Dissento's (Culture) War Journal

Friday, February 27, 2004
  A TJ Moment

"But I know, also, that laws and institutions must
go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that
becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are
made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with
the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and
keep pace with the times."
--Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816.


Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Check out the fancy button on the right -- the DNC needs your cheddar! 

Monday, February 23, 2004
  If the Teachers Get a Pay Raise, the Terrorists Will Have Won"

Code Orange: With all the "shooting in the foot" the Repubs have been doing, I'm amazed they have any toes left. Sec'y of Education Rod Paiges proclaims that the NEA is a terrorist organization. Hooo-boy! Maybe that's where all the WMDs went.

Please, people. Let's end the madness. Fire these people.

  It Depends on What the Definition of "Volunteer" Is.

I nearly drove my car of a bridge today, when I heard Mark Racicot tell Juan Williams that Bushed "volunteered" for Vietnam and was turned down. As Josh Marshall puts it:

Let's set aside the fact that pulling strings to get into the Air National Guard in 1968 is, on its face, quite the opposite of volunteering to go to Vietnam. When the president signed up for the National Guard there was a check box asking whether he wanted to volunteer for overseas service. And he checked off "do not volunteer."

Hey, and nice follow-up there Juan -- way to go get 'em!

Friday, February 20, 2004
  Can We Get Some Love for a Georgia Dem?

Check out Doug Haines whose running for congress in GA. He answering questions from all directly on his blog -- no filter. Pretty impressive.  

  Hold the Mayo and Good Blue Collar Wages

Short Order Cooking the Books: With this white house, when facts are inconvenient, just redefine the terms. It's been true in environmental policy and now it's true with jobs. The Economic Report of the President is suggesting that fast foods jobs should be re-classified from service sector to manufacturing. This is another godsend for Democrats . We don't have to say a word about the economy -- these people continue to shoot themselves in the foot. McJobs=Manufacturing jobs is the new catsup=vegetable.

How did so many fucking neanderthals survive the ice age? Even in the 21st century people like Gary Burnett exist. This is the coach who basically dismissed the rape charges of a female kicker because she was a "terrible" player. The taxpayers of Colorado are giving this guy $1.6 million per year in salary to win football games. Fire this guy outright. Arrest the players involved in the rape and any team staff that knew and supported the "sex parties." Forfeit all of Colorado's games in 2004. Bar the team from bowl games until 2007.

And, hey, Oklahoma? You're next. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2004
  National Barometer

I think that Chandler's victory over Kerr is a going to be a seminal moment in the politics of the web. I think the next true test of blog-paigning* is whether we can raise an unknown dem to office over a repub. Chandler already had a lot of name recognition going for him.

* I may have made up a word. No hits for "blog-paigning" or "blogpaigning" on Google. Take note Oxford. 

  Al Gore Strikes Again

One of Mark Morford's best columns ever is right here.

Tortured Logic Dept.: Does anyone else find the disconnect between Kerry's primary success and opinions about him on the blogosphere to be really interesting? The only conclusion I can draw is that Kerry-haters control the web...Kerry-haters are mostly Deaniacs...Dean was endorsed by Al Gore -- Oh my god, AL GORE DID INVENT THE INTERNET!

In related news, I put up a poll at the Daily Kos to figure out what Dean should do next. Most of the heavily Dean-leaning readers of Kos seem to think he should stay neutral and just run his organization to focus on congress and other key issues. Some want him to endorse Edwards; none want them to endorse Kerry.

Speaking of which, I'm not seeing much (or any) difference between Kerry and Edwards on policy. Edwards, I'm told, has "charisma" or whatever, by is that more important than Kerry's experience? Remember Edwards is the guy who didn't even know what the DOMA actually did.

Book Stuff: I've not read much lately but I'm currently enjoy Shirley Hazzard's The Great Fire.


Sunday, February 15, 2004
  Ed Gillespie is a HUGE Pussy

Blah3 reports that Gillespie chickened out on Meet The Press this morning because he's afraid of Charlie Rangel (with good reason!), by demanding his own segment. Man, if the RNC chief is truly this big a baby, we may win this thing. 

  Ugliness Ahead

This is likely to be the ugliest presidential campaign in my life. The surrogates for these guys are ready to pull all the stops. I expect that Lee Atwater will be smiling up at the "Republican Smear Machine" from Hell. And the Democrats, who are not exactly angels in these things, have already been getting their hands dirty. I just wonder how much this stuff matters to the actual election. Certainly the smuttiest of scandals didn't hurt Clinton one iota. I think this is more entertainment for the partisans, who's opinion is not going to be changed one way or another.

One thing I find encouraging is that I'm hearing more defectors from the Repub side than the Dem side. Sure, there's Zell Miller, and the Deaniacs who say they are going to write-in Dean or stay home, but I'm hearing more from those who voted for Bush in 2000. They are pissed, annoyed, disenchanted, or just puzzled by any number of things. Here's a list.

Reasons Former Bush Voters Are Defecting:

1. Job Market is weak
2. The deficit
3. They are not getting a straight story on WMDs
4. Mars!
5. $1.5 Bill for pro-marriage...(what exactly is this money going to?)
6. "No Child Left Behind" left unfunded
7. Soldiers treated shittily in general (Vets getting screwed, long rotations for reservists, etc.)
8. Corporate cronyism (Halliburton, Enron, etc...)
9. Cynical Environmental Policies (Healthy Forests? Puh-leaze)
10. General Bush Stupidity ("Bring 'Em On," "What's the Difference," etc.)

Note that some of the usual liberal issues are not present. I don't think the moderate/independent voter generally cares about the Patriot Act, or our Pre-Emption Policy, or the anti-gay amendment, or judicial appointments.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Congrats to all the San Franciscan couples getting hitched. I hope this is truly a special day for you. Some of the pictures I've seen have been truly heartwarming. All the best in the world to you!


The SF marriages do worry me a bit for two reasons. First, I'm afraid these marriages are going to voided once due process takes it's course. I assume these couples understand this risk, but if it does happen, I'm sure it's going to be painful anyway.

Second, there is something troubling about a mayor taking the law in his own hands, even if it's for a noble purpose. This not is like the Mass. situation where the SC has ruled. This one guy who's obviously overstepping his authority. I agree that sometimes civil disobedience is necessary to advance society, but what if some conservative mayor decides to shut down a Planned Parenthood in his town? Or lock up all the gay folks? Or allow lynchings? Or declare war on Canada?  

  Peeping John

What's in your records, John? This is, of course, utterly despicable. But I might be somewhat mollified if John Ashcroft's entire medical file, as well as those of every Sr. white official, and every congressman who voted for "All Your Uterus Belong To Us Act" where made completely available to the public. Maybe.  

Friday, February 13, 2004
  The Path of Lees Resistance

It looks like my despicable State Senator Brian Lees has taken up the discrimination banner and is leading the fight against marriage for gays in the state legislator. Here's a guy who I suppose is fairly popular around these parts (I'm not sure anyone ran against him in the last election), so what can a lowly blogger do to make this schmuck's life miserable (within ethical limits of course -- I'm not interested in putting flaming dog-poo on his porch)? I'll try the normal letters to the editor and whatnot, but I think this calls for something creative. He hasn't responded to my very polite and professional e-mail. As Drudge would say, "developing..."

Drudge Dregs: Speaking of that lowlife, sorry Matt, your Kerry story is one dog that won't hunt. A lame, lame, lame, attempt at distraction. As even The Sun describes the story, "There is no evidence the pair had an affair... "

Krugmania '04: Krugman links AWOL story to Bush's policies. The article hits something I've often pointed out about Bush; I've never seen him accept responsibility for ANYTHING that's gone wrong. Required Reading.

By the way, what fool let a guy with two 'negligent accidents' and two speeding tickets fly a million dollar jet? Oy vey.

The General Salutes the Lieutenant: Clark's a graceful guy who made a classy move. I hope he has a good role in the Kerry administration. However, unlike some, I don't think he'd make a good Sec'y of State. I think it's VP, SECDEF, or National Security Advisor. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2004
  Down and Out in the White House

There's been too much good news this week to adequately blog about it all. I hope we're not burning through all our karma. Ten recent reasons to feel good about being a liberal.

-- Gay weddings in Mass. coming in May
-- Kay: "We we're all wrong"
-- Press Corps to Scott McLennan: "It was a straightforward question; How about a straight answer?"
-- Plame indictments coming
-- Frist staffer gets caught stealing memos
-- O'Reilly eats shit on WMDs
-- Sullivan nearly implodes over Meet the Press Interview
-- Michael Moore vindicated over "deserter" charge
-- Ben Chandler may pick up GOP seat in "referendum on Bush"
-- New Dennis Miller show sucks; has ratings similar to Scarborough

The one selfish downside to gay wedding issue is that I fully expect Rev. Phelps to start polluting my fair state any day now. Well, as I like to say, "culture war is hell." 

  Thank You, General

Clark was the first candidate I've ever given money to or lent my time to. In fact, his campaign is what made me finally register as a dem (I've been "unenrolled" as they say in Mass.). So clearly I'm dissappointed, but I knew this day could come. I hope he stays committed to politics and finds a way to continue to serve the nation (Wes - we need men like you in government, not CNN).

That said, I'm ready to throw my support behind Kerry. Frankly, I find much of the Kerry criticism on the blogosphere puzzling. This man has been one of our strongest democratic senators for 2 decades. To call the voters choosing Kerry "morons" or "sheeple" is just plain nonsense. Is Kerry my first choice? No, but one I will get excited about. Also, the notion that an extended nom fight is good for the eventual winner is nonsense. The sooner this is decided, the sooner the fundraising gets concentrated on the national campaign. I have great sympathy for the Clark, Dean, and Edwards supporters and admire the committment. But the day is coming soon when we will have to do the adult, responsible thing and channel our energy, enthusiasm, time, and money towards our candidate.  

Tuesday, February 03, 2004
  Scorched Earth Dean-ocrats

I've seen something worrisome this past week in the blogosphere, which may or may not be worth worrying about. There seems to be a sentiment from many Dean supporters that if their guy doesn't get the nomination, they're staying home in November or writing in The Doctor. This seems especially true if Kerry wins the nominations. I've seen these Dean fans call Kerry a "republican-lite," "bush-lite," and other names. They accuse his campaign of dirty tricks in NH, which so far, seem unsubstantiated. They point to the war vote and the No Child Left Behind vote to seemingly rule him out of their consideration. They've also got some less than nice things to say about Edwards and Clark, but they are definitely focused on the frontrunner right now. I do wonder whether their animus would be directed towards whomever was beating their guy.

Now, while I'm not a Dean supporter, I have admired him and his campaign (until recently at least). I'd be more than delighted to see him as president should he pull out a comeback. But this cult of personality, this strange devotion, which does seem to exist with the other candidates' supporters, is a big letdown if they do not get worked up for whomever wins the nomination. All of Dean's work will have been wasted if his supporters splinter themselves off from the part to become "Deanocrats." I've been telling these people that it's great that they're sticking with their guy and fighting to the last. That's how it should be. But if the next few days bear out the Dean campaign is a sinking ship, DO not try to drag the rest of the field under with you. Do so, and you all replace the Greens as George W. Bush's best friends.

Quick Picks

Here's how it goes down tonight: 1 state for Clark, 1 for Edwards, 5 for Kerry, 0 for Dean. Joe will bail tomorrow. Dean may have a real tough night, but he benefits (maybe) by having the next two states pop up quickly.

Boobie Prize - The only thing worth mentioning here is that the FCC is launching an investigation. I guess this takes priority of finding WMDs and Osama bin Laden. We are one strange country.

Buffyliciousness - Have I mentioned that I've become a ridiculous fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? It's almost embarrassing. People give me strange looks when I tell them, so I've pushing Firefly on them, which was developed by Buffy creator Joss Whedon. Another great show cut off too soon by Fox (we miss you, Greg the Bunny!) 

A look at politics, media, current events, and the "culture wars."

07/2003 - 08/2003 / 08/2003 - 09/2003 / 09/2003 - 10/2003 / 10/2003 - 11/2003 / 11/2003 - 12/2003 / 12/2003 - 01/2004 / 01/2004 - 02/2004 / 02/2004 - 03/2004 / 03/2004 - 04/2004 / 04/2004 - 05/2004 / 05/2004 - 06/2004 / 06/2004 - 07/2004 / 07/2004 - 08/2004 / 08/2004 - 09/2004 / 02/2005 - 03/2005 / 03/2005 - 04/2005 / 02/2007 - 03/2007 /

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