Thursday, March 04, 2004

Really quick, is God on America’s side?

Bush’s new ads are out. One slogan: “freedom, faith, families and facrisice, sorry, sacrifice, got a little carried away with the alliteration, our bad.”

Another: “An economy in recession. A stock market in decline. A dot-com boom gone bust. Then, a day of tragedy.” Election day 2000? The day the Supreme Court announced Bush v. Gore? Oh, right, September 11, 2001. Note that in one of these ads called “positive” by the press, there is the image of a dead body (under a flag), possibly the first dead body to appear in a presidential ad (insert your own joke about Ronald Reagan here). Bush is portraying himself as “optimistic,” while encouraging Americans to be pessimistic and fearful. Really, think about it, if the only qualities Bush has that they’re touting are his dubious abilities as warlord, why would any optimist vote for him?

Bush’s people are defending the use of WTC footage (favorite quote: “We thought it was important to begin with a reminder of what the country's been through” said senior campaign adviser Matthew Dowd. God knows we’d all forget about 9/11 if a day went by without a helpful reminder). They’re saying that 9/11 is Bush’s defining moment; “It's critical to who this president is.” I remember all the talk about how 9/11 gave him the legitimacy the election didn’t, but I don’t remember anyone making the comparison that just occurred to me, that he’s using 9/11 as the same automatic clean slate that his decision to stop drinking was. You know, forget everything he did before he turned 40; now we’re supposed to forget everything we knew and thought about him before 9/11. He’s got to be looking for another clean-slate moment right about now.

The Arnold got his $15b bond measure, because California goes all soft when he speaks to it in that cute foreign accent.

And Wal-Mart won here in Contra Costa, as we always knew they would.

A good but long Columbia Journalism Review article on how the newspapers failed to scrutinize Bushies’ claims about Iraq before the war.

NBC has a story on its website that the guy currently being blamed for attacks in Iraq, Abu something Zarqawi, is someone the US decided not to go after before the war. He was believed to have set up a bioweapons lab, which you’d think would be considered a serious threat. The Pentagon (this was June 2002) could have taken it out with missiles, but it was in Kurdish Iraq, under the US no-fly zone, which meant Saddam couldn’t be blamed for him (which did not, of course, stop the Bushies from doing so), and it would have shown that terrorists operating out of Iraq could easily have been dealt with by the US without going near Baghdad or toppling Saddam. Which is why Zarqawi was allowed to continue: a mission against him would have been “off message.”

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