Friday, July 30, 2004

Most Europeans are no better off economically than Arkansans, according to a new study by a Swedish think tank.

Oooh, that's gonna have some uppity Eurotrash foaming at the mouth.

The Dems’ love-fest is over, finally. I’m not about to refute the cargo load of lies I heard this week, suffice to say that I’d be blogging until Election Day if I deigned to try. One thing did strike me from last night’s grand finale acceptance speech, though. It was what Botox said, and didn’t say:
I ask you to judge me by my record: As a young prosecutor, I fought for victim's rights and made prosecuting violence against women a priority. When I came to the Senate, I broke with many in my own party to vote for a balanced budget, because I thought it was the right thing to do. I fought to put a 100,000 cops on the street.

And then I reached across the aisle to work with John McCain, to find the truth about our POW's and missing in action, and to finally make peace with Vietnam.
Doesn’t that record seem a little light? It did to politico extraordinaire, Dick Morris:
Beyond a brief allusion to his efforts for crime victims and to prosecute crimes against women as an assistant district attorney, his support for Clinton's plan for extra cops and a balanced budget and a reference to his work with John McCain on the POW and MIA issue in Vietnam, that's it.

What did this man do as an adult? What happened during his service as Michael Dukakis' lieutenant-governor in Massachusetts and in his 20 years in the United States Senate?

What bills did he introduce? What initiatives did he sponsor? Which investigations did he lead? What amendments bear his name? What great debates did he participate in?

What did he do for his constituents in Massachusetts? What businesses did he persuade to come to the Bay State? Which elderly did he help get their Social Security benefits? What injustices did he correct?
In discussing his record, Botox eschewed overt appeals to his rabid faithful, opting instead to carefully cherry-pick and showcase a couple of his votes that might hit home with at least a few wavering independents and moderates. There was no mention of the Senate votes that placed him amongst the most liberal legislators in Washington. Following all of his waxing nostalgic over Vietnam, there was no proud talk of his two decades of opposition to numerous defense technology initiatives, nor of his failed attempts to gut the budget of the intelligence community.

Last night, Botox asked Americans to judge him on his record, then avoided telling them of his record, lest they interpret it as a testament of his vacillation and weakness on national security. This is a gigantic logical rift, one which the Bush/Cheney camp will undoubtedly seize upon in the coming weeks of the campaign.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Polls, polls, polls.  What to make of the July poll bump, or lack thereof, for Kerry/Edwards (henceforth referred to as the Botox/BoyToy ticket) as they head to the Democratic Convention in Bean Town?

All conjecture and ruminations aside (the guys at served up a thorough analysis yesterday), here’s what’s transpired since Botox pinned the fragrant VP corsage on BoyToy:

  1. Botox/BoyToy is leading Bush/Cheney by an average 2-3 point margin, well within the standard 4%-5% statistical margin of error.  This represents a net VP honeymoon bounce of 0-5 points, depending on which poll set turns your crank. 
  2. Despite outspending Bush by between $20 and $30 million on TV ads in all of the key battleground states in May and June, Botox was unable to dent the President’s Job Approval stats, which still hover in the high 40’s.
  3. Botox/BoyToy pulled ads from the airwaves in Arizona, Missouri and all across the South, clearly conceding defeat on those fronts for the time being.
  4. Sensing weakness, Botox/BoyToy was forced to commit valuable ad dollars to shore up support from the all important, burgeoning Hispanic vote.
  5. BoyToy’s Southern charm and sex appeal (Sexiest Man in D.C™, ladies!), which was supposed to put several Southern states “in play”, have fallen flat with the Dixie set.  Even in BoyToy’s home state of North Carolina, Bush/Cheney’s poll lead has actually widened in the past few weeks.

Given all the evidence of apparent vulnerability in the Botox/BoyToy camp, does this sound like a ticket that’s about to break a tight White House race wide open after the convention next week?  I beg to differ.  Then again, I could be dead wrong.  Maybe having Ben Affleck at the podium, fresh off his victory at the California State Poker Championships, will be enough to secure the fickle swing voters. 

Swing voters do like poker, don’t they?

Mother emailed to get my opinion of Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 9/11.  She asked because some local radio DJ in Fredericton had seen the movie and was vociferously proclaiming how lucky Canada was vis-à-vis the US, as George W Bush is such an evil person, blah, blah, blah…

I don’t want to waste much space blogging about that bloated moron Michael Moore, especially since so many others have done the heavy lifting in eloquently debunking his so-called “documentaries” (see and, to start).  In a nutshell, I believe Moore is a sick propagandist who preys on the intellectual apathy of the average filmgoer.

Most people who have at least a passing familiarity with Moore know him from his documentary Roger & Me, wherein he stalks the former Chairman of General Motors to find out why GM closed an auto plant in Moore’s hometown of Flint, Michigan.  It was a poignant, funny movie that resonated with many people.  The problem, though, was that upon closer examination the film could hardly be considered a “documentary” by any means.  Moore mastered the techniques of creative and selective editing to demonize the people with whom he disagreed, without any regard for the truth.  Each of the movies that followed Roger & Me have the same veracity problem. 

By and large, the people who’ve seen his films aren’t exposed to the litany of lengthy, well-documented rebuttals, which focus on the numerous inaccuracies, omissions, and outright lies Moore flagrantly exposes on screen.  The result is a passive audience effectively handing their minds over to a propagandist, absorbing one-sided arguments based on falsehoods.  It’s all very sad and troubling.  Doubly so when one considers that the lies and meandering conspiracy theories showcased in Fahrenheit 9/11 will be weighed seriously by some voters come November.

Moore is not a stupid man.  Far from it; his unprecedented success as an antagonist filmmaker proves that.  He does, however, espouse a world view that is unquestionably stupid and illogical.  Why else would he have to resort to such deceitful cinematic tactics in order to convince the audience that his argument is valid and true?

So, there it is, Mom.  That’s what I think of Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 9/11.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

It’s official.  Last night, I was elected Vice-Chair of the Phoenix Young Republicans, or YRs for short.  Thankfully, the group’s constitution does not prohibit non-citizens from serving office, though the State Chair of the YRs says I’ll likely get plenty of ribbing for being the only alien in the entire organization.  That’s ok.  I consider it a badge of honor.
It feels great to be politically involved again, especially in such a critically important election cycle.  So far, I’ve met many dynamic, intelligent people at the YR events this year.  Aside from the obvious networking benefits, I think just being part of the group is stemming my slow decent into cognitive atrophy. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Does “Iraq Quagmire” have a stock symbol?  If so, I’m placing a buy order immediately.  Why?  Check out this nugget from an article on the newly re-opened Iraqi Stock Exchange in today’s Washington Times, entitled “Iraqis Bullish on Stocks”:
In five sessions, trading volume has nearly quadrupled, and the value of some stocks has surged more than 600 percent. Traders say the gains reflect the pent-up frustration of 15 months of closure.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

I was vacationing in San Francisco last week, so I missed commenting on the flaccid jobs report as it was released Friday morning. 112,000 new jobs in June, and downward revision of 35,000 for red-hot April and May. Not what I was expecting, but I’ll remember to keep it in context. 1,221,000 jobs created in the first half of 2004, folks. That’s a sizzlin’ number. Couple that with the Bond Market Association’s forecast that this will be the best year for GDP growth in two decades and you have tasty recipe for a sustained, solid recovery. Don’t fret the June Employment Report. Simply a bump in an upward trend.