Expertise's Politics and Sports Blog

Tuesday, November 02, 2004
I have a busy day today.

Classes until 2, then I have to drive almost an hour and a half to go to my polling place and vote (I didn't request and absentee ballot, so I'm going home.  No big deal.)  Then I gotta figure out how am I going to set up my election night news both online and off.

I knew some shit would start up today, and Drudge, as usual, is on it:

Before voting even began in Philadelphia -- poll watchers found nearly 2000 votes already planted on machines scattered throughout the city... One incident occurred at the SALVATION ARMY, 2601 N. 11th St., Philadelphia, Pa: Ward 37, division 8... pollwatchers uncovered 4 machines with planted votes; one with over 200 and one with nearly 500... A second location, 1901 W. Girard Ave., Berean Institute, Philadelphia, Pa, had 300+ votes already on 2 machines at start of day... INCIDENT: 292 votes on machine at start of day; WARD/DIVISION: 7/7: ADDRESS: 122 W. Erie Ave., Roberto Clemente School, Philadelphia, Pa.; INCIDENT: 456 votes on machine at start of day; WARD/DIVISION: 12/3; ADDRESS: 5657 Chew Ave., storefront, Philadelphia, Pa... MORE... A gun was purposely made visible to scare poll watchers at Ward 30, division 11, at 905 S. 20th St., Grand Court. Police were called and surrounded the location... Developing...

I'm sure the details of these incidents will pop up by noon today, but considering Philadelphia is a Democrat stronghold - as most metro areas are - it's very doubtful that Republicans were able to sneak votes into those machines.

This is precisely why poll watchers are needed more than ever.  However, I still don't think they'll be enough.  Good luck to Bush tonight.  I don't think he'll be able to get the Supremes to save his bacon this time around.

Also:  there's more on the line than simply who becomes president.  If Bush loses, I lose my online name.  That means I lose my name "Expertise" on Okayplayer, have to change my name on my blog, change my AIM handle, etc.  So, I'll be on pins and needles for most of the night.

Let's see what happens.  Make sure you stay tuned.

Posted at 12:03 pm by Expertise
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Saturday, October 30, 2004
Osama makes a guest appearance.

If you haven't heard, Osama took time from redecorating his cave to make a new video, which was released today.

Here's some of what he said today, via Drudge:

You American people, my speech to you is the best way to avoid another conflict about the war and its reasons and results. I am telling you security is an important pillar of human life. And free people don't let go of their security contrary to Bush's claims that we hate freedom. He should tell us why we didn't hit Sweden for instance. Its known that those who hate freedom don't have dignified the 19 who were blessed. But we fought you because we are free people, we don't sleep on our oppression. We want to regain the freedom of our Muslim nation as you spill our security, we spill your security.

Osama is pretty smart.  He's using a new tactic in order to further his agenda and movement.  You see, in the past he has made leftist statements, but only as a list of grievances as warnings for the next terrorist attack.  This time he's talking directly to the American people, and most notably to the American left.

It's be real about this folks; leftists are really gullible.  They'll believe damn near anything; that's what makes them who they are.  And considering that leftists already believe that terrorism wouldn't exist if we'd just leave the Middle East alone, they'll believe this bullshit that Osama is feeding them.

Watch how he tries to make himself seem compassionate:

I will be honest with you on the moment when the decision was taken to understand. We never thought of hitting the towers. But after we were so fed up, and we saw the oppression of the American Israeli coalition on our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind and the incidents that really touched me directly goes back to 1982 and the following incidents. When the US permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon with the assistance of the 6th fleet. In these hard moments, it occurred to me so many meanings I cant explain but it resulted in a general feeling of rejecting oppression and gave me a hard determination to punish the oppressors. While I was looking at the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it came to my mind to punish the oppressor the same way and destroy towers in the US to get a taste of what they tasted, and quit killing our children and women.

You see; Osama didn't want to kill people.  But then he took a trip to Lebanon and got so angry about how the US attacked towers there that he decided that it was time to teach us a lesson.  That's right; Osama really likes us.  That is,until we hurt people.

Look at this:

I am so surprised by you. Although we are in the fourth year after the events of sept 11, Bush is still practicing distortion and misleading on you, and obscuring the main reasons and therefore the reasons are still existing to repeat what happened before. I will tell you the reasons behind theses incidents.

and this:

Both parties are arrogant and stubborn and the greediness and taking money without right and that similarity appeared during the visits of Bush to the region while people from our side were impressed by the US and hoped that these visits would influence our countries. Here he is being influenced by these regimes, Royal and military. And was feeling jealous they were staying for decades in power stealing the nations finances without anybody overseeing them. So he transferred the oppression of freedom and tyranny to his son and they call it th e Patriot Law to fight terrorism. He was bright in putting his sons as governors in states and he didn't forget to transfer his experience from the rulers of our region to Florida to falsify elections to benefit from it in critical times.

Doesn't that sound like John Kerry?  Distorting, misleading, obscuring?

I'm serious; reading this transcript you'd think bin Laden had a little tv in those caves watching the elections way in Pakistan.  Damn near all of the favorite Bush-bashing themes - protecting the wealthy, the Patriot Act, thirst for power, Bush dynasty...hell; he even said Bush stole the 2000 election! - are in this video.

Ain't that some shit?

And if you think that's funny...take a look at this:

Before Bush and his administration would pay attention and we never thought that the high commander of the US armies would leave 50 thousand of his citizens in both towers to face the horrors by themselves when they most needed him because it seemed to distract his attention from listening to the girl telling him about her goat butting was more important than paying attention to airplanes butting the towers which gave us three times the time to execute the operation thank god.

I wonder how that terrorist cheerleading pig Michael Moore feels that Osama has watched his movie?  I mean, every theme of Fahrenheit is right there, right up to the Bush reading the children's book reference and how long it took for him to react.  It's obvious that he's watched that movie. 

Folks, here's what I think Osama is up to...

I think he's seen the writing on the wall.  I think he has seen that propaganda piece, Fahrenheit 9/11, and he's seen all of the Bush bashing by John Kerry and the leftist political machine.  And he's seen the effects of the Madrid bombings and how they allowed a change of government.  And he smells blood.

All he had to do is ease them into it.  Make himself be seen as a bit more human, make concessions that no further attacks would be made if the U.S. pulls out of the Middle East, and make it seem as if the problem lies with Bush and the government.

As I said earlier today, terrorism depends on the most pacifist in the society you're attacking to push for compromise and/or appeasement.  Osama is manipulating them to do his dirty work with this message.

That doesn't mean he'll be able to get the leftists to get the country to appease wholly.  Unless a Green Party movement rises in this country, I doubt that will happen.  But he can get them to pull out of Iraq - possibly with a Kerry victory - and get them to cut down on support for Israel.

And if another terrorist attack does happen, leftists will point fingers at Bush just as if they were Pavlov's dogs responding to a chime. 

I don't like it, but I do see Osama's strategy.  And if America isn't careful, it just might work.  We might be able to see if it works on Tuesday night.

Someone should tell Senator Harken that Osama is not God.

Posted at 05:48 am by Expertise
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Thursday, October 28, 2004
Read this column.

I feel this - out of probably anything else - explains my sentiment on Tuesday's presidential election:

Here's a bit of it:

But above all, in this oppositional sort of age, when it is often easier to be defined by what one is against rather than what one is for, I have to say it is his enemies who most justify Mr Bush’s re-election.

The list of those whose world could be truly rocked on Tuesday is just too long and too rich to be ignored. If you think for a moment about those who would really be upset by a second Bush term, it becomes a lot easier to stomach.

The hordes of the bien-pensant Left in the universities and the media, the sort of liberals who tolerate everything except those who disagree with them. Secularist elites who disdain religiosity except when it comes from Muslim fanatics. Europhile Brits who drip contempt for everything their country has ever done and long for its disappearance into a Greater Europe.Absurd, isolationist conservatives in America and Britain who think the struggles for freedom are always someone else’s fight. Hollywood sybarites and narcissists, self-appointed arbiters of a nation’s morals.

Soft-headed Europeans who think engagement and dialogue with mass murderers is the way to achieve lasting peace. French intellectuals for whom nothing has gone right in the world since 1789.

The United Nations, which, if it had its multilateral way, would still be faithfully minding a world in which half the population lived under or in fear of Soviet aggression. Most of Belgium.

Above all, of course, Middle Eastern militants. If your bitterest enemies are the sort of people who hack the heads off unarmed, innocent civilians, then I would say you are probably doing something right.

This may sound petty. It is not. This constellation of individuals, parties and institutions has very little in common other than the fact that it has contrived to be wrong on just about every important issue of my adult lifetime.

And so, perhaps for the wrong reasons, perhaps less because he has been right and more because those who hate him so much have been so wrong, I want this President re-elected.

Go on America. Make Their Day.

Read the whole thing.  It's very moving, mainly because I agree with him on just about every fascet. 

And he's a Brit, no less!  Yanno, every time I start contemplating on whether there are even Europeans with common sense, small messages like these give me hope that there are.

Posted at 10:58 am by Expertise
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Monday, October 25, 2004
The media keeps shooting themselves in the foot.

Now Drudge is reporting that NBCNews has a blockbuster story coming out saying that the cache of weapons that the New York Times claimed was missing happened over 18 months ago....WELL before U.S. troops even went into Iraq.

The funny thing is that  Rush Limbaugh did say today that this is indeed old news disguised as breaking news.

Check this out:

Let me, before time expires -- and I want to get this out of way -- this New York Times story. I read this today and said, "This is just like the story we did three weeks ago." Do you remember we talked here about a story: missing cache of weapons that could be used to manufacture nukes?

Remember this, and our focus then was, "Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait a minute! Nukes? I didn't think there were any nukes in Iraq! I thought there was all bluff. I thought there were no nukes in Iraq and I thought there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq." Maybe it's a month ago now we did the story. Here's the New York Times: Huge cache of explosives vanish from site in Iraq! Do you know this is 19-month-old news, folks? Nobody knows, and this story doesn't say when these weapons went missing. Nobody knows. You can read the whole story, and you will not find anybody, nor the Times anywhere in this story, asserting a specific time when these weapons went missing. It's not anywhere in this story.

Deep within the story is the most likely explanation for what happened to the weapons. "It was standard Iraqi practice to, prior to bombing, move explosives out into the open and camouflage it so that it would not be as readily perceived to be a target." In fact, they moved them out of where everybody knew the weapons were, and then they camouflaged them to protect them. "Standard Iraqi practice to, prior to bombing, move explosives out in the open, camouflage it. In all probability these stockpiles of weapons were long gone before any American soldier ever got near the place where they were originally held." [emphasis added]

Ha.  Rush knew this at 12:00 today, and NBC is gonna cover it as if it's breaking news, too.

Why do the mainsteam media act as if there isn't someone that will straight up check their ass if they bring some distorted information?  Do they not know that this is 2004, and not 1974?  You aren't the only ones in the American media any longer.  Nor are you as dominant as you were only 10 years ago.

Get used to it.

UPDATE:  A few things have happened in the last few hours.

First, a Jerusalem Post article written by the AP cites an unnamed Pentagon official that states the weapons were indeed there in March 2003:

At the Pentagon, an official who monitors developments in Iraq said US-led coalition troops had searched Al-Qaqaa in the immediate aftermath of the March 2003 invasion and confirmed that the explosives, which had been under IAEA seal since 1991, were intact. Thereafter the site was not secured by U.S. forces, the official said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

The IAEA had periodically inspected the site between 1991 and 2003, including numerous times between November 2002 and March 2003, the official said. As of January 2003 the IAEA had "fully inventoried" the site, the official said. It was not clear what additional inspections were done between January and March.

But, the Kerry Spot over at National Review has gotten NBC's stance on it:

NBC News: Miklaszewski: “April 10, 2003, only three weeks into the war, NBC News was embedded with troops from the Army's 101st Airborne as they temporarily take over the Al Qakaa weapons installation south of Baghdad. But these troops never found the nearly 380 tons of some of the most powerful conventional explosives, called HMX and RDX, which is now missing. The U.S. troops did find large stockpiles of more conventional weapons, but no HMX or RDX, so powerful less than a pound brought down Pan Am 103 in 1988, and can be used to trigger a nuclear weapon. In a letter this month, the Iraqi interim government told the International Atomic Energy Agency the high explosives were lost to theft and looting due to lack of security. Critics claim there were simply not enough U.S. troops to guard hundreds of weapons stockpiles, weapons now being used by insurgents and terrorists to wage a guerrilla war in Iraq.” (NBC’s “Nightly News,” 10/25/04)
Interesting.  Notice; NBC News has more detail over what was actually at Al Qaqaa, as they detailed that while there were indeed weapons left there, the weapons that the AP/JP's source claimed was there really wasn't.  And considering that their journalists were actually with the troops when they entered the weapons shelter, and AP/JP never even named their source, I gotta go with NBC for right now.

Also, the Belmont Club found an article written last month by John Boyce of Mount Vernon News, in which he quotes a Lance Corporal based in Iraq saying there are over 600,000 tons of munitions in Iraq - which makes the 380 tons that the NYT cited look small in comparison, although it should be stated that one ton of munitions would be one too many.  They also fail to note - once again through the Kerry Spot - that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports over 248,000 tons of explosives have been captured or destroyed by the coalition since the invasion.

Keep your eyes open about this story folks.  I smell an October-surprised rat.

Posted at 10:57 pm by Expertise
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Take a look at this HIT.

Yes, although the elections aren't over, I'm still watching sports.

This was done by Tony Bua of the Miami Dolphins yesterday when they beat the St. Louis Rams for their first win of the season:

That hit is too sick.  It reminds me of when Ray Lewis laid a kat out in a Monday Night Football game about two seasons ago when their returner took a short field goal back for a touchdown.

Anyway, I had to share that.

Posted at 02:10 am by Expertise
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Sunday, October 24, 2004
Yo...take a look at this ballot.

Via Powerline.  It's possibly the weirdest I've ever seen.

Now look at that ballot REAL good.  Which ballot holes would you pick in order to vote for each candidate?

If you picked #6 for Kerry, #10 for Peroutka, #12 for Badnarik, and #14 for Bush, congratulations.  You chose the same ones I would have chosen.

You're also only two for four.

You see, the arrows are misleading.  You would think the boxes they point to would be the ones to vote in, but it isn't.  The number that is beside the arrow tells you the proper one to vote.  And had you voted in one of those boxes anyway, you would have gotten only two right - John Kerry, the Democratic Presidential candidate, and Michael Peroutka, the Constitutional Party candidate.

The ones you would have gotten wrong is President Bush's ballot, which is all the way up at the #4 box, which is colored red, and Michael Badnarik - the Libertarian Party candidate - had box #2.

What you are looking at is the absentee ballot for Cugahoya County, which is Ohio's most populous county.  That means that hundreds of these ballots have been given to our servicemen underseas. 

Now, both Powerline and the Associated Press state that all of them could be misaligned if the voter tries to line up the ballot card to the punch card.  Eh.  They're right about that.  But at the very least we're going to see lawsuits if Ohio is within a thousand votes or so.

It's situations like this along with the mass amounts of voter fraud we've heard about in Ohio (including the NAACP's "Crack Rock the Vote" campaign) that makes me think that Bush will probably get robbed out of Ohio.  No matter, because I still think he'll win Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida and possibly Michigan.  We'll see in about 9 days, folks.

Posted at 10:10 pm by Expertise
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Friday, October 22, 2004
The faces of John Kerry

Another column that I wrote for the Northern Arc.

It should be up sometime over the weekend...

The many faces of John Kerry.

By Expertise

I took a trip home over the weekend, due to my father being admitted into the hospital (Minor heart attack. He’s fine.).

My family rarely talks about politics. In fact, I don’t recall ever talking to them about it, although my mom has been a poll worker during several elections. She’s voted Democrat every time, as far as I‘ve known. In fact, I recall one time going with her into the voting booth and pushing one button - a straight Democratic ticket.

So, imagine my surprise on Sunday night when we were asked by my sister who we planned to vote for in the presidential election, and my mom said she was tempted to vote for Bush!

It definitely shocked the hell out of me. And when my sister asked why, the answer was real simple; Kerry and Edwards would say and do anything to get elected.

Of course, she’s right. Living in NC, we know what Edwards is all about; and that’s nothing but hype. The former tort lawyer was nothing more than a Johnny-come-lately that came in and snuck into the U.S. Senate spot as an unknown. The then-incompetent senator, Lauch Faircloth, fell in the same trap and refused to even debate Edwards due to his supposed debating prowess, and stupidly allowed the race to turn into a virtual referendum in a state where close Senate races are the norm and not the exception. And he’s been running for President ever since, mainly because he knew he would have an uphill battle being reelected to the Senate.

But John Kerry is the one who really insults the intelligence of the voters. If you were to believe his campaign, a 35-year time warp occurred from the moment he stepped onto American soil from Vietnam to the day he won the Democratic Presidential nomination. The 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s never existed, therefore no record of his activities existed.

Running for Congress on the platform of deconstructing the military? What are you talking about? His anti-war activities, including accusing fellow vets of war crimes? Lies peddled by Bush lackeys. Meeting with the North Vietnamese twice during a time of war? Never happened. Lying about throwing his medals over the White House lawn? Just the media doing the Bush Campaign’s bidding. Running for the U.S. Senate on the premise of cutting military funding during the Arms Race that eventually destroyed the Soviet Union? You’re challenging his patriotism.

Kerry says he opposes the war in Iraq (at least right now) because he claims there is no coalition. But when there was a coalition and U.N. approval to remove Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991 he opposed it. A few years later, you would have thought he had a grudge against Saddam, as he was on the floor of the Senate and on the political shows advocating stronger actions taken against him, even questioning the motives and backbones of Russia and France when they failed to hold Saddam in contempt for violating resolutions. Even as late as 2002 Kerry was advocating unilateral force in Iraq even if the U.N. Security Council didn’t sign on to the resolution.

So, why would Kerry all of a sudden take different stances? It’s simply because it was politically expedient at the time. Kerry was strong on Iraq when a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, was pushing for accountability for Hussein’s actions in the Middle East and eventually thumbed his nose at U.N. inspectors. And after September 11th, Kerry was right back at it using the fear of Hussein transferring WMDs to terrorists in order to advocate confrontation.

However, once the Democratic primaries came around, it was quite apparent that in order for one of the candidates to become the presidential nominee, he would have to at least criticize the cause for war. It’s no secret that a majority of Democrats oppose the war, as 85% of the delegates at the Democratic National Convention opposed the war on Iraq. So from the summer of 2002 to now we’ve seen a metamorphosis of John Kerry from staunch advocate of Iraq confrontation to anti-war candidate.

In December, the primary frontrunner was anti-war candidate Howard Dean. John Kerry was trailing in fourth in most of the polls. Succumbing to and eventually using Howard Dean’s rhetoric, Kerry is now in a position to capture the White House. As Dick Cheney stated in the VP debate, if John Kerry can’t even stand up to Howard Dean, how can the American people be confident that he will stand up to terror?

This is the reason why my mother, as well as several other long-time Democrats like Zell Miller, Ed Koch, Dick Morris and others have questioned Kerry’s leadership qualities. The fact is that he really hasn’t shown any.

Posted at 12:43 am by Expertise
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Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Jennings says journalists are not objective.

Before I get into that, hey...who says Karl Rove, the Darth Vader of American politics, doesn't have a sense of humor?

Ha.  I wonder if Rice got salty at that.

Moving on....

Peter Jennings made some interesting comments yesterday during a televised interview with a local tv affiliate in Kansas City:

Jennings said the media is now under the hot lights.

"I'm a little concerned about this notion everybody wants us to be objective," Jennings said.

Jennings said that everyone -- even journalists -- have points of view through which they filter their perception of the news. It could be race, sex or income. But, he said, reporters are ideally trained to be as objective as possible.

"And when we don't think we can be fully objective, to be fair," the anchorman said.
Interesting.  You see, I am taking a broadcast management class that's discussing media objectivity now.  In fact, this morning we watched the rest of "OutFoxed", a leftist documentary which tries to paint Fox News as being a mouthpiece for the Republican Party and the Bush Administration (I'll talk about my experiences in this class and others at this school later).

But this statement kind of confuses me.  My argument is that objectivity is an abstract concept that really does not exist in journalism or the media.  But "fair" is one of those terms that is blurry, too.  What is the standard of fairness, or objectivity?  You need something to compare these things to in order to accurately judge them.  So when someone states that Fox News is biased, I simply ask, "biased in comparison to whom?"  It's quite easy to be seen as more conservative than PBS, CBS, NBS, ABS, CNNBS, and MSNBS.

Of course, then you can ask how someone determines bias.  Well bias in journalism can be weighed on the content within the story that either was left out and unreasonably hurts another point-of-view in the story, or was added that can distort the story altogether.  Organizations like the Media Research Center (who's probably the best at this) usually focuses on the statements and information journalists make.  So does Powerline, who's really become a thorn in the side of the Associated Press and CBSNews.

Here's how Jennings responded to public opinion on media bias:

Jennings maintains those polls may be driven by groups with an agenda.

"There's a whole industry of conservatives saying, 'Ah, it's those damn liberals,' and a whole group of liberals saying, 'It's all those damn conservatives,'" Jennings said.

The problematic response, Jennings said, is the way people tailor the way they consume news.

"If you tailor your news viewing, as some people are now doing, so that you only get one point of view, well of course you're going to think somebody else has got a different point of view, and it may be wrong," Jennings said.
Well, if you feel Pew Research and Zogby are biased, then fine.  But both show that the public believes more than ever that the media is biased, particularly on the heels of the CYA Scandal.  He's somewhat right, however.  Your political leanings will lean to your belief of what sort of slant the media has.  But to try to paint those pollsters as being driven by an agenda is wrong.

Also, the last quote comes off as a bit condescending.  You see, people decide what is news and what isn't, not the journalists.  And it definitely shows in the ratings, as more and more people are turning off the broadcast networks and watching more of the cable ones, particularly Fox News.   So if more people are doing it, then something should tell the mainstream media that perhaps there is something wrong with you, and not them.

Also, unless you're only listening to selected talk radio show hosts, it's quite hard not to get another point of view within the media.  Very few media outlets give one view of the news, albeit one of the views are terribly weaker than the other, which gives root to bias.  Considering that a majority of people still get their news from the mainstream media (which is, of course, what makes them mainstream), Jennings comes off as pretentious in making such a statement.

Then again, with the big three, that shouldn't surprise anyone.

Posted at 12:02 pm by Expertise
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Monday, October 18, 2004
Canadian pharmacies: No to American purchases.

Found an interesting tidbit over in Canada today (via Reynolds):

More than 30 Canadian internet pharmacies have decided not to accept bulk orders of prescription drugs from US states and municipalities.

The move delivers a potentially serious setback to US politicians most notably Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry campaigning to give Americans easier access to cheap drugs from Canada.

For some odd reason, I never thought of this.  But I should have.

The reaction by these companies is real simple; Canada and other countries that engage in socialist health care are barely able to do so because those countries place price caps on their drugs.  Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical companies that are international are able to get back any loss of profit by selling it for a higher cost here, because we don't have it.

Therefore, if they allow Americans to buy drugs from other countries for that capped-off cost, they lose revenue, and it hurts their business.  That means less money to do research for new drugs, lobby Congress for new regulations, etc.  And the ones that can't get their drugs from Canada will have their drug prices inflated again.

So to stop all of that, this is a pretty logical reaction.  While Kerry and others would more than likely try to punish those companies in some fashion for refusing to sell the capped drugs here, they can only go after those that do business in this country, and then they would have to be held accountable when drug prices rise after whatever stunt they pull.

Canada will be pissed (as if that matters) because this will happen:

But growing concern in Canada that growing exports to the US could lead to rising prices and shortages north of the border has prompted the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (Cipa), whose members include several of the biggest internet and mail-order drugstores, to act. “We don't want to give Americans the impression that we have unlimited supply for them to tap into on a commercial basis,” said David Mackay, the association's executive director. Americans, he added, “can't get everything from Canada. We can't be your complete drugstore”.

And considering Canada already has numerous problems with their socialist healthcare, they are going to back up the companies.  This was a really stupid idea by the Democrats from the beginning.  Senate Republicans told them this was going to happen, and that it would be a bad idea all around.

Things like these show that John Kerry - nor any other Democrat, for that matter - can not be leaders.  Kerry has pretty much been debunked on the ally building, as France and Germany are poised to block any NATO and U.N. resolution. 

It's one thing for a president to fail one some of the goals for the term, but these guys are failing before they get into office.  It simply shows the shortsightedness and lack of vision within the Democratic Party.

Posted at 11:36 pm by Expertise
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Saturday, October 16, 2004
Jon Stewart grandstands on Crossfire.

The blogosphere, particularly on the left, is in a tizzy over Jon Stewart's little stunt on Crossfire.

Via Media Matters, here's a bit of what went down.  Here's the video (Windows Media):

JON STEWART: ... And I made a special effort to come on the show today, because I have privately, amongst my friends and also in occasional newspapers and television shows, mentioned this show as being bad.


PAUL BEGALA: We have noticed.

STEWART: And I wanted to -- I felt that that wasn't fair and I should come here and tell you that I don't -- it's not so much that it's bad, as it's hurting America.


TUCKER CARLSON: But in its defense...


STEWART: So I wanted to come here today and say...


STEWART: Here's just what I wanted to tell you guys.




STEWART: Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America.

Later on....

STEWART: See, the thing is, we need your help. Right now, you're helping the politicians and the corporations. And we're left out there to mow our lawns.

BEGALA: By beating up on them? You just said we're too rough on them when they make mistakes.

STEWART: No, no, no, you're not too rough on them. You're part of their strategies. You are partisan, what do you call it, hacks.

And he was pretty serious the whole time.  But at the same time, you could tell he was playing for the crowd.  And it's quite sad when your studio audience is enjoying watching a guest insult the hosts of the show.  I'm sure that made both Begala and Carlson feel real good.

But then, Carlson decided it was time to get a little tough on him, and it showed right at the end:

CARLSON: I do think you're more fun on your show. Just my opinion.


CARLSON: OK, up next, Jon Stewart goes one on one with his fans...


STEWART: You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show.

I think it's obvious that Stewart is taking himself a WEE bit too seriously.  Now sure; he's got a good show, gets good ratings, has a cult following (Although I don't think I've watched an entire episode.  I've seen a few minutes and changed the channel.  However, I did catch that lame interview he did with Clinton.  You would have thought it was an infomercial for the Democratic Party.).

But I think political satire has gone off the deep end, particularly in the last few years.  There are funny things that happen in politics.  But politics in and of itself isn't funny.  And nowadays there are too many comedians and entertainers that want to try to gain attention by getting on their soapbox while telling us what's wrong with the world and calling it comedy.

Political comedy has become a virtual half-step (c) Doug E. Fresh for the problem that exists within an apathetic electorate in this country.  Yeah; a lot of people like The Daily Show, and it's probably got them more interested in politics than previously.  Yeah; they like Al Franken, Jeanne Garafolo, Colin Quinn, and several others.  But these people are doing nothing but making politics worse, because they're giving uninformed opinions based off of superficial reasoning.

John Kerry may be boring and uninspiring and injects himself with botox, but that's not why I dislike him.  Bush may not be the best public speaker, or a Rhodes Scholar, but that's not why I like him.  There are so many issues that coincide within the surface of each candidate and the comings and goings of Washington political infrastructure that it's ridiculous to simply focus on the surface.

I don't like watching Crossfire that much, but at least they do analyze different issues and viewpoints and everyone on the show is challenged to give a coherent reason.  As Carlson asked Stewart, what kind of questions are those softballs he was giving both Clinton and Kerry?  At least when the candidates are on David Letterman or Jay Leno the hosts don't try to act as if they are covering the scene.

If Stewart is going to cover politics, cover politics.  If he's going to do comedy, do comedy.  But if he's going to do comedy, don't pretend that his show is an integral part of the political process, because it isn't.  Unless he's admitting that it does make things worse.

But that's only one part of the problem.  The other part is the idea that someone that is invited on your show feels they have the right to tell you how to do it - and right on the air, no less.

What if someone got on Stewart's show and said:

"Jon, your show is kinda bad.  It's lacking, your 'correspondents' come off as real corny, and - I'm sorry, dude - but you're not that funny.

And you inspire a lot of comedians, because you're in a good spot in your life right now, and so they want to get what you have.  But right now you're in the pocket of the executives of Comedy Central, and you come off as plain and, well, a corporate hack.

So what you're going to have to do is get you and your writers to put in a few more hours burning the midnight oil and juice up your show a bit.  Maybe get some new correspondents - a black one would help, yanno - and cut out the cheap jokes.  Because right now, you'd be better off calling this The Dork Show rather than The Daily Show.
Would Jon react to this?  Maybe.  He might try to add to it.  But either way, it would be inappropriate.  It's like someone coming to your place of work and telling you how to do your job.  And then when things get heated you're going to call him a dick?  Please.

Carlson and Begala are better than I am.  I wouldn't have asked him back for a second segment.  I would have told him to get lost. 

Posted at 05:21 am by Expertise
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