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Monday, September 20, 2004

Julie and I went to the L.A. County Fair yesterday. We didn't go for fun (which was lucky), but because Julie, a Master Gardener, was giving a series of lectures.

Maybe I'll expand on the experience later, but I'm working on a screenplay for a short film right now and don't have the time. However, I did come up with a succinct summary that I wanted to write down and figured I might as well write it down here as anywhere.

Here it is:

Going to the L.A. County Fair is like watching television when there's nothing on: An onslaught of commercials and infomercials, interrupted by mediocre entertainment much of which will make you physically sick.

Back to work now.

Friday, September 17, 2004

I was delighted to hear that John Kerry has fired his campaign advisers and put some hard-hitters on staff, particularly James Carville who already has one successful anti-Bush campaign to his credit.

Since we gave them money, we receive regular mailings from the Democratic National Committee asking for more. One mailing really pissed off my wife Julie. She opened up the oversized envelope to find a full color photograph of Kerry and Edwards.

"What do I want this for?" she wailed. "What am I supposed to do with this, frame it and put it on my desk? Why are they wasting my money on this shit? Why don't they send me a bumper sticker or something I can use?"

For months, now, we've been receiving the feel-good message from Kerry, the moderate opinions, and he's been treating Bush with kid gloves. Mustn't ruffle the feathers of those Undecideds, after all. Moderation in all things, and throw in a few waffles for bulk. Then Bush and Cheney let him have it full force, sending in the Swift Boat Veterans to do a hatchet job, and letting loose Mad Dog Zell Miller to crunch the bones.

The Republicans fight hard and dirty and deliver a simple--even simplistic--message that the average American moron can understand. Bush strikes an Everyman figure in his blue shirt with rolled-up sleeves, speaking plainly and sincerely and strongly to the people, while Kerry stands there in his suit and tie weaseling around about his vote to give Bush the power to wage war on Iraq.

Finally, Kerry is getting the message that he isn't running for student council president, but President of the United States. He has to play to win, and that means taking the hardest line against Bush that he can conscionably muster...and crossing over it. Maybe Carville will provide the kick in the pants Kerry needs to fight back.

***

It appears that the election may be won or lost in the rural areas of certain swing states.

Which brings a quote from Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles to mind:

The Waco Kid (Gene Wilder):"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons."

Something to keep in mind, Mr. Kerry, when you're behind the podium delivering your stump speech.



Tuesday, September 07, 2004

If John Kerry doesn't lose in November, it won't be for lack of trying.

Let's begin with his biggest mistake: Not owning up to his biggest mistake. He voted to give George W. Bush the power to singlehandedly declare war on Iraq. Mistake. It was a mistake almost everyone in Congress made. Bush lied about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. He lied about Iraq posing an imminent threat, he lied about Saddan Hussein's connection with al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. He lied about how he would put together a coalition to conduct the war.

Kerry and the other Congressmen were snookered. They cast votes made on egregious misrepresentations. But now, accused of waffling, Kerry finds it impossible to say, "That was a mistake. We were lied to and taken in by George W. Bush. If I had it to do over, I'd have voted against it." Give the average American voter a simple concept he/she can grasp handily and forget the nuances, the subtle distinctions, the...yes...waffling.

How about hitting voters with some facts, Mr. Kerry? How about pointing out that more than a million U.S. corporations and individuals have registered as citizens of Bermuda to avoid paying taxes, including Bush-buddy Enron which had 881 offshore subsidiaries and paid no income tax in four out of the five years 1996-2000, despite posting profits of $1.785 billion dollars.

"That's right, folks," Kerry could say. "If you paid a single penny of income tax in 1996, 1998, 1999, or 2000, you paid more than a corporation that made more than a billion-and-a-half dollars in profit."

He might also point out that when Dick Cheney was in charge of Halliburton, they registered 39 new subsidiaries with offshore tax havens, reducing Halliburton's income taxes from $302 million in 1998 to absolutely zip in 1999.

At this point he'd want to point out that he doesn't think this is right, and that'd he work to close the tax loopholes that make it possible.

Maybe he's saying all these things already and they just aren't getting relayed to us as sound bites. That could be, since his speaking style is so off-putting.

Bush and Cheney come across as very sincere, even to those who don't understand English, even when they're lying through their teeth.

Kerry, on the other hand, yells from the podium like, well, a politician. He acts as if he's Teddy Roosevelt on a whistlestop, screaming to the people in the back row.

John: We have microphones now! You don't need to yell. You are very effective when you seem to be speaking to individuals, not preaching to a crowd. Use your indoor voice, even when you're outdoors. Nobody likes a screamer.

Then there are some little things. One that comes to mind is yard signs. When I helped to conduct political campaigns (mainly state-level offices) we called all around to find people who would put candidate signs in their yards. When we found a willing cohort, we rushed out and stuck a sign in his yard before he changed his mind.

What if you live in California...say, on a street in Los Angeles that carries 16,000 cars per day past your house...and you want to stick a Kerry/Edwards sign in your front yard? So you call the Kerry/Edwards office to find out about yard signs, and what do you get? You get referred to a website that will sell you one for $3.50 plus shipping.

Are we sure this guy really wants to get elected?

I'm beginning to wonder.



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