September 4, 2004

His strongest attribute is what?

When you actually look at the facts in graph form, it's amazing that this election is even close. I've been reading this Bush by the numbers thing, as well as the conventions' war of words. Some of it makes you cringe:

$3m Amount the White House was willing to grant the 9/11 Commission to investigate the 11 September attacks.

$50m Amount granted to the commission that looked into the Columbia space shuttle crash.

$5m Amount a 1996 federal commission was given to study legalised gambling.

On its face, the idea that Bush wants to make 9/11 and his actions against terrorism as the central point of his leadership isn't irrational. But Bush is clearly taking advantage of the fact that he looks good to so many on the basis of having absolutely no one to compare with in terms of appropriately fighting terrorism.

What bothers me not just about Kerry but even the people working for Kerry is their reluctance to take the risk and just flat-out say this: Bush's successes against terrorism are dwarfed by the sheer number of his failures. Failures, mind you, that are not a result of al-Qaeda's tactical prowess or sheer dominance over American counter-terrorism, but simple acts of carelessness that are completely the fault of the Bush White House.

Forget about the "chose to go to war angle." It's not working. Kerry needs to point to the numbers and say "I will be a president that doesn't give more money to investigate underage drinking than to investigate how 3,000 Americans were murdered. I will be a president who demands answers and gets results instead of devoting all my time to talking about whole other countries. And I will be a president who cares enough about what happened to my fellow Americans on September 11th to actually express interest in the man who killed them."

Everyone keeps talking about Bush "framing the debate" about the war. Considering that the GOP proved this week they have no problem with claiming that half the country hates freedom and that God wants Republicans to run the government, I don't think Democrats should have a problem shifting the debate themselves. Will it be nasty? Yes, but it'll also be the truth: this election is about the War on Terrorism. It's about how bad a job Bush is doing with it.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 2:49 PM

September 3, 2004

My calves hurt

Back from the city. I've been there a couple of times for a brief event, but this was the first time since NYU that I've actually walked all over the place. And man, you forget the walking and have it all come back to you at the same time, and really quickly. So I'm going to take care of the essentials- that is, removing all the sweat-stained clothes from me, and going to sleep for about twelve years or so. I'll post my pictures of New York tomorrow. For now I'll just say once again to Ted, thanks so much for letting me help you on this one. It was a blast. I'm glad to see so many people motivated to get Bush the hell out of the White House.

Okay, one statement on the closing of the convention. In all honesty, I'm not motivated, or scared, or even angry at Bush and the GOP after Bush's speech tonight. I'm just confused.

I don't get how Bush can talk about being the only defense against terrorism when he refuses to even say "Osama bin Laden." I don't get how he can even pretend to promote compassionate conservatism after the hate-fest of Wednesday night. I don't get how he can cast Iraq favorably, let alone comparing it to Germany- a country that "healed" after it's major war by a massive division with Communist nuclear tension for over half a century. I don't get how he can attack the "liberal Hollywood base" of the Democratic Party when not one, but two Hollywood actors gave prime time speeches at his own convention. I don't get how he can call Kerry a flip-flopper when he's changed his own opinion on the WOT twice in the last 72 hours. I don't get how he can let George Pataki talk of all the promises Bush delivered when he also promised to find bin Laden. I don't get how he could claim Kerry had no record to show for himself when he served merely six years in the most powerless governor's seat in the country and did nothing for this country not related to an unprecedented terrorist attack. I don't get how several thousand Republicans, delegates of a commitment to a love of their country, can sit there and actually believe the man running against George Bush "hates" the military.

And I just don't get how people supporting Bush can pretend they do. Because to actually believe everything Bush said tonight- to honestly believe it as opposed to merely endorsing it for the sake of partisanship- you'd have to be either insane or brain damaged. And even being generous with percentages, there's no way that many people in either of those situations could have found the corner of 34th and 8th for four days in a row.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 2:01 AM

September 2, 2004


Okay, that's it for me today. I'm off to catch a bus, driving deemed insane, to New York to do my part for the cause at Ted's fundraiser. Enjoy being scared to death by the leader of the free world.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 3:45 PM

Only in New York

While I've got New York the brain (I know what I could have said, but yeah, it was too cheesy) I want to mention that I just finished reading Only in New York, of which I got a copy in the mail about a week or so ago.

For anyone who reads the New York Times (and I've heard this small-town tabloid has picked up an elite audience in the past few years), you might know of a column called FYI, which answers questions and provides little-known facts about New York City.

Only in New York is a collection of 400 answers from previous FYI columns. The book was released on the eve of the column being taken over by its newest writer, Michael Pollak, whose previous creative contributions to the Tri-State area included... um... me.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 3:40 PM

Lovable bonkers old Grover

The Washington Monthly has a piece in their latest issue in which sixteen different writers presented their views on what would happen if (god willing/forbid, depending on the writer) George W. Bush won the 2004 election and served another four years in the White House.

I liked some and disagreed with others, but among the sixteen to be asked for their predictions was Grover Norquist, he of the comparison between disproportionate tax brakets and being cremated at Auschwitz. Now, honestly, if you had to actually make a guess what a fringe right-wing anti-government loony like Norquist had to predict about a Republican victory, what would yours be? Remember, this is a serious, legitimate discussion about the results of the 2004 election.

So clearly, Norquists answer is that which has been predicted by his type for the last, oh, twenty years or so: the complete destruction of the Democratic Party as we know it. Alrighty then.

The modern Democratic Party cannot survive the reelection of President George W. Bush and another four years of Republican control of both Congress and the White House.

No brag. Just fact.

That's right. It's a 100% positive fact that if George W. Bush is elected president for a second term, the Democratic Party will collapse. The Martians told him so. Look, I'm trying to be objective here, but declaring a prediction as a fact in the first graf of your opinion piece isn't Pulitzer material, it's borderline Yogi Berra.

The modern Democratic Party is the party of government. Its growth is the health of the state--and vice versa. Over time, all the party's building blocks are dependent on continuous support and reinforcement by the power of the central government. Trial lawyer money is now a major part of the Democratic Party, but it is wholly dependent on legislators and courts maintaining the present tort laws that allow lawyers to interject themselves into any and all contracts and relationships.

They siphon off some $240 billion a year--$40 billion of which stays with a few thousand lawyers. Labor unions, once the godfather of the Democratic Party but now displaced by the richer and more photogenic trial lawyers, cannot maintain their $8 billion in compulsory union dues without the laws that make such payments mandatory. Both wings of the dependency movement--those locked into welfare dependency and the bureaucrats who get paid well to manage others' dependency (and make sure none of them get jobs and become Republicans) are wholly dependent on legislators halting further welfare reform. Big city political machines thrive on federal grants and state-granted powers. And the coercive utopians--the radical environmentalists, animal-rights activists, feminists, and others who would use state power to force on us tiny non-flushable toilets and cars too small to hold families, take away the circus and our pet cats, and otherwise impose more fussbudget impositions on our lives than Leviticus--all depend on government grants to use and misuse federal and state power.

Norquist has already started on the wild concept that the Democratic Party is a big, huge-donor-funded political machine controlled by specialized interests. Apparently, the Republican Party isn't purely on the basis that they're in power now. And when you're in power, you're clearly not doing anything for your donors. This is topped off with the usual claim that Democrats hate all SUV drivers- the whole "Democrats want us all to drive tiny cars" is a modern day accusation of a Volkswagon in the Nazi sense.

It's a sign of a feeble grip on the reality of the American mantality too, since most Americans don't really judge their votes on fuel economies. Eventually, they will, when, you know, we start running out of fuel. Likewise, the ignorance is prevalent in yet another swipe on labor unions and trial lawyers- which in the right circumstances are both favored by a majority of the American people.

But outside state power, the Democratic coalition withers and dies. Without effective control of the government, the Democratic Party is like a fish out of water, a vampire in the sun, Antaeus held aloft, an appliance unplugged. In the past, the Democratic Party could afford to lose the presidency and remain connected to its source of power--the state--through control of the House of Representatives, and often the Senate as well. Little damage was done to the structure of the Democratic Party during the interregnums of the Eisenhower, Nixon, and George H.W. Bush administrations, because their moves could be checkmated by a Democratic Congress. With the end of 40 years of Democratic gerrymandering, states in which a majority of the congressional popular vote goes to the GOP now award a majority of congressional seats to the GOP, too. Republican-led redistricting in Texas will add an additional five to seven Republican House seats over the next few cycles. Redistricting in Texas and throughout the country ensures that Republicans will continue to control the House through 2012. Over time, the Senate--thanks to those wonderful square states out west--will trend toward 60 Republicans as the 30 red states elect Republicans and the 20 blue states elect Democrats. The anomaly of four Democratic senators hailing from Republican North and South Dakota will come to an end, as will the Republican-held Senate seat in Rhode Island.
Now, this might all be true (with the exception, of course, of the stuff about "40 years of gerrymandering" which is a complete lie) but I fail to see how Bush is the harbinger of this. Norquist's premise is that Bush's election will end the Democratic Party... this is accomplished by a plan he has mapped out to commence in some cases eight or twelve years after Bush leaves office. This isn't to say he's facutally incorrect, only that anyone who "knows" how the country will demographically be shaped in 2012 is... well... full of it.

With Democrats lacking a beachhead in Congress, four more years of Republican governance with President Bush in the White House will badly damage each of the pillars of the Democrat establishment. In the first term, the Bush Labor Department wrote modern, clear, and updated regulations as to who earns overtime pay, and when and how. Trial lawyers had used archaic and unclear rules to sue companies claiming that workers who had been salaried for decades should actually have been considered hourly workers all those years and subject to overtime pay. Dozens of similarly unclear federal rules have been fodder for trial lawyer enrichment. Simply rewriting regulations to make them clear to all will cost the trial lawyers hundreds of millions of dollars.
Now we're getting into the trademark Norquist here. The newbies to Grover Norquist need to understand that he's the head of Americans for Tax Reform, an organization that, essentially, wants the government to have absolutely no authority except over the military. Norquist's theory of trial lawyers as evil monsters being vanquished relies on the belief that the American populace will adhere to removing legal checks on corporations- which, here on planet Earth, isn't very likely. The entire "medical malpractice premiums" argument has been proven fallacious, and if a time ever comes in which it become illegal to sue a company for negligence, the popular sentiment when a company blatantly harms an individual against that rule will simply change the results back.

Other shifts in national policy will also occur. Abroad, four more years under President Bush will move America and the world towards greater free trade, spreading prosperity throughout the world and bringing more countries into the trading systems that require property rights and rule of law, draining the swamps that breed radicalism and terror.
Unless of course, you're Cuba. Or China, who clearly doesn't need to be stripped of human rights violations to enter the free trade market. Hey, it's almost as if the United States doesn't give a damn about the actual moral and civil rights of any nation; only their benefit in the global marketplace! Hooray, Capitalism!

At home, a second Bush administration will permanently abolish the death tax, which not only threatens to confiscate up to half of your parents' lifetime earnings, but also leads to the creation of Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford Foundations that inevitably are taken over by liberal bureaucrats.
A Bush presidency will eliminate those pesky liberal charities and foundations. Hey, he said it, not me.

And a steady increase in the number of honest gun owners will continue to reduce street crime and make America safer. We now have 38 states with �shall issue� concealed carry laws, and Bush just signed a law to allow all cops and retired cops to carry their guns across state lines. Over the next four years, Congress will bring such sanity to Washington, D.C., and expand the number of Americans who can carry across state lines. Less crime means fewer prison guards and parole officers, shrinking the government workforce which tends to be 10 percent more Democrat and less Republican. Solving problems without hiring a lot of government workers is a virtuous cycle.
This is the part of the article where Grover Norquist proves he has, in fact, never been to the poor section of any urban area in the United States. In fact, it proves he's never been to Middle America either, where the increase in prisons as a privatized for-profit industry- an action Norquist supports- actually defies what he just said. As for the guns, yet another Norquist fantasy- like I just noted, walk through South Central Los Angeles and tell me that everyone having more concealed firearms will solve the problem.

Meanwhile, four more years of GOP control means four more years where labor laws are not changed to force workers to pay dues to join unions they don't wish to join. Twenty-two states have Right to Work laws to limit compulsory unionism; that number will grow, and the decline of labor unions from 33 percent of the workforce in the 1950s to 20 percent in 1980 to 13 percent today will continue. Every worker who doesn't join the union is another worker who doesn't pay $500 a year to organized labor's political machine.
And every state that doesn't emply organized labor is a state with a higher percentage of trial lawyers. You'll notice that Norquist never has, and never will, suggest in the same paragraph that there should be no union labor as well as no right to sue corporations for damages. Because there's hardly a blue-collar worker in America that agrees with both of those at the same time. In fact, mose Americans aren't against lawyers and unions, but rather against the fabrications of people like Norquist who shape the entire fake outrage in the form of "tort reform" and distortions about McDonald's coffee.

Four more years of President Bush will also accelerate one of the most important demographic changes in America over the past 20 years: the number of Americans who own stock. In 1980, only 20 percent of adults owned stocks in mutual funds, 40lks, IRAs and direct contribution pensions. Today, that number is over 60 percent and growing. Bush wants to create Retirement Savings Accounts to allow every American to sock away up to $5,000 for retirement tax-free; similarly, the president has proposed Lifetime Savings Accounts allowing Americans to save $7,500 for education, housing, or health costs during their working lives. Every American who owns his own mutual fund is decreasingly susceptible to the siren call of class warfare. (How did Dick Gephardt do this primary season?) According to pollster Scott Rasmussen, if you own $5000 in stock you are 18 percent less likely to be a Democrat and more likely to be a Republican. Every demographic group, including race, gender, age, and income, becomes more Republican with stock ownership. Four more years of more and bigger individual retirement accounts, heath savings accounts, RSAs, and LSAs means four more years of more Republicans and fewer Democrats.
So let me see if I got this all right. "Class warfare" will be eliminated if all Americans have stock portfolios. Because, as you know, every single person who buys stock will profit off it, and absolutely no stock every depreciates in value, thus creating a disparity of wealth. "Class warfare" in itself is a nonsense term, as the only way there isn't competition between classes is if there's a classless society... this only exists in a form of government I'm pretty sure Grover Norquist doesn't support.

By the way, talking about increasing stock ownership as a means of creating Republicans and reducing Democrats... yeah, that's not class warfare at all.

Last, a Bush-Cheney victory in November will create the conditions for a constructive contest among leading Republican governors and senators for the presidential nomination in 2008. Dick Cheney's heart troubles mean that he will retire with Bush in 2009. Usually the sitting vice president is the natural enemy of all ambitious politicians of his party, but now all Republicans want a Bush-Cheney victory in 2004, so they can run for an open presidential ticket in 2008. The Democrats face the opposite dilemma: Every ambitious Democrat hopes Kerry-Edwards fails, so that the presidency will open for her (or him) in 2008 rather than in 2012, 2016, or 2020. A Bush-Cheney win will lead to Republican governors from Colorado, Mississippi, Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York to compete to be the most Reaganite governor--a positive result no matter who wins. And a Bush-Cheney win in 2004 will leave Terry McAuliffe and Bill and Hillary in complete and unchallenged control of the Democratic Party at least through 2008. This is good for the Republicans, if not the republic.
Fascinating, isn't it? Cheney is clearly not going to run for president, which is a great opportunity for young, aspiring Republicans. However, should Kerry not win in November, it's a secret pleasure for the Democrats, whose respective young aspirees are all hungry for power. But don't worry, because no matter what, they all want to be like Reagan, and Hillary Clinton secretly runs the Democratic Party from her remote island compound.

Norquist's problem with his visions of a de-Federalized structure of democracy is that the democratic will of the majority counters his ideals. As far as economic policy goes, there isn't a single issue he supports that actually goes through by ballot initiative. He believes that the American people actually agree with him simply through their support of George W. Bush. This makes no sense whatsoever.

I can admit that a Bush-Cheney victory will be a huge setback for the Democrats, especially if they fail to take the House or Senate back as well. But Norquist doesn't just escape reality in this article, he jettisons it into the stratosphere. Despite all his rhetoric about the virtues of the Republican Party, the nature of how great and wonderful they are is shattered by the reality of at least 40-45% of the country simply not supporting anything he says. Norquist would be making an accurate guess if the entire country was a colony of clones. He fails to write about America's future, instead writing another polemic on his non-existent utopian republic.

Or, in shorter form: Grover Norquist is a complete whackjob.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:52 PM


You know, when Oliver wrote a while back about something Dean Esmay said that was bordering racism, I kind of stayed out of it. I've had some experiences with the magical logic that is Esmay before, but I'm really not ready to actually accuse the guy of being a racist.

That is, until I read the comments he just left on Oliver's site defending charges of racism. And now I'm convinced. Dean Esmay isn't just racist, he's insane.

Well hang me for a KKK member. I don't like the way black people talk to the movie screen when I go to a movie. I don't like the overly loud rap music (even though honest to God, I do love Dr. Dre--Hahaha! Yeah, 9 duece, def row records, creepin' while yer sleepin', niggaz with attitudze, no Loc, niggaz on the motherfucking mission..."), don't like the way black comedians can make fun of me but I can't make fun of them back. I hate the way the vast majority of poor kids in lousy schools in America are white kids but we aren't supposed to notice. I hate the way that a kid who grows up in Detroit in a shitty neighborhood and a crappy school but happens to be white gets no break, but a pampered black kid like Oliver Willis gets all the special deference because his skin is maybe one shade darker than my sister's, but a pale Arab or Asian kid gets assumed to be "privileged" no matter how poor or fucked up his upgringing is.

I know a white kid who grew up literally in a dirt floor shack with an outhouse. In the 1980s. I know another kid, blacker than Oliver to a considerable degree, whose father was a Cadillac dealer (no, swear to God, no joke) worth several millions of dollars. You tell me which kid was "better off" and in need of special privs.

Oh fuck it, just look at pampered little bitch Harold Ford Jr., who was born in 1970 and never saw a segregated lunch counter in his life, went to the best schools Washington DC could offer to him as a wealthy Congressman's son, a little brat whose millionaire family is the most powerful in Tennesseee next to the Gores--yeah, this little brat gets to stand up and say "I personally benefitted from Affirmative Action," but my poor white trash cousins on the south side of Chicago who scraped by with less than nothing are dirt because well hey, they have pasty-white skin and deserve no special consideration.

Esmay opposes affirmative action because he construes it a delivery of unfair advantages on a blanket basis of race. Except now he uses specifics. He blames Oliver for members of his family being worse off than a black guy. Apparently, it's okay for life to never be fair in the Capitalist economy... but when life's not fair for a white guy, it's the black man's fault.

It doesn't even matter that Esmay's logic, like most others who use Affirmative Action as an example of "unfairness" because it is unfair- unfair only when placed in the conservative vacuum of allegedly being the only instance of racial differences in the history of this nation- is complete garbage. That's another post altogether. But this is an expression of dismay at the hard times of certain members of his family- specific people. And who does he blame? Black people.

You're a racist, Dean. You have an irrational, illogical hatred of blacks and you are dangerously angry about it. You are angry about being called on it because, like most racists, you know your thinking is wrong but you want to comfort yourself in your pathetic blanket of the poor, working-class white man.

As a fellow member of the working-class, white man secret society, shut the hell up. If your life, or the lives of people you care about, are fucked up, deal with it. Ask us and we'll try to help. Share and we'll cope with you. But don't blame black people. And certainly don't blame Oliver, especially when your "evidence" of his privilege was hand-delivered to you by the voices in your own head.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:09 AM

September 1, 2004


Anyone who was just watching MSNBC right now just saw Zell Miller go batshit insane on national television. This included screaming at Chris Matthews about wishing duels were still legal.

The pride of the GOP's Wednesday convention lineup just said he wants to kill a television news reporter.

You know what, Dick Cheney? You're right. I'm glad he's on your side. Because he's nuts.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:25 PM


Jesus. I know that, so close to the election and so long into the Bush administration, analogies to Orwell have become overused and tired. But I've never seen anything as close to a two-minute hate as I have with this speech.

Forget that he cracked the "sensitive" joke as if we don't know Bush said the exact same thing. Forget that he attacked Kerry for a lousy record despite the conventioning highlighting more of Reagan's legislative work than Bush's. Forget the fact that Cheney took every cliche one-liner about Kerry and put them all into one speech. If these delegates represent fifty percent of America, then fifty percent of America scares me to death.

The way the audience booed at the mention of every alleged Kerry fallacy; the constant breaks into "four more years," the "win one for the Gipper" signs, and the "flip-flop" chant... it's as if a giant picture of Kerry was going to come down from the ceiling for the crowd to hurl fruit at.

Cheney didn't as much segue from hating Kerry to loving Bush as he simply flipped a switch... it just went instantly from "Kerry is a horrible man who should never be president" to "Bush is imbued with god-like powers that healed us all on September 11th."

Amidst all this, I can't really give an opinion about the effectiveness. I'm a left-wing partisan; clearly this speech angers, frightens, and in the case of the 9/11 stuff offends me. But I do know that this speech truly will be either the selling point for Bush, or the selling point for Kerry, depending on the national mood.

How the pundits post-speech can call this "brilliant" or even "a clever strategy" is beyond me. This isn't brilliance, this is a kamikaze- Cheney just unloaded an entire arsenal of invective against Kerry on the hope Americans won't be disgusted by the extent of the carnage. If this country really is a bunch of scared, raving quasi-patriots bellowing "USA! USA!" as we kick every non-American in the teeth just in case they hate us, then it will be the tastiest of red meat. If the GOP, and I hope this is the case, has no true finger on the pulse of real American mentality, then Americans will see this the way I see this: the complete and undeniable destruction of any pretense that the mainstream Republican Party stands for any level of compassion, any level of moderation, and any level of logic.

Update: I'm not alone on this. Jesse uses the term "self-immolation." That's a great euphamism for "scorched earth."

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:02 PM

The final insult?

The Swift Boat Liars have been signing names to their letters without veterans' permission. Disgusting.

If Bush is asked to condemn this and refuses, it should be an acceptable statement that he endorses slandering veterans. Dennis Hastert could do no worse.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 2:08 PM

Alan Keyes is Completely F*$%ing insane, Day 24

Keyes: Cheney's gay daughter is "a sinner."

On a completely unrelated note, anyone else catch the Stephen Colbert segment on the Daily Show last night? Not drawing parallels or anything, of course.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 1:11 PM

Lies unt da lahing laaaaars who tell thum

Apparently, Governor Ahnold was motivated to join the Republican Party by an event that never occured.

To his defense, we should point out Arnold was taking massive amounts of "performance enhancers" at the time.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 1:06 PM

Picking on women and children

Considering every other blog on the planet, including the right-wing ones, have already made the case for the disaster (for the GOP, that is) that was Laura and the Bush Twins™ during their prime-time speeches tonight, I'm sure my opinion isn't unique. It's a bad sign for two college-educated girls, one Ivy League, and a former librarian when the Austrian immigrant famous for his uncivilized incoherence makes a more telegenic appearance than them.

But what I'm suprised few weblogs noted about Babs and Jenna was something that struck me as a bit more subconscious.

Political children, naive and unrelated to actual policy, are considered as off-limits in most mainstream discourse. Except Jenna and Barbara volunteered for the campaign, insisting on offering their contribution to the Bush cause. And this evening's appearance was a glowing expose of their uselessness to anything in politics before three hours ago. Tonight's speech revealed them as the Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie of the American political process: rich, carefree, spoiled nitwits who didn't give a damn about what's going on in the real world until someone turned a camera on them.

Nearly a thousand Americans have died in Iraq, many of them in their mid-20s. Thousands of parents lie awake at night wondering if their 23-year-olds are coming home. Meanwhile, the daughters of the man who sent them off to die are giggling about how much they like Outkast. Why so few are noticing how they represent every aspect of the White House's ignorance to the real American family is, frankly, astounding.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:57 AM

August 31, 2004

Crash the Party

Just a plug for a fundraiser on Thursday: I'm going to be helping out Ted Rall at the Crash the Party event, being held Thursday evening during the GOP's final evening of necrophilia. Admission is a $75 donation to the Kerry/Edwards campaign; Ted's got all the details on his site.

Speaking of campaign events, can anyone tell me exactly what "The Tank" is, and why all the left-leaning bloggers are there right now, and how/if I can join them? Special note to Markos, who I'm listening to right now on Air America as he sits next to David Cross: I hate you, you lucky bastard.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:06 PM

"W" stands for "Whoopsiedaisy"

George W. Bush Garden Gnome. Don't forget your hat.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 5:51 PM

August 30, 2004

Okay, one more

Yeah, so remember when the right-wingers were whining all day and all night about how John Kerry didn't focus on any domestic policy at all?

Umm... yeah. Loads of domestic issues, there.

(I'm overwhelmed by the networks' commitment to fairness and equal time, too. I mean, after all the reactions from the DNC, it's nice to see them listening to speeches and cutting to Democrats for their reactions... oh, wait. They're not doing that at all, are they.)

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:42 PM

A pair of points

Two personal opinions on two of today's events:

1. I think using Bush's gaffe this morning isn't as good a move as Edwards seems to think. Bush's problem with saying we can't win the war on terror isn't the message itself, but that Bush said it.

The truth is, we can't win the war on terror, and most blogs chastizing Bush for the line this morning have been saying that for months. As David Cross said, it's like a War on Jealousy. We can't defeat a verb. We can shift policy and try to affect international mood, but when you haven't established an enemy you can't defeat it.

The Kerry campaign needs to address Bush backtracking on his own beliefs and, judging from previous statements, feeling less confident about himself. But to suddenly march around saying we can "win" a "War on Terrorism" is a bad play.

2. Ed Schrock shouldn't be made fun of. If anything, he should be pitied. Clearly, this is a man who spent much of life, and later his career, trying to deny who he is. Schrock is a hypocrite, and he does deserve scorn for endorsing self-loathing hypocrisies that have made the lives of every other gay person in this country worse, but a couple of people have come off very vindictive about the revelation that he's gay and it's really inappropriate.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:37 PM

Culling through the mailbag

A few selections from the mailbag:

I got a link to a really funny site this week called Osama Surprise. So for all you conspiracy nuts expecting Bush to reveal a captured bin Laden in October, you can get all the supplies for surprise party here.

Cheryl sends this link to a whole lot of other links with resources on the 527 issue. And if you're looking for a handy guide to all the ways Bush is connected to the Swift Boat Liars, my sister sent me a link to this chart.

Electees has some stuff too, go check it out.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:25 PM

Newest comic - "Know your lunatics"

In honor of the Convention, and the end of the month thus not making the increased bandwidth of a full-color comic a threat, you'll notice the extra effort. Maybe in the future I can work towards making color the mainstay. For now, enjoy.

And buy some crap.

Sometime tomorrow or Tuesday: mailbag. I've got like a two-week backlog at this point of e-mails I never responded to or acknowledged at all. I'm the worst person who ever lived.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 2:33 AM

August 29, 2004


You know, I can't stand 99% of MTV and everything associated with it, but I just finished watching the Video Music Awards and I've gotta say I'm really impressed with how much effort they put into the whole Get Out the Vote deal.

MTV has always been good with public awareness... the Choose or Lose campaign is always admirable and the network has done so much for gay rights and sex education, but, as not to spoil anything for the West Coast audience, let's just say that the end of the show focused on getting the younguns involved more than I expected. Awesome.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:35 PM