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Step off, old man!
Wednesday, 28 July 2004
Obama and the space suit
* I just watched senatorial candidate Barack Obama's speech online at I couldn't watch it last night because I was putting my son to sleep. He really did hit a home run, especially with his "We are the United States..." spiel near the end.

Truthfully, most of the speeches thus far have been tepid. Obama's and Bill Clinton's have been the only two that have really stuck out. We'll see if Edwards changes that tonight. I'm betting he will.

* How vapid is the news that they took the Republican bait on those silly pictures of Kerry in the space suit? They're trying to pull a Dukakis on Kerry and here's why I don't think it will work this time. First, Kerry has a greater inclination to fight back and secondly, the stakes are too high.

In 1988, did people really feel the future of this country was at stake? Not like they do today. Unlike the elder Bush who was interested in building coalitions with our allies, GW has turned his soul over to the Cheneys and Delays of the world. When there's not much at your core, you're easy to fill up. I believe that's the case with GW Bush.

Think about it. Is there anything he feels passionately about? The only thing I ever hear him get worked up about is freedom. How about milk or apple pie? Could he really be as empty as he seems? Does it bother people that there is probably not one subject that affects people's lives that he can discuss with any depth?

It bothers me. And it should bother you.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:54 AM EDT
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Godzilla vs. Mothra
When I was a kid, I used to spend hours on Saturday afternoons watching "Creature Double Feature" on Boston's Channel 56 with my friend John Daley. It was always Godzilla vs. Someone.

Last night was the modern-day political version of "Creature Double Feature" -- Bill O'Reilly vs. Michael Moore. (Insert your shriek here.) Most of the guests on The O'Reilly Factor seem pretty intimidated. Last night, Ben Affleck, Jerry Brown, and Kweise Mfume of the NAACP spent a good portion of their time on the show nodding in agreement. I'm sure these same people watch from home and curse out O'Reilly. Affleck looked particularly ill-at-ease. Hey, it's easier taking on a killer asteroid when it's all scripted.

Moore agreed to appear only if the piece was aired unedited. It was fun to watch although the debate was pretty inane. O'Reilly's arguments were non-sensical as usual, as he asked the filmmaker if "President Moore would have acted against Hitler..." Come on.

The best line, I believe, was when Moore kept asking O'Reilly is he would send his children to secure the peace in Fallujah. O'Reilly wouldn't answer the question, saying "I would send myself."

Hey, Bill, that ain't what's happening. For the most part, the parents aren't going. It's easy to send some poor kid from Oklahoma or New Hampshire, but it's not so easy when you think about sending your own.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:44 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 27 July 2004
The Moonie Times!
Whenever I watch Fox or some other cable outlet and I see a reporter from the Washington Times, a voice goes off in my head that reminds me: Rev. Sun Myung Moon owns that paper and he's kind of nuts. Of course, no one ever mentions this, especially on Fox, which loves the right-wing looniness of the Times.

There was an event about a month and a half ago where Moon pretty much proclaimed himself to be the Messiah -- and it took place in a Senate office building. Here's the rundown from I included the whole thing because it's pretty funny.

"Should Americans be concerned that on March 23rd a bipartisan group of Congressmen attended a coronation at which a billionaire, pro-theocracy newspaper owner was declared to be the Messiah ? with royal robes, a crown, the works? Or that this imperial ceremony took place not in a makeshift basement church or a backwoods campsite, but in a Senate office building?

The Washington Post didn't think so. For a moment on April 4, a quote from the keynote speech was in the Web version of its "Reliable Sources" column. The speaker: Sun Myung Moon, 84, an ex-convict whose political activities were at the center of the 1976-8 Koreagate influence-peddling probe. That's when an investigation by Congress warned that Moon, after having befriended Richard Nixon in his darkest hour, was surrounding himself with other politicians to overcome his reputation: as the leader of the cult-like Unification Church, which recruited unwary college students, filled Madison Square Garden with couples in white robes, wed them in bulk and demanded obedience.

That was before he launched the Washington Times ? "in response to Heaven?s direction," as he would later say ? and a 20-year quest to make his enemies bow to him. He has also claimed, in newspaper ads taken out by the Unification Church, that Jesus, Confucius, and the Buddha have endorsed him. Muhammad, according to the 2002 ad, led the council in three cries of "mansei," or victory. And every dead U.S. president was there, too ? because Moon's gospel is inseparable from visions of true-blue American power.

Now, this March, Moon was telling guests at the Dirksen Senate Office Building that Hitler and Stalin, having cleaned up their acts, had, in a rare public statement from beyond the grave, called him "none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent."

But not long after it appeared on the Post's web site, the paper erased the quote. Columnist Richard Leiby told me via e-mail that it shouldn't have gone out in the first place. The paper replaced it with breaking news about "Celebrity Jeopardy!" with Tim Russert.

So no one covered this American coronation, except Moon's own Times, which skipped the Messiah part. It wasn't in other newspapers, which only wink at the influence of Moon's far-right movement in Washington, when they cover it at all.

In fact, the only place you could read about the new king, unless you bookmarked Moon's Korean-language website, was in the blog world. There, dozens of the most CSPAN2-hardened cynics reacted to the screenshots with a resounding "WTF," the sound of dismay and confusion at a scene that news coverage hadn't prepared them for. The images might as well have come from Star Trek's Mirror Universe.

First, we're shown a rabbi blowing a ram's horn. Most Jews would hold off on this until the High Holy Days, but it probably counts if the Moshiach shows up in a federal office building at taxpayer expense. Then we see the man of the hour, Moon, chilling at a table at the Dirksen in a tuxedo, soaking all this up. He claps. He's having a ball.

Cut to the ritual. Eyes downcast, a man identified as Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) is bringing a crown, atop a velvety purple cushion, to a figure who stands waiting austerely with his wife. Now Moon is wearing robes that Louis XIV would have appreciated. All of this has quickly been spliced into a promo reel by Moon's movement, which implies to its followers that the U.S. Congress itself has crowned the Washington Times owner.

But Section 9 of the Constitution forbids giving out titles of nobility, setting a certain tone that might have made the Congressional hosts shy about celebrating the coronation on their websites. They included conservatives, the traditional fans of Moon's newspaper: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA.), Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah), Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) and Republican strategy god Charlie Black, whose PR firm represents Ahmed Chalabi?s Iraqi National Congress. But there were also liberal House Democrats like Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) and Davis. Rep. Harold Ford (D-Tenn.) later told the Memphis Flyer that he'd been erroneously listed on the program, but had never heard of the event, which was sponsored by the Washington Times Foundation.

Rep. Curt Weldon's office tenaciously denied that the Congressman was there, before being provided by The Gadflyer with a photo depicting Weldon at the event, found on Moon's website. "Apparently he was there, but we really had nothing to do with it," press secretary Angela Sowa finally conceded. "I don't think it's quite accurate that the Washington Times said that we hosted the event. We may have been a Congressional co-host, but we have nothing to do with the agenda, the organization, the scheduling, and our role would be limited explicitly to the attendance of the Congressman."

The spokeswoman for one senator, who asked that her boss not be named, said politicians weren't told the awards program was going to be a Moon event. The senator went, she said, because the Ambassadors promised to hand out awards to people from his home state, people who were genuinely accomplished. When the ceremony morphed into a platform for Moon, she said, people were disconcerted.

"I think there was a mass exodus," she said. "They get all these senators on the floor, and this freak is there."

The last time someone declared himself Emperor of the United States, it was the Gold Rush's Joshua Norton, a sort of failed dot-commer of the 1850s. But he was broke, whereas a random sampling of Moon's properties might include a healthy chunk of the U.S. fishing industry, the graphic tablet company Wacom, and swaths of real estate on an epic scale. The money-losing Times is paid for by the $1 billion he's sunk into it, along with untold funding for conservative policy foundations like the American Family Coalition.

George Soros has recently gotten lots of coverage as a supposedly eccentric billionaire influencing U.S. politics. But Soros is no Moon. In Moon's speeches, a "peace kingdom" is envisioned, in which homosexuals ? whom he calls "dung-eating dogs" ? would be a thing of the past. He said in January: "Gays will be eliminated, the three Israels will unite. If not, then they will be burned. We do not know what kind of world God will bring, but this is what happens. It will be greater than the communist purge but at God's orders."

And ignoring every mainline Christian denomination's rejection of the idea of Jewish collective guilt, Moon's latest world tour calls on rabbis to repent for betraying Christ, the Jerusalem Post reported last week. Speaking in Arlington, VA in 2003, Moon said Hitler killed six million Jews as a penalty for this rejection. And he's frank about calling for democracy and the U.S. Constitution to be replaced by religious government that he calls "Godism," calling the church-state separation the work of Satan. "The church and the state must become one as Cain and Abel," he said in the same sermon.

Towards this end, Moon's "Ambassadors for Peace" have been promoting his goal of a "Religious United Nations" organized around God, not countries. In the June 19, 2003 Congressional Record, Rep. Davis joins Rep. Weldon in thanking Moon and the Ambassadors for "promoting the vision of world peace." He praises their plan to "support the leaders of the United Nations" through interfaith dialogue. Much of the dialogue has consisted of getting Moon's retinue of rabbis, ministers and Muslim clerics to hug each other, and be photographed handing out awards to politicians. The Ambassadors have addressed the United Nations and the British House of Lords. They have also honored at least one neo-Nazi, William Baker, former chair of the Holocaust-denying Populist Party.

And far from the free lunches that Emperor Norton received in San Francisco, Moon's groups have taken home grant money from the Bush Administration, which has given his anti-sex missionaries $475,000 in Abstinence-Only dollars to bring Moon's crusade against "free sex" to both black New Jersey high-schoolers and native Africans. The Centers for Disease Control briefly announced that another Moon foundation was the only group qualified to receive another, no-bid grant for HIV education in Africa. Only after a competitor raised objections did the CDC cancel the grant program entirely. Meanwhile, one of Moon's top political movers, David Caprara, has been appointed by George W. Bush to head AmeriCorps VISTA; and another former church VIP, Josette Shiner, was given a senior trade position.

Friends in high places

In the early stages of the Reagan Revolution that embraced the Washington Times and Moon's anti-Communist movement, it was embarrassing to be caught at a Moon event. Until George H.W. Bush appeared with Moon in 1996, thanking him for a newspaper that "brings sanity to Washington," famous guests often spoke at front groups that concealed ties to the Unification Church. Bill Cosby was horrified to discover he'd agreed to speak at one. The reputation of future "Left Behind" author Tim LaHaye suffered after his wife accidentally gave Mother Jones a recording of him dictating a fond letter to Moon's lieutenant Bo Hi Pak, plotting to replace Vice-President Bush with Jerry Falwell on the 1988 ticket. To many Christians, Moon was offensive, preaching that Jesus failed and that he would clean up the mess.

But now that he's forged unbreakable ties with conservative Christians, Moon has moved on to African-American ministers, and, through them, allies in the Democratic Party. This has been below the radar of the press, but not for lack of outlandishness. Moon celebrated Easter Sunday, 2003 by launching a coast to coast series of "tear down the cross/Who is Rev. Moon?" events, targeting pastors in poor neighborhoods. From the Bronx to L.A., Moon's people were convincing pastors to pull the crosses off their walls and replace them with his Family Federation flag. An old hymn was invoked: "I'll trade the old cross for a crown."

To Congressmen attending earlier stops in this roadshow, all this mysticism may have seemed too murky and exotic to understand. But the storyline is simple enough, if you take a step back.

Moon's newest followers were invited to tear down the traditional symbol of Christianity, told they could swap it for a crown. But unlike the crown in the hymn, it wasn't for them. It was the one that Congressmen gave, March 23 at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, to a wealthy right-wing newspaper owner, one described by Time magazine in 1976 as "megalomaniacal," not much of an exaggeration for someone who claims to be the Second Coming. Unless of course he actually is.

The next day, according to a speech posted to a Moon mailing list and Usenet by a Unification church webmaster, Damian Anderson, Moon said he was leaving the country. "True Father spent 34 years here in America to guide this country in the right way," he told followers. "Yesterday was the turning point." But you can't buy Moon's high opinion of your country so easily (he's called the U.S. "Satan's harvest").

America, he said, was on the road to its doom. Why? "Homo marriage."

Posted by brettdavey at 2:41 PM EDT
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Tax story
There was an article in the Chicago Trinbune on Monday that talks about all the corporate subsidies and tax breaks attached to a heretofore small tax bill. Among the tax breaks:

* A $12 billion buyout for tobacco farmers
* A provision that allows GE and other multinational firms to avoid paying $2 billion a year in US taxes on foreign earnings. According to the article, "Some economists say this tax break could cause more firms to shift operations offshore."
* Foreigners who win money on dog and horse races wouldn't have to pay taxes.

There are a whole bumch of other provisions but I included that last one because it's so silly.

I would love to talk to someone who heads one of the major cable news outlets and ask them, "Why wasn't this story important enough for you to cover when you spent 4 hours today covering a missing pregnant woman?"

They would tell me, if they were honest, that it's just easier to cover the missing pregnant woman. And everyone else is doing it too.

Posted by brettdavey at 12:40 PM EDT
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Shove it, no news, and other convention musings
"Shove it..."

Being that Teresa Heinz-Kerry once resided in Pennsylvania, she must know that the reporter she snapped at is employed by Richard Mellon-Scaife, the ultra-conservative billionaire who dedicated tens of millions of dollars to taking down Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Ever heard of the Arkansas Project? That was Mellon-Scaife's umbrella for all conspiracies Clinton (Vince Foster's murder, Clinton's drug running and murder squad, etc.)

It must be tough being a reporter for one of these papers. All these reporters can't be ideologically conservative. Still, they have to know if they don't toe the company line they will lose their jobs. In this case, the reporter is probably someone who needs a paycheck. I think in the case of people that appear on Fox, they are addicted to the spotlight. The ones who are truly conservative get even more conservative to outdo their right wing brethren. Those who are moderate or liberal are forced to lean right. In the movie "Outfoxed", there is an interview with a former military man who was let go from Fox because he dared to question the wisdom of some of the Administration's strategy.

Is the "Shove it.." comment a big deal? Not really. Does it mean things are less civil? Please. Remember the 2000 campaign when Bush referred to a NY Times reporter as a "major-league asshole"? Or Cheney's recent "Fuck off" comments? Don't you think the Lyndon Johnsons of the world spoke like that all the time? The difference is that there weren't 24-hour news channels around to make a big story out of a non-story. And the reality is that silly stories like that are easier to cover than real policy discussions.

No news

Does anyone really expect any real news to come out of the Convention? I was watching the bozos on one of the cable outfits dissecting the speakers from the first day and I realized: nothing that this bozo is saying matters one bit. Joe Scarborough was saying the Dems made a big mistake because Carter didn't talk about value. If he had, would it have changed one vote? I'm serious. Would one person have changed their vote? Of course not.

If you're a Dem, you watch the Convention to get energized. If you're a Repub, you watch to get disgusted.

Last night was a great case in point. Gore, Carter, and Hillary Clinton didn't say anything of any value. But as a Democrat, I enjoyed listening to them. And Bill Clinton showed again that he is the heavyweight champ. After listening to Bubba, I understand why they put three days in between him and Kerry.

I think the Dems were a little more honest in putting the true face of their party forward. The Clintons, Gores, Carter, the Edwards, Ted Kennedy, and the Kerrys are a true representative of the party, for better or worse. The Republicans are putting Guiliani, McCain, and Arnold in prime-time. Is that really the face of the party? Where are Delay and Frist and Hatch and Ashcroft and Santorum? If most Americans hold conservative values, why aren't these folks being featured? Instead, you have an adulterer (Guiliani), a groper and drug user (Arnold), and a man who Bush's surrogates smeared in the 2000 primary campaign (McCain).

And they talk about an Extreme Makeover for Kerry.

Posted by brettdavey at 12:30 PM EDT
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Sunday, 25 July 2004
Repugs for Nader
This is from and pretty much sums up the Nader campaign.

"From ABCNews ...

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader's quixotic presidential campaign says it submitted about 5,400 signatures to get on the Michigan ballot, far short of the required number of 30,000. Luckily for him, approximately 43,000 signatures were filed by Michigan Republicans on his behalf, more than meeting the requirement.
Speaks for itself.

Idiots ..."

Posted by brettdavey at 8:37 AM EDT
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Friday, 23 July 2004
Fox relentless against Bush
This is from These clowns from Fox must think people have rocks in their heads. On second thought, that does describe the typical Fox viewer.

(July 23, 2004) --Under continued scrutiny for the way its newscasts are tainted by a plainly partisan slant, some inside the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News Channel are fighting back, insisting FNC doesn't go easy on Republicans. A favorite talking point has become how it was the Fox News Channel that first broke the embarrassing news, during the closing week of the 2000 campaign, that George W. Bush had been arrested for drunken driving in 1976 when he was 30 years old -- an arrest Bush had never come clean about.

Fox News CEO Roger Ailes crowed about the Bush DUI scoop in a recent Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal, where he fended off criticism of FNC's news standards. And this week, FNC's chief political correspondent, Carl Cameron, made the same point to the New York Observer, which noted that he "was the reporter who broke the Bush D.U.I. story." Said Cameron: "My relationships with Republicans in the 2000 campaign didn't stop Fox from reporting the D.U.I. story that Karl Rove said cost George Bush the popular vote."

The problem is that both Ailes and Cameron have had to rewrite history to make their DUI claim stick, because the tale of who broke the story is not as simple as they'd like to spin it. And the notion that the FNC crew -- Ailes, Cameron, Brit Hume, Tony Snow, Bill O'Reilly, etc. -- was hounding the Bush camp at the end of the election campaign and asking hard questions about Bush's drunken-driving past is pure fantasy. Plus, once the DUI story leaked out, FNC reporters, anchors and guests spent days spinning furiously on Bush's behalf in an attempt to downplay the story.

The truth is that it was a resourceful 27-year-old reporter at a local Fox affiliate, WPXT-TV in Portland, Maine, who uncovered the DUI story, not the Fox News Channel in New York or Washington, the partisan national network that's the focus of Robert Greenwald's new documentary, "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism." Nobody associated with "Outfoxed" or elsewhere participating in the media debate has suggested that local Fox news teams in places like Bakersfield, Calif.; Birmingham, Ala.; or Boise, Idaho operate under Republican marching orders as they cover arsons, car crashes and zoo openings. So it's not that unusual that an enterprising reporter, operating off the FNC reservation as it were, could play a starring role in the DUI story. Not surprisingly, Ailes and Cameron are now conveniently trying to pretend that it was Sean Hannity's "Fair and Balanced" Fox News, those bold seekers of the truth, who unearthed the damaging dirt on Bush that almost cost him the election.

Here's how the DUI story came to light in 2000. Covering a local arson trial at the Portland county courthouse on Nov. 2, reporter Erin Fehlau was tipped off by a local cop that a judge and attorney had been overheard discussing a long-ago drunken-driving conviction against Bush on file in Kennebunkport, Maine. Fehlau soon spotted the attorney in question, a Democratic activist, and asked him about the DUI rumor. He gave Fehlau the docket number of Bush's arrest record and Fehlau did the rest -- obtaining a copy of the arrest record, confirming the story with the secretary of state's office and interviewing the officer who had arrested Bush.

Only after Fehlau nailed down the story did Cameron and the FNC team enter the picture. As a reporter with the Bush campaign, it was Cameron's job to get a comment or confirmation from the Bush team. At 6 o'clock that night, he got confirmation and Fox News aired the story.

But if Fox News was proud of its scoop, as it suddenly professes to be, the FNC team in New York and Washington sure had a strange way of showing it: They immediately set out to dismiss or dismantle it.

Fox host O'Reilly: "It is a non-issue in my opinion. The DUI incident has no relevance to the campaign."

Fox anchor Hume: "My sense is that there's no indication it hurt anybody or helped anybody in the polling. I think it's a wash."

Fox correspondent Cameron: "A lot of people are saying, '24 years ago? We knew the governor has already disclosed his alcohol problem. What's the big deal?'"

Fox guest Matt Drudge: "We're talking tonight about a story about a guy pulled over for driving too slow with a little too many beers. This is amateur chump stuff."

Fox guest Mara Liasson: "I think it's going to have little effect on George W. Bush's chances for the White House. It's not a bombshell."

Fox guest Mort Kondracke: "I think this is a minor story."

Despite Fox's uniform optimism, exit polling later indicated that the drunken-driving revelation did severe damage to Bush's campaign, halting any momentum he'd built down the stretch and allowing Vice President Gore to virtually run the table on tossup states come Election Day.

When not dismissing its supposed scoop, the FNC team was busy trying to deflect the confirmed account of Bush's drunken driving onto Gore.

Snow: "I guess David Maraniss has in his book that [Gore] smoked [marijuana] more than 200 times. And one would presume maybe he got behind the wheel one of those times?"

Fox reporter Jim Angle: "And one of the speculations, of course, is whether Gore himself has ever been arrested."

Snow: "The Gore campaign said it had nothing to do with it, didn't know about it. Does everybody buy that?

Fox guest Rush Limbaugh: "It is the Gore campaign. They're behind it."

Despite the conspiracy theories, there was never any evidence to support the idea that the Gore campaign played any role in leaking the DUI story.

But defenders of Murdoch's empire might insist, if Fox News was truly in the bag for Bush, couldn't it have just sat on Fehlau's report? Not really. According to press accounts, she had already gone with the story locally. And as the Boston Herald noted, a handful of other reporters in the area got wind of the rumor the same day she did and were chasing it down. (Inexplicably, although a Portland Press Herald reporter had uncovered the Bush DUI story three months earlier, he was told by his editor that it was a nonstory.)

So the truth is that Fox News knew other news organizations had the story and had no choice but putting its locally produced story on the air. Which means one of journalism's great what-ifs remains unanswered: What if Ailes' Fox News Channel -- and not one of Fox's local affiliates -- had discovered exclusively, just days before the 2000 election, that Bush had been arrested for drunken driving? Would Fox News then have aired that damaging report?

Posted by brettdavey at 1:14 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 21 July 2004
Another Fox laugher...
If you don't read, you're missing something. Here's something from there today.

"On July 19, FOX News Live anchor Bob Sellers identified guest Penny Nance as a "suburban stay-at-home mom." The text displayed on the screen while Nance discussed "what issues matter most to suburban moms" and whether Senator John Kerry can "count on their votes" indicated only that Nance is a former "full time lobbyist" who "started a nonprofit organization for moms." Yet Nance, who said on FOX News Live that she is "clearly in favor of President [George W.] Bush," has made a career out of pushing conservative causes.

Penny Young Nance is the president of anti-abortion nonprofit organization Kids First Coalition, which "works to promote and encourage traditional families as well as to help those in crisis pregnancies." Nance is currently registered as a lobbyist for the group, according to filings with the Senate Office of Public Records. Nance is also a board member of the right-wing Christian women's organization Concerned Women for America, for which she formerly served as legislative director and lobbyist. Additionally, she is a former staff member of Representative Pat Swindall (R-GA). Nance also serves as president of Nance and Associates, a public policy and media consulting firm.

From the July 19 edition of FOX News Channel's FOX News Live:

SELLERS: So as John Kerry and his running mate, John Edwards, hit the road, one special group they'll be courting along the way: America's women voters. ... Let's talk about one particular group of women the Kerry and Bush campaigns will be focusing on: the suburban moms, the so-called "soccer moms," as some of them are referred to. What issues matter most to suburban moms, and can Kerry count on their votes? In our studio, we're joined by independent pollster Scott Rasmussen and president of the; and, in Washington, Republican pollster David Winston, he's president of the Winston Group; and Penny Nance, a suburban stay-at-home mom. Forget these guys who do this all the time, lemme just ask you, Penny, what are your feelings here? Are the candidates talking about the right things and who are you inclined to vote for?

NANCE: Well, I'm clearly in favor of President [George W.] Bush because I believe he is the man that American women trust to protect our children and he cares about the safety and well-being of our children.

[...]Well, I talk to women all over the country, Bob, and I'm hearing women talk about the issues of safety and well-being of their kids. ... [T]hese safety issues are the things that American women are talking about on the playgrounds and on the soccer fields of America and we believe that President Bush hears us and cares about these issues. His Department of Justice is working on this, his homeland security is meeting evil head on."

Posted by brettdavey at 2:45 PM EDT
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Halliburton hijinks
Everyone knows the Boston Herald is the local equivalent of the National Enquirer, mixed with the right wing fanatacism of the Drudge Report. Still, even this is a little silly for them. They gave this story big play under the headline, "Kerry's Haliburton Hypocrisy"

"As Sen. John F. Kerry's campaign escalates charges over energy giant Halliburton's government deals and ties to Vice President Dick Cheney, there's one thing they don't mention - the Kerry family's own Halliburton payday. Teresa Heinz Kerry liked the Cheney-run Halliburton enough to buy and sell more than a $250,000 in company stock in 1996, netting a tidy profit of up to $15,000, records show."

Let me get this straight: Being CEO of the company (Cheney) is the same as owning stock in it. So I guess all those Enron stockholders were responsible for its collapse.

Posted by brettdavey at 2:15 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 20 July 2004
Rating the curses
The 24-hour news channels can be useful, especially when there is breaking news, but this flap about Arnold calling some legislators "girlie men" illustrates why these channels may be the worst thing that ever happened to journalism.

As a service to America (or more accurately, the three people reading this. Hi Mom!), I'm going to rate the last three flaps regarding language, involving the unlikely trio of Dick, Arnold, and Whoopi.

1) The F-bomb on the Senate floor.
Kind of a dick move. Say Gore had done the same thing to Orrin Hatch, what do you think the reaction would have been? Oh, the sanctity of the Senate. And another thing: I always laughed when Republicans said Clinton taught children that lying and promiscuity was OK. What's the lesson here? Tell anyone you like to fuck off and never, ever apologize.

News Value: B

1) Whoopi and the B-word.
What is wrong with these celebrities? They are so self-involved that they don't realize they are actually hurting the causes they support. Put it this way: is there anyone who was energized by Whoopi's comments? Is there anyone who was turned off? Thank you. Still, not a very big deal. Maybe I say that because I don't like Whoopi too much anyway. Although, I would like to say that "Rat Race" is on a near constant loop on TBS right now and that is one of the funniest movies of the last ten years. She's only part of the cast, but she's pretty good in it.

News value: C

1) Girlie men.
Were people outraged because a movie actor was stealing a line from a TV show? Whatever. I don't see this as anything. Sorry.

News Value: F

Posted by brettdavey at 8:20 AM EDT
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