Presidential Debate Thoughts

Nothing spectacularly insightful and I missed the first hour of the debate because we were watching the US-Panama World Cup Qualifier, but here are some observations:

  • In his answer to the no child left behind question, Kerry spoke about Hispanics and the president seemed to refer to them as “children whose parents don’t speak English.”
  • Bush blinks a lot when he’s not speaking.
  • Staci wants to know what George Bush has done domestically besides no child left behind.
  • I’m gonna try the “pound-the-podium” technique to get people to believe my points.
  • I think the blue background behind the candidates could lead to some interesting blue screen possibilites. Either Kerry or Bush could be the next Bert-is-Evil meme.
  • Bush says: “Freedom is a gift from the Almighty”, “Gog wants everyone to be free”, “Freedom is on the march in Afghanistan” but he “never wants to impose his religion on someone else.” So is he an instrument of God’s will on Earth?
  • You think Bush didn’t hear complaints from National Guard troops about a backdoor draft because his handlers make sure no dissenting voices make it to his campaign appearances?

How Kerry should Debate Bush

Scott Rosenberg writes about how John Kerry should debate the president this week: Speaking unblinking truth to power. This president is all about “Not Blinking”. Or as John Stewart said, “Sure he drove us into a wall, but he didn’t flinch while he doing it”.

“Mr. Bush, after 9/11 your job as president was to protect this nation, and you’ve failed. You didn’t bring the World Trade Center attackers to justice. Bin Laden is still on the loose, and the Taliban still operate in Afghanistan. Instead, you led the nation into a war on Iraq on false grounds. You botched the war, and thousands of Americans and Iraqis have died and are still dying because of your mistakes. In a time when America should have been a beacon of justice to Iraq and to the world, you allowed our troops to torture enemy prisoners. Despite all these mistakes, not a single official in your administration has ever taken real responsibility for them.”

NY Welcoming Republic National Convention

Some folks not so happy with the Republican National Convention in New York have organized together to, umm, welcome the GOP’s candidates.

Bright blue tarps, painted with glaring yellow letters, are going up on dozens of rooftops in Brooklyn, under the flight paths into busy New York airports. Thousands of delegates and convention guests peering down at the city might see messages like “No more years” and “Re-defeat Bush.”

Tick off your hosts, Dubya style.

El presidente is visiting Her Royal Majesty in England. Always the polite guest, these are some of the thing his Secret Service demanded to assure his security while in London:

  • Immunity from prosecution for SS agents if they fire their weapons or kill protesters,
  • London police were asked to make sure he doesn’t see any protesters,
  • Shutting down the Tube – London’s subway,
  • the shipping in of battlefield weaponry to use against rioters,
  • Having the US Air Force patrol the skies above London using figters and Black Hawk helicopters,
  • Carrying around a “mini-gun” to protect him,
  • Having all British staff, including the Queen, wear ID BAdges

Source: CNN, Guardian, Unlimited, and Yahoo UK, and Google News.

Bush has put civil liberties in a lock box

Al Gore is calling on el presidente to rescind the Patriot Act:

He said terrorism-fighting tools granted after Sept. 11, 2001, amount to a partisan power grab that has led to the erosion of the civil liberties of all Americans.
The Senate minority leader, Tom Daschle of South Dakota, said Monday that while he’s not ready to support repealing the Patriot Act, he is skeptical of the way it’s been used by the White House and said there is "a lot of concern about the assault on civil liberties."

The EFF has a section on the USA Patriot Act and why you should be concerned about it.

PATRIOT gives sweeping anti-privacy powers to domestic law enforcement and international intelligence agencies and eliminates checks and balances that previously gave courts the opportunity to ensure that those powers were not abused. PATRIOT and follow-up legislation now in development threaten the basic rights of millions of Americans.