Month: November 2004

Josh writes: “I thought about this when I read it. And, to put it simply, I didn’t agree. What I considered writing was that given the track record he’s compiled and the way he ran this campaign, he’s really owed no fresh start. That would be graciousness at war with reality.” [link added]

Bonus quote from Dubya: “We’ve worked hard and gained many new friends, and the result is now clear — a record voter turnout and a broad, nationwide victory.”

Let’s show Bush that this is not the case. A 1-2% margin is not going to be good enough, especially now that he’s going to have to spend much of the next four years cleaning up this deplorable mess he’s gotten the country into.

Politics

Josh Marshall reflects on the election and on what to do next:

“I remember talking to Simon Rosenberg, the head of the New Dem Network, at the Democratic convention last summer. … [He and his group are working] to create a Democratic-leaning counter-establishment along the lines of what Republicans did two generations ago — with an alternative media, activist groups, organized political giving, in short a political infrastructure.

“He told me he thought it would take ten years to accomplish. And I told him my one worry was that it could all be strangled in its crib if Kerry didn’t win.

“Well, here we are. And this is the test for people who care about this kind of politics and these sorts of values — making sure that what has been started is not allowed to falter. … Let’s not put our heads in the sand but let’s also not get knocked of our game. Democrats need to think critically and seriously about why this didn’t turn out 51% for Kerry or 55% for Kerry … But it would be a terrible mistake to stop thinking in terms of those ten years Simon described. …

“It took conservatives two decades to build up the institutional muscle they have today. …

This takes time. And you shouldn’t lose heart. The same division in the country remains, the same stalemate. The other side just got the the ball a yard or two into our side of the field rather than the reverse. And we have to deal with the serious consequences of that. Tomorrow’s the day to start.”

Politics

There are three sets of people I’m really frustrated with right now:

  1. Young people who didn’t vote, and who should have known better.
  2. People who continue to blindly believe the Bush administration, and the Rove-ite/neo-con lies.
  3. The Kerry campaign and its close advisors for not fighting harder in Ohio. I’m surprised that there aren’t court cases pending, and lawyers ready to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court, just like there were in Florida in 2000. Maybe the Democrats really are the wimps everyone says they are.

I see lots of people in comments on blogs saying that it’s time for us to all get behind the President — country at war, yadda yadda, support our troops, etc. Andrew Sullivan for example wrote:

“I’ve been more than a little frustrated by the president’s handling of this war in the past year; but we have to draw a line under that now. The past is the past. And George W. Bush is our president. He deserves a fresh start, a chance to prove himself again, and the constructive criticism of those of us who decided to back his opponent. He needs our prayers and our support for the enormous tasks still ahead of him. He has mine. Unequivocally.”

I couldn’t disagree more. I can see absolutely no reason for Bush to deserve a chance to prove himself. We’ve been trying the constructive criticism approach for four years, and that approach didn’t work when it came from Congress, it didn’t work when it came from the public, and it didn’t work when it came from the media. Constructive criticism didn’t work when it came from the CIA or the FBI, it didn’t work when it came from his military, and it didn’t even work when it came from within his own cabinet.

Bush’s office and supporters have spent the last four years feeding us disinformation, through a despicably willing mainstream press, using a media machine that’s been honed for decades. They’ve repeatedly lied about tax cuts, the environment, the war, the Patriot Act, handling of Iraqi prisoners, big breaks for big-business, tax cuts for the rich, foreign outsorcing of jobs and record job loss, the worst environmental record in recent memory, non-handling of nuclear proliferation, an abysmal execution of the war in Iraq, a failed economic policy, record budget deficits and more.

It’s hard for me to imagine a President acting with more disdain for truth and science, or more disregard for the wellbeing of the American public. The Bush administration’s total refusal to admit any mistakes or take any blame begs the question: When will these guys be held accountable for their actions?

We have a civic duty to hold these guys accountable. They must be taken to task. How we’re going to make this happen should be the central question on our minds, not what we’re going to do to ‘support the President’, and not giving him a second (or Nth) chance to prove himself worthy of the job. Hello? He’s not worthy of the job!

With any luck, the mainstream news media may now be more sympathetic to criticism of Bush, since the end of his administration is in sight in 2008. But even without their help, we may have the tools at our disposal to bring the truth to light. Are we willing to use them?

We Democrats and Liberals need to debunk the wimp factor. We need to enlist the help of all our senior statesmen, the media — mainstream and otherwise, former candidates, people who have left government in protest or been fired by Bush, whistleblowers in the military, bloggers and campaign volunteers. We need to support truth-finding organizations who will help us to investigate the criminal behavior that this administration has perpetrated on our own people, and on peoples around the world — and I don’t use the word ‘criminal’ lightly.

We must not allow what has happened to our government and to our conntry to continue to happen, either during the next four years, or after.

Let’s get to work.

Politics

Kos: “There are still votes to be counted, and Kerry better not get it in his head to concede before all of them are counted. The networks won’t decide this election as they did in 2000. Once the votes are counted, and the final result is determined, then we can talk about what we need to do.”

Politics

Andrew Sullivan: “… whomever you’re voting for, for Pete’s sake, don’t be put off by exit polls. As I said earlier, they are not accounting for early voting, … They are a blur of a blur. So stay tuned. And vote.”

Agreed. Please vote, regardless of how late in the day it is, and regardless of what the exit polls and media spinsters are saying. Vote!

Politics

Just for good measure: I voted for John Kerry, and against George Bush. Technorati should pick up those links and count my vote on their vote link tracking page in a few minutes. Go Kerry!

Is anyone going to a Kerry victory celebration party tonight? I’m tentatively planning on it, but don’t know for sure yet. (My decision will not be based on poll results.)

Politics

Al Franken decided for his last show before the election to put together a best-of The Al Franken Show on-the-road. And I decided to post here on Election Day, the show in its entirity. I hope Al won’t mind — here’s the video. [49’22”, 51.9MB]

Guests included:

  • Walter Mondale, former Vice President of the United States of America
  • Alta Charo, Professor of Law and Bioethics, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Carol and Walter Griffin, parents of Al Franken’s best childhood friend Dave, a.k.a. the “Liberals Who Hate America”
  • and John Glen, astronaut and former OH senator (by cell phone, from an OH freeway)

Al Franken also took a little segment for himself:

“We know this President isn’t a very curious guy. We know that he probably doesn’t care that much about the culture of Iraq, about the history of Iraq, about the people who live in Iraq. But you know what, when you’re The President of the United States, even if you’re not curious, you gotta suck it up and do some reading, man!”

Have fun, and Go Kerry!

Politics

I must say, as I’ve said again and again, most recently but not in so many words, over hereDude! It’s a small frickin’ world, man.

It turns out that I know the guy who runs Electoral-Vote.com. I met him in Amsterdam, while living my past life as a Rock-Star. He was in my ex’s Computer Science department. Check out what he wrote for his Electoral-Vote.com coming-out:

“My name is Andrew Tanenbaum. I am one of the 7 million U.S. citizens living abroad. I am a professor of computer science at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Most of you have never heard of me but in an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny corner of the universe I have done enough stuff that Google has somehow managed to dig up 10,000 pages referring to me…”

It must be about 9 or 10 years since I met Andrew. I wonder if he remembers me. I think we got into a rather deep discussion about whether there ever was such a thing as absolute right and wrong, i.e. the proverbial ‘Good and Evil’…

Update: Looks like I was wrong, and in fact I don’t know Andrew. I talked with my ex on the phone this afternoon, and she told me I had him confused with someone else that she studied with. Oh well — it sounded nice. Too bad it’s not true. Kind of like WMD in Iraq, or Osama being buddy-buddy with Saddam, only not so brazenly contrary to actual reality.

Politics

60 Minutes aired this story tonight. I’ve got the video here. [15.5MB, 13’03”]

The point they’re trying to hit home, though I’m not sure they entirely succeeded, is that while it’s widely accepted that we’re in a Heap-o-Trouble in Iraq, even the too-small force we have there is under-supplied, and in cases may be close to mutiny.

One of the people they interviewed is General Ray Byrne of the Oregon National Guard. Steve Kroft says to Gen. Byrne, “Your men feel that they’re dying over there because they’re not getting the proper equipment.”

After a few seconds, Byrne answers, “It distresses me greatly that they do not have the equipment. I don’t have control over it. The soldiers don’t have control over it. The question becomes, ‘When is it gonna to be available? When is it gonna to be available? When will they have it?'”

If Bush is re-elected on Tuesday — the prospect of which fills me with anger, dread, and disdain — if Bush is re-elected, I wonder how long it will be before Byrne is either in Falluja, or looking for a new line of work…

Politics