Author Archives: boris

You’re welcome, Dick. Oh, and thanks to you too, dad.

· 2004 Election

Did anybody laugh like I did when Dick Cheney was graciously recognized by President Bush? He had that sideways smirk on his face, and then when he stood to wave he opened his mouth and said … um … well, I have no idea. I was trying to read “thank you” or something like that from his lips, but it just looked kinda like a “baaaaa” or a burp or something. I’m sure it was from his heart, whatever it was.
Also nice to see the warm bond between father and son. I could feel the warmth when George introduced his father and after the speech when they vigorously shook hands.
Excuse me, I have to change the channel. The Fox pundits are getting on my nerves.

Iraq and Afghanistan – democracies?

· 2004 Election

Regarding Bush’s Olympics ad referring to Afghanistan and Iraq as democracies: Don’t you actually have to have at least one successful election before you can call something a democracy?
Isn’t it just special that George Bush refuses to remove the ad, contrary to the wishes of the Olympic brass and the Iraqi soccer team, while Kerry removed the McCain ad at McCain’s request? Do you suppose that might have any bearing on the “character” issue?

Who’s more negative – officially speaking?

· 2004 Election

With the subject of negative ads rearing its ugly head again, I was wondering who is in fact running the most negative campaign (I know, I know – just humor me). With all the so-called 527s obscuring the message, wholly-independent Republican groups and surrogates of Kerry alike, I figured the best way to get to the heart of the matter would be to go directly to the official sites of each campaign and compare them, to see who is being “officially” more negative.
The Kerry/Edwards page shows a big picture of John Kerry, waving to the faithful at a rally, with the caption “Serving His Country.” Rah, rah, very nice, very positive. Yawn. There are calls to volunteer, links to biographical information, and in the right column, there are boxes containing the latest official ad from the campaign and one with the caption “Our Plan for America” peddling a book that presumably outlines what a Kerry/Edwards administration would attempt to do. Yawn. Good thing I’m not driving right now.
No problems so far. If you scroll down the page you see blurbs about tour stops, testimonials about Kerry and – oops, there it is! Over on the right, just above the box pimping Kerry gear, there’s a box called “bush-cheney: wrong for America” that accuses them of one of the most negative campaigns ever. That’s a bold statement! Clicking on that link, sure enough, there’s a media center dedicated to debunking Bush’s claims to things such as success in Iraq and health care reform, and reminding us of his ties to oil and pharmaceuticals. Okay, that’s not very nice.
Now, let’s look at the Bush/Cheney site. Hmm right there, where the Democratic site has a picture of John Kerry there is a picture of…hey, its John Kerry! Wow, they must really respect the guy.
No wait, it’s a link to the Bush campaign’s latest ad. And it says nothing about President Bush – it claims that Kerry is saying he wants to ease the middle class tax burden, but that his record suggests he is lying and that we shouldn’t trust him. Repeat after me: “98 tax increases.” Over there, right next to it is “John Kerry: the raw deal,” saying something about 98 tax increases. To the left, where they have links to biographical info and all, there is a link to the Kerry media room. A simlar place to the one on the Kerry site. Oh, did I mention 98 tax increases? If I didn’t, just let me say: 98 tax increases. But I digress…
We scroll down and see – oh look, there’s a cute little caricature of John Kerry holding two signs, one saying “against” and the other “for”. It links to this hi-larious little John Kerry flip-flop game that also has lovely charicatures of Hillary, Ted and Howard. It cracked me up!
Beside it, you will find the Kerry gas tax calculator. It duly notes that John Kerry “has supported a 50 cent per gallon tax increase,” and then it has these cool calculators where you can find out how much your gas expense would increase based on the type of car you drive, what state you live in, and how much you drive per day. Cool! Of course, Kerry isn’t proposing a gas tax now, but still I….Whoa!! I’d be paying THAT much??? No thanks, Mr, Kerry!
Curiously, on the entire home page (as of today, 8/24/04) there are no pictures of either Bush or Cheney (the latter, probably a wise decision) and there are no testimonials or anthing like that. No, wait, there is a chat with George’s nephew, George P. Bush. He has a Mexican wife, you know. But still, Kerry has a testimonial from a former democratic president. Bush has one from a relative! Couldn’t he get someone more official-sounding? Next thing you know, he’s going to trot out his dad! But again, I digress.
So let’s see, the Bush/Cheney features negative stuff four times at the top of the page and a couple more lower down. But Kerry has a link to negative press too, so there you have it – it’s a tie! They both can be negative!
Maybe the problem is that liberals don’t have a sense of humor. Hey liberals – lighten up, will ya?? Now, I’m gonna go back and play that Kerry Flip-Flop Olympics game again. That thing just cracks me up!!!!

Swift Boats for Me, Me, Me!!

· The O'Reilly Sphincter

It was nice of Bill O’Reilly to criticize the Swift Boat ads as deplorable. But, as he quickly notes, these sorts of smear ads have been coming from both sides, apparently, equally. In fact, last night he started his “talking points” discussion of the issue by focusing on the democratic side and how they are by no means above reproach. He makes it sound like they somehow started it. Proof: well, he was himself the target of such smear tactics, so there’s the proof in the pudding. (He later had a nice, casual interview with Travis Tritt about his new song “What Say You,” one of O’Reilly’s catch phrases, in which virtually every question or comment was self referential.)
But anyway, I’m still waiting for that shining example to hold up against the Kerry/McCain/Richards smears of mean-spirited innuendo based on nothing. Sure, I’ve seen anti-Bush ads. They tend to deplore his policies and say so, which I believe is totally fair. When the democrats start accusing him of having illegitimate children, or start making accusations that directly contradict clearly recorded evidence to the contrary, then wake me. Not one talking head or newspaper has mentioned a single democratic ad in direct comparison to this swift boat vets campaign.
Can someone please mention one for me? And I mean that seriously. I don’t see much because I don’t watch much network TV and I’m in California anyway, which means nobody is bothering to spend money here. I want to see those democratic smears.
Not even Bill came up with a specific smear on his character. It’s just, “blah, blah Soros! blah, blah Smalley! blah blah Moore!”
But still, Bill thinks he made his fair and balanced assessment of the situation and it goes as follows: Lefties can’t get too upset about the Swift Boats people going after Kerry because liberal media folks say bad things about O’Reilly. Well, that pretty much evens up the score on the presidential campaign commercial deal.
What say you??

Bananastand

· American Glasnost

I have taken to looking at the paper every day for articles about the place that harbored the people who attacked our country in the first place (remember afghanistan?), and it seems that nobody cares about it anymore. They are typically in the “and in other news” column, and the news is never good. Couldn’t find any today, but this evening found something on Yahoo about three or four attacks in various places in an attempt to disrupt the election on October 9.
Did you know they were about to have elections? Does Bush know? Does John Kerry know? Does anyone want to talk to us about it? Or are we just going to let it go to hell again?
I would love to see Kerry start attacking Bush on Afghanistan and start re-educating the people about it. But I’m sure that will just annoy people. Best just to keep it in the margins. Literally.
Well, at least the heroin trade will be booming.

More fun with statistics: Iraqi death toll

· Geopolitics

This morning I heard a report on TV – Fox I think, but it could have been CNN, about the mounting death toll in Iraq. The hawk guest quickly noted that Saddam killed an estimated 35 people per day from the time he took control of Iraq. 35 per day! That’s a staggering number.
And then I thought, hmm, how many people have died since the beginning of the war? The war started on March 19, 2003 and has been going for 467 days if my math is correct.
Casualties:
Iraqi civilians (estimate): 9451 to 11,333
Iraqi soldiers (estimate): 4,895 to 6,370
U.S. soldiers: 854
This is certainly not a complete list, but for the sake of argument let’s assume it is, and let’s just look at the Iraqi casualties mentioned here. With that we have the following estimates:
(9451 + 4895)/467 = 30.7 dead Iraqis per day minimum
(6370 + 11,333)/467 = 37.9 dead Iraqis per day maximum
So, to liberate Iraq from a dictator who killed 35 Iraqis per day, on average, our actions have directly or indirectly caused the deaths of 31 to 38 Iraqis per day, on average. In other words, it is basically a statistical wash.
I’m sure Iraqis take comfort in knowing that, though they are dying at the same rate, they are dying for a better cause.
Let freedom reign!