While We Were Sleeping: Al Qaqaa Puts Bushies in Deep Shit

Dan watches the morning shows. We think we may have seen them this morning, too, or maybe it was just "anesthesia awareness". . .

CBS and CNN both do terrifying stories this morning about "anesthesia awareness," which is when you suddenly wake up in the middle of horrible painful surgery. One gets a similar feeling stumbling out of bed and immediately turning on the morning shows. News peg: Thousands of voter registrations already challenged in Ohio. Hot topic: Al-Qaqaa. Unsurprising revelation: Kerry should've picked Biden.

7:08 ABC. Good Morning America:

Head vs. Head: Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala.

Carlson: Al-Qaqaa does resonate, because for once Kerry can employ a "reality-based attack."

Begala: Bush's campaign "is kicking this story."

7:09 NBC. Today:

Head vs. Head: Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Senator Joe Biden (D-DE).

Chambliss: Blames the IAEA for not being in Al-Qaqaa.

Biden: Confusingly cites reports, but makes point that IAEA was there and tagged explosives. Tells a story about seeing a guy show up at a weapons buyback site with a pickup truck full of rocket launchers.

Chambliss: He appreciates Biden trying to cover up the politicization of this issue.

Biden: Gets to sound noble! This is bigger than Kerry and Bush.

Chambliss: No one knows when it went missing! Boy, Biden is hammering the shit out of him.

7:16 CNN. American Morning:

Senators Chambliss and Biden reappear seconds later on CNN, but here each is given a solo interview.

Chambliss: Calls Al-Qaqaa "a non-story, a non-issue." Soledad O'Brien asks if he isn't concerned that no one knows where any of the Al-Qaqaa explosives are. "I'll tell you what concerns me," Chambliss replies: John Kerry's politicking. Really? You're more worried about John Kerry than 380 tons of missing explosives? Dogs on the Times and 60 Minutes for their timing.

Biden: A fantastic attack dog. Does a better job citing those piles of reports than he did on "Today." The commander of the 101st Airborne squad "never went in, didn't break the seal," because his orders were to proceed to Baghdad. "I don't care whose fault it is," he says, but adds, hilariously, "it's obviously the President's fault." Tells the exact same pickup truck story he told NBC. Rips Soledad a new one for suggesting the IAEA should have destroyed the explosives themselves.

7:26 FNC. Fox & Friends:

Jonathan Turley, GWU: 20,000 lawyers, the equivalent of two army divisions, are descending on swing states. "This is E-Day." Predicts a "twenty-car pile-up," "worse than 2000," "four or five Floridas."

7:41 MSNBC. Imus in the Morning:

Tim Russert, NBC: The munitions disappeared between March 9 and May 27; troops arrived at Al-Qaqaa April 10. But it's almost irrelevant who's at fault, Russert adds shrewdly, because the Kerry campaign has successfully turned this into a metaphor for the way the Bush administration carried out the war.

7:45 NBC. Today:

Matt Lauer runs a focus group on Bush/Kerry ads. The group dislikes every ad. People just fucking hate politics.

7:54 FNC. Fox & Friends.

Actor Ron Silver: He has nothing to say, other than that his political stance has not hurt his career.

8:05 CNN. American Morning:

Head vs. Head: Clifford May, former RNC Comm. Director and Victor Kamber, Dem consultant.

May: Richard Holbrooke says no one knows where the explosives went. Plus, Hussein wasn't even supposed to have these weapons, which shows "the UN wasn't doing its job." But wasn't it the UN who found the explosives in the first place?

Kamber: Bush and Cheney knew about this months ago but tried to keep it secret.

May: We have no evidence the explosives were at Al-Qaqaa on April 10. Because we didn't look for any, he fails to add.

Asked how things would change if Kerry was elected, the previously sure-footed Kamber is stumblin' and bumblin'. This is because no one knows! God, what a cock-up Kerry's campaign has been. May takes the opportunity to point out that Kerry loves Camembert and Chablis.

8:16 FNC. Fox & Friends:

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX): Calls Kerry "desperate" and Al-Qaqaa allegations "uncredible." The troops were not looking for conventional weapons in April 2003: "You have to remember what we were thinking about at the time?" Do you? Cuz I seem to recall we were thinking about... WMD. This situation is a no-win for Republicans, even though they're absolutely right that the facts are extremely sketchy on Al-Qaqaa.

8.23 FNC. Fox & Friends:

Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: This late in the game, candidates usually hit big cities, so it's revealing that Bush just finished a bus tour of Western Wisconsin. The state may well be decided in those small towns.

8:37 CNN. American Morning:

Head vs. Head: William Anthony, Franklin County, Ohio Democratic Chairman (and Chairman of Board of Elections) and Doug Preisse, Franklin County Republican Chairman. These two basically agree with each other about everything; they both think Franklin County's voting will go smoothly and everyone will be happy and puppies and leprechauns will fall from the sky. If not, Ohio, unlike Florida in 2000, has a statewide recount procedure.


Democrats take the day by storm. Russert's right; from a campaign standpoint, Bush looks like a jerk even though we'll probably never know who lost the weapons at Al-Qaqaa. Message of the day: Don't let Joe Biden get his teeth in your leg, because he'll never let go.


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