Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I take this as a final, definitive word on the back and forth about whether there was booing at the Bush rally.

This comes from a reporter on the scene whose judgment <$NoAd$>and honesty I completely trust ...

They didn't boo. More accurately, the overwhelming number of people didn't boo (I heard maybe one or two, and even those died with "hospitalized.") AP got it wrong.

When Bush said "En route here we just received news that President Clinton has been hospitalized in New York," there was a big intake of breath and some loud "oohs" in the crowd. It was unmistakably shock. No boos.

Bush then followed up, and the official transcript has it right: "He is in our thoughts and prayers. We send him our best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery. (Applause.)"

End of story. I give Bush and the crowd their due.

Time Magazine's poll of likely voters, conducted over the course of the convention: Bush 52%, Kerry 41%, Nader 3%. Zogby, over the same period and also of likely voters, Bush 46%, Kerry 44%. ARG, covering through Wednesday Sept. 1st, also among likely voters, Bush 48%, Kerry 47%.

From the Associated Press, via Atrios and others ...

President Bush on Friday wished Bill Clinton ``best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery.''

``He's is in our thoughts and prayers,'' Bush said at a campaign rally.

Bush's audience of thousands in West Allis, Wis., booed. Bush did nothing to stop them.

A leader ...

Late Update: The AP has now apparently retracted the part of this article about booing. So presumably the reporter didn't hear what she thought she heard. A number of readers tell me they saw video of the event and heard no booing. Kevin Drum has a link to a audio clip that seems to confirm those accounts.

Two perspectives ..<$NoAd$>.

Our strategy is succeeding. Four years ago, Afghanistan was the home base of al-Qaida, Pakistan was a transit point for terrorist groups, Saudi Arabia was fertile ground for terrorist fundraising, Libya was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons, Iraq was a gathering threat, and al-Qaida was largely unchallenged as it planned attacks. Today, the government of a free Afghanistan is fighting terror, Pakistan is capturing terrorist leaders, Saudi Arabia is making raids and arrests, Libya is dismantling its weapons programs, the army of a free Iraq is fighting for freedom, and more than three-quarters of al-Qaida's key members and associates have been detained or killed. We have led, many have joined, and America and the world are safer."

George W. Bush
Convention Acceptance Speech
September 2nd, 2004

"As speakers at the GOP convention trumpet Bush administration successes in the war on terrorism, an NBC News analysis of Islamic terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001, shows that attacks are on the rise worldwide — dramatically.

Of the roughly 2,929 terrorism-related deaths around the world since the attacks on New York and Washington, the NBC News analysis shows 58 percent of them — 1,709 — have occurred this year.

In the past 10 days, in fact, the number of dead has risen by 142 people in places as diverse as Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel. On Tuesday, the number of civilians killed by terrorists totaled 38 — 10 at a subway entrance bombing in Moscow, 16 in a bus bombing in Israel and 12 Nepalese executed in Iraq.

Moreover, the level of sophistication is increasing. Terrorism experts point in particular to the attacks apparently carried out by Chechen rebels during that 10-day period. The rebels, whose top military commanders have been Arabs, are operating at a whole different level."
NBC News
September 2nd, 2004

Breaking News from CNN: "Doctors tell former President Bill Clinton that he needs heart bypass surgery, sources tell CNN. Details soon."

Says AP: Clinton to have quadruple bypass.

The Post has a piece today fact-checking a number of these distortions about Kerry's record, statements and positions, which I referred to last night.

A key passage from today's article by Warren <$NoAd$>Strobel on the Knight Ridder wire ...

Several U.S. officials and law enforcement sources said Thursday that the scope of the FBI probe of Pentagon intelligence activities appeared to go well beyond the Franklin matter.

FBI agents have briefed top White House, Pentagon and State Department officials on the probe in recent days. Based on those briefings, officials said, the bureau appears to be looking into other controversies that have roiled the Bush administration, some of which also touch Feith's office.

They include how the Iraqi National Congress, a former exile group backed by the Pentagon, allegedly received highly classified U.S. intelligence on Iran; the leaking of the name of CIA officer Valerie Plame to reporters; and the production of bogus documents suggesting that Iraq tried to buy uranium for nuclear weapons from the African country of Niger. Bush repeated the Niger claim in making the case for war against Iraq.

"The whole ball of wax" was how one U.S. official privy to the briefings described the inquiry.

Read the whole thing.

Looking back over the RNC one of the clear objectives was to reconstruct the picture of the last four years in which the previous administration left the country vulnerable to the 9/11 attack and President Bush revolutionized our defenses and doctrines in order to combat the threat.

That view of matters was the conventional wisdom until roughly a year ago when it started to be pulled apart by a series of official investigations and belatedly aggressive journalism.

In fact, the president ignored the terrorist threat during his first months in office. After the war in Afghanistan he pulled resources away from the war against al Qaida to fight the war in Iraq -- which played a key role in allowing bin Laden and other key AQ leaders to slip the noose. And along the way he used systematic deception to game the country into the conflict.

(The Senate intel Report tries to work its way around that fact. But I suspect that Report will be taking a bit of a hit in the next few weeks.)

I don't mean to rehash all that's come out in the last eighteen months. But there was an effort to deny all of it through the use of effective rhetoric without rebuttal. The Dems will have to start deconstructing it again now.