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:: Friday, October 08, 2004 ::

Bush's mystery bulge

I don't really buy the "Bush Was Wired at the debate" theory, and suspect that the bulge in his jacket is from a bulletproof vest or other form of body armor. It all depends on how paranoid the Secret Service was being and whether Bush had any desire to stand up to them.

If the Secret Service had their way, Bush would probably live inside a bulletproof glass cage which could be wheeled from place to place. Kind of the ultimate "Pope-mobile".

However, on the off chance he was, I suspect someone -- either from the Kerry camp or the media -- will probably bring in some fun electronics. To either sniff out and record the transmission (should one exist) or, more simply, see if they can jam it.

It's fun either way, although I'd lean more towards the "earsplitting feedback" approach myself. Then again, I'm making that choice based solely on "comedic value".
:: Morat 12:54 PM :: ::

Ouch...

Well, looks like the facts continue to have an "anti-Bush" bias. Only 96,000 jobs? And a downward revision of last month's numbers. And I understand the household survey numbers are even worse.

I wonder if this will finally make Bush understand that actions have consequences? Or will he continue to leave in his fluffy pink fantasyland where whims become reality?
:: Morat 11:17 AM :: ::

:: Thursday, October 07, 2004 ::

Domestic Issues

I think our office shifted a little bit more towards the Kerry camp today. You see, our insurance re-up information has started arriving in the mail. Which means it's time to play the game "See how much my health care premiums increased this year!".

Our company offers two HMO plans (Company A and B), and two PPO plans (Both Company A, with different levels of coverage). Now, the vast bulk of the office uses the Company B HMO plan, because Company A has been having "issues" with the bulk of area hospitals. They resolved those issues about six months ago, but when we were choosing health care, about 75% of local hospitals were only covered under "emergency care".

Company B's HMO premium shot up 68% for a family of four. Company A's went up 2%. Both PPO's increased around 20%. We have no data on what sort of changes in coverage we're facing (increased co-pays or whatnot), and as for medicine, we only know we're switching coverage. We're not sure to whom yet. (Payment information was up on the company web, but coverage information was mailed).

Now, 90% of my office is looking at either a 68% jump in health care or switching to an HMO with a habit of alienating local hospitals because they're so tight-fisted. I believe the deadline is the week of the elections. Somehow I think "the rising costs of healthcare" will be on their minds.
:: Morat 11:08 AM :: ::

"Global Test"

I was catching up on the Daily Show last night (God bless TiVo!) and noticed that Jon Stewart hammered that "global test" nonsense pretty hard. I'm looking forward to mentioning to my father that his gullibility was the butt of a Daily Show joke.

As Rob Cordury noted, the problem lies "Between what John Kerry means and what the Republican Party says he means".

:: Morat 11:04 AM :: ::

:: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 ::

Edwards keeps the Democrats' rally going.

I rant on Saletan often enough, but I think he hits the crux of the debate:
Cheney and Edwards apparently went into this debate with different theories of what it was for. When moderator Gwen Ifill asked them to discuss their differences, Cheney said 'the most important consideration in picking a vice president' was having 'somebody who could take over.' Edwards answered the same question by outlining Kerry's platform, virtues, and accomplishments. Cheney seemed to think most viewers were tuning in to judge the vice presidential nominees. Edwards seemed to think they were tuning in to hear about the presidential nominees.
He's exactly right. Who won, or whether it was a tie, depends entirely on who was watching -- and why. It's not a question you need to ask for the Presidential candidates, but for the Veeps? Most certainly.

Cheney seemed to be trying to fill the same role he filled in 2000: He's there to reassure Bush voters that even if Bush really is a bit of a lightweight at times, dear old Uncle Cheney and his years of experience are there to help. That was a big help in 2000, when a big question was Bush's relative lack of experience.

On the other hand, in 2000, the American public was looking at a large budget surplus, a peaceful world, and no real calamities on the horizon. Electing a political lightweight wasn't a bad idea in -- to steal a phrase -- a pre-9/11 world.

Voters in 2004, however, just saw the sitting President barely clear the "didn't drool" bar in a debate, are facing a massive deficit, and a war that's turned into a quagmire. And did I mention they were starting to worry about the draft?

In a post-9/11 world, I'm not so sure the public is willing to trust that Uncle Cheney will keep junior on the right track. Especially since the public doesn't really like Uncle Cheney all that much to begin with.
:: Morat 9:46 AM :: ::

:: Tuesday, October 05, 2004 ::

Recounting a conversation...

I had dinner with my family last night. We're talking around the table (there are a lot of us. My parents, my wife, my brother and his pseudo-girlfriend) and my father chirps up with "So, I hear that if the US was attacked, Kerry says he'd have to ask France's permission before responding.". The conversation then proceeded like this:

Me: Really? Where did you hear that?
Dad: In the paper.
Brother: I'm guessing it was an of-Ed piece. Ann "She so Crazy" Coulter maybe?
Me: I'm curious myself. So, did you hear it from a liar or a moron?
Dad: What?
Me: Liar or moron? Whoever told you that was either a liar or a moron. Which was it?
Dad: Well, that's what it say.
Brother: Dad, Kerry was crystal clear. I saw the debate. He started it off with the sentence "I will never cede the authority to respond to attacks or utilize the US military" and then proceeded to talk about how US military actions had to meet a certain standard.
Dad: Yeah, France's.
Me: No. He was talking about "Reality", and the people grading the test included the American people. In short, if you bullshit the American people and the world on why you're doing it, they're not going to be pleased when they find out.
Chris: They'll say things like: "Screw you, it's your damn war. Why should I help?"
Dad: So he'll ask France's permission.
Mom: Gary, stop being a dumbass. You and I both know that you're not happy Bush bullshitted you about the war, and all Kerry's saying is that if you have to bullshit the public to get them to support your war, it's probably not worth fighting. Hell, you've said it yourself.
Dad: Well, I'm just saying what I read...
Mom: Maybe if you read smarter people, or at least more honest people, I wouldn't have to call you a dumbass in front of your kids....
Dad: Maybe...

He took it in good grace. As he's taking the fact that his front yard has grown two Kerry/Edwards signs. He realizes that, practically speaking, the family vote is something like 3-1 Democrat, rather than the usual 2-2 tie. Add in the extending family, and he's awfully lonely....

:: Morat 8:58 AM :: ::

:: Monday, October 04, 2004 ::

Rocket Wins $10M Prize for Trip to Space

Wah-ooo!:
A stubby private rocket plane blasted through the Earth's atmosphere for a second time in a week on Monday, capturing a $10 million prize meant to encourage space tourism.
Sweet, sweet engineering...

Did anyone ever explain what caused those rolls the first time around?
:: Morat 11:30 AM :: ::

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