June 07, 2008



We knew that history would be made during this 7-seasons-long election season. We just weren't sure which history it would be.

Would former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney be the first Mormon to lead a major party's ticket? Would New Mexico governor Bill Richardson be the first Hispanic to do the same? Could former New York City mayor Rudy Guiliani become only the 2nd Catholic to become President? Fred Thompson the 2nd actor? Dennis Kucinich the first dwarf?

But as the state campaigns sallied forth, and the number of contenders on the primary slates dwindled, there was only one question of any real interest left. Could it be that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton -- wife of the first black President of the United States -- would be the first woman to top a major party's ticket? Or, would it be that Senator John McCain would become the oldest man ever to top a major party's ticket? Okay, that's two questions.

But, in the end, it was the Illinois freshman Senator Barack Obama who made history by becoming the 297th white guy to perform the feat. Much like Joe DiMaggio's 55-game hitting streak in 1941, one can only gaze upon the spectacle scarcely grasping the enormity of it all, but knowing full well that we are indeed witnessing history in an event that we shan't witness again in our lifetime.

Senator Barack Obama gazing purposefully into the future.

"Wow," said Hiram Hubbard, a steelworker from Pittsburgh. "I can't believe I'm seeing this. When McCain was number 296 I wondered just how much further it could possibly go. This is like when the New York Yankees won back-to-back World Series' twenty-two years in a row or something. Didn't they?"

"297," Candy Ribbons, a 13-year-old exotic dancer from Salt Lake City said with head-shaking wonderment. "Who's ever gonna top that? Maybe the Asians...?"

While some observers were quick to point out that Senator Obama is, in fact, of mixed racial heritage, that didn't stop most people we spoke to from focusing on his obvious "whiteness".

"I don't see how his mixed background changes the fact that he is, to me anyway, in essence, a white guy," chimed Joey John-Boy Walflauer. "It's just nice to be able to vote for somebody who looks like me."

A young Barack with his mother Ann.

Harriet Christian of Manhatten had a different take. "Why do we keep calling him a 'white guy'?", she shouted to passers-by on Seventh Avenue in mid-town. "He's just as much a black guy as he is white!"

While Harriet is technically correct, her words seemed to fall on the deaf ears of revelers who seemed to be too caught up in the history-making moment to let that fact interfere with the celebration.

No. It seems that Barack Obama -- his olioic geneology notwithstanding -- is destined to be renowned as the 297th white guy to run on a major party's presidential ticket. And that, as nearly every person we spoke to will tell you, is worth repeating.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:36 PM | Comments (3686) | TrackBack

October 08, 2006

Help the Democrats Recognize U.S. Soldiers

Well, I'm sure everybody's already read about this story. They've replaced the photo of the Canadian soldier with an American flag, but I'm sure they're still in hot pursuit of a photo of an American soldier.

What most people don't realize, though, is that the photo of the Canadian was not the first photo used for the story. No, siree. But, the crack staff at Blather Review have found a screenshot of a cached version of the page as it existed just after the story was first posted. Have a look-see:


At least they're trying, bless their hearts.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:36 PM | Comments (96) | TrackBack

July 20, 2006

So, just who is Alan Schlesinger anyway?

Stephen Macklin gets some answers from Connecticut Republican senatorial candidate Alan Schlesinger (if that is his real name).

Part deux is promised so stay tuned.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:34 PM | Comments (1324) | TrackBack

June 26, 2006

Dick Morris to Joe Leiberman: Skip the Primary and run as an Independent, or lose

Newsmax reports:

Senator and former vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman will lose the Democratic primary in Connecticut, political strategist Dick Morris predicts.

What’s more, if Lieberman then runs in the general election as an independent, he will be "so crippled” by his defeat in the August 8 primary, and his Democratic opponent Ned Lamont "so empowered,” that Lieberman will lose the general election as well and give up his seat in the Senate, says Morris.

"Indeed, by going through the primary and being defeated, he will give the GOP a good chance to win in Connecticut, which they would not have if he just ran as an independent,” Morris told NewsMax.

"But if he drops out of the primary, he will be re-elected as an independent.”

I have to disagree with Morris. First of all, Leiberman is so well regarded in Connecticut that, even though Lamont may indeed win the Democratic primary because the anti-Joe faction will be out in force on August 8th, Leiberman will win the general election if he runs as an independent.

Since Connecticut leans decidedly Democratic, a choice between Lamont and Republican Alan Schlesinger would almost certainly result in a win for Lamont. With Leiberman running as an independent, I suspect that most Republican voters will vote for Joe for two reasons: 1) Because they like him and, 2) to thwart the election of yet another short-sighted "anti-war" Democrat to the Senate. I also believe that most registered independents -- and a heck of a lot of Democrats -- will vote for Joe, as well.

Dick Morris backs up his prediction with this comparison:

Senator Jacob Javits, in 1980, "could have avoided defeat by not fighting the Republican primary against Al D’Amato and running as an independent. But D’Amato was so empowered by the primary win, and Javits so disempowered, that D’Amato won the general election with Javits running a poor third,” Morris told Political Wire.

"Lieberman’s correct course of action is to withdraw from the primary and run as an independent. It is the only way he can get re-elected.”

I think that the Javits example is a poor one. D'Amato and Javits faced off in a Republican primary, and Republicans preferred D'Amato. While the then 76-year-old Javits was popular with the electorate at large -- and New York leaned Democratic -- D'Amato won as a conservative Republican largely because he was on the Republican ticket with Ronald Reagan in 1980. With no Presidential race to provide "coat tails", Leiberman will be re-elected or rejected on his own merits.

I also disagree that Leiberman will be "so crippled" by a primary defeat since Ned Lamont's candidacy is seen as a single-issue campaign. While the activist base may support Lamont and his "salute" to the "patriotism and wisdom of Congressman Murtha", I don't believe his support among Connecticut voters as a whole will at all "cripple" Leiberman's reputation and popularity.

But the plot thickens.

Former Senator Lowell Wieker was elected Governor as an independent back in 1990 on a platform of solving Connecticut's fiscal problems without implementing a state income tax. He won and almost immediately supported implementing a state income tax. Wieker -- largely despised in Connecticut (and who was a Howard Dean booster in 2004) -- supports Ned Lamont in the primary. But, if Leiberman wins the primary, Weiker may run against him as an independent.

So, consider this: Leiberman runs as a Democrat, Schlesinger as a Republican and Wieker as an independent. Would the state's Republican voters still vote for Leiberman if they believe that many of the anti-Leiberman base may vote for the anti-war Wieker in the general election? Could Wieker siphon off enough Democrats from Leiberman making the election of a Republican to the Senate possible?

In this senario Leiberman may indeed be in trouble. But, if Joe loses, it wont be the hugely unpopular Lowell Weiker that would win. Nosiree. It'd be the Republican Alan Schlesinger. And the moonbats would have to be taken away in straight jackets.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 03, 2006

Much ado...

There seems some buzz today about Francine Busby. She's a California Democrat who -- some are claiming -- was encouraging voter fraud when she said to a group of Spanish-speaking supporters that "You don't need papers for voting". You can get the gyst (and a link to a very short mp3 of Busby's words) over at Michelle's.

Sorry, but I'm not hearing that. Someone apparantly asks, in Spanish, if there was any way that they could help her campaign even though they are not registered to vote. Busby replies:

Oh, well sure, everybody can help. Yes, absolutely.

The, um... uh... You can all help. [Voice of translator.]

Yeah, you don't need papers for voting. You don't need to be a registered voter to help.

Clearly, Ms Busby was simply saying that they don't need to be registered voters in order to help her campaign. The words speak for themselves, I think. And, if you have any doubt, just listen to her voice as she speaks those words. Her meaning will be pretty darn obvious.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 30, 2005

Hitchens on fire

Christopher Hitchens in on c-span right now. He's blasting the liberal media and he is Loaded. For. Bear.

"They called it a quagmire and couldn't get away from it. There are many reporters and news organizations who want this to fail because if it doesn't they'd be proved wrong."

"The New York Times, for instances, didn't even want these elections to take place all. They wanted fear of violence to cancel or postpone the elections, contradicting the conventioanl wisdom in our own country."

"They politely call Zarqawi an "insurgent" when he isn't even an Iraqi."

Go Hitch!!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2005

Wow. It was like looking in the mirror

I've watched every inaugural address live on TV since 1976, with the exception of Reagan's 2nd in 1985. (I was in the Air Force then and, y'know, couldn't take the day off from work.)
They're usually great speeches and I like to hear them in their entirety rather than in sound bites on the news, or read them in dry text. So, I took the day off from work. We've been slow for a couple of weeks now so 'taint no biggie.

The first part of today's Inaugural Address was like listening to my own thoughts psychicly channeled into the speechwriter's hand. Now I know that GWB is clear in his vision. I (and many of us, I know) could've written that thing.

The first part of George W Bush's speech was a proclamation of bold new mission for America and all free nations. President Kennedy, forty-four years ago today, promised the world that "we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty." President Bush goes even further.

Not content to preserve liberty where it exists, Bush stated that it was now, in these times, in our national interest to see that freedom is expanded until it, one day, reigns worldwide.

I was going to pick out a few lines here and there, but ended up copy/pasting the entire speech. So, for those who missed it, here is the first half -- or more -- of President Bush's inaugural address, sans the introduction. Bolded lines are my emphasis, of course. And I dang near ended up embolding (?) the whole thing!.

"Our duties are defined not by the words I use, but by the history we have seen together.
For a half century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders. After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbatical. And then there came a day of fire.

We have seen our vulnerability - and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny - prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder - violence will gather, multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat.

There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom.

We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.

America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one.

From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time.

So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

This is not primarily the task of arms, though we will defend ourselves and our friends by force of arms when necessary. Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities. And when the soul of a nation finally speaks, the institutions that arise may reflect customs and traditions very different from our own. America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way.

The great objective of ending tyranny is the concentrated work of generations. The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it. America's influence is not unlimited, but fortunately for the oppressed, America's influence is considerable, and we will use it confidently in freedom's cause.

My most solemn duty is to protect this nation and its people against further attacks and emerging threats. Some have unwisely chosen to test America's resolve, and have found it firm.

We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies.

We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people. America's belief in human dignity will guide our policies, yet rights must be more than the grudging concessions of dictators; they are secured by free dissent and the participation of the governed. In the long run, there is no justice without freedom, and there can be no human rights without human liberty.

Some, I know, have questioned the global appeal of liberty - though this time in history, four decades defined by the swiftest advance of freedom ever seen, is an odd time for doubt.
Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of our ideals. Eventually, the call of freedom comes to every mind and every soul. We do not accept the existence of permanent tyranny because we do not accept the possibility of permanent slavery. Liberty will come to those who love it.

Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world:

All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.

Democratic reformers facing repression, prison, or exile can know: America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country.

The rulers of outlaw regimes can know that we still believe as Abraham Lincoln did: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it."

The leaders of governments with long habits of control need to know: To serve your people you must learn to trust them. Start on this journey of progress and justice, and America will walk at your side.

And all the allies of the United States can know: we honor your friendship, we rely on your counsel, and we depend on your help. Division among free nations is a primary goal of freedom's enemies. The concerted effort of free nations to promote democracy is a prelude to our enemies' defeat.

Today, I also speak anew to my fellow citizens: From all of you, I have asked patience in the hard task of securing America, which you have granted in good measure. Our country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfill, and would be dishonorable to abandon. Yet because we have acted in the great liberating tradition of this nation, tens of millions have achieved their freedom. And as hope kindles hope, millions more will find it.

By our efforts, we have lit a fire as well - a fire in the minds of men. It warms those who feel its power, it burns those who fight its progress, and one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners of our world.

A few Americans have accepted the hardest duties in this cause - in the quiet work of intelligence and diplomacy … the idealistic work of helping raise up free governments … the dangerous and necessary work of fighting our enemies. Some have shown their devotion to our country in deaths that honored their whole lives - and we will always honor their names and their sacrifice.

All Americans have witnessed this idealism, and some for the first time. I ask our youngest citizens to believe the evidence of your eyes. You have seen duty and allegiance in the determined faces of our soldiers. You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs. Make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants, larger than yourself - and in your days you will add not just to the wealth of our country, but to its character.

America has need of idealism and courage, because we have essential work at home - the unfinished work of American freedom. In a world moving toward liberty, we are determined to show the meaning and promise of liberty.

That's about 2/3rds of the address. What follows is the domestic agenda, which has some very interesting lines.

But, C-SPAN is re-running the address now, so I'm gonna watch!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:52 PM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2004

Caroline Kennedy nails Bush with well-reasoned thoughtful thesis

Perturbed, apparantly, that President Bush has invoked the name of John F Kennedy on recent stops on the campaign trail, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg has issued a statement.
I've always had nothing but respect for Caroline and her immediate family, but this brief and somewhat silly statement is in deesperate need of a fisking.

So, he-e-e-e-e-re we go...!

"It's hard for me to listen to President Bush invoking my father's memory to attack John Kerry."

Well, ooookay.
" Senator Kerry has demonstrated his courage and commitment to a stronger America throughout his entire career."

Uh... No he hasn't.
"President Kennedy inspired and united the country and so will John Kerry."

No he wont.
"President Bush is doing just the opposite."

No he isn't. Partisan pablum pukers like Uncle Teddy are.
"All of us who revere the strength and resolve of President Kennedy will be supporting John Kerry on Election Day."

No we wont!

And "strength and resolve"? Puh-leeze! If I thought that John Kerry had just 44/100ths of John Kennedy's strength and resolve then maybe I might've considered thinking about voting for him.

So, that's it, Carrie? That's the entire statement?


Back to the World Series.....

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:38 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2004

Just some filler while I'm away...:

Some quotes curtousy of Don via Best of the Web via John Kerry's own silly mouth:

* "I'll never give a veto to any country over our security. But..."

* "I believe in being strong and resolute and determined. And I will hunt down and kill the terrorists, wherever they are. But..."

* "We have to be steadfast and resolved, and I am. And I will succeed for those troops, now that we're there. We have to succeed. We can't leave a failed Iraq. But..."

* "I believe that we have to win this. The president and I have always agreed on that. And from the beginning, I did vote to give the authority, because I thought Saddam Hussein was a threat, and I did accept that intelligence. But..."

* "I have nothing but respect for the British, Tony Blair, and for what they've been willing to do. But..."

* "What I want to do is change the dynamics on the ground. And you have to do that by beginning to not back off of the Fallujahs and other places, and send the wrong message to the terrorists. You have to close the borders. You've got to show you're serious in that regard. But..."

* "I couldn't agree more that the Iraqis want to be free and that they could be free. But..."

* "No president, through all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to pre-empt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. But..."

*"I've never wavered in my life. I know exactly what we need to do in Iraq, and my position has been consistent: Saddam Hussein is a threat. He needed to be disarmed. We needed to go to the U.N. The president needed the authority to use force in order to be able to get him to do something, because he never did it without the threat of force. But..."

-- John Kerry

Seymore Butts! Hey, I wan' a Seymore Butts, here...!

Why you little...
-- Moe Sizlak

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:15 AM | Comments (1)

September 05, 2004

Democratic Amoral Clarity

Sir George Turner's posting greatness continues over at the Rott.
(BTW, does anyone know why Misha isn't posting? I've asked a time or two over in the comments, but all I got were smart-aleky non-answers.)

Anyway, Sir George reflects on an article by a San Francisco liberal about the unprincipled moral wasteland that the Democratic Party has become. Substituting the pursuit of principle to the pursuit of winning at all costs, the Dems have nominated a candidate that reflects their own confused sense of purpose.

Or, as Sir George puts it in one paragraph:

Their fear of religion had them supporting a brutal fundamentalist theocracy; their demand for sexual equality had them supporting a country where women were horsewhipped for showing ankle; their horror at genocide had them supporting a man who ran death camps to meet the mass grave quotas; their disgust for soldiers had them support a country that was little more than an army ruling over the captive breeding stock that refilled the ranks; their fear of Ashcroft had them supporting a police state where people routinely disappear for not praising their maximum leader loudly enough; their outrage over the Florida election had them supporting a man who'd eliminated the last person foolish enough to vote against him. So after all these contradictions it was only a small thing to find themselves on a Quixotic quest to find a pro-war/anti-war candidate, a war-criminal/war-hero, an unwounded casualty, a patriotic traitor.


Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2004

Tom Ridge in a Cold Fury

I don't know how often bloggers follow links to other bloggers... and, I don't often bother to do it, myself.

But, holy crap, one post, from Cold Fury, cannot be missed:

If Tom Ridge were to pull no punches and let the barking moonbat media have it, it might sound a little. like. this.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:40 PM | Comments (1)

July 29, 2004


I'm watching John Kerry's acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention. I've always heard that the most common word used in the English language is "I". I've never been convinced of that. But I am convinced that "I" is the a word that I've been deluged with in this speech. I'm serious. This is the most reminded that I have been in a while that I feel just how disgusting the word "I" is when I have to listen to it over and I. er... and over.

UPDATE: "...and I will end the back-door draft of our National Guarddmen and the reservists."

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:28 PM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2004

How soft your fields, so green, will whisper tales of Gore...

I just watched Al Gore's speech at the convention and I'll say right off that I was impressed. He didn't go all red-faced with hate and anger at any time. He did get a little feisty with some angry words, but immediately he turned it into a positive message -- of sorts.

He mentioned 2000 several times, but followed each mention with either a punchline or a plea to get to the polls because every vote counts.
I disagreed with 75% of the substance of what he said, but he didn't make me want to throw things at my TV screen.

Anyway, here are some quotes and notes (very pithy):

About the 2000 election results:
"You know what they say; You win some you lose some... and then there's that third category..."

Y'mean the one where you lose the election and then whine about it for the next four years?

"Isn't international co-operation crucial to solving our dilemma in Iraq?"

No, but it was crucial to causing it.

"If our leaders make mistakes we can hold them accountable... even if they never admit their mistakes."

Well, we haven't yet y'Buddhist temple shakedown artist.

About John Kerry:
He was diligent "in opposing eco-..er... narco-terrorism..."

Heh heh... caught yerself pretty good there, Al.

UPDATE Wow. They actually finally let Jimmy "Malaise" Carter within 500 feet of a convention zone! Go figure.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:12 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2004

It's A Wonderful... Alibi?


The funniest thing I've heard in awhile happened from last night.

Ann Coulter was on Scarborough Country on MSNBC discussing Sandy Berger and his claim that he "inadvertently" took classified documents from the 9-11 Commission's reading room on five seperate occassions and may have "accidently" thrown some of said classified documents away.

With Bill Clinton, Lanny Davis and others defending the former National Security Advisor's honor by claiming that this would not be out of character for Berger, Coulter chided that the Democrats are defending Berger by painting him as Uncle Billy from It's A Wonderful Life. Hardly someone you'd pick as your chief national security advisor...


"Sorry, George, but I just can't remember where I last saw those CIA threat assessments!"

Maybe Sandy ought to tell his "friends" to just stop trying so frickin' hard to help him...?

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:45 PM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2004

Two Lies... and counting...

I'm becoming more and more convinced that the problem with John Kerry is that he, either; a) doesn't have any core beliefs, or; b) is afraid to tell us what they really are.

I've never been a Kerry-basher. I have, actually, always kind of liked the guy. I saw him smack down Paul Begala once, on MSNBC, for being such a hackneyed ad hominem spewer on the old Begala/North show. But, over the past few months I've really begun to see who John Kerry really is: a well-meaning but fluid personality.

He seems to me like the kind of person whose stance on a given issue is immediate, not timeless. His mood of the moment -- and the thoughts that are shaped by it -- are what identify him at that moment. He may be 60% ideologue and only 10% beaurocrat, but there's that annoying 30% that wants to be free to change his mind. This may make him appear to be an Opportunist. But, I think there may be something else at work. His true struggle may be that he, being a politician, has to be concerned with "consistency"; a requirement that's anathema to a fluid, open-minded personality.

The problem with being so willing to change your mind in the context of furthering an ambitious political career is that you can find yourself saying things that aren't true and fooling yourself into believing that no one will ever bother to either remember or fact-check what you've said.

What the hell am I blathering about?! Oh yeah...

Drudge has a post:


In an interview published Friday in the LOS ANGELES TIMES, Dem presidential hopeful John Kerry claimed he "never ever implied" that he threw his own medals during a Hill protest in 1971 to appear as an antiwar hero.

But a new shock video shows John Kerry -- in his own voice -- saying he did!

ABC's GOOD MORNING AMERICA is set to rock the political world Monday morning with an airing of Kerry's specific 1971 boast, sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.

The video was made by a local news station in 1971.

It directly contradicts Kerry's own website headline: "RIGHTWING FICTION: John Kerry threw away his medals during a Vietnam war protest."

Now, here's my beef:

The "rightwing", as far as I've noticed, haven't been on Kerry for throwing his own medals into the Potomac River, but for throwing other peoples medals and not having the guts to toss his own. No one believed that Kerry had thrown his own medals away and that was exactly the knock on him. So, Kerry's website misrepresents the hullabaloo right off.

But, now, ABC is about to show a video clip of Kerry himself claiming falsely that he had indeed thrown his own medals away.

Sometimes the truth is momentarily in the way of ambition -- or a good speech. In that case we ask ourselves if we are willing to save our right to a fluidity of opinion, or slouch and settle for a fluidity with the truth.
Presidents ought to opt for the former. Opportunists will try to get away with the latter.
Kerry seems to me, now, to be the kind of guy who got into public life because what he wanted to show us was not a philosophy or a policy but. perhaps, only himself.

UPDATE: The word(s) "ad hominem" show a link to some online dictionary or something. I did not put it there and it doesn't show as html in my entry body. What the fark is up wit dat?!!!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:44 PM | Comments (1)

March 13, 2004

I thought the election was in November...

These presidential election campaigns just get longer and longer. Remember when RFK didn't get into the 1968 Democratic race until the California primary in frickin' June? Remember when Jerry Ford finally won the 1976 Republican nomination at the convention? Or when Ted Kennedy took his challenge to Jimmy Carter to the final day of the 1980 convention?

Aside from an unsuccessful semi-insurgency by John McCain -- and an even less effective one by Bill Bradley -- George W. Bush and Al Gore were the annointed "inevitable" nominees in the 2000 primaries. I remember that the dogdays of the campaign left voters wondering "how the hell did we end up with THESE two...?" In fact, I remember well, following the Vice Presidential debate between Dick Cheney and Joe Leiberman voters were wondering why they couldn't have THOSE two at the top of the tickets.

It was Ron Brown's brilliant idea - in 1992 - to get the Democrats to choose a nominee as early as possible and unite behind him. Why? Because he didn't want Jerry Brown (in whose campaign I was an eager volunteer [we won Connecticut, woo hoo!]), or any other Democrat, to damage Bill Clinton.
Ever since 1992 there's been a belief by the Democrats that uniting behind one candidate as early as possible will help that candidate win in November. When Howeird Dean began to inspire a grassroots insurgency that threatened the annointed "inevitable" nominee, John Kerry, the machine came down hard on Dean.
Now the Democratic rank and file have Kerry as their nominee, and now they're learning who they obediently nominated.

But, that's another story. Back to the long campaign:

Kerry now says that he wants to have monthly debates with Bush beginning in the spring. (Drudge linked to this article.) The Democrats began the 2004 election cycle as soon as the 2002 mid-terms were lost. Most of the candidates have been actively campaigning for a year now. So, for wanting to start the debates immediately, I have this to say to Senator Kerry:

Shut up and do your job! Crikey, neither you nor Bush have even been nominated yet. The conventions aren't until August! Bush is running ads this early only because YOU have been in unending campaign mode since Ho Chi Minh City was still named Saigon.
You've cast about 3 votes -- and missed 22 of 22 roll calls -- in the Senate while you were busy campaigning and mortgaging Teresa's your houses.
President Bush is a busy man and wont be focused on debating You until the fall -- which is when the debates are supposed to be held. What do you think you are, some kinda shadow President? Is your presumptive nomination of the Democratic Party deluding you into thinking that the President of the United States has as much time to waste on partisan mudslinging as you think you do?
You know all those paychecks you've been receiving from the taxpayers? How about showing up in the Senate and earning one of them for a change? You've got absolutely nothing to do until the convention, so, John, please just lay low, earn your pay, and we'll see you after Labor Day y' caviar eatin' whining slacker bastard.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:11 PM | Comments (1)

March 08, 2004

Denbeste on Kerry

Stephen Den Beste has an excellent examination of John Kerry's TIME interview HERE. While I wholeheartedly concur with most of his treatise (especially about the whole "global consent" thang), I want to chime in about one or two points.

From denbeste.nu:

TIME: Obviously it's good that Saddam is out of power. Was bringing him down worth the cost?
KERRY: If there are no weapons of mass destruction— and we may yet find some—then this is a war that was fought on false pretenses, because that was the justification to the American people, to the Congress, to the world, and that was clearly the frame of my vote of consent. I said it as clearly as you can in my speech. I suggested that all the evils of Saddam Hussein alone were not a cause to go to war.

denbeste: Man, the anti-war leftist buzzword count in all that is nearly off scale. You got your "rush to war", your "last resort", "scorn of the world", the "flawed intelligence"...

TIME: So, if we don't find WMD, the war wasn't worth the costs? That's a yes?
KERRY: No, I think you can still—wait, no. You can't—that's not a fair question, and I'll tell you why. You can wind up successful in transforming Iraq and changing the dynamics, and that may make it worth it, but that doesn't mean [transforming Iraq] was the cause [that provided the] legitimacy to go. You have to have that distinction.

denbeste: It is like hell not a fair question. It is the key question, because WMDs were never the primary reason for the invasion. "Transforming Iraq and changing the dynamics" was always the primary reason for going in.

I'd say that strategically, yes, transforming Iraq and changing the dynamics of the middle east was the primary reason for toppling Saddam and installing a republic. That's a long-term and visionary goal and was mentioned many times during the months leading up to the war.
But, the primary reason given -- because it was the primary justification -- was to enforce U.N. resolutions requiring Saddam's disarmament of WMD. Colin Powell didn't go to the U.N. to argue that introducing democracy to the middle east would be a big step toward upsetting the chokehold of Islamofascists on the people of the region, but, to win approval for an invasion on the grounds that Saddam was close to having deadly bio/chem-WMD that he'd sell, or give, to terrorists.

denbeste: Kerry says, "if we had kept on inspecting properly and gone through the process appropriately, we might have avoided almost a $200 billion expenditure, the loss of lives and the scorn of the world and the breaking of so many relationships." But we would also have lost that opportunity to "change the dynamics".
Kerry seems excessively concerned with "legitimacy" and "alliances".

Kerry is all over the map in this interview. At moments he seems to be saying that the action was perfectly legitimate, but, only if the U.N. or NATO had carried it out. But, of course, Kerry voted to authorize the "unilateral" action.
At other times he seems to be championing the Nixon Doctrine; that the U.S. would send it's troops to fight only when American interests are directly threatened. (This was a direct result of Richard Nixon's assessment of the failure of the Vietnam debacle.)
But, Kerry, later in the interview, wants to defend his record on supporting military action by pointing out his vote to intervene in Kosovo. Bill Clinton actually boasted that the mission in Kosovo was so selfless because there was no national interest at stake; it was purely humanitarian mission.

And, in the above quote, Kerry seems only concerned with the "procedure"; that everything would have been honky dory if only we'd waited for the U.N. inspectors to prove the negative that Iraq had no WMD anywhere before we moved in "unilaterally." That, of course, would never have removed Saddam -- a tyrant more murderous and sadistic than Melosovic who Kerry voted to smack down.

Judging by my reading of John Kerry's TIME interview, Stephen Den Beste's conclusions about him seems dead on: that he seems equivocating and carefully choosing his words to offend the least amount of witnesses; that he's less of a philosopher than an opportunist; and that the one thing he knows for sure above all else is that he wants to be the next President of the United States..

Thanks to Hold The Mayo for pointing out the post at USS Clueless. I really gotta remember to lookover my toolbelt more often!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:27 PM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2004

John F'n Kerry

I don't know how to do a screen shot, but THIS is a link to a search on www.johnkerry.com (Kerry's official site) that shows the results of a search for the word "f**k".
Thanks to Drudge for the heads up!

1. :: John Kerry for President - John Kerry's Desperate Hours :: ••
Rolling Stone Article: John Kerry's Desperate Hours
...the left and say, "I'm against everything"? Sure. Did I expect George Bush to fuck it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did. Do you see...
51% Fri, 05 Mar 2004 16:20:22 GMT http://www.johnkerry.com/pressroom/

2. :: John Kerry for President - John Kerry ready for his close-up :: ••
GET KERRY EMAIL GET INFORMED About John About Teresa On the Issues Press Room Endorseme...
...You might even hear powerful people say in closed-door meetings that Bush fucked up Afghanistan. Of course, you hear a lot of things in Washington, but...
50% Fri, 05 Mar 2004 16:18:38 GMT http://www.johnkerry.com/pressroom/

3. :: John Kerry for President - A Lighter Side of John Kerry :: ••
GET KERRY EMAIL GET INFORMED About John About Teresa On the Issues Press Room Endorseme...
...bigger car?" Kerry shoots back, "No, but I have thought about cutting all your fucking legs off at the knees." Then he waves a hand at the green world...
50% Fri, 05 Mar 2004 16:18:39 GMT http://www.johnkerry.com/pressroom/

4. :: John Kerry for President - Golden Boy :: ••
John F. Kerry seems like the Democratic Party's dream candidate. He has the bio and the stature.
...Nothing. Fifteen minutes, still nothing. The crowd grumbles. Where the fuck is he? Is this worth it? A handful leave, but far more join. Then there is...
50% Fri, 05 Mar 2004 16:18:49 GMT http://www.johnkerry.com/pressroom/
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Campaign spokesmen have promised that the candidate's words will soon be expunged from his website.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:34 PM | Comments (6)

February 18, 2004

Howard Dean, finally, gets lost

I never thought for a moment that Howard Dean could win the Democratic Party's nomination. He's too untemperate and uncivil. But, if you told me two months ago that he'd end his campaign having not won a single primary, I'd have said you were dreaming.

I don't think it's any coincidence that Dean's base is young college-aged idealists. But I'm actually pleased to realize that even most Democrats are practical enough to see that voting for Dean is throwing your vote away.

This is a good day for those of us who like having adults in charge.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:26 PM | Comments (1)

February 15, 2004

I'm so sick of hearing crap about Vietnam

I've always kinda liked John Kerry. He seems like a steady and studious thinker. But I'm watching the Democrat debate in Wisconson right now and he just said "I stood up to Richard Nixon's war in Vietnam".


Richard Nixon's war on Vietnam???

Has John F'n Kerry forgotten that it was his heroes Kennedy and Johnson that got us into Vietnam?
When Richard Nixon took office there were 500,000 American troops in Vietnam; when Nixon was forced out of office over chicken shit there were NONE

To call Vietnam "Nixon's war" is like calling the 50-yr Cold War "Reagan's war". He inherited it and decided to find a way to end it. Kerry seems to hide the facts that stand in his way.

Okay, I'm calm now.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:31 PM | Comments (4)

September 01, 2003


According to this item:

A group of cross-party politicians in the German Bundestag has called for the introduction of a children's vote.

Let's check little Helmut's list of Things to Do:
1 tease sister
2 throw peas on the floor
3 eat Play-dough
4 throw a tantrum
5 vote

With the "voting right from birth", parents should be able to vote on behalf of their children. The group said their aim was to attract more attention to children's issues: "It is unfair that more than 5 percent of Germany's citizens cannot vote".

Or drive. Or drink. Or smoke. Or serve openly in the military.
It's so unfair that something that follows mature and measured deliberation on the complex issues of government is unavailable to the tikes! Heck, little Gretchen is ready to give voice to her long-developing ideology! Now if she could just learn to tie her shoe laces she'll be golden.

And just what are the "children's issues" that the kiddies are supposed to be championing? Pediatric Reform? Daycare? School lunches?
Don't be surprised if it turns out that the GAPP (German Association of Pretired People) lobbys an adjenda built around Yu-gi-Oh, Leggos and Christmas once a month.

The group's draft petition which was presented on Thursday calls for the possibility for parents to vote in the name of their children until they reach the age of 18 and that parents should talk to their children about election decisions as soon as they reach an appropriate age.

heh. heheh. mwhehehHAhuhuh! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
What's all this about voting on someone else's behalf? And who's gonna make sure that the parent voted the way the child wanted? Why not have the child vote? Oh, right! Kids aren't ready to vote yet! How silly of me.

Critics say these propositions are naive. "Many parents have a completely different opinion in politics than their children", Irmingard Schewe-Gerigk from the Greens said.

Well, hell, why should that matter? I may have disagreed with my mother, when I was 16, about who the next Mayor should be; but she should've been able cast "my" vote as she saw fit. After all, what right does a kid have to cast a vote?!
The logic is simply undeniable.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:19 PM | Comments (2)

August 08, 2003

Good Fences Make Good Governors

Well, I promised myself I wasn't going to blog about that fershlugginner California Governor brewheehaw, but, now I can't help it!
A story from Reuters published in the Washington Post quotes President Bush as saying Arnold Schwartzenegger would "make a good Governor." The entire item is two short paragraphs:

Bush Says Schwarzenegger Would Be 'Good Governor'
Friday, August 8, 2003; 1:15 PM

CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - President Bush said on Friday he believed that Arnold Schwarzenegger would make a good governor of California.

Bush, answering questions at his Texas ranch, repeated that the California recall election was something for the people of California to decide, but when asked what he thought about the actor as governor, Bush replied: "I think he'd be a good governor."

My first thought was, "oooooooookay."
But then I thought for a bit about Bush as Governor, and how he gained the respect and praise of Republicans and Democrats in the Texas legislature. What exactly does one need to become a good Governor...?

Bush, before running, was just a businessman. Arnold's a businessman -- in the movie biz -- and y'might even say a more successful businessman than Bush.
Bush had no governmental "experience", other than as a honcho in his father's campaigns. Arnold has no governmental "experience", other than his backing and getting passed various initiatives having to do with children's issues.

Schwartzenegger insists that Experience -- in a Governor -- is less important than Leadership; and I think he's exactly right.
Leadership, let's agree (for the sake of it), is a) having core principles applied to well-defined goals, b) being able to communicate that vision in clear and vivid terms, and then c) hiring people who know how to accomplish those goals by working the System.

The ability to succeed by working with and within the System is, I think, the most important test of Leadership.
We think of "the System" as an obstacle, as we should, because it is. It's supposed to be. It slows the Process in order to check impulsiveness. A driveway of activism without speed bumps of stubbornness is potentially a runway for flights of rash ambition. We need those systemic checks because what Californians are electing is a Governor, not a Caesar.

George W. Bush obviously understands this. If Arnold Schwartzenegger does, too, then he may well be dispositioned to "be a good governor."
I think my main point here is that "experience" -- narrowly defined, as it will be in the next 7 weeks -- is for beaurocrats; but, is not neccessarily a neccessary neccessity for leadership. Yeah. That's what I mean...

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:47 PM | Comments (3)

August 07, 2003

Oh, those Whacky West-Coasters...

The Washington Post reports that California Democratic unity has crumbled now that Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced that he's running for Governor.

The Lt. Gov, Cruz Bustamante, who vowed to support Gray Davis and not run, has announced that he's now changed his mind. Several other Dems are filing as well.

"Yesterday is when he [Bustamante] made the decision," his chief of staff, Lynn Montgomery, told Reuters. She added he had not informed Davis of his decision.

The exodus has left in shambles the mislaid plans of Terry McCauliff and the California party leadership to save Davis by not offering up another Democrat.

Schwarzenegger prophetically noted on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno:
"I know they're going to throw everything at me, that I have no experience and I'm a womanizer and a terrible guy."
"You all know that Gray Davis knows how to run a dirty campaign better than anyone, but he doesn't know how to run a state."

And a campaign characterized by Davis' special brand of the politics of personal destruction is promised:
"I would advise parents in California to turn off the TV for the next 60 days," Democratic official Bob Mulholland said. "If they are firing at you, we will certainly fire back."

This oughta be gooood....

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:15 PM | Comments (3)

August 05, 2003

Dean or Leiberman: the Democrat base has a dilemma

There's a Democratic Party base that absolutely hates George W. Bush. You know the type; they rant slogans like "selected not elected", "Bush lied, people died", "Bush=Hitler", "SUVs kill kittens", "Sic Semper Tobaccus", "Free Castro!", "We're here; We're obnoxious smelly unemployable anti-self-defense anarcho-socialist weasels; Get used to it!" They want nothing more than to see Bush defeated.

This is a large part of the crowd that loves Howard Dean, and has now made him the face of the Democrat election season. Why Howard Dean? Because Dean, more than any other Democratic candidate (though Kusinich is a close second) has presented himself as the Anti-Bush.
Although many of his positions on several "litmus test" issues for Democrats -- such as gun rights and the death penalty -- are moderate to conservative, he was the first to flat out oppose the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He would bring the troops home, essentially gut the funding for the war on terrorism, and spend the money on a federally administered national health-care system.

But here's a curious problem that the Democrats face: Being so anti-Bush that they want him defeated at all costs in '04, they naturally gravitate toward the Anti-Bush: Dean. But, being such an Anti-Bush, Dean has little chance of defeating the President, whose job approval rating is in the 50-60% range.
The war on terrorism, the Afghanistan mission the Iraq war are all popular and well-regarded accomplishments. Unless the situation in Iraq turns significantly worse, that isn't likely to change.

The Democrats issue is -- and could still be in a year's time -- the economy and the deficit. The only Democrat running who seems to have, in any way, positioned himself to win next November is Joe Leiberman. But the Anti-Bush, Dean, has called Leiberman "Bush Lite", and claims that being Bush Lite will not defeat Bush. Presumably, being anti-Bush will.

Seems to me the Democratic Party base that votes in the primaries have to make a choice between their core motivations: a) to be so anti-Bush that they nominate Howard Dean, and b) to defeat Bush, at all cost, in 2004. Can they do both?

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:24 PM | Comments (4)
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