Saturday, February 14, 2004

Lurch Alert!

'This won't go away. What happened is much nastier than is being reported'

Gosh, do you think the infamous Heinz EZ Squirt Boxer Shorts are involved?

UPDATE: I replaced the link for the shorts to get a better picture. Observation: Googling for EZ Squirt Shorts with safe off produces an "interesting collection" of sponsored links on the right sidebar.

Household Budget Buster Alert!

John Kerry has a personal budget problem. Of course, it's on a rather different scale than those faced by us little people - $6.4M loan that saved Kerry may also drain him:
Once written off as a Democratic presidential contender, John Kerry survived to become the front-runner thanks to a $6.4 million Christmas Eve loan he made to his campaign.

The loan allowed Kerry's campaign, which was struggling to raise money, to put ads on the air and pay staff until victories in Iowa and New Hampshire produced new funds. But now the loan, which he got using his home in Boston's exclusive Beacon Hill neighborhood as collateral, places a financial burden on the Massachusetts senator, with no easy way to pay it off:

• Kerry's financial disclosures show no assets sufficient to pay the loan or even to keep up with the interest payments. Aides say he has assets that aren't listed on the forms but decline to reveal them.

• His wife, heiress Teresa Heinz Kerry, has a fortune estimated at more than $500 million. But the law forbids her from paying off a campaign loan for her husband.

• If he wins the nomination, Kerry could pay himself back from campaign contributions made before the Democratic convention in late July. But doing so would siphon off money at a time when he would be running against President Bush, who will have a projected $200 million to spend.
One can't help but ask how the beamish boy got the loan in the first place:
Kerry borrowed the money Dec. 24 from the Mellon Trust of New England. It is payable over 30 years, with interest-only payments for the first 10 years, at a variable interest rate beginning at 3.125%.

Kerry's campaign says he intends to pay off the 30-year mortgage, which carries annual interest payments of about $200,000. But that is more than his $158,000 Senate salary and all his other income put together, according to his financial disclosure statement.
Sounds like a good loan candidate to me! In the "bad old days" he could have used campaign funds to pay off the loan, but the new "campaign reform" bill makes that much tougher:
In 1996, Kerry loaned his Senate re-election campaign $1.9 million, using the same town house as collateral. He struggled to pay off the loan, retiring it three years later by raising the money from campaign donors. At the time, it was legal to do that.

A provision in the new campaign-finance law limits Kerry's ability to raise contributions to pay off the loan, however. The law says candidates can raise money to pay off personal loans to their campaigns only before the election. Once the election has passed, they are limited to a reimbursement of $250,000. In the case of presidential primaries, the election season is defined as the period before the party's convention, which for the Democrats begins July 28.

The section was put into the law to keep politicians from hitting up donors once they are in office to pay off money they loaned to their campaigns — in effect transferring campaign donations directly into their own pockets.

But if Kerry becomes his party's presidential nominee, repaying himself for the campaign loan could mean taking more than $6 million from campaign contributions at a time when the party is desperate to stay financially competitive with Bush. Such a decision could anger donors who want their money used against Bush, not to redeem Kerry's house.
Poor baby! He's also not allowed to just sell his half of the house to Teresa. But the folks at his campaign are hinting at hidden assets:
"Sen. Kerry is a man who has considerable assets," says Michael Meehan, a campaign spokesman.

Kerry's government disclosure form, covering 2002, gives no hint of what those assets might be.

The form doesn't require disclosure of property that is not held for investment purposes, such as the house in question — a $13 million Boston house Kerry owns jointly with his wife and mortgaged to finance his campaign. Aides hint that Kerry may own other non-investment property that could be sold to satisfy the debt, but they won't provide details. "He has disclosed what he needs to disclose" under the law, Meehan says.
Nothing like full disclosure by the party of the people. But here's a puzzle:
Before he was married in 1995, Kerry's disclosure forms ranked him as one of the least wealthy members of the Senate. His 1994 form showed a trust fund worth no more than $100,000 and debts of at least $20,000. Since then, he has inherited other trust funds from his mother.

Kerry and his wife bought the house together after they were married. It is not clear whether Kerry used his assets to acquire his share of the town house, or whether it was a gift from his wife, whose wealth comes from the Heinz ketchup fortune. The Kerry campaign declines to say.

Since his marriage in 1995, Kerry has repeatedly refused to fill in the missing details of his financial holdings. When he renegotiated terms of a divorce from his first wife that year, he took the unusual step of having the court records on his finances sealed.
So where did these mystery assests come from? C'mon John, you can be straight with us. What's "The Real Deal"?

And if Lurch is still hard up for cash - how about a second job? Gigolo is out, since he married his last customer, but maybe Simon and Schuster could come up with a Clinton style book advance? Nah, he just wrote a snoozer campaign book. I know! How about running a boarding house for press interns of the female persuasion? I'm sure they would be elevated by the experience and Lurch could haul down some cash.
Unintended Consequences Alert!

(Via Drudge) It's too early in the morning for stuff like Canada Condemns 'Racist' Conan O'Brien TV Show:
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's government on Friday condemned a show by U.S. late-night television host Conan O'Brien that insulted people in French-speaking Quebec and seemed to suggest everyone in the province was homosexual.

Ottawa and the province of Ontario paid $760,000 to help O'Brien -- who appears on the NBC television network -- bring his show to Toronto for a week to boost the city's profile after a deadly SARS outbreak last year.

But the federal government said O'Brien had gone far too far with the show broadcast on Thursday in which he went to Quebec, a province which has had separatist governments for much of the last 20 years and is a delicate political topic in Canada.
Hey, that's OK - it was Ontario that was subsidizing it!
At one point in the show, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog -- a hand puppet that is a regular on the show -- said to a Quebecer: "You're French, you're obnoxious and you no speekay English." It told another: "I can smell your crotch from here."
There's a photo of the repartee here. Triumph is apparently wearing a beret.
O'Brien's team were also shown replacing street signs in the province with those that read "Quebecqueer Street" and "Rue des Pussies."
Well, it's certainly not a comedy classic.

But the Toronto Sun editorializes Conan sketch a Triumph:
Triumph the Insult Comedy Dog, we love you!

You took Don Cherry off the language hotseat and planted the politically correct butts of all our politicians in Ottawa on it.

You taught us the humbling lesson that while we love to mock Americans, Americans know how to mock back.

And you sent the whole country into an uproar - at least those of us who aren't killing ourselves laughing - by drilling through, as the Sun's Bill Brioux rightly put it yesterday, our most painful scab. That is, the rest of Canada's love-hate relationship with Quebec.

All that via a few minutes of vulgar, on-air ranting by a politically incorrect, cigar-chomping dog puppet - performed by Robert Smigel - a writer for Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

His rude, crude, mocking, over-the-top ragging of unsuspecting Quebecers, separatism and the province's language laws - was brilliant, vicious satire. It produced exactly what the best satire does - guilty, gutt-busting laughter, huge controversy and buried underneath it all, a better understanding of what makes us tick.

About how, for all our polite talk and politically correct denials, we continue to be so utterly defined as Canadians by the delicate relationship between Quebec and the rest of Canada.

Spare us the self-righteous sanctimony from all the usual suspects in Ottawa yesterday - on all sides of the Commons - screaming like stuck pigs about the allegedly racist rantings of a puppet. Get a life. No one has done more to divide Canadians against each other than the lot of you, so don't go lecturing us about a sock puppet - especially not one on a show you helped bring to Toronto with $1 million of our tax money.
Indeed. And if you aren't familiar with the Don Cherry story, here's a summary. They thought Don's comments were really controversial. Bwahaha!

And about the cash:
Well, here's the perfect end to a perfect week of revelations about Ottawa wasting our money. Turns out Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson's state visit to Russia, Iceland and Finland last year with what seemed like half of Canada's chattering classes, did not cost $1 million of taxpayers' money as first reported. It cost $5.3 million. Oink.
Maybe vodka was scarce and they had to pay a premium!

Friday, February 13, 2004

I'm certainly upset!

Forget John Kerry's hot pants! Check out something really important - Greeting card picture evokes race stereotype:
American Greetings Corp. calls it a regrettable printing error.

Somehow, boxes of SpongeBob SquarePants Valentine's Day cards are popping up in local Wal-Mart stores -- but the popular cartoon character found inside isn't his traditional yellow color.

He's black. And with his trademark big teeth and wide eyes, this SpongeBob seems similar to offensive images of African Americans portrayed in minstrel shows decades ago.
There's a picture in the article and what it mostly looks like is a printing error. You can compare it with the "real" SpongeBob here.
American Greetings officials said Thursday they were surprised and puzzled when the Free Press made them aware of a complaint about the product.

"We absolutely fell out of our chairs when we saw it," said Carol Miller, director of business development for the Cleveland-based company. "We're obviously going to be talking to Wal-Mart as well as Nickelodeon . . . to offer our sincere apologies for this product making it to market."

Miller said the cards, which were printed and packaged in China, are mistakes, but she and other officials said they were trying to determine how that happened.

David Blinderman, director of global product development for the company, said the printing facility is one of the company's most reliable.

"Culturally, the guys on press in China wouldn't have the faintest idea of who a SpongeBob was or who a black SpongeBob was," Blinderman said.
They probably don't have too firm a grasp on valentines either.

But as you might expect, you can find someone who's all upset:
Jemeka Garcia of Flint Township was skeptical of a mistake, in part because the cards appear to be well made. Garcia and her husband, Scott, complained to the Free Press earlier this week after their 6-year-old daughter discovered the different SpongeBob. The family purchased the cards at a Wal-Mart near their home so the girl could hand them out to her first-grade classmates.

"I want to know why the person did it," Jemeka Garcia said Thursday. "That's kind of a horrible prank. And what if some kid gets it" as a valentine?
You caught 'em red-handed, Jemeka - it's the Chinese branch of the VRWC!

But not everyone has donned their tinfoil beanies:
A Wal-Mart official said customers who want refunds can have them, but there were no plans to take the boxes off shelves. "It was a very popular item, and there aren't very many left out there," said corporate spokeswoman Danette Thompson. She said the company had received no other complaints.
Well, at least no one mentioned lawsuit, but then Jesse Jackson probably hasn't heard about it yet. And congratulations to the Detroit Free Press on their news judgement.
How the other half lives

In Today's Page Six gossip column in the NY Daily News:
THAT was some hen party at Marlo Thomas' Park Avenue pad the other night promoting Marie Wilson and Eve Ensler's White House Project, aimed at electing more women. Imagine dozens of women chanting, "Vote with your vagina!"
I'm trying hard to, but that doesn't happen much around here.
One participant was standing in the foyer and noticed a large Picasso drawing of a nude woman, legs akimbo. "I thought, 'This is perfect.' Not only are they screaming 'vagina!' - there's one staring at me."
That either.
Also on hand: Tina Brown, Katie Ford, Jane Rosenthal and Cosmo editrix Kate White.
The doyennes of "style". Nothing like a class act.
Pond Scum

Rich Lowry takes a look at John Kerry's latest Vietnam lie in Kerry vs. Vietnam vets:
The campaign season is still young, yet we already have a strong contender for what might be the most dishonest paragraph of this election year. It was spoken by Sen. John Kerry, by way of explaining how a candidate wrapping himself in Vietnam veterans made his public reputation by accusing them of war crimes.
I was wondering about that too.
In his famed 1971 anti-war congressional testimony, Kerry cited the so-called Winter Soldier Investigation, which gathered falsified testimonials of atrocities committed by American soldiers. Kerry regurgitated stories of rapes, beheadings, torture and pillaging ("in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan") as part of his indictment against the Vietnam War. So it is odd that Kerry would celebrate the "band of brothers" he now says are fighting on behalf of his candidacy the way they once fought for their country. Does that mean they will behead Howard Dean and pillage the John Edwards campaign headquarters?
That would liven up things!
Asked about the testimony the other day by Knight Ridder, Kerry said he relied on the Winter Soldier Investigation "because some of it was highly documented and very disturbing. I did in my heart what I thought was correct to help people understand what was going on. I've always honored the service of people over there. I never insinuated that everybody fell into one pot. I was looking forward to telling the truth about some of the things that were happening."
Still a lying crapsack.
This is a statement shot through with mendacity. Let's take it sentence by sentence: 1) The Winter Soldier testimony was not "highly documented," but -- as Mack Owens of the Naval War College has reported -- totally unsubstantiated. The fantastic stories of atrocities should have been unbelievable to any Vietnam vet. 2) Kerry didn't "help people understand what was going on," but rather helped publicize lies. 3) Kerry didn't "honor" the service of vets, but said, "We are ashamed of ... what we are called on to do in Southeast Asia," and maintained that in the vets, America "has created a monster, a monster in the form of millions of men who have been taught to deal and to trade in violence." 4) Kerry did insinuate that the atrocities were widespread, noting that they were "not isolated incidents, but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command." These crimes tainted the nation -- "the crimes threaten [the country], not Reds," as "America lose[s] her sense of morality." 5) If Kerry wanted to tell the truth, he shouldn't have traded in falsehoods.
Lurch will do anything and say anything to get elected. That's what he does, that's all he does.

Dishonesty must be official policy at the Kerry campaign when it comes to his anti-Vietnam record. A Kerry spokeswoman has said that, back then, "he praised the noble service of his fellow servicemen and -women." Yeah, right. Are we to believe that Kerry thought they were "noble" beheadings? "Noble" acts of torture?
So which is it, Kerry?
Curiouser and curiouser

Senior staff to Wesley Clark rose in objection on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning on news from their former candidate that he intended to endorse Sen. John Kerry for the Democratic nomination.

Clark told his senior staff that he had talked to Kerry and that he intended to back his former competitor. Clark never spoke to other Democratic hopefuls Sen. John Edwards and former Vermont Gov. Howie Dean.

Perhaps the most stung by Clark's decision was his senior adviser Chris Lehane, who prior to joining Clark's staff had briefly advised Kerry's campaign.

Lehane is now the focus of a media whirlwind over negative stories about Kerry he is said to have spun to reporters over the past few weeks.
Dang, just when the intern story was going so good! And that kind of thing is Lehane's trademark. But that's not the Prowler's theory:
In reality, though, stories about Kerry's behavior behind closed doors appear to be coming off of Capitol Hill, where Kerry is probably known best.

"Everyone up here talks, and in the case of the stories that are now developing, we've known about this stuff for years. It was only a matter of time," says one staffer for a Democratic Senator from a mid-Atlantic state. "Reporters have been feeding off this stuff for months up here."
I still think Hillary had a hand in it.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Not again!

A frantic behind-the-scenes drama is unfolding around Sen. John Kerry and his quest to lockup the Democratic nomination for president, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.

Intrigue surrounds a woman who recently fled the country, reportedly at the prodding of Kerry, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

A serious investigation of the woman and the nature of her relationship with Sen. John Kerry has been underway at TIME magazine, ABC NEWS, the WASHINGTON POST, THE HILL and the ASSOCIATED PRESS, where the woman in question once worked.
Well since Teresa has threatened er, a significant impairment of John's vital functions if he were ever caught cheating, at least we won't have to sit through a "Stand by your man" interview on 60 Minutes.
In an off-the-record conversation with a dozen reporters earlier this week, General Wesley Clark plainly stated: "Kerry will implode over an intern issue." [Three reporters in attendance confirm Clark made the startling comments.]
If Weasley's involved it means the Clintons are behind it. First Deano and now Lurch. They're going for 2 for 2.
That's our boy!

Jeff Jacoby has fun with John Kerry's shifting stands:
In the 2004 presidential field, there is a candidate for nearly every point of view. His name is John Kerry.
One stop shopping!
Equivocating politicians are sometimes accused of trying to be "all things to all people," but few have taken the practice of expedience and shifty opportunism to Kerry's level. Massachusetts residents have known this about their junior senator for a long time. Now the rest of the country is going to find out.

Here's how it works: Say you're in favor of capital punishment for terrorists. Well, so is Kerry. "I am for the death penalty for terrorists because terrorists have declared war on your country," he said in December 2002. "I support killing people who declare war on our country."

But if you're opposed to capital punishment even for terrorists, that's OK -- Kerry is too! Between 1989 and 1993, he voted at least three times to exempt terrorists from the death penalty. In a debate with former governor William Weld, his opponent in the 1996 Senate race, Kerry scorned the idea of executing terrorists. Anti-death penalty nations would refuse to extradite them to the United States, he said. "Your policy," he told Weld, "would amount to a terrorist protection policy. Mine would put them in jail."

What does Kerry really think? Who knows? He seems to have conveniently switched his stance after Sept. 11, 2001, but he insists that politics had nothing to do with his reversal. Either way, one thing is clear: His willingness to swing both ways fits a longstanding pattern of coming down firmly on both sides of controversial issues.
Take Iraq:
Reviewing the bidding, then, Kerry's position is that he voted against a war he was really for and voted for a war he was really against. But the war he was really for he never said he was for at the time. Except when he was writing to voters to say that he was. And that he wasn't.
Try saying that fast!
Confused? Don't feel bad. Trying to keep up with Kerry's shifting stands can be baffling even to those of us who have followed his career for decades. You'll be hearing a lot more about them before this campaign is over.
It's 'Da Torch' Again!

I thought we'd seen the last of the New Jersey slickster, but he's back - Torricelli's help for Kerry draws rival's fire:
A year after an ethics scandal ended his political career, former U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli's fund-raising for Democratic front-runner John Kerry has become an issue in the presidential campaign.

Assailing Kerry during a campaign stop in Milwaukee yesterday, rival candidate Howard Dean seized on reports that Torricelli helped underwrite a group that ran anti-Dean ads.

The former Vermont governor called Torricelli "ethically challenged," and said: "What we now see is that John Kerry is part of the corrupt political culture in Washington. That's exactly what I'm asking Wisconsin voters to stand up against."
Howie, that's what the Democrat party is all about. You just noticed?
Torricelli, who has claimed credit for raising more than $100,000 for Kerry, donated $50,000 last year to an independent group that ran controversial anti-Dean television ads in three early voting states -- Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Now there's a funny thing. Da Torch until recently had only worked for the government but somehow managed to become fabulously wealthy. What's the boy been up to lately, you ask?
Torricelli quit his re-election run in 2002 after the Senate ethics committee "severely admonished" him for accepting gifts from a wealthy campaign contributor. He now works as a government consultant, develops real estate and oversees a major environmental cleanup in Hudson County.
In case that desciption is too obtuse, it means he gets cut in on real state deals and receives cushy political appointments like the big environmental cleanup:
When U.S. District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh announced last week that he was appointing his former sponsor -- former U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli -- to serve as a "special master" overseeing a $400 million environmental cleanup, to some it looked like a favor to an old friend.

Torricelli had championed Cavanaugh's appointment to the federal bench in New Jersey, and Honeywell International, the firm Cavanaugh has ordered to conduct the cleanup, had been a major contributor to Torricelli's campaign.

Torricelli dropped from public sight last year after he resigned from the Senate race following a long federal probe of his fund-raising activities and censure by Senate colleagues.
Special masters are frequently appointed by judges to assist the court in overseeing time-consuming remedies to major cases such as jail overcrowding and labor union corruption and even the payments to families who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks. The masters are often named from the ranks of veteran attorneys and retired judges.

According to lawyers familiar with such appointments, a master's fees are technically set by the court, but are usually billed at the attorney's hourly rate.

For a lawyer such as Torricelli, they said, it would not be unusual for his fee to amount to $500 an hour. Under the appointment order, the fees will be picked up by Honeywell, not the public.

And unless his duties are more specifically constrained by the court, one lawyer noted, "His time can really be whatever he wants it to be."
But others noted that besides a sizable fee, a valuable side benefit to Torricelli would be the ability to hand out some lucrative contracts of his own: to consultants and other experts who would handle the day-to-day supervision of the cleanup.

"It's great patronage for Torch," one lawyer said, using the former senator's nickname. "In addition to his own fee, this gives him the opportunity to hand out some political favors of his own."
One source familiar with the case, however, said he doubted Torricelli would see an exceptionally large payday. The people likely to make the big bucks, he said, will be the people the master selects to handle the day-to-day work.
And we know where their political contributions will go, don't we? But it's great to see a "man of the people" make good through selfless political service. Reminds me of Terry McAuliffe who managed to get rich as a political fundraiser. How come back in high school they never mentioned these jobs on 'Career Day'?

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Ruh Oh!

W. Scott Thompson, a professor at Tufts and a former assistant secretary of state discusses John Kerry:
He now makes much of his decorations from the war in Vietnam, to appeal to centrists and conservatives, without reminding those audiences that he for long was a leader of Vietnam veterans against the war. Indeed, assiduous searchers, looking for his vulnerabilities, will find much of interest in that period of his life. For example, the fabled and distinguished chief of naval operations (CNO), Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, told me -- 30 years ago when he was still CNO -- that during his own command of US naval forces in Vietnam, just prior to his anointment as CNO, young Kerry had created great problems for him and the other top brass, by killing so many non-combatant civilians and going after other non-military targets.

"We had virtually to straight-jacket him to keep him under control," the admiral said. "Bud" Zumwalt got it right when he assessed Kerry as having large ambitions -- but promised that his career in Vietnam would haunt him if he were ever on the national stage.
And then he returned home and accused other soldiers of being war criminals.
Treasure in your attic!

Did you have a weird uncle who drove his VW minibus to Washington to protest the Vietnam War? Did he later leave a bunch of stuff in Grandma's attic when he went off to join the commune? Well, get out the hipboots and start digging through the junk, because you might find this:

Traitor John Kerry's Magnum Opus

Yep, John Kerry penned a book with his comrades. They're the ones "satirizing" the Marines planting the flag on Mt. Suribachi on the cover. Anyhow, it's worth big bucks:
Less convenient, perhaps, is the fact that another Kerry book is getting hot right now: "The New Soldier," published in 1971, for which Kerry shares authorial credit with the organization Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Hot not in sales--only a tiny number of copies seem to be around--but in price.

A signed first edition in mint condition is being offered on Alibris for $850. Other copies in varying condition have been on the auction block at eBay, none fetching less than $100. The book's rarity has led to speculation that Kerry systematically rounded up existing copies. When Newsmax did a story on the book last summer, they had to get their copy from a bookstore in Britain. But it may simply be the case that the book is rare because it was a dud that no one hung onto.
Maybe that was the year they had the toilet paper shortage?

There's more in the article about the bogus veterans and their tales of "war crimes" that Kerry rode right into a dramatic appearance testifying before Congress. The guy's been lying a long time.
John Kerry seems to have had a way of eluding the bad odor that clings to his old associates. On "Meet the Press" in 1971, he appeared with VVAW member Al Hubbard, a veteran who was exposed around this time for lying about his rank and combat experience (he had seen no combat). While this confirmed suspicions about the dubious identities of many of the winter soldiers, it didn't keep Kerry from becoming famous. The young politician was able to have his cake and eat it, too, becoming the establishment, patriotic face of a radical, anti-patriotic movement. Quite a trick, really.

Now, if only I can get him to sign this book.
And I guess you can. There's one on eBay with the following in the description:
This copy was signed January 23, 2004 in Claremont, New Hampshire, witnessed & broadcast by C-SPAN.
You can't take the stink out of the polecat.
"Bill Clinton had me run for President and all I got was this lousy cigar!"

Deranged pond scum Weasley Clark

The Bozo from Burpelson decided to call it quits.
Still, the decision to quit was hard for a candidate described by aides as competitive and reluctant to admit defeat.
And whose precious bodily fluids were endangered.
Aides said Clark would remain active in the campaign by stumping for Democrats in the South and other swing states and serving as an adviser on national security issues.
Apparently Weasley doesn't need to work for a living.
New to politics, Clark may still have a future. At 59, he is young enough for another race and, with his military experience, he might fit on a wartime Democratic ticket.
I get it. He's job hunting!

He probably won't even notice himself deflating as the Clintonoid sock puppets in his campaign head elsewhere. How's the cigar taste, Weasley?
Oh, no! Not the three wiseguys!

A 'magi' makeover for Three Wise Men
Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar may give way to Gail, Melanie and Barbara at least in the Church of England.

Church officials yesterday agreed to drop the term "Three Wise Men" from a newly approved prayer book because there's no proof the trio of visitors to the infant Jesus were male or even learned.

"Magi" is now the word of choice.

"The possibility that one or more of the magi were female cannot be excluded completely," said a governing committee that has tweaked 68 other prayers included in the revised book of worship. The committee retained 'magi' on the grounds that the visitors were not necessarily wise, and not necessarily men."
They sure nipped that one in the bud! It could have been a motorcycle gang for all we know! Or maybe a "camel gang."
The decision gave rise to much merriment yesterday in British newspapers and television broadcasts.

"Magi may have been queens," noted Sky News.

"The Three Fairly Sagacious Persons," headlined the Daily Telegraph.
It's great to know that the Church of England is keeping busy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

"Kerry no hero in eyes of Vietnam veteran"

Christopher Ward in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
The Boston Globe recently pointed out that Kerry, in less than two months of combat, received the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts, which made him a hero and allowed him to request early termination of his combat duty.

But what happened next bothers me. According to the Globe, Kerry became involved in the anti-war movement upon his return, and asked for and received an early discharge from the Navy so he could continue those efforts.

How could Kerry so easily abandon his comrades in Vietnam, and then, 30 years on, call on those same men and women to back his presidential ambition?

Kerry now holds himself up as a war hero and asks for my vote. Yet, 30 years ago he stood with Jane Fonda and gave aid and comfort to an enemy still killing our brother veterans by the hundreds.

Bush's honorable service in the National Guard bothers me less than Kerry's abandonment of his brothers, his switching sides and his active contribution to an enemy's efforts to kill Americans.

Time often softens the dark edges of military service, leaving grown men the ability to sit around a kitchen table late at night to laugh about the exploits that left them less than whole. But the dramatic difference between Hero Kerry and Hanoi Kerry leave me to wonder who he might next abandon, and at what cost to America.
But you can be sure he won't give up going First Class.
Steyn on Lurch

Kerry won't scare any of the big beasts
It's like the other catchphrases in his stump speech: "We band of brothers," he says, indicating his fellow veterans. "We're a little older, we're a little greyer, but we still know how to fight for this country."
Hmmm, it used to be the band of baby rapers.
The only relevant lesson from Vietnam is this: then, as now, it was not possible for the enemy to achieve military victory over the US; their only hope was that America would, in effect, defeat itself. And few men can claim as large a role in the loss of national will that led to that defeat as John Kerry. A brave man in Vietnam, he returned home to appear before Congress and not merely denounce the war but damn his "band of brothers" as a gang of rapists, torturers and murderers led by officers happy to license them to commit war crimes with impunity. He spent the Seventies playing Jane Fonda and he now wants to run as John Wayne.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Kumbaya with Lurch in the Tehran Times

John Kerry - the mullah's pal

Kerry Says He Will Repair Damage If He Wins Election
WASHINGTON (Mehr News Agency) -- The office of Senator John Kerry, the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary in the U.S., sent the Mehr News Agency an e-email saying that Kerry will try to repair the damage done by the incumbent president if he wins the election. The text of the e-mail follows.

As Americans who have lived and worked extensively overseas, we have personally witnessed the high regard with which people around the world have historically viewed the United States. Sadly, we are also painfully aware of how the actions and the attitudes demonstrated by the U.S. government over the past three years have threatened the goodwill earned by presidents of both parties over many decades and put many of our international relationships at risk.

It is in the urgent interests of the people of the United States to restore our country's credibility in the eyes of the world. America needs the kind of leadership that will repair alliances with countries on every continent that have been so damaged in the past few years, as well as build new friendships and overcome tensions with others.
To continue the eructations, follow the link. More hot news from the Mehr News Agency includes Govt. Mulling Plan to Ration Gasoline, Iranian Nation to Celebrate Victory of Revolution, and Iran, Venezuela Voice Joy Over Cooperation. Kind of like Pravda 30 years ago except with turbans.
Can you spot Lurch?

(Image of John Kerry and Jane Fonda at an antiwar rally deleted)

Nothing like getting out the old family albums. How about a snap of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War marching to Valley Forge in 1970?
Some 150 sweat-soaked members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War ended their three-day trek at Valley Forge, Pa., on Sept. 7, 1970. Huddled around a flatbed truck, they listened to remarks by Jane Fonda and a reading from Donald Sutherland.

Between the main acts came a floppy-haired former Navy lieutenant who had won a fistful of medals on the bloody canals of the Mekong Delta. Tall and self-assured, 27-year-old Yale graduate John Kerry read from a rumpled sheaf of papers in the ringing voice that had commanded men on gunships.

Condemning the tactics and morality of the war, Kerry was "brilliant," Fonda says today. He looked like Abe Lincoln and sounded like John F. Kennedy. "He was our ragtag commander at Valley Forge," says veterans organizer Joe Bangert.
Nice. Not to mention the usual hijinks on the way:
Staging "guerrilla theater" re-enactments of the conflict raging overseas, they swept down on young actors dressed as peasants in coolie hats and black pajamas and spattered mock blood on shocked Main Street Americans.

At Palumbo's Pharmacy in Bernardsville, they took a "peasant" hostage and demanded the location of the community's weapons. A few miles down U.S. Route 202, a New Jersey farm boy raised a shotgun and told the re-enactors to go back to Russia.
Indeed. And here was a leaflet they passed out along the way.

John Kerry talks about his service buddies

Funny, the "cofounder of VVAW" doesn't talk much about war crimes anymore and he's glad to have the support of Vietnam veterans. In fact it seems to be a big reason for the turnaround in his campaign. The only question is why Vietnam vets would associate with him.
More "Bring It On" News

Punk the prez? Moby's anti-Bush tricks
One of Sen. John Kerry's celebrity supporters is ready to pull out all the stops to get him elected. Republicans are shrieking over a suggestion by rocker Moby that Democrats spread gossip about President Bush on the Internet.

"No one's talking about how to keep the other side home on Election Day," Moby tells us. "It's a lot easier than you think and it doesn't cost that much. This election can be won by 200,000 votes."

Moby suggests that it's possible to seed doubt among Bush's far-right supporters on the Web.

"You target his natural constituencies," says the Grammy-nominated techno-wizard. "For example, you can go on all the pro-life chat rooms and say you're an outraged right-wing voter and that you know that George Bush drove an ex-girlfriend to an abortion clinic and paid for her to get an abortion.
Did you hear the one about Moby being arrested for "carnal knowledge of a canine"? Taking a look at the little freak, I would have guessed he would prefer a Chihuahua or Dachshund, but apparently he prefers Pugs.

UPDATE: A reader suggests that what little Moby really needs is a nice Google bomb. Since Googling dog humper merely produces comedy doormats, it sounds like there is plenty of opportunity for linking the words dog humper to like this:
<a href="" target="_blank">dog humper</a>
resulting in dog humper. Help ole Moby out and give him a link or two! Or more!

Excuse me while I take care of a small administrative matter: dog humper, dog humper, dog humper, dog humper, dog humper, dog humper, dog humper, dog humper, dog humper, dog humper, dog humper.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Party On, Dude!

Concerns raised about expenses of assemblyman
Sacramento -- Assemblyman Ronald S. Calderon impressed fellow legislators last year by raising $356,000 in campaign contributions -- a prodigious amount for a freshman lawmaker in a nonelection year.

Yet even more astonishing was the fact that the Democrat spent all of it and more -- much of it on Las Vegas hotels and restaurants, air travel and meals, cigars and purchases at women's clothing stores, according to records filed with the secretary of state.
No word on whether he tried to put a massage on his Mastercard.
Pond Scum

Two Faced John Kerry

(Via Curmudgeonly & Skeptical) It's not a good start to the day without saying something unkind about the lying crapsack from Boston. Today, we'll let Don Feder handle the honors - Kerry: War Zero:
However – a la the chameleon-like Zelig of the Wood Allen movie – nothing about Kerry is what it seems.
He’s a war hero who became an anti-war activist, when it looked politically advantageous. He’s a man with a common touch -- who married two rich women. One he dumped, when she was suffering from depression, after she bore him two kids.

A graduate of the snooty St. Paul’s and Yale – member of Skull and Bones, currently married to a lady worth over half-a-billion dollars -- nevertheless, he can prattle about this nation belonging “not to the privileged few, but to all Americans.”

He’s a moderate with a voting record more liberal than either Ted Kennedy or Dennis The Red Kucinich.
There's much more, but I keep coming back to the Vietnam War part.
Anyway, upon arriving home, Kerry sniffed the political wind in Massachusetts – the only state McGovern carried -- and decided there was hay to be made opposing the war. Without missing a beat, the hero enlisted in Vietnam Veterans Against the War, nobly serving with such VC-lovers as Jane Fonda and Ramsey Clark in the so-called Winter Soldier Investigation. Wonder if they’ll campaign for Johnny this year? The nascent New Leftist had no qualms about marching with scruffy Marxists carrying Viet Cong flags and signs with slogans praising Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il Sung and Fidel.

But it wasn’t enough to merely oppose the war. Kerry had to smear his former comrades-in-arms as a bunch of degenerate, mutilating baby-killers.

The man who’s now running on his war record – and mentions his medals in every other breath – told a Senate hearing that Americans then bleeding and dying in the rice paddies were the moral equivalent of the Waffen-S.S.

In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (April 23, 1971), Kerry charged that American soldiers had “raped, cut off ears, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of Vietnam.” Sounds like an Oliver Stone movie, scripted by Osama bin Laden.

No wonder a group of Vietnam vets turned their backs on Kerry when he spoke at the Vietnam War Memorial in 2002. Gen. George S. Patton (namesake of the World War II general) -- who led troops into combat in Vietnam – said Kerry “gave aid and comfort to the enemy.” Jeremiah Denton – who was being tortured at the Hanoi Hilton while Kerry was collaborating– could barely maintain civility toward the war hero, when they served together in the Senate.
And now he's a war hero just like LBJ. This opportunistic slimeball is the best the Donks can come up with? Figures. Paging Jane and Ramsey - one of the Old Comrades needs your help.
Some things you can't even imagine, much more make up

I have heard of "catch and release" for fishing, but this was new to me - Border Patrol catches, then releases, illegals:
Thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly from Central and South America, are being released into the USA almost immediately after they are picked up by the Border Patrol as part of a policy that U.S. officials acknowledge represents a significant gap in homeland security.
Ya think?
The treatment of illegal immigrants from Mexico has not changed. U.S. Border Patrol agents continue to catch and deport waves of Mexican illegals, who last year accounted for most of the 905,000 people caught sneaking into the USA along the 2,000-mile Southwestern border.

But deporting illegals from countries other than Mexico -- known here as ''OTMs'' -- is far more complicated. Several Central and South American governments have been reluctant to accept groups of people for repatriation. And the Department of Homeland Security, while spending billions of dollars on a range of anti-terrorist programs, has a limited budget for renting detention cells at local jails.

The result: With no place to put thousands of captured illegals from Central and South America, the Border Patrol has begun releasing them after giving them written orders to appear at deportation hearings in nearby U.S. cities.
That sounds really, really effective. But not to worry, that government paperwork can be really tough!
Immigration officials acknowledge the exercise is futile: About 86% of those issued such notices never show up for the court hearings.

In a procedure that has been ridiculed by local law enforcement officials and even some Border Patrol agents, the agents are told to make sure that illegal immigrants provide U.S. addresses and contact telephone numbers before they are released. The information is supposed to be included on copies of the immigration court notices.

But local law enforcement officials who have reviewed dozens of the notices say that many illegals provide false addresses or none at all. That leaves U.S. authorities with few clues about where to look for the illegals if they fail to appear in court.
Well, I'm certainly surprised!

And I also wonder how long it will be before the illegals catch on to this. Oops, it looks like they already have:
The policy has frustrated some border agents, who are encountering waves of illegal immigrants from Central and South America. The illegals have heard that despite the increased security, they are likely to have little trouble getting into the USA even if they are picked up by border patrols.

In recent months, immigration officials have been monitoring a flood of Brazilians into Arizona. Carrying passports and other identification documents, many of the Brazilians have intentionally surrendered to U.S. agents so they could quickly get notices to appear in court -- and then move on to Boston, Atlanta, Los Angeles and communities in New Jersey.
That's OK though, the Feds are closing the barn door:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement also has formed a special fugitive unit to pursue the more than 400,000 people who have failed to appear for deportation hearings. Venturella says the agency believes it can wipe out the backlog in five years.
Oh please! "Jose Jones, a citizen of Ashcania, entered the USA illegally 5 years ago and says he will be living at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington DC. We'll get right on it and pick him up, Chief!"

Of course, some cases are tougher than others:
Jernigan says that when he questioned the man and others, they produced notices ordering them to appear at immigration hearings.

But then Jernigan realized something else: The U.S. agents who had issued the notices did not include dates and times for the hearings. And the spaces where the illegal aliens were supposed to list U.S. addresses and telephone contacts were blank.
Er, what difference does it make? Probably a lot to an immigration lawyer, but I won't go there.

There's more in the article, but the key point is that we can't get rid of these illegals because their homelands are "slow" taking them back. While air dropping the illegals over their capitals sounds cool, how about no foreign aid, no loans, no favorable trade rules, no nothing until the home governments figure it out?

And we better work fast before the Mexican illegals discover that they really are from some place further South too. Kind of like John Kerry with a Latin twist.
The usual suspects can't ever seem to get it right

Caucus confusion in Detroit upsets voters, political leaders
Confusion over the location of caucus sites in Detroit deterred people from voting and forced the state Democratic Party to extend polling hours in the city Saturday, angering Detroit voters and political leaders.

The Rev. Horace Sheffield III, who worked on the Rev. Al Sharpton’s campaign, said he was assembling a coalition to go to court to get a federal injunction to overturn the results of the caucuses, which gave U.S. Sen. John Kerry a commanding win. He said the voting problems depressed turnout in Detroit.

``The Michigan Democratic Party knows unequivocally that voters were disenfranchised in Detroit, Southfield and other areas,'' said Derrick Alpert, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party’s black caucus.

``If you disenfranchise one voter, you have ruined the process,’’ said Alpert. “We had this problem in 2000 in Florida and it shouldn't be happening here with Democrats.''
No word on how much trouble the felons, dead people, and illegal aliens had, but maybe they don't vote in primaries.

(Via Jeff Jarvis) I was rather skeptical about the compensation arrangements for Deano's campaign manager, Joe Trippi. Now everyone is - Dean paid $7.2 million to aide's company:
As Howard Dean's presidential campaign tore through the millions it raised last year, nearly a quarter of it went to the company owned in part by his former campaign manager.

The campaign paid $7.2 million to Trippi, McMahon and Squier, the Virginia-based consulting and media firm - 23 percent of the $31 million it spent through Dec. 31, according to PoliticalMoneyLine, which tracks political spending.

Joe Trippi, one of the company's partners, was Dean's campaign manager for a year - until he was ousted last month and replaced by Roy Neel as chief executive. Dean asked Trippi to stay with the campaign as an adviser, but Trippi quit.

Instead of a salary, Trippi's company had been paid a commission of the campaign's television advertising buys - a percentage he and his company's partners said he never knew.

"I didn't want to know. I didn't do this for the money," Trippi said. "I was interested in beating [President] Bush. I was interested in building a campaign that could get Howard Dean in position. I'm proud of what I did. Anyone who knows me knows my personal money was never, ever on my mind, and it was nothing that motivated me."
Hey, I don't know how your wallet ended up in my pocket! But I never suspect malice when incompetence will do, and despite the vaunted "Internet campaign," Deano's forces don't seem to be able to find their butts without roadmaps.