So safe, it hurts

From George W. Bush’s unofficial opening arguments in last night’s first presidential debate with Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry:

“In Iraq we saw a threat and we realized that after Sept. 11 we must take threats seriously before they fully materialize. Saddam Hussein now sits in a prison cell. America and the world are safer for it.”

Visual reinforcement, from A.P. wire service images taken over the last 48 hours, of America’s steady progress in President Bush’ War on Terror™ or however it’s being billed at this moment. I’m guessing that the “safety zone” is located well outside Baghdad’s notorious “Green Zone” enclave.
An Iraqi soldier, Ahmed Ali, breaks down after seeing the dead bodies of several children when two car bombs and a roadside bomb went off in succession in the al-Amel neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday Sept. 30, 2004 killing 35 children and seven adults. The bombs in Baghdad’s al-Amel neighborhood caused the largest death toll of children in any insurgent attack since the conflict began 17 months ago. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
The dead bodies of four children are seen at a hospital in Fallujah, Iraq, Thursday Sept. 30, 2004. The children died when the car they were travelling in allegedly came under fire from U.S. forces, whereby the driver lost control and the car fell into a stream near Fallujah, Thursday . Eyewitness Hussein Alwan said that the U.S. military personnel stopped locals from assisting the drowning people, leading to the death of the four children along with two other women travelling in the car. The wounded driver was later rescued. The U.S. military media liason personnel said in Baghdad that they were unaware of any such incident. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
An unidentified mother waits by her daughter’s bedside after two car bombs and a roadside bomb went off in succession at al-Amel neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2004. At least 37 were killed, of which 34 are children and nearly 137 got wounded in the attack. (AP Photo/Samir Mizban)
Women cry as they await for news of the fate of their children, outside Yarmouk hospital, after two car bombs and a roadside bomb went off in succession at al-Amel neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday Sept. 30, 2004. At least 37 were killed, most of them children, and 137 were wounded in the attack, hospital and military officials said. 10 U.S. soldiers are amongst the wounded. (AP Photo/Samir Mizban)
A U.S. armored vehicle waits near the site of car bomb attack in Abu Ghraib, Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday Sept. 30, 2004. At least three died and 60 were reportedly injured in the attack. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)


The news networks covering the debate, the best they know how

Selected highlights from the cable news networks’ coverage of the buildup to last night’s first presidential debate between Pres. George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry, as aired September 30, 2004:
CNN, PAULA ZAHN NOW: Zero Hour Nears For Presidential Debate, WOLF BLITZER, noted company man, 8:48 PM:

“Fascinating, indeed. Our viewers will be fascinated, no doubt. We’ll be watching very closely. Bill Hemmer, we’ll get back to you.
For our viewers who are really interested in politics and want answers to a whole range of questions, go to Incredible amount of information on this presidential race, the history, the current status, That’s the place you want to be for politics.”

MSNBC, Pre-Debate Countdown, hosted by Chris Matthews, TUCKER ASKEW, Bush White House communications adviser and noted grade-school punning champion, 8:18 PM:

“…Kerry’s a master debater…”

FOX News, FOX Report with Shepard Smith, SHEPARD SMITH, news anchor, fearmonger, and ratings whore, 7:59 PM:

“Stay tuned, as the war on terror continues on FOX…”


Presidential Debate Highlights, as selected by Benji Harmon, 8 year-old pundit
(Or: The Debate was so fucking painful, I reverted to early childhood)

head_left.gif“This nation of ours has got a solemn duty… We have a duty to defeat this enemy. We have a duty…”
“Now, we’re doing our duty…”
“…active duty…”
“We’re being challenged like never before, and we have a duty…”
” It will help change the world. That we can look back and say we did our duty…”
“…the enemy attacked us, Jim, and I have a solemn duty…”
“…active duty…”
“I add two active-duty divisions…”


An analysis of the president’s idea of hard work

I know what you’re saying. This is too easy, but nonetheless…

“In Iraq, no doubt about it, it’s tough. It’s hard work. It’s incredibly hard.”

Which is why my back is clenched up so tight it’s ready to snap.

“I wake up every day thinking about how best to protect America. That’s my job…There’s a lot of really good people working hard to do so. It’s hard work.”

I’m not really sure what any of this shit means, but I refuse to tell people to go to

“It’s-and it’s hard work. I understand how hard it is. I get the casualty reports every day. I see on the TV screens how hard it is. But it’s necessary work.”

Watching TV is really hard, yeah, especially the one at the White House with the TiVo. Have you tried to operate TiVo? It’s really hard. And Cheney is always stealing the damn remote.

“The plan says we’ll train Iraqi soldiers so they can do the hard work, and we are.”

And it was really hard to think up a plan, we wouldn’t want to waste all that hard work just because it doesn’t work.

“We’re making progress. It is hard work. It is hard work to go from a tyranny to a democracy. It’s hard work to go from a place where people get their hands cut off or executed to a place where people are free.”

It’s hard work to go from a televised quagmire to speeches about progress, we’re running out of material.

“And, you know, I think about Missy Johnson, fantastic young lady I met in Charlotte, N.C., she and her son, Brian. They came to see me. Her husband, P.J., got killed-been in Afghanistan, went to Iraq. You know, it’s hard work to try to love her as best as I can knowing full well that the decision I made caused her, her loved one to be in harm’s way.”

Wait a minute! Is the president admitting an affair here? Whoa, bombshell!

“Yeah, we’re the job done. It’s hard work. Everybody knows it’s hard work because there’s a determined enemy that’s trying to defeat us.”

And that enemy is John Kerry, no wait, Saddam Hussein – no, that’s not it. Warmer?

“We’ve done a lot of hard work together over the last three and a half years.”

Well, mostly I watched it on television, but you get the idea.