Giblets for president

· 2004 Election

Fafblog! (the whole world’s only source for Fafblog) says Giblets will win, unless he is sandbagged by the media bias:

But if – as some scurrilous rumors and half-mad acid-eating anti-Giblets propagandists have suggested – Giblets loses the election to John Kerry, it will be clear why. It will be because of the bias of the liberal media.
The liberal media, who again and again painted John Kerry as a weak-willed pandering flip-flopper, knowing that Americans appreciate the supple pliabilty of a flip-flopper’s ever-shifting positions over the hard resolve of Giblets! The liberal media, who represented Kerry’s every position as an incoherent one knowing full well that Americans would be helplessly seduced by a convoluted, byzantine rambler instead of a straight-shooter like Giblets! The liberal media, who entertained the notion that John Kerry was a traitor to his country who had deliberately wounded himself to get out of Vietnam and besmirched the reputation of his fellow veterans, knowing that Americans love a quick-witted spineless coward over a heroic anti-terror crusader like Giblets!

“Wheelchair accessible hot tub”

· 2004 Election

I’m about ready to take up fingernail biting to alleviate the anxiety of the next 24 hours but meanwhile decided to check out the election eve activities around my neighborhood conveniently provided in an e-mail from MoveON. There were over 40 phone parties listed within ten miles of my house and in the brief invitation blurbs one got the full flavor of Bay Area kulture….
“Take breaks in the hot tub!”
“Just Me and the Phone (1 person is attending)”
“Chicken soup on the stove”
“Bagels and coffee”
“A cat and a cockatiel” (a standard Bay Area warning to guests concerning potential allergens)
“Three dogs who are Kerry supporters and one independent cat”
“Throw the Bum Out (Please sign in with the doorman)”
“Finger food and tea”
“Grapefruit tree in the front yard” (are you sure they’re not lemons?)
“We have Guinea pigs”
“Wheelchair accessible hot tub” OK. I’m there!

Why There Is Very Good Reason to Feel a Draft

· 2004 Election

Need for Draft Is Dismissed by Officials at Pentagon, NYT
Rumors of a secret plan to reinstate the draft are churning across the Internet, worrying some in Congress and even coloring the presidential campaign…Officials note that Congressional proposals for…30,000 to 40,000 more troops, would hardly require a new draft …
DKo: A few points for perspective:
1. The current situation is already worse than has been recognized. There is normally a substantial recruitment “buffer” maintained: recruits already lined up but not yet called–“in the pipeline.” This buffer amounts to about 30% of the next year’s requirements. But in the annual cycle just ended, the quota was met only by “borrowing from next year,” i.e., by moving up enlistment dates–and thereby emptying the pipeline.
2. The “Stop Loss” policy has kept many people on the rolls (through 11/2, notably), who will drop off as soon as they are able.
3. The very high rate of “re-upping” that the US military has enjoyed in recent years is obviously headed for a downturn–especially in the Guard and the Reserves, more than a million people, who make up about half of US troop strength.
–Active forces are only being asked to re-up into roughly the same–often career oriented–military service they signed up for in the first place.
–But the Guard and Reserve are being asked to join an entirely new kind of military service, one that did not exist before–different from (almost opposite to) anything they’d ever bargained for.
4. The high-tech, small-ground-forces, low-casualty, swift-exit military model–which was going to make America’s role as World Cop sustainable–is patently in shreds. So now “Money talks. Bullshit walks.” US supremacists will have to either come up with the big troop numbers, or just give up the game.
5. You can get the troops, without a draft, by spending a lot more money on pay, bonuses, services, and benefits. But there are two limits on this:
–Obviously, it breaks the bank on the overall Federal budget.
–But just within the divvy-up of what does go for Defense spending, a larger share for troops will be considered unacceptable.
This will sound merely facetious, and I wish it were. But every dollar we fritter away on the soft stuff–pay, food, housing, clothing, health, and pensions for the troops–is a dollar taken away from the hard-core, high-tech and big-iron, high-development, low-production, unmonitored and uncontrolled contracts to major military contractors.
They do get a piece of the action in clothing and housing too. But that is partial and imperfect. It’s the mainlining of pure appropriations they are addicted to. If we don’t shoot them up regularly with missile-defense systems and cold-war fighter-bombers, they will die.
“Too big to fail?” That could become a political question that America soon will have to face.

Fear of Elections

· 2004 Election

It’s that rotgut, queasy stomach, sweat it out, expect the worst time again … a liberal waiting for November 2 to be over. I’ve been through this eight times already and mostly it’s been a bummer. But none quite so bad as this year. And that’s from somebody who had to live through Reagan as governor as well as the endless presidency – and post presidency. But this time it got so bad I actually had to read a poll.
And then I had to read all the Swing State polls. And then the whole enchilada of polls. And then I sharpened a pencil and went to work on the back of the 2004 Election Scorecard I had printed out. Every poll for every undetermined state since the middle of September to… tonight. Three columns: Kerry, Bush, Other (the trash bin category that included Nader, undecideds, & anybody or anything else) plus the last date of the poll with the latest poll on top.
It was just simple arithmatic. Either a “trend” (difference between the earliest and last poll number) or an average of all polls, and sometimes both. I never really looked at the “other” category.
And you know what? I have discovered a wonderful thing. Poll Obsession trumps Fear of Elections. And, according to my calculations, this ninth presidential election is going to be my lucky one.

Poll position

· 2004 Election

In late October 2000, the polls consistently showed Bush over Gore by anywhere from 5 points to 13 points. I remember going into election day convinced by the confident, well-dressed people on my TV that Gore didn’t have a chance. I remember being stunned that night to see that it was even close. The unions came out for Gore in huge numbers. African Americans rallied to Gore with historic levels of support. Pennsylvania? Michigan? He wasn’t supposed to have a chance there. Florida within reach? Madness.
The Angry Liberal did better than just remember all this. They found a page in the CNN archives from late October, with CNN/USA Today/Gallup showing Bush beating Gore 52% to 39%. That’s 52% to 39%. One more time: 52% to 39%. The thing is, they weren’t alone. I remember the polls consistently calling for a Bush stomping. And yet surprinsgly enough, Gore won the popular vote. They weren’t off by the margin of error. They were off by a multiple of the margin of error.
Remember all that this weekend. They misunderestimated our enthusiasm last time. We won’t get misunderestimated again. Ready the buntings. Color code your confetti. It’s winning time.
(credit where credit’s due department — DailyKos pointed me toward The Angry Liberal.)