Thursday, September 30, 2004

Never Enough Scary Pictures Department


OK, so I'm ecstatic over Kerry's debate victory. Let me poke fun at my damn candidate, it's my way of... of... of bonding, yeah, that's it. It's our bond.

Still, I'm thinking about putting this picture on my front door this Halloween.

But now I understand why Kerry got the tan. It's because, when Bush gets red in the face, it makes Kerry look pale.

Never Enough Comedic Slaughters Department

Jon Stewart SLAMMED Rudy Giuliani. Rudy was busy spinning the Bush line and sounded almost as guilty and defensive as Bush did. JON STEWART OPENLY LAUGHED AT RUDY GIULIANI WHILE RUDY WAS TRYING TO COVER DUBYA'S ASS.

Excuse me. I'm just really, really giddy right now. I'm on the verge of coming.

A small part of me thought that it was very sad. But another part of me remembers how hated Giuliani was prior to 9/11, and smiles.

Also, the Moment of Zen should've opened with Laura and Theresa, onstage after the debate, comparing their near-identical pink outfits. It was, simultaneously, very evocative of Jackie Kennedy's style. They actually wrapped their arms around each other. I'll post pics once good shots become available, promise!

A part of me will be fantasizing about First Lady Lesbian Sex, to be sure. This would bother me, except I know that Cynthia will, too, as soon as she reads this. (Hi honey.)

Never Enough Slam Dunks Department

I didn't get to watch the debates--this evening has been against me in so many ways, but from what I've seen in the news, read in the forums, and confirmed in the online polls:

Kerry might've been less than exact about his plans for Iraq, but he at least looked like a leader. Bush looked like a kid caught as he's about to sneak out, angrily defending himself without being able to demonstrate much confidence, poise, maturity, or clue.

All the online polls I've seen--from all over the US--have Kerry winning, in the worst case, by a 3:2 ratio, and as much as 4:1. One of my IRC buddies said she saw it pushing 90% in one poll.

Let Rove spin. Kerry won this one, and he won it so decisively that there is simply no way Bush can hope to gain ground in the next two.

If the debates help determine who wins the Presidency, then it is becoming clear that, as has been said before, Kerry is a strong finisher, and has a better chance of winning than ever before.

We still gotta cinch the deal, though--if you haven't registered, do. If you have, vote.

Never Enough Oops Department

I neglected to thank AlterNet's News Log for linking to the Business Journal article on the Daily Show. AlterNet rocks.

Never Enough Serious Comedy Department

The Business Journal has printed proof of what most of us suspected, and what Jon Stewart dreads hearing: The Daily Show's listeners are far more politically savvy than those who follow more conventional news outlets. Stewart always has this "But we're a comedy show" defense whenever someone tries to point this out. Yes, Jon, you are a comedian, as is all your co-workers on the show. But if you know anything about the history of humor, you'd know that the most profound truths are often cloaked by yuks and grins. It's how most of us can endure the profound truths.

The Business Journal article also points out that The Daily Show's viewers tend to be more liberal. That's painfully obvious, but it needed to be pointed out. For instance, when John Kerry walked out on the set of the show, I was surprised nobody threw panties. (Shhhhhhhh, Wonkette, I know you really want to, you can't deny your lust for long faces and lugubrious speeches much longer!) When Richard Clarke came back for an encore interview, the audience thundered--Clarke isn't a liberal, but his courage and honesty is greatly admired in liberal circles. Then last night, David Duke was on the show, and the tepid applause was thicker than Duke's bullshit. Yeah, that thick.

I also remember when Peter Jennings came onto The Daily Show, and jokingly said that they did "good work--sometimes". And yet, in the face of Dubya's not-so-subtle manipulation of the media, it would seem that The Daily Show remains a bastion of spin-proofed integrity and honesty that would be devastating if not for the jokes. But therein lies the crux--why is there so damned few venues that refuse the spin and the jokes? Are we so desperate for escape that we cannot endure the truth without a varnish of humor? Is it the media that's become too chicken-shit... or is it us?

I'd answer that question, but I'm having a hard time coming up with an adequate punch-line. The truth hurts, don't it?

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Never Enough Real Cowboys Department

Bush isn't a real cowboy.


Never Enough Real Men Department

Bush is not a real man.

DUH. But it's about time more people started noticing.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Never Enough Neocon Stupidity Department

So is Iraq falling apart because of a few "insurgents"? Actually, it sounds more like it's due to the Neocons pushing for radical free-market solutions which left people starving and desperate. That's Naomi Klein's take on the situation, anyhow.

It's very difficult to disagree. You'd have to believe that free markets lead to Utopia in the first place.

Doesn't utopia mean "no place"?

Never Enough Voter Registration Department

According to the New York Times (here reprinted by the Seattle Times), there has been a surge in voter registrations in Ohio and Florida, two of the more vital "swing states" in this election. And guess what? The Democrats are registering new voters at a rate five to ten times greater than Republicans.

Which means, if we can also ensure these voters actually vote on November 2, Kerry will be in good shape to take the White House from Dubya.

So, have you registered to vote yet? Time is running out. And, if you have registered, consider bringing more voters with you.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Never Enough Frozen Ovaries Department

A Belgian woman, left sterile by chemotherapy, has successfully given birth after her ovarian tissue had been removed and frozen, prior to chemotherapy, then re-implanted.

On one hand, it's nice to know that women won't be forced to be sterile after cancer treatments. On the other hand, the above article mentions that this technique might allow women to postpone childbirth a couple of decades, as the eggs apparently don't age while they remain embedded in the frozen tissue.

Do we need women giving birth so late? I can so easily see some neurotic woman marrying well early in life, having ovarian tissue preserved, squeezing out baby after baby, and just as her original ovaries reach the point-of-no-return phase, getting that ovarian tissue back and giving birth to another dozen or so.

That's disgusting.

Never mind the notion that people might really want to consider having less children, so we're not forcing more and more people to cope with less and less. Medical science, when good, is great--but when bad, is downright decadent. Just ask anyone who's had multiple plastic surgeries.

OK, my mini-rant is over. Congratulations to the proud and lucky woman, and I hope she feels the same way I do about the potential for this therapy to be abused.

Never Enough Telling It As It Is Department

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, it's official: John Kerry never flip-flopped on the subject of Iraq.

Well, DUH. But it took Kerry's aggressive push to get the news media to notice he was consistent.

There's a little note at the end of the article saying that, next week, they will examine Bush's statements on Iraq. I can't wait.

Never Enough Awesome Quotes Department

"Capitalism is OK as an economic system, but it makes a lousy religion."
--Steve Earle

...And I'm not even a Steve Earle fan. Not music-wise, that is. As a person, I think he rocks.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Never Enough Sad News Department

Russ Meyer has passed on. We will remember you, Russ, every time a large-breasted woman demands that her needs be met.

Never Enough Cantankerous Elections Department

A wonderful reason to vote is given by Marylaine Block: "sheer orneriness". She says it's a bad reason to vote, but for my money, orneriness works better than anything else. Of course, she brings up Nader, who I wish would just get a grip rather than trying to wrest progressive votes from the Democrats. Not that I think "third parties" are bad, but that we need to overhaul the whole election system to insure equitable elections if we're going to get serious about them, otherwise only billionaires like Ross Perot will be able to run. That's for a whole different injection of obstinance.

But in general, the fact that many would rather we not vote is reason enough to vote. On that point, I agree with all my uppity heart.

Never Enough Votes For Swingin' Department

There's been a lot of discussion of swing voters this election, given that the 2000 race was so close. Of course, there are many ways to win--getting out more votes, reframing debates to a candidate's advantage, etc. But relying on swing voters insures that politicians cater to whims, not to issues. Arianna Huffington wrote about the phenomenon previously, but as usual she was quite serious, if more passionate than usual. But this article by Sandip Roy lays it all out in its funniest glory.

Once reliance on swing voters is more openly mocked, as was reliance on soccer moms in the 2000 race, then we can kiss such crap goodbye.

Of course, none of this would matter so much if the administration weren't so eager to be secretive. Then again, if it weren't for the secrecy, this Presidential election wouldn't be such a close race, now, would it?

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Never Enough Shit Happening Department

Tom DeLay's buddies in Texas for a Republican Majority and Americans for a Republican Majority just got their pee-pees whacked for money laundering, making unlawful political contributions, and accepting unlawful political contributions. And DeLay has the gall to claim this is just election-year politics.

Admittedly, the convictions come awfully close to the election. But give me a break--this has been in the works for months. And it's hardly the first scandal DeLay has been in. So for him to claim that this is nothing but election-year politics is rather cheeky, given that he's next.

Tom DeLay is many things--a gerrymandering bully, a cryptofascist, a fundamentalist tool--but I didn't think he was a damned fool too. Must've been all those pesticides he used to work with.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Never Enough Journalistic Integrity Department

Have I mentioned recently that Bill Moyers rocks? I'm sure I have.

The above link is for a speech he gave at a Society of Professional Journalists conference on Sept. 11th. Given that I've loved pretty much everything he's ever written for its honesty, penetration, and even its lyrical qualities, I'm admittedly biased. I still think this speech is the best thing he's written, as it aims at the malaise that has corrupted journalism in this country and which, in turn, threatens to weaken our democracy just when we need it most.

Read it. It's worthy of much wider readership than this blog can give, but every bit helps. Read it, and thank Bill Moyers for his willingness to say what's on his mind in such a clear and potent fashion.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Never Enough Corny Hopefulness Department

"The Great Pall & Its Fall: A Not-So-Grim Tale" is, perhaps, a little overdone, but it is well worth a read. Seriously. It's a nice little allegory that has me wanting to lift my lantern high.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Never Enough Strategy Redux Department

You know what's frustrating me? The fact that everyone else seems frustrated that their particular favorite theme isn't being addressed by Kerry in the manner that they'd prefer.

Is there something inherent about Kerry that nobody is ever satisfied with what he says, no matter how poignant it may be? And no, I'm not talking about problems with articulation.

Frankly, while I wish Kerry were bolder, I have every reason to think he will get bolder over the next few weeks. Beyond that, he has to go with the strategy that will damage Bush the most, while simultaneously reducing the chances of backlash. That's tricky even when discounting the political leverage the Republicans have gained over the past several years.

So, suppose Kerry went after Bush on Iraq. No matter what Kerry might say, and no matter how consistent it might well be with everything else Kerry has said about Iraq, Bush can always use the "flip-flop" defense, as Bush supporters and the media both have been trained well to use that defense. The only way to overcome the backlash would be to attack with a fierceness that would make Dean's vaunted scream seem like a murmur. It'd be counterproductive.

Then again, it's not like there aren't plenty of weak spots, and while some polls might contraindicate using the economy as a line of attack, it's too tempting of a weak spot to pass up. A small hole can be made much bigger with a sustained assault. And the hole in Bush's domestic policies isn't that small to begin with.

You just watch--Kerry will get more aggressive, Bush's apparent lead will begin to soften, Cheney will make more craven and hysterical statements, Bush will try to counter but will only make himself look further out of touch, and in the end we will prevail.

Of course, it'd help if everyone posting here took some time to register voters. Voter registration drives are effective and I highly encourage volunteering for such. But at minimum you should be finding one person who hasn't registered to vote, and make sure he or she has, with an understanding of the stakes involved and how important it is to actually cast that vote. Do that, and half our worries are behind us.

Never Enough Good Grief Department

So now teachers can't even write off purchases of school materials out of their own pockets. Teachers are already poorly paid and overworked, and are often forced to purchase school supplies for their students. The least we could do is let them save a little on taxes to make up for it. But no--it's too important to Leave No Billionaire Behind, I guess.

FEH, I'm in an ugly mood. Fits the state of this nation, though.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Never Enough Happy Endings Department

Remember that bit from yesterday, about an Alabama woman who was fired for having a John Kerry bumper sticker on her car?

John Kerry hired her.

Now, with November 2 just around the corner, I wouldn't expect the woman to get too excited. Still, you know this will get some good buzz, and she will definitely dig it.

You go, girl.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Never Enough Bogus Firings Department

A woman in Moulton, Alabama was fired for, of all things, displaying a Kerry/Edwards sticker on her car. Her boss had been placing a letter in with each employees' paycheck that claimed the Bush tax cut allowed him to afford equipment and--pointedly--employees. But apparently he doesn't like it much when others disagree.

What's so incredibly stupid about this? Only that the boss in question, Phil Gaddis, is also a bankruptcy attorney. How could an attorney set himself up for such a bone-headed wrongful dismissal suit? All I can figure is that Gaddis was making so much money off of the increasing rate of bankruptcies--which hasn't gotten any better under Dubya--that he couldn't tell he was about to screw himself.

Never Enough Quick Money Department

Hey, want over $2000 in a hurry? It's easy! Just be the first person who can prove you asked Dubya, in a public forum, one simple question:

How many times have you been arrested, Mr. President?

C'mon, what could be easier?

(Pardon my sarcasm--Bush is still screening people at his public appearances to rule out any partisan questioning. But if people could sneak into the GOP Convention to protest, then one person surely could find an opportunity to ask this question. For two thousand bucks? It'd be worth it, you know.)

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Never Enough Damning Facts Department

First off, sorry for the delay in publishing three of the most recent blog entries. As it turned out, my web server had become full, and so I had to blow out some galleries of pictures to get the blog working. As I plan to upgrade to a larger server before long, this shouldn't be a serious issue in the near future--I hope!

Second, you will want to read this article by Evan Derkacz on Bush's life during his National Guard "service". To me, none of this is new information, but it's nicely bundled together in a tight, hard-to-ignore package. If just a few key newspapers started reporting on some of this with any seriousness, Bush would look even weaker than he currently does.

But that's not all! So Bush lived a wild, reckless, irresponsible life. (You might've noticed that the Bush twins casually alluded to this part of Bush's life when talking about their own foibles, none of which have yet to top Bush's own youthful indiscretions.) So he didn't serve as honorably in the National Guard as he claims. So he drank a lot and bragged about it, flaunted law-breaking, and might've snorted cocaine. Lots of youngsters, especially the rich ones, act irresponsibly and selfishly, pretending that they'll live forever and have no consequences to face.

Well, there's also the fact that Bushie was busy learning his political dirty tricks while helping out the Senatorial campain of "Red" Blount, who accused conservative Democrat rival John Sparkman of supporting forced busing--that is, the sending of black children to schools with high populations of white students, and vice versa. That may seem like a non-issue nowadays, but back then, especially in Alabama, "forced busing" was a conservative code-word for "making our pure White children rub skin against those filthy, lazy, theiving, no-good niggers". In addition, Sparkman was accused of being anti-war and anti-military at a time when Southern sentiment towards Vietnam was stridently pro-war and pro-military. In short, Bush was being taught how to fight dirty in politics.

So, we're dealing with an irresponsible, reckless, careless, self-absorbed, respectless young man who was taught how to sling mud without getting it all over his red power tie. Then he found God and became President, and we were supposed to forget all about his past, and by all means never make judgements about his character and his ability to lead from the way he behaved 30 years ago.

Except, people are starting to remember, and the judgements are inevitable.


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Never Enough Bu**Sh** Department

So, if you believe some of the punditry out there, Bush is ahead by seven points. This is in one poll, I hasten to add--Gallup has Bush ahead by two. Two points? Statistically speaking, that's still a dead heat.

You can tell the GOP is deeply concerned. Why else would Cheney state that making the "wrong choice" on Election Day would doom the country to another terrorist attack? It's such an irresponsible, near-traitorous thing to say, and only makes sense if you accept the notion that Cheney, his boss, and their coterie--heh, almost typed "cotillion" there!--of political advisors and hatchet-men are deeply worried that they aren't getting enough of a political gain over Kerry.

Ruy Teixeira agrees. Oh yes, the media isn't letting on just yet that the Republicans are in hot water, but the evidence is out there. Why, that two percent bounce is, in Teixeira's words, "the worst ever received by an incumbent president, regardless of party, and the worst ever received by a Republican candidate, whether incumbent or not." [His emphasis.]

Which means, Kerry needs to nail Bush down hard for the next two months. He can. Although Kerry complimented Bush's debating skills during his Daily Show interview, Kerry is much better at extemporization--which means that Kerry will appear much calmer and stronger during the debates, while Bush will flinch at each and every unscripted turn. Meanwhile, even as Bush continues the "flip-flop" tirade, Kerry will keep reminding Americans that Bush has screwed up his first shot at being President and doesn't deserve a second chance.

"'W' for 'Wrong'"--not a bad slogan, really.

I still prefer twisting around the Republican slogan:

"10 Out Of 10 Terrorists Agree--Bush Is Good For Business"

But that's just me.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Never Enough Straight Facts Department simply rocks. Are you confused about some point of order in the political campaign, or in the news? Come to and see what the Annenberg Public Policy Center's fact-checking team has to say. Don't worry, these folks are non-partisan--they'll zing Kerry and just as they'll zing Bush and Swift Vote Veterans.

Except, reading the site, you get a quick feeling that Bush & Co. must've gone into Permanent Compulsive Lying mode, because finds themselves in the somewhat awkward position of correcting Bush's team and allies far more than Kerry's.

Imagine that.

Never Enough Reassurances Department

Ghods, I love Molly Ivans. Her latest column is a hoot and a half--mainly because she can be both pointed and hilarious, all at once. Read this column, especially if you feel disheartened after the RNC. This will cheer you up, no problems.

And if that doesn't cheer you up, maybe a little Michael Moore, also commenting on the RNC, will help.

Chin up! All that is left to do at this point is to make sure as many people vote as possible, and to stand up to Bush lies. The rest will sort itself out. Trust me on this.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Never Enough Dissolving Parties Department

Watching the Republican National Convention, with its well-funded glitziness and fawning support for their Boy King, you'd never guess that the Republicans are in deep, deep trouble.

First, there's the matter of Alan Keyes, who in a matter of days has (a) accused Fox News journalist Walter Jacobsen of, of all things, being in the pay of the Democrats, largely due to the fact that Jacobsen caught Keyes claiming that automatic weapons were legal in Illinois and questioned him on that statement; and (b) called Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter Mary a selfish hedonist and a sinner. Note well that, for a high-profile Senate seat, Keyes is the best the GOP could do to counter the articulate but unexperienced Obama.

But Keyes is just the hottest potato in the basket, so to speak. There's the little matter of the GOP using moderate speakers to put a "compassionate" face on the most radical Republican platform ever, glossing over the problem of having too many conflicting interests under the GOP "big tent". Indeed, Republican moderates largely feel slighted by the Party's shift to the right. Stem cell research, environmentalism, fiscal responsibility, abortion, and gay rights are but a few areas where moderates feel the Republican leadership has abandoned them. Their reactions are varied--some stay the course, hoping to convince the leadership of the urgency of a more moderate point of view. Then there's the Log Cabin Republicans, who are running TV ads to force the Party to step back from its platform, which not only calls for a Constitutional amendment against gay marriage but also action against any attempt to grant gay couples rights akin to marriage, such as civil unions.

Right now, it seems that the only thing holding the Republicans together is loyalty to the party, not ideology or common causes. And, as David Brooks of the conservative Weekly Standard has pointed out, if Bush loses, not even party loyalty will prevent sectarianism that will make the Democrats look unified, coherent, and strife-free. Of course, Brooks sees a potential path to salvation in what he calls "progressive conservatism"--and what that means is anyone's guess. Perhaps it's just a matter of co-opting progressive language and welding it to conservative thought--or vice versa, a sell-job to conservatives of the need for progressive policy. But I have doubts it will work.

The biggest problem the Republicans have is that, for decades, they have relied on the Cold War as a launching point for paranoia and psychopathy wrapped in patriot's clothes. As long as the Republicans could be seen as hard on Communism, they could contrast themselves with the more reasoned, measured, but usually unwavering realpolitik of the Democrats. They could then cast attempts at progressive policy as tax-and-spend fluff which didn't solve any real problems and sapped precious dollars from hard-working taxpayers, with the occasional "Commie" accusation coughed under breath.

The problem then is clear--Republicans have built themselves up as the anti-tax, anti-progressive party. To twist around and become progressive without a better means to raise government income is to alienate their base. As Michael Moore pointed out in his recent op-ed piece in USA Today, many Republicans are "RINOs"--Republicans In Name Only. In other words, they largely support progressive policies, except for their resistance to taxation. If the Republicans wish to become "progressive conservatives", they will need to find a better means to raise revenues for funding progressive causes, or else deal with another few decades of alienation. And that will be tough.

It won't be impossible, however. It's quite possible to argue successfully, for example, that raising fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks will result in savings later on in terms of less energy consumption and smaller environmental clean-up costs. Again, the problem is how to explain this gigantic flip-flop to millions of Republicans who were convinced by conservative pundits that progressive and expensive are synonymous. It won't go down well with evangelicals who think Armageddon is right around the corner, and certain fossilized business sectors will recoil in horror at the notion that their selfishness won't result in any invisible hands saving the day. All in all, it looks grim for the Republicans in the long haul.

And I'm sure that Republican-bashers will be wiping their hands in malicious glee at the thought of the GOP being in deep waters. But I'm not a Republican-basher--or, at least, I don't think of myself as such. Hey, I like John McCain and Bob Dole, amongst others. I may disagree with some of their positions but I like them as people, and think they tend to have higher standards than, say, Newt Gingrich or John Ashcroft. To be blunt, if the Republicans did become more progressively-inclined, I for one would feel a lot better about the political process, and the future of this country.

Never Enough Shrooms Department

Mushrooms--toppings for salads, steaks, and pizzas? Or a potential bonanza of helpful benefits for humanity?

You decide.

Me, I'm up for eating radioactive Psyllocybin on a supreme deep-dish. If I'm going to trip I may as well go the Spider-Man route at the same time. And then we can spread mushrooms to clean up the mess I make while trying to figure out my super-powers!

Or maybe they'll cure me of the inevitable cancer that comes from chewing on Cesium 137-laden fungus. You never know!

(Never put your tongue firmly in cheek while chewing gum. BAD idea. BAD, BAD idea.)