Thursday, September 16, 2004

Olbermann, Part II

It took Keith Olbermann all of three days to find the real "most recent polls," and (without saying so) correct Countdown's ridiculous coverage Monday.

So as of tonight's show, Bush and Kerry are tied. Huzzah!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerry and Bush are tied so the American public is not completely buying the Republican/mainstream media argument about Kerry being a flip flopper on the War in Iraq.
I apologize for changing the subject.
I am so sick of reading news reports and columns, like the one today by right-wing whore Charles Krauthammer, which, instead of even attempting a perfunctory study of Kerry's true and consistent position on the Iraq War, choose to spew out more GOP spin about his alleged flip-flopping on the issue. Some so-called objective newspieces repeat such distortions without accurately presenting the other side.
I responded to Mr. Krauthammer detailing Kerry's true position evident to anyone who does what should be necessary research, and invited him to a response.
I believe if Kerry loses in November it will be directly because of this unfair, uneducated, distorted and biased spinning of Kerry's position on Iraq!
It's not a matter of "nuances." It is a matter of a serious and complex issue such as Iraq not being so easilly whittled down into a "clear" and "decisive" one or a clever soundbite.
Kerry understands this. I'd rather have a President who applies foresight than our current "preemptive" president who dragged us into this Iraq black hole bankrupting the economy and depleting the U.S. military.
I'd rather have the guy who thinks ahead of time to avoid such problems, than the one who rushes ahead to make grave serious errors later.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fair enough and I agree overall. So, to educate the masses that are subject to the republican spin.....explain in a paragraph the gist of Kerry's position on iraq.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I left out Kerry's position at the risk of sounding redundant. I stated it in an earlier posting on this Blog.
Anyway, here it is again:
The legislation Kerry voted for clearly was designed to authorize Bush to use military force as a last resort. Kerry position has consistently been that he believed Bush would follow the text and spirit of the law and exhaust other alternatives before marching the country off to War in Iraq.
Kerry has consistently said the Bush Administration abused its authority by so quickly opting to attack Iraq, without FIRST cementing a coalition, or winning support abroad, without FIRST having solid evidence of WMDs, without FIRST having a plan to succeed in Iraq.
If Bush had taken these steps, Kerry has consistently argued, we might not have found ourselves in the current quagmire in Iraq.
Secondly, once Bush had dragged the country into the War, Kerry voted against the $87 billion funding package because he felt it was wrong that the money would come almost all from U.S. taxpayers, and not from Iraq and not from coalition members. He was not against funding the U.S. troops as spun by the GOP. He felt that the U.S. legislature had not fully explored other alternatives to raise the money.
Of course, these rightfully complex positions on a complex issues cannot be deliciously explained in a 30-second soundbite, which is about all the American public can stomach. Because of this, the Republicans have been able to step in and package Bush's Iraq position into a few tasty morsels while twisting Kerry's into a flip-flopping pancake.
The Republicans recognize that it doesn't matter what they say anyway, as long as it hides the naked truth that the Bush policies in Iraq have been a catastrophic failure.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I regrettably apologize in hindsight I neglected to keep my above argument to a paragraph, as requested.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree the vote against the funding troops was spin. I am not concerned with the flip flop issue. Yes, what you say is what I have heard Kerry say. I agree Bush has made numerous mistakes in the war and particularly in the planning for the aftermath.....that said, i will suggest here that when congress gave that authorization, they knew that absent hussein submitting to the resolutions, they were voting for war. The UN knew this also. Seems to me that France, in particular, never thought it would go as far as it did and then worked to backtrack. Now I am not suggesting that Bush did or didnt rush into things---what i am suggesting is that it is also spin to suggest that no politicians knew what the likely outcome was if Hussein didnt give in. I also do not understand what Kerry would do differently than GWB now? I also am unsure that Kerry would not have gone into Iraq (given the same false info)at the time. I honestly dont think he knows exactly what he would have done.

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerry on Iraq (in one paragraph):

Kerry would level with the American people that this fight is a lot harder than expected. He would attempt serious diplomatic dialogue with our NATO allies and with Russia (which has a lot bigger role in this with the Chechyan-Al Qaeda connection). (I think there is a school of thought that says that, like Reagan after Carter, Kerry after Bush would bring a change of response from our allies in a time of need -- in other words, the allies that Bush pissed off but who otherwise love America and value freedom and democracy, might come back into the fold). Kerry would follow the advice of his generals and shift personnel to increase the troop involvement -- mostly by shifting in non-fighting personnel, but instead reservists and others who could help with infrastructure needs. This would help concentrate our fighting men and women to just that task. And Kerry would improve the health care and wage situation for the military, especially for reservists, so that families don't go broke. Finally, Kerry would try to improve our role in the Israeli-Palestinian fight, which if it led to true peace, might have a calming affect on our Arab friends, and indirectly help the situation in Iraq.

12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe you should run.....if that is kerry's position, then he needs to state it over and over and over again. Thinking maybe I was crazy, I asked five couples, all democrats and kerry supporters, last night what JK's actual position on iraq/foreign policy was, and i received cliches (like he would get all our allies into iraq or to pay for it and get the UN to back his policies) or just blank stares. I still have questions about what happens if allies dont come back into the fold (as the probably wont)and also think the israeli-palestinian situation is extremely difficult and noone has made headway there. But that aside, at least this is a coherent shot at a policy.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is that the average Kerry supporter isn't a political junkie, watching C-Span and the news shows, etc. The average Kerry supporter isn't coming to this blog, either.

It's not that I'm smarter. It's that I'm paying more attention.

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It says something about Kerry, or at least his handlers, that he has not been able to get his message out on the issue of greatest importance to voters (even if it shouldnt be). He cant depend on people watching cspan. He does not sell himself and while some will argue that the media spins against him, he must bear the most responsibility. At least this week, he has dropped vietnam and is speaking to issues. About time. And I truly hope nothing relating to the CBS fiasco gets tied to Kerry's people or you can put a fork in him.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, but the problem is, you have one side -- Bush-Cheney -- that will say anything to get re-elected. They trash anything Kerry says as false or flip-flopping. They say the economy is turning the corner when it got weaker in the second quarter, say they are creating jobs when they are barely keeping pace with population growth, say Iraq is doing well when it isn't, say they've solved prescription drugs for seniors when they haven't, etc. They're like an army, saying these things over and over, regardless of whether they are true. And like it says on this blog, the media sits on its hands or makes it into a horserace and nothing more. So should Kerry say outrageous things just to get the media to pay attnetion? Probably not. Maybe he'll get his shot at the debates. I still think the people are looking for a reason to vote for Kerry. Bush's negatives are still so high.

4:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People are making it too complicated what Kerry would have done differently. He would have followed the detailed provisions in the war legislation, which called for War only after full inspections for WMD had been completed and with only with UN support.
Now you even have UN officials making allegations that the transition plans for Iraq might not fly because the U.S. invasion was "illegal."
If the legislation would have been appropriately followed, no one would be making this claim.
People who are asking themselves "what would Kerry had done differently" should read the legislation he signed authorizing the War. Too much work for lazy, biased media folk?
Some have attempted the Oil For Food alleged scandal to show the UN could not be trusted because of private dealings with Saadam. So Bush was right to sideswipe them.
Well, the current situation in Iraq and known shoddy claims from Bush about the true conditions in the country demonstrate, perhaps, that IT IS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION THAT CAN'T BE TRUSTED.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

two things on oil for food -- the main source is chalabi, and the main news outlet for the charges is fox.

fox had a story about it yesterday, and one of the main charges was the UN only inspected 7-10% of the food shipments to make sure the food wasn't spoiled, and to make sure it complied with UN regulations.

Funny, but isn't it ironic that a criticism of bush is that only 5-7% of cargo coming into u.s. ports is inspected for ties to terrorism?

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a late example of the kind of ill-informed press, which refuses to seek out Kerry's credible side of the story on the War authorization vote issue(described above in the blog).
If below's AP story about Kerry's criticisms on Bush's handling of Iraq is any indication, clearly the mainstream media has adapted the GOP spin as truth.
Kerry's rebuttal to the below could be clearly digested -- if he was only given a chance.

"But whenever the debate turns to Iraq, Republicans are quick to turn Kerry’s sometimes confusing positions on the war against him. After voting to give Bush authority to invade Iraq, Kerry criticized the president for the way the war was handled and said Bush should have pursued more diplomacy first.
Recently, he’s said he voted for the authorization because of possible weapons of mass destruction. But he’s also said that even if he knew then there were no weapons of mass destruction, he still would have voted for the authorization."

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please send me a link to JKs website to the area where i can find his "story" on the iraq war. I want to see in his words a full explanation of what occurred. Personally, i believe many can (more than) reasonably argue that Bush made mistakes in the leadup and certainly in the aftermath to war. To suggest that when Congress almost unanimously authorized the president, these politicans did not believe this was to very likely lead to war---well you will never convince a centrist or a republican of that. Then why vote yes? policitcs maybe-against the nat'l security interests of the US? Hmmmm. France completely reversed itself during these ongoing UN negotiations and made efforts to push others along to that position, obviously for reasons that went beyond the belief that war was wrong. Same for all countries--everyone had an agenda. Bush went with what he believed based on what he was told back in Nov 2002--and what most of the world believed was true intelligence. For those that felt Iraq was not an imminent threat and therefore war under any circumstance was wrong, kudos as the facts bore them out. For those without such insight, which included most all of congress, revisionist history is a wonderful thing. I believe Kerry may have the right ideas for the future (may!), but if anyone suggests that he has been even close to clear about iraq-the history, present or future plans, give that person another drink.

5:19 PM  
Blogger don dzikowski said...

It is those suggesting the entire U.S. Congress and the American public alike were initially "rah!" "rah!" "gung-ho!" in favor of military action in Iraq who are the ones revising history.
Contrary to the last comment, Kerry is not a revisionist.
He has consistently said if Bush had more carefully followed the legislation, as written, we would have had a hell of a better chance of not being in the mess we now find our country in.
Furthermore, I completely disagree that everyone who voted for the "War authorization" knew Bush "as a Republican" intended to go to War.
Quite the contrary, press reports at the time reported of many lawmakers caught by surprise when Bush armed missles at Baghdad. There was still a fair amount of belief Bush would've held off on military action. There was still much widespread skepticism about the appropriateness of the action and whether it would produce a favorable outcome for the U.S.
It apparently it is those seeking an excuse to elect Bush for a second term who are revising history.

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noone should ever be rah rah to go to war. Period. Not the point. Of course there were people questioning whether it was the right decision to go into iraq. that would have been true under any circumstance where we were not blatantly attacked by a country. "Republican" has nothing to do with it. Why did congress authorize him to go to war. Why did the UN pass resolutions indicating serious consequences. These legislators had to know that Bush meant or at least may have meant business...he had shown that trait in the prior year. If Hussein did not compply (keeping in mind we know now he did not have the WMDs etc....), the legislators knew, at the very least, there was a significant chance of force being used. So, why authorize force in the first place? Yes, when the moment of truth came, people questioned whether Bush should wait longer, allow more time for inspections etc....of course some will say that. Humans disagree. However, the story told by many about Kerrys position throughout this period is sketchy at best, and often differs. Now I am not saying Kerry himself changes positions---i wouldnt know as he doesnt clearly state the position. Saying "if Bush had followed what he promised he would...." isnt enough for most people. What specifically did the legislation say that he is now suggesting Bush didnt follow. Timing, facts, specificity. There is a reason that even with a mess in iraq, people still believe Bush to be stronger in that area. I personally believe Kerry is tougher than people give him credit. But no clear message means he loses. Right now, he is just plain lucky half the country cannot stand Bush. Keeping him in the race. Again, this site and others have indicated more than once that to get JKs position on Iraq, past and present, we should just go to the website. I disagree that voters should need to do this--the message should be ingrained in people by now--but in any event, someone send a link to the site showing this and i will be glad to forward it to everyone i know. and, despite your implication, i almost always vote democrat for president and have no like for Bush.

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to reflect on one point made earlier.
I think Kerry suffers because a policy of careful thought and deliberation cannot be boiled down into a clear, crisp soundbite, unlike the case with "I will always greet terrorists with force abroad before they can cause harm on American soil."
People who resonate to the latter claim are acting out of fear, not necessarilly out of intelligence.
That's exactly what the Bush administration wants.

9:46 AM  

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