Friday, July 30, 2004
Senator Kerry, it's a bad thing when your largest donor is closely associated with a mob guy nicknamed "Donnie Shacks".
For those who missed the story, Kerry's largest contributor, billionaire Steven Bing, is apparently quite cozy with jailed mobster hit-man Dominic Montemarano, a.k.a. Donnie Shacks.
Bing paid his legal fees the last time he was in court, had him act in a movie Bing produced, and saw him socially as well.
Now, is any of this Kerry's fault? Of course not, and in an ideal world it wouldn't matter.
But this is not an ideal world.
And in an election where Kerry's greatest asset is that Bush keeps shooting himself in the foot, the last thing he wants to do is draw some negative attention, however unwarranted it may be. By not being Bush and keeping a narrow profile, Kerry has made this race a dead heat. Granted, a real candidate (Obama?) would be blowing Bush's doors off. But you works with what you gots. And Kerry is the Democratic nominee.
Lose Bing, Senator. You don't want that kind of mess sticking to your campaign.
Thursday, July 29, 2004
After a relaxing vacation in which I watched Part One of "The Conventions", I have a few thoughts:
- Barack Obama is one sharp cookie: Said all the right things. Personable, smart, sense of humor, well-spoken. His life story is compelling. This guy will roll to victory in November.
He is the first "new wave" politican from either party to really capture the attention of the country. Where is the GOP equivalent?
- Teresa Heinz-Kerry needs to shut up: I am not saying this in a mean-spirited way, but in a very political calculating way. If I am John Kerry, I know this convention is not about wooing the faithful. It's about appealing to independents and disaffected Republicans. I need to give them a reason to vote for me.
His wife isn't it. Her idea of the main threat to the planet: global climate change. Not Al-Qaeda, but climate change. Never mind that we still do not have hard evidence that climate change is occuring solely due to human events. Never mind that Kerry couldn't stop China, by far a heavier polluter than the US, from burning coal at a prodigious rate. THIS is the big worry. Call me underwhelemed.
Then there is this: "Together we will lift everyone up. We have to. It's possible. And you know what? It's the American thing to do." So if you do not agree with her, you're un-American? Of course, this very question is what prompted her to tell a reporter to "Shove it!"
She's a wonderful philanthropist. But her political acumen is practically non-existent. She is a ticking bomb who is one ill-conceived statement from dealing a harsh blow to her husband's campaign. Her best bet is to keep quiet.
- They let Jimmy out of the cellar: After a long "hiatus", Democrats let Jimmy Carter back into the party (No word on when Dukakis will get the same treatment). He is probably the most accomplished ex-president the nation has seen in a long time. Nobel Peace Prize, Habitat for Humanity, observing elections in volitile countries...all very admirable and worthy of respect. Which makes up for those disasterous four years in which he WAS president.
As an aside, it was amusing to read on another blog I frequent to read someone defending Carter's economic record, talking about his "job growth" rate of 3.1%. That is true. Of course, it doesn't take into account how many people stopped looking for work in that time or whether these jobs came about as a result of government largess as opposed to private-sector growth (yes, it matters). I mean, I could tell you that wages grew at 8.1% annually under Carter. Of course, that ignores that inflation grew at a 9.2% rate annually, meaning real wage growth was -1.1% annually.
Taking a singular fact like job growth ignores the fact that inflation, interest rates and unemployment were all skyrocketing at the same time. There is no way to unspin the fact that the economy SUCKED during Carter's term in office. And hate him as much as you want (and I do not like W), but the economy today is nowhere near as bad as Jimmy C's was. That's just the truth.
Nevertheless, an eminenetly respectable ex-President.
- Ann Coulter got fired by USA Today: Showing how out-of-touch I was, I didn't realize that her and Michael Moore had been hired by USA Today to write opposing columns, let alone that Ann was fired before the first one ran.
So, I went and read this column...
Are her books written the same way? Because this column isn't even coherent. It reads like she took 8 hits of crystal meth and then ranted into a speech converter on an Apple Powerbook.
I really hope she wasn't trying to sway anyone with her column, because it is the reddest of red meat, and makes Kennedy's Monday night speech look tame by comparison.
And who are the "pretty-girl" allies she keeps yammering about? WTF does this have to do with anything? First off, Coulter is a dog. Sorry, but it has to be said. If she is hanging with "pretty girls," then she's the "ugly/fat/annoying/take your pick" friend the pretty girl always has with her at bars.
Second, the only pretty girls who have ever been any fun in my life were Democrats. Hell, one was so much fun we got married. And that is coming from an ex-Republican who has no love for the Democratic Party.
Once Coulter comes down, maybe she can write something rational. But I doubt it.
Stem-Cell Research: How can you be against this? Seriously. We could save countless lives, but don't b/c the hyper theo-cons claim these embryos are life. That this CLUMP OF CELLS is the equivalent of a living and breathing human being that has a family, hopes, dreams and aspirations. A breathing person that could be a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle. Who may play Little League baseball or violin in an orchestra. Someone who is contributing to society but faces a fatal disease that could be cured with stem-cell research.
Never mind, though, because some zealot decided that a CLUMP OF CELLS is more important that an actual human being. Ya, that makes a whole lot of sense.
The best part? These embryos that concern these self-appointed moralists? If they aren't used like this, what happens to them? Discarded and burned. Yet that doesn't seem to concern them. As long as their victory stays intact, built on the bodies of people who died needlessly because this research couldn't continue.
And if I seem somewhat angry about this, it's because I am. I have people in my family who suffer from illnesses that could benefit from this research. And it galls me that it's being slowed because some theo-con jackass decided to make it a campaign issue.