Saturday, October 02, 2004

Duece- Now Serving Kerry 

Polling after the debate is in and it's not pretty for the President. Kerry is up 2 points over Bush in a three way race.

Over 60 percent think Kerry fared better in the debate in Newsweek's first survey since Thursday night.

Spin Cycle 

What will be interesting to see over the coming week will be whether Kerry's brilllant performance in the debate on Thursday will be propped up or squandered in the continuing spin afterwards. Immediately after the first 2000 debate, viewers gave Al Gore the nod as having won, albeit not by the margin of this week's instant polls. However, in the week that followed, Karl Rove dominated the spin and the presumption that Bush had "held his own" began to take hold.

It will be hard for Rove to sell that interpretation of Debate 1 this year, but it's likely that the Bush/Cheney line will continue to be about Kerry putting the US defense posture to a "global test," taking one phrase out of context from the debate and attempting to put Kerry on the defensive. In addition, look for a hard sell on the media use of split screen being "unfair," because the President shouldn't be accountable for his fidgeting, squirming, and generally looking pissed off and clueless during Kerry's responses.

Will Kerry respond to attacks on his defense posture or continue to attack the President? This may be a crucial decision as the spin continues.

Whatever Kerry does, look for the President to smile, smile, smile as Kerry speaks during the 2nd debate.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Al Qaeda's Choice 

The Bush/Cheney campaign made it clear from early this year on -- they're running on the basis that Kerry is a dangerous choice, that you, "don't change horses in midstream (as the President said in "Wag the Dog")," and that Iraq is just another front on the highly successful 'War on Terror.' Hey, you're still alive, ain't ya? So let's keep it that way, vote for Bush!

Now they've cranked up the fear machine just a bit higher. Al Qaeda wants Kerry. Cheney said so. Hey, he backed off when called on it, but then Hastert said so. Then Hatch said so. Each time, the fuss over whether they can say that raises the profile of the question, not the despicable nature of the attack itself.

So, in the spirit of the Karl Rove, here's my take... If I'm Osama, Bush is my man. Why?

Top Ten Reasons Osama Backs Bush:

1- He's a great recruiter. This thing in Iraq, it's better than all the posters in the caves combined. And it's on TV 24/7!

2- We can count on him to back off when the chips are down. All this bluster about 'comin' for us?' Hey, what happened at Tora Bora? He told the scary Army Rangers to take a hike, then sent in the warlords. We bought them off and skeedadled. This guy doesn't want to take us on in close quarters. Too many American casualties. And then the Fallujia 'battle.' They didn't have the stomach for that either, once it started.

3- The 'Homeland Security' thing is wonderful too. Confusing color code, no money for first responders in big cities like New York, and they've got a toothless official who's got no power to co-ordinate agencies running it. They scare themselves without us!

4- The religious war. I was worried it wouldn't play at first. But just when I paniced that the developed countries would all get down on us for being Neanderthal rednecks with "What Would Allah Do?" bumperstickers on our cavedwelling entrances, this guy outflanks us by making it a mano a mano duel between Christians and Muslims. Nothing like it to convince the masses we're right, huh?

5- Divide and Conquer. With Bush at the helm, no worries about the Europeans throwing in with the Americans. Whew!

6- Make 'em twist with oil. Nothing focuses the Americans' attention like jacking up the price of oil. And as long as Bush is there, no one's talking about alternatives... this is great!

7- He backs the biggest losers. The Saudi Royal family, Allawi, Sharon... man, he's a dream come true!

8- He's pulled back on the democracy thing. Thank Allah! I thought we'd have trouble with the Afghan elections, but when Bush pulled all those American soldiers out to do a tap dance on Iraq, we made MUCH more headway scaring the daylights out of folks in the countryside.

9- He took care of that bastard Saddam. He was really pissing me off with all that secular Communist crap. I was so sick of that...

10- Best of all, he never mentions my name anymore. I sleep better now. Only thing is, I can't shake the feeling that he's gonna come for me if his US election gets too close....

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Crawford TX (Kerry Country) 

CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - The newspaper in President Bush's adopted
hometown of Crawford threw its support on Tuesday behind Bush's
Democratic rival, Sen. John Kerry.
The weekly Lone Star Iconoclast criticized Bush's handling of the war in
Iraq and for turning budget surpluses into record deficits. The
editorial also criticized Bush's proposals on Social Security and
Medicare. "The publishers of The Iconoclast endorsed Bush four years
ago, based on the things he promised, not on this smoke-screened
agenda," the newspaper said in its editorial. "Today, we are endorsing
his opponent, John Kerry."
It urged "Texans not to rate the candidate by his hometown or even his
political party, but instead by where he intends to take the country."
Bush spends many of his weekends and holidays at his Crawford, Texas,
ranch. The Iconoclast's publisher and editor-in-chief, W. Leon Smith,
said the newspaper is sent to Bush's ranch each week. "But I don't know
if he
reads it," Smith said. The Kerry campaign welcomed the endorsement in an
email to reporters.

...oh, you bet they did! Can you picture Kerry, in a Stetson and boots, doing the commercial in front of the newspaper office?

Monday, September 27, 2004

Right Story, Wrong Source 

In the spirit of truth over hype, if you aren't too sick to read about Bush and the National Guard, check back on the article written in the Boston Globe by a team led by Walter Robinson on the day the CBS 60 Minutes piece ran. It draws all the same conclusions about W's lack of credibility on the Guard story WITHOUT the memo that has become the story since then.

If you'd rather (or Rather) listen to audio, go to the links on the top right of this blog and listen to Robinson on "On the Media" discuss how the distraction has become the story once the CBS document's source was attacked.

Awalli as Leader.... of Iraqi Stoolies for Bush, That Is 

Maureen Dowd scores again- why is it no one else is taking on the second act of the recent UN show put on by Karl Rove?

"Mr. Bush doesn't seem to care that by using Mr. Allawi as a puppet in his campaign, he decreases the prime minister's chances of debunking the belief in Iraq that he is a Bush puppet - which is the only way he can gain any credibility to stabilize his devastated country and be elected himself.

Actually, being the president's marionette is a step up from Mr. Allawi's old jobs as henchman for Saddam Hussein and stoolie for the C.I.A."- Maureen Dowd 9-26-04

Iran's Nukes 

...Trying to keep promise of links re: Iran's quest for nuclear weaponry.

One source to check is Henry Sokolski in the National Review, yes the National Review. Pay special attention to the reference to the Saudis looking for nukes from Pakistan and China in response.

You might also be frightened to check the Wall Street Journal archives (unfortunately a paid site) for a recent flash that Israel is buying "bunker busters" that they swear are not for use against the Palestinians. One surmises these have only one conceivable use- preemptive strike.

Real national and international security requires addressing proliferation in a way that doesn't involve an imperial foreign policy and the Iranian nuclear issue points clearly to the need for international cooperation to solve most of the truly scary security issues.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Secret Weapon 

New voters.

This is the secret weapon Democrats can be happy about-- quietly and without premature celebration.

While the polls count "likely voters" and "registered voters," without a lot of fanfare, activists who've had a bellyful of the far right in the White House have been out registering new, largely unpolled and unheralded voters in areas of swing states where low participation levels have kept Democrats from winning past elections. Like Republicans in 1994, Democrats have organized at the grassroots level to target, register, and turnout their base this year. Unlike the Republicans in 1994, organizations supporting progressive candidates this year have targeted the 'Great Unregistered,' the huge base of largely poor and working class citizens who long since stopped believing they can affect change.

Thousands of young people, union members, and dedicated weekend warriors have sworn on to the cause to turn over power by doing the legwork Republicans have long been famous for-- and the results are beginning to surface. See today's Times article by Ford Fessenden for the results so far.

But keep it quiet until November 3. It may amount to a "Dewey Defeats Truman" moment for the pollsters and your chance to win some bets.

Real Nukes v. Zero WMD 

If the US is serious about fighting terror with a capital 'T', somebody in power ought to notice that Iran is going to get the bomb very soon. When this happens, will the Saudis be wanting to wait around to see how they use it, or contract with a foreign power to hire their own weapons (I was distressed to read that there actuallly IS a way to do that while remaining in compliance with the international agreements on nuclear non-proliferation)? Links to follow...

This weekend the Times has a piece from Nicholas Kristof, traveling in Pakistan, who's asking about their nukes for sale legacy. Read more about Iran, Pakistan, and North Korea's nuclear programs if you want to really lose some sleep. Meanwhile, jet-lagged me is going to get some.

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