Wired Weird World

A written record of the contents of my brain. Hide the children.



Never sneak behind the bar. You'll be sorry.



Debate Caution

If you play debate drinking games, here are some phrases to avoid.

Kerry: I have a plan.

Bush: Wrong war, wrong place, wrong time.

Kerry: Middle class.

Bush: Steadfast and resolute.

Kerry: You can't go to war without a plan to win the peace.

Bush: He can run, but he can't hide.

Let's be safe, people - alcohol poisoning is more trouble than it's worth.


Hey, Buddy, Why the Long Face?

USA Today reports on a Gallup poll showing Bush up 54-40 among likely voters.

Those numbers are probably as sustainable as they realistic, which is to say, not much.

But I love the money quote: "Sen. Kerry is like Seabiscuit: He runs better from behind," says Donna Brazile, who was Gore's campaign manager. But she acknowledges that "backbenchers" in the Democratic Party "have begun pushing the panic button."

Senator Kerry is like Seabiscuit? You be the judge.

Heh. With people like Donna Brazile out there, no wonder the backbenchers are panicking.


Stretch Run

So now the Cubs are on their way. A very big 9-1 victory to kick off the brutal stretch run to the postseason. I hope everyone is rested and ready, especially the pitching staff.

But I have no illusions. The Cubs are heartless and gutless this year. They need at least 18 victories, and probably 20, to win the wildcard.

And they're staring straight down the barrel of the most brutal stretch of games all year, thanks to Hurricane Frances. 29 games in 28 days, including 26 over the last 24 days.

So I look forward to hearing, as they drop a series to the Reds or the Pirates, how tough they have it. And I look equally forward to shouting, "HORSESHIT!!!" None of this would have mattered had the team strung together 10 wins in 12 games just once this year.

None of this would matter if Moises Alou paid attention to where the ball is hit. How many times has he been doubled off base this year? 8? 10?

None of this would matter if the pitching staff could keep their yaps shut and throw strikes. Right, Kerry Wood? Carlos Zambrano? Kent Mercker? LaTroy Hawkins?

None of this would matter if Dusty Baker could manage a pitching staff, or figure out a double switch.

This team has spent 5 months slowly buckling under and failing to live up to expectations. In July, they bent over for the Cardinals. In August, they kicked a sleeping dog in an Astros uniform. This wildcard has been laying there for the taking all season, and what have we gotten?

10 shutout losses. 7 losses where the Cubs scored just 1 run. And a stunning 14-23 record in one run games. From a lineup with 4 guys on pace to hit 30+ home runs.

This team is poised to fold.

God, I hope I'm wrong... but even if they do make it to the playoffs, they'll get rolled over.


The politics of hatred

In Boston, the Democrats chose to herd the protesters past the Fleet Center into a "Free Speech Zone," really nothing more than a cage, to do their screaming. This was a good move by the Democrats, as it allowed them to stay on message and present a united party to the swing voters in the audience. But it really didn't sell the Left as being tolerant of other viewpoints, now did it? Kind of stinks of stifling dissent, wouldn't you say?

In New York, the Republicans have also made the right move... by doing nothing but securing the convention center, and not really a foolproof job of that. The protesters are everywhere, harassing GOP delegates on the street, attacking police officers, and storming the convention floor. It's very smart to allow these leftist nutjobs before the cameras to self-identify for the swing voters at home while the GOP moderates like Rudy and Arnold stand on the stage and deliver messages of inclusion and invitation in prime time.

In the meantime, General Tommy Franks endorses George W. Bush, and John Kerry shakes up his campaign staff for the second time in less than a year.

Life is good.


Varifrank gives up on John Kerry.



No!!!! Really!?!?!?

Jeff Jacoby lets it all hang out this morning in The Boston Globe:

With the exception of the Fox News Channel, the liberal tilt of the mainstream media - the major newspapers, the networks, National Public Radio, the news magazines - has long been a fact of American life. No one observing the coverage of this year's presidential campaign with both eyes open can have much doubt that the media establishment is pulling heavily for the Democratic ticket.

That explains why, for example, the intense media interest in George W. Bush's National Guard records last February wasn't matched by an equally intense interest in John Kerry's Navy history in May, when the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth first went public with their criticisms. Far from leaping on the charges that Kerry's Vietnam heroism had been greatly exaggerated, the mainstream media's initial reaction was to largely ignore them. And while the press saw no reason to question the credibility of Bush's accusers or to demand that Kerry repudiate them, their attitude toward the Swift Boat vets has been much more hostile.

None of this should come as a surprise. The nation's newsrooms are Democratic strongholds, and that cannot help but affect their coverage of the news. Evan Thomas, the assistant managing editor of Newsweek, put it plainly last month.

"Let's talk a little media bias here,'' he said on the PBS program Inside Washington on July 11. "The media, I think, want Kerry to win. And I think they're going to portray Kerry and Edwards . . . as being young and dynamic and optimistic and all, there's going to be this glow about them that is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them, that's going to be worth maybe 15 points.'' Just how lopsided is the pro-Kerry bias? When New York Times reporter John Tierney surveyed reporters covering the Democratic National Convention last month, the results were striking.

"We got anonymous answers from 153 journalists, about a third of them based in Washington,'' he wrote on Aug. 1. "When asked who would be a better president, the journalists from outside the Beltway picked Mr. Kerry 3 to 1, and the ones from Washington favored him 12 to 1. Those results jibe with previous surveys over the past two decades showing that journalists tend to be Democrats, especially the ones based in Washington. Some surveys have found that more than 80 percent of the Beltway press corps votes Democratic.'' Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, and for tasting liberal bias in journalism, no one tops the Media Research Center. Founded by conservative activist Brent Bozell in 1987, the MRC has become an indispensable resource for anyone interested in how political attitudes shape news coverage. Its most illuminating technique is the simplest: It monitors journalists' words and quotes them. What it has found time and time again is a skew to the left: a tendency to celebrate, echo, or defend Democrats, liberals, and left-of-center ideas.