Friday, August 8, 2003
Chuck, at You Big Mouth, You! has anexcellent, reasoned take on Arnold Schwarzenegger's entry into the shark frenzy that is the California Gubernatorial Recall/Election. His conclusion? It's not the end of the world, and Arnold's detractors need to lighten up. RTWT.
posted at 08:23 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Rich Dems target GOP
In this AP article from Yahoo! news, it is noted that another wealthy billionaire has donated vast sums of money to defeat Bush in 2004. George Soros, who gleefully makes gobs of money from the free market and globalization, while spending it supporting candidates who are implacably hostile to capitalism. Soros apparently sees no conflict between the two activities, however, which is puzzling to me. The man is obviously not stupid, but he either is not paying close attention to what they are saying, or he really doesn't believe that they will implement their ideas if elected, which raises a whole 'nother set of issues.
There are a few ironies in the article. Try this for example:
Under the nation's new campaign finance law, the group must remain separate from the Democratic Party to accept contributions on the scale of what Soros has pledged. The law bans national party committees from accepting contributions of that size from any source.
It's not an arm of the Democratic Party, but all of the officers are hard-core Democrats, including the leader of EMILY'S List, which is a narrowly-focused Dem special-interest group (they give money exclusively to pro-chioce Democratic women). I assume that they are analogous to the independent group that ran the Willie Horton ad against Dukakis in 1988 (you know, the one that the Democrats still bring up to insinuate racism in the Republican Party).
Another howler is this one:
In addition to Soros' pledge of $10 million, the PAC has raised $8 million from labor groups and a total of $12 million from several individuals, Malcolm said. The donors include Louis and Dorothy Cullman, who helped finance the newspaper ad with Soros; Anne Bartley, former president of the Rockefeller Family Fund; Peter Lewis, founder of Progressive Insurance; Patricia Bauman, head of the Bauman Family Foundation; and Rob McKay, head of the McKay Family Foundation. Malcolm declined to say how much each committed.
Remember, the Democrats constantly tell us that the GOP is the group beholden to deep-pocketed fat cats, yet Soros alone kicked in $10 million, and the other six (two of whom are married) kicked in another $12 million. I hate to break it to McAuliffe, but that kind of spending qualifies his supporters as very rich indeed. And of course, the Democrats don't like shining the light of day on fundraising activities, as they have steadfastly refused to released their donor demographics, unlike their counterparts in the GOP.
posted at 07:47 PM | permalink | Comments (3)
Tuesday, August 5, 2003
First Amendment Poll results
Ken Paulson, executive director of the First Amendment Center, notes the results of a poll on First Amendment issues in an op-ed entitled Free press needed more these days. It reveals that the nation is pretty evenly divided on a significant number of first amendment issues, but the results that caught my eye were on the religion provisions of the amendment, and the public's perception of them. From the piece:
• Almost seven in 10 said that the public school recitation of the phrase “one nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance does not violate the separation of church and state.
• About 62 percent of those surveyed said government officials should be allowed to post the Ten Commandments inside government buildings. Almost eight in 10 said the government’s use of the phrase “In God We Trust” on U.S. money does not violate the principle of the separation of church and state.
About 73 percent of those surveyed said the phrase “one nation under God” was “primarily a statement related to the American political tradition.” Fewer than 20 percent said they thought this reference to God was “primarily a religious statement.”
As I have maintained, I am not a particularly religious person, but I do not have the irrational fear or hatred of religion that some (particularly Randian libertarians) seem to have on the issue, and I hardly think that the pledge was some sort of religious litmus test.
Another portion of the same poll indicated that my views on media consolidation put me in the minority, as I don't fear a loss of divergent views as a result of buyouts and mergers. (I can always count on weblogs, as for every corporate owned or sponsored weblog, there are dozens of weblogs, some of which feature independent reporting or thinking.) I've posted at length about the issue in this post, and Jim Miller points out a Robert Samuelson column on the subject. Perhaps it is just a case of lack of information, or perhaps Samuelson and I have on blinders.
posted at 12:57 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Monday, August 4, 2003
Stupid LettersSW Florida edition
It's become impossible to avoid the anti-Bushies; they are everywhere. Even in a solidly Republican area such as southwest Florida, they show up like cockroaches. Today's letters to the Fort Myers News-Press include one typical of the breed:
I cannot believe the absolute stupidity of some of the Mailbag’s obviously Republican writers. For one thing, I never would admit I was a Republican stupidly kissing up to one of the sorriest presidents this country has ever endured. Instead, I would be hiding my head in shame over what this pitiful excuse for a president has done to our country.
People who back this arrogant egomaniac must be living on another planet to deny what this despot has done since he stole the election from Mr. Gore. It would take nearly an entire newspaper page to list all of the crimes against humanity as well as the middle class of the country this tyrant has committed while in office.
However, there is hope that justice will be served as we witness a strong and passionate movement to have this reckless cowboy sent back to Texas through the impeachment process.
RICHARD LENT, Lehigh Acres
Okay, once again, we have the standard talking points.
1) Stole the election
2) Arrogant Cowboy
3) Crimes against humanity
4) Crushing the middle class
Long on broad-based allegations, yet not a single fact. Typical lefty bellowing, even in GOP country. A quick check on Richard Lent shows that he has been writing letters to some of the other local papers, spouting off about impeaching Bush. Here is a link to a letter in last Wednesday's Marco Eagle, urging everyone to register on a left-wing Bush impeachment site. In this letter, he works in the "Bush lied about Iraq's WMD" meme, conveniently leaving out all of the other (Democratic, French, German, Russian, and UN) sources that flatly stated that Hussein had not destroyed all of his weapons. Even the sainted Bill Clinton and Madeline Albright were convinced that Hussein had kept his weapons, and the 12 years worth of flouting the UN's resolutions were further evidence that Hussein wasn't going to play by the rules.
posted at 03:29 PM | permalink | Comments (1)
Sunday, August 3, 2003
The press has beeen hostile towards Bush for quite some time, but Jim Miller points out a pair of unbelievable questions directed at Bush during his last press conference. I cannot believe the sneering condescention dripping from these questions, and I am astonished that they were directed towards the president, rather than to a press secretary. It won't happen, but I'd be more than willing to support an official White House snubbing of these two reporters' news agencies, by refusing to acknowledge interview requests or calling upon them in press conferences. Note that it is not the questions that peeve me, but the sactimonious, insufferable smugness in which they were framed. There were a number of uncomfortable questions asked at the press conference, but for the most part, they were asked as questions, not framed as editorial snipes. Perhaps a little time out in the cold will allow "John" and "Ed" to develop a little bit of decorum.
One of the things I find amusing is the constant criticism levelled at Ari Fleischer (Bush's former press secretary) was the constant criticism levelled at him for his occasional pokes at reporters, and his supposed disdain of foreign leaders. However, despite his faults, he never descended to the level displayed by Francoise Dubois, Jean Chretien's former press secretary. She called George Bush, leader of a country allied to Canada, a "moron". Can you imagine the furor that would erupt if an American press secretary leveled a similar slur at an allied leader? Resignation would not be enough; there would be calls for impeachment of the president, wailing about American indifference to foreign sensitivities, and so forth.
posted at 01:18 PM | permalink | Comments (1)
It's time for SeaFair again, Seattle's annual community festival. Since one of SeaFair's draws is the Navy's Blue Angels flight-demonstration team, each year the anti-military types snivel about the evils of military propaganda. This year is no different, as evidenced by this letter to the Seattle Times:
It's time for Seattle's annual Seafair celebration. More accurately, it should be called Sea-War-Fair. Headlined by the Blue Angels and a mini-fleet of naval vessels docked at piers along our waterfront, what we have in Seattle is a carnival of recreational militarism, war-as-entertainment. Unfortunately for the people in the countries invaded by our armed forces, Blue Angels-type technology is not fun or entertaining. It's simply terrifying. Angels, perhaps. Angels of death.
Jonny Hahn, Seattle
Wow, six aircraft (not rigged for combat) and three small ships, one of which is a Coast Guard cutter. The Seattle warfest is ready to take on Costa Rica (which has no military) or perhaps Benin. Get a grip, Jonny. Just because *you* loathe the military doesn't mean that the rest of the people in the Pacific Northwest should have to miss the sights of the Blue Angels.
posted at 12:18 PM | permalink | Comments (1)