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Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 09:02 PM PDT

Bush without a cheering section--

by pisher

Is like a bad sitcom without a laughtrack.  

To me, this is one of the decisive elements that led Kerry to a victory nobody expected.  Dubya's people were there, but by the rules of engagement, they were muzzled until it was all over, unable to back up their guy's feeble points with partisan applause.  So were Kerry's, of course.  But we all know the difference.  John Kerry can fight his own battles.  Bush never has.  His whole life, he's been aware of his own intrinsic weakness, and sought to correct for it by surrounding himself with yes-men, buddies, backers, attack dogs, flunkies, handlers, and hangers-on.  

But you take all that away, and it's like Pinnochio's strings are cut.  All you see is the scared little boy that somehow never figured out how to grow up--so he learned how to fake it, as a means of compensation.  He looked baffled, out of sorts, because without the cheering section, even he had to listen to himself.  And even he seemed to understand on some level how lame and empty his answers were.  I don't know if this is the format for the next two debates (ie, no cheering 'til it's over), but I hope so.  This is the part of Fahrenheit 9/11 that really worked, IMO--taking away all the bells and whistles Rove's people add on, and giving us George W. Bush, au natural. Dubya's people will say the President wasn't himself in this debate.  But in fact, this really is the man behind the curtain.    

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I suppose this is in rather poor taste.  And I agree with Kos that it's a shame to have Ryan go down on this issue when there were so many better reasons to reject him, even though he did lie to his own party when they asked him about those divorce papers.  And it's not like Ryan has any soul.   But opportunities like this just don't come around too often.  So screw taste. (g)

Cue the sweet soul music!  Enter Jack Ryan, pursued by ex-wife Jeri Ryan in full Starfleet regalia, Dennis Hastert, and the entire electorate of Illinois.

Illinois Electorate:
Hit the road, Jack!  And don'tcha come back
no more, no more, no more, no more!
Hit the road, Jack!  And don'tcha come back no more!

Ryan (incensed): WHAT YOU SAY!!!??

Illinois Electorate:
Hit the road, Jack!  And don'tcha come back
no more, no more, no more, no more!
Hit the road, Jack!
And don'tcha come back no more!

Ryan (to his ex):
Aw Jeri, damn Jeri, why you treat me so mean?
You're the meanest little Borg Girl I ever done seen!
Guess if you say so--I'll have to pack my things and go.

Jeri and voters:
THAT'S RIGHT!!!
Hit the road, Jack!  And don'tcha come back
no more, no more, no more, no more!
Hit the road, Jack!  And don'tcha come back no more!

Ryan (pleadingly to Hastert):
Hey Dennis, listen Dennis, don'tcha dump me this-a-way!
Cuz I might find dirt on Obama someday!

Hastert:
Who cares anymore, ya dumb peckerwood?!
Cuz that video vulture ain't done ya no good!

Ryan:
Guess if you say so--I'll have to pack my things and go.

Hastert et al:
THAT'S RIGHT!!!
Hit the road, Jack!  And don'tcha come back
no more, no more, no more, no more!
Hit the road, Jack!  And don'tcha come back no more!

Ryan (disbelieving): WHAT YOU SAY!!!???

ALL:
HIT THE ROAD, JACK!!!  AND DON'TCHA COME BACK
NO MORE, NO MORE, NO MORE, NO MORE!!!
HIT THE ROAD, JACK!  AND DON'TCHA COME BACK NO MORE!!

Ryan (chastened and backing towards the door): Um, what you say?

DON'TCHA COME BACK NO MORE!!!

Ryan:
I didn't understand you....

DON'TCHA COME BACK NO MORE!!!

Ryan:
You can't mean that....

DON'TCHA COME BACK NO MORE!!!

Ryan:
What you tryin' to do to (door slams shut in his face)

;-)

Discuss

Fri May 14, 2004 at 07:48 AM PDT

A friend of mine on "Wars of Liberation"

by pisher

I humbly refer your attention to this really splendid nini-essay by my friend Kevin Patterson, which is only depressing because of its subject matter, and because he covers the relevant points so incisively.  At present, it's the second entry from the top of the page.  

http://kevinsmarginalia.blogspot.com/

Kevin and I are online friends, who mainly discuss genre TV shows (you do not want to know how many hours we've spent discussing the second season of "Millennium"), but we've had some friendly political tussles during the primary season, when I was supporting Dean, and he was actively working on John Kerry's campaign.  

It will tell you something about the sterling quality of his character that he never once gloated about this afterwards.:-/

This is a fairly new entry, and I just read it.  Kevin is a grad student in Rhode Island, btw.  I happen to think it's vastly more perceptive than most of the musings on what's happening in Iraq now that almost any of our mainstream media pundits have come up with.  

Do they put something in your food to make you stupid when you get old and successful?  :-)

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I don't think he'll be turning up on the Iraq Coalition Casualties website, being fictional and all.

But for some reason, I started crying when I read this strip.

I mean, B.D. can be a jerk, and he's a sexist pig, and he's dead wrong about politics most of the time.  

But I've known the guy since I was a teenager.

God damn it.

Why did we let this happen to our soldiers?  

Why did we fail them so badly?

http://www.doonesbury.com/strip/dailydose/index.html?uc_full_date=20040419

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Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 07:48 AM PDT

So employment is up? Not exactly---

by pisher

Turns out people have been losing jobs faster than the economy has been creating them.  Well, we knew that already.  But this is proof positive.  And when you add this to the fact that many of the new jobs are government jobs, it destroys the notion that Dubya's tax cuts will lead us to a rosy employment future.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20040415/bs_nm/economy_jobless_dc_1

I'm no econonomics whiz, anymore than most Americans are.  But I know how to add and subtract.  If we got 308,000 newly employed people, but 360,000 people filed for unemployment for the first time, we're going down, not up.

I know employment rates present a fuzzy and confusing picture, making it easy for incumbents and challengers alike to cherrypick their facts, and interpret them to their advantage.

However, I find it hard to see how any self-respecting administration would want to brag about the current employment situation.

Unless, of course, they had nothing else to brag about.

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http://lunaville.org/warcasualties/Summary.aspx

The death toll for American soldiers in Iraq has now reached 600.  The number of wounded climbs by hundreds every month.  Things are worse now than they've been since last November--and that's only speaking about our troops.  It's not considering civilian fatalities, Iraqi, American, and people from other countries.  Those have also gotten much worse, much more common, much more brutal.  The country is disentegrating.  Civil war is an increasing possibility.  Power has still not been consistently restored.  Economic life consists mainly of trafficking in stolen goods, extortion, kidnapping for ransom, and cellphone sales.  Oil wells are still burning.  Crime is worse than it has been in the history of Iraq.  Terrorism is a daily reality.  And Islamic Fundamentalists are looking more and more likely to become the dominant political force in a country we were supposedly going to make into a western style democracy.  

Oh, and most Iraqis hate our guts.  Thankfully, only a small minority of them actually want to drag our lifeless bodies through their streets.  So far. But hey, the year is young.  George W. Bush is still President.  Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are still running things.  The sky's the limit.

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Sat Mar 27, 2004 at 12:58 PM PST

Riverbend's "Baghdad Burning" blog

by pisher

For those who haven't had the pleasure, this is easily the most interesting blog I've ever read.  Also the most guilt-inducing at times, but say this about this passionate young Iraqi--she doesn't preach, and she doesn't stoop to name-calling.  She writes what she knows.  And what she knows is that life in her country has mainly changed for the worse over the past year.  And what she fears is that it could get a great deal worse than it is now.  

http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/

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It's an upcoming article in The Atlantic Monthly, written by a DFA Insider.

20/20 hindsight is a bitch sometimes, isn't it?  :-(

http://carlwithak.com/archives/000148.html

I do not by any means rule out the possibility that an equally depressing article could be written about Kerry's campaign after November.

But let's try our best to see that doesn't happen, okay?

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http://www.bc.edu/research/cjl/meta-elements/texts/reviews/gibson_cunningham.htm

This piece is written from the perspective of a believing Christian, who actually knows the history, and understands scripture in the context of that history.

There are so many lies connected to this film.  Gibson's publicist said that there was no scene in which Jews physically harmed Jesus--a lie.  Gibson said he was cutting out the line "His blood be on us and our children"--he left the line in, and simply removed the subtitle that translated it.  Gibson said the movie was an accurate portrayal of the Gospel story, but in fact it's a distortion of it.  He basically adapted the deranged writings of a 19th century nun, who believed that Jews in HER OWN TIME were murdering Christian babies to drain their blood for the Passover rituals.

Some people think anti-semitism means hating all Jews.  It doesn't.  You might as well say "Birth of a Nation" isn't racist because it shows several black characters who are good people--faithful servants to their Ku Klux Klan masters, played by white actors in blackface.  

"The Passion" shows good Jewish people--but the obvious implication is that most, if not all of them, will become followers of Christ.  But those who remain faithful to their religion are allied with Satan.  So perhaps "Anti-Judaism" is the better term.  But doesn't it amount to the same thing, effectively speaking?

It is the duty of every Christian to speak out against the distortions of this film.  That is not the same thing as speaking out against Christ or Christianity.  Because that isn't Jesus Christ up there on the screen.  That's just a WASPy looking Italian American actor, being directed by a crazy former movie star, who believes that only Catholics who reject Vatican II are going to heaven.  But doesn't mind taking money from Evangelical Christians, even though he knows they are all hellbound.  Anyway, that's what Sister Emmerich says.  He saw nothing Anti-Semitic in her ravings, so I'm sure he saw nothing anti-Protestant about that.  

;-)

 

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Mon Feb 23, 2004 at 06:26 PM PST

Nader says "relax", Dean says "focus"

by pisher

I like what Dean says better.  No surprise there.  

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=6&u=/ap/20040223/ap_on_el_pr/nader _3

I'd love to see the full text of his remarks.  Be a good update for the DFA website.  

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Few publications were more supportive of the Dean candidacy than this one.  To say they feel rather differently about Ralph Nader's is rather understating the point.  

http://www.prospect.org/webfeatures/2004/02/meyerson-h-02-23.html

Before Dean supporters defend Nader, as some now are, maybe they better wait and see what Dean himself has to say?

Nader was downright dismissive of Dean's candidacy earlier on, referring to him only a little less contemptuously than the other candidates, and in some ways he actually seemed to like Dean less--no doubt because he felt Dean had stolen his thunder.  Now he wants to steal it back.  Don't let him.  

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Joan Walsh describes an arc of reactions towards Dean quite similar to my own.  The Five Kubler-Ross Stages of Dean.  Skeptical, Interested, Enthusiastic, Disappointed, Philosophical.  (g)

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2004/02/19/dean_drops_out/index.html

She really did write some very supportive things about Dean and the campaign, after an early period of resistance.  She was one of the journalists who got Dean, and stood up for him.  

If you don't subscribe to Salon, you'll have to click on an ad for a daypass.  

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