not worth archiving.
Me: Frank Lynch
These are my mundane daily ramblings.
"He made faces at me!" says Dan Bartlett. Or something akin to that. CBS broadcast an interview with Ben Barnes, a Texas politician who many years ago enabled George Bush to slip into the Texas National Guard and avoid going to Vietnam. Dan Bartlett (White House Communication Director) reacted thus:
In my view, the fact that this comes up almost two months before the election — less than a week after the convention — is nothing to complain about. At what point wouldn't Bartlett have tried to brush it off as "partisan politics"?
In all honesty there is probably no time (save after November) that Bartlett wouldn't have complained about. If he prefers, he can look fondly back on the time when news about Bush's DWI conviction came out just five days before the 2000 election.
I'm sorry, but what does he expect?
UPDATE: An earlier version of this post misnamed Dan
Bartlett as "Bruce" Bartlett.
Bush AWOL in Massachusetts, too? The Boston Globe is reporting (according to Reuters — I can't find the original story) that when Bush went to Harvard for his MBA he was supposed to show up for National Guard duty there, too, but didn't.
Man alive, he's got the raw material for national leadership, don't he? A strong understanding of obligations, I'd say.
Keep hope alive! Keep hope alive! We
all know these things shift around, but there's a bunch of new
state-by-state polls updated at the Current Electoral Vote
Predictor, and Bush's
electoral college vote lead is gone. Neither Kerry nor Bush
is shown with the requisite 270, but Kerry is closer now, leading
264 to 222. The bad news is that many of the interviews
were conducted before Bush's speech. (But then, that was the case
with the Time and Newsweek polls, too.) Importantly, Florida (27
votes) has shifted out of the Bush category and into the
undecided; Pennsylvania (21) is now shown as being for Kerry.
Stay tuned, of course, it's going to be a bumpy ride.
Voting in November, vs. rubber-stamping. I was talking to a Bush supporter I know very closely, and he didn't want to get into this topic very deeply: possibly because with no power in his house he had to preserve his cell phone's charge, but I think it's really because his desire to avoid confrontation cut it short. But he said he would never be able to listen to Al Franken, or what he had to say. I suspect it extends to a lot of the media which he considers liberal.
But anyone who "votes" in November without considering both
sides of the story, as it comes from each side, isn't really
voting. It's rubber stamping. And anyone who fails to seek out
opinions which they might disagree with is engaging in willful
ignorance; and in my view, that's a sin, because you're not
taking full advantage of the capacities you've been blessed with.
I also happen to think it's not civic, perhaps not patriotic,
because the future of the country depends on you hearing both
sides. And it doesn't matter if you support Kerry or Bush: it's
your obligation as a citizen to thoroughly understand the issues.
A middling pilot who still may not have shown up for duty in Alabama. The Pentagon has released another set of records on Bush's National Guard Service, showing that he did indeed fly a fighter jet, and ranked 22nd out of 53 in his class (almost exactly in the middle, which would have been 27th). However, nothing the Pentagon released shows service in Alabama.
The article also points out that advertisements are going to
start running questioning whether or not Bush ever showed in
Alabama, courtesy of a group calling itself "Texas for Truth." I
tried a Google search for them but found nothing except the
mention in this news story.
How else to interpret this ridiculous comment, Dick? Are you saying that if we vote for Bush, all chance of another attack goes away? Even your campaign thinks you're not providing the right soundbites in your fear mongering:
Policies? I gotcher policies right here,
ma'am. Your bosses have been quite successful in running a war
against terror. (Poor Dick: if he didn't say what he didn't mean,
think how efficient his staff could be.)
Another entry in the "as if you care"
department." I think I passed Eric Clapton on the street in
Manhattan the other day. He — or his close double —
had just left a
non-high rise building. He's not the first celebrity I've passed,
so I didn't make enough note to tell you whether it was Friday or
Sunday. But he had on a short sleeve shirt with a collar (like he
wears in "Concert for George" and when he played with Sheryl Crow
in Central Park). Short hair, glasses, I think it was him.
Fortunately he didn't recognize me and let me go by.
Demonizing the New York Times. There's a meme out there right now that the New York Times has been disgraceful for not labeling the Chechnyans and others who held that Russian school hostage as "terrorists." Some claim that the Times is too "PC," or soft on terrorism, or something. They don't want you to read the Times — God forbid you might learn something about the President's policies from other source but them.
So let's be clear about something: the Times referred to them as terrorists in the very first day of coverage. (You could have checked this yourself in a search on the Times' site; heck, they could have done so, too, but they prefer to think otherwise.)
This is just in the first two days of coverage. There are more examples of them being referred to as terrorists (or their act as one of terror) in articles and editorials at the Times: here, here, here, here , and so on. The article which seems to have really upset some is this one, which discusses the intricacy of the planning of the siege — seeming to glorify it, in some people's eyes, I guess; yet while it doesn't refer to the hostage takers as terrorists, it uses the word "terror" in its opening sentence. And it's by the same reporter who had referred to them as terrorists from the start.
Am I tilting at windmills? I honestly don't know how many are making complaints, nor whether or not they're reputable people. Michelle Malkin didn't notice the Times' characterization until September 6, five days after the Times was first putting it in that context. Daniel Pipes updated an April post to complain that the Times had referred to them as "heavily armed captors." You can read a similar complaint at Horsefeathers.
Now, again, I honestly don't know what influence these people have. But when Michelle Malkin made her first attack on the Times, she titled it "Yet Another Reason Not to Trust the New York Times." At the same time, online media outlets are trying to supplant traditional media (see here, for instance: "I think that era is over now. First of all, because of the net, which has diversified our sources of information so dramatically. We no longer need the networks or the various Post's and Times's. We can just log on.")
I don't know what all of the problem is with the criticism of
New York Times; I don't know if some people have some sort of
check-list to make sure that the right words are used and in the
right proportions or what. (Robert Klein used to joke that when
he was on Johnny Carson, Carson would get hate letters from
ignorant bigots who would complain that Carson hadn't referred to
that "Jew Boy.") But to demonize the Times over this, and
to do so without checking to make sure you're correct, strikes me
as an effort to create some sort of ideological ghetto: do not
read those ideas, you'll get contaminated. And I can't see how
polarizing our country further is any kind of public service. I
just can't: it's irresponsible. Anyone could have checked
the Times' coverage and looked beyond one article.
Catching up on some needed updates.
I think I'm caught up with updates, anyway.
Some partial success to report on the "as
if you care" front. Zoë, I've mentioned, is not only an
adventurous eater but also an adventurous cook. And today we
explored home-made chocolates, pouring melted milk chocolate into
lollipop molds. The chocolate didn't solidify quite as firmly as
we wanted it to in the molds — we may have heated it too
high when melting it, or the room may have been too warm. But we
rescued them somewhat with a little time in the fridge; they
popped out of their molds, but with less detail than we wanted,
yet we're happy enough to work at it again.
Next year maybe we all should boycott shopping. It's Labor Day here in the US, and an astonishing number of stores selling nonessential items are open. This means people have to work in order to sell you a book or lipstick or software which you could very easily have bought yesterday or the day before or tomorrow. And while you might say, yeah, well, they have to work anyway so I might as well, the reason they have to work is because their bosses think there's a market. So next year let's not buy anything on Labor Day, and then all these people can spend the day with their families. It's Labor Day. (I feel differently about food stores and pharmacies, and stores in Florida where so many people have to replenish essentials — they couldn't go shopping in the middle of a raging hurricane.)
If people have to work, it's because we ask them to. Case
closed. Let's boycott stores next year!
Meanwhile, Frank Rich reminded me of a heretofore unnoticed indication that the economy is really swell: no one has stepped forward to claim the $10,000 reward offered by Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau if they could document Bush serving in Alabama. It must be because in these boom times no one wants $10,000.
Unbelievable, ain't it?
I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would think George Bush would be better at protecting us in the future than John Kerry. Bush actually has a record of performance on this very issue, a record he can be judged against. And while it's true that there have been no terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11, we're better off looking at other measures (call them "leading indicators"), because should another attack happen it will be too late to attach much value to a judgment of his performance at that point. Let's look at his performance, all of which adds up to "wow, have we been lucky": (UPDATE: I should point out that this is all post 9/11, so there is no pleading of "How should we have known?" allowed.)
I've lost count of the bullet points, but these are all that I could remember as to why we can't be comfortable with Bush on the war on terror. Each of these is a leading indicator that he just doesn't have it in him.
And remember, all I've discussed here is the war on terror. I
haven't gotten into other aspects of judging a president (the
economy, healthcare, and so on). Why would anyone have confidence
in him? Why?
I don't think it rises to hypocrisy, however, unless those responsible for naming the hospital see that John Kerry is denied communion. But it does point to a need for a more uniform understanding of how the lost sheep who support abortion should be treated.
In related news, the bishop of St. Louis says it may
not be a sin for Catholics to vote for Kerry. If Catholics
feel that the rest of Kerry's positions outweigh his position on
abortion, it's not a sin, but to vote for Kerry because of
his abortion position would be a sin.
The Bush bounce may also be an artifact of differences in cooperation. In a post last night I mentioned that Bush had grown to a strong lead in two different polls from Newsweek and Time, double-digit leads in each case, and I suggested that because much of the surveying was done before the conventions had even closed, that it might not be stable. Here's an additional consideration (it takes a bit to build it, so please be patient, I can't do the normal pyramid down explanations here.)
How much do I believe this? Well, I know from my 20 years in marketing research that it's quite possible, but I honestly don't have the data to support or refute it. The Time poll doesn't break out preference by gender at all, but the Newsweek poll shows women preferring Bush over Kerry (50-43), but doesn't mention gender in its write-up. Nor do I see any trending information by gender. I think that figure showing that women prefer Bush are an argument against this hypothesis, but without trending information it's tough to say.
For this hypothesis to be valid, we'd need to have information showing an increased cooperation rate among men in the recent polls. That can be a tough number to get from polling organizations, because survey conclusions always assume that those who participate are representative of those who don't; it's an unknown where you have to make this assumption or you'll never conclude anything, and research is driven by the need to draw conclusions. If you're not willing to make that assumption, you don't do research (or you take extra steps to increase participation through methods such as paying people to participate.)
But so many of the polls were dead even going into the
convention, I honestly don't see how a double-digit bounce could
be both genuine and stable.
I'm sorry, but when the Bush-Cheney campaign distorts Kerry's
positions into overly-simplistic characterizations which are
basically lies, it's no better. Obviously, the Bush-Cheney
campaign prefers to treat Americans as if they're
ten-year olds, resorting to 'useful stories.' (So much for
that grand concept Bush tried to sell the other night, that he
thinks we know better than government.)
What to make of Bush's bounce? Newsweek is reporting a significant lead for Bush, now that the Republican National Convention has ended. (Time magazine was also reporting a huge jump for Bush, and I saw it on their web site, but it now seems to have been buried for some reason: it's not evident on their web site's home page, nor on the home page of their election coverage. Very strange, but you can see the results here if you scroll down.)
First, any Kerry supporter would always prefer to see numbers which demonstrate majority support for Kerry, and these don't. However, in both cases a lot of the surveys were conducted while the convention was still in progress, meaning this is about as snapshotty as one could get: pure, instantaneous reactions to what they were seeing on the screen, with little settled consideration. (The Newsweek poll was conducted over two days, the day of Bush's speech, and the day after. In the Time poll, no surveys were conducted even so much as a day after Bush spoke, they were all conducted August 31 through September 2.)
Is this wrong? Well, it depends on what you want to do with the numbers. The questions are posed as "if the election were held today," and if it had been held yesterday maybe you could run with those numbers. But it's clear that participants were responding on the first flushes of emotion, many after damning speeches from Zell Miller and Dick Cheney. Without the benefit of their debunking — some of which has already started and will continue, I'm sure — how would you expect voters to respond? It's a known fact that in every US trial, juries don't start deliberating after the prosecution has presented its case, but after both sides have. Projecting from these immediate numbers (many drawn from surveys conducted while the convention was still on!!) would be like asking the jury for its verdict without hearing the defense.
It's probably a genuine bounce, but there are still two months
to go. It could well be a temporary, unstable result. Wait and
see, is my advice, and don't get pessimistic: careful
deliberation and more information can still have a significant
West Palm Beach in the dark. Right
now, a web cam of the old court house shows
how dark it can get with the power out... My folks have been
without power all day, and are now huddled in a room that's about
7' by 3', with their African Grey and a mattress. I'm sure
they'll be OK, but there's definitely a human toll to all this.
(I'm not sure one sees people huddling on CNN.)
Put this man in front of cameras for a TV ad. Earlier this week I said it was time to change the agenda away from Vietnam and focus on the Bush record, and use John Glenn in ads to set the Swift Boat Veterans' lies aside. Well, he's not making TV ads yet, but he's swinging for the fences:
Note that Glenn never accused Bush/Cheney of rounding up
minorities or having schemes of world domination, only that their
repetition of lies mirrored the propaganda techniques of the
Nazis. I personally don't think that all comparisons to the Third
Reich should be verboten: some are legitimate, and I think this
is in that group. Now let's put him in front of a camera for
television commercials. Who wants to be the first to question
John Glenn's patriotism? Huh? Who?
Aren't you glad we didn't march on into Syria or Iran?
Is this cool or what? Zoë (11
years old) had her first raw oysters on a trip to Florida this
past July. Loved 'em. For me, they've always been something I'd
be happy to leave behind. But I always knew I could get them
cheap in Chinatown, and I picked up a dozen today for $5. The
reason I went to Chinatown for seafood was because she
wanted us to finally grill this summer, and with the relatively
cool temps we've had, we hadn't so far, and I figured shrimp in
the shells was as easy as it could get. Well, to my pleasure,
Zoë actually shucked the oysters. Herself (under guidance).
What more could you ask?
Current electoral college counts (based on polling) now give Bush the 270 votes he would need to be re-elected. (I suspect it showed this earlier in the week and I didn't notice.) However, there are still two months to the election, and since we've already seen it shift, it could shift again. For instance, Bush's lead in Arkansas is currently only 1% point, and Clinton is still popular there and bound to campaign. (In fact, Clinton has done relatively little campaigning, and I'm sure he would as soon as asked.) Bush's lead in Pennsylvania (21 votes, enough to reverse the current lead in electoral college votes big time) is also slim, just a percentage point. Gore carried PA in 2000, and it's difficult to imagine why anyone who voted Gore in 2000 would vote Bush in 2004.
At the same time, of course, results for Colorado (9) and Iowa (7) have Kerry and Bush dead even, and Kerry is a slim leader in Minnesota (10). If Bush took all three of those, that would cancel the potential loss of Pennsylvania. It's all far from over, and well worth continuing with the energy. We're going to be reading about convention bounce soon, but remember, unless it's looked at in terms of electoral college votes, the popular vote doesn't matter beyond a 'moral victory.' Did Gore even get a personalized coffee mug out of winning the popular vote?
I was confused last night when Bush said, "You know where I stand." (His exact words were, "This election will also determine how America responds to the continuing danger of terrorism, and you know where I stand.")
You see, here's where I get confused...
Get on it, press corps!
Others will say it too, but that won't
stop me: Bush was WRONG to suggest Kerry doesn't support the
troops. Tonight Bush accused Kerry of not supporting the
troops because he was against an $87 billion bill that had as
one of its parts support for the troops. Kerry supported
the troops, he just didn't support the part that gave Iraq
huge amounts of funding as an outright gift. Bush didn't
support a bill where, along with support for our troops, that
ancillary funding for Iraq was set up as loans. If Kerry
didn't support the troops, then neither did Bush. By Bush acting
this way, he is showing disrespect for the office of the
Presidency. Presidents do not behave this way. (I'll probably
have other comments on the speech at another point, but this one
drove me to the room with the computer.)
Maybe Zell Miller is a double agent.
Seriously: everything he did last night is going to backfire on
the GOP, and you can already see the press becoming more active
just from how they responded to his speech. Now, when a party
chooses a keynote speaker for its convention, you would expect
that they thoroughly vet them — not only what they'll say,
but how they'll respond in interviews. Perhaps Karl Rove
was just a little too gleeful about getting a seemingly non-
partisan "statesman" to criticize Kerry that they didn't
notice that Zell was still secretly working for the Dems.
And then, when given his opportunity, Zell just went ballistic at
the podium, and manic in the interviews afterwards. I mean, why
wouldn't he have changed parties long ago if he really
felt this way? He's a spy, I'm tellin' ya. And those Rovies fell
for it. :-)
Just how pathetic can the New York Times be? As I mentioned below, Zell Miller gave a fiery anti-Kerry speech last night, one in which he listed several weapons programs Kerry had voted against, without noting that Kerry had often voted for those same programs when they were less laden with pork, or that Cheney himself had argued against the same weapons programs. He also claimed that Kerry has said that he would go to a foreign body first if we were attacked:
Flat wrong, and a lie to boot. Here's what Kerry said at the DNC in Boston:
I defended this country as a young man and I will defend it as president. Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force when it is required. Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response. I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security. And I will build a stronger American military.
Why does Miller even try to get away with such a bald lie as this? Well, it's because he knows that many journalists are pathetic. Like the New York Times. Here's the bit of fluff that pretended to discuss Zell Miller's speech last night... As you read it, look carefully for any mention that Miller was even shading the truth.
Did you see anything that told you what Miller had done in his speech? Of course not, that would have required more than the skills one learns in creative writing classes. Just plain derelict in their duty. Don't let any of your friends get away with thinking that Miller was telling the truth last night. You have to fight to re-establish the reality when the Republican attack machine is acting as it is. Work at it!
It would have been masochistic of me
to spend more time watching Zell Miller's speech last night: at
various points he repeated hypocritical canards about Kerry's
voting record (positions which Cheney had shared with Kerry, for
instance), and completely misrepresented what Kerry had said in
the DNC convention (by 180 degrees) over whether or not we would
defend ourselves when attacked; on later television interviews he
suggested to CNN's Wolf Blitzer that it was irrelevant whether or
not Cheney had argued for similar positions as Kerry had, and on
CNBC he basically challenged Chris Matthews to a duel. I'm not a
political writer by profession, so it really would have been
masochism on my part to watch all that. But I have emailed both
of my senators asking for a censure resolution, because Miller
was a genuine embarrassment to the Senate chamber.
NYC whisks protesters away, and deprives the GOP of major leverage? Could this have been a planned outcome? But according to the NY Times, the convention protesters have been taken care of so efficiently, that the Republican party can't point to wild-eyed Bush hatred:
Just goes to show you what a lousy Republican (ex-Democrat) Bloomberg is. Not only does he quarrel with the Republican state governor and disagree with Washington, but when handed the opportunity to act like Richard Daley on behalf of the GOP, he blows it.
Kosovo never happened. I don't think
I'll be able to listen to all of Zell Miller's speech. But after
mentioning the new Miller great grandchildren (and forgetting to
mention the national debt they'll be bearing because of W's
excellent adventure in Iraq), he's just given this list of
occasions where Democrats fought for world freedom, and
contrasted that with what he sees as the current position on
Iraq. (We could of course disagree with his view on Iraq; both
the Catholic Church and Human Right Watch felt that the war
couldn't be justified even on humanitarian grounds.) But oddly,
Zell made no mention of how just last decade Clinton
bombed Kosovo to save lives, and Republicans like Tom Delay
loudly resisted. If you disagree with the Democrats' position on
Iraq, what on earth would make you think that Republicans will
consistently be better? Wouldn't it be better to wonder if
there's possibly some other reason we went in to Iraq? How often
did President Bush or any of his people mention that we were
doing it in order to liberate people? Nooooo, I'm sorry, that was
certainly not top of mind. (And why did Miller talk about 1940 as
being a visionary year for Roosevelt, to recognize the danger of
Hitler? Hitler invaded Poland in 1939. It was more to the
discredit of isolationists here that they didn't see it, than it
was to FDR's credit. What country did Iraq invade in 2003?)
Why foes Gov. Mitt Romney hate the Catholic Church? In his speech just now, he came out against the "hate America first" crowd who were against our troops going off to fight a "just war" in Iraq. Now, everyone supports our troops, but the Catholic Church didn't consider it a just war either. Why is Mitt Romney anti-Catholic? Will Massachusetts let him get away with this? (His remark is not in the advance text delivered to the media, by the way.)
UPDATE: Here's the line from Romney, from a transcript at the Washington Post: "On the just war
our brave soldiers are fighting to protect free people
everywhere, there is no question: George W. Bush is right, and
the 'Blame America First' crowd is wrong." So again: the Catholic
Church said it wasn't a just war. Why does Romney hate the
So there were these two talking heads... One was PBS interviewer Terence Smith, and the other was a gentleman named Kohut, from the Pew Research Center, during convention coverage. (When I get his full name from the transcript, I will silently update this post, along with the verbatim from the transcript.) The point of the discussion is the seemingly conflicting opinions of the American public — inconsistencies. The very first one Kohut cited was something like 65% want a strong response to an international crisis, yet a similar proportion were dissatisfied with Iraq. Going into Iraq? Current status? I don't remember him being specific... But either way, this couldn't really be a conflict, because Iraq wasn't an international crisis. If there was any tension, even, it was the US who put it there. We provoked the problem in the UN, not Iraq. Iraq was being contained from the sanctions, and we now know they had no WMDs. Why would Kohut have thought this was a conflict? And why would Smith have just let it glide by? What did I miss?
UPDATE: The researcher's name is Andrew Kohut, and there's no transcript provided by PBS, but you can listen through RealAudio here. Here's my transcript of the relevant part...
Smith follows up on the second set of statistics, but never
asks more about the first pair. I was wrong to think Kohut was
first referring to international crisis — that was from
Smith's lead in — but there is nothing conflicting
about being concerned about terrorism and being dissatisfied in
Iraq. Our venture in Iraq seems to have provoked
terrorism, not quelled it. Smith must have been asleep at the
wheel on this one.
Somewhere a butterfly flaps its wings,
and Bush gets elected. Well, Theresa LePore, the well-intentioned
designer of the infamous butterfly ballot which confused about
15,000 voters to vote for Pat Buchanan instead of Al Gore, has lost her bid for
re-election. And you know what Samuel Johnson didn't say
about intentions and hell, don't
Will THIS be the Bush defense? Al Franken just had other-side-of-the-aisle talkshow host Hugh Hewitt on, and he asked Hewitt his opinion on a recurring craw in Franken's throat: having read the August 6 Presidential Daily Brief (the one titled "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in the US," and including information that airline hijackings were a plan), should Bush have gone into the Booker Elementary classroom at all, having already heard that a plane had struck the WTC? Hewitt's immediate response was to fire back with a question as to whether or not Franken thought that the second jet might have been stopped had Bush not gone in.
The 9/11 Commission report concludes that it's really unlikely that any of the jets could have been stopped, based on the procedures in place at the time. But this shouldn't be the question. At the time, Bush didn't know what the limitations of the procedures were. He didn't even try to stop them. Not only did he proceed to go into the classroom, he stayed there for the famous seven minutes after he'd heard about the second jet. "Might have" is not the standard, and we shouldn't let the GOP push it on us; the standard is should. Bush shouldn't be compared to other politicians such as Kerry, whose role wasn't to direct the national defense; Bush shouldn't be compared to what he might have possibly achieved now that we have 20-20 hindsight. All we need to do is measure him against what was known at the time; that's fair, isn't it? And how did Bush respond to the crisis?
The GOP has been very good about putting out false standards for behavior (see my earlier discussion in a similar path here). Condoleezza Rice seemed to think it visionary that Bush was "tired of swatting flies," yet when 9/11 Panel Commissioner Bob Kerrey asked for a single instance of when Bush had done so much as swat a fly, she couldn't offer one.
Let's be really clear here, and not give an inch.
The core pessimism of the Republican party came through loud and clear last night. Through the speakers they chose to highlight as if they were representative of the broader party, and through what the speakers had to say, it was clear that the GOP truly has low standards for success. For instance, no offense to the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, but in my book it's not overly significant that as a black American he was elected to statewide office. Isn't the Lt. Governor elected as part of a ticket? How are we expected to separate out his ascension from the governor's? When the Republicans can put up statewide elected black Americans like senators and governors — who not only get the majority vote, but also the majority of registered Republicans' votes — then they will have something to boast about perhaps. But not yet. And is it telling that they find a Hispanic speaker in the President's own family? That certainly doesn't make a great claim that Hispanics are pervasive.
And you also have Arnold Schwarzenegger, chiding us that we're "girlie men" if we complain about the economy, because it's still envied by the rest of the world. An interesting point for him to make, on two accounts. On the one hand, it's inconsistent with something else he'd said, that we were a better voice for democracy than the U.N. (suggesting that international opinion doesn't count). Secondly, and this is the pessimistic part, Schwarzenegger is grading the economy by comparing it to other countries, not comparing it to what America is capable of. Remember the Clinton era? We already know what this country can do: why does Schwarzenegger hate America so much that he wants to hide its potential from us?
I think we all know the answer to that one: by setting up
genuine standards, the Bush administration is a failure.
Some of this reads like police over-reaction. It doesn't help the cause when groups of protesters deliberately forego applying for permits and provoke confrontations, but when you read that a woman putting up a banner on the library steps was pinned down, or that "[p]eople coming off the subways were thrown to the ground"? Without any details that people coming off subways were provoking the police or disobeying the police instructions, I don't know how you read this otherwise.
As police drew close, they tried to scatter. Police tackled them in streets, corners and in front of stores. Innocent bystanders were also caught up in the maelstrom.
Now, I don't blame the entire military for what happened at
Abu Ghraib. And like I've already written in this post, some of
the protesters certainly provoked a firm reaction from the police
by not even applying for permits. But since the article also
states that the police re-strategized during the day, how much of
what seems to be an overreaction was actually planned vs.