Friday, December 17, 2004

President Bush: Proudly staring "challanges" in the face.

It wasn't the Swift Vets. It wasn't the flip-flopping. It wasn't even the windsurfing. It was Moammar Gadhafi.

"It was Mr. Bush who promised to reward Libya if we got rid of this program," Gadhafi said, according to an English-language transcript.

"We know that with this withdrawal, we contributed by 50 percent to his electoral campaign."

Gag me with an enormous, poison-tipped spoon:

The American Conservative Union yesterday announced it had tapped Sen. Zell Miller (D., Ga.) to present the "Courage Under Fire" award to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth at the Conservative Political Action Conference's Feb. 18 banquet.

Doesn't take much to take a hostage in Greece, huh?

Greece's freed hijack hostages on Thursday portrayed their Albanian captors as bungling criminals just after money who were easily manipulated and armed with croissants, not dynamite.

Mary Beth Cahill regrets underestimating the Swift Boat Vets. In other news, obvious things happened.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Trent Lott wants Rumsfeld to go? That's pretty bad.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Rendell wants the 2008 PA primary pushed up to late January:

"Pennsylvanians are deprived of their rightful place in the selection of a nominee because of the lateness of the primary," Rendell said at a news conference.
You know, I bet this entire "push the primaries up" movement is being secretly sponsored by the shadowy Washington elite that make up the professional-political-operative community. The earlier the presidential campaign starts, the bigger their tiny paychecks (or, sometimes, not-paychecks)...

Today's Last Call Shot and Chaser:

"Between work and school and athletics, George always kept up with current events" - Bush, giving Tenet the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
"It's a slam-dunk" - Tenet (Washington Post, 4/17/04).

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Proof that even George Bush can inspire neat crafts.

In a fit of poverty-solving efficiency, LA Gov. Kathleen Blanco promises to create an "Office of Community Development" to "bring more grant money into the state." Needless to say, the announcement causes confusion among the staff of the... Office of Community Development.

John Edwards: 1 down, 269 to go.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Silly robbers! It's just a game!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

  • Problem 1: President Bush, reeling from the recent withdrawal of Rambo's name from consideration, is left without a Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • Problem 2: The Yankees are facing a trillion-dollar contract dispute with their admittedly-steroid-using first baseman.

    My dreams were apparently more productive than usual last night, because I woke up with a two-birds-with-one-stone solution to both of those problems sitting on the tip of my tongue: Jason Giuliambi.

  • Very nice Bernard. You can't even keep your own house, and you want to run Homeland Security.


    Friday, December 10, 2004

    The Salazar brothers will be car-pooling to their new D.C. offices. How adorable.

    The Democratic brothers have rented an apartment on Massachusetts Avenue and are preparing for their new jobs. "I think we can get along," John Salazar joked Thursday. "Maybe he'll give me a ride up to the Capitol each day."

    You Might Be a (Bad) Redneck if...

    Some of that whiskey, Johnson said, ended up in the hands of her grandson, who got drunk and vandalized his own truck the day before the election.

    Britain's Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents releases a list of guidelines for hosting a safe office holiday party. Included:

    "Resist the temptation to photocopy parts of your anatomy. If the copier breaks, you'll have Christmas with glass in painful places."
    Sage advice.

    Thursday, December 09, 2004

    Tuesday, December 07, 2004

    Great quote from Tommy Thompson last week:

    "For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do."

    Friday, December 03, 2004

    Tommy Thompson makes it eight of fifteen. Who's left?


    Drudge for Democrats.

    Buffalo alternative newspaper The Beast publishes their list of the Top Ten Election Campaign Hacks. My favorite: number four, James Bennet:

    Take Bennet's wrap of the second debate ("In a Disguised Gym, Softballs and Political Drama," Oct. 9). Bennet's general argument in this piece was that there was a special "dynamic" to the debate that you missed if, unlike Bennet, you weren't there.

    "Inside the hall, the scene was of a theater in the round," he wrote, adding that "Viewers at home were denied the peek behind the political and news media curtain that voters here received."

    Bennet goes on to describe some of those elements of the "dynamic" that were invisible to TV viewers:

    Those viewers did not see how the moderator, Charles Gibson of ABC, hammed it up with a colleague, Chris Wallace of Fox News, who was seated in one of the network boxes overlooking the hall.

    "Hi, Chris," Mr. Gibson hallooed, before the debate began, to the delight of the assembled voters. "Hello, Charlie," Mr. Wallace called back with a grin.

    In the hands of a mere mortal, this scene is written as follows: "Charlie Gibson said hi to Chris Wallace." But in Bennet's hands, this "hallooing" was a bit of "theater in the round," part of a "drama that mixed calculated stagecraft and moments of genuine improvisation," only discernible to those who were there to hear Charlie Gibson say "hi" to Chris Wallace.

    Thursday, December 02, 2004

    Iraq's new color-coded Terror Alert System.

    Delightful and refreshing news from an Iranian cemetery.

    Some 200 masked young men and women gathered at a Tehran cemetery Thursday to pledge their willingness to carry out suicide bomb attacks against Americans in Iraq and Israelis. A spokesman, Ali Mohammadi, described Thursday's group as the "first suicide commando unit," though another official has claimed members already have carried out attacks in Israel. "Sooner or later we will bury all blasphemous occupiers of Islamic lands," Mohammadi said.

    How to solve Florida's Election Day woes? Do away with Election Day.

    Wednesday, December 01, 2004

    As if we could offend the Canadians more than we already have...

    To reduce Ugly American incidents, the Office of the Chief of Protocol on Air Force One provided "Protocol Essentials" to passengers. The pointers reminded Americans that Canadians enjoy firm handshakes for people they meet and customary hellos upon greeting, although the French speakers go with "Bonjour." Diners can rest elbows on the table after meals, the protocol office declared. Also, the Canadian expression "eh" - pronounced "AY" - means "you know?" or "isn't it?" but is "used mostly in rural areas."

    In Quebec, the protocol tips advised, don't give thumbs-down gesture, as it is "considered offensive." This information came in use when U.S. reporters who might not otherwise have understood the significance of the thumbs-down gesture spied a man who presented a downward pointing thumb as Bush's motorcade passed.

    Tuesday, November 30, 2004

    When the right wants to protest something, they bring out scary rednecks and women carrying pictures of aborted fetuses. When the left wants to protest something, we bring out the "Raging Grannies." And we wonder why we lost.

    Busloads from across Ontario and Quebec will carry protesters with a wide range of beefs, said march organizer Joe Cressy of the No to Bush Committee. The group is a collection of labour, student, church and individual activists formed solely for the president's visit.

    "You'll see the Raging Grannies in addition to radical cheerleaders, Belly Dancers Against Bush, (and) Artists Against War who have created an 'Unwelcome Mat.'"

    The Schwarzengovernor will pop down to Texas today, to recieve a silly award and raise money for his re-election campaign:

    Schwarzenegger will accept the 2004 George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service at Texas A&M University, where Bush's presidential library is located.
    You don't suppose his qualification for the award (which is similar in level-of-name-irony to the George Bush Center for Intelligence) has anything to do with Ahnold's presidential campaign cooperation, do you?

    Stuart Rothenberg picks the biggest losers of the 2004 campaign cycle, and calls it a four-way tie: George Soros, Michael Moore, Bob Shrum, and France.

    Miami Herald columnist Jim DeFede is driving the Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich (the "VMGCS," he calls it) across the country, and blogging as he goes. Worth a look.

    Reason #73,294 why NASCAR fans and Wal-Mart shoppers should be prohibited from making decisions.

    The 20th annual Christmas Price Index finds that "The Twelve Days of Christmas" will cost you 1.6% more this year than last:

    "The abundance of cheaper labor in countries such as India and China has resulted in pressure on U.S. manufacturers to outsource unskilled labor. As a result the cost of skilled dancers has steadily increased while the unskilled milk maids haven't managed an increase in pay for their services in many years."

    The War on Terror goes green: Gerry Adams gets his first national headline since Clinton left office.

    Sunday, November 28, 2004

    Another reason why my big-ass-electric-fence-around the entire-United-States theory is becoming more of a reality.

    The 300 men filling out forms in the offices of an Iranian aid group were offered three choices: Train for suicide attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq, for suicide attacks against Israelis or to assassinate British author Salman Rushdie.

    Since that inaugural June meeting in a room decorated with photos of Israeli soldiers' funerals, the registration forms for volunteer suicide commandos have appeared on Tehran's streets and university campuses, with no sign Iran's government is trying to stop the shadowy movement.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2004

    Another reason I am growing more and more detached from the church.

    Police are investigating an informal exorcism at the Cathedral of St. Paul, which was directed at gay Roman Catholics and will cost thousands of dollars to clean up, police and church officials said.

    They said the ritualistic sprinkling of blessed oil and salt around the church and in donation boxes earlier this month amounted to costly vandalism and possibly a hate crime. The groups are at odds over gays participating in communion, one of the holiest rites in the church. Earlier this year, about 40 men, members of the group Ushers of the Eucharist, knelt in the aisles at the Cathedral to block Rainbow members from taking communion.

    The Rev. Michael Skluzacek, rector of the cathedral, said he immediately understood the symbolism when he was told that someone had sprinkled the oil and salt around the church. "It's a sign of exorcism," he told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. "It's a sign of casting out the power of evil."

    Tuesday, November 23, 2004

    The NY Times still fails to grasp reality.

    At a time when the White House has portrayed Mr. Bush's 3.5-million-vote victory as a mandate, the poll found that Americans are at best ambivalent about Mr. Bush's plans to reshape Social Security, rewrite the tax code, cut taxes and appoint conservative judges to the bench. There is continuing disapproval of Mr. Bush's handling of the war in Iraq, with a plurality now saying it was a mistake to invade in the first place.

    A great article grading the B-list '08 Dems. Top three:

    • TN Gov. Phil Bredesen (A-)
    • VA Gov. Mark Warner (B+)
    • PA Gov. Ed Rendell (B)

    Monday, November 22, 2004

    Historian James Reston writes in the LAT (on this forty-first anniversary of the JFK assassination) that the steel back brace Kennedy was wearing when he was shot may have actually prevented him from getting out of the way of the eventually-fatal second bullet:

    But because of the corset, Kennedy's body did not act as a normal body would when the bullet passed through his throat. Held by his back brace, Kennedy remained upright, according to the Warren Commission, for five more seconds. This provided Oswald the opportunity to reload and shoot again at an almost stationary target.

    Without the corset, the force of the first bullet, traveling at a speed of 2,000 feet a second, would surely have driven the president's body forward, making him writhe in pain like Connally, and probably down in the seat of his limousine, beyond the view of Oswald's cross hairs for a second or third shot.

    USA Today, on Bush's speech at APEC:

    Bush said he will keep the dollar strong, fulfill his pledge to halve the deficit in four years and reform Social Security and Medicare to ensure their long-term stability.
    Seriously, who he is kidding? "Halve the deficit"? Does he not know he's been president for the past four years?

    An amusingly ironic earmark from the multiagency spending bill passed on Saturday night: $1 million for the "Missouri Pork Producers Federation" to develop technology that would improve the environment by converting animal waste into energy. Really. Must have been a big hit in the cloakroom.

    (It's worth noting that the bill also included "$25,000 for the study of mariachi music in the Clark County, Nev., school district.")

    What do you suppose it is that President Bush has done in the past three weeks to raise his approval rating?

    The cameraman who filmed the marine-shoots-wounded-Iraqi video weighs in: "It's time you to have the facts from me, in my own words, about what I saw."

    The five most dangerous cities in the country, in order:

    • Camden, NJ
    • Detroit, MI
    • Atlanta, GA
    • St. Louis, MO
    • Gary, IN
    Remember that Sesame Street game, "Which of these things is not like the other?"

    Finally, an answer to the question we've all been asking: how many New Yorkers want to have Thanksgiving dinner with Michael Bloomberg? (42%)

    An op-ed by the director of Fog of War about the varying interpretations of the video of the marine shooting the wounded Iraqi:

    For many people, the interpretation of this videotape will devolve into general questions about Iraq. People will interpret this videotape according to their ideological dispositions. Are we looking at the face of freedom on the march, or at the footprint of an out-of-control behemoth leaving a trail of bodies in its wake? For the true believers in the war in Iraq, these images will make little impression. For them, the ends for which this war is being fought justify the means. War is bloody, brutal; the enemy is vicious. But the objective of extending freedom redeems what has to be done to achieve it. In this view the war is unfortunate but necessary.

    For people, like myself, who are deeply skeptical about this war, it is not clear what the 'ends' of this war might be. It doesn't seem as if Iraq is freer or will be freer in the near future. Call me a naysayer or a skeptic, but what I see in the newspapers all seems evidence of mayhem. And with no end of the war in sight, the terrible means - the manner in which this war is being fought - seem, at best, misguided and at worst, deeply wrong.

    Great quote from Howard Kurtz on Thursday:

    The normally tough-on-crime Republicans don't even deny they're trying to protect DeLay and other leaders from what Texas Rep. Henry Bonilla called a "crackpot district attorney" somewhere. (They're customarily called law-enforcement officials.) I don't recall hearing much from the Republicans about runaway prosecutors unfairly maligning corrupt accountants, bank robbers or welfare cheats.

    Saturday, November 20, 2004

    An amusing article about the election's disasterous consequences for the Radio Right:

    But now? Now the big pinatas of the left - the Kerrys, Michael Moore, gay marriage - have all been smited. Now the underdog is the overlord of... well, just about everything.

    What's a right-wing diss jockey supposed to rant about now?

    Porter-Green. SC-Clemson. And of course, Pacers-Pistons. What's the world coming to?

    Friday, November 19, 2004

    Finally, the solution to all of New Jersey's political problems.

    Sam Brownback warns the world about the evils of pornography:

    Now, he said, pornography seems pervasive. Children run across it while researching homework on the Internet. Vulgar ads arrive unexpectedly by e-mail. Some of his middle-age male friends limit their time alone in hotel rooms to avoid the temptation of graphic pay-per-view movies, Brownback said.
    If that's not a sign that his "middle-age male friends" need to find a hobby, I don't know what is.

    This story about the RI reporter convicted of criminal contempt yesterday makes me re-ponder something I've been pondering for a while: if the Valerie Plame case is sufficiently serious to warrant holding Matt Cooper and Judy Miller in contempt, what can possibly be the rationale for not holding Bob Novak as well? I'm genuinely curious. There must be one. I'd like to know what it is.

    Our ex-Presidents: the Reservoir Dogs (courtesy of Hotline's Last Call).

    Doesn't this sound a bit like a crappy Saturday Night Live skit?

    The wives of the four presidents walked out to the stage, each with an umbrella. Their husbands followed with no umbrellas.

    As the men took their places, the women hurried to try to cover them. Bush first took refuge under Chelsea Clinton's umbrella, posing for pictures with his arm around her, then settled on pairing with his wife. Barbara Bush eventually prevailed in convincing her apparently reluctant husband, the elder Bush, to come under her umbrella as well.
    (Also, doesn't it seem weird that Bono and The Edge played "Sunday Bloody Sunday"? I think I would have gone with something a bit more upbeat, and perhaps a bit more topical [see "Angel of Harlem"].)

    From the Washington Post's Thursday Corrections page:

    A Nov. 17 graphic on President Bush's Cabinet misspelled the name of Margaret Spellings, his nominee for education secretary.

    Thursday, November 18, 2004

    OK, now I hate Tony Dungy.

    "To me that's the first thing I thought of as an African-American," Dungy said Wednesday. "I think it's stereotypical in looking at the players, and on the heels of the Kobe Bryant incident I think it's very insensitive. I don't think that they would have had Bill Parcells or Andy Reid or one of the owners involved in that," he added, a reference to the coaches in the game.
    Racially insensitive?? Give me a friggin' break.

    No, no, definitely no al Qaeda in Iraq, well, except for all the terrorists and the signs in their headquarters.

    video shot by an embedded CNN cameraman, soldiers walked through an imposing building with concrete columns and with a large sign in Arabic on the wall reading "Al Qaida Organization" and "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger."

    Inside the building, U.S. soldiers found documents, old computers, notebooks, photographs and copies of the Quran.

    Al-Zarqawi last month renamed his group al-Qaida in Iraq, and his followers have been blamed for a number of deadly bombings and beheadings of foreign hostages, including three Americans and a Briton.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2004

    Postmodern cartography (as featured on the Internets):

    This otherwise-straightforward article contains the following marvelous quote, from Lt. Charles Dennis of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:

    "We're hoping that with all the media coverage it gets, somebody will come forward and say, 'Hey, that's my kangaroo and goat.'"

    An Ohio recount is all but guaranteed. I'm rootin' for Kerry!

    "Let's see," murmured Jeb. "What can I do to get some minor national exposure and reach out to Republican moderates without alienating the party's base?"

    (Note: Sorry for the recent sparsity. It was a rough week.)

    Saturday, November 13, 2004

    I don't know which is the more ridiculous part of this story: the fact that this is the entire lead paragraph (under the scandalous header "Pitt QB uses expletive in NBC postgame interview"):

    Pittsburgh quarterback Tyler Palko used an expletive during a live postgame interview with NBC after the Panthers upset No. 24 Notre Dame 41-38 Saturday.
    Or the fact that this is the entire last paragraph:
    Six weeks ago, NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. uttered a vulgarity during a postrace interview on NBC at Talladega Superspeedway.
    "Six weeks ago," a NASCAR driver "uttered a vulgarity"? He's a goddamn NASCAR driver! We ought to be impressed that he was able to stop chewing tobacco and beating his kids long enough to speak at all! Christ in heaven. And I thought the Janet Jackson uproar was ridiculous...

    I wonder how many "unique visitors" this site got today. The non-killing Scott Peterson.

    Anyone else think that Nancy Pelosi looks unnervingly like Judge Judy in this picture?

    Friday, November 12, 2004

    The Boston Phoenix (admittedly, this is like quoting the NYPost) examines Ohio's election results, and finds some funny coincidences:

    Of Ohio's 88 counties, 20 suffered a significant reduction - shutting at least 20 percent (or at least 30) of their precincts. Most of those counties have Republicans serving as Board of Elections director, including the four biggest: Cuyahoga, Montgomery, Summit, and Lucas.

    Those 20 counties went heavily to Gore in 2000, 53 to 42 percent. The other 68 counties, which underwent little-to-no precinct consolidation, went exactly the opposite way in 2000: 53 to 42 percent to Bush.

    Peterson verdict in!

    Across the country, millions... continue to not care.

    I, personally, am ecstatic. The announcement of the verdict will almost certainly create a "honeymoon," a period of at least a month during which the 24-hour news channels will be forced to spend slightly more time on real news (and - to take the bad with the good - a lot more time on adorable animals doing things they don't usually do) while waiting for Mark Geragos to take on his next client. And like I always say, anything that will keep that horrible Court TV woman off our TV screens for a couple of months is good by me. So long, Scottie!

    Robert Blackwill (who has now appeared on this blog three times in four days) will apparently have to do the remainder of his physical and mental harassment in a slightly-less-fancy environment.

    Silly-named Pataki strategist Arthur Finkelstein gets spanked for pointing out that the Christian right has a controlling interest in the Republican party:

    "Arthur Finkelstein's assessment of the presidential campaign is simply wrong," said Pataki spokeswoman Lisa Stoll, in an unprecedented criticism of the governor's valued campaign strategist.
    I guess I understand the politics behind that, but come on, who are they kidding?

    Like or dislike her politics, Condi Rice is a real stand-up person.

    Robert D. Blackwill, who resigned last week as the White House's top official on Iraq policy, was recently scolded by national security adviser Condoleezza Rice after Secretary of State Colin L. Powell told her that Blackwill appeared to have verbally abused and physically hurt a female embassy staffer during a visit to Kuwait in September, administration officials said.

    An administration official familiar with the discussions between Rice and Blackwill said that Rice interviewed Blackwill and NSC staff members present at the incident. The official said there were conflicting accounts about what happened but Rice was concerned enough that she took action to ensure that Blackwill dealt with his colleagues and subordinates appropriately. He declined to describe the actions Rice took, except to say Blackwill agreed with her decision.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2004

    American troops beating the insurgency in Fallujah with farts.

    “The US occupation troops are gassing resistance fighters and confronting them with internationally-banned chemical weapons,” resistance sources told Al-Quds Press Wednesday, November 10.

    “They use chemical weapons out of despair and helplessness in the face of the steadfast and fierce resistance put up by Fallujah people, who drove US troops out of several districts, hoisting proudly Iraqi flags on them. Resistance has also managed to destroy and set fire to a large number of US tanks and vehicles."

    Thoughtful analysis of the South's influence on American politics.

    No, No. Get the fuck out. We're not letting you visit the Liberty Bell and fucking Plymouth Rock anymore until you get over your real American selves and start respecting those other nine amendments. Who do you think those fucking stripes on the flag are for? Nine are for fucking blue states. And it would be 10 if those Vermonters had gotten their fucking Subarus together and broken off from New York a little earlier. Get it? We started this shit, so don't get all uppity about how real you are you Johnny-come-lately "Oooooh I've been a state for almost a hundred years" dickheads. Fuck off.

    Arrogant? You wanna talk about us Northeasterners being fucking arrogant? What's more American than arrogance? Hmmm? Maybe horsies? I don't think so. Arrogance is the fucking cornerstone of what it means to be American. And I wouldn't be so fucking arrogant if I wasn't paying for your fucking bridges, bitch.

    Tuesday, November 09, 2004

    The election is over, but we can still make fun of Kerry.

    Looks like First Brother Neil ("I didn't know she was a hooker!") will have to step up and take one for the team, if only so that all those "Bush '08" bumper stickers don't go to waste.

    [Gov. Jeb] Bush reiterated Tuesday that he's not going to run for the Senate when Florida has a seat up in '06, has no designs on the 2008 presidential race and he's getting tired of the question. So the natural follow-up question?

    "Might you change your mind?" asked a reporter.

    "No!" the exasperated governor responded as he entered a state Cabinet meeting Tuesday morning. "Why am I not believable on this subject? This is driving me nuts."

    Shades of Ugly Naked Guy in Georgetown.

    Now that National Security Council aide Robert Blackwill, President Bush's point man on Iraq, is leaving behind the rigors of government service, will he finally find time to purchase curtains for his Georgetown home? His neighbors, who tell us they've seen far too much of him while he dresses, sure hope so. "We're not prudes. We're not hung up about the human body, but it's just common politeness to not present yourself naked to other people without their permission," says Francis Brooke, who lives with his wife and three kids in a townhouse across from Blackwill's. "It's a bit much. My daughter is 8 years old."

    Another neighbor, who asked not to be identified, told us: "I've seen something that no man should see at 6:30 in the morning." He laughed. "I couldn't eat my breakfast." - Hang in there, America!

    We do have Mr. Bush for four more years. So rest up, stay motivated, and let's continue the fight for a wise, progressive America where "moral values" means reducing -- not increasing -- poverty; where compassion is never "conservative"; where government is always on the side of the people, not the powerful; and where America truly reflects Gandhi's words: "My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest shall have the same opportunities as the strongest."
    Only 1,539 days left!

    Clearly, the solution to all of our woes: Kerry '08!

    Less than a week after conceding defeat to President Bush, Sen. John F. Kerry is calling key Democratic donors to lay the groundwork for a political organization that would give him a voice in national politics and position him for another White House run in 2008, close associates say.
    Good grief.

    The Onion: Nation's Poor Win Election For Nation's Rich:

    "The Republican party - the party of industrial mega-capitalists, corporate financiers, power brokers, and the moneyed elite - would like to thank the undereducated rural poor, the struggling blue-collar workers in Middle America, and the God-fearing underpriviledged minorities who voted George W. Bush back into office," Karl Rove, senior advisor to Bush, told reporters at a press conference Monday. "You have selflessly sacrificed your well-being and voted against your own economic interest. For this, we humbly thank you."

    Added Rove: "You have acted beyond the call of duty - or, for that matter, good sense."

    Sunday, November 07, 2004

    Nick Kristoff on Wednesday: Living Poor, Voting Rich.

    One of the Republican Party's major successes over the last few decades has been to persuade many of the working poor to vote for tax breaks for billionaires. Democrats are still effective on bread-and-butter issues like health care, but they come across in much of America as arrogant and out of touch the moment the discussion shifts to values.

    Saturday, November 06, 2004

    Jill Lawrence writes about White House '08, and comes up with quite a long list of names:

    (In order of appearance)
  • Bill Frist
  • Rudy Giuliani
  • John McCain
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • George Allen
  • Mitt Romney
  • George Pataki
  • Chuck Hagel

  • Democrats:
  • John Edwards
  • Howard Dean
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Mark Warner
  • Phil Bredesen (TN Gov.)
  • Mike Easley (NC Gov.)
  • Rod Blagojevich (IL Gov.)
  • Janet Napolitano (AZ Gov.)
  • Bill Richardson
  • Tom Vilsack
  • Evan Bayh
  • Jennifer Granholm (MI Gov.)
  • Palestinian diplomat said Arafat was poisoned. Neat.

    The liberal media, having nothing more to lose, finally admits its biases:

    Wolfowitz with more power? Say it ain't so!

    Aides to deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz say he is likely to leave his job, and that he might be interested in taking Rice's place if she leaves.

    California voters hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Flimflammed!

    Forget provisional ballots in Ohio and hanging chads in Florida. The Orange Unified School District has its own election woe: It can't find the winner of Tuesday's board election.

    Public records point to the fact that Steve Rocco really does exist.

    He's a registered voter. He owns a home in Santa Ana. And he filed paperwork in July to run for the school board.

    After that, the details start getting sketchy.

    He is registered to vote, though he declined to state a party. Neighbors who have lived next door to him for years say they've seen the 53-year-old man only occasionally, when he takes out the trash from the home he shares with his parents. On the ballot, he listed his occupation as teacher and writer, though proof of either is elusive.

    Neither the district nor the registrar has a phone number on file for him, and nobody answered the door at his home.

    Somehow, though, without mounting a real campaign, filing a candidate's statement or showing up at a community forum, he managed to upset his formidable opponent, Phil Martinez.
    Not that formidable, I guess.

    I hope to sweet, blessed Jesus that Alan Keyes makes a run at the White House in 2008.

    Alan Keyes blamed the media and fellow Republicans on Thursday for his lopsided loss to Democrat Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate race in Illinois. Keyes also said he did not congratulate Obama after the race was called, a tradition among politicians, because doing so would have been a 'false gesture' because he believed Obama's views on issues such as abortion were wicked.

    McCain kicks off his run at WH '08 with a visit to New Hampshire next week. (Why the hell else would he be going there?) Only 1,459 campaigning days left!

    I hate to seem a conspiracy theorist, but how is this not more of an issue?

    Franklin County's unofficial results had Bush receiving 4,258 votes to Democrat John Kerry's 260 votes in a precinct in Gahanna. Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct.

    Ahnold cracks wise about the Democrats... again.

    When asked if he would consider tax-increase proposals put forward by Democrats to help balance the budget, Schwarzenegger said, "Why would I listen to losers? Let's be honest - they have lost every single ballot in the Bay Area."

    An interesting statistic:

    Of the 22 candidates who spent more than $1 million of their own money trying to win their first election to Congress, only one made it. The sole victor was Michael McCaul, a former federal prosecutor who won as a Republican in a Texas House district once represented by Lyndon B. Johnson. The biggest loser - in terms of money down the drain - was Blair Hull, a securities trader who spent nearly $29 million trying for a Senate seat but lost in the Illinois Democratic primary to Barack Obama.
    $29 million for a primary loss? March 16 must have been a rough night for that guy.

    Friday, November 05, 2004

    I understand that you probably can't win a target-shooting competition from a few thousand feet in the air... But missing by three and a half miles? Seems a bit much.

    [W]hen the heavy gun in the left wing of an Air National Guard F-16 fighter jet fired Wednesday night, it sent 25 rounds of 20mm ammunition smashing through the roof and zinging off the asphalt parking lot of the Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School 3 1/2 miles from the range.

    Mitch Daniels tackles the big issues early:

    Gov.-elect Mitch Daniels today promised to fight to bring daylight-saving time to Indiana, while also laying out a transition plan centered on tackling state budget problems and making hiring decisions for key state posts.

    Taking GOTV to new extremes:

    [M]ore than 100 people were already in line, so Shaer went to the delivery room, gave birth, and returned to vote Tuesday night 30 minutes before the polls closed, intravenous drip in tow.

    McCain waxes ridiculous about campaign finance reform:

    The 2002 bill I sponsored with Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., has worked well to achieve its most important objective. It was primarily designed to eliminate the corrupt influence that corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals had on our government through their large soft-money contributions.
    Sure thing, John. "Worked well" indeed.

    Obama Baracka rules out WH '08. So I guess it'll have to be Clinton/Edwards...

    Thursday, November 04, 2004

    Arlen Specter gets feisty:

    The Republican expected to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee next year bluntly warned newly re-elected President Bush today against putting forth Supreme Court nominees who would seek to overturn abortion rights or are otherwise too conservative to win confirmation.
    I guess now that the election's over, it's time for Specter to put Bush back at arm's length, where he likes him.

    Wednesday, November 03, 2004

    An interesting breakdown of election numbers.

    Kerry concedes.

    Millions mourn.

    "In American elections, there are no losers."
    That's true, John, that's true. Unless we count, you know... you.

    Ohio? It comes down to Ohio?? At least Florida has a couple of proper cities. What's Ohio got to offer? Cleveland? Goodness.

    Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    4 p.m. exit polls, via Slate (as seen on every other blog on the Internet):

    Kerry 50
    Bush 49

    Kerry 50
    Bush 49

    Kerry 54
    Bush 45

    Kerry 51
    Bush 46

    Kerry 51
    Bush 47

    Kerry 58
    Bush 40

    Kerry 48
    Bush 50

    New Mexico
    Kerry 50
    Bush 48

    North Carolina
    Kerry 49
    Bush 51

    Kerry 46
    Bush 53
    Also worth noting: post-4 p.m. numbers show Kerry up 51-48 nationally.

    The wacky hijinx of election fraud:

    Some Michigan voters have received phone calls falsely claiming that Sen. John Kerry would make gay marriage legal. In New Jersey, some voters have heard a man claiming to be former Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf backing the Democrat. Elderly voters in Pennsylvania have been called and told they are ineligible to vote.

    How to tell if your opponent isn't taking this campaign seriously: see if he shows up to your debate dressed like this.

    Dark horse (read: "Losing") Senate candidate Art Small is selling his mobile campaign center, which includes such items as:

    • Sunscreen, 1 tube
    • Bug repellent
    • Candy and gum
    • Stickers
    • Yard signs
    • Party supplies: colorful balloons, silly string, napkins, plates, etc.
    • Tailgate party supplies, including food, charcoal, napkins
    • Pre-printed stamps -- great fun for parties
    • Pens, poster markers, post-its, etc.
    • Complete set of FEC campaign regulations
    • Several photos of John Kerry and John Edwards
    • Many photos of Art Small
    • Thank You notes (from Art Small for Senate), with matching envelopes (blank)

    Monday, November 01, 2004

    Kerry reassures me he is the bigger jackass in this election.

    Yago: Last time we talked, in March, you said that it's important to listen to hip-hop because it gives you a sense of what's going on in the street. Have you heard the new Eminem song that's been out?

    Kerry: You know, I heard Eminem on "Saturday Night Live" last night. I heard the song that he did. I don't know if that's part of his new [album] or not. I liked it. But that's the only thing that I've heard in the last weeks. I'm on the trail. I'm campaigning every day.

    Yago: Last question: If you're elected, will you come on MTV as president and speak with young people again?

    Kerry: I would love it. I would absolutely love it. I'd really look forward to it. The answer is absolutely. With pleasure.

    A strange coincidence: Brit Hume and John Kerry were boyhood friends.

    For those readers gobsmacked by that information, consider that the future presidential candidate and TV news power broker were only about 4 feet tall and shared a passion for cartoons instead of politics. They met in kindergarten and hung together through fifth grade.

    Shades of A Time to Kill in Montgomery:

    Third Congressional District Democratic nominee Bill Fuller was injured and his home was destroyed in a fire early Friday, which the head of Montgomery County's Democratic Party said could be a hate crime.

    An interesting statistic about the Daschle-Thune race:

    Mr. Daschle and his Republican challenger, former Representative John Thune, will have spent nearly $30 million - roughly $40 per capita in the mainly rural state - by the time the race is over.
    $40 per capita! I don't know the exact numbers, but in the past year and a half of presidential campaigning (including the Democratic primaries), I'd guess the candidates' spending totaled $700-$800 million, or about one-twentieth of the per capita spending on the South Dakota Senate race.

    Saturday, October 30, 2004

    A great line from one of the founders of

    "It's not that we are apathetic. It's that we're lazy," Hong said about younger voters.

    In celebration of Halloween: Bush Dress-Up.

    The IRS announces an investigation into the NAACP's tax-exempt status, based on an anti-Bush speech given at the Association's national convention this summer after the President refused to speak there. The IRS, whose irony switch is apparently set to "off," claims the speech was improperly political. reports that Bush and Kerry (who are actually 9th cousins, twice removed) are both distant relatives of Prince Vlad the Impaler, the model for Bram Stoker's Dracula.

    P. Diddy "guest starred" on South Park this past Wednesday, using a Vote or Die rap to convince Stan to vote in his school's select-a-mascot race. The lyrics, as transcribed by yours truly:

    Vote or die, motherfucker,
    Motherfucker, vote or die.
    Rock the vote or else I’m gonna
    Stick a knife through your eye.
    Democracy is founded on one simple rule:
    Get out there and vote or I will motherfucking kill you.

    I like it when you vote, bitch (bitch),
    Shake them titties when you vote, bitch (bitch),
    I’ll slam my jimmy through your mouth roof (mouth roof),
    Now get your big ass in the voting booth.

    [Spoken] I said vote, bitch, before I fucking kill you.

    Vote or die, motherfucker,
    Motherfucker, vote or die.
    You can’t run from a .38, go ahead and try.

    Let your opinion be heard, you gotta make a choice,
    ‘Cause after I slit your throat you won’t have a fucking voice.

    Vote or die.
    Vote or die.

    Friday, October 29, 2004

    First the constant references to God, now this... I like Schilling a lot less with each passing day.

    Why interparty relationships never work (alternately: why relationships with Republican Marines never work):

    Steven Soper liked his girlfriend, but authorities say he liked President Bush more.

    When his girlfriend suggested this week she wanted to vote for John Kerry, officials allege it was too much for the 18-year-old Bush supporter. A political argument prompted him to end their two-year relationship - and that was just for starters.

    Sheriff's officials say Soper, a Marines recruit, later became so upset that he dragged 18-year-old Stacey Silveira into his suburban Lake Worth home, beat her and held her hostage with a screwdriver.

    In the spirit of last-minute undecided-voter-outreach, Bush and Kerry will both appear on Monday's Sportscenter, to discuss such weighty issues as "ticket prices and publicly funded stadiums."

    Thursday, October 28, 2004

    Awesome, awesome Flash animation.

    Our next president: the Lord of the Dance.

    The Onion: "Republicans Urge Minorities to Get Out and Vote on Nov. 3"

    A NY public affairs company has "conducted an unconventional survey" of likely voters:

    The survey asked 1200 consumers to associate the Republican and Democratic candidates with popular brands. Likely voters associated Bush with Folgers coffee and Kerry to Starbucks.

    Bush was an IBM computer, and Kerry was a Dell. Among undecided voters, Kerry was a Target store, while Bush was K-Mart.

    There is not a fan in existence big enough to handle the amount of shit that would hit it if this comes true:

    Tuesday's election will probably be decided in 11 states where polls currently show the race too tight to predict a winner. And, assuming the other states go as predicted, a computer analysis finds no fewer than 33 combinations in which those 11 states could divide to produce a 269 to 269 electoral tie.

    Tuesday, October 26, 2004

    Damn, this judge is cool.

    A judge threw a party complete with balloons, streamers and a cake to welcome a former fugitive back to her court -- and sentence him to life in prison.

    "You just made my day when I heard you had finally come home," Criminal Courts Judge Faith Johnson told Billy Wayne Williams, who had been convicted in absentia of aggravated assault after he disappeared a year ago. "We're so excited to see you, we're throwing a party for you."

    Amusing Google bomb: "Bill O'Reilly book"

    Seriously, how does a guy like Alan Keyes become a nationally-known politician?

    Republican U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes will not repeat his assertion that more black babies are aborted than born, his campaign said, now that he has been shown statistics contradicting the claim.

    Ahnold cracks wise at the Massachusetts Democrats:

    "My kids just brought home a beautiful pumpkin, but you know what? I'm going to return it because it's a Democratic pumpkin. It has the orange color of John Kerry's tan, and the roundness of Teddy Kennedy," Schwarzenegger said, poking fun at his uncle-in-law's girth.

    Dave Beckwith, a BC04 spokesman in Ohio, waxes diplomatic:

    Beckwith admits that the Democrats have registered more new voters than the Republicans, but he says that their work was done by "mercenaries"—and they have "people signed up by crack addicts"—while his side employs volunteers, or "liberty-loving free men." Beckwith then drifts into a reverie about the Battle of San Jacinto and explains how Sam Houston knew that "conscripts" and the forces of "despotism" couldn't defeat free men. The enemy was saying, "Me no Alamo," Beckwith says with a laugh. (At another moment in the interview, Beckwith observes of the Kerry-Edwards campaign offices, "I think they're on Gay Street, which is interesting, because we're on Rich Street.")

    Every political office in the United States, up for auction on eBay. (Odds this auction is taken down by the time anyone actually clicks on this link: pretty good.)

    A long, occasionally-frightening, often-amusing article about the insanity that is Lyndon LaRouche.

    LaRouche maintained that the convictions were engineered to silence him politically and set him up to be murdered in prison. He survived. One of his cellmates was disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker, who later described LaRouche as amusing, erudite and convinced their cell was bugged. "To say that Lyndon was slightly paranoid," Bakker wrote in his autobiography, "would be like saying the Titanic had a bit of a leak."

    Monday, October 25, 2004

    John Kerry, desperately attempting to make himself less attractive to Democratic voters, has started carrying The Good Book:

    These days, he carries a Bible, a gift from former senator Max Cleland (D-Ga.), inscribed: "To John, God has called you to lead. Let Him lead you."

    John Thune, continuing his pursuit of "South Dakota Values," places a campaign ad on a gay porn site called "Shirtless Just4U." Oh, the backpedaling...

    Saturday, October 23, 2004

    Eminem provides a thoughtful analysis of the Iraq war.

    America is the best country there is, the best country to live in. But he’s f**kin’ that up and could run our country into the ground. He jumped the gun, and he f**ked up so bad he doesn’t know what to do right now. He’s in a tailspin, running around like a dog chasing its tail. And we got young people over there dyin’, kids in their teens, early twenties that should have futures ahead of them. And for what? It seems like a Vietnam 2. Bin Laden attacked us and we attacked Saddam. We ain’t heard from Saddam for ten years, but we go attack Saddam. Explain why that is. Give us some answers.

    This is the first year I’ve registered to vote. And I’m gonna vote. Bush is definitely not my homie, but I’m still undecided. Kerry has been known to say some things that’s caught my attention, made a few statements I’ve liked, but I don’t know. Whatever my decision is, I would like to see Bush out of office. I don’t wanna see my little brother get drafted. He just turned eighteen. I don’t want to see him lose his life. People think their votes don’t count, but people need to get out and vote. Every motherf**kin’ vote counts.

    A cleverly-named site keeping track of newspapers that switched their allegiance from Bush in 2000 to Kerry in 2004.

    Thursday, October 21, 2004

    The levels of PC stupidity have reached new heights for Halloween in Seattle.

    We really want to make sure we're using all of our time in the best interest of our students," explained Puyallup School District spokesperson Karen Hansen.

    Hansen says the superintendent made the decision for three primary reasons. First, Halloween parties and parades waste valuable classroom time. In addition some families can't afford costumes.

    It's the third reason some Puyallup parents are struggling with.

    The district says Halloween celebrations and children dressed in Halloween costumes might be offensive to real witches.

    "Witches with pointy noses and things like that are not respective symbols of the Wiccan religion and so we want to be respectful of that," said Hansen.

    Wednesday, October 20, 2004

    Magdi Ahmad Hussein, the Secretary-General of the Egyptian Labor (Islamist) Party needs a nice bunker buster in his house for these comments.

    He also called for clerics and fighters to go to fight in Iraq, defended the bombings in Taba, andargued that the American attack on Fallujah legitimizes a future terror attack in Los Angeles .

    Democrats for Bush have the countdown clock roaring along. Check upper left.

    A Colorado sign-thief comes face to face with the concept of karma:

    A Lakewood Republican stealing campaign signs late one night got nabbed when he ran across a low-hanging driveway chain, fell face first onto a pilfered sign and the concrete and knocked himself unconscious.

    Texas: Where even the Democrats are violent.

    Republican Jim Valdez filed a police report against his opponent, Democratic State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, the incumbent for the District 26 seat.

    During the debate, Valdez says he challenged Van de Putte about racial allegations she claims another senator made about a year ago. Valdez said Van de Putte was caught off guard by the question and after the debate, he says she pulled him aside. Valdez claims Van de Putte grabbed his clothes and made threatening comments to him.

    "If my son and husband gets ahold of you, you're going to be in trouble," Valdez claims Van de Putte told him.

    "She let go and then turned around and grabbed me by the lapel again and yanked on my tie," Valdez alleged.

    "This time you've crossed the line. When my husband and son get ahold of you, you'll get beaten up," Valdez claimed Van de Putte told him.

    The absentee ballot to end all absentee ballots.

    A miniature Karl Rove takes a break from haranguing to rest in the shade of an enormous roller skate wheel.

    Tuesday, October 19, 2004

    On October 13, the Guardian introduced a letter-writing campaign, encouraging its readers to write to undecided American voters and express their opinions (either way) about the upcoming election.

    Within hours, an otherwise-noble idea was shot to hell, as responses from the level-headed emailers this side of the pond slid rapidly from relatively civil...

    "Go back to sipping your tea and leave our people alone." not so civil...
    "Consider this: stay out of American electoral politics. Unless you would like a company of US Navy Seals - Republican to a man - to descend upon the offices of the Guardian, bag the lot of you, and transport you to Guantanamo Bay, where you can share quarters with some lonely Taliban shepherd boys." humorously cynical...
    "My dear, beloved Brits,

    I understand the Guardian is sponsoring a service where British citizens write to Americans to advise them on how to vote. Thank heavens! I was adrift in a sea of confusion and you are my beacon of hope!

    Feel free to respond to this email with your advice. Please keep in mind that I am something of an anglophile, so this is not confrontational. Please remember, too, that I am merely an American. That means I am not very bright. It means I have no culture or sense of history. It also means that I am barely literate, so please don't use big, fancy words.

    Set me straight, folks!" downright stupid...
    "Please be advised that I have forwarded this to the CIA and FBI."
    Makes you wish you were Canadian, doesn't it?

    Bush fakes left, dekes right, and lobs a longshot from center ice:

    President Bush on Monday accused Democratic rival Sen. John Kerry of "shameless scare tactics" by suggesting that the president would jeopardize Social Security for older Americans and bring back the military draft for young people.
    Bush accusing Kerry of using "shameless scare tactics"? Awesome.

    NYT joins the endorsement party:

    Voting for president is a leap of faith. A candidate can explain his positions in minute detail and wind up governing with a hostile Congress that refuses to let him deliver. A disaster can upend the best-laid plans. All citizens can do is mix guesswork and hope, examining what the candidates have done in the past, their apparent priorities and their general character. It's on those three grounds that we enthusiastically endorse John Kerry for president.

    Saturday, October 16, 2004

    David Brooks recaps the third debate.

    Kerry: Bob, as you know, this nation is on the brink of an apocalyptic catastrophe. Civilization as we know it is hanging on by a thread. Our culture has collapsed, our economy is in tatters, the human spirit is extinguished, children never laugh, God is dead, and families like Dick Cheney's are ashamed of their daughters, one of whom is a lesbian. All of this is because of George Bush.

    Did you know that right here in Arizona the average share of the national debt on a per capita basis is rising faster than the inverse of the median lost wages ratio of the typical swing voter in Ohio, Missouri and Florida combined?

    Friday, October 15, 2004

    People in small towns across the country turn a very minor problem into something ridiculously major.

    "It's a day for the good Lord, not for the devil," said Barbara Braswell, who plans to send her 4-year-old granddaughter Maliyah out trick-or-treating in a princess costume on Saturday instead.

    "You just don't do it on Sunday," said Sandra Hulsey of Greenville, Ga. "That's Christ's day. You go to church on Sunday, you don't go out and celebrate the devil. That'll confuse a child."

    Adam Nagourney's fake blog.

    Thursday, October 14, 2004

    Debate Bests!
    (Part II)


  • Best recently-learned word: "Littany."
  • Best catch-phrase: A tie! "Freedom is on the march" (3 times) and "out of the mainstream" (2 times).
  • Best epistemology: "Activist judges are actually defining the definition of marriage."
  • Best silly lie: "The best way to protect citizens from guns is to prosecute those who commit crimes using guns." (Come on, does the NRA even believe that?)
  • Best overall line: "Gosh, I don't think I ever said 'I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden.' That's kinda one of those... 'exaggerations.'"

  • Best liberal-turn-off: "We're all God's children." (Gag me.)
  • Best reference to one's mother: "Integrity, integrity, integrity."
  • Best overall line: "The president just said that federally-funded healthcare leads to poor results. Perhaps that's why he hasn't fully funded the VA." Score!

    I'd call this one slight Kerry. He wasn't as strong as I'd hoped or expected, given tonight's subject and the candidates' performance in the first debate, but I think he was strong enough. And he clearly closed better than Bush did. $10 says we see at least two national polls in the next three to four days putting Kerry on top.

    (Boston for the weekend, so expect scant posting.)

  • Wednesday, October 13, 2004 headline: Sacramento nixes sex on fire engines.

    In a major victory in the War on Terror, Congress on Monday passed a "$9 million tax reduction on bows and arrows." Also included in the bill: "$27 million in tax breaks on gambling income of foreigners at American horse-racing and dog-racing tracks." Take that, al Qaeda!

    Tennessee Democrats devise a really retarded campaign slogan.

    Democrats in a race for a state House seat in District 82, are circulating a flyer that shows a retarded child with President Bush’s face running in a track race. The headline says: "Voting for Bush Is Like Running In The Special Olympics: Even If You Win, You’re Still Retarded."

    Does anyone else think it's a strange choice on McGreevey's part to join a law firm with the word "Weiner" in its name?

    Election problems in Florida? Pshaw!

    A public test of Palm Beach County's electronic voting machines was postponed because a computer server crashed.

    John Edwards on Leno last night:

    Leno: You know, President Bush, he also runs. Now, he says he runs 5 or 6 miles every day.
    Edwards: Yeah.
    Leno: 5K race, who would win?
    Edwards: Well, you know, I run, and I... I played a little football back when I was in school. And the president, I think, was there at those football games, too. He was on the side, maybe, with his pom-poms. I'm not sure, how fast can you run in a cheerleader outfit?

    Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    Tom Coburn, already noted for his responsible, tolerant views on social issues of all kinds, keeps the hits coming:

    "You know, Josh Burkeen is our rep down here in the southeast area... He was telling me lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they'll only let one girl go to the bathroom. Now think about it. Think about that issue. How is it that that's happened to us."

    The world's craziest presidential candidate takes time off the stump to argue that, contrary to popular belief, he's actually completely in touch with American values:

    But if each camp charges the other with being outside the mainstream, who's left inside it? Such rhetoric is "a logical fallacy," says Michael Peroutka, running for president in 38 states on the Constitution Party ticket. With a platform that pledges to abolish the Education Department, prohibit women in the military, deport all illegal immigrants and base government on the word of God, he hears all the time that he's the one out of the mainstream.

    "We are right in harmony with the founding principles of America," Peroutka says. Bush and Kerry "both are members of Skull and Bones, both are committed to an internationalist agenda and a new world order, issues that are really antithetical to the American view of constitutional principles. Why am I the one on the fringe?"

    Paul Krugman writes about a few statistics that are likely to come up tomorrow, including:

    Mr. Bush will claim, once again, that Mr. Kerry plans to raise taxes on many small businesses. In fact, only a tiny percentage would be affected. Moreover, as Mr. Kerry correctly pointed out last week, the administration's definition of a small-business owner is so broad that in 2001 it included Mr. Bush, who does indeed have a stake in a timber company - a business he's so little involved with that he apparently forgot about it.

    Mark Dayton, in either an overabundant display of terrorism-related caution or as an excuse for staying home for the next few months, encourages his constituents to stay away from D.C.:

    Asked what advice he would have for Minnesotans who want to travel to Washington over the next few weeks, Dayton said, "I wouldn't advise them to come to Capitol Hill. I would not bring my two sons to the Capitol between now and the election."

    Introducting Alberto Gonzales, George P. makes the audience chuckle with his preposterousness:

    "You are looking potentially, if my uncle gets re-elected, at the first Hispanic member of the U.S. Supreme Court."

    Besides, everyone knows that the first Hispanic member of the U.S. Supreme Court was Roberto Mendoza.

    Alexandra Kerry puts those nasty "not a fun guy" rumors to rest (and does so, apparently, with a straight face):

    In response to an audience comment that U.S. Sen. Kerry is perceived as a "cold fish," she described a warm father who's most comfortable hanging out over a beer with his wind-surfing buddies.
    Wait! John Kerry likes drinking beer with his wind-surfing buddies? I, Joe "Middle America" NASCARSixpack, like drinking beer with my windsurfing buddies! John Kerry and I have so much in common! To hell with this Bush guy, with his swaggering, his brush-clearing, his fear of pumas. I'm voting for Kerry! Thank you, Alex Kerry, for making me think twice!

    "Fair and balanced" as a concept hits the broadcast airwaves:

    Sinclair Broadcast Group of Maryland, owner of the largest chain of television stations in the nation, plans to preempt regular programming two weeks before the Nov. 2 election to air a documentary that accuses Sen. John F. Kerry of betraying American prisoners during the Vietnam War.

    Robert Byrd resents having to put his cross-burning on hold to come to the Capitol on the Sabbath. Either that, or he wants an ox to do something in a pit. It's tough to tell.

    Senator Robert C. Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, had another complaint, faulting Senate leaders for forcing lawmakers to come to the Capitol on Sunday for the vote to cut off debate. Quoting scripture, Mr. Byrd recounted injunctions against toiling on the Sabbath and declared it was wrong for him and his colleagues to have to work, particularly to cast "a mere procedural vote."

    "If the ox or the ass were in the pit, as the Bible says, then pull him out if it is on the Sabbath," Mr. Byrd said. "But the ox is not in the ditch."

    Cheney waxes delusional in Medford:

    "As Election Day draws nearer, one thing that's been very clear in this state is New Jersey's moving toward a Bush-Cheney victory," Cheney told supporters gathered at a Burlington County high school.
    "And also," he added, "the pigs here are starting to fly. And the cows are coming home, whatever that expression means."

    Wyclef solves the world's ills:

    "George Bush should smoke the ganja," Wyclef said. "Saddam Hussein should have smoked the ganja, and there would still be Twin Towers if Osama bin Laden smoked the ganja."

    As a followup to Adam's tirade: the Oregonian, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer have all joined the Inquirer in endorsing John Kerry. (Thanks to Hotline for the links.)

    Blogitics posts a very interesting video of a few clips contrasting Bush the Debater (1994 Edition) with Bush the Debater (2004 Edition). It's worth the time investment.

    A Bush military decision that smells like politics? Say it ain't so!

    The Bush administration plans to delay major assaults on rebel-held cities in Iraq until after U.S. elections in November, say administration officials, mindful that large-scale military offensives could affect the U.S. presidential race.

    Monday, October 11, 2004

    Does Maureen Dowd remind anyone else of Don King?

    When W. debated Al Gore, it was the Insufficient versus the Insufferable.
    When W. debated John Kerry, it was the Obfuscating versus the Oscillating.
    Don't get me wrong, she often amuses me. But seriously, cut the cuteness.

    The Philadelphia Inquirer exudes bias and blatant liberalism in its endorsement of John Kerry.

    A hooded prisoner on a box has replaced a soaring lady with a lamp as the global icon of America's intentions.
    Adam's Comment: The Inquirer column lunges to ridiculousness in this sentence, and continues to get worse throughout. To believe that a few soldiers' idiocy represents America's intentions globally is a gross misrepresentation.
    The case for Kerry has two parts. The first is the record of George W. Bush. The evidence is compelling, though tallied in sorrow: His was a presidency of high promise that lapsed into multiple disasters.
    Adam's Comment: On the contrary, his presidency thus far has been one marked with great successes. He has freed more than 50 million people from tyranny and dictatorship. Afghanistan had elections for the first time since the Taliban's removal, where women were allowed to vote. Schools and hospitals are opening in Afghanistan daily. Elections are set for January in Iraq, where a 250,000-soldier Army is being trained. The Inquirer's claims on foreign progress is baseless. There are no "disasters" anywhere in the world. Without question, there have been more freed and liberated people in the past four years thanks to the administration's policies.
    Most worrisome, his response to the stunning blows of 9/11 has gone fatefully awry. He has left Americans less safe than they could be and America less admired than it should be.
    Adam's comment: The President's response to 9/11 was a global assault upon terrorists and the states who harbor them. Without a doubt, Afghanistan was infiltrated with a terrorist regime, and they harbored al Qaeda. Bush rightfully attacked. And without a doubt, Saddam Hussein harbored terrorists and financed terrorist operations by funding suicide bombers. If Europe fails to recognize the lengths that America will pursue to hunt down terrorists on a global scale, that is their miscue, not ours. It is fundamentally inaccurate for the Inquirer to say that because some European countries have not joined our coalition, then that means our efforts are misguided.
    This, very few of you have gotten during a petty, dispiriting campaign. Some blame rests with the Democrat. He has not framed the debate with the force and clarity he must master to be an outstanding president.
    More blame, though, rests with Bush. Awash in millions from the corporate donors to whom his White House caters so avidly, the President has spent more time ridiculing Kerry through distortions than presenting his own plans.
    Adam's Comment: Although I agree both sides have distorted records, it is clear Kerry fails to attack terrorism head on. A quote from the NY Times: "We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance." John Kerry still fails to recognize that terrorism is a global threat, a global problem, and one that needs to be confronted with the will and might of America and its allies. Bush's own plans are not perfect. His strategy in Iraq is not foolproof. It is a complicated society, very unlike ours in many ways, and one that cannot be settled overnight. John Kerry is playing on those fears, and trying to win an election by settling on the answer that our President must win the peace. He is simply playing on voters' fears taking that stand. The country is 90% in peace and relative harmony after ousting a brutal killer who reigned for three decades. It is not a simple procedure to provide violence-free, control-free leadership in a few months.
    If you're an undecided voter, consider this: As president, Kerry will have to work with a Congress where at least one chamber is Republican. Checks and balances, a prescription for moderation. A vote for Bush risks one-party rule, with Congress under the control of aggressive conservatives and reelection concerns no longer checking Bush's impulses.
    Adam' comment: Forget that the voters voted in these people to represent them, or at least, that's what the Inquirer would like. The Inquirer also tries to invoke the idea that aggressive conservative ideals are wrong for the country. A vote for Bush does not "risk" one-party rule, it invites one-party rule. The paper also is hesitant to trust Bush's impulses, dissuading its readers, and pressing its circulation to believe he acts on impulse and that those decisions are misguided and un-tested.
    You've heard - eight gazillion times - that John Kerry is a flip-flopper. No doubt, he's a man who relishes nuance. His penchant for thinking out loud is ill-suited to a sound-bite culture. He'll have to curb that, seeking a more disciplined clarity. But the flip-flop label rests mainly on one sound bite. All together now: "I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
    Adam's Comment: Kerry is not a man who relishes nuance, however the Inquirer wants to dictate that word. He is a New England millionaire liberal who will take the popular side of every vote each time. It is documented: when he shows up to vote, the popular vote wins with John Kerry. There is nothing nuanced or uniquely detailed about his votes at all.
    Kerry served, showed courage, won medals, then raised an honorable, if hyperbolic, alarm about a misguided war. Case closed. Perhaps the Boston convention overdid the allusions to those facts, but that doesn't justify the baseless Swift-boat assaults of August.
    Kerry doesn't talk much about his Senate record, a curious omission. That record isn't spectacular, but it is solid and qualifying. Names on bills are just one road to effectiveness. Kerry took the less glamorous path of investigation. He had major successes.
    Adam's Comment: Kerry did serve in Vietnam, but the Swift Boat veterans deserve just as much say as Kerry does on this issue. They served just as honorably, and their stories about the truthfulness to John Kerry's claims should be advanced by the mainstream media.
    Thwarting terrorism is a president's core job in these haunted times. Kerry's approach is more thorough than that of Bush, whose two main tools seem to be bombs and bombast. Bush's reckless missteps in Iraq have cost a painful toll in lives, credibility, alliances, Islamic anger and lost opportunities.
    Adam's comment: The idea that Bush's main goals are bombs and bombast are typically old, liberal ideas. His missteps in Iraq are not reckless; they are nothing more than minor miscalculations in assessment. Our credibility is not at question, our tally of loss in Iraq is miniscule compared to the benefits of the Iraqi people without Saddam Hussein. And Islamic anger? Exactly how is that calculated from the editorial desk in Philadelphia? This is clearly a ploy to get Kerry elected, nothing more, nothing less.
    It is absurd to claim that, had Kerry been president on that awful day in 2001, he would merely have shrugged and sent a strongly worded memo to the World Court. Any president would have done much of what Bush did in late 2001 - with less soaring eloquence perhaps. But few would have raced as he did into the deadly detour of Iraq.
    Adam's Comment: It is far from a deadly detour in Iraq if one will take into scope the progress that has been made. We have deposed an evil tyrant, secured more than 80% of the country and are on the way to an election, just like Afghanistan this weekend. Those praying for problems will find them. This exercise is far from perfect, but we are continually making headway in the war on terror because we have a determined and dedicated leader backed by a brilliant team, empowered by the best trained military in the world.

    Sunday, October 10, 2004

    George Will provides a thoughtful and grounded column to America's conservative values.

    "Left-wing America was given the answer to all its prayers - the most talented politician in a generation, a long period of peace and prosperity, and a series of Republican blunders - and the agenda was still set by the right. Clinton's big achievements - welfare reform, a balanced budget, a booming stock market and cutting 350,000 people from the federal payroll - would have delighted Ronald Reagan. Whenever Clinton veered to the left - over gays in the military, over health care - he was slapped down."
    A very fresh breath by a very forward-thinking columnist.

    Imagine the biggest moron in the world, and then introduce yourself to this guy.

    Spurred on by shouts of "shove it in, shove it in," 19-year-old Ezra Nicholas set a world record by stuffing more than three McDonald's hamburgers into his mouth — without swallowing — at the close of Singapore's contest to be the world's wackiest.

    Nicholas jumped up, pumped his fists in the air and shouted, "Yes! I am the Burger King!" as he spat out the last bits of the 3 and one-fifth burgers that could put him in the Guinness Book of World Records.

    "I just thought to myself, I've got to do this, I've got to do this," Nicholas said. "I'm on top of the world right now, because everyone's going to know that I can shove more than three burgers in my mouth!"

    The creative director of Texas Monthly magazine writes an entire op-ed about the contrasting typefaces in the BC04 and KE04 logos. Amusing (though not intentionally), and slightly interesting.

    Saturday, October 09, 2004

    Debate Bests!

  • Best Ridiculousness, Bush: "I guess you'd say, uh... I'm a good steward of the land." Oh, the chuckles. Yes, Dubya, you're practically President Johnny Appleseed.
  • Best Ridiculousness, Kerry: The four and a half minutes he spent gesturing to his neck and saying "ub... ub... ubb..." while searching for the word "paraplegic."
  • Best Good Line, Bush: N/A
  • Best Good Line, Kerry: "The military’s job is to win the war. The president’s job is to win the peace." Very nicely done.
  • Best Ridiculousness, Bush (Part II): "So, no, I’ll have no litmus test [for Court nominees], except for how they interpret the Constitution." Isn’t that a lot like saying, "I didn’t eat any breakfast, except for that omelet, and the English muffin, and the bagel, and the fruit, and the orange juice"?

    Overall, I'd call this one a tie, with a lean toward Kerry that may or may not be the result of my personal biases. Either way, I don't think either candidate walked away with it. Bush, as loathe as I am to say it, seemed a bit more likable than last time, and that's no good for anyone (except, maybe, you know... Bush).

  • Friday, October 08, 2004

    And we thought Dan Rather was bad.

    An internal memo written by ABCNEWS Political Director Mark Halperin admonishes ABC staff: During coverage of Democrat Kerry and Republican Bush not to "reflexively and artificially hold both sides 'equally' accountable."

    The controversial internal memo, obtained by DRUDGE, captures Halperin stating how "Kerry distorts, takes out of context, and mistakes all the time, but these are not central to his efforts to win."

    But Halperin claims that Bush is hoping to "win the election by destroying Senator Kerry at least partly through distortions."

    "The current Bush attacks on Kerry involve distortions and taking things out of context in a way that goes beyond what Kerry has done," Halperin writes.

    Time's new poll puts Kerry ahead of Bush in likability. How's that for a flip-flop?

    (On the other hand, according to "the premier dating service for busy professionals," more people would rather date Bush (49%) than Kerry (33%) or Nader (15%).)

    To our loyal and trusty readership: This blog will never stoop to these levels.

    "Blogs probably pretty accurately reflect the level of polarization and paranoia and frustration among everyday Americans that the entire campaign reflects," said Vanity Fair media critic Michael Wolff, characterizing the new form of overtly-biased journalism as "the voice of the mob."

    And ahead of Friday's second debate between Bush and Kerry, the Internet was abuzz with gossip that the president wore a listening device during last week's debate allowing an unseen puppet master to whisper cues and tips in his ear.

    OK, maybe we will stoop that low.

    A pretty decent electoral vote map, using regularly-updated polls. Current score: Kerry 280, Bush 239.

    (It's also worth noting that in the Hotline's White House Scoreboard, Kerry's now up for the first time in months, leading 245-218.)

    JibJab (of "This Land is Your Land"-fame) launches another political groupsing: It's Good to Be in DC.

    You know what the say about sequels... (Except 2 Fast 2 Furious, which was 2wice the excitement!)

    What's the most foolproof way to ensure that Bush doesn't get enough votes to win?

    Absentee voters who have already received their ballots for the November election may have noticed a little something missing from their choices of candidates for president: President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

    An oversight in printing left the Republican incumbents off of the ballots, some of which have already been sent out to absentee voters.

    The Oklahoma tourism bureau, setting a standard that will reign for years to come, has produced the crappiest (ho!) travel brochure ever:

    Oklahoma tourism officials have recalled about 200,000 brochures with images of activities that may have seemed uninviting to some travelers, such as cow manure tossing and re-enacting Confederate battles, officials said on Wednesday.

    The pamphlet, called 2005 Annual Events Guide, featured events and activities throughout Oklahoma. It was also riddled with spelling, grammatical and factual mistakes.

    Michael Moore, in an apparent attempt to convince people that he's not as creepy as he seems, hands out... free underwear?

    I tell them that I may have been the original slacker, and that I do not want them to change their slacker ways. Keep sleeping 'til noon! Keep drinking beer! Stay on the sofa and watch as much TV as possible! But, please, just for me, on 11/2, I want you to leave the house and give voting a try -- just this once. The stakes this time are just too high.

    If they promise me that they'll do this, I give the guys a 3-pack of new Fruit of the Loom underwear, and the women get a day's supply of Ramen noodles, the sustenance of slackers everywhere.

    Seems Theresa Heinz Kerry was a TV Nazi of the utmost severity, putting even my mom to shame:

    "I was a witch with my children, truly, about television," she said. She allowed them just 30 minutes of educational television a day and required them to write a one-paragraph report on why they liked the program.

    Thursday, October 07, 2004

    Wednesday, October 06, 2004

    The Persian menace who now sits in prison.

    "From Saddam's viewpoint, the Persian menace loomed large and was a challenge to his place in history," the report says.

    "This was an important motivation in his views on WMD — especially as it became obvious that Iran was pursuing the very capabilities he was denied," said the report, which found no evidence that Iraq had produced any such weapons after 1991.

    Tuesday, October 05, 2004

    Bush's nicknaming, already a consistent source of amusement, comes through again.

    President Bush privately refers to French President Jacques Chirac, who bitterly opposed Bush's Iraq policy, as "The Jackass," according to a new book.
    Remember when Tucker Carlson would always call Jean Chr├ętien "John Cretin"? That was pretty funny.

    Strip Club Veterans for Truth?

    Away from the stage, a less titillating scene was playing out. As customers walked into the club, they were asked to show a voter registration card. The unregistered were sat down and signed up.

    The Austin event, Burlesque the Vote, was the brainchild of Audrey Maker, a local burlesque artist and activist, who brought together 14 strip acts, both amateurs and professionals, for an evening of erotica. By 10 p.m. 300 people packed the club.

    If I had a dollar for every Republican representative that ought to be arrested... Well, I'd have a lot of dollars.

    A bench warrant was issued for U.S. Rep. John Hostettler of Indiana for a brief time yesterday after the congressman failed to meet a deadline for paying court costs in a case in which he pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed deadly weapon into Louisville International Airport.

    SNL spoofed the debate last weekend, and I'm finally getting around to blogging it (transcription courtesy of The Hotline):

    Lehrer: President Bush, the official position of your administration continues to be that Iraq will hold elections in January. Given the chaotic situation in that country, how will this be possible?
    Bush: Jim, our plan in Iraq has always been a 3-phase plan. Phase 1 - invade a country, free a people and remove a brutal dictator. No one will deny Phase 1 was a complete success.
    Lehrer: What about Phase 2?
    Bush: As we all know, there are those in Iraq who don't want freedom for that country. The Saddam loyalists, the insurgents, the terrorists. In Phase 2, we smoke these folks out by letting them think they're winning, you know? Convincing them that we don't know what we're doing. In other words, lulling them into a false sense of security. And that's where we are right now. Phase 2 - the lulling phase. And despite what our critics would tell you, it's working. Terrorist confidence and morale has never been higher.
    Lehrer: And what happens in Phase 3?
    Bush: Jim, we're still working on Phase 3. And believe me, we're working hard. Cause, it's, uh, hard work. And we're working hard. Every day. We're working evenings. Ordering in. Working hard together. Now to answer your question, we don't know all the details yet. But basically in Phase 3, we crush the terrorists, and then hold elections so that the Iraqi people can choose their own destiny. Because I believe all people want freedom, don't you?
    Lehrer: Absolutely. But when you say, crush the terrorists, how exactly do you plan to do that?
    Bush: By working hard. Working Saturdays.
    Lehrer: So your plan is to crush the terrorists by coming in on Saturdays?
    Bush: If that's what it takes.