Saturday, September 18, 2004

Vietnam and Bush's Brain

The Salt Lake Tribune's Rebecca Walsh (with the help of Tom Harvey) has done a good bit of journalism for a small time paper, uncovering the details of Karl Rove's spotted Vietnam-era draft history. Unlike his boss and his boss' boss, Dick Cheney, the meddling to void going into combat isn't as obvious.

In fact, Rove was against the war. Here's a nice nugget:

Far from being a conscientious objector, [Olympus High School classmate Mark] Gustavson recalls, Rove's opposition to the war was political. He considered the conflict a "political skirmish that was not being properly administered."

"I never heard Karl say, 'I hope I don't get drafted,' " Gustavson says. "Everyone went and registered. No matter how we felt about the war, we understood our legal duty. I don't remember Karl saying he would get married or get a student deferment or do anything that would have earned one a deferment."

But Rove got one anyway. Rove graduated from high school in the spring of 1969 and in June was reclassified 1-A, available to be drafted.

Then it gets weird: "Rove received number 84, or within the top one-fourth of the 365 numbers. It would turn out that the highest lottery number drafted from this group was 195, according the Selective Service, putting Rove's number deep within those that could be drafted."

He got a physical, and was deemed eligible, yet somehow they passed him up again because he goes to the University of Utah, monitoring under a staunch Democrat while protesting Hubert Humphrey's speech in Salt Lake. "But in the autumn and spring quarters of 1971, Rove was a part-time student... Despite the apparent lapse in his full-time status, Rove maintained his deferment."

Then Rove transferred to the University of Maryland, "But a letter he prepared to notify the local draft board in Murray of his transfer never made it to Utah."

When at MD, Rove went part time again and went from being 1-A to 1-H after the Pentagon reclassified thousands of men during the wind-down of the Vietnam war. The whole thing seems realistic by Walsh. Stories of real life are often complex and complicated, with no real clear wrong doing on people's parts. I also have trouble blaming people for trying to avoid going to war, my father did, I would have. But John Kerry didn't. Why not? I think it was partly because he was hoping to be the next JFK to become president. He eventual saw the swift boats as his PT-109. He wanted to create a myth out of his tour of duty like the Kennedy family managed to do with Jack's. The fact is, World War II was more a George W. Bush black and white war, where was Vietnam was more a Kerry grayscale.

I think Rove's High School buddy (who's now a Salt Lake City Lawyer) put it best:

"It [the Kerry-Edwards campaign] paints a time in American history with too broad and dramatic a stroke. It [Vietnam] wasn't that black and white," Gustavson says.

"There were a lot of legitimate reasons for not going. There were a lot of legitimate reasons for going," he adds. "Some of my friends were just cowards. But I never heard Karl advocate violating that law. That he didn't go makes him like hundreds of thousands of other guys my age who didn't go."

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Getting young people to vote the HARD way

Today's political website of the day is

Their brilliant idea, have site visitors pledge to have sex with a voter on election day, and at the same time promise they won't have sex with a non-voter. I encourage everyone to sign up for reluctant voters who you might want to have sex with. But no using sex to get someone to vote a certain way, that's just not fair.

We all know that sex is on everyone's minds often and is a good reward/incentive for voting. Now all we need a couple of famous porn stars to get involved. Maybe even a raffle for the lucky voter who gets to have sex with them. Creating civic engagement by going straight for the pants, now that’s a great strategy. P Diddy, whose slogan is "Voter or Die," you were out done again.

After all, everyone knows that not having sex while everyone else is getting laid is worse than dying, right? [ED this snarky post is intended to be a homage to Wonkette]

Constroversy for the sake of it

I am so tired of our so-called press. The media loves to make up items of dispute, take sides that would make McViegh's defense lawyer squirm, and swallows whole bits of GOP propaganda.

Exhibit A, the polls. Anyone who knows 2 bits about polls would have told you that the polls that came out immediately following the GOP convention were suspect and not likely to hold. First of all, they used "likely voters" with over 60 days left which is highly unusual to say the least; secondly, these "likely voters" were disproportionately GOP or GOP-leaning. Now the press is amazed to see two polls that say Kerry and Bush are again essentially tied (one has Kerry up 1 and one has Bush up 1, which is within the margin of error obviously). They are trying to say, "How did Kerry get back up? What did Bush do wrong? Is the National Guard stuff hurting him?" when both sides said privately that their internal polls had Bush up maybe 1 immediately following the convention.

Today on "Inside Politics" Ed Gilespie rightly said look at the state polls, and for his part Terry McAwefull (as I like to call him) said the revolving door at the Kerry campaign has nothing to do with the race and the polls show Kerry is doing just fine. Of course, Ed, being the nasty GOPer that he is, laughed out loud about Kerry, trying to mock Kerry's stance of Iraq. I agree Kerry says things in a way that leaves people with different views to think that he agrees with them most of the time. However, I think John Kerry should pull a media stunt where he sends his Iraq issue paper to Ed's house along with a contribution form with the $100 box checked (since Ed said he would give anyone $100 if they could tell him what Kerry's position was). Of course, he should send a copy of what he sending to the media.

Meanwhile, Kerry is making an important speech to the National Guard that for some unknown reason gave a standing ovation to the man who has sent them off to die while making the whole organization look pathetic and incompetent (since they put him in there instead someone more deserving and can't find W's records or vouch for him showing up in Alabama). Finally, Kerry is starting to say the right things about Iraq: that it is a horrible mess and Bush is an incomp. I still feel he should borrow Lincoln's line to Gen. McCelland "If General McCelland is unwilling to use the Army, I would like to borrow it for awhile." AKA "George Bush is unwilling to win the war against insurgents in Iraq, I would like to borrow the armed forces for the next four years"

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Meet Mutt and Jeff

Does this look like anyone you know?


We had dinner at my parent's tonight, and they said we looked like Mutt and Jeff. And we said who? Appearantly it is a famous cartoon that predates the peanuts. Some times my parents say such archaic things, I feel like a need a dictionary for their saying that involve grammophones, and they are only in the mid-50s!

Then again, I say things old fashioned ways too; I must have picked it up from them. I like to say the "Thou version" of the Lord's daily prayer. So go figure. Here's to the oldies, but goodies, like Mutt and Jeff.

What were they thinking?

Here's another reason why I am glad I don't live in and around DC anymore, they elected cnvicted crack smoking ex-mayor Marion Berry to be on the city council, 57% of them. At it wasn't a black poor neighborhood which one might say they feel for his persecution, it was Ward 8, the one where all the snobbyist, richest DC-ers live who don't live in the suburbs. This is the home of Georgetown and Friendship Heights.

The other thing I am glad about missing is how dumb they get during a snowstorm, acting like 2 flakes are sign of the appocalypse. It snows every year people! Barry is the worst too, he went on vacation during one big storm and left them in the lurch. What morons is all I gotta say.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Doin' the Lynndie

Remeber Lynndie? Sure you do:

And Bush claims it was a few bad apples and he has nothing to do with it. Well, it seems he likes her style at least:

Ralph "Ivan" Nader

I know I have only had 3 weeks of Civil Procedure and no Constitutional Law yet, but I am pretty sure the executive branch can't short curuit the judical process and overrule it.

Yet that is exactly what Jeb "that's my brother" Bush's appointee Division of Elections director Dawn Roberts claimed that Hurricane Ivan, which could hit parts of the state by week's end, forced her to act. No, the possibility that Jeb's brother might lose the state forced her to act. Dawn is a former Northern Florida Mayor, and while not BC04 state campaign chair like her 2000 counterpart, the whole think reeks even more because she is appointed and not elected (which in theory would make one more independent from one's party)

Florida Circuit Court Judge Kevin Davey had issued a temporary injunction last week preventing the state from putting Nader on the 2004 ballot, siding with a Democratic challenge that the Reform Party did not qualify as a national party under state law. By the way, when was the last time former Green Nader had anything in common with Bucannan's Reform party? Oh wait, when was the last time Nader stood up for anything he believes in besides himself?

The FL Democratic Party is pissed, but I assume they can bring this to the FL supreme court, who have proven themselves to be anti-Bush in 2000. After 2000, I thought we all learned all we needed to know about Florida election law, but I guess there is a new wrinkle after all. Now I guess Dawn's next step is to certify the state for Bush, you know, just in case another Hurricane comes by.

Monday, September 13, 2004

The Pottery Barn Rule

A Diarist a Daily Kos came up with a new idea for what Kerry should say now that "W is for wrong" has gotten old he calls it "Mr. President, you own it". Here's the speach:

"Mr. president, Colin Powell told you about this war that 'if you break it, you own it.' And now you're going around talking about an 'ownership society.' Well, Mr. President, let me tell you what you own. A million jobs lost. You own that. A thousand soldiers lost. You own that. 1.4 million new people living below the poverty line. You own that. 1.2 million less people covered by health insurance. You own that. A seventeen percent medicare increase. You own that. Health care costs skyrocketing. You own that. The tax burden increasing amongst the middle class. You own that. Mr. President, if you want to talk about an ownership society, let's talk about what you own."

I agree with this slogan. I would go on to say: "Mr. President, you blamed Clinton for the bad economy when he left you with a gigantic surplus and seemingly endless prosperity. Then you blamed 9/11 on Clinton and then blamed 9/11 for the bad economy and your catastrophic war. Mr. President, we have waited for 3 and half years, and we still haven't heard you accept responsibility for anything. Yet your party controls the congress, the white house, and the supreme court. How come we have a massive deficit, a bumbling foreign policy, a stumbling economy, and none of your agenda (save your precious tax cuts for the top 1%) has passed. Who's to blame Mr. President if it isn't you? Where are the faith-based initiatives? Why has the tone in Washington gone from bad to worse? Where is the humble foreign policy?

In 2000, Dick Cheney told the armed forces "help is on the way." Well, Mr. President, they are still waiting for help. Unfortunately, they will have to wait until January 20th, 2005 because you have proven unwilling to help them. Our forces are stretched thinner, with lower moral than any time in our history. You had no plan to win the peace in Iraq and Your actions thus far show that either have no plan or no will to win the war against insurgents there. You have abandoned Afghanistan for this horrendous adventure to topple Saddam, you have let the Israeli conflict fester, and allowed Iran and North Korea to further develop nuclear weapons. If elected president, I will take the fight to the insurgents, internationalize the security forces in Iraq, kick the Taliban and Al-Qaeda permanently out of Afghanistan, and get tough with rogue states that develop nuclear weapons."

How about them apples?

Not-so-bad and Good news

First the not-so-bad news: Scott Matheson has now narrowed Huntsman's lead to 10.

While that sounds pathetic, it isn't that bad considering he was down by like 20 point before. I guess those cheezy ads with him in a classroom have paid off.

Now the good news: Jim Matheson is creaming his 2002-04 oposition, John Swallow , by 31 points. Ouch. I think it is over for Swallow, who will certainly narrow that but never as much as last time (1,600 votes).

In other polling news, according to the Deseret News:

[Dan] Jones found that if the election were today, Bush would get 65 percent support to Kerry's 25 percent. U.S. GOP Sen. Bob Bennett, seeking his third, six-year term, leads Democratic challenger Paul Van Dam, 60-23 percent. In the 1st Congressional District, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, leads Democrat Steve Thompson, 53-23 percent, Jones found. Third District incumbent Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, leads Democrat Beau Babka, 51-27 percent. And GOP Attorney General Mark Shurtleff leads Democratic challenger Greg Skordas, 57-20 percent.

I wonder if a Democratic guy who is losing 20-57 can help a Republican woman who is losing 20-40. File this under "Ironic," Atlantis.