You can see Z3’s flipout with Chris Matthews here. It’s heavily optimized, so the quality is kind of poor, but you can get a real feel for it…

Guest Commentary

In a conversation with my Twin Brother, Daviddog, this morning, he said to me “Dave Matthews band raw sewage dumping controversy, your thoughts?’

I muttered something about Very Bad Decision by a bus driver that will cost DMB a few million bucks, and DDog said:

“Inspiration for a class action suit by all DMB fans for years of being spewed with aural excrement.”


Saletan the Sniper

Bill Saletan writes at

Tonight the Republicans had a chance to explain why they shouldn’t be fired for these apparent screw-ups. Here’s what Cheney said about the economic situation: “People are returning to work. Mortgage rates are low, and home ownership in this country is at an all-time high. The Bush tax cuts are working.” But mortgage rates were low before Bush took office. Home ownership was already at an all-time high. And more than a million more people had jobs than have them today.

“In Iraq, we dealt with a gathering threat,” Cheney said. What about the urgent, nukes-any-day threat to the United States that supposedly warranted our expense of so much blood and treasure? Cheney was silent.

“A senator can be wrong for 20 years without consequence to the nation,” said Cheney. “But a president always casts the deciding vote.” What America needs in this time of peril, he argued, is “a president we can count on to get it right.”

You can’t make the case against Bush more plainly than that.

You really should read the whole article. It’s amazing.

Z3 on a Rampage

From this article at (Just get the day pass and quit yer bitchin’):

Maybe Zell Miller was just strung too tight following his wild-eyed attack on John Kerry Wednesday night. But following his primetime convention address he made the rounds on the cable TV circuit and stole the show — and not in a good way. Millerís speech was so over-the-top (he essentially questioned Kerryís loyalty to America), it prompted mild-mannered talking head David Gergen to compare Miller to racist demagogue Lester Maddox, while Timeís Joe Klein had to pick his jaw up off the ground before he could analyze it. But Miller’s post-speech cable performance was even more jaw-dropping, as he first badly fumbled questions from CNN anchors, then lost it with “Hardball’s” Chris Matthews, repeatedly challenging the MSNBC host to a duel and telling him to “shut up.”

From the NY Times;

Some Republicans are hoping that the rearrangement will also exorcise the ghost of Zell Miller, whose toxic speech Wednesday night left the party with a brutal hangover.

From Andrew Sullivan (no kidding!):

Then you see Zell Miller, his face rigid with anger, his eyes blazing with years of frustration as his Dixiecrat vision became slowly eclipsed among the Democrats. Remember who this man is: once a proud supporter of racial segregation, a man who lambasted LBJ for selling his soul to the negroes. His speech tonight was in this vein, a classic Dixiecrat speech, jammed with bald lies, straw men, and hateful rhetoric. As an immigrant to this country and as someone who has been to many Southern states and enjoyed astonishing hospitality and warmth and sophistication, I long dismissed some of the Northern stereotypes about the South. But Miller did his best to revive them. The man’s speech was not merely crude; it added whole universes to the word crude.

Last night was therefore a revealing night for me. I watched a Democrat convince me that I could never be a Republican. If they wheel out lying, angry bigots like this as their keynote, I’ll take Obama. Any day.

Howard Kurtz in the WaPo:

So much for trying to appeal to swing voters. The man accused by Democrats of being a Zellout did all his swinging at Kerry.

“I wonder if it was smart to have him out there in such a hot fashion,” said George Stephanopoulos.

“He looked angry,” said Mara Liasson.

“Miller went over the line into demagoguery,” said Mort Kondracke, by accusing the Dems of defaming American troops.

He really got kicked around on CNN. “I’ve never heard such an angry speech,” said Bill Schneider — even angrier, he said, than Pat Buchanan’s “culture war” address in ’92.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything as angry and ugly as Miller’s speech,” said Joe Klein.

The Wall Street Journal’s John Harwood said Miller “looked like a spouse at a divorce proceeding who says, ‘Oh yeah, she’s a child molester too.’ ”

The New York Times called it “a memorably brutal attack on Mr. Kerry and the Democratic Party.”

While I was Sleeping

I got six text messages from the Ruckus Society, though a couple of them were essentially updates of earlier messages. Here they are in order:

23:07: /Legal Support Update: Court ruled that those held for

I guess 100 Center Street is where people are being detained. I am sure that NYC Indymedia will have more.

Um… who was it that was the “Coalition of the Wild-Eyed” again?

Oh, man. Bile spewing abounded tonight in the Big (Red) Apple, innit?

Zigzag Zell actually challenged Chris Matthews to a FUCKING DUEL….

Probably the most incendiary moment in all of the television coverage of the Republican National Convention so far occurred shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday night, during a Chris Matthews interview with Senator Zell Miller on MSNBC, which started hot and then grew angry after a question about reporters and freedom the press.

“You’re hopeless,” Miller told Matthews, dead serious, speaking over a hook-up from Madison Square Garden, where he had earlier delivered the keynote address. “I wish I was with you there because I want to get in your face.” Then Miller said he wished they were back in the age when you could challenge someone to a duel. “I don’t know why I came on this program,” he added, amidst four minutes of heated exchanges.

God, it boggles the mind. And they were calling the DNC a hatefest.

$45 million buys a lot of reruns of Z3 with spit flying out of his mouth, representin’ his new buddies on the Right.

I feel like someone just poured champagne over my head.

Text Demonstration Alerts

I signed up with the Ruckus Society’s text messaging service so that I could get instant text messages updating me on where and when the next demonstrations were going to be. Kind of Flash Mobbing, exept that it’s not pointless. (heh- see below.)

So far I have gotten two. Here is the first one (it came in about 6pm):

Bush in Queens 8pm: Italian Soc’l Club- 8320 Queens Blvd. Sbwy G,R,V to Elmhurst or Grand. BE *PEACEFUL*AND*NON-VIOLENT*.

And here is the 2nd one that I got- it came in at about 7pm:

March on the Media: 52nd/6th, headed North- about 500 ppl strong!

I think that sounds amazing.

I love this system of organization. It’s brilliant, it’s cheap, and it takes advantage of a ubiquitous technology. Of course, anyone can sign on and receive updates. That includes whatever agents provacateurs or spook agency types want to fuck this up for everyone. The paranoid hacker guy in me wonders what would happen if the system was compromised by someone. (This kind of thinking apparently did not occur to the Protest Warriors, but we’ve discussed that.) But as long as it’s fast and it is only used until it breaks once, then it’s just right for what is needed in NYC tonight.

Ideological Incoherence

My opinions differ radically (that choice of words is not accidental) from those of Matt “Bruschetta” Yglesias about the necessity and utility of demonstrations. There are a lot of young democrats yip-yapping about how these demonstrations would be great if it weren’t for all the hippie freaks that show up for them. (Unlike, y’know, those incredibly focused and ideologically coherent demonstrations of the 1960s.) I don’t blame these guys- they’re Clinton Democrats and they are all younger than 30, god bless ’em, and they just want to win so bad, they are willing to march in lock step and do the Talking Points and all that. Me, I dig hyper-plurality. I like my zeitgeist BROAD. (Emma Goldman once famously said “If I can’t dance, then I don’t want to be a part of your revolution.” I firmly endorse that sentiment.) When I turn up in the streets to march for peace, or justice or against homelessness, I want to see Anarchists and Radical Feminists, and Black Muslims, and the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, and Liberation Theologists, and the Animal Rights kooks and yes, even some Young Democrats in their khakis and matching t-shirts… It should be a carnival. Whenever I see a demonstration that snakes out for miles in each direction, and there are people dressed in crazy outfits, or all in black, and people in Gay Pride t-shirts, and people that speak Spanish and people that speak Southern, and guys with dreadlocks or fuzzy-legged girls, I think…

Look at us. Low how MANY of us there are.

There are so many more of US than there are of THEM. And by “us,” I mean the people that will turn up to march for their fellow man. If that person is homeless, or was just made homeless (and an orphan) by a hail of high-explosives, or there is a person that is unjustly imprisoned, or just wants to be able to see a doctor about women’s issues without having some fundamentalist hack breathing down her neck- WE, the “US” I am talking about, are willing to give up our Sunday in front of the TV and come downtown, and walk in the sun or the rain or the snow, or whatever, and say “Count us in. We think this is wrong. We’re prepared to do something about it.”

And by “Them” I mean those that would just as soon take whatever meager possessions one has, or to limit our freedoms, or to send young men and women overseas to die for some random bullshit. They never marched for a damn thing in their lives. “They” have people that they can get on the phone in the State Department. “They” don’t need to march.

As I said in the comments over at Pandagon (still one of my top three favorite blogs, even if I think that Ezra is a little short-sighted on this one):

Man, you guys need to brush up on your dissident qualifications… Just because you don’t dig the fact that folks are showing up in something other than khakis and haircuts like the guys on ‘Friends’ doesn’t mean that they aren’t (at least on some nominal level) your political allies.

This Manichean approach to electoral politics is what fragmented the Dems in the nineties. The “Freaks” at Indymedia may not seem like the folks you want to have sleeping in your mom’s guest room, but you gotta give credit where credit is due- they are the folks that are willing to come off the couch and march down the center of NYC on a sweltering day. They are the folks that are publishing maps and schedules on the internet so everyone knows where to go and when.

These poltical freaks that you deride carry water for the opposition to corporatists and statist power when the “Good Guys” are in the White House. Not everybody thought Clinton was the Greatest President Ever. With NAFTA and “welfare reform” under his belt, for some folks he was the lesser of two evils. (Much lesser, granted. But still, in some folks’ minds we can do better.)

Pluralism is a good thing.

Malaise? What Malaise?

This is interesting- over at Daily Kos there are some poll numbers on the election that belie what I was reading on CNN yesterday (you know, Kerry is finished, the campaign is dead in the water, etc):

Likely voters
Bush Kerry Date
ABC 49 49 8/29
Time 46 46 8/26
FOX 44 45 8/25
Gallup 50 47 8/25
NPR 45 50 8/24

Registered Voters
Bush Kerry Date
ABC 48 49 8/29
Gallup 47 48 8/25
LA 49 46 8/24
CSM 44 44 8/23

Gosh, if those are the poll numbers that everyone is so worked up about, tell the circular firing squad to stand down. And Josh Marshall has a message for the doom and gloom crowd: “All I can say is, really, really, shut up and calm down.”

: : P.S.- apologies for the complete un-formatting of the data up there. You should see what MT does to tables when you code them in. It was ugly. Fortunately, there’s a button that says “Preview,” which allows me to see just how BAD it’s gonna look before it looks that way to you nice folks.

: : P.P.S.- Dave rightly points out in the comments that these numbers do not reflect electoral college votes, and that the spread there is towards Bush by a few percentage points, HOWEVER, it should be pointed out that 1. the percentages of the popular vote show being so close shows that plenty of those electoral college votes are still in play, and 2. Some TV stations in some swing states are about to get VERY rich, to the tune of a $45 million ad buy by the Kerry Campaign. So. As I said, tell the circular firing squad to stand down.