Thursday, November 11, 2004

Worthless Twice Over ...

is James Grimmelmann's assessment of Alberto Gonzales, the Shrub's nominee for Attorney General: "[Gonzales] lacks both competence and conscience." Via Oliver Willis comes Grimmelmann's excellent, in-depth critique of Gonzales, "Worse Than Ashcroft":
An Attorney General must be an excellent lawyer, capable of representing the United States with skill, of enforcing its laws effectively, and of rendering excellent legal advice to its government. Alberto Gonzales is an incompetent lawyer, who has shown himself a poor judge of his client's interest, a contempt for laws of the United States, and an inability to render accurate legal advice.
An Attorney General must also be an excellent human being, always seeking to punish criminals, to protect the innocent, to uphold the standards of justice, and to preserve those qualities that make a nation worthy of respect. Alberto Gonzales has sought to protect wrongdoers from the deserved legal consequencs of their actions, to leave those who may be innocent without legal recourse, to pervert justice, and to spit in the face of dignity, liberty, benevolence, moral authority, human rights, and the rule of law itself.
Alberto Gonzales has blood on his hands. All those who help to confirm him will share in it.
Bush couldn't even let a week pass since the election without attempting to drive another knife into the back of the United States.

Monday, November 08, 2004

I Don't Do Nuance

On last night's Dallas Reunion: The Return to Southfork, a clip was shown of Jock Ewing telling J.R. he should learn how to be subtle. J.R. didn't see the need. Jock explained that lack of subtlety "turns competitors into enemies, and enemies into fanatics". For some reason, I was reminded of our newly-elected President swaggering around the world like a bull in a china shop.

J.R.'s $10,000 Bill

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Long National Nightmare ...

of peace and prosperity will not be resuming. Welcome to the "Confederate States of Moronica", as a poster on another blog so aptly put it.

Before the election, I had one major concern:
  • When was my 55-year-old brother, on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan with his Army Reserve unit, coming home?
and three minor concerns:
  • How much havoc could the Bush administration still create between now and Kerry's inauguration?
  • Who would Bush pardon between now and Kerry's inauguration?
  • How soon would Bush sell his ranch in Crawford (purchased in 1999) after Kerry's inauguration?
Like many other people, I used to think people could rationally disagree on politics. My grandmother on my mother's side would brook no criticism of Nixon, but couldn't stand Reagan. My grandparents on my father's side, however, thought Nixon was a crook and applauded Reagan's returning dignity and patriotism to the White House. My parents and I, of course, knew Nixon was a crook and knew Reagan was an airhead puppet.

To better understand how so many people could vote for Bush, read the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) report, "The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters", issued on October 21, 2004. The following table is from page 14 of the report and has been widely distributed on the Internet (image of original table):

IssueBush's positionBush supporters that correctly perceive Bush (%)Kerry's positionKerry supporters that correctly perceive Kerry (%)
Labor and environmental standards in trade agreements (Oct.)Opposes13Supports81
Participation in land mines treatyOpposes20Supports79
Participation in a treaty that bans the testing of nuclear weaponsOpposes24Supports77
Participation in the International Criminal Court (Oct.)Opposes38Supports*65
Participation in Kyoto agreement on global warmingOpposes39Supports*74
Building a missile defense system (Oct.)Build now47Research only68
Defense spendingExpand57Keep same43
Who should take the lead in Iraq on writing a new Constitution and building a democratic governmentUS70UN80
* Supports in principle but wants to negotiate terms for US involvement

To some extent, I can excuse the ignorance of Bush supporters. Not everyone obsessively watches TV, reads the newspaper, and surfs the political blogs - some people actually have a life! But come on - enough is enough.