Thursday, September 30, 2004

What to expect at tonight's debate.

Short answer: Not Much. Longer Answer: Lots of Spin.

The debates have essentially turned into a rapid-fire exchange of soundbites between the candidates. A great organization looking to change this Open Debate, who advocates for unbiased debates. This is not a partisan abuse - this is a bipartisan abuse - where the Republicans and Democrats have worked together to stifle debates from being real forums.

As far as tonight goes, I think Kerry really needs to point out Bush's inconsistencies and delusions. One point that I can't wait for him to make is his response to Bush accusing him of flip-flopping on the war. "You told me that we were voting for a resolution to maintain peace, that's what I voted for. When it became that I couldn't trust you, then I had to run against you. Now you accuse me of voting for the war. Are you lying now, or were you lying then, Mr. President?"

Also, I'm rather concerned that Fox News is editing the feeds for all the networks. Whenever Fox feels it is important to cut away from Bush or to Kerry, we all need to watch. This is absurd. They are clearly partisan, yet they control what the whole country sees.

This is very alarming.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

He's Got Bush's Kids, We've Got Reagan's, and Eisenhower's

Joining Michael Reagan in the Right-Wing Hall Of Shame, John Eisenhower wrote an article for yesterday's Manchester (NH) Union Leader. While it's cool to have their descendants supporting Kerry, I was really impressed by this line:

"The fact is that today’s “Republican” Party is one with which I am totally unfamiliar. To me, the word “Republican” has always been synonymous with the word “responsibility,”"

Also liked this, hopefully there are more like him:

"As son of a Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, it is automatically expected by many that I am a Republican. For 50 years, through the election of 2000, I was. With the current administration’s decision to invade Iraq unilaterally, however, I changed my voter registration to independent, and barring some utterly unforeseen development, I intend to vote for the Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry."

Sunday, September 26, 2004

What we're all fighting about

Last night we observed Yom Kippur - a time to think about our sins and reflect on them - as well as think about how we can avoid those sins again. Pride, intolerance, among others were on that list. One theme that most of the sins discussed in temple had in common was the failure to consider the people that you effect.

Later at my parents place we gathered together to 'break fast'. I entered into a recurring debate that I've had with a family friend about politics. He is one of those people who believes that foreign policy trumps all the travesties that Bush is committing here, and he believes that Bush is in the right on his foreign policies. While I strongly disagree with him, he is among the most effective debaters I have ever met, and I always enjoy discussing current affairs with him. The point for me is that we both share a common interest in the fate of our country and we both are interested in testing out and arguing our beliefs - to see if they stand up. At the end of the day, the fate of our country is where we both derive our passion from, we just differ on the best means to strengthen this country. This was civil.

Later, I went out to the San Gennaro Feast and stopped at a bar. While the mood was very friendly, all of a sudden this loudmouth starts screaming about how Bush is right, Bush is the greatest, let's kill all Muslims, etc. Very ignorant, very loud and very offensive - just as he intended. And he was 'talking' to his friends. It just blows my mind to see people fighting with other Americans over politics. I hate to quote Jarvis, but this is really how we will lose the war.

Now, mind you, this is not a Republican phenomenon. Later in the evening, we went to another bar and my friend was speaking to a girl. She asked him if he was voting for Kerry. He said no, and she told him he was living in the wrong city - the conversation ended there. This is beyond me. I find it very hard to understand Bush's popularity - but that makes me want to understand how people can support him. However, most Democrats seem to not give a damn about the 49% of Americans who will be voting for Bush. It's sad.

And the truth is, this is what the parties want from us. They don't want nuance, understanding or analysis of the candidates. They want to lock up their 'base' by painting the opposition as illogical or worse. If you convince someone that they can't support a candidate because of ___________(Abortion rights, gay marriage, their obstinance, or their inconsistency), you never need to discuss how both candidates are compromised by corporate donors.

Of course, Bush still sucks and has put us firmly on a course towards World War III and I'll do everything I can to keep him from getting re-elected - I just wish more people were willing to discuss why they have different opinions, we're all in the same boat here we just have different solutions.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Biking Uphill

So given that another well-known chicken has announced that he will not be running for the cure, this Chicken is stepping up to bike for the cure!

I'll be riding with the legendary Los Demonios de Bicicleta, So please! Donate Here!

Also, we're looking for new recruits, so if you bike like the wind please feel free to join the team at the above link. It's a 30 mile trip all around the city - and it really isn't as tough as it sounds!



What if America was like Iraq?

Juan Cole has an awesome piece today comparing what's really happening in Iraq to what would be comparable within the US:

"President Bush said Tuesday that the Iraqis are refuting the pessimists and implied that things are improving in that country.

What would America look like if it were in Iraq's current situation? The population of the US is over 11 times that of Iraq, so a lot of statistics would have to be multiplied by that number.

Thus, violence killed 300 Iraqis last week, the equivalent proportionately of 3,300 Americans. What if 3,300 Americans had died in car bombings, grenade and rocket attacks, machine gun spray, and aerial bombardment in the last week? That is a number greater than the deaths on September 11, and if America were Iraq, it would be an ongoing, weekly or monthly toll. "


"What if the leader of the European Union maintained that the citizens of the United States are, under these conditions, refuting pessimism and that freedom and democracy are just around the corner?"

Monday, September 20, 2004

No More Terror

Apparently the fact that the polls show support for President Bush has caused a decline in the threat of terrorism, from the Daily Kos.

Now what I want to understand is which of the following the Bushies will cop to, either:

a)The terror alerts are politically motivated to distract the public


b)The 'evildoers' want Bush to win, so they increase the chatter when it looks like he's in trouble

Either way, I want an answer

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Ten Cuidado del Nombre Bush

This is great!

The guys over at the New Democrat Network have been producing great Spanish commercials all cycle. But has to be the best yet. While the ad is in Spanish, it's subtitled in English.

Nothing like a mariachi song warning you to beware of Bush!

How do we get them to run this on tv? I think this would even be effective on English tv if you ran the subtitles.

Friday, September 17, 2004

If only everything, were as

simple and correct as this!

Saturday, September 11, 2004

What's the Matter with Kansas?

Ok, so I did make you all wait a little while for this post, but here it is:

This book is very interesting and I think more than anything points to the future of how politics are going. The general notion of this story is that Republicans have convinced poor and lower-middle class Kansans to support them based on social issues while the Republicans screw them on financial issues. However, this isn't nearly the complete argument. Frank just helps identify the trend within the state he grew up in, but this is a larger nationwide issue.

You have Republicans passing law after law that destroys the 'homeland' by turning independent farmers into sharecroppers or by having to sell out to conglomerates. Time after time, pursuing an open market or the global market has undermined the traditional blue collar workers that have defined middle America. Yet middle America keeps re-electing Conservatives to fight the 'liberal establishment'. Is this the same 'Liberal Establishment' that doesn't control the House, the Senate, the White House or the Supreme Court? Of course. The Conservatives get elected on social issues then do nothing but undermine their own supporters. It really is an amazing feat.

What we really have is some of the conservatives largest supporters being responsible for things that incense the conservatives solidifying their power. I think the perfect example of this would be Coors. They are huge benefactors of the Conservative establishment (not in Kansas but in general) yet at the same time run commercials that revolve around drunken behavior and twins with big breasts. Viewers get so outraged by these lack of morals they donate to Conservative candidates who cater public policy to fit their large benefactor, Coors. This is not a rare trend. Look at Fox TV, the lowest moral standards on the networks yet they tell people to support Conservatives. Where is the outrage? Why doesn't the 'Liberal Establishment' do something?

Frank is very liberal (borderline socialist in my opinion) which helps him to identify just how centrist the Dems have become. Democratic economic policy has become nearly indistinguishable from the Republicans, leaving the only real issue they differ on is how much we will underfund the state. Frank is particularly alarmed by the decline of unions which has helped to decimate the middle class. The trend that appears to be emerging is that traditional Republicans might start turning toward the Dems to balance the attacks on their social rights. Many 'Rockefeller' or fiscal Republicans are becoming alarmed at the erosion of their civil liberties. I foresee them moving to the left over the coming decade and we'll be looking at a country where the entire middle class and educated lower class move to the left for social rights while the lower class by and large gravitate to a Right wing that is underwritten by the elite of the elite. This will put us in a position where nobody at all represents workers' rights and labor rights, a very scary thought that shows just how effective the super-rich have been at using social issues as a wedge to consolidate power.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Back in the coop

The Chicken is back from vacation.

Lots of stuff going on so this can't be a long post, but here's my advice to Kerry supporters - stop freaking out. The polls are still very close and Kerry is actually winning the general election according to the latest Zogby polls. It's a fluid field and the only things we should be worrying about are Bush's approval/disapproval ratings. Right now they're in his favor, but I look forward to the CNN poll tonight.

As promised, I've got a long post on 'What's the Matter with Kansas' in the works. You can expect that on Saturday.