Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A Crusade!

Sign me up for Kevin Drum's crusade.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


I'm back.

Thursday, October 21, 2004


I know a good number of decent, honest liberals, and even a few decent, honest Democrats. Many of them think it is very important that John Kerry be elected. Still, I have to wonder if they think that end justifies these means:

1. Asking the federal government to censor the political speech of groups of veterans.

2. Twice.

3. Threatening the broadcaster of one such group's message with retribution should Kerry win:
[Kerry spokesman Chad] Clanton: "I think they're going to regret doing this, and they better hope we don't win."

4. Filing lawsuits to keep Ralph Nader off the ballot across the country.

5. Waiting to do #4 until the last minute so voters overseas (i.e., our military) can't get ballots in time to have their votes counted.

6. Claiming Kerry will pay for all his "plans" by closing tax loopholes while using those loopholes to reduce the Kerry family's tax burden to barely above the minimum rate.

7. Calling executives who use overseas labor traitors during a campaign financed by money from those very CEOs, not to mention the Heinz conglomerate, which operates, poetically, 57 factories overseas.

8. Telling the handicapped that if John Kerry is elected, people in wheelchairs "are going to get up out of that wheelchair and walk again." The reaction of one such person in a wheelchair:
"In my 25 years in Washington, I have never seen a more loathsome display of demagoguery. Hope is good. False hope is bad. Deliberately, for personal gain, raising false hope in the catastrophically afflicted is despicable."

9. Gratuitously discussing the sexuality of an opponent's daughter on national television - twice.

10. Defending #9 by saying she's "fair game."

11. Attacking the mother of the "fair game" when she objects to #9.


13. Breaking into numerous Republican offices.

14. Shooting at others.

15. Burning swastikas on the lawns of Bush supporters.

16. Adopting an official policy of crying "Voter Intimidation!" even where "no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged."

17. Repeatedly referring to Republicans as Nazis and comparing them to racist murderers.

Is John Kerry really worth all this?

18. "Making misleading statements regarding his support from the law enforcement community": from a brutal Fraternal Order of Police press release.

19., 20. Lying about secret Bush plans to privatize social security and reinstate a draft. These, along with Nos. 8 and 9 are discussed here.

UPDATE III: More evidence of #5.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Bush & the black vote

Mickey Kaus points to this poll showing that Bush's share of the black vote has doubled from 9 to 18% and notes that if true, it's a "potential disaster for Kerry." I say it's probably even worse than one might think at first glance, since one can assume those 9% who've apparently switched have the typical zealotry of a convert. They thus are very likely to vote - it takes something important to convert someone from ingrained beliefs and behaviors, after all - and very unlikely to change their minds back, even if they are told that, say, Dick Cheney's daughter is gay.

I'd also guess those 9% were not among the hardest-core Democrats in the past, and thus may be mainly new voters, not just switchers, meaning they are kicked out of your typical "likely voter" model. Could this explain the paradox of Bush often doing better among registered voters than likely voters?

Daschle out?

I'm not admitted in either DC or South Dakota, but this seems like pretty persuasive evidence that Tom Daschle has a serious legal problem on his hands.

Top line:
On April 28, 2003, Thomas A. Daschle signed a legal document with the government of Washington, D.C. in which he asserted that he was entitled to a "Homestead Exemption" for his home there.

Middle line:
Thus, in order to claim a Homestead Exemption, Thomas A. Daschle legally declared that he had "no fixed and definite intent to return to South Dakota"

Bottom line: If that statement is false, Daschle committed perjury by declaring he was eligible for the exemption. If it is true, he is not a legal resident of South Dakota.

Not good.

Sunday, October 17, 2004


I hate whining about media bias, but sometimes it's so fun! Check out this CNN story. Note the following:
The headline reads: "Poll: Presidnetial Race Remains Tight."
Amusing enough, but wait for the details: The story's first sentence starts with an attempt to buck up Kerry supporters, by noting that "Americans think John Kerry did the best job in the debates", then tries to undermine its own result by saying it "appears" Kerry "lost some ground" in "the popularity contest."
Then there's a paragraph on the methodology.
Then, before we get to hear what the results of this poll are, we're misleadingly treated to the registered voter numbers from the last poll, taken a week ago, which showed a tie.
Then we get the current registered number, which shows Bush up 49-46. Then another paragraph that says, plaintively, this is "still practially even" and points to the margin of error.
Finally, anyone who's made it downto Paragraph 6 gets the actual result of the poll, which, interestingly enough, shows Bush ahead by 8 percent, 52-44, among people who are actually likely to vote.

I tend to agree with Powerline that these numbers are not very reliable. But it's still good, clean fun to watch CNN try to spin their own stuff.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Double Agents

If any swing voters are inclined to factor into their decision the type of people supporting the various candidates, these amusing endorsements from novelists will surely not help John Kerry, as his supporters come across as a group of buffoons, paranoids, and pedantic ex-patriots. The handful of Bush supporters, like Orson Scott Card, Roger L. Simon, Robert Ferrigno, and Thomas Mallon (okay, that's the entire list of Bush supporters) are thoughtful, reasonable, decent, and, especially in the case of Ferrigno, amusing:

Mark me on the Bush side of the ledger, a lonely side for this survey, I'm certain. Most novelists live in their imagination, which is a fine place to be until the bad guys come knock knock knocking. I don't agree with Bush on shoveling free meds to granny and grandpa, or his antipathy to fuel conservation along with opening up the arctic reserve, but this is small stuff. I'll be voting for Bush because his approach to stopping the people who want to kill my children is the right one, i.e., kill them first. Kerry will dance the Albright two-step with Kim Jong-il, consult with Sandy Berger's socks, and kowtow to the U.N. apparatchiks who have done such a fine job of protecting the Cambodians, Rwandans, and the Sudanese. No thanks. No contest.

More like it

I always thought the conspiracy theory that the Bush administration was waiting to launch offensives on holdout towns like Falluja until after the election made no sense. Why would it be politically preferable for Bush (and the military) to be completely on the defensive in Iraq, losing a few men every day or so without being able to point to any progress? If I were making such decisions based on domestic politics I'd launch major offensives right up through election day. Even if they're militarily risky and may involve more short-term casualties, Americans are more than willing to support a president who seems to be fighting a war rather than policing someone else's country.
Looks like I was right.

People are smarter - and better - than John Kerry thinks

I think people are missing one major aspect of why people are offended by John Kerry's gratuitous invocation of Mary Cheney's sex life. Everyone, even those who, like Andrew Sullivan, don't think there's anything wrong with what Kerry said, realize it was done in order to make Bush's homophobic supporters uncomfortable.
I think the CW on why it's backfired -- because people object to a politician dragging a candidate's family's private life into the debate (summarized and expressed well by Hugh Hewitt here) -- is partly true. But I think this overlooks the fact that a lot of people are also insulted that John Kerry thinks we're a bunch of bigots. They saw through Kerry's statement and recognized that he thought they would turn away from Bush and Cheney because the Cheneys have a gay in their family. I think the marriage amendment is silly, but I know a lot of people who strongly support it. None of them would turn away from a friend because the friend had a gay daughter. They're insulted that John Kerry thinks they would.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Sad that Superman has died.
I can't help myself but consider the political consequences; no doubt it will keep stem cell research in the fore, at least for a few days, and make Kerry's position more sympathetic.
And I really wish I could help myself from speculating whether Kerry knew when he dropped his name in the debate Friday that his friend Chris was unlikely to make it through election day.