Archive for the 'Mike Gravel' Category

Gravel paraphenilia available on ebay

Monday, July 16th, 2007

A quick check of ebay and I encounter a signed photograph of Mike Gravel, circa 1971.

I wonder if this is a situation where the seller has been sitting on this for years, and it just dawned on him that he can now cash in on “Gravel Mania”.  I note that the description fails to mention his current presidential bid, focusing instead solely on the Pentagon Papers.

It should come with a free rock, to tie the historical threads together.  I’m just saying.

Ideas for future Mike Gravel youtube videos

Friday, July 6th, 2007

How about if Mike Gravel walks the path, comes to a fork in the road, and takes the path less traveled?

Likewise, Mike Gravel could avoid walking in the middle of the road?

OR He could take the high road while the other candidates are taking the low road and he will get to Scotland before them?

Maybe Mike Gravel could hit the bullseye with his bow and arrow, and we can just be invited to stare at the target for a couple of minutes?

What if Mike Gravel puts a stick of gum in his mouth, and then walks as he is chewing gum, proving that he can walk and chew gum at the same time?

Perhaps Mike Gravel could be in a room full of a dozen clocks — all with different times on them, and he could walk around and coordinate all of the clocks to what we presume is the correct time, but at any rate the same time?

Mike Gravel could point up to a flying bird?

He is standing in a barn, where he watches the eggs in a hen’s nest crack, and then he counts the chickens AFTER they hatch!

The list is endless.

Youtube’s Campaign

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Taking a look at the latest Presidential campaign Youtube spots.

#1: Mike Gravel. Minimalistic, I suppose. I have no explanation.

#1a: Mike Gravel has offered an explanation. It’s a couple of art school students’ art project? I think Gravel overloaded the meaning.

#2: Hillary Clinton. For a second you think she selected Foreigner’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. I can not possibly see Bill Clinton, or for that matter anyone, saying “My money’s on Smash Mouth”. There is no way the voters could have possibly picked that not fully known Celion Deion song, and that is probably as good a metaphor as any.

#3: Barack Obama. Cute. Maybe one of the second or third tier candidates can get desperate and do a video full of strippers.

#4: Mitt Romney. 15 minutes of nausea. The question of “Why?” comes to mind. They eat a Christmas Dinner. It’s a big family. They say “Jesus” a lot. Why do we want tape of Mit Romney’s Christmas dinner?

#5: Ron Paul. Actually, seeing this video, screening at Paul’s campaign website, I am mildly freaked out by the Ron Paul supporters. A bit more freakish is to scan the videos at youtube, and see that they are all bulked up by the same spam-istic messages. Even as I admire Ron Paul, and have for some time, I would not want to be on any email list connected with him.

Nothing Can be Done.

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

I was having trouble breezing my eyes through the Democratic debate to find the totality of Mike Gravel’s comments regarding Oil. I first stumbled upon this analysis from a professional pundit:

My vote for the least politically savvy statement from last night’s debate goes to former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, who offered a tough-love approach for America’s pain at the pump: “There’s nothing I would do as president to lower the price of gasoline right now. We Americans have to grow up.”

Pandering is clearly not Gravel’s strong suit.

“Political Saavy” my asphalt. We have found the reason that the debates, 17 months out from the actual Election, need the Mike Gravels of the world. To keep at least one meaningful statement into the equation, meaningless equating to political saavy.

The rest of Mike Gravel’s statement to that question of what he would do about high gas prices — the answer is “nothing” — and more importantly, the hidden price of gasoline:

If we want to get off of the dependency in the Middle East, we have to own up to the problem. These things cost money. They’re controlling our society.

And the sooner we stop fighting these wars — here, stop and think. You only see $3. Just watch those wheels turn. There’s another $4, which is what we spend to keep American troops around the world to keep the price.

So you’re paying more than seven dollars a gallon; you just don’t know it.

I am reminded of an answer Eugene McCarthy gave to a question during his 1968 bid for the White House.  As written by Tom Wicker in a preface to a Eugene McCarthy book released in 1975, this passage comes to the old refrain about a gaffe being the telling of unwanted truths:

On the eve of the Democratic convention, when McCarthy still might have had a chance to be nominated, the Warsaw Pact powers invaded Czechoslovakia and put an end to the “Prague Spring”.  It chanced that McCarthy had a Washington news conference scheduled for the next day, and when it commenced, the reporters demanded to know what, as president, he would have done about events in Eastern Europe.

Nothing, McCarthy replied, in a few unexcited words to that effect.

Astounded, the reporters demanded to know why he would have done nothing, against every tradition of the Imperial Presidency.

Because,  McCarthy replied candidly, there’s nothing I could have done.  He went on to suggest that the lights that had burned late in the White House the night before, the agitated comings and goings of LBJ and his cohorts were mostly window dressing.  Johnson was not going to do anything either, could do nothing, but was making a great show of doing something anyway — managing the crisis, firing off cables, phoning up bureaucrats, solemnly briefing Senators.  When all that was finished, McCarthy observed, the Prague Spring still would be over and the Warsaw Pact in charge of Czechoslovakia — as they were, a subsequent fact which failed to dispel the outrage and disdain of reporters used to imperial bluster from every president back to Harry S Truman.

the winner of the Democratic presidential debate…

Friday, April 27th, 2007

During the last Democratic presidential primary, a lot later in the game than we are now — I believe at a point where everyone basically knew that John Kerry was the nominee and the Beltway Rules allowed for John Edwards and Wesley Clark to carry on in respectibability, Ted Koppel hosted a debate between remaining candidates. It might have been a little earlier than I recall, with a fuller slate of candidates — but the precision is immaterial. At any rate, his question for Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton was “Why are you here?”

I can’t say much about Sharpton, but he was funny where the other candidates’ attempts at humor were rigid.

Last night, much earlier than it seems we should have these things, the Democrats held their first “debate”. The first first debate was canceled as the Democratic base winced at the Fox News sponsorship — the 2004 Fox News Democratic debate including several cringe-inducing framed questions, and whose high-light was legitimately Al Sharpton verbally beating up on some Larouchite hecklers in the crowd.

It’s a little early, and the show is a pointless exercise, ultimately, that doesn’t really tell you what the candidate’s administration would be like. But we string these alongs for a long year, without much of anything worth saying. Hence, hearing and reading about the debate, the candidate who you have to say created the most Buzz from this staged Meat-showing was…

Former Alaska Governor Mike Gravel!!

Witness him here.

This is fairly typical. As anyone can attest, the most interesting personality in the 2000 Republican primary debates, as we wound down to the end of it with three active candidates, was 2 percenter Alan Keyes (now of “Got beat by 30 points by Barack Obama as a party-picked carpetbagger” fame).

Mike Gravel’s take-down of Joseph Biden is particularly instructive, and worth a bit of dissemination.

Some of these candidates frighten me. [Who?} The top tier ones. Joe, I’ll include you in this. Joe, you have a certain arrogance, you want to tell the Iraqis how to run their country. We should just play ‘get out.’ It’s their country, their asking us to leave, and we insist on staying there, why not get out. You hear the statement, ‘the soldiers will have died in vain.’ The entire deaths of Vietnam died in vain. You know what’s worse than a soldier dying in vain? More soldiers dying in vain.
The tedium of Biden comes in what was his highlight for the night — the answer to the question of if he can assure the American people about his verbosity or something or other with the clipped answer “Yes” — and cue laugh track. But there is something about Gravel’s speech that I’ve been thinking about, and that is the pomposity of the populist anti-war sell of “If the Iraqis won’t accept our help — there’s nothing we can do”. That is not precisely what Gravel is referring to — I believe it’s more in line with the idea that we should split Iraq into three nations, but I’m guessing it’s in the same vicinity of “certain arrogance”.

There are more items here and here. I stand by every negative thing I said regarding his career, as read into by me from old news articles, on this blog during my “Retain a spot in the top 20 google searches” era for the man. And I’m not a fan of his radical ideas. But he seemed to add a certain levity to an otherwise pointless facade. I heard Paul Begala on Staphanie Miller this morning dismiss him, which was interesting because he did so by saying that “He makes Dennis Kucinich look like a statesman”, and then backtracking to apologize for Dennis Kucinich and proclaiming him a legitimate candidate with ideas and a following, hence viable enough for the debate. Understand Begala is a Hillary Clinton person, a more woeful spot to be in the Democratic party presidential games I do not know.
So it is that CNN is apparently not going to have Gravel in their next debate. Which seems to suggest this is the high-point in the Mike Gravel presidential campaign. I do not know if that is a shame or not, but I do know that in the next National Journal rankings — Mike Gravel should be given that “up arrow”.

Mike Gravel. Done.

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Mike Gravel Google Watch:  The last time I checked, I was at #10.  Today, I am at #66.  I have no clue what happened — I had sort of imagined my google drop-off to be a bit more gradual than that — barring some deluge of Mike Gravel campaign news, but this ends — ingloriously — any and all mentions of Mike Gravel.  I will now, Soviet-style, pretend like you never existed.  I won’t go so far as the Soviets, sticking potted plants in the place of your names, but I will pretend like I never blogged about you.  If I blog about a presidential debate or forum that you attend, I will pretend like you weren’t there. 

So long, Mike Gravel.  It was fun discussing you.  It was fun researching you.  I trust the end of your presidential campaign will be as insignificant as the rest of your presidential campaign.  To sum up: your tax plan stinks, your national initiative plan isn’t a pancrea to anything, your one world predilications of a bit lofty, your Senate career wasn’t pure, and you campaigned as a hawk in 1968 — which isn’t worth mentioning except that your insistence that anyone who voted for the Iraq War authorization is unqualified for office makes you a hypocrite.

That is all.  Mike Gravel.  Levarg ekim.

Again to Democratic Candidate #8… 9 if you count Gore… 10 if you count Shparton… 11 if you go ahead and toss in Vilsack… 14 if you want to add some candidates who thought of entering but didn’t…

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

This is either brilliant out-of-the-box thinking on Mike Gravel’s part or it’s too cute for its own good.

At the last Democratic shin-dog with all the candidates, sometime before his statement that amounted to the admission that he’s mostly just trying to sell us the National Initiative and he has no particular plans of coming anywhere near close to the Presidency.


GRAVEL: I’m not much of a cheerleader. And so I’d rather be dealing with some sober statements. And that is, I’m not entirely convinced that the Democrats can get the next presidency of the United States. And I’ll tell you why: because that’s going to be determined, by and large, by the American people over the next two years as to how the Democratic candidates conduct themselves with respect to the Iraq war.

GRAVEL: Just stop and think. In October 2011 (sic), the Republicans and the Democrats bought George Bush’s fraud as to whether we needed to invade on a preemptive reason to invade Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction. And so you can understand an interesting comparison. Stop and think. There were tens of millions of Americans who held that exact view that we shouldn’t invade Iraq.
Now, if tens of millions of Americans had that view, why couldn’t we have had that view with the majority of the Congress of the United States?

(APPLAUSE) We’ll never make it with politics as usual, and there is an answer. And it’s not a mealy-mouth, non-binding resolution. And even if it were binding, it would be unconstitutional.

Look what happened. The Democrat leadership in the Congress is setting it up and giving cover to the Republicans. The Republicans said that, hey, they were expecting to lose 50 votes in the House race when this issue came up. They lost only 17. What happened? We gave them cover by talking about things that are unconstitutional. And so now the Republicans can charge the Democrats, well, they’re not really doing anything. Murtha wants to get out and play general. Other people want to cap. You can’t cap. It’s unconstitutional. The president is the commander in chief, like it or not. But the Congress, under the Constitution, has the right to declare war and has the right to end it. What they need to do is put up a law and put it before the House — they’ve got the votes — pass it there. It goes to the Senate. They’ll have a filibuster. It’ll last about a week and a half, two weeks, because Leader Reid can bring it up every day — every day — and have a cloture vote and let these Republicans wither on the vine. And then it goes to the president. After the president gets it, he’s got a choice. He can continue to believe in God, or he can turn around and end the war.

(APPLAUSE) Well, I think that he’s going to go. He’s going to figure God can trump the Congress. And so now, he’s going to veto it. It comes back to the Congress, and we have created a constitutional crisis between the executive, the Congress, and the American people. And the American people can understand this. And if you count the 50 that they thought they would lose in the House, you have enough in the House to override the veto. That brings it to the Senate. And the Senate, again, with time, will wither on the vine. And we could get out of Iraq within the next six months, under this scenario. Otherwise, George Bush is going to keep it going for the next two years. And the oil there is not worth one more American dead. It’s not worth one ounce of blood.


He mentioned Lyndon Johnson, which is curious of course because, in his Senate campaign of 1968… I’m just saying…

Shame on me for ….?

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Dearest me.  Tom Vilsack has announced that he is no longer running for the presidency.  Do you understand the implications?

I was getting all set to kick Tom Vilsack around a bit.

No, I wasn’t.  Actually now that Tom Vilsack is out of the race, there is no reason to bother voting.  Of the 300 million residents in America, Tom Vilsack was the only person remotely qualified for the presidency.

Or something.

I guess I will just have to gravitate back to Mike Gravel.

Monitoring Mike Gravel on google, I have watched this blog slide down to #15 and then back to #9.  It currently sits at #11.  All this while ignoring the topic for a week.  This suggests that it doesn’t matter what I do or do not do with Mike Gravel — I am indented into Google’s fabric with regards to Mike Gravel.

I suspect the second piece on google lead a stephanie to the blog entry to come to this comment:

  1. stephanie Says:
    Absolute garbage to say Gravel would have voted to extend Vietnam. Shame on you.

In my group of postings on Mike Gravel, the only item I feel somewhat dirty bringing up is the “Washington Fringe Benefit” allegation that was floated his way from out of another congressman’s sex scandal.  This even though I layered heaps of incredulity on the topic.  On reflection, it almost seems a low level sort of the equivalent of Fox News reporting on the “rumors” of Obama’s Madrassa.
I do not feel ashamed for what I said about Mike Gravel with Vietnam.  All I can go on are contemporary New York Times articles defining his race against Gruening as a hawk.  Granted, the only direct quotes out of Gravel were of him calling Gruening “outside the mainstream on foreign policy”.  Beyond that, there’s that matter that the anti-war movement from Alaska’s college campuses, with help from George McGovern, attempted a write-in campaign on Gruening’s behalf.

Perhaps Mike Gravel was comparing his internationalist views (as manifested in his role in the “One World” organization) with Gruening’s isolationism, and the New York Times misunderstood or took out of context Gravel’s 1968 campaign?  That would be a stretch.

Okay.  Cross out the question on my “12 Questions for Mark Gravel” concerning… um… Richard Nixon’s Enemies List… and replace it with:

What was the process by which your opinion shifted on the Vietnam War?  When did it happen?  And why should we not give the same latitude in allowing other Democratic candidates to do the same on the issue of Iraq, to be looked at on a case to case basis, contrary to your speech at the DNC Winter Meeting?

Behold! A Face!

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

The Man Without a Face — or in Dick Tracy Parlance perhaps “Blank Face” — (or is it “The Shadow”)

— has been given a face in the National Journal rankings.

Before.  After.

I maintain my belief that there’s no reason he shouldn’t be seen as ahead of Biden, Kucinich maybe, Vilsack maybe, and I find this whole thing specious.

I also wonder if there was some type of memo that was passed out that decided to give him a face.