Third Party & Independents

Critique the Message, Not the Messenger
August 2004 Archives

August 31, 2004

Republican Moderation?

While the Republican party wants to portray itself as welcoming of moderates by putting forward moderate candidates, it shows itself to be as polarizing as ever by not incorporating moderate ideas into its agenda. This is making many of the party's centrists unhappy.

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Posted by Beau Wade at 9:17 PM

MTV Video Music Awards

Politics were in heavy rotation at the MTV Video Music Awards this year. There were more exhortations to get out and vote than there were bad jokes or uncomfortable pairings of announcers, which is quite an accomplishment. Most of the speakers did a minimally believable job of pretending to be non-partisan. The least convincing, of course, were the daughters of Bush and Kerry. Their appearance was awkward and the faux camaraderie was painful. Everyone involved seemed relieved when that little segment was done. I did think it was nice that the Kerry girls said they would not appear unless the Bush girls could as well. They also declined the gift baskets that all speakers receive.

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Posted by rev_matt_y at 9:50 AM

August 30, 2004

Better Than Expected

Today the Republicans kick off their quadrennial orgy of self congratulations. I am glad that the networks have limited their coverage because I would otherwise feel compelled to watch it all.

As one of the last few undecideds on this election, I am not sure what I am looking for when I do watch the convention. Could Bush say anything that would indicate things would be any different in a second term? Would assurances that the next four years will be just like the last four be enough?

Posted by jbv at 10:11 AM

August 29, 2004

The Emperor Has No Clothes

I’m the commander—see, I don’t need to explain—I do not need to explain why I do things. That’s the interesting thing about being President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don’t feel like I owe anybody an explanation.--George W. Bush from Bush at War by Bob Woodward, as quoted in Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency.
» Continue reading "The Emperor Has No Clothes"

August 28, 2004

Judicial Assault on the Unborn Continues

In a display of the radical and unbounded abortion-rights jurisprudence of our federal judiciary, a federal judge ruled that the partial birth abortion ban supported by most Republicans and most Democrats is unconstitutional. The ruling was based on the idea that partial birth abortion can sometimes be beneficial to the health of the mother, but the judge made the radical nature of the ruling very clear:

"this gruesome procedure may be outlawed only if there exists a medical consensus that there is no circumstance in which any women could potentially benefit from it" (emphasis added)

» Continue reading "Judicial Assault on the Unborn Continues"

Having Your Cake

Last week I wrote Hypocrisy on my personal blog. I was not the first person to point out the glaring hypocrisy in John Kerry and his camp calling for the end of SBVT ads and accusations coordination between Bush’s campaign and the 527 group, nor have I been the last. But a recent look into the history of Kerry and his use of the 527’s brings even more of this to light.

» Continue reading "Having Your Cake"

Posted by Rhinehold at 1:21 AM

August 27, 2004

Of Flip-Flops and Strength

How did John Kerry get tagged with being a “flip-flop?” Could any long-term legislator withstand this degree of voting record attention without being so labeled? Certainly the titles of bills, e.g., “Clean Air Act,” are not always a clear indication of their purpose. Even then, a bill could be poorly-written or laden with “pork” justifying a vote against it just on that basis.

Why does President Bush do so much better than Senator Kerry in polling on the “strength” issue? What aspects of current administration policy convey such strength? Has Kerry done anything to convey weakness?

Just wondering.

Posted by jbv at 1:41 PM

August 26, 2004

Proud to Be an American

Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons have tested our hold on the high moral ground in international relations.

At AG, prisoner abuse was apparently not based on national policy, but on (possibly calculated) ambiguity and neglect. How should we treat the leaders of the troops that were out of control? We probably cannot punish them criminally, but some demotions and dismissals should certainly be called for or else the whole process looks like scapegoating.

» Continue reading "Proud to Be an American"

Posted by jbv at 9:33 AM

August 25, 2004

Maintaining Deniability

Media coverage of the controversy surrounding John Kerry’s service record seems to be somewhat less than sure-footed. Still, the media seem to really like the story, based on what can only be described as saturation coverage.

Where the coverage is a little slippery is in the way they are fashioning what they have to say to allow for, without embarrassment, an eventual “smoking gun” that resolves the charges and countercharges. To the extent that this situation promotes fair and balanced coverage, we should be grateful.

Posted by jbv at 11:50 AM

August 24, 2004

Fox News outspokenly critical; networks go with sources

While media criticism of John Kerry‘s military service far outweighed his positive coverage, ABC, CBS and NBC and the Fox News Channel differed in how they voiced their criticism. On Fox's Special Report with Brit Hume, journalists were openly critical of John Kerry, the network reporters went for critical quotes from third parties in their account of the controversy.

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Posted by Isadora Badi at 5:23 PM


I've been following voting machines for a few years now. One thing I'm always struck by: the more someone knows about computers, and particularly computer security, the less they support electronic voting machines. Obviously these are not people afraid of change or who don't trust computers because they don't understand them.

» Continue reading "eVoting"

Posted by rev_matt_y at 4:02 PM

August 20, 2004

Iraqi Olympians rebuke Bush

You've probably heard from Republicans, or seen the Bush ad during an Olympics broadcast: President Bush informing us that "at this Olympics, there will be two more free nations." The Iraqi Olympic team, led by their soccer talent, has become one of few jewels in an otherwise lackluster Olympic season. The Bush campaign was quick to jump on the Iraqis' success, and "Team Iraq" has now become a common element of their election presentation.

Guess what? The Iraqi team is sick of it, and wants Bush-supporters to shut their opportunistic mouths:

» Continue reading "Iraqi Olympians rebuke Bush"

Posted by Shem Daimwood at 7:58 AM

August 17, 2004

A Sad Day in Venezuela

In a sad day for freedom, individual rights and sustainable democratic institutions, the people of Venezuela overwhelmingly rejected a recall referendum of President Hugo Chavez. Chavez, a man who has repeatedly used violence to suppress opposition, has declared that he will further centralize power in the wake of this victory. He claims that he will exert controls over the country’s courts and tighten his hold over the national media.

» Continue reading "A Sad Day in Venezuela"

August 15, 2004

Outfoxed: What Liberal Media?

Where to begin? Ordinarily I would not undertake to review a documentary within the virtual walls of this forum, but Outfoxed; Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, a film which takes an objective look at Fox News, is a one well worth heralding because its message affects us all as Americans, especially in the run-up to the crucial elections in November.

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August 11, 2004

TV news broadcasts ignore economy

The network evening news programs are not providing the public with the information voters find most important during the election year, such as the economy, healthcare and education.

» Continue reading "TV news broadcasts ignore economy"

Posted by Isadora Badi at 3:22 PM

August 9, 2004

The Carpetbagger Has Landed

Said Allen Keyes on Fox News on March 17, 2000:

I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton's willingness to go into a state she doesn't even live in and pretend to represent people there. So I certainly wouldn't imitate it.
But that statement of principles didn’t stop Keyes, a resident of the state of Maryland, from announcing this weekend that he would run for the Senate in the state of Illinois.

» Continue reading "The Carpetbagger Has Landed"

August 6, 2004

Bush's Freudian Slip

Yesterday at the Whitehouse President Bush signed H.R. 4613 authorizing the use of billions of more dollars for defense of the United States. While giving his signing speech, Bush said:

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”

» Continue reading "Bush's Freudian Slip"

Posted by Adam Ducker at 1:23 PM

Kerry and Edwards in St. Louis

I attended the Kerry Edwards rally in St Louis, MO yesterday. The turnout was tremendous, apparently more so than the organizers had expected. Estimates are that 15,000 people were there, and it certainly looked about that many to me. Our current Governor and the Democratic candidate for Governor in November were both in attendance, as was Congressional Representative Dick Gephardt. I left before Edwards and Kerry arrived, unfortunately, but I found the event itself to be fascinating.

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Posted by rev_matt_y at 1:20 PM

August 5, 2004

Alan Keyes Picked to Run for Senate in Illinois Violating Federalist Principles

The Illinois Republican Party in a bid that speaks volumes about the level of desperation to field any candidate to run against the Democratic Party’s golden child Barack Obama, in the upcoming November general election, picked arch-conservative Alan Keyes from (gasp) the state of Maryland late last night! Keyes, if he decided to run, would challenge Obama for Illinois’s soon to be vacant junior U.S. Senate seat.

» Continue reading "Alan Keyes Picked to Run for Senate in Illinois Violating Federalist Principles"

August 2, 2004

ABC and CBS cheer for Kerry --- NBC Bucks Trend; Focuses on Issues, More Balanced Reporting

NBC focused more on policy issues than on Kerry's personality over the past week than the other networks. As a result, NBC presented John F. Kerry in the least positive tone during the Democratic convention, compared to the other TV networks which provided Kerry with coverage that was extremely positive in its overall tone.

» Continue reading "ABC and CBS cheer for Kerry --- NBC Bucks Trend; Focuses on Issues, More Balanced Reporting"

Posted by Isadora Badi at 5:41 PM