FactCheck.org Exposes RNC Attacks on Murtha and Dean

FactCheck.org has exposed dishonest RNC ads attacking John Murtha and Howard Dean. In a report entitled RNC Ad Mischaracterizes Murtha they write in their summary:

A Republican National Committee Internet ad uses video of Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania to make it seem he said something that he didn’t. What Murtha said was US allies think the US presence in Iraq makes America a bigger threat to world peace than North Korea or Iran. He was citing overseas public opinion polls. The RNC ad edits his remarks to make it sound as though Murtha himself is asserting that thought.
The same ad attracted widespread attention from liberal bloggers who pointed out evidence that an image of Democratic party chairman Howard Dean had been touched up to give him the hint of a Hitler moustache. The RNC quietly cleaned up the Dean image after being called out.

The full article compares what the RNC claims Murtha said to what he really said. The claims Murths said, “We’re more dangerous to world peace than North Korea or Iran.” Murtha actually said, “Fifty-six per cent of the people in Spain think it’s more dangerous, the United States is more dangerous in Iraq than Iran is. Every one of our allies think that the United States being in Iraq is more dangerous to world stability and world peace, every one of our allies, Great Britain, every single country, they think it’s, we’re more dangerous to world peace than North Korea or Iran. That says something.”

This is a typical Republican tactic. When the facts and all reasonable arguments support the Democrats they try to cheat by misrepresenting the views of the Democrats. They resort to such strawmen arguments because they are incapable of offering a meaningful argument to counter the real positions of the Democrats.

Michigan Republicans of Past and Present Differ on Views of George Bush

We can see the difference between how the Republican Party used to be in Michigan and what it is become by the company the leaders keep. While this is satire with a Bush impersonator, the message is meaningful. Dick DeVos is firmly in the George Bush camp at the extreme far right of the Republican Party. Click Here for video.

In contrast, read this statement from William G. Milliken, a former Republican Governor of Michigan on why he could not support George Bush in 2004:

As a lifelong Republican, I have had mounting concern watching this year’s presidential campaign.I have always been proud to be a Republican. My Republican Party is a broad-based party, that seeks to bring a wide spectrum of people under its umbrella and that seeks to protect and provide opportunity for the most vulnerable among us. Sadly, that is not the Republican Party that I see at the national level today.

My Republican Party has always been a party that stood for fiscal responsibility. Today, under George W. Bush, we have the largest deficit in the history of our country – a deficit that jeopardizes economic growth that is so desperately needed in a nation that has lost 2.6 million jobs since he took office. To make matters even worse, this president inherited a surplus, but squandered it with huge tax cuts structured primarily to benefit the wealthy and powerful.

My Republican Party is the party of Michigan Sen. Arthur H. Vandenberg who helped forge a bipartisan foreign policy that served this nation well and produced strong alliances across the globe.

This president has, in a highly partisan, unilateral way rushed us into a tragic and unnecessary war that has cost the lives of more than 1,000 of our young men and women. In this arrogant rush to war, he has alienated this nation from much of the world. What’s worse, the basic premises upon which we were taken to war proved to be false. Now, we find ourselves in the midst of an occupation that was largely unplanned and has become a disaster from which we cannot easily extricate ourselves.


Democrats Ready to Fight Redistricting Wars

The redistricting wars may be beginning. ABC News report that unions and other liberal groups are forming a political committee for anticipated redistricting fights with the Republicans:

The formation of the political group Foundation for the Future, called a 527 because of the part of the tax code section that governs it, was at least partially a response to aggressive redistricting tactics by Republicans.

“Republicans are prepared to use all means necessary so they can gain power and govern,” said Larry Scanlon, political director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. “They were willing to go into states and do mid-decade redistricting, turning our whole democracy on its ear.”

The committee expects to spend about $17 million over the next five years on redistricting at the state and federal level, with more than half of that money provided by AFSCME, Scanlon said Thursday.

The committee is being formed by AFSCME along with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and the National Committee for an Effective Congress.

“Not being prepared is not an option,” said Joan Fitz-Gerald, DLCC chairwoman and Colorado Senate president.

The wave of the future. Increasingly elections may be won or lost due to events before election day. Republicans already realized this, especially with their actions to suppress the Democratic vote in 2000 and 2004. While I hate to see elections won or lost this way, if one side is doing it, the Democrats have no choice.

Related stories below the fold.

CBS News To Be Live On The Internet

CBS, desperate to get out of third place in network news, is going further than its rival networks to take advantage of the internet. NBC’s Brian Wilson has his Daily Nightly Blog and has the Nightly News available on line following the live broadcast. ABC has a blog and a fifteen minute on line newscast. Reuters reports that, in addition to a blog, CBS will offer the Evening News by live internet stream when Katie Couric starts her newscasts.

Explosive Substances Reportedly Found On Detroit Bound Flight

Will this be yet another false alarm, or is this one for real?

More here and here (additional sources unexpectedly thanks to Michelle Malkin via Memeorandum.)

Update: Another false alarm. The explosives were cosmetics. Report from CBS News.

Thanks For All The Endorsements

The Liberal Values Blog has received endorsements from former Presidents Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Richard Nixon.

Oops, you caught me. I’m obviously making up this list. I thought I’d just try what Katherine Harris has. Her web site lists multiple endorsements from members of Congress. Unfortunatley those listed are unaware of the fact that they endorsed her.

Warrantless Surveillance Program Ordered Stopped by Federal Judge in Detroit

Just received this from ABC News:


Update: Further details are now in from AP:

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of journalists, scholars and lawyers who say the program has made it difficult for them to do their jobs. They believe many of their overseas contacts are likely targets of the program, which involves secretly listening to conversations between people in the U.S. and people in other countries.

The Detroit Free Press has some background information on the judge and the suit. CNN reports here.

Glenn Greenwald has several updates.

Hoekstra Should Practice What He Preaches Regarding Unfounded Terrorist Threats

Congressman Peter Hoekstra should practice what he preaches. While in Muskegon yesterday, Hoekstra spoke about terrorist threats, but also cautioned against making the mistakes seen when inaccurate reports were released of a terrorist plot against the Mackinac Bridge:

“There may have been some folks who jumped to some conclusions a little too early. I don’t know if they overreacted. They just would have been better off waiting a little big longer. They may have felt the thrill of victory — ‘Hey, we just thwarted a terrorist plot’ — but you should get your information before going public.”

Perhaps Hoekstra should have thought of this before joining Rick Santorum in making discredited claims that WMD was found in Iraq last June.

Republican Support Plunging in Heartland

It has always been somewhat inconsistent that the heartland would vote Republican, generally voting against their interests. Regardless of whether this makes sense, this has become accepted as reality. It was no surprise to find that Republican support has fallen in the Northeast. More disturbing for Republicans is their loss of support in the heartland, as reviewed by David Broder:

What I heard here — and in subsequent interviews at the National Governors Association convention in Charleston, S.C. — from one Republican after another signaled serious trouble for the GOP across a broad swath of states from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma in key midterm election contests for House, Senate and governor.

The impression these Republicans had is that support for GOP candidates had nose-dived this summer — in part because of the chaos conveyed by the daily televised scenes of destruction in Iraq and Lebanon and in part because of the dismal reputation built by the Republican Congress that is home to many of the endangered GOP candidates.

After the 2000 election, the current red vs. blue state alignment became firmly entrenched in everyone’s mind, especially as the 2004 election was fought over similar battle lines. It has quickly been forgotten that prior to 2000 states divided differently and there was no reason to believe the 2000 battle lines were permanent. The Republicans are in danger of becoming a southern regional party which has difficulty winning beyond the south. This is something to keep in mind when looking at 2008 contenders. The conventional wisdom that Democrats need a southern candidate to win may no longer hold. Instead the best choice may be a candidate who can do well in the traditional blue states plus the midwest.

Update: Blue Crab Boulevard  isn’t worried since a poll which shows Republcan support falling 53% total Democrats as opposed to 39% Republicans. They see this as a skewed sample. Perhaps, but more likely this is a sign that Republican support has fallen. If support for Republicans has fallen it only makes sense that far fewer people will identify themselves as Republicans.

Of course they are welcome to remain over confident and ignore warnings such as in this article. During 2004, Daily Kos regularly posted claims that polls were oversampling Republicans and that Kerry was really leading despite what the pre-election polls showed. Many believed this, leading to considerable in fighting as some Democrats were misled to believe Kerry lost a race he should have won easily. It’s fine with me if the conservative bloggers want to ignore the problems they face now. Hopefully they will even react as irrationally as some liberal bloggers did after an unexpected loss.

Science Briefs: Darwin Bobbleheads, Pluto Saved, And Princess Leia as Hot Slave Babe

Scientists from the United States, Belgium and France identified 49 “human accelerated regions” which show a lot of genetic activity and are believe to possibly be “the missing links of human genetic evolution.” If this convinces you that Darwin was right, you can now order your very own Darwin Bobble Head here.

Pluto has been saved. After discussion to remove Pluto’s status as a planet, the International Astronomical Union decided instead to maintain Pluto’s status but add three more planets. The Boston Globe summarizes the decision. The three new planets are Ceres, currently considered a large asteroid, Charon, now considered a moon of Pluto, and Xena, a recently discovered object that is larger than Pluto. There is no mention as to whether any of these new planets have internet access or WMD.

Several blogs have followed the lead of Bitch Ph.D. and are questioning if the scenes of Princess Leia as a slave are the reason so fewer women than men went into science and engineering.

If there is any validity to this argument, the harm may have been done well before Star Wars: