Saturday, October 23, 2004

"Selective Amnesia" is more like it

Pres. Bush's new campaign phrase (10 days left and he is trying out new material - why does that seem desperate?) is "Election Amnesia", claiming Kerry has had evolving opinions on Iraq.

Without even getting to the veracity of the statement (CNB does not even care at this point -- aren't you exhausted, too?), CNB finds it amazing that the guy who somehow gets to redefine his reason for leading the U.S. into war (not to mention his debate quotes) has the audacity to criticize anyone for changing positions.

FAIR even says that the news organizations are overdoing it trying to find an equal number of inaccurate statements from each side -- what they term "false balance". This makes CNB feel better about taking more jabs at Bush, simply because he provides more material.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to the CNB. This is an improvement, in case you were unaware.

Sorry, I should have told you to sit down first.

Bush Signs Tax Cut Bill -- Do We Act Surprised?

"With no fanfare" President Bush on Friday signed the most sweeping rewrite of corporate tax law in nearly two decades, showering $136 billion in new tax breaks on businesses, farmers and other groups. " Supporters argued that the tax relief for multinational corporations would boost the competitiveness of U.S. companies, but opponents argued that it would simply provide more tax benefits to support the movement of U. S. jobs overseas.

Pres. Bush might be right, in that this is something that will help manufacturers. (Doesn't this sound like "trickle-down economics"??) However, why no ceremony for the bill-signing, like there was for the one he signed in Iowa earlier in the month?

Is it because the bill includes a $10 billion industry-financed buyout for tobacco farmers? Is it because there is a "one-year tax holiday" for multinational corporations (ostensibly to "allow them to return billions of dollars in profits to the United States at a dramatically lower 5.25 percent rate instead of the normal 35 percent top corporate rate")? Is it because Bush's own Treasury Secretary John Snow derided it as helping "myriad special interests"?

CNB Grammar Geek -- "Feel Badly v. Feel Bad"

As the millions of CNB readers know, CNB usually has some political, nearly exclusively presidential, entry. This entry, however, is a public service to the English language from the CNB Grammar Geek.

If you use the phrase "I feel badly" to describe sympathy, shame, or some other related emotion, please understand that you really mean to say "I feel bad." I know, I know -- you use adverbs to modify verbs (see, I told you this was from a geek). However, please note that you are not modifying an action verb (the act of using your hands to feel), you are describing your physical/emotional state. For example, you "feel bad" that the Cubs had a crappy season, but you "feel badly" after the seventeen beers you drank to drown your sorrows. An easy analogy: you "feel sad", you don't "feel sadly." [for the geeks noting that CNB put punctuation both inside and outside quotation marks in that sentence -- find your fix on that issue here]

Some find the "feel badly" use acceptable, likening it to "I feel strongly on the issue" (which CNB thinks is a worse analogy than CNB's sad/sadly example, if for no other reason than ego). Other grammarians point out that "feel badly" is so widely used, that it is now accepted, in a way that any modification of the word "unique" appears to be acceptable.

Fine. Kill the English language. CNB thinks we need a few grammar rules to remain before text-messaging, IMing, and those damned blogs (irony lost) put us in a place where "U R Kewl" suffices as an alternative wedding vow.

I know that many don't care about this issue (what with elections and all), but "nukular" and "idear" are not the only language atrocities being committed.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

More stuff on Marion "Pat" Robertson

As noted by the CNB yesterday, televangelist Marion "Pat" Robertson told Paula Zahn on CNN about a conversation he had with Pres. Bush prior to the invasion of Iraq in early 2003. According to Robertson, Bush told Robertson that "we're not going to have any casualties."

Now, White House and Bush campaign advisers are denying that Pres. Bush made the comment. Uberadviser Karen Hughes said, "I don't believe that happened. He must have misunderstood or misheard it." CNB notes that this comes from the adviser for the candidate who frequently and indignantly denies saying things (or getting money from a timber company), until or videotape comes out proving him wrong. Thus, CNB will reserve judgment at this time.

On a semi-related note, Robertson told viewers during his "700 Club" TV program in January 2004 that God had told him Bush would win re-election in a "blowout." In his recent CNN interview, Robertson said he believes Bush will win by a "razor-thin" margin, but by a substantial Electoral College victory. CNB does not know if God was wrong, Robertson heard God wrong, or Robertson (as suggested by Rev. Barry Lynn) actually heard the voice of Karl Rove in January.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Okay, Maybe THIS is the Worst Endorsement Ever

Even with Marion "Pat" Robertson's puzzling endorsement of George W. Bush, the endorsement of W by Iran (charter member of the Axis of Evil) probably wins as the worst presidential endorsement. Yesterday, the head of Iran's security council said that the re-election of President Bush was in Tehran's best interests. "We should not forget that most sanctions and economic pressures were imposed on Iran during the time of [former Democratic U.S. President Bill] Clinton," said Hasan Rowhani, head of the Supreme National Security Council. "And we should not forget that during Bush's era -- despite his hard-line and baseless rhetoric against Iran -- he didn't take, in practical terms, any dangerous action against Iran."

In light of this, CNB wonders if this is why Cheney strongly implied (CNB is feeling generous) that the the endorsement of Kerry gave the U.S. a stronger likelihood of suffering a terrorist attack. Deep down, maybe he knew that Iran liked his boss better. Is that good?

Pat Robertson Provides Worst Endorsement EVER

Marion "Pat" Robertson, noted televangelist, publicly stated that, before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, he informed Pres. Bush that he "had better prepare the American people for casualties" in Iraq ("the Lord told me it was going to be A, a disaster, and B, messy"). According to Mr. Robertson, the president responded, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties." Mr. Robertson went on to state that said he wishes Pres. Bush would "admit to mistakes that he has made", but then notes that he supports Bush in his bid for reelection, as "the blessing of heaven is on Bush."

CNB wonders:
  1. If Pres. Bush is thinking "Thanks, Pat. Get off my side."
  2. Why Pres. Bush, with his noted direct pipeline to God, did not see this coming. Possibly Mr. Robertson got faulty information, which is why Pres. Bush felt free to disregard advice allegedly coming from the Almighty? (Bush should know all about faulty information)
  3. If this is proof that that polytheists are correct, and Pat and Georgieboy are simply talking to different deities?

In any event, this is the worst endorsement of a candidate since Kerry Haters for Kerry.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Garbled Crap -- Buncha stuff bugging me

Sorry for no new post yesterday (believe it or not, the CNB actually has readers). Sick kid and work doings took over. However, in light of the loyal CNB readers, CNB promises to post new content each and every weekday for you to read and immediately forget -- with the election coming up, likely weekends as well. Anyhoo, back to the usual load of crap . . .

  1. For the second time in a week, Pres. Bush gave what his folks told the press would be a "major policy speech" on terrorism, which would merit television coverage, in that he is the President and we all want to know what major policies he has. However, as he did last week, he made his normal stump speech with NO NEW POLICY ANNOUNCEMENTS, although this time he delivered more pointed attacks on Kerry, and, just like last week, it was broadcast live on the cable news networks. Georgieboy: you can't do that. By now, one would think you would understand that misleading people is a lousy way to get them to trust you (then again, the polls seem to refute that statement). Media: -- you can't let him keep doing that without calling him on it (and that means somewhere other that Slate). You'd think Bill O'Reilly and the Jon Stewart-Tucker Carlson donnybrook would keep you guys busy enough.
  2. No more stuff about Mary Cheney. None. She's gay - we all know, and we all ALREADY KNEW. Maybe Kerry should not have mentioned her (nice work, dumbass - way to ride that momentum), but this in no way merited this much discussion.
  3. Uncle on all the polls. There are all sorts of polls: CNN/USA Today/Gallup, a conglomeration that only seems to be missing Disney as a partner; Zogby; Newsweek; Time, which one would logically presume would be partnered with its corportate sibling CNN; the AP, and, of course, the BCS. The problem is, there is no clear answer among them. Maybe the problem is that there really is a 50/50 split in the country over the candidates, maybe it is that they only poll 500 people at a time and then attempt to extrapolate that to a country with a population inching toward 300 million. Whatever the case, they have to stop, or at least my addiction to them has to be curbed.
  4. You don't get to endorse a candidate by copying his talking points. The Chicago Tribune, to which CNB subcribes, endorsed Pres. Bush on Sunday. That is all well and good, although I don't know that I care who a paper likes or doesn't, and the Trib Editorial Board is free to endorse. However, they do not get to parrot the candidate's campaign slogans, which is what the Trib did -- one example: "But for his resoluteness on the defining challenge of our age--a resoluteness John Kerry has not been able to demonstrate--the Chicago Tribune urges the re-election of George W. Bush as president of the United States." Everyone in Chicago knows that the Trib is conservative, but this is not about the paper's ideological leanings. Rather, this is a criticism of intellectual laziness by a usually-respected newspaper -- they even crib the Bush campaign notes on stuff like the $87 billion vote and his alleged plan to pull all US troops out of Iraq. David Corn does a good dissection of it here.

Sorry for the stuff that's been bugging me today. Better content will follow. In the words of Dan Rather: "Courage."