11 August 2004

Maybe you should look outside the news room

[source, source]

Forget the fact that that we still can’t find a single American who voted for Al Gore in 2000 who is planning to vote for George Bush in 2004. (If you are that elusive figure, e-mail us and tell us who you are and why: politicalunit@abcnews.com).

Everyone, of course, mentions Ed Koch but apparently he’s not famous enough (or in NY City enough) except ABC News, apparently. I guess Koch isn’t around NY City enough or famous enough for them to notice him.

It’s definitely odd to read posts like that one, where the election is in the bag for Senator Kerry, and others where it’s a done deal for President Bush. I remember previous elections where there was debate about who was ahead, but I don’t remember both sides claiming “it’s all over but the voting” at the same time.

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Rangel - Democratic Party wars are OK


An unusual coalition of Congressional Black Caucus members and conservative Republicans, united by outrage over a surge of ethnic killing in Sudan, is beginning to see some success in its efforts to push the U.S. toward action.


olf, who visited Darfur with Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), presented a graphic report that told of women and girls as young as 9 being raped by Janjaweed as they left their camps to gather food. Men who ventured out were shot dead.

The details of that report spurred Reps. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), both black caucus members, to block the doors of the Sudanese Embassy until they were arrested last week. [emphasis added]

Would that be the same Charles Rangel who wanted to bring back the draft to prevent America from going to war? Why, yes it is. But now he’s for a foreign adventure, a war we don’t have to fight?

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Old Media bias watch


A now-disputed account of a North Vietnamese attack on U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin led President Lyndon B. Johnson to escalate America’s involvement in Vietnam, a chain of events drawing comparisons on its 40th anniversary to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.


A year after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, President Bush also received overwhelming support from Congress, in an October 2002 vote, to invade Iraq following now-discredited intelligence reports that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

So overwhelming support from Congress is the sole point on which the comparison is based? Because, of course, no WMD report used in the arguments for the invasion have been discredited. I’ll give the author a partial pass because she at least linked the war in Vietnam to LBJ instead of Nixon.

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Did Reverend Moon sell sea based missile launchers to North Korea?


Jane’s Defense Weekly is reporting this week that Kim Jong-Il, unstable North Korean dictator (I wrote about his kidnapping habit in the British Guardian) may be able to target California with sea-launched missiles. His know-how, the Reuters story relates [Reiteration added Aug. 3: I said his know-how, not actual launching platforms], comes from 12 ex-Soviet submarines that fell into his hands. They came with their original launch tubes and stabilizing gear intact. Where does Kim get those wonderful toys?

Funny story: According to U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency documents from 1994 (which you can browse here), they were furnished by Reverend Moon.

Robert Parry, the ace reporter who broke the Iran-Contra story, obtained these files through the Freedom of Information Act while writing his 2000 story, “Rev. Moon, North Korea and the Bushes,” about Moon’s gifts to the Communist regime.

This seems well documented, although

  • even the source admits that it’s not completely confirmed that the trading company involved was actually tied to Rev. Moon although the Japanese press and the American DIA think it was.
  • The weblog is linked to approvingly by Eschaton.
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Creating problems


A week ago, The New York Times ran a story about the Census Bureau discosing information about Arab Americans to the Department of Homeland Security. The story creates the impression that this was a serious violation of privacy rights by overzealous government officials.

The Census Bureau has provided specially tabulated population statistics on Arab-Americans to the Department of Homeland Security, including detailed information on how many people of Arab backgrounds live in certain ZIP codes. […]

Disturbing, right? Well, hold on a second. It turns out that there is an important piece of information that the Times is not telling you: All of the information disclosed has been publicly available from the Census Bureau’s own website for years. As this e-mail from the Census Bureau explains, the information had been released to the public already and was “merely packaged . . . in a more usable format” for Homeland Security. You can access the data yourself from this page.

As best I can tell, all the Census Bureau did was run a few queries from their own public website and then e-mail the information to the Department of Homeland Security.

I’ve long thought that the census was far too instrusive. It’s clear, however, that if there’s a problem it’s not with the DHS. But that wouldn’t be the kind of news that fit to print.

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We're still making it up!

[source, source]

The Kerry campaign first asserted that the Massachusetts senator never said that he was in Cambodia, only that he was near the country. But when presented with a copy of the Congressional Record and asked about Kerry’s letter in the Boston Herald, the campaign said it would come up with an explanation. After repeated phone calls, there was still no clarification.

I guess the “tell the truth” plan got shot down.

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