Saturday, September 04, 2004

Since I am a true lover of polls (sarcasm), I couldn't help but post this one (more sarcasm) that gives Bush a double-digit lead.

If the 2004 election for President were held today, 52% of likely voters surveyed would vote for President George W. Bush, 41% would vote for Democratic nominee John Kerry.
Taking the mill worker vote out, it was reported 99% of those polled would vote for Bush (sarcasm).

Followup from Mike: Yeah, this poll was disheartening. A few minor points:
  • 1. This is one poll among many. Its results, so far, seem to be anamalous.
  • 2. The numbers are for LVs, not RVs, which is strange. The fact that RV numbers are very difficult to find (they're not here, for instance), as well as the fact that RV numbers were reported for most of the other questions, suggests to me that the RV numbers just weren't as illustrative (which is to say, they're a little closer).
  • 3. This is a poll taken during the convention. Pollsters generally agree (from what I've heard and read) that polls taken during a convention almost always give the candidate a temporary (i.e., 3-4 day) bounce.

Forget the story, just look at the picture.

Any picture where George W. Bush is riding a horse with Osama bin Laden's head in his right hand is really cool. Or really sick. Whichever.

The Boston Globe's opinion staff takes a collectively-fair-and-balanced look at the Bush campaign:

  • Thomas Oliphant: "You can always try putting lipstick on a pig, as President Bush did last night, but the result is rarely helpful, much less transforming."
  • Derrick Jackson: "It was only the beginning of his national plea for amnesia."
  • Joan Vennochi: "There may be two John Kerrys, as Republicans charge. But there is only one Bush, and he never lets facts get in the way of a good argument."

Time's James Poniewozik uncovers the real reason for the Zell speech:

"It had long been expected that President Bush's re-election strategy would hinge on his convincing us we needed him to protect us from terrorism. So it was a surprise this week when the Republicans revealed the real message of their 2004 convention: We need President Bush to protect us from Zell Miller. The Democratic senator-turned-Democratic scourge laid into John Kerry Wednesday night with an Old Testament rage that crescendoed when he looked into the camera, quivering, and promised Americans that if they voted for the Democrat from Massachusetts, he would personally come to our houses and 'whup your traitorous, Osama-loving asses with a hickory switch.'"

E. J. Dionne deconstructs GOP strategy:

"George W. Bush and his gang have decided that the only way they can hold on to power is to throw so much dirt at Kerry that he ends up looking like Pigpen. In the process, they are painting the Democratic Party as a collection of lily-livered, America-hating, French-loving, defense-destroying, United Nations-kowtowing girlie men."

Andrew Sullivan comes dangerously close to, well, endorsing terrorist attacks on France:

"If the jihadists take the war to France now, we may get the Western unity that has so far eluded us. And that can only be a good thing."
(In his defense, he also wraps up the column with this:
"Meanwhile, the Family Research Council has been distributing fortune cookies in New York with the message: 'Real Men Marry Women.' I guess Jesus and the Pope aren't real men.")

Friday, September 03, 2004

Two further quick notes about last night's speech (which can be found in its entirety here):

  • There was a line that I rather liked initially, and then really liked when I went back and read the speech again this evening. I didn't much care for the way he delivered it (as usual), but the rhetoric was pretty impressive: "My fellow Americans, for as long as our country stands, people will look to the resurrection of New York City and they will say: Here buildings fell, and here a nation rose."
  • Do you suppose that Bush honestly thinks that John Kerry actually doesn't respect the Coalition soldiers fighting with us? ("...allies that deserve the respect of all Americans, not the scorn of a politician.") One imagines it's just campaign rhetoric, in which case, it's fine by me; but one is also afraid that Bush really believes that by belittling the diplomatic efforts, Kerry is also belittling the troops that are out there, at our behest and mostly on our behalf. And it'd be a shame if he believed that.

Frank Ballance, "who cited ill health in resigning from Congress in June," may have had something else on his mind.

This is probably old news by now, but it's the first I've heard of it: Pataki is "actively considering" a 2008 White House run? "Mulling over," I'd buy. "Looking into," sure. But "actively considering" seems to carry a whiff of actuality that I'm hard-pressed to believe. (Of course, it would explain his ridiculous convention speech...)

This post gets two disclaimers: First, I'm writing this immediately before I go to bed, so it may not have all the benefits of coherance that a normal, shorter, wittier post might. Second, I fully recognize the fact that what I'm saying here is frightfully apparent to everyone who agrees with me and completely preposterous to everyone who doesn't. So, that aside...

I just want to make a quick point about the SwiftVets' ads. Specifically, the one that's supposedly the most damaging of the four they currently have out, "Sellout," which is the one where the three guys say, essentially, "he hurt my feelings with his testimony." Maybe he did, what do I know, but take a look at what he actually says:

"I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command."
He's recounting stories that he personally heard from "over 150" other people. In fact, the part of his testimony that the Swifties quote actually starts like this:
"They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears..."
(The italics are mine, obviously.) Now, take a look at what the SwiftVets say:
  • "The accusations that John Kerry made against the veterans who served in Vietnam were just devastating."
  • "That was part of the torture, was to sign a statement that you had committed war crimes."
  • "John Kerry gave the enemy for free what I and many of my comrades in north vietnam in the prison camps took torture to avoid saying."
In short, his testimony "betrayed" the veterans and "dishonored his country." But how? Seriously, how?

There are two things he doesn't say, which are both worth noting. First, he doesn't say that all Vietnam veterans were war criminals. Second, he doesn't say that Joe Ponder, Ken Cordier, or Paul Galanti were war criminals. So then what is it these guys have a problem with? Surely they don't think that there should be war criminals? If war crimes were taking place, wouldn't the "honorable" thing to do actually be to stop them?

If Kerry had said anything along the lines of, "The United States Army is entirely composed of war criminals," I'd at least understand where the Swifties were coming from. But for them to take offense at his admission that some war crimes were taking place... That just seems foolish.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Scattered thoughts on tonight, none really large enough to merit their own post:

  • One of the Ohio delegates told a Convention Jockey that she was voting for Bush because "he'll keep Ohio safe." It's undoubtedly true that Ohio will be safe, but I think we can all agree that the reason is not strong presidential leadership... Seriously, Al Qaeda in Columbus? What the hell would they blow up?
  • Pataki's list of thanks was pretty ridiculous, for two reasons:
    • A) It was three years ago! You couldn't have thanked them before now?
    • B) "Thanks, Iowa, for sending us 1,500 quilts"? Give me a break. Could he be any more blatant in his swing-state-pandering? He mentioned Oregon, Iowa, and Pennsylvania. I honestly expected him to come up with something to thank every single swing state for. "Thank you, Florida, for the 300 crates of orange juice that you donated to the relief effort. And thank you, Wisconsin, for the 80-pound block of cheese that fed 30 firemen for a week. And thank you, Ohio, for... well, for your unswerving moral support. We appreciated that."
  • The headliner:
    • Was that the stupidest presidential entry you've ever seen? What is he, David Freaking Copperfield?
    • He sure had a lot of family to thank.
    • Oughtn't they to have given him a line to use during the uproar that was practically certain to occur if a protester had to be removed?
    • Someone should mention to Bush that there's a T at the end of the word "kept."
    • I give him full credit for the swagger joke. That made me chuckle.
  • Why is it that 90% of country musicians are Republicans, and 90% of all other musicians are Democrats? And is that discrepancy related to the fact that 90% of all country music sucks?
  • The convention, by unanimous rollcall, was adjourned "siney di." That's pretty funny all by itself.

A great site: Pleasure Boat Captains for Truth. (Its accompanying commercial, "Low Tolerance", is terrific.)

Rowboat Veterans for Truth is also amusing.

In the course of one ten-minute Hardball interview, Zell Miller called Chris Matthews "hopeless," told him to "get out of my face," and challenged him to a duel. Really.

(As a followup: John McCain, on the Daily Show, hypothesized thusly on the creepy-yet-humorous ferocity that came out in Zell's speech: "I think that maybe John Kerry must have shot his dog.")

Miller: No, I said it because it was—you‘re hopeless. I wish I was over there. In fact, I wish that we lived in—I wish we lived in the day...
Matthews: I‘ve got to warn you, we are in a tough part of town over here. But I do recommend you come over, because I like you. Let me tell you this.
Miller: Chris.
Matthews: If a Republican Senator broke ranks and—all right, I‘m sorry. A Republican Senator broke ranks and came over and spoke for the Democrats, would you respect him?
Miller: Yes, of course I would.
Matthews: Why?
Miller: I have seen that happen from time to time. Look, I believe...
Matthews: What does Jim Jeffords say to you?
Miller: Wait a minute.
Matthews: Jim Jeffords switched parties after getting elected.
Miller: If you‘re going to ask a question...
Matthews: Well, it‘s a tough question. It takes a few words.
Miller: Get out of my face. If you are going to ask me a question, step back and let me answer.
Matthews: Senator, please.
Miller: You know, I wish we... I wish we lived in the day where you could challenge a person to a duel. Now, that would be pretty good. Don‘t ask me - don‘t pull that...
Matthews: Can you can come over? I need you, Senator. Please come over.
Miller: Wait a minute. Don‘t pull that kind of stuff on me, like you did that young lady when you had her there, browbeating her to death. I am not her. I am not her.

That damned snake pit of fascism.

"George Bush, [Attorney General] John Ashcroft , [Vice President] Dick Cheney, the Halliburton firms," Owens responded. "We are going in the same direction as Nazi Germany in terms of we have a ruthless group of people who make bold decisions. They spit on democracy," Owens said.

Ahnold is a Republican because... Nixon was a Republican?

I remember watching the Nixon-Humphrey presidential race on TV. A friend of mine who spoke German and English translated for me... Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air. I said to my friend, I said, "What party is he?" My friend said, "He's a Republican." I said, "Then I am a Republican."

Karl Rove is pissed off about the Bush twins' preposterous intro:

"Whoever approved this," Rove moaned to a colleague, "I'm going to put on a slow boat to China."

The president sees the nation as a 10-year-old?

"It struck me as I was speaking to people in Bangor, Maine, that this president sees America as we think about a 10-year-old child," Card said. "I know as a parent I would sacrifice all for my children."
Well, we all know what a good job he did with his own kids, so...

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Bob Kerrey lays into the Swift Boaters, Cheney-style.

I guess I have to at least give Alan Keyes credit for sticking to his guns:

After Keyes told the hosts that homosexuality is "selfish hedonism," he was asked whether Mary Cheney is a "selfish hedonist." "Of course she is," Keyes replied. "That goes by definition. Of course she is."
Followup: No, I guess I don't.
"You people are trying to say that I said the Cheney daughter is a selfish hedonist. That's just a lie," Keyes said. "I made an argument and left others to follow the argument."

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The fat man leaveth.

Monday, August 30, 2004

I don't know who was having more fun: the delegates booing Michael Moore, or Michael Moore reveling in the booage that he'd wrought.

New poll compilation for the major polls taken through August 30, 2004. My calculations give me this:

June 23, 200444.0044.335.33
July 25, 200444.1746.253.33
August 30, 200445.0046.222.78
Post-RNC (September 15, 2004?)???
(Most recent sources: ABC/WP, American Research Group, AP, CBS, CNN, FOXNews, Gallup, LAT, and Pew.)

So Bush picked up three quarters of a point, while Kerry stayed the same (and Nader lost a half). It's worth noting that of the nine* major polls used to get the compilation numbers above, none were outside the margin of error. Within the margin of error, Kerry led in six of the polls; CNN was tied; and Bush led by 3 in the LAT and by 1 in Gallup.

* - National polling has fallen a bit out of favor (predictably), so new numbers aren't coming out with the frequency they had been. If you throw in the results of a few smaller (ICR and Marist) and older (Newsweek and Zogby) polls, Kerry holds fairly steady at 46.31 and Bush drops three quarters of a point to 44.15.