"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

The Rude Pundit Gets It Right

The inestimable Pandagon kids point me to The Rude Pundit:

Kerry's done a fuck of a lot more than pull a guy out of a river. And the fact that America doesn't know that says a great deal about how we negotiate our desolate political landscape.

The whole thing is worth a read. It's still painful to watch Kerry on the stump; he's just not my style, and he's obviously not lovin' being out there. But fuck that. What does it have to do with being president? His record is clearly exemplary. He went up against Nixon, Reagan, and Bush Sr, all quite admirably. That these facts aren't a part of this race says a lot about how timid the Democrats have become -- which leads back to the qualms I have with Kerry. I'll still be voting for the man, and you should too, but also still wish he'd gone the whole hog ala Howard Dean.

But for anyone out there who really thinks Kerry "blows with the political wind," and is "spineless," you're missing the point. He's a Senator. He's voted stragetically. That's what you do if you're a Senator. He's also a serious big-league politician who wants to win an election in America. Just like Bush -- or any candidate -- he's made a few choices that seem calibrated toward the end of winning the election.

Personally I think he could have taken more of a stand in the past few years, but if I were working out of DC and had only media reports and polling data to go on, and I wanted very badly to believe that there's real good to be accomplished through the political process, I could see why he'd do what he did.

Kerry got played by Bush on the war vote, but that doesn't make him weak-willed. He took on Nixon when he was fucking 27 (which cost him his first Congressional race), and Reagan when he was still wet behind the ears as a Senator. That's not "spineless." That's displaying remarkable political courage; and it's still in there.

One of the reasons I'm liking Kerry is that the more I see him the more I realize he hates campaigning. And I'd hate campaigning too if I had to do it in the early 21st Century stye. So believe, and don't let anyone vote for Bush for stupid ass reasons. If we finish strong here, we win.

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The New Yorker Endorses Kerry

Best endorsement yet; very strong. Plus, they haven't endorsed anyone in like 80 years.

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GOP Email Voyeurism

DEAD LETTER OFFICE: GeorgeWBush.org: Bush/Cheney in 2004!

So the people who own georgewbush.org aren't working for the BC/04 campaign. They used the website to post a satire of Bush's campaign, but the real gold mine appears to be their catch-all email account combined with some republicans' error-prone addressing skills. Any GOP email mis-sent to anyone@georgewbush.org -- a lot of CCs -- ended up in the satirists email box, and they've posted the best of for all the world to see.

The Daily Kos is covering the kind of scandalous revelation that a lot of county people in Washington state think they're violating campaign finance law. This is a pretty serious accusation, actually. You know, I have friends who work for the Democratic party, and I don't really get to talk to them all that much any more except by reading their public blogs. We sweat this sort of thing because it is a legal liability; and it's kind of, you know, "wrong" for people to be "breaking the law" and "know it."

May I request that you or someone on your staff send directions regarding what Counties can and cannot do as it pertains to newsletters and phone banks usage for federal candidates.

There is a great deal of ignorance out here and many counties are violating the campaign law as I understood it from you. God help us if the Democrats find out.

That seems to be the proverbial "Money Quote." It's an ugly term, but it's a fine one in this case; what's been uncovered here is the political equivalent of pornography. Who knows how the mainstream will react, but for addicts it's one more spectacle to wank over.

Personally I'm actually more interested in some of the odd attachments, the more "human interest" type stuff like internal phone-bank reports, attack manuels from Newt Gingrich, photos of young republicans frolicking in New York during the convention, some guy saying he'd look good with Bush's hotter daughter (Barbara, obviously)... none of it's terribly shocking or sensational, but it's very interesting to peek into much more honest communications from GOP people. It's the literary erotica of the situation, I like to think.

I'm sure on some level my personal email would hold a similar morbid curiosity for some of them, assuming they don't have friends in the FBI who can let them read it already. That's sort of a joke; they can read your email if you send it unencrupyed (fix that, if you like), but I doubt very much that mine's interesting enough in a tactical sense to risk inappropriate coordination between the FBI and a politcal campaign. On the other hand, I hope for the sake of the future that the Kerry campaign uses PGP.

I'll post some more about the offbeat stuff that's in the archive later if I find anything really interesting.

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Eminem's Mosh: Our Own October Surprise?

Eminem's Mosh
Eminem has dropped his latest video, with visuals by Guerilla News Network's Ian Inaba. It's a stunning piece of work. Eminem is making a play for the times, to be a cultural leader of a revolutionary generation. I don't know how that will work out in the long run, but it makes for a great driving piece of music and a very aggressive video.

Is this the October Surprise from the hip hop generation? I'm serious about this shit. It could be big. Send it to heads you know. Find out what people think of it; get it play. It could make a difference.

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Abu Aardvark: The Election Made Simple

Abu Aardvark: The Election Made Simple. It's bushian simplicity, but I don't think it's inaccurate:

For or against?

The Talent Show can explain in more words why it really is that simple. For those of us who actually care about human rights or our international reputation, I think this election was decided for you when torture was considered and then legally authorized, probably originally presented via a powerpoint presentation sometime in early 2002 along with the coffee and krispy kremes.

Oh, and we invaded a country for no good reason.

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Jon Stewart In Depth

A day before the infamous crossfire appearance, Jon Stewart was on C-span's "America Perspectives" for a one-hour talk. He covers a lot of the same ground (and uses a few jokes that showed up in his show in subsequent weeks) and it's really quite something to see him at work. Here's the stream, pass it on.

He's clearly not entirely comfortable in the role he's playing here. He makes jokes to get away from tough questions -- totally dodged the "where do you get your news from" query -- but he has good answers here on a number of standard critiques. For instance, on the idea that "kids get their news from the Daily Show," his answer is simple: they don't, because if they didn't already understand current events the show wouldn't be funny.

I also think it's very revealing the kinds of questions other people ask him. For instance, the first question from the audience was from an older guy, a dad, who worked at Citigroup, a muslim, and his question was "how do we make peace with the 1.2 billion muslims who want to make peace?"

That's the question he asked Jon Stewart. I begin to see why Jon's so uncomfortable being in the position he's in. Fighting for the Truth (cap-t) is hard, and when you do it in times like these, people fucking up and swarm to you like you came down from heaven. Tough, ugly business.

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Tucker Eskew

Tucker Eskew is an advisor/spokesperson for the Bush/Cheney campaign, and seems to have started a blog. Unlike the Bush (or Kerry) blogs, this seems to actually be a blog, rather than a series of press releases. Kudos to Tucker for venturing out with a more open kind of spin, disagree with it though I might.

I'll probably pick some of the messages apart later.

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Nerd Quiz

This is one of the few times I've killed five minutes taking a web quiz and not been dissapointed by the results:

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We're going to have an election to settle this "reality" thing.

I emailed Jay Rosen about the poll of Bush supporters below. He's head of NYU's journalism school, so I figured he'd have an interesting take. He said it's complecated, and that it's hard to make a story out of journalists jaws dropping. The best quote:

Strange as it sounds, we're going to have an election to settle this "reality" thing.

Here's hoping that it works.

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GeorgeWBush.com: "Wolves"

More dishonesty from a Bush campaign that thrives on illusions.

The text of their new scare ad, "Wolves," begins with something along the lines of "Even after the first terrorist attacks on America, Kerry voted to cut intelligence funding."

They're referring to the attempted WTC bombing in 1993, of course, but millions will assume (wrongly) they mean 9/11. This deception is plain and intentional.

The conclusion of the ad, that such cuts would have made us more vulnerable, is also not necessarily supported by the facts. FactCheck.org reports that Kerry's proposed cost-savings amounted to a 1% cut, and that similar measures were advanced by Republicans.

Baseless fearmongering seems to be the 9th inning strategy for team Bush, while the Democrats seem to be resorting to a plea for sanity. The DNC has responded with a lighter ad comparing Eagles to Ostriches; soring high with sharp vision vs. head in the sand. It's a nice contrast, and makes sense to me, but my gut tells me the dishonest scare-ad will be more effective. Hope I'm wrong.

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