Sunday Blather part 2 follow-up 2

Re-heard the panel discussions from ABC's news show and Fox News this morning on the drive in to work (C-SPAN radio is a boon to mankind), and noted that the three states Brit Hume mentioned the Republicans should be worrying about were *New Mexico*, Ohio, and Florida. I'm not sure if Brit was talking about opinion polls or vote fraud, but there's some better polling news from last night about Ohio, at least, via Powerline, and maybe Florida too. Nobody else mentioned NM yesterday, that I recall; is that where that toad Bill Richardson lives? Eeew.

Also, I know I didn't blog any more after Fox yesterday, but I did have George the Greek on while I was working on other stuff later. He actually seemed to be trying to hew a center line, at times, oddly enough. However, there was some chippie on their panel discussion who was so dim it was like a black hole of political savvy around her chair. The replay this morning reminded me of how irritatingly absurd she was as she went on and on imagining that if there's any closeness to the vote this time, "Americans" would simply rise up and throw out the Electoral College. Apparently she hasn't read her Constitution lately. Or ever. Sadly, that's par for the course for MSM -- I would say especially girlies on TeeVee, but if any of them have read more than what someone else has extracted and interpreted (often wildly wrongly) from the First Amendment, they certainly don't show it.

Steyn nails it

As usual, pithy and straightforward Mark Steyn sums it up:

"These are serious times and the senator is not a serious man."

I myself have used almost the exact phrase. In West Africa, about the most dismissive phrase one can politely use about an adult is to say, Il n'est pas serieux. That's what I've thought, and said, about Kerry since he tossed reason aside to co-opt the MSM that had been so hot for Dean and the Deaniacs, suddenly off-put after The Scream. Everything he's done, and everything that's been revealed about his [lack of] character, since then has reinforced my opinion.

"There are legitimate differences of opinion about the war, but they don't include Kerry's silly debater's points."

Silly, and internally contradictory, as Steyn's examples illustrate. Kerry either doesn't understand the content, import, or connotations of his own words, or he doesn't think average Americans can parse his soi-disant eloquence.

"If Kerry's oft-repeated 'outsourcing Osama' crack is genuinely felt, it shows he doesn't get this war. And, if it's just cheapo point scoring, it's pathetic."

Couldn't agree more profoundly and absolutely. To finish:

"I want Bush to win on Election Day because he's committed to this war and, as the novelist and Internet maestro Roger L. Simon says, 'the more committed we are to it, the shorter it will be.' The longer it gets, the harder it will be, because it's a race against time, against lengthening demographic, economic and geopolitical odds."


Sunday Blather part 2 follow-up

Juan Williams aside, don't miss this article on black voters' changing attitudes. A similar argument recently was made in the Washington Times.

Sunday Blather part 2

Fox News: boring stuff with party hacks from both sides, first at Presidential level, then Senate. Florida, South Dakota, North Carolina, etc. Nothing new -- very little factual. A waste of time -- why blow 30 minutes on that? If you're going to belabor this stuff, at least have informed, critical, civilized people to discuss it instead of the usual party hacks spouting the usual, predictable guff.

Beneath the Fold (usually my favorite part, but weak today):
Cheney's heart-disease related flu shot & Kerry's neglect to mention that Clinton got one too.
WaPo correction re: party paid for, with refreshments, and pix posed by WaPo was reported on as if it were news. Oops.
Sinclair & Vietnam film -- showed only 4 minutes of the Kerry Expose, after all the brouhaha.

Today's Panel: Brit Hume, CiCi Connelly, Bill Kristol, Juan Williams
Chris Wallace cites RealClearPolitics.com and shows their map! Repeatedly! An excellent nod to the power of amateur punditry. 234B to 211K (RCP calls PA for Kerry, IA for Bush)
Brit: R should worry about FL, OH; Dems: Minnesota, WI, IA
CC: claims state polls are within margins of error. Charles No they're not, CC yes they are.
Brit: don't forget that if Bush wins just the states he had before, he wins, because they have more electoral votes now
Bill: these polls are still too far out, always lots of movement in the last 9 days. Could widen for Bush or we get a break for Kerry and then key states will likewise make it again not a squeaker, electoral-college wise
Juan: Surprised at RCP map, Pres won't carry Iowa, they're a local-issues place and a Democratic machine state. Similarly surprised about Wisconsin, thinks it will go Kerry too.
Juan: Kerry is the one on the move, Bush is entrenched where he is. Kerry has all the new voters registering, etc.
Chris: surely you jest
Juan: Nope, I'm serious, dood. Those scary wolves are like, Hallowe'en, man.
Bill: Cultural issues are helping Bush a lot, especially in some of these key states. Florida is dead even, [because it's] less culturally conservative.
Bill Kristol prediction: Bush - "He's going to win the whole thing by 5 points, it's not going to be close."
Juan: What about abortion, stem cells? Social issues will break for Kerry

CiCi: Pres is sitting about where he stood in 2000. Kerry has to pick up Nader column in key states, hasn't grabbed them yet.
Brit: Nader factor. Fox poll of Ohio only: showed Bush even better with "registered voters" than "likely voters"; we thought there was something wrong with the poll. Pollsters say, Nader voters are furious with Dems for trying to keep Nader off the ballot, either won't vote or will vote but not for Kerry.

Chris: Kerry keeps saying he'll pivot to domestic but still stuck on the international scene; he hasn't been able to nail down the safe-on-security factor; people don't trust Democrats on terrorism.

CiCi: He's still on international issues because he keeps being overtaken by events, such as Iraqis being shot this morning. But he does often turn to Edwards to attack, with Kerry trying to be more upbeat.
Brit: But he can't do that, really. Bush campaign is banking on idea that people will go in on election day and just won't feel safe voting for Kerry. Otoh, if people think, well we haven't had another terrorist attack and Iraq was a mistake, then that's over.
Juan: put tribalism aside, Bush is a loser.
Brit: The Q isn't whether or not they think Bush is strong on war on terror: they do. The Q is whether or not they're still worried about it. Could be a paradox in the result, if he loses because he's succeeded too well in making Americans feel safer.

Chris: flu shots
Bill: I totally agree with Brit; if people are thinking about this, Bush loses. I cannot believe that people are going to vote on November 2nd on flu vaccines.
Juan: [tries to break in, something about Pat Robertson?; Chris squelches him (finally) to give the floor to Cici.]
Cici: gets back to flu shot topic, major issues here.
Brit: Three key problems: litigation, regulation, and what amounts to price controls. Until we fix these, flu vaccine situation won't be resolved.

Letters ... nothing much. A request for Juan and Brit to hug; instead they blow kisses up and down the table (Chris is kinda grossed out).

Power Player of the Week: Red Auerbach? Was it just last week that they ran one on Wallace's dog trainer? And now it turns out he has lunch/dinner with a bunch of old guys like Auerbach. Look, Wallace is okay and all that, but this is plain silly. They rilly rilly need to retire this "feature". Please.

Sunday Blather part 1 followup

Andrea's prediction on Powell and North Korea seems undermined by this post (and yes, I do consider Captain's Quarters at least as reliable as NBC, if not more so).

Sunday Blather part 1

Chris Matthews has: Katty Kay, hates Bush; Andrew Sullivan, who's pinned everything on undermining, undercutting Bush on everything since he's abandoned Bush over gay marriage. Personally, I think Sullivan has to be a contrarian. He reveled in gay conservative, now he wants to be the conservative for Kerry.
That combo leaves Andrea Mitchell looking somewhat less biased than usual, and Howard Fineman looking downright fair and balanced.

Heh heh -- Chris Matthews brings up Terayza's MONSTER GAFFE of denigrating Laura Bush for never having a "real job". [NB: The video is much more devastating than the USA Today article -- she's clearly, deliberately dismissive of Laura and really, really impressed with herself.] "It was a put-down of little people." Agreement by Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell. Total Agreement. Andrew and Howard: She's A Disaster. The only one sticking up for her was that snotty Brit bint. Too bad they haven't put that video clip on the airwaves and all over the web. Bush pushers missed a window of opportunity there.

Clinton will be pimping for Kerry in Philadelphia. Andrea sees it as a pure positive. Chris agrees, predicts a large sympathy vote (huh?), then agrees with Katty (who obviously loves Slick Willy) and Andrea that "people just want to see him". Fineman: PA will go for Kerry. Sullivan: blacks are important in PA, however are breaking for Bush, largely on social issues -- because they're "the most hostile group, unfortunately" on gay stuff -- so Clinton could make the difference, since black folks love how Clinton preaches in churches.

Andrea: John Kerry does not appeal to black voters.
Matthews: He doesn't do well with blacks, women, Israel, you name it.
Kay and Everyone: he's not pushing those buttons, he's pushing the anti-Bush button.

New voters -- but how many of them (will) actually vote?

Sullivan ranting on his soapbox, triggered by a butterfly flapping its wings in Singapore.

Chris Matthews predicts 118 million in voter turnout.

"Tell me something I don't know"
Katty Kay -- lawsuits in Colorado over over-registration
Howard -- there will be no concession call from either side on election night
Andrea: Powell trying to get NoKo back on track, Powell will leave; all speculation is who would Kerry's SecState be, but Holbrook wants NSA. (Matthews predicts a Republican, like Lugar)
Sullivan: Michigan trending to Bush, all bets will be off if that happens


Jobs, real jobs, and peons

Via Lileks, I discover a startling picture of abysmal obliviousness:

"But I don't know that she's ever had a real job -- I mean, since she's been grown up."

So someone who's disingenuously introduced in this same piece as a 'philanthropist' (read: a person who considers it the highest of public works to bestow fat chunks o' money-with-arbitrary-strings as ostentatiously as possible) gratuitously insults someone else who the entire universe must know worked as a librarian (and as many also know, a teacher), for not having had the "validation" of her "bigger" "life experience". Small beans, you may say. Laura was just marking time, perhaps. But she worked on her own for ten years, which is more than a lot of wimmen of that generation can say. I expect it's more than the Heinz widow, not counting being hired by relatives. And since she doesn't consider motherhood a real job, why should we count her nepotism experiences, either?

My mom got her master's and worked as a teacher before she got married. My grandmom worked practically all her life as the county librarian. Lots of ladies of many generations have done the same, with or without the advanced degree. That was a real job. Raising six (or three, or any) kids is a real job. And jeezo louise-o, putting up with Kerry's Madame, who btw turns in her taxes using only the name of her dead husband, must be more than a job-and-a-half.

Here are a few more choice statements:

"I mention my age because I find people in this country — women, not men, of course — women are so troubled by their age."

Of course. We are but little girls who await the sophisticated guidance of someone (a true cosmopolitan, apparently, neither in nor of this country) who married a rich guy who kicked the bucket. (Men, otoh [and I note that the byline appears to be a man], aren't foolish like that -- I wonder if she batted her eyes or gave a sidelong glance or patented hair-flip as she inserted the caveat?) Yeah, seeing her cavort around the country demonstrating her unconcern and inconsideration for Heinz's replacement (who so clearly enjoys spending her money but hardly seems to be able to remember her name, either) is a real buzz, quite the ideal toward which we backwoods bumpkins can only aspire.

Well, Americans who pause [at a potential First Lady who was born abroad, to two foreign parents] probably don't know history very well, because we are all from somewhere. [...] And to fear that or disparage that I don't think is American. And I never hear that out there.

Yeeeeeessss. Now I see. Any feeling that she might be condescending, might fail to serve our country and its interests, might in fact be someone we would all grow increasingly to detest for her supreme arrogance in being Not From Around Here but criticizing those who are for not being American in their attitudes ... why, we're simply wrong. Perhaps we've never had real jobs, or are not yet grown up.

I mean, wow. The layers of buffering that must surround this woman on a constant, daily, omnipresent basis have to be a mile thick. Does no one ever tell her she's a horse's ass? Because she is the purest example of offensive moronosity I've run across in, well, forever.

"...[M]y experience is a little bit bigger — because I'm older, and I've had different experiences. And it's not a criticism of her. It's just, you know, what life is about.

Bottom line: What TuhRAYzuh's life has been is what life is about. What anyone else has been/done/seen/shared is self-evidently lesser. Why, how could anyone take that as a criticism? That's just a "silly" idea some peasants might have -- none, of course, that she's ever heard (of course, the peasants with whom She interacts probably number no more than the single digits) -- and could only come from our failure to understand how "big" her heart and mind are, and anyone who persists can "shove it", because they're not being truly American.

Thanks for clearing things up, there, honey. Now run along, I'm sure you have servants to command and minions to make scatter.

ObSheesh: Sheesh.


Super snark

If you're like me, except nuts, you have probably been wondering, "With so much violence in the world, and so little in the way of affordable drugs, is there any way I, as a moonbat, can personally make a meaningful apology to Saddam Hussein for causing so much hardship to his armies of evil henchmen? Well, not a personal apology, since I didn't do any of that army stuff. But isn't there some way to, like, do a, kind of, apology for other people? Like, 'I'm sorry someone else liberated your country, dude'?"


Bondage and bonding

Have been away and then distracted. Still somewhat distracted.

An essential, undervalued Peeve: forced socializing in the company of random individuals who happen to work for the same employer.

Now, I've always hated it, everything from the pregnancy rituals to the good-bye functions to the horriday events to the birthday intrusions and more. But let's get real. There's nothing more cruel and bizarre than the modrun practice of sequestering a whole hapless crowd far from the reach of yooman civilization, flourishing an "agenda" of vague, only semi-work-related topics that was developed behind closed doors, in order to berate the shocked and horrified with their ObFailure to demonstrate their enthusiastic affirmative to that core, age-old, central question: "Are you On Board?"

You know what, boss? You haven't bought me a sailboat. You don't pay me enough to be "on board". You ensure a further degree of off-board-ness every single time you use the phrase, times ten when you pose the question and force me to respond. Your insistence on on-boardness is rotting the boards. Leave me off your leaky boat. Leave me alone, IN MY OFFICE, to do my work. The work for which I'm getting paid, and that otherwise I have to make up in what used to be my free time since I have to spend my farking work day trying not to bite your head off amidst the retarded, fake, unprofessional, unproductive, irritating, pointless charade of superficial bonding.

Excuse me, it's time to order a stack of Demotivators to plaster around my office.


A critical, important post

Not one of my regular sites, but read the whole thing. (It's not long.)

Intellectual honesty is rare and seems to be getting rarer. Professional integrity. Any kind of integrity.

Not holding myself up as a stellar example, but it's always useful to remind ourselves of the standards that actually matter.

Oh No Po Mo!

Via a comment on Roger Simon's blog, I was led to this piece.

The sentence that got my juices flowing was "Your war on terror is like draining the lake to catch the fish." Well, yes. Exactly. By George, I think she's got it. Let's consider: why do we not catch all of the fish today by draining lakes? Answer: because we want to be able to catch some fish tomorrow, and there will be no fish to replenish fish stocks, because there will be no environment in which they can live, if we drain the lake.

So, since we don't want to maintain the world's stock of terrorists, we want to drain the lake, exactly. Sounds like Ulrike instead wants to ensure we don't run out of the (not-so-)scarce resource of terrorists. Maybe I'm just sane, and civilized, but I find myself naturally inclining more toward the camp of those who'd like to see terrorists using terror as a political tool become extinct. Maybe we'll never get there, but I prefer the asymptotic approach to zero over the nurturing of terrorists' lakes to keep our stocks up.

I was going to leave a comment, but I think a fisking is more appropriate.

No deal, September 2004, by Ulrike Guérot
A German foreign policy expert says the US should become postmodern

Well, you know right there she's lost me. First of all, because I have little tolerance for 'experts'. If this broad was a former SecState (German equivalent), or has worked for X years at doing Y, or etc., etc., then let's hear a credential or two. For all we know, her expertise is that she worked on the Oil-for-Palaces-&-Oppression gravy train out of the UN, or maybe she turned her dissertation on deconstruction of the idiom of FP into a book no one's read. Some magazine editor's evaluation of someone they've already decided to publish as an "expert" is distinctly unimpressive in my book.

And don't get me started on the whole postmodrun angle as if it had any relationship to real power and decision-making. Listen, if you want to imagine that you can project any meaning you want onto text and it's as "valid" as any allegedly objective (PoMo mantra 1: nothing is objective) alleged reality (PoMo mantra 2: there is no reality), then smoke a clove cigarette, get a tattoo, and have a blast. Oh, I'd rather you not spend any tax dollars on your idiocy, but I suppose that has to be fought case by case.

But if you want to converse with the big boys about things that empirically affect real (yes, Ulrike, there is reality), real-live life-and-death, then take off the beret, scrub your greasy hair, turn the lights on, and prepare to do some work thinking about facts and other hard stuff that have tangible consequences.

(deep breath) Okay, let me pace myself a little better ...

The new deal proposed by Philip H Gordon (Prospect, July) to help drag transatlantic relations out of their post-Iraq low is too nostalgic.

Are our relations at a low, or have Germany and France dropped off the US's radar since they're so self-evidently On The Other Side? (tmHeWhoBlendsPuppies) I say the latter.

America should be nicer to Europe, he suggests, and then Europe will support America again. But, as David Marquand pointed out in the last issue, the status quo ante will no longer work.

All too true, since (a) we don't want to be nice to "Europe" -- meaning you, Germany, and of course France, (b) we don't trust France and Germany, and you're going to have to earn that trust back, so (c) the former status quo is busted forever.

Sorry d0odz. We're all growed up now. You cried a few crocodile tears after September 11 because you thought it would mean we'd buy into your oh so tragic pomo self-hatred. And indeed, some Americans have. But luckily they're not the ones running things. And don't kid yourself they will be any time soon, either.

We'll be nice. When it suits us. When it's in our interests. Not because we think France and Germany have some mystic Auld Countriye knowledge or insight into what ought to matter to us (but doesn't) or how the whirled ought to work (but doesn't).

You think you know cowboy? Wait till you really absorb what's happening here; get a load of post-terror pragmatism.

How can Europe respect America's special responsibility for global security when large majorities in Europe believe that the way the US handles foreign policy puts them at greater risk?

It is better to be feared than loved. For a modern/classic rendition of this approach in more detail, please see FrankJ. Go ahead, this can wait.

We do not want to provide legitimacy for international actions of which we disapprove. We do not believe in your enforcement of democracy (at least not through regime change) or in the desire to fashion other countries in your image.

All of that is cool by me, since you're essentially irrelevant.

Will we help you in Iraq? We will help an America that returns to the rule of international law, and that ranks "soft power" as high as military power.

Chortle. Well, honey, we'll have to agree to disagree and go our separate ways. Good luck with whatever you're after, as long as you're not in our way. When that happens, though, sparky -- all bets are off. You've decided we're not friends; live with the consequences.

Many Europeans believe that we have a better idea of security.

Many Yurripeons believe some weird stuff. Where's the evidence that you have a better handle on security? I see absolutely none.

Your war on terror is like draining the lake to catch the fish.

You betcha, insha'allah.

Europe is developing a more flexible security system, which stresses collective responsibility rather than just our own interests.

yaaaaaawwwwwwnnnnnn. Pretend I'm from Missouri, and Show Me.

The strength of Europe today is that is has no enemies.

Shirley, you jest.

But if you're serious, then you're in for a rude awakening. Belgium didn't have any enemies but the Germans sure marched in and ruined their day. Oh, I guess that historical nugget has a different connotation for you, Ulrike. No offense.

And if power means getting what you want, then Europe is pretty powerful. Jeremy Rifkin grasps the new mood in his book The European Dream: "The American dream is far too centred on personal material advancement and too little concerned with the broader human welfare to be relevant in a world of increasing risk, diversity and interdependence. It is an old dream, immersed in a frontier mentality... The European dream emphasises sustainable development over unlimited growth... and global co-operation over the unilateral exercise of power."

Wow. That's simply stunning. A book about a dream of Yurrip lectures the US on being too practical? Yeah, we'll sure take that piercing criticism to heart.

Europe, unlike America, does not aspire to western supremacy

Whoa, Nellie. Actually, in our heart of hearts, America aspires to be left the hell alone. Please, kindly, get over yourselves.

- the assumption that there are things we have the right to possess but that we need to keep out of the hands of others.

We want everybody to have democracy, liberty, money to spend, and enough of their own business to take care of to leave them little time or energy to muck about in ours.

This idea is fertile soil for anti-western attitudes and even for terrorism.

Everything seems to be fertile soil for anti-western attitudes and terrorism, at the moment.

The principle of western supremacy seems unlikely to survive the 21st century, but the US is committed to resisting its decline - widening the gulf with Europe in the process.

I've been hearing about the decline of Western Civ (and market economies) for a long, long, long time from Yurripeons. As an Africanist, I've personally been calling Yurrip "the Dying Continent" for a lot longer.

ObUsenet: I'm right, and you're wrong.

Let us take a current example: Iran. You suggest a common, Euro-American carrot and stick approach to prevent the country from getting nuclear weapons. But whatever we do, Iran will do everything in its power to get the bomb.

You sound like John Kerry. Everything should be multi-multi-lateral, as many laterals as imaginable ... except when that's *exactly* the approach we want to take (N. Korea). Then it's, Oh you naive fools, you aren't paying attention to realpolitik.

It feels threatened and it knows that the bomb is the route to real clout as a global player. Rather than thinking about how to keep them in their place, why not take their interests seriously? Nuclear deterrence worked for us for more than 40 years.

Smile when you say "us", you ungrateful bint. And it worked under the American nuclear umbrella because America stationed tons of troops in your misbegotten land and several other places to back up the conventional deterrent as well, and in case you haven't noticed, we're pretty much through with that policy. And it's not likely to "work" with Iran because Iran's mullahcracy is likely to pass their nukes to terrorists, who are -- in case you didn't notice their little oopsie in September of 2001 -- far from unwilling to leap with glee into the philosophy of Mutually Assured Destruction.

Why should it not work in the middle east?

Iran of course would be most likely to use its nukes against a secular democracy emerging nearby (Iraq) or one just a little further away that they think would look better pushed into the sea, but they'll settle for vaporized. I know the New! Europe! (especially the French and German portion of it) is again less shy about its scorn for the Jews, but I really don't think the path to equilibrium is through nuclear war in the Middle East.

Or between India and Pakistan? In any case, we cannot durably prevent proliferation through military force.

You're a little slippery on those pronouns. You can't prevent anything through military force. Israel prevented Iraq from nuclear capacity when Saddam was getting a little too close, and it wasn't with a dozen red roses. We're making double-dog sure of it, there, and I think have an excellent chance of success, which couldn't have remotely begun to happen through Hans Blix and his many blind mice, or your slick-n-greasy sanctions-breaking aid and comfort to Saddam under so-called sanctions. It's beginning to look like the main effect of the sanctions was to ensure that the only people making money were Saddam's hand-picked Beezelbubs, domestic and foreign. You should be so very proud, oh ye of the multilateral, anything-but-military, except when the US wants it, approach.

The US needs to acknowledge that the EU is a state in the making - it will soon have a foreign minister and its own diplomatic service.

Speaking for the US, let me just say, consider yourselve so acknowledged. And speaking for myself, with a hearty guffaw lurking beneath the surface, just how many divisions will your foreign minister and striped-pantsers be mobilizing? Mobilizing effectively?

Yeah. I thought so.

And since Nato can no longer carry transatlantic relations as it did in the cold war,

Translation: since the US is bored with being jerked around by tinpot bureaucrats posturing over increasingly crippled economies that can't even begin to pretend to carry their weight in NATO (all caps, you dillhole), a few rational people in this new "state" of the EU are getting very, very nervous.

Quite rightly so. Too little too late, but quite rightly so. This is Europe, getting up with fleas.

the US and the EU should agree on a treaty that focuses on new spheres of interdependence.

I believe she misspelled "the EU doesn't have a hope in hell of anything better than supine dependence, begging for scraps, but we hope the US won't be so gauche as to mention it." Gosh, sorry, but we're nutbar cowboys, you know. Simple people. And we're tired of bearing all your burdens for a sharp stick in the eye.

The task of the EU is to spend more on security and become more effective;

Good luck with that, guys. No, really. Let us know when you begin to grasp what "effective" means in the modern world. Here's a hint: it looks an awful lot like our effectiveness, and it will continue to look a lot like that (only better) even if you confuse reality with your so-called postmodern world.

the task of the US is to join us in the postmodern world.

Missing the point by several kilometers, Ulrike doesn't understand that they're the ones behind, and when it comes to security there is no PoMo world. No matter how much the EU spends (and they don't remotely have the cash), they'll never catch up -- unless we decide it's in our interests. If we want them to catch up, we could catch them up -- technologically, at least. But no amount of money thrown at this problem is going to create an EU military worth a damn functionally, much less one that the EU (oh so pomo, and with no! enemies!) would ever use.

Internal inconsistency, smug insularity, lack of situational awareness (how many Muslims in Germany? What's their fertility rate? What's their employment rate? What's the social safety net's financial state?), and blame America first. Why, she's practically a Kedwards Democrat.

Ulrike Guérot runs Europe policy at the German Marshall Fund in Berlin

Oh. My. Goodness. This is simply Too Rich. Her expertise is that she wanks away at an organization that I have to guess is built on the US's forward-thinking actions to support rebuilding the political economy systems, infrastructure, and capacity of farkin' Germany after they lost the Second World War they started?

Words fail me. But I do wonder if her pomo sensibilities include any appreciation of that basic civilized concept, irony.


Debate 2.4

A woman's right to choose [abortion] is in the Constitution? Not last time I read it.

OOOOOOH. And followed up with an abortion (anti-abortion) question, very direct.

Kerry: I'm a Catholic. Helped lead me thru a war. (First mention of Viet Nam? Must be a record.) Throws in TuhRAYzah, gratuitously.

More details on abortion, using extreme examples, pointless.

Bush: "History will look back, and I'm fully prepared to accept responsibility for my decisions."
Kerry: Iraq's a mistake, huge colossal gargantuan mistake, rush to war, Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

I'd like to hear Lurch answer the question for himself. Was it a mistake to treat with the enemy while we were fighting in Viet Nam?

Final statements. Lurch the ThumbMan goes first, good. He says he's an optimist. Yeah, except for all of the things he's pessimistic about.

Bush: This has been enjoyable. (Looks like he might mean it.) We've been through a lot, yet think about where we are. Tonight I had a chance to discuss with you about how to move on. Don't increase the role of the grubbymint. Energy plan. We're at war, which requires a President who is strong, resolute, etc. (He's hitting his stride here.) Deep faith in liberty, freedom is on the march, Afghanistan elections, Iraq elections coming up.

Not bad for the good guys, insha'allah.

Charlie's a total, total lightweight. Will be interesting to see how things go in PunditWorld, especially considering the ABC memo that I guess came out just before this thing started.

Ooh, people refusing to shake Kerry's hand. kewl. Crowd apparently warm to Bush.

My my my.

Charlie congratulating Kerry. Must... turn... away. Shields and Brooks, blood pressure stabilizing...

Debate 2.3


Kerry's answer to a question about embryonic stem cell research starts with a condescending "I respect the feeling/emotion/morality behind your question" and quickly cuts to Michael J. Fox and Christopher Reeve. Is name-dropping truly an effective campaign tactic?

Bush: I'm the first Prez to allow federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, but we must balance science and ethics.

Whoa. I don't have a real dog in this fight, and I think it's a tar baby for Bush, but I think he just hit that one out of the freakin' park.

Kerry: I don't know how you draw that line [between allowing and not allowing]. So we have to open up all the possibilities. Nothing about ethics/morality. I don't think that will play for those who see this as an important issue.

Q: who would you pick for
Bush: "I'm not tellin'! Besides, I want 'em all voting for me!" Then: strict constructionists. Well, that will scare some people. "No litmus tests, except for how they interpret the Constitution."

Debate 2.2

Fairly specific comments about tort reform by Bush get a reaction from Kerry that "the President is just trying to scare you".

I hate the way Kerry says "folks". He's not a regular guy, and can't fake it.

Bush goes into dangerous territory, i.e. who's not credible on fiscal responsibility. But turns it toward how to make the economy grow. I don't know how that's going to play. Someone earlier did ask directly about Bush never vetoing a spending bill. I can't really gauge how he did on that.

Kerry claims Bush is using fuzzy math. Isn't that Bush's line re: Gore last time?

An environmental question, Bush fumbles a bit but seems to pick up a little bit ... then goes down the pointless road of hydrogen something or other.

Kerry pretending to be a sports fan, again (Red Sox). Uh oh.

Kerry: I was in Kyoto. (Why does he think it's an argument, to say he was somewhere? He does this all the time. I find it silly and at best queerly vain.)

I must say Charlie Whosits is being pretty dogged on the point of how the heck are you going to cut the deficit in half.

Kerry: Bush and Cheney are corrupt.
Bush "I own a timber company? That's news to me? Need some wood?"

Nyuck nyuck.

Q: Why are my rights being watered down?
Bush: I don't think they are. Everything requires court action. These tools are already in use in war on Drugs (not exactly a great argument for people who think they're wrong in that context too). Agencies need to be able to talk to each other.
[Guy looks far from convinced]
Kerry: [cites other guys who are worried about the way Patriot Act is being applied] This is in our country, "folks", the United States of America! (Oh, is that our country? Thanks, it had slipped my mind.)

Debate 2.1

Bush theme: "It's naive and dangerous"

Kerry theme: "We can do better"

Bush good one: "I almost want to scowl"

Bush looks good with the blue tie, he's definitely warming up and feeling comfortable. Red power tie: oh so '80s.

Kerry oopsie: "It's not a question of 'if', it's a question of 'when'."
Kerry semi-backtrack: "according to this President and his experts"

Bush: I'm worried. Everyday people are working overtime. The way to [treat a monster?] is liberty, spread liberty.

Onto domestic issues, Canadian drugs, seniors and prescription drugs.

Kerry really does look like Lurch. He just said the Senate passed the drug stuff. I so hope he wasn't there to vote on it.

I think some people might not like it, but I like Bush jumping up, eager to rebut and get into the discussion.

Kerry jawdropper: "We did something you don't know how to do"

Oooh, I really hate his attitude. "Go figure."

I'll be really interested to see the polls/discussions of (other) voters' impressions of these guys tonight.

Oh oh oh, a stab at Empty Suit BreckGirl Edwards!!! And Kerry's response is that everyone should go to his website and download some tort reform plan? OMG. What a punt. A punt by a putz. Just farkin' abysmal.

Debate 2

I'm watching the townhall "debate" on NBC, because locally that channel comes in as one of the best. It made me wonder, since we had two PBS moderators, tonight an ABC guy, and next time that CBS fellow, what NBC did wrong to get cut out? I can see why the Bush campaign wouldn't care to have any of these guys running things (I concur that Lehrer was more slanted than Gwen Ifill, no real opinion yet on Charlie Whosits (except my pre-existing impression that he's essentially an intellectually-vacant lightweight), but CBS at best doesn't come into any conversation without an odor of bias these days. On the other hand, NBC's no worse, I don't think, than ABC, CBS, and PBS. And we may (or may not) be more polarized these days, but didn't Fox run one of the debates last time?

I'd like to see these two guys in front of William F. Buckley, Mara Liason (sp?), David Brooks, Cici Connelly, Juan Williams, Ralph Peters, who else...

I do think that stupid thumb gesture needs to be retired. Point, gesture, or wave, but don't thrust your stupid thumb toward me like someone who doesn't have the 'nads to point.

Uber kewl

Doesn't it seem odd that there are, now, so many ways to make one's perspective available to the whirled? I merely wanted to add a thought to a particularly egregious fugly post, and suddenly I found myself creating a whole new outlet ... for any wide variety of thoughts on many subjects ...

ObMrBurns: Excellent.