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I voted early this afternoon, and didn't have to wait long, as luck would have it. For the past few minutes, I've been slapping the candidate. I must say, it's fun in a futile way.

Ten Cuidado del Nombre Bush

Watch it now. Via Ampersand. (I'm going to have this song in my head all day!)

The White House Has Disinvited the Poets

I posted this poem a while back, but as the election nears, I believe the blogosphere (especially the undecided voters) ought to have a second look at it. Upon hearing that Laura Bush cancelled a tea for poets after hearing that some of them planned to protest the war in Iraq, Julia Alvarez wrote:

The White House has disinvited the poets

to a cultural tea in honor of poetry

after the Secret Service got wind of a plot

to fill Mrs. Bush’s ears with anti-war verse.

Were they afraid the poets might persuade

a sensitive girl who always loved to read,

a librarian who stocked the shelves with Poe

and Dickinson? Or was she herself afraid

to be swayed by the cooing doves, and live at odds

with the screaming hawks in her family?

The Latina maids are putting away the cups

and the silver spoons, sad to be missing out

on música they seldom get to hear

in the hallowed halls. . . The valet sighs

as he rolls the carpets up and dusts the blinds.

Damn but a little Langston would be good

in this dreary mausoleum of a place!

Why does the White House have to be so white?

The chef from Baton Rouge is starved for verse

uncensored by Homeland Security.


Instead the rooms are vacuumed and set up

for closed-door meetings planning an attack

against the ones who always bear the brunt

of silencing: the poor, the powerless,

the ones who serve, those bearing poems, not arms.

So why be afraid of us, Mrs. Bush?

you’re married to a scarier fellow.

We bring you tidings of great joy—

not only peace but poetry on earth.

An Open Letter to the American People from S3FP

A group of foreign policy specialists (mostly academics, some of whose names I recognize, including Henry Farrell of Crooked Timber and Wendy Brown) have issued a collective statement critiquing the Bush Administration's foreign policy:

We, a nonpartisan group of foreign affairs specialists, have joined together to call urgently for a change of course in American foreign and national security policy. We judge that the current American policy centered around the war in Iraq is the most misguided one since the Vietnam period, one which harms the cause of the struggle against extreme Islamist terrorists. One result has been a great distortion in the terms of public debate on foreign and national security policy—an emphasis on speculation instead of facts, on mythology instead of calculation, and on misplaced moralizing over considerations of national interest. [1] We write to challenge some of these distortions.

Read the whole thing. Much of the critique is similar to what Kerry's been discussing in the debates: lack of prewar planning, going to war without proof that Saddam Hussein had WMD, etc., but the letter goes into a little more detail about conditions in Iraq now and the U.S.'s international reputation.

Is anyone else watching this?!

:jawdrop: Wonkette describes Bush as "in semi-hysterics." Indeed! Jeebus, let Charles Gibson talk, why dontcha? Bush is falling apart; it hurts to watch. In comparison, Kerry is making me want to stand up and cheer.

UPDATE: Yes! I'm so glad Gibson picked the question about the environment. The environment has seemed conspicuously absent from the election rhetoric.

Blogging: The Tipping Point?

I watched the debate, of course, and am now watching the postgame show, eagerly anticipating NBC's interview of two of the most prominent political bloggers (if it's anyone other than Atrios and Glenn Reynolds, I'll be surprised. Okay, I'm surprised. As I type, they announced that it's Power Line Blog and Wonkette, which are both loading very slowly right now.). I expect that Tom Brokaw will at some point explain what a blog is (check), and hopefully he'll allude to that "political jihad" metaphor (guess not). I'm wondering: Is this the tipping point? Is this report going to cause an influx of new blogs or a spike in blog reading? Has blogging been blown wide open?

In other news, see Josh Marshall's pre-debate post, Wonkette's running commentary, and the VP debate drinking game.

Quick Debate Post

I just have to say, eight minutes into the debates, and people who are playing the Debate Drinking Game must already be plastered.

UPDATE: Bush keeps saying that if Iraq is free, the United States and the rest of the world will be a safer place. I'm not trying to say some places wouldn't be safer (take Kuwait for example), and I'm certainly not saying I don't think Iraq should be free, but still, I wish Bush would be specific and flesh out that cause/effect relationship. :?

ANOTHER UPDATE: See (and vote in) the MSNBC poll on who performed better in the debates. Now back to the "Truth Squad." Oh, and see the CNN poll results.

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