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Friday, October 29, 2004

Final Thoughts from Florida 

Guest Poster Mr. Florida Volunteer:
Kerry's coming tomorrow and I'll be at the rally. Hope it's a good turnout. Nothing looks worse than a sparsely attended event.

I've been thinking about the day at the early polling site. Lots of frustrated people who can't get absentee ballots or can't wait the 2 hours on line to vote. I wonder if this is a result of all the new registrations, a simple underestimation by the elections people, remarkable enthusiasm or if there are more sinister reasons for the lack of sites. It says something that I even have to ask the last question after the last 4 years.

At the site I was at, one of 8 in west palm beach, the vast majority of people seemed to be Kerry supporters. It was truly a circus atmosphere. The Bush people were shouting at people, chanting 4 more years, had a sound truck, and were without a doubt more obnoxious. I don't know why that is, why there's this rabid gaudy corps of Bush supporters. I can't see it making anyone undecided want to vote with those lunatics. For example, they had a veteran wearing camo and his special forces beret yelling at people and blowing a whistle - neither of the two vets in our crowd felt the need to make such a spectacle of themselves beyond holding veterans for Kerry signs. I'm obviously biased, but the people working for us were all pretty mild mannered - why is it the Bushies were so damned freaky?

Frankly I don't see these Bush folks fitting in in Nebraska or Kansas either, so I think it may just have something to do with this state just being kind of nuts. It's like the 3rd world only tackier with more strip malls and strip clubs. But something's not right.

Dropped coffee and donuts off at MoveOns office. The people there were all nice and very enthusiastic. Much younger than the regular Kerry crowd. For whatever reason it really made me happy to see them - at the risk of sounding like an old codger, it really was refreshing. I'll make one more drop to them tomorrow before I leave.

You should check out either Kos or Atrios - one of them has a flyer posted that has been passed out in minority areas in milwaukee discouraging people to vote with disinformation. Maybe even pass it on to the Voter protection folks. Sad stuff.

This shit will make you feel unbelievable warmth towards people, and then leave you cold and nauseous the next. I'm very anxious.
That flier he refers to can be found here. It's so ridiculous I bet it was planted. However, for some real voter suppression, look here. Of course, it's in Ohio. These people are scum.

Oh, and our correspondent also sent me this, so you can get a taste of how lame we lawyers are:
One thing I realized is that every day I have to restrain myself from counting how many hours I've worked. It's sad how I've become conditioned. Down with the billable hour.
Lastly, the Daily show had a wonderful montage last night starting with Bush saying that "don't jump to conclusions" line and then it had a bunch of instances where Bush did just that. I'll try to find a video link if I can.
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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Great Pic 

From Steve G.



But seriously, for some really great pictures of the 100,000 people who turned out for Kerry and the Boss in Wisconsin today (the biggest crowd for anything ever in Wisconsin!), go here.
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Lawyers 

Digby asks a good question:
I've mentioned this before, but I am still hungering for an explanation. Why is it that when Bush utters the words "tort reform" and "frivolous lawsuits" that the crowd reacts with an orgasmic roar that eclipses even the speaking in tongues they do over "tax cuts." I'm assuming that this is just some kind of reflexive conditioning, but it consistently seems to get the biggest responses at Bush's rallies.

Can someone explain to me why average citizens surge to their feet screaming and frothing at the mouth at the words "tort reform?" Is this really a code word for some underground fascist movement? It kind of freaks me out.
I don't have an answer, but I haven't thought about it too hard.
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The Boss 

Performing "Promised Land" at a Kerry rally in Madison, WI. Link here.
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Florida Volunteer Update 

From our Intrepid Correspondent:
You should see the bush supporter who's had major plastic surgery wearing bush buttons on her nipples.

I'm at an early polling place and its
crazy.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

I Just Voted 

It felt good.
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Ohio 

Some guy at the National Review writes why Ohio is not a swing state:

OHIO: NOT A SWING STATE [Peter W. Schramm 10/27 10:43 AM]

This is a brief response and note to Kathryn's bringing to our attention Jay Costs points (below). I also think that Bush is doing much better in Ohio than the MSM gives him credit for; the MSM are spinning. And this explains why Bush was able to stay away from the state for ten days; he has a chance to take Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota, and still hold Ohio. Rove isn't an idiot and they haven't given up on Ohio. Jay mentions many good reasons for thinking this and he is essentially correct. I want to emphasize a few things, only some of which he mentions. First, as he mentions, Ohio is very much of a GOP state, it is not a swing state; the Democratic party is hardly to be found; and there is no interesting state-wide Demo candidate running for any position that in any way will help Kerry; Voinovich will be re-elected with about 63% of the vote. Second, the social-moral issues (gay marriage, abortion) and security concerns have a huge impact in Ohio, especially among women and African-Americans. This is even reflected in nation-wide polls. Kerry cannot break even with Bush with female voters; he needs to get at least 10% more of them than Bush and Bush will pick up about 13% of the black vote. Third, only fools will think that the roughly 800,000 newly registered voters are all going for Kerry; they will end up breaking about 50-50; pay attention to the large number of voters the GOP has registered, these guys have not been napping for the last five months; there are new voters in rural counties too, they're not all up in Cuyahoga County. Fourth, Bush will get a much larger percentage of Independents than some folks think. Fifth, there is no enthusiasm for Kerry, even among his supporters. Nobody likes this guy, and his wife seems to justify the worst tendencies of the French Revolution; it is impossible for people to envision her in the White House as first lady. I will predict that Bush will win the state by one or two points less than "Issue 1" (no gay marriage) will pass with: "Issue 1" will pass by about 6%, and Bush will take Ohio by 4 or 5 percent. It is my considered opinion that the Democrats and the Kerry campaign are extremely desperate in Ohio. And I understand why.

Now, neither Guthrie nor I still live in Ohio, but we have relatives there. My mom is going to poll-watch in Cuyahoga County for Kerry, and my parents are hosting three college student volunteers this weekend who will be doing some GOTV stuff. I think I have a pretty strong idea of what is going on in Ohio.

Now, I don't know who will win Ohio, although I think and hope Kerry will. But I do want to go throught this guy's list one by one, and see if we can't figure out some things:

  1. First, he claims that Ohio is very much a GOP state and that Voinovich will be re-elected in a landslide. Alas, this is pretty much true; the Ohio Democratic Party is not terribly effective (although it's no Illinois GOP). However, the Ohio GOP has it's own problems, including some scandals and an unpopular governor.
  2. Second, he claims social issues will bring Af-Am's and women around to Bush. Bullshit. This is simply not true, no matter how much Republicans wish it to be. See Steve Gillard's post here on the African-American vote. He writes
    What non-black people need to understand is the divide between black people's feeling about homosexuality and their politics. While a lot of black people may not like the idea of gay marriage, they aren't going to vote that way. You would have to be a total wingnut to do so. When Floyd Flake, a former Congressman and minister from Queens, tried to support Giuliani, his church ignored him. When Calvin Butts, the minister of Abyssinian Baptist Church, was being set up as a foil to Sharpton, that effort died still born. A minister can talk about homosexuality as a sin all he wants on Sunday, but if he thinks he can get his congregation to vote for Bush, he might well lose them and his job.So while some folks say "oh we need to stop gay marriage", the reply would be, pretty much "nigger, have you lost your goddamn mind? You not gonna give a shit about that when they send your kids to Iraq."
    Sorry for the use of the n-word--it's in Steve's original, and I didn't feel like censoring him.
  3. Third, this guy claims that these new registrants won't really help Kerry. Well, maybe if the GOP can successfully disenfranchise them, but otherwise, no. It's been reported that the vast majority of these new registrants are Democrats, and that the GOP tactics seem to be to issue blanket challenges.
  4. Fourth, Bush will get a much larger percentage of independents than most people think. Umm, he offers no evidence for this, so do I even need to refute it? Well, the American Research Group poll of Ohio from October 26 has Kerry beating Bush among Independents 51-45.
  5. Fifth, he trots out the "nobody likes John Kerry" line. Well, judging from the crowds at Kerry rallies, this is clearly false. This guy's been reading too much Howard Fineman, me thinks.

So, out of this guy's five reasons, only the first even passes the smell test, and that one has problems of its own. I'm convinced Kerry's doomed in Ohio, aren't you?

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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Quick Florida Dispatch 

Our intrepid correspondent gives an update on the absentee ballot issue discussed here. He says that "they're calling everyone who they know requested one or hasn't received it yet to tell them to vote early if they can (though there are long lines at the early sites because there aren't enough sites). Meanwhile the campaign is working with the person in charge of elections to figure out what to do. Have to figure this also affects the GOP too." He also told me that one woman he called said that she wasn't voting for Kerry because she doesn't vote for Communists, although I bet she said "Comminists," instead.
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The Cleveland Plain Dealer 

There's been a lot of talk in the blogosphere about how the Plain Dealer was set to endorse Kerry, but that the publisher overruled the editorial board and was going to force them to endorse Bush. See this Daily Kos entry:
I learned this morning that tomorrow morning's edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer will endorse George Bush for a second four-year term. What makes this particularly disgraceful and quite terrifying is that the seven-member editorial board of the PD voted 5-2 to endorse John Kerry. The publisher overruled them and announced the paper would support Bush. Similarly, the Lorain Journal editors were told that either they endorse George Bush or they endorse no one. So, they are endorsing no one.
Well, it turns out the Plain Dealer has decided to not endorse either candidate. The paper's editorial on this states, in part:
The decision not to endorse in this race was not easily taken. A majority of the editorial board favored Kerry, but after long and difficult deliberations, it was decided that the better path would be to sit this one out.
However, it's not quite true that the board voted 5-2 to endorse Kerry and that the publisher overruled them. Here's what really happened, according to G&G sources very close to the editorial board process: The endorsement process (if not for all candidates, at least for president this time around) involves the board sitting around with the paper's president and publisher, Alex Machaskee. The board tells Machaskee all of their thoughts and opinions on the matter. Now, I'm not sure if the normal process is that the board tells Machaskee this and then he makes the endorsement decision, or if he usually goes along with the board, or what. But, in this case, had a vote been taken, it would have been 5-2 for Kerry, and it is true that Machaskee did want to overrule them and endorse Bush. But, this leaked out over the weekend, rumors started flying about the editorial board being overruled, and Machaskee must have had second thoughts and decided that the paper would make no endorsement this time around.

So, this post continues G&G's attempts this week to bring you real, if worthless, news. We hope to have some more Florida dispatches later in the day.


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Florida Volunteer Update 

Our intrepid correspondent files an update from Florida:
(1) Every time I leave Chicago I gain new appreciation for WXRT. Radio sucks here. Especially mornings where every station has a sophomoric not funny wacky morning team.

(2) Saw a bit of Castor-Martinez debate tonight on tv. She's going to lose. He's just simple enough and good at staying on message (even though he's a clear douchebag) and she's not very sure of herself. Also nobody at the Gore event from her campaign.

(3) Amazing how many Haitians are here. Working as waitstaff at dinner and met some at the rally. Wonder how they compare to Cubans numerically.

(4) Very attractive Danish (yes Danish) woman coordinating volunteers. Her name is Astrid - like astroid without the o.

(5) Rehnquist is a big deal. It brings front and center the frailty of the Court and certainty the next prez will choose one or more. Gore invoked it, we will hear more in the coming week.
I give him a zero percent chance of scoring with the Danish chick.
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Monday, October 25, 2004

Voting SNAFUs 

This week G&G has a correspondent in the West Palm area of Florida, volunteering with ACT (whom I gave some money to yesterday--you should, too). He wrote in this morning saying that hundreds of people have requested absentee ballots legally and within the official time-frame, but that the county boards are not processing these requests in time. I'm going to try to find more specifics and keep updating this story.
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Sunday, October 24, 2004

A Question 

I saw Saved today. It's pretty good. Basically, it's just your basic teen movie, but with the twist that it takes place at a Christian school and the "cool kids" - whom everyone wants to fit in with - are very religious. It's not that deep, but it does appropriately ridicule those who want to make gay people straight, and has a positive message about love and what Jesus would actually think were he around today.

But that's neither here nor there. I have a question. Why is it that in teen movies, our heroes are always given unfettered access to the stage and microphone during their senior prom? Why does the school administration feel it is appropriate to allow a select few students to use the night to work out some personal problems? And why is it that none of the other students ever seem to have a problem with this?

Discuss.
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Friday, October 22, 2004

Surgery Update 

Well, I survived. And the doctor said I may slur my speech and the left side of my face may droop for the rest of my life, but I figure that's a small price to pay. But seriously, I'm fine--it was much easier than I thought, and I was coherent enough a couple of hours later to have a semi-serious discussion of GOP voter suppression activity with some Wisconsin field directors for Kerry. I may flesh out those discussions futher in the future, but it will depend on what I learn and if it turns out to be newsworthy (right now I'd say it's not very).

Also, I'm hoping I can go to the Hamell concert tomorrow, which will be great. Why? Because he has a song written about his recovery from a car accident called, I think, "Downs" all about being on vicodin and shit, which is what I'm on. So there's that.
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Thursday, October 21, 2004

Under the Knife I Go 

So, I'm having a little Friday afternoon oral surgery tomorrow to get my three wisdom teeth out (apparently I don't have a top left wisdom tooth). Therefore, I probably won't write the 5-6 posts a day that I normally do. Ok, the truth is it'll be just another weekend of no posts, and none of you will be the wiser. And I'll be taking drugs and watching football all weekend...again, not terribly different than my normal weekends.

On a sidenote, I'm watching that iTunes/iPod commercial with that new U2 song, "Vertigo." Is it just me or has Bono's voice gotten much weaker over the years? Compare anything on Achtung Baby! to this Vertigo song, and I think you'll agree.

Oh, one more thing. I was supposed to go to the Hamell on Trial concert Saturday night at Schuba's on Belmont and Southport. Now, I'm pretty sure I won't be able to go (they say everyone reacts differently to the surgery), but you Chicagoland readers should. I guarantee you it is a concert experience unlike any other. You can see some concert footage on his website. And if you do go, and I end up being able to go, I'll be the one with the swollen cheeks.
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Total Class, huh? 

Digby:
They'll Believe Anything

I thought you might enjoy this wingnut e-mail that's been going around:
Almost half of the nation's flu vaccine will not be delivered this year. Chiron, a major manufacturer of flu vaccine, will not be distributing any influenza vaccine this flu season. Chiron was to make 46-48 million doses vaccine for the United States. Chiron is a British company. Recently British health officials stopped Chiron from distributing and making the vaccine when inspectors found unsanitary conditions in the labs. Some lots of the vaccine were recalled and destroyed.Why is our vaccine made in the UK and not the US? The major pharmaceutical companies in the US provided almost 90% of the nations flu vaccine at one time. They did this despite a very low profit margin for the product. Basically, they were doing us a favor.

In the late 80's a man from North Carolina who had received the vaccine got the flu. The strain he caught was one of the strains in that years Vaccine made by a US company. What did he do? He sued and he won. He was awarded almost $5 million! After that case was appealed and lost, most US pharmaceutical companies stopped making the vaccine. The liability out weighed the profit margin. Since UK and Canadian laws prohibit such frivolous law suits UK and Canadian companies began selling the vaccine in the US.

By the way...the lawyer that represented the man in the flu shot lawsuit was a young ambulance chaser by the name of John Edwards.
Mighty decent of the Bush campaign not to use this bombshell in the last two weeks of the campaign, don't you think? John Edwards is personally responsible for the flu vaccine crisis and they refrain from using that information in ads and speeches. Wow. To think that some people say they are tough guys who will pull out all the stops to win when they are really just a bunch of softies who don't want to embarrass their rivals.

On second thought, this can't be yet another completely unbelievable lie to fool Republican morons, can it? My gawd. I hope these people aren't allowed to operate heavy machinery or drive without supervision. People that dumb are a public health hazard in and of themselves.
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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Who knew? 

Apparently, George W. Bush is going to vote for John Kerry. Just look what he said today:
"With your help on Nov. 2, the people of America will reject the politics of fear...," Bush said.
This must be the most unintentionally ironic comment Bush has made since he said he wanted to be the "Peace President."
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Bad Baseball Metaphor Watch 

On Sunday, Atrios asked if we could please be spared as Astros-Red Sox World Series, simply because he could not "handle the thought of all the pundits spewing baseball metaphors until the election...".

Now, that outcome is at least as unlikely today as Sunday (right?), but that doesn't stop Amy Sullivan, the left's own religious scold, from making a baseball metaphor at least as stupid.
THAT DOESN'T BODE WELL FOR DEMOCRATS....Reader D.S. emailed this morning to share a theory linking the two major battles between good and evil that are currently playing out on the national stage:
The Red Sox / Yankees series is a lot like the election, really. You’ve got a formidable but basically evil incumbent machine, that clearly represents big money interests and has zillions of dollars to try to buy victory, which it has been quite successful at doing ever since the mid-90s. You’ve got a challenger from Massachusetts, who fell behind early and has made a variety of missteps that hurt its/his chances. Now, in a series of highly-watched contests on national television, the challenger has managed to climb back into it, though still trailing narrowly.
This might explain the recent election pessmism of some diehard Red Sox fans I know. I say, let's focus on the good news. The Sox have some mo going into tonight's Game 6, and--as Ed Kilgore reminds us--at this point in 2000, the polls had Bush up by thirteen points, which was hardly the final tally on Election Day. Chin up.
Well, maybe the source of this idiocy is the reader D.S., but just because some moron emails you some bullshit, doesn't mean you have to post it.

Amy, stick to attacking Democrats for not embracing reactionary politico-religiosity.
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Sunday, October 17, 2004

Let's All Play "American Campaign Safari" 

Back by popular demand (ie, I want to link to it), here's a link to Round 2or Tiabbi's Wimblehack!

To read it is to love it.

UPDATE: I just finished it, and it's the greatest article I've ever read. It also contains this picture, which needs no comment:

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I've Been Polled 

Well, I answered the phone when it said "unknown caller" for the first time since I was looking for a 0% balance transfer credit card two years ago. And, as I guessed, it was a computerized opinion poll. Unfortunately, I didn't get the company name. In any event, here are the questions they asked. I answered as you would expect me to:

  1. Right Track/Wrong Track
  2. Bush Approval (strong approve/weak app/weak dis/strong dis)
  3. Male/female
  4. age (under 18, 18-25, 26-30, 30-39, etc.)
  5. race (white/black/hispanic/asian/other)
  6. How often in do you vote in general elections?
  7. Political party affiliation (Republican/Democratic/other/independent)
  8. Who will you vote for President? (Kerry-Edwards/Bush-Cheney--no Nader option)
  9. Are you sure you'll vote for Kerry or may you change your mind?
  10. Will you vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate for Congress?
  11. Favorability towards: Kerry, Bush
  12. How closely have you been following the campaign (0-9 scale)
  13. Who's winning the war on terror? US and allies or terrorists or neither? I answered neither, because I'm not really sure how to measure (I guess I agree with Rummy on that)
  14. Who is a better leader? Bush or Kerry
  15. Do you own at $5k in stocks/mutual funds?
  16. Do you invest only in mutual funds or directly in stocks or bonds (I said only in mutual funds even though I own some individual shares of 3M, because those were gifts)
  17. Suppose Bush is reelected, will your own personal taxes go up, down or stay same? I said stay the same
  18. Suppose Kerry is elected, same question. I said go up, because I believe even though he says "$200k or more," I think that's for couples, so it's less for individuals, and I think mine will rise.
  19. If Bush is reelected, will overall level of gov't spending go up, down or stay same? I said go up, for obvious reasons.
  20. If Kerry, same question. Once again, I said go up.
  21. What do you want to happen with gov't spending?
  22. Are you very liberal, somewhat liberal, moderate, somewhat conservative or very conservative?
  23. Are America's best days in the future or past?
  24. Would you prefer a more active gov't with more services and higher taxes, or less active government with less services and fewer taxes?
  25. Should US cooperate with allies more often? This was a poorly worded question as my options were "we should do more of what allies want, or should they do what we want?" I mean, that's a stupid question.
  26. In a typical week, how often do you use internet? I mean, never at work, right?
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Saturday, October 16, 2004

Jon Stewart on Crossfire 

If we had a level of readership that leant itself to the use of the word "many," then I'm sure many of you would have heard about Jon Stewart's appearance on the Daily Show, where he took it to both Begala and Tucker-boy. It's really an amazing thing to see, not just because he used the word "dick" on CNN. Here's the full video.
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Friday, October 15, 2004

The New Third Rail? 

Why is this apparently the worst thing in the world to say?

"The world was better off with Saddam Hussain in power."

I don't think that should be all that horrible thing to say
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Real Time with Bill Maher 

Just found it funny that after Jesse Jackson expounded his views on Bush's use of fear and all that, some other eminent political mind: Alanis Morisette.

UPDATE: And in New Rules, which is always the funniest segment, talking about the the new Team America movie from the South Park guys: "If I wanted to have wooden sex with strings attached, I'd get married."
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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

O'There Simply Is No God 

It's going to take a long time - a long time - before I can fully digest the magnitude of the hilarity/sadness involving the Bill O'Reilly law suit that was filed today. (Read here. In the name of God, read there.)

I will therefore only point out that, today, in a court of law, the following statement was included in a complaint:
During the course of Defendant Bill O'Reilly's sexual rant, it became clear that he was using a vibrator upon himself, and that he ejaculated. Plaintiff was repulsed.
For the record, I don't think I believe this - but it sounds like some of the conversations may have been taped. I take it back, this proves that there almost certainly is a just, loving God.
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Debate 

Over at The Corner, they don't see how you could score this debate any other way than a Bush win. That's insane. The only one of the four debates that "obviously" went one way was the first one - mostly because Bush was barely able to form complete thoughts.

However, they are all (and, coincidentally, all conservatives on television) saying sort of the same thing: isn't it amazing that Kerry won the foreign policy debate and Bush won on domestic issues. Well, given that the Corner and conservatives in general have spent three years trying to convince us that we're in the middle of World War III, I'd say that makes a pretty convincing case for a Kerry Presidency, wouldn't you?
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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Sy Hersh 

Once again, Sy Hersh is either a liar and a traitor, or we're in much deeper shit that we realize. I'm not betting it's the former:
HERSH: I got a call last week from a soldier -- it's different now, a lot of communication, 800 numbers. He's an American officer and he was in a unit halfway between Baghdad and the Syrian border. It's a place where we claim we've done great work at cleaning out the insurgency. He was a platoon commander. First lieutenant, ROTC guy.
It was a call about this. He had been bivouacing outside of town with his platoon. It was near, it was an agricultural area, and there was a granary around. And the guys that owned the granary, the Iraqis that owned the granary... It was an area that the insurgency had some control, but it was very quiet, it was not Fallujah. It was a town that was off the mainstream. Not much violence there. And his guys, the guys that owned the granary, had hired, my guess is from his language, I wasn't explicit -- we're talking not more than three dozen, thirty or so guards. Any kind of work people were dying to do. So Iraqis were guarding the granary. His troops were bivouaced, they were stationed there, they got to know everybody...

They were a couple weeks together, they knew each other. So orders came down from the generals in Baghdad, we want to clear the village, like in Samarra. And as he told the story, another platoon from his company came and executed all the guards, as his people were screaming, stop. And he said they just shot them one by one. He went nuts, and his soldiers went nuts. And he's hysterical. He's totally hysterical. And he went to the captain. He was a lieutenant, he went to the company captain. And the company captain said, "No, you don't understand. That's a kill. We got thirty-six insurgents."

You read those stories where the Americans, we take a city, we had a combat, a hundred and fifteen insurgents are killed. You read those stories. It's shades of Vietnam again, folks, body counts...

You know what I told him? I said, fella, I said: you've complained to the captain. He knows you think they committed murder. Your troops know their fellow soldiers committed murder. Shut up. Just shut up. Get through your tour and just shut up. You're going to get a bullet in the back. You don't need that. And that's where we are with this war.
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Friday, October 08, 2004

My One Debate Comment 

Last time, I had only one comment. Now, I also only have one.

Bush just said, in response to what kind of justice he would appoint to SCOTUS, he wouldn't appoint someone who supported the Dred Scott decision!!!!!

well, he's got my vote!

UPDATE: Well, it seems we all were fooled. Apparently, "Dred Scott" is a code-word used by anti-abortion groups. See, these people, apparently, liken the reasoning in Roe v. Wade to the reasoning in Dred Scott. Therefore, when Bush says he's against Dred Scott, it doesn't mean he's against Dred Scott, but that he's against Roe, and the justices he picks will be the ones who will overturn Roe. What a cock out president is, huh?
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Thursday, October 07, 2004

Battle of the Network Stars 

This may be the greatest single article ever written Read it.
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Saturday, October 02, 2004

Kerry's "Global Test"??? 

So, the right-wingers and the Bush campaign are trying to make hay out of Kerry's use of the two words "global" and "test" next to each other during the debate. The Bush campaign is claiming that Kerry's position is that he would only engage in a preemptive strike when such a strike would be approved by the majority of other countries in the world. Indeed, the Bush campaign even released a new ad entitled "Global Test" that says in part:
"The Kerry doctrine: A global test. So we must seek permission from foreign governments before protecting America? A global test? So America will be forced to wait while threats gather? President Bush believes decisions about protecting America should be made in the Oval Office, not foreign capitals."
Geez, I don't want my president to seek permission from foreign governments before protecting America, do you? But, wait! Could it be that the Bush campaign is lying about what Kerry said? Shockingly, the answer is yes. Here is Kerry's quote from the debate, fully in context:
LEHRER: What is your position on the whole concept of preemptive war?

KERRY: The president always has the right, and always has had the right, for preemptive strike. That was a great doctrine throughout the Cold War. And it was always one of the things we argued about with respect to arms control.

No president, though all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America.

But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.[Emphasis added]
So, it's pretty obvious that Kerry is saying that any preemptive strike must make sense. Sounds like a decent test to me. Just to make sure, let's print here the third definition for "global" found at Webster's online:
3 : of, relating to, or applying to a whole (as a mathematical function or a computer program) [a global search of a file]
Now, I bet that, when confronted with the truth, right-wingers and other Bush-supporters will say, "Well, Kerry still used a stupid word so he should be expected that Bush will use it against him." But they will be wrong. Why? (1) Because, it's clear what he meant to anyone with a brain, and (2) you never should "open yourself up to" or "expect" attacks made up of blatant lies.*

*Recall the favorite defense of the Scumbags for Bush ads which stated, "Well, Kerry opened himself up for attacks on his Vietnam service by showcasing it so much." Legitimate attacks, yes; lies, no way.
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Friday, October 01, 2004

Media Bias 

If you want to understand media bias, this (from a Tim Graham article on The National Review) says it all.
Shortly before the debate began, Newsweek national editor Jon Meacham suggested on MSNBC that journalists are tired of Bush being in the lead, and so will try to narrow the race. Meacham foresaw "the possibility that President Bush has peaked about a month too early. Because we all need a narrative to change." Chris Matthews asked: "Is that your prediction?" Meacham replied: "I think it's possible that we're gonna be sitting around saying, 'Well you know Kerry really surprised us.' Because in a way the imperative is to change the story."
They're not pro-Republican or pro-Democrat. The media is pro-media, and the media wants a story to tell. It sells papers and increases ratings. This is a horrifying admission from a Newsweek editor; and it was exactly this mentality that led to Bush's improbable win in 2000.

UPDATE: Of course, Graham follows up with this absurd argument:
But remember, journalists aren't in favor of changing the story because it makes good copy. They're in favor of changing it because it gives their candidate a better chance of winning.
If you can't see that the media favored Bush in 2000, then I feel sorry for you.
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On Drudge... 

This is possibly the worst excuse I have ever heard:
Bush inner circle suggests Bush visit with Hurricane victims earlier in day was emotionally draining, contributed to "tired" appearance in debate...
What is responsible for the consistent inability to phrase a coherent thought that he has displayed for five years?

UPDATE: From The Note:
White House communications director Dan Bartlett called "ridiculous" a Drudge Report item attributed to Bush's "inner circle" which suggested that Bush's visit earlier in the day with Hurricane victims was "emotionally draining" and that it contributed to Bush's "tired" appearance during debate.
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Corner 

Over at The Corner, Rich Lowry says maybe the stupidest thing I've ever read in my entire life.
One Democratic spin that I don't think will work is the `Al Gore’ attack. The annoying aspect of Gore's sighs and expressions of exasperation was that they seemed so incongruous with his tree-like personality...almost as if he had spent time in front of the mirror practicing his "irritated loook (sic)" thinking that it might make him appear to be the alpha male he so wanted to be.

But Bush last night, on the other hand, seemed genuinly (sic) annoyed, as if he didn't give a hoot whether there were cameras on him or not he was downright perturbed. In that sense his irritation, I think, will be percieved (sic) as Millerish (as in Zell) rather than Gorish (as in Al).”
Someone forgot to turn on their spell check! (As a terrible speller, I refuse to pass judgment. It's the stupidity of the thought that caught my eye.)

On the other hand, Jonah Goldberg points out the absurdity of the mystical summit that John Kerry seems to think will end all of our problems in Iraq:
Oh how our troops must be hoping against hope that we get a change in Washington and get that summit! I'm sure today in mess halls and fox holes from Basra to Baghdad the men are a-chatter about how the guy who voted against sending them body armor is -- if elected, fingers crossed -- going to hold a summit.
I have no idea when this summit will take place, who will be there or what will be said.
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