Watching Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" last night was like realizing the emperor has no clothes. It was worse than Larry King interviewing J. Lo about her remarkable talent. Stewart came prepared to suck up, ignoring the reason that Clarke's testimony was causing a dust up, and basically just falling all over himself to praise the man, who Stewart never once asked a difficult question to, which he has done to Dems and GOPers in the past. He swallowed Clarke's story like hot cum down a whore's throat. Honestly, it's sad to watch the mighty fall, but I think it's over. Of course, if he's similarly fawning over Karen Hughes, I guess it just means Stewart's a suck up. But if he presses her hard after kissing Clarke's self-promoting ass, the final shreds of his credibility will come rolling off.
Stewart did ask him why the White House was suddenly so upset after they had the book for vetting back in October, and Clarke saide he didn't know. The obvious follow-up is to ask, "Maybe it's because in the book your tone and tenor wasn't harsh, and you've been modifying your story to make the Bush Admonistration look worse than you did in the book?". But Stewart did nothing. Again, I know it's fake news, but like I said yesterday, the man has influence, and has claimed that he's tough on both sides. He just disproved his own statement, sort of like what Clarke's done to himself. I guess I'm worked up over this not so much about Clarke, who really has shot his credibility to hell, but that Stewart, who used to have the best 30 minutes of comedy out there, has fallen so far to lick this man's boots. It's just sort of disapointing.
Speaking of Clarke's lack of credibility, Mickey Kaus wonders today that if Clarke was so anti-Iraq war, why didn't he say something at the time, as he was out of the White House. It would have made him look like a hero then, as he could have quit in disgust and gone on air about it. Instead, he waited all this time, wrote a book, and is doing it all for profit. I think he was waiting until he saw how things turned out to decide just how anti-war he wanted to be, and apparently right after he resigned he took a job with ABC, and accrding to Gregg Easterbrook, "Clarke certainly wasn't holding his tongue, he was yakking nonstop" about his expertise on Iraq. So much for his deeply held anti war principles. The man has no credibility any more. And after he gets ripped apart on Hardball tonight, I hope, he'll just go away. He really is an ass.
:: C.M. Burns 3/31/2004 09:52:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 ::
Richard Clarke v. Condi Rice
Condi Rice and the 9/11 Commission have worked out a deal in which she will testify, in public and under oath, and I couldn't be more pleased. Frankly, before I didn't see a need for it, especially since she gave four hours of closed doors testimony earlier. As former Democratic Indiana Rep. and current Commission member Ted Hamilton said last night on Hardball, this is really more about appearances, and he said that he doubted what she said earlier will change at all. However, there is the matter that Clarke threw down the gauntlet, saying Condi, who I am an admirer of, and the administration dropped the ball on Al Qaieda. I think in a sense this may be FACTUALLY true, in that there were several missed opportunities. But it only seems that way in hindsight, unless you're Dick Clarke, and are a tireless hero who was doing God's work while Bush and Co. obsessed about Iraq(which he only has said in public. Apparently his book is not as harsh on the administration, which makes you wonder why he got so angry so quickly. There are various possibilities.
Anyway, I think Condi going under oath is a good thing, as I believe she has infintely more credibility than Clarke, who's pandering to the 9/11 families was a goss display of grandstanding and who has said many different things. Clarke strikes me as a dissafected beaurecrat. People like him hold status and job titles in high esteem. It could be he's angry he wasn't as important in the Bush administration as in the Clinton one. It could be he disagrees about Iraq and decided that he would try and make the President look bad on everything to prove he's wrong on Iraq. What is interesting about Clarke are the inconsistancies between his book, his testimony, what he said on 60 minutes, and what he's been telling Tim Russert. He brought a prop with him to "Meet the Press", a thank you note from the President for his 30 years of government service. He seemed to think that this made all the questions about his motives and his inconsistancies disengenious lies. Well, what about that nice goodbye letter he gave to the President when he resigned, saying he had made the country safer. If Clarke can be forgiven for sucking up a bit, can't the President be forgiven for wanting to make Clarke feel good about himself? 30 years in government service doesn't make you rich. The Nation should be grateful to Clarke for the service, but it doesn't equal a free pass once you start writing self-serving books that clearly exaggerate Clinton's efforts against Terror and make the Bush team, who NO ONE except Clarke fingers as being ineffectual after 9/11. I'm willing to grant Clinton some latitude, but not a total wash, and I'm willing to say the WHite House COULD have done more, but what Clarke is writing is clearly aimed at people who have no idea how burauracy works. People who will take him at his word, as he has no documents to back up his claims, no emails, no memos, just his word. And it's obvious from the way the White House was taken aback by Clarke's assault this week that Clarke didn't come off that nasty in his book, which the White House vetted for security reasons, as all administrations do when National Security matters are discussed. Clarke was obviously critical in his book, but he's been angry and vengeful on TV. He gets louder and shriller each time. He equates questions about previous statements contradicting his current ones of being partisan and political personal attacks. Since when is wondering "Hey, you said these guys were OK a year ago, what's with the change?" a personal attack? It's a legitimate question that Clarke has not really answered.
Clarke on The Daily Show
He's gonna be on "The Daily Show" tonight, and I admit that Jon Stewart has lost me a bit. He seems to have swallowed Clarke's story hook, line and sinker. I know Stewart is a liberal, he always has been, but he's showing some naivete in his wholesale acceptance of Clarke's story. I want to see if he asks ANY tough questions, which if he does will be in polite manner, because he is a polite person, but I want to see if he can restore my faith in his ability to know BS when he sees it. What will be telling is that he has Clarke on tonight, and once and future Bush political wizard Karen Hughes on the next night. She's also promoting a book, though it's about poltical life more than terror. Stewart was calling her a sort of "rebuttal" witness to Clarke. I want to see if he's as fair to her as I suspect he will be to Clarke. If he isn't, The Daily Show may drop off my must-watch list. Stewart has always been good, and remarkably balanced, but reading various forums and seeing how many people actually trust him to tell the whole truth, and then seeing how one-sided his coverage is, I think he's lost me. He eviscorated Rice last night for not coming forward to testify publicly. Some idiots over at Fark.com thought that Stewart's brow beating of her was the reason. If they knew anything, they would have known that this deal, announced this morning, was in the works before Stewart even went to air. The Daily Show, once a bastion of NON-conventional wisdom on politics, seems to be repeating the Democratic party line in many cases, with Stewart boiling down complex issues to a "whaaaaaaa?", as if the simplist, most partisan explination for something was always the real one. I wouldn't have cared about The Daily Show's influence a year ago, but as it moves farther left and as more and more people clearly seem to get all their news from it, as many studies have shown, you have to wonder if Stewart occasionally saying "We're a Fake Show" is gonna cut it anymore. I hopeit doesn't, but Stewart, in recent interviews with John Podhoretz, Jonah Goldberg, and John Stossell has shown himself less open to even considering a conservative/libertarian line of thought valid, and occasionally goes for cheap one liners at his guests expense. Frankly, the interviews were never his strong suit, but he's more activist now, and for a "fake show", TDS has a large following of people who take it as gospel. I've always been a fan of the show, and I've watched it since the first episode with Craig Kilborne way back when. But in the past few months, despite poking fun at Kerry's mannerisms, they've been relentlessly anti-GOP, cutting out key quotes and contextual issues from Stewarts jokes. True, with the context and full quotes the jokes aren't there, but it's important as the show becomes less satire and more "Republicans Always Look Like Idiots, and oh, Kerry is Wooden, ha ha." The next two days will be quite interesting.
ETA: Yes, I know its a comedy show, but there are bigger issues. Michael Moore defended the falsehoods in "Bolwing for Columbine" by saying it was all comedy. Yeah, but that's not how he presented it, nor how it was recieved. Stewart and Comedy Central are fully entitled to produce whatever they want. All I'm saying is that I may no longer be watching.
:: C.M. Burns 3/30/2004 02:21:00 PM [+] ::
Will Saletan Explains Why Pro-Choice Advocates are Losing
Amongst my friends, I'm famous, or infamous, for my squishy position on Abortion. I'd be lying if I said I didn't think Abortion was morally wrong, yet at the same time I understand why it is legal and why it should remain legal, as much as I dislike it. I also want it as rare as possible, which is why when it comes to sex education I am no Conservative. I imagine that sex between two consenting teens using protection is not even morally questionable when confronted with the alternative of abortion. Which is what pro-lifers need to think about.
But pro-choicers have some thinking to do as well in the wake of the partial-birth abortion ban and the newly passed, soon to be signed into law "Laci and Conners Law", the law which stipulates seperate charges against an attacker who injures or kills a pregnant woman or her unborn child, fetus, whatever you want to call it. As Will Saletan, my favorite liberal columnist on social issues, writes in today's Slate, abortion rights advocates are in danger of losing the national debate on abortion due not to any great groundswell amongst the people to ban the procedure, but because of the terms they use in the debate. Saletan is one of the most honest critics of his own movement out there, and his article, if nothing else, makes for facinating reading for a pro-lifer or pro-choicer. It turns out that pro-choicers, who originally used the word "fetus" in the place of child when the debate started after Roe v. Wade, are now afraid to use even that term, denying reality and in serious danger of becoming outsiders. It's a good piece. And a welcome tonic of honest talk in a week in which the Richard Clarke debate is silencing everything else.
:: C.M. Burns 3/30/2004 09:50:00 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, March 25, 2004 ::
NBC and Objectivity: Never Were a Good Match
If there's one definite form of media bias that both Liberals and Conservatives can agree about, it's that the Network Newsmagazine shows are becoming more and more about promoting the Netwiorks interests, financial or otherwise. It started on local stations which would follow up hit shows with local reaction, such as NBC affiliates after "Cheers" and "Seinfeld" ended, and first became a national trend when Survivor contestants started showing up on Letterman and CBS This Morning the day after getting voted off the island. Now, Dateline NBC, always kinda trashy to begin with, plans TWO HOURS worth of stories on Donald Trump and his hit NBC Show "The Apprentice" as it nears the finish line. I love the show and I really like Donald Trump, who is singlehandedly rehabilitating the image of corporate America by stressing ethical behavior and accountability from his proteges. I don't blame Trump. Hell, I'd do it myself, but I think Dateline NBC has finally crossed the line from Infotainment to pure entertainment. The show has no credibility, and if little miss perfect, Katie Couric, is as serious about being treated as a real journalist, she'll step up to the plate and bash NBC News over this. They can't get rid of her, she's too valuable. Instead of hosting a journey up Al Roker's anal canal(yes, he's getting a live on-air colonoscopy, thanks to Katie), she should stop cross-programming with Dateline and come out against this. It's not about Trump. It's about the Network. It's about NBC's lack of credibility, just when a better anchor, Brian Williams, is about to replace old liberal Tom Brokow. NBC Sports has fallen apart, their programming is dying, and now thier News divison is about to suffer a fatal blow. And people complain about FOX.
:: C.M. Burns 3/25/2004 07:49:00 PM [+] ::
American's May be "World's Fattest", But UK Gaining Ground!
According to the Gaurdian, UK Restaurant customers are 'getting greedier', and now over half the population of Great Britain is obese. Of course, have you seen their food? If they keep eating their national dishes at the rate we eat ours, they should overtake us is waist size before you know it. In another point, who really cares? I'm reading a great book right now called "Devil in the White City", about the Chicago Columbian Expoisition of 1893. The author is apparently as amused as I would be by the eating habits of the times. Their appetizers were the sizes of a modern three course meal. Yeah, poverty was worse back then, but if we ate like they did, I think we would ALL be fat bastards.
:: C.M. Burns 3/25/2004 12:00:00 PM [+] ::
For My Opinion of The Clarke Matter...
Read Jonah Goldberg. He seems to be channeling my frustration at both Clarke and the White House over this whole forgettable dust up. To read stuff about why Clarke has little credibility, well, don't look at me, I'm as tired of it as Jonah seems to be. It's interesting that this big uproar came on the same day as the best "The West Wing" of the season, who's premise was that when people have substaintve poicy differences but don't suspect the other side of being evil or wrongly motivated, good things can happen in government. I think the 9/11 commission is, frankly, a bigger joke than the Warren Commission, and we should all admit that there was a screw up, we're sorry, and we won't let it happen again. I think that's what happened, anyway. Agree, disasgree? At least Kerry hasn't said anything about it, so I don't have to.
:: C.M. Burns 3/25/2004 10:37:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, March 23, 2004 ::
Look, It's The Liberal Media!
I'm not sure if any right-wing bloggers have picked up on this. I did a search of Instapundit's archives and found no mention of this article, possible because I don't think a lot of Conservatives or Libertarians visit this site. I went looking for it after a discussion with a colleague this morning. Last night on O'Reiley, he was apparently talking about a meeting between left wing journalists, pundits, and media figures and John Kerry back in December as his campaign was about to collapse. (scroll down for blurb). I don't watch O'Reiley, but I'm guessing he's referring to this by left wing author William Rivers Pitt: "The Trial of John Kerry" The only reason I knew to go looking for it was that O'Reiley named all the people at the meeting and one was Eric Alterman. I recalled that Alterman had talked about a meeting he attended with Kerry in which he demanded to know why Kerry voted for the Iraq War Resolution. I recall also that Alterman left impressed and soon after jumped on the Kerry bandwagon, where before he'd sorta been pro-Dean because Dean was the nastiest towards Presdient Bush. So I searched the web and came across the above article.
It's a remarkable piece of journalism in that in could confirm two widley held theories dismissed by Democratic partisans: One is that the media turned on Dean, leading to hos downfall. The second that the media is liberal. Here's an exceprt from the article as to the meeting's purpose and it's guest list:
"he (Kerry) convened a powerful roster of journalists and columnists in the New York City apartment of Al Franken last Thursday. The gathering could not properly be called a meeting or a luncheon. It was a trial. The journalists served as prosecuting attorneys, jury and judge. The crowd I joined in Franken’s living room was comprised of:
Al Franken and his wife Franni;
Rick Hertzberg, senior editor for the New Yorker;
David Remnick, editor for the New Yorker;
Jim Kelly, managing editor for Time Magazine;
Howard Fineman, chief political correspondent for Newsweek;
Jeff Greenfield, senior correspondent and analyst for CNN;
Frank Rich, columnist for the New York Times;
Eric Alterman, author and columnist for MSNBC and the Nation;
Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist/author of ‘Maus’;
Richard Cohen, columnist for the Washington Post;
Fred Kaplan, columnist for Slate;
Jacob Weisberg, editor of Slate and author;
Jonathan Alter, senior editor and columnist for Newsweek;
Philip Gourevitch, columnist for the New Yorker;
Calvin Trillin, freelance writer and author;
Edward Jay Epstein, investigative reporter and author;
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who needs no introduction.
Anyway, the journalists proceeded to hammer Kerry with questions and, as Pitt describes, "sat in a circle around Kerry and grilled him for two long hours." It should be noted that the only people to admit that this trial by fire took place are Alterman and Pitt, and since Alterman does not keep an archive of his blog, Pitt's account is the only one that survives. None of the supposedly "impartial" journalists have talked about this meeting, at least as far as Google is concerned.
It's easy to see why the right might have missed this. Reading Eric Alterman is painful in the extreme, and I doubt many of my colleagues read William Rivers Pitt. I don't, and reading his fawning over Kerry from back in December was almost too much. But here is a documented gathering of Kerry asking journalists and pundits to come and essentially help him craft his message. The timing on this is interesting. It happened right after Gore endorsed Dean, widely regarded as the high water mark for Dean. Every one of the journalists listed above are major players. They are all, apparently, Kerry backers. The told him how to beat Dean on the war issue. They obviously did so out of a desire to see Dean lose and Kerry win. Is it merely coincidence that in the weeks after this bothe Newsweek and Time, who's top political columnists were at the meeting, ran negative front cover stories on Dean? Kaplan obviously had the least amount of influence, as Will Slaetan and Mikey Kaus were two anti-Kerry Dems who felt that while Dean may have been worse, the party could do a lot better than Kerry. Kaplan didn't write a genuinely pro-Kerry article until after Dean was pretty much done, but as a senior columnist at Slate he could have shifted a lot of their reporting in Kerry's favor, as only Slaetan and Kaus seemed to take hard looks at Kerry in Slate after the Dec. meeting. As for Alterman himself, who might well be less influential than he thinks, he was rah-rah Kerry right after the meeting. In fact, a columnist on the Daily Kos, a major Liberal blog posted this about Alterman's assault on Dean in January:
"I have watched you participate in the mass media smearing of Dean in recent weeks. When you do this, Eric, you show utter contempt not just for Dean but for the people he represents. Like me. Your quiet support of the Iraq war began eliminating any respect I had for you as a progressive thinker, and your sneering at Dean merely increased that process of elimination while revealing you for the elitist establishment insider you really are."
That's pretty harsh, calling Alterman an insider, but this guy was paying attention to him, and I wasn't. It's true that many Deaniacs are crazy mad at the media for what they say is "bringing Dean down", and I think Dean hurt himself mostly, but meeting with influential pundits and impressing them and asking how to beat Dean and getting string advice on it would seem to reinforce part of that belief.
As to Alterman's famous "So Called Liberal Media". I don't think Alterman named who else was at the beat up on Kerry till he can kill Dean meeting, though he may have mentioned Franken, a vocal Kerry supporter from day one. He certainly didn't mention other political journalists by name. But there is no doubt that these men were there to help Kerry win by giving him the bulk of their learning in politics, and after the meeting you could probably draw a graph in negative Dean stories coming from them and positive Kerry ones. This raises an ethical point on top of the obvious case of Democratic bias in the mainstream media. Should pundits who are there to provide unbalanced reporting and analysis be so helpful to a particular candidate, in so obvious a forum? These guys got together to beat Dean, and while I should thank them for forwarding the hapless Kerry instead of an actual electable candidate, I think that our Democracy is better served by members of the Fourth Estate keeping their suport monetary and not giving advice, even if it is in the wierd "intervention" style way they helped Kerry. The only question is, if I email Eric Alterman this article and ask him if he feels that the attendence of Jeff Greenfield, Howard Fineman, and Jonathan Alter and other prominent journos at a "build up Kerry" party that occured right before the media turned on Dean, will he admit mainstream media bias in any direction? Will anyone?
What Did Kerry Know About Vietnam Vets Against The War and When Did He Know It?
In the Washington Post today, buried on Page A7 is a story about how the FBI tracked Kerry's original claim to fame, Vietnam Veterans Against the War. The FBI routinely tracked antiwar groups in the 1960's and 70's when Hoover was running things, and a great deal of their tracking was of innocent people simply opposed to the war. However, VVAW was not so innocent. It's been known for a while that in a Kansas City meeting in November of 1971 they discussed the possibility of targeting high-level politicians for assasination in an effort to end the war. Kerry has denied he was there, saying he had quit the group earlier because they were radicalizing. Turns out he was at that meeting, where, to his credit, he announced he was leaving the group. Of course, he was leaving to run for Congress in 1972 and he told them he would still be available to speak on their behalf. Not exactly a clean break from the group. The Post reports that Kerry's camapign has now admitted that Kerry had confused the meeting with another in St. Louis he did not attend. More on that in a second. Anyway, over at JustOneMinute, there are links to stories in the Kansas City Star and other blogs about Kerry's association with that very controversial meeting that would seem to justify the FBI's survelence of the group and Sen. Kerry. You'll notice on that blog that in an LA Times feature on Kerry that discusses that surveilence, nothing is mentioned of the Kansas City meeting. I wonder why, since Bush possibly being AWOL is a big story, the now established fact that John Kerry was at a meeting in which political assasinations were being discussed isn't worth mentioning in the LA Times and is only hinted at in the Post story. It's probably not media bias, because as Eric Alterman proved the press is not liberal in any way shape or form.
Anyway, Kerry has explained away one error in his reporting of his dealings with VVAW as mistaking the Kansas City meeting with the St. Louis one. I think he's being less than honest. Would you confuse a meeting in which assasinations were discussed seriously with one months later that you did not attend and that according to all reports discussed nothing of great controversey? I doubt it, considering that Kerry seems to recall everything about his life. I really don't care so much if Kerry was there as long as he admits it. He did quit at that meeting so he could say "They radicalized right then and there and I quit". He hasn't said that. He first denied he was there and then said he confused it with an unrelated meeting. You'd also think he'd remember the meeting at which he announced his intentions to leave the group that had made him famous. That Kerry was disliked by Richard Nixon and was followed by the FBI, perhaps illegally, doesn't shield him from important questions about why he has been misleading about his realtionship with VVAW. He's been similarly dismissive about the lies that VVAW put forth and he testified as truth at his infamous hearing before Congress. Sen. Kerry served his nation well in Vietnam, though legitimate questions remain about some of his medals and he has not released his medical records from the time. However, everything he did when he got back is fair game. I would have a easier time beliving that the media was unbiased if they asked the same tough questions about his activities in the 70's that they did of the President regarding his National Guard service. I think the "band of brothers" that Kerry touts and uses as props, the veterans that support him, deserve to know whether he came back from the war and participated in meetings that seriously discussed political assasinations. They should know how he got three purple hearts without missing a day of active duty, and they should ask him whether he's using them now as he used them then: to further his own goals, and not anyone elses.
:: C.M. Burns 3/23/2004 11:54:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, March 22, 2004 ::
Just when you want to sympathize with anti-war protestors...
You see This Guy:
Yeah, I would call that Treason, as others have, seeing as it celebrates the death of innocents and gives "aid and comfort to the enemy", which is the definition of treason. I'm not saying arrest him, I'm just saying that if the "peace" marchers who marched with this guy didn't kick his ass, they lose the moral authority to protest the war in Iraq. Not that they had much to stand on in the first place. No, I don't think they all think that, but if I was in a pro-War march and some asshole held up a sign saying "kill the arabs" I would kick his ass, and I think my pro-war buddies would, too. This guy's a fucking traitor.
:: C.M. Burns 3/22/2004 03:16:00 PM [+] ::
Hamas Founder Dead, Probably in Hell
I'm not a big death penalty fan, but when it comes to Terrorists I make an exception. Hell, when it comes to terrorists I make an exception for torture and forced sterilization. But I digress. I just can't feel anything other than a small amount of pleasure that the Iraelis kiled the founder of Hamas the other day. Yeah, he was in a wheelchair, but losing mobility doesn't make your actions, words, and influence any less evil. The world is a better place without this bastard, and I hope he burns for all the lives his words and ideas have taken, both Israeli AND Palenstinian. You want an enemy in the Isreal-Palestanian conflict-It's this guy. An enemy to BOTH groups. Rest in Hell.
:: C.M. Burns 3/22/2004 03:10:00 PM [+] ::
Dumbing Down Shakespere
I'll admit that I hated the first Shakespere play I read. It was "Romeo & Juliet", and I read it my Freshman year of High School. I found it boring and uninteresting, and the language was, admittedly, difficult. It also didn't help that my Freshman year English teacher was the worst one I ever had. The next year we read "Taming of the Shrew" and "Hamlet", and I liked them both, partially because the plots were more interesting (even now I hate "Romeo & Juliet" because it's story has become a cliche. Not the Bards fault, but stil...) and party because my teacher had a knack for the language of Shakepere, a difficult form of English that is also beautiful. Also, the books we used were in the original text, but had notes on the language on the opposite pages to help our young minds through it. I forget who published these, but I read many of the Bard's work from these editions. Now, in Atlanta, new study guides are being developed that
suggest using "modern english" translations of Shakespere. The critic in the linked article mentions that on it's face it's not a terrible idea, but wonders if we're giving up too much to teach a difficult subject. I think the idea is totally terrible. Student-style books that explain the olde-English are out there, I know because that's what I was given. No nead to actually rewrite the text for this poor generation of students who are suffering at the hands of teachers not clever enough to teach the subject. The critic in the article sugests showing the films along with the readings, and I agree this is a good idea, but to translate "Et Tu, Brute?" to "And you too, Brutus?" in the actual text of the play is a fucking crime against taste and the Bard himself. I weep for our future if this is what passes for good education.
:: C.M. Burns 3/22/2004 11:26:00 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, March 19, 2004 ::
Final Word on the "Smearing" of Max Cleland
I've written before about how the Dems have painted Max Cleland as some sort of patron saint of those wronged by "The Republican Smear Machine". For a while, I believed the hype myself. Until I looked at the campaign a little harder. Anyway, just so you know it's not Republicans who think the case for Cleland's martyrdom is overstated, I offer this quick analysis from Georgia Democrat "Hardcore Chris". He agrees that the ad was distateful, but was certainly not what killed Cleland's campaign. He may be a veteran, but he had a weak voting record for a state like Georgia, which was just as damaging as the infamous "Saddam-Osama" ad. Last word on it from me, but if Dems are thinking about a Cleland slot, they ought to listen to "Hardcore Chris".
:: C.M. Burns 3/19/2004 10:33:00 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, March 18, 2004 ::
Messages from The Middle East
New feature today. Two of my best Friends are in the army, one in the JAG corps, the other MI. They are bothe currently in the middle east, with Lt. Rick in Bahgdad and Spc. Jon preping in Kuwait. They have agreed to let me post letters from them to the blog here, so you can all get a soldiers-eye view of the ongoing operation. I'm obviously not the first blogger to do this, but as long as I get higher traffic, and people can see what it's like for the regular Joes over there, I'm gonna do it anyway. The first letter is from Spc. Jon(first names only, if just to add intrigue) in Kuwait, waiting for deployment to somewhere in Iraq....
Greetings from Camp Udairi. It rained this morning. Rain consists of approx. 30 seconds of drizzle. It's actually really funny. I thought I would have to use the wipers. Well, here I am, fresh from a big party last night courtesy of our LtC. He and our deputy...bought a bunch of non-alcoholic Budweiser and the section had a little shindig. We had just come back from playing soldier for three days doing live-fire exercises and learning how to shoot from moving vehicles and all that stuff. We were instructed by ex-Delta Force and Special Forces personnel, so you can be assured I received the highest skilled instruction... the problem is that me, Mr. uncoordinated, has to execute said instruction. We slept outside and did all the stuff that real soldiers do. I barely notice the body armor anymore, except when I am trying to breathe.
I wish I could attach a file from here so you can see my developing mustache. We are all participating in an "Iraqi-stache" contest to see who can look the most like Mr. Hussein. Needless to say, I do not wear one as well as my father did.
Also, as you can tell I am still in Kuwait... infer what you want, I couldn't possibly comment. We are pretty bored when we aren't at ranges, one of our compadres bought the Army a camel over the weekend... they medevaced it out to god knows where. You can tell anyone that story if they ever doubt the Army's commitment to animal equality.
I wish I could be watching the tourney later today, we willn't know the first results til Saturday.
I hope things are well for everyone at home. I guess I have been gone almost two weeks now, but it feels like forever. I am looking forward to mid-tour leave already, as is everyone else. It's very repetitious here, and our camp is crowded with transiting soldiers. I do get a chance to read a lot though, which is nice, but I am still staring at Anna Karenina with trepidation. we have no news about how things are in Baghdad, though I gather that attacks have become more frequent. All I can say is that we are doing up a lot of plans to win hearts and minds, that old phrase. We are being beaten over the heads about being selective when we respond to attacks. I just hope that people remember that.
Lastly, take care everyone. I am glad I got a chance to send another email. I think this will be my last gasp before Baghdad, and apparently, communications are not established there yet, so it could be longer.
Philadelphia just jumped to my list of cool cities when it's unions so enraged Bunim/Murray productions, the evil forces behind the original "reality" show that was once cool and offbeat and now is unbeliveably lame, that they left town. Local unions were upset that the producers had hired non-union labor to renovate the place where the annoying brats were going to live. It got really ugly. Apparently, the city really WANTED to have the Real World kids come and ruin their city's reputation, but Unions do serve a purpose, and sometimes it's a good one, whether it's getting good wages for hard workers, laundering cash for the mob, or running annoying Real Word producers out of town. They did good.
:: C.M. Burns 3/17/2004 09:46:00 PM [+] ::
Taking a Campaign break
I've decided that I've been getting too worked up over Kerry lately. That's why I've decided to ONLY post if he does something truly outrageous. Until then, I'm just gonna point any longtime readers, all 12 of you, to the links section, particularly National Review Online and Kausfiles, people who are getting paid to spend their time exposing Kerry's crap. Alos, Blogs for Bush is really good. So head on over there for a bit. I'm gonna only post campaign stuff intermitently, or mostly Bush positive stuff, just because with 8 months to go I'm getting a little too worked up, like a Deaniac on Caucus night. Anyway, one final point on Kerry's phonieness: He's not Irish, though he has claimed otherwise and changed his story over the years, but since on St. Paddy's day, we're all Irish, today he gets to be. Erin go bragh, all, and I'm gonna go find something goofy and fun to write about.
:: C.M. Burns 3/17/2004 02:02:00 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, March 15, 2004 ::
The Lies of John F. Kerry
Well, I don't think it's all lies, seeing some was based on an eroneous report in Newsweek and Kerry has mixed up who were allegdly actors, but Kerry would call it a lie if Bush said it, and Bush critics call every accidental misstatement the President makes a lie, so I thought I would just focus on Sen. Kerry's propensity for making statements with no basis in reality.
"Whether it has been providing funding and equipment for firefighters, ensuring that cargo in our ports is screened, guarding our chemical and nuclear facilities, or working with local communities across the country to give them resources they need - this administration has given our homeland security efforts short shrift. You deserve better.''
Sounds pretty awful of Bush, eh? If only it were true. As the Bush campaign pointed out, the President's fiscal 2005 budget calls for $500 million in grants for Firefighters, a 400% increase since '01. Now, it doesn't say where the money would go, but I'm betting alot would go to training.
As to Kerry's charge about Cargo Screening. As many have pointed out, particularly Roger Simon, it would be impossible to screen every piece of Cargo coming into the US without virtually destroying the economy. Just go to any major port, look at the thousands of cargo containers, and try to think up a way to make it perfectly safe. I bet you can't. I doubt Sen. Kerry could, either, but since he has no IDEAS, only smears for the President, it's an easy target. But the Bush campaign had a classic question a member of Kerry's audience might want to ask when he talks about the "underfunded" Dept. of Homeland Security: " 'When John Kerry shows up to meet with union bosses today, he should explain why he didn't show up for the vote on last year's $29.3 billion Homeland Security appropriations bill,' said Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign." Of course, Kerry was campaining, and his only vote in a while was the assault weapons vote on Super Tuesday that didn't really do all that much. And where does this charge of not protecting Nuke Plants come from. I read a lot of news. So it's a new one to me. All this smearing and lies from a man who claims he is being the target of smears and lies, a constant target, so brave that he stands up to the evil that the GOP does. What a trooper!
The other misquote that someone needs to get Kerry to stop talking about, because it too is a smear now that it's been proven false. Kerry said:
"They've hired actors to pose as journalists to sell a bad bill with your money, after already hiring actors to pose as soldiers in the president's campaign commercials you have to wonder: How many Oscar-winning performances will it take to convince America that George Bush can put America back on track?''.
Now, there is a problem with the Medicare ads. They are misleading and since I'm not a fan of Medicare period if it was to ,say, end the funding of that stupid, wasteful prescription Drug bill that passed I wouldn't mind. But the lie(well, mistake, but he'd call Bush a liar if he said it, and a smear artist), is when Kerry said the Bush campaign hired actors to pose a soldiers in a campaign commercial. What he's probably referring to is the false belief put forth and hardly corrected in Newsweek that the Bush ads featuring firefighters were actually paid actors. Turns out they weren't. They were volunteer firemen, as the Bush camp proved. Apparently nobody told Sen. Kerry this. And he perhaps hasn't seen the ads because none of Bush's ads feature paid actors as soldiers, though the most recent might include soldiers, I haven't seen it. Anyway, at a firefighters gathering perhaps you'd think Kerry would play up the idea that it was fake firefighters, but knowing it wasn't true, he decided to invent something least he feel their wraith once the truth came out.
One final note, I took a great deal of joy seeing Kerry get roasted on his stupid "foreign leaders want me" comment, getting verbally browbeaten in a town hall meeting by a GOPer who thought that if foreign leaders wanted Kerry as Preisdent, he should tell us. Kerry's response was pathetic, saying he wouldn't betray the trust of the conversation. Please. Did he not think he'd get asked about this, that saying sensitive, irresponsible things regarding foreign leaders and our election and then refusing to back it up? He also tried to back away from his original statement, which was this: "I've met with foreign leaders who can't go out and say this publicly, but, boy, they look at you and say, 'You've got to win this. You've got to beat this guy. We need a new policy.' Things like that." Note the "met with foreign leaders" line. It's important. In response to questions about it, Kerry said this: "I think what I said was that I've heard from people around the world who look forward to the day when they'll have an administration they can work with." Well, no Senator, that's NOT what you said or implied. You said FOREIGN LEADERS, and considering that Kerry hasn't left the US since Feburary of last year, BEFORE the Iraq invasion, and hasn't been overseas since two months before that, I think his line is total bull. The guy who heckled him, demanding an answer, had this to say about Kerry's lack of one: "If he's lying about something so simple as this, you have to wonder whether a President Kerry would be an honest person. I wanted to give him an opportunity to defend his lie. He gave a nonanswer, which tells me he's lying." Whether you think President Bush is full of lies is irrelevent. If Kerry is also full of lies your objection to Bush boils down to simply disagreeing, which is fine, but don't say Kerry's honest, because he's not.
Kerry's people and his online flacks at Salon.com call this a "non-story". Who are they kidding, when they pushed the biggest non-story of the year so far with the 9/11 Bush ads. Kerry says questions about his statements are just signs the Bush administration is "running from his record". WHat a joke. The Senator need to realize that if he says things that are untrue or questionable, he will be called on it, not to "distract", but because he brought it up in the first place. SecState Colin Powell gets the last word on this, obviously pissed at Kerry's comments, as Powell doesn't like to comment on politics:
"I don't know what foreign leaders Senator Kerry is talking about. It's an easy charge, an easy assertion to make. But if he feels it is that important an assertion to make, he ought to list some names. If he can't list names, then perhaps he should find something else to talk about."
I think that says it all. I fucking hate John Kerry. In case you couldn't tell.
:: C.M. Burns 3/15/2004 03:09:00 PM [+] ::
I'll be blogging more later...
Right now I'm too busy trying to figure out how to keep my head from exploding whenever John Kerry does or says something stupid and/or irresponsible. This takes work, and I fear for my health as I've got to deal with this problem until November. But a quick item on Kerry pandering to another group, this time Cubans. Here's the key part of the article:
''I'm pretty tough on Castro, because I think he's running one of the last vestiges of a Stalinist secret police government in the world,'' Kerry told WPLG-ABC 10 reporter Michael Putney in an interview to be aired at 11:30 this morning.
Then, reaching back eight years to one of the more significant efforts to toughen sanctions on the communist island, Kerry volunteered: ``And I voted for the Helms-Burton legislation to be tough on companies that deal with him.''
It seemed the correct answer in a year in which Democratic strategists think they can make a play for at least a portion of the important Cuban-American vote -- as they did in 1996 when more than three in 10 backed President Clinton's reelection after he signed the sanctions measure written by Sen. Jesse Helms and Rep. Dan Burton.
There is only one problem: Kerry voted against it.
I wonder if the Miami Herald is part of the Republican Smear Machine? Maybe I should ask Salon.com!
Kerry Comments: Who's the Target of a Smear Campaign, Again?
John Kerry always talks about how the GOP "slime machine" is going to come after him, tell lies about him, and basically say he's the political equivalent of a magic 8 ball-shake him up and get a new answer every time! This slime machine has yet to emerge, but if it's out there I'd like it to contact me so I can operate it personally. Kerry's doing all the sliming, saying all the nasty things, and doing so without getting too badly burnt in the media.
His latest comments, that the GOP are "the most crooked ... lying group (he's) ever seen." is just another low for the Senator. He claims the comment was caught accidentally, and his campaign said it proves that he "fights back". Fight's back against what? A shadow campaign. His spokesman also invoked, poor, sainted former Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia who might still be in office if only the mean Republicans didn't tell the truth about his voting record. The myth of Max Cleland is so popular it's a virtual truth, and not just for partisans. The media takes it at face value, too. Still, the attacks on Kerry have yet to even come. I know the President is taking shots in speaches, but his comments are actually critical of things Kerry has voted against, and never gets personal in the way Kerry does. By repeating the "GOP Slime Machine" mantra, he's gotten the media and a bit of the general public to actually believe he's running a clean campaign. But if you've seen him on the stump, he's nothing but negativity and nastiness with a couple of lame catchphrases and no substance. So, who's sliming who Senator? And please tell Joe Conason, as you've confused the poor so much he's begun to believe his own propaganda.
:: C.M. Burns 3/11/2004 09:56:00 AM [+] ::
There's an editorial in the NY Times today that I almost entirely agree with. Really. 100% back it's central thesis. I'm fairly shocked. This almost never happens. Never. But today, in an editorial entitled Soft Money Slinks Back(free registration required), the Times slams those Democratic groups, such as the Media Fund, that are running what amount to campaign ads against the President, something that is marginally illegal, and something that is a massive loophole in campaign finance reform. Yes, the NY Times actually took a group of Democrats to task for beating up on the President. Of course, their motives aren't the same as mine. The Times is afraid that this action harms the wonderful reforms of McCain-Feingold and allows "large and politically destructive contributions". I think there is nothing wrong with large donations, but the Times has always stuck to it's guns on this, even after the new laws gave Republicans a massive dollar advantage(I bet they hadn't counted on that), so I give them one point for integrity. Anyway, these groups are operating illegally, and I want them stopped. Of course, my motives are less pure: if we can't do it, they damn well better not be able to. If we could, well, I think I might support them, since I hate McCain-Feingold and think it should be decalred unconstitutional. Anyway though, on the issue at hand, if it is illegal, I say stop, and so does the Times, so I guess they're ice skating in hell.
:: C.M. Burns 3/11/2004 09:41:00 AM [+] ::
Killing in the Name of...
This is the best Flash animation game ever. It's also the most violently awful, even worse than the penguin clubbing game. It's called Divine Intervention, and you play a well-armed priest ridding his town of the forces of evil by riddling demons with bullets. Very graphic, very funny, especially the opening animation. Forgive us father, for we have MURDERED!
:: C.M. Burns 3/11/2004 09:17:00 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, March 10, 2004 ::
Theresa Heniz-Kerry Is A Crazy Person
I'm sorry, she's rich, so the correct moniker is "eccentric". But I prefer utterly nutty. I will simply present two direct quotes and let you, the people, who found this site by googling "Average Joe 2" and "Clinton and Porn", decide:
Quote One: "I think he's a man who likes complexity, understands it, and doesn't shy away from looking sometimes as though he is saying one thing and doing another when in fact, anybody who understands this knows exactly what he means. I think only people who like simple notions or simple solutions ? well, simplification, let's say ? would expect that to be so. I find complexity interesting and so does he. And we do live in complex times." -from CNN
Quote Two: "What has been most damaging, I think ? to all of us ? about many of the actions of this administration has been the cynicism with which they have perpetrated their positions and with which they have used us to trap us and to, in a sense, terrorize us, because they paralyze us. And you know what? That is un-American, in my book."-From an interview at a campaign stop in California, quoted in National Review.
I challange anyone, anywhere to make heads or tales out of either one, but the first one really has my brain taxed. So, since he's so complex and smart, only he and geniuses like him can understand his positions? Or he's too smart to every HAVE a position? I'm sure she'll be muzzled soon enough, but she's certainly more entertaining than her arrogant, stiff husband.
:: C.M. Burns 3/10/2004 04:41:00 PM [+] ::
I Have A Totally Better DVD Collection Than Bill Clinton
If The Onion's reporting is accurate, and when isn't it really, then I have a much better DVD collection than former Preasident Clinton. In "Work Begins On Clinton Presidential DVD Library", it is reevaled that Clinton has just 90-some DVD's and has, get this, "Jerry Maguire". What a rube! I'd like to see the Presidential Porn Library, personally.
:: C.M. Burns 3/10/2004 03:53:00 PM [+] ::
Tim Robbins: Fine Actor, Poor Critical Thinker
The New Republic has a blistering attack on Tim Robbin's new play called "Embedded", a sort of fantasized version of the Iraq Campaign that is apparently based on a very poor understandig of Neoconservatism and Leo Strauss. In "Devious Plot", TNR senior editor Lawrence F. Kaplan rips Robbins for apparently sourcing his play, which Kaplan calls "artless propaganda" from and incredibly misguided view of Neoconservatives and where they came from, and from the man many on the left have demonized without understanding, Leo Strauss. Kaplan rips Robbins to shreds and also asks rehtorically about the "chill wind" Robbins spoke of that was telling people to fall into line about the war of shut up. Funny, Robbins is still talking, and sadly many already hopelessly lost New Yorkers are flocking to his play and droves. I guess the wind wasn't so cold, after all.
:: C.M. Burns 3/10/2004 02:50:00 PM [+] ::
ESPN Needs To Get Back to Basics
This is not the first time I have written about how annoyed and almost totally fed up I am with ESPN, and it will not be the last. Over the past 5 years, ESPN has become, well, a shadow of it's former self, far too corporate and too tied in with the Disney/ABC world. ESPN was always on the edge in the old days, and it's original "This is Sportscenter" commercials remain calssics that upped the network's viewership to record levels in the 90's. However, with a cycle of really bad commercials, poor reporting in ESPN: The Magazine(sort of like MAXIM for the sports set. This is NOT a good thing), and a loss of purpose, ESPN needs to go back to basics-covering sports. Because I can't link to ESPN programming, I'm linking to ESPN.com, where an example of all that's gone wrong with the network in on display for free. For example, there is ESPN's Page 2, a good concept in alternative coverage of sports featuring mostly comic columns. It launched the originally refreshing but now hackneyed "Sport's Guy", Bill Simmons, who represented the fan in everyone until he got hired by Jimmy Kimmell for his unwatchable talk show and sold out his New England sports fan credibility when he started lusting openly for the Patriots to become a dynasty team. Hating the Yankees in one thing. Wanting to become them is another, and Simmons is headed down the road. He still writes good stuff now and again, but it's truncated by the fact that he's gone Hollywood and is displaying dimaying signs of being a hack. Takethis columns about him becoming a Yankees fan-type. Look at his passage on Uncle Ricky. It's meant to say he's learned his lesson and he's sorry. It's the kind of crap Mitch Albom writes. This is not fit for ESPN. What's sad is you can go into his archive and back in the old days he was just an average fan. Now, he's a Hollywood phonie. Sad.
Perhaps his relegation to part-time columnist when he left Bean Town for La La Land is a good place to look for when ESPN Page 2 lost it's way. Now, we've got columns full of OJ jokes. OJ JOKES! In 2004! It's over ESPN, making OJ jokes is so passe becaus OJ is a joke himself. I can't believe that column is what they advertise as their top stuff. And since they no longer have the Sports Guy to give us a fans view, they have talentless jokers like Jim Caple trying to ape him and talk about Boston. It used to be cute, but stop! You guys have Hunter S. Thompson writing bad columns about the Raiders! Thomspon's slipped in recent years, but when you publish stuff he would have set on fire and then urinated on years ago, you've lost your edge.
ESPN also lost a lot of cred last year with two firings, one high-profile and questionable, based on the intent of the initial hiring of that figure, and the second was flat-out censorship and blacklisting that made it look like ESPN was Clear Channell. The first is the firing of Rush Limbaugh. I know why ESPN hired Limbaugh to give commentary: He's a big name to draw ratings, and they were hoping to generate controversey. Well, he did, and when he did ESPN freaked. Yes, Limbaugh was allowed to "resign" and then went into rehab, but their inability to defend freedom of thought over questionable but not clearly all that offensive comments was stupid. The only good writer they have left, Ralph Wiley, took them to task for it, but the other online ESPN columnists hardly mentioned their master's role in the incident.
The second was the quiet, but sinister elimination of Gregg Easterbrook's Tuesday Morning Quarterback column, easily the best thing Page 2 had going. Easterbrook got into some mild trouble with the outside media when he made some thoughtless remarks on his personal Blog that sounded anti-semetic, but really weren't intended to be so as NO ONE who ever knew that man thought it was possible. He himself issued an apology without any prompting. But he was axed by ESPN without anyone being notified. The story was nowhere. ESPN deleted ALL of his columns off their web page in the middle of football season without telling a single reader why. A small note saying the column would no longer appear was all we got, and that was only up for a day. They erased him, KGB-style, and NO ONE on the site talked about it. This, from what used to be the edgiest sports concern going? Sick.
Now ESPN has created a web page called Page 3 that has almost NOTHING to do with sports. Nada. It's like Access Hollywood or something. It's pathetic. The main site still has the coverage you'd want from ESPN, of every sport ever, but all the other experiments they've tried have, apparently, failed. ESPN's original series "Playmakers" was pulled because the NFL compalined it made the NFL look bad. ESPN folded, afraid of losing coverage and access, even though without ESPN the NFL wouldn't have flourished as it did in the 1990's. ESPN programming on all FOUR networks is flagging. ESPNNEWS, the 24-hour a day Headline News clone actually has a roundtable talk program on these days. They had one good show, "Pardon the Interruption", and cloned it into "Around the Horn". They even stole an idea from MTV and American Idol, with a Sportscaster talent search. ESPN Classics, which used to show classic sports only, now is a repository for the lamer of their SportsCentury profiles, some about atheletes who have hardly been around all that long, and many who never deserved the honor.
So what is to be done? ESPN still gets massive ratings and has the best NFL kickoff show. But everywhere else it's weak. I can't remember the last time I watched Sportscenter. I really can't. I have no idea who's the lead now. When Rich Eisen showed up on NFL network commercials during the playoffs in January, I was shocked to discovery he'd left the netwrok, but maybe it's becaue he still has integrity(Note: he's been on VH1's "I LIve the 80's". He has no integrity". And ESPN unleashed one of the least capable newsmen ever-Kieth Olbermann. Back when they failed to recontract him in the mid-90's, ESPN was faulted like crazy and other nets tried to pick him up. He's been used as a baseball analyst and a political analyst, and now hosts "The Countdown" on MSNBC. He's terrible. Just awful. ESPN made this happen. Another sin. Anyway, I think ESPN should stick to two networks, sell "Classics" to a net that won't treat it like dirt, and do away with the talk shows. Cover sports and show games, and kick off from Disney/ABC. The Mouse House is drowning your once-proud network.
Now that's I've had that catharsis, I'm gonna go back to hating John Kerry. Don't stop me.
:: C.M. Burns 3/10/2004 01:34:00 PM [+] ::
Over at Opinion Journal today's lead editorial, entitled 9/11 Politics, deals with who, exactly, the "outraged" family members who are bashing the Bush ads are. Yes, they did lose family members, and that is of course a tragedy. But since then they have been operating on the far left as the editorial shows. A similiar editorial appeared in yesterdays New York Post, and there was a flurry of blogging about it, all nicely wraped up by Glenn Renyods at Instapundit. Of course, only non-traditional media such as bloggers seem to care about motives when it comes to critics of the President, but we're used to it, because it's all about THAT liberal media.
:: C.M. Burns 3/10/2004 10:05:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, March 09, 2004 ::
Ted Kennedy Assails Pryor Appointment as "Unconstitutional". Kennedy STILL Not Convicted for Killing a Woman at Chappaquidic
Well, that second part wasn't in the official headline, but I think we need to be reminded that the "lion" of the Senate as his supporters call him did, in fact, essentially kill Mary Joe Kopekne back in 1969 when he drove a car over a bridge and into the water of the Chappaqua River. He got out of the car, went home, and didn't notify police until the morning. He was never charged, but since he's a Kennedy in Massachusettes that's not a surprise. Anyway, I just thought I shoul put that on as a disclaimer as Ted is talking about Constitutionality and the law and judges, so I thought it was relevant.
Anyway, a few weeks back President Bush appointed Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Pryor had been blocked for over a year by Kennedy and the other Democrats on the Judiciary Committee for his "extreme" views, which in Democrat speak means they disagreed with him. They didn't have anything really specific, just that he was a conservative who happened to be Catholic, which means he doesn't believe in Abortion. Though his record as AG in Alabama had him constantly upholding the law, even if he disagreed with it. Why? Because Pryon believes in the rule of law and the seperation of Church and State. He's the guy who kicked former Alabama Supreme Court justcie Roy Moore and his massive 10 commandments display out of the court. Teh president used the power of the recess Appointment, a power given to him in the Constitution under Article II. Now Teddy says it was unconstitutional, and that the other justices on the 11th Circuit shouls essentially not allow him to be seated. Teddy gets his marching orders on judges from various special interest groups such as People for the American Way, the NAACP and NARAL Pro-Choice America, who have asked for and recieved favors in judicial nominee proceedings from Kennedy and his Democratic bretheren. Here's just a taste from Byron York who has been following "memogate" since it broke.
One memo, from a staffer to Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy, dated April 17, 2002, detailed how the NAACP Legal Defense Fund asked Democrats to delay the confirmation of Julia Scott Gibbons to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Legal Defense Fund officials did not want her on the court when the University of Michigan affirmative action case was decided. Members of Kennedy's staff conceded they were "a little concerned about the propriety of scheduling hearings based on the resolution of a particular case." But they nevertheless worked to delay the confirmation.
I wonder if Kennedy thinks that is Constitutional?
Anyway, Teddy's complaint is that recess appointments can only come "at the end of a Congress or the recess between the annual sessions of Congress". Is that true? Lets go to the source document, the US Constitution. Here's the link to the relevant passage which reads: "The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session."
Admittedly, the apointments are supposed to be for vacancies that occur during a recess. However, it's never been interepreted so strictly. I work for a Presidential Appointee who was initially appointed to fill a vacancy that occured while Congress was in session. He was a recess appointment in August of 2002 because the agency we work at needed the vacancy filled. He was approved by the Senate in October, and nobody said his appointment was unconstitutional, even though it did not equal the exact letter of the Constitution. This is because the Constitution is vague on the exact timing and the founders probably didn't think judges would become political in the way that they have.
What's the conclusion? Kennedy is just looking for another sound bite. The Democrats and their special interests did not want Pryor approved, and he had the votes in the Senate to be approved, but was being blocked by Kennedy, Sen. Chuck Schumer, and Sen. Leahy. The President has acted perfectly within his rights, and it just upsets Kenendy and Co. that he did. Of course, if they actually had real hearings and judged Pryor on his merits, not on the fears of their backers, he would never have been blocked, he would have been given a vote, and this could all be avoided. Sen. Kennedy and the Democrats on the Judiciary Committe have been playing games with the Constitution and judical appointments since President Bush took office. To complain about the President using one of his Constitutionally guaranteed powers to bypass their obstructionism is sad, and since Kennedy has no legs to stand on, rather pathetic. Sen. Kennedy clearly has no shame, never had any class, and is an embarrasment to his two slain brothers. At least in my opinion. But then, RFK and JFK liked the Constitution too, so they're not that close to Teddy on that one.
Homer Simpson Alive & Well in Middle America? Not likely
Salon.com is not only fun reading just to see what exactly the looney left is thinking about politics. To it's credit, it offers up excellent film, music, book, and TV reviews, and always has an interesting assoretment of AP articles on the side. This one, about the pulling of a Simpsons-related Dear Abby column is one of the best things I've read today. It seems a woman wrote into Dear Abby with a predicament taken directly from the first season Simpsons episode "Life on the Fast Lane". In that episode, Homer bought Marge a bowling ball with his name embossed on it and the holes drilled for his fingers on her birthday. She's pissed at him, goes to bowl, and almost leaves him for Jacque the bowling intstructor, until she decides to give Homer another chance and confornts him at work and he carries her off ala "Officer and a Gentelemen", complete with "Love lift us up where we belong" playing.
Here's what the woman wrote to dear Abby, from the AP article in Salon:
The column is titled "Wife meets perfect match after husband strikes out." In the letter, the writer describes herself as a 34-year-old mother of three who has been married for 10 years to a man who is "greedy, selfish, inconsiderate and rude."
The writer says her husband, Gene, gave her a bowling ball for her birthday -- complete with the holes drilled to fit his fingers and embossed with his name. Undeterred, the woman decides to learn to bowl and heads to the local lanes, where she meets another man, Franco, who is "kind, considerate and loving."
In this version, the wife wants to marry Franco, but it's virtually identical to "The Simpsons" episode. And if I didn't read Salon, I wouldn't have foudn this goofy story, so they aren't a totally worthless site after all! Though they're still selling the Bush stole 2000 line and Joe Conason is off his meds again. But that TV column, Hoo-ah!
:: C.M. Burns 3/09/2004 11:13:00 AM [+] ::
And who would these leaders be? I'm guessing it's NOT Tony Blair. Maybe Chiriac or Shroeder? Probably. Kofi Annan I'd bet, if I believed it was true, because I don't. Kerry has said he's met these world leaders. Now, how many state visits have we had over teh last year that Kerry has attended? How many foreign leaders have met privately with Kerry? I think it wouldn't be hard to find out. The press is always given copies of a Senator's schedule, so unless these leaders were travelling secretley to the US specifically to tell Kerry to win, I think he's flat-out lying in an attempt to win support for himself. It's sick, really. Also, just saying it damages the President's ability to conduct foreign affairs, and while I'm sure that's precisiely what Kerry wanted to do, it's grossly innapropriate and hurts US interests in general, not just the President's goals. Is Kerry really this massively stupid? Does his ego know no bounds? Will someone in the media call him on it? Don't hold your breath. Though, remember, Kim Jong Il wants a Kerry victory, so maybe THAT's who Kerry was talking about.
:: C.M. Burns 3/09/2004 10:28:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, March 08, 2004 ::
Bush-Bashing and Fear Mongering: Instrinsically Linked
I was at the downtown Barnes & Noble yesterday looking through the current affairs section. It was, as anyone can tell you, stocked to the brim with anti-Bush books such as "Fraud", "Lies", "Big Lies", "The Lies of George W. Bush", etc., etc. There's a glut of them, and looking at them, they all have the same theory: Bush lies a lot, and he does so to make you afraid and he is a power hungry madman idiot. Various other ideas pop up, such as Bush only likes the rich, John Ashcroft hates your civil liberties and is coming to get you at your house, and Guantanamo is the worst attrocity ever. All these books offer up less evidence than they do ancidote, and they all push on two hot buttons: Bush-hating, and fear. The left loves to say that the Bush campaign is running on frightening Americans, that since 9/11 we are no safer, that Bush has done nothing and just wants to scare you. Of course, they offer no proof of this(just read Salon.com if you don't believe me. Get a day pass and read all their articles. They appear to be living in another world, which makes sense since they employ Sid Blumental and Joe Conason as their top two opinion writers. I don't know what color the sky is in Conason's world, but I'm betting it's falling. In Bluemnthal's world, the sky is full of glowing portraits of the Clinton's that only he can see.) No, their proof is their disagreement with the President. They are as righteously sure that they are correct and the GOP is wrong as they accuse the GOP of being certain they are right. The problem being the only ideas the left has is that Bush is wrong. No alternatives, just a certainty that he is wrong and his policies are destroying America, are taking away your jobs, and that we're basically the worst human rights abusers ever. This is a campaign waged on fear.
The best example of the lies and distortions that are being used to fuel this fear comes from a recent ad spot from MoveOn.org, that George Soros funded organization formed in 1998 to end the impeachment of Clinton. The ad says that the President is going to take overtime pay away from 8 million workers. Here's the text, via FactCheck.org:
Announcer: Times are tough. So you work overtime to make ends meet. Then you find out George Bush wants to eliminate overtime pay for 8 million workers. Two million jobs lost. Jobs going overseas. And now, no overtime pay.
When it comes to choosing between corporate values and family values, face it, George Bush is not on our side.
Scary, huh? Sounds like Dubya's coming to take your money away from you. Well, not so fast says factcheck. As the article I linked to above says
"The 8-million figure (hotly denied by the Bush administration, of course) comes from a study by the labor-funded Economic Policy Institute. The ad misquotes the study, however. What the study actually says is that an estimated 8 million would lose the legal right to premium overtime rates should they work more than 40 hours per week. It does not say they would actually lose pay as the ad says. In fact, the 8-million figure is inflated by many part-time workers who never get overtime work, or overtime pay, even though they now have the right to it.
So they're misleading to begin with. And the theme: fear. The facts are complex and involve two exremes arguing over numbers, but NO ONE thinks that 8 million people are going to lose pay. The FActCheck page gives what they think a more accurate ad copy would sound like, but there's not much fear in what they write.
So why all the fear? Well, lets look over to Jmaes Lileks at the bleat. He sums up the anger I've felt at the left for portraying the Republicans as the party of fear while pandering to it themselves:
"Heard some of the moveon.org Soros-financed ad today, about Bush eliminating overtime. The ad made it sound as though he had signed an executive order that outlawed the practice of paying ANYONE any overtime EVER, which of course isn?t the case. It fits with the worldview of the intended audience, I guess ? the people who think that once upon a time the United States strictly adhered to the Kyoto protocols, had legal gay marriage, and allowed overtime pay, and the President has undone these pillars of society one by one. Because he hates people, you know. He really wants to screw people over. That?s how you get reelected: wage unrelenting war against the electorate so they?ll vote for you in hopes that the beatings will slacken somewhat in the lame-duck term."
I heard a caller on a radio show saying he wasn't going to vote for Bsuh because he didn't want a President who made him afraid for his safety all the time. Fine, but why would you vote for Kerry then. His entire campaign is built on fear. Fear the President, fear his advisors, fear the fact that we say he makes you live in fear. When has the President said anything about living in fear. Is "being vigilant" the same as living in fear? If so, the ACLU has been living in fear since it's inception. The Pentagon is full of terrified people by this logic. No, the President says go out, enjoy life, do good, work hard, and don't let the terrorists get you down. How is this fear again? As Lileks says, it the left that is running on fear, unfounded fear. They say the President is running on fear so that they can frighten the uniformed into voting for Kerry, so in a sense it's self-fulfilling. They create the fear they accuse the President of formenting. Bush's ads, he's statements, his policies simply don't have 'fear' in them, even as a subtext. "We're not out of the woods" is not the same as "the sky is falling", and Democrats, George Soros, and MoveOn.org need to stop running on fear. Stop smearing the President. Run on the issues. But YOU are the ones who are frightening America. And I'm sick of it.
:: C.M. Burns 3/08/2004 04:13:00 PM [+] ::
Instant Karma Gonna Get Ya?
In the "Gee, that's a quick, untimely, creepy" death department is yesterday's passing of
John Henry Williams from lukemia. Williams was the 35 year old son of Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams who created a massive controversey and earned the enmity of sports fans everywhere last year when he insisted his father wanted to be cryogenically frozen. There was a debate over whether or not Ted wanted to be frozen or not, though John Henry eventually won and Ted is frozen, and John Henry will be frozen with him. Did Ted Williams cold, frozen hand give John Henry the touch of death? We shall never know.
:: C.M. Burns 3/08/2004 03:17:00 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, March 05, 2004 ::
Blogging For Bush
Hey, guess what, I've shed my earlier misgivings about a full on Bush promotion(this was weeks ago) and have been volunteering regularly over at Bush/Cheney HQ. It's not difficult work, but it's fun. You meet some nice people. After a talk about blogging with some of the communications people, I decide that I would sign up for Blogs for Bush, the blogroll that is a grassroots blogger effort to support the President's re-election. I think it's a good idea, and you can link to their site from the button on the links section. I may or may not add my own blog roll. As I said below this is an important election, and this is just one of the things I'll be doing for the campaign. Anyway, I'd do all I legally could to defeat Kerry anyway, and this is easy. For me it's now official: Four More Years!
:: C.M. Burns 3/05/2004 03:21:00 PM [+] ::
John Kerry: The Dictator's Candidate
I think a John Kerry victory in November would be a disaster of epic proportions for American foreign policy. And given that
North Korea apparently wants Kerry in and Bush out, I think that feeling is now cemented into some sort of fact. According to the Financial Times, North Korean state-run media has been running Kerry excerpts critical of the President and saying he is "likely to defeat President Bush in November". Since the people of North Korea have no other form of information, the Dear Leader of North Korea, Kin Jong Il, is likely very excited about a Kerry administration that might let him off the hook. To clarify, Kerry wants one on one negotiations between the US and North Korea, while the Bush administration has favored a multilateral approach using the pressure of East Asian countries like Japan, China, and Russia(yes, they are also East Asian) along with US negotiators. It is believed that pressures from these countries would be tougher on North Korea's nuclear program than John Kerry's desired unilateral approach. Kerry, displaying the fence stradling near hypocrisy I revile him for, apparently likes unilaterism sometimes, and not others, and since only John Kerry and the Democrats characterize a coalition with dozens of countries against Iraq "unilateral", I think this makes him a hypocrite and poor one at that. Kerry obviously can't be pleased with North Korea's apparent endorsement of him, but it will be an issue.
Which brings me to something else in the news. Republican Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma said the other night the following, culled from his web site:
"I promise you this, if George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election, it's that simple. It will be interpreted that way by enemies of the United States around the world."
"What do you think Hitler would have thought if Roosevelt would've lost the election in 1944? He would have thought American resolve was [weakening]."
"What would the confederacy have thought if Lincoln would have lost the election of 1864?"
He was assaulted for questioning Kerry's patriotism, a favorite response of the Dems, though since his comments related only to Bush and had nothing to do with Kerry's love of America it's a non-issue. Again. They said he compared him to Hitler and Osama. Well, no, he didn't. And although the Hitler analogy is a bit weak historically(FDR wasn't facing the kind of campaign Dubya is, nor was the election likely to change the outcome of the war at that point), he makes a better point with the Lincoln analogy. Rep. Cole was on MSNBC this morning defending his comments, and his extremly hostle interviewer did not mention the Lincoln anology. But Cole held his own. He pointed out that he obviously did not say Kerry was Hitler. Not once. He never mentioned Kerry. He never compared Kerry to Bin Laden. In fact, his comments don't even really attacked Kerry's positons on the war. All he talked about was the potential message a Bush loss might send. And he's right. Osama bin Laden and Kim Jong Il both hate Dubya. If the Dear Leader is willing to root for Kerry out of his perceptions, why wouldn't Osama see a Bush loss as a repudiation of the very successful Bush Doctrine? Cole may have chosen poor words, as just mentioning the FT.com article on North Korea would have given him better credibility, but this is an election being watched by the entire world. The Dems are again throwing up a smokescrean around Kerry, even when his views aren't even an issue, and are playing the patriotism card far more than they claim Bush does(I don't even think he's PLAYED that card yet. Kerry and Co. simply say he has as they play their own.). Read the line Cole said: "I promise you this, if George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election, it's that simple. It will be interpreted that way by enemies of the United States around the world." An interpretation of American events by America's enemies in an election that the Democrats and Republican both say is the most important ever. Two weeks ago a Kerry aide said everything was on the table. But I guess in Dem speak, that means everything about Bush and what he is seen as is on the table. Don't touch dear, sainted John Kerry. Did we mention he was in Vietnam?
All this needs to be considered. If North Korea wasn't a Kerry presidency, perhaps we should look a little harder at those Kerry national security votes, and what he's saying about the war on terror. No one besides fringe groups have attacked Kerry's patriotism, no one says he is atraitor or even evil, which is a charge many close to the mainstream Dems often level at the President. The hypocrisy of the Democratic Party knows no bounds. By all means, lets put it all on the table, but only if we get to see Kerry's cards on that table, too. Otherwise, debate the issue Democrats, don't wave your arms and make false or misleading statements.
:: C.M. Burns 3/05/2004 01:53:00 PM [+] ::
Lou Dobbs, From Capitalist to Protectionist in 30-Seconds
There's an article on Opinion Journal today that tackles one of my favorite mysteries: What made Lou Dobbs go from a reasonable free-market supporting capitalist to a raving protectionist looney? It's a question that has plagued me and likeminded friends for months now. Dobbs, who used to host "Moneyline" on CNN and now has a whole hour of news to himself after Wolf Blitzer and Connie Chung got clobbered in the ratings, was a favorite of conservatives everywhere. He was the anti-Aaron Brown, a buttoned down economic conservative who was congenial, intelligent, and tough but fair with al his guests. This has changed.
You watch Dobbs now, and he's a raving protectionist, taking on the foreign outsourcing of jobs in ways Howard Dean never dreamed possible. He rants and raves. He gets upset. He ALWAYS brings it up. It's his pet issue. After one of the President's top economic advisors dared to state the truth, that outsourcing was actually good for the economy, Dobbs went ballisitic on him on air. In a reply, the economist gave a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in which he called Lou Dobbs a "boot-licking protectionist". Dobbs actually had him on the show, and, after saying everything a protectionst would say, asked the guy if he really thought he was one. Absolutely, said the economist, and Dobbs, still a tad congenial, said "OK, Thanks for coming"(I wish I had the links for this, but I'm busy, and frankly can't be bothered. Trust me, I watched this happen)
Which brings me to the piece on Opnion Journal. In "Lou Dobbs Takes on the World", Danniel Henniger asks what happened to Dobbs. Why did he move to the left "as fast as Arianna Huffington", as he puts it. His answer: ratings. CNN and FOX and everyone else are ruled by ratings, and Dobbs, sent to a spot that had killed Chung and banished Wolf Blitzer back to afternoons, needed a hook. That hook is protectionism. I'm not sure if this is all a scheme, as Henninger suggests, but it's hard to believe that a man who was once fiercely free-trade could change so quickly. He even comes off as more anti-trade than Sen. Max Bachus of Montana, a man who is essentially bought and paid for by unions. Anyway, Lou is out there, but as Henninger says, it is more entertaining than watching O'Reiley, and you get the same false populisim. Lou, we hardly knew ya.
:: C.M. Burns 3/05/2004 09:16:00 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, March 04, 2004 ::
Bush Ad Controversey Hypocrisy: Make Dems Look Bad!
Note: This is a non-Kerry post.
The Bush Campaign today released four mostly postive ads in target states to counter the relentless negativity of the Dem and MoveOn ads. One of the ads shows a couple of images from 9/11 at the WTC. Several people, not necessarily Democrats but trumpted by the left, are acusing the campaign of "politicizing" the tragedy. This is of course nonsense 9/11 was the defining moment of the Bush presidency. To accuse him of using his reaction to it as an example of strong leadership as "offensive and craven" is a tactic that the Dems will use to try to take away the Presiden't defining moment. Kerry has not done this, by the way. This is from other left-wing sources, but it will be an issue.
Only a Judge Can Change the Constitution, Not You Democratically Elected Plebes!
I don't mean that. I hate it when judges decide to take the decision making process on all sorts of issues out of the hands of the people and their elected representatives and decide to read things into the Constitution. I think as a matter of Constitutional law, Roe vs. Wade was one of the worst decisions in Supreme Court history, equal to Plessy vs. Ferguson and not approached in reachedness and essentail "rewriting" of our National Document until the recent Affirmative Action case. Now, all this is being revisited again with the gay marriage amendment. Let me make one thing clear. I don't think we should amend the Constitution on issues like this. Frankly, the Constituition is silent on almost every social issue execpt for freedom of expression because the founders really couldn't fathom that the Government would even WANT a role in marriage, but they also would have cringed at an income tax, so I guess it's all relative. Anyway, I think judges read far too much into the Constitution all the time. Why do I not like Roe vs. Wade? As general law, it invents rights that aren't inherent in the Constituiton. In practice, it circumvents the 10th amendment on it's face and takes away indivdual states rights. Fianlly, it was grossly anti-democratic, shortcircuiting a growing, important National debate on the issue and launching now 30-plus years of hysteria on both extreme sides of the issue. No less a liberal than Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was quoted as saying Roe was essentially bad law. I don't like abortion, but I wouldn't ban it. At the same time, I think the cultrue wars that erupted in the 80's and are now threatening to take off again are a direct result of Roe Vs. Wade. It was a terrible, terrible law.
I bring all this up because of the argument that the COnstitution is a living document that adapts to the times. For the most part, I agree with this assesment, hence my opposition to the FMA. But the left uses this argument to support every activist judge who comes down the pike and reads new rights into the Constitution(like Affirmative Action). Now that the Constitution may be amended, however, the left have become strict constructionists in the mold of Robert Bork, at least that's what Jonah Goldberg writes in an NRO column I linked to above. He's against gay marriage and generally against the FMA as well, but the point of the article is that Terry McCauliffe, DNC chair and idiot, recently said "Our Constitution, a sacred document — you know, our forefathers knew what they were doing. This wasn't a rough draft." Well, as Goldberg points out, if it wasn't a rough draft, why is there an amendment procedure, why were the Bill of Rights introduced. If it was so utterly perfect, how come we had to have the civil war to get the Constitution to stop treating blacks as inferior, at least in theory(we had a long way to go on that front even after the amending of the Constitution n the 1860's.)
Goldberg's point is that the left is turning into a bunch of Constitutional hypocrites on this issue. They oppose the amendment as "tinkering" with the Constitution, but how is it any less tinkering when judges start reading rights into it when they feel like it? At least with an amendment you get debate, 2/3 majorities needed in each chmaber of Congress and 39 states to agree with you. All in public, all in terms the public understands, all by the people's elected representatives. Just as the founders, who were pretty smart, intended. I don't want this amendment to pass. But I have to agree with many on the right who believe the DEBATE about the amendment, marriage, and homosexuals in our country needs to take place in the open, with real-world arguments being used. I think we DESERVE that debate. For too long courts have issues defacto decrees about the Constitution. Lets have a great debate on this. Lets not let our country's course be decided by judges. If the amendment is rejected, lets let the issue go to the states. Let the people decide. The tyranny of the vocal, leagl-brief filing minority must not be permitted. All voices must be heard, but in the end, let the votes of the people's elected representatives count.
:: C.M. Burns 3/04/2004 11:54:00 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, March 03, 2004 ::
McDonald's Sells Out to Health Facists
First, it was the styrofoam conatiners. Then they added salads. Now, McDonalads is getting rid of it's supersizes. Yes, bowing to pressure to give consumers "healthier" options, the fast food boheameth and friend to everyone who loves giant helpings of fries and coke has sold out. Now, I can understand the desire to give people healthier options. In today's America, where the fat people are just everywhere, McDonald's should encourage and have healthier items on it's menu, if for no other reason than to stay competitive. But getting rid of the SuperSize? This is stupid. McDoanalds is under no opligation to help obese people control themselves. By bowing to pressure on this to the Health Facists, McDonald's is saying that you, in fact, CAN have too many french fries. Bull! Now, I hardly ever eat McDonalds, but when I do, I want a lot of fries and should have that option. McDonald's in conceding that people need their hands held when they eat. What a load of crap. When I was 15 punds overweight and lost it, I did so by not eating at McDonald's and on the odd occasion that I did, I never supersized it. Because it's a CHOICE. You take away choice, and you get facisim, which is what the fucking Health people want anyway. They want to take away you right to choose what you eat. It's like PETA trying to take down KFC. They say it's for health, but it's their activist, anti-choice agenda. Fuck these health people. McDonald's will lose me as a customer the day they get rid of the last supersize. I won't really miss it, but it's the principle of the thing. McDonalds angers me. ARGHHHH!
:: C.M. Burns 3/03/2004 11:21:00 AM [+] ::
The Kerry Clan: Haiti Policy Experts
Well, John Kerry is the Democratic nominee for President. The Dems got their wish for an early nominee. And now, Sen. Kerry is calling for an investigation into the claims that Jean-Bertrand Aristide, deposed Haitian President and all around crackpot thug, has been
making about being "kidnapped" by the US. No less an authority on Haiti than Kerry's own daughter, 27 yead old Med Student Vanessa Kerry, said that the Bush administration "just helped overthrow, basically overthrow a democratically elected president." I guess that the fraud of an election in Haiti in 2000 is more "democratic" than the workings of the 200-plus year old Electoral College in the United States.
Sen. Kerry thinks it needs to be looked into and befoe he was beaten like a mule yesterday, Sen. John Edwards agreed that the Bush Administration had abandoned Haiti, even though by helping him flee the country the US had avoided the massive bloodshed that prompted our 1994 effort to reinstall Aristide after a real election DID make him President. Back then, Aristide promised Democracy and freedom in Haiti. We believed him against our better judgement because he was at least elected and was popular with the people. Since that time, he has done nothing to abandon "the country's 200-year practice of political violence and assassination" according to the CIA and human rights groups. And EVERYONE agreed that the 2000 election was rigged and false. Even the FRENCH, the country that Kerry seems to look to for good moral guidence on foreign affairs(See, only when the French are involved in a multi-nation military or diplomatic alliance can it be called "multilateral" in Sen. Kerry's thinking), wanted him out.
What's really interesting is why after years of repression the whole country went up in revolt a few weeks back. Arisitde's government was so corrupt that he effectively used gangs to enforce his will, as the authority of the National Police collapsed. The gangs turned on him when he tried to assasinate one of their leaders. These facts are not in doubt. And who has replaced Aristide, temporarily, as leader of Haiti? Why, the chief justice of their Supreme Court, just as the Constiution we helped them write stipultes.
Of course, the Congressional Black Caucus' Haiti Task Force, who's one requirements for leadership is that you be crazy as a loon has decided to look into what Congresswoman Barbara Lee says is the idea that this "was effectively a coup d'etat supported by the Bush administration." Not a theory, not an accusation. Just an "idea" of a coup. As odd coup that puts a judge in charge, not a rebel or general or nutbag, and one that does so as outlined in the Constitution of that nation.
This is all political grandstanding by Democrats, but it's odd that Sen. Kerry would use it for political gain. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) seems to find no reason to trust Aristide, nor does the State Department, the French, the UN, or anyone else of any consequence. The fact is Aristide was a bit loopy to begin with, and became thugish over the years. Pat Buchanan, and I'm loathe to quote Pat Buchanan, called him "that idiot priest" or words to that effect many years ago.(Aristide was, or still is, a Catholic Priest). I'm glad that Sen. Kerry has decided to attack the President through his daughter on an issue she probably knows more about than he does, as his vote yesterday on the Senate Gun Bill was his first of the year, and may have been his first in MONTHS. He's been too busy to pay attention. So it's good he sent his kid out to do the heavy lifting for him, as attacking her is politically dangerous for the President. Kerry would accuse him of "using his family for political gain". I can hear him saying it now. Hell, she might respond that way. Saying and doing things and then saying "how dare you question me" might be a Kerry family trait.
Anyway, if this is how Kerry might handle a foreign policy crisis, I think Bush's chances just got better. By the way, in cas you don't know, I hate John Kerry, his wife, his family, and everything he's campaigning on. I hate him like liberals hate Dubya. I really do. But since it's a LONG time 'til summer and Convention season, I feel I may not say it that often. So I think only one Kerry post a week is warrented from me. Just to remind MYSELF why I despise the man. Unless he says more stupid things. Then I may have to post some more. Until then, Fuck Him.
:: C.M. Burns 3/03/2004 10:34:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 ::
Death To NBC's Average Joe 2!
I was gonna post a couple of things about Super Tuesday today, about hypocritical attacks on the President, about why Edwards is a far better human being than John Kerry, about how a Kerry presidency will hurt America. But then, last night, I watched a TV show called Average Joe: Hawaii. The premise of the show is simple. A beatiful woman, in this case Larissa Meeks, a former Miss Missouri, would be told she was going on a reality dating show and that men would compete for her affections. What they didn't tell her is that the guys were "average", which in my mind is like, well, me, but in NBC's mind "average" means some kinda ugly guys or not quite cute guys who are mostly freaks. Thanks NBC. Anyway, she is at first shocked and insulted, but learns over the weeks to possibly love one of these "average" guys. The question NBC asks is "can an average guy win a beauty queen"? Something like that. Anyway, there are several twists throughout the show, including the introduction halfway through of some harbody hunks who are dumber than rocks, which perpetuates the stereotype that all jocks are dumb, and all "average" guys are smart but can never compete. Anyway, the show devolves into revenge of the Nerds style competition. I admit that until last night, I had never seen a single episode of this show. Not ever 5 minutes. But I had seen the preview, and it promised that "this time" an average guy would get the beauty. In the first Average Joe, which proved that beautiful models are esentially shallow, the girl picked the stupid pretty boy over the nice, sorty beefy but cool guy. She must have been shocked when it turned out he was rich and the pretty boy had no skills. Also, the show promised a shocking twist about Larissa's past. So, having nothing better to do and believing that Larissa might let nice guys finish first, my roommate and I tuned in.
The show was as manipulative as anything ever put on TV. The jock was portrayed as a selfish, kinda dumb guy from Florida who hoped to become an actor after the show was over. He hardly said anything of interest. Oh, his name is gil and he seems like a tool. His hometown date with Larissa was generic and sad, and she seemed turned off by him.
The second part of the show was her date with the "average" guy, a really funny Bostonian with a heavy accent named Brian who was pretty cool, seemed to genuinely care about this girl, and gave her a great night and told her that she had taught him he could feel love(a bit much, but he'd never told anyone that before, so I guess that's OK). He also spent a good part of the show making fun of the jocks, at least as a friend of mine tells it. I never watched until last night, but for his reflections, click right here. He's a funny guy, and I think I know a lot of women here in DC who would kill to date someone that nice. I know I'm not that nice, or as comfortable with who I am as he is. Anyway, her choice was pretty damn clear.
Well, the show winds up with her waiting in a airplane hanger in Hawaii, with both guys arriving in seperate limos. Lets just cut to the chase: She picked the pretty boy tool over the cool guy, and her reasons made no sense. She did it baised entirely on looks. Period. She let Brian, the "average" guy hung out to dry while she got a the lear jet with the empty shell Gil and went to Mexico. Brian went home on a bus. Nice. When this happened, my roommate and I, who were just pulling for Brian so hard, both screamed at the TV "YOU WHORE!". I NEVER get that worked up over reality TV, but I felt angry and pissed off at the chick who brushed off a real human being in favor of a tanned, brainless actor-wanabee. I screamed at the TV. I talked to friends about what a crock it was. I wanted blood. But wait, I though. NBC promised a twist ending. Maybe she was fucking with them. Maybe the plane with the pretty boy would be flown to Camp X-Ray and he would be imprisoned there. No. They go to Mexico, have a GREAT time, and then, on Day 4, Larissa tells Gil that the secret is she used to date Fabio. Fabio. "I can't believe it's not butter" Fabio. Fabio, who was last seen getting hit in the face on a rollercoaster by a bird. Who hasn't been in anything since he cameoed in "Zoolander". Fabio, the non-threatening hunk. And Gil FREAKED. He kicked the sand yelled, and packed up and left. The show ended with Larissa saying it was funny that she had rejected 26 guys, and the one she picked rejected her. How ironic. And she looked sad, and the whole thing was about Fabio. I mean, come on NBC. Cut us some slack. We're dumb, but we're not THAT dumb.
Then, today, on the Today show, there were Gil and Larissa, holding hands, saying that his leaving had NOTHING to do with Fabio, and that they were gonna make it work. Yeah, my ass. Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining. They said he left because it was "Time to go". Is that why he stormed out of the hotel, didn't kiss her goodbye, and she was crying about rejection at the end of the show? The fact is, I think NBC manipulated the entire thing. On top of proving that beatiful models are, in fact, totally shallow when it comes to men, they also made it look like "average" guys are only good as friends. Larissa said she wanted someone who understood her and was honest with her. It was obvious the entire time that Gil would say anything to get with her so he could be an actor. And this fucking CUNT(yes, I dropped the C-bomb) wants us to think that Gil was the guy she described? Well, she NEVER had any intention of going with Brian. She also didn't want Gil, but since NBC had to have her choose someone they sent her and Gil to Mexico and invented some sorry, lame excuse to "end" the relationship early and make the audience feel sorry for poor, manipulative, Larissa, the Whore who broke Brian's heart. Now, I understand that Brian is getting all sorts of calls from girls now, basically they want what Larissa didn't: a real human relationship, so I say good for him. But if I ever see Larissa on TV, in a commercial, on the street, I will turn away. I wouldn't cross the street to spit on her. She is a horrible cunt who not only perpetuated the gross stereotype that beautiful women are shallow, but who also said put the lie to the claim that women "are all about the person". What a fucking bitch, and fuck NBC for putting her on TV and fuck the producers of that show for making everyone think that Brian was the one. And Fuck Gil for being the embodiment of all negative male stereotypes. This whole fucking thing has pissed me off, and I can only hope that Larissa has her legs chopped off in a horrible accident and has her face scarred by angry crows. Fuck the whole lot of them, except for Brian. He rocks. I hate NBC.
:: C.M. Burns 3/02/2004 03:53:00 PM [+] ::