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Step off, old man!
Wednesday, 11 February 2004
Dropping out
The best description I've heard about Gen. Wesley Clark as a politician is "talented amateur." I forget who said it, but he was right on. Clark was obviously a very bright, talented person, a decorated soldier and Rhodes scholar. What he wasn't was a trained politician.

Of course, that's what attracted so many people to him, including me. And while Clark may have made a helluva president, he wasn't a helluva candidate. He was appealing and quirky, but he wasn't a practiced politician. That's what killed him in the end.

That and his late entry into the race and Kerry's unexpected surge. The more I think about it, Dean wasn't a polished politician either. He lacked the self-control and discipline needed to make it all the way. Edwards is a great politician. Kerry isn't great, but he is disciplined and looks a lot better as he zeroes in on the nomination. Presidential candidates always do.

I wish Clark had done better and I think he would have been a better candidate against Bush than Kerry, at least based on his resume. The Republican National Committee must have a file on Kerry that would reach to his outsized chin. The upside to Kerry: he'll definitely fight back.


Posted by brettdavey at 11:13 AM EST
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Monday, 9 February 2004
Round Up
Some thoughts since I've been away for a few days:

* When you have a young child -- like I do -- you feed the child with a really small spoon. I mean, it's really small, like a spoon that Stuart Little would use. And as the child gets bigger, he eats more food. But you still use the same spoon. And when you start to feed him even greater quantities of food, you still use the small spoon.

Sometimes, I look at the growing amount of food and the tiny spoon and I feel like a guy in a prison movie who has to tunnel out using nothing but a spoon he stole from the cafeteria.

But fear not, in the end, the kid always ends up getting fed.

* Do you really think Bush is going to release all his military records? Read this excerpt from today's LA Times:

"Bush, speaking in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, said that if records exist that will put to rest any doubts about his service, he is "absolutely" willing to authorize the release of those documents covering his service in the Texas and Alabama National Guard units.

He was referring to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service in Colorado, which maintains pay records of service members and presumably would have documentation on whether Bush had showed up for all of his military duty.

But officials at the agency, in Denver and at the headquarters in Washington, told The Times last week that before any records could be released, a Freedom of Information Act request must be filed and that the agency would then show the records to the White House communications office before proceeding.

Bryan Hubbard and Roger Still, spokesmen for the agency, said the processing could take months. They suggested that the White House might turn down the request."

Don't bet the ranch on those records seeing the light of day.

Also, Bush repeated the RNC talking points about the challenge to his service being disparaging to those who served in the Guard. It's not disparaging to those who did their service, Mr. Commander-In-Chief.

* Speaking of Bush on "Meet the Press", he basically evaded every question that was given to him and stuck to the talking points prepared for him. And of course, he played the blame game. The economy. The terrorists. The bad intelligence. Everything was Clinton's fault. I love it.

I never heard Clinton blame Bush I for sending troops to Somalia, even though Clinton was vilified when they were killed. Same thing with the first World Trade Center attack. That happened within months of Clinton taking office but he never blamed those things on Bush I. But that's what happens when you take responsibility as President.

And don't talk to me about Monica. If you're a Republican, you should be ashamed about spending $70 million on a witch hunt over oral sex. Ashamed.


* Last night on "Sixty Minutes" there was a report on Iraq that was pretty sad. Christianne Amampour interviewed a soldier and then caught up with him a few months later, after a roadside bomb had blown off half his face. He looked like Jonah Hex, the old comic book cowboy whose face looked like it was melting off on one side. It was pretty awful.

Then, she interviewed an Iraqi family that had lost a bunch of family members at a roadside checkpoint. US soldiers at the checkpoint had accidentally opened fire on their car when another vehicle fired a few shots at the checkpoint. Most of the people in the car were killed, including a young boy. The US found not traces of any shells or any wepaons from this car. It was sad hearing from the family who had lost so much and also seeing the young US soldier who had fired upon them. He looked lost.

And now, we're going to bail out on Iraq as soon as possible for the political expediency of the President. Just imagine what a hellhole it is going to be then. Please, someone tell me why we're over there.




Posted by brettdavey at 5:28 PM EST
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Thursday, 5 February 2004
Five websites you need to know
There's this great misconception that the Internet has made everyone more productive. If your workplace doesn't monitor your activity, it's like letting you hang out in a Borders all day. Here are five websites I visit every day. You should too.

1) www.bartcop.com -- Bart's a crazy Okie who used to sell cars and has a serious bug up his ass about GW Bush. By the way, BFEE stands for "Bush Family Evil Empire".

2) www.therandirhodesshow.com -- Randi's a radio host out of Florida who broadcasts M-F from 3 to 7 p.m. I listen to her stream over the internet every day. Her shows are usually archived within a day or two so you can listen to her anytime.

She used to be on at the same time as Rush in Florida and she used to wipe the floor with him. Rumor is Clear Channel was looking to syndicate her and Rush threatened to quit if they did, thus putting the kibosh on Randi going national. You have to listen to her if you want to hear a real liberal who's a fighter.

3) www.talkingpointsmemo.com -- Josh Marshall's site with some of the best political commentary available.

4) www.littlesteven.com -- Ever hear "Little Steven's Underground Garage"? (It's on in RI on Sundays from 8-10 a.m. on WHJY.) Steven, star of the "Sopranos" and Bruce's sidekick, plays the best garage music of today and yesteryear. You can listen to the archives of the show at his site. It's what I'm listening to right now.

5) www.abcnews.com -- Visit ABC News and go to the politics section. Click on "The Note" every day to get a compilation of the best political reporting from around the country.

There are a bunch of other sites to visit like www.buzzflash.com, www.smirkingchimp.com, and www.hoopshype.com, but these are my five favorite.

Posted by brettdavey at 9:05 AM EST
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Sound-A-Likes?
Can any of you out there do a passable imitation of GW Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Rush? It's for a project I'm working on. I only need your voice talent; I don't care what you look like. Let me know!

Posted by brettdavey at 8:51 AM EST
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Tuesday, 3 February 2004
Best seller?
There's always been a little controversy attached to best sellers from authors like Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter. Their names on the best-sellers list are often accompanied by a little cross, a symbol that indicates someone bought their book in bulk. Some suspect that a right-wing angel like Richard Mellon-Scaife buys thousands of these books to push up their sales.

There's a site called www.conservativebookclub.com that offers all the best hits of the right: books by the aforementioned O'Reilly and Coulter, but also lesser-lights like Hannity and Laura Ingraham. You can get these books on this site at the bargain price of: 3 for $3! That's $1 per book.

Is it any wonder they're zooming up the best-seller list? Someone try and find me Hillary's book on sale somewhere for $1.

Posted by brettdavey at 4:38 PM EST
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Peek-A-Boob
Wow! Michael Powell, chairman of the FCC, has got his underwear in a bind over the Janet Jackson peek-a-boob during the Super Bowl halftime. Powell is promising to investigate this incident.

Excuse me, but during the game, there were approximately 5,000 ads for men who can't get an erection, an ad where a dog bit a man in the groin, and an ad where a horse farted on someone.

The best take I heard was on "Countdown" with Keith Olberman. He asked Village Voice music critic Michael Musto if -- after the Super Bowl mini-flash -- Janet was now the weirdest Jackson.

His response? "Not unless she has three breasts."

Posted by brettdavey at 3:52 PM EST
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Monday, 2 February 2004
That's 20 for you...
Please stop telling me what a wonderful economy we have. Let's be frank. It sucks. I don't want to hear about the stock market. I don't want to hear about productivity. I want to hear about jobs.

There were the 1,000 jobs created in December. That's about 20 jobs for each state. Let the pigeons loose! Let's celebrate! 20 jobs in California! 20 jobs in Florida! 20 jobs in Texas! Happy days are here again!

Posted by brettdavey at 3:55 PM EST
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Letters from beyond
I just picked up the latest "East Side Monthly" and there's an article in there from my late friend Ken Mahan. The last few months of his life, Ken wrote, I believe with some reluctance, about his struggles living with cystic fibrosis. He finally succumbed to the disease in December. Pick up "East Side Monthly" to read his piece. It's riveting, and I don't just say that because I miss him a lot.

Posted by brettdavey at 2:41 PM EST
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Fried
It's offical: I am fried today.

As a New Englander, I'm excited about the Patriots' Super Bowl win, but today, it's over. There is another series of primaries tomorrow and Clark really need to win at least two states to have a chance at the nomination. Will he do it? I don't know. He's got a slim lead in Oklahoma and is trailing in Arizona. I hope he pulls it off, but it's going to be tough.

I'm usually such a political junkie but today, I can't get my excitement up. I am in charge of a Meet Up tonight for the Clark campaign so I better get fired up somehow.

Damn you Monday!

Posted by brettdavey at 1:15 PM EST
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Saturday, 31 January 2004
Out of Touch
I saw President Bush this morning talking about the new price tag for the Medicare prescription bill. The Congressional Budget Office estimated it would cost around $400 billion and now the White House estimates the price tag at $540 billion. Of course, you know it's going to cost way more than that in the end.

When asked about the increased price tag, Bush said, "Congress is going to have to work with us. They are going to have to make some tough choices to keep spending in line."

That's like being married and having two checkbooks in the house. The husband spends like crazy, buying a widescreen TV, a new sportscar, and a membership at a private golf club. When the wife goes to buy groceries, she gets a tongue lashing from the husband about using coupons and not spending over $20. That's how sick the President is.

I read a story in Friday's Boston Globe about President Bush's visit to a Fidelity Investment office in NH. Of course, there is no way Karl Rove will let him in front of a crowd that could ever potentially ask him a real question, let alone a difficult one. The story said there was one unscripted moment from a Fidelity employee, who was supposed to commend the President on his tax cut. As I read this, I got excited. Here it was. Bush facing a real person whose comments weren't scripted ahead of time.

She asked him who he liked in the Super Bowl.

And then, she made her pre-scripted remarks about the tax cut. Can you imagine the comedy if Bush had to ever actually answer to real voters the way the Democratic candidates are now?

One other thing: there is growing evidence that the Diebold electronic voting machines are seriously flawed. The latest evidence is a group of high school students who hacked into some of the machines and changed all the votes. Why the hell don't these machines have paper receipts?

In Georgia's election for governor, the Democratic candidate led comfortably in all the polls, before the election and in exit polling. His Republican opponent ended up winning.

Diebold machines were used in this election. If you love democracy, be afraid.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:44 AM EST
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