Friday, October 01, 2004

Jay Nordlinger says Bush stunk it up.
Like a skunk:
Let me phrase one more time what I wish to say: If I didn't know anything — were a political naïf, being introduced to the two candidates for the first time — I would vote for Kerry. Based on that infernal debate.
This from one of Bush's most ardent supporters. Ouch.
I thought one of the President's best lines
was when he said something to the effect of, "What's he going to do, ask France to join in on a distraction?"
Well, I didn't live blog,
but I did watch the debate last night. I agree that Kerry is more polished. The man was on the debate team at Yale, I believe, and has spent 20 years in the world's biggest debating society, the U.S. Senate. Problem was, though, was that Kerry's vacuous. There's nothing there. International summit? We've got 30+ nations in the alliance against Iraq -- are France and Germany that important? Especially when neither of them has much of a military to speak of?

The President wasn't as smooth, but you can tell he knows who he is and what he wants and needs to do. You can tell he has core principles -- that when things are murky, he's got ideals that will guide him through.

I don't know that Kerry can say the same thing. That's not to say that Kerry's completely amoral, but looking at his record, he's pretty clearly an opportunist. His vacillations on Iraq, his being a proud war hero who committed war crimes (that's a fun combo), etc. Bush doesn't have this problem.
And now an important question:
In Return of the Jedi, why did the Ewoks believe C3PO to be a god but not Chewbacca? The big guy should have been like a titan to them. That would have been an interesting story line, Chewie torn between continuing the fight with his friends or staying on Endor to rule a kingdom on mini-mes.

ROTJ is definitely too silly to enjoy much. It would have been much better had it taken itself as seriously as The Empire Strikes Back, but alas, we have Chewbacca performing a Tarzan yell. We have some schtick between Han and C3PO. We have a too-cute Ewok smacking himself with a bola. We have Darth Vader playing with action figures. Wait...maybe I'm getting my movies confused. Regardless, I thought that stuff was funny as a kid, but now I find it to be mindless pandering. As one of my coworkers told me yesterday: "George Lucas is a whore."

Now, episodes I and II continue with the pandering, but there is at least one improvement: the fight scenes. In episodes IV through VI, it looks like the actors spent exactly 5 minutes learning how to fence. When Luke freaks out when Vader figures out that there's a sister, he (Luke) just starts swinging his saber wildly (yet slowly) from side-to-side like an angry four-year-old and actually defeats Vader using absolutely no technique whatsoever. Contrast that with episodes I and II where the fights are much quicker and martial-artsy. The Gui Gon-Obi Wan-Darth Maul and the Count Dooku-Obi Wan-Anakin-Yoda duels are pretty good. Not Crouching Tiger good, but they beat the snot out of the lame fights in the later episodes. When all 6 episodes are on DVD, some kid is going to watch all of them straight through for the first time and wonder why Anakin/Vader and Obi Wan never improved at saber dueling and actually worsened over time. Maybe Lucas should figure out a way to fix that, since he doesn't have any problems changing everything else.
I have five Gmail invitations
if anyone wants one. Just send me an e-mail to the address on the right.

If you're not familiar with Gmail, it's pretty sweet. 1GB of storage for free, but right now it's in beta and you can get an account by invitation only. You can find more about it at the Gmail website.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

No clear winner.
No big screw ups, no big points scored at the other's expense. No fiery exchanges. Kind of boring, really.

Ah, Bush just said we will continue to have an all-volunteer military. That'll assuage some fears.

Anyway, to be fair, I think Kerry was the better debater. He was quicker to organize his thoughts and respond and didn't fumble his words as much. And Bush was more repetitive, which I didn't like. But Kerry wasn't so much better that it'll make a difference. And his ideas stink. I stand by my earlier prediction: the faithful will not waver and most of the undecideds will still be.
Vietnam yet again!
Drink up.
Last question:
Is what Putin doing to combat terrorism okay? Bush says no, that there needs to be checks and balances in democracy, and Putin is sending signals that he doesn't agree. Blah blah blah, democracy's a good thing and Putin needs to recognize this.

Kerry: Whoa, quoting George Will. The Devil must be banging on his furnace, trying to get it working again. Blah blah blah, North Korea.
Now they're on nuclear proliferation
and I don't have much to say about it. I will say that I have no problem insisting that countries like Iran and North Korea should not have nuclear weapons while we research nuclear bunker busters.
They don't seem to disagree much on Dafur.
I bet they move on to some other topic quickly. And yes, they have. Now it turns to character, and I'm not sure this is a fair question, that is, to ask Bush if Kerry has the character to lead. This just invites them to attack each other on a personal level, and I thought this was supposed to be about the issues.

So, anyway, Bush is back on the flip-flopper bit, and how Kerry would send mixed signals to our allies and signs of weakness to our enemies. Blah blah blah.

Kerry won't talk about differences of character. Good call on his part, but then he attacks Bush for being too certain, even when he's supposedly wrong. So I guess he did attack his character. Whatever.

Kerry seems to think that if he just keeps repeating that he has always been consistent on Iraq that it must be so. Again, whatever.
A note on timing:
Before, the commentators were talking about the lights used to signal when a candidate goes over the time limit. They (the commentators) said this was a demand made by the Bush camp because they worried about Kerry going well over the limit without the viewers ever realizing it. It's been my observation that Bush goes over his limit more often than Kerry. Isn't it ironic?
So Bush is capable of diplomacy
as he demonstrates in his talk of North Korea, pointing out that China and Russia are part of the process. I guess Kerry would rather we bombed them instead. Too late, I'm afraid. They already have nukes thanks to the Clinton/Carter mistake.

Oh, now we get the real story on North Korea from Kerry. He sure likes to invoke Colin Powell. This is probably the third time he's said Powell wanted to do such and such and Bush did otherwise. And Kerry, surely you know by the time Bush was sworn in North Korea's nuclear weapons program was well underway.
Is Kerry advocating invading
North Korea, Iran and Sudan? Sounds like it to me.

He hasn't ruled out preemption (paraphrase): "Iran and North Korea are more dangerous. Now would I resort to preemption, I don't know that."

Good of Bush to point out Kerry's use of the phrase, "pass the global test". I though Kerry said he would not give another country a veto, yet he's worried about the global reaction. Which is it?
Outsourcing again.
We depend too much on our military, yet we rely too much on others. Huh, what?
Bush is doing something interesting here,
that is, pointing out how rude Kerry is, and how that's not good diplomacy. He insults our allies by discrediting the coalition. He called the Iraqi minister a puppet. How does that build partnerships? Not Kerry's kind of partnerships, I guess.

Bush has been on the defensive this whole time. He needs to find some positive things to say, to talk about the future. He points out past successes (now he's talking about Libya) but has said little of what we can expect.
No blood for oil!
Jeez, Kerry, if it was a war for oil, why in the cobb are oil prices so freakin' high? I understand that none of Iraq's oil has come to the U.S. And yet he makes a big deal about it. Whatever.
Vietnam again!
Drink up.
Paraphrasing: "The way to defeat hatred, tyranny and oppression is to spread freedom." I agree.
To be fair,
now we're on the Kerry the Flip-Flopper theme again. Same old thing.

Bush: "The only thing that has been consistent about my opponent's position is that he is inconsistent." Beautiful.
I though Kerry said just a month or so ago
that he would have gone into Iraq, even knowing what we know now. Now he's saying he wouldn't. Am I remembering this incorrectly?

Is Kerry going to invade North Korea? Or is he going to fall into the same trap that snared Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton?

Ah, now we are on the Bush the Liar theme. This is also about the third time he's said "rush to war". Same old thing.
somehow my Vietnam post came in after the one I made on the U.N. They're in reverse order. What's up with that?
The U.N. left on its own.
Kerry, you know that. And yes, Europe has an interest in what happens in Iraq. We're all well aware of the back door business France, Germany and Russia had with Iraq.

It's good that Bush is talking about various summits. That's about the best point Kerry has made so far, and Bush needed to remind viewers that we're not alone and we are talking with our allies.
Ding ding ding! Vietnam!
Drink up.
"Artificial deadlines won't work."
I agree. We can't leave until it's done. Kerry's speculation that our troops would leave in six months is dangerous, just gives the enemy a focal point.

Kerry just complained that some offices weren't guarded when we entered Baghdad, claiming we may have found some documents about WMD. What WMD? Does he believe they were there now?
I'd say Kerry is confused
on what the federal government's responsibilities are, since it says it needs to give more funding to police and fire departments around the country. Last I checked, the police and fire departments are a local responsibility. I'd say that, but I doubt Bush would disagree, that he just has different priorities, looking more outward than inward, probably claim they've spent enough.

Yep, Bush just said they've spent $3.1 billion on fire and police. And he just said we have to focus on offense.

Kerry's going off about tax cuts. Give me a break. If Bush hadn't kept the tax cuts, Kerry would be up there complaining about how the war has wrecked the economy.
Someone will say that Bush is obsessed with Saddam
since he just said his name instead of bin Laden's when talking about Afghanistan. But Kerry made the same mistake just a few minutes before. It'll be said anyway.

Bill O'Reilly said Kerry would mention body armor, and he was right.

"Wrong war, wrong time, wrong place. What kind of a message does that send?" Darn right.
Bush is nailing Kerry with his own statements,
pointing out that Kerry said just two years ago that Saddam must go, and later that it would be bad judgment to leave Saddam in power. Good points, reminds viewers that Kerry is unprincipled.
I don't like it
when Bush pulls this "it doesn't matter what Kerry thinks because there's no chance he's going to win" stuff. I'm sure there's plenty of conspiracists out there that take that as a sign that he's going to rig the election.

Kerry is repeating the same old line that Iraq was a mistake, that it's a distraction from the real war in Afghanistan.

Whoa, Kerry just said it was a misjudgment on Bush's part to "outsource" a military operation in Afghanistan, yet doesn't he want to use other country's militaries in Iraq? Huh?
Kerry says:
"I'll never give a veto to any country for our security." Yet he's talking an awful lot about builing alliances. He wants to have a summit with all of the allies on Iraq.
The crowd starting cheering louder
when Kerry entered. They weren't so receptive of Bush. Interesting...
I'll liveblog the debate tonight,
family demands permitting, of course. Here's a preview:
Bush just said [insert what he said here]. Yeah, that sounds great, now stop spending so darn much money...

Kerry just said [insert what he said here]. Huh? What? Moron.
No, I don't have any preconceptions.
Yes! No! Wait...yes! I mean no. It depends.
Via LGF, Kerry cannot answer the simple question, "Was the war in Iraq worth it?" Sheesh.
Here are your debate predictions,
bulleted for your convenience (aren't I nice?):

  • The moderators will fail to make sure the candidates actually answer each question.

  • Kerry will remind the viewers that he served in Vietnam.

  • Bush will attack Kerry for flip-flopping on Iraq. Kerry will not address this charge directly. Instead, he will attack Bush for flip-flopping on Iraq.

  • Bush will mispronounce a word and will be widely ridiculed from the Left for it.

  • Kerry will give a rambling, "nuanced" answer that really answers nothing and will be widely ridiculed from the Right for it.

  • Bush will accuse Kerry of invoking the politics of fear.

  • Kerry will accuse Bush of invoking the politics of fear.

  • Both candidates will indeed invoke the politics of fear.

  • Bush will say that he will ensure victory in Iraq without really explaining how.

  • Kerry will say that he will get other nations more involved in Iraq without really explaining how.

  • The Right will declare Bush the winner.

  • The Left will declare Kerry the winner.

  • Those viewers that were already inclined to vote for one of the candidates will not change their minds.

  • Most undecided voters will still be undecided.

  • The difference between Bush and Kerry in the polls will not change beyond the margin of error.

  • Andrew Sullivan will officially endorse Kerry afterward.

  • Glenn Reynolds will have all sorts of links to blogs that cover the debate from both sides. Glenn's own opinion will be that it's a close call, but Bush performed somewhat better.

  • Jonah Goldberg's analysis will make a reference to either The Simpsons or to Edmund Burke, or both, possibly in the same sentence.

  • Victor Davis Hanson will cite Thucidedes and Cicero to show that Kerry's position on Iraq is a Bad Thing.

  • Michael Savage will say he is disgusted with both Bush and Kerry, that neither will do what needs to be done and that we should carpet bomb the Sunni Triangle immediately.

  • The analysis at the Right Thinking blog will contain a reference to Michael Moore, even though Moore will not be mentioned during the debate.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

This guy has more desktop wallpapers
than necessary. Some of them are pretty cool. Check it out. Warning: the page contains hundreds of thumbnail images and it can take a while to load them all.

Monday, September 27, 2004

I've hardly had any time
for anything lately, so I apologize for the lack of activity. I was in Boston all last week for a conference, spent all day Sunday in Kansas City (mostly watching the Chiefs lose...grumble) and I'll be leaving in a bit for a two-day business trip to Texas. I haven't been around a television much, nor have I taken the time to check the web, so I don't have a clue what's going on in the world.

The conference was superb. I learned some new methods (new to me, anyway) for managing software projects that will mean some big changes for our little team of developers, but will also mean we'll be more responsive and less bug-prone. I'm excited. Really.

Gotta go.