:: 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

:: Wednesday, October 27, 2004 ::

Sproul and Voter Registrations

Well, you can add a fourth state to Sproul's list: Minnesota. Not as cut and dried as the Nevada, Oregon and West Virginia claims but it appears Sproul and Associates have been playing naughty games in four states...and probably more.

Look, I realize that GOTV drives and such ARE open to hanky-panky. All it takes is one unsupervised volunteer or employee to do something stupid. It's regrettable, but it happens. Sometimes through malice, sometimes through stupidity. As long as it's not condoned, it's merely a nuisance.

This, on the other hand, is a multi-state effort. It's not the work of a misguided employee or bent supervisor. It's coming from the top down.
:: Morat 8:19 AM :: ::

Just in case...

Some moron -- assuming he's serious -- has left two comments about the "missing explosives". To wit, this moron seems to think the UN was unaware of the existence of those explosives, which just proves how incompetent the UN is.

Now, just in case this is the new right-wing spin (Official motto: When caught, lie. The American public is too stupid to figure it out anyways!), let me reiterate: The explosives were under IAEA seal. The IAEA is a UN organization. The UN was, therefore, quite aware of the existence of the explosives. A fact that is blatantly obvious from even a casual reading of the papers, as it's mentioned several times that the UN inspectors specifically warned the US about the existence of that stockpile, so the US would be sure to guard it.

Which, in fact, the US didn't do. Mainly because the US doesn't have enough boots on the ground to handle even the basics of, you know, securing 380 tons of the most powerful conventional explosives around.

The UN had it covered. George Bush fucked it up.
:: Morat 6:59 AM :: ::

:: Tuesday, October 26, 2004 ::

Kerry versus Bush

Let me cull out all the issues and get down to the nitty-gritty on why ANY undecided voter (assuming any such mythical beast exists) should vote for Kerry.

On any given policy, George Bush will fuck it up. He might have the right policy. He might have the correct instinct. He might be all ready to do the correct, smart, and moral thing. But he'll fuck it up. Because that's what he does. He's fucked up everything he's touched his entire life, and the last four years have offered conclusive proof that George Bush should never, ever be given an iota of power because his fuck-ups as President were so huge, so wide-ranging, so breath-taking that it'll take a decade or more, minimum, to fix.

On any given policy: Kerry might or might not have the right policy. He might or might not have the correct instinct. He might or might not be ready to do the correct, smart, or moral thing. But chances are, he'll be competent at what he does. His whole frickin' life has been about competence. Even when he screws up, he's managed to fix the damn thing in a competent way.

So there are your choices. Bush is incapable, by his very nature, of implementing the correct policy. Any policy he makes will, because of his stunning incompetence, morph into a clusterfuck of nightmarish proportions. Kerry, on the other hand, at least has a chance of competently implementing the right policy. And even if he fails, he's got a history of minimizing the damage caused.

So, there you go: Always wrong versus Always competent. Take your pick.
:: Morat 1:41 PM :: ::

Missing Explosives for Dummies

It appears some people are having difficulty grasping the magnitude of the "missing explosives" problem. While I won't name any names (*cough* White House *cough*), I felt -- just in case Karl Rove reads this blog -- that he might check out this helpful cartoon which makes the point in multiple ways, and might perhaps force even idiots to understand this. Plus, funny. In a horrible, tragic way that makes my soul weep.
:: Morat 9:57 AM :: ::

Believe

Simply brilliant. Go read. Pass to friends. (Link via Daily Kos)
:: Morat 9:32 AM :: ::

:: Monday, October 25, 2004 ::

Desperation....

This, my friends, is desperation. According to the worthies at Red State, the "Big Story" that will sink Kerry is that he lied about meeting every member of the Security Council two years ago. It turns out he only met with the permanent members and some of the current members.

Yeah. They're serious. They think this is big news. They think people care. They think it'll swing the whole election. For all I know, they think it'll cure gout.

That's desperation. More than that, it's a willful denial of reality. I'm not sure, honestly, how to handle it. Some of the Red State contributors are people who -- to all intents and purposes -- seemed to be intelligent, well-read people. We disagreed on a lot of things, but the very nature of reality wasn't one of them.

Look at it. Read the comments. Try to wrap your brain around it. I simply cannot understand how this story -- assuming it's even true -- is somehow a big deal, much less an election breaker.

I really can't grasp it. It's like so many conservatives have invested everything -- heart, soul and mind -- into George W. Bush that he's almost like their personal messiah. They literally cannot accept the possibility that Bush isn't a good President. They can't accept he might have made mistakes. They'll ignore their own lying eyes in order to keep their image of Bush pristine.

Jesus, if Kerry screws up his first term as bad as Bush did, I'd vote for a pet rock over him in 2008. God knows I don't consider Kerry to be a standard-bearer for liberalism or excellence. I'm hoping he'll make a good President, but lord knows he wasn't my first choice.

But reading that, reading their take...all I can do is wonder what the hell they're going to do when Bush loses. They've taken "blind faith" to another level, and I'm not sure they can handle losing. I don't think they'll ever see Kerry as legitimate, even in a blowout. They'll always be convinced that some "conspiracy" (media, legal, or dirty tricks) did it. Jesus Christ himself could bring down tablets written by God stating that Kerry won "fair and square" and they still wouldn't accept it.

I don't understand that. I'm not like that. I don't even understand that. Kerry may be a lousy President. He might fuck things up so badly it'll make Bush look good. I don't expect it, but I'll toss his ass out if he does. I don't think the Democratic Party is the party of saints, or that the Republicans are the party of the devil. I don't think George Bush is evil, merely incompetent, and once his ass is back in Crawford I don't care what he does. It's not like I'm going to follow him around darkly hinting about his master plan to put Laura in the White House or anything.

To me, to virtually every liberal I've ever met, the Democratic Party and the Democratic candidates represent compromise and consensus. The candidates they put forward are never perfect, the platform always leaves much to be desired, but in the end it's just a process for getting things done. But I don't have faith in the Democratic Party. It's a tool to bring together disparate views and try to hammer our something workable.

Frankly, the conservatives have -- under the auspices of the Texas Republicans -- created a scary hybrid of Church, Politics and -- for lack of a better term -- sports. It's created a place where ideology trumps everything, including facts, and is supported by a fervent belief that does not accept criticism. And if all else fails, they fall back on "My team, good or bad, is always better than the other team.".

I realize this is rambling, but....this bugs me. We've got a huge chunk of America that doesn't care about whether something works. They don't care what the consequences are. They don't care about anything but winning, and nothing will change their mind. Nothing. And God knows, any losses won't be their fault.

How do people like this function?

Edited to add: And on a more pragmatic note, give it up, guys. It's a week before the election. "Serial exaggerater" was the Gore smear. You guys went with flip-flopping, and it's too damn late to make a new one stick. You know you're desperate when you're reaching back to the last election, hoping to God something works.
:: Morat 1:42 PM :: ::

Explosive

John Kerry hit hard on the missing explosives.
'This is one of the great blunders of Iraq, one of the greatest blunders of this administration and the incredible incompetence of this President and this administration has put our troops at risk and this country at greater risk,' Mr Kerry told a campaign rally in Dover, New Hampshire.

'The unbelievable blindness, stubbornness, arrogance of this administration to do the basics has now allowed this President to once again fail the test of being commander in chief.'
And this was the White House response:
The Bush campaign dismissed Mr Kerry's criticism, without responding to the allegations. 'John Kerry has no vision for fighting and winning the War on Terror, so he is basing his attacks on the headlines he wakes up to each day,' said a campaign spokesman, Steve Schmidt.
Well, Steve, I don't know about you but it appears to me that John Kerry has a vision of not letting terrorists take 760,000 pounds of high explosives.

George Bush, on the other hand, doesn't seem to mind letting 760,000 pounds of high explosives walk off.

George Bush's War of Choice just handed about fifty years worth of the best, most stable, and hardest to detect explosives in the world to terrorists. It's enough to blow up every commercial airliner ever built, for Pete's sake. If I was a grunt in Iraq, I'd be pissing myself right now. 760,000 pounds of this stuff, and you can bet it's what's been blowing up US soldiers for the past year.

Less than a pound of this stuff took down the Lockerbie flight, and the Iraqi insurgents have about 5 pounds of this stuff for every US soldier in Iraq. (Via Josh Marshall, who is all over this story).
:: Morat 11:53 AM :: ::

Jon Stewart's Political Agenda

Lookit, Ma! Another journalist who hasn't grasped that Jon Stewart's job is to make fun of journalists.

Seriously, it's like there's this giant blind spot from the Talking Heads. They can't seem to grasp that they're the real butt of the joke. Politics and current events are just the medium.
:: Morat 11:19 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