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As I wrote early

As I wrote early Saturday evening, the third day before the election showed the balance of tracking polls moving for Kerry, with one national poll (Fox) trending to Kerry and another (Newsweek) trending to Bush.

For what it's worth, the last poll, the Newsweek poll leaning to Bush, included the oldest data, though only by a hair.

That spread generated this overnight sum-up headline from Ron Fournier and Nedra Pickler of AP: "Poll Shows Bush Moving Ahead of Kerry".

Why did President Bush

Why did President Bush get Tommy Franks working on Iraq war planning while bin Laden was still holed up at Tora Bora?

Good question. But here's an helpful timeline.

Normally Id be very

Normally I'd be very skeptical of an article like this one: "Exclusive: Bush Wanted To Invade Iraq If Elected in 2000." According to the article, President Bush was mulling the political benefits of invading Iraq as long ago as 1999.

The second graf of the piece reads ...

“He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,” said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. “It was on his mind. He said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade….if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.”


As I said, I'd be skeptical.

But Herskowitz is <$Ad$>a storied sports columnist for the Houston Chronicle. He's a Bush family friend. He's co-written numerous 'as-told-to' autobiographies for a slew of famous folks.

He was hired to co-author President Bush's campaign autobiography A Charge to Keep. And even after there were some bumps in the road in that process, the president's father asked Herskowitz to write a biography of his father -- i.e., Prescott Bush, which he did (see Duty, Honor, Country: The Life and Legacy of Prescott Bush, 2003).

On top of that, the author of the piece, Russ Baker, is a journalist with an excellent reputation.

For both those reasons, what's contained in the piece is hard to dismiss. It ain't pretty. And, honestly, it fits the profile.

In such a high-octane

In such a high-octane moment, this story probably won't get much attention. But maybe spare it a minute or 90 seconds. Labor Department staffers were asked to prepare a memo analyzing current economic and political factors and whether they augured a victory on Tuesday for President Bush.

"Nearly every single model has him winning," exult the authors of the memo at one point, according to the Associated Press.

It gives you a sense of the culture of the place under the current crew.

The voter suppression drive

The voter suppression drive comes <$NoAd$>into clear view (emphasis added) ...

Citing a new list of more than 37,000 questionable addresses, the state Republican Party demanded Saturday that Milwaukee city officials require identification from all of those voters Tuesday.

If the city doesn't, the party says it is prepared to have volunteers challenge each individual - including thousands who might be missing an apartment number on their registration - at the polls.

The move, which dramatically escalates the party's claims of bad addresses and potential fraud, was condemned by Democrats as a last-minute effort to suppress turnout in the city by creating long delays at the polls.


That's from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Quite apart from the

Quite apart from the political swirl and controversy over the new OBL tape, the analysis discussed in this article in the LA Times strikes me as on the mark and an intriguing explanation for some of the weirdly non-bin-Laden-like things said on the tape. It's worth a read.

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