September 30, 2004

Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves

Alright, maybe the stakes are not that high, but a damn important debate was had here tonight. Kerry seemed to me to be the clear winner on points, he very aggressively went after the President on Iraq, nukes, and the general subject of not changing a disastrous course. Kerry didn't have any "You, sir, are not Jack Kennedy" knockout blows, but he did get his hits in. Bush did get one real howler in when he said 100,000 Iraqi troops have been trained. Even the interim Prime Minister Iraq said that only 50,000 have been trained and the real number is much less than that. On the issue of style I have to say:

Only one man looked Presidential and it wasn't the President.

I know Kerry gets knocked for being too grave, but when you talk about national security you should be grave. Bush just did not look serious. The camera caught him smirking at Kerry's answers. He actually led off some of his answers with "ahhhh." The President at one point felt compelled to say "Of course of know Osama bin Laden attacked us." That’s a real sign that Kerry had him back on his heels. Kerry stayed cool the whole time. Kerry just seemed to know more than Bush. Bush sometimes could not even talk for the full 2 minutes on some questions.

Talking Points, who I bow to in all aspects of online punditry, makes a good point:

To put it bluntly, the Bush campaign has created an image of Kerry as a weak and indecisive man, someone that -- whatever you think of President Bush -- just can't be trusted to keep the country safe in these dangerous times.
Often they've made him into an object of contempt.
Whatever else you can say about this debate, though, whatever you think of his policies, I don't think that's how Kerry came off. I think he came off as forceful and direct. And I suspect that most people who were at all genuinely undecided came away from the 90 minutes with that impression.
If President Bush's current lead is built not upon confidence in him or his policies but in a simple belief that Kerry isn't solid enough to be president, then I think this performance could help Kerry a good deal.

Kerry did not look like a flip-flopper tonight and that could help a lot. The trick now is to win the spin war. We need to start our very own conventional wisdom. Tell your friends. Tell a pollster. Tell the guy who sits next to you on the bus.

Only one man looked Presidential and it wasn't the President.

Inauthenticity of Memos Drawn into Question

Not to beat a dead horse, but it now appears that Dan Rather's mea culpa may have been premature. An expert analysis of the documents finds that they were typed and not generated by a computer. The author points out that:

  • The font is not Times New Roman, nor any other common computer font
  • There is damage on commonly used letters (such as t and e) which is expected in typing but not computing
  • There is distortion that is consistent with typing on uneven paper, but not with laser printing

Too bad the hubbub about the documents' authenticity led CBS to pull a 60 Minutes segment on Bush's deceptive case for invading Iraq.

September 29, 2004

Scary Powerpoint

As someone who from time to time bores fellow classmates and someday soon, planning commissions with PowerPoint presentations, I find this link fascinating. Discovered by the official roommate of Craigorian Chant, it is a PowerPoint presentation done for the army about IED or improvised explosive devices. These are the things that are killing our guys in Iraq. The contrast between the world’s most banal software and totally deadly subject matter is just weird.

Don't Let Rove Mess with Your Head

And now a word about Karl Rove. Karl Rove, as well informed readers of Craigorian Chant should know, is the dark genius behind the Bush presidency. All kind of dark powers have been ascribed to the man. Democratic mothers tell stories about Rove to keep Democratic kids in line. If you want to read about actual dirty tricks that the man has played read Joshua Green's piece in the Atlantic Monthly. What I am warning you guys about today is that Rove is going to try and mess with your head.

From Slate:

Sunday's Washington Post made me suspect that the Bush campaign really does think things are going poorly right now. Why? Because Republicans are starting to make preposterously overconfident predictions of a Bush landslide.

It's well-known that Karl Rove believes that swing voters like to vote for the winner. Therefore, one of the central political strategies for Bush has been to create an "aura of inevitability" that, theoretically, will bring people to his side. If everyone believes you're a political juggernaut, the theory goes, then you will become a political juggernaut.

Now there is some logic to this. If I know nothing about brands of cake except that lots of people eat cake A and not B then I should pick A. If you know nothing about Bush and Kerry (Not you my loyal readers) then taking your queues from "The American People" might be a good idea. Thus, Rove is trying to make it look like most people have decided on Bush. Don't fall for it. This sucker is going down to wire.
Money Quote:

The worse things get for Bush, the more likely his aides are to declare that he is invincible. The Bushies are starting to sound like Baghdad Bob, trumpeting a decisive victory for Saddam Hussein as the American military zooms into Iraq's capital city. Whenever Bush is in trouble, someone—usually Rove—declares that things are going just swimmingly.

September 28, 2004

Ten Thousand People Standing Behind Me

Turnout will be key in this election. I'll bet you will hear that a lot in the next month or so. Let me tell you what that means. In the end, after all the pundits, debates and 2 billion in ads all that really matters is that more of our people show up than their people. Read New Donkey on this. He calls it "3 votes and a cloud of dust:"

I think it's increasingly clear that if Kerry (and other Democrats in battleground states) are two or three points behind on November 1, they might still win. Getting to the point where the "ground game" can be decisive, however, means succeeding in the "air war" of convincing persuadable voters to smile upon the donkey.

Feel better? Planners in the readership should note the section on the growth in exurban areas. Now look at this story on massive increase in Democratic strongholds:

Cleveland has seen nearly twice as many new voters register so far as compared with 2000; Philadelphia is having its biggest boom in new voters in 20 years; and counties are bringing in temporary workers and employees from other agencies to help process all the new registration forms.

Lots of chumps will tell you that your vote will not matter. You are not alone. There are ten people standing behind you and a thousand standing behind them and they all want what you want. I will get my people to the polls and trust that the thousands of people standing behind me will each get their people to the polls. You are not alone.

September 27, 2004

Would the Real America Please Stand Up

Found a lovely post in the Gladflyer this morning:

The Washington Post is in the midst of a somewhat somewhat interesting series offering a portrait of a young man struggling with his homosexuality as he grows up in Oklahoma, not exactly the most welcoming and open-minded of places. But the title they give to the series is an abomination:

"Young and Gay in Real America"

Excuse me? "Real America"? As they say in the Garden State, where I hail from, fuck you.

Sorry to abandon my ordinarily measured tone, but I am so goddamn tired of being told that places where there are lots of Republicans are "really" American and places where there are lots of Democrats are, well, something else

You see this all the time. Rural areas and the middle of the country are "Real" and the big cities and the coasts are something else. I've lived in different parts of California my whole life. I grew up rural, went to school and worked in big cities and am doing grad school in a mid-sized city. Now tell me which one was the "Real" America.

September 26, 2004

Election Prep Checklist

Al Gore gives a great speech when he talks about the difference between what the morning after an election victory is like compared to the morning after a loss. It goes something like this: You wake up in the morning, there is a crick in your neck and a pain in your back. Your alarm didn't go off and you're late for work. It's raining outside and the coffee machine is out of filters. You stub your toe getting the paper (which is all wet from the rain) and "Four More Years." Or you wake up rested and ready. The sun is shining, the birds are singing. Together with your paycheck you find the morning paper with the headline "Kerry Landslide." Now with little over a month to go to the election. I now present to you the following handy checklist to prepare for the upcoming elections.

1. Register to vote. I know, I know but just make sure o.k? I would hate to spend all this time convincing you to vote and have you not be able to. You have a couple of weeks left in California, but don't put it off.

2. Chip in money if you can. You can't give any more money to the Kerry/Edwards campaign. But you can give to the Democratic National Committee. The DNC blog is called "Kicking Ass" and that's what they will do with your money.

3. Put in some time. For those of us who are broke the best thing we can give is our time. Find a place to put in a little volunteer time. If you live in a swing state there will be plenty of Presidential action. If not, find a local candidate who seems worth it and put in a little time. Call some voters, change some minds.

4. Find a mind that you can change. Think about everybody you know. The key minds we are after are: 1. Wishy-washy people who have not picked a guy yet. 2. "Soft" conservatives who are upset with Bush. 3. Dumb-ass liberals who are still going to vote for Nader. 4. Lazy-ass liberals who would vote for Kerry if we can only get them to lay down the joint and vote. Find these people! We can start working on them soon, but the important thing is to find them.

You have your marching orders. Go forth loyal readers! Onward to victory!

September 24, 2004

Klingons Support Kerry

Forget those Gallup polls. 75% percent of, some dudes dressed as, nerds, 75% of all nerds support Kerry!

Don't mock the voting power of nerds. They are just as valid a voter group as "Security Moms."

Friday Roundup

Some more stuff about the draft. Because my mother is not worried enough this fine morning.

1,043 U.S. dead in Iraq. I'm really trying to bring my mom down.

"Life's not perfect" - Donald Rumsfeld on the possibility that parts of Iraq can't take part in elections. Hey, New England, sorry but you can't vote, life's not perfect.

Read Political Animal on the total state of denial that Bush is in.

Read Sidney Blumenthal on the same subject:

The news is grim, but the president is "optimistic." The intelligence is sobering, but he tosses aside "pessimistic predictions." His opponent says he has "no credibility," but the president replies that it is his rival who is "twisting in the wind." The secretary general of the United Nations speaks of the "rule of law," but Bush talks before a mute General Assembly of "a new definition of security." Between the rhetoric and the reality lies the campaign.

September 23, 2004

Debate Countdown

One week till the first debate! Can you feel the excitement? Kerry's voice is gone, which is a little troubling. Rest up big guy. Good news is that when he can talk he is hammering Bush really hard on Iraq. TNR has a good post about how this changes the coverage of the race. By the rules of current jouralism, reporters can't just say "Bush lied about the state of Iraq today" even if he does. That would be 'bias.' But they can write "Kerry says Bush lies about state of Iraq." This is balance. The thing about reporters is that they hate to cover issues. They don't want to write about what Bush and Kerry are talking about. The need to event drama with the horserace. So we go from "Kerry's race to lose" to "Kerry is doomed." Prepare yourself for a "Kerry comeback" and "Race still tight" to be the next storyline. All based on little swings in the polls.

September 22, 2004

I'm Telling You We are going to Win

So, I keep hearing from people about how they are so sad that Bush is going to win. Mainly this is based on the sight of a Gallup poll that puts Bush up 13 points that everyone seems to have seen. Everybody calm down just a bit. There are a lot of polls and most of them have the race very close. Go to polling report and take a look. I think one problem is that people are thinking about this race like it's a sports game. I'm as fond of sports metaphors as anybody but a Presidential race is not a football game. In football, an early lead will help you later in the game. Being really ahead early in the race does not help you one bit if that lead is gone by election day. Just ask President Howard Dean. There is only one poll that Kerry has to win and that's election day. The horse race numbers will not be worth the html I've linked to on November 3rd. The horse race will move up and down. We have had both conventions, and in a week the debates will start. All kinds of polls will come out. Only one will matter. So go vote and don't let Gallup mess with your head. The Republicans will act like they are winning. Here is an old quote from 2000 I stole from The Note:

With little more than three weeks until Election Day, Mr. Bush and his aides are exuding a mood as helium-buoyant as at any other point in the 16 months of his campaign. They feel that he aced last week's debate and turned the tide of polls decidedly in his favor, and they seem to be operating in a zone of comfort and joy, or at least are successfully projecting that image.

Frank Bruni, New York Times, October 16, 2000

September 21, 2004

Kerry's "Top 10 Bush Tax Proposals"

10. No estate tax for families with at least two U.S. presidents.

9. W-2 Form is now Dubya-2 Form.

8. Under the simplified tax code, your refund check goes directly to Halliburton.

7. The reduced earned income tax credit is so unfair, it just makes me want to tear out my lustrous, finely groomed hair.

6. Attorney General (John) Ashcroft gets to write off the entire U.S. Constitution.

5. Texas Rangers can take a business loss for trading Sammy Sosa.

4. Eliminate all income taxes; just ask Teresa (Heinz Kerry) to cover the whole damn thing.

3. Cheney can claim Bush as a dependent.

2. Hundred-dollar penalty if you pronounce it "nuclear" instead of "nucular."

1. George W. Bush gets a deduction for mortgaging our entire future.

Quote of the Day

If Bush wins this election it will be because he successfully got a majority of the American people to believe they're living in his fantasy universe where all will be right in Iraq as long as we have sufficient willpower and where his opponent has some secret plan to surrender to America's enemies. If it works, he'll have had a lot of help in constructing it.

Matthew Yglesias, TAPPED

September 20, 2004

Kerry Knows What He Is Talking About

Everyone read this Kerry speech about Iraq. Share it with everyone who questions Kerry on Iraq. Kerry knows what has gone wrong and is working on how to fix it. If it can be fixed this man and his team can do it. And if Iraq cannot be solved I trust Kerry to be the guy to decide.

Bush, in case you are wondering, still thinks everything is going just fine in Iraq.

While secretly planning to withdraw shortly after the election!

September 19, 2004

Now it's Real

I little while ago I read a story, I can't remember where, about how young football stars today don't really feel like they have made something of themselves until they have appeared in the Madden NFL video game. Being on TV and a big contract is cool, but you haven't made it until you can play yourself in a video game. Now I could try and convince you that John Kerry is a war hero with boring official findings, reports blah, blah blah. Or you could just play the video game. Case closed.

September 17, 2004

Why all Polls are Wrong

I'm going to seriously lose it if I keep looking at horserace polls. By the Donkey Rising round-up Kerry is slightly ahead, tied or being crushed. Most electorial collage tallies have Bush ahead, but I see state polls in there that have George and John within 1 point of each other in both Minnesota and Colorado which both really should be locked up by now Minnesota - Blue, Colorado - Red. The Pew research center had Kerry making up a 13 point lead in one week! Everything is totally screwy. The US electorate is going to more than 100 million people in 2004. I mean the Pew center is filled with very smart people and all but did 13 million people just change their minds in the last week? I can firmly say at this point that all of these polls are wrong. Backing me up in this is Jimmy Breslin of Newsday who has today's must read.

Anybody who believes these national political polls are giving you facts is a gullible fool...

The telephone polls do not include cellular phones. There are almost 169 million cell phones being used in America today - 168,900,019 as of Sept. 15, according to the cell phone institute in Washington.

There is no way to poll cell phone users, so it isn't done...

You do a political poll on land-line phones, you miss those from 18 to 25, and there are figures all over the place that show there are 40 million between the ages of 18 and 29, one in five eligible voters.

And the great page-one presidential polls don't come close to reflecting how these younger voters say they might vote. The majority of them use cell phones and nobody ever asks them anything.

I am the voter he is talking about. I don't have a land line, all I use is my cell phone. Nobody has ever polled me. To correct this oversight I shall conduct the very first Craigorian Chant cell phone poll. I shall randomly call 5 people off of the pre-set numbers on my cell phone...Please wait...

Kerry 80%
Bush 0%
Undecided 20%

There you have it folks. Inevitable Kerry victory. Seriously, I really think that young people with cells are Kerry people and they just are not in these polls.

September 16, 2004

Quote of the Day

"George Bush is proud of the fact that not even failure can cause him to change his mind."

John Kerry

A Post to Keep My Mother from Worry

I got a forwarded e-mail from the official Mother of Craigorian Chant today that talked about legislation to reinstate the draft that is working it's way through Congress. Called S89 and HR163 it seems guaranteed to scare the crap out of my Mom and millions of women like her. Rest assured there is nothing to worry about. This is legislation introduced by Charles Rangel (D-Harlem) the very liberal, gravel voiced, black Congressman. Rangel, a Korean War vet, is very opposed to the Iraq war and stupid wars in general. He feels that if middle and upper class kids were going to die in wars then we would have fewer wars. These bills have no chance in Congress and are very much a political stunt. On the broader subject of having a draft I think that it is highly unlikely. It doesn't make a lot of military sense. There are two reasons that we don't have Vietnam-level casualties in Iraq, one is body armor. The other reason is that we have a professional, rather than a drafted military. Finally, having a draft would be political death. Imagine ten million moms just like mine storming the capital. If you are still worried read this John Edwards story:

"There will be no draft when John Kerry is president," Edwards said, a statement that drew a standing ovation.

So vote Kerry-Edwards and keep my mother from worry. She can go back to worrying if I will make it through grad school and get a job that has health benefits.

September 15, 2004

Things to Be Read

More about Bush and Russia by Robert Kagan:

Nor is there any complexity or fuzziness about the significance of Putin's actions. Putin is imposing dictatorship the old-fashioned way, in the manner of a Ferdinand Marcos, an Anastasio Somoza or a Park Chung Hee. He claims that he needs to strengthen the state to face its enemies. So did they. Russia does need to fight terrorism. But eliminating elections and quashing Putin's political opponents has nothing to do with that fight.

Stuff on Bush and the National Guard which injects some higher meaning to the subject:

Does any of this matter? What troubles me is less Mr. Bush's advantage three decades ago and more his denial today. Mr. Bush's own route to avoid the draft underscores the disparities in America, yet his policies seem based on a kind of social Darwinism in which the successful make their own opportunities. His tax cuts and entire outlook seem rooted in ideas not of noblesse oblige, but of noblesse entitlement.

Bush is a son of privilege. That's what he knows because he has not bothered to learn about anything else. He thinks that his policies are good because they are good for sons of privilege. Kerry is a son of privilege, but because he knows and thinks about the world his policies help people in that world.

For international flavor read the Scotsman on the Iraq clusterfuck:

TWO months ago, amid the kind of secrecy more normally associated with Saddam’s illicit arms deals, the US authorities in Baghdad formally handed over power to the fledgling Iraqi government.

The ceremony, amid the formidable security of the Green Zone, was done two days ahead of schedule in a bid to wrongfoot insurgents - for whom, it was claimed, it would provide the key rallying moment for a final, last-gasp offensive.

Today, with both Ayad Allawi's new government and its coalition backers losing control of the country, it is hard to imagine why anybody bothered with such constitutional conjuring.

Craigorian Chant: Stealing the best thinking from around the web.

September 14, 2004


You hear a lot of talk from Bush about promoting democracy. Democracy promotion is a long standing American tradition that waxes (Kennedy, Carter) and wanes (Nixon) as time goes on. Democracy is such a duh good thing in American culture that even Queen Amidala in the new Star Wars movies is elected, with term limits, which doesn't make her much of a queen if you think about it. Anyway, it's easy to talk about Democracy, but as always, results matter. As you can see the world has made a lot of progress in the 1990's with the fall of the Soviet Bloc and liberalization of Latin America. This process started under Bush I and continued under Clinton. How has Bush II done? Not so well. Iraq and Afganistan are not democracies they are chaosocracies (my new word). Chaos rules not 'Freedom.' The Arab world remains the least free region in the world. Most troubling Russia under Putin seems to be taking a huge step backwards.

The former KGB spy's directive for revamping the way Russia is governed included an end to the direct popular election of governors and a major rearrangment in the rules for selecting members of parliament, already deeply loyal to the Kremlin.

Critics charged the Russian leader was using the bloody outcome of the Beslan school siege to grab more power.

The rules for electing members of parliament are less troubling to me. Different counties use different systems to elect their legislators, it's like the difference between Sweden and Great Britain. The ending of direct election of governors is really troubling. It reminds Political Animal of Imperial policy in Episode IV of Star Wars (Two Star Wars references in one Post!) Things that we worry about in the US, like using terrorist attacks to seize power are now playing out live and in color in Russia. There is a lot of talk about Bush II dealing with his father's legacy in Iraq. But Bush II is in real danger of watching as the greatest achievement of Bush I presidency is destroyed: Democratic Russia.

September 13, 2004

Assault Weapons Ban, Swing States and Why Everyone Should Vote

The assault weapons ban has expired today, so I can get that AK-47 I've been saving up for. Bush claims that he would sign a new ban if only Congress would send him one. Congress, which is, of course, under the control of The President's Own Party, has taken no action on the matter. So Bush can say he is against assault weapons while letting them become legal. I shall now smoothly transition to why you should vote. John Kerry is in favor of the assault weapons ban. He has won the endorsement of police unions in part because of that support. If he becomes President he will attempt to get a new ban through Congress in the face of the opposition of the forces of darkness, in this case, the NRA. How strong he is politically will determine if the ban makes it through Congress. I have been hearing a lot of static about how "it doesn't matter if I vote for Kerry, I don't live in a swing state” But the better Kerry does in the election, the more of his agenda can get through to Congress. There is a great scene in this episode of The West Wing where the President's staffer can kick a Congressmen's ass over a gun control bill because the President got more votes in the Congressmen's district than the Congressman did. So in a year from now when Kerry's guys on the Hill are trying to get all kinds of bills passed, it will really matter that Kerry won by 55-45 in some congressional district rather than 51-49. So get your ass to polls, no matter where you live.

September 12, 2004

Headlines or Why the Bush Foreign Policy Sucks Eggs in 3 Easy Steps

North Korea Blast Not Likely Nuclear - Well, I feel better.

Iran Rejects Call to Abandon Nuclear Program - Oh, not so good.

At Least 24 Die in Baghdad Fighting
- Alright, now you are just pissing me off.

Two of the biggest problems in the world are North Korea and Iran. Nuclear North Korea and Iran are total nighmares. The entire US Army is now tied down in Iraq. Every major Army unit is either in Iraq or recovering from Iraq so it can go back. We have nothing left to deal with North Korea and Iran. They, unlike Iraq, are getting nukes. North Korea may already have nukes. The Bush administration not only managed to pick the one rogue nation in the world without a nuke program, they have burned up all of our dipomatic goodwill and available military force to do so. So, now the real crisis will come and we will have nothing left to deal with it.

September 10, 2004

Friday No-Panic Edition

So, every morning I turn on cable news for 5-15 minutes while I put on my shoes and eat a bagel or somesuch. CNN, Fox, whoever has politics going at that moment. Today it's Fox and I am in despair. Kerry's poll numbers are down, he can't do anything right, blah, blah. I hang my head in shame. But then I log on and the lovely Michelle Cottle, who really should be on TV more, has written an article to buck me up.

Enough with the public hand-wringing. For starters, this election is hardly over. Iraq is still a disaster. The economy isn't exactly en fuego. Al Qaeda is very much alive and recruiting like crazy. The entire Middle East, and much of the rest of the world, thinks America is the Great Satan. Our homeland security efforts are scattered and underfunded. Iran and North Korea are building nukes. Dick Cheney is becoming a bigger jerk by the day. Bush's National Guard record is back in the news. And not even Karl Rove's flying monkeys can stop Monday's release of Kitty Kelley's new book--which, while unlikely to inflict much damage to W.'s rep, in part because even many Republicans have long assumed that "I was young and irresponsible" is code for "I was a rich, spoiled, coke-snorting, drunk-driving, awol slamhound, will at least annoy the Bushies for a few days.

Ok, Michelle, I say, if you are telling me to not to panic, then I shall remain tough. Then I read this one by William Saletan which compares the Bush administration to the guy who runs the wrong way with the football and I start to feel good. Then this story in Salon about how conservatives shouldn't vote for Bush. Dark cloud lifted.

I proudly present my Bush-Cheney 2004 slogan:

We may be lost, but we are making good time.

September 9, 2004


Anybody want to read about how Bush did coke?

Yeah, me neither. But they started it.

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

Friedrich Nietzsche
So, to give a more constructive, responsible argument here is a link about jobs and stuff.

Craigorian Chant: We vote on jobs, not coke.

September 8, 2004

The Fight Goes On

1000 dead. Administration rudderless.

I joked earlier this week about the GOP message being "Vote for Kerry and you kill us all." Well, the VP went and said it.

Zogby Battleground poll say Kerry still has EC lead. How reliable is the Zogby Battleground poll? Extremely reliable until it shows a Bush lead. But regardless the graphic looks cool. Virtual Post-It Notes!

Any good or not so good Catholics here today? Give the political test at a try to see how your views match up with Bush, Kerry and official Catholic church views. I, to the surprise of no one, agree most with Kerry, but the Bishops and I don't disagree as much as you would think.

Finally one More U2 thing - hear the President sing "Sunday, Bloody, Sunday" here.

September 7, 2004

Mess in Iraq

Lest we forget, the mess in Iraq is still, well, a mess. Our soldiers continue to die. We have lost 58 soldiers in July and 75 in August and 21 in the first week of September. For those of you keeping score at home, that's a worse rate of casualties after the "handover" of "power" to the Iraqi "Government" than before. What do you know? The "Handover" did not work in reducing the fighting. How did I know that it would not work: The Bush administration said that it would reduce the fighting. Just like declaring "Mission Accomplished," killing Saddam's sons, and capturing Saddam were going to stop the fighting and didn't. Now taking casualties alone does not render Iraq a clusterfuck. Taking casualties while losing control of most major cities in Iraq not to mention Sadr city in Baghdad, does. Imagine occupying Chicago with the south side in open rebellion. There are not that many cities in Iraq, if the U.S. backed central government does not control these cities then they are not the government of Iraq. We can retake these cities, but it would wreck the cities. Which in the words of Iraq'd would:

And would the surviving residents and neighbors of a flattened city really be inclined to view elections held in the wake of destruction as credible and legitimate? I hate to say it, but ask a Chechen. It may very well be that at this late hour, free and fair elections in January may simply not be possible.

Bill Clinton, recovering nicely, had foreign policy screw-ups. Somalia was not a highlight. Some of you may have seen the movie. After a screw-up that cost the lives of 19 soldiers Clinton fired his Defense secretary. Sometime this week 1,000 soldiers will be dead.

Not one member of the Bush Foreign Policy Team has been fired.

September 6, 2004

Bono on The O'Reilly Factor!

My biggest miss of the GOP Convention, along with not scoring an interview with Zell Miller for the blog, was not seeing Bono go on the O'Reilly Factor. Nothing dies on the internet and I have found the transcript. Now, it is well known that, in addition to being the front man for the GREATEST ROCK BAND IN THE WORLD, Bono has magical powers when it comes to fighting for his causes of AIDS and Debt relief in Africa. He moved the racist old hardass Senator Jesse Helms to tearfull support of his cause. Full of shit Bill O'Reilly does not stand a chance:

O'REILLY: Do you really believe America is a great country?

BONO: Yes, I do.

O'REILLY: Because a lot of Europeans do not.

BONO: Yes -- no, I mean, I'm like an annoying fan. I'm like the one that reads the liner notes on the CD. I'm the one that -- I read the Declaration of Independence before a speaking tour we did on AIDS in the Midwest. I've read the Constitution. I've read these poetic tracks. And I suppose, you know, I'm just going around trying to remind people that their country -- why it is great, and in case they forget, why it’s great. Because the United States that I love is like the Statue of Liberty with its arms open, give me your tired, your poor and huddled masses. It's not the continent behaving like an island, which sometimes it behaves like.


BONO: Look, if you see a car crash, somebody's lying there in the middle of the road bleeding and it turns out they're a drunk driver, you're still going to call an ambulance. We can't make these judgments about entire civilizations. We try to re-educate people, we try to deal with the problem.

And by the way, not dealing with the problem with something like AIDS, which metastasized, which grows on a geometric level, is really foolhardy. Because it will be more expensive to deal with it later.


O'REILLY: You're certainly doing God's work. I mean, I admire you very much for what you're doing.

No chance at all.

Radio Cities!

Here’s an interesting thing I thought about whilst driving across country the last week of August: Radio could decide the election!

According to this, (9th paragraph down) Kerry’s best swing state win chances are Florida, Ohio, Nevada, West Virginia and New Hampshire.

Let's look at the number of affiliates Air America has in these key swing states: Yikes! They suck!

Now lets take a look at Bill O’Reily and Rush Limbaugh alone (keep in mind I’m not counting Micheal Savage, Micheal Medved, Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy, etc.)



(click and count yourself)

You’ll find that combined its 100+ vs. 3 in the key swing states that Kerry has "the best chance in" !!! Of course I'm not counting satelite radio, but that doesn't really matter much.

Could hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions be persuaded by radio? It sounds silly, but think about those news reports they had during the Primaries when they asked some people when they decided on whom to vote for. Some of them said "In the car ride over here." !!!—you know where there are radios!

But then again, what do I know.......

September 5, 2004

Poll Heartburn

So Time and Newsweek both have Bush up 10 points after the GOP convention. In totally unrelated news Former President Clinton's heart is on the fritz. No need to panic, a bunch of very soft voters got the message of the GOP: Vote for Kerry and you will kill us all. Kerry will come back. Now I must note that even the modest hopes of the protesters to step on Bush's message did not happen. Protests just don't seem to get it done. By the way, remind me to keep writing stuff like "Protests are futile" it really seems to rile up the readers. 100,000 extra voters will do so much more that 100,000 people in the streets. Look, a lot of you folks have jobs. There are two kinds of problems at work: the kind that could get you fired and all the other kinds of problems. Protesters are the second kind of problem for Bush.

Bush lives in a hermetically sealed bubble into which no criticism can enter. As our masterful UK correspondent points out to me in an e-mail that Bush events are completely stage-managed events with a pre-screened audience that give him softball questions to answer. I have mixed feelings about how effective this tactic is. On the one hand he never looks bad, but on the other hand he never talks to anyone but the choir. The Kerry campaign, on the other hand, does not screen it's events and goes into places that are not a lock for Kerry. The result is that Kerry draws some massive crowds to his events and is able to talk to people in the middle. The downside is that he gets heckled, which can get really interesting when Teresa talks back.

Hecklers - "Four More Years!"
Teresa Kerry - "They want four more years of Hell!"

September 3, 2004

Donkey Vrs Pachyderm Convention Scorecard

How did the two conventions stack up?

Themes of Convention: Already talked about this. "A more hopefull nation" We don't need hope. We need hopes answered.
Winner: Donkey

The Daughters: Please. Classy v Not. Material is everything. Cute story of hamster rescue v Sex in the City is something only adults do and never talk about. The Kerry's made you laugh the Bush's made you squirm.
Winner: Donkey

Keynote Speaker: Barak Obama v Zell Miller. The could be the best comparison for the Dems. Obama had poetry. They both blew the doors off the place but Obama is the one worth repeating. Zell was so full of bile that the only question will be how bad will this hurt the GOP.
Winner: Donkey

Other Speakers: The Clintons and Gore vs McCain, Giuliani. Kind of a tie. Good jobs all around. I'm giving this one to GOP mainly to avoid looking like a complete tool and because with the GOP guys we political junkies can speculate who will be running agaist President Kerry in 2008.
Winner: Elephants

Celebrities: Democrats easily win this one. I've been over this before. The only thing that makes this one close is that I'm putting the Govenator in this category. The GOP may have sucky celebrities but their one good one won the biggest state in the Union.
Winner: Donkey

Acceptance Speeches. The only thing that really matters. The rest of this stuff is just fun to talk about. TBD.
Winner: Let you Know in November.

September 2, 2004

What the Hell is wrong with Zell Miller?

If a guy switches parties he should really do so out of sadness, not anger. I would like to still be a democrat but they have moved to the left and I am forced to blah, blah blah. One should not become a raving loon overnight. Somehow, Zell Miller went from giving the keynote for Clinton's 92 convention and endorsing Kerry as one of the "Nation's authentic heroes." three years ago, to giving the most vile anti-Kerry address ever. Everybody I read online hated this speech. I really think that it will backfire. Miller's speech was the keynote speech of the convention, the equivalent of Obama's speech in Boston that got such rave reviews. The cable folks really tore into Miller in some interviews last night. The CNN Wolf/Jeff/Judy crew let him have it and Chris Mathews really tore him up on MSNBC. I think the refs are flagging the GOP for a penalty. The Dems should do all they can to wrap this speech around Bush. The GOP wanted this man, the Democrat's rejected him.

September 1, 2004

GOP Day 2

Oh, good grief, the Bush twins blew. That was terrible. I mean they looked very stylish and all, but their material blew. It sounded like a fifty-year old member of the Bush speechwriter staff tried to come up with something hip and edgy for some 20-somethings to say. Lots of pop culture references. They used "Sex and the City" and "Outkast" as set ups to jokes. I can't repeat the jokes because my mind, in an effort to protect me, is blocking the memory. Jeff Greenfield on CNN said "Whoever in the Bush campaign gave 5 minutes of Las Vegas material to the Bush daughters should be walking precinct in Alaska by next week."

Governor Biceps gave a damn good speech last night. But. The dirty secret of the whole Arnold thing is that the guy is really a liberal. He's for gay rights, gun control, and environmental regulation. He is to the left of the late Grey Davis on a number of issues including crime. Read this TNR story on the speech and his politics:

Consider these political inversions: In the last few weeks, Schwarzenegger has proposed massively expanding Indian gambling, recommended levying a utility rate hike to pay for solar energy, and signed off on the parole of a convicted murderer--all to opposition from leading Democrats.

Governor Bench Press is a liberal guy. He is married to a Kennedy. Case closed.

Finally a brief word about the First Lady. I think it is a pretty good indicator of how important terrorism is and how badly Iraq hurts Bush if even the First Lady is talking about it.