Yay for thenation.com
Yay, the 'Postcards from Boston' finally got published on The Nation website Monday, including one by yours truly (page #2). I hope you like. Some of them got sadly butchered for some reason in some last minute editing, making a few sentences just not make sense anymore or losing their context. But anyway, yeah.
John Stewart devoured his guest tonight, some Republican representative from Texas. He fooled the guy into pitching the "Kerry and Edwards are the 1st and 4th most liberal senators" line. Then he played stunningly dumb and pretended he didn't know where that assertion had come from; he kept asking the guest, who didn't want to say, and so kept digging himself deeper and deeper. Eventually Stewart explained to the audience that it was in fact a survey by the National Journal. Unfortunatley he didn't really have time to explain why it was wrong, which would have been key. But he did get the point across that conservatives are pitching a joke statistic that's not based in fact.
The part of the story Stewart didn't get to tell is this: even the National Journal has disavowed the way conservatives are using their data. No, the National Journal is not a conservative group. But what happened is that Kerry and Edwards missed so many votes in 2003 that when you look at just that year -- and use a tabulation system that makes these absences misleadingly give them relatively higher liberal ratings -- they end up as the liberals in the senate. If you look at NJ's analysis of all of Kerry's career in the senate, you'll find that he is in fact the 11th most liberal senator, while Edwards is in the more conservative half of the democrats.
Bob Somerby has a solid explanation of this all.
Naomi Klein says she "reluctantly joined the Anybody But Bush camp", and lays out good counter-arguments to the notions that it's somehow better to have Bush in office because he radicalizes Americans and/or radicalizes the rest of the world to stand-up against the US. I know we're all tired of reading about Kerry/Nader/Cobb arguments and what not, but I think this piece stands out as particularly convincing and somewhat different from the way others have framed it.