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Archive for Tom Ball (Email)

10/31/05 :: By Tom Ball
Political Cortex Launches
Categories :: Misc 3... 2... 1... Blastoff! Months in the making. Blood. Sweat. Tears. But now we’re here and we are ready to ROCK! Check out!! But who are we? We’re Devilstower, Carnacki, Sdf, Bill Hare, Drew Johnston, mcjoan, SusanG, Bob Kendall,...

08/22/05 :: By Tom Ball
Come Join Us at Political Cortex!
Categories :: Misc

The time is fast approaching when 'evolution' and 'intelligent design' join forces to create the newest incarnation of progressive political community blogging.

In September, those who brought you will be teaming up with some of your favorite writers from the pages of DailyKos to bring you!

Joining the members of will be DKos Diarists: Al Rogers, Georgia10, SusanG, mcjoan, Pounder, Hermod, Frederick Clarkson, ColdFusion04, and NYBri.

07/05/05 :: By Tom Ball
This Time It's Personal: Paper Brings Iraq Bloodshed to US Towns
Categories :: Iraq

Today, the Palm Beach Post is displaying a map of the US showing the concentration of US Soldiers killed in Iraq. It focuses on the number killed within each US town and provides a key that tells which towns/cities have been most heavily hit.

05/04/05 :: By Tom Ball
US Military Budget Will Match Rest of World in 1 Year
Categories :: Military

In only 12 months, the the amount of our tax dollars dedicated to the US Military will match the aggregate military budgets of the worlds other 191 countries. That implies a military expenditure of nearly a TRILLION US dollars -- including budgets for Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the 'standard' military budget.

05/03/05 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Shift the Burdon of Proof to Your Opponent
Categories :: Tactics

Make an assertion, promote your opinion, or provide your interpretation. Before your opponent can question your motive, strength of argument, or basis for your assertions, call for them to prove you wrong. Place the burden of proof for your assumptions on your opponent. Don't let up until they concede that they can't prove you wrong. At that point, proclaim victory. That's what Bush does.

04/28/05 :: By Tom Ball
Top 10 Bush Foul-ups that Made North Korea a Nuclear Threat
Categories :: Reference

The vastness of Bush foul-ups is absolutely mind-melting. In fact, If I were somehow able to comprehend, document, and post every single Bush foul-up, I would no doubt test the limits of bandwidth and storage on all of the internets. The theme is no different when it comes to Bush’s foul-ups with North Korea. Unfortunately, these particular foul-ups have helped nurture a two-bit, crackpot dictator into a nuke-wielding catalyst for Armageddon.

Here are the Top 10 Bush 'foul-ups' that brought North Korea from isolated tin-pot dictatorship to global nuclear threat.

04/21/05 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Ask Questions that Suggest the “Correct Answer”
Categories :: Tactics

Summary: Create a context that favors your views. Pose general values questions that lead to obvious answers. Use these answers to convince respondents and listeners to move toward more specific topics with a bias toward your preferred view. Associate any negative aspects of the topic to the opposition while presenting the positive aspects with yourself or allied entities.

04/19/05 :: By Tom Ball
Joseph Ratzinger New Pope, Ballots Burned, No exit Polls!!
Categories :: Religion

Remain vigilant as the Bush Administration spins the new Catholic Leader as a stalwart icon of Bush's neoconservative agenda citing their shared (I hate to use the term, but...) "Culture of Life". And remember this about Pope John Paul II:

04/14/05 :: By Tom Ball
A Pornographic Celebration of Death
Categories :: Religion

"Yeah," Bernie said, ramming a cookie into his mouth, "that's the difference between you and me. I think. I think the Pope fought everything Bush stands for with all his might -- he publicly called on world leaders, especially those on the UN Security Council, to thwart Bush's resolution on Iraq and to ward off the destruction he knew the Bush administration was planning. He even sent Cardinal Pio Laghi, a friend of Poppy's, as his special envoy to plead with Bush not to invade Iraq, but Bush told him it would all be over in the wink of an eye. Just trust me, Bush says. I think," Bernie continued, "as does investigative journalist Wayne Madsen, that the Pope, if not convinced, was at least fearful that Bush was the anti-Christ warned about in The Revelation.

04/12/05 :: By Tom Ball
Your Daily Fix From Around the Web
Categories :: Misc

A handfull of today's 'Must Reads' from around the web, including excerpts, links...and perhaps a comment or two.

04/11/05 :: By Tom Ball
Your Daily Fix From Around the Web
Categories :: Misc

A handfull of today's 'Must Reads' from around the web, including excerpts, links...and perhaps a comment or two.

04/07/05 :: By Tom Ball
Today's Must Read Stories From Around the Web
Categories :: Misc

A handfull of today's 'Must Reads' from around the web, including excerpts, links...and perhaps a comment or two.

04/07/05 :: By Tom Ball
Frank Luntz "Straight Talk": The Environment: A Cleaner, Safer, Healthier America
Categories :: Framing 101

Once again, we are presenting in an online, readable format for the first time in the history of the web... Frank Luntz "Straight Talk" pp. 131-146 (Environment). So let's take a look at Frank's insight on the linguistic workings of the environment, how the republicans (were) shooting themselves in the feet and how they plan to eliminate their "environmental credibility gap".

03/31/05 :: By Tom Ball
Why Democrats Lose and Republicans Win
Categories :: Progressive Strategy

We're trying to build a progressive political infrastructure. It'll happen but it'll take time and money. Even so, we've come a long way since Bush first took the White House. Now we have Air America Radio, Center for American Progress, RockRidge Institute, George Soros and other sugar daddies, Howard Dean, the Progressive Political Web, and most importantly, the understanding that the long-term infrastructure is something that must be built, and maintained. And yesterday, Bill Bradley gave it to us straight in the NY Times.

03/30/05 :: By Tom Ball
STOP Using THEIR Frame: "Culture of Life"
Categories :: Framing - Republicans

Do NOT use their frame or their language. Do not use the phrase "Culture of Life" even when attempting to counter their frame or disprove its legitimacy. Instead, REFRAME the issue to reflect positively on our position or truthfully on their position -- an action that also favors our position. Our frame for them in this case should be: "Culture of Opportunism" -- a realistic assessment of their actions that puts us on the offense and reveals their culture of exploitive self-preservation

03/29/05 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: "Allow" People to Come to the "Correct" Conclusion
Categories :: Tactics

Ask questions that "allow" listeners to come to the "correct" conclusion all by themselves. The "correct" conclusion being the one that you deem to be "correct". In writing, speeches and general statements of opinion, this tactic is very effective. When directing such questions to a particular person, the effective execution becomes a bit trickier.

03/25/05 :: By Tom Ball
Introducing Paper Chase, the Newest Strategy in Grassroots Activism
Categories :: Activism

Introducing a new organization from those who brought you the Raw Story, and currently sponsored by BradBlog, Watching the Watchers, Newsfare, Political Strategy, The Agonist, and A la Gauche.

03/25/05 :: By Tom Ball
Dino DNA, Evolution, Cloning, and Right-Wing Discomboobery
Categories :: Science

Despite overwhelming evidence and commonsense, they deny anything that wasn't jotted down by someone in the bible -- they deny global warming, scoff at evolution, dismiss the benefits of stem cell research and generally yearn for the glory days of the twelfth century. Now there's something new for them to tie their panties in a knot: Cloned Dinosaurs

03/25/05 :: By Tom Ball
Bobby Fischer, Chess Master, Wanted 'Dead or Alive'
Categories :: Terrorism

The "War on Terror" has apparently been so successful that our terror-targeting super powers are now free to train themselves on a new, more hideous evil than ever before -- good chess, no...REALLY good chess players. In fact, maybe the best ever. This is no joke people. my sources suggest that the the color-coded terror alert was heightened on at least 3 occassions due to the possibility of... IMMINENT CHESS.

03/25/05 :: By Tom Ball
Pollsters Simply Cannot Protect Bush Enough
Categories :: Polling

By making a few reasonable assumptions, we are able to get a rough idea of where Bush’s REAL approval rating is -- simply derive the approval rating for the independents, (something that was not given but can be derived from the available information) and change the weightings to a more realistic level of 33% for each political affiliation Dem/Rep/Ind. With that, we see that Bush’s approval rating of only 34.8%!

03/24/05 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Use Language That Implies Your Opponent has Done Things Far Worse than What has Been Proven
Categories :: Tactics

Tactic: In essence, you must use language that implies that your opponent is guilty of improprieties we have yet to imagine. This encourages listeners to not only indict your opponent in their own mind, but also to convict them of yet-to-be-proven, perhaps even imaginary crimes. This ensures that the opponent remains sour in the listeners' minds for untold periods of time making it much more difficult for your opponent to recover and regain credibility sufficient to attack you or your agenda in the future.

03/23/05 :: By Tom Ball
FRAMING: "Take Back America" - 4-Part Series - Introduction
Categories :: Framing - Foundation

This series will present arguments and actions to reestablish progressives' rightful place in America. Each section will add to a logical progression of ideas that result in the natural implementation of progressive values by establishing American government as a 'progressive' government held accountable to the standards of a 'Progressive Nation'.

03/18/05 :: By Tom Ball
Luntz Defends the Republican Playbook
Categories :: Framing 101

When the Frank Luntz Republican Playbook made its way to the blogosphere, there was not even a peep out of the mainstream media. Now that might change, and all thanks to none other than Frank Luntz himself.

03/17/05 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Appeal to the Listeners' Deepest Fears
Categories :: Tactics

Instill fear. Connect that fear to your opponent's position; remind them that, with him, there is no hope. Provide specific, simple and clear instructions regarding the actions that should be taken to find relief. Fear distracts and motivates the frightened to seek relief from that fear.

03/14/05 :: By Tom Ball
Bob Fertik and Revolutionizing American Media Structure
Categories :: Media

The calls serve as both an organizing power for progressive blog investigations/exposes and a tool for relationship-building with members of the mainstream media. Particularly impressive is the blistering speed at which Bob has transformed his idea into a functioning, effective, powerful tool to promote a populist media, not through unending whining and complaints, but rather through action and sheer force of mind and will. And now the MSM has taken notice. On the cover of today’s New York Times Business Section is a feature article on the creation and functioning of Congratulations Bob!

03/09/05 :: By Tom Ball
Was Saddam's Capture a Hollywood Production?
Categories :: Iraq :: Lies :: Propaganda/Spin

We've all come across the type who still believe that man's landing on the moon was just a production of good old American cinematography. Ironically, these same people are the ones who would sacrifice their dignity to fawn over recent works of Bush propaganda. You can bet they were gaga over the manner in which Saddam was captured -- how appropriate it was that he had to be dragged from his vermin infested, rat hole... like the cowardly filth that he is. To others however, the 'capture' seemed just a bit too perfect in its symbolism -- as though the entire thing had been a staged event, perhaps even requiring signed 'affidavits of loyalty' to behold.

03/06/05 :: By Tom Ball
Frank Luntz Republican Playbook -- Searchable Text-Version: PART X "APPENDIX: THE 14 WORDS NEVER TO USE"
Categories :: Framing 101 :: Reference :: Republicans

In the tenth and final installment of the text version of the Luntz Republican playbook, Frank warns conservatives of the 14 words they should never, ever use -- and then graciously provides 'proper' alternatives.

03/06/05 :: By Tom Ball
Frank Luntz Republican Playbook -- Searchable Text-Version: PART IX "AN ENERGY POLICY FOR THE 2lst CENTURY"
Categories :: Framing 101 :: Reference :: Republicans

In the ninth installment of the text version of the Luntz Republican playbook, Frank leads the crusade for nuclear energy and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

03/04/05 :: By Tom Ball
Frank Luntz Republican Playbook -- Searchable Text-Version: PART VIII "LAWSUIT ABUSE REFORM: A COMMONSENSE APPROACH"
Categories :: Framing 101 :: Reference :: Republicans

In the eighth installment of the text version of the Luntz Republican playbook, Frank reveals the truth about those filthy 'Public Protection Attorneys' and explains the delicate nature of convincing the public that big business should run wild and free of the restraints imposed by 'ethics' and 'law'.

03/03/05 :: By Tom Ball
Frank Luntz Republican Playbook -- Searchable Text-Version: PART VII "SOCIAL SECURITY = RETIREMENT SECURITY" (Part a)
Categories :: Framing 101

In the seventh installment of the text version of the Luntz Republican playbook, Frank invests 31 pages of prime space teaching the proper way to reshape the public's perception of Social Security -- taking particular aim at the elderly’s current propensity to separate that nasty, ever-so-hated 'government' from their beloved Social Security. To gain favor for Republican's Social Security dismantlement, says Luntz, the two must become synonymous.

03/02/05 :: By Tom Ball
Frank Luntz Republican Playbook -- Searchable Text-Version: PART VI "TAX RELIEF & SIMPLIFICATION"
Categories :: Framing 101 :: Reference :: Republicans

In the sixth installment of the text version of the Luntz Republican playbook, Frank explains that Republicans don't want tax 'reform', they want tax 'simplification'. Here's why it matters.

03/01/05 :: By Tom Ball
Frank Luntz Republican Playbook -- Searchable Text-Version: PART V "THE BUDGET: ENDING WASTEFUL WASHINGTON SPENDING"
Categories :: Framing 101 :: Reference :: Republicans

In the fifth installment of the text version of the Luntz Republican playbook, Frank insists that the budget problems be blamed on 'Wasteful government spending'... no, not the tax cuts to the most wealthy Americans or the quarter billion burned in a war of Bush betrayal. The deficits are all about those ever-so-reviled social programs. This sets the stage for 'Starving the beast'.

03/01/05 :: By Tom Ball
Frank Luntz Republican Playbook -- Searchable Text-Version: PART IV "INTERNATIONAL TRADE: PROMOTING AMERICA’S COMPETITIVENESS"
Categories :: Framing 101 :: Reference :: Republicans

In the fourth installment of the text version of the Luntz Republican playbook, Frank reveals his thoughts on 'leveling the international playing field' so our apparently hapless businesses can finally compete in the global marketplace. (Last I knew, our 11 trillion dollar economy dwarfed its next closest international competitor. Maybe Luntz knows something we don't?)

02/28/05 :: By Tom Ball
Frank Luntz Republican Playbook -- Searchable Text-Version: PART III "GROWTH, PROSPERITY, & RESTORE ENERGY and ECONOMIC SECURITY"
Categories :: Framing 101 :: Reference :: Republicans

In the third installment of the text version of the Luntz Republican playbook, Frank tells us how to, among other things, frame 'lawsuits' (never mentioned without the word frivolous preceding it) as a primary driver for the horrific loss of jobs over the course of Bush's reign in the White House.

02/26/05 :: By Tom Ball
Frank Luntz Republican Playbook -- Searchable Text-Version: PART II "SETTING THE CONTEXT AND TONE"
Categories :: Framing 101 :: Reference :: Republicans

In the second installment of the text version of the Luntz Republican playbook, Frank tells us how to establish the ever-important context and tone for our messages.

02/25/05 :: By Tom Ball
Introducing a Searchable, Easily Accessed, Text-Version of the Frank Luntz Republican Playbook
Categories :: Framing 101 :: Reference :: Republicans

So the Frank Luntz Republican Playbook is in our hands and everybody wants to peel through the pages to discover the inner workings of the right-wing propaganda machine.

Unfortunately, you currently have to battle debilitating file downloads and software requirements to read it.

Fortunately, we are here to help make your life easier -- to access, to search, to read and to excerpt the GOP’s strategic tome. As a part of our 'Framing Project', over the following days, we are creating a text version of the currently available image document. It will be completely searchable -- and browser accessible in a handful of posts organized and permanently referenced on our main 'Framing Project' page.

02/23/05 :: By Tom Ball
Luntz Must Be Livid: Holy Grail of Republican Frames Discovered
Categories :: Framing 101

The GOP 'Framing' Bible has been found! Download it and read it for yourself. Analysis will be forthcoming.

02/23/05 :: By Tom Ball
Framing: How Bush Has Stuck a Wedge in the Heart of Europe to Spark Internal Conflict and Debase Franco-German Power
Categories :: Foreign Policy :: Framing - Foreign Policy

FRAME: If a European is asked whether he opposes or supports the United States over Iraq, the vast majority will say they are opposed. However, if you ask them: "Do you prefer to live in an integrated Europe dominated by France and Germany, or would you prefer to maintain a degree of independence by aligning with the United States on security issues?" then you would most likely receive a very different answer.

02/18/05 :: By Tom Ball
Why Do Conservatives Hate Their Children?
Categories :: Conservatives :: Environment

We all know that at least some conservatives aren't idiots. They know full well that global warming is a reality. Yet that does absolutely nothing to prevent them from renouncing it as some left-wing fairy tale.

They only care about their right to pump as much pollution as possible into the atmosphere without the constraints of regulation... cause God forbid we spend one Goddamn penny from the GOP coffers to prevent the ultimate destruction of our planet.

02/17/05 :: By Tom Ball
“Enemy Combatant” Negroponte will be the Nation’s First Intelligence Chief.
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Iran Contra

Most people remember Negroponte as the facilitator of Reagan-approved atrocities in Honduras and proud Iran-Contra criminal. I know, it's hard to believe, but one of Bush's appointments might not actually meet the high standards we would like to believe the US Government sets for its officials. In fact, he and his buddies, Caspar Weinberger, Elliot Abrams, Robert McFarlane, John Poindexter, Otto Reich, George Bush Sr., Ronald Reagan, and Oliver North committed acts that, outside conservative circles, spur outrage and disbelief.

02/16/05 :: By Tom Ball
Framing Tactic: Respond with 'Value-Based' Answers
Categories :: Framing 101

Regardless of the framing of a question, give your answer as a statement of your position -- one that you want everyone to hear. Do not play into the questioner's traps by dignifying their heavily spun questions. By directly addressing the question, you will lose and a framing opportunity will be lost.

02/16/05 :: By Tom Ball
Iran and Syria in 'Common Front' Makes it Easier for Administration to Attack Both Nations
Categories :: Foreign Policy

Iran and Syria are working to ease the work of the Administration and their neoconservative brethren by offering themselves as a 2-for-1 package. Invade one and the other comes as a bonus at only twice the price -- quite a bargain in the administration’s efforts to 'reshape' the Middle East.

02/16/05 :: By Tom Ball
BREAKING NEWS: Iran Blast Thought to be Fired from Unknown Aircraft
Categories :: Breaking News

An unknown aircraft fired a missile on Wednesday in a deserted area near the southern city of Dailam in the province of Bushehr where Iran has a nuclear power plant, Iranian state television said.

02/15/05 :: By Tom Ball
It’s All Part of the Plan. This Administration Does NOT Make Mistakes
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Foreign Policy :: Iraq

And so it was. The plan was in motion... and now we see it come to fruition -- And I can only presume that the administriation was working with the Iranians from the beginning since Iran was secretly (shhhhhh!) promoting the Administration's invasion efforts.

02/15/05 :: By Tom Ball
America Loves Traditional Progressive Values
Categories :: Propaganda/Spin

Let's see, Hillary performs significantly better than Kerry, handily stowing her victim in the electoral trunk -- and yet, Hillary is perceived as being nontrivially more liberal than Kerry. How does that synch with the assertion that liberalism is 'out of touch with mainstream America'?

02/14/05 :: By Tom Ball
They Fear Dean -- and So They Should
Categories :: Dean, Howard

To me it sounds like they are afraid of him. And I don’t mean that they are afraid because of his media-induced status as a ‘loose cannon’ or a ‘polarizing figure’. I think they’re afraid because they know deep down inside that a paradigm shift has just occurred in the Democratic Party.

Let the Republicans mock. That’s the best they can do. Let them replay the ‘scream’. That’s all they have. Let them tag him a (gasp!) Libruuuul. Who cares.

They know that Dean brings two things to the Democrats that the right has feared for decades:

02/12/05 :: By Tom Ball
New 9/11 Commission Findings and the Top 19 Ways Bush and the Republicans Benefited from the Attack
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Republicans

From here, I will take the baton and run with the question of 'who benefits?' The question has been posed, pondered and answered many times before, but never quite so completely as this. And I present this so that everyone can see just how many ways Bush and his cabal have benefited from the ultimate devastation in New York, Pennsylvania and DC...

02/11/05 :: By Tom Ball
Gallup Overweights Poll with Republicans -- AGAIN
Categories :: Polling

Here we go again.

The other day, Gallup released a poll showing a spike in Bush's approval ratings to 57%, up 6 points from 51% three weeks ago. Gallup speculated that the Iraqi elections were the impetus for the spike, but our friend, Steve Soto over at The Left Coaster was quick to spot the true source of the spike.

Apparently, the Gallup organization is fond of Republicans -- after all, they found it appropriate to overload them (by 9%) in their latest Bush poll.

02/10/05 :: By Tom Ball
Is the Democratic Leadership Strong-Arming Democrats into Submission?
Categories :: Democrats

Now I believe in tolerance and encourage a diversity of opinions. However, there is a time for cooperation and there is a time to stand firm as an opposition party. Under the current conditions, I fully encourage the Democratic leadership to take one out of the Republican playbook and stand firm as the progressive opposition to a radical, right-wing administration and legislature.

02/10/05 :: By Tom Ball
Gannon Scandal Breaks Wide Open
Categories :: Media

The most interesting thing about this, is that the effort to expose Gannon as a no-talent, non-credentialed, family-value-hypocrite, pseudo-propagandist, GOP insert with access to the highest levels of the White House -- even while using a fake name, was perpetuated, not only by the progressive bloggers, but also by the commenters and diarists. It was a testament to the successes that can be achieved and the justice that can be wrought when the political left works together intelligently and aggressively.

02/09/05 :: By Tom Ball
Lessons From War Games
Categories :: Philosophy

General Van Riper, in summing up the lesson learned from this quarter-billion dollar fiasco, also encapsulated, either by purpose or coincidence, the world in which we live under the oppressive ignorance of a Bush regime:

"Nothing was learned from this... A culture not willing to think hard and test itself does not augur well for the future."

02/08/05 :: By Tom Ball
Top 20 Indications that Bush Invades Iran -- Soon!
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Foreign Policy

Number 1) Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that U.S. Attack on Iran are 'simply not on the agenda at this point'.

And by that, she of course meant that Iran IS on the agenda and it always has been -- right along with Iraq.

Check out the 0ther 19 events that point to an imminent Bush invasion of Iran.

02/07/05 :: By Tom Ball
Was Bush Prophesized in the Book of Revelations?
Categories :: Religion

People have been speculating on the emergence of an antichrist ever since there was a Christ. In similar fashion, people have been speculating the end of the world ever since people began to comprehend what 'the world' was.

So toss these two happy thoughts together and you get an uplifting prophecy from the book of Revelations that says the 'Antichrist' will appear, and he will mark the end of time.

Fortunately for us, the bible has a prophecy-hit-percentage of exactly ZERO .

02/04/05 :: By Tom Ball
Google Bomb 'Social Security'
Categories :: Activism Put this link in your posts, on your blogs, everywhere you can. Plaster the internet with it. We want every person Googling for information on Social Security to be directed to Social Security Go here for more on the...

02/04/05 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Describe your Opponent with 'Words of Weakness'
Categories :: Tactics

Use words to describe the opponent (regardless of their true behavior) that exude WEAKNESS.

Do not use words that could be construed as strong in the 'Strict Father' model of morality. This refers specifically to many words that progressives perceive as 100% negative: Mean, heartless, insensitive, dictatorial, hateful, angry, evil, stubborn, ogre, egotistical, harsh.

02/03/05 :: By Tom Ball
Framing: Primer for a Progressive Revolution -- Part IV: Strategic and Slippery Slope Inititiatives
Categories :: Framing 101

Think strategically! Think long-term!

In the final chapter of our basic framing primer, we'll take a look at the techniques used to bring it all together -- multiple-issue strategic initiatives and slippery slope initiatives.

02/03/05 :: By Tom Ball
Framing: Primer for a Progressive Revolution -- Part III: Techniques, Rules, and Execution
Categories :: Framing 101

We've defined framing and discussed it's vast importance in the fight for ideological supremacy. And we've discussed the differences between the progressive and conservative world views -- necessary for the creation of effective frames. Now it's time to learn how to frame.

02/02/05 :: By Tom Ball
Punditocracy Annoints Dean as DNC Chair
Categories :: Democrats

Although the vote for DNC chair is still days away, the pundits have already called the race for Dean -- and they're never wrong. Right?

02/02/05 :: By Tom Ball
Framing: Primer for a Progressive Revolution -- Part II: The Nurturant Parent Vs. the Strict Father
Categories :: Framing 101

To effectively frame the issues and the world around us, we must first understand how conservatives and progressives are different. To truly understand these differences, it's important that we digest them on a deeply intuitive, emotional and intellectual level. George Lakoff’s metaphor of the 'Nation as Family' will provide such insight.

Introducing the 'Nurturant Parent' and 'Strict Father': Lakoff simplifies the contrast between progressive and conservative world views by presenting each as a style of parenting. This flows within a much broader metaphor that equates the nation to family -- suggesting that 'progressive thought' is that of the 'Nurturant Parent' while conservative thought is that of the 'Strict Father'. Where each has the following characteristics:

02/01/05 :: By Tom Ball
Framing: Primer for a Progressive Revolution -- Part I Philosophy and Rational for Framing
Categories :: Framing 101

It will bring those unfamiliar with the concept of framing into the loop. It will also serve as a kick-off to the "The Political Strategy Framing Project" -- a project that will, over time, present framing suggestions and tutorials on every issue covered in contemporary politics.

02/01/05 :: By Tom Ball
The Framing Project
Categories :: Framing 101

Announcing the launch of the "Framing Project".

The project will be an ongoing effort to provide a 'handbook' of framing suggestions. It will bring those unfamiliar with the concept of framing into the loop. It will also provide framing rationales and talking points on every issue covered in contemporary politics.

01/31/05 :: By Tom Ball
It's Official. Bush is a Racist: Flashing the Race Card to Destroy Social Security
Categories :: Framing 101 :: Race :: Social Security

Closeted bigots have become versed in traversing the bumpy bigoted landscape, furthering their ideals while claiming tolerance and proclaiming their love for diversity. Thus, they are often difficult to expose outright. We must therefore watch their "walk" vs. their "talk". Don't expect to find Bush using the "N" word or berating gays openly. What you will easily find, however, is a record of civil rights atrocities and staunch support for admitted bigots. Indeed, until Trent Lott spilled the beans regarding his racist beliefs, accusations of contemporary GOP racism was often poo-pooed as left-wing rhetoric with little evidence (i.e. signed confessions).

01/31/05 :: By Tom Ball
Keeping Track of Bush Payola Propaganda Puppets
Categories :: Propaganda/Spin

Okay, okay. I guess we have to start keeping track of these asses. So far, the Bush Payola Propaganda Puppets include -- but I’m sure are not limited to:

01/28/05 :: By Tom Ball
Making Headway to a Progressive Infrastructure
Categories :: Progressive Strategy

It was not long, however, that the scofflaw blossomed into a full-fledged felon, persistently skirting the standards of decency and morality. It was then, and only then, that the Democrats recognized that the felon was not alone. In fact it was but a single element within a highly organized gang of societal usurpers -- a gang that perpetrated crimes without punishment or accountability.

And then one day it happened. The felonious crew stole the presidency of the united states of America. From then, their power only grew. The Democrats were hopeless, powerless...hapless.

Until yet again a day arrived that the tides would begin to turn.

01/26/05 :: By Tom Ball
Could Ted Turner Become a New Progressive Sugar Daddy?
Categories :: Progressive Strategy

Earlier this month, a group of politically progressive billionaires -- including George Soros, Herb and Marion Sandler, and Peter Lewis pledged millions to the long-term construction of a critically needed progressive intellectual infrastructure of think tanks and other institutions. With a little luck, we may have another billionaire jumping on board very soon.

01/26/05 :: By Tom Ball
36 US Soldiers Dead
Categories :: Iraq

The latest poll shows that support for war in Iraq hit a new low of 39% while most people no longer back the administration's basis for invading. Now these 39% have something new to contemplate with the death of 36 American soldiers yesterday.

01/25/05 :: By Tom Ball
Koufax Award Nominations are Posted
Categories :: Misc

Well, some of them are anyway...and, as with any nominee, we are not shy -- but we are humble -- about asking you to click over to Wampum and vote for your favorites in the progressive political blogsphere.

01/20/05 :: By Tom Ball
How could Bush not make Condi his Secretary of State?
Categories :: Rice, Condoleezza

Just look at all of these things that she's done for her big lummox of a boss and you too will understand.

01/19/05 :: By Tom Ball
The Enemy We Face in the War for Social Security Preservation
Categories :: Social Security

Most of the attention on this cultural 'war of the worlds' has been understandably focused on the Bush Administration as the primary assailant of the integrity and sanctity of Social Security -- arguably the most successful social program in the history of the United States of America. What often goes overlooked are the power players that thrive at the beast's underbelly. These are the movers that shape public opinion and work as an integral component of the GOP’s framing machine. Thus, we introduce you to a broader scope of the opposition:

01/18/05 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Outnumber Your Opponent
Categories :: Tactics

Setup: Here you are. Face to face with the opposition and grossly outmatched. Their arguments are more persuasive. Their delivery is more coherent. Their presence is more charismatic and their face is more attractive. For God sake, what do you do? Short answer: Bail out till you can get some reinforcements. Although this is not always possible, given the opportunity to do so, delay a debate to such a time that you are likely to have a vocal ally present.

01/16/05 :: By Tom Ball
Tactical Assault Project
Categories :: Tactics

Announcing the launch of the "Tactical Assault Project". The project will be an ongoing effort to provide a 'handbook' of political tactics being used -- and for use -- in the ongoing battle for political and ideological superiority.

01/12/05 :: By Tom Ball
If Only Bush Were as Accountable as CBS
Categories :: Bush Administration

In fact, of the 92 or so high level resignations and Dismissals that plagued the Bush Administration over the first 4 years, only three of them had any air of 'punishment' for incompetence. And even they were not publicly admonished for failure -- lest the administration itself appear to be the failure that we all know it to be.

01/12/05 :: By Tom Ball
Bush Sets Historic Landmark: Largest US Trade Deficit Ever
Categories :: Economy

More inflation? Higher rates? Secretary Snow forgot to address these issues. More worrisome, Republicans will likely use this data as 'evidence' that high wages in the US are stifling consumer demand for domestic made goods in favor of cheaper goods from abroad (Read: Wal-Mart and China).

01/12/05 :: By Tom Ball
Howard Dean for DNC Chair
Categories :: Dean, Howard :: Democrats

With a sense of great pride and unmitigated confidence, I endorse Howard Dean for DNC Chair. The reasons are many but easily summarized: In 2004 "Anyone But Bush" motivated me, but Howard Dean Inspired me. Back in the infancy of 2003 as I was innocently flipping through some channels, I came upon a man speaking. I paused...then put down the remote. He was inspiring. I immediately identified with him and his message…and for the first time ever felt a sort of ideological bond with a person I had never met. That man was Howard Dean.

01/11/05 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Link 'Good' Words to 'Good' Sources, 'Bad' Words to 'Bad' Sources
Categories :: Tactics

This tactic helps us to determine what people find when they search for 'Miserable Failure' or any other search term. The question is, will they see the "Biography of George W. Bush" or the "Michael Moore Website" (Currently number 2 and obviously the right's answer to the "Bush - Miserable Failure" campaign) shining boldly in the top spot? So, if you own a blog or other website, be very selective and strategic in choosing the words that you use to link to other sites. En masse, it is an incredibly powerful tool that helps shape what millions of people find in their quest for truth!

01/11/05 :: By Tom Ball
Crybaby NY Post Whines About Moore 'Ballot Stuffing'
Categories :: Media

The wingers of our great nation are understandably shaken by Michael Moore's heavily deserved People's Choice award. But standard winger fare dictates that they let nothing pass without attempting a destructive blow to its reputation, character, livelihood, etc.

01/11/05 :: By Tom Ball
How to Fox-Proof Your Cable Box
Categories :: Activism

A phenomenal idea and a bargain at only $8.95. What a relief it will be to protect my children’s' innocent eyes from the perversity of O'Reilly's evil mug!

01/10/05 :: By Tom Ball
Destroying the Myth of Bush's Support from ‘New Europe’: Why Did Some European Leaders Support Bush Despite Public Outrage?
Categories :: Foreign Policy :: Lies

It is both European geopolitics and a built-in fear of French-German domination that stimulates some European leaders to support Bush, not the laughable "Bush-moral-clarity" nonsense promoted by conservative mouthpieces. Simply put, the leaders of these nations are betting that their constituents cast their votes in the next elections not with Iraq on their minds, but rather with a mindset focused on the future of Europe and their country's position of influence and sovereignty within it.

01/07/05 :: By Tom Ball
Are There Any Limits to the Propaganda of Goebbels W. Bush?
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Propaganda/Spin

Remember the question that I asked at the end of my last post on Bush Propaganda? Well, the answer is... we haven't even begun to see the extent to which this administration will go when it comes to asserting their agenda. And why should we? They committed atrocities beyond compare in their first term and the American electorate gave them a free pass. I don't blame the Republicans one bit for relentlessly pursuing their agenda.

01/07/05 :: By Tom Ball
Bush Draft (Part II)
Categories :: Bush-Cheney 2004 :: Lies :: Military :: Outrages

During the 2004 campaign, the Bush troglodytes were fond of asserting, "The only people I've ever heard suggest a draft are the Democrats." -- obviously implying that it was actually the Dems who sought to send your children to their death in various irrelevant foreign lands. Well duh! Of course the Republicans aren't going to admit what they're really intending to do. Hasn't anyone been paying attention for the last four years? Sure enough, with the military heinously overstretched and the situation in Iraq in a deterioration freefall, the Repuglinuts have vamped up their efforts -- shifting into phase two of their 'shaft 'em with the draft' campaign for global domination.

01/07/05 :: By Tom Ball
GAO Says Bush Administration Broke Law with 'Covert Propaganda'
Categories :: Criminal Acts :: Propaganda/Spin

Who in their wildest crackpot imagination (prior to Bush’s takeover of the White House) would think that the US would be found in criminal violation of producing and distributing propaganda within our borders? Sure, during war you have Psych-Ops dumping this crap on the opposition and other foreign targets...but within our borders...on a domestic topic.

01/06/05 :: By Tom Ball
Barbara Boxer is My Hero
Categories :: Democracy

Wait...what's that I'm feeling?... could it's pride. The Democrats finally took a stand at a criticla moment in history...or at least a couple of them did. I'll take that for now.

01/06/05 :: By Tom Ball
A Day of Reckoning for Democrats and Democracy
Categories :: Democracy

To make this day a potential pivot point in the history of our nation, we must have at least one senator sign on with the House Democrats to contest the electoral vote. Just one -- an accomplishment the Democrats failed to muster in the debacle of 2000. In many ways today is a day for reckoning for the Democrats and democracy. Will the Democrats find their spine and restore their dignity? Will the American electoral process be reborn with integrity? Will the electoral crimes, irregularities, frauds and manipulations gain the exposure and priority that they deserve?

01/05/05 :: By Tom Ball
ACTION ALERT: Boxer May sign on as Critical Senate Component to the Contesting of the 2004 Electoral Vote
Categories :: Activism :: Democracy

Clearly, the bottom line here seems to be Barbara Boxer. Does she have what it takes to be a true leader willing to stand for what she believes in. Or will she too cow to the 'delicacies' of her perceived political future?

01/04/05 :: By Tom Ball
Stem Cell Therapy Helps Monkeys with Parkinson's
Categories :: Science

Who knows. If the Bush Administration wasn't devastating our nation's progress in medical science, perhaps our own scientists would have made this breakthrough years ago. Remember, they're the 'pro-life' party...but only if you're not born yet -- then you can go 'Cheney' yourself.

01/03/05 :: By Tom Ball
Christian Right Vs. Christian Left: Conversations with Conservatives
Categories :: Conservatives :: Framing 101 :: Religion

On the left, religion is met with a feeling of nurturance, tolerance and compassion. This is reflected in the lefts immediate reaction to the global disaster -- helping those in need in any way possible -- focusing on those most vulnerable.

On the right, religion is a vehicle of punishment, intolerance, and constant judgment as well as a convenient tool for rationalizing inhumane behavior. This is symbolized by the following conversation (paraphrased to account for imperfect memory):

01/01/05 :: By Tom Ball
Happy New Year 2005!!!
Categories :: Misc

May 2005 be the best year yet and the least of those to come!

12/30/04 :: By Tom Ball
Is North Korea About to Crumble?
Categories :: Foreign Policy

Constantly dashed from the spotlight only to reemerge as an ever-growing global calamity-in-waiting, North Korea is showing chilling signs of an imminent sovereign disaster.

12/29/04 :: By Tom Ball
Thank God Bush is Back in the White House!
Categories :: George W. Bush

60 million people voted to return Bush to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:


12/28/04 :: By Tom Ball
Rumsfeld's Freudian Slip: "shot down the plane over Pennsylvania."
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Lies :: Rumsfeld, Donald

I've learned long ago that any 'conspiracy theories' relating to this administration are never beyond reason. Anyone familiar with the American Enterprise Institute and the project for a New American Century knows full well that what would be considered 'conspiracy theory' by the average stable-minded American is platform policy for established insiders of the Neoconservative movement.

12/20/04 :: By Tom Ball
Sensationalize Opponent's Bad News and Your Good News
Categories :: Tactics

Here's a tactic where having a few dedicated, partisan media outlets comes in handy. Nevertheless, even sans such advantages, the tactic can be used quite effectively if the user is of a sufficiently significant profile. But do not be afraid to use it in your everyday dealings with the political opposition. Every little bit helps.

12/20/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Poo-Poo Your Opponent's Rhetoric
Categories :: Tactics

One of the many tactics that have been perfected by the Republicans -- and one that has infuriated a media-less, voiceless left -- is the brazen dismissal of their opponents arguments, accusations, complaints, and rhetoric. It is the first line of defense in every arena. It is the initial slap-down designed to stun and disorient the opponent, while simultaneously framing the rhetoric as some that is best left ignored.

12/17/04 :: By Tom Ball
Gary Webb's Death Confirmed as Suicide From TWO Gunshot Wounds to the Head
Categories :: Intelligence/CIA :: Iran Contra

Without entering into the grim details, such a phenomenon is possible. However, when you add other elements to the equation. Things like the Contras and Contra-loving administrations such as Bush senior's at the time. Multiply that by the fact that Bush was VP during Iran-Contra and that Bush senior was also a prior CIA Chief... well... all of a sudden lots of other things become possible.

12/17/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush Foreign Policy in Seven Square Inches
Categories :: Foreign Policy

Although I'm sure that this description of Bush's foreign policy supercedes the administration's extended version in terms of both insight and sophistication, I will still refer to it as the best 'summary' of the neocon achievements I've seen to date.

12/17/04 :: By Tom Ball
Chimp Suckers Chump on Missile Defense
Categories :: Foreign Policy :: Military

I have to hand it to Bush's handlers though. First they (try to) have other nations fork out the billions necessary to fund the floundering development of the MDS. Then, once viable, the U.S. places its missiles on dozens of new lands. Global domination made simple... and funded by your local sovereign (for now) chumps.

12/17/04 :: By Tom Ball
Rumsfeld Offends Neocons: Is That Possible?
Categories :: Rumsfeld, Donald

It seems that Donald Rumsfeld has developed the uncannily rare talent of promoting neoconservatism while simultaneously repulsing the neocons.

12/17/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Conduct Questionable Behavior in the Name of the US and Label Those Who Criticize that Behavior as Un-American
Categories :: Tactics

I've seen it a million times. The GOP does something absolutely detestable (much of it was done under Reagan and Bush Sr.) and when a patriotic American calls these traitors on their un-American activities, those being called (i.e. the GOP) blame those who point out the truth as "anti-American". I know, it sounds like a pitiful, desperate attempt to dig themselves out of a hole. Unfortunately, people seem more likely to take the side of the McCarthyite GOP in such instances. There is little doubt that such tactics cow people into speaking for (or at least refrain from speaking against) the GOP's distorted position.

12/16/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Lampoon Your Opponent
Categories :: Tactics

Lampoon the opposition, but don't offend the world. The objective is to lure the middle-of-the-roaders into your camp, not drive them into your opponent's.

12/15/04 :: By Tom Ball
Jenna Bush to Fight for the Teachers' Unions?
Categories :: Education :: Tactics

In the tradition of Laura, daughter Jenna Bush has applied for a teaching position at a public charter school in Washington DC. Isn't that nice? How does this fit into the grand scheme of the Karl Rove vision?

12/15/04 :: By Tom Ball
Lieberman Rejects Bush
Categories :: Bush Administration

This is a hopeful sign. Perhaps Lieberman has seen the light. Perhaps he understands the consequences of accepting a position as Homeland Security chief under the auspices of the Rove machine.

12/14/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Destroy the Messenger
Categories :: Tactics

When accused, berated or maligned, attack the messengers. It doesn't matter if they're are accurate or not, just attack. Attack their credibility. Attack their character. Attack their ideology. Attack their sources. Attack their associations. Just attack. If you take the bait and start debating the veracity or even the necessity of the message content itself, you risk highlighting the content of the message -- and thus risk harm upon yourself. The idea is to avoid a confrontation on an issue that will most likely damage your credibility and/or reputation.

12/13/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Set them up to Knock Them Down - Joe Lieberman and the Democrats are Suckers
Categories :: Tactics

Is Joe Lieberman blind or is he just a total moron? And what about John Corzine expressing such excitement about a Lieberman appointment as Homeland Security Chief? Have they been living in a cave?

12/13/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Never Concede an Inch to the Opposition
Categories :: Tactics

In an age where Democratic concession to Republican demands has become standard practice, it is critical that we review and put into practice the godfather of all political tactics -- one at which Republicans are adept. It purveys power, decisiveness, and confidence -- and it is one that progressives must add to our arsenal if we ever hope to retake our rightful position as the accurate and dominant political representative of traditional "American Values".

12/13/04 :: By Tom Ball
Defy the Oppressor: Force Works
Categories :: Philosophy :: Progressive Strategy

Today, Michael Moore distributed an extremely powerful letter written by a woman who has spent years working as an advocate for victims of domestic abuse. She sites the numerous, eye-opening parallels between battered women and the current state of the political left in America. In turn, she provides an inspiring rally cry to downtrodden progressives. The letter is worth reading in it's entirety, but I have highlighted some critical portions below.

12/10/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Claim that Certain Facts are Evidence for the Opposite of What They Actually Support
Categories :: Tactics

In other words, when something exists -- a piece of evidence -- that supports your opponent's view, claim that it actually supports your view, NOT theirs.

12/10/04 :: By Tom Ball
Rumsfeld Lies to troops After Demeaning Them
Categories :: Iraq :: Lies :: Rumsfeld, Donald

After demeaning troops the other day with a condescending order that they 'just deal with' the current lack of armor in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld followed up by asserting that vehicle armor manufacturers were being exhorted to crank up production.

Apparently that was a lie.

12/09/04 :: By Tom Ball
One Small Step For Air America Radio. One Giant Leap For the Progressive Agenda
Categories :: Media

There are bright spots out there -- and Air America is one of them. Still a relative fledgling in the talk-radio world, the network has garnered a legitimate following in over 40 markets nationwide as well as a sizable and loyal following on the internet. The great news today is that the progressive media pioneer has secured further funding for its venture and resigned popular hosts Al Franken and Randi Rhodes.

12/09/04 :: By Tom Ball
Ex-CIA Officer Says Agency Retaliated After he Refuses to Falsify Iraq WMD Report
Categories :: Iraq

Believe it or not, there is a legitimate purpose to the CIA -- to gather intelligence on potential threats abroad to the national security of the United States of America. Very simple. Very clear. At no point in the CIA Charter is there mention of a function regarding the manufacture of propaganda. This is a special 'Road to Fascism' clause added and empowered by the Bush administration.

12/09/04 :: By Tom Ball
ACTION ALERT: Make "Fahrenheit 911" The Winner of the People's Choice Awards!
Categories :: Activism

"Fahrenheit 9/11" has been nominated for the People's Choice Awards as the American public's "Favorite Film of the Year." This is a golden opportunity to make our voices heard. You see, we can vote for the movie we want to win. Giving F911 the nod would create a firestorm of renewed media coverage and once again place the incompetence and dereliction of duty performed by George W. Bush and his band of thieves back in the nation's headlines.

12/08/04 :: By Tom Ball
New Alliance Strengthens Right-Wing Media
Categories :: Media

In a copulation-fest fit to churn the stomach, right-wing radio powerhouse, Clear Channel Communications has agreed to make Fox News its primary news source.

12/08/04 :: By Tom Ball
Rumsfeld to Troops: "Deal with It!"
Categories :: Rumsfeld, Donald

Is there any wonder why Republican Senator John McCain refused to endorse the reappointment of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld? In a Q&A with troops about to face combat, Rumsfeld demeaned our troops, asserting that their concerns regarding insufficient armor are petty and should 'just be dealt with'.

12/08/04 :: By Tom Ball
Ukraine Opposition Yushchenko Confirmed Poisoned
Categories :: Elections

Medical experts have confirmed that Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s opposition leader, was poisoned in an attempt on his life during election campaigning, the doctor who supervised his treatment at an Austrian clinic said yesterday.

12/08/04 :: By Tom Ball
Could the US Dollar Lose its Status as the World's Reserve Currency?
Categories :: Economy

Wall Streeters are quick to jump on today's US Dollar rally as the possible tuning point in the disastrous collapse of the only 'global currency'. And they may be right. Nevertheless, even a significant retracement will do little to counter the 3-year, 35% drop in the Greenback against the Euro (24% against the Yen -- a drop mitigated by the threat of Japanese Central Bank intervention). In fact, the Economist is warning of a bleak future for the buck and in turn for the US economy.

12/07/04 :: By Tom Ball
The Powell-Proxy: Ultra-Conservative Group Enables FCC to Censor American Media
Categories :: Free Speech

Republican’s are continuing their assault on American Values – renewing a censorship campaign that began with bookburnings and then burnings of all things Twain, extending to Presley’s pelvis, and on to Jackson’s infamous and ‘evil’ breast.

12/06/04 :: By Tom Ball
Civil Rights Voting Records Spotlight the Stealth Bigots
Categories :: Civil Rights :: Election 2004 :: Race :: Republicans

In the wake of the latest election season, charges of voter suppression by Republicans have been flying without mitigation, gaining momentum with each passing day. In response, Republican's couldn't scoff loudly enough, "How dare the Democrats make such baseless accusations. We are a party of compassion and high morals. We are the party of inclusion and tolerance. Just ask Condi and Colin...and also ask that gay fellow who heads up the AIDS office." -- or something like that. As usual, the Republicans' talk is the virtual antithesis of the Republican's walk. To illustrate, we need go no further than the politicians' votes to see who's walk matches their talk.

12/03/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Use Google News to Promote 'Unreported' Newsstories
Categories :: Tactics

Many progressive sites spend precious energy lamenting the avoidance of various important news stories by the mainstream media -- something over which we have traditionally had little control. The invention of the internet...and subsequently the blog has given us a significant lift in ensuring that such stories gain some exposure. Unknown to many, however, is an additional tool in our arsenal -- Google News.

12/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tokenism, It's Not Just For Breakfast Anymore
Categories :: Race :: Tactics

There's little doubt that Karl Rove prides himself on the image of inclusion that he has created for the Bush Administration. Indeed, you need look no further than Colin and Condi (fodder for an entire article unto themselves) for proof positive that the GOP is all about inclusion, acceptance and diversity. Quite a heavy burden to rest on the shoulders of two individuals. In reality, however, the celebration of Republican inclusiveness might be a touch premature.

12/01/04 :: By Tom Ball
Evidence of Voter Fraud Grows
Categories :: Election 2004

Those who mock the idea of vote fraud in the 2004 election are quick to point out that the possibility of a coordinated, systematic attack on the vote, accross hundreds of districts, and using disparate methods of processing is beyond the laugh test. True, any particular instance of irregularity by itself seems unsufficiently compelling to foster the current groundswell of suspicion. Taken en masse, however, the evidence seems to suggest an incomprehensible conclusion -- at least to the uninformed and those in denial.

11/25/04 :: By Tom Ball
Banned Declaration of Independence Story is Bogus
Categories :: Religion

Drudge breathlessly posted the headline warning, "Declaration of Independence Banned..." Once again, Drudge is a critical voice in the right-wing echo chamber, giving legs to a story that was picked up by both Reuters and the AP. Of course the 'story' was so incredibly one-sided as to border on an outright lie.

11/24/04 :: By Tom Ball
Fundamentalist Bigots Try to Exorcize Gays From 'Their' Church
Categories :: Fundamentalism :: Gay Rights

To follow-up on what seems to be crackpot Wednesday, some uber-ignorant morons decided that the gayness of some gay members of the congregation must be cleansed from the pews -- lest the gayitude infect their non-gay persons.

11/24/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush Appointed Taliban-Style Fundamentalist Crackpot to the FDA
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Conservatives :: Fundamentalism :: Religion :: Women's Rights

In a brilliant display of contempt for the populace and women in general, Bush appointed a 'doctor' that prescribes scripture as treatment for symptoms of PMS, depression and other ailments.

11/23/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Buy Your Own Media Outlet
Categories :: Media :: Tactics

Duh! The Republicans did it with Fox News, The Washington Times, UPI and other institutions, foundations and organizations funded by right wing billionaires. Surely there are some left-wing billionaires that would feel obliged to pitch in and do the same. This media building can even start on a local level, buying various radio stations, newspapers and television stations.

11/23/04 :: By Tom Ball
UK Government Softens Up the Public for a New Series of 'Patriot Acts'
Categories :: Propaganda/Spin

What incredible timing -- amazingly convenient for the Bush-lapdog we all know as Tony Blair. On the eve of the 'Queen's Speech' where government officials plan to roll out such civil-liberty-trouncing policies as national ID cards, there is a 'report' that ensures us that these policies are just what the doctor ordered.

11/22/04 :: By Tom Ball
Iran or Iraq?: Take the Pre-Invasion Quiz
Categories :: Foreign Policy :: Iraq

Let's see what we've learned from the first Bush term. Can you differentiate between recent administration statements about Iran and past statements about Iraq?

11/21/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush Twins Kicked Out of NY Restaurant for Four Years
Categories :: Activism

This is my town -- and if you don't like it, then get the @#$% out!

11/18/04 :: By Tom Ball
Updated: Berkeley Study Says Bush Received up to a Quarter Million Undeserved Votes in Florida
Categories :: Election 2004

Currently Bush is ahead in the official vote tally 3,964,522 to Kerry's 3,583,544, a difference of 380,978 votes. So this issue alone, if it were allowed to be addressed and corrected (Ha!), would not cancel Bush's lead.

11/18/04 :: By Tom Ball
Police Deride Ashcroft as Liar and the Bush Administration as Incompetent
Categories :: Law Enforcement :: Terrorism

The other day, John Ashcroft continued a series of outrageous claims, this time asserting that "the Bush administration had made the nation more secure from terrorist attacks and violent criminals."

11/15/04 :: By Tom Ball
Mass Exodus: 92 High Level Resignations and Dismissals Plague the Bush Administration
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Reference

Okay. Just for the moment let’s suppose that President Bush did have some sort of skill elevated beyond those of his predecessors in choosing his administration and other high level officials. We will also assume for the sake of this discussion that the people he ultimately chose actually are ‘good people’ (We'll save that discussion for another day). Accepting these assumptions, could we then rest assured that the world’s only superpower and uberdemocracy is in good hands as a result of Bush’s uncanny talent?

11/15/04 :: By Tom Ball
Zogby Website Asserts 'Massive Voter Fraud'
Categories :: Election 2004

However, with each passing day, with gathering evidence and increasingly compelling evidence, I began to become less and less of a skeptic. And now we have an absolute must read article on the Zogby website that clearly implies that Zogby feels the election was stolen!

11/15/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush Purges CIA of Those who are 'Disloyal'
Categories :: Outrages

The White House has ordered the new CIA director, Porter Goss, to purge the agency of officers believed to have been disloyal to President George W. Bush or of leaking damaging information to the media about the conduct of the Iraq war and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, according to knowledgeable sources.

11/13/04 :: By Tom Ball
Ashcroft is THE Anti-American
Categories :: Patriotism

John Ashcroft recently attacked the very foundation of American strength when he shamefully asserted that judges threaten national security by questioning Bush decisions.

11/12/04 :: By Tom Ball
Republican Glossary of Common Terms
Categories :: Framing 101

To kick-start the move toward a broadly accepted progressive vision via framing, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor of the Nation Magazine, suggests that we begin with a simple glossary of terms as they are interpreted via Republican's 'strict father' cognitive filter:

11/10/04 :: By Tom Ball
Republicans Use Legislative Backhand to Invade ANWR
Categories :: Environment

Republicans are preparing to undermine the intent of the legislative process in order to rape the pristine Alaskan wilderness. With this they hope to allow drilling in ANWR, an action that at best produces relatively tiny amounts of oil -- and not until 15 to 20 years from now.

11/09/04 :: By Tom Ball
Who Hates America?
Categories :: Philosophy :: Republicans

There's little doubt just who hates America - American values - freedom, liberty and justice for all.

11/09/04 :: By Tom Ball
Spam Attack: Must Shut Down Comments Temporarily
Categories ::

Unfortunately, we have been attacked by Spambots. They're heinous little critters that leave luride messages and creepy links to nefarious, Bush-supporting pharmaceutical companies. You know the ones. They produce Viox, Viagra, Cialis, and make bulging promises about various unspeakables.

11/08/04 :: By Tom Ball
Why Do I Feel so Invigorated?
Categories :: Framing 101

Bush is in the White House. Republicans made gains in both the House and the Senate…and Bush will no doubt have the opportunity to push the Supreme Court further to the right. Despite all that, I feel more confident in the future prospects of the progressive agenda than perhaps at any other point in my ‘career’ as a political activist. The reason, my friends, is because we are undergoing a paradigm shift.

11/06/04 :: By Tom Ball
'Error' Gives Bush Thousands of Extra Votes in Ohio
Categories :: Election 2004

An error with an electronic voting system gave President Bush 3,893 extra votes in suburban Columbus, elections officials said.

11/05/04 :: By Tom Ball
Another Explanation for Bush's Win?
Categories :: Republicans

Check out this little ditty for a good laugh. However, take note as you read this that I'm not attempting to equate ignorance with intelligence -- but there is certainly some causal relationship between WILLFUL, BROAD-BASED IGNORANCE and a low intelligence.

11/05/04 :: By Tom Ball
Some Suggestions of What Has to be Done
Categories :: Progressive Strategy

Something to think about as we regroup and plan our lines of attack.

11/04/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush Remains: Here's What He'll Do
Categories :: Foreign Policy

I had a dream last night. I dreamt that the November 2 Bush victory never happened. I laughed (still dreaming) when I thought of all the long hours I had put into various posts exposing Bush's heinous foreign policy agenda. "Ha," I thought. "What a ridiculous waste of time. As though someone as verifiably incompetent, evil, and moronic as Bush could ever be elected after what he's done."

Then I woke up.

11/04/04 :: By Tom Ball
Al Qaqaa: U.S. Troops Watched Weapons-Site Looting
Categories :: Iraq

Now where were we...oh yeah! Al Qaqaa. Those pesky elections can really be a distraction. But now it's time to move on ...and bring this administration down. Listen to the troops:

11/04/04 :: By Tom Ball
Don't Believe the Hype
Categories :: Election 2004

It's a sequel...

11/03/04 :: By Tom Ball
Perhaps a (Very Thin) Silver Lining
Categories :: Bush Administration

So now we know what we have to deal with over the next four years. It's a given. That said, pehaps there is some...just a tiny bit of justice hiding under all this.

11/03/04 :: By Tom Ball
The Mourning After: Where Do We Go From Here?
Categories :: Election 2004 :: Framing 101

How could we have been so wrong? Regardless of what happened in Ohio, Kerry still lost the national popular vote by 4 million votes. My best answer points to a matter of nation-widel thought processes and framing. Simply put, many people don’t think like we do. They just don’t. We can present them with the facts, we can give them what we think are the most compelling arguments, and yet they just don’t get it. They simply see the world differently. Their priorities are different. Their fears are different. Their logic is different.

11/03/04 :: By Tom Ball
Kerry Concedes
Categories :: Election 2004

Kerry concedes U.S. Presidential race in a telephone call to Bush.

11/03/04 :: By Tom Ball
Poll Suggests Youth Stayed Home
Categories :: Election 2004

MSNBC exit poll indicates that the youth did not vote. The 18-29 bracked voted the same this year as in 2000, while 30-44 group was down.

11/03/04 :: By Tom Ball
Why Does Bush ALWAYS Take the Early Lead as States' Precincts Check In?
Categories :: Election 2004

The Answer is: The less populated, rural precincts, because they have fewer votes to tally, are typically the first to report their vote totals. Of course these precincts tend to go for Bush -- thus the early lead for Bush.

11/03/04 :: By Tom Ball
Sources: Mongiardo will Take Kentucky Senate Position
Categories :: Election 2004

Bob Novak just said, on CNN, that his sources believe Republican incumbent Governor Jim Bunning will Lose his seat to the Democratic Challenger.

11/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
Categories :: Election 2004

Exit Polls as of 7:30 PM EST.

11/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
Kentucky Senator
Categories :: Election 2004

With 31.8% reporting:

11/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush Futures Plummet on Early Exit Polls
Categories :: Election 2004

For those familiar with the presidential futures markets at Trade Sports, prior to the release of the early exit polls, Bush was bid at 58 (People were 'buying shares' of bush at 58), implying that there was a 58% chance of a Bush win. However, after the release of the exit polls...

11/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
EARLY VNS EXIT POLLS: Kerry Solid in Early Voting
Categories :: Election 2004

Kerry looking solid!

11/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
Right-Wing Ohio Judges Suppressing the Vote
Categories :: Election 2004

It is very important that we all understand who the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals judges were that decided to allow challengers to hold up the voting process in minority-heavy Ohio counties this morning?

11/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
Exit Polls and Mind Games
Categories :: Election 2004

Some words of wisdom from Josh Marshall:

11/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
Drudge's Claim of Voter Fraud in PA is a Fraud itself
Categories ::

The TRUTH is that the numbers that they were looking at on the machines had NOTHING to do with the number of votes cast.

11/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
OHIO in Legal Turmoil
Categories :: Election 2004

The latest developments...

First, the Republicans decided to send 3,000+ paid workers to polling stations in minority-dominated precincts in Ohio for the purpose of challenging the voters and causing delays. 2nd, 3rd, 4th...

11/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
Expect the 'Called States' to Come a Little Later This Election
Categories :: Election 2004

Despite the correctness of the 2000 Election exit polls that showed Gore winning Florida, this year the networks are likely to wait before calling a state for either candidate.

11/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush's Inner Circle are Worried
Categories :: Election 2004

Word from Bush insiders is that fear of a Bush loss is the only thing that has gained momentum within the campaign in recent weeks.

11/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
Daschle Stops Thune Voter Intimidation
Categories :: Election 2004

The South Dakota Federal Courts ruled that the Thune campaign must put a halt to voter intimidation on Indian Reservations. Specifically, the Republicans are forbidden from writing down license plate numbers of Indian voters or follow them home from the polling places.

11/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
Early Reports out of NY and NJ
Categories :: Election 2004

From over two dozen anecdotal reports that I've received as of 7:30 AM EST, polling stations in both NY and NJ are completely overwhelmed!

11/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
First Votes Awarded: Dixville Notch Presents some Interesting Trends
Categories :: Election 2004

Bush won an early Election Day victory in the small New Hampshire hamlet of Dixville Notch, which is renowned for casting the country's first ballots in US presidential elections. Check out these trends.

11/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
Drudge and the GOP: Despicable Liars
Categories :: Election 2004

The mindless media is once again trying to outdo themselves by reporting that the DNC is calling people with a false endorsement from General Schwarzkopf.

11/01/04 :: By Tom Ball
Litigated Election Might Meet a Tied U.S. Supreme Court
Categories :: Election 2004

At one point, soon after his emergency tracheotomy, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist said he would rejoin his colleagues on the bench by November 1st. This would allow him to oversee any judicial involvement in the 2004 presidential election. By default, Rehnquist's presence preserves the conservative majority in the court and ensures proper installation of their candidate back into the White House. Now it seems that's not going to happen:

11/01/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tracking Polls Looking Great for Kerry
Categories :: Election 2004

Bush can't even break 46% in the Fox News tracking poll. Keep in mind that if an incumbent fails to consistently poll over 50%...well...BC04 is in DEEP trouble.

11/01/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tony Blair Backs Kerry
Categories :: Election 2004

Bush's 'Coalition of the Willing' finds themselves more willing if Kerry is the next president. In particular, Tony Blair, as a seeming matter of self-preservation, privately supports a Kerry presidency.

11/01/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tom's Official Prediction
Categories :: Election 2004

In 2000, I don’t recall feeling very confident about a Gore victory going into Election Day. The Republicans were incredibly fired up, waiting with bated breath to unleash 8 years of pent up Clinton hatred. Their resources far outstripped ours. And the nation seemed fed up with Monica and impeachment.
In 2004, the story is quite different. This time, the democrats are not possessed of unprecedented enthusiasm this election cycle, but they are also united like never before. In short, because of things like:

11/01/04 :: By Tom Ball
The Redskins Put the Nail in Bush's Electoral Coffin
Categories :: Election 2004

Superstitions have always had a loving place in our society, especially those that seem enduringly correct with each passing year. Now that we are just hours away from perhaps the most important presidential election in the history of humanity, I would be doing society a disservice if I did not address some related electoral superstitions.

10/31/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tracking Polls Looking Good for Kerry
Categories :: Polling

Bush can't even break 46% in the Fox News tracking poll. Keep in mind that if an incumbent fails to consistently poll over 50%...well...BC04 is in DEEP trouble.

10/31/04 :: By Tom Ball
Word on the Ground in New Mexico
Categories :: Election 2004

Reports on the Ground in New Mexico seem to be consistent with what I'm hearing from Ohio, Florida and Iowa.

10/31/04 :: By Tom Ball
Must Read Excerpts from a Dem Strategists Conference Call
Categories :: Election 2004 :: Polling

The Kerry Campaign brain machine got together and spilled its guts on the OBL tape, battleground states, and Kerry's chances on Tuesday. Lot's of great stuff, so I included all the interesting tidbits.

10/31/04 :: By Tom Ball
Kentucky Wildcats Indicator Says Kerry Wins on Tuesday
Categories :: Election 2004

"...if you look at the last two times an incumbent president has won re-election, we found that the Kentucky Wildcats had made the Final Four. This is in 1996 and in 1984. In the last two times incumbent presidents have lost re-election, a Kentucky team was not in there. So not sure if two is a trend, but if it is, George W. Bush better be rooting for the current No. 1-ranked team in the country, Kentucky, to make it to the Final Four if he wants to win re-election."

10/30/04 :: By Tom Ball
The Irony of Bin Laden
Categories :: Election 2004

If the tape was of anyone other than Bin Laden, I might be worried. As it is, I actually think the footage will be a mild plus for the Kerry camp. The thinking is this. Bush supporters would naturally want some sort of 'October Surprise' that reminds the voters of the need for Bush. Given that he polls strongest on the issue of fighting terrorism (for some reason), their ideal surprise would be some sort of terror warning. What these supporters would NOT want is something that reminds the voters of Bush's failures in fighting terrorism.

10/30/04 :: By Tom Ball
BREAKING NEWS: Bin Laden Alive and Well and Spreading Terrorist Propaganda While Bush has Our Troops Locked up in Iraq
Categories :: Election 2004 :: Terrorism

Until now, everyone I associate with, on the left and the right felt quite sincerely that Osama Bin Laden had been turned to dust by some daisy cutter in the Afghan desert. Surprise. Bin Laden lives, and he felt compelled to appeal to the American population just days before the election. So what is the effect on the election?

10/30/04 :: By Tom Ball
More on the Pentagon's Newest Al Qaqaa Assertion
Categories :: Propaganda/Spin

More on Friday's CNN press conference with Pentagon Spokesperson Lawrence de Rita, and Major Austin Pearson regarding the Pentagon's newest assertion that some of the Al Qaqaa explosives might have been removed by US troops.

10/30/04 :: By Tom Ball
Kerry and the Democrats Enter the Pre-Election Weekend with the BIG MO!
Categories :: Election 2004

This is it folks. The weekend begins tonight and Monday will be all about the election process. And correct me if I'm wrong but EVERYTHING (no jinx allowed) seems to be flowing either in the Democrats' favor or at least out of the Republicans' favor.

10/29/04 :: By Tom Ball
Pentagon Suggests Some Explosives Might Have Been Removed by US Soldiers
Categories :: Election 2004

As I write this, the Pentagon has rolled out a soldier in a press conference on CNN claiming to have removed 200 to 250 tons of munitions from some bunkers in the area of Al Qaqaa.

10/29/04 :: By Tom Ball
Affiliate Video was Certainly Al Qaqaa
Categories :: Iraq

The New York Times this morning presents new evidence in the form of expert analysis of the ABC affiliate Al Qaqaa video.

10/29/04 :: By Tom Ball
ABC News Picks up Affiliate's Al Qaqaa Story
Categories :: Election 2004 :: Iraq

Finally, the Network has picked up its affiliate's bombshell story. So far I have only seen the online article. Let me know if you see it mentioned on Television or in other media. Strange, Drudge seems to be avoiding this story like the plague.

10/29/04 :: By Tom Ball
IAEA Seals Were Still Intact on April 18, 2003
Categories :: Iraq

Once again, the ABC affiliate, KSTP in Minneapolis has the scoop.

10/28/04 :: By Tom Ball
Al Qaqaa Rundown
Categories :: Iraq

Lot's o' revelations appearing on the issue of Al Qaqaa...and they all point in one direction -- that the site was looted AFTER the invasion.

10/28/04 :: By Tom Ball
Pressure ABC News to Air its Affiliate's Exclusive on the Missing Explosives at Al Qaqaa
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Election 2004 :: Iraq

It is critically important that ABC News air the story and video of their affiliate, KSTP in Minneapolis. We can make that happen: Email ABC World News Tonight at:

10/28/04 :: By Tom Ball
Top 31 Conclusions Jumped to by the Bush Administration: It's All About Iraq
Categories :: Bush Administration

Today George W. Bush told the American people that, "... a political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your Commander in Chief."

And he was absolutely correct. In fact, to help President Bush complete his argument, we’re offering the top 30 Conclusions that Bush and his administration jumped to regarding Iraq that illustrate unequivocally that Bush is absolutely ‘not a person you want as your Commander in Chief!’

10/28/04 :: By Tom Ball
VIDEO ALERT: Governor Bush Caught on Tape
Categories :: George W. Bush

Let's all say hello to our hero George W. Bush. Here's a quaint little video of the dark lord back when he was Governor of the great state of Texas. And. Yes. It's a real, untouched video. 100% Genuine jackass.

10/27/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush Gave Blair the Date of the Iraq Invasion 5 MONTHS IN ADVANCE
Categories :: Iraq :: Lies

Secret plans for the war in Iraq were passed to British Army chiefs by US defense planners five months before the invasion was launched, a court martial heard yesterday. The revelation strengthened suspicions that Tony Blair gave his agreement to President George Bush to go to war while the diplomatic efforts to force Saddam Hussein to comply with UN resolutions were continuing.

10/27/04 :: By Tom Ball
Battleground Polls
Categories :: Election 2004 :: Polling

Looking at three independent pollsters: Have to say, I'm feeling pretty good about all of these! Don't understand the Zogby numbers though...showing Kerry in the lead in Colorado -- an outlier. Hmmm. Also, even if Zogby is correct with the OHIO numbers, it doesn't bode well for Bush if the best he can pull is 46% of the vote. Remember, undecideds break for the challenger and all that.

10/27/04 :: By Tom Ball
Iraq Explosives Were Looted AFTER the Invasion
Categories :: Lies

Let's get this straight. The Iraq explosives were looted after the Invasion. Despite this, the right wing and the ignorant, lazy media will continue to cloud the issue, suggesting that 'nobody knows' when the material was stolen or worse, "It was gone when we got there". Here's two things you have to know. Throw these in the faces of those in denial and suggest that just once in their miserable lives, they should take collective responsibility for our collective mistakes.

10/26/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush Favors Gay Civil Unions (Part II)
Categories :: Gay Rights

Believe it or not, Bush has always had the position that he opposes 'Same-Sex Marriage' while deferring the issue of 'Civil Unions' to the states.

10/26/04 :: By Tom Ball
Refuting Drudge: Pentagon Officials Say the Al-Qaqaa Looting was The U.S.'s Fault
Categories :: Iraq :: Lies

This Morning, The Drudge Report boasts the headline, "NBCNEWS: CACHE OF EXPLOSIVES VANISHED FROM SITE IN IRAQ BEFORE TROOPS ARRIVED... ". The link leads to a story written by Drudge describing a report he saw on Television last night. Specifically, he notes the passage:

10/25/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush 'Wants to Get to the Bottom' of His Administration's Gross Incompetence in Iraq
Categories :: Iraq

As you know, 350 tons of high explosives, which were under IAEA auspices during the reign of Saddam, were looted during the early days of the US occupation into Iraq. It seems the Administration opted to forego protection of such high value targets (ammo depots) in exchange for increased protection around the nation's oil pumps. Defend against terrorism, my ass.

10/25/04 :: By Tom Ball
Target: Florida
Categories :: Polling

Entering into the final week before the election, we start to feel the burning importance of the polls, if not for a reality check, then for an inspiring spark of confidence. Florida's St. Petersburg Times gives us the following rundown of these final critical days.

10/24/04 :: By Tom Ball
Media Preparing for a Kerry Win
Categories :: Election 2004

With only days left to the Election, it seems the pollsters are trying to prepare the electorate for another electoral win by the popular vote loser -- only this time, they predict the Democrat will be the electoral winner.

10/23/04 :: By Tom Ball
UK Guardian Speaks for the World?
Categories :: Election 2004

Holey Moley! Charlie Brooker of the UK Guardian wrote an alarming assault on Bush -- like none I've read or heard before in the mainstream media, international or otherwise.

10/23/04 :: By Tom Ball
Democrats Lead in Early Voting: Vote Now!
Categories :: Election 2004

If you live in one of these states, then you can vote before election day, November 2nd. Bank your vote now and avoid all the potential pitfalls of waiting till the final day -- long lines, glitches, technical breakdowns, voter intimidation, and general GOP voting fraud designed to invalidate your vote.

10/21/04 :: By Tom Ball
Is the Bush Administration Supressing the Price of Gas?
Categories :: Economy

I guess suppressing only the vote isn't enough for this administration. It seems that the price of gas has suspiciously dropped in the face of rocketing oil prices. This is directly counter to the tight correlation that this commodity and its derivative have experienced in past years.

10/21/04 :: By Tom Ball
Rockridge Institute: How the Progressive Web can Frame the Debate for the Entire Nation
Categories :: Framing 101 :: Progressive Strategy

Thus, we invite Mr. Lakoff and the Rockridge Institute to join with us to nurture a culture of disciplined unity in the progressive community -- a launching pad for promoting the progressive frames that will define the American ideological landscape for subsequent generations.

10/20/04 :: By Tom Ball
Kids Pick Kerry to Be the Next President
Categories :: Election 2004

Kid power! Democrat John Kerry is the winner, and the rest of the country should pay attention because the vote on Nickelodeon's Web site has correctly chosen the president of the United States in the past four elections.

10/20/04 :: By Tom Ball
Top 35 Trends that say Kerry will Take the White House in November
Categories :: Election 2004

This election is not just any old presidential election. To Progressives, this is literally a matter of life and death. This 'do or die' perception is what is going to drive progressives and moderates to the polls in record numbers to end the madness. This is why the traditionally apathetic 18-24 year old demographic is going to put down their cell phones long enough to pull the lever for Kerry. But don't take my word for it, check out these 35 trends that point to a Kerry victory on November 2nd.

10/16/04 :: By Tom Ball
Charlie Cook Sounds off on the 2004 Election
Categories :: Election 2004

Love him or leave him, Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report is one of the most well respected voices on electoral politics among the media masses. Thus, it is a good idea to know what the Cookster is thinking about this election season. Recently, Cook gave an online interview to discuss his views of the 2004 election cycle and politics in general. Some points are well worth noting:

10/14/04 :: By Tom Ball
Hit the Online Polls: Republicans Are Finally Waking Up!
Categories :: Polling

Nevertheless, Kerry's lead in several online polls is tenuous at best (CNN, FoxNews, AOL). Let's hit the online polls with everything we've got! All the polls are here with updated results!! Hit em hard and spread the word.

10/14/04 :: By Tom Ball
Hit the Post Debate Polls (With Results)
Categories :: Polling

ALERT: These polls are ongoing -- VOTE NOW!!! We are rocking the online polls. Spread the word and GOTV!

10/13/04 :: By Tom Ball
Must Read Books and Must See DVDs for the 2004 Election
Categories :: Books :: Documentary

As we approach the most important election of the past 25 centuries, I think it is important to refresh our memory as to why it is so critical. Thus, I have supplied a rather extensive "Election 2004" Reading/Viewing list.

10/12/04 :: By Tom Ball
Former FCC Chairman Confronts Sinclair Broadcasting Group Over Anti-Kerry Propaganda
Categories :: Propaganda/Spin

Does a former FCC chairman have any pull in a situation like this? Is this a sign that the current FCC, and hopefully the FEC are addressing this aggressively?
Yesterday, former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt sent the following message to executives at Sinclair Broadcasting Group (Thanks to TPM)

10/09/04 :: By Tom Ball
ACTION ALERT: ABC News Attempts to Hold Bush Accountable and Right Wing Crybabies Attack
Categories :: Activism

Today, Drudge and a host of other babbling GOP blowhards are whining about an attempt by the news media to hold Bush accountable for his campaign of distortions, misrepresentations, and outright lies.

10/09/04 :: By Tom Ball
Hit the Post Debate Polls (With Results)
Categories :: Polling

ALERT: These polls are ongoing -- VOTE NOW!!!

We are rocking the online polls. Spread the word and GOTV!

10/09/04 :: By Tom Ball
Longer Presidential Debate
Categories :: Election 2004

Kerry was loose and brilliant. He knows his stuff and he gave up nothing in this debate, the one with a format most suited to Bush. Of course there is absolutely no way in this or any other reality that Bush could have done as pathetically or pitifully or terribly as he did in the last debate. He did better here but Bush is still a giant loser!! Now hit the online Polls!!!!!!!!

10/08/04 :: By Tom Ball
Job Growth Weaker Than Expected
Categories :: Economy

Now Bush is screwed with rest of America and he will pay for it in the debate tonight.

10/08/04 :: By Tom Ball
How do We Know Zogby is Right?
Categories :: Election 2004 :: Polling

Guess which polling outfit has the number one, best-of-the-best, hang-your-hat-on-it accuracy over the last two presidential election cycles? And why does it matter to Democrats in 2004? Give up? Okay, I'll tell you...

10/08/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush Tries to Pin His Failures on Kerry
Categories :: Lies

George W. Bush is absolutely incapable of taking responsibility for anything. ANYTHING! It is absolutely pathetic and an embarrassment to our nation. And today, George "The Buck never ever stops with me" Bush took a desperate slash and burn attempt to blame John Kerry for his own disgraceful actions. Of course, keeping in character with the entirity of his tenure as President, Bush had to lie in order to cast blame:

10/07/04 :: By Tom Ball
86 Steps to Armageddon: The Complete Cataclysmic Record of Bush and North Korea
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Foreign Policy :: Reference

From the moment George W. Bush set foot in the White House, he and his administration of neoconservative hawks provoked, threatened, lied, mocked, and disengaged with North Korea until Pyongyang officials finally warned that the situation on the Korean Peninsula was deteriorating to the 'brink of a nuclear war. This must-read expose lays it all out, showing step-by-step how the Bush administration has brought us to the brink of Armageddon with North Korea.

10/07/04 :: By Tom Ball
86 Steps to Armageddon: The Complete Cataclysmic Record of Bush and North Korea (Part II)
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Foreign Policy :: Reference

From the moment George W. Bush set foot in the White House, he and his administration of neoconservative hawks provoked, threatened, lied, mocked, and disengaged with North Korea until Pyongyang officials finally warned that the situation on the Korean Peninsula was deteriorating to the 'brink of a nuclear war. This must-read expose lays it all out, showing step-by-step how the Bush administration has brought us to the brink of Armageddon with North Korea. (Continued: Steps 51 through 84 in Bush's March to Armeggeddon with through North Korea.)

10/06/04 :: By Tom Ball
Friday's Payroll Numbers Could Sway the Election
Categories :: Economy :: Election 2004 :: Propaganda/Spin

Regardless of Friday's release of payrolls and the unemployment rate, one of the candidates will be touting it as proof of their assertions...either Kerry, "I told you Bush's economic policies suck." or Bush, "I told you my economic policies don't suck." Also regardless of this data release's outcome, Kerry will be right.

10/06/04 :: By Tom Ball
Take the Post Debate Online Polls
Categories :: Election 2004 :: Polling

Post debate analysis of Edward's debate win over Dick Cheney.

10/04/04 :: By Tom Ball
If Bush Didn't Lie, He Would Have Nothing To Say
Categories :: Iraq :: Lies

It was pitiful enough that our current Commander-in-Chief couldn't come up with the words to explain to the American people virtually anything about his foreign policy initiatives other than it is 'hard work' and 'Don't forget Poland'. It also seems that the few points that Bush was able to spit out were lies.

10/03/04 :: By Tom Ball
Newsweek Poll: Kerry 47%, Bush 45%
Categories :: Election 2004 :: Polling

After 62.5 million voters were able to see Kerry and Bush side by side discussing Bush's 'strongest' issues, They came to one conclusion...John F. Kerry should be our new president.

10/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
Sighs and Scowls: Then and Now
Categories :: Election 2004 :: Hypocrisy

Karen Hughes enters the realm of hypocrisy (Where Republicans are most comfortable) as she attempts to rationalize Bush's sighs and grimaces at Thursday's debate.

10/01/04 :: By Tom Ball
John Kerry Kicks Ass in Debate
Categories :: Election 2004

Kerry did an outstanding job. He introduced himself to millions of voters for the first time and gave one Hell of a first impression.

09/30/04 :: By Tom Ball
Gallup: Kerry 50%, Bush 46% Nationwide - Learn the Truth
Categories :: Polling

Our ally, Dr. Polkatz, has looked at Gallup's recent results using weights of other polling outfits. The result, instead of a large Bush lead, we have KERRY AHEAD by 4% nationwide.

09/30/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush, Iraq, al Qaeda and the Art of Lying
Categories :: Lies :: Tactics

So versed in and so dependent upon lying is the Bush Administration to promote its agenda that they have developed and implemented a recognizable portfolio of lies.

* The “My word against your word” Lie
* The “Impossible to prove or disprove” Lie
* The “Gross distortion” Lie
* The “Irrelevant association” Lie
* The “Blatant” Lie

09/28/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Use the "Weasel Word" to Turn Opinion Into Fact
Categories :: Tactics

In line with the prior post, "Tactic: Assert Blatant Lies as a Matter of Opinion", I offer you the magical 'weasel word' that instantly transforms any opinion into a brazen assertion of fact...and includes built in plausibility of denial...after all, it was just your opinion.

09/28/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Assert Blatent Lies as a Matter of Opinion
Categories :: Lies :: Tactics

We all know that this administration is rife with liars. However, they are usually careful to at least feign some minimal effort to cloud the lines between reality and what say. Not so with the 'Big K'. Karen Hughes, lead blocker for this inept administration, blew through the line as she lied this lie through her lying teeth.

09/27/04 :: By Tom Ball
Pre-Debate Electoral Prediction
Categories :: Elections

Time to put my money where my mouth is.

KERRY: 306 (22 States + DC)
BUSH: 232 (28 States)

This is my prediction of the 2004 Presidential Election based on the most recent state polls, state idiosyncrasies, and John Kerry's history as a very strong closer.

09/27/04 :: By Tom Ball
Conversations with Conservatives
Categories :: Blowhards :: Conservatives

I have the dubious distinction of being able to cavort with a host of various types of right-wing radicals. Indeed, some of the conversations I have with them are both sickening and enlightening. By "enlightening", I mean that the true beliefs of these ideologues come to the fore. There is little cover-up and little mincing of words. With that said, I think it is time that I share these conversations with the world. The world should see how these people think and understand their unconcealed motives, objectives and attitudes.

09/26/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush Might Pull Out of Presidential Debate
Categories :: Election 2004

Bush seems to be thwarting the debates by presenting ridiculous demands that will never be met. Reality: If he dumps out of the debates, it will be the stupidest decision of Karl Rove's career.

09/21/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Use Grassroots Campaigns to Prop Agenda-Friendly Books Into the Spotlight
Categories :: Tactics

When fighting for a cause -- in this case a progressive national agenda -- every battle is important. And victory can come in many forms.

09/21/04 :: By Tom Ball
Too Good Not to Steal
Categories :: Satire

Excellent cartoon showing the ridiculous spin the GOP has successfully cast to turn an ignorant, stubborn, oaf into a 'strong leader'. Oh...and a Letterman Top 10.

09/20/04 :: By Tom Ball
Remember the White House Response to Fake Uranium Documents?
Categories :: Conservatives :: Hypocrisy :: Lies

Conservatives are hot on Rather's tail -- trumpeting Dan's quote, "...we have been misled." and inevitably calling for the demise of both Rather and CBS News. Of course conservatives were quite less ambitious with their efforts to castigate the last high profile 'victim' of a fake document.
Recall the White House's appraisal of Iraq's Nuclear Ambitions:

09/15/04 :: By Tom Ball
Professor: Bush Admitted "Daddy had good friends who got him [into the Guard] despite the long waiting list"
Categories :: George W. Bush

Now there is testimonial evidence that George H. W. Bush had first-hand involvement in getting his son into the Guard and avoid service in Vietnam:

09/15/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush Brings a Half Trillion Dollar Hike in Household Energy Prices
Categories :: Economy

Boy, I thought $4 for a gallon of milk was the reason my wallet is paper-thin. I never really blamed my energy bills. I always figured I was jacking up the AC a bit too much or that I stepped over the line pampering myself with a blistering winter performance by my antiquated heater.

09/15/04 :: By Tom Ball
Another Person Who Opposes a Ban on Assault Weapons
Categories :: Guns

What could possibly be the purpose of making assault weapons legal in the United States? Well, I know of at least one person who can think of a reason he wants to have them.

09/13/04 :: By Tom Ball
Must Read Books and Must See DVDs for the 2004 Election
Categories :: Books

As we approach the most important election of the past 25 centuries, I think it is important to refresh our memory as to why it is so critical. Thus, I have supplied a rather extensive "Election 2004" Reading/Viewing list.

09/12/04 :: By Tom Ball
U.S. News and World Report Suggests Bush Should Not Have Received an Honorable Discharge
Categories :: George W. Bush

Now U.S. News and World Report has released an analysis of Bush's Guard duty and has come to the conclusion that he did not least legitimately...his honorably discharge.

09/10/04 :: By Tom Ball
Debunking the 'Typewriter Experts'
Categories :: Propaganda/Spin

Okay, so now they are 'questioning' the authenticity of the Bush Gaurd documents presented on '60 Minutes' this week. They are in a quandary as to how the documents from the early 1970s could possibly have 'proportional spacing' when that phenomenon at the time was only available in a sparsely distributed word processor that was virtually nonexistent in governtment ranks. For some reason, the 'experts' seem to have overlooked a conventional, widely used typewriter born of IBM in 1941 that had as its claim to fame...none other than....proportional spacing!!

09/09/04 :: By Tom Ball
Follow Bush the Leader: Russia, India, Japan and North Korea Called for Unilateral, Preemptive Strikes
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Foreign Policy

It is no secret that the Administration set a catastrophic precedent when it preemptively attacked Iraq. It is no secret that such a precedent has changed the global perception of acceptable foreign policy tactics. Well, even if the perception hasn't changed, the arsenal of rationalizations available certainly has. As I and others have mentioned in the past, the "First Strike" precedent opens doors for devastation in situations surrounding China-Taiwan, India-Pakistan, Russia-Georgia, Japan-North Korea and others. They say, "Hey! If the US can do it, why not us?"

09/08/04 :: By Tom Ball
Breaking News: Bush Didn't Meet Guard Requirements
Categories :: Bush-Cheney 2004 :: George W. Bush

Bush's day of reckoning has finally come in the mainstream media. Boston Globe: President Bush fell well short of meeting his military obligation in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

09/04/04 :: By Tom Ball
There's Bush and There's Reality
Categories :: Economy :: Propaganda/Spin

Today, it was announced that the economy added 144,000 new jobs in August.

09/03/04 :: By Tom Ball
Who’s the bigger crackpot, Zell Miller or Alan Keyes?
Categories :: Blowhards

Wait! Before making up your mind, check out these recent interviews with each of them - - a video for Keyes, a transcript for Zell.

09/01/04 :: By Tom Ball
Did Bush Bribe Ben Barnes to Keep Bush's Entry into the Guard a Secret?
Categories :: George W. Bush

It was only under threat of legal action back in 1999 -- and only after efforts to assert "executive privilege" failed -- that Barnes came forward with his statement about helping Bush. (And even then, Barnes issued it through his attorney, refusing to answer press questions.) The lawsuit was brought by a disgruntled Texas lottery executive who charged that his former company, which Barnes lobbied for, was able to keep a lucrative Texas state contract in exchange for Barnes' remaining silent about helping Bush get into the Guard.

09/01/04 :: By Tom Ball
Top 12 Reasons it was an 'Honor' for Bush to Talk with Rush Limbaugh
Categories :: Blowhards

President Bush, yesterday, gave an interview to talkshow host Rush Limbaugh. Bush's first words were, "Thank you, Rush. It's an honor to talk to you."... An honor? An HONOR??

08/30/04 :: By Tom Ball
New York City Welcomes Bush and the Republican National Convention
Categories :: Activism :: Anti-War

I am a Manhattan boy and damn proud of it. At about 9:30 AM Sunday morning, I hopped onto the subway and joined over 200,000 patriots in a demonstration of democracy that could only send chills up the GOP's spine...And I took some pictures that will knock your socks off.

08/27/04 :: By Tom Ball
Breaking News: Evidence Emerges of George W. Bush Affair
Categories :: Satire

In a shocking development, photographic and DNA evidence have been made public that proves President Bush had an adulterous and (some say) bestial affair.

08/25/04 :: By Tom Ball
Cheney Joins Democrats Against Gay Marriage Amendment
Categories :: Bush-Cheney 2004

Vice President Cheney broke with President Bush on Tuesday on the question of same-sex marriage, saying he believes the issue should be left to the states. “Freedom means freedom for everyone,” he said at a campaign rally in Davenport, Iowa.

08/25/04 :: By Tom Ball
Kerry Sends Envoys to Bush Ranch
Categories :: Kerry-Edwards 2004 :: Tactics

The Kerry campaign has an interesting strategy to deal with the swift boat liars. First, let the record and the facts completely obliterate the liars’ accusations. Second, tie them inextricably to the Bush campaign.

08/25/04 :: By Tom Ball
More Swift Boat Ad GOP Links
Categories :: Bush-Cheney 2004

Now we see that the Bush administration and the Swift Boat Veterans against Truth share the same attorney.

08/24/04 :: By Tom Ball
Breakthrough in CIA Plame Case
Categories :: Bush Administration

Is there something I'm missing? From this it seems as though Libby is admitting that he broke outed CIA operative Valerie Plame.

08/21/04 :: By Tom Ball
Anti-Kerry Vets Not There That Day
Categories :: Kerry, John

Fortunately, William B. Rood, fellow swift boat commander and journalist for the Chicago Tribune has come forward after 35 years of silence to slam the lies spewed by the Swift Boat Veterans against Truth.

08/18/04 :: By Tom Ball
White House For Sale
Categories :: Corporate Welfare :: Satire

However, just today it was reported that strong bids for this prime residence are still being you still might have a chance if you act quickly.

08/15/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush: "For the sake of corporate profits I will allow the death of any American...including children."
Categories :: Corporate Welfare

The Bush Administration implemented a regulation that would "forbid the public release of some data relating to unsafe motor vehicles, saying that publicizing the information would cause 'substantial competitive harm' to manufacturers."

08/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
Top 21 Pieces of Evidence that Show Iraq is only the First Step to 'Reshaping the Middle East': A Reference for Seekers of Truth
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Foreign Policy :: Iraq :: Reference

Have you ever wondered what would happen if George W. Bush is sent back to the White House in November? What do you think this administration would do as an encore to the invasion of Iraq? There are several sources that offer some insight into that question. In particular we can shed some light with a short search into 1) the 9/11 Commision’s final report, 2) The self-described neoconservative agenda, and 3) quotes from, and documents authored by various members of the Bush administration.

07/29/04 :: By Tom Ball
BREAKING NEWS: Pakistan captures a "Most Wanted" Qaeda Man
Categories :: Propaganda/Spin

Reuters Headline "PAKISTAN CAPTURES A "MOST WANTED" QAEDA MAN WITH UP TO $25 MLN BOUNTY-MINISTER TO CNN" Recall the article written in the New Republic that accurately reported that the 'July Surprise':

07/29/04 :: By Tom Ball
BREAKING NEWS: Abu Musab Zarquawi Arrested
Categories :: Propaganda/Spin Bloomberg is reporting that Abu Musab Zarquawi has been arrested...just as the New Republic magazine had predicted. ...Right on the day Kerry is nominated. How long have they known where this guy is and put off arresting him for the...

07/25/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush Vs. Citizens of the United States of America
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Healthcare :: Tort Reform In case there was ever any question whose side the Bush Administration is on, we will take this opportunity to drive the final nail into the coffin that houses Bush's capacity to stand up for the average person. What powers...

07/23/04 :: By Tom Ball
Missile Shield for Every Nation
Categories :: Foreign Policy :: Military An historic occasion. Yesterday, the first ground-based missile interceptor was placed in an underground silo at the missile defense complex at Fort Greely, Alaska. Army Major General John W. Holly, director for the Missile Defense Agency's Ground-based Midcourse Defense Joint...

07/22/04 :: By Tom Ball
Blame the CIA? Top 30 Bush - Iraq Lies Debunked BEFORE The Invasion: A Reference For Seekers of Truth
Categories :: Iraq :: Lies :: Reference

Number One) As a centerpiece to its argument for invading Iraq, the Administration has boldly pursued the idea that Saddam and al Qaeda are in cahoots. The Final Report from the 9/11 Commission due out this week unconditionally states that the commission found no "credible evidence" that Iraq helped the militants carry out the 9/11 attacks. Nor did it find any 'working relationship' between Iraq and Osama bin Laden. This runs directly counter to the administration's assertions of "long-established ties" between Saddam and al Qaeda. Even before the invasion began, both the CIA and the FBI said the administration was wrong.

07/19/04 :: By Tom Ball
Top 25 Celebrities Turned Politicians: A Reference for Seekers of Truth
Categories :: Reference :: Schwarzenegger, Arnold :: Tactics

Big news!! Arnold “I-had-to-use-illegal-steroids-to-make-me-the-man-I-am-today” Schwarzenegger called Democrats “Girlie Men”. Oh, what a world. Will he apologize? Will he not? God help us! Of course that's the best the GOP has to offer. All bluster and no substance. That's exemplified by Arnold because, not only is he an intellectual waste of space, but he is now one of the highest profile Republicans in the land...solely because of his celebrity status.

07/16/04 :: By Tom Ball
Martha Sentenced to 20 Years in Attica
Categories :: Women's Rights

Indeed, it has taken 2.5 YEARS to even indict 'Kenny boy' while Martha has been accused, tried, convicted and sentenced in less time. If Martha deserves 20 years in Attica then Ken and his pals deserve an eternity in Hell.

07/15/04 :: By Tom Ball
Democrats' Strategy to Keep Cheney on the BC04 Ticket
Categories :: Bush-Cheney 2004 :: Tactics

This is brilliant! No. Not on the part of the Republicans, rather on the part of the Democrats. It is no secret that Cheney is a liability to the Bush-Cheney ticket and Democrats want more than anything to keep him partnered with Bush till the November election.

07/14/04 :: By Tom Ball
Morality in America: Bill Bennett and the Seven Deadly Sins
Categories :: Blowhards :: Hypocrisy

Amid the critical senate debate on gay marriage and threats of 'making a mockery' of our nation's founding documents, Bill Bennett, the great conservative moralizer, has come through yet again -- letting us know exactly how evil we all are. And I say, cast not the first stone....

07/13/04 :: By Tom Ball
Morality in America: What About Bush?
Categories :: Hypocrisy

The Senate yesterday opened debate on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Republicans believe that the issue can serve as an effective wedge for the 2004 election even as their other 'wedge' issues have lost their edge against Kerry. The gun issue doesn't really light anyone's fire since Kerry is a gun owner and avid hunter. And the Abortion issue isn't carrying the weight the GOP would like it to against Kerry's belief that "Life begins at conception." So I thought it would be interesting to take a look at this poll I found from a year ago. At this time, conservative moralist Bill Bennett had recently been outed for his gambling problem, creating an air of hypocrisy that smothered all within bloviating distance.

07/11/04 :: By Tom Ball
Thank You Al D’Amato: High Profile Republican Creates Lose/Lose Situation for BushCheney ‘04
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Cheney, Dick

Yesterday, former Republican Senator Alfonse D’Amato called for Bush to dump Cheney for the good of the party and the nation. Signals don’t get any clearer than this. D’Amato knows that Cheney is an onerous liability to the Bush-Cheney ticket.

07/09/04 :: By Tom Ball
Close Friends: The George W. Bush - Kenneth L. Lay Letters
Categories :: Lies :: Reference

The following letters are the full text of personal correspondence between George W. Bush and Kenneth “Kenny Boy” Lay, who was finally fitted for a pair of cuffs this morning.

07/08/04 :: By Tom Ball
John Edwards: Clinton II or Empty Suit?
Categories :: Edwards, John :: Kerry-Edwards 2004

Is this guy for real? Time will tell. In the meantime, some have gone so far as to compare him with Bill Clinton. Both being young, southern, "New" Democrats with fire in their bellies. In '92, Bill Clinton reached out to middle class voters, talking of "putting people first." In '02 John Edwards repeatedly presented himself as a champion of "regular people."

07/07/04 :: By Tom Ball
Google Bomb Presidential Site,
Categories :: Activism :: Tactics

'Google Bomb' with the word 'Presidential'.

07/07/04 :: By Tom Ball
Dems Proudly Boast 'Better Hair'
Categories :: Kerry, John

Speaking in Cleveland, John Kerry showed that he doesn't take himself too seriously. Indeed, this line displayed his clever sense of humor, his willingness to poke fun at himself and his ability to subtly and effectively mock the opposition....all while appearing perfectly presidential:

07/02/04 :: By Tom Ball
WANTED as "Enemy Combatants": Caspar Weinberger, Elliot Abrams and Robert McFarlane
Categories :: George H. W. Bush :: Iran Contra :: Pardons

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that American Citizens could be held without being charged. This was an issue highlighted by the arrest and detention of U.S. citizen Jose Pedilla after he was declared an 'enemy combatant'. With that recent court decision in mind, I think it's important that we look at some other high profile 'enemy combatants'.

07/01/04 :: By Tom Ball
A Parable of Taxation and Propaganda
Categories :: Propaganda/Spin :: Taxes

A friend of mine sent me the following to illustrate the way taxes work in America. What it succeeded in illustrating was that my friend is either blindly partisan or grossly ignorant.

06/29/04 :: By Tom Ball
Avoiding a Public Relations Fiasco Creates a Public Relations Fiasco
Categories :: Iraq

Reminiscent of a back-alley drug deal, the Bush administration tossed the new Iraqi government the goods as they dashed out of sight -- two days ahead of schedule and in the virtual dark of (the American) night.

06/28/04 :: By Tom Ball
Solicitor General Ted Olsen Announces Resignation: Here's the 'Real' Ted
Categories :: Bush Administration

When I initially created the reference "Mass Exodus: 85 (Now 86) High Level Resignations and Dismissals Plague the Bush Administration's First Term", I tossed in a line noting that a high profile Bush Administration member resigns approximately every 2 weeks. I had no idea that Solicitor General Ted Olsen would be the next to keep the streak running.

06/25/04 :: By Tom Ball
Initial Returns for "Fahrenheit 9/11"
Categories :: Media

As I argued in, "Tactic: See “Fahrenheit 9/11” on Opening Weekend", opening weekend revenues determine the life or death of any film. A strong showing will produce tons of media attention and possibly stimulate hundreds of new theaters to jump on the bandwagon. Help spread the word. See "Fahrenheit 9/11" this weekend!

06/25/04 :: By Tom Ball
Mississippi Burning: Help Bring "Fahrenheit 9/11" To this Right-Wing Stronghold
Categories :: Tactics

Listen up everybody. Let's try to bring "Fahrenheit 9/11" to Mississippi and allow these fine people to be enlightened by the reality of the administration that they support so strongly. This is how we will do it...

06/23/04 :: By Tom Ball
Administration Lied About Successes in the War on Terror
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Lies :: Terrorism

On April 28, 2004, the State Department announced that newly available figures on global terrorism had declined dramatically. Senior administration officials touted the findings as evidence of Bush's success in countering terrorism. Problem is, the figures were completely wrong.

06/22/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: See “Fahrenheit 9/11” on Opening Weekend
Categories :: Bush Administration :: History :: Tactics

Michael Moore’s newest bush-throttling, truth-bearing documentary, “Fahrenheit 9/11” is inundated with such “old news” revelations. Revelations of which the American public should be boldly aware before entering the polling stations in November.

06/21/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Implement Radical Policy in Baby Steps
Categories :: Iraq :: Propaganda/Spin :: Tactics :: Women's Rights

Technique: Focus on Major issues piecemeal. Do not address them as a controversial whole. Instead, focus on the least objectionable parts. Once these have been accepted, then it is much easier to lead logically from the accepted piece to the more controversial whole.

06/17/04 :: By Tom Ball
Liars: Cheney Lies On Monday. 911 Commission Outs Him on Tuesday
Categories :: Lies

The 9/11 Commission issued a statement today crushing the Administration's assertion (stated just yesterday by Dick Cheney), that Iraq had ties to al Qaeda.

06/17/04 :: By Tom Ball
"America - Love it or leave it!": New Slogan of the Free Speech Movement
Categories :: Philosophy :: Tactics

I think "America- Love it or leave it" should become the slogan of the free speech movement. As the freedom to speak one's views is surely one of the most cherished of our individual liberties, is it not clearly those who would attempt to silence the voice of others who are out of place here?

06/16/04 :: By Tom Ball
Action Alert: Campaign to Support Michael Moore and "Fahrenheit 9/11"
Categories :: Activism :: Media

Farenheit 9/11 opens on June 25th...but the number of theaters that will show it is still up in the air.

A movement is afoot to minimize the number of theaters that ultimately show this film, the Palme d'Or winner at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. The organizers of this partisan movement are attempting to undermine the credibility and marketability of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11".

06/12/04 :: By Tom Ball
Death is Death: Terrorism vs. Military Strikes
Categories :: Anti-War :: Philosophy :: Propaganda/Spin

Which is worse, death by terrorism or death by military strikes? Is there a difference? And if there is, does that difference matter? Do you think the families of the victims of either methodology feel any less pain and suffering because of the capabilities of the killer?

06/10/04 :: By Tom Ball
Hannity and Colmes Downplay Their Opponent's Rhetoric
Categories :: Tactics

The other day, I wrote a piece titled Tactic: Downplay the Opponents Rhetoric that essentially showed how the legitimacy of your opponent’s argument can be undermined by simply ignoring the substance of his argument while providing a vitriolic or dismissive attack on your opponent’s words (or underlying agenda or other peripheral, easily attacked attributes) rather than acknowledging the facts and logic of your opponent’s argument. Luckily, Fox News Celebs, Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes were gracious enough to provide us with a vivid and timely example of this tactic at its best.

06/09/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Choose as Your Spokesperson, a Representative From Your Weakest Demographic
Categories :: Tactics

Make a point to notice that the proportion of women and minorities on TV talk shows representing Republicans is far out of proportion with the percent of the Republican constituency accounted for by them. Seeing such diversity on talk shows and editorial pages confuses the public and clouds the lines between the conservative and progressive ideologies.

06/06/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Be Aggressive
Categories :: Tactics

Being aggressive helps push the debate to an issue most favorable to you. It puts your opponent on the defensive and gives the impression that you are tough, that you will not be someone's doormat.

06/05/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Be Bold
Categories :: Tactics

Most people are not bold. For when bold acts are executed, there are consequences. Often negative. In reality, we may think of bold things but rarely bring them to fruition. Why is that? Generally, people want to avoid tension or conflict and be liked by everyone. People are concerned with what others will think of them. Often, the mere anticipation of criticism is enough to thwart any attempts at boldness.

06/03/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Downplay the Opponents Rhetoric
Categories :: Tactics

Technique: Dismiss, berate, minimize or otherwise talk down any nonsupportive evidence or opinions thrown your way. Claim that the news or accusation is silly, irrelevant and/or unimportant. Whatever it is, it's silly. Stress that this is merely a distraction technique intended to take the focus off the true issue. At this point you state what you want the "true" issue to be. Of course this will be an issue that is to your advantage.

06/01/04 :: By Tom Ball
GOP Flaunts Positive Effects of Global Warming
Categories :: Global Warming :: Satire

In a stunning turnaround, Republican officials yesterday took time from their busy Memorial Day schedules to not only admit that global warming is a part of reality but also to tout its benefits to the world.

05/29/04 :: By Tom Ball
Pat Tillman Killed by Friendly Fire
Categories :: Iraq

Pat Tillman, who died in April while a U.S. soldier fighting in Afghanistan, likely was killed by friendly fire, an Army investigation has concluded.

05/25/04 :: By Tom Ball
Escape from Iraq: Bush and Blair Plan their Election Year Breakout
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Iraq

It has become clear even within staunch Republican ranks that the malaise in Iraq has become a gradually sinking anchor, pulling with it the president’s approval ratings as well as his hopes for reelection. Iraq, after all, was fashioned as the driving engine upon which Bush would base his November renewal at the White House.

05/20/04 :: By Tom Ball
Bush Alienating Crucial Cuban Electorate
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Cuba :: Elections

Bush owes much to the Cuban-American voters, particularly in Florida. Cubans are the only Latin American demographic which clearly favor Republicans and they are a voting force in Florida -- a necessary constituency if Bush hopes to pull Florida out of the bag once again.

05/19/04 :: By Tom Ball
Political Branding: What do Democrats Stand For?
Categories :: Tactics

Let’s face it. Most people are not visionaries. Even those with vision are often beaten down by the belief that they lack the resources, power or influence to act on their vision.

05/18/04 :: By Tom Ball
Tactic: Support the Opposition Underdog
Categories :: Elections :: Tactics

Say you are running for office and your opponent is formidable (maybe even superior). How do you most easily undermine his or her candidacy?

05/17/04 :: By Tom Ball
Top 27 Pieces of Evidence that Show Rice Perjured Herself in Front of the 9/11 Commission: A Reference for Seekers of Truth
Categories :: Bush Administration :: Reference :: Rice, Condoleezza

The August 06, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing, or PDB, has been declassified and released. This memo, which was central to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's testimony, is the latest injection into the evidential warchest that targets the administration's 9/11 claims intended to shield itself from accusations of incompetence, apathy, misdirection and distraction.

05/16/04 :: By Tom Ball
Every Word Matters: Using 'Keywords' as a Political Tactic
Categories :: Tactics

In 1990, Newt Gingrich published a booklet he called "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control". He mailed his little manifesto to Republican leaders throughout the land and encouraged them to "paint a vivid, brilliant word picture." Gingrich, showing a distrust for his fellow Republicans' judgement, saw fit to supply the leaders with two lists of keywords, a positive word list to use in describing themselves and a negative keyword list to describe those evil Democrats.

05/15/04 :: By Tom Ball
The Importance of Voting Along Party Lines
Categories :: Elections

Many people become aghast at the mere mention of voting along party lines. "How could you?" "Why don't you think for yourself!" blah, blah, blah. I encourage these people to first take a deep breath and second to think deeply about how American government works.

05/14/04 :: By Tom Ball
Abolish the Electoral College in 2004 (PART II)
Categories :: Electoral College

Riddle: How many votes does it take to elect a Republican? Answer: Fewer votes than it takes to elect a Democrat to the same office. To illustrate, let's explore a new way to see the gross inequity of the Electoral College system.

05/14/04 :: By Tom Ball
Electoral College Creates 1,975,706 Popular Vote Disadvantage for Democrats in 2004 (PART I)
Categories :: Electoral College

America! Greatest democracy on the planet! One person, One vote. Right? Not on your life. It has been no secret since the 2000 election that the Electoral College system is once again fertile ground for debate.

05/13/04 :: By Tom Ball
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05/12/04 :: By Tom Ball
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