Saturday, October 30, 2004

1120 American Combat Deaths in Iraq

The Most Important Packer Game of the Year

I've been nagging my mom about this for three weeks. Go Pack!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Voter Fraud Piece from TAL

This American Life is my favorite Public Radio show. Check out the special on voter fraud here.

Link via Atrios.

Voter Screening Processes

The other Matt over at It's Matt's World argues that

It is my firm belief that there should actually be some sort of screening process instituted for all prospective voters, in order to weed-out the uninformed, and just plain dumb people (this would be for everyone, by the way, and not just Republicans. Heh.)

I had the pleasure of attending a lecture at the law school today by the eminent journalist and professor Roger Wilkins. Wilkins related an anecdote about writing an editorial for the New York Times when the Voting Rights Act was up for reauthorization, arguing against the idea of reinstating literacy tests at the polls. The Editor at the time expressed an idea much like Matt's above.

Wilkins purportedly responded something like, "If you print an editorial arguing that illiterate, uninformed people shouldn't have to pay taxes or serve in Vietnam, I will agree to modify my editorial."

His editorial against literacy tests ran unmodified in the Times the next day.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

80,000 at Madison Kerry Rally

80,000 cheer Kerry, Springsteen in Madison WSJ

At least 80,000 people greeted Sen. John Kerry and rock star Bruce Springsteen Thursday in Madison in one of the biggest rallies yet for the Democratic presidential candidate. "Even for Madison this was a huge rally, and it exceeded all of our expectations," said George Twigg, spokesman for the Kerry-Edwards campaign in Wisconsin. "It’s a good indication of the energy and momentum we have here." Most polls show Kerry running even with President Bush in Wisconsin, one of the swing states still in play this election. Kerry hit familiar themes on Thursday but also raised the issue of missing explosives in Iraq, charging that "the commander in chief didn’t do his job."

It was a good one, notwithstanding the fact that I had to pee by about 11:30, but the rally would continue for two more hours.

Best line: "When George Bush heard that I was appearing today with the Boss, he thought they meant Dick Cheney."

UPDATE: Link to article fixed. Still no good picture.

BUMP and UPDATE: Here's a great photo over at Kos.


that the hand-to-hand doesn't stop on election day.

TO: The day after the election, what’s the column if Kerry wins?
PK: Do not be magnanimous in victory. I hope the people around him understand that this is not politics as we know it. It’s not, “OK, well, we won an election. After the election we’ll get together and work in a bipartisan way to help the country.” They didn’t work in a bipartisan way when the United States was attacked. They immediately saw it as a way to achieve political dominance. Kerry has got to understand that he has a window of opportunity to expose what’s going on and to rock these people back to the point where we can try to reclaim the normal workings of democracy. Unless there’s a true miracle and the Democrats take the House—which is extremely unlikely—it’s going to be very bitter political civil war from Day One. The House leadership will try to undermine Kerry. I’m sure they’ll try to impeach him almost immediately. On anything.

We can go on and on about Tom DeLay, but the point is Tom DeLay is not an aberrant thing. He’s not an accident. The whole thrust of where we’ve been going for a couple of decades in this country has been towards putting someone like Tom DeLay in a position of great power. So, my column to Kerry, my open letter to him if he wins, will be: Do not be magnanimous. You need to expose and dismantle this machine.

Krugman can be a little shrill at times, but when the House leadership goes around implying that Soros is rich from drug money or that DailyKOS is a source of terrorist funding, well, let's just say I'm not optimistic.

1112 American Combat Deaths

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Today was Sylvia Plath's birthday.

"Mad Girl's Love Song"

"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)"

Voter Protection: Mental Image

I am doing voter protection on November 2nd for the DNC. It's well known that there are a number of non-partisan groups that are also going to be sending out poll observers.

So I have this mental image of sitting in the polling place around a table with four other observers, while the poll workers, who probably have never even had *a* poll observer in the past, look on in befuddled apprehension.

"We're just here to make sure that everyone gets to vote," we chorus (except the Republican, who in my mind is either a grouchy old man or a young attractive blond woman). The Republican scowls, and mutters something about "ballot-box stuffing" or "questionable citizenship."

"Why the hell are we here, then?" the poll-workers must think to themselves.

No! We poll observers can't be bothered with the minutiae of running a polling place, but must instead focus on the minutiae of whether the people running the polling place are doing it right.

If you don't know the difference, then you probably think we should all just sign up to work at the polls instead.

As I often do.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


"Why do I love" You, Sir?
Because --
The Wind does not require the Grass
To answer -- Wherefore when He pass
She cannot keep Her place.

Because He knows -- and
Do not You --
And We know not --
Enough for Us
The Wisdom it be so --

The Lightning -- never asked an Eye
Wherefore it shut -- when He was by --
Because He knows it cannot speak --
And reasons not contained --
-- Of Talk --
There be -- preferred by Daintier Folk --

The Sunrise -- Sire -- compelleth Me --
Because He's Sunrise -- and I see --
Therefore -- Then --
I love Thee --


I love the second line; she starts to answer why she loves him, but then breaks off. How often have I found myself feeling something so strong, and been unable to explain! Instead, she tells him she is as powerless as the grass before the wind, or that her love is like the way an eye blinks at a brilliant light.

I didn't mean to paraphrase Eliot there, but of course:

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.”

It occurs to me that what I said was like Prufrock, but the poem I was really thinking of there was Frost:

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

(Acquainted with the Night, second stanza).

American soldiers dead in Iraq: 1110

I heart Dahlia Lithwick

Tee hee.

"There's little doubt in my mind that each of the 20,000 lawyers poised to jet around the country next week like a small air force of flying monkeys in ties expects to take their appeals all the way to the Supreme Court."

I'm a Dahlia-groupie.

Update: Ooh, and then here she says:

I won't be voting. I am a Canadian citizen. Which may explain, to some extent, why I am a Kerry supporter. President Bush seems to have lost sight of the fact that what makes Americans both strong and free is the rule of law; not the rule of the president.


[The] administration has maintained two staggering legal stances throughout the War on Terror: (i) That it can and should stake out the most radical and extreme legal positions possible (the president's power to detain "enemy combatants" is utterly unchecked and unlimited; U.S. courts have no jurisdiction over anything that happens at Guantanamo Bay); and (ii) that laws are a luxury of peacetime, but by definition a hindrance to any war effort.

Free Speech, Damn it!

Kos is reporting that Bush visited the Richland Center School District, which is not far from Madison, where

Students were told they could not wear any pro-Kerry clothing or buttons or protest in any manner, at the risk of expulsion.

Now, if you want to make rally attendees sign a loyalty oath and remove those who express a contrary viewpoint, fine. People are coming to your rallies voluntarily. Kids have to go to school every day.

But the law is clear: public school districts do not exist in a First Amendment vacuum. Schools are allowed to regulate clothing insofar as style goes (no see through shirts, for example), or where the regulation of speech concerns "aggressive, disruptive action or even group demonstrations." Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School Dist., 393 U.S. 503, 507-08 (1969).

Here, as in Tinker, "There is here no evidence whatever ...[of] interference, actual or nascent, with the schools' work or of collision with the rights of other students to be secure and to be let alone." Id. The principal can't censor student speech unless she shows that the speech would "materially and substantially interfere with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school." Id. at 509. I don't think a presidential visit is the normal operation of the school, and I don't think political dissension materially or substantially interferes with appropriate discipline, either.

I suppose it's another school principal who thinks that school policy takes precedence over the Constitution.

I believe the President

Domestically, I believe income tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans are the solution to budget surpluses or deficits, high or low inflation, stable or unstable interest rates, expanding or shrinking trade deficits, widening or narrowing wealth gaps, increasing or decreasing poverty rates, rising or falling unemployment, prosperity or recession, wartime or peace. I believe record-setting budget deficits, record-setting trade deficits, and a burgeoning national debt are examples of the president's fiscally-conservative economic leadership.

I believe that a president who insists that hard-working Americans deserve tax breaks should continue to stand fast against cutting payroll taxes – the direct tax on hard work. Clearly, I do not believe that payroll taxes coupled with income taxes on work constitute "double taxation," but the dividend tax on assets does.


Finally, I believe a white man of privilege who was accepted to Yale University despite a middling performance in prep school; was accepted to Harvard Business School despite a middling performance at Yale; was admitted to the Texas Air National Guard despite no flight background and an entrance exam score in the bottom quartile; was given funds by Osama bin Laden's father to start a failed oil company; and was chosen to serve as Texas governor and 43rd President of the United States despite a lifelong record of mediocrity, is a man with the moral authority to criticize affirmative action as a policy that gives opportunities to the undeserving.

(link via Kos)

Monday, October 25, 2004

Randy Poetry Blogging, explained

I posted the ee cummings poem below (she being Brand). Someone asked me why:

I have two funny stories about that poem, and they explain why I like it.

First, in 10th grade English we had to memorize a poem and recite it, after which we were to offer our penetrating analysis. I did Robert Frost's "Bereft," but a classmate of mine did that cummings piece.

His reading of it was incredible. Even better was watching a 15 year old boy try to explain and interpret a poem about sex with a virgin in front of our old maid of an English teacher and a class full of girls that he had a crush on. Red doesn't begin to describe it.

Then, about two years ago, I recounted that story to a friend, showing her the poem. She thought it was pretty funny too, so she showed it to another fellow that she knew. That gentleman went to great lengths to prove to us that this was a ridiculous internet hoax and that no respectable poet wrote that. His somewhat ashamed incredulity was quite funny.

That guy had some cojones, I have to admit. I still wouldn't read that poem in polite company.

Blogger personality test survey

Do it here.


INTJ 67 78 01 11 (have often scored INFP or INFJ on these tests in the past). INTJ is also known as the Mastermind.

INTJ descriptions here and here.

Monday randy poetry blogging

she being Brand

-new;and you
know consequently a
little stiff i was
careful of her and(having

thoroughly oiled the universal
joint tested my gas felt of
her radiator made sure her springs were O.

K.)i went right to it flooded-the-carburetor cranked her

up,slipped the
clutch(and then somehow got into reverse she
kicked what
the hell)next
minute i was back in neutral tried and

again slo-wly;bare,ly nudg. ing(my

lev-er Right-
oh and her gears being in
A 1 shape passed
from low through
second-in-to-high like
greasedlightning)just as we turned the corner of Divinity

avenue i touched the accelerator and give

her the juice,good


was the first ride and believe i we was
happy to see how nice she acted right up to
the last minute coming back down by the Public
Gardens i slammed on

brakes Bothatonce and

brought allofher tremB
to a:dead.


(my man, ee)

Rehnquist out with thyroid cancer

I hope the Chief is ok.

The Reuters article is a ludicrous blend of over-simplification and non sequitur. You should read it as a how-not-to piece.


The current court is generally split by a 5-4 vote along conservative and liberal lines.

Except when the court splits along formalist-pragmatist lines instead of right-left, as in Padilla, Hamdi, and Rasul.

Or when Kennedy crosses over and O'Connor doesn't, or when Breyer or Souter occasionally join a center majority or plurality.

And non sequitur:


The day after the historic ruling, Rehnquist maintained that politics played no role in the court's decision-making.

We could debate the veracity of Rehnquist's assertion, but the man has 30 years on the Court. If the reporter is aiming to tie the story in politically, she would do better to tie it in to Supreme Court appointments than to particular cases, as indeed she does earlier in the article. And why is an article in the "Health" section talking about judicial appointments or Bush v. Gore at all?

Am I wrong that this little bit seems as if it were jammed into an article without smooth or logical transition?

"Rehnquist has not avoided controversy in his term, overseeing shifts in blah blah blah areas of black letter law. He also didn't shy from political controversy..." (lead back to reporter's quote).

Was that so hard?

Iraq Casualties: 1109

Election: Referendum on the Rule of Law

I've been talking about this for months. This executive's hallmark has been making decisions that flout the rule of law.

(Title Link: One of the posters on Kos is on board!)

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Just Sad

I am getting seriously sick of discussing the election. Good thing there are only nine more days until the vote, then two months of recounts and legal wrangling, then four more years of griping and backbiting by the losing team.

No, really I don't think it will be that close. I think the undecideds and persuadables are going to break for Kerry, barring any major pro-Bush news, and he should end up with around 300 EV, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and New Mexico.

What's sad to me (and what I am referencing in the title) is this. It's a comment thread from Tucker Eskew's blog, where the Bush-supporting posters demand to know how anyone could support Kerry and hand a recruiting victory to Zarqawi. They really want to know this.

This is an election, people. If we always supported an incumbent when we could attribute some shadowy motive to a foreign enemy, there would be a perverse incentive for sitting presidents to seek out or even create such an enemy.

Even if it would be a recruiting victory for Zarqawi, I would still vote against Bush, who has been a worse president than any executive in my lifetime. I refuse to vote for a man whose administration:

Argued that it had the power to label a U.S. citizen an enemy combatant and then detain them indefinitely without access to courts or counsel.

Used a moment of national tragedy to pursue a foreign military adventure that members of the administration had been planning since the early 1990's.

Sold tax cuts during the first campaign as returning surplus money to the people, then sold the exact same tax cuts as an economic stimulus when that surplus evaporated in new projections, then cut taxes annually for the length of the administration, despite national tragedy, continuing economic hardship, and a costly foreign war.

Appointed industry lobbyists to oversee regulation of their own once and future employers.

and the list goes on, and on, and on.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Iraq Casualties in October to date

1108 for the whole conflict so far.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

It's Thursday, but it feels like Monday

Check out this Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Video.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Poll: I suck!

Okay, there's no such poll. Sorry I haven't been around.

The last 6 days in a nutshell:

Friday: topic survey due. done on time!

Saturday: work on cite check for Monday. Meanwhile, my 3 year old son gets sick, throwing up all over the house and generally denying us any sleep.

Sunday: work on homework for Mon-Tuesday. 3 year old still sick, plus 1 year old gets sick. Sleep, wha?

Monday: go to class, finish last few bluebooking details. Realize at about 1:30 pm that I am fighting a high fever. Get cite check in, go home, crash on couch.

Tuesday: Brief due for equal employment law. Sick as hell. All three kids puking. Wife puking. Fortunately, brief is almost done because of pretty good first draft. Make minor organizational changes, e-mail to professor. Sleep most of day. Tuesday night? I'm scheduled to be trained as a poll monitor, a training that I can't make up if I miss it. So I go there, sick as a dog, struggling to stay focused. Halfway through training, getting a drink of water, who should be there? My Equal Employment law professor, who earlier received e-mail that I was too sick to come to class. Now I feel like a douchebag.

Wednesday: Wake up early to go to class. Realize that I still have a fever and a pounding headache. Go back to bed.

This afternoon, I finally started to feel like myself again, but I had three full class days of homework to catch up, so that's what I did for 10 hours straight.

Forgive me, faithful six blog readers, for not posting during this time. I am a lazy bastard.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Poll: We suck!

All right, they like us, they just don't like Bush.

Isn't that sort of like when a girl would ask me, "Can't we just be friends?" No, love me, love my pimples.

Feeling Good

Topic Survey: Done.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Sonnet 30

WHEN to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste;
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long-since-cancell'd woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight.
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before:
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored, and sorrows end.

Grief and Guilt

I'm 28 years old, and this is the first time in my life that I have ever known someone who died. I've been extraordinarily fortunate in that regard.

Now, I find myself, for the first time in my life, feeling personal grief. I know that what I am feeling is only a fraction of what Mike's wife feels every day, not to mention the hours and days right after his death. It's entirely different from the times I have tried to look through a window into someone else's grief, and I find myself swept away by it.

Last night, as I tried to read for my classes, I just kept staring at the same words, not comprehending. Today, my heart was not there either. I have immense obligations at school in the next week, not to mention family obligations, and I have this feeling that this grief is a selfish indulgence, a distraction. The reason I feel that way is that my thoughts are at least as much about how I feel about Mike and how it makes me feel as they are a sadness for those who survived him, who had to deal with it in a much more visceral way than I am now. I wonder if grief is always this personal -- will it be this way every time, with me thinking about what the person meant to me, instead of what they meant? Is the concept of meaning even relevant when you are talking about a person?

I just don't know.

Postscript: Shortly after posting this, my random selection of Rhapsody tunes yielded up REM's "Sweetness Follows," both melancholy and optimistic. Stipe's murmuring vocals on this track have always grabbed me by the guts, but it is especially poignant now.

Oil Prices Break $54/bbl

Keep in mind that the U.S. economy, sprawled over a massive land area, is dependent on cheap fuel. Close the light truck loophole! Higher CAFE standards!

Monday, October 11, 2004

Taking stock

He was a fairly smart person who graduated high school with pretty good grades. He went on to college right out of high school, but only stayed in for a year or so before he dropped out and worked odd jobs here and there. He had a child at age 20, moved in with and married the woman. He continued to work odd jobs here and there for about four years.

This is, of course, my own story, but it also the story of my friend Mike. Where the story leaves off is where our life paths diverged.

Of course, after those four years, I went back to school, eventually getting my BA in 2002. I was able to do it because of the fantastic support of my family and because I had a great job where I could work full time without hurting my academic performance too much. Then I had two more kids and went on to law school, where I am currently ensconced.

Mike and family moved away, where he tried to get back into school, but just wasn't able to balance supporting his family and being a student. His odd jobs were harder to balance with school than mine; I worked in a bank call center, while he worked odd jobs as a landscaper, a welder, and finally a truck driver. We lost touch over distance.

I found out yesterday from Mike's wife, also a good friend, that Mike killed himself about nine months ago. I'm having a "there but for the grace of God" kind of day.

I humbly ask for your well wishes and prayers for a little boy who's missing his daddy, and for a wife missing her husband terribly.

Friday, October 08, 2004

If my life were a movie I was watching...

If my life were a movie I was watching, I would be concerned about the symbolism of my walk to the bus. It was cool and wet, a grey sky, and the sidewalk was, for the first time this year, littered with the leaves falling off the trees. They were not big, palmate leaves like you get from a maple or an oak, but the small, pinnate leaves that grow dozens to the branch and litter the ground like autumn confetti.

Since my life is not a movie, I found it extraordinarily beautiful. I board the bus at the West Transfer point, which is nestled just South of a strip mall, but just North of a commercial/research park that features lots of prairie-style greenspace. As you look South from the sidewalk, you see a large expanse of tall, uncut wild grass, sporadically interrupted by craggy trees, the kind of trees with the writhing trunks that seem, in Winter, to claw at the cold grey sky.

Job report for September

Once again, the jobs aren't even being created fast enough to accommodate growth in the work force.

Sad from the Student Newspaper

The Daily Cardinal printed this ad in the Classifieds section today:

Good Bye UW-Madison
I am going to War in Iraq. I will miss you so much. Please don't forget me because I will never forget you. I will dream of Madison and pray that one day I might return. Please help bring peace to the World and bring me home by voting against the right wing. I love you all.

The thought of leaving Madison to go fight a war in the desert is heartbreaking, particularly since it seems so unnecessary.

Keith, whoever you are, be safe and come back home to us.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Plea to fellow law students

I am extraordinarily dumb when it comes to all subjects related to Con Law. Can anyone suggest a good resource that will make me feel less like a damn idiot?

I'm taking Professor Althouse's "Religion and the Constitution" Con Law 2 Course, which I find fascinating, but I am always about three questions behind the curve. Don't get me wrong; I find almost all the Con Law I have studied to be fascinating stuff. Often, after class I head down to the Terrace and I sit and make notes of my thoughts while I eat my lunch. I know what I think about the stuff, but that doesn't seem likely to help me answer an exam, except in the unlikely event that question 1 is "What do you think is the interaction between the Free Exercise and Establishment Clause?" Ugh.

I don't know if I am just missing a secret Con Law decoder ring. If you know one, let me know. Yeah, I am talking to you, Mr. Answer-knowing-guy.

E-mail petition from a friend

I received the following e-mail petition from a friend of mine:

Dear President Bush:

Many of us were deeply touched to hear you recite a portion of Psalm 23 in your address to this great nation in the dark hours following the terrorists attacks. We, the people of America, are requesting that you lift the prohibition of prayer in schools. As the pledge of our great country states, we are to be "One nation, under God." Please allow the prayers and the petitions of our children in schools without the threat of punishment.

Currently, adults and children in the schools are prohibited from mentioning God unless, of course, His name is uttered as part of a curse or profanity. Madalyn Murray O'Hair is dead. Let her legacy of atheism in our schools die with her!

The People of America!

to which I responded:

Friend, [real name omitted]

I believe group prayer has no place in our schools. When we entrench the Christian religion in the public schools and in the public laws, it places all of our non-Christian students outside the schools and the laws. Lord knows that I was ridiculed often enough in high school for my clothes, or my hair. When I went home, I could change my clothes or get a haircut. A Jew or a Muslim student can't go home and change their religion.

The petition implies that children are punished for praying at school. This is simply not so. There is no law or policy stopping students from praying to God at school. Adults and children are not prohibited from saying "God" either -- just from holding ostentatious public prayers that isolate those who don't share the same beliefs and hold them up for special notice.

In Matthew 6:5-6, the bible says: "And when you make your prayers, be not like the false-hearted men, who take pleasure in getting up and saying their prayers in the Synagogues and at the street turnings so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward. But when you make your prayer, go into your private room, and, shutting the door, say a prayer to your Father in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will give you your reward."



This is a non-law friend, or else I would have pointed out the manifest absurdity of the notion that the President could redefine the meaning of the Establishment Clause by fiat.

Cheney: Up is Down

Look at this ABC News story:

MIAMI Oct. 7, 2004 — Vice President Dick Cheney asserted on Thursday that a report by the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq, who found no evidence that Iraq produced weapons of mass destruction after 1991, justifies rather than undermines President Bush's decision to go to war.


While saying that Saddam's weapons program had deteriorated since the 1991 Gulf War and did not pose a threat to the world in 2003, the report did say that Saddam's main goal was to get international sanctions lifted.

"As soon as the sanctions were lifted he had every intention of going back" to his weapons program, Cheney said.

What a load of crap.

As if the choice posed to the administration and the American people was binary: invade Iraq now or lift sanctions. Yes, if that was the choice, I guess invade Iraq had some merit. This conception of the problem leaves out the vast middleground of continuing international sanctions and inspections, or even tailoring sanctions somewhat in order to mitigate the harmful effects of certain sanctions on Iraqis while still interdicting WMD related program activities.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

I hope not, Professor Muller

Eric Muller at Is that Legal?

But here's my prediction: if the presidential race stays this tight for the next couple of weeks, or if the numbers start to show Kerry/Edwards pulling ahead, Teresa Heinz Kerry will be destroyed. Destroyed in a way that even Hillary Clinton couldn't imagine.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Veep debate: gotcha

The debate seems, skill and substance-wise, pretty balanced, but what a brilliant rejoinder by Edwards when Cheney attacked his Senate record:

Edwards discussing Cheney's record in Congress, via Kos:

"He voted against Head Start.

"He voted against banning plastic weapons that can pass through medical detectors.

"He voted against 'Meals on Wheels' for Seniors.

"He voted against a holiday for Martin Luther King.

"He voted against a resolution calling for the release of Nelson Mandela."

Cheney couldn't respond, and didn't even try.

Lightbulb Joke from TAPPED

How many members of the Bush Administration are needed to replace a lightbulb?

The Answer is TEN:

1. One to deny that a light bulb needs to be changed

2. One to attack the patriotism of anyone who says the light bulb needs to be changed

3. One to blame Clinton for burning out the light bulb

4. One to tell the nations of the world that they are either: "For changing the light bulb or for darkness"

5. One to give a billion dollar no-bid contract to Haliburton for the new light bulb

6. One to arrange a photograph of Bush, dressed as a janitor, standing on a stepladder under the banner "Light! Bulb Change Accomplished"

7. One administration insider to resign and write a book documenting in detail how Bush was literally "in the dark"

8. One to viciously smear #7

9. One surrogate to campaign on TV and at rallies on how George Bush has had a strong light bulb-changing policy all along

10. And finally one to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country.

New job numbers

Employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. said employers announced 107,863 layoffs in September, 41 percent more than in September 2003 and 45 percent more than in August of this year, when 74,150 were laid off.


Job losses in September were particularly heavy in the computer, transportation, telecommunications and consumer products industries, the report said.

Adding to the glum jobs picture was the slow pace of new hiring in September. The report said employer hiring announcements revealed only 16,166 new job openings in that month compared with 132,105 in August.

The job losses and the anemic growth in new jobs is troubling, to be sure, but the jobs being lost are also quite troubling. Computers, transportation, and telecom? That's not old school industry, that's the new economy suffering.

From the Other Paper of Record

WASHINGTON, DC—Freshly unearthed public documents, ranging from newspapers to cabinet-meeting minutes, seem to indicate large gaps in George W. Bush's service as president, a spokesman for the watchdog group Citizens for an Informed Society announced Monday.


"We're fairly confident that these so-called 'news stories' will turn out to be partisan smear tactics," DeLay said. "I wouldn't be surprised if all 11 billion of these words turn out to be forgeries. For thousands of reporters, editors, and government officials to claim that Bush compromised the security and fiscal health of this nation is not merely anti-American, but also dangerous."

Monday, October 04, 2004

Check this out

From Columnist Manifesto:

Okay, so as I understand it, Kerry's position that the Bush administration has botched, and continues to mishandle the Iraq war, sends “mixed signals” to the world, and -- irrespective of whether it's true -- disqualifies Kerry from being "commander in chief." Think about what that means: essentially, any president who through a combination of incompetence and bad judgment embroils us in armed conflict that drags on to election time must be re-elected “because there’s a war on.” Doesn’t such a principle create a rather perverse incentive for presidents in a democracy?


The worst indictment of the mainstream media, our First Amendment Watchdogs, is their almost complete failure to challenge this assertion by Bush. The job of the media is to question policies, particularly plainly wrong policies, and to refuse to let truth be the first casualty of war. Yet the New York Times simply reported Bush’s assertion – that a man is disqualified from the presidency by questioning the sitting president’s failed war policy – as though it were a legitimate position in a two-sided argument. It’s not a legitimate position: it’s an argument for tyranny, implying that war – even a limited conflict without a declaration of war, like Iraq – puts democracy on hold. The media’s implied acquiesces in this anti-democratic assertion is a terrible failure in its First Amendment role.

Updating Blogroll underway. I hope to create a separate list of UW-Law related blogs and blawgs, as they seem to be proliferating in my reading.

UPDATE: I hate you, Blogger. First, it posted this message to OP four times. Then, I make all these super-spiffy changes to my template to create the new blogroll, and it won't display. It's saved in the template, mind you, which should in a perfect world serve as the code for the site, but apparently Blogger is running OP off of some cached template or something. The blogroll will be up when it's up, people.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Fox News: Fair and Balanced

...up to and including making sure that the relative height of the candidates is balanced, apparently.

(UPDATE: link for candidate height photo removed, as it was non-functional)

Also, Josh Marshall at TPM has caught Fox posting a false news story, including quotes purportedly made by Kerry, such as:

"Didn't my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!" Kerry said Friday.

"Women should like me! I do manicures."

"I'm metrosexual — he's a cowboy," the Democratic candidate said of himself and his opponent.

Somehow, this "partial script" got posted on its main news page. Whoops!

(links via TPM and Kos).

Fred Kaplan scores the debate