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"Chuck Norris doesn't read books; he stares them down until he gets the information he wants out of them."
- ChuckNorrisFactsdotcom

Monday, July 07, 2003
So I went to a funeral today. A 39 year old man. Dead. With no warning. No one knows how to handle funerals for the young or for unexpected deaths. The minister was the worst speaker I've ever heard. They played "Let it Be" and "Stairway to Heaven." That was nice. It fit.

I was sitting and thinking while the minister gave his incomprehensible homily. Remembering
September '01 when all the funerals were for young people and the churches and funeral homes were full around the clock for weeks. Some people went to three funerals per day.

Remembering how that week felt. Suddenly the world wasn't the same. That time is worth remembering. We're not out of the woods yet.

I remember something I heard Don Shelby read on the radio a few days after. It's worth remembering that it's not over. In light of that, try to rediscover the sense of preciousness that you felt for all the little things during those days after. Don't take anything for granted. It could be gone tomorrow.

posted by Rachel 7/07/2003
. . .
Don't mess with
"I say, 'You'd better hit me [first], because I'm laying you out."

posted by Rachel 7/07/2003
. . .
that's it. If you're a woman and you have children under the age of 12 and have been diagnosed with any kind of psychotic tendencies, the state needs to step in. How many tragedies do we have to experience? If you can't distinguish between hallucinations/ delusions and reality you should under no circumstances be alone with anyone too small to get away. I want a law. No more Andrea Yates' no more Naomi Marie Gaines'. The nature of psychotic illness makes someone an unfit parent. Medication isn't a guarantee and not everyone who's prescribed takes it. We're talking about the safety of children for christ's sake!

posted by Rachel 7/07/2003
. . .
Howard Dean is a really interesting politician. I think if he wins the democratic nomination it's a foregone conclusion that Bush will win reelection. This will be interesting to watch. He reminds me of Wellstone. I like that he's passionate and I get the impression that he's sincerely well intentioned rather than cynically power-hungry. Nonetheless I don't think he's electable. Vermont is not the nation.

Bush has a pretty good approval rating (58% on Zogby right this second.) I suspect that a lot of those who approve of him do so for reasons that are directly contradictory to Dean's views. Not knowing the number of people in the armed forces will be a pretty big deal to quite a few people. Especially those who have loved ones overseas right this minute.

Civil unions will win a bunch of votes but it'll probably lose him more than it wins him. (39% support and 55% oppose gay marriage.)

Gun control is unlikely to be a good issue for him either. Those who want more will be unhappy if he tries to woo the second amendment crowd. The majority of gun owners supported the war in Iraq and aren't likely to forgive him his views on that, not to mention the uncertainty of a Democrat versus a known gun-friendly president and John Ashcroft.

He won't win any of the pro-tax cut folks.

The other problem I foresee is his continuing to be unprepared on fairly obvious issues. Once or twice would be forgivable but this pattern says that either his handlers are incompetent (a death knell for the campaign) or he doesn't care enough about issues that bore him to research them (also a very dangerous tendency.)

It's great that he's fired up about things but that will only play so long with the swing voters before they turn off.

"National Chairman Terry McAuliffe says the nomination will be clinched by March 10 and surely hopes that Dean will not be dominating the dialogue.

But he could be. Core Democrats have an emotional investment in the idea that George W. Bush is an idiot; if conservatives believe they are conservative because they have more common sense than other people, liberals believe they are liberal because they are smarter than other people. At the heart of their hatred of Bush is snobbery. Gephardt, Lieberman, Graham, and Edwards don't exude this snobbery. Dean and Kerry do. This could give whichever of them survives New Hampshire an edge with core Democrats. The Democrats' problem is that at least 70 percent of voters do not share their contempt for Bush and find it off-putting. Outside a Bush fundraiser last week one protester's sign read, "France was right." That is not a winning slogan in an American election."
Not to mention the fact that Dean apparently wants Mcauliffe out of the DNC. I think Dean doing well in the primaries might be a win win situation for everyone but Dean. Give the DNC another 4 years to reflect, get Mcauliffe out of the leadership and reduce Hillary's chances of running in'08, and give Bush another 4 years to get the war on terror dealt with. The country won't implode in 4 years, and Bush seems to be the only politician willing to do what's necessary overseas.

posted by Rachel 7/07/2003
. . .
Boy that
evil George W Bush.
"Although Bill Clinton reveled in his image as the "first black president," President Bush has won plaudits for doing more to help blacks in Africa, which he is visiting this week.

The most prominent example of this disparity is in the funding of the fight against AIDS. Mr. Bush recently pushed a $15 billion AIDS bill through Congress.

"His $15 billion commitment is unparalleled," said Melvin Foote, executive director of the nonpartisan Constituency for Africa. "Clinton offered $300 million, parking-meter money, even though he knew it was a tremendous challenge."

Even liberals have credited Mr. Bush with doing more than his predecessor to help Africa. In May, Live Aid founder Bob Geldof said Mr. Bush is far more committed than Mr. Clinton to fighting AIDS and famine on the continent.

"Clinton talked the talk and did diddly squat, whereas Bush doesn't talk but does deliver," said Mr. Geldof, an Irish musician and activist who in 1985 staged the world's largest rock concert to combat starvation in Africa.

"You'll think I'm off my trolley when I say this, but the Bush administration is the most radical, in a positive sense, in the approach to Africa since Kennedy," he said."
It's this kind of thing. The inability of so many to give Bush credit for such a wonderful and unprecedented achievement. Because he's a Republican. Because he's stupid. Because he's a redneck. Because he stole the election. He's Sauron for God's sake!

Did you see much media coverage of this? The fact that Bush pushed through more AIDS money than anyone ever has? Did you see anyone praising him for this? Did you know about it at all? Why is that, do you think?

posted by Rachel 7/07/2003
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