October 6th, 2004


*Exclusive!* Cheney caught lying about not meeting Edwards... again!

"The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight." - Dick Cheney

Not quite. Shortly after the debate, the Kerry campaign provided the media with a photograph that showed this was not the case.

Although it has been mentioned that Edwards and Cheney met before on at least two occasions, there has not been any footage anywhere of the second known meeting on January 7th, 2003.

Well... I found the video footage, and I took some screenshots!

If you watch 32:50 into the January 7th, 2003 edition of "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer" (RealPlayer), you will see Dick Cheney opening the Senate for the year, prior to the swearing in of new Senators.

In this video still, you see Cheney on the far left of the screen, facing the new members he is swearing in. On the right, you see John Edwards standing behind Elizabeth Dole, who is being sworn in.

As the camera pans to the right, you now see John Edwards with Bob Dole, who also escorted Elizabeth Dole to her swearing in ceremony.

After the swearing in ceremony, Cheney shook the hands of those attending the proceedings. Although it is not shown in the "News Hour" video, it is likely that the video from CSPAN2 shows Dick Cheney greeting everyone personally and shaking hands... including the hand of John Edwards.

*** Update: I called in to a researcher for the Kerry/Edwards campaign. They apparently have the video of this now, and have also discovered a third such meeting.

dailyKOS says: "Tim Russert is going around saying that Edwards and Cheney met backstage on his show, and shook hands and exchanged pleasantries."... Is Cheney a *four* time loser?! I think KOS is right. These are the kind of visible, eggregious lies that will drag down an otherwise acceptable performance for Cheney.

Looks like I am getting linked to from DailyKos, boingboing, and Oliver Willis this morning. (Says short prayer to the God of image hosting.) ***

Iraq: Do not try this at home!

I got this off of the journal of a soldier I know... it's a good indicator of what it's like over there.


1. Sleep on a cot in the garage.

2. Replace the garage door with a curtain (ie poncho liner)

3. Two hours after you go to sleep, have your wife/girlfriend/whatever whip open the curtain, shine a flashlight in your eyes, and mumble "Sorry, wrong cot."

4. Hang a green plastic sheet down the middle of your bathtub and move the shower head down to chest level. Keep four inches of cold soapy water on the floor.

5. When you take a shower, wear flip-flops and keep the lights off.

6. Buy a trash compactor and use it only once a week. Store up garbage in the other side of your bathtub.

7. Stop cleaning the toilet and pee everywhere but in the toilet itself. For a more realistic experience, stop using your bathroom and use a neighbor's. Choose a neighbor who lives at least a 1/4 mile away.

8. Every time there's a thunderstorm, go sit in a wobbly rocking chair and dump dirt on your head.

9. Leave a lawn mower running in your living room 24 hours a day.

10. Have the paper boy give you a haircut.

11. Set your alarm clock to go off at random time during the night. When it goes off, jump out of bed and get to the shower as fast as you can. Simulate that there's no hot water by running out into your yard and using the garden hose.

12. Once a month take a major appliance completely apart and put it back together again.

13. Don't watch TV except for movies in the middle of the night. Have your family vote on which movie to watch and then show a different one than was selected by majority vote.

14. Put lube oil in your humidifier instead of water and set it on "high"

15. Use eighteen scoops of coffee per pot and allow it to sit for five or six hours before drinking.

16. Invite at least 185 people you don't really like because of their strange hygiene habits to come and visit for a couple months. Mix laundry loads and exhange clothes with them.

17. Have a flourescent lamp installed on the bottom of your coffee table and lie under it to read.

18. Raise the thresholds and lower the top sills of your front and back doors so that you either stumble or hit your head every time you pass through.

19. Keep a roll of toilet paper on your nightstand and bring it to the bathroom with you along with a gun and a flashlight.

20. Go to the bathroom when you only have to fart, "just in case."

21. Wash only fifteen items of laundry a week. Roll up the semi-wet clean clothes into a ball. Place them in a cloth sack in the corner of the garage where the cat pees. After a week, unroll them and without ironing or removing mildew, wear them to professional meetings and family gatherings. Pretend you don't know what you look or smell like.

22. Eat a single M&M every Sunday and convince yourself it's for malaria.

23. Demand each family member be limited to ten minutes per week for a moral phone call. Enforce this with your teenage daughter.

24. Sandbag the floor of your car to protect from mine blasts and fragmentation.

25. While traveling down roads in your car stop at each overpass and culvert and inspect them for IEDs before proceeding.

26. Fire off 50 cherry bombs simultaneously in your driveway at 3am. When startled neighbors appear, tell them all is well, you're just registering mortars.

27. Spread 4 inches gravel throughout your house and yard.

28. Make your family dig a survivability position with overhead cover in the back yard. Complain that the 4x4s are not on center and make them rebuild.

29. When your five year old asks for a stick of gum, have him find the exact stick of gum and flavor he wants on the internet and print out the web page. Type up a form and staple the web page on the back. Submit the paperwork to your spouse for processing. After two weeks, give your kid the gum.

30. Wait for the coldest/hottest day of the year and announce to your family that there will be no heat/AC that day so you can perform much-needed maintenance on the heater/AC unit. Tell them you are doing this so they won't get cold/hot.

31. Put your entire house on a generator and turn it off during the heat of the day so even your fans won't work because the generator "overheated."

32. Get a plastic grocery bag as your NBC mask (Nuclear Biological Chemical) and every time your clock chimes the hour put it over your head for 10 minutes because there is an attack.

33. Buy a camouflage sport coat. Line it with full sandbags. Cut a hole in the roof of your car. Have your kid stand in the hole with a water pistol and "protect the convoy." Drive to Death Valley without using your A/C. Stay there overnight but never take off your sport coat.

34. Have everyone send you mail at the parcel post rate so it takes 3.5 weeks to get to you.

35. Walk around your neighborhood with a blowhorn announcing the latest terror threat level and tell them to stay inside a hardened building (wearing their sport coats and kevlar).

36. Go to the most crime-infested place you can find, heavily armed, wearing your sport coat with full sand bags, and a Kevlar helmet. Set up shop in a tent in a vacant lot. Announce to the residents that you are there to help them.

An email from Iraq.

Got an email from Riverbend, a female Iraqi weblogger, who I wrote last week regarding this story.

Dear Mark,

Thanks for the link. I know a lot of Iraqi blogs are misinforming... I've pretty much stopped reading most of them. It's depressing. Between you and me, some of us here refer to that certain set of blogs as the "Chalabi Chronicles"- it's basically the same stuff Chalabi, Allawi and gang have been spouting for the last year.

I like what you've written about the debate between Edwards and Cheney. I watched most of it on CNN and it was such a contrast watching the two. Edwards looked fresh and somewhat energetic and Cheney just looked like... mold (I'm out of adjectives at this point- excuse me).

Thanks for writing to me.


Promising poll, deadly toll.

The Zogby Battleground States Poll shows Kerry back ahead amongst likely voters in 13 out of 16 battleground states! This is roughly where the Zogby Poll had the race prior to the Republican National Convention.

Kerry's strong comeback in these swing states makes it entirely possible that he could potentially lose the popular vote, yet still convincingly win the electoral vote in the upcoming election. That said, the momentum still appears to be with Kerry coming out of the Vice Presidential debate, going into Friday's presidential debate. Tune in, watch, and be active in the debate *after* the debate. It will take a lot of truthtelling from a lot of people to shift this country back to a balanced perspective again.

One thing you should consider supporting though -- Moveon.org is raising funds to broadcast what appears to be the most powerful ad of the whole campaign. Want to help get rid of Bush? Watch the ad. Post a link to it ( https://www.moveonpac.org/donate/sheehan.html ) in your journal. Send it to your friends via email. Why? Because this ad is the only one that really says something about the horrible, grievious cost of going to war based on distorted, cherry-picked intelligence that ignored the intelligence of weapons inspectors, of the press, of scientists, and of our allies. Evidence which didn't fit the Bush Administration's hypothesis was systematically pushed aside for political purposes, while the advice of generals and experts on rebuilding Iraq was ignored.

Something tells me that it won't be as easy to ignore the mothers of the fallen.

Setting the matter straight.

Yesterday, I made a post in my journal more or less like the one below, which I crossposted to MetaFilter.
Coward-in-Chief. George Bush has announced that he will give a major national speech on Wednesday, in which he will respond to John Kerry's criticisms of the president. This appears to be the first time any president has tried to hold a major televised speech during the election season for such a purpose. During his term in office, Mr. Bush has given the fewest press conferences of any president in the televised era. John Kerry had previously offered Bush weekly debates... and George Bush refused. Is it fair to say that he'd rather use his power of office to dictate to us instead?

When I got a comment over at MetaFilter stating that the principal article I cited didn't say the "major speech" in question would be televised, I decided to pull my LJ post, so as to not potentially confuse people over what appeared to be a non-issue.

And, indeed, it looked like it was a non-issue... until FoxNews, CNN, and MSNBC gave George Bush 50 minutes of free, uniterrupted TV airtime this morning to smear John Kerry with no equal time for John Kerry and no rebuttal. (More details on this are in this article... and this one..)

Apparently, my initial concerns yesterday were real. The media heard "major speech" and they gave Bush his soapbox. They didn't know that Mr. Bush would misuse his office in order to make a campaign speech that is both unethical and appears to violate Federal Election Commission regulations.

I'm going to see what, if anything, is going to be done about this. It appears that at least one of the networks involved are willing to give Kerry some time too. If they are fair, all of them will give John Kerry 50 minutes of uninterrupted time to speak to the American people.