Monday, August 30, 2004

He'll Be Informed So We Can Slum

I don't know about you but I had no intention of 'tuning in' to the Repug Convention (truth be told, I didn't watch much of the Democratic one either). Senator McWhore was more than enough for me but luckily, South Knox Bubba will be stationed in his barcalounger, glued to CSPAN and blogging the convention [in a bi-partisan venture] over at the Knox News crosswire blog. Missus West Knox Momma doesn't have a prayer. [Well, she probably has a lotta prayers but you know what I mean] Thanks Bubba, we appreciate the sacrifice.
Next Up ... Victims of 9/11

I must say, all three women were heartfelt and well-spoken and none suggested we should support the Chickenhawk in Chief. Good for them, they used the Repubs platform but wouldn't be used by them. They included thanks for the outpouring of good wishes and prayers, recounted the bravery and selflessness of the pilots, passengers, firemen and police and ended with a request for a moment of silence in honor of those who lost their lives. They were composed and marvelous; I can't imagine how difficult it must be for them - three years out with little resolution.
McCain Mush

I was channel flipping and saw Sen. McWhore take the stage so I thought I'd take a peek. He started quoting one Democrat (FDR): "To some generations much is given. To others, much is demanded. This generation has a rendezvous with destiny." He cited the similarities between our struggle now and that in 1936 when FDR spoke these words.

Never mind the distinctions between Germany and Iraq ... oh wait, I forgot we're not talking about the great Iraqi adventure though are we - we're talking about our generic War on Terror - still it's too bad he couldn't come up with some eloquent quote from his fearless leader. I think "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we, They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we" would have worked.

However, sticking with the FDR theme, here's a few more for you John:

On Bush's Tax Cuts:
"Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle".
On Abu Ghraib:
"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough".

On Religion:
"Selfishness is the only real atheism; aspiration, unselfishness, the only real religion."
On Liberty:
"The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government".
And [if this election is to be on results ...] On Progress:
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little."
On Bush's Preference for Dictatorship:
"True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made."[It's easier that way though, right George?]
On Bushinomics:
"We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we now know that it is bad economics."
On Our Nation's Response to Attack:
"Yesterday, December seventh, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. And so our enemies [China] will hear from us soon." [Okay, so I made that last part up but we're stickin' with similarities here]
On Bush's Common Sense [or lack thereof]:
"The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something."[yeah, my emphasis]
There's one more, it's right on the tip of my tongue ... what is it? ...hmmm. Oh jeebus, if it were a snake ...

On The Bush/Cheney Meme (on or off the campaign trail):
"Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth." [hat tip to Terry in Afghanistan]
Next he stole from another Democrat - Obama. Okay so it wasn't no red states, no blue states, only the United States (of America), it was on 9/11 (of course) there were no Democrats, no Republicans, no Independants, no liberals, no conservatives ... yeah, you got the picture -just us 'merikuns.

He followed that up with citing many of his Democratic colleagues and how they emphasized [he may have used 'stressed' I'm going by memory here] diplomacy, how they emphasized exhausting all options blah, blah, blah and how he agreed with these friends, how the pReznit agreed with them - I'm sure this'll come as quite a surprise to those buddies.

He made it 2/3 of the way through his speech with much mention of 9/11, war, enemies and terror but nary a mention of Iraq. In the end though we find that the grand Iraqi adventure was necessary, effective and honorable. I mean after everything else had failed and what with Saddam going to be an even graver threat and all [although those pesky weapons never surfaced], what could poor George do?

But it's okay now because we're all friends just having a 'discussion' on how best to deal with our enemies.

Well, to sum it up, I think FDR would have been disappointed in ol' John's performance for he failed on at least 2 of 3 counts ...
"Be sincere; be brief; be seated." [that's assuming he took a seat at some point and didn't just depart in embarrassment]



Friday, August 27, 2004

Critical Mass in Manhattan

Thousands of cyclists rode through the streets of Manhattan last night in an anti-Republican, pro-environment display of bike power that ended in more than 100 arrests by the police after the ride blocked some streets.

With a cacophony of bells, whistles, and guttural screams and plenty of anti-Republican attire, several hundred cyclists rode through the streets of Manhattan last night in a display of bike power.

Despite tension over police warnings to obey traffic laws against blocking vehicular traffic and running red lights, the cyclists - numbering 5,000, the police say - did just that in a meandering course that started at Union Square and wound its way to the West Side, Central Park, Midtown and the East Village.

As of 11 p.m., Paul J. Browne, a police spokesman, said officers were still processing people who were detained but that he expected more than 100 people to face charges, mainly for disorderly conduct.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Following the Pied Piper

The most troubling thing about the weak 'apologies' from the NYTs and Washington Post was that they didn't suggest that they had learned from their errors, that the American public could expect them to be more diligent in the future. The fact that the SwiftBoat garbage got any play at all tells us that they may be on the 12-step program but they've got a long ways to go. Michael Tomasky at The American Prospect, demonstrates they're still missing the larger story.
Confusing

Okay, if Floridians find this




confusing and can't manage to 'complete the arrow' next to a candidate's name, maybe they shouldn't be allowed to vote. I'm now in a 'punch-ballot' state (ID) and I have to tell you, I hate those things. First I have to remember to bring my reading glasses with me to my polling place and then I spend a considerable amount of time checking my ballot afterwards to make sure that the numbers of the displaced chads correspond to the numbers associated with the candidates for whom I had intended to vote. Granted, I haven't found any errors yet but I still find it disconcerting to be unable to see my candidate's name contiguous with my choice. In MN, we had these arrow-type ballots and they were huge in terms of the arrows themselves as well as the text, relative to other ballots. They were 'read' by an optical reader and tabulated by computer but the written record, in case of a dispute, could not be more clear.
Ralph has Left More Than the Building

Nader doesn't even exist on the planet any longer. There are some classic quotes in this piece but this is my personal favorite:
"Once you accept the 'anybody-but-Bush' position, the brain really does close down," said Mr Nader.
Hey Ralph if we were all taking an "anybody-but-Bush" position, one would think you be doing better. Either you're nobody or I guess "anybody" isn't really "any body". There's also this:
Mr Nader also said that in the unlikely circumstances that John Kerry offered him a position in a future government he would not accept it.
Ralph, "unlikely?" - let's make a distinction between something with an extremely low probability and that which is not in the realm of possibility, shall we?
Unsolicited Advice: In Three-Part Harmony

The one thing the Repugnician machine does really well is to stick to a meme. They don't let facts or ethics get in their way, they perform by rote in 'verbati-speak'. I'm not suggesting that Dems throw the truth or ethics aside but let's be honest ... even if there were an inclination there wouldn't be a necessity. However, from now until November 2nd John Kerry should personally address specific attacks as needed but the rest of the Democrats should give the same response regardless of the charge, the smear, or any action by BushCo and his thugs. The response:
You know, it's precisely what we've come to expect. Another act of desperation by a campaign that has all the power and wealth to succeed but has the knowledge that there is no way in hell that the American people will elect their candidate. They've finally come to realize that a brother in Florida and five justices on the bench of the Supreme Court won't be sufficient this time around. It's pathetic, really.
Repeat as often as necessary.
The Ocean as a Buffer

In a speech to a conference of religious broadcasters Bush said, "Before September the 11th, 2001, we thought oceans would protect us forever."

If these headlines from the UK's Independent are any indication, the ocean is apparently protecting Bush:
Bush is Exploiting 9/11 for Re-Election[Nitpicker emphasis]

Guantanamo's Military Trials are Condemned as Grossly Unfair

Washington Accused of Ignoring Nuclear Terror Threat

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Face the Nation Without Facing the Facts

I jotted off an e-mail to Bob Schieffer this morning about the apples/oranges comparison between the MoveOn and Swiftboat ads and also asked why he failed to follow-up on the scripted Republican response he noticed (clever man) in their denouncement of all 527 ads. Yeah, he noticed the meme but didn't either question or speculate that their denouncement might have a tad to do with the fact that ~85% of 527 groups result in Democratic support, kinda leveling the playing field and we can't have that now can we. I was going to post more on our wonderful media in this regard tonight but I see Susie beat me to it; go read her letter to the media .
We've All Met Them, Right Girls?

You know the guys that think with their 'member' - it's just that when one thinks of these guys it isn't Bob Dole that typically comes to mind. However, we do know that he has a little dysfunction in that area which might explain why he now wants to attack Kerry for insufficient bleeding and/or hospitalization as a result of his war wounds. This is truly getting ridiculous.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Matched Set

Terry (the creator of Nitpicker) used to keep tabs on Rush, so I thought I'd check up on the doped-up, thrice divorced, mentally/morally-challenged mouthpiece. But I needn't bother 'cause as Carly Simon says, "nobody does it better"... I'm sure she was referring to TBogg.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Iraq (Post-Sovereignty)

41 U. S., 4 U.K. and 4 "other" military fatalities so far this month in Iraq. I know, we're not following it anymore since they're a sovereign nation and all but a bloody month nonetheless. Given the miserable failure's understanding of tribal sovereignty, I guess the state of sovereignty in Iraq should come as no surprise. Too bad someone didn't check the moron's understanding of the term last year.
Swiftboat Smackdown

The NYTs recounts the "birth' of the slime. My favorite touch is this:
As serious questions about its claims have arisen, the group has remained steadfast and adaptable[Nitpicker emphasis].
The weak Roger Simon and the I make it up as I go Tony Blakely were discussing this on Nightline tonight. Blankley said he thought Kerry had gone too far by intimating the deserter's affiliation with these gasbags - that the 'press' might call upon him to prove any relationship. That being the case, I don't think these authors will join the fray and seem to offer up connections themselves. Here's hoping you get bitch-slapped too, Tony.
Homeland Security Strikes Again [and again and again and again and again]
Between March 1 and April 6, airline agents tried to block Mr. Kennedy from boarding airplanes on five occasions because his name resembled an alias used by a suspected terrorist who had been barred from flying on airlines in the United States, his aides and government officials said.

Instead of acknowledging the craggy-faced, silver-haired septuagenarian as the Congressional leader whose face has flashed across the nation's television sets for decades, the airline agents acted as if they had stumbled across a fanatic who might blow up an American airplane. Mr. Kennedy said they refused to give him his ticket.

"He said, 'We can't give it to you'," Mr. Kennedy said, describing an encounter with an airline agent to the rapt audience. " 'You can't buy a ticket to go on the airline to Boston.' I said, 'Well, why not?' He said, 'We can't tell you.' "

"Tried to get on a plane back to Washington," Mr. Kennedy continued. "You can't get on the plane.' I went up to the desk and said, "I've been getting on this plane, you know, for 42 years. Why can't I get on the plane?"

The hearing room erupted in laughter.

Mr. Kennedy said his situation highlighted the odyssey encountered by people whose names had mistakenly appeared on terrorist watch lists or resembled the names of suspected terrorists on such lists. In April, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the government on behalf of seven airline passengers who said they had wrongly been placed on no-fly lists or associated with names on the lists and could not find a way to clarify their identities.

In Mr. Kennedy's case, airline supervisors ultimately overruled the ticket agents in each instance and allowed him to board the plane. But it took several weeks for the Department of Homeland Security to clear the matter up altogether, the senator's aides said.

Just days after Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge called Mr. Kennedy in early April to apologize and to promise that the problems would be resolved, another airline agent tried to stop Mr. Kennedy from boarding a plane yet again. The alias used by the suspected terrorist on the watch list was Edward Kennedy, said David Smith, a spokesman for the senator.[Nitpicker emphasis]
Now, if Teddy's having this much trouble can you imagine the experiences of all of the other Edward Kennedys in the U. S.?
And It Isn't The Swamps

More from Bob Herbert on the stench in Florida.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Not In My Contract
A US army veteran is challenging an emergency law that allows troops to be kept in Iraq and Afghanistan after their contracts expire.

The so-called "stop-loss" programme prevents reservists from leaving the military after their volunteer service period ends. It has affected up to 45,000 since 2001.
...
Senator John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate, has called the order a "back-door draft", but the army, which is finding recruitment tough, says it needs "consistency" in its units.[Nitpicker emphasis]
Trouble recruiting? Then let's bring troups home from desirable assignments (Germany was number one on my 'dream sheet' and they offered it to me in an effort to get me to re-enlist -it was tempting but I was young and foolish and stuck to my plan of four years for the GI bill, get out and go to school; I still haven't been to Europe), I'm sure that will increase the re-enlistment rate.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

More C+ Strategery
Harry Truman must be turning over in his grave.

The planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Europe and Asia that President Bush announced this week, if allowed to stand, could lead to the demise of the United States' key alliances across the globe, including the one that Truman considered his greatest foreign policy accomplishment: NATO.
...
The president proposes something that generations of U.S. diplomats and soldiers fought to prevent and that our adversaries sought unsuccessfully to achieve: radical reduction of U.S. political and military influence on the European and Asian continents. The Bush message, delivered at a campaign rally, also smells of political opportunism. Under pressure but unable to withdraw troops from Iraq, the president has instead reached for what his advisers hope is the next best thing politically -- a pledge to bring the boys home from Europe and Asia.

...
The president's plan is unfortunately further evidence of the strategic myopia that has afflicted this administration and is undercutting the United States' standing in the world. At a time when we should be mobilizing and reinvigorating our alliances in Europe and Asia, we are dismantling them. Instead of creating multilateral structures to mobilize the world in a common struggle against terrorism and new anti-Western ideologies and movements, we opt for a unilateral course that leaves us with fewer friends. As opposed to balancing the political and military requirements of a new era and coming up with a new troop deployment plan that meets both needs, the administration allows the Pentagon to ride roughshod over broader U.S. strategy and diplomacy and destroy the work of generations of diplomats and soldiers.
...
Sen. John Kerry has recognized that the lesson of Sept. 11 is that the U.S. need for allies is going up, not down. He has pledged to make the reinvigoration of U.S. alliances a foreign policy priority. He has claimed that his election would allow for a "fresh start" and close a remarkably divisive chapter in relations with many of our close allies. There is little doubt that Kerry's election would be enthusiastically welcomed in both Europe and Asia. But it is time for the senator to take the next step and lay out a concrete plan for how his administration would reverse the damage done by President Bush and reinvigorate the United States' alliances to meet the dangers we face. Part of that plan should be to freeze and review the ill-conceived plan the president put forth this week in Ohio.[Nitpicker emphasis]
Frankly, I don't think this will work politically either but I guess will find that out soon enough. Yes, demonstration of the same myopia (or lack of imagination) that concluded there were only two options for Iraq, the military misadventure or allowing Saddam to go completely unchecked. I recently commented on a right wing blog (can't say that I recall the blog) that was recommending a literacy test be passed prior to being able to cast a vote - that it was a great idea as long as any candidate who couldn't pass would also be removed from the ballot. No more *C+ students![*more likely a D student given a little leniency for his genealogy.]
Childs is Left Behind in Charters
The Bush administration's education program received a devastating setback this week when long-awaited federal data showed that children in charter schools were performing worse on math and reading tests than their counterparts in regular public schools. Among other things, the data casts doubt on a central provision of the No Child Left Behind Act that encourages the states to hand over failing schools to commercial companies and nonprofit community groups that want to run them as charter schools.
...
The new data that came to public attention this week was unearthed from a mound of federal reports, where it seemed to have been buried. While government officials denied that they were trying to hide the report, there's no denying that it casts a cloud on the gospel of privatization pushed by the Bush administration.

The report shows that there is nothing magical about the charter system when it comes to rebuilding failing schools. Instead of encouraging the states to set up thousands of unsupervised charter schools, the education secretary, Rod Paige, and his associates should concentrate on the No Child Left Behind provisions that require the states to place a qualified teacher in every classroom and make sure that all of the country's children are being held to the same high standards. That means more oversight and more scrutiny by the states, not less.[Nitpicker emphasis]
Guess it wasn't buried deep enough - it's not November is it?
Things That Aren't Really Necessary


Is this really necessary?

Claire Buchan, standing in for Scottie McPuppet, begins the gaggle in typical fashion ...
MS. BUCHAN: Let me start and give you a little bit about the President's day today.
Yeah we know, the deserter, and miserable failure in-chief, banner at the ready, will pose for every available photo-op with his pre-screened Repugnican 'rally?' attendees and send the bill for these campaign follies to the 'merikun taxpayer. Different day; same bullshit. Okay, then. But this?
Q Is this a campaign event?

MS. BUCHAN: Yes, all of them today.

Q What's the reaction to Sharon's plan to put a thousand more settlers in the West Bank?

MS. BUCHAN: We've seen those reports, and our embassy in Israel has been in touch with the government and has asked for some details. That's where it stands at the moment.

Q Will he talk about Airbus subsidies?

MS. BUCHAN: I don't believe that's in his remarks. But stay tuned; he may. But I --[Nitpicker emphasis]
Claire's idea of humor or have they really not learned to keep him from wandering off script?

Monday, August 16, 2004

Democracy in Action

The New Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

The political version.
Irreplaceable


Au revoir, Julia.

There was just something about her. When I got home Friday evening my husband asked if I could translate the phone message left by our middle child. He said that all he could make out was "Julia Child" so he logged on to Yahoo news and found out that she had passed away. I listened to the message which was clearly, " I was just wondering if Dad was all right since Julia died today" in her best (admittedly not very good) Julia Child imitation. 'Dad' is also 'the cook' and I guess he is the one that got us all hooked on Julia. She is not only irreplaceable but she was irrepressible, such a personality - so engaging and so full of life. A hard act to follow by any measure.
What He Said

According to TBogg, they're reasons (as opposed to excuses). While my 'reasons' have nothing to do with a sick Bassett, a child with a fractured collarbone (at least not that I know of - I'm sure they would have called) or (unfortunately) a new ipod - they do have to do with a considerable amount of work and the throwing out of a back (mine) which precluded sitting at the keybard. On a positive note some of the work (of the volunteer variety for the county Democratic party) resulted in registering a great deal of voters. The really encouraging thing is I can't tell you how many people we registered that were 50+ years of age who had either never voted or had not voted in a long time that deemed it necessary to vote this time against the worst pResident ever. Folks, if this is happening in Boise, Idaho it's got to be happening all over and these folks will be flying under the poll radar.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Just Say "No Shit"
US drugs tsar John Walters has admitted that Washington's anti-narcotics policy in Latin America has so far failed.[Nitpicker emphasis]
Endangered Donkey

For Debbie Hamilton, it was love at first sight. She scratched Saadi du Bourg behind his long fuzzy ears and patted the coarse, foot-long dreadlocks hanging from his belly. She didn't buy him that day, but eventually she wrote a check for $5,000 and the hairy jackass was all hers.

'He was very beguiling-looking,' the 61-year-old Ms. Hamilton says earnestly.

She wasn't taken just by Saadi's good looks. He was a full-blooded baudet du Poitou, an endangered breed of donkey. Raised for centuries exclusively in western France, the baudet today is struggling to survive.

Only about 250 purebred animals exist in France, with another 100 scattered in the U.S., Germany and elsewhere -- most of them isolated in small groups in petting zoos and farms.

Baudets and their genetic characteristics are prized as one-half of the combination needed to create a first-class working mule. Crossing a big-boned baudet jack, or male, with a mulassier, a large horse, yielded a mule that, centuries ago, was considered luxury transportation.
Whew! for a minute there I thought ... but really, a cross between a mule and a horse? I think there's one of these in there somewhere.
Truer Words ...

Bush at the signing ceremony for a 417 BILLION DOLLAR defense bill (add that to the TRILLIONS for which the Pentagon and DoD already can't account), but I digress ...
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we," Bush said. "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
No point in the whitehouse.gov link. The text, like Shrub's military records, has been scrubbed. Leno had the video though and, whore that he is, couldn't pass on this one.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Unconvinced
...
Finally, there is the matter of politics. The Bush administration expressed outrage at the suggestion that there could be any politics behind any of its warnings, but the president has some history to overcome on this issue. There is nothing more important for Mr. Bush to do every day until Nov. 2 than to make it clear that he would never hype a terror alert to help his re-election chances. It is a challenge complicated by the fact that he is running on his record against terrorism and is using images of 9/11 and the threat of more attacks to promote his candidacy. The president's credibility on national security issues was gravely wounded by the way he misled Americans, intentionally or not, about the reasons for invading Iraq - including the suggestion that the war was part of the campaign against Al Qaeda.

Some of the past terror alerts have seemed aimless and happened when the Bush administration would have benefited from a change in the political conversation. On Sunday, when the administration had grim and specific information to convey, Mr. Ridge did a real disservice to himself, his president and the public by giving what amounted to a campaign pitch for 'the president's leadership in the war against terror.

It's hard to write that off as an offhand comment. If Mr. Ridge is to continue in this role, he must stay out of the election; using him as a campaign surrogate would be disastrous for public confidence. The administration should also stop dropping dark hints about Al Qaeda's having election-related motives to attack, as if a vote against the current president were appeasement.[Nitpicker emphasis]
Like many of us, the NYT's editorial staff doesn't appear to be convinced by the Repugnicans faux outrage. But where was their skepticism in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003? Bush didn't just begin to use 9/11 in this political campaign season, he used it from the very beginning, in his first post 9/11 speech to the nation. Rove had no doubt informed him that this was his opportunity to do something he hadn't managed to have done ... be a legitimate resident of the White House. In the aftermath of a heinous attack on our nation, the man was almost giddy as he blathered on about how his administration now had a focus. Everyone knows merikans stick by their pResidents in times of war, all he had to do was milk it for 3 years - and that he has done. If someone could locate raw footage (something that hasn't been scrubbed like Shrub's military records) of this appearance it would make a powerful ad for MoveOn to produce, playing a sequence sans audio so the context of his speech (and apparent elation) is unknown and then playing the sequence again with sound and context. This man has done two things since the Supreme Traitors placed him at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Campaign and vacation.
First Do No Harm
There is increasing evidence that U.S. doctors, nurses, and medics have been complicit in torture and other illegal procedures in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay. Such medical complicity suggests still another disturbing dimension of this broadening scandal.
Via Digby [scroll down Moral Malpractice]
The Boss Takes on The BossAss
Bruce Springsteen, the U.S. rock icon known as The Boss, will join two dozen other stars in nine 'battleground' states for a rock 'n' roll tour aimed at ousting pRresident Bush, organizers said on Wednesday.
...
"I felt like I couldn't have written the music I've written, and been on stage singing about the things that I've sung about for the last 25 years and not take part in this particular election," said Springsteen, who has avoided direct political work in the past.

Dave Matthews, James Taylor, the Dixie Chicks, James Taylor, Pearl Jam, R.E.M, John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt are among the performers donating their talent and time to get Democrat John Kerry into the White House.[Nitpicker emphasis]
May he be one of many that decide to take part in this election.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Rich

Cheney says the Dems are to blame for the high price of oil.
Cheney advocated increasing domestic oil production in wildlife areas in Alaska and other regions that are off-limits to development. 'We have put ourselves into a box. The only thing I can think of to do is to keep pushing for a comprehensive energy policy,' he said. 'We are at the mercy of those international oil prices.'
How 'bout pushin' for a comprehensivve list of who was making the energy policy Dick? Go F*@# yourself.

Monday, August 02, 2004

A Sense of History

Remember the August 6, 2001 PDB?

You know, the one that wasn't specific enough to take action, the data that was "historical" according to Condi, again making it unactionable. However, now we have this:
The Times reports today that much of the information that led to the heightened alert is actually three or four years old and that authorities had found no concrete evidence that a terror plot was actually under way. This news does nothing to bolster the confidence Americans need that the administration is not using intelligence for political gain.[Nitpicker emphasis]
Makes you wonder what might have happened (or not) in 2001 had we been on heightened alert - oh, but that wasn't an election year was it?

Update: Not to worry though because Tom Ridge claims some of the data is as recent as last January. Maybe someone should tell him it's August.