Well, at least for tonight. It doesn't bode well that Mike McCurry would whinge about Bush not copping to his failures. If that's the spin plan they devised, they're in deep shit. Only an idiot would look at that debate and think that Bush had the upper hand, but Bush has always been more adept at controlling the media coverage. Look for a very aggressive rescripting of history in the next 48 hours to make Bush appear the victor.
I doubt Kerry's spin doctors are up to the challenge. The good news is that his performance was strong enough that the best Bush can hope to do is minimize the damage.
The Billionaires are in da house!
Check out the latest video from Billionaires for Bush featuring rap artist 50 Billion.
COUNTERPOINT by jodru
Of course, I'm compelled to point out that Kerry's marriage to Theresa Heinz Kerry gives him access to the largest private fortune ever to be so closely linked to a Presidential campaign.
Who's Running These Debates, Anyway?!
The Commission on Presidential Debates was created in 1987 to manage the debate process, but when the Kerrybush comes up with its own debate guidelines, what's the Commission to do? Hang it's head in shame at its own uselessness, that's what. Turns out, not even the Kerrybush gets a say, because the networks are going to do what they want anyway.
Who'd have thought that the media would be the last measure of quality control in a presidential election?
Vote for my nuts
Norman Mailer was fond of pointing out, apropos to Clinton's continued popularity despite the impeachment, that in ancient Egypt the Pharaoh would appear before the masses and unveil an enormous phallus between his legs. The false phallus was seen as a comforting sign of the Pharaoh's virility, and in turn, a sign that the security of the royal lineage was assured.
The device of appealling to the masses on the basis of one's genitalia has never lost its power. The Rolling Stones updated the sock-down-the-trousers gag in '75,
and GWBII brought it to a new low during his first term. Ever since he stuffed his nutsack into that flight suit, he's become obsessively phallus-oriented.
Yesterday, at a town meeting, he attacked Kerry's indecisiveness with his trademark declarative sentences, which have all the nuance of a sledgehammer. But as the election nears, those base monosyllables of his are getting accompanied by ever more demonstrative genital gestures. His basic bowleggedness, which is a silent indication of genitalia too large to accomodate proper posture, is now accompanied by hip swivels and knee dips which put his crotch ever closer to the center of attention.
Ed Sullivan wouldn't approve and neither should we, but it's not that kind of world. Instead, Kerry's got to make lame-assed attempts to compete by globbing on to any activity that can be seen as manly. Poor guy. I bet he wishes now that Matt Drudge actually had some real dirt back in the primaries when he threatened a scoop about a Kerry affair. At least that would get his nuts some attention.
Actually, yes. At least the following people will be armed with something!
About 800 members of the 98th Army Reserve Division from Rochester, New York will begin a year-long mission in Iraq next month.
The unit, which normally trains reserve and active-duty soldiers in the U.S., will find itself training Iraq’s new army.
The 98th is a non-combat unit that doesn't even have its own weapons or vehicles.
"This is a hard war and we, frankly, inside the Army Reserve have been not properly prepared for it,” said Lt. Gen. James Helmly, chief of the U.S. Army Reserve.
You say Yusuf, I say Youssouf.
It's a wild world after all. It appears that Cat Stevens was detained due to a spelling error.
ADDENDUM by jodru
The larger issue is that we shouldn't be diverting planes because of a name on a list, for several reasons. First, quite clearly, the list is full of errors. The inaccuracy of the no-fly list has been established repeatedly through the detaining of people like Cat Stevens and Ted Kennedy.
Second, diverting an entire plane on the basis of one name match is a ruinous practice, much like the colour-coded Alert levels. Unnecessary diversions increase the boy-who-cried-wolf factor, thereby overstressing consumer patience and the resources of the airlines, not to mention security forces which waste time following false leads.
Lastly, a no-fly list is a no-fly list. The passenger shouldn't be on the plane to begin with. Homeland Security really needs to examine why it has to divert so many flights because people on the list have been allowed to board.
Remember the better times......
The National Security lie
Alexander Zaitchik of the NYP Press said it best:
If voters were forced to smell the Bush record up close, we'd be looking down the barrel of a 1964-style Kerry trounce in November, followed by several high-level prosecutions and a steep, generational decline in the fortunes of the Republican Party.
What Gay Rights?
The Social Security Administration is trying to remove language from the agency's labor contract that protects its employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The change would make it legal for gay and lesbian employees in the Bush administration to be discriminated against, or even fired, by their employers.
The contract language at issue was added in 2000 in response to an executive order by President Clinton establishing a uniform policy protecting federal employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
"I call on President Bush to intercede and protect the hard-working employees of the Social Security Administration," said Terry McAuliffe, Democratic National Committee chairman. "Unfortunately, if Bush's record of divisive politics is any indicator, he will ignore this problem and fail us once again. If Bush's appointees within the SSA are successful in removing this protection, then other agencies are sure to follow, and gay and lesbian Americans would have no legal recourse to fight against wrongful discrimination."
Just what kind of guy was President Bush during his character-defining early adulthood?
"George W. Bush did not fulfill his obligation to attend Guard drills on a regular basis while in Alabama," Alexander writes. "Exactly what was he doing? For one thing, he was drinking heavily. ... Bush had a regular group of drinking buddies he hung out with, and during his stay in Alabama he was said to have dated an array of local young women. ... Throughout the summer, Bush maintained his heavy social life. By September his behavior had become a problem."
The Illusion of Action
"I'm a war-time President." "I lead."
Like all politicians, Bush utters meaningless statements, like the ones above, to foster an illusion of something. In this case, the illusion is one of activity. In the throes of the election cycle, politicians become morbidly afraid of appearing to be inactive, especially on hot button issues.
So, we've got a rush to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, much like Bush rushed to create the department of Homeland Defense. There's ample evidence that HD is a mess that is causing more harm than good. It's a mess because it got thrown together to create a sense of progress on the national security front.
The 9/11 Commission recommendations call for similar action, with brand new departments being created and vast changes in funding policies. Implementing their good recommendations, which most of them are not, should take no small amount of time, in order to insure that we don't juryrig another mess like HD.
Henry Kissinger, who was the original choice to head the 9/11 Commission, is recommending that we wait until Nov. 3 to start tackling the Commission's recommendations. He's got the support of several other former Secretaries of State, and they are absolutely right.
Kerry's "Top Ten Bush Tax Proposals"
10. No estate tax for families with at least two U.S. presidents.
9. W-2 Form is now Dubya-2 Form.
8. Under the simplified tax code, your refund check goes directly to Halliburton.
7. The reduced earned income tax credit is so unfair, it just makes me want to tear out my lustrous, finely groomed hair.
6. Attorney General (John) Ashcroft gets to write off the entire U.S. Constitution.
5. Texas Rangers can take a business loss for trading Sammy Sosa.
4. Eliminate all income taxes; just ask Teresa (Heinz Kerry) to cover the whole damn thing.
3. Cheney can claim Bush as a dependent.
2. Hundred-dollar penalty if you pronounce it "nuclear" instead of "nucular."
1. George W. Bush gets a deduction for mortgaging our entire future.
Pulling his punches
Even more unfortunately for John Kerry, the waddle tends to precede lines that are supposed to land like rhetorical punches. He rarely gets them right, and he masochistically steps all over his applause beats. But even more worrisome is how the punches he's actually throwing are light as a feather and lined in velvet. Take his speech at NYU yesterday, for instance. He unveiled a new strategy of attacking Bush on Iraq, which is exactly what Kerry needs to do. Yet, this is one of the powerhouse lines from the speech:
Let me put it plainly: The President’s policy in Iraq has not strengthened our national security. It has weakened it.
One of the first rules of speechwriting is that the passive voice is murderous. Nothing kills an audiences investment in what a speaker has to say more than passive constructions. Pair that with a stiff speaking style, and it's a recipe for disaster. So, Kerry's jab, where he is simply saying that Bush was weakened national security by invading Iraq, gets contorted into a passive construction where he doesn't attack Bush himself but "the President's policy". Nor does he simply say that "the policy" has weakened security but that it "has not strengthened" it. When he finally gets around to the actual punch, he uses the word "it" twice in the same sentence and is asking the listener to remember his passive construction from the preceding sentence.
If only he would take a page out of Clinton's or Bush's book and just deliver some lines with the dumbness that wins elections. His best line in the entire speech got interrupted by applause. He said:
Iraq was a profound diversion from that war [on terror] and the battle against our greatest enemy, Osama bin Laden and the terrorists.
After the word "war", he got a large ovation. Instead of leaving it at that, he couldn't deviate from the text; so, he doubled back and repeated the sentence awkwardly so that he could finish it.
By that time, the impact of the jab has been reduced to nothing. The good news is that he's gotten better as the campaign has gone along. He proved himself capable of adapting during the primaries, and he is doing so again, to become more combative. But he's still a long shot, and every time he speaks, he seems to make his odds of winning even smaller.
The Kerry Waddle
It's an unfortunate mannerism that our candidate has adopted, much like the unfortunate British accent of his youth, where he shifts his weight from side to side in such rapid succession that he looks like he's waddling. He usually does this to emphasize a point, and it almost looks like a fighter who's setting his feet in order to throw a punch. I don't think the tick is as well thought out as to be an attempt to compete with the patented Bush swagger, but it is clearly an attempt to convey a loose-limbed machismo, much like Gore's ruinous head shakes were stabs at demonstrating that he wasn't a robot.
Treaties revoked by George W. Bush
Top 10 things overheard at the RNC.
- Okay, one of those three guys has to be Alan Keyes.
- Nonsense. Who would be offended by Purple Heart band-aids?
- Look, there's disingenuous filmmaker Michael Moore whose film I haven't seen.
- Don't worry, I went AWOL from the Austrian Army in 1965, and it didn't cost me politically.
- Hey! Who do I have to torture to get some service around here?!
- Osama? O-sa-ma? Nope, doesn't ring any bells.
- Maybe they are identical twins. I certainly couldn't tell which was the smart one.
- Yes, Mr. Schwarzenegger, it does look a little like an elephant's trunk.
- Trust me Mr. Vice President, Zell Miller is oversimplifying and distorting Senator Kerry's votes on weapons systems, not your recommendations as Secretary of Defense.
- Hello, Mr. Nader. The usual?
No worries here!
I got a kick out of this column by Greg Mitchell at editor&publisher.com
It started with a joke, but once the laughter stopped I had to admit that the President's sunny statements about Iraq last week did sound disturbingly similar to some of the classics uttered by Saddam's former Minister of Information. "Be assured: Baghdad is safe."
Career Criminal ?
Goldstone, over at the World's Shortest Blog, has a $2265.35 bounty to the first person to ask George W. Bush this question in a public forum.
"How many times have you been arrested, Mr. President?"
Let's review the arrest count, shall we?
- The first arrest of George W. Bush was for theft at a hotel.
- The second arrest was for disorderly conduct at a football game.
- The third arrest was for a very serious crime - drunk driving.
Why don't Republicans come up with conspiracy theories?
Every conspiracy theory from the grassy knoll to the inescapable "Bush Knew" graffitti all over NYC seems to come from the feverish minds of poor, outgunned liberals. "Vast, right-wing conspiracy" ring a bell? Whenever a Democrat is in trouble, a barely credible, borderline hysterical theory isn't far behind.
The latest is a doozy: Karl Rove planted fake memos in the hands of CBS, knowing that the ensuing controversy, once they were proved to be fakes, would finally put the issue of Bush's service record to rest and drive yet another nail into Kerry's now triple-sealed coffin.
NASTYBOY supplies the following link.
Blogger who faulted CBS documents is activist with far-right GOP ties
I sort of see the liberal mind like the cover of Sgt. Pepper's, but with all the lead figures in the great cavalcade of the conspiracy theories: Jack Ruby, Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove, Mao Tse Tung, Bush I and Bush II in their Skull 'n Bones getups, and so on.
Let's look at some of the conspiracies that the Republicans have come up with.
- Cocaine landing strips in Arkansas
- Vince Foster's death
- selling secrets to the Chinese
- Clinton Chronicles.
Who's running this company?
You didn't think that Bush was, did you?
Democrats, You're fired!
Employees of the Republican-controlled Philadelphia Parking Authority said they were told by their superiors to contribute to the GOP, or risk losing their jobs, a newspaper reported.
Five employees said they were pressured on the job to contribute $275 per year, the Philadelphia Daily News reported for Tuesday editions. Campaign finance records show dozens of $100 contributions this year from workers making $25,000 or less.
State law forbids demanding political contributions from public employees or contractors.
"It's extortion," said Michael J. Vecchione, who was hired two years ago to work in the authority's impoundment lots. The four other employees spoke to the Daily News on condition of anonymity.
COUNTERPOINT by jodru
This kind of extortion by unions used to be the exclusive domain of the Democrats. It's a shameful practice, but there's a bit of pot-kettle tautology in accusing the GOP of malfeasance.
$50,000 reward for missing Bush records.
Well, keep looking!
50 G's to whoever finds them.
Kerry Debate Tactic
I have an idea for a Kerry Debate tactic. An awful idea. NastyBoys got a wonderful, awful idea.
Sometime during the last debate, when he is asked a question, Kerry should just stand there and not say anything. When his time is almost up, he should ask everyone how they felt when he didn't reply to the question in a timely manner. Most would wonder what he was up to, or be upset that he appeared not to be aware that he was asked a question. At this point, Kerry should then point at Bush and say,
"If you can be upset at me for appearing unaware of what was going on, with no lives on the line, then by god, you should all be upset at what our President did while sitting in that classroom on 9/11, after the 2nd plane hit one of the towers"
Rowboat Veterans for truth
Friends and fellow countrymen, it's time to set the record straight. "General" George Washington is no war-hero.
Another compassionate conservative strikes again!
A member of the audience pulls a demonstrator's hair as he forces her out of an auditorium where President Bush was addressing a crowd of supporters at Byers Choice in Colmar, Pa. Thursday Sept. 9, 2004.
Apparently, some idiot passed off some funny money to another idiot.
Bush's real military service
Holy Election, Batman!