Saturday, October 09, 2004



Finally, the heroic George W. Bush we have been expecting has finally stepped to the plate to bravely look in the eyes of the slave-holding planter class to say: "No more! The Dred Scott decision was wrong! My administration will not appoint Supreme Court justices who support the Dred Scott decision!"

The president's words were not so eloquent, but we understood his meaning. The Dred Scott decision was the line in the sand that will not be crossed! And America has gone wild, knowing that this would be the leader for the new millennium!

Wow! Did you see that? In Friday's debate, the president made a number of ridiculous statements, repeating a number of blatant lies and distortions that all the adult voters have already gotten sick of, seemed on the verge of a tantrum, and then he decided to show off the knowledge he had gotten from his history degree from Yale by evoking the Dred Scott decision. He doesn't seem to remember what the Dred Scott decision was about, but I'm sure he thought the yokels would be impressed that he remembered the name!

The Republican spin, echoed by the so-called liberal media, seems to be saying that the president won because he looked better than he did in the first debate. I didn't see the first debate, and I am absolutely stunned that he could have been any worse than what I saw last night. The Republican spin has set the bar for the president so low that he wins unless he wets himself. (And if that happens, they will find some way to make a positive out of it. "The president wet himself because he spends so much time working on keeping this country safe that he didn't have time to go to the bathroom.")

The Republican spin isn't working because millions of Americans are now having a chance to see for themselves what a BIG BABY he is, a pampered, isolated, elite frat boy who has never had to face the consequences of his actions. Honest Republicans should be embarrassed that, in a party that includes good men like John McCain and Richard Lugar, the best the party could offer in 2000 was - ugh! - George W. Bush and Richard Cheney.

But who are you going to believe? The Fox News Fantasy World? Or your own eyes?




Friday, October 08, 2004

Need some wood? 

Bush said that being a part-owner of a timber company was news to him... I guess he's one of those rich people that gets attorneys and accountants to do their taxes for them and pay less...

http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx@DocID=265 cut and paste, I guess, html isn't cooperating.



Kerry is doing VERY well, only a few crappy answers. Both candidates have failed to answer questions and danced around others. But now Bush is being asked to name a mistake he has made, and what he did to correct it. All he can say is that Iraq was the right decision... so I guess that he hasn't made any mistakes?

Don't forget to vote on online polls, early and often.

He keeps saying "You can run but you can't hide." I guess that is a terrorist?

Now he's responding to Bush's mmistake answer and he needs to name one of his own as a comparison and to demostrate that admitting a mistake is not a bad thing.


Thursday, October 07, 2004

Taxing the Rich 

So, one of the Republican talking points of the day must be something like "rich people can hire attorneys and accountants to 'fix their tax problems.'" Bush said it in a stump speech and some chump on CNN, Tucker Eskew, just said the same thing. This is complete bullshit. Rich people can avoid paying taxes, therefore we shouldn't tax them? Boy, that is public policy at its finest. That's a real solution to a real problem - I wonder why we've been taxing rich people at all. We could've just avoided this problem from the beginning by making sure that the only people who pay taxes are the ones who cannot afford to take full advantage of tax loopholes.

Furthermore, both of these chumps of CNN, Eskew and Democrat Tad Devine, are not listening to the people asking them questions in their town-hall-style forum. A guy remarks that Racine, WI has the highest unemployment in the nation and says "we need jobs" and what are these guys going to do about it? Both of them meandered around and spouting a talking point without even listening to the guy's question. It wasn't that they didn't have very good answers - they weren't even speaking the same language as this questioner.


Oil for Food 

So, according to the President, the new justification is... wait for it... Saddam was abusing the Oil for Food program, with the intent to, sometime in the future, reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction program.

Here: (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=2&u=/ap/20041008/ap_on_re_mi_ea/us_iraq_weapons )

Boy, they're really reaching. I'm not sure what else to say. Maybe someone should ask them if they're joking...? Do you think it emboldens the enemy to know that our administration appears to smoke crack? I guess this is resoluteness in action, huh? "We need to be firm and resolute when we talk about the War on Terror. And when our flimsy justifications fall down and reveal our neo-Imperialism, we'll be resolute and come up with justifications that are so completely ridiculous that the terrorists will never be emboldened!"

What shocks me most about this is that they actually said it. They actually said that the war was justified because Saddam Hussein was monkeying around with an oil-for-food program. 1067 Coalition soldiers, $200, the goodwill of much of the world, our credibility in the world, all that was worth it, says Bushco. This is the best that they can come up with - and its criminally stupid.

And sorry for co-opting your blog, Tony, but these things are important, and well, you cannot stay quiet about some things.



... appear to be getting their collective ass in gear. A number of polls have come out today, nearly all indicating the Kerry is either slightly ahead or a dead heat. Kerry demolished Bush in the first debate and won the following spin battle for a decisive victory. Edwards earned a draw against Cheney, but more importantly, there are the several blatant lies that Cheney said, some about important matters (like that he's never suggested a link between Iraq and 9/11) and others about not-so-important matters (like that he's never met Edwards). The point about these statements is that the Democrats have been all over them, with every lefty blog in the country making lists of Cheney's lies and painting him as a pathological, compulsive liar about issues big and small. This is important: it shows that Democrats are finally starting to learn how to fight Republicans. For the first time that I can remember, the Democrats are using what media they have (though it should would be nice with a major cable news network spouting our talking points 24/7) to hammer home criticism about Republicans. This is the most effective they've been in years. And not only that, but the Right is starting to look desperate. Last night, Brit Hume goes to commercial following a line like "Why Dick Cheney always gets a bad rap and why we should all cut him some slack." He comes back and basically argues that people rag on Cheney because he doesn't smile much, and he doesn't smile much because his job is really tough. Get REAL! His job is tough? Just like George Bush's job. Maybe they should look into other lines of work...? Brit Hume is making up whiny excuses, HA! The Democrats are definitely starting to get the hang of things.

With that in mind, don't forget to be active on Friday night - vote on those online polls early and often, post on your message boards and blogs. We are staring to win this, and we cannot stop now.



Baseball Update 

Man, the Angels got hosed last night. That's all I can say. They were in the game until the Sox socred four times (bases-loaded triple!) in the top of the ninth to make it 8-3... but that was after the best part of their lineup had been stopped cold in the bottom of the eighth, including Vlad Guererro striking out. By the time that game was over, all that were left were the Red Sox fans, embarassing the hell out of the Angels as their fans took off early. Ouch.


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Initial Debate Reaction 

Just thought I would get my initial reaction to the Vice Presidential debates out while its still fresh in my mind. I think it was a draw. Both sides stuck to their talking points, and I doubt that many people will be swayed by this. You either believe one guy or the other, and in many cases this debate was just an excercise in manipulating information and semantics by both sides.

One thing I'll say about the post-debate spin, on Hardball Chris Matthews said that 70%(!) of repsondents to an online poll (I think) said that they felt Edwards won. I found that shocking, and what that says to me is that the Democrats are finally getting organized and starting to get the hang of this "spin" thing. Either that, or they were the only ones watching.

And one last thing - Hardball always goes to college campuses and has the local leaders of Young Democrats and Young Republicans out there to put a mic to. These college kids are rarely given enough time to really say much, and I doubt that most of them are policy experts anyways, so they do little more than cheerlead. But just once, I'd like to see a Young Democrat respond to a Young Republican's talking points with something like "Great job sticking to the talking points! Did you think those up yourself?"


Baseball and Politics 

Hello, I'm David, a new contributer to this blog and co-grad student with Tony. I will be posting occasionally, starting with the idea that got me here in the first place.

Not too long ago, an author went on NPR to talk about his book, "How Soccer Explains the World," in which he argues that soccer represents an institution that is much further down Globalization Avenue that just about anything else, and thus can give us some insight into how globalization works and doesn't work. One of the things that he talks about is how Glasgow has two soccer teams, the Irish-Catholic Celtic and the Protestant Rangers. Everytime these two teams play, the Religious Wars following the Reformation are refought. And even though the Thirty Years War (generally regarded as the biggest Religious War) ended in 1648 and the Battle of the Boyne (which garaunteed the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland) was fought in 1689, the Ranger fans still sing songs about being knee-deep in Feinian blood, and the Celtic fans respond in kind. This got me thinking...
Los Angeles has two baseball teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Anaheim Angels. Although I certainly wouldn't advocate singing songs about bashing Orange County skulls, I have to admit that with that book in mind I began to view these two teams differently, as if they represented older cultural divisions that run much deeper that the National League and the American League. I see them now as the Democratic Dodgers and the Republican Angels. The Dodgers wear blue, play in Chavez ravine, and when one thinks of them, one thinks of them, one can't help but conjure images of working-class families, a diverse fan-base from the heart of old Los Angeles. And then the players: Adrian Beltre, Milton Bradley, Cesar Izturis, Jose Lima - all minorities. And even the white players on the Dodgers seem sort of Democratic: Jeff Weaver, Shawn Green, Jayson Werth all strike me as being lefty to some degree.
As for the Anaheim Angels... well, they wear red, play at Edison Field (energy company!), in the middle of Right-Wing stronghold Orange County, a sea of tract-housing, suburbia, over-priced chain restaurants in strip malls and SUVss. But not the okay kind of SUVs, but the really obnoxious kind, like Dodge Durangos. Ever been to the Orange County swapmeet? The redneck is so thick you could cut it with a knife. And this is not to say that the Angels don't have their own minority players; Vlad Guererro is their MVP - but he's always struck me as Colin Powellesque.



I had to link to this. It's an open letter from a soldier's father to George W. Bush, as printed in the Cincinnati Enquirer.



This should be getting a lot more coverage.

A Wall Street Journal reporter sent a very frank e-mail about conditions in Iraq. It was a private e-mail sent to a number of friends and acquaintances. Read Farnaz Fassihi's letter about Iraq. It's very powerful. If you do care about what's going on in Iraq but don't care too much about media manipulation and newspaper policies, read this and then just skip the rest of this post.

The private e-mail got passed around and came to the attention of the Journal's editors. The ultimate outcome of this incident is that Fassihi will not be writing any more material for the Wall Street Journal until after the election. The Wall Street Journal is saying that she is going on a vacation that had already been planned. (And it makes sense that she would want a vacation after living in the Hell-Hole that is Baghdad.) But it does seem a little fishy.

Read this post from Laura Rozen's War and Piece and Tim Rutten's article in the Los Angeles Times on what happened at the Wall Street Journal this week.

Meanwhile ... isn't it cool that the Dodgers won their division?


Monday, October 04, 2004


"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake? ... Someone has to die so President Nixon won't be, and these are his words, 'the first president to lose a war.'"

I took a notebook into "GOING UPRIVER: THE LONG WAR OF JOHN KERRY," but I didn't write a word. Because of the nature of my blog, I felt it was necessary for me to see the film as soon as possible and get some words into the Blogosphere very quickly. I walked in as a reviewer, but I quickly abandoned that role as I got involved in the film as a spectator, as a cinema fan, as a history student, but mostly as an American who loves his country and hates the way that John Kerry has been portrayed by an out-of-control conservative media piranha attack that has nothing but contempt for the truth if it interferes with their preferred version of reality.

"Going Upriver" follows John Kerry from Yale to Vietnam and back to the United States where he took a brave stand against a war that he had seen with his own eyes. The film uses documentary footage of the war and the protest movement, along with interviews with friends, relatives and other Vietnam veterans, to give the viewer a complete picture of John Kerry's war experiences without the sinister filter imposed by the Swift Boat Veterans for Troof and other lying Bush Administration surrogates. Particularly powerful among the interviewees is veteran Max Cleland, a former Democratic Senator from Georgia who lost both legs and an arm in Vietnam. Cleland is no stranger to Republican double standards and character assassination, and his comments on Vietnam highlight the difference between veteran who run for office and the war-doging Republicans who attack them mercilessly with no concern for decency or honesty.

The footage and interviews that involve Kerry's time in Vietnam are fascinating in their own right, a look at one man's Vietnam, a record of Saigon, the Mekong delta, burned villages and men in combat. But it is the last half of the film that really points out the contrast between John Kerry and George W. Bush. John Kerry is a MAN and we need a man in the White House right now.

The Republicans have characterized Kerry as someone who jumped on the "bandwagon" of the anti-war movement in order to futher his political career. In truth (you Kerry-haters can skip this part because I know how much you hate the truth) Kerry made an anti-war speech at Yale in 1966, before he went to Vietnam. And when was anti-war activism ever a sure-fire strategy for political advancement? If all Kerry was interested in was political office, he would have been much more likely to win running as a veteran without an anti-war stigma. His anti-war activism attracted the anger and the hatred of the Nixon administration (vividly illustrated in "Going Upriver" with Nixon's infamous tapes) and has proven to be a liability over and over again after Kerry's words and actions have been twisted and distorted beyond all recognition.

The assertion that the anti-war movement was ever popular is directly contradicted by numerous conservative voices, people who said that the anti-war movement represented a small minority of radicals and "Communist dupes." Within the film itself, Kerry critic John O'Neill - author of the anti-Kerry pack of lies "Unfit for Command" and a Nixon attack dog against Kerry in the 1970s - says that Kerry's anti-war movement Vietnam Veterans Against the War, represented less than one percent of the Vietnam veterans. Which is it, guys? Was the anti-war movement popular or was it opposed by most Americans? Republicans love to change the terms of the argument to support their latest spin. I'm sorry. I shouldn't be changing the rules by expecting you to start being consistent now.

Kerry's involvement in the anti-war movement illustrates the best qualities of the man. Courageous and eloquent and even visionary at times, he took a role of leadership and helped to legitamize the movement as it challenged the Establishment view of the war. He has gotten nothing but grief for it ever since by people who know better. Kerry's famous testimony before Congress, butchered by the Swift Boat Veterans for Trooth as part of the desparate Republican "Demonize Kerry" campaign, is shown here in long excerpts, as are other speeches and actions of Kerry during this time period. His statements on the futility and the wastefulness of the Vietnam War resonate very powerfully today as the Bush Administration tries to avoid any comparison between Iraq and Vietnam at the same time it mentions Vietnam unceasingly when they can use it to attack John Kerry.

"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

Even Kerry's critics, and I specifically mean those people who think that the First Amendment should be suspended during wartime when the President is a Republican, should at least have the honesty to recognize that Kerry's action were courageous. Surely they can disagree with him without demonizing him. And if they feel so strongly that they are correct, why do they have to lie so much to make the point?

"Going Upriver" is part pro-Kerry campaign ad, but what's wrong with that? It is also a valuable historical documentary that should resonate with all Americans who are interested in finding out about the history of the Vietnam era, even if they disagree with Kerry's policies, even if they supported the Vietnam War and all its excesses. Long after this campaign is over and Kerry has resoundingly won the election, "Going Upriver" will remain an important film for its insightful and complete look at one man's experiences as a soldier and as a protestor.

Check out the Web site for "Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry

For a little balance, when they make the movie about George W. Bush's Vietnam, I'll watch it. Two hours of drinking, using family influence to get a privileged spot, turning down a stint in Vietnam, disobeying orders, skipping a physical, dating Nixon's daughter, campaigning in Alabama, bragging about his drinking, not showing up for duty - it should be gripping cinema.


Sunday, October 03, 2004


I wish I could say something like, "This is unbelievable." But, no. I totally believe it. And, unlike my conservative friends who have to get their spin from Rush, O'Reilly or Hannity before they can think, I looked into it.

On their Web site, Fox News posted a completely fabricated story about Kerry commenting on his performance in the debate. They have Kerry saying things like, "Didn't my nails and cuticles look great?" and "Women should like me! I do manicures." and "I'm metrosexual - he's a cowboy."

And it never happened!

To get the full text of the story (and some great analysis on the subject) go toJosh Marshall's Talking Points Memo. To read what Fox News has to say about this shameful episode, go to the Fox News Web site.

Fair and Balanced?

You decide.

Cant't wait to hear the spin from my right-wing friends about how making things up out of thin air and posting it as news is okay if you're a Republican.

(Editor's note: I can't figure out how to link to the Fox News retraction,but you can get to it from the Talking Points Memo posting. Sorry about that.)


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