The Anti-Kerry FUD

Lots of people have decided they dislike Kerry, but when you ask them why, it always seems to be some vague and bogus generalization that sounds like it came straight off an official memo of talking points from the desk of Roger Ailes.

This is the kind of nonsense that gets passed off as damning evidence against Kerry’s competence or integrity. “He hasn’t had time to be briefed on terrorist attacks! He just doesn’t care!” but if you check out the facts, it turns out that the span of time involved was a few hours. (And of course, all of the “terror warnings” have been transparent political ploys anyway, so it’s kind of moot…)

And then there are the outright hoaxes, which sometimes border on the ridiculous.

It’s just sad and desperate, but apparently it works for some people.

Polytropos: The OBL Tape

Polytropos: The OBL Tape makes a very good point:

If Osama Bin Laden knew about an Al Qaeda attack in the works between now and Tuesday, he wouldn’t have released the tape he did. He would have remained silent, or he would have tried to spread fear by hinting at what was to come. Instead, we get this: a rambling message, at times incoherent, all in all, rather pathetic. More than anything else, it seems to me like a desperate political move — trying to make his voice heard, though he nothing to say.

In other words, the only importance of the tape, as far as I’m concerned, is that it means there’s not going to be an election-related terrorist attack. So get out there and vote.

Wow. Good point.

A Presidential Debate

This is about a year old but it’s still funny and relevant — a no-holds-barred debate between President George W. Bush and someone who apparently completely disagrees with him on all major foreign policy issues — Governor George W. Bush.


Via Steg’s LJ.

How To Disenfranchise Ohio’s Democratic Areas

Did anybody catch the NPR story about the Republican voter challenges in Ohio?

A bipartisan panel (2 dems, 2 repubs) presided over the hearing. There were a couple righteous Ohio Republicans there to protest umpteen hundred supposedly fake voter registrations.

The panel picked up an example of a challenge, and asked the righteous Ohio Republican who did the challenge if she had ever been to the address where this voter lived. No. They asked her how she knew the voter didn’t live there. Well, mail to that voter was returned. Did she have that returned mail with her? No. Had she ever seen it? No. Her Republican Overlords on Coruscant had told her, and that was enough for her to swear under oath that she knew that for a fact. So they brought out the actual voter whose mail had been returned. This actual voter, who had been consistently registered there for 35 years, explained that she hated the Republican party and had refused to accept the mail from them for that reason.

The panel made noises about indicting the Righteous Ohio Republican for perjury, at which point the Righteous Republican Lawyers refused to let her speak any further.

I think it’s clear that the Republican leadership and Bush’s people are terrified of new voters angry at what Bush has done to their country, and want to eliminate as many of them as possible, by any means necessary — and if that means “challenging” thousands of votes and disenfranchising many real voters on the pretense of eliminating fraud, that’s fine with them. Votes are dangerous, they sometimes vote people out of office.


Hat tip to Puddingbowl for the link, though I originally heard the story driving home listening to NPR. (Go check the story yourself; my post about it is based on day old memories of something I didn’t take notes on and may contain minor inaccuracies.)

Lessig on Presidents, Policy, Politics, and A Little Note on Torture.

Excellent and nuanced look at why one should vote Kerry here.

I find the nuanced reasoning compelling, but I also find it interesting that Lessig allows that more powerful than any reasoning, to him, is the outrage that under Bush, America became America The Torturer.

Bush will always be the Torture President. The man who made us all accomplices to torture in the name of America.

If Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay and the other loci of America-sponsored torture don’t fill you with outrage, there is something wrong with you.

(Footnote — I’m linking here to a little blog presidential sponsorship survey — click here to support Kerry in it.)