First debate thoughts

 Posted by at 21:59  Election 2004
Sep 302004

I do not believe there can be any doubt in anybody’s mind that John Kerry appeared stronger and more prepared in tonight’s debate.

It was as the Associated Press reports:

Bush appeared perturbed when Kerry leveled some of his charges, scowling at times and looking away in apparent disgust at others. Kerry often took notes when the president spoke.


George Bush stumbled over his words (which is nothing new), said “um” an awful lot, and appeared to have only one message — that John Kerry sends “mixed signals.” He managed to get that message into nearly every one of his answers.

Senator Kerry, I think, did a fantastic job tonight in dispelling that myth.

If Mr. Bush spent the time preparing for tonight’s debate that his aides say he did, it certainly did not show.

Your thoughts (if you care to share them)?

Update: My favorite blogger from the other side seems to pretty much agree, though he does give Bush the victory 107-103. He also talks about Kerry’s “pompous style,” which I just don’t see. I think Senator Kerry comes across for what he is, a very intelligent and thoughtful man, and does not try to “tone it down.”

Anyhow… here’s what Hindrocket says:

I have Bush by 107-103, with no knockdowns. But, candidly, I don’t think it went that well for the President. I think Kerry helped himself tonight. He came across as a credible candidate, and he was usually on the offensive. Bush’s demeanor while Kerry was talking wasn’t good; anything but commanding. Kerry’s was better, in an odd reversal of what happened four years ago. I think Kerry made headway, and there is plenty of material there for the mainstream media to proclaim the beginning of Kerry’s comeback. An unknown is how Kerry’s pompous style will strike people who haven’t had to listen to him for more than a few seconds at a time, until now.

On the whole, though, I think Kerry helped himself tonight.

But then, I have myself been accused of having a pompous style on occasion. (You were supposed to laugh at that!)

P.S. If you want an example of what real bias looks like, check out Bob Novak’s Debate Blog or this.

FMA rejected

 Posted by at 19:05  Lifestyle
Sep 302004

House Defeats Gay Marriage Ban Amendment

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House emphatically rejected a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage Thursday, the latest in a string of conservative pet causes advanced by Republican leaders in the run-up to Election Day.

The vote was 227-186, 49 votes shy of the two-thirds needed for approval of an amendment that President Bush backed but the Senate had previously scuttled…

The measure drew the support of 191 Republicans and 36 Democrats. Voting against it were 158 Democrats, 27 Republicans and one independent.

E-mail from Iraq

 Posted by at 18:53  Election 2004
Sep 302004

If you haven’t seen it yet you should read this e-mail message that a Wall Street Journal reporter in Iraq sent to his friends.

Then think about it tonight as you hear George W. Bush tell you how well everything is going with his invasion of that country.

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Stupidity exemplified

 Posted by at 14:09  Lifestyle
Sep 302004

“Thursday’s vote in the House of Representatives on the ‘Marriage Protection Amendment’ will be one of the most important votes in Congress in my lifetime,” said Christian Coalition President Roberta Combs in a press release.

“Members of Congress are going to be held accountable for their votes, not only in this election but in future elections as well. We are asking every Member to secure the future for our children and grandchildren by voting yes on the Marriage Protection Act.” (source)

Okay, that has to be just about the most stupid thing I have read anybody say this year, or perhaps even in my lifetime.

Forget about wars, taxes, jobs, health care, the environment — this is more important.

“Members of Congress are going to be held accountable for their votes” sounds awfully close to a threat. It is a federal crime to threaten a government official.

Then this: “We are asking every Member to secure the future for our children and grandchildren by voting yes on the Marriage Protection Act.” Secure the future of our children and grandchildren? The banality of that statement is so obvious that I don’t even need (or want) to comment on it.

We share this planet with some mighty ignorant people, but Ms. Combs probably just went to the head of the class.


 Posted by at 13:46  Election 2004
Sep 302004


A boy picks up the damaged bicycle of his dead brother from the site after two car bombs and a roadside bomb went off in succession in the al-Amel neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2004. At least 41 were killed, most of them children and over 200 were wounded in the attack. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

Baghdad Bombings Kill 35 Children.

Tonight at the debate George W. Bush will tell you that all is going according to plan in Iraq and that we must “stay the course.” But will he mention the kids?

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Dick’s hypocrisy

 Posted by at 03:29  Election 2004
Sep 302004

Bush-Cheney flip-flops cost America in blood

As George W. Bush has lately shown, the tactic of successfully defining your opponent is to political conflict what occupying the high ground is to waging war.

The Bush-Cheney campaign has gleefully labeled John Kerry a flip-flopper. But what of Bush-Cheney flip-flops? They’re getting a lot less ink, but America is paying a price in blood.

Little noticed, and worthy of lengthy consideration, is a speech delivered by then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney in 1992 to the Discovery Institute in Seattle.

The words of our future vice president — defending the decision to end Gulf War I without occupying Iraq — eerily foretell today’s morass. Here is what Cheney said in ’92:

“I would guess if we had gone in there, I would still have forces in Baghdad today. We’d be running the country. We would not have been able to get everybody out and bring everybody home.

“And the final point that I think needs to be made is this question of casualties. I don’t think you could have done all of that without significant additional U.S. casualties. And while everybody was tremendously impressed with the low cost of the (1991) conflict, for the 146 Americans who were killed in action and for their families, it wasn’t a cheap war.

“And the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam (Hussein) worth? And the answer is not that damned many. So, I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we’d achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq.”

How — given what he said then — does Cheney get off challenging the judgment and strength of those who argue that we are bogged down and shedding blood today?

Is Saddam worth the lives of 1,046 (at last count) dead Americans, and 7,000 injured Americans?

Click on the headline to read the entire column.

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Twisting again

 Posted by at 16:45  Election 2004
Sep 292004

Kent (I will not use his last name without permission) sent me an e-mail yesterday with a link to a posting on in which the television ad released by Bush-Cheney on Monday is completely debunked:

Bush Ad Twists Kerry’s Words on Iraq.

Check it out (if you’re interested in knowing the truth).

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The Iconoclast Editorial

 Posted by at 16:11  Election 2004
Sep 292004

Yesterday, we reported that The Lone Star Iconoclast, George W. Bush’s “hometown” newspaper, had endorsed John Kerry for president. All we had to go on at that time was a report from The Associated Press because we were unable to access the newspaper’s own website. It was, without doubt, being deluged with visits.

The website is now available again. If you’d like to read the entire editorial, it’s here (and well worth reading). It is entitled “Kerry Will Restore American Dignity” and begins…

Few Americans would have voted for George W. Bush four years ago if he had promised that, as President, he would:

  • Empty the Social Security trust fund by $507 billion to help offset fiscal irresponsibility and at the same time slash Social Security benefits.
  • Cut Medicare by 17 percent and reduce veterans’ benefits and military pay.
  • Eliminate overtime pay for millions of Americans and raise oil prices by 50 percent.
  • Give tax cuts to businesses that sent American jobs overseas, and, in fact, by policy encourage their departure.
  • Give away billions of tax dollars in government contracts without competitive bids.
  • Involve this country in a deadly and highly questionable war, and
  • Take a budget surplus and turn it into the worst deficit in the history of the United States, creating a debt in just four years that will take generations to repay.

These were elements of a hidden agenda that surfaced only after he took office.

The publishers of The Iconoclast endorsed Bush four years ago, based on the things he promised, not on this smoke-screened agenda.

Today, we are endorsing his opponent, John Kerry, based not only on the things that Bush has delivered, but also on the vision of a return to normality that Kerry says our country needs.

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More on Bush flip-flops

 Posted by at 15:10  Election 2004
Sep 292004

The San Francisco Chronicle published an excellent article today on how George Bush’s rationale for his invasion of Iraq has changed over time (some may call it flip-flopping).

This, however, may be the most outstanding…

In the fall of 2002, as Bush sought congressional approval for the use of force, he described the vote as a sign of solidarity that would strengthen his ability to keep the peace. Today, his aides describe it unambiguously as a vote to go to war.

There is a big difference between a vote to strengthen the president’s ability to keep the peace and a vote to go to war!

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