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Tuesday, October 5, 2004

I finally got around to watching the first presidential debate last night, and I have to wonder how Jim Lehrer could keep from rolling his eyes every time the president opened his mouth. I swear I heard George W. Bush say that the reason we’re having so much trouble in Iraq is that we did such a great job winning the war that we couldn’t kill enough of the enemy.

I don’t think every word the president said was a lie, but I think everything he said about Senator Kerry was deliberately misleading. There wasn’t much he could say about Kerry, was there? That he changed his position? From what I understand about Kerry’s position and his votes, he’s been consistent since the beginning. Bush never gave an example of Kerry changing his “core beliefs,” as he repeatedly insisted he had done.

Both candidates oversimplified the situation in Iraq out of necessity. You can’t go into details with such complexity and nuance in two-minute responses. Nobody can tell you in this kind of format exactly what’s going to happen over the next four years. In this debate, one candidate sounded presidential, and it wasn’t the president. Only Kerry sounded as if he knew how the world really works, instead of giving simplistic sound-bite answers, and the same ones over and over.

Bush’s foreign policy goals are not much different from Kerry’s. The difference is that Bush repeated them as if his policies will achieve them, while Kerry articulated both the failures of the Bush policy and record, and the vision he has to correct the mismanagement of the war and missteps in international relations.

At least, that’s what I heard, without the filter of talking heads and spin doctors, whom I have avoided like the plague they are.

5 October 2004

The eastern sky.

I was, however, thoroughly impressed that President Bush is chummy enough with the president of Russia that he calls him Vladimir. Or Vladamer. Or however he mispronounced it. Twice. Go, George. You rock. (That he called the terrorists “these folks” didn’t make me think any less of him.)

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I didn’t see anybody dancing in the Dodger dugout today when they lost to the Cardinals in game one of the division series. The Giants held them scoreless in 19 of the last 20 innings of the regular season. Maybe that should have told them something. They didn’t seem to be in the same league as the Cardinals today, although I’m pretty sure they were in the same stadium. They were the blue ones in that sea of red.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Attitude
"An hour later, I've forgotten who it was I agreed with and who was full of baloney (or possibly malarkey; sometimes it's hard to tell the difference). Everybody has an opinion, and none of it matters."

THree years ago: Avalanche
"So much is in turmoil, both near and far, that it's an absolutely liberating relief to spend three hours (or in the case of tonight's neverending game, five hours) in a world where the rules make sense and everybody plays fair (or gets thrown out if they don't), and where you can invest all your passion into something that means everything while it's happening but ultimately passes into history without costing any lives or trampling on any rights."

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Now I've been smiling lately,
Thinking about the good things to come,
And I believe it could be
Something good has begun.