MEDIA ALERT: WISCONSIN PUBLIC RADIO “BEN MERENS” SHOW

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FROM FOUR UNTIL FIVE P.M. TODAY EASTERN TIME, I will be on the Ben Merens Show on Wisconsin Public Radio that covers about five states in the region. WPR is launching a new series of shows called “Just the Facts,” in which they try to talk policy reality rather than policy spin. I’m going to do my best with this “no-spin rule” over the next hour. The primary topic will be Bush’s and Kerry’s respective approaches to foreign policy, anti-terrorism,…

BIBLE “BANNED” REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE MAILER

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A LOYAL READER OF THE WASHINGTON NOTE HAS EMAILED ME a copy of the controversial RNC mailer that Associated Press reported had been mailed out in West Virginia. Talking Points Memo had a good post on this on the 17th of September. The version I have posted was mailed out in Arkansas — so this template, which Ed Gillespie said he knew nothing about, is being used in multiple states. The front of the mailer has a picture of the…

THREE INDICTMENTS: TOM DELAY NEXT?

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FINALLY. THREE OF TOM DELAY’S AIDES HAVE BEEN INDICTED in the fundraising probe related to the mid-term redistricting in Texas. Josh Marshall probably wrote more on this story — the legislators on the lam and Tom DeLay’s shady deals — than anyone. Just do a text search on his site to remind yourself of the details. I don’t see how Tom DeLay could not be next in the indictment list. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. With DeLay’s inevitable fall,…

BUSH TOASTS KOFI ANNAN AND THE U.N. — WHAT?!

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I LOVE READING THE WHITE HOUSE POOL REPORTS, which are an art unto themselves. Wonkette posts these from time to time, so you can get a more regular diet of the creative commentary of presidential pool reporter drudgery from her. While Fox News has been absolutely gleeful about Dan Rather eating crow on the questionable origins of the Killian memos and arguing that Rather didn’t really want to confess on TV, but was forced to — I’d love to see…

WOOLSEY WATCH: SADDAM HUSSEIN & AL QAEDA

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THIS OBIT FOR JAMES BEASLEY RAN TODAY IN THE LOS ANGELES TIMES. It turns out that Woolsey was out marketing his services as an expert witness on the Saddam Hussein-al Qaeda connection and with Woolsey’s help, Beasley won a $104 million suit on behalf of two families of men killed in the 9/11 attacks by al Qaeda. The judgment has never been collected from either Saddam or bin Laden, but I wonder if Woolsey collected his fees for this case….

THE JOBS DEBATE: FOREIGN OR DOMESTIC POLICY QUESTION?

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NOW THAT THE BUSH-KERRY DEBATE SCHEDULE IS OUT, one of the irritating facts about these sessions is that they create false divides between policy challenges that need to be considered at a systemic level. Jim Lehrer will moderate the foreign policy debate, and domestic policy will come as the last of the three scheduled exchanges. Are energy questions domestic or foreign policy? Do drugs and organized crime constitute a domestic or foreign policy challenge? Do the topics of alternative fuels…

AMERICANS (AND BRITS) BOUND & GAGGED: POLITICAL CORRECTNESS AND THE IRAQ WAR

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AMB. IVOR ROBERTS, BRITAIN’S AMBASSADOR TO ITALY, thought he was off the record when he uttered a controversial truth — and described George Bush as “the best recruiting sergeant ever for al-Qaida”. One excerpt from the article in The Guardian: According to one of those present, Sir Ivor had been taking part in a discussion on which candidate Europeans would back if they had a vote in the US election. The ambassador said they would vote for Mr Kerry but…

LAURA BUSH OOZES CONFIDENCE IN PASTRY CHEF APPOINTMENT

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THADDEUS DUBOIS HAS BEEN NAMED WHITE HOUSE EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF. With only six weeks to go until the presidential election — and not many state dinners planned between now and then — and the Bush family on the road a lot — Dubois either really wants this credential on his resume or Laura Bush has the “confidence thing” mastered. Here’s an idea for the Kerry Campaign. Call Dubois, who must be preparing to move to Washington — and assure him…

BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL SECRECY: SOME HEROES FIGHT THE DARKNESS

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“NO ADMINISTRATION HAS DONE MORE TO CONCEAL” the workings of government from the people — this from a new report just released from the minority staff of the House Government Reform Committee. In 1983, I worked as a staff assistant to Arnold Horelick at the RAND/UCLA Center for the Study of Soviet International Behavior, based at RAND Corporation in Santa Monica. Horelick was one of those mesmerizing high priests of Soviet studies whose knowledge of the inner workings of the…