October 12, 2004

LNS Countdown to Electoral Uprising - 21 Days to Go -- The tide, which began to turn months ago, is flowing out, and there is a very dangerous undertow...

There are 21 days to go until the national referendum
on the COMPETENCE, CREDIBILITY and CHARACTER of the
increasingly unhinged and incredibly shrinking
_resident...The tide, which began to turn months ago,
is flowing out, and there is a very dangerous
undertow...The St Louis Post-Dispatch, Seatle Post
Intelligencer, Atlanta Journal Constitution and
Philadelphia Enquirer have already endorsed Sen. John
F. Kerry (D-Mekong Delta)...Kerry-Edwards are 3-0 in
the debates...Zogby, a cautious but consumately
professional and highly accurate pollster, gives JFK
the lead -- not only in the popular vote, but more
importantly, in the Electoral College tally. Even
Gallop, who claims he is "polling for God" as he skews
and cooks the numbers, has been forced to acknowledge
JFK has taken back the lead (if he ever lost
it)...Remember there are two kinds of polls, the ones
they show you and the ones they don't show you...JFK
is ahead, or tied, in formerly red Bardoground
States...Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire, West
Virginia and Virginia are seriously in play, so are
the big neo-confederacy's big three: Ohio, Fraudida
and Misery...There is an electoral uprising coming at
the ballot box on November 2nd...The central issue for
tomorrow night's debate is SECURITY: Economic
Security, Environmental Security, Health Care
Security, Social Security, Constitutional Security and
of course, Homeland Security...Over and over again, in
with a FORCEFUL, DISCIPLINED, WELL-BRIEFED manner, JFK
must hit that central theme: Are you safer than you
were four years ago? Can you afford for more years of
this illegitimate, incompetent and corrupt regime? JFK
must hit him, and hit him hard, over and over again.
The increasingly unhinged and incredibly shrinking
_resident will snap or shrivel up into a
caricature...right there...on prime-time...There is an
Electoral Uprising coming...

MARK LAVIE, Associated Press: The war in Iraq did not
damage international terror groups, but instead
distracted the United States from confronting other
hotbeds of Islamic militancy and actually "created
momentum" for many terrorists, a top Israeli security
think tank said in a report released Monday...the
Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv
University said that instead of striking a blow
against Islamic extremists, the Iraq war "has created
momentum for many terrorist elements, but chiefly
al-Qaida and its affiliates."
Jaffee Center director Shai Feldman said the vast
amount of money and effort the United States has
poured into Iraq has deflected attention and assets
from other centers of terrorism, such as Afghanistan.
The concentration of U.S. intelligence assets in Iraq
"has to be at the expense of being able to follow
strategic dangers in other parts of the world," he
said.
Shlomo Brom, a retired Israeli army general, said the
U.S.-led effort was strategically misdirected. If the
goal in the war against terrorism is "not just to kill
the mosquitos but to dry the swamp," he said, "now
it's quite clear" that Iraq "is not the swamp."
Instead, he said, the Iraq campaign is having the
opposite effect, drawing Islamic extremists from other
parts of the world to join the battle.
"On a strategic level as well as an operational
level," Brom concluded, "the war in Iraq is hurting
the war on international terrorism."

Erin Neff, Las Vegas Journal-Review: The war in Iraq
continues to dominate news on the campaign trail, even
in Nevada, where it has eclipsed Yucca Mountain as of
late.
Three women with sons or husbands serving in the
military campaigned for John Kerry in Las Vegas last
week, meeting with a local mother whose son is serving
in Afghanistan.
They said they gave up jobs and left Pennsylvania,
Tennessee and Florida to tell other mothers that the
commander-in-chief isn't serving their sons...
Martin's two sons are Marines, and she said one
serving in Iraq bought a helmet online before he was
deployed.
"They had helmets, but not proper equipment," Martin
said.
Martin and the other mothers spent most of their time
not sharing personal stories, but retreading
statements and news articles that criticize everything
from the justification for the war in Iraq to troop
levels and morale.
Asked what her son has told her about the upcoming
election, Maura Satchell of Smyrna, Tenn., started
talking about an article written for the New Yorker by
Seymour Hersh.

EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press: Seven American
activist groups asked the United Nations on Monday to
provide international observers for next month's
presidential election.
A petition delivered to the U.N. Economic and Social
Council said that only the U.N. can ``give us recourse
to international bodies beyond those within our own
national and state governments'' in case of a repeat
of the problems seen in the 2000 election, which
President Bush won after a protracted ballot fight in
Florida.
Grace Ross of the Economic Human Rights Project, based
in Somerville, Mass., said the non-governmental groups
decided to seek action from the Economic and Social
Council, known as ECOSOC, after U.N. Secretary-General
Kofi Annan turned down a request for international
observers from 13 members of Congress, led by Eddie
Bernice Johnson, D-Tex. Annan said the U.N. needed an
invitation from the U.S. government, not Congress.
Ross claimed that while governments need to go through
the U.N. General Assembly, non-governmental
organizations could request observers through ECOSOC.
If its 54 elected member nations approve, the ECOSOC
president could then ask Annan to send observers, she
said...
The petition ``strongly supports'' the presence of
observers from the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe, a 55-nation security group
invited by the Bush administration to monitor the
election. Bush faces Democratic challenger Sen. John
Kerry.
But the seven groups say it's not clear that the
European observers will have the force of
international law behind them since they are invited
guests.

Ronald Brownstein, LA Times: The sold-out show at the
MCI Center followed more than a week of barnstorming
across battleground states by prominent artists such
as Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, Pearl Jam,
R.E.M., Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, John Mellencamp
and the Dixie Chicks. It represented one of the most
ambitious efforts by entertainers to influence a
presidential election.
In all, sponsors said the 33-city, 11-state Vote for
Change concert tour raised $15 million for America
Coming Together, a group organizing get-out-the-vote
drives for Democrats, and identified 300,000 potential
new members for the political action committee
associated with MoveOn.org, an online liberal advocacy
group.
The shows also generated large amounts of local media
coverage in the hotly contested states...
The tour was unusual in its breadth and strategy.
Traditionally, musicians have supported political
causes by gathering in big cities for one or two
concerts aimed mostly at raising money.
But the Vote for Change tour sent the artists through
major battleground states for a coordinated series of
37 shows intended as much to attract publicity as to
collect cash. On Oct. 1, the artists descended on
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Florida for six shows
in different cities on a single night; they then
dispersed for shows in other states, including
Minnesota and Iowa.
The Monday show had been intended to conclude the
tour, but Springsteen will lead several of the artists
in an additional show Wednesday in his home state of
New Jersey. Springsteen decided to add the show after
several polls in the state showed Bush running
surprisingly close to Kerry.
One of the most pointed moments during the concert
came when Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks
reaffirmed her comment last year that she was
"ashamed" Bush came from Texas, her home state.
She said she had been asked if she wanted to apologize
for the remark, which caused some radio stations to
drop the group's songs from their playlists. "I
thought about it," she said, "and I thought if I did
that, Bush would just call me a flip-flopper."

Brooks Boliek, Hollywood Reporter: The Democratic
Party and 18 senators are seeking a pair of federal
investigations into Sinclair Broadcast Group's plans
to preempt network primetime programing on its 62 TV
stations nationwide later this month to air a
documentary critical of Sen. John Kerry's antiwar
activities...
DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe said the company was
acting as a mouthpiece for the Republican Party rather
than a legitimate news outlet.
"In this election cycle, they have put their money
where their right-wing mouths are," he said.
"Sinclair's owners aren't interested in news; they're
interested in pro-Bush propaganda."
Sinclair executives have given thousands to the Bush
campaign, and the company refused to air the April 30
"Nightline" episode in which hundreds of names of
American troops killed in Iraq (news - web sites) were
read by ABC anchor Ted Koppel.
Democratic FCC commissioner Michael Copps called
Sinclair's decision "an abuse of the public trust."
"It is proof positive of media consolidation run amok
when one owner can use the public airwaves to blanket
the country with its political ideology -- whether
liberal or conservative," he said. "This is the same
corporation that refused to air "Nightline's" reading
of our war dead in Iraq. It is the same corporation
that short shrifts local communities and local jobs by
distance-casting news and weather from hundreds of
miles away."

Mark Moulitsas, Guardian: The evolution of George
Bush's persona over the past few weeks is startling
for even the most casual observers. Only a short while
ago, Bush was a strong, decisive leader and Kerry was
a weak, flip-flopping Massachusetts liberal. The Bush
campaign expected those images to carry them through
the November elections: it had cost them more than
$200m (112m) to build those caricatures and they had
every reason to expect a solid return on their
investment.
But those images were built on a carefully crafted
stage. Despite all the flaws in the US electoral
process we still force the candidates to exit that
bubble a handful of times during the election, and it
is some credit to the system that those three
90-minute debates can still determine the fate of an
election. This year, they have helped introduce the
nation to Furious George.
Bush's political operators have worked overtime to
make "angry" a pejorative term this political cycle.
They wielded the "too angry" attack against Howard
Dean in the primaries, when it seemed Dean would be
the Democratic nominee, and it helped destroy Dean's
candidacy. Republicans again shouted "too angry" to
discredit Al Gore's series of impassioned anti-Bush
speeches earlier this year.
The "too angry" claims successfully marginalised the
content of those speeches - blistering indictments of
an incompetent administration. But what happens when
your best attack line is a double-edged sword?
Bush's operation has taken stage management to
extremes. His handlers have figured - correctly - that
the press conference format suits their man poorly and
is to be avoided at all costs. His last primetime
press conference was in April 2004, and he has had
only two with the White House press corps since late
August - both of them with the Iraqi prime minister,
Ayad Allawi, at his side. (The Bush campaign actually
wrote Allawi's speech in order to squeeze out precious
political points.)
Bush's campaign appearances are not much better.
While Kerry's events are open to the public, Bush's
affairs require the signing of a "loyalty oath".
Quietly wearing an anti-Bush T-shirt or badge is
grounds for expulsion.
Bush faces only adoring audiences vetted by the
campaign's enforcers. At his town hall events,
questions are planted for maximum political effect. At
one, a veteran merely got up and requested permission
to salute his commander in chief. Compelling visuals?
Perhaps. But it does little to acquaint Bush with
reality...
Given the force of Republican efforts to deify Bush,
his debate performances came as a big shock to many
Americans. They showed a Bush quick to anger,
indecisiveness, pettiness and petulance. The sheltered
Bush was clearly unprepared for the debate and
unprepared to face criticism. In fact, it seemed to
take him by surprise. No one seemed to have told him
he had critics.
After his first debate performance, Bush was in a
quandary. He had to stem his erosion in the polls, but
to do so would require attacking Kerry and furthering
the perception that he was too angry to be president.
So how did he respond? By getting even more angry. He
not only viciously attacked Kerry but also took out
the moderator and several questioners in the process.
Someone, somewhere, labelled Bush Furious George - a
clever turn on HA Rey's Curious George children's
books and an appellation that took firm hold in the
online and, increasingly, offline worlds.
Bush acted like the proverbial ugly American trying to
be understood in a foreign land, cranking up the
volume and shrillness to make his points while Kerry
sat by serenely. The contrast was impossible to miss
as Bush became increasingly unhinged. Even on the
road, Bush's desperation is palpable as the rhetoric
soars to angrier heights.
Bush is now hemmed in. With poll after poll showing
small Kerry leads, he needs to do something to regain
the momentum. His campaign's attack ads have kept him
in the game but he is not pulling away. Furthermore,
he is well below the 50% mark in most key battleground
state polls - a mark of political vulnerability.
If he cannot convince people to vote for him, he will
have to convince people to vote against Kerry, and to
do that he has to attack, attack, attack. And since it
takes more skill than Bush possesses to attack without
appearing angry, well, he's in a real bind.
Bush's political operation has conditioned the
electorate to distrust "anger". It has made the charge
a cornerstone of its smear effort against Democrats
such as Dean and Gore. For a campaign that lives by
the smear, it is poetic justice to see the tables
turned. Furious George is here to stay.

Support Our Troops, Save the US Constitution,
Repudiate the 9/11 Cover-Up and the Iraq War Lies,
Restore Fiscal Responsibility in the White House,
Thwart the Theft of a Second Presidential Election,
Save the Environment, Break the Corporatist
Stranglehold on the US Mainstream News Media, Rescue
the US Supreme Court from Right-Wing Radicals, Cleanse
the White House of the Chicken Hawk Coup and Its
War-Profiteering Cronies, Show Up for Democracy in
2004: Defeat the Triad, Defeat Bush (again!)

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20041011/ap_on_re_mi_ea/israel_terrorism

Think Tank: Iraq War Distracted U.S.

Mon Oct 11, 2:10 PM ET Middle East - AP

By MARK LAVIE, Associated Press Writer

TEL AVIV, Israel - The war in Iraq (news - web sites)
did not damage international terror groups, but
instead distracted the United States from confronting
other hotbeds of Islamic militancy and actually
"created momentum" for many terrorists, a top Israeli
security think tank said in a report released Monday.

President Bush (news - web sites) has called the war
in Iraq an integral part of the war on terrorism,
saying that deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (news
- web sites) hoped to develop unconventional weapons
and could have given them to Islamic militants across
the world.


But the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel
Aviv University said that instead of striking a blow
against Islamic extremists, the Iraq war "has created
momentum for many terrorist elements, but chiefly
al-Qaida and its affiliates."


Jaffee Center director Shai Feldman said the vast
amount of money and effort the United States has
poured into Iraq has deflected attention and assets
from other centers of terrorism, such as Afghanistan
(news - web sites).


The concentration of U.S. intelligence assets in Iraq
"has to be at the expense of being able to follow
strategic dangers in other parts of the world," he
said.


Shlomo Brom, a retired Israeli army general, said the
U.S.-led effort was strategically misdirected. If the
goal in the war against terrorism is "not just to kill
the mosquitos but to dry the swamp," he said, "now
it's quite clear" that Iraq "is not the swamp."


Instead, he said, the Iraq campaign is having the
opposite effect, drawing Islamic extremists from other
parts of the world to join the battle.


"On a strategic level as well as an operational
level," Brom concluded, "the war in Iraq is hurting
the war on international terrorism."


In other findings, Jaffee Center experts disagreed
with the Israeli government's statements that its
four-year struggle against Palestinian militants is
part of the world fight against Islamic terrorism.


Yoram Schweitzer, who wrote the chapter about the Iraq
war, said the local conflict is a "national struggle,"
while international Islamic militant groups like
al-Qaida target not only Israel but also the entire
Western world.


After interviewing Palestinian militants, including
some in prison, Schweitzer said they do not consider
themselves part of the al-Qaida campaign. "Many of
them are critical of Al-Qaida and its methods," he
told a news conference.


The Jaffee report found that Israel has succeeded in
reducing Palestinian violence against Israelis.


Feldman said the motivation of Palestinian militants
to attack the country remained unchanged, but praised
the work of military intelligence in preventing many
attacks.


"The only reason these (anti-terror) operations
succeed is that we have better intelligence," he said.

Feldman said the weekend attacks in the Egyptian Sinai
Peninsula aimed at places where Israelis gather did
not figure in to the assessment. Thirteen Israelis
were among at least 34 people killed in two car bomb
attacks Thursday.


"We regard the attacks in the Sinai in a different
category," he said, likening it to an attack at a
hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, last year that killed 10,
including three Israelis.


The report includes statistical breakdowns of the
military forces and their capabilities in the Middle
East, as well as analyses of regional issues.

http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2004/Oct-11-Mon-2004/news/24941173.html

Monday, October 11, 2004
Copyright Las Vegas Review-Journal

POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Military moms, wives campaign
against Bush

Women come to Las Vegas to share personal stories of
loved ones who are serving country overseas

By ERIN NEFF
REVIEW-JOURNAL

The war in Iraq continues to dominate news on the
campaign trail, even in Nevada, where it has eclipsed
Yucca Mountain as of late.

Three women with sons or husbands serving in the
military campaigned for John Kerry in Las Vegas last
week, meeting with a local mother whose son is serving
in Afghanistan.

They said they gave up jobs and left Pennsylvania,
Tennessee and Florida to tell other mothers that the
commander-in-chief isn't serving their sons.

"We wanted to tell personal stories," Nita Martin of
suburban Philadelphia said.

Martin's two sons are Marines, and she said one
serving in Iraq bought a helmet online before he was
deployed.

"They had helmets, but not proper equipment," Martin
said.

Martin and the other mothers spent most of their time
not sharing personal stories, but retreading
statements and news articles that criticize everything
from the justification for the war in Iraq to troop
levels and morale.

Asked what her son has told her about the upcoming
election, Maura Satchell of Smyrna, Tenn., started
talking about an article written for the New Yorker by
Seymour Hersh.

Asked whether their campaigning for Kerry could have
ramifications for their sons, Satchell said: "The
failure to speak out is worse. Making sure we have a
change in commander in chief is far more important."

The voluntary campaign by the women wasn't greeted
well by a local Republican whose son, a Marine, just
returned from Iraq on Oct. 2.

Denise Needham said that although she has grave
concerns about the war, she would never campaign for
George Bush on the issue.

"It wasn't until Sunday (the day after he returned)
that I didn't have to pick up the paper because I knew
my son wasn't going to be killed that day," said
Needham, a nurse. "Do I think it's worth losing one
American to be over in Iraq? If it's my son, I'd say
`hell no.' But standing back and looking at it and
being the leader of the United States, I don't know."

Needham said she wouldn't vote for Kerry because she
is "pro-life and pro-family."

Youth vote

John Cusack didn't make it to Las Vegas on Saturday to
stump for John Kerry, but Democrats still did their
part to bring out the youth vote by offering Hollywood
types and those connected to the Massachusetts
senator.

Kerry's daughter Alex Kerry worked throughout the
weekend in Las Vegas, including talking to young
volunteers for her father's campaign Sunday afternoon
at the Democratic headquarters.

She was joined by two cast members of "The O.C." (Adam
Brody and Rachel Bilson) and an actor from "Everwood"
(Gregory Smith) -- not exactly Cusack -- but hip
enough for the younger demographic Dems.

The efforts were part of a weekend push nationally to
reach out to 1 million voters. In Nevada, Democrats
said they either had knocked on doors or phoned 50,000
voters on Kerry's behalf.

Stephens Washington Bureau writers Tony Batt and Steve
Tetreault contributed to this report. Contact
political reporter Erin Neff

at 387-2906 or ENeff@reviewjournal.com.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4544722,00.html

7 U.S. Groups Ask U.N. for Vote Observers

Tuesday October 12, 2004 2:46 AM


By EDITH M. LEDERER

Associated Press Writer

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Seven American activist groups
asked the United Nations on Monday to provide
international observers for next month's presidential
election.

A petition delivered to the U.N. Economic and Social
Council said that only the U.N. can ``give us recourse
to international bodies beyond those within our own
national and state governments'' in case of a repeat
of the problems seen in the 2000 election, which
President Bush won after a protracted ballot fight in
Florida.

Grace Ross of the Economic Human Rights Project, based
in Somerville, Mass., said the non-governmental groups
decided to seek action from the Economic and Social
Council, known as ECOSOC, after U.N. Secretary-General
Kofi Annan turned down a request for international
observers from 13 members of Congress, led by Eddie
Bernice Johnson, D-Tex. Annan said the U.N. needed an
invitation from the U.S. government, not Congress.

Ross claimed that while governments need to go through
the U.N. General Assembly, non-governmental
organizations could request observers through ECOSOC.
If its 54 elected member nations approve, the ECOSOC
president could then ask Annan to send observers, she
said.

The United States would have to grant permission to
any observers that the ECOSOC wanted to send.

The petition ``strongly supports'' the presence of
observers from the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe, a 55-nation security group
invited by the Bush administration to monitor the
election. Bush faces Democratic challenger Sen. John
Kerry.

But the seven groups say it's not clear that the
European observers will have the force of
international law behind them since they are invited
guests.

Other organizations signing the petition include the
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom,
based in Philadelphia; the National Welfare Rights
Union and the Michigan Welfare Rights Union, based in
Detroit; the Independent Progressive Politics Network,
headquartered in Bloomfield, N.J.; Seacoast Peace
Response, based in Portsmouth, N.H.; and the North
Shore Massachusetts chapter of the Alliance for
Democracy.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/whitehouse/la-na-tour12oct12,1,6054921.story?coll=la-news-politics-white_house

THE NATION
Politics the Headliner at Capital Show
Springsteen, R.E.M. and other barnstorming musicians
cap their anti-Bush tour with a sold-out concert near
the White House.
By Ronald Brownstein
Times Staff Writer

October 12, 2004

WASHINGTON A dozen high-profile musicians capped a
spirited campaign blitz with a nationally televised
concert Monday night that brought their drive to
unseat President Bush within a few blocks of the White
House.

The sold-out show at the MCI Center followed more than
a week of barnstorming across battleground states by
prominent artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Dave
Matthews, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Kenneth "Babyface"
Edmonds, John Mellencamp and the Dixie Chicks. It
represented one of the most ambitious efforts by
entertainers to influence a presidential election.

"We are each of us placing yard signs in our front
yards," said Michael Stipe, the lead singer of R.E.M.,
as the show began. "Our front yards just happen to be
this stage."

In all, sponsors said the 33-city, 11-state Vote for
Change concert tour raised $15 million for America
Coming Together, a group organizing get-out-the-vote
drives for Democrats, and identified 300,000 potential
new members for the political action committee
associated with MoveOn.org, an online liberal advocacy
group.

The shows also generated large amounts of local media
coverage in the hotly contested states. And perhaps
just as important for the tour's sponsors, the
entertainers made it through without producing
incendiary remarks that would have sparked a backlash
from the Bush campaign or its allies.

"Everybody talked about [the tour] being Bush-hating
or Bush-bashing, but that wasn't the way it unfolded,"
said Bertis Downs, manager for R.E.M. "I don't think
anybody was overbearing on the politics."

Jim Dyke, communications director for the Republican
National Committee, agreed that the artists appeared
to avoid controversy during the tour. But he
questioned whether their message affected many voters.

"When you are talking about the war on terrorism and
our economy and these important social issues, it's no
disrespect to them, but I'm just not sure that
musicians are going to sway the general population in
either direction," Dyke said.

Monday's show attracted two small pockets of
protesters. About a dozen people representing the
conservative group Free Republic.com held signs
accusing the artists of undermining the war on
terrorism; one man in a Saddam Hussein mask waved a
sign that read, "Rockin' 4 Osama." Also, abortion
opponents gathered outside MCI Center's main entrance.

The crowd filing into the concert was more overtly
political than at many of the other shows, with nearly
as many wearing T-shirts promoting Sen. John F.
Kerry's presidential candidacy as shirts touting the
bands.

The tour was unusual in its breadth and strategy.
Traditionally, musicians have supported political
causes by gathering in big cities for one or two
concerts aimed mostly at raising money.

But the Vote for Change tour sent the artists through
major battleground states for a coordinated series of
37 shows intended as much to attract publicity as to
collect cash. On Oct. 1, the artists descended on
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Florida for six shows
in different cities on a single night; they then
dispersed for shows in other states, including
Minnesota and Iowa.

The Monday show had been intended to conclude the
tour, but Springsteen will lead several of the artists
in an additional show Wednesday in his home state of
New Jersey. Springsteen decided to add the show after
several polls in the state showed Bush running
surprisingly close to Kerry.

Jon Landau, Springsteen's manager and one of the
tour's main architects, said he thought its principal
political value could be to "inspire part of the
[Democratic] base."

"While its true that the audiences were largely
already favorable to the concerns of Vote for Change,
I feel that people left these incredible and unified
experiences elevated and more fully motivated and
involved," Landau said.

Not all who attended the shows opposed Bush. For
instance, at the Oct. 3 show in Detroit featuring
Springsteen and R.E.M. Craig Felhandler, a financial
advisor wearing a Springsteen T-shirt, good-naturedly
told a MoveOn.org organizer that he couldn't
volunteer. He said he was planning to back Bush
because of the president's aggressive response to
terrorism.

"We have to take action before it gets bad that's
why I'm voting for Bush," he said. "But I love Bruce
Springsteen."

Still, several of the artists said it appeared that
most of those attending the concerts endorsed the
tour's political message.

"It was incredibly supportive," Stipe said. "The
energy was coming from the crowd, not from us."

Ellen Malcolm, president of America Coming Together,
said the $15 million the group expected to raise from
the concerts amounted to about one-eighth of its total
budget. "We will use the money to put together the
biggest get-out-the-vote operation the country has
ever seen," she said.

With the artists usually making a recruiting pitch
from the stage, MoveOn and America Coming Together
attracted hundreds of workers for its get-out-the-vote
drives.

Artistically, the shows were noteworthy for the
collaborations they produced. Springsteen sang with
John Fogerty on Fogerty's Vietnam-era antiwar song,
"Fortunate Son." Neil Young, who migrated between
several of the different concerts, played Bob Dylan's
"All Along the Watchtower" with Pearl Jam one night
and with Springsteen another.

The tour also was notable for its absence of
politicians or political leaders. All the political
messages which were generally low-key and brief
came from the artists themselves.

Political figures remained on the sidelines even at
Monday's show in Washington, which Downs said fit with
the artists' desire to transmit a personal message to
their fans.

One of the most pointed moments during the concert
came when Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks
reaffirmed her comment last year that she was
"ashamed" Bush came from Texas, her home state.

She said she had been asked if she wanted to apologize
for the remark, which caused some radio stations to
drop the group's songs from their playlists. "I
thought about it," she said, "and I thought if I did
that, Bush would just call me a flip-flopper."


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Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20041012/en_nm/television_democrats_dc_3

Democrats Seek Probe of Anti-Kerry Broadcast

Tue Oct 12, 3:56 AM ET Entertainment - Reuters

By Brooks Boliek

WASHINGTON (Hollywood Reporter) - The Democratic Party
and 18 senators are seeking a pair of federal
investigations into Sinclair Broadcast Group's plans
to preempt network primetime programing on its 62 TV
stations nationwide later this month to air a
documentary critical of Sen. John Kerry (news - web
sites)'s antiwar activities.


The Democratic National Committee (news - web sites)
plans to file a complaint with the Federal Election
Commission (news - web sites) that alleges that the
documentary "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal" is
an illegal in-kind contribution to President Bush
(news - web sites)'s campaign. Many of the stations
the Baltimore-based company owns are in critical
"battleground states."


Meanwhile, the Democratic senators have asked the FCC
(news - web sites) to investigate whether Sinclair's
plan was an improper use of public airwaves.


The documentary by Pennsylvania-based Carlton
Sherwood, a former journalist and Vietnam veteran,
chronicles Kerry's 1971 testimony before Congress and
links him to activist and actress Jane Fonda (news).
It includes interviews with Vietnam prisoners of war
and their wives who claim that Kerry's testimony --
filled with "lurid fantasies of butchery in Vietnam"
on the part of U.S. troops -- demeaned them and led
their captors to hold them longer.


DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe said the company was
acting as a mouthpiece for the Republican Party rather
than a legitimate news outlet.


"In this election cycle, they have put their money
where their right-wing mouths are," he said.
"Sinclair's owners aren't interested in news; they're
interested in pro-Bush propaganda."


Sinclair executives have given thousands to the Bush
campaign, and the company refused to air the April 30
"Nightline" episode in which hundreds of names of
American troops killed in Iraq (news - web sites) were
read by ABC anchor Ted Koppel.


Democratic FCC commissioner Michael Copps called
Sinclair's decision "an abuse of the public trust."


"It is proof positive of media consolidation run amok
when one owner can use the public airwaves to blanket
the country with its political ideology -- whether
liberal or conservative," he said. "This is the same
corporation that refused to air "Nightline's" reading
of our war dead in Iraq. It is the same corporation
that short shrifts local communities and local jobs by
distance-casting news and weather from hundreds of
miles away."


Mark Hyman, vp corporate relations at Sinclair and
also a conservative commentator for the company, said
Monday that the show would contain some or all of the
42-minute film as well as a panel discussion of some
sort. He said final details had not been worked out
but defended it as a legitimate news.


"Would they suggest that our reporting a car bomb in
Iraq is an in-kind contribution to the Kerry
campaign?" Hyman told the Associated Press. "Would
they suggest that our reporting on job losses is an
in-kind contribution to the Kerry campaign? It's the
news. It is what it is. We're reporting the news."


The specifics of when Sinclair plans to run "Stolen
Honor" in its various markets remained unclear Monday.
Sinclair owns stations reaching nearly 23% of the
nation's TV households. The majority of its stations
are affiliated with Fox, the WB Network and UPN, but
it also owns ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates.


One source familiar with Sinclair's plans said the
group wants to air the program on different nights
depending on the station's affiliation. The source
said that Sinclair was targeting an Oct. 22 airdate
for the film on its 21 Fox affiliates to avoid having
to preempt any of the network's highly rated baseball
league championship and World Series (news - web
sites) games.


A Fox spokesman declined to comment on the prospect of
the preemption, as did representatives for other
broadcasters. A source at one of the Big Four networks
said Sinclair was within the rights of its affiliation
contracts to do the preemption under clauses that
allow station owners flexibility to bump network
programing for local news or other programs deemed in
the interest of the community served by the station.


Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/markosmoulitsas/story/0,15139,1325454,00.html

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The madness of George

The Bush campaign was once happy to use 'angry' as a
term of abuse - but that was before the US public met
Furious George, writes US political blogger Markos
Moulitsas

Mark Moulitsas
Tuesday October 12, 2004

The evolution of George Bush's persona over the past
few weeks is startling for even the most casual
observers. Only a short while ago, Bush was a strong,
decisive leader and Kerry was a weak, flip-flopping
Massachusetts liberal. The Bush campaign expected
those images to carry them through the November
elections: it had cost them more than $200m (112m) to
build those caricatures and they had every reason to
expect a solid return on their investment.
But those images were built on a carefully crafted
stage. Despite all the flaws in the US electoral
process we still force the candidates to exit that
bubble a handful of times during the election, and it
is some credit to the system that those three
90-minute debates can still determine the fate of an
election. This year, they have helped introduce the
nation to Furious George.

Bush's political operators have worked overtime to
make "angry" a pejorative term this political cycle.
They wielded the "too angry" attack against Howard
Dean in the primaries, when it seemed Dean would be
the Democratic nominee, and it helped destroy Dean's
candidacy. Republicans again shouted "too angry" to
discredit Al Gore's series of impassioned anti-Bush
speeches earlier this year.

The "too angry" claims successfully marginalised the
content of those speeches - blistering indictments of
an incompetent administration. But what happens when
your best attack line is a double-edged sword?

Bush's operation has taken stage management to
extremes. His handlers have figured - correctly - that
the press conference format suits their man poorly and
is to be avoided at all costs. His last primetime
press conference was in April 2004, and he has had
only two with the White House press corps since late
August - both of them with the Iraqi prime minister,
Ayad Allawi, at his side. (The Bush campaign actually
wrote Allawi's speech in order to squeeze out precious
political points.)

Bush's campaign appearances are not much better.
While Kerry's events are open to the public, Bush's
affairs require the signing of a "loyalty oath".
Quietly wearing an anti-Bush T-shirt or badge is
grounds for expulsion.

Bush faces only adoring audiences vetted by the
campaign's enforcers. At his town hall events,
questions are planted for maximum political effect. At
one, a veteran merely got up and requested permission
to salute his commander in chief. Compelling visuals?
Perhaps. But it does little to acquaint Bush with
reality.

Campaign commercials do their best to paint an
alternative reality in which Bush is an effective
leader and Kerry is anything but. Entire media
networks, such as Fox News and Sinclair Broadcasting,
prop up Bush in a way that would make their fellow
propagandists in North Korea and Cuba proud. Sinclair,
in fact, will pre-empt local programming on its 62
stations to air an anti-Kerry movie days before the
election.

Given the force of Republican efforts to deify Bush,
his debate performances came as a big shock to many
Americans. They showed a Bush quick to anger,
indecisiveness, pettiness and petulance. The sheltered
Bush was clearly unprepared for the debate and
unprepared to face criticism. In fact, it seemed to
take him by surprise. No one seemed to have told him
he had critics.

After his first debate performance, Bush was in a
quandary. He had to stem his erosion in the polls, but
to do so would require attacking Kerry and furthering
the perception that he was too angry to be president.

So how did he respond? By getting even more angry. He
not only viciously attacked Kerry but also took out
the moderator and several questioners in the process.
Someone, somewhere, labelled Bush Furious George - a
clever turn on HA Rey's Curious George children's
books and an appellation that took firm hold in the
online and, increasingly, offline worlds.

Bush acted like the proverbial ugly American trying to
be understood in a foreign land, cranking up the
volume and shrillness to make his points while Kerry
sat by serenely. The contrast was impossible to miss
as Bush became increasingly unhinged. Even on the
road, Bush's desperation is palpable as the rhetoric
soars to angrier heights.

Bush is now hemmed in. With poll after poll showing
small Kerry leads, he needs to do something to regain
the momentum. His campaign's attack ads have kept him
in the game but he is not pulling away. Furthermore,
he is well below the 50% mark in most key battleground
state polls - a mark of political vulnerability.

If he cannot convince people to vote for him, he will
have to convince people to vote against Kerry, and to
do that he has to attack, attack, attack. And since it
takes more skill than Bush possesses to attack without
appearing angry, well, he's in a real bind.

Bush's political operation has conditioned the
electorate to distrust "anger". It has made the charge
a cornerstone of its smear effort against Democrats
such as Dean and Gore. For a campaign that lives by
the smear, it is poetic justice to see the tables
turned. Furious George is here to stay.

Markos Moulitsas runs the dailykos.com US political
blog, and Our Congress, a blog tracking the hottest
congressional races

Posted by richard at October 12, 2004 04:01 PM