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The State of the Union: A Quadruple Play

Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode CXXXVII

Four articles of interest in the aftermath of SOTU 2004.

First up, MoDo in The New York Times, Jan. 22.

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Whoa! That was quite the steroid-infused performance. Who's the guy's political consultant — Russell Crowe? He was so in-your-face, smirking his trademark smirk, it was disturbing to think of him in charge of the military. It's a good thing he stopped drinking and started talking about God.

You wonder how many votes he scared off with that testosterone festival: the taunting message, the self-righteous geographic litany of support? The Philippines. Thailand. Italy. Spain. Poland. Denmark. Bulgaria. Ukraine. Romania. The Netherlands. Norway. El Salvador.

Can you believe President Bush is still pushing the cockamamie claim that we went to war in Iraq with a real coalition rather than a gaggle of poodles and lackeys?

His State of the Union address took his swaggering sheriff routine to new heights. "America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our country," he vowed.

Translation: Hey, we don't need no stinking piece of paper to bring it on in other countries. If it feels good, we'll do it, and we'll decide later why we did it. You lookin' at me?

Sure, Howard Dean was also over the top when he uttered the squeal heard round the world. With one guttural primary primal scream, he went from Internet deity to World Wide Wacko and remix victim, with the scream mixed in on Web sites to punctuate Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train."

Yes, Howard, you know you're in trouble when Chris Matthews says you make him look like Jim Lehrer; when David Letterman compares you to a hockey dad; when The New York Post suggests you have a "God complex." (As Alec Baldwin's twisted doctor said in "Malice": "You ask me if I have a God complex? Let me tell you something. I am God.")

Once Michael Dukakis got in trouble when he failed to get angry when asked how he would react if his wife were raped and murdered.

But Dr. Dean's snarly, teeth-baring Iowa finale was so Ross-Perot-scare-off-the-women-and-horses crazy that some Democrats on Capitol Hill, already anxious about the tightly wound doctor, confessed they could not imagine that jabbing finger anywhere near The Button.

But Republicans were thrilled when Mr. Bush strutted up onstage on Tuesday night to basically tell the country that if you don't vote for him in November, you're giving up in the war on terrorism. "We've not come all this way — through tragedy, and trial and war — only to falter and leave our work unfinished," he asserted, as if all those Democrats racing from Iowa to New Hampshire in the middle of the night were crying out to the voters: "Falter! Falter!"

Dr. Dean's poll numbers are diving because people freezing in New Hampshire think he's too hot.

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are better at looking cool. But their dissing the U.N. — that palace of permission slips — and their doctrine of pre-emption are just as hot, and so was Mr. Bush's cocky implicit defense of the idea that if you whack one Middle East dictator, the rest will fall in line. "Nine months of intense negotiations involving the United States and Great Britain succeeded with Libya, while 12 years of diplomacy with Iraq did not," he said. "For diplomacy to be effective, words must be credible, and no one can now doubt the word of America."

Maybe he's right, but what about Bill Clinton's line that unless we want to occupy every country in the world, maybe our policy should also concentrate on making friends instead of targets? The president and vice president like to present a calm, experienced demeanor, but their foreign policy is right out of the let's-out-crazy-the-bad-guys style of Mel Gibson's cop in "Lethal Weapon" movies.

For proof of how intemperate their policy has been, compare this year's State of the Union with last year's. Last year it was all about Iraq's frightening weapons. This year the only reference was to "dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations."

Would Americans have supported a war to go get "program activities?" What is a program activity? Where is the White House speechwriters' ombudsman?

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Translation: Damn! He made Clinton look so wimpy!

Next, Lloyd Grove writes, in the New York Daily News, Jan. 22, about "A State of the Union bash" in Manhattan (embedded ellipsis in original):

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Lauren Hutton and Georgette Mosbacher squared off in a verbal claw-fest Tuesday night at the Sony Club, significantly upping the entertainment value of a State of the Union-watching party hosted by Atlantic Monthly magazine. "Bush is responsible for a trillion-dollar deficit," declared the gap-toothed fashion icon, rising from her seat to respond to Mosbacher's lonely defense of President Bush amid a liberal-leaning crowd that included Walter and Betsy Cronkite, Pete Peterson, David Dinkins, Tina Brown and Harry Evans, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and Moby.

"I guess you can't read, or something," Hutton jabbed. "Because I can - and I'm a model, for God's sake!"

At which the flame-haired Mosbacher went ballistic.

"Don't you be personally insulting!" she fired back. "You can make your points, but I resent your personal insults."

"How's that insulting?" the 60-year-old Hutton demanded.

"It's insulting to you!" replied the 57-year-old ex-wife of former Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher.

"Ohhhh, catfight!" one of my tablemates exclaimed.

"I felt like I was in the lion's den," Mosbacher told me yesterday.

The trouble started when "the cream of Manhattan society" and "godless Manhattanites" - as moderator James Fallows (perhaps ironically) addressed the group - were invited to critique Bush's speech after watching it, over a sumptuous sushi-laced dinner, on flat-screen televisions on the 35th floor of the Sony Building.

Cronkite, the venerable former CBS anchorman, launched his assessment by noting portentously: "I have watched a great many of these speeches in my life, and I would say that President Bush's is unique in American history."

The majestic-voiced Cronkite looked grave as he continued: "Never before has a President of the United States taken such a strong stand - as he did tonight - against gonorrhea!"

It was a laugh line, of course, and the room erupted in laughter.

Before the speech, guests were encouraged to use personal electronic devices at each place setting to punch in answers to various questions. Almost 77% said they will support a Democrat for President this year, and 72% reported that they attend "zero" religious services.

During Bush's speech, Moby strolled up to one of the screens, tuned to CNN and stuck a piece of dark tape over the letter "V" in "LIVE." Now it read "LIE," prompting one guest to quip: "I didn't know that Moby cared so much about the Long Island Expressway!"

He doesn't. "We all have 'beaten-wife syndrome,' where we've been lied to so often," he told fellow diner Curtis Ellis of AP Radio. "George Bush is like a drunken, unfaithful spouse who's gone out and cheated on us so many times that at this point we just accept it.... He looks like the belligerent guy in the bar who tries to pick a fight with you."

I thought that was Eminem....

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The Blog from the Core asserts Fair Use for non-commercial, non-profit educational purposes.

I'm already looking forward to the report of their Election Night bash. :-)

Next, two "critics" look at the speech. First up, somebody named Tom Shales in WaPo, Jan. 21.

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We like a confident president, but we don't like a cocky president, and George W. Bush had too many moments of cockiness last night as he delivered his third State of the Union address to both houses of Congress and the viewing nation. Often the words of the speech were written to sound lofty, but Bush had such a big Christmas-morning grin on his face that they came out sounding like taunts -- taunts to the rest of the world or taunts to Democrats in the hall.

The dividing line between the parties has rarely appeared so graphic. Republicans on one side of the House chamber couldn't scramble to their feet fast enough to give Bush his obligatory standing ovations. He probably would have gotten one if he'd sneezed. Democrats, meanwhile, sat their ground. They rose for some of Bush's sentiments, as when praising America's military forces, but they weren't on their feet when Bush called for making last year's tax cuts permanent.

And the split was even more dramatic when Bush called for renewing his controversial Patriot Act, a piece of emergency legislation that has had the effect of trampling civil rights into mush. In fact, Bush got applause he didn't want when he introduced the subject by saying certain provisions of the Patriot Act would end next year. Yes, some people, presumably Democrats, heartily applauded that.

The speech was pretty much so-so, and Bush's gung-ho delivery -- something approaching the forced jollity of a game show host -- lacked dignity and certainly lacked graciousness. Bush has never been big on those things anyway.

Dan Rather of CBS News, who sometimes goes out of his way not to upset the Bush people -- since they are all ready to pounce on him for what they perceive (or claim to perceive) as a bias against their exalted glorious potentate -- said afterward that Bush's was "a strong speech, strongly delivered." It was one of the few times Rather sounded less than astute.

Over on the Fox News Channel, Fred Barnes, sounding as if he had walking pneumonia, allowed as how he'd heard George W. Bush deliver many an important and eloquent speech over the years, "and this was not one of them." It takes courage to say something like that on the Fox News Channel, normally a Bush cheering section. Someone noted that Bush is considered a master of the half-hour speech and State of the Union 2004 had dragged on for twice that length.

Actually, CNN's Wolf Blitzer, before the speech began, quoted sources as saying it was a 40-minute speech if no one interrupted it for applause (fat chance of that) and 60 minutes if Bush got the usual perfunctory but time-killing cheers and claps. Bush started speaking at 9:11 p.m. and said his customary "May God continue to bless America" at 10:05. He's getting into Clintonian territory, and are there any Americans who want to go back to those marathon speeches Clinton used to give, regardless of how they feel about his presidency and his policies and his pigs-in-a-poke?

The best reaction shots were those of Ted Kennedy, whose stature seems to grow right along with his nose year after year after year. Kennedy has now reached a grand moment in the life of a senator; he looks like Hollywood itself cast him in the role. Seriously. With that waving mane of bright white hair, he evokes memories of Claude Rains looking distinguished as all get-out in Frank Capra's once- controversial, now-classic movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." Never mind that the senator played by Rains had some shady dealings in his repertoire.

Kennedy looked great, like he was ready to take his place next to Jefferson on Mount Rushmore. He gives off the kind of venerable vibes that some of us got from an Everett Dirksen way back when, or a Charles Laughton -- oh wait, Laughton was a make-believe senator, too (in "Advise and Consent").

Bush's speech was on the perfunctory side with the by-now- predictable list of oratorical ingredients. There has to be a guest star in the audience, a tradition begun grandly by the great communicator Ronald Reagan. And so Bush had, among others in the audience, representatives of U.S. troops plus Adnan Pachachi, president of the Iraqi Governing Council, who got that prime gallery seat right next to Laura Bush, who was looking slightly hypnotized as usual.

Among other things proved by the U.S. incursion into Iraq and the capture of Saddam Hussein in his spider-hole, Bush said, was that "No one can ever doubt the word of America," a platitude for which he was rewarded with yet another standing ovation.

CNN looked smart before the speech by spreading its anchors around to the most recognizable spots in the capital: Paula Zahn had the U.S. Capitol over one shoulder; Blitzer lucked out by being stationed indoors, in Statuary Hall; and Aaron Brown was perched so that the White House was in the shot behind him.

Anderson Cooper did his "360" show from George Washington University and so was not directly involved in the speech coverage.

Tom Brokaw of NBC News and Peter Jennings of ABC News were both on duty.

One of the bigger surprises of the night was instantly evident, even as Bush made his tedious way down an aisle before delivering the speech. Though he's favored blue ties (sometimes baby blue) throughout his presidency, Bush wore a red necktie last night. Could this signify a change in terrorism alert status? Or maybe just the fact that Bush is now in full ramming mode, not merely a president but a politician again, up to his collar in the rigors of an election year?

It was obviously the latter, and the fact that Bush appeared to be so happy, so elated, so giddily primed for another political slugfest was a little bit disheartening, and even a little bit scary.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

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The Blog from the Core asserts Fair Use for non-commercial, non-profit educational purposes.

Here's a clue for Shales: lots of people actually have televisions these days, and lots of them actually watched this year's SOTU in which anybody with eyes could see Ted Kennedy behaving like a spoiled, peevish brat who had to sit still for his father's lecture without being able to say anything back.

Finally, somebody named Alessandra Stanley in NYT, Jan. 21.

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Any president delivering a State of the Union address in an election year is a little like a newly minted divorcé — suddenly vulnerable to comparative appraisal.

Television viewers who had spent the previous 24 hours being bombarded with images of the Democratic winners of the Iowa caucus had a chance on Tuesday night to compare those faces with that of their rival, President Bush. The president spoke live for just under an hour, a performance that was calculated to upstage his opponents but that also brought him down into their turf.

The yearly ritual always begins with the president striding into the chamber, shaking hands, slapping backs and nodding at familiar faces. This year, Mr. Bush also stopped to hug the 3-year-old daughter of Representative Jesse L. Jackson Jr. of Illinois dressed in a tartan party dress and beribboned cornrows, adding a classic campaign trail move to the the pomp and pageantry.

The State of the Union address turned out to be a more suspense-filled television event than the White House had anticipated when it scheduled the speech for right after the Iowa caucus. At the time of that decision, Howard Dean seemed the most probable winner, and his volatility could have been used as a foil to show off Mr. Bush's experience and steadiness and reserve.

Instead, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, a decorated Vietnam veteran, came in first, followed by Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, an articulate Southern populist. And, adding to the pressure, a New York Times/CBS Poll taken last week showed that when given a choice between an unnamed Democrat and Mr. Bush, 43 percent of the registered voters polled said they would vote for Mr. Bush, while 45 percent said they would vote for the Democrat.

Mr. Bush still does not enjoy delivering impromptu public remarks, but he has mastered the art of teleprompter reading. Looking confident, and more comfortable at a podium than usual, Mr. Bush used much of his time to rebut his Democratic opponents' most pressing attack points, like the war in Iraq, tax cuts and the economy. And he pushed hard with what Republicans say is his strongest suit, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"I know that some people question if America is really in a war at all," Mr. Bush noted before asserting that "after the chaos and carnage of September 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers."

Perhaps mindful of his father's failure to focus quickly enough on domestic affairs after his Iraq war, Mr. Bush also gave a preview of his major domestic campaign points, including the issue of gay marriage.

"Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives," he said, referring to the recent decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Court.

The president defended the tougher testing provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act by saying, "This nation will not go back to the days of simply shuffling children along from grade to grade without them learning the basics." (He made his point: his speechwriters seemingly did not learn the rule that the possessive precedes a gerund; the president should have said "without their learning the basics.")

The sense that Mr. Bush was engaging in a political debate with his Democratic opponents was sharpest on NBC, which put Mr. Kerry on the air, live from New Hampshire, as soon as Mr. Bush had finished his speech and before the designated Democratic rebutters, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, and Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the party's leader in the Senate.

Mr. Kerry, the Democratic front-runner of the hour, said he thought Mr. Bush's optimism about the war in Iraq was "wishful" thinking.

Babies are a part of political campaigns, and so are sports. Among the servicemen and women Mr. Bush invited as his guests on Tuesday night was Tom Brady, quarterback for the New England Patriots, the football team from Mr. Kerry's home state. But it could have been that Mr. Bush invited him to set a good example for his campaign against the use of performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports. This prompted Jon Stewart, host of the "Daily Show with Jon Stewart," on Comedy Central to comment on NBC that he wished the president had been a bit bolder and had spoken out against "the instant replay and artificial turf."

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Stanley ought to stick to "criticizing" TV instead of grammar:

This construction, in which a noun or pronoun modifies a gerund (I don’t like his driving so fast, rather than I don’t like him driving so fast, or They felt that Mary’s coming in late was bad, rather than They felt that Mary coming in late was bad) was long required in English classes. But for some time now either the genitive (possessive) or the objective case has also been Standard before gerunds, although Formal writing may use a bit more genitive with pronouns than it does with nouns. Native speakers can now trust their ears.

Get with it, Alessandra!

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sun. 01/25/04 04:21:27 PM
Categorized as Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode & Media & Political.


   
   

Wesley Clark: Liar

Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode CXXXVI

Somebody needs to remind him of Core's Law of New Media: There Is No Such Thing As Local News Anymore.

We see Wesley Clark in another revelatory display in last Thursday's debate (ellipses in original).

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HUME: General Clark, Governor Dean has said that you're a good guy but he thinks you're a Republican. Now, we're told you did vote for several Republican presidents -- President Nixon, President Reagan -- said good things about the first President Bush and even about this President Bush.

You said, in an article published in The Times of London back in April as the war ended, quote, "Liberation is at hand. Liberation, the powerful balm that justifies painful sacrifice, erases lingering doubt and reinforces bold actions."

As to the president, you wrote, quote, "President Bush and Tony Blair should be proud of their resolve in the face of so much doubt."

Given those statements, given your votes, I think it is not unreasonable to ask you when you first noticed that you were a Democrat.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

CLARK: Well, actually, actually, Brit, actually, I did vote for Al Gore in 2000 and for Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996.

But when I was in the military, I was not a member of any party. I was an independent, and that's the way it is done in the state of Arkansas.

And when I got out, I looked at both parties. And I'm a fair- minded person. And when the president of the United States does two things that I agree with -- one of them attacking the Taliban in Iraq, and the other is not quitting in the use of military force in the middle of a dust storm -- then I'm going to say so.

And when I'm president, I hope that Republicans will praise me when I do things right.

But...

HUME: Well, that's...

CLARK: Can I just finish my statement?

HUME: Please.

CLARK: I'm running for president because I don't like the direction George Bush is taking the country in. I am a Democrat, and I want to turn this country around and set it going in the right direction.

I want to put a strong basis of values back into this Democratic Party and take George Bush head-on. Because family values is our issue in the Democratic Party; it is not the Republicans' issue.

HUME: Could not a reader be justified in concluding, from this piece that you wrote for the Times of London in April, that you did indeed support this war and was pleased by its outcome and, as you said the first time when asked the question, probably would have voted to support it?

CLARK: No, that's not true. In fact, if you look at the whole article, what you'll see is that the article lays out a whole series of tasks that have to be done later on.

And it's written in a foreign publication. I'm not going to take U.S. policy and my differences with the administration directly into a foreign publication.

But I made it clear in the article -- and I think you've got it there. If you read it on down, you'll see that I say this doesn't mean -- they've got to focus now on the peacekeeping, the occupation, the provision of order.

There's a whole series of tasks that I laid out for them to do that, in fact, they were incapable of doing.

I did not support this war. I would not have voted for the resolution. But once American soldiers are on the battlefield, then I want them to be successful and I want them to come home safely.

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Fortunately for us, Faithful Reader, this isn't the election of 1984 again, nor even that of 1994: we're in the Internet Age of the World Wide Web and the Blogosphere now, and we don't have to depend on Wesley Clark (or the mainstream media) to tell us the truth about what he wrote less than one year ago in The London Times, April 10, 2003.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sun. 01/25/04 03:38:07 PM
Categorized as Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode & Political.


   
   

The New Hampshire Circus Debate

Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode CXXXV

I watched a lot of the debate, Jan. 22; here's some of the transcript, in which we may see that John Edwards does not know the definition of "blank check"; that Al Sharpton has no idea what the Fed does; that John Kerry imagines he will be Richard Nixon II; that Wesley Clark won't take a way out of the far-left even when it's handed to him twice; and (my favorite moment of the night) that Dennis Kucinich admits he's not from this Earth.

John Edwards

DISTASO: Senator Edwards, after voting to authorize the president to go to war in Iraq in 2002, you voted last fall against an $87 billion expenditure to support the troops there and aid the anti-terrorism effort.

These votes may appear to some to be inconsistent, and a reaction even perhaps to the political winds of the movement. Why aren't they inconsistent? How are they consistent?

EDWARDS: Because I said from the very beginning, before the first resolution was ever voted on in the Congress, that in order for this effort to be successful it was absolutely critical that when we reached this stage that it be international, that it not be an American operation, that it not be an American occupation. And so long as it was that, we'd see the problems we've seen right now.

Everyone on this stage has been critical of the way George Bush has conducted this phase of the operation. But at the point where we had to stand up and say yes or no, we had to stand up and vote and support that vote, I thought it would be a mistake for me to say to the president, "What you're doing is right, I support it, go forward, here's your blank check, come back next year and ask for more money."

He needed to change course. We needed to have the United Nations in charge of the civilian authority. We needed NATO present to help provide security there, at least along the Saudi Arabian and the Iranian border so we could concentrate on the Sunni triangle.

And actually, I have to say there are two of us on this stage, Senator Kerry and myself, who both voted against it. And I know that both of us felt we needed to say loud and clear to President Bush that what he was doing was wrong and we thought he needed to change course.

DISTASO: So was it a protest vote, or was it a vote of substance? And had it failed, what do you believe the scene would be like in Iraq today?

EDWARDS: It was not a protest vote. I voted exactly the way I thought I should have voted.

And not only that, had I been the deciding vote, I would have voted exactly the same way. Because what would have happened, had that occurred, is the president would have immediately come back to the Congress with a plan, changing course, so that he could get the approval he needed.

And I thought it was critically important for us to say to this president, "What you're doing is wrong. You have to change course."

It's all well and good to criticize him. That's just words. We came to the point where we had to stand up and take responsibility. I took responsibility.

Al Sharpton

JENNINGS: Reverend Sharpton, I'd like to ask you a question about domestic policy, if you don't mind.

If during your term as president, if you become the nominee, and you have the opportunity to nominate someone to be chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, what kind of person would you consider for the job? You can name someone in particular, if you have someone in mind.

And maybe just take a minute or so to give us a little bit about your views on monetary policy.

SHARPTON: Well, first of all, let me say this. I wanted to say to Governor Dean, don't be hard on yourself about hooting and hollering. If I had spent the money you did and got 18 percent, I'd still be in Iowa hooting and hollering.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

So, don't worry about it, Howard.

(LAUGHTER)

DEAN: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: I think, first of all, we must have a person at the Monetary Fund that is concerned about growth of all, not setting standards that would, in my judgment, protect some and not elevate those that cannot, in my view, expand and come to the levels of development and the levels of where we need to be.

I think part of my problem with how we're operating at this point is that the IMF and the policies that are emanating there do not lead to the expansion that is necessary for our country and our global village to rise to levels that underdeveloped countries and those businesses in this country can have the development policies necessary.

JENNINGS: Forgive me, Reverend Sharpton, but the question was actually about the Federal Reserve Board.

SHARPTON: I thought you said IMF, I'm sorry.

JENNINGS: No, I'm sorry, sir. And what you'd be looking for in a chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

SHARPTON: Oh, in the Federal Reserve Board, I would be looking for someone that would set standards in this country, in terms of our banking, our -- in how government regulates the Federal Reserve as we see it under Greenspan, that we would not be protecting the big businesses; we would not be protecting banking interests in a way that would not, in my judgment, lead toward mass employment, mass development and mass production.

I think that -- would I replace Greenspan, probably. Do I have a name? No.

John Kerry

DISTASO: Senator Kerry, if you were in the Oval Office, how would you feel and how would you view a returning war veteran who tossed his medals away?

KERRY: It would depend on why he did it.

DISTASO: In protest.

KERRY: If I were Richard -- well, given what we now know about Richard Nixon and what he did think about it, he was deeply disturbed by the veterans' movement that was a movement of conscience.

And I could not be more proud of the fact that when I came back from that war, having learned what I learned, that I led thousands of veterans to Washington, we camped on the Mall underneath the Congress, underneath Richard Nixon's visibility. He tried to take us to the Supreme Court of the United States. He did. He tried to kick us off. And we stood our ground and said to him, "Mr. President, you sent us 8,000 miles away to fight, die and sleep in the jungles of Vietnam. We've earned the right to sleep on this Mall and talk to our senators and congressmen."

(APPLAUSE)

I can pledge this to the American people: I will never conduct a war or start a war because we want to; the United States of America should only go to war because we have to. And if you live by that guidance, you'll never have veterans throwing away their medals or standing up in protest.

And while we're at it, this president is breaking faith with veterans all across the country. They've cut the VA budget by $1.8 billion. There are 40,000 veterans waiting months to see a doctor for the first time. Whole categories have been eliminated from application to the VA.

And I'm not going to listen to Tom DeLay or the president or anybody else lecture the Democratic Party about patriotism when the first act of patriotism is keeping faith with people who wore the uniform of our country.

Wesley Clark

JENNINGS: General Clark, a lot of people say they don't you well, so this is really a simple question about knowing a man by his friends. The other day you had a rally here, and one of the men who stood up to endorse you is the controversial filmmaker Michael Moore. You said you were delighted with him.

At one point, Mr. Moore said, in front of you, that President Bush -- he's saying he'd like to see you, the general, and President Bush, who he called a "deserter."

Now, that's a reckless charge not supported by the facts. And I was curious to know why you didn't contradict him, and whether or not you think it would've been a better example of ethical behavior to have done so.

CLARK: Well, I think Michael Moore has the right to say whatever he feels about this.

I don't know whether this is supported by the facts or not. I've never looked at it. I've seen this charge bandied about a lot.

But to me it wasn't material. This election is going to be about the future, Peter. And what we have to do is pull this country together. And I am delighted to have the support of a man like Michael Moore, of a great American leader like Senator George McGovern, and of people from Texas like Charlie Stenholm and former Secretary of the Navy John Dalton.

We've got support from across the breadth of the Democratic Party, because I believe this party is united in wanting to change the leadership in Washington. We're going to run an election campaign that's about the future. We're going to hold the president accountable for what he did in office and failed to do, and we're going to compare who's got the best vision for America.

JENNINGS: Let me ask you something you mentioned, then, because since this question and answer in which you and Mr. Moore was involved in, you've had a chance to look at the facts.

Do you still feel comfortable with the fact that someone should be standing up in your presence and calling the president of the United States a deserter?

CLARK: To be honest with you, I did not look at the facts, Peter. You know, that's Michael Moore's opinion. He's entitled to say that. I've seen -- he's not the only person who's said that. I've not followed up on those facts. And frankly, it's not relevant to me and why I'm in this campaign.

Dennis Kucinich

GRIFFITH: What is the most important environmental issue facing the nation?

And you only have one minute.

KUCINICH: Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

As president of the United States I would lead this country on a new energy initiative. In the same way that President John F. Kennedy decided to bring the academic and spiritual resource of this country to have the United States reach the moon someday, I intend to have a very infinitely interesting journey to planet Earth.

And that journey will be about sustainable and renewable energy.

By the year 2010, I'll call upon Americans to assist in creating a program, not only of conservation, but of moving to renewable energy, away from oil, nuclear and coal, and towards wind and solar and geothermal, green hydrogen and biomass.

We're talking about saving our planet here. We have to understand even here in New Hampshire how trees are affected and the, you know, maple syrup is affected as a product here. We have to recognize that the economy of this region has been hurt by environmental policies which dirty the air and the water. I'm going to change that.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sun. 01/25/04 03:17:15 PM
Categorized as Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode & Political.


   
   

The Tinfoil Hat Brigade Marches for Dean

Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode CXXXIV

I suppose this is the kind of thing to expect when their "front-runner" candidate got his butt handed to him in Iowa.

If you have the nerve & stomach, check out this fascinating and frightening thread at Forum for America, the discussion forums at the Dean for America website.

There you will find out, Faithful Reader, that you and I are just gobsmackingly stupid dupes for not being able to see that the Bush administration was responsible for September 11 by bringing down the WTC buildings with explosives. Yep. And it's fun to see every side of the argument accusing folks on the other side(s) of being Republican plants to make the Deanings look bad. Yep. Unless the other side is a Democratic plant to make the Deanings look bad. Yep.

Here's a typical post, by electricmojoman, Jan. 22, 03:33 PM (ellipsis in original):

Oh yeah, it is so hard to understand or question how the most guarded airspace in the world, on a clear blue sky and an hour after the first plane hit, would be hit itself.
I mean Payne Stewart, the golfer, had his plane intercepted within 15 minutes of not receiving a signal.
I mean just because 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi and Saudi didn't make it on the "Axis of Evil" list, nor did they allow us to use their bases should be pretty hard to grasp as well. Lets not forget the 30 pages missing from the 911 findings about Saudi. The fact that we don't even mention Osama on the news now or have him captured probably means nothing to your prevailing lack of common sense.
If you cannot fathom WHY 911 was ALLOWed to happen, you deserve the America that is being instituted. Bush was at a 54% approval rating when 911 went down. Because he was selected he had no mandate. He had just lost the Senate from Jeffords switching, which incidentally brought down Bush's number one contributor... Enron. That same week was the week the independant recount was suppose to come out which stated that Gore won in 8 out of 10 scenarios. That finding was put off from coming out for 6 months!
Bush got his mandate for war. All his military contractors got their due payment for pimping for him as well. We all know he wanted Saddam from day one. Truth is he spent his whole life plugging holes in the ground trying to find oil and now he found an oil mother load.
Most of you do not grasp how close we are to being out of Oil. Just listen to the facts of how many billions of barrells americans use in a day or week. It should appeal to your common sense.
JFK was killed because he was going to put a stop to the vietnam war. The war pigs had too much money to be made from the war.
The fact that Silverstein is admitting to imploding WTC 7 only hours after the last building feel is a monumental admission..
You people in here that are republicans who are trying to play like your on the fence or to disrupt, better sharpen your wit because I will take you on.
And when I say taking you on I mean on FACTS. Not your little ability to label people and act like little play school kids. So bring it on!
Dean got most of his support from people who understand the level of corruption going on and are angry about it. That is a reality!

(Thanks, Charles.)

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sun. 01/25/04 09:35:51 AM
Categorized as Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode & Political.


   
   

Eighth and Last Day of Christian Unity Octave 2004

Please pray!

See First Day of Christian Unity Octave 2004 / January 18 through January 25, inclusive. / "My peace I give to you" (Jn 14: 23-31).

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sun. 01/25/04 08:30:49 AM
Categorized as Religious.


   
   

Three by Tabb III

Poems by Father John Banister Tabb.

The Pine-Tree

With whispers of futurity
   And echoes of the past,
Twin birds a shelter find in thee
   Against the wintry blast—

The fledgling Hope, that preens her wing,
   Too timorous to fly,
And Memory, that comes to sing
   Her coronach and die.

(November 1892)

Wood-Grain

This is the way that the sap-river ran
From the root to the top of the tree—
   Silent and dark,
   Under the bark,
Working a wonderful plan
   That the leaves never know,
   And the branches that grow
On the brink of the tide never see.

(July 1901)

Winter Trees

Like champions of old,
   Their garments at their feet,
Defiant of the cold,
   The wrestling winds they meet;
Anon, if victors found,
   With vernal trophies crowned.

(1902)

The Poetry of Father Tabb (1928) pp. 27, 28f, 30.
ed. Francis A. Litz, Ph.D.

See also Three by Tabb II: Quatrains by Father John Banister Tabb.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sun. 01/25/04 08:26:38 AM
Categorized as Literary & Sunday Poetry Series.


   

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Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”