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Tilting at Windmills

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February 14, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

MORE ON THE SUNDAY TALK SHOWS....Last night I suggested that the paucity of anti-war guests on the Sunday gabfests was largely a function of talk show bookers lazily speed-dialing the same guests week in and week out regardless of what's going on in the world. But a friend of mine who's in the talk show biz emails to say that this is only part of the answer:

Take it from someone who works in television: it's lazy bookers combined with the need for ratings. It is still a TV show. The networks are not performing a public service. Face the Nation competes with Meet the Press which competes with This Week which competes with Fox Sunday. I'm quite sure when Russert has McCain on and ABC goes with someone like Dick Durbin everyone on the ABC staff understands that they didn't win the booking war, and as a result they're going to rate lower when the numbers come back early in the week.

It's got nothing to do with who is for the war and who is against it, or who is a Democrat and who is a Republican. It's about getting the biggest name guest you can get depending on what the news is that week. (Example: If Colin Powell's gave his speech to the UN Security Council that week, you want Colin Powell. Then the rest of the shows have to settle for people talking about Colin Powell.) Or if there isn't some major news to discuss with the person who made it, it's about getting McCain because people like watching McCain and the press corps likes talking to him. He gives good TV.

In a followup email he notes acerbically that "The bullpen is empty on our side. After you go through Biden and Schumer and Emmanuel, you get to uninspiring people like Pelosi and Durbin, etc. That's your problem, fellas. Deal with that."

I don't think this is the whole story Matt Yglesias takes a fair shot at filling in some of the missing pieces here but it's a big piece of it. The Sunday shows may have done a poor job of representing the full range of views to their audience, but they are what they are and that's not going to change except at the margins. So while holding them to account is surely the Lord's work, we also need to figure out how to deal with the media as it is, warts and all. If the bullpen really is empty on our side, we need to start filling it.

Kevin Drum 2:12 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (137)

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Comments

So question for your friend:

I note Hillary Clinton is not on the list of sought after dems. Is she not a big name? Or does she eschew talk shows? If so, why?

Posted by: seattlebird on February 14, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK


If you rely on the free market to give you your news, this is how the market is going to decide to give it to you.

Posted by: Tyrone Slothrop on February 14, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

MORE ON THE SUNDAY TALK SHOWS....Last night I suggested that the paucity of anti-war guests on the Sunday gabfests . . .

While the biases are obvious, does all that much of America even watch these shows, particularly those on Sunday when folks may be at church (snort), watching sports or just not sitting in front of the tube?

Posted by: Jeff II on February 14, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

What about John Conyers? Why isn't he sought after--he's done some rebel kinda things--such as the shadow hearings. Did he rate an appearance that week or was he an also ran?

Posted by: seattlebird on February 14, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

seattlebird >"...I note Hillary Clinton is not on the list of sought after dems. Is she not a big name? Or does she eschew talk shows? If so, why?"

Too "angry" obviously

No non-ReThuglican anger allowed ya know

The fact that she has a brain she knows how to use is part of it I`ll wager

"empty bull pen" indeed; who cleans the bull pen after the show(s) ?

must be real messy in there & "stinky"

"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things." - Niccol Machiavelli

Posted by: daCascadian on February 14, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Do we have any data on the demographics of the persons that watch these shows? e.g. conservatives vs liberals.

Seems to me that this type of data would also be a part of the guest selection process.

Posted by: pencarrow on February 14, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

re Jeff II--most may not watch, so the ratings battle is for a small share. But the ramifications matter because clips from the show feed the rest of the news.

Posted by: seattlebird on February 14, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

pencarrow >"Do we have any data on the demographics of the persons that watch these shows?..."

Look at their advertisers

All ya need to know

"No place is so strongly fortified that money could not capture it." - Marcus Tullius Cicero

Posted by: daCascadian on February 14, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

pencarrow, looking at what advertisments are run during a TV show is a big clue about its audience demographics.

Posted by: David W. on February 14, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Don't think so. If it were about ratings the listing would be more interesting. These guys are scared to death of the news and of the truth. Hacks, the lot.

Posted by: ken melvin on February 14, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Not sure either why Al Gore would not be on that list.

There are a number of prominent ex-politicos/politicos that have national recognition and great television presence - Ann Richards, John Edwards and Howard Dean for example.

I'm also not sure that the explaining washes. Powell was a decision-maker - you would think that during the Clinton years decision-makers would then be disproportionately represented. Rubin would go on the highest rated show, and the other shows would talk about him.

Posted by: Saam Barrager on February 14, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Why does McCain rate higher than either Clinton, Kerry, Gore, Edwards, Kennedy, and Dean? I know that profiles are raised when people run for President, but there are Democrats who have run for President.

Posted by: reino on February 14, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

While the biases are obvious, does all that much of America even watch these shows, particularly those on Sunday when folks may be at church (snort), watching sports or just not sitting in front of the tube?

Someone quoted 10 mil yesterday, which if true is not insignificant. But seattlebird's right: it's the snowballing effect this has on the rest of the news that matters.

Posted by: shortstop on February 14, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: I call bullshit on your source. The decision that Reid and Pelosi aren't good TV is inherently biased. Like that chucklehead George Allen IS? Tim Russert makes the calls for Meet the Press and he can get who he wants. As for Hillary, she doesn't do the Sunday talk shows for the same reason Bruce Springsteen doesn't go on late night talk. It's beneath her star status.

Posted by: JMG on February 14, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's friend: "Democrats need to be kooler kidz to get booking calls from TV talk shows."

Me: Hey Kool Kidz Club, you guys know something about being a kool kid. Who are some Democrats with charisma?

Maureen Dowd: "None of them, of course. And there never will be, because Democrats are boring by nature."

Expect a Digby post on this shortly, Kevin.

Posted by: B on February 14, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Off Topic:
pellet(s) moving into the heart of the accidental shooting victim have caused a heart attack and he is back in ICU.

Posted by: juan on February 14, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Why does McCain rate higher ...

the press loves McCain.

ever see his Biography or his TV movie? pure adulation.

Posted by: cleek on February 14, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

This is ridiculous. I will say it again:
Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold.

--
HRlaughed

Posted by: HRlaughed on February 14, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

As for Hillary, she doesn't do the Sunday talk shows for the same reason Bruce Springsteen doesn't go on late night talk. It's beneath her star status. Posted by: JMG

Clinton does not do the circuit not because it's beneath her, a particularly silly assertion since she's a politician, but because everyone on the right hates and, inexplicably, fears her, though she doesn't stand a chance of getting the nod in 2008.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 14, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Another aspect of the problem is these shows are inherently conservative and play it safe. A large part of it is ratings -- there was a time not so long ago (well, it was a long time ago) that the news divisions were kept out of the ratings game. It also is a problem that these shows on the major networks all air in the same Sunday morning time slot.

Posted by: zhoward on February 14, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

So we need some juggling, joke telling Dems. Maybe one that can sing and dance.

Or I know, how about shooting apples off each other's heads? That should drive some ratings. Dibs on not being opposite Cheney.

Posted by: craigie on February 14, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

What a load of hooey as others have pointed out. None of these talk shows is very well rated, they are more about prestige than anything else.

And to make the argument that Biden or Lieberman have high "Q" ratings (one way to measure whether people want to watch someone), is ludicrous. Are they seriously suggesting that most viewers wouldn't want to see Clinton or Dean and would rather have Biden? And Reid doesn't stir things up? He's great TV.

Another example of course is the infamous one of Phil Donahue who was sacked on his talk show despite running the best ratings of any talk show on his network.

No - Kevin you were just fed a line of CYA, ex post facto, justification.

And the irony is that these shows are generally incredibly boring and don't reveal anything useful. They're horrible TV - both in entertainment and in learning. In learning they don't book people who know the issues under discussion - just politicains posturing. And in entertainment - it always the same bunch of idiots.

All worsened by the hosts, and their guests who really don't know what they are talking about either. So you end up having a bunch of BS artists BS'ing one another for an hour.

The first network that figures out how to break that model and really have a good public affairs show will get better ratings - and a more informative show.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on February 14, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

"everyone on the right hates and, inexplicably, fears her...."

This is true, and hilariously funny. I used to get an anti-hillary spam a week till I told the sender to knock it off. There is an endless supply of pointlessly unfunny Hillary jokes. The Right is truly terrified of her.

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 14, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

That email is inane. Your friend exemplifies exactly why TV is often ignored - he or she is just following the game that is and has been played.

It ignores the self-referencing nature of fame. Paris Hilton isn't on TV b/c she's liked by viewiers, or TV hosts like her, or anything - she's there b/c she's there. She's famous b/c she's famous. And I betcha that your friend would rather have Paris Hilton on than McCain any day of the week.

Same w/ all the politicians and pundits. Pick any of them, replace them w/ any Random Person w/ some plausible background, and put Random Person on those Sunday shows enough. Suddenly, Random Person is a Draw! A Must Have! The press like her!

And quite frankly, people don't watch the news to see "people they like." "Good News" TV didn't last long. Your friend doesn't know that?\

Sorry to be so harsh, but people in the media biz. Blech. Morons.

Posted by: Little Heroes on February 14, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

There are plenty of democrats with name recognition and good TV presence, but they're not "credible". So you couldn't possibly book them. You can book some republican hack whose fame and credibility are due entirely to having been given sinecures and endless talking-head bookings, but smart-talking liberal activists? Never. Think about the media mindset that gives more exposure to Dobson than Moore, for example.

Posted by: paul on February 14, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

If it were purely about ratings, a show booking liberals would clean up because they would have no competition.

ALL the conservatives watch FOX. And the other stations are fighting for FOX's audience? That's some kind of stupid.

Of course, they would get blasted for their liberal bias and then cravenly back down as liberals are wont to do.

Posted by: karog on February 14, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Hint: if they're all fighting like hell to provide the same exact product - they're not competing.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 14, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

OMG: Sully just posted an "I hate hunting" article.

They're gonna revoke his Heritage Foundation membership card for sure!

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 14, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

OMG: Sully just posted an "I hate hunting" article.

They're gonna revoke his Heritage Foundation membership card for sure! Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten

Are you kidding? If they ignore Sullivan anymore than they already do, what will the right do for a useful idiot homosexual, out Ken Melhman?

Posted by: Jeff II on February 14, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Sully has been biting the hand that feeds for a while. It's very entertaining to watch.

They'll burn him as a witch soon enough, though.

Posted by: craigie on February 14, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

When we get power, we pull there licenses. nobody will be able to stop us, This guy and half the business community has been shouting "we're not performing a public service here". But they are, under the law they have to. Make them choke on their words. Bankrupt GE and we've solved a huge part of our political problems. The other parts of the media will be too intimidated to fight back, and we can just ignore court orders and claim that the executive has the right to make these decisions for themselves in order to preserve democracy. Make them all choke on the situation they've created over the past few years. The Republicans don't care if they have to destroy this country to obtain power. It's better off destroyed so that we can rebuild it our way.

Democracy is dead. It's time we started playin this game by it's current rules and not those of a generation ago.

Posted by: SoulLight on February 14, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

laziness? You gotta be kidding!

There's no way in hell this is an innocent omission, committed by otherwise well-meaning but harried staffers.

Liberal, democratic-base, and alternative viewpoints have NEVER had much/adequate/any access to the mainstream airwaves.

To assert this is laziness or due to the oh-so-busy schedules & oh-soooo-demanding workloads of producers or their staffs ... is utterly ludicrous.

It's kind of like saying journalists were "too busy" to know that the Toledo Blade won a Pulitzer Prize in 2004 at precisely the time when Kerry was SwiftBoated by John O'Neill and his Benedict Arnolds. The Blade's coverage of Vietnam-era war crimes verified that Kerry's 1970 winter solder statements were true.
They may be ignorant. the

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 14, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

pellet(s) moving into the heart of the accidental shooting victim have caused a heart attack and he is back in ICU.
Posted by: juan on February 14, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

His condition was termed "Very Stable".

Death is a "very stable" condition. No?

Who wants to bet that this guy actually (brain) died on Saturday, is a veggie, and they're waiting to figure out how to frame it before letting the truth out.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 14, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Your pal needs a lesson in Reality.
Kevin writes that he:

"notes acerbically that 'The bullpen is empty on our side. After you go through Biden and Schumer and Emmanuel, you get to uninspiring people like Pelosi and Durbin, etc. That's your problem, fellas. Deal with that.'

That's utter horseshit, Kevin. Your friend is full of crap -- or ignorant as hell.

Laziness got nothin to do with it!

There's Russ Feingold.

Uninspiring, he says! Let him put on Paul Hackett!

I say your pal is a gutless poltroon! Let him show his face in public, and he'll get a dose of Truth that'll rock him back on his corporate-rounded heels!!

More FACTS, Kevin.

Less of your friend's self-serving lies.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 14, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

If they are looking for liberal guests, Paul Hackett is free. Just got cut loose from Ohio, which of course means the race will be boring. And Republicans win again.

Posted by: Orwell on February 14, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

The Blade's coverage of Vietnam-era war crimes verified that Kerry's 1970 winter solder statements were true.


A pulitzer prize has nothing to do with truth. Kerry was a dick to be accusing all Vets of War Crimes. The SBVs sunk Kerry using his own words in a brilliantly managed campaign.

Posted by: rdw on February 14, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Remember that many if not most Senators/Reps travel home over weekends, particularly those in the east, south and midwest. That includes Clinton, making them less accessible to DC studios.

Biden is on a lot because he lives an hour or so from DC - he usually goes home every night.

Posted by: hopeless pedant on February 14, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Who wants to bet that this guy actually (brain) died on Saturday, is a veggie, and they're waiting to figure out how to frame it before letting the truth out. Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten

I'm not afraid to stoop.

He's a lawyer, a Bush supporter, and a "friend" of Cheney, so by definition he is/was brain dead to begin with.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 14, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Who wants to bet that this guy actually (brain) died on Saturday, is a veggie, and they're waiting to figure out how to frame it before letting the truth out.

Will Frist be diagnosing him? I assume they'll be keeping him alive forever, you know, as a monument to Cheney's legacy. Sanctity of life and all that.

Posted by: craigie on February 14, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

I just read that in 2003 Cheney shot 70 pheasants at a crack at some kind of captive-release butcher party in Pennsylvania.


Cribbing this whole set of posts from tpmcafe,

On February 13, 2006 - 10:21pm SeamusD said:

If Whittington was hit by some 200 pellets as reported in Austin there is no way in hell Cheney shot him from 30 yards away. It makes no sense. A shotgun charge starts expanding as soon as it leaves the barrel and by the time its out to thirty yards the pattern could be from 4 to 8 feet in diameter, unless he was using a fully choked barrel and hunting quail with full choke is not very rewarding unless the object is to disintegrate the bird. So how do you figure out the truth? First, Cheney lies so often that anything he says is suspect, and second, if Whittington was hit by over 200 pellets, some so deeply imbedded that the surgeon was afraid to go after them it seems almost impossible that the thirty yard figure is correct. The police weren't there, they just wrote down what the Secret Service told them to write down. The Secret Service is not going to embarass Cheney, but I'm sure they will lie for him. I vote for thirty feet, not thirty yards.


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On February 13, 2006 - 11:39pm idlex said:

"by the time its out to thirty yards the pattern could be from 4 to 8 feet in diameter... I vote for 30 feet, not thirty yards."

We can do some numbers.

From reports I've seen, Whittington was hit in the left shoulder, neck, and lower face. That suggests a shot spread diameter of about 1 foot, maybe less. If the spread is 4 feet after travelling 90 feet, then, by simple proportion, the spread is 1 foot after 90/4 feet, or about 22 feet. If the spread is 8 feet after travelling 90 feet, then the spread is 1 foot after 90/8 feet, or 11 feet.


Split the difference, and I vote for about 15 feet. Pretty much point blank range.


But if he caught 200 pellets, and we can find out the total number of pellets in a cartridge, we may be be able to make a better estimate of shot spread at impact. It would help to know what angle he was hit from - face on or sideways. But if there were only 200 pellets in the cartridge, and Whittington caught them all, then the shot spread could only have been 4 inches sideways on, and he was only 4 to 8 feet away.


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On February 14, 2006 - 1:26am Jongleur said:

Federal Cartridge indicates that the shot charge for a 28Ga is .75 ounces. The count for number 8 shot is about 400/ounce, number 7.5 shot is maybe 375/ounce.

Giving a total of around 300 pellets in a shotgun shell.

Life and Hearts is in session.


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On February 14, 2006 - 8:57am Zionista said:

Now, how tall does Wittington have to be to get in the way of shot at a bird? I have to believe that Cheney had his gun fairly level when he fired.


Of course the White House says its Wittington's responsibility. Just like Otter said to Flounder in Animal House, "You fucked up. You trusted us!"

Posted by: cld on February 14, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary can only screw up if she goes on talk shows as she did with her vast right wing conspiracy. We all know Hillary. She doesn't need publicity the way others do and she'd much prefer not to clarify her positions. This way she can control everything. She could book any show on a moments notice and Russert or any of them would travel to her if necessary.

She's smart. She doesn't need them.

Posted by: rdw on February 14, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's Post: "Here is reality."

Commenters on Post: "Grr! Reality makes us mad! Lynch Kevin for speaking of reality! Grr!"

Posted by: Frank J. on February 14, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

cld - my (uneducated) impression is that for quail hunting, they use stainless steel pellets (because some may remain in the bird, and it's hard to remove them all). (or, alternately, because these types of shooting accidents are so common, stainless steel is less lethal, and can be left inside the body of the hit hunter if necessary).

I thought that the number was 100 pellets.

Since this topic is mostly non-political, I think that Wikipedia can be relied on here as a good source of info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birdshot
and
http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs10.htm

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 14, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

I just read that in 2003 Cheney shot 70 pheasants at a crack at some kind of captive-release butcher party in Pennsylvania.

That's a misprint. It should have read "peasants."

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Matt Yglesias's article thinks the "fix" was in for Donahue's show, stating that it was "the highest rated show on MSNBC"

Sorry, but that's like being the tallest person in Munchkin Town. From the article Matt links to:

In the 8 p.m. slot, Mr. Donahue's show averaged 439,000 viewers over the past month, far short of his competitors, Connie Chung on CNN, who had 970,000 viewers, and Bill O'Reilly on Fox News, who dominated the hour with 2.7 million viewers.

It's really no wonder the Left wants the Fairness Doctrine back. Given free choice, liberal talk outlets just plain don't attract an audience. You really need to be able force it on people, and use laws to restrict your competition. Maybe viewscreens you can't shut off, with Al Franken's face 24/7, like in "1984?"

* * *

Sombrerofallout:

Oh, yeah, please bring Paul Hackett onto the Sunday shows this weekend. I might actually tune in for that.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 14, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

It is circular reasoning on your friend's part. TV makes stars and if they are not booked then they can not become stars.

It is right wing bias that keeps Dems and liberals off the air. Keith Olbermann has the highest ratings on MSNBC yet he is not part of their Hot Shots group--a bunch of right wingers and Tweety.

Olbermann also had a telling anecdote. He was admonished by the guys upstairs that he had had 2 liberals on in a row--one on on say Wednesday and the next on thursday. This was considered excessive by thre MSNBC brass when it comes to the left side of the political spectrum, but not the right side,

Posted by: debra on February 14, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary can only screw up if she goes on talk shows as she did with her vast right wing conspiracy.
Posted by: rdw on February 14, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, she's certainly been proven to be wrong on that whole "vast-right-wing-conspiracy" thing, hasn't she. There's certainly no evidence that such a thing exists, is there? That crazy wacky moonbat Hillary.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 14, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Actually - knowing Cheney, he probably insisted on using Depleted Uranium birdshot, because it's more practical and effective.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 14, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Given free choice, liberal talk outlets just plain don't attract an audience.

think about what apparently does attrack an audience, and why. it's not discussion of deep issues and astute analysis; it's shouting, bombast, demogoguery and demonization. it's Limbaugh, and Coulter's eliminationist screeds, it's O'Reilly's unhinged douchebaggery. it's Hannity 's sycophantic adoration of the GOP.

if that's what's required to "attract an audience", count me out, because i don't hate America.

Posted by: cleek on February 14, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Given free choice, liberal talk outlets just plain don't attract an audience.

With 90% of media outlets being owned by a small group of very conservative multinational megacorporations, and with channel selections force-fed by either a local cable monopoly, or one of two satellite companies, exactly where would free choice be a part of any equation?

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 14, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Given free choice, liberal talk outlets just plain don't attract an audience.

Hmmm... Does this apply to other kinds of TV? After all, given free choice, the Porno Channel would kill the ratings of everything else combined.

Free market when it suits you, regulation otherwise. The hallmark of visionary conservatives.

Posted by: craigie on February 14, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Debra,

KO Takes Monthly Ratings Bath
TVN has February's ratings figures for cable news and it's all bad for KO.

Keith came in at a whopping 0.3 or 236,000 households watching which was enough to get trounced in his time slot by arch-nemesis Bill O'Reilly (2.0, 1,777,000). No matter how you slice it was a blood-bath for KO. O'Reilly beat KO by more than 750% - or put another way, O'Reilly gets more viewers in three days than Olbermann gets in an entire month.

MSNBC (and TVN) love to trumpet MSNBC's success in the 25-54 age demo; apprently success is now defined as only being beat by a tad under 600% (581,000 v 105,000).

Posted by: rdw on February 14, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

The bullpen is empty? If that's the case, it's only because the MSM is taking its cues from the Right Wing Noise Machine about who contininues to represent a credible voice from the Dem side.

Gore is shedding his image as "the stiff one" and has become the leading voice on the left now that Hillary has abandoned that role.

Barbara Boxer is one of the more articulate and engaging people in the Senate - anyone see her on Colbert last week? - and a bit more exposure will deflate the myth that she's a left-wing radical.

Kerry's excellent too. Sure, he's a bit long-winded, but so's Biden.

Feingold - absolutely!

Obama - he's still a rock star, isn't he?

Tom Daschle has some interesting things to say from his perspective as an ex-Senator.

There are some pretty interesting people in the House as well - George Miller and Barney Frank come to mind.

Posted by: Beale on February 14, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

I really want to emphasize again that all these shows ratings are horrible. But they keep on booking the same inane guests.

Just classic dumb management behavior - if you're doing badly - just do more of it!

The Michael Moore example above is superb. I'd add Scott Ritter. You don't think a show with one of these guys on would spark interest? And they're less credible than Brooks? Please....

The shows are awful - and it's pathetic in a lot of ways why they stay so terrible.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on February 14, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

rdw on Feb 14, 2006 at 3:01 PM |
wrote:
"a pulitzer prize has nothing to do with truth. Kerry was a dick to be accusing all Vets of War Crimes. The SBVs sunk Kerry using his own words in a brilliantly managed campaign."

Kerry accused the government of betraying US soldiers by ordering them to commit war crimes.

Kerry did NOT accuse all vets of war crimes.

The Blade's Pulitzer Prize is proof of the factual reporting in their 22-article series. They wrote the Truth, which you can't handle.

The SwiftBoaters LIED -- stupidly, in attacking Kerry, who told the Truth about that sorry war.

Kerry merely told the OBVIOUS truth about an illegal war, pursued for wrongheaded and anti-democratic purposes against a sovereign nation that had committed no crime against the US.

That UnConstitutional war betrayed the US soldiers who fought in it. It put them in the ugly and always-already untenable position of fighting an unwinnable war -- one without a just cause in Vietnam, and without legal basis or popular support at home.

Without adhering to American Constitutional law and the dictates of pursuing only a just cause -- American military generals and political leaders betrayed the soldiers who fought it.

NOT through lack of support! But by failing to live up to American values abroad, and by putting US soldiers in the position of committing war crimes in the service of an unjustifiable, unAmerican war.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 14, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Since conservatives control the media with the likes of CBS News, NY Times, CNN, Newsweek, PBS, etc... maybe the left should consider countering the conservative media with more Air Americas... in print and broadcast versions as well.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 14, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

You know, that's about the first smart thing that Freedom Fries has said.

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Kevin!

Where's Al Gore?! That alone exposes your friend's argument as pure sh!t.

And it IS a circular argument. You don't find them and put them on, and they don't become rock stars. Typical bankrupt sophistry disposed of by critics of the "classic rock" radio formats of the early '80s.

Lazy? Morally bankrupt, maybe. It's certainly a refusal to do their job -- as well as a willingness to throw over the ideals that raised this country up from nothing.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 14, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

'Conservative corporations'? Hmmmm....

If cable providers do not have a certain bias why do they not present Al-Jazeera as part of their ordinary news channels?

I think it's available for satellite dishes as part of some grossly expensive foreign language package, but why not have it right next to CNN?

Posted by: cld on February 14, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's email is so ludicrous that it's hard to say whether it's serious or self-satire. "After you go through Biden and Schumer and Emmanuel, you get to uninspiring people..." Yeah, that's our problem. If we just had more electrifying speakers who could really light up a room like Joe Biden.

You see similar attitudes when they book media types. Does anybody really believe that Safire and Broder are on these shows constantly because they're such great speakers? Or because the public is begging to see them? Krugman is excellent when he does these shows but is hardly ever invited; Molly Ivins is even better but I can't recall ever seeing her on a Sunday show. The formula for the media round tables is consistent: balance off career right wing activists with right-leaning journalists. let an actual liberal on every few months so your bias isn't so screamingly obvious.

Posted by: Alex F on February 14, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

The Blade's Pulitzer Prize is proof of the factual reporting in their 22-article series. They wrote the Truth, which you can't handle.

I can handle the truth just fine and I didn't claim the article was true or not. My point is that the Pulitzer is meaningless when it comes to determining truth. As far as I know the Toledo Blade is a fine paper and the writer(s) is as fine as they come.

Kerry accused ALL Vietnam Vets. When you don't name anyone it has the effect of accusing everyone.

Posted by: rdw on February 14, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

While you're working on adding a few liberals to the Sunday talk shows, why not do something about adding a few conservatives to the overwhelmingly liberal news anchor/correspondent pool on network TV?

Posted by: DBL on February 14, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

The SwiftBoaters LIED -- stupidly, in attacking Kerry, who told the Truth about that sorry war.

98% of their commercials included Kerry making obviously untrue claims of having spent Xmas in Cambodia, which his staff even admitted did not happen or included video and audio of Kerry talking before congress. It was the big guy in his own words.

As far as stupid the election results suggest it was fairly smart. A lot of permanently bitter liberals disagree with you.

Posted by: rdw on February 14, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

The Chinese Channel, 265 on Dish, which is in English, is absolutely fascinating. The news isn't exactly hard-hitting, but it's like tv from another, prettier, planet.

If the Arabs or Iranians had put up something like this they wouldn't have nearly such bad press.

Posted by: cld on February 14, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

The Sunday shows are a waste of time in most cases. There isn't always enough significant national news [or intellectual honesty] to generate interesting discussion across all the shows. Producers and network execs lust for political "stars" even when they've little to contribute, and the speed of the news cycle itself mitigates in-depth analytical coverage. Mostly, the Sunday-morning broadcasts offer grandstanding pols and an bevy of self-satisfied "big media" names playing games with each other. I can't understand why they have an audience at at all. It wasn't always like this. But the shows have become deeply unserious and almost completely degraded at this point. We'd be better off reading the newspapers Sunday mornings instead of listening to Russert and Matthews et al.

Posted by: Mizlyn on February 14, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

That UnConstitutional war betrayed the US soldiers who fought in it. It put them in the ugly and always-already untenable position of fighting an unwinnable war -- one without a just cause in Vietnam, and without legal basis or popular support at home.

I don't recall anyone claiming JFKs war was was unconstitutional. It was not only winnable but it had been won. The democratic congress cut off financial support and very soon thereafter South Vietnam was turned into a gulag. The obvious comparison is Korea. We now have a thriving democracy in South Korea due to US efforts. The Democratic party turned pacifist in 1968 however and they engineered a retreat from Vietnam effectively enslaving 50M South Vietnamese. One only needs to look at South Korea today versus South Vietnam to see the disaster that resulted from that cowardice.

Our troops were just as brave then and just as effective. We know from North Vietnamese Generals we had won after the Tet offensive. It will be a stain on Walter Conkrite and the rest of the MSM their reporting was one lie after another. They condemned those poor people. Walter will be remrembered accordingly.

Posted by: rdw on February 14, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

It's the Sunday talk shows that now are the reason Democrats are not getting their message out? If only there were more funerals!

Posted by: Jay on February 14, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

As several of the posts up stream note: Who pays attention to the Sunday morning shows? How influential are they? Does anyone outside the Beltway really care what the same people week in and week out have to say about different things?

Somewhere someone knows the demographics of who watches these shows, not to mention what the rating/shares are: What are those numbers?

The formats for all of them are now frozen into predictability -- elected/appointed talking heads followed by journalistic talking heads. All these shows are rapidly reaching the "Who cares?" stage for alot of us.

Posted by: fbg46 on February 14, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

The Democratic party turned pacifist in 1968 however and they engineered a retreat from Vietnam effectively enslaving 50M South Vietnamese.

Tricksy Democrats, engineering a retreat in 1968 that they managed to get Nixon to go along with in 1975.

I was the one who gave tbrosz his "Ned Flanders" nickname, and for a while now I've had this nagging feeling that rdw reminds me of another TV character. It just hit me: Cliff Clavin from "Cheers"! The same lack of social skills, the same monomania, the same lunatic ability to toss half-digested facts and figures into a mishmash of nonsense and insanity. So from now on, rdw will proudly be known by me (and, I hope, by a few of you) as "Cliff Clavin."

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, so it's about ratings... Who would've thought it....

Posted by: JS on February 14, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

PR matters. Rep. PR people are hondeling the bookers day in and day out to place guests on shows. PR is where the Democrats need bench depth.

Posted by: Steve High on February 14, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

"Barbara Boxer is one of the more articulate and engaging people in the Senate - anyone see her on Colbert last week? - and a bit more exposure will deflate the myth that she's a left-wing radical."

Cough. If it is true that she is one of the more articulate people in the Senate, it is in a lot more trouble than I thought.

But I'm a Republican, so by all means put Boxer on as many talk shows as you can.

Posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw on February 14, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

I get broadcast channels, but the TV is usually set to Chinese television. (Dish network Great Wall package.)

Chinese talk shows have this strange habit of getting sober, unpolished experts to discuss international policy. (Chinese TV is generally loathe to talk domestic policy.) If the show is a discussion of Pakistan's nuclear program (for example) they might have a visiting scholar from Pakistan.

Posted by: Saam Barrager on February 14, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

Learn how to read. I said the Dems turned pacificist in 68. I did not say they engineered the retreat. They were just getting started. It took until '75.

You do remember the famous convention do you not? So many libs do. They've been trying to recreate the 'magic' ever since. It's memories of '68 that make the recent so-called anti-war protests look so pathetic. Liberalism is an aging religion. Secularists simply do not reproduce.

Posted by: rdw on February 14, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives on TV are sharp-tongued, aggressive, and have their talking points developed by a very competent PR machine.

Liberals, especially members of Congress, sound like boring schoolteachers and cannot tell the difference between giving a speech in the Senate and talking to the people.

We have met the enemy and it is us. But didn't we know this already?

Posted by: JS on February 14, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:
1.
Virtually all of the Swiftie claims don't hold up under even minimal scrutiny. They were made by people who weren't there, had a partisan axe to grind, and whose assertions were contradicted both by the public record and by service personnel who were there.

Your assertions to the contrary don't make the Swiftie lies legitimate.

Possessing no integrity whatsoever in that regard does not make the Swifties "smart." A 'strategy' of lies that abuses the public trust indicates a too-eager willingness to do the country a profound disservice. And it was the right-biased media's willingness to play up the claims, but play down the facts, that allowed this very short-sighted, very stupid campaign to have an effect. Not any brilliance on the part of Swifties.

2. Kerry did not accuse all veterans. Your willingness to misrepresent general statements of fact, and apply them across the board, means that you are carrying out the smearing. Kerry would, and has, said that American soldiers did a fine job, under extremely trying circumstances. difficult if not impossible. He never placed blame on the soldiers -- but pointed to the idiocy of policies that put them in such a position.

You might reaaaallly like this to be true, but wishing wont'make it so.

3. You may not recall that many, many people (blue-collar workers, soldiers, farmers, pastors)objected to the war -- precisely because it was unConstitutional.

You have a Stalinist view of history.

The war was not only unwinnable -- it had already been lost.

You cannot win a political battle using guns and bombs. You cannot destroy a village in order to save it. It is insanity.

And it violates every Christian moral precept and every American democratic principle to claim that war is a right, just, or moral vehicle for betraying the sovereign right of any nation to rule itself as it sees fit.

We dropped more bombs on North Vietnam than were used in all of World War II. Yet you can't come up with a single act of war or violence committed by Vietnam against the US. You'd pick up a gun too, no matter who was dropping those bombs. You'd accept military aid, no matter where it came from under those circumstances.

Not only that, but in 1945, Ho Chi Minh gave a speech praising Thomas Jefferson and quoting the Declaration of Independence, etc., in Hanoi, upon the liberation of Vietnam from the Japanese.

Instead of assisting a peaceful transition to freedom and national sovereingty, we turned Vietnam over to the French. Who violated every norm of civilization, Christianity, and democracy.

Let me say it again: You are a Stalinist in your handling and grasp of history. And you do a profound disservice to America and to democracy. Come back once you've read a book, or taken a course, about Vietnam AND about the values which founded America. About which you seeeem to know very, very little.

Swallowing the lies of Swifties will get you (or your country) nowhere. But then, that's what swallowing's all about.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 14, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

The Democratic party turned pacifist in 1968 however and they engineered a retreat from Vietnam effectively enslaving 50M South Vietnamese.

Thanks, Stefan! you wrote: "Tricksy Democrats, engineering a retreat in 1968 that they managed to get Nixon to go along with in 1975."

'twas the Rethuglican Nixon -- a traitor like (King) George W the 5th -- who retreated and withdrew from Vietnam.

When you can't tell combatant from civilian -- and don't care whether you slaughter one or the other -- that's a good indication the war is unwinnable.

It's also a good indication you're fighting an unjust war -- on the wrong side.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 14, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Cliff Clavin at 4:19: The Democratic party turned pacifist in 1968 however and they engineered a retreat from Vietnam effectively enslaving 50M South Vietnamese.

Cliff Clavin at 4:41: Learn how to read. I said the Dems turned pacificist in 68. I did not say they engineered the retreat. They were just getting started. It took until '75.

'Nuff said.


Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Virtually all of the Swiftie claims don't hold up under even minimal scrutiny. They were made by people who weren't there, had a partisan axe to grind, and whose assertions were contradicted both by the public record and by service personnel who were there.

Kerry's lies regarding Xmas in Cambodia were proven. He's backed off that claim, made repeatedly over 30 years. It cost him.

Most of the commericals were of Kerry himself. There was nothing doctored. His voice. His face. He accused the troops of wide ranging atrocities without naming anyone. That is the same as naming everyone.

It could not have been fairer. We saw the man as himself.

The war was won militarily. We have now established as fact the Tet offensive was a military disaster for the North. It was Walter Cronkite and the MSM who turned it into a political disaster for the USA. You will see much more of this when Uncle Walter retires. History will not treat him any better than it will Dan Rather.

Posted by: rdw on February 14, 2006 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

Liberalism is an aging religion.
I don't know rdw, some of those kids are young. Look at Rachael Corrie (apologies if I remember the name wrong).

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 14, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

If it is true that she is one of the more articulate people in the Senate, it is in a lot more trouble than I thought.
I give you the Kennedy and Biden show during Alito's confirmation hearings.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 14, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Cliff Clavin: One only needs to look at South Korea today versus South Vietnam to see the disaster that resulted from that cowardice.

Hmmm...who was President in 1953 when we signed the armistice with North Korea? Eisenhower, a Republican.

Who was President from 1969 to 1975 when the Vietnam war was lost? (Given that Clavin has already admitted that we won it in 1968 when the Democrat Johnson was running things). Nixon, a Republican.

There's a pattern here, I just know it....

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Who owns NBC, anyway? Some liberal company, I bet.

Posted by: David in NY on February 14, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Why does McCain rate higher than either Clinton, Kerry, Gore, Edwards, Kennedy, and Dean? I know that profiles are raised when people run for President, but there are Democrats who have run for President.

Clinton is too busy working on real issues. The rest are losers.. You don't invite the Seattle Seahawks on the night after the Super Bowl.

Posted by: gluey on February 14, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK
Clinton is too busy working on real issues. The rest are losers.. You don't invite the Seattle Seahawks on the night after the Super Bowl.

At least Kerry, unlike McCain, has won a major party national presidential primary. Seems to me McCain is more of a loser than Kerry.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 14, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, right, that John McCain -- he just drives ratings. 'Mr. Carisma' people call him.

Posted by: liberalMinded on February 14, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Poor rdw!!

we have now established as fact the Tet offensive was a military disaster for the North.

It's called winning the battle but losing the war. Yeesh. It's common knowledge that Tet was a loss for the North. So what? It demonstrated that the US could never control the country, across the board. "Because you can't kill the devil with a gun or a sword." Classic American truth; helped make this country what it is.

It was Walter Cronkite and the MSM who turned it into a political disaster for the USA.

Not policymakers or military strategists, were they?? Stop blaming others and put some personal responsibility where it belongs, willya? Oh, but conservative don't take responsibility any more, do they?

The war was lost politically and militarily. It was lost politically within Vietnam: which is the major condition for militarily winning any civil war. Though the US had the means for annihilating Vietnam -- mthat doesn't indicate it was on the verge of winning militarily.

It was precisely the US ignorance of the political battles, and its misuse of military tactics, that caused it to lose the war, across the board and by any measure.

Our use of indefensible tactics, and our violations of basic humanitarian codes, including our own Constitution and abuse of our own democratic principles, both at home and abroad -- these things caused us to lose the war militarily.

Had the US military and political leadership dealt with civilians, soldiers, and military opponents alike with the integrity and principle to which they were legally and morally required to adhere, we might have won both the war and the peace.

We might have come through it with some honor.

This does not impugn the integrity of the soldiers on the ground, not in any way. They were put in a terrible and even impossible position by the American misuse of power.

As for Kerry: The Swiftie traitors can put up video of Kerry - and still lie and lie and lie about it. And it doesn't make Kerry the bad dude. They just manipulated the video to highlight an un-charismatic speaking style. I also don't admire Kerry's mannerisms. But his substance is head and shoulders more patriotic and courageous than the gutless Swiftie Benedict Arnolds who lied about Kerry's words and deeds.

There's not a word of truth in the treasonous Swiftie arsenal.

That they delivered King George W. Bush the 5th to us -- who daily pretends he's got dictatorial powers -- a daily treason and a complete betrayal of every US soldier who ever served his or her country.... well, you and the Swifties have a lot to answer for. And you will, even in your graves.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 14, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

"some of those kids are young. Look at Rachael Corrie."

Yeah, at least she put what she learned in school regarding Darwinism, to real life applications.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 14, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

"It's the Sunday talk shows that now are the reason Democrats are not getting their message out? If only there were more funerals!"

Ahahahahahaaa! Brilliant!

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 14, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

The networks are not performing a public service.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that the ostensible reason for a whole slew of FCC requirements of networks? Do you think they would air tornado warnings, school closings, and other PSAs if they weren't required to do so? I know the Fairness Doctrine's gone by the wayside, but still...

Posted by: nota bene on February 14, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

John Edwards? Let's start letting some of our most telegenic Dems start carrying the water. You want the women's vote? This is how you get it. You think he lacks gravitas? How about letting him speak out and then draw your conclusions.

Posted by: Marylou on February 14, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin:
Are you saying Barney Frank and Cynthia McKinney and Neil Abercrombie and Sheila Jackson-Lee and Patrick Kennedy and Dennis Kucinich and John Lewis and Jim McDermot and David Obey, and Bernie Sanders and Louise Slaughter and Maxine Waters and Robert Wexler are ALL "uninspiring people" who don't "give good TV"?

And Robert Byrd, Russ Feingold, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer, Debbie Stabenow, Hillary Clinton and Pat Leahy are ALL inferior to McCain in their "good TV" qualities?

Is that what YOU are saying?

Posted by: bz on February 14, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

Laziness? Ratings?

Bullshit. Serious, informed critics of the Iraq war were screened out before the invasion and are still being screened out now, as each day of the occupation proves them right.

The corporate media completely caved in to the PNAC/Defense contractor/Exxon extremists who got us into this mess and have no intention now of further eroding their credibility by providing a platform for those who knew better to say "We told you so" on their airwaves.

Posted by: War4Sale on February 14, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Then there's the weekly Thursday exodus from DC. Bet it's easier to book on weekdays than weekends.

Posted by: Roxanne on February 14, 2006 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

give me a "F"ing break Kevin...you buy that shit. you really believe any reasonable person can look at Kristol for more than 3 minutes without becoming ill. You expect me to believe that that gross gasbag is watchable? Hey kevin, i've got a great deal on a nice bridge for you, or are you just courting trolls again?

Posted by: pluege on February 14, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

"So while holding them to account is surely the Lord's work, "
-Kevin

So you hate Christians and the bible but are doing the Lord's work. So what power are you serving, Kevin?

Posted by: McA on February 14, 2006 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

Sunday morning is dead and this is more evidence. Let McCain have it. Today's Sunday morning viewers will all be gone in a few years and maybe then it can come back to healthy adults.

In the meantime sleep in or go for a run. Information and entertainment are much better elsewhere.

Posted by: dennisS on February 14, 2006 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK


"if the bullpen really is empty on our side we need to start filling it"

Kevin , Baby ......

There is ignorance and then there is stupidity. I have rarely read a more stupid statement.

I can't fathom who you mean by "our side" if you think it is empty. My side would be the liberal/libertarian iconaclastic side. You are going to tell me that we have nobody to compete with the likes of McCain , DeLay , Hatch , etc....

That is bullshit. First of all we have truth on our side. If Lenny Bruce was alive he might clue you in on that. But almost anyone I'm thinking of puts up better than anyone on their side. Moore,Maher,Kerry,Donahue,Perry,Penn,Feingold,
Boxer,Sanders and on and on.

The fact that you don't see this and think it is just because McCain gives better TV is troubling but lends me to think that you are part of the problem and not the solution.

Posted by: Pablo on February 14, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

While we still had troops in Viet Nam, although we had started cutting back, "Cliffie Boy Clavin" was protecting the Jolly Green Giant cans from not falling on the poop deck. Could have enlisted in the Army or the Sea Going Bell Hops, but he was "so much more intelligent" he opted for "cannery" duty. - Hell of a swabber, though.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 14, 2006 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm...who was President in 1953 when we signed the armistice with North Korea? Eisenhower, a Republican.


Ike sealed the victory and ended the bloodshed. Take a look at the Korean Penisula at night and see the difference between capitalism and socialism. The South is ablaze with light while the North is as dark a the ocean. South Korea is a propserous people helping out in Afghanistan and iraq and part of the Asian-Pacific partnership. GWB just started free trade negotiations with SK to further broadened the strong relationship. At their request he's also dramatically lowered out military profile pulling troops out of the DMZ and out of Soeul and reducing total counts.


Who was President from 1969 to 1975 when the Vietnam war was lost? (Given that Clavin has already admitted that we won it in 1968 when the Democrat Johnson was running things). Nixon, a Republican.


Dicks hand was forced by a Democratic congress that cut off funding. It was they who abandoned South Vietnam and turned it into a communist gulag. I have the fortune to know a few boat people who survived a harrowing ordeal as children to make it to this great nation. What we did was despicable. It will not be repeated in Iraq. CBS controls nothing.

There's a pattern here, I just know it....


Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

It's called winning the battle but losing the war. Yeesh. It's common knowledge that Tet was a loss for the North. So what? It demonstrated that the US could never control the country

It demonstrated no such thing. What is demonstrated is the MSM cannot be trusted and for political purposes their stranglehold had to be broken. We saw that in 1994.

Rush was a critical 1st step in creating powerful talk radio and Fox news was a critical 2nd step but the backbreaker is the blogs. The ablility to use the internet for quick searches has destroyed the MSM. CBS has been destroyed and the NYTs is a caricature of itself.

It's so cool to be watching these liberal outlets and personalities to pine for 1968 only to know those days are over. Dan Rather is a certified liar while Uncle Walter is a dishonest old fool. The most trusted man in America in 1968 is now known to have lied though his teeth.

What was so cool about the SBVs is using the net and reading a few bloggers I found out in 10 minutes Kerry was lying thru his teeth regarding Xmas in Cambodia. The most obvious fact was Nixon wasn't President Xmas of '68. There was much more than that but that was the juicy part. That's what made him so easy to ridicule.

Tell me how it's possible he told such a stupid lie over two decades and not a single sole in the MSM ever questioned it?

Your problem in Iraq is the MSM is just as stupid and gullible but immediately fact checked. Before they reported on flushing Korans down a tiolet we knew not to trust them. Knowing as we do to question everything our 1st thought was, "How could anyone possibly flush a Koran down a toilet? Was it a potty designed for elephants?"

The MSM has zero credibilty because they're morons. This ain't Vietnam. There will never be another Vietnam. If you were to watch Fox check out the 1st two minutes of the 2nd half hour when they do a political gossip round-up. It a list of political stupidity they've gathered from the bogs. Fox doesn't compete with the networks huge apparatus. They don't have to. Theirs apparatus is much bigger and quicker.

The final chapter on Vietnam has not yet been written. Uncle Walt won't be happy and he knows it. He created a huge prison and he'll be held accountable for his sleezy role.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

They just manipulated the video to highlight an un-charismatic speaking style

They did not manipulate a single thing. The entire purpose was to show Kerry as he is. In his own words. He came home and attacked all of the guys who were there with him and were still there as war criminals. It was a nasty piece of work and 100% authentic John Kerry.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

At least Kerry, unlike McCain, has won a major party national presidential primary. Seems to me McCain is more of a loser than Kerry.

He won't be in 2008. Because Hillary is certain to be the candidate the same conservatives who favored GWB over McCain will now support John because he clearly beats Hillary. John has been very shrewd recently to be very supportive and stong on Iraq and judges and way ahead of the game on spending.

John wants to be President. He learned in 2000 he can suck up to the MSM all day and all night and not buy a conservative vote. Its fortunate Campaign finance reformt is not an issue and that lobbying reform and earmarks are. He's replaced a major weakness with major strength.

I am shocked to find myself warming to John. I did not like his gang fo 14 deal but he was right and I was wrong. We got Roberts and Alito out of it our best two picks in decades as well as a boatload of conservatives on the lower courts. GWB is getting ready to announce a slate of conservative appointments (his last 5 have been very good picks) and John will have the opportunity to seal the deal with the conservative base.

He is extremely fortunate in the current environment. Iraq(GWOT), Judges and Spending are the top concerns and he's been great on each of them.

He is even more fortunate in his choice of a running mate. Even those conservatives less than thrilled with our candidate will not stay home to let Hillary get elected.

Here's what they get in McCain. A social conservative who will continue GWBs work of recreating the Judiciary. In 2012 red states get 7 or more electoral votes. In 4 years McCain will replace about 1/6 of the judges and wiht another term about 1/3. By 2016 2/3's of federal judges will be conservative. In 2012 the Dems will not be able to nominate a liberal. In this electoral environment they cannot win.

McCain is the key to cementing Karl Roves durable majority.

He's a social conservative authentic war hero very popular among independents. He is the anti-Hillary.

He is the bridge to 2016 and the end of liberalism as we know it.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

Liberalism is an aging religion.

I don't know rdw, some of those kids are young. Look at Rachael Corrie.

Well! You really showed me. You name one friggin person and she died a few years ago Protesting FOR Arafat. You make my case.

One thing I think we can agree on is secularists do not have kids. The birth rate among non-religious societies is a fraction of relgious groups. The data from Europe, Russia, China and blue state America could not be clearer. Even those EU societies with non-catastrophic birth rates a drill down shows huge differences in subgroups. Germany is already shrinking while France has further to go. However the birth rate of 1.5 in France is heavily distorted by it's muslim population which is far more prolific.

The same is happening in the USA.

There's also more but I think this is due to the erosion of the MSM. I have 3 kids in or recently out of college. It is totally different than 1968. Now if there are any liberal whackjobs on campus chances are very good they're faculty and generally without influence. These kids aren't there to dodge the draft. They're there to get a productive education and they can smell these whackjobs a mile away. If they take the course it's because they know to tell the fool what they want to hear and collect the easy 'A'.

My comment is a direct reflection of several pictures I've seen of campus anti-war rallies. Two things stand out. There are few people there. Most of them are graybeard faculty trying to relive past glory. It's pathetic.

That's why after 4 years there's nary a hint of anti-war rallies on campus. It's an embarrasment to liberalism. You have a rapidly aging religion. These kids know what the MSM is. They just don't watch it.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:
Again with the perversion of history? Very Stalinist of you.

$300+ billion on the Vietnam War, and it still couldn't be won.

It's an idiot's argument to say that more money would have made a difference.

Fight an unjust war, and it doesn't matter how much money you pour down the rathole.

It doesn't matter how big your guns are, nor how mighty your military, if you don't have a just political cause in your favor.

Just like when the British Empire couldn't put down a few rag-tag farmers in the American Colonies.

Vietnam was betrayed only when U.S. military and political leaders so eagerly betrayed American political values and law, along with interntional humanitarian standards and law.

U.S. 'tactics' were wrongheaded, and that's what lost the war, both by creating enemies out of every Vietnamese political ally of Diem, and by radicalizing Vietnamese civilian and opponent, NOrth and South.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 15, 2006 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

BBC bitches. Publicly funded news. It's way better than anything we're ever going to have with a commercial system. The closest we've got to the BBC is PBS, and despite it's failings, is head and shoulders above the corporate "news".

Posted by: DanF on February 15, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

The closest we've got to the BBC is PBS, and despite it's failings, is head and shoulders above the corporate "news".

PBS news sucks. It's less biased than the BBC but given the choice, as we have, few watch. BBC is the classic big govt bureaucracy so popular in Europe but so dispised here. Socialism never had a chance in the USA and never will. Fox has passed PBS and is closing in on CBS on political coverage.

One of the amazing results of the 2004 race was the surge in ratings for Fox on election coverage especially regarding the conventions. Fox was 4th for the DNC but 1st for the RNC. That was a huge and important change and a major boost for Fox. Advertisers can now segment conservative voters. There's little doubt in 2008 at the RNC conventions Fox will be the most profitable network.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

The problem with McCain is that he speaks softly, vaguely and often with rhetoric completely acceptable to Democrats.

But, his governance record is entirely typical Republican. Democrats might find him personally appealing, but they don't know his voting record. He occasionally laments that fact, but doesn't change his way of speaking. He's one of those two-tone Republicans like Colin Powell. He speaks one way and votes another. He's confused.

The shows like him because he presents a very moderated view of what a Republican is all about. He is a pretty face for the party who tells people Republicans really aren't scary fascists who favor torture and sex together in the traditional family values way.

Posted by: MarkH on February 15, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

rdw wrote:
They did not manipulate a single thing. The entire purpose was to show Kerry as he is. In his own words. He came home and attacked all of the guys who were there with him and were still there as war criminals.

The Swifties showed video and lied about what it meant and lied about what Kerry said.

They also lied about the Vietnam War, and what good soldiers were ordered to do there. See the proof below.

Kerry didn't attack the vets. He merely factually identified the policies in place that put those honorable veterans in an extremely difficult, even untenable position. Either follow orders and commit atrocities, or what? Go AWOL? Frag your CO? Insist the American military live up to American law, values, and principles?

See this link for all 22 articles.
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=SRTIGERFORCE

From 1 of 22 Toledo Blade articles:
Three decades after an Army platoon repeatedly executed unarmed civilians and prisoners in Vietnam, a military lawyer has recommended the unit's former commander be brought up on a war-crime charge.

The recommendation came during a broader Army review of Tiger Force ...

Mr. Hawkins was among 18 former Tiger Force soldiers accused by Army investigators of crimes ranging from murder and assault to dereliction of duty during a 4 1/2-year Army investigation between 1971 and 1975. But the case was dropped by the Pentagon and concealed from the public until revealed in The Blade series, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Sources familiar with the review did not offer details of the charge recommended against Mr. Hawkins. The most serious allegation he faced in 1975 was the fatal shooting of an elderly carpenter in the Song Ve Valley in July, 1967 - for which Army investigators in 1975 recommended he be charged with murder. The former officer was accused by fellow soldiers [see rdw, there ARE good soldiers] of ordering the shootings of more than a dozen other unarmed civilians, but investigators in 1975 did not recommend charges in those cases.

Mr. Hawkins, who lives in the Orlando, Fla., area, declined to comment Friday. But in an extensive interview with The Blade in 2003, he admitted killing the elderly man on the edge of the Song Ve River because "he was making too much noise."

Based on classified records and interviews with former soldiers and Vietnamese civilians, The Blade series described the 45-member unit's rampage through two provinces between May and November, 1967 - the longest-known series of atrocities committed by a U.S. battle unit in the war.

Soldiers hurled grenades into underground bunkers full of women and children. They shot elderly farmers toiling in their fields. They severed the ears of the dead to fashion into necklaces. One former unit medic told The Blade that soldiers "would go into villages and just shoot everybody. We didn't need an excuse. If they were there, they were dead."

Records show that two soldiers in the platoon, Lt. Donald Wood of Findlay, and Sgt. Gerald Bruner of Colon, Mich., tried to stop the atrocities but were transferred from the platoon after they complained to superiors.

rdw, for the last time, get a history book.

The Swifties lied, and they did so clumsily. They did a profound disservice to the honorable veterans who fought in Vietnam and defended everything America stands for, to the best of their ability.

Kerry didn't smear ANY US soldier -- certainly not Wood & Bruner, who tried to stop the Tiger Force atrocities.

But the Swifties will hang their heads in shame for dishonoring Wood, Bruner and those like them. And will pay a heavy, heavy pric -- both in history, and when they try to sleep, and when they go to their graves.

rdw: lying won't help your unAmerican cause.


Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 15, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

MarkH,

You are quite right. McCain is conservative.

There is a debate in conservative circles about McCains ability to win in a GOP primary. His image among conservatives was in the toilet in 2000. The fact he was so revered by the MSM was bad enough but he was big on the wrong issues (campaign finance)_and small on the right issues (tax cuts).

What a difference 5 years make. He's no longer hated. His conservative record is getting recognition among the right.

His devotion to spending cuts will be more important than any lack of devotion to tax cuts in 2008. Iraq will be a positive. He's been good on judges and will have 3 more years to build on a good track record. GWB has submitted several judicial nominations and asked for votes on stalled nominations. Senate republicans know they need to be faithful to the base now to have a prayer in 2008.

"IF" John is an ace on judicial nominations and remains stalward on National Defense and spending cuts he'll win the GOP nomination easily. This has not been anticipated by many conservatives.

I think they nominate him on his merits. The fact he beats Hillary in all polls seals the deal. The ONLY way McCain can be stopped is if Hillary is stopped and that's not possible.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: lying won't help your unAmerican cause.

Liberals have come to use the charge liar so often it has no meaning.

I didn't lie about anything. It a dead issue. Lying would be pointless. We know the SBVs were very effective because we saw the elections results and the polling patterns. They were decisive.

The ads showing Kerry were terrific because there was no distortion. They were his actual words unedited. This is a fact.

He accused the troops of massive atrocities without naming names. When you don't name the people who did it you smear everyone. It's what he did and he did it knowingly. He intended to smear the troops. This tactic was quite common then and cost democrats this election.

We all know what those troops came home to as a result of this garbage. There were no parades. They didn't want to wear their uniforms. What the left did to those brave men is unforgiveable and unforgetable. It is one of the reasons George Clooney is lamenting the fact the term Liberal is no longer a proud badge. You are the kind of people who would like nothing better than to slime these soldiers as a way of degrading the war. No chance!!!

This is specifically the reason why the Dixie Chicks are considered dimwhitted whores by most Americans and widely reviled. This is why the right cheers when twits like Tom Daschle pose for pictures with garbage like Michael Moore. This is so NOT 1968. They really do cheer in airports for our troops. They're not perfect but they're a damn sight better than you.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, for the last time, get a history book.

I do read history. For every story of an abuse there are 5 stories of heroism. The ratio might even be higher in Iraq. This is why the MSM and Liberals keeps sinking. All you want to talk about is Abu Garahib. Did you read anything about the two dozen solders who just recieved Silver and Bronze stars for valor in combat.

Let me know the next time a network does a profile on a hero. We've got thousands and the MSM and liberals don't give a rats ass. We had them in Nam as well. The cool thing now is we have the alternative media. Quess what? You don't know anything but the people who get their news outside the MSM know of the bravery but we do. Middle America knows why Abu Grahib is so important to you. You could careless about the troops. Your 1st goal is the smear.

Al dickhead Gore just traveled to Saudi Arabia and ranted about the rotten treatment Arabs are getting in the USA under GWB. The abuses are horrible says AL. Think this makes the news cycle in the arab world? Think the troops in harms way appreciate AL? How about their mothers? Al Gore and ABCNews think if they don't cover the trip we don't find out. They're morons. What he did is an outrage and a well publicized outraged. He collected $200K to sell out the troops. Think Karl Rove will make use of this?

George Clooney can make 500 movies. He can't hide Al Gore or Michael Moore or the Dixie Chicks or Jimmy Carter or any of the other losers.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK


[Kerry]accused the troops of massive atrocities without naming names. When you don't name the people who did it you smear everyone. It's what he did and he did it knowingly. He intended to smear the troops. This tactic was quite common then and cost democrats this election.

We all know what those troops came home to as a result of this garbage. There were no parades. They didn't want to wear their uniforms.

Kerry and other vets KNEW what they'd done and were responsible for -- rightly not being proud of those atrocities, they preferred to patriotically stand up for American when they got home as well. It was either that or assist a militarist-American-style Stalinism that brooks no free speech, no dissent, no rule of law, no Constitutional Declaration of War, and no adherence to American or humanitarian principle in the prosecution of that war, and no responsiveness to the American people --to whom they are accountable.

poor rdw! Lacking the courage to respond to the Army investigation and Vietnam atrocity links I provided, you just continue to lie about Kerry.

Kerry merely held the political and military establishment to account for what it had ordered otherwise honorable soldiers to do. Don't put the sins of the misguided leaders who betrayed the average American soldier at the feet of John Kerry.

You'd kill the messenger. But you still have yet to respond to the historical facts -- documented over and over and over again -- about the Vietnam War.

I've provided evidence that Kerry's general statements about atrocities in Vietnam were true.

What have you to say for yourself?

It's those atrocities -- and the piss-poor leadership that ordered them -- that let this country down, lost the war and any alliances or political support it might have othewise had, and betrayed the soldiers who fought in it.

Respond to those facts! But don't keep expecting commenters here to swallow your continued lies, and the Swifties lies, as though they were fact.

You have the same political acumen as Dick Cheney has aim with a shotgun. But then he's not hunter.

You can assist in the Swifties lies all you want. But there's nothing honorable about abusing the American political process, assassinating the character of honorable men who participate in it, or betraying your integrity in the process.

Clinton lied -- you saw fit to impeachment. Bush lied -- where's your honor/patriotism/hunger for Truth now?

rdw: "Uh...[gaping silence]" -- changes subject.

Gutless poltroon.

Posted by: SomberoFallout on February 15, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Kerry and other vets KNEW what they'd done and were responsible for -- rightly not being proud of those atrocities,

Are you saying kerry himself committed atrocities? This is the 1st I've heard of this. If so he should be tried as a war criminal and punished. No one can order war crimes. The person committing the atrocity is the guilty person. There is no defense for following an illegal order.

You seem to be saying ALL Vietnam Vets are guilty of war crimes. You can't be that stupid.

There are atrocities in all wars. Vietnam was no different than WWII and I know of WWII vets who will tell you there were many fewer in Vietnam. There was a surprising lack of prisoners in the Pacific. Word is the Japanese were in some cases shockingly ruthless and some Marines returned the favor.

The good news is this is all old news. We have established monuments for all of our war heroes so we can celebrate their heroism. I've been the the Mall in DC and recommend it highly. Despite Kerry's trash talking our Vietnam Vets are getting a proper appraisal Just as John got his. He'll be like Al Gore and die a bitter man.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

poor rdw! Lacking the courage to respond to the Army investigation and Vietnam atrocity links I provided, you just continue to lie about Kerry.

There's no denying you are a liberal. It doesn't take courage to post on a blog. It takes courage to wear a uniform.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Way to twist my words. As is your habit with Kerry, the patriotic peace movement, and responsible policy makers reluctant to kill or make war just for the sake of killing and making war.

Of course atrocities are committed in all wars. Proves nothing.

That doesn't make it bright, nor effective policy, nor a legitimate or effective tactic for prosecuting a war.

It's the reason we lost the war in Vietnam. And it's the reason why civilians and veterans alike objected to the Vietnam War. We betrayed our own souls, our own country, in resorting to those tactics. The soldiers were caught in the middle - and can't be faulted -- for the most part.

WHO said ALL vets committed atrocities. Not I. I specifically said precisely the opposite in the last post. Same is true of Kerry. Stick with the facts, though it's foreign territory for you.

Note well, rdw:

First you claimed atrocities hadn't occurred.

You change the subject.

You flail and whine.

You attack your betters -- meaning Kerry.

You attack Democrats, and the patriotic pro-peace political center.

Now you ADMIT atrocities occurred!

So you ADMIT the Swifties lied, and that you were wrong about Kerry!

Yet you STILL have not responded to the Toledo Blade series of articles -- and the Army investigation -- that that verify Kerry's statements. And it documents JUST ONE unit, during just one period of time, in just one region.

Poltroon!

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 15, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/001055.html

Read it and weep. Blogging from Northern Iraq. Seems to be a boomtown. The Kurdish North will be Lebanon within 5 years except larger and safer. Huge money is coming in. The area is secure and will remain so.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Way to twist my words. As is your habit with Kerry, the patriotic peace movement, and responsible policy makers reluctant to kill or make war just for the sake of killing and making war.

Of course atrocities are committed in all wars. Proves nothing.

That doesn't make it bright, nor effective policy, nor a legitimate or effective tactic for prosecuting a war.

It's the reason we lost the war in Vietnam. And it's the reason why civilians and veterans alike objected to the Vietnam War. We betrayed our own souls, our own country, in resorting to those tactics. The soldiers were caught in the middle - and can't be faulted -- for the most part.

WHO said ALL vets committed atrocities. Not I. I specifically said precisely the opposite in the last post. Same is true of Kerry. Stick with the facts, though it's foreign territory for you.

Note well, rdw:

First you claimed atrocities hadn't occurred.

You change the subject.

You flail and whine.

You attack your betters -- meaning Kerry.

You attack Democrats, and the patriotic pro-peace political center.

Now you ADMIT atrocities occurred!

So you ADMIT the Swifties lied, and that you were wrong about Kerry!

Yet you STILL have not responded to the Toledo Blade series of articles -- and the Army investigation -- that that verify Kerry's statements. And it documents JUST ONE unit, during just one period of time, in just one region.

Poltroon!

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 15, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

First you claimed atrocities hadn't occurred.

When?


What I admitted was that Kerry made a horrible speech he was made to answer for. The SBVs made sure all of America got to see what kind of man John Kerry was before they were to vote for him. It's rather clear what they thought.

Actually, most dmeocrats made it clear early in the race. They really liked Dean but he proved so out of control they realized late in the game he could not be elected. Kerry was a booby prize of sorts.

One of the intersting events of that election cycle is that after the 1st SBV ads came out the RNC had a harder time fund-raising. They were hearing, "I like the SBVs much better and they're more effective". This is the reason why we saw kerry's testimony 40x's.

You have to admit, it was damn good political advertising.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

It was damn bad for the country.

It proves only that people will naturally be outraged by outrageous lies.

The media failed to truth-squad these obvious lies.

And yes, you did in fact admit that atrocities had occured.

At bottom, your silence re the Tiger Force atrocities, verified by the US Army, is your implicit confirmation.

Ya got nothin.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 15, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

At bottom, your silence re the Tiger Force atrocities, verified by the US Army, is your implicit confirmation.

Not quite.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Ya got nothin.

Except for the Wh, Senate, House and SC.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Three posts up, Kevin Drum notes that more Abu Ghraib photos have been published -- though many were originally withheld due to weak stomachs, missing backbones, and the lack of personal responsibility in the GOP.

This is Exhibit B -- rdw is Ex. A -- that American right-wingers have drawn precisely the wrong lesson from the Vietnam War.

Instead of holding themselves accountable for an unworkable and damning set of policies -- they borrow from the likes of Stalin and Hitler -- literally adopting the torture techniques practices by both rulers during WWII.

This is historical fact.

That our glorious leaders could go down this road is an open betrayal of this country and the soldiers who honorably serve it.

It also irretrievably damaged the military prospects of winning this war --just as those tactics, and those tactics alone, cost us victory in Vietnam.

Without the courage and personal accountability to correct course and adhere to our values in such wars, we have nothing. No honor. No valor.

Nothing for conservatives to cling to.

rdw has admitted -- if only by fleeing the topic of debate & changing the subject -- that Americans committed atrocities in Vietnam.

Were he man enough, he'd at least grapple with the Toledo Blade's Tiger Force reporting.

But a man without a conscience has little to offer his country.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 15, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

It also irretrievably damaged the military prospects of winning this war --just as those tactics, and those tactics alone, cost us victory in Vietnam.

The war is all but over. Al Qaeda has lost. The sunni have lost and are trying to cut the best deal they can. The 3 factions have been involved in intense politics for quite some time and soon we'll have a govt.

If you go to the link about you will read about the booming north. They still have 30 years of Saddam to overcome but they have water, oil, security and control of their own destiny. The Kurdish north is prospering and in 5 years will resemble Dubai. They will be Lebanon without the Syrians. Money and investment is pouring in. They have oil and everyone wants it.

The Iraqi's won't need us for the full 3 years GWB has left. There will be a pullout on GWBs terms and it will start before the 06 elections.

It is rather remarkable Bush is going to make Iraqification work and in such a short period. We are well on our way to a professional military despite a slow start and dramatic improvements in all other institutions. There are more kids in school in Iraq now than have ever been in school. The country is loaded with cell phones and satellite dishes and more cars than ever before.

It won't be long and the Sunni sue for peace and they all work to eliminate Al Qaeda. Once the violence stops economic growth moves to 30% and stays there for a few years. They'll be pumping Oil like there's no tomorrow.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Robert Byrd = Patriot. Dick Cheney = Benedict Arnold

Byrd, speaking on the floor of the Senate, is quoted below:

We cannot continue to claim that we are a nation of laws and not of men if our laws and, indeed, even the Constitution of the United States itself, may by summarily breached because of some determination of expediency or because the President says trust me.

In the name of fighting terror are we to sacrifice every freedom to a Presidents demand? How far are we to go? Can a President order warrantless house-by-house searches of a neighborhood, where he suspects a terrorist may be hiding? Can he impose new restrictions on what can be printed, broadcast, or even uttered privately, because of some perceived threat to national security? Laughable thoughts? I think not. For this Administration has so traumatized the people of this nation -- and many in the Congress -- that some will swallow whole whatever rubbish that is spewed from this White House, as long as it is in some tenuous way connected to the so-called war on terror.

I plead with the American public to tune-in to what is happening in this country. Please forget the political party with which you may usually be associated, and, instead, think about the right of due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a private life. Forget the now tired political spin that, if one does not support warrant-less spying, then one may be a bosom buddy of Osama Bin Laden.

There is a need for a thorough investigation of all of our domestic spying programs. We have to know what is being done, by whom, and to whom. We need to know if the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act has been breached, and if the Constitutional rights of thousands of Americans have been violated without cause.

I want to know how many Americans have been spied upon. I want to know how it is determined which individuals are monitored and who makes such determinations. I want to know if the telecommunications industry is involved in a massive screening of the domestic telephone calls of ordinary Americans. I want to know if the United States Post Office is involved. I want to know if the law has been broken and the Constitution has been breached.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 15, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

I should go to your link when you ignore my link to the Toledo Blade series??

That you're a hypocrite isn't news. But inadequately handling facts won't ease your radical departure from time-honored American conservative principles.

Engage the debate -- or leave the field of battle.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 15, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

News of huge U.S. oil inventories chopped the price of crude oil Wednesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The price of crude oil for March delivery fell nearly $2 per barrel to $57.60, and natural gas was off a nickel to $7.06 per million Btu.


We're not too far above last years average price and inventories for all stocks are well above last years highs. At the same time we have a very favorable weather forecast.

The weekly report shows capacity utilization at 86%, below normal for several weeks as plants undergo normal maintenance. YTD demand is running down 1.7% versus last year which was 1.8% lower than the prior year. It's very positive the industry is building inventory when utilization rates are so low.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

I should go to your link when you ignore my link to the Toledo Blade series??

I don't care if you go to my link. I don't expect you to go to my link. I know you don't want to see good news about Iraq. I put it there to give you an opportunity to see the things Conservatives see and why they support the war. You are going to be stunned to find out Iraq is actually working. I'm not.

As far as the Toledo story I have no reason to bother. I know atrocities happen in every war by every side. It's the nature of war. I also have no idea what your point was in referring to the story.

I made two points regarding Kerry and the SBVs. 1st, he lied thru his teeth on the Xmas in Cambodia Story and he did so rather pathetically. It was an insultingly stupid story easily proven wrong.

The 2nd was Kerrys congressional testimony played unedited and without comment by the SBVs. He knowingly and intentionally smeared Vietnam Vets. By not naming names he placed a clooud over everyone. It was a disgrace. That's why it was played endlessly all over the country.

Posted by: rdw on February 15, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

After you go through Biden and Schumer and Emmanuel, you get to uninspiring people

Sorry, I stopped taking your correspondent seriously right there. These are some of the least inspiring people in the Democratic Party. Period.

No bench? Obama. Boxer. Durbin. Barney Frank, for god's sake. Dean. Eliot Spitzer. Carl Levin. Hillary freaking Clinton (just keep her off foreign policy).

Posted by: Nell on February 15, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Just read some earlier comments, of course I should have included Edwards, Gore, Wesley Clark (though maybe his Fox gig keeps him off a rival network).

Posted by: Nell on February 15, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

rdw --
You have every reason to bother. You have EVERY reason to know the point of the Toledo Blade link. You claim Kerry lied about what happened, as a matter of policy, in Vietnam. That's the Swifties claim -- here's the relevance to you. Yet Kerry didn't lie. He surely did not smear Vietnam vets in general. He pointed out the patriotically-bankrupt methodology with which the war was prosecuted. Those policies and those tactics betrayed the veterans who were forced to carry out those orders.

The Vietnam vets with clean hands don't need you to defend them.

Kerry did no damage whatsoever to the vets who stood by -- that damage was already done by the gusy who refused to clean their own house, be it squad, battalion, branch of service.

Even your Cambodia claim is full of the lies you swallowed whole. It's pathetic that you're too lazy to pick up a history book. Do you REALLY believe there were no troops or patrols into Cambodia??? It was a huge part of the whole problem with that war. It's just common knowledge.

The insult is that you begin with a character assassination OF John Kerry, and swallow every lie you're told that supposedly supports that.

It's a child's game, in which anything can be proven about anybody. George W. speaks clumsily -- though brilliantly for a politician -- yet why twist what he says into something it's not?

ONly reason would be to gain partisan advantage in an unfair way -- which is what you do -- because you have no facts or principle at your disposal.

You ascribe motives to Kerry where there are none. YOu have NO basis for claiming his intent was to smear Vietnam vets.

The relevance of the Toledo Blade link is that it verifies Kerry told the Truth -- therefore, there could BE no smear.

You're going to great lengths to avoid the point -- to twist the debate, wriggle out of the evidence, change the disputed point and the terms of debate when it suits you, attack the folks with facts and patriotic principle.

But the way the Swifties took you in and betrayed you, if I were you, I'd be madder'n hell. But they betrayed their country by lying about the facts, and manipulating and lying about what Kerry said or intended to say.

It's a shame you're enslaved to a set of tactics that have no value within your own country's core principles. Abuse of power, lawless and unaccountable behavior -- even abuse of a sincere debater.

God I feel sorry for you. Breaking all the rules for a fleeting sense of power is never gonna make you happy. You can't get no satisfaction from cheating the known facts at every turn. Which is why you'd prefer the ongoing abuse of power to the America founded in 1776 by the blood of my own ancestors.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 15, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Even your Cambodia claim is full of the lies you swallowed whole. It's pathetic that you're too lazy to pick up a history book. Do you REALLY believe there were no troops or patrols into Cambodia???

never said there were't troops in cambodia. I said kerry's story was a lie. His staff now admits it was a lie. It was always obvious.

He said he spent xmas of 68 in cambodia listening to Nixon tell the world we were not in cambodia as he was sitting there. Except Nixon wasn't president in 1968. His own logs show him to be 60 miles away on Xmas eve. He got every aspect of the story wrong. He made it up.

Posted by: rdw on February 16, 2006 at 5:30 AM | PERMALINK

ONly reason would be to gain partisan advantage in an unfair way -- which is what you do -- because you have no facts or principle at your disposal.

You ascribe motives to Kerry where there are none. YOu have NO basis for claiming his intent was to smear Vietnam vets.

Why do you think they contsantly replayed kerry's testimony unedited?

Posted by: rdw on February 16, 2006 at 5:35 AM | PERMALINK

But the way the Swifties took you in and betrayed you, if I were you, I'd be madder'n hell.

The SBVs are the stars of the last election cycle and have earned a place in campaign history. They were without question the most effective 527 of 2004. Moveon.org has been a disaster and they had 10x's a much oney. Ditto Michael Moore. Along comes a group of pariotic vets with no media experience and they shine.

In the period during and after the DNC convention the RNC observed the standard 'cease fire' on campaign ads but the SBVs kept going. Kerry famously received no bump in the ratings despite the massive coverage of the slick convention. Kerry was never 'in it' after that.

These boys have acheived immortality among political analysts. One almost feels sorry for Kerry. He still suffers as does Gore. Hillary will smash him like a bug.

Posted by: rdw on February 16, 2006 at 5:59 AM | PERMALINK

Point being, many of the "facts" supplied by the Swifties were discredited, disproven, and had no merit.

On their face.

What they say and what you want to believe may be one and the same. But this Keystone Kops routine doesn't begin to approach reasonable standards of credibility, let alone proof.

You can't even see 'reasonable doubt' from where you're standing. Which is in the gutter.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 16, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

His own logs show him to be 60 miles away [from Cambodia]on Xmas eve.

On a classified mission into a neutral country -- you're not going to document the trip. Falsifying the logs and keeping such missions entirely off the books is perfectly consistent with standard operating procedure for the military -- in those years, AND since.

Second, it was 36 years ago. No one's memory is that precise in a fraction of that time span. So Kerry's memory may not have been precise. So what? It's hardly indicative of a conscious lie.

Even your Nixon claim doesn't stand up. Nixon, elected in 1968, sworn in in Feb of 1969 -- could well have been speaking in Xmas '68 as President-Elect. Duh.

Or Kerry could have been in Cambodia a week earlier or a week later, and found himself listening to Nixon lie -- while sitting in his Swift Boat on that same river. Kerry's still right.

Or Nixon's speech could have been rebroadcast.

Kerry's Swift Boat was all up and down that river, constantly. Without GPS units, who's to say how many times they entered Cambodia? It's common knowledge that border was routinely crossed, common knowledge that the precise location of the Cambodian border was very ambiguous (patrols knowing they crossed over, but not sure of precisely when or where), and common knowledge that there was no marked border, no sign reading "WELCOME TO CAMBODIA!"

It's not like the U.S. Interstate Highway System.

Even had you been able to prove Kerry inaccurate on that one detail, Kerry is still correct on the larger truth. IF he was off by a few miles on that precise date, SO WHAT? What he said about Nixon, Cambodia, and the War was still true.

If you held George W. Bush to the same standards, he'd be crucified 100 times over, right next to Kerry. And no one has ever disproven that he was AWOL -- that by definition, Bush had become a deserter. Nothing about the CBS docs takes issue with or disproves that.

It's your hypocrisy that's worth pointing out. Not surprising. But still, it must be hard on you -- that you can't live up to your own 'values.' But the Swifties have no values.

btw, John O'Neill was hired by Nixon in 1970 to smear Kerry. So he and the Swifties are no amateurs. Even the history of your "heroes" eludes you.

Time for you to catch up.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on February 16, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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