Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Zeppelins and Dirigibles and Blimps, oh my!

We are going to have to say that it may be a good idea to follow the words of the citizens of Crawford, Texas. At least the 425 for comprise the readership of the small paper based in that town who have decided to endorse a presidential candidate. "Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration: his initiatives to disable the Social Security system, the deteriorating state of the American economy, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistakes regarding terrorism and Iraq."

The Spinmeister Alert Today Is:
Seafoam Green

Yes, a little surprising, but today had some minor spinning which we personally found more annoying than infuriating. Cheney said Kerry would be soft on terror, but we aren't counting that since he says that every frickin' day. Good God, man, get a new speech writer.

Spin Numbah One: A conservative PAC has sponsored a heap of anti-Kerry ads to be aired on Black radio stations. The ads are sponsored by a conservative white guy in Kansas City who was excoriated in 2000 for airing race-baiting ads. Not like this sort of stuff might be construed as kinda desperate tactics or anything. Like the kinda thing you might do if you didn't have a platform to run on. But perhaps someone took a look at the poll numbers for some of those WP/ABC questions by race. Click on race in the upper right corner and hit go. Innerestin' innit?

Spin Numbah Two: A few days ago Nobel Peace Prize winner and elder statesman (and we think all around nice feller- the Habitat for Humanity thing is aces all the way) Jimmy Carter said he had some profound doubts about the integrity of the election in Florida. He noted that "some basic international requirements for a fair election in Florida are missing." Like a non-partisan overseeing body (yes, Katherine Harris). Jeb Bush, who doesn't have anything invested in making sure his brother carries the state with the fourth highest number of electoral votes, answered Mr. Carter by calling him a pansypinkocommiecandyass. Okay, not in those terms, but he did say that Mr. Carter was part of the "constant haranguing of nonsense" over the elections. Which we are pretty sure is both grammatically and factually wrong- Jimmy Carter does not harangue nonsense. He leaves nonsense alone.

When a reporter raised concerns that voting machines in Tampa could be tampered with the first brother (Neil, the one who 'unwittingly'- har- consorted with prostitutes in Hong Kong will have to be second brother. When he makes himself governor of someplace with a lot of electoral votes perhaps he can be the first-and-a-half brother) responded by saying such claims were "bogus," were "conspiracy theories," and "just ridiculous." We will have to agree with the Guvnah on one point- there is certainly some Diebold machine ridiculousness goin' on. What else can you say when voting machines are found abandoned on the street and in a bar. Yes, that really does say that a machine was found in a bar. A voting machine. The kind that will be "counting" your vote in states like Maryland (where these were found- though this is not the state they were registered to) and Florida. Asked about it's origins a spokesperson from Diebold said that one could be "purchased on e-bay." So we'll have to give it up to the first brother on that one because hard facts show that the idea of voting machines being tampered with is totally bogus- right?

Meanwhile, for those of us not asleep in the poppy field, people within US security agencies (you know, like the CIA and stuff) are growing more and more pessimistic about the situation in Iraq. Of course, our fearless leader might say that this is because they read the newspaper and watch TV news shows where they show news about Iraq. They never show those positive stories about Iraq, like, uh, when only six of little Tariq's brothers were blown to bits and two survived with missing limbs when a car bomb exploded outside his house. But his kitten survived! Hail to the kitten- it shows that things are getting better and better every day!

Then a federal judge ruled against a key component of the misleadingly misnamed Patriot Act. The ruling, if it holds, should curtail which bits of your private life John Ashcroft can poke into. Does make you wonder what the meaning of patriotism is....

We do feel the need to point out that the administration is warning congress that it wouldn't support completely gutting the power of a new head security guy. We'll see if that pans out, but if deserved, kudos go out.

But we will also have to point out the fact that the administration is currently spending a ba-zillion dollars of your money to protect us from Krushchev and his hairy eyebrows. Yes, we now have a nearly complete missile defense system. For when the commies try to nuke us. From their hideout in 1962. ?!? Star Wars anyone? Well, if the cold war restarts we can all feel safe knowing that forty years after the fact they've sorted out how to protect us from the Soviets. Or not, actually, since this missile defense system is probably only about 20% effective. Yes. You have just paid a ba-zillion dollars for a missle defense system that only works one-fifth of the time in protecting you from missiles that are no longer the weapon of choice of the enemy of the day. The other 80% of the time the missiles which probably won't be shot at us by the Soviet Union which no longer exists will kill you anyway.

But 1962 is practically the Jetsons around the Pentagon where they have just deployed a "security blimp" to protect Washington. Yes, a blimp. In a display of "technology that could be used to protect troops." Just like they did in World War One. We're glad to see we are maintaining our standing among the most technologically advanced societies in the world.

You will all be glad to know that just about everybody who is not American would elect Kerry if they had the vote. As a sample: "Karim Raslan, a lawyer and commentator in Malaysia, another Muslim-majority country, was more blunt: "Everyone would want to see Bush out. He is loathed." This doesn't translate into love for Kerry though: "He added: "The view in Asia-Pacific is, Bush is dreadful. You've got to get rid of him. But is the other guy better? I fear not." Who knew the anyone-but-Bush crowd extended so far beyond Manhattan?

But where does all this hostility toward political leaders that has developed over the last four years come from? Well, apparently from the feeling that they are all a buncha liars. Interesting to note that Kerry and Bush received almost identical ratings, but Kerry's ratings were across the board lukewarm while Bush's were divided between people who (actually) believe him and those who think he makes Tricky Dick look like he was playing jacks with the girls. The two main factors to make people think pols spout a lotta hooey? 34% say the war in Iraq, and 16% say the 2000 Florida election fiasco. Hey Jeb, you listening?

The media didn't fare so hot in that survey either-- seems they got grades comparable to Bush and Kerry. This might explain why it is that people seem to have stopped paying attention to both the media and the pols. Which is what we have to assume must be happening in order to explain why it is that a significant number of Americans seem to have not the slightest inkling of where they hell either candidate stands on any of the issues. The results are really interesting- especially the bits where people have an opinion on something and think they are agreeing or disagreeing with a candidate- and aren't.

A reserve staff sergent wrote an extremely articulate and highly critical article about the war in Iraq- and he could get 20 years for "disloyalty." Welcome to Bush country. You can get a day pass free for Salon if you watch the ad.

And President Gore (that's the title they give you when you win, right?) wrote an op-ed piece in the NYTimes to Kerry on debating Dubya. He quotes Jon Stewart of the Daily Show, and then gives this gem: "And if anyone truly has "low expectations" for an incumbent president, that in itself is an issue."

By the way, if your third grader comes home smelling like tequila, don't worry- it's the snack time margherita! Makes naptime go a little smoother.

Tomorrow we're gonna do a little post on polls. And how they mess shit up bad.