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A blog about politics, news, science and whatever else strikes my fancy. -- A member of the Reality-based Commmunity.
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:: Friday, July 16, 2004 ::

Medical Class Warfare

Krugman asks a simple question.
The difference couldn't be starker. Mr. Kerry offers a health care plan that would extend coverage to most of those now uninsured, paid for by rolling back tax cuts for those with incomes over $200,000. President Bush offers a tax credit that would extend coverage to fewer than 5 percent of the uninsured, plus a new tax break for the affluent that would actually increase the number of uninsured. As I said last week, I don't see how Mr. Bush can win this debate.
The answer is simple: He'll lie. A lot. And instead of, you know, investigating and determining the truth and other old-fashioned things, the media will report Bush's statements with a straight face, contrast them with Kerry's statements, and not bother to actually note the real differences between the plan.

"Shape of the Earth: Views Differ", and all that jazz.

:: Morat 8:58 AM :: ::

Congress's Inquiry Into Abuse of Iraqi Prisoners Bogs Down

Can't really argue with this, can you?
The Congressional investigation into the abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison has virtually ground to halt, as a senior Senate Republican said Thursday that no new hearings would be held on the matter until this fall at the earliest.
I mean, it'd just be totally unfair to Bush if people, you know, happened to find out about all this torturing and stuff. It's in the best interests of American democracy that the actual facts of Bush's first term be released after the election. It's only fair. We won't know the facts of Kerry's first term until after the election, so why should Kerry get an advantage? Anyone who says otherwise is just a partisan hack....
  More seriously, if Hersh's allegations bear out....not all the partisan flunkies in the world are going to save Bush's ass. I've got enough faith in the American public to believe that -- Freepers aside -- even the most staunch Bush supporter would be driven away by images of US-sanctioned sodomy of boys and US-sanctioned rape of Iraqi women.

:: Morat 8:25 AM :: ::

:: Thursday, July 15, 2004 ::

On the perils of ignorance

Not to put to fine a point on it, but I've gotten really sick of people who haven't seen F9/11 explain to me (who has seen it) what it's all about. What's worse, is they get highly indignant and upset when I correct them, and often accuse me of either outright lying, or being "fooled" by Michael Moore.

This persists even to such seemingly trivial matters as me noting that "Actually, that section lasted maybe 20 to 30 seconds, not several minutes" and less-trivial matters like "No, Moore didn't say that. Unger said that, in response to a question. And he, in fact, used the word 'estimates' in his answer".

It's gotten to the point where I'm fairly snappish about it (and to the point where my wife, who hasn't seen it, actually snapped at her parents for critiquing it without seeing it). Don't get me wrong: You can hate Michael Moore all you want. You can consider him a serial liar, if you want. (Do bear in mind that "Michael Moore sucks, ergo F9/11 sucks is a classic ad hominem fallacy and doesn't actually count as "critique"). I don't really care. But if you're going to spend time talking about how lousy the film is and haven't even seen it, don't expect me to take your opinion seriously.

Hell, I'm not even putting up with that crap from my own father. Why would I put up with such idiocy from you? Watch it and then complain about it. I'd be happy to discuss it. But until then, you're talking out of your ass, brainlessly parroting the opinions of others.

When you get one of your own, come back to me and we'll chat.
:: Morat 10:21 AM :: ::

Lend a helping hand

If you contribute to a blog, take ten minutes and help these nice folks with their survey. It doesn't take long, and the more participants, the more detailed their data.
:: Morat 7:52 AM :: ::

The Florida Scrub List

Billmon mentions another intriguing little factiod about the new -- if now happily deceased -- 2004 Florida scrub list:
But once they had a chance to examine the list, it didn't take too long for the media to realize there was something strange about it: It had virtually no Hispanic names on it. Apparently, in the entire state of Florida there were roughly 50 Hispanic ex-cons whose named needed to be lifted from the voting rolls - this in a state where 1 in 5 residents is Hispanic.

Of course, one of the noteworthy things about Florida's Hispanic community (or at least the Cuban part of it) is that it tends to vote heavily Republican. The Cubans went for big brother Bush by something like an 80% margin in the last election.

So once again, coincidence had conspired to create a fraudulent felon list heavily slanted in favor of Jeb Bush's big brother. How unlucky can you get?
I'd heard that there were surprisingly few Hispanics on it, but I hadn't actually grasped the magnitude of the...um..."statistical anomaly" until now.
:: Morat 7:28 AM :: ::

Sy Hersh Makes Paul Krugman Look Like Dear Abby

Oh god, please let Hersh be wrong...:
Seymour Hersh says the US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

'The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking,' the reporter told an ACLU convention last week. Hersh says there was 'a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher.' ...
What's there to say, other than to fervently wish that Hersh is confused, or lying, or something and that this allegation isn't true. Consider it my only wish for Christmas......(and The Poor Man has much the same wish).
:: Morat 7:06 AM :: ::

:: Wednesday, July 14, 2004 ::

Senate Scuttles Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriage

Good job, guys.
The Senate voted today to block a White House-backed constitutional amendment to bar same-sex marriages, dooming its prospects for approval by Congress this year but ensuring it an emotionally-charged role during campaigns this fall.

The vote was 48-50 against bringing up the amendment -- 12 short of the 60 votes needed to limit debate and 19 short of the two-thirds majority that it would take to amend the Constitution.
Way to shoot yourself in the foot there, Georgie. Your desperate attempt to change the subject from "Giant Mess O'Potamia" to "Gay Marriage" not only failed miserably, but you look like a fool because your party couldn't even get 50 votes together.

Why you thought this was a good idea is beyond me. You've spent the last four years avoiding exactly this sort of showdown between your moderate image and your fanatically conservative base.....so for you to embrace it now shows that even you're not optimistic about that second term.
:: Morat 10:49 AM :: ::

:: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 ::

A personal F9/11 update

My father has -- after much hemming and hawing -- admitted he'll see it. Why is this important? Because my father is a staunch conservative. His exposure to F9/11 has been primarily through emails in which he -- and others -- proclaim it as liberal propaganda and wall-to-wall lies. It won't change his mind. It won't change his vote. But his reaction will, I think, be enlightening.

My wife most likely attend as well (she's been a little leery of the gore). She's very liberal, politically well informed, and votes religiously but is not an activist. I'm looking forward to hearing both their opinions.

Hopefully they'll manage to see it this weekend. My dad's main sticking point was "not wanting to put money in Michael Moore's pocket" but agree that if someone else paid, that'd be okay. (He wouldn't admit the truth, which is that his wife badgered him into it). My brother and I had the amusing notion of contacting Michael Moore, and seeing if he was willing to pay the 8.50 for a ticket in exchange for before-and-after interview with my father. Moore doesn't know it, but my dad is the staunch red-state conservative Moore's needed to interview all his life. Not anyone important, not anyone rich or influential, but the sort of man who is, literally, the heart and soul of the Republican party.

Too many people focus on the religious extremists and the wealthy, and fail to note that the core of the Republican party is a bunch of middle-aged, middle-class men and women who believe -- rightly or wrongly -- that the GOP keeps their taxes low and the government out of their business. They're a little uncomfortable with Limbaugh and Coulter, claiming that they're a bit "over the top" but have good points. They're not too interested in abortion, or stem-cell research, or gay marriage....they just want low taxes, efficient government, and someone to protect them from "liberal programs". (Just to point out how far out of line their idea of "liberal programs" is with reality, my father honestly believes that there's no real difference between Kerry and Kuninich. You'd have to press him hard to get him to admit that Gore and Nader didn't see eye-to-eye on everything....especially taxes).

Amusingly, as much as my father dislikes Moore, he'd do the interview in a heartbeat. He's not one to pass up a chance to let the world know how he feels. I like him all the same, and he is a good man and an excellent father. It's just when it comes to politics, he bought into the "Tax-and-spend" liberal thing a long time ago and doesn't see any reason to believe it's not true...

But, failing Michael Moore showing up with nine bucks and a camera, I'll settle for paying the ticket price myself. I'd like to know what he thinks, even if the answer is "liberal lies".
:: Morat 1:19 PM :: ::

Texas Tuesdays: Jeanette Popp -- For The Children

The new Texas Tuesdays is up, this time featuring Jeanette Popp. She's running for House District 99, and she is not your usual politician. Go check it out.
:: Morat 9:10 AM :: ::

I have returned...

And I'm a bit more tanned. It was a fun enough vacation (all three days of it). Caleb -- my son -- had a wonderful time, especially at Medieval Times. My wife managed to pick up a screaming ear infection around, oh, 3:00 AM friday morning, so I had the opportunity to investigate the Dallas hospitals.

Thankfully, she's starting to get better. All in all, it was a fun weekend, if you discount the ear pain. I was very tired yesterday, hence the lack of posting. I hope to, you know, actually say something of worth today.

And just a side note: He said he didn't like the adult rollercoaster, but I noticed he was a heck of a lot cheerier after he rode it. And, not that I'd say anything to him, but I noticed that Caleb stopped trying to back out of his promise when he noticed a bunch of six year olds run happily off the coaster, apparently having had the time of their lives. No self-respecting seven year old (almost eight!) could fail to go where babies -- as he put it -- happily tread.
:: Morat 8:51 AM :: ::

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