:: Skeptical Notion

A blog about politics, news, science and whatever else strikes my fancy. -- A member of the Reality-based Commmunity.
:: Welcome to Skeptical Notion :: bloghome | contact | Syndicate this site (XML RSS) | Skeptical Notion is proud to be an ePatriot. Donate to the DNC today!
[::..Donate..::]
DNC
Skeptical Notion Tip Jar
[::..Archive..::]
Archives
[::..Favorite Blogs..::]
Talking Points Memo
Daily Kos
Hit and Run
Tapped
Eschaton
Political Animal
Thinking It Through
Counterspin Central
The Agonist
Tacitus
OxBlog
The Volokh Conspiracy
The Whiskey Bar
Shadow of the Hegemon
Angry Bear
Paul Krugman's Home Page
Hullabaloo
Debitage
The Left Coaster
Byzantium Shores
Pharyngula
Uncertain Principles
Planet Swank
The Notion
Fester's Place
Opinions You Should Have
Smijer
Dispatches from the Culture Wars
The Panda's Thumb
Bob Harris
Driftglass
[::..Other Blogs..::]
American Leftist
Intl
[::..Fun Sites..::]
The Onion
The Brunching Shuttlecocks
Something Positive
Penny Arcade

:: Friday, August 27, 2004 ::

For the record....

I enjoy my job. I enjoy some of the challenges, and I enjoy knowing I'm making a contribution to a field I find particularly interesting. However, just for the record, let me assure everyone that I hate having to substantially modify a delivered product. I can understand the desire for the new feature, but it's requiring me to mess with some very core aspects of the design....and because the product is delivered, any mistakes I make have the potential of screwing the product in a highly visible way.

In short: I love beta testing....and the fact that I'm having to go from "in-house testers" (IE: me) to "in-use" for this is vexsome.
:: Morat 1:13 PM :: ::

:: Thursday, August 26, 2004 ::

A question...

I've heard people talk (I'm thinking "Glenn Reynolds" here, as an ideal example) about how Kerry "isn't serious" about terrorism. How so? What has Kerry ever done -- or failed to do -- that would somehow indicate he wasn't serious about terrorism?

I can think of only two substantive differences between Kerry and Bush on terrorism. Kerry would -- most likely -- choose a more multinational approach, and he does not conflate Iraq and Terrorism.

Since the first is a matter of approach, not a matter of "how serious" it's taken, and I'd imagine few people still hew to the Saddam Hussein == TEH TERRORISM theory, I'm at something of a loss.

How, exactly, is Kerry "weak" on terrorism?
:: Morat 10:47 AM :: ::

Cleland's visit...

This comment on Daily Kos summed up my entire reaction to Cleland's visit (and Bush's subsequent refusal to see him):
Not that, in itself, this is anything. This was a campaign stunt, a two-bit trick. But that's the point.

If you play poker, you know that, often, at a point early in the game, you'll play a clumsy bluff. You want to see what the other players do. You don't care if you lose that particular hand.

But if you do win, then you're laughing. You know you own the table.

This was an easy little bluff for Bush to call. As countless people have noted at this point, all he had to do was come out, lay on the phony Texas charm, and take the letter. Instead he folded like wet cardboard.

In itself, this means nothing. One mildly bad news cycle. but if I were Kerry's campaign manager, I'd be very, very, happy tonight.
Damn straight.
:: Morat 10:18 AM :: ::

:: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 ::

And let the whining begin!

I note that Hit and Run has devoted two blog entries to complaining Jon Stewart gave Kerry a softball interview. Color me "unsurprised".

The only time Jon Stewart ever gives his guests a hard time is if they lie right to his face. He can't seem to stand that (see Henry Bonilla and Stephen Hayes). He softballed Ann Coulter, for the love of Pete, interpreting her wingnuttery ("All liberals support terrorism") in the sanest possible light. No easy task, that.

I don't blame Hit and Run, of course. One of the key tenets of third party ideology (any third party, really) is that both parties are "equally bad", and that any time one party looks worse than the other it's because of "bias". The notion that there are occasions and instances when one party or the other is demonstrably worse than the other is not something they seem prepared to grasp.

Of course the Daily Show skewers Bush harder. First off, the man is President. He's a bigger target. More importantly, the man seems to work to give them material. Stewart's reduced to mocking Kerry's speech delivery and convoluted sentences because Kerry doesn't give him a hell of a lot more to work with.

Stewart -- and the Daily Show -- seem happiest skewering spin and other bullshit. It's what they do. And while Kerry hands out large amounts of spin all on his lonesome, it's a drop in the ocean compared to what Bush puts out.

But that's blasphemy to the Naderites, and most Libertarians I know react the same way ("they're both the same. Stop being a sheep and vote for an independent choice!"). One party spinning harder than the other? One party putting out more bullshit than the other? One party being more hypocritical of the other? BALDERDASH!

And of course, by claiming that Bush is peddling about 100 times the bullshit Kerry is peddling, I'm revealed I'm a thoughtless partisan, a complete ignoramus, and probably vote straight-ticket. Because if I was thoughtful, education, and knowledgeable...I'd be voting Libertarian. Or for Nader. Or something.

Update: What I find funniest is that, in the end, these people are indulging in the same mistake that the Daily Show skewers the media for: Assuming that everything is equal, unless you're partisan. Jon Stewart routinely harps on the "he-said, she-said" method of reporting, and this kind of complaint is exactly in line with that. "John Kerry is harder on Bush than he is on Kerry, therefore he's biased!". That the facts might have a pro-Kerry or anti-Bush bias doesn't seem to come up.

Update the Second: Jesse points out, quite rightly, that I'm hitting a bit of a strawman, as Jacob's point was that Stewart is too easy on everyone. That's true (as I noted, anyone content to throw softballs at Ann Coulter when she's proclaiming "All liberals support terrorism" and "All liberals are traitors" isn't exactly "Mr Hard Questions"). I shouldn't have conflated Jacob's piece with some "other people" experiences regarding the bias (or lack thereof) of the Daily Show. I should have been a bit more clear that I was using it as a jumping off point (although the comments on that particular post are fun to read) to tackle something slightly off topic. In all fairness to Jacob, though, it's not Stewart's job to ask hard questions, nor does he seem inclined to (unless you either lie right to his face, or indulge in the most blatant of spin right in front of him, especially if he's already covered it on his show). About the only hard questions I think Stewart really must ask are things like "Why am I considered news?" and he should pester Wolf Blitzer and Ted Koppel with that until he gets a good answer.

Update the Third: I would like to thank some of the commenters on those two Hit and Run posts (which despite my sniping at Libertarians, I to tend to read daily. Unlike, say, Instapundit, they're always interesting. I might not agree, but they've generally got something worth reading...) for making sure that my "Some people are already clamoring about the 'bias' of the Daily Show" comment was supported.
:: Morat 10:20 AM :: ::

:: Monday, August 23, 2004 ::

Howard Dean: Attack dog

I love Dean's new job. And I think he does too:
Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean called Monday on President Bush to apologize to the nation for what he called misleading campaign ads about Sen. John Kerry's record in Vietnam.

Appearing at a rally for Betty Castor's Democratic senatorial campaign at City Place in West Palm Beach, Dean said, "The president of the United States needs to apologize to John Kerry and the people of America."

Dean noted that Ken Cordier, a retired Air Force colonel who was a member of the Bush-Cheney campaign's veteran's steering committee, participated in television ad sponsored by a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that questioned the legitimacy of Kerry's Silver and Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts while commanding a Swift Boat during the Vietnam war.
[...]
Later, Dean told reporters that "the president needs to apologize to the nation for misleading the nation with false advertising and for breaking the law," by someone from his campaign being involved with the independent group's ad. Dean said he'd like to see Bush apologize on a national television broadcast.

On Sunday, Bush campaign manager Ken Melhman, appearing on NBC's Meet The Press said "there's absolutely no connection" between the Bush campaign and the Swift Boat veterans.
Of course, Dean knows Bush can't apologize, anymore than he can condemn those ads. They're his only hope. The Kerry strategy seems simple: Bush won't denounce the ads, and it's becoming more and more obvious they're connected to him.

Push the connections hard, and keep hammering at Bush for refusing to denounce it. His refusal to denounce it makes the connections look more valid, those connections give motive to the Swifties lies, and the public discounts the Swifties as partisan liars...and punish Bush for resorting to such a gutter campaign.
:: Morat 1:37 PM :: ::

Bush's America

This is the modern GOP in a nutshell.
Former Sen. Bob Dole, a World War II veteran and 1996 Republican presidential nominee, suggested Kerry apologize for his 1971 testimony to Congress about atrocities U.S. soldiers allegedly committed in Vietnam.
John Kerry needs to apologize for telling the truth to Congress. No one has even implied that Kerry misrepresented either his own experience or that of the Winter Soldiers when he testified to Congress. (We'll ignore the asshats who try to pretend -- with much culling of transcripts -- that Kerry was testifying first hand about things he was clearly attributing to Winter Soldier testimony).

What the fuck is wrong with the GOP? What sort of Bizarro-Earth is Bush's America, where telling the truth to Congress is an act you should apologize for?
:: Morat 12:07 PM :: ::

He can't do it..

One of the most memorable moments, to me (and apparently to my very conservative father) of F9/11 was when Bush literally could not say "Shame on me". It appears that's not all he can't bring himself to say:
President Bush denounced campaign commercials aired by outside groups on Monday, including an ad that accuses John Kerry of lying about his combat record in Vietnam.

"That ad and every other ad" run by such groups have no place in the campaign, Bush said when asked about the commercial sponsored by Swift Boat Veterans For Truth that has roiled the race for the White House.
It appears that he simply cannot denounce the Swifties ad, no matter how hard he tries. Which means he'll get his full share of any backlash from such a craven and pathetic smear.

But then, George Bush has always been a coward who stood behind others. He's never taken responsibilty for a single thing in his life, never taken a stand on anything that might have a personal cost. It's not just that George lacks the courage of his convictions...George doesn't even have convictions in the first place.
:: Morat 11:41 AM :: ::

In the end...

In the end, this entire flap about Kerry's service boils down to one event: His testimony before Congress, in which he related what he had learned during the Winter Soldiers investigation.

In short, he went before Congress and told them the truth. He told them that soldiers -- decorated and honorably discharged soldiers -- had personally testified to committing rapes, murders, and other atrocities. He talked about how he, John Kerry, had participated in free-fire zones -- a war crime, as I understand things.

He's being slammed by George Bush's cronies for telling the truth to Congress. That's the sheer essence of it.

It's time to ask yourself whether honesty is a virtue you want in a President. Because it has become abundantly clear which candidate prizes honesty, and which condemns it.
:: Morat 11:35 AM :: ::

[::..Current Reading..::]
cover
Recent Reading
Book Recommendations
[::..Wish List..::]
Skeptical Notion Wish List
[::..Book Posts..::]
Children's Fantasy
Fat Fantasy
Odds and Ends
Standalone Fantasy
[::..BlogAds..::]
[::..Everything Else..::]
Powered by Blogger Pro™ Listed on BlogShares Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com