October 15, 2004

That's it, I'm outta here

Okay, time to pack up the computer with everything else and start loading crap into the back of a truck. The magical internet gnomes are supposed to come sometime this weekend to the new apartment, so when operations will actually resume... nobody knows.

Now would be a good time to not want to send me an e-mail. Other than that, the country will hopefully remain in stable working condition (relative to the last few years, of course) during my absence. Bye now.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:46 AM

October 14, 2004

"We would have much rather preferred Alan Keyes talking about how she's going to hell"

Lynne Cheney is angry at John Kerry for mentioning that Mary Cheney is a lesbian during last night's debate. Because, you know, with Mary Cheney being an open and active member of numerous gay outreach projects, who would have ever known if not for Kerry's big mouth, right?

Josh Marshall nails it on this one. The only people outraged are the people who think it's outrageous for someone to be gay. Lynne Cheney's quote doesn't show she's ashamed of John Kerry; it shows she's ashamed of her own daughter.

Last time I checked, Mary Cheney needed to be defended from bigots like her mother, not people like John Kerry who point out what Mary herself is happy to point out. Who's using who for cheap tawdry political points again?

I'd also like to point out that the only person who has any right to be "upset" is Mary Cheney. Personally, I don't give a rat's ass if Mommy's upset that the bad man said something mean about her daughter. A class act on Kerry's part would be to call Mary, ask if he offended her, and offer to apologize if she was. I doubt that'll happen, though. Do you think the GOP wants a televised press conference from Kerry where he waxes eloquently on his respect for individual personal rights on the Vice-President's daughter's approval?

The longer the right-wingers fake-complain about this, the longer stories that constantly mention the Cheneys have a gay daughter are going to be topping the news feeds- kinda the exact opposite of the privacy they're pretending to want. That's why this is so silly; the conservatives seized this as an opportunity to attack Kerry with no chance of favorable responses from the Democrat, and they're sadly mistaken.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:49 AM

October 13, 2004


Gosh, I guess there just wasn't any time to talk about Stem Cell Research during the debate tonight, what with the valuable time necessary to let them close up with family barbecue stories.

The moderator was beyond throwing Bush softballs on this. He wasn't even throwing him Nerf balls. I would describe them more like balls of soap made with one of those Bubble Things from the mid-80's.

I think Kerry and Bush both did well for their own parties tonight. Tonight, the pundits, as already telegraphed pre-show, are going to fawn over Bush. By morning, and by the next Daily Show taping, I'm sure the main clip will be Bush blatantly and utterly lying about his "I never said I don't care about Osama" line.

Tonight's debate was brought to you by the words "litany" and "liberal" as well as the phrase "armies of compassion," which frankly scared the shit out of me all three times Bush actually said it.

Update: Glad I'm not the only one. Nothing on stem cells. Nothing on domestic police forces. Nothing on the environment- ANWR, water, logging, not a damn thing. Bob Schieffer should never be allowed near a debate again.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:30 PM

Okay, I guess it's okay to let her use our valuable oxygen

Paris Hilton proves herself marginally useful. (via Chris)

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:07 PM

The Men In Black are actually efficient, though

A quick opinion regarding this whole "was Bush wearing a wire" controversy: I gotta say, folks, I'm just not buying it. Basically, it comes down to a couple of things:

  1. Considering how no one on earth would have faster access to new and secret technology than the President of the United States, I don't understand how in 2004 the concept of "Secret transmitter" entails a visibly-thick plate of metal or something with wires.
  2. There's lots of photos of wires and such, but I have yet to see any indication of Bush having something in his ear- you know, the place where sounds need to go to tell someone something.

  3. Bush's entire performance during the Town Hall debate was clearly memorized stump lines. Feeding him information would suggest effective, clever responses, not the same stuff he's easily got down reflexively by now.

Having spent a year at NYU suffering the minute details of Life Drawing class, I understand how a combination of the most minor of folds in cloth can make the largest alterations of light and shadow. But looking at some of these certain folds, I don't doubt that Bush was wearing something.

There's a small range of things the bulge could be, but they're all very plausible, including that Bush is wearing a vest. (It would make sense to deny it, honestly- why would the Secret Service announce to terrorists that a head shot is a better bet?) Some have suggested that it's a medical device, implying Bush covering up an otherwise-debilitating medical condition (diabetes, seizures, etc.)

Personally, I think it's sort of a medical device. I think it's a back brace. The laid-back, easy-going persona of the President doesn't really include good posture as a key attirube, and considering Kerry's got about six inches on the guy I'm inclined to believe that Bush wants as much help as possible standing up straight.

That said, I'm concluding with the observation that whatever it was, it really hasn't helped Bush look very good in either of his two previous debates, and considering everything else in the world he's responsible for, this doesn't even rank in the top hundred of things people should be attacking him for.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:07 PM

The Party of Democracy

So now the GOP is trying to remove thousands of Nevadans from the voter rolls, and hiring a private company to- I kid you not- pretend to register Democrats to vote and then throw their applications away.

You know, I really don't understand why the Democratic Party hasn't made this message part of their campaign yet: Democrats: we're the party that actually wants you to vote.

The only people Republicans seem to be actively working on voter turnout with are fringe candidates like Ralph Nader- designed not to enhance the democratic system, but allow Republicans victories on technicality. (The irony of exploiting the "Nader factor" lies in the fact that it only works when the Republican doesn't get at least 50% of the vote... in other words, Nader is being used to assist the lack of the candidate being preferred by, you know, the majority of the people... Democracy- who needs it!)

The GOP will likely accuse Democrats of "supressing the vote" by their efforts to get Ralph Nader off many state ballots. The difference, of course, is that Democrats are challenging Nader's ballot status because it's illegal, while Republicans are trying to prevent Democrats from their legal right to vote.

Felon lists, "inactive voters," hiring companies that throw ballots away, insane Secretaries of State and County Chairs that have decided this arcane rule means you can't file an absentee ballot or whatever- no wonder the GOP doesn't like saying "ic" after "Democrat"- because we really are the only party that's democratic.

There's not much time left before the election, but the Democratic Party needs to get off its ass- not the mascot type- and start pointing out that, for them or against them, they actually want people to exercise their rights.

Meanwhile, if there's a sub-statute in 18th century maritime salvage law that hasn't been enforced since the steam locomotive was invented still on the books that can stop someone from voting, the Republicans are running to the judges.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 4:38 PM

And Laura Ingraham is having Michael Savage's baby!

You know, not to be a catty wiseass or anything, but I bet stuff like this is why O'Reilly's glad he's not hosting Inside Edition anymore.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 4:22 PM

October 12, 2004

I don't want this to suddenly become the "John talks about every step of his move" blog, but since a lot of you- and believe me, I'm thankful- wrote to me with advice and such about finding a place to live, I just wanted to let everyone know I now have an apartment. I believe I beat Chris' record for the shortest time ever to actually accomplish this, but I've got a six-month lease, and come Saturday I'm officially a resident of Alexandria, Virginia.

I'd like to note that this doesn't usually happen. I lucked out in a huge way; a woman from a building I called the day before being gracious enough to call me back to let me know- just in case I might be interested- that someone just cancelled their reservation to a studio apartment, and since they already cleaned it, it was available immediately.

I'd also like to note that this isn't without physical consequences- I woke up on Tuesday- I can't even say morning because it wasn't morning yet- at 3:30 AM, so I could leave New Jersey at about 4:30 AM to drive five hours to Virginia. My investigation of the apartment was looking at it for five minutes, thinking "well, I didn't see anyone selling crack outside," and handing over a check. Then I drove another five hours back, occasionally veering off the road because I was up since 3:30 AM, for Christ's sake and almost dying were it not for rumble strips. The feeling in my body right now is beyond that of exhaustion or pain. I think I'm actually damaged mentally pulling this off. Tonights' sleep will be a sleep of monarchs.

But on the plus side, I have an apartment that may or may not be near a train to work. I never got around to actually testing that. Eh. Things'll work out.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:01 PM

October 11, 2004

Oh yeah

I can't let my inclusion in the mass outrage go unmarked. Count me in among those who think Sinclair Broadcast Group has violated every tenet of ethics, sensibility, and fairness in their demands to force all their stations into airing an anti-Kerry documentary produced by a flunkie for the Moonie Cult.

You all know damn well if a single station did something like this to make Bush look bad, the GOP would have them on trial for treason by now. This is blatant, deliberate smear on 62 stations. If CBS can lose half a mil for flashing a breast, Sinclair should have its license to own television stations outright annulled.

Kos seems to be leading the charge against Sinclair here.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 5:49 PM

I'm cold, and there are wolves after me!

Just checking in, folks. I might have some time to post some stuff while waiting for some people to call me back, but as for now all my time is almost completely devoted to finding a place to... well... live.

With any luck, I'll find a sublet soon that I can have as a foothold in DC for at least a month or two while looking for a permanent place to live. The remainder of my time will be spent on my couch curled in a fetal position wondering what the hell I'm doing.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 1:19 PM