John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

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Friday, October 01, 2004
Presidential De(mastur)bate

It's easier to make a difference than you think
I watched the first presidential debate last night.  The focus was U.S. foreign policy.  When specifically asked by moderator, Jim Lehrer, both candidates felt as though nuclear proliferation was going to be a big concern of the next president.  John Kerry added, "and other weapons of mass destruction."  I wondered if that quick additional comment wasn't a left hook under George Bush's ribs about no Iraqi WMDs, or just to bait ole Dubya into saying nucular.

Bush then quickly added "weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists" as if to give a pass to the failure of his administration on proliferation despite Libya and hopeful rhetoric about the rest of the middle east.  Bush actually had the temerity to take credit for 'busting the A.Q. Khan network', which perked my ears up a notch or three.  A.Q. Khan is alive and well and living comfortably in Pakistan, with an official pardon from Bush's paid surrogate, Pakistani president Pervez Musharav.  Since we outsourced the War on Terror to the Musharav regime as an independent contractor, or a Bush World subsidiary, to the tune of billions of dollars in debt write-off and additional foreign aid, how can Bush be proud of his record on this?  Oh, because Bush says he knows these people.

Really?  A funny thing happened the other day when interim Bush-puppet Allawi was paying homage to his benefactors in Washington, D.C.  Sitting next to Allawi in those oft photographed big comfy chairs in a room in the White House, Bush actually said:
"The Prime Minister said something very interesting a while ago, and it's important for the American people to understand. Our strategy is to help the Iraqis help themselves. It's important that we train Iraqi troops. There are nearly 100,000 troops trained. The Afghan national army is a part of the army. By the way, it's the nassy -- Afghan national army that went into Najaf and did the work there."

Now I know why Bush invaded Iraq!  He confuses Afghanistan with Iraq all the time, and in no friggin' small way.  He did it again during the debate last night, saying we went into Iraq because "the enemy attacked us."  At that point, the look on John Kerry's face was as if he was a hungry, caged tiger and someone just snuck up behind George Bush and dumped a Gatorade cooler full of A-1 Steak sauce on Dubya.  Kerry pointed out that Saddam Hussein didn't attack us on 9/11.

I was sitting there watching this back-and-forth, thinking, "... like, Duh.  I have been ranting about that unspinnable fact since the get-go."  If the reaction I've received from the Dubya-defenders is any indication, the facts don't matter.  Doesn't matter that by invading Iraq, we did Osama bin Laden a huge favor.  Simply by listening to my casual sources, it was clear to me that before and at the time of the attacks on U.S. soil, Osama bin Laden had no love for Saddam Hussein because he was too much of a secular muslim and Iraq was too westernized for bin Laden's tastes.  No al Qaeda connection - no problem.  No WMDs - no problem.  It bothers me to hear the latest spin on the roulette wheel of Bush World justifications for invading Iraq.  Think about it.  Hussein may have been everything that BushCo calls him, and a small order of fries, but he was on the secular side of Islam and the one-eyed Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, was on the other fundamentalist side.  That's Mooo-lah Omar, for you abject Republicans.

It bothers me, that is, if you can even get a straight answer out of Bush.  Even a lie.  Last night, George Bush ducked so many questions and fell back on the intense debate training he must have been taught by that bloated, triple-chinned chicken hawk, Karl Rove.  Dubya stayed 'on message', alright.  But, he didn't come across as having a brain in his head.  Even Fox News GOP regulars were disappointed.

I can only imagine the possible Saturday Night Live skits:

Jim Lehrer: Mr. President, what are your views on the strategy of pre-emptive wars?
George Bush: My opponent sends mixed messages.
Jim Lehrer: Okay, but is pre-emptive war ever justified?
George Bush: My opponent looked at the same intelligence that I looked at ...
Jim Lehrer: Yes, fine, but how do you feel?
George Bush: John Kerry flip flops!
Jim Lehrer: Excuse me?
George Bush: Swift Boats!  Flip-flopping Swift boats, I tell ya!!!

I actually found myself laughing out loud at some of Bush's answers because it was funny to me -- except the fact that he'll still be president of the United States until January.  For the sake of comedy, an audio recording is way more funny than reading a transcript.
Blog the Vote at Thunderstorms

Did you watch the presidential debates?  What did you think?  It should be obvious, even to the occasional visitor here, that I don't like George Bush.  The nicest thing I can think of to say to describe how I feel about Dubya is to say that he's a fucking idiot.

Nonetheless, I haven't been jumping up and down with John Kerry pom-poms around here.  Last night was the first time I actually heard John Kerry speak for more than 30-second sound bytes in the news.  After watching the whole debate, I have to say that I thought Kerry came across far better than Bush.  Kerry impressed me.  And, I don't say that because of my visceral dislike for Dubya.

I know and I am aware of my own dislike for Bush. That didn't change last night, but Dubya looked and acted unsure, unsteady and nervous during the debate.  Bush had no focus at times, paused for agonizingly long periods waiting for the squirrels to start running and turning the wheels in his mind searching for something to say, and when he did speak, he seemed annoyed and childishly petulant.

It was weird. I found myself staring at George Bush trying to think like you would try to read the expression on the face of a dog or a chimp and make a guess as to what it is thinking or feeling.  I think it took Bush about an hour to calm down, relax, and get in his groove.  There were a few questions toward the end where Bush sounded coherent enough to string a few words together and at least parrot some 'on message' messages about mixed messages. 

But, in the end, last night Bush made me feel better.  He said he does know it was Osama bin Laden behind the attacks on 9/11.  I'm glad we finally cleared that up.

Blog the Vote!

[Headphones] :: Bush and Brando debate - JfZ

Posted at 07:20 am by John Furie Zacharias

October 1, 2004   09:21 AM PDT
I watched the debate with a crew of people, all drinking to the cynical man's drinking guide to the debates, found on my website (cause I made it). I'll have to add some more to the health care column, obviously, we could have been drinking -even more-. heh. Bush made us laugh out loud so many times, it was a hell of a party. He outright blushed at least twice, turning bright red, and was off-balanced the entire time. Moreso, he never could seem to pull off a counter without resorting to catch-phrases and meaningless jabs. Those made us drink the most. That and the Power Fist.
John Furie Zacharias
October 1, 2004   02:41 PM PDT
About 4 or 5 A.M, I swear I heard the CNN overnight news announcers talking about your drinking game, Xavier. They went so far as to have a producer tally up how many times Kerry or Bush mentioned different words during the debate and even showed a graphic of it.

Melicious told us about the 'hunker down' hurricane drinking game ... I just rambled on about some possible modified rules for it in my updates during hurricane Jeanne ;)

It may take the Bush campaign several days to convincingly spin their way out of the fact that Dubya did so dismally in the debate. First, they have to stop grieving amongst themselves. I don't doubt that we'll read how Bush won the first debate somewhere ... :eye roll:


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