Sunday, October 31, 2004

Halloween fright

When crowds of brown-shirts swore loyalty pledges to Hitler, here is what they said:

"I swear to devote all my energies, all my strength, to the savior of our country, Adolf Hitler. I am willing and ready to give up my life, so help me God. One People, One nation, One Fuhrer."

When crowds of Republicans swear loyalty pledges to President Bush, here is what they say:

One Nation Under Bush

The pledges are different in construct, but I think loyalty pledges are a toe in un-American waters. When there is talk of blood intermixed with God in the loyalty pledges don your life preserver.

Question Time in Florida

The BBC has a program called "Question Time", which a friend bills as "Democracy in action." The program was down in Florida recently taking questions from the audience and you can watch it here:

Question Authority

The panelists were:

Michael Moore, filmmaker
David Frum, President Bush's former speech-writer
Sydney Blumenthal, President Clinton advisor
Richard Littlejohn, British journalist
Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, Civil liberties Attorney

There are a bit of theatrics involved but the program is worth watching.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

One quarter of working Americans live in poverty: study

Roosevelt thought is was abnormal for a man to work and be poor (see The Farmer and the Businessman, or Social and Industrial Justice by FDR). That scenario is becoming normal under Bush as more than a quarter of WORKING Americans live in poverty.

Hi ho! Hi ho! It's off to debt we go!

President Bush's policies aren't lifting all boats. In fact, many have been kicked out of their boats and are treading water. The yachts, though, are doing well.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Al what?

Paul Krugman's articles have become more acidic as the election approaches. His latest is down-right caustic:

It's Not Just Al Qaqaa

Karl Rove must be glad that Paul Krugman isn't a NASCAR announcer.

Kerry's chances

I have asked Roger to blog about the odds of a Kerry Presidency and he has graciously submitted the following post. If you reside in one of the states he identifies as crucial maybe you ought to volunteer your services with one of these organizations:

Move On

America Coming Together (ACT)

If you ain't got the time, then I'm sure your financial contributions would be appreciated here:

Contribute to Democrats

And now, on to Roger's analysis:


There have been significant changes in the battlefield states in the past month. Two states, Iowa and New Mexico, have gradually changed their color from blue to red. The change seems to be statistically significant, beyond the margin of error. Wisconsin, which was never a "strong Kerry" state has become a see-saw between Bush and Kerry. The good news is small news: New Hampshire and Maine seem to be safely in the Kerry block.

A month ago there were many plausible combinations of states that would have led to a Kerry victory. That number now seems reduced only to a few. In fact there are only three states that are variables in the Kerry election calculus. These are Ohio, Florida, and Wisconsin.

If Kerry wins the Gore states, excluding Iowa, Wisconsin and New Mexico, and if he wins New Hampshire, then he will have 242 electoral votes. He needs another 28 votes to win the election. By itself, Florida (27 electoral votes) will not win the election since that would give him 269, putting him at the mercy of a Republican congress. So he must win Florida and some other state. If he wins Ohio (20 electoral votes) then he needs to win an additional state with at least 8 electoral votes.

A composite of recent polls gives Bush a 1% lead in Florida. Statistically, due to the large number of polls, this lead is significant and is beyond the margin of error. Based on this composite we would expect Bush to carry Florida by at least 50,000 votes. But the situation in Florida is volatile and frenzied. There is speculation that the turnout may reach 75%. Such a large turnout makes polling difficult. Pollsters use historical voting patterns as a template for their current polls. Their results can be skewed if their template does not fit the profile of the current voting population. With the infusion of many new voters and with the likelihood that many 2000 non-voters may become 2004 voters, I think there is an element of uncertainty with all Florida polls. For this reason I feel that Kerry has a reasonable chance in Florida, at least 1/3.

Ohio is a state that has good reasons to vote for Kerry. Cleveland has recently replaced Detroit as the poorest city in America. Over the past month there has been a gradual shift to Kerry. Most polling groups now expect Kerry to carry Ohio. I give him 3/4.

Wisconsin seemed safe for Kerry in early September. Since then there have been a number of polls that have shown Bush to be leading. Strategic Vision, a Republican outfit, has consistently shown Bush to be ahead. Zogby, except for one poll, has Kerry in the lead. Zogby probably has it right. I give Kerry a 2/3 chance of carrying Wisconsin.

There is a set of small Bush-leaning states that come into play if Kerry wins in Florida. The list includes Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa, Arkansas, and West Virginia. Colorado and Missouri might also be included. It is likely that Bush will win all of these states. I give Kerry a 1/5 chance of winning at least one of these states. The likelihood that Kerry will win two or more is virtually zero.

The probability that Kerry wins the election comes in two pieces. [1.] Florida and an additional state. This additional state could be Ohio, Wisconsin, or a state in the list of small red states. This has the probability of 0.31. [2.] Ohio and Wisconsin, or, Ohio and two of the small red states. This has the probability 0.50. Since these two pieces are mutually exclusive, we can add the probabilities. The likelihood of Kerry winning the election is 0.81.

This is a remarkable result. I am honestly quite surprised since I expected Bush to be the probable winner. This result is even more remarkable when one considers that Bush has a 1.5-2.0 point lead in the national polls.

A few last words. This calculation is optimistic since I have not considered the probability that a state that is predicted to vote for Kerry might vote for Bush. This might occur in Minnesota, Michigan, or New Hampshire. This calculation is pessimistic if the undecided voters break 2-1 toward Kerry. Many pollsters, including Zogby, have predicted this. Should the undecided voters break toward Kerry, Bush would have to take a deep breath and start looking for new job.


I would like to add that since the Red Sox have won the World Series hope no longer seems like a sucker punch.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Why Bush must go

Click photo to see why Posted by Hello

The eyes have it

KSTP-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul has video footage of the Al Qaqaa explosives taken after the Iraq war started. Karl Rove will have to come up with a lot of BS to cover the ol' Presidential posterior on this one!

Disputed Iraq Explosives in Place After Invasion

I'm guessing that your average Joe knows this is gross incompetence which directly endangers the lives of American GIs. The question now is whether or not your average Joe will hold the President responsible.

Your average Moe does.

I'm stunned

The Boston Red Sox have won the World Series and I am stunned. The curse has been lifted and the desire of a lifetime has been fulfilled.

Here is my favorite joke about the Red Sox:

A man winds up in hell and the devil places him in a chamber of eternal torment. To make the newcomer uncomfortable the devil turns up the heat to 98 degrees and leaves. When he returns in a while to check on him the "guest" has a gigantic smile on his face. When pressed by the devil he says that he lived his life in New England and it felt terrific to be in nice warm weather. Undeterred, the devil turned the heat up to 120 degrees and left the "guest" alone for a few more days. Upon his return he was shocked to see his charge smiling a gigantic smile. It turned out the prisoner had met is wife in the Carribean and the sweltering temperatures brought back his fondest memories.

The devil was somewhat irate, but he had a new plan. He turned the heat down far below zero degrees and left for a few days. This time, when he returned his charge was celebrating wildly and shouting at the top of his lungs, "The Red Sox must have won the World Series! The Red Sox must have won the World Series!"

I always figured that if the Red Sox won the World Series it would go to overtime in the seventh game and the other team would commit a series of errors so egregious that even the Red Sox could capitalize. I was unprepared for the Red Sox to sweep their opponent in 4 games, while shutting them out in the deciding game. I was unprepared for the Red Sox starters in games 2, 3, and 4 to allow exactly zero earned runs.

This could be Boston's year. The Red Sox won the World Series, the Patriots broke the NFL's consecutive win record, and John Kerry is poised to lift the Bush curse from the nation.

It feels good just to be alive.

The Red Sox have won the World Series.
The Red Sox have won the World Series.
The Red Sox have won the World Series.
The Red Sox have won the World Series.
The Red Sox have won the World Series.

Anything is possible now.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Q: What is Karl Rove's worst nightmare?

Eminem depicts it in this video (which by the way contains adult language).

Real player version

Windows Media Player version

For the fence sitters

Undecided voters, I think, are people that want empiracal data and have a hard time finding it. So, this post is all about data.

Under George W. Bush:

Health care costs are up 64 percent

College tuition is up 35 percent

Gas prices are up 30 percent

Medicare premiums are up 17 percent

Prescription drugs are up 12 percent

Family income is down $1500

1.6 million private sector jobs have been lost

Five million more Americans lost their health insurance.

Four milllion people moved from the middle class to poverty

Half a million children lost after-school programs

The American debt ceiling has risen drastically (Rising debt

The take-home pay of the average American family, as a share of national income, is the lowest it has been since 1929.

American forces in Iraq are now attcked an average of 87 times a day, up 100% since spring.

Many in the press seem to think facts are "boring". I think they have the capacity to change the course of history.

Monday, October 25, 2004

No more kebabs

A Washington Post reporter reports on the Iraq he left behind.

Iraq's Barbed Realities

A lot of the reconstruction money Rajiv hopes for has gone missing without a trace.

Show me the money

My guess is that a lot of that money has been funneled to the resistance. That would be the height of incompetence, since it would mean my tax dollars were funding US troops and their assassins too. I hope my guts are wrong.

It wouldn't surprise me, though, especially as news from al Qa Qaa floats to the surface:

Tons of explosives missing from Iraq

Hackworth's plan for Iraq

David Hackworth is America's most highly decorated living soldier. Here is his plan for turning the corner in Iraq:

Memo for the President-Elect

It sounds like Hackworth is a bigger believer in the Powell doctrine than Powell. I think I might be too, especially that bit about victory tied to exit strategy.

I believe John Kerry would be quick to execute many of these items (especially the first), but I don't know his affinity for some of the people Hack mentions (like Anthony Zinni). I know I have blogged in favor of Zinni since he doesn't mince words and is unquestionably tough and competent.

I also would add one important item to Hack's plan and it is something John Kerry reportedly tried to act upon. This country needs to be united by a good-faith non-partisan effort to fight terrorism more effectively at home and abroad. We are all in the same boat when it comes to protecting America. Nobody asked the victims of 911 whether they were Republilcan or Democrat before they killed them.

This is a serious problem and we need a serious man to face it. John Kerry, I submit, will do the job better.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

They'll say anything

Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, but particularly Cheney, will say anything to get themselves elected. FDR once said, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." The Bush/Cheney motto seems to be, "We're afraid of the big bad wolf, the big bad wolf, the big bad wolf. Oh, we're afraid of the big bad wolf, cause he has a nuclear bomb."

The New York Times is now calling these two on their political fear mongering.

Chiller Theater

For the fence sitters

Let's say that you are an undecided voter and you are trying to decide whether or not President Bush misled America when attacking Iraq. If that is the case, then you should read this clear, fact-filled, article which claims vigorously that he did.

The Brief Against Bush

By the time you reach the bottom you may wish to burn your dictionary, but I hope not.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Pre 911 Thinking

President Bush likes to charge Kerry with "Pre-911 thinking". I thought about that statement in relation to the President and here is what I came up with.

Democrats and Republicans compete furiously and animosity can get out of control sometimes. Sometimes the good of the country can take a back seat to politics.

After 911 that partisan bickering needed to stop. After 911 the politics of race, gender, sex, and morality needed to stop. It is pre-911 thinking to govern from the extremes, whether left or right.

After 911 my wife had to stand in line for an entire day to donate blood. After 911 Britain played the Star Spangled Banner. After 911 France's Le Monde declared "Today we are all Americans". After 911 the Red Cross was flooded with more disaster relief money than it needed for the worst terrorist attack in our nation's history".

George Bush, rather than seizing that historic moment, rather than calling upon a higher standard of conduct from Americans and asking us to put aside our partisan ways, came out and divided America like never before. George Bush came out and asked Congress to discriminate against gay people in our Constitution. George Bush ridiculed our allies. George Bush pushed through laws which spend public money on religious organizations. George Bush passed the Patriot Act, an act publicly denounced by hundreds of cities and several states as un-American. George Bush ignored moderate voices and fiscal conservatives in his own party, creating more government, more debt, and entangling our nation in an unjustifiable war.

"God, gays, and guns" is pre-911 thinking. Post-911 it needs to be about all of us. There should be no more Democrats and Repubilcans in Washington, only US legislatures doing what is right for the people.

NOTE: I'll be travelling and there may not be any posts until Wednesday. Keep the faith.

Roger on John

My friend Roger really enjoys probabilities and statistical analysis. I remember one time we went to a resteraunt and there were dice on the table which he rolled and explained a lot about probability to me. I am not sure how much I retained, which is why it is a pleasure to have him post today about the Presidential race. Here are his views on Kerry's chances in November. He mentions Maine because I was curious about its' importance.


I have just discovered the poll tracker at MSN Slate. It is the best I have seen. It combines the information from all of the polls with good judgment as to which polls can be trusted and which cannot. They have Kerry winning 276 - 262. They conclude that Kerry will win all of the Gore states except Iowa. In Maine, they expect him to win the popular vote but lose one district. Slate predicts Kerry to win Ohio. This gives him the election.

The prediction at (EV) is Kerry by 301-237. There are two major differences between EV and Slate. First, EV relies on the latest poll numbers even if they come from an organization that may be unreliable. Slate looks at all recent polls. Second, EV assumes that the undecided voters will break 2-1 in favor of Kerry. The 2-1 phenomenon seems supported by results from past presidential and non-presidential elections. However I am skeptical that it can be so readily applied in this election.

Now that you have heard all of that, let me update my own probabilistic model.

Using Zogby as the primary reference, Kerry is set to win the Gore states except for Maine where he will likely win 3 of 4 electors. Kerry is also set to carry New Hampshire. This gives Kerry 263 electoral votes. To win the election, Kerry needs an additional 7 electoral votes. There are 6 states with 7 or more electoral votes where Kerry has a chance to win. Here they are with the latest Zogby numbers:

Ohio: Bush by 3 points
Florida: Bush by 1 point
Missouri: Bush by 3 points
Virginia: Bush by 3 points
Tennessee: Bush by 2 points
North Carolina: Bush by 3 points

I assess the likelihood of Kerry winning in Ohio at 1/4, and Florida 1/3. I assess the likelihood of winning one of the remaining four states at 1/10. But note that if Kerry were to win any of these four states it would signal that Bush has crashed and burned. In that case Kerry would likely carry Ohio and Florida as well.

Combining the probabilities, the probability that Kerry wins the election is 0.55.

An interesting situation can occur with Arkansas. If Kerry were to win Arkansas while losing the other swing states, the result would be 269-269. With Maine splitting 3-1, Arkansas has no relevance to the election.


Mr. Kerry you wouldn't believe the lobster you can get in Maine - they're delicious! Come on out and touch a hand and make a friend if you can.

The way we pass

The way we pass

You don't have to kill them.
You could let them bee.
There are friends in the air.
There are songs in that tree.

You could open your heart.
You could watch them in wonder.
Those are intricate things.
Don't stomp them all under!

Like Santa you stalk,
With a poisonous sack,
While innocents die
From your toxic attack.

We walk through the woods,
Seldom stopping, seldom staring.
We walk through the woods,
Without seeing, without caring.

We walk through the woods without knowing,
Only caring where we're going,
And never knowing where we've been.
The way we pass must be a sin.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Visualize Winning

If you need help visualizing a Kerry Presidency, then this links for you:

Kerry Wins!

Our Pollyanna Press

Democracy is informed consent of the governed, and if you take away information all that is left is consent. The Bush administration, with it's loyalty pledges, outing of CIA agents, cease and desist orders against Rock the Vote, FCC fines levied against prominent detractors (like Howard Stern), and charges of unpatriotic behavior in the face of disagreement, is attempting to manufacture consent.

An American President can get away with this Putin-like behavior because our lousy press is busy building card houses in the tempest-winds of spin. Oh, what fortune smiles upon the politician that faces a self-censoring, self-spinning, uncritical press.

Here are two stories related to today's rant:


Aboard the good ship USS State of Denial


Jon Stewart on Crossfire

Secondary Jon Stewart link

Conflicting advice from on high

In this story Pat Robertson says he warned President Bush that God told him the war in Iraq would be a messy disaster.

Bush responded, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."

Robertson 1, Bush 0

If I were President Bush I'd lay off the prophecy.

An interesting side story is that the President's professional deceivers (PR people) are calling Robertson a liar (by implication of their denial). I wonder how this will play out.

I am willing to admit that President Bush seems touched in the head, but I cannot confirm he has received "a blessing from heaven."

Wait! I am getting something! What's that Lord? Uh huh. You say John Kerry has also received your blessing as have all sons of man? Great news God! Thanks!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

More catastrophic success

I hate to be accused of being a negative Nellie, but things in Iraq are going contrary to Bush's chest-thumping assertions. Take a look at two news stories from today for a sniff of the magnitude of the President's spin:

Family of 6 killed

One has to wonder just exactly how many safehouses are left after months of arial bombardment. One also has to wonder why we are sending planes to capture an intelligence target. One has to wonder just how many civilians we are willing to murder in order to free (so far it's a lot).

In other news, there are early reports that "Four children killed, 20 people injured, including 11 US troops in double car bombing against US military convoy near nursery school in Samarra. Sunni Triangle town captured by US and Iraqi forces earlier this month." More (potentially) here

If reality catches up to this President's rhetoric his goose is cooked. I know it. He knows it. Karl Rove knows it.

So I expect.....

There'll be a new accusation from an undisclosed location that is pure fabrication in need of documentation.

Will you take your eye off the ball when it comes? Most do. I'll give you a hint, "Vietnam was 30 years ago. Iraq is our generation's test."

Statement by William G. Milliken

William G. Milliken is a lifelong Republican and from 1969 to 1983 he served as Governor of Michigan.

William G. Milliken is endorsing John Kerry:


Thank you Mr. Milliken for voting your principles, even when it means discarding your party's candidate. Also, thanks for making your views public.

Something that struck me while reading your letter is that there is a lot of common ground between your views and my views. Maybe we're not so far apart as many pretend?

Never have the Democrats worked so hard to deliver a candidate this worthy of your trust, and it is my sincere hope that you will be proud of your vote in hindsight.

For the fence sitters

Fence sitters, those people that can't make up their mind who to vote for, are looking for answers more than platitudes. Despondently many of them turn to television and find ideological shouting matches and spin-peddlers. I say, "Who can blame them for being confused?"

If you are worried about terrorists and you want to know why John Kerry will be better at stopping them, then read this detailed rationale:

Idea Man

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Brent Scowcroft unloads

If you didn't know this was Brent Scowcroft talking you might think it was a yellow-dog liberal. I found Mr. Scowcroft's comments about Ariel Sharon especially surprising.


Brent Scowcroft was national security adviser under President George H.W. Bush and a man as loyal to the Republican party as the Bush dynasty. When dyed in the wool Republicans talk like this about their candidate what does it mean?

I think that reasonable Republicans recognize a dangerous incompetent in George W. Bush and are trying to reach the faithful with that message in increasing vociferousness.

A quiz for the undecided voter

If you are an undecided voter you might want to take this quiz from the Kansas Wichita Eagle.

Undecided quiz

Monday, October 18, 2004

Choosy dictators choose Bush

Once upon a time if a Russian dictator bid Americans to support a candidate, said candidate would be hunted down and run out of America by Joe McCarthy and a torch-bearing mob.

Well, today Russia's dictator Rootin' Tootin' Putin is urging voters in the US to back Bush.

Bush, the communist choice

I've got my torch at the ready.

Bob Barr on Bush

Bob Barr, a lifelong Republican who represented parts of Cobb County and northwest Georgia in Congress from 1995 to 2003, has many reservations about Bush.

He lists them in an article he wrote called, "Conservatives have plenty of cause to abandon Bush".


Reason vs Religion

A strong belief in Santa Claus does not ensure a sleigh full of presents.

Without a Doubt

Sunday, October 17, 2004

IAEA allegations

The IAEA charges that the WMD equipment that they had tagged and which we knew about was not secured or guarded and cannot now be found.


Ou est le WMD?

This is catastrophic incompetence at best if true. I am hopeful that US forces removed the facilities in question, but cannot understand why they would keep mum about it. Unless....unless they want to cart these pre-tagged WMDs out as a decoy in late October.

Did Bush cheat in the debates?

There is a lot of speculation that President Bush was wearing a transceiver and receiving coaching during the debates.

Yogi Bera once said you can observe a lot by looking, and there is clearly a noticable bulge beneath the President's jacket during the debates (See here). The Whitehouse, via President Bush's French (hem hem) tailor, explained that the bulge was a "pucker". Pucker my arse!

In the President's defense it could be something like a buckle on a gun holster or a pack of playing cards. Maybe he put an energy bar back there for later (he is a biker). I suppose it could also be 1099 free hours of AOL 9.0. Perhaps it is a frequency scrambling device to jam remote-controlled bombs. In reality it could be a lot of things, but it is decidedly not a "pucker".

I don't know if this is worth big media attention or not. There was clearly something there and the Whitehouse is being shifty about providing an explanation.

I don't suppose anyone recorded the 216 to 217 MHz band during the debates? That might provide interesting clues.

Well, anyway, here is an editorial on the subject.

What's on his back?

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Hey big spender

I would like to remind fiscal conservatives that George W. Bush has a Republican Congress and a Republican Senate with which to work before pointing out that he is AGAIN seeking to raise the US debt ceiling.

Fiscal insanity

Since 2001 the debt has increased 40% to $7,400,000,000,000,000 (7.4 trillion) dollars. A vote for Bush is a vote for a legacy of debt.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Thanks a lot Ralph

The following is a plea from a former Nader supporter (me).

According to Zogby International, Ralph Nader could cause several swing states to tip towards President Bush:

Zogby International

If that happens, Ralph, I suggest you take up a cloistered lifestyle (ala Bill Buckner) since nobody is going to give a fiddler's fart for your excuses. Ralph, you seem incapable of making this very simple analysis:

1. Ralph Nader is not going to be President. (Show me one poll that predicts this outcome)
2. Any vote for Ralph Nader is not a vote for Kerry
3. A Bush victory threatens to undo a lifetime of your own work (I assume you will admit this Ralph).
4. Pride goeth before the fall. (Look behind you Ralph. Where are your followers?).

Your problem, Ralph, is that you are two steps ahead rather than one. Throw your support to Kerry vigorously and work tirelessly for instant runoff voting. If we get that then you can run like the wind! I'll even promise to help out with the effort.

We need all hands on deck Ralph!

Bush ignores the facts when they conflict with his ideological world-view. So, Ralph, do you.

Jeff Blodgett on what you can do

With November 2nd fast approaching you might find yourself wondering what you can do to help elect John Kerry. Jeff Blodgett was a campaign manager for Paul Wellstone and he has this advice:

GOTV Howto

Charging Windmills

A call and response military march

A dossier and a dosey-doe
Hut Two Three Four
A couple of lies and innuendo
Hut Two Three Four

A man and a gun and a foe and a trench
Hut Two Three Four
Vict'ry has an awful stench!
Hut Two Three Four

A school or mosque with people inside
Hut Two Three Four
A shell from a tank just a wee bit wide
Hut Two Three Four

A man and a gun and a foe and a trench
Hut Two Three Four
Vict'ry has an awful stench!
Hut Two Three Four

A girl in a dress, brother in the bed
Hut Two Three Four
A bomb from the sky will stain sheet red
Hut Two Three Four

A man and a gun and a foe and a trench
Hut Two Three Four
Vict'ry has an awful stench!
Hut Two Three Four

A husband and father called off to war
Hut Two Three Four
A bullet sings "daddy no more"
Hut Two Three Four

A man and a gun and a foe and a trench
Hut Two Three Four
Vict'ry has an awful stench!
Hut Two Three Four

Sound Off
One Two
Sound Off

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Carville on 3rd debate

People pay Carville for his opinion on these matters and he has a track record of success. Here is Democracy Corps' analysis of the 3rd and final Presidential debate:

Strong Kerry Win

Here are the survey results they used:

Debate questionnaire

Look out below!

We prosecuted the Nazis for metering out something called "collective punishment" in Nuremburg. Today Iyad Allawi has warned the people of Fallujah to "either give up Zarqawi and his clique or face the prospect of a military offensive against the rebel city". What he is doing, in other words, is threatening "collective punishment" against the citizens of Fallujah. Of course, should he wish to carry out that war crime he'd have to rely on American troops.

Freedomb coming!

I think the British are sensible, decent, law-abiding people and I wonder if they will merrilly take part. For once Tony Blair ought to show some backbone.

Kerry sweeps debates, Red Sox fall behind 2 games

I thought that this was George Bush's worse performance in a debate against Kerry and that is setting a high-water mark for incompetence. He got his facts wrong, he was belligerant, he spoke in incoherent fragments, he rambled off topic, and he looked uncomfortable throughout.

I think the best that the President can hope for is that most Americans were watching the ALCS playoffs rather than the debate.

I don't think you can spin this kind of poor performance into votes. Chances are Kerry will continue to gain momentum.

As for the Red Sox hope dies last.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Seymour on Iraqmire

Here is a webcast lasting some 1 hour and 22 minutes in which Seymour Hersh talks about Iraq. Seymour has interesting things to say if you've got the time to listen:

Seymour says

Seymour comes in at about the nine minute mark.


Here is a video clip that compares the George W. Bush of 10 years ago to the George W. Bush we have now. There is a remarkable decline in his debating skills that is astounding to see side-by-each.

A picture worth 1000 words

This really is something and I hope you watch it. Speaking of watching Bush debate, don't forget about tonights debate with John Kerry.

A giant suckling sound (on Saudi Arabia's oil teat)

I feel there is no lesson more important for America to learn than energy and security and economy are all burdened by our reliance on foreign oil. Further, it seems to me that we export a lot of dollars to regimes that seek our downfall at our expense. What kind of self-defeating foreign policy is that? Do we want more of the same?

George Bush thinks that coal, the fuel of the caveman, is the solution to our energy needs, but America can do better and under John Kerry's leadership it will. John Kerry knows that asthma rates are going up in our children, global warming is a realitiy, and Chinese demand is fueling rising oil prices (See here). So, he has devised a plan that will take us towards energy independence, rather than backwards into Tiny Tim's soot-blackened London.

Here is his plan:

Energy Independence

If we don't learn to be energy wise we will be fighting continual wars to protect a way of life that is ultimately self destructive.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

As predicted and expected

President Bush, right on queue, is running around firing both barrels of a liberal charge at Kerry. Like I said, it is as pathetic as it is predictable.

The story: Taxing tirade

If I were Kerry I'd retort, "The President is absolutely right that I intend to pay for my programs, but he is lying when he tells you I'll raise taxes on the middle class to do it. I've laid out my healthcare and fiscal plans in great detail on my website and I ask Americans to get the facts. The truth is this President, with Republicans in charge of the House and Republicans in charge of the Senate hasn't balanced the budget, hasn't funded his mandates, and has been passing the bill to your children. While healthcare costs skyrocket this President has blocked access to cheaper Canadian drugs. I think he is trying to detract attention from his record of failure and grasping at straws in desperation."

Or some such response...


I don't know the difference between rap and hip-hop but I know what I like when I hear it and I like this new video called, "Why doesn't anybody care?".


Conversation with a Conservative: Clyde Prestowitz

I often wonder how Conservatives can support President Bush. After all, he has increased the size of government. After all, he hasn't brought down spending with control of the House and the Senate. After all, the Patriot Act is invasive of privacy (and freedom is privacy). After all, he is promoting unfunded mandates like "No Child left Behind". After all, he is weakening bi-partisan efforts like the Clean Air Act.

Increasingly, it seems, President Bush does have traditional-conservative detractors. In fact, here is an interview that Mother Jones did with Clyde Prestowitz (a veteran of the Reagan administration). He struggles with his last sentence. Clearly breaking with the Republicans is an emotional decision for him.


Thank you Clyde, and thanks to all traditional-conservatives that vote for their principals.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Brought to justice my bottom

Both President Bush, in his foreign policy debate with challenger Kerry, and Vice President Cheney, in his single debate with challenger Edwards, made the claim that the network of A.Q. Khan has been brought to justice.

Justice my bottom! A.Q. Khan was pardoned by President Pervez Musharraf, who also refuses to allow the I.A.E.A. (International Atomic Energy Association) to question him. At last count A.Q. Khan was living among his five villas.

Abdul Qadeer Khan sold nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran, and Libya. His network, therefore, was single-handedly responsible for America's largest security threat since the cold war.

I doubt a single person George Bush refused to pardon from the death penalty while governor of Texas was anywhere near this kind of threat to American society. In fact I'd wager all of them together weren't.

A lot of phrases come to mind when I think about A.Q. Khan's treatment, but "brought to justice" isn't among them.

I can't imagine why both President Bush and VP Cheney would bring that up. Surely the press will call them on that. Won't they?

Speaking of people "brought to justice", how about Chalabi? Didn't he feed us bad intelligence about WMD and hand secrets to the Iranian government?

And how about Mullah Omar? Wasn't he the leader of the Talliban? Where's he?

And how about Osama? Isn't he a spoke in the wheel of evil?

And how about the Anthrax-scare perpetrator?

If you think about it, there are an awful lot of people that WEREN'T brought to justice on George W. Bush's watch.

Carville on the 2nd debate

Democracy Corps, a polling and analysis entity which keeps people like James Carville busy, has released new polling data which takes a look at Kerry's bump from the second debate.


Survey details...

Carville knows his business and he says Kerry's lead is growing and so is public appreciation of his personal attributes.

Let some optimism in and continue to talk up your candidate to friends and neighbors.

The President, I expect, is going to be firing both barrells of his liberal gun at Kerry. It's as pathetic as it is predictable.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Man to man and column to column

When Bush comes to shove how does the economy he engineered stack up? Here is a chart that compares President Bush's economy to Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and his daddy:

Last place finish

Take a look at that discretionary government spending column for Bush. He cannot run and he cannot hide from this dismal economic performance.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Red Sox Sweep. Kerry goes up 2-0.

I really enjoy watching the debates on T.V., because I really enjoy watching Kerry hammer President Bush. I also enjoy watching President Bush twist in the wind as he tries to answer a serious question with a little Karl Rovian nugget which may or may not apply to the topic at hand.

Did you notice that President Bush turned several different shades of color and was red at the end of the debate? I would like to know what his blood pressure reading was pre and post debate.

You can just tell that this President surrounds himself with brown-nosed yes-men and thinks he is infallible. When he is forced to defend himself he simply cannot, at least not with logic.

"Flip flopper" he'll say, just like his dad did. It makes me smile every time because I know how well it worked for his dad.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Fodder for Kerry

Today's economic report is another that under-performs government's expectations by a wide margin (job growth was 36% less than expected).

September Job Growth Weaker Than Expected

It is all but certain that the economic policies of George W. Bush will have led to the only decline in job growth by a US president since Herbert Hoover. Furthermore, I doubt that our economic boats will be lifted by the following news tide:

Bank of America to cut 4,500 jobs

I imagine John Kerry is going to pounce on this data and I expect the President to have to play defense again in tonights debate (at 9PM EST). Answering for your own policy failings is hard work

Chop Chop Chop

Senator Lincoln Chafee from Rhode Island has had enough of George W. Bush and his administration.


Marshall Wittmann, until recently a top aide for McCain, has decided to endorse Kerry for President.


When John Eisenhower says he is going to vote for John Kerry that should set Republican heads a-scratchin'. He has been a Republican for 50 years and cannot bring himself to vote for George W. Bush.


I get the feeling that Republicans with a stronger sense of loyalty to America than their party are trying to tell us something about their candidate.

Reagan would not have won if it weren't for Reagan Democrats and I think it is time for moderate conservatives to repay that debt. America emphatically needs to change course at home and abroad.

Oh, dude

Before proceeding to this story I want you to consider that three different weapons inspectors have reached the same conclusion that Saddam had no WMDs. I want you to consider that the CIA recently reported that Iraqi ties to Zarqawi (pre-invasion) aren't proven. I want you to remember that Donald Rumsfeld recently said that he knows of no strong ties between Iraq and Al Quaeda.

Take Them Out

Is this the America you want to continue to build for your children? If so, then cast your vote for Bush in November for more of the same.

I'll be casting my vote for Kerry because I am ready for a change, and I hope that fair-minded and decent people across America will join me.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Head bangers

General Tony McPeak (Bio...) served under 41 and had this to say about 43:

" Bush said he would invade Iraq again, even knowing what he knows now. How can anyone be that stupid? When a kid bangs his head against a cement wall once you admire his determination, but when he keeps on doing it you have to accept that he is just not very bright. The president lives in a world of spin, protected from everything and everyone except those who adore him. He is not capable of learning."

I can't say I ever admired anybody's determination for banging their head on a cement wall, but I do agree that multiple bangs are an predictor of ignorance.

Say wow.

Lyric installment

Old Luddite submitted these lyrics to go along with the "I've had enough of George W. Bush" song (see post below).

The President in the Whitehouse,
Is hated by most Brits
His mangling of their language
Annoys them all to bits

Oh, I have had enough of
George W. Bush.
Gee how I want him to.
Gee but I want him to.

The Froggies and the Germans
Don't want to get involved
In Bush's war on terror
They think its oversold


The ragged coalition
Of armies in Iraq
Is now a sitting target
For Arabs in a spat


That nutter in the Whitehouse
Nucular he do say
Lets hope he'll press that button
And blow himself away


Ze Prezident iss a dumbkopf
He hassn't got a Klu
I'll terminate hiz kontract
Diss November two!

This song has healing properties if you sing it loud and sing it proud.

God tells jokes

If we are all mere actors on God's stage carrying out His plan then it stands to reason that God is a comedian. Otherwise, how could the GOP try to prosecute Michael Moore for illegally offering underwear and snacks to slackers in exchange for their promise to vote.

I'm not kidding

Why can't Republicans simply ignore the court jester and laugh along instead? Why not say, for instance, "Underwear? Interesting. I can see why people might want fresh ones after listening to Michael Moore speak." I would think someone like Dick Cheney would be perfect for delivering that line. He has a masters touch when it comes to deadpan delivery and this one requires a straight man (in the comedy-craft sense).

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

John Boy and Lex Luthor tie

While I hate to perpetuate the horse race analogy favored by big media it is my opinion that the vice presidential debate was a draw.

My general impressions in free-form are:

1. I thought Cheney would be a whole lot meaner.

2. I thought Edwards would be a whole lot nicer.

3. Didn't Dick Cheney have papal posture?

4. I thought Cheney went as far as he could supporting both his daughter Mary and his boss George.

5. I thought Edwards showed class when he mentioned Mary Cheney and Dick Cheney genuinely seemed to appreciate it.

6. Neither Cheney nor Edwards worried too much about what the question was when answering. They both drove home their talking points at every opportunity.

7. Both Edwards and Cheney brought 90 minutes of material for a 90 minute debate.

8. Cheney used his entire mouth when talking and not just one side of it. Oh wait, did he stroke out at some point? That's probably in bad taste if he did. Sorry.

9. Vice President Cheney says America is only providing 50% of the casualties in the Iraq war if you count Iraqi soldiers. John Ewards says the figure is 90% if you talk coalition casualties. I thought Edwards could have avoided this mathematical exercise by stating simply that 1064 Americans were killed and 7531 were wounded in action and Dick Cheney can divide that by pi for all he cares.

10. In spite of the jabs by both parties I appreciated the civility of the debate, although I wish it had more policy analysis.

11. I thought that a couple of times Edwards really rattled Cheney when he talked about Halliburton. It was the only time Cheney fumbled for words and failed to maintain his papal posture.

12. I thought that Cheney rattled Edwards when he mentioned the tax loophole he took advantage of, although he recovered enough to shift the focus to Halliburton again.

13. What the hell is George Will wearing on top of his head?

It has to be done

Last night during the Vice Presidential debate I could hardly believe that Dick Cheney said, "I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9/11" (Vice Presidential debates, 10/5/04)

Because, of course, Cheney said:

“His [Saddam's] regime has had high-level contacts with al Qaeda going back a decade and has provided training to al Qaeda terrorists.” [Cheney Remarks, 12/2/02]


“I think there’s overwhelming evidence that there was a connection between al-Qaeda and the Iraqi government.” [National Public Radio, “Morning Edition,” 1/22/04]

Now, I feel these statements are trying to link Iraq to al Qaeda, the perpetrators of 9/11, in order to paint the invasion of Iraq as relevant to the war on terror. But, aside from that, his statements aren't supported by the facts. For instance:

The 9-11 Commission Report said no “Collaborative Operational Relationship” Existed Between Iraq and Al Qaeda. “We have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.” [9-11 Commission Final Report, 7/22/04]


The Senate Intelligence Committee Report found no “Established, Formal” Relationship Between Iraq and Al Qaeda. “The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report said CIA analysts were reasonable in their conclusion that there was no ‘established, formal’ relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda, nor proof that the two had collaborated in attacks. The committee noted that no new information had emerged since the CIA’s key reports to suggest otherwise.” [LA Times, 7/10/04]


Secretary Rumsfeld just said on October 4, 2004, that he had no “Hard evidence” to Link Two. “…To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two.” [Donald Rumsfeld at Council on Foreign Relations, 10/4/04]

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Click on Dick

Click on Dick for Halliburton highlights. Posted by Hello

Fun with music

In this election year, my wife and I have found a way to amuse ourselves and express our feelings about our President, and we want to share it with you.

We parodied an old Leadbelly song from WWII and have changed the lyrics to feature W (and a bit of Dick, too). We've uploaded a sound file of just a bit of the song -- we've written so prolifically that we couldn't record it all! The entire lyrics are below. Please write your own lyrics and send them to us (use comments or E-mail). We'll try hard to post any additional lyrics on this blog in the next week or so. The playing and singing are -- well, enthusiastic. It's all about the lyrics!

Here is a link to the tune:

A parody for the President

Here are the lyrics:

I’ve had enough of George W. Bush
(sung to the tune of “Gee but I want to go home”)

The President in the Whitehouse,
They say is mighty great,
He didn’t chew his food
So he choked on what he ate.

Oh, I have had enough of
George W. Bush
Gee how I want him to
Gee but I want him to

The President in the Whitehouse
They say is mighty smart.
If he does much more thinking
We’ll all be blown apart.


The President in the Whitehouse
He doesn’t like to read.
Since Cheney tells him what to think
He doesn’t see the need.


The President in the Whitehouse
He is a man of war.
He didn’t fight himself ‘cause
That’s what poor are for.


We went to find Osama.
We wound up in Iraq.
We’re spreading peace and freedom
With a “Shock and Awe” attack.


The bombs have started dropping
And none will go astray,
But if this thing should happen
We’ll look the other way.


I don’t know why we went there
I don’t know why we stay.
Ten more of our soldiers
Get wounded every day!


The Iraqis’ under Saddam
Were yearning to breathe free,
But torture is no way to
Spread democracy.


Cheney’s in a bunker
Somewhere underground.
He only comes to the surface when
There’s lots of cash around


It’s costs us $2 dollars
For a gallon of gas.
Prices keep on rising
‘cause Cheney likes the cash


The president went out biking,
And fell down on his ranch.
Then he went out biking,
And fell down on his ranch.

C.Y.A. 24/7:

This is for parody only and not for profit or gain. We believe our song falls within fair use of copyright

I can't wait to see some of the contributions (but please keep them fit for polite society).

Monday, October 04, 2004

Yes, let's not forget Poland part II

Poland's defense ministry in Warsaw says it will reduce it's commitment of forces to the war in Iraq by 40 percent by the end of 2005.

He forgot Poland

God bless the Eritrean armada!

King George II

Here are lyrics that I wrote 10 months after George Bush's coronation:

King George, II

They tell me that George Bush
Has just taken his vow,
So I guess that means
He’s our leader now.

He came to power
In a questionable election,
And I’m not sure he’s the people’s selection,
But, George Bush is our leader now.

Well, in 10 short months
Our economy went bad,
There were Anthrax scares,
And the people were sad,
But, George Bush is our leader now.

“evildoers” are right here,
and they come from everywhere,
But we’ll fight them with all our might.
Shout: That’s Right!

They say “Buy all you can”,
And “Fly to Disneyland”,
While they busily take away our rights.
Shout: Our Rights!

Our leaders haven’t learned
What most people know:
That in this life
You reap just what you sow.
Shout: What you sow!

I hang my head in sorrow,
About the prospects for tomorrow,
Because George Bush is our leader now.

Copyright © Maurice J Dubreuil 2001, all rights reserved.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Hack on the attack

David Hackworth, America's most highly decorated living soldier, has been coming to the realization that Iraq has been mismanaged over many months. It is not easy for one that has served with such distinction, I imagine, to express public misgivings about the Iraq war. He's doing it now, though, with increasing vociferousness.

Super whoppers

Nobody doubts the mightiness of Mr. Hackworth's sword. I wonder what the damage from his pen will be.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Registered to vote?

If you are not registered to vote the time for procrastination is over. Voter registration ends on Monday in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

Voter Registration Resources

A hornets nest

Here is a parable for you to consider:

A man walks up to a hornets nest with a baseball bat intent on hitting it. You, being an observer, warn said man that if he whacks that hornets nest he will be swarmed with angry hornets. The man looks at you with a smirk and says he's gonna "shock and awe" them hornets into submission, then give all of their honey to his friends.

You back up a few paces and inform the man with the bat that there is no honey in a hornets nest. "There is nothing in there but half-digested paper and hornets!" you say, trying to be helpful.

Unheeding the man whacks the nest with the bat and angry hornets come flying out looking for someone to sting. Staying the course with resolve he continues to swing and miss at the hornets while they sting unmercifully. As hornets are stinging his eyelids the man starts to realize that he needs to ramp up his assault and picks up a nearby stick and begins to swing with both arms.

You back up a few more paces and say, "The only sensible thing to do is leave. You should have listened to reason in the first place."

"You lousy, no good, liberal intellectual!", screams the weilder of the angry bat. "I am safer now that...gack", he spits out a hornet, "I am safer now that....gack", he spits out a hornet, "Uh..." he says with his hand now in front of his mouth, "I'm setting these hornets free!"

You, sensibly, leave and hope the angry dullard has the sense to follow. Each day for a year and a half, though, you witness a hornet-stung, bat weilding, stubborn maniac swinging and swinging and swinging and rambling something incoherent about mauve alert levels and honey reconstruction revenues and staying the course.

Shock and Awe has a flaw

Friday, October 01, 2004

Yes, let's not forget Poland

During the debate Senator Kerry said we should have built a stronger coalition, one akin to the coalition that George H.W. Bush built for the first Iraq war. Kerry said that our coalition was essentially the US, Britain, and Australia and the rest of our partners were not significant contributors of troops or money.

President Bush was visibly angry and said, "He forgot Poland."

Yes, let's not forget Poland.

Here is what the President of Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski, has to say about Poland's involvment in the Iraq invasion:

"...they deceived us about the weapons of mass destruction, that's true. We were taken for a ride."

The full story...

Thank you President Bush for reminding us all about Poland. I am sure that John Kerry wishes to express his thanks as well.

Perhaps you should remind Mr. Kerry that he also forgot Spain and Costa Rica. Oh, and don't forget Eritrea, a prominent member of the coalition of the billing.

Initial debate reaction


Kerry: 53
Bush: 37

ADDENDUM: After 510,199 votes CNN's numbers are now

Kerry 71%
Bush 21%
Tie 7%


Kerry: 44
Bush: 26
Tie: 30


Kerry: 45
Bush 36:
Tie: 17

Mort Kondracke: “This is the President's turf, this is the place that the President is supposed to dominate, terror and the war in Iraq. I don't think he really dominated tonight. I think Kerry looked like a commander-in-chief.”

Kate O'Beirne, National Review Online’s the Corner: "I thought the President was repetitive and reactive."

Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online's the Corner: "The Bush campaign miscalculated on having the first night be foreign policy night."

Bob Schieffer: “The President was somewhat defensive in the beginning”

Mark Shields: "The President showed a few times obvious anger"

Bill Kristol, Weekly Standard: “I think Kerry did pretty well tonight, he was forceful and articulate.”

Bob Schieffer: “Kerry got off to a very good start.”

Joe Scarborough: “It was John Kerry’s best performance ever…As far as the debate goes, I don’t see how anybody could look at this debate and not score this a very clear win on points for John Kerry.” (MSNBC)

Andrea Mitchell: “This is the toughest we’ve ever seen John Kerry. He attacked the very core of the President’s popularity. He’s basically saying, who do you believe?” (MSNBC)

Tim Russert: “Tonight he seemed to find his voice for the Democratic view of the world.”

Fred Barnes on FNC: "Kerry did very well and we will have a Presidential race from here on out."

Kerry 1 Bush 0

I imagine a lot of Bush supporters are nervous after watching their candidate taken to school on the debating floor Thursday evening. John Kerry showed America he is very well versed with security issues and a champion debater.

I employed the soft bigotry of low expectations towards President Bush and I'm sorry to say he couldn't live up to them. He really is terrible when there is no script.

I think we should all expect an elevated threat level or early October surprise. Karl Rove is going to have to do something to take the focus off George Bush's embarrassing performance.

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin