Friday, October 08, 2004

Blogging The Debate - Part II

It went pretty well the first time. I sort of petered out two-thirds of the way through, but Kerry had already won it at that point.

For what it's worth, I'd thought the Bush earpiece story was tin foil hattery until I read the Salon piece today. Now I'm not so sure. I'll definitely be looking for a bulge today.

No, Wonkette. Not that bulge...

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When Kerry and Bush greeted each other, I was really looking for Kerry to pat down Bush's back for a transmitter.

First question. Total softball for Kerry. Nice. They've given a few shots of Bush in the background -- he looks peeved already, but like he's trying not to. Poor guy.

Kerry struck out first thing, working to irritate Bush. Good plan.

In Bush's reply, he said that Kerry voted against the $87 billion before he voted against it. He's obviously not wearing a wire this time.

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Second question.

Wow. Bush actually looks pissed at one the voter!

Not smooth, Bushy. Not smooth.

They've brought al Qaeda to justice... the same al Qaeda that just killed thirty some-odd people in Egypt?

Kerry didn't hit him as hard as he could have. Big miss there. Unfortunate.

Bush is pissed off already. This is incredible.

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I love how Bush's version of 'not mad' is a totally expressionless stare. I'm absolutely giddy here.

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"He has a plan. It's called the Bush plan."

But then... his plan is a failure?

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Is it just me, or is it absolutely stupid for Bush to keep saying that we've captured 75% of al Qaeda? How can he prove that? It's like saying that the Yankees have X number of fans, as if it's finite. But al Qaeda is a growing organization. Doesn't this administration recognize that?

All joking aside, this kind of thinking is dangerous in the White House.

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"The military's job is to win the war. The President's job is to win the peace."

Oh man... Kerry would have to crap his pants on stage to lose this debate.

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"That answer almost made me want to scowl."

Uh... Bushy? First of all, you stole that joke from Al Gore's op-ed in the New York Times. Second of all, that's too fresh, man. You just reminded everyone how pissed you were during the first debate. And you're pissed now. Not smart, dude.

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"The internets."

There's some intelligences right there.

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"So far, so bad."

That's from the National Review's blog, The Corner.

Damned liberal media!!!

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The President was just yelling at the host of Good Morning America.

That's the way to win the votes, chief.

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Bush isn't sitting down. I wonder if he's going to pull a repeat of Gore's freaky closing in move from the 2000 townhall.

Nevermind. He's sitting. But still...

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"I'm worried. I'm worried. I'm worried about this country."

Uh... but you're the President. I mean, I'm worried to, but I'm not going to vote for you.

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Bush just interrupted the guy asking the question about the reimportation of drugs. He's coming off like more of a jerk than I think he really is.

Oh well.

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Bush just implied that he would start allowing the reimportation of prescription drugs in December. Boy, that's convenient.

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Bush looks like he's so mad he's going to cry. If this gets too ugly, can Rove or Laura or someone to run down and throw in the towel? Because I want to see the guy lose his job -- not start crying.

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WHY DOES BUSH... [Jonah Goldberg]
Sound like he's angry at the guy asking about making drugs cheaper?
Posted at 09:41 PM
I'm loving The Corner tonight.

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Bush just referred to Kerry as "Senator Kennedy" and then didn't correct himself. The fake Freudian slip only works when you admit that it's a slip, Bushy.

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When Bush is challenged, he has two modes: angry and whiny. Neither is attractive.

It really says something about 2000 that this chump even got close to winning the popular vote. Totally different world.

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This whole "right into the camera" thing is a little weird, no?

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"I've got a plan to increase the wetlands by three million."

Three million what? Bush is not even trying to lie. He's just babbling now.

This rules!!!

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Kerry knows he's winning. I hope this doesn't mean he's going to go crazy on the ad libs.

One way or the other, he's won.

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Why does Bush keep ragging on Europe? He's running for President, not Governor of Alabama.

Besides, hasn't he been arguing that Kerry insults our European allies when he says the coalition isn't really "A Grand Coalition"?

So which is it? Is it okay to insult Europe or not? I'm confused by all of these mixed messages coming from the President.


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Wait, does Bush own a lumber company?

That's a weird thing to say if it's not true. However, if it is true -- and Kerry's not one just to make things up -- the fact that Bush doesn't even realize that he owns part of a small lumber company really says something about how much of an out of touch elitist he is.

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On the Supreme Court:

"Plus, I want 'em all votin' for me."

What an asshole. He doesn't even get that that's not funny.

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Bush keeps resorting to flippancy on questions that are way too serious. He's the President. How deep in the bubble do they keep this guy?

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Bush is still not able to admit he's done anything wrong. The closest he'll come is saying that he'll take responsibility for mistakes that historians point out in the future.

Please, people, fire this guy.

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Ding, ding! Fight's over. Kerry wins in a landslide.

posted by Scott | 10/08/2004 | |

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Post Debate Wrap-Up: Veep Edition

What the hell happened? The first Presidential debate ruled. The veep debate wasn't much to write home about. I was hoping for fireworks and shouting and charges against Halliburton and slander against trial lawyers. Basically, I was looking for the volume to be turned up to 11 and it was on a mellow 3.

I expected Cheney to 'win'. Not so much on the merits or on the facts, but just on style. He just doesn't get rattled the way Bush does. He's got an incredible ability to make total BS sound pretty credible. Those are hard traits to counter in a debate. At the same time, I really wanted to see Edwards be the great lawyer we know he is and really make the case to a national jury.

I'm still trying to figure out what the CW is on this thing. The post-debate wrap-up presided over by Chris Matthews on MSNBC seemed to give the trophy to Cheney. Ron Reagan was the sole dissenting voice, admitting himself that he thought the "chattering classes" would declare Cheney the winner.

But then there's Andrew Sullivan calling it a "car wreck" for the Bush/Cheney ticket. He goes even further:

Cheney was road-kill. There were times when it was so overwhelming a debate victory for Edwards that I had to look away.
I'd love to agree with that, but I just didn't. Personally, I thought it was pretty much a draw. Of course I sided with Edwards on damn near everything, so I figured it was my bias declaring him the winner. I certainly didn't walk away jumping up and down and shadowboxing the way I did last week. But Sullivan's got me rethinking that.

And he's not the only one. Taegan Goddard called it narrowly for Edwards, pointing out that Cheney "needed to slow Kerry's momentum to win and did not." Another good call.

But to inject some science into it, CBS News declared Edwards the winner among actual voters.

A CBS News poll of 178 uncommitted voters found that 41 percent said Edwards won the debate, versus 28 percent who said Cheney won. Thirty-one percent said it was a tie.

A majority of uncommitted voters came away from the debate believing that both men could be an effective president if needed. More of those surveyed (76 percent) said they liked Edwards personally than said they liked Cheney (53 percent).
That's a pretty clear win for Edwards.

I didn't see it as an obvious win for Edwards because Dick Cheney is a great liar. Period, point blank. I just assumed that people would buy the lies. And man did he lie his ass off during that debate.

Like the one about being the presiding officer of the Senate and not seeing John Edwards until the debate? First of all, the Senate can't hold its sessions in an undisclosed location, so Cheney couldn't have spent too much time there. Second of all, that the two men had never before met is flat out untrue. Edwards escorted Elizabeth Dole to her swearing in to the Senate... presided over by Dick Cheney. And then there's this...

Pretty self-explanatory. But still, Cheney is a great liar. He's the number one driving force of the Saddam-9/11 myth which a huge number of Americans believe to be true. So when he lies, people listen. Right?

The CBS poll results -- along with the CW coming down the from on high -- indicate that people just don't believe Dick Cheney anymore. It turns out that a clear majority of the American people look at Cheney like their crackpot uncle who's always spouting off conspiracy theories. Just smile and nod until he's gone. It seems that he'll be gone soon enough.

posted by Scott | 10/05/2004 | |

Bremer Slams Bush On Troop Numbers, Post-War Planning

Washington Post. Page 1.

The former U.S. official who governed Iraq after the invasion said yesterday that the United States made two major mistakes: not deploying enough troops in Iraq and then not containing the violence and looting immediately after the ouster of Saddam Hussein.
If this sounds familiar, it's because you've heard it from damn near every critic -- Democratic and Republican -- of Bush's faulty planning of the Iraq War. Only this time, it's coming from Bush's hand-picked Viceroy of Iraq, Paul Bremer.

"We paid a big price for not stopping it because it established an atmosphere of lawlessness," he said yesterday in a speech at an insurance conference in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. "We never had enough troops on the ground."
In a Sept. 17 speech at DePauw University, Bremer said he frequently raised the issue within the administration and "should have been even more insistent" when his advice was spurned because the situation in Iraq might be different today. "The single most important change -- the one thing that would have improved the situation -- would have been having more troops in Iraq at the beginning and throughout" the occupation, Bremer said, according to the Banner-Graphic in Greencastle, Ind.
Bremer's comments were not meant for public consumption, which makes them all the more enlightening. He's since attempted to backtrack and disavow the comments, but it's a little hard to take something like this back. Somewhat surprisingly, Bremer's got a bad habit of pulling back the curtain on Bush's fantasy world.

At a McCormick Tribune Foundation conference on terrorism on Feb. 26, 2001, Bremer said, "The new administration seems to be paying no attention to the problem of terrorism. What they will do is stagger along until there's a major incident and then suddenly say, 'Oh, my God, shouldn't we be organized to deal with this?'

"That's too bad. They've been given a window of opportunity with very little terrorism now, and they're not taking advantage of it."
Guys like Bremer can play the good soldier and yes man for only so long before the mask falls off. It's just completely impossible to keep up that kind of charade for a prolonged period of time without letting your guard down every once and a while.

I really hope Edwards seizes on this going into tonight's debate. He's going to need all of the intellectual firepower he can muster to take on Tricky Dick.

posted by Scott | 10/05/2004 | |

Sunday, October 03, 2004

One Less Swing State

Everyone Republican I know told me not to sweat New Jersey going for Bush -- it wasn't going to happen. But the polls said different and I got a little nervous for a while.

Turns out I had nothing to worry about. Even if I did, the first Presidential debate gave a shiny new coat of blue to my home state.

A poll conducted Friday by The Record showed John Kerry with an eight-point lead over President Bush in New Jersey, despite other polls in recent weeks indicating a virtual deadlock in the race for the state's 15 electoral votes.

Of the 502 likely voters polled in the Garden State, 50 percent said they were planning to vote for the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, and 42 percent said they would vote to reelect Bush, a Republican. Six percent remained undecided, while 2 percent said they would vote for independent Ralph Nader.

The poll was taken the day after the first debate between Bush and Kerry, which was watched by more than 80 percent of those polled by The Record. Nearly half of those who saw the debate said Kerry won, and 34 percent said Bush won.
Between the debate and John Edwards' recent, well-covered trip into our state, Kerry/Edwards have solidified their lead. All we needed was a little attention and a little reassurance. We got tons of both and now we're back.

Time to relax and focus on the real swing states.

posted by Scott | 10/03/2004 | |

Drudge's Latest Suggestion

Please tell me this bastard isn't suggesting what I think he is.


Uh, HIV what, Matt?

The New York Times piece the Drudge item linked to had this to say:

He has tested negative for H.I.V., and has never been in trouble with the law for drug or alcohol abuse.
Too bad the same can't be said for Bush.

UPDATE: I'm a reactionary idiot. I don't typically read hyphens as meaning "negative". However, my wife pointed out that "HIV - ..." probably meant "HIV negative". While I'm still somewhat of the mind set that Drudge was trying to be intentionally vague, it certainly isn't the open-ended question I initially thought it to be.

It is kind of telling that no one sent me e-mail about this, though.

posted by Scott | 10/03/2004 | |

More Fake News From Fox

A well-oiled propaganda machine...

From Atrios:

We're trying to get Comrade Kerry elected and get that capitalist enabler George Bush out of office," said 17-year-old Komoselutes Rob of Communists for Kerry.

"Even though he, too, is a capitalist, he supports my socialist values more than President Bush," Rob said, before assuring that his organization was not a parody group. When asked his thoughts on Washington's policy toward Communist holdout North Korea, Rob said: "The North Koreans are my comrades to a point, and I'm sure they support Comrade Kerry, too."

It is unclear whether the Kerry campaign has welcomed the Communists' endorsement.
Communists for Kerry is basically a less-funny, ideologically opposite rip-off of Billionaires for Bush. But apparently Fox News' computers are blocking Google, which could have told them that

"Communists for Kerry" is a campaign of the Hellgate Republican Club, a tax exempt non-partisan public advocacy "527" organization that exists for the purpose of;

"Informing voters with satire and irony, how political candidates make decisions based on the failed social economic principles of socialism that punish the individual by preventing them from becoming their dream through proven ideas of entrepreneurship and freedom."
The simple fact of the matter is that Fox knew, as does everyone else covering the Presidential race, that Communists for Kerry is a Republican group trying to make their "point" through satire. But they really just couldn't resist posting a story in which an American communist would say something like this:

The North Koreans are my comrades to a point, and I'm sure they support Comrade Kerry, too.
The story has since been edited to acknowledge that Communists for Kerry is a group of Republicans "who, in fact, are rooting for Bush".

But this was no mistake. Rove and his allies (or was it spelled ailes?) over at Fox are now out for the kill. If they can slip in a story like this every day or so, they know that this kind of disinformation, in even a worst-cast scenario, will shave off a handful of votes from Kerry's total. But they're really hoping to start rumors and spread innuendo about Kerry that lodge themselves in the conventional wisdom and really damage Kerry over the long run.

Fascism is in season, people. It's time to stamp out the weeds.

posted by Scott | 10/03/2004 | |
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