The Daily Rant©
 August 2004 Archive 

August 31, 2004

Have the terrorists won?

Last night, I was surprised to see former New York Mayor Ed Koch, a liberal Democrat, at the Republican convention, giving George Bush his wholehearted endorsement.  Koch readily acknowledged that he disagreed with Bush and the Republicans on virtually all domestic issues - abortion, health care, education, the courts, the environment, to name a few.  

Why then, you might be asking, would Koch endorse Bush's reelection?  "Simple," Koch said.  "The war against terrorism trumps everything."

If Dick Cheney and Carl Rove had the foresight to realize that a terrorist attack was all it took to get this country to give license to the ultra-right to enact their agenda, who knows what sacrifices they might have had this nation endure (after all, the end does justify the means).

If the terrorists can get us to abandon virtually all of our principled positions, they have won.  

Bill Maher:  "It's now almost certain that terrorists brought down those two Russian airliners.  When President Bush was told that terrorists had just crashed two planes, out of habit he didn't move for seven minutes."


August 30, 2004

Things you have to believe to be a Republican today...

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush used 9-11 to attack him.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because Cuba is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense.

A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's cocaine use is none of our business.

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness, and you need our prayers for your recovery.

You support states' rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have the right to adopt.

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

August 29, 2004

45 Million Uninsured Americans...

On Thursday, the Census Bureau reported that 45 million Americans lacked health insurance in 2003, up by 1.4 million from 2002 and 5.2 million from 2000. The report states that this increase is "statistically significant."

How large is 45 million?

45 million uninsured Americans is more than...

• All Americans age 65 and older (35.9 million)
• All African Americans (37.1 million)
• All Hispanic or Latino Americans (39.9 million)

45 million uninsured Americans is...

4 million more than the number of small business employees (41.0 million in 2001)
20 million more than the number of military veterans (25 million)
• Nearly 12 times more than the number of millionaires (3.8 million) -- although the growth in millionaires outstripped that of the uninsured (14 percent versus 3 percent)

45 million uninsured Americans is...

More than four times the population of Greece, site of the Summer Olympics (10.6 million)
• 12 million more than the population of Canada (32.2 million)
Nearly 5 million more than the population of Spain (40.2 million)
20 million more than the population of Iraq (24.7 million)

45 million uninsured Americans is...

• Nearly five times more than the number of Americans living with cancer (9.2 million in 2001)
2.5 times higher than the number of Americans with diabetes (18.2 million in 2002)
7 million more people than those living with HIV throughout the world (38 million)

There are...

Nearly 150 uninsured Americans for each physician in America 
Nearly 7,500 uninsured Americans for each hospital in America
Over 84,000 uninsured Americans for each Member of Congress

August 28, 2004

David Letterman:  "Have you folks been following the controversy with John Kerry and his service in Vietnam and the Swift Boat campaign? It all took place in Vietnam and now it just won't go away. I was thinking about this -- if John Kerry had just ducked the war like everybody else he wouldn't have this trouble."

Craig Kilborn:  "The road to the White House turned muddy over the weekend as the Kerry campaign charged that the president is behind negative ads that attack Kerry's record in Vietnam. To be fair, President Bush did criticize the ads saying they were too short." 

"The Bush campaign has denied involvement in the Swift Boat ad saying that the president has spent his entire life avoiding anything having to do with Vietnam." 

August 27, 2004

Let me get this straight...

(First, let me set this straight - my bias, that is.  In my career, I have prosecuted rapists, even the rapists of a prostitute, and some of the rapists I prosecuted were sentenced to life in prison.)

Yesterday, I listened to a television interview with the attorney for the woman who, this week, filed a $3 million civil lawsuit against William Kennedy Smith for an alleged rape which allegedly occurred some five years ago.  Why is this worthy of a Rant?  It was acknowledged by the plaintiff's lawyer that the woman, an employee in the foundation directed by Smith, continued to work for the foundation and had frequent consensual sex with Smith for some five months following the alleged rape.  The attorney's explanation was that his client was a virgin before encountering Smith and that this was a classic case of the "predator returning to the prey".  Huh?

I don't generally jump to conclusions about cases in the media.  For instance, I don't presume to know the truth about the Kobe Bryant case.  But, as far as this latest suit against William Kennedy Smith goes, I smell SHAKEDOWN!

What is clear is that Smith needs to be more selective of his sexual partners.  You may recall that, in 1991, Smith was accused of rape in Palm Beach by Patricia Bowman, a woman he met in a night club and invited to the Kennedy mansion in Palm Beach.  At the trial, Ms. Bowman admitted that she had followed Smith from the bar in her own car and, upon arriving at the Kennedy compound, she had removed her pantyhose and panties and left them in her car before going into the house.  But, she said, the sex was not consensual.

If you are inclined to believe either of these women, I'd like to tell you about how well my diet is going.

August 26, 2004

The GOP reaffirms that it is a right-wing party...

Yesterday, the Republican convention platform committee rejected a "Unity Plank" which was supported by party moderates.  The spurned Unity Plank stated:

"We recognize and respect that Republicans of good faith may not agree with all the planks in the party's platform. This is particularly the case with regard to those planks dealing with abortion, family planning, and gay and lesbian issues. The Republican Party welcomes all people on all sides of these complex issues and encourages their active participation as we work together on those issues upon which we agree."

Instead, the platform not only supports constitutional amendments banning abortion and gay marriage, it would bar civil unions throughout the country and endorsed Bush's restrictions on federal funding of stem cell research.  "This was a chance to unite the party and demonstrate that the GOP's inclusiveness doesn't end with the prime time speaking lineup," said Ann Stone, National Chair of Republicans for Choice. "It was their chance to show George Bush as a uniter not a divider," she added, "but clearly they have failed."

If you know someone who is undecided in this election, ask them if they really share the Republican Party's visions and plans for America.

August 25, 2004

Speaking of Dumb and Dumber...

Last night, we "dined" with two other couples at Tony Roma's.  Jack and I each ordered the half chicken dinner, he ordered it regular and I ordered all white meat.  When our dinners came, they were both all white.  Jack pointed out that he was expecting a leg, a thigh, and a breast.  The waiter apologized and said he would expedite the correct order.  Several minutes the waiter returned, apologized again, and said that he had been informed that they were out of dark meat.  Jack changed his order to ribs.  I then spoke up and told the waiter that my chicken was overcooked and too dry.  The waiter took my plate (with more apologies) and returned several minutes later with Jack's ribs and my new plate of chicken which was white and dark meat. 

August 24, 2004


Returned from vacation last night.  New Rants begin tomorrow.

August 23, 2004

August 22, 2004

August 21, 2004

August 20, 2004

McCain disappoints, again… In 2000, after bowing out of the Republican presidential nomination race, McCain said that he regretted not having taken a stance against South Carolina’s flying the confederate flag over the state capitol.McCain said he regretted that he honored politics over principle.

In 2004, Republican Senator John McCain, has criticized an anti-Kerry advertisement by a group of veterans as being "dishonest and dishonorable”.  When asked whether the White House was behind the anti-Kerry ad, McCain said, "I hope not, but I don't know.  But I think the White House should specifically condemn the ad."  Bush has refused to do so.  McCain called on Kerry to condemn an attack ad on Bush’s military service.  Kerry did so. 

Nevertheless, McCain still makes campaign appearances with Bush. Once again, McCain honors politics over principle.

Jon Stewart :  "The first lady raises a valid point. Since it would take years for stem cell research to find a cure for Alzheimer's, why start? It makes no sense. If you can only save people eventually, you're really doing a disservice."

August 19, 2004

August 18, 2004

Bush announces massive troop redeployment...

On Monday, in a speech before the VFW convention, Bush announced that some 70,000 troops stationed in important ally nations - most notably Germany and South Korea - will be redeployed back to the United States and will be replaced with a much smaller, more tactical, force.  Bush explained that he wanted troops to have more "family time".  While there may be sound reasons to reshape the deployment of our troops based on the evolution of the worldwide threats to peace, does anybody really think that a political speech less than three months before the election is the way to lead, to bring our allies along in support of this decision, indeed, to instill confidence throughout the world that the U.S. makes important decisions with international impact on something more than political expediency?

August 17, 2004

Bill Maher:  "The President and Mrs. Bush were on 'Larry King' last night and the president said, 'America is absolutely better off today than it was 4 years ago.' Then he said, 'Did I say America, I meant Chevron.'"

"The president finally explained why he sat in that classroom on 9/11 for 7 minutes after he was told the country was under attack. He said he was 'collecting his thoughts.' What a time to start a new hobby.'"

Jay Leno:  "Cheney also warned Americans about a group that is trying to impose their radical extremism on everyone else. He said they have no tolerance for democracy and no tolerance for people with a different religious faith. Then he said, 'Oh I'm sorry that's our platform.'"

August 16, 2004

Jay Leno:  "Is it me or is Bush going everywhere Kerry goes? So far in the past week, President Bush has followed John Kerry to Davenport, Iowa; New Mexico; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; and he follows him to Portland, Oregon. The only place he never followed John Kerry was Vietnam."

"President Bush said yesterday it doesn't make any sense to raise taxes on the rich because rich people can figure out how to dodge taxes. Then Dick Cheney said 'Shut up! You're ruining everything.'"

August 15, 2004

August 14, 2004

August 13, 2004

August 12, 2004

August 11, 2004

August 10, 2004

Jay Leno:  "President Bush said the other side, meaning Kerry and Edwards, just 'talks a good game.'  Well, at least nobody can accuse Bush of that." 

Bill Maher:  "Republicans are now trying to energize their Amish vote.  Dick Cheney is really pandering to the Amish. Today he told a senator to go f--- thyself." 

Jay Leno:  "Baseball has come out with these John Kerry and George W. Bush bobblehead dolls. They're pretty realistic. The John Kerry bobblehead is huge and the Bush bobblehead is empty." 

"In Davenport, Iowa, while President Bush and John Kerry were giving speeches they had three banks robberies. You know you let Washington politicians in your town and you're going to attract the wrong element. ... Luckily both Bush and Kerry have been eliminated as suspects. Because of his wife Kerry doesn't need the money and, come on, nobody believes Bush is smart enough to pull off this kind of job."

"John Kerry and John Edwards recently published their political promises and strategies in a book. You see that's smart putting all their ideas in a book. This way they're certain to keep them secret from Bush."

Craig Kilborn:  "Bush and Kerry tried to plan their schedules so they're not in the same place at the same time. A tradition they started during Vietnam." 

"Bush spent all morning reading the latest security briefing even though it took time away from ignoring the middle class."

Jon Stewart:  "After a long investigation the SEC has fined Halliburton $7.5 million for issuing fraudulent statements exaggerating their profits in 1998 and 1999 during which their CEO was — oh who was it? Oh that's right. ... Cheney himself has not been implicated in the scandal and according to Cheney's lawyer there is no allegation whatsoever that he acted in any way other than in the best interests of the company and its shareholders. And you know what? It's still true today." 

August 9, 2004

Republican Senator John McCain, has criticized an anti-Kerry advertisement by a group of veterans as being "dishonest and dishonorable".  The advertisement shows a number of Vietnam veterans accusing John Kerry of lying about his war record.

Spokesman John O'Neill, who's been attacking Kerry since 1971, was quoted on a right-wing Web site as saying the real point wasn't the story of Kerry's medals but his opposition to the war when he returned home, when he "grossly and knowingly distorted the conduct of the American soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen of that war" by saying American troops had committed war crimes.  On the other hand, Gen. Tommy Franks recently said about Kerry's 1971 comments, "He was a young officer over there, and I'm not sure that -- that activities like that didn't take place. In fact, quite the contrary. I'm sure that they did take place."

When asked whether the White House was behind the anti-Kerry ad, McCain said, "I hope not, but I don't know.  But I think the White House should specifically condemn the ad."  So far, the White House has refused McCain's request.

George Stephanopoulos:  "Do you think Senator Kerry is qualified to be commander-in-chief?"

Gen. Tommy Franks:  "Absolutely."

ABC - 8/8/04

August 8, 2004

August 7, 2004

Word of the day... MALAPROPISM

Main Entry: mal·a·prop·ism 
Function: noun
: the usually unintentionally humorous misuse or distortion of a word or phrase; especially : the use of a word sounding somewhat like the one intended but ludicrously wrong in the context


Two malapropisms have recently been attributed to Bush.

This one is true:  "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

This one is not:  "We must always remember that all human beings begin life as a feces. A feces is a living being in the eyes of God, who has endowed that feces with all of the rights and God-given blessings of any other human being."

August 6, 2004

August 5, 2004

Bush and the 9-11 Commission recommendations...

Bush is trying to give the nation the impression he is moving quickly to implement the strong bi-partisan recommendations of the 9-11 Commission.  In fact, he is only paying lip service to the recommendations.  Bush announced that he would support the establishment of a National Intelligence Director, BUT Bush's intelligence czar would have no budget authority, no authority to hire or fire, and would serve at the whim of the president.  In other words, he would be a eunuch (the czar could be a czaress but the eunuch metaphor is a problem).

The political problem for Bush is that the nation is not fooled and too many Republicans are either too patriotic or too politically pragmatic to follow the leader of their party.

·         9-11 Commission member John Lehman, a Republican, was blunt: "Our recommendations are not a Chinese menu. I would strongly recommend that these be viewed as a whole, that the powers needed to carry out these recommendations be enacted as a whole package." 

·         Former Republican Sen. Slade Gorton (R-WA), a member of the Commission, agreed: ''No one is going to listen to this individual'' absent his or her ability to hire and fire and control budgets.  

·         Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) said: "We ought to take the bull by the horns, create this new national director . . . and really provide some authority, including budget authority. If you don't have the authority to pick the people, isn't a national director just a shell game and a shell operation?" 

·         Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), a former chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, agreed, charging the new director must be "someone with total control and accountability. That's the budget too."

August 4, 2004

August 3, 2004

Ridge announces new terror threat...

"But we must understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the President’s leadership in the war against terror."

- Excerpt from Tom Ridge's 8/1/04 statement (link to Department of Homeland Security). 

Call me a cynic, but...


August 2, 2004

August 1, 2004

The Bush economic recovery...

The Republican platform on which George W. Bush ran in 2000 called reducing the national debt "a sound policy goal and a moral imperative."  Bill Clinton had eliminated the budget deficit, going from a $290 billion shortfall in 1992 to a $236 billion surplus in 2000, the year before Mr. Bush took office.

Yesterday, the White House forecast a whopping $445 billion budgetary deficit this year, nearly 30 per cent more than last year’s shortfall.  The Labor Department also announced yesterday that from the start of 2001 to the end of 2003, over 11.4 million workers were displaced from jobs, 5.3 million of them from jobs they had held for three years or more.  The Commerce Department announced that economic growth figures had slowed down to an annual rate of 3 per cent.  IRS data show that under President Bush "the overall income individual Americans reported to the government shrank for two consecutive years" – the first time that has happened since the modern tax system was introduced during World War II.

However, not all the economic news is grim!  ConocoPhillips said second-quarter profits surged nearly 75%, to $2.1 billion.  Shell saw its earnings rise 54%, an additional $3.7 billion in profits.  British Petroleum posted record-setting second quarter profits of $3.9 billion – a 23 percent jump from just one year ago.  And ExxonMobil posted second-quarter profit growth of 39 percent to $5.79 billion, its highest quarterly profit ever.

"The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity is but swindling on a large scale."
 - Thomas Jefferson.