Archive for June, 2004

Well, that’s the end of that guy’s career…

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2004


associated press, November 5, 1980

Republicans, riding the long coattails of Ronald Reagan’s march to the presidency, snatched four governorships from the Democrats while yielding none of their own on Election Day.

The GOP wound up with 23 governors, its best number in a decade. One of the more striking Republican triumphs was confirmed after sunrise today as Little Rock businessman Frank White ousted incumbent Bill Clinton in Arkansas.

At 33, Clinton is the youngest governor and was regarded one of the rising stars among Democrats. But his embrace of President Carter may have cost him dearly in a state swept by Reagan, as White wound up with 52 percent of the vote.


Go George Bush

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2004

One of the first two years of the 1990s.

The local high school basketball team was running off to the state championship game.

So, the school dredges all the kids out to the front of Arthur H Smith Elementary School, to cheer a procession pass by.

I’m apathetic. To the best of my awareness, I don’t think too many others in the class really care. Jaded, are we? Nay. Other priorities, I say.

Standing next to me, another kid– who I don’t remember at all, asks me “So, why are we out here?”

For whatever reason, I shrug “dunno.”

He starts chanting “Go George Bush! Go George Bush!”

I fancy this bit of disconnection. So, I join in.

“Go George Bush! Go George Bush!”

My teacher looks at us, and shakes her head.

The rest is history. George Bush went on to lose his next election. The basketball team lost (that 2-year dynasty ended). The entire earth shifted.

Right wing Radio

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2004

I heard that VISA (or some such credit card) commercial, where the creator of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” discusses how that credit card got his fashion-purchasing for the show off the ground.

It was on during the Michael Savage Show.

Michael Savage (his real last name is Weiner), whose MSNBC was canned after the most predictable of predictabilities. He responded to a caller, “Oh, you’re one of those homos, huh? Go suck on a sasuage. I hope you get AIDS and die.”

That’s a paraphrase, but it’s a close approximation.

Sean Hannity announced the lineup for tonight’s Hannity and Colmes:

Michael Reagan. Dick Morris. Zell Miller.

Fair and Balanced? Hm. Dick Morris worked in the Clinton administration. Zell Miller is a democrat.

Just yesterday, he was gratuitously airing and reairing the audio from the South Korean prisoner. (the one who was just now, depressingly, beheaded). It wouldn’t have bugged me much — even the simble-minded implication and explication that this justifies everything (note that he promised to broadcast some Hussein-era torture to show “what real torture is” — ie: none of that pansy American Abu Gharib schtuff…) — except he aired in in the awkward “out-to-a commercial break” position… which is where the Clinton jokes go, you see.

Okay. Here’s Bill O’Reilly extrapulating on his “Final Solution”… upset with those uppity Iraqis who have refused to embrace the American Freedom Bringers:

Because look … when 2 percent of the population feels that you’re doing them a favor, just forget it, you’re not going to win. You’re not going to win. And I don’t have any respect by and large for the Iraqi people at all. I have no respect for them. I think that they’re a prehistoric group that is — yeah, there’s excuses.

Sure, they’re terrorized, they’ve never known freedom, all of that. There’s excuses. I understand. But I don’t have to respect them because you know when you have Americans dying trying to you know institute some kind of democracy there, and 2 percent of the people appreciate it, you know, it’s time to — time to wise up.

And this teaches us a big lesson, that we cannot intervene in the Muslim world ever again. What we can do is bomb the living daylights out of them, just like we did in the Balkans. Just as we did in the Balkans. Bomb the living daylights out of them. But no more ground troops, no more hearts and minds, ain’t going to work.


They’re just people who are primitive.

Bill O’Reilly’s radio show is terrible…

Clinton Revisited

Monday, June 21st, 2004

My high school journalism teacher said that there wasn’t any way anyone could have a neutral opinion on the matter of Bill Clinton’s run to impeachment.

Did I possess neutrality? Perhaps. Truth be told, I had a hard time taking any of it seriously. And I had a good sense of the outcome.

Political handicapper Cooke relays this sequence of events: when the firestorm broke wide open in the summer of 1998, Cooke moved the Republican house pick-up to 30 seats– forseeing the oncoming Clinton fatigue backlash. As the summer wore down, he took a closer look at the polls and scratched his head — the backlash didn’t seem to exist. He moved the Republican pick-up down to 10. And, right before the backlash, he shrugged and put the marker at “Zero.”

Clinton is said to have won the 1998 election. The Democratic Party picked up 5 House seats, and held sway in the Senate. Newt Gingrich resigned. His replacement, Livingstone, resigned. The Saturday Night Live sketch had Will Ferrell as Clinton walk up to a podium for a special announcement, and say “I. Am. Bulletproof.”

Predictable. Kind of.

My Contemporary World Problems teacher, (a Democrat) expressed his disdain over Clinton’s original “apology”… not apologetic enough. (He’d later give a new official apology in a church-situation.) I expressed disappointment with the apology as well. It was infuriating. Why did he apologize? I thought he shouldn’t have. We had run into a situation where he had constructed a post-modernist construct where the public knows he’s lying and parcelling out the legalistic words seems a futile mission, but because his opponents are aggravating he’s the one you’re rooting for, where up is down and down is up– what he has his lawyers say is not quite real. Why must an apology be a part of this post-modernist storty-line, where no one believes it but they decide it’s the necessary part of the story?

Sign Post

Sunday, June 20th, 2004

Local Messengers Vindicated!
The Truth is coming out against the sainted biased local paper!

Caucus Query

Friday, June 18th, 2004

In 1988, Pat Robertson won the Washington State Republican Party Caucus…

In 1996, my mother was horrified by the specter of Pat Buchannan winning the New Hampshire Primary, and the Washington State Caucus…

A complicated process, that draws only the most devoted.

I was wondering something at around the time of this year’s Iowa Caucus:

Hypothetically. You are, say, a Kerry supporter.

Actually, set up several situations. You are a supporter of each of the candidates that did anything at some point during the primary: Dean, Kerry, Edwards… throw in Kucinich just because he has a loyal enough following.

You are one vote away from either breaking a tie for first place, and the majority of the delegates, or from achieving that magical 15 percent mark.

Everyone has picked up their second vote, if necessary.

Only one person remains unchained.

He or she is a LaRouche supporter.

How do you sell the LaRouche supporter on Kerry, Dean, Edwards, or Kucinich?


Friday, June 18th, 2004

In the minor hoop-lah over the general ratings success of Air America Radio (I hear Al Franken is beating Rush Limbaugh in the New York market), despite what is (or was) apparently a nonsensical business plan and some serious and embarrassing bumps, one thing I keep bumping into just jumps right out at me:

The precise ratings increase in the Portland market are immaterial. Do not judge it by ratings increase. Dead air would’ve beaten the old programming that was featured on KPOJ 610 AM. It was a Clear Channel property, for lack of a better format, serving as a warehouse fir some auto-tracked 50s do-woppiness. Filling space, as inexpensively as possible.

Broadcast anything other than that, even mixing the music up in a slightly less pre-canned configuration, and by default you would have a sudden increase in your Arbitron share.

Curiously enough, Clear Channel still owns that frequency…

I Never Said That

Friday, June 18th, 2004

I’m probably supposed to say schtuff about schtuff. What good is a political blog if I can’t do that?

It’s an apocalyptic election. We have two sides that believe that if the opponent is elected, the world is going to turn on its axis. This goes for us anti-Bushers. And, if you will direct your ears past am talk radio, this goes for the other side as well, who will tell you that — yeah, Bush is spending like a drunken sailor, but you can’t talk with the terrorists, and Bush is the only one who will Go Right At Those that Hit Us on 9/11…

… even if it means going right at those that didn’t hit us on 9/11… see, terror is terror, and we need to beat up the bad guys all over the world wherever they be…

Getting back to needing to say schtuff about schtuff, the current news cycle which for some reason is getting on my nerves: at first blush, the spin that Bush never claimed he said Hussein involved himself with Al Qaeda on 9/11, my thought was “No. That was Cheney’s job.” But…

Recall that the bill that Congress passed to allow the president to use force against Iraq required him to send Congress a written statement of purpose.

At the time, I felt the need to keep a mental booknote of that statement, particularly the most frustrating sentence which follows. just drudged it up. Key line:

I have also determined that the use of armed force against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

That is from the official statement, which I guess makes that an official reason.



Worthy reading: a section of reader comments breaking up the semantics of the statement:

Mark G Maybe Bush did connect Saddam and 9-11; but not in this quote. The word “including” in its ordinary sense does not limit what goes before.

Illustration: “All Rebublicans should be tarred and feathered, including Rove, Bush, and Rumsfeld” does not mean “only” Rove Bush and Rumsfeld.

I second the notion that someone, somewhere, must have posted a thorough answer to this question.

Seamus: disagree (none / 0)

and here is why.
Take your illustration. You are saying that Rove, Bush, and Rumsfeld should be tarred and feathered. Including in its usage here means that is part of the whole. You are NOT saying that ALl Republicans should be tarred and feathered, possibly including Rove, Bush, and Rumsfeld. This is what you would have to be saying in order to conclude that Bush’s letter wasn’t claiming a connection.

There are two statements here. One is that the use of armed forces against Iraq is consistent with the US fight against “international terrorirsts and terrorist organizations.” If Bush didn’t intend to make a link then it should have stopped here or used a different qualifier than “including”.

By using “including” the way he has Bush is saying that the use of arumed forces against Iraq is consistent with both the larger effort against “international terrorists” and the component of it that is against “those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.”

The way you are parsing “including” you are changing its definition to either “possibly including” or “potentially including” or “excluding”. It just doesn’t work without those other qualifiers.

Pyewacket : Imagine it this way. (none / 0)

Imagine the final clause as paranthetical. To wit:
“I have also determined that the use of armed force against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations (including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001).”

This would suggest Irag was “central to the War on Terra” (as they deceitfully do ad nauseum but not necessarily complicit in 9/11.

As I said above, I’d love to hear Bush forced to make the distinctions we’re haggling over here.

You get the idea…