Monday, November 29, 2004

You know...morons

So I'm watching a heavily edited version of Blazing Saddles on TV last night. I've always thought the line about "authentic frontier gibberish" applied so nicely to President Pretend-Cowboy.

But it struck me that this line applies to a whole bunch of stupid voters in the last election: "You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons."

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Scary Stuff

This article was published in New Zealand on July 18, 2003. Note: 2003. It is titled "How George Bush Won the 2004 Election." The sub-head reads: "the U.S. has embraced a form of electronic voting that is unreliable, unverifiable and funded by the radical Christian right."

More: "Brothers Bob and Todd Urosevich founded American Information Systems. Bob is currently president of Diebold and Todd Urosevich is Vice President, Aftermarket Sales of ES&S. (In 1999, American Information Systems, purchased Business Records Corp to become ES&S.) American Information Systems (AIS) was primarily funded with money from Ahmanson brothers, William and Robert, of the Howard F. Ahmanson Co. The majority stake in ES&S is still owned by Howard F. Ahmanson and the Ahmanson Foundation Howard Ahmanson belongs to Council for National Policy, a hard right wing organization and also helps finance The Chalcedon Institute. As the institute's own site reports, Chalcedon is a "Christian educational organization devoted to research, publishing, and promoting Christian reconstruction in all areas of life... Our emphasis on the Cultural or Dominion Mandate (Genesis 1:28) and the necessity of a return to Biblical Law has been a crucial factor in the challenge to Humanism by Christians in this country and elsewhere..." Chalcedon promotes Christian Reconstructionism, which mandates Christ's dominion over the entire world. The organization's purpose is to establish Old Testament Biblical law as the standard for society."

I found this via a link on Neal Pollack's blog. He adds: "Every single thing that's going on right now involving DeLay is part of the Christian Reconstructionist plan to bring the United States to heel by replacing the Constitution with a legal system that literally interprets the Old Testament as law."


Us Agin Them

Bet you didn't know that there have been large anti-American protests around the world because of the Fallujah offensive. You didn't know that because the American media is more concerned about the basketbrawl, Dan Rather and the Virgin Mary grilled cheese.

We are in such deep doo-doo.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

My Latest Letter to the Editor

I'm not going to waste bandwidth reprinting the letter that prompted this but here's my latest letter to my local rag:

Jeff Davidson’s call to Kerry voters to support President Bush is nothing short of magnanimous. And wholly undemocratic.

Bush may have won by 3.5 million votes. But, Bill Clinton won by 8 million votes. Did that give Republicans a reason to “unite” behind the president? As I remember those years, the answer is no. While Clinton gave America eight years of relative peace and prosperity, the Republicans fought him with every thing they and Richard Mellon Scaife could dream up.

Keep in mind that 55 million people or 49% of the electorate did not vote for Bush. Their views and opinions must be heard or our country will cease to be a democracy. The fact that one party controls all three branches of government, the president has surrounded himself with “yes men,” and both party and president seem uninterested in opposing views is deeply troubling.

Davidson encourages us not to engage in “petty squabbles” over this bill or that. I think that’s called democracy. It’s the way our system works. Two parties (or more) debate, reason, argue, and eventually reach a compromise that reflects the true multi-political, multi-cultural nature of America. But when leading Republican strategists say it’s a conservative goal to wipe out liberals, I fear for our nation’s future.

When Davidson says we must unite behind Bush in “our common objectives and goals,” I can only remind him of the president’s own words: “I will reach out to every one who shares our goals.” Not exactly a uniting, embracing statement for nearly half the nation who don’t share Bush’s goals.

Bush campaigned as if the last four years had simply not happened, as if he had not lied us into a horrible and unnecessary war, as if he had not fattened the rich at the expense of everyone else, as if he had not made the world a more dangerous place. Clearly, this election was not about competence, or Bush would be back in Crawford. The only good thing to come of this is that now it’s all on Bush. He can no longer blame Clinton or Democrats. The war, the economy, our world standing – it’s all Bush’s legacy, for better or, I suspect, for much worse.

Insincere calls for unity aside, I, along with 55 million plus other Americans, intend to continue to be a proud member of the reality-based community and fight for my American right to dissent.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Greatest Movie Lines

I have no idea which single quote I would choose, although I can come up with a top 20 or so.

Public doesn’t vote, though.

Topping my list:

Here’s looking at you kid.
Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
May the Force be with you.
Do or do not. There is no try.
I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.
Leave the gun. Take the cannolis.
Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.
I coulda been a contender.
I love the smell of napalm in the morning.
“Scuse me while I whip this out.
What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.
ET phone home.
Shaken. Not stirred.
They call me Mr. Tibbs.
Wax on, wax off.
I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.
Make my day.
You talkin’ to me?
These go to eleven.
Open the pod bay door, HAL.

I could very easily think of about 20 more.

Show me the money.
Please baby, please baby, please baby, please
Greed is good.
We rob banks.
Gentlemen! You can’t fight in here. This is the war room.
There’s no crying in baseball.
I’ll be back.
Soylent green is people.
Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn.
Hasta la vista, baby.
Attica! Attica!
I’m an excellent driver.
They’re here.
I want to be alone.
Alright, Mr. Demille, I’m ready for my close-up.
Love means never having to say you’re sorry.
I was born a poor black child.
Gort! Klaatu barada nikto.
Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.
We’re on a mission from God.

Birth Tax

I heard that John Kerry referred to Bush's "birth tax" by which I assume he meant that Bush's continued giveaways to the rich will be paid for by our children and their children and their children until who knows when.

Yesterday, the Senate voted to increase the federal debt limit by $800 billion. From the NY Times:

"The bill, if approved by the House in a vote expected on Thursday, would authorize the third big increase in the federal borrowing since President Bush took office in 2001. Federal debt has ballooned by $1.4 trillion over the past four years, to $7.4 trillion, and the new ceiling would allow borrowing to reach $8.2 trillion. With no end in sight to the huge annual budget deficits, which hit a record of $412 billion this year, lawmakers predicted on Wednesday that the new ceiling would probably have to be raised again in about a year."

Now remind me again, which party is the party of fiscal responsibility?

Shell Game

From the WaPo:

"The Bush administration is eyeing an overhaul of the tax code that would drastically cut, if not eliminate, taxes on savings and investment...The administration will also push hard for large savings accounts that could shelter thousands of dollars of deposits each year from taxation on investment gains...To pay for them, the administration is considering eliminating the deduction of state and local taxes on federal income tax returns and scrapping the business tax deduction for employer-provided health insurance..."

So, just to be clear on the administration's priorities: make sure the rich don't get taxed on their savings and investment, but eliminate the only incentive employers have for providing health insurance. Right, got it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Bush Actions Leave Americans Vulnerable

But then you probably knew this already. Just nice to have the International Association of Chiefs of Police say it nice and clearly.


What's with Bush kissing Condi and his new education secy nominee Spellings? Ugh. That's so freakin' condescending. Would he peck Rumsfeld on the cheek? Disgusting.

Inoculating Delay

House Republicans yesterday reversed a rule that says anyone indicted for a crime must step down from a leadership position. This is aimed at protecting Tom Delay; several of his associates have been indicted for breaking Texas fundraising laws and Delay himself may be next. What should Democrats do?

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Lying Under Oath

During the Clinton years, whenever I would question a conservative friend about why they were so up in arms about the Clenis, he would say "its not the sex, its the lying under oath."

So, my friends, what about Condi Rice who, it seems to me and others, lied under oath?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Incredibles

This is my least favorite Pixar movie. Why? Because it lacks the heart that Toy Story, Monsters, Nemo and even Bug's Life have. Plus it was way too violent (first Pixar film rated PG). If I want to see a Bruckheimer film, I'll see one -- I don't need Pixar to animate one for me. All that said, its still a good film, but not a great film.

The cartoon before the movie, about the bouncing sheep, was pretty lame. These pre-cartoons have been hilarious on past Pixar films, but not this one. Sorta set the tone.

And that promo for Cars (the next Pixar film and the last one with Disney) was boring.


I never thought I'd be saying that we may have to sacrifice Roe v Wade, but this group of radicals are up to things that are way more important than that.

Here's my take: SCOTUS will not declare when life begins but it will overturn Roe and throw the issue back to the states. So we will return to the days of my youth, when abortion was illegal in Michigan but legal in New York (and my 13 year old neighbor was taken from Michigan to New York to have an abortion -- I guess that would've been around 1969). So we'll have to live with that for now.

Because more important to us freedom loving liberals is that these radicals want to "resurrect what they call a 'Constitution in Exile'" which would negate much of the New Deal. This is federalism -- each state to do as it pleases and limits to federal regulations and inevitably programs. They even say this is more in line with what the Constitution actually says. Oy. I actually don't see how you have a functioning republic if everyone can do as they please. You'd negate things like the Civil Rights Act, OSHA, etc. Why not just set up some regional fiefdoms? Ridiculous.

The rest of the linked article above is about how the Republicans have been achieving this in baby steps through stealth legislation. For example, my pet peeve, No Child Left Behind, which at its core is an anti-public school effort. NCLB creates standards which no school, not even the best ones, can consistently achieve -- so public schools can be dubbed "failures" and the money can be diverted to a voucher system. Similar stealth measures are already in place and more are coming.

So who wants to reduce the regulatory nature of the federal government? Why, Bush's fat cat big business donors, of course. So this gets back to the whole moral values thing -- which is just a shell game to fool the masses so Bush can satisfy his real constituency, big business, once safely in office.

Anyway, you get my point. What these guys really want is a return to the pre-New Deal days and all the gains of the past 50 years could go up in smoke.

Condi's Husband Picks...Condi!

OOOH, she must just be quivering inside!

Here's a quick outline of Condi's record of failure and ineptitude that qualifies her to be Secretary of State.

Note that what's happening here is Bush is consolidating control of every essential department of government with people who are first and foremost loyal to him. Their competence, like his own, is unimportant.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Colin Powell

Best take yet on why Powell won't be missed.

Ashcroft and Gonzales

More old news. So Bush wants to replace Ashcroft with Alberto Gonzales, the guy who called the Geneva Convention "quaint" and signed off on the "its OK to torture" memo. He's replacing the guy who thinks that the president doesn't have to follow any law if it gets in his way.

Here's more on the both of them.

Scott Peterson

Old news, I know. Three things:

1) How the jury convicted this guy is beyond me. As Talk Left noted, there's no murder weapon, no cause of death, no time of death, no identifiable crime scene, no witnesses. He may have been a cad, a liar and a cheat, but there's no proof that he's a murderer and definitely no proof beyond any doubt. The police bungled the investigation, honed in on Scott and never pursued any other possibilities. Also the judge kept changing jurors until the desired verdict was achieved. The original foreman who was kicked off right at the end was both a doctor and a lawyer, had 16 notebooks full of notes on the case and was an analytical type who allegedly was making the jurors look at the facts. He was replaced by a firefighter, a guy who was clearly bored through a lot of the trial and, one must assume, was more amenable to go with the jury's emotional, rather than considered, verdict.

2) Explain to me how you can convict someone of murdering someone who was never a legal person. The fetus does not have a birth certificate; the fetus was never born. So how can Scott Peterson be convicted of killing a non-person?

3) Which leads me to my biggest concern about this case and why I followed it when I usually don't give a damn about these sorts of media frenzys. The whole raison d'etre of this case was to prove that a fetus is a human being and that raises all kinds of problems for abortion rights.

Watch out -- this one isn't over yet.

New GOP Senators: Axis of Evil

The Boston Phoenix has an article about five of the new Republican senators.

Here's what they have to say about NC's junior senator:

Richard Burr: Corporate errand boy scoops up PAC money

North Carolina has come a long way since the days of Jesse Helms. Its Research Triangle is as sophisticated and well-educated as — well, as in any blue state. So it’s only appropriate that John Edwards’s successor in the Senate stand out as being somewhat different from his fellow Republican freshmen. To be sure, Congressman Richard Burr is as anti-choice, anti-gay, and pro-gun as the rest of them. But he comes from that strain of Republicanism more interested in sucking up to corporate interests than in joining hands with the godly.

How in the tank is Burr? With $2.4 million in donations, this distant relative of Aaron Burr received more money from political-action committees than did any other Senate candidate this year. "The main people he looks out for and answers to are the large corporations. That is the most troubling thing about Richard Burr to me," says Berni Gaither, a North Carolina Democratic Party official. Democratic activist Hayes McNeil puts it more succinctly: "Burr’s record in Congress looks like a whore’s bed sheet."

The good life, Burr-style, can be awfully good indeed. In April 2002, the National Association of Broadcasters — the fine folks who brought you corporate media consolidation — flew Burr, first-class, to Las Vegas for its annual convention. The amenities included poolside drinks and a massage, although Burr reportedly reimbursed the association for his spa stay. "It’s extremely valuable for members to get that overall snapshot of their particular industry," said Burr, who at the time was vice-chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee. "If not, we rely on everyone to come up here and tell us how things have changed."

North Carolina remains a place apart. Burr and his unsuccessful Democratic opponent, Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, were falling over each other to take credit for a federal buyout of the state’s struggling tobacco farmers. But there is an area where Burr stands out: his contempt for the environment. The League of Conservation Voters has named Burr one of its "Dirty Dozen" (along with fellow freshmen senators-elect John Thune and Mel Martinez). The particulars: he supported President Bush on an energy-bill provision protecting manufacturers of the gasoline additive MTBE from lawsuits over groundwater contamination; he voted six times against a ban on drilling for oil off North Carolina’s Outer Banks; and he has opposed efforts to reduce mercury contamination and greenhouse-gas emissions.

"He has one of the worst environmental records on clean air and clean water in the US Congress," says Mark Longabaugh, the league’s political director. "That’s one. Two, throughout his entire career he has shown a bias toward special interests, oil and gas or other polluters."



One of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite movies, Spaceballs, is when Lone Starr asks Yogurt (played by Mel Brooks on his knees) what he does and Yogurt replies "merchandising," although the way Brooks says it is more like "moichandizing."

Anyway, this is what I've been saying to friends the Democrats need to do -- they need to sell themselves better to the American people. After all, most Americans support our views on economic and social issues and most Americans also support our stance of "just leave me alone."

But the Repugnicants have been much better at selling their ideas to people. As Josh Marshall notes, you clearly know what Republicans stand for ("lowering taxes in exchange for giving up whatever it is the government pretends to do for us, riding the brakes on the on-going transformation of American culture, and kicking ass abroad") without knowing any policy specifics. The Dems, on the other hand, have a hard time coming up with a clear and concise set of talking points about what we stand for.

This is what we have to do -- develop not just talking points, but strong, vibrant images that will sell our party and what it stands for to the masses. Right now, a lot of Americans think we're what the Repugnicants have told them we are: baby killers, pornographers and Ben Affleck.

Americans are used to being marketed to -- in fact, they are incredibly lazy and just want short and memorable pieces of information when making a buying decision. And what is electing someone in today's world but a buying decision?

So what are those things?

Here's a list to get us started thinking. 10 is too many -- we need maybe 3. But here's a start (PS I can't remember where I got this list from, so apologies to whoever originated it):

Contract for a Better America:
1. Achieve energy independence
2. Prescribe a cure for the health-care epidemic (universal health care)
3. Treat lost jobs as social calamity, not a lagging economic indicator
4. Truly leave no child behind (equal access to good schools, health care, clean water and air, etc.)
5. Break down the barriers and create new opportunities in education
6. Call a truce in the drug war
7. Secure the homeland first
8. Be a leader, not a bully
9. Restore integrity to the political process (Campaign Finance Reform)
10. Put people above corporate profits


According to Newsday:

"The White House has ordered the new CIA director, Porter Goss, to purge the agency of officers believed to have been disloyal to President George W. Bush or of leaking damaging information to the media about the conduct of the Iraq war and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, according to knowledgeable sources

'The agency is being purged on instructions from the White House," said a former senior CIA official who maintains close ties to both the agency and to the White House. "Goss was given instructions ... to get rid of those soft leakers and liberal Democrats. The CIA is looked on by the White House as a hotbed of liberals and people who have been obstructing the president's agenda.'"

As James Wolcott puts it, " a party determined to bring the intelligence agencies into ideological line--that's fascism in the making, my friends."

Ready to Go to Canada?

Here's a start.

You know how Canada got its name? Its leaders threw all the letters of the alphabet into a hat and they began to draw them out. "C, eh? N, eh? D, eh?"

Believe me, as someone who grew up right next to Canada (and in one of the few places where Canada was south of the US), the Bob and Doug MacKenzie parody was not too far off. Oh and Michael Moore's "Canadian Bacon," an under-appreciated film.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Sorry Everybody

This website is for posting your apologies to the rest of the world for the American election. Amusing, and appropriate.

More Maps

More interesting maps.

If only 18 to 29 year olds voted.

Looking at how demographic groups voted.

If the world voted for the American president.

Another Interesting Map

What does this map say about the "base" that supports Bush?

More importantly, what does it say about the strategy of progressives in the future?

Get the picture, folks, and think about whether you are really willing to do what it would take to win over these people.

As The Daily Howler puts it:

"Our public discourse is full of complaints about those “contemptuous,” “elitist” blue-state liberals. On Scarborough Country, unbalanced panels of outraged conservatives wail and moan about blue-state slanders. Elsewhere, self-proclaimed “Democrats” like the Times’ Nicholas Kristof lecture Dems for unnamed offenses and ignore misconduct by major Reps. Last Friday, Kristof was at it again, telling Dems what they should do to be less offensive to religious voters. He offered no suggestions to Republicans. Was there something offensive when the RNC sent West Virginians that “Ban the Bible”flier? When Republican officials in Kentucky kept trashing Senate candidate Daniel Mongiardo for being “limp-wristed?” By the way, who showed “contempt” for religious voters when that Bible flier was sent? On Scarborough Country, pseudo-cons happily batter blue-staters. In the Times, the likes of Kristof take the cue and only find fault with the Dems."

Who's offensive here? Certainly not we educated, tolerant progressives. Also, keep in mind that conservatives, particularly religious fundies, want to impose their so-called values on everyone, but progressives trust people to make their own choices. Who, then, believes more in freedom and individual responsibility?

We've moved to the center far enough. No more.

Framing the Issues

The Republicans have become masters of framing the issues. Their strategies include making certain words and phrases the conventional choice to describe the issue. So, as an example, we all now talk about partial birth abortions, although that is not accurate at all. This something the Democrats have got to learn how to do.


anti-gay = pro-discrimination

pro-life = government control of women

tax reform = economic justice

social security reform = forced savings

social security privatization = shell game

You get the idea.

I'm trying to obtain a copy of George Lakoff's book "Don't Think of an Elephant!"

This, along with Thomas Frank's "What's the Matter with Kansas?" need to drive the progressive agenda.

We have got to figure out why people (moderates) are voting against their own best interests and turn that around.

And let me say now that John Edwards would be great at doing this.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

We Won

Read this:

"This political campaign made rank and file Democrats from every section of the party feel proud to be Democrats in a way they have not felt in decades. It displayed Democratic candidates who were decent, thoughtful and honorable men and offered a set of policies and positions that a wide range of Americans could accept as a solid framework and point of departure for the future. It showcased a political party that was systematically building the foundations for its future victory. So shake off the disappointment and feel the sense of pride and accomplishment you deserve to feel instead. "

Carville, BTW, should drop off the face of the earth. And I say this as a big (but now former) fan of his.

Top 10 Media Failings of 2004

There’s more I could add, but this is a good start. The Scott Peterson trial is a good case in point -- the media has no clue what the larger issues are behind this case vis a vis the anti-choice movement. This case would not even be national news were it not for that, but the media doesn't have a clue.

The thing the media does that bothers me most is “on one hand, on the other hand.” This ridiculous approach in the name of “fairness” gives equal weight to things that are proven out and out lies and allows crap like Swift Boat to dominate the news for weeks. The media ought to be able to say “hey you know what, we looked at your claims and you’re full of shit, so we’re not going to cover your story.” But they don’t.

Part of it is corporate pressure, part of it is that a lot of people in the media, particularly on TV, are really not very bright and don’t know how to cover a story.

The People Shall Recover True Sight

"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt.... If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."

-- Thomas Jefferson, June 4, 1798, in a letter to John Taylor of Philadelphia, after passage of the Alien and Sedition Act

Friday, November 05, 2004

Calling a Spade a Spade

Another thing I'm annoyed with: everyone saying Bush was elected because he resonated more on the moral values issue. Can we just discuss what moral values means to the morons who voted for Bush? For a lot of them, it means:

  • Hating gays
  • Hating minorities
  • Hating immigrants
  • Hating feminists
  • Hating liberals

So instead of moral values, can we please call it what it is? Hate values.

My Biggest Question

Why is it CW that something must've been wrong with the exit polls? Haven't exit polls been a clean indicator in the past of the result? So why such a discrepancy this time? Why such strong support for Kerry in the exit polls but not in the voting? Is it the exit polls that were wrong? or is there something wrong in the voting? Just asking.

Turn Your Back on Bush

A unique proposal.

I'm proposing a general strike on Jan. 20. Everyone who voted for Kerry -- everyone -- should not go to work or school on Jan. 20 and instead should gather at one of no more than 3 cities in each state. Everyone within a 10 hour drive of DC should go there. That would mean 55 million people gathered at a very few locations. Would send a nice message to the doltish media that Bush does not have a mandate.

You Can't Have it Both Ways

The Daily Show has become, for many of us, the best commentary on the bizarre times in which we live. Last night, Lewis Black made a great point and made me laugh out loud as well. He was ranting (as he does) about stem cell research and showed a clip of Mel Gibson. Gibson's pathetic point was that we all came from these stem cells so they're obviously human (oy) and Gibson promised to give a cigar to anyone who could prove otherwise. Black came back on after the clip and said "Hey Mel two words -- Adam and Eve. Two cigars!" The brilliance of this is, of course, that Mel opened the door by mixing his religious beliefs and science. You can't have it both ways, dopes.

As another very funny guy puts it, the people who elected Bush get "Four more years of scientific decisions being made by people who believe in a ghost in the clouds."


I take a lot of grief for my views on religion ("what is mythology but a religion that is no longer believed in?"). That's fine. Unfortunately, few people are ready to chuck superstition (I believe they call it "faith") in favor of facts and logic. Too hard, as C-Plus Augustus might say.

But what I have the hardest time understanding is how did we get to a place where it is OK to talk about your religion outside of church? When I was growing up, you did not discuss your religion because that was considered the height of social misbehavior. Certainly, nearly everyone was religious -- church attendance was higher then. But in the interest of tolerance, you kept your religious views out of public life.

Now you have these unaffiliated evangelical churches who, its pretty clear, take their marching orders from the Republican party. And one of the tenets of their faith is conversion -- and apparently forced conversion through the government is OK with them. Now where have we seen this before?

Fear them and don't pander to them. They aren't worth it. Ignorant and unteachable. But there are lots of folks fooled by this minority through religion -- them, we can reach, especially if we can make them see the economic consequences to them and their children of supporting the Republicans.

Purple Haze

From Michael Moore’s post-election message:

Finally and most importantly, over 55 million Americans voted for the candidate dubbed "The #1 Liberal in the Senate." That's more than the total number of voters who voted for either Reagan, Bush I, Clinton or Gore. Again, more people voted for Kerry than Reagan. If the media are looking for a trend it should be this -- that so many Americans were, for the first time since Kennedy, willing to vote for an out-and-out liberal. The country has always been filled with evangelicals -- that is not news. What IS news is that so many people have shifted toward a Massachusetts liberal. In fact, that's BIG news. Which means, don't expect the mainstream media, the ones who brought you the Iraq War, to ever report the real truth about November 2, 2004. In fact, it's better that they don't. We'll need the element of surprise in 2008. [end]

Also, keep in mind these things:

Bush got the lowest percentage of electoral votes (54%) of any incumbent running for reelection since Wilson.

Bush won with the lowest percentage of the popular vote (51%) of any incumbent running for reelection since Truman (who ran in a 4-way race that included Strom Thurmond).

Bush won by the lowest margin of the popular vote (3.5M) of any incumbent running for reelection since Truman (2.1M, and back then only 50M voted).

Bush won the three states that put him over 270 (OH, NM and IA--assuming the last two go his way) by only 161,989 (not counting the provisional ballots, absentee, etc.).

So, this is NOT a smashing incumbent victory like those of Clinton, Reagan, Nixon, LBJ or FDR.

It was a bit pitiful for an incumbent, frankly, especially after 9/11.

Also, young people voted in huge numbers (contrary to early media reports which measured under 30s which did not increase – but under 25 did and hugely – and they voted overwhelmingly for Kerry).

Plus 7 states moved from pro-Republican to pro-Democrat while ZERO moved from pro-Republican to pro-Democrat. Building the base! We now hold the partisan advantage in 24 states plus DC (worth 289 electoral votes, up from 231), while Republicans hold the advantage in 26 states (worth 249 electoral votes, down from 307).

Finally, when you see those maps of the US and all that red in the middle – remember, that represents very few people. Those states have massive areas that are largely unpopulated. Here’s a good map representing that:

And my favorite map:

Who Will Be Next?

Think about this in regard to the Repugnicants using gays as a wedge. Who will be next?

"First they arrested the Communists -- but I was not a Communist, so I did nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat, so I did nothing. Then they arrested the trade unionists -- and I did nothing because I was not one. And then they came for the Jews and the Catholics, but I was neither a Jew nor a Catholic and I did nothing. At last they came and arrested me -- and there was no one left to do anything about it."

- Rev Martin Niemoller (Nazi Prison Survivor)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

No Longer My Country

They've taken my country away. They who refuse to think. They who are "faith-based" and therefore easily deceived. As Eric Alterman puts it:

"They don’t care that Iraq is turning into murderous quicksand and a killing field for our children. They don’t care that the Bush presidency has made us less safe by creating more terrorists, inspiring more anti-American hatred and refusing to engage in the hard work that would be necessary to make a meaningful dent in our myriad vulnerabilities at home. They don’t care that he has mortgaged our children’s future to give trillions to the wealthiest among us. They don’t care that the economy continues to hemorrhage well-paying jobs and replace them with Wal-Mart; that the number without health insurance is over forty million and rising. They don’t care that Medicare premiums are rising to fund the coffers of pharmaceutical companies. They don’t care that the air they breathe and the water they drink is being slowly poisoned and though they call themselves conservatives, they even don’t care that the size of the government and its share of our national income has increased by roughly a quarter in just four years. This is not a world of rational debate and issue preference.

It’s one of “them” and “us.” He’s one of “them” and not one of “us” and that’s all they care about. True it’s an illusion. After all, Bush is a millionaire’s son who went to Yale and Harvard and sat out Vietnam, not even bothering to show up for his cushy National Guard duty, and succeeded only in trading on his father’s name and connections in adult life. But somehow, they feel he understands them. He speaks their language. Our guys don’t. And unless they learn it, we will continue to condemn this country and those parts of the world it affects to a regime of malign neglect at best—malignant and malicious assault at worse. "

They will get the country they deserve. But its not my country anymore.

Do as the Amish

The people of Ohio must be shunned.

Four Years of Fear

And worse. I think the website filter at work is preventing me from downloading Tbogg this morning, but go look. He's got it about right, although I think not quite as bad as its going to be.

I Smell a Rat

A big stinking rat. Something is not right. An incumbent who has less than a 50% approval rating and who was showing a downward trend in polls wins with this big of a margin? No, something stinks, probably in Ohio.

As a colleague just emailed to me: No way any logical breathing human can believe Bush is capable of running this country…

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


A lot of businesses are offering a free something or a discount if you have a "I voted" sticker. I know DoubleTree hotels are giving a free cookie (they are really, really, really good!) to voters and a local Ben & Jerry's is giving a free ice cream. Other businesses are offering 10 or 20 percent discounts on purchases. So, yet another reason to vote!


I voted this morning -- absolutely no one in line at 8:40 in the morning. Surprising. Anyway, the deed is done for me. The only thing left now is the waiting -- but hope and help are on the way!

Saw John Edwards and Jon Bon Jovi last week in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was great fun. Amazing how orchestrated these things are -- like mini-rock shows. But it was great anyway.

My voting experience was easy as pie -- unlike my son's. Unfortunately, my son is in jail and has been for several weeks. (It was inevitable, given his determination to live the thug life. Fortunately, this means we can get him into a 2-year rehab program and hopefully break the pattern of drugs and criminality he's been into.) He is a registered voter and not a felon, so he's eligible to vote. I got him an absentee ballot and asked the sheriff in charge of the jail to help. He stonewalled me for several hours, but once he made up his mind that this was OK, he quickly took care of things and my son voted. Another jailer told me that in her 12 years of working there, I was the first person to ever bring an absentee ballot to the jail. Strange. But he voted for Kerry/Edwards -- one more vote for our next president!

Monday, November 01, 2004


Popular vote:

Kerry 52%
Bush 46%

Electoral votes:

Kerry 287
Bush 251

I give Kerry these crucial states (plus the usual blue states):

Florida (27)
Michigan (17)
Pennsylvania (21)
Minnesota (10)
Iowa (7)
Arkansas (6)
New Mexico (5)

I give Bush Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin, plus the usual red states.

Ohio, though, could still swing our way.