Saturday, October 30, 2004

Zogby predicts Kerry victory!

In case you missed Thursday's Daily Show, pollster John Zogby was Jon's guest and he predicted that John Kerry will win on Tuesday! John, Jon, and John = Jackpot! The Palm Beach Post also quotes Zogby.
However, pollster John Zogby said much can be learned from the gridlock that seems to plague the race.

At this stage, incumbent Bush shouldn't be struggling in key states where 131 electoral votes are at stake, he said. Bush's struggles, he said, are Kerry's gains.

Undecided voters historically break toward the challenger at the end of a campaign, he said.

That's why he said he has no compunction about calling the race for Kerry.

"It's a hunch," said Zogby, who is known for his unconventional methods. "I'm looking at the president's numbers as an incumbent, and they're not good."

Thursday, October 28, 2004

A Charge to Keep : My Plans to Invade Iraq

Author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz, the original ghostwriter on "A Charge to Keep: My Journey to the White House" with George W. Bush, gives a candid interview to Russ Baker for the Guerrilla News Network.
-In 2003, Bush’s father indicated to him that he disagreed with his son’s invasion of Iraq.

-Bush admitted that he failed to fulfill his Vietnam-era domestic National Guard service obligation, but claimed that he had been “excused.”

-Bush revealed that after he left his Texas National Guard unit in 1972 under murky circumstances, he never piloted a plane again. That casts doubt on the carefully-choreographed moment of Bush emerging in pilot’s garb from a jet on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in 2003 to celebrate “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq. The image, instantly telegraphed around the globe, and subsequent hazy White House statements about his capacity in the cockpit, created the impression that a heroic Bush had played a role in landing the craft.

-Bush described his own business ventures as “floundering” before campaign officials insisted on recasting them in a positive light.

According to Herskowitz, George W. Bush’s beliefs on Iraq were based in part on a notion dating back to the Reagan White House – ascribed in part to now-vice president Dick Cheney, Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee under Reagan. “Start a small war. Pick a country where there is justification you can jump on, go ahead and invade.”

Big-boned gal, Karen Hughes took over ghostwriting duties after Herskowitz was yanked off the project for accurately quoting Bush discussing his "floundering" oil businesses.

Btw, Herskowitz' conversations with George took place in 1999, two full years before he was appointed to the highest office in the land. Thanks to the Smirking Chimp for the link.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

I really wish I could make myself stop deconstructing David Brooks. I really wish I hadn't written that sentence. I've realized what it is at long last. It isn't simply my need to get angry twice a week, nor is it to make reading Krugman that much sweeter. No it's far more embarrassing than either of those reasons.

I believe I've convinced myself that there must be something more to him.

This is what happens when a piece of writing achieves such a high level of banal craptitude that the reader is left with no other conclusion than it must an exercise of some sort. I must be missing something. It can't really suck as much as it does for no reason

Take this week.
Now dominating the table, the pundit should indulge in the sort of storytelling beloved by swing-state-travel braggarts. He should speak in counties, about his trips through Cuyahoga, Macomb, Muscatine and Broward. If somebody mentions she has an aunt living in Ridgeville just south of Dayton, he should fondly recall the exceptional Waffle House there.

Donning the false modesty worn by Those Who Talk to Voters, he should describe how he humbly listens to the volk, while making it clear that only someone as brilliant as himself could discern national trends from 13 conversations.

What the fuck??

On the one hand, Brooks appears to be poking fun of himself in all his Bobo self-aggrandisement. Which is pretty sad. A week before the election and you write this? C'mon Dave. On the other, this alleged Brooks doppleganger is--well--much smarter than the original.
While others quiver with pre-election anxiety, their mood rising and collapsing with the merest flicker of the polls, he alone radiates certainty. He alone can read the internals, cross-tabs and trends, can parse Gallup and Zogby and emerge with clear answers. He alone can captivate a gathering, while men hang eagerly on his words and women undress him with their eyes.

If you saw Brooks' debate-parody piece, you know that parody is not something he does well. Self-parody isn't much better. In fact David, for the love of all that is literary, stop writing. Anything.

But there still remains that nagging suspicion that Brooks has an agenda in torturing us. Is he using the pseudo-self of the piece as a round-about way of making the point about election predictions that ends up condemning "him"? Or is it what it appears to be, a critique of making predictions at this late date?

The genius (dear Lord) of the piece is that its very suckiness allows Brooks to have it both ways. He can hide behind the weak parody self, say that stupid line about "too close to call," and still criticize all the analysis.

I know.

At any rate, one thing Brooks has been extremely successful at, is taking up space in my brain and on my blog. One would think I would have something more substantial to write a week before the election. And I do. But you'll forgive me for purging my brain to make room for the real thoughts.
Eminem Rock's the Vote

Democratic Underground has a link to Eminem's anti-Bush video/ad. Go Marshall. Your mother must've done something right.
"Caging List?"

I guess the October Surprise must be a wee bit short on shock and awe if Plan B is being feverishly executed.

Greg Palast, on BBC's Newsnight is reporting on more below-the-belt Republican shenanigans planned for Nov. 2 in Florida.
Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's national research director in Washington DC, contain a 15-page so-called "caging list".

It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Florida.

An elections supervisor in Tallahassee, when shown the list, told Newsnight: "The only possible reason why they would keep such a thing is to challenge voters on election day."

Ion Sancho, a Democrat, noted that Florida law allows political party operatives inside polling stations to stop voters from obtaining a ballot.

They may then only vote "provisionally" after signing an affidavit attesting to their legal voting status.

Mass challenges have never occurred in Florida. Indeed, says Mr Sancho, not one challenge has been made to a voter "in the 16 years I've been supervisor of elections."

"Quite frankly, this process can be used to slow down the voting process and cause chaos on election day; and discourage voters from voting."

Sancho calls it "intimidation." And it may be illegal.

In Washington, well-known civil rights attorney, Ralph Neas, noted that US federal law prohibits targeting challenges to voters, even if there is a basis for the challenge, if race is a factor in targeting the voters.

No doubt the Republican "challengers" are having their white sheets and hoods cleaned and pressed at this very moment to be all ready for their big day. Extra starch for Jeb's and Katherine's.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

At some point before the election I will do a really well thought out post on some things that have been swimming around my head lately. For now--man-- James Wolcott I'm so glad you are with the good guys.
Fineman will never obtain a lasting clue about anything. His translucent shell of professional narcissism is impregnable.

This morning I saw him on Chris Matthews' weekly show--the one where Matthews doesn't sound as if he's bouncing off the walls of his own brain--and Fineman was talking about the excitement on the Democratic side. He said that thousands were turning up at rallies all "pumped up."

"Are they pumped up about Kerry?" he asked. "No. His job is to come across as normal and acceptable to--"

At which point I changed channels.

First of all, how does Fineman know the crowds aren't pumped up for Kerry? Did he attend these rallies? Did he ask anyone? No, he's assuming, as most of the media elite do, that no one could possibly be "up" for a Kerry event because the media narrative is that Kerry is a stiff hunk of bark.

As reflected in Adam Nagorney telling Charlie Rose that heck he has more charisma than poor Kerry.

Really, Adam? You think you could hold the interest of 12,000 people, as Kerry did at a recent rally in Reno, Nevada?

You're the kind of putz people walk away from at cocktail parties!