Archive for July, 2004

I Read Al Gore’s policy positions…

Thursday, July 22nd, 2004

“Yeah, back in 1992 I met Bill Clinton and Al Gore. The man I really wanted to meet was Al Gore. I took a good look at all his policy positions, and I was impressed.”

This sort of crashed my whole worldview. I didn’t know a full-frontal Al Gore supporter actually existed. I assumed just about everyone who voted for Gore in the 2000 election voted for him in a vague sense of desperation, even technocratic Democrats… with the exception of some Jewish voters in Florida, Joe Lieberman’s ethnic vote.

A mildly amusing game I had during the 2000 campaign: I’d say “Just picture Al Gore’s State of the Union speech.” Whoever I was talking to would groan. “Now imagine George Bush’s State of the Union speech.” And, we’d have a deeper groan, or in the case of my mother who would go on to vote for Bush wishing she could vote for John McCain, a shake of the head. Granted, the reaction is somewhat visceral, and not tied with any reaction to policy — Bush’s mangled English versus Gore’s prissy mannerisms. A wonkish supporter of Gore would be better able to look past these surface problems, and — I guess by that virtue — look past the more substantial and meaningful problems with Al Gore.

“So, you think that Al Gore could beat George W Bush this time out?” At the time, Bush was riding high after the 2002 midterm elections.

“Well, sure. If he just lays it all out there and fights, and lays it all out there.”

It was right about then that I formulated by then-out of conventional thought that Al Gore would not run for president.

One of John Kerry’s Prouder Moments from his Senate Career

Thursday, July 22nd, 2004

Senator KERRY: What did you do with those drugs?
Mr. MORALES: Sell them.
Senator KERRY: What did you do with the money?
Mr. MORALES: Give it to the Contras.
Senator KERRY: All right.

(via this via dailykos.

Senators Lieberman and Kyl Re-Launch Lying Propaganda Institute

Wednesday, July 21st, 2004

The Committee on Present Danger is in DA HOUSE!!!.

I want to vomit.

It was the 1970s. The US public had suddenly soured on the idea of engaging their nation in confusing wars that only tangeantly at best had anything to do with our national security against against nationalistic guerilla warriors. Somebody, anybody, needed to step in to defeat this “Vietnam Syndrome” problem. But, who would step in?

The Committee on the Present Danger was first formed at the dawn of the Cold War in 1950 to educate Americans about the growing threat of Soviet communism. Democratic senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson of Washington state revitalized the group in the mid-’70s; this time it was focused on working for a stronger stance toward the Soviets and the increased defense spending necessary to carry out that policy.

Meanwhile, the threat assessments of the Soviet Union didn’t seem to be… terrifying enough anymore. There was a problem with this intelligence! We needed an organization within the CIA to come forward and alarm the public about a Soviet Union that was bigger and badder than ever… unfortunately, an unsympathetic president — Jimmy Carter of his first two years, wasn’t taking heed on this extra-curricular intelligence. Why, if the president isn’t going to sound the alarms and alert us to the need for a massive military build-up, I guess it’s up to the Committee on Present Danger!!

The leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties have so far stood firm in their commitment to finish the job in Iraq and to fight to victory the war on terrorism. But that bipartisan consensus is coming under growing public pressure and could fray in the months ahead. Although the tide is turning in the war on terrorism, a political undertow in this country could wash out our recent gains. We must not let this happen.

Uh oh. The public may decide to rebuke the war with Iraq, and have difficulty fitting it into a sensical “War Against Terrorism”. We can not afford to let that happen. Better organize a bi-partisan support group so that the public won’t be able to make that mistake!

Your membership list for The Committee of Present Danger:

Senator Jon Kyl
Senator Joseph Lieberman
James Woolsey
Laurie Mylroie, Ph.D. (hee hee hee hee! )*
Norman Podhoretz

And a bunch of other assholes.

* The CIA underplays the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, Saddam Hussein was Behind 9/11, and, circa 1991, hastily written book on how Saddam Hussein is the Reincarnation of Adolf Hitler, whiplash over our previous stance notwithstanding… co-written by top-notch NY Times journatlist… Judith Miller!

50 State Sweeps

Tuesday, July 20th, 2004

Remember when?

I took note of the New York Post article, saved at, from May of 2003, for one scurrilous prediction:


May 8, 2003 — ANYONE who watched the dreary first 2004 Democratic debate Saturday can see why some Republicans are dreaming and plotting how President Bush can do what even Ronald Reagan couldn’t do: win all 50 states in 2004.
After all, polls now show Bush could win California, beat Sen. Hillary Clinton in New York, and whip 2004 wannabes Joe Lieberman (Conn.), John Edwards (N.C.) and Bob Graham (Fla.) in their home states.


The District of Columbia is probably safe for the Democrats, but
a 50-state sweep for Mr. Bush wouldn’t be out of the question.


A 50-state sweep for Bush is not impossible, said Stephen Hess, a scholar of presidential politics at the Brookings Institution. “I think one thing Rove will do is make a thrust at 50 states because he’s got the money to do it, and the tactic pins down the other side,” Hess said.

At this early stage, the “other side” does not look particularly threatening.

In June 2002, Campaigns & Elections magazine in its “movers and shakers” column profiled Nelson, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Iowa. Asked about his immediate goals, Nelson said, “To expand the majority in the House, take back the Senate and a 50-state sweep for President Bush in 2004.”


Some pundits are now even predicting that Bush may sweep all 50 states in the next election. And, unless the Democrats start facing reality and acting like grown-ups, they’re unlikely to be holding on to many states in 2004. And, at the rate they’re going, the most they’ll be holding on to are the thumbs in their mouths.


Things move fast in politics. What you had there was this weird trajectory where, freedom is ushered into Iraq, Iraqis continue to greet our soldiers with flowers — even now a year into the future, and a bombardment of oil raises the American economy to new heights heretofore unseen in world history. And, the Democratic Party becomes shrill and vulgar to appease their anti-American (by definition, they’re anti-Bush) base.

I’d like to see if Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity made great hay out of that New York Post article back in 2003… or if they had more sense. This was never in the realm of possibilities. If it were to be a landslide for Bush, it’d be, at most, a landslide of Bush vs. Dukakis proportions. But, the NY Post editorialist envisioned something that would put Bush II in the same realm of George Washington (he had two dissent-less electoral victories).

And right above Ronald Reagan. And Franklin D. Roosevelt.

And Richard Nixon. But never mind him.

I wonder if anyone ever predicted that George Bush I would carry all 50 states… you know, back when Saturday Night Live was doing skits about Democratic Debates where the candidates argued that they would lose bigger than the other candidates…

Amish Rake Fight

Monday, July 19th, 2004

After reading about Bush’s play for the Amish vote here, I’m left wondering what the historical Amish vote trendlines look like.

There aren’t a whole lot of Amish political blogs out there, though I’m left pondering what Amish use

If I had to, I’d look up the specific counties of Pennsylvania and Ohio where the Amish congregate, to try to detect if there’s a blue or red streak in what’d surely be Republican (rural) counties. Otherwise, here’s Ralph W. Loew getting out the Amish vote for a local hospital during the Great Depression-era.

It looks definite that the population of the Amish who vote for national office are significantly lower than the overall population. Other than that, who knows?

It’s A Pointless Game

Sunday, July 18th, 2004

Re-occuring items, varies depending on the specific media peculiarity.

Today, it was a “Face the Nation” program. The host had on the RNC and DNC chairmen — Ed Gillespie and Terry Mcauliffe. Two people whose job description is, quite literally, “partisan hack”.

The host asks the question: “Are you calling Bush a liar?”

To wit, Mcauliffe responds “Well, there are serious questions blah blah blah.”

In the less Right-wing media, we have, say, Sean Hannity say “These left wing wackos are, without any evidence, calling our president George W Bush a Liar! It’s absurd”

Actually, it’s a fascinating game. If confronted with a left-wing wacko calling Bush a liar, the right-thinking conservative media figure will fire back with quotes from Bill Clinton*. Then, self-indulgently, will perform a mental jig.

Or, try this one out, in this case after quoting Kerry and Edwards Checkmate!. That’s a sort of verbal jig, I think…

See… Bill Clinton thought there were weapons of mass destruction too… (Remember, Operation Dessert Fox after Saddam kicked the inspectors out? When he supposedly used our intelligence to bomb suspected storehouses of weapons of the mass of the destruction. Or what remained there. Or something to that effect.) Therefore, Bush didn’t lie.

Actually, that story is open to constant revisionism, similar to, say, — for example — the testimony of Super-Defector Hussein Kamel.

Perhaps in this tug and nip game, where I’m supposed to side with one Party apparatus over another, it’s best to quote Colin Powell and Condelleza Rice from Spring of 2001… back when they stated that Saddam no longer had any capacity to manufacture weapons of mass destruction. Then we get to see to what extent either of us have meld our minds to fit the 2 party system.

Or, better yet, Colin Powell expressing his disappointment over his UN presentation. My favourite phrase, in reference to the evidence he provided, ” in some cases, intentionally misleading”.

At the moment, Joseph Wilson has found himself stuck walking back into the kitchen. He has been completely discredited, because — as far as I can tell — he lied about his wife being the person who suggested him.** I stare at what the Republicans are saying these days about Wilson, and ponder why that particular item is terribly relevant. Apparently, the entire thing was an elaborate set-up for Joseph Wilson to undermine the president. Though, in this case, I have to wonder why Bush Administration would take the bait and … expose his undercover wife… CIA Agent… expert on the weapons of the mass of the destruction.

Stare at Bush’s 16 little words, “British intelligence has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

The only way George Tenet allowed this into the State of the Union speech was with the opening caveat. “British intelligence has learned.”

Not a lie.

Some more revisionist history, the reason that Bush had to go to war at that precise moment:

“The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region.

It’s too bad that Saddam Hussein relented, and allowed the inspectors in… because then, you know, Bush’s storyline narrative would, maybe, be more coherent.

The inspectors went in, and were ordered out to start the bombing. It sounds vaguely familiar.

Actually, as a memento of the pre-war debate, recall that Bill O’Reilly said that if nothing was found, he would now become a whole lot more skeptical in trusting George W. Bush. When pressed, he acknowledged this quotation, and said that from now on he was going to be more skeptical in trusting George W. Bush. As far as I can tell… he still pretty much flacks for the Bush Administration.


*Radio host Clyde Lewis, a few months back moving his audio stuff across town, ran into the material that made him angry in the late 1990s… “running over the same old ground.”

** Of interest is this Salon article which you need to view a quick ad to view. For me, the most bizarrely almost Fruedian bit comes at the very end: The Post article also contained one acknowledged error: In trying to build a case that Wilson’s Niger trip had actually bolstered the administration’s claims, Schmidt wrote that Wilson had told the CIA that Iraq had tried to buy 400 tons of uranium from Niger in 1998. In fact, it was Iran that Wilson said had tried to make the purchase, as the Senate report states. The Post ran a correction. Fascinating, due to what’s been making the headlines this past weekend.