Archive for June, 2005

Bush Speech

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

The ratings for Bush’s latest speech were repartedly paltry. The demographics of the speech were something else entirely — for all intents and purposes 50% of the audience were Republicans, 25% were Democrats, and 25% were Independents.

The Faithful, the practioners of Bushianity, tuned in… inspiration beckoned, words of wisdom flowed, everyone cheered. The rest… felt no reason to bother.

You can usually annote every line of these speeches with a certain satirical flair.

Example: The terrorists who attacked us — and the terrorists we face — murder in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance and despises all dissent.

(1); (2), (3).

See how that woks? And all with only the last word of the sentence. I could go back toward the “rejects tolerance” phrase of the sentence pretty easily too.


Wednesday, June 29th, 2005

A comment from a post from about a month ago: I worked on the Carson campaign. Tom Coburn is a moronic douche but the reason he won if you were in Oklahoma at that time is because of his ads. His ads scared a lot of the uninformed populace along with it being the Bible-belt. Also, Tom was formerly a Congressman for the state.

Brad is lucky he received over 40% of the vote. I still wish he had won. Oklahoma is going down-hill with Tom.

I’m not sure how a Senator can drag a state downhill… even a doctor prone to diagnosing Terri Schiavo’s condition from the steps of Congress. Meanwhile, the state’s government is in the hands of Democrat Brad Henry. (I know nothing about the state legislature.)

I note that Brad Carson writes editorials for the DLC’s house magazine.

Where I find Brad Carson dissect his failed campaign here

I campaigned in a more traditional way, one I thought would work. When stumping in farm country, I tried to focus on agriculture; in the suburbs, on public education; in small towns, on economic development. The message was always very narrowly tailored, largely because each of the coalition groups my campaign was trying to assemble either didn’t care about the agenda of the other target groups — or actually disagreed with it.

He goes on to explain some irkier problems of working social issues out, which there’s more to than this paragraph. My trouble with this paragraph is simply… What’s stopping a candidate you sell public education in farm country and economic development (which, as a whole for the entire state includes agriculture) in the suburbs? (You have something a bit closer to the fabled “Narrative” if you yourself are the one separating the non-disparate parts of the message.)

Actually, Hillary Clinton is roaming the rural parts of New York, lightly bashing city-folks to charm the ruralites. (Governor Mitt Romney presents a different case: he’s bashing his state of Massachussetts across the country in his bid for the Republican nomination, which is hurting his chances in the next gubernatorial race — should he run.)

from the Lyndon LaRouche News Network

Tuesday, June 28th, 2005

I bring you this for your… edification?

At the time that LaRouche delivered his address, a bipartisan coalition of U.S. Senators, representing the majority of that body, had just successfully put down what was explicitly recognized as an attempted coup d’état by Vice President Dick Cheney and company, by defeating Cheney’s so-called “nuclear option.” LaRouche identified that group as the nucleus of a bipartisan concert of action that could be mobilized under his leadership to launch an economic recovery.

Hm. The Joseph Lieberman — Lindsey Graham — John McCain — Ben Nelson bunch are supposed to do what again?


Monday, June 27th, 2005

Attention Tenants:

This building is under intense police survelliance as part of Meth-Watch.


I’m a bit nonplushed on why one would feel the need to state the obvious.

Never mind. An odd experience happened yesterday night, involving waving at a hiding police officer across the street who reciprocated by waving back. A little bit creepy.

Keep your doors locked, and your head straight forward.

Socks in Society.

Sunday, June 26th, 2005

From the Katmandu Post came the following editorial, a response to Government Censorship Rules.:

Socks in Society

Socks are indispensable. They pamper and protest our feet by keeping them warm and clean. For some, it is a fashion statement. Well-clad people with matching branded socks are headturners in Kathmandu. But this breed is too small to be noticeable. They majority wears them for the sake of wearing them. Because of the low purchasing power and poor consumerism, socks are worn till they are in tatters. Socks with no holes are sign of relative prosperity in this country. Here goes a Nepali adage: Judge a person by the type of shoes s/he wears and judge a house by its bathroom. Shining shoes with clean socks complement each other and command respect in our society. For, there are very few indices to measure prestige in society. But the people living in impoverished districts such as Rolpa, Dolpa, Rukum, Salyan and Gorkha can not afford socks. They are a heavenly luxury.

Different colors of scoks are available in the market. White socks are a big NO. Smoke-belching vehicles and dusty roads are quick to darken white clothes. Even if one tries to brave these external hazards, it is hellishly difficult to wash white clothes, thanks to the acute shortage of water. Nepalis hate white colors, not only because it is religiously inauspicious. Housewives make it a point to buy dark-colored socks. White is a burden on school studnets too who frequently complain their parests about perils of wearing white.

Curiously, some schools are crazy about white. White uniforms are compulsory in some private boarding schools. Mothers and children develop special abhorrence towards teh white attire till they graduate from schools. Apparently, a lot of time and water is consumed in washing white uniforms. Uniform designers are advised to take these practical problems into account. But for some, who treat cleaniness and hygiene as alien concepts, color is not an issue. Black or white, green or maroon, they are more than confortable wearing the same pair of socks day in and day out, not even bothering to assess the detrimental effects of the overpowering stench on those mortals who senses are intact! Isn’t it a direct violation of human rights? They need orientation class on feet care, the purpose of socks and their effects on personality, and how they make or break one’s social and professional careers. Socks have another homely dimension: they are central to daily maritaldisputes. Lazy husbands rummaging for socks early in the morning and doting wives fishing them out of the unlikeliest places are a common scene in households – also common fodder for teleserials.

Nepal doesn’t manufacture good quality socks. It imports socks from the neighboring countries India and China. Chinese socks are cheaper than Indian products. Most Nepalis use Chinese socks not because of quality but because of the cost. Winter is the best season for wearing think woolen Tibetan socks. Local manugaturers are yet to smell the propects of socks in the domestic market. Winter is less harsh on us these days. In a couple of months, thick socks will be packed away. Branded or unbranded, dear readers, let us make a resolution to wear clean socks this summer.

“This country’s going to go so far to the right, you won’t even recognize it.”

Sunday, June 26th, 2005

The victory itself was significant. President Bush received more votes than any candidate in American history. He is the first president — He is the first president since 1988 to win a majority of the popular vote. He increased his popular vote total by 11.6 million votes since 2000. That’s four and a half times the increase that President Clinton got between ’92 and ’96, as a matter of comparison. President Bush improved his percentage in all but two states. He improved his vote in 87 percent of the counties in America, and he carried more than 81 percent of the counties in America. And he won in 97 of the 100 fastest-growing counties in America.

Thus saideth Rove. I believe I have finally figured out that a bizarre mangled stat I saw someone make — that Bush won by a larger margin than anyone in American history — came from one of these selected facts.

None of these mask the fact that Bush won by a meager 2 and a half percentage points. It is worth noting in Rove’s speech the idea that we faced the most organized effort ever — an idea that I guess cultivates itself in the “Vast Liberal Conspiracy” book.

More significant is this:

President Bush is the first president since Franklin Roosevelt to be reelected while his party gained seats in the House and Senate, and the first Republican president since 1924 to get reelected while reelecting Republican House and Senate majorities.

We’ve stumbled upon a weary structural reality. If you have a 50 – 50 country with a 30 – 20 state favour, you are in an optimum position with regards to the Senate. Further, on the House level, when you draw the legislative boundaries — even without any malice–, the simple act of squaring the most densely populated (thus you have a 90% vote for the Democrat here, and a 60% vote for the Republican in surrounding Suburban parts) areas gives you an advantage there. There is nothing that can be done about this.

The one thing the Democratic Party once had going for them was that these compressed areas gave them an organizational advantage — it’s easier to reach a whole mass of people when they’re living on top of each other. The Republican Party has since managed to figure out a way to do this simple retail politicking — welcome your friendly neighborhood “Mega-Churches”.

Beyond that there’s the matter of the South… which Johnson sighed about writing off when he signed the Civil Rights Act.

Four years, four decades ago, the Republican Party and our movement were relegated to the political wilderness, and today Republicans and conservatives control the White House, the Senate, the House, the majority of governorships and more state legislative seats than we’ve had in the last 80 years. That’s a pretty remarkable rise.

Yes. No. Sort of. Maybe. This was, of course, 1964… LBJ, the Great Society, Barry Goldwater embarrassed, Ds in control of the House and Senate, the legacy of FDR marches on. Things changed quickly. To the proponents of the “Backlash Theory” of politics, the question arises: where ought the Democrats have not gone in order to keep control of everything, and in order to advance “Liberalism”? — Civil Rights? Ending the War in Vietnam? (That would be a rogue band of Democrats, but nonetheless.) WHAT?

But the Democratic Party’s most recent Glory days started in 1932 and ended in 1968. Eisenhower is that era’s Clinton; Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson was that era’s Newt Gingrich. (Wherefor are the cultural currents of dear McCarthy in the 1990s? I don’t know… culturally conservative does not need to play into the slow expansion of New Deal programs.)

But, in the end the South Rose Again. Nixon won the Confederacy, which incidentally Truman lost to Thurmond in 1948. The Republicans’ Glory Days should have started then (or in relatively short order, on behest of the book The Emerging Republican Majority), but Nixon screwed up and couldn’t figure his way out of a scandal that pales next to some things that have gone on sense. Thus, the Republican Realignment started in 1980. (Or in 1978. All suggestions being, with a Conservative-ish Democrat elected on the behest of Conservative Evangelical to the Presidency, that the Watergate cleansing of 1974 notwithstanding, the Republicans are acoming to dominate.)

The lie that it took 40 years to build the current Republican Movement is found right there — go back and read your Reagan-era literature, and watch “Family Ties”. That Reagan had to contend with a Democratic House with a significant party of southern Reagan-friendly Democrats means little to the sway of government. (Note too that both the Reagan-era Democrats and the Bush II era Democrats have stymied the push to privitization of social security.)

Nonetheless, the strain in the current Republican Party is making itself evident. They have a 55 to 45 seat Senate majority, built largely within their political bases… (I go back to the 2004 Senate elections, and what the Democratic Party had to defend: North Carolina — incidentally where the party screwed up is with NAFTA, Louisiana, South Dakota, South Carolina, Florida. And pick-up opportunities: Kentucky, Alaska, the one they won — and the hold out of promise to the beleagured party — Colorado… had Kerry won, he would be stuck with the same damned Senate as Bush has… it may be best for a beleagured party to get to a point where they have nothing left to lose, if not for the short-term prospects of a nation despite the long-term reverberations) and the problem for them is that it doesn’t seem to be matching the political will of the nation. How are the political stawlarts going for the 2008 nomination proceeding? The name of Terri Schiavo now haunts Bill Frist. And Jeb Bush refuses to let that one go.

Like the sand in an hour glass…

Into the Whelm of Wedge Politics

Saturday, June 25th, 2005

Just for the sake of amusement, I recommend google-newsing “flag-burning”. Read the arguments.

Take 1

Do you think George Washington and his men would tell a flag-burning protester, after Valley Forge and defeating the English, that he had every right to burn it, or do you think the protester’s body would be found somewhere near Jimmy Hoffa’s?

With the split in our country about how best to defend it against outside problems, and July 4 coming up, the one thing we all agree on is the beauty and history of our flag and the

George Washington would have killed that odd man who burned the flag this year. As for the “beauty and history” of the flag — well, beauty is an aesthetic matter; history is fairly rock – solid: Betty Ross designed the flag, the ring of 13 stars was shifted as each new state was added to the Union. Sure… I guess we can all agree on the history of the flag.

Some chest thumping here.

Desecrating the most widely-recognised symbol of America, in my opinion, is not any kind of speech at all. It’s the opposite: the end of speech, the end of debate, the end of principled opposition.

A curiosity. Put this all aside, and let’s just place a man yelling a disagreeable position on a soapbox. He plugs his ears and says “na na na na” when someone tries to talk to him and disagrees with him. I won’t say anything about the quality of his speech, or his unwillingness to debate, but I will say he is… speaking.

There’s no reason to change the Constitution to protect the flag. What we really need is a federal law giving Americans the right to rescue a flag from desecration by any means necessary, short of causing death or permanent injury. I wouldn’t mind seeing a bunch of America-bashers interrupted in their flag burning by a gushing firehose or a string of firecrackers going off, would you?

Actually we are stuck in the realm of Property Rights. If it is your flag, sure, you should rescue it — and sue whoever stole it and destroyed it… and club that person. Otherwise…

Item #3, and it is here that I have to say something:

What are you going to do with all of these law breakers when they do burn or desecrate the flag? Where are you going to house them? In our already over crowed prison systems?

Not a good argument. The epidemic of one, again.

I proudly wear a United States flag on my uniform shirt. I dare anyone to come and try to burn it!!

Nay. It’s your property.

This reminds me of our flatulent, impotent state legislature who are also incapable of achieving anything of substance so they pass ludicrous legislation like the 20 mph speed limit near schools 24 hours per day.

Wow. That must be on the political issue that keeps him up all night. Do you feel the need for speed?

Anyway. What impresses me is that there don’t seem to be any editorial pages arguring in favour of the Amendment (save that “Men’s News Weekly” piece, which for all intents and purposes is). I guess this is where you can lob the charge of “liberal bias” (or “elite liberal bias”).