August 31, 2004

Unconventional Convention Coverage

The two parties used the following themes for their conventions:

Donkeys - Stronger at home, Respected in the world.
GOP - Fulfilling America's Promise: Building a Safer World and a More Hopeful America

If Bush loses Ohio by 13 votes it should be blamed on a really dumb theme.

Also I must note that Angie Harmon did speak last night and that for my money she was the sexiest ADA on Law and Order in a long line of sexy ADAs. However, one sexy fake ADA still does not make the Republicans cool.

Also, I have to say that just because Bush was President on 9/11 does not make him a good President. Just declaring war does not make the country safe. Saying that you are creating democracy does not create democracy. Never changing your mind ever does not make you steadfast.
Notes from the eternal war [this too will be redacted]

With an apparently strong sense of irony, John Ashcroft's Justice Dept has used it `domestic security' censoring abilities to censor a Supreme Court decision about ... censoring dissent with the excuse of security. Pics from the Memory Hole:

August 30, 2004

Muppets Take Manhattan

The GOP is coming! The GOP is coming! Hide the women and social programs! So, here we go again. Some nice stuff to look at to prep for 4 straight nights of GOP.

Kinsley has the best takedown of Bush you will read all week.

Against a backdrop of great events, even a mediocrity can seem great for a while.

Republicans declare themselves the official party of the Guy Upstairs.

the acting state Republican chair--an African-American man in a white cowboy hat named Leon Mosley--urged his delegates, "Let's remember what's paramount in our life: God ... This is the GOP: God's Official Party." At that, the room burst into sustained applause. Behold, the Republican base.

Also in TNR Gregg Easterbrook asks

The United States invaded Iraq in order to depose Saddam Hussein and search for banned weapons. Hussein is now deposed, and no banned weapons were present. So why don't we leave?

Do you think this is a question that will be answered this week?

August 29, 2004

Does Protesting really do all that Much?

I have talked a bit about how protesting might make some bad headlines and step on the GOP message. I have also links to some people worried about how some people are worried about blowback from such protests. But I think the real story here is just how worthless protesting is. Think about the tremendous effort that it takes to get 250,000 people to march on the streets of New York for a cause. The phone calls, the time organizing, making the banners and so on. The end result is maybe a headline that says "Thousands Hit NYC Streets; Cheney Arrives" and then Bush ignores the protest, wins the election and goes about the business of running the country into the ground. Think about if all that protest energy went into getting 250,000 people to vote. Elections turn history. Protests do not. The Bush administration, if it is secure in its electoral victory can ignore street protests. There were massive protests in the lead up to the Iraq war. If you look at the protests on a global scale, the Iraq war was the most heavily protested war ever. And protesting was a complete failure. It did not cause the Bush administration so much as a moment’s hesitation. But just a few more votes in 2000 would have elected this guy. And there would not have been an Iraq War. These people do not keep Karl Rove up at night because they will never cost his guy power. These people could. They are getting people to vote. They will cost Bush his job.

August 28, 2004

Republicans: Still Lame

Good take on the sorry state of GOP "stars." Best part is about Christian Rock:

It sounds like regular bad music when you first tune in. The lyrics always seem like regular bad music lyrics, too—"I feel your body next to mine/ And that makes my whole life shine"—but after a second or two you realize that they're singing about Jesus, not some girl named Mandy, and the whole thing just seems, well, creepy. Because rock music—and most other forms of entertainment, when you really think about it—is fundamentally about carnal desire. And Jesus, when you really think about it, is fundamentally not.
America Can Do Better

So, the US basketball team won the bronze medal today in Greece, avenging it's earlier loss to Lithuania, a county about the same size and population of my hometown. Now, while I have been unable to find a way to actually blame this sorry state of affairs on the Bush administration, I feel that the sorry state of USA basketball does reflect an America that has lost its way in the world. The 100 million dollar NBA salary of the "Dream Team" reflects the tremendous waste of the current 500 Billion dollar budget deficit. Team USA's one dimensional game, with its total lack of outside shooting is mightily similar to the Bush adminitration's one-dimensional foreign policy and its total lack of diplomacy. We expect to win in basketball and we expect a foreign policy that makes us safer. We expect better. Vote for Kerry. America can do better.

August 27, 2004

Quote of the Day

Via political Wire

"The chances of New York to host the Olympic games in 2012 were not that good. But now they were lowered to zero."

-- An International Olympic Committee member, quoted by Spiegel (translated by Florian), citing the Bush campaign's refusal to pull a campaign ad that mentions the Olympics.

The background on this is that Bush has been trying to wrap himself in the Olympics in an ad and that he has been slapped down by both the Iraqi soccer team and the IOC. Now New York finds out that Bush has screwed them out of the Olympics. Like New Yorkers need another excuse to hate Bush.

August 26, 2004

Republican Lameness Part 8

Via Talkingpoints Memo I found a NYTimes story on the music that will be playing during the RNC. Lots of Southern Rock stuff, very retro. But the true sign of GOP lameness comes at the very end of the story:

And coming on stage after Dickey Betts will be a band called Super Diamond, which according to its Web site, is "the alternative Neil Diamond Experience."

Alternative, yes: Mr. Diamond himself performed at a June fundraiser — for John Kerry.

A Neil Diamond cover band. I am not sure, but this could be the Platonic ideal of lame.

August 25, 2004

Kerry on Daily Show

Watched it last night. Mixed reviews around the web. I think that anything that makes Kerry seem more human is good. Kerry didn't try to be funny much, left that to Stewart who, frankly, is better at it. Somehow, "guy you would like to have a beer with" became a measure for whom to cast your vote. Now, this is a profoundly stupid way to pick a president, but that's the game so Kerry has to play. I liked this one:

Kerry: You'd be amazed the number of people who wanna introduce themselves to you in the men's room.

In other news, New York really does hate the GOP. I really think this is going to make them look bad. Reporters got really bored with the Dem convention and they are likely to do so again with the GOP. I'm a bored reporter, I wander out of the convention center and bam! Three classic New York characters all of whom are voting against Bush.

August 24, 2004

Candidate Kids and the "Youth" Vote

Getting young people out to vote and to vote for Kerry is a cause close to my own heart. Now I'm all for the Kerry daughters having a high profile, but the campaign really does need to talk about issues. There is no young person department in the issues section of the Kerry website (Don't me started on the Bush site.) Still Kerry does seem to be winning. The Kerry daughters and step-sons are much better on the campaign trail than the Bush Twins, but that only gets you so far.

Also how slow is the news when Stealing Lawn Signs is the political headline on Yahoo!

August 23, 2004


Takedown of Bush's sense of humor here.

How nice. And yet, how odd. Dubya--instinctively warm? His humor--self-deprecating? The wit--rapier? Bush had clearly inherited plenty of his mother's qualities, but warmth and wit--well, hadn't Barbara shown a certain restraint in expressing these gifts? The situation was confusing. Was Dubya actually funny? Or had the media's repeated pronouncements that he was funny become self-fulfilling?

You may ask, What does that matter? There is no angle that Craigorian Chant will not pursue. Tell a friend.

Team U.S. Basketball got beat by Lithuania over the weekend. Lithuania has a population of less than 4 million people. That's less than the city of LA. Still have not come up with a way to blame Bush for this.

Oh, and because the Kerry campaign asked me personally to post this link, here is the Kerry response to the attacks on his war record.

Shameless Self-Promotion Week

We are kicking off shameless self-promotion week here at Craigorian Chant. As I have watched the hit counter on the site continue to rise I have had two thoughts: Thank you guys for reading me and I want more of this. Therefore I urge all you readers to spread the word. Tell people about the site. Urge them to visit. Also e-mail or post any ideas that you may have to promote the site. The Craigorian Chant legal team is currently working on ways of getting Fox News to sue us. Any other ideas would be welcomed. Now we return to regular programming.

August 22, 2004

Bush, Kerry and Vietnam

So, I guess we have to talk about the "Swift Boats veteran's for truth" thing. Some republican tools who "served with John Kerry" i.e. they were somewhere in Vietnam the same time Kerry was, are putting out a bunch of lies such as Kerry didn't earn his medals and so on. The Sunday Morning talk shows were filled with this stuff. Now, I have been debating with friends as to whether this is really going to hurt Kerry and help Bush. After all, when the smoke clears most people will come away with the following facts:

Kerry = War Hero
Bush = Not so Much

So, a lot of people I talk to wonder if this is convincing anybody. I think we might not be understanding the tactic. This attack is more about reinforcing conservatives for Bush than convincing anybody. I got this via Political Animal a piece in the Weekly Standard.

Republicans have no such luck this time, and so they scramble to reassure themselves that they nevertheless are doing the right thing, voting against a war hero. The simplest way to do this is to convince themselves that the war hero isn't really a war hero. If sufficient doubt about Kerry's record can be raised, we can vote for Bush without remorse. But the calculations are transparently desperate. Reading some of the anti-Kerry attacks over the last several weeks, you might conclude that this is the new conservative position: A veteran who volunteered for combat duty, spent four months under fire in Vietnam, and then exaggerated a bit so he could go home early is the inferior, morally and otherwise, of a man who had his father pull strings so he wouldn't have to go to Vietnam in the first place.

Needless to say, the proposition will be a hard sell in those dim and tiny reaches of the electorate where voters have yet to make up their minds. Indeed, it's far more likely that moderates and fence-sitters will be disgusted by the lengths to which partisans will go to discredit a rival. But this anti-Kerry campaign is not designed to win undecided votes. It's designed to reassure uneasy minds.

Hard-core pro-military Republicans cannot vote against a war hero without their heads exploding. They need lies about Kerry in order to justify themselves. These guys are fueled by an undying rage. They have to hate Kerry, 'cause they will never love Bush.

August 20, 2004

Well, at least...No!

Now I know that I have been rather negative about Iraq here at Craigorian Chant what with all the death and the fact we seem to have lost 9 billion in reconstruction money. But I do have some good news to report. The Iraqi soccer team has scored two major upsets in the Olympics and made the quarterfinals. Bush has run a commercial boosting the fact that Iraq and Afghanistan are competing as "democracies." The Iraqi soccer team is pissed at Bush.

"Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign," Sadir told through a translator, speaking calmly and directly. "He can find another way to advertise himself."

Manajid, 22, who nearly scored his own goal with a driven header on Wednesday, hails from the city of Fallujah. He says coalition forces killed Manajid's cousin, Omar Jabbar al-Aziz, who was fighting as an insurgent, and several of his friends. In fact, Manajid says, if he were not playing soccer he would "for sure" be fighting as part of the resistance.

The Iraqi-American community has also soured on the occupation.

Chanting "Get out of Najaf, get out of Iraq," Iraqi-Americans assembled Friday to protest fighting in the Islamic holy city and demand sooner-than-scheduled elections in their native country.

"Stop the guns from talking and let's negotiate!" Imam Husham Al-Husainy, leader of the Karbalaa Islamic Educational Center, shouted through a bullhorn while leading 50 men and boys as young as 5 in the peaceable, hour-long demonstration

So when someone says "Well, in Iraq, at least we..." You can cut them off with a firm "No!" even before you hear what they have to say. It will be wrong I'm certain.

August 19, 2004

More on Message

I was so caught up in the sight of chicks with swords yesterday that I didn't spend the time I should have on the competing messages of the two campaigns. The website from yesterday's post is just the beginning. 75% of Bush ads attack Kerry (27% of Kerry ads attack Bush.) Bush does not just rely on Cheney and front groups. He is attacking Kerry from the stump in very personal and, might I add, not very presidential terms. Kerry is critical of Bush, but always in policy terms and always with that sad Kerry dignity, like he's president already. TAP has a good take on all of this:

In Traverse City, Michigan, on Monday, Bush mocked Kerry for spending too much time in Hollywood, selecting a trial lawyer as his running-mate, wanting to raise taxes, not taking a firm stand on the diversion of Great Lakes water, changing his mind on the war on Iraq, “playing politics with the judicial system,” and offering a “complicated” explanation about his vote against the $87 billion appropriation for Iraq. And that was just in one stump speech.

Note the key word "mocked." Bush is mocking Kerry from behind the Presidential seal. Leno mocks. I mock. Presidents don't mock. The President has made mocking the centerpiece of his reelection campaign. Why is Bush doing this? Simple, because he has to:

Like Carter, Bush is an embattled incumbent elected without a mandate and stuck trying to defend a failed presidency...There's only one strategy for an incumbent president(Faced with that situation): attack. Since the American people seem to want to hire someone else for the job, the embattled incumbent has no choice but to convince them that the only other available candidate is totally unfit for the position.

Pay no attention to that failed Presidency behind the curtain.

August 18, 2004

Women's Saber is my new Favorite Sport.

So, I finally got to see what real Olympic fencing is like. It is really fast. I mean blindingly fast. Have to show each touch in slow motion just to get an idea of what the hell happened fast. It is not the slow tink, tink, tink like when Inigo Montoya and Zorro do it. And for a sport that seems to be all about honor and stuff they sure do celebrate a lot. Also, because we are all about USA! USA! here at Craigorian Chant it is important to note that the U.S. took both the Gold and Bronze in Women's Saber. Mariel Zagunis, a 19-year old with a blond pony-tail and the speed and reflexes of a rattlesnake beat some foreigner 15-9 to win gold and then got tossed in the air by the rest of the US team.

In politics -- all you need to know about the messages of the two campaigns can be seen on their websites.

Kerry: "I will make the country better so vote for me."
Bush: "Kerry sucks so vote for me."

August 17, 2004

Protests, Jews and Presidential Intelligence

No, none of these subjects are related but I do have interesting links for all 3 topics. So, despite the blank check the Bush admin has given Israel to crack down, Jews have not abandoned Democrats to support Bush. Money quote from TNR on the subject:

I'd say with the exception of their efforts to woo Jews, blacks, Hispanics, and Catholics, Karl Rove's and George W. Bush's strategy to bring traditionally Democratic groups into the Republican fold is going swimmingly

Next we have worries that Anti-Bush protests may help the GOP during the New York GOP convention.

Milton Glaser, the legendary graphic designer behind the I Love New York logo, has thought about this prospect a lot. He knows the power of images, and he's scared that pictures of rampaging protesters flashing on the nation's TV screens during the Republican National Convention will be a catastrophe.

"A lot of people in this town are very angry," he says. "When you have so many angry people up against the police, without any question violence will occur. If this turns out to be the visual material that the country is looking at, there's just the chance that there will be an incremental turn towards Bush."

Me, I'm not so sure that protests will help the GOP. "Convention racked by protests" can not be a good headline four days in a row.

Finally, everyone should read Matthew Yglesias on the "Brain Thing." Turns out it really does matter if the President is smart or not.

August 16, 2004

Olympic Blogging

So, I watched a bunch of Olympics on TV over the weekend. The problem with the Olympics is that you have to sit through the dreck NBC comes up with to get to some genuinely great sports moments. I, for one, am a complete sucker for the parade of nations. You can keep the rest of the interpretive dance crap that happens in the opening ceremonies. I just get the biggest kick out of some small island nation with 3 athletes that have no chance to win a thing and yet are having the time of their lives. Also, the fact that NBC is putting obscure sports on it's cable stations means I will finally get to see real fencing on TV. I loving sword fights in movies. ("You seem a decent fellow, I hate to kill you.") I get to see it for real. Tomorrow 4-6 on Bravo!

P.S. Can't pass on politics. Bush so bad anarchists may vote.
Broder thinks Bush will lose. Broder is an old school Washington reporter, I think he covered Truman. He is the voice of conventional wisdom in DC. This is a good thing. If CW has Bush losing, Republicans will panic and the coverage will change.

August 15, 2004

Things I Am Looking For

A person who voted for Gore in 2000 but is voting for Bush in 2004. The Note was having a hard time finding them, but has recently been getting e-mails.

Any ideas for us not to fuck up Iraq any more. Not a way to bring peace and prosperity, just to stop digging the goddamn hole.

A way to blame the Bush administration for the fact that the US basketball team has apparently forgotten how to play basketball.
A Shout Out

One of the benefits of this massive media platform that I now possess is the power to give shout outs. Today's shout out goes to Laura McConnell, a rather cool person, who has recently signed on as Craigorian Chant's copy editor. Any improvement that readers may have noticed in recent posts is entirely due to her good work. Laura has gotten a letter to the editor printed in her local paper. It kicks some ass on the subject of gay marriage. Nice job all around, Laura.

Also, shout-outs to Chris and Tyler who have put up posts this week.

August 13, 2004

Sensitive/Not Sensitive

So Kerry puts out this line:

I believe I can fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values in history.

So, Dick "Go Fuck Yourself" Cheney then attacks the "sensitive" part of the speech. He is basically calling Kerry a girl:

A sensitive war will not destroy the evil men who killed 3,000 Americans and who seek the chemical, nuclear and biological weapons to kill hundreds of thousands more. The men who beheaded Daniel Pearl and Paul Johnson will not be impressed by our sensitivity.

Now, the Daily Show had the best counter to this with 1. Mocking and 2. Pointing out that Bush has used the word "sensitive" in speeches before. Libral Oasis has a roundup of Bushies that have used the word "sensitive" in talking about foriegn policy.

Now to get to the Bigger Issue. Bush is not smart. No one on his team can make the case he is smart. Bush can be tough. So he is trying to frame this debate as "Weak and Smart" verses "Tough and um...Simple." That's why they are trying make a big deal of "sensitive." It's the "I have no brain but I can kick your ass" form of foriegn policy.

August 12, 2004

By the way..........

I'm not gay.... So many people here know my situation, its never been a secret. I have a girlfriend, and I've had girlfriends in the past.

Great Day to be Gay!

I think for gay Americans today's events (and those in the last few days) have been especially encouraging! I think we as Americans are finally accepting their lifestyle!

So to summarize I'm going to give four reasons why it's good to be gay in America!




four (hey we in Ma-Zoura ain't too much differn' than u sa-fis-tacated Cala-for-nains...)

Beat this Horse

I've advanced this theory before and it's good to see some support. In Salon:

The hand-over marked a turning point in the level and intensity of media interest, which sharply decreased, particularly on the 24-hour cable news channels.

"The situation in Iraq right now is not as bad as the news media are portraying it to be. It's worse. Most Iraqis aren't seeing the improvements they had hoped for, and they're not blaming the guerrillas -- they're blaming the Americans. Sovereignty seems to have had zero effect on this equation."

If you're President Bush and you see headlines about Martha Stewart and Laci Peterson, you've got to count yourself lucky, because that means the focus is no longer on Iraq."

I will say it again. The more the real world is talked about, the worse things are for Bush.

August 11, 2004

Today's Key Trend

Today's key trend to indicate inevitable Kerry victory is web traffic. According to Nielson/Netratings the Kerry website is the "Number 1 fastest growing website." Kerry traffic grew by 191% while traffic to the RNC grew by a paltry 32%. This is of course a sign of an Inevitable Kerry Victory.

I ripped the link off the Political Wire, which is a better site then mine and gets more traffic too.
Questions Answered

So, people ask me "Craig, what can I do to affect the outcome of the upcoming election, likely to be the most important one in our lifetimes?" To which I now have a clear answer: Shop at Costco.

Slate's Moneybox has a great story up on the difference between Costco and Walmart. Some highlights:

Costco: Mostly in Blue States.
Walmart: Mostly in Red States.

Costco: Executives give money to Dems
Walmart: Executives give money to Reps

Costco labor practices: Not Evil
Walmart labor practices: Evil

So shopping at Costco helps the forces of light and progress. The good news is that Costco has been doing better as of late.
Daily Show Meets Spin

A friend of mine from Stanford, Bryan Keefer, has recently co-written a book called All the President's Spin along with his fellow Spinsanity web site contributors. He will be speaking with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show tomorrow (Thursday August 12).

I once tried to set my sister up with Bryan -- he and I went on a double date with my sister and a friend of hers to a Cake concert in Sacramento. Vanessa sometimes complains that I never tried to set her up with anyone good. (Sorry, Craig.) To her I point out that the other guests on the Daily Show this week were Tom Cruise and Bill Clinton.

August 10, 2004

Republicans are UnCool part 7

So, there is this story on the music and entertainment that we can expect at the Republican National Convention at the end of the month. To sum up:

He said yesterday that he expected the convention to be heavy with gospel, country and Broadway music, and with patriotic music. He said there would be several renditions of the national anthem as well.

Which brings me to just how uncool the Republicans are compared to the Democrats. Showtunes? Just how many renditions of the national anthem do they want to sit through? I mean the DNC had the Black Eyed Peas for God's sake.

This returns me to a long-standing theme here at Craigorian Chant: Laying aside unimportant stuff like war and taxes, Democrats will always be cooler than Republicans. There are some basic demographic facts that cause this. Republicans simply have no gay people, black people, or young people. This renders them physically incapable of being cool. Sad, but true.

August 9, 2004

Great Bodies in History

Now, right in the middle of ripping the Illinois Republican for drafting the lunatic Alan Keyes to run for Senate, Republican consultant Mike Murphy in the conservative Weekly Standard puts out this gem when talking about former candidate Mike Ryan:

Alas, he was also tangled up in a messy divorce with formidable Star Trek actress Jeri Ryan, better known as "Seven of Nine"--and every bit as fondly known to young boys of this generation as Julie Newmar's Catwoman was to boys of my own.

This will be the truest thing you will find in the Weekly Standard all year.
What has Been Made

Now, I'm not shy about pointing out the massive clusterfuck that our intervention in Iraq has become, but it is important to note that there was there was the basic good act of removing Saddam from power. If there is one thing I want to bring to modern liberalism is the old idea that liberalism is about killing fascists. Woody's old guitar and me.

That said, if we got rid of Saddam, the relevant question is what did we replace him with? The answer is Ayad Allawi. Who is Ayad Allawi? Well, it seems he is a bit of a thug. He is a fomer Saddam hit man who fell out with Saddam in the 1960's. There are all kinds of rumors swirling around that he has personally executed suspected Iraqi insurgents. His most recent move has been to shut down Al Jazeera's Bureau in Baghdad. Now, a guy who's first reaction to adversity is to shut down media that troubles him is not a guy who will help bring democracy to Iraq.

But at least he is not as bad as Saddam, you say?

But Saddam wasn't as bad as Saddam when he first started.

We made this guy. A lot of blood was shed to make him and a lot is being shed to keep him in power. We have to have higher standards than "Better than Saddam."

August 8, 2004


Because I live for you, the reader, I shall answer a reader request. Chris CB asks:

If you were the campaign manager for the Kerry campaign, what would your
strategy for the election be. Maybe you could also do another post on
if you were Bush's manger what would you do. What are their
liabilities, what are their strong points, how should they be appealing
to the American people, etc.

Ok, here are the official Craigorian Chant Keys to Victory

It is important to note that Kerry and Bush are going after a certain segment of the population that are swing voters. To oversimplify, these voters are white men, less well off and more culturally conservative than the Nation as a whole. Therefore, Kerry must do things to win these folks over that will annoy liberals.

Kerry must remind people every chance he gets that he is
1. A decorated War Vet
2. A hunter
3. A manly man
And of course remind people at every given opportunity that the economy sucks, Iraq has gone off the rails, health care costs are going up, etc, etc, etc. Remember who Kerry is going after. He will not win these folks over with his support for abortion rights, civil unions for gay couples, or gun control. So while Kerry will not change his positions on these things he will not talk about them much.

Bush's Answer:
As Joe Kline wrote in TIME, Bush has two foes: Kerry and reality. Bush cannot make a case for re-election based on the real world. So he must win in the campaign world. The first step is to attack Kerry.

Bush will try and portray him as
1. Soft on crime
2. Soft on terrorism
3. Soft in general

Second, the Bush campaign will do all it can to get down in the mud of the day-to-day campaign. So expect lots of stuff on Theresa's mouth and money, picking apart Senate votes by the two Johns, and so on. Anything that keeps attention off the two real important numbers: Jobs created and Iraq casualties. One of the Kerry campaign's most important jobs is to not make mistakes and give the Bush campaign opportunities

So to sum up:
Kerry play error-free ball, prove yourself to the white working class and keep the real world in view.

Bush tear Kerry down and hide those annoying real world facts.

August 6, 2004

Friday Roundup

A little bit of everything to see you through the weekend.

Job numbers out today. They sort of suck. Don't take my word for it. Here is a former Secretary of Labor.

Alan Keyes gets to be the one who gets crushed by Obama. This race will be remembered as a historic showdown between two great African-American orators, one a future President, another a raving loon.

Massive street battles in Iraq. Total U.S. dead in Iraq to date: 925.

Bush running on campaign slogan of "results matter."

Paul Krugman says all you need to hear about it.

Have a good weekend.

August 5, 2004

Quote of the Day

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we," Bush said. "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

George W Bush

Updated: Here is a quicktime video of the quote courtesy of Michael Moore.
You are Doomed, Bush, for the Boss is on our Side.

Anyone who has heard The Boss's music knew that he is no conservative. But now he is really getting into this whole politics thing. He and a bunch of other rockers (R.E.M!, Dave Matthews Band!) are doing a tour of battleground States for Move On and ACT to raise money to throw the bums out. Do not ever forget that if you are a democrat you are with the party of cool people. Republicans can be many things, but they will never be cool. By the way, no post on Springsteen and politics is complete without linking to Altercation. Eric Alterman has written a book on Bruce (which I have not read) and a few books on politics (which I have). So, he is the man to check in with to talk about Springsteen and politics.

August 4, 2004

Polls are Here! If You Look Close They are Good.

So, the first round of post-DNC polling is out. One thing you will not find is a really big jump for Kerry in the the Bush-Kerry match-up. The best jump is in the ABC poll where Kerry went from being down 48-46 to being up 50-44. That's a swing of 8 points. Other polls had less of a "bounce" and CNN/Gallup had Kerry losing ground! Ahhh. But, before you jump out a window, there is some good news. To find the good news you have to look at other questions that the poll asks. Slate has a good write-up on this. Highlights: Kerry greatly improved his overall approval ratings, and his rating on such issues as having "the personality and leadership qualities a president should have" and "confident in his ability to handle such a crisis." Also DailyKos has some State polls where Kerry did pick up some ground in the polls. In Pennsylvania Kerry went from up 1 to up 12! And in Tennessee he went from down 10 to down 2! These look more like the classic "bounce" that a candidate gets after a convention. As per my earlier post this week the "Swing States" are getting all the attention so maybe they are getting all the bounce.

August 3, 2004

I put my tin foil hat around here somewhere.

I must say I thought Dean went a little far when he said the Bush admin put out the terror alert for political reasons. But, then I see this story:

U.S. officials say the detailed surveillance photos and documents that prompted higher terror warnings dated from as far back as 2000 and 2001, and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Tuesday the government concluded "it was essential" to publicize it and raise the terror alert.

They put out a terror alert based on data that was 4 years old! They just had to put out a massive alert the day after Kerry's big day based on data that was 4 years old! Next, we will put Hawaii on orange alert based on information that shows Japan might be up to something.

In other news, 9% of Americans abuse alcohol and nearly 15 percent have a personality disorder, according to a U.S. government survey. If I keep reading stories like this terror alert I just might join them.

August 2, 2004

Political Education 101

I have recently received from some Craigorian Chant readers (I have readers, happy dance!) requests to explain this whole Red State/Blue State/Swing State thing. So, rather than try and understand weird polling results or worry about terrorism, I will try and explain what's up with Red States/Blue States/Swing States. First of all, Red States/Blue States refer to this election map of 2000. Blue States are states that Gore carried and Red States are states that Bush won. The reason we care is that states vote in the electoral college and actually pick the president. It is possible to win the popular vote and lose the state by state contest, a fact which keeps Al Gore awake at 3:00 a.m. to this very day. For an exploration of the cultural differences between red and blue read this guy. Swing states refer to states that could go either to Bush or Kerry in the coming election. Thus, they get all the attention as far as advertising, candidate stops and so on. So, by an accident of demographics, geography, etc., some states are going to get all the attention. The classic swing states are in the Industrial Mid-west: Pennsylvania, Michigan and most of all, Ohio. Gore won the first two by 4 points and lost Ohio by 4. These states are important because they have a lot of electoral College votes. Ohio has 21 (You need 270 to win.) while New Hampshire, which was also close (Bush won by 1), only has 4 electoral votes. Thus, something like the GDP of Sweden will be spent in places like Cleveland and Pittsburgh on ads. A good chunk of the country is securely in the hands of one of the parties. California, New York and most of New England are sure-fire Kerry states and Texas, the deep South and the Mountain West will surely go for Bush unless he suffers a total election landslide. So people like me in California will hardly ever see the campaigns. Other swing states may include the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest. I put may be swing here because a lot of factors go into where these states end up. If Latinos go big for Kerry then the southwest could be his going away. If Nader gets on the ballot in the Pacific Northwest he could steal tree-hugger votes from Kerry. How will the Edwards pick affect North Carolina? There is also a lot of strategy that goes into this. Look for head fakes. Kerry does not have a good chance in Colorado and Virginia and Bush has no real shot at New Jersey but they have both made a show of campaigning in those states to make the other side play defense. But, really, who are we kidding? It's all going to come down to Florida again and the rest is just noise.

Any questions?

August 1, 2004

Quote of the Day, Maybe Quote of the Week.

"If you want change in this country, you ought to vote for President Bush."

--Matthew Dowd, Bush/Cheney Strategist, Fox News Sunday. via Atrios

Now, Dowd is the President's poll guy, and not stupid, despite your initial reaction to this quote. He reads polls saying that most Americans are not happy with the "direction the country is heading" and "want change." So Bush is change. You guys want change, Bush is change. Just one small problem: Bush is the incumbent. You want change you, throw his butt out. Bush is the one currently picking the direction of the country. You want change you bring in Kerry.

Make that quote of the Month.


Newsweek has a poll out showing a very small bounce for Kerry. Problem: half of poll taken before Kerry's speech. This Zogby poll taken during the convention week has Kerry up 5 points. The really interesting thing from this poll is that people who did not vote in 2000 favor Kerry 50%-25%. Young (18-29) people favor him over Bush 53% to 33%. Single people favor him by 69% to 19%! So if you know any young, single women who did not vote in 2000, send them to me. I need a date. Also, get them to vote. Odds are, you will be helping the cause.