Friday, November 03, 2006

The Friday Political Grab Bag

If it's Friday, it's time to take a look at what's been floating around the political world this week and that might have slipped under your radar…

Bill O'Reilly had the nerve to go back on The Late Show last Friday, despite the slapping around David Letterman gave him last time. The best exchange:

O'Reilly: Oh, stop it. Saddam Hussein slaughtered 300,000 to 400,000 people, all right, so knock it off… It isn't so black and white, Dave — it isn't, 'We're a bad country. Bush is an evil liar.' That's not true.

Letterman: I didn't say he was an evil liar. You're putting words in my mouth, just the way you put artificial facts in your head!
Crook and Liars has the clip.

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Ads a Plenty

Here's a great new television ad for Ned Lamont .

And another from Ned…

Great spot from the DCCC:

And the final ads for Jim Webb's Virginia Senate campaign, to run over the weekend:

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Count us surprised -- not!

The Washington Post reports that Republican poll watchers are being given the standard GOP dirty-tricks book to try to intimidate and block voters in Maryland. While poll watchers on the Democratic side are always there to make sure that people actually get to cast their ballots, for the one-millionth time we see that the dominant GOP strategy is to disenfranchise voters.

"The tenor of the material is that they are asking folks, if not directing them, to challenge voters," said Bruce L. Marcus, an attorney for the state Democratic Party. "It's really tantamount to a suppression effort."

"When you have a political party telling people their Number 1 responsibility is to challenge voters, our ears certainly perk up," said Jonah H. Goldman, director of the National Campaign for Fair Elections. "This could either be intended to challenge voters in a discriminatory way or in a disruptive way. A lot of times, they just try to cause chaos and long lines."

And my, oh my, haven't we seen that one before? And Republicans say that Al Qaeda is a threat to "our way of life" in America?

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So wrong, and yet…

So right.

And more fun stuff on Republicans and their sleazy game from the folks at Saturday Night Live -- GOP ad parodies. As always, Crooks and Liars has the clip.

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Random Musings: I guess a deeply-religious man like George W. Bush, who seems to otherwise offend so easily over things he categorizes as moral issues, has no problem sitting down for an interview with Rush Limbaugh, a man who lies for a living and whose latest sport is making fun of a celebrity (Michael J. Fox) stricken with Parkinson's disease.

A reporter asked White House Spokesman Tony Snow about it at a press briefing this week:
Q: The President sat for an interview with Rush Limbaugh today. Why hasn't he called on Rush Limbaugh to make that same kind of apology to people who have Parkinson's disease?

Snow: Because, again, he's made the -- Rush Limbaugh has made his comments -- I love the diversion, but we're talking about -- there is a difference between -- okay, the apology came. Rush has said, if I got it wrong, I apologize. So he's asking -- he's saying if he got the statement of the facts wrong, he apologizes.
Oh, OK.

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Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), as he so often does, capsulated all that needs to be said about the John Kerry, insult-the-troops non-story manufactured by the White House:

"John Kerry's statement says it all. I wish the Bush administration brought as much energy and focus to trying to correct their mistakes in Iraq as it did in going after John Kerry."

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Startling graphic of the week? The one from the U.S. Central Command showing that, despite pretty pictures of the progress in Iraq painted by the Bush administration, the situation there is inching closer to "chaos" every day:

And then there's that sly wag, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) saying that Dick Cheney isn’t "shooting straight" -- ha! -- on conditions in Iraq:
“The Vice President is still not shooting straight. He's about as credible today as he was when he claimed to have irrefutable evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, or that the Iraqi insurgency was in its last throes," said Reid. "Today's report from the U.S. Central Command indicates that Iraq is headed toward chaos, but the Vice President is not talking about that. Yesterday, the Bush Administration allowed the Iraqi Prime Minister to put the interests of Iraqi extremists ahead of the safety of U.S. troops, but the Vice President is not talking about that either. Instead, all we hear is the same old Bush politics of fear and smear.

“It's time for a new direction. The President may believe America can afford two more years of Rumsfeld and Cheney, but the American people know the truth. The only way to change direction in Iraq is to change leadership here at home.”
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This is a Texas-sized joke right? George W. Bush was on Fox News this week complaining about the nasty tone in Washington and saying to Fox blowhard Sean Hannity that it “has gotten ugly.” Bush then said that he tries not to stoop to low-rent tactics, saying “I really don’t think it’s fitting for the president to drag the presidency into that kind of a mudslinging.”

This is the same guy who has spent the last week saying that GOP political opponents want the terrorists to win and that America will almost certainly be attacked again if Democrats get control of Congress.

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Here's Dick French at RNN in New York letting Donald Rumsfeld have it…

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Bush is "The Great Divider" says the New York Times yesterday, based on his sorry display in lying about John Kerry's simple bungling of a joke:
"As President Bush throws himself into the final days of a particularly nasty campaign season, he’s settled into a familiar pattern of ugly behavior. Since he can’t defend the real world created by his policies and his decisions, Mr. Bush is inventing a fantasy world in which to campaign on phony issues against fake enemies.

"Mr. Bush has been pushing these divisive themes all over the nation, offering up the ludicrous notion the other day that if Democrats manage to control even one house of Congress, America will lose and the terrorists will win. But he hit a particularly creepy low when he decided to distort a lame joke lamely delivered by Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.

"Mr. Kerry warned college students that the punishment for not learning your lessons was to 'get stuck in Iraq.' In context, it was obviously an attempt to disparage Mr. Bush’s intelligence. That’s impolitic and impolite, but it’s not as bad as Mr. Bush’s response. Knowing full well what Mr. Kerry meant, the president and his team cried out that the senator was disparaging the troops. It was a depressing replay of the way the Bush campaign Swift-boated Americans in 2004 into believing that Mr. Kerry, who went to war, was a coward and Mr. Bush, who stayed home, was a hero."
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I'll be coming out with final Senate handicapping on Monday but things are looking good in's most recent report on five-poll averages in the hot Senate races:
  • PA: Casey (D) 51.4%--40.2% Santorum (R)
  • OH: Brown (D) 52.6%--42.0% DeWine (R)
  • RI: Whitehouse (D) 48.2%--40.2% Chafee (R)
  • MT: Tester (D) 48.2%--45.0% Burns (R)
  • VA: Webb (D) 47.0%--45.8% Allen (R)
  • MO: McCaskill (D) 47.8%--46.8% Talent (R)
  • TN: Corker (R) 49.2%--46.0% Ford (D)
  • AZ: Kyl (R) 49.2%--41.0% Pederson (D)
  • CT: Lieberman (I) 48.4%--38.8% Lamont (D)
Feeling the momentum yet?

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Finally, crossing our desk this morning is something that won't be under anyone's radar -- the news that the Bush administration has posted a nuclear bomb-building guide on the Internet. And they have lots of Internet connectivity in Iran.

More on that later.

Have a good weekend -- help a Democrat get elected!