Kerry’s remarks

 Posted by at 14:58  Politics
Oct 312006
 

Republicans are:

A) Incredibly stupid
B) Desperate to latch onto any remark and try to distort and spin it to their advantage
C) Both A and B

The correct answer is, of course, C.

John Kerry was in California yesterday. The New York Times reports:

The senator, who was campaigning for the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Phil Angelides, opened with several one-liners, joking at one point that President Bush had lived in Texas but now “lives in a state of denial.”

Then, Mr. Kerry said: “You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

Any person of average intelligence reading those remarks would know that Senator Kerry was referring to George W. Bush and not to our troops now serving in Iraq. I know the people who heard them live understood their meaning.

The Republicans, however, desperate as they are to grab any straw as their ship goes down, decided they would get all huffy, puffy and indignant and claim that Kerry was attacking the troops. Think about that for a moment. How stupid would Kerry have to be to say what the Republicans are saying he said, eight days before an election?

The Senator responded today:

But if anyone should apologize, Mr. Kerry said, it is President Bush and his administration officials who started the ill-conceived war. He said his remarks had been distorted and called the criticism directed at him the work of “assorted right-wing nut jobs and right-wing talk show hosts.”

“If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they’re crazy,” Mr. Kerry said in a statement. “I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.”

“I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed-suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq,” Mr. Kerry went on. “It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.”

At a televised news conference today in Seattle, Mr. Kerry said he was “disgusted” by the Republican attacks, which he noted were coming at the end of a bloody month in Iraq. “Sadly, this is the best this administration can do,” he said.

I am not a huge fan of John F. Kerry. He was my last choice to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004. I supported him because he was the Democratic presidential nominee. If, by some fluke, he is nominated in 2008, I will support him for the same reason. I am not posting about this little war of words so much to come to the defense of Mr. Kerry as I am in astonishment at the stupidity, ignorance and desperation being displayed here by some people very high up in the Republican Party. Is it any wonder they have shown themselves to be such utter failures at governing?

James Joyner sums it up rather nicely:

It’s almost axiomatic that people who spend a lot of time trying to convince you of how clever they are aren’t very clever.

Update: The rightie blogosphere is passing around this video. It’s ten seconds long. Ten seconds! Someone call Guinness. This has to be the shortest political speech on record. I guess when you’re desperate you’ll grab at any straw, no matter how ridiculous.

Update #2: Now even the Idiot in Chief is getting involved…

Bush, campaigning later in Georgia, said Kerry’s statement was “insulting and it is shameful.”

“The members of the United States military are plenty smart and they are plenty brave and the senator from Massachusetts owes them an apology,” Bush said during an appearance for a former GOP congressman, Mac Collins, who is trying to oust Democratic Rep. Jim Marshall. (link)

Yes, Mr. Bush, the members of the U.S. military are plenty smart and plenty brave. They are certainly smarter and braver than you. They, like John Kerry and unlike you, are fulfilling the military obligation for which they signed up.

You would think that the one person who would recognize the insult for what it was would the person for whom it was intended. Nope. He’s either too stupid or, like others in his doomed political party, is grasping for straws. My guess is about 50/50.

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Stuff happens

 Posted by at 14:14  Politics
Oct 312006
 

Incident at Allen Campaign Stop in Charlottesville

Senator George Allen, (R) made a campaign stop in Charlottesville Tuesday morning and it was met with controversy.

As Senator Allen was exiting a ballroom, coming to talk to the media, a protestor started yelling and asking, “Why did you spit on your first wife?”. He wasn’t able to get near the senator as he was tackled by three men wearing Allen stickers, presumed to be staffers. He was pushed and manhandled and ended up on the floor, near windows at the Omni.

Senator Allen went back into a conference room and after the man was removed from the building, we were able to talk to Allen and asked him what he thought of the incident. He responded saying stuff like that happens.

Yep, stuff happens.

I hope the good people of Virginia are paying attention.

(Video here.)

 Comments Off on Stuff happens
Oct 302006
 

Patti Davis, daughter of former President Ronald Reagan, shares her thoughts about Michael J. Fox and Rush Limbaugh in the article written for Newsweek

Heartlessness

patti-davis.jpg…a bully by the name of Rush Limbaugh has accused Michael J. Fox of faking the symptoms of Parkinson’s (OK, he actually said “acting”) for political purposes. Fox, who could easily be held blameless if he reacted with rage and vitriol, has exhibited grace and dignity, ignoring the blathering accusations of the radio host and expressing appreciation that, just two weeks before the midterm elections, we are discussing stem-cell research. We could all learn from the way the actor has responded to cruelty; certainly I can.

Fox, stricken with Parkinson’s disease while still in his 30s, has not shied away from public view or expressed any self-pity or anger at the hand fate has dealt him. In fact, he has called himself “lucky”—for the unwavering love of his family, a career he can be proud of and the opportunity to use his fame to bring attention to the miracles that stem-cell treatment holds for people afflicted with many diseases, including Parkinson’s. He has demonstrated courage, generosity and compassion.

Limbaugh, on the other hand, flagrantly broke the law by procuring large amounts of drugs and then escaped the punishment that someone who is not white, wealthy and famous would have gotten. He spends his time insulting people and gets paid handsomely to do so; now we have seen that even those with serious diseases don’t get a reprieve from his cruel bluster. And his apology doesn’t cancel out the nastiness of his original comment.

While I am obviously not ignoring Limbaugh, I am determined to focus more of my attention on Fox, because he is an example of how all of us should live our lives. There will always be cruelty in the world, there will always be bullies. How we respond is what matters. There are loftier goals than mudslinging. The people we will remember years from now are those who kept walking calmly and kindly through the worst mudslinging, who kept their attention on the changes they wished to make in the world and who treated others with compassion even when they were being abused.

My father passed in February, 2002 of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. I recall my mother reading The Long Goodbye by Patti Davis during those long, cold months. She said it helped her to understand better. I hope it did.

Economics

 Posted by at 19:21  Politics
Oct 292006
 

I have nothing really. I’m just killing time until the Cowboys game starts. And holding my breath until a week from Tuesday.

There is a bit of reading you should have done today, however. If you haven’t, now is your chance. Start with this New York Times editorial: “Future Tax Shock.” Then finish with this Associated Press article: “GAO Chief Warns Economic Disaster Looms.”

Letterman/O’Reilly

 Posted by at 10:56  Politics
Oct 282006
 

Looking around the internets, I see that a lot of people are talking about Bill O’Reilly’s appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman last night. Most of them seem quite pleased with the way Letterman handled the old fartbag.

Crooks and Liars has the video.

I watched the show last night, and while the interview was entertaining at times, I was a little disappointed. Though Letterman did, much to the delight of the audience, call O’Reilly a bonehead, I felt that he was holding back a bit. The fire just wasn’t there. Plus, I think David Letterman is a lot more intelligent and informed than he likes to let on. This could, of course, just be his way of showing courtesy and deferring to his guest, but still… he could let the cannons roar once in a while, especially with someone as stupid and ignorant as Bill O’Reilly. He could have nailed O’Reilly to the wall last night, and he didn’t. (For one thing, he let O’Reilly get away with claiming he is not a Republican, which he most definitely is.)

Well, I reckon you can watch the video at C&L (if you didn’t catch the show) and make up your own mind. YouTube also has a short video clip (courtesy of CBS).

MJF responds to BFI

 Posted by at 21:50  Politics
Oct 262006
 

MJF = Michael J. Fox.

BFI = Big Fat Idiot (a.k.a. Rush Limbaugh)

Fox: I Was Over-Medicated In Stem Cell Ad

(CBS/AP) Responding to criticism by conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh, actor Michael J. Fox defended his appearance in a political campaign ad, saying he wasn’t acting or off his medication.

In fact, at the time he was over-medicated for his Parkinson’s disease, Fox said Thursday in an exclusive interview with CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric.

“The irony is that I was too medicated. I was dyskinesic,” Fox told Couric. “Because the thing about … being symptomatic is that it’s not comfortable. No one wants to be symptomatic; it’s like being hit with a hammer.”

His body visibly wracked by tremors, Fox appears in a political ad touting Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill’s stance in favor of embryonic stem cell research. That prompted Limbaugh to speculate that Fox was “either off his medication or acting.”

Fox told Couric, “At this point now, if I didn’t take medication I wouldn’t be able to speak.”

He said he appeared in the ad only to advance his cause, and that “disease is a non-partisan problem that requires a bipartisan solution.”

“I don’t really care about politics,” Fox added. “We want to appeal to voters to elect the people that are going to give us a margin, so we can’t be vetoed again…”

Couric asked, could he have waited to film it until he was having a better day, with less dyskinesia?

“You don’t know when that’s going to be,” Fox said. “My mother was visiting that day, was in the back room and she was saying throughout the filming of (the ad) — and she was talking to my friends back there — and she was saying, ‘he’s trying so hard to be still.’ And so she was the one actually when the comments were made, she was the only who was really angry, and she said ‘I can’t even see straight.’ I said, ‘Mom, just relax, it’s OK, don’t worry about it.’ But it’s just not that simple. That’s why we’re doing this.”

Watch the video:

Bonus video: Keith Olbermann on “Fox Hunting.” This video shows the disgusting footage of Limbaugh imitating Mr. Fox.

Presenting the view from the other side, Bill O’Reilly:

NJ says gays equal

 Posted by at 17:53  Lifestyle, Politics
Oct 252006
 

It’s not quite the ruling the right was hoping for. They were hoping that another “activist” court would rule that homosexuals are just as human as heterosexuals and entitled to the same rights and privileges. They would then be able to get their evangelical “base” all hated-up for the elections coming up in a couple of weeks.

That didn’t happen, though. The New Jersey Supreme Court came down with another “separate but equal” ruling. It’s good they had the courage and wisdom to go as far as they did. Perhaps now the state legislature will be able to finish the job.

N.J. Court Opens Door to Gay Marriage

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – New Jersey’s highest court opened the door Wednesday to making the state the second in the nation to allow gay marriage, ruling that lawmakers must offer homosexuals either marriage or something like it, such as civil unions.

In a ruling that fell short of what either side wanted or feared, the state Supreme Court declared 4-3 that homosexual couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual ones. The justices gave lawmakers 180 days to rewrite the laws.

The ruling is similar to the 1999 high-court ruling in Vermont that led the state to create civil unions, which confer all of the rights and benefits available to married couples under state law.

“Although we cannot find that a fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists in this state, the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our state Constitution,” Justice Barry T. Albin wrote for the four-member majority.

The court said the Legislature “must either amend the marriage statutes to include same-sex couples or create a parallel statutory structure” that gives gays all the privileges and obligations married couples have.

The three dissenters argued that the majority did not go far enough. They demanded full marriage for gays.