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Step off, old man!
Sunday, 17 October 2004
Breslin rules
When I was a teenager and in my early 20s, I loved Mike Barnicle. His thrice-weekly column for the Boston Globe was a must read. It wasn't until later that I realized he was ripping off Jimmy Breslin, who is still the heavyweight champ. Here's Breslin's column from today's Newsday:

I took the book off the shelf in the Barnes & Noble bookstore on Broadway and 66th Street and began reading it. The book is: "The O'Reilly Factor For Kids." It is subtitled, "A Survival Guide for America's Families."

A woman came by with a little boy in a stroller. "Here, this is a good one for you," I told the woman. "Read it to your kid." She looked at the cover and her eyebrows furrowed. The kid in the stroller liked the color on the cover. "Here. Tell your mother to buy it for you," I held out the book, but the mother pulled him away.

"No, thank you," she said. She said this in a way that indicated that she was at least suspicious of this rumpled man holding out a sex book.

"Did you see this?" I held it out for another woman with offspring. She looks. "Why don't you buy it?" I said.

"No," she said. Icily.

I browsed through the book, which is O'Reilly's greatest sin at this time. The attempted mugging of readers with sentences made of balsam wood. He has other problems, but they are the usual for these far-right conservative writers and commentators. As a group they are prone to being perverts. Some are trying to say that O'Reilly goes with the territory.

In Florida the other day I was surprised to hear this Rush Limbaugh on the radio. "He's a stone junkie," I said. "Is he still on the air?"

"Sure."

Now in the aisle at Barnes & Noble, I scanned Bill O'Reilly for Kids on the pages about sex: "Here's a big word for today: dehumanization. That's when you go out with someone only for their appearance - their big pecs or long legs. When you are interested in someone only on the basis of physique, you're dehumanizing him or her, seeing that person only as an attractive object. If you are doing that, remember, good sex occurs between two human beings, not between two objects ... Are you surprised by my thoughts on the subject? Did you think that O'Reilly would tell you sex is off-limits? As you know, things are more complicated than that. But I repeat my mantra: Sex is best when you combine sensible behavior with sincere affection ...

"It is also smart to recognize that there is no area more potentially dishonest than the sexual arena. And if you exploit a girl, it will come back to get you."

There are two young women at the next shelf. They are reading the magazine "Sugar." The cover proclaims, "Britain's Best-Selling Girls Magazine." I say to them, "Hey, here, why don't you read some of Bill O'Reilly's book for kids and see what you think." They both stared at me.
Now I suddenly think, "Breslin, in about 15 seconds, one of these young women is going to let out a holler that is going to make people think of you with O'Reilly." I put the book down and in the same motion was gone.

Then, I went into the Coliseum Bookstore at 11 W. 42nd St. and asked if they had the book. "I'm embarrassed to say we do," the manager, Allan Kelin, said. Right away I scolded him. "You're not supposed to be embarrassed by anything printed." "We don't censor anything," he assured me. He led me down an aisle to where Bill O'Reilly's face stared at me from the bookshelf. He was alongside "Tips for Baby's First Year."

"I'll sell it for you," I said to the manager.

Right away, a man came along with his son, who was about 7. "Here you go," I said, holding the book out. "Read it to your kid." He smirked. "I don't even want that one," he said. He pointed to the book under O'Reilly: "Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They'd Ask)."

You can see how these conservative writers and commentators are devoted to and influenced by George Bush. After three debates, there can be no doubt that Bush is the dumbest president of our time. He cannot speak English. He says he is a leader. Of what? A leader leads a nation with the force of his words. This guy doesn't have the vocabulary or the plain class to do anything but get cheers from pathetic dolts. There were 10 soldiers dead in Iraq on Wednesday night and Bush smirked and chuckled and outright laughed during a debate that was supposed to be about the troubles of a nation. He disgraces the nation.

I couldn't sell any of O'Reilly's book yesterday, except the one copy I bought. I did this when I stopped writing in a pad, for fear of somebody screaming "Degenerate," and brought it home so I could copy the passage about sex that I just typed for you.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:43 PM EDT
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Try these election conspiracy theories on for size...
I doubt Osama Bin Laden is going to be produced in the next two weeks. However, here are two predictions I'll make for the election. They're not mutually exclusive. I'm not saying they'll definitely happen but I won't be surprised if either of them do.

1) Pretend that Kerry cheated.
One of Rove's favorite moves is to attack his own candidate and blame it on the opposition. He's done it with something as simple as a vicious unsigned flyer attacking his own candidate's family. Then his guy cries foul, which leads voters to turn against his opponent. Here's the electoral version of that: take an important state that you're sure Kerry will win by a small margin. Hack into the electronic voting machines and give Kerry a huge win. Then, cry foul. Kerry is immediately branded a cheater and the state's electoral votes are thrown in disarray. Start legal action and a whispering campaign about other states. Hey, it's a lot easier than hacking into the computers of five different states and changing the tallies.

2) Sue, sue, sue.
One thing the Bushies proved in 2000 is that the will of the people shouldn't get in the way of an election result. Right now, both sides have lawyers eyeing each other across the battlefield, like some political version of "Braveheart". If Bush loses, get ready for a non-stop legal challenge that will put a January inauguration in question. The good news is, the Democrats are girding for a fight this time. The bad news is, the President still has the Congress, Supreme Court, and media in his pocket.


Posted by brettdavey at 7:37 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 17 October 2004 7:39 PM EDT
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Bush, the messiah
The Sunday NT Times story about Pres. Bush is both enlightening and frightening. Bush's absolute certainty about what he's doing flows from a confidence that he's doing God's work. He won't say that to most audiences, but he strongly hints at it in front of more religious audiences. Think about this: if Bush wasn't born into the family he was born into, he would never be President. Then, he'd just be an average guy with a messianic complex. As a matter of fact, if you exchange their backgrounds, Bush could have ended up as David Koresh.

Seriously, anyone who believes God is acting through them, especially when the end result is the death of tens of thousands, has a screw loose.

Posted by brettdavey at 7:26 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 17 October 2004 7:40 PM EDT
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Friday, 15 October 2004
The "L" word
It's hard to say who is more insipid, political campaigns or television networks. I turned on the "Today" show this morning at 7 a.m. They usually lead with the most serious news of the day. The tease showed a picture of Kerry, with the headline "The 'L' Word". I figured they meant "liberal" in reference to Kerry, which is the brush Bush has been using repeatedly. Instead the word was ... (shriek!)lesbian.

Katie Couric, posing as a newsperson, asked the guests the following question (I'm paraphrasing): "With all the serious issues out there, why are we getting mired down in this issue?"

Hey jackass, why is it the number one story on "Today"? Did someone hold a gun to your head?

The reaction of the Bush campaign says to me they think homosexuality is something to be ashamed of, especially when they use the words "cheap" and "tawdry."

Hopefully, this is over and we can get back to the meaningful story of the day -- the Bill O'Reilly "Talk Dirty To Me" saga. Ha!

Posted by brettdavey at 9:34 AM EDT
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Thursday, 14 October 2004
O'Reilly wants to sex you up; Hannity's got a new line
* You really shouldn't revel in someone else's problems, unless of course, that person is Bill O'Reilly, another righteous gasbag who might have a little something in his closet that could potentially bite him in the ass. (He might like that.)

My guess is that the producer who is suing him recorded some of their conversations because there appears to be a serious level of specificity in O'Reilly's alleged quotes. If you haven't read them, just go to www.thesmokinggun.com. They are quite graphic and kind of gross, especially when you consider they may have come out of O'Reilly's mouth.

Memo to Bill: if you're trying to turn a girl on with dirty talk about showering together, don't mention a "loofer." And that's tonight's talking point.

Ha!

* Holy Christmas, is something wrong with Sean Hannity? I saw him on last night's post-debate spinfest, first with Terry McCaullife, DNC chair, and then with Wes Clark. This is not partisan spin: Hannity is thisclose to losing it. His new trick is to berate someone: "No, say it in the camera, no, right in the camera, come on..."

I don't know how people resist the temptation to punch him in his oversized, luggage head. (McCaullife at one point admonished him to keep his hands to himself.) When he asked Clark if Kerry was strong enough to lead the country, Clark said that while Kerry was mixing it up on the ice as a hockey player, Bush was jumping around in a cheerleader's outfit.

Hannity's response sounded like this: "You have something against male cheerleaders? No, say it in the camera! Come on! Say it in the camera! YOu have something against cheerleaders! Say it!"

How the hell does a guy who makes professonal wrestlers look like the models of tranquility get his own television show? The man has come unhinged. And he's done it with a neutered on-air partner designed to give him the least amount of resistance imaginable. Imagine if he had to debate Randi Rhodes every night. The poor boy would be on more meds than Rush.

Posted by brettdavey at 2:51 PM EDT
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Who wins with a draw?
Last night's debate was the closest of the three. I thought Kerry looked a little tired at times, while Bush did his best job of balancing his two personalities -- the indignant dictator and the whiny little boy. Even though it was pretty much a draw, I think it goes to Kerry for this reason: there was a sniff test he needed to pass with the American people. By sounding calm, smart and reassuring, he did it.

Many people had never seen Kerry before these three debates and were simply subjected to the caricature that had been painted by the Bushies. Hell, even those of us from New England had never seen much of Kerry. What he's proven is that in the end, he was probably the best equipped of the Democratic candidates to take on Bush. His experience and steadiness may not be exciting to watch but those qualities have served him well in his head-to head matchup with a President who seems determined to act like an overly caffeinated frat boy. (I was once one of those so I know what it's like.)

In this case, tie goes to the challenger.

Posted by brettdavey at 2:36 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 12 October 2004
You're an idiot!
Republicans think you're an idiot. There can be no other excuse for the way they lie. This morning, James Carville was on the "Today" show with Tucker Askew from the Bush campaign. Askew was throwing out all the "terrorism=nuisance", "global test", soundbites that are really an insult to people with any intelligence.

Does anyone really think Kerry would ask for permission from France to defend this country? The Bush campaign wants you to believe that. And they believe you will. Hence, they think you're an idiot.

Is there any other instance in life when people so willingly accept being lied to? Imagine this scenario: Red Sox manager Terry Francona holds a press conference. He's asked if beating the Yankees will make his season. He says, "Our ultimate goal is not to beat the Yankees. It's to win the World Series."

All of a sudden, someone else holds a press conference. "Terry Francona says his goal is not to beat the Yankees. We just think that's wrong. He has the wrong judgement and values to be skipper of the Sox."

Ridiculous, right? They why is it perfectly acceptable in politics to do the same thing?

(By the way, Sox in six...)

Posted by brettdavey at 2:41 PM EDT
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Sinclair to-do
Sinclair Broadcasting is rationalizing running the anti-Kerry movie "Stolen Honor" by saying they will allow Kerry to come on and rebut the charges. These are the same clowns who refused to run the "Nightline" tribute to the troops who died in Iraq. Sooo, you know what they're all about.

This is nothing like "Farenheit 9-11", which is the analogy that some are trying to make. Put "Stolen Honor" in the theaters and let everyone who wants to watch it pay their money.(By the way, I heard they sold 2 million copies of "F 9-11" the first day it was on sale.)

Or how about this? Show "Stolen Honor", followed by "F 9-11". Then let people decide. By the way, the guy who produced "Stolen Honor" has been paid very well throughout his career by defending Rev. Moon. And another "by the way," Rev. Moon owns the Washington Times, which explains they crazy-ass nature of that newspaper. Hey, I've got nothing against Moon except he's a crazy mutha.

Back to Sinclair, let's put it this way: suppose ABC decided it was going to show "F 9-11" in prime time, with this one caveat: they would allow Pres. Bush to come on live to rebut the allegations. You think that would sit right with the Repubs?


Posted by brettdavey at 2:35 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 5 October 2004
Bush fatigue
Back when Clinton was president, there was media buzz about "Clinton fatigue," meaning the American people were tired of hearing about the White House scandals. Of course, the whole tawdry affair was Clinton's fault. What was left unsaid was the media was a major player in making sure the scandal was front and center every day. In the end, "Clinton fatigue" was no more than a media creation and Bill Clinton left office with very high approval ratings.

I honestly feel there is "Bush fatigue" going on right now. I think people are tired of the Bush-Cheney vision of never-ending war and terror. It's nothing I can prove and the polls are certainly showing an extremely close race. I think, ultimately, undecideds will break for Kerry, just because they're tired of the lies and grim vision of the current administration.



Posted by brettdavey at 10:27 PM EDT
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No hits, no errors
The VP debate didn't deliver the drama of last week's presidential showdown (or "joint appearance" as Dan Rather continues to call it). It really wasn't in the nature of the participants for it to be very dramatic.

Kerry had to face down both Bush and the caricature the Republicans have spent more than $90 million creating. He did that last week. Edwards hasn't really been the target of attacks the way Kerry has so he didn't have to fight the caricature.

Cheney came across as unwavering and certain in the debate. He was particulalry effective in the foreign policy portion, even if he was lying his ass off. Let's face up: he's a scary dude. Edwards did better in domestic policy, which is more of a warm and fuzzy thing and lent itself to his natural charm.

Last week, the Repug spinners kept calling the presidential debate a tie, which is like calling Pearl Harbor a draw. The short of it: Kerry beat Bush's ass. This one might really have been a draw.

Posted by brettdavey at 10:20 PM EDT
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