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October 08, 2004


Jim Durbin

Kerry sounded like a Republican tonight.

I wonder why that is.

Ben Noah


P.S. Send Hiredia to the stalls. Enough already!

And oh, Bush did win this one.


I was starting to suspect that the weight of all Bush's awful decisions was finally starting to hit him in his gut, something we could have seen in the first debate. Boy, was I wrong.


I have to agree with you, Tom. What in the world are the "undecideds" waiting to hear? If you don't know where these two candidates stand by now, how in the world are you going to know before 11/2?

Cecil Turner

Combination of a slightly better performance than Kerry, and hugely reduced expectations from the first debate makes this a clear Bush win. I suspect the story about him being tired in Florida is true. He really didn't look good there. This was like a different guy. Still don't think it'll make much difference.

Toby Petzold

"I own a timber company?" Best line ever.

Bush certainly won. Even if only by comparison to last time. But he came off as warm, engaged, and funny. The audience seemed to like him, too.

Feeling better now. Expect a small bounce, actually.


Bush did himself a few favors with his performance this time; there's no point in denying that. Of course, when you set the bar so low, the ability to string together five coherent sentences makes you seem like Churchill in the eyes of some. On substance? Well, Bush gave Cheney a good run for his money in the Avalanche of Lies Department.

I do think Bush can regain some of what he had lost, but Kerry didn't hurt himself tonight. If anything, he gave an on-par performance compared to last Thursday's debate, and in some instances, he was better, as he finally said what he needed to be said.

Even if Bush does gain some of his momentum back, he cannot escape the fact that Iraq is a mess, the economy sucks, and his plans would only make things quite a bit worse. As long as Kerry can effectively counter the bullshit and nonsense that Bush-Cheney '04 is going to throw out in the next four weeks, which he has show an increasingly potent ability to do, he will be the winner on November 2.


The debate has been on-going for many months now. These face-to-face slapdowns tell us little we don't already know.

As far as General Shinseki goes, it's pretty clear that he was still well fixated on facing the Warsaw Pact and was responding to that perceived threat clear into the 21st Century. It's understandable that he had come to the end of his career.

Jim in Chicago

Kerry looked like a friggin corpse tonight.

Remind me again why he won't release his medical records?

Oh yeah -- Bush clobbered him too.

Chris Stodds

It is really hard to say which candidate "won" the debate. Having diametrically opposing views on nearly everything, you must ask yourself, "3 debates? For what?" If you're sitting on the fence still, it has absolutely nothing to do with the candidates at hand. Quite frankly, you must not know in what you believe. So . . . I guess the winner is whomever smiled just right, spoke just right, didn't scowl just wrong, etc.

But, does that really matter? My guess is that most of the people that watch any of the debates have their mind made up already. Those that don't know which chad to unhang in November probably didn't watch. . . unless they don't have cable / satellite -- no baseball game this time.

I sure would like to have a discussion with someone that is undecided. Hmmmm. No. I take that back. I'm sure that would be less than stimulating conversation.

GO Please,


Isn't Kerry supposed to be an "intellectual"? How can he get away with such a blatant mishandling of commonly know facts? (Trust me, he's going to get away with this gaffe.) '93 or whenever, indeed!


Did Kerry come up with anything new charges with which to accuse Bush? Meanwhile Bush is just now starting to hammer Kerry on his record -- and they've got 20 years of junk to push for the next few weeks. Kerry's been banging the same tired wrong-war/AWOL/Haliburton/Tax-cuts-for-the-Rich drum all fricking year.

I think Kerry is in for another bad month.

Toby Petzold

I've got another gaffe for you to enjoy. Kerry has now said in both debates that he is opposed to the ground-penetrating nuke. Even though it is at least a threat we can use against Kim's underground weapons complexes. The explanation for this opposition (besides pandering to the anti-nuke Leftists at home) is that Kerry doesn't trust his own country's military power and doesn't believe in American exceptionalism.


Bush at the yesterday's debate:

"The truth of the matter is if you listen carefully Saddam would still be in power if he were the president of the United States. And the world would be a lot better off."

Finally he admits it.


"I assume Kerry rejoined with an expressionof support for Israel, but I was in and out of the room. If Kerry did not, declare this race over now."

At this point Kerry has 80% of the Jewish vote. My people have their heads up their asses. They don't want to leave the Democratic plantation, and they hate to think of themselves as capable of killing people, even terrorists. They would rather start 10 new dialogue groups with marginalized powerless Muslim pundits, where they hope to be loved and spared from dhimmitude if they concede every point and quote the Torah a lot on Peace and Justice and sing Arab songs they just learned in a multicultural workshop where they respectfully listened to angry Muslim feminists denounce Zionism as a colonialist plot.

Yes I am bitter. I live on the Upper West Side in NYC and I know these people.

JM Hanes

"But that is just off the top of my head, and I don't trust my memory."

I posted a Kyoto refresher on my blog. As a newbie to blogging, I hope it isn't rude to paste a link to it here: Quasiblog. If I can figure out how to initiate trackbacks I'll give doing it that way a shot.

Cecil Turner

"I hope it isn't rude to paste a link . . ."

Not at all. In fact it's very good form. Self-promotion being key to enhancing blogospheric regeneration phenomena. (Okay, that last bit was pseudo-blogocivics.) But I'd like to take issue with part of your blog's treatment of the subject.

"To dismiss it as "bad science" is to deny the crying need for more science, for supersizing our commitment to climate systems research and modeling, among other efforts."

If you separate the climate science from its conclusions, I think we can agree it's great stuff. But if you accept attempts to draw conclusions from inconclusive data as part of the science (and shameful treatment of dissenting ideas, like Bjorn Lomborg's), it's deserving of whatever scorn is heaped upon it--which is plenty. The Russian Academy of Science drove the final nail in the respectability coffin at last year's World Climate Conference:

"All the scientific evidence seems to support the same general conclusions, that the Kyoto protocol is overly expensive, ineffective, and based on bad science."

My favorite quote is from RAS head Kirill Kondratiev:

"The only people who would be hurt by abandoning the Kyoto Protocol would be several thousand people who make a living attending conferences on global warming."

And if we accept Gresham's Law as applying to science, these folks need less funding, not more.

But the real problem is identifying a way forward. Artificial limits like Kyoto just provide a goal (and as discussed here earlier, even the EU doesn't appear to be serious about it). But some obviously helpful measures that could be started immediately include new nuclear powerplants, conversion to hydrogen fuel cells, and an increased investment in fusion research. Sound familiar? It seems to me the people standing most firmly in the way of environmental progress . . . is environmentalists.


Regarding the "job" count, there is no loss of jobs if you consider everyone working to have a job. I would think that a small business sole proprietor has a job yet they are not counted by the payroll survey, which only measures employees . It does not count self-employed. The household survey which counts all jobs does not show a net job loss.
If there are fewer employees as more people are becoming self-employed, is this a problem?
I don't understand why this issue is conceded so often by Bush and Bush supporters. The household survey is the correct measure of jobs.

JM Hanes

Thanks for the encouragement, as well as the serendipitous pointer: I need to turn my comments on too.

I wouldn't take issue with any of your observations. I agree, and I applaud Lomborg's ultimate vindication myself, although that's obviously not exactly the same thing as the scientific welcome mat he deserves. In calling for more science, I wasn't calling for more of the same, I was really trying to draw a distinction between bad science and bad conclusions -- writing it that way though, I can see how it might not be clear. I'd like to see more resources (not just $) invested in climate change tech R &D, like cutting edge systems modelling, joint ventures between public and private organizations as well as nations, etc.

It can be difficult to find the most productive path between artificial limits or what I would tend to call pressure for practical results and undirected open ended research. Developing climate change policy is, by definition political, and it's a risk management discipline with its own demands. While Kyoto, it seems to me, is a good example of how not to put the two together, dismissing it lock stock and barrel without looking for salvage, seems counterproductive to me too.

Are you familiar with Thomas Kuhn? His Structure of Scientific Revolutions is one of my desert island books. Despite his rep as a promoter of reletavism, I think his discussion on fundamental processes of change applies in more than scientific circles, and for some reason I find myself thinking about him a lot lately.

But back to the topic of compromising political positions, how about that Russia? Ironic to hear they may be signing onto Kyoto after all, isn't it?

Appreciate the thoughtful remarks.

Cecil Turner

"Are you familiar with Thomas Kuhn?"

I wasn't. Interesting link, though. Might get a bit more familiar (if my library has a copy).

"how about that Russia?"

Yep, a source of vast entertainment. It makes you wonder how much impact a different language has on thought processes. (Or if overstatement is a cultural bargaining technique.)

"Appreciate the thoughtful remarks."

Likewise. Cheers.

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