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Hot flashes are usually a private matter. Alison Teal shares hers.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Hot Flashes from the Campaign Trail
October 30, 2004
Alison V. Teal


O.K. So this is not rocket science. But this is a real rocket scientist who says Bush was wired. And he is backed up by the man who wrote the text on photo analysis. And just in case that doesn’t persuade you, the third professional is a physician who says that Bush’s “big shoulder blades” excuse simply has no basis in human skeletal structure. I didn’t write about this when it first started invading the internets (as Bush likes to call it), but now the evidence is more substantial. And, curiously neither the Times nor the Post seem to care enough to ask, “Is the president a puppet? And, as a follow up, who is the puppeteer?”

The following appeared Friday in . For those of you who prefer visuals, I am also attaching photo backup.

Oct. 29, 2004 George W. Bush tried to laugh off the bulge. "I don't know what that is," he said on "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, referring to the infamous protrusion beneath his jacket during the presidential debates. "I'm embarrassed to say it's a poorly tailored shirt."

Dr. Robert M. Nelson, however, was not laughing. He knew the president was not telling the truth. And Nelson is neither conspiracy theorist nor midnight blogger. He's a senior research scientist for NASA and for Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and an international authority on image analysis. Currently he's engrossed in analyzing digital photos of Saturn's moon Titan, determining its shape, whether it contains craters or canyons.

For the past week, while at home, using his own computers, and off the clock at Caltech and NASA, Nelson has been analyzing images of the president's back during the debates. A professional physicist and photo analyst for more than 30 years, he speaks earnestly and thoughtfully about his subject. "I am willing to stake my scientific reputation to the statement that Bush was wearing something under his jacket during the debate," he says. "This is not about a bad suit. And there's no way the bulge can be described as a wrinkled shirt."

Nelson and a scientific colleague produced the photos from a videotape, recorded by the colleague, who has chosen to remain anonymous, of the first debate. The images provide the most vivid details yet of the bulge beneath the president's suit. Amateurs have certainly had their turn at examining the bulge, but no professional with a resume as impressive as Nelson's has ventured into public with an informed opinion. In fact, no one to date has enhanced photos of Bush's jacket to this degree of precision, and revealed what appears to be some kind of mechanical device with a wire snaking up the president's shoulder toward his neck and down his back to his waist.

Nelson stresses that he's not certain what lies beneath the president's jacket. He offers, though, "that it could be some type of electronic device -- it's consistent with the appearance of an electronic device worn in that manner." The image of lines coursing up and down the president's back, Nelson adds, is "consistent with a wire or a tube."

Nelson used the computer software program Photoshop to enhance the texture in Bush's jacket. The process in no way alters the image but sharpens its edges and accents the creases and wrinkles. You've seen the process performed a hundred times on "CSI": pixilated images are magnified to reveal a clear definition of their shape.

Bruce Hapke, professor emeritus of planetary science in the department of geology and planetary science at the University of Pittsburgh, reviewed the Bush images employed by Nelson, whom he calls "a very highly respected scientist in his field." Hapke says Nelson's process of analyzing the images are the "exact same methods we use to analyze images taken by spacecraft of planetary surfaces. It does not introduce any artifacts into the picture in any way."

How can Nelson be certain there's some kind of mechanical device beneath Bush's jacket? It's all about light and shadows, he says. The angles at which the light in the studio hit Bush's jacket expose contours that fit no one's picture of human anatomy and wrinkled shirts. And Nelson compared the images to anatomy texts. He also experimented with wrinkling shirts in various configurations, wore them under his jacket under his bathroom light, and couldn't produce anything close to the Bush bulge.

In the enhanced photo of the first debate, Nelson says, look at the horizontal white line in middle of the president's back. You'll see a shadow. "That's telling me there's definitely a bulge," he says. "In fact, it's how we measure the depths of the craters on the moon or on Mars. We look at the angle of the light and the length of shadow they leave. In this case, that's clearly a crater that's under the horizontal line -- it's clearly a rim of a bulge protruding upward, one due to forces pushing it up from beneath."

Hapke, too, agrees that the bulge is neither anatomy nor a wrinkled shirt. "I would think it's very hard to avoid the conclusion that there's something underneath his jacket," he says. "It would certainly be consistent with some kind of radio receiver and a wire."

Nelson admits that he's a Democrat and plans to vote for John Kerry. But he takes umbrage at being accused of partisanship. "Everyone wants to think my colleague and I are just a bunch of dope-crazed ravaged Democrats who are looking to insult the president at the last minute," he says. "And that's not what this is about. This is scientific analysis. If the bulge were on Bill Clinton's back and he was lying about it, I'd have to say the same thing."

"Look, he says, "I'm putting myself at risk for exposing this. But this is too important. It's not about my reputation. If they force me into an early retirement, it'll be worth it if the public knows about this. It's outrageous statements that I read that the president is wearing nothing under there. There's clearly something there."

By Kevin Berger, senior news editor at Salon.

Alison Teal



Friday, October 29, 2004

o Two years ago the mothers of senior girls at Sidwell Friends school in Washington began their annual mother daughter show with an Eminem rap. I was one of those mothers. And, much to my daughter's embarrassment as well as my husband's horror, I became and Eminem fan. Eminem is the poet of anger and now he's finally found something worthy of being angry about. Go to this site for his new rap video: http://boss.streamos.com/qtime/interscope/eminem/encore/video/mosh-rev/300_mosh-rev.mov

o Who would have believed four years ago when the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was sending election monitors (including Sam) to Bosnia, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia and Georgia that one of its next venues would be the United States? The OSCE is currently sending international observers, as part of its Election Observation Mission, to the following states during the presidential elections: Florida, Maryland, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, DC. You may want to notify the appropriate officials in your State to make sure they are aware of the presence of international election monitors during the Presidential election. If you would like to know more about the OSCE's election monitoring go to: http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/field_activities/?election=2004us

o “Rush To War” a documentary film by Robert Taicher about the events surrounding September 11th and American foreign policy has just been released. Taicher previously wrote and directed “Inside Out” (Elliott Gould and Jennifer Tilly) and “The Rainbow Thief” (Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif). This coming weekend Taicher will be giving away 40,000 copies of the DVD of the film in several of the swing states including Florida and Ohio. You can download an MP3 called “George Bush Blues” and get more information at


alisonteal@tealdesigns.com

Thursday, October 28, 2004

What do these people have in common?
Dennis Hastert, Tom Delay, Roy Blunt, Bill Frist, Rudy Giuliani, George Pataki, Mitch McConnell, Rick Santorum, Trent Lott, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft, Jeb Bush, Karl Rove, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Eliot Abrams, Tim Hutchison, Newt Gingrich, Clarence Thomas, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Bill Bennett, Pat Buchanan and Bill Kristol. Sure, they're all Republicans and they all wrap themselves in the flag. The other thing they have in common is not one of them served in the military!

And what do these guys have in common?
John Kerry, Richard Gephardt, Tom Daschle, Al Gore, Bob Kerrey, Daniel Inouye, Charles Rangel, Max Cleland, Ted Kennedy, Tom Harkin, Fritz Hollings, Pete Stark, Chuck Robb, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, John Glenn, Wesley Clark, John Conyers. Right. They all served.


Now the question is where are you going to serve. Here are a few reports from people already out there:

Judy DeVries from California: I'm here in Allentown, PA coordinating GOTV for the Lehigh Valley. First let me say that we're going to win. But it's crunch time and we can use people especially right now. I need logistics people and techies and organizers and anyone who wants to help take our country back. They should bring laptops and cell phones and cars. If they have expertise let us know but their willingness to do whatever is a must. They should go through Cynthia Metzler for PA but I'd love for them to request the Lehigh Valley.

Nina Robbins from California: Tell people to come to Cincinnati. I'm running Kerry Travelers here. We really need their help here to ensure Kerry takes Ohio.

Arnie Miller from Massachusetts: Here in Ohio, they have mounted a systematic effort to deny our people the right to vote. They have assigned thousands of challengers to disrupt the election in Black districts. They are going door-to-door telling people they are not eligible to vote. They are making bogus phone calls to the homes of Black people. We are fighting back to protect the rights of our people to vote. We will have thousands of people at polling places throughout the state to insure that people can exercise their rights. We still need help. Fifteen years from now, our grandchildren will ask, "where were you in 2004?" We'll all be able to say, "we were in Ohio and that's where we stopped them from ruining our country. That's where we won the election and saved the country." Come help us.


Paul Nussbaum from Connecticut: Greetings from Montgomery County, Pa. I am interfacing with the County Democratic Chairman and am coordinating around 1100 volunteers ( goal is 2000 for ED) and 7 paid staff (aged 18-24) ....right now I'm trying to recruit 35 van drivers for ED ...most of my operation is in place but legal/voter protection is weak and untested and we have some concerns in that area. We could use help. We expect to carry this county - looking for a 50,000 vote edge out of around 450,000 votes.

Judy Green from Washington, D.C.: There were 150 people lined up in Santa Fe before the office opened in the morning this last Saturday - all ready to go out and canvass.

Hilary Goldstine from California: I am in Iowa and it is hard to know how things are going but the Kerry office here in Des Moines is buzzing both with activity and an onslaught of lady-bugs which I am told are really Japanese beetles that were brought here to eat the aphids off the corn. Yesterday was physically the most glorious day. There was a gentle breeze with the autumn light sparkling through the hundreds of trees that line every Des Moines street. Only a few people answered their door on this most glorious day but I did manage to deliver one vote since I am now certified. To all of the other households I left the Des Moines Register endorsement of Kerry with a personal note. I was told this is the first time in recent history a Democrat has been endorsed by The Register.

Phyllis Segel from Massachusetts: (From Philadelphia) I guess Eli and I can be described as full-time grandparent volunteers too. Whatever happened to that young campaigner I am?

Tom Waldeck from Colorado: In Rapid City, South Dakota, we have spent the last two days splitting our time with writing missives, phoning for votes, and canvassing various neighborhoods. We`re putting in about twelve hours each day. The atmosphere is serious and professional and there is no sign of panic. Everyone is working hard. Today we spent the day traveling with Tom Daschle to town meetings in Sturgiss, Belle Fourche, and Spearfish. The first stop in Sturgiss had about 150 people. … The crowd was clearly rural and small town. The second stop, at Belle Fourche, was similar…. About 125. Veterans with their caps on, farmers with their John Deere caps, women in their cotton dresses… The last stop at Spearfish was quite different. Spearfish is a college town and has more of a middle class, suburban, resort feel. There were about three hundred people attending. In all three towns the women prepared food … Chile, beans, chips, deserts of cakes and pies. The pies were extraordinary, all home made. All in all it was what we all remember as Old America. The TV ads here by Thune against Daschle are really deplorable. This is a campaign by the Republicans beyond decency and honesty. It is win at any cost.

Mish Hamid from Washington, D.C.: I just volunteered as a Kerry Traveler in Harrisburg, PA and there were very encouraging signs. I canvassed undecided voters and they seem to be breaking almost 4 to 1 in favor of Kerry -- not a representative sample but very encouraging. Also got the chance to meet Max Cleland, or at least see
him speak. :-)

Don Green from Washington, D. C.: I've gone to Santa Fe to work for the Election Protection effort that People For The American Way is running. The ultra-compulsive Sam Black is a key component. Those of us who know Sam should feel comfortable with our ability to challenge any shady practices. I think it is still possible that Kerry wins by a very comfortable margin (that's my faith-based faith in my countrymen/women).

There are many, many others. Join them this weekend.


Go to October 24th if you need information on where to go and who to contact.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Some late night hits compliments of my friend Garry Mitchell (themitchellreport.typepad.com):

"President Bush announced he has a five-point strategy for getting out of
Iraq. Points six through 10 will be handled by the Kerry administration." --
David Letterman

"President Bush's campaign is now attacking John Kerry for throwing away some of his medals to protest the Vietnam War. Bush did not have any medals to throw away, but in his defense he did have all his services records thrown out."
-- Jay Leno

"President Bush says in the last month he has created 300,000 new jobs. Yeah, they're called Kerry campaign workers." -- Craig Kilborn

"Is it me or is Bush going everywhere Kerry goes? So far in the past week,
President Bush has followed John Kerry to Davenport, Iowa; New Mexico; Las
Vegas; Los Angeles; and he follows him to Portland, Oregon. ...The only place he never followed John Kerry was Vietnam." -- Jay Leno

"President Bush said that the people who are attacking our forces in Iraq are getting more and more desperate because we're making so much progress. So just remember, the worse it gets, the better it is." -- Jay Leno

"As of yesterday, the Bush administration still hadn't found the source of
the White House leak that outed a woman as a CIA operative. To recap, here are the things President Bush can't find: The source of the leak, weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Osama bin Laden, the link between Saddam and Osama bin Laden, the guy who sent the anthrax through the mail, and his butt with two hands and a flashlight." -- Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update"

"The White House now has disputed allegations by members of the House
Intelligence Committee that President Bush went to war with Iraq based on vague intelligence. Of course he did: EVERYTHING Bush does is based on vague
intelligence." -- Jay Leno

"Bush is smart. I don't think that Bush will ever be impeached, 'cause unlike Clinton, Reagan, or even his father, George W. is immune from scandal. Because, if George W. testifies that he had no idea what was
going on, wouldn't you believe him?" --Jay Leno

Alison Teal
alisonteal@tealdesigns.com

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

By 6:30 in the morning last Saturday, there were long lines of people snaking through the historic downtown blocks of Pueblo, Colorado. The fire fighters – the third oldest local in the country, after Chicago and Pittsburgh -- had been there since 5 a.m., setting up an enormous antique fire truck with their union’s sign of support. A few hours later 12,000 people cheered wildly when Senatorial candidate Ken Salazar introduced Kerry saying: “Pueblo has more Medal of Honor winners per capita than any town in the United States. We know our heroes in this town, and John Kerry is a hero.” Kerry quoted Dwight Eisenhower saying "What is it...something in the water out [here] in Pueblo? All you guys turn out to be heroes".

Judy Madrid, a full-time volunteer for months now, is a fifty-five year old grandmother. She brought her two granddaughters to the rally hoping they’d get “to see the next president of the United States.” Her husband, a Vietnam veteran, has only recently returned to work after a seven-year strike of the local smelters’ union against the Rocky Mountain Steel Mill. He is now in the difficult situation of working every day next to the replacement workers, which is what the mill calls the people they hired to take the strikers’ jobs – what we call scabs. The Madrids are ready for better days. They got one Sunday when the front page of the Metro section in “The Sunday Chieftain” showed a joyful photo of their granddaughter being lifted above the crowd, her arms outstretched to clasp the extended hands of John Kerry.

Saturday morning was brisk and sunny. A strong wind blew sagebrush and tumbleweed off the plains into the city crowd. The wind is something this working class prairie town is used to. Inside the old Union Depot, which served as a backdrop for Kerry’s speech, there are photos of people in the great dust bowl disaster of the 1930s wearing gas masks to protect themselves from the black skies. Some of the photos show cars dragging chains from their rear fender presumably to dissipate static electricity which builds quickly in the dry air.

Pueblo’s background is one of enormous diversity. One-hundred-and-twenty-five newspapers have been published here through the years: 6 German, 8 Italian, 1 Serbian, 4 Slovenian and 5 Spanish. Currently the population is about 44% Latino. Until the great flood of 1921, Pueblo was the 'Saddle-Making capital of the World'. It then became one of the largest steel-producing cities in the U.S. until the decline of American steel in the 1970s and '80s. It is thought to be a Democratic stronghold in Colorado and a rally of 12,000 in a city of some 102,000 would seem to confirm that. If every person at the rally turns out two other voters, we’ll win big. Gore carried it in 2000 with 28,000 votes to Bush’s 22,000.

But at the Kerry headquarters that afternoon, there were only a few volunteers working beside the paid staff. Our hope was that this was due to the internal problems and staff turnover in the office. Sam and I started calling people who had signed up as potential volunteers.

The response to the calls was staggering. Everything we could have hoped for. People wanted to do whatever was most helpful, walking precincts, making calls, or just holding up signs on street corners.

One of the most moving responses was from a young man who said he would come in every day and night from now through November 2nd. On November 4th he is being shipped out to Iraq.

This really is a city of heroes.


Alison Teal
alisonteal@tealdesigns.com

Sunday, October 24, 2004

I am almost in hyperventilating mode every day now. There are so many places out here that need volunteers and help. Please, please, do what you can. Don't wake up November 3 wondering if you could have done more.

Here's the full list of contacts for travelers to: FL, OH, PA, IA, NV, NM, WI, CO, ME, and NH. The ones with website links are direct links to the campaigns and you will receive a call back quickly if the experience of others continues to hold true.

Arizona
Jennifer Axsom
602.446.6228
jaxsom@azdems.org

Colorado
Kirsten Osgood
kosgood@coloradovictory2004.com
303.830.0246 ext 108

Florida
Kate Murphy
Kmurphy@fladems.com
954-848-0053 x 42

Iowa
Aaron Silverman
Asilverman@iowademocrats.org

Craig Davis
515-558-9580 x. 313

Louisana
Leslie Feingerts
Lfein@alum.dartmouth.org
504-913-9116

Maine
Liz McMahon
lmcmahon@mainedems.org
207-771-0291

Michigan
Pat Harris
Pnharris2@aol.com

Michigan Democratic Party
313-259-7730 x. 124

Minnesota
Jon Behm, Kerry Travel Coordinator
Jbehm@dfl.org
651-647-5024

Missouri
Ian Graves
igraves@missouridems.org
314-645-1449

Nevada
Reno: http://eastbay4kerry.com/node/view/875
Vegas: 702-737-8683, Roger Moore, rmoore@nvdems.com

New Hampshire
Amanda Tobey
Atobey@nhdp.org
603-623-2999

New Mexico
http://www.eastbay4kerry.com/node/view/1057
Annie Chavez
annie@nmvictory2004.com
206-281-9124

North Carolina
Matthew Danielson
Northcarolina@johnkerry.com
919-832-5559
919-522-9837

Ohio
Dan Roth, droth@ohiodems.org
Ohio Democratic Party
johnkerry.com/ohioroadtrip
614-276-2004

Oregon
Gavin White
gavin@carryoregon.com
503.239.6001 x. 237
971.404.7249

Jesse Bontecou
jesseb@carryoregon.com

Pennsylvania
Cynthia Metzler
Cmetzler@padems.com
215-789-3663

Virginia
Jean Bankes
Jean@vavictory04.com
804-355-0404

Washington State
Allison Ford
allisonf@wa-democrats.org
206-281-9124

West Virginia
Alllison Ginsburg
Allisonginsberg@yahoo.com
304-343-8661

Wisconsin
Alexandra Simbana
Jen Ronsheim
Alexandras@wisdems.org
608-441-9571
202-907-5518

Saturday, October 23, 2004


I am not a brave person. I hate confrontation. When I was young and single, I'd change jobs and cities rather than deal with the end of a relationship. So actively campaigning in a swing state at a time when the country is so deeply divided and my own feelings are raw and close to the edge is a real challenge for me.

A couple of days ago at a Home Depot in Denver, a man looked at my Kerry/Edwards button in disgust. He grabbed his wife and children pushing them away from me with hatred on his face swearing he wasn't going to stay around any #@*%! Liberal. I heard myself calmly say “That's why I support John Kerry. I believe in a kinder, gentler America.” Waiting for an elevator in a motel a well-dressed woman rolled her eyes after staring at my button and then dramatically stepped back when I entered the elevator announcing with contempt in her voice: “I'd prefer to wait for the next one.” A young man accosted me in front of a restaurant screaming about Kerry's not being a real hero because - as far as I could make out the argument - he hadn't spilled the required amount of blood. “Let's see,” I said “Kerry's walking around with shrapnel in his leg and did two tours of service in Vietnam. And Bush did…?” Tonight Sam and I were having dinner in a crowded bar with a table of Bush supporters next to us. One of them asked how we could support Kerry. I turned to him and asked him to pick an issue, any issue, that concerned him and I'd tell him why the Democrats would be better for him. As I did this, I slightly touched his arm. It's something I often do when talking to people. “Don't you touch me,” he snarled.

It's at times like this when I like to think about the truck I saw in D.C. with “Support Our Troops” and “I'm a Marine” stickers all over the windows and a Kerry/Edwards bumper strip on the bumper. I like to think about the billboard outside Chicago's Midway airport, mostly white with a big black bow tie in the middle. Above the tie is written: Paul Simon, Public Servant, 1928 - Dec. 2003. I like to envision the Providence sign that reads: Stop Mad Cowboy Disease. I like to think about the highway billboard in Minnesota with a big picture of a walleye that says “What's for dinner tonight? Mercury, thanks to George Bush.” I like to think about these things because otherwise I'd be ripping out throats.

It's good to occasionally step out of the real world into the East Bay. We did that a week ago Thursday at a fundraiser we'd been helping organize for the last month. The event was a dinner at Oliveto in Oakland with incredible support from the owners Bob and Maggie Klein and the chef Paul Bertoli. It was the ultimate conjunction between political junkies and foodies. Senator Kennedy who, for more than forty years has been a stalwart for every cause people in the East Bay care about from economic justice to war, was the guest of honor.

The event sold out early and in order to keep it as nice as it was advertised to be, no additional seats were added. We expected to raise $200 to $250 thousand and we raised over $400,000 from 120 seats. The money is still coming in and those who were turned away contributed anyway. This is typical of northern California where around $25 million has been raised for the election this year.

There are three types of zip codes in the East Bay: those beginning with 945, 946 and 947. In 945xx -- Lafayette and Orinda -- Kerry raised $1,200,000 to Bush's $600,000, a ratio of about two to one. In 946xx -- Oakland and Piedmont -- Kerry raised $980,000 dollars to Bush's $98,000, a ratio of ten to one. Then there is 947xx -- Berkeley. Kerry raised $1,284,000 to Bush's $23,000, a ratio of about sixty to one. The only question is who gave the $23,000 and why are they living in Berkeley?

Between mouth-watering courses of chanterelle mushroom and lobster risotto and braised Sonoma lamb shoulder, Sam introduced Kennedy as the conservative Senator from Massachusetts. Kennedy made it clear he wasn't willing to give over the title of the most liberal senator. After forty-two years, he still speaks with a level of intensity and care that is truly thrilling. It reminded me of the many times we saw him in Iowa and New Hampshire when Kerry was in single digits in the polls. When you went to a church basement or union hall with Senator Kennedy you really believed that this guy John Kerry could win.

Neiman Ranch donated the lamb and pork; Monterey Fish the lobster, tuna and salmon; Knoll and Dirty Girl farms the greens and Laura Secchi the fabulous autumnal décor. But the biggest standing ovation of the evening - the one that brought our daughter Teal to tears -- was not for Kennedy or any of the donors. It was for wait and kitchen staff who donated their time so all the money raised would go to Kerry.

alisonteal@tealdesigns.com

Friday, October 22, 2004

The following is from our son Nicholas Brown whose been working in Florida and is just a little embittered toward some of the voters there.

Ode to Florida
An almost Sonnet in nearly Iambic pentameter

Florida you sad and sunburned state
With palm trees swaying in nightly breezes
On your sand beeches dwell the overweight
In your drug addicts dwell strange diseases.

Your television stations seem to teem
With shrieking about these next elections
security, jobs, healthcare, and drugs between
spots explaining maintaining erections.

Your average voter is taking this well
As he sits stuffing food in his fry-fattened face
He explains that it's all just run from Roswell
And we'll soon be ruled by people from space

This man will no doubt choose our next leader
His thoughts are a wall logic cannot surmount
Though this worries many, I say never fear
Florida: in you we can always recount!



Thursday, October 21, 2004

Q. What's the difference between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War?

A. George W. Bush had a plan to get out of the Vietnam War.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

October 19, 2004 Late At Night or rather early in the morning October 20, 2004


Yesterday The Justice Department said Democrats have no right to challenge state rules in Michigan or elsewhere that govern the counting of provisional ballots.

Voters who show up at the polls but whose names do not appear on the rolls can be given a provisional ballot, which will count if it can be determined after Election Day that the voter was eligible.

But in a number of states, including Michigan, the rules prohibit these ballots from being counted if they’re cast in the wrong precinct. Provisional ballots are more likely to be cast by low-income or minority voters and the Help America Vote Act, which Congress passed in 2002, does not allow for such restrictions on otherwise eligible voters.

"Here you have the Justice Department waiting until two weeks before the election and suddenly taking this position, which is the Republican Party's position," said Robert F. Bauer, national counsel for voter protection at the Democratic National Committee.

The good news out here in Colorado is that there is a secretary of State who is actually trying to HELP people vote. Emergency voter registration will be possible right up through election day by going to the county clerk’s office.

The bad news is in Pittsburgh: Holly McCullough, an official with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, reports that a private group was allowed to set up voter registration tables at libraries. Only yesterday did officials learn that Kelly temporary-agency workers had been hired by an Arizona company called Sproul and Associates - and that the temps were asked to only sign up Bush voters. The good news; it’s been stopped.

It’s not hard to find bad news in Florida. Barbara Shailor reports that Cheney is all over the place and priests in at least two churches last Sunday told people to “get out and vote and remember who supports abortion”. On the first day of early voting yesterday there were serious problems: computers crashing, incomplete absentee ballots, no paper trails, long lines, etc. “It feels perilous,” Shailor says. “Having said that, we walk the neighborhoods every night and the lists are very accurate. While this is not a scientific sample, among the registered Republican union members, we are pulling over 50% for Kerry…Were this to hold up across these conservative counties we'll be in good shape and these numbers will boost the overall numbers in the state. Nationally our union vote is at 69% and this year we are pushing to make 73% plus.”

Ongoing bad news in Ohio: Kerry's name was omitted from at least two absentee ballots mailed in Hamilton County, Ohio, according to The Cincinnati Post.

"It's a screw-up," Tim Burke, chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Elections, said in the newspaper's story. "This just feeds the paranoia that's out there. The tragic thing is that even though I think we will have a very fair and accurate count here, this will cause people to question the accuracy of our operation."

It seems that election workers were removing Nader’s name from the ballot (which has been ruled off by the Secretary of State) and inadvertently struck the name of Kerry instead, placing “candidate removed” over it..

If you’re sure this was just a screw-up, I’ve got this bridge…

This year both sides have magnificent ground operations. No one knows what’s going to happen. The Republicans have shifted their message from "flip-flop" to "terrorism is a nuisance" to "Mary Cheney". They are absolutely brilliant in steering the news media's focus.

The overall good news is that we have an incredible operation on the ground in all the swing states. But we need all of you out here. Again, imagine how you’d feel on November 3rd if we had lost and you hadn’t done absolutely everything you could.

And by the way, it’s fun. There is great bonding between Demo's wearing Kerry/Edwards buttons. Folks stop you and say thanks, everyone has a story and spirits are high.

Alison Teal
alisonteal@tealdesigns.com
My favorite line today is Steph Harvey's: When Bush repeats 'He can run but he can't hide,' Kerry and all the rest of us should say Osama bin Laden has been able to do both under the Bush administration.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Boston Globe, the Dayton Ohio Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer endorsed Kerry Sunday along with The New York Times. If any of you didn't see the powerful Times editorial, be sure to go to its site and read it all the way through. It's terrific and will give you every talking point you'll need in the next couple of weeks.

The Dallas Morning News, Chicago Tribune, Omaha World-Herald and the Rocky Mountain News surprised no one by endorsing Bush. None, however, were overwhelming endorsements -- just a kind of “hang in there with the guy who got us into this mess” endorsement. It reminds me of the boy who killed his parents and then begged for leniency because he was an orphan.

We arrived in Denver Saturday night and Sunday my old employer The Denver Post endorsed Ken Salazar for the senate. It may be a bit early to claim complete responsibility for this, but for the moment I'm going to assume our arrival must have had been the precipitating effect.

The Onion has not officially endorsed anyone. However they did have the following two new stories to lighten our day:

Nader Polling At 8 Percent Among Past Supporters
WASHINGTON, DC-A CNN/Gallup poll released Monday shows that 8 percent of those who voted for presidential candidate Ralph Nader in the 2000 election will vote for him again in 2004. "Americans feel it's time for an end to corporate-controlled government, or at least 1/12th of those who voted for me in 2000 do," Nader said, addressing a handful of supporters scattered throughout a lecture hall at Georgetown University. "Don't be satisfied with politics as usual. That is my message to those who voted for me four years ago. Get back with the team." Nader said that 230,000 votes, while nowhere near enough to win, might be sufficient to muck up another election.

And

Bill O'Reilly Sex Scandal
“Someone's coming at Bill O'Reilly with lurid public accusations of a heinous personal nature? Wow. Sometimes life can be so…fair.”
--Peggy Knight, Art Teacher

Please send me any ideas you have for dealing with Nader or any other brilliant ideas for these last two weeks of the campaign: alisonteal@tealdesigns.com
PARTICULARLY IF YOU HAVE AMUSING THOUGHTS!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

GIANT SPLIT WITHIN THE BUSH CAMPAIGN!

It is rumored that fights broke out in the inner circles of the Bush campaign yesterday. The customary playful and fun-loving atmosphere within the Cheney/Rove headquarters deteriorated into taunting, spitting and hair-pulling. According to insiders the normally well-oiled spin machine ground to a halt over an increasingly angry debate. In an exclusive interview, Hot Flashes has been able to discover the explosive issue causing the rift: Is Kerry a flip flopper as was previously stated or is he in fact a consistent liberal?

Rove had the final whine. Stomping his tiny feet and reddening, he hurled blocks at Cheney and Bush and screamed “You’re not the boss of me!”

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Hot Flashes From The Campaign Trail
October 13, 2004
Alison Teal

Forget the magnum of wine tonight; I'm going straight to the jeroboam. Kerry should do well on domestic issues since the external threats are nothing to the internal decay caused by this administration. Here are a couple of things I and others would love to see:

Forget the magnum of wine tonight; I'm going straight to the jeroboam. Kerry should do well on domestic issues since the external threats are nothing to the internal decay caused by this administration. Here are a couple of things I and others would love to see:

If Bush tells us again of all the happy people in Iraq, Kerry's response should be: If what we've been seeing is happy Iraqis, I'd hate to see them upset or angry.

Danny Menaker has a brilliant suggestion: When the issue of flip flopping comes up, if it does--especially if it comes up in those words -- Kerry should first debunk the flip flop and say its not true and it's a diversion from the serious issues and so on. "But I have a shorter way of describing my opponent's actual tenure in the White House. It's a flop. It's a flop in health care. It's a flop in foreign relations. It's a flop in jobs. It's a flop in the economy. It's a flop in every way. And it's time to close the show."

Bush's policies should repeatedly be called reckless and radical. Voters consider radical a far more pejorative term than liberal and it's an accurate description of Bush's policies. As Gary Goldman points out “Americans want to support their President, especially if he appears strong and cautious in his defense of the country. But they will not feel obligated to support him if they feel he is recklessly gambling away the country's power, wealth, stability, and support. By labeling Bush radical, you allow the people who are uncomfortable with his radical policies to excuse themselves. . .John Kerry becomes the safe choice for Republicans, centrists, and Democrats. Bush becomes the dangerous choice. . . radical and arrogant.

Tom Waldeck: We are a melting pot and we don't need an approach that attempts to homogenize and purify the population of this country, either by color or RELIGION, or by wealth.

Rick Angres suggests: Bush is strip-mining the economy.

Verne Newton: He didn't lead us into war; he lied us into war.

I hope the evening will end with another of Danny Menaker's suggestions: Kerry says Bush appears far less up to the job than any of the eight people who have been involved in the debates. Eight people? you may ask. Yes, I answer--Kerry, Edwards, Lehrer, Ifill, Gibson, Schieffer and even Cheney.” This would be a nice way for Kerry to compliment to the moderators.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

There was an absolute no-contest winner in yesterday’s debate and it wasn’t either of the candidates. It was Missouri. Last night’s questions were far more nuanced than any the press has been asking. There are a lot of sophisticated people in this country who don’t live on either coast. Sam and I grew up in the Midwest in one of those fly-over zones and last night made us really proud of it. I only wish those asking the questions could have done follow-ups like “Excuse me, but you didn’t answer my question.” Midwesterners tend to be really polite and really relentless.

Just a couple of other comments. Has anybody heard of a lot of people in Canada dying from their scary bad drugs? Does it strike you that Bush cares a lot more for frozen embryos than he does for living breathing human beings? And what was that about the “internets”? We call it the “internet” Mr. President. It’s singular.

As they say, it’s a sad day when our bombs are smarter than our president.

Go Saint Louis!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

I think I'm going crazy. I thought Edwards was terrific. I thought he wiped the floor with Cheney. Sam and I watched on MSNBC. The minute the debate was over, instead of hearing how wonderfully Edwards did, their commentators said the opposite -- that everyone would agree that Cheney had done a "tremendous service to Bush tonight," and had won the debate. To me, it wasn't even close, not close. What more could Edwards do or say, given the time constraints? But wait until the dust settles. I think there’s a disconnect between the pundits and the voters.

The most damaging of Cheney’s remarks was that he hadn’t met Edwards until last night. Today both CNN and FOX (yes, even FOX) reported that this was false. On February 1, 2001, the vice president thanked Edwards by name at a Senate prayer breakfast and sat beside him during the event. On April 8, 2001, Cheney and Edwards shook hands when they met off-camera during a taping of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” moderator Tim Russert said Wednesday on “Today.” On January 8, 2003, the two met when the first-term North Carolina senator accompanied Elizabeth Dole to her swearing-in by Cheney. Edwards hadn’t forgotten. He mentioned it at a post-debate rally in Cleveland.

The truth aside, it would have been wonderful if Edwards had said, “Of course we haven’t met on the Senate floor. My friend Pat Leahy tells me it’s a really unpleasant experience.”

Sam and I are in Vermont and have been here since last Thursday. In spite of glorious weather, we are holed up in the spectacular, new Middlebury library where we can maintain our campaign pallor while working on the wireless Internet. A girl who looks like she’s pulled an all-nighter just wandered by dressed in sweats and slipper socks with her thick blond hair piled and twisted on top of her head. Her backpack sports a “Peace Is Patriotic” cloth patch and she’s wearing a Kerry button. In the next carrel a boy with dark curly hair like Caravaggio’s Bacchus has three cappuccinos lined up next to his laptop – soldiers ready for duty. He also wears a Kerry button. Outside, walking through crunchy leaves you see Kerry signs in the dorm windows, looking quite beautiful between brick walls of red Virginia Creeper. This is safe territory and we retreat to it between outings over to New Hampshire.

As to New Hampshire. . . all I can say is when you leave the Vermont roads and drive onto the Live Free or Die roads of New Hampshire, it’s as if you’ve crossed over into Romania. I’m also fond of the following two question and answers told to me by a Dartmouth student:

Which is more beautiful the Green Mountains of Vermont or the White Mountains of New Hampshire? The White Mountains because they have a view of the Green Mountains.

And

Why doesn’t Maine fall off into the ocean? Because New Hampshire sucks.


Alison Teal
alisonteal@tealdesigns.com

I think I'm going crazy. I thought Edwards was terrific. I thought he wiped the floor with Cheney. Sam and I watched on MSNBC. The minute the debate was over, instead of hearing how wonderfully Edwards did, their commentators said the opposite -- that everyone would agree that Cheney had done a "tremendous service to Bush tonight," and had won the debate. To me, it wasn't even close, not close. What more could Edwards do or say, given the time constraints? But wait until the dust settles. I think there’s a disconnect between the pundits and the voters.

The most damaging of Cheney’s remarks was that he hadn’t met Edwards until last night. Today both CNN and FOX (yes, even FOX) reported that this was false. On February 1, 2001, the vice president thanked Edwards by name at a Senate prayer breakfast and sat beside him during the event. On April 8, 2001, Cheney and Edwards shook hands when they met off-camera during a taping of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” moderator Tim Russert said Wednesday on “Today.” On January 8, 2003, the two met when the first-term North Carolina senator accompanied Elizabeth Dole to her swearing-in by Cheney. Edwards hadn’t forgotten. He mentioned it at a post-debate rally in Cleveland.

The truth aside, it would have been wonderful if Edwards had said, “Of course we haven’t met on the Senate floor. My friend Pat Leahy tells me it’s a really unpleasant experience.”

Sam and I are in Vermont and have been here since last Thursday. In spite of glorious weather, we are holed up in the spectacular, new Middlebury library where we can maintain our campaign pallor while working on the wireless Internet. A girl who looks like she’s pulled an all-nighter just wandered by dressed in sweats and slipper socks with her thick blond hair piled and twisted on top of her head. Her backpack sports a “Peace Is Patriotic” cloth patch and she’s wearing a Kerry button. In the next carrel a boy with dark curly hair like Caravaggio’s Bacchus has three cappuccinos lined up next to his laptop – soldiers ready for duty. He also wears a Kerry button. Outside, walking through crunchy leaves you see Kerry signs in the dorm windows, looking quite beautiful between brick walls of red Virginia Creeper. This is safe territory and we retreat to it between outings over to New Hampshire.

As to New Hampshire. . . all I can say is when you leave the Vermont roads and drive onto the Live Free or Die roads of New Hampshire, it’s as if you’ve crossed over into Romania. I’m also fond of the following two question and answers told to me by a Dartmouth student:

Which is more beautiful the Green Mountains of Vermont or the White Mountains of New Hampshire? The White Mountains because they have a view of the Green Mountains.

And

Why doesn’t Maine fall off into the ocean? Because New Hampshire sucks.


Alison Teal
alisonteal@tealdesigns.com

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


A couple of thoughts from readers for tonight and Friday.

· From Colorado:
The theme that the country is more vulnerable from the domestic cancer that is being fed by Bush than the Iraq/terrorist threat is a viable and strong argument for Kerry. A decay internally of economic, educational, health, environment, legal and civil rights; polarization of wealth, and the moral condition of the country is what will destroy this great experiment in democracy far easier and faster than the external threats. . . We are a melting pot and we don't need an approach that attempts to homogenize and purify the population of this country, either by color or RELIGION, or wealth.

· From Cleveland:
While Bush proposes NASA's budget be increased to send people to Mars, he is simultaneously taking hundreds of jobs out of Cleveland -- high paying, high tech jobs -- from the NASA Center here. So not only is he doing nothing for American places like this that are economically depressed, he is also throwing salt on the wound. And the extra NASA money is going to Texas! Just look at the five year plan NASA laid out for each of its centers.

· And this just in from Madison, Wisconsin. Send no flowers to commemorate Jane Buffett's death, her husband asks. Instead, send John Kerry to the White House. In a paid obituary published in Madison's two daily newspapers, Roger Buffett celebrated his wife's years as a mother, homemaker, grandmother and English teacher. But, he said, she was "outraged" by President Bush's decision to invade Iraq and then expecting "her grandchildren to pay the bills." Other Bush administration policies angered her as well. "She saw John Kerry as the candidate who would most conserve everything she valued," the obituary said. "Jane fought to live long enough to be able to vote this November. To honor her memory, please do everything you can to elect John Kerry."


Alison Teal
alisonteal@tealdesigns.com

Friday, October 01, 2004

Bush was defensive, pouty and petulant; Kerry was calm and strong. Bush smacked his lips and did that weird mouth thing. Kerry listened, took notes and smiled. Bush was hunched over and looked like his neck was retreating into his shoulders. Kerry stood tall and confident and wore the right tie. Bush seemed to be winging it at times, Kerry was articulate and to the point. Bush was every bit the C student, Kerry was Presidential.

Bush better ask for a shorter response time in the next one. It was embarrassing to watch him try to think of something to say while the green light lingered on. If he’s not rehearsed and scripted, he flounders.

By my count, the President said “It’s hard work” about twelve times. This is the Marlboro Man? It was just plain whiney. think he’s just plum tuckered out and needs a good long rest.

AND FOR GOD’S SAKE DON’T FORGET POLAND! While we’re at it, let’s not forget Spain – well at least until the war caused their government to fall. Who wouldn’t trade Germany, France and Russia for Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Moldova and the Kingdom of Tonga? We’re talking real coalition here.

Last night we saw who our candidate is. This is the candidate I’ve seen out on the road all year. This is the guy who can go toe to toe with an incumbent war President.

More than a hundred Middlebury students showed up last night at our gathering (one of many). The applause for Kerry was deafening. Later at Two Brothers’ Tavern, kids were coming up to introduce themselves and ask what they could do. They were pumped up and ready to invade New Hampshire over the next few weekends. One registered Republican told our daughter Willa she was made physically uncomfortable watching Bush in Miami and she was now for Kerry. Our Advanceman son Nicholas was watching the debate in San Francisco. Ecstatic over Kerry’s performance, he hit the clubs draped in Kerry buttons convinced it would help him connect with young women.

Hold on to this spirit. Carry the momentum. Don’t let the media steal this from us. Hold their feet to the fire.

Last night on a conference call before the debate James Carvel told the students: “Democrats want to fall in love. Republicans just fall in line. If Republicans can do it around Bush, Good God, we sure should do it around Kerry.”

And that was before the debate. Start marching!


Some Results:
Online poll results taken between 11:00 & 11:30
Philly.com: Kerry 87%, Bush 10%
MSNBC: Kerry 70%, Bush 30%
Houston Chronicle: Kerry 87%, Bush 11%
Wall Street Journal: Kerry 60%, Bush 33%
Florida Sun-Sentinel: Kerry 71%, Bush 16%
LA Times: Kerry: 89% Kerry, Bush 8%
CNN: Kerry 79%, Bush 18%
Atlanta Journal Constitution: Kerry 62%, Bush 30%
$1,000,000 raised online from debate start until midnight (9-12 PM)
20 fold increase in traffic to democrats.org


Two corrections from the September 29th blog/email. Sorry.
· To make phone calls for the Kerry campaign in swing states, go to www.johnkerry.com then to Become a Volunteer, then to Recruit Volunteers. You will given a short list of names (who are also volunteers) in battleground states to call with talking points. You can do this without leaving home. It helps mobilize volunteers who have already signed up.

· Correction on the Ohio site for the voter registration petition. Cut and paste it:
http://static.act04.org/act/paperstock.htm




Alison Teal
alisonteal@tealdesigns.com

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