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Thursday, October 02, 2003

Meetup and Howard 

Share your Meetup thoughts.

And I feel bad for neglecting this Washington Post story that tries to examine Howard Dean's appeal.

Non-Limbaugh News 

Calpundit has the latest.

Quote of the Day (via Liberal Oasis):

ASHCROFT: …you know, a single allegation can be most worthy of a special prosecutor.

If you're abusing government property, if you're abusing your status in office, it can be a single fact that makes the difference on that.





Rush Limbaugh... 

Limbaugh resigns. I'm very disappointed. My strategy on Sunday used to be to pick *against* his pick. I was 3-1 (with two of his picks losing by a combined 70 points).

Also, watching Rush Limbaugh and Michael Irvin interact? Priceless. I also think it affects the space-time relationship somehow.

PS: I'm not going to comment on the painkiller story that is in the National Enquirer, except to highlight TBogg's great joke.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

The Bat 

Yes, yes. We'll hit the $15M goal. Which is why $15M was selected a few days ago.

OK, that sounds a bit negative. It is remarkable how a grass roots organization has grown so far, so fast. And yes, it does give me a good deal more faith in the process.

But... two things to point out while everyone celebrates (and I will readily admit that I am a pain in the rear and a contrarian):

1) Fundraising is a means to an end, not an end to itself. The message and the man is what's important. Do I think Dean is the best suited to beat Bush? Yes. Did I think that six months, numerous bats and $22.5 million ago? You bet. We have to be careful of formulating a message that persuades people. Focusing on the bat, the blog or anything else misses the point of the campaign: Gov. Dean is the best suited to formulate a message that persuades voters that Bush needs to go.

2) $15M is a lot. I hope, I truly hope, that the campaign (or the press, or you, or me) doesn't focus completely on topping it and "topping expectations" for the next quarter and shoot for $20M. Really. There's a tendency for campaigns in the lead to focus on process, rather than message. The volunteers, not the big donors, are the engine of this campaign. They got Dean where he is right now.

I repeat: there is more to a campaign than fundraising.

Plame, Day Five 

First, the quote of the day comes from Jack Shafer of Slate:

"Any of the six journalists who were offered the Plame story and declined to run with it could have gotten some sort of career-enhancing bump out of it. That they ignored the calculated leak, and the story ended up with an opinion journalist who used it to make his political point, indicates a level of discipline I didn't know existed in the press corps."

Second, Howard Kurtz remembers something I've forgotten:

"By the way, remember the flap in July when Matt Drudge reported that someone in the White House communications office, displeased with an ABC reporter's dispatch on Iraq, had complained that he was gay and Canadian?"

Good question. Is there some sort of strategy going on here?

Finally, in the "truly, truly odd things I would never thought I'd hear so soon" category (from MWO):

RNC CHAIRMAN ED GILLESPIE: I think if the allegation is true, to reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative -- it's abhorrent, and it should be a crime, and it is a crime.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: It'd be worse than Watergate, wouldn't it?

GILLESPIE: It's -- Yeah, I suppose in terms of the real world implications of it. It's not just politics.
-----------------------------------------------
Does this story have legs? Hell if I know. It should.

PS: For those of you are sure that it is Rove, Matthew Yglesias begs to differ with you slightly. And I agree with a commenter to his post: The Office of Special Plans? By "Special", do you mean completely screwed up incursion into a region we barely understand?



Worst. Campaign. Ever. 

Wow. I didn't notice this until Wyeth pointed it out. If you take the American Research poll in South Carolina seriously:

In August, 91% of Democratic Primary voters were aware of Leiberman. In September, that goes down to 87%.

4% of South Carolina voters have forgotten Joe Leiberman in the past month.

A few more months and Leiberman might be the subject of a "Where Are They Now" profile on VH1.


DickFacts.com - The Sad Little Train from Missouri that Couldn't 

DickFacts.com - The Sad Little Train from Missouri that Couldn't

hee hee hee

Monday, September 29, 2003

Cue the Theme to Jaws? 

More later about Valerie Plume, Day Four. Two initial thoughts:

First, why can't we find an overagressive independent prosecutor when we really need him or her. Not that the WH will hire them.

Second, Novak gamely tries to put the genie back in the bottle by stating that:

"Nobody in the Bush administration called me to leak this. In July I was interviewing a senior administration official on Ambassador Wilson's report when he told me the trip was inspired by his wife, a CIA employee working on weapons of mass destruction.
.....
Exceppppt.... he said this to Newsday on 7-22 (courtesy, Talking Points Memo): "I didn't dig it out, it was given to me," he said. "They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it."

Oh, and also that several other reporters were also leaked the same story, not just The Prince of Darkness, according to most reports.

Stay tuned.

House Call Record 

3,557 telephone calls. And none from my parents why I don't see them more often.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Valerie Plame 

No smart-aleck post here. This is serious.

The Washington Post has a devastating article on the story that might gather a great deal of attention this week:

At CIA Director George J. Tenet's request, the Justice Department is looking into an allegation that administration officials leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer to a journalist, government sources said yesterday.

The operative's identity was published in July after her husband, former U.S. ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, publicly challenged President Bush's claim that Iraq had tried to buy "yellowcake" uranium ore from Africa for possible use in nuclear weapons. Bush later backed away from the claim.

The intentional disclosure of a covert operative's identity is a violation of federal law.
......
Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife.
......
"Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the senior official said of the alleged leak.
.....
Wilson, while refusing to confirm his wife's occupation, has suggested publicly that he believes Bush's senior adviser, Karl C. Rove, broke her cover. Wilson said Aug. 21 at a public forum in suburban Seattle that it is of keen interest to him "to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs."
......

Meanwhile, Time Magazine is reporting the Justice Department is making a preliminary investigation.

To sum up (Cal Pundit and Talking Points Memo are the best on the subject):

Two senior administration aides (senior enough with access to the names of CIA agents) disclosed the identity of a CIA agent, a crime, to reporters out of political pique. The reporters, with the exception of Robert Novak, did not run with the story and, most importantly, know who the leakers are. This is now the subject of a preliminary investigation. And... here's the kicker... someone in the Administration (Marshall suggests CIA director Tenet) is now leaking articles to the Washington Post broadcasting their displeasure.

I know this is a Howard Dean website but this goes a bit beyond the usual partisan wrangling. Senior Administration officials blew the identity of a CIA official (with national security implications) over, let's face it, a relatively minor political squabble.

This will become very, very interesting.

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