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Setting the stage for the “October Surprise.”

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September 9, 2004

One simple question. At The World’s Shortest Blog. [08:25 AM]
Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on One simple question.:

James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2004, 10:22 AM:

Anyone know what the right answer is?

LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2004, 11:13 AM:

I'm curious, too.

Apropos of nothing, I had a dream about you last night, Jim. I dreamt you drove all the way across the US to help us move (no, we're not moving; I have no idea what it meant).

Doyle was there, too...she had some words of wisdom for me. Don't remember what she said -- only the wry look she gave me when she said it.


Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2004, 11:38 AM:

LJM: it means you want to be Patrick and Teresa. Patricia Nielsen Hayden, as it were.

Robert L: Right on.

James Angove ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2004, 11:54 AM:

Xopher: Thats so odd. My girlfriend and I were briefly discussing TNH over the weekend (in the context of knitting, which is how I knew which one we were dicussing). Thing was, we dissused the weblog of Patrica NH, and then moved on, and maybe an hour later I popped up and said "Teresa. Its Teresa and Patrick, not Patrica."

Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2004, 12:03 PM:

Apparently a lot of people do that. They used to actually get mail addressed to the mysterious Patricia Nielsen Hayden, as I recall, but that would be Patrick's story to tell. Or Teresa's. Or Patricia's, I suppose, though nonexistence might make that difficult.

ElizabethVomMarlowe ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2004, 02:16 PM:

Oh please, please, pretty please will someone ask this in the televised Town Hall debate? (Assuming Mr. Bush attends, which he may not.)

John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2004, 04:42 PM:

Well, at least once, right? For the drunk driving incident in Kennebunkport (did I spell that correctly?). But I seem to recall Ron Kessler's book talking about a brawl during his Yale days that may also have involved the ol' cuffs?

Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2004, 06:35 PM:

I just want to see the eight-by-ten colored glossy photographs with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one is to be used as evidence against him.

Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2004, 09:50 PM:

I don't expect any Town Hall debate - the Bush people, adverse to their man appearing anywhere without a script, are resisting it.

I also expect that if Kerry does a town-hall event with an empty opposing chair, it won't be covered by the media.

Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2004, 11:34 PM:

I also expect that if Kerry does a town-hall event with an empty opposing chair, it won't be covered by the media.

I would expect them to be there in full force. And all the sound bites shown and played on the news that night and the next day would be ones that made him look bad, even if they had to quote him out of context to manage it. Except on Air America, of course. Liberal bias in the media, my glutei! (Unfortunately, unlike in other businesses, is apparently not grounds for termination of media personnel. Or has CNN gone explicitly 'fair and balanced'?)

Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2004, 03:49 AM:

Mr. Adelsohn, I wonder. Would even the lapdog the press has recently become think it could be spun? I suppose it's too much to hope that it would play out that way; it would really get the point across about Bush's inability/unwillingness to speak without a script or a friendly crowd.

Can you imagine Lehrer or whoever the moderator is actually going so far as to direct a question to the empty chair? Much less members of the crowd?

Mary ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2004, 11:45 AM:

God, I hope no one asks this question. I despise Bush and want him out, and can't even help vote him out because I'm Canadian, but this smartass ploy won't do much to help elect Kerry and may even backfire among some voters. Someone at Metafilter has already predicted his response:

Bush: (pauses, flashes one of his trademark simian smirks) "Look, are you asking me if I've made mistakes in my past? I've been open and forthright with the American people about my past from Day One. But this campaign isn't about the past. It's about the future. You see, I'm a war president. I don't like it. Nobody wants to be a war president, but I am. And I understand that there are evildoers in the world who want to do us great harm. Now my opponent wants to take us back to the days when America was weak, but we're not going to let him do that. With your vote in November, we can make America stronger and the world safer. Next question."

(Yeah, he usually can't handle impromptu questions, but I bet his campaign knows about this plan now and has prespped him). Typical spin and bullshit, right? But effective spin and bullshit. The undecided are getting more and more talking points and spin and scandal and various allegations thrown at them, and I expect more and more of them to start shutting down over events of the 60s and 70s. Sure, I believe that Bush was and is a lazy, feckless, brittle, cowardly sonofabitch, and that his pattern of arrests (whatever the number is), his drug abuse, and his constant need to have Daddy and friends step in to save him show his true nature -- I see it reflected in his actions as President -- but when his performance as President over the past 4 years is so obviously horrid, why make people take two steps when one would do?

Hammering at Bush's record, how his actions have hurt Americans NOW and could keep hurting the country in the future, and contrasting that with the way Kerry and Edwards can be much more effective and responsible, is crucial. How many Americans were personally affected by Bush's carousing in the 70s? Very few. How many are affected by his dishonest, incompetent handling of foreign policy and economics? A fucking multitude. The shit Bush got up to as a young man may have some connection with the shit he's getting up to now, but this line of attack is a waste of time and energy and could lead to a mixture of disgust and sympathy among those few, precious undecided voters, or those only marginally supporting Kerry.

Beth Meacham ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2004, 05:51 PM:

The answer to the question is at least five times. Three DUIs, two "mischief" arrests while at Yale. That's the minimum number, and who knows how many more? I'd like to see it asked. I don't for a minute think the questioner would get an answer.

PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2004, 07:32 PM:

*snerk* I just read Beth Meacham's response to my boyfriend, and without missing a beat, my boyfriend responded, "But that's all in the past, before he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour."

LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2004, 08:12 PM:

Wow, that's pretty bad. Pretty pathetic.

TomB ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2004, 08:43 PM:

Kerry has been arrested once.

From the Boston Globe:

During Memorial Day weekend, he joined a throng of antiwar protesters on the green in Lexington, Mass., where he and hundreds of others were arrested. Kerry said the arrest, for which he paid a $5 fine and spent the night at the Lexington Public Works Garage, is the only arrest of his life. At the time, Kerry's wife, Julia, kept $100 under her pillow just in case she needed to bail out her husband on short notice.

Having been arrested is not necessarily bad, if it was for a noble cause. The problem with Bush's arrests is the pattern of irresponsibility and poor judgement behind them.

pericat ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2004, 03:50 AM:

The answer to the question is at least five times.

Can we make it six?

Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: September 14, 2004, 05:24 AM:

[Thinks: Male version of 'Teresa'? Quails. (NTBCW qualia.) Can't think of a thinks. Oh well.]

Like some others, I'm not sure that this and similar ad hominem attacks might not rebound on the attackers.
Surely you are trying to convince the undecided to decide against the man and the administration's policies, not generate possible sympathy for him, and dislike for yourself as a negative, carping type. After all, AFAIK, his earlier history is well-known. I guess in your system you are also trying to convince non-Bush people to come out and vote, not give up because they think it's a foregone conclusion either way.

I would like to see the mug shot(s), though :)

Quick announcement. My modem has apparently carked it (see also Blown Modem) and external moda have become relatively rare & expensive - I dislike internal ones & am hesitant (& cheap) about getting broadband, so don't look for lots of comments, or replies to emails, for a while.

LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: September 14, 2004, 12:43 PM:

You know, Epacris, Steve and I have a 56k modem that my dad just returned because they got DSL. If you'd like, we could send it to you. It's perfectly good and we were just about to toss it.

Let me know via email...


Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 14, 2004, 01:56 PM:

The male version of the name Teresa is, of course, Terence.

ElizabethVomMarlowe ::: (view all by) ::: September 14, 2004, 09:28 PM:

Kos seems to have records of another. Pretty pictures even.

After thinking about the character debate and the issue debate, and all the debates and choices, I decided that what I really want is an ad that has Bush reading My Pet Goat on one side, and pictures of the attack in equal time on the other. The whole seven minutes of it. I know it will not happen, but I do wish for it.

Will Shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2004, 01:36 AM:

Elizabeth, the short version:

10 seconds: side-by-side George reading and towers burning.

5 seconds: "John Kerry won't read children's books while America is attacked."

Hmm. The one-page print version wouldn't be bad, either: two photos, a date and time stamp, and a line of text.

I understand why the Democrats are reluctant to make the connection explicit, but the only way to defeat the notion that Daddy George Protects Us is to point out that W. was breaking records for presidential vacations while people ran around Washington going, "Al Quaida. Planning something. Hijacking planes. They hate symbols of U.S. world trade. Might it mean something?"


Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2004, 11:37 AM:

Better make that "while America needs him", to avoid playing into the fear that a Kerry presidency will make attacks more likely.

Will Shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2004, 12:44 PM:

Avram, good point. Being a pacifist, I don't like discussing problems or solutions in war metaphors, so using "attack" bothered me a bit. (Metaphors are part of framing the debate, as W. understands with his religious allusions and folksy similes. So long as you talk in terms of fighting for peace, you're talking about fighting, not peace. Etc.) Part of the challenge for, well, thinking people is to say that you can consider a problem and still be decisive. Your version does that.

Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2004, 01:26 PM:

I sure hope "thinking people" - or even people thinking - decide this election! Just imagine what a world we could make if that were the case.

I was once in a meeting where someone used the word 'arsenal' as a metaphor in talking about political strategy. One of the wisest of us (no, not me, but thank you for the mistake) immediately piped up and suggested 'bag of tricks' instead. In fact, she never objected to any word or phrase without supplying a reasonable alternative. I tried to sit near her as often as possible, hoping I could absorb some of her Way.

ElizabethVomMarlowe ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2004, 04:23 PM:

Will, the short version works for me. I like Avram's suggestion, too.

Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2004, 03:48 AM:
"The male version of the name Teresa is, of course, Terence" [PNH] "Naw. It's Teresias!!!!" [Xopher]

But, wouldn't Teresias be, by definition almost, a non-gender specific name? [or has stress-testing left me Irony-deficient?]

BTW, LauraJMixon (whose email link doesn't come through from the re-direction), if you are not in Australia, it might be dodgy if electrical appliances would work a) safely; b) properly on our 240v, 50 MHz, Y-pronged-plug electrical system. Also, postage on properly-wrapped package may be prohibitive. Very grateful for the offer, however.
Sorry for delay in reply, I'm only able to get on-net 3 days/week. Due to assorted circumstances (see stress-testing, above), I haven't yet been able to do much modem sourcing.

sprdnword ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 12:59 AM:

Subject: Mandatory draft 6/15/05
Express your preference.

Mandatory draft for boys and girls (ages 18-26) starting June 15, 2005, is something that everyone should know about. This literally effects everyone since we all have or know children that will have to go if this bill passes.

There is pending legislation in the house and senate (companion bills: S89 and HR 163) which will time the program's initiation so the draft can begin as early as spring, 2005, just after the 2004 presidential election. The dministration is quietly trying to get these bills passed now, while the public's attention is on the elections, so our action on this is needed immediately. Details and links follow. This plan, among other things, eliminates higher education as a shelter and includes women in the draft. Also, crossing into Canada has already been made very difficult.

Actions: Please send this on to all the parents and teachers you know, and all the aunts and uncles, grandparents, godparents. . . And let your children know - - it's their future, and they can be a powerful voice for change! This legislation is called HR 163 and can be found in detail at this website: http://thomas.loc.gov/ Just enter in "HR 163" and click search and will bring up the bill for you to read. It is less than two pages long.

If this bill passes, it will include all men and ALL WOMEN from ages 18 - 26 in a draft for military action. In addition, college will no longer be an option for avoiding the draft and they will be signing an agreement with the Canada which will no longer permit anyone attempting to dodge the draft to stay within it's borders. This bill also includes the extension of military service for all those that are currently active. If you go to the select service web site and read their 2004 FYI Goals you will see that the reasoning for this is to increase the size of the military in case of terrorism. This is a critical piece of legislation, this will effect our undergraduates, our children and our grandchildren.

Please take the time to write your congressman and let them know how you feel about this legislation.

LINK www.senate.gov

Please also write to your representatives and ask them why they aren't telling their constituents about these bills and write to newspapers and other media outlets to ask them why they're not covering this important story.

The draft $28 million has been added to the 2004 selective service system budget to prepare for a military draft that could start as early as June 15, 2005. Selective service must report to Bush on March 31, 2005 that the system, which has lain dormant for decades, is ready for activation.

Please see www.sss.gov/perfplan_fy2004.html to view the Selective Service System annual performance plan, fiscal year 2004.

The pentagon has quietly begun a public campaign to fill all 10,350 draft board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide. Though this is an unpopular election year topic, military experts and influential members of congress are suggesting that if Rumsfeld's prediction of a "long, hard slog" in Iraq and Afghanistan (and permanent state of war on terrorism) proves accurate, the U.S. may have no choice but to draft.


entitled the Universal National service Act of 2003, "to provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons (age 18-26) in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes." These active bills currently sit in the committee on armed services. Dodging the draft will be more difficult than those from the Vietnam era.

College and Canada will not be options. In December, 200 1, Canada and the U.S. signed a "smart border declaration," which could be used to keep would-be draft dodgers in. Signed by Canada's minister of foreign affairs, John Manley, and U.S. Homeland Security director, Tom Ridge, the declaration involves a 30 point plan which implements, among other things, a "pre-clearance agreement" of people entering and departing each country. Reforms aimed at making the draft more equitable along gender and class lines also eliminates higher education as a shelter.

Underclassmen would only be able to postpone service until the end of their current semester. Seniors would have until the end of the academic year.

What to do:

Tell your friends, Contact your legislators and ask them to oppose these bill. Just type "congress" into the aol search engine and input your zip code. A list of your reps will pop up with a way to email them directly. We can't just sit and pretend that by ignoring it, it will go away. We must voice our concerns and create the world we want to live in for our children and grandchildren.

Lois Fundis finds comment spam on "One simple question" ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 01:38 AM:

Spam, spam, spam, spam...

"...they will be signing an agreement with the Canada which will no longer permit anyone attempting to dodge the draft to stay within it's borders."? Don't the Canadians get a say in whether or not they will sign this "agreement"?

Also, sprdnword, why did you putting an apostrophe in "it's" there?

And why in f**k, if there's ever a draft again, shouldn't women be drafted too? (Or be draft dodgers too, for that matter.) You don't think women can shoot guns? I said it 35 years ago when I was 19 and Vietnam was raging, and I'll say it now: if you're going to draft men, draft women too!

Oh, and most importantly: if you look at the Bill Status page at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:h.r.00163:
you'll see that there hasn't been any action on this bill since February of 2003 -- 19 months ago. (Twenty months -- since January 2003 -- in the Senate, when it was "referred to Committee", which is where bills go to die.) So unlax, pal. This bill's not going to pass in this Congress, which ends in January 2005 -- and probably not for a long time to come -- so there's not going to be any draft by June 2005.

Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 01:50 AM:

Oops. Sorry about "putting": bad edit job there. (First draft was "why are you putting".) And there are probably too many --'s.

I stand by the rest of it, though.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 08:31 AM:

However, it is in fact difficult to see how we can continue down our current path and provide for the actual defense of the United States without eventually resorting to a draft, probably sooner than later.

Selective Service boards have in fact been reactivated. And of course the "back-door draft" has been in operation for quite a while, as any serving military person can tell you.

Kai Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 10:12 AM:

Fine, then use those arguments. Don't try to whip up hysteria by using two bills that have been off the table for months, and that were introduced by Democrats.

I googled that house bill, and found the spam comment in those exact words on a bunch of blogs.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2004, 10:22 AM:

"Fine, then use those arguments. Don't try to whip up hysteria by using two bills that have been off the table for months, and that were introduced by Democrats."

Hi. I'm Patrick. My name wasn't "sprdnword" the last time I looked.

Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2004, 11:37 PM:

What's so heinous about women in the military?! ... Been there, done that, got the DD214....