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October 13, 2004

Comments

Lyle Masaki

Hmm, Marc, you really summed it all together nicely.

"The networks had this opportunity over a month ago to speak with these people. They chose to suppress them. They chose to ignore them."

I think this is what irks me most about the people who constantly cry "liberal media". Those people have received tons of coverage, the vast majority being of the he said/she said variety, while investigative pieces that have shredded their credibility gets little coverage.

So that's Hyman's definition of suppressed and ignored.

matt rossi

Man, Sinclair's even scummier than I thought they were.

Captain Spaulding

Yeah I hate when

Captain Spaulding

Next time I'll preview before I post.
Next time I'll preview before I post.
Next time I'll preview before I post.

I'm not going to bother to repost what I said. Not really worth the effort.

Augie De Blieck Jr.

And in the interests of balance, here's a rundown of some of the attacks taken on Republican proprty, including gun shots fired into Republican campaign HQ:

http://s88251339.onlinehome.us/smartercop/archives/002413.html

I didn't put my W '04 sticker on my car because I didn't want it to get keyed or worse. What a country.

Marc

I'd heard about the Knoxville incident, and I think it's unconscionable.

I also think it's a shame that you feel you can't put a bumper sticker on your car. Christy's car got keyed when we were passing through Eastern Tennessee, just days after she put on her Kerry/Edwards sticker, so I can understand your concerns. On the other hand, we decided we cared more about the election than about some juvenile asshole with a key.

However, I notice that many of the incidents listed on your link are organized, public civil disobedience campaigns - not covert destruction of property or election fraud. And some of the write-ups skew the facts a bit; for example, the Orlando, FL write-up mentions that the protestors "face possible assault charges," but doesn't mention that the only people injured were two protestors, who were themselves assaulted by a crowd (including one Republican volunteer) that charged them. That doesn't really compare to GOP-sponsored firms destroying Democratic voter registration forms, does it? In other words, a few public civil disobedience campaigns (and, admittedly, the more serious problem of a few immature or dangerous individuals) don't really compare to organized campaigns by Sinclair or the GOP to violate election laws nationwide.

Thanks for your thoughts, Augie.

Dave Van Domelen

I really need to get around to putting that Cthulhu 2004 bumper sticker on my car.

David Van Domelen

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0410/15/cf.01.html

Jon Stewart rips into the "pro wrestling" of debate that is Crossfire.

Ted Remington

Great post! You might get a kick out of my blog which takes the form of a daily rebuttal to Hyman's blathering. Here's the link: http://thecounterpoint.blogspot.com

Enjoy!

Ted

abhay

waiting for my laundry, and i don't know-- i'm sort of at that larry david place, where at the end of the last season of curb your enthusiasm, larry david turns down sex with a woman cause she likes george bush.

like, i really want to vote for someone who'll secede from the union. i live in a blue state. i live there on purpose. i grew up in a red one, and i don't really want anything to do with the red ones anymore. apparently, they sure seem to feel likewise. they don't face the same level of threat as I do, they sure don't share my values... how do you have a country anymore after the last four years???

i'm sure people asked themselves that sort of question after, whatever, vietnam, say, but you know... i didn't live through that, so i don't really know how that worked (and the first half of this campaign seems to indicate that alot of folks never really put stuff behind them).

i keep wondering what it'll feel like if Bush wins... i don't expect riots or anything, obviously... but just the "what will it feel like." i live in a blue state so my vote doesn't mean anything-- i'm just going to vote out of malice more than anything, just for the satisfaction of it. but if he wins, another four years of this feeling right now just growing and worsening and hardening. i'd just want the next four years to be even more partisan, even less forgiving... ughhhh, who wants to live like that?

oh well, laundry's done...

Red

My brother has had FIVE GW Bush bumper stickers removed from his car. And while that certainly isn't like setting signs on fire, which I've read has been done, it is destruction of property on his property. Inexcusable no matter your party affiliation. And in terms of laundry guy, the only people I hear talking about how "divided" this country is are Democrats. Also, A) your vote always means something and B) using it to spite blind non-sensical hatred defiles the blood spilled to keep this country running. If you like Kerry and believe he can do the job, great. I applaud your decision even if I don't agree with it. Just don't be a lazy bastard and vote simply "because." That is just disgusting.

matt rossi

Yes, Red, it is interesting that despite having five bumper stickers removed from your brother's car you see no signs of division at all. Despite the various signs burned down and stolen, despite people being fired from their jobs over Kerry bumper stickers on their cars, despite people reporting being shot with pepper balls in order that the Presidential Motorcade not see protestors, there's no sign of a division in our country.

I would also think using your vote to spite blind non-sensical hatred doesn't defile anything at all. In fact, it generally seems a very noble goal to spite non-sensical hatred. 'Laundry guy', whose name is Abhay by the way, made a heartfelt point about how bitter he feels about his disenfranchisment, and you attacked him for it. So you can see how someone might see that as a sign of, oh, I don't know, a division between you and him.

Marc

Red, I'm not surprised that Bush and the Republicans aren't talking about how divided the country is; he ran on a promise to unite the country, and he's not going to campaign for re-election by reminding us that he's only polarized us even more. But just because one party isn't saying there's a division doesn't mean it isn't there (especially when they're also running a campaign that deliberately seeks to divide voters over issues like gay rights).

abhay

Yeah, (a) your vote doesn't always mean anything because we don't live in a proportional representation system and i don't live in a swing state-- i suppose in a "social studies" moral way it might mean something but i was talking more in a practical way. and (b) voting against someone or a basic "vote the bastards out" approach is perfectly valid again in practical terms.

but i'm not voting "Because." i'm voting "Because i truly hate that evil son of a bitch and i think he's destroying the country/world." same as people who voted for Bob Dole in '96...

(And on a science note: I just don't think you can defile blood-- blood's really quite filthy horrible stuff if you've ever examined it. but you meant that on a metaphoric level so...)

as for "only democrats say the county's divided"(i think i saw that on a recent poll-- 50% of country thinks nation divided)... conservatives made liberal a dirty word (well, with a couple folks's help-- thanks again, mondale). conservatives decided the media was liberal and created conservative media. and conservatives have been running this country for the last four years. if the country's divided- guess who i think divided it...

the reality campaign they're running is fascinating-- the whole "don't believe colleges cause they're liberal, don't believe news sources because they're liberal, don't believe pop culture because its liberal, don't believe your damn senses when someone tells you the nation's divided, just believe us" mentality...

and i guess what i was hinting at, and the thing that worries me is: i'm rooting against your brother's car, and i'm rooting for the vandals. after all the ann coulter books, and hours and hours a day of talk radio, and the last four horrid years (let alone dead abortion doctors or those death threats the Pledge of Allegiance guy got), yeah, on some reptilian level that i happily admit is evil, i'm glad people are fighting back...

its horrible. its a horrible thing to say. i'm not proud or anything. i was just trying to have a honest little moment because, you know, its the internet and who cares what strangers think about me...

Patty

Mark only likes Bush so he can keep getting his big tax breaks , I hope its wroth it , cuz I stop watching is pro Bush news show. If he wants to air something I have something for him to air:

Whistle-blower sparks new investigation of Halliburton subsidiary

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Army has agreed to a Pentagon investigation into claims by a top contracting official that a Halliburton subsidiary unfairly won no-bid contracts worth billions of dollars for work in Iraq and the Balkans, according to Army documents obtained Sunday.

The complaint alleges that the award of contracts without competition to restore Iraq's oil industry and to supply and feed U.S. troops in the Balkans puts at risk "the integrity of the federal contracting program as it relates to a major defense contractor."

It also asks protection from retaliation for the whistle-blower, Bunnantine Greenhouse, chief contracting officer of the Army Corps of Engineers.

In a letter to Greenhouse's lawyer, an Army attorney said that the matter is being referred to the Defense Department's inspector general for "review and action, as appropriate." It also said the Corps had been ordered to "suspend any adverse personnel action" against Greenhouse "until a sufficient record is available to address the specific matters" in her complaint.

Copies of the letter and complaints, documents which were provided to some members of Congress, were obtained Sunday by The Associated Press.

Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall said from Houston, where the company is headquartered, "KBR doesn't have any information on what Bunny Greenhouse may or may not have said to other Pentagon officials in early 2003. Certainly we can't address any threatened legal action she may be considering against her employer."

"On the larger issues, the old allegations have once again been recycled, this time one week before the election," Hall said.

She emphasized that a report earlier this year by the Government Accounting Office, the auditing arm of Congress, concluded the Iraq contract had been properly awarded and she said the Balkans issue "was fully deal with and resolved several years ago ... (and) since that time KBR has received high marks from the Army on our Balkans support conract."

The Iraq contract has been a focus of the presidential campaign because of Vice President Dick Cheney's past ties to the company. Cheney was chief executive officer of Halliburton and continues to receive deferred compensation from the company.

Michael D. Kohn, who is Greenhouse's lawyer , in a letter to acting Army Secretary Les Brownlee, charged that in the Balkan contract a deputy assistant secretary of the Army had ordered changes in documents to legitimate the contract "for political reasons."

Kohn's complaint said contracts were approved over Greenhouse's reservations, handwritten on the original contracts, and extensions were awarded because underlings signed them without her knowledge and in collusion with senior officials.

After her superiors signed off on the Iraq contract and returned it for her necessary approval, the complaint said, Greenhouse wrote beside her signature: "I caution that extending this sole-source effort beyond a one year period could convey an invalid perception that there is not strong intent for a limited competition."

The contracts under investigation grew out of a $7 billion multiple-year award to Halliburton's KBR subsidiary to rehabilitate Iraq's oil industry after the U.S.-led invasion last year; and an 11-month extension, which cost $165 million, of a $2 billion services contract the Army awarded in May 1999.

The Iraq contract was awarded in February 2003, less than a month before the invasion, under a clause specifying no-bid contracts in cases of "compelling emergency." The complaint said Greenhouse objected to the five-year term, asking why the certainty that the emergency would continue for five years.

Kohn said Sunday that he still wants an independent investigation and will ask Attorney General John Ashcroft to appoint investigators to conduct their own probe to ensure the investigation is complete, independent and fair to his client.

"This needs to be done by an outside agency," Kohn said. "From past experience, we are uncomfortable with the DOD-IG handling this investigation by themselves."

According to the complaint, in January 2002 Greenhouse sent an investigative team to examine the Balkan operation. Afterward, she reported: "The general feeling in the theater is that the contractor (KBR) is `out of control'" and was able to manipulate Corps of Engineer officials.

The Balkan contract was to have expired no later than May 27 of this year but was extended, without Greenhouse's knowledge, after a hunt for other contractors was stopped. Whereas it originally was awarded as a compelling emergency, the extension was awarded under the exception that KBR was the "one and only source."

Greenhouse questioned why the reason for extension was changed. While she never was officially provided the answer, the document said, "two individuals" told her in her office that Tina Ballard, deputy assistant Army secretary for policy and procurement, was telephoned during a meeting on the matter and ordered the change for "political reasons."


Patty

BTW Abhay I liked your post and I feel yea ..

abhay

and it turns out it feels pretty lousy and freaky... so...

Troy

It's quite convenient for you to go over bad acts by Republicans, while ignoring those of Democrats. There was plenty of insanity on both sides. And of course the Swift boat folks were deceptive, but I'm sure that you believe every word of the Michael Moore Propaganda film FH 9/11. You are clearly educated, but the system has failed you. It has failed to teach you to think for yourself, failed to teach you to open your mind to the opinions of others.

Marc

Troy - I suspect if anybody here is failing to open their mind to the opinions of others, it's the guy who assumes I must believe every word of Fahrenheit 9-11 just because I don't care for Sinclair's violations of election law.

As if the two were equivalent anyway. I've noticed that most of the Republican/conservative responses to outrage over GOP voter suppression and other illegal tactics has been a sort of timid and uneven attempt to balance the books - "Sure, Stolen Honor is dishonest and Sinclair broke the law by ordering affiliates to air it, but Michael Moore also made a political movie!" Except that his movie wasn't presented as news and wasn't broadcast over publically-owned airwaves.

"Sure, Sproul destroyed thousands of Democratic voter registrations, many of them in swing states, but this one crazy guy wore a Bush mask to the polls!" As I suggested earlier, the actions of isolated individuals, however irresponsible, don't compare to a nationwide campaign of voter suppression, and only one party was engaged in that.

Keeping an open mind to the opinions of others doesn't mean pretending all sides are conducting themselves in the same manner. I titled this column "The Facts Are Biased" for a reason.

In any case, if you're going to come after me with claims that I'm distorting the truth or ignoring the facts then you'd better have more up your sleeve than "bad acts," "plenty of insanity," and the ever-popular "system."

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