December 31, 2004

Year End Fun

Time for the Year in Review. I'm seeking a little reader feedback. The question is what is the catch phrase of 2004. Michelle Cottle starts us off with:

Top Five Most Ridiculous Additions to the American Lexicon This Year:

1. Wardrobe malfunction
2. Swift Boat Veterans For Truth
3. NASCAR dad
4. Security mom
5. George Tenet, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

I would add:

YYYARRRWWWGGGGLLLEEE (That sound poor Dean made)
Desperate Housewives

So when VH1 is doing "I love the 2000's" shows what will they remember and mock. How are we going to remember 2004. Click on the Comments link at the bottom of this post and put in your two cents. Bonus points if you can come up with a better name for this decade than the 2000's.

Iraq is Fine Part 89

They will not know who they are voting for:

Candidate name recognition doesn't appear very important, however. For security reasons, the actual names of most candidates on the 78 party or multiparty lists have so far not been released. This odd situation, in which the candidates are not known amonth before the election, attests to how dire the political and security situation in Iraq really is.

This comes from Juan Cole via Kos. Must read stuff for Iraq.

A vote were you don't know then names on the ballot is not "freedom on the march" It's freedom hiding in the dark under the covers. Remember that during the next Bush remarks after the next bad day for American troops.

God's eye view of the destruction





More satellite images of the tsunami's aftermath.

December 30, 2004

News from the Courts

Anna Nicole Smith has lost 88.5 million in ruling. Tough break.

Judge rules $5.6 million for 94 year old Grandmother to be paid over 20 years. Really tough break.

Detroit sets up "Blight Court" Now, I was kidding about the other two but this really is interesting:

Starting next week, Detroit has a new, more powerful weapon to force owners of decayed properties to clean them up and repair them: blight court.

Actually, it is not a court at all. Under the new legal process, building code violations will be heard not by judges, but by administrative hearing officers. And such violations will no longer be criminal offenses but civil infractions.

One World

Everyone talks about globalization. They protest it, hype it, debate it. The Tsunamis are showing us what globalization is. It means one world. Instant communication - cable TV, the web and so on means everyone knows about it, sees it, feels it, live and in color. It moves people to help. It lets people help with two clicks and a credit card. The institutions that the anti-global protest like the world bank are already putting money in to rebuild. Global tourism means every country in the world has lost people. Globalization means that the countries affected are not alone in this. The whole world is watching and the whole world will help. I don't mean to be pollyanna here, globalization hurts plenty of people, but it will also save a lot of people as well. There are no backwaters any more. Everyplace is as close as the TV or computer so everyplace is a neighbor. And we help our neighbors.

December 29, 2004


...Still a bloody mess. For more fun let's through in some good old fashion corrupt officials. Just your normal 3rd world crap. The difference is that this is our bloody mess and those are corrupt officials that we are fighting to keep in power.

December 28, 2004

Time to Face the Horror

The death toll from the Indian Ocean Earthquake just keeps going up. Latest figures put the total at over 58,000, which makes 9/11 look like children fighting in a sandbox. Tragedy like this is enough to start someone questioning God.

There seems to be a little spat going on about the level of generosity of the United States. Everyone has stats on their side. In terms of absolute numbers the US gives more than anybody, however if you calculate the amount per capita or per GDP then...not so generous. Let's put it this way, US initial pledge of aid 15 million. Cost of Bush inauguration 30-40 million. We are going to give more, but come on.

I really total have to back up Slate's Surfer Girl that CNN is the place to go to get real news on the quake. They have real reporter who live in the area and know what the hell they are talking about. They by far have the best real stuff to B.S. ratio of any cable network.

Trying to Find Good News Edition

Here's a fun headline:

Reelection Honeymoon With Voters Eludes Bush, Polls Say

The case can be made that Bush I was, in fact, worse than Bush II.

Psychics are having themselves a pretty bad year:

According to psychic forecasts made in December, 2003, the next year would bring the discovery of giant animal fossils on Mars, the election of Colin Powell, who would switch parties and trounce George Bush, and the development by Americans of a taste for pressed bricks of dried plankton. The Sun, the tabloid that most heralds the psychics, claimed that its predictions for 2004 were “from the world’s most brilliant psychics and seers.” Among them were twins Terry and Linda Jamison, who vowed that “Saddam Hussein will be killed by U.S. troops early in the year,” and that “Pope John Paul II will pass away in June.”

Finally the amount of spam is down, but you can't tell from my inbox.

December 27, 2004

Jesus Wept

To The People Of Islam:
Just think: If we'd invaded your countries, killed your leaders and converted you to Christianity YOU'D ALL BE OPENING CHRISTMAS PRESENTS RIGHT ABOUT NOW!
Merry Christmas
Currently at the top of Ann Coulter's Web Page.
She couldn't possibly mean this, could she? She's just trying to piss me off, right?


Some things are just beyond our capasity to understand. The world is ending for millions of people across Asia. Please help if you can.

Red Cross

December 26, 2004

Exit Polls in Ukraine

No elections left in this country so we bring you some elections in other countries. It appears that opposition canidate Viktor Yushchenko is beating Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. The last time the two Viktors went at it the election was invalidated by the Country's Supreme Court due to massive voter fraud that brought thousands of Orange-clad protesters to the streets. The whole thing got a James Bond spin when it was reveled that Yushchenko was poisoned. Yushchenko is a reformer who will move Ukraine out from under Putin-dominated Russia. Putin is shaping up to be a first-class anti-democratic jerk so if these results hold up we can mark up a win for the forces of light.

December 23, 2004

Fun With Video Editing

Hot links, get your hot links here.

Holy Cow

It looks like the Democrats might win a recount!

Quote of the Day

"America failed its exam as a superpower, They are a military and economic superpower but not morally or politically anymore. This is a tragedy for us."

Lech Walesa, the former Solidarity trade-union leader who became Poland's first post-Communist president.

December 22, 2004


Does anybody want to buy Craigorian Chant? It's much cheaper than I'm sure Slate went for. I'll even throw in two John Kerry for President bumper stickers. What do you say? Make Craigorian Chant a part of your media empire today.

Other subjects -

DailyKos on Bush's War.

Matthew Yglesias mixes sarcasm and X-Mas well.

All you need to know:

President Bush will spearhead an election-style public relations campaign early next year to try to convince Americans that Social Security is in urgent need of change but will keep dollar and cent details deliberately vague, analysts and officials say.

December 21, 2004

Oh, Now You Get it Edition

It seems the American People are starting to turn on this whole Iraq war thing. 56% of Americans now think that the Iraq war was a mistake. A little late don't you think? But don't worry I'm sure a few more scenes of absolute horror like today are sure to turn people around. What will Bush do? Bush won the election so John Kerry doesn't have to try and clean up this mess. What will Bush do? I would put money on a U.S. troop withdrawl within over/under of six months. All the conservatives will declare victory, Iraq goes into civil war and Fox News goes to wall to wall coverage of the Robert Blake murder trial. Nothing to see here folks.

December 19, 2004

Sunday Odds and Ends

Don Rumsfeld - Ass.

Doonesbury is just great today.

Remember, the criteria is the people who most effected the world, for good or ill.

Arnold calls for the GOP to move left. Let's see how that goes.

While I did realy like the new Ocean's 12 movie, it lacked something that the first movie had and I can't come up with the right word. Any ideas?

December 17, 2004

Quote of the Day

"People have the misconception that everyone goes to war and gets killed."

Army Recruiting officer in Brooklyn, Via DailyKos

More On San Diego

I loved Jess's comment on the San Diego Mayor Race so much that I'm putting it up:

The SD mayor race is an interesting one. Here's the deal, as currently stands, Donna Frye (bad ass surfer/tree hugger/independent) lost to Dick Murphey (boring old white republican whose run the city into massive debt) by very little. Recently some news organizations filed to see all of the ballots that wrote in her name, but didn't fill in the bubble (i.e., all the people that are a really dumb). If you count those ballots, she wins.
Now, at first I'm thinking, that'll never fly. You have to draw the line somewhere, she's got a snowball's chance in hell on this one. Then, this morning on my way in to work, I heard something very interesting. As the ballots are coming in on election day, if election officials see ballots where the bubble is just checked or x'd, they fill it in for them, actually modify the ballot. Also, if there are extra pen marks around the ballot, they white those out so the machine won't get confused. In other words, only slightly less stupid people are helped along in having their vote counted.
So, where's the line? How dumb and incapable of following directions do you have to be for your vote to not count?
More to come, I'm sure.

December 16, 2004


It's a month and a half after election day and we still do not know who is Govenor of Washington State, the Mayor of San Diego or the Montana State House. Check out MyDD for a news round-up.


One interesting question as we debate the future of the world is the following -

Was the Iraq war doomed from the beginning?

By that I mean were the well-documented screw-ups of this administration responsible for the mess we are in now or was there no way to get Iraq right? Would we still have the bloody mess if Bushco made all the right moves? Peter Beinart is making the case that is was possible to get Iraq right:

But it wasn't inevitable that toppling Saddam would create widespread Iraqi anti-Americanism and a raging Sunni insurgency. Polls suggested that, in the immediate aftermath of Saddam's overthrow, Iraqis were far more grateful for the war--and far less hostile to the U.S. occupation--than they later became. The rapid souring was caused, above all, by Rumsfeld's refusal to provide enough troops to ensure security--a failure illustrated most dramatically in the spasm of looting that followed the U.S. victory. As the Rand Corporation's James T. Quinlivan has noted, at the beginning of the fairly successful Bosnia and Kosovo nation-building efforts, nato boasted more than 22 troops for every 1,000 local civilians. In Iraq, when Saddam fell, there were six.

Beinart wants to salvage the idea of the Liberal Hawk from the wreck of Iraq, which is an enterprise that I can totally get behind. But the troop ratio that he is talking about would mean over 480,000 troops in Iraq. We don't have the troops to do that. So, what would it have taken to get Iraq right and could we have done it with a non-feckless Defense Secretary?

December 15, 2004


"There's a trade deficit. That's easy to resolve: People can buy more United States products if they're worried about the trade deficit."

George W. Bush

December 14, 2004

Death Penalty

Not that we have been following the Peterson case here at Craigorian Chant, but a little fact keeps getting mentioned is the massive backlog that California has on it's death row. I'm having trouble finding an article but there are over 600 people on death row in this State and only 10 people have been executed sence the death penaty was brought back in 1978. Scott Peterson has a much better chance of dying of natural or "other" causes (murder/suicide) than being executed.

I would like to go on the record as saying this is exactly how I like the death penalty to be administered: slowly. I support the death penalty because I believe that there are crimes that deserve it. I also believe that it should be slow, difficult, labor intensive and an all around pain in the ass to carry out. Death may be appropriate, but it should never be easy for the state to take a life. Taking a life is a terrible and final act and should be damn hard to carry out. Twenty years of appeals and millions of dollars in lawyer's fees hard. If we wish to give closure (revenge) to the families of the victims that fine, but you should have to work hard for that revenge.

December 13, 2004

U2 and Bush

I love it when it all comes together. Bush is stealing moves from U2.

By the way, shouldn't you be dead or at least retired before you go to the Hall of Fame.

Next Stop, Your Town

So the next round will be fought in the local. Did you really think this was the last election and last fight? Politics is an every day thing here in America and it not just about who is President or big Federal Programs like Social Security. It's about Mayors and County Supervisors and School Boards. It's where the next fight is happening. It's up to you to prevent really dumb things from ending up in school textbooks. Helps keep this blog in business.

December 12, 2004

Too many jokes...

U.S. Warns of Terrorist Lasers

Would that be the same "Lasers" that Dr. Evil uses?

E-Mail Joke of the Day

The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new
virulent strain of sexually transmitted disease. This disease is
contracted through dangerous and high risk behavior. The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim (pronounced "gonna re-elect him").

Many victims have contracted it after having been screwed for the
past four years, in spite of having taken measures to protect
themselves from this especially troublesome disease.

Cognitive sequellae of individuals infected with Gonorrhea Lectim
include, but are not limited to: Antisocial Personality Disorder
traits; delusions of grandeur with a distinct messianic flavor; chronic mangling of the English language; extreme cognitive dissonance; inability to incorporate new information; pronounced xenophobia; inability to accept responsibility for actions; exceptional cowardice masked by acts of misplaced bravado; uncontrolled facial smirking; ignorance of geography and history; tendencies toward creating evangelical theocracies and a strong propensity for categorical, all-or-nothing behavior.

The disease is sweeping Washington. Naturalists and
epidemiologists are amazed and baffled that this malignant disease originated only a few years ago in a Texas Bush.

Thanks Rob. Rob, by the way is a great humanitarian and all around nice guy and could really use a job so. Save a starving Grad Student today.

December 10, 2004

Massive Tech Problems

Blogger Eating posts left and right. Nothing working. Not sure if this will get through but I'm posting it anyway. People are sending me good jokes and I really do wish to share them, but Blogger keeps eating them.

December 8, 2004

Why, Vets, Why?

According to these CNN election exit polls, people who serve in the military voted 57% - 41% for Bush. Bush, of course, appoints a SecDefense who pulls this:

"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?" Wilson asked, setting off what the Associated Press described as "a big cheer" from his comrades in arms.

Rumsfeld paused, asked Wilson to repeat the question, then finally replied, "You go to war with the army you have." Besides, he added, "You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can be blown up."

Why are Dems considered soft on defense? In the last 20 years republican presidents killed a lot more American soldiers than democrats did. Could you imagine a Clinton SecDefense saying something like this? Les Aspine, Clinton's first SecDefense, resigned over the fight that went bad in Somalia which cost 19 American lives. Well, it's 1,276 lives and counting and ... nothing. Why do vets support these guys?

December 7, 2004

What I'm Talking About

Rob Corddry: “The facts are biased… the facts in Iraq have an anti-Bush agenda.”

Via Altercation

Those facts will never see the light of day on Clear Channel Radio running Fox News content.

Forces of Darkness Gather

Fox News and Clear Channel are getting together. Clear Channel is the radio giant also responsible for the signs that Chris posted. Fox News is well...Fox News. This deal means that there won't be annoying ABCnews radio updates at the top of the hour to snap you out of your Rush/Hanity dreamworld. Millions of people voted for
Bush because they simply didn't know any better. This deal shuts off one more possiblity that the right fact might find the right brain.
I feel that the current resources of Craigorian Chant are not up to properly take on the combined resources of the forces of evil. I need an merger. I'm hoping for her.

Hubba, Hubba, Hubba.

December 6, 2004

Monday, Monday

How was your weekend? I bet it doesn't look so bad compared to some.
Hey the folks in charge deserve a medal, don't they?

Real reason Hillary is hated. Really.

Beware Bernard Kerik for TPM is on your trail.

December 5, 2004

Bush Economics

I bitch about the budget deficit a lot on these pages, but I figure it's time to go a little deeper into what sucks about Bush economic policy. The starting point is this brilliant article from last year in the Washington Monthly:

As president, Bush chose a group of senior advisors whose economic backgrounds have a century-old flavor. His vice president is an oil man. His treasury secretary, John Snow, is a railroad man. The White House's economic and fiscal policies have been similarly designed to provide life support for these aging red-state industries: $190 billion in subsidies for farmers; tariffs for steel; subsidies, tax breaks, and regulatory relief for logging, mining, coal, and natural gas. Even Bush's tax policy shows the same old-economy preference. His dividend tax cut was supported by mainstream, blue-chip companies, which stood to gain, but opposed by high-tech executives, whose company stocks seldom pay dividends.

You really must read the whole thing but the bottom line is that Bush, by not funding education, hampering science, and favoring old extraction industries is killing our chances to have the Next Great Innovation. I'm not sure what it will be (my money's on biotech or blogging) but it will make somebody rich. That somebody won't be the US if this keeps up. Bush policy helps the economy of the Red States, economies based on extraction resources and keeping wages low. But this is a sucker's game because we will run out of resources and there is always somebody willing to work for cheaper in the world. You can't get ahead by propping up old, weak industries. America needs to get ahead by being creative, by innovating, by being smarter than the other guys. Republicans are not helping:

Of all the irresponsible aspects of the 2005 budget bill that the Republican-led Congress just passed, nothing could be more irresponsible than the fact that funding for the National Science Foundation was cut by nearly 2 percent, or $105 million.

Think about this. We are facing a mounting crisis in science and engineering education. The generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians who were spurred to get advanced degrees by the 1957 Soviet launch of Sputnik and the challenge by President John Kennedy to put a man on the moon is slowly retiring.

But because of the steady erosion of science, math and engineering education in U.S. high schools, our cold war generation of American scientists is not being fully replenished. We traditionally filled the gap with Indian, Chinese and other immigrant brainpower. But post-9/11, many of these foreign engineers are not coming here anymore, and, because the world is now flat and wired, many others can stay home and innovate without having to emigrate.

That's Friedman. Foreign policy is part of this. Everything is part of this. The EU is bigger than we are economically. They are not perfect, but if we leave innovation behind and go with the Wal-Mart economy they are going to eat our lunch.

It's not really about tax and spend anymore. It's what kind of economy do you want? $6.50 an hour or $65,000 a year. Bush policies make the first, not the second.

December 3, 2004

They are Keeping RUMSFELD

There are 15 cabinet members. Nine are gone. Don Rumsfeld is going to stay. I cannot begin to express how profoundly this sucks. This sucks profoundly. I mean, does it even matter what actually has gone on for the last few years? Was I the only one paying attention?

Soviet era government propaganda, or ...

A political public service message brought to you by Clear Channel's outdoor advertising wing.

December 2, 2004

Republicans Lie to Get Sex

I'm sorry that headline is wrong. It should read Republicans Lie to Prevent Sex. Please read about the mind-blowing lies that your government is spending your tax dollars to spread:

Many American youngsters participating in federally funded abstinence-only programs have been taught over the past three years that abortion can lead to sterility and suicide, that half the gay male teenagers in the United States have tested positive for the AIDS virus, and that touching a person's genitals "can result in pregnancy," a congressional staff analysis has found.
President Bush has enthusiastically backed the movement, proposing to spend $270 million on abstinence projects in 2005. Congress reduced that to about $168 million, bringing total abstinence funding to nearly $900 million over five years. It does not appear that the abstinence-only curricula are being taught in the Washington area.

Craigorian Chant reader contest: Free John Kerry bumper sticker (collector's item!) to anyone who comes up with a Bush domestic program that isn't based on lies.

December 1, 2004


Remember that there are those for whom blogging isn't just a way to waste time at work. They are light in the darkness and we must honor them.

Market Wisdom

Republicans are constantly telling us that the market, in it's everlasting wisdom, should be left to decide everything. Well what does it say that this administration is assumed to lying by the "Market."

The dollar sank to a record low against the euro and fell to its lowest level since March 2000 versus the yen on Thursday
The market also took little notice of comments from a senior U.S. Treasury official that Washington was commited in cutting its budget deficit to help the dollar.

Asked, after a meeting with officials at Bank Indonesia, about U.S. policy regarding the weakening dollar, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Randal Quarles told reporters: "I explained the commitment to reduce the fiscal deficit as well as to increase U.S. domestic savings."

The dollar is going down, in part, because of the massive budget deficits we are running up. The dollar would go up if the "Market" thought the administration was telling the truth. All hail the wisdom of the Market.

U2 Beat Eminem

I would just like to take this oppertunity to mock Craigorian Chant SoCal Reporter Tyler with the news that U2's new album has knocked Eminem out of the top spot of the album charts. Ha Ha.

November 30, 2004


I start a blog

The word blog becomes number one word of the year.


I think not.

Piper Calling

As TNR's Noam Scheiber says:

The tiny ounce of consolation I took from Bush's re-election is that he'll now have to deal with all the time bombs he created during his first term.

Bomb one is the economy: No reputable economist is willing sign up with these guys.

Bomb two is, of course, Iraq.

Bomb three is foreign relations in general. Bush has to mend fences in Canada. Canada. How the hell does he deal with Iran? He can't even keep good relations with Canada.

In a final and unrelated note check out this trip to a Billy Graham Crusade:

Determined to understand this cult of heterosexual rage a little better, I approached a vaguely pretty but plain-looking 20-something girl holding a "Fag Sin" sign. Since she didn't respond to my questions about her fixation with gays, I tried to get her attention by asking her out for a nightcap.

Visibly startled at my proposal, the girl fought back a smile before falling back into line. "I do not drink alcohol and why would I want to go out with some pervert anyway?" she said with disgust. A few feet behind the girl, a lunky, middle-aged guy started stomping on an American flag while screaming to no one in particular, "See this flag? It's a fag flag. It's a faggot flag!"

Trying to ignore the flag-stomper, I assured the girl, "We don't have to drink alcohol. I'll get you a Shirley Temple if you want."

"But that would lead to fornication!" she snapped, seemingly shocked at my ignorance of the aphrodisiac powers of a Shirley Temple.

I cut our Colonial-era courtship ritual short and strode into the Rose Bowl, excited as a Jew at a Christian mega-revival could be.

November 29, 2004

Quote of the Day

"Treasury Secretary John W. Snow can stay as long as he wants, provided it is not very long."

Senior Administration Official in today's Washington Post

November 27, 2004

The Right Wants Out

This is an old link but I've haven't been on top of stuff recently. It seems that the brilliant minds that brought you Iraq now want to get the hell out:

Growing number of national security specialists who supported the toppling of Saddam Hussein are moving to a position unthinkable even a few months ago: that the large US military presence is impeding stability as much as contributing to it and that the United States should begin major reductions in troops beginning early next year.

So when liberals want to get the hell out they are wimps who want Saddam to be back in charge, but what is it when conservatives do it? A really tough cut and run? The worlds most macho bug-out? Bush is going to hold elections in Iraq on Jan 30, call them a monumental success, freedom is on the march, and then pull the troops out. Just watch:

Said Ken Adelman, a member of the Defense Policy Board who predicted the Iraq war would be a "cakewalk": "If there is a [stable] Iraqi government after January you can withdraw. I would be OK with that."

What comes after that?

If U.S. troops leave Iraq too soon, the country will simply fall apart. The Kurdish areas in the north may muddle along, unless Turkey intervenes to protect the Turkman minority or to block the emergence of a Kurdish state. The Shiite areas in the south might establish an Iranian-backed theocratic statelet that would establish order. But the middle of the country would erupt in bloody civil war and turn into something like Somalia.

What would that mean? If Iraq were to sink to Somalia-level child mortality rates, one result by my calculation would be 203,000 children dying each year. If Iraq were to have maternal mortality rates as bad as Somalia's, that would be 9,900 Iraqi women dying each year in childbirth.

November 26, 2004

Black Friday

When did they start calling it black friday? I just hate to be out of the loop on stuff like that

November 25, 2004


Things I'm thankful for:

I'm not a Grandfather and about to be sent to Iraq.

We have at least a 10% chance of avoiding an economic Armageddon.

This post from Digby. Great Stuff:

Politicians and preachers lie. Neilson ratings and product sales don't.

Moving Ideas put all the post-election analysis in one place. I'm such a geek.

And finally, I'm not trying to do a political blog from the Ukraine. If I had a stake in this election, I would be too worried to eat the massive amount of food that I'm about to eat.

November 23, 2004

Turkey Travel

Travel Day for me, no time to blog. Just got to DailyKos and read some good stuff on the election and Iraq.

November 22, 2004

Monday Blah

My car is in the shop, I've got too much work to enjoy Thanksgiving break and I've got to get through this day with three hours of sleep. I don't think that I should be the only one in a crappy mood. There I give you This Modern World to make you feel bad and Iraq'D to make you feel worse. How about Iraq casualties? Why don't we just get out? Fast-forwarding through commercials being made illegal?

Do you feel bad now. Good. Because I feel better.

November 21, 2004

Bipartisan Outrage

Here is something to piss everybody off regardless of political affiliation. Via the stellar Talking Points it appears that an attempt was made to insert a special provision into the big end of the year tax bill which allows the Chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees or their staff to review any American's tax return with no restrictions whatsoever. That means these members of Congress can read anybody's tax returns any time they want to. Some Dems caught the measure and it was quickly dropped. This kind of crap goes on all the time. Congress has to pass a budget, so people try and put all kinds of crap in at the last minute. The villain in this case is one Rep. Ernest Istook of Oklahoma. The good news is that he was foiled. But Talking Points will make some people squirm before this is dropped.

November 20, 2004

Never too Soon...

...To start thinking about 2008. TNR has a round-up of little known potential candidates. Ed Rendell...Maybe. Phil Angelides...No.

What the hell am I doing!

U2. Must leave politics alone. Think about new album title. What does it mean?

Speaking of atomic bombs, what the hell is a "purely defensive" nuclear missile system?

November 19, 2004


Archie Gates: What's the most important thing in life?
Troy Barlow: Respect.
Archie Gates: Too dependent on other people.
Conrad Vig: What, love?
Archie Gates: A little Disneyland, isn't it?
Chief Elgin: God's will.
Archie Gates: Close.
Troy Barlow: What is it then?
Archie Gates: Necessity.
Troy Barlow: As in?
Archie Gates: As in people do what is most necessary to them at any given moment.

David O. Russell's Three Kings

When you look at a President's agenda it's important to remember necessity. The Clinton Presidential Library opening and the discussion of his Presidency has got me thinking about how Bush part 2 is going to play out. I believe you can divide any Presidency into two parts, both driven by necessity. The first term is all about getting a second term, cause if the number one priority of a President isn't reelection, then it doesn't matter what priority number two is. Once you get that second term, necessity changes. Now it's all about legacy, history, lasting changes to the country and seeing if they have any room on Mt. Rushmore. This is what Bush and his people are thinking about now. It's the new Necessity.

My own take is that things do not look good for the W page in the history books. The lead entry will have to be Iraq and the second paragraph, the part where it ends, doesn't seem likely. Casualties have spiked massively, but even worse, there doesn't seem to be any way for us to leave:

There's nothing on the drawing boards, in fact, to suggest Iraq can defend its freedom if our servicemen and women come home. Not now, not next year, and possibly not for generations to come. Ever since the old Iraqi Army was dissolved by the Americans last year, the country has been dependent on the United States for its national defense.
So it's no wonder that many Iraqis including the majority of the insurgents, who still see themselves as fighting foreign invaders simply don't believe the American administration's spin about pulling out of Iraq sometime soon. Iraq's neighbors don't believe that either. And neither should anyone else.

That's Christopher Dickey in Newsweek. Six years of bloody insurgency will eat up a lot of space in the Bush II Presidential Library. On the domestic side they seem to be contemplating some monumentally bad tax policies, but the budget deficient will hamper any attempt to mess with taxes or Social Security. For legacy it's all about Iraq from here to 2008. Iraq is necessity.

November 18, 2004


Rather than dwell on the bad stuff, let's focus on the positive. New U2 album is coming. Rolling Stone is saying good things:

This is grandiose music from grandiose men, sweatlessly confident in the execution of their duties. Hardly any of the eleven songs break the five-minute mark or stray from the punchy formula of All That You Can't Leave Behind. They've gotten over their midcareer anxiety about whether they're cool enough. Now, they just hand it to the Edge and let it rip.

Any other ideas on thing to keep your mind off of current events?

November 17, 2004


As we learn who Bush is going to have in his cabinet for the (sigh) next four years, keep in mind that the #1 canidates were the people who brought you the last four years. The people who are coming next are the second string people who didn't make the cut last time. Really makes you feel good, don't it?

Today's must-read comes via the Notorious N.A.T.E.:

But it's time blue America realized it controls more than just the nation's output of immoral culture, abortions on demand, and gay weddings. It also controls the purse strings. And that suggests a strategy.

For blue staters, it's one thing to watch red states pick the President and set national policy on everything from Iraq to judges. But to pay them lavishly for the pleasure suggests that blues aren't just losers, they're stupid losers. You can feel blue anger rising. You reds don't like taxes? Okay, stop taking mine! You can have your states' rights too and we'll start by cutting your allowance!

Go on, say we are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!

November 16, 2004

Page in the History Book

"My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we are giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. I will cite some examples, and these are from human sources."

Secretary of State Colin Powell before the U.N. Security Council outlining the rationale for the Iraq war.

Shorter Slate

Powell is bad. Rice is terrible. Any questions?

Pretty Pictures to take your mind off politics.

November 15, 2004

Powell Out

Colin and some other people who don't matter have resigned. I really mean it when I say that the others don't matter. The Education secretary doesn't create the administration's education policy, that comes from the White House staff. But SecState does matter. The smart betting seems to be on Condi Rice. I'm not quiet sure how she would do as SecState. Iran is a problem, North Korea is a big problem, and you may have heard of a country called Iraq. Not to mention Weneverheardofitbutitsadamnbigproblemstan. I don't know how poor Condi will deal, but past history doesn't make me optimistic.

November 14, 2004

Soldiers Pay

Sixty-one US soldiers have died since election day. If that seems like a lot, it is. It's the worst daily rate of casualties since the uprising last April. The much covered attack on Falluja was delayed until after election day so these casualties, which everyone knew were coming, wouldn't hurt Bush at the polls. What really drives liberals nuts is that Bush is getting away with it. He never pays. Soldiers Pay.

Oh, and while we are still talking Red States and Blues States, here is a stat for your consideration:

45.3% of the Iraq War dead are from Kerry States
53.0% are from Bush States

20 soldiers (1.7%) are from Puerto Rico or other US territories and died for a nation where they can't vote for President.

November 13, 2004

Entourage Needed

Craigorian Chant is in need of an entourage. Please read this helpful guide provided by Slate and then apply for the position as

Seriously though, Craigorian Chant is in the market for contributors and analysis. The end of the election season makes quick and easy posts harder to come up with. As I do need to make it out of this town with a MA under one arm and still maintain the high quality posts you my loyal reader have come to expect. Please send in any tips, good news stories, interesting web sites, either my e-mail or in the comments section. Original work, either reporter or analysis will be rewarded with the highest honor the Chant can now grant: A Title. Join such notables as Senior Mid-West correspondent Tyler (Recently transferred to the Craigorian Chant So Cal section), Chief of the UK Bureau Chris, Senior Copy Editor Laura and Basic Cable Analyst Jess. You too can join these honored ranks. Contribute today. For a Better America. And a Better Blog.

November 12, 2004

Foreign Policy is a Popularity Contest

Pandagon has a good post up today about the real problem that Bush has:

The underlying issue, which is going to keep foiling our every foreign policy whim, is that foreign populations have begun to hate us. A lot. That means foreign governments can curry favor with their citizenry by standing up to us, by opposing us, by obstructing us and by fighting our priorities. Their incentives lead them to block our projects and ignore our criticisms, not the other way around. And if that remains the case, we're in real trouble.

America is going to have a hell of a time making anybody listen to us because there's a tremendous incentive for foreign leaders to cross us. After all, Democracy has already marched into many of these capitals, and these Presidents and Prime Ministers want the approval ratings. Proving that they won't back down to the hated Americans is one easy way to get them.

American foreign policy for the last 200 years has been to promote democracy in other nations. While we haven't been perfect, there are now a hell of a lot of democracies out there. In fact, the vast majority of the world's cultural, economic, and military resources are in the hands of democratically elected governments. That's why Bush being hated abroad is such a problem. Cooperating with Bush really hurts foreign leaders at home. Being against US foreign policy is a winning election issue almost everywhere these days. And elections are happening everywhere. That has real consequences that will cost the US soldiers, money and diplomatic capital. It makes every US foreign policy goal harder to reach and these goals are damn important.

November 11, 2004

What I Meant to Say Was

In no way does "less nutty than John Ashcroft" make you a good pick. For a short background on why Alberto Gonzales is not the man you want safeguarding the civil liberties of the nation go here. For the long version go here. If the Senate Dems can get their act together after the late unfortunate events, they can really nail Gonzales on this stuff.

Today's must read is the Frank Rich in the NYTimes. The word of the day is values and Rich points out the obvious - Blue State values rule the culture, whatever the vote is:

The blue ascendancy is nearly as strong among Republicans as it is among Democrats. Those whose "moral values" are invested in cultural heroes like the accused loofah fetishist Bill O'Reilly and the self-gratifying drug consumer Rush Limbaugh are surely joking when they turn apoplectic over MTV. William Bennett's name is now as synonymous with Las Vegas as silicone. The Democrats' Ashton Kutcher is trumped by the Republicans' Britney Spears. Excess and vulgarity, as always, enjoy a vast, bipartisan constituency, and in a democracy no political party will ever stamp them out.


Values," Mr. Frank writes, "always take a backseat to the needs of money once the elections are won." Under this perennial "trick," as he calls it, Republican politicians promise to stop abortion and force the culture industry "to clean up its act" - until the votes are counted. Then they return to their higher priorities, like cutting capital gains and estate taxes. Mr. Murdoch and his fellow cultural barons - from Sumner Redstone, the Bush-endorsing C.E.O. of Viacom, to Richard Parsons, the Republican C.E.O. of Time Warner, to Jeffrey Immelt, the Bush-contributing C.E.O. of G.E. (NBC Universal) - are about to be rewarded not just with more tax breaks but also with deregulatory goodies increasing their power to market salacious entertainment. It's they, not Susan Sarandon and Bruce Springsteen, who actually set the cultural agenda Gary Bauer and company say they despise.

Blue values are winning. The election did not stop that.

November 10, 2004

Moving On

Ok, let all just put down our tin foil hats and our guns and move on to other topics. We have a new Attorney General, just in the manner that I was hoping for. The new guy is nothing to write home about, but I think we can safely call him “Less nutty than John Ashcroft.”

The much heralded assault on Fallujah is going down. There will be many headlines and plenty of fireballs but:

Guerilla force flees rather than stand and be slaughtered by better-armed foe. Who could have predicted that except every goddamn person on the face of the earth.

But I’m sure this will result in a much better political situation.

Politically, the insurgents have significantly advanced what could be called the Sunni persecution strategy: That is, to gather recruits, material, and political support for the insurgency by aggravating the sense among Sunnis that they have no future in the U.S.-sponsored political process. The only Sunni political party in the Allawi government has quit in protest and the largest Sunni religious organization has formally called for their adherents to boycott the January elections. One member of the Iraqi Islamic Party who refused to resign his position--and who has since been renounced by the party--explained his decision: "It will be a big mistake not to have the Sunnis' participation in the election. We would have problems for decades to come."

Did he just say decades? He did.

An End To E-Voting Conspiracy Theories

I would like to address Tyler's point. The exit poll graphs that I posted are not evidence that the election was hacked. I do not really believe that the election was stolen through voter fraud. It most likely was not. I would just like to remind people of the problems with current state of electronic voting, which are the fact that it is paperless and the appearance of impropriety.

The fact that most electronic machines are paperless means that they cannot be audited and recounts cannot be undertaken. This is a problem because:

  • The software that underlies them is a "trade secret" which cannot be inspected for flaws in an open fashion (for instance by academic computer scientists).
  • There are flaws in the software (for instance, in Florida the machines counted votes to 32,000 and then started counting backwards on a few ballot initiatives).
  • There are flaws in the engineering of the machines that make them susceptible to hacking (in particular they run an insecure setup with Microsoft Access that has been demonstrated as hackable and alterable to hide modifications).
  • Inaccurate vote totals lead to suspicion (on a number of occasions the vote totals have exceeded the total number of registered voters in an area, while this may be a glitch with voter logs or the computer assigning voters to the wrong county, it does lead to suspicion).

The appearance of impropriety among the companies that manufacture the voting machines undermines confidence in the results. Here is a short list:

  • Senator Chuck Hagel won a landslide victory in Nebraska. His campaign treasurer had been president of ES&S, the voting equipment manufacturer for Nebraska, and Hagel had an investment of $1-$5 million in his company, which owned 25% of ES&S.
  • Diebold's CEO said that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President".
  • Leaked Diebold memos exposed flaws in the software and bad engineering (see exerts here)
  • Diebold claimed that it cannot manufacture voting machine that produced a paper receipt because of the danger of paper jams causing problems (Diebold manufactures most ATM machine in the USA). California is suing Diebold for false claims about its machines.

None of these points are evidence of anything. But they definitely don't inspire confidence that the results will be accurate, which is probably the most important factor in a democracy.

Here is the reasonable response from David Dill, a professor of computer science at Stanford:

Computerized voting equipment is inherently subject to programming error, equipment malfunction, and malicious tampering. It is therefore crucial that voting equipment provide a voter-verifiable audit trail, by which we mean a permanent record of each vote that can be checked for accuracy by the voter before the vote is submitted, and is difficult or impossible to alter after it has been checked. Many of the electronic voting machines being purchased do not satisfy this requirement. Voting machines should not be purchased or used unless they provide a voter-verifiable audit trail; when such machines are already in use, they should be replaced or modified to provide a voter-verifiable audit trail. Providing a voter-verifiable audit trail should be one of the essential requirements for certification of new voting systems.

There would be not conspiracy theories if we simply provided every voter with a paper receipt which they would verify and drop into a voting box, and which could be recounted in case of a dispute.

November 9, 2004


Wow! A Left wing guy like Thom Hartmann said the election was hacked!?! I know he has nothing against, W., I mean he's only being doing liberal radio for 35 years. Come on the guy met the Dalai Lama! That right there has got to put him at least left of Green Peace.

Also, I highly doubt a publication (the blue lemur) which is supported by therawstory would in anyway try to be unbiased. They're a liberal answer to the Druge Report. Check it out. By the way, my dad is 17 years older than the combined age of the guys who run the site.

I typed Evidence Mounts That The Vote May Have Been Hacked into Google and all I saw was blogs and left wing websites. None of the big boys have said a thing and the election was a week ago. (Yeah ok, I'm setting myself up).

But know this is just fodder for consipracy theorists.......

Friends and Family in Tin Foil Hats

Story via Abel, offical brother-in-law of Craigorian Chant. Check out his new blog Able Abel. Chris is not the only one to start thinking we were not beat on the up and up. I'm not there yet but keep the tips coming. We could still break this sucker open.

November 8, 2004

Small Towns for Kerry?

If there is one thing I am certain of as far as voting patterns go, it's that people in the big cities vote Donkey and those in small towns vote for the other guys. So, now I see in a couple of places that Bush lost ground in rural areas and small towns while gaining support overall:

Finally, his support was up by 10 points in urban areas and down by 2 points in rural communities, including a surprising 9 point decrease from residents of small towns. This goes against a whole bunch of conventional wisdom (including mine) about the growing urban/rural divide in America. If anything, it seems to have narrowed in this election.


Gallup's post-election poll seems to do some major damage to the rapidly emerging conventional wisdom about the 2004 election. According to Gallup, George W. Bush improved his share among suburban voters (51 percent in 2000, 54 percent in 2004) and among urban voters (35 percent in 2000, 44 percent in 2004) while doing worse among rural voters (60 percent in 2000, down to 54 percent in 2004).

Why did this happen? Did Kerry killing that goose swing some small town folks? Any theories? I know for a fact that I have many readers in small town America. What do you think?

November 7, 2004


Alright, unless Chris can pull a Bob Woodward and actually come up with hard evidence about the massive electronic voting conspiracy, we are stuck with Bush for the next four years. What to expect? No more wars. What we have is bad enough. Bush simply does not have the troops to do anything else. The election had put a lid on news from Iraq, but with a major assault due to hit any day and elections due in January; Iraq is the issue the Bushies need to deal with. No security in Iraq means no free and fair elections. Every month we stay brings more dead US soldiers. But if we pull out the Allawi government falls in a week. If we don't form a democratic government, then not one stated goal of the invasion of Iraq will be met. The real worry is that, with the entire US military tied down, what happens when the next crisis with either with Iran, North Korea or some country we haven't heard of yet. At that point my mother can resume worrying about the draft.

Domestically, stuff to worry about includes the Supreme Court and the budget. The real worry is not over replacing Rehnquist, who has thyroid cancer. Bush replaces a conservative with a conservative; there will be a fight but not train wreck as the court stays 5-4. If O’Connor or one of the liberals needs to be replaced and Bush puts up a conservative, watch out. That puts Roe and a bunch of other stuff in real jeopardy so we are talking Armageddon in the Senate.

Finally, I see little being done about the massive budget deficit. Cutting taxes is often cited as one of Bush's big domestic achievements, but getting Congress to cut taxes is as easy as giving away shots of Higuera at midnight. What is hard is to switch from a budget that looks more and more like Argentina. Republicans are supposed to be grumpy old men who pinch pennies. Bush sure isn’t.

November 6, 2004

November 5, 2004

Was the election stolen?

The exit polls are suspicious in that they are accurate in paper ballot areas, but inaccurately skewed away from the eventual Bush result in electronic polling areas.

The British Reaction

Bonus link: Readers of the British newspapers The Guardian tried to persuade to Ohio voters, who were none to happy to hear from them.

Flee the country?

Now, before you seriously consider leaving for Canada consider this modest proposal: most of us could leave without moving ...

November 4, 2004

Trying to Find the Bright Side

1. Voter Turnout was way up, the highest since 1968.

2. Barack Obama.

3. Ken Salazar.

4. Democrats won control of the Oregon Senate, the Washington Senate, the Vermont House, the Colorado Senate, and the North Carolina House.

5. Invading France will go better than Iraq.

6. 51-48 is no mandate.

7. This keeps the Daily Show and Michael Moore in business.

8. Bush owns Iraq and will be President when it fall apart.

9. The second term is when the scandals hit.

10. More anti-Bush rants from Craigorian Chant.

November 3, 2004

So What Happened?

Been looking at the numbers and it looks like just a lot more conservatives showed up to vote. According to TNR:

Not only did Kerry win by an 86-13 margin among self-described liberals, he also won by a 55-45 margin among self-described moderates. So how'd Bush pull it off? He won 84-15 among self-described conservatives, and, more importantly, he made sure conservatives comprised a much bigger chunk of the electorate than they did in 2000. (Conservatives comprised about 34 percent of the electorate yesterday, versus 29 percent in 2000--a huge shift, raw numbers-wise.)

Kerry did just fine amoung everybody he should have to win, but I think the Karl Rove stratigery of getting conservatives fired up really did work. It fired up liberals too, it just fired up conservatives more. Turnout overall went up 20% across the board from 2000. Remember we are only talking about a few % points here. No need to move to Canada, even if the idea is tempting. I think that if Bush tries to push hard to the right (and I think he will) he is going to hit a wall.

Other notes - Man were the exit polls ever wronge. The going theory is that pissed off Democrates voted early and messed up the numbers.

Kerry Concedes

Everyone remember where you are and how you feel. Now think about how you would have felt had it gone the other way. Remember this feeling for next time. There will be a next time. The country has not gotten behind Bush. The fifty-fifty nation broke 51-49 yesterday, but the next flip of the coin could be different. Stay involved, keep reading the Chant and remember how you felt this day.

Some Observations............

Ten of my fellow classmates and I gathered at one of our apartments last night for an election party and boy were they all pissed around mid-night! We settled on Pete to bring home the results to us, but mainly because the TV we were watching from only had 5 channels and that one came in the best. I thought he did a good job though.

Well I must say I was surprised with the outcome of the Presidential race. Perhaps I shouldn't have relied so much on this, but I figured Bush's number was up anyway. Then I log onto CNN and see this. What!?! Kerry's conceeding? I thought Edwards was going to fly out to Ohio with 40 lawyers and make sure all the provisional votes were counted, thus dragging this thing out for another month. I guees he thought it would be best for the country to not do that. And may I say, good move.

The one thing that surprised me was how quickly Florida went to Bush. When I saw that I thought....oooo, looks like Bush could pull it out. Then the Ohio votes started comming with 91% of precincts reporting....95, 98 showing Bush's lead over Kerry by at least 127,00. Late last night with about 99% of Ohio precincts reporting, CNN had Bush ahead by more than 147,000 votes. Then when JE went on stage in Boston for that 45 second speech, I said yep its over. They essentially conceeded Ohio (Even though CNN and ABC just wouldn't give it to Bush, there were being so carefull, but can you blame them?).

According to the polls going into the last week, it appeared Kerry had made his case (although some think he did not). From what I read it was clear that Kerry won at least two out of the three debates (if not all three) with Bush. I did see their second one, and in my opinion, Kerry bettered W. in that one. I figured that America had seen that W. made some pretty bad mistakes in Iraq, had come up short in the debates, and had mis-manage the entire country as a whole. With all of this Kerry should have won by at least 50 electoral votes.

However, one of the Ohio newspapers that endorsed W. made a good point: Bush and Kerry are not the best choices for President, but let Bush finish the job he started. I guess America didn't want a transition in the middle of the war on terroism. It could have sent a bad message to certain countries that we couldn't finish the job and we did not think the eleminating these guys was important. Thats the primary reason I think Bush is still President. Look at how many mistakes he has made, how many dumb things he has said and how many people hate him (I don't need a link for that all know). Yet he still wins? Hmmmmm.

It is very surprising Kerry could not convince the country to elect him especially considering the above. Man, not only did he not win the electoral vote, but Bush won a majority this time!

Well like him or not Bush is our guy for the next four years.

Mmmmmmm tax cuts......


In a completely unrelated topic, if you want to know some things about transportation data, click here. I got a B+ on it.

November 2, 2004

Well Crap

Things are not looking good. Bush is up by 3 million popular votes nationwide. I think that Kerry will come up as more California votes come in. The EC does not look good. Fox and NBC have called Ohio for Bush which puts him at 269; one short of victory. CNN and the AP have not called Ohio. I think only Ohio can save Kerry at this point and I don't think Kerry can win Ohio tonight. We could be in recount land here. As final note, I really think that Wolf Blizer is a funny name for a grown man.

Craig's Voting Story

I braved long lines, GOP poll watchers, and a horde of lawyers to vote this morning. I bravely sorted through no less than 20 Statewide and local propositions. I am very worried I picked the wrong guy for Harbor Commissioner. I am worried that I don't know what the Harbor Commission does. I was lucky to have escaped with my life much less have voted at all. Actually in sleepy California the polling place was not crowded and there wasn't a lawyer to be seen. They had to check three different lists to find me but I got to vote just fine. I am totally serious about the massive number of ballot measures and the Harbor Commission.

The first votes are on the AP now. It's just Indiana and Kentucky so I would not worry.

Tiiiiime is on my side yes it is...Tiiiiime is on my side. The early exits have filled me with false hope.

I must now be very clear:

Get your ass to polls! Right Now! Move! If you live in Kentucky or Indiana it's already too late! Less than five hours left in California! Move!

By the way, if you haven't mailed your absentee ballot in you can still turn it in directly to your polling place. If you are out of town and didn't mail in your absentee ballot then good job, idiot! You may have just cost us the election.

Early Exits

Kevin has early exits and they look good!

Too excited to Sleep Edition

What a fun time to be alive. The direction of the country, the fate of the world, everything is at stake; and no one, and I mean no one, knows what's going to happen. I have a ton of work to do and nothing is getting done. I'm either going to be voting, getting others to to go vote, or just worrying about the race. I did link to some stuff to offer prospective but none of it took. I'm like a kid before x-mas with the added buzz of not knowing if I'm getting the red rider BB gun or the biggest lump of coal in the history of the Republic. The direction of the country is in the balance. Somebody out there is the little nudge that will change everything. Is it you?

I have now ranted enough to sleep.

November 1, 2004

Out of Time

Well it's the last day. These are desperate times. Things are getting nasty in Ohio. Are things getting weird where you are? Send in your stories. Personally, I don't think this election will be the razor sharp finish everyone seems to be expecting. This sucker is going to break for one guy or the other, and if it was going to break for Bush it would have happened by now. Forget CSI, Tuesday night will have the best TV drama of the year. My advice is to look at what States get quick calls after the polls close on the East Cost. If New Hampshire goes fast for Kerry, feel good, if it goes fast for Bush, feel bad. Also watch Pennsylvania and then Iowa and Wisconsin when polls close in central time. My guest is no network is going to call either Florida or Ohio till all the polls close in the lower 48. But if those states get called early somebody is winning big or some network is going to wear an egg or two. Slate and others will break the embargo on early exit polls so we could get some results much earlier in the day. Stay tuned sports fans.

Time is up and there is nowhere I would not link in order to encourage you to vote.

This is the time to stand up and be counted. From the beginning of time old men have started wars and young men have finished them. But here, in this time and this place we get to pick the old men. We can change the direction of the county. It will not be done with marches, with bombs or street theater. Go vote, go help and count on everyone else to do the same. Trust that I will do my part and I will trust you to do yours.

Hope, not fear.

October 31, 2004

Let America Be America Again

By Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!

From The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Copyright © 1994 the Estate of Langston Hughes.


Deep Breath Time. We do not want to end up like this guy:

"I'm definitely gonna vote for him," Karnes said of Bush. "Because he's been the president for four years and nothing bad has happened since Sept. 11. He's kept me alive for four years." If Kerry becomes president, he said, "We'll be dead within a year."

Go read Garrison Keillor in Time and Rachael Larimore in Slate to ease up just a little. Not too much. You still got to vote and go make your calls and knock on your doors like the world will end if our guy goes down, but do keep in mind that the world will not end if our guy goes down.

October 30, 2004

Breaking News

The future of the country is set. The latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll has Bush up by seven points. Why, there is now way that Kerry could win the popular vote now...

Oh wait, that's right, this is a poll from 2000. These guys had Gore down by 7 at this exact moment in the race and Gore actually won the popular vote. I due hereby declare a Craigorian Chant ban on national polls. Just go vote.

I really can't decide on a costume for Halloween. What do you guys think?

Also, if you are in a position to actually see me in the real world you can still post a wager in the swing State pool. One dollar to buy in and you pick 10 swing States Bush/Kerry. Most correct picks wins the pool. Must buy in before the polls open on the East Coast, that's 5:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Keep Hope Alive!

Happy Holloween

October 29, 2004

4 More Days! 4 More Days!

New Osama Tape is out. Impact uncertain. Keep it mind it was Bush that missed the chance to get the guy.

I would just like to go on the record as saying that I have been a very vocal supporter of John Kerry on this web site and that I would make an excellent campaign representitive. Please send me to Hawaii! I could convince 4, maybe 5, people with my killer pro-Kerry speech. Plus, it would give me the 12 hour plane flight to try and win over Alexandra Kerry with my wit and charm. I can see it now. Having delivered our speeches to great acclaim at the local High School, Alexandra and lie out on a white sandy beach, drinks with little umbrellas in our hands...

Instead, I must do what I can where I can. So I must brave the cold of a San Luis Obispo night to get door hangers ready for election day, not a single bikini-clad future first daughter in sight. Sigh.

By the way if you want to help, but don't want to brave the cold night air give VoterCall a try. You can call voters from the comfort of your nice, warm home. Use those spare cell phones minutes to help America.

October 28, 2004

5 Days to Go

Five days to go and we need to rewire Bush.

Do what you can. Salon has a roundup of places you can go to help.

Do your thing.

October 27, 2004

Talk Like an Insider

The 527s dropped over a 1,000 points on this race, but the D-Trip still show the race within the MoE. POTUS hit the State and showed some good message discipline, but the early exits make me nervious. Nothing is certain till the Decision Desk weights in.

Find out what it all means here.

Quote of the Day

A political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as commander in chief.

George W Bush.

Via Political Animal

Electoral Vote Predictor

This is a pretty cool site if you want to know where things stand right now. Polls are up to date and there's alot of other good detailed information. Wish I knew about it earlier. Read first FAQ.

October 26, 2004

Simple Election Predictor

Well everybody is asking me for predictions like I know something about politics or something.

I calculate that the following factors will all be key in determining the outcome of the election:

The Boss does his thing.

Ralph Nader does his thing.

Eminem does his thing.

Republicans will be jerks.

Iraqi War Dead.

The American People's growing love of Kerry.

The outcome of the Scott Peterson Case.

Game Theory.

I will place all of these factors into a grand equation that will then automatically determine the outcome of the election. I should have all the math worked out by mid-December right before the final recount.

The Future.........if Bush wins

With so many people out for Bush's head (especially Dems), I predict that if W. does win many of these same people will organize lynch mobs and go a huntin' for anyone who disagrees with them or disagreed with them in the past. They're not passionate about Kerry, they just hate Bush so damn much. This is not news by the way.

Well, here's a look at what could happen with 4 more years of Bush. Its not all good for W., but I didn't see anything on Dem's going lynching or rioting or anything like that.

ONE MORE......

Sorry for putting 2 posts in one, by I'm lazy:

Anyhow, just wanted to give 2 big thumbs up to Team America. Funniest damn movie I've seen in years. A real good commentary on whats going on in the world, and may I say the film doesn't necessarily paint America in the best light, though it does bash on everyone and thing against it!


Kudos to Trey Parker and Matt Stone for blowing up Michael Moore. I guess they got back at him for that Bowling for Columbine thing.

I had no idea Matt Damon and Ethan Hawke were F.A.G.'s

October 25, 2004

Lots of People

Are going to be dropped from the Christmas card list this year.

Just Do One Thing

Could the Bush administration do just one thing right?

Just one thing?

Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq

380 tons of the best high explosives in the world are just laying around unguarded in the middle of the most dangerous country in the world. One pound of this stuff can bring down an airliner. And now they are gone. According to Josh's sources these are the explosives that go into improvised explosive devises(IED). Look here. See how many soldiers die due to IEDs. 20% of soldiers killed this month were killed by IEDs. Show me just one thing that has gone right in Iraq. Just one thing.

October 24, 2004

Craigorian Chant Voter Guide

The lucky voters of California get to vote on no less than 18 ballot measures. To help the good voter of California I will present my view of how you should vote.

Prop 1a - This Prop ensures that the State can't take money from local Government in the event of a budget crisis. As I plan to be working for a local government as a planner for the next few years, this measure should help keep me from being laid off due to lack of funds. The Chant recommends Yes.

Prop 60 - Minor Ballot tinkering. The Chant does not Care.

Prop 61 - Creates weird "Jungle" Primary with everybody on one ballot and no party registration to vote for people. Stupid. Makes primary kind of like general. Confusing. Makes a mess. The Chant recommends No

Prop 66 - Amends "3 Strikes" law. Violent felons only. No more 25 to life for stealing a bike. The Chant recommends Yes.

Prop 67 - Increase telephone fees to pay for more ER's. Not that I have anything against ER's I love George Clooney, but this is a really stupid way to pay for them. Telephone fees? You can't just tax [random activity] to pay for [random good thing] These things have to make sense. The Chant recommends No

Prop 68 and 70 - Indian Gaming. Got the feeling with both of these that someone is trying pull a fast one. This kind of thing should go to through the Governor and the State Legislators . If they screw it up we can just recall them. The Chant recommends No on both.

Prop 71 - Stem Cell Research. Could cure diseases. Stick it to Bush. Well worth spending your money on. Plus, California owns anything that gets discovered so if these stem cells cure cancer we can pay for more planners. The Chant recommends Yes

October 23, 2004

Now the Animals Get Involved

The talk of the web is a new Bush ad that features wolves as metaphor for the terrorists that will eat us all if John Kerry is elected President. There are a boatload of problems with this ad. The factual side I'll leave to Fred Kaplan. Let's just say the ad is a massive distortion of the facts.

But there is another problem with the ad. The wolves are not very scary. Paul Begala called them "puppies" The first part of the ad, which just shows the spooky wood is fairly ominous, but when the terrorist wolves are revealed it's that footage you see on Wild American of a wolfpack at play. Not scary at all. These wolves are the worst metaphors ever. The DNC has struck back with a bird ad, comparing a soaring eagle with a clear vision and the ability to change course, with an ostrich with it head buried in the sand. You can guess the metaphor yourself.

Most importantly the wolves themselves have formed Wolfpacks for Truth to counter the ad:

They told us we were shooting a Greenpeace commercial!
We are not Terrorists!
We are a peaceful pack of wolves.

To complete today's animals and politics theme I give you A Bear Votes. Cute.

It's 10 days before the election and if anybody tells you they know what is going to happen, they are trying to sell something. Have you mailed your absentee ballot? Do you know where your polling place is?

October 22, 2004

Friday Roundup

Stealing the best from around the web.

Jesse "The Body" Ventura endorses Kerry.

A helpful guide to O.K. and not O.K. attacks as the election closes in.

Yes Bush really did mess this thing up.

Ann Coulter hit with pie.

I find this ad strangly compelling. No more vets or senior citizens. Give me more of her.

October 21, 2004

Of War and Elections

I just happen to think that David O. Russell's Three Kings is one of the best movies every made. It is with great interest that I read in Salon about a documentary follow-up that Russell made called Soldier's Pay. Love this bit:

"Soldiers Pay" briefly became the subject of news stories after Warner Bros., displaying that combination of moral courage and sound financial judgment unique to Hollywood studios, first gave Russell $200,000 to make a war documentary and then declined to distribute it.

In other news, it turns out that Bush supporters are completely wrong about the facts on Iraq. This is amazing.

Even after the final report of Charles Duelfer to Congress saying that Iraq did not have a significant WMD program, 72% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq had actual WMD (47%) or a major program for developing them (25%). Fifty-six percent assume that most experts believe Iraq had actual WMD and 57% also assume, incorrectly, that Duelfer concluded Iraq had at least a major WMD program. Kerry supporters hold opposite beliefs on all these points.

Similarly, 75% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda, and 63% believe that clear evidence of this support has been found. Sixty percent of Bush supporters assume that this is also the conclusion of most experts, and 55% assume, incorrectly, that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission. Here again, large majorities of Kerry supporters have exactly opposite perceptions.

To all of you liberals out there who wonder why people still support Bush, the reason is clear: They don't know any better. Everybody find a Bush supporter this weekend, tape their eyes open, and click through the archives of Craigorian Chant. If we force a few facts into their brains, they will become Kerry people.

October 20, 2004

Oh, Thank God!

It turns out that John Kerry is not a heretic. A conservative Catholic lawyer tried to initiate proceedings against John Kerry to have him declared a heretic and excommunicated based on Kerry being pro-choice. This whole thing had me a little worried. After all, John Kerry is much better Catholic than I am. If he gets bounced from the embrace of Holy Mother Church, then what chance do I have? But, rest assured, the Vatican has weighed in and Kerry is in the clear.

So, if the case is clear that Kerry is not a heretic, in the interest of balance we must ask the obvious question. Is Bush a heretic? Well, I'm afraid that New Donkey has made a very good case that he is:

Although he does not appear to belong to any specific religious congregation, Mr. Bush has publicly identified himself as a "born-again Christian" of the Methodist denomination. He is thus presumptively an adherent of the Protestant Heresy, condemned most notably and definitively by the sixteenth-century Council of Trent. If so, Bush has implicitly embraced an array of subordinate heresies, including:

* Denial of the teaching authority of the Church (the basis, BTW, for questions about Mr. Kerry's views on abortion, gay marriage, and stem cell research).
* Bibliolatry (rejection of Church tradition as amplifying and interpreting scriptural authority)
* Symbolism (rejection of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist)
* Sacrilege (rejection of marriage, holy orders, penance, confirmation and extreme unction as valid Sacraments of the Church)
* Dishonoring the Mother of God (rejection of the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception, Assumption and Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
* Schism (rejection of papal authority and establishment of a separate ecclesiastical structure)

I'm sorry folks but the President is going to hell. I don't think we will tell him this year. Two major shocks in one year in too much for anybody.

Guide to Poll Watching

If you are like me and have way too much invested in watching the polls go up and down in this race, you must read Salon today.

They are the numbers flying by on the TV screen, and if you're living and dying by the presidential race, no amount of Zoloft can even out the highs and the lows they bring. George W. Bush and John Kerry are tied in the brand-new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Kerry is up by 3 in a Democracy Corps poll released Tuesday. He is down by 5 in the Washington Post poll from Tuesday night, tied in the New York Times poll from Tuesday morning, tied in last night's Zogby tracking poll, and down by an alarming 8 in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released over the weekend.

It goes on to say what you should look for in polls. Look at registered voters not likely voters. Look at Bush's approval numbers not the head to head match-up, and remember that the state by state results matter the most. Finally:

There are other ways to look at this thing -- futures trading, first-wife cookie contests, a geography-based test that compares the candidates' names and the names of cities and towns in America. But if you're grasping for those kinds of straws, maybe it would be better to take a break from the whole thing now. In just two weeks, Tim Russert will be on TV with his handheld white board, moving states from red to blue and back again. All will be known then. Or maybe not.

Hang in there just few more days. By mid-December this will all be over, I promise.

October 19, 2004

Forget the Issues, lets Hear About the Kids

Good story in the Post continues to fuel my crush on the Kerry Girls:

There are the Kerry sisters, so brainy they're intimidating, hitting college campuses, giving interviews.

Both the Bush and Kerry daughters have had their prime-time moments talking about their fathers at the conventions. Both have had their glossy rollouts in Vogue, a spread that served as a coming-out for the previously sheltered president's girls. Appearing together, the sister acts also made a pitch for voting at the Video Music Awards. The combined Kerry-Edwards crew has made hundreds of appearances and print, radio and television interviews, according to Stephen Gaskill, chief of staff for the Kerry and Edwards families.

Vanessa Kerry, 27, wearing a flirty, pop-arty top and tight jeans, is speaking to a bunch of young Democrats at the University of Pennsylvania before the first presidential debate. It's her fourth college rally of the day. A graduate of Yale, like her dad and Bush, and on leave from Harvard Medical School, she is now enrolled in a global health course at the London School of Economics, which requires her to take classes there Mondays through Wednesdays. Most weeks she jets home, flying coach on Wednesday nights to campaign until Sunday, when she flies back to England.

Unlike her father, she can pull off the don't-hate-me-because-I'm-smart routine.

Don't worry ladies, I don't find your brains intimidating.

If you want real election stuff polls are tight, race is close, every vote counts, two weeks left, blah blah blah.

The great Carlson-Stewart feud is on.

Why do dictators want Bush to win?

Only 2 weeks left. Keep the faith!