Tuesday, October 19, 2004

War of words

--On Sunday, the New York Times endosed John Kerry for President. Although not exactly a shocking endorsement coming from the largest newspaper in arguably the world's largest democratic stronghold, the endorsement is unusually strongly worded, indicating the extent of the bad blood that exists between the Times and the White House:
Mr. Bush and his attorney general put in place a strategy for a domestic antiterror war that had all the hallmarks of the administration's normal method of doing business: a Nixonian obsession with secrecy, disrespect for civil liberties and inept management.

Eric Boehlert of The Guardian explains some of the administration's other behavior that may have contributed to the Times's decision not to endorse Mr Bush.

--On a slightly related note, I don't like the endless barrage of opinion polls and the sway they are likely to have on voters. Every poll seems to report the opposite result, and virtually every one falls well within the margins of error. They are barometers which measure nothing, yet many people are being left with the opinion that one candidate is a sure-win over the other, on both a national and state level. My fear is that many undecided voters and potential voters who already feel that their vote doesn't count (thanks a shitload, Florida) will interpret these polls as just another reason why their voting is pointless. Now, having said that, I saw an amusing statistic on one of the morning news programs: the total circulation of newspapers endorsing Kerry: 8.5 million; total circulation of those endorsing Bush: 3.7 million. Jus' something to think about.

--I wanted to point y'all to the transcript of last night's Meet the Press. However, MSNBC's links are all mucked up and everything comes up 404. So you'll just have to follow the above link to the generic Meet the Press page and hope that they've fixed the problem if you want to see Tim Russert utterly destroy SC rep Jim DeMint with sweet, sweet verbal cannonballs.

--Betty Hill, 85. If Kenneth Arnold lauched the modern UFO era with his "flying saucer" sighting in 1947, then Betty and Barney Hill launched the era of alien abductions. On Sept 19, 1961, Mrs Hill and her husband experienced a two-hour loss of time while driving in their car. Later, it would be revealed through hypnosis that the two had been abducted by a UFO. While hypnosis is hardly a reliable source of buried memories, the Hill case stands out because both stories were identical and consistent. The case, and Grant Fuller's book about it, The Interrupted Journey, spawned a flurry of spurious abduction claims that continued well into the 1990s.


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