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.