Crawford is Kerry Country

The Lone Star Iconoclast, which distributes 425 weekly newspapers, has endorsed John Kerry for president. Why does such a small newspaper endorsement warrant comment? Because it’s the newspaper for Crawford, Texas, George Bush’s hometown.

Not even the editors of his hometown newspaper will stand with Bush this election season, saying that after they endorsed him in 2000, “we were duped into following yet another privileged agenda.”

And there’s more:

Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration: his initiatives to disable the Social Security system, the deteriorating state of the American economy, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistakes regarding Iraq.

Oddly enough, Reuters reports this in one of their Oddly Enough articles.

Cheap Shots

I’m feeling really lazy today, so a little humor is all that there’s going to be:

“Yesterday President Bush gave a major speech about Iraq. Today John Kerry gave a major speech about Iraq. You know what this means? The war in Vietnam may finally be over ladies and gentleman.” –Jay Leno

“We begin tonight with a simple, indisputable fact: as a young man, President George W. Bush benefited from family connections to get a place in the Texas Air National Guard, thus avoiding service in Vietnam. As you would guess, this has led to calls for the resignation of Dan Rather.” –Jon Stewart

“Bush and Kerry have agreed to three debates. The first debate will cover the 1960s and the second debate the early ’70s and in the third debate if there’s time, some topical issues.” –Jay Leno

“Over in Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin is using terrorism to increase his power and erode his people’s civil liberties. It’s nice to see the American way of life catching up around the world.” –Jay Leno

“There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the authenticity of this memos shown on ’60 Minutes’ concerning President Bush and his service in the National Guard. If there’s one thing you don’t want to see, it’s a president who didn’t really win the election being brought down by phony documents.” –Jay Leno

The Height of Silly Lists

What do Gillian Anderson, Tori Amos, Christina Aguilera, Paula Abdul, Honore de Balzac (French writer), Rachael Leigh Cook (star of “She’s All That”), Sally Field, Buckminster Fuller (inventor of geodesic dome), Laura San Giacomo (star of tv’s “Just Shoot Me”), Gerry Halliwell (ex Spice Girl “Ginger Spice”), Avril Lavigne, Shakira, Dudley Moore, Elisabeth Shue, Paul Simon (of Simon and Garfunkel), Reese Whitherspoon, and Paul Williams (songwriter, actor) have in common?

They’re all one inch shorter than Sammy Davis Jr., Bo Derek, Judy Garland, Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Ghandi, Melissa Joan Hart (of tv’s “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”), King Hussein (of Jordan), Nikita Khrushchev, Vivien Leigh, Natalie Portman, Mickey Rooney, and Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, French writer)

Wow, Bo looks so much taller than Dudley. Learn more at

Health Care for All

I recently received the following in an email, forwarded from the organization HCA. You don’t need to read all of it, but it gives an explanation of what his five-minute animation is about and who its target is. I preferred to just read to text version at Single Payer?. I’m a big proponent of this, but have had a difficult time explaining why it would work and countering the arguments against it. Graham does a good job of doing it in a short space.

Graham Walker’s animated message on single payer

Single payer advocates sometimes have difficulty understanding why there isn’t a groundswell of support for the single payer model of reform since its superiority as a method of funding health care is so clear (to us). But actually the model is fairly complex and not well understood by the majority of citizens. A brief explanation tends to be dismissed with the meme by which we have been thoroughly indoctrinated that “the government can’t do anything right.”

Graham Walker is a medical student at Stanford University and a former staff member of Physicians for a National Health Program. To no surprise, he found that it was difficult to deliver a simple message on single payer that would stimulate an inquisitive mind to investigate the model further. He then went to work on creating a message that would be directed to a broad spectrum of relatively uninformed individuals. He was especially interested in creating rhetoric that would connect with young adults who have been saturated with the message that Social Security and Medicare will not be there when you need it (essentially the same message that is being presented this week by President Bush when he discusses the “ownership society”). Graham uses the analogy of funding “Prom Night” as an example that might resonate with a younger audience.

Graham has created an animated explanation of single payer targeted to the larger audience that does not have a sophisticated understanding of health policy. You should view this five minute animation since you will probably find it very useful in your advocacy work. It is particularly suited to distribution over the Internet through an e-mail link that Graham has provided.

For the animation:

For a written explanation of single payer (The animation can be accessed on this page by clicking “”animated version” near the top.):

If you don’t have five minutes now, retain this message so that you can view the animation during a break. I suspect that you’ll agree that we should share this with as many people as possible (but avoid spamming those who wouldn’t be interested).

Make Your Opinion Count

But this won’t get it done. I just got an email similar to this:

Governor Schwarzenegger has a phone poll for the electorate.

Call (916) 445-2841
1. On the phone tree, Press #5 for “Hot Issues.”
2. Press #1 for Same Sex Marriage
3. Press #1 or #2 to vote on “gay” marriage in California.

It really is a state-run poll, but as a way of gauging public opinion it’s a waste of time. You can vote as many times as you would like, making the results meaningless as a scientific poll. The poll’s phone number isn’t listed on the State’s website. You have to know that an issue is being polled or you’re not likely to know that you can vote on it.

The only thing the results may be good for is as a way for Ahnold to justify a stance, in something like: “calls to my poll indicated that a majority of people favored…”. Other opportunities for pretending your voice is heard (at the same phone number) include voting on “Drivers License (for Undocumented)” and legalizing ferrets already in the California.

Cost of the War in Iraq

To see the current cost, click here. It was $130,502,023,708 as of this posting. The site also shows what else could have been done with the money. Code is available there to add a counter to a website, but Blogger won’t allow a javascript tag in any posts so I couldn’t include it here.