Friday, October 15, 2004

Acronym city.
LGF is quoting VDH on NRO. IMO, read it.
"Hire dumb".
So says Jonah in an interesting article on how intellectual diversity is a good thing, that it can have real, tangible benefits. Cool.
Andrew Sullivan is arguing with InstaPundit
over Kerry's use of Dick Cheney's daughter during the debate. Like Glenn, I'm surprised Andrew would take Kerry's side on this blatant attempt to spook homophobic types from voting for Bush. Joe, why do we still read him?

Okay, I wrote "we" to be nice. I stopped visiting his site on its own a long time ago and now only go there if someone else links to him and gives me a good reason to visit.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Can't they just stop and think for one second?
If swing voters are the all-important demographic in this year's election, then the Dems need to stop talking about the Cheneys. Elizabeth Edwards has now reacted to Lynne Cheney's reaction to Kerry's use of Mary Cheney's sexual preference (that's a lot of possessive nouns):
She's overreacted to this and treated it as if it's shameful to have this discussion. I think that's a very sad state of affairs...I think that it indicates a certain degree of shame with respect to her daughter's sexual preferences...It makes me really sad that that's Lynne's response.
Oh, good God, shut up.
Yeah,
the comment about the major news organizations didn't resonate with me until a while later, when I realized Bob Schieffer is a CBS correspondent. I wonder if he got red-faced?

Back to Kerry's mention of Mary Cheney: I see that Lynne Cheney is less than happy about it.

Andrew Sullivan is of the opinion that Kerry mentioned her because he "thinks of gay people as human beings like straight people - and mentioning their lives is not something we should shrink from." I'd be more inclined to give this interpretation if the quote had any context. The question was about whether homosexuality is a choice, and Kerry mentions Dick Cheney's daughter without any real relevance. I mean, if Dick Cheney were a homophobic hot-head who made anti-gay comments as a matter of course, and Kerry said something like, "Well, it must be by nature, because would Mary Cheney chose to be a lesbian with a father like that," the reference would be more appropriate. But, by all accounts, Cheney isn't like that, and he and his daughter have a great relationship (she's on his campaign team). What's the point of bringing her up?

Mary Cheney isn't a public official; she isn't running for office. This is going to cause a lot of parents to become more upset with Kerry. First lesson in politics: Don't use your opponents children to score political points.

Why do I continue to read Sullivan?
In the after-debate talk last night
some were freaking out about Bush's "I never said I didn't worry about bin Laden" comment. Alan Colmes in particular thought this was a huge gaffe on Bush's part, proof that either Bush really doesn't care about bin Laden or that he is simply a liar. Thankfully, we have people like Jay Nordlinger who understand the context:
I know what Bush has meant in the past, about not worrying about bin Laden: Destroying al Qaeda, and winning the War on Terror, is the main thing; getting bin Laden, personally, would be gravy.
In other words, this war is bigger than finding one man. The Left has a hard time understanding that.
They live-blogged the debate
over at the Corner. There's so much to read and I don't have time (work, work, work), just passing it on. I may get to it later. Start at the linked post and scroll up.
Nice review of the debate, Joe.
I have little to add other than Bush was definitely better last night. More energy, more aggressive, wasn't as defensive. Of course, I think Kerry automatically loses on substance regardless of either candidate's superficial performance.

Some notes:

  • My wife and I kept asking "How?" after all of Kerry's "I have a plan..." stuff. He only answered us a couple of times. As Bush said, a list of complaints is not a plan.

  • The drinking game last night should have been on when Kerry invoked Ronald Reagan. Why did Bush let him get away with that?

  • I've seen posts elsewhere saying Bush's line about the appropriateness of quoting major news organizations was awesome, but I thought it flopped. He lacks the comic skill.

  • I did think it odd that, when asked about his wife, Kerry talks about his mother. That's probably because the only suitable response would have been, "Ka-ching, Bob. Ka-ching!".

I watched the debate last night,
though, I must admit, I missed the first 15 minutes or so. I thought Bush was great. Kerry, well, Kerry reminds me of wood.

A few quick reactions:

  • Who would have thought that Bush would give the more thoughtful, policy-oriented answer on health care?

  • Kerry's race-baiting on the affirmative action question was gratuitous. A couple of his comments seemed on the verge of portraying Bush as a racist. Bush didn't speak at the NAACP conference this year? You mean the same organization that compared him to the two guys in Texas who dragged a black man to death? The organization whose leader, Julian Bond, has made references to the "Taliban-wing" of the Republican Party? Hmmm, I wonder why he might not want to speak there.

  • I was glad to see that Bush finally smacked Kerry with his voting against the first Gulf War, basically saying that if that coalition didn't meet his global test standard, nothing would.

  • I'm hardly unbiased when it comes to the President, but I don't think it's too blindly partisan to say that he connects with people much better than Kerry. Half the time I thought Kerry was trying to lecture me on something, instead of convincing me. Prime example -- the exchange where Bush brought up private accounts for Social Security. Bush basically said that he wants the magic of compound interest and higher rates of return to move people forward. Kerry said, "You just heard the president say that young people ought to be able to take money out of Social Security and put it in their own accounts. Now, my fellow Americans, that's an invitation to disaster." Kerry doesn't trust me with my own money? Was he trying to say that younger workers are too stupid to handle the task? I don't know that that was his intent, but his demeanor was bizarre and insulting.

  • What was with the random mention of Mary Cheney? I don't agree with the Fox News pundit who called it "dirty pool." I don't think there was any malicious intent, I just thought it was odd; it seemed to come from nowhere.

  • Kerry mentioned installing retinal scanners on our borders to check people coming across so that "we'll know who they are." Given the bruhaha that was raised when we started fingerprinting foreigners at one point, does anyone think this will really work?

  • I enjoyed seeing Kerry getting smacked with his own meager Senate record. Bush was right -- Kerry's only had 5 bills signed into law in the 20 years he's served in the Senate. The 56 number that Kerry was using included bills he's written or co-sponsored that were vetoed or killed in conference committee.

  • Calling Ted Kennedy the conservative Senator from Massachusetts was a good line.

  • Bush clearly loves his wife and daughters, and he visibly lights up when talking about them. Kerry didn't even say Teresa's name, and then talked about his mother.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
last night and only sorta liked it. The cover claims it's a comedy, and a funny one at that, but I remember laughing only once. The lesson I took away from the film was nicely put by Captain Kirk in Star Trek V:
Dammit, Bones, you're a doctor. You know that pain and guilt can't be taken away with the wave of a magic wand. They're things we carry with us -- the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don't want my pain taken away. I need my pain.
By the end of Eternal Sunshine, the main character decided that losing the pain wasn't worth losing the joy, even if the joy could only be found in a memory. Nice lesson, but the film could have been funnier nonetheless.
Was Kerry honorably discharged?
According to the New York Sun, he may not have been. You can find more detail here.

My guess is this will turn out to be a non-story. It's hard to believe that Kerry could make his service the cornerstone of his campaign if he was not honorably discharged. Surely if this was the case he would know that someone would find out. Of course, he could settle this by signing the form to release all of his military records.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Quentin Tarantino meets the Microsoft/Linux wars
over at Split Reason.
Shalom!
Jonah Goldberg is still in a bad mood.

Monday, October 11, 2004