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February 26, 2005

Senator Reid, Would You Like A Little Cheese With That Whine?

Watching the Democrats these days is a lot like watching a Saturday Night Live skit with those 'wild and crazy guys' Steve Martin (Harry Reid) and Dan Aykroyd (Teddy Kennedy) tormenting Gilda Radner (Hillary Clinton) and Jane Curtin (Barbara Boxer). I can not stop laughing.

In an interview that aired this past Sunday on KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, local reporter Jon Ralston asked Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) about the mailing the Republican National Committee sent out to a million or so people. Senator Reid's response was to whine about his mistreatment at the hands of the RNC, even though it consisted primarily of a compilation of his votes and public statements. Given the opportunity, the Senator made no effort to correct any misstatements or clear up any contentions made in the mailing, he just whined. (The Senator had initially run crying to the President about the mailing and I wrote about it here.)

Jon Ralston also asked about Senator Reid's statement, made during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, February 14, 1999, concerning the looming Social Security crisis in which he declared "Most of us have no problem with taking a small amount of the Social Security proceeds and putting it into the private sector," and the Senator's latest position where he backtracked, stating emphatically that partial privatization was 'not going to happen, no way, no how.' In a quip eerily reminiscent of John Kerry's now infamous flip-flop ("I actually did vote for the 87 billion before I voted against it"), Senator Reid deftly replied, "Well, that was then, this is now." Pretty fancy footwork from the former pugilist, wouldn't you say?

If you would like to watch the video, you can click here for segment 1 (the whining) and here for segment 2 (the flip-flop).

Posted by Rick | February 26, 2005 06:46 AM | Political Science

February 24, 2005

Ward Churchhill Misquoted In Honolulu Star-Bulletin

In a correction printed Wednesday, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin News says it misquoted Ward Churchhill in its initial article covering his speech at the University of Hawaii. You can read the entire article along with the correction here. The correction is quoted below.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, incorrectly quoted University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill as admitting that he was not American Indian.

The story about Churchill's Tuesday night speech at the University of Hawaii-Manoa said the professor noted that his "white Republican" critics were asking, "Is he an Indian? Do we really care?"

"Let's cut to the chase, I'm not," the quote in yesterday's paper continued.

But a review of video and audio tapes of the speech shows that Churchill actually said: "Is he an Indian? We really care. We're trying to protect the rights of Indians to divine for themselves, say this circle of flies in the form of white reporters circling a manure pile like it's of all consequential importance. Cut to the chase on that."

Churchill went on to say that he is an associate member of the Keetoowah tribe and that associates are enrolled in the band after their genealogy has been vetted by the enrollment office. He said that he is less than one-quarter Indian, so he does not qualify to be a full member.

The issue of whether Churchill has Indian blood is part of the national debate over the controversial professor who gained notoriety for comparing some Sept. 11, 2001, victims to Nazis.

I, for one, am waiting for Churchhill to come forth with the proof that he is, in fact, any part Indian.

Posted by Rick | February 24, 2005 06:57 AM | Social Studies

Democratic Party Continues To Marginalize Itself

Democratic Congressman Maurice Hinchey's comments, made at a community forum last weekend in Ithaca, New York, accusing Carl Rove, President Bush's political advisor during the 2004 campaign, of forging the now infamous 'Rathergate' National Guard documents released by CBS are really old news and without merit.

In a Washington Times article entitled McAuliffe Denies Involvement In Memos Flap, Stephen Dinan reported that Terry McAuliffe put forth similar, if less pointed, accusations:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe today said neither his organization nor John Kerry´s campaign leaked to CBS documents questioning President Bush´s service record, which may have been forged. He suggested White House adviser Karl Rove could be behind the documents. "I can unequivocally say that no one involved here at the Democratic National Committee had anything at all to do with any of those documents. If I were an aspiring young journalist, I think I would ask Karl Rove that question," Mr. McAuliffe said.

Since McAuliffe's comments, no one has come forward with any evidence incriminating Carl Rove or anyone else in the Republican party.

During the forum in Ithaca, Congressman Hinchey had the following exchange with an audience member finally admitting that he had no evidence:

Audience Member: Do you have any evidence for that?

Congressman Hinchey: Yes I do. Once they did that --

Audience: [Murmuring]

Congressman Hinchey: ...once they did that, then it undermined everything else about Bush's draft dodging. Once they were able to say, 'This is false! These papers are not accurate, they're, they're, they're false, they've been falsified.' That had the effect of taking the whole issue away.

Audience Member: So you have evidence that the papers came from the Bush administration?

Congressman Hinchey: No. I -- that's my belief.

You can actually listen to the recording of the speech here.

Rep. Hinchey, appearing Wednesday on Hannity & Colmes (Fox News Channel), reiterated his claim that Carl Rove was behind the forged documents and again admitted that he had nary a shred of evidence to back up his claim.

The election is over and George Bush won. I have no clue as to Congressman Hinchey's motives in making these baseless claims. Perhaps he just read last September's Democratic talking points. It could certainly be argued that future Democratic initiatives might be minimized by this tripe. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi should reign the guy in before the entire Democratic party ends up looking like irresponsible buffoons. Although, when you consider: Kennedy, Boxer, Byrd, Dean, Dayton, Kerry, Gore, Reid, Sharpton, Clinton, Clinton, Carter, Moore, Carville, Goldberg, Streisand....it may be too late.

Posted by Rick | February 24, 2005 03:32 AM | Political Science

February 20, 2005

Boycott French Made Products & French Owned Companies

I encourage you to boycott French products that are made, bottled or manufactured in France, including wine and cheese. I urge you to boycott goods and services that are produced by French owned companies. I admonish you to avoid travel to France regardless of the boycott. (The French are generally rude, they don’t bathe regularly, and they really don’t want us there unless they need someone to do their fighting for them.)

I have posted below a list of all things French to boycott until the French come to their senses. The list is compiled from websites promoting, and promoting boycotts of, French made goods and French owned companies including Boycott Watch, METROSPY, and Metro Calendar.

French Owned Companies and/or Goods Produced In France

Agence France-Presse (news service)
Air France
Airbus - partially owned French company (part of a European consortium)
Alcatel
Allegra (allergy medication produced by Aventis Pharmaceuticals)
AXA Advisors
Bank of the West (owned by BNP Paribas)
Baccarat (crystal)
Beneteau (boats)
Besson (brass musical instruments)
BF Goodrich (Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company owned by Michelin)
BIC (razors, pens and lighters)
Black Bush (owned by Pernod Ricard, made by Bushmills subsidiary) ***see below
Bollinger (champagne)
Bourgeat Cookware
Buffet Crampon (woodwind musical instruments)
Car & Driver Magazine *see below
Chanel
Chivas Regal (scotch - owned by Pernod Ricard) ***see below
Christian Dior
Club Med (vacations - owned in part by Paris based CDC (Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations)
Cointreau
Curtois (brass musical instruments)
Dannon (Groupe DANNONE, a French owned company - yogurt and dairy foods made in USA )
DKNY (Donna Karan New York)
Dom Perignon
Elle Magazine *see below
Erector Sets (owned by Meccano S.N. of France)
Evian (Groupe DANNONE)
Fina gas stations and Fina Oil (billions invested in Iraqi oil fields)
First Hawaiian Bank
Givenchy
Glenlivet (scotch - owned by Pernod Ricard) ***see below
Grand Marnier Liqueur
Grey Goose Vodka (Distilled and bottled in France - American owned)
Grey Poupon (mustard)
Hennessy (cognac)
Hermés International
Houghton Mifflin (books)
Jacobs Creek (owned by Pernod Ricard since 1989) ***see below
Jameson (whiskey - owned by Pernod Ricard) ***see below
Jerry Springer (talk show produced by Universal Domestic Television) **see below
Korbel (champagne)
Krups (coffee and cappuccino makers - part of T-Fal)
Krug (champagne)
Lancome
Le Creuset (cookware)
L'Oréal (health and beauty products - headquarters in France)
Lorina Beverages
Louis Vuitton
Martel (cognac - owned by Pernod Ricard) ***see below
Maybelline (owned by L'Oréal USA - headquarters in France)
Méphisto (shoes and clothes)
Michelin (tires and auto parts)
Mikasa (crystal and glass)
Moët & Chandon (champagne)
Motel 6 (owned by Accor Hotels)
Motown Records
MP3.com **see below
Mumms (champagne)
New Hermes (part of Gravograph, based in France)
Nexium (a.k.a. "the purple pill")
Nissan (cars; majority owned by Renault)
Perrier (water bottled in France, owned by Nestle which is based in Switzerland)
Peugeot (automobiles)
Phyto Hair Care Products
Pierre Cardin
Playstation Magazine
Princess House Crystal
Publicis Group (including Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising)
RCA (televisions and electronics; owned by Thomson Electronics, France)
Redken (beauty products - owned by L'Oréal)
Red Roof Inns (owned by Accor Hotels group in France)
Renault (automobiles)
Road & Track Magazine *see below
Rolling Stone Magazine **see below
Roquefort cheese (all Roquefort cheese is made in France)
Rowenta (toasters, irons, coffee makers, etc.)
Royal Canadian (owned by Pernod Ricard) ***see below
Salomon (skis)
Seagram's (owned by Pernod Ricard) ***see below
Sierra Entertainment (software and computer games) **see below
Smart & Final (California based with a French ownership of approximately 60%)
Sofitel (hotels, owned by Accor)
Sparkletts (water, owned by DANONE)
Spencer Gifts (Owned by Seagrams, which is owned by Universal Studios, which is owned by Vivendi-Universal)
Technicolor
T-Fal (kitchenware)
The French Trading Co.
Total gas stations
UbiSoft (computer games)
Uniroyal (tires - a subsidiary of Michelin))
Universal Studios (music, movies and amusement parks; owned by Vivendi-Universal) **see below
Varilix Lenses (Essilor Optical)
Veritas Group
Veuve Clicquot Champagne
Vivendi Universal Entertainment
Waterman (fine writing instruments/pens manufactured in France; owned by Gillette, a US company)
Wild Turkey (bourbon - owned by Pernod Ricard) ***see below
Woman's Day Magazine *see below
Yoplait (The French company Sodiaal owns a 50 percent stake - franchised to General Mills)
Yves Rocher (beauty products)
Yves Saint Laurent
Zodiac Inflatable Boats

*Owned by Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Inc., a subsidiary of About Hachette Filipacchi Médias - France. Magazines published include: American Photo, Boating, Car and Driver, Car Stereo Review's Mobile Entertainment, Cycle World, ELLE, ELLE Decor, ELLEgirl, Flying, Home, Metropolitan Home, Popular Photography, Premiere, Road & Track, Sound & Vision, Travel Holiday, Woman's Day and Woman's Day Special Interest Publications.

**Vivendi Universal Entertainment, which is based in France, owns Universal Domestic Television, A & M Records, Motown Records, Sierra Entertainment, Canal Satellite, and the Sci-Fi channel.

*** Pernod Ricard owns the following brands: Scotch whiskies including Chivas Regal, Royal Salute, Clan Campbell, Something Special, Passport and 100 Pipers. Scotch Malt whiskies including Aberlourm, Glengrant, The Glenlivet and The Heritage Selection. Irish whiskeys including Jameson, Bushmills, Paddy and John Power. Bourbon including Wild Turkey. Other whiskies including Blenders Pride, Dunbar, Natu Nobilis, Royal Canadian and Royal Stag. Anise drinks including Henri-Louis Pernod, Ouzo Mini, Pacific, Pastis 51, Pernod, Pernod Absinthe and Ricard. Vodkas including Altaï, Huzzar, Lodowa, Orloff, Premium, Wyborowa and zubrowka. Gins including Cork Dry Gin, Larios and Seagram's Gin. Tequilas including Olmeca and Viuda de Romero. Rums including Havana Club and Montilla. Bitters including Fernet Capri, Ramazzotti, Suze and Becherovka. Cognac and brandies including Bisquit, Martell, and Renault. Liqueurs including Dita, Soho, Zoco, Rua Vieja and Eoliki. Wines including Jacob's Creek, Long Mountain, Palacio de la Vega, Etchart, and Wyndham Estate. Sparkling wines including Café de Paris and Carrington. Wine-based aperitives including Ambassadeur, Bartissol, Dubonnet and Sandeman. Ready-to-drink beverages including Ricard Bouteille, Two Dogs, Wild Turkey Mixers and Suze Tonic.

Please e-mail us at feedback@redmeatblog.com with any additions or corrections to this list.

French Companies - EXCHANGE - SYMBOL

ALCATEL - NYSE - ALA
ALSTOM - - ALS
ASSURANCE GENERALE FRANCES - - AGF
AXA SA - NYSE - AXA

BANQUE NATIONALE DE PARIS - - BNPPYP
BOUYGUES OFFSHORE SA - - BWG
BUSINESS OBJECTS SA - - BOBJY

CANAL PLUS SA - OTC - CNPLY
CIMENTS FRANCAIS - - CIMFY
CLARINS - OTC - CRASY
CLUB MEDITERRANEE SA - OTC - CLMDY
COFLEXIP - - CXIPY
COMPAGNIE DE SUEZ - - CSUZY
COMPAGNIE GENERALE DE GEOPHYSIQUE - NYSE - GGY
COMPAGNIE GENERALE DES EAUX - - CGDEY

DASSAULT SYSTEMES SA - NASDAQ - DASTY
DIFFUSION INTERNATIONALE - - DFUBY

EDAP TECHNOMED SA - - EDAPY
ELF AQUITAINE - - ELF

FIAT FRANCE SA (FFSA) - - FFSAY
FLAMEL TECHNOLOGIES SA - - FLMLY
FRANCE TELECOM - NYSE - FTE
FRANCE TELECOM (ADBR) - - FTENPB

GENSET - - GENXY
GROUPE AB - - ABG
GROUPE DANONE - NYSE - DA

ILOG SA - NASDAQ - ILOG

L'AIR LIQUIDE - OTC - AIQUY
L'OREAL - - LORLY
LAFARGE COPPEE SA - - LFGEY
LAGARDERE GROUPE SCA - OTC - LGDDY
LOUIS DREYFUS CITRUS SA - - DYRPP
LVMH - - LVMHY

PECHINEY - - PY
PERNOD-RICARD SA - OTC - PDRDY
PEUGEOT CITROEN SA - OTC - PEUGY

RENAULT - - RNAUYP
RHODIA SA - NYSE - RHA
RHONE POULENC SA SERIES A - - RP
RHONE-POULENC "PSSA" ADRS - - RPPPA
ROUSSEL-UCLAF SA - - RSUCY

SANOFI-AVENTIS - NYSE - SNY
SCOR SA - NYSE - SCO
SIDEL SA - - SIELY
SOCIETE GENERALE - OTC - SCGLY

TECHNIP - - TECHNYP
THOMSON-CSF - - TCSF
TOTAL SA - NYSE - TOT
TRANSGENE SA - OTC - TRGNY

USINOR SACILOR - - URSAYP

VALEO SA - OTC - VLEEY
VIVENDI UNIVERSAL - NYSE - V

General French Merchandise

Bordeaux and Burgundy wines
Champagne (all champagne is made in France)
Cognac (all cognac is made in France)
French cheese
French fashion
French perfumes

Below are various types of French wine, each representing a region of France from which the wine is made.

Alsace
Beaujolais
Bordeaux
Burgundy
Chablis
Champagne
Corse
Côtes du Rhône
Jura
Languedoc Roussillon
Loire
Lubéron
Rhône

Below are various types of French cheese. It doesn't matter what the brand name is, all of the following types are made in France.

Beaufort
Bleu d'Auvergne
Brebis
Bresse Bleu
Brie de Meaux
Brillat Saverin
Camembert
Cantal
Chabichou de Poitou
Chaource
Chaumes
Comte
Crottin de Chavignol
Epoisses
La Roche
Langres
Le Brin
Le Roule
Maroilles
Mimolette (Boule de Lille)
Morbier
Munster
Neufchatel
Pave d'Affinois Pur Chevre
Pelardon
Petit Brie
Picodon
Pont l'Eveque
Port Salut
Reblochon
Riblaire
Rocamadour
Roquefort
Saint Agur
Saint Felicien
Saint Marcellin
Saint Maure de Touraine
Saint Nectaire
Terroir
Tomme de Chevre
Tomme de Savoie
Tourree Le Rustique

Below are large French based contractors that contract with the United States government. Many of these contracts involve the exchange of top secret military information. Contact your congressional representatives and encourage them to make sure our tax dollars are not spent with French firms.

Thales
Snecma
TotalFinaElf
BNP Paribas Bank

Companies that may or may not be French owned - verifying:

Air Liquide
Aqualung (including: Spirotechnique, Technisub, US Divers, and SeaQuest)
Biotherm (cosmetics)
Durand Crystal
Essilor Optical Products
George Magazine *may be defunct
Glitter Art
Glu Stick
Lafarge building materials
Marie Claire
Normandy Butter
Parents Magazine
Nivea (Beiersdorf - German owned)
ProScan (may be owned by Thomson Electronics, France)
Red Magazine
Sundance Channel
US Filter
Vittel (water)

Posted by Rick | February 20, 2005 03:58 AM | Social Studies

George Orwell Might Find The Advent Of Bloggers Interesting

In 1946 George Orwell wrote an article entitled Why I Write. I wonder if the blogosphere writes for the same reasons?

Posted by Rick | February 20, 2005 03:31 AM | Just A Thought

February 19, 2005

Hillary Has A Chink In Her Hollywood Armor

Lloyd Grove wrote in the New York Daily News on Friday February 18, 2005:

Friends no more? I hope Sen. Hillary Clinton isn't counting on help from Hollywood mogul David Geffen in her possible run for the White House in 2008. Geffen, a generous supporter and pal of Bill Clinton when he was President, trashed Hillary's prospects last night during a Q&A at the 92nd St. Y. "She can't win, and she's an incredibly polarizing figure," the billionaire Democrat told his audience. "And ambition is just not a good enough reason." Geffen's dis was met with hearty applause.

I am really looking forward to the 2008 presidential race with Hillary as the Democratic nominee. The Democrats will nominate her, and raise a potful of money again, but they might as well flush it down the ol' crapper. Spending money without the message will be merely going through the paces.

Hillary has been in the senate four years now but she has not really contributed more than pablum to the political discourse.

As smart as everyone says Hillary is, she will not present the American electorate with any acceptable solutions to the problems we face. The Democratic idea bank is empty. Can anyone give me even one semi-good idea she has presented in over four years as Senator Hillary? Please, tell me....I'm waiting....

Can anyone imagine commander-in-chief Hillary sending our troops off to fight the terrorists while Bill chases interns around the west wing? Like deja vu all over again, Bill can certainly imagine it.

I agree with Mr. Geffen, but prefer to say, Hillary won't win.

Nope, it's just not going to happen.

Posted by Rick | February 19, 2005 01:22 AM | Political Science

February 18, 2005

ACLU Needs A Makeover

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), in light of the lawsuits it has filed in the past few years, should change its name to Anti-American Civil Liberties Union (A-ACLU).

Posted by Rick | February 18, 2005 05:46 PM | Just A Thought

February 17, 2005

Congress - Professional Time Wasters

Washington Post Staff Writer Dana Milbank writes in The Washington Post today that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld "doesn't do accommodating very well," after he left a hearing before 24 members of the House Armed Services Committee had a chance to question him. In her article, entitled Secretary On the Offensive, Ms. Milbank also complains that Secretary Rumsfeld, before heading off to a hearing in the Senate, refused to give answers to a number of questions.

Questions that were posed by the 'esteemed' members of the House Armed Services Committee included and I paraphrase: How long will the war in Iraq last?; How much will the war cost?; How much will the veterans' benefits cost?; How many insurgents are there in Iraq? What kind of bases will we end up with in Iraq?. Finally Rumsfeld retorted, "There's never been a war that was predictable as to length, casualty or cost in the history of mankind."

Other questions had answers that were classified and the members of the committee should have known that the questions were inappropriate for a public forum.

My point here is that these grand-standing self-indulgent members of congress seem to have nothing better to do with their time than to subject the people coming before them to stupid, inane, unanswerable, even unintelligible questions. They should use their allotted time to ask questions that will enlighten the committee and the nation. If they have nothing to add, sit quietly and listen. Who knows, they might even learn something.

If they have some free time after that and want to ask questions that entail pure speculation they could subpoena a fortune teller and waste her time. Congress should let the Secretary of Defense and others with real jobs get back to work.

Posted by Rick | February 17, 2005 11:24 AM | Political Science

February 16, 2005

I Was Right - Harry Reid's A Crybaby

Al Gore's former campaign manager, Donna L. Brazile, writing in Roll Call, February 15, 2005, (Harry Reid vs. The Republicans: Round One) had the same initial impression of Harry Reid's reaction to the RNC's fact sheet as I did (see my post of February 10, 2005, entitled Harry Reid - Senator Crybaby) when she wrote: "At first, I thought Reid would come off as a hapless little crybaby...", but it quickly became apparent that she needed to visit an optometrist when she described Senator Reid this way: "Then Reid's left leg shifted against the podium. His right foot was firmly in forward position as those broad and steely shoulders stood erect." That certainly doesn't describe crybaby Harry. She must have been describing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) who has been sharing the stage with Harry often as of late.

If you have nothing better to do and you have already flossed today, you can read the entire myopic article here.

Posted by Rick | February 16, 2005 04:13 AM | Political Science

February 12, 2005

Musical Chairs In Palestine Is About To Begin - Abbas Is Helpless

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, is apparently as delusional as the late Yasser Arafat. In January, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon lifted a ban on contacts with the Palestinians after the newly elected Abbas, on January 20th, ordered Gaza security forces to halt militant attacks on Israelis. Unfortunately, the Palestinian effort was not really an attempt to stop the attacks on Israel, but was, in fact, mere rhetoric, both figuratively and literally. In an article written by Craig Nelson of the Cox News Service, January 24, 2005, and published online at reflector.com:

Ismail al-Dahdouh, a senior Palestinian officer, said after briefing security personnel on Friday that his orders were to "control these areas and to stop attacks."

But when asked what would happen if his men came across militants preparing to carry out an attack, Dahdouh was disarming. "We will avoid clashing with them and we will talk to them in a positive way," he told the Reuters news agency.

Only two days after February 8, 2005, when a bilateral cease-fire had been announced between Israel and Palestine, militants (terrorists) within Palestine fired approximately 36 mortars and 20 rockets into Israeli territory. Subsequently, president Abbas fired a substantial number of his security force including the the overall commander of Palestinian security forces, Major-General Abdel Razek al-Majaida Abdel Razek Majaida; Gaza police chief Saeb al-Ajez; and Omar Ashour, the national security commander in southern Gaza. There were reports that, in addition to the weak-kneed policy toward the militants, some members of the security forces moonlight as militants. Since their day jobs will no longer interfere with their real mission in life which is to destroy the state of Israel, those fired can now concentrate on bomb building and mortar attacks in earnest.

After the firings, Abbas announced a meeting with the militant groups. That would be like the mayor of Los Angeles firing the police chief and a bunch of policemen before meeting with the Bloods, the Crips, and the Latin Kings. It seems to me that Abbas should have met with his security forces and fired (disarmed, attacked, and/or killed) the terrorists.

This merely shows that it is Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other militant groups who are in charge in the Palestinian territory and not Abbas. Any real attempt by Abbas to reign in the militants will only result in his demise and the game of musical chairs in the Palestianian leadership will begin in earnest.

Note: The ranks/titles and the spelling of names of the various players in the region varies from news report to news report. For instance, Major-General Abdel Razek al-Majaida's name was spelled Abdel-Razek al-Majaydeh, Abdel Razek Majaida, Abdel Razek Majaidie, and Abdelrazzak al-Majaida in various reports. He was also reported to be a Brigadier General and not a Major General. The police chief's name was also spelled Saeb al-Ajed and Saeb al-Ajez. National security chief in the southern Gaza Strip, General Omar Ashour also had his name spelled Omar Ashur. Mohammed Abdel-Raouf Arafat As Qudwa al-Hussaeini, the full name of Yasser Arafat, is also known as Yasir Arafat in various formats. For future reference and in an effort to bring some sameness to the chaos, I have decided to use the NY Times spellings and titles. I guess something gets lost in translation. My apologies to anyone whose name or rank/title have been reported incorrectly.

Posted by Rick | February 12, 2005 02:04 PM | Political Science

February 10, 2005

Harry Reid - Senator Crybaby

On Monday, February 7, 2005, the Republican National Committee put out a fact sheet entitled REID ALL ABOUT IT: WHO IS HARRY REID?. The report details the legislative flip-flopping and obstructionism of current Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-NV). It seems, however, that good ol' Harry doesn't like the truth, and he complained (perhaps whined is a better word) to the President about the RNC's release during a dinner at the White House later that evening.

It really takes a lot of nerve to complain about the truth to someone you have just called a liar.

As recently as December 2004, Reid stood by comments attacking President Bush as a “Liar.” NBC’s Tim Russert: “In 2002, you said, ‘President Bush is a liar. He betrayed Nevada and he betrayed the country.’ Is that rhetoric appropriate?” Senator Harry Reid: “. . . [P]eople may not like what I said, but I said it, and I don’t back off one bit.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” December 5, 2004)

Read more about Senator Crybaby here.

Stepping before the cameras and microphones on Tuesday to bemoan the release of the report, Harry didn't bother to refute any of the stated facts. He was too busy acting indignant.

Harry, don't you just hate it when the truth bites you in the a..?

Posted by Rick | February 10, 2005 12:01 AM | Political Science

February 9, 2005

Senator Mark 'Beam Me Up' Dayton Will Not Run In 2006

In a rare moment of lucidity, Minnesota Senator Mark 'Beam Me Up' Dayton declared in a telephone news conference earlier today, "I do not believe that I am the best candidate to lead the DFL Party to victory next year," and indicated that he would not run for re-election in 2006.

Read more about the news conference here.

Posted by Rick | February 9, 2005 11:09 PM | Political Science

February 8, 2005

Ward Churchill - de-evolutionary

In an interview published in Satya, Ward Churchill, the Colorado University at Boulder professor currently underfire for making some insensitive, volatile even incendiary comments concerning terrorism in America and the world, said while describing his ultimate political goals:

I want the state gone: transform the situation to U.S. out of North America. U.S. off the planet. Out of existence altogether.

A monthly publication focusing on vegetarianism, environmentalism, animal advocacy, and social justice, Satya claims to be committed “to continuing Gandhi’s legacy by increasing dialogue among activists from diverse backgrounds and engaging readers in ways to integrate compassion into their daily lives.” Satya published the interview, which contains a photo of a revolutionary looking Churchill dressed in camouflage, holding an AK-47, entitled Dismantling the Politics of Comfort in April 2004. Interestingly, Churchill, ensconsed in his comfy tenured position at CU, makes these comments while hiding behind the 1st Amendment and has threatened that should he be removed or punished for his intemperate comments he will 'own the university.' (As an aside, I wonder if the assault rifle Churchill is holding is his. If it is his, is it registered?...is it legal?)

The original essay that created the uproar, "Some People Push Back" On the Justice of Roosting Chickens basically said that the people killed on 9/11 got what they deserved because they had the audacity to go to work that day.

If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it.

Professor Churchill, in another essay, equates the naming of football teams 'Redskins' and 'Chiefs' and baseball teams 'Braves' and 'Indians' with the horrors of the holocaust.

Know that it causes real pain and real suffering to real people. Know that it threatens our very survival. And know that this is just as much a crime against humanity as anything the Nazis ever did. It is likely the indigenous people of the United States will never demand that those guilty of such criminal activity be punished for their deeds. But the least we have to expect - indeed to demand­ is that such practices finally be brought to a halt.

Should tenure ensure a professor a platform from which to spew hatred for the American citizens who pay his salary? The courts will ultimately decide Wade Churchill's fate, but, when this is over, I hope that the only soapbox left to him from which to spew his hate will be on the corner of Hell and Eternity.

Posted by Rick | February 8, 2005 01:04 PM | Social Studies

February 7, 2005

Does A Presidential Campaign Really Change A Person?

After an extensive 2 hour interview with Peter S. Canellos, Nina J. Easton, Michael Kranish, and Susan Milligan of the Boston Globe staff, Peter Canellos wrote an article that appeared in the Boston Globe February 6, 2005. He quoted John Kerry as saying some amazing things:

Kerry demanded that the swift boat veterans who had criticized his military record agree to open up their own files because he knows "one guy was busted" and another "has a letter of reprimand."

And:

The furor over military credentials hasn't ended with the campaign. Kerry pledged to sign Form 180, releasing all of his military records, but challenged his critics, including Bush, to do the same.

This is the same crap that Bill Clinton tried to pull with the Jennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and Monica Lewinsky scandals...always trying desperately to smear the messenger. Clinton then and Kerry now could not face the fact that the issues in question are really not about the accusers. John Kerry and his records, his veracity, and his character were/are the issues.

To this day, he has not signed Form 180 releasing his military records. He gives it lip service and did as recently as an appearance on 'NBC NEWS' MEET THE PRESS with Tim Russert, January 30, 2005, but it has apparently been just one of those thngs he is too busy (read 'unwilling') to do.

Asked what hurt him the most during the campaign, Kerry mused about how ''all of us are flawed as human beings" and ''I think I have a strong record" before raising his voice and declaring: ''One thing I know is that I didn't flip-flop on anything."

You're absolutely right John. No doubt about it John. Whatever you say John.

Posted by Rick | February 7, 2005 11:15 AM | Political Science

February 6, 2005

Eternal Optimists

The Bush administration has pledged another $350 million dollars to the Palestinians, supposedly with the caveat that the Palestinians stop killing Israelis. Bush/Rice, et. al., should wait at least a year before handing over the cash. The Palestinian madmen have no interest in peace, and continuing to fill their coffers with American gold without some real positive results is more than being eternally optimistic, it is stupid.

We should also withhold any more funds until the money Arafat stole and invested in American bowling alleys and other things is returned to the Palestinian administration and used as it was intended - to build the infrastructure that is so desperately needed by the Palestinian people.

Posted by Rick | February 6, 2005 02:20 PM | Political Science

Super Bowl Prediction

Don't bet the farm on it, but, the Patriots will win the Super Bowl by the score of 27-17. The steady offense and underrated defense of the Patriots will carry the day.

Note: My lovely wife believes that I am sadly mistaken and is predicting a 35-24 Eagles win. (Is it possible she forgot to take her medication?)

Posted by Rick | February 6, 2005 02:12 PM | Just A Thought

February 3, 2005

Kerry Redux - Democrats Flip-Flop On Social Security

In a article at National Review Online entitled “Save Social Security First”? Byron York maintains that the claim begun by President Clinton in 1998 that Social Security was in financial straits was nothing more than a money grab by the Democrats in the face of looming government surpluses:

In 1998, the major policy question in Washington was what to do with enormous anticipated federal budget surpluses. Republicans, arguing that a surplus meant the government was taking in too much money, wanted to cut taxes. Clinton wanted to kill any tax-cut proposal before it had a chance to gather support. So in his 1998 State of the Union speech, he came up with a famous slogan.

"What should we do with this projected surplus?" Clinton said. "I have a simple four-word answer: Save Social Security first."

The article goes on to say that many of the hard-line Democrats including Barbara Boxer, Al Gore, Dick Gephardt, and Teddy 'Chappaquiddick' Kennedy took up the mantra "Save Social Security first," knowing full-well that Clinton had no plans to do anything about it.

Of course now that we have a President with the chutzpah to do something about it, the Democrats have miraculously discovered that there is no crisis within the Social Security system, and actually had the audacity to 'boo' President Bush when he confronted the Congress with the problem during Wednesday's State Of The Union address. As Robert 'KKK' Byrd would say, 'Petty, petty, petty.'

Can anyone tell me the last time the Democrats had a really good idea....maybe when Harry T. dropped the bomb??? 60 long years ago...

Posted by Rick | February 3, 2005 04:03 PM | Political Science

February 2, 2005

My, What A Big Hole You're Digging For Yourself Senator Dayton

Senator Mark 'Beam Me Up' Dayton announced Tuesday that he will vote against President Bush's nominee for Attorney General, Alberto Gonazles. Today, Rob Hotakainen, Star Tribune Washington Bureau Correspondent, writes in an article entitled Dayton will vote against Gonzales:

Gonzales is expected to win confirmation Thursday. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said he wanted to schedule a vote Tuesday but decided not to do so after Democrats threatened to filibuster. Democrats said they wouldn't delay the nomination but asked for additional time to debate Gonzales' record, forcing a delay in until after Bush delivers his State of the Union speech tonight.

In his remarks, which were given sans his tin-foil chapeau, Senator Dayton tried to show concern for our troops killed and wounded in action while decrying efforts to extract intelligence from terrorists that could prevent further American casualties. Pick a side Senator Dayton...

Posted by Rick | February 2, 2005 10:31 AM | Political Science

Howard Dean's The New Face Of The DNC

In a NY Times piece entitled Dean Emerging as Likely Chief for Democrats by Adam Nagourney and Anne E. Kornblut, it appears to be all over but the shouting (pun intended). Howard Dean will be the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Democrats said Dr. Dean overcame the hurdles of his failed presidential candidacy by intensely courting Democratic leaders, assuring them that he was not the liberal and undisciplined caricature that many said they saw last year. He also freely made the kind of bread-and-butter promises that have always helped politicians win elections, promising to channel at least $11 million in national Democratic money to pay salaries at the state parties, Democratic officials said.

The Democrats are selling themselves out for $11 million dollars. Really very cheap when you consider how much George Soros and his cohorts spent on 527 ads during the presidential campaign. Howard Dean thinks the Democratic party needs better organization in order to rebound against the Republican onslaught, and that may very well be the case, but truth be told, what they really need to dig themselves out of the hole they're in is a good idea or two, or ten. I wonder if the Democrats ever heard of Newt Gingrich's Contract with America.

Thankfully, we won't have to look at Terry McAuliffe's smirk any more. (With his attitude and his little smile, he was always too cute by half.) Under McAuliffe's leadership, the Democrats should have discovered that throwing piles of money at an election would not necessarily translate into a victory without the necessary message behind the money. Can you say Contract With America?

Monday, during the pre-buttal by Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) of President Bush's State Of The Union speech, it was apparent that there is no new message, not yet anyway, just petty politics. Read more about their forgettable appearance before the Natioanal Press Club here.

Pelosi spoke dismissively of the reception Mr. Bush is likely to receive from GOP lawmakers on Wednesday night in the first State of the Union address of his second term. "You really don't have to have very many communications skills if you have a couple of hundred people who will jump to their feet when you recite the ABCs," she said.

John Kerry said 'I have a plan' thousands of times during the campaign, but his message was really 'I can do anything you can do better,' and Monday's pre-emptive strike by Reid and Pelosi was little more than Kerry's message regurgitated. There were no solutions to problems; no new plans; no new ideas - just the same tired message over and over and over. (Message to Harry and Nancy: Keep up the good work.)

With the brain trust of Reid and Pelosi, not to mention Senators Teddy ‘Chappaquiddick’ Kennedy, Robert 'KKK' Byrd, and Mark ‘Beam Me Up’ Dayton, in the Congress, the Democrats are neck-deep in an idea vacuum. We know Howard Dean can raise money on the internet. It will be interesting to see if the internet can provide him with a decent idea or ten.

Posted by Rick | February 2, 2005 08:16 AM | Political Science

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