Saturday, September 11, 2004

Take the pledge 
Now THIS is something to get out the vote!

via The Sideshow

Register. Vote.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Words fail 
But our Québécois friends have just the phrase.

I Remember

September 11, 2001

A day very like today.

"I Remember"

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Forget the physical - let's go to the Officers Club 
Why should any American soldier ever follow an order now? The Commander-in-Chief didn't. He not only wasn't punished, he got an honorable discharge. If I were a lifer in the military, I would be SERIOUSLY pissed off at George Bush. If I were an officer or an NCO, I'd not only be pissed, I'd be scared. Soldiering is not my thing, but even I can understand and appreciate the necessity of military discipline, where the idea is to accomplish a definite goal AND not get yourself or your teammates killed in the process. For all his macho flight-suit bluster, AWOL-Boy has no understanding of that - for him it's all cool action figures and tinker toys. If I were in uniform, I'd worry about orders that came from a guy like him.

No wonder Bush campaign stops are so tightly restricted - the guy just can't deal with anything the least bit unexpected ... as we saw in his "My Pet Goat" performance. George Bush is a wimp, a wuss, a whatever. He can strut around in his flight suit, but put him in front of an audience with questions his handlers may not have anticipated - that scares him, and his handlers, shitless.
Bush Likely to Bow Out of 1 Debate

By Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 8, 2004; Page A08

President Bush may skip one of the three debates that have been proposed by the Commission on Presidential Debates and accepted by Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), Republican officials said yesterday.

The officials said Bush's negotiating team plans to resist the middle debate, which was to be Oct. 8 in a town meeting format in the crucial state of Missouri.


Officials familiar with the issue said he plans to accept the commission's first debate, which is to focus on domestic policy, and the third one, which is to focus on foreign policy.

The audience for the second debate, to be at Washington University in St. Louis, was to be picked by the Gallup Organization. The commission said participants should be undecided voters from the St. Louis area.

A presidential adviser said campaign officials were concerned that people could pose as undecided when they actually are partisans.

Those partisans are so damned threatening and scary!

Time to start the Google bomb?
George W. Bush. Wimp.

The greatest video ever made about George Bush's national guard "service" 
A lot of the "new" revelations about Where was George? aren't really new at all, as this fabulous flash by Eric Blumrich of Montclair (done more than a year ago) so entertainingly shows.

What's that spell? 
David Neiwert at Orcinus tackles Cheney's threats, and has a nice line that Kerry should pick up if he's going to stick with the "W stands for WRONG" meme.
Wrong leadership is not strong leadership.

What to do with George 
Back in 1972, when George H.W. and Barbara Bush grew tired of apologizing for their son's drunken, womanizing ways, they spirited him out of Houston, out of sight of their circle. They fobbed him off to their old friends in Alabama, the Allisons. Dubya didn't change his ways there (he famously never showed up for his National Guard duty), but at least the Texas movers and shakers weren'r hearing about him on a regular basis anymore.

In 2004, his parents may be proud of him, but for many Americans, Dubya is an cringe-inducing embarrassment. The whole world is watching him now. Where can we ship him off to? Back to Texas, I suppose. It won't help with the embarrassment part, but I guess it'll have to do.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Lullaby for Hamza 
When bombers bomb again,
I need your lullaby.
Fires are burning,
The nightmare's begun.
The world is dark again,
I need your lullaby.

Sleep has gone.
Night is long again.
Sing me your song.
Let me sleep.
Bring me peace.

When bombers bomb again,
we'll need your lullaby.
Children cry.
Houses burn again.

Once more.

Sing songs to soothe them,
to dry their tears,
to drown the screams of war.
The world's gone wrong again,

I need your lullaby.

Night is long.
and sleep's just a dream.
Sing your song.
Stay close to me.
Sing to me.


The world is dark again,
I need your lullaby.
Sleep has gone.
night is much too long again.
Sing me your song.

Let me sleep.

Bring me peace.

· Written by Alfreda Benge and Robert Wyatt

· Reprinted by permission of Rykomusic Ltd

[added by Curmudgeon]Link

Dubya got his cushy berth in the TANG but couldn't even be bothered to show up for that. For him to cast aspersions on anyone else's service, as his campaign is doing, is despicable. He's not only a bad President, he seems to be equally bad as a human being.

Shorter Dick 
Vote for us, or you will be killed.

So much for that big RNC bounce 
The Newsweek and Time poll methodologies didn't stand up to much scrutiny, and more rigorous followups are confirming their bogosity. Ruy Texeira comes through with the goods
Kerry Widens Lead in Battleground States!

Now that's a headline you're not likely to see in the mainstream media, consumed as they are with the storyline du jour about Bush's Big Mo' from the convention.

But that's what the internals of the latest Gallup poll tell us. Prior to the Republican convention, Kerry had a one point lead among RVs (47-46) in the battleground states. After the Republican convention, now that battleground voters have had a chance to take a closer look at what Bush and his party really stand for, Kerry leads by 5 in these same states (50-45)! Note that Kerry gained three points among battleground voters, while Bush actually got a negative one point bounce.

And wait--there's more! The Gallup poll's internals also show that Kerry continues to lead among independents (49-46) and that both parties' partisans are equally polarized for their respective candidates (90-7).
And, even more telling
New ICR Poll Shows Kerry Ahead With Registered Voters 48%-47% A Sept. 1-5 poll by ICR/International Communications Research survey shows Kerry with a one-point lead over George W. Bush among registered voters. The ICR poll now joins Gallup as showing the presidential race to be essentially tied among registered voters, in contrast to earlier Newsweek and Time surveys which had Bush pulling significantly ahead.
In other words, we're about back where we were before the RNC started.

No new reapers today? 
When man-made space trash comes crashing down, you have to wonder what would happen if it landed ON somebody. Well, actually we KNOW what would happen - splat! That's what happened to "George," the main character in Showtime's terrific series "Dead Like Me." Luckily no one was standing in the wrong spot today. Or maybe it just needed to be a crashing Mir toilet seat instead of a cosmic specimen cup.
A NASA capsule bearing precious atomic specimens that Hollywood stunt pilots were prepared to catch as it came into earth's atmosphere crashed into the desert this morning after a parachute that was to slow its fall failed to deploy.
. . .
"Clearly something has gone wrong here," Chris Jones, director of solar system exploration at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., which managed the mission, said in a NASA TV broadcast of the landing.

On the other hand... 
If "Wimp" is what makes his blood boil and makes him act (even more) irrationally, then let's indeed call him George Wimp Bush.

Whatever works.

(tip o' the hat to Avedon)

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A depressing milestone 
A milestone of sorts is about to be reached. The number of US troops killed in Iraq has reached 999. For what it's worth, the total actually passed the 1000 mark a few days ago, if you include the American civilian contractors killed in Iraq - the latest (incomplete) count is 46 - so we're up to 1045 American war dead.

Of course, that doesn't count the estimated 4,895 to 6,370 dead Iraqi soldiers or, even worse, the 11,793 to 13,802 dead Iraqi civilian by-standers.

So what were they, our departed friends, sons, and daughters, doing there? Why have so many thousands of Americans and Iraqis been killed, maimed, mutilated? Our soldiers, at least, were willing to put their lives on the line to keep us all safe, and most of us agree that that is good and admirable. So far, though, it doesn't look like they were protecting US from anything. It's looking more and more like they were just a speed-bump on the way to the neocon wet-dream of global US hegemony. Or were they just bolstering the price of Dick Cheney's Halliburton shares?

3:30 PM EDT Update:
The milestone has been reached. 1000 US service men and women dead in Iraq. Sigh...

What's the "W" for? 
Today at The Sideshow:
"The W stands for wrong," Mr. Kerry said in a riff on the president's middle initial at a labor picnic in Racine, W.Va.
That's nice, and all, but let's get down to the cheese. This is the guy who choked in that school in Florida, then cowered on Airforce One while Rudy Giuliani, of all people, grabbed the spotlight. Then to show us how tough he is he spends the next three years blustering at everyone ("Bring it on!") from a safe distance. He's terrified of hecklers, he goes into a tailspin if a reporter asks him an obvious question. It seems like 90% of the domestic "security" he has built up in our country is meant to protect him from having to notice that some people have concerns about his leadership.

You know what he is, dammit, so go ahead and say it.

"W" stands for "wimp".
The ever-reliable Avedon Carol, proprietress of The Sideshow, is just a tiny bit off on this one, I think. What "W" REALLY stands for is "wuss."

I'm shocked, shocked, liberals would be interested in gossip-mongering 
Cultural critic for Vanity Fair, novelist, sometime writer for Esquire, Harper's and The New Yorker, James Wolcott is now a fellow blogger! Thank goodness he's trying to elevate the tone by taking a principled stand against the internet becoming a venue for the scandalous. He blogs:
It's unseemly, the lipsmacking excitement that's sweeping certain districts of blogland over the imminent publication of Kitty Kelley's The Family, a guacamole-spattered group portrait of the Bushes.

True, some of the alleged revelations sound as if they'll add piquancy to the political season.

How Barbara Bush ran over a Guatamalan with her golf cart and tried to compensate the grieving family with "colorful beads." How George Bush senior went whoring with Sam Peckinpah in Mexico during pre-production of The Wild Bunch. The Elvis White Panty Parties that the teenage Bush twins would reenact for the sordid entertainment of Prince Bandhar on "Saudi Night" at the Crawford ranch. And then there is the chapter devoted to George Bush's lost years in the National Guard, and his special bunkmate, who knew the ingredients of a great rubdown.

But I think we should wait for the book itself before chipping in to buy Kitty a tiara and crown her our Queen. We have been disappointed before hoping this book (Richard Clarke's) or that (Ron Suskind's) would diminish the boyish charm of George Bush in the public's eyes.

Nevertheless, I've preordered my copy and urge all Americans and illegal immigrants to do likewise.
Tsk. Tsk.

Get well soon, Mr. President 
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was recovering on Monday after successful quadruple heart bypass surgery at a New York hospital, and his doctors said he would have risked a "substantial" heart attack without the operation.

Some of Clinton's arteries had been 90-percent blocked and he would likely have had a "substantial heart attack" in the near future without an operation, Chief of Cardiology Allan Schwartz of New York-Presbyterian Hospital told a news conference.

Dr. Craig Smith, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the hospital, who led the procedure, said it had been "relatively routine."

"Starting this morning at about 8 a.m., he had a relatively routine quadruple bypass operation. We left the operating room around noon and he is recovering normally at this point," Smith said.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

The sky is NOT falling 
So what's up with these polls that all of a sudden make it look like Dubya has a double-digit lead? I think it's a simple matter - a bunch of right-leaning but basically centrist voters got a dose of "Who's your daddy?" from Bush's convention speech. A lot of them were feeling unhappy about the path the nation is on, and were looking for some love from the President.

I wouldn't say there's no need to worry - I've been worried about this election since Inauguration Day, 2001.But I don't think these spot-polls are much to add to those worries - the basic facts that were causing people to abandon Bush - Iraq, jobs, health care, lack of security preparation - haven't changed. This bounce, I believe, will be just that - after a bounce up, the polls will settle back down to the same region they were in before - roughly tied, with Kerry a few points up. This might take a week or two, but the economic news has been bad, oil prices are still at historically high levels, inflation is picking up, interest rates are moving up, and Iraq looks every day like a bigger disaster. As long as Kerry can get that message out, Bush's negatives will remain high. What he needs to do is counter the message (mostly fictional, natch) that Bush's people are putting out about him.

The blogger I most pay attention to regarding polling is Ruy Texeira at Donkey Rising - he follows ALL the polls and has an excellent handle on what the trends are and what they mean. If Texeira starts saying the polls are looking bad, that's when I'll start to worry in earnest. In the meantime, he's saying "Don't worry." While that's tough advice to take when everyone's running around like the sky is falling, I'll try to follow his advice. I suggest you all do the same.

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