Friday smattering —

(1) Bush’s brain (no, not this one*) is the subject of this Howell Gaines piece, which begins:

POCONO SUMMIT, Pa. — It was here in the parking lot of Cramer’s Home Center, less than seven miles from a NASCAR track, in a pivotal battleground state, on the back of a battered work van, that we saw the first one.

“Somewhere in Texas,” the bumper sticker said, “A Village Is Missing Its Idiot.” The next showed up at the Home Depot on the back of an equally battered pickup driven by s tough-looking kid dressed for construction work. It said: “Bush,” and then, “Like a Rock Only Dumber.”

These are signs of the fierce conviction of some voters — and the secret fear of a quieter and perhaps larger group — that George W. Bush is not smart enough to continue as president. Indeed, if an unscientific survey of bumper stickers, graffiti and letters to the editor in this conservative mountain region is an indicator, doubts are spreading.

Read more. (*Update: link fixed)

(2) “I understand how Senator Kerry feels – I’ve been attacked by 527’s too” Bush tells the Times. Someone help him with this, please. There’s a world of difference between “attacking” with the irrefutable facts of an administration’s dubious accomplishments (Moveon.org ads) and attacking with outright fabrications (Swift Boat Veterans for Slander and Deception ad). One (Moveon.org ads) is “negative” advertising, the other (SBVSD [sic]) is a smear. This is pretty nuanced, I guess.

(3) Make of it what you will: a story in Intervention magazine says:

The report last week from the small Tombstone Tumbleweed newspaper is jarring. A “flood of middle-eastern males” has been caught entering the country illegally east of Douglas, Arizona, according to the paper, and this recent “flood” is actually part of an increasing trend of “OTMs” (“other than Mexicans”) entering the country illegally somewhere east of the Chiricahua Mountains.

Read the rest. I wonder what, if anything, it has to do with the “sweeping new powers” given border patrol agents earlier this month (I blogged that earlier).

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