

Liquid List

Margaret Cho

Mike Hersh


Not Geniuses

Oliver Willis



Seeing The Forest

Trish Wilson


Whiskey Bar


Climate Ark

The Detroit Project

Environmental Defense

Environmental Media Services

Natural Resources Defense Council

Sierra Club

What Would Jesus Drive?


Confined Space

Fight For The Future

Joe Hill Dispatch

Joe Kenehan


DC Vote



Is That Legal?

Lessig Blog


Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Violence Policy Center


Bay To The Beltway (SF)

Blog For Democracy (GA)

Blog St. Louis (MO)

BlueGrassRoots (KY)

Burnt Orange Report (TX)

Colorado Luis (CO)

Liberal Desert (AZ)

Off The Kuff (TX)

People's Republic
of Seabrook (TX)

Politics in the Zeros (CA)

A Progressive on the Prairie (SD)

Sooner Thought (OK)

South Knox
Bubba (TN)

To The Barricades (NE)

Twin Cities Babelogue (MN)


Class Struggle


Living Wage Resource Center

National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support

National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Welfare Information Network


Capital Ownership Group

50 Years Is Enough


Reclaim Democracy


Alliance for Retired Americans

Nat'l Cmte to Preserve Social Security & Medicare

Social Security Network


The Creative Coalition

Scoobie Davis



The LiberalOasis Blog
The daily view from the oasis

August 13, 2004 PERMALINK
The Bush-Cheney Doctrine Of Sensitive War
(posted Aug. 12 11:45 PM ET)

Yesterday, Dick Cheney tried to wimpify John Kerry:

Senator Kerry has also said that if he were in charge he would fight a "more sensitive" war on terror.

America has been in too many wars for any of our wishes, but not a one of them was won by being sensitive.

Romance novelist Lynne Cheney also joined in the mudslinging:

I just kind of shook my head when I heard that. With all due respect to the Senator, it just sounded so foolish.

I can't imagine that al Qaeda is going to be impressed by sensitivity...

...This is kind of left-wing foolishness that certainly isn't appropriate for someone who would seek to be Commander-in-Chief.

It goes without saying that the Cheneys were bastardizing Kerry's statement from last week:

I believe I can fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values in history…

…I set out a path to win the peace in Iraq and to get the terrorists, wherever they may be, before they get us.

ABC's The Note, surely speaking for the entire snarky political press corps called Kerry's statement:

…the silliest thing John Kerry has said about national security since his "I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it" classic.

No doubt that gave the green light for the rest of the press corps to paint Kerry the loser in this skirmish.

But if Kerry's a silly, left-wing fool, then so is Def. Sec. Don Rumsfeld, Dep. Def. Sec. Paul Wolfowitz, Gen. Richard Myers and former Asst. Def. Sec. Victoria Clarke.

We'll let the following post-9/11 quotes speak for themselves (emphasis added in all).

November 4, 2001
Secretary Rumsfeld Media Availability with Pakistani Foreign Minister

Q: President Musharraf has repeatedly talked about an excess of hope for suspension of military operations, if they are not over, in the month of Ramadhan.

Was this issue discussed today and what are your views on this?

RUMSFELD: I'm certainly aware of the views of the president of Pakistan and indeed the views of any number of countries across the globe.

It is an important question and certainly an issue that all of us are sensitive to.

The reality is that the threats of additional terrorist acts are there.

They are credible, they are real, and they offer the prospects of still thousands of more people being killed.

Our task is to certainly be sensitive to the views in the region, but also to see that we aggressively deal with the terrorist networks that exist.

Jan. 4, 2002
Victoria Clarke News Briefing at Foreign Press Center in Washington, DC

THOMAS GORGUISSIAN, AL-WAFD, EGYPT: ...[Are] you doing any kind of estimate or guessing how the rest of the world is looking to this war?...

CLARKE: …are we listening to what is going on around the world? Absolutely. Absolutely.

We could not do this alone, so we are constantly working with, consulting with, talking with literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people around the world from over a hundred countries on how the best way to prosecute this war.

I think one of the reasons for the success thus far has been that kind of extraordinary sensitivity.

And to say in a very non-patronizing way, we appreciate whatever you can do to contribute to this effort.

And far be it for us to tell you that it's all or nothing, or you have to let us completely run the show and you have to let us say whatever we want to say about your country's contributions.

I think it's been an extraordinarily sensitive appreciation that different countries have different concerns and needs -- appreciate and value that they share with us this desire to root out terrorism and work with them in a very flexible fashion.

So we are extraordinarily sensitive to that, and I think that's what's contributed to the success thus far.

October 31, 2001
Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Interview with Al Jazeera

Q: …you consider it also a political decision that the consequences of continuing [military operations] through Ramadan with your troops in Pakistan, where people would be outraged or other places in the Muslim and Arab world.

Of course, you know that President Mubarak and others called for this kind of a truce.

MYERS: Right. And I would just say that we are, I think, very culturally sensitive.

We go to the leaders at the political level and at the military level, and ask for their advice.

So actions we will take I think will be consistent with that advice.

But we're not unaware and we're not insensitive. These are important issues.

November 19, 2003
Stakeout on Capitol Hill After U.S. Senate Briefing

Q: …can you address this question about the military utility and the risks that are inherent in going after targets, the more intensified bombing, the risk increases of collateral damage despite all the care that goes into that.

MYERS: ...The commanders on the ground are responsible for the tactics.

They are very sensitive to the balance between appropriate military action and not trying to turn the average Iraqi against the coalition.

So they work this very hard.

They have taken great steps to minimize collateral damage and I think they’ve done a superb job as I understand it.

Nov. 9, 2001
Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz Interview with Radio Networks

Q: ...can I pick up on the Ramadan issue? We know that you and your colleagues have said there's no question of a pause in the terrorist campaign and I understand that.

We understand you can't say what you're going to do in advance.

But are you nevertheless open to some sort of gesture? We noticed for example that you did not bomb on the first Friday of the campaign.

Is it still possible, bearing in mind enormous sensitivity in the Muslim world, that something might be possible, can you give us a hint that you might be --

WOLFOWITZ: I think we've made it clear we're going to be sensitive to the fact that Ramadan is the holiest month on the Muslim calendar and we will have that in mind.

We're not going to write a blueprint for the Taliban or al Qaeda or the people that we're after to say oh, now you not only know that mosques are safe but these other sanctuaries are sanctuaries you can operate in.

But we will be sensitive.

(UPDATE 8/13 7:45 AM ET -- Readers are noting the omission of two key Dubya "sensitive" quotes, one from last week -- "in terms of the balance between running down intelligence and bringing people to justice obviously is -- we need to be very sensitive on that" and one from 3/01 -- "we must be sensitive about expressing our power and influence".)

August 12, 2004 PERMALINK
Interview With Paul Krugman
(posted Aug. 12 1 AM ET)

The updated and expanded paperback edition of Paul Krugman's "The Great Unraveling," is now available.

Krugman reflected on the year since the hardcover version was published, in an interview with LiberalOasis yesterday.

He remarked that even though the book was "very downbeat, very negative about where we are going," he conceded that, "I was wrong. Pretty much everything has been worse than I could have imagined."

The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

LO: When you started your column, you probably didn't expect to become a media critic, but you seem to have taken on that role.

PK: Yeah. I got alerted to the problems of the media way back during the 2000 campaign, when you just couldn't get a straight discussion of the economic plans.

And I've broadened that. Although the core of it is still -- here we have actual policy initiatives, where's the reporting?

There's an interview with [Warren] Strobel and [Jonathan] Landay of Knight Ridder in the American Journalism Review about pre-war coverage…and [Landay] said that the failures of the media in this period are as serious a national problem as the failures of intelligence.

And I think that's exactly right.

LO: You just had a raucous encounter with Bill O'Reilly on CNBC's Tim Russert. What did you learn from that experience?

PK: What I learned is how hard it is to argue with a pathological liar.

Because the problem is in real time, as it's happening, you can't fact check everything.

We now know, a couple of people have checked it, in talking about the war, he talked at length about what Hans Blix told him on his program before the war, except Hans Blix never was on his program before the war.

So what do you do? Somebody just makes shit up, how do you deal with it?

So it was an interesting experience.

LO: Turning to policy, the knock on John Kerry's plan is that he pledges to cut the deficit in half, but he doesn't say how, and that the rollback of the tax cut for the wealthy can't pay for his health care plan and deficit reduction.

Is that a fair criticism?

PK: Yeah, it's a fair criticism.

He is talking about bigger corporate tax enforcement and so on, but I would say that certainly there isn't a fleshed out strategy for bringing the deficit down a lot.

It's important to say that compared with Bush, he's actually in great shape.

Because Bush is proposing all sorts of things that will enlarge the deficit, and Kerry is at least proposing a revenue-neutral way to pay for the programs that he wants.

So if you're a deficit hawk, you're not going to be happy with Kerry, but you're going to be furious at Bush --

LO: Bush's pledge on the deficit is similar to Kerry's --

PK. Well, yeah, but less credibly.

Because Bush has pledged on the deficit, explicitly, the projection of cutting the deficit in half, [but he] specifically assumes that Congress will not pass measures that Bush himself is asking for.

It's basically saying, I have a plan to cut the deficit in half, which depends on my not getting my own way on legislation.

So it's really egregious...

...I think the story is that basically Kerry has concluded that deficits are too abstract, and running on a deficit hawk platform is not going to work.

And if he can say instead, look, I'm certainly at least as tough on deficits as the other guy, plus I'm going to give you health care, then he's got a better shot.

LO: One of Bush's big health care proposals is private health savings accounts.

There was a time when this would be practically a third rail. Now it seems like these privatization proposals don't get the same level of ire.

Is it possible that he is on to something politically?

PK: It will be a miracle of salesmanship.

Because for...private savings accounts to attract any popular support, people have to not understand what they actually entail.

...You have to take a very high deductible policy, which means that for middle and working class families this is not going to actually provide them enough insurance.

So it is really not acceptable.

And what you get in return is, the funds you put into the thing are tax deductible.

But for most families who are in the 10 or 15 percent bracket at most, that's not worth a lot, even if they could bring themselves to accept a 2000-dollar deductible.

But of course, it's worth a great deal to people in the 35 percent bracket.

And then the last bit, which is probably hard to explain, is that it actually undermines the health care system we have.

Because it means that high-income healthy workers have an incentive to opt out of group health insurance, which then undermines the plan for everyone else.

LO: Turning to jobs, the latest conservative line is that we should be looking at the "household" survey [which showed large job growth in July].

As opposed to the "establishment" [or "payroll"] survey [which showed a mere 32K new jobs in July].

Because the establishment survey does not count the self-employed.

PK: Actually, you can find out how important the self-employed number is in the household survey. It doesn't make any significant difference.

The real thing about the household survey, first of all, for month-to-month changes it's useless. Because it’s just too noisy.

If you want me to believe in the 600,000 job gain in July, you have to then say you also believe in the 270,000 job loss in February, which nobody thinks happened.

And in fact if you go back in November 2002, the household survey said, I think, that 600,000 jobs disappeared, which nobody believes.

It's just a lousy...very noisy measure, month-to-month.

The other thing: people who take a longer-term thing and talk about the household survey have this funny habit of not reading the footnotes.

You can't just take the number from some month in 2001 and compare it with a month now, because there are population adjustments that are made in January...

...Anyway, the right way to do it is to look at the employment-population ratio, which is what the household survey tells you. What fraction of adults are working.

And what that number does is it goes from, I think, 64.4 in early 2001, drops to 62.2 -- in one month 62.1 but that's probably just noise -- last summer, and it's now recovered to 62.5.

The point is what you got is this drastic deterioration in the number of jobs available per person. And a tiny recovery, maybe, over the past year.

And that's basically a story that's consistent with the payroll numbers.

LO: Does that mean we've turned the corner?

PK: No. It might be a dead cat bounce, right?

All we know is that things are maybe a little better than they were a year ago, but certainly nothing to write home about.

Every time I hear Bush talk about 1.5 million jobs, I think about Dr. Evil saying "one million dollars." It's not a large sum these days.

A million and a half jobs over 11 months is pretty poor.

In fact, Clinton never had an 11 month stretch that bad and if he had, the Republicans would have been screaming about what a lousy economy it was.

LO: The Fed seems to feel that the slowdown in the economy is temporary, and therefore it's justified to go back to a policy of raising interest rates to keep inflation in check.

You said in your column this week, you didn't get what Greenspan is doing.

PK: Like a lot of people, I have a theory that -- well first off, that they raised rates yesterday because not to raise rates would have been to admit that there are bad problems and that would have spooked people to no end.

Because they sort of pretty much pre-announced that a long time ago.

But I have to say...the Fed doesn't know anything, really, that the rest of us don't know. They have basically the same information...maybe a few more numbers, but nothing really.

It's kind of mystery how the Fed…lately is so optimistic...I think they are a lot more optimistic than many of the private sector forecasters.

And there was even something in today's Wall Street Journal about, someone saying that Greenspan wants to believe this because it would vindicate his inaction during the bubble.

I don't know. I'm not going to try to psychoanalyze the man.

But it is funny, because the numbers do not say that we have a vigorous recovery.

Click here to order "The Great Unraveling".

And check out Parts 1 and 2 of The Left Coaster's interview with Paul Krugman.

August 11, 2004 PERMALINK
Laura Bush Is Still A Liar
(posted Aug. 11 1 AM ET)

Once again, Laura Bush was deployed in a futile attempt to defuse the stem cell issue.

And once again, utterly incapable of making a politically appealing and legit argument, she lied.

Last time, she laid out the basic lie, that Dubya "supports stem cell research."

That lie, of course, was repeated in her Monday remarks.

But a new lie was thrown on top, when Laura said:

Few people know that George W. Bush is the only President to ever authorize federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Oh really? How soon they forget a little executive order from one Bill Clinton.

Here's a history lesson from Harvard Magazine:

…President Bill Clinton, after asking his national bioethics advisory commission for a report on human stem cells, issued an executive order clarifying an existing congressional ban on the use of federal funds to create or destroy human embryos.

His order did allow federal funding for research on human stem-cell lines, but not for creating them.

Most researchers were satisfied that sufficient private money could be raised to create new stem-cell lines; they could then use federal money to pursue their research.

But eight months after George W. Bush became president, he extended the funding ban to research on all human stem-cell lines, except those already in existence on August 9, 2001, the day he announced his policy.

[emphasis added]

Somehow, Laura was able to spin the AP, which said she made a distinction over who spent federal funds first (Bush is the technical winner there).

But her speech said Bush was the first to "authorize" federal funding. Flatly untrue.

Having said that, Laura's lying isn't going to get her husband very far.

Because in their attempt to craft stem cell messages that will mislead so-called moderates, they managed to contradict themselves into meaninglessness.

Laura wants to portray Dubya as someone who deserves applause for believing in the promise of stem cells, but also argues there's little promise to be had:

I know that embryonic stem cell research is very preliminary right now, and the implication that cures for Alzheimer's are around the corner is just not right, and it's really not fair to the people who are watching a loved one suffer with this disease.

Well if no one should be expecting very much from stem cells, then what's the point of bragging about funding the research?

The mixed signals make the whole spin effort look ridiculous.

Furthermore, Laura is totally disingenuous citing Alzheimer's alone in her downplaying of stem cell's potential.

While it's true that many scientists feel that work on Alzheimer's is not likely to benefit from stem cell research, they are still very confident about Parkinson's, diabetes and spinal cord injuries.

Voters are unlikely to be fooled.

As the LA Times reported yesterday:

Findings released Monday by the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey showed that about two out of three American adults — including more than half of Republicans — favored research using stem cells taken from human embryos.

Andrew Kohut, director of the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, said the preliminary findings of a poll he was conducting showed intense interest in the issue among undecided voters.

"On most issues, swing voters are less engaged than committed voters," Kohut said.

In this case, "they're moderates. And a lot of middle-age people are more interested in this than they were a few years ago."

August 10, 2004 PERMALINK
Does Kerry Love Kissinger?
(posted Aug. 10 1 AM ET)

Can the NY Times please stop publishing conservative liars on its op-ed page?

Daniella Pletka, a neocon from the American Enterprise Institute, is the latest to fallaciously paint John Kerry as a cold-hearted foreign policy "realist" who resists the spread of freedom.

This is part of a larger strategy by conservatives to take away the moral high ground from liberals on matters of global affairs.

But Pletka needs to put words in Kerry's mouth to make her argument.

Pletka writes:

Mr. Kerry has not been specific about many of his goals, but one thing he's gone out of his way to advertise is his distaste for pushing reform at the expense of "stability" in the Middle East.

Sure, he's in favor of democracy in principle, but not as the centerpiece of his foreign policy agenda.

"Realism," in the fashion of Metternich and Kissinger, is his guiding light, Mr. Kerry told The New Yorker.

If you are not familiar with what a slur it is to be called a "Metternich" in foreign policy circles, this passage from a 1997 Economist piece, "The Bloodhounds of History," sums it up well:

As Henry Kissinger writes in his book, “Diplomacy”…“Ideological fervour propelled French armies across Europe on behalf of universal principles of liberty, equality and fraternity.”

In the aftermath of the wars, conservative statesmen like Metternich…were determined to reimpose peace and order.

They believed the Napoleonic wars were the sort of ghastliness that happens when countries try to export “the rights of man”.

Order, they argued, had to be maintained through a balance of power, in which states did not challenge each other’s legitimacy.

Thus two sides quickly emerged in the early 19th century, one concerned with the role of the universal rights of man in the formulation of foreign policy, the other concerned with order.

The two sides persist today. Call them liberals and realists.

So to be called a Metternich is to be viewed as one who does not care about human rights, only order. You might as well as be a Nazi.

So did Kerry say that the principles of Metternich and Kissinger are his "guiding light"?


This is the passage in the New Yorker article that Pletka alludes to:

[Kerry said,] "...I'm clear about my willingness to use force if necessary to protect our interests in the world and obviously to protect the security of our country."

At the same time, he said, "There are some clear routes by which you build alliances and make yourself legitimacy for what you might have to do on your own otherwise."

After all, he said, "nineteenth-century and twentieth-century leaders didn't have it all wrong as they understood the machinations of alliance politics and the need to negotiate your interest to the degree that you can until you've exhausted every possibility of doing so.

"You go backward to Disraeli and Metternich and forward to Henry Kissinger, in more recent times, and see how effectively we've moved on that stage.

"I don't think this crowd has moved with great effect at all.

"I think they've been strangely and uniquely ideologically obsessed, Iraq-centric, to the exclusion of other critical priorities on the face of this planet and our security needs as a nation."

Saying that Metternich and Kissinger "didn't have it all wrong" is not saying that they had everything right.

And nothing remotely like the phrase "guiding light" crossed Kerry's lips.

Kerry was strictly drawing lessons about "alliance politics." He was not making any sort of argument about order and stability trumping democracy and freedom.

And we can be sure that Kerry was not embracing Kissinger in full.

For one thing, Kissinger played a wee role in this thing called Vietnam, which Kerry wasn't a big fan of.

For another, Kissinger also supported what Kerry deemed "Ronald Reagan's illegal war in Central America."

But Kerry was indicating, in his comments to the New Yorker, that you can take things from people, even those that you strongly disagree with on many matters.

Also, Pletka said Kerry called himself a disciple of "realism" in the New Yorker article.

Not so. It was the author who foisted that label on Kerry:

...John Kerry is often described as a foreign-policy "realist."

He recently told the Washington Post that he did not think human rights should be the defining issue in international relations...

And his description of the W. Post interview was an oversimplification of the resulting W. Post article, which itself was an oversimplification of the full interview.

Here is an extended excerpt from that interview, after Kerry is asked if he shares, and finds realistic, Bush's goals for democracy in the Middle East and Iraq:

I do...We should never be put in a position where we have to back away from our values...

...Democracy and freedom and individual rights, human rights are the greatest idea developed on the planet.

The idea of America is, I think, proudly and chauvinistically the best idea that we've developed in this world...

...I think it's important for us to sell it, and to market it, and try to make it available to other people.

But how fast you can do that, and how rapidly others can embrace it, and what can be expected over a period of a time varies from country to country...

...I think it's a legitimate goal for the Middle East [and] Iraq. I'd like to see it achieved.

But I think you have to be thoughtful about what the time period will be, and what the full measurement of that will be, that we can control in the course of this particular exercise [in Iraq].

I think a free election, a movement towards democracy...would be a great standard.

Now does that show realism coldly squelching idealism? Or does it show a marriage of the two?

Pletka tries to distort his views as siding with stability over freedom.

But Kerry is not choosing sides. He's just trying to lay down a more practical path for spreading freedom.

And since the impractical, neocon path has been nothing but a disaster, perhaps the NY Times editorial page editors should give the lying Pletkas of the world some rest.

August 9, 2004 PERMALINK
The Sunday Talkshow Breakdown
A weekly feature of LiberalOasis
(posted Aug. 9 12:45 AM ET)

Meet Frances Townsend

Dubya's Homeland Security Adviser Frances Townsend made her Sunday show debut yesterday (on CBS' Face The Nation and Fox News Sunday), possibly for two reasons.

One, this week we heard Tom Ridge is reportedly planning to resign, and at the same Townsend became a main public spokeswoman on terror (complete with a puff profile spoon-fed to the NY Times.)

So she may be being tested to see if she could take over.

Two, the GOP's hot made-up demographic is the "security mom," as they hope to peel off some suburban votes on terror issues.

And Townsend has been pitched as the ultimate security mom (a notion that the NYT lapped up).

She positioned herself as such on FTN, when defending the terror alerts:

I'm a mother of small children, and I want as much information as the government can give me to make smart decisions for my family.

(As if single people would want as little info as possible so they can make bad decisions for themselves.)

So, how did Townsend do in her debut?

Most Beltway observers will no doubt be impressed, as she is self-assured and articulate.

But she also proved herself to be a hack.

This was most clear on an issue that people outside of the District of Columbia haven't been following:

How a main street near the Capitol was closed by the federal Capitol Police without even notifying the mayor's office or the local Metropolitan Police Department.

Many District residents are livid that the feds are again usurping local control.

FTN's Bob Schieffer grilled Townsend on this point, and Townsend disingenuously spun away:

SCHIEFFER: Why did you not share [all the threat information] with the district police?…

…Apparently, the Capitol Police, when they threw up all these roadblocks, caught the other police in town totally by surprise.

TOWNSEND: Well, each works within their own sort of jurisdiction and mandate and takes those steps that they believe they need to take to protect their buildings and responsibilities.

Through Secretary Tom Ridge and the Department of Homeland Security, we did communicate with a number of state, city and local officials.

SCHIEFFER: But, apparently, you didn't deal with the District police, because they say they were caught completely unawares…

TOWNSEND: …[I] do think that the Department of Homeland Security, and Secretary Ridge in particular, did work with officials in the district.

SCHIEFFER: Well, are you saying that all these police forces got the same information and they made different judgments about what to do about it?

TOWNSEND: They got the information that was relevant to their area or locality.

Obviously, the District wouldn't have been interested in the detailed information that regarded New York.

Obviously, the matter at hand has nothing to do with New York. And District most certainly is interested in what is happening in its own city.

But Townsend wouldn't come clean and say they cut the District out of the loop, only lamely and vaguely saying they "did work with officials in the district."

So say hello to latest person in homeland security biz who, like Ridge, doesn't "do politics."

Townsend vs. Rice

An odd feature of yesterday was the lack of message coordination between Townsend and Condi Rice (who was on NBC's Meet The Press and CNN's Late Edition).

Both were asked about the botched Orange Alert, why it wasn't initially communicated that much of the key info was old.

But they couldn't get their stories straight.

Townsend's line was that the actually was relayed, just done "on background" to selected media (which differs from "off the record" in that the info can be used by the media, but cannot be attributed to an individual by name):

TOWNSEND: …when Tom Ridge did the press conference, what we did right after it was we had four career intelligence counterterrorism officials there to brief the press…

…in that backgrounding brief, we talked about the age of the intelligence and how that was not relevant.

SCHIEFFER: But why wasn't that announced by Secretary Ridge?

Because, as we all know, when you have a background briefing, what is said, the government hasn't--doesn't have to take responsibility for that.

That's a way for the government to put out information and not take responsibility for it…

TOWNSEND: …Secretary Ridge was sort of talking at the strategic level, and we decided that we thought it was important to give the additional detail.

But…it wasn't important to have it come particularly from Secretary Ridge.

SCHIEFFER: Well, it became important, if I may say so.

But over at CNN, Rice was contending that it never "occured" to them to give out that info:

WOLF BLITZER: Last Sunday, [Tom Ridge] failed to mention that most of the information is three or four years old, and that caused a lot of angst the next day. Was that a mistake?

RICE: Well, I don't think that it really occurred to us to mention it, and I'll tell you why.

Al Qaeda does meticulous planning over many years. We know that the material that they used to case the East Africa bombing, which was done in 1998, had been generated probably five years before…

…And so, the key was to tell people who were responsible for security in buildings that have been cased that they had been cased…

…It seemed just irresponsible not to tell people that their buildings had been cased.

So which is it? You said it on background last Sunday, or you didn't say it all because it didn't cross your mind?

Townsend Knows How To Reassure The Public

From Fox News Sunday:

…the timing of the casings was not what's important.

It's the detailed nature of them that ought to frighten us.

Condi Knows How To Keep A Secret

From CNN:

BLITZER: In mid-July, Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, there is some suggestion that by releasing his identity here in the United States, you compromised a Pakistani intelligence sting operation.

Because he was effectively being used by the Pakistanis to try to find other al Qaeda operatives. Is that true?

RICE: Well, I don't know what might have been going on in Pakistan. I will say this, that we did not, of course, publicly disclose his name. One of them...

BLITZER: He was disclosed in Washington on background.

RICE: On background.

More on this from Juan Cole.

The Blog Wire
Tracking the liberal blogosphere

Fiore: Buster, The Friendly Nuke

War and Piece has her eye on the oft-forgotten anthrax investigation

Air America's Randi Rhodes (3-7 PM ET) has Willie Nelson

Juan Cole: Bill Clinton questions use of Pakistan military in terror fight

Grist checks out Obama's enviro record: It's good!

Stone Court adds to today's LO post on the oil market

Feministing is creeped out by a new product on the market: the "Boyfriend Pillow"

JobWatch, Atrios, Angry Bear and B. DeLong on the anemic jobs report

Air America's Al Franken (12-3 PM ET) has Joe Conason and Micheal Kinsley

Times of India: Pakistan skeptics within Bush Administration leaking anti-Pakistan stories

The Stakeholder: 9/11 Report's Biggest Obstacle: A GOP Congress

Economist Poll (PDF File): 4pt bounce for Kerry, 5pt lead (via Political Wire)

Just Another Bump On The Beltway has a Korea news roundup, inc. a govt ban on local media reporting on Iraq troop deployments

Air America's Morning Sedition (6-9 AM ET) has Spinsanity

Head Heeb: Central African Republic refugees face starvation

The Talent Show: More Reasons SUVs Suck

Progressive On The Prairie reports on a Cheney visit to his state of SD

John Kerry Rapid Response Ctr: Bush Threatened To Veto The $87B

The Nation on the return of the right-wing Committee on the Present Danger

Nathan Newman on the marine featured in the film "Control Room" who has been harassed out of the service

World O'Crap clears up the "Scary Skies"

New Republic: "July Surprised?"


What people are saying about LiberalOasis

"Among the best ways to [pay close attention to the grass roots] is logging onto Web sites like Liberal Oasis."
Joe Conason


Air America

"something interesting"
Eric Alterman

"quite well reasoned, almost scholarly"
Star Tribune's 2cents

"one of the sharpest political minds around"
Hartford Advocate

"must-read liberal mega-site"
Swing State Project

"unsurpassed political commentary"


"one of my many must-read-every-day sites"

"it's what our site would be like [if we had] more time"
Bear Left

"smart new weblog for us lefties"
Reading & Writing

Groupthink Central

"consistently interesting"
Body and Soul

"If you're one of the few who has not been to Liberal Oasis, get on over there for great blogging, sharp humor and activism"
Ruminate This

"It's like a freakin' candy store!"
Chernovog's Journal

"Liberal Oasis is so good I ought to print it out and mail it to my Senators."
The Sideshow

"Excellent commentary"
The Guy James Show

July 26, 2002
"Political Site of the Day"

"Left-wing twits"

"The parallel dimension in which supporters of Stalin, Hitler, Saddam Hussein and various and sundry other shitheels live."
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler

"Pathetic site"
Sean Hannity

July 29, 2002
"The Many Faces of Satan© Website of the Week"


Air America

Air America Links

Air America Place

Air America Talk

The Al Franken Show

The Majority Report

Morning Sedition

The Randi Rhodes Show



The Boondocks

Will Durst

Mark Fiore

Get Your War On

La Cucaracha

Political Strikes

Ted Rall

This Modern World

Tom the Dancing Bug



Opportunity Knocks


Ginger Young Gallery






Eat Wild

EcoFriendly Foods

Get Vegan

Grassland Beef

Homestead Healthy Foods

Lasater Grasslands Beef


Ban Trans Fats

Boycott Hydrogenation


Coffee Traders

Counter Culture Coffee

Sacred Grounds


Act For Love

Liberal Hearts


Adult Christianity

Bean Magazine

Betty Bowers

Bloom County

Tom Burka

The Cougarstein Ramble

Fanatical Apathy

Foundation for a Patriotic America

Funny Times

Grand Old Party

Humor Gazette

I Drew This

Alexander Pierre Luboknovich


Michael Moore

Nothing Like The Truth


Slowpoke Comics

The Specious Report

Tammy Faye Starlite

What Now Toons


Lord Bonkers Diary

Private Eye



Faux News Channel

Republican Press


Life as a Blackman



Axis of Eve

Brain Bump


Global Exchange

Green Pages

Green People

Hybrid Car Dealers

Open Stickers

Real Goods

Responsible Shopper



Boycott Action News

Buy Nothing Day


Back Home

Building Green

Home Power

Off-Grid Living

Solar Panels for Energy

Source for Renewable Energy


Ford Foundation

Pew Charitable Trusts

Soros Foundation

Tides Foundation


Communication Works

Douglas Gould

Fenton Communications

Hauser Group

McKinney & Assoc.

The SPIN Project

Spitfire Strategies


Calvert Foundation

Domini Social Investments

Greenmoney Journal

Parnassus Investments






Advocates for Youth

Nat'l Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Planned Parenthood



Center for Reproductive Law & Policy

NARAL Pro-Choice America


National Network of Abortion Funds


Alley Cat Allies

Animal Rescue Site


Best Friends

Stop Declaw

Wildlife Waystation


American Islamic Congress

The Ba'hai Faith

Buddhist Peace Fellowship

Catholic Worker

Center for Progressive Christianity

Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy

Clergy Leadership Network

Interfaith Alliance


Liberals Like Christ

Muslim WakeUp!

Noble Causes

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

The Religious Left

Shalom Center



Unitarian Universalists

United Church of Christ

Universal Life Church

Veiled 4 Allah

Velveteen Rabbi

The Village Gate


About Atheism

American Atheists

Church of Critical Thinking



Where in Washington, D.C. is Sun Myung Moon?

Rick A. Ross Institute


American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

Anti-Defamation League

Human Rights Campaign


Nat'l Conf. for Community and Justice

National Council of La Raza

National Urban League



Don't Amend

Freedom To Marry

HRC Marriage Center

Marriage Equality

Million For Marriage


Unmarried America



Brennan Center for Justice


Lambda Legal Defense

Legal Momentum

Mexican American Legal Defense

NAACP Legal Defense

National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium

Native American Rights Fund

Southern Poverty Law Center


Air America

Arkansas Tonight

Bush Recession Radio

Democracy Now

Ed Schultz

Free Speech Radio

Free Speech Show

Guy James

Meria Heller

Mike Malloy

New Black City

Radio Free Exile

Radio Left

Radio Nation

Radio Power

Peter Werbe

Young Turks



Americans for Democratic Action

Campaign for America's Future

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State

People For the American Way


America Coming Together

Democracy For America

Democratic National Committee

Emily's List

Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund

League of Independent Voters PAC

New Democrat Network

Progressive Majority

Punk Voter

21st Century Democrats

Wellstone Action

Young Democratic Candidates Network




All Spin Zone

American Samizdat

Angry Finger

Angry Liberal



Aron's Israel Peace Blog

The Apple Coda

Arms and the Man


Ayn Clouter

Bad Attitudes

Beltway Bandit

Betsy Devine

Blue Streak

Bolo Boffin

Cathie From Canada

Chris Mooney


Daily Beast


Damn Foreigner

David Sirota

Dean Nation


Dem Watch


Democratic Veteran

Dominant Reality


Empire Notes

Falling Debris


For What It's Worth

Freeway Blogger

Funny Farm

Gamers Nook

The Great Divide

Head Heeb


The Hamster

Hauser Report


Idols Of The Marketplace

Interesting Times


Into the Breach


Jesus' General

Just Another Bump In the Beltway

Mark A.R. Kleiman

Long Story; Short Pier

Mad Prophet



Jack O'Toole

The Looking Glass


Making Light

Nattering Nabob

NDN Blog

An Old Soul

Orwellian Times


Political Juice

The Poor Man

Progressive Spirit Blog

Project For a New Century of Freedom

Prometheus 6

Prometheus Speaks

Public Nuisance

Random Thoughts

Riba's Rambles

Roger Ailes

Rox Populi

Ruminate This

Sadly, No

Shadow of the Hegemon

Shock and Awe

Simon Templar

Sisyphus Shrugged


Stuffed Dog

Suburban Guerrilla


Swing State Project

The Talent Show

The Talking Dog

Tom Dispatch



An Unenviable Situation



Uppity Negro


War Liberal

War and Piece

Wellstone Cornerstone

Matt Yglesias


Liberal Oasis Logo Design: Ed Kim | Advice and Assistance: LuckyDave, Gina-Louise Sciarra and Maya Voskoboynikov | Special Thanks to Eric Alterman, Bartcop,, MediaWhoresOnline and Smirking Chimp for their early cybersupport