Kerry and Cleland Smears

I’ve started to collect anti-Kerry smears as they show up. So far I’ve put up the “Special Interest Money” smear, the “Didn’t Really Earn His Medals” smear, the “Jane Fonda Photo” smear, and the “Kerry: Self-Hating Jew” smear. I’ve also thrown in the two Max Cleland smears: “Cleland-Saddam-Osama” and “Cleland Blew off his Arm and Legs Himself Out of Sheer Stupidity” (the last one courtesy of Ann Coulter.) This should end up being quite a lengthy file (!) so I’ve parked it at the other site.

I will also continue to update my Bush-Bin Laden site (“Who is Bandar Bush?”). Bush is vulnerable on the War on Terrorism if the Democrats have the guts to attack him. He’s actually doing a crappy job and has some enormous skeletons in his closet.

I expect as dirty a campaign as I’ve witnessed in my lifetime, and I see it as my role to encourage the Democrats to respond with adequate ferocity.

Smear Page

Who is Bandar Bush?

I’m assuming…

that Greenspan’s luck just ran out, right?

I mean, heck folks, W and the boys have to respond to this forcefully — or there goes Florida.

And Dave’s right. Greenspan is suggesting that the administration default on the nation’s promises to senior citizens in order to save the taxcuts for the rich.

What are the odds Greenspan has got a job this time next week?

This is really getting fun to watch, isn’t it?

So Here It Is

Not even bothering to disguise the relationship. First, the massive tax cuts for the rich, then the cuts in OUR retirement to help pay for a bit of those tax cuts. Greenspan Urges Cuts to Social Security to Reign In Deficit:

“Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan urged Congress on Wednesday to deal with the country’s escalating budget deficit by cutting benefits for future Social Security retirees rather than raising taxes.”

He is saying that the SAME money is better for the economy when given to rich people than when use to meet the needs of regular citizens.

And how else does he suggest solving the problem of the massive deficits resulting from the tax cuts for the rich?

“Tax rate increases of sufficient dimension to deal with our looming fiscal problems arguably pose significant risks to economic growth and the revenue base,” Greenspan said. “The exact magnitude of such risks is very difficult to estimate, but they are of enough concern, in my judgment, to warrant aiming to close the fiscal gap primarily, if not wholly, from the outlay side.”

He says that we must cut spending on the needs of the public rather that tax the rich. He says that raising taxes on the rich threatens economic growth but that cutting the incomes of elderly, or making the sick pay for their treatment, or cutting the paychecks of teachers or construction workers, etc. does not. In other words, he is saying that THE SAME money given to rich people is better for the economy than money spent on the needs of regular people.

Also posted at Daily News Online.

What?

I just don’t get it. I’ve been trying to decide why W thinks a fight over prohibiting gay civil unions, an issue very few people in this world care about, is going to help his campaign. It just doesn’t make any sense.

I think, of course, that tolerance is always a good thing. If states want to do this, what’s the big deal? I just can’t understand why W and the boys feel threatened by states offering civil unions for gay folks. (I remind you that the state can’t legally preside over religious sacraments — but you knew that, right?)

And, also, how does this really “threaten” your marriage or my marriage? Furthermore, if this passes, can you imagine what historians will say about this generation if the only amendment added to the constitution is this “Defense of Marriage” amendment? My goodness, what would this say about us?

Furthermore, while this issue might crank up the real knuckle-dragging bigots out there (like these guys), most people give it a big yawn. Most folks think, hey, why should prohibiting gay marriage be a priority for our government when there’s so many other important issues out there? And wait a minute, aren’t these the guys who are always talking about local control and state rights? How in the world is this proposed amendment consistent with those beliefs?

Or, more interestingly, is this yet another in a long line of issues designed merely to distract us? Have W and the boys just tossed this issue out there so that people will stop noticing that the economy is heading South (consumer confidence ominously dropped last month) and the Iraq situation is rapidly deteriorating – and that this administration has no earthly idea how to deal with either problem?

Unfortunately, this issue might also distract the folks in this administration from more important problems. Honestly folks, think about it, if there’s a terrorist attack anytime in the next couple of months, W and the boys may have missed the opportunity to thwart it because they were just too busy focusing on this oh-so-important “Defense of Marriage” amendment. I mean, heck folks, this issue is so out there that apparently even Tom DeLay thinks it’s an extremist and divisive issue – and Tom’s not exactly known for his, er, thoughtfulness.

I also think this has a real chance to backfire. It makes W and the boys look like insensitive bigots just at the point in the campaign when they need to appeal to someone outside of their base. A little over a year ago I can remember joking that W’s true base is made up of that 33% of the people in this country who would vote for W even if he sprouted pointy ears and a tail and began speaking in indecent iambic couplets. (Actually, didn’t W begin to do that just last week?)

But how does this issue appeal to anyone beyond these already rock solid Bush supporters?

If you recall, I also predicted that if W went down it would be an incredible show.

Pass the popcorn folks. I really do think that the show is just starting.

If these guys really think this is the issue to fight the 2004 elections over, can you imagine the bushel basket of hilarious missteps yet to come?

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Education Secretary Calls Teacher Union a "Terrorist Organization"

More from the Cabinet of Mister “I’m going to change the tone in Washington” and “I’m a uniter not a divider.”

Paige calls NEA ‘terrorist organization’:

“Education Secretary Rod Paige called the National Education Association a ‘terrorist organization’ Monday as he argued that the country’s largest teachers union often acts at odds with the wishes of rank-and-file teachers regarding school standards and accountability. “

What can I say? I suppose Bush’s Labor Secretary considers the AFL-CIO to be the same thing. And the head of the EPA the Sierra Club. Etc.

And check out what he calls an “apology:”

“It was an inappropriate choice of words to describe the obstructionist scare tactics the NEA’s Washington lobbyists have employed against No Child Left Behind’s historic education reforms.

“I also said, as I have repeatedly, that our nation’s teachers, who have dedicated their lives to service in the classroom, are the real soldiers of democracy, whereas the NEA’s high-priced Washington lobbyists have made no secret that they will fight against bringing real, rock-solid improvements in the way we educate all our children regardless of skin color, accent or where they live. “

This is the guy who’s job is to WORK WITH the teacher unions!

Who Wins, Who Loses?

Let’s suppose that the Democrat (presumably Kerry) wins this fall. When that happens, who will the other winners and losers be?

One loser will be Karl Rove and Bush’s core constituency of anti-tax fanatics, Armageddon Christians, homophobes, and militarists. Rove has tied Bush’s fate so closely to these groups (at the expense of more rational moderates and conservatives) that it seems that they might bring Bush down. When that happens, the Republicans are going to be less likely to cater to them in the future.

A second loser will be the media — pretty much all of them, from the talk shows and Fox on up to the Times and the Post. Multiple signs of dissatisfaction about Bush are trickling in, and his poll numbers are about as bad as a sitting President has ever gotten, but the media are still reporting him as “a popular President”. By and large, nothing Bush says or does is ever critically reported, no matter how ludicrous and outrageous it is.

From a professional point of view, of course, the media’s imbecile coverage of Gore / Bush and the Bush administration has been a disaster. But from the more cynical point of view, the media’s attempt to get Bush elected will have failed if Kerry wins, and if that does happen Jack Welch, the Rev. Moon, Rupert Murdoch, and Roger Ailes will whip their little loser media butts for them.

The third loser will be the Democratic pros. Below I linked to Kos calling the Democratic pros “the whiniest, most afraid people in the country”. Before Howard Dean came along, the Democrats — following the best professional advice — were getting ready to slump through a loser campaign which would not even mention the Iraq War except to support it. Dean (along with a lot of grass-roots Dems) woke them up, and now it looks like we might actually have a fight on our hands. So if we win, it seems that maybe we should be getting some new pros.

Coda: What I just said is probably far too optimistic. Kerry — who I’ll be happy to vote for — is now the candidate of the Democratic Establishment, and it’s quite possible that in the end the media lords will pick up on Bush’s weakness and get behind Kerry. So I guess my title should have read “Who should lose”.

The media are probably beyond hope, but hopefully there will be someone in the Kerry campaign to put a bug in his ear about this. He might be educable.

Game Time

Below I agree with Matt Yglesias for once. He’s responding to Josh Chafetz, who described Kerry’s response to Saxby Chambliss (!!) as “slimy”.

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Can’t we get used to the idea that it’s game time? Between games, and maybe before and after games, you can have a certain amount of idle chat between players of opposing teams, and maybe players from one of the teams team might admit that they got an unfair break in a previous game, or that one of their own players tends to travel a bit, etc., etc.

But once the whistle is blown you don’t call fouls on your own side. And you also don’t have people on the court who are still deciding which side they’re on, or who believe that competition is a bad thing and that we should all just get along.

So there’s no reason to listen to Ricky [Yglesias pet conservative]. He’s on the other team. (Though it might be mentioned that his claim that “the Democrats started it” makes one guess that his long-term memory was seriously impaired during his heavy-metal-tweaker days.)

I don’t see Chafetz as a Republican. Not quite — presumably he’s angling for the David Broder above-the-battle Ace Pontificater gasbag slot. Let him have that slot, I say — but someone get him and Broder off the basketball court! (Come to think of it, though, wasn’t Chafetz channeling the Krauthammer of a couple days ago? So maybe he really is a Republican.)

I think that after the Chambliss-Cleland race, the Bush-McCain race, and Gingrich’s 1994 Sharon Smith smear (at my URL), whatever objective observers still remain will agree that the Republicans play as dirty as anyone ever has played. However, objective observers who blame the Republicans will be immediately smeared as Democratic sympathizers, so why should they even bother to try?

Tit for tat, and do unto others before they do unto you. If you don’t like what you see, get your ass out of the way.

P.S. Chafetz seems have missed the subtext here. The man sent by the Republicans to attack Kerry, Saxby Chambliss, was the chickenhawk who defeated triple-amputee Vietnam vet Max Cleland. Chambliss’ secret weapon was a TV ad which morphed Cleland’s face into Saddam Hussein’s. Kerry’s statement (with Cleland right beside him) was partly getback for something which happened in the past, and partly a preemptive strike against the smears that are sure to be sent Kerry’s way.

Howard Zinn says:

The quick Thanksgiving visit of Bush to Iraq, much ballyhooed in the press, was seen differently by an army nurse in Landstuhl, Germany, where casualties from the war are treated. She sent out an e-mail: “My ‘Bush Thanksgiving’ was a little different. I spent it at the hospital taking care of a young West Point lieutenant wounded in Iraq. . . . When he pressed his fists into his eyes and rocked his head back and forth he looked like a little boy. They all do, all nineteen on the ward that day, some missing limbs, eyes, or worse. . . . It’s too bad Bush didn’t add us to his holiday agenda. The men said the same, but you’ll never read that in the paper.”

As for Jeremy Feldbusch, blinded in the war, his hometown of Blairsville, an old coal mining town of 3,600, held a parade for him, and the mayor honored him. I thought of the blinded, armless, legless soldier in Dalton Trumbo’s novel Johnny Got His Gun, who, lying on his hospital cot, unable to speak or hear, remembers when his hometown gave him a send-off, with speeches about fighting for liberty and democracy. He finally learns how to communicate, by tapping Morse Code letters with his head, and asks the authorities to take him to schoolrooms everywhere, to show the children what war is like. But they do not respond. “In one terrible moment he saw the whole thing,” Trumbo writes. “They wanted only to forget him.”

In a sense, the novel was asking, and now the returned veterans are asking, that we don’t forget.

Indeed.

Sometimes people forget that it was us anti-war folks who had enough foresight to worry about these problems before the war took place.

I really think W should spend a day per week visiting injured soldiers. It might make him a bit less likely to take us into an immoral and unnecessary war again.

Maybe.