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You Stay Classy, Democrats
Posted by: Jon Henke on Saturday, October 14, 2006

Via Brendan Nyhan, Democratic GOTV Stick-it Notes from the Democracy For America organization started by Howard Dean.



I know, I know, both sides do it. Still, it's rarely this crude.


Jon Henke is the New Media Coordinator for the George Allen Senate campaign.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
I know the democrats count on the dead voters, but even when dead, the military isn’t voting for them....
 
Written By: Charles
URL: http://www.twoconservatives.blogspot.com
Leftism is a mental disorder. It makes people insane.
 
Written By: Josh
URL: http://
I don’t know, dead soldiers are relevant to people’s voting decisions. I think the GOP ads associating Max Cleland with OBL were MUCH cruder.

I would have avoided this simply to avoid being pointed to in this manner, but I suspect that the folks who put this out WANT this kind of attention, and appreciate your notice.

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
I seem to remember a President urging that people vote for his re-election in a campaign ad using images of firefighter’s caskets in New York.
 
Written By: Oliver
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
Oh yeah, rarely that crude? Did you see this flyer from the NRCC.

But more importantly, I’m not sure I see what’s so bad about the flyer you highlight? It’s not like it shows anything graphic or personal. It’s just a visual reminder that your vote matters, that decisions that affect the lives of American soldiers hinge on the outcome of elections like this one. If you believe that invading Iraq was a mistake (which polls indicate about 60% of the country believes), then you necessarily believe that a large number of American soldiers have died needlessly. Why is it off limits to point that out? The ad doesn’t lie. It just shows anonymous flag-draped coffins. How is that any different than an ad that lists the number of people who have died in Iraq?

I could understand your objection if the ad featured identifiable images of dead soldiers, or invoked the names of specific soldiers who died (without their families’ permission). But this? If you firmly believe that our brave soldiers have died because of a mistaken policy, I think you not only have the right, but you have the obligation to point that out. And I’m not sure why this ad isn’t an appropriate way of doing that.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
I think the GOP ads associating Max Cleland with OBL were MUCH cruder.
I think that’s an urban legend. The ads no more associated Cleland with OBL than you’ve just associated the GOP with OBL. They merely mentioned Cleland’s positions in the context of the current enemies in the national political discussion. That’s perfectly legitimate.

The only objection seems to be that it showed their pictures within the same ad. That strikes me as a bit absurd. I’ve seen GOP ads that show pictures of both OBL and the GOP candidate. They’re relevant. At no point did that ad say that Cleland supported OBL, et al.
I suspect that the folks who put this out WANT this kind of attention, and appreciate your notice.
Could be, could be.

For the record, I don’t think that pointing out the costs of war is illegitimate at all; nor do I think it’s illegitimate to point to 9/11. For many people, coffins are a powerful decision-making message; for others, that’s true of images of 9/11.

I just found this one particularly tasteless and crude.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
I seem to remember a President urging that people vote for his re-election in a campaign ad using images of firefighter’s caskets in New York.
I don’t recall that image being as crude and exploitive as this one. I don’t dispute that this is a bipartisan practice, though.
Oh yeah, rarely that crude? Did you see this flyer from the NRCC.
No, I hadn’t. That’s certainly far worse. No argument there.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
I think the GOP ads associating Max Cleland with OBL were MUCH cruder.
I think that’s an urban legend. The ads no more associated Cleland with OBL than you’ve just associated the GOP with OBL. They merely mentioned Cleland’s positions in the context of the current enemies in the national political discussion. That’s perfectly legitimate.
For the ad that wasn’t SO bad, it was hideously deceptive and not remotely legitimate.
The ad opens with pictures of Saddam and OBL and then switches (not morphs) to Cleland.

The text of the ad is as follows:


"As America faces terrorists and extremist dictators, Max Cleland runs television ads claiming he has the courage to lead.
"He says he supports President Bush at every opportunity, but that’s not the truth."
"Since July, Max Cleland voted against President Bush’s vital homeland security efforts 11 times."
"But the record proves, Max Cleland is just misleading."


The issue in 2002 was civil service protections for Homeland Security employees, which Bush opposed and Cleland supported. The ad failed to point out that Cleland supported the creation of a Department of Homeland Security before Bush did. Cleland originally co-sponsored the enabling legislation and eventually supported it, but as the bill moved through Congress, he cast a number of votes against it in hopes of getting a better bill. The Republican attack ads made it look as though Cleland was voting against Homeland Security itself, and one TV ad morphed Cleland’s face into Saddam Hussein’s while suggesting that Cleland was indifferent to the safety of the American people. This ad was so disgusting that Republican Sens. Hagel and McCain both protested it]
Now I did not see the other ad, the one was supposedly originally aired and found so offensive it was edited into the kindler gentler fu***ng lies version, but I understand that the original actually did morph Saddam in Cleland.

I can’t find that video, so let’s assume for a moment that it does not exist.

The Fact remains that the ad said that Cleland voted against protecting America, a flat out freaking lie. And you are complaining about an ad that alludes to a truth that everyone knows, soldiers are dying in Iraq and most people don’t think there is a good enough reason for that to be happening.

This reminds of the old political zinger, "You keep lying about me and I’ll keep telling the truth about you".

Cap

 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Now I did not see the other ad, the one was supposedly originally aired and found so offensive it was edited into the kindler gentler fu***ng lies version, but I understand that the original actually did morph Saddam in Cleland.
I’ve had this discussion many times over the years, and I’ve never even heard an allusion to a second ad. When Democrats cite that ad, they invariably cite the one you’ve seen as the offending ad. I believe you’re mistaken.

As for the deceptive nature of the ad? Yes, I disagree with that. But surely you know that deceptive political advertisements have been about as rare as bank holidays. I don’t find that one any more deceptive than scads of others. Hell, one Democratic ad accused George Allen of allowing the death of US troops by sending them into combat with "Vietnam-era" body armor — a very clear lie, as the body armor they showed didn’t exist until the 80s — based on a single amendment he voted to table. Yet, that amendment wouldn’t have provided supplies for years, wouldn’t have upgraded the body armor, was described as unimportant by the DoD and was completely uneccessary, since the bill also provided much more money than the amendment did in discretionary materiel spending.

Nevertheless, the Democrat behind the body armor ad said that Allen "voted death" for US troops. That group was supported by many prominent Democrats, including former Presidential candidates.

It’s remarkably deceptive — the guy said Allen actually "voted death" — but it’s not as bad as saying that Cleland voted against the DHS? Color me unimpressed.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
Jon, I don’t see a thing wrong with that ad of anonymous flag-draped coffins. The Iraq war is, in fact, controversial, and most Americans think it has been a mistake either in inception or execution. Further, if one wants to get into who is "classy," how about Mike DeWine using a doctored photograph of the Twin Towers burning to imply that Sherrod Brown wouldn’t protect Americans? U.S. News called DeWine on it.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://inactivist.org/
As I said, both sides do it, and I don’t have a problem with people pointing to the costs of war. I just pointed out that it seemed like a particularly crude exploitation of the coffins of US soldiers.

It also would have been perfectly legitimate to point to the massive deaths in the Balkans caused by US bombing, but I think a picture of charred bodies would be exploitive.

Other than the Cleland ad, I’ve agreed with all you who have presented offensive Republican ads. No argument there, except to say that tu quoque is not really a defense. You don’t have to convince me that the GOP does it, too.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
My main objection to the ad is that its a bunch of left wing hypocrisy, except for an election they don’t give a crap about soldiers. They would just as soon spit on them and call them baby killers.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
"The Republican attack ads made it look as though Cleland was voting against Homeland Security itself"

The add says "Cleland voted against the presidents vital security efforts 11 times" while listing the eleven disputed votes, noting that most of them were amendments, so it doesn’t imply that Cleland opposed the Homeland Security department itself.

"The Fact remains that the ad said that Cleland voted against protecting America, a flat out freaking lie"

It doesn’t say that at all. You can still see it with realplayer at talkingpointsmemo.

 
Written By: frendlydude2k
URL: http://
Would it be all right to use words to make the same point? I think so. Is it an uncomfortable ad? I think so, but I think that people should be reminded once in a while about the unpleasant consequences of war, whether you support it or not. This ad definitely reminds people of one of the issues in this election, in an unpleasant and non-intellectual way, but I do not think it is particularly crude, unbless by crude you mean that it evokes an unpleasant emotional response rather than some abstract intellectual argument. This is not not the first occasion where American soldiers, dead or alive, have been exploited for political purposes and it certainly will not be the last.
I can actually admire this ad. It is simple and effective. The viewer reads into it whatever he/she wishes, as evidenced by the varied responses here.

In my opinion, if you do not want the costs of war, including pictures of coffins, shown in public, do not go to war.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I don’t know what all the fuss is about. For the left, that’s pretty classy. I expected them to show Bush atop a pile of dead bodies drinking their blood
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
As for the deceptive nature of the ad? Yes, I disagree with that. But surely you know that deceptive political advertisements have been about as rare as bank holidays.
So here we are.

Deception is acceptable but allusions to truth are crude.

We’re so screwed.

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Deception is acceptable but allusions to truth are crude.
Who said that? Because it wasn’t me. I merely noted that there are different categories.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
Republicans should just keep their mouths shut until they figure out how to end the war in Iraq, but what can one expect from a party of thugs, racists and incoherent moralists.

"I still had a ham sandwich for lunch...."
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
(shrug)

It’s not nuanced.

Then again, death doesn’t involve a lot of nuance.

I can sympathize with people who don’t like ads that provoke voting based on raw fear/horror/shock. I’d get annoyed if they were used against me. But, yeah, it’s like death, taxes and television.

If the Republicans put up a postcards of smiling US soliders with flame spurting out of the muzzles of their assault rifles, unspecific guys in headscarves running away, i’d probably react like Jon did. But it’s pointless to rail against it. Politically, it rarely works.

Here’s a good question: how do train a civic population to build up resistance to crude associational tactics? If there’s a way, put it in the schools.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
I think so, but I think that people should be reminded once in a while about the unpleasant consequences of war, whether you support it or not.
Thank you so much for reminding us dumb proles that in war people might die (only if the war cannot be justified) and it’s always a pointless empty death but they have it coming, because they are all jacked up foolish muscleheads who have been duped by the masterminds of chaos Bush/Cheney. In that perspective, this ad isn’t as offensive or sickening.

Let the people at your re-education death camp know that you have earned a gold star today.
 
Written By: Josh
URL: http://
From the Washington Post:
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Suspected Shiite militiamen killed at least 46 Sunni Arabs in a weekend rampage of revenge killing in a city north of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official said Sunday, raising the toll in the latest sectarian bloodletting there to 63.

A string of bombings in the northern city of Kirkuk killed 10 people, including two girls who died when a man detonated explosives strapped to his body in front of the al-Mallimin girls high school in downtown Kirkuk, police officials said.

The U.S. military reported the deaths of a Marine and four soldiers. The Marine was killed in combat in Anbar province, the Sunni heartland west of Baghdad on Saturday.
49 US troops have been killed so far this month. And for what? Seriously, what the hell are we fighting for there? According to the talk shows, there is talk about replacing the democratically elected governmenr with ... a strongman.

Saddam is rested and ready.

And yet what does Jon find to be "particularly tasteless and crude"? The crimnal mismanagement of the war? No, the thing that Jon finds particularly tasteless and crude is a political ad that alludes to the criminal mismanagement of the war.

We are through the looking glass.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
mkultra - It only "alludes to the criminal mismanagement of the war" if you already agree with the sentiment behind the ad. Some people look at flag-draped caskets and thank God for the servicemen and -women who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

In fact, the picture is a lot like other ambiguous symbols that way, and as such it’s ineffective at doing anything besides using the dead for shock value.

Actually, I take that back. It’s also effective at signifying a small part of what has become of Democratic foreign policy: paralyzingly timid of blood (whether the soldiers and marines themselves actually want to fight or not), embarrassed and guilty at America’s power, and apologetic to barbarism.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
We are through the looking glass.
You are through the looking glass, but that’s been practically a constant for your posts.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
"Here’s a good question: how do train a civic population to build up resistance to crude associational tactics? If there’s a way, put it in the schools."

It’s a strange concept, but teaching them to think and reason might just work. That, of course, would get in the way of attempts to program.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Deception is acceptable but allusions to truth are crude.
Who said that? Because it wasn’t me. I merely noted that there are different categories.
Here is what I drew from.

First, the fact that the ad using images of flag draped coffins was the subject of a blog posting with the conclusion, "I know, I know, both sides do it. Still, it’s rarely this crude."

This tells me that this ad is crude, or offensive, simply because of the imagery, not because it is misleading, not because it is irrelvant, but that the imagery itself should be off limits in political messaging.

The we discussed the extremely misleading, deceptive Cleland ad which using PURE sophistry to combine several true facts to make a totally false claim. (Truthiness anyone?)

Your response to this was...
But surely you know that deceptive political advertisements have been about as rare as bank holidays.
You went on to say that deceptive advertising is just the nature of the game, and point out deceptive ads that attacked your guy that you think are worse than others.

The conclusion I draw is that you don’t like deception, but it is just the way it is, but that relevant imagery that misleads no one, but points to the most significant aspect of the war in Iraq crosses a different, and seemingly worse line.

The reason I say we are screwed is that you are generally a thoughful objective observer of political theater and if you move to the polar borders, that makes me think we are becoming inescapably rhetorical and subjective and that objectivity is dying.

By the way, how did you feel about the anti-AARP ad that dishonestly suggested using images of a soldier with a big red X superimposed across the picture, and next to it a picture of a gay male couple kissing with a big green check mark on it?

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
points to the most significant aspect of the war in Iraq
Really?

The number of casualties suffered is the most significant aspect of a war? Wow. You should write these folks and tell ’em their curriculum is all screwed up.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
The number of casualties suffered is the most significant aspect of a war? Wow. You should write these folks and tell ’em their curriculum is all screwed up.
Are you being intentionally obtuse, or is this just how you think?

I’ll help you out here.

Many people, myself included, were against this war because the pretext was flimsy, but a significant majority of people supported the war. If the war went well and there were few or no casualties, the tide of public opinion would never have turned against the war and the misleading arguments and misinformation that was used to sell the war would have been irrelvant.

It is only because of the casualties that people are becoming interested and aware of the deception that lead to this war.

Casualties are very significant, that there should be no war and therefore no casualties is a realization that is arriving upon introspection as a result of the casualties.

There, feel smarter?

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
I think you read too much into what I wrote. I wasn’t accepting deception; it just wasn’t the topic of the post. I also do not support genocide — in fact, I consider it far worse than a callous advertisement — but that wasn’t the point of the post, either.
By the way, how did you feel about the anti-AARP ad that dishonestly suggested using images of a soldier with a big red X superimposed across the picture, and next to it a picture of a gay male couple kissing with a big green check mark on it?
Like this.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
Captain Sarcastic, the ad correctly criticized Cleland for putting Democrat party politics ahead of the nation’s interests. He and Daschle and the rest of the Democrats in the Senate decided to prevent the formation of Homeland Security if it got in the way of a payoff to one of their special interest constituencies. That was really disgusting. I know you want to deny reality, but unions call the shots for Democrats. You can try to deny it but Zell Miller busted them(fair is fair, anyone citing McCain and Hagel as support for any criticism of Republicans deserves a Zell Miller citation). Also, remember this:
Democrats, Unions Work Side-by-Side
By LARRY MARGASAK and JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press Writers
July 19, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) - Documents that the Democratic Party and unions have sued to keep secret reveal a campaign strategy in which labor and party officials served side by side on committees that directed the Democrats’ election activities in each state.

While labor’s support of Democrats is well known, the documents show labor leaders had veto power over Democratic Party plans in 1996 by virtue of their large donations and seats on the steering committees in each state.

``When the DNC and its National partners including ... the AFL-CIO and the NEA (National Education Association) agree on the contents of a plan, each national partner will give their funding commitment to the state,’’ an internal DNC memo titled ``Rules of Engagement’’ said.

Lawrence Noble, the nation’s former top election regulator, told The Associated Press on Thursday he was surprised by the degree of control unions held over Democratic decisions. Noble headed the investigation into GOP charges of illegal coordination between the unions and Democrats.

``The AFL had a certain amount of control over what political parties and candidates did. That is what is striking,’’ Noble said.

In addition to its usual political action committee donations, the AFL-CIO spent $35 million from its general treasury funded by workers’ dues on advertising and others efforts in 1996 to help Democrats win.

At the request of the Democratic Party and labor unions, a federal judge has forbidden the Federal Election Commission (news - web sites) from releasing the documents it gathered during its four-year probe.

AP obtained the documents from officials involved in various federal investigations of unions and from groups that got some documents when they were briefly released by the FEC this spring, then abruptly pulled from public display under threat of litigation.

The documents detail extensive discussions between labor and party leaders on how to contact, register and influence voters to support Democrats and show where unions in some instances drew their money to accomplish the mission.

In one case, a New York hospital workers union, Local 1199, spent $250,000 from its strike defense fund for a $2.7 million effort called the ’96 Project’ aimed at holding congressional Republicans accountable for their support of Newt Gingrich’s ``Contract with America,’’ the records show.

Frequently, officials from the Democratic Party or its congressional fund-raising arms contacted union officials to seek approval for election activities.

For instance, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee official Rob Engel wrote AFL-CIO political official Steve Rogers in September 1996 to discuss phone banks and direct mail efforts aimed at identifying voters and getting them to the polls in 16 target congressional districts.

``We request the AFL-CIO review these budgets and programs. If you approve them, we ask that you encourage your affiliated unions to contribute to each congressional district coordinated campaign,’’ Engel wrote.

DCCC operatives followed up a few days later with a second memo. ``Attached is our updated and improved requests for your big bucks,’’ it said.

Around the time, the AFL-CIO ran ads in several of the same congressional districts portraying Republican candidates as out of touch with worker issues and Democrats as union-friendly, the FEC concluded.

John Hiatt, AFL-CIO general counsel, acknowledged the union had veto power over Democratic activities it helped finance.

``For aspects of campaigns we subsidize, I think we would want veto power,’’ Hiatt said. ``We may have veto power over issues or aspects we’re working on, as other groups the Democrats are working with would want to keep control over things they’re working on.’’

In North Carolina, the documents show, state AFL-CIO President Chris Scott and North Carolina NEA President John Wilson each served on the management committee that handled day-to-day operations.

In Nebraska, the state party gave AFL-CIO and teachers union officials similar positions on its executive committee alongside officials from Ben Nelson’s Senate campaign and other candidates. A state party memo said ``labor will play a key role’’ in a party-run effort to contact 150,000 households twice during the fall campaign.

The national blueprint for the coordinated campaigns stated flatly that before state parties could implement their election plans they had to be ``submitted with a signature page which demonstrates the formal sign off of the principal players for each representative of the Steering Committee.’’

The contacts were so extensive that Noble, the FEC’s chief lawyer, initially concluded the two sides had illegally coordinated. The commission eventually abandoned that finding and closed the case after a federal judge ruled in an unrelated case that such coordination may be protected by First Amendment free speech.

But the FEC’s final report, stamped ``sensitive,’’ still concluded that the AFL-CIO had ``apparent veto power’’ over the Democrats’ election decisions in the states. The unions had the ``authority to approve or disapprove plans, projects and needs of the DNC and its state parties with respect to the coordinated campaign,’’ the report said.

Noble said he thinks the FEC should have appealed the court ruling and punished the Democrats and the unions for illegal coordination.

Noble said business groups allied with Republicans also have growing clout in elections. ``You have a political system in large part controlled by special interests, whether it be AFL on one side with Democrats, or business interests with the Republicans,’’ he said.

In addition to each state party’s coordinated committee, the DNC created a national steering committee that included party officials, a representative of the Clinton-Gore campaign as well as two officials from the AFL-CIO, one from the NEA and one from the Emily’s List political action committee.

DNC general counsel Joseph Sandler told the FEC that the national committee met six or eight times to develop and implement the coordinated campaigns, as well as discuss financing.

Actually, I’m not sure which is worse, the fact that Democrats are so corrupt or that they are brazen about covering it up.
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
"Thank you so much for reminding us dumb proles that in war people might die (only if the war cannot be justified) and it’s always a pointless empty death but they have it coming, because they are all jacked up foolish muscleheads who have been duped by the masterminds..."

You are welcome.

By the way, do you find a death that is not pointless and empty to be any less sad and tragic? And thank you for reenforcing my point that people sometimes read into things what they wish to see, rather than what is actually there.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
mkultra - It only "alludes to the criminal mismanagement of the war" if you already agree with the sentiment behind the ad. Some people look at flag-draped caskets and thank God for the servicemen and -women who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

In fact, the picture is a lot like other ambiguous symbols that way, and as such it’s ineffective at doing anything besides using the dead for shock value.

Actually, I take that back. It’s also effective at signifying a small part of what has become of Democratic foreign policy: paralyzingly timid of blood (whether the soldiers and marines themselves actually want to fight or not), embarrassed and guilty at America’s power, and apologetic to barbarism.
Again, what are we fighting for? The elected government? If we are, then we are on the side of the Shiite death squads, who operate through the government. The Sunni insurgency? The insurgency is killing our troops. The Kurds in the north? They want nothing to do with Iraq.

You are of the kind who refuse to acknowledge the reality that is Iraq. You believe that Americans dying for Shia death squads, the Sunni insurgency, or sepratist Kurds, or all of the above, is a good idea.

I don’t. I believe that propping up a government that refuses to root out the death squads that use the resources and authority of that very government to drill holes in the heads of people they kidnap is a bad idea. The Iraqi government is full of thugs and killers and butchers. But you want Americans to die so that it can continue its reign of terror.

i don’t think that’s a good idea. You do. That’s the difference between you and me.

And you claim that it is Democrats who are apologetic to barbarism. Meanwhile, this GOP adminitration continues to money directly to the Iraqi government - the same government that Shia thugs use to torture and kill. You are one sick, twisted MF. Sick and twisted.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
He and Daschle and the rest of the Democrats in the Senate decided to prevent the formation of Homeland Security if it got in the way of a payoff...
This is a joke, of course the Dem’s work with labor, they are the defacto labor party. This doesn’t hold a candle to Cheney’s bowing to big oil to develop out energy policy and letting Ken Lay choose who leads energy regulation in the US government.

You can’t say that the party who came with the idea of having a Homeland Security Department worked to stop it against the party who never wanted it in the first place. There is no reason that security must come at the expense of workers, and that is the lie Republicans try to tell.

The Cleleand ad mentions nothing of this weak argument, it just says that Max Cleland opposed a secure America.. a lie.

But I have to ask, are you one of the people who opposed my suggestion of publically funded elections, which could get both labor and big business out of the business of purchasing politicians? Or do you like having all your politicians paid for by others with money intended to secure their own interests, not yours?


Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
You are through the looking glass, but that’s been practically a constant for your posts.
Yes, we must stay the course in Iraq. After all, we cannot redeploy or back down.

From today’s WaPo:
BAGHDAD, Oct. 15 — Militias allied with Iraq’s Shiite-led government roamed roads north of Baghdad, seeking out and attacking Sunni Arab targets Sunday, police and hospital officials said. The violence raised to at least 80 the number of people killed in retaliatory strikes between a Shiite city and a Sunni town separated only by the Tigris River.

The wave of killings around the Shiite city of Balad was the bloodiest in a surge of violence that has claimed at least 110 lives in Iraq since Saturday. The victims included 12 people who were killed in coordinated suicide bombings in the strategic northern oil city of Kirkuk.

"This has pushed us to the point that we must stop this sectarian government," Ali Hussein al-Jubouri, a Sunni farmer in Duluiyah, said as he searched for the body of a nephew reportedly killed in the violence around Balad.

The slaughter came as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Sunday renewed pledges by the Iraqi government to break up the militias, and as al-Qaeda in Iraq and other Sunni Arab insurgent groups declared a new Islamic republic in the western and central parts of the country.

The violence around Balad, a Shiite enclave in a largely Sunni region, began Friday with the kidnapping and beheading of 17 Shiite farmworkers from Duluiyah, a predominantly Sunni town. Taysser Musawi, a Shiite cleric in Balad, said Shiite leaders in the town appealed to a Baghdad office of Moqtada al-Sadr, an influential Shiite cleric, to send militiamen to defend local Shiites and to take revenge. Sadr’s political party is a member of a Shiite religious alliance that governs Iraq.

Shiite fighters responded in force, local police said. Witnesses said Shiite fighters began hunting down Sunnis, allegedly setting up checkpoints in the area to stop travelers and demand whether they were Shiite or Sunni.

By Sunday afternoon, 80 bodies were stacked in the morgue of the Balad hospital, the only sizable medical center in the region, physician Kamal al-Haidari said by telephone. Most of the victims had been shot in the head, he said. Other hospital officials said some of the bodies had holes from electric drills and showed other signs of torture. The majority of the victims were believed to be from Duluiyah.

The hospital received calls from residents who said more bodies were lying in the streets, but workers were unable to pick them up, Haidari said. Witnesses arriving at the hospital also reported seeing bodies in the roads, he said.

Most Sunni families fled Balad, 1st Lt. Bassim Hamdi of the city’s police force said by telephone. He said armed outsiders wearing black, apparently Shiite militiamen, were patrolling the streets in pickup trucks. Four mortar rounds also hit the city Sunday but caused no casualties, he said.
The government was roaming the streets, seeking out people to kill based solely on their religous identity. Henke, by contrast, is concerned with an ad by a PAC.

Jon, I am going to send you a moral compass. Because it is quite clear that you have completely lost yours.

We are supporting this government. You and me. Put aside for a second that the government is allied with Iran.

To those that support this war, to those that suggest that the use of pictures of coffins of dead American soldiers to stop the war in Iraq is crude and immoral, please explain, in detail, what Bush is doing about the death squads allied with the Iraqi government. They have been operating for months. And it appears Bush is doing nothing to stop them. There has been regression, not progression, on this issue.

So please explain how Bush is eliminating them. I want studies, facts, details. And I want cited sources. I want results.

Because unless you can do this, you have no basis to argue for staying in Iraq.

There was a time when wingers had a sense of morailty. That seems like a long time ago.


 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
mkultra -
Again, what are we fighting for? The elected government? If we are, then we are on the side of the Shiite death squads, who operate through the government. The Sunni insurgency? The insurgency is killing our troops. The Kurds in the north? They want nothing to do with Iraq.
Take a look, mk — none of this has anything to do with my post. You’re responding to some straw version of me standing across the room.
You are of the kind who refuse to acknowledge the reality that is Iraq. You believe that Americans dying for Shia death squads, the Sunni insurgency, or sepratist Kurds, or all of the above, is a good idea.
Ooh, you’re moving straight into personal invective to make a point, and trying to tell me what I think—which, by the way, is never a good idea for dealing with anyone.
Anything to avoid directly responding to my post, eh?
I believe that propping up a government that refuses to root out the death squads that use the resources and authority of that very government to drill holes in the heads of people they kidnap is a bad idea. The Iraqi government is full of thugs and killers and butchers. But you want Americans to die so that it can continue its reign of terror.
Sadly, you don’t seem to get tired of trying to tell me what I want, and using personal invective in lieu of an actual argument.

You’re trying to convince me of something, when I’m telling you that an ambiguous symbol only appeals to those who are already convinced. Way to go.
i don’t think that’s a good idea. You do. That’s the difference between you and me.
I’m sure there are many more differences than that, mk. But that’s not pertinent to my post.
And you claim that it is Democrats who are apologetic to barbarism.
Yes, that’s what I’m claiming, although to be precise I specifically was referring to Democratic (that is, Democratic Party) foreign policy. It’s far more common in Europe than among American Democrats, but yes. That’s what I’m claiming. Though that’s not specifically the "small part" of Democratic foreign policy I was referring to; I think this ad is more representative of the "paralyzingly timid of blood (regardless of whether the soldiers and marines actually want to fight)" aspect of Democratic politicians, who are all too happy to cynically use the image of dead American servicemen and -women for shock value.
Meanwhile, this GOP adminitration continues to money directly to the Iraqi government - the same government that Shia thugs use to torture and kill.
Wow, mk. You seem to have mistaken me for the "GOP administration," or someone who approves of all they do.

Take that, foul Straw Man! And that!

Tell us, mk, what would the Democratic Party do to assuage all this barbarism? How would they make the world a more peaceful place where people in Iraq won’t torture and kill each other, if Americans do as this ad says they should do and vote for Democrats this November?

And don’t respond by saying how bad the GOP is or has been in the past. That’s not a substitute for a policy of one’s own. And furthermore, I’m not a shill for the Republican Party, so you attacking them is no skin off my nose.
You are one sick, twisted MF. Sick and twisted.
Tell me when the high from your moral indignation wears off and you’re ready to actually respond to my post. I’m waiting. Until then, I’m ready to continue dismissing you as someone who substitutes personal insults for arguments.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
Captain Sarcastic, Democrats don’t "work with labor", they do exactly what labor tells them to do. Labor unions were given veto power over the Democrat party platform and choice of candidates in the 1990’s. That is a formally adjudicated fact as set forth in the AP article. Cleland and the Democrats prevented the creation of the Homeland Security Department until the legislation provided for the TSA to be unionized. The Washington Post article to which I linked cites Zell Miller admitting that very fact. Republicans didn’t want to entrust a new bureaucracy with our national security if it had civil service protections that would prevent incompetent people from being fired. In my opinion, they were right on that point and the Democrats were wrong.

Cleland was truthfully and deservedly criticized for his votes on those bills. The ad wasn’t misleading; in fact, it was just the opposite. It hit the bullseye and Cleland had nowhere to hide except behind the straw man argument that his service in Viet Nam over 30 years earlier should shield him from justified scrutiny of his craven political pandering on an issue of primary importance to our nation. Disgusting indeed. Placing flag draped coffins on the post it notes may not be misleading, but it crassly uses the death of American heroes for political gain and that is even more disgusting.

Secondly, given your politics, I am not surprised by the cynicism in your statement about politicians being purchased. You are projecting. Democrat politicians are especially guilty of being "purchased"; be it Harry Reid with his letters on behalf of Abramoff’s Indian tribes, or William Jefferson by tech companies that want exclusive African business rights and Bill Clinton on behalf of Loral Space Corporation, James Riady, Marc Rich and the Communist Chinese Army (to name a few examples of thousands in just the last few years). For every Bob Ney and Duke Cunningham there are a hundred examples of Democrat malfeasance. Democrats’ main goal is the acquisition and maintenance of power and they will sell their allegiance to the highest bidder in order to achieve that goal.

That being said, however, Jon has blogged about this before. While Democrats provide most of the exceptions to this proposition, for the most part, politicians espouse positions on issues which, in turn, leads to support by groups that share those positions as opposed to the other way around. Dick Cheney believed in things like lower taxes, strong defense and more domestic oil exploration which led to conservative support. I also think that people like Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer arrived at their idiotic, liberal positions on their own which led to the support of liberal organizations that agree with those positions. Unlike you, I believe in Democracy. Donating money in support of political candidates who will advance public policies that one believes are beneficial is at the very core of Democracy.

For example, I support the right of the the Sierra Club through its lobbying/political affiliates to support candidates who will advance legislation to address the ginned up issues they use to raise money from limousine liberals in spite of the loss of good paying jobs. I also support the right of the National Cleaners Association to support candidates who will advance legislation supporting the interests of small businesses in the dry cleaning trade who provide jobs for hundreds of thousands of people. Perhaps these two organizations and their respective supporters disagree on certain environmental issues from time to time. Both groups should have the opportunity to advocate the candidacy of people they believe will advance sound public policy. I don’t support socializing elections. I believe in thorough and clear disclosure so that anyone can determine who is giving money to which candidate. I think people should know how much money (and on whom’s behalf) George Soros spends to corrupt our system of government but I don’t support inhibiting his right to participate in the process.

The real problem of course is not that there is too much money flowing to politicians. The flow of money is merely a symptom of the real problem which is that the government has too much power in the first place. If it had less control over our lives, there wouldn’t be any need to purchase politicians.
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
This is a joke, of course the Dem’s work with labor, they are the defacto labor party. This doesn’t hold a candle to Cheney’s bowing to big oil to develop out energy policy...[Content redacted due to foolishness - Ed.]
How do you figure? Your feelings? Are thieves who carry a flag that says "Labor" stealing any less from American society’s coffers? Who told the Dems what our NATINAL DEFENSE POLICY needed to be?
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Didn’t the Democrats cast an overwhelming number of votes for that war which they are now trying to get the nation to retreat from? ON the same intel Bill Clinton used to justify war on Iraq in 1998 and the UN used with other world intel to pass 1441?

Yeah, they did.

And what is the Democrat plan for winning in Iraq? In the GWoT? What is their tax platform for 06? What is their economic policy?

Questions, questions...
 
Written By: Good Lt
URL: http://
A pilot program study showed that non-unionized airport screening was slightly better than unionized ones, and cost less.

But that’s not the answer the Dems want to hear.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
to - Usual cast of "liberalism" defenders -

Once more you have lost your perspective on what is tasteless and what isn’t
in order to defend assinine behavior.
Stop for a second and address the medium instead of the message.

These are POST IT NOTES for crying out loud.

What do you attach these to?

Do you use them at work and send them around -
"Hey guys, don’t forget to sign the card for Bob’s Birthday, which is next Tuesday!"

Little notes on the fridge for the kiddies?
"Hey kids, make sure you make your beds before school this morning!
X’s and O’s!
Mom!"


Important info for the boss?
"Chuck, please see attached info, the project is proceeding on schedule, but this issue could present a problem if we don’t address it now".

Campaign Adds come and go kids -
flag drapped coffin post-it notes?
wow...
Again, get a grip about what’s tasteless, and what is not.
And if you find an example of the Republicans doing it too, fine, just another excuse for me not to contribute to their campaigns.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
"Once more you have lost your perspective on what is tasteless..."

Taste is, of course, a matter of taste. I find it tasteless to put American flags on local police uniforms, lapel pins, napkins, bumper stickers, and myriad other places.


"These are POST IT NOTES for crying out loud.

What do you attach these to?"

Nothing. There is not enough room left on them to write anything usefull. The ad calls them "stick-it notes", so.....
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I can live with the police uniforms, the others, yes, I’d prefer not.
And taste is indeed subjective.
I think mainstream America will find these tasteless, and won’t
improve the liklihood of a vote for the Democrat candidate.
And that is the thrust of Jon’s post - not exactly classy.

People who these will appeal to have already made up their mind on the issue (many of our ’liberal’ representatives on site perhaps).
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I think mainstream America will find these tasteless, and won’t
improve the liklihood of a vote for the Democrat candidate.
And that is the thrust of Jon’s post - not exactly classy.

People who these will appeal to have already made up their mind on the issue (many of our ’liberal’ representatives on site perhaps).
I agree, it is likely only viable as a preaching to the choir message.

As I said in my first post, I personally would not put this one out, unless I wanted to get blog attention. But the stick-it that you find less than classy is just one of three and it is not a post-it-note but rather a tool to influence people to vote, not likely to change the way they are voting.

For example, if I had the stickers, and I was in my office the day before election day. I might post one in the work areas of people that I felt were likely Democrat voters. For people that were going to vote D because of the war, I might use the flag sticker, for people that were opposed to R’s on economic issues, I might use the Milk, Gas, Vote sticker, and of course the Healtcare, Jobs, Education sticker would be for people who’s voting maybe based on those issues.

It’s not terribly complicated, and it’s not a campaign commercial, it is one on one messaging, where narrowing the message to what some might consider crude, is not.

I can’t believe you folks are not offended every time Bush opens his mouth and continues to say things that were false when he said them 4 years ago.

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
For example, if I had the stickers, and I was in my office the day before election day. I might post one in the work areas of people that I felt were likely Democrat voters. For people that were going to vote D because of the war, I might use the flag sticker, for people that were opposed to R’s on economic issues, I might use the Milk, Gas, Vote sticker, and of course the Healtcare, Jobs, Education sticker would be for people who’s voting maybe based on those issues.
Heh
If you posted it where I work, and places I’ve worked in the past, you’d find yourself in someone’s office while they ’requested’, forcefully, that you keep your political views confined to your conversations at lunch an/or outside the workplace (I’ve never worked at DNC headquarters of course).
That would apply for either party or any third, fourth, or fifth party.

I wasn’t offended by any of the post-its presented. I thought the other two were perfectly fine, regardless of what I might actually think of the Dem’s performance in those areas (mixed).
I just thought the coffin post-it was classless and tasteless and tacky, no pun intended, and would have felt the same way if the Republicans had produced it with shots of the victims of any action or tragedy. Presumably they’d try to make points off what they were touting as Democratic failures.

When Georgie f’s up, I either wonder what the hell is he playing at, or sometimes, do they think I’m that dumb? (there have been moments....).

I would remind viewers of the coffins though, that many a Democrat voted to go into Iraq, and the Republicans aren’t alone in providing that photo opportunity which was so tastelessly used.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
If you posted it where I work, and places I’ve worked in the past, you’d find yourself in someone’s office while they ’requested’, forcefully, that you keep your political views confined to your conversations at lunch an/or outside the workplace
That’s a shame. In my office we have some excellent debates and most people are not shy at all about stating where they stand. Were I to actually use the stick-it notes in my office, I would know exactly who’s work area I could place one, and where I should not. But I understand and agree with your point in general.
I would remind viewers of the coffins though, that many a Democrat voted to go into Iraq...
This one has always been odd for me. First, not one single legislator voted to go into Iraq, they voted, mistakenly in my opinion, to give the President authority to attack or not attack, authority which he really already had in the War Powers Act. Perhaps that is a semantic distinction, except that the President himself stated that the best chance we had of avoiding conflict was to show strength, unity, and resolve by passing the AUMF.
Ari Fleischer - October 16, 2002 "The President hopes that this vote will send a strong message to Iraq and to the world that if Iraq does not comply with the United Nations resolutions, the United States and her allies are prepared to use force to make certain that Iraq does comply, so that the peace can be kept."
The resolution itself was window dressing, the President had the authority to attack under the War Powers Act, this was supposedly a show of resolve and seriousness to get Iraq to disarm (oops, too late).

So no, other than abdicating their responsibilities with respect to delcaring war, and ignoring their oversight responsibilites, no legislator voted to invade Iraq.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Any debate with someone who works on the George Allen campaign is a waste of time.
 
Written By: william
URL: http://

 
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