Saturday, March 13, 2004

Here's a mirror to Robert Cox's now-nearly-infamous fake NYT Corrections page.

Note that Op-Edders on both sides of the great divide get hit. Krugman, Safire, you name it, they get exposed. This is strictly a well-deserved slam of the Senile Old Lady itself.

Paper of record my ass. At this point, it should be paper with a record.
Spotted on Atrios -- the press has started reporting Bush's gaffes again.

And what's up with that picture? Bush looks like he's auditioning for Jack Palance's part in a remake of Shane, legs splayed, ready to draw his six-shooter at the least provocation.

Mind you, in his head he probably thinks of himself as Alan Ladd. Not with that sour puss though.
So here's my question: which sci-fi (pardon me, spec fic) metaphor is most appropriate for Dennis Hastert now?

1) Has he been snatched? Are they, in fact, here, and am I next?

2) Is he a replicant? And for that matter, is he a benefit or a hazard?

3) Maybe he's just from Andromeda. Remember kids: kicking ass and chewing bubble-gum at the same time is a health hazard. You might choke.

Personally, I think I'd prefer something more literary... Hastert, Hastur... it's close enough for government work.

Friday, March 12, 2004

This is how you win an election:

Step One -- Define your opponents.

Step Two -- Wait for said opponents to bitch and moan about the definition.

Step Three -- Reinforce the definition using their own words and actions.

Lather, rinse, yadda yadda yadda. See how easy that was?

Oh, and if you think this was just a lucky break for the Dems, look at the timing. Kerry made his "unguarded" comments on Wednesday; Tony Pugh's Medicare estimate story first hit the wires Thursday. Plenty of time and plenty of ways for the Dems to get a tip-off about what was coming down the pike.
Lord have mercy. The new Bush ad hasn't even hit heavy rotation yet and already... well, check it for yourself.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

It's only the National Review, and I can't imagine this is something the Pubs want to get into, but nonetheless it deserves a spanking:

In a guest column, Andrew Cline takes Kerry to task for not "correcting the terminology" of a supporter who asked, "What can you do to prevent them from stealing the election again?"

After listing a host of other verbal 'sins' on Kerry's part regarding the 2000 election, Cline drops the hammer. On his own thumb:

Apparently Kerry (along with most Democrats) forgot that USA Today, the Miami Herald, the Tampa Tribune, the Bradenton Herald, Florida Today, the Tallahassee Democrat, the News-Press of Fort Myers, the Pensacola News Journal, Knight-Ridder newspapers, and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago (hired by the Washington Post, the New York Times, and several other newspapers) all reviewed the Florida election results of 2000, and found that not only did Bush win the ballots that were officially counted, but he also won after counting every ballot cast.

This is, to put it charitably... aw, forget charity. It's a lie.

This was the result of that comprehensive (as much as it could be) recount:

- if the recount procedure proposed at the time by the Gore camp had been used, Bush wins.

- if the recount procedure proposed at the time by the Bush camp had been used, Bush wins.

This was the basis of all the "Bush won Florida" headlines. Remember, though, that neither side called for a full recount of every ballot; both sides 'cherry-picked' specific counties to be recounted.

The punchline was buried much further down in the articles:

- if every vote in the state had been recounted using any conceivable standard, Gore wins.

Wanna count hanging chads? Gore wins. Don't wanna count 'em? Gore wins. Apply a unified standard to all votes? Gore wins. Let each county individually determine their standard? Gore wins.

Big Media desperately wants to forget how they screwed that one up. Nobody else should ever forget.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Kerry stated the bleedin' obvious today in Chicago:

Kerry's comments came during a stop at a sheet metal plant in Chicago as he shook hands with workers.

"Tell it like it is," a man at the Hill Mechanical Group told him. "Keep smiling."

"Oh yeah, don't worry, man," the senator from Massachusetts responded. "We're going to keep pounding, let me tell you. We're just beginning to fight here.

"These guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group I've ever seen," Kerry added. "It's scary."

Even better was Bush mouthpiece Steve Schmidt's response afterwards. I'm (barely) paraphrasing:

"John Kerry is a negative nelly whose relentlessly negative campagning radiates negativity, and is negative and not positive. His negative negativizing is negatrocious."

The amazing thing to me is how woefully unprepared the Bush campaign seems to be for all this. They apparently thought 2004 was going to be a cakewalk. Whoops.
Kevin Drum beat me to it, but take a look at the varied, at times contradictory headlines on CIA head George Tenet's recent Congressional testimony.

Normally an Al-Jazeera story would stick out like a sore thumb on that list, but this time it's only slightly more strident than some. Meanwhile, other readers are going to get the impression that Tenet exonerated the White House, just like David Kay did.

It'll be interesting to see if a consensus emerges out of that chaos.
Willie is such a tease.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

I'm sure Black Box Voting will have more on this story soon, but here's the initial press offering on the Orange County voting snafu:

Elections officials said some poll workers gave voters incorrect computer access codes, which resulted in voters accessing electronic ballots for elections outside their districts.

An exact number of incorrect votes is impossible to determine because of steps taken to ensure voter confidentiality, said David Hart, chairman of Texas-based Hart InterCivic, which manufactured Orange County's voting system.

See, it can't possibly be the fault of the machines, or the programming. Human error is the only possible flaw in this, the best of all possible voting systems.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Look who's taking leads from the RNC!

Here's a jaunty little note on GOP.com painting the Dem's candidate red (thanks to JMM for the link).

Meanwhile, back on February 16, Mickey Kaus oh-so-cutely linked to Barnes & Nobles' page for the Manchurian Candidate when taking a shot at Kerry ("Senator Kerry is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being we've ever known in our lives.") Hmmm...

Of course on February 24 Kaus wondered whether GOP talking points were the only source for Josh Muravchik's Washington Post piece on Kerry voting against weapons systems which would leave us vulnerable to the Godless Communists.

Not that Muravchik says that, of course. That's Mickey's job.

UPDATE: Of course Mickey is going to say, if cornered, that his Manchurian Candidate ref was just a nod back towards some of the anti-McCain stuff that came out during the Pub primaries in 2000, and the fact that they've started in on that line again just shows how vulnerable Kerry is blah blah blah. But whether Kaus is a willing fifth columnist or unwilling dupe for the RNC doesn't really matter to me. He's spreading their memes.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

I haven't vanished -- I just wanted to leave the Aristide posts up for a while, since the US media was steadfastly ignoring the story. If you want to keep up with the latest just click on the 'Narcosphere' link there on the left.

These two puzzle pieces are almost sad in their inevitability, though:

Haitian rebel fighters refuse to disarm -- The National Post

Police chief bans personal weapons -- Chicago Tribune

The new police chief is the ex-head of the Haitian Coast Guard Leon Charles, appointed by interim president and former Supreme Court chief justice Boniface Alexandre. Charles was trained in the US, but I don't think much more is known about him. Or Alexandre, for that matter. Either way I think it's safe to guess they'll both be more willing to play ball with the White House than Aristide was.

The real question with those two headlines, though, is whether that ban applies to Guy Phillipe and his thugs. I'm gonna guess no. Alexandre has already said the rebel leaders won't be arrested for their past crimes, minor misdemeanors like murder and such.

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