The Voting Mango

All Presidential Politics from here till November

Thursday, April 15, 2004


From the Department of Good Things

Today's Easterblogg entry is excellent. Money quote:

History may judge the attack on Iraq as anything from an idealistic liberation to crazed folly. But let's think for a moment about what's happened in the last 13 months solely from the perspective of the impact on U.S. and global security.

Since the United States and United Kingdom invaded Iraq, Libya has admitted to and voluntarily surrendered an atomic-weapons program that the world community did not know about. Pakistan has admitted to peddling atomic secrets, and presumably stopped. Pakistan's intelligence agency, the leading state supporter of Islamist fanatics, has stopped backing this movement. North Korea has admitted the true status of its atomic program. Iran has started talking honestly with the International Atomic Energy Agency about the true state of its nuclear facilities. All of these are huge advances for U.S. and global security. The ones that involve atomic threats may turn out--in terms of what doesn't happen--to mean more in the long run than what did happen on September 11.

Best part -- Ben-Veniste interrogates God:

As for Richard Ben-Veniste, his Know-It-All-In-Retrospect act at this point is insufferable, as is his open sneering at those who don't share his gift of retroactive clairvoyance. I imagine this would have happened if Ben-Veniste rather than Abraham had argued with God about the fate of Sodom:

BEN-VENISTE: Mr. God, isn't it true that before the creation, you received a memo saying that men would become wicked?

GOD: If I find at Sodom 50 righteous within the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.

BEN-VENISTE: According to the DDB, Divine Daily Brief, you were informed in advance about lack of righteousness, and yet still created humanity.

GOD: I will not destroy Sodom if I find 45 righteous there.

BEN-VENISTE: Why haven't all scrolls and vellum you received before the creation been declassified? What are you hiding?

GOD: For the sake of 40 righteous I will not do it.

BEN-VENISTE: Isn't it obvious you should have foreseen debauchery and licentiousness?

GOD: I will not do it if I find 30 righteous there.

BEN-VENISTE: Why wasn't more funding given to anti-sin programs?

GOD: For the sake of 20 righteous, I will not do it.

BEN-VENISTE: Mr. God, you claim to be all-knowing, yet the iniquity at Sodom was not prevented.

GOD: For the sake of 10 who are righteous, I will not destroy Sodom.

BEN-VENISTE: This witness is being evasive, He keeps changing numbers.

Read the whole thing.
posted by mango  # 10:16 AM

Tuesday, April 13, 2004


From the Department of Alternative Universes

Gregg Easterbrook has a great post, based on what would have happened, had Bush taken strong preventative measures pre 9/11.
posted by mango  # 12:57 PM

Saturday, March 13, 2004


From the Department of Specifics

The pacifist left likes to go on about the "illegal war" in Iraq, which begs the question, "Which law is being broken?"

If we're talking about anything to have come out of the UN, just remember, it was the UN resolutions that called for Saddam to submit to inspections or else. The US was operating under international law and with an international coalition. The UN wasn't.
posted by mango  # 4:02 PM

Tuesday, March 09, 2004


From the Department of Comparing Apples and Wombats

TIME: Would you say your position on Iraq is a) it was a mistaken war; b) it was a necessary war fought in a bad way; or c) fill in the blank?
KERRY: I think George Bush rushed to war without exhausting the remedies available to him, without exhausting the diplomacy necessary to put the U.S. in the strongest position possible, without pulling together the logistics and the plan to shore up Iraq immediately and effectively.
TIME: And you as Commander in Chief would not have made these mistakes but would have gone to war?
KERRY: I didn't say that.
TIME: I'm asking.
KERRY: I can't tell you.

Susan responded this passage from Kerry's Time interview saying, "This is priceless!" And she's right. Until you realize that there's a very real danger that this man might be elected leader of the free world. Except, really, there's no danger of that at all. He may be elected POTUS, but the fact of the matter is, Bush is running for Leader of the Free World, Kerry is running for Miss World. God spare us the swimsuit competition.

posted by mango  # 9:43 PM

Monday, March 08, 2004


From the Department of Fisks

USS Clueless
has a beautiful fisk of Kerry's Time interview. He ends with this, which pretty much describes my voting plans:
Based on everything I know about him now, I cannot in good conscience consider voting for him. I would rather vote for a candidate with known policies with which I disagree than for a candidate whose true policies – if any – are kept hidden under a bushel basket, at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet, in a dis-used lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the leopard".
posted by mango  # 10:58 PM

From the Department of Peace Through Superior Firepower II

One more thing: How naive does John Kerry have to be to think that other heads of state would prefer to have him president? Does he see it as them wanting him to be part of their club? Maybe he thinks that they would prefer to toodle around on his yacht than to help Bush clear brush in Crawford? Yeah, not so much. They like him cuz he's the easy mark, the good cop, the prof of the blow-off class. None of these are good things to be.

posted by mango  # 10:52 PM

From the Department of Ostriches

"I suggested that all the evils of Saddam Hussein alone were not a cause to go to war." -- John Kerry in a new Time interview

Good God, man, what's wrong with you?!? Yet ol' Slobodan was worth it? I really would love you to look a group of Iraqis, liberated from decades of torture, fear, and brutality under Saddam, in the eye, and tell them that. You're a liberal, John. You're supposed to care about suffering people.

posted by mango  # 10:32 PM

From the Department of With Friends Like These

Read this article. Keep a trashbin handy.

It begins "North Korea is staunchly in the "anybody but George W. Bush" camp in the U.S. election, but South Korean critics of the president say Pyongyang would be unwise to stall nuclear talks and hope for "regime change" in Washington."

Alright, reread that first bit: "North Korea is staunchly in the "anybody but George W. Bush" camp in the U.S. election."
Well, duh. Of course they are. This is an excellent reason to re-elect him. A blog I read earlier this evening (and for the life of me can't find again) said something to the effect of "Anybody who can count Saddam, Chirac, Kim Jong Il, Bin Laden and the mullahs as enemies has to be doing something right." Exactly.

Imagine how this would have read at various other points in history -- just fill in the dictator/country, leader, and country -- History Mad-Libs.

"(Dictator/country) is staunchly in the 'anybody but (leader)' camp in the (country) election."
"Hitler is staunchly in the 'anybody but Winston Churchill' camp in the British election."
"The USSR is staunchly in the 'anybody but Ronald Reagan' camp in the US election."
"Saddam Hussein is staunchly in the 'anybody not named Bush' camp in the US election."
Etc. Isn't this fun!
posted by mango  # 7:42 PM

From the Department of Peace Through Superior Firepower

Just when you thought he couldn't get any more disturbing, John Kerry starts running around declaring that a bunch of foreign leaders who-must-not-be-named support him for president, like it's a good thing. It's not. It doesn't take much imagination to guess who these leaders are. (In fact, it seems that Kim Jong Il is thrilled about the idea of Kerry.) The principal reason why those they dislike Bush is that, to borrow from Morpheus, his beliefs and actions do not require their agreement or approval. In fact, many of these leaders (Chirac, Putin) are textbook corrupt regime-stooges, what with under-the-table payoffs and deals with Saddam. The fact that he can't come out an name these leaders is probably proof enough that that they're probably not the sort the American people wants their president beholden to. I see a large number of freedom-fry-eating Americans having a problem with Kerry being endorsed by Jacque "I only ran for this office to postpone jail" Chirac on the grounds that he'd be more pliable.

Yet many Americans want us to be beholden to people like them who are beholden to dictators like him. Once again, not a good thing. Europe does not have America's best interests at heart. It would like to see America just strong enough to come in and save it if the need arises, but not smart enough or determined enough or independent enough to start making decisions on its own.

Contrary to what the existance of institutions like the UN might imply, geopolitics is not a team sport. Sure, there are times when coalitions are useful, but the mere existance of a coalition (think Germany, Italy, Japan) does not a good thing make. One of my friends recently, as reason for hating Bush, bemoaned that "now all the other countries hate us." First of all, it's not a new thing. I remember being in the Thessaloniki, Greece during the (Clinton Administration) Balkan War and seeing anti-American slogans everywhere, and being prepared to be Canadian if asked. Iran, Iraq, and a fair chunk of the Middle East have regarded us as terrorists for quite a while. As those governments are/were terroristic/despotic/evil, that wasn't too much sweat off our backs. If you want to be liked, be Miss America or something. Second, it's not a bad thing. There are two main types of countries that dislike us: 1) the kind that dislike us and are too civilized (or something) to do anything about it besides threaten a UN veto, and 2) the kind that dislike us and try to kill us. Fortunately, those kinds of societies tend to understand power. Therefore, while it is not critical for them to like us, it is essential that they respect us.

Beyond all this, I agree that it's entirely inappropriate for Kerry to be in contact with foriegn leaders at all. States aren't allowed to have their own foreign policies, and neither, I think, should citizens or, specifically, presidential candidates. They can have prospective foreign policies, they can have prefered foreign policies, but as for actually going out and committing acts of foreign policy, especially in ways that are not edifying to the current administration (and I'm looking at you too here, Mr. Carter), I consider that to be almost treason.

posted by mango  # 7:29 PM

From the Department of Tastlessness

Alright, follow closely here:

According to the Kerry website, at a fundraiser "when Teresa Heinz-Kerry arrived, she handed me a pin that read in the center: “Asses of Evil” with “Bush”, “Cheney”, “Rumsfeld” and “Ashcroft” surrounding it. She met, greeted and talked to a jam-packed room of Kerry supporters and others who came for the MoveOn documentary. Many were curious, others undecided, or belonging to other candidate camps. "

Bush, on the other hand, in his campaign ads, reminds Americans of his leadership through the first major attack on the American mainland in almost 200 years, and is widely derided as tasteless, crass, etc.


posted by mango  # 10:32 AM

From the Department of Touche

Alaa also has a magnificent take on whether or not the Zarqawi memo is true.

Money paragraph:
"I have been studying the Zarqawi letter very carefully and I think this is a most interesting and important document. Cynically speaking, it may be one of the most accurate and faithful appraisals of the situation in Iraq, notwithstanding the blind hatred and vituperation. Of course the chorus of monkeys have been jumping up and down and squeaking and screaming ever since its publication- It is a CIA forgery, American propaganda etc. etc.!! What I say is this: If the Americans are so clever as to produce this masterpiece of counterfeit, it might have been more worthwhile for them to do something about the missing WMD’s and the like. I mean if the CIA has such fine understanding of the mind of these people and such historical and theological depth a lot of this trouble might have been avoided. Forgive me for saying this folks; the “Americans” are just too dumb to produce something like this. "
posted by mango  # 10:25 AM

From Baghdad

Alaa, an Iraqi blogger has this to say (thanks to Buzzmachine)

"Some time ago one friend commented something about my being anti-Bush!! And It has been in the back of mind ever since to say something about this. Me, anti-Bush!!!

Regardless of any election campaign, this man has already established himself in our hearts and minds, and forever. And it is one of my cherished dreams that one day his statue will stand in the middle of Baghdad and that all the people realize finally and unequivocally the friendship that this president of America had for them and the great favor that he has done them.

We sure wish that he be re-elected to complete the great work that he started. The job does not need any new experimenting and trial and error. But of course this is not for us to decide and we have to wait for the decision of the American people.

Nevertheless, and for my self I wish to send my heartfelt best wishes to my favorite American, El Bush, the Liberator, the Avenger."

JFK2, if you're wondering what the answer to the 'unfair' "Was it worth it?" question is, this should help you along.

posted by mango  # 10:13 AM

From the Department of Impulsive Panderflipping

Mickey Kaus has yet another marvelous take on Kerry and his pandering, flipping, and flopping. He also coins the term 'Impulsive Panderflipping' which sounds like either a new Olympic sport, or some Iron Chef technique.

Updated: And another thing:
Last night I read an article someplace about how Kerry thought that "Was Iraq worth it?" was an unfair question because he couldn't see how it would turn out ten years from now. My feeling here is that automatically disqualifies him from being president. Not his opinion -- I would have a problem with him saying no, but I'd accept that as an answer -- but his inability to judge the merits of things. If he is only able to judge things with the benefit of hindsight, then he needs to go be a historian or a pundit. He has no business controlling the course of history.

posted by mango  # 9:23 AM

Sunday, March 07, 2004


From the Department of Revamping the Political Process

For those of you who are a) still undecided and b) rather deranged, a new way determine which candidate deserves your vote.
posted by mango  # 3:24 PM

From the Department of Great Minds

It seems Non Sequitur and I are on the same page -- I still like the American Idol format better though.

(Thanks, Susan!)

posted by mango  # 2:07 PM

Saturday, March 06, 2004


From the Department of the Gullible

WOW! This is Dennis. I cannot thank all of you enough for the tremendous response we have received in just a couple of days from people all over the country who are urging us to stay in this contest and move forward with our message of hope, and optimism, and peace.

Just in a few days we raised about $200,000 which was really astonishing, and it puts us in a position where we are moving the campaign along. I'm now in Texas on the way from San Antonio to Corpus Christi and will be campaigning in South Texas all day. Tomorrow I'll be in the March in Selma, the commemoration of the march, and then I'll be back to Florida. We have strong campaigns going in both Texas and Florida, and it's because of you - because you're enabling us to move ahead.

So as you're thinking this weekend about the direction of this country just know that you're helping to move not only a message, but to move America in a new direction. I'm so proud to be part of this effort and so grateful to you for everything you're doing to make this happen. We are on the way to Boston, and you can help smooth the road and help us speed our path towards that convention, by continuing to support us financially, spiritually, in any way you can. This is the moment for us to continue to stay together, and to move ahead and to celebrate this wonderful effort which is changing America and the world.

Thank you so much, this is Dennis, and I'll be talking to all of you soon. Bye now.

Dennis Kucinich

Anybody who's still contributing to Kucinich at this point (aside from late-night talk show hosts) must be the sort of person who purchased Central High School elevator passes back in the days when Central didn't have one. And not only changing the country, the world? Thats a little rich, don't you think?

posted by mango  # 3:53 PM


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