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October 2004 Archives

October 31, 2004

Political Turf Wars Part 2: The indelible endorsement

We've mentioned the rampant political grafitti speculating on Osama's voting preferences before, although Osama himself doesn't seem too hot on either either candidate.

But pink spray-paint is one thing, and newly-laid sidewalks are quite another. It looks like both our "Osama Votes Kerry" and "Vote Kerry" street teams happened upon this piece of wet cement around the same time. Yes, well into the next few presidential elections, it will still be clear to the people of Brooklyn that "The Bush Regime Engineered 9/11".

political sidewalk graffiti

Fake America: Ashlee vs. Eminem +

eminem and ashlee

It's a sad commentary on the state of music in America when in October 2004, one of America's hottest stars, promoting a new album, shows up on the program, and -- rather than dazzling the audience with passion and talent -- relies on a backing vocal track, and then even screws up the lip-synching, destroying whatever small illusion of authenticity there may have been in the first place.

Two weeks in a row.

This week's perpetrator: Eminem. You might have expected Eminem, who earned his reputation as a brash wise-ass, to have used his appearance on SNL this week to satirically eviscerate Ashlee Simpson for her inauthenticity and lack of artistic courage. Instead, he followed in her footsteps.

Eminem was clearly using a back-up vocal track during his rendition of "Mosh," and he even dropped the mike to waist level and stopped moving his lips while his voice, mysteriously, continued to emanate from the speakers. Sound familiar?

Here is a video clip that shows this clearly. [6 secs, 1mb] The clip highlights a single moment when it was blatant, but it was evident throughout the song what was going on.

In his second "performance" later in the show, Em relied less on the the backing track, but it was clearly present, especially during the more "lyrical" moments of the song.

Something is wrong when rappers need guide tracks. But maybe more importantly, something is wrong when an artist regarded as both an iconoclast and an authentic talent shows up on a show a week after the most fraudulent pop music moment in a decade, and, essentially, perpetrates the same fraud, in only a mildly less obvious way.

Will anyone hold him accountable? No. Will the forums on his website be overrun by outraged viewers? No. Why? Because he's a rapper and not a "real singer"? Because he's already earned his reputation as cool? Because he made a slightly more convincing attempt to half-heartedly "sing" alongside the track?

If nothing else, you used to be able to turn to Saturday Night Live for some decent live music: Neil Young, Beastie Boys, Nirvana, and Run DMC all delivered memorable performances on the show, performances that were notable for their authenticity and their energy. Over the last few years, though, SNL has yielded it's status as an oasis for good, live music on broadcast television.

Look, I know fakeness and the music industry go hand-in-hand, and have done so for as long as pretty much anyone can remember, but my point is two-fold: SNL used to be an escape from all of that, and Ashlee Simpson, of all people, should not be held to a higher standard than Eminem, just because his DJ pushed the right button.

Update (11/1/2004): The WENN gossip service has picked up the story. -ADM

What makes this fall from grace even worse for Eminem is his own personal history with amazing live performances on SNL. Five years ago, in October 1999, he appeared with Dr. Dre and performed the incredibly-hyper-fast chorus of "Forgot About Dre" from Dre's 2001 album (photos here). When the guy who is touted as the world's best rapper starts lip-synching on live TV, it's like a club just throwing on a mix CD instead of hiring an actual DJ. -Amy

October 29, 2004

October Surprise

SNL producer marci klein

Here's a helpful tip from Amy's Robot: If you're going to behave like a jackass on Saturday Night Live, please make sure that someone like....oh, I don't know, say Lesley Stahl of "60 Minutes", isn't there filming a special report.

This glorious backstage footage [6mb] of the entire Ashlee Simpson debacle airs on CBS this Sunday, my friends. Happy Halloween!

Above: SNL Producer Marci Klein officially losing her shit.

October 28, 2004

Red Sox Win World Series; New England Celebrates, Suffers Immediate Identity Crisis

red sox win world series

New England Catholics, especially, will have to ask themselves, "Now what are we supposed to suffer for?"

AXT predicts: we'll all become Unitarians.

Continue reading "Red Sox Win World Series; New England Celebrates, Suffers Immediate Identity Crisis" »

October 27, 2004

Ostrich Politics

Note: This post uses strong language.

After a few days of head-in-the sand tactics, Bush is finally addressing the "Oh, we’re not really missing a shitload of explosives in Iraq" issue in his usual thoughtful manner:

"Our military is now investigating a number of possible scenarios, including that the explosives may have been moved before our troops even arrived at the site," Mr. Bush told a Republican crowd in Lancaster, Pa. "This investigation is important and it's ongoing, and a political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your commander in chief."

Kerry is JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS? Are you FUCKING kidding me? Are you KIDDING me? How about the "possible scenario" that the U.N. had identified and tagged these weapons, and then you totally FUCKED UP and left them unguarded? How about the "possible scenario" that those are the same explosives that are killing American and Iraqi soldiers RIGHT NOW? How about me just being fucking sick of this American psychosis of handing weapons to people who want to kill us with them?

Who are these people? Do they think we’re morons? For christ's sake, George, even your BFF Prime Minister Allawi is accusing the U.S. of gross negligence in Iraq. And if you’re going to be all cavalierly "oh, we can’t remember where we left the explosives, but I’m sure they’re around here somewhere..." then maybe your team should stop using the "terrorists are smuggling weapons into U.S. cities to kill your family" line of reasoning. Because eventually, people will start making the connection about where those weapons are coming from.

Your Election Pep Talk for the Day

There's been a lot of noise this year about youth activism, but the kids aren't the only people working hard. I'd like to take a moment to thank some of the, shall we say, more "experienced" voters donating their energy to this campaign:

  • My dad and stepmother, who have been calling, canvassing, and hosting out-of-state volunteers in their home.
  • Another Emily, a lawyer who has volunteered to monitor polls in Florida.
  • Another Emily’s dad and his friend Lenny, both retired public school teachers who are coming to Pennsylvania with me next Tuesday.
  • Mark’s dad, a retired lawyer who is another Florida poll monitor. Mark’s mom is going with him to drive voters to the polls. (Incidentally, Mark's mom ran the New York City marathon for the first time when she was 67.)

So what are you waiting for? With the election less than a week away, you can still join a bus trip or make phone calls. Hell, you can even be a poll worker on Election Day! The best way to ensure every vote is counted is by providing adequately staffed polling places -– and there’s a severe shortage of workers this year. Call the Election Assistance Commission and volunteer.

October 24, 2004

Amy's Robot Election Predictor 2004

Who do you think will win the election? And by how much?

Well, Amy's Robot is offering you the chance to go on the record with your prediction. Use the form below to enter your prediction for the popular and electoral votes, and then cross your fingers and bite your nails until November 2, when you'll find out who won the presidency, and -- more importantly -- who wins the special prizes for "Most Accurate Prognosticator" from Amy's Robot.

Your guess will instantly be posted on our site, where it can be compared to other predictions and aggregate statistics.

You can also see what others have predicted so far.

Ok, enter your bets!

As of 11/2, predictions are closed!

*Your name:

*Your email:
(Will be confirmed, but won't be used for spam or made public.)

Your website:

Percentage of popular vote:



Electoral Votes (optional)

Out of 538 total; 270 needed to win



Ashlee Simpson has a Milli Vanilli moment on SNL

ashlee simpson

ashlee simpson

You knew it was going to happen sometime, to somebody.

Ashlee Simpson performed -- or simulated a performance -- on Saturday Night Live last night. But as she began her second song, it was immediately clear something was wrong: a taped soundtrack was playing the same song ("Pieces of Me") she performed earlier in the evening -- along with her taped voice. All was revealed. She started to dance awkwardly, then got confused, then tried dancing again, then shuffled off stage.

SNL cut to a still photo of Jude Law, and then to a commercial. When they came back, they showed a video short ("Bear City"), followed by a skit, followed by another video short, and then the show ended. Ashlee stood next to Jude at the end, and apologized, saying, "My band started playing the wrong song, and I didn't know what to do, so I thought I'd do a hoe-down." Ohhhh, so that's what happened! I'm sorry...I thought what happened is that your career evaporated while millions of people looked on, bemused. My mistake.

When she was "peforming" earlier on the show, it was clear that she was lip-synching, something that SNL used to never allow, but now, in this age of arguably-hot-girls-who-can't-sing-for-shit, Lorne M. seems to have given in (I think Britney and Janet have both lip-synched on the show), and now it's bitten him in the ass.

About a minute into her aborted perfomance, the band members were still on stage, gamely strumming and banging away on their instruments, looking at each other with expressions that clearly said, "Welp, this is what happens when you sell out."

Predictably, the forums on her official website [backup copy] are buzzing with people ridiculing her. Some dissect the clip and say the band was trying to save her, but then she went and blamed them anyway. And of course, there's the (supposed) interview from Lucky magazine in which she disparages lip-synching and says she wants her natural talent to shine through. What natural talent is that? The one for hoe-downs?

If you're having trouble downloading: We use a caching service to cut down on bandwidth usage of files like this. This may cause glitches, especially if you're behind a firewall that blocks port 8090. If you're not behind a firewall but the download doesn't work, wait a minute and try again. Or pick up the file elsewhere...it's widespread now.

October 22, 2004

Today's Political and Animal News


A new ad from the Bush campaign features a lot of jumpy edits and a pack of wolves running through the woods. The voiceover suggests that the wolves represent roving hordes of terrorists who are just waiting until we fools elect John Kerry as President to attack us: "Weakness attracts those who are waiting to do America harm." Watch the ad here. Analysts speculate that this ad is meant to harken back to Reagan's popular "Bear in the Woods" ad from the 1984 campaign which used a grizzly bear lumbering through the woods to suggest the threat of the Soviet Union, lovingly commemorated in this Weekly Standard article.

Kerry is also using animals to promote his leadership abilities, but he's doing so by shooting them. Kerry went goose hunting in Ohio yesterday, proudly waving a macho, blood-stained hand at the reporters. Maybe next week he should shoot some wolves, bears, and, hell why not, how about some sharks too. People are always scared of those.

October 21, 2004

More Trick than Treat

halloween kit kat

Dear Amy's Robot Readers:

I must warn you of an offensive holiday fraud being perpetrated by none other than our friends at Hershey’s. That's right, the same chocolate empire that taunted me and then denied me the Dark Chocolate Almond Joy!

During this Halloween season, you are most likely surrounded by delicious snack-sized candies. Readers, under no circumstances should you eat the widely-available Halloween Kit Kat. Oh sure, the packaging claims "these fun Halloween colored KIT KAT Wafer Bars will be a hit with all the little ghosts and goblins!" But do you know what "Halloween colored" means?

It means white chocolate.

Hershey’s, please. Why do you insist on ignoring me? White chocolate isn’t even real chocolate! It’s just sugar and butter, and all it will give you is a headache and an upset stomach. Nobody likes it, yet your aging, melty white chocolate Kit Kats and Pina Colada Almond Joys are taking up valuable candy aisle real estate across the country. Just admit you were wrong on this one and pull that shit out of stores already!

A gentleman of my acquaintance once participated in a focus group for Nestle. The company was trying to reinvent the delicious Chunky (chocolate with nuts and raisins) by compromising its signature square shape and making it into an ordinary bar. The focus group unanimously agreed that the block shape was the most satisfying part of the Chunky. Nestle responded by changing the shape anyway -- and then changing it back shortly after when nobody bought the new one. Rumor has it that Chunky has now been discontinued.

Similarly, Hershey’s thinks if they trick us into buying white chocolate under the guise of a holiday theme, it will catch on. But it won't! We don't want your "Halloween" Kit Kat or your equally vile "Scary White Chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup". And you people better start listening to your consumers, or you'll wake up one day to find they're all eating M&Ms.

Thank you, Red Sox

alcs game 7

Your victory means so much to us at the 'bot, and to our friends and aging family members across New England. As a bonus, your win last night even paralyzed headline writers at our favorite New York tabloids:

new york post alcsdaily news alcs

We just hope the post-game excitement didn't turn this guy and his girlfriend into Yankee fans.

sox fan bloody nose

More headlines.

October 20, 2004

Race and Consumerism

We young urban people are a popular crowd these days, at least among magazine publishers. Radar (remember that, ADM?) is relaunching with funding from new backers (as mentioned on the Link Factory,) and yesterday I received a mailer detailing how Complex magazine can benefit me, or the "young, urban man" that the enclosed letter assumed I am. While Radar sticks to the same kind of sassy celebrity and pop culture "news" that is pretty much the same territory as Us Weekly or Star, Complex is, as its name suggests, more complex. You see, Complex was founded by Marc Ecko, the white guy from New Jersey who has built a hugely successful street clothing and hip-hop-related brand. The really innovative thing about his magazine is that it combines pop culture news and hip-hop feature articles with, get this, a shopping guide! We all know that men are no longer immune from hyper-consumerism, as evidenced by Cargo and Vitals, so where exactly is the innovation in Complex, except that they think I am a man?

It appears that Marc Ecko, in developing his magazine, figured that if he's white, and he likes hip hop, and lots of black men like his clothes, then there must be a lot more white guys out there like him. Guys that want to read about Eve and Mos Def and Beyonce, and also buy jetskis and underwater cameras. Right? AND, he also figured that since a lot of black guys buy his clothes and like his style, they might also want to read about Franz Ferdinand, Zach Braff, and Sheryl Crow, and also buy watches. [See back issues here for more eclectic cover stars]

OK, Sheryl Crow might have been a bad example because nobody is actually interested in reading about her, but still, my point is that I don't think that these black-kids-into-white-culture and white-kids-into-black-culture exist in the numbers that Ecko seems to think they do. Or if they do, it is exclusively in terms of consumerism. The half-lifestyle, half-shopping guide format of the magazine indicates that Ecko is at least somewhat aware of this limitation. Black guys who like hip-hop and and are somewhat into white culture might want read about some of these products, but probably don't really care about The Beta Band. Likewise, tons of white guys listen to rap and wear sneakers and other athletic gear, but are they going to want to read an interview with Kelis? And is anyone who reads a magazine like this actually in the market to buy a Bentley, as featured in the "Ten Best Whips of '04" feature?

People who are interested in the pop-cultural trappings of another race are probably only interested in just that--the trappings, which is why a magazine that integrates the consumer needs of black and white readers will probably do fairly well. Creating a single magazine that brings together the more general interests of white and black young urban men is an admirable goal, but I'm not sure that cultural interests cross racial lines for the typical American man as much as Ecko thinks they do, unless you're only talking about cool sneakers. And of course, that other universal point of interest, pictures of hot girls making out. It's only $6 for a six-issue subscription, so if you're all about multiculturalism and shopping, this may be the magazine for you. As one Amazon reviewer writes, "I like how they do the flip thing, one side is called the 'magazine' and flip it over and it's the 'guide' which gives you some info (prices, websites, where you can buy it, etc.) on a couple hundred products. I think it's worth the price; especially if you're a big-spender like myself." Hey, big spender, I'm surprised you can even tell the difference between the two sides of the magazine. But that's the whole point, isn't it?

October 19, 2004

The Most Important November Event +

the oc

I know all you Amy's Robot readers are thinking "Election whatever. Where's our O.C. coverage, bitch?"

It's funny you should say that, because our staff is feeling the same way. Sure, we've been enjoying a couple of fall television offerings, but they just don't offer the delicious satisfaction of The O.C. Is John Edwards' floppy hair as cute as Ryan's? No way. When Bush makes up or misuses words, is it anywhere near as charming as when Seth Cohen does it intentionally? Definitely not. And to my knowledge, there has not been a single fistfight during this campaign that has ended with someone falling into a pool.

People, if you can just hang on for two more weeks, The O.C. second season premieres on November 4, at 8pm. (Remember to set recording devices appropriately; it is now on Thursday nights).

In the meantime, here is a little something to take the edge off:

Benjamin McKenzie has followed up his appearance at the Democratic Convention by speaking at college campuses in support of Kerry.

A handy guide to the language of The O.C., mostly Seth Cohenisms like "minty" and "ridonkulous".

The US Weekly spread of this season's 4 new characters, including Nicholas Gonzalez as Marissa's sexy shirtless gardener. (I know! I was also freaked out that this season would feature an actual person of color - but he's the gardener, so it's totally ok.) -Emily

While I am still skittish about this new season of The O.C. after the slow descent into boring teen drama crap at the end of last season, the show's impact on the pop culture universe has been impressive. We recently heard from the Gompertz family, who have developed a greeting card business and forum for personal stories for those families with members of different faiths, based on Seth Cohen's interfaith "Chrismukkah" holiday. Our favorite card is the one featuring "Merryshewitz" Kosher Fruit Cake. So look, Josh Schwartz, you've created a discriminating fan base. Don't disappoint us. We expect to see many more episodes chosen by the snippy Parents Television Council as the "Worst of the Week" for families, an honor that was deservedly won by one of last season's better episodes, which featured gambling, prostitutes, strippers, cat fighting (ending with the ladies falling into a pool, as Emily noted above,) teen pregnancy and underage drinking! And feel free to use as many posses of fireman-themed strippers as you want next season. -Amy

Hillary at Chelsea-Clinton

hillary at chelsea

We've been waiting for this moment since we first noticed the Chelsea-Clinton Community Health Center, the funniest unintentional ex-First Family reference in NYC, while walking along 10th Avenue in 2000. The clinic is named for the two neighborhoods it serves, Chelsea and Clinton (the real estate broker's name for Hell's Kitchen), but it still makes us snicker every time we see it. Finally, Senator Hillary made a visit to her daughter's almost eponymous health center to slam Bush for not securing enough of the flu vaccine (press release about her speech here) and NY1 captured the moment.

The Mystery of the Likely Voter

Are Bush and Kerry tied? Is Bush leading by three points? By eight?

Today’s NY Times asks why pollsters can't seem to agree on the election. Basically, because every poll asks differently worded questions and categorizes the elusive “likely voter” differently.....well, they’re probably all wrong.

This year, polling data might be more inaccurate than ever before. Hundreds of thousands of newly registered voters will not be classified as “likely” voters because they have no voting history. More young people exclusively use cell phones that can’t be reached by pollsters. There’s caller ID, call blocking, and the fact that when you just want to eat dinner and watch Desperate Housewives, you probably won’t agree to spend 15 minutes answering questions about the President’s job approval.

This Alternet article reminds us that in 2000, virtually every poll gave Bush a significant lead over Gore, which didn’t turn out to be true on Election Day. “Since the first presidential debate some polls have showed Kerry and Bush as even and suggested the election is too close to call. This is the only trustworthy prediction that anyone can make.”

Of course, the polls do matter if voters start thinking idiot things like “Oh, Bush is going to win anyway so I shouldn’t bother voting.” Maybe this is the year for those likely voters to tune out the chatter, and subscribe to “the only poll that matters is the one on November 2” philosophy. As the Alternet article concludes, "In this election, and especially in the crucial swing states, it is not the few undecided voters but the many new and returning lapsed voters – the unknown voters – who will make the difference."

If, like me, you don’t understand many of the nuances of polling this Scholastic/NYT article clearly explains it.

If you want to make yourself crazy, you can check Slate’s election scorecard, which lists all current polls.

October 18, 2004

Movie Roundup

Due the anxiety caused by the upcoming election, constant polling, continued reports of devastation and chaos in Iraq, and news of a horrifying Billy Corgan solo album to be released this spring, sometimes even hardened news analysts like Amy's Robot have to spend a whole weekend escaping it all in movie theaters. Here's our report.

I Heart Huckabees (elaborate website for the movie here) has gotten some criticism for being too opaque, too intellectual, too forced, and too pointless. Obviously these are critics who don't appreciate the undeniable gratification of watching Tippi Hedren say "fuck" on camera. The themes of this movie--identity, the thankless search for meaning, the comic genius of Lily Tomlin--are similar to those in David O. Russell's earlier Flirting With Disaster, the one about Ben Stiller searching for his birth parents. I agree with Ebert's assessment that many of the actors in this movie are too self-aware of the ironic nature of their characters, and spend too much time winking at the camera. The biggest exceptions to this are Mark Wahlberg and Naomi Watts, whose performances are the best and funniest, because they play them relatively straight. Mark Wahlberg even gets the otherwise winky and ironic Jason Schwartzman to drop his pretenses in their scenes together, which are the best parts of the movie. Existential philosophy, being, and nothingness are not going to appeal to many moviegoers, but movies that suggest how to resist getting caught up in all the garbage of life (or "cruelty, manipulation, and meaninglessness", as Isabelle Huppert's nihilist character describes it on her business card's tagline) always get me excited. Lily Tomlin also wears some outstanding suits. The Times liked it pretty well too.

We also saw Team America, the movie by the South Park guys. Maybe this is one of those movies that ridicules everything it touches, and if you say that you think it "went too far" then you risk looking like an unhip po-faced dork. Some people also have criticized this movie for attacking the agents of American imperialism and exceptionalism, and the Hollywood people that protest them, without assigning any specific blame to the Bush administration. Here's the thing though: this is a movie by the South Park guys that primarily is a spoof of Jerry Bruckheimer movies. In this endeavor, it is wildly successful and is one of the funniest movies I've seen all year. I know that everything is about politics and hating Bush these days, but sometimes you can just string together a few hundred sight gags and a bunch of bad musical-theater songs and make a very hilarious and successful movie.

We also strongly recommend Shaun of the Dead, but then, we love all the zombie movies.

October 15, 2004

What if you weren't allowed to vote?

This article about immigrants who will be denied the right to vote in the upcoming election is from earlier in the week, but I'm so surprised at the lack of coverage on this issue that I'm posting it now. Because of an unprecedented backlog in application processing at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, previously the INS, and now part of the Department of Homeland Security), 678,000 immigration cases are currently pending nationwide. In New York City alone, this means that 60,000 foreign-born people will not be voting on November 2.

Margie McHugh, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition states the obvious: “With the margin of victory in the presidential race expected to be razor-thin in many states, the massive loss of votes caused by the immigration service’s failure to process these cases could certainly have an impact on the outcome of the presidential election."

The official explanation is that the backlog is the result of increased post-September 11 security measures. USCIS recognizes that people are starting to get pissed (especially because application fees have increased as well), so they've developed a strategic plan [pdf] to eliminate the backlog – by the end of 2006.

Clearly, people like Ms. McHugh and other advocates who need the support of the next administration don't want to come out and say what they must be thinking. But I will. I think the government doesn't feel any urgency about solving this problem because immigrants vote. And they vote for Democrats*.

According to a study [big pdf] by the National Council of la Raza, the number of registered foreign-born voters grew 20% between 1996 and 2000, compared with 1.5% for the general population. 87% of foreign-born registered voters actually voted in the 2000 election, a higher percentage than white or black voters (86% and 84%, respectively). The study, published in 2002, goes on to say that “If immigrants who are currently in the naturalization pipeline, as well as an additional one-fourth of those already eligible for citizenship, were to naturalize by 2004, the immigrant voting-age population would increase by nearly 20%. At current rates of voter registration and turnout, this would mean roughly one million new immigrant voters in 2004.”

This is an issue I've been hearing about for some time, because many of the people I work with are in the process of applying for citizenship. Most have lived in this country since their teens. Some are homeowners. All have jobs and pay taxes. They're having a rough time, and I can't help thinking it might be in part because they work for an organization that has put millions of dollars into defeating George Bush.

One coworker just received her final swearing-in date after being postponed twice due to DHS "concerns". (She is from the terrorist-harboring nation of Panama, although she has now lived in the U.S. for 20 years). The date, unsurprisingly, is December 2.

Is the timing of this backlog just a coincidence? Maybe. But it’s a coincidence that’s going to keep almost 700,000 people from voting on November 2.

Luckily, one thing it's not going to do is keep my coworker quiet. She's volunteering at the phone bank and going to Philadelphia on election day to get voters to the polls. Because if she can't vote, she's damn well going to make sure everyone else does.

* This is speculation, since there is no comprehensive data on party affiliations of foreign-born voters. But a recent Pew Hispanic Center study on registered Latino voters shows:
"Among registered Latinos, about half identify as Democrats (49%), with one-fifth saying they are Republicans (20%) and another fifth identifying as Independents (19%). Among registered voters, Latinos are twice as likely as whites to self-identify as Democrats (49% and 24%, respectively), but less likely than African Americans (64%)."

Update on the third debate

You knew Bush wasn't going to accept Kerry's explanation on Wednesday night of what he meant by the "global test" line from Debate #1. Here's what Kerry said during Debate #3 to clarify that statement: "I have never suggested a test where we turn over our security to any nation. In fact I've said the opposite, I will never turn the security of the United States over to any nation. No nation will ever have a veto over us. But I think it makes sense, I think most Americans in their guts know, that we ought to pass a sort of truth standard. That's how you gain legitimacy with your own countrypeople and that's how you gain legitimacy in the world. But I'll never fail to protect the United States of America."

Now here's what Bush said yesterday at a "Victory Rally" in Oregon: "Once again, last night, with a straight face, the senator said—-well, shall we say, refined his answer on his proposed global test. That's the test he would administer before defending America. After trying to say it really wasn't a test at all, last night he once again defended his approach, saying, I think it makes sense. (Laughter.) The senator now says we'd have to pass some international truth standard. The truth is we should never turn America's national security decisions over to international bodies or leaders of other countries. (Applause.)" Transcript of the rally speech is here.

So, is Bush claiming that as President, he doesn't have to provide the truth, or any evidence at all, to the American people when making security decisions? As Slate points out, Bush is "refusing to measure his claims and decisions against the truth," even to his own countrypeople--and now he's promoting this refusal as a campaign point. I guess we shouldn't be surprised at Bush's disdain for striving for legitimacy of government in the US, and his assumption that his actions as President are automatically legitimate. He clearly hasn't noticed that when you have no legitimacy in countries you are occupying, you can't lead there either.

October 14, 2004

Presidential Debate 3: The President has a job for you +

As today's Post so succinctly puts it, there's nothing left to say, let's have the election. Amen! We learned almost nothing new in last night's debate, although it was a good opportunity for Kerry to come across as (mostly) firm and presidential. But frankly, I just can't spend any more of my life watching the Mr. Bush Goes to Washington routine, where the President delivers incredulous comments like:

BUSH: Gosh, I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those exaggerations.


(in answer to who bears responsibility for rising health costs)
BUSH: Gosh, I sure hope it's not the administration.

and my favorite:

BUSH: In all due respect, I'm not so sure it's credible to quote leading news organizations about -- oh, never mind.

At least the President did address the very important issue of jobs, assuring Americans that there's a job waiting for everyone who has "skills for the 21st century" (which I can only assume are: defrauding investors, operating a cash register, folding boxes, or working a Friolator)

After all, President Bush knows our priorities:
"...let me talk about what's really important for the [unemployed]... And that's to make sure the education system works. It's to make sure we raise standards."

With all due respect, Mr. President, I think the average unemployed American worker is a bit more concerned with GETTING A FUCKING JOB. -Emily

I am a bit surprised to see that Kerry is emerging as the popular winner of last night's debate. Not because I don't think he won, but because Bush seems to get people to think that he did well in debates as long as he manages to get through them without emitting streamers of drool from his mouth or falling asleep.

The first 20 minutes or so of the debate was sort of like the entirety of both of the other debates condensed into pure meaningless sound-bites, but thankfully, things picked up. And did you notice that Kerry did something that neither candidate has done for basically any of the campaign so far? HE MENTIONED THE POOR. Remember them? It might be hard for us to recall that there are actual live poor people living right here in America, since all we've been hearing about for the last year is the middle class. Middle class getting squeezed, middle class values, middle class families, middle class homeowners, college students, blah dee blah. Well, let's think about who needs government services the most. Is it the middle class? Not really. It's the poor that need the government for basic services. The social safety net - remember that?

Here's Kerry talking about issues that matter to the poor, like the minimum wage: "The minimum wage is the lowest minimum wage value it has been in our nation in 50 years. If we raise the minimum wage, which I will do over several years, to $7 an hour, 9.2 million women who are trying to raise their families would earn another $3,800 a year. The president has denied 9.2 million women $3,800 a year. But he doesn't hesitate to fight for $136,000 to a millionaire. One percent of America got $89 billion last year in a tax cut. But people working hard, playing by the rules, trying to take care of their kids, family values that we're supposed to value so much in America - I'm tired of politicians who talk about family values and don't value families. What we need to do is raise the minimum wage... Now I think that it is a matter of fundamental right that if we raise the minimum wage 15 million Americans would be positively affected. We'd put money into the hands of people who work hard, who obey the rules, who play for the American dream. And if we did that we'd have more consumption ability in America, which is what we need right now in order to kick our economy into gear. I will fight tooth and nail to pass the minimum wage."

This was also the most Catholic that I've ever seen Kerry present himself. Kerry made a compelling argument for one of the main teachings of traditional Catholicism, the moral responsibility that people have to take care of each other, by talking about fighting for "equality and justice" and fighting poverty, and saying "Faith without works is dead" and quoting from the Bible with this one: "What does it mean my brother to say you have faith if there are no deeds?" (he has used this passage before.) If this doesn't get some Catholic voters to notice that there are other important issues besides abortion and come back to the Democratic party, I don't know what will.

Meanwhile, Bush has the nerve to say that he promotes a "culture of life." If there was a moment for God to smite Bush with the vengeful wrath of righteousness, that was it.

Here's a full transcript. -Amy

Debate by the Numbers

Number of Times Candidates Mentioned:
Al Qaida: Bush 2, Kerry 0
Terror: Bush 6, Kerry 3
Job/jobs: Bush 11, Kerry 30
Health insurance: Bush 0, Kerry 6
Lawsuit/litigation: Bush 4, Kerry 0
No Child Left Behind: Bush 4, Kerry 2
"Gosh": Bush 2, Kerry 0
"Whew!": Bush 1, Kerry 0
"Increase taxes 98 times": Bush 3, Kerry 0
Fiscal Discipline: Bush 0, Kerry 3

October 13, 2004

Just put it on my chip, Bartender!


At last, at last! Today the FDA finally approved the implantable microchip VeriChip™ for medical use. VeriChip™ is already in use to keep your pets from getting lost (and similar radio frequency identification, or RFID, tags are used in everything from library books and ID badges), but the approval of the chip for medical information will open up a whole new world of possibilities. With VeriChip™, you will never again have to call your mom to ask your blood type. Instead, your doctor can simply scan the chip in your bicep, and the chip's serial number will link to all that information you can never remember.

"Whatever," I hear you say. "Why should I get The Chip for something so boring?" But wait! What if, like in the Mexico attorney general's office, you could implant The Chip in your employees to give them security clearance? What if, like Spanish clubgoers, you could use your chip to buy drinks at the bar? (This strikes me as both the most brilliant idea ever and also the most dangerous, kind of like using your credit card in the slot machines.) And the best part? Your VeriChip™ will last 20 years!

It's curious that VeriChip™'s parent company Applied Digital Solutions touts itself as specializing in "security". Security for who? I'm constantly amazed at how consumers in our surveillance culture giddily give up their personal information without any comprehension of who is using it, and how.

Here is one BBC correspondent's story of his night on the town with his chip.

Wikipedia on RFID tags and the controversy on their usage.

Or pre-register for your personal VeriChip™ here.

Chintzy 9/11 Profiteering

Maybe you've been as horrified as I was over the past couple of months to see TV ads on some of your lesser cable channels for "Freedom Tower" commemorative silver "dollars" with "real silver" from Ground Zero. The actual ad copy reads, “Today, history is being made. For the first time ever, a legally authorized government issue silver dollar has been struck to commemorate the World Trade Center and the new Freedom Tower being erected in its place ... Most importantly, each coin has been created using .999 pure silver recovered from ground zero!” Puke.

Well, good old Eliot Spitzer is pretty pissed off too. He's gotten a court order to stop sales of these "dollars," which are actually pretend currency authorized by the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory in the North Pacific. The court order will be in effect pending a civil suit he has brought against the company. Besides being skeptical about the authenticity of the silver that was allegedly recovered from Ground Zero, Spitzer is also appalled at the company's "shameless attempt to profit from a national tragedy." These ads also made me lose just a tiny little bit more of my faith in humanity, but I'm glad we have people like Eliot Spitzer to stop people from displaying their bad taste with such recklessness by spending money on this kind of crap, or even on another commemorative "silver eagle dollar" that features "an aerial view of the devastation suffered on 9/11 with the legend 'We will never forget'". Now they'll have to settle for a NY State "A-Rod" Quarter for $9.95.

October 12, 2004

High-class hookers in NY

A totally surreal article appears in today's Times about the operations of an expensive prostitution service. The woman who runs the agency, single-handedly, is a Korean woman who goes by Mae Lee, who was adopted by Americans at age 6, grew up in an idyllic small town in Maine, then started running off to Boston to take lots of drugs when she was 13. At 19, she was managing a prostitution service using smuggled Thai women who were likely not in control of their movements.

Now Mae Lee has a fleet of 8 women who fly in from their hometowns for 5-day stints of whoring in New York. Here are some bizarre and creepy details about her business: she never writes down the email address or phone number of any clients, though each new client is required to provide their employer, work phone, home phone, and home address, which are all verified (she explains that this is how she weeds out undercover cops.) Hours of operation begin at 9 AM and end well before 9 PM, Monday to Friday only (these people want to hire a hooker at 9 in the morning?) She "runs a Christmas toy drive for needy children, tapping the generosity of her regulars." This one makes my skin crawl: one of her company's most popular services is "the girlfriend experience," described as "a slower-paced, affection-filled encounter that closely resembles a date. Her 10-page employment contract, signed by each woman, instructs them to cuddle, sprinkle flower petals on the pillow and never rush or make anyone feel rushed." Mae Lee snorts amyl nitrate while on the phone with clients.

So yes, prostitution in America is just as soulless and debased as you probably thought it was, even if transactions are conducted at the Hilton with wealthy businessmen. The writer of the article generally takes this madame and her business at face value, letting the anecdotes act as their own commentary, but the occassional wry remark indicates her true feelings. Like this one, about the effects on clientele of an employee not showing up to work that day: "The disappearance of Rachel meant that seven men that day would have their hourlong sessions canceled, turning their putative business meetings into aching voids of unrequited need." Poor babies!

By the way, Rachel who didn't show up for work did not get her thumbs broken as she might have by a more conventional pimp, but her boyfriend did get a call from an angry Mae Lee informing him that his girlfriend is a hooker. And her parents are going to be sent a CD-ROM of her promotional pictures. Vicious stuff.

October 11, 2004

Robot-on-the-set: Parker Posey in Hell's Kitchen


We've been noticing some film production activity in the fine and picturesque neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen lately (stop by any time, Jonathan Demme!), but with the magical technology of digital cameras, these celebrity sightings can now be shared with you. On Friday afternoon, a small-looking movie featuring our old favorite Jackie O impersonator Parker Posey was shooting directly in front of the 9th Avenue Amy's Bread (the Official Rosemary Twist Provider of Amy's Robot.) Here are some shots of Parker taken from a discreet distance across the street. The film was likely Adam & Steve, and the scene appears to include the co-star/director/writer Craig Chester.

One disturbing element of this movie: Parker's boyfriend in it is played by Chris Kattan. Guess his career hasn't exactly taken off after getting kicked out of The Frogs for allegedly snorting too much cocaine to get his lines straight. Get it?

Here are some photos:

October 8, 2004

Pre-Debate Recap of Recent News

British Hostage is Beheaded in Iraq

Baghdad "Safe Zone" Proves Vulnerable in Attack

Job Report Casts Doubt on Economic Gains

Death Toll Expected to Rise as Israelis Return Home after Egypt Blasts.

Have a good time tonight, George!

Love, Amy's Robot.

That's Entertainment!

Perhaps the most certain proof that Martha Stewart's star is falling is that her incarceration today is the top Yahoo! story - in the Entertainment section. Her name doesn't even appear on the Business page.

martha stewart yahoo

Sorry, Martha. I guess serving time in a prison referred to as "Camp Cupcake" officially means you can't be taken seriously as a businesswoman anymore.

Creative remote dating tactics

We all know how hard it is to meet that special someone these days. Some people use interest-specific internet dating sites to narrow down the field (such as JDate.com, or the Judeo-Christian values based ConservativeMatch.com that we profiled yesterday), and some people take the opposite approach: posting your name and phone number in a photograph in the 2004 Crate & Barrel fall catalog. Marc Horowitz is a freelance photo assistant, performance artist, and master of self-promotion in San Francisco who embedded a straight-to-the-point mini-personals ad in a photo of an armoire: "Dinner w/ Marc" and his number. Close-up photo here. He's received over 500 phone calls from people (I gather mostly women) interested in meeting him. "It's kind of like speed dating on a whole new level," he says. Marc's many other interactive projects are documented on his extensive website.

Well Marc, good for you. It's encouraging to know that single women today will call the number of a total stranger written in a catalog and actually be genuinely interested in going on a date with him. Is it the medium that created such interest and, I have to say it, gullability? Would Marc have gotten 500 responses if he had posted a conventional profile to an actual dating service? Let's look at one of the women who is interested in Marc: 28 year-old Brooklynite Kelly Chilton, an associate art director with "O" Magazine, had just split with a longtime boyfriend. "It was just so intriguing and I wasn't sure it was real, but when I called the number, it was like, 'Wow!'" It should be an interesting dinner for Kelly.

Horowitz plans to document his three-month cross-country dating tour on his website ineedtostopsoon.com. Despite the obvious potential to get a whole lot of action from the kinds of women who would respond to the adult version of a number written on a bathroom wall, "Horowitz insists his three-month trip, which he hopes to videotape for a possible documentary, absolutely is not about trying to have a coast-to-coast sex marathon." This seems legitimate--he is scheduled to have dinner with men, women, and groups of people. He has also done a similar random-dinners project before, which was also documented on his website and in the press.

October 7, 2004

Can marriages survive this election?

In an examination of how the intensely political landscape of America is affecting our homelives, USA Today features a discussion of households in which one spouse is backing Bush and the other is a Kerry supporter. Actually, in every single case they mention, the woman of the family is a Democrat, and her husband is a Republican. Now, I've hardly been coy about my political views, but the men that are featured in this article are not just Republicans, they are often huge jerks. Gretchen Klein is a teacher from Illinois who says she and her husband have been arguing about politics a lot. "He'll bait me. He says 'You liberals, look what you're trying to do now. You all want me to pay more taxes!'" When Klein talks about the need for a social conscience, she says he shoots back, "'Why don't you write the government a check? Why don't you give the tax refund back, Gretchen?'" Hey Gretchen, why don't you ditch your morally bankrupt jackass of a husband?

Alynne Sharp is an artist from Florida who loves her husband, "but we both feel so strongly in this election, and it's been hard for me." Her husband Philip "watches Fox, Fox, Fox all the time. Then we go in the car and, for a breath of fresh air, it's Rush Limbaugh. Let's just say air, forget the fresh." she jokes. Yeah, funny.

The couples that weather their political differences without resorting to personal attacks seem to be the ones who have already been through a failed marriage, like Jerry Lewine, an CA computer consultant and Bush backer, who is somewhat kinder when he talks issues with his Democrat wife, hospital administrator Sheryl Rudie. "She's really stubborn but brilliant. She runs circles around me," he says.

Another older couple in the piece are reminiscent of James Carville and Mary Matalin, the political couple that confounds us all. "Jay Cooper was deputy White House press secretary in the Reagan and senior Bush administrations and also worked for the Republican National Committee. Christine Black, a longtime political journalist, worked for Teresa Heinz Kerry and still consults for Kerry's personal philanthropies. She's known John Kerry 32 years and says she's 'maxed out' in contributions to him. Black and Cooper wed in July after not seeing each other in the 30 years since they were college classmates." Cooper says "We do have passionate discussions. I don't think I've ever convinced her of anything, and I never will. We enjoy taking apart the political ads objectively and talking about the races."

As an aside, one of the most notable points in the USA Today article is about the rise of party-oriented online dating sites. How creepy is ConservativeMatch.com, "for sweet hearts, not bleeding hearts"? On its site, ConservativeMatch says "Many of the larger web sites for singles are behaving more and more like major news media outlets, in that they carry a high liberal bias. Typically these services are neutral or even hostile to people with conservative values." So all those pretend single women who are actually hookers on Match.com are Democrats? And get this one: "Although our service is not a religious singles web site, it is based upon Judeo-Christian principles that have been the bedrock of society since the dawn of mankind. While our service is open to people of all faiths, the manner in which our service operates will clearly be guided by the principles and values upon which it has been built." So there have been Jews and Christians SINCE THE DAWN OF MANKIND? Right, all those Homo Erectus types were walking around accepting Jesus Christ as their personal saviors and voting against gay marriage. Sounds like great material for a long-term relationship!

October 6, 2004

I'm a little smug today+

Hey, remember when I predicted that Howard Stern would change the face of radio by going over to satellite?

Well, Stern just signed a 5-year, multi-million dollar deal with SIRIUS (that's the one not tied to his archenemy Clear Channel), starting in 2006:

"It has been my dream to have the top-rated show in radio since I was five years old," said Stern. "SIRIUS -- the future of radio -- will take this dream to a whole new level as I bring my fans my show my way. It will be the best radio they will ever hear."

Says SIRIUS CEO Joseph Clayton: "When you look at his enormous existing fan base, all we need is for Howard to bring in a small fraction of his weekly audience for this agreement to pay for itself."

That's right, Clear Channel bitches! Let's see how smug your corporate asses are come 2006!

Update: Let's check in and see how our friends at SIRIUS (blue) and Stern's current employer Viacom (red) are doing today, shall we? Ouch! Good news for some...not so good for others.

Sirius Viacom stock quotes

The NY Times also points out today that Stern will most likely take his advertisers with him over to satellite radio. That's right - although SIRIUS loves to brag about being COMMERCIAL FREE, that's just the music stations; talk shows have about 5 minutes of advertising each hour. However, Sirius hasn't decided how much advertising time they'll allow Stern. My prediction: a lot, especially considering his grip on the deeply coveted 18 - 26 year old male population.

Let's just hope his regular sponsors take the plunge, because frankly, a morning without waking up to Howard singing the Car Cash jingle is a morning you might as well not wake up.

October 5, 2004

Insidious "Entertainment"

What's a multinational media and retail empire to do when suddenly, nobody wants to come to your stores?

If you're Disney, you take a look around at where your money is coming from - and at the successful retail operations of companies such as, say, American Girl dolls. Then you sell off the majority of your retail stores and shift control of your New York flagship store to your company's theme park division.

That is the legend of Disney's Princess Court in the World of Disney store, which opened last night. For only $75, little princesses from Montauk and their doting parents can put on white lace gloves to learn the four Princess Principles: intelligence, grace, thoughtfulness and honesty.

This is fascinating on many levels. The most obvious is gender. The New York Times quotes Camille Paglia as saying the store “is a reaction to the hypersexualized environment where young women are expected to dress like strippers or whores. That should not be the standard for a 10-year-old girl."

Well, sure, but what standards do 10-year-old girls learn from wearing tiaras and spending all their money on jewelry? Take, for example, the stepmother of 6-year-old Princess-in-training Katarina, who has her Halloween costume planned: "I already have a crown at home and a dress," said Dona, 31, with a giggle. "I'm going to be Cinderella."

But the more important and devious issue is that like any major media company, Disney doesn't actually give a crap about the self-image of little girls. They're just interested in the bottom line. Little girls like to dress up, and if princess training (taught in the context of Disney movies available for sale at the store, such as “princesses shouldn't lie like Aladdin did to Jasmine") will get them in the door to spend $26 on a tiara, and $6 - $8 on additional jewelry, then Disney's all for princess training. And even better if mothers like Dona can be convinced to buy a cashmere sweater for $340 or even book a Disneyworld vacation while their daughters are busy learning the Princess Principles.

Is it entertainment? Is it retail? Once the money starts pouring in, does it really matter?

October 4, 2004

Who'Dat?™: Wedded Bliss Edition

In today's edition of Who'Dat?™, we really have no words. The article linked says everything you need to know about this happy newlywed. Make your guess and then click on the picture to see if you're right.



Interpol Antics


I'm sure you've all been biding your time, waiting to read the Amy's Robot review before you run out and buy your own $10* copy of Interpol's new album Antics. Don't worry about being, in the words of XFM's review, a "retro gimp-monkey", it's OK to think that the best album that's come out so far this year is by a band whose fans all eagerly compare them to other bands from other decades. Yes, there are still elements of Joy Division and sometimes The Smiths in their music, and I would add The Chameleons to the list of comparisons--but this is not a problem for record buyers or critics, probably because these are not bad bands to emulate. While some moments of their first album, Turn on the Bright Lights, sounded like a perfect distillation of the entire Smiths catalog, this one sounds more like a retake of the Kitchens of Distinction's Strange Free World, a favorite album of mine from, um, 1991. But more than anything else, this album sounds like all the best aspects of their first album--I think we can finally say that Interpol has established their own sound. NY indie kids have been hearing versions of it since the band's early days at Brownies (now-defunct) and Tiswas. Better production on this album means the guitars are cleaner, the vocals are mixed up louder (which has the effect of making Paul Banks' voice sound higher in pitch) and the rhythm section is, as always, very big and very awesome.

For the last two years I've been telling people about Interpol and how TOTBL is just one of those perfect albums that comes out of nowhere. It looks like they've now actually made two of those perfect albums. Michael Stipe covered "NYC" at an REM concert last year. "Slow Hands" is the first single released, and it's done very well in the UK. World domination seems inevitable, and very well deserved.

* All the NYC record stores seem to be selling it for $10, but if you live somewhere else, I can make no guarantees about your local record stores' practices, or anything else for that matter.

Whitney Houston emerges from the fog

It's been a tough few years for Whitney Houston, beleaguered pop star and drug addict. There have been the arrests, the fights with Bobby, the rumor that she was dead, her mysterious association with The Black Hebrews and her visit to Israel, which she has confusingly claimed as "her land." There was the interview on Primetime Live with Diane Sawyer, in which she claims to have gotten over drugs once and for all, demonstrating her disdain for certain drugs with the now-infamous "crack is whack" line ("Crack is cheap. I make too much for me to ever smoke crack. Let's get that straight, OK? I don't do crack. I don't do that. Crack is whack.")

You'll be glad to know that Whitney has turned a corner. No, not that other corner that she already turned in March when she left the rehab clinic after only 5 days of treatment because "she felt the walls were closing in on her." This particular corner also involves getting clean after endless years of drug use--Whitney says she has "emerged from a long, long fog." She says, "I'm clean, I'm sober, I feel reborn and I'm loving life. I came so close to throwing it all away. Now I cherish every second of the day. I have rededicated my life to my family and my career and I am happier now than I can ever remember being. These past three years have been a very long period. I thank God we have emerged back into the light." Hallelujah!

October 3, 2004

Inside the Mind of an Undecided Voter: Mike's Mom in Minnesota

You've seen all the polls saying that everyone thinks Kerry won the debate, but those were just numbers. What were the specific responses to the debate of middle-American, undecided voters? Our friend Mike's mom, who is undecided, took notes during the event, writing down her observations and points that caught her interest. She was kind enough to share them with us. Can she be persuaded to vote for Kerry?

Here are her notes:

Notes on Kerry:

  • ...His plan in withdrawal from Iraq, he should have told all 4 points.
  • His statement that the US has no long term design on Iraq and to let the people of Iraq know that for certain.
  • Close the borders...Duh. Don't let anymore terrorists enter Iraq.
  • Came across very strong, calm, in control, believable, approachable, some might say presidential, open minded to other options, and seems to have a plan. Whether those plans will actually work, who knows, but what we are doing now is not working...

Notes on Bush

  • He is stubborn. Will NOT budge.
  • His inability to realize that what he is doing isn't working as far as the war goes.
  • Troops will come home when Iraq has their troops trained. Whenever that is. We are building 14 bases in iraq, does this sound like the US is taking over.............yes.
  • US has lost respect and credibility in the world in the last year.
  • If Saddam was such a threat, and that is up for debate, are we now going to attack Korea, we know they have weapons of MD.
  • Iraq is an example of what will happen to other countries if they don't comply. Do we want to go thru this again?
  • I know that Bush can't help it, but he looks like a doofus. His facial expressions are awful. You can tell what he is thinking every minute.

I still can't get past the abortion thing. Babies are being killed by the thousands every day, are their lives any less valid than soldiers dying in Iraq?

I'm still undecided, but Kerry made a very strong impression. If he were pro-life, I would vote for him in a heartbeat.

So who will get her vote? Leave a persuasive comment -- be nice please -- and you might just win an extra vote for Kerry in a battleground state, without ever having to leave your desk or promising to vote for Nader.

October 1, 2004

The First Debate: Blinky sputters +

Well, this time I'm glad that Krugman was wrong: everybody agrees that Kerry won last night's debate. An unidentified friend of Tom Shales called the debate "Andy Griffith meets Barney Fife". This debate might have been the first time that most Americans saw the two candidates speak for extended periods in complete sentences, instead of the little 10 second snippets on the evening news, so it's a good thing that Kerry came off as more knowledgeable and sensible than Bush. For his part, Bush blinked more during those 90 minutes than any other period in his life to date, and likely has a nasty stye this morning. He also actually defended invading Iraq and the disaster that it has become by saying that his decision to invade was "hard" and that the work we are doing there is also "hard". Well boo-fucking-hoo, Bush! You're the President, and guess what? YOUR JOB IS HARD. Now quit your whining. Here's a transcript of the debate.

One person who thought that Bush won the debate is our own favorite insane politico with an ever weaker grip on reality, Rudy Giuliani. On The Daily Show's post-debate coverage, Rudy said he thought that Kerry made no sense, and was still inconsistent in his views on Iraq. Jon Stewart meekly suggested that he thought Kerry made strong, clear statements in his position on Iraq, and that perhaps for the first time, there could be no confusion on his views. What Kerry said last night was, "I've had one position, one consistent position, that Saddam Hussein was a threat. There was a right way to disarm him and a wrong way. And the president chose the wrong way." Apparently, Rudy still didn't get it.

At least when the Daily Show staff defend Bush's performance, they're kidding. As Rob Corddry (one of the more recent additions to the show, and definitely one of the funniest) said, Kerry is the smartest man in the entire world, and Bush, "according to certain standardized tests, is technically retarded." - Amy

Bush-Kerry Debate by the Numbers:

First actual debating words out of Bush's mouth (after thanking host University of Miami): September the 11th

Number of times candidates mentioned:

"hard work": Bush, 11
great/grand diversion: Bush, 5
Kerry's wrong war/wrong place/wrong time comment: Bush, 7

"Saddam Hussein": Bush, 14; Kerry, 12
"Osama bin Laden": Bush, 4; Kerry, 9

"North Korea": Bush, 8; Kerry 13
"Iraq": Bush, 40; Kerry 33
"Afghanistan": Bush, 9; Kerry 5

"alliances": Bush, 5; Kerry, 9
"strong": Bush, 11; Kerry, 17
free/freedom: Bush, 39; Kerry, 4

- Emily

What did you think? We're opening up comments on this post...

About October 2004

This page contains all entries posted to Amy's Robot in October 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

September 2004 is the previous archive.

November 2004 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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