Monthly Archives: July 2004

ann coulter

Wow, this woman is quite a piece of work. I was interested to see the Democratic National Convention column she wrote that made USA Today cancel on her (USA Today’s edited version). Without thinking about it very much to begin with, I assumed there would be some of her over-the-top hateful characterizations, but I guess I also expected some actual political analysis. Nope. Her points: Democrats hate cops except for right now; Democratic women are ugly and I am pretty; Democratic leaders are nuts as are those who protest against them. That’s about as intellectual as it gets.

Alas, this reminds me of when I get hate mail regarding the feminist sf website. It’s always surprising to see how full of hot air the senders are, and how little substance they have. No logic, no actual substantive points, and often a significant lack of education.

Ann Coulter represents the first two pretty clearly. As for the third, I’ll take writing style as a demonstration of education and intelligence. Her writing style seems like some kind of attempt to be Hunter S. Thompson — the wacky journalist who takes pride in being wacky. Calculated? I can only suppose.

And, here goes — I just couldn’t resist. This woman goes on and on about ‘pretty girls’ — clearly identifying herself as one.

Here at the Spawn of Satan convention in Boston, conservatives are deploying a series of covert signals to identify one another, much like gay men do. My allies are the ones wearing crosses or American flags. The people sporting shirts emblazened with the “F-word” are my opponents. Also, as always, the pretty girls and cops are on my side, most of them barely able to conceal their eye-rolling.

and a little later:

As for the pretty girls, I can only guess that it’s because liberal boys never try to make a move on you without the UN Security Council’s approval. Plus, it’s no fun riding around in those dinky little hybrid cars. My pretty-girl allies stick out like a sore thumb amongst the corn-fed, no make-up, natural fiber, no-bra needing, sandal-wearing, hirsute, somewhat fragrant hippie chick pie wagons they call “women” at the Democratic National Convention.

Since she brought it up, I think I’m just going to be crass here and take her up on the challenge. Now, my own standards of beauty are, no doubt, not hers. But by the way she talks, she seems to have adopted a pretty mainstream standard of “beauty”. So it must be sad to her to not really meet that standard: her face is really long and not very “feminine”. Her blondeness looks like the cheap out-of-a-bottle variety. Luckily for her, I guess, most folks are actually pretty forgiving, and will accept what they think of as a good show (bleaching hair, making up) even if there’s not actually, say, classical beauty underneath. So is it this defensiveness on her part that drives her to these inane and irrelevant attacks? It’s almost a classic defensive posture: attack someone else on the grounds you feel vulnerable on, to steer the attacks away from yourself. Looks pathological to me.

(Plus her website is really slow to load. Get a new server, Ann!)

where do you get your news?

this question was recently posed on the Mallet list [a group of mostly alums of a UofA student group]. of those who wrote in i was fairly shocked by the limited sources. one person said he really only got his news from the drudge report, remarking somewhat defensively that he knew some of us would say that explains a lot, but that the drudge report really was an excellent gateway to lots of information, plus some useful reporting.

i was thinking about that as i read about the drudge report’s recent ‘reporting’ of (impliedly unseemly) physical affection between kerry & edwards.

Drudge’s report says:


Hugs, kisses to the cheek, affectionate touching of the face, caressing of the back, grabbing of the arm, fingers to the neck, rubbing of the knees…

John Kerry and John Edwards can’t keep their hands off each other!

In the past 48 hours, “candidate handling” has become the top buzz on the trail.

News photographers have been going wild with photos of the two Johns.

“I’ve been covering Washington and politics for 30 years. I can say I’ve never seen this much touching between two men, publicly,” e-mailed one wire photographer.

When asked if the Johns are acting out a cynical focus group series of poses — perhaps to show warmth to the chilly Bush/Cheney — a Kerry spokesperson explained: “I think we’re just seeing genuine affection between them.”

But the spokesperson added, “I hope we do not see them wearing matching outfits when they ride bikes this weekend.”


basically, drudge showed a lot of pictures of kerry & edwards doing victory hands-over-head kind of things, patting each other on the shoulders, etc., and threw in some strange innuendos about homoeroticism. is there any explanation other than homophobia for this? or more correctly, any explanation other than an attempt to play on right-wing homophobia? disgusting.

this made me think about where do i get my media from? in an ordinary week, when i’m checking the news pretty regularly, my news diet looks like this:

  •,,, (daily)
  • a wide variety of ip/info/tech/geek news, including politech, lots of listserv delivery of newsletters (daily)
  •,,; local NPR, local pacifica, (2-4x/week)
  •, drudge report online, local xtian news radio station, right-wing talk radio (michael savage mostly),, (2-4x/month)
  • various topical blogs, e.g., baghdad burning (looking up blogs 2-3x/week & reading new posts)

Lesser Evil | Right Hook, 2004-07-07

Jacob Levy, a political science professor at the University of Chicago and contributor to the Volokh Conspiracy blog, argued in May that the Bush camp was in “bafflingly deep denial” about losing Libertarian swing voters in ’04. He says that Edwards for veep makes the Kerry ticket a lock for him, in light of the Bush administration’s exceptional incompetence in policymaking. (Note to New York Post: Levy also says that a Gephardt pick would’ve been a Kerry deal-breaker for him.)

“This is really the first presidential race of my adult life in which I’ve had a very strong commitment about which major-party candidate was the lesser evil. I’ve had leanings in previous races, but they were uncertain, and typically mitigated by a sense that both major-party candidates had crossed some threshold of unacceptability. This time, it seems very clear to me that the Bush Administration has failed basic tests of competence in policymaking and execution, and of trusteeship of long-term interests like alliances and trade negotiations and moral credibility. I expect to dislike an awful lot of John Kerry’s policies. But I don’t expect that kind of failure of the basic responsibilities of the office. Four or eight or twelve years ago, I guess I wouldn’t have known how important I found those considerations, as I hadn’t seen a president who had failed along those dimensions. Now I have, and I do.”

Old News: Did Nader Cost Gore the Election?

Many of us who are frustrated & upset that Bush was appointed president in 2000 have a particular outlet for their frustration: Nader’s 2000 campaign and the folks who voted for him, particularly those thousands in Florida.

I have little patience with this, and since those frustrations are still being aired today, I’m aiming to keep a little list of just why, exactly, Bush was appointed president, and why Gore wasn’t. (And if you want to think about who to blame, blame these folks.)

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