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Wanna pick a swing

Wanna pick a swing state to go to on election day to help get out the vote?

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Well at least one

Well, at least one columnist -- Lloyd Grove -- had the guts to touch Josh Green's Karl Rove expose.

But then Lloyd has already left DC. So I guess he isn't petrified by the fear of payback and lost access that has quelled the pens of other reporters.

Viva Lloyd!

Late Update: I stand corrected! Lloyd wasn't the only one with the, shall we say, requisite equipment, to take note of Karl Rove's bad acts. The Anniston Star, a paper from Alabama, where many of the shenanigans noted in the article took place, also spoke out in an editorial that ran in yesterday's paper.

Who would have guessed

Who would have guessed that Charlie <$NoAd$>Duelfer would have served up the key talking points for John Kerry in Friday night's debate.

This from the AP ...

Contrary to prewar statements by President Bush and top administration officials, Saddam did not have chemical and biological stockpiles when the war began and his nuclear capabilities were deteriorating, not advancing, according to the report by Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group. (emphasis added)

and this from a longer AP piece running on CNN ...

Duelfer found that Saddam, hoping to end U.N. sanctions, gradually began ending prohibited weapons programs starting in 1991. But as Iraq started receiving money through the U.N. oil-for-food program in the late 1990s, and as enforcement of the sanctions weakened, Saddam was able to take steps to rebuild his military, such as acquiring parts for missile systems.

However, the erosion of sanctions stopped after the September 11, 2001, attacks, Duelfer found, preventing Saddam from pursuing weapons of mass destruction.

Duelfer's team found no written plans by Saddam's regime to pursue banned weapons if U.N. sanctions were lifted. Instead, the inspectors based their findings that Saddam hoped to reconstitute his programs on interviews with Saddam after his capture, as well as talks with other top Iraqi officials.

So, no weapons. No clear plans for future weapons. No advances in nuclear program. In fact, a clear deterioration in the nuclear program. Plus, 9/11 sealed up the eroding sanctions.

With the Bremer debacle

With the Bremer debacle still seeping out into the national consciousness, there is a reassuring sense of clockwork and regularity in watching the designated GOP foot soldiers responding to the orders from Winger Central to zig or zig on command.

So for instance yesterday we first heard that Bremer had been misconstrued and that he was only talking about the delayed arrival of the 4th Infantry Division.

Now the folks at the Wall Street Journal editorial page are pulling the standard dump on Bremer, claiming that he, in addition to getting this or that wrong during his tenure in Iraq, now can't keep his story straight about whether he was asking for more troops on the ground in the country or not.

Trouble is, we haven't found a single other senior official involved in the war or its aftermath--in or out of uniform--who attests to Mr. Bremer's version of events.

"I never heard him ask for more troops and he had many opportunities before the President to do so," one senior Administration official tells us. Or to be more precise, Mr. Bremer did finally ask for two more divisions in a June 2004 memo--that is, two weeks prior to his departure and more than a year after he arrived.

Poor Bremer, really getting the treatment ...

But when the Journal editors were zigging, the Bush campaign had already started to zag. And the party line became predictably tangled.

Yesterday afternoon the Bush campaign told the Post that Bremer had requested more troops, but that the president preferred to take the counsel of his military commanders.

So it's either Bremer never said anything and now he's just making excuses (the Journal line.)

Or, yes he said something, but we chose to ignore him (the Bush-Cheney 04 line.)

Is BC04 lying too? In a cynical ploy to shift blame onto the president?

So with the regime-change dead-enders' media strategy you have dishonest arguments, poor coordination, lack of a game plan. Remind you of anything?

Reader DP writes in

Reader DP writes in the following<$NoAd$> ...

As a trial lawyer, Edwards learned not to allow a witness to explain. Had he challenged Cheney on each lie, Cheney could have explained them away. A better trial tactic, I am not sure about a debate, is to let the falsehood sit there but point it out later to the jury or the judge. By not letting Cheney explain away the lies, he is stuck with them and the public will act as the jury.

I have no way of knowing if this is what Edwards was consciously trying to do. But it does make me wonder.

The DSCC is charging

The DSCC is charging that the NRSC (the Republican senate committee) is using a 'race-baiting' ad to shore up Tom Coburn's flagging senate campaign in Oklahoma. Looking at the ad, I think they've got a point. But you take a gander at the ad and make up your own mind. I don't want to, shall we say, prejudice your viewing. But keep an eye out for the racial dimensions of the ad.

A note from TPM

A note from TPM reader <$NoAd$>RW ...

If the Republican's were given the gift Dick Cheney gave the Democrats last night, Peggy Noonan would be on TV today wondering aloud why Dick Cheney felt compelled to lie about something so silly, and so easy to refute.

It's very odd, Peggy would muse... Peggy would then sweetly wonder if Dick Cheney wasn't a compulsive liar. She would detect a 'pattern' of lies stretching from his house days, to the Iraq hype, to the recent debate. She would then wonder if it wasn't a pathological problem.

Finally she would shrug and say 'I am not saying the Vice President definitely has a compulsive lying disorder, I'm just saying it's worth expert analysis.'

You can imagine the rest. A two week parade of experts mulling the possibility that Dick Cheney is a compulsive liar. Jokes on the radio and TV. Headlines about Cheney's 'illness'. etc.

Where is the Democratic Peggy Noonan?

Sounds right to me ...

More trouble...Last night Vice

More trouble...

Last night Vice President Cheney told John Edwards: "Your hometown newspaper has taken to calling you 'Senator Gone.'"

This morning the 'hometown newspaper' chimes in with a response: "Well, not exactly," they say.

See the rest here.

Not a lie really. Just a pretty egregious distortion. So sort of an improvement for the VP.

[ed. note: A special note of thanks to reader JT.]

When you cant even

When you can't even keep the lies straight ...

This morning in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania President Bush told a crowd: "My opponent says he has a plan for Iraq. Parts of it should sound pretty familiar -- it's already known as the Bush plan."

Then about a minute later he said: "In Iraq, Senator Kerry has a strategy of retreat; I have a strategy of victory."

Oops ...

Late Update: A few readers have written in to say that what President Bush said between these two sentences takes away any sense of contradiction. Specifically, he says that there is one thing that distinguishes the "Bush plan" from the "Kerry plan". Looking back over it, I think that's a fair point. But, on the merits, what he says in between is just flat-out false, a lie.

Here's the key passage: "There was one element of the Senator -- there's one element of Senator Kerry's plan that's a new element. He's talked about artificial timetables to pull our troops out of Iraq. He sent the signal that America's overriding goal in Iraq would be to leave, even if the job isn't done."

Kerry hasn't set any timetables. He's said he hopes to bring back some troops by next summer. But he's bent over backwards to say that that would be determined by the situation on the ground at the time. As to his saying that the overriding goal is to leave rather than get the job done, that's explicitly the opposite of what Kerry and Edwards have been saying again and again.

They just make the stuff up. Like Cheney never meeting Edwards.