I Made A Bumper Sticker

Last political post until Thursday, I promise.

I came up with what I thought was a great idea for a nerdy bumpersticker. I even made a copy and put it on my car. Alas, I appear to have been too clever for my own good: when I showed it to my focus group, most confessed to not getting it.

Oh well, I still think it’s funny. Here’s the image — if you have label paper for your printer and a secret desire to be inscrutable, you can print one out and slap it on your Honda.

Update: Okay, everyone is writing me to say they don’t get the sticker. Here’s a hint: the red squiggle is what editors and proofreaders use to indicate “remove this letter.” I probably should have mentioned that this was “grammar nerdy,” not “tech nerdy.”

Update: Reader Patrick Kent envisions the conservative’s rebuttal.

Some Thoughts About The Debate III

I was in the car for the bulk of tonight’s presidential debate and listened to it on the radio. Consequentially, I have very little to say about it. After all, mocking the candidates’ facial expressions and mannerisms has pretty much been the mainstay of these posts, and, lacking that, I got nuthin’. Well, maybe I got a little. We’ll see.

  • Bush sounded really, really loud for the first half of the debate, like a guy at karaoke standing way too close to the mike while belting out “I’d Stop The World And Melt With You.” When he jumped on Charles Gibson it sounded like a tiger attack in the middle of a Siegfried and Roy show.
  • A lot of people are saying Bush won the debate by virtue of not doing as poorly as he did in the first. I think Kerry did better too, so I still think he won. In fact, I had a brilliant insight* just after the debate finished: it all comes down to whether you think Kerry won the first debate because Bush did poorly, or whether you think he won it because he did well. If you think the former, you may well conclude that Bush won this debate because he did so much better; if you thought the latter, you probably think Kerry won this one because he, too, improved. Since I thought Kerry won the first by exceeding my expectations (honestly, I didn’t expect much from Bush, and he met that expectation), I thought Kerry won this one as well.
    * Well, actually it was some NPR guy’s brilliant insight, but, you know, I’m sure I would have come up with the same thing if he hadn’t blurted it out.
  • Now Kerry is talking about OB/GYNs too?! What the hell? Are the seven undecided votes all gynecologists or what? Cripes, they’re going to propose putting portraits of OB/GYNs on the backs of nickels by the time the election rolls around.
  • Bush: “We’ve just got a report that said over the past 13 months, we’ve created 1.9 million new Internets.” Heh, no he didn’t really say that. But he did mention “the Internets.” And although this gaffe rates as “sooper dooper trivial,” I wonder if this will have the same effect on Bush Jr.’s reputation as the Supermarket Scanner myth had on his father’s, making him seem dangerously out-of-touch with modern technology. Bear in mind that Bush mentioned “the Internets” in response to a question about the draft, which means that his reply will be of particular interest to high-school and college kids — the very demographic that’s likely to be the most Internet-savvy and a prone to seeing this as some old “geezer” not being “hip” to modern “lingo.” Good thing kids are too apathetic to vote!
  • I think Kerry might be in trouble for the last debate. The conventional wisdom, going into these things, was that Bush would do best on foreign policy (which is why his campaign wanted it first), the second debate would be a draw, and Kerry would win last on domestic issues. The assumptions behind this prediction were that Bush is strong on foreign policy matters — the war on terror and Iraq are two issues he clearly cares about — and indifferent to domestic issues, and this would show. Now I’m starting to think that the underlying assumptions are true, but the conclusion is 100% wrong. Bush blew the first debate and the first half of this one because he’s so passionate about Iraq and the war on terror, so passionate that he can’t take Kerry’s criticism without resorting to grimaces, eye-rolling, and hollering. But once the conversation turns to domestic issues — issues that Bush, frankly, has never really shown much enthusiasm for — he gets bored enough to start sounding reasonable again. He may care so little about the topics in the third debate that he comes across as — dare I say it — presidental.
  • Transcript here; comments are open.

    Some Thoughts About The Debate II

    “Join me, and together we will rule the republic as father and son.”

    Two disclaimers. One: Despite two longish political posts in week, I assure you this isn’t becoming a political blog. Well, maybe a little bit. But only for the next 60 30 days (my how time flies). After the election, regardless of who wins, I promise to go back to not caring, Honest Native American. Two: I realize I’m a little late to the vp-debate analysis party, but I didn’t get back from DC until late last night and only now have had the opportunity to weigh in.

    Overall I thought things were kind of boring, but I did like the ending, when Cheney cut off Edward’s hand and then revealed himself to be his father.

    Heh. Okay, just kidding. Here’s my real thoughts:

  • I’d call it a tie. I know that “tie” is what people say about debates when they think their side lost, but, seriously, I thought the whole thing was a wash. The only time I ever predicted a winner during the course of the event was about halfway through, when I announced that Edwards was “cleaning up.” But somehow, by the end, I decided that it was just sound and fury, signifying nothing. It was like matter and anti-matter: Mr. Positive and Mr. Negative collided in a flash that left nothing in its wake except a mysterious, 100-minute void in time.
  • Early in the proceedings, Edwards repeated, verbatim, a few lines Kerry had used in the first debate. I dunno if that was planned as an effort to drive home a few key points or if Edwards was nervous and could only cough out some recycled one-liners, but it was a poor opening gambit either way. Wasn’t one of the major criticism of Bush’s performance that he kept repeating the same thing over and over?
  • After the debate the commentators on MSNBC were remarking how surprising Cheney’s performance was, because he didn’t come across as a “go fuck yourself” barking ogre and instead seemed staid and respectable. Do these people have no short-term memory whatsoever? That’s exactly how Cheney presented himself in the 2000 vice-presidential debate, to the point where many people (myself included) found themselves thinking that a Bush presidency wouldn’t be that bad, what with such a reasonable, cautious second-in-command. Since then Cheney has unmasked himself as the nephew of Satan, sure, but why people thought he was going to present himself as anything except dignified is beyond me.
  • Edwards: “I think the vice president and his wife love their daughter. I think they love her very much. And you can’t have anything but respect for the fact that they’re willing to talk about the fact that they have a gay daughter, the fact that they embrace her. It’s a wonderful thing.” That might be the most wince-worthy thing I’ve ever heard in a debate. I don’t know what’s worse, Edward’s implication that Cheney might not love his daughter, or that it takes such a Herculean effort to love gay offspring that parents who do deserve respect.
  • You got to admire the way that Cheney can repeat known falsehoods (“I’ve never suggested there’s a connection between Saddam and 9/11”) without a trace of visible shame. No, seriously: you’ve got to admire it, by law. It’s written into the Patriot Act.
  • What’s the point of having a “backup buzzer system” if you’re not going to use it whenever Edwards breaks the “no mentioning your running mate’s name” rule?
  • Edwards says that America is taking “90 percent of the coalition casualties.” Cheney replied, “Classic example. He won’t count the sacrifice and the contribution of Iraqi allies” and that, by saying “they shouldn’t count, because you want to be able to say that the Americans are taking 90 percent of the sacrifice,” Edwards is demeaning them. In response, Edwards blusters “I’m not demeaning!” Great comeback, there, tiger. And this guy was a trial lawyer? How about pointing out that you were talking about the coalition and Cheney isn’t, so it’s apples and oranges. How about saying “This administration is so desperate to disguise the true cost of the operation that they want to count the Iraqis as part of the coalition to invade Iraq. Now there’s your classic example.”
  • Laugh out Loud moment: Cheney talking about his disappointment over how divided America is, as if it was just some unlucky break. Yeah, I’ll be sure to use that same tact in my next performance review with my boss: “One of my great disappointments with my job is how much time I spend surfing the Internet instead of doing actual work.”
  • Vice-presidental debate transcripts here: part 1, part 2. Comments are open.

    Autos and Aircraft

    I’m thinking about donating my old car to the Seattle Council For The Blind. But I have some reservations because, you know, I’d feel totally bad if some blind guy got in an accident while driving a car I donated.

    Mount St. Helens is erupting and, judging from the above, I’ve run out of funny things to say, so I guess that’s my cue to fly to the East Coast. I’ll be in D.C. on Monday and Tuesday of next week, and updates will be sporadic.