Monday, February 27, 2006


Dead Weight

Going into the 2006 election season, the Democrats have no better friend than George W. Bush himself. The man has become an albatross.

That's right, 34 percent. But some of the other numbers are even more shocking. Let's take a look, shall we?

And the capper of them all:

DING DING DING DING DING! WE HAVE A WINNER! Eighteen percent!? Holy shit! Not even Nixon made it to eighteen percent. This is uncharted territory, people.

I can't wait to see all of the congressional Republicans running like hell when Georgieboy shows up in their state. It's going to be a fun summer watching every Republican running for office trying to wash off that George W. Bush stink.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Say What?

You know, ever since I first heard about the deal to turn over port security to the UAE owned Dubai company, I've had this funny feeling that there was something more to the story. Something more than just what the media was telling us. Yeah, sure it's a boneheaded idea, but this is George W. Bush we're talking about. It's bound to be boneheaded. But then today after I read this, I got a sick feeling in my stomach.

At first I couldn't figure out what it was about this statement that caused me to feel that way. But as the day went on, it began to dawn on me - Georgieboy had broken another promise. Anybody remember this?

I don't know... Allowing the UAE to run six of our largest ports sure sounds an awful lot like turning over our national security to other countries. In fact, allowing the terrorist-supporting UAE to run six of our largest ports sounds exactly like turning over our national security to a very dangerous country. Thanks George! Way to keep us safe.

Monday, February 20, 2006


This Is Homeland Security?

When the Senate passed the Homeland Security bill in November, 2002, thereby creating the Department of Homeland Security, it was hailed as a monumental achievement that would make our country safer. Despite the fact that it was originally a Democratic proposal that was opposed by George W. Bush, the White House claimed credit for the bill's passage and concurrently adopted the image of protector. But just how secure are we? Just exactly what has the Department of Homeland Security been doing?

Obviously, we've all seen the Department's response to Katrina. To say that it was less than effective would be an understatement. But aside from that, we don't see or hear too much from them now that they've quit raising the terror alert every couple of days. Never fear, however, they've been quite busy protecting us from..... well..... something.

For starters:

Ah yes, quashing dissent. Now that's what I call homeland security. You have to make sure the riff-raff aren't voicing their opinions if you want to keep everyone safe. Unless that opinion agrees with the White House, that is. Then it's okay.

But you might be asking yourself, "Yeah, but what else are they doing?" Well, here you go:

Phew! Thank goodness for the Homeland Security Department. God only knows what kind of terrorist activities those dirty pictures would inspire.

So you see, the Department is still doing valuable work. Yeah, sure, they fucked up Katrina, but at least we won't have any crazies riding around with anti-war signs on their cars and looking at porn in the library.

There! Now don't you feel safer?

Friday, February 17, 2006


Buyer's Remorse

In November, 2004, George W. Bush received a majority of votes in thirty-one of our fifty states giving him 286 electoral votes and a victory over John Kerry. Now, a mere fifteen months later, poor old Georgieboy's popularity has dwindled so far that he only holds a positive net approval rating in nine of those same states. Consequently, this means that he has a flat or negative approval rating in the other 41 states. This, of course, bodes well for Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections as this may well force Republican candidates to distance themselves from the Bush White House. This could be particularly dicey for incumbemt Republicans who have expressed their strong support for Bush in the past.

While many people are focusing on the House races as the Democrats best chance to capture a majority, I think the impact of these numbers on the Senate races may be a bit more interesting. You may recall that Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated back in December that "If the stars align right we could actually take back the Senate." He was referring to the races in seven states in particular - Arizona, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. Well, according to Bush's poll numbers, that is looking like a distinct possibility.

In Arizona, Georgieboy is running at a -8% net approval with 53% disapproving. This is a state that went red by a margin of 55% to 44% in 2004. In Missouri, he's running at a -18% net approval with 57% disapproving. Missouri also went red in 2004 by a margin of 53% to 46%. Now in Montana, things are ironically different. In Montana, Bush has a +3% net approval, but the incumbent in this race is Conrad Burns whose ties to uber-lobbyist have put his reelection chances in jeopardy.

On to Ohio, where Bush's numbers are at an amazingly anemic -23% net approval with a full 60% of Ohioans disapproving. Of course we all remember the role Ohio played in the 2004 election when the state broke red by a margin of 51% to 49% virtually ending the contest. Add to that the problems the Republican party has been having within the state, and this should be an easy pick up.

Pennsylvania and Rhode Island are the only two of the "Schumer Seven" that went blue in 2004 and things don't appear to have improved for Georgieboy any in the last fifteen months. In Pennsylvania, Bush is running at a -24% net approval with 60% disapproving. The state went blue in 2004 by a margin of 51% to 49%. But in Rhode Island, things have deteriorated severely for Bush who lost the state in 2004 by a margin of 39% to 60%. His current net approval rating stands at a dismal 47% with a whopping 72% disapproving.

Finally, we have Tennessee. In 2004, George W. Bush received 57% of the vote in Tennessee to Kerry's 43%. But now Georgieboy is running at a -6% net approval rating with 52% disapproving.

So I think our chances are pretty good and looking beter every day. With Bush running at such a low approval rating in these states, it's not out of the question that the Democrats can regain a majority in the Senate. The question remains, however, will they take advantage of Bush's decline in popularity or will they squander yet another opportunity laid at their feet? nly time will tell.

Thursday, February 16, 2006



January 8, 2005

February 16, 2006

Is this what we've sunk to? Have we become the embodiment of what we're supposed to be fighting? You know, there was a time when something like this would have shocked me. A time when I wouldn't have even considered the United States would stoop so low as to do something like this. But not anymore. Now I just shake my head and chalk it up as yet another example of Bushco leadership. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Monday, February 13, 2006



Nearly two years ago, on June 9, 2004, I posted about a 1994 hunting trip taken by George W. Bush.

Ironically, this past weekend we saw another hunting incident, only this time it involved Five Deferment Cheney.

What do the two incidents have in common? In both cases, Bush and Cheney waited for the media to report the incident before coming clean. Which leaves me with two questions: How long would they have sat on this if the media hadn't found out? and How many things have these guys done that they're not telling us about because the media hasn't uncovered it yet?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Garbage In = Garbage Out

Upon entering any graduate program, those seeking a master's degree are required to take a class that deals with the methods of research. Not only does the class teach you how to do research, it also teaches you how to evaluate research. And one of the first things you learn is that shoddy methodology leads to unreliable results.

One of the most popular methods of data collection is the survey. It allows the researcher to gather a large amount of information in a relatively short amount of time. It can be done through the mail, by phone, or in a face-to-face setting. However, if the questions asked are not worded correctly, the data can end up skewed. Survey questions need to be unbiased in order to yield valid results. This is why polling data can vary so much from one company to the next and can often be unreliable. To completely evaluate the validity of a poll or survey, it is necessary to know which questions were asked, who was doing the asking, and how the questions were worded. Only then can a poll be deemed trustworthy.

With this in mind, I would like to take a look at the latest "census" distributed by the RNC. A friend of mine received this in the mail, recently. As it turns out, she is a registered Republican. However, this is only to be able to receive their mailings and to participate in their primaries. In truth, she a solid Democrat and a pretty damned sneaky one at that.

All of the questions on this "census" have three possible responses - Yes, No, and Undecided. Limiting the respondent's answers makes the data much easier to compile, but it often yields results that are less than accurate. Especially if the questions are worded in a biased manner.

The first category of the census contains three questions and is titled DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY.
  1. Do you support President Bush's initiatives to promte the safety and security of all Americans?
  2. Do you support the use of air strikes against any country that offers safe harbor or aid to individuals or organizations committed to further attacks on America?
  3. Do you continue to support increasing the amount of security at airports, train stations and all government buildings including monuments and museums?

With only three choices, the person answering the survey is put in quite a difficult position. Notice that right off the bat, the first question imply's that initiatives to promote safety and security are the sole property of George W. Bush. Naturally, every American citizen wants to be kept safe, so it's kind of hard to disagree with this one.

With the second question, the implication is made that you have to choose between individuals or organizations committed to further attacks on America or air strikes. Apparently, there is no diplomatic option. Notice also the veiled reference to September 11. By using the phrase "further attacks on America," they RNC is surreptitiosly invoking al Qaeda.

And with the third question, the assumption is made that everyone already supported the security measures taken. But once again, the reader is put in an awkward position. Of course we all want to be safe, but with only three possible answers, we are forced to say yes, I want to be safe; no, I don't want to be safe; or undecided. Not much of a choice when you think about it.

So far, the RNC has made it difficult for the average person to answer anything but yes to any of the questions.

The second section of the census is titled ECONOMIC ISSUES.
  1. Should the Inheritance or "Death Tax" be permanently repealed?
  2. Do you support President Bush's pro-growth policies to create more jobs and improve the economy?
  3. Do you think congress should focus on cutting the federal budget deficit by reducing wasteful government spending?

The death tax? That's a Frank Luntz creation. It implies that people are taxed just because a relative has died. Of course there's more to it, but the average person prbably doesn't know that.

The next question is another example of a biased question. The wording of it makes it appear as though Bush has sole ownership of job creating policy and it forces the reader to choose between supporting or opposing job growth. Every American I know supports job growth. This is a question worded specifically to yield a positive response and at the same time create a positive image for Bush.

The thrid question is yet another no-brainer. The reader is once again forced into a specific response. Either you're for cutting the deficit or you're for uncontrolled spending. Gee, that's a tough one.

So far, the RNC is batting 1.000.

The next section is titled SOCIAL ISSUES.
  1. Do you support President Bush's initiative to allow private religious and charitable groups to do more to help those in need?
  2. Do you support the law, passed by the Republican Congress and signed by President Bush, that bans partial-birth abortions?
  3. Do you support the President's efforts to save Social Security for future generations?
  4. Do you think Congress should pass legislation on the Federal Marriage Amendment?

This is the red-meat portion of the survey. Notice the subject matter - religion, abortion, social security, and marriage. The RNC is targeting its base with these questions. You've got the religious right, the pro-lifers, the pro-privitization crowd, and the homophobes. All of them are wedge issues that the party has been able to use very effectively with its constituency.

Notice also the subtle inference that Bush is on the right side of these issues. When the questions include the phrase "do you support," it implies George's favorite sentiment: "You're either with us, or you're with the enemy." Of course nobody wants to deny aid to those in need and nobody wants to promote late-term abortions and everybody would like to save Social Security, so once again it makes it difficult to answer no to these questions. The FMA? That's a feeler question trying to determine whether or not Bush should jump on that band wagon.

Next section: DEFENSE ISSUES.
  1. Do you think U.S. troops should have to serve under United Nations' commanders?
  2. Do you agree that our top military priority should be fighting terrorists?
  3. Should the U.S. continue to work on building a defense shield against nuclear missile attack?

Even more red meat. Notice the wording of the first question - "have to serve under..." because Bush has said repeatedly the he would never give another organization control over our troops. And fighting terrorists? Once again, you're either with us... And finally, the last question. It's obvious that recent developments in Iran influenced the wording of this question. It plays to people's fears about the news coming out of a nation that Bush once declared a member of the axis of evil.

The rest of the questions had to do with party affiliation and donation information.

So there you have it. Sixteen questions, of which, fifteen were clearly biased and one (Federal Marriage Amendment) was attempting to determine popular opinion so that the party knows which band wagon to jump on. Based on the questions, this poll will result in purposely skewed data reflecting positively on the White House's policies and consequently creating a aura of support for Bush, himself. Of course the RNC will release the results with much fanfare and trumpeting and Bush will be hailed as a hero. But when you look at the questions and the choices, any logical person can discern what is really happening. It's just garbage in, garbage out. Don't believe the spin because now you know the truth.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Ladies And Gentlemen...

please welcome the Attorney General of the United States... Alberto... no - wait...Abu Ghra... erm - hold on... Oh Yeah! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome...Avoid the Question Gonzales!

What a fucking joke! For starters, if he's supposed to be testifying, why the hell wasn't he sworn in? Maybe it's just a technicality, but holy shit! He lied during his confirmation hearing, so why wouldn't he do it again? I say the bastard should have been sworn in.

Next on the list - Since when is "I don't feel comfortable answering that question" an acceptable answer to anything when your testifying? WTF?

Get the fuck out of here!

This entire hearing was an exercise in masurbatory spin. Republicans and democrats alike (except for the Republican ass kissers like Sessions that continually put party above country) pressed him hard and he evaded and dodged all day long. Basically, his answer to the legality of the domestic spying program could be summed up like this:

At what point did the Constitution get superceded by Abu Gonzales' opinion?

Day after day, my country is being torn down by the administration who was going to bring integrity back to the White House. Little did we know that integrity was Crawford-speak for "We're going to try and sneak through every single legal loophole we can find to screw the American public."

If shit like this doesn't wake the American public from their haze, I don't know what will.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Deconstructing George

Where to begin?

Wow, what a speech. Fifty-one minutes; over 5300 words; complete bullshit. I can't recall the last time I saw someone speak for so long and actually say so little.

Do you remember those sixteen famous words from the 2003 SOTU speech?

Well last night, Georgieboy dropped another doozy on us when he was trying to justify his warrantless spying. Peter Wallsten and Maura Reynolds of the LA Times did a great job of covering this one, so I'll let them handle it:

And what about all of that talk concerning oil addiction? Turns out, he was just kidding.

Despite never meeting a spending bill he couldn't endorse, George pretended to admonish congress for adding earmarks to the budget. He indicated that this could all be cured if congress would give him the line item veto. Too bad the Supreme Court declared the line item veto unconstitutional back in 1998.

In an attempt to perpetuate the misconception that he knows what he's doing in the area of education, Junior proposed training "70,000 high school teachers to lead advanced-placement courses in math and science, bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms, and give early help to students who struggle with math, so they have a better chance at good, high-wage jobs." All of this sounds great, but does this proposal come with money for the school districts to be able to pay for these teachers? Districts are strapped for cash as it is trying to comply with NCLB, so where are they going to get the money to hire these teachers? Many districts here in West Central Illinois are having to cut faculty and staff while others are having to consolidate just to survive. Sorry George, but adding new math and science teachers just isn't fiscally possible. Unlike you, we can't get China to finance our debt.

And finally, all this talk of a "hopeful nation" has got to stop. When six of the last eight polls taken show Bush's approval rating declining and his highest rating is still under 50 %, the only that can truly be said is that the nation is hopeful that he doesn't fuck things up any worse than he already has.

SIDENOTE - If you haven't seen Olberman rip O'Reilly a new one yet, you need to. It is too damned funny.

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